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Showing posts from February 3, 2014

Stalin's Crimes Haunt The Sochi Games

By Eric Margolis

February 02, 2014 - Sochi seems a strange place to hold the Olympic games. First, it’s almost subtropical. To find snow, one must travel up to the Caucasus mountains.

The Black Sea resort is charming and exotic.
But Sochi is a beach resort. No one knows if there will be enough snow for the skiing and snowboarding events being held on the low mountains behind.

Let me stop here and say that I consider all Olympic games a titanic waste of money that leave behind white elephant buildings and debts that never get paid off. Bread and circuses. Russia is blowing over $3 billion on this extravaganza. The games are just a huge commercial jamboree with faux patriotic overtones.

Second, there is the big security scare facing Russia from violent militants in the North Caucasus. The US government, trying to rain on Vlad Putin’s parade, actually warned American visitors to take extreme caution or just not go to Sochi because of the dangers of “terrorism.”

Two US destroyers have been s…

Fact Or Fiction? Iranian Commander: We Have Targets Within America

By Reza Kahlili

February 02, 2014 - A top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards boasted Saturday that his forces have plans in place to attack the United States from within, should the U.S. attack the Islamic Republic.

“America, with its strategic ignorance, does not have a full understanding of the power of the Islamic Republic,” Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami said in a televised interview. “We have recognized America’s military strategy, and have arranged our abilities, and have identified centers in America [for attack] that will create a shock.”

Reports indicate that "terrorist" Hezbollah forces — allies of Iran — have infiltrated the U.S. and have mapped out targets.

This article was originally published at Daily Caller

Updated February 02, 2014 at 8:33 pm PST

IRGC: Iran Recognizes No Boundary for Responding to Any Possible US Attack

February 02, 2014 - "Farsnews" - “The US (threat of using the) military option is of no care to us. They can use this option but shoul…

Tensions Over Water Resources in Central Asia

The decline of Central Asia's Aral Sea, located on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, is a dramatic example of the consequences of water mismanagement. The two rivers that feed the lake, the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya, originate primarily in the neighboring countries of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. The heavy use of the rivers' waters for crop irrigation reduced the flow of the rivers into the Aral Sea, reducing water levels starting in the 1960s and increasing salinity. By 1990, the lake separated into two halves as the water levels dropped. The lake's decline effectively eliminated a once vibrant fishing industry. With assistance from the World Bank, Kazakhstan began restoring the smaller northern portions of the lake in 2001. Other countries could take similar isolated actions, but historical tensions and unequal distribution of resources in the region make true trans-boundary water resource management highly unlikely.

The downstream nations -- Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan an…

Political and Economic Volatility in Important Markets

Anti-government protesters march in Bangkok on Jan. 30. (PAULA BRONSTEIN/Getty Images)


Amid turmoil in international markets, there are a host of countries whose economic circumstances will be shaped ultimately by their geopolitical circumstances. A rush of repositioning in global capital markets has exposed very clear financial vulnerabilities in several countries. Though few countries are completely safe from the current economic turmoil, those caught in moments of political transition are particularly vulnerable. Indonesia, Ukraine, Thailand, India and Turkey are all countries where geopolitical shifts are intersecting with international economic volatility in a potent mix of potential instability.

Ukraine's geopolitical plight provides significant opportunities but includes extreme risks. Ukraine suffered a 14 percent contraction of its gross domestic product in 2009 and has recovered poorly, despite portfolio and direct investment inflows. Growth in 2012 and 20…