August 31, 2010

Germany: Immigration Debate Rages On
August 31, 2010 | From
A new book by a German central banker argues that Muslim immigrants are draining the nation’s prosperity.
A political storm about immigration is brewing in Germany, with a prominent board member of the country’s central bank at its epicenter. Thilo Sarrazin, in a new book called Abolishing Germany—How We’re Putting Our Country in Jeopardy, claims that Muslim immigrants are destroying Germany’s prosperity.
In the book, Sarrazin details what he calls Germany’s “demise,” saying that constant immigration and higher birth rates among immigrants mean that Germany is “turning Muslim.”

In an excerpt published last Thursday by the German daily Bild, Sarrazin said there were “good grounds” for worry about Muslims throughout Europe.
“There is no other religion with such a flowing transition to violence, dictatorship and terrorism,” he claimed.

“I don’t want the country of my grandchildren and forefathers to be in broad swathes Muslim, where Turkish and Arabic is widely spoken, where women wear headscarves and where the daily rhythm of life is set by the call of the muezzins,” Sarrazin wrote in an excerpt published in Der Spiegel magazine on August 22.

Sarrazin stirred up additional controversy in an August 29 interview with Germany’s Welt am Sonntag, in which he said that all “Jews share a certain gene … which make them different from other people.”

While most leading German politicians have taken their obligatory turn criticizing Sarrazin’s remarks, this is not his first time stirring up such debate—and surviving the backlash.

In September of 2009, Sarrazin said that Arabs and Turks in Berlin “have no productive function other than in the fruit and vegetable trade,” that they mooch off the government, and “constantly produce little girls in headscarves.”
After those remarks, Sarrazin was urged to step down from the Bundesbank’s board, but he resisted the pressure and remained in his position. His central bank board membership and his seven-year run as Berlin’s finance minister fuel concerns that Sarrazin’s stance toward Jews and Muslims reflects a view shared by many in the German power elite. Also worrisome to some analysts is the fanfare of publicity surrounding the publishing of Sarrazin’s new book, and the vast amount of print that Germany’s media have devoted to his racist remarks.

Sarrazin appears to be striving to nudge the heated immigration debate into the direction of right-wing populists elsewhere in Europe, such as Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, who is gaining in popularity. In Germany’s politically restrained atmosphere, Sarrazin’s racist remarks, and the coverage the media gives them, are significant.

For decades, Europe has been tolerant of the steady growth of Islam’s presence in society. But headlines from the last few years reveal that tolerance to be thinning: the Danish Jyllands-Posten’s cartoons of Muhammad in 2005, France’s moves to ban burkas and deport Gypsies, the Swiss vote to outlaw new minarets, and the list goes on.

Bible prophecy makes plain that tensions between Europe and Muslims in and outside of the European Union will build and eventually culminate in a seismic blitzkrieg clash. We can expect anti-Islamic ideas from German leaders like Sarrazin to amplify in the months and years ahead. For more, read The King of the South and Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.

News Blog

Latest Posts
August 31st, 2010 15:30

Loose-talking Lib Dem ministers will be easy targets for a new Labour leadership

After the long summer recess, Parliament makes a stuttering return to business next Monday when the Commons return before adjourning again on Thursday 16 until October 11 for the party conference season. The House of Lords, taking a disdainful view of such events, stays on holiday until October 5. Quite when the Prime Minister returns from “paternity leave”… Read more
August 31st, 2010 15:30

Tony Blair's memoirs should remind Labour that he was popular while Gordon Brown is already forgotten

Labour's leadership ballot papers are being posted to Party members in the same week that Tony Blair's autobiography A Journey is published. These memoirs come hot on the heels of Peter Mandelson's book The Third Man. Lord Mandelson was in Edinburgh this weekend promoting his book, where – in line with his previously published opinions… Read more
August 31st, 2010 13:30

Barack Obama wouldn't get away with that Euro-wuss bike gear in Russia

Compare and contrast their holiday snaps: Russia’s “Prime Minister” (ie president) Vladimir Putin firing a crossbow at a whale, and President Barack Obama looking like a lamo on his bicycle in New England. Putin’s idea of “fun” seems to be sailing in a dingy in the storm-tossed waters off the Kamchatka Peninsula, which sounds like hell… Read more
August 31st, 2010 10:14

Labour chooses whether to go backwards or further backwards

There follows a sentence I never expected to write. Lord Mandelson is absolutely right. Of course, Labour would be heading for an "electoral cul-de-sac" if it elected Ed Miliband as leader. There can scarcely be any room for argument about this since it is precisely the selling point of Miliband Minor's campaign: ie Labour should abandon the "New" appendage and… Read more
August 31st, 2010 9:06

If you want to read a truly gripping memoir of addiction, try this

If you want to read a gripping addict's memoir, and you have not yet read this new book, then I strongly recommend Candia McWilliam's What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness. The book deals with this Scottish novelist's failing eyesight, a result of blepherospasm, a condition which forces the eyelids shut. But… Read more
August 31st, 2010 7:11

Guess what Edward Heath's worst subject at school was

I’ve often wondered whether Britain would have joined the EEC but for Edward Heath. Our membership was the product of despair. We joined at our lowest ebb, in the days of the three-day week, double-digit inflation, constant strikes and power cuts. It’s hard to imagine the Marketeers carrying Parliament, let alone winning a referendum, ten… Read more
August 31st, 2010 2:43

Barack Obama has bowed before the UN over Arizona immigration law

There can be few sights more humiliating for the American people than that of a US president kowtowing to a foreign leader or to supranational institutions. Continental Europeans are used to this sort of thing after decades of dominance by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, and have grudgingly accepted over time the gradual and undemocratic erosion… Read more
August 30th, 2010 14:53

NICE says Avastin is not 'cost-effective'. So why do cancer specialists disagree?

The latest ruling by NICE (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence), using its own complex formula, is that the drug Avastin is not cost-effective and therefore cannot be prescribed for NHS patients with advanced bowel cancer, which has spread to other parts of the body. A ten month course of the drug costs £20,800 and, in NICE's estimation, would only… Read more
August 30th, 2010 14:04

How the BBC pretended to be balanced on 'climate change'. And failed, obviously.

I have just been listening to Uncertain Climate, the first in BBC "Environment Analyst" Roger Harrabin's two-part Radio 4 investigation into the politics of climate change. The announcer  introduced it as a programme "on an unusual aspect of global warming that you won't have heard in the news headlines". This was touching, but would only… Read more
August 30th, 2010 13:24

Another dog attack on a child: time for government action

The full details of the latest dog attack on a child have not yet been made public, but reports suggest that a ten year old girl was attacked by two Rottweilers as she cycled her dog along a public street. As usual, there will be calls for action, but there’s a big question that remains… Read more


Press Summary Archive

Budget Commissioner continues to explore EU tax and defends pay increases for EU officials

31 August 2010
In an interview with Les Echos, EU Commissioner for Budget Janusz Lewandowski has said that proposals for an EU-wide tax will be unveiled on 29 September. “In total, we are working on eight options. Some of them could create difficulties, such as the levy on financial transactions – which would affect especially London and Frankfurt – or the transfer of revenues from CO2 emissions auctions, which would be done at the expense of Eastern European countries […] But the tax on aerial transport, for example, would be transnational by its own nature”.

When asked about member states’ calls for a reduced increase in the 2011 EU budget, Lewandowski commented: “I understand the difficulties of [European] Finance Ministers. But we must not necessarily cut the CAP or the cohesion policy […] We need above all to reduce administrative expenditures […] Member states have chosen to attack the increases in EU officials’ salaries: targeting the established rights is not the good path, because then we run the risk of clashing with the European Court of Justice. We need above all to prevent the multiplication of new communitarian structures, which – once created – always call for more money and more staff”.       

Meanwhile, Handelsblatt reports that Brussels dislikes the financial transaction tax proposed by France and Germany. The paper has seen a report by EU Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta, which notes that such a tax could have "significant negative effects", as it risks increasing the costs for businesses and governments to finance themselves. Commissioner Semeta also points out that the tax would be unevenly distributed, with up to 70 percent of total revenues coming from the UK – while only 15 percent would be raised in Germany and almost nothing in the smaller member states.
Handelsblatt EurActiv

EU Foreign Minister will not participate in Middle East peace talks
It is widely reported that EU Foreign Minister Baroness Catherine Ashton will not take part in the next round of Middle East peace talks to be held next Thursday, due to a previously scheduled visit to China. Following criticisms from French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner – who said it would be a shame if no EU representative attended the talks – Lady Ashton’s office defended her trip to Beijing asserting that "it regards the strategic collaboration between EU and China".

Meanwhile, the News of the World reported on the perks awarded to staff in the EU’s new foreign office, the European External Action Service (EEAS), which includes allowances for drivers, entertainment, school fees for children, daily subsistence, household allowance, ex-pat allowance, installation and resettlement allowances. Open Europe’s Siân Herbert was quoted saying: "In these tough times, taxpayers' money could be better spent than on lavish perks for EU diplomats in exotic destinations".
News of the World Express

European Arrest Warrant: British antiques dealer sentenced to four years in prison in Greece for selling broken pottery pieces to a visiting dealer in the UK
Saturday’s Telegraph reported that an antiques dealer, Malcolm Hay, has been sentenced to four years in prison by Greek authorities under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Mr. Hay sold hundreds of broken pottery pieces to a visiting dealer from Athens in 1999 and was arrested by UK police after an EAW was issued claiming the items he sold had been stolen from the Greek state. The apparent crime, “illicit appropriation of an antique object”, is not even an offence under British law, the article reported. Mr Hay successfully fought extradition after a magistrate in the UK ruled the alleged wrongdoings happened in Britain and shouldn’t have been subject to an EAW.

However, a trial went ahead in Athens and Mr. Hay, represented by a local lawyer, was found guilty and jailed for four years. He has appealed against the verdict and is awaiting a hearing later this year. If he loses the appeal, the extradition process will begin again.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Telegraph noted that unlike some other member states – for example Germany which has a rule stating that only serious crimes can be processed and the EAW – the UK has no safeguards in place to protect British citizens against abuses of the EAW. Karen Todner, a leading extradition lawyer, was quoted saying: “It is typical of us not to have given ourselves proper protection. British judges apply the EAW treaty to the letter and these massive injustices come about because the Government hasn’t thought this through”.

European Commission plans Barroso-centred communication “revolution”;
Communication with citizens “can work only if Commission is perceived as the EU’s government”
EurActiv reports that the European Commission is considering an overhaul in its communication strategy. The planned communication “revolution” will aim to achieve greater centralisation of public communications, and a higher degree of “personalisation” of EU policies around Commission President José Manuel Barroso.  A source close to the Commission is quoted arguing that the credibility and the success of the EU project “can work only if the Commission is perceived as the EU's government. We can achieve this by centering our communication on the figure of the [European Commission’s] president”. The source went on to say: “If the German government announces a project, it is [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel's project. In France, it would be [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy's plan. We have to do the same in Brussels".

Three federations of Dutch pension funds warn that enduring low ECB interest rates threaten Dutch pension system 
Belgian daily De Standaard reports that economists have warned that the current low level of interest rates fixed by the European Central Bank (ECB) could pose a threat to Dutch pension funds and insurers, as they struggle with contracts promising annual returns of 3.75 percent and more, while long term interest rates are lower, even up to 2.13 percent in Germany.

Last week, three federations of Dutch pension funds warned the Dutch Parliament that “if interests remain so low, this will undermine the pension system”, according to NRC Handelsblad. Their demands to relax capital standards were rejected by the Dutch government. Fourteen Dutch pension funds could have to cut on their obligations for the first time ever, bringing about a 14 percent loss for 150,000 new pensioners. The Dutch Central Bank argued that pension funds were themselves to blame for lax business policy.
Standaard NRC NRC 2 FD Telegraaf Trends IPE 

Confidence in eurozone increases but ECB fears impact of a US slowdown
Businesses and consumers’ confidence in the economy in both the eurozone and the whole EU continued to improve during August although confidence remains unevenly spread across the bloc, according to a monthly survey published by the European Commission on Monday. The FT reports that The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected this week to extend emergency support for eurozone banks until early next year, amid fears that the eurozone might take another hit in case of  a big US or global slowdown. The ECB will also consider whether it should reactivate its controversial government bond purchasing scheme launched in May.
FT EUobserver Le Monde Zero Hedge

Handelsblatt notes that Germany has to expect a huge decrease in EU subsidies for its Eastern Länders. From 2014 on, the EU will reduce its funding of Eastern Germany by up to 65 percent, costing Germany billions of euros and raising Germany’s net contribution to the EU budget by 50 percent to a total of €12 billion.

EUobserver reports that former EU Industry Commissioner Gunther Verheugen set up his own public relations consultancy for small and medium-sized enterprises in April, only two months after he officially left his Brussels job.
EUobserver Wirtschaftswoche

In an interview with Italian daily Corriere Della Sera, European Commission’s President José Manuel Barroso said that "more coordination among Member States [is] the only credible way to exit the crisis", adding that only through "higher budgetary control and stronger sanctions and incentives it will be possible to achieve stability and growth”.  Barroso also defended the euro arguing that the crisis would have been even tougher in the absence of the single currency.
Corriere della Sera

Shoppers across Europe are panic-buying the last remaining stocks of old 75W light bulbs before they are banned throughout the EU next week, Saturday’s Telegraph reported.

In the FT, Wolfgang Münchau looks at Germany’s growth rate, arguing that due to various strains within the eurozone, “Germany’s economic strength is likely to be persistent, toxic and quite possibly self-defeating in the long-run”.
FT: Münchau

Handelsblatt reports that controversial remarks on immigration and Jewish people by Bundesbank Board Member Thillo Sarrazin could frustrate Bundesbank President Axel Weber's ambitions to succeed to Jean-Claude Trichet as ECB President next year.

Handelsblatt Guardian NY Times

EurActiv reports that French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner – who is a former high profile humanitarian activist – has said he considered resigning in the wake of the controversy over the repatriation of Roma carried out by the French government. Meanwhile, the European Commission is due to hold a high-level meeting with the French government later today to discuss the controversial repatriation of the Roma.
European Voice FT: Caldwell EurActiv El Mundo

EUobserver reports that during his state visit to Rome, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said the EU should consider giving Libya “at least €5 billion a year” in order for it to halt the flow of EU-bound migrants.
EUobserver Les Echos

Rethinking American Options on Iran 

August 31, 2010 | 0856 GMT

By George Friedman

Public discussion of potential attacks on Iran’s nuclear development sites is surging again. This has happened before. On several occasions, leaks about potential airstrikes have created an atmosphere of impending war. These leaks normally coincided with diplomatic initiatives and were designed to intimidate the Iranians and facilitate a settlement favorable to the United States and Israel. These initiatives have failed in the past. It is therefore reasonable to associate the current avalanche of reports with the imposition of sanctions and view it as an attempt to increase the pressure on Iran and either force a policy shift or take advantage of divisions within the regime.

My first instinct is to dismiss the war talk as simply another round of psychological warfare against Iran, this time originating with Israel. Most of the reports indicate that Israel is on the verge of attacking Iran. From a psychological-warfare standpoint, this sets up the good-cop/bad-cop routine. The Israelis play the mad dog barely restrained by the more sober Americans, who urge the Iranians through intermediaries to make concessions and head off a war. As I said, we have been here before several times, and this hasn’t worked.
The worst sin of intelligence is complacency, the belief that simply because something has happened (or has not happened) several times before it is not going to happen this time. But each episode must be considered carefully in its own light and preconceptions from previous episodes must be banished. Indeed, the previous episodes might well have been intended to lull the Iranians into complacency themselves. Paradoxically, the very existence of another round of war talk could be intended to convince the Iranians that war is distant while covert war preparations take place. An attack may be in the offing, but the public displays neither confirm nor deny that possibility.

The Evolving Iranian Assessment

STRATFOR has gone through three phases in its evaluation of the possibility of war. The first, which was in place until July 2009, held that while Iran was working toward a nuclear weapon, its progress could not be judged by its accumulation of enriched uranium. While that would give you an underground explosion, the creation of a weapon required sophisticated technologies for ruggedizing and miniaturizing the device, along with a very reliable delivery system. In our view, Iran might be nearing a testable device but it was far from a deliverable weapon. Therefore, we dismissed war talk and argued that there was no meaningful pressure for an attack on Iran.

We modified this view somewhat in July 2009, after the Iranian elections and the demonstrations. While we dismissed the significance of the demonstrations, we noted close collaboration developing between Russia and Iran. That meant there could be no effective sanctions against Iran, so stalling for time in order for sanctions to work had no value. Therefore, the possibility of a strike increased.

But then Russian support stalled as well, and we turned back to our analysis, adding to it an evaluation of potential Iranian responses to any air attack. We noted three potential counters: activating Shiite militant groups (most notably Hezbollah), creating chaos in Iraq and blocking the Strait of Hormuz, through which 45 percent of global oil exports travel. Of the three Iranian counters, the last was the real “nuclear option.” Interfering with the supply of oil from the Persian Gulf would raise oil prices stunningly and would certainly abort the tepid global economic recovery. Iran would have the option of plunging the world into a global recession or worse.

There has been debate over whether Iran would choose to do the latter or whether the U.S. Navy could rapidly clear mines. It is hard to imagine how an Iranian government could survive air attacks without countering them in some way. It is also a painful lesson of history that the confidence of any military force cannot be a guide to its performance. At the very least, there is a possibility that the Iranians could block the Strait of Hormuz, and that means the possibility of devastating global economic consequences. That is a massive risk for the United States to take, against an unknown probability of successful Iranian action. In our mind, it was not a risk that the United States could take, especially when added to the other Iranian counters. Therefore, we did not think the United States would strike.

Certainly, we did not believe that the Israelis would strike Iran alone. First, the Israelis are much less likely to succeed than the Americans would be, given the size of their force and their distance from Iran (not to mention the fact that they would have to traverse either Turkish, Iraqi or Saudi airspace). More important, Israel lacks the ability to mitigate any consequences. Any Israeli attack would have to be coordinated with the United States so that the United States could alert and deploy its counter-mine, anti-submarine and missile-suppression assets. For Israel to act without giving the United States time to mitigate the Hormuz option would put Israel in the position of triggering a global economic crisis. The political consequences of that would not be manageable by Israel. Therefore, we found an Israeli strike against Iran without U.S. involvement difficult to imagine.

The Current Evaluation

Our current view is that the accumulation of enough enriched uranium to build a weapon does not mean that the Iranians are anywhere close to having a weapon. Moreover, the risks inherent in an airstrike on its nuclear facilities outstrip the benefits (and even that assumes that the entire nuclear industry is destroyed in one fell swoop — an unsure outcome at best). It also assumes the absence of other necessary technologies.

Latest Articles

Lebanese Diaspora and the Hezbollahisation of Lebanon
Elias Bejjani - 8/31/2010
Every time two Lebanese meet in any of the Diaspora countries, one of them usually starts the conversation with the same nostalgic questions. How is the situation back home in Lebanon? Are there any positive changes there or any progress to build on? Are there any hopes for a better future or are things still chronically chaotic, unstable and bizarre?

The Truth About Occupation and Settlements
Ted Belman - 8/31/2010
The pro-Palestinian propaganda machine has succeeded in stigmatizing the Israeli occupation and the settlements. Time and again we hear about the “brutal occupation” and the “illegal settlements”. We rarely hear the truth in opposition to these lies.

America the Vulnerable
Amil Imani - 8/31/2010
America is a nation and an ideal, birthed by a group of visionaries that gave it the Constitution to nurture it and protect it. What makes America, America the Beautiful, more than just a blessed land is our legacy, the Constitution. Sadly, the Constitution also makes for America the Vulnerable by enshrining freedom that enables the malevolent to subvert and destroy America from within. You, the voter, are the guardian of the Constitution. Your vote determines the health and survival of America.

Maoists in Nepal about to Bury their Infant Live
Prakash Bom - 8/31/2010
Recall the Maoist insurgency that lasted a decade. The arm struggle popularly known to Maoists "People´s War" meant to eradicate feudal establishment, the monarchy to establish "People´s Republic of Nepal." But it thrived with a "Comprehensive Peace Accord 2006", which gave the nation the interim constitution to commission the "Constituent Assembly elections" for drafting a new constitution of Nepal.

Does Either Party Deserve to Win in November?
Prof. Peter Morici - 8/31/2010
Americans may be dissatisfied with the economy but don’t look for Republicans to sweep control of the House and Senate. Voters have good reason to be disenamored with both parties. Democrats have pushed through President Obama’s agenda. More than $800 billion in stimulus spending, health care reform and new financial regulations, yet the economy remains sluggish and Treasury Secretary Geithner tells us unemployment will linger near 10 percent for many months.

Competing World Views Tear A Peace Process to Pieces
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/31/2010
The U.S. announcement inviting Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) for direct talks shows quite clearly, though unintentionally, why the talks will fail.

Czech List: Sometimes Even A Conference Can Teach Vivid Political Realities
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/31/2010
I'm not a big fan of conferences. There's nothing more repetitive than sitting in a panel where the presentations have interesting titles but are otherwise disappointing. Or listening to a speaker who may be very good but says absolutely nothing you don't know already.

The Moderate Muslim Litmus Tests
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/31/2010
In the controversy over the "Ground Zero" mosque in New York and other issues, Muslims are often asked if they condemn terrorism, Iran, or Hamas and other revolutionary Islamist groups, along with other questions. The idea is to determine whether they are moderates or radicals. Each of these questions also has an unnoticed "internal Muslim" aspect as well that makes them all the more important.

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August 30, 2010

Technology Review - Published by MIT
August 25, 2010

A Search Service that Can Peer into the Future

A Yahoo Research tool mines news archives for meaning--illuminating past, present, and even future events.

By Tom Simonite

Showing news stories on a timeline has been tried before. But Time Explorer, a prototype news search engine created in Yahoo's Barcelona research lab, generates timelines that stretch into the future as well as the past.

Time Explorer's results page is dominated by an interactive timeline illustrating how the volume of articles for a particular search term has changed over time. The most relevant articles appear on the timeline, showing when they were published. If the user moves the timeline into the future, articles appear positioned at any point in time the text might have referred to.

This provides a new way to discover articles, and also a way to check up on past predictions. The timeline for 2010 becomes a way to discover a 2004 Op-Ed suggesting that by now, North Korea would have constructed some 200 nuclear warheads, or a 2007 article accurately predicting difficult policy decisions for Democrats over the expiration of George Bush's tax cuts.

News organizations are increasingly turning to new ways of presenting their content, including through enhanced forms of search. A Pew research study in 2008 found that 83 percent of people looking for news online use a search engine to find it.

Time Explorer can spot both absolute references to future times, such as "November 2010," and work forward from an article's publication date to figure out relative timings like "an election next month." It also extracts names, locations, and organizations mentioned in articles. These are shown in a box to the right of the results; they can be used to add a person or other entity to the timeline, and to fine-tune results to home in on combinations of particular people or places.

"You can see for wars or any other event not only the people that are important, but when they became important," says Michael Matthews, a member of the Yahoo research team. "The evolution of news over time is not something you can do very easily with tools that are out there today."

Time Explorer was built using a collection of 1.8 million articles released by the New York Times stretching from 1987 to 2007 to stimulate research into new ways of exploring news coverage. Time Explorer was presented, along with other ideas for using the same dataset, at a session of the Human Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval (HCIR) workshop in New Brunswick, NJ, over the weekend. Time Explorer won the most votes from attendees for best use of the Times articles.

Other tools presented at HCIR attempted to assess the authority of people mentioned in an article, determine phrases related to a search term, and rapidly pull together a page summarizing the latest news on a particular topic, for example a celebrity or country.

"For most news search engines, recency is a significant factor for relevance," says Daniel Tunkelang, a tech lead at Google's New York office who chaired the challenge session. "Time Explorer brings an exploratory perspective to the time dimension, letting users see the evolution of a topic over time."

"The slick visualization allows users to discover unexpected relationships between entities at particular points in time--for example, between Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein," says Tunkelang. Refining a search for the term "Yugoslavia" with the two leaders reveals how, at first, Hussein appears as a point of comparison in coverage of the Serbian leader, but later the two leaders were directly involved, with stories reporting arms deals between them.

Although Time Explorer currently only works with old news, it could also be used to explore new coverage, and to put it in context, says Matthews. "It would be tough to update in real time, but it could certainly be done daily, and I think that would be useful for sure."

He says the service would be best deployed as a tool that works off of the topics in a breaking story. A person reading a news report about, say, Medicaid would find it useful to see the history of coverage on the topic, as well as the predictions made about its future, says Matthews. "It's like a related-articles feature, but focused in the future." He and colleagues are working on adding more up-to-date news sources, as well as content from blogs and other sites to Time Explorer's scope.

The Times has digitized and made searchable its content going back to 1851, yet today's search technologies and interfaces are not up to the task of making such large collections explorable, says Evan Sandhaus, a member of the New York Times Research and Development Labs who oversaw the release of the article archive in late 2008.

"We can say, 'show me all the articles about Barack Obama,' but we don't have a database that can tell us when he was born, or how many books he wrote," says Sandhaus, who adds that tools developed to process the meaning of news articles could have wider uses. "That resource will not only help the research community move the needle for our company but for any company with a large-scale data-management problem."

With most organizations harboring millions of text documents, from e-mails to reports, smarter tools to handle them would likely be popular, Matthews says. "In theory, the underlying algorithms should work on anything, perhaps with a little tweaking."

The Economic Collapse

Are You Prepared For The Coming Economic Collapse And The Next Great Depression?


Bancor: The Name Of The Global Currency That A Shocking IMF Report Is Proposing

Sometimes there are things that are so shocking that you just do not want to report them unless they can be completely and totally documented.  Over the past few years, there have been many rumors about a coming global currency, but at times it has been difficult to pin down evidence that plans for such a currency are actually in the works.  Not anymore.  A paper entitled "Reserve Accumulation and International Monetary Stability" by the Strategy, Policy and Review Department of the IMF recommends that the world adopt a global currency called the "Bancor" and that a global central bank be established to administer that currency.  The report is dated April 13, 2010 and a full copy can be read here.  Unfortunately this is not hype and it is not a rumor.  This is a very serious proposal in an official document from one of the mega-powerful institutions that is actually running the world economy.  Anyone who follows the IMF knows that what the IMF wants, the IMF usually gets.  So could a global currency known as the "Bancor" be on the horizon?  That is now a legitimate question.

So where in the world did the name "Bancor" come from?  Well, it turns out that "Bancor" is the name of a hypothetical world currency unit once suggested by John Maynard Keynes.  Keynes was a world famous British economist who headed the World Banking Commission that created the IMF during the Breton Woods negotiations.

The Wikipedia entry for "Bancor" puts it this way....

The bancor was a World Currency Unit of clearing that was proposed by John Maynard Keynes, as leader of the British delegation and chairman of the World Bank commission, in the negotiations that established the Bretton Woods system, but has not been implemented.
The IMF report referenced above proposed naming the coming world currency unit the "Bancor" in honor of Keynes.

So what about Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)?  Over the past couple of years, SDRs have been touted as the coming global currency.  Well, the report does envision making SDRs "the principal reserve asset" as we move towards a global currency unit....

"As a complement to a multi-polar system, or even—more ambitiously—its logical end point, a greater role could be considered for the SDR."

However, the report also acknowledges that SDRs do have some serious limitations.  Since the value of SDRs are closely tied to national currencies, anything affecting those currencies will affect SDRs as well.
Right now, SDRs are made up of a basket of currencies.  The following is a breakdown of the components of an SDR....

*U.S. Dollar (44 percent)
*Euro (34 percent)
*Yen (11 percent)
*Pound (11 percent)

The IMF report recognizes that moving to SDRs is only a partial move away from the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency and urges the adoption of a currency unit that would be truly international.  The truth is that SDRs are clumsy and cumbersome.  For now, SDRs must still be reconverted back into a national currency before they can be used, and that really limits their usefulness according to the report....

"A limitation of the SDR as discussed previously is that it is not a currency. Both the SDR and SDR-denominated instruments need to be converted eventually to a national currency for most payments or interventions in foreign exchange markets, which adds to cumbersome use in transactions. And though an SDR-based system would move away from a dominant national currency, the SDR’s value remains heavily linked to the conditions and performance of the major component countries."

So what is the answer?

Well, the IMF report believes that the adoption of a true global currency administered by a global central bank is the answer.

The authors of the report believe that it would be ideal if the "Bancor" would immediately be used as currency by many nations throughout the world, but they also acknowledge that a more "realistic" approach would be for the "Bancor" to circulate alongside national currencies at first....

"One option is for bancor to be adopted by fiat as a common currency (like the euro was), an approach that would result immediately in widespread use and eliminate exchange rate volatility among adopters (comparable, for instance, to Cooper 1984, 2006 and the Economist, 1988). A somewhat less ambitious (and more realistic) option would be for bancor to circulate alongside national currencies, though it would need to be adopted by fiat by at least some (not necessarily systemic) countries in order for an exchange market to develop."

So who would print and administer the "Bancor"?

Well, a global central bank of course.  It would be something like the Federal Reserve, only completely outside the control of any particular national government....

"A global currency, bancor, issued by a global central bank (see Supplement 1, section V) would be designed as a stable store of value that is not tied exclusively to the conditions of any particular economy. As trade and finance continue to grow rapidly and global integration increases, the importance of this broader perspective is expected to continue growing."

In fact, at one point the IMF report specifically compares the proposed global central bank to the Federal Reserve....

"The global central bank could serve as a lender of last resort, providing needed systemic liquidity in the event of adverse shocks and more automatically than at present. Such liquidity was provided in the most recent crisis mainly by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which however may not always provide such liquidity."

So is that what we really need?

A world currency administered by an international central bank modeled after the Federal Reserve?

Not at all.

As I have written about previously, the Federal Reserve has devalued the U.S. dollar by over 95 percent since it was created and the U.S. government has accumulated the largest debt in the history of the world under this system.

So now we want to impose such a system on the entire globe?

The truth is that a global currency (whether it be called the "Bancor" or given a different name entirely) would be a major blow to national sovereignty and would represent a major move towards global government.

Considering how disastrous the Federal Reserve system and other central banking systems around the world have been, why would anyone suggest that we go to a global central banking system modeled after the Federal Reserve?

Let us hope that the "Bancor" never sees the light of day.

However, the truth is that there are some very powerful interests that are absolutely determined to create a global currency and a global central bank for the global economy that we now live in.
It would be a major mistake to think that it can't happen.
"It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master."
– Ayn Rand

WSJ Discovers the Austrians & Boettke – but not the Mises Institute

Monday, August 30, 2010 – by Staff Report
Peter J. Boettke of George Mason University is the emerging standardbearer for a revived Austrian school of economics. But the 50-year-old professor of economics at George Mason University in Virginia is emerging as the intellectual standard-bearer for the Austrian school of economics that opposes government intervention in markets and decries federal spending to prop up demand during times of crisis. Mr. Boettke, whose latest research explores people's ability to self-regulate, also is minting a new generation of disciples who are spreading the Austrian approach throughout academia, where it had long been left for dead. To these free-market economists, government intrusion ultimately sows the seeds of the next crisis. It hampers what one famous Austrian, Joseph Schumpeter, called the process of "creative destruction." Governments that spend money they don't have to cushion downturns, they say, lead nations down the path of large debts and runaway inflation. – Wall Street Journal
Dominant Social Theme: Finally, someone takes up the humble cudgel of Austrian finance.
Free-Market Analysis: Peter Boettke is a terrific spokesperson for Austrian economics and has been at it for years. He deserves all the credit he can get for being in the right place at the right time – and for being correct about economic history as well. We here at the Bell wish we had interviewed him already. He's a brilliant scholar and apparently a nice fellow to boot. But this Wall Street Journal article is another loopy piece of writing that shows fully – and once again – how unsophisticated the mainstream economic conversation really is. We cover elite promotions here at the Bell, but we don't see a meme here so much as ignorance, perhaps willful. We'll try to explain ... 

Australia Next Afghan Domino?

Monday, August 30, 2010 – by Staff Report
It's time to talk on Afghanistan ... When Australia eventually and inevitably pulls out of Afghanistan, the country will still be a brutal, bloody mess – the rule of the gun will trump law, women will suffer, and extremism will remain. By all means, let's have a parliamentary debate on the conflict, as the Greens now demand. But in almost nine years of fighting, neither Labor nor the Coalition has been able to explain what victory in Afghanistan would amount to. Don't expect they can start now. Julia Gillard confessed as much. Asked repeatedly yesterday if the war was ''winnable'', she refused to even utter the word. ''I'm not going to adopt your terminology,'' she told reporters. No, Australia has very narrow and defined aims. Train the Afghan army to fight for themselves and get out. Gone is the once brave talk of building a democracy, enshrining the rights of women and eradicating the drugs trade. That's for the Afghans to sort out. How much longer might training the local army take? The government is really only guessing. – The Age/Australian-Daniel Flitton, Diplomatic Editor
Dominant Social Theme: What must be done now or fairly soon ...
Free-Market Analysis: One of the issues that we've focused on fairly intensely is the rationale that the West (specifically the Anglo-American axis) has in fighting in Afghanistan. We believe the Anglo-American axis is trying to defeat the Pashtuns, a 2000-plus-year-old Afghan tribe and the Punjabis – the leading tribe of Pakistan.

Most Americans Just Don't Get It

Monday, August 30, 2010 – by Dr. Tibor Machan
Guest Editorial

Dr. Tibor Machan
It bothers me to no end that millions of Americans simply don't get just how dangerous this current administration's views are, especially about the nature of our basic rights.
I suppose I should not be surprised, given the utterly perverted primary and secondary education most people receive now in their government run schools. After all, those very schools and everyone with a job in the system, depend upon the flat out rejection of the idea of our basic, natural rights spelled out in the Declaration of Independence. For if each of us does in fact have an unalienable right to our life, our liberty, our pursuit of our happiness and the rest, then those schools exist in direct contradiction to these rights. They are built with the loot the politicians and bureaucrats confiscate from the citizenry, loot that involves the violation of those basic rights the Declaration states every human being has!
So then in order to continue the confiscation of our resources with impunity at all levels of state, it is required that the confiscators deny those rights. And that is just what has transpired – in our era the White House and its legal team, lead by Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, insist that government creates our rights, that we have none based on our human nature.

Steve Forbes on Overseas Wars, the Coming Gold Standard and the Rise of 'Citizen Agitation'

Sunday, August 29, 2010 – with Ron Holland
Exclusive Interview

Steve Forbes
The Daily Bell is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Steve Forbes (left).
Introduction: Steve Forbes is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Media. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine. The company's flagship publication, Forbes, is the nation's leading business magazine, with a circulation of more than 900,000. Steve Forbes writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under the heading of "Fact and Comment." A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. He was a Republican candidate in the U.S. presidential primaries in 1996 and 2000. The Internet site,, averages 18 million unique monthly visitors, and has become a leading destination site for senior business decision-makers and investors. Other Forbes Web sites are:;;;; and the Business and Finance Blog Network. Together with, these sites reach nearly 40 million business decision-makers each month. Mr. Forbes serves on the boards of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, the Heritage Foundation and The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
A brief synopsis:
Daily Bell: Ron Paul has emphasized a less aggressive foreign policy. What do you think of the Afghanistan war? Do you think America ought to leave?
Steve Forbes: No, America is not going to be able to leave Afghanistan any time soon. I think what we should be doing now that we're there is following the precepts of counter insurgency: work with the local people and maintain sufficient forces to be able to do that and hope for some semblance of stability. To leave now would set in motion a Cambodia-like blood bath.
Daily Bell: Is there going to be war with Iran?
Steve Forbes: I think Israel at some point – and I have learned not to give a timetable on these things – will make a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Daily Bell: Does Israel have too much influence on the American political system and foreign affairs?

Tea Party Infighting?

Saturday, August 28, 2010 – by Staff Report
Splitting the Conservative Vote in Michigan's First District ... In the aftermath of the very close MI01 Republican primary, won by Dan Benishek of Crystal Falls by 15 votes, several things have transpired that has tested the friendships and trust of tea party members and patriots, and the movement itself. Glenn Wilson, a self-proclaimed independent, has entered the first district race and has co-opted former leadership of the tea party movement. In a Politico article Wilson is cited as being, "backed by several tea party groups." When in reality, he has hired the former leader of the Petoskey Tea Party and has the support of disgruntled libertarians. Rich Carlson is no longer the leader of any tea party group, and his friend, Randy Bishop, has completely alienated the tea party folks in Emmet County and many of the supporters he had in his bid to become State Senator to replace Jason Allen in Michigan's 37th. – Jennerationx
Dominant Social Theme: Fresh approaches will be the best.
Free-Market Analysis: This blog-article, while not "mainstream" of itself, touches on plenty of mainstream issues. It was also posted after being written on the "conservative" RedState website, and we found the discussion that took place there to be enlightening in terms of what is going on the Tea Party movement. The comments show quite clearly that Tea Party itself has significant rifts, as we wrote about months ago.

China: Rumors of the Central Bank Chief's Defection

August 30, 2010 | 1406 GMT 
Rumors have circulated in China that People’s Bank of China (PBC) Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan may have left the country. The rumors appear to have started following reports on Aug. 28 which cited Ming Pao, a Hong Kong-based news agency, saying that because of an approximately $430 billion loss on U.S. Treasury bonds, the Chinese government may punish some individuals within the PBC, including Zhou. Although Ming Pao on Aug. 30 published a report on its website indicating that the prior report was fabricated by a mainland news site that had attributed the false information to Ming Pao, rumors of Zhou’s defection have spread around China intensively, and Zhou’s name has been blocked from Internet search engines in China.

STRATFOR has received no confirmation of the rumor, and reports by state-run Chinese media appeared to send strong indications that Zhou is in no trouble at the moment. However, the release of this rumor and its dispersion throughout the public is significant, particularly as the Communist Party of China (CPC) is preparing for a leadership transition in 2012.

Chinese state-run media and official government websites have run several high-profile reports about Zhou, which should be seen as an attempt to refute the rumors. The PBC website published two articles on its homepage reporting on Zhou’s meeting with visiting Japanese Financial Services Minister Shozaburo Jimi during the third China-Japan high-level economic dialogue as well as a meeting with an Italian delegation. Xinhua news agency reported that Zhou told the PBC Party Committee Enlargement meeting on Aug. 30 it should “continue to implement justice and strengthen legislative work in the financial system.” Prior to this news, Zhou appeared at the 2nd annual conference of the heads of the Chinese, Japanese and Korean central banks held on Aug. 3, and his most recent public appearance was Aug. 10 for China’s Financial System Anti-corruption Construction Exhibition.

Zhou is known to have lofty political ambitions and is believed to be a close ally to former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, as well as a core figure for Jiang’s “Shanghai Gang.” There has been no shortage of rumors about Zhou’s possible dismissal in the past five years, as he is believed to be associated with several high-level financial scandals. For example, Zhou was rumored to be under “shuanggui,” a form of house arrest administered by the CPC, during the massive crackdown of Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu in 2006, which was perceived in the country as a crackdown of the Shanghai Gang and part of Hu’s effort to consolidate power ahead of the 2007 power transition. There was also a rumor that he might have been detained following the investigation and arrest of Wang Yi, the vice governor of the China Development Bank, along with several other officials in the financial circle. Currently, several financial scandals are still under investigation, and it is likely that Zhou, as PBC governor and one of the most powerful economic players in the country, could be associated with some cases. Therefore, whether or not the rumor is true at this time, the leaking of this news is very likely to be associated with a power struggle within the Communist Party’s economic hierarchy. 

Mujahideen probably used Afghan tactic. Fatalities among puppets in Russian stooge's hometown are much higher

Publication time: Today at 17:39 Emirate time
KC's sources reported from Chechnya that about 40 wounded puppet soldiers have been brought to the hospitals of Chechen capital Jokhar (former Grozny) from Kadyrov's home village of Khosi-Yurt. No accurate data regarding the number of wounded who were brought to the hospitals in Gudermes city and town of Shali.
It is reported that some of the wounded puppets are died.
Obviously, the fatalities among Kadyrovites are much more than figures given by the occupiers and their minions.
It is to be recalled that the puppet ringleader Kadyrov himself does not recognize even the figures issued by the occupation gang of the "investigation committee" and still claiming that killed 2 policemen were killed and 4 villagers were wounded.
The occupation gang of the "investigation committee" announced "the final data on casualties". In line with this summary 6 Kadyrov's policemen were killed and 18 others wounded during the raid of Mujahideen. In addition to them 7 other villagers were injured, about whom no information given.
Thus, the total "official" casualties of the puppets are 31 people.
In their turn the Mujahideen during a initial telephone contact on Sunday morning, reported that "an address sweep" was carried out, several homes of the puppet were burned, at least 5 people close to Kadyrov were eliminated, during a special operation in the Khosi-Yurt village. Moreover at least 10 puppet soldiers were eliminated during the combats in the village.
The Mujahideen command also said that the statement of invaders and puppets about killing 12 Mujahideen in the battle was a lie. Their combat casualties the Mujahideen evaluated as 3 dead and 2 missing.
On Monday afternoon the representative of Emir Zaurbek said to KC's source on the phone that a group of martyrs had participated in a special operation in the Kadyrov's den of Khosi-Yurt. There is not precise data on this point, since the contact was short-lived.
It can be assumed from the information KC possess that the Mujahideen used tactic of the Afghan Taliban during the raid in Khosi-Yurt, when a group or a whole unit of martyr fidais attacking targets of the invaders.
At this hour it is known that at least 3 Mujahideen units led by commanders Mahran, Zaurbek and Abdurrahman with total number of 60 fighters had taken part in the operation. However, there is not blow wide open concerning the picture of the battle and tactics applied by the Mujahideen.
It is known that an APC was hit and 6 puppet soldiers were killed at the entrance to Khosi-Yurt. It is also known that the Mujahideen entered the village and stayed there for about 1 hour.
In line with the additional information received on Monday afternoon, there could have been a group of martyrs from 5 to 10 people in the Mujahideen unit entered the village, which as seems, in addition to its main task to attack the puppets had simultaneously covered the retirement of the main forces of Mujahideen.
However, information continues to arrive that Kadyrovites executed several hostages from among the young men who are held in secret prisons on the territory of Khosi-Yurt. There are at least 4 such prisons in this village.
According to various sources, 7 to 10 people were executed and their bodies were blown up.
KC continues to monitor the situation.
Meanwhile, as of Monday evening of August 30 noone is allowed to leave the village of Khosi-Yurt.
In this regard, some Russian publications, in particular, the Caucasian Knot, write -
"Initially, the authorities reported that a fight with a group of militants occurred on the outskirts of the settlement, now it appears that the shootout occurred in the village itself, which is protected not only by the Chechen security forces, but also by the Russian military. The attack of militants on the Kadyrov's village Tsentaroi (Khosi-Yurt) was a complete surprise both to the population of Chechnya and to representatives of power structures.
"Relatives of my neighbor live in the Khosi-Yurt. Tthey were supposed to come to him for some business yesterday, but they called and warned that they won't come, because nobody is allowed to leave the village.
They would come only after three or four days, when the situation discharged. Also it seems the village was attacked by 12-15militants, as claimed by Kadyrov and his security forces, but by much bigger group. No one yet knows how many were they, as well as which direction the militants had gone to", Grozny (Jokhar) resident Said-Ahmad told the correspondent of Caucasian Knot.
Some local experts believe that, despite the emphasized triumphant tone with which Kadyrov tells about the repulse of attack on his village, this Mujahideen operation has significantly undermined the credibility and image of Ramzan Kadyrov.
"Until recently, Ramzan Kadyrov has always claimed that only a few dozen militants left in the mountains, they are divided and have neither the strength nor the human resources nor the ability to carry out any serious operation and will be completely destroyed in the near future.
The fact that a detachment of militants managed to break into the well-protected village and for several hours conduct fight there, shows quite the contrary. It turns out that the rumors about the "death" of armed underground were greatly exaggerated", considers one of the observers, who asked to remain anonymous.
In his view, Mujahideen delivered a rather painful blow to the image and pride of the puppet authorities, and most of all, to Kadyrov.
"Dokku Umarov dying with hunger and diseases, the warlords sitting out in the carpet-holes, the Arab mercenaries interested only in money, as assured Kadyrov, were capable to carry out a large-scale operation", Caucasian Knot's interlocutor considers.
Department of Monitoring
Kavkaz Center

Mujahideen operation in Kadyrov's hometown will have a long-term impact on situation in Caucasus Emirate

Last update: Today at 15:13 Emirate time
Publication time: Today at 13:06 Emirate time
The puppet ringleader Kadyrov and occupation sources claimed for the media that 12 Mujahideen were allegedly killed during the battle in the Khosi-Yurt. He insisted that all of them killed after they were allegedly lured into the village.
It is to be recalled that earlier, the Mujahideen command reported that only 3 Mujahideen martyred and 2 of them have gone missing during the raid. Later, it was reported that those 2 Mujahideen also martyred.
Meanwhile, it is possible that a group of martyrs was included into the attacking group of the Mujahideen. On Monday, a KC source was contacted by a representative of Emir Zaurbek who said some Mujahideen who wished to martyr were included into the units that attacked the Khosi-Yurt village. 
It is to be recalled that during the whole Sunday, Russian occupiers' sources and puppets reported contradictory information, refuting each other.
Finally, the occupation gang of the "investigation committee" issued official figures, saying that 6 Kadyrov's policemen were killed and another 18 injured during the battle in Khosi-Yurt. In addition, it was stated that some 7 unnamed local residents were injured.
Thus, according to version of the invaders, the total number casualties among the puppets makes 31 terrorists.
Occupiers also said that "7 alleged wounded militants blew themselves up to avoid being identified". "3 militants were identified" among of those killed Mujahideen", but the names of only two of them were reported.
It is to be recalled that according to the Mujahideen command, up to 15 puppet soldiers, including 5 terrorists from among of the inner circle of Kadyrov were eliminated during a special operation in the Khosi-Yurt village. Several homes were burned, two checkpoints destroyed, an APC and several cars, including military vehicles, were targeted, large quantities of weapons, including special weapons, ammunition and communications equipment, were seized. Mujahideen reported nothing the number of wounded Kadyrovites.
Kadyrov himself continues to convince the media that the batttle was allegedly conceived by him in order to "kill all the militants, after luring them into the village, so that they don't flee".
The mess in Kadyrov's head, however, shows confusion of the puppet. First he "lures" the Mujahideen into the village, then "allows them to approach" only to the outskirts of it, where they are "all immediately eliminated", then "pushes" the Mujahideen to the outskirts of Khosi-Yurt, where "the militants opened fire on poor people who were preparing something to eat before the fasting time".
Curiously, some western media are prejudiced against the successful special operation of the Mujahideen. Thus, reporting about the Mujahideen raid, the BBC insistently repeated that the battle allegedly occurred on the outskirts of the village of Tsentaroi, despite the fact that even the invaders admit that the fighting unfolded 150 meters from Kadyrov's house.
A story of the "Chechen lurerer" Kadyrov who brought Mujahideen to Khosi-Yurt to be shot dead by Kadyrovites appeared on the pages of some Russian media outlets on Monday.
Sunday convulsions of Russian news agencies and Kadyrov actually show their complete surprise by the Mujahideen attack on the den of the puppet ringleader.
The village Khosi-Yurt is the most protected area, not only in Chechnya, but throughout the entire occupied Caucasus Emirate. Numerous armed gangs of Kadyrovites with armored vehicles and even tanks are located directly in the village.
Practically, the whole village is turned into a fortress, which is also protected by a whole regiment of Russian invaders, deployed in Novogrozny Ridge, which is literally hanging over Khosi-Yurt.
Obviously, the Mujahideen raid on the stronghold of Russian minions was both a military and a psychological victory.
Carrying out a sabotage operation of this magnitude and with such forces in the heart of a seemingly impregnable lair of Kadyrov will, of course, have serious consequences.
Today, the whole Chechnya is talking about the events. Anyone who is a bit familiar with the situation in Chechnya not through television pictures knows what satisfaction is now being felt by the inhabitants of Chechnya.
Meanwhile, not only journalists, but several experts commented on the successful operation of the Mujahideen in Khosi-Yurt.
According to the Moscow correspondent of the London newspaper The Guardian Luke Harding, Alexei Malashenko, an expert on the north Caucasus at Moscow's Carnegie Centre in a telephone interview to Luke Harding said:
"This is a very painful strike not only against Kadyrov but against Moscow. Tsentoroi is like a fortress with a lot of tanks and military men. I've been there several times.
The situation in the North Caucasus is now much more difficult than Putin or Medvedev imagine it. We are talking about a growing Islamist opposition and hundreds or even thousands of militants in Chechnya alone, with more young men joining them up in the mountains. It's a war. Invisible or visible, it's a war...", said Malashenko
Perhaps, in order to emphasize the counter-terrorism nature of the Mujahideen raid, Luke Hardingr recalled that "Kadyrov has been accused of involvement in the murder of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya".
It is to be mentioned that an American citizen, journalist Anna Politkovskaya who was executed by a Kadyrov's killer, is highly esteemed among the democratic public opinion and political figures in the West.
In his turn, Alexandre Cherkasov, an expert in the region for NGO Memorial, admitted in a telephone conversation with the AFP that the situation in the Caucasus Emirate deteriorated for Russian invaders and their puppets:
"The situation deteriorated in 2009 and there is no reason to believe that it has improved since then".
Earlier, the editor-in-chief of the Internet news agency Caucasian Knot, Grigory Shvedov, said in a telephone interview with the Moscow bureau of Reuters: "This raid is a message to Kadyrov, who thinks he is fully in control of the situation.
The sabotage looks quite successful, and is a sign that we could expect a surge in similar activities further on".
An expert with the English-language analytical service of the US Radio Liberty, Liz Fuller, also praised the successful operation of the Caucasian Mujahideen.
She noted with reference to the KC that 60 Mujahideen participated in the operation and made fun of Kadyrov who in recent years "consistently overestimated the number of Mujahideen killed and underestimated the number of fighters still hiding out in the mountains".
Fuller describes the August 29 attack as the "largest-scale" offensive launched by Chechen fighters so far this year, and also the "boldest" as the fighters targeted "Kadyrov's hometown".
"Most of the attacks that have been reported over the past year have involved only five or 10 fighters", Fuller said and added:
"The website (so is written in the published text, probably, the intention is to deprive readers of a possibility to visit the website and to read it themselves - KC) is now saying that this morning's attack was by 60 fighters in three separate groups, under three different commanders.
It means it's a bigger attack than we've seen for some time. And of course the choice of the target is extremely significant in that it was a clear attempt to discredit and insult and humiliate Kadyrov himself".
"The identity of the suspected militants and their allegiances to insurgent groups remains unclear", writes American Liberty radio on its English-language analytic website.
Department of Monitoring
Kavkaz Cneter