Friday, August 29, 2008

The puppet masters behind Georgia President Saakashvili

By F. William Engdahl
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Aug 29, 2008, 00:26

The controversy over the Georgian surprise military attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia on 8.8.08 makes a closer look at the controversial Georgian President and his puppet masters important. An examination shows 41-year-old Mikheil Saakashvili to be a ruthless and corrupt totalitarian who is tied to not only the US NATO establishment, but also to the Israeli military and intelligence establishment.

The famous ‘Rose Revolution of November 2003 that forced the ageing Edouard Shevardnadze from power and swept the then 36-year-old US university graduate into power was run and financed by the US State Department, the Soros Foundations, and agencies tied to the Pentagon and US intelligence community.

Mikheil Saakashvili was deliberately placed in power in one of the most sophisticated US regime change operations, using ostensibly private NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to create an atmosphere of popular protest against the existing regime of former Soviet Foreign Minister Edouard Shevardnadze, who was no longer useful to Washington when he began to make a deal with Moscow over energy pipelines and privatizations.

Saakashvili was brought to power in a US-engineered coup run on the ground by US-funded NGOs, in an application of a new method of US destabilization of regimes it20considered hostile to its foreign policy agenda. The November 24, 2003, Wall Street Journal explicitly credited the toppling of Shevardnadze’s regime to the operations of “a raft of non-governmental organizations . . . supported by American and other
Western foundations.” These NGOs, said the Journal, had “spawned a class of young, English-speaking intellectuals hungry for pro-Western reforms” who were instrumental laying the groundwork for a bloodless coup.

Coup by NGO

But there is more. The NGOs were coordinated by the US Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Miles, who had just arrived in Tbilisi fresh from success in orchestrating the CIA-backed toppling of Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade, using the same NGOs. Miles, who is believed to be an undercover intelligence specialist, supervised the Saakashvili coup.

It involved US billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Georgia Foundation. It involved the Washington-based Freedom House whose chairman was former CIA chief James Woolsey. It involved generous financing from the US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy, an agency created by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s to “do privately what the CIA used to do,” namely coups against regimes the US government finds unfriendly.

George Soros’ foundations have been forced to leave numerous eastern European countries, including Russia, as well as China after the 1989 student Tiananmen Square uprising. Soros is also the financier together with the US State Department of Human Rights Watch, a US-based and run propaganda arm of the entire NGO apparatus of regime coups such as Georgia and Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. Some analysts believe Soros is a high-level operative of the US State Department or intelligence services using his private foundations as cover.

The US State Department funded the Georgia Liberty Institute headed by Saakashvili, the US approved candidate to succeed the no-longer cooperative Shevardnadze. The Liberty Institute in turn created “Kmara!” which translates to “Enough!” According to a BBC report at the time, Kmara! was organized in the spring of 2003, when Saakashvili along with hand-picked Georgia student activists were paid by the Soros Foundation to go to Belgrade to learn from the US-financed Otpor activists that toppled Milosevic. They were trained in Gene Sharp’s “non-violence as a method of warfare” by the Belgrade Center for Nonviolent Resistance.

Saakashvili as mafioso president

Once he was in place in January 2004 as Georgia’s new president, Saakashvili proceeded to pack the regime with his cronies and kinsmen. The death of Zurab Zhvania, his prime minister, in February 2005 remains a mystery. The official version -- poisoning by a faulty gas heater -- was adopted by American FBI investigators within two weeks of the Zhvania's death. That has never seemed credible to those familiar with Georgia’s gangland slayings, crime, and other manifestations of social decay. Zhvania’s death was followed closely by a functionary of the premier’s apparat, Georgi Khelashvili, who allegedly shot himself the day after his chief’s demise. The head of Zhvania’s research staff was later found dead as well.

Figures allied with Saakashvili reportedly had a hand in the premier’s death. Russian journalist Marina Perevozkina quoted Gia Khurashvili, a Georgian economist. Prior to the fatal incident, Mr. Khurashvili had published an article in Resonans newspaper opposing the privatization and sale of Georgia’s main gas pipeline. Ten days before the prime minister’s body was found, Khurashvili was attacked and his editor-in-chief -- citing pressure from ‘security service’ figures he refused to name -- issued him a warning.

The late premier’s position on the pipeline issue was believed the direct reason for the murder of Zhvania. Zhvania’s brother, Georgi, also told Perevozkina that not long before Zhvania’s death he received a warning that someone was preparing to kill his brother. Saakashvili was reportedly livid when the US State Department invited Zhvania to Washington to win a Freedom Medal from the US Government’s National Democratic Institute. Saakashvili tolerates no rivals for power it seems.

Saakashvili, who cleverly marketed himself as “anti-corruption,” appointed several of his family members to lucrative posts in government, giving one of his brothers a position as chief adviser on domestic issues to the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline project, backed by British Petroleum and other oil multinationals.

Since coming to power in 2004 with US aid, Saakashvili has led a policy of large-scale arrests, imprisonment, torture and deepened corruption. Saakashvili has presided over the creation of a de facto one-party state, with a dummy opposition occupying a tiny portion of seats in the parliament, and this public servant is building a Ceaucescu-style palace for himself on the outskirts of Tbilisi. According to the magazine, Civil Georgia (Mar. 22, 2004), until 2005, the salaries of Saakashvili and many of his ministers were reportedly paid by the NGO network of New York-based currency speculator Soros -- along with the United Nations Development Program.

Israeli and US military train Georgian military

The current military assault on South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in violation of Saakashvili’s pledge to seek a diplomatic not military solution to the territorial disputes, is backed by US and Israeli military “advisers.” Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that on August 10 Georgian Minister of Reintegration Temur Yakobshvili “praised the Israel Defense Forces for its role in training Georgian troops and said Israel should be proud of its military might, in an interview with Army Radio. ‘Israel should be proud of its military which trained Georgian soldiers,’ Yakobashvili told Army Radio in Hebrew, referring to a private Israeli group Georgia had hired.’”

One of the targets of Russian bombs near Tbilisi was, according to, “a Georgian military plant in which Israeli experts are upgrading jet fighters for the Georgian military . . . Russian fighter jets bombed runways inside the plant, located near Tbilisi, where Israeli security firm Elbit is in charge of upgrading Georgian SU-25 jets.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, also a candidate to succeed ousted Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, proclaimed on August 10 that “Israel recognizes Georgia’s territorial integrity,” code for saying it backs Georgia’s attempt to take South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The reported 1,000 Israeli military advisers in Georgia were not alone. On July 15, Reuters news wire carried the following report: “VAZIANI, Georgia -- One thousand U.S. troops began a military training exercise called ‘Immediate Response 2008,’ in Georgia on Tuesday against a backdrop of growing friction between Georgia and neighboring Russia. The two-week exercise was taking place at the Vaziani military base near the capital, Tbilisi, which was a Russian air force base until Russian forces withdrew at the start of this decade under a European arms reduction agreement . . . Georgia has a 2,000-strong contingent supporting the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, and Washington provides training and equipment to the Georgian military. The United States is an ally of Georgia and has irritated Russia by backing Tbilisi’s bid to join the NATO military alliance . . . ‘The main purpose of these exercises is to increase the cooperation and partnership between U.S. and Georgian forces,’ Brig. Gen. William B. Garrett, commander of the U.S. military’s Southern European Task Force, told reporters.”

With Russia openly backing and training the indigenous military in South Ossetia and Abkhazia to maintain Russian presence in the region, especially since the US-backed pro-NATO Saakashvili regime took power in 2004, the Caucasus is rapidly coming to resemble Spain in the Civil War from 1936-1939, where the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and others poured money and weapons and volunteers into Spain in a devastating war that was a precursor to the Second World War.

In a curious footnote to the actual launch of military fighting on the opening day of the Olympics when Putin, George W. Bush and many world leaders were far away in Beijing, is a report in by Gl Ronen, stating that “The Georgian move against South Ossetia was motivated by political considerations having to do with Israel and Iran, according to Nfc. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili decided to assert control over the breakaway region in order to force Israel to reconsider its decision to cut back its support for Georgia’s military.”

Ronen added, “Russian and Georgian media reported several days ago that Israel decided to stop its support for Georgia after Moscow made it clear to Jerusalem and Washington that Russia would respond to continued aid for Georgia by selling advanced anti-aircraft systems to Syria and Iran.” Israel plans to get oil and gas from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from the Caspian.

Although as of this writing Russian President Medvedev has announced Russia is halting its military response against Georgian targets, the situation is anything but stable. The insistence of Washington in bringing Georgia into its geopolitical sphere and backing an unstable regime around Mikheil Saakashvili may well have been the straw which broke the Russian camel’s patience if not his back.

Whether oil pipeline disputes or Russian challenges to Israel are the proximate trigger for Saakashvili’s dangerous game, it is clear that the volatile Georgian and his puppet masters may have entered a game where no one will be able to control the outcome.

F. William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (Pluto Press), and Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation ( This essay is adapted from a book he has just completed, titled Full Spectrum Dominance: The Geopolitical Agenda Behind Washington’s Global Military Buildup (release date estimated Autumn 2008). He may be contacted through his website,

What the West does not want you to see

Alex Jones on Russia Today TV

Real Changes in RA Tax Office

After too many years of enriching himself with what should have been Armenian tax dollars, Vahram Parseghian has finally been fired from his post at head of the RA Tax Office, which was recently merged with the Customs Office and renamed the "Customs Committee".

Vahram is a guy encountered back in 1999 and documented over the years how he started small and in no time moved to the top by taking big bribes, misappropriating funds, including donation from the Diaspora and who I learned many years ago was sharing them with the former President, Robert Kocharian.

I guess in an attempt to clean things up, our current RA President did the unthinkable and FIRED Vahram. Now my only hope is that they will investigate him and charge him for the crimes that he has committed over the many years he was in power. Of course if they re-hire him in some other post, then that will be an indication that he has dirt on the President and over the years the present President was also on the take (which I would say there is a very good chance of).

You can find past logs I’ve written that talk about Vahram’s wrong doings over the year by clicking here. Also for your further reading pleasure, the following is a recent story that documents his being fired by the RA President and how dissatisfied he was with Vahram’s performance.


12:51 22/08/2008

The President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan received the working team of the former Customs and Tax Committees to present the new appointed chairman of State Revenues Committee Gagik Khachatryan.

As to Vahram Barseghyan, who has been fired from his position of the head Customs Committee, the President reminded that On August 1, in a meeting with the Customs Committee leaders he has warned that if radical changes are not implemented they should to wait for those aftermath. According to the President no serious changes or improvements have been registers in those twenty days.

Calling on the public the President said that he did not want to create an image that the changes are aimed to join those two committees. He said that Customs Committee has been acting too badly.


Putin assails US over Georgia conflict

by Carole Landry
August 28, 2008

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused Washington on Thursday of manufacturing the Georgia conflict as tensions mounted with the United States threatening to scrap a nuclear deal in protest at Moscow's actions.

Russia tested an inter-continental missile before Putin, the powerful former Kremlin leader who now heads the government, said the US administration had a hand in the five-day war between Russian and Georgian forces.

"The fact is that US citizens were indeed in the area in conflict during the hostilities. It should be admitted that they would do so only following direct orders from their leaders," Putin said in an interview with CNN.

He said he suspected that "someone in the US specially created this conflict" to "create an advantage" for a US presidential candidate.

His remarks drew a swift response from the White House which described them as "patently false."

Washington said it was considering scrapping a US-Russia civilian nuclear cooperation pact in response to Moscow's actions in Georgia and its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as separate states. France said the European Union could impose sanctions on Russia.

The missile test in northern Russia came barely a week after the United States completed an accord with Poland on basing an anti-missile shield in central Europe and as Russia accuses NATO of building up its navy vessels in the Black Sea.

A spokesman for Russia's strategic nuclear forces said the 6,000 kilometre (3,700 mile) test of the Topol RS-12M was successful. Russia has been developing the missile in response to US plans to develop its shield.

The announcement came as Russia complained about the number of NATO ships in the Black Sea and said it was taking "measures of precaution."

Russian television broadcast excerpts of the Putin interview to CNN.

"If my guess is right, then it raises the suspicion that someone in the US specially created this conflict to worsen the situation and create an advantage in the competitive struggle for one of the candidates for the post of president of the United States," he said.

The tight race to the November 4 vote in the United States pits Democrat Barack Obama against Republican John McCain, who has been hawkish in his public response to the Georgia conflict.

A White House spokeswoman said "those claims first and foremost are patently false, but it also sounds like his defense officials who said they believed this to be true are giving him really bad advice."

Asked whether Washington planned to go through with a recent accord allowing US and Russian companies to form joint ventures in the nuclear sector, the spokeswoman said: "I don't think there's anything to announce yet, but I know that that is under discussion."

The stand-off with the West has deepened since President Dmitry Medvedev's announcement that Russia recognised South Ossetia and another rebel region, Abkhazia, as independent states.

Georgia's parliament called for the government to cut diplomatic ties with Moscow over Russia's "occupation of Georgian territory" in a resolution adopted unanimously in Tbilisi.

Later Thursday, Georgia called for an international investigation into the events that led to its conflict with Russia and allegations of widespread human rights abuses.

"It is time to establish the truth about the crimes committed before and during Russia's invasion of Georgia," the foreign ministry in Tbilisi said in a statement.

EU states are considering imposing sanctions on Russia at an emergency summit on the Georgian crisis on Monday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said.

"Sanctions are being considered, and many other means," said Kouchner, whose country holds the European Union presidency.

Russia claimed it had secured support from China and four other nations at a summit in Dushanbe, the Tajikistan capital.

A statement released by the six nations at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit voiced support for Russia's "active role" in "assisting in peace and cooperation in the region".

However, the declaration also called for respect for "territorial integrity" without specifically naming Georgia.

A senior Russian general accused Georgia of redeploying forces near South Ossetia and said foreign powers were helping to rebuild the country's military capability.

"Georgia continues the redeployment of its forces in the direction of South Ossetia and the restoration of the combat capability of its troops," the deputy head of Russia's general staff, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said in a briefing.

The UN Security Council was to hold a formal meeting to discuss the conflict in Georgia on Thursday afternoon, though diplomats said there would be no decision made.

Moscow argues that it recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia to protect the local inhabitants after Russian forces poured into Georgia earlier this month to repel a Georgian attack on the latter region.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Territorial Integrity?

I’ve been following the developments in Georgia over the last 20 days quite closely.

I have to say that I am leaning towards the Russian point of view and have been since August 7th. With that said, I don’ t think it is necessary to further elaborate on what we have seen other than the “territorial integrity” BS that the West and Europe is pushing. The same territorial integrity drum is being beaten when talking about Artsakh and the Azeri claims.

Let me tell you that in the true sense of the meaning, both Georgia and Azerbaijan have no territorial claims to what was not under their control when they declared independence. Their claim is the same as let’s say Mexico claiming California as being part of their territory, thus threatening the integrity of their boarders.

Bottom line is that we were not a part of or being controlled by Azerbaijan when they declared independence, just like Abkhazia and South Ossetia were not a part of Georgia.

Russia did the right thing when they recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s independence. It sent a message to Georgia that the game is over and if they try another attempt to take over a Russian friendly country, they will not get away with. Let them do the same with Artsakh and that will put the brakes on the Azeri's even thinking about attacking us in the future.

You may ask when and how this will all end? It’s hard to tell, but my guess is that in the end as long as Russia does not back down and leave Poti (which I hope they don’t), the Georgian President (who happens to be part Armenia, but I’m told hates Armenians), will loose credibility among his own people and eventually have to answer for sparking this conflict. And I bet that years from now we will learn that just like Saddam invading Kuwait back in 1990 on the advice of the U.S., we will learn that the U.S. advised Georgia to do what it did. I would guess this is why the Georgian President was and is so mad at the U.S. for leaving him hanging out to dry.

And for your reading pleasure, the following is a news article from that read as if some poor misguided reporter does recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as part of Georgia’s territory [in the sixth paragraph of the story].

Armenia Must Respond Cautiously to Abkhazia, South Ossetia Independence, Says Rustamian
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)--Armenia should not hastily react to Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia with its own recognition of the break away republics' independence, ARF Supreme Council of Armenia Representative Armen Rustamian said during a press conference on Monday.

"In these conditions, the ARF believes that the Republic of Armenia should not act hastily as it did in the case of Kosovo,” Rustamian stated. “Armenia has not even recognized the independence of Karabakh, because it doesn't consider that the international community's ability to resolve the issue peacefully has been exhausted.”

According to Rustamian, who also chairs the Armenian National Assembly's Committee on Foreign Affairs, the possibilities to peacefully resolve the Russia-Georgia conflict have similarly not been exhausted.

Rustamian's comments came in response to a reporter's question regarding Armenia's position on Russia's recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed on Tuesday two decrees granting formal recognition to the Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after both houses of the Russian Parliament on Monday unanimously voted to back their independence.

The move is a response to the West's approval of Kosovo's independence earlier in 2008 and effectively shatters Georgia's territorial integrity, escalating tension in the volatile Caucasus and putting Moscow on a collision course with the West.

Russia's military defeat of Georgia has made the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict more complicated, according to Rustamian.

“The Republic of Armenia cannot discuss the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia outside the context of the Karabakh issue," he said.

"It is a complicated situation for us,” he said. “We respect the right to self-determination; we have and will continue to defend the right of the people of Karabakh to determine their own destiny.

“The independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia has been recognized by the Russian Federation, one of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and our strategic partner, while the other two co-chairs [The United States and France] have recognized the independence of Kosovo,” Rustamian said.

But the issue ultimately concerns Georgia, with whom normal relations are of vital interest for Armenia, he noted.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday echoed Rustamian's sentiments regarding Armenia's position in the Russian Georgian conflict. According to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tigran Balayan, Armenia has and will continue to support a peaceful resolution to the conflicts in the South Caucasus. Such conflicts “should be solved through the free expression of will,” he said during a press conference.

Meanwhle, the conflict in Georgia has also put Azerbaijan in a predicament. With its export routes to the West having been blocked by the Russian presence in Georgia, Baku has been carefully considering its options.

“Initially, Baku was excited by the conflict in Georgia's South Ossetia region because it provided a possible blueprint for dealing with Azerbaijan's own restive separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh--and for potentially imposing a new military reality on Baku's regional rival, Armenia,” according to Stratfor, a leading online publisher of geopolitical intelligence.

Following the Georgian military's Aug. 8 invasion of South Ossetia, Azerbaijan's leadership convened an emergency meeting at which they reportedly gave serious consideration to invading Nagorno-Karabakh, contingent on the eventual success of the Georgian operation, Stratfor reported, citing anonymous sources in Azerbaijan's government.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

World Governments Target YouTube
Posted on: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 12:00 CDT

Since its launch in February 2005, YouTube has been blocked or banned by a number of countries, among others China, Iran (and several other Middle East countries), Pakistan, Turkey, Burma and Brazil. The issue was highlighted in late February when Pakistan caused an international four-day outage in its most recent attempt to block the site. As can be expected, the reasons for banning the Google-owned video-sharing site vary from country to country.


Censorship for all reasons

The wide range of reasons advanced for blocking YouTube around the globe reveals how exposed it is to many agendas and vested interests.

Turkey has banned YouTube several times over insults to their founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, or "insulting Turkishness" - a serious crime under the controversial Article 301 of the penal code. The Turkish Telecommunications Board is ordered by court order to block any site falling foul of this law. Turkish authorities claim it is not government censorship, but legal process. However, critics say the law is used to silence government critics.

In the United Arab Emirates, YouTube was blocked because it presented a seven-part documentary "Desert Nights", on the trafficking of Armenian women for the prostitution industry in Dubai. Ara Manoogian, the Armenian journalist who made the documentary (along with Edik Baghdasaryan), claimed in a blog (aramanoogian.blogspot) on 19 June 2006 that police and migration service officials in Dubai were involved in the prostitution racket. News site Hetq Online, which reported the claims, was also blocked.


Moral justification for censorship

University of Toronto-based Nart Villeneuve (, who monitors internet censorship, points out that, "It is often under the rubric of morality and public order and/or national security that internet censorship is framed by those who seek its implementation or seek to justify its ongoing practice. The practice of filtering ... is growing. Increasingly, it is not the practice of filtering that is being challenged, the debate is about what content is being filtered. In other words, how the practice of filtering is being framed is the location where ideas about censorship are being contested. China, for example, justifies its extensive internet filtering and surveillance systems by 'stressing repeatedly that Chinese internet minders abide strictly by laws and regulations that in some cases have been modelled on American and European statutes', Chinese official Liu Zhengrong told the New York Times."

Source: BBC Monitoring Media