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Are we witnessing the end of Syria?

French Mandate of SyriaReuters has a report on how Quds Force Commander Gen. Soliemani mapped out Russian involvement to save beleaguered Syrian President Bashar Assad, “How Iranian general plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow.”  The strategy unraveling now is a joint air and ground assault to carve out an Alawite bastion in Western and Northwestern Syria ejecting CIA and Coalition-trained opposition, Al Qaeda Al Nusrah Front and Free Syrian Army forces. The air assault to date has focused on attacking these units in a strategic line north out of Damascus. The ground component is composed of fresh Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah units. The Russian air assault contingent based in Latakia province is being bolstered by Russian “volunteers” a page out of Putin’s playbook for seizure of the Crimea and invasion of Eastern Ukraine. In the absence of significant US trained Sunni opposition contingents in this scenario; it would appear that Syria may devolve into a series of sectarian cantons akin to the  French Mandate for Syria granted by the League of Nations in the early 1920’s.

The objective of Iran is to build a virtual Shia crescent from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean coast including bringing in Shia extremist Imams and resettling  Shia refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan in Syrian areas depopulated of Sunnis and Christians. The Alawites, who are secular, are troubled by this development and many have fled abroad. The Kurds have their de facto canton in Northeastern Syria abutting the Kurdish Regional Government in neighboring Iraq.

Turkey is clearly upset with the Russian presence in Syria, as is NATO, while the US is clearly dithering on what to do. Once again Obama has been outfoxed by Soliemani and Putin. That leaves allies like Israel, the Saudis and the Emirates seeking alternatives for their own sovereign protection. The Saudis and Emirates are talking about a jihad akin to that they funded in Afghanistan with CIA and Pakistan’s ISI in a secret war in the 1980’s that led to the rout of the Soviet 40th Army and gave rise to Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda.

A Der Spiegel article, “The Iranian Project: Why Assad Has Turned to Moscow for Helpportrays  President Bashar al-Assad as caught in a dilemma; “fear of friends”, meaning Iran versus “fear of opposition.”That former fear stems from reliance on Iran Revolutionary Guards, Shia auxiliaries from Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Sadr Brigade in Iraq and Shia fighters from Afghanistan and  Pakistan. They are under the command of Quds Force Commander Soliemani and make up for the decimation and desertions of draftees from the Syrian National Defense Forces. Iran’s intention is to build an Islamic Revolutionary State within  the areas along the Mediterranean coast and Mountains of Northwest Syria. To that end Iran has sent in radical Imams to create Shia religious centers directed at conversion of secular Alawites and Sunnis causing them to flee the country.  Thus, Assad has welcomed the Russia military assistance as Putin has allegedly no such interests in the current campaign, excepting protecting Russian interests in naval and military bases, as well as offshore gas developments.

Note these excerpts:

“Assad and those around him are afraid of the Iranians,” the Russian says. Anger over the arrogance of the Iranians, who treat Syria like a colony, is also part of it, the Russian continues. Most of all, though, the Syrians “mistrust Tehran’s goals, for which Assad’s position of power may no longer be decisive. That is why the Syrians absolutely want us in the country.”

Tehran’s goals go far beyond merely reestablishing the status quo in Syria. In early 2013, Hojatoleslam Mehdi Taeb, one of the planners behind Iran’s engagement in Syria, said: “Syria is the 35th province of Iran and it is a strategic province for us.” For several decades, the alliance between the Assads and Iran was a profitable one, particularly in opposition to the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, which long had the upper hand in the region. But today, Assad depends on Iran to remain in power, and Tehran is taking advantage of the situation.

It is, however, primarily in the civilian sector where significant changes are afoot. Just as in Damascus, Latakia and Jabla, increasing numbers of hosseiniehs — Shiite religious teaching centers — are opening. The centers are aimed at converting Sunnis, and even the Alawites, the denomination to which the Assads belong, to “correct” Shiite Islam by way of sermons and stipends. In addition, the government decreed one year ago that state-run religion schools were to teach Shiite material.

All of this is taking place to the consternation of the Alawites, who have begun to voice their displeasure. “They are throwing us back a thousand years. We don’t even wear headscarves and we aren’t Shiites,” Alawites complained on the Jableh News Facebook page. There were also grumblings when a Shiite mosque opened in Latakia and an imam there announced: “We don’t need you. We need your children and grandchildren.”

Talib Ibrahim, an Alawite communist from Masyaf who fled to the Netherlands many years ago, summarizes the mood as follows: “Assad wants the Iranians as fighters, but increasingly they are interfering ideologically with domestic affairs. The Russians don’t do that.”

Putin may have been prompted by Quds Force Commander Soliemani to aid mutual client Assad because he saw an opportunity to make a power play against the US in the region.  However, the secular Ba’athist Syrian tradition has been virtually suborned by the influx of Iranian Revolutionary Guards ‘and Shia proxies’ with the objective of creating a Khomeinist Revolutionary state. The confluence of those opposing interests, secular and religious, may ultimate end the decades’ long rule of the Assad family. That might lead to an ultimate apocalyptic conflict in Syria between nuclear equipped Shia Iran and the Sunni Salafist Islamic State.

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

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

How would President John F. Kennedy deal with the threats facing America today?

Given the threat of a nuclear armed Iran, the bloody onslaught of the Islamic State, Russian saber rattling in Ukraine and China’s cyber warfare against U.S. interests perhaps we should remember what President John F. Kennedy said when confronted with such evil:

“We in this country . . . are—by destiny rather than choice—the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility . . . and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, goodwill toward men. That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago, ‘Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain’.”

America has historically been the watchman on the wall! That has all changed under President Obama.

Peace through Strength

President Kennedy once said, “It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.”  Today, JFK would be called a “warmonger” by Democrats for his words.  This idea provided the foundation of Reagan’s policy of “Peace through Strength.”  JFK believed in preserving America’s military might as a force for good, not in destroying it by dismantling its most effective weapon programs.  (Read about Obama’s elimination of programs.)

On Israel

Kennedy said this about America’s Jewish allies:

“Israel was not created in order to disappear—Israel will endure and flourish.  It is the child of hope and the home of the brave.  It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success.  It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.”  (Read more here.)

Contrast this with the rhetoric of Jimmy Carter and Hillary Clinton about the Jewish State, calling it an “occupying force in Palestine.”

JFK and the Second Amendment

In an age when the Islamic State is conducting attacks within the U.S., JFK’s statement, of April 1960, is more prescient now than ever:

“By calling attention to ‘a well regulated militia’, the ‘security’ of the nation, and the right of each citizen ‘to keep and bear arms’, our Founding Fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy.  Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation, the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country.  For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important.”

On March 20, 1961, JFK accepted a Life Membership in the National Rifle Association.

JFK and the Role of the Media

In an address given before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, on April 20, 1961, Kennedy said,

“The President of a great democracy such as ours, and the editors of great newspapers such as yours, owe a common obligation to the people: an obligation to present the facts, to present them with candor, and to present them in perspective.”

President Kennedy would be horrified by today’s corrupt journalism that omits stories about the high crimes and misdemeanors of impeachable politicians.  JFK would have been horrified by any president who actively orchestrates the destruction of American dissident opposition and its rights of free speech and press.

It was JFK who inspired me the become a U.S. Army officer. I was a JFK Democrat until the Democrat Party left me and JFK behind.

Obama’s Dangerous Spin on the Iran Nuclear Deal

There was a spirited panel discussion on  the August 9, 2015 Lisa Benson Radio Show for National Security stemming from President Obama’s  remarks on the Iran nuclear deal  during  his interview on CNN’s Farid Zakaria’s Global Public Square (GPS) Sunday morning program.  Panelists Barry Shaw in Israel, Shoshana Bryen of The Jewish Policy of the Washington, D.C. based Jewish Policy Center and this writer. The interview was recorded last Thursday following the President’s speech at American University and contentious meeting with a select group of American Jewish leaders. It was alleged that he told them that “if they left  off criticizing his deal, he would leave off criticizing them. That was a warning to the major American Jewish lobby group , the American Israel Political Action Committee. (AIPAC) and an affiliate, Concerned Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran have funded a multi-million ad campaign opposing the President’s Iran nuclear deal up for a vote in Congress in  Mid-September.

President Obama  also asserted during the interview that the Republican opposition to the Iran nuclear deal was ideological and political and not dissimilar from so-called hardliners in Iran. In response to a question on this from Zakaria he said:

The reason that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the folks in his caucus who oppose this jumped out and opposed it before they even read it, before it was even posted, is reflective of an ideological commitment not to get a deal done. And in that sense they do have a lot in common with hard- liners who are much more satisfied with the status quo. What I said was that there are those who, if they did not read the bill before they announced their opposition, if they are not able to offer plausible reasons why they wouldn’t support the bill or plausible alternatives in preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon other than potential military strikes, then that would indicate that they’re not interested in the substance of the issue, they’re interested in the politics of the issue.

Zakaria asked, “Is it appropriate for a foreign head of government ( a reference to Israeli Pm Netanyahu] to inject himself into a debate that is taking place in Washington?“  The President  responded:

You know, I’ll let you ask Prime Minister Netanyahu that question if he gives you an interview. I don’t recall a similar example. Obviously the relationship between the United States and Israel is deep, it is profound, and it’s reflected in my policies because I have said repeatedly and, more importantly, acted on the basic notion that our commitment to Israel security is sacrosanct. It’s something that I take very seriously, which is why we provided more assistance, more military cooperation, more intelligence cooperation to Israel than any previous administration.

But as I said in the speech yesterday, on the substance, the prime minister is wrong on this. And I think that I can show that the basic assumptions that he’s made are incorrect. If in fact my argument is right that this is the best way for Iran not to get a nuclear weapon, then that’s not just good for the United States, that is very good for Israel. In fact, historically this has been the argument that has driven Prime Minister Netanyahu and achieved consensus throughout Israel.

So the question has to be, is there in fact a better path to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon than this one? And I’ve repeatedly asked both Prime Minister Netanyahu and others to present me a reasonable, realistic plan that would achieve exactly what this deal achieves, and I have yet to get a response. So, as I said yesterday, I completely understand why both he and the broad Israeli public would be suspicious, cautious about entering into any deal with Iran.

Notwithstanding the President remarks in the CNN Zakaria interview, New York Democratic Senator Charles E. Schumer and Bronx New York House Member, Elliott Engel, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Relations Committee and several other leading Democrat members of both the New York and California delegations have also opted to oppose the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action announced in Vienna on July 14th and unanimously endorsed by the UN Security on July 22nd.  Congress will reconvene after Labor Day for more Hearings and a vote to either approve or reject the Iranian nuclear deal. President Obama has threatened veto it if a majority of both the Houses of Congress vote to reject it.

Watch these CNN Video clips of President Obama interview with Farid Zakaria on August 9, 2015

On Israeli PM Netanyahu

On Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei

On his American University Speech

LBS Soundcloud August 9 correctedThe following were important takeaways from  the August 9th Lisa Benson Radio Show:

Israel’s History of Unilateral Actions against Iraqi and Syrian nuclear programs despite US Objections.

Barry Shaw speaking from Israel drew attention to Israeli attacks on the Osirak reactor in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1981 and Syria’s al-Kibar reactor in September 2007. He noted that Israeli PM Menachem Begin suggested that  his order for the so-called Raid on the Sun in Iraqi would set a precedent for future similar actions by his successors.  Shaw noted the objections by the Reagan Administration and even US media  characterizations of Israel’s actions  as state sponsored terrorism . However a decade later in the 1990’s Dick Cheney , then Secretary of Defense expressed  the thanks of the US  for Israel’s action in 1981 during the Gulf War in 1991.  Following, the 2007 Syria reactor raid, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized Israel for not exhausting diplomatic efforts. Shaw noted that following the raid Syria let in the IAEA to inspect the reclaimed site of the former Al-Kibar nuclear bomb factory Shaw also reflected the views of a  significant majority of Israelis backing PM Netanyahu’s intervention criticizing the Iran nuclear pact.

The Dangers of Obama’s Withdrawal of US Assets in the Region.

Shoshana Bryen drew attention to the dangers of withdrawal of US military assets in the Persian Gulf abetting the hegemonic objectives of Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei  and the Islamic Regime IRGC. As of the fall, the US will have no carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf for the first time in decades. She went to note  the President postulated that Saudi Arabia and Iran might find themselves coming closer on certain issues. If the Gulf States see their future with Iran, rather than with the US, we will not have a base in the Persian Gulf. The US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain and US facilities in Kuwait and Oman may not be able to use those facilities to attack Iran if, in fact, their governments see Iran as the key power for the future.

Military Option  may have been  taken Off the Table with Iran Weapons Purchases from Russia and China.

This  writer  drew attention to the Moscow trip of Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani to meet with Russian President Putin and Defense Minister Shogui to speed up deliveries of the S-300 air defense system and the $10 billion oil barter deal with China for delivery of stealth fighters.  He suggested that this was a breach of both UN travel bans on the Quds Force Commander as well as the UN resolution 1929 sanctions against purchase of conventional  weapons and missile technology precluded on both five and eight sunsets under the JCPOA.  It makes any military option harder by orders of magnitude. While both the US and Israel  aren’t without resources of our own, Iran breaches  of  sanctions  makes the decision to use American military power more complicated.

Iran North Korea Nuclear and ICBM Development Cooperation may already have developed a bomb

Host  Lisa Benson drew attention to a recent American Thinker article co-authored by Bryen and her husband,  Stephen, “Does Iran Already Have Nuclear Weapons?”  The Bryens suggest that Iran may already have developed a nuclear weapon in cooperation with North Korea.  This writer interviewed analyst Ilana Freedman regarding the same issue in a March 2014  NER article, “Has Iran Developed Nuclear Weapons in North Korea ?”   The Bryens postulate that Iran may already have a small nuclear bomb that might be used  as a threat in the region to provide a nuclear cover for hegemonic objectives. The motivation on the part of the North Korean, who earn hard currency through illicit transactions is receipt of funds from Iran, a member of the same original A.Q. Khan network that provided techno logy for the North Korean bomb making and Iran’s uranium enrichment centrifuges.

Plan B –Restoring Military Funding in support of National Security Objectives in the Middle East and NATO Allies in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States Threatened by Putin’s Russia

Notwithstanding , a possible veto of a Congressional  resolution rejecting the Iran nuclear deal, Bryen and Gordon suggested that the Congress has to stop the hollowing out of our military capabilities under sequestration. That should be addressed in September when National Defense Act Appropriation bills come up for approval in both chambers.  Bryen noted Plan B is precisely to end sequestration – which has to happen for American national security reasons including Iran and beyond Iran. The size of the Army has to increase (it is projected to decrease by another 40,000) and the drain of mid-level officers (Captains, Majors and LT Colonels) has to stop. Our Navy has to begin to restore ship building. She noted the fleet size is he smallest since WWI.

Poland and the Baltic States have requested a stronger NATO presence out of fear that Russia will do to them what it did to Ukraine. Ukraine was NOT a member of NATO, so there were mixed ideas about what to do, but Poland and the Baltic States are. If Russia thinks it can intimidate or even occupy parts of those states, simply because it sees the US as a waning power, NATO will be finished. With that, the remnants of American influence will be finished. We have to put troops in those places and do exercises in those places and we should reconsider installing the radars that President Obama declined to place in Poland and the Czech Republic when he first took office.

Listen to the Soundcloud of the August 9, 2015 Lisa Benson Radio Show

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

Admiral “Ace” Lyons (Ret.): Threats Facing America And The Solutions

Rabbi Jonathan Hausman as part of his ongoing ‘Speaker Series’ invited Admiral Ace Lyons (Ret.), Frank Gaffney, and Clare Lopez to speak on national security issues facing our country.

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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

Why did the Ukraine parliament outlaw Communism and Nazism?

On April 9th, after a 24-year delay, the Ukrainian parliament (Rada) has passed a legislation banning communist propaganda along with its symbols, from street names and flags, to monuments and plaques.

The new legislation, passed by 56% of parliamentarians, declares the communist government that ruled Ukraine during the Soviet era a criminal regime that conducted policies of state terror. The ban similarly extends to Nazi propaganda and symbols, even though unlike Communism, Nazism has hardly had any following in a country that was hit hard during WWII and the Nazi occupation.

With urgent and serious problems facing Ukraine’s economy, finances, government reform, and a war with Russia-backed separatists, what was the sudden rush to condemn Nazism and communism simultaneously, given that Nazi Germany and the USSR had collapsed in 1945 and 1991 respectively?

On the surface, bundling together these two antihuman, totalitarian ideologies may seem like a symbolic gesture, but in reality each of them was banned for a very different practical reason, both of them of an existential nature.

Communism 2.0: Russians of the world, unite!

Since the beginning of Ukrainian independence, local communists have remained loyal to Moscow, doing the bidding of the political forces in Russia that sought the restoration of the totalitarian Soviet empire. Protected by the constitution, communist demagoguery has worked as a busy conduit for the Kremlin’s anti-Ukrainian and anti-Western imperial agenda.

Patriotic parade with Stalin

The pro-Russian separatists in the self-proclaimed “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk are also driven by a similar imperial agenda they call Russkiy Mir (Pax Russiana), rallying under old Soviet flags, with portraits of Lenin and Stalin in their hands.

Those in the Crimea who cheered Russia’s military takeover of their peninsula were similarly nostalgic of the old USSR and the rule of Stalin’s strong hand; they welcomed Russian troops by carrying red flags, portraits of Soviet leaders, and other communist paraphernalia.

Russia’s state-run media cleverly conflates Soviet nostalgia with being Russian or being part of Pax Russiana. This sentiment, fully supported by Ukrainian communists, was effectively used to start a war that has killed more than 6,000 people since April last year and is still simmering in the eastern regions of Ukraine.

Under these circumstances, a ban on communist propaganda and the condemnation of the USSR as a criminal totalitarian regime serves a very concrete purpose of protecting the nation’s sovereignty and independence at a time of war. In this sense, it functions as a Treason and Sedition Act aimed to disable the Fifth Column which is aiding the foreign enemy from within.

Grassroots de-communization

Most Eastern Bloc and some post-Soviet nations marked their independence with policies of de-communization, cleansing their governments of corrupt officials and dismantling the communist legacies in their cultures and psychology. This worked much to their advantage, strengthening their democratic institutions, transparency, international standing, and ultimately their economies.

Ukraine Lustration

That had never happened in Ukraine, let alone Russia. Though de jure an independent nation, Ukraine continued to vegetate in Russia’s shadow, instructed by Russia’s media, and manipulated by Russia’s elites who were interested in keeping Ukraine vulnerable, dependent, and corrupt.

Today’s messy developments in Ukraine are largely the result of belated attempts by this vulnerable, dependent, and corrupt nation to right itself and clean up its act under incessant attacks from behind the fence by the drunken abusive ex who thinks nothing of violating restraining orders and believes he has a sacred right to do so.

Last year, tired of waiting for the government to act, grassroots activists throughout Ukraine undertook a self-styled, anarchic effort at de-communization by throwing corrupt, pro-communist politicians into large garbage bins and posting these videos online.

Their bottled-up, spontaneous outburst also resulted in a massive unauthorized demolition of Lenin monuments all over Ukraine. That only threw more fuel on the smoldering separatist sentiment among the pro-Russian minority in Ukraine, as well as on the already blazing nationalism among a powerful majority in Russia, for whom attacks on communist symbols are no different from attacks against Russia itself.

Lenin statue in Ukraine, 2014

In the end, communist movements in Ukraine and other Eastern European nations aren’t as much about the Marxist theory as they are about the return of Russia’s domineering role in the region. With the inevitability of a speeding freight train, a restoration of Russia’s dominance will also bring back economic, cultural, and political subjugation, Russification, brain drain, persecution of local nationalism and the implied status of inferior people for all non-Russians.

The fascists of today are called anti-fascists

Kiev’s official condemnation of Nazism serves a very different purpose: it aims to undercut Russia’s grotesquely surreal canard that describes last year’s Maidan Revolution in Kiev as a U.S.-backed fascist coup d’état. Repeated over and over, the Russian media’s portrayal of Ukrainians as Nazis has gone a long way to pit ethnic Russians against the formerly brotherly nation.

Crimean referendum poster

In addition to conflating communism with Russian chauvinism, the Kremlin’s propaganda is also effectively using the old Soviet trick of conflating everything that opposes the will of the Kremlin with fascism and Nazism: “Communist Russia has defeated Nazism, therefore anyone who opposes communism or Russia must be a Nazi.”

This obvious logical folly would be laughable if it didn’t continue to shape the minds of many in Russia and beyond, even despite the fact that Russia’s own policies of land grab and national chauvinism almost exactly follow those of Nazi Germany in the years leading to WWII.

Trumped up with the reanimated “Great Patriotic War” rhetoric, the Kremlin’s Goebbels-like propaganda is inspiring thousands of Russian volunteers to cross the border and shoot at imaginary fascists in eastern Ukraine, proving Winston Churchill’s prophetic insight: “The fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists.”

American communist fighting against Ukraine

The effects of this mind game aren’t limited to Russia alone. This video, taken recently in Donetsk, shows a self-described American communist (pictured on the left) who volunteered to join the Russian nationalists and kill Ukrainians within the belief that he was being an “anti-fascist.” Like an “A” student during a school test, he diligently recites all the Kremlin-generated talking points: the Ukrainians are Nazis, the fascist coup in Kiev was instigated by the imperialist United States, the war is part of America’s anti-Russian strategy, and other memes he has likely picked up from the English-language RT and similar propaganda channels and websites. Described in the video as a “Texan” but sounding more like a Californian surfer dude, he promises to keep fighting until a complete and unconditional surrender of all fascists (or until he runs out of that stuff he’s smoking, whichever comes first).

In contrast, this Russian-speaking volunteer from Kirghizstan, who had been also been misled by the propaganda on Russian television and arrived in eastern Ukraine on a moral quest to fight “fascists,” eventually became disillusioned and returned home, accompanying the sealed coffins of two fellow Kyrgyz soldiers. “I thought that there were fascists there,” he says in an interview to Radio Liberty, “but I didn’t see any. We fought against the regular Ukrainian Army.” Unlike the English-speaking “Texan” above, he was able to communicate with local residents and captive Ukrainian soldiers. “It turned out that everything was agitation, propaganda,” he concludes. “This was really offensive to me.”

Why now?

Red Square Victory Day Parade

On May 9th Russia is going to celebrate Victory Day: the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany to allied forces in World War II (the official Russians term for it is the “Great Patriotic War,” which lasted from June 22, 1941 to May 9, 1945).

Stalin victory day poster

Every Russian government starting with Stalin has habitually attributed all credit for the victory to itself and sometimes to the “unbreakable friendship of Soviet nations united under Russia and guided by the Communist Party and personally by Comrade Stalin.” Faithful to the tradition of utilizing Victory Day as a vehicle for a self-serving political agenda, Russia’s state-run media has already begun to whip up jingoistic fervor in the run-up to the holiday, using victory over Nazism as a launching site for spectacular anti-Ukrainian fireworks.

This year’s Victory Day was meant to be especially bombastic. Every more or less significant world leader had been invited to attend the military parade on Red Square. They were expected to stand side by side with Vladimir Putin, thus reaffirming the Russian (and, by extension, Soviet) military’s leading role in the “struggle for peace,” which would validate Russia’s current policies and show everyone who’s boss.

Stalin victory day poster

Putin has once boasted in an interview that, as a chess player, he never makes a political move without calculating several steps ahead. The conflict in Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimea, however, has been nothing but a series of fundamental miscalculations. As a result, all serious heads of state have declined his invitations. The “group of international leaders” on the podium will likely be limited to Third World miscreants hoping to get on Putin’s good side in order to score cheaper oil, weapons, or nuclear technology. The biggest international celebrity will undoubtedly be North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un, who has officially confirmed his appearance.

Until now Ukraine had been slavishly following Russia’s lead in perpetuating Stalinist mythology of the “Great Patriotic War” – a trend jealously enforced by Russia as a symbol of Moscow’s continued sway over the neighboring post-Soviet states. But another new law, adopted in Kiev along with the ban on communist and Nazi propaganda, has broken the old pattern.

From now on, Ukraine will join the rest of the world in marking the end of the war on May 8th, as the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during World War II, in 1939-1945. After all, the war came to the western part of Ukraine two years before it came to Russia, after the 1939 Nazi-Soviet pact started WWII by splitting Poland in half. What transpired in Ukraine wholly contradicts Russia’s “Great Patriotic War” narrative.

The Nazi smear

The Red Army invasion into well-off western Ukraine (then part of Poland) in September of 1939 brought repressions and deportations, provoking armed resistance on the part of Ukrainian patriots. Upon the advance of the German army in 1941, nationalist groups organized into the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which fought against the Third Reich throughout the Nazi occupation. After the return of the Red Army in 1944 they continued to fight a losing battle against the communists in western Ukraine all the way through the mid-1950s. The Stalinist regime self-servingly described these anti-communist freedom fighters as Nazis – a myth in which most Ukrainians were later forced to believe under the threat of imprisonment, and which is still thoroughly cultivated in Russia.

Ukraine map west east fighting

Today many in Ukraine feel that the UPA fighters must be recognized and remembered along with other WWII heroes and victims. This notion is still being fiercely rejected by most Russians and those Soviet-era Ukrainians who can’t part with the Soviet mythology, believing that the UPA were Nazi collaborators.

Putin and Hitler buddies

The Nazi smear allowed the Soviet communists to keep Ukrainian nationalism in check until the day the USSR collapsed. But Russian state-run TV channels, which continued to be available throughout Ukraine, persisted with the Nazi smear even after the independence, effectively influencing Ukrainian voters in every election cycle by painting pro-Western politicians as neo-Nazis and promoting Moscow-backed politicians, one of whom was the ousted president Viktor Yanukovych.

Thus, Russia’s current allegation that the 2014 revolution in Ukraine was a Nazi coup orchestrated by the CIA and the U.S. State Department is not a new invention, but merely a modern-day remake of the hoary propagandistic myth started 70 years ago by Stalin.

Accordingly, Ukrainian parliament’s official condemnation of Nazism was clearly an attempt to put that damaging Stalinist narrative to rest.

In an effort to replace the old Soviet symbolism with a new one, on April 7th Ukraine’s First Lady Maryna Poroshenko attended a “Remembrance Poppy” event marking the anniversary of the Nazi surrender.

Since many older people may still want to follow the old Victory Day tradition on May 9th, the holiday will remain, but the phrase “the Great Patriotic War” will now be replaced by “World War II.” Given that most Red Army veterans in Ukraine will likely parade with their Soviet medals in violation of the ban on communist symbols, enforcing the new law may put the government in an uncomfortable position. Perhaps the police will be advised to turn a blind eye; we’ll have to wait and see.

As part of Russia’s angry response to this legislation, its Foreign Ministry representative Konstantin Dolgov, endowed with an Orwellian title “Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law,” called Ukraine’s ban on communist ideology a “cynical move,” which violates international obligations by depriving many of its citizens their legal rights. The E.U. and the U.S. should no longer ignore this,” he wrote on his Twitter blog. The diplomat ended his statement on a surreal note, saying that a law that equates communism and Nazism somehow “reveals Kiev’s depraved unwillingness to break with the neo-Nazis.”

The Russian social media’s reaction is a lot more vocal but a lot less quotable. In the minds of pro-Putin patriots, the world outside of Russia’s borders is populated entirely by virulent Russophobes whose only purpose in life is to hurt Russia out of sheer hatred for Russia’s big heart and spirituality. But, like a broken clock that shows the correct hour twice daily, this time they get it right: Ukraine’s ban on both communist and Nazi propaganda is directed, quite deservedly, against Russia with its Orwellian policies.

Red Square Victory Day Parade

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

Denouement on P5+1 Iran Nuclear Deal?

Yesterday, President Putin was up to his usual antics lifting the 2010 moratorium on sale of the Russian S-300 advanced air defense system.  This was exquisitely timed to  consternate  the  efforts  of President Obama and  Secretary of State Kerry in the midst of trying to sell Congress  today on the merits of  the inchoate  P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran. In diplo-speak the most the White House and State Department could say in response was that Putin’s action was “unhelpful”.   State Department spokesperson Marie Harf in response to questions raised in yesterday‘s Daily Press Briefing said:

“We think given Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region, in places like Yemen or Syria or Lebanon that this isn’t the time to be selling these kind of systems to them.” But she added: “We don’t think this will have an impact on unity in terms of inside the negotiating room.”

For Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu it was evidence that Russia, as we wrote in January may have signed on to the Axis of Resistance . At the time on January 20th, smiling Russian and Iranian Defense Ministers met in Tehran, shook hands and publicly announced that the moratorium was passé. The $800 million paid by Iran for the S-300 air defense system   would finally be honored and the new toys delivered to protect Iran‘s nuclear and military development centers from an air assault by Israel.  We wrote:

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu signed an “cooperation” agreement with Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan in Tehran.  Both countries are the targets of Western and US Sanctions. Both countries are afflicted with erosion of oil and energy revenues.  Both countries are seeking to blunt opposing US interests in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.  That is reflected in a comment of Iranian State television by Dehghan reported by AFP, that Iran and Russia had a “shared analysis of US global strategy, its interference in regional and international affairs and the need to cooperate in the struggle against the interference of foreign forces in the region.”  There is also the matter of weapon systems deals with proceeds which might bolster Russia’s depleting foreign currency reserves, while combating America’s ally in the Middle East, Israel.

Iranian Defense Minister   Dehghan in light of Putin lifting the moratorium on the S-300 sale said: “Extra-regional threats and the spread of terrorism by (insurgent) groups have increased the need to further expand cooperation.”  Note this Wall Street Journal comment about who directly benefits in Russia from the sale of the Antey S-300 System to Iran:

Rostec Corporation Chief Executive Officer Sergei Chemezov said in February that Iran was still considering Russia’s offer to supply Antey-2500 missile systems, with a range of about 200 kilometers (125 miles), according to Russian state news agency TASS. Rostec didn’t immediately respond to questions about the status of the offer on Monday.

Mr. Chemezov, who became friends with Mr. Putin when the two worked for the KGB in the 1980s, is among those sanctioned by the U.S. over the crisis in Ukraine.

That was a prelude to yesterday’s announcement from the Kremlin. Putin purposefully chose yesterday to rattle the West Wing, Foggy Bottom and Jerusalem by proving that  sanctions, whether UN, EU or Congressional are next to useless when it comes to dealing with rogue regimes. The only thing these masters of disinformation and mischief understand is the willingness to back up words with commitment to us military power.  Something lacking in the backbone of the P5+1 cabal lusting after exchanges with the Mahdist Mullahs in Tehran with visions of billion dollar and Euro development deals dancing in their minds.   Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), unlike the Metternichean Munchkins in the West Wing said it best in today’s Wall Street Journal:

“Before a final nuclear deal is even reached, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin has started to demolish international sanctions and ignore the U.N. arms embargo,” said Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), who sponsored legislation that seeks to impose new sanctions on Iran if a final deal isn’t reached by June 30.

Notice the assist that Foreign Minister Lavrov provided as rational for his boss’ latest chess move:

“At this stage, we believe the need for this kind of embargo, and a separate voluntary Russian embargo, has completely disappeared,” Mr. Lavrov said Monday, citing the recent progress in nuclear talks. He called the missile system “exclusively of a defensive nature” and said it “doesn’t threaten the security of any governments in the region, including, of course, Israel.”

Not trusting these fine words from Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said:

“It’s proof that the economic momentum that will come for Iran after lifting sanctions will be exploited for an arms buildup and not for the welfare of the people of Iran,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said.

That must have garnered more respect from Secretary Kerry poised to brief House and Senate members this week on the nuclear deal with no content announced in Lausanne 12 days ago.  Kerry had the cupidity to praise Russia for its constructive stand, a reference to a Foreign Ministry announcement allegedly saying that the State Department Fact Sheet on the parameters for a final agreement to be reached by June 30th was “accurate”.  Note what Josh Earnest , White House Press Spokesperson said; “That underscores the kind of unity around the specific agreement that we believe has been critical to our success.” President Obama hedged his bets this weekend reiterating “the possibility of backsliding” before the June 30 deadline.

 Something that both Supreme Ruler Ayatollah Khamenei and Foreign Minister Zarif suggested was simply “spin.”  Then, last Thursday, Khamenei demanded that all sanctions be lifted upon signing of an agreement with the P5+1 and hands off our national security and military developments.  Not to worry, said President Obama, Khamenei was simply grandstanding before his hard liners on their version of National Nuclear Development Day celebrations following their perceived victory on April 2nd in Switzerland.  The deal with no content was still on despite the tough slog to create definitive terms by the deadline of June 30th.  That the Congress shouldn’t interfere with what he deemed the “best bet” to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear device to complement its rising hegemony in the troubled Levant.  He was like the Looney Tunes cartoons character Yosemite Sam suggesting to both Congress and Israel to “back off”. You will get your chance to learn about the final deal if and when it occurs.   Not exactly confidence building steps.

President Obama stoked the disquiet over the P5+1 deal with remarks in both his New York Times and NPR interviews suggesting that Iran would be prevented from achieving nuclear breakout in the remaining months of his second and final term in office and that 10 to 15 years out, all bets were off about Iran’s ability to create nuclear weapons.  President Obama always point to IAEA’s track record to conduct “robust intrusive” inspections.  Weapons and the means of delivering them that some believe may have been covertly developed in cooperation with the DPRK.  North Korea  was beyond the ability of the IAEA to verify military  nuclear development s  as evidenced by  the  failure of  a more worthy framework developed by the Clinton Administration that  North Korea breached and was sanctioned by the Un repeatedly while relentlessly  developing and testing nuclear weapons and the ICBMs  to deliver them. Thereby putting the lie to President Obama’s assertion that “if Iran cheats, the world will know”.  Rogue regimes, whether in Moscow, Pyongyang, or Tehran are your basic sociopaths. They believe that agreements are simply black dots on white paper, meaningless. Or as Humpty Dumpty said to Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass:

When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

The Administration is rolling its big guns in briefings to both the House and Senate. Besides Kerry, Energy and Treasury Secretaries, Ernest Moniz and Jack Lew will be sent to the Hill to make the case for the P5+1 deal to proceed. Notwithstanding  that Congress is poised for legislative action this week in a possible denouement with the White House.   Embattled  Democrat  New Jersey U.S. Senator  Bob Menendez , targeted with corruption charges by  the Obama Justice Department, suggested he wasn’t “backing  off” from  his  co-sponsorship with  Republican colleague, Tennessee  Senator Bob Corker , chair of  the Senate Foreign  Relations committee,  of  Iran nuclear deal review legislation. A vote is scheduled this week that may determine whether the bill is veto-proof, given a threat from President Obama. It appears from a Politico report today that Corker and the Democrats may have reached a compromise enabling passage by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday of the pending legislation.  Given the emerging Iranian and now Russian defiance of sanctions and previous military developments inspections, the vote may be within striking distance of becoming veto proof on the Senate version of the pending legislation. Evidenced by comments from both House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) that the GOP majority could deliver a veto proof vote on the Senate version.

Now, if you have gotten this far in reading this, you might ask whether the sophisticated S-300 system that the Wall Street Journal said was capable of knocking down swarms of cruise and ballistic missiles, attacking aircraft. Aircraft like the aging B-2 Stealth bomber capable of carrying that new and more powerful Massive Ordnance Penetrator that Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said the USAF tested in January 2015. Think of what Israel did in 2008, a year following its destruction of a North Korean supplied nuclear reactor and bomb factory on the Euphrates River at al-Kibar in Syria in Operation Orchard.  As we wrote in our January 2015 Axis of Resistance Iconoclast post:

In June 2008, Israel’s air force undertook massive air training exercises involving more than 100 aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean against Greek S-300 Russian air defense systems. That effort demonstrated the canny effectiveness of swarming attacks against the S-300 and later versions that upset the Iranian military and Revolutionary Guards.

That was seven years ago. Perhaps, Israel has followed with keen interest the development of advanced versions of the S-300, the S-400 and might have something in mind to keep Iran’s Defense establishment worried.  Unlike their peers in the Pentagon, Israel doesn’t talk about such matters.

Meanwhile, will Congress act on Iran nuclear deal review legislation setting up a denouement with President Obama over his threat to veto it?  Stay tuned for developments.

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

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.

Soviet Fascism in 21st Century: Agents of Influence — From the Streets to the Palaces

Rudy Giuliani is right, President Obama still has no effective policy against Jihad. Terrorism and anti-Semitism are sweeping through Europe. Barbaric killings, rapes, and kidnappings of Christians increases every day, threatening the stability in the Middle East. Terror threat is expanding globally and all the evils are connected, demonstrating the main features of the ideology known to you as Fascism. I have been warning you of the upcoming threat while discussing the ideology of Soviet Fascism for the last twenty years. Knowledge of this ideology is a must as it has lethal consequences for America and mankind. Don’t ask Obama why he swapped five Taliban terrorists for a deserter and allowed Putin waging war against Ukraine, both issues are logically intertwined.

To have the answers of an upheaval in the world, just learn and assess a current Obama/Putin joint venture named Destruction of the American Republic. Only knowledge of history can solve the problems of the world.

Flag of Russia 2Some History of Russia and of the World

The attempts to take over Western civilization and destroy it have been going on for the last several centuries. Our world was inflamed by the violent Communist-Marxist ideology, defrauding proletariat 200 years ago. Marx understood the worst in human nature such as an envy and hatred towards people of accomplishments, financial security and success. His violent theory was built on fraud and utopia to provoke, inflame, and use human rage. He perverted a rudimentary knowledge of Capitalism–freedom of competition. Using Marx’s rhetoric, a hundred years later, Stalin developed his own doctrine of Communism–Soviet National Socialism–a mechanism of constant attacks with an unprecedented violence. Stalin quadrupled Marx’s fraud, and as a truly dictatorial regime, Stalin’s Communism requires a very big government force to equalize and control the entire population. In that way Stalin built a massive apparatus of Soviet Fascism to wage a war aimed at his own people and then against the West.

We are at the last stage of the war, yet the forces against us are still the same today. The war against the West predominantly proceeded through a permanent destabilization of the legitimate governments across the world. I called those attacks WWIII and to expose the root causes of the war, let me introduce the facts that identify our foremost and a very determined enemy–the Soviet Union and today’s Russia. It is not a coincidence that Obama refused to acknowledge the enemy and present a strategy on how to defeat it. As a matter of fact, the Islamic Extremists are not the only enemies we have today. To grasp the predicament in the world we should evaluate some historical events that took place in Russia and the essence of Stalin’s Doctrine.

Stalin’s love for Muslim culture had a long-term and extremely negative consequences for the world. His political doctrine and the human capacity for evil have been inherited subsequently without any deviations by all Russian leaders who followed him. The idea of One World Government under the Kremlin auspices was the paramount one. The ways to achieve it through the help of the Muslim world was left by him with a particular prescription for actions, based on Stalin’s personal experiences on the Caucasus Mountains and abroad in Iran. The idea of narcotic trafficking was considered by Stalin at the end of the 1940s when he got a hold of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was also the time when the Israeli State was established in the Middle East–vengeance was a prime characteristic of Stalin’s character.

After Stalin’s death, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gave the idea to the members of the Communist Party—drugs and narcotics trafficking should be viewed as a strategic operation that would directly weaken the enemy. “Accordingly, he ordered a joint military-civilian, Soviet-Czechoslovak study to examine the total effect of drugs… on Western society; its effects on labor productivity, education, the military (the ultimate target at that time), and its use in support of the Soviet Bloc intelligence operations.” The army of Terror was born at the beginning of the 1950s. The enemy is clearly identified–Western society.

The effects of drugs were analyzed by scientists from the Soviet Academy of Sciences and the conclusions were that the drugs trafficking would be extremely effective and the most vulnerable countries would be the United States, Canada, France, and West Germany. This study was approved by the Soviet Defense Council in 1955. It was the first formal Soviet decision to launch narcotics trafficking against the bourgeoisie and especially against the American capitalists:

“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.”

Just listen to the rest of the document:

“The fourth step was to infiltrate organized crime and, further, to establish Soviet Bloc sponsored and controlled organized crime syndicates throughout the world. The fifth step was to plan and prepare for sabotage throughout the whole world. The network for this activity was to be in place by 1972. …The decision on organized crime… was to be a global operation targeted against… the United States, along with France, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy… The main reason for infiltrating organized crime was… information on political corruption, money and business, international relations, drug trafficking, and counter-intelligence—was to be found in organized crime. …A secondary reason was to use organized crime as a covert mechanism for distributing drugs.”

In the Soviet operation of drugging America, besides Cubans, the central role was given to Czechoslovakia as well. The first plan was put into action in 1956; it instructed Czechoslovakian strategic intelligence to infiltrate seventeen different organized crime groups including the Mafia in France, Italy, Austria, Latin America, and Germany. I have already mentioned that 20 percent of the Italian police were members of the communist party and the Italian Communist Party used them heavily in the infiltration operation. “These members helped the Soviet Bloc intelligence agents infiltrate the Mafia. War criminals, e.g. Germans were also coerced into assisting the Soviet Bloc agents in this endeavor, especially throughout Latin America.”

All of the above mention quotations were taken from the book titled Red Cocaine, the Drugging of America, Clarion House,1990. The author of the book Joseph D. Douglass, Jr. is a very knowledgeable and savvy man, he used the uncertain situation in Russia at the end of the 1980s, visited old Soviet archives and obtained the rare documents from there. The documents obtained by Mr. Douglass are priceless today, when the archives in Russia are closed for the foreigners.

Please read attentively the document, it contains the motive, agenda, the means, tools, methods, and several stages of how to achieve victory over Western civilization. The crucial factor uniting the agenda and making the document timeless is the ideology–the document was authorized and stamped by Stalin’s Communist Party. That is the major reason I am writing about Stalinism. We can’t win the current war against terrorism without knowledge of Stalin’s Doctrine, it is in the blood of Russian politicians today–they called Stalin “A Great Manager.” Today Stalin is still the most popular leader in Russia and people are free again from the Chimera of conscience.

Please remember that in the future. There is no need to list the actors, means and methods presented in the mentioned document of 1955, the army of terror is quite clearly exposed. Yet there is one element of the West’s subversion, I’d like to discuss with you–The Agents of Influence.

Russian_Foreign_Intelligence_AgencyThe Agents of Influence

The term espionage is well known to you. It is a universal term. Regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality or religion, the activity of the agent of influence is similar to that of a spy. Yet the parameters, scales, and level of his or her activities and its magnitude are much wider. It consists of undercover works and underground operations from political indoctrination to a variety of terror and subversive activities to do economic, ecological, and other harms to the target, propaganda, sabotage, killings, and unexpected provocations. Agents of influence are the CADRES of Soviet Fascism. The vivid example of political indoctrination includes people known to you such as–Soul Alinsky and Marshall Davis. Please remember, all mentioned activities against the West have began in 1955 and are still going on today. The duration is SIXTY years…

The specific threat for America in the 21st Century is a juncture of our enemies foreign and domestic, falsely blaming America for the crimes committed by them. They are practically merge in space, time, and agenda to discredit America and Republicans, making them a guilty party. You saw this juncture of the forces in the presented document, yet there are more races details in the following arrangement and procedure. Listen to the conversation of two KGB Generals, Jon Pacepa, the highest-ranking KGB officer ever to defect to the U.S. and the Chairman of the KGB Yuri Andropov:

“In 1972 the Kremlin decided to turn the whole Islamic world against Israel and the U.S. As KGB Chairman, Yuri Andropov told me a billion adversaries could inflict far greater damage on America that could a few millions. We needed to instill a Nazi-style hatred for Jews throughout the Islamic world, and to turn this weapon of the emotions into a terrorist bloodbath against Israel and its main supporter the United States. No one within the American/Zionist sphere of influence should any longer feel safe.”

General Pacepa wrote further:

“According to Andropov… the Muslims had a taste for nationalism, jingoism, and victimology. Their illiterate, oppressed mobs could be whipped up to a fever pitch. Terrorism and violence against Israel and her master, American Zionism, would flow naturally from the Muslims’ religious fervor, Andropov sermonized.” Russian Footsteps, by Ion Mihai Pacepa, National Review Online, August 24, 2008.)

What can better confirm both of my terms Soviet Fascism and WWIII than those words? I remind you that under Andropov the infiltration into Western civilization had tripled.The bloodiest terrorists’ attacks in the world had occurred under his watch, from the Munich murder of Israelis in the Olympic Village to the Johnstown tragedy in Guyana. Russian President Putin is a devoted disciple of Yuri Andropov. Forty years later, Putin is involving the world in an Apocalyptic Battles against Jihad to divert attention from Ukraine. Do you remember how in the shadow of the massacre by ISIS in the Middle East, Russia’s military attacked Ukraine’s city of Mariupol to create a transportation corridor to a starving Crimea? They failed. Yet Putin’s military actions speak louder than any of his words–Russia is the aggressor in the war against Ukraine.

WW III took a different form and scale in the 21st century. As an advantage, the Kremlin used the erroneous American foreign policy during the last several decades. Instead of fighting the enemy, we were reforming the enemy, reluctant to expose our foremost enemy: Russia. Orchestrated and well coordinated actions of agents of influence brought so-called new leadership in the Middle East and Islamic world—the Muslim Brotherhood and Radical Jihad. The Stalinist postulate cadres decide everything has prevailed in the twenty-first century. The old dictators and criminals I called the Kremlin henchmen, have exposed themselves in the era of the internet. The Kremlin needed the new cadres and the Muslim Brotherhood came to the scene as a Politburo of Islam.

A late example illustrates the tragic repetition of history. One of the nominees for Oscar 2015 was Rory Kennedy for the documentary– Last Days in Vietnam. Listening to that, I was shocked by how history repeats itself. As a matter of fact, it was time, when living in the Soviet Union, I used to listen regularly to the German Velwe. Sitting and weeping I listened to a reportage from the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon. I have no words to express my feeling of anguish, grief, and loss, while listening to the voices of a real human drama in Vietnam, then in the 1970s. Have you seen the terrorists in our embassies in Libya and Yemen? Maybe now you grasp the scale, parameters, duration, and the notion of the agents of influence? Today we are at a catastrophic moment of history. To survive, we must be able and willing to know the political ideology I called Soviet Fascism. Knowledge is Power; this is not a cliche, but a reality of our life.

obama tweet as russian 2America, France, and Libya

I’ll begin this part of the article with the events in America for a reason:

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Those were the words of Abraham Lincoln a century-and-a-half ago. That is the reason I provide you with the notion of the agents of influence–they are a COIL of RAGE used by Soviet Fascism. Let me give you two examples. Do you remember protesters, looters, and agitators of Ferguson in November, 2014? Why do you think they wanted to see the policemen dead? Who are they? Who are the conductors of the tragedy in Ferguson on a level of streets? You know the entire careers of the agitators Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Today we know that both promoted a false story of Ferguson and only the policeman was telling the truth. You saw everything, you are the witnesses of the event. Ferguson is an indictment of a liberal media. Today, four months later two policemen were gun down in Ferguson.

The second example is Bill Clinton. Obama is not the first American President having ties with the Kremlin. On June 9, 1991, two-and-a half months before announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Presidency, Bill Clinton flew to Moscow and had a meeting with the KGB Chairman. The Arkansas Democrat ran the story under the headline “Clinton Has Powerful Buddy in the U.S.S.R.—New Head of KGB.” The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, by Daniel Estulin, TrineDay LLC, 2009, p. 52. I am not asking why Clinton flew to Moscow. I know why. The question is who did provide the secret means of communication with the Russian Security Services to land an American plane without any complications in the Moscow airport? In the light of the recent Clinton’s scandals, involving foreign money, you should consider my question too–means of communication can bring light on Benghazi and many other unsolved scandals. The Clinton Foundation is much more that what you know about it.

The domino of the scandals in America will continue. We are experiencing a clash of civilization, when Liberty’s Doctrine is attacked by Stalin’s Doctrine, by a well trained force of subversive activists. Though the attacks are asymmetrical, they have an enormous amplitude and scale: from sleeper cells in Buffalo to the Prime Minister of Iraq al-Maliki, who was trained in Iran for twenty years. Those subversive activities I called WWIII are a preparation for a real hot war. I believe, that Putin has planed the war by invading Ukraine and relying on Obama’s acquiescence. Putin will resume the war in the end of March or beginning of April, when the roads in Ukraine dry up. My book What is happening to America? gives you a lot of other details and predictions on the subject.

The point is that you should know the agents of influence and Soviet Fascism’s “great” opportunity to do enormous HARM of different types in many aspects of human life by subversive activities: in economics, politics, personal destruction for control and power over Western civilization. Also remember Obama/Putin joint venture. Now we can go to France and Libya. This is my own conclusion based on my knowledge of Soviet Fascism. I believe there was a connection between NATO in Libya and the presidential election in France in 2012. Do you remember a scandal of Dominique Strauss-Khan in a New York Hotel? It was during the time of a presidential election in France and Dominique Strauss Khan rated ahead of President Sarkozy.

Putin used the situation since the infiltration into NATO was Russia’s long-term strategy. To convince Obama was not difficult for Putin. In my interpretation of the events, Putin offered Sarkosy to eliminate Strauss Khan for a certain favors from Sarkazy, the latter agreed and Libya’s fate was decided. NATO was trapped in a middle of civil war in Libya. Putin needed Libya’s oil and destabilization of North Africa. Organized crime was activated and Dominique Strauss Khan has disappeared from a political arena of France. Do you remember the Soviet document dated 1955? Organized crime was and is an integral part of Soviet Fascism. Today ISIS is running Libya’s oil or destroying the facilities to raise the price of oil on the market. Russia needs it.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

I’ve introduced to you a lot of my ideas and information in this article. Yet I am not the only one who knows Soviet Fascism. Often I am writing in the name of the former citizens from the Socialist countries. I ‘d like to introduce one of them, the Cuban poet and patriot Maximo Aguirre and his poet’s prophetic vision on Venezuela. In the beginning of the 1960 Maximo Aguirre knowing the regime of Soviet Fascism, imposed on Cuba by the Castro regime, predicted the future of Venezuela. He wrote his poetry in the 3 year period between 1962-1965, when he first arrived in NYC exiled from Cuba. His suffering was enormous and he poured all his feelings in his poems. The poems appear in the book Cuba Mi Patria que Adoro. (Amazon), 2012. The translation of the title is Cuba My Adored Homeland. The poem’s title is A warning to Venezuelans On Behalf of Their Cuban Brothers.

Máximo Aguirre: Cuba Mi Patria que Adoro, 2012 – Recuerden Venezuelans, fragments, Translated by Angela Aguirre

Remember friends Venezuelans
And take as an example Cuba
And never allow those tyrants
Come to power in your homeland.
Remember the great oppression
That we Cubans are enduring
Without food, clothing or freedom
And not allowed to protest;
If you do, you are executed
By this bunch of criminals.

They will take away your money
The industries and oil fields
They’ll take away your treasures
And hide them in secret places.
They detain the military
And dispose of their lives
They judge them to find them guilty
Even those who are innocent
They take them to the firing squad
As they do in my beloved Cuba.(P.182)

They start with the military
And then they kill the civilians
Therefore, look Venezuelans
I warn you to be prepared.
Don’t allow them to gain power
Because they’ll dispossess you
Of your most precious possessions,
They’ll take away your freedom.
Don’t you see the fate of Cuba
They have stripped it from its life? (P.183)

Maxomo Aguirre was right. Today, fifty years later Venezuela is dying as a country. “…six young people have already been killed in recent weeks by police trying to quell protests in a society increasingly enraged against the rampant abuses of the Chavez dictatorship, widespread corruption of the regime, shortages, the collapse of law and the growing chaos to be spreading throughout the country. This context explains the escalating repressive regime in recent days… a gang of demagogues advised by Cuba in the art of repression are pushing Venezuela toward totalitarianism. …across Venezuela.. human rights are violated, channels (TV), radio stations, and newspapers are closed..” At the Abyss, by Mario Vargas Llosa The National, March7, 2015. Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian writer and Journalist. Nobel Prize Winner 2010.

Besides the playing down terrorism, Obama’s dealing with Cuba is threatening our national security. Rudy Giuliani was right and Ben Carson is also right in his guessing:”…may be Obama is guilty of treason…” Both Republicans are sensing the catastrophic moment in the American history. Obama equalizes Americans like Stalin preached it in the Soviet Union promoting his Doctrine of Soviet Fascism. Obama criticizes PM Netanyahu, because the latter is right–Iran is Russia’s proxy and in cahoots with Russia, Iran is a major sponsor of global terrorism. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was built by Russia, imitating the KGB structure. That means an expectation of secrecy, fraud, cheating, deceptions, and double-dealing–the modus operandi of Soviet Fascism

It is not a media hype, reporting terrorist’s activities, it is Obama, who is slowing momentum of logical and immediate response to terrorism. Why? I have already expressed my opinion on Obama in 2008, in my book What is Happening to America? Reading the book, you’ll find out about the recently murdered in Russia a leader of the opposition Boris Nemtsov. He was my friend and a strong supporter of Ukraine. Just look attentively on the events going on in Russia and you will discover the sticking similarity with Venezuela and Iran–the modus operandi of Soviet Fascism. Reading the book, you also learn about the Clinton’s and their activities contrary to American interests.

Our national security will be a key issue in the upcoming election 2016. The time has come to stop our shifting towards the abyss of Socialism. Researching Obama’s domestic and foreign policy you will be stunned by the facts of contradictions. I have an impression that it is Putin, who currently runs America as both policies are aimed at helping Russia at the expense of the American people. The Republicans should have started the process of Obama’s impeachment years ago. Regrettably, they are not aware of our foremost enemy and neglected the ELEFANT in the room. They are not exposing the ideology of the Democratic Party harming America. Ignorance made them toothless and timid. The time has come to stop once and for all the destruction of our homeland by Soviet Fascism! Either you are for saving America or for destroying the best nation in the world. Knowledge is POWER.

To be continued www.SimonaPipko1.com.

RELATED ARTICLE: Putin’s Russia is a gangster regime

From Russia with Love: A Nuclear Suppository for Obama

The ballistic missile with Obama’s name on it, paraded in the streets of Moscow last Monday, was only an imitation – but the sentiment was genuine.

Looking like a gigantic allegorical suppository for the American president, the green twelve-foot rocket emblazoned with the hammer and sickle over a red star brought up Cold War memories of real intercontinental missiles the Soviet government would parade in Red Square as a vague threat to its enemies. There was no vagueness this time: in large print letters, the message on the rocket said, “To be delivered to Obama in person.”

Russian missile for Obama from Rashkin

The occasion was the Day of the Defenders of the Motherland – a big annual celebration of the creation of the Red Army in 1918 by Leon Trotsky. To be sure, Trotsky’s name had not been attached to this holiday ever since his removal from power and assassination by Stalin. Additionally, the country has since changed its name, borders, ideology, the system of government, and renamed the very holiday in question.

Still, the holiday spirit runs strong, along with patriotic rallies, propaganda posters, and nationally televised bombastic military-themed concerts puffed up by a full roster of Kremlin-approved celebrities.

It’s also dubbed Men’s Day, as all Russian men and boys receive greetings and gifts from women and girls – a rather manipulative hetero-normative reminder that all male citizens belong in the army.

unnamed (18)In a way, this mirrors Women’s Day on March 8th – another originally communist holiday that comes twelve days later, when women and girls receive greetings and gifts from men and boys, as men volunteer to help around the house and do women’s work in the kitchen – which may also be seen as a hetero-normative reminder of a woman’s place on all other days of the year.

This year Ukraine officially canceled the celebration of Russia’s military holiday, belatedly joining other ex-Soviet republics that had suffered the wrath of the Red Army. In contrast, Vladimir Putin’s government has boosted the celebration even further, making February 23rd an official day off and using it to crank up the already excessive Russian patriotism.

With full support of the government-controlled media, national chauvinism is now spilling over the state borders, as gangs of armed “patriots” flock to eastern Ukraine, eager to show the uppity ukrops their place in Pax Russiana. Jingoism dominates Russia’s online forums and social media, as well as the streets and city squares, with rallies that support Putin, military adventurism, and Pax Russiana, while at the same time trashing everything non-Russian, especially America and Gayrope (a new Russian slur deriving from “gay” + “Europe.”) The stunt with the Obama-targeted missile is merely a small piece in the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle called Russia.

According to the Levada Center, a Moscow-based independent polling organization, America is seen negatively today by 74% of the Russian population (60% also have a negative view of Europe), and 69% believe the United States is a hostile nation. At the same time, after the break-up of the USSR in the early 1990s, only 10% of Russians viewed the U.S. negatively. What happened?

The Levada Center has registered four waves of anti-American and anti-Western sentiment in Russia – in 1999 (the war in Serbia), in 2003 (the war in Iraq), in 2008 (the war in Georgia), and in 2014 (the war in Ukraine), with today’s wave being the strongest in the last 20 years. Sociologists also believe that 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.

Russian most popular politicians

It would be fair to say that every such wave of anti-Americanism in Russia (and to some extent around the world) has been orchestrated and paid for by the Kremlin’s powerful propaganda machine, which deploys two parallel narratives – one for the foreigners and one for domestic use. The domestic narrative is always a variation of the same formula: “Once again, the Motherland is under attack from American imperialism. The West has always hated Russia. Out of sheer hatred they want to humiliate us and push Russia out of its traditional spheres of influence. To survive, our nation must unite around a strong leader and his party.” The leader is, of course, Vladimir Putin; the party is United Russia.

During the first wave of post-Soviet xenophobia and anti-Americanism in December of 1999, Putin conveniently upgraded his position from Russian prime minister to Russian president. It is hardly a coincidence that now, during the fourth and strongest anti-American wave, Putin’s approval rating has risen to an astronomical 86%. The survey was taken on February 23rd, the same day the Russia-to-Obama rocket was spotted in the streets of Moscow.

Russian missile for Obama from Rashkin

A sign at a pro-Putin rally in Moscow showing America and Europe as two rats biting at Ukraine, and Russia as a cute red squirrel. The caption says, “Time for rodent control?”

This only means that about the same number of Russians also share a paranoid obsession with Ukraine, honestly believing that Vladimir Putin is fighting an epic and noble battle against the American aggression launched by the CIA through its Ukrainian proxies.

A similar narrative existed during Russia’s invasion into Georgia in 2008, when the Russian media referred to the Georgian president Saakashvili as America’s puppet.

In the days of the Maidan protests in Kiev last year, a number of protesters had been taken away and beaten by national security, which at the time was largely run by Russia’s FSB. Between the beatings, the interrogators demanded a “volunteer confession” that the protests had been organized by American agents and paid for in dollars. No such “confessions” had been obtained.

From the start of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Russian media cooperated with the Russian intelligence in trying to find evidence of American presence in the war zone. All they have found was a broken foreign-made rifle, a damaged Hummer vehicle, and a two-second video footage of a British anti-land-mine activist in Mariupol, whom the Russian media described as an American cutthroat mercenary.

In the absence of facts, fakes will do. The government media, with the assistance of an army of paid online activists have launched a slew of rumors, conspiracy theories, and internet fakes – for example, presenting footage from Iraq as coming from Ukraine, or publishing wild-eyed “eyewitness accounts,” the latest of which included an apocalyptic story of drunken American Negroes dancing on top of Ukrainian tanks while pointing guns at terrified civilians. A separatist warlord once posted a “humorous” story online about how one dark night he saw an “American Negro” jumping out of a burning Ukrainian tank and immediately taking off his clothes, hoping that his black skin would help him to blend with the night.

Barack Obama receives a similar race-baiting treatment, with many online cartoons and posters mocking his race and portraying him as a monkey. On Obama’s birthday last year some “patriotic” Muscovites unveiled a large street banner picturing the U.S. President as “three wise monkeys.” Later that evening, the wall of the U.S. embassy in Moscow became a screen for a crude animated laser show picturing Obama eating a banana.

anti-Obama sign in Moscow

In this context, a missile for Obama in the middle of a patriotic rally hardly raised any eyebrows. A bigger problem is the fact that this agitprop rocket was conceived and signed by a Valery Rashkin (pronounced as “Rushkin”), a notoriously belligerent member of the Russian parliament and the leader of the Moscow branch of the Communist Party. The picture shows him proudly pumping his fist in front of his art project. Putin’s policies to restore the USSR obviously make this communist leader a happy camper.

A week earlier Rashkin fell under a new round of EU sanctions for promoting war in Ukraine, along with nineteen individuals and nine organizations whose assets held in EU countries have now been frozen, accompanied by an EU-wide travel ban. In total, Brussels has already sanctioned 151 individuals and 37 companies in Russia and eastern Ukraine.

Russian missile for Obama from RashkinThe new blacklist caused an overwrought reaction in the Duma, which quickly became the subject of ridicule in social media. The indignant head of the education commission Nikonov (United Russia) took the floor to defend his communist colleague by saying, “If they (in Europe) are all Charlie, then we are all… Rashkin!”

The following day, the Russian-speaking Internet was filled with “Je suis Rashkin” Internet memes, Tweets, and spoofs.

Rashkin himself responded to the sanctions by saying that in WWII his father entered Berlin without any sanctions and he was hoping that history would sort it out like it did in 1945. Standing next to his rocket, the leader of Moscow communists explained his stunt as follows: “Someone today is conspiring against my Motherland. I am the son of my father, I wanted to send a present. This present doesn’t abide by any sanctions either. It will fly wherever the Motherland wishes it to fly.”

A crowd of communists, several thousand strong, carried red flags, portraits of Soviet leaders, and the Obama-designated rocket through Moscow streets to Revolution Square, where they held a planned rally with Rashkin as a speaker. “The United States is causing destruction, violence, and bloodshed all over the world. We must stop these rapists and murderers, we must fight to defend the sovereignty of our great nation,” said the member of the Russian parliament and head of the commission on ethnic policies.

The next speaker was Gennady Zyuganov, head of Russia’s Communist Party, claiming that the West doesn’t want Russia to be strong and powerful and that they only “need our resources, our talent, and our land. That is why they have imposed their sanctions and continue to choke us any way they can. That is why they have unleashed the bloody war in Ukraine, directed by the CIA, unscrupulous diplomats, outright Nazis, Banderites, and corrupt oligarchs.”

Leader of Russia’s communists Gennady Zyuganov is not only a long-serving member of the Russian parliament (since 1993), but he is also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (since 1996). Additionally, in 1996, 2000, 2008, and 2012 he was a candidate in Russian presidential elections and came in second every time. Zyuganov and Rashkin exemplify the pre-approved pool of candidates in Putin’s Russia circa 2015.

Rashkin - Red Army hat

To be fair, the Kremlin’s political technologists are hard at work trying to misrepresent the reality of Russia’s pool of candidates by manufacturing and promoting political opposition which it can control, while marginalizing the independents. As a result, the only “viable” opposition leaders in Russia are the Soviet-style communist Zyuganov (4% of the vote) and the psychotic nationalist Zhirinovsky (5% of the vote). Both are grotesque scarecrows; compared to them Putin looks like a knight in shining armor to most Russians and appears a lesser of two evils in the eyes of the West.

After the fall of the USSR Russia had a real chance to develop a civil society, modernize its economy, and join the family of Western nations as an equal. Instead, as many independent Russian analysts believe, Vladimir Putin has squandered that chance, choosing to control the population by cultivating fear and hostility towards the outside world as a means to shift the blame for Russia’s continued problems and to divert attention from his and his circle’s abuse of power.

Russian most popular politicians

If a president’s goal is to become a national hero but he can’t do it by improving his country, Plan B is to create the appearance of heroics by means of media manipulations and byzantine political technologies. The latter worked for Putin: according to a survey conducted early February by Public Opinion Foundation, 72% of Russians would have voted for Putin today, with only 5% distrusting their president. The annexation of the Crimea only added to his popularity. Analysts believe the current crisis may actually be a boon for Putin, as the average Russian is likely thinking, “If he could pull off getting us the Crimea, he’ll find a way out of this crisis as well.”

On the international arena, Plan B means dragging the rest of the world down to his level by sabotaging other economies and stirring political turmoil abroad, making Russia look stable and prosperous in comparison.

Russian Aryan mythologyBy choosing Plan B, Putin has pushed the Russian society thousands of years back, into the age of mythology with its hierarchy of gods, heroes, and monsters. In compliance with the state-approved zeitgeist, Russia’s cultural elites are filling the post-communist void in their souls with ancient Slavic mythology and “Aryan” pseudoscience, submerging into the depths of imaginary history, resurrecting forgotten words, notions, and meanings, and defining Russia as the Third Rome.

In other words, they are doing pretty much everything the cultural elites in Hitler’s Germany did when they tried to resurrect the pre-Christian Aryan mythology and lifestyle, defining themselves as the Third Empire, better known to us as the Third Reich.

The parallels in cultural attitudes are striking – and yet, in the mythological hierarchy of today’s “Third Rome,” the Third Reich was populated by monsters. According to the same mythology, the monsters have now reappeared in Ukraine, and Pax Russiana is once again standing up to the noble task of stomping them out. As a bonus, this view allows the participants to re-enact the mythologized heroics of the Great Patriotic War, better known to us as WWII. The circus pleases the plebs, and lowering vodka prices also helps.

A decade of mind-boggling oil revenues may have made Putin look like an invincible superhero, but easy petrodollars have also bloated his ego and made him detached from reality. The rest of the nation simply jumped on the presidential bandwagon. Now that the oil prices have dropped by half, Russia is back to square one: a poor and paranoid outcast, with crumbling currency, junk credit rating, and residual delusions of grandeur.

Superhero Putin is now asking his citizens to “sit tight for a couple of years, it’ll get better,” while his sidekick, prime minister Medvedev, threatens the world with a terrible “boom” and “ka-pow.” The sidekick’s sidekick, deputy prime minister Shuvalov, follows suit by declaring that for Putin’s sake Russians will be happy to eat less and live in the dark.

Quite fittingly, Putin has begun to exchange regular friendly messages with Kim Jong Un. North Korea’s dictator is expected to visit Moscow on May 9th to attend the Victory Day military parade in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War. Both must be looking forward to comparing notes on how to maintain a long and productive career as an international outcast. The Russian media is already producing stories claiming that life in North Korea is not as bad as Western imperialists would want us to believe. Whether Russia is ready for the Ten Principles of Juche remains to be seen, but latest opinion polls indicate that Russia’s positive view of the authoritarian China has grown as high as 77%.

According to a running joke among his critics, Putin has turned Russia into a Burkina Faso with nuclear rockets. And if you’re a member of the Russian parliament, you can even have a personal rocket, or at least a cargo-cult imitation thereof, or perhaps a rocket-shaped voodoo doll, on which you can write the name of your true enemy: Barack Obama.

Russian most popular politicians

EDITORS NOTE: This column was first published in FrontPage Magazine, now with added illustrations. The featured photo is courtesy of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation – KPRF.ru

President Obama please explain this to me

Vladimir Putin has Russian separatists, with the assistance of Russian forces, take over parts of the Ukraine and you impose sanctions on Russia.

Iran supports the massacre of over 200,000 Syrians, provides weapons to its proxy Hezbollah who kill Syrians which ultimately results in the creation of Islamic State.

Iran supports its proxies in Yemen which results in the overthrow of the government of Yemen which was friendly to the U.S. and helped fight al Qaeda.

Iran sends its highest ranking general and most brutal Shiite military forces into Iraq without consulting the U.S. to the alarm of the Pentagon to fight ISIS, which is a prelude to taking over the government of Iraq in order to place Iraq into Iran’s orbit.

Iran is responsible for the death of more than a thousand U.S. soldiers.

Iran supplies rockets to Hamas and Hezbollah which are used against Israel and Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the face of the earth whose population cries death to America and death to Israel and according to the U.S. State Department Iran is the leading State sponsor of terrorism and recently performed a mock attack on a U.S. aircraft carrier.

So can you explain to me why you placed sanctions against Russia but reduced Iranian sanctions; transferred several billion dollars to Iran and you intend to give Iran a path to acquire nuclear weapons?

Even if Iran was not developing nuclear weapons severe sanctions against Iran would be appropriate because it is a leading sponsor of Radical Islamic terrorism and seeks subjugate its neighbors.

One of the most vexing questions no one seems to be asking Obama is; why is it so important for him to make a deal with Iran (a leading sponsor of terrorism) which will lead to Iran’s nuclear weapons breakout and unrestrained nuclear weapons down the road even if Iran doesn’t cheat;– and why is he willing to make a deal that will lead to a nuclear arms race in the region? Based on reports from U.N. nuclear regulatory inspectors we now know that Iran refuses to give them access in violation of Iran’s agreement to do so, to sites where the nuclear weapons program is undoubtedly underway.

This combined with his admission to Julie Pace of the AP that he (Obama) doesn’t trust Iran, makes his position unbelievably confusing and beyond comprehension.

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Obama’s Phased Nuclear Deal with Iran: Kicking the bomb down the road?

This column is co-authored with Ilana Freedman who is a veteran intelligence analyst and specialist in counter-terrorism. Ilana is Editor of FreedmanReport.com.

When we posted late Monday night, February 23, 2015, on breaking news about the phased deal resulting from bilateral discussions between U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif, we knew from our sources that more shoes would be likely to drop. Last night we received information from these reliable sources on the extent to which the Administration had strayed from its original mandate. The information was:

  • Secretary of State John Kerry is poised to sign a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the U.S. and Iran that was completed by negotiators on Saturday, February 14.
  • The State Department has received a decision from Eric Holder’s Department of Justice that the MoU does not require approval by the U.S. Senate in the Constitutionally defined process of Advise and Consent for treaties between the United States and other nations, and that therefore Congress will not be consulted.
  • The agreement does not cover the subject of inspections, removing the requirements of having inspections at any of the sites covered by the memorandum.
  • The agreement will allow Iran to have 10,000 enhanced centrifuges that will increase their nuclear program capacity by upwards of 50%.
  • Of the 10,000 centrifuges allotted, all of Iran’s 6,000 existing centrifuges will be converted to the enhanced, next generation versions. The conversion can begin immediately after the agreement is signed. This will enable Iran to achieve a nuclear threshold state in less than two years. The balance of 4,000 centrifuges will, according to our sources, be supplied by Russia.
Alireza Jafarzadeh Deputy Director of Natioal Council of Reskistance of Iran National Press Club  @-24-15 Source AFP

Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director, Washington Office of NCRI, National Press Club, Feb. 24, 2015.

It is not known whether other Iranian nuclear sites will likewise fall under this inspection exemption, including military test sites like Parchin and the secret parallel Lavizan site, which was disclosed in Washington on Tuesday, February 24th by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in a National Press Club briefing. At the NPC briefing, Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the NCRI’s Washington D.C. office, reported on a secret test site which has been previously identified in reports of the Washington, D.C. based, Institute for Science and International Security.

“Despite the Iranian regime’s claims that all of its enrichment activities are transparent … it has in fact been engaged in research and development with advanced centrifuges at a secret nuclear site called Lavizan-3,” he said.  Jafarzadeh said the site was hidden in a military base in the northeastern suburbs of Tehran.

According to the presentation, the complex was described as a facility 164 feet underground. The Lavizan-3 site was apparently constructed between 2004 and 2008 and has underground labs connected by a tunnel, and lead-lined doors to seal out radiation leaks.  The facility itself is heavily shielded from radiation and insulated against noise and radiation leaks to avoid detection.

“Since 2008, the Iranian regime has secretly engaged in research and uranium enrichment with advanced… centrifuge machines at this site,” Jafarzadeh said.

The NCRI called the existence of the site “a clear violation” of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as UN resolutions and an interim November 2013 deal struck with the P5+1 group, he said.

When asked about the NCRI findings at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the bi-lateral discussions with Iran, Secretary Kerry commented:

That U.S. officials knew of charges related to the site prior to this week, but that “it has not been revealed yet as a nuclear facility.”

“It is a facility that we are well aware of, which is on a list of facilities we have,” the Secretary of State said during a Capitol Hill budget hearing on Wednesday morning. “I’m not going to go into greater detail. . . .But these things are obviously going to have to be resolved as we go forward.”

Rep. Brad Sherman, ranking Democrat on the House Affairs Committee replied to Kerry:

 “The MEK sometimes gives us accurate information.”

“They are the ones that told the world about the Iranian nuclear program,” Mr. Sherman said. “They now say that there’s a secret facility at Lavizan-3.”

A credible independent expert monitoring Iran’s nuclear program raised questions about the NCRI findings.  David Albright of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Science and International Security commented in a USA Today article, February 27, 2015:

“The basic story raises questions about its authenticity. They may have answers but the questions raise further doubts,” Albright said. “The claims are so controversial that any manipulated evidence casts doubt on the whole story.”

The matter of possible violations of the P5+1 interim agreements, the lack of inspections of military applications facilities like Parchin, the Arak heavy water reactor and the Lavizan-3  site near Tehran underlines the evidence of Iran’s  retention of significant uranium enrichment  centrifuge capabilities under the suggested 10 year phase deal the Administration announced  earlier this week.  It begs the question of why any enrichment capabilities are provided to Iran under the proposed arrangement, given that the principal use of centrifuges is for enrichment of uranium into fissile materials for bomb making.

That was a point made by Dan Diker, executive producer of the Voice of Israel “National Security” program during a Middle East Round Table discussion on 1330am WEBY Northwest Florida’s Talk Radio, “Your Turn” with co-hosts Mike BatesJerry Gordon of the NER and Shoshana Bryen , senior director  of the Washington, D.C. based Jewish Policy Center.

Diker of the VOI noted:

The notion that Iran would be able to enrich any uranium is completely unacceptable.  The civilian nuclear programs around the world hosted by Canada and other western countries have nothing to do with centrifuges.  They are just not part of the nuclear file.  Many countries want to have peaceful civilian nuclear power.  The notion that the Iranians would claim that they need centrifuges to produce peaceful nuclear power is an absurdity.  The fact that the P5+1 have allowed any uranium to be enriched is an extremely dangerous proposition.  That is the message that Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to bring to the American people and by extension to the world community.

As to why President Obama and Secretary Kerry would sanction the phased program, Bryen of the JPC suggested:

“[The President’s] thinking appears to be that ten years from now the Mullahs will have fallen, young Iranian democrats will have taken over, and it will be OK.  The big piece of this that he missed is that the Mullahs only represent one part of the Iranian body politic and that is the religious part. Iran is also Persian and Persians are empire-oriented.  Even if we get rid of the Mullahs, even if we get rid of the religious basis for governance in Iran and we have secular people, secular people in Persia believe in a Persian Empire. If we kick this can down the road ten years and the Mullahs are gone, Obama thinks that will be a good thing. I’m not sure that’s true.”

Listen to the February 24, 21015 1330am WEBY Middle East Round Table discussion on the Iranian nuclear program: Segment 1Segment 2Segment 3Segment 4.

An article based on the 1330am WEBY Round Table program will be published in the March 2015, NER.

The WEBY panel will also be heard on a separate Voice of Israel “National Security” program, Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 1PM Israel Standard Time ( 6:00 AM EST in the U.S.).  A sound cloud of that VOI broadcast will also be available on March 1st.

Iran’s provocative activities during the so-called Great Prophet-9 maneuvers this week raised questions about the untimely demonstrations of force directed at the US Fifth Fleet presence in the Persian Gulf. The first episode was the destruction by Iranian cruise missiles on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 launched at a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier as a target near the international oil/gas choke point, the Straits of Hormuz, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf.  Watch the video, here.

Then on Friday, February 27, 2015, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy announced the successful launch of a cruise missile from a submerged Ghadir midget-submarine with a range of 150 miles. Watch the video, here.   Sepah news service quoted Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, commander of IRGC-N saying:

The new weapon would be critical in any future naval war against the U.S.

“The new weapon will have a very decisive role in adding our naval power in confronting threats,” he was quoted as stating in Sepah News.

Iran’s latest operations in the Persian Gulf near the Strait of Hormuz raises many questions. Why mount exercises in which a mock US aircraft carrier is destroyed by the Iranian navy? Or launch cruise missiles designed to take out a US naval destroyer just as the US is about to give them everything they want without a shot fired?  It may be a show of arrogance, a finger in the eye of the Obama administration (which it believes to be weak and foolish), or a move beyond the MoU into a new level of saber rattling to show its neighbors the seriousness of its ambitions. Or it might be all three, a typical multi-dimensional Persian chess play by the IRGC.

What the US must learn – and fast – is that this is not an enemy one can toy with. As in most Middle East politics, the weak are despised and the game goes to the powerful. As the secrets of Obama’s secret negotiations are revealed (or leaked), and the truth comes out about our feckless policies of negotiations and appeasement, the outcome is likely to be devastating for the region and the world.  Iran revels in its possible conquest of American might and moves a giant step closer to achieving its nuclear ambitions with America’s assistance – and blessings.

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

Has Russia Joined the Axis of Evil?

On January 20, 2015, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu signed an “cooperation”  agreement with Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan in Tehran.  Both countries are the targets of Western and US Sanctions. Both countries are afflicted with erosion of oil and energy revenues.  Both countries are seeking to blunt opposing US interests in  Eastern Europe and the Middle East.  That is reflected in a comment of Iranian State television by Dehghan reported by AFP, that Iran and Russia had a “shared analysis of US global strategy, its interference in regional and international affairs and the need to cooperate in the struggle against the interference of foreign forces in the region.”  There is also the matter of weapon systems deals  with proceeds  which might bolster Russia’s depleting foreign currency reserves, while combating America’s ally in the Middle East, Israel .

Moscow Times reported:

Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Shoigu as saying the agreement hashed out a “theoretical framework of cooperation in the military sphere,” and also features an increase in naval cooperation, particularly visits by Russian and Iranian naval forces to each other’s ports.

Although Shoigu made no mention of a breakthrough in arms negotiations with the two countries — which have both come under Western sanctions — Iran’s Fars said that Moscow and Tehran would resolve problems with the delivery of the advanced missile system.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti confirmed the issue was under discussion.

“A step was taken in the direction of cooperation on the economy and arms technology, at least for such defensive systems such as the S-300 and S-400. Probably we will deliver them,” RIA Novosti quoted Colonel General Leonid Ivashov as saying.

Ivashov is the former head of the defense minister’s department of international cooperation.

UKRAINE-RUSSIA-UNREST-POLITICS-CRIMEA

Russian S-300 Air Defense System.

TAAS reported the U.S. studying the announced Russian –Iranian military agreement, but specifically objecting to possible shipment of the S-300/400 air defense system. Russia might finally ship Iran the advanced S-300 air defense system that both the U.S. and Israeli successfully lobbied former Russian President Medvedev in 2010 to cancel.  Immediate payment by Iran of $800 million for the S-300 system may have cemented the deal.  This defense cooperation deal is a prelude to a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a Central Asian republic location.

The Russian delivery of the S-300/400 air defense system to Iran  maybe a  possible counter  to  the IAF December 8, 2014 attacks at Damascus  International airport hangars  that destroyed  deliveries of missiles headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon and allegedly killed two senior  terrorist proxy operatives.   Note this unusual exchange between a Russian Foreign Ministry official and Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz reported by Ha’aretz:

“Moscow is deeply worried by this dangerous development, the circumstances of which demand an explanation,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

In a letter to the United Nations, Russia complained about Israel’s “aggressive action” and demanded that such attacks should not happen again, the spokesman said.

Syria also complained to the UN about the strikes, demanding that the Security Council “severely condemn the Israeli attack and impose punitive sanctions on Israel due to its support of Syrian terrorist organizations.”

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the reported strikes. “We have a firm policy of preventing all possible transfers of sophisticated weapons to terrorist organizations,” Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio.

Israel may be prepared to counter an Iranian S-300 threat. We commented in a 2010, Iconoclast Post:

In June 2008, Israel’s air force undertook massive air training exercises involving more than 100 aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean against Greek S-300 Russian air defense systems. That effort demonstrated the canny effectiveness of swarming attacks against the S-300 and later versions that upset the Iranian military and Revolutionary Guards.

This geo-political deal between two regional hegemons comes on the heels of an Israeli helicopter missile attack on a convoy in Quneitra, Syria last weekend that saw the deaths of senior Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commanders.  The Guardian reported the deaths of  Jihad Mughniyah, son of the late Hezbollah terrorist mastermind,  and IRGC General Mohammed Allahdadi confirmed by both Hezbollah’s Nasrallah and Ayatollah Khamenei.  IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, former Israel National Security Adviser, now senior fellow Begin-Sadat Center commented:

The fact that a senior Iranian is involved, who was involved in planning actions against Israel, is on the benefit side. The presence of a senior Iranian must also come up on the price side. And if his presence was known to the decision-makers, this should have been on the table as part of the problem.

 Both Sheikh Nasrallah leader of Hezbollah and Supreme ruler Ayatollah Khamenei pledged “crushing revenge” for the deaths of these senior commanders in the Axis of Resistance that unites Assad’s Syria, Iran and its Lebanese Shiite proxy, Hezbollah.  Speculation centers that the Hezbollah and IRGC commanders were engaged in possible ‘imminent’  attacks on Israel’s Golan; Nasrallah had threatened in a recent speech on the Galilee using “sophisticated missiles”.  The Golan has seen activities by Hezbollah and Assad regime forces fighting Sunni opposition militias,  Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusrah Front and possibly Islamic State units.   The IDF has deployed an Iron Dome battery to the Golan, reinforced units and conducted artillery drills.

According to some Lebanese analysts, if Hezbollah was foolhardy enough to undertake revenge for Israel’s Sunday’s  attack, it might target the Shebaa Farms, an area disputed between Lebanon and Israel.   However, Israel analysts contend that Hezbollah is in no position to conduct a repetition of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, despite its sophisticated fortifications and tunneling capabilities.

Al Arabiya cited Lebanese analysts suggesting that the  Israeli attack represented “a colossal failure” for Hezbollah:

“This was a colossal failure … because they [Hezbollah] put this number of senior figures in one spot and at the same observation point and at the same time,” Wehbe Katicha, a former Lebanese army general, told Al Arabiya News.

They pointed to the admission by Nasrallah last Thursday that Israeli intelligence had penetrated Hezbollah leadership causing a major security breach:

A member of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s inner circle was recently reported to be spying for Israel. Local media identified the man as Mohammad Shorba. This is one of the most pressing and prominent breaches in the group since its formation.

Katicha noted Shorba’s case, saying the Shiite group was always vulnerable to such infiltration.

[…]

“Shorba was arrested by Hezbollah. He was a senior figure,” he said.

Whether the Russian Iranian military cooperation accord is simply the latest episode in the geo-political games impacting US international interests, or is tacit admission of Russia to the Axis of Resistance, Israel is taking no changes.  It is strengthening its northern frontier should Hezbollah with Iranian backing unleash a doubtful “crushing action” against the Jewish nation.  Given the latter’s success in Sunday’s attack in Syria and Intelligence breach of Hezbollah security, that prospect is doubtful.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Images provided by NER. The original title of this column was “Has Russia Joined the Axis of Resistance”, we have replaced the word resistance with evil. President George W. Bush stated that the Axis of Evil was Iraq, Iran and North Korea. That assessment has not changed.

Russian Nativity Play: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Stalin

Russian_Christmas_Play_Joseph_250.jpg

First published in Front Page Magazine by Oleg Atbashian

What happens to a Christmas play when Joseph Stalin is more known than the biblical Joseph.

This “life imitates the People’s Cube” moment comes from St. Petersburg, Russia. What seems to be a spoof is a legitimate story via RIA Novosti, a Russian news agency. As a historical footnote, Nativity plays are a new concept in Russia, where Joseph Stalin is better known than the biblical Joseph, which occasionally causes Freudian slips like the one below.

A St. Petersburg student mistakenly showed up dressed as Joseph Stalin to the Christmas play where he was supposed to play the biblical character of Joseph.

“Yesterday, my 12-year-old son participated in a school play. He told us ahead of time that he got the role of Joseph Stalin who is talking to some woman. It wasn’t a big surprise to us, as he has played parts in school plays before, and once he was even a watermelon,” wrote the student’s father Fyodor Gavrichenko on his Facebook page.

Gavrichenko said the whole family worked on making the costume – especially the grandmother, who sewed trouser stripes to the pants, found some old army boots, made a generalissimo mustache and a red folder with a big star.

They didn’t realize the mistake until the last moment because the play was in German as part of the boy’s foreign language class, and no one understood what the son’s lines meant. Apparently, the boy hadn’t been paying attention in class either. Instead of bringing the costume to school before the play, he showed the teacher its picture on his cell phone. The teacher thought it was a joke and said that the costume “rocks.”

The family sensed trouble when they saw their son’s classmate dressed as Magi. “Who are you?” asked the Magi. “I’m Mary’s husband… Joseph Stalin,” said the boy. His confidence shaken, the classmate went to the teacher: “Our Joseph turns out to be Stalin… Is that a good thing?” “What?” asked the teacher, as he pulled the curtain revealing the Nativity scene with Joseph and Mary. It was too late to change.

The plot thickened before the drama began. According to the father, Stalin’s outfit was a smash. The boy’s lines were accompanied by fits of hysterical laughter through the tears from other parents, some of whom reportedly fell off their chairs.

Those who can read the original Facebook post in Russian will notice that the father knows as little about the Nativity story as his son, confusing characters and their roles in the story. This is rather a norm in Russia, where erstwhile official atheism is only now being replaced by the official Orthodox Church. This St. Petersburg family couldn’t tell the shepherds from angels even if their son’s play weren’t in German. But at least they’re trying.

Some conservatives see the resurgence of Christianity in Russia as a good thing, praising Putin for his support to the Russian Orthodox Church. They may not realize just what kind of Christianity Putin is boosting in Russia – a People’s Religion with St. Joseph as its prophet.

The icons below are not parodies and they have not been photoshopped. The mix-up of Josephs in our Christmas story is more than a Freudian slip. It’s a representation of the new state religion.