Friday, August 29, 2008
It may behoove many folks to conclude that the recent Georgia-Russia conflict was an isolated event that has got to do largely with the localized problem in South Ossetia. Before the folks would make their conclusions and curse Russia to the hilt, they better take note of the facts well, most specially those facts related to the Georgia leadership’s direct connections with the Anglo-European oligarchy that installed the same leadership to power.
There has been the persistent view from the source, the Executive Intelligence Review, of the British oligarchy as the core cabal behind the various hostilities in the world today, a view that I don’t exactly share. I am of the opinion that the British, who work largely through their empire network (Commonwealth of Nations), are mere middlemen for a more secretive elite circle that is centered in the Teutonic-Frankish-Venetian bloodline of financiers.
At any rate, the oligarchs do comprise a network of interlocking interests working out to completely dominate the planet, launch a new world war, and install a global government by converting their main creation, the United Nations, into the global regulatory institution and harbinger of the ‘world rule of law’ to conserve that perpetuate that same oligarchic power based on global totalitarian arrangements.
Below is a report from the Executive Intelligence Review concerning the connections of the Georgia leadership to the George Soros circle.
[18 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to the Executive Intelligence Review database news.]
British and Soros Stooges in the Georgia Regime
Aug. 11, 2008 (EIRNS)—The following press release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee.
Ongoing research has thus far identified the following British and Soros stooges in the current government of Georgia:
1) Prime Minister: Vladimir "Lado" Gurgenidze
A British empire banker, citizen of the United Kingdom.
Born 1970, Tbilisi, Georgia. Beginning in 1997 he worked for the Anglo-Dutch giant bank ABN Amro, living in London 1998-2003. From 1997-1998 he directed the bank's corporate finance operations in Russia and neighboring countries. Among the ABN AMRO conquests was its "twinning project" ensnaring the Bank of Georgia, which had been privatized in 1994-95. From 1998-2000 Grugenidze was ABN AMRO's Director and Head of Mergers and Acquisitions in the Emerging European Markets.
After the 2003 Soros "Rose Revolution" he returned to Georgia and was chief executive (2004-2006) for the Bank of Georgia, in line with the joint UNDP-Soros structural/financial reorganization program for the country ("capacity-building"). Gurgenidze brought in a management team from ABN AMRO and other British-connected banks.
Gurgenidze was appointed Prime Minister and head of the government in November 2007.
2) Head of the National Security Council: Alexander Lomaia
A longtime top executive of George Soros operatons in Georgia, now overseeing the country's military operations.
In 2003-2004, Lomaia was Executive Director of the Open Society Georgia Foundation (Soros Foundation). He "directed the foundation's operational grantmaking and administrative activities, and fulfillment of its annual overall budget of more than $2,500.000. Supervised the staff of up to 50 program, finance, and administrative employees."
In 2003-2004, Lomaia was regional director for the former Soviet Union for the Open Society institute's "Democracy Coalition Project". He "facilitated NGO coalition-building in the newly independent countries of the former Soviet Union to promote an activist democratic reform agenda.... The project facilitated the creation of an international federation of the national coalitions which collectively pursued ... democratic reforms on the international stage."
3) Chairman, Georgia Parliament Committee for Eurointegration: David Darchiashvili
Former Executive Director, Open Society Georgia Foundation.
Darchiashvili has worked for the Soros-dominated NGO networks since 1992, primarily in the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development, a "partner institution" to the Soros Open Society Institute (among its achievements were publishing a Georgian translaton of neoconservatve Francis Fukuyama's " "The End of the History and the Last Man").
Darchiashvili was executive director of the Open Society Georgia Foundation in the period (approximately) 2006-2007, apparently succeeding now-prime minister Gurgenidze as head of Soros operations in Georgia. In his present position he coordinates the Parliamentary institutions in Georgia with the British/Soros plans for the European Union, in conjunction with such channels as the Soros "European Council on Foreign Relations."
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Just exactly what is the overall purpose of the recent Georgia-Russia conflict within the broad context of the agenda of the global oligarchy? Does it have to do with the broad war that was hatched that will begin in the Middle East, with the oligarchic proxy vassal-states taking sides in the conflict? Was the conflict a mere acid test case by the same elites to assess the offensive capabilities of Russia at this juncture?
Below is a report from the Executive Intelligence Review which lends credence to the thesis of NATO forces being honed for that larger forthcoming war. George Soros, the bagman for dozens of financier oligarchs of Europe, was identified as a key operator in fomenting the latest conflict in Central Asia that pitted the oligarchic vassal Georgia with Russia.
[18 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to the Executive Intelligence Review database news.]
LaRouche Denounces `Obama's Godfather' George Soros Behind Attempt To Start World War III in the Caucasus
Aug. 10, 2008 (EIRNS)—This release was issued yesterday by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC).
Lyndon LaRouche today denounced British agent George Soros, for his hand in the ongoing London-led efforts to trigger World War III in the Caucasus. Soros is the financial and political godfather of both Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and the purported Democratic Party Presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). In the late hours of Aug. 7, as President Saakashvili completed a nationwide television address, claiming to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis in the autonomous region of South Ossetia, he in fact ordered Georgian troops to fire on Russian peacekeepers, who were in South Ossetia as part of a United Nations mandated force, that has been there since 1994. President Saakashvili's actions now threaten to trigger World War III—precisely what the British intend as their response to the collapse of their post-Bretton Woods international financial system.
"If you want a preview of what the United States would be like under a President Obama, just look at Georgia's recent actions. Georgian President Saakashvili, like Barack Obama, is owned by the same British godfather—George Soros." LaRouche asked: "Would Soros' man Obama be another Dick Cheney if he got into office?"
Soros' own Open Society Institute boasts that it was the backbone of the so-called "Rose Revolution" that swept Saakashvili into power in 2003-2004. As of January 2004, the Soros Open Society Institute, which first set up its office in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, in 1994, began directly bankrolling the Georgian government, as part of a joint program with the United Nations' UNDP (United Nations Development Program), then headed by Mark Malloch Brown, who is now secretary general of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Malloch Brown was so close to Soros, during his tenure at the UN, that he lived in an apartment he rented from the hedge fund speculator.
Saakashvili's reckless provocations, in firing on Russian troops and killing South Ossetian civilians, who are predominantly Russian citizens, drew a strong military response from Russia, which is bound, under its constitution, to defend Russian citizens under attack. The British have been behind the destabilization of the Caucasus region since the collapse of the Soviet Union, funding and arming Chechen rebels, allowing recruitment into the Chechen separatist movements, at mosques in England, and providing safe haven to Russian Mafiya figures, like Boris Berezovsky, who bankrolled anti-Russian separatist and terrorist operations in the Caucasus.
"Now, look at the vast Soros cash flow into Obama," LaRouche concluded. "Soros is a British agent, under the control of British foreign intelligence and special operations services. He is used by them. His sources of funds, after his initial bankrolling by the Swiss branch of the Rothschild banking interests, are murky, at best. Soros is part of Britain's new opium war apparatus—and he virtually owns Senator Obama. And now he is fomenting world war provocations against Moscow, at precisely the moment that I am calling on Russia, China, and India to join the United States in creating a new international financial system that would wipe out speculators like Soros altogether."
Going back to the recent Georgia-Russia conflict, which is actually a mere dress rehearsal of NATO for its future big war upon the installation of a totalitarian North Atlantic Empire in the near future, the thesis was raised that Georgia had turned itself into a (b) vassal-state of the Anglo-European oligarchy (or ‘global oligarchy’) and (b) was the same elite’s surrogate it its conflict with Russia.
It would pay to know just exactly who are the people involved behind the scene as operators for the global oligarchy for its latest synarchy engagement in Central Asia. Analysts connected with the Executive Intelligence Review were able to identify one named Mark Brown, who works for the same elites through his sponsor George Soros.
Below is a news item from that details the information about the oligarchic operators involved in the aforesaid conflict.
[18 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to the Executive Intelligence Review database news.]
Mark `Moloch' Brown: The Empire's Coup Man in Georgia
Aug. 12, 2008 (EIRNS)—
There is good reason for the British Empire's silence about the attack by Mikhail Saakashvili's Georgia on South Ossetia on Aug. 7, an attack that brought the world to the brink of World War III. Saakashvili was put in power by the duo of British agents—billionaire speculator and Nazi collaborator, George Soros, and Lord Mark Malloch Brown, now the United Kingdom's Minister for Africa, Asia and the United Nations for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). And, by tracking the records of the UN Development Program (UNDP) which Malloch Brown administered, and Soros's Open Society Institute and its offshoots, the proverbial check stubs will be found.
Lord Malloch Brown has been in the business of overthrowing governments since 1986, when he left the London Economist for the international section of an agressive political consulting firm in the U.S. called Sawyer Miller, and from there advised the Presidential campaign of Corazon Aquino in the Philippines. He stuck with Aquino through the overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, a role about which he boasts. In 1990, he represented the Presidential campaign of Peruvian fascist novelist Mario Varga Llosa, a drug legalization advocate, who lost the election after proposing a vicious austerity program to cut the living standards of Peru's lower classes. Sawyer Miller also helped promote the Dalai Lama against China.
From Sawyer Miller, Malloch Brown spent the next 18 years at the World Bank and the United Nations, forming a deep, but secretive relationship with Soros.
He is also secretive about his finances—he lists only his government salary of about $160,000 on financial disclosure forms. Prior to taking the Ministry job, he served as the Vice Chairman of George Soros's hedge fund, the Quantum Fund in 2007. For a bit of comparison, note that Soros earned billions of dollars heading the Quantum Fund in recent years!
Malloch Brown enhances his meager government salary, however, with a government-subsidized home in London called "The Admiralty House," which is valued at about 7.76 million pounds sterling, according to the British government. Both the Spectator and the Times of London have written exposes of Malloch Brown for this sweetheart deal, where the rent is over $300,000 per year, and for which he "leapfrogged" over 20 higher-ranking cabinet members to get the perk. The price Malloch Brown demanded, to leave Soros's Quantum Fund was a fat portfolio covering the entire world, a peerage (he is now a British Lord), the right to attend Cabinet meetings, and the luxurious home.
The subsidized home deal is identical to the arrangement which Malloch Brown had for about five years when he headed the UN Development Program, and then became Deputy Secretary General of the UN, and lived in New York. There he was a tenant at the five acre estate owned by George Soros in Katonah, New York, which the UN paid for, at $120,000 a year, to Soros. It was about 20% below the market price, but when asked about this house by a reporter, Malloch Brown stormed out of the interview, exclaiming, "I am doing God's work!"
Malloch Brown and Soros have been co-conspirators in a global plot against the nation state since at least 1993, when Malloch Brown joined a group organized by Soros that travelled to Serbia and Bosnia, to advise him on how to best spend a $50 million grant to "rebuild" Bosnia, after the British orchestrated war had destroyed it. In the 1990s, Soros had also funded the street thug apparatus OTPOR, that boasts of toppling Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Soros's network later used the experienced Serbian mob-controllers to create the "democracy shocktroops" for the "Rose Revolution" in Georgia that put Saakashvili into power.
Throughout his time at the UN, Malloch Brown and Soros were a duo. They held a joint press conference in Monterrey, Mexico in 2002, to announce plans on how use UN funds, integrated with private funding from Soros and his ilk, to control the economies and policies of Third World countries. Soros was not there as a philanthropist—he was there as President and Chairman of the Soros Management Fund, a notorious hedge fund.
The Rose Revolution
There would be no Saakashvili regime today without George Soros and Malloch Brown. Even in 2001, Saakashvili was a Soros-financed operative. In January, 2004, at the annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Soros, Malloch Brown, and Mikhail Saakashvili gave a joint press conference where Saakashvili got $1.5 million—two-thirds from Soros's Open Society Institute and one-third from the UN Development Program. The funds were to be for a "Governance Reform Program" for Georgia, of which the main project was payoffs—a "Salary Supplement Fund," for which Malloch Brown arranged millions more.
Malloch Brown's UNDP bluntly describe how he and Soros would, in effect, not only give money, but would stack the Georgia government with the "skilled professionals" they would pick. The UNDP report says that,
Georgia "lacked the skilled professionals needed to design and execute sweeping reforms.... The state lacked the resources to pay salaries" that might lure the kind of globalist operatives that Soros and Malloch Brown wanted there.
So, continues the UNDP Report, "Working in close partnership with billionaire philanthropist George Soros, UNDP moved swiftly.... Speed was recognized as crucial to success. Even before Mr. Saakashvili was sworn into office, UNDP and Mr. Soros's Open Society Institute (OSI) had agreed upon the creation of a new initiative to help the new administration secure the staff and expertise it needed." The initiative—to pay a supplemental salary to Saakashvili and top government officials—went on for three years, and Saakashvili himself admitted its importance at a Washington, D.C. press conference in early 2004, when asked about his financial dependence on Soros.
Saakashvili said: "Now regarding George Soros's contribution, this is primarily UNDP Fund: United Nations Development Program Fund to fund capacity building for Georgian government, and George Soros will not be the only contributor. We said we expect, as we already have pledges from a number of other contributions. We only have at this moment, two million dollars contributed by UNDP and Soros, but we have some other pledges, we need at least eight million dollars already this year and we will need some more for the next year.... Soros played good role in bolstering democratic processes in Georgia. He was very instrumental for many NGOs in their development and I think there is nothing bad about that, wrong about that."
Malloch Brown's UNDP report even boasted that this funding had provoked "Russian President Vladimir Putin ... to chide Mr. Saakashvili that he was on Mr. Soros's payroll." By 2006, the salary supplements were over $1 million per month, says the UNDP report.
These are the funds that go to a large contingent of Soros agents who are the government of Georgia: head of the National Security Council, Alexander Lomaia; Gigi Bokeria, Deputy Foreign Minister (who had been one of the early trainees of the Serbian Otpor for street demonstrations); Chairman of Georgia Parliament's Committee for Eurointegration: David Darchiashvili, to name a few.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The ‘peace arena’ is getting to be fuzzier by the day as armed hostilities are escalating worldwide. The latest among these was that brief full-scale hostilities between Georgia and Russia, hostilities that were directly related to South Ossetia.
On the level of appearance, it was a conflict among neighbors Georgia and Russia. However, when one reflects on the added facet of Georgia’s application to the NATO as a member-state, the underpinning machinations of the Anglo-European oligarchs will be easily seen.
As already elucidated by this analyst, the global oligarchy had already formulated the blueprint for its wars of the future and the mutation of the EU and USA into totalitarian police states in the short run. Global ‘synergistic anarchy’ (synarchy), modeled after the ancient Empire of Rome, is a key strategy of the same oligarchic circles to foment conflicts across the globe, aimed as always to preposition the financier and industrial interests of their respective families and members.
It is very clear to this analyst that Georgia’s leaders have chosen to gravitate to the power orbit of the financier oligarchs, and desire to be counted among the NATO member-states. This same military umbrella will be the military arm of a forthcoming North Atlantic Empire comprising of the EU and USA, an empire that is now rapidly shaping before our own eyes.
The presence of NATO in Afghanistan and its proxy war versus Russia via the new vassal-state Georgia are among the exercises aimed at honing the military might of the alliance. The encirclement of Russia is being tested at this moment, as well as assessing the firepower capabilities of the revived Russian state whose very own leaders have turned hawkish during the last few years.
Below is an article by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, leader of the Shiller Institute, regarding the oligarchic machinations behind the Georgia-Russia conflict.
[15 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Executive Intelligence Review database news.]
IN THE FACE OF GLOBAL COLLAPSE
British, EU Target Russia With Shooting War in the Caucasus
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
With the underpinnings of the present world financial system growing shakier by the day, the outbreak of warfare in the Caucasus shows how quickly the current world situation can be thrown out of joint. It also gives us a foretaste of how quickly it could expand into a new general war. Even if no one can precisely predict how much time we have left to address the underlying cause of the growing threat of war—namely, the systemic crisis of the world financial system—the military operations in the Caucasus nevertheless make clear that our brief window of opportunity could close quite suddenly.
"Caucasus War Catches Europe Flat-Footed," was Spiegel-Online's headline to its article on Aug. 8 about the escalation of the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia—a conflict which has taken on the character of a typical proxy war between the United States and Russia. The article's author, Hans-Jürgen Schlamp, reports from Brussels on the alleged "helplessness" of the European Commission and of the French government, which currently holds the EU Presidency, all of which can do nothing except express their "deep concern."
Nothing could be further from the truth. Back in February, when the European Union—Great Britain, France, and other nations, supported Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, it was already perfectly clear that this destabilization would not only affect the Balkan states, but was also giving the green light to every conceivable separatist movement and minority throughout the world. Just as in the Balkan wars leading up to World War I, and also in the 1991-95 Balkan War, this ethnically complicated region is serving as a chessboard for British geopolitical destabilizations, with the ultimate aim of drawing the great world powers into the conflict, and/or preventing any peaceful economic cooperation on the Eurasian continent. And it is certainly no accident that, since Dec. 12, 2007, the chief of the EU's planning team for Kosovo has been none other than the British diplomat Roy Reeve, a Russia expert, whose previous postings took him to Northern Ireland, Ukraine, Armenia, and Georgia—i.e., precisely those countries which have problems with nationalities and ethnic minorities.
Already on July 15, Ronald D. Asmus of the German Marshall Fund (GMF) wrote that a war between Georgia and Russia was in the offing, and that this could easily ruin relations between Russia and the West. And that was obviously the intention all along. Asmus also chaired a meeting of the GMF earlier this year in Brussels, where five former military general staff members presented an outrageous report proposing that NATO be transformed into a globally operating intervention force which, under certain circumstances, would be permitted to launch a first strike with nuclear weapons.
With its so-called "Rose Revolution," and its desire to join NATO, Georgia has turned out to be a willing instrument of the Anglo-American strategy for encirclement of Russia. But what induced Georgia to reoccupy South Ossetia at this particular moment, 16 years after the latter declared its independence? The war in the Caucasus is part of a global destabilization effort, coinciding with the arrest of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, as well as with the destabilizations of Turkey, Pakistan, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, by means of terrorist attacks or sanctions—and we are only mentioning the most prominent of many other similar crisis spots.
Financial Crisis Fuels War Threat
As I already pointed out above, the overall context of these events is the escalating collapse of the global financial system, which has been pulling ever larger chunks of the real economy down into the abyss with it. The Federal Reserve is now committed to using its rediscount facility for making practically unlimited liquidity available to the two de facto insolvent mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae—which together, guarantee $5.3 trillion in U.S. mortgages! Not only does this have enormous hyperinflationary ramifications, but it only plugs one solitary hole in the leaking boat. In the United States, speculators are debating whether it's 3,000 or 5,000 banks which are bankrupt; eight banks have already officially shut their doors so far this year. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy—or what's left of it, after years of "outsourcing"—is sinking ever more deeply into depression: the auto sector, the airline industry, the construction sector. More and more states and municipalities are being forced to make draconian cutbacks, such as in California, where 22,000 state employees have been laid off, and another 200,000 are threatened with having pay reduced to the minimum wage.
Meanwhile, some analysts have joined Lyndon LaRouche in the view that the rate of collapse in Europe is going to be even faster. Spain's collapsing real estate sector is bringing a massive banking crisis in its wake, and similar scenarios are playing out in Great Britain, where the Royal Bank of Scotland has had to write off $12 billion in the aftermath of the government takeover of Northern Rock. The situation in Denmark is equally dismal. The official inflation rate in the EU is hovering above 4%, whereas the real rate of inflation for less well-off wage earners is far greater, because they have to spend the bulk of their income on food, energy, gasoline, housing, etc. And when none other than former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, "Mr. Bubble" himself, starts talking about the crisis of the century—a crisis for which he is personally responsible—then it's clear that he wants to prepare the world for the great crash immediately ahead.
It wouldn't be the first time in history that the international financial oligarchy has attempted to keep a worldwide financial and economic crisis under control by fanning the flames of war. And anyone who prepares for war, must first create an enemy image, so that the population can be brought into line.
Vile Attacks on China
That is precisely the intention behind the repulsive China-baiting being emitted by the media and by politicians on the occasion of the Olympic Games. Regardless of whether it's coming from witting agents of the British Empire faction, or from mindless dumbos on the morning news shows: The irresponsible gossip that has been spread during the run-up to the Olympic Games, has been simply monstrous. Without any regard for the truth, and without a shred of knowledge of China's history and culture, the wildest assertions have been floated—assertions which could well succeed in poisoning relations with China, and in helping prepare for coming conflicts with China (and with Russia).
Not only were the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing wonderfully beautiful and poetically conceived, but they were also a magnificently staged demonstration of the 5,000-year history of this great nation, one which, for a long time, was the world's leader, and which is now preparing to resume that role sometime in the future. Even though China certainly has its fair share of problems—for example, the poverty of the great majority of its rural population, and also a certain degree of Western materialism which has infected part of its population—what counts is the vector of development, and in China that vector is going upwards—in contrast to what's happening with the arrogant sophists of the West's empire faction.
The Chinese government has blocked Internet access to anti-Chinese propaganda emanating from international and British organizations in connection with Tibet and the Uighurs—and it has every right to do so. After all, do the British and American governments allow the Taliban's tracts or al-Qaeda's instructions to be circulated around the country? What do destabilization efforts by an enemy power, have to do with democracy and human rights?
The fact that in Europe, a politician who voted for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, or a representative of the media which, even after the Irish "No" in their referendum, did not run a single pertinent article on an EU treaty which would abolish parliamentary democracy in Europe once and for all, and would establish an oligarchical dictatorship, would now dare to decry a lack of democracy and human rights in China—that is truly the height of Goebbels propaganda! It would have made Goebbels pale with envy. Europe is dominated by a truly terrifying democracy deficit, resulting in an increasingly deep-seated and extremely dangerous cultural pessimism, as expressed in the famous retort, "There's nothing we can do about it, anyway." And so, those politicians and journalists who raise a fuss about democracy in China, ought to go out and listen to what the population thinks about the political class and the media—in Germany, for example.
If we are to make use of the fast-closing window of opportunity, which will hopefully remain open long enough for us to prevent the great catastrophe, then we will have to embark on a radically different path. One very promising impulse in that direction, is an article that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov wrote for the current issue of the journal Russia in Global Politics, under the title "Russia and the World in the 21st Century," which directly reflects the positions of President Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Lavrov affirms the obvious fact that the epoch of the past 400-500 years, during which European civilization has dominated the world, is now closing, and that a new vision is therefore required. He rejects not only the idea that the world will gradually adopt Western values, and the theory of "the end of history"—the idea of a global Anglo-American empire—but he also rejects the idea of a "post-American" world without the United States.
The Russian Foreign Minister emphasizes that he absolutely disagrees with the idea that current developments must end in chaos and anarchy. Rather, he believes that a new international political, financial, and economic architecture can be created, one in which Russia must play a major role as an equal partner.
The Anglo-Saxon (i.e., free-trade) model is tottering, Lavrov writes, just as it was in the 1920s, and therefore today, just as then, the model of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal is called for. China, India, Russia, and Brazil must be integrated into this new reform of our international institutions. On this basis, plans can be made for a common future for the entire Euro-Atlantic region and for the world as a whole, a future in which security and prosperity become truly inseparable, he states.
The Western nations today have essentially two options: Either they follow the British line, treating Russia, China, and India as antagonists—which means, for example, using Georgia for anti-Russian operations, fostering separatist tendencies inside China, setting financial locusts against India, and other such things. In which case, the great catastrophe is sure to come.
Or, they can heed the proposal which LaRouche has been making for some time, that a new international financial and economic order, in the tradition of Roosevelt and his New Deal, and Bretton Woods, be put onto the agenda. In such an arrangement, the United States, Russia, China, and India must collaborate as a core grouping, around which other sovereign nations can congregate. And that is essentially what Foreign Minister Lavrov says in his article.
For Europe's nations, this means that they must extricate themselves from the European Union straitjacket which, for Germany, since Maastricht at the latest, has become a new Versailles Treaty. Europe's nations can, and certainly should cooperate as a Europe of sovereign republics—which will be vastly more in keeping with the spirit of humanist Europe, than is possible today with an EU bureaucracy which is farther away from Europe's humanist tradition, than Earth is from a galaxy a couple million light-years distant.
Let us hope that the coincidence of what Greenspan himself has described as the financial system's crisis of the century, with the realization of how quickly war can break out, will be sufficient to shock responsible people back to reason.
Good morning from Manila!
India’s rural poor is very high in frequency as its overall rural population is still at an all-time high of 80%. No matter how heated the industrialization efforts are at the moment, it will take time before the benefits of industrialization will permeate the rural folks.
It is no wise action to force rural areas to commercial urbanization as an option to alleviate urban poverty.
[15 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]
Sustainable agriculture: a pathway out of poverty for India's rural poorProduced by: Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (2008)
Millions of farmers in remote rural areas of India struggle to feed themselves and their families, while the resources on which they depend are deteriorating daily. This book shows how sustainable agriculture can help India's farmers - especially those in poor, remote areas - pull themselves out of poverty. The book details 14 examples of how development initiatives have helped farmers in some of the remotest parts of the country break out of the cycle of poverty, debt and environmental degradation, and improve their lives and livelihoods through agriculture that is economically, ecologically and socially sustainable. The examples fall into three areas:
- organic agriculture
- land and water management
- improving market access for small-scale farmers.
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38679&em=310708&sub=agric
Monday, August 25, 2008
Bro. Erle Frayne Argonza
An update news about the forthcoming 2nd World Aqua Congress is hereby forwarded for possible participation by enthused parties. The affair will be held in New Delhi, India, on 26-29 November 2008.
[11 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org news.]
Conference: 2nd World Aqua Congress - "Global Climate Change and Water Resources", 26-29 November 2008, New Delhi, India
The 2nd world Aqua Congress aims to discuss "Global Climate Change and Water Resources". The conference will focus on the current practices adopted and evolving guidelines for future. Global Warming is of great concern worldwide today.
The consequences of Global warming can be seen everywhere and there are various serious concerns related to this issue:
- Average temperatures will rise, as will the frequency of heat waves.
- Warmer temperatures could also increase the probability of drought. Greater evaporation, particularly during summer and fall, could exacerbate drought conditions and increase the risk of wildfires
- Warmer temperatures increase the energy of the climatic system and lead to more intense rainfall at times in some areas
More frequent and more intensive heat waves could result in more heat-related deaths. These conditions could also aggravate local air quality problems
Warmer water in the oceans pumps more energy into tropical storms, making them more intense and potentially more destructive.
Rising global temperatures will speed the melting of glaciers and ice caps, and cause early ice thaw on rivers and lakes
Consequences include loss of coastal wetlands and barrier islands, and a greater risk of flooding in coastal communities
The increase in global temperatures is expected to disrupt ecosystems and result in loss of species diversity, as species that cannot adapt die off.
2nd World Aqua congress will provide a common platform to decision makers, policy and law makers, users, technology providers, service providers, and stake holders.
Please click on full details link for more information.Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?item=38818&em=310708&sub=enviro
Sunday, August 24, 2008
How do water resources alleviate rural poverty? What methods of intervention can be cited, and how did such intervention schemes impact on poverty alleviation? Could corruption have served as a facet of such intervention programs in developing economies?
Below is a study regarding approaches to rural poverty alleviation in Asia.
[11August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
Approaches to rural poverty alleviation in developing Asia: role of water resourcesAuthors: Lipton,M.Produced by: Poverty Research Unit, Sussex (2008)
Focusing on water resources and irrigation, this paper documents a talk by Michael Lipton exploring approaches to poverty alleviation in developing Asia. The talk discusses the findings of a recent paper 'Pro-poor intervention strategies in irrigated agriculture in Asia: poverty in irrigated agriculture - realities, issues, and options with guidelines'. It looks at a number of topical issues such as irrigation in relation to access and global poverty, irrigation corruption, and sustainability.
The study discussed rests upon household surveys in 2001-2 in 26 major and medium canal irrigation systems (and adjoining rainfed areas) in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Vietnam. The surveys showed that in the rainfed areas, crop yields are typically half those in the adjoining irrigated areas, and that the landless in irrigated areas enjoy 'much higher' wage-rates and employment. Hence typically poverty incidence is 20-30 per cent higher in rainfed than adjoining canal-irrigated settings.
The speaker notes, however, that there are big differences, among and within systems, in irrigation's efficiency, equity, and thus poverty impact. He asks, what determines the cost-effectiveness of irrigation as a sustainable remedy for poverty (a) in irrigated areas, (b) by spreading to new areas?
Key points include:
- whether management of water for farming is pro-poor depends on its sustainable impact on growth, stability and distribution of consumption, and of other indicators of well-being
- the study gives strong evidence that more equal distribution of land and irrigation is not only pro-poor but also efficient
- changes in incentives and institutions alone can bring rapid progress in solving most major problems of Asian canal irrigation, improving its economic efficiency and poverty impact
- the main disincentive for aid to irrigation has been the growing doubt about side-effects: on health, on uncompensated land loss from new works (especially among indigenous populations), and on environmental sustainability
- we need to look at the results of this project to examine the causes of collapse in irrigation investment, and about cost-effective, pro-poor ways to remedy that collapse
- Available online at:
Friday, August 22, 2008
Mapping out changing environment to constitute an atlas is a new, exciting area in geo- mapping.
Below is a recently launched atlas on Africa concerning changing environment, by the United Nations Environment Program.
[10 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]
Africa: atlas of our changing environmentProduced by: United Nations [UN] Environment Programme (2008)
This African atlas is the first publication to use satellite photos to depict environmental change in each and every African country during the last thirty years.
Through an array of satellite images, graphs, maps, and photographs, this Atlas presents a powerful testament to the adverse changes taking place on the African landscape as a result of intensified natural and human impacts. The atlas is composed of three parts:
- the first part provides a comprehensive overview of Africa's geographical attributes, highlighting issues such as land degradation and desertification, water stress, declining biodiversity, deforestation, increasing dust storms, rising pollution and rapid urbanisation
- part two presents examples of transboundary environmental issues related to shared lands and waters, migrating animals and people, and pollutants that drift over borders of neighbouring countries. It highlights both emerging challenges and success stories in addressing these issues
part three contains brief profiles of every African country, their important environmental issues, and a description of how each is faring in terms of progress towards the targets under the UN's Millennium Development Goal 7, which is to ensure environmental sustainability. "Before and after" satellite images from every country highlight specific places where change is particularly evident.
Observations and measurements of environmental change illustrated in this Atlas help gauge the extent of progress made by African countries towards reaching the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals. It is argued that this book contributes to the knowledge and understanding that are essential for adaptation and remediation.
Available online at:http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38210&em=310708&sub=enviro
A retired US general recently spoke about the overall conduct of war in Afghanistan. To the surprise and chagrin of defense experts and officials, the general most candidly declared that Afghanistan was a disaster.
The retired general spoke more like a development expert than a uniformed defense official. Accordingly, there is no military solution to Afghanistan’s problems. The ideas proposed by the same (ret) uniformed official combine relief and rehab, infrastructures, and capacity-building efforts, or those solutions that have to do more with a total development package. This is a clear departure from the demented thinking in Pentagon and DC that tend to exacerbate the destructive facets of US engagements in Afghanistan.
Below is the news item about the (ret) official’s pronouncements.
[18 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Executive Intelligence Review database news.]
McCaffrey: Afghanistan Disaster, Unless We Send in the Engineers
Aug. 7, 2008 (EIRNS)—Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who often functions as an informal advisor to senior Army leadership on the current wars, reported on the disaster in Afghanistan following his July 21-26 trip to that country and to NATO headquarters in Belgium. In a memo dated July 30, addressed to the Social Sciences department at West Point, McCaffrey writes: "Afghanistan is in misery." Sixty-eight percent of the population has never known peace, life expectancy is only 44, and Afghanistan has the highest maternal death rate in the world, he reports. The security situation, the economy (including agriculture, which is "broken"), governance, and the opium problems, are "all likely to get worse in the coming 24 months."
There is no military solution, McCaffrey writes: "The atmosphere of terror cannot be countered mainly by military means. We cannot win through a war of attrition.... Afghanistan will not be solved by the addition of two or three more US combat brigades from our rapidly unraveling Army."
Instead, McCaffrey argues that, in addition to building up the Afghan security forces, economic measures are also required. He calls for the deployment of a "five battalion Army engineer brigade... to lead a five year road building effort employing Afghan contractors and training and mentoring Afghan engineers.... The war will be won when we fix the Afghan agricultural system which employs 82% of the population.... The war will be won when the international community demands the eradication of the opium and cannibis crops and robustly supports the development of alternative economic activity." McCaffrey pointed to the tremendous growth in the poppy crop since the US invasion in 2001 and warned that "Unless we deal head-on with this enormous cancer, we should have little expectation that our efforts in Afghanistan will not eventually come to ruin." On Pakistan, McCaffrey warns against a US military intervention in that country from across the border in Afghanistan, which he says "would be a political disaster. We will imperil the Pakistani government's ability to support our campaign. They may well stop our air and ground logistics access across Pakistan and place our entire NATO presence in severe jeopardy." In dealing with Pakistan, "We must do no harm..."
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Various approaches and forms of intervention regarding sustainable natural resource management—soils, water, forests, biodiversity—were introduced across many developing countries over the past years. Some cases of experiences regarding those intervention methods that impact directly on the livelihoods of people would be fit for reflections.
Below is a case study on how local governance institutions dovetailed into sustainable natural resources management in three (3) African countries.
[10 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]
Local governance institutions for sustainable natural resource management in Mali, Burkina Faso and NigerAuthors: Hilhorst,T.Produced by: Royal Tropical Institute (2008)
This paper reflects on experiences from research and interventions in the Sahel on management of renewable natural resources - soils, water, forests, and biodiversity - for the purpose of food and income generation. It focuses on local governance institutions in relation to natural resource entitlements, use and decision-making on management in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.
The study explores the range of existing local governance institutions that is best managed at this level for each resource type, prevailing local institutions for governing natural resources and trends. Particular attention is paid to the influence of customary institutions, project interventions, and democratic decentralisation. It is argued that development agencies can play a role in strengthening local governance institutions for sustainable natural resource management by:
- holding governments to account for the policies it has signed up to as part of agreements around sector and budget support
- contributing to a more conducive policy context for decentralised management of natural resources and local governance institutions, by supporting the governments of the three countries in finalising the legislation that is being planned, developing the accompanying decrees and procedures, and supporting implementation and monitoring the effects, such as on women and marginal groups
- encouraging policy alignment and harmonisation, for example through the linking of decentralisation policy with natural resource management, environmental protection and land administration
- improving the quality of policy implementation through occasional support to pilot activities to promote the testing of new approaches on institutional solutions to natural resource-related problems in different contexts
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38277&em=310708&sub=enviro
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The World Trade Organization may be dead in the woods. We may need to prepare dirges as a form of respect for this deadwood institution. It isn’t working at all, this idea of global trade regime galvanized as WTO and the GATT before it.
Probably the idea of ‘globalization’ as proposed by contemporary thinkers, which concretely incarnated in the institution of the WTO, may have been badly incubated. It’s like forcing antiquarian ideas of free trade—writ by physiocrats of France (Quesnay et al) and Scotland (Adam Smith, et al)—unto a context that is altogether different.
Remember that free trade could have never worked at all without imperialism, that Smith’s idea of free trade was in fact a policy project of the British East India Company which had Smith on its payroll. Without imperialism, free trade can’t be enforced.
That is why there is another section of the world population called the ‘fair traders’ who opt for another paradigm track in place of ‘free trade’. I am among these sub-population of fair traders, no matter how odd fair trade may be.
Below is a news item released by the economist Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee, which pronounced the death knell on the WTO.
[18 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Executive Intelligence Review database news.]
WTO Dies, Brits Mourn
July 30, 2008 (EIRNS)—This release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC).
Yet another bankrupt institution of the British imperial world order of free trade and globalization bit the dust this week, with the thunderous collapse of the Doha round of trade liberalization talks of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In mid June, the British blueprint for European fascism, the Lisbon Treaty, likewise was buried by a plebiscite in Ireland.
European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, a top British imperial mouthpiece, summarized his master's voice on Doha's decease: "We missed the occasion to put into place the first world pact to redraw the world order." Visibly emotional, Mandelson added: "I'm afraid that on this subject an irresistible force met an unmovable object in the negotiating room, and the rest is history."
The "unmovable object" was the resistance of the majority of the world's population—as represented by the governments of India, China, Indonesia, and 90 other nations—as well as substantial political forces in Europe and elsewhere, that refused to go along with slitting their own economic throats in order to please London.
For example, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to a highly annoyed Le Monde, reached the director general of the WTO, the Frenchman Pascal Lamy, on the phone on July 28, to tell him that, "in the name of the European people, he could not give his support to the agreement as it was." Le Monde complained about Sarkozy's activism, who in three days called numerous European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to explain his point of view. "France joined a 'coalition of the willing' whose objective was to increase the pressure on M. Mandelson," Le Monde wrote, "at the price of worsening divergences which appeared in the European camp. Along with Paris, there were eight countries, among which Italy, Ireland and Poland are members of the circle" which didn't accept the deal crafted by Mandelson.
The entourage of Mandelson, who refused to come to Paris when Sarkozy summoned him for discussions, is nagging: "France is putting into question the institutional mechanism... In the end, France will find itself alongside Cuba, Venezuela and Argentina," Le Monde sputtered, "and Germany will become the real pivot of the European Union."
Other international financial media also engaged in moaning and hand-wringing over the WTO demise. The July 30 Wall Street Journal ran an article headlined "Global Trade Talks Fail As New Giants Flex Muscle," in which they confess that the failure "leaves the so-called Doha Round of talks dead in the water... The setback could also signal an end to some 60 years of continuous expansion of global free-trade deals." And the Financial Times ran an article with a headline that just as well could have applied to the Lisbon Treaty collapse six weeks ago: "Negotiatiors Sift the Debris for Signs of Hope." They confess that none could be found.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
There were so many areas across countries that were declared as ‘protected areas’ in the past years. In my own country, the Philippines, no less than a separate bureau was created to focus on the matter of protected areas.
It is now time to evaluate the impact of the various intervention efforts focusing on protected areas and how they mitigate ecological problems for people.
Below is an example of a cross-national study that focuses precisely on protected areas.
[10 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]
People, protected areas and global change: participatory conservation in Latin America, Africa, Asia and EuropeAuthors: Galvin,M.; Haller,T.Produced by: NCCR North South (2008)
This document compares findings from in-depth research on protected area (PA) management in Latin America Africa, Asia and Europe. It describes how PAs have been managed over the last 50-100 years and considers the ecological, social and economic benefits brought by enhanced participation.
The case studies presented in the book are from Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Tanzania, Madagascar, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Indonesia, Nepal, and Vietnam. These individual studies look at the problems people face and at environmental issues from a variety of angles, including governance and institutions, different actors' interests and strategies, livelihoods and natural resources, and economic and political contexts.
The authors highlight lessons learnt, best practices, and potentials for mitigation of negative impacts with respect to conservation of landscapes and biodiversity. It is argued that relations between PAs and local people are difficult because perspectives on nature, natural resources and conservation are closely interlinked with restrictions and competition in land and resource use, as well as other rights.
The case studies highlight that the understanding of participation also varies greatly in all cases, as does the role of development.The basic lessons learnt from the literature and case studies are summarised as follows:
although most of the PAs studied are participatory in their formal structure, this does not translate into economic benefits for local people
power issues and issues of ideology are used strategically by all actors in order to structure governance and the underlying institutions for their own gain for local actors political gains may be an incentive to strategically subscribe to conservation goals, especially if they have ownership of the decision-making process.
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38428&em=310708&sub=enviro
Monday, August 18, 2008
Is the global economy moving downward towards a devastating collapse?
If we employ a long-term Kondratieff cycle to model the world economy, we can see that the period beginning in 1935 approximately (when the big market economies US-UK-Germany moved towards another cycle of growth approximately after the Great Depression) should have ended around 1995 approximately, after which comes another great depression.
As early as 1989, ramblings of a global collapse began to murmur in the US economy. Mexico, Japan, Argentina, and other economies followed in the 1990s, while Europe went through a general low-growth trend that was the most sustainable for the continent as a whole. Then came the Asian meltdown of 1997. Then the USA again went through a recession in 2001, a pattern that has been repeated again from 2008 to the present. It seems that the pillars of the world economy couldn’t get out of a short-term crisis without having to crash back to another episode of short-term crisis altogether.
Is it really a ‘short-term’ crisis in the first place? Or is it in fact a ‘systemic crisis’, and that the financial downspin the Northern economic pillars are going through could very well be the terminal phase of a very long cycle of growth that began after the end yet of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648)? That in fact, several long-wave Kondratieff cycles have already passed over since that time, and that finally the system is DEAD in the wood?
Well, not only the financial system but the whole of CAPITALISM is already on its death throes.
Those oligarchs behind the systems now dying won’t see the system they built die down just like that without “bringing down the other houses” with them, it seems. Which means that, right after the terminal phase of the system, another huge, catastrophic war will come, which will later see another Westphalian-type treaty or so that will re-carve the contours of polities into a Post-Westphalian totalitarian technotronic global order.
Below is a briefer from the Executive Intelligence Review that summarizes the issue at hand.
[18 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Executive Intelligence Review database news.]
End of the Line for Financial System; Bankruptcy Issue Raised
Aug. 10, 2008 (EIRNS)—The death of the financial system was the implicit subject of several articles in the financial press over the weekend, reflecting the way reality is setting in and attitudes are changing.
"Investment banking is dying," was the blunt statement by William Cohan, in a op-ed in today's Washington Post entitled "The End of the Masters of the Universe?" Cohan says that the revenue streams of the investment banks are drying up, and that there is genuine fear in the corridors of power on Wall Street.
"We have a banking crisis and an agency crisis and a mortgage crisis and a coming credit card crisis. We've never seen anything like that before. And it all seems to be coming home to roost at the same time. That's never happened either," Charles Geisst, a professor of finance at Manhattan University, told yesterday's Washington Post. He said the Great Depression was the last time the financial markets were hammered by such a variety of factors, adding: "But we did not even have credit cards in the 1930s; there was no such thing as student loans."
The specter of generalized bankruptcy was raised by Yale finance professor Robert J. Shiller in an op-ed in the New York Times. Citing the failure of Bear Stearns and the government measures to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Shiller asks, "What if the next case is worse? No one in government seems to feel a responsibility for warning about such possibilities and formulating a detailed policy for dealing with them." Shiller says that "Bankruptcy law is a good place to start. After all, the dreaded financial meltdown would amount to a wave of bankruptcies.... What would happen to the economy if hedge funds had to liquidate, one after another, in a financial crisis? We need to rethink the theory and practice of bankruptcy, given the new complexities."
Shiller points to the inherent limitations in current bankruptcy laws, which were largely drawn to protect narrow financial interests, and are poorly suited to deal with systemic problems, when a "subsidized system of triage would be needed to identify which companies should be saved, with the main criterion being the possible economic impact of their liquidation."
These comments, taken as a whole, represent the way discussions of the "unthinkable" are beginning to percolate, and converge upon the outlook of Lyndon LaRouche. Shiller's mention of triage by bankruptcy echoes the emergency measures proposed by LaRouche, of putting the financial system itself through bankruptcy, protecting the population with a firewall, and freezing the financial paper while we determine what debts will, and won't, be honored. Whatever Shiller may think about LaRouche's proposals, he is implicitly admitting that the system is finished, and that we must prepare for its demise, making decisions on the basis of the interests of society, and not merely the narrow interests of financial institutions. Reality is setting in, and reality leads inexorably to the policies outlined by LaRouche.
News came out recently about the suicide by a biodefense researcher who may have something to do with the anthrax scare weeks after the 9/11 event in the USA. I was in the USA at that time, and I witnessed the anxiety and trauma done by that sordid event.
My own theory then was that rouge forces within the USA were the ones behind the 9/11. The series of scare tactics and bombing hoax that followed could have been part of that overall agenda. The grand levels of fears could have been used to justify more police state intervention, at the worst leading to a declaration of Martial Law in the whole USA.
The bad thing, I think, is that the biodefense researcher’s death cut up the opportunity to find out who were the real people behind that anthrax scare. The rouge forces connects to Establishment, this is most likely, so the researcher’s death will bury forever that channel of command between this researcher and the real manipulators behind the screen.
The news report below reflects the update news about the researcher’s death.
[02 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to MSN database news.]
By LARA JAKES JORDAN and DAVID DISHNEAU, Associated Press Writers Fri Aug 1, 3:57 AM ET
WASHINGTON - A top U.S. biodefense researcher apparently committed suicide just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him in the anthrax mailings that traumatized the nation in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a published report.
The scientist, Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who worked for the past 18 years at the government's biodefense labs at Fort Detrick, Md., had been told about the impending prosecution, the Los Angeles Times reported for Friday editions. The laboratory has been at the center of the FBI's investigation of the anthrax attacks, which killed five people.
Ivins died Tuesday at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Maryland. The Times, quoting an unidentified colleague, said the scientist had taken a massive dose of a prescription Tylenol mixed with codeine.
Tom Ivins, a brother of the scientist, told The Associated Press that another of his brothers, Charles, told him Bruce had committed suicide.
A woman who answered the phone at Charles Ivins' home in Etowah, N.C., refused to wake him and declined to comment on his death. "This is a grieving time," she said.
A woman who answered the phone at Bruce Ivins' home in Frederick declined to comment.
Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr and FBI Assistant Director John Miller declined to comment on the report.
Henry S. Heine, a scientist who had worked with Ivins on inhalation anthrax research at Fort Detrick, said he and others on their team have testified before a federal grand jury in Washington that has been investigating the anthrax mailings for more than a year.
Heine declined to comment on Ivins' death.
Norman Covert, a retired Fort Detrick spokesman who served with Ivins on an animal-care and protocol committee, said Ivins was "a very intent guy" at their meetings.
Ivins was the co-author of numerous anthrax studies, including one on a treatment for inhalation anthrax published in the July 7 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
Just last month, the government exonerated another scientist at the Fort Detrick lab, Steven Hatfill, who had been identified by the FBI as a "person of interest" in the anthrax attacks. The government paid Hatfill $5.82 million to settle a lawsuit he filed against the Justice Department in which he claimed the department violated his privacy rights by speaking with reporters about the case.
The Times said federal investigators moved away from Hatfill and concluded Ivins was the culprit after FBI Director Robert Mueller changed leadership of the investigation in 2006. The new investigators instructed agents to re-examine leads and reconsider potential suspects. In the meantime, investigators made progress in analyzing anthrax powder recovered from letters addressed to two U.S. senators, according to the report.
Besides the five deaths, 17 people were sickened by anthrax that was mailed to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and members of the news media in New York and Florida just weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The victims included postal workers and others who came into contact with the anthrax.
In the six months following the anthrax mailings, Ivins conducted unauthorized testing for anthrax spores outside containment areas at USAMRIID — the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick — and found some, according to an internal report by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, which oversees the lab.
In December 2001, after conducting tests triggered by a technician's fears that she had been exposed, Ivins found evidence of anthrax and decontaminated the woman's desk, computer, keypad and monitor, but didn't notify his superiors, according to the report.
The report says Ivins performed more unauthorized sampling on April 15, 2002, and found anthrax spores in his office, in a passbox used for moving materials in and out of labs, and in a room where male workers changed from civilian clothing into laboratory garb.
Ivins told Army investigators he conducted unauthorized tests because he was worried that the powdered anthrax in letters that had been sent to USAMRIID for analysis might not have been adequately contained.
In January 2002, the FBI doubled the reward for helping solve the case to $2.5 million, and by June officials said the agency was scrutinizing 20 to 30 scientists who might have had the knowledge and opportunity to send the anthrax letters.
After the government's settlement with Hatfill was announced in late June, Ivins started showing signs of strain, the Times said. It quoted a longtime colleague as saying Ivins was being treated for depression and indicated to a therapist that he was considering suicide. Family members and local police escorted Ivins away from the Army lab, and his access to sensitive areas was curtailed, the colleague told the newspaper. He said Ivins was facing a forced retirement in September.
The colleague declined to be identified out of concern that he would be harassed by the FBI, the report said.
Ivins was one of the nation's leading biodefense researchers.
In 2003, Ivins and two of his colleagues at the USAMRIID received the highest honor given to Defense Department civilian employees for helping solve technical problems in the manufacture of anthrax vaccine.
In 1997, U.S. military personnel began receiving the vaccine to protect against a possible biological attack. Within months, a number of vaccine lots failed a potency test required by federal regulators, causing a shortage of vaccine and eventually halting the immunization program. The USAMRIID team's work led to the reapproval of the vaccine for human use.
The Times said Ivins was the son of a Princeton-educated pharmacist who was born and raised in Lebanon, Ohio. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in microbiology, from the University of Cincinnati.
He and his wife, Diane, owned a home just outside the main gate to Fort Detrick. …
Climate change is reshaping human engagements the world over. In Africa, observations have already been made before regarding vulnerabilities to climate change and related attendant ecological concerns.
Below is a report regarding energy interventions that could re-adjust the livelihood/economic engagements of peoples of Africa.
[09 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]
A preliminary assessment of energy and ecosystem resilience in ten African countriesAuthors: Connor,H.; Mqadi,L.; Mukheibir,P.Produced by: HELIO International (2007)
Africa is vulnerable to climate change on two fronts: firstly, because of existing vulnerabilities and secondly, due to capacity limitations for disaster mitigation and inability to adapt to climate change. There is an urgent need to ensure that activities centring on adaptation to climate change and sustainable energy development are increased and maintained so as to generate sustainable livelihoods.This paper is a preliminary attempt to identify points of vulnerability as they relate to climate change-related events and sketch out what changes are needed - both politically and programmatically - to increase resilience. It explores the current state of vulnerability and details potential for adaptation. Results are presented summarising the key vulnerabilities for eight sub-Saharan countries: Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
It is argued that energy development for Africa in a changing climate will require greater emphasis on small-scale, decentralised and diversified supply and increased distribution to households and enterprises alike. A diversified and distributed energy mix is identified as the best insurance policy against climate change. However, it is argued that adaptation of energy policies and systems is only part of the solution; building up the resiliency of local populations and energy systems is equally important.
Key priorities identified for policy are:
harness the value of indigenous knowledge to plan and achieve resilience
mobilise adequate and stable financial resources
mainstream adaptation and resilience in the development process
develop policies to institutionalise and mobilise "social capital"
The authors conclude that, despite the obstacles facing Africa, hope is not lost. They identify a number of positive characteristics upon which successful programmes can and should be built, including:
culturally, Africa has strong social networks, which serve an important function in educating communities, disseminating information and serving as substitutes for collateral in micro-loans as primary collectors and users of biomass and water, women are well-placed to monitor and manage resources, spur innovation on adaptive techniques and experiment with new management approaches Africa's decades-long experience coping with poverty that may be its strongest resource. By its collective survival, the region has shown itself to be adaptive and resilient despite enormous obstacles.
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38442&em=310708&sub=enviro
Friday, August 15, 2008
Good morning from Manila!
Below is a news item regarding UN efforts aimed at helping out in the provision of food for those fleeing residents affected by the latest rounds of conflicts between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). Close to 130,000 residents were already displaced by the hostilities that have not even geared up for full battles.
As already reported, the contentious issue centers on the ‘ancestral domain’ for Muslims. There were not much public debates about the matter, though in Mindanao various sectors were invited to participate in the deliberations prior to drafting. The disagreements regarding content and implementation led the MILF forces to withdraw from the peace talks, and proceeded with occupation of villages by their armed force.
Below is a news item regarding UN efforts to assist in the food supply chain for the fleeing residents.
[13 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to yahoo.com database news.]
UN begins airlifting food aid to Mindanao
The United Nations has begun airlifting food to Mindanao to avert a major humanitarian crisis as thousands flee fighting between Muslim rebels and troops, officials said yesterday.
Fighting continued as soldiers used artillery and helicopter gun ships to pound rebel positions around towns and villages in North Cotabato, a poor farming province in Mindanao.
The UN's World Food Program (WFP) has begun airlifting 400 metric tons of rice worth $308,000 to assist 90,000 persons from conflict-affected communities in North Cotabato for at least one month.
The food support is WFP's response to the request made by the provincial government of the province, with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) still validating the number of the persons affected by the ongoing clashes.
The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said more than 129,819 people have been displaced from 42 villages in North Cotabato since fighting began last week.
The refugees are to be provided food support in at least 43 government evacuation centers in the province.
"WFP fully understands that the situation remains fluid, and we will continue to work closely with all concerned to further assess the total number of affected persons and adjust our response accordingly. WFP remains concerned over the growing number of persons displaced by the violence between the armed forces and the MILF," said Stephen Anderson, WFP country director.
"Many of the affected population are women and children, and we are concerned for their well-being and stand ready to support humanitarian needs. We hope for peace, so that these families can return to their communities," he said.
Anderson said WFP remains committed to providing support and technical expertise during emergencies and natural disasters.
The NDCC said 43 evacuation centers have been set up for the refugees but these are now overcrowded and fast becoming health hazards.
"This is turning into a humanitarian mess," Rep. Risa Hontiveros said.
"The refugee crisis is an unacceptable cost of the government's mismanagement of the peace process. A peace process should lead to the protection of life and property, and yet what's happening is the opposite," said Hontiveros, who has called for an immediate halt to the fighting.
Fighting began last week after the Supreme Court ordered the government to suspend plans to establish an extended Muslim homeland in Mindanao.
The decision saw around 1,500 heavily armed renegade Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels take control of mainly Christian villages and towns in North Cotabato.
Commission on Human Rights chairwoman Leila de Lima described the situation in North Cotabato as "serious" and called for an immediate ceasefire.
She told local television that evacuation centers needed urgent supplies of food and medicine for the refugees.
The government has said that the fighting will not disrupt the ongoing peace process and that the Supreme Court decision last week was a "temporary setback."
In Pikit, North Cotabato, nine-year-old Rakma Kasanuba sings lullabies to her baby sister as the infant tries to sleep in a makeshift hammock under a guava tree as mortars explode without end in the distance.
Her three other younger sisters sit on the muddy ground guarding their meager belongings while military attack helicopters thunder overhead searching for Muslim separatist rebels 400 meters away in a forested area.
At her tender age, Rakma is a veteran of evacuation camps.
"I don't know why I am here," she told AFP. "My family was told by the military to leave because they said Moros (Muslims) were advancing.
"We left at dawn, but my father had to stay behind to protect our house," Rakma said. "My mother took us here, but she is away to look for food and relatives who were also told to evacuate."
Rakma and her sisters are among 6,000 people forced to flee their homes in Tacepan, a mixed Christian-Muslim farming hamlet that is one of 22 villages being illegally occupied by a renegade group from the MILF.
In a town's school, families are tightly packed in small classrooms, with no bedding.
Latrines are overflowing, while goats, cows and other farm animals taken by the refugees crowd the school lawn in a feeding frenzy on what little grass is left.
Though soldiers have been sent to protect them, they are not safe from indiscriminate mortar fire from the enemy side.
Social welfare officer Imelda Balios said urgent appeals for supplies have been sent to the government to avert a bigger humanitarian crisis. - Pia Lee-Brago (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)
As I’ve been stressing in various articles and lectures of mine, development efforts can only take substance in any community in the presence of innovation interventions. No effort can be regarded as ‘development’ without intervention.
Development theory had already clarified the central import of innovation in any change undertaking. Without which, any such effort to help people move in life would be ‘social work’ or ‘humanitarian work’ rather than development.
Here is a report from the United Nations that deals with the subject, with case studies done in Africa.
[09 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]
Innovation for sustainable development: local case studies from AfricaAuthors: United Nations PublicationsProduced by: Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations (2008)
This report aims to shed light on the way innovative solutions have arisen to address local sustainable development challenges, examining the determinants of success and the scope for replication. The report focuses on the African experience, and contributes to the documentation for the 16th and 17th sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development.
The volume is composed of ten case studies, selected for their truly innovative nature, effective implementation, significant outputs and generation of real social welfare improvements.
Examples include sustainable community-based beekeeping, community water supply initiatives and innovative water governance. They are grouped under five headings: enhancement of agriculture and fisheries, protection of ecosystems, water management, health improvement and sustainable tourism. Practical conclusions drawn from the case studies include:
sustainable projects need to link environmental goals to income generation, draw upon local knowledge and ideas, ensure effective buy-in from stakeholders through local community involvement in project design and implementation, and employ financially self-sustaining business models
external forces which impact on a project and affect conditions for success include international markets and national legislation. In some cases though, local success can provide arguments for more accommodating national policies to facilitate replication and scaling up simplicity in project design, committed seed capital and integration of local traditions and cultural heritage appear to be important success factors for innovative local initiatives
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38653&em=310708&sub=enviro
The controversial MOA between the GRP (Philippine government) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which calls for the establishment of a Bangsamoro ancestral dominion or area in Mindanao island, was supposedly signed recently. Detractors were able to delay the signing by petitioning the Supreme Court for a restraining order.
Mr. Iqbal, a top official of the rebel group, pronounced thereafter that the MOA is already a done deal, that no Supreme Court order could stop its implementation. Maybe the rebels better prepare statements that would somehow allay the fears of detractors of the MOA, detractors that include Muslim residents of Zamboanga City.
Amid the amicable spirit behind the drafting, the non-signing so far had led to new rounds of hostilities in the affected areas. See the MOA highlights for your briefer view.
[06 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to yahoo.com database news.]
Highlights of MOA between government, MILF
Philippine Star - Tuesday, August 5
The memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain whose signing today was ordered stopped by the Supreme Court would authorize the so-called Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) to negotiate directly with foreign governments and set up its own police force.
Aside from expanded territory, the BJE under the MOA will also be given control over natural resources found within 15 kilometers from the shoreline of BJE territories.
Beyond 15 kilometers, control over key resources like oil and minerals will be shared 75-25 between the BJE and the government.
According to the MOA, the core of the BJE covers the present geographic area of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, including the municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan, and Tangkal in the province of Lanao del Norte that voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite.
The MOA said a plebiscite would be held to decide the possible inclusion of 735 barangays in Isabela City in Basilan, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao Norte, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga Sibugay and Palawan.
Under the MOA, the BJE will also establish a system of governance suitable and acceptable to the people under its jurisdiction.
"The parties agree that the BJE shall be empowered to build, develop and maintain its own institutions, inclusive of civil service, electoral, financial and banking, education, legislation, legal, economic, and police and internal security force, judicial system and correctional institutions, necessary for developing a progressive Bangsamoro society, the details of which shall be discussed in the negotiation of the Comprehensive Compact," the MOA said.
The MOA said the BJE is free to enter into any economic cooperation and trade relations with foreign countries, provided that these alliances will not put the Philippines in conflict with other nations.
"Without prejudice to the right of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity to enter into agreement and environmental cooperation with any friendly country affecting its jurisdiction, it shall include the option to establish and open Bangsamoro trade missions in foreign countries with which it has economic cooperation agreements and the elements bearing in mind the mutual benefits derived from Philippine archipelagic status and security," the MOA said.
It also stated that the Philippine government shall "take necessary steps to ensure the BJE's participation in international meetings and events such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other specialized agencies of the United Nations."
"This shall entitle the BJE's participation in Philippine official missions and delegations that are engaged in the negotiation of border agreements and protocols for environmental protection, equitable sharing of incomes and revenues, in the areas of sea, seabed, and inland seas or bodies of water adjacent to or between islands forming part of the ancestral domain, in addition to those of fishing rights," according to the MOA. - James Mananghaya/Philstar