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A Middle East Grand Bargain Must Create Kurdistan by Sherkoh Abbas and Robert Sklaroff

President Trump’s itinerary during his first overseas trip revealed both his goal and its attendant strategy—although it remains officially unstated—as he tries to fashion a durable end to the Syrian civil war and the birth of a restructured region.

In the process of touching-base with the nerve-centers of each of the three major Middle East religions, he attempted to eliminate the Islamic State without empowering Iran.

Conspiratorial Liberals yelp when he recruits Russia, and acolytes of the Obama Administration condemn his having maneuvered around Tehran.

But he must defang the ayatollahs, lest they ally with North Korean missile-rattlers and threaten World War III.

This is why he keeps an armada in the Gulf, while maintaining a beefed-up presence in the Sea of Japan and encouraging Beijing to block Pyongyang from nuke-testing, for he must stretch the depleted military in theaters a half-globe apart until it has been rebuilt.

And that’s why he has embedded Americans with Kurdish forces attacking Raqqa, for it is impossible to be a “player” without having placed pieces onto the board.Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the U.S. national security adviser, was triggered to inform Turkey on May 1st  that the Kurds were to receive heavy machine guns, mortars, anti-tank weapons, and armored cars after the Turks had lethally-bombed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria the prior Tuesday. That reflected autocrat Erdo?an having again  “distracted”  world attention from targeting the primary target, the Islamic State.

Accommodating this major reconfiguration of regional forces, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia saw no need to arm the Syrian Kurds, but said Moscow would maintain working contacts with them.

Secretary of Defense James “Jim” Mattis had decided to arm the Kurds directly rather than via any regional country, finally reversing Obama’s following-from-behind intransigent passivity.

He is implementing key aphorisms derived from his storied career defending America.

Indeed, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) recognized arming the Kurds constitutes “an immense milestone.”

In the process, Mattis has recognized The Road to Defeating the Islamic State Runs through Kurdistan, an essay—illustrated by a settlement-map—that succinctly details the historic, military, economic, religious and political implications of this overdue stance.

Visiting Trump in this charged atmosphere, Erdo?an chose the wrong time to be bellicose against Israel and America.  His post-referendum dictatorial effort to promote Jihad was again manifest through two decrees; one that expelled more than 4,000 civil servants and another that banned television dating programs.

That these actions were  not being well-received. That was reflected in the fact that the latter two hyperlinks [al-Monitor and Aljazeera] are from Arab websites, suggesting welcome-recognition of a tilt toward inter-alia the Sunni Gulf states, plus Qatar, the locale of a major American military presence over NATO-aligned Ankara ,which is increasingly aligning with Iran against the potential for Kurds to achieve independence.

That  would serve as the culmination of battle-plans we have proposed for almost a decade.  In 2008, we identified  Kurds as  an “invisible people”  and   advocated confronting the major source of global terrorism,The Road to Iran Runs through Kurdistan – and Starts in Syria. In 2015, we showed why the United States cannot evade this trouble-spot,[The Pathway to Defeating ISIS Runs Though Kurdistan – And Starts in America. In 2013, we  concluded The Kurds can lead a reconstituted  Syria, at peace with all of her neighbors.  In 2014, we suggested NATO Must Help the Kurds Now.

That is  why Kurds are seeking recognition of their enormous military sacrifice and their unique political feat, noting their carefully-constructed federal system in Rojava;  the area of Northern Syria comprised of four self-governing cantons.

Resolving vague territorial claims would yield a regional Diaspora in Turkey, Iran, and Russia, although Stalin purged much of the USSR-population a half-century ago.

Recognizing that Russia has unilaterally created safe-zones, and buzzed American jets near Alaska and Crimea, it will remain vital to coordinate militaries functioning in close-quarters, to ensure spheres of influence do not inadvertently trigger  conflict.

If America retracts support for anti-Islamist Kurds, Erdo?an will be free to promote his brand of Muslim Brotherhood ideology; the dangerous ramifications of which have been explored [Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future].

NATO can reassure Turkey that creation of an independent Kurdistan south of its border, joining with the federated section of northern Iraq, will remove inordinate fears that secession-agitation will persist on its eastern reaches.

Turkey needs to accept this type of endpoint, for its military killed six members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in air strikes in northern Iraq .

What really irks Erdo?an is that “U.S. arming Syrian Kurds shattered Turkey’s Ottoman Empire ambitions. ” Both  America and Turkey will face a de-facto proxy-war unless Erdogan heeds the more conciliatory tone struck by his Prime Minister.

The schism between the United States and Turkey was illustrated during their press  event.  These leaders deemed different entities as “terroristic”.  Trump cited PKK; whereas Erdo?an cited YPG/PYD .

This perhaps explains the anguish expressed by Turkish security guards, when they beatprotesters—primarily Kurds and Armenian outside t their D.C. embassy .

We suggest the following blueprint should be followed to prompt Moscow to help oust Iran from Syria . It would allow the Kurdish-plurality in northwestern Syria to extend its governance to the Mediterranean Sea, blocking Turkey from expansionist temptations.

The multi-front war against Islamists is recognized by Western leaders such as US Senator Ted Cruz (R, Texas) and globally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—to have supplanted the Cold War paradigm of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Perhaps the ultimate method to illustrate the wisdom of this approach is to discount an oppositional paradigm, such as the false claim that American involvement in Syria would merely be a manifestation of Western Imperialism in Rojava.

Instead, America should  implement Point 12  of Woodrow Wilson’s 14-Point Plan that advocated establishing Kurdistan more than a century ago.

At  long last, America Must Recognize Kurdistan  by serving as midwife for a new country [assuming this is the electoral outcome of the originally scheduled September 25 plebiscite sponsored by the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq. That  would assist in finally defeating  the Islamic State.  This would offer immediate and long-term geo-political  dividends.

ABOUT SHERKOH ABBAS

Sherkoh Abbas is President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria.

ABOUT ROBERT SKLAROFF

Robert Sklaroff is a physician-activist and supporter of Kurdish self-determination.

This article constitutes the policy of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, conveyed to America and to the world, representing the Kurds of Syria.

RELATED ARTICLE: Netanyahu, the First World Leader to Endorse Independent Kurdistan, Hits Back at Erdogan for Supporting Hamas

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

‘Trust Me’ Doesn’t Cut It on Russian Hacking: This one-sided report smells like a political hatchet job

Here’s the real problem with the joint intelligence report on alleged Russian hacking: without the classified details, we ordinary citizens are supposed to take the breathless allegations, presented as “high confidence” intelligence judgments, on faith.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan are crossing their fingers and saying, “Trust us.”

Since both are political appointees – Brennan in particular came directly out of the Obama White House, where he is believed to have orchestrated secret arms smuggling through Libya to Syrian rebels that led directly to the Benghazi disaster – excuse me if I remain skeptical.

Has Russia been engaged in sophisticated disinformation operations in the United States? Well, duh. That’s been going on for decades. During the Cold War, as General Clapper reminded the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, we had a separate United States Information Agency (USIA) at the State Department to combat Soviet intelligence desinformatziya and, to a lesser degree, maskirovka.

The USIA regularly issued bulletins on Soviet deception operations, and traced how they were laundered through predominantly Third World media (India was a big favorite in the 1980s) until they made it into the United States, generally as part of left-wing conspiracy outlets.

A few examples were fabricated stories that the CIA had invented AIDS, or that Korean Air Lines Flight 007, which was shot down by Soviet fighters in 1983, had been flying a covert U.S. intelligence mission. The KGB also planted forged documents to smear American politicians and then “leaked” them to (usually) unwitting journalists.

But that’s not what happened here. If we are to believe the unclassified Russian hacking report, released on Friday, Russian intelligence agents hacked into the DNC and into the Hillary Clinton campaign servers and then turned over emails it exfiltrated to DCleaks.com and to Wikileaks.

“Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self- proclaimed reputation for authenticity. Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries,” the report stated.

Note that statement: the Russians didn’t spread obvious falsehoods or sophisticated disinformation. They disseminated the truth – stolen documents, yes. But true.

That is one reason why many Americans are having a hard time getting steamed at the Russians for exploiting the stupidity of John Podesta, who responded to a spearphishing attack by emailing his password, which was the word “password.”

Dumber than that, you die… of ridicule.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told FoxNews that the RNC reported similar attempts to penetrate its email to the FBI, and was never successfully penetrated. Why? Because they already had common sense security protocols in place.

Nations spy on each other. Democrat operatives need to get over it – or perhaps, just set aside the roach and revive their collective memories. After all, it was just two years ago that President Obama sent his 2012 campaign field director, Jeremy Bird, and four other political operatives to Israel, with orders to help defeat Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu in his March 2015 re-election effort.

That was direct, overt, U.S. government interference in the election of a U.S. ally. But because it was Obama and Netanyahu, Democrats just didn’t get steamed.

By the way, if the Russians could penetrate the Clinton campaign server, what’s to say they didn’t also penetrate the private email server Mrs. Clinton set up to mask her “private” dealings while she was Secretary of State? And yet, the U.S. hacking report never alleges that this happened, nor does it allege that the Russians disclosed classified U.S. documents.

Perhaps that was a red line the Russians didn’t want to cross? Leaking unclassified emails that revealed the hypocrisy of the Clinton team and the Democrat party could arguably be construed as doing the work the U.S. news media failed to do. Leaking classified documents is another matter entirely.

Fully half of the unclassified U.S. report details the activities of RT television, formerly known as Russia Today.

It’s hard to believe that anyone watching RT is not aware of its strong Russia connection. The U.S. report accurately describes how RT unsurprisingly coordinated its propaganda with the Russian state.

What about MSNBC and CNN coordinating their propaganda with a political party, the DNC?

The U.S. report criticizes Russia because “RT coverage of Secretary Clinton throughout the US presidential campaign was consistently negative.” Somehow I missed the report’s criticism of MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post for their “consistently negative” coverage of Donald Trump.

But I get it: that’s because RT is controlled by a foreign state, and those U.S. media organizations are privately owned.

So why doesn’t the U.S. intelligence report criticize other foreign state-owned media organizations, such as the BBC, or TF1 and France 2 in France, that not only broadcast coverage of Donald Trump that was “consistently negative,” but portrayed him as “emotionally unbalanced,” “unhinged,” “incompetent,” “unqualified to be President,” “racist,” “misogynist,” etc.?

The U.S. report announces on page 1 that it “covers the motivation and scope of Moscow’s intentions regarding US elections and Moscow’s use of cyber tools and media campaigns to influence US public opinion.” Perhaps it’s just me, but I find it odd that U.S. intelligence analysts would put their analysis of Russian motivation before the facts. But that’s the way it reads throughout.

One curious omission: the report contains no assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election. While the report claims this is because it’s not the job of the intelligence community to “analyze US political processes or US public opinion,” I can guarantee you that if they had detected a clear impact of the Russian hacking, they would have spread it like butter on toast.

Michael Moore may have influenced more voters in a YouTube clip from his one-man show in Michigan, than RT did in all of its election coverage. The five-minute segment went viral when it was first released; many people thought they were actually watching left-wing ideologue Moore endorse Donald Trump.

Moore of course had no intention of endorsing Trump, but wanted to show his audience that he “understood” the motivation of Trump voters, and that they were “good” people. From the astonished look on the faces of people in the audience, it’s easy to imagine many of these Michigan voters suddenly realizing it was “okay” for them to vote for Trump, even if they traditionally had identified with Democrats.

The omission of any context in the unclassified version of this report, coupled to the breathless tone of its “high-confidence” conclusions and total lack of factual evidence in the public version, makes it appear like a political hatchet job. That in itself does a disservice to the honest, hard-working intelligence gatherers and analysts of the U.S. intelligence community.

EDITORS NOTE: This column first appeared on FrontPage Magazine.

Trump: Only ‘stupid people’ are against a ‘good’ but ‘respectful’ relationship with Russia

President-elect Trump has once again showed the world and his supporters that he does not seek confrontation but rather respect for the United States of America. Americans and Westerners have more in common with Russia than with other nations that hate us, for example Iran. A good but respectful bilateral relationship with Russia can open the door to dealing with a common enemy – radical Islam.

In a series of tweets the President-elect once again made it clear to outgoing President Obama, Democrats and some bellicose Republicans that a good relationship is not a bad thing with Russia.

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It is clear that President-elect Trump is not caving into the narrative pushed by the Democrats, Obama, legacy media and Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The President-elect will not be boxed into a position that is reminiscent of the Cold War era “better dead than red” mindset. The Soviet Union has fallen. Economically Russia is a shadow of the former Soviet Union before its collapse.

Russia’s GDP calculated for purchasing power parity was $3.5 trillion, while Italy’s was $2.1 trillion. So in 2013, Russia had a higher level of economic activity than Italy, but because goods and services are more expensive in Italy, the overall value (nominal GDP) ended up the same. In contrast, the United States is the world’s largest national economy in nominal terms and second largest according to purchasing power parity (PPP), representing 22% of nominal global GDP and 17% of gross world product (GWP). The United States’ GDP was estimated to be $17.914 trillion as of Q2 2015.

In order to make America great again President-elect Trump understands that we must grow our economy, our military and unlike the Obama administration, reengage in the global political arena. Respect comes from strength. Economic, moral and military strength.

If there is a battle to be waged is must be between the free world led by a strong America against those who hate freedom and liberty. That is what it means to make America great again.

Weaving a Stronger Sunni Axis

By Gallia Lindenstrauss and Yoel Guzansky:

Gallia LindenstraussYoel Guzansky

Saudi Arabia’s declared objective, driven in part by sectarian fervor, is to stop Iran’s growing influence in the region. To those in charge of making the necessary adjustments to Saudi Arabia’s security and foreign policy in light of regional developments, Turkey is a key player. From Riyadh’s perspective, Turkey is a Sunni regional power that has not realized its potential because it has failed to adopt a more aggressive policy toward Iran. For Turkey, Russia’s military involvement in Syria and the crisis in Turkish-Russian relations following the downing of the Russian fighter jet prompted an adjustment of Ankara’s foreign policy. More specifically, these developments, as well as Ankara’s  diplomatic isolation in the region, have accelerated Turkey’s drive toward a closer alignment with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states. Should Saudi Arabia succeed in leveraging the economic assistance it provides to Egypt and mediate effectively between Cairo and Ankara, this could lead to stronger relations between Turkey and other Gulf states, and thereby help weave a stronger Sunni front in the region.

Topics:

Gulf States, Turkey

The nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 and the initial lifting of the economic sanctions on Iran in January 2016 were formative events for Saudi Arabia that strengthened the supporters in the kingdom of a proactive policy against Iran. Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s declared objective, driven in part by sectarian fervor, is to stop Iran’s growing influence in the region. To those in charge of making the necessary adjustments to Saudi Arabia’s security and foreign policy in light of regional developments, Turkey is a key player. From Riyadh’s perspective, Turkey is a Sunni regional power that has not realized its potential because it has failed to adopt a more aggressive policy toward Iran. For Turkey, Russia’s military involvement in Syria and the crisis in Turkish-Russian relations following the downing of the Russian fighter jet prompted a adjustment of Ankara’s foreign policy. More specifically, these developments have accelerated Turkey’s drive toward a closer alignment with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states. This process reached new heights with the deployment of Saudi fighter aircraft at the Turkish air base Incirlik (which may expand to the deployment of ground forces as well) – officially as part of the struggle against the Islamic State, but in effect, to signal inter-state unity.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (l) with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (r) in Riyadh, January 31, 2016. Photo: AFP / SPA / HO

Since King Salman Bin Abdulaziz ascended the Saudi throne in January 2015, there have been noticeable attempts to forge closer relations between Riyadh and Ankara. Already during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Riyadh in December 2015 (which was the Turkish President’s third visit to the kingdom that year), Turkey and Saudi Arabia decided on the establishment of a council for strategic cooperation. Soon after, Saudi Arabia executed Saudi Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, and for Riyadh, a nation’s reaction to the execution was akin to a loyalty litmus test. Speaking of the execution, Erdogan said it was “an internal [Saudi] legal matter,” and Ankara condemned the subsequent arson at Saudi Arabia’s missions in Tehran and Mashhad, calling the fire-bombings “unacceptable.” Beyond the rhetorical support for Riyadh, Turkey joined the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism, announced in December 2015 by Saudi Arabia, which includes 34 nations – but not Iran. In addition, as part of their attempt to balance Iran’s influence in Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have exhibited more public support than in the past for the autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq; this month Saudi Arabia will opening a consulate in Irbil (Turkey has had a consulate there since 2010). Furthermore, Turkey supported Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen and did not criticize the action’s negative humanitarian repercussions.

Following the late January 2016 visit to Saudi Arabia by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who was accompanied by several ministers and the head of the secret service, there was renewed speculation about a possible strengthening of cooperation between the two nations.  Particular emphasis may lie on coordinating positions in the (currently suspended) third round of talks in Geneva on efforts to end the civil war in Syria. It seems that both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are frustrated with US policy on Syria, in part because it does not completely rule out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad retaining his position, at least for an interim period, and are trying to use one another to change this policy. Pressure on the United States has already resulted in some success: the decision that representatives of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), though the dominant element among Syria’s Kurds, would not be among those invited to the Geneva talks. This reflects Turkey’s contention that the PYD is an extension of the PKK, the Kurdish underground operating in Turkey, and therefore unacceptable. Moreover, both Ankara and Riyadh are frustrated by Russia’s military intervention in Syria, not only in that this intervention prolongs Assad’s tenure, but also threatens the opposition forces supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia and the ability to send supplies and other assistance.

Along with its increased closeness with Riyadh, however, Ankara has called on Saudi Arabia and Iran to return to the diplomatic channel and work on reducing tensions between them, evidence of Turkey’s desire to maintain correct relations with Iran and its reluctance to become overly involved in the Riyadh-Tehran conflict. This is not surprising, given Turkey’s need for  energy imports from Iran, especially natural gas (after Russia, Iran is the second most important provider of gas to Turkey; in 2014, Turkey imported about 18 percent of its natural gas from Iran), and Turkey’s desire to increase the scope of trade with Iran with the lifting of the economic sanctions.

While Turkey’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its opposition to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s regime in Egypt are an obstacle to closer relations with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states, Saudi Arabia itself is at present exhibiting a more pragmatic approach than in the past toward the Muslim Brotherhood. From its point of view, Iran’s expansionism is the greatest threat, leading it to desire a large, cohesive Sunni bloc in the region. Moreover, alongside the parties’ geostrategic considerations, the Gulf states – especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar – are significant investors in the Turkish economy.

For some years now, Turkey has enjoyed closer relations with Qatar; these reached a new peak in December 2015 when the nations announced the construction of a Turkish military base in Qatar for the stationing of some 3,000 troops. Although Turkey has soldiers stationed in northern Iraq, the construction of the Qatari base and the scope of forces to be stationed there set new precedents in terms of a Turkish military presence in the Middle East. Turkey also committed itself to continue military training for Qatar’s army. In addition to this strategic security cooperation, the two enjoy joint economic and energy ventures. Indeed, Turkey would like to increase the amount of liquefied natural gas it buys from Qatar, but the size of its existing facilities makes this problematic.

Turkey is also making efforts to rebuild its relations with the UAE, and in particular to ease the same tensions that existed with Saudi Arabia, namely Ankara’s intense criticism of Sisi and Turkish support for the Muslim Brotherhood and, conversely, the UAE’s support for the toppling of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt in July 2013. Manifestations of these tensions are the standstill in the scope of trade between Turkey and the UAE (compared to the growth in trade between Turkey and the other Gulf states) and the fact that there has been no UAE ambassador appointed to Ankara for a long time, both prima facie evidence of Abu Dhabi’s dissatisfaction with Ankara’s policy. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu recently stated that he intends to visit the UAE soon, apparently in an attempt to turn over a new leaf.

Another reason for Ankara to want to forge closer relations with the Gulf states concerns its diplomatic isolation in the region. Turkey currently has no ambassador in Israel, Egypt, and Syria. Should Saudi Arabia succeed in leveraging the economic assistance it provides to Egypt into mediating between Egypt and Turkey, which would be manifested by the return of the ambassadors to Ankara and Cairo, this could lead to stronger relations between Turkey and other Gulf states, and thereby help weave a stronger Sunni front in the region. At the same time, some kind of rapprochement between Ankara and Cairo could also allow Israel to rebuild its own relations with Turkey. Currently, one of the deterrents to a normalization agreement between Israel and Turkey is the Egyptian concern that in the context of concessions Israel would provide Turkey, Ankara would gain a more significant role in Gaza, which would strengthen Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. A stronger Saudi-Egyptian-Turkish bond might mitigate some of that concern.

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Russia hit 1,888 targets in Syria in a week — U.S. count? Just 16

The Russians have often accused the Obama Administration of just pretending to go after the Islamic State by mounting a few airstrikes just for show. And here we are.

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“Russia hit 1,888 targets in Syria in a week; US count? Just 16,” by Matthew Schofield, McClatchy, February 12, 2016:

BERLIN — In the seven days before the announcement early Friday that a cease-fire might go into effect in Syria in another week, Russian forces hit more than 100 times as many targets within the embattled nation as a military coalition that includes the United States.

Exactly how the cease-fire proposed at an international conference in Munich would work is still being decided. The agreement announced by Russian and U.S. officials said “a nationwide cessation of hostilities … should apply to any party currently engaged in military or paramilitary hostilities” except the Islamic State, al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate — Jabhat al Nusra — “or other groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council.”

Since Russia considers any organization attacking the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad a terrorist group, the question arises of just how its efforts might change.

And those efforts are substantial, as a weekly report by the Russian Ministry of Defense makes clear. In a report posted Thursday on its website, the ministry noted that its jets flew 510 combat sorties and hit 1,888 “terrorist objects” in Syria. The previous week’s report claimed 464 sorties that hit a total of 1,354 “terrorist objects.”

Daily reports from the U.S. military for the same period indicate a much lower level of activity: 16 targets struck in Syria. The reports also said those forces hit 91 targets in Iraq.

The reports suggest Russia has been far more aggressive than the United States has leading up to the cease-fire proposal.

The most recent Russian report, for instance, notes, “During air duty mission, Su-25 attack aircraft detected three hardware columns transporting militants, armament and munitions along the highway al Qaryatayn-Homs. The strike resulted in elimination of nine heavy trucks with munitions and more than 40 militants.”

A Feb. 9 report from U.S. Central Command gave that day’s actions this way: “Near Kobani, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit. Near Manbij, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit. Near Mar’a, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.”…

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Russian Intervention in Middle East Conflicts

In the waning months of the Obama Administration, its lack of effective leadership in the war against the Islamic State and the civil war in Syria created a potentially dangerous power vacuum. The White House was pre-occupied with concluding a UN-endorsed pact, hoping to rein in Iran’s quest for a nuclear capability – a capability that a number of analysts have concluded it may already have. Purported cooperative development may have been behind North Korea’s fourth nuclear test since 2006 on January 6, 2016. While official propaganda from Pyongyang suggested that the test involved elements of a possible fusion or hydrogen bomb, a few astute observers suggested it might have been a so-called boosted fission weapon. It was likely a nuclear warhead for a missile. Iran has derived test data and been a customer for North Korea’s missile technology. Iran violated UN sanctions and JCPOA bans against missile tests with the launch of two precision guided missiles in the Persian Gulf in October and November 2015. In late December, Iranian Revolutionary Guards naval forces staged a live fire missile exercise provocatively firing less than 1,500 yards from the USS carrier Harry S. Truman, accompanying destroyer, the USS Bulkley and a French frigate.

Mahdist Iran had endeavored to assert its hegemony in the Middle East encircling Saudia Arabia and the Sunni Gulf States by supplying Revolutionary Guards and proxy Hezbollah forces in support of the beleaguered Assad regime in Syria. Further, Iran had lent Quds force leadership to provide technical assistance to Iraqi Shia militias in the conflict with the Islamic State in Iraq. Both countries had squared off in Yemen with Iran supporting the Shia Houthi rebels while Saudi forces supported the overthrown government. These roiling geo-political conflicts between Iran and Saudi Arabia, two major oil producers in the Gulf Region, came to a flash point in early January 2016. The Saudi Wahabbist regime in Riyadh summarily executed a long held dissident Shia Imam. That provoked a torching of its Embassy in Tehran by Basij paramilitaries loyal to Ayatollah Khamenei.

These actions resulted in a break off of diplomatic relations between these two Islamic countries. Both propound extremist Qur’anic doctrine and interpretations of sharia (Islamic law) that have origins in the contending meta-narratives of the Muslim prophet Mohammed’s succession. The Shia in Tehran contend that the rightful inheritor of Islam’s jihad should have been the prophet’s son-in-law Ali, killed at the battle of Karbala in what is now Iraq. The Sunni Wahabbists in Riyadh contend the rightful successor to be one of the early Caliphs and companions of Mohammed, Abu Bakr.

It is not without precedent that former Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi chose that name when he declared the Islamic State during of the Civil War in Syria. Al-Baghdadi’s Islamic State put out the call to the global sunni ummah, gathering more than 30 to 40,000 foreign fighters and settlers to experience seventh century pure Islam in a renewed jihad to restore the Caliphate. That jihad created a virtual state the size of Britain that burst the borders between Syria and Iraq armed with US and Russian weapons captured from fleeing Syrian and Iraqi forces. The Islamic State has its own Sharia law courts, and a treasury filled with plundered gold and cash. These are funds from sales of smuggled oil, jizya taxes collected from conquered subjects and human trafficking of enslaved religious minorities like the Yazidis and Christians in Iraq and Syria.

The barbarous beheadings and crucifixions of infidels were grisly props for the Islamic State prompting millions of refugees and internally displaced persons to flee to sanctuaries in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. One million of those refugees from the hot spots across the Muslim Ummah made treacherous crossings of the Mediterranean. They burst the borders of the open Schengen system in a new Dar al Hijrah immigration wave deepening the Islamization of Eurabia. Among that stream of asylees were ISIS foreign fighters who became shahids, martyrs, in the November 13, 2015 Paris massacres that claimed the lives of 130 and hundreds of injured innocent civilians at open air cafes, a music hall and outside a soccer stadium. Less than a week later the Belgian-born ISIS commander and other jihadis who participated in the attack were killed in a shootout with French police swat teams in a Paris suburb. Now we have the release of an ISIS video showing the nine attackers beheading hostages and training for the Paris attacks orchestrated by the Islamic State.

Into the cockpit of the Syrian civil war in September 2015 came Russian President Putin. He sent Russian forces to establish airbases and launch air assaults against Syrian opposition forces from the Alawite bastion of Latakia with its Mediterranean naval base. Putin, fresh from his adventures in both Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, entered the fray to prop up Russian interests in Syria and President Assad. The downing of a Russian Metro-jet flight on October 31, 2015, in an alleged terrorist bombing by an Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, resulted in the deaths of 224 civilians and air crew aboard. The Islamic State propaganda machine claimed responsibility for the bombing. That resulted in extending Russian air assaults to target the Islamic State, especially its administrative capital of Raqaa in Syria.

However, it was the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber by a Turkish F-16 jet fighter on November 24, 2015, ordered by Turkish President Erdogan that ratcheted up the geo-political conflicts in the Middle East. The Russian plane had purportedly penetrated Turkish airspace for less than 20 seconds. The Russian flight had targeted Syrian Turkmen opposition forces in the border region with Turkey. Putin called Erdogan’s action “a stab in the back” and would not accept his “apology.” Putin promptly cut off diplomatic contact imposing sanctions on significant trade between the two countries. That included Putin suspending construction of a $12 billion pipeline deal with Erdogan. Erdogan had clearly miscalculated. That sent Erdogan scrambling to replace it with Israeli offshore gas from its Mediterranean fields amid talks about renewing diplomatic relations cut off after the Mavi Marmara Free Gaza flotilla incident in 2010.

Putin put out word to Syrian Kurdish YPG-led forces that it would provide air support by establishing an air field at Qumishli in the Kurdish enclave of Rojava in northeastern Syria. The YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces captured a key Euphrates River Dam in late December 2015. It was given offers from the Russians of air support to assist it in closing the Turkish border to join up with the western enclave of Afrin. The Turks in turn began military preparations on their side of the border. Erdogan is engaged in an internal operation against the YPG affiliated Turkish Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), that Turkey, the EU and we have designated a terrorist organization.

Putin Netanyahu Moscow September 2015

Russian President Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Moscow September 2015.

That left the Israelis, concerned about Al Qaeda, Iran proxy Hezbollah and ISIS ranging on all of its borders. Of special concern is the threat on Israel’s Northern border with Lebanon and Syria, but also its Southern border with ISIS affiliates in the Egyptian Sinai. Israeli PM Netanyahu and several top military and security aides flew to Moscow on September 21, 2015 to establish a mutual understanding with Putin over national security issues in Syria. Israel would continue to attack shipments by Syria and Iran to the latter’s proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah. Putin has no agenda involving Israel. Netanyahu was immediately concerned with a low-intensity terror war waged daily since September 2015 by Palestinians and some Israeli Arabs allegedly incited by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian and Israeli Arab violence has claimed 28 Israeli, US and foreign migrants dead and dozens injured from knifings, car rammings and shootings. 149 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security. In one troubling case, in January 2016, an Israeli Arab using a semi-automatic weapon at a Tel Aviv café killed three persons. He fled the scene and was eventually tracked by Israeli security forces to his home area in Northern Israel and killed.

On the weekend of January 17, 2016, the UN nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, announced that Iran had complied with the JCPOA declaring the start of Implementation. President Obama released to Iran upwards of $100 billion in impounded Iranian oil revenues held in several foreign banks. As a result of a 14 month long secret negotiation, four Americans hostage and an American student were released in exchange for clemency for seven Iranians, six, dual US citizens and one Iranian national. They were convicted or charged with engaging in illicit procurement of sensitive technology. Subsequently it was revealed that $1.7 billion had been wired to Tehran in what Congressional critics called a “ransom payment.” In the week prior to these dramatic developments, 10 US sailors and their Riverine command boats wereseized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ naval forces and held for 24 hours on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf waters controlled by Iran.

Against this background, we convened another in the series of 1330 AM WEBY international Middle East Round Tables with Daniel Diker, a Fellow and Project Director for Political Warfare at the Jerusalem Center for Public affairs, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and Shoshana Bryen, senior director at the Washington, DC-based Jewish Policy Center.

Michael Bates

Michael Bates:  Good afternoon and welcome to Your Turn. This is Bates. We are doing our special periodic International Roundtable about what is going on in the Middle East and I have joining me in the studio, Gordon, Senior Editor of the New English Review and its blog, The Iconoclast. Welcome, Jerry.

Jerry Gordon

Jerry Gordon:  Glad to be back, Mike.

Bates:  Joining us by telephone, Shoshana Bryen, Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center in Washington. Shoshana, welcome back.

Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen:  Thank you.

Bates:  And, from Jerusalem, Israel, Dan Diker, head of the Political Warfare Program at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a columnist forThe Jerusalem Post. Diker, welcome.

Dan Diker

Dan Diker:  Shalom to you and Florida from Jerusalem.

Bates:  Shalom. Question, I’ll open with you, Dan. What is the security situation in Israel right now? I’m reading a lot about more of daily attacks, shootings and stabbings, I don’t want to say small time because if you’re the victim it is pretty significant. But, it doesn’t appear from this vantage point in any way that it is a full blown intifada with suicide explosives going on. What are you seeing in Israel right now?

Diker:  Mike, it is a very good lead in to the question because the signs are not pointing to a third intifada which in Arabic means “uprising.” These are “Lone Wolf Attacks” that are suggestive of network terrorism. The kind of terrorism that we saw in Paris recently. However, most of the attacks here have been stabbings or car terrorism – running over victims with cars. We finally saw in the last week and a half a meaningful shift in the type of sophistication of attacks. One Israeli Arab terrorist was neutralized by Security Forces just a few days ago, after they took a little over a week to find him up in Northern/North Central Israel. His methodology was suggestive of ISIS and Al-Qaeda in that he wore a black outfit and his shooting attack was very reminiscent of what we saw in some of the Paris attacks. This type of attack had enormous cognitive echo effect frightening Israelis throughout the entire country. The fear factor was rather extraordinary because security forces could not find him for seven days which was quite unusual for Israel. I do think that last week’s shooting attack on Dizengoff Street, which is one of the main streets in Tel Aviv, was a concern of people here because it is rather easy for people to get their hands on an M-16 or another automatic weapon and just fire indiscriminately as he did into a Tel Aviv bar. So, that has really created concern, deep concerns here, and has had a profound psychological effect on the population. Overall, bottom line though, Mike, terrorism is at a reasonable level, even though it sounds strange to say that. It is not at a front burner level, the flames are not super high, Security forces, as well as citizens legally carrying firearms, especially in Jerusalem and in the Gush Etzion have done a good job in killing terrorists when they try to stab Israeli children, men and women. So, things are at a reasonable level. The psychological effect though has been stronger following the last shooting attack in Tel Aviv.

Bates:  If these attacks are being done by Lone Wolf operatives, how can the Israel security forces predict or prevent them because it’s not like they are intercepting communications from the conspiracy. It’s all in the guy’s head. So, does that complicate things?

Diker:  It certainly does. In fact, this type of Lone Wolf network terrorism is very difficult for Security Forces to use traditional lines of Intelligence in order to snuff this out and prevent it before it happens. There are strong signs that Hamas has been directly involved in the planning and in the directing of some of these attacks, not the majority, but Security Forces and Intelligence Services have been focusing on what it requires to address this type of terrorism.  What it requires is very quick reaction on the part of Israelis in the street. If you come to Jerusalem, you will see the epicenter of the 240 attacks in the last 3 1/2 months. I would say well over 200 have been in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. I’m actually speaking to you directly from Gush Etzion, which is a bedroom community of Jerusalem. Here, there have been 20 to 25 attacks within five minutes from where I live in the very intersection where people go to fill up their cars with gas or take their children to schools. I take my daughters to school there every day and there you can see soldiers from very top units stationed about 15 feet, one from the other around a traffic circle. People here are legally able to carry firearms as you have thousands of people in Jerusalem. It really requires this quick type of response because traditional Intelligence-top down Intelligence – is not quite as effective against this type of terrorism.

Bates:  Are the perpetrators of these attacks Arab Israeli citizens. Clearly they’re not coming from Samaria and Judea through the wall, right?

Diker:  There is a breakdown of the 240 attacks. The majority have been Palestinian Arabs from areas in the West Bank, in Judea and Samaria

Bates:  Oh, okay.

Diker:  Where Jews and Arabs live together, they are on the Israeli side of the security barrier; however, others of them are Palestinians. There are some 100,000 Palestinians from the Palestinian controlled areas of the West Bank that cross into Israel every day to earn 2-3 times from the Israeli employers what they would be earning from their Palestinian Authority employers. That illustrates the kind of risk that Israel is still prepared to take upon itself in order to ease Palestinian area employment problems. They still allow 100,000 Palestinian workers to come into Israel every day and some of those have been found to be knife terrorists. Others of them have been Jerusalem Arabs who are not citizens of the State.  However, they receive all of the social benefits of Israel Arabs although they live in Jerusalem in areas that have not yet been decided whether they will become Israeli citizens or whether they will stay under Palestinian Authority control. The minority of these attacks has come from Arab Israeli citizens and there is a real question as to why. Many believe that the vast majority of Israeli Arabs are loyal to the State of Israel. They want to work and get ahead and send their children to good schools and flourish in the democratic Jewish State of Israel. That is the way things are looking right now.

Gordon:  Shoshana, Prime Minister Netanyahu made an announcement this week regarding the fact that he wants the rule of law for one state and not two peoples. What did he mean by that and what kind of initiatives did he announce?

Bryen:  Actually I’m going to send most of that question back to Dan who deals it on a more day to day basis. Essentially what the Prime Minister said was for Israeli Arabs and for Israeli Jews, you have one national grouping and you need one set of laws. There is a concern in Israel that Israeli Arabs are often held to a lesser legal standard than Jews. You see it most definitely in the housing field. The Israeli Arabs build houses without legal Israeli Government permits and, these are people who are full citizens of the State. They ignore the laws that they don’t care to obey. This kind of general lawlessness, this ability to say that I don’t have to follow the laws of the State gives rise to people who will either attack Jews or in some other way undermine the State. The Prime Minister was saying, “One people, one national people, one set of laws.”  As Jews are held to a standard, Arabs have to be held to the same standard inside the State of Israel.

Gordon:  Dan, do you have a response to that?

Diker:   I think that Shoshana makes the basic point in a very distinct, eloquent manner. I think that the context here is there has been an unspoken agreement from the Israeli Government to agree not to enforce certain laws for Arab Israeli citizens for fear that would cause unrest. For fear that it would exacerbate a sensitive situation where their identities in some cases are split. They are subject to incitement to murder and violence by the Palestinian authority. Some 20 to 30 Israeli Arabs have gone off to fight the global jihads in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. There is a sense here that the Israeli Government would not enforce (to the same severity) domestic law and criminal law that they would for Israeli citizens of Jewish and other backgrounds. Netanyahu was basically trying to do a reset, especially in the aftermath of this terrible shooting in Tel Aviv which was perpetrated by an Israeli Arab from a family that, on one hand had cooperated with the Israeli Authorities. His father and family had been good citizens of Israel. On the other hand, what the authorities have discovered in the aftermath of the shooting is that the terrorist received a great deal of assistance from his extended family, cousins, uncles and others as well as neighbors where he lived in the North. So there is this sense by Netanyahu and the government that they want to do a reset and stay with one law for one state and this is something that echoed with the Bedouins in the South which have been in many cases as lawless as some of the Arab Israeli citizenry, in the North. This is a real attempt to clear the table and say look, we are one state, different culture, but it’s one law. This is democracy and it’s a state of law, a country of laws and it will be enforced equally. It was also a message to the Arab Israeli leadership in the Knesset, which has been extraordinarily irresponsible in representing local constituencies. The Arab Israeli leadership traditionally, certainly in the last 25 years could be deemed an extension of the Palestinian National Movement in the West Bank. This was also a call to them to try to bring them onto the same page as the law enforcement agencies and the government.

Gordon:  Shoshana, the Russians are having more and more involvement in the Middle East. What are they up to?

Bryen:  The Russians have two goals in the region. One is to keep their warm water port and their naval base at Latakia and the other is to kill Sunni jihadists. In order to pursue both of those goals, they need to keep the central Syrian state alive as long as possible and that means allying with Bashar al-Assad. It also means that they ally secondarily with Hezbollah and Iran. However, Russian relations with Hezbollah and Iran are not those of allies. They are those of people that work together because they need the same sorts of things at the moment. Russia is hardly tied at all to Hezbollah and is only marginally tied to Iran. They have been very careful. For example, what they sell to Iran. They announce big stuff but they sell small stuff. What the Israelis have been able to do is talk to the Russians about Israeli red lines in Syria. I don’t mean water colored pink lines like the Obama Administration has. We are talking about serious Israeli red lines of which there are two. One is that there will be no Iranians or Hezbollah on the Syrian side of Golan Heights and the other is that there are certain weapons that will not be permitted to go to Hezbollah. Those are the red lines. The Russians seem to have respected them to date. The killing of Samir Kuntar (a terrorist convicted in Israel for the murder of a four-year-old girl and her father) was because he was working on terrorist activity that would emanate from the Golan and reach into Israel-and the Israelis said, “No, that’s not acceptable, he has to go.” There are reports right now that Hezbollah is receiving more sophisticated weapons from Russia than the Israelis would permit. However, if you trace those reports back to their sources, the sources are all Hezbollah. Hezbollah says, “We are getting laser guided missiles and we’re getting sophisticated weapons and we’re getting them directly from Russia.” For the moment at least, I cannot find an independent source that suggests that is true. What you really have is the Russians laid down their markers, having determined what is important to them, and they are carrying that out with a variety of countries including Israel.

Bates:  Shoshana, the Russians clearly want to keep Bashar al-Assad in power and the policy of the American Government is regime change. Those obviously cannot coexist at the same time. Are we potentially going to have to confront the Russians over Syria?

Bryen:  I’m not sure that the American position is any longer that al-Assad has to go. It used to be that we told him to be a “reformer.” Then we told him to step down: ”We want you to go right now.” Then we armed people to try to take him out. Now we have told the Russians, in the context of a political conversation al-Assad will have to make a promise to go at some point. The Russian position is not that firm either. The Russian position is that someday there will be an election in Syria and perhaps in the context of an election in Syria perhaps al-Assad will go. So, nobody is saying that al-Assad stays permanently. Both sides are edging their way toward a mechanism that could separate al-Assad from the seat of power in Damascus.

Bates:  The Russians clearly have an interest with that warm water port in Syria on the Mediterranean. Whoever replaces al-Assad, the Russians are going to want him to be friendly to them.

Bryen:  Yes, of course. By the way, that is not something to which the United States can very well object. We have ports all over the world. If the Russians’ goal is to keep the port, the Russians care less who sits in Damascus than whoever sits in Damascus will allow them to maintain the port they need. We shouldn’t object to that.

Gordon:  Interesting question for you both. How does Russia support the Kurds who are allies of the United States in Syria and also support the Kurds in Turkey?

Bryen:  Russians have to support the Kurds in Turkey at least nominally because the Russians and the Turks are not on good terms at the moment. Anything that irritates the Turks is good from the Russian point of view so they support the Kurds. There seems to be a difference with the Kurds in Syria because the Kurds in Syria are among the best fighters in Syria. At the moment, they don’t bother the Russians but there is no reason for the Russians to support them, either.

Bates:  Shoshana, you said the Russians and the Turks are not on good terms right now. How would you describe the terms that the United States and the Turks are on?

Bryen:  Terrible, actually. Erdogan came into office in Turkey with the policy called “No Problem with the Neighbors.” By this he meant no problem with Syria, no problem with Iran, no problem with Israel. No problem with anybody. He was going to be friends with everybody. When that was true, Turkey’s economy took off and he looked like the great hero of the Middle East. He has today, poor relations with all of his neighbors, very bad relations with the Russians and very bad relations with us.

Bates:  Those relations with the Russians of course were made worse by the recent shooting down of the Russian jet ostensibly over Syria. The map I saw indicated that the Russian fighter was over Syria for probably less time that it takes time to introduce yourself, a few seconds at most, but it was in fact shot down and one of the pilots killed. Right?

Bryen:  Yes.

Bates:  So, what has the fallout been from that?

Bryen:  The biggest piece of fallout has been the suspension of a pipeline called Turkey Stream that the Russians were building. It was a 12 billion dollar project that was going to bring Russian gas to Turkey and into other European countries. The Russians have put it on hold. The Turks did not expect that. That is one of the reasons they turned to Israel. They are concerned now that they will not have access to Russian gas in the future. Where does Erdogan go? He looks at Israel and says, “Can we have yours please?” The Israelis are handling this very cautiously.

Bates:  Dan, what are you seeing?

Diker:  I just wanted to add an additional point that the way we understand and hear the Obama Administration had pursued Erdogan and Turkey quite aggressively in its first Administration. That things have gotten sour has been a major source of frustration to the Obama Administration because the White House had really made overtures to Turkey to be the new emerging power. The political Islam, or Muslim Brotherhood based government that Erdogan leads today was looked at by the Obama Administration as the model for his new Middle East. The fact is that Turkey is having its difficulties with Washington as they are with Russia.

Bates:  Dan you were addressing the Israeli/Turkish relationship. Please finish that thought.

Diker:  Yes for the first time since 2010, the Turks and the Israelis have instead kissed and made up to a certain degree. Trade is at an all time high, military cooperation has continued and it seems that the Turks are looking to balance their interests. They don’t like what they see around them and in terms of Iran and because of Russian involvement in Syria on Turkey’s border. They look at the Israelis as sharing of some of their views vis-a-vis the Iranian threat.

Gordon:  Dan, why did Erdogan virtually crawl back to Israel after five years of suspended relations over the Mavi Marmara Free Gaza Flotilla event in May of 2010?

Diker:  At that particular time, Turkey was pressing a lot of buttons around Hamas trying to assert itself, you know, as an emerging hegemon in the region, opposite Iran. In a region in which Arab states were collapsing left and right every time you turned around. Today, Turkey’s fortunes have changed. They look at the Assad regime on their border, they look at Iran crawling through the Middle East and funding, directing, and arming a Shiite terror group. They look at the United States as conducting outreach to the Iranian regime. They see a nuclear weapon problem coming from Iran. They see a serious regional terror spread from Iran. I think that Erdogan as Shoshana mentioned, has difficulties with the United States. I think they have agreed to re-engage with the Israelis. I will say it may not be that Erdogan will make a state trip to Israel or that Netanyahu will make a state trip to Ankara. Clearly there is a lot more cooperation than there was six years ago.

Gordon:  Shoshana, the world has been stunned by the sectarian divide, almost an abyss between the Wahabbist Saudis and the Mahdist Shia in Tehran. How is that going to impact on the Russians and the U.S.?

Bryen:  It shouldn’t be surprising because Saudi Arabia is the chief funder of Sunni jihad. The biggest fear the Russians have is Sunni jihad because it happened in their country. The Saudis turned the Chechen War in Russia from a nationalist war – the first war – into a religious war – the second war – in the earlier part of this century. So, the Russians and the Saudis really despise one another. The Saudis for a long time now maintained a strategy of pumping lots of oil. They pumped oil to maintain their market share and drop the price. Dropping the price drives the Russians crazy because the Russians have nothing to sell but oil and gas. They’re not a sophisticated country; they’re not a first world economy. The Iranians, the Russians and the Venezuelans, by the way, have been driven crazy by Saudi policy. The Russians needed oil to be $119 a barrel to balance their budget. Last year Moscow admitted that it reconfigured the budget using $85 a barrel of oil. Oil is right now is at $30 a barrel.

Bates:  I think it’s actually below $30.

Bryen:  Let’s say that it doubles because the price is going to go up at some point and it goes back up to $70, it’s still not enough. So the Russians hate Saudis. That has largely been missed because what the Saudis do, they do quietly and they do it behind the scenes. They are a major driving factor in Sunni jihad. Now, at the moment, that is an uncomfortable place to be for the Saudis. They don’t really want to be funding jihad. They are afraid it will come home to hurt them. So, I don’t think it will change Russian policy at all. They hated them before, they hate them now. The Saudis are probably withdrawing some of their financial support. The Saudis also have budgetary issues although they are very well placed to ride out this wave of low oil prices. They have an enormous stash of cash.

Bates:  Shoshana I read that the Saudis had a 98 billion dollar deficit.

Bryen:  Yes, they do. However, they have $600 billion in hard currency reserves. If they want to cover that deficit they can. They are probably good for the next five years. Five years is a very long time in the Middle East.

Bates:  I have this theory about these low oil prices. I’m curious to know if you subscribe to it or if I’m way off base. During the Regan Administration, there was an alignment with the Saudis and the Vatican to bring down the Russians through the Solidarity Movement in Poland.  That was the Vatican’s connection with Pope John Paul II. With low oil prices through Saudi Arabia in order to bankrupt the evil empire, Soviet Russia. It appeared to have worked. Are we seeing something like that again, where the Saudis are part of a geopolitical strategy to bankrupt the Russians, Venezuelans and ISIS and all of these other oil producing bad guys?

Bryen:  That would give too much credit to the United States for having a strategy. Saudi Arabia is very definitely opposed to Russia and is doing this on purpose with an eye toward as much damage as they can inflict on Russia and on Iran. I think the Venezuelan thing is a happy accident but if you want to ask the question is it being driven by the United States or somehow coordinated with the United States, absolutely not. Because it is not in the President’s interest to collapse the Iranians. It’s not in the Obama Administration’s playbook.

Bates:  Yes, I would love to see the Iranian regime collapse but Barack Obama is not interested in that. Shoshana, you were talking about the interest of the Obama Administration in regime change with Iran. I’m quite interested in getting those Mad Mullahs out of Iran but is it not official U.S. policy to do so anymore?

Bryen:  No, it’s not. It has been the Obama Administration Policy to find a way to work with Iran, to bring Iran into the family of civilized countries. It seems to me, that the Obama Administration’s view of the Middle East was to have Turkey take care of the Sunni side and Iran takes care of the Shiite side and the United States leave. The people who most adamantly objected to that were the Saudis. So part of this cheap-oil flood-the-market deal is the Saudis’ desire to create pain in Iran. Had we been smarter, more farsighted and we had a different Administration, it was the perfect time to collapse the Mullah regime. Sanctions were working, sanctions were making it terribly difficult for the Mullahs to maintain their grip on the population and the Saudis were about to administer the coup de grace. Instead the Obama Administration saved them. We told them we will lift the sanctions. We told them they don’t have to do anything about their internal problems. They didn’t have to do anything about the boot they have on the neck of the Iranian people. We saved them. Looking at the economics of Iran, it’s still in terrible shape.

Gordon:  One of the more significant events this past week was the explosion of a fourth nuclear device in North Korea. The question is less whether it was a miniature hydrogen bomb, but really the connection between that test and he Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Bryen:  It’s an intellectual connection. The Iranians would like to know how far they can push us without penalty. The North Koreans would like to know if they could claim that it was a hydrogen bomb and we would believe it. But it wasn’t. Even though the Iranians fired a missile within 1,500 yards of the U.S.S. Harry Truman, an aircraft carrier, as it was sailing in international waters in the Straits of Hormuz. We didn’t do anything about it; we didn’t acknowledge that it happened for about a month.

Bates:  I saw the video of that incident. The missile wasn’t shot towards the American Carrier, but it was only 1,500 yards away. Is that a violation of International Law? The Iranians did announce it over the radio, so it wasn’t a surprise attack. Do you, Shoshana know if that is legal under the Laws of Navigation, Laws of the Sea?

Bryen:  Firing ballistic missiles in international waterways is frowned upon by the international community. It doesn’t really matter if they announced it or didn’t announce it; to put a missile like that out there in international waters is a violation of common sense among other things. So, no, it is not an act of war, it’s not that they were firing at the Harry S. Truman in order to start a war with us. However, it also does not comport with the way countries normally do business. So, it should have concerned us. What it really is was another test by the Iranians, “What can we do and what will they say?”

Bates:  They can do anything and we will do nothing. Do you see a connection, Shoshana, between the North Korean Nuclear Program and the Iranian Nuclear Program?

Bryen:  There is a very definite connection. That connection has been uncovered for a long time. For example, when Israel bombed a reactor site in Syria, there were people who were killed who were North Korean scientists. The North Koreans built that facility, the Iranians paid for it. It was meant to be outside Iran in the hopes that nobody would touch it. Actually, it made it easier to get rid of it because it was in Syria. Notwithstanding, it was a North Korean/Iranian joint center.

Bates:  Is there any danger that the Iranians under the JCPOA will simply develop their nuclear capability in North Korea and then just ship the missiles home when they need them?

Bryen:  That has been a theory for a long time. That North Korea is actually the testing grounds for Iranian capabilities. It wouldn’t surprise me. No, I don’t think we have specific evidence of it.

Bates:  No evidence but certainly a possibility.

Bryen:  Certainly a possibility. The North Koreans need money more than anything else. Iran has it and they are willing to spend it on that program, I would be shocked if they weren’t doing it.

Bates:  Jerry, what about the documentary on PBS Frontline on Benjamin Netanyahu. Do you see that and if so, what did you think of it?

Gordon:  Yes, I saw it. I thought it was kind of contrived. However, in retrospect, I think the presentation probably overcame many of the extreme left wing speakers in Israel and even here in the United States. There were two episodes in the documentary that were disturbing. One had to do with an event that was held in Tel Aviv at which Bibi appeared to a throng of protestors in Tel Aviv and the second were comments which I think had been subsequently denied by Martin Indyk, the former US. Ambassador to Israel. He was a Special Aide to the Obama Administration in negotiations before he left in 2013 and those comments were alleged to have occurred between Indyk and Bibi at Rabin’s funeral, and I think those were the most disturbing. Shoshana and Dan, do you have any comments about that?

Bryen: Let me just comment on the Indyk incident that was alleged to have happened. Martin Indyk said that sitting next to him at Rabin’s funeral was Bibi and Bibi leaned over to him and said something like, “it’s too bad Rabin is dead because now he will be a martyr and when he’s a martyr he will make it harder for the right and it’s going to cost me votes.” Indyk said directly to the camera that Netanyahu had told him that. As it turns out, there is photographic evidence from Rabin’s funeral that they weren’t sitting together. That part of the story fell apart and Indyk’s response to that was, “Oh well maybe it happened somewhere else.” So, I think it is pretty clear that comment was put into Bibi’s mouth directly by Martin Indyk. I don’t want to say that he lied, but he lied. So that should give you an idea what was going on in that segment.

Gordon:  Dan, you had comments about Bibi?

Diker:  A couple of things. Martin Indyk was a two time US Ambassador to Israel and he made his disdain for center right wing politics in Israel very clear. That is a very questionable position for an ambassador to take, commenting and intervening in the internal polices of the country in which they are situated. There were a number of examples of Ambassador Indyk doing that in Israel. That was one example of what we have seen over the last 20 years from Ambassador Indyk. The other was what you mentioned, Jerry, in the Frontline documentary was Netanyahu’s alleged incitement. The context for that was in the days preceding the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. It was shown to be false, that Netanyahu incited the protesters. Netanyahu did not incite the public he was attempting to calm the crowds below and to hold a civil discourse. In fact, it has also been revealed which may be a surprise to our American friends, that Israel internal security services had actually put up some of the posters that violently portrayed former Prime Minister Rabin in Arab keffiyeh, trying to liken him to an image of Arafat. That was shown to be a setup by political activists. Talk about political warfare, political activitism by Israel’s left. This will go down in history as a very internally, civilly violent period by the left towards the center right and the right in Israel. It actually had nothing to do with Netanyahu’s alleged incitement. It was in fact a staged political event by the left wing political sector of Israeli society. It is a rather shameful episode and all too misunderstood in the West.

Bates:  Dan, I’ve got to ask the question because I think it’s important. How do you see the Israeli-American relationship and for terrorism around impacting the U.S. election cycle.

Diker:  Middle Eastern terrorism, the global jihad, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas, and others in radical Islam, and Iran will be a major American election issue. Israel is leading the Western counter-attack against radical Islam in the Middle East. I think all of the candidates frankly recognize that and I do think we’re going to see a major shift away from the current White House strategy and treatment of Israel.

Bates:  Foreign Policy and National Security, the Republicans win. Domestic Policy and Welfare the Democrats win.

Bryen:  Dan was making a point that terrorism within the United States raises the threat level in the eyes of the American public. That is not a political statement and it’s very true. I think that the President has told us that we have nothing to worry about. However, for very good reasons the American people believe we do. And, that’s going to be an argument. The President says “no, no it’s fine, it’s no problem’ and the people here say “Hey wait a minute, what about this killings, what about the killing over there? What about the attacks on military recruiting centers?” 2015 was a banner year for arresting and trying domestic terrorists, all of whom happen to have been Muslims.

Bates:  We will see where it leads and I’m certain we will have this conversation again many times before the November 8th election. Thanks so much for joining us, Gordon, Senior Editor of the New English Review and its blog The Iconoclast, Bryen, Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center in Washington and Diker, Head of the Political Warfare Program of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Turkey: Why Muslim Nations Shouldn’t be Part of NATO

With NATO member Turkey’s recent downing of a Russian aircraft sparking fears of WWIII, a rather politically incorrect question needs to be asked: should a Muslim nation have NATO membership?

Having a country as part of the NATO alliance is no small matter. Since an attack on one member nation is considered an attack on all, an escalation of the Russian-Turk crisis resulting in military action against Turkey by Russia could, conceivably, lead to a WWIII. This is why it’s imperative that NATO members be rational actors.

As to this, I have a theory about the shoot-down of the Russian plane. It’s just a theory, and admittedly it’s “probably” not the explanation in this case. Yet I think it’s worthy of consideration, especially since it could be a factor — and a profoundly dangerous one — at some point in the future.

When Turkey was admitted to NATO in 1952, the Cold War was ramping up and the nation was relatively secular. Today, however, it’s well known that Turkey has been Islamizing and that its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is an Islamic supremacist. Also note that Turkey was the location of the last great Islamic caliphate, the Ottoman Empire. And some think,that just as Benito Mussolini wanted to resurrect the glories of the Roman Empire, Erdoğan and others want to reclaim the far more recent Ottoman dominance.

Now, let’s say you’re an Islamic supremacist regime leading an Islamizing nation. Let’s say that, as is par for that course, you believe the whole Earth should be conquered for Islam and have an apocalyptic world view. You look at the geopolitical scene and see a decrepit, secularizing West on one side, a place that itself is being Islamized as it slowly descends into irrelevancy. And opposing this you see Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the only remaining major nation unapologetically Christian,a nation that has rejected the West’s destructive leftist agenda (Putin himself, whether it’s principle or posturing, has served notice that Russia is willing to be Christianity’s standard bearer).

Before elaborating further, it must be emphasized that an Islamic apocalyptic world view is so foreign to most Westerners that they can’t even conceive of it. As to this, however, it has been said that if former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had supreme decision-making power in his land, he would “sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel.” Remember, we’re dealing with adherents who frequently blow themselves up in an effort to take just a few non-believers with them. And with this suicide/homicide-bomber mentality so prevalent, it does follow that, sometime, somewhere, it would have to penetrate into Muslim halls of government.

So let’s say this is your mindset. Is it unfathomable to think you might want to start a war between the Christian and secular “infidels”? Might you not hope that Russia would be destroyed or at least neutered and that the already waning West, in a Pyrrhic victory’s wake, would be left teetering and all the more susceptible to a hot or cold Muslim takeover?

Even if what resulted wasn’t the sudden rise of the final and greatest caliphate, it’s logical to assume that a WWIII could lead to a new world order. Also realize that most of Dar al-Islam (that apart from Turkey) would most probably sit on the sidelines during such an affair; thus, it would likely emerge stronger relative to the West and the rest than it had been before. Turkey, of course, would take it on the chin as part of NATO. But what does that matter to a “half my country for Allah” type?

Also note that it wouldn’t have to be the Turkish regime’s official policy to spark such a war for the action in question to be taken; rogue elements within the government or military could be enough. And regardless of how it all shook out, wouldn’t the prospect of getting the “infidels” to kill each other be very attractive to a suicide-homicide-vest type? All it means for the Muslim “collateral damage” is that a lot of men get their 72 virgins far sooner. And given that jihadists have sacrificed themselves for the sake of killing just a few non-believers, what kind of an appeal do you think wiping out millions of them would hold?

Once again, the aforementioned is just a theory, and an unlikely explanation, insofar as the downing of the Russian plane goes. But how likely or unlikely is it that it could be a factor in the future? All we need is just one apocalyptic jihadist at the right nation’s helm.

There are two Islamic countries in NATO, Turkey and Albania. The latter is only 58 percent Muslim and a quarter irreligious, yet even it spawns some terrorists. And is having Muslim nations in NATO much like having Muslim individuals in the West? Is it just a matter of time before one of them takes up the sword for Allah?

Of course, many will scoff. It’s important here, however, not to fall victim to that common human failing of mirroring, when we project our own values, priorities and mindset onto others. As Michael Caine’s character explained in the film The Dark Knight, “[S]ome men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasonedor negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

And some men want to burn it to buy the promise of Paradise.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwinDuke.com.

Putin: Turkish leadership purposefully supports Islamization of country

Putin has also accused Erdogan of being an “accomplice of terrorists.” Hard to deny that.

Turkey’s rapid re-Islamization under Erdogan has been documented by Robert Spencer here at Jihad Watch for a decade or more now. For Putin to target Turkey’s Islamist shift demonstrates yet again the Russian leader’s clarity and toughness, as juxtaposed with the West’s politically correct myopia and ineptitude.

Think back to June 2013, when Putin blasted Obama and Cameron for supporting so-called “moderates” in Syria, who were shown on video eating the organs of their slain enemies. Or his equally strong rejection of Western military intervention in Syria. Or his call to the West to unite in defending persecuted Christians in the Middle East and Africa. And of course his recent UN address, when he castigated the Western leaders responsible for the rise of ISIS and the refugee crisis, shaming them with the question, “Do you realize what you have done?”

For those who might be concerned, based on his remarks below that Islam is “a great world religion,” that Putin is becoming soft on the jihad threat, recall that Putin does not hesitate to employ decisive use of power when required to shut down the Islamic threat. A prime example is the rounding up of 300 Muslim jihadists at a prayer meeting in 2013. Can you imagine anything like that happening in America? Certainly not under the current administration.

Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet — which at least one analyst believes was premeditated  — locks it squarely in Russia’s cross-hairs, and its rapid re-Islamization only makes the bulls-eye even larger.

“Putin: Turkish Leadership purposefully supports Islamization of Country,” TASS via Pravoslavie, November 25, 2015:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the current leadership of Turkey purposefully supports the country’s Islamization. “The problem is not in the tragedy we faced yesterday (the Su-24 incident), the problem is much deeper,” the Russian leader told reporters. “We see — and not only we, I assure you that the entire world sees that — that the current leadership of Turkey has been for a number of years pursuing a purposeful policy of support and the Islamization of the country.”

Putin noted that Islam was a great world religion, which was one of the traditional religions, including in Russia. “We ourselves support Islam and will continue doing so, but the point at issue is the support of a more radical branch. And that in itself creates a very unfavorable environment, the atmosphere that one cannot see at first sight,” Putin said.

Russian nationals staying in Turkey may be facing serious danger, the Russian president warned.

“After yesterday’s event, we cannot rule out other incidents and if they happen, we will have to respond somehow. Our citizens in Turkey can, certainly, be in serious danger,” Putin said, adding that he supported Foreign Ministry recommendations urging Russians not to visit Turkey.

“After such tragic events as the downing of our plane and the pilot’s death, this is a forced measure and the Foreign Ministry is right to warn our nationals of the dangers,” Putin said.

Putin’s words follow the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet on Tuesday morning. Ankara claims the Russian warplane had violated Turkey’s air space while the Russian Defence Ministry says the Su-24 was flying above Syria.

Both pilots ejected but one was killed by gunfire from the ground. The other was rescued by Russian and Syrian forces and brought to Russia’s air base in the area.

Russia’s Federal Tourism Agency has asked the country’s tour operators to suspend selling holiday packages to Turkey. Some 10,000 Russian vacationers are currently there.

RELATED ARTICLE: Video: U.S.-backed Syrian “moderates” scream “Allahu akbar” over body of downed Russian pilot

The Toll of WWIII — From Stalin to Putin

Well known and highly respected journalist O’Reilly has surprised me while talking with Ben Carson on his show 9.17.15. O’Reilly said that he did not remember any government that declared a war on us and we did not remove that government. It was a wrong statement. Unfortunately, Mr. O’Reilly is not alone, he has a big company of others thinking alike. Perhaps, none of them has never heard about the current WWIII and Soviet Fascism, about which, I have been writing for the last twenty years. I have to show how wrong they are and prove it.

Some History of Communism

Communists, beginning with Karl Marx, have never hidden their major agenda—destruction of capitalism and creation of a Socialist State. Marx openly called for revolution and determined the leadership in the revolution—proletariat, which is the low poor class with nothing to lose “besides their chains.” Several revolutions in a freedom loving Europe had not succeeded in the 19th century. After the October Socialist Revolution 1917, Stalin had changed this formula and established the totalitarian regime, we called Stalinism in the 20th century.

 Islam and the Muslim Culture in Stalin’s Biography

At this point, I have to repeat the major factors of Stalin’s bio:

First, and the most important was his upbringing within a Muslim culture. Though, he was a student (a dropout) of an Orthodox Christion Seminary, his love and knowledge of Islam was a chief cause in the formation of a totalitarian regime in Russia. A dogmatic Marxist, he however, saw the inability of the Communist ideology to conquer the world without the help of Islam. His trip to Iran through a porous borders had fostered his idea to bring together the Communist ideology and Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood had presented that opportunity and Stalin acted accordingly making the Muslin Brotherhood a politburo of Islam functioning from Moscow. Later, Arafat was recruited by two members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

As you know, Stalin was obsessed with the chess-game, which helped him to calculate far ahead a particular way of actions. Knowing a never ending war between Sunnis and Shias, he planned to involve the West into that never ending conflict and finely to defeat Western civilization. The events after WWI and an arrogant behavior of the victorious Europe rearranging the map of the Middle East, had given him a precedent for the future actions. Islam, with its permission to lie for political advancement, had made Stalin a savvy politician and an extraordinary intriguer to create a political system based on a fraud. It was Stalin, who invented a marriage of Communism and Islam

Second, and no less important, is Stalin’s ability to see and understand that capitalism is very productive, well managed, and its military might cannot be kept up by the Soviet military. Hence, the main idea of replacing capitalism by Socialism had required a different approach to the matter. There are several other aspects of history that could’ve plaid a role… It is a national Russian Empyreal Impulse that coincided with Stalin’s agenda. Besides, as a student of the Russian Orthodox Seminar, he learned about the founder of the Illuminati Society and their methods. A founder of the Order of the Illuminati secret society Adam Weishaupt a German philosopher, in order to spread his ideas was sending his emissaries to different countries to implement his teachings. Stalin had completely absorbed the method and to implement it built the mighty intelligence apparatus called the KGB.

putin obamaAsymmetrical War Runs under the Supervision of the KGB

I have already dedicated many pages to the history of the KGB, its main factions and its significance within the Stalinist regime. As a matter of fact, Stalin had two major tasks for fostering the KGB: a watch dog for the loyalty to the government system within the country and to spread and implement Stalin’s teachings to the outside world. The entire country was under total control by the KGB. Like a dark cloud the fear to speak entered every human dwelling and the Houses of Worship; people were afraid of each other to communicate. We, the former citizen of the Socialist countries will never forget the fear and intimidation we all went through. We called the KGB—the Organs. Read Chapter 4, And Evil is Alive and Well, What is Happening to America?

For this reason, I also gave you the list of tools, devises, methods and tricks, the entire modus operandi used by the KGB. In the last several columns, I paid a special attention to Political Correctness, as the only one of the methods used by KGB. I focused your attention on recruitment and infiltration for a reason—those two are the main components of WWIII. I tried to expose the list of all the tricks and devises of Stalin’s teachings in my books, I hope you also remember a creation of a Soviet style leaders in the outside world. But the list of tools is so long and constantly developed by Stalin’s devoted disciples of the KGB that it will take the intelligence apparatus to follow it. The devoted disciples are Andropov and Putin.

Yet, to comprehend better the nature and essence of WWIII, let me give you again the document proving my statement. It is a decision of the Soviet Defense Council in 1955, which was the first formal Soviet document declaring the war on Western civilization .Please, remember, the document had been written under the control of the KGB. It reveals the launch of narcotics trafficking against the bourgeoisie and especially against the American capitalists as a sub-component of a global strategy:

“Soviet strategy for revolutionary war is a global strategy… narcotics strategy is a sub-component of this global strategy… First was the increased training of leaders for the revolutionary movements—the civilian, military, and intelligence cadres. The founding of Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow is an example of one of the early actions taken to modernize the Soviet revolutionary leadership training. The second step was the actual training of terrorists. Training for international terrorism actually began as ‘fighters for liberation.’…The third step was international drug and narcotics trafficking. Drugs were incorporated into the revolutionary war strategy as a political and intelligence weapon to use against the bourgeois society and as a mechanism for recruiting agents of influence around the world.” You can read the entire document in my column titled Agents of Influence, the name given to the moles by the above mentioned document.

The document projects the future aggressive criminal activities, yet, it was formed on the background of a real war. After Stalin completed the creation of the Chinese Communist State in 1949, he gave an order to a Soviet General Staff to plan a Korean war that began in 1950. You know the result. But…this vicious aggressive circle has never been stopped, then it was Vietnam, Cambodia where the Soviet military actively participated. And the waves of the misfortunate Asians have streamed out to Europe and America asking for the asylum. In 1956 the Communist Hungary asked for the Russian “help” and the tanks had drownd freedom in Hungary. Then the Russian tanks had killed the Prague Spring in1968 and again, the people from Europe asked now for asylum in America. Don’t you think that asymmetrical war, waged by Russia was started many years ago?

Finishing with freedom in Asia and Europe, Stalinist devoted disciples moved to the Middle East with the same formula bequeathed by Stalin. Papa Assad in Syria, had already been recruited by the time and a new name came to life–Arafat, leading a so-called Liberation Movement. I have already dedicated many pages to this fake, dangerous, military movement in the Middle East. The Stalinist design has never been changed, but developed in coherence with the time and current events in the world.  As usual the KGB was playing the crucial role—Andropov and Putin had followed Stalin’s design to our time. Now we are dealing with Iran, the next satellite of Russia and the biggest sponsor of International terrorism and a friend of Assad in Syria.

Look at the map of the Middle East and you will see a knot created for several decades by Russia. As I have already warned you before, I expect Russia and Iran will fight in Syria to secure Assad, who has already asked Russia for help. But Russia’s agenda is much wider and more threatening in the Middle East than it is seen at the first glance. What do you think, why does Russia bring anti-aircraft missiles to Syria? ISIS doesn’t have any air forces? The coalition lead by America has. Do you know why Russia brings fighter-jets to Syria?  Why is Syria’s airport occupied by Russian planes and helicopters? It is a strategic diversion to establish a real Russian military presence on the Mediterranean by a military base in Syria. Do not forget Putin is playing a geopolitical-chess game with the world and your lives.

That tells you a lot. Russia’s agenda is that of turning the Middle East into the battlefield against Israel the way Stalin had bequeathed it being an extreme anti-Semite.

The Consequences of ‘Checking Out’: America’s absent strategy as Syria collapses

The Syrian conflict has taken many unpredictable turns over its terrible four years. But the developments this week are some of the most concerning so far.

Syria has always been not only a domestic civil war but also a place where regional powers have struggled with each other to promote and prop up their own interests. This seemed to be tolerable to much of the West when the countries vying with each other in Syria were Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Gulf States and others. But the arrival of Russia in an open, rather than covert, manner changes things completely.

Because Russia is now openly involved and engaged in seeing the civil war to the end they have always wanted, and just as Turkey has used air strikes purportedly against Isis to in fact engage in their war against the Kurdish PKK, so Russia, under the guise of pursuing Isis, has clearly been carrying out its own sectarian, pro-Assad business.

In all of this America has been not so much a bit player as an absent player. The most powerful military on earth appears to be barely semi-engaged. This is a simple result of the fact that US political will is disengaged. It does not help that some American lawmakers now propose jumping in as though out of pique – an ‘everyone else is engaged so why shouldn’t we be’ attitude. The problem is not being ‘left out’. The problem is having no strategy.

The situation we now see in Syria is a demonstration of what happens when America checks out. The one hour notice that the Russians gave the Americans before bombing  spoke volumes: the diplomatic equivalent of a courtesy call. But the answer to the pile-in in Syria is not to join it to no end. The answer is to weigh up our military alternatives based on a clear set of political aims. Some Americans may be tired of being the world’s policemen. But leaving the job to the Russians is not an option.


mendozahjs

FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK

It’s been a while since I have been able to say this in an international affairs context, but British pride and acknowledgement of doing the right thing have been restored this week courtesy of an extraordinary exchange between Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama at the United Nations.

Chairing the the U.N. Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism, Mr Obama stated “Violent extremism is not unique to any one faith, so no one should ever be profiled or targeted simply because of their faith.” Only to find that Mr Cameron was pugnacious in response, agreeing with the basic premise but then calling out the President for not naming the biggest problem in this regard today: “Barack, you are quite right, that every religion has its extremists, but we have to be frank that the biggest problem we have today is the Islamist extremist violence that has given birth to ISIL, to Al Shabaab to Al Nusra, Al Qaeda and so many other groups.”

Nor was Cameron finished there. Speaking about the linear development for those who progressed from extremism to acts of terrorism, he continued “They have extremist views and an extremist mindset before they make that final decision to be an extremist terrorist. We have to stop this process at the start, not at the end. We also need to challenge the extremist worldview right at the very start.” This even elicited a response from Obama, who agreed that “violent extremism is emerging out of an extremist worldview that has to be counteracted.”

We should not under-estimate the significance of these comments. Firstly, they indicate that the path which Mr Cameron entered on before the summer – of identifying Islamist extremism as being as much a problem of extremist ideology as extremist violence – is one that he intends to continue taking.

But that as importantly, by taking the lead so publicly on this issue when the US President demurred and then having had some impact on his thinking, Mr Cameron gives us hope that where Britain leads, the US may yet follow. Our disastrous counter-extremism policy of the mid 2000s was emulated across the Atlantic, so why not a more promising variant, particularly as a change of US administration looms in 2016?

Whatever the future, I can assure you that one thing will remain not subject to chance. Just as HJS has spent the past few years raising awareness of the threat Islamist extremism poses to our societies and worldwide, you can be certain that we will spend the next few helping those leaders determined to make policy changes to find the best way of doing so.

Dr Alan Mendoza is Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society
Follow Alan on Twitter: @AlanMendoza

RELATED ARTICLE: The Moscow-Washington-Tehran Axis Of Evil

Dealing with Putin: “Bomb Assad; Arm Ukraine”

Dr. Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar at the Washington, DC, American Enterprise Institute will be one of our guests on the Lisa Benson Show, Sunday, October 4th. He is the author of Dancing with the Devil:  the Perils of Engaging with Rogue RegimesWe published both a review of Dancing with the Devils and an interview with Rubin in the March 2014 New English Review. The introduction to our interview noted:

We met Rubin in 2005 when he returned to Yale to discuss his experience as a former Pentagon official on Iran and Iraq who also served as a political advisor to the Provisional Coalition Authority. He spoke about the emergence of the nuclear Iran threat under the “reformist” regime in Tehran led by Ayatollah Khatami. See Rubin’s background and blog at the AEI website, here and here. Our interview with Rubin ranged across an array of prevailing issues. Among these are the Iranian nuclear and ICBM threat and Putin’s great game of one sided politics in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He also addressed Pakistan’s tolerance of terrorism and the lack of US support for the Kurds in both Iraq and Syria. He criticized the folly of the Administration’s support of Turkey under Premier Erdogan and the folly of its lead in the Final Status negotiations with the Palestinians imperiling Israel’s security.

As regards Putin and his current demarche to the Administration in Syria this exchange with Rubin from our interview illustrates how clear-eyed was his response:

Gordon:  How dangerous to American interests is Russian President Putin’s great game strategy in the Middle East?

Rubin:  Very. The problem is that Americans tend to see diplomacy as a means to compromise, a win-win solution. However, Putin sees international relations as a zero-sum game in which for Russia to win, everyone else must lose. When Neville Chamberlain goes up against Machiavelli, Machiavelli wins.

Rubin published in Commentary Magazine on October 2, 2015 some prescriptions on how to deal with Putin, “Bomb Assad; Arm Ukraine”.  Doubtless President Obama would aver, given his White House press conference yesterday.

Note what Obama said in response to a question from CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett regarding his former Secretary of State and Democrat presidential hopeful, Hillary’s Clinton’s change of heart on Syria in this Breitbart News report:

President Obama found himself in a bit of a conundrum after he denounced critics of his Syria policy as being full of “mumbo jumbo” and “half-baked ideas.”

In response, CBS reporter Major Garrett questioned Obama whether Hillary Clinton’s proposal to enforce a no-fly zone in Syria was a half-baked idea.

“Hillary Clinton is not half-baked in terms of her approach to these problems,” Obama said carefully, reminding reporters she served in his administration as Secretary of State.

But Obama pointed out that Clinton’s rhetoric on Syria is merely campaign rhetoric.

“I also think that there’s a difference between running for president and being president,” he said carefully, pointing out that he was having specific discussions with his military advisors about the right way forward in Syria.

“If and when she’s president, then she’ll make those judgments and she’s been there enough that she knows that, you know, these are tough calls,” he said.

Clinton broke with the White House on Syria, calling for a “no-fly zone” in Syria to protect Syrian citizens in an interview with a Boston TV station on Thursday.

dr michael rubin

Dr. Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute.

Here is what Rubin wrote in his Commentary column, “Bomb”:

Russia’s deployment to Syria — and its decision to bomb almost exclusively — more moderate Syrians and those who have received U.S. assistance has thrown down the gauntlet. It’s not just a matter of Syria, anymore. Vladimir Putin is showing the world President Obama’s impotence, and convincing every U.S. ally across the globe from Egypt to Estonia and from Kenya to Korea that they would have to be crazy to cast their lot with the United States.

Putin has pushed the line repeatedly and received little resistance, beyond a cute plastic button offered by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Russian forces invaded Georgia without consequence. They cheated on the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and faced no consequence. Indeed, Ellen Tauscher, the chief U.S. negotiator of the subsequent “New START” Treaty and a top Hillary Clinton aide, ended up going into partnership with a Kremlin-funded think tank while at the Atlantic Council. No wonder that, with such lack of seriousness emanating from Washington, Putin figured he could get away with murder in the Ukraine. To date, the Kremlin has faced little consequence for its actions beyond a smattering of sanctions. In the process of these outrages, Moscow demonstrated that the Budapest Memorandum in which the United States, among others, gave Kiev security guarantees wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

There’s an irony here, of course, when it comes to the White House conception of credibility: Obama’s team shrugged off commitments to the Ukraine by insisting that the Budapest Memorandum was an agreement and not a treaty and so wasn’t sacrosanct. However, talk about walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the so-called Iran deal, which is an agreement and not a treaty, and the White House and State Department insists that its terms must be observed with the entirety of U.S. credibility at stake.

Regardless, what is clear is that the White House has consistently misjudged Putin. There are two possibilities as to why Obama and Kerry fell into Putin’s trap: Either there has been a massive intelligence failure at the Central Intelligence Agency with regard to Putin’s outlook and intentions, or Obama and Kerry simply ignored what they were being told. Either way, in an atmosphere where accountability mattered, there would be resignations, either at the CIA or at the top of the State Department.

So what to do to restore credibility? There really is no option other than the military: Russian planes bomb targets close to those forces aligned with the United States? Then U.S. forces should bomb Syrian targets close to the Assad regime. A U.S. general in Iraq might give the Russian embassy there an hour’s notice to de-conflict. Kerry might be under the delusion that Assad can be worked with, but that simply shows how out-of-touch he is with the situation in Syria: He long ago passed the point of no return. Assad’s presence in Syria has become the chief recruiting tool for the Islamic State.

At the same time, it’s essential to arm the Ukrainians with enough lethal goods to help them roll back Russian proxies and send Russian forces home in body bags. That might not be the style of diplomacy to which Obama and Kerry adhere, but both are naïve if they think diplomacy means simply talking at the table absent any leverage or the threat of worse to come. Putin must realize that there is real cost to his course of action. If he isn’t stopped in Syria, ultimately he will have to be stopped in the Baltics, and that will be a far more tragic outcome for all sides.

The Lisa Benson Show will air Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 4PM EDT, 3PM CDT, 2PM MDT, 1PM PDT and 11PM in IsraelListen live to the Lisa Benson Radio Show for National Security on KKNT 960The Patriot or use SMARTPHONE iHEART App: 960 the Patriot.  Lisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon will co-host this show.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Soviet Fascism in the 21st Century: Knowledge is Power

July 2015 brought additional chaos to the world community: Greece is about to leave the EU, Iran rushes to join the club of nuclear nations, and the Islamic State widens its territory. The cause is WW III against Western civilization, designed, coordinated, and marketed by the Kremlin. Terrorism today, as the integral part of WW III, it is present in all continents. The Islamic State is not an exclusive threat, it is a personification of all terrorist groups, a Muslim Brotherhood institution and they have already infiltrated every state of America. Regrettably, the Republicans are timid, toothless, and demoralized. They do not have a political strategy to successfully fight Soviet Fascism. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are very week and incompetent leaders. At the same time, the Democrats have no new ideas or political strength—their strength is the Republican’s incompetence and the Democrats are using it to ruin every parts of our society and the American Republic as a whole.

The Democrat’s Leadership

The leadership of the Democratic Party has been adhered to the ideology of Socialism or Soviet Fascism for the last several decades, therefore, without the knowledge of the ideology the Republicans can’t expose the Democrats. (See the preceding parts 22 and 23). The Republicans unfortunately have forgoten what W. Churchill said about Socialism many years ago and he was right. He identified it the best. “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” There are 55% of young unsatisfied people, who are ready to leave the country. Republicans are missing a boat full of youngsters of all different nationalities and races. The Republican Party should move rapidly towards this people, in order to educate and arm them with the knowledge of our biggest enemy—Soviet Fascism.

I have been warning you about Obama since 2008 when I first saw and heard him; please, read pp. 310-316 and Epilogue of my book titled: What is Happening to America?  You will find an interesting description and my prediction for the future of America.  For the last eight years I have been screaming in my articles about Obama’s treasonous activities and collaboration with our enemies, especially with Russia and Iran. Alas! No response. Finally, a couple of days ago, I read something that gave me some hope:

Ret. General Drops Bombshell: Obama Should Be Arrested For This ‘Treasonous Activity,’ Western Journalism, June 28, 2015

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Paul E. Vallely stated recently during a radio interview that President Obama should be “arrested for treasonous activities.” Vallely, while a guest on the Real Side radio program earlier this month, stated above anything else that Obama should be held accountable for his sympathies for the Muslim Brotherhood in particular and his actions regarding the Benghazi tragedy. The retired general said one group that should hold the president’s feet to the fire are high-ranking members of the military. “I’m tired of the deceit, the lies, the deception of this administration,” Vallely told Real Side.

We know today what made General Valley tired. It is Political Correctness, which   is the crux of the matter, because Political Correctness is a major psychological manipulation of the human mind invented by Stalin to cover-up the truth of a criminal intent. We the former citizens of the Socialist countries remember all of that. To indoctrinate us in the Stalinist ideology, an arsenal of different devices was used: lies, fraud, deceit, distortion, and fabrication, perjury, and so on to cover-up the crimes committed and substitute the promising result with a process…

Political Correctness is a Stalinist policy, driven by the political agenda, a skillfully crafted design and a long-term strategy of war against Western civilization and creation of One World Government.

Genera Valley is right and a recent framework for the Iranian nukes is a vivid evidence in continuation of Obama’s usual policy of retreat on behalf of Russia. Obama is giving Iran the time to develop the nuclear bomb, fully aware of a close dealing of Iran and Russia for the last decades. It was Russia who has already built the first nuclear reactor in Iran, let alone the Revolutionary Guard crated by Russian KGB. I suspect that with the secret help of Russia or North Korea, Iran is very close to have 1-2 nuclear bombs today and that qualifies Obama’s activities as “Treasonous”.

In the past, I purposely gave you a complete article describing PC and the creator of the fraud by the Evil genius of Stalin. It was PC that help Obama to give Putin time to complete the development of ISIS, it was Obama who gave Putin the opportunity to destabilize Libya, by using PC that confused the people and covered-up his criminal intent. Unfortunately, Obama is not alone in radical alliances with Putin, today a good example of using PC by defrauding EU is a Socialist Greece.

The default of Greece was not a surprise. For the last five years Greece had been living in debt, unable to pay its creditors. All these years the Socialist government of Greece was cheating, lying, and covering-up negative data. It was done in the best traditions of Stalinism, using all attributes of Stalin’s Political Correctness. As Maggie Thatcher said:  “Socialism is good until you run out of other people’s money.”  Greece is yet another example of socialism…By its ideology Greece is tied up to the Kremlin as well as to all actors of other fronts in WW III. If you check Greece’s connection to the Russian government, you’ll find a few intriguing components of it, among them Putin’s promises to build a pipe line to Europe through Greece, which is cutting off Ukraine from the oil business. Greece is Moscow’s satellite like Iran is.

We are watching a political theater with Obama playing a prime role, while Russia is behind both cases. They are both designed to buy time for preparing something nefarious, plotting by Russia in the realm of a global project. It can be a market crises or something in this affect. I have no crystal ball to predict the design, but if you know Stalinism and Soviet Fascism you can imagine and conceive it. We can expect the Obama’s usual delays in all cases tie to Russia. Please, remember: WWIII has many fronts and to win it, Knowledge is a Must.

It was 2008, when I was completing an above mentioned book, Chapter 7, I have entitled WWIII: Recruitment and Drugs, Infiltration, and Assassinations. I did it for many different reasons, the main one to show the enormous extend of the territory covered and affected by WWIII. Even more than that, it also was a desire to show the inextricable connection of harm done to both American domestic and foreign policies. The situation has not changed in 2015 and the absence of needed knowledge is damaging America today more evidently than ever.

Some events today present indisputable evidence of how the Democratic Party in cahoots with “agents of influence” is fighting the Republican Party. Look at Donald Trump—he “dared speak a truth in an age of lies.” You will see now the agents of influence in all sphere of our society, including the financial sector, which has been activated like a pack of furious dogs against Donald Trump and the Republicans. It happened before your eyes, but you do not know the Stalin’s handwritings to recognize it. We, the former citizens of the Socialist States see very clearly his policy of personal destruction and the menacing and intimidating features of Stalinist regime in America.

I’d like to offer a kind of explanation of how Political Correctness was infiltrated on the American soil and became a Mighty Weaponry for the Left. I trust the author of this piece, he is a witness of the American life. Here you are:

“Back in 1969 a group of Black Panthers decided that a fellow Black Panther named Alex Rackley needed to die. Rackley was suspected of disloyalty. Rackley was first tied to a chair. Once safely immobilized, his friends tortured him for hours by, among other things, pouring boiling water on him.

When they got tired of torturing Rackley, Black Panther member,Warren Kimbro took Rackley outside and put a bullet in his head. Rackley’s body was later found floating in a river about 25 miles north of New Haven, Connecticut. Perhaps at this point you’re curious as to what happened to these Black Panthers?

In 1977, that’s only eight years later, only one of the killers was still in jail. The shooter, Warren Kimbro , managed to get a scholarship to Harvard and became good friends with none other than Al Gore.  He later became an assistant dean at an Eastern Connecticut State College. Isn’t that something!!!  As a ’60s radical you can pump a bullet into someone’s head and a few years later, in the same state, you can become an assistant college dean!

Only in America!!!

Erica Huggins was the woman who served the Panthers by boiling the water for Mr. Rackley’s torture. Some years later Ms. Huggins was elected to a California School Board. How in the world do you think these killers got off so easily? Maybe it was in some part due to the efforts of two people who came to the defense of the Panthers. These two people actually went so far as to shut down Yale University with demonstrations in defense of the accused Black Panthers during their trial.

One of these people was none other than Bill Lan Lee. Mr. Lee, or Mr. Lan Lee, as the case may be, isn’t a college dean. He isn’t a member of a California School Board. He is now head of the United States Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, appointed by none other than Bill Clinton.

O.K, so, who was the other Panther defender?  Is this other notable Panther defender now a school board member? Is this other Panther apologist now an assistant college dean? No, neither!

The other Panther defender was, like Lee, a radical law student at Yale University at the time. She is now known as the “smartest woman in the world.” She is none other than the former Democratic senator from the State of New York —— our former First Lady, and the Secretary of State, the incredible Hillary Rodham Clinton. This deserves the widest possible press. Remember this, when she runs for President !!

And now, as Paul Harvey said; “You know the rest of the story”.

The Plight of Stalinism — Obama/Putin Joint Venture

It is not a simple thing for a normal human being to find the truth in the labyrinth of lies, intrigues, and fraud of Political Correctness. It is very easy for us, who went through the mind-grinder of Socialism. Seven years ago, while completing my third book in 2008, I warned you: “Obama’s victory in 2008 is also a death to America the Beautiful—an incredible harm will be done to our country. Just watch political intimidation of the opposition, the class and psychological warfare, our economy with “reduced capacity,” our schools with new textbooks and our Higher Educational system run by Liberals. Indoctrination of our youth will go with incredible speed! Watch criminal gangs acting under the KGB’s supervision, unexpected shootings a-la Columbine massacre, arsons, and so on. You will see an open season on the Republicans and Conservatives making them “the enemy of the people.” Watch the destruction of our military, intelligence and security agencies from within and other harmful developments. The fight against terrorists around the world will end. Some of them will be welcome to our soil. Moral and psychological degradation of America will stun you!” What is Happening to America? Xlibris, 2012, p.339.

Those who had experienced the regime of Soviet Fascism will recognize and identify it immediately in any other locations. This is the reason I am investigating, reporting and writing about Stalin and Stalinism. Yet, at the time of completing my book, I did not know about Stalin’s quotation I just felt his ideological presence and my duty to warn you. Now please, just interpret the design and prediction made by him after the end of WWII, where the Soviet Union was an ally of America:

“America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.” Joseph Stalin.

There are three major components acknowledged by Stalin; American Patriotism, our morality, and our spiritual life. If you analyses them and the following statement you see a criminal intent in the author’s mind—the negative outcome is the desire to undermine all three. Don’t you see it in America of 2015? Where is our patriotism? Statistics show 55 per cent of unsatisfied young people planning to leave America. Our morality is at its lowest level during the Obama’s regime. Our spiritual life has been attacked 24/7, just look at the constant war against Christianity going on today. Maybe now you have a better understanding of the ubiquitous WWIII and the variety of incredible forces waging it.

Yet, there is another caveat in Stalin’s words to be analyzed closely. And again look attentively at the quotation, the words constitute a manual or protocol for WWIII—the target, agenda, and a strategy to achieve it. If you add to this Stalin’s chess-geopolitics, you will see a big picture of WWIII. Stalin died in 1953, his will, as usual was directed to the Soviet Academy of Science and the Soviet Military to research the order and produce the instructions. As a result we have a familiar to you study that was approved by the Soviet Defense Council in 1955 (part 20). And the Army of Terror had been born. I have already listed almost all of the components of the Army of Terror, including Agents of Influence, if you remember, Soul Alinsky was one of them. There are many other people in this category known to you. Yet, I did not expect them to infiltrate the U.S. Supreme Court.

The recent two Rulings of the Supreme Court attest to that. Justices of the Supreme Court have become the Legislators. Those Decisions of the court have stunned me, especially a legalization of “gay marriage.” For me it is a very strange law, because ‘gay marriage” has nothing to do with law. Marriage is a cultural and theological concept of civilization. Nobody can change it! It belongs to the history of Judeo-Christian philosophy of civilization for 3.000 years of humanity and nobody has a spiritual force to destroy the foundation. Stalin’s ideology has been working for almost 100 years to do it—Catholic Church was the main target of the Soviets inside the country and abroad. The sexual crises decade ago had been one of the fronts of WW III to discredit the Catholic Church.

The decision on “gay marriage” is opening an avenue filled with possibility of different assaults against Christianity. In America it will not work. In the future you will see the failure of this attempt—the legacy of our Founding Fathers will be victorious. I am not alone stunned and disappointed by the Ruling of “gay marriage,” Here is a legal opinion on the Ruling:

Republican Leaders Are Lying To You. Congress CAN Nullify The Lawless Supreme Court Decree That Two Men Can Marry… And They Can Do It Tomorrow! “This news might come as something of a shock to some of you, but Congress has the CLEAR and UNDENIABLE authority and power, under Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States, to NULLIFY the recent lawless decree by five unelected black-robed tyrants that elevates perversion to the status of marriage.” The Western Center for Journalism, July 2, 2015.

In all my writings, I have been trying to show the chief difference between the countries which respect Law and lawless countries. The former Soviet Union, contemporary Russia, and Iran are lawless countries. The respect for law in America made the world to respect us. I love America the Beautiful and want it to stay that way. My hope for the Congress to change the recent wrongs…  By the way, the major task of the Soviets/Russians in the waging WWIII is that to undermine American credibility and make us responsible for the chaos in the world they had created… The policy has been bequeathed by Stalin.

Terrorism—an integral part of WW III

Terrorism is an act of violence to achieve a political result. The hostage crisis in Iran was the first act of global terrorism in 1979. It was executed under the Soviet supervision. You know Kremlin’s political agenda, it is—One World Government. Plus you also know the Soviet/Russian history on the Middle East.  So, let’s make a proper classification of our enemy, put these two together and a big picture of the contemporary world will appear before you—Socialism and Islamism are working hand in hand against Western civilization.  According to a U.S. based Islamic State spokesman from Chicago, who wishes to remain anonymous:

“This decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage is the work of Allah and the Prophet Mohammed, may peace be upon him. Sharia law teaches us that homosexuality is a vile form of fornication, punishable by death. …In the Middle East we throw homosexuals off of roof tops. Unfortunately we do not have very tall buildings in Iraq and Syria. When we throw a homosexual off a roof we must then stone him after he hits the ground.  This takes up a lot of time and Islamic State resources. However, in America there are many tall buildings, such as the new World Trade Center, where we can send these sodomites flying.
We will begin our nationwide campaign to cleanse America of these sodomites during Ramadan 2016. Allah Akbar!”

Islamic State on U.S. Supreme Court Gay Marriage Decision: “It makes it easier for us to target and slaughter them!”

June 27, 2015/in CommentaryPolitical Satire /by Dr. Rich Swier

Let’s go now from satire to reality. There is no need to repeat in detail my statement made in part 23—all terrorist groups with different names, yet, have the same DNA, the same agenda and modus operandi to achieve it. Moreover, ISIS has the smart and well educated people from the former Soviet Security apparatus, some of them have Ph.D. and all of them, including Putin are waging a savvy and very successful propaganda war, Soviet style against the West. Just watch ISIS propaganda online using Facebook and other devices—action speaks lauder then words to manipulate human mind. Unfortunately, this Soviet style propaganda today manipulates us and our intelligence agencies.

The main task of Soviet propaganda is to make America responsible for the chaos in the world, created by them. This is the foremost agenda of Soviet Fascism and our intelligence is missing this central and chief point of WWIII. Immigration is a factor used by Soviet Fascism to infiltrate our soil with agents of influence or simple criminals of all ethnic groups, including the Jihadists to commit sabotage, shootings, and variety of killings. America doesn’t have a viable current law to manage the situation. The Republican Congress lost the whole year due to its lack of knowledge about WWIIi we fight against Soviet Fascism. They do not count a few steps ahead, as Putin does. Look at this information –America agrees with me; GOP COMMITTING SUICIDE BY IGNORING ‘WINNING’ ISSUE’? by GARTH KANT

Polls show Americans overwhelmingly disagree with top leadership.

Published: 20 hours ago by WND

WASHINGTON – The consensus of the political elite is that opposition to immigration, both legal and illegal, is a losing issue for Republicans in 2016 because it would cost them votes. Many GOP analysts believe presidential candidates need to support immigration to get crucial Hispanic votes. But evidence shows opposition to immigration may be a winning issue for the GOP .In fact, it might even help rebuild the Reagan coalition. Read more.

A Catastrophic Stage of American National Security

Knowledge of history and memory of it is the main attribute of the real politics. That is the reason I am constantly reminding you about the Russian history. Alas! Our intelligence is lacking both of them and not only our intelligence.   “Forgetting is one of our survival mechanisms and, thankfully, it works most of the time when dealing with trauma or painful memories. However, forgetting history can yield unpleasant results; while constantly picking and choosing what to remember and what to forget is a disaster.” How Zarqawi’s terror network morphed into ISIS, Octavia Nasr, Tuesday, 1 July 2014

I don’t totally agree with the author, but that exact unpleasant result happened on July 5, 2015, on the Fareed Zaharias show, talking about Al-Zarqawi.

Ahmad Fadhil Nazzal al-Khalaylah, who would later rename himself Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, was once one of the most wanted men in the world, for whose arrest the United States offered a $25 million reward, Al-Zarqawi was a notoriously enigmatic figure—a man who was everywhere and  nowhere at the same time. Reading the article, I was surprised by the striking similarity with another man also a Jihadi leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. For the first time we heard his name at the bloody assassination of the President of Egypt Anwar Sadat in 1981.He was the group leader identified to have ties with al-Qaeda. He was imprisoned for three years, tried and subsequently expelled from Egypt.

Al-Zarqawi was also imprisoned for many years. He would flourish there. It was Al-Zarqawi’s idea to create an Islamic State and unite all Muslims under its banner of Islam and he also had ties with al-Qaeda. Al-Zarqawi controlled not only his followers, but also the ward’s television sets. Don’t you see the striking similarities between the two? Both are extremely brutal and innovating in the issue of killing people. Both were plotting and acting against the West. Look at the life of Al-Zarqawi beyond Afghanistan:

“He may or may not have known that Jordan was about to declare him a suspect in a series of foiled terrorist attacks intended for New Year’s Eve of 1999. The plan, which became known as the “Millennium Plot,” involved the bombing of Christian landmarks and other tourist sites, along with the Radisson Hotel in Amman. Had it succeeded, it would have been Al-Zarqawi’s first involvement in a major terrorist attack.” The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, by MARY ANNE WEAVERJULY/AUGUST 2006 ISSUE

He was often reported dead, only to rise again. In recent years, some even suggested that he didn’t exist at all. The man was hard to distinguish from the myth. He wasn’t religious during that time and only ‘returned’ to Islam three months before coming to Afghanistan. In short, my opinion is the following: Al-Zarqawi is a conduit for the Jihadi transformation from Al-Qaeda to ISIS, a typical Soviet agent of influence.  That exact point was missing in the CNN’s report. If you want to know where the exclusive brutality of ISIS came from, just read the Chapter 4, And Evil is Alive and Well, in What is Happening to America?

National security of America is the key issue for me in reporting about the family of the Clintons for the last twenty-five years. The Clintons have been also identified by other authors in many different ways: Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas, Clinton Cash, WND Editor Joseph Farah called them “AMERICA’S FIRST CRIME FAMILY”. I agree with the last one and my identification was the Clinton Gang for the reason of damaging our national security. As I stated before, an installation of server at Clinton’s home is something extremely unusual and the Clinton connection to Russia is, in my opinion, the most threatening. Listen to this:

“among the 30,000-plus emails deleted by Hillary’s team were notes regarding Benghazi and other Libya-related policies. Hillary used multiple mobile devices to send and receive emails.  …Records prove that Mrs. Clinton used multiple email addresses, including one that her team had explicitly told Congressional investigators did not exist while she was at State.“ Five Lies About Hillary’s Secret Emails, by Guy Benson | TawnHall.com Jul 02, 2015

Yes, the connection to Russia is threatening to me the most, because it is also a connection to Al-Zarqawi and the entire terrorist world. That is the reason for finding out the actual method or manner of communication, used by Hillary and the Clinton Foundation. I still consider the Clinton foundation “the eyes and ears of the Kremlin.” The history of the Clintons goes back to the 1990s and a lot of strange events happened then. Do you remember Mr. Gore, an environmental activist? He sold his business to Al Jazeera. Look at the recent issue from Al Jazeera:

“Qatar-based media company Al Jazeera released a video on its social media site AJ+ mocking Americans as they celebrated American Independence Day.
Not surprisingly, it wasn’t well received in the USA”. By Greg Richter, Sunday, 05 Jul 2015

I don’t trust Bill Clinton, his entire presidency should be deeply investigated, as well as the Obama activities—I don’t trust the leadership of the Democratic Party. To end this article, let me give you a story to grasp the truth about the Party:

In the beginning of the twentieth century, Russian Tsar Nicolas II, gave a substantial sum of money to build the Russian Orthodox Church, St. Nicolas Cathedral, in New York. Approximately at the same time, two young American patriots, of Russian origin, had established the first American-Russian newspaper, Novoye Russkoye Slovo, also in New York. St. Nicolas Cathedral is still functioning on Ninety-Seventh Street, and though the founders of the immigrant’s newspaper died, their bulletin prospers.

In Russia, events followed less peacefully: the Communist’s Cheka had murdered Tsar Nicolas, his wife, and their five children. It was a horrendous killing of innocent people, where blood was pouring like the streams of the river in the tiny basement of the old Russian monastery in Siberia . . . After the execution, the corpses of the Russian royal family were thrown into a pit with hydrochloric acid. I have read a book about the entire ordeal and the man named Yurovsky, who by order from Moscow was responsible for the execution. Finishing his bloody assignment, he got a powerful position to administer the Russian Gold Reserve in Moscow . . .

Approximately at the same time in America, a group of businessmen came to President Wilson with a request to terminate a criminal regime in Russia. They guaranteed a success and asked for $350,000. President Wilson rejected the offer and the criminal regime continued killing in Russia and in the world. Yet the Russian Church on Ninety-Seventh Street persistently disseminated goodness among its people, bringing peace to their souls and so did the American-Russian newspaper telling the truth to the immigrants coming to America. I was among those immigrants . . .

When I came to the Unites States, I spoke no English and read only Russian newspapers. Living in the Bronx, I had to walk several miles to the newsstand selling Russian newspaper. Can you imagine my frustration when I read a small article about President Wilson and his refusal to deal with a regime in Russia in 1918? How many lives could have been saved and how many disasters in the world could’ve been prevented? Alas, it did not happen and murders and assassinations became a landmark of the twentieth century.

For the sake of our children and grandchildren history is responsible for presenting the entire account of killings in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries for the civilized world. The real aggressor must be known, judged, and severely punished. Knowledge is only our savior. I made this excursion to the past to warn you: nothing has changed since in Russia. Not a lot has changed in America either: The Democrat President Wilson has started the retreat of America, the Democrat Barack Obama continued the same retreat a hundred years later and killing of innocent people is going on and on. A compromise is not a dirty word, a compromise with Soviet Fascism constitutes Treason.

To be continued www.simonapipko1.com.

Surprise! Wikileaks Report bears out Year-old Analysis

I sometimes wonder why I bother writing anything but Ruth Hank pie recipes (Mom could have patented some of her recipes, quite honestly). I can’t remember how many times I have reported things that ought to be obvious to everyone with a broad view of world events, and then a year or two later, sure enough, someone else reports essentially the same thingas “news” and everyone acts shocked.

Just for example, last December, I showed that the Chinese RMB (yuan) was destined to challenge the dollar mightily within a very short time. It was a no-brainer. I presented a brief analysis and my translation of an interview with China’s top monetary policy expert who reported, among other things, that RMB clearing centers were popping up all over Europe as well as in Asia. His statements tied in with what I had said earlier about the worldwide dedollarization campaign, which was being absurdly ignored by the most “respected” U.S. media outlets, depriving you of any inkling of what was inevitably coming your way and hence of any chance to prepare for it. But of course, who would trust a news report from a web site without a donate button?

Hence, the world was later shocked to learn that almost every single U.S. ally had abandoned the U.S.-dominated World Bank/IMF in favor of the Chinese investment bank AIIB, despite Obama’s stern warnings. I showed that this was most likely in part a response to the way these agencies bullied Third World countries, denying them any respect whatsoever for their national sovereignties.

But getting back to Wikileaks and the Soros revelations, anyone paying attention to George Soros’ TV interview with Fareed Zakarias in May of 2014 had to know that Soros was at least one of the masterminds of the Maidan armed uprising in Kiev. Especially if they read my analysis of that interview.

Yet most people reading the recent Wikileaks report proving that Soros was in fact virtually the sole mastermind behind that coup are reacting as if said recent report of Soros’ involvement were blockbusting news.

The fact is, Soros gave away his dirty secret in that interview, for example, in this segment from May of 2014, over a year ago:

ZAKARIA: […deletia…] … during the revolutions of 1989 [you] funded a lot of dissident activities, civil society groups in eastern Europe and Poland, the Czech Republic. Are you doing similar things in Ukraine?

SOROS: Well, I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent of Russia. And the foundation has been functioning ever since and played an important part in events now. [my highlighting]

Arch-Neocon Soros also blasts Russia’s Putin in this interview, claiming he “came out of the closet” as a nationalist through his protection of the Russian speakers in Eastern Ukraine. I showed that this was nonsense because, unlike the supranational Satanists like Soros and most Western “national” leaders, Putin instinctively desires to protect his people, in contrast to the US government, which has no clear cut singular purpose at all in its foreign interventions beyond pretending to protect a set of undefined “Western values” and most certainly would never be caught protecting American lives (I later pointed out that the only unifying aspect of US foreign and military policy was that it invariably redounds to the promotion of Saudi interests). Unlike U.S. presidents, Putin does not see himself as President of the World, but merely president of Russia and protector of Russian interests, nothing else. In fact if Putin is guilty of anything in the eyes of the Western hegemons, it is humility and a love of his country. What a horrible man!

The point is, Soros’ unfounded anti-Putin remarks and his admission that his foundation played “an important part” in the “events now” in Ukraine are solid evidence that the powerful amoral supranational Neocon elites like Soros are not only behind the Ukraine tragedy but also behind all or most of the Russophobia and Putin bashing in the Western press and political world. (An intelligent American patriot will instinctively reject this bashing of a man whose only purpose in intervening in Eastern Ukraine was to protect his own peopleagainst the Nazi-infested Ukrainian military which bombs innocent civilians from the air).

Now just recently, Wikileaks leaked what I had leaked to you over a year ago simply by taking Soros at his word. If you listened to or read this interview carefully in light of my analysis at the time, you heard Soros’ unequivocal confession and knewfull well back then, a full year ago, that he was at least one of the culprits in blowing Ukraine apart.

In light of the above, I am hereby starting an “I was shocked” contest.

To enter, please submit photos of your shocked look when you heard the recent Wikileaks revelation of the news I reported to you last May.

Address: zoilandon@msn.com

RELATED ARTICLE: Trade agreements like TiSA, TPP and TTIP will sideline national laws, Wikileaks says

Killing Nemtsov: Predicted by Putin, Offed by the Motherland

Conspiracy enthusiasts – all hands on deck!

NemtsovHe ruffled too many feathers, made too many powerful enemies, and when the media painted him as a fifth columnist and a traitor, he didn’t crawl on his knees begging forgiveness but carried on with his head held high. That’s not how you win over friends at the Kremlin; they dislike people who walk upright.

A member of the Russian parliament from the Communist Party, Comrade Obukhov, has officially stated that the assassination of Boris Nemtsov is nothing like those of Kirov and Kennedy.

That almost sounds nostalgic: they don’t shoot ’em like they used to. He should know, since both Kirov and Kennedy had been gunned down by communists. But it could also be sour grapes.

Russia’s authoritarianism hasn’t been the same ever since the Party had lost its license to kill, but there’s still a chance the glory days may come back.

USSR Map

Like certain species capable of regenerating missing body parts, Putin’s Russia is now miraculously regenerating its previously lost militarism, territories, and spheres of influence.

The first to regenerate was the KGB and the Kremlin-run media propaganda, along with the barnacles of old political jokes that seem to have regained their edge.

In one such joke, spirits of Caesar, Napoleon, and Alexander the Great are watching a military parade in Moscow and fantasize about conquering the world if they had Russian tanks, planes, and missiles. Then Napoleon says, “And if I also had the Russian media, the world would have never learned about my defeat at Waterloo.”

Chaff

In Russia the government-controlled pen has always been mightier than its weapon systems. A de facto vassal of the KGB, the Soviet media faithfully served as a weapon in Moscow’s defensive and offensive strategies. It was used to attack perceived domestic or international enemies, as well as to release chaff of disinformation that swamped radar screens and impeded detection of targets. An ex-KGB colonel with experience in information warfare, Putin began his reign by overtaking Russia’s newly independent press and weaponizing its content.

Today’s coverage of Boris Nemtsov’s assassination is a fair example. Far from being silent about it, the Kremlin-run media is abuzz with seemingly chaotic theories:

  • This was a provocation by foreign special services (a media euphemism mostly reserved for the CIA). First proposed by Putin, it immediately became the official working theory of the investigation. The enemy’s goal is believed to be the destabilization of Russia and making Putin look like a thug (or, on the contrary, an incompetent fool unable to control the situation).
  • Ukrainian intelligence hired Chechen rebels to kill Nemtsov (who was the best friend Ukraine could ever hope to have in Russia).
  • Nemtsov was paid by Ukrainian oligarchs to destabilize Russia; he failed and they eliminated him to cover their tracks.
  • Nemtsov’s business partners rubbed him out for embezzling their money (he had no business partners and wasn’t actively involved in any businesses).
  • Nemtsov was killed by his own colleagues inside the anti-Putin opposition as a result of a power struggle, or possibly over the money coming from overseas sponsors.
  • That night he got involved in a bar brawl with random gangsters, who followed him from the restaurant and shot him in the back.
  • Islamic terrorists affiliated with ISIS killed Nemtsov for his vocal support of Charlie Hebdo.
  • Bon vivant Nemtsov broke many hearts by dating a gorgeous young model from Kiev; it was a crime of passion.

Tellingly absent from this is the single and most obvious theory the entire world is mulling over: the Kremlin connection. But if the Kremlin-run media mentions Putin in that context, it’s only as a trusted leader who has promised to hunt down the thugs and bring stability to the troubled nation. Attacks on Russia’s president by the Western media and domestic opposition (Garry Kasparov, Alexei Navalny, etc.) only prove to the average media consumer that this was a provocation aimed at attacking Putin. Back to Theory One above.

Although the mission may seem accomplished, the media’s work isn’t over. Expect more narratives of varying plausibility that will crush any residual sympathy for the deceased and establish him as a brawling playboy with a predictably low life expectancy. If anyone is to blame, it’s Nemtsov himself.

A similar template was activated when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 from Amsterdam crashed over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, with all evidence suggesting a strike by a surface-to-air-missile launched by a Moscow-controlled military unit (the final report by the Dutch Safety Board is expected in August, 2015).

MH17 crash

The initially stunned denial of facts was followed by an immediate allegation of a conspiracy to blow up Putin’s plane, soon accompanied by a motherload of competing theories, all of them clearing Russia of any wrongdoing.

The scenarios were getting curioser and curioser, until the entire media landscape began to resemble a psychedelic scene from the last remake of Alice in Wonderland, with Johnny Depp as a lovable Russian president helping to end the reign of terror in the neighboring Ukraine. Once again, tellingly missing from that script was the Kremlin’s involvement, along with any feelings of shame or empathy:

  • According to initial reports, heroic pro-Russian militia shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane; any rumors about a downed Malaysian airliner must be a hostile provocation (was there seriously a plan to clean up the crash site and pretend nothing ever happened?)
  • The Ukrainians were planning to assassinate Putin by shooting down his presidential aircraft but got their planes mixed up. The proof was in the photograph of Putin’s plane that looked somewhat similar to the Malaysian jet, even though Putin was nowhere near Ukraine that day.
  • The bloodthirsty Ukrainian junta wanted to murder passengers on a Russian airline, but instead they killed 298 foreign citizens. The SBU (Ukrainian National Security Service) covered their tracks by killing the crew of the Buk missile system.
  • Ukrainian air traffic controllers deliberately redirected the Malaysian jet towards the war zone and lowered its altitude, as part of Kiev’s plan to make Russia look bad.
  • A Ukrainian fighter jet attacked Flight MH17 from behind, first spraying it with bullets and then turning around and launching a heat-seeking missile. This was proven by a satellite photo and an admission by a Ukrainian pilot, both of which turned out to be fake.
  • A Spanish air traffic controller claimed he saw two Ukrainian fighter jets closely following the Malaysian Boeing (a report later withdrawn as false).
  • An anonymous defector from Ukraine, speaking with a proper Russian accent, claims that on the day of the tragedy he witnessed a takeoff of a Ukrainian military jet carrying air-to-air missiles. The jet later returned without the missiles as the visibly shaken pilot said, “It was the wrong plane.”
  • Flight MH17 contained dead bodies that had been soaked in formaldehyde and smelled of decomposition within minutes of the crash. Most bodies were naked, with yellowed skin and no blood inside. The luggage was full of winter clothes even though it was summer. It was obvious that the bodies had come from a different Malaysian plane, which had been shot down by Americans and hidden away on a US Air Force base. The Americans then secretly transported the preserved bodies to Amsterdam, loaded them onto the Boeing, and sent it on an unmanned flight over eastern Ukraine in a plot to frame Russian separatists. This elaborate conspiracy reveals how desperate the Western governments have become to undermine Russia’s reputation as a peaceful power.

Are Russian journalists really such a bunch of unruly and idle gossipers? That could be the case if they also weren’t so disciplined in executing the same maneuver every time Putin gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Then, just like werewolves on a full moon losing their humanity, “serious” pro-Kremlin journalists and editors suddenly drop their respectable personae and start acting like conspiracy-obsessed lunatics.

As a result, according to a survey conducted by the Levada Center a week after the crash, 80% of Russians believed that the Boeing was shot down by the Ukrainian military with only 3% blaming the Kremlin-controlled separatists. These numbers are still true today and won’t change anytime soon. Expect a similar result with the coverage of Boris Nemtsov’s murder, including the same lack of shame or empathy for the victim.

Who killed Boris Nemtsov

In his book “America on Six Rubles a Day,” Yakov Smirnoff wrote that in Soviet Russia, they didn’t report plane crashes. They would instead build an airfield around the crash site and announce that the plane landed ahead of schedule. A more subtle approach is to make one doubt his own judgment with a rapid succession of simultaneous contradictory narratives, even if they merely project the Kremlin’s own methods.

Dots

Appearing as equal dots on the public radar, all these nonsensical chaff theories begin to compete for equal space and attention with the objective reality.

For as long as the mystery continues, manufactured absurdities will be debated on equal terms with facts, trivializing the crime, dishonoring the victim, eroding the public trust, and minimizing the moral and emotional impact.

Additionally, since finding the truth is a zero-sum game, every new deliberate nonsense diminishes the probability and legitimacy of the one and only theory that with any luck will be proven to be true.

With enough strategically directed chaff, the public will begin to connect the dots into a preordained scheme, discerning subjective phantom images that with time will solidify into the objective political reality verifiable by public opinion surveys.

According to sociologists of the Levada Center, Russia’s public opinion is shaped largely by the government-run media, with more than one half of the respondents admitting they couldn’t form opinions independently.

Dots

Thus, what the surveys are actually measuring is the effectiveness of the government propaganda, since the only visible reality in today’s Russia is what’s being projected from government-controlled TV screens, to which the nation is perilously addicted.

In yet another survey, 86% of Russians get their news from television (as opposed to 52% in the U.S.). Compare this to Vladimir Putin’s most recent 86% approval rating and the picture doesn’t get any clearer.

In contrast, and for the same reason, Boris Nemtsov’s most recent rating was about 1%. The more Putin tightened his control of the media, the less air time Nemtsov was getting, until TV producers stopped inviting him at all.

NemtsovJudging by his earlier TV appearances, Nemtsov was an excellent debater. He was witty, photogenic, quick on his feet, and capable of outdebating a roomful of opponents. That alone was enough to make him a persona non grata: the pro-Putin crowd would rather debate a less threatening, tongue-tied rube closer to their level.

If he was still mentioned on TV, it was usually with negative connotation. Nemtsov’s uncompromising stand on transparency and limiting the government powers earned him a similar media treatment the Tea Party is getting at America’s major networks.

It came to a point that after his death, TV producers couldn’t find any recent footage of him on any of their shows prior to the 1990s. There was, however, plenty of recent footage of him getting arrested at opposition rallies.

Nemtsov arrested

In a country where 86% of the population get their news from TV and about as many trust what they see, that is a political death sentence. Putin’s advocates are now using Nemtsov’s alleged lack of popularity as evidence that Putin had no motive to kill: why risk a scandal over some marginal loudmouth who could never become his rival?

Dots

The problem with that argument is that Putin doesn’t reside in the same parallel universe that the loyal TV producers have constructed on his behalf for the masses. He lives in the real world of hard facts, and in that real world Nemtsov had inflicted more damage than any other opponent by publishing well-documented reports about government corruption and graft on the highest levels, including the President himself. A former deputy prime minister, Nemtsov still had his sources and knew where to look.

Nemtsov’s friend and opposition activist, Ilya Yashin, has made it known that when Nemtsov’s apartment was searched as part of the murder investigation, the FSB confiscated his computer. The hard disk contained an unfinished report exposing Russia’s direct involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, including the movement of troops and weapons – something the Kremlin continues to deny. The actual documents, however, were hidden away in a different location. The opposition claims it is in possession of these documents and promises to complete and publish the report in the near future.

It would seem that Putin predicted this murder exactly three years ago in a campaign speech, saying that his enemies were going to whack one of their own, creating a “sacral victim” in a provocation aimed at destabilizing the country. Last week the Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin repeated Putin’s language almost word for word: “the killing could be a political provocation in which Mr. Nemtsov was used as a sacral victim, killed to discredit the government.”

Dots

But in 1997, when the Russian media was still free and politicians competed on their merits, Nemtsov had a real chance to be Russia’s next president with 29% of the voters choosing him over four other candidates, whose numbers were lower.

His fight against corruption, however, had earned him enemies among two most powerful oligarchs at the time, Gusinsky and Berezovsky. They used their power to bring Nemtsov down and instead began to elevate Vladimir Putin, who they believed would be more pliable.

Since then Gusinsky has lost most of his clout and Berezovsky hung himself in 2013 in London after thirteen years of exile and one unsuccessful assassination attempt. His suicide, however, remains an open verdict, especially given the violent death of his former closest associate and harsh Putin’s critic, Alexander Litvinenko, who in 2006 was poisoned with radioactive Polonium 210 by a Russian FSB officer on the orders most likely coming from Putin.

At the time the Russian media deployed a familiar chaff maneuver. Among other things, it accused Berezovsky of orchestrating the murder with the goal of framing and discrediting the Russian government. But Berezovsky filed a UK libel suit against Russian State Television and won. The Kremlin-run media still continued to harass him until his death, including the English-language RT, in an effort to clear Putin’s name.

Today, with Putin pledging his personal involvement in the investigation of the murder of his harsh critic Boris Nemtsov who was shot in full view of the Kremlin, and with the Russian media in full chaff mode, prepare for another mindboggling trip through the looking glass.

The chaff vs. the people

Dots

In the meantime, opposition leader and former World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov, speculates that even if Putin didn’t order the hit, he is nonetheless responsible for the climate of hatred which he has fostered and is now using to strengthen his dictatorial powers.

Putin’s fingerprints may not be found on the Makarov pistol, but they’re still all over the Kremlin-orchestrated witch hunts, harassments, paranoia, and media brainwashing, which eventually had gotten imprinted in someone’s murderous mind as a moral license to kill.

Dots“Rubbish,” argues another opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, adding that the climate of hatred has existed in Russia since 2007, but lately the Kremlin has taken this a step further and created storm-trooper type organizations like Antimaidan and others, where young thugs are encouraged to use violence against Putin’s opponents.

This new development changes a lot of things for the opposition in Russia.

All things considered, whoever the executioners turn out to be, they had silent support of the government, the militants, the nationalists, the corrupt officials, and the millions of brainwashed TV viewers, whom the news of Nemtsov’s death made feel warm, content, and secure.

The answer to the question “Who killed Boris Nemtsov?” is this: “His own country did.”

The new Russia no longer has room for people like Nemtsov. He was simply pushed from the game board to give room for more chaff. Media chaff, military chaff, human chaff – artificial and phony chaff is replacing real people and may well be the emblem of a new era, whose beginning will forever be marked on the calendar as the day Boris Nemtsov was shot in the shadow of the Kremlin.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube and American Thinker. In the video above Putin said that during the election campaign provocateurs can “bang” someone famous people to blame the authorities. About this Feb. 29, 2012 RIA Novosti reported.

Russian zoo names baby monkey after President Putin

MOSCOW – A peculiar bald monkey, born at the Moscow Zoo during the successful annexation of Crimea and invasion into Ukraine, has been named after Russia’s enormously popular president, Vladimir Putin.The baby baboon that some believe brought luck to the Kremlin, will now be known simply as “Pootie-Poo.”

Since the monkey was born, Putin’s approval rating has remained at 86% without any signs of decline, according to zoo officials.

“There’s not a politician on earth who can maintain 86% support indefinitely – except our Russian president,” says Zoo spokeswoman, Luyda Yedova.

Yedova believes it is due to the luck brought by the bald monkey that the Russian consumers still aren’t holding Putin responsible for any of the negative consequences of his Ukraine policy. On the contrary – in spite of the falling ruble and the catastrophic depletion of the country’s budget, Putin has become even more politically powerful now than at any other time in the past decade and a half.

Zoo officials say naming the monkey after Putin was “an overwhelming favorite” among many zoo patrons who were sending in name suggestions through the zoo’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Pootie-Poo exhibit grew popular in the weeks leading up to the West-imposed sanctions, after the zoo installed the Russian Federation’s official emblem over the monkey cage.

A zoo visitor we spoke to said he found the name very appropriate.

“Putin accuses the U.S. State Department of setting up a puppet regime in Ukraine, and then he turns around and sets up several puppet regimes inside Ukrainian territory. Monkey see, monkey do,” he added with what sounded like Ukrainian accent.

The zoo is now hoping the real president Putin will visit the zoo for a naming ceremony for the little monkey in the coming weeks.

Pootie-Poo monkey