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Bush Tempers Expectations on Terror War

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush says staying the course in the war on terror will make the world safer for future generations, though he acknowledges an all-out victory against terrorism may not be possible.
"You cannot show weakness in this world today because the enemy will exploit that weakness," he said. "It will embolden them and make the world a more dangerous place."

When asked "Can we win?" the war on terror, Bush said, "I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the - those who use terror as a tool are - less acceptable in parts of the world."

'Coup plot': Thatcher son charged

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Mark Thatcher, the son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, has been arrested and charged in South Africa with the financing of an alleged coup plot in Equatorial Guinea.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen suspected mercenaries have gone on trial in Equatorial Guinea accused of plotting to topple the oil-rich nation's president with the help of 70 men detained in Zimbabwe, officials said.

Russia prepared for pre-emptive strikes on 'terror bases' worldwide

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia is prepared to make pre-emptive strikes on "terrorist bases" anywhere in the world, the Interfax news agency cited the country's chief of staff as saying.

"With regard to preventive strikes on terrorist bases, we will take any action to eliminate terrorist bases in any region of the world. But this does not mean we will carry out nuclear strikes," General Yuri Baluyevsky said Wednesday.

Baluyevsky added that Russia's choice of action "will be determined by the concrete situation where ever it may be in the world.

"Military action is the last resort in the fight against terrorism."

Russia rejects Powell's criticism, joins forces with Israe

HERZLIYA, Israel – While rejecting U.S. and EU criticism of its anti-terrorism reforms, Russia plans to adopt Israel's counter-insurgency methods in Moscow's war against Chechen rebels.

Russian officials said the government in Moscow has agreed to increase security cooperation with Israel and focus on counter-insurgency. The officials said the cooperation would include Israeli training and instruction on a range of issues, including aviation security and civil defense.

Rosneft-Shell joint venture to supply Caspian oil starting November

RBC, 16.09.2004, Moscow 18:28:15.Rosneft-Shell Caspian Ventures Ltd., the joint venture between Rosneft and British-Dutch Shell, has signed an agreement with NaftaTrans on oil supplies via the Caspian Pipeline System. The company will start supplying oil this November. Its monthly oil supplies are expected to amount to 100,000 tons, Rosneft told RBC. Oil produced in Chechnya is supposed to be supplied to the Caspian Pipeline System, too.

Russia and oil producing companies the Rosneft-Shell joint venture and LUKARCO are entitled to get access to the Caspian Pipeline System in the city of Kropotkin. Rosneft's Chechen-based subsidiary Grozneftegaz plans to boost oil production at an annual rate of 11 percent this year and to produce 2m tons of oil.

Russia Rebuts U.S. Criticism of Putin's Shake-Up

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (Reuters) - Russia curtly told the United States to stay out of its business Wednesday after U.S. criticism, echoed by the European Union, of President Vladimir Putin's plans for radical change that will boost Kremlin power.

Putin, citing the need for the reforms to beat terrorism, has said he will nominate regional governors himself in the future and called for changes to the electoral system that will effectively stop the rise of a strong parliamentary opposition.

Secretary of State Colin Powell, in an interview with Reuters, backed liberal criticism in Russia by saying the changes were "pulling back on some of the democratic reforms." He pledged to raise his concerns with the Russian leadership.

But Russia's foreign minister, speaking in Kazakhstan on the sidelines of a meeting of ex-Soviet states that Thursday will discuss a joint approach to fighting terrorism, said Washington had no right to impose its model of democracy on others.

"First of all, the processes that are under way in Russia are our internal affair," Sergei Lavrov said.

"And it is at least strange that, while talking about a certain 'pulling back', as he (Powell) put it, on some of the democratic reforms in the Russian Federation, he tried to assert yet one more time the thought that democracy can only be copied from someone's model," Lavrov said.

"We, for our part, do not comment on the U.S. system of presidential elections, for instance." The United States itself had been forced to take tough and controversial security steps after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. targets, he said.
EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten said a resolution to the Chechen conflict lay in "far-sighted, humane and resolute" policies rather than moves limiting democracy.

"I hope they (the solutions) are forthcoming and that the government of the Russian Federation will not conclude that the only answer to terrorism is to increase the power of the Kremlin," Patten told the European Parliament.
In Prague, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage expressed concern at signs that Moscow had become "a little bit more secretive" about its strategy for fighting terrorism.

But he also backed the Kremlin's view that there were no shades of gray between terrorist groups.

"Terrorism from our point of view and I think from the Russian Federation's point of view -- you cannot pick and choose among terrorist groups. A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist," Armitage told reporters.

US debates military strikes on 'nuclear Iran'

The Bush administration's warnings that it will not "tolerate" a nuclear-armed Iran have opened up a lively policy debate in Washington over the merits of military strikes against the Islamic republic's nuclear programme.

Analysts close to the administration say military options are under consideration, but have not reached a level of seriousness that indicate the US is preparing actual action.

When asked, senior officials repeat that President George W. Bush is removing no option from the table - but that he believes the issue can be solved by diplomatic means.

Asked whether Israel would take military action if the US dithered, Mr Schmitt replied: "Absolutely. No government in Israel will let this pass ultimately."

Tom Donnelly, an analyst with PNAC and the American Enterprise Institute, says that while inflicting military damage is possible, the consequences rule out this option.

If the US started down the military road, it would have to consider going the whole way to invasion and occupation.

"We have to start thinking in terms of a post-nuclear Iran," he said, describing the Europeans as "hopeless" on Iran, and India and China boosting their energy relations with the clerical regime.

Henry Sokolski, head of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, says the US and its allies are in a state of denial, that it is too late to stop Iran from getting the bomb. It already has the capacity, he says.

Neither of the US and European options "to bomb or bribe Iran" would succeed and both could make it worse.
"The window of opportunity for disarming strikes against Iran will close in 2005," it warns, as key plants come on stream next year. It says Iran has two dozen suspected nuclear sites.

(Temporary) Continuance of the American Way of Life At Stake in Iraq

The American government officials and presidential candidates of both parties know all about Peak Oil and the fact that (UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES) the American way of life (as we know it) is nearing its end. Even if the U.S. were to successfully continue its policy and maintain control of Iraqi oil and even extend the policy and control all Persian Gulf Oil, the end is in sight for the consumerist American way of life.

The American way of life is on borrowed time. Perhaps that is what the Project for the New American Century was all about. Perhaps the PNAC was an acknowledgment that American hegemony and even American "normalcy" cannot extend beyond 100 years. The reality is that the American way of life, according to Petroleum geologists and analysts cannot be maintained as we have known it even for another twenty years, in all likelihood. In fact, some believe that the American way of life has already begun to irreversibly change, and for the worse, and the change will be catastrophic.

For instance, American freedoms are being lost AT HOME. The installation of a surveillance apparatus and legal machinations to invoke a true BIG BROTHER process are well underway. In the intermediate future, American citizens will not only be unable to exercise a real ability to question their government and petition it for redress of grievances, but Americans will likely find themselves living in a techno-oriented police state in which they are in heavy debt, with all their assets and incomes monitored and even controlled by the central government. How much freedom could exist in that America?
The wealthy American and world elite already know all of the above and they are not only aware of it, but they are planning strategies to enhance their own survival and comfort at the expense of everyone else. But Americans of all social classes have a degree of priority in this planning over all Iraqis. Entire Iraqi citizens and infrastructure are deemed expendable. American warplanes are welcome to bomb Fallujah and Najaf and every other city in Iraq, and no more pretense is being made of serious rebuilding The principal idea behind the American invasion and occupation of Iraq was always to consolidate strategic control over Iraqi oil and with a secondary goal of attempting consolidation of American control over the entire Iraqi economy. The same wealthy Americans who skim the wealth of American workers for their own wealth also will skim Iraq's wealth for a period of time, if it is deemed cost-effective. There is no altruistic motive in the American invasion and occupation of Iraq whatsoever, never was, and never will be -- even if Kerry/Edwards were to win the presidency. You NEVER hear Kerry/Edwards talk about rebuilding Iraq, do you?

"The United States cannot afford to wait for the next energy crisis to marshal its intellectual and industrial resources...Our growing dependence on increasingly scarce Middle Eastern oil is a fool's game — there is no way for the rest of the world to win. Our losses may come suddenly through war, steadily through price increases, agonizingly through developing-nation poverty, relentlessly through climate change — or through all of the above."
   —James Woolsey, US Director of Central Intelligence, 1993 - 1995; Bush II Administration Adviser and Envoy, 2001 - Present