Cyrill Vatomsky has become a regular commentator on this blog over the last two weeks. In appreciation for his interesting comments, I want to point readers to his radio show Embassy of the New World Order on KSCO AM 1080 Santa Cruz, California. The show airs every Sunday, [11:00] to [1:00] PST. Vatomsky also podcasts the show for those who can’t listen at the live broadcast.
I must admit that I’ve never listened to Embassy but I figured that since Vatomsky gives us his thoughts, we should give him a listen. I know I will, starting today.
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By Sean — 12 years ago
I’m not sure how to take or what do to with yesterday’s Izvestia’s article (Mosnews has an English summary here) which reports that the slain leader of the Chechen nationalist movement, Alan Maskhadov believed Shamil Basaev was taking money from Boris Berezhovsky to wage war against Russia in the interests of the US and England. This information comes from statements from one “Maskhadovtsy” named Vakhit Murdashev and his lawyer Baiali El’murzaev. According to their statements, Maskhadov wanted reconcile with Moscow because he viewed that the US and England’s geopolitical interests in the Caucuses posed a more dangerous threat to Chechnya than the Kremlin. According to information Murdashev provided Izvestiia,
“Aslan Maskhadov feared that Shamil Basaev fell under the influence of Berezovskii, and worker for him for money, and could lose sight of the idea of independence and go under the sway of the West. If this was correct, [it could] work on tearing the Caucuses away from Russia. [Maskhadov and Basaev] had a fundemental disagreement over this, and in conversations with Murdashev, Maskhadov said that it was better to form an alliance with Russia than fall under the sway of the West.”
Potentially explosive stuff. However, some caution should be taken considering how some of the players are connected. Placing the exiled oligarch and major Kremlin critic Boris Berezhovsky as Basaev’s financier seems way to good to be true from the Kremlin’s perspective. Berezhovsky fled Russia to France to escape a fate similar to Mikhail Khordokovsky. The Berezhovsky-Basaev-US/Britian connection seems too conspiratorial and too easily explained as Russian concern about the US influence in the region. But what this story also presents is some bad news for the Kremlin. When Maskhadov was killed, many commentators quickly pointed out that Moscow now had no one to talk to on the Chechen side. According to other information released since his death, Maskhadov was trying to sue for peace with Russia. There are no such hopes with someone like Basaev. If the report in Izvestiia is true, it only shows further how Maskhadov’s death was a major and tragic mistake.Post Views: 98
By Sean — 11 years ago
Jeremy Scahill’s new book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army will prove to be a much needed expose of the Bush Administration’s privatization of the military. Not only are there an estimated 100,000 mercenaries in Iraq, pushing the American military presence far beyond what most are aware, but Blackwater is the vanguard spear for the Bush Administration’s policy in the Caspian Sea region. The “Great Game” is back on. Why? It’s oil of course. For more on Blackwater and its role in the Caspian listen to him on today’s Democracy Now! You can also get a taste of the book in his recent article in the Nation.Post Views: 99
By Sean — 12 years ago
Move over Disneyland and make room for Gulagland! That’s right Gulagland. Igor Shpektor the mayor of the town of Vorkuta, which is located 100 miles above the Artic Circle and 1,200 miles northeast of Moscow, wants to turn a former prison camp into a “reality” holiday camp for tourists looking to spice up their vacation with the experience of Soviet camp life. According to an article in the London Independent, visitors can pay $150 to $200 a day to experience snarling dogs, camp conditions, and forced labor.
Shpekor’s idea was first reported in the newspaper Novye Izvestiia. He told the newspaper visitors to the town, where over 1,000 zeks perished, have been declining with every year. “The town needs money and we have the possibility to turn Vorkuta into a tourist region.” He got the idea last year when a “whole trainload of tourists from the US, Australia, and Poland arrived wanting to see the camp.” He hopes that “Gulagland” will keep wealthy tourists coming.
When asked what he thought of the idea, human rights activist Sergei Kovalev has this to say:
I myself was in a camp in Perm. Now there is a museum Perm-36 organized there. It’s been open for 10 years and it allows residents in the region to not forget their history. Concerning the scheme of Vorkuta authorities, I am convinced that to recreate the conditions of the GULAG would hardly be successful. An authentic reproduction of life there, will most likely, fail. Although I think that it wouldn’t be a bad idea that every future prosecutors and lawmakers are held for a while in the camp. Then he would understand when they doom people.
Such is our postmodern times.Photo: Vladimir MashatinPost Views: 174