Archive for 25 augusti, 2008

Russia’s Disinformation Campaign over South Ossetia

25 augusti, 2008

Som ett komplement till mitt inlägg Before the Gunfire, Cyberattacks against Georgia där det visade sig att den ryska sidan först ”övade” och finslipade taktiken mot Georgien med ett ”test” anfall den 20 juli. Två och en halv vecka INNAN kriget bröt ut.

Kommer här en intressant genomgång av Robert M. Cutler i senaste numret av Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Analyst som visar på de långgående ryska förberedelserna innan kriget. Och att ryska stridsvagnar och pansarfordon varit på väg från Vladikavkaz i flera dagar över bergen.

http://www.cacianalyst.org/?q=node/4919/print

RUSSIA’S DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN OVER SOUTH OSSETIA

By Robert M. Cutler (08/20/2008 issue of the CACI Analyst)

With Georgian government websites shut down by cyber-attacks in the days immediately preceding hostilities, the Russian story of its army coming to the defense of South Ossetia in the face of Georgian assault gained currency. This script is still often invoked as a preface to any commentary or reportage on current developments. However, as facts begin to surface, it is increasingly revealed as a propaganda strategy planned in advance and contradicted by evidence on the ground, by the testimony of neutral observers, and by the increasingly transparent cynicism of its purveyors.

BACKGROUND: From the very beginning of military clashes on the night of 7-8 August, there has been a concerted Russian effort to vilify President Mikheil Saakashvili as a war criminal. In the first days of the conflict, Russian media repeatedly cited a figure of 2,000 civilian casualties in Tskhinvali city and up to 40,000 refugees (out of a maximum 70,000 total population in South Ossetia of all ethnicities). It was on this basis that not only Russian media but also the highest Russian leaders repeatedly condemned Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili as a war criminal guilty of ethnic cleansing, and promised prosecution in international courts. These claims have faded in recent days, because they have been shown to be false by systematic investigations by Human Rights Watch as well as by the aggregated testimony of foreign reporters who have entered the region since the Russian occupation. In a twist, Georgia has filed a brief before the International Court of Justice charging Russia with conducting and abetting ethnic cleansing of Georgians from South Ossetia and Abkhazia from 1990 to the present.

There is a general view that Georgia assaulted South Ossetia before Russian troops invaded. A detailed timeline provided by Georgia’s Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze during an international telephone press conference disputes that assertion, however. This view is corroborated in most part by several independent sources, and an independent Washington Post reconstruction of events concludes that the Georgian assault on Tskhinvali and the Russian tank column’s emergence from the Georgian end of the cross-border Roki Tunnel could only have been minutes apart at most. Roughly 150 Russian vehicles including armored personnel carriers got through before Georgian forces were able to mount an only partially successful attack on the crucial bridge at Kurta linking the Roki Tunnel with Tskhinvali.

It seems inescapable that Russian tanks must have been on the road from Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia, for some time in order to cross the 100 miles of mountain roads to reach South Ossetia when they did. Novaya gazeta’s respected military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer is only one of several writers who have documented how the Russian invasion is only the culmination of a months-long series of provocations as well as strategic and tactical on-the-ground preparations, for example the construction and equipment of a base near the city of Java, northwest of Tskhinvali, as a refueling depot for Russian armor moving southwards. This should be added to the better-known ”railroad repair” troops sent to Abkhazia in recent weeks, who are reliably reported to have constructed tank-launching facilities. The ceremony completing the railway repair was held as late as July 30.

IMPLICATIONS: Reports of fighting on 8 August, for which Russian media were the chief origin, asserted that Georgian forces entered Tskhinvali city early in the day, were then driven back by Russian troops who were said to retake the city, and finally returned to seize parts of the city’s southern outskirts before being repelled for good. However, according to subsequent reports by civilians in Tskhinvali, the Russians never occupied the city; rather, it was combined artillery and aerial bombing that drove the Georgians out of the city. According to Georgian sources, this bombardment was extremely intense and lasted for all the time Georgian forces were in Tskhinvali from dawn on 8 August until just before noon, and continued even afterwards, intensifying again when Georgian forces attempted to re-enter the city later in the day.

Among the weapons systems used by the Russian forces were Uragan and Grad artillery. The latter is the same system that Georgian military affirmed using against Russian military posts outlying Tskhinvali late on the night of 7 August, after Russian armor entered Georgia through the Roki Tunnel. Both sides as well as local observers agree that there was massive aerial bombardment during the day of the eighth. Moreover, American military training provided to the Georgian army over the last few years appears to have concentrated on counterinsurgency tactics, in view of Tbilisi’s contribution of troops to the Iraq conflict.

Given Russian air superiority in the region, it is difficult to suppose that the heavy aerial bombardment of Tskhinvali city came from the Georgian side. Russian sources blame the destruction exclusively on the Georgian artillery assault on the night of 7-8 August, but surviving city dwellers seem to indicate that the Georgian assault was concentrated on the administrative quarters of the Russian-backed South Ossetian separatists, as well as communications links and the like. By contrast, if observers’ reports are to be believed, the degree of devastation visited upon the city by nightfall on 8 August (after Russian bombardment had driven the Georgians from the city) is paralleled in recent history only by the leveling of Grozny in the Second Chechen War of the 1990s.

The Russian side’s signature of consecutive ceasefire agreements without any visible attempt to implement them may also be charitably described as disinformation. This pattern of behavior was first clearly revealed several days ago when, after the Russian and Georgian presidents had both signed French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s six-point ceasefire document, the Russian military began to withdraw from Gori and then, as soon as international media began to report this, literally reversed gear and moved back. As Western video journalists reported live, Russian troops then continued to attack nonmilitary establishments (the nearest military target is a base eight miles outside Gori) while appearing to coordinate with Ossetian and other North Caucasus irregulars who looted property and even abducted civilians.

CONCLUSIONS: What is remarkable about the Russian information policy on the war against Georgia is its failure to adapt to the twenty-first century information environment. Even Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitalii Churkin has lost the charisma that he radiated twenty years ago when, during the heyday of glasnost and perestroika, he became the first Soviet ambassador to Washington to testify to a Congressional committee. Russia’s political leaders hold no spontaneous interviews even with representatives of Russian media. By contrast, Saakashvili’s presence on CNN and other western stations, and his and the Georgian leadership’s command of foreign languages, have enabled them to get their message across effectively.

Late on the night of 18 August, Tbilisi time, the Georgian Ministry of Defense posted a statement (hosted on blogspot.com because of continuing infrastructure and cyberattacks against official Tbilisi websites), saying simply: ”It is absolutely obvious to the international community that the Russian Federation chose destruction of economy with the use of military force and ethnic cleansing as an instrument for implementing its foreign policy.”  The credibility of the Georgian message is enhanced not only by reports from foreign journalists on the ground but also by an entirely new element in the information environment: the aggregate of amateur eyewitness reports on youtube.com, ireport.com, and other vlog (video-logging) dedicated websites.

AUTHOR’S BIO: Robert M. Cutler is Senior Research Fellow, Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University, Canada.

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Environmental terrorism

25 augusti, 2008

Som ett koplement till bl.a. mina tidigare inlägg Local and global environmental policy is lead by a coterie of fanatics and their powerful opportunistic bedfellows,  Global Warming Mass Hysteria at it’s peak – collecting cow farts and burps!Global Warming as Mass NeurosisGlobal Warming Hysterics – Get out of Africa Now! Or The curse of environmentalism

Kommer här en total sågning av hela Global Warming Hysterin från afrikansk perspektiv av Will Alexander.

Som jag har konstaterat så många gånger tidigare i mina inlägg: hela Global Warming Hysterin handlar INTE om vetenskap och fakta UTAN STYRS av en politisk agenda.

Och det här är väldigt svårt för gemene man att förstå tyvärr. Som tror att det hela handlar om arr rädda vår planet när det i själva verket handlar om att reducera vår levnadsstandard till den nivå som vi hade på 1800 talet.

Först då kommer Global Warming Hysterikerna att vara NÅGORLUNDA nöjda!

Och ta hela skojeriet med dessa avgudade klimatmodellerna! Där de INTE ENS KLARAR AV ATT FÖRUTSE ALLA viktiga och stora klimatpåverkande fenomen. OCH DET ÄR SAMMA MODELLER SOM MAN VILL FÅ OSS ATT TRO KAN FÖRUTSÄGA TEMPERATUREN OM 100 år PÅ EN TIONDELSGRAD NÄR!

Det är alltså resultatet av dess av modeller som IPCC, Al Gore et consortes avgudar och som hela Global Warming Hysterin bygger på.  Och där man vill ”offra” större delen av värt ekonomiska välståd på dess altare för att blidka CO2 guden.

Återigen: Global Warming Hysterin är den största vetenskapliga och politiska skandalen ALLA kategorier detta århundrade!

http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1724

Environmental terrorism

August 25th 2008, 3:59 PM BST

by Will Alexander alexwjr@iafrica.com

We are now witnessing the descent from climate alarmism, to extremism, to terrorism. The predicted flooding of parts of Cape Town is an example. The public are not easily fooled.

Sunday Times letters to the editor

”Your story that the Cape coastline would disappear in 25 years, would cause alarm and despondency here in Cape Town, but for two things. Firstly, the writer is better known for his political satire and secondly, the study appears to have been written with the help of the South African Weather Bureau, notorious for giving the wrong weather forecasts for the Cape. Is this perhaps the trial run for next year’s April Fool’s day?”

I believe that global warming is the biggest scientific scam ever. There is no evidence to prove that the current climate variations are not a natural cycle.

Credibility

While the globe was still warming and environmentalist claims were modest, the IPCC’s case was impregnable. In these modern times the environmentalists fed the media with scare stories in order to advance their cause. The media in turn had little interest in repeating the same warnings month after month. So, climate alarmists were forced to increase the level of alarmism. Environmental terrorism is the result.

Examples are the fraudulent predictions of the destruction of the animals and butterflies of the Kruger National Park, and the imminent loss of our Proteas (South Africa) and Quiver Trees (Namibia) as a result of climate change. These claims are included in the IPCC’s reports where they were accepted without question by the gullible advisory panels.

The latest example is the direct threat to the habitability of South Africa’s coastal areas including flooding of the Cape Town harbour area and the Peninsula towns by a 20 m rise in sea level and two storey high waves. This time even the media were sceptical. A cartoonist in East London’s Daily Despatch illustrated the public reaction in his cartoon. An interesting comment elsewhere is that Bloemfontein is considering appointing a harbourmaster!

These alarmist predictions have backfired. Environmental extremism, and now plain terrorism, is causing tremendous damage to the image of science. It is exacerbated by the failure of conscientious scientists to raise the alarm. Remaining silent is a deliberate decision for which they can be held accountable.

The basic problem goes much deeper. The following is the sequence that drives climate alarmism at both international and national levels.

1.Undesirable emissions (principally carbon dioxide) are discharged into the atmosphere.

2.The emissions create the greenhouse effect.

3.The globe warms as a consequence.

4.The warming results in a number of undesirable effects, including increases in floods, droughts, desertification, and threats to our unique plant and animal species.

5.These pose threats to the habitability of our planet.

Search for proof

Our concern is in Step 5. The direct causes are in Step 4. Where then, should we concentrate our search for evidence? The obvious answer lies in Step 4. Therein lies the proof of the pudding.

If no evidence of adverse consequences can be found in Step 4 then the whole IPCC edifice must collapse. This investigation requires a sound knowledge of the natural, multiyear variability of these processes before changes can be attributed to human activities. This is where I concentrated my efforts during the past 30 years. Despite a diligent study I could find no such evidence.

Unexpected confirmation is in Step 3. Global warming ceased 10 years ago. The globe is now starting to cool.

The vultures are already feasting on the IPCC carcass. At present they are concentrating on Step 2 – the greenhouse effect. The IPCC scientists obviously made a serious mistake when linking increasing carbon dioxide emissions with increasing global temperatures. What is it? What is interesting, is that just as in the real world, these vultures are already squabbling over several alternative reasons for the failure. The alarmists no longer have a case.

Failure of alarmism

Climate is a regional (1), multiyear (2), multi-process (3) phenomenon. Also, in the case of environmental processes, causality (4), has to be demonstrated (5), by concurrent changes (6) in the driving processes (7), typically rainfall (8) and to a lesser extent, temperature (9).

Claims based on observations over a period of less than 30 years, that a single plant or animal species is under stress in a single district, without numerical evidence of concurrent changes in rainfall and temperature, is altogether inadequate proof of climate changes in the wider region. Yet this is the basis for the alarmist claims in the IPCC reports. I have not seen a single report on regional, concurrent, multiyear, multi-process analyses. Our joint paper on this subject is a world first.

Where did they go wrong?

Climate alarmist theory has collapsed. Where did they get it wrong? The answer is simple. They boarded the wrong vehicle (process models) and headed in the wrong direction (they ignored the road signs).

To put it simply, their models replicate the complex atmospheric and oceanic processes and their interactions. For given input assumptions they produce a single set of outputs. The models are fundamentally incapable of detecting changes in these processes. This is why the IPCC has been in existence for 20 years. It has yet to produce statistically believable evidence of progressive climate changes in sub-continental Africa or elsewhere. The best that they can do is to produce model projections of unverifiable and therefore unchallengeable consequences.

This is also why it has to resort to terrorist approaches based on mathematical models instead of an analysis of real world observations. It is intended to create media attention ahead of the Accra conference. The Royal Society adopted the same tactics ahead of the Nairobi conference two years ago.

I have no more faith in global climate model (GCM) predictions than I have in all those emails from Nigeria advising me that I have won the Lotto, or those proposals from rich widows in Dubai who have just lost their husbands, or from the less frequent emails from my bank asking for details of my banking account.

These GCMs are mathematical dinosaurs. Modern laptops are not only more efficient but they are more understandable. The public no longer have to rely on the edicts of the high priests with their questionable objectives and lack of real world knowledge and experiences. The model-based predictions of the inundation of parts of Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula by rising sea levels are an example.

There was a time in my life when spreading alarm and despondency was a punishable offence. Cowardice in the face of the enemy could result in facing a firing squad. I swore an oath of allegiance to my country. Today there are no such legal or moral standards.

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