Co-editors: John Heathcote Seán Mac Mathúna
Consulting editor: Themistocles Hoetis
Field Correspondent: Allen Hougland
McCain's adviser stirs it up in Georgia
Human Rights in Georgia
European war planned by Bush regime since 2004
Techno weaponry designed to defeat public demonstration.
It has been admitted (on Channel 4 News, 26th August 2008) that the Bush regime has warships full of arms steaming into the Georgian port of Poti, which is still held by the Russian Army.
Mixeil Saakašvili, the Georgian President has been linked to the senior foreign policy adviser of John McCain, the Republican Presidential candidate. An article in Thinkprogress records the involvement in the crisis of the Republican elite - and an interesting mention of a certain Sen. Hilary Clinton, for those of us who believe that republicrats are two sides of the same coin .
Sen. John McCain’s top foreign policy adviser prepped his boss for an April 17 phone call with the president of Georgia and then helped the presumptive Republican presidential nominee prepare a strong statement of support for the fledgling republic.
The day of the call, a lobbying firm [ Orion Strategies ] partly owned by the adviser, Randy Scheunemann, signed a $200,000 contract to continue providing strategic advice to the Georgian government in Washington.
The article continues;
– In March 2004, Scheunemann signed his first contract worth $150,000 with the Georgian government to provide “advice and consulting services concerning Georgia’s full integration into Western institutions.” By the time the contract was signed, McCain had become a favorite target of Scheunemann’s lobbying.
– As Scheunemann’s year-long contract with Georgia neared expiration, McCain and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) nominated Saakashvili for the Nobel Peace Prize, despite his mixed human and civil rights record. On January 25, 2005, McCain and Clinton wrote that Saakashvili had “won popular support for the universal values of democracy, individual liberty, and civil rights.”
– On March 15, 2005 — just weeks after being nominated for the Nobel Prize — Saakashvili’s government signed a new 12-month contract with Scheunemann, worth nearly a quarter-million dollars.
Human Rights Watch reports on Georgia include an interesting overview of Georgian - US military 'co-operation' - always a prequel to colonisation and interference in regional affairs;
The relationship between the U.S. and Georgia continues to strengthen. In May 2004, Georgia was deemed eligible to apply for a further large aid package under the Millennium Challenge Account. In November, Saakashvili stated that as a result of Georgia’s engagement in peacekeeping operations, the U.S. would fund a new, large scale military assistance program. Just prior to this, Georgia agreed to increase the number of Georgian troops in the coalition forces in Iraq from 159 to 850. The U.S. reconfirmed a commitment to combat terrorism in Georgia. A State Department spokesperson claimed that past U.S. military assistance had been successful in reducing a terrorist threat in the Pankisi Valley, but failed to mention human rights concerns associated with past operations there. In 2002, the U.S. assisted in training Georgian security services for counter-terrorism operations in the Pankisi Valley. That year, Georgian security services carried out operations there that breached international human rights standards.
A report in the Guardian (Tuesday January 6 2004) reveals that the original architect of the current crisis is the man who has spent the last 40 years selling death to dictators, and destabilising regions across the world. It is no surprise that the private pork-barrel didn't stop with poison gas sales to Saddam and Blackwater's mercenary army in Iraq. . .
After a Georgian appeal for support to the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, during a visit last month, a team of 20-30 private defence consultants are already in Tbilisi. Their employer, a Washington security firm, Cubic, has a three-year $15m contract with the Pentagon to support all aspects of the Georgian ministry of defence.
A senior western diplomat said: "One of the goals is to make the army units capable of seizing and defending a given objective . . . ."
A Georgian security official said the Cubic team would also improve protection of the pipeline that will take Caspian oil from Baku to Turkey through Georgia. Georgia has already expressed its gratitude by agreeing to send 500 troops to Iraq.
The western diplomat said the US was also considering creating in Georgia a "forward operational area", where equipment and fuel could be stored, similar to support structures in the Gulf.
The two moves would combine to give Washington a "virtual base" - stored equipment and a loyal Georgian military - without the diplomatic inconvenience of setting up a permanent base . . . . '
We are given to believe that Mixeil Saakašvili is a great democratic liberal, proudly standing up for the people of 'plucky little Georgia'. It was clear from his first days in power that Saakašvili was opposed by a large number of his own people , who had rightly seen him as the willing servant of another, more distant imperial power. A power that would use Georgia, like so many other little nations before, to provoke a regional conflict with no collateral damage . . . to their interests
"Similar such guns are also used by the Iraq police," the Russia Today piece claims. That, I'm not so sure about. But the sonic systems -- which can also be used as a long-range "hailer," projecting sound far, far away -- have been tested out by American troops in Iraq. They were employed by the New York Police Department during the last Republican National Convention -- and by military police during Hurricane Katrina. A cruise ship even used a sonic blast to ward off Somali pirates in 2005.
Documents acquired for Wired News using the Freedom of Information Act claim that most of the radiation (83 percent) is instantly absorbed by the top layer of the skin, heating it rapidly.
Torture in detention and due process violations remain widespread in Georgia. There are continuing reports of the practice of isolating detainees in circumstances that amount to incommunicado detention, and restricting access to defence counsel. Judges sometimes ignore torture allegations. There were reports of several deaths in custody under suspicious circumstances, an increase from previous years. Reports of torture in detention include beatings, cigarette burns, threats of rape, and the use of electric shock. The authorities prosecute the perpetrators of torture in some cases. However, in many cases, the perpetrators are not brought to justice.
During the briefing, Saakashvili noted that he is in constant contact with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He promised that U.S. warships would be docking in Georgian ports within a few days to make sure they remain open. . . .Saakashvili said he is aware of problems with supplying the pilotless drones that his army ordered from Israeli companies, but not of the stopping of any other shipments of military aid.
haaretz.com 13:15 14/08/2008
TOP & CENTRE PICTURE USED BASED ON PHOTO - Ossetian woman, seen through a bullet hole in the gates of a house, walks in Tskhinvali, capital of Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)