Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crackdown on democracy in Georgia, US Embassy's Statement Leads to Blood and Death!

Spin Doctors and NY Times, Brutal Crackdown on Fledgling Democracy in Georgia


The NY times did a spin article on the event.


I wonder who really benefits from all of this, as one American journalist recently said,

US Ambassador John Bass could have prevented all the bloodletting during the early morning hours of your Independence Day. He could have made a point that there is potential problem and that such problems need to be solved peacefully. At least he could have sent out Embassy observers to monitor the situation first hand to make sure that human rights were not violated.

·     But he didn’t because the US wants Georgia to be even more dependent on the US for its political and physical survival. By encouraging Saakashvili, (giving him the green light) this was payback for when Georgia established a visa free regime and open trade agreement with Iran.
·         One only has to look at Bass’s CV to understand why he is really here. His works experience in Iraq connected to logistics and being a personal advisor to former Vice President Dick Cheney and the Bush administration shows his true colors and the continuity of US foreign policy between administrations. The US needs Georgia as a conduit for what goes in (and out) of Afghanistan, and for its proxy wars in Africa. Such statment by the US Embassy as quoted in the NY TImes are viewed very negatively by Georgians, espeically in the aftermath of a bloody and deadly crackdown on pro-democracy forces within Georgia. People are now growing tired of the double-speak, and this is strengthening anti-Americanism about the rank and file.

US Ambassador John Bass could have prevented all the bloodletting during the early morning hours of your Independence Day. He could have made a point that there is potential problem and that such problems need to be solved peacefully. At least he could have sent out Embassy observers to monitor the situation first hand to make sure that human rights were not violated.

·         But he didn’t because the US wants Georgia to be even more dependent on the US for its political and physical survival. By encouraging Saakashvili, (giving him the green light) this was payback for when Georgia established a visa free regime and open trade agreement with Iran.
·         One only has to look at Bass’s CV to understand why he is really here. His works experience in Iraq connected to logistics and being a personal advisor to former Vice President Dick Cheney and the Bush administration shows his true colors and the continuity of US foreign policy between administrations. The US needs Georgia as a conduit for what goes in (and out) of Afghanistan, and for its proxy wars in Africa.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Geonews Exclusive : Cold Blooded Murder on Tbilisi’s Rustaveli Ave, May 25, 2011

Two American journalists found a dead protester on Rustaveli Ave left to die, after having been apparently beaten to death by police. Only because of the journalists’ indignation and insistence did medical assistance arrive. Nonetheless, it was too late, now realizing the man was stone cold dead. It is clear that no attempts were made to provide CPR, the police and medics quickly focused on threatening the journalists and preventing them from taking more photos of the dead body.

A protester lies lifeless on the streets of Tbilisi - Photo by Ian Carver

They then instructed an ambulance to relocate, as they wanted to block security forces and other media from having a clear view of the body laying lifeless on the curbside. Apparently the intention was to prevent the now shouting American journalist from being heard, blocking him pointing to the drenched and cold body as “being a human being and not a piece of trash.”

Jeffrey K. Silverman, freelance journalist, 20 years in Georgia was first on the crime scene; photo (s) taken by Ian F. Carver.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Peaceful protesters arrested and beaten across Georgia

Crying out for freedom: peaceful protesters arrested and beaten across Georgia

May 22, 2011 – Tbilisi, Batumi Georgia

The opposition, often declared by the government as ineffective and an instrument of Russian Foreign Policy is finally having an effect. With a new flare of violence,  the people of Georgia are demanding the rights and freedoms as promised to them under the Georgian constitution and by their president elect, Michael Saakashvili, their plight is getting all the more difficult. They see no alternative but to take to streets to demand change as they come to realize that their country is being looted and the national wealth sold off by ruling elite.

In front of Georgian State TV, Tbilisi

Georgian police clashed Monday morning with demonstrators who massed for a night outside the Georgian Public TV station to demand that their country’s president resign. Disgruntled but hopeful looking protesters were physically provoked by a “gang” of what appeared to be plain clothed police officers. The purpose of the police (if they were actually police in the first place) was to intentionally provoke the protesters following an earlier instance with rubber bullets being fired along with canisters of teargas. The police present was clearly not for the sake of crowd control for what would have otherwise been a peaceful protest.  Later they joined in with a rock and stick throwing match to further inflame the crowd.

What is happening in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, comes a day after a similar protest action in Batumi, a Black Sea port city that once strongly supported President Mikheil Saakashvili. Times change, and now one only needs to look at what is happening in Georgia and to judge for oneself to understand the reality on the ground.

In front of Adjara TV, Batumi

The following clip shows the mood of the crowd in Batumi , and exactly 40 seconds into the film you can see the face of one of the persons who was rounded up last night by enforcers the Saakashvli regime, Temuri Chanturiashvili, a retired school director from Batumi, and former supporter of Saakashvili back in 2004, when there was a tense standoff between Tbilisi and Aslan Abshadze, the mafia head of what was at the time a Black Sea fiefdom.

Neither his wife nor his two daughters know of the plight of a nearly 60 year-old-grandfather.  Temuri was arrested with scores of other protesters yesterday evening and is now in lockdown in an unknown location. The family is fearful for his health, and he has been subject to previous attacks, including his car was destroyed.

Details are still sketchy, but it is so far understood that he is facing at least 45 days of detention. However, this can mean torture or even death in the Georgian criminal justice system, especially those who are arrested on political grounds.

Now the tides appear to be turning, even people within Georgian ministries are sharing on facebook the displeasure with the corruption and mafia policies of the Government of Georgia. They are beaten many people; police are shooting rubber bullets and have goons working over the crowds.

Even the first channel, Georgian Public TV is not acting as it did in 2007 and being the mouthpiece of the State. WOW I SAW NOW THE FIRSTS CHANNEL'S REPORTAGE... FIRST TIME THEY SHOWED SOMETHING WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON??? As one journalist wrote back in a response for information as what is being reported on state TV, “too busy unspinning the news, check out www.1tv.ge

One American journalist shared, “this morning it was getting really harry, especially with Misha's goons, there was a big crowd outside of Georgian TV.”

The people are saying in general much the same as one lady from Batumi.  "The only friends life for the president is money without principles, Georgians are are blogging across the Internet: "we need democracy, freedom of the mass media, and that these animials in government should be in prision, the people of Adjaria are very tired of these two legged pigs in government, and all the rhetoric of the West and membership in NATO; ot was not the people who broke the windows of Adjarian TV but those working with the government."

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Russian Rose Revolution in Georgia, no Beacon of Democracy

Russian Black Rose Revolution in Georgia

Change is necessary as too is reflection, soul searching, take  a stop backwards and think about what has gone wrong with the fledgling democracy "Beacon of Democracy" in this little American enclave called Georgia. A country that once stood for something that was light years ahead of its time. Now the tide has changed, a fledgling democracic state has been transformed into a staging area for wars, arms shipments, weapons for drug swaps and intel operations. Human rights are only talked about, prisionsers tortured and soldiers from the 2008 Georgian-Russian war summarily executed by the GoG of Georgia itself.

Who is the hell is working for who?

What comes next - are we in line for change to the better? A new government might be just what the doctor ordered, at least for a while, until the same mindset kicks in. The problem is that so many in the political shadows  are all cut from the same Soviet thinking mentality.

I did notice that the Beacon of Liberty/Democracy - or whatever that big flashlight is meant to be pointing up to the clouds on Heroes Square roundabout was turned off last night.  It normally shines in the clouds like a second moon.

Rustavi2 were calling the protests the "Russian" Revolution. Bit of a slip up there methinks - acknowledging that it is a "revolution". I'm not so sure there aren't American hands in this too - Nino Burdnadze knows exactly what goes on in these sort of revolutions (having been a successful participant in one), knows where the proverbial bodies are buried too; Saakashvili must be widely acknowledged to be a trouble maker in the corridors of power, not only in the US - John McCain excepted, though it wouldn't be the first time that he's backed the wrong horse. The man is clueless and will grasp for any straws to gain political points. I think it would be in America's best interest if things calmed down a bit round here - but Misha won't let it lie; he needs to the star of the show.

Regardless, Nino seems pretty sure of herself. She is the only person acceptable to both sides that can cut a deal for a balanced policy between Georgia and reforming Russia.

Protesters have been arrested in Batumi  (blacksea city) and Khaketi (east Georgia), and the reformed police has set up roadblocks to block "Russian agents" from getting into Tbilisi and to stop supporters coming here instead. Now who can really believe that?

There was a bit of a scuffle outside the TV station in Batumi - some stones thrown, shot fired - at least according to Russian TV.  Whether these were thrown by real protesters or provocateurs is anyone's guess. Same here with Public TV, First Channel, and who started the push comes to shove.

I wonder how Misha's big military parade will work out on Thursday - when he speaks it'll be the ideal time for the protesters to get their point across on TV networks around the world: "Democracy is not alive and well in Georgia as long as Misha runs the place like a one man band."

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

USAID Corruption in Afghanistan

USAID Corruption in Afghanistan, and it continues!!!

The ARF is a venture capital fund set up at the beginning of early 2004 to make    investments in Afghanistan, in such sectors as agriculture, stone
  mining, and  other key sectors of the Afghan economy. The principal manager [WAS] a company called AfghanistanCapital Partners, headed by one PierreVan Hoeylandt.

 Van Hoeylandt claims to be a former Rhodes Scholar, a former manager at the ultra-exclusive consulting firm McKinsey & Co., and at one time, a journalist covering the Rwanda massacre (:it is likely that nobody has checked whether his CV claims are true or not:.).  He is known to have high-ranking friends, especially inside the USEmbassy (it is believed the USAmbassador is an admirer).  Van Hoeylandt always speaks in a low slow voice, to convey an  impression of calm and sophistication.  He also has gained attention by  squiring around Kabula blonde bombshell half his age.  He is always dressed to perfection.

ARF is a temporary fund, meaning that after a certain number of years it will be dissolved and the principal and earnings will be redistributed among the participating investors.  Source believes the term of the fund is eight years.

A number of sucker multinational donors have invested money in this fund, captivated by Van Hoeylandt's charm and impeccable "credentials."  Chief among these, of course, is USAID (in Afghanistanalways willing to throw money at anybody with a "bright idea"), which invested million in 2004 through a now terminated agriculture project.  Other investors are Asian Development Bank, the Canadian development organization, and others.  This despite the fact that venture capital funds in general have had an embarrassing record in these parts of the world. It is unclear total level of donor involvement versus that of private investors, but total capitalization of fund is million, so USAID alone contributed 25% of the total.

Van Hoeylandt has set up a very tricky scheme, whereby donors are in a more disadvantageous position compared to the private investors.  Payments to the private investors take precedence over any payment to donor investors.  The donor funds were there to "protect" the investments of the private investors.

The USAID "investment" was of an even more unusual nature.  It appears that there is no requirement that it will ever be repaid.  In other words, what may remain from that million will be divvied up among the private investors.  If they just don't lose the money, they stand to make a million dollar bonanza. It is unclear if other donor "investments" obey this same pattern.

Naturally, Mr. Van Hoeylandt is the leading private investor in the fund.  Others are reputedly "Afghan-Americans" with links to the warlords.  The cavalier generosity of the donors was not limited to investment.  They also provided quite a bit of money in operational grants.  It should be noted that managers of the fund have been assigned very high salaries, to "compensate them for the difficulty of prudently handling these investments in this inhospitable environment."  Van Hoeylandt, as General Manager of ARF, assigned himself a by no means meager income of 100,000 per year plus many other benefits, and several other key managers have salaries above 80,000.  The donor operational grants went to pay for this, the fund itself did not have to do anything on its own.

Number of investments made by the ARF to Afghan business as of late November 2006: 0

Amount invested in Afghan business as of late November 2006:   0.

It is quite unclear what is going on in the ARF.  Van Hoeylandt was running around at the beginning of 2004, claiming to be doing massive work to get the fund going.  At that time he claimed the fund would close in September 2004.  However, the fund did not close until early 2006.  Furthermore, reports are that ARF has still not hired any field Afghan staff. Van Hoeylandt goes around telling everybody that "we are on the verge of making our first deal."  He has been saying that for 2.5 years now, and still does this.  One possibility why nobody has run him out of Dodge is that everybody in USAID and other donor organizations keep rotating out of Kabul.  Therefore, very few people know his full track record.

KEY FACT: In early 2006, lower level managers of the USAID agriculture project that made the donation to ARF formally took a decision to obligate Van Hoeylandt to return the funds, based on complete non-performance by ARF of its contract with the USAID project. However, Van Hoeylandt then personally met the USAmbassador and USAID Director, who then issued an order countermanding the decision of the project managers.  The project managers then had to give up, and all control over ARF was lost.

There is complete dismay among many of the development professionals as to how Van Hoeylandt has been able to get away with this for so long, almost three years. Above all, they attribute it to his ability to have key friends in high places.  Whenever ARF is mentioned, people roll their eyes.  But among lower-level USAID officers, nobody dares raise a ruckus or even ask questions.

INTERPRETATION:  The sense is that Van Hoeylandt is not intending to make any real investments.  Probably he will make a couple of symbolic deals.  But obviously the idea is to hold on until a time when he can cancel the fund and divvie up the donor funds among himself and his partners.  In the meantime, keep enjoying the salary.  There is also the question of what he has done with the million in his possession.  Clearly, if he places the funds abroad, at a 5% interest rate, that is a cool million per year.  Not bad for doing nothing.

WHO IS SCREWED:  US taxpayers for one.   million gift to one slick operator.  USAID credibility, of course, with senior USAID managers overruling professional managers as if they were kings, rightful owners of the million.  Also, all the Afghan businesses that have approached ARF for funds and put on an "indefinite waiting list."

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Preparations for Freedom Rally in Tbilisi Georgia

I am sure the Georgian government is well stocked up on tear gas and rubber bullets and it can always turn to Baku for extra when needed.

(See screengrab from the Georgian public broadcasting showing Cobra light armored vehicles at the police force parade in Batumi, May 6)
These are the specs...

One only need to look to even back last April in Baku,  the violent crackdown conducted by the police, and the strong arm tatics, and that the US State Department did nothing to stop the abuse of basic freedoms, as Azerbaijan produces oil. It is no wonder why there is such a mess in the world now with the blowback of double standards in US foreign policy.

Azerbaijani police and Ministry of Internal Affairs claim that only 350 people attempted to gather near the Piazza della Fontana but it was really upwards of 5,000. It is going to be interesting to see how the Georgia government will respond to cries to toss the crooked bastards out - and give the country back to the people and get back on track with real democratic reforms. Georgia has a good role mode. in Azerbaijan an Armenia when it comes to democracy. How many will be beaten and arrested, as this is OK as it is done in other countries.

As with Saakashvili,  the Aliyev regime maintains zero tolerance for any threatening public demonstrations, and has gone to all lengths to create a pseudo oppostion to show that democracy is alive and deal, and has not been stillborn since the events of November 7, 2007. 

Will history be repeating itself?
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Retalilation for the death of Bin Laden a perfect cover!

Is retaliation for the death of Bin Laden a perfect cover?

Joni Simonishvili

Basically they announced that they killed Bin Laden in Pakistan - no photos released apart from one which was an obvious (and provably so) fake which somehow made it around almost all the news sites - which will be good enough for all those "YOO - ESS - AY" people who assembled around the Whitehouse, without them having to read that this photo was unofficial and has, in fact, been denounced as a fake by... well, just about everyone really. But enough about the photo - that was obviously planted and did its job without anyone getting their fingernails dirty.
Unfortunately there is no body, as they took it several hundred miles (at least) and dropped it in the sea - so they say. No doubt some grainy photos or video will be released showing something getting dropped in the sea, somewhere.  Thrown in the sea about 800 miles from where he was "killed" - the bloggers are all over this story, having a field day. As one commentator put it - the crap's coming out faster than we can shovel, and it's probably going to hit the fan very soon.
Whatever they do next can be easily blamed on retaliation for the so-called "killing" of Bin Laden, never mind that he's been dead for years.
Anyway - it's all over the news unfortunately, and everyone seems to be thanking their own personal god (the one which kills all their enemies) that he is dead. So much for "thou shalt not kill" - They should read Mark Twain's "War Prayer" - everyone should.
They said they did a super-quick DNA test (presumably they had a lock of his beard or something to match it against?) and also identified him through facial features (nose? check! two ears? check!). It's all bullshit. They reckon this 6' 3" guy with one of the most instantly recognizable faces in the world had been staying at this nice house (which happens to be near an army base) for the past 6 months. I did see another report which said he'd been killed a week ago, but I really can't be bothered to read about it. All I can think is that some big shit is about to hit the fan and they have the perfect excuse now - retaliation for the death of Bin Laden.

India's just pissed the US off by not inviting Boeing/Lockheed to bid for a huge fighter jet order (the US Ambassador to India actually resigned the same day it was announced) so maybe some shit will fly to India. And who knows what is going to happen with Syria? Aren't there now plenty of humanitarian grounds for a UN resolution to be drawn up to do a Libya on them, which would draw Iran into the fight, then who knows what Russia and China will do, who have already lost out on big deals with Libya. Does not Russia park their ships in Syria these days?

It's like a lot of geopolitical earthquakes going on all at once - like it's building up for the big one. All what can be is pretty mundane, like all the Joe six-pack of the world say after these international events: Leaders of the world are "lying to us." Nothing new, they "know more than they say." in brief, all what is being said is nothing but a good old time "conspiracy theory."

It would be really to understand how Bin Laden he was staying in a compound a few meters from a military base and academy. I bet the deal want like this: Osama Bin Laden received permission to stay in this house because he bribed and grease, not with thousands but with millions, (he is a billionaire), some officials in Islamabad or elsewhere. Osama told them: I pay and you protect me if I ever get into trouble, I am attacked or something like that could really get me killed. The so called killing is but a diversion for the debate on the budget and the start of the US election campaign.
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