Roman Church admits the Pope’s Guilt? Joseph Ratzinger to Evade Justice and Hide out in the Vatican for his own legal immunity and “protection”
It is absolutely Bizarre that this Pope would resign – so much so that it has not happened in 600 years! While all Popes carry a certain level of debauchery and corruption, this Pope seems to be the only one feeling the heat? It seems like a sure sign that he was going off the reservation. Did Pope Benedict disobey his masters? Or… was he just so incompetent in his duty to unite all Catholics to bring in a New World Order that he had to be replaced? Is someone going after the Vatican Loot? (As they just did with Libya and Egypt?) We are pondering these questions. We should know the answers when the New Pope is announced. ~ Jack Blood
An Urgent Update from the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) – Brussels
In a statement to Reuters today, Vatican officials announced that Joseph Ratzinger will remain a permanent resident of Vatican City after his resignation. Doing so will offer him legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources said today
“His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless”.
This startling admission of guilt by the church is also a direct obstruction of justice, and lends more weight to the charge by the ITCCS and others that the Vatican has arranged with the Italian government to shield Ratzinger from criminal prosecution, in violation of international laws ratified by Italy.
The Vatican decided today to give permanent sanctuary to a proven war criminal by allowing Joseph Ratzinger to obstruct justice and evade prosecution for crimes against humanity. And the government of Italy is colluding in this abrogation of international law.
This decision validates our claims about the criminal conspiracy surrounding Ratzinger and his Vatican co-conspirators. It also makes it clear that the Vatican is a rogue power that is flaunting every law to conceal its own criminality.
In response, the ITCCS calls upon its affiliates and all people of conscience to use our upcoming Easter Reclamation Campaign to converge on Rome and the Vatican to force the extradition of Ratzinger from Vatican City, and place him and his accessories on trial for crimes against humanity.
Commencing Sunday, March 24, 2013, our activists and others will begin an escalating series of Catholic church occupations and seizures of church property to bring about Ratzinger’s extradition and reclaim stolen wealth from the criminal corporation known as Vatican Inc. – in the name of the legion of their victims, both living and dead.
.. and from Kevin Annett – The Rat Scurries Back to Vat!
Those whom the gods destroy, they first drive insane. Especially, it seems, in Rome.
Why would the oldest and wealthiest institution on our planet deliberately prove what its critics say about it, by first tossing their leader, a proven crook, out of his office after he’s threatened with arrest, and then giving him shelter to avoid prosecution? That’s the kind of panic and illogic displayed by a junior document-shredder, not a credible or wise body of men.
And that gives all of us hope.
Rome’s incredible admission that they can’t have the Pope stand trial has strengthened our cause and legitimacy enormously, proving that no matter how big is your guilty opponent, provoking him for long enough will cause him to destroy himself by his own fear and stupidity.
Protecting Ratzinger within the walls of the Vatican may halt justice for a moment, but it violates a basic rule of warfare, which is to never give your enemy a permanent focus for their attack. Ratzinger, the evil Emperor, now a permanent fixture in the Vatican? The absurdity of offering such an ongoing focus to the civilized world’s hatred of catholic criminality is also a sign that the church is adrift and improvising. But it also shows how genuinely worried is the Vtaican about the legal offensive mounted by our affiliates, lawyers for torture survivors, and the International Criminal Court.
The Vatican is pulling out all stops to keep Ratzinger out of court. Their loyal, one-man owned Italian media is assaulting the crap out of yours truly and our ITCCS these days, playing the “Deny, Distract and Discredit” strategy of any damage-controlling corporation.
Tottering Liz Windsor, aka Queen of England, is making a special and unprecedented trip to Rome on March 6 to kiss the ring, or other parts, of the new CEO of Vatican Inc. And Italian President Napolitano is meeting with President Obama today in Washington to undoubtedly line up more American backing for the Pontiff – not that Obama needs much encouraging, having stood loyally behind Ratzinger’s claim of “diplomatic immunity”.
But all to no avail, ultimately. When the Bloody Emperor stands naked, only our illusions keeps him protected and immune from the final accounting that is coming.
The tornado that followed my first exorcism outside the Vatican in 2009, and the lightning that struck it on the day of Benedict’s resignation, were not accidental. Joe Ratzinger should know from the history of his own former SS buddies that criminal institutions can run, but they can’t hide – even behind all the wealth and pomp in the world.
Egypt’s opposition is calling for more protests, after President Morsi insisted on ploughing ahead with a referendum on the new constitution, which is viewed by many as discriminatory.
Even his decision to scrap the decree which had granted him almost absolute power, was dismissed as a play on words.
The U.S. has made no comment on Egypt’s draft constitution, even though it’s criticised for undermining basic freedoms.
Geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl says Washington is secretly supporting Muslim Brotherhood to turn Egypt into an Islamic dictatorship.
RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air
16 Egyptian soldiers were killed in the attack of a security checkpoint at the Egyptian border. The militants tried to force their way through to Israel, but were repelled by border guards. Both Israel and Egypt blamed the attack on Islamist militants, who’ve become increasingly active in recent months. But Eric Draitser, a geopolitical analyst at Stopimperialism.org, believes the attack in Sinai works to Israel’s benefit.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Eleven people were killed in Cairo on Wednesday, medics said, when armed men attacked protesters demanding an end to army rule, prompting several candidates to suspend presidential campaigns and heightening doubts on the transition to democracy.
Leaders from Islamist and secular camps blamed the trouble on hired “thugs” doing the bidding of entrenched interests behind military rule and warned the generals not to use it as a pretext to delay their departure; the army reaffirmed its stated commitment to handing power to civilians by July.
Unidentified men armed with guns and batons attacked demonstrators who included hundreds of ultraconservative Salafi Islamists protesting at their candidate’s exclusion from the ballot for a first-round presidential vote on May 23 and 24.
For hours after the dawn raid, the security forces seemed unable or unwilling to put an end to the violence. As fighting raged near the Defence Ministry in the Abbasiya district of central Cairo, Reuters reporters saw men carrying guns, even a sword, while protesters threw rocks, bottles and petrol bombs.
Only in the afternoon did riot police arrive in large numbers to break up the bloody melee and the clashes abated.
Democracy campaigners blasted the military rulers of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took over 15 months ago as veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was brought down by mass street protests during the Arab Spring of uprisings.
“SCAF and the government unable to protect civilians or in cahoots with thugs. Egypt going down the drain,” tweeted Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Prize-winning former U.N. official.
Members of the SCAF met representatives of political parties and repeated a pledge to hold elections on time. Politicians who were present said they even offered to return to barracks over a month before the July deadline – in the albeit unlikely event that one of the 13 first-round candidates wins outright in May.
A runoff between the top two contenders would be in June.
However, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s biggest Islamist group which dominates a parliament elected in December, refused to join talks with the generals, saying Wednesday’s violence showed the army was trying to “obstruct the handover of power”.
The Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi suspended campaigning for two days, saying they would be mourning the dead. Several political groups said they would call on followers to mass in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday.
“I think it will be the practical response to all of what is happening now, be it the blood being spilt or the foot-dragging in the defined date for handing over power,” said senior Brotherhood official Essam el-Erian.
The other leading Islamist candidate, Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, suspended campaigning indefinitely in protest at the way the authorities had handled the clashes, a spokesman said.
Abol Fotouh and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa, the frontrunner among those with past ties to Mubarak, are seen as the most likely candidates to contest a head-to-head runoff.
On Twitter, Abol Fotouh said he could not now take part in an unprecedented televised debate with Moussa planned for Thursday “when today our youths are drowning in their blood”.
The hosting TV channel also said the event was delayed.
Moussa said: “The number of dead and injured foreshadows a disaster and it is unacceptable for security agencies to stand and watch as clashes continue and blood is shed.”
Medical and judicial sources gave a toll of 11 dead and over 160 wounded. The Interior Ministry said seven had died.
Ahmed Shahir, 24, a pharmacology student working at a makeshift clinic set up the scene, said men he described as thugs fired shots at an encampment of protesters including supporters of Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the Salafi cleric barred from the election, and members of pro-democracy youth movements.
Local residents joined in the attack on the protesters.
Among the protesters were hardcore soccer fans and diehard secular revolutionaries skilled in street combat who dashed back and forth across debris-scattered streets, hurling rocks.
Wounded men were hauled away and others filled bottles with gasoline to throw at their opponents. Shots rang out and a Reuters journalist saw at least one attacker wielding a sword.
“Where is the army? Why are they not stopping these people?” cried a bystander.
The army, hailed as national saviour when it rallied behind protesters last year to oust fellow military man Mubarak, sent troops to the scene. But some armoured vehicles then beat a retreat when protesters attacked an officer who was taking video footage. Riot police later arrived in larger numbers and separated the two sides. The violence subsided by the afternoon.
Days of street violence also preceded the start of a staggered parliamentary election in November. That vote, Egypt’s first democratic election after six decades of rule by a succession of military autocrats, was mostly smooth.
Official campaigning for the presidential election began this week under a cloud, with the Brotherhood demanding that the army sack the cabinet of Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri.
Parliament suspended its work for several days, saying the government was failing to respect its decisions.
Many Egyptians suspect the generals, who have built up vast economic and business interests over the years, will seek a strong influence even after the new president assumes power.
The latest unrest, limited to Cairo, was on too small a scale so far to influence the election, said Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid, a political science professor at Cairo University.
“These are small groups,” he said, adding that the violence could harden public attitudes against continued military rule.
IMF and other MF’s – Vultures picking the Bones of Freedom and national sovereignty
DUBAI (Reuters) – Egypt needs to do more to secure a $3.2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, including gathering broad political support and identifying other sources to finance its funding gap of up to $12 billion, an IMF official said on Wednesday.
Masood Ahmed, IMF director for the Middle East, told Reuters that Egypt still needed to do “some technical work” to finalize its economic programme.
Asked whether he thought there was enough domestic political support for the programme, Ahmed said: “I think that process (of getting political support) is advancing but I do not think we are at the point yet where we could move forward.”
“There’s still more work to be done to close down those three areas,” he said, referring to the economic programme, political support and alternative financial sources.
“We are ready as soon as pillars are there for that programme to move forward relatively quickly,” Ahmed said after presenting the regional economic outlook in Dubai.
Egypt and the IMF are in discussions on a $3.2 billion loan programme, which Egypt had requested earlier this year but which had been opposed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.
Egypt’s $236 billion economy has been laid low by 18 months of political turmoil.
Last week, parliament overwhelmingly rejected the army-appointed cabinet’s plan to cut state spending, hampering the government’s efforts to secure IMF help needed to avoid a fiscal crisis and potential currency devaluation.
“Egypt has pressing economic and financial challenges and that’s why we believe it is important to move forward now to finalize the content of the programme, to get support for it and to mobilize the financing for it,” Ahmed said.
The country’s finance minister said last week the government expected the Fund’s aid to start flowing from May.
The IMF is insisting that any agreement on financing is backed by Egypt’s government and political partners ahead of presidential elections later this month. This would ensure the deal would outlast the political transition following the polls.
The IMF expects Egypt’s inflation-adjusted economic growth to ease to 1.5 percent this year, which would be the slowest pace since a 0.3 percent expansion in 1992 and down from 1.8 percent in 2011. Its fiscal gap should widen to 10 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, from 9.9 percent last year.
Egypt has said it expects Saudi Arabia to deposit $1 billion at the Egyptian central bank by the end of April as part of a $2.7 billion package to support Egypt’s battered finances.
Egypt’s foreign reserves have tumbled by more than $20 billion to $15 billion during a year of political turmoil following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
Ahmed also said the IMF would consider further aid for Yemen after approving a $93.7 million loan for the poorest country in the Arab world in April, which was aimed at addressing an urgent balance of payments deficit.
“It’s hard to say yet (what the financing needs will be). But clearly the financing requirements for Yemen to embark on the programme of expanding employment and the economy will be significantly larger than the current phase of how to stabilize the economy after the crisis,” he said.
Yemeni officials have previously said the public sector would play a key role in job creation as the country attempts to stave off economic collapse after 15 months of political turmoil that saw President Ali Abdullah Saleh forced from office.
“In that context, that they move to the medium-term strategy the IMF would also consider how to support and accompany them during that process, including by providing financial support over a longer-term period and with amounts that are likely to be larger than the amount, we had so far provided for the immediate stabilization,” he said.
“The fiscal situation deteriorated significantly, this year, we believe it will stabilize,” Ahmed said.
Yemen’s $34 billion economy is seen shrinking 0.9 percent in real terms this year after a 10.5 percent plunge in 2011, the worst contraction since North and South Yemen unified in 1990, the IMF’s updated regional outlook showed on Thursday.
The IMF did not provide economic growth forecasts and 2011 estimates for Syria, rocked by a 14-month old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, but Ahmed said that its economy was likely to contract this year as it did in 2011.
“It (the impact of sanctions) is hard to judge because it depends a bit on how rigorously the sanctions can be forced and depends on the shape and course of the conflict, which is hard to tell, and how it is going to affect production and what help if any Syria will be able to get,” he said.
“But nevertheless the best estimate is that there is going to be a continuous contraction of the Syrian economy this year.”
We get major-media reports from Syria with increasing frequency. What’s wrong with these reports are that they are generally devoid of power analysis.
This recent New York Times article, for example, headlined “Neighbors Said to Be at Violent Odds in Syrian Crackdown,” is based almost solely on accounts of refugees interviewed in Lebanon. Here’s the lead paragraph:
Sunni Muslims who have fled Syria described a government crackdown that is more pervasive and more sectarian than previously understood, with civilians affiliated with President Bashar al-Assad’s minority religious sect shooting at their onetime neighbors as the military presses what many Sunnis see as a campaign to force them to flee their homes and villages in some sections of the country.
In other words, ethnic cleansing, perhaps a precursor to the kinds of large-scale horrors we saw in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. The inevitable conclusion is that any decent person would support international efforts to stop this. Based on past history, in Libya, in Iraq, and elsewhere, that would evolve quickly into military intervention. In fact, on Sunday, the pace quickened. In a meeting Sunday in Istanbul, the US and allies began actively moving toward direct intervention. Arab nations agreed to pay $100 million to rebels and the Obama administration to send them communications equipment.
Yet, the Syria coverage tends to focus only on the misery, not the cause: an uprising intended to overthrow a government and a ruling class. If indeed the Syrian government is arming one group in the country, that is because the government is besieged—and those being armed are members of the same minority sect as the ruling Assad clan. Syria managed for decades without internecine warfare. It is the uprising itself that has massively exacerbated animosity and fear between religious groups.
But the Times’s account offers virtually no analysis of the background to the conflict. Instead, we get awkward, rudimentary disclaimers, in case the reporting turns out to be way off-base:
It is hard to evaluate all of the refugees’ claims because in the Syrian conflict, the longest and bloodiest of the Arab revolts, each side blames the other for sectarian division.
That’s a highly misleading statement because it elides the central issue: who is promoting the revolt, and why? The most authoritative and self-confident of the sources quoted tend to be military officers and officials defecting from the government. Their comments should not be taken simply as independent testimony, since they are, de facto, part of an organized rebel effort to justify the coming Western intervention on their side.
Because the conflict in Syria coincided with the wave of uprisings in other Arab countries—the so-called Arab Spring—does it necessarily follow that the nature of the Syrian conflict is identical with the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, etc.? Although the media, by and large have failed to note any real differences, they are enormous. Tunisia and Egypt were largely authentic, domestic uprisings, reflecting broad dissent, and came about with no foreign military intervention. Libya was a cynical attempt by foreign powers to ride long-simmering tribal animosities and foster a purportedly domestic uprising that was actually planned, managed and staffed covertly by those outside countries’ militaries and intelligence services. See this article we published on that subject.
Clearly, proper media coverage would focus on the history of Syria, the proximal cause of the uprising, the legitimacy or lack thereof of the authorities, the agendas of the various rebel factions. We need to know why, if that country has long been ruled by a minority, only now are we seeing serious anti-government agitation. In short, we need geopolitical context. And we need to ask why some advocates of open revolution are characterized as victims, as in this case, while other rebels elsewhere—in, say, France or Saudi Arabia—are characterized as terrorists?
Besides, while aspirations to greater freedom are right and proper, not all the people trying to overthrow odious regimes are necessarily pure-minded freedom fighters. And the result after the fall is often not what was promised.
As important is that we look at our own system objectively. In the United States, for example, we pay homage to democracy every four years, but isn’t our political system, like that of these Middle Eastern countries, increasingly dominated by a fairly small number of very rich people? The average American, has very little understanding of what is really going on, or why—either in their own country or in their name in distant lands—and tends to respond to propaganda, much of it funded by this same small circle of interests.
But if enough Americans really got the picture, concluded the system was rigged, and began taking to the streets, we know that the authorities would, just like the Syrians, the Saudis, and so on, clamp down with force. Oh, wait: that’s already happened, all over the country, in myriad ways. We could start, for example, with the aggressive response to various Occupy encampments.
As for why the West is suddenly so passionate about human rights in this particular country, while almost totally ignoring the issue in other places, like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, some possible explanations immediately come to mind.
With American troops pulling out of Iraq just as foreign oil companies step up their production, it is of paramount importance to have a military presence nearby to protect those investments. And what country is right next door?
The very fact that Syria does not harbor major oil reserves is exactly what allows the “humanitarian” argument to prevail unchallenged. It is what allows news organizations to act as if no business or strategic concerns are in play. Importantly, Syria has been a longtime ally of Iran, and therefore removing it has been part of the larger plan to weaken the Tehran regime’s regional influence. And because Syria adjoins the strategically crucial Israel, Lebanon and Turkey—it is a dream hub for bases.
Long before Sunday’s meeting in Istanbul, we had constant hints that the leading NATO countries, along with key allies such as the Saudis (closely tied to the Syrian Sunni opposition), were deeply involved in priming the pump behind this uprising. To continue to pretend, as the media has now done for many months, that this is simply a one-sided tragedy to be ameliorated through eventual military action (which if recent history is any guide will only lead to much more human misery)—well, is that anything less than journalistic malpractice?
By Mario Andrade
March 22, 2012
How much did French authorities know about Mohamed Merah, the confessed author of the Toulouse and Montauban shootings? After the cold blooded shooting of four Jewish civilians and three soldiers, the shocking tragedy leaves more unanswered questions, including the questions of a mother who does not understand why the authorities did not take seriously the threats of this young Islamist, who had beaten her children after he failed to recruit them.
In an interview with the French news agency, Le Télégramme , she calls herself Aisha. She does not understand why the French police did not stop the young Frenchman of Algerian origin Mohamed Merah, who confessed to seven murders, including the killing of three children in front of a Jewish school. During this interview, Aisha said that in June of 2010, her then 15-year-old son had been invited by Merah to his apartment to watch “Al-Qaeda videos,” that included images of women being executed by being shot in the head, and men being decapitated.
The day before her 15-year-old son was attacked by Merah, the teenager was riding around with him in his car. Her son says that Merah would listen to a CD believed to be songs and calls to go into battle. “He drove my son to his home, the same home where he was entrenched when the police arrived. In his apartment, there was a huge Koran in his living room and several large swords hanging on the wall. He then forced my son to watch Al-Qaeda videos in his room from 5PM till midnight,” she said.
“I filed a police complaint against Mohamed Merah twice and insisted (to authorities) during many occasions… for nothing,” says the mother and witness.
In her account, Aisha said that Merah retaliated against her son for having told her mother about the video images he had seen in the apartment. “He came out to the street wearing a black robe with a hood, carrying a big sword, shouting ‘Allah Akbar.’ He then hit my son, and my daughter tried to intervene. However, he struck her too. There were many people, but nobody did anything,” said Aisha, who after filing a complaint (against Merah) was also beaten and threatened by him, according to her lawyer.
Aisha kept all evidence related to this incident, including, photos, medical certificates, and her daughter’s bloody dress, but for some reason, no action was taken against Merah. The incident, however, was reported by some local media.
“During the attack, he accused me of being an atheist and had to pay like all the French. He kept repeating that he was Mujahedeen and he would die as a martyr, and would erase from the earth all those who kill Muslims …” according to her account.
One peculiar detail that emerges from the interview is that Aisha mentioned that Mohamed’s older brother, Abdelkader, was the real “brain” of the operation (Mohamed’s handler). “He filled his head with ideas. He was the one who traveled frequently abroad, particularly to Egypt,” she recalls.
She mentions that Merah used to be an ordinary boy until a group of ‘extremists’ came to the neighborhood, insinuating that he had been brainwashed by them. She also describes that there were some inconsistencies with Merah’s behavior: ‘While there were rumors of him going to Afghanistan, sometimes he would wear traditional clothing, and sometimes he was seen wearing western attire, riding a motorcycle, with his hair dyed blond and a fake Maori-style tattoo on his head,” she said.
“Why, despite all my information, Mohamed Merah was not arrested? We even saw him last week, threatening us. I told the police and the prefecture several times about this series of incidents, and look at where we are now. This is incomprehensible and outrageous,” said the woman.
03-07-2012 • www.truthdig.com – By Chris Hedges
By Chris Hedges
The battle for justice in the Middle East is our battle. It is part of the vast, global battle against the 1 percent. It is about living rather than dying. It is about communicating rather than killing. It is about love rather than hate. It is part of the great battle against the corporate forces of death that reign over us—the fossil fuel industry, the weapons manufacturers, the security and surveillance state, the speculators on Wall Street, the oligarchic elites who assault our poor, our working men and women, our children, one in four of whom depend on food stamps to eat, the elites who are destroying our ecosystem with its trees, its air and its water and throwing into doubt our survival as a species.
What is being done in Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison, is a pale reflection of what is slowly happening to the rest of us. It is a window into the rise of the global security state, our new governing system that the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism.” It is a reflection of a world where the powerful are not bound by law, either on Wall Street or in the shattered remains of the countries we invade and occupy, including Iraq with its hundreds of thousands of dead. And one of the greatest purveyors of this demented ideology of violence for the sake of violence, this flagrant disregard for the rule of domestic and international law, is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.
I spent seven years in the Middle East. I was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I lived for two of those seven years in Jerusalem. AIPAC does not speak for Jews or for Israel. It is a mouthpiece for right-wing ideologues, some of whom hold power in Israel and some of whom hold power in Washington, who believe that because they have the capacity to war wage they have a right to wage war, whose loyalty, in the end, is not to the citizens of Israel or Palestine or the United States but the corporate elites, the defense contractors, those who make war a business, those who have turned ordinary Palestinians, Israelis and Americans, along with hundreds of millions of the world’s poor, into commodities to exploit, repress and control.
We have not brought freedom, democracy and the virtues of Western civilization to the Muslim world. We have brought state terrorism, massive destruction, war and death. There is no moral distinction between a drone strike and the explosion of the improvised explosive device, between a suicide bombing and a targeted assassination. We have used the iron fist of the American military to implant our oil companies in Iraq, occupy Afghanistan and ensure that the Muslim world remains submissive and compliant. We have supported a government in Israel that has carried out egregious war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza and is daily stealing larger and larger portions of Palestinian land. We have established a network of military bases, some the size of small cities, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait, and we have secured basing rights in the Gulf states of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. We have expanded our military operations to Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Egypt, Algeria and Yemen. And no one believes, except perhaps us, that we have any intention of leaving.
F. William Engdahl is a frequent guest on the Jack Blood Show, and is scheduled to join us this coming Thursday March 1, 2012 – 11am EDT.
Washington clearly wants ‘finito’ with Russia’s Putin as in basta! or as they said in Egypt last spring, Kefaya–enough!. Hillary Clinton and friends have apparently decided Russia’s prospective next president, Vladimir Putin, is a major obstacle to their plans. Few however understand why. Russia today, in tandem with China and to a significant degree Iran, form the spine, however shaky, of the only effective global axis of resistance to a world dominated by one sole superpower.
|Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, thinking, “what the hell is she up to now?”|
On December 8 several days after election results for Russia’s parliamentary elections were announced, showing a sharp drop in popularity for Prime Minister Putin’s United Russia party, Putin accused the United States and specifically Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of fueling the Russian opposition protesters and their election protests. Putin stated, “The (US) Secretary of State was quick to evaluate the elections, saying that they are unfair and unjust even before she received materials from the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (the OSCE international election monitors-w.e.) observers.”
|Pussy Riot: one of many clench-fisted youth mobs that might be used this Winter to help solve Washington’s ‘Putin problem’ in Russia.|
Major western media chose either to downplay the Putin statement or to focus almost entirely on the claims of an emerging Russian opposition movement. A little research shows that, if anything, Putin was downplaying the degree of brazen US Government interference into the political processes of his country. In this case the country is not Tunisia or Yemen or even Egypt. It is the world’s second nuclear superpower, even if it might still be an economic lesser power. Hillary is playing with thermonuclear fire.
|western election monitors always find “irregularities”…that’s what their paid to do ….duh….template!|
The NED is also financing key parts of the Russian “independent” polling and election monitoring, a crucial part of being able to claim election fraud. They finance in part the Regional Civic Organization in Defense of Democratic Rights and Liberties “GOLOS.” According to the NED Annual Report the funds went “to carry out a detailed analysis of the autumn 2010 and spring 2011 election cycles in Russia, which will include press monitoring, monitoring of political agitation, activity of electoral commissions, and other aspects of the application of electoral legislation in the long-term run-up to the elections.”
|Moscow-based Levada Center|
In September, 2011, a few weeks before the December elections the NED financed a Washington invitation-only conference featuring the Russian “independent” polling organization, the Levada Center. According to NED’s own website Levada, another recipient of NED money,  had done a series of opinion polls, a standard method used in the West to analyze the feelings of citizens. The polls profiled “the mood of the electorate in the run up to the Duma and presidential elections, perceptions of candidates and parties, and voter confidence in the system of ‘managed democracy’ that has been established over the last decade.”
One of the featured speakers at that Washington conference was Vladimir Kara-Murza, member of the federal council of Solidarnost (“Solidarity”), Russia’s democratic opposition movement. He is also “advisor to Duma opposition leader Boris Nemtsov” according to NED. Another speaker came from the right-wing neo-conservative Hudson Institute. 
|Creative destruction: the main specialty of the NED|
Helping youth engage in political activism is precisely what the same NED did in Egypt over the past several years in the lead up to the toppling of Mubarak. The same NED was instrumental by informed accounts in the US-backed “Color Revolutions” in 2003-2004 in Ukraine and Georgia that brought US-backed pro-NATO surrogates to power. The same NED has been active in promoting “human rights” in Myanmar, in Tibet, and China’s oil-rich Xinjiang province. 
It couldn’t sound more noble or high-minded. However, they prefer to leave out their own true history. In the early 1980’s CIA director Bill Casey convinced President Ronald Reagan to create a plausibly private NGO, the NED, to advance Washington’s global agenda via other means than direct CIA action. It was a part of the process of “privatizing” US intelligence to make their work more “effective.” Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, said in a Washington Post interview in 1991, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” Interesting. The majority of funds for NED come from US taxpayers through Congress. It is in every way, shape and form a US Government intelligence community asset.
Putin’s well-rehearsed opposition
It’s also instructive to look at the leading opposition figures who seem to have stepped forward in Russia in recent days. The current opposition “poster boy” favorite of Russian youth and especially western media is Russian blogger Alexei Navalny whose blog is titled LiveJournal. Navalny has featured prominently as a quasi-martyr of the protest movement after spending 15 days in Putin’s jail for partaking in a banned protest. At a large protest rally on Christmas Day December 25 in Moscow, Navalny, perhaps intoxicated by seeing too many romantic Sergei Eisenstein films of the 1917 Russian Revolution, told the crowd, “I see enough people here to take the Kremlin and the White House (Russia’s Presidential home-w.e.) right now…”
Along with Navalny, key actors in the anti-Putin protest movement are centered around Solidarnost which was created in December 2008 by Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and others. Nemtsov is hardly one to protest corruption. According to Business Week Russia of September 23, 2007, Nemtsov introduced Russian banker Boris Brevnov to Gretchen Wilson, a US citizen and an employee of the International Finance Corporation, a financing arm of the World Bank. Wilson and Brevnov married. With the help of Nemtsov Wilson managed to privatize Balakhna Pulp and Paper mill at the giveaway price of just $7 million. The enterprise was sucked dry and then sold to the Wall Street-Swiss investment bank, CS First Boston bank. The annual turnover of the mill was reportedly $250 million. 
|Boris Nemtsov and his Western cohort|
Nemtsov also took money from jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 1999 when the latter was using his billions to try to buy the Russian parliament or Duma. In 2004 Nemtsov met with exiled billionaire oligarch Boris Berezovsky in a secret gathering with other exiled Russian tycoons. When Nemtsov was detailed by Russian authorities for allegations of foreign funding of his new political party, “For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption,” US Senators John McCain and Joe Liberman and Mike Hammer of the Obama National Security Council came to support of Nemtsov. 
|Former Czech President Vaclav Havel (center left) and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov (right) stand with Berel Rodal (center right), vice chairman of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), one of the central organizations within Washington’s multifaceted “regime change” operational infrastructure.|
In 2009 Kasparov and Boris Nemtsov met with no less than Barack Obama to discuss Russia’s opposition to Putin at the US President’s personal invitation at Washington’s Ritz Carlton Hotel. Nemtsov had called for Obama to meet with opposition forces in Russia: “If the White House agrees to Putin’s suggestion to speak only with pro-Putin organizations… this will mean that Putin has won, but not only that: Putin will become be assured that Obama is weak,” he said. During the same 2009 US trip Nemtsov was invited to speak at the New York Council on Foreign Relations, perhaps the most influential US foreign policy think-tank. Significantly, not only has the US State Department and US-backed political NGOs such as NED poured millions into building an anti-Putin coalition inside Russia. The President personally has intervened into the process.
A prominent Egyptian presidential candidate was wounded in an apparent carjacking late Thursday in Cairo, his campaign manager and police said, underscoring an increase in crime a year after a country wide uprising.
The Islamist Abdelmoneim Abul Fotouh suffered a concussion after three men armed with rifles assaulted him on Cairo’s ring road and stole his car, his campaign manager Ali al-Bahnasawy told reporters.
His campaign said in a statement that Abul Fotouh was wounded by blows to the head with a rifle butt as he tried to defend his driver. The driver was also wounded, a police official said without detailing his injuries.
Abul Fotouh was returning from a campaign event north of the capital when the apparent robbery happened.
Abul Fotouh, a former senior member of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood movement, is considered one of the more popular candidates in the election, which is set to take place by the end of June.
Police have reported a spike in crime after an uprising overthrew president Hosni Mubarak one year ago, and which also targeted police stations across the country.
Drivers in particular complain of an increase in carjackings on Cairo’s ring road.
CAIRO (Reuters) – State-run newspapers splashed accusations of a U.S. plan to spread “anarchy” in Egypt across their front pages on Tuesday, escalating a dispute Washington says must be resolved to ensure their continued military cooperation.
Based on remarks by a government minister, the headlines marked another low in the crisis between Washington and Cairo triggered by the investigation into U.S.-based non-governmental organisations that has led to criminal charges against Americans who have been prevented from leaving the country.
“America is behind the anarchy,” declared the front page of Al Gomhuria newspaper. “American funding aims to spread anarchy in Egypt,” read the front page of Al Ahram newspaper. The papers are two of Egypt’s most widely distributed dailies.
The headlines were based on comments made in October to the investigating judges by Minister of International Cooperation Faiza Abul Naga – but which only came to light on Monday when they were released to state news agency MENA.
Like Al Ahram and Al Gomhuria, MENA is part of a state-run media loyal to the government which has long been a tool for shaping public opinion in favour of Egypt’s establishment.
In her remarks, Abul Naga linked what she said was a surge in U.S. funding for civil society groups last year to an attempt to steer the course of the post-Hosni Mubarak transition in “a direction that realized American and Israeli interests.”
“All the indications show that there was a clear desire to abort any chance for Egypt to emerge as a modern democratic state with a strong economy,” she was quoted as saying, adding that that would be a threat to “American and Israeli interests”.
Egypt insists the NGO case is a judicial matter and that all NGOs, regardless of origin, must heed Egyptian law.
But the timing of the statement’s release is as telling as its contents, coming just days after Egypt’s military ruler appeared to try to contain the tension that now threatens $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid to Cairo.
General Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military officer as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday he had tried to convince Egypt’s ruling generals of the gravity of the case.
“I spent about a day and a half in conversation with them encouraging them in the strongest possible terms to resolve this so that our mil-to-mil (military-to-military) relationship could continue,” Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“I’m convinced, potentially they were underestimating the impact of this on our relationship. When I left there, there was no doubt that they understood the seriousness of it,” Dempsey said of his visit to Cairo over the weekend.
The spat is one of the worst in more than 30 years of close U.S.-Egyptian ties and has complicated Washington’s efforts to establish relations with the military council that took power from Mubarak after his overthrow in a popular revolt a year ago.
U.S. officials have called for the travel ban to be lifted, and members of the U.S. Congress have warned the dispute could endanger aid to Egypt.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday voted to urge Egypt to “immediately cease its intimidation and prosecution” of democracy activists. The panel’s chairman, Senator John Kerry, a Democrat, said lawmakers were “sending a signal that American patience is being tested” in Egypt.
“We cannot continue to give aid to a country that is detaining illegally our U.S. citizens,” Senator Rand Paul, a Republican, said in a separate speech on the Senate floor.
While the White House announced plans on Monday to keep aid to Egypt level with that of recent years, a State Department spokeswoman said that “if we cannot resolve the current impasse it could have implications for this relationship and for our ability to disburse this money.”
Dempsey said he was opposed to proposed legislation in Congress that would break off military relations and cut off aid. “My personal military judgment is that would be a mistake,” he said.
Senator John McCain, the top Republican on the panel, assured Dempsey he was seeking ways to avoid Congress adopting the legislation. But he said he hoped Egyptian officials understood the situation was unacceptable to the United States.
“Our relationship with Egypt is vital, but the fact is that the welfare of our citizens (is) even more vital,” McCain said.
Nineteen U.S. citizens are among 43 foreign and local activists barred from leaving Egypt because of the investigation. An undisclosed number of U.S. citizens have sought shelter in the U.S. Embassy.
Accusations against the activists include working for organizations not properly registered in Egypt and receiving foreign funds illegally.
The NGOs involved say they sought to register with the authorities but their requests were not followed up. Many point out that they have operated openly in Egypt for years.
The U.S. State Department said its lawyers in Cairo were translating and reviewing a copy of the formal charge sheet detailing the accusations against NGO staffers, including the Americans subject to the travel ban.
“However the chief judge has not yet assigned the case to a criminal court, nor has any trial date been set,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
“So in this period we are continuing to work as hard as we can with the Egyptian government to work our way through this, and we continue to insist that our people have done nothing wrong and that they ought to be allowed to come home,” she said.
In her remarks to investigators, Abul Naga detailed her doubts about the work of organizations involved, including the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, both loosely linked to the two main U.S. political parties.
She said U.S. funding to civil society groups in Egypt had shot up following the uprising against Mubarak.
“Civil society forms a vital part of any democratic society,” said a Western diplomat. “Demonizing the sector in this manner is deeply unhelpful and adds to the growing anti-foreigner discourse which risks damaging Egypt’s international standing and reputation.”
Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid, a political analyst, saw the latest coverage of the NGO story as an escalation. “I don’t know if it is intended or it reflects a state of confusion in the conduct of domestic and foreign policies in Egypt,” he said.