Through The Static

August 28, 2008

Putin accuses U.S. of orchestrating Georgian war

Filed under: Politics,War,World News — disciplepete @ 12:35 pm

CNN:

SOCHI, Russia (CNN) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia to benefit one of its presidential election candidates.

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Matthew Chance in the Black Sea city of Sochi Thursday, Putin said the U.S. had encouraged Georgia to attack the autonomous region of South Ossetia.

Putin told CNN his defense officials had told him it was done to benefit a presidential candidate — Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are competing to succeed George W. Bush — although he presented no evidence to back it up.

“U.S. citizens were indeed in the area in conflict,” Putin said. “They were acting in implementing those orders doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is theirleader.”

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino blasted Putin’s statements, saying they were “patently false.”

“To suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate just sounds not rational,” she said.

U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood concurred, and labeled Putin’s statements as “ludicrous.”

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August 19, 2008

Taliban Escalate Afghan Fighting

Filed under: War,World News — disciplepete @ 11:56 pm

NYT:

MIYAN, Afghanistan – Taliban insurgents mounted their most serious attacks in six years of fighting in Afghanistan over the last two days, including a coordinated assault by at least 10 suicide bombers against one of the largest American military bases in the country, and another by about 100 insurgents who killed 10elite French paratroopers…

…Taken together, the attacks were part of a sharp escalation in fighting as insurgents have seized a window of opportunity to press their campaign this summer – taking advantage of a wavering NATO commitment, an outgoing American administration, a flailing Afghan government and a Pakistani government in deep disarray that has given the militants freer rein across the border.

As a result, this year is on pace to be the deadliest in the Afghan war so far, as the insurgent attacks show rising zeal and sophistication. The insurgents are employing not only a growing number of suicide and roadside bombs, but are also waging increasingly well-organized and complex operations using multiple attackers with different types of weapons, NATO officials say.

NATO and American military officials place blame for much of the increased insurgent activity on the greater freedom of movement the militants have in Pakistan’s tribal areas on the Afghan border. The turmoil in the Pakistani government, with the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf on Monday, has added to the sense of a vacuum of authority there.

But at least as important, the officials say, is the fact that Pakistan’s military has agreed to a series of peace deals with the militants under which it stopped large-scale operations in the tribal areas in February, allowing the insurgents greater freedom to train, recruit and carry out attacks into Afghanistan.

August 13, 2008

US blamed over S Ossetia crisis

Filed under: Gargoyles,Government,War,World News — disciplepete @ 7:54 pm

So you’ve probably heard about Russia’s invasion of Georgia, which was in response to Georgia’s attempt to militarily assert itself over S. Ossetia…if you haven’t heard about it, read some news!! Anyways my buddy Al has a good piece speculating on the U.S. role…Al is so damn patriotic, that’s why I love him.

The US has had stern words for Russia over its military intervention in Georgia to back South Ossietian separatists, but many analysts say that the Bush administration must share the blame for the crisis.

Washington has formed a close bond with the government of Mikheil Saakashvili since he came to power in the 2003 ‘Rose Revolution,’ offering military and economic aid and encouraging Georgia to join Nato.

Jon Sawyer, the director for the Pulitzer Centre for Crisis Reporting, said US politicians had encouraged their Georgian counterparts to think they had the backing of the US when Tbilisi decided to launch its attack on South Ossetia last week.

“The US has for several years now mishandled the situation in Georgia,” he told Al Jazeera.

“The way that Mikheil Saakashvili has approached this [has been by] thinking that he could be an extension of the west, a partner of the United States.”

“In many ways we have given him cause for thinking that, with the many visits to the United States, the talk of Georgia as a beacon for democracy.”

Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations, agrees that US encouragement may have made Saakashvili “miscalculate” and send Georgian troops into South Ossetia…

…The US may have welcomed Georgia as its key ally in the old Soviet Union’s sphere of influence.

But analysts point to the presence of key natural resources as a reason for the scale of US largesse.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline runs through Georgia, allowing the US access to oil and gas supplies not pumped through Russia to the north or Iran to the south.

“Underlying all this is a larger, more significant contest: a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West over the export of Caspian Sea oil and natural gas,” Michael Klare, the author of Resource Wars told the New American Media website….

…Other’s believe that while Georgia have miscalculated the level of support it had from Washington, the US has also erred in thinking it could influence events so close to Russian borders.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former leader of the old Soviet Union, said the US had made a “serious blunder” by allying itself so closely with Georgia.

“By declaring the Caucasus, a region that is thousands of miles from the American continent, a sphere of its ‘national interest,’ the United States made a serious blunder,” Gorbachev said in an opinion piece to be published in the Washington Post US newspaper on Tuesday.

Other analysts say that US diplomats may have underestimated the level of anger the US recognition of Kosovo created in Moscow, leaving it fearful that Georgia would assert itself further in South Ossetia.

“The Kremlin made abundantly clear that it would view Kosovo’s independence without Serbian consent and a UN Security Council mandate as a pThe US has had stern words for Russia over its military intervention in Georgia to back South Ossietian separatists, but many analysts say that the Bush administration must share the blame for the crisis.

August 11, 2008

Cheney threatens Russia over Georgia

Filed under: War,World News — disciplepete @ 4:55 pm

Press TV:

US Vice President Dick Cheney has threatened Russia after the country was forced to reply Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia’s region. 

In a phone conversation with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Sunday, Cheney said Russia’s military actions in Georgia ‘must not go unanswered’. 

Continuation of Russian attack ‘would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States, as well as the broader international community,’ Cheney’s press secretary, Lee Ann McBride, quoted him as telling Saakashvili… 

…Georgian military forces launched a large-scale military offensive against South Ossetia on Thursday evening hours before the start of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Russia, in response, moved its forces to the region. 

The conflict has left at least 2000 people dead. 

August 9, 2008

1,500 Reported Killed in Georgia Battle

Filed under: War,World News — disciplepete @ 9:29 am

What’s up people, I’ve been lagging a bit lately, but I have a good excuse! Anyways, drama in the Caucasus…NYT:

GORI, Georgia — The conflict between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia moved toward all-out war on Saturday as Russia prepared to land ground troops on Georgia’s coast and broadened its bombing campaign both within Georgia and in the disputed territory of Abkhazia.

The fighting that began when Georgian forces tried to retake the capital of the South Ossetia, a pro-Russian region that won de facto autonomy from Georgia in the early 1990s, appeared to be developing into the worst clashes between Russia and a foreign military since the 1980s war in Afghanistan.

Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, declared that Georgia was in a state of war, ordering government offices to work around the clock, and said that Russia was planning a full-scale invasion of his country…

…The fighting had wide international implications, as both Russian and Georgian officials placed it squarely in the context of renewed cold war-style tensions and an East-West struggle for influence on Russia’s borders

…Attending the Olympic Games in Beijing, President Bush directly called on Russia on Saturday to stop bombing Georgian territory, expressing strong support for Georgia in a direct challenge to Russia’s leaders.

July 21, 2008

Military Trial Begins for Guantánamo Detainee

Filed under: Eeeeep!,Government,Rights,War — disciplepete @ 10:38 pm

NYT:

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — In a hushed courtroom here on Monday, a military judge opened the first American war crimes trial since World War II, culminating a nearly seven-year effort by the Bush administration to try some of the hundreds of terrorism suspects held in the detention camp…

…Even as Mr. Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s former driver, faced trial, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, in Washington, called for legislation the administration says it needs to control the scores of legal cases from terrorism suspects challenging their detention at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in federal courts. Among his requests is a law barring the suspects from ever setting foot in the United States because of the “extraordinary risk” they pose.

Mr. Mukasey’s speech reflected the administration’s difficulty in dealing with Guantánamo, which has become a magnet for international criticism, partly because no detainee had been tried for any offense.

As Mr. Hamdan’s trial began, the military judge, Capt. Keith J. Allred of the Navy, quickly seated a panel of six senior military officers to act as a jury. The military panel was one of a number of stark differences between the proceedings here and those in American courts, where, critics have argued, civilian jurors would not be members of the same armed forces that are running the accused man’s trial…

…Critics have long asserted that the military commission system was designed partly to permit prosecutors to use confessions obtained through coercion and without giving detainees any opportunity to assert a right against self-incrimination, as they might if they were prosecuted by civilian authorities.

So even if Hamdan, Bin Laden’s former driver, is acquitted of charges, he can still be held indefinitely:

If convicted, he could face a possible life term. But because of the administration’s claim that it can hold unlawful enemy combatants indefinitely, even an acquittal would not mean release. It would simply mean he would return to his status as a detainee being held indefinitely — until, according the administration, the end of the war of terrorism…

Half of the potential jurors said they had personal connections to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, which prosecutors described as a product of the sweeping Qaeda conspiracy in which they say Mr. Hamdan was an enthusiastic participant…

…Aaron Zisser, an observer at Guantánamo for Human Rights First, said he had found the selection of the panel members troubling. American federal courts, he said, “are equipped to address both national security concerns and the fundamental rights of the accused.”

July 18, 2008

President George W Bush backs Israeli plan for strike on Iran

Filed under: Government,Politics,War,World News — disciplepete @ 9:08 am

Times Online:

President George W Bush has told the Israeli government that he may be prepared to approve a future military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities if negotiations with Tehran break down, according to a senior Pentagon official.

Despite the opposition of his own generals and widespread scepticism that America is ready to risk the military, political and economic consequences of an airborne strike on Iran, the president has given an “amber light” to an Israeli plan to attack Iran’s main nuclear sites with long-range bombing sorties, the official told The Sunday Times.

“Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you’re ready,” the official said. But the Israelis have also been told that they can expect no help from American forces and will not be able to use US military bases in Iraq for logistical support.

July 8, 2008

US Allowed Korean Mass Executions

Filed under: Government,Military,War,World News — disciplepete @ 3:02 pm

Article from Time…not very surprising at all:

(SEOUL, South Korea) — The American colonel, troubled by what he was hearing, tried to stall at first. But the declassified record shows he finally told his South Korean counterpart it “would be permitted” to machine-gun 3,500 political prisoners, to keep them from joining approaching enemy forces.

In the early days of the Korean War, other American officers observed, photographed and confidentially reported on such wholesale executions by their South Korean ally, a secretive slaughter believed to have killed 100,000 or more leftists and supposed sympathizers, usually without charge or trial, in a few weeks in mid-1950.

Extensive archival research by The Associated Press has found no indication Far East commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur took action to stem the summary mass killing, knowledge of which reached top levels of the Pentagon and State Department in Washington, where it was classified “secret” and filed away.

Now, a half-century later, the South Korean government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission is investigating what happened in that summer of terror, a political bloodbath largely hidden from history, unlike the communist invaders’ executions of southern rightists, which were widely publicized and denounced at the time.

June 11, 2008

Pakistan Angry as Strike by U.S. Kills 11 Soldiers

Filed under: Government,Politics,War,World News — disciplepete @ 10:29 pm

NYT:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – American air and artillery strikes killed 11 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers during a clash with insurgents on the Afghan border on Tuesday night, a development that raised concerns about the already strained American relationship with Pakistan

…The strikes underscored the often faulty communications involving American, Pakistani and Afghan forces along the border, and the ability of Taliban fighters and other insurgents to use havens in Pakistan to carry out attacks into neighboring Afghanistan.

The attack comes at a time of rising tension between the United States and the new government in Pakistan, which has granted wide latitude to militants in its border areas under a new series of peace deals, drawing criticism from the United States.

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