Tag Archive: Putin


At least 600 Russians and Europeans fighting alongside Syrian opposition – Putin

Published time: June 21, 2013 12:34
Edited time: June 21, 2013 14:06

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti/Michael Klimentyev)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti/Michael Klimentyev)

 

At least 600 Russians and Europeans are fighting alongside the rebels battling the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

“It is known that there are at least 600 people from Russia and Europe fighting along with opposition forces in Syria,” Putin said during the Forum’s plenary session.

Putin reiterated that weapon supplies to the Syrian rebels violate international law, and threaten to further destabilize the war-torn state.

“Why supply weapons to militant forces in Syria when we are not sure of the composition of these groups?” he said, adding that it remains unclear where these arms will end up.

“If the United States … recognizes one of the key Syrian opposition organizations, al-Nusra, as terrorist … how can one deliver arms to those opposition members?” Putin said. “Where will (those weapons) end up? What role will they play?”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also criticized the supply of arms to the rebels in separate remarks to AP and Bloomberg: “The problem is that the weapons are coming to the region anyway,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“And if you take, you know, stock of what is being used by the opposition you would find a lot of arms shipped by the West, including the US, to the Gulf countries and to other countries in the region,” he said. “So, this smuggling continues and this is very dangerous. Because the leading opposition force on the ground is very extremist.”

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Putin: Crisis in Syria should be resolved by diplomatic and political methods

Jun 17, 2013 – LONDON – (SANA – H. Sabbagh)– Russian President Vladimir Putin said that resolving the crisis in Syria can only be done through diplomatic and political methods and by having all sides sit at the dialogue table, calling for all sides to exert joint efforts to achieve this goal.

In a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron held on Sunday, Putin said that  Russia’s viewpoints regarding the crisis in Syria differ from those of Britain’s.

Putin addressed Cameron on the issue of importing weapons, saying “I believe that there are people in the Syrian opposition that not only murder people, but also eat their internal organs… do you want to support those people, and what does this policy have to do with human values?”

 Read More Here

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Related articles

Veterans Today

“Doomsday Weapons To Syria”: Putin

Thermobaric barrage seen for the first time

[Editors Note: We had reported earlier that when the Israelis used an American made mini-nuke bunker buster in the Damascus attack that they had crossed Russia ‘quiet red line’ of using a tactical nuke against an non attacking opponent.

This not only forced them to move Syrian air space defenses to block additional Israeli attacks, but also get fully deployed when the calls from the Israeli Lobby shills like John ‘McQaeda’ McCain and Lindsy Graham for a no fly zone which none of our military thinks is a smart idea, the wrong fight, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

With the Russian navy back in the Mediterranean and the Israelis threatening to attack their air defense weapons in transit, this gave the Russians no choice but to deploy all of their top line weapons systems to protect their defensive deployment. Unsaid has been that any pre-emptive attack on the Russians would be dealt with in a full response so that the attacking party could then explain to it’s citizen once again why Syria was worth the devastation.

NATO is a hollow shell that could not fight its way out of a paper bag.  America is expected to do most everything and of course pay for it. And if someone on our side makes an aggressive move I expect to see a quick response. We would do the same. But no one is threatening us.

We and our proxies are the threatening parties here, taking us to war inch by inch thinking they will be able to pull some incident out of the hat to make it all look like we were attacked and then responded. No one will believe that…because it will not be true. And if the Saudis and Gulf States think they are going to move armor into Syria and not pay a price for it I suspect they will be getting an education the hard way…Jim W. Dean]

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… by  Gordon Duff, VT Senior Editor

The following report comes to us from intelligence sources that have been able to confirm some of the “legend” behind the story.  If this is true, and we have confirmed that the S 300 missile defense system has been, for some weeks now, in the hands of the Syrian military despite denials by the “pop culture press,” Putin has made an interesting and very necessary move.

Now, reports indicate that the S 400 system is either inside Syria now or in the process of delivery.  There are no confirmations.  The S 400 system has a range of over 400 miles and is considered more than a decade ahead of the most advanced US counterpart.

YouTube – Veterans Today –

Sources inside the CIA, or at least one or two of the warring factions that now call themselves the “CIA,” confirm that President Obama has not set forth criteria for the distribution of weapons and ammunition he had promised last week.  

Reports indicate that Saudi Arabia is moving vehicle mounted anti-tank systems into Syria, thus pushing Putin to trump Saudi’s move with a far more devastating system, the “Buratino,” capable of obliterating entire grid squares with thermobaric warheads.

The improved version, the “1A” uses a combination of air and surface blast thermobaric warheads to defeat any armoured enemy on open ground.  This system, delivered to the Russian Army only 2 years ago, is capable of stopping any main battle tank including the M1A and the Israeli Merkava.

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Putin on NSA leak: Govt surveillance shouldn’t break law (EXCLUSIVE)

RussiaToday RussiaToday·

Published on Jun 11, 2013

“If surveillance is in the framework of the law, then it’s ok. If not it is unacceptable. You can’t just listen to the phone call in Russia; you need a special order from court,” Putin said answering the question of RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan. Commenting on Obama’s statement that “You can’t have 100 per cent security and 100 per cent privacy,” Putin disagreed, saying it is possible if done within the law.

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Putin on NSA leak: Government surveillance shouldn’t break law

Published time: June 11, 2013 14:53
Edited time: June 12, 2013 04:46

Data surveillance is an acceptable measure if done within the law, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told RT while visiting the channel in the capital.

Speaking to RT the Russian president stressed that Snowden revealed “nothing we didn’t know before”, adding that surveillance “is becoming a global phenomenon in the context of combatting international terrorism”, and that “such methods are generally practicable”.

But Putin pointed out that “the question is how well those security agencies are controlled by the public.”

“I can tell you that, at least in Russia, you cannot just go and tap into someone’s phone conversation without a warrant issued by court,” Putin said answering the question of RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

“That’s more or less the way a civilized society should go about fighting terrorism with modern-day technology. As long as it is exercised within the boundaries of the law that regulates intelligence activities, it’s alright. But if it’s unlawful, then it’s bad.”

Commenting on Obama’s statement that “You can’t have 100 per cent security and 100 per cent privacy,” Putin disagreed, saying it is possible if done within the law.

Earlier on Tuesday, Putin’s press-secretary Dmitry Peskov told to a newspaper that Russia could consider the possibility of granting political asylum to 29-year-old Edward Snowden,  if such a request is made. The ex-CIA worker is behind one of the biggest leaks of our time as he disclosed the existence of PRISM, the National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive data-mining surveillance program, to The Guardian last week.

The whereabouts of whistleblower remain unknown after he checked out of a Hong Kong hotel on Monday after revealing his identity and making a public statement in a interview with The Guardian a day earlier.

‘Syria should have undertaken reform in due time’

Speaking about the conflict in Syria, the president said it was possible to avoid the civilian war by conducting reforms in due time.

“Syria as a country was rife for some kind of change. And the government of Syria should have felt that in due time and should have undertaken some reform,”
Putin said. “Had they done that, what we’re seeing in Syria today would have never happened.”

However, he added, one should take into account that the entire Middle East is currently finding itself in a state of uncertainty and conflict – and it’s wrong to try and interfere from outside.

“From the outside some people think that if you bring the entire region in compliance with someone’s specific idea of democracy, things will settle down, and everything will be all right in that region. But that’s not true. Considering that region’s background history, culture, religion – you cannot interfere with it from the outside.”

Putin pointed out that the West is supporting some certain organizations that are fighting Assad in Syria, and they are countering “those very same groups” in Mali.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, during his talk with Russia Today television channel's journalists and correspondents, June 11, 2013. (RT photo / Semyon Khorunzhy)Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, during his talk with Russia Today television channel’s journalists and correspondents, June 11, 2013. (RT photo / Semyon Khorunzhy)

“Where is the logic in that?” he said. “Our Western counterparts often tell us that the Al-Nusra is one of the key organizations in the Syrian military opposition. But it has been dubbed terrorist by the US Department of State, and it doesn’t even hide its links to Al-Qaeda. So will you let this organization join the future government of Syria? Our Western counterparts say no. Are you going to just make them go away once you have victory in Syria? They don’t know. It’s totally unclear.”

Putin reminded that the quality of life in Libya was one of the highest in the region before the regime change.

“What do you have there now? There is a war of everybody against everybody among various tribes, there is war for resources, and, I’m afraid, if we go the same way in Syria, there will be same havoc in Syria that we’re now witnessing in Libya,” he concluded. “Isn’t that enough from what we’re seeing in Pakistan and Afghanistan right now, where there’re terrorists that are not controlled by anyone, except for terrorists?”

Speaking about mass demonstrations, the president stressed that the government should control protesters, “put them in the legislative field,” if they “violate the law.”

“This is what happening both in the US and in Russia,” Putin said.

“Russia doesn’t try to influence Occupy activists, yet foreign agents try to do this in Russia,” he said, referring to the Occupy movement that initially started from protests in New York and then spread worldwide.

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RIA Novosti

Russia May Consider US Spy Leaker’s Asylum Request – Media

US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden pictured during an interview with the Guardian

04:15 11/06/2013

MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian authorities will consider political asylum for Edward Snowden, who risks prosecution in the United States for his recent blockbuster spy leaks, if he sends a proper request, business daily Kommersant said Tuesday, citing the Kremlin spokesman.

“If we receive such a request, we will consider it,” Kommersant quoted presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov as saying.

Snowden, a 29-year-old former employee of the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA), unmasked himself on Sunday as a source of recent disclosures about US government’s secret surveillance programs.

He said he was aware of possible prosecution but disclosed secret documents in response to America’s systematic surveillance of innocent citizens.

Read More Here

 

 

 

Putin warns against foreign military intervention in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)
Tue Jun 4, 2013 12:47PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against any attempt at foreign military intervention in Syria, stressing that the move would only make the situation worse.

Speaking at a joint news conference after a summit with European Union leaders in Yekaterinburg, Putin said on Tuesday that any future foreign military intervention in Syria is doomed to fail.

“We once again underscored that any attempts to influence the situation through force and direct military intervention are doomed to failure,” Putin said.

He also criticized the EU for not extending an arms embargo on militants fighting against the Syrian government.

The Russian president also defended his country’s decision to deliver advanced S-300 air defense missile systems to the Syrian government, saying it complies with the international law and will help to tilt the balance of power in the region.

“It’s perhaps the best such weapon in the world. It’s indeed a serious weapon. We don’t want to throw the region off balance,” Putin added.

He, however, said that Russia has not yet fulfilled the contract, which was signed a few years ago.

On May 28, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow will go ahead with the delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, and that the arms will help deter foreign intervention in the Arab country.

He also stated that the air defense system was a “stabilizing factor” that could dissuade “some hotheads” from entering the unrest in Syria.

The US, Israel and several Western countries have been pressuring Russia not to go through with a promised delivery of S-300 missiles to the Syrian government.

The S-300 missile system, which has a range of up to 200 kilometers and the capability to track down and strike multiple targets simultaneously, could increase Syria’s air defense potential and at the same time limit the Israeli air force’s ability to hit targets inside Syria. Israel has threatened to attack the missiles if they are delivered.

HM/PR/SS

 

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NPR

The Fear That Drives Russia’s Support For Syria’s Assad

Neal Conan: Repeated American attempts to work with Russia on Syria have floundered on a fundamental difference. Vladimir Putin insists on a deal that includes Bashar al-Assad as part of Syria’s future. So the civil war grinds on and the situation of civilians there grows ever more dire. So why? Arms exports? Access to the port of Tartus? Standing up for old allies?

 

In a recent article in foreign affairs Fiona Hill argues that Putin looks at Syria and sees his old fears of Chechnya brought back to life. Fiona Hill was co-author of “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin,” and joins us now on the phone from Florida near Miami. Good to have you with us today.

 

Fiona Hill: Hi. Thank you, Neal. Thanks for having me.

 

Conan: So how can Mr. Putin look at a civil war in Syria and she – a nightmare for him, the old rebellion in Chechnya?

 

Hill: Well, this is a prism that he’s brought to looking at most conflicts like the conflicts in Syria that threatened the sanctity of his state. Mr. Putin actually came in to the presidency if you can recall back in ’99, 2000 in Russia, just as the second war in Chechnya was starting off. And he saw that as his biggest challenge of keeping the Russian state together, so it didn’t fall down the same path as the Soviet Union into collapse. And Putin was really brutal in pursuing the war in Chechnya. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in that holocaust of conflict including many civilians.

 

The capital city of Grozny in Chechnya was reduced completely to rubble, and Putin felt that this was worthwhile because it kept the state together. And over the course of the conflict in Chechnya it morphed in the same way that we’ve actually seen in the war in Syria. It went from a conflict that was mostly focused on political secession from Chechnya, from the Russian Federation and over time, really took on more of an extremist element, more of Sunni extremist groups who moved in to exploit the conflict and also many people who came from outside including from Syria to fight in Chechnya.

 

And Putin is now pretty much concerned that we’re going to see a repetition, the collapse of the states in Syria, knock-on effect for conflicts at home for him as well as (unintelligible) across the hall in the Middle East. And yet again, another collapse of the state, that is something that he would like to see avoided at all costs.

 

Conan: Now Russia, a state with considerable resources was able to pacify, I think that’s probably the right word – Chechnya. It is a completely different situation in Syria.

 

Hill: Neal, I’m very sorry. I didn’t hear that. Could you repeat it, please?

 

Conan: I was saying that because of its enormous resources, Russia was able to pacify Chechnya, at least for the time being. Syria seems to be a very different situation.

 

Hill: That’s very much the case. Yes. Mr. Putin has a lot of things that he was able to draw upon that Mr. Assad has not. He was able to take out the Chechnyan position, both at home and also abroad. In 2004, the Russians assassinated one of the top leaders of the Chechnyan opposition, Mr. Yandarbiyev, who had been an acting president and he was in Doha in Qatar at the time and was killed in a car bomb explosion.

 

Also other members of the opposition were picked off in other cities including in Europe. And Mr. Putin brought the full weight of the Russian army against the Chechnyans. And also he was able to perceive the war for such a long time quite ruthlessly because the Chechnyan opposition, generally, because of the number of very high level terrorist attacks and this infiltration of extremists lost any kind of support among the population.

 

So it was a very different conflict. It was very much confined to one region of Russia although there were terrorist attacks and spillover across the whole of the Russian Federation. But it wasn’t at all like Syria where it’s a full-blown civil war. And Mr. Assad is actually, at this point, seemingly perhaps not outgunned but certainly outnumbered by the number of opposition that are arrayed against him.

 

Read Full Transcript  and  Listen To Interview  Here

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Russia’s Putin Says No Missiles Delivered to Syria

 

 

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the European Union-Russian Federation (EU-Russia) Summit in Yekaterinburg, June 4, 2013.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the European Union-Russian Federation (EU-Russia) Summit in

Yekaterinburg, June 4, 2013.

 

 

VOA News

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow has not delivered advanced air-defense missiles to Syria, saying Russia does not want to upset the balance of forces in the Middle East.

Putin’s comments are in line with Russian media reports last week that Moscow had not yet given the S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Damascus and that the system could not be delivered this year.

The Russian comments contradict an interview given last week by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV in which he implied that Moscow had already delivered some of the missiles.

While Putin said the missile deal is not against international law, he added that Russia has not fulfilled the contract yet.

The United States and Israel have warned Russia against delivering the missiles, which would dramatically increase Syria’s air defense capability.

Deployment of the S-300 system would likely complicate further possible Israeli airstrikes in Syria.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Published time: May 08, 2013 14:51

RT

President Vladimir Putin, center, chairs a Security Council meeting on May 8, 2013. (RIA Novosti / Alexei Druzhinin)

President Vladimir Putin, center, chairs a Security Council meeting on May 8, 2013. (RIA Novosti / Alexei Druzhinin)

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) does almost nothing to eradicate drug production in Afghanistan, and this drug-trafficking problem will likely worsen in the near future, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated.

The NATO security mission – which will pull out of Afghanistan in 2014 – has failed to bring stability to the region, Putin said at a meeting of the Russian Security Council on Wednesday.

There are all grounds to believe that we may face an escalation of the situation in Afghanistan in the short term,” the president said.

The foreign military contingent, whose backbone is American forces, has not achieved a breakthrough in the fight against terrorist and radical groups as yet. On the contrary, their activity has been particularly increasing lately,” Putin explained.

There has also been “a drastic increase in drug production in the territory of Afghanistan and the creation of stable drug-trafficking routes to other countries, including – unfortunately – to Russia,” he said. Putin also noted that the ISAF does little to address the problem, while Russia’s proposals on the matter have so far been ignored.

International terrorist and radical groups in Afghanistan “do not conceal their plans to export instability and will try to carry sabotage over to the territories of neighboring states and Russia,” Putin said, adding that this would lead to an increase in drug-trafficking, crime, fundamentalism and uncontrolled flows of refugees.

In that connection, we must have a clear strategy of actions, which would take into consideration various scenarios for the development of the events,” he stressed.

Read Full Article Here

 

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How MI6, CIA spend tax money on propping up drug production

Annie Machon is a former intel­li­gence officer for the UK’s MI5, who resigned in 1996 to blow the whistle. She is now a writer, public speaker and a Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Published time: May 07, 2013 10:48
Edited time: May 07, 2013 12:01

An Afghan farmer collects raw opium as he works in a poppy field in Khogyani District of Nangarhar province on April 29, 2013. (AFP Photo)

An Afghan farmer collects raw opium as he works in a poppy field in Khogyani District of Nangarhar province on April 29, 2013. (AFP Photo)

With both the CIA and MI6 secretly providing ‘ghost money’ bribes to the Afghan political establishment, it’s likely that Afghans will increasingly support a resurgent Taliban and the drug trade will be further propped up.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, has recently been criticized for taking ‘ghost money’ from the CIA and MI6. The sums are unknown – for the usual reasons of ‘national security’ – but are estimated to have been in the tens of millions of dollars. While this is nowhere near the eye-bleeding $12 billion shipped over to Iraq on pallets in the wake of the invasion a decade ago, it is still a significant amount.

And how has this money been spent?  Certainly not on social projects or rebuilding initiatives.  Rather, the reporting indicates, the money has been funneled to Karzai’s cronies as bribes in a corrupt attempt to buy influence in the country.

None of this surprises me. MI6 has a long and ignoble history of trying to buy influence in countries of interest.  In 1995/96 it funded a ‘ragtag group of Islamic extremists,’ headed up by a Libyan military intelligence officer, in an illegal attempt to try to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi.  The attack went wrong and innocent people were killed. When this scandal was exposed, it caused an outcry.

Yet a mere 15 years later, MI6 and the CIA were back in Libya, providing support to the same ‘rebels,’ who this time succeeded in capturing, torturing and killing Gaddafi, while plunging Libya into apparently endless internecine war. This time around there was little international outcry, as the world’s media portrayed this aggressive interference in a sovereign state as ‘humanitarian relief.’

And we also see the same in Syria now, as the CIA and MI6 are already providing training and communication support to the rebels – many of whom, particularly the Al Nusra faction in control of the oil-rich north-east of Syria are in fact allied with Al-Qaeda in Iraq.  So in some countries the UK and USA use drones to target and murder “militants” (plus villagers, wedding parties and other assorted innocents), while in others they back ideologically similar groups.

 

Read Full Article Here

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Christmas service in Sochi.Zoom

AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Christmas service in Sochi.

Alexei Kudrin is seen as having good chances to succeed Dmitry Medvedev as Russian prime minister. In a SPIEGEL interview, he speaks about the need for more democracy in his country, President Putin’s pragmatism and the dangers still facing the euro zone.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Kudrin, why have you described the past year as being, both politically and economically, a lost year for Russia? It sounds bitter.

 

ANZEIGE

Kudrin: Economic reform came to a standstill, and political reforms didn’t produce the results I had hoped for. Although people can now elect governors directly once again, there are too many obstacles for candidates that are not backed by the government. But I do see one important, positive trend: A new, active civil society has developed.

SPIEGEL: But isn’t it already on the wane once again? The number of people attending protests against President Vladimir Putin is declining.

Kudrin: You shouldn’t base your assessment of civil society solely on the number of demonstrators. And besides, only a radical minority was calling for Putin’s resignation at the first major demonstrations. The majority took to the streets because parliamentary elections were not being conducted fairly. But they recognized that a majority of the people elected Putin. Why then should Putin resign? The majority of the demonstrators didn’t want the government overthrown from one day to the next. But it does want fundamental reforms.

SPIEGEL: What is the first thing that should be done?

Kudrin: Russia needs free elections. It will be a difficult and protracted process, which is something I pointed out in my speech at the mass demonstration way back in December 2011. Simply repeating the bogus parliamentary election, as some were demanding at the time, wouldn’t have done much good. For the most part, it would have produced a similar outcome, because there wouldn’t have been any strong, new parties yet. We have to develop new parties and pass laws that prevent election fraud. Candidates should have equal access to the media, and business owners who fund opposition parties should no longer be punished for doing so. The apparatus of state cannot be used to support a specific party. This has been so widespread until now that we even have a term for it in Russia: “administrative resources.” Russia has to take a chance with more democracy.

SPIEGEL: Why didn’t Putin seek a dialogue with the opposition instead of launching a series of repressive laws?

Kudrin: In the wake of obvious election fraud, I went to see him and proposed precisely such a dialogue. The time is ripe for more political competition. Putin didn’t reject the idea at the time, but said that he would come back to it later on. Then he apparently weighed his options and chose a different path.

SPIEGEL: You and Putin have been friends since the 1990s and you could become prime minister if Dmitry Medvedev falls. You were also Russia’s finance minister for 11 years. Is the president open to criticism from you and others?

Kudrin: He’s a very good listener. He listens to all positions during meetings and then he makes his decision. Sometimes he supported me when most of the others were against me, and sometimes he didn’t. Above all, Putin is pragmatic.

SPIEGEL: How successful was your attempt to mediate between Putin and the opposition?

Kudrin: I failed, but I’m glad I tried.

 

Read Full Interview Here

Russian children needing families denied

By sbardolf  |     New York

CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter Susan Bardolf is devastated by the news that Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a controversial new law banning U.S. families from adopting Russian children. She adopted her now six-year-old son, Jesse, from Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia (he is on the left in the image, along with sisters Deirdre and Mia). “My son was two years old when the court decision was finalized and we celebrated his third birthday at the [Russian] orphanage with his friends while we waited out the mandatory 10 days, before we could come home to New York,” she said. “Adoption is a leap of faith. You need to trust the process, trust a foreign government and very importantly, trust your adoption agency.” She believes that the Russian president’s move is more about Putin’s need to “retain control of his citizens” and unwillingness to compromise than any informed decision about protecting children. “I am crushed thinking about the fate of the Russian children who were in the process of being adopted and other children that will never know the chance,” she said.
sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

In 2009, I was an expectant mother. August 14, 2009 my husband Mark and I adopted, our then two year old son, Jesse, from Rostov on Don, Russia. Beside my wedding day, that was the happiest day of my life. The process to adopt my son was filled with anticipation, excitement, anxiety and a lot of scrutiny. Back in 2008, there was a sleeping toddler boy from Virginia who was accidentally left in a car by his father. The child tragically died due to the heat. This story was so tragic on many levels. Tragic for the child first and foremost. Tragic for the mother of this child and tragic for the father. The child had recently been adopted from Russia. This situation plain and simple is like a knife in the chest to parents everywhere. You would probably say something like this would never happen to you, but do you really know that for sure? What made this story even more emotional for Russia was that the father of the boy was acquitted of his death. There was considerable outrage regarding the lack of conviction. In the years since this acquittal, the U.S. and Russia worked together to negotiate a bi-lateral treaty to add safeguards for adopted children. This treaty was in effect as of Nov 1, 2012.
Four years has passed since the father was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in this case. The family of this boy undoubtedly will suffer because of this tragedy for the rest of their lives.

Since the treaty was in effect 6 weeks ago, the Russian government is once again resurrecting this tragedy and tying it to part of legislation now pending before President Putin to ban all U.S. Adoptions.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

The real reason Russia wants to ban adoptions by ‘dangerous’ American families

Posted by Max Fisher

 

A protester holds a poster of an orphan outside the Russian Duma in Moscow. (Geny  Feldman/AFP/Getty Images)

When President Vladimir Putin signed a law this week banning U.S. families from adopting Russian children, it’s hard to imagine, as an American, that he was thinking of the 46 pending adoptions he canceled. The nearly four dozen Russians orphans were within sight of a home and family, only to have them taken away as part of the ban that is widely seen as political retaliation against a U.S. law targeting Russian human rights abusers. It’s also hard to imagine that he was thinking of the on-average 1,000 Russians adopted annually into American homes, a reprieve both for the children and for Russia’s notoriously harsh and over-burdened orphanages.

Putin is many things, but he does not appear to be a crazy person. Despite his anti-American leanings, he has seemed shrewd enough to cooperate with the United States  when it suits him and to avoid unnecessarily alienating the world’s richest and most powerful country. The move is widely seen as political retaliation against the U.S. “How else can we strike [the Americans] where it hurts?” Russian political analyst Alexei Makarkin told the Moscow News. “If they found our soft spot with the Magnitsky Act, we found theirs.” Still, why sign a law that seems so clearly balance-negative for Russia, a law that, as The Post’s Will Englund paraphrased internal Russian opposition, “punishes orphans more than it does American politicians and that it looks like a defense of corruption while unavoidably drawing attention to the sorry state of Russian orphanages.” Is there something more to the ban than childish foreign policy? Could there be domestic considerations as well?

As it turns out, the ban on American adoptions is remarkably popular in Russia. A new Russian survey finds that 56 percent support the ban and 21 percent oppose, a ratio of almost three-to-one. The support seems to stem from a belief that American families are dangerous, cruel, and at times violent to their adoptive Russian children. More than half of respondents who want to ban American adoptions cite either hostile American families or the fact that some adopted Russians have died in the U.S. A much smaller number say that Russian children would be best served by keeping them in their home country. A still-smaller minority, about 10 percent of those who support the ban, say that U.S. families want to adopt Russian children for free labor or to sell their organs. A number of Russians also say that Americans like to adopt from Russia because the Russian adoption system is cheaper and less cumbersome, although in fact the Russian adoption process is both expensive (about $50,000 per child, maybe twice the rate in China) and burdened by new regulations imposed in 2006.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

Published on Jul 12, 2012 by

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.com joins us to discuss the geopolitical significance of the reelection of Vladimir Putin as Russian President. We talk about the differences between Putin and Medvedev, the future of Russian-American relations under Putin, and the future of Syria.

Putin to Peres: Israel will regret attacking Iran

 

Mehr News.com

TEHRAN, June 27 (MNA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Israel will regret it if it launches a military strike on Iran.
Putin made the remarks during a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Beit-ul-Moqaddas (Jerusalem) on Monday.

During the meeting, Putin urged Israel to learn from negative U.S. experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, Ynetnews reported.

“Look at what happened to the Americans in Afghanistan and in Iraq. I told (U.S. President Barack) Obama the same thing,” Putin stated.

He added, “There is no need to do things too quickly; one should not act without thinking first.”

“Iraq has a pro-Iranian regime after everything that has happened there. These things should be thought out ahead of time before doing something one will regret later,” the Russian president stated.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier on Monday following his meeting with Putin, “I believe that we should be doing two things now: Boosting the sanctions (on Iran) and also boosting the demands.”

The Russian president said that the two leaders “spoke in detail about the Syria issue and about the Iranian nuclear program.”

In a brief statement after meeting with Netanyahu, Putin said that their talks covered the situation in Iran and the uprising in Syria, but added that he saw negotiations as the only solution for such matters, ABC News reported.

According to AP, Israel urged the Russian president to step up pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear program, but there was no sign of any concessions from Putin.

The Christian Broadcasting Network wrote on Tuesday, “Russia will not step up pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear program despite Israel’s urgings.”

PA/EP

END
MNA

Politics and Legislation

 

We Take Care of Our Own: Eric Holder and the End of Rights

Historians of the future, if they are not imprisoned for saying so, will trace the end of America’s democratic experiment to the fearful days immediately after 9/11, what Bruce Springsteen called the days of the empty sky, when frightened, small men named Bush and Cheney made the first decisions to abandon the Constitution in the name of freedom and created a new version of the security state with the Patriot Act, Guantanamo, secret prisons and sanctioned torture by the U.S. government. They proceeded carefully, making sure that lawyers in their employ sanctioned each dark act, much as kings in old Europe used the church to justify their own actions.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-van-buren/anwar-al-awlaki-killing_b_1322528.html

 

Politicians Won’t Return Ponzi Payoffs

Michael Winship, Moyers & Co.:

“On Tuesday, Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford was convicted in a Houston federal court on 13 out of 14 criminal counts of fraud…. But what most of this week’s stories failed to mention was the large amount of his clients’ cash that was spent on campaign contributions, greasing the corrupt nexus of money and politics for personal gain. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to candidates,  Barack Obama, John McCain, John Boehner and Harry Reid; including Ponzi Payoffs; as well as national fundraising committees for the Republican and Democratic parties.”

http://www.truth-out.org/politicians-wont-return-ponzi-payoffs/1331400527

 

Confusion Surrounds Federal Review of Southern Leg of Keystone XL

Lisa Song, InsideClimate News:

“TransCanada’s decision last week to build the southern half of the rejected Keystone XL has raised a tricky question about who will regulate the project review … The process could be stickier at the federal level. The U.S. State Department was the lead agency on the original Keystone XL because it crossed an international boundary. But so far, no agency has stepped forward to take responsibility for the Gulf Coast Project.”

http://www.truth-out.org/confusion-surrounds-federal-review-southern-leg-keystone-xl/1331398833

 

A Field of Hawks

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Writers Group:

“Unless Ron Paul somehow wins the nomination, it looks as if a vote for the Republican presidential candidate this fall will be a vote for war with Iran. No other conclusion can be drawn from parsing the candidates’ public remarks. Paul, of course, is basically an isolationist who believes it is none of our business if Iran wants to build nuclear weapons…. But Paul has about as much chance of winning the GOP nomination as I do.”

http://www.truth-out.org/field-hawks/1331398935

 

No Apocalypse Yet
Will Putin do what the oligarchs fear?

By ISRAEL SHAMIR

If he wants to survive politically, he will have to implement the national agenda, confront the oligarchs, curb the creative class, provide support to those who supported him.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30776.htm

 

Obama Signs Anti-protest Trespass Bill

By RT

US President Barack Obama signed his name to H.R. 347 on Thursday, officially making it a federal offense to cause a disturbance at certain political events – essentially criminalizing protest in the States.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30774.htm

 

‘War on Terror is War on Liberty’
Farage demands that the UK break treaty with US

By Nigel Farage: EU MP

“No British court has ever been allowed to examine the evidence against Mr Tappin and I believe this Treaty, signed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, needs to be amended and the British government needs to stand up for its own people.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30764.htm

 

Economy

Not So Fast On That Whole Economic Recovery Thing

Not so fast. Those that are publicly declaring that an economic recovery has arrived are ignoring a whole host of numbers that indicate that the U.S. economy is in absolutely horrendous shape. The truth is that the health of an economy should not be measured by how well the stock market is doing. Rather, the truth health of an economy should be evaluated by looking at numbers for things like jobs, housing, poverty and debt. Some of the latest economic statistics indicate that unemployment is getting a little bit worse, that the housing market continues to deteriorate, that poverty in America continues to soar and that our debt problem is worse than ever.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/not-so-fast-on-that-whole-economic-recovery-thing

 

TEXT-Moody’s: Greek sovereign credit rating remains at C

Moody’s Investors Service says that it considers Greece

to have defaulted per Moody’s default definitions further to the conclusion of an exchange of EUR177 billion of Greece’s debt that is governed by Greek law for bonds issued by the Greek government, GDP-linked securities, European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) notes. Foreign-law bonds are eligible for the same offer, and Moody’s expects a similar debt exchange to proceed with these bondholders, as well as the holders of state-owned enterprise debt that has been guaranteed by the state, in the coming weeks. The respective securities will enter our default statistics at the tender expiration date, which is was Thursday 8 March for the Greek law bonds and is currently expected to be 23 March for foreign law bonds. Greece’s government bond rating remains unchanged at C, the lowest rating on Moody’s rating scale.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/idUSWNA217120120309

 

Security: UK ‘must plan for euro collapse’

Ministers should draw up plans to deal with a break-up of the eurozone “as a matter of urgency”, a committee of MPs and peers has warned.

The joint committee on the government’s National Security Strategy (NSS) said the full or partial collapse of the single currency was “plausible”.

It said political unrest and a rise in economic migrant numbers could result.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17295461

 

Wall Street up on jobs data, brushes off Greek default

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks advanced on Friday as investors brushed off the technical default by Greece and focused instead on another strong monthly jobs report.

Trading was choppy in late afternoon trade after the International Swaps and Derivatives Association said Greece has triggered an insurance payment on credit default contracts.

Investors took the Greek news largely in stride because the event was widely expected. Still, it is a declaration of default following the biggest sovereign debt-restructuring deal in history, and the specter of trouble in other euro-zone countries remains.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/stock-futures-edge-lower-focus-092318186.html;_ylt=Ar1tpMPx1ZCXLOapElzdCaqiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTNyMnNyMmVwBG1pdANGUCBUb3AgU3RvcnkgTGVmdARwa2cDNGYxODJlZGQtM2NlOC0zZDJlLThlY2MtMTUxYWU5NzcwZTQ4BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzI3OTQ0YjMwLTZhMzAtMTFlMS1hZmZmLTEzMTljMGYwZTE4NA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Bernanke Is Giving Us the Recovery He Wants, Not the Recovery We Need

With the latest round of monetary stimulus, the Federal Reserve is boldly going where it has already been. Big, big news from the Federal Reserve. They are considering doing something they are already doing, but calling it something else.

This “new” operation, carried out under the rather gross-sounding moniker of “sterilized quantitative easing,” is just another way to reduce long-term interest rates. The specifics aren’t terribly important — although if you want all the gory details about bond-buying and reverse repos, check out Jon Hilsenrath — but the result should be identical to the so-called “Operation Twist” the Fed did last fall.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bernanke-giving-us-recovery-wants-170846352.html;_ylt=AnYAn2zURi8MrFLRZ_Hep_SiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTRiOGw4a3B0BG1pdANGUCBDb21tZW50YXJ5IGFuZCBBbmFseXNpcwRwa2cDMmQ2YTVlYjMtZGYwYy0zZGU0LWFmNjktMjFkN2EwODU4NTBiBHBvcwMzBHNlYwNNZWRpYVNlY3Rpb25MaXN0BHZlcgNmNmIyODFiMC02OTQxLTExZTEtYmZmYy01NTAxNmVjYTk3MGQ-;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

UPDATE 6-Oil up on jobs data even as dollar rallies

By Robert Gibbons

NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) – Oil prices rose a third straight day on Friday as data showing rising U.S. employment countered any pressure from a stronger dollar and faded euphoria after Greece’s debt swap deal.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 227,000 in February, above expectations and marking the third straight month that gains topped 200,000, though the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/6-oil-jobs-data-even-170225610.html;_ylt=ArtF491iXjMK0Eqas1EzJrWiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTN0bGRlZWpmBG1pdANOZXdzIFRvcGljIDIEcGtnAzBlMGE5M2UyLTAwMDEtMzJmMy05M2ExLTA1NDk4MDM2ZDllMwRwb3MDMgRzZWMDTWVkaWFTZWN0aW9uTGlzdAR2ZXIDZTA2MzljYTAtNmEwOS0xMWUxLWFlZmYtYjcyZGRjMWIwZDU2;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

PRECIOUS-Gold turns higher on US jobs data, oil gains

By Frank Tang and Amanda Cooper

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) – Gold rose above
$1,700 an ounce in heavy trade on Friday, reversing early sharp losses as the metal took heart from gains in crude oil and U.S. equities’ after an encouraging U.S. nonfarm payrolls report.
Bullion, which has taken to following riskier assets, rose in the face of a dollar rally and fading hopes of further U.S. monetary stimulus after U.S. employment grew strongly for a third straight month.
Also lifting the metal was Greece’s averting an immediate default after its bond swap offer to private creditors. Technical buying also helped after prices rebounded off its key 200-day moving average.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/precious-gold-turns-higher-us-165030879.html;_ylt=AmeSDy3YM97ycn01LvBnaVaiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTN0OTRtMzFzBG1pdANOZXdzIFRvcGljIDIEcGtnA2EzYTkxNGFlLTdjMGMtM2ZmOS04ZDE2LTJjYmQ4ZWQwMzI2YgRwb3MDMwRzZWMDTWVkaWFTZWN0aW9uTGlzdAR2ZXIDYTczNjQ0YTAtNmExMy0xMWUxLWI5ZmYtYjAxMDViZmYwZjJj;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Public-Sector Banks: From Black Sheep to Global Leaders

Once the black sheep of high finance, government owned banks can reassure depositors about the safety of their savings and can help maintain a focus on productive investment in a world in which effective financial regulation remains more of an aspiration than a reality.

http://www.truth-out.org/public-sector-banks-black-sheep-global-leaders/1331147316

 

Welcome to the One Percent Recovery

Mike Konczal, New Deal 2.0:

“As the one percent reap 93 percent of the income gains from the recovery, we’re rapidly returning to pre-New Deal levels of inequality … It’s important to remember that a series of choices were made during the New Deal to react to runaway inequality, including changes to progressive taxation, financial regulation, monetary policy, labor unionization, and the provisioning of public goods and guaranteed social insurance. A battle will be fought over the next decade on all these fronts.”

http://www.truth-out.org/welcome-1-percent-recovery/1331396893

 

Jeffrey Sachs’ Reform Candidacy for World Bank President

Staff, Center for Economic and Policy Research:

“Economist and health expert Jeffrey Sachs’ reported candidacy for World Bank president is welcome news for the two-and-a-half billion people around the world living in poverty, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said today. ‘If Sachs were to get the job, he would be the first World Bank president with this kind of experience and knowledge of economic development … All of the others have been bankers, politicians, or political appointees.'”

http://www.truth-out.org/mark-weisbrot-jeffrey-sachs-reform-candidacy-world-bank-president/1331311919

 

China posts Feb. trade deficit

For the first time in a year, China recorded a trade deficit of 31.48 billion U.S. dollars in February, as import growth far outpaced exports.

Exports rose 18.4 percent from a year earlier to 114.47 billion U.S. dollars in February, while imports were up 39.6 percent to 145.96 billion U.S. dollars, customs data showed Saturday.

The fast trade expansion was fueled by the lower comparative base for last February, when the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday cut working days from the month and skewed trade data, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said. The week-long holiday fell in January this year.

After seasonal adjustments, the annual growth of exports slowed to 4 percent in February while that of imports was cut down to 9.4 percent.

http://www.china.org.cn/business/2012-03/10/content_24859840.htm

Life in America on Two Dollars a Day
Or Why American Poverty Will Soon Match That of the Third World

By CanSpeccy

The latest poverty statistics that show the number of American families with an income of less than two dollars per person per day more than doubled between 1996 and 201.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30765.htm

 

China to export yuan to BRICS:

China is reportedly to begin extending loans in yuan to BRICS countries in another step towards internationalizing the national currency and diversifying from the US dollar.

http://rt.com/business/news/china-us-dollar-currency-129/

 

Iceland calls its former PM to account for financial crash:

Geir Haarde, whose trial began this week, could face up to two years in jail if convicted over country’s 2008 economic collapse

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/09/iceland-former-pm-financial-crash

 

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Set to Default on $5.27 Million GO Bond Payments:

The city, carrying a debt load of more than five times its general-fund budget, will miss $5.27 million in bond payments due March 15 on $51.5 million of bonds issued in 1997.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/harrisburg-pennsylvania-set-to-default-on-5-27-million-go-bond-payments.html

 

Wars and Rumors of War

 

The Kazakhstan Massacre: Killing Hope to Benefit US Geopolitical Interests

Steve Horn and Allen Ruff, Truthout: “December 16, 2011, should have been, at minimum, a fairly bright day for the people of Kazakhstan marking the country’s Independence Day and 20th birthday. But rather than being a moment of celebration, it became a day of brutal repression and death, a bloody scene in the regional center of Zhanaozen paralleling those that occurred at the hands of US-supported dictatorial regimes during the uprisings now commonly referred to as the Arab Spring.”

http://www.truth-out.org/kazakhstan-massacre-killing-hope-benefit-us-geopolitical-interests/1331142602

 

Russia says 15,000 foreign “terrorists” in Syria

(Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is battling al Qaeda-backed “terrorists” including at least 15,000 foreign fighters who will seize towns across Syria if government troops withdraw, a Russian diplomat said on Thursday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/08/us-syria-russia-idUSBRE82714E20120308

 

After a Decade, Afghan Forces Don’t Trust Americans

Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi, McClatchy Newspapers:

“Afghan soldiers and police say the recent burning of Qurans by U.S. personnel has seriously undermined their trust in their American counterparts, suggesting that the decade-long campaign to win hearts and minds has not only failed but also threatens the Obama administration’s exit strategy. ‘We are tired of the Americans here,’ said Mohammad Aziz, 20, a Kabul police officer. ‘We don’t want them to stay because they keep insulting our religion.'”

http://www.truth-out.org/after-decade-afghan-forces-dont-trust-americans/1331392048

 

Fresh barrage of Gaza rockets strike Israel’s south

Iron Dome intercepts a number of rockets over Be’er Sheva on Saturday morning; 12 Palestinians reportedly killed in IAF strikes in Gaza since Friday.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/fresh-barrage-of-gaza-rockets-strike-israel-s-south-1.417622

 

Obama has partially left his delusions about Iran: Leader

TEHRAN – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says that U.S. President Barack Obama has partially left his delusions about Iran.

The Leader made the remarks during a meeting with the members of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran on Thursday.

“Two days ago, we heard that the U.S. president said, ‘We do not think of war against Iran.’ Well, this is good. This is a logical remark. This is an exit from delusion. In addition, he said, ‘We will bring the Iranian people to their knees through sanctions.’ This is a delusion. The exit from delusion in the first part is good, but remaining in delusion in the second part will harm them. When one’s calculations are based on delusion, it is obvious that the planning he makes based on those calculations will end in failure,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/politics/96228-obama-has-partially-left-his-delusions-about-iran-leader

 

The Bloody Road to Damascus
The Triple Alliance’s War on a Sovereign State

By James Petras

There is clear and overwhelming evidence that the uprising to overthrow President Assad of Syria is a violent, power grab led by foreign-supported fighters.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30769.htm

 

10 Myths about Iran Driving the Insane Push for War
And Why They’re Dead Wrong

By Jasmin Ramsey

Israeli officials and GOP candidates spout nonsense about Iran. Here’s the truth.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30772.htm

 

Weapons Financed By US Kill Unarmed Palestinians and U.S. Citizens.

By David Elkins

“U.S. weapons provided to Israel at taxpayer expense make the U.S. complicit in Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians living under Israel’s 44-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30767.htm

 

Kofi Annan’s calls for talks spark anger:

Syrian opposition activists have angrily rejected calls by Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, for dialogue with the government.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17312040

 

Assad Tells Kofi Annan He’s Open To ‘Honest Effort To Find Solution’:

 

Assad warned the envoy that dialogue was unlikely to succeed while “armed terrorist groups” remained.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/10/syria-crisis-assad-annan-kofi-homs-idlib-_n_1336534.html?ref=uk

 

Russia threatens to veto U.S. resolution on Syria:

Russia will not support a new U.S.-drafted resolution on Syria because it fails to urge both the government and the rebels to halt violence, said a top Russian diplomat.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2978397.ece

 

No military solution in Syria: EU ministers:

As Qatar called in Cairo for the dispatch of Arab and international peacekeeping troops to Syria, Juppe joined his counterparts in saying that for the EU “military action is not on the agenda.”

http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/syria-politics.fml

 

US officials: Loyal army, inner circle back Assad:

Despite the Obama administration’s predictions that the Syrian government’s days are numbered, recent U.S. intelligence reports suggest President Bashar Assad commands a formidable army that is unlikely to turn on him, an inner circle that has stayed loyal and an elite class that still supports his rule.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20145482/us-officials-syrian-regime-holding-under-fire

 

Controversy surrounds CNN footage from Syrian activist:

Video footage broadcast by CNN purporting to depict Syrian government violence was staged by the journalist reporting on camera, recent reports have claimed.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/controversy-surrounds-cnn-footage-from-syrian-activist-.aspx?pageID=238&nid=15628&NewsCatID=359

 

If Iran attacked it will launch 11,000 missiles at Israel, US: envoy:

Tehran’s ambassador to Lebanon says Iran has prepared itself to launch about 11,000 missiles at Israel and U.S. bases in the region if they do a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the Lebanese media reported.

http://www.mehrnews.com/en/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1556104

 

Environmental

 

The Problem With the Environment Is Not Too Many People

Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout:

“We’ve all heard the claim repeatedly: humans pollute, so if we just reduce the number of people – both the number being born and the number immigrating from point A to point B – the despoiling will cease and Eden will be restored. If only it could be so simple…. ‘Too Many People?’ is a clear and convincing challenge to the idea of population control as political necessity.”

http://www.truth-out.org/problem-environment-not-too-many-people/1331163575

 

Fracking Likely Caused Series of Ohio Quakes, Officials Say

Michael Muskal and Neela Banerjee , News Report:

Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources issued new regulations for transporting and disposing of brine wastewater, a fracking byproduct, making for the nation’s toughest disposal regulations, state officials said. Though the quake damage was minor – the largest was a 4.0 magnitude – environmental groups questioned whether the state’s safety rules were strong enough to protect the area from disasters they attributed to hydraulic fracturing.

http://www.nationofchange.org/fracking-likely-caused-series-ohio-quakes-officials-say-1331394148

 

Misc

 

New York Times CEO Robinson’s Exit Compensation Package Tops $23 Million

Janet Robinson, the New York Times Co. chief executive officer who was pushed out in December, received an exit package, including stock options and retirement benefits, of $23.7 million.

Robinson gets pension and supplemental retirement income valued at $11.4 million, performance awards of $5.39 million, restricted stock units worth $1.07 million and stock options worth $694,164, according to the company’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. She will also earn $4.5 million in consulting fees for this year.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/new-york-times-s-robinson-s-exit-package-tops-23-million.html

 

NSA whistle-blower: Obama “worse than Bush”

Thomas Drake on life inside the National Security Agency and the price of truth telling

Thomas Drake, the whistle-blower whom the Obama administration tried and failed to prosecute for leaking information about waste, fraud and abuse at the National Security Agency, now works at an Apple store in Maryland. In an interview with Salon, Drake laughed about the time he confronted Attorney General Eric Holder at his store while Holder perused the gadgetry on display with his security detail around him. When Drake started asking Holder questions about his case, America’s chief law enforcement officer turned and fled the store.

http://www.salon.com/2012/03/07/nsa_whistle_blower_obama_worse_than_bush/singleton/

 

Mass pro-democracy protest rocks Bahrain

(Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Bahrainis demonstrated on Friday to demand democratic reforms, stepping up pressure on the U.S.-allied government with the biggest protest yet in a year of unrest.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/us-bahrain-protest-idUSBRE8280TI20120309

 

Three Ways to Beat Corporate Giants

Jim Shultz, Op-Ed:

From insurance companies lording over our health care to global conglomerates taking control of our water, corporate giants wield more and more influence over our lives and our environment. So how do we fight back? How do we take on corporate power and actually win? The Democracy Center recently published a new citizen’s resource that looks up close at the strategies that people and communities are using worldwide to successfully tackle corporate giants.

http://www.nationofchange.org/three-ways-beat-corporate-giants-1331390970

 

Don’t Look Away from Bahrain’s Revolution

By Ala’a Shehabi

Over the past year, as cameras turned away, the Bahraini regime carried out some of the worst atrocities in its history.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30773.htm

 

Bahraini forces kill 21-year-old protester in capital Manama:

Activists say the protester, named Fadhel Mirza, was killed on Saturday when regime forces attacked a group of demonstrators struggling to reach Pearl Square.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/230916.html

 

CyberSpace

 

Stratfor: Blood On Their Hands
And it gets worse.

By Khadija Sharife

With their emails, Stratfor appears to advocate for a world where polluters and murderers, circumvent accountability by obtaining information to pre-empt – and in the process destroy – their opposition.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30777.htm

 

The Crime of Truth:
Obama’s Persecution of the Peacemaker

By Chris Floyd

Bradley Manning will spend the rest of his life in a federal prison for the unforgiveable crime of telling the truth to people who don’t want to hear it.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30771.htm

 

The Dirty War on WikiLeaks

By John Pilger

Media smears suggest Swedish complicity in a Washington-driven push to punish Julian Assange.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30770.htm