|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Russian Blogs Highlight LaRouche on Preventing a Dark Age
July 30 (EIRNS)The posting of a reply by American economist Lyndon LaRouche to a question from the popular Russian Live Journal blog, "Alexsword," today was ranked by the search engine Yandex.ru as one of the top ten blog postings on Russian-language sites, being viewed by thousands of people, beginning yesterday. The question, framed as a discussion of similarities between today's global crisis and the Italian bankruptcies of the mid-14th Century, posed the following to LaRouche: Since a Dark Age is inevitable out of the collapse of the current system, and people in the U.S.A. and Europe are terminally wedded to that system, why are you wasting your energy addressing them, when you could be working primarily with people in other places (Russia, Third World), where your ideas are more welcome?
LaRouche's reply, as follows, was published in full:
"My role, and influence, from inside the U.S.A. is of crucial importance for the world at large today. The very loudness and frequency of the repeated assertion that my influence inside the U.S.A. is inconsequential, is to be read as proof of the importance those sources place on attempting to deny the reality of my role here.
"The crucial issue is the identification of the remedy for the presently onrushing general breakdown-crisis of every part of the planet. There is no existing remedy for the present global breakdown-crisis, except a shift out of all monetary systems, into a credit-system modeled upon the crucial role of Alexander Hamilton in defining the economic principle on which the existence of the U.S. as the chief enemy of the British empire, today as then, has been premised. I am the only leading economist, internationally, who presently grasps that conception, a conception on which the avoidance of the present plunge of the entire planet into a new dark age now immediately depends."
Besides this direct reply from LaRouche, the posting featured excerpts from a new Russian Orthodox Church statement, attacking the role of "speculation-based capital" in the current world crisis. "Alexsword" also quoted interviews and statements by LaRouche in 1993 and 2009, linking to source documents on the LaRouche movement's own Russian-language site, such as "A New Dark Age Is at Hand: Today's 'Brutish' Imperialism" and excerpts from LaRouche's June 27, 2009 webcast. Hundreds of readers have followed those links to the LaRouche Russian site.
Is Someone Trying To Reignite Russia-Georgia War?
Aug. 5 (EIRNS)One year after the August 2008 Georgia-South Ossetia war, the situation remains a powder keg, which could feed into "arc of crisis" conflicts from south Russia to western China.
On Aug. 1, Russia accused Georgia of responsibility for mortar fire into the South Ossetian city of Tskhinvali, and warned that Moscow would act with "all available forces and means" to defend South Ossetia. Georgia responded by condemning Russia's accusation as "groundless and misleading," and charged that Russia was looking for a pretext to further destabilize the situation. According to wire reports, European Union monitors investigated the Russian charges, but found no evidence to confirm any firing into Tskhinvali, though they noted that EU patrols were blocked from entering South Ossetia and hence were unable to make a "more complete assessment of the situation on the ground."
The increase in tensions came less than a week after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made a visit to Tbilisi.
On Aug. 5, Russian leaders warned of the danger of renewed conflict, especially around the role of Georgian President Michael Saakashvili, which could involve Russian relations with the United States. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Saakashvili was attempting to play the United States against the EU monitoring mission in Georgia. Lavrov said on Vesti television that Tblisi's plan is to attract Americans to Georgia and place U.S. observers alongside Russian soldiers. And from there, the masters of provocations, plenty of whom are available to Saakashvili, "will try to do their usual work." Deploying U.S. observers would be "simply inappropriate," Lavrov said, but he supported the EU observers, Novosti reported.
The Russian military is also warning of renewed conflict, as third countries are continuing to help Georgia rebuild its military capabilities. Deputy chief of the general staff Gen. Col. Anatoli Nogovitsyn said that, with this help, Georgia is "restoring its military potential at a fast rate," Novosti reported Aug. 5. "Russia is trying to prevent a new conflict and will do everything possible to stop it taking place. This is our key task now."
Summit Discusses Afghan Opium, Energy Development, Transport
July 31 (EIRNS)Heads of states of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, and Tajikistan met at Dushanbe on July 30 to highlight the threat posed by the Afghan opium explosion, and the necessity to put in place a developmental program for Tajikistan through which the Afghan opium/heroin travels to Russia. In their joint statement, the Russian, Afghan, Pakistani, and Tajik leaders urged the world community to take additional measures in the fight against the drug threat from Afghanistan. The document emphasized concern with the growth of illegal drug trafficking as one of the main sources of financing terrorist activity. The parties urged the international community to take additional measures, in cooperation with the Afghan government, for a resolute fight against the drug threat, the statement said.
After the meeting among Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, they stressed the importance of the development and strengthening of economic and trade relations. The meeting underscored the importance of commissioning the 1,000 MW Sangtuda-1 Hydropower plant in Tajikistan. Separately, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan participated in a meeting in which they agreed to construct rail, roads, and highways on the Panji Poyon-Sherkhon and Bandar-Kabul-Peshawar routes, giving Tajikistan access to the sea through Pakistani ports. A day earlier, Zardari and his Tajik counterpart Rahkmon agreed to establish regional electricity networks and early implementation of the hydropower project.
The quadrilateral meeting is also significant in light of the Aug. 20 Afghan Presidential elections. President Karzai is seeking re-election, in a field of at least 37 candidates. While there are rumblings in Washington against Karzai's administration, the Dushanbe summit ensured support for him from important regional leaders.