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The NWO February Socialist Revolution?

February 5, 2014 Leave a comment

The Overthrow of the King … The formal initiation of World Wide Marxism.  The Dates are 2/12 and 2/14 – I will be looking for an event at Sochi to occur possibly during this time. . .

File:Stalin Image.jpg 

 

Here are two interesting events from Lenin and Stalin in regards to world-wide socialism (which is the basis of the New World Order or “NWO”).  Note that they both occur in February.

 

Lenin:  The February Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd, confined to the capital and its vicinity and lasting less than a week, involved mass worker demonstrations and armed clashes with police and gendarmes, the last loyal forces of the Russian monarchy – this resulted in the overthrow of the Tsar and the begining of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.

 

The piratical imperialist war is the beginning of civil war throughout Europe … The world-wide Socialist revolution has already dawned … Germany is seething … Any day now the whole of European capitalism may crash … Sailors, comrades, we have to fight for a socialist revolution, to fight until the proletariat wins full victory! Long live the worldwide socialist revolution!   – Vladimir Lenin

 

 

 

Stalin:  A letter in response to Ivan Philpovich Ivanov “On the Final Victory of Socialism (in the USSR)”.  Here is the letter [emphasis mine in BOLDSOURCE

 

 

Ivan Philipovich Ivanov, staff propagandist of the Manturovsk District of the Young Communist League in the Kursk Region of the U.S.S.R., addressed a letter to Comrade Stalin requesting his opinion on the question of the final victory of Socialism in the Soviet Union.

 

 

IVANOV   TO   STALIN

 

Dear Comrade Stalin,

 

I earnestly request you to explain the following question : In the local districts here and even in the Regional Committee of the Young Communist League, a two-fold conception prevails about the final victory of socialism in our country, i.e., the first group of contradictions is confused with the second.

 

In your works on the destiny of Socialism in the U.S.S.R. you speak of two groups of contradictions – internal and external.

 

As for the first group of contradictions, we have, of course, solved them – within the country Socialism is victorious.

 

I would like to have your answer about the second group of contradictions, i.e., those between the land of Socialism and capitalism.

 

You point out that the final victory of Socialism implies the solution of the external contradictions, that we must be fully guaranteed against intervention and, consequently, against the restoration of capitalism.

 

But this group of contradictions can only be solved by the efforts of the workers of all countries.

 

Besides, Comrade Lenin taught us that “we can achieve final victory only on a world scale, only by the joint efforts of the workers of all countries.”

 

While attending the class for staff propagandists at the Regional Committee of the Y.C.L., I, basing myself on your works, said that the final victory of Socialism is possible only on a world scale. But the leading regional committee workers – Urozhenko, First Secretary of the Regional Committee, and Kazelkov, propaganda instructor – described my statement as a Trotskyist sortie.

 

I began to read to them passages from your works on this question, but Urozhenko ordered me to close the book and said : “Comrade Stalin said this in 1926, but we are now in 1938. At that time we did not have the final victory, but now we have it and there is no need for us at all to worry about intervention and restoration.”

 

Then he went on to say : “We have now the final victory of Socialism and a full guarantee against intervention and the restoration of capitalism.”

 

And so I was counted as an abettor of Trotskyism and removed from propaganda work and the question was raised as to whether I was fit to remain in the Y.C.L.

 

Please, Comrade Stalin, will you explain whether we have the final victory of Socialism yet or not, Perhaps there is additional contemporary material on this question connected with recent changes that I have not come across yet. Also I think that Urozhenko’s statement that Comrade Stalin’s works on this question are somewhat out of date is an anti-Bolshevik one.

 

Are the leading workers of the Regional Committee right in counting me as a Trotskyist? I feel very much hurt and offended over this.

 

I hope, Comrade Stalin, that you will grant my request and reply to the Manturovsk District, Kursk Region, First Zasemsky Village Soviet, Ivan Philipovich Ivanov.

 

(Signed) I. Ivanov.
January 18, 1938.

 

STALIN TO IVANOV

 

Of course you are right, Comrade Ivanov, and your ideological opponents, i.e., Comrades Urozhenko and Kazelkov, are wrong. And for the following reasons :

 

Undoubtedly the question of the victory of Socialism in one country, in this case our country, has two different sides.

 

The first side of the question of the victory of Socialism in our country embraces the problem of the mutual relations between classes in our country. This concerns the sphere of internal relations.

 

Can the working class of our country overcome the contradictions with our peasantry and establish an alliance, collaboration with them?

 

Can the working class of our country, in alliance – with our peasantry, smash the bourgeoisie of our country, deprive it of the land, factories, mines, etc., and by its own efforts build a new, classless society, complete Socialist society?

 

Such are the problems that are connected with the first side of the question of the victory of Socialism in our country.

 

Leninism answers these problems in the affirmative.

 

Lenin teaches us that “we have all that is necessary for the building of a complete Socialist society.”

 

Hence we can and must, by our own efforts, overcome our bourgeoisie and build Socialist society.

 

Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, and those other gentlemen who later became spies and agents of fascism, denied that it was possible to build Socialism in our country unless the victory of the Socialist revolution was first achieved in other countries, in capitalist countries. As a matter of fact, these gentlemen wanted to turn our country back to the path of bourgeois development and they concealed their apostasy by hypocritically talking about the “victory of the revolution” in other countries.

 

This was precisely the point of controversy between our Party and these gentlemen.

 

Our country’s subsequent course of development proved that the Party was right and that Trotsky and company were wrong.

 

For, during this period, we succeeded in liquidating our bourgeoisie, in establishing fraternal collaboration with our peasantry and in building, in the main, Socialist society, notwithstanding the fact that the Socialist revolution has not yet been victorious in other countries.

 

This is the position in regard to the first side of the question of the victory of Socialism in our country.

 

I think, Comrade Ivanov, that this is not the side of the question that is the point of controversy between you and Comrades Urozhenko and Kazelkov.

 

The second side of the question of the victory of Socialism in our country embraces the problem of the mutual relations between our country and other countries, capitalist countries; the problem of the mutual relations between the working class of our country and the bourgeoisie of other countries. This concerns the sphere of external, international relations.

 

Can the victorious Socialism of one country, which is encircled by many strong capitalist countries, regard itself as being fully guaranteed against the danger of military invasion, and hence, against attempts to restore capitalism in our country?

 

Can our working class and our peasantry, by their own efforts, without the serious assistance of the working class in capitalist countries, overcome the bourgeoisie of other countries in the same way as we overcame our own bourgeoisie? In other words :

 

Can we regard the victory of Socialism in our country as final, i.e., as being free from the dangers of military attack and of attempts to restore capitalism, assuming that Socialism is victorious only in one country and that the capitalist encirclement continues to exist?

 

Such are the problems that are connected with the second side of the question of the victory of Socialism in our country.

 

Leninism answers these problems in the negative.

 

Leninism teaches that “the final victory of Socialism, in the sense of full guarantee against the restoration of bourgeois relations, is possible only on an international scale” (c.f. resolution of the Fourteenth Conference of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union).

 

This means that the serious assistance of the international proletariat is a force without which the problem of the final victory of Socialism in one country cannot be solved.

 

This, of course, does not mean that we must sit with folded arms and wait for assistance from outside.

 

On the contrary, this assistance of the international proletariat must be combined with our work to strengthen the defence of our country, to strengthen the Red Army and the Red Navy, to mobilise the whole country for the purpose of resisting military attack and attempts to restore bourgeois relations.

 

This is what Lenin says on this score :

 

“We are living not merely in a State but in a system of States, and it is inconceivable that the Soviet Republic should continue to coexist for a long period side by side with imperialist States. Ultimately one or other must conquer. Meanwhile, a number of terrible clashes between the Soviet Republic and the bourgeois States is inevitable. This means that if the proletariat, as the ruling class, wants to and will rule, it must prove this also by military organization.” (Collected Works, Vol. 24. P. 122.)

 

And further :

 

“We are surrounded by people, classes and governments which openly express their hatred for us. We must remember that we are at all times but a hair’s breadth from invasion.” (Collected Works, Vol. 27. P. 117.)

 

This is said sharply and strongly but honestly and truthfully without embellishment as Lenin was able to speak.

 

On the basis of these premises Stalin stated in “Problems of Leninism” that :

 

“The final victory of Socialism is the full guarantee against attempts at intervention, and that means against restoration, for any serious attempt at restoration can take place only with serious support from outside, only with the support of international capital.

 

“Hence the support of our revolution by the workers of all countries, and still more, the victory of the workers in at least several countries, is a necessary condition for fully guaranteeing the first victorious country against attempts at intervention and restoration, a necessary condition for the final victory of Socialism,” (Problems of Leninism, 1937. P. 134.)

 

Indeed, it would be ridiculous and stupid to close our eyes to the capitalist encirclement and to think that our external enemies, the fascists, for example, will not, if the opportunity arises, make an attempt at a military attack upon the U.S.S.R. Only blind braggarts or masked enemies who desire to lull the vigilance of our people can think like that.

 

No less ridiculous would it be to deny that in the event of the slightest success of military intervention, the interventionists would try to destroy the Soviet system in the districts they occupied and restore the bourgeois system.

 

Did not Denikin and Kolchak restore the bourgeois system in the districts they occupied? Are the fascists any better than Denikin or Kolchak?

 

Only blockheads or masked enemies who with their boastfulness want to conceal their hostility and are striving to demobilise the people, can deny the danger of military intervention and attempts at restoration as long as the capitalist encirclement exists.

 

Can the victory of Socialism in one country be regarded as final if this country is encircled by capitalism, and if it is not fully guaranteed against the danger of intervention and restoration?

 

Clearly, it cannot, This is the position in regard to the question of the victory of Socialism in one country.

 

It follows that this question contains two different problems :

 

1. The problem of the internal relations in our country, i.e., the problem of overcoming our own bourgeoisie and building complete Socialism; and

 

2. The problem of the external relations of our country, i.e., the problem of completely ensuring our country against the dangers of military intervention and restoration.

 

We have already solved the first problem, for our bourgeoisie has already been liquidated and Socialism has already been built in the main. This is what we call the victory of Socialism, or, to be more exact, the victory of Socialist Construction in one country.

 

We could say that this victory is final if our country were situated on an island and if it were not surrounded by numerous capitalist countries.

 

But as we are not living on an island but “in a system of States,” a considerable number of which are hostile to the land of Socialism and create the danger of intervention and restoration, we say openly and honestly that the victory of Socialism in our country is not yet final.

 

But from this it follows that the second problem is not yet solved and that it has yet to be solved.

 

More than that : the second problem cannot be solved in the way that we solved the first problem, i.e., solely by the efforts of our country.

 

The second problem can be solved only by combining the serious efforts of the international proletariat with the still more serious efforts of the whole of our Soviet people.

 

The international proletarian ties between the working class of the U.S.S.R. and the working class in bourgeois countries must be increased and strengthened; the political assistance of the working class in the bourgeois countries for the working class of our country must be organized in the event of a military attack on our country; and also every assistance of the working class of our country for the working class in bourgeois countries must be organized; our Red Army, Red Navy, Red Air Fleet, and the Chemical and Air Defence Society must be increased and strengthened to the utmost.

 

The whole of our people must be kept in a state of mobilisation and preparedness in the face of the danger of a military attack, so that no “accident” and no tricks on the part of our external enemies may take us by surprise . . .

 

From your letter it is evident that Comrade Urozhenko adheres to different and not quite Leninist opinions. He, it appears, asserts that “we now have the final victory of Socialism and full guarantee against intervention and the restoration of capitalism.”

 

There cannot be the slightest doubt that Comrade Urozhenko is fundamentally wrong.

 

Comrade Urozhenko’s assertion can be explained only by his failure to understand the surrounding reality and his ignorance of the elementary propositions of Leninism, or by empty boastfulness of a conceited young bureaucrat.

 

If it is true that “we have full guarantee against intervention and restoration of capitalism,” then why do we need a strong Red Army, Red Navy, Red Air Fleet, a strong Chemical and Air Defence Society, more and stronger ties with the international proletariat?

 

Would it not be better to spend the milliards that now go for the purpose of strengthening the Red Army on other needs and to reduce the Red Army to the utmost, or even to dissolve it altogether?

 

People like Comrade Urozhenko, even if subjectively they are loyal to our cause, are objectively dangerous to it because by their boastfulness they – willingly or unwillingly (it makes no difference!) – lull the vigilance of our people, demobilise the workers and peasants and help the enemies to take us by surprise in the event of international complications.

 

As for the fact that, as it appears, you, Comrade Ivanov, have been “removed from propaganda work and the question has been raised of your fitness to remain in the Y.C.L.,” you have nothing to fear.

 

If the people in the Regional Committee of the Y.C.L. really want to imitate Chekov’s Sergeant Prishibeyev, you can be quite sure that they will lose on this game.

 

Prishibeyevs are not liked in our country.

 

Now you can judge whether the passage from the book “Problems of Leninism” on the victory of Socialism in one country is out of date or not.

 

I myself would very much like it to be out of date.

 

I would like unpleasant things like capitalist encirclement, the danger of military attack, the danger of the restoration of capitalism, etc., to be things of the past. Unfortunately, however, these unpleasant things still exist.

 

(Signed) J. Stalin.
February 12, 1938.

 

Pravda
14 February 1938

  

 

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Categories: Sochi 2014, Uncategorized

The Fix is In?

January 26, 2014 Leave a comment
Several interesting things (in my opinion) to note prior to next months Olympic games:
  1. CREATE THE ATMOSPHERE:  There has been a recent flurry of media attention regarding the “terrorist threat”.  This has been plastered for several weeks all over the mainstream media beginning around the end of December.  Usually whenever I see such “boluses” (as they were) of media activity it is either because this is the timely big agenda item handed down from a few sources from which everyone else parrots their reports, or it is in preparation for something and the saturation gives it an air of credibility – in other words, I see this as a directed and coordinated series of events.  It serves to draw attention to something and also to help shape the understanding of the event when it occurs.
  2. THE (NEW) GOVT. HAS AN ACCURATE ANALYSIS:  The pinnacle article (in my opinion), is this interesting piece written primarily by the current director of Homeland security – Frank Cilluffo on 12/30/13.  Here’s the link:  http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/volgograd-bombings-2014-sochi-olympics-russia-terrorists-crosshairs/story?id=21364933&singlePage=true
  3. THE ENEMY IS RELIGIOUS EXTREMISTS, THE UNCIVILIZED/BACKWARD AND ULTIMATELY THOSE AGAINST THE (NEW) GOVT:  The exposition is typical and limited to a narrative about religious extremism:  “. . . a symbolic target in a region with a long history of bloody violence. Russian authorities have long battled violent forces in the nearby North Caucasus. The Russian government fought two wars against Chechen separatists in the mid-1990’s and early 2000’s, radicalizing a generation of Muslim youths in the process. . .[several examples of religious-oriented violence provided – even using the term ‘Russias’s Bin Laden’] . . . Is this the beginning of a larger terrorist campaign leading up to Sochi? There should be little doubt it is.”
  4. THESE ENEMIES ARE SCARY, SNEAKY AND DANGEROUS:  The more specific cause then is discussed:  “Over the past 13 years, some 49 female suicide bombers — dubbed “black widows”– have carried out attacks in Russia, according to credible news reports.”  
  5. MORE TOTALITARIAN EFFORTS ARE NECESSARY IN COMBATING THIS THREAT:  This is that news report link from Reuters where Russian authorities have had “to take saliva samples” to analyze DNA related to these “Black Widow” bombers (the name is designed to be terrorizing – they do not say who dubbed it so, I would argue it’s Reuters, AP and Homeland Security): http://mobile.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSBRE99U04O20131031 
  6. DESPITE UNPRECEDENTED EFFORTS, (OLD/SOVEREIGN) GOVT. IS INEFFECTIVE IN COMBATING SUCH A THREAT BECAUSE THE METHODS ARE OUTDATED: 

    ‘Iron Fist’ Security Could Protect Games, But What About Hotels and Restaurants?

    Unsurprisingly, the Russian government has promised tight security for the Games, and with President Vladimir Putin touting the Olympics as “a personal project,” more than $50 billion is being invested to show the world what Russia can do as it hosts 2,500 athletes from dozens of countries. (note the term “Iron” which connotes “Iron Curtain” – which failed –  and outdated warfare)

  7. THERE IS SO MUCH AT STAKE HERE – EVENTUALLY GLOBAL ECONOMIC SECURITY COULD BE AT RISK:“Consider the foregoing against what the Russian State and President Putin himself have at stake with the Games: national and personal credibility and prestige, and the economic future of Southern Russia. The stage is further set if we keep in mind that Putin has stood shoulder to shoulder with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the conflict in Syria, thus aligning Russia against the rebel forces in Syria, which include jihadists (foreign fighters) from across the globe.”
  8. THE SOLUTION WILL REQUIRE COMBINED GOVT. INTERVENTION AND INFORMATION SHARING – A “NEW WORLD ORDER” – ALL FOR YOUR SAFETY, OF COURSE: 

    “US Officials Want Better Russian Cooperation on Olympic Counter-Terror

    Looking ahead, it would seem a win-win for Russia to work together with the international community to keep the Games and the periphery safe, both for Russians and for athletes and visitors the world over. We have been told by U.S. officials that cooperation could be better. Umarov has set down the gauntlet, and millions have been spent on counter-terrorism efforts in Russia and the United States alone. Following the Boston Marathon incident, both countries would do well to redouble their efforts on information sharing.”

 

In my opinion, the FIX is in for a staged event next month at the Olympic games.  The cover story is rather simple and will be repeated ad nauseum (I believe a bombing at the Sochi train station by a “black widow” or something to that effect that causes such devastation they can only be identified by DNA, and such disruption that martial law will be enacted to “keep order” – but not just in Russia as the “threat” will be made to seem all over the place due to a vast “network” of terrorists).  Do not be deceived by the incessant parroting and revisionism within the mainstream media coverage to follow – this event has been planned for at least a decade (probably many decades) and will be enacted at a time, place and in accordance with meticulously calculated cycles, numerology and cosmology in order to achieve a maximal effect on the collective human psyche.  The overall effect is to persuade, nudge, frighten, con, suggest, motivate, manipulate, shock and even cajole the global masses into accepting implementation of a New World Order (which is essentially a global feudalism system designed and enacted by the very people who have caused this very event to begin with).

 

2014 Sochi Olympics: Russia in Terrorists’ Crosshairs

Dec. 30, 2013
NEWS ANALYSIS
By FRANK CILLUFFO, Director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute
and MICHAEL DOWNING, Deputy Chief, LAPD Counter-Terrorism Bureau
PHOTO: In this photo made by a public camera and made available by the Associated Press Television News  smoke pours out  after an explosion at Volgograd railway station, in Volograd Russia on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.

The Olympic Games belong to the world. Hosting them is a point of genuine national pride. This February, everyone will be watching the Winter Games, which Russia is hosting — and that includes “the bad guys.”

The past two days saw the latest in a series of deadly terror attacks in Russia by suicide bombers — following an attack in the same city of Volgograd just two months ago — which have undoubtedly been intended to spark jitters of Olympic proportions, possibly by a deadly Islamist group promising to disrupt an event being watched by the eyes of the world, though no group has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks.

Major international sporting events have always served as lightning rods for terrorists, of course, with the Boston Marathon bombings being the most recent and tragic example. Just think back to the 1972 Munich Olympics and the impact of Palestinian extremist group Black September’s attack on Israel’s athletes — magnified because the kidnappings and murders took place with the whole world watching the gruesome spectacle unfold.

The 2014 Games in Sochi in southern Russia present a symbolic target in a region with a long history of bloody violence. Russian authorities have long battled violent forces in the nearby North Caucasus. The Russian government fought two wars against Chechen separatists in the mid-1990’s and early 2000’s, radicalizing a generation of Muslim youths in the process.

Mainly populated by Muslims but also by over 100 ethnic groups, the North Caucasus has been immersed in endless conflict in the form of an ongoing violent Islamist insurgency, making it one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Between July and October of last year, 133 people were reportedly killed, including 32 police officers, in the conflict between militants and government forces there, mostly in Dagestan.

On September 16, a suicide bomber killed three police officers and wounded four others in Chechnya and later that day, a suicide bomber killed another police officer and wounded another individual in Ingushetia. Also on that same day, police detained a man wearing a suicide bomb after he entered a police station. A week later, another suicide bomber exploded a car outside a Dagestan police station, killing two more police officers and injuring several more including civilians. And then there was the October suicide bombing of a bus in the Russian city of Volgograd.

Is this the beginning of a larger terrorist campaign leading up to Sochi? There should be little doubt it is.

With Sochi located so close to the Chechen capital of Grozny, a hotbed of extremism, there is little geographical insulation to bring us comfort. The leader of the so-called “Caucasus Emirate,” Chechen terrorist Doku Umarov — known as “the Russian Bin Laden” — made his intentions clear in a video statement in June in which he called on his followers to “use maximum force” to put a stop to the Games.

The situation is potentially toxic and explosive and the threat should be taken seriously, as it undoubtedly is, by Russian authorities.

In May of this year, Russian authorities claimed to have foiled a plot by Umarov to attack the Winter Games. Federal Security Service (FSB) agents declared that they had detained three suspected militants and seized a weapons cache in Abkhazia, the independent Georgian republic just across the border from Sochi. Investigators said the extremists had been planning to move the weapons, which included surface-to-air missiles and grenades, to Sochi to carry out attacks during the Olympics, according to local reports.

Russian security officials have boasted to U.S. delegations that they have rolled up terrorist cells and seized more pre-positioned terrorist weapons caches discovered even closer to the Olympic venue than nearby Georgia.

A Violent History … and Future?

In the 1990s, several top-level al Qaeda operatives entered the North Caucasus, including Saudi-born emissaries, and also longtime Osama Bin Laden deputy and current leader of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. (Zawahiri was arrested by the Russians in 1997 and released after six months in jail.) These jihadis viewed the lands as infidel-occupied and thus joined the struggle for independence, steering the conflict into radicalism. Under Umarov’s leadership, what was once a nationalist movement has morphed into a jihadi cause. Though he has managed to co-opt and incorporate a local movement into the service of broader jihadi objectives, local buy-in to the global jihad and its larger “brand” is incomplete. Nevertheless, the danger remains acute, as the group has already demonstrated its capability repeatedly.

Chechen rebels and separatists have been behind a series of gruesome incidents historically. Examples include multiple hostage-takings in hospitals in 1995 and 1996, multiple Moscow Metro and train bombings in 2003 and 2010, hostage-taking in a Moscow theater in 2002, hostage-taking at a school in Beslan in 2004 that resulted in the deaths of 380 people including 186 children, and bombing Moscow’s Domodedovo airport in 2011.

The October 2013 Volgograd bus bombing was reportedly perpetrated by a suicide bomber from Dagestan. The bomber was the wife of an ethnic Russian, Dmitri Sokolov, who joined jihadis in Dagestan and became an adept bomb-maker, according to a source in the Dagestani security services cited by the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. He was killed by Russian authorities in mid-November.

Over the past 13 years, some 49 female suicide bombers — dubbed “black widows”– have carried out attacks in Russia, according to credible news reports. The October attack clearly showed that the militants who operate in Dagestan are capable of staging attacks far outside their home turf, which U.S. counter-terrorism officials say is a troubling signal of Umarov’s rising confidence.

Having recently “lifted” an 18-month ban on killing innocent civilians, Umarov has vowed via fiery speeches — broadcast via YouTube — to bring death and destruction to the Sochi Olympics. Umarov is using the Games to bring international attention to his separatist cause of an independent Islamic state, carved out within the borders of Russia.

In the case of the Boston Marathon bombers, brothers Dzhozkhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were natives of Dagestan and brought worldwide attention to the Chechen issue and violent extremism within Russia when authorities say they exploded two IEDs at the race last April. While Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing, Dzhokhar was apprehended and has pleaded not guilty. Umarov is attempting to gain more traction by building on renewed international interest in the conflict.

‘Iron Fist’ Security Could Protect Games, But What About Hotels and Restaurants?

Unsurprisingly, the Russian government has promised tight security for the Games, and with President Vladimir Putin touting the Olympics as “a personal project,” more than $50 billion is being invested to show the world what Russia can do as it hosts 2,500 athletes from dozens of countries.

Against this background and the expected deployment of ample military and quasi-military forces to secure the Games themselves, the greater vulnerability would seem to lie on the Olympic periphery, in the form of softer targets: the hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs where tourists will go — especially given the relatively isolated location of the Games. This is what happened in Uganda in 2010 when al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, al-Shabab, attacked two World Cup viewing parties in Kampala, killing 74 sports fans including one American.

Another way terrorists could duck the strong security presence is through acts of sabotage undertaken prior to the Games but timed to take effect when they are underway. For example, during construction of the various venues, it may be possible to implant an improvised explosive device with a timer attached. This possibility is not as far-fetched as it sounds. It has actually happened before: In 2004, a bomb implanted in the Dinamo football stadium within a concrete pillar, inserted by Chechen insurgents during prior repairs, killed the first President of the Chechen Republic, Akhmad Kadyrov, as well as more than a dozen others. Kadyrov’s son, Ramzan Kadyrov, is now President of the Chechen Republic, and is known to take a hard line against militants within his borders.

In our view, this type of insider threat is possible but not probable. However, many measures are being taken by Russian authorities in order to secure the Games, such as neighborhood sweeps and roundups. If executed in a too heavy-handed way, however, damage may be done to the battle for hearts and minds in the region.

Layered atop this bloody history and of even greater concern today is the foreign fighter phenomenon which could further bolster Umarov’s wherewithal to act. Foreign fighters have long been drawn to fight alongside Chechen “mujahideen brothers” in North Caucasus, and now Chechens motivated by a sense of religious duty have added Syria to their list of jihadi destinations beyond Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and the Sahel and Maghreb regions of Africa.

Russian officials believe there could be as many as 1,500 Russian Islamist militants — including 400 to 500 Chechens, 600 Dagestanis, and 200 Tatars and Bashkirs — fighting in Syria on the side of the opposition to the government of President Bashar al-Assad. They join up to an estimated 11,000 foreign fighters from 74 nations around the world. These fighters have weapons, the latest training and a desire to use it, and are battle-hardened in urban warfare should they turn their attention to Russian pride over hosting the Winter Olympic Games.

Consider the foregoing against what the Russian State and President Putin himself have at stake with the Games: national and personal credibility and prestige, and the economic future of Southern Russia. The stage is further set if we keep in mind that Putin has stood shoulder to shoulder with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the conflict in Syria, thus aligning Russia against the rebel forces in Syria, which include jihadists (foreign fighters) from across the globe.

US Officials Want Better Russian Cooperation on Olympic Counter-Terror

Looking ahead, it would seem a win-win for Russia to work together with the international community to keep the Games and the periphery safe, both for Russians and for athletes and visitors the world over. We have been told by U.S. officials that cooperation could be better. Umarov has set down the gauntlet, and millions have been spent on counter-terrorism efforts in Russia and the United States alone. Following the Boston Marathon incident, both countries would do well to redouble their efforts on information sharing.

Will Russia overplay its hand? Or, will it bring partners into the fold?

Certainly the 2012 London Summer Games set a high standard, if not a gold standard, for protection and international security cooperation. The question is whether this is a model that the Russians will emulate in preparation for, and at, the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. The question is far from academic as it bears significant implications for public safety and security, not only for Russians, but for all international participants in and visitors to the Games. There is little cause for optimism however, as anti-Americanism is promoted from above in Russia; and as Russian counter-terrorism operations with the United States and its allies have fallen victim to the counterproductive climate that has prevailed in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Accordingly, the United States should go into the Games with eyes wide open, in order to best protect American athletes, their families and American journalists and tourists. As yet, it is unclear how many international visitors there will be to Sochi. It is worth noting, though, that there are an estimated 5.5 million Russian-speaking people in the United States, with New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Detroit leading this demographic concentration. Should any decide to travel to the games, will they be at risk and are there any sympathetic Chechen Americans in the bunch?

Putin’s position is not to be envied. But he would be ill-advised to make a challenging situation even tougher, without cause.

Let’s make the 2014 Winter Games a safe event for all. Over to you, President Putin.

Frank Cilluffo is the Director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University. Michael Downing is the Deputy Chief and Commanding Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau. HSPI’s Sharon Cardash contributed to this article.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/20/us-plans-evacuation-sochi-olympics-terror-attack

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/21/us-russia-olympics-pentagon-idUSBREA0K00N20140121

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/world/europe/us-offers-russia-high-tech-aid-to-thwart-sochi-terror.html

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/20/olympics-host-sochi-remains-a-volatile-region/

http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=21611173&sid=3029941

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-19/putin-says-sochi-has-40-000-police-officers-to-protect-olympics.html

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2014/01/20/lawmakers-raise-concerns-about-security-sochi-olympics/3CvFnMYshVkZJM42xbo6GO/story.html

Categories: Sochi 2014, Uncategorized

Sochi Geographically and the Circassian Genocide

January 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Sochi Train Station

Millions of people arrive in Sochi at this station. It is the primary place of arrival and departure for most travelers to and from Sochi. If you have never been to a Russian train station, this is a good example of the architecture and busy atmosphere. Trains come from all over Russia. Many travelers have journeyed from points in Siberia and northern Russia and have been on the train for days.  (Sochi Magazine, 2014)

“Perfectly Stalinist by design”

The Sochi Railway Station is a three story affair, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. An architectual masterpiece to some, the passenger station is maybe the best example of Stalinist design in the city. Dating from the 1950s, the station is hard to miss at the city center.

Sochi connects to Moscow and all points in between via this, and the new station near the airport. Not much of a touristic attraction, the station is worth visiting, if just to people watch.  (Stay.com)

Sochi Vokal – Sochi Central Railway Station  – Sochi’s beautiful Central Railway Station was built in 1916 and is the main railway hub for trains from all over Russia, including the cities of Moscow, St Petersburg, Chelnyabinsk, Krasnador and Novosibirsk. It is also the international train hub for services from Kiev in the Ukraine, Minsk in Belarus and Vilnius in Lithuania. The Railway Station is situated at 56, Gorkogo Street and also provides car hire kiosks, shops and restaurants.

In 2007 the Russian, Black Sea resort of Sochi was chosen as the host city for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games. The games will be held between the 7th of February and the 23rd of February 2014.

Sochi is situated in Krasnador Krai in Russia’s Southern Federal District.The town covers an area of around 3,505 square kilometers and nestles between the Black Sea Coast and the Caucusus Mountains. Greater Sochi is divided into the four regions of Adler, Khosta, Lazerevskoe and Central Sochi.

Sochi is Russia’s largest seaside, holiday resort located in one of only a handful of the country’s regions that have a sub tropical climate. These mountain peaks situated forty kilometers east of Sochi are home to the world renowned Rosa Khutor Ski Resort and Krasnaya Alpine Ski Village, and it is here where the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and 2014 Winter Paralympic Games will take place. As Sochi lies to the west of this mountain range, the town is considered part of European Russia. (SOURCE)

I find it interesting that this is a “sub-tropical climate”.  Putin apparently went to Guatemala City and spoke French to the IOC members to persuade them of this location as opposed to South Korea.  The central location of the train station, history of the caucasus in general and specifically of this place being the site of the Circassian genocide (1864) where an entire ethnic group was either relocated or exterminated is extremely worrisome for an event during the Olympics (the timing is also right – 150 years post).

Here’s a brief synopsis (SOURCE):

1864- 2014 Circassian Genocide Olympics

In the end of one hundred years of war period, Circassia region of the Caucasus was invaded and colonized by Russian Empire in 1864.  During that period of time the inhabitants of the West Caucasus, more than one million five hundred thousand Circassians (Adige, Abkhaz and Wubikh people), were forced to leave their land in famine after all their villages and fields were burned and destroyed. They were exiled from their land to Ottoman Empire under inhumane conditions.

Sochi region, where the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held, was the center that the parliament of independent and free Circassia was gathering until 1864. After the Russian invasion it was not only the Circassians removed from their land but also all their cultural heritage and even their graves were completely destroyed brutally. Today in the state museums of Sochi there is nothing displayed related to Circassians, the autochthonous people of that land for thousands of years. The real ancient history of Sochi extends to Anatolian Hattis, famous Troy, Meot and Sind Empires is almost forgotten. The Russian written history of Sochi begins in 1830 with the victories bombardment of Russian Tsar Navy landing soldiers to the Socha village which was destroyed and renamed by Russians as Navagiski fortified territory. In the museums of Sochi you can only see the pictures of poor Russian mujicks who were brought from inner Russia then forced to settle to Circassia after the Circassian Exile and also the Cossacks who even appropriating the national clothes of the exiled inhabitants shamelessly.

The grandchildren of the massacred and exiled native people of the 2014 winter Olympics city Sochi and the Krasnodar Kray still live in the countries they were exiled to but their faces turned towards to their homeland. There are millions of Circassians who live in the other side of Black Sea in Turkey, are longing and waiting to repatriate to their motherland.  Now in destroyed Circassian villages, on the lost graves of Circassians, in Circassia, there are true strangers living there. As a result of a hundred years of iron curtain they probably don’t even have any idea about the real owners of those lands. Today Circassia became Russian Riviera where the first and the foremost Mr. Putin having rest, swimming and skiing.

The Russian Federation governments are still completely blind and deaf to develop any empathy or to understand the feelings and the longings of the people of the Caucasus. Moreover the real history is distorted by the Russian state purposely. To conceal the massacre and the exile of the ninety percent of Circassians, the reality of the Circassian legendary resistance to colonial powers for more than one hundred years is obviously ignored. For that purpose producing the factitious history thesis of 450-th years voluntary joining together of Circassia’s to Marx’s so called prison of nations Tsarist Russia is very tragicomic and flippantly far away from the seriousness of a statehood. Today Russian Federation government appropriates funds of millions of rubles for spreading that propaganda to all over the Circassian federal republics (Adigeya, Karachai, Cherkes and Kabardino Balkaria) by official campaigns and imposing anniversary ceremonies instead of using that money to improve the conditions in those underdeveloped republics.

Even more, regardless of the fact that all the criticism and the protest of the Circassian intellectuals and organizations both in the Caucasus and in the Diaspora, hasty preparations for 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is still pursuing heartily. The geography and the ecological structure of that beautiful and sacred part of our land are destroyed by commands of the inconsiderate Russian politicians in Moscow atrociously.

After Circassian exile in 1864 Sochi was emptied from Circassians and the Kbaada Valley was renamed as Krasnaya Polyana where the heavy construction equipments are excavating the mountains for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics now.  On the contrary of Russian culture, Circassians are very respectful even to the death bodies of their enemies. Now the skulls and the bones of our honorable ancestors are thrown away all over the place by Russians barbarously. The planned grotesque destroying process of that one of the most beautiful parts’ of the Caucasus is very meaningful for Circassians.

By all means we, the people of Caucasus, we are not surprised from the Russian behaviour. All the process is running by the commands of the new tsar of Russia, Mr. Vladimir Putin who has the blood of the thousands of children of Caucasus on his hands, from Chechenya, Daghestan, Beslan… etc. May Mr. Putin as an inheritor of General Yermalov, General Vorontzov, General Baryatinski, is not able to understand how his smart decisions cause pain for Circassians and confronting them. But the time will manifest. After the glasnost the governors of the Circassian republics in Caucasus were forced by public to take action to built Circassian Exile monuments. Although it has been long years, there are still not any government funds received to finish that project. At that point the supreme government shows the highest effort indeed. Nobody but only them can build such an expensive and meaningful genocide monument to our land other than 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics which must have been the symbol of the friendship and the brotherhood of people. Despite Sochi is the place where the “Drujba Derevo” (the tree of friendship) belongs to, there is no any native people left in that land, there is no any native people is allowed to settle there.

As the Circassians both in Caucasus and the Diaspora announced before by sending lots of protesting letters to Olympics Committee, even the idea of holding Olympics in Sochi on the soil of genocide where the hundreds of thousands of Circassian tears, moans and curse are bleeding, can not be acceptable.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics will always be remembered only as “2014 Circassian Genocide Olympics”.

Unfortunately 2014 Circassian Genocide Olympics is not only making the Olympics a tool of inane politics but it is also renewing the sorrow of Circassians in exile. Besides it also intensifies the deep and legitimate distrust on Russia for hundreds of years. It causes hate.

As the inheritor of one of the most humanist culture in the world, we, the people of the Caucasus, inspite of the past and the present, we don’t want to have any kind of abhorrence towards other people including the Russians.

Still, we can not be unresponsive to the provocative actions of declining and distorting the thousands of years old real history of our people and our land. As Circassians, as grandchildren of our ancestors we have enough pride and honor to not to bear this denial.

Again, we want to urge all the Russian Federation governments and rightminded intellectuals of Russia. Please stop those provocative actions.

 

SOCHI 2014: A Security Challenge

January 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Sochi 2014: A Security Challenge

December 9, 2013 | 0520 Print Text Size

Summary

The Russian city of Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympics from Feb. 7 to Feb. 23 and the Paralympics from March 7 to March 16. Russia is no stranger to hosting high-profile global events; it hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics and is preparing for the 2018 World Cup final.

Though the 2014 games seemingly offer Moscow a perfect platform for showcasing the strength of its security apparatus, Russia will have to work overtime to protect athletes and spectators. This in turn could leave surrounding regions such as the Northern Caucasus and major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg exposed to militancy, terrorism and organized crime. Militants from the Caucasus striking elsewhere in Russia during the games to avoid the intense security that will be present in Sochi and to capitalize on news coverage of the highly publicized event pose the greatest threat to the games.

Analysis

Security Preparations

Russian security forces possess the experience and numbers necessary to provide for safe Olympic Games. They will have an intense multilayered system in place throughout Sochi. The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, or the FSB, is the primary security agency in Russia — it is the successor to the Soviet KGB and the country’s chief counterterrorism agency — and has taken the lead in guaranteeing security for the Sochi Olympics since 2010.

The FSB will lead close to 100,000 security personnel in securing the games and Sochi overall. Other elements involved in Olympic security operations will be in place:

  • More than 40,000 police are expected to be on duty during the games and will be trained to converse with spectators in three languages other than Russian (English, French and German). They will also have a 24-hour hotline available for assistance.
  • Roughly 30,000 members of the armed forces will deploy to the Sochi area.
  • A Russian military group dubbed “Operations Group Sochi” is expected to supervise and secure the mountainous belt from Sochi to Mineralnye Vody near the Olympic Mountain Cluster using roughly 10,000 troops.
  • Russia’s 58th Army will be responsible for securing and supervising the southern border with Georgia.
  • Surveillance for the games will include drones, reconnaissance robots, sonar systems and high-speed patrol boats.
  • A computer system called Sorm will be upgraded and operational to monitor all Internet and communication traffic by Sochi residents, visiting competitors and spectators during the Olympics in the hopes of intercepting any sensitive information that could help to avoid any potential disruptions.

Moscow has implemented extensive security measures on land, on the Black Sea and in the air. In January 2014, there will be travel and transport restrictions implemented along with enhanced security zones, to include restricted and controlled zones that will be designated throughout the region using signs and authorities on post. Restricted security zones will cover a large territory outside the internal border of Karachay-Cherkessia (more than 322 kilometers, or 200 miles, east of Sochi) and the external border between Russia’s Krasnodar Krai region and the breakaway Georgian territory of Abkhazia. Also included will be the Olympic Park and its Olympic venues, Olympic Villages in the Olympic Mountain Cluster and Olympic Coastal Cluster, as well as Sochi’s seaport, railroad terminal, airport and national park. To move through checkpoints in these zones, one will have to produce both a ticket and a spectator pass or fan passport (acquired by providing personal and biographical information to the Russian government through the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee) or Olympic accreditation.

Even so, areas remain vulnerable to potential disruption. Attempted attacks are likeliest at venues containing large, concentrated numbers of participants, such as the Olympic Park in the heart of the Olympic Coastal Cluster and perhaps the Adler/Sochi airport. Open venues at the games will also be attractive targets, including the venues that make up the Olympic Mountain Cluster, where snowboarding and skiing events will be held. They are located in Krasnaya Polyana and are accessible by bus, high-speed rail and helicopter. Other potential targets include the transportation hubs in Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana, as well as the high-speed rail link connecting the Olympic Coastal Cluster to the Olympic Mountain Cluster. 

Controlled zones where all visitors and vehicles will undergo police inspections include the areas surrounding Olympic Park and checkpoints along the Sochi and Adler coast, including Matsesta and Khosta. As in the restricted zones, those equipped with a spectator pass will be permitted to attend events during the Olympics, and all motor vehicles will need a permit provided by the Sochi Olympics Transport Administration to enter Sochi before and during the games.

Security in Sochi and at all Olympic venues clearly will be comprehensive. This means that the greatest threat in the run-up to and during the games will likely be an attack carried out by militants outside of Sochi in locations such as the North Caucasus or large metropolitan areas like Moscow.

Militant Threat

Russia’s struggle with volatile regions like the Caucasus dates back centuries. For years, Russia has dealt a heavy counterinsurgency blow to the Caucasus — particularly the Northern Caucasus, which is home to fundamentalist separatist insurgencies spawned during the first and second Chechen wars and to militant groups like the Caucasus Emirate. Militant groups in the region carry out regular attacks against security forces and government officials using a multitude of different tactics, including targeted assassinations and suicide bombings.

Caucasus militants remain a tactical threat to Russian security, having carried out effective attacks inside the Caucasus — particularly Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, as well as the Russian heartland — that mainly target Russian police and soft targets like mosques, shopping malls and transportation hubs throughout the region. In May 2012, Russian authorities foiled a plot orchestrated by the leader of the Caucasus Emirate militant group, Doku Umarov, to attack the Sochi Olympics. Officials discovered a weapons cache in Abkhazia that included portable surface-to-air missiles, grenade launchers, flamethrowers, grenades, rifles and maps (the contents of which have not yet been reported). Three members of the Caucasus Emirate were detained. Authorities said the weapons were to be smuggled into Sochi for use before and during the games. 

In July 2013, Umarov made threats in a video posted on YouTube calling on people from the Caucasus (specifically Islamic insurgents in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and the Northern Caucasus) to stop Russia from holding the Sochi Olympics. The video suggests that the group may be low on manpower, as has been reported, and that the extensive security measures in place may prevent Umarov and the Caucasus Emirate from attacking the Sochi Olympics.

Umarov’s video could indeed inspire lone wolves in the region to carry out attacks in Sochi, but elsewhere in Russia as well. Attacks by lone wolves, or “grassroots” jihadists, are particularly difficult to intercept and prevent. The actors behind these attacks, however, usually lack the sophistication needed to carry out a large-scale operation, especially in a country with well-prepared security forces.

While Umarov did not indicate the types of attacks to attempt, bombings have been the most popular attack method in the Caucasus region, followed by armed assaults, according to the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups. More than 1,500 violent events have occurred in the Caucasus region since January 2010, with a majority of them targeting law enforcement and occurring within 500 miles of the Olympic Games in areas such as Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Chechnya.

On Oct. 21, a female suicide bomber attacked a bus in Volgograd, Russia, 600 miles north of Sochi, killing six and wounding more than a dozen. While this event was not directly related to the Olympics, it underscores the ability of lone wolves and militants to attack soft targets like busy city squares and airports using limited training and materials, whether in Sochi or elsewhere in Russia.

In recent months, Russia has implemented several preventive measures to counter such attacks. In May, according to the Interior Ministry, Russian President Vladimir Putin forbade the sale of weapons, ammunitions, explosives and poisonous substances inside the Olympic restricted zones. In August, he signed a decree banning demonstrations and rallies not part of the Olympics or the Paralympics in Sochi from Jan. 7 to March 21. In October, Russian authorities took saliva samples from Muslim women in Dagestan so authorities could better identify their body parts if any became suicide bombers during the games. And in November, Putin signed a new anti-terrorism law that requires relatives to pay for any damage caused by militants and imposes a prison term of up to 10 years for anyone undergoing terrorism training aimed at carrying out an attack in Russia.

It will be very difficult to conduct an attack at an Olympic venue or during any major event in Sochi, but even a small assault would have an outsized effect given the global spotlight on the games. Meanwhile, the Olympics are a prime opportunity for thieves and other criminals to prey upon unsuspecting tourists

Advisory to Olympic Visitors and Spectators

Although Russia will deploy more than 40,000 police at the Olympics (double the entire security deployment at the London 2012 Olympics) and will operate surveillance cameras, drones and reconnaissance robots, street crime will remain an issue. Athletes, spectators and sponsors at Olympic venues are all potential victims for local criminals. Precautions should be taken against pickpocketing, robbery or assault, both in Sochi and across Russia. Maintaining situational awareness at all times is key to minimizing risks of all kind. With the elevated police presence, crime at the Olympic venues will probably be relatively low. For the purposes of comparison, crime at the London Olympics and Paralympics dropped by 6 percent, according to estimates by the London Metropolitan Police. The Sochi Olympics could see a similar outcome.

Extreme delays at airports, buses and rail regarding transportation to the Olympic games, as well as shortages of hotel accommodations, are expected. Visitors are urged to book hotel rooms and travel reservations well in advance. An Olympic express train will transport passengers from the Olympic Costal Cluster located in Adler to the Olympic Mountain Cluster in Krasnaya Polyana with an expected travel time of just over 30 minutes; trains are scheduled to run every hour. Ski lifts and buses will be used to shuttle fans to individual Olympic venues in the Olympic Mountain Cluster. Once inside the Olympic Coastal Cluster, Olympic venues like the Olympic Medal Plaza and Fisht Olympic Stadium are within walking distance. Many Olympic-related events will take place in downtown Sochi, which is located roughly 24 miles from Adler and is accessible by bus and car.

Tickets must be purchased from an authorized seller, so buyers should be alert for ticket scammers, including websites posing as official ticket producers. Spectators must also obtain a spectator’s pass. The application process is part of the security regimen for the games and will subject the ticket holder to a background check administered by the FSB. All foreign visitors attending the Olympics will also need to apply for a tourist visa before entering Russia. In the past, Russia’s visa procedure and processing has been complicated and lengthy; therefore, foreign visitors with Olympic tickets will be able to use special “Olympic windows” at Russian embassies and consulates around the world that will potentially lessen the hassle visa seekers normally experience.

Sochi has a handful of medical facilities, such as the new hospital in Krasnaya Polyana and Hospital No. 4 in Sochi. Visitors seeking immediate medical care during the games should go to either hospital. Because of land barriers in Russia, Olympic visitors may be better off seeking medical care in neighboring Europe than in Moscow, and should therefore purchase medical evacuation coverage when acquiring traveler’s medical insurance before visiting Russia.

Hosting events like the Olympics and Paralympics is an extraordinary task for any country. The extreme security apparatus being put in place will go far in protecting the games against any attacks. However, a wide range of disruptions could happen not only in Sochi, but throughout Russia — including everything from travel delays, street crime and potential attacks.

Read more: Sochi 2014: A Security Challenge | Stratfor
Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook

 

Obamacare Relationship to Gun Control

January 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Future Health Care In America: The Abyss Of Gun Rights
BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 11 hours ago
There is movement on the issue of mental health and gun ownership, but we’ll get to that in a moment. First in order to set the stage, Michael Hammond writing at The Washington Times has done a good job of explaining the stakes.

The 1968 Gun Control Act bans guns for anyone who is “adjudicated as a mental defective or … committed to a mental institution.” Unfortunately, under 2008 NICS Improvement Act, drafted by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, and its regulations, that “adjudication” can be made by any “other lawful authority.” This means a diagnosis by a single psychiatrist in connection with a government program.

In the case of nearly 175,000 law-abiding veterans, the “lawful authority” has been a Department of Veterans Affairs psychiatrist, who, generally, will take away a veteran’s guns by unilaterally declaring him incompetent and appointing a guardian over his financial affairs. Certainly, the findings can be appealed, but most veterans don’t have the tens of thousands of dollars to hire lawyers and psychiatrists to do so.

Although the problem hasn’t yet been as apparent in other areas, police and firemen on Social Security disability for post-traumatic stress disorder, Medicare seniors with Alzheimer’s, and people who as children were diagnosed under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act program with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder will ultimately face the same fate. Even a subsidized Obamacare policy might now make Americans participants in a federal program.

In fact, that process of expanding gun bans has now begun:

One gun owner in a virulently anti-gun state was placed on the gun-ban blacklist because many years ago, police, without the approval of any court, put him in a mental facility overnight. The facility found nothing wrong with him, but that didn’t stop his state from recently turning him in to the FBI for a lifetime gun ban.

In another case, a gun owner in an anti-gun state lost his guns because of a prescription for a psychiatric drug.

Bob Unruh explains how this happens with veterans.

The problem arises when the agency wants to appoint a fiduciary – someone to advise a disabled veteran or one receiving certain government benefits – to help with the management of the benefits.

The government then routinely notifies the FBI’s NICS system, a federally maintained list of those whose competency has been challenged. That means they no longer can purchase a gun or even keep the one they may have.

Michael Connelly, executive director of the USJF, told WND the initial lawsuit is to compel the VA to respond to two requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

“The information requested included Veterans Benefits Administration rules, regulations and criteria for making ‘determinations of incompetency due to a physical or mental condition of a benefit recipient,’” the legal team explained.

“The USJF has received numerous complaints from military veterans around the country who are being declared incompetent to handle their own financial affairs and then told that they can no longer purchase or own firearms or ammunition,” said Connelly. “This determination is being made without due process protections for the veterans and the basis for the incompetency ruling is often arbitrary and without a factual or legal basis.”
Just a month ago, WND columnist Jeff Knox warning about Obama’s newly announced strategy.

And just a few days ago Mike Vanderboegh provided strong evidence that this is happening on a wide scale. Returning to Bob’s article, he asks the important questions. “As with most things, the devil is in the details. What is mental illness? Who is mentally ill? How mentally ill must one be to warrant revocation of a fundamental human right? Who makes that determination? Who is ‘normal,’ and how ‘normal’ do they have to be to own guns?”

Now to what David Codrea reported just today about the movement afoot to make the problem even more sweeping in scope.

In a chat session this month with the liberal magazine Texas Monthly, Cornyn revealed he and Lindsay Graham will introduce a bill strengthening the NICS federal gun owner registration database and place more Americans on lifetime gun ban lists.

There are no doubt good people who believe that such a thing is good for public safety. Cornyn and Graham aren’t among that crowd. They know better and would sell the souls of their own mothers if it would be beneficial to their careers. It isn’t to them that I speak. Nothing can change them, and so the only remedy for us is to change their jobs.

We’ve dealt with this before, this notion that the mental health profession is like any other, that it can pull the right levers, punch the right buttons, and administer the right drugs to fix mankind. But listen to them in their own words.

Dr. J. Michael Bostwick, Mayo Clinic: “We physicians generally do not know enough about firearms to have an informed conversation with our patients, let alone counsel them about gun safety.” He continues by arguing:

•Even if every mentally ill person in the country were registered, the system isn’t prepared to handle them — and only about half of the states require registration.
•Only about 10 percent of mentally ill people are registered — and these are people who have been committed, they’ve come to attention in a way that requires court intervention.
•Literature says the vast majority of people who do these kinds of shootings are not mentally ill — or it is recognized after the fact.
•The majority of mentally ill people aren’t dangerous.
Dr. Richard Friedman: ” … there is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that the vast majority of people with psychiatric disorders do not commit violent acts. Only about 4 percent of violence in the United States can be attributed to people with mental illness.”

Dr. Barry Rosenfeld: “”We’re not likely to catch very many potentially violent people” with laws like the one in New York.”

Dr. Steven Hoge: “One reason even experienced psychiatrists are often wrong is that there are only a few clear signs that a person with a mental illness is likely to act violently.”

And National Journal notes the following.

Perhaps most important, although people with serious mental illness have committed a large percentage of high-profile crimes, the mentally ill represent a very small percentage of the perpetrators of violent crime overall. Researchers estimate that if mental illness could be eliminated as a factor in violent crime, the overall rate would be reduced by only 4 percent. That means 96 percent of violent crimes—defined by the FBI as murders, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults—are committed by people without any mental-health problems at all. Solutions that focus on reducing crimes by the mentally ill will make only a small dent in the nation’s rate of gun-related murders, ranging from mass killings to shootings that claim a single victim. It’s not just that the mentally ill represent a minority of the country’s population; it’s also that the overlap between mental illness and violent behavior is poor.

I won’t continue since we’ve covered this in detail before. To my readers who believe that this has anything to do with public safety, you need to be dissuaded from such foolishness. This has nothing to do with the decreased rate of forcible admissions to mental health facilities, and nothing to do with an increase in mental health problems, and nothing to do with the availability of guns. And it has nothing to do with turning out patients from the asylums, no matter what you’ve been told.

Crime is a moral choice. I know this is uncomfortable for some of my readers, because it forces you to think about things like value judgments and the roots of morality. It all has such a deontological ring to it, and it suggests that mankind may not just be the product of primordial slime – that there is someone to whom we must answer.

But I don’t care one iota about your discomfort. The mental health profession simply cannot sustain the weight of burden you wish to place on it. It cannot tell you who will do what, or give enough medications to fix what ails mankind. It cannot control individuals who are moral agents making their own choices.
And those who would rule us know this too. They know that the mental health profession cannot function in this role, and yet the sweep of the proposed rules keeps increasing, the dragnet keeps expanding, and the Senators keep going along to get along. So what does this tell you about why they want to expand the mental health dragnet? When will you be adjudicated mentally defective because you believe that being armed is the surest way to ameliorate tyranny in America?

http://www.captainsjournal.com/2014/01/10/future-health-care-in-america-the-abyss-of-gun-rights/

Russia assumes G8 presidency, lays out key agenda – RT Jan 1, 2014

January 6, 2014 Leave a comment
Image from g8russia.ru

Image from g8russia.ru

 
On January 1, Russia began its Group of Eight presidency for 2014 and will host the 40th G8 Summit in the Olympic city of Sochi in June. This year’s G8 agenda will focus on fighting terrorism and drug trafficking, managing conflicts and disasters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has outlined the plan for the joint work of the group – which includes the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Britain, Japan, Canada, Russia and representatives of the European Union – in a statement published on a newly-launched website for Russia’s G8 presidency.

Russia’s motto for its 2014 G8 presidency is “Risk Management for Sustainable Growth in a Safe World,” the statement said.

Based on this motto, the priority issues advanced by Russia include “fighting the drug menace, combating terrorism and extremism, settling regional conflicts, safeguarding people’s health, and establishing a global management system to address risks associated with natural and manmade disasters,” Putin wrote.

He added that “numerous other issues that have previously been raised by the G8” have also been included, and some of them have already been discussed in St. Petersburg in 2006 during Russia’s first G8 presidency.

The Russian president said that “the world has not become safer in recent years, but it has undoubtedly become more complicated,” saying that while the violent conflicts are growing in numbers, the system of international law is “losing ground.”

Image from g8russia.ru

Image from g8russia.ru

 

In 2013, the meetings of Russia and some of its G8 club partners have been crucial in avoiding the escalation of the Syrian crisis at a point when a foreign intervention into the war-torn country seemed unavoidable. Another international group that includes Russia, P5+1, worked out a landmark agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, raising hopes for international trade and investment opportunities in still heavily-sanctioned country.

G8 countries have also been playing a leading role in the global economy, producing 50 percent of the world’s GDP and making 38 percent of its exports and imports combined, according to figures given at the g8russia.ru. Also, according to Interfax, the G8 economies together produce 32 percent of the world’s energy.

According to Putin, Russia does not view the G8 as “an elite club of world leaders who discuss the destiny of humanity behind closed doors.” In line with this stance, non-governmental G8 groups – Youth 8, Civil 8, Business 8 and Parliamentary 8 – are going to provide “crucial support to Russia” during its G8 presidency.

The idea of transparency and those of “dynamism, innovation and progress” have been reflected in the constructivist logo for Russia’s presidency, inspired by the Russian Avant-Garde art movement of the early 20th century, the official webpage says. The circles-based logo is also meant to be an allusion to the fact that the June 4-5 G8 summit will take place in the southern Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, which is hosting the Winter Olympics in February.

The international forum started as a Group of Six in 1975, saw Canada and the EU representatives added in 1976 and 1977, and grew to G8 since Russia’s official joining the Group of Seven in 1997. Although the G7 meetings still take place, with the latest having been in the UK last May on the level of finance ministers of the countries, they have focused on pressing economic issues and are not summoned every year. The G8 meetings are annual and have included broader range of topics, such as global security, healthcare and education.

End of Year Volograd Train Station Bombing

December 30, 2013 1 comment

explosion-russia-station-volgograd

2014 Sochi Olympics: Russia in Terrorists’ Crosshairs

Dec. 30, 2013
NEWS ANALYSIS
By FRANK CILLUFFO, Director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute
and MICHAEL DOWNING, Deputy Chief, LAPD Counter-Terrorism Bureau
 
 
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PHOTO: In this photo made by a public camera and made available by the Associated Press Television News  smoke pours out  after an explosion at Volgograd railway station, in Volograd Russia on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.

The Olympic Games belong to the world. Hosting them is a point of genuine national pride. This February, everyone will be watching the Winter Games, which Russia is hosting — and that includes “the bad guys.”

The past two days saw the latest in a series of deadly terror attacks in Russia by suicide bombers — following an attack in the same city of Volgograd just two months ago — which have undoubtedly been intended to spark jitters of Olympic proportions, possibly by a deadly Islamist group promising to disrupt an event being watched by the eyes of the world, though no group has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks.

Major international sporting events have always served as lightning rods for terrorists, of course, with the Boston Marathon bombings being the most recent and tragic example. Just think back to the 1972 Munich Olympics and the impact of Palestinian extremist group Black September’s attack on Israel’s athletes — magnified because the kidnappings and murders took place with the whole world watching the gruesome spectacle unfold.

The 2014 Games in Sochi in southern Russia present a symbolic target in a region with a long history of bloody violence. Russian authorities have long battled violent forces in the nearby North Caucasus. The Russian government fought two wars against Chechen separatists in the mid-1990’s and early 2000’s, radicalizing a generation of Muslim youths in the process.

Mainly populated by Muslims but also by over 100 ethnic groups, the North Caucasus has been immersed in endless conflict in the form of an ongoing violent Islamist insurgency, making it one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Between July and October of last year, 133 people were reportedly killed, including 32 police officers, in the conflict between militants and government forces there, mostly in Dagestan.

On September 16, a suicide bomber killed three police officers and wounded four others in Chechnya and later that day, a suicide bomber killed another police officer and wounded another individual in Ingushetia. Also on that same day, police detained a man wearing a suicide bomb after he entered a police station. A week later, another suicide bomber exploded a car outside a Dagestan police station, killing two more police officers and injuring several more including civilians. And then there was the October suicide bombing of a bus in the Russian city of Volgograd.

Is this the beginning of a larger terrorist campaign leading up to Sochi? There should be little doubt it is.

With Sochi located so close to the Chechen capital of Grozny, a hotbed of extremism, there is little geographical insulation to bring us comfort. The leader of the so-called “Caucasus Emirate,” Chechen terrorist Doku Umarov — known as “the Russian Bin Laden” — made his intentions clear in a video statement in June in which he called on his followers to “use maximum force” to put a stop to the Games.

The situation is potentially toxic and explosive and the threat should be taken seriously, as it undoubtedly is, by Russian authorities.

In May of this year, Russian authorities claimed to have foiled a plot by Umarov to attack the Winter Games. Federal Security Service (FSB) agents declared that they had detained three suspected militants and seized a weapons cache in Abkhazia, the independent Georgian republic just across the border from Sochi. Investigators said the extremists had been planning to move the weapons, which included surface-to-air missiles and grenades, to Sochi to carry out attacks during the Olympics, according to local reports.

Russian security officials have boasted to U.S. delegations that they have rolled up terrorist cells and seized more pre-positioned terrorist weapons caches discovered even closer to the Olympic venue than nearby Georgia.

 

A Violent History … and Future?

In the 1990s, several top-level al Qaeda operatives entered the North Caucasus, including Saudi-born emissaries, and also longtime Osama Bin Laden deputy and current leader of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. (Zawahiri was arrested by the Russians in 1997 and released after six months in jail.) These jihadis viewed the lands as infidel-occupied and thus joined the struggle for independence, steering the conflict into radicalism. Under Umarov’s leadership, what was once a nationalist movement has morphed into a jihadi cause. Though he has managed to co-opt and incorporate a local movement into the service of broader jihadi objectives, local buy-in to the global jihad and its larger “brand” is incomplete. Nevertheless, the danger remains acute, as the group has already demonstrated its capability repeatedly.

Chechen rebels and separatists have been behind a series of gruesome incidents historically. Examples include multiple hostage-takings in hospitals in 1995 and 1996, multiple Moscow Metro and train bombings in 2003 and 2010, hostage-taking in a Moscow theater in 2002, hostage-taking at a school in Beslan in 2004 that resulted in the deaths of 380 people including 186 children, and bombing Moscow’s Domodedovo airport in 2011.

The October 2013 Volgograd bus bombing was reportedly perpetrated by a suicide bomber from Dagestan. The bomber was the wife of an ethnic Russian, Dmitri Sokolov, who joined jihadis in Dagestan and became an adept bomb-maker, according to a source in the Dagestani security services cited by the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. He was killed by Russian authorities in mid-November.

Over the past 13 years, some 49 female suicide bombers — dubbed “black widows”– have carried out attacks in Russia, according to credible news reports. The October attack clearly showed that the militants who operate in Dagestan are capable of staging attacks far outside their home turf, which U.S. counter-terrorism officials say is a troubling signal of Umarov’s rising confidence.

Having recently “lifted” an 18-month ban on killing innocent civilians, Umarov has vowed via fiery speeches — broadcast via YouTube — to bring death and destruction to the Sochi Olympics. Umarov is using the Games to bring international attention to his separatist cause of an independent Islamic state, carved out within the borders of Russia.

In the case of the Boston Marathon bombers, brothers Dzhozkhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were natives of Dagestan and brought worldwide attention to the Chechen issue and violent extremism within Russia when authorities say they exploded two IEDs at the race last April. While Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing, Dzhokhar was apprehended and has pleaded not guilty. Umarov is attempting to gain more traction by building on renewed international interest in the conflict.

 

‘Iron Fist’ Security Could Protect Games, But What About Hotels and Restaurants?

Unsurprisingly, the Russian government has promised tight security for the Games, and with President Vladimir Putin touting the Olympics as “a personal project,” more than $50 billion is being invested to show the world what Russia can do as it hosts 2,500 athletes from dozens of countries.

Against this background and the expected deployment of ample military and quasi-military forces to secure the Games themselves, the greater vulnerability would seem to lie on the Olympic periphery, in the form of softer targets: the hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs where tourists will go — especially given the relatively isolated location of the Games. This is what happened in Uganda in 2010 when al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, al-Shabab, attacked two World Cup viewing parties in Kampala, killing 74 sports fans including one American.

Another way terrorists could duck the strong security presence is through acts of sabotage undertaken prior to the Games but timed to take effect when they are underway. For example, during construction of the various venues, it may be possible to implant an improvised explosive device with a timer attached. This possibility is not as far-fetched as it sounds. It has actually happened before: In 2004, a bomb implanted in the Dinamo football stadium within a concrete pillar, inserted by Chechen insurgents during prior repairs, killed the first President of the Chechen Republic, Akhmad Kadyrov, as well as more than a dozen others. Kadyrov’s son, Ramzan Kadyrov, is now President of the Chechen Republic, and is known to take a hard line against militants within his borders.

In our view, this type of insider threat is possible but not probable. However, many measures are being taken by Russian authorities in order to secure the Games, such as neighborhood sweeps and roundups. If executed in a too heavy-handed way, however, damage may be done to the battle for hearts and minds in the region.

Layered atop this bloody history and of even greater concern today is the foreign fighter phenomenon which could further bolster Umarov’s wherewithal to act. Foreign fighters have long been drawn to fight alongside Chechen “mujahideen brothers” in North Caucasus, and now Chechens motivated by a sense of religious duty have added Syria to their list of jihadi destinations beyond Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and the Sahel and Maghreb regions of Africa.

Russian officials believe there could be as many as 1,500 Russian Islamist militants — including 400 to 500 Chechens, 600 Dagestanis, and 200 Tatars and Bashkirs — fighting in Syria on the side of the opposition to the government of President Bashar al-Assad. They join up to an estimated 11,000 foreign fighters from 74 nations around the world. These fighters have weapons, the latest training and a desire to use it, and are battle-hardened in urban warfare should they turn their attention to Russian pride over hosting the Winter Olympic Games.

Consider the foregoing against what the Russian State and President Putin himself have at stake with the Games: national and personal credibility and prestige, and the economic future of Southern Russia. The stage is further set if we keep in mind that Putin has stood shoulder to shoulder with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the conflict in Syria, thus aligning Russia against the rebel forces in Syria, which include jihadists (foreign fighters) from across the globe.

 

US Officials Want Better Russian Cooperation on Olympic Counter-Terror

Looking ahead, it would seem a win-win for Russia to work together with the international community to keep the Games and the periphery safe, both for Russians and for athletes and visitors the world over. We have been told by U.S. officials that cooperation could be better. Umarov has set down the gauntlet, and millions have been spent on counter-terrorism efforts in Russia and the United States alone. Following the Boston Marathon incident, both countries would do well to redouble their efforts on information sharing.

Will Russia overplay its hand? Or, will it bring partners into the fold?

Certainly the 2012 London Summer Games set a high standard, if not a gold standard, for protection and international security cooperation. The question is whether this is a model that the Russians will emulate in preparation for, and at, the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. The question is far from academic as it bears significant implications for public safety and security, not only for Russians, but for all international participants in and visitors to the Games. There is little cause for optimism however, as anti-Americanism is promoted from above in Russia; and as Russian counter-terrorism operations with the United States and its allies have fallen victim to the counterproductive climate that has prevailed in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Accordingly, the United States should go into the Games with eyes wide open, in order to best protect American athletes, their families and American journalists and tourists. As yet, it is unclear how many international visitors there will be to Sochi. It is worth noting, though, that there are an estimated 5.5 million Russian-speaking people in the United States, with New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Detroit leading this demographic concentration. Should any decide to travel to the games, will they be at risk and are there any sympathetic Chechen Americans in the bunch?

Putin’s position is not to be envied. But he would be ill-advised to make a challenging situation even tougher, without cause.

Let’s make the 2014 Winter Games a safe event for all. Over to you, President Putin.

Frank Cilluffo is the Director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University. Michael Downing is the Deputy Chief and Commanding Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau. HSPI’s Sharon Cardash contributed to this article.