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.
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By Sean — 11 years ago
There are few new details in the Paul Joyal shooting. It turns out that Joyal wasn’t shot in the belly but in the family jewels. If nefarious spooky Russians did do this, they are either cruel or just bad shots. Joyal’s wife
has consistently disputed police claims that her husband was robbed, but when asked her opinion of the motive, she said, “”We really have no idea what the reason was,” but added that “it could easily have been a random act of violence.” Police are also mum on any additional details. Elizabeth ’s police, who are handling the investigation, would not confirm whether anything was stolen from Joyal during the shooting. Prince George
‘‘The investigators are obviously aware of his background,” police spokeswoman Cpl. Debbi Carlson said.
‘‘It’s hard to determine what exactly took place there,” spokesman Cpl. Stephen Pacheco said, adding that the neighborhood where the shooting took place is typically a ‘‘quiet” residential area.
FBI spokeswoman Michelle Cornkovich confirmed that
’s police are leading the investigation, and said the FBI has offered to provide any assistance the department needs. Prince George
Of course, this hasn’t stopped the wild media speculation and accusations. It seems like everyone has an opinion about
nowadays. RussiaPost Views: 460
By Sean — 12 years ago
My apologies for belaboring the Basayev story. But I find the whole thing rather fascinating. And as expected more and more details of the incident and commentary surrounding it are coming out.
Kudos to Kommersant which has consitently attempted to peel the layers of the onion so we will know the true story behind his death. Today’s edition presents a new theory: Basyaev’s death was possibly carried out by the Dagestani terrorist group Shariat. The theory is based on the fact that forensics now believes that a bomb was indeed planted in the car Basayev was traveling in. His “alleged body” (I say “alleged” because some people in Russia, one of which includes Prosecutor General’s Office Alexander Solzhenitsyn, doesn’t believe that it is Basayev’s body. When can we say enough already?) had wires and shrapnel that are the signature of Shariat chief Rappani Khalilov. The bomb was far too crude to be the work of the FSB. The FSB, with all its supposed high tech, wouldn’t use “a primitive hand-made bomb, since there is always risk that such bomb will explode at a wrong time or in a wrong place or will not explode at all.” According to experts this finding also dismisses the rumors that he was assassinated by a remote bomb, missile, or flame thrower. A James Bond operation this was not. The article, however, gives no reason as to why Shariat would want to kill Basayev.
In the same edition of Kommersant, Ekho Moskvy commentator, Yulia Latynina, muses about why Basayev’s death couldn’t be the work of Russian Special Forces. Her reasoning is simply that most of the time Russian Special Forces are too busy raping and pillaging Chechen and Dagestani civilians to carry out such a precise operation. She writes,
Do you know what it looks like – a special operation in Caucasian mountains? That’s how it looks: several hundreds people arrive on armored troop carriers to Chechen village of Nuradilovo in Dagestan. The result of it: they demolished the corner of a local school, lifted a shop, and shouted to children: “You, Chechens, should all be killed!”. The terrorist, whom they came to capture, escaped, leaving some people dead and some—injured. He was in the village because the talks on pardoning him were held. In Kabardino-Balkaria, police goes to capture terrorists. They do not find any. Coming back through the village of Kendelen (17,000 people), they arrest young men out of spite, then keep them in jail for a day, and then let them go.
Are these the special forces who finished Basaev?
Hardly, she answers. Because the real reason for war in her opinion has little to do with the Basayevs of the world. Instead it has to do with “Russian special forces who make robbery instead of a special operation, cops who demolish houses with tanks, and butchers who kill people and then offer their bodies to victims’ relatives for $10,000.”Post Views: 471
By Sean — 12 years ago
Question: What prevented the United States and Russia coming to an agreement to allow the latter into the WTO?
Yes, that is right, pork. The sweetest meat, the succulent hog, the flesh that is tasty whether barbecued, baked, smoked or fried. According to an article in Kommersant, the two powers failure to come to terms with the pig sank Putin’s WTO bid. The issue was this. The United States exports beef and pork to Russia, and Russia utilizes its right under international norms to inspect the imports. Negotiators from the Bush team wanted Russia to drop the double inspection of the meat imports because they are already inspected in the United States before shipping. The double inspection uncessessarily disrupts the free flow of goods in Washington’s reasoning. Russia wants to keep its right to make sure the meat is of good quality and is frozen properly. While meat processing the United States has decreased in standards in the last decades, as Eric Schlosser showed Fast Food Nation, one can also guess that standards at Russian meat processing plants would make Upton Sinclair not only spin in his grave like a pinwheel but do a couple of somersaults and handstands.
Alas, U.S. negotiators figured this was a minor concession for WTO entry. They were wrong. Putin was offended by the stipulation and the negotiations collapsed. “I and my guest, my friend,” Putin said at a join press conference held by he and Bush, (according to Kommersant correspondent Andrey Kolesnikov, Putin’s use of the word “friend” sounded forced) “the president of the United States, George W. Bush, are often asked the question, does our present relationship help in progressing – in addressing this question in resolving various international issues? I know that he believes so, that this informal personal relationship is helping us in our work. I have to tell you that at the same time, it does not hamper us in standing up for our national interests in this or that area. The WTO accession talks are very concrete, calculable in their nature, which can be expressed in terms of millions of dollars or rubles. This is a complicated process that has lasted for quite a while, for quite a few years. This difficulty is not a surprise to us. We will continue to work further, pursuing our interest, the interest of our developing economy.”
Putin’s unwillingness to budge sank the only real goal he had for the G8: getting into the WTO. The failed entry also put Russia in a weaker position to push an energy policy on its own terms. By all analysts’ accounts it will also further strain US-Russian relations. In fact, many in and outside Russia think that the G8 was a setback for Russia in general.
One thing is absolutely clear. Putin means business when it comes to his pork.Post Views: 554