Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2000/12-2

Dec. 8, 2000

Russian Defense Minister:

"Kursk"-"Memphis" Collision Theory Virtually Confirmed

Old Soviet Anthem Is Back; Bolsheviks’ Plunder of Russian Art Disclosed; Berezovsky’s Sour Grapes: “Sore/Loserman” Not Only Sore Losers; Putin and Blair: A Pair with Flair

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONARUSSIAN AFFAIRS


HEADLINES

Brussels                   1. Russian Defense Minister Virtually Confirms

                                      “Kursk”-“Memphis” Collision Theory

Moscow                    2. Old Soviet Anthem Is Back

Moscow                    3. Bolsheviks’ Plunder of Russian Art Disclosed

Nice                          4. Berezovsky’s Sour Grapes: “Sore/Loserman”

                                      Not Only Sore Losers

Moscow                    5. Putin and Blair: A Pair with Flair

Havana                     6. New Russian Foreign Policy Emerging: CoopetitionDec. 16, 2000

Toronto                     6a. Putin Responds to Well-wisher with Three-finger 

                                         Orthodox SaluteDec. 20, 2000  

Kostroma                 7. Russian Doctors: Beggars at Work, Paupers at HomeDec. 16, 2000

Scottsdale                 8. U.S. Submariner Disputes Russian Collision TheoryDec. 16, 2000

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1. Russian Defense Minister Virtually Confirms “Kursk”-“Memphis” Collision Theory

Why Were Wives of 12 U.S. “Memphis” Sailors Secretly Flown to Norway after the “Kursk” Accident?

BRUSSELS, Dec. 6 - Truth is thinner than air.  It has a way of escaping even through sealed hatches of a submarine marooned at the bottom of Barents Sea.  The only thing unusual about this week’s virtual confirmation by the Russian defense minister of the independent news reports that the “Kursk” sinking was caused by its collision with an American (“Memphis”) sub is how quickly the news had leaked out.  Usually it takes years or decades for such truth to surface (pun intended).

In this case, the Russian government may have been bought off by Washington into silence, as we had suggested before (e.g., TiM Bulletin, Sep. 24, 2000). But someone, somewhere in the NWO “lie and deny” world must have forgotten to pay off the Norwegians.  Hence the two articles that appeared on Dec. 5 and 6 in Moscow’s Lenta and Pravda.  Citing a Norwegian retired admiral as source, they reported that six Russian warplanes had pursued a foreign submarine, presumed to be the damaged “Memphis,” almost entering the Norwegian air space. 

Here’s an excerpt from the Dec. 6 Pravda story:

“Igor Sergeyev, Russian defense minister, confirmed today in Brussels the comments by Rear-Admiral Einar Skorgen, former commander of the Norwegian Northern Force. According to the admiral, Russian anti-submarine aircraft did pursue on August 17 a foreign submarine escaping from the site of the nuclear submarine Kursk's crash. Admiral Skorgen also said that Russian North Fleet aircrafts got so absorbed in the pursuit that it nearly violated the Norwegian air space, so Norwegian fighters scrambled in an emergency takeoff.

Luckily, the air space violation was avoided thanks to a contact between the Norwegian Air Force and the Russian North Fleet commanders. 

In addition, according to the admiral, there was something mechanically wrong with the US submarine ‘Memphis’ which entered the Norwegian port of Bergen.

Moreover, wives of 12 Memphis sailors were then urgently flown from the US to Norway, the purpose of their trip being kept secret.”

Those among the TiM readers who can read Russian can check out the original stories at - http://www.pravda.ru/main/2000/12/06/21285.html and http://www.lenta.ru/russia/2000/12/05/sorgen/. 

Perhaps the most valuable new tidbit that emerged from the above Moscow stories is the secret flight of the 12 American sailors’ wives to Bergen.  Why were they flown Norway?  To assist with the “Memphis” repairs and maintenance as volunteers?  Or…? (you can fill in the blanks).

The fact that we have seen NOTHING (zero, nil, nada…) in the U.S. media about that August spousal US Navy trip, should serve as an example to the Doubting Thomas’s who swallowed hook, line and sinker Bill Clinton’s claim that NATO had suffered no combat casualties during its 79-day war with Serbia (see NATO Covering Up Its Losses”).  As we said in that TiM Bulletin:

“The only question that remains unanswered, however, is how did the Clinton administration manage to keep so many grieving American and other NATO families silent about the losses of their loved ones? Or more pointedly, did it bribe them (pay them off) or intimidate them with threats or worse?”

Well, we still don’t know for sure how “they” managed to keep these 12 “Memphis” sailors’ families quiet, either.  But we know they did.  The U.S. media silence about their now not-so-secret trip to Norway is proof that “they” succeeded in it, isn’t it?

What’s also interesting about the Moscow articles is that they square fully with our own contemporaneous TiM report published on Aug. 26.  Here’s an excerpt:

“On Aug. 17, the U.S. ‘Memphis’ entered a Norwegian port for repairs and maintenance.  But a NATO representatives claimed that this had nothing to do with the ‘Kursk’.” 

Right.  Just as NATO’s 79-day bombing of Serbia in 1999 had nothing to do with Serbia, only with Slobodan Milosevic.

Meanwhile, the Russian defense minister (Sergeyev) proposed to create a common submarine rescue operation service with NATO during his (Dec. 7) visit to Britain.  During the talks with the British defense minister, Geoff Hoon, Sergeyev also expressed Russia's gratitude to Britain for a recent rescue operation involving the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk.

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2. Old Soviet Anthem Is Back

MOSCOW, Dec. 8 - As we have previously reported, Russian president Vladimir Putin is trying to restore some of Russia’s old pride (see “Newly Assertive Russia,” Item 3 in TiM Bulletin 2000/11-7).  And today (Dec. 8), Russia's Duma, the lower house of parliament, obliged him by approving in its second reading a bill that restores the melody of the Soviet-era anthem as Russia's new national anthem.  Of the 450 Duma deputies, 378 voted in favor, 53 voted against and one abstained (see http://allnews.ru/english/2000/12/08/duma/).

The news of the impending restoration of the old anthem was not universally applauded.  Here are a couple of diametrically opposed reactions to the idea.  But first, this is what we wrote on Nov. 29 about this then impending news event:

"In a domestic push to restore in Russia the old sense of national pride, Putin is urging the Russian Duma to pass a legislation that will restore the old Soviet anthem, but with new lyrics, thus distancing it from the Stalin rule during which it was first adopted. The Duma is expected to pass such a law easily and soon"

To which Pierre Kotschoubey, a TiM reader from Brussels, Belgium, responded:

“I have the weakness to believe that, in the case of Russia, moral (ethical if you prefer) and religious (spiritual if you prefer) values are more, far more important to restore than any economical, military, political or otherwise "earthly power" value. Why? Because that's what the satanical Bolshevik regime destroyed most: Ethics, moral, religion, while being assertive, indeed, in the political-military-etc fields. So long as this trend is not reversed, the ESSENTIAL will remain lost for poor, miserable Russia, even if it regains some "worldly power" (which, incidentally, I would be happy with, but it is not the essential).

To restore national pride is, yes, important. People need to believe in something "to-get- back-to-work-and-contribute-to-the-well-being-of-etc-etc". And what symbols are most commonly adopted on this earth, to boost desperate people's enthusiasm, apart from slogans and propaganda, i.e. lies? National anthem and national flag, among other things.

In this respect, I find it terribly, desperately sad to restore that hatred symbol of the hatred soviet regime, their hatred anthem, no matter what the new lyrics will say. I feel shame and despair. I'd like to believe that my consternation is shared by other Russian "émigrés", but that's unimportant.

I believe in symbols, I think people also believe in symbols, and new lyrics won't "distance Russian people" from Stalin, from his rule, from his regime... On the contrary, it is yet another of quite a few steps, subtle as they may have been "sold" to the public, back to soviet ideas, concepts, schemes.

Nothing is more difficult to change, alas, than mentality.”

Pierre Kotschoubey, Brussels, Belgium

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Professor Emeritus of the Northern Illinois University in Chicago, J.P. Maher, held the opposite view:

“Good news! It's a glorious piece of music. I have a tape copy from an LP brought back from Moscow by a (Ruthenian-American) student a dozen years ago. She played it and did a commentary - very good, on the music and the text. Despite the exaltation of Old Joe.  This hymn is sublime.”

Prof. J.P. Maher, Chicago, Illinois

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3. Bolsheviks’ Plunder of Russian Art Disclosed

MOSCOW, Dec. 8 - Speaking of Bolsheviks’ misdeeds, the London Daily Telegraph published a story in its today’s (Dec. 8) edition about the plunder of the Russian art treasures by Lenin and his communist cohorts.  Here’s an excerpt:

“The sorry story of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin's efforts to fill the coffers of the first communist state by selling off Russia's art treasures is told in shocking detail by a book released last week in Moscow. The Bolsheviks first looted the churches. Then they sold the imperial family's crowns, tiaras, necklaces and Faberge eggs. Finally they helped themselves to Old Masters hanging in the Hermitage museum.

The world's oldest edition of the New Testament, the contents of whole palaces, icons and Impressionist masterpieces, were also part of the booty the Bolsheviks put on the international art market in the 1920s and 1930s. However, a slump in demand for antiques and art ensured that, despite the rarity of the items on offer, the Soviet Union received a derisory sum from the sales.

Nicolas Iljine, one of the editors of the book, Selling Russia's Treasures, said: "It was ludicrous. They sold all these treasures to buy tractors but it made almost no difference to the state's budget." Among the curios snapped up by Western collectors were the Russian Empress's wedding crown, paintings by Rembrandt, Botticelli, Cranach the Elder, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Poussin and Degas and icons from the 15th and 16th centuries.

The British Museum gained the Codex Sinaiticus, a fourth-century parchment manuscript of the Gospels discovered on Mount Sinai, and Faberge eggs bought from the Soviet Union found their way into the Royal Family's collections. One, a mosaic Easter egg made of platinum, gold, diamonds, rubies and emeralds, contains an enamel medallion with the profiles of the last Tsar's wife and children, executed in 1918.  […]

Lenin demanded that the famine be exploited "to smash the enemy's head in", weakening the power of religion over the masses for decades to come. Trotsky was impatient for the sale of art treasures abroad to begin, concerned that the imminent outbreak of revolution in Western Europe would depress the antiques market. […]

The most spectacular episode in the sell-off was the rape of the Hermitage museum in Leningrad. Some of its most valuable canvasses were sold in secret to Western art collectors. The oil tycoon, Calouste Gulbenkian, a naturalised British citizen, thought he could negotiate a monopoly on the purchase of Old Masters from the Soviet Union.

However, he was soon sidelined by Andrew Mellon, the United States Secretary of the Treasury, who saw no inconsistency in publicly opposing trade with the Soviet Union but privately buying up 25 masterpieces from the Hermitage. His buying spree only came to light when he was accused of tax evasion in 1934. Most of the paintings sold to him by the Soviets were eventually left to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

Armand Hammer, the Soviet Union's favorite capitalist, was also used as a middleman, selling antiques on behalf of Moscow in American department stores. He remained popular with the Soviet regime, and was given a Malevich painting in the 1970s. He sold it for one million German marks soon afterwards.

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TiM Ed.: FYI - both Al Gore and his father, Senator Albert Gore Sr., were benefactors of Armand Hammer, “the Soviet Union’s favorite capitalist.” Plus Gore Jr.'s daughter is married into the Schiff banking family of New York.  And it was Jacob Schiff who financed Trotsky (Leon Bronstein) when he left New York in 1917 to join Lenin in Russia.  So the American Veep's "red" ties run deep and wide, well beyond his Victor Chernomyrdin connection.  In fact, they helped set up Gore’s ties with Chernomyrdin (see “Washington in Apoplexy over Russia’s Arms Sales to Iran,” Oct. 14, Item 3).

Also see “Al Gore’s Links to Russian Zionist Syndicates,” Item 2, Aug. 18). 

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4. Berezovsky’s Sour Grapes: “Sore/Loserman” Not Only Sore Losers

NICE, France, Dec. 1 - Looks like the "Sore/Loserman" duet (Al Gore and Joe Lieberman) aren’t the only sore losers.  Two Russian “tycoons,” Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir Guzinsky, both in exile from the Russian law - one in France, the other in Spain - also fit the bill. 

You may also recall from an earlier TiM Bulletin that the Berezovsky and Guzinsky twosome were among of the “four richest and most notorious oligarchs” mentioned in “Al Gore’s Links to Russian Zionist Syndicates,” Item 2, Aug. 18, who “travel on Israeli passports, although they also claim Russian nationality,” according to a report by the Spotlight magazine.  The other two mentioned were Mikhail Fridman and Roman Abramovich.

Berezovsky in particular seems to have more reasons for being sore than Gore (pun intended).  Gore took other people’s money and failed to get elected.  The Russian this tycoon didn’t get what he said he had paid for.  He thought he had bought the Russian president (Vladimir Putin) as he did the previous one (Boris Yeltsin).  It turns out Putin didn’t stay bought, if he were ever bought at all.

And now, check out the excerpts from the Dec. 1 Dow Jones/Associated Press report headlined, “Tycoon Berezovsky Laments He Wasted Money on Putin:”

“Pining for his once-immense political influence, tycoon Boris Berezovsky on Thursday (Nov. 30) lamented that he spent part of his fortune on boosting President Vladimir Putin, who later turned his back on him.

Mr. Berezovsky accused Putin of skewering democracy and dissent in Russia -- but dismissed concerns that his own influence-peddling under former President Boris Yeltsin was in any way undemocratic.

"There are huge damages from what Putin has done to me over the past year," Mr. Berezovsky said. He added that the damage has also been economic.

Mr. Berezovsky, a wily former mathematician, is in self-imposed exile from Russia to avoid a criminal investigation that he calls politically motivated. He said Thursday he had no plans to hurry back to Russia anytime soon.

He claimed to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to finance Mr. Putin's election this spring -- and to have helped Mr. Putin win an unspecified sum from two Swiss companies targeted in the investigation. The Kremlin has denied the claim.

"I gave my own money, not just from my companies but from my own pocket to ... support the presidential campaign. It was hundreds of thousands of dollars," Mr. Berezovsky said. "Putin's election campaign received money from Forus and Andava, which I founded to help Aeroflot." […]

The companies Mr. Berezovsky said financed Mr. Putin's campaign, Andava and Forus, are suspected of misappropriating $970 million from Russia's national airline Aeroflot. Mr. Berezovsky has repeatedly ignored summons for questioning in the case. "It was all clean. These companies made a profit like any successful Western company," he insisted.

"It wasn't the oligarchs who damaged the Russian democratic process, it was the oligarchs who were 90% responsible for pushing it forward," Mr. Berezovsky argued.

The Wall Street Journal subscribers can read this article in full at: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB975635258166001776.djm.

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5. Putin and Blair: A Pair with Flair

MOSCOW, Dec. 3 - Boris Berezovsky may be pining for lost influence, but his alleged erstwhile protégé, Vladimir Putin, seems to be pining for more attention by western leaders during cocktail parties.  “Putin learns English to chat to his pal (Tony) Blair,” read the headline of a London Sunday Times story (Dec. 3).  And not just Blair. 

"He (Putin) would like to communicate with Blair in English, and is also fed up with going to international summits and not being able to make small talk. He realizes it's important to know the language when it comes to making personal contact," an unnamed Kremlin source told the Sunday Times.

The story said the “special relationship between Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin is about to become even more intimate… After a workout at his country dacha, Putin is driven to the Kremlin, where almost every day a tutor guides him through the complexities of English grammar for an hour in his oak-paneled office.”

"Putin took up English lessons soon after his first meeting with Blair," said a Kremlin source. "He is a very determined man and is taking his lessons pretty seriously.

Putin and Blair are becoming a pair with flair.  Having first met last spring at St. Petersburg (see Putin Upstages Blair (Apr 21, 2000), the two men have met five times in nine months. “They have been to the opera together, shared jokes over a pint in a pub and call each other Tony and Volodya,” the Times says:

“There are limits to the bonhomie, however. Blair and Putin have not yet lashed one another with birch branches in a Russian sauna, as Kohl and Yeltsin once did.

Blair was unable to manage more than a puzzled smile when Putin made a joke during their Moscow pub meeting.

"We have a joke in Russia that when Russian men get together at work they talk about ladies. And when they meet outside the office with the ladies, they talk about work," chuckled the Russian leader.

For the full London Times story, check out - http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2000/12/03/stifgnrus03002.html.

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6. New Russian Foreign Policy Emerging: CoopetitionDec. 16, 2000

HAVANA, Dec. 16 - More than half a century ago, the West was forced to redefine its foreign policy vis-à-vis its World War II ally - the Soviet Union.  In the face of increased global expansion and aggressiveness of the Moscow communist regime, Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech and a policy of “containment” became defining labels of an era that history has recorded as the Cold War.

After a decade of a global U.S. hegemony, during which the Washington led New World Order started to resemble the Kremlin imperialism (minus a countervailing superpower to stand in its way), contours of a new Russian foreign policy under Vladimir Putin’s stewardship are beginning to emerge.  And the Cold War retro terms “containment” and “Iron Curtain,” seem as good as any to describe it.  “Containment” of the NWO expansion, and “Iron Curtain” as an apt label for NATO countries (see “New Iron Curtain Over Europe,” January 1999). 

Plus a new one - “coopetition,” a term originally coined from cooperation and competition between companies in the computer industry.  The original “coopetition” related to the topsy-turvy business world in which a friend one day can be a foe the next.  Well, now it can be applied to Russia’s foreign policy, too.

Our January essay - “Putin Putting Russia Back on World Powers Map, Jan. 5, 2000”, complemented the most recent TiM commentaries about Russia’s newfound global assertiveness, thus the competition part.  But Putin’s visit to Cuba in the last two days helped bring to the fore the cooperation part. 

One extraordinary aspects was that the Russian president chose to make his pitch for cooperation with the U.S. from the Soviet Union’s outpost closest to the U.S. shores, and thus the most threatening.  And Putin did it in a news conference that the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, an old communist diehard, had skipped.

Here are some excerpts from today’s (Dec. 16) New York Times report about it:

“After two difficult days of talks about old debts and dashed dreams with Fidel Castro, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said today that he did not travel to this former bastion of the cold war to recreate a "union" with Cuba against the United States, but rather to clean up the economic "mess" left over from the Soviet era.

Speaking at a news conference that was not attended by the Cuban leader, Mr. Putin indicated in several ways that Russia's relations with the United States, though difficult at times, were important to Moscow. […]

In his remarks today, Mr. Putin appeared to be trying to put his visit to Cuba in an unthreatening context, suggesting that Moscow is merely trying to recover lost markets and multimillion-dollar Soviet-era investments rather than forge a new image of rivalry.

And the subtext of his remarks, together with comments by Russian officials traveling with Mr. Putin, also indicated that the thorny economic issues underlying Moscow's relations with Cuba did not compare to the more weighty economic and security agenda that Mr. Putin intends to pursue with the new administration in Washington.

As an example, Mr. Putin cited his pardon on Thursday — as a "goodwill gesture" — of Edmond Pope, the former American naval intelligence officer convicted of espionage in Moscow this month and sentenced to 20 years in prison. […]

As he prepared for the final rounds of tough negotiations with Mr. Castro over whether Cuba intends to even recognize the estimated $20 billion in debt that accumulated during three decades of Soviet patronage here, Mr. Putin also went out of his way to compliment the skill and experience of the foreign policy advisers that President-elect George W. Bush is gathering around him in Washington.

"Judging by the staff surrounding the president-elect," Mr. Putin observed, "these people are quite well- known professionals, who deeply understand the nuances in relations between the two states."

The Russian leader was clear about the major differences of opinion: Moscow opposes Mr. Bush's advocacy of abrogating the anti-ballistic missile treaty of 1972 in order to build an anti-missile shield over the United States.

In addition, he said, "we don't think that the principle of humanitarian intervention is right." He was referring to NATO's decision in 1999 to intervene militarily in Kosovo to stop Serbian ethnic violence against civilians there.”

For the rest of the Times story, check out http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/16/world/16PUTI.html .

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6a. Putin Responds to Well-wisher with Three-finger Orthodox SaluteDec. 20, 2000

TORONTO, Dec. 19 - Russian president, Vladimir Putin, capped his visits to America's neighbors with a two-day trip to Canada, ostensibly to woo the Canadian business investors.  On Tuesday (Dec. 19), for example, Putin addressed a luncheon attended by some 2,000 business people at Toronto's Harbor Castle hotel, hosted by the Empire Club of Toronto and the Canadian Club (not the drink J).

But a TiM reader from Toronto got a lot more than he bargained for when he greeted the Putin in Russian as the Russian leader entered the ballroom.  He looked over and waved the three-fingered salute to me (the three fingers we, Orthodox people, use to cross ourselves),” said Stavros Preketes, in an exclusive report filed for TiM from Toronto.

Such a spontaneous response by the Russian president at a very public and decidedly a non-religious event may put to rest the speculation as to whether or not he is really a born-again Christian (see “Putin’s Father-confessor Fesses Up,” and “Putin: Lean, Tough, Scrupulous and Christian” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 9, 2000).

Once at the speaker’s podium, however, Putin was all business.  He promised the investors security, low tax rates and renewed economic growth.  "Attracting foreign investment is seen by us as a major factor for integrating Russia in the world economy," Putin said, according to today’s New York Times.  "We have expanded the legal framework to improve protection of investors' rights."

In what may be a dress rehearsal for a visit to the United States next year, Putin stressed that Russia is getting its macroeconomic house in order. He said the economy is expanding by seven percent this year, personal income is up by 9.4 percent, a budget surplus has cut inflation and industrial production is up by "15 to 20 percent."

But trade between the world's two largest countries has dropped by half since the ruble collapsed in 1998. Last year, Canada's trade with Russia was only $520 million, slightly more than with Rhode Island, the Times said.

Although Canada has barely one- fifth of Russia's 145 million people, Canada's gross national product of $591 billion is almost double that of Russia's. Russia accounts for two- tenths of one percent of Canada's foreign trade and Canada accounts for one-half of one percent of foreign investment in Russia.

Undaunted by such statistics, Putin tried to reassure the Canadian business people by saying that “the Mafia has been taken care of,” according to the TiM correspondent at the meeting.  He also proposed cross-Arctic trade routes with Canada to facilitate growth of larger cities in the north.  The Russian president suggested that the two nations work together to build homes that are better equipped for winter conditions.

“As Putin was leaving, I managed to shake his hand I say to him, ‘Spasibo dragi bratyi,’ the TiM correspondent said.  Putin smiled and thanked our reader for coming to see him.  “I found Putin to be a most sincere man; I am glad I met him,” Mr. Preketes summed up his experience at the luncheon.

Putin’s visits to Cuba and Canada complete an ambitious international agenda the new Russian leader had laid out for himself during his first year in office.  As we’ve already commented, such moves reflect Russia’s new assertiveness, and they confirm our New Year 2000 prediction that Putin would be returning Russia on the world powers’ scene.

"For the last 10 years, many (people in the Russian government) viewed the West as the sole way to resolve Russia's problems,” said Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s foreign minister, during his Dec. 12 visit to Moscow.  “But under President Vladimir V. Putin that is beginning to change. Now Russian authorities can feel the traditions extending over the centuries of good relations with the East, with Iraq, the Arab world, India and China" (see the New York Times, Dec. 13, 2000).

Aziz could have also listed North Korea, Iran, Libya, all considered as “rogue” states by the U.S.-centric New World Order crowd. 

Just nine months into office, the 48- year-old Russian president has cast Russia's relations with the world as a much broader net than his predecessor.  But in a significant step beyond the Soviet era, Putin has launched himself like a foreign policy businessman onto the landscape of the old Soviet bloc, the Times noted. 

On this old terrain, Mr. Putin has been searching for opportunities, both for Russia's beleaguered national industries and for a more self- assured profile for Russian foreign policy, at once more constructive on issues of war and peace, but also more assertive when Russia's security and trade interests are in the balance.

Whatever the underlying motivation, Putin "has changed the dynamic of U.S.-Russian relations," Michael McFaul of the Carnegie Moscow Center told the Times.  McFaul reportedly discussed Putin's foreign policy with a number of Kremlin officials last month. "Suddenly we are responding to him, and frankly some people don't like that."

Too bad.  For the NWO crowd.  But the universe is unfolding as it should.  As we also predicted one year ago, the NWO monopoly on global power is dwindling (see “Toward a New Multipolar World,” TiM GW Bulletin 99/12-6, Dec. 17, 1999).

For example, Putin abrogated last month an agreement to end Russia's conventional arms sales to Iran under an agreement signed in 1995 between Vice President Al Gore and Viktor Chernomyrdin, who was prime minister. Though a number of Russian foreign policy experts disagree with Putin's reversal on Iran, they have been defending his act.

"Just as Russia does not consider the United States its enemy, Iran is not our enemy either, and Iran is paying in hard currency for all its weapons," said Aleksei Arbatov, a liberal Parliament deputy who sits on the Defense Committee, according to the Times.

Well, if no longer an outright enemy, Putin’s Russia is certainly quickly becoming a formidable global competitor to the American “death merchants.” No wonder “some people in the U.S. don’t like that,” as the Times source put it.  Days of easy pickings are over.

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7. Russian Doctors: Beggars at Work, Paupers at HomeDec. 16, 2000

KOSTROMA, Russia, Dec. 16 - In a continuing series of reports about the devastating effect of western “reforms” on the Russian population, especially its once free health care system, the New York Times published a front page story today under the headline, “Russian Doctors Are Beggars at Work, Paupers at Home.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Nineteen- year-old Anya, a deaf, blue-eyed china doll of a girl, was hemorrhaging out of control after giving birth. Dr. Aleksandr N. Klesarev and his team fought to save her as her heart stopped three times, as her uterus had to be excised, as she lost such a river of blood that soon nothing ran in her veins but transfusions.

Anya and her baby survived, and Dr. Klesarev recalled that recent case with the joy of victorious battle.

Emotionally, acute medical crisis is the easy part of his job.  It is the chronic crisis that grinds him down, him and the nearly 700,000 other Russian physicians. It is feeling like beggars at work and paupers at home. It is scrounging for essential medicines in a system fraying and breaking from poverty even as rising illness and mortality mean that people need doctors more than ever. It is getting their trained hands calloused from working in the private vegetable plots that feed their families.

Soviet doctors never had anything like the status and money of Western doctors. The medicine they practice was considered to be below the levels of the West, the system always suffered from shortages, and the social status of a provincial general practitioner was akin to a schoolteacher's, respectable, but modest.

That was especially so in provincial centers like Kostroma, an ancient city of 280,000 (northeast of Moscow) on the Volga River known among Russians as the wellspring of the Romanov dynasty, a city that was in decline long before the Soviet Union collapsed.  But under Communism, doctors at least lived no worse than anybody else — and maybe a bit better.

That has changed. Caught between an impoverished government that cannot afford universal medical care and a deep-rooted Soviet scorn for medicine-for-profit, many of Russia's doctors, especially here in the provinces, seem worn thin, out of canteen water but still marching ahead.

"When everything else took the capitalist road of development, and medicine was left on the socialist road, we got an imbalance that is killing medicine," said Dr. Aleksei Golland, one of a handful of private doctors in Kostroma. "It's an economic death," he said. "If it continues like this, I see the murder of medicine in that the masses of quality doctors don't have ground to stand on. A surgeon has to plant potatoes to feed his family."

Ask what keeps the government-paid doctors going and the same words keep coming up: Vocation. Duty. Mercy. Naked enthusiasm.

A hospital department head said he could not afford to buy a suit. A gynecologist boiled potatoes for lunch in an office teakettle. Some doctors, city officials say, often walk to work because they cannot afford to pay the equivalent of a dime to ride a bus.” […]

For the rest of this report, check out… http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/16/world/16DOCT.html .

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8. U.S. Submariner Disputes Russian Collision TheoryDec. 16, 2000

SCOTTSDALE, Dec. 15 - We received the following comment from Gary Bennett, a TiM reader from Scottsdale, Arizona, and a former U.S. submariner:

“I served for 10 years in the Navy on submarines. USS Salt Lake City SSN 716 and USS Nevada SSBN 733. I find it impossible to believe that the Memphis hit and caused the sinking of the Kursk based on the information you presented in your article.

First you suggest that wives of 12 sailors of the Memphis were secretly flown from the US to Norway is something that might be unusual. It’s not. It happens a lot in port calls overseas. Submarine movements are classified. If wives want to meet their husbands on a port call they are notified by their ships ombudsman and told when they will pull in. They typically fly commercially and all are sensitive about not telling why they are going to Norway although, it doesn't take a rocket scientist. So this simple thing can be perceived as secret.

Second, it is "almost" impossible for just 12 crew members to die on a submarine. On a deployment like that you would have had between 120 and 150 crew members. If a collision occurred and deaths followed, it would be caused by either flooding and/or fire. Given the demographics of sailors on subs only about 40% are married. So suggesting that 12 wives of crew members flew out because their husbands died would be that as many as 15-20 sailors could have died and many more could have been wounded. This kind of loss of life from a collision is not possible. Here is why:

There are only three water tight compartments on Los Angles class subs like the Memphis. A Forward Compartment, an Engine room Compartment and Reactor Compartment. Underway no one is in the Reactor Compartment. At any one time about 2/3 of the crew is in the Forward Compartment and 1/3 of the crew in the Engine room even at battle stations which would have been the case if they were closely tracking a Russian Sub. The ship is design so one compartment can flood and the ship still survive but that is all. It could not maneuver an inch thus leaving it stuck on the surface.

When there is a collision, a couple of things can cause 12 or more people to die... flooding, fire, battery explosions, torpedo explosion and steam line rupture in the Engine room.

-Torpedo or battery explosions can be ruled out because you would have lost the ship and all hands immediately.

-A fire of that magnitude would have caused the ship to surface and we would have pictures of that.

-Steam line rupture in the Engine room would have caused some loss of maneuverability thus making it very difficult for the ship to slip past the Russian ships and planes that were pursuing it as you stated in your article.

-Flooding would cause loss of life but much higher and would have left the ship dead in the water and on the surface and we know that didn't happen

In the article you stated that the Memphis pulled into port in Norway for repairs. Had the Kursk collided with another ship the damage would have caused the Memphis to pull into dry-dock. The only dry-docks a submarine will go into are at U.S. sub bases. There are none in Norway unless this has happen since I got out 6 years ago. Given who has been in the White House, I doubt we have any new bases. Any place other than a dry-dock would expose the sub to satellites and other surveillance pictures and we would have seen that.

Do I believe a sub like the Memphis was in the area when the Kursk sank? Probably. Do I think the Memphis collided with the Kursk? No!

Hope this was useful.

Gary Bennett, Scottsdale, AZ

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TiM Ed.: For the sake of completeness and accuracy, we need to point out that neither we nor the Russian media either said or suggested that 12 “Memphis” sailors DIED, as Mr. Bennett implied above, before going on to dispute that theory.  Here’s what the Russian source quoted in the TiM Bulletin said about it:

“Moreover, wives of 12 Memphis sailors were then urgently flown from the US to Norway, the purpose of their trip being kept secret.”

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