Saturday, November 29, 2008
So what exactly happened. Just heard the radio today claiming there had been 10 terrorists which seems improbably small for an attack which involved 5 sites at once, though technically if they were acting in pairs that could maybe just be done but other estimates of 20-30 sound more likely.
The International Herald Tribune says "The police said 14 officers had been killed in the city, along with nine gunmen. Nine suspects had been taken into custody, they said." but there is clearly much confusion & early suspects may just be people in the wrong place. Another possibility is that a lot of them may have just dropped their weapons & faded into the night. Again the IHT says "His team also discovered a gunman's backpack, which contained dried fruit, 400 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, four grenades, Indian and American money, and seven credit cards from some of the world's leading banks. The pack also had a national identity card from the island of Mauritius, off the southeastern coast of Africa." The money, credit cards & ID certainly suggest an intention to get away. This attack has certainly been very different from the suicide bombers & car bombers previously seen & despite the psychological effect of such a change bombs would probably have killed more, so I suspect this was not a suicide attack. Had the attack gone off & the attackers escaped the terror effect would have been much greater.
As for how the attack started. The most descriptive article comes from the Guardian.
"...inflatable dinghies, according to Indian navy sources quoted by the Headlines Today TV news channel, were launched from a larger vessel, the MV Alfa, which arrived near Mumbai sometime yesterday and anchored offshore a distance from India's financial capital.
According to TV reports, the navy seized one Gemini craft laden with ammunition, as well as satellite phone, which could give vital clues about the attackers.
The navy, the news channel reported, became suspicious of the ship only on intercepting wireless communications in the region after the lethal assault began around 9.40pm (4.10pm GMT) last night.
By this time the vessel had left the vicinity of Mumbai. When first reported by the news channel today, the MV Alfa was said to be off the Gujarat coast and heading towards Pakistan. The navy was reported to be in pursuit of the ship, although this could not be independently verified.
"It was around 9.15 last night when I saw a speedboat with eight men on board come close to the shore," a man told Times Now TV today. The man appeared to be a resident of the Colaba fishermen's village, minutes away from the Taj Mahal, one of two luxury hotels in Mumbai taken over by the terrorists.
"Six young men with large bags came ashore, after which the two who remained in the boat started the outboard motor again and sped off," he added. "They were fair, chikna (well-off) and looked around 20, 22, 25 years old. They said they were students. When we tried to find out what they were doing, they spoke very aggressively, and I got scared."
...."There is no question that the armed men who landed in south Mumbai in the Gemini boats came from a larger boat anchored off shore," said retired Rear Admiral Raja Menon, a strategic affairs expert. "The larger boat left without waiting for the men to return. The armed men were on a one-way ticket."
There may be a lot of exaggeration in this but certainly we have seen pictures of the military style inflatable boats left on the shore.
On the other hand the identification of the mother ship seems wrong (possibly that they successfully disguised themselves as a legitimate ship), for the Times of India says "Navy officials confirmed that the Coast Guard also intercepted another ship by the same name, MV Alfa, on Thursday night near Alang in Gujarat. "The Ukrainian crew was detained for questioning. The Gujarat police had their custody," said officials. The vessel and crew were later released."
Mumbai is 500 miles south of Pakistan so it looks highly probable the mother ship came from there & should be possible to trace. We have heard that some of the terrorists were British born but we have also heard that that is not the case.
Now comes the investigation. Assuming (latest rumour) 9 bodies & 1 captured it will certainly be possible to trace their origin. By DNA for ethnicity & by bone & tooth isotope concentrations for where they grew up & by interrogation for who dunnit. My guess (& everybody else's) is that it was a fairly large & well organised Al Quaeda group based in Pakistan having at least a nod from Pakistan's secret service. The targeting of westerners fits al Quaeda's agenda but it also fits a national interest in damaging India's economy which is fast outstripping Pakistan's. Pakistan's secret service did play a major part in organising the Taliban back when al Quaeda was moving from our freedom fighting ally in Bosnia & Kosovo to the enemy that attacked New York & some sympathies clearly remain.
Sarajevo was once famous as the site of the killing of the Archduke of Austria which started WW 1. On that occasion best guess is that Serbia's secret service had given a nod but not informed their political masters. On this occasion I think, bearing in mind that both India & Pakistan are nuclear powers, it is important that the international community speak together & if the evidence is as I suspect, demands that Pakistan clear out its terrorists, extraditing some to India & possibly including some secret service officers if the evidence points that way. The alternative should not be war (though it might include some beefing up of India's defences) but it should be an international blockade & sanctions. Democracies are much more susceptible to such sanctions than dictatorships where the dictator (as in the case of Saddam or during the "siege" of Sarajevo) is barely effected & may make a lot of money out of their control of smuggling. Pakistan's faults are more those of a disorganised nationalist democracy than a dictatorship.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
WHEN I first stuck my head above the parapet to say I didn't believe what we were being told about global warming, I had no idea what the consequences would be. I am a scientist and I have to follow the directions of science, but when I see that the truth is being covered up I have to voice my opinions.
According to official data, in every year since 1998, world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased. Why, then, do we not hear about that? The sad fact is that since I said I didn't believe human beings caused global warming, I've not been allowed to make a television program.
My absence has been noticed, because wherever I go I meet people who say: "I grew up with you on the television, where are you now?"
It was in 1996 that I criticised wind farms while appearing on children's program Blue Peter, and I also had an article published in which I described global warming as poppycock. The truth is, I didn't think wind farms were an effective means of alternative energy, so I said so. Back then, at the BBC you had to toe the line, and I wasn't doing that.
At that point, I was still making loads of TV programs and I was enjoying it greatly. Then I suddenly found I was sending in ideas for TV shows and they weren't getting taken up. I've asked around about why I've been ignored, but I found that people didn't get back to me. At the beginning of this year there was a BBC show with four experts saying: "This is going to be the end of all the ice in the Arctic," and hypothesising that it was going to be the hottest summer ever. Was it hell! It was very cold and very wet and now we've seen evidence that the glaciers in Alaska have started growing rapidly, and they have not grown for a long time.
I've seen evidence, which I believe, that says there has not been a rise in global temperature since 1998, despite the increase in carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere. This makes me think the global warmers are telling lies: CO2 is not the driver. The idiot fringe has accused me of being like a Holocaust denier, which is ludicrous. Climate change is all about cycles. It's a natural thing and has always happened. When the Romans lived in Britain they were growing very good red grapes and making wine on the borders of Scotland. It was evidently a lot warmer.
I remember being amused when Lesley Riddoch, BBC Scotland's tame "feisty" interviewer, said how much she liked windmills because they were "groovy" which still seems to me to be an unusual & dubious way of settling power policy. On the other hand while if I was seeking expertise on any scientific subject I would not go to Ms Riddoch, if I was seeking advice on how not to lose a lucerative BBC job by telling the truth I would not go to Professor Bellamy. Certainly saying windmills don't provide cost effective power is a much bigger no-no than saying they are groovy or indeed saying "he f----- your grandaughter now go & commit suicide" on air. Perhaps the BBC should produce a code of conduct to make it easier.
As an illustration the BBC recently reported as "News" that
The thickness of Arctic sea ice "plummeted" last winter, thinning by as much as one-fifth in some regions, satellite data has revealed.
while censoring the newer news that this year it has thickened & extended so much that it is now back to virtually the level it was before this eco-fascist scare was started.
Obviously any expert who says that will not be appearing on our state broadcaster.
In the same way nobody who fails to censor any mention of racial genocide can work there.
You have to be a wholly corrupt Nazi whore (of either sex) like Kate Adie willing to tell absolutely any lie in any government or Nazi (eco or otherwise) cause to work for them. Clearly no member of the BNP need apply.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Guardian have done a report of sorts on the dissection of living human beings by our NATO police as the KLA had been redesignated at the time.
The Guardian do their best to downplay the facts & to spin it emotionally on the side of the dissectors hence::
Seven members of the Katuci family sat silently in their living room, hands on knees, as rain tapped at the window. They had been asked if they hosted one of the most macabre war crimes of the 1999 Kosovo war. And they did not want to talk.
....' We are poor people - how could we kill hundreds of soldiers in this house?"
and make the investigators look unattractive
The spotlight will soon fall on the house again when a fleet of 4x4 vehicles ...
The Guardian claims to have found a "lost" report but in fact it says nothing not already made public (or rather put on the record but kept from us public)
Their further reports downplay it again
...the alleged harvesting of organs from Serbian soldiers by ethnic Albanians is one of the most gruesome. Hundreds of Serbian families have for a decade been demanding what happened to those who disappeared during and after the war. In April, Carla Del Ponte the former UN war crimes prosecutor, gave greater credence to suggestions of a macabre operation, in which as many as 300 Serbs were allegedly abducted and transported to Albania to have their organs removed. In a memoir, she wrote: "Victims deprived of only their first kidney were sewn up and confined again inside the shack until they were killed for their vital organs."
It was not soldiers it was local teenage civilians. 300 is only the number in this one incident in this house. the occupiers have listed 1,300 people missing (& earlier Serb sources listed over 3,000) all of whom they say should be considered dead in this manner.
The Guardian, with its enthusiasm for supporting Nazism & genocide demonstrated by these monsters over so many years, also censors any mention of the fact that these organs had been taken to Tirana airport & flown out on commercial aircraft to countries & hospitals across Europe. Any mention of that would, of course, not only make the complicity of most NATO governments at all levels in this genocide obvious but also that it would be a relatively easy task to trace the recipients of these organs & the money trail - if that were desired.
Though the paper did add to the original story with
Marty's investigation could gain additional impetus from the recent discovery of an illegal organ transplant clinic in neighbouring Kosovo. Police there raided a clinic in the suburbs of Pristina three weeks ago, arresting two doctors and the country's acting permanent secretary at the ministry of health, Ilir Rexhaj
It would be extremely cynical of me to suggest that because the Georgian war upset NATO's calculations they are now somewhat keener on a real settlement in Kosovo & that that alone is why governments & tame media are backing off from our Nazi employees & even willing to embarrass Mr Rexha with atrocities they could presumably have arrested him for at any time in the last 9 years had they wished.
I am still censored from the Guardian's comments section.
I got this through Ewan Watt's site where I have commented.
The new thing here is not anything in the Guardian report but that it is being reported. I can also confirm that our entire newspaper corps have refused to publish letters mentioning this.
Del Ponte put this in her autobiography in March this year & it refers to an "investigation" made 7 years before that based on allegations the ICTY had received from "responsible journalists" (ie western ones) who have thus known & censored this for all that time.
Evidence has since emerged that the Albanian underworld had been dissecting the retarded, "worn out" prostitutes & babies for years so we must assume that the intelligence services & their friends like Ashdown, so active in Albania in recruiting these people into a "Liberation Army" were perfectly well aware of & supportive of this all the time.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Debra Storr was one of the councillors who opposed the US tycoon's plans for the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.
Ms Storr said the "increasingly intolerant and illiberal" attitude of the Lib Dem group on Aberdeenshire Council had forced her to quit.
The Lib Dem group said its process had been "entirely fair".
So pushed out merely because she tried to deprive Aberdeenshire of thousands of jobs & £1 billion of investment - how dreadful that any sort of politician be held to account for the damage they do.
This may be slightly petty of me when most of my posts here are normally about how to improve Britain & the world but I think I am entitled.
3 years ago I was expelled from the LibDims on the grounds of writing newspaper letters saying that tax cutting would improve the economy & that we need nuclear power to keep the lights on. As part of this the Executive endorsed a lie that the reason debate of lower taxes at conference had been disallowed was because my motion was "badly drafted" Ms Storr voted for this. To quote from an earlier post:
"Mr Fraser's claim that the motions were "badly drafted & not thought through" is in no way truthful. As said the Enterprise motion had already been preliminarily selected for debate at conference. Moreover both motions had had been drafted together with Debra Storr whose job is to ensure that motions debated are properly drafted. She can confirm that she pronounced both motions, after she had finished with them, as satisfactory for debate (though she thought the committee might choose to split the housebuilding one in 2). Indeed after she had finished I suggested that she should publish & put the notes on drafting that she had given us on the Scotlibdem site - she did this which contradicts her endorsement of allegations against me so demeaning of her own abilities. This was done because a previous draft of the Enterprise motion had been rejected by the Conference Committee"
While I obviously have reason not to like Liberal Democrat witch-hunts it seems somewhat hypocritical for a wholly corrupt parasitic eco-fascist whore* like her to complain.
The LD leadership now promise that when they come to power they will cut taxes, that now being a LD "principle". I would not like to dispute that that represents the highest standard of honesty to which they aspire.
*whore definition - A person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain.
2 LD bloggers have reported on this saying how dreadfully she has been treated. I put this comment on both blogs
"As a member of the party executive she voted for a document calling for my expulsion & alleging that a motion I had drafted for conference, calling for debate of tax cutting to improve the economy, was "badly drafted" & "too right wing" to consider.
In fact the final draft had been written by her. She thus deliberately voted for a motion which, untruthfully, said she was incompetent.
The executive voted unanimously that in saying windmills would not keep the lights on & that tax cuts would help the economy I was being "illiberal" & "to right wing" to be a member. Such a thing could only have been claimed by people who have absolutely no understanding whatsoever of the ideas liberalism was founded on.
I understand that the party are now promising, clearly dishonestly, to support tax cuts.
The description of her as having "such strong liberal and green credentials" is clearly untrue on the "liberal" part though she is certainly willing to tell any lie to support the eco-fascist cause."
Stephen Glenn replied "I have read through the motion five times already and must agree that it is badly drafted, sadly it hard to follow any argument or proposition through the test in a clear and coherent fashion.
Even with my degree in Economics and knowledge of classical and evolved liberalism through the centuries I can not pass judgement on your comments regarding that just yet as I'm still looking for a rosetta stone to help me break down the code."
To which I replied quoting from the motion & asking what particular part of the phrase "make a substantial reduction to corporation tax in Scotland" he had difficulty understanding but since he has decided to censor my comment it seems we will never know.
Bernard Salmond on the other hand replied saying that expulsion was because of "calling a former party leader a Nazi" & then censored my response, saying that my remark about Ashdown, while factually based, came after the decision on expulsion & so therefore could not have formed any part of its cause. Bernard also censored this on the grounds that he feared being sued by the "former leader" he had mentioned. I made an amended reply not naming him but pointing out that, since I had put comments on Guardian articles written by Ashdown relating to his support of genocidal ex-Nazis in Bosnia, Croatia & Kosovo he had clearly concluded that he was not in a position to sue. For some unknown reason that got censored too.
It is interesting to note that commenting on many party blogs the only serious censorship I have met with is by one Labour councillor, the Scottish LD Iain Dale (not by the well known one) & by these 2 LD eco-fascists. Clearly while liberalism is alive & well, this is not so in their party.
Monday, November 24, 2008
4.38. Darling, needless to say, doesn't make any attempt to answer Osborne's points.
4.37. Ends with three questions. Really strong performance from George Osborne.
4.36. The State should live within the country's means.
4.33. Warns against following path of Japan which endured a decade of stagnation. Quotes Jim Callaghan: "You can't spend your way out of a recession".
That is exactly the right point. Japan was leading the world until it went into a decade & a half of zero growth.
4.32. Can't disguise the huge tax rises which are on their way for millions of families. £4 billion tax increase through NI. £100m more for NHS wage bill. £2 bn for British business. Precision guided missile at the heart of economic recovery.
4.31. German and French governments have ruled out cut in VAT. Borrowing money for a temporary cut and telling people their taxes will go up to pay for it is not much of a stimulus.
4.30. Half measures he announced were compensating people for 10p tax con. Then tries to withdraw measures he had announced before. Not much new.
4.30. Why is recession going to be worse here than everywhere else? Quotes IMF, European Commission.
4.29. Nonsense to say America is to blame. No American politician said they had rewritten the laws of economic.
4.28. Like a gambler who can't give up, thinks he can borrow his way out of debt.
4.27. All about the political cycle, not the economic cycle. Borrowing figures on a scale never before heard in the Commons. Double what was forecast just 8 months ago.
4.26. Giving away £20 billion and taking back £40bn including a tax on Middle Britain - an increase in NI. All Labour governments run out of money and all Labour governments bring the country to the verge of bankruptcy.
4.26. Osborne. Straight in with an attack. Accuse Darling of not admitting debt will be now £1 trillion. Decade of responsibility initiated by the PM.
4.23. Child benefit increase will come in three months early, and so will pensioners. January, not April.
Is that clearing the deck for a March or early April election?
4.22. Pensioners: pension credit goes up to £130 for couple - above indexation. Biggest increase since 2003., State pensions will go up in line with inflation.
No real effect
4.20. Increase in child tax credit payments from April 2009.
4.19. Will go ahead with new car banding. Will phase in though. 2009 duty rates will only rise by £5. 2010 differential will come in. More polluting cars only by £30 not £90.
4.15.Increased mortgage insurance cover to £200,000.
Tiny4.13. Need to boost mortgage market. Repossession should be last resort. Lenders agreed to wait 3 months before instigating repossession orders. £15m of free debt advice.
£15 million wasted4.09. £100 million more for energy insulation.
4.03. Will defer corp tax hike for small firms.
4.00. Small business. Temporary increase for empty property relief - under £15,000 rateable value exempt. HMRC will enable firms to spread tax payments for as long as they need. Exemption for foreign dividends in 2009.
3.58. Increasing petrol and alcohol duties to offset VAT cut.
I agree with this in principle. Petrol prices are falling faster than the £ is & taxing alcohol generally has a positive social effect & is thus better than VAT. However the VAT cut is till the end of 2009 (so 2009 election then) but the increase seems to be permanent.
3.57. Will tax most those who have done best out of last decade. 45p tax band for those earning more than £150,000 from April 2011. NI going up by 0.5% for all earners. NI will start at income tax threshold. No one under £20,000 will pay NI. From April 2010 incomes £100-£140,000 will get their allowance reduced.
3.56. Increase in tax allowances will be permanent - and increase from £120 to £145.
3.54. Need to put money into economy now. Best way is to cut VAT from 17.5% to 15% until the end of 2009. Will come into effect on 1 Dec. Will return to 17.5% at beginning of 2010. Equivalent to £12.5bn gift to consumers. Retailers should pass it on as soon as they can. Will encourage spending and boost growth.
3.53. Bring forward infrastructure investment plans. £3bn will be brought forward from 2010 ti this year and next. Motorway capacity, social housing, build schools and energy efficiency.
3.52. Spending will increasee by 1.2% in real terms.
They don'tlearn do they. Note this is for a year when the total GNP is declining.
3.51. Spending was £584 bn last year. Since 2004 £26.5 bn of efficiency savings. Will now find an additional £5 bn in 2010-11.
the 1997 budget was £293.5 bn - with 31% inflation that would be £384 bn so exactly £200 million up then. Think what could be done with that money
3.49. Sharp increases in debt relative to GDP. 41% of GDP this year then 48-53-57% in 2013-14. Wow.
3.47. 35% reduction in Corporation Tax from finance sector. Borrowing will be significantly higher than forecast. Rise to £78 bn this year and £118 next year. From 2010 will reduce to £105bn, £87bn, £70bn, £54bn and then in 2016 only borrowing to invest.
GNP is £1400 bn & total borrowing forecasr is £512bn so that is 36% of GNP plus interest.
3.46. Debt will start falling by 2015-16. Asked NAO to audit Treasury's analysis of cyclical fiscal position.
Yes & we will have cut carbon by 80% in 2050. I doubt if he expects to be PM in 2015 either
3.45. "Significantly lower tax revenues in the medium term". Is abandoning existing fiscal rules. Setting a temporary operating rule. Whatever that means.
Means kite the cheques & hope
3.44. "Will do whatever it takes to support people through these difficult times". "Substantial fiscal loosening - £20 billion fiscal loosening between now and April 2010 - 1% of GDP".
Means kite the cheques & hope
3.43. Growth 1.5-2% for 2010, he says.
So recession through 2009
3. 39. "Because of size of our financial sector we will be more affected than others".
3.37. "UK economy faces this situation from a position of relative strength" Outrage on Tory benches. Darling then recites list of economic achievement. "We did fix the many roofs that needed fixing".
3.35 "Must make regulatory supervision more effective". Effectively saying nothing to do with us guv. Fingering Isle of Man and Channel Islands governments for lax banking regulation. British taxpayer cannot be guarantor of last resort, he says. He's set up a review.
When government regulation doesn't work the statist default position is more regulation.
3.33. "Unprecedented global crisis". "Root of today's problems are in the global financial systems".
Says must restore and maintain financial stability. Causes of instability are global.
No - the root is we have given up productivity to the BRIC countries, imposing ever more regulation on any working industry & ever more taxes to feed a bloated state sector, while fooling ourselves that we can get wealthy by selling our houses to each other.
3.32. "Crisis began in America, as America itself has said". Didn't cause our borrowing, PSBR problems though, did it?
In the same way that the previous "boom" came from America.Not quite true in either case
3.30. Here we go. "Economic uncertainties not seen for a generation". You can say that again. "Ensure sound finances so we can live within our means". He kept a straight face. "Slowdown will be shallower and shorter than would have been the case without these actions.
But it will only be shallower because we borrow 36% of a year's GNP - taxes & growth will be affected for years.
The final result is that we are going to see unproductive government becoming a yet bigger part of the economy & destructive regulation expand as well. National debt is going to increase massively by £512 bn plus interest & that absolutely nothing is being done to make any part of the economy more productive. It is all playing with money (& grabbing more of it for government). Not even a nod to the ideas I put forward on Nov 21st which would certainly work if tried.
NATO's official website placed 3rd.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Just as, back in the sixties, America had the ambition to build a massive water scheme to irrigate the West (see BE #23) so the USSR had had a scheme to reroute northern rivers to make the Central Asian region fertile.
The Northern river reversal or Siberian river reversal was a grand project to divert the flow of the Northern rivers in the Soviet Union, which drain into the Arctic Ocean, southwards, towards the populated agricultural areas of Central Asia, which lack water.
Consideration of plans for changing the direction of the Pechora, Kama, Tobol, Ishim, Irtysh, and Ob rivers resumed in the late 1960s. Some 120 institutes and agencies participated in the impact study coordinated by the Academy of Sciences; a dozen of conferences were held on the matter. The promoters of the project claimed that extra food production due to the availability of Siberian water for the irrigation in Central Asia could provide food for some 200,000,000 people.
The plans involved not only irrigation but also the replenishing of the shrinking Aral Sea and Caspian Sea.
In 1971, at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna the Soviets disclosed information about successful earthworks on the route of the Pechora-Kama Canal using detonations of three 15-kiloton nuclear devices spaced 500 feet apart, claiming negligible radioactive fallout.
With the breakup & collapse of the USSR & the increased influence worldwide of "environmentalists" this went into abeyance. The Aral sea has now shrunk to pitiful remnant of itself & is heavily polluted (& always was before Man interfered since it has no outlet to the sea). "Environmentalists" are very critical of the Soviets letting this happen though, obviously, they are also critical of doing something about it. The original enviro outrage at this project in the 1970s was from a fear that "if the Arctic Ocean is not replenished by fresh water, it will get saltier, its freezing point will drop, and the icecap will begin to melt, possibly starting a global warming trend. Other scientists fear that just the opposite may occur: as the flow of warmer fresh water is reduced, the polar ice may expand. In any case, British Climatologist Michael Kelly of the University of East Anglia sees an ironic consequence: changes in polar winds and currents might reduce rainfall in the very regions to benefit from the river". Called hedging your bets. Clearly the enviros will be against it whatever happens without feeling any great need to substantiate either fear. Of course big as these rivers are they are a literal drop in the ocean.
Looking at the map another possible scheme strikes me. Lake Baikal is the biggest fresh water lake in the world containing 23,000 cubic km of water. It would require a tunnel/canal scheme of about 1200 km along the mountainous Mongolian border till it reaches the lower central Asian plain. This was not practical in the 1960s but we have since seen Norway build 750km of tunnels in recent years with hydraulic pressure diggers at under £7 million a km which implies a cost here of about £9 billion depending on diameter. From there it is downhill all across Kazakhstan
to the Aral Sea & then the Caspian (& if the Caspian gets filled since it is slightly below sea level it can be drained into the Black Sea). Currently Lake Baikal drains into the Angara River. Since Baikal is listed as taking 350 years to replenish itself that means its sustainable outflow is 650 km3/yr. By comparison the Nile's is 2830 m3/s which converts to 89 km3/yr. A mere side effect compared to the fertility produced by such a mass of water, more than matching the Yangtze at its outlet, would be more power than the Three Gorges Dam.
The good news is that there are still people of vision in the region. In early 21st century talks about river reversal were renewed by the leaders of both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. These proposals met an enthusiastic response from one of Russia's most influential politicians, Moscow mayor Luzhkov.