"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Google censoring maps of the Caucasus

Spotted by Lindsay Fincher

This what you get when you google the port of Poti on the Black Sea (search term "Poti,Georgia" ..

Bush meets Putin - Historic agreement

European Energy security exposed by events in Georgia - and winter is 2/3 months away - UK decades of delay ...

Robert Gates the US Secretary of Defence made a speech to NATO about NATO in February this year ... as things start to boil in Georgia it might be worth recalling a few things he said ..

The Alliance must put aside any theology that attempts clearly to divide civilian and military operations. It is unrealistic. We must live in the real world. As we noted as far back as 1991, in the real world, security has economic, political, and social dimensions. And vice versa. The E.U. and NATO need to find ways to work together better, to share certain roles – neither excluding NATO from civilian operations nor barring the E.U. from military missions. In short, I agree entirely with Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer and Minister Morin’s comments yesterday that there must be a “complimentarity” between the E.U. and NATO.

He also recalled the Berlin airlift in 1948 ...

In January of that year, Ernest Bevin, the British foreign secretary, went before parliament to discuss the Soviet Union and other threats to the United Kingdom. Between all the “kindred souls of the West,” he said, “there should be an effective understanding bound together by common ideals for which the Western Powers have twice in one generation shed their blood.”

Less than two months later, President Harry Truman stood in the United States Congress and echoed that sentiment. He said: “The time has come when the free men and women of the world must face the threat to their liberty squarely and courageously . . . Unity of purpose, unity of effort, and unity of spirit are essential to accomplish the task before us.”

That unity held for decades through ups and downs. It held despite divisions and discord, stresses and strains, and through several crises where another war in Europe loomed. Alexis de Tocqueville once warned that democracies, when it comes to foreign affairs, were ill-suited to pursue a “great undertaking” and “follow it [through] with determination.” But the democracies of the West did just that – for more than 40 years. And they can do so once more today.

This was sometime after Aneurin (Nye) Bevan said in a speech at Blackpool..

This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time. Daily Herald, 25 May 1945

Yet Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana at Riga gave a keynote speech to the German Marshall Fund conference on Monday, November 27, 2006 in advance of the NATO summit , which it is well worth re-visiting ..

The Centrality of Energy

NATO’s challenges continue to come in new formations. We have to understand not only the military configuration of threats before us, but also the likely basis for future conflict. The NATO alliance has been successful, not because it fought wars, but because it prevented them. If the NATO alliance is to be fully relevant to the security of its members, it must expand beyond the mission of military defense and begin to think about how to prevent the conditions that will lead to war.

In the coming decades, the most likely source of armed conflict in the European theater and the surrounding regions will be energy scarcity and manipulation. It would be irresponsible for NATO to decline involvement in energy security, when it is abundantly apparent that the jobs, health, and security of our modern economies and societies depend on the sufficiency and timely availability of diverse energy resources.

We all hope that the economics of supply and pricing surrounding energy transactions will be rational and transparent. We hope that nations with abundant oil and natural gas will reliably supply these resources in normal market transactions to those who need them. We hope that pipelines, sea lanes, and other means of transmission will be safe. We hope that energy cartels will not be formed to limit available supplies and manipulate markets. We hope that energy rich nations will not exclude or confiscate productive foreign energy investments in the name of nationalism. And we hope that vast energy wealth will not be a source of corruption within nations that desperately ask their governments to develop and deliver the benefits of this wealth broadly to society.

"We hope that energy rich nations will not exclude or confiscate productive foreign energy investments in the name of nationalism" .. well what has happened with TNK-BP .

What is happening to the BTC pipeline as you read this ?

What is happening to European energy security ?

Are we FCUKED ? See The Oil Drum for Forum on events in Georgia and the BTC pipeline - ecellent well informed comments.

Read both of the speeches , go to the Lugar Energy initiative and reflect on what has happened over the last 3 decades in Europe and especially the UK to secure our energy security.

Russia attacks the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and destroys port of Poti - is set on ethnically cleansing South Ossetia - Uncle Sam silently watches

Georgian Minister of Economic Development , Yekaterina Sharashidze is reported saying that Russian aircraft were targeting strategic assets, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the South Caucasus gas pipeline.

She said these attacks failed and the pipelines are undamaged for the present. “This means Russian Federation attacks strategic objects on an international scale, not only Georgian infrastructure".

If this is true it represent a major step change in the conflict which cannot be ignored amongst NATO allies - and should rapidly impact on the price of oil and gas.

This report is also carried on Reuters but they could not obtain "independent verification". The Turkish Hurryet also carries it.

Reuters Alertnet also reports that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in the Russian city of Vladikavkaz (pop. 315,000 in 2002 = 2.5% Georgian) the capital of North Ossetia on Saturday to, " discuss the influx of refugees from the conflict in the adjacent Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia" , news agencies said.

Russian aircraft bombing Tbilisi took off from Armenia-report

Azerbajani news agency ANSI report that Russian military aircrafts bombed Vaziani base near Tbilisi at 15.10 local time on Friday . Two bombs were reportedly dropped on the military base. No casualties are reported in the base.

Gruziya Online website reports that the aircraft that bombed Vaziani base had taken off from the territory of Armenia. The agency mentions that there is an air regiment in Russian army’s 102nd base in Gumru, Armenia. According to the agreement signed between Georgia and Armenia, Armenia can not allow any other state to attack Georgia from its territory.

Therefore officially Yerevan has "violated international laws as well as agreement with Georgia".

Georgian Black Sea port of Poti destroyed

The Georgian Foreign Ministry reported that Russian aircrafts have completely destroyed the harbor of Poti on the Black Sea coast (see map) , in the immediate vicinity of Supsa, a vital oil terminal. It is the HQ of the Georgian Navy.

Supsa is vital for Europe, especially since the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (the only alternative route to the Russian oil and gas pipelines) was bombed / accidentally bust (?) on the night of August 5th in Turkey by the Kurdish militia PKK (?). Since then, oil transported from Baku has been rerouted from Tbilisi to Supsa and then onwards through the Bosphorous.

UPDATE : Dozens of people have been killed as a result of overnight air strike by the Russian warplanes on port of Poti and a military base in Senaki, the Georgian media sources reported.The Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Georgian Service reported that in Poti military boats of the Georgian armed forces were bombed, which led to death of at least two dozens of people.

It also reported that infrastructure damage was also serious as a result of the air strikes.Imedi radio station reported that at least 12 servicemen were killed as a result of air strike on the military base in Senaki.

Four men from the Senaki base are in severe conditions and were taken to the Zugdidi hospital.
Nobody died as a result of bombing of Khoni and Kopitnari. (Trend News Azerbaijan)

One of the reasons for the BTC pipeline was to cut traffic in the Bosphorous which is getting congested.

CNN have just reported "Russian bombers were targeting Georgia's economic infrastructure, Georgian National Security Council secretary Alexander Lomaia said, including the country's largest Black Sea port, Poti, and the main road connecting the southern part of Georgia with the east and the airport."

Alexander Lomaia held secret talks in Sweden in June with Abkhazia - Lomaia said four Georgian officials took part on June 15th-17th. 2008 , including himself and State Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili, while the Abkhaz side was represented by Abkhazia's de facto foreign minister, Sergei Shamba and two other officials.

UPDATE : Martial law planned in Georgia - Alexander Lomaia Eurasia Net report See Associated Press report 1900 BST

Russian soldiers killed

ANSI also report that Georgia’s president and Uncle Sam's glove puppet , Mikhail Saakashvili claimed to a meeting with members of Parliament that Georgian Armed Forces have killed 60 special squad soldiers of Main Intelligence Administration (GRU) of Russia. The action took place in the Tiakani heights around the town of Tskhinvali which is the capital of South Ossetia. (pop. approx 70,000)


Some of these reports need confirming ;

1. Bottom line is that the BTC pipeline being discharged at either Turkish port of Ceyhan or Georgian Black Sea port of Poti will not be delivering oil for some time.

It seems curious that this suggests co-ordinated action between PKK and Russia and further suggests that the explosion / damage in the week may have had different authors.

The ramifications of an attack across international borders on energy sources of the Western allies by Russia are impossible, but awful to contemplate.

2. The Georgian Government ( watched passively by Uncle Sam) is evidently imposing by concerted and major military action a dramatic and violent policy of ethnic cleansing of the Ossetians from South Ossetia.

This is of course what happened when Bosnia evicted 200,000 Serbians from the Krajina enclave for which General Ante Gotovina is up before the beaks in the Hague currently. The American civilian / military forces, UAV and satellite surveillance and intelligence supplied by the US authorities, military or civil have not been indicted ...yet.

This action evidently initiated by Georgia immediately follows the recent NATO - US Army Exercise Immediate Response 2008 exercises completed July 31st to train Georgian forces

3. Any military response involves attacking main Russian territory. NATO have been challenged, it's current and potential members (as well as Mr Putin who is in the thick of it in Vladikavkaz protected no doubt by the huge and symbolic Mother Russia - see snap Lord Patel took on his hols).

Who will blink first ? The Boy David and Gordy are going to have their holidays interrupted.

Keep your eyes on the UK Embassy website in Georgia for when they start shipping families out.

Al Quaeda
has not (yet!) been claimed to be responsible.

Click tags for more

Georgia declares a "state of war" - Georgian plane shot down - Stalin's birthplace bombed - civilians killed and wounded

At long last the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office have made a public response to events in georgia , the Boy David said to Lord Patel just minutes ago ..

"The UK government is deeply concerned by the violence in Georgia. The escalation in fighting is dangerously destabilising and there is also the threat of civilian losses on a large scale. Reports of fighting and bombing outside South Ossetia are especially disturbing as they represent a broadening and deepening of the conflict. The UK believes it is vital for leaderships on both sides to call for fighting to cease and for peace talks to start as soon as possible. I have also agreed to send Sir Brian Fall, our Representative for the South Caucasus, to Georgia tonight as part of an EU/OSCE mission.

"I am today holding high level consultations with European Foreign Ministers and with the US Secretary of State.

"The UK will be discussing with all our partners how to stop the spread of violence, secure a ceasefire and get talks underway"

You can read the history (and it is fascinating) of the British Embassy of theTranscaucasus /Georgia here. November 2002 the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announced that he had appointed Sir Brian Fall as the United Kingdom’s Special Representative (UKSR) for Georgia.

Announcing the appointment Jack Straw said:‘ I am committed to finding a way to help Georgia become prosperous, stable and able to live in harmony with its neighbours. This is why I am glad to appoint Sir Brian to this position. Sir Brian’s experience of the region and his diplomatic skills will be invaluable in helping him fulfil this role’.

In 2003, Sir Brian’s mandate was expanded to cover the South Caucasus. In this capacity, Sir Brian is also the UK Senior Representative on the Group of Friends of the UN Secretary General on Georgia.

Sir Brian was a career member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service from 1962 to 1995 and retired as Ambassador to the Russian Federation.

A recent confidential document on the situation quotes him ..."“Russia is openly siding with the separatists, calling into question Russia’s facilitator role… Georgia understandably views the instructions as a provocation and a serious challenge to its sovereigntyand territorial integrity.”

“This move, coupled with Russia’s recent lifting of CIS sanctions that opens the possibility for military assistance to Abkhazia, has significantly increased tensions in an already volatile region."

"In this regard, we expect Russia to live up to its recent assurances that Russia will abide by its international commitments and responsibilities not to supply weapons to conflict zones and to maintain Russian sanctions on the transfer of military services and equipment to separatist regions.”

Sir Brian who the Boy David has despatched was Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. (LMH) but he now sems to be fully employed by the FCO in his retirement. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto read PPE at LMH from 1973 to 1977 and was an Honorary Fellow. Other notable politicians amongst their alumni include the midget gem, Michael Gove and Ann Widdicombe. Barbara Mills the ex had of the CPS and sister in law of Mr Tosser Jowell (friend of senor Berlusconi) was also a student

Advice from the Embassy (in Tblisi) for UK citizens in Georgia is here

Paleontological TV - Neanderthals of the networks edit history whilst it is made elsewhere -"billions at stake"

In a gigantic and paradoxical move, determined by only money, NBC have shown how the massive media corporations control the media.

Allegedly secretive China, where state control is absolute opened the Olympic games when America was asleep - so NBC performed a massive time shift and delayed broadcasting the opening ceremonies by 12 hours. CBC in Canada, Televisa in Mexico, the BBC , NHK in Japan, broadcast the opening ceremonies live on television.

The IOC allows networks to stream video because geographic blocking technology allows the companies to keep their broadband feeds within national borders. Germany’s ARD broadcast network, broke through - they failed to participarte in an EU stitch up of national broadcasters that acquired the rights from the IOC for $443.4 million.

4 ,000,000,000 people worldwide saw it in real time, this was denied to Americans by NBC who had bought the exclusive broadcasting rights for $894 million. Local rights to the Games purchased from the IOC are the only legal sources of video in each country.

So where did the wideawake US viewers go ..? To the worlwide internet webthing that Al Gore invented and Alaskan lawmaker Mr Ted Stevens thinks is a lot of tube things..

Like the little Dutch boy, NBC tried (apparently) to plug the holes in the dyke as foreign broadcasters newsfeeds were picked up and spread around - NBC tried in what the NYT called a game of Digital Wack a Mole to shut down the unauthorised leaks.

“The Olympics to me is a benchmark for how fast we’ve gone with technology,” Brad Adgate, the senior vice president for research at Horizon Media, a media buying firm in New York, said to the NYT . “Thirty months ago, no one was talking about YouTube. Now, it’s a verb.”

Google spent time axing You Tube downloads as fast as they went up. Live video streams on Justin.tv, a popular source for international video, were also removed.

NBC's version for the sleepy heads will have a massive audience which advertisers will pay premiums for - what will happen by London 2012 ? The whole basis of selling ads could be changed by then... and the massive commercial control by the IOC and their deals withe the networks weakened.

So what did US viewers get from NBC (80% owned by GE the remainder French media group Vivendi) whilst the world watched the stunning pyrotechnic , gymnastic and artistics lessons , brief but beautifully choreographed in Chinese history?

Well they got NBC’s “Today” show and regular programming on NBC’s cable sisters, MSNBC and CNBC. “Today” was actually "Yesterday" as co-host Matt Lauer taped the show in advance - "Where in the World is Matt Lauer" ? ..well he was flying to the Peking stadium to anchor the opening ceremonies with Bob Costas who not only has fronted the Olympics since Barcelona in 1992 but co wrote with Andrew Billings "Olympic Media: Inside the Biggest Show on Television." .

Lawyer Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics, said in a statement: “We have a billion dollars worth of revenue at stake here, so that means we’re not public television, for better or worse.”

Russian jets bomb deep inside Georgia as "massive forces" take Tshkinvali

Thhe BBC have excellent reports with video of residential buildings bombed by Russian jets in Gori.Eyewitness: Scenes of panic in Gori

Russian jets have carried out strikes on military targets in the central Georgian town of Gori, close to the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Most of the targets seem to have been military bases, but Georgian officials said a number of civilians had been killed in residential buildings.

Russia said it had "liberated" the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.

BBC Picture Gallery

Earlier, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said his country was seeking "to force the Georgian side to peace".

Excellent background / history , plus news and comments piece in Scotsman today

PKK claim responsibility for Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline blast - although initial reports said it was an accident

PKK the Kurdistan Worker's Party separatists have claimed responsibility an explosion that has halted the flow of oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, although oil price have been unaffected by this interruption in supply. (More pics)

Initially, Turkish officials reported that the explosion was the result of a technical malfunction (Dogan Haber Ajansi, August 6). On August 7, however, the People’s Defense Force (HPG), the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), issued a statement claiming that the explosion was the result of sabotage by one of its units (Firat News Agency, August 7). Turkish officials have now backed down from their previous conviction that the explosion was caused by an accident. On August 7 Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler told Turkish journalists that officials would have to wait until the fire had been extinguished before conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the explosion. “It is too early to say anything for certain,” said Guler (Anadolu Ajansi, August 7). The Turkish television news channel CNNTurk quoted unidentified BTC officials who had visited the site as saying, “We haven’t seen any signs of an explosion that would indicate sabotage, but the cause will only become clear after the fire has been extinguished” (CNNTurk, August 7).

The blaze is persisting after an explosion near the wooded and hilly areas at valve No 30 near the town of Refahiye in eastern Turkey on Tuesday 5th August at night (Google map). This is the first damage reported on the $4bn (€2.6bn, £2.1bn) pipeline carrying more than 1 % of world oil supply from Azerbaijan to the Turkish Mediterranean coast. see Tuesday, June 06, 2006 BTC pipeline ships first oil from Ceyhan - historic moment

The site of the explosion is outside the PKK's normal area of operation in SE Turkey.

The group claimed responsibility for a pipeline blast in March that halted gas exports from Iran to Turkey for five days. Yesterday a mortar shell was fired at municipal buildings in Istanbul. On July 8 a HPG unit seized three German mountaineers in eastern Turkey, the first time the PKK had kidnapped foreigners in over a decade (see Terrorism Monitor, July 25).

Several Kurdish separatists have been arrested on suspicion of bombing an Istanbul neighbourhood last week, killing 17 people. The attack in Istanbul, the worst in Turkey since 2003, led analysts to speculate that the PKK are shifting tactics and moving out of their south-east stronghold.

The 1,770km oil pipeline runs from Baku, the Azeri capital, via Tbilisi in Georgia, to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Sanctioned and supported by President Clinton it provides an important and tsrategic alternative to the Russian transit network for Caspian crude.

Stocks at the Ceyhan depot have been severely depleted since the explosion and the pipeline's operators yesterday ceased using reserves to load tankers at the port.

BP, a major shareholder in the pipeline consortium ( which was affected by their "takeover" of Aramco) , said partners had declared force majeure on exports, freeing themselves from contractual obligations. The group has begun diverting some crude to other routes while the Ceyhan pipeline remains closed.

Before pumping can resume, pipeline operators will have to wait for oil left (approx 12,000 barrels) in a contained section (Valves 29- 31) of the pipeline to burn off, get the fire under control, and then cool and excavate the damaged pipeline, which runs two metres underground.

Industry sources said once that has been completed, the section of pipeline could be replaced within days. However, the length of the delay before oil is flowing will depend on several other factors, including the scale and duration of the fire.

The Turkish authorities have a considerable incentive to try to blame the explosion and fire of August 5 on an accident, as Turkey is legally responsible for the security of the BTC pipeline and thus financially liable to the oil companies for any losses as a result of a terrorist attack. Turkey would also be financially responsible if, as is possible, the explosion of August 5 was the result of an attempt by criminal groups to steal the oil.

There have been such attempts in the past.

However, even if the PKK did not attack the pipeline on August 5, the alacrity with which the HPG claimed responsibility for the explosion indicates that, at the very least, the organization undoubtedly now regards the BTC as a legitimate target.

Effects of the closure on crude supplies

The BTC pipeline will be closed down for a minimum of two weeks, but the shutdown could last five weeks, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing A Botas International Ltd. spokesman who operate the Turkish part, which was damaged in the fire said the pipeline would be closed for at least 2 weeks . The pipeline transports about 850,000 barrels a day of oil and condensates from Azerbaijani fields - about 30 million barrels of oil won't reach the markets if the pipeline was closed down for five weeks, Dow Jones reported.

US Army Exercise Immediate Response 2008 exercises completed July 31st to train Georgian forces

This is an interesting note on events in Georgia from a Major's Perspective. (Useful map also) Just over 7 days ago, US forces just left the Air Base that is reporting to have been attacked by Russian Federation Air Force Assets. Here is more information on it from the US European Command News Web page:

VAZIANI TRAINING AREA , Republic of Georgia 25 Km south of Tblisi -- Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen from the U.S. - including Company L, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, U.S. Army’s Southern European Task Force, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine participated in training exercise Immediate Response 2008.

The maneuvers were held under NATO’ program Partnership for Peace. The US financed the exercises, such maneuvers are held every year for the US’ ally countries. (Tass)

The exercises started on July 17th following an invocation by U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Scott Carson, deputy chaplain for the Southern European Task Force, and a blessing from Georgian Orthodox priest Father Nazzare Guenetadze, Soldiers from the five nations paid tribute to each country's national anthem as they stood in formation, symbolizing the start of the exercise.

At the closing ceremony, July 31st , Army Brig. Gen. William B. Garrett III, exercise director for Immediate Response stated, "I am very pleased to report that all exercise objectives have been met." Garrett highlighted the hundreds of live-fire and situational training exercises; combat lifesaver classes; Improvised Explosive Device training; and the computer-based command post exercise to train the Georgian 4th Infantry brigade staff, as some of the objectives.

What is Immediate Response 2008?

It is an annual bilateral security-cooperation exercise conducted between the U.S. and NATO and coalition partners. This year, IR08 was undertaken in the Republic of Georgia. The exercise included troops from the US, Georgia , Azerbaijan, Armenia and Ukraine. The purpose of the exercise is to increase the cooperation and partnership between U.S. and Georgian forces while preparing the Georgian military for operations in Iraq.

What has the Army done?

Approximately 1,000 personnel from U.S. Army Europe’s Southern European Task Force, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, the state of Georgia Army National Guard, Army Reserve, U.S. Marine Reserve, Sailors and Airmen trained alongside 600 Soldiers from Georgia and other European nations. IR08 builds on lessons learned from previous training and operations by giving commanders and their staffs a practical exercise in organizing, controlling, and supporting coalition stability and security operations. The two-week exercise included a command post exercise, situational training lanes and a live-fire exercise. The Azerbaijani, Armenian and Ukrainian participants replicated a coalition response cell similar to that which the Georgians will experience in Iraq. After a surprise visit to the exercise, the Georgian President stated, "we have the best trained and equipped army" in the Caucasus region. For the Georgians, IR08 provided them the knowledge that they are ready for the challenge of their upcoming deployment to Iraq in early 2009.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Republic of Georgia, with approximately 2,000 Soldiers currently in Iraq, is the third largest force contributor to Operation Iraqi Freedom. IR08 provided a mission rehearsal exercise-like experience for the Georgian 4th Brigade in preparation for their deployment in early 2009. Likewise, IR08 improved the readiness of the Georgian Army National Guard participants who are also preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. Exercises such as IR08 promote understanding and cooperation between the military of the U.S. and our allies and coalition partners and prepare all participants for combat operations.
There were even National Guard soldiers from Georgia US - from the 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry, headquartered Winder see more about the exercise here from Eucom

Here is the Georgia National Guard 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry arriving in Tblisi , Georgia.Maj. Matthew Smith, commander of the 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry said "The training will be a great developmental opportunity for the Republic of Georgia because they have a young NCO corps, and they stand to learn a lot from our NCOs,"

Indiana State fair - 08/08/08 - a message from our sponsors

St Vincent Heart centre and here

Diplomatic moves as Georgians sieze control of South Ossetia and refugees flee

Someone is doing a splendid job of keeping up to date on news reports on Wikipedia on a page called 2008 War in South Ossetia. Also (in Russian)

The entire city of Tskhinvali is currently controlled by units of South Ossetia’s defence forces”, Irina Gagloyeva, a spokeswoman for the South Ossetian authorities, was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

But shortly before that statement came, in a televised address, Georgian president ( said that his forces controlled almost all of the territory.

Georgian forces are controlling the entire territory of South Ossetia except Java … We are fully in control of Tskhinvali”, he said.

Georgian positions around the city had been destroyed by Russian tank and artillery units, a spokesman for Vladimir Boldyrev, Russia’s army chief, was quoted as saying.

“The positions from which Georgian troops were firing… have been destroyed by fire from artillery and tank units of the 58th army”, Igor Konashenkov, the spokesman, said.

In the fighting, 1 400 South Ossetians had been killed, Eduard Kokoity, is quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency. (this seems an extravagant claim) more

In other developments : (2.00 am BST)
The UN Security Council was holding its 2nd emergency meeting on Friday in a bid to end the crisis, after failing to agree earlier on the wording of a Russian-drafted statement

The European security organisation, the OSCE, warned that the fighting in South Ossetia could escalate into a full-scale war (NYT)

The US and the EU were reported to be sending a joint delegation to the region to seek a ceasefire and Nato said it was seriously concerned.

Wall Street Journal Morning Brief - By JOSEPH SCHUMAN Moscow, Washington And South Ossetia

According to Italian agency AGI spokesman Dmitry Peskov for Vladimir Putin, said that Putin said to President George Bush at the Olympic opening ceremony in Peking ..."in South Ossetia, a real war has broken out" Bush, according to the same source replied: "no one wants war".The White House, have not reported any details on the meeting. Putin explained to Bush that "in Russia many volunteers intend to go there (in South Ossetia to fight) and undoubtedly, it is very difficult to maintain peace in the region".

Good Yahoo news report here.

The London Daily Mirror report that Katie Melua 24, - Nine Million Bicycles singer , who is on tour in Germany, telephoned her mother Tamari in Tblisi who she is due to visit in 2 weeks. Her uncle may be conscripted into the Georgian army men over the age of 18 are to go to Ossetia, but her kid bro. Zurab, 16, is too young to fight.

Katie lived in Georgia until she was eight and is now based in Croydon, South London

Katie said today she hoped the conflict ended soon.

"Whoever settled anything with war? At the moment it seems to be a lot of posturing and the two 'sides' showing each other how big their 'guns' are," she said.

"But I hope that the violence can end before any more people are killed."

Katie Melua - Nine Million Bicycles

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing

That's a fact,

It's a thing we can't deny

Like the fact that I will love you till I die.

We are twelve billion light years from the edge,

That's a guess,

No-one can ever say it's true

But I know that I will always be with you.

I'm warmed by the fire of your love everyday

So don't call me a liar,

Just believe everything that I say

There are six BILLION people in the world

More or less

and it makes me feel quite small

But you're the one I love the most of all


We're high on the wire

With the world in our sight

And I'll never tire,

Of the love that you give me every night

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing

That's a Fact,

it's a thing we can't deny

Like the fact that I will love you till I die

And there are nine million bicycles in Beijing

And you know that I will love you till I die!

Georgian attacks on South Ossetia intensify as civilians flee under bombardment and shelling

Handy map to help understand geography from Lord Patel's Cartographic sectionS ee also a handy bit o history 24/11/03 Georgia, Velvet Underground in Overdrive ."This was followed by another high powered US delegation -- including John Shalikashvili (in Georgianჯონ მალხაზ შალიკაშვილი ), the former chairman of the US military’s joint chiefs of staff, along with Strobe Talbott (Rhodes cholar at Oxford with Mr Clintonan), a former deputy secretary of state during the Clinton administration and head of the Brookings Policy Research Institute to monitor developments after Baker’s plan and attempt to defuse the confrontational mood then enveloping domestic politics. Even Republican Arizonan Senator John McCain turned up to put the heat on the most famous Georgian after Stalin – but with no success."

US educated US puppet, Saakashvilli addressses the nation

It appears the Georgians have called up reservists.

For United Nations response see AFP report midnight BST UN Security Council resume bid for South Ossetia ceasefire

Part time pianist and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Russia to halt aircraft and missile attacks and withdraw combat forces from Georgian territory. Rice said in a statement the United States wants Russia to respect Georgian sovereignty and agree to international mediation.

The leader of South Ossetia's rebel government, Eduard Kokoity, said about 1,400 people were killed in the onslaught, the Interfax news agency reported. The toll could not be independently confirmed. From AP report - Georgia to let civilians flee South Ossetia - International Herald Tribune

Friday, August 08, 2008

Georgia starts major attack on South Ossetia - Russia starts upping the ante

Опубликовано обращение народа Южной Осетии к правительствам и народам Мира!
На сайте Цхинвал.ru опубликовано обращение народа Южной Осетии к правительствам и народам Мира!

Which translates as "The appeal of the people of South Osetia to governments and peoples of peace is published! On the site Of [tskhinval].ru is published the appeal of the people of South Osetia to governments and peoples of peace!

This is the latest urgent plea on the website of the Press Information of the Republic of South Ossetia http://comnf.org/ - English version (behind in news) is http://comnf.org/english/

The town / village of Tskhinval (see Wikipedia) is under seige and their appeal is ...

8.08.2008 - 20:23 (GMT + 3)
Appeal to the Governments and peoples of the world!
Please, help us stop genocide of the small people of the South Ossetia! The small country, which has been constantly destroying for 19 years by Georgian fascists.

And the world community conceal all the atrocities of Georgia for the sake of geopolitical interest of the USA. Conflict resolution is completely in international law.

However, the Georgian side skillfully uses methods of historical falsifications, political insinuations. Georgia enjoys the patronage of a criminal government of the USA, and presents events in the world misrepresented.At the moment the most part of South Ossetia is erased by the Georgian aggressors.

There continue to die elderly, women, children.The death toll is unknown, because of the Georgian side fired them all who tried to help the wounded. Children are among them.

Not comparable with anything Georgian cruelty let know even in 91-92 years. When Georgians at point-blank range shot civilians of South Ossetia, as the example of the bus which was driving with people on bypass road, Zar.

No one will forget it!Georgian fascists made all people go out, from the bus and fired them. They also fired point-blank women and children and kids .

They fired even the little three-year-old boy, who hid away under the body of his mother.

What else can we say of Georgia? They buried people alive, burnt them and tortured them in different methods. After all that the world community is silent and Georgians continue to kill. Saakashvili doesn’t feel sorry for anybody, even for his Georgians.

For him, the notion of "people" and "meat" is not much different and probably, he prefers more the second.There is only one way for peace - it is declaration of the independence by the world community. We call on all decent people of the world not to remain indifferent to the fate of the Ossetian people.

We have been following events in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia (here) for some years and the latest Friday, July 04, 2008 Russian backed breakaway South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali shelled from Georgia , which covered the shelling of Tskhinval resulting in several deaths.

This is a long and convoluted struggle now inflamed because (partly) Russia will not recognise the US manufactured statelet, gangster hinterland and site of huge US base called Kosovo carved out of Serbia. (See KLA is CIA Lab / Bondsteel camp - Byzantine Blog)

So the Russkis are helping the Abkhazians ( a major smuggling route) and South Ossetians (total pop = 70,00)with their special Gazprom gas supply so if the Georgian gas is cut off they remain warm in winter at least. It is also related to the BTC pipeline Baku / Tblisi / Ceyhan and US moves to get Georgia and the Ukraine within the NATO family threatening Russias southern flank.

From midnight tonight Russia ceases air traffic to Georgia Россия с полуночи прекращает воздушное сообщение с ГрузиейРоссия с 9 августа прекращает воздушное сообщение с Грузией, сообщил в пятницу представитель пресс-службы Минтранса РФ.

It is also reported that The Russian President RF Dmitriy Medvedev, said on opening of the special conference of the Russian Security Council, that Russia will not allow the unpunished loss of its compatriots in the Caucasus. " In accordance with the constitution and the federal legislation as the President RF, I am obliged to protect life and honour of Russian citizens, wherever they not were located. The logic of the steps undertaken by us now is dictated by these circumstances. We will not allow the unpunished loss of our compatriots. The guilty will carry deserved punishment [nakazanie]".

Президент РФ Дмитрий Медведев, заявил на открытии экстренного совещания российского Совбеза, что Россия не допустит безнаказанной гибели своих соотечественников на Кавказе.Цитируем: "В соответствии с Конституцией и федеральным законодательством, как президент РФ, я обязан защитить жизнь и достоинство российских граждан, где бы они ни находились. Логика предпринимаемых нами сейчас шагов продиктована этими обстоятельствами. Мы не допустим безнаказанной гибели наших соотечественников. Виновные понесут заслуженное наказание".

Sky News is good, BBC news is but they quaintly refer to the Ossetians as "separatists". CNN has good coverage - they say Georgian forces have shot down two and four Russian aircraft in the same story .

"I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars," Lyudmila Ostayeva, a resident of the South Ossetia capital, Tskhinvali, told The Associated Press.

"It's impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged," she said after fleeing to a village near the Russian border, AP reported.

One U.S. State Department official called the conflict a "very dangerous situation" and said diplomatic moves are afoot around the globe to stop it - having of course done a great deal to stoke it up already.

For more readily accessible information on recent developments Wikipedia War in South Ossetia (2008) Pic above from BBC -Georgians bomb separatists

Daily Telegraph "Over 1,300 people are reported dead after Russian forces responded to a Georgian attack on rebels in the breakaway province of South Ossetia by mounting a full scale invasion. "
Guradian"Georgia and Russia were today on the brink of full-scale war after Russian tanks rolled across the border to back separatists in the breakaway South Ossetia region." Good bcaground piece here Independent - South Ossettia leader says 1,400 killed in conflict
Times - Russia turns might of its war machine on rebel neighbour Georgia
New York Times -Rusian Troops Enter Rebel Enclave Georgian Forces Push Into South Ossetia’s Capital
Novosti Over 1,000 civilians have been killed as the result of an attack by Georgia on the capital of its breakaway republic of South Ossetia, the North Ossetian nationalities minister said Friday.

"According to the South Ossetian information and press committee, the number of fatalities is estimated, according to preliminary information, at over 1,000," Teimuraz Kasayev said.

North Ossetia is part of Russia. Many reports talk of Georgians involved in "ethnic cleansing"

Der Spiegel - Russia Marches into South Ossetia Photo Gallery

BBC World News at midnight BST report that Russian bombs have fallen on cities and ports , military targets in S Georgia.

Now see later post Saturday, August 09, 2008 Georgian attacks on South Ossetia intensify as civilians flee under bombardment and shelling

Airbus and Boeing face cancellation yet Boeing rise nearly 10% on week.

Boeing and Azerbaijan Airlines have jointly announced an order for two single-aisle 737s and two twin-aisle, Boeing 767-300ER extended range planes. The order is worth US$450 Mn but one of the 767's replaces one of the three 787 Dreamliners Azerbaijan ordered in February 2007.

This is the first order cancellation for a 787 Dreamliner which is now set for its first test flight in the fourth quarter and first delivery in the third quarter of 2009, 15 months behind the original schedule.

The 767 could be used as the basic airframe Boeing will use in its bid to win a $35 billion aerial refuelling contract from the US Air Force already awarded once over to Northrop Grumman / EADS MRTT but now subject to review as government auditors found errors in the award of the contract (but not the planes). See Hansard for Lord Jones interesting question in House of Lords to Government about this contract 1st July 2008

Airlines worldwide, are due scale back operations in the face of high fuel prices and lower economic growth expectations.

UAL Corp , parent of United Airlines, are set to cancel an$2.2 billion for the purchase of 42 A319 and A320 single-aisle aircraft and so forfeiting a $91 million dollar deposit.

Reuters reports that analysts have said Airbus, and Boeing could lose a quarter or more of the plane orders on their books as carriers cut back growth plans made in happier times.

According to the Airbus website they have had 43 order cancellations so far this year, some represent shifts to a new version of its A350 model. It said earlier this year that U.S. budget JetBlue Airways Corp will defer some deliveries.

Boeing has had no cancellations this year, but has said Southwest Airlines Co and AirTran Holdings Inc have deferred some orders.

Despite this Boeing shares are forging ahead . Is this due to our comments on their lowest ever price on the 5th August Boeing share prices jumps - again - closes tdoay US$ 65.50 up 70 cents = 1.08% today ? US$5.97 up since opening on the 5th = rise of 9.6% on the week.

Does somebody know something about that tanker order ?

Now here's a funny thing - Shares in Cobham plc, (Interim results - profits up 24% out today) the Dorset based firm of whom 5 of the 8 Directors have been awarded CBE's - who make bits of kit for aerial refuelling (who are doing quite nicely thank you), have done well (very well this week) just compare them with Boeing. .....

Word to the wise - United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) mentioned here - up nearly 5% today. Readers will remember (Friday, July 11, 2008 Airline tickets prices to be cut dramatically as result of new Boeing Nextgen Tailored Arrivals : due to fuel saving efficiencies and yesterday John McCain - not delivering the goods for DHL - but UPS benefits .

Is Nissan going to buy up Chrysler - makes sense and could be the kick in the pants Detroit needs

Cerberus Capital Management LP bought 80.1 % of Chrysler from the former DaimlerChrysler AG one year ago for US $7.4 billion ( and Daimler also injected US$700 Mn to sweeten the deal) and must have been excited at the business opportunites of making and selling Town & Country minivans, and iconic vehicles sich as Dodge Ram pickups and Jeep Wranglers - but who are hugely reliant on the North American market which accounts for 91% of sales.

Chrysler's sales are down 23 % so far this year, the worst drop of any major automaker. They have stopped offering leases through their financial arm because of falling truck and SUV values.

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Chrysler further into junk territory, saying it expects the company's finances to fall to the minimum levels required to fund its operations as early as next year.

Despite this Vice Chairman and President Jim Press who came Toyota Motor Corp to head marketing talks tough , "The strongest steel comes from the hottest fire, and while this is like dancing on the sun, we're making significant improvements (changes ?) in our business."

Chrysler is now private and witholds financials, but the entrail pickers going over Daimler AG figures , (still holding 19.9 % - they paid US $36 billion in 1998 for the company - DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche called it "a marriage made in heaven.") put Chrysler's Q1 loss at US $510 (ish).

Chrysler negotiated a new contract with the United Auto Workers union that will cut $Billions in retiree health care costs and manufacturing wages. Over the last 18 months 29,000 hourly, salaried and temporary jobs cuts have been announced.

In June, Chrysler Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli, who was brought in by Cerberus after a very controversial (and unpopular) stint at Home Depot Inc., defies talks of sell offs and says they will still be an independent company three years from now.

Is a Nissan Chrysler deal in the pipeline ?

Consider this

1.Chrysler has an agreement to produce trucks for Nissan
2. An agreement has just been announced for Nissan to produce the subcompact cars missing from Chryslers line -up.
3.The Wall Street Journal say a deal for Nissan to supply badged mid-size cars is in on the boil. (The July sales of the 2 Chrysler mid size compacts Dodge Avenger ( 4,318) and Chrysler Sebring (2,137) lag way, way behind the 3 leaders Toyota Camry(42,131) Honda Accord (41,382) and Nissan's Altima(24,429).

Combined the 2 Chysler models sales spread across the 3,700 delaers = 2 per dealer.

The 2 companies complement each other Chrysler’s deep strength is trucks, Jeeps and SUV's, Nissan is better at passenger vehicles. Chrysler has few overseas markets but Nissan is huge in Asia, and Nissan is big in Europe with , France’s Renault and manufacturing in the UK.

What do Cerberus do otherwise ?

are in not in business to make cars , they make money - if they are losing it at the rate of US$2 Bn a year with a CEO plucked from outside the industry and a range of vehicles that has seen a slump in sales of 25% where do they go ?

Daimler would be happy for anyone to buy their slice for nothing.

Nissan in one go would jump over GM and Toyota in N American sales, Carlos Ghosn could get into the U.S. market.

What Mr & Mrs America wants is a range of compacts and sedans and people movers with fuel efficiency that , with gas at US$3.50 to US$4.00 a gallon at the pump makes sense - no way do they want to pay the extra cost of hybrids to get that fuel efficiency.

For example the Honda Accord Automatic 2.4 litre (Ticket price US$21,500) gives 26 mpg against the 28 mpg of the Automatic 3 litre so called hybrid (It has Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) technology which shuts of 3 cylinders of the six and is based on the old Odyssey minivan engine) on which the ticket price is US$26,500 an extra US$5,000 for a theoretical 2mpg = saving 33 gallons on 12,000 miles a year = US$132 a year.

Just for readers in the US the Honda UK website gives a price of US$59,200 (24,600 pounds) on th road price for a 2.4 litre Honda Accord Vtec Automatic with a stated mpg of 32.8 mpg (UK gallons = 28 mpg in US galllons).

Hybrids may make sense for the wealthy but not for Mr & Mrs Joe Doe - Nissan know how to make decent small and mid range compacts and sedans that er economic to run - plus how to run factroies.

EPA fuel economy gives this as the most inefficient car licensed for use on US roads

Which evidently doesn't worry the sheik of Araby who had his car shipped from Bahrein to London for an oil change and apparently gas is still about US$1.33 a gallon in Bahrein.

Just imagine though - a cheese eating surrender monkey using a Japanese auto company to show Detroit how to make and sells cars in North America.

Just what you need when your wrist starts to ache ...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cabinet declares State of Emergency - Troops Out at Heathrow Terminal 5 - Terror threat to London 'on scale of 9/11'

More Later ....Holiday makers riot - Tube chaos

John McCain - not delivering the goods for DHL - but UPS benefits

John McCain is set to meet the folks in Wilmington , in South East Ohio, who got a boost when DHL opened their shipping hub in 2003 adding 1,000 jobs to the area.

John McCain's Campaign Manager Rick Davis lobbied for the firm to buy Airborne Express, and use its domestic hub in Wilmington in southwest Ohio. He earned $185,000 for his role and received an additional $400,000 in subsequent years for his work on behalf of the firm, says a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Davis hasn't lobbied for DHL since 2005 and Mccain's PR bullshit man says , quite reasonably “At the time of the merger, no one foresaw the events that are happening today, in fact the merger actually resulted in job gains.”

In 2003, Davis lobbied the Senate to accept the proposal by DHL to buy Airborne Express for $1.05 billion. Airborne Express at the time ran the airport and package-sorting facility in Wilmington .

Filings in the Senate show Davis' lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, was hired to help both companies deal with Congress, where objections over DHL's foreign ownership arose. They are also lobbyists for GTECH the world's largest lottery firm, who tangled unsuccessfully with the bearded wonder Mr Branson.

After the merger / buyout , Ohio and local governments provided more than $400 million in incentives for road and facility upgrades, and DHL in 2005 moved its smaller air freight operation from northern Kentucky to Wilmington.

At the same time Mccain lobbied to stop famed Alaskan Ted Stevens earmark a military spending bill to stop foreign owned carriers (ie DHL) shipping military equipment /mail etc., which would have made the deal less attractive.

Now owned and operated by the German Post office (Deutsche Post World Net) German based DHL is struggling and wants to share / combine operations with the UPS Louisville , Kentucky hub - which means closing the Wilmington operation, with , it is claimed the loss of some 8,000 jobs.

There is going to be a meeting on the campus of Wilmington College Thursday afternoon at which John NcCain will speak . Rogers says “John McCain’s gonna speak directly to this issue tomorrow and layout some things that he thinks we can do to help those that are affected.”

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown held a conference call with the press tot ask McCain to help save those jobs. “Rick Davis earned hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying for DHL,” Brown said. “Now it’s time to see if he and John McCain will use their considerable clout to lobby for Ohio families.”

Now's the time DHL realise they were suckered to put their hub in nowheresville.

United Parcel Services

Readers will remember (Friday, July 11, 2008 Airline tickets prices to be cut dramatically as result of new Boeing Nextgen Tailored Arrivals : due to fuel saving efficiencies ) our enthusiasm and the details of how UPS were pioneers in using the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADSB).

ADS-B. provides them with major multiple benefits so that they they can co-ordinate arrivals precisely and take advantage of continuous descent (in which they were pioneers in developing - reducing noise , nitrogen oxide emissions and saving fuel) , even without visual contact which can eliminate low level vectoring as traffic controllers juggle with multiple East and West coast flights.

Bob Hilb, UPS's advanced flight systems manager says that if just 10% of the low-altitude maneuvers that are now occurring in the U.S. were eliminated, most airlines would be making a profit.

Not only that the UPS fleet is seeing a 30% reduction in noise and a 34% decline in emissions for ADS-B-equipped aircraft.

UPS has outfitted a fleet of 300 Boeing 757s and 767s with ADS-B for use at its Louisville hub, with similar services planned for Philadelphia.

This is an example of far sighted , sound thinking and investmnent in new technology to make that competitive edge.

Furthermore on Seeking Alpha David Jackson wrote 5 Key Quotes from UPS on the Freight Industry and the Economy after they produced their results on June 23rd. Which are a must read on the basic ecenomic outlook in the US - and they know because they deal with everybody.

"Fuel had a significant impact in the quarter, increasing $470 million, or 67% over last year. Fuel price increases had ramifications beyond just the direct cost. They caused our indirect expenses to accelerate. "

Yet they show a growth in exports of 8% - They are sponsors of the Beijing OLympics and they says "Our goal is to be the leading global package delivery, freight, and logistics company in China. " That's a big vision!

We’re serving three Olympic villages, managing 35 game venues and four distribution centers, moving everything from kayaks to shotputs. During peak operation, UPS will have 2,000 people and 138 vehicles on-site. This is a complex undertaking that demonstrates our broad, worldwide capabilities.

They take a realistic view of the remainder of 2008 - Current thinking is that the small package market will contract about 2% for the remainder of the year, as will our U.S. volumes, and we’ll see a continued decline in premium product.

This is a company trading offering a solid dividend of US$3.5o plus, atrcak record and still cheap shares - down today US$63.39 down 91 cents (- 1.72%). % .The 2 week range is US$56.10 -US$ 78.99

UPS serves more than 200 countries and territoriesworldwide and employs more than 425,000 people and has a daily volume of 15.8 Mn packages.

This share is a steal - fill ya boots. By Christmas you will be smiling .. and there may be a lot more to their announcement in May which so upset the Mayor of Wilmington

UPS announced it will work with DHL Express U.S.toward an agreement to provide transportation in its air network forall of DHL's express, deferred and international package volume withinthe United States. UPS also would provide air lift for DHL packages between the United States, Canada and Mexico.
A final contract is anticipated later this year. The agreement,when finalized,would be expected to extend for 10 years and produce up to US $1 billion in additional annual revenue for UPS. The company said it would begin phasing in a limited amount of volume in 2008 with ramp up in 2009.

Here is the welcome news - "UPS will be able to handle much of the anticipated new volume in its existing air network, although additional capacity will be added beginning in 2009 upon full implementation."

If you don't buy any shares go here and read - UPS Experts Offer Tips for Better Gas Mileage - and watch the video.

UPDATE 5 minutes later - referring to above ..
Obama recommendation that drivers keep their tires well-inflated which was mocked by Mr McCain .....

At a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D., the ageing candidate (can you see him on a motor bike ?) told the crowd: "My opponent doesn't want to drill (in offshore oil reserves), he doesn't want nuclear power, he wants you to inflate your tires."

Come Tuesday nigjht , McCain made a misd course corection ..he wasn't opposed to Obama's suggestion. " Senator Obama a couple of days ago said that we ought to all inflate our tires, I don't disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it, but I also don't think that that's a way to become energy independent." ..(or President ?)

Berlusconi declares "state d' ergenza " and the troops hit the streets throughout Italy - Italy commits subs to US / NATO " fight against terror "

Italy is a country riddled with corruption. Politicians, nationally and locally - global mafias headquartered in the South.

The criminal gangster Berlusconi, is back in power again, fighting off the lingering charges which also involve the husband of the longest serving labour Cabinet Minister after Gordon Brown.

Berlusconi has established an anti crime wave and pushed and rushed legislation through parliament last month aimed at stemming illegal immigration - typically he also declared a state of emergency that gave police and local authorities added powers to tackle immigration-related problems.

The square still shine, the sub sparkles in the afternoon on the fountains of Rom but at 0700 hours Agust 3rd 3000 troops were deployed alongside Police units throughout Italy's major cities - Palermo, Florence, Naples and Turin.

1,000 troops are stationed in Rome even patrolling outside The British Embassy - including 35 glamorous ladies and Italy's fabled crack paratrooper squad the Folgore.

The troops are not inthe sunshine but at railway and Metro stations, metro stops, near immigration detention centres.

The troops can only stop, search and question suspects the police have the powers of arrest. Soldiers were also stationed in other cities, such as Milan, where they patrolled outside the Duomo and also in Palermo, Florence, Naples and Turin.

Interior minister Roberto Maroni and his defence colleague Ignazio La Russo have both insisted the measure will help cut down crime, which has risen sharply in recent months.

The plans are for an initial 6 month deployment , with a further 6 months - and a budget of some 40 Mn Euros has been allocated.

This of course is not a new initiave a crime wave in Naples in 1997 was handled inthe same way but in a local fashion - Sicily also saw them after a Mafia bomb campaign in 1993-4.

Of course they bring back memories of the "years of lead" (anni di piombo ) in the mid 1970s, when the Red Brigades carried out a series of spectacular kidnappings including the murder of Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro.

It also brings memories of the NATO / CIA Gladio operations styarting with the starting with the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing by neofascists in Milan on 12 December 1969, killed 16 and injured 90.

This was balamed on the left wing - a loose journalistic classification for anarchists, communist and deniers of state authority - it was eventually owned up to by The neofascist Vincenzo Vinciguerra was finally arrested in the 1980s for the bombing, and confessed that this was a false flag attack attack had been intended to force the Italian state to declare a "state d' ergenza " Prime Minister Mariano Rumor did not rise to the bait and Vinciguerra explained how the Italaian SISMI military intelligence agency had protected him, allowing him to escape to Spain.. Neo-fascist terrorists from Ordine Nuovo were accused of the crime, along with a US naval officer David Carret, connected to the CIA and involved in political espionage.

Fo those who want to follow up the history of Gladio and the war of tension andthe role of the CIA the study Secret Warfare : Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies also the Italian Parliamentary investigation (in Italian) Il terrorismo, le stragi ed il contesto storico-politico1995 .

This report with the authority of the Italian Government details terrorist activities in Italy during what they then called the Cold War - Right-wing terrorist acts are exposed as the result of the activities of the Italian secret army Gladio. By operating outside the law and by not being subject to parliamentary control, Gladio undermined the functioning of the democratic system. In order to avoid such situations in future, the parliamentary commission requests reforms, including a reform of the state secrecy laws, the storage of administrative documents, and the intelligence services. (See Guradian report on this report)

Mariano Rumor would not introduce a "state d' ergenza " and as a result was bombed but he wasn't injured.

Berlusconi has introduced (without a whimper) a state of emergency and no doubt people like Dipartimento Studi Strategici Antiterrorismo, (DSSA) will be happy.

Italy works with NATO and the US on anti terrorism warfare in the Med.

Meanwhile the Italian Navy have ordered at a cost of 900 Mn Euros 2 new submarines from Fincantieri for building at their Muggiano shipyard in collaboration with the Germans - ( Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) called the “Todaro”, long type U212A which will be 56 meters long. Delivery is expected in 2015 and 2016.(See video reviewing facilities of this submarine here) The Todaro was delivered March 29, 2006.It is not known if these will include tube-launched cruise missiles - which is planned eventually for this class and may explain the extra length.

The Type 212 submarine, is said to be silent as it does not require to surface to re-charge batteries daily. The Todaro uses a hydrogen fuel cell that will allow it to run at low speeds for up to THREE WEEKS without recharging.

Three Dolphin class submarines built for the Israeli Navy are of a similar design, but using conventional diesel-electric propulsion.

The prototype of this fuel cell air-independent propulsion system.(AIP) equipped submarine diesel / electrically powered Taranto based , ITS Salvator Todaro (S526) was the first visit of an Italian submarine to the U.S. since World War II. Todaro's port visit with their crew of 27 was in support of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group joint task force exercise (JTFEX) and demonstrates the U.S. and Italian Navy's continued commitment to building a strong working relationship.

JTFEX is designed to test and evaluate a battle group's reactions to multiple wartime scenarios and is the final certification for a battle group preparing to deploy. (See also Mayport visit)

The Italian Navy since 2001 ensures a permanent NATO availability of an Italian unit in Mediterranean for the 'Active Endeavour's plans, to carry out naval operations of presence and control, support to the crisis' situations management and assistance in case of disasters. This was established after 9/11 and the Todaro acts under the operational control of Comsubsouth and is " deployed with surveillance and fight to the international terrorism purposes" in the Nediterranean.

Todaro represents the Italian contribution to NATO in the fight to international terrorism by sea. This type of submarine has useful caracteristics for such work as the Type 212 is capable of operating in as little as 20 metres of water, allowing it to come much closer to shore than most contemporary submarines. This gives it an advantage in covert operations, as SCUBA-equipped commandos operating from the boat can surface close to the beach and execute their mission more quickly and with less effort.

A notable design feature is the prismatic hull cross-section and smoothly faired transitions from the hull to the sail, improving the boat's stealth characteristics. The ship and internal fixtures are constructed of nonmagnetic materials, reducing significantly chances of it being detected by magnetometers or setting off magnetic naval mines.

Meanwhile it was announced at the end of May that the Todaro submarine will carry out an intense training program with American Navy to test the silence of the sub in which they are showing intense interest and has operating characteristics (silence)unmatched by any other NATO sub (other than the German Navy U212's).

Il Todaro, sommergibile della classe U 212, effettuerà un intenso programma addestrativo con la Marina statunitense per affinare le procedure operative nel settore subacqueo, svolgere una serie di prove per verificare le prestazioni dei sistemi e delle apparecchiature in diversi condizioni ambientali, infine interagire con gruppi navali complessi nei diversi scenari operativi.

At the end of the exercise they will end up in New York celebrating Columbus Day in October... probably also to swap memories of a NATO exercise in the 1970s when the (really small) legendary Italian diesel SSK Toti targeting a USN CV and surfacing less than a thousand yards smack dab in the middle of the CVBG (Carrier vessel Support goup) . All the American Admiral in charge could say is that they were "playing along". Then the incident was hushed up.

Which happened again recently when a lone South African submarine S101 -- or the SAS Manthatisi (german buuilt type 209-1400 commissioned in November 2005) left some Nato commanders with red faces as it "sank" all the ships of the Nato Maritime Group engaged in exercises with the South African Navy off the Cape coast.

It is also said that Norwegian Ula class SSKs have on several occations taken out entire Task Groups on exercises. During the NATO exercise Joint Winter in 2004, (pics here) one sub sank the entire invasion fleet and were ordered to leave the exercise for 72 hours.

Gangsters settle in in Kosovan Government Thaci promotes Fehim Mujota to Head the Kosovo Security Forces

The Kosovo Prime Minister and gangster Hashim Thaci has appointed a former guerrilla fighter as the breakaway state’s first defense minister.

Fehim Mujota has been appointed to the Ministry for Security Forces. Mujota, from the ranks of Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo(Partia Demokratike e Kosovës (PDK)(website), will oversee the establishment of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), a 2,500-strong formation that is to be trained by NATO.

Thaci's party emerged from the Kosovo Liberation Army, the ethnic Albanian separatist guerillas who fought Serbian forces during the territory’s 1998-1999 war. Mujota’s appointment comes less than two months after Kosovo’s constitution took effect.

Kosovo, whose ethnic Albanians account for around 90% of its population of two million, declared independence from Serbia in February and has been recognized by 43 countries including the United States and most of the European Union, but not Russia.

Parliamentary elections were held in Kosovo under UN control on 17 November 2007. After early results, Hashim Thaçi who was on course to gain 35 % of the vote, claimed victory for PDK, and stated his intention to declare independence. Thaçi formed a coalition with current President Fatmir Sejdiu's Democratic League which was in second place with 22% of the vote. The turnout at the election was particularly low with most Serbs refusing to vote.

This famous picture shows General Wesley Clark in a congratulatory handshake with Hashim Thaci, leader of the KLA, which under the noses of Genral "Janus" Jackson of KFOR had murdered or ethnically cleansed thousands of Kosovo Serbs and had destroyed more Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries than were destroyed in 500 years under the Ottoman Empire.

Next to Thaci is Bernard Kouchner, Chief U.N. administrator in Kosovo and now French Foreign Minister. British General Sir Michael "Janus" Jackson, and Agim Ceku, who commanded the Croatian Army in "Operation Storm" that ethnically cleansed 250,000 Serbs from Krajina and murdered thousands and who now commands the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), the thinly disguised successor to the KLA.

Agim Ceku has not been the subject of any ICTY indictment, he was briefly detained in Slovenia in October 2003 and in Hungary in March 2004 on the basis of an Interpol warrant issued by Serbia. Çeku was quickly released in both instances following pressure by UNMIK .

On 10 March 2006 Çeku was elected the first Prime Minister of Kosovo by the Kosovo Assembly. After being sworn in, he declared his support for Kosovo independence, whilst promising to protect the rights of the Serbian minority.

Çeku's appointment was backed by former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, who resigned in early 2005 after the ICTY had indicted him for war crimes. In his first one hundred days in office, Çeku prioritized the implementation of the UN-endorsed "Standards" for good governance and multi-ethnicity, earning praise from UN Kosovo chief Soren Jessen-Petersen and Contact Group countries.

He stated that he would found a new political party after stepping down as PM for Thaci to take over , disspelling rumours that he would join the Reformist Party ORA. However, he joined the Social Democratic Party of Kosovo on 10 April 2008, and did not rule out that the party would unify with ORA.

It should be noted that the KLA, with whom the US were allied, at one time was designated by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization. Of course, this is the same KLA about whom Senator Joe Lieberman said: "The United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same values and principles . . . Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." (Washington Post, Apr.28, 1999).

The Boy David Milliband has not thought to provide any guidance about the gangsters taking over the government of Kosovo or the UK Government official line on the matter....

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish