Thursday, April 16, 2015

Question Marathon: President Putin Holds Annual Q&A Session

News | 16.04.2015 | 15:39

100 Jahre Internationale Frauenliga für Frieden und Freihheit, das Gründungsmitglied Lida Gustava Heymann

In Zusammenarbeit mit Anita Augspurg zitiert in ihrer beider Autobiografie "Erlebtes, Erschautes" 1922 immer wieder Goethe

 Allen Gewalten zum Trotz sich erhalten
Feiger Gedanken
bängliches Schwanken,
weibisches Zagen
ängstliches Klagen
wendet kein Elend
macht dich nicht frei.

Allen Gewalten
zum Trotz sich erhalten,
nimmer sich beugen
kräftig sich zeigen
ruftet die Arme
der Götter herbei.
(1749 - 1832), deutscher Dichter der Klassik, Naturwissenschaftler und Staatsmann
Quelle: »Lila«, Singspiel

NATO's Increased Activity 'Clearly Anti-Russian' - Russian General Staff

News | 16.04.2015 | 20:13
Sputnik - NATO has sharply increased its military activities near Russian borders since the start of the conflict in Ukraine last year, and their nature is "clearly anti-Russian," chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operations Directorate, Lt. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, said Thursday.
Kartapolov told participants of the IV Moscow conference on global security:
"In 2014, the intensity of NATO combat training increased by 80 percent [year-on-year]."
Citing a number of recent large-scale NATO exercises in the Baltic states, Poland and the Baltic Sea, the general stressed that the Alliance leadership "did not even try to hide their obvious anti-Russian nature.
Kartapolov also said that NATO doubled air reconnaissance flights near the Russian border in 2014, year-on-year, conducting 750 missions, while the number of missions carried out by AWACS planes increased ninefold, to 182.
In addition, the general expressed concern over the regular use of US Global Hawk spy drones over the Black Sea since the beginning of 2015, "which increases the depth of intelligence data gathering to 250-300 kilometers [155-185 miles] within the Russian territory."
Kartapolov also added that advanced stealthy air-to-surface cruise missiles that US plans to install on NATO aircraft can strike targets almost everywhere in European Russia from a safe distance.
The United States plans to equip its allies in Europe with JASSM-ER long-range cruise missiles, Kartapolov said and added that:
“Allowing NATO tactical aircraft to strike facilities some 1,300 kilometers [808 miles] deep into the Russian territory entering the zone protected by our air defenses… In case of a military conflict, critically important facilities almost everywhere in European Russia will be subject to NATO airstrikes.”

Evil Women Stand For More US War Policies

The Hillary Doctrine: «We Came, We Saw, They Died»

Wayne MADSEN | 16.04.2015 | 00:00

Those who argue that the so-called «Obama Doctrine» on foreign policy has been amorphous and conflicting, at best, see the prospects of a Hillary Clinton administration as even more damaging to U.S. foreign policy. Now that the former Secretary of State has formally announced her candidacy for the U.S. presidency, foreign policy experts are dissecting her decisions while America’s chief diplomat. Not only were the most notable failures of Obama’s foreign policy a direct result of Mrs. Clinton’s saber-rattling and brinkmanship on the world stage, but her willingness to engage in operations paralleling the themed revolution mania of George Soros has many diplomats worried that a Hillary Clinton administration, with her husband as «roving ambassador», will see more foolhardy interventionist American adventurism.
By the time Obama was almost persuaded to involve the United States militarily in the Syrian civil war, propelled by Mrs. Clinton’s «Responsibility to Protect» or «R2P» doctrine developed with the assistance of then-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and National Security Council point person for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Samantha Power, he realized that R2P was a sure-fire way to embroil the U.S. in another bloody civil war in the Middle East. Had Obama overruled Clinton, Rice, and Power on previous R2P operations in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, there would have been no threatening menace of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq or its various offshoots in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and Egypt.
Not only will Mrs. Clinton, as president, champion more R2P causes and bring more instability to the world but she will undoubtedly promote her hand-picked Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, the mastermind of the «Euromaidan» coup d’etat in Ukraine that has done more to destabilize Europe than any event since Ronald Reagan’s introduction of nuclear-armed cruise missiles in Western Europe in the 1980s. Mrs. Clinton may even find a senior foreign policy job for Nuland’s husband, the Brookings Institution’s Robert Kagan, one of the neo-conservative architects of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, the 2002 Senate authorization for which Mrs. Clinton voted in favor while she was a senator from New York.
Other Hillary acolytes at the State Department who managed to set back U.S. foreign policy decades because of aggressive interventionism include Roberta Jacobson, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs who managed to irritate Venezuela by calling it a «threat» to U.S. national security on the very eve of Obama’s attendance at the Summit of the Americas in Panama. Obama and Jacobson were forced to backtrack on the U.S. position on Venezuela amid vocal criticism from many Latin American and Caribbean leaders. Of course, Mrs. Clinton’s reign at the State Department includes her support for a military coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya from power in 2009.
Then-Secretary of State Clinton ardently supported the coup against Zelaya that was coordinated by her ambassador in Tegucigalpa, Hugo Llorens, a Cuban-American career diplomat with close links to the right-wing elements of the Cuban community in southern Florida. Although the U.S. ambassador stated in a cable to Clinton subsequent to the coup that the operation was illegal, Clinton refused to cut off financial assistance to the Honduran junta that seized power. Mrs. Clinton, ever the lawyer looking for a way to doge an issue, refused to call the overthrow of Zelaya a coup because that would require U.S. assistance to be cut off to the military junta. Llorens could not have been clearer in his post-coup confidential cable to Clinton, which was later leaked to WikiLeaks:
«Regardless of the merits of Zelaya's alleged constitutional violations, it is clear from even a cursory reading that his removal by military means was illegal, and even the most zealous of coup defenders have been unable to make convincing arguments to bridge the intellectual gulf between ‘Zelaya broke the law’ to ‘therefore, he was packed off to Costa Rica by the military without a trial.’»
Just days before Clinton announced her candidacy for president in a video released on the Internet, Obama told Latin American leaders that America’s «days of meddling» in Latin American affairs was over. Yet, only six years before, Obama’s Secretary of State meddled in Honduras by approving a coup against its legitimate president. That was followed by a «constitutional coup» against Paraguay’s president Fernando Lugo in 2012, while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State. There were also coup attempts on Mrs. Clinton’s watch against the presidents of Bolivia, Ecuador, in addition to Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.
Clinton will try and obfuscate on her role in the Honduran coup, however, it was significant. Clinton met Zelaya at the Organization of American States summit at San Pedro Sula, Honduras just a few weeks prior to the coup d'etat. The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales stated that the coup could not have been carried out without the active support of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami, as well as U.S. military personnel stationed at the Soto Cano-Palmerola airbase in Honduras. Zelaya irked the Pentagon when he announced plans to transform the airbase into a commercial international airport. Many of Honduras's senior officers, including the coup leaders, were trained by the notorious Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in Fort Benning, Georgia, the old "School of the Americas," and eagerly followed orders issued from the Pentagon like drooling dogs waiting for a bone.
Perhaps nothing illustrated Mrs. Clinton’s perfidy more than the news in October 2011 that U.S.-backed terrorists had brutally assassinated Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi after having sodomized him. On a CBS News broadcast, Clinton cackled, «Hillary Clinton says on a CBS News broadcast: "We came, we saw, he died." There was ample evidence at the time that Qaddafi and his motorcade were flying the white flag of surrender at the time they were attacked by Libyan rebel and NATO forces.
During her 2007 presidential run, Mrs. Clinton was flown to various campaign venues on an Air Rutter International Gulfstream II (tail number N216RR). Air Rutter was owned by Clinton campaign donor Arik Kislin, the son of Sam (Semyon) Kislin, a wealthy New York emigré from Odessa, Ukraine. INTERPOL reported that Sam Kislin’s Trans Commodities, Inc. was linked to two reputed Uzbek mobsters, Lev and Mikhail Chernoy. The Chernoys are citizens of Israel. Sam Kislin is a prominent supporter of the United Jewish Appeal and Israel. The trouble with Hillary Clinton is that she, like her philandering husband, constantly courts scandal. For example, on October 1, 2007, the New York Post reported that an ex-employee of Air Rutter, Mark Billey, subsequently arrested on federal child sex charges, said he noted a number of armed U.S. Marshals at Air Rutter's facilities in Long Beach. This was during the time that the airline was flying Mrs. Clinton around the country. 
A Hillary Clinton presidency, will, like her term as Secretary of State, be heavy on glitzy photo-ops and short on substance. In 2011, after Chile experienced a devastating earthquake, Clinton angered Chileans with a photo-op visit just days before President Michelle Bachelet was due to leave office after the new president, Sebastian Pinera, was inaugurated. Mrs. Clinton’s pandering of foreign governments for large donations to her and her husband’s Clinton Foundation will obviously continue if the couple are to be granted residency, once again, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Bill Clinton has made it a lucrative business to collect massive amounts of funds for earthquake and tsunami stricken countries like Indonesia and Haiti. In the case of Haiti, little of the aid money destined for earthquake survivors ever made it to the intended recipients.
There are children being born today around the world who, in the event of a Hillary Clinton administration, may not live to see their fourth or fifth birthdays. With the doctrine of «We came, we saw, they died», only the innocents will suffer from a Clinton presidency.

Latest Saudi air raids claim 20 in Yemen’s Amran

News | 16.04.2015 | 01:02
PressTV - At least twenty people have been killed in the latest Saudi air raids on Yemen’s Amran province.
According to al-Massira television, dozens of people were also injured during the Wednesday night raid on the Houth region in the western central Amran province.
Earlier on Wednesday, fighter jets bombed a school in the Malahidh region, close to the Saudi-Yemeni border, killing eight civilians, including a mother and her three children.  
Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, without a UN mandate, in a bid to restore power to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close ally of Riyadh.
According to sources in the Yemeni Army, around 2,600 people have been killed in the Saudi aggression over the past three weeks.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen is rapidly deteriorating. Many international aid organizations have sought clearances to dispatch medical and other humanitarian supplies by air and sea to civilians in need.

Yemen: Prospects Uncertain

Arkady DZIUBA | 16.04.2015 | 09:26

The situation in and around Yemen provokes many questions. There is a complex relationship between those who take part in the conflict and their foreign sponsors. The situation is volatile. 
The old internal conflict in Yemen reflects the confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The US formally sides with Saudi Arabia. It provides logistical and intelligence support. The choice is logical. Iran is still perceived in the United States as one of the states making up the «axis of evil». It’s all not that simple. The US is involved in complicated talks on Iran’s nuclear program. The Obama administration lacks foreign policy achievements. The US troops have not been fully withdrawn from Afghanistan, they actually have to return to Iraq, the «reset» with Russian has failed and the normalization of relations with Cuba and Burma is not enough for two-term foreign policy record. An agreement with Iran could be a significant achievement. Obama wants to improve the relations with Iran the way Nixon normalized the relationship with China. The US administration has great interest in success of talks with Tehran. 
Watching the talks proceed, Saudi Arabia starts to believe that Iran may go nuclear. Riyadh perceives the possibility of final agreement as a threat to its national security. The recent round of talks in Lausanne started on March 26 – the day Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Yemeni Houthis. Joining in the operation the Saudi allies wanted to challenge Iran. In case of retaliation Tehran could be painted as an aggressor acting in violation of established international order. Thomas Friedman published an interview with President Obama on Iran nuclear issue. The President assured an agreement would not put at risk the security of Israel and US Sunni allies in the Persian Gulf. Obama went as far as to say that internal problems threatened those countries more than Iran, «As for protecting our Sunni Arab allies, like Saudi Arabia, the president said, they have some very real external threats, but they also have some internal threats — «populations that, in some cases, are alienated, youth that are underemployed, an ideology that is destructive and nihilistic, and in some cases, just a belief that there are no legitimate political outlets for grievances». 
With US President saying such things the second round of Arab Spring started to loom making Arab monarchies shudder. 
Saudi media outlets were enraged. Asharq Al-Awsat is an Arabic international newspaper headquartered in London. It is owned by Faisal bin Salman, a member of the Saudi royal family. It writes, «the Houthi strategy backed by Iran has already failed. There are two reasons for that failure. The first is that the fantasy about the United States switching sides in the Middle East and acknowledging Iran as regional hegemon is just that - a fantasy. That fantasy has been promoted by President Barack Obama who has spoken of Iran as a «regional power» and tried to modulate US policy in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq to please the mullahs. However, it is enough to recall that Obama has only 18 months or so to play in that fantasy world. Once he has faded into a footnote in history, the US and European democracies might not endorse a policy designed to hand over the Middle East to the mullahs and their ex-KGB allies in Moscow».
A truer word was never spoken!
Rich Saudi lobby enjoys strong position in the United States. Some believe it to be more influential than the Jewish one. 
On March 9, 47 US Republican senators signed an open letter to the Iranian leadership addressed to «leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran» declaring that any agreement without legislative approval could be reversed by the next president «with the stroke of a pen». The letter warned Iran that a deal with Mr. Obama might not stick. «The next President could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen, and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time».
True, lifting sanctions is an issue of paramount importance for Iran. For the sake of reaching this goal Tehran is ready to make concessions when it comes to other issues, like Yemen, for instance. But things look different when you are told directly that the nuclear deal has no chance to be ratified. Now Iran sends its ships to the Aden Gulf. US State Secretary John Kerry says Iran covertly controls the Houthis. According to him, the United States will not let Tehran interfere into the situation in Yemen. 
To further complicate things Pakistan refused to take part in the Saudi Arabia-led operation in Yemen. It’s impossible to predict how the events will unravel. The prospects look uncertain. 
EDITOR'S CHOICE | 16.04.2015

Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:24PM
The United Nations Security Council votes during a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, March 4, 2015. © AFP
The United Nations Security Council votes during a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, March 4, 2015. © AFP
The UN Security Council has passed a resolution targeting the Houthi Ansarullah movement in Yemen, amid ongoing deadly airstrikes on the nation by Saudi Arabia.
The council’s imposed sanctions include an arms embargo, asset freezes and travel ban against Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the movement, Yemen’s former dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and his son Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The resolution also calls for an immediate ceasefire, access to humanitarian aid to the airstrike victims and ensuring the safety of civilians.
The resolution, drawn up by Jordan and Arab states of the Persian Gulf, was adopted with 14 positive votes while Russia abstained.
The new development came as Yemen’s Popular Committees, consisting of Ansarullah fighters and army forces, have made more gains in its fight against al-Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen, despite the ongoing Saudi attacks.
Colonel Sharaf Luqman, the spokesman for Yemen’s armed forces and Popular Committees, said Monday that Saudi Arabia is a supporter of terrorism and has been targeting the Yemeni civilians and the nation’s infrastructure by its aggression.
Yemeni firefighters extinguish a fire caused by Saudi airstrikes on the capital, Sana’a, April 8, 2015. © AFP
The spokesman added that the Saudi airstrikes have killed nearly 2,600 people.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen has become critical with many international aid organizations seeking a safe passage into the country to send much needed medical and humanitarian supplies to the suffering nation.
Saudi Arabia started its deadly attacks on Yemen on March 26, without a UN mandate, in a bid to restore power to the fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

BBC on Yemen


Why does it matter for the rest of the world?

US embassy in Sanaa (04/03/15)

What happens in Yemen can greatly exacerbate regional tensions. It also worries the West because of the threat of attacks emanating from the country ??? marks and red comments by Blogger) as it becomes more unstable.
Western intelligence agencies consider AQAP the most dangerous branch of al-Qaeda because of its technical expertise and global reach. The US has been carrying out operations, including drone strikes, against AQAP in Yemen with President Hadi's co-operation, but the Houthis' advance has meant the US campaign has been scaled back.
The conflict between the Houthis and the elected government is also seen as part of a regional power struggle between Shia-ruled Iran and Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, which shares a long border with Yemen. 
Gulf Arab states have accused Iran of backing the Houthis financially and militarily, though Iran has denied this, and they are themselves backers of President Hadi.
Yemen is strategically important because it sits on the Bab al-Mandab strait, a narrow waterway linking the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden, through which much of the world's oil shipments pass. Egypt and Saudi Arabia fear a Houthi takeoverwould threaten free passage through the strait.


How did it all get out of control?

Houthi supporters in Sanaa (27/02/15)

In short, after months of tightening their hold, the Houthis have formally seized power. In January, the group said it would dissolve parliament and announced plans for a new interim assembly and five-member presidential council, which would rule for up to two years.
The move filled a political vacuum which had existed since President Hadi, the prime minister and cabinet resigned earlier that month after the Houthis placed President Hadi under house arrest and detained other leading figures.
But the Houthis are minority Shia from the north, and their declaration has not been recognised by Sunni tribesmen and southern leaders, threatening Yemen with a further descent into chaos.
President Hadi, who is recognised as Yemen's legitimate leader by the international community, managed to escape to Aden, which he declared the de facto capital.


Who are the Houthis?

The Houthis are members of a rebel group, also known as Ansar Allah (Partisans of God), who adhere to a branch of Shia Islam known as Zaidism. Zaidis make up one-third of the population and ruled North Yemen under a system known as the imamate for almost 1,000 years until 1962.
The Houthis take their name from Hussein Badr al-Din al-Houthi. He led the group's first uprising in 2004 in an effort to win greater autonomy for their heartland of Saada province, and also to protect Zaidi religious and cultural traditions from perceived encroachment by Sunni Islamists. 

Media captionWho are the Houthis? The BBC's Mai Noman reports from Sanaa
After Houthi was killed by the Yemeni military in late 2004, his family took charge and led another five rebellions before a ceasefire was signed with the government in 2010.

Map of Yemen

In 2011, the Houthis joined the protests against then President Saleh and took advantage of the power vacuum to expand their territorial control in Saada and neighbouring Amran province. 
They subsequently participated in a National Dialogue Conference (NDC), which led to President Hadi announcing plans in February 2014 for Yemen to become a federation of six regions.
The Houthis however opposed the plan, which they said would leave them weakened.


Why is Yemen so unstable?

Supporters of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in Taiz (28/03/15)

In recent years Yemen has seen violent conflicts largely caused by underlying problems of unequal access to power and resources. 
There have been six rounds of fighting between the state and the Houthis in the north; separatist unrest in the south; frequent attacks by AQAP; and power struggles between tribal and military factions.
For much of the 20th Century, Yemen existed as two separate countries - the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) in the north and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) in the south. In 1990, the countries chose to unify and create the Republic of Yemen. However, southerners soon began complaining of political and economic marginalisation by the government in Sanaa, and fought a civil war in 1994 in a failed attempt to reverse the unification.
Instability and large-scale displacement, as well as weak governance, corruption, resource depletion and poor infrastructure, have hindered development in the poorest country in the Middle East. 
Unemployment, high food prices and limited social services mean more than 10 million Yemenis are believed to be food insecure.

Declared Combattants against Yemen

US Expands Role in Saudi Arabia’s War on Yemen US Forces Searching Ships Near Yemen by Jason Ditz

US Expands Role in Saudi Arabia’s War on Yemen

US Forces Searching Ships Near Yemen

by Jason Ditz, April 13, 2015
While US officials continue to try to downplay their involvement in the Saudi Arabian attack on Yemen, the Pentagon continues to increase overt US involvement above and beyond the in-air refueling missions initially announced.
Now, US warplanes are also being used to help select potential targets for Saudi planes, likely to be a controversial move since the Saudis have killed an enormous number of civilians in their strikes so far.
Perhaps even more surprisingly, US ships off the coast of Yemen have begun boarding ships and searching them, in hopes they might find “Iranian weapons” being delivered to Yemen’s Shi’ites. They haven’t found any.
The US is said to be counseling limited warfare to the Saudis, albeit unsuccessfully. Saudi officials continue to expand the goals of the conflict, believing they can win an absolute victory over the Houthi faction and reinstall a pro-Saudi regime in the country.