Putin Dresses Down The Group of Eight

Dawud Rimal

Below is a translation from As-Safir, a Lebanese newspaper, July 6, 2013, by Arabic-English translator Eric Mueller. As the translator was not present at the Group of Eight meeting, he cannot vouch for the accuracy of the report, only for the accuracy of the translation. The report by Dawud Rimal does reflect Putin’s no-nonsense manner of speaking. The report from As-Safir contrasts with the US coverage. Diplomatic sources: Putin tells G8 “You want Asad to resign. Look at the leaders you’ve made in the Middle East.”

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Beirut: A diplomatic source has reported that the West has been discussing for some time the issue of the escalating role of Islamists in Lebanon and the Arab countries. The source reports that this discussion might wind up concluding that there is a need to rein in the role of the Islamists. It is along this line of thinking that the West has been encouraging the Lebanese regular army since the ‘Abra Battle. [A two-day battle between Lebanese regular army forces and the gang of a Sunni Salafi Shaykh Ahmad al-Asir ‘Abra near the southern Lebanese city of Sidon in late June 2013. - Translator's note]

The diplomatic source reports that the changes underway in Egypt were expected by the Western countries and that the leaders of the G8 discussed the matter of Islamists coming to power in a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, in their recent meeting in Northern Ireland. [The Group of Eight or “G8” (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA, and Russia) met in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, on 17-18 June 2013. - Translator's note.]

The NSA given a free hand to operate in Germany

Peter Schwarz

NSA facility in Bad Aibling, Germany

An interview with historian Josef Foschepoth published in the online edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung makes clear that US intelligence agencies have a free hand to do what they like in Germany, with the knowledge and blessing of the federal government.

Foschepoth is professor of history at the University of Freiburg, and an expert on the role of Allied intelligence in postwar Germany. In 2012, he published a book on the subject entitled, “Überwachtes Deutschland” ["Germany Surveilled"].

The historian regards the indignant response of the German government regarding the spying activities of American and British intelligence services unmasked by Edward Snowden as pure hypocrisy. For a Western intelligence agency, such as the National Security Agency (NSA), there are in principle no limits in Germany. "The NSA can do everything in Germany," explains Foschepoth. "Not only because of the legal situation, but above all because of the intensive collaboration between the services, which was always desired and always politically acceptable."

According to Foschepoth, the legal basis for the activity of Western intelligence services in Germany goes back to 1963. At that time, Germany and the Allied nations committed to close collaboration in the collection, exchange and protection of intelligence in a supplementary agreement to the NATO Status of Forces Agreement. The agreement came about through secret negotiations and was strictly confidential.

Snowden: towards an endgame

Pepe Escobar

The working title of the Edward Snowden movie is still The Spy Who Remains in the Cold. Here's where we stand:

Snowden could only fly out of Hong Kong because China allowed it.
Snowden could only arrive in Moscow because Russia knew it - in co-operation with China. This is part of their strategic relationship, which includes the BRICS group (along with Brazil, India and South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. No official source though would ever confirm it.
With the Latin American offers of asylum (Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua; even Uruguay would consider it), we're approaching the clincher: Moscow is now calculating whether - and how - to help Snowden reach his final destination while extracting maximum political capital out of Washington.

Into this script comes roaring the coup-that-is-not-a-coup sub-plot in Egypt. Cynics' eyebrows will be raised that just as the Barack Obama administration was going mental over the National Security Agency (NSA) spy scandal a revo-coup-o-lution explodes in Egypt. New revelations about the extent of the NSA-centric Orwellian Panopticon keep on coming, but they have been totally downgraded by US corporate media; it's all Egypt all the time. After all, the Pentagon - to which the NSA is attached - owns the Egyptian military, something that even the New York Times had to acknowledge. [1] Yet they don't own Snowden. - [And] this has nothing to do with "terra".

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