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One of the president's staff members anxiously pulled a few of us aside. "The president is misunderstanding this proposal," he warned. "He has the wrong idea in his head. ... It wasn't that the president didn't understand what his administration wanted to do. It was that the treasury secretary didn't seem to know, changed his mind, had misled the president, or some combination of the three.source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/15/matt-latimer-book-bush-sl_n_286853.html
Netanyahu held talks with George Mitchell on Tuesday, for a meeting that was expected to focus on reaching an agreement on freezing the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
But in advance of the talks, Netanyahu reaffirmed his position that Israel will not bow to US demands to completely halt the building of settlements.
In remarks to a parliamentary committee on Monday, Netanyahu rejected calls to freeze all settlement construction, but said he would consider a temporary slow-down in the rate of building.
"They (Americans) asked us for a complete freeze and we told them that we will not do this," Netanyahu was quoted as saying by a parliamentary official.
"I told the Americans we would consider reducing the scope of construction.
"But there has to be a balance between the desire to make progress in political negotiations and the need to allow inhabitants of Judea and Samaria to continue to lead normal lives."
Netanyahu was referring to areas of the occupied West Bank. A freeze on settlement building is one of the key Palestinian conditions for the resumption of peace talks.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has said that peace talks will not restart negotiations, on hold since December, until Israel freezes its settlement activity.
But let’s take a look at something more recent, and a lot less convoluted, shall we?
By now, you are familiar the Tea Bagger march on September 12, 2009, when almost 60,000 people magically became up to 2 million people? Let’s take a close look at the logo for that march, shall we?
Notice the red fist that is a symbol of communism. Add a hammer and a sickle and you could find this poster in Tiananmen Square or Pyongyang. Notice how the socialist fist in placed in front to the capitol building that is blue. Blue is the color of the Democratic Party while red is the color of Republicans and communists.
Are the Tea Baggers saying they want communists or socialists in power and Democrats out with this imagery?
Notice the clenched fists? Does it remind you of anything? (Red Clenched Fists?)
It looks very Communist, doesn’t it? Could Glen Beck be a secret communist who has infiltrated Fox News and is trying to destroy the Murdock Evil Empire by alienating advertisers? Did Fox News hire John Stossel, the libertarian wing nut, to replace Beck?
This sounds like a communist plot, doesn't it?
A military agreement between the United States and Columbia has caused an uproar in Latin America which could have been avoided, as Michael Shifter from the Inter-American Dialogue Policy Center told RT.
The US and Columbia have agreed on a 10-year deal allowing the United States to buff up its military presence in the country – and though the Columbian government says that it is aimed at stopping drug trafficking and combating extremism, the news is not being welcomed by Latin American leaders.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has already threatened to break off diplomatic ties with neighboring Columbia, calling the deal an “act of war” and “betrayal”.
And though the US anticipated the negative reaction of Hugo Chavez and some of the hard-line governments, the opposition by the more moderate Brazil and Chile was completely unexpected, Michael Shifter says.
“The US hasn’t learned the lesson that if there’s some sort of agreement that has to do with the use of military resources of the United States in Latin America, this is going to arouse a lot of suspicions… that is going to be a problem,” Shifter says.
He has added that the US didn’t really lay the groundwork before doing this and they didn’t consult neighboring countries. Shifter believes this was a decision made at the bureaucratic agency level that didn’t even get to the highest political levels – and the US is paying a price for that.
Russia will lend $2.2 billion to Venezuela, says President Hugo Chavez after his visit to Moscow. The money will help Venezuela’s military potential, which Chavez deems crucial as US influence grows in the region.
President Hugo Chavez says his country is buying nearly 100 T-72 tanks and an S-300 air-defense system, using a more than $2 billion loan it got from Russia.
The announcement was made just days after President Chavez's two-day visit to Moscow, during which he recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“We have good relations with Venezuela both military, economic and cultural. There is no embargo on the selling of arms to this country so if it wants to buy our military hardware, we are ready to supply it,” explains Vladimir Travkin, editor-in-chief of the, Latin America magazine.
It comes as Colombia is planning to allow the United States access to seven military bases in the country, officially to help it in the war against drugs and left-wing guerillas.
But Venezuela says it’s a threat to its national security as it holds some of the largest oil reserves in the world.
President Chavez stresses the new measures are strictly for protection from the Empire – a term the President often uses when referring to the United States.
“It's doubtful the US will engage in a war with Venezuela. American soldiers are already fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. But any leader with some self-respect has to think about how to protect his country from potential threats,” says Viktor Litovkin, an analyst from Independent Military Review newspaper.
The S-300 is planned to be the foundation of Venezuela's air-defense shield.
Developed in the USSR and produced in Russia, it's designed to knockout planes and ballistic missiles. Its radars can simultaneously track up to one hundred targets while engaging up to twelve.
Chavez says he also plans to buy other air-defense systems from Russia with Venezuela's military already being the most powerful in Latin America.
"It was an impressive crowd," he said. But after marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol the crowd "only filled the Capitol grounds, maybe up to Third Street," he said.
Yet the photo showed the crowd sprawling far beyond that to the Washington Monument, which is bordered by 15th and and 17th Streets.
There's another big problem with the photograph: it doesn't include the National Museum of the American Indian, a building located at the corner of Fourth St. and Independence Ave. that opened on Sept. 14, 2004. (Looking at the photograph, the building should be in the upper right hand corner of the National Mall, next to the Air and Space Museum.)
That means the picture was taken before the museum opened exactly five years ago. So clearly the photo doesn't show the "tea party" crowd from the Sept. 12 protest.Rightardia comment: The Major used to be a photo officer and noticed the first photos of the event were tightly cropped and shot from odd angles. Rightardia published an article suggesting the crowd did not appear to have much depth. See http://rightardia.blogspot.com/2009/09/tea-party-march-on-washington-looks.html
On behalf of the Congress, I thank all of you for your leadership for America’s working families.
Today, you are organizing, marching, and leading the charge in the fight of our lives, to provide affordable, quality and accessible health care to everyone, and we will win.Reid said that, thanks to the hard work of union members around the country, we’re making real progress to fixing an economy that was leaving too many behind:
Thank you to the AFL-CIO, for your commitment to progress and prosperity. Onward to victory.
We demanded a new direction for our country. Together we stood up…we knew the challenges we faced were not created in a day, and we knew they would not be fixed overnight. We also knew we had no time to waste.Reid pointed to successes in creating jobs, in helping children get health care and helping students go to college. He also said he wants to swiftly pass the Employee Free Choice Act.
We’ve made a good start, but we have so much more to do.
I’m as committed today as ever to passing the Employee Free Choice Act and making it law.It’s a sign of the changes the union movement has helped to make in this country that the top leaders in Congress are so enthusiastic to offer thanks to union members at this Convention.
MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said that Caracas is to receive Russian 'short-range missiles.' Most likely these missiles would be the export version of the SA-21 Growler or S-400 Triumf. Russia has given Chavez a $2 billion credit to purchase the missiles and Russian main battle tanks according to BBC News.
"Soon some little rockets are going to be arriving," he said at the presidential palace. "They can fly 300 kms. And they don't miss their targets."
"We are not going to attack anybody, these are just defence tools, because we are going to defend our country from any threat, wherever it may come from," he went on.
He did not say how many missiles would be delivered.
Chavez also said Venezuela would buy Russian T-72 and T-90 tanks
Venezuela is embroiled in a dispute with neighboring Colombia over its plans to allow U.S. troops to deploy to the country.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday after Kremlin talks with Chavez that Russia would sell Venezuela tanks and other types of military equipment.
His announcement came after Chavez had said that Venezuela would recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russia recognized the former Georgian republics as independent states shortly after last August's war with Georgia, which began when Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia in a bid to bring it under central control.
Rightardia has been following defense developments in Venezuela for a long time. Columbia outspends Venezuela on defense by more than 2:1 and the US is increasing its military presence in Columbia to combat narco-trafficking.
Rightardia comment: The Russians had numerous problems with the T-80 tanks in the Georgian conflict. The turbine engines were unreliable and Israeli manufactured anti-tank weapons smoked a bunch of T-80s. If the Russians were developing a new tank, it would be a new and improved version of the T-90 that developed from the T-72.
Recent reports in open sources suggest that the Black Eagle program has been halted due to the acceptance of the T-90 into the Russian military.by Aleksey Vladykin
MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian military has denied the existence of a new-generation main battle tank (MBT) based on T-80 design and featuring explosive reactive armor and a box-shaped turret.
The Russian media has recently resumed discussion of the secret tank, dubbed Black Eagle, which was developed by the Omsk Transmash design bureau and whose pictures were shown in several publications and on the Internet.
"There was no such project...and those 20-year-old pictures show a mock-up of a futuristic tank which remained just a product of someone's imagination," Col. Vladimir Voitov, head of research at the Main Directorate of the Armored Troops, said in an interview with the Echo Moskvy radio on Saturday.
He added that he was aware of a prototype of an experimental tank, but insisted that 'the turret of the vehicle did not have anything inside."
According to the Russian media, an early prototype of the Black Eagle was shown at an arms exposition in Siberia, in June 1999. It appeared to be based on a lengthened T-80U hull, and to have very thick front armor and new-generation Kaktus explosive reactive armor.
However, recent reports in open sources suggest that the Black Eagle program has been halted due to the acceptance of the T-90, built by the Uralvagonzavod plant, into the Russian military in the mid-1990s.
In addition, Russia has reportedly opted for Uralvagonzavod as the developer and manufacturer of a new-generation MBT, which will most likely have a designation as T-95.
Sergei Mayev, head of the Federal Service for Defense Contracts (Rosoboronzakaz) told a news conference in July 2008 that the Russian Armed Forces would start receiving new-generation tanks superior to the T-90 main battle tank after 2010.
The new tank will feature better firepower, maneuverability, electronics and armor protection than the T-90 MBT.
Its speed will increase from 30-50 kph to 50-65 kph (19-31 mph to 31-40 mph).
According to some sources, the new tank may be equipped with a 152-mm smoothbore gun capable of firing guided missiles with a range of 6,000-7,000 meters.
In comparison, the T-90 MBT has a 125-mm 2A46M smoothbore gun, which can fire AT-11 Sniper anti-tank guided missiles with a range of 4,000 meters.
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