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Thread: World War Three Thread....

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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Press Briefing by Dana Perino
    James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

    1:37 P.M. EDT

    MS. PERINO: Hello. Happy Friday. Today Senator John McCain announced his vice presidential pick, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. The White House is energized and excited by this choice. President Bush called Governor Palin just before his meeting with President Kikwete of Tanzania. He said that the McCain-Palin ticket is very strong. He wished her good luck, told her that she will be a fantastic vice presidential candidate, and that he is looking forward to a great victory in November.

    Also, President Bush today just issued an emergency declaration for the state of Louisiana. This declaration provides for federal aid to supplement the state and local preparations for tropical storm -- or soon to be hurricane Gustav. FEMA is authorized to provide resources, equipment, and direct federal assistance. Secretary Chertoff and Administrator Paulison have been in the Gulf Coast region meeting with state and local officials about the preparations, and today Secretary Chertoff will be traveling to Mississippi and will meet Governor Barbour about Mississippi's planning for the potential landfall of the storm.

    And that's all I have.

    Q Dana, on the storm, does the President still plan to go to the convention, regardless of what happens with the weather?

    MS. PERINO: We have no changes to the schedule, and we'll let you know if there are any.

    Q Can you give us any indication of what he's going to be speaking about?

    MS. PERINO: Sure, happy to. The President is looking forward to the honor of speaking at the Republican Convention on Monday night. The speech expresses gratitude. The President will thank his family, his administration, and most of all, the friends, supporters and volunteers in the convention hall who have supported him and the Republican agenda for these past eight years.

    The speech reviews the major issues facing the country, from terrorism and war to the economy and the direction of our culture. Above all, the speech reflects on the role of the presidency and the qualities that are demanded by the job, and makes the case that John McCain is the best qualified to be our next leader and commander-in-chief. In particular, it highlights McCain's unique judgment, perspective, and experience to deal with the unexpected, to stand firm on his convictions, put the country above himself, and make hard decisions necessary to protect the American people.

    The speech rallies Republicans to have confidence in America's future and to do everything they can to elect John McCain to the presidency.

    A couple of things that the speech does not do: Do not expect this speech to define the President's legacy. This is not an opportunity to recap accomplishments of the past seven and a half years. It will not serve as a farewell to the American people, and it certainly will not attack Barack Obama.

    Q Why not? I mean, this week --

    MS. PERINO: Because he's got class.

    Q -- the President has taken a great deal of criticism. Every speaker it seemed at the Democratic Convention spoke about the failed policies of the Bush presidency. Does he not want a forum in which to answer that criticism?

    MS. PERINO: But this President knows better than almost any politician in America what it's like to face criticism. He watched his dad as vice presidential candidate for two terms go through that, and then when his dad ran for President, he saw it again, and then in his own campaigns, the two national elections. He knows what it's like in high political season, and he's not going to respond to every attack.

    But some of the attacks are just out-and-out false; for example, suggesting that the Bush administration hasn't invested in alternative or renewable energies. Everybody in this room knows that that's not true. So we're in high political season. We're not going to let it get to us. We're going to focus on the big picture. And most importantly, President Bush will be working to make sure that John McCain is the next President of the United States.

    Q Are there any other -- any other role for him planned at the convention? I know he's going in Monday to give the speech, he goes back out, but is he going to be doing anything else?

    MS. PERINO: I think that's it. We're just going to be giving the speech, and then in the tradition of past Presidents, he will spend the rest of the week, we call it down, and he'll be at Camp David for the week. So we get back from Minnesota and go straight to Camp.

    Q Okay. And one other question about -- back on the hurricane. Obviously things will be developing over the weekend. Are there plans for either anything happening here at the White House, or for the President to do or say anything over the weekend?

    MS. PERINO: At the moment, nothing to be -- for a presidential event that would be open to the public. But he will be getting an update in the morning. He's gotten -- he had, I think, two today already. And when Chertoff and Paulison have updates they pass them either through senior staff or directly to the President. Secretary Chertoff spoke to the President yesterday by phone.

    Look, we're taking the storm very seriously. Thankfully, so are the leaders of the states that could be impacted, and they seem to be well prepared. We certainly applaud the state leaders for all that they've done to get their regions organized, to provide for early evacuation for people with special needs who might need it. So everything seems like it's on track. But it's a very serious storm and so we are taking it seriously. And things could change in a moment's notice. Right now the storm is scheduled to land Tuesday afternoon, but we've seen that change over the hour.

    Q When do you make the call on whether or not the storm affects the President's plans? Sunday? Monday?

    MS. PERINO: All I know is, not right now. (Laughter.) I don't know, Wendell. It's hard to say. It's speculation and if I were to guess I'd probably be wrong.

    Q Dana, are you saying that some of the criticisms that Senator Obama had last night in his acceptance speech of the Bush administration and of the President were out-and-out false? And if so, can you specify beyond energy policy?

    MS. PERINO: No, I would look to -- you all can fact-check it yourselves. We're not going to. I'm not going to get into the -- into a back-and-forth with the Democratic presidential candidate, who had a really good convention and -- but we do recognize that this President has been unfairly attacked across the board by many Democrats for quite a while. But certainly as we get into this last eight weeks of the presidential campaign, tensions will probably flare, but this President has a lot of class, he's very gracious, and he also is very focused. And so nothing gets him off his game.

    Go ahead, Olivier.

    Q Dana, Georgia has cut off diplomatic relations with Russia. I wonder if you have a reaction to that.

    MS. PERINO: Well, I'm certainly not surprised. And we continue to be dismayed that Russia has not fulfilled all of its requirements in the peace agreement that it signed, the one that Sarkozy sent that was a six-point plan. So we are focused on trying to make that agreement -- or get that agreement fulfilled, so those obligations to be fulfilled, and for the Russian military to be back into its posture that it was in on -- before the hostilities began on August 7th.

    Georgia is going to need the support of the world. There is unison when you look at the reaction about a country's sovereignty, its independence, and its territorial integrity. And you've seen across the board, countries coming forward to announce their support for Georgia, and condemning the actions of Russia. And the results of that are that Russia is increasingly isolated, and will bear the consequences of that isolation unless they fulfill that agreement and then make amends.

    Q There is reporting, though, that Secretary Rice is bringing "clarifications" to the cease-fire agreement that, in fact, would give ground to Russia; give them rights to patrol more territory in Georgia than the original cease-fire and make other concessions like that. Is that -- is that completely contradictory to the --

    MS. PERINO: I have not heard that and I don't know if it's accurate, but we'll check on it, or refer you to State.

    Kathleen.

    Q On the same topic, South Ossetians' parliamentary speaker said that in meetings between President Medvedev and then the leader of South Ossetia, that the two men agreed that Russia would absorb South Ossetia in several years. And then the deputy parliamentary speaker of South Ossetia went on to say that Russia and South Ossetia are going to be signing an agreement to allow Russian military installations in South Ossetia.

    MS. PERINO: Again, I don't find any of this surprising, given the actions of the past three weeks. But South Ossetia and Abkhazia are a part of Georgia under U.N.-recognized laws, in fact, laws and Security Council resolutions that Russia itself has supported. And I don't believe that Russia would want anybody questioning its territorial integrity. And we certainly don't. But we do expect the world to live up to its obligations to live up to the -- and live up to the law. And the law is that Georgia's territorial integrity should be intact and it should not be a question. And so it doesn't surprise me, though, that Russia and South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be having those conversations.

    Q What about this agreement to allow Russian military bases in South Ossetia? They're supposed to sign that September 2nd. What can -- what can and will the U.S. do about that?

    MS. PERINO: We're taking measured looks at all of this, but it's not just the United States; this is the international community and especially Europe, who has been very strong. You've had strong statements out of NATO, the G7, the OSCE, across the board, and then the individual countries themselves making strong statements that they stand with Georgia. They stand for democracy; they believe in the cause that these countries have been working towards.

    And Georgia was a bright shining star economically there in the region, and they're going to need help reconstructing their economy. Right now what we're focused on is trying to get humanitarian aid in there, because there are many people who are homeless, or who are without food or clean drinking water, and so that has to be our priority right now.

    Q But would Russian military bases in South Ossetia be acceptable to the United States?

    MS. PERINO: What we want is the posture before August 6th, and before August 6th you did not have Russian bases on that territory.

    Victoria.


    Q What are the President's thoughts on the selection of Governor Palin as John McCain's running mate?

    MS. PERINO: Speaking of that, I actually have a statement by the President I forgot to read. (Laughter.) We will release it, but let me give it to you here.

    President Bush will say, in his words: Today Senator McCain made an exciting decision in choosing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to join him on his ticket as the vice presidential candidate. Governor Palin is a proven reformer who is a wise steward of taxpayer dollars and champion for accountability in government. Governor Palin's success is due to her dedication to principle and her "roll up your sleeves" work ethic, and services as a wonderful example of the spirit of America.

    By selecting a working mother with a track record of getting things done, Senator McCain has once again demonstrated his commitment to reforming Washington.

    I applaud Senator McCain for selecting Governor Palin. This decision is yet another example of why the American people can trust him to make wise decisions and to confidently lead this country.

    Q Has the President spoken to her since he was -- since she was selected?

    MS. PERINO: Yes, I -- that's what I led off the briefing with -- he called her.

    Q He called her?

    MS. PERINO: Yes.

    Q Dana, does the President believe, with his administration and the expanded powers given to Vice President Cheney, he has set the model for future administrations?

    MS. PERINO: I reject the notion that expanded powers were given to Vice President Cheney --

    Q I don't say that in a pejorative -- the President has always talked about the responsibilities that -- perhaps I used the wrong word -- "responsibilities" might have been a better word than "powers." I don't mean extraconstitutional powers in any way. I mean making Mr. Cheney more of a partner in the executive than previous administrations have.

    MS. PERINO: Yes, I see what you mean.

    Q Does he believe he has set a model for future administrations in that regard?

    MS. PERINO: I think it will just depend. President Bush has relied on Vice President Cheney for many things, and one of it was the experience and judgment that he brought to the job in a variety of areas, for all of the service and dedication that he had had over the years. And he's been a steady hand and a good confidential advisor for this President.

    And -- but every President gets to make their own decision as to how their Vice President would work. But what I saw today was that Senator McCain fully intends that Governor Palin will be by his side and will be a strong partner for him, and I think he couldn't have -- made a better choice.

    Goyal.

    Q Two quick questions. One, did President watch last night Senator Obama's acceptance speech? And second, also -- same question -- does the President realize or accept one thing, that Senator Obama made history last night by being the nominee of a major political party in the U.S. and being a son of immigrant from Kenya?

    MS. PERINO: Sure. President Bush did not stay up to watch the speech last night, but he did see a lot of the reporting on it this morning and watched some of the pieces. So he did see it. And absolutely, it was a great moment for America that we have -- that shows that we've come a long way. And he certainly congratulated Senator Obama on this achievement and it speaks volumes for this country, that it's an opportunity -- it's a land of opportunity for all people. And he's going to be focusing his efforts now on the contest to come, which is the presidential election and he'll be supporting John McCain.

    Q And second, as far as the President's travel to China -- Olympics now over -- many human rights groups are asking if President had really represented them, like Burma, Tibetans, and other groups are asking as far as human rights in China is concerned, because they think now Chinese have put under the rug because of Olympics and presidential and many great leaders were represented there.

    MS. PERINO: President Bush did raise all of those issues before he got to China, and then with the Chinese directly, and he will continue to, as will the rest of the world, and continue to put pressure to allow for more human rights in the area.

    Go ahead.

    Q Two questions back on the Republican Convention.

    MS. PERINO: Okay.

    Q First off, do you know which convention was the first one the President ever attended?

    MS. PERINO: Not off the top of my head, but we can look for you.

    Q And secondly, can you talk a little bit about his feelings about the changed circumstances? After all the moments of triumph he's had at conventions, he's going to address a convention this time and they can't wait to turn the page and go on to the next nominee.

    MS. PERINO: I don't think that you can speak for the delegates of this country, especially of the GOP. This is a party that has stood by the President, and -- but conventions are about the next President and who the candidates are going to be, and it's their chance to shine. And we intend for the spotlight to shine fully on John McCain. And that's what the President is going to do in his speech, is spend the great majority of it talking about how our nation has faced significant challenges on several different fronts, and that John McCain is the type of person who can come in and start leading immediately, because he's got the experience to do so.

    Q So no wistfulness at all on his part?

    MS. PERINO: Not from this President, no.

    Mark.

    Q Dana, do you know if Senator McCain consulted the President about his running mate choice?

    MS. PERINO: No, but we were informed beforehand.

    Q Do you know when?

    MS. PERINO: In the hour or so before the announcement. Maybe a little bit before.

    Okay, all right, thank you.

    END 1:51 P.M. EDT
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    August 29, 2008 - 7:28 PM Print this story Send this story RSS Feed
    Russia urges EU to put aside emotion over Georgia
    A Georgian woman walks in the South Ossetian village of Avnevi
    Zoom

    By Conor Sweeney

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and European powers took a step back from confrontation over Georgia on Friday, with Moscow urging the EU not to rush into punitive action and France saying now was not the time for sanctions.

    Western governments have criticised Russia for sending troops deep into its ex-Soviet neighbour Georgia and recognising Georgia's two breakaway regions as independent, drawing comparisons with the rhetoric of the Cold War.

    Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili made a surprise visit late on Friday to the flashpoint port of Poti, which Russian troops continue to patrol as part of a Moscow-imposed security zone hotly contested by the Tbilisi government and the West.

    "They are occupiers here, they are occupiers all around Georgia," Saakashvili told reporters, referring to Russian troops who man checkpoints just outside the town.

    Earlier, Tbilisi said it would cut diplomatic ties with Moscow after Russia recognised its rebel South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions. A Russian Foreign Ministry source told the RIA news agency that Moscow would close its embassy in Tbilisi.

    Diplomats said they received signals from the Kremlin that Russia would retaliate if the EU imposed punitive measures when leaders of the bloc, which depends on Russian energy imports, meet in Brussels on Monday.

    But Russian oil companies and government officials denied a British newspaper report that they were preparing to restrict oil supplies in response to sanctions.

    A senior diplomat for EU president France said sanctions would not be adopted at the summit, contradicting remarks on Thursday by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who said sanctions were among the options on the table.

    "The time to pass sanctions has certainly not come," the French diplomat said.

    REASON VS EMOTION

    A spokesman for Russia's Foreign Ministry said some countries -- which he did not name - were trying to take the EU down "the road to confrontation."

    "We hope that reason will prevail over emotions, that EU leaders will find the courage to refrain from a one-sided assessment of the conflict," Andrei Nesterenko told a news conference in Moscow.

    Russia mounted a huge counter-attack on land, sea and air after its pro-Western neighbour Georgia sent in troops in a failed attempt to retake its breakaway region of South Ossetia three weeks ago.

    Moscow says it intervened to prevent a "genocide" of South Ossetians and was staying on to prevent further aggression.

    The West says the Kremlin used excessive force in Georgia, a key non-Russia route for Caspian Sea energy exports. The conflict has underscored the vulnerability of the route.

    Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR said it expected next year to send up to 400,000 tonnes of crude to a Russian pipeline and not the BP-led Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in part due to instability in Georgia.

    U.S. TOOL

    Western policy-makers drafting a response to the Kremlin's actions must weigh the fact that Russia supplies more than a quarter of Europe's gas and that its support is vital to maintain pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who on Thursday hinted cooperation on trade and nuclear non-proliferation could be at stake in the row over Georgia, said Europe should not act as a tool of U.S. foreign policy.

    "If European states want to serve the foreign policy interests of the USA, then, in my opinion, they will gain nothing from this," Putin said in an interview with German television station ARD that was shown on Russian television.

    European diplomats said on Friday they were expecting Russian retaliation if the EU took punitive measures.

    "They've been saying loud and clear that they feel they could do whatever they want with impunity," said one diplomat.

    "But I think any kind of reaction they would take to the EU would be in kind, like visa restrictions or a business contacts freeze. I don't think the retaliation would include the kind of things like restricting oil."
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Dust-Up
    Is the Soviet Union back?



    [COLOR=#333333 ! important]Andrew Meier says that the Putin government's abuses resemble those of the U.S.S.R. Michael C. Moynihan finds echoes of the former empire, but says today's Russia doesn't pose the same level of threat[/COLOR]
    August 29, 2008

    » Discuss Article Today's question: To what extent does Vladimir Putin's Russia resemble the old Soviet Union? Previously, Meier and Moynihan discussed NATO expansion, Russia’s membership in the G-8 and its possible membership in the WTO, U.S. diplomacy in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s and the extent to which Russia wants to exert control over its neighbors.

    Three disturbing trends


    Point: Andrew Meier

    Just how close is Vladimir Putin's Russia to the old U.S.S.R.? What a great question to close the week. In the decade and a half since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians, from Kaliningrad to Chukotka, have turned to modernity and, aided by the petroleum trickle-down in the vast majority of cities and towns, even joined the 21st century. Despite the darkest desires of many surrounding Putin, the restoration dream -- the return of the omnipotent totalitarian state -- seems an impossibility. (That said, only fools in Russia dare predict the future: The past, as the locals say, is sufficiently unpredictable.) And yet, Michael, the country does resemble the old empire in at least three pervasive ways.


    First, Russia remains a land of doublespeak.

    Listen to what Putin's puppet president, 42-year-old former corporate lawyer Dimitri Medvedev, told the BBC this week: Russia's invasion of Georgia was spurred by the "genocide" in South Ossetia. Even the most rabidly anti-Georgian reports by Russian state news outlets do not justify the claim. Then there was Medvedev's paranoid aside that seemed lifted out of an old Soviet script: his claim that the U.S. is bootlegging caches of arms into Georgia: "What the Americans call humanitarian cargoes -- of course, they are bringing in weapons," he told the BBC. He added graciously, "We're not trying to prevent it." And then Putin continued the paranoid thread on CNN, claiming that "someone in the United States created this conflict to stir up the situation and to create an advantage for one of the candidates" running for president. Lord knows what Putin and Medvedev think Cindy McCain, who also dropped by Tbilisi this week, had hidden in her clutch purse.

    Second, Russia remains a land where the state is willing to enhance its power through the extrajudicial punishment -- to the point of murder -- of its own citizens.

    If the West must contend with the doublespeak of Russian foreign policy, pity the poor souls at home. Remember the fallen oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky? He was no angel, mind you, but he still doesn't deserve a place on death row (he's likely to contract multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis) in a Siberian jail. Remember the tragedy of the 2004 Beslan school hostage-taking? Or the theater siege in Moscow in October 2002? Both ended in unconscionably high body counts in large part, of course, thanks to the terrorists who orchestrated the attacks. But as the Beslan mothers and the Moscow theater survivors know, the ineptitude of the Russian security forces also contributed mightily. Then, in both tragedies, there was the coverup -- doublespeak written in blood.

    Third, Russia remains a land in which fear of the state -- and its suffocating reach -- prevails.

    We do not have sufficient space, Michael, to perform an autopsy on the Boris Yeltsin-era media, nor a proper study of how unbridled and foaming Russian websites are (hint: many of them make the Huffington Post look as insightful and informative as the National Enquirer). But I think we can agree that Putin's strangulation of Russia's TV and print media are sufficiently documented. The airwaves have indeed turned neo-Soviet, as Putinites across Russia -- often acting on their own -- have shuttered the arena of free speech and public debate.

    Russia this month lost Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who on the eve of his exile in 1974 threw a literary Molotov cocktail at the Soviet leaders, calling on his compatriots to refuse "to live by the lie." Who in Russia today dares to stand up and make such a demand?

    And yet, the contradictions predominate. The Russian state, for all the talk of reviving the "Great Power," remains at heart, in its institutions from the army to the local courts, a bardak -- a mess. Even Vlad the Impaler cannot restore the Soviet empire. Under Putin, thanks to the rising death rate and the declining birth rate -- "the Russian cross," as demographers call it -- Russia has lost nearly 1 million citizens a year. Gone are the vast reserves of slave labor and the shackled colonies of Central Asia, the Baltics and, yes, the South Caucasus.

    But how "free" are Russians? Many, even among those who have no memory of the U.S.S.R., have settled for that illiberal bargain, forfeiting a short-lived taste of civil liberties for a measure of stability. Therein, Michael, lies the secret of Putinism's success.

    Andrew Meier is a former Moscow correspondent for Time magazine and the author of the new book, "The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service."

    Putin is nostalgic, but Russia isn't a major threat
    Counterpoint: Michael C. Moynihan

    It disappoints me terribly, Andrew, to end a week of contretemps on such a convivial note, but I must admit that your three examples of Russian neo-Sovietism are difficult to disagree with. I too noticed that the language emanating from the Kremlin following the Georgia invasion sounded eerily familiar -- the talk of fraternal assistance to Russian citizens bravely staring down the forces of genocide; the orchestrated propaganda campaign, which included Putin's absurd, evidence-be-damned claim that the whole thing was a John McCain-orchestrated plot to sway American voters. As you well know, there was hardly a foreign adventure undertaken by the Soviet Union that wasn't framed as a reasonable countermeasure to some bourgeoisie, imperialist -- read: American -- plot.

    But that stuff, I think, is small beer when viewed next to some of the more ominous parallels: the rigged elections, the punitive use of the legal system to attack dissent and the increasing strength and prominence of the security services. I found myself nodding in agreement when you wrote, "The airwaves have indeed turned neo-Soviet, as Putinites across Russia -- often acting on their own -- have shuttered the arena of free speech and public debate."

    Take Ekho Moskvy, often pointed to as one of the few truly independent media outlets in the country, which has been harassed, fined and constantly threatened with prosecution under the "extremism law" for daring to report news unfriendly to Putin. Or just look at the yearly reports from the Committee to Protect Journalists, which documents the appalling and threatening conditions under which anti-regime journalists are forced to work. There are few that haven't heard the name of Anna Politkovskaya, the anti-Kremlin journalist who was gunned down on Putin's birthday in 2006, but the CPJ reports demonstrate that her situation is hardly unique. And speaking of memories of the Cold War, what was the first thing that popped into your head, Andrew, after you heard of the polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in London? Was it, perhaps, the 1978 murder of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov, who was killed by the KGB in London using a poison-tipped umbrella?

    As you say, Andrew, the individual examples of Putin's antidemocratic and censorious tendencies are too many to mention, though for those readers interested in a more detailed accounting of the current situation in Moscow, I can heartily recommend two new books that skillfully navigate the sewers of modern Russian politics: Steve LeVine's "Putin's Labyrinth" and Edward Lucas' "The New Cold War."

    Again, all of this is deeply troubling, with distinct echoes of Leninist totalitarianism. But it doesn't, I think, quite rise to the level of "Soviet." It is worth noting that Russia has embraced a more open market (calling it a "free market" would be going too far, though, as a libertarian, I can appreciate the introduction of a 13% flat tax) and has little interest in returning to the grinding poverty that invariably accompanies communism. We are not in any danger of Moscow extending its reach into the broader world -- despite Putin's worrying relationships with the regimes in Venezuela and Iran -- in any way similar to what happened during the Cold War. Indeed, Russia has recently closed military bases in Cuba and Vietnam. Without the unifying feature of ideology, the motivation for strategic relationships with comradely movements in, say, Angola, Nicaragua and South Yemen are almost nonexistent.

    But that said, there can be no doubt about Putin's love for the country in which he was raised. After the tragic deaths at Beslan, Putin spoke to the assembled members of the media and began with this curious bit of nostalgia: "Today, we live in a time that follows the collapse of a vast and great state, a state that, unfortunately, proved unable to survive in a rapidly changing world. But despite all the difficulties, we were able to preserve the core of what was once the vast Soviet Union, and we named this new country the Russian Federation."

    This was hardly a one-off sop to Soviet nostalgics -- those medal-bedecked veterans of the "Great Patriotic War" who consistently rate Josef Stalin as the country's greatest leader. Remember that, in 2005, Putin explicitly said that "the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century." What logical inference can one draw from such a statement? Perhaps that, under the leadership of Comrade Putin, Russia will attempt to regain the level of power and influence it saw during the Leonid Brezhnev era?

    So to those who doubt that echoes of the Soviet past persist, that it lives merely in the fevered imaginations of nostalgic hawks, let me say this: One needn't read tea leaves to come to such conclusions, but simply listen to unambiguous speeches of Russia's prime minister and puppet master, Vladimir Putin.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....


    Five RapidEye remote sensing satellites launched
    BY STEPHEN CLARK
    SPACEFLIGHT NOW

    Posted: August 29, 2008

    The Dnepr rocket, a weapon of war converted for peaceful applications, bolted out of an underground silo early Friday and delivered five German agricultural imaging satellites to orbit.


    The 111-foot-tall booster lifted off at 0715:58 GMT (3:15:58 a.m. EDT) Friday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Dnepr's third stage later released the five satellites nearly 400 miles above Earth.



    Credit: RapidEye

    Officials reported the satellites had begun contacting ground stations less than two hours after launch.


    The spacecraft will be activated and tested in the next few weeks before entering operational service later this year for RapidEye, a German company that will sell imagery gathered by the satellite fleet.


    Engineers will let the craft drift apart to reach an orbital spacing of about 19 minutes, allowing frequent revisits over the same area.


    The satellites, each weighing about 330 pounds at launch, will spend more than seven years circling the planet downloading more than 1.5 million square miles of imagery per day, according to RapidEye.


    The constellation will produce color imagery with a resolution of about 21 feet, but RapidEye officials say the system will be differentiated by rapid response and timely products for the agriculture industry.


    "The Earth observation data obtained with our system is the basis for important management information services that haven't been commercially available until now, especially in the agriculture and forestry industries," said Wolfgang Biedermann, CEO of RapidEye.


    The fleet will be able to cover any place on Earth within one day and image all agricultural regions of Europe and North America within five days, according to RapidEye.


    "We will be able to deliver data about a customer's area of interest as often as they need it, quickly and at a very competitive cost," Biedermann said.


    RapidEye's primary applications include monitoring crops and giving farmers, insurance companies and disaster relief organizations critical information following a natural catastrophe.


    "We will be able to deliver imagery and services to our customers for crop planning, crop identification and damage assessment following a natural disaster," said Biedermann said.


    RapidEye was co-founded in 1998 by Vereinigte Hagel, a European agricultural insurance firm.


    "As soon as the long-awaited data is available, we will have precise information about crop conditions before, during and after a storm and how they develop afterwards," said Dietrich Heine, CEO of Vereinigte Hagel and deputy chairman of the RapidEye supervisory board. "This is a quantum jump from the current damage assessment process."


    The quick data turnaround from RapidEye could mean faster insurance payouts to farmers suffering from natural disasters, officials said.


    The program's prime contractor, MDA Corp. of Canada, was responsible for the design of the mission and provided ground systems for image processing, said Daniel Schulten, MDA program manager for space missions.


    Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., a U.K-based manufacturer of small satellites, built the RapidEye spacecraft.


    Jena Optronik of Germany provided the satellites' pushbroom imaging payload.


    Friday's launch leapfrogged another Dnepr mission that had been scheduled for earlier this month. That flight has been grounded twice by the objections of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, which refused to give clearance for the rocket's first stage drop zone within their territories.


    The suspended launch was to carry a Thai Earth observation satellite, and payload officials confirmed the delay earlier this month.


    The satellite, named THEOS, must launch on a southerly path from the Yasny missile base in southern Russia.


    "Originally the drop zone studied was planned to be in Uzbekistan, which didn't give authorization despite promising meetings and agreements elaborated in 2007 and 2008," said Matthieu Duvelleroy, a spokesperson for EADS Astrium, prime contractor for the THEOS payload.


    When Uzbekistan declined to give permission for launch, engineers began redesigning the Dnepr rocket's trajectory to drop the first stage in Kazakhstan.


    Kazakhstan's national space agency, Kazcosmos, authorized the new drop zone in a June message to Russia's Defense Ministry. Astrium and Kosmotras, the international company overseeing Dnepr launch operations, began final flight preparations in early July, according to Duvelleroy.


    Russian military officials informed Kazcosmos of the scheduled Aug. 6 launch two days before blastoff, but Kazakhstan replied saying the launch was prohibited, Duvelleroy said.


    Kosmotras is negotiating with Russian and Kazakh officials in hopes of clearing the stranded rocket for launch, Astrium officials said.
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    Report: Taiwan to Mass-Produce Anti-Ship Missiles

    AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
    Published: 29 Aug 10:42 EDT (14:42 GMT)



    TAIPEI - Taiwan plans to mass-produce ship-to-ship missiles to boost its naval defences against China, the United Evening News reported Aug. 29.


    The defence ministry has set aside more than 2.26 billion Taiwan dollars ($71.75 million) to manufacture the locally-designed Supersonic Hsiung-feng 3, the United Evening News said.
    Related Topics
    The defence ministry declined to comment on the report.


    Analysts say the Hsiung-feng 3 can be fitted with a variety of guidance systems and can function as a ship-to-ship, land-attack or anti-radar missile. With a range of at least 80 miles, the missile has been designed to counter China's Russia-made equivalent, analysts say.


    Taiwan showcased the Hsiung-feng 3 in a rare military parade last year seen as a reminder to China that the island has the weapons to defend itself. Beijing has repeatedly warned of an invasion should Taiwan declare formal independence.


    Tensions across the Strait have eased since Taiwan's China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May, but he has promised to increase the island's military spending to "display our determination to defend ourself."
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    News ru: South Ossetia to become Russia’s territory “in several years”
    29 August 2008 | 22:35 | FOCUS News Agency
    Tskhinvali.South Ossetia’s official representatives said that Russia has intended to annex the republic to its territory, News ru reports.
    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said early this week that he had discussed South Ossetia’s future with its leader Eduard Kokoity, chairman of South Ossetia’s parliament Znaur Gasiev said.
    South Ossetia will become Russia’s territory “in several years” or earlier “the two leaders desided,” Gasiev cited famous information agency.
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  7. #147
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    Iran’s secret weapon isn’t bombs but oil
    by David Blair

    When oil prices are high, the world’s anti-western regimes can afford to rub their hands with glee. Like a global whirlwind, the price of crude scoops up the pattern of wealth and power between nations and throws it back to earth in a wholly different order.

    Russia’s oil-fired belligerence is now plain for all to see. Less noted is the crucial link between expensive oil and Iran’s stance on its nuclear programme.

    When it comes to being singled out for United Nations sanctions, no country can compete with Iran. So far, the Islamic republic has been the target of three resolutions squeezing its economy, and the Security Council will probably consider a fourth in October.

    Yet president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime remains stubbornly resilient in the face of this mounting pressure. America and the European Union have imposed their own financial countermeasures, far more serious than the UN’s penalties and designed to isolate Iran from the world banking system and paralyse its entire economy.

    With every passing day, doing business in Tehran becomes steadily more difficult and costly - but Ahmadinejad’s government remains devoted to its nuclear programme and, in particular, to the vital process of enriching uranium which could be used to make the essential material for a nuclear weapon.

    To grasp why Tehran feels confident enough to shrug off the sanctions and press on with its nuclear-tipped ambitions, you need only understand a handful of crucial figures. At present, oil trades at around $115 per barrel, a fall of over 20 per cent in the last two months.

    Yet Iran’s national budget for 2008 presumed an oil price of only $40 per barrel. As the proud possessor of 130?billion barrels of proven reserves - more than anywhere else in the world except Saudi Arabia - Iran can produce about 4.2?million barrels of crude every day.

    Hence the oil price is the crucial determinant of how much cash the regime has at its fingertips. With a display of prudence that Gordon Brown in his heyday as chancellor would have admired, Iran’s financial boffins read the runes for 2008 and chose a deliberately pessimistic forecast of the possible course of oil prices.

    As a result, Ahmadinejad’s government is awash with money. Exactly how much surplus cash he has in the kitty is hard to calculate, but in February this year, Iran’s foreign exchange reserves were thought to total about $60?billion.

    This piled up during the course of last year, given the earlier prudence of Iran’s finance ministry. The national budget for 2007 assumed an oil price of only $34 per barrel. In fact, crude sold for an average of $72 throughout that year.

    Thanks to this combination of good fortune and prudent management, Iran’s regime now has a giant cushion against the full impact of international sanctions and a sense of security which outsiders may find hard to comprehend.

    The central fact is that oil prices would have to fall by another $75 in order to reach the level presumed by Iran’s financial bureaucrats. The price would have to go still lower, below $40 a barrel, for Tehran’s national coffers seriously to feel the pinch - the chances of this happening are extremely low.

    The prudence of Iran’s officials might have given Ahmadinejad his surplus, but the president and his cronies have leapt on the chance to blow the windfall. Tehran is criss-crossed by new highways and a glittering international airport has appeared in the desert outside the capital.

    The Revolutionary Guards Corps, forming the largest component of Iran’s armed forces, has grabbed its share by acquiring a wide array of commercial interests.

    With the approval of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Guards now run everything from airports to factories and oil and gas pipelines. Their commanders have become rich men and their alliance with Khamenei is a crucial factor in Iranian politics.

    But ordinary people have seen precious little benefit from the oil boom. Instead, Ahmadinejad’s wasteful spending has driven up inflation, which now runs at about 35 per cent, and damaged the living standards of millions.

    Rents in Tehran have rocketed, an especially painful development in a country where two thirds of the population are under 30 and countless young couples want to set up home together.

    Moreover, the imposition of financial sanctions limits the use that Iran can make of its oil windfall. The world’s biggest banks will not handle cash from Iran, rendering it extremely difficult to hold the proceeds of oil exports in major world currencies.

    Most European and Japanese banks have joined their American counterparts and stopped accepting deposits from Iranian clients, whether individuals or companies.

    Increasingly, Iran has been forced to keep its oil money in its own currency, safely secreted in its own central bank. As western financial centres pull down the shutters, Dubai has become the new focus of Tehran’s currency dealings.

    Despite the US embargo, some businesses in Iran will still take American Express or Visa credit cards. But the sum will be deducted in dirhams, the currency of the United Arab Emirates, and your bill will probably show that your cash has gone to a mysterious clothes shop in Dubai.

    Yet despite everything, Iran’s national coffers are still overflowing - and this would surely give any government a sense of security.

    If the nuclear confrontation is ever to be settled, numerous conditions would have to be met. Iran may want guarantees against attack by any outside power and proof of the bona fides of any western concessions.

    But the oil price would also have to fall, perhaps below the magic figure embraced by Iran’s bureaucrats of $40 per barrel.

    Unless this happens, the prospect of Iran compromising on its nuclear programme seems about as likely as any other hopeful event in the Middle East.

    (C) The Telegraph Group London 2008
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Russia may cut off oil supplies to Europe: report
    MarketWatch ^ | Aug. 29, 2008 9:24 a.m. EDT | Polya Lesova NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Russian oil companies are reportedly under orders from the Kremlin to prepare for a supply cut to Germany and Poland through the Druzhba pipeline, the Daily Telegraph reported Friday citing an anonymous source. The Telegraph reported that it's believed that executives from oil major Lukoil have been put on weekend alert. "They have been told to be ready to cut off supplies as soon as Monday," an unnamed, high-level business source told the Telegraph.

    (Excerpt) Read more at marketwatch.com ...
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    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=arB8YCUjwaTY

    Russia Proposes Plan to Counter NATO as EU Considers Sanctions
    By Lyubov Pronina and Alex Nicholson


    Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed expanding a security alliance with China and Central Asia to counter NATO, as the European Union considered sanctions for its recognition of breakaway Georgian regions.


    The alliance, known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ``has grown much stronger recently,'' Medvedev said today at a meeting in the Tajik capital Dushanbe.



    ``It's an authoritative organization that commands respect.'' The group has attracted interest from a number of countries and will consider adding new members, he said.


    Relations between Russia, the world's largest energy supplier, and the West reached a post-Cold War low this month over the military conflict in Georgia. Russia ignored calls by the U.S. and its allies and recognized the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states two days ago.


    Speaking today in Paris, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said European Union leaders will discuss sanctions against Russia at a Sept. 1 summit called to consider a response.


    ``Some will propose sanctions, others will be against,'' said Kouchner, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency. ``Sanctions will certainly be brought up'' at the meeting, which will be held in Brussels.


    U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband yesterday accused Russia of trying ``redraw the map'' of Europe. Russia's five-day war with Georgia and its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia ``ended the post-Cold War period of growing geopolitical calm in and around Europe,'' Miliband said in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.


    Ukraine Call
    Ukraine today called on the EU to recognize it as a potential future member, seeking closer ties with the West as a bulwark against a reassertive Russia after the war in Georgia.


    ``What we would like to obtain is a political signal that the future of Ukraine lies with the European Union,'' Deputy Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Yelisyeyev told reporters in Brussels.


    Russia's invasion shattered Europe's security arrangements and should force the EU to rethink its opposition toward expanding further into former Soviet territory, he said.


    For his part, Medvedev is looking toward China and the Shanghai-based group to strengthen its geopolitical influence.


    In addition to Russia and China, the seven-year-old SCO includes the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The group may decide today to admit either India, Iran, Pakistan or Mongolia, which have ``observer'' status, Medvedev said.


    Countering NATO
    ``Expanding the group would realize Russia's goal of turning the SCO into an anti-American, anti-NATO counterweight,'' said Yevgeny Volk, an analyst in Moscow for the Washington-based Heritage Foundation research group. ``It comes as a result of western criticism of Russia for its military action in Georgia and for recognizing the breakaway regions.''


    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is to blame. ``The completely unfounded and unjustified expansion of NATO is leading to this kind of division'' of Europe, he told reporters in Dushanbe.


    To contact the reporters on this story: Lyubov Pronina in Dushanbe via the Moscow newsroom at lpronina@bloomberg.net; Alex Nicholson in Moscow at anicholson6@bloomberg.net.

    Last Updated: August 28, 2008 06:46 EDT
    I'm taking America back. Step 1: I'm taking my kids out of the public re-education system. They will no longer have liberal bias and lies like this from bullying teachers when I expect them to be taught reading, writing, and arithmetic:
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  10. #150
    Repeatedly Redundant...Again
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by Aplomb View Post
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=arB8YCUjwaTY

    SNIP

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed expanding a security alliance with China and Central Asia to counter NATO, as the European Union considered sanctions for its recognition of breakaway Georgian regions.
    Preposterous!

    Such a thing will never happen!

    Sorry…my smart aleck inner child is busting out.


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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Countering NATO
    ``Expanding the group would realize Russia's goal of turning the SCO into an anti-American, anti-NATO counterweight,'' said Yevgeny Volk, an analyst in Moscow for the Washington-based Heritage Foundation research group. ``It comes as a result of western criticism of Russia for its military action in Georgia and for recognizing the breakaway regions.''

    Lies and obfuscation.

    Mother Russia did not wake up one morning and decide to punish a tiny country incapable of defending itself.

    It has been planning a way to recapture the break-away provinces since before the break up of the Soviet Union. Unlike many Western nations, Mother Russia has great patience, awaiting for expected instabilities in the world and the great European love-fest to begin showing cracks.

    The Middle East "explosion" was a God-send. Terrorism (at least the constant threat of) is eating up time and attention by the Western nations.

    "We don't really want to piss off the Russians. So, we really should go slow in 'invading' former Soviet territory by allowing the Ukraine and Georgia into the Nato sphere."

    The United States, in particular, is inherently scared of the PRC. The "Red Menace" combined with the "Yellow Menace" have fueled fears and more propaganda that has consistently been used the Russians (of whatever color they might be). So, Russia happily trapes out this old rumor-mongering, because they know it will play well in America. It'll be a best-seller. It will also divert attention to their real aim. While the Free World is out chasing ghosts in Asia, Mother Russia will corner another part of the world, its resources, its prestige and former glory.

    [Remember that Russia boasts a 200-year reign of control over these republics, which includes Tzarist history as well.]

  12. #152
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Spot on wallis!

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    Moscow halts Iran cooperation with US, will complete Bushehr reactor

    DEBKAfile Special Report
    August 30, 2008, 7:32 PM (GMT+02:00)
    Bushehr nuclear reactor to be ready to go by end of 2008

    The Georgia quarrel has all but derailed US-Russian cooperation on the Iran issue. Moscow is not only pulling out of the diplomatic and sanctions front against Iran’s nuclear program; according to DEBKAfile’s Russian sources, Moscow has decided to finally finish building Iran’s nuclear reactor in the southern town of Bushehr before the end of the year, after holding back for five years at Washington’s insistence.
    Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin said in reference to the impact of the Georgia row on US-Russian cooperation on Iran Thursday, Aug. 28: “If nobody wants to talks with us on these issues and cooperation with Russia is not needed, then for God’s sake, do it yourself.”
    Moscow has now committed to completing the reactor within four months. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the functioning plant will enable Iran to operate a heavy water plant and produce plutonium as an alternative to enriched uranium for building a nuclear bomb. Tehran had originally counted on the Syria’s North Korean reactor at al Kibar for plutonium. It was demolished by Israel last September.
    Putin’s sharp comment means the West can forget about Russian support for another round of harsh sanctions to punish Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment. He made it clear that Western nations will have to resolve the standoff without Russian help if they refuse to cooperate with Moscow on Georgia.
    The Russians have lost no time in following through on their threat. This week, they are sending the head of their Nuclear Energy Board, Sergei Kireinko, to Tehran at the head of a large delegation. They will stay for at least ten days to clear away the problems for getting the Bushehr reactor up and running by the end of 2008.

  14. #154
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    Israel will destroy that facility before the end of September now.

    There's no way they will allow it to continue. The US and Russia will both protest. Russia will back the fuck off finally.

    If they do NOT back off, we will fight them, toe-to-toe in side of 6-7 months max.
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Russia threatens to supply Iran with top new missile system as 'cold war' escalates
    telegraph ^ | 8/30/08 | By Philip Sherwell in New York and William Lowther in Washington
    Posted on Sat 30 Aug 2008 10:37:21 PM MDT by Flavius
    Russia is deploying the threat to sell a "game changing" air defence system to Iran as a high stakes bargaining chip in its new "cold war" with America, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

    (Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
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    Russia 'could destroy NATO ships in Black Sea within 20 minutes'
    RIA Novosti ^ | August 29, 2008

    MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Black Sea Fleet is capable of destroying NATO's naval strike group currently deployed in the sea within 20 minutes, a former fleet commander said on Friday.

    Russia's General Staff said on Tuesday there were 10 NATO ships in the Black Sea - three U.S. warships, the Polish frigate General Pulaski, the German frigate FGS Lubeck, and the Spanish guided missile frigate Admiral Juan de Borbon, as well as four Turkish vessels. Eight more warships are expected to join the group.

    "Despite the apparent strength, the NATO naval group in the Black Sea is not battle-worthy," Admiral Eduard Baltin said. "If necessary, a single missile salvo from the Moskva missile cruiser and two or three missile boats would be enough to annihilate the entire group."

    "Within 20 minutes the waters would be clear," he said, stressing that despite major reductions, the Black Sea Fleet still has a formidable missile arsenal.

    However, Baltin said the chances of a military confrontation between NATO and Russia in the Black Sea are negligible.

    "We will not strike first, and they do not look like people with suicidal tendencies," he said.

    In addition to its flagship, the Moskva guided missile cruiser, Russia's Black Sea Fleet includes at least three destroyers, two guided missile frigates, four guided missile corvettes and six missile boats.

    NATO announced its decision to deliver humanitarian aid to Georgia after the conclusion of hostilities between Tbilisi and Moscow over breakaway South Ossetia on August 12. Moscow recognized on Tuesday both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgia republic, despite being urged by Western leaders not to do so.

    Russia's General Staff later said the alliance's naval deployment in the Black Sea "cannot fail to provoke concern", with unidentified sources in the Russian military saying a surface strike group was being gathered there.

    According to Russian military intelligence sources, the NATO warships that have entered the Black Sea are between them carrying over 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles and Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
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  17. #157
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    Europe must stand up to the Russian bully
    UK Telegraph ^ | August 31 2008 | Malcolm Rifkind

    "The policy and practice of the Russian Government has always been to push forward its encroachments as fast and as far as the apathy or want of firmness of other Governments would allow it to go, but always to stop and retire when it met with decided resistance."

    So said Lord Palmerston during the Crimean crisis 150 years ago. If the United States and Europe are not careful we may end up with a new Crimean War in the not-too-distant future.

    European Union leaders, meeting in emergency session in Brussels tomorrow, therefore have an awesome responsibility when deciding on future relations with Russia. They cannot leave it all to Washington. Russia is part of Europe. Russia is Western Europe's neighbour.

    (Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
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  18. #158
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    UK warns over 'Russia aggression'


    Gordon Brown's comments came ahead of a European summit

    UK prime minister Gordon Brown has said Nato and the EU must reassess their relations with the Kremlin to prevent further "Russian aggression".

    His comments came amid fears Russia could cut oil and gas flows in the row over Georgia.



    Mr Brown, in the Observer, urged the EU to conduct a "root and branch" review of relations with the Kremlin.



    On Saturday President Dmitry Medvedev and Mr Brown spoke by phone as Russia moved to ease tensions with Europe.



    Mr Brown wrote the article one day ahead of a summit of European heads of state to discuss the South Ossetia crisis.



    The conflict in the region began on 7 August when Georgia tried to regain control of the breakaway region of South Ossetia by force, which was followed by a Russian counter-attack deep into Georgia.



    Mr Brown said: "When Russia has a grievance over an issue such as South Ossetia, it should act multilaterally by consent rather than unilaterally by force."





    He said that if Russia wanted to be welcome at the top table of organisations such as the G8, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and World Trade Organization, it must accept that "with rights come responsibilities".



    "We want Russia to be a good partner in the G8 and other organisations, but it cannot pick and choose which rules to adhere to.



    "That is why I will argue tomorrow that Russia should accept Georgia's territorial integrity and international mechanisms for addressing these conflicts, and withdraw troops to their previous positions.



    "And, in the light of Russian actions, the EU should review - root and branch - our relationship with Russia."



    He added: "We are also reflecting on the Nato response. We must re-evaluate the alliance's relationship with Russia, and intensify our support to Georgia and others who may face Russian aggression."



    'Continuing co-operation'

    Mr Brown also said there was a need to "rapidly build relationships with other producers of oil and gas".



    The prime minister said he had told Mr Medvedev to expect a "determined response" from European leaders.



    Meanwhile, Yuri Fedotov, the Russian ambassador to Britain, warned that "any sanctions will hurt the European Union first of all much more than Russia".



    He told the BBC: "Russia is not seeking a cold war. Russia is interested in continuing co-operation, business-to-business relations with European countries, with the EU in general, with important partners in America, in Asia.

    The EU doesn't need to re-assess its ties with Russia, but instead re-assess its ties with the US
    Melvyn Lawes, Brighton




    "But if our partners would prefer to chose another option, of course Russia will reply, will react."
    Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said European states should resist a rush to sanctions and instead exert long-term pressure.



    "It is very important for the EU now to reassess its relationship with Russia and send a very clear message," he told Sky News.



    "I do not think the measures looked at tomorrow should be cheap or quick. This requires clear and united and patient firmness over a sustained period of time."



    Former Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, said it could be dangerous to isolate Russia.



    "I think we've got to make clear our displeasure about the way in which Russia has acted outrageously," he told the BBC.



    "But if by doing so, in a particular way and with particular language, we drive Russia into isolation, then sulking Russia, in isolation, will be even more difficult to deal with.



    "And that's why when people talk about expulsion from the G8 and things of that kind, I think they've got to understand what the possible consequences of that would be to the Russian government's attitude."



    Law violation

    Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary David Miliband, writing in the Mail on Sunday, said there is no excuse for the violation of international law.



    "Russia has become the aggressor - it has gone from claiming to defend Russian passport holders in regions of Georgia to seeking the break-up of the state, showing disregard for the principles of modern international relations," he said.



    During his conversation with Mr Brown, Mr Medvedev said Russia was in favour of the deployment to Georgia of additional monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
    Georgia has cut diplomatic ties with Russia after Moscow recognised the independence of the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
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  19. #159
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Supreme Mufti of Russia calls on Muslim world to recognize sovereignty of South Ossetia and Abkhazia
    regnum.ru ^ | August 31, 2008

    Chairman of the Central Muslim Board of Russia, Supreme Mufti, Sheikh ul-Islam Talgat Tajuddin addressed regional Muslim boards and believers appealing for them to render necessary help and support to the people of South Ossetia and all those who suffered from the humanitarian catastrophe in the territory of this republic. REGNUM correspondent reports referring to the Central Muslim Board's press office.



    The Supreme Mufti of Russia has also called on the whole Muslim world to recognize independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. ''Russian Muslims, like all our compatriots, support decision of the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on recognition of independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, for which the peoples of these republics have long suffered, and we call on the world community and the Islamic world to recognize independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia for the sake of peace and stability in the Caucasus,'' Tajuddin stated.



    ''From the beginning, the Central Muslim Board of Russia condemned the treacherous aggression against South Ossetia performed by the Georgian authorities, who unleashed a full-scale war against the long-suffered Ossetian people,'' Tajuddin said. ''The blood of Russian peacekeepers is shed there, of hundreds and thousands of peaceful residents, children, women, defenseless old people. Tskhinval and peaceful villages were ruined. In fact, a genocide of a whole nation was performed."



    ''Nobody can remain indifferent to the sufferings of these people,'' the Supreme Mufti is convinced. ''In all Muslim communities, believers pray for those killed and for the restoration of peace and order on this long-suffered land. The CMB and regional Muslim boards and believers send affordable material aid to the residents of South Ossetia.''



    ''We, as well as all the honest people of the world, cannot accept the double standards used to treat these events, while some overseas actors are trying to describe our country as an aggressor and aggravate the situation,'' Tajuddin said. ''Russia was and is the guarantor of peace and stability in the Caucasus. Russian peacekeepers were carrying out their peacekeeping duty with dignity, although they were fired at their backs.''
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Kremlin announces that South Ossetia will join 'one united Russian state'
    Timesonline UK ^ | Aug. 29, 2008 | Tony Halpin

    Tony Halpin in Moscow



    The Kremlin moved swiftly to tighten its grip on Georgia’s breakaway regions yesterday as South Ossetia announced that it would soon become part of Russia, which will open military bases in the province under an agreement to be signed on Tuesday.



    Tarzan Kokoity, the province’s Deputy Speaker of parliament, announced that South Ossetia would be absorbed into Russia soon so that its people could live in “one united Russian state” with their ethnic kin in North Ossetia.


    (Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
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