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Murphy's Law Article Index: Russia Invades Afghanistan Again

posted by eagle on October, 2010 as ANALYSIS / OPINION

Murphy's Law Article Index: 

Russia Invades Afghanistan Again

October 31, 2010: Recently, four Russian intelligence agents accompanied over 80 Americans (in nine helicopters) in a major raid on a heroin production facilities in Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. There, they seized nearly a ton of heroin, and destroyed four labs that were responsible for 5-10 percent of the heroin Afghan gangs produced each year. This was the culmination of increasingly close cooperation between American and Russian anti-drug organizations. The president of Afghanistan, whose family is on the drug gang payroll, protested the presence of Russians on these raids. This brings back painful memories for older Afghans, as during the 1980s, the Russians also attacked heroin production, because it helped support the Taliban, and its use was spreading to Russian soldiers in Afghanistan. Since then, it's become a popular belief in Russia that the Afghan heroin trade was created by the CIA as a way to weaken Russia.

For the last two years, Russia has been publicly demanding that the ...

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Strategy Page: Decay And Decline

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

Decay And Decline

October 30, 2010: The current government has made progress in fixing the economy and reducing the atmosphere of lawlessness. But corruption is still rampant, and the newly centralized government is seen as a return to autocratic rule of the past. The problem with autocratic strongmen is that they tend to stay in power long past the point where they are effective. The czars and communists both suffered from this, and it is feared that new "democratic dictatorship" will do the same.

Despite quality control and delivery problems, Russia continues to provide 60 percent of Indian arms imports over the last seven years. But because of those problems, Russia is only providing 45 percent of Indian arms exports over the next three years. Western suppliers are moving in, and Russia is having a hard time competing.

A new mayor in Moscow (the old one had been in power for over a decade, but had gone against the national leadership and was dismissed) has said he will ...

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Civil Georgia: Georgia To Make Media Ownership ‘Fully Transparent’

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

Georgia to Make Media Ownership ‘Fully Transparent’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Oct.'10 / 12:21

The Parliament will develop within next two weeks a draft law, which will make media ownership fully transparent, Davit Bakradze, the Georgian parliamentary chairman, said on October 26.

Lack of transparency of media ownership, in particular in respect of two largest broadcasters – Rustavi 2 and Imedi TV – has long been an issue of controversy in Georgia. The Georgian authorities’ have been so far reluctant to address the issue and PM Nika Gilauri rejected on October 7 that there were problems with transparency of media ownership in Georgia.

The Parliamentary Chairman said in live televised statement that the rules currently regulating media ownership in Georgia were in overall in line with the international standards, but added that more transparency was required.

"The society should have full and comprehensive information about media owners, who are behind [media organization] and how they are financed,” Davit Bakradze said.

"The initiative is part of our democratic reform package and it will be a step forward ...

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OpEdNews: The Root Cause Of Suicide Terrorism Is Occupation: New Study

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

The root cause of suicide terrorism is occupation: New study

October 29, 2010 at 17:00:13

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali (about the author) 

For OpEdNews: Abdus Sattar Ghazali - Writer

"New research provides strong evidence that suicide terrorism such as that of 9/11 is particularly sensitive to foreign military occupation, and not Islamic fundamentalism or any ideology. Although this pattern began to emerge in the 1980s and 1990s, a wealth of new data presents a powerful picture...In 2000, before the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, there were 20 suicide attacks around the world, and only one (against the USS Cole) was directed against Americans. In the last 12 months, by comparison, 300 suicide attacks have occurred, and over 270 were anti-American. We simply must face the reality that, no matter how well-intentioned, the current war on terror is not serving U.S. interests."

This is the conclusion reached by Professor Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman in their new book, "Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to ...

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IT: How Putin And The New Nobility Took Control Of Russia

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

How Putin and the New Nobility took control of Russia


Sat, Oct 30, 2010

POLITICS : The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB, by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, Public Affairs, 306pp, $26.95

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM in today’s Russia is a dangerous trade. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an advocacy group based in New York, 52 journalists have been killed in Russia since 1992 while carrying out their work. Many of the murders remained unresolved, the authorities apparently having little interest in bringing the culprits to justice. So it’s a brave reporter who probes the deepest recesses of Russia’s secret state and the seamless morphing of the KGB, the Soviet-era security service, into today’s all-powerful federal security service, the FSB.

Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan previously worked at the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, one of Russia’s last outposts of critical thinking and investigative journalism. Several of their former colleagues are among those murdered, including Anna Politovskaya, Russia’s best-known critic of the war in Chechnya. Soldatov ...

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