Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jamestown Foundaton "4-hire" fireman in quelling Georgian politicalbonfire!

Quelling political flames in Georgian bonfire

In their haste to run and quell the political flames which are licking around Mikhail Saakashvili's ears the Jamestown Foundation seem to have tripped up over the outstretched leg of truth.

In this article Vladimir Socor denounces Bidzina Ivanishvili as some kind of power-hungry mogul and "a relic of Russia's and Georgia's political environments of the 1990s" who's apparent failure to mention Georgia's territorial integrity and aspirations of joining NATO led Socor up the garden path as he proudly deduced that Ivanishvili does not foresee either of those two issues becoming part of his policy. In fact Ivanishvili said exactly the opposite of what this pundit accused him of.

Sadly Mr Socor appears to have fallen into the same trap as the Georgian "Ruling" Party (must they always insist on calling themselves that? Kings rule - governments serve, isn't that how it's supposed to work?), and has been found guilty of not looking before leaping to the defense of something which bears all the hallmarks of a lame duck presidency in Georgia.

Socor finally tipped his hand in his final paragraph in which he belittled the opposition politicians in Georgia, almost describing them as "has beens" with no hope of ever mounting a serious challenge for the leadership between them. Of course, there may actually be some truth in that conclusion, but only due to the divide and conquer tactics employed by the "United National Movement" (to give Saakashvili's party it's proper name) through their control of the main media outlets, funding of lobby groups and frenzied support in political diatribe like the above, in which Vladimir Socor makes a mockery of the Jamestown Foundation's boast of providing "Information without political agenda".

Ivanishvili, meanwhile, has provided further details of his plans for when he comes to power, dismissing the UNM's chances of winning an election against him even if they try to rig the elections, something which he seems to expect.

As reports, Ivanishvili said that improving the constitution was the "first thing" that should be done after coming into power.

He said that he had no prepared solutions of exactly what kind of constitution Georgia should have, or "prepared recipes" how to make the judiciary system fully independent.

"I myself have not this knowledge, but I know how demand this from those who have this knowledge and how to get the best result," Ivanishvili said.

"The good constitution will be the one which is a result of an agreement within the society and not the one written by me," he said. "We should create such constitution which will rule out any risk [of concentration of power in single person]... Constitution is very important. But only constitution won't protect you against authoritarianism. The society should also be ready for it. I am going to strengthen the society. That is my major goal."

Ivanishvili also expressed his fear that, after challenging President Saakashvili, he was now expecting anything from the authorities in order to bar him from the politics.

"I do not even rule out that I might be shot; I realize it and I am careful," he said in an interview with political commentator Ia Antadze.

In a Georgian Journal report of this same statement Ivanishvili says that "presumable methods" used by the government are obvious:

"They captured father-in-law of my closest advisor and assistant Irakli Gharibashvili, a gun was planted on him. My son's friend, popular DJ was detained, drugs were planted on him. They demanded disarmament from my guard. Prosecutor's office may close Kartu Bank. They may even close my charity fund – call charity a bribe, they may detain my relative from the bank", the businessman says.

As for his presumable deportation, Ivanishvili says that he may be declared as "a dangerous man for the state". "One MP mentioned 90 days and deportation, not even being aware that EU citizens have right to be in the country without visa for a year. Their problem is that they do not have a clever man in the team to analyze the situation. I don't exclude them saying - this man is dangerous for the state – and decide my deportation. But this will change nothing. They will only make their condition worse", Ivanishvili states.

In another Georgian Journal report, and in response to a "they will kill him" comment made by sacked Georgian theater director Robert Sturua on his facebook page, childhood acquaintance of Ivanishvili Eldar Nadiradze explained:

"I am seven years senior to Bidzina. I remember him from the childhood. He did not obey teachers. This unbridled streak in his character coupled with the feeling of protest followed him all the way to the maturity. When I once suggested him to take part in the Presidential elections, he shrugged it off saying it was not his business. When they say that he has been financing the Governmental projects, he would do it for the safety of his family. Neither did he have peace of mind during the Shevardnadze era. Shevardnadze used to call him to his office and ask him to do this and that. Bidzina had to attend every request or else he could have been proclaimed as an enemy or his plane could have been blown up in the air.

Bidzina did not want to go into politics but they eclipsed his patience. They were requesting too many things from him and were doing it arrogantly, insulting him all the time. This man did many things. Yet, every time Saakashvili went and opened a new enterprise he would 'forget' to mention him. He could understand if it had happened once, twice and so. However, how could you 'forget' it the hundredth time? He is the man who cannot be cheated. The Authorities are extremely unnerved by Bidzina's decision. They will do their utmost to harm him. They will break into his family and even try to arrest him. Alternatively, they will try to force him out of Georgia.

Misha is not a simpleton and an easy mark to get rid of. He is an Asian type of a despot who has intuition and drive. Sometimes he plays a role of an idiot and aptly dons the right masks. He and his surroundings will resort to all the dirty, cunning and immoral tricks to retain the power."   

Based on the MO of the Georgian goon squad, under the MIA, and if something "really bad" happens to Bidzina Ivanishvili, should he get shot or have an "unexplained" accident, Socor and all the rest of the Jamestown boys must bear some degree of responsibility for feeding this despot's ego, as hired guns. They too think that Saakashvili and his minions can again get away it, no questions asked, as may have been the case with previous political opponents such as Zurab Zhvania and Badri Patarkatsishvili and as what transpire next.

Jamestown Foundation is aptly named. The first displaced native Americans and the first African slaves in the colonies originated in Jamestown. And now they want to displace the man who built Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi and separate him from the same people who are begging for their natural born leader, Ivanishvili.
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Iran, Georgia: Weapons Trafficking and Larger Political Games

Iran, Georgia: Weapons Trafficking and Larger Games

Joni Simonishvili

Misha's been awfully quiet about what's going on in Kiev
...  maybe he's worried about doing time (jail) in the big house

Perhaps he should go now, and try for the Mo Ibrahim prize!

The headline was but the tip of the iceberg, “Saakashvili Protege Helped Lead Georgia to War with Russia

Steve LeVine | November 1, 2010, on an investigative website, Main Justice.
However, for those that know this story from the big picture perspective – this is small stuff; Davit Kererashvii is but a fall guy, as part of a larger network of international arms dealing and proxy wars, but an important pawn when push comes to shove.

Steve Levin writes, the 32-year-old Kezerashvili has laid low since leaving the defense post under heavy criticism following the August 2008 war, in which the armed forces that he and President Mikheil Saakashvili had carefully armed and trained fled the battlefield in panic.

This allegation, however, is far from the truth, solider fought and only the officers “cut and ran”, leaving the boots on the ground to fend on their own, some barely trained, and even an order was given to withdraw when the war was actually going in favor of Georgia, and Tsinvalia fell to Georgian forces.
This story, as to Davit Kererashvili, and it interesting quotes are part of a larger pattern, or perhaps just a reflection of trying to write remote articles without up close fact-checking – and buying into a flimsy story line that one guy is somehow responsible  for all of the debacle.

 The Main Justice article writes that “Kezerashvili had relied in considerable art on relationships with Israel to build up Georgia’s fighting capability. He attended high school in Israel in the early 1990s and became fluent in Hebrew.”

No mention is made as how he had to escape Georgia in his youth to keep from being arrested for drug dealing and that his university days were marked by fits of rage, perhaps under the influence of drugs; he even threatened one of his professors for refusing to put down high marks  when he had not even attended lectures, and that was even before the so-called education reform and rooting out corruption in the system of higher education in Georgia.

  The weapons business in Georgia in multi-faceted, and has been booming in Georgia for many years, and with direct knowledge and US involvement. The Georgian-Russian war of 2008 only provided the opportunity to bring us up to speed on the larger scale of things, including funding mechanisms, and now many US defense contractors are involved in this lucrative and deadly business.  It’s all about location and topography. However, it is clear that Kezerashvili is but a pawn in this game. One only need to look at who will was appointed as the next Ambassador to the United States as part of the bigger game, Jakobashvili, Minister for Territorial Reintegration, and how this relates to larger regional games, outsourcers of  cannon fodder and all the possible with his links with the traders of weapons and Israeli dirty players.

As a cover for the lost of many weapons, including those prepositioned here for eventual use against Iran and for Libya. The original drumbeat was to be expected. – “Territorial integrity” – restoring Constitutional order and overcoming the lawlessness in the breakaways of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (we heard that before in the lawless Pankisi George, a so-called US funded terrorist funded hideout).  

It was clear from on-site visits behind the Russian lines during the war of August 2008 that far more weapons were stocked stockpiled in Georgia than needed. Many of these fell into Russian hands than ever admitted, and this begs the question as why were they stockpile there in the first place.  With the events of the last months in the Arab Awakening it is not difficult to understanding.  Nonetheless, this was the first real on-site confirmation of the illegal procurement and distribution network that involves many countries in the trafficking and illicit trade of weapons, including close friends, Jordan, NATO member countries, and to top the list with UK and the peace loving Norwegians as part of the chorus.

It is still officially debatable whether the “vast amount” of weapons was intended for Georgian defensive purpose or just part of a larger shell game of “producers” and “end users” who find that the situation in Georgia is perfect for transshipments of weapons to other conflict zones outside of the region. One of the key players, with links with Vicktor Bout and Serbia is the Melvale Corporation, which is a well-known intermediary company for this trade.  This black market dealer of weapons works under the umbrella of contracts concluded before the last Minister of Defense was even aware of the business opportunities in his new job.

It also confirms that links between Russian Military intelligence and Georgian plants, not low level agents but those who are fixed in key positions in the Georgian and Israeli defense establishment.  The main point in some of the end user certificates is from where any full-fledge investigation should start, and not on the surface of some commissions trading hands but where did the shipment to Georgia actually end up. “The end user of the cargo with guarantees that the cargo as described will not be given, re-exported, lent, rented or [gifted] to other persons, subjects or countries without the written consent of the authorized organs of Georgian and Jordan. Moreover, the Georgian Ministry of Defense further guarantees to accept the materials in its warehouses and to keep them under its security after the delivery to Georgia?
Does that mean placing them in villages, near schools and other places to be captured by the Russians, as was the case during the war of August 2008, and if captured – then no laws have been violated in the terms of the certificate of end user, and if now they end up on the international market, only the Russians and South Ossetians can be blamed. The paperwork cannot be clearer, “After accepting the cargo, the Ministry of Defense will confirm the delivery in writing through a certificate to the supplier, confirming the realization of the delivery.”

It is understood why Saakashvili posted a slimy and unless drug user as the top man in the Ministry of Defense, again quoting from the recent Main Justice Story, “Returning to his native Georgia, Kezerashvili formed a friendship with Saakashvili, who was making his way as a young politician after earning a law degree in the United States. As Saakashvili rose, so did his young protégée.
I would beg to differ, and “when Saakashvili was justice minister under Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgia’s first post-Soviet president, Kezerashvili served as head of his information department. He served as an assistant to Saakashvili when the latter was chief of the Tbilisi city council. And when Saakashvili formed a new political party in 2001 â the United National Movement and Kezerashvili became a founding member.

The president elect knew this persons capabilities well – and how he would provide the perfect cover in case anything would go wrong, the perfect scapegoat, and when push came to shove that he could run to Israel and not be deported, as it is illegal to deport a Jew from the homeland.  The Main Justice Article only tells part of the story, and the rest can be confirmed by human rights watchdogs.    

Leading up to the August 2008 war, Israel provided niche materiel and training to Georgia. According to the respected Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, Israeli weapons and training cost Georgia some $500 million from 2000 through 2008. They included pilotless drones and night-vision equipment, in addition to tactical and urban warfare training starting at the end of 2007.

What about the m-85 cluster bombs sold to Israel, many of them being duds – and how there was a wholesale failure of the “grad” style multi-launch system that brought these down on the heads of Georgian soldiers and civilian populations – and outside of the direct zone of conflict, and the concerted effort by the Georgian government to blame this on the Russians. HR watch and the Georgian human rights center confirmed the use of cluster bombs outside of the region of the Roki tunnel and it is clear that this has never been investigated as a war crime.

It is also debatable, as daring and educated, having cheated his way through the university – threatening a female aged professor with violence is this Kezerahvli, and how can such a statement as this be made in the Main Justice Article, “Then, in 2006, Saakashvili elevated the just 28-year-old Kezerashvili to the defense portfolio. He said Kezerashvili was a young but daring, educated and firm.

The problems of Kezershvili are minor in comparison to the big picture, and how a so called US ally, Jordan is so much involved in the weapons trafficking – and as a result of the calculation to not win the war of August 2008, weapons that were sold to Georgia, mostly Serbian are being traded in the international black market.

The unanswered question now is, why were so many weapons been sold to Georgia, at least on paper, where are they now, and how were they exported directly from Jordan” Few then and even fewer now, ever thought they were to be used for territorial integrity or training purposes. One may speculate some other possibilities:  Iran, Northern Iraq (Kurdistan), and points beyond. This is only the beginning of the list of end users and interesting stakeholders and many shipments are assisted by Short Take Off and Landing Aircraft and how even UN has contacted Georgian companies in Africa. It is not hard to understand what these air companies fly when not flying UN staff and equipment.

Georgia - “green light” for the “death traders” Victor Bout and his partner Temur Alasania
Maestro Georgian Resistance TV "Georgia and the World" - socio-political weekly

Georgia - "Green Light" for the "Merchant of Death" Victor Bout and his partner Temur Alasania
June 26, 2010
 Viktor Anatolii Bout and Temur Alasania
In a previous edition of “Georgia and the World” the newspaper version of the “Special Report” prepared by TV Company “Maestro”, they naturally evoked special interest in the larger public. Even for those who never doubted the anti-government actions of the present government and a ruining of the reputation of this country, the reality approved by the facts was unexpected, the actuality of which shall be felt very soon by influential persons from the government involved into weapons smuggling or the people close to them, or the people having less influence.
Unfortunately, these facts create an unattractive image to the Georgian state and equate a prospective of its development to less than zero, which, probably bothers very little the uncle of the Georgian President- Temur Alasania, for whom the position of President  to  his sister’s son became a source of a good deal of income under the umbrella of his nephew.
In the newspaper version of “Special Report” you will clearly see what kinds of deals were concluded with the “Merchant of Death.”
Victor Anatolii Bout was born on January 13, 1967, in Soviet Socialist Republic of Tajikistan, in Dushanbe. The very first business he founded was for air and sea cargo transportation; the main direction of the business involved the near East and Africa. He was the contractor of the President of Liberia- Charles Taylor; he also provided service to the United Nations in Sudan, and also to the United States of America in its military operations in Iraq.

As far back as the beginning of the 1990s weapon deliveries were being made to Africa, for all the different sides in the on-going civil wars. Soon thereafter Bout was named the “weapon’s baron” and he is now positioned as the most powerful weapon seller on the Earth. Shortly thereafter the British government blames him for opening a weapons corridor from East Europe, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine with deliveries for the benefit of Liberia and Angola.  

The “Merchant of Death Hollywood production comes out with a movie that was done which reflected the story of the Russian weapon seller, Victor Bout. Even before shooting this movie, the relationship between Bout and the United States was tense, as Bout is openly charged with trafficking of weapons to the terrorists and the partisans, both “Al Qaeda” and “Taliban” are named as being amongst his clients.

Because of the impact to the hindrance of democracy in Congo, the United States opened a case against Bout.  In 2008, he was arrested in Bangkok Thailand, where he was checked into “Sofitel Seylamroad” hotel. Although the first case against him was dismissed he was discharged in 2009 by the Thailand Court but new charges were filed on February 17, 2010 where he faced new allegations as passed down by a US Federal Court.

Based on open sources, the crossroads of Victor Bout, the infamous Merchant of Death and Georgia, intersected one year ago, based on information provided by the Georgian Human Rights Centre and an American investigative reporter living in Georgia.

Thailand. Bangkok. December 12, 2009. Airplane “Il-76” was seized with a cargo of 40 tons of military equipment, including mortars, antitank and portable zenith-rocket propelled systems were found. It was learned from sources in the mass media that the airplane was registered in Batumi Georgia and had flown to South Korea.

The special operation was jointly carried out by the special services of the United States of America and Thailand. One of the versions of the flight path had the plane transporting the weapons to Sri-Lanka but soon afterwards other details of the case were disclosed.
“New Your Times” edition from December 14, 2009:

“As the crew arrested in Bangkok tells, the airplane flew to Bangkok from where they were then to fly to the UAE and afterwards return to Ukraine. But now the Ministry of Transport of that country announces that the Ukrainians didn’t know anything about the seized plane and that it had been leased to a Ukrainian outfit.  But based on information from the arrested pilot- Abdullaev, was a Kazakh but who had worked in Georgia. The flag and the emblem were Georgian and belonged to the Georgian airline “Air West”, and registered in Georgia, Batumi.

Nodar Kakabadze, the Director of the Georgian based company also tells that the airplane was leased to Ukraine one month before this incident. It has now been announced by The Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport that the airplane was purchased by Georgia a short time prior from the Kazakhs, However, in the interview given to the “New York Times” - the Director of the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia tells that the seized “Il-76” was inherited by independent Georgia from the former Soviet Georgia, and it wasn’t suitable for passenger transport.  This is why the airplane was leased to the Ukrainian company, which, according to Kakabadze, is affiliated with the company SP Trading, and is located in Thailand. Here again we run across none other than our familiar Victor Bout.  Based on Internet sources, SP Trading is named as one of the airlines managed by Victor Bout.

In an announcement made for the “Wall Street Journal” Nodar Kakabadze tells that he knows nothing about SP Trading and the “Wall Street Journal” only managed to find out from the Government of New Zealand that the company was established in 2009 and a Georgian airplane full of 40 tons of weapons was seized several months earlier. Western experts think that the weapons were intended for Sudan and Pakistan.

Georgian political and military expertsrecall the liaison between Victor Bout and Georgia upon following his arrest last year, and made the more obvious connections. However, an American journalist is more precise, Jeffrey K. Silverman, who has investigated the topic of weapon sales in Georgia for more than five years, recalls Bout and his activities and whose sources make the link between Temur Alasania, the uncle of the President of Georgia and larger trafficking networks, including Iran and third-world countries, espeically Africa, even sharing documents with human rights investigators.

He reported on Georgian TV how in early 2011 about a link between VIctor Bout and Russian and American intelligence agent, which he describes as some sort of time share, wife swapping, "such an environment as Georgia, unresolved conflicts and lack of territorial integrity allows for all services to have a field day. This former Minister is but your typical run-of-mill drug dealer, as described by his former classmates, his petty dealings are well known, abeit a small fish in compasion to the big players. There should be an investigation of where all these weapons disappeared to, not the ones capatured by the Russians direclty related to the August 2008 war but those that were prepositioned for possible use against Iran. However, this is naive - and to tell it like it is - everybody is interested in covering up these bloody tracks in the snow."

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Armenians of Georgia

Armenians of Javahk
Georgian Armenians: the oppressed people of “democratic” state

"All-Armenian forum of the Diaspora’s leaders and representatives" has been held on the 19-20 th of September in Yerevan. The event was coincided to the 20 th anniversary of Armenia’s independence.  There needs to be a comprehensive report on the situation in Javakhk, taking into account all the minorities and their cultural and educational rights. I imagine the West is doing some good things too, such as fixing the roads.The roads are now better but that's a very recent occurrence.

Have there been any reports on minorities generally, such as Azerbaijani Turks around Marneuli, or other small groups, even Kartvelian ones? Are there human rights organizations with funding for that sort of thing? I don't think anything less than a comprehensive, Western-backed report would make any difference.

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