Undoubtedly, this is the most significant media operation in the global political scene in 2004. An Open Letter signed by 155 Atlantist personalities was addressed on September 28 to the Heads of State and Government of the European Union and NATO, with a copy to Reuters. The authors denounce how theses tragic events (in Beslan) are being used (by President Putin) to further undermine democracy in Russia and they claim that it is time for us to rethink how and to what extent we engage with Putin’s Russia. In brief, without stating it explicitly, they call for a rupture in the Association for Peace established between NATO and the Russian Federation and a return to the Cold War.The signatures of the Open Letter were collected by former Czech President Vaclav Havel’s staff. The text was published on Wednesday 29 by the Financial Times Deutschland [1] and a comment appeared, simultaneously, in the Washington Post [2]. On Thursday 30, the full text was published in leading newspapers in all NATO and EU countries, either as paid publicity or in free space. On that same day, many advertising spaces in the American press announced the launching of the Russia Web (in process) as a complement to a previous website edited by the Center for Russia’s Future. While for a decade the predominant thinking has considered that after the collapse of the USSR the United States has become the only superpower, important personalities join the rhetoric of the East-West clash. For Atlantists, the United States would no longer be a State above all others, as they had dreamed of, but rather a rival power of the Russian Federation as in the past. The West was to be mobilized again to stop Russian imperialism and do away with the current totalitarian process. The “Evil Empire” was no longer the result of Communism but of a nationalist and authoritarian Russian atavism. To understand what is happening we must go back in time and have a look behind the scenes of this propaganda operation.

Deterioration in Russian-American relations

Relations between the Kremlin and the White House chilled on July 2, 2003 with the arrest of Platon Lebedev, Chairman of the Menatep banking group, who was charged with tax evasion. They became strained with the detention on October 25, 2003 of Michael Khodorkovsky, Chairman of the Yukos-Sibneft oil group, under the same charges, and finally worsened when three Russian secret service agents denounced by the CIA immediately after the assassination of Zelimkhan Yandarbiyed -considered to be the one who supplied the funds for the hostages taken at the Moscow theatre— were arrested in Qatar in February 2004. And finally, this month, they entered a stage of confrontation after Vladimir Putin’s statements implicitly blaming the Anglo-Saxon secret services for the hostage taking situation un Beslan. The Kremlin has begun a policy of appropriating national resources, privatized during Boris Yeltsin’s mandate to benefit a handful of friends, which has brought down every oligarch one by one. This process, regarded by the Russian people as the recovery of the collective goods that were stolen, is considered in the United States as a nationalization process in disguise, a dramatic turn to state collectivism. Wall Street investors were particularly affected with M. Khodorkovsky’s arrest, a close friend of the Bush family to the extent of being adviser in his financial company, the Carlyle Group [3].For the FSB -though this is not part of the law suit— Michael Khodorkovsky was not only a businessman but also a traitor. Linked to Henry Kissinger and George Soros, he would have planned Vladimir Putin’s toppling and the decision of his arrest would have been taken as a last resort to prevent a coup d’état. Likewise, the FSB thought it could kill Mr. Yandarbiyed in Qatar to avenge the 129 victims in the hostage taking at the Moscow theatre in October, 2002. The FSB agents, however, were denounced to Qatari authorities by the CIA and were detained at Doha airport as they were about to leave the country. Imprisoned, they are waiting for trial and they could be condemned to death penalty for assassination. For the Kremlin, this was the proof that world war against terrorism is just an empty rhetoric used by the White House to ignore International Law. Besides, we have already informed in these pages that the taking of hostages in Beslan was interpreted by the Kremlin and the Russian public opinion as a manipulation organized by American CIA and British MI6 [4].

The Woolsey mechanism

This escalation comes at a time when there is an undergoing process of transformation in the world energy situation. U.S. oil resources are being exhausted and domestic production should be reduced in the next two years. Looting wars have failed. Despite the presence of an expensive army in the operation grounds, it has been impossible to exploit Iraqi oil fields at full capacity. Operations to control small oil fields have also failed and everything seems to indicate that the long-term cost of peripheral wars and exploitation facility building will be definitely impossible to maintain. Destabilizing actions, as in the case of Venezuela, have also failed. Consequently, the White House has renounced to diversify its supply sources, so it is closing the circle and focusing on bigger objectives: the three main oil producers in the world, namely, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran. This new strategy, which breaks away from the one formulated by Vice-President Cheney for Bush’s first term [5], should prevail as the strategy of the W.2 administration. Taking into consideration its failures, the military-industrial complex, oil and pharmaceutical transnationals, as well as neo-conservative politicians, are defining new targets and preparing new teams. This is being done behind the scenes by former CIA director R. James Woolsey, helped by former Pentagon financial inspector, rabbi Dov Zakheim, under the cover of the Booz Allen Hamilton consultancy company [6].A former collaborator of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld during the Ronald Reagan administration, R. James Woolsey is a neo-conservative democrat. He was CIA Director under Bill Clinton, before he converted during the buildup for the war against Iraq. He fabricated Ahmed Chalabi and he led the Iraqi National Congress in Exile. Through New York Times reporter Judith Miller, he widely disseminated al sorts of venom to prepare public opinion in favor of war. [7]. He is currently the Chairman of Freedom House [8], supervises criteria for allocating US aid to developing States and in human rights issues he places countries up and down the scale list depending on them being a friend or an enemy. R. James Woolsey has just created a new association aimed at preparing American public opinion for W.2 foreign policy. And he has named it Committee on Present Danger - CPD by analogy with two homonymous associations that mobilized the United States against the Soviets throughout the Cold War [9].His aim is to turn the page on the world unity against terrorism rhetoric and replace it with a speech that would combine war against Islamic terrorism and fighting Russian totalitarianism . To avoid such ideological change being regarded as obviously dictated by energy issues, the latter have been deleted from his campaigns aimed at the public at large and are limited to a specialized institution : the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security - IAGS [10].Considering that presidential elections are a mere formality, the results of which are known beforehand, R. James Woolsey did not reproduce the party machinery of 2000, set up for a Project for a New American Century - PNAC [11]. He thus placed the Committee on Present Danger under the auspices of two personalities of different affiliation : the Republican Senator John Kyl, and the Democrat Joseph Liberman.Aware of the fact that the American Empire presidency rules beyond national frontiers, Mr. Woolsey decided to broaden his media action to cover the Atlantic block and added to the Committee on Present Danger an international branch led by former Secretary of State and head of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, George P. Schultz [12], who in turn recruited former Spanish P.M. Jose María Aznar, representing the European right, and Vaclav Havel representing the left.

The role of Czech President Vaclav Havel

Mr. Havel, who enjoys a positive image in West Europe, where he is considered to have made a “velvet revolution” in his country, is a pillar of Atlantism. Blindly devoted to Washington, he even proposed, before stepping down from the presidency of his country, a modification to electoral rules and granted Madeleine K. Albright the Czech nationality so that she could succeed him [13].On January 30, 2003, together with seven other European leaders -Jose María Aznar among them-he signed a manifest entitled Europe and America must remain united, in which he appealed for his counterparts to support the invasion of Iraq, to get rid of weapons of mass destruction [14].In July 2003, Madeleine K. Albright together with José María Aznar and Vaclav Havel organized in Madrid an international conference for democracy in Cuba, where the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba was enlarged, a committee that had been established with NED/CIA funds.In July 2004, the Czech Government established a department in charge of totalitarian regimes within its Ministry of Foreign Affairs [15]. The department was headed by former president Vaclav Havel and its mission was to replace NATO’s democratic interferences in Central and Eastern Europe. From September 17-19, 2004, Vaclav Havel and José María Aznar co-presided over another conference for democracy in Cuba, this time held in the premises of the Czech Senate in Prague [16]. The idea was to prove that even after the collapse of the USSR, Cuba is still part of the Evil Empire. The State Department, on the other hand, is exercising its persuasive power to convince the five members of the Nobel Jury to award Vaclav Havel the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. To collect the 155 signatures for its anti-Russian declaration, Mr. Havel sought the support of several networks. Firstly, the New Atlantic Initiative, a program of the American Enterprise Institute he had contributed to establish in Prague in 1996, together with George P. Schultz. So as not to blow American messengers in their own countries, R. James Woolsey and Vaclav Havel were careful, when necessary, in selecting only right wing and left wing atlantists. Thus, at international level, the list is bipolar, but it is not so at the national level. For example, in France, they asked Pascal Bruckner, André Glucksman, Pierre Hassner, Bernard Kouchner and Jacques Rupnik, but they did not take in Pierre Lellouche, Alain Madelin [17], and Jean-François Revel.Simultaneously, neo-fascist banker Richard Mellon Scaife has financed, through his many foundations, the Center for Russia’s Future and the Russia website in process. Though the website denounces violations of human rights in Chechnya and attacks against freedom of the press in Russia, its main argument is crystal clear: Tell President Bush to say NO to the control of oil resources by the Kremlin! A closer look at the Open Letter of the Committee on Present Danger would show that it is not more discreet. The Letter states that President Putin’s foreign policy is increasingly marked by a threatening attitude towards Russia’s neighbors and Europe’s energy security (sic).

A new international distribution?

The neo-conservatives’ option of devoting Bush’s new term to control oil resources in the Arab-Persian Gulf and Russia, following the failure of mammoth projects in the Caspian Sea Basin, should logically raise an Arab-Russian alliance, despite the persisting Chechen conflict. In September 2003, Saudi Arabia Regent Prince Abadía, concerned with a possible destabilization of his country by the CIA, cancelled his long planned trip to Washington, to travel to Moscow [18]. Bearing in mind the end of Soviet state atheism, Russian-Saudi reconciliation was concluded by welcoming the position that the Muslim community enjoys within the Russian Federation [19].This alliance was broadened during the 10th Summit of the Islamic Conference held in Malaysia in October, 2003 [20]. The Russian Federation was admitted as an observer, given the number of Muslims in its population, and was able to strengthen ties with the Arab states attending the Conference. In the new Cold War that is being announced, the cards have been redistributed: the two leading world oil producers are no longer rivals.

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[1«Offener Brief rückt Putin in die Nähe eines Diktators » by Wolfgang Proissl, Financial Times Deutchland, September 29, 2004.

[2«Foreign Policy Experts Protest Putin’s Action », by Colum Lynch, The Washington Post, September 29, 2004.

[3«Bush, Khodorkovsky & Associates », Voltaire, December 28, 2003.

[4«According to MSIa, responsibility of genocidal attack points towards the Anglo-Saxons », by Mariviala Carrasco and Voltaire Editorial Staff, September 19, 2004

[5«Les ombres du rapport Cheney », text in French, by Arthur Lepic, Voltaire, March 30, 2004.

[6«Dov Zakheim, la caution du Pentagone », text in French, by Paul Labarique, Voltaire, September 9, 2004.

[7«Judith Miller, journaliste d’intoxication massive »,text in French, by Paul Labarique, Voltaire, March 5, 2004.

[8«Freedom House: quand la liberté n’est qu’un slogan », text in French, Voltaire, September 7, 2004.

[9«Les marionnettistes de Washington », text in French, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire, November 13, 2002.

[10«L’IAGS prépare l’économie états-unienne à la guerre », text in French, by Arthur Lepic, Voltaire, September 30, 2004.

[11«L’Institut américain de l’entreprise à la Maison-Blanche », text in French, Voltaire, June 21, 2004.

[12«Una guerra jugosa para la Lockheed Martin », in Spanish, Voltaire, February 7, 2003.

[13«Albright tipped for Czech presidency », BBC News, February 28, 2000.

[14«La crise irakienne menace l’Europe entre atlantistes et indépendantistes », text in French, International Free Tribunes, Voltaire, January 30, 2003.

[15A department in charge of totalitarian regimes has been established in the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AFP, July 14, 2004.

[16«Un nouveau plan anticastriste? », text in French, Voltaire, September 22, 2004.

[17«Madelin et Lellouche contre Chirac », text in French, Voltaire, April 15, 2003.

[18Russian-Saudi Joint Declaration, September 4, 2003.

[19Saudis keep the Islam issue separate from the Chechen conflict.

[20Vladimir Putin’s address at the 10th OIC, October 16, 2003.