November 2016– GEOPOLITICS – The European Union’s founders believed its unity would be forged in crisis, but after BREXIT and the election of Donald Trump to the White House the bloc looks shakier than ever. On Sunday, foreign ministers from the 28 EU countries will hold talks in Brussels on the impact of a president who has previously questioned the decades-old transatlantic pact to defend the continent. With populists on the rise, Russia posing an increasingly menacing presence to the east, the migration crisis and the endless fallout from the Eurozone debt crash, many fear perpetual turmoil. EU President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday that the events of 2016 were a “warning sign for all who believe in liberal democracy,” and urged Europe to “finally get our act together.”
But Trump’s election has made it harder to regroup, given that Europe — while trying to stay pragmatic in dealing with Washington — has no idea what to really expect from the billionaire. And European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker is worried that a lot of time could be wasted teaching Trump about Europe. “Mr. Trump, during his campaign, said that Belgium was a village somewhere in Europe,” Juncker told students in Luxembourg on Friday. “We must teach the president-elect what Europe is and how it works,” he said. “I believe we’ll have two years of wasted time while Mr Trump tours a world he doesn’t know.” Soul-searching has been the order of the day in Brussels ever since the body-blow of Britain’s vote in June to become the first country to leave the EU in its 60-year history.
Tusk warned at the time that the “Western political civilization” that has kept Europe at peace since World War II was now at risk. That “civilization” has seen both sides of the Atlantic broadly sharing the same commitment to the free market and liberal democracy, with America propping up Europe’s defenses. Until now. Trump’s campaign threats to abandon the collective defense pledge that is the bedrock of the NATO military alliance was a major shock for Europe. Juncker also warned that Trump’s campaign rhetoric displayed huge ideological differences with Europe. He noted the businessman-turned-reality TV star had “taken a view of refugees and non-white Americans that does not reflect European convictions and feelings.” Both Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande have called on Trump to uphold democratic values in a sign of Europe’s concerns.
Trump’s apparent closeness to Russia will also be ringing alarm bells in Europe as it debates whether to keep up sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and looks for solutions to the conflict in Syria. “The post-Second World War global leadership role of Western liberal democracy was already challenged,” said Fabian Zuleeg of the European Policy Centre think-tank. “But a Trump administration will increase US isolationist tendencies, which is a further blow to this leadership role.” Rattled European leaders have issued calls, after both Brexit and the Trump win, for Europe to seize its own destiny and tackle what they have dubbed a “polycrisis.” Trump and Brexit are at least being seen in some quarters as an opportunity to boost EU unity, with the bloc’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini saying it can be a “superpower” for peace.
Officials insist the bloc is more resilient than it is given credit for — just as the EU’s founding father Jean Monnet wrote in his memoirs that “Europe will be forged in crises.” But so far the EU’s main response has been its time-honored one: Call more meetings. Analysts say that is not enough. “Europeans are muddling through,” Judy Dempsey of the Carnegie Europe think-tank told a seminar this week. “One wonders how many wake-up calls the Europeans actually need to do something.” The timing is increasingly urgent. France holds presidential elections next year and far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s chances of pulling off a Trump-like coup are suddenly being taken more seriously. Far-right parties are also hoping for a boost in polls in the Netherlands and Austria, while Merkel, increasingly taking a role as the EU’s moral anchor, is up for re-election. Brexiteer-in-chief Nigel Farage exults over what many others fear. “Don’t think that the democratic revolution is over,” he tweeted. “There are plenty more shocks to come. 2017 may surprise us as much as 2016.” – Yahoo
November 2016 – NEW YORK – Demonstrators with signs reading “Not my president!” clogged streets in New York City on Saturday during a fourth day of anti-Trump protests nationwide, which included violence in Portland, Oregon, where one person was shot. Two 18-year-old men detained early Saturday were arrested later in the day in connection to the shooting on Portland’s Morrison Bridge, which occurred after 1 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) Saturday, police said. It was unclear whether the shooting was politically motivated.
“Preliminary information indicates that a suspect was in a vehicle on the bridge and there was a confrontation with someone in the protest,” Portland police said in a statement. “The suspect got out of the vehicle and fired multiple shots injuring the victim.” The victim is expected to survive, police said. The arrests were made after an off-duty officer spotted a suspect vehicle and detained four people who are believed to be “criminal gang associates,” police said. A firearm was found in the vehicle, police said.
Earlier, police reported that “burning projectiles” were being thrown at officers during one of three demonstrations that occurred simultaneously in the city. The gunshots came on the fourth night of protests in Portland. A day earlier, a similar rally boiled over into what police described as a “riot” after some demonstrators armed with bats smashed stores and cars, and others lit fires.
Elsewhere overnight Friday, marchers blocked a major roadway in the Miami area and hundreds gathered in Atlanta, Boston and other cities. By early Saturday in New York, a total of 11 arrests were reported. A larger protest that was organized Saturday afternoon began in Manhattan’s Union Square and ended at Trump Tower in midtown, where demonstrators stopped and chanted in front of the skyscraper where Trump resides and was meeting with visitors. MSNBC reported more than 16,000 protesters were expected outside of Trump Tower. “We reject the president-elect!” the crowd chanted along Fifth Avenue.
Among the sea of police officers, protesters and gawkers at Trump Tower were some familiar faces. Filmmaker Michael Moore showed up at the president-elect’s iconic Fifth Avenue landmark, live-streaming his visit as he made his way as far into the building as he could before security stopped him. Trump is an “illegitimate president and does not have the vote of the people,” Moore told NBC News as he ascended up the floors of the ornate building that bears Trump’s name in gold on the front of it. Moore, who was wearing a safety pin as a show of solidarity for minorities and women who feel threatened after Trump’s election, was stopped on the fourth floor when he asked to meet with Trump. “You’d have to check with his staff,” a secret service agent told him. –NBC
The Dark Side of the protests: Soros was busted for paying protesters to go into Ferguson and stir things up. This is not theory. It’s FACT. The Daily Mail reported that Soros spent $33 million to bankroll the protests. The Washington Times reported that it was totally cool, though, because humanitarian that he is, Soros just wanted to help the civil rights movement. What a guy. Of course, this seems to be a thing with the kabillionaires. The Ford Foundation and Rockefeller foundation also fund “social activism.” Which is kabillionaire code for “mess stuff up and wreak havoc.” –Daisy Luther
November 2016– WASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s election may have prevented World War Three, a top official at the Kremlin has revealed. The Republican’s victory was greeted with jubilation in Moscow yesterday, with Russian President Vladimir Putin known to loathe Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. Relations between the two superpowers have been frosty during the Obama administration, and during Trump’s campaign the President-elect promised friendlier relations with Moscow.
The Russian premier yesterday spoke of his hopes that tensions can be set aside. His aide Sergei Glazyev went further, describing Clinton as a symbol of war. He told reporters, Lenta reports: ‘Americans had two choices: World War 3 or multilateral peace. ‘Clinton was a symbol of war, and Trump has a chance to change this course.’
Fellow Putin aide Vyacheslav Volodin, said that the end of the Obama years will signal ‘an end to the problems it caused between the Kremlin and Washington.’ Among these were sanctions imposed by the US and the EU after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Volodin said: ‘Sanctions are the tool used by the weak.’ And he added: ‘With sanctions you can’t have mutual respect.’
In a speech in the Kremlin yesterday, Putin stated: ‘We have heard the pre-election statements by then-candidate (Trump), which were directed at rebuilding relations between Russia and the US. ‘We understand that this will not be an easy path considering the unfortunate degradation of relations. But Russia is ready and wants to restore full-fledged relations with the US.’ The Russian President, who had a frosty relationship with President Obama and Hillary Clinton, continued: ‘We are ready to do our part and do everything to return (US-Russian) relations to the trajectory of development.
‘This would be in the interest of Russian and American people and would positively affect the general climate in international relations, considering the special responsibility of Russia and the US for ensuring global stability and security.’ Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin voiced hopes for more constructive US-Russian dialogue when the newly-elected president takes office. He said: ‘Current Russian-US relations cannot be called friendly. One would like to hope that a more constructive dialog between the two countries will be possible when the new president takes office.’ –Daily Mail
November 2016 – POLITICS – Bad news for anyone looking to relocate to our neighbor to the north after last night’s election results: Canada doesn’t want you. After Americans—and especially American celebrities—began considering making good on their promises to “move to Canada” in the wake of Donald Trump election victory, Canadians took to Twitter to warn Americans that they’d best stay where they are. They’re even talking about building their own wall—to keep immigrants from American out of their pristine cities and away from their mounted law enforcement, gravy and cheese covered French fries, superior hockey coverage and French Sesame Street.
Even CBC, Canada’s state-owned broadcasting network, is trying to actively discourage a mass migration. As the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website crashed last night, the CBC took to its blog to warn people that emigrating to Canada isn’t as easy as jumping a border. To avoid deportation back to Trump’s America, they’d have to spend years in Canada’s aggressive filter system and spend thousands of dollars. And then, they’d have to find jobs in Canada’s crowded urban metropolises—unless, of course, they like farming.
But if there’s anyone Canada really doesn’t want, among the number of celebrities who “seriously’ pledged to move north, it’s Girls star Lena Dunham (though, it seems, they’d also prefer not to house either Miley Cyrus or Amy Schumer). –Heat Street
November 2016 – POLITICS – President Barack Obama said his legacy was on the ballot. His legacy lost on Tuesday night. Donald Trump’s election was a stinging rebuke for the president who pushed through transformational reforms on healthcare, Wall Street and the environment. And, especially for Democrats, it was all the more confounding given that his approval rating has rarely been higher — “paradoxical,” as former Obama strategist David Axelrod described it early Wednesday morning.
The polls and the media all got this wrong, just like they got BREXIT wrong. ABC News commentator, Matt Dowd, called the Trump win “the biggest miss in history.” Former ABC News Anchor Charlie Gibson said he “was gob smacked.” He went on to say, “we’re in uncharted territory,” with Trump’s historic nomination as president.
Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, both she and Obama gambled that tethering her agenda to his rebounding personal popularity would help seal the progress he spent eight years battling for. “My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot,” Obama told a gathering of black leaders in September, in a formulation he would deliver repeatedly throughout the fall as he stumped for Clinton. He ticked off his accomplishments: expanded health coverage, economic recovery and troops largely removed from harms’ way in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And with his approval rating hovering in the mid-fifties — his highest in four or 7 years, depending on the poll — Obama seemed like a powerful surrogate. But it didn’t seem to be enough to drive even his supporters to the polls, with Clinton losing at least four states that Obama won twice. In fact, Democrats faced similarly disastrous results the last time Obama said his agenda, if not his name, was on the ballot. “Make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them,” Obama said in October 2014, just before the midterms. Democratic strategists cringed, and with good reason: Obama’s approval rating was in one of its deepest trenches. A month later, his party lost its majority in the Senate. Obama’s policies never achieved his level of popularity. His signature health law never cracked 50 percent approval in any Kaiser tracking poll — in October, Americans were evenly split, with 45 percent approving and disapproving of Obamacare. –ABC News
The moment that turned it all around in America – Nigel Farrage’s historic U.S. speech in Mississippi for Trump united the disenfranchised and politically dissatisfied in America. It energized Trump supporters with “Brexit fever.”
Shock and dismay: What happened? The 2016 U.S. presidential election was a statement about “populist outrage.” The liberal globalist policies that have only favored big banks and further enriched the 1% have left the majority of the world’s population economically reeling on the sidelines of prosperity. On Election Day, the American electorate across the country unified in a single voice at the ballot box and expressed their outrage at the ‘status quo.’ The Bushes, the Clintons, Obama, Mitt Romney, Colin Powell and every other Republican who crossed Republican Party lines in disdain of Trump to vote for the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, now have egg on their faces. They have proven, once again, they are on the wrong side of history. Hillary Clinton was heavily favored to win the U.S. election – or so, everyone thought. The reason the polls, political pundits, and liberal news media outlets in America all got it wrong is because Trump got it right. He tapped into the populist political sentiment simmering across America. Both BREXIT and Trump’s win represents a social and political revolution that continues to sweep the globe. It’s a call for a reordering of society – that the people’s voice be heard. It is an antipathy against globalism, political cronyism, military hegemony, and elitism. And we say, ‘Long live the revolution!’
November 2016 – SIGN OF THE TIMES – In case of an election night Doomsday, preppers are running up sales of emergency survival food. While sales for “long term food” typically see an increase around natural disasters and elections, “this is more intense than what we saw in 2012,” said Keith Bansemer, VP of marketing for My Patriot Supply, a manufacturer and seller of survival food. During the previous election his company saw sales double. This time it’s triple. “We have everyone we can on the phones,” he said. “We are overwhelmed.”
Purchases at other long term food supply companies are up as well. Emergency preparedness online store The Epicenter reports a 6 percent uptick in year over year sales. Another company, Legacy Foods, predicts they’ll see a 1-2 week spike in sales after the election — if Hillary Clinton wins, said owner Phil Cox. The meals, sold by the plastic bucket or tote bin, are typically dehydrated or freeze-dried food in sealed military-grade Mylar packs. Menu items include pasta primavera, Hawaiian Style Sweet n’ Sour, cheesy broccoli and rice soup, orange energy drink mix and chocolate pudding. They’re sold in bundles based on how long they’ll feed you.
For $2,000 spent at Legacy Foods, you could eat three square meals a day for an entire year. That’s 1,080 servings. The Epicenter has a 14-day supply kit for $235 that’s recently been “selling really well,” said owner Bryan Nelson. The most popular entry-level seller at My Patriot Supply is a 3-month supply for $497. It comes a in nondescript gray slim line totes bin designed to be easy to stack in the back of a closet or slip under your bed. Big name retailers are in on the game. Costco sells a 1-month supply of 390 servings in plastic gallon buckets for $114.99. Wal-Mart has a bucket deal, too. What’s feeding this new urgency? Survivalist consumers says they’re preparing for post-election unrest that could involve everything from massive riots, to power grid outages, to the total collapse of the financial system where a can of food becomes currency.
And it’s not just guys digging a hole on their farm and filling it with MRE’s who are driving sales, companies say, but schoolteachers, moms, and successful financial planners. Nor is it limited to just rural areas. “Frederick Reddie,” a 41-year-old “urban prepper” from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is stocking up on staples like rice and peanut butter and working on expanding his 6-month supply of emergency food to two years. He has to use a pseudonym to protect his supply from any future hungry neighbors, he told NBC News. Reddie predicts a Trump win that has the urban poor revolting across the nation and the imposition of martial law to quell riots and the burning of businesses. But he’s also getting ready for the possibility of a Clinton victory that he says could lead to conflict with Russia and “World War 3 in 2017.”
Either way, Freddy’s ready – with both supplies and a word of advice. “At minimum stock up your cabinets as if you knew a hurricane was coming,” he said. “It’ll be like a hurricane that could touch every city in America.” The companies take pains to point out that they sell food not just for the collapse of civilization but also for camping, outdoor recreation, and natural disaster preparedness, like Ebola or volcanoes. Their customers are careful, self-sufficient and pragmatic types, they say, students of history who know things like stock market bubbles and crashes go in cycles and are taking small, meaningful steps, to reassert control over a toxic election. They’re always thinking ahead.
Cans of food that last 25 years are “better than money in the bank,” said Nelson. “If you think the value of money is going to go down, then you could convert dollars into something tangible that you can use later” for either eating or barter. Bansemer said that his customers don’t necessarily fear a specific election outcome, but change itself. “You hear them saying, no matter who wins, I know I could take a positive step myself and secure what’s important,” he said. “They’re securing their food supply.” –NBC News
November 2016 – U.S. POLITICS – “Get ready for war with Russia” if Hillary Clinton is elected president, said progressive Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein. “This election, we are not only deciding what kind of world we will have, but whether we will have a world or not going forward,” Stein warned, explaining that Clinton’s trigger-happy militarism “is a mushroom cloud waiting to happen.” While Stein adamantly opposes a Trump presidency, she explained that the dangers posed by a Clinton presidency are “arguably even more immediate and intense.” Stein blasted Clinton’s “warmongering” that “almost single-handedly” brought us the turmoil in Libya and could lead us into a nuclear war if Clinton were elected president.
“Hillary brought us Libya almost single-handedly,” Stein explained in a Thursday Fox Business interview. She continued: And she has said that she will lead the charge with a no-fly zone in Syria, and that basically amounts to a declaration of war against Russia, who is there under international law, having been invited by the sitting government. Like it or not, Russia has the sanction of international law to be there. For us to go in and declare a no-fly zone means get ready for war with Russia. Both of us have 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert. This is the most dangerous moment— according to the former president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, who, two weeks ago, said this is the most dangerous nuclear moment ever.
Stein elaborated on this view during a Facebook Live interview with progressive Marc Lamont Hill, who has endorsed Stein over Clinton: “In this election, we are not only deciding what kind of world we will have, but whether we will have a world or not going forward,” Stein said, adding: Not only in regards to climate, not only in regards to these expanding wars where Hillary has this proven track record … of the most pro-conflict military policy as possible, and she’s calling for a no-fly zone in Syria, which means we’re essentially declaring war on Russia if Hillary gets elected–declaring war on Russia at a time when we have 2,000 nuclear weapons between us and the Russians on hair trigger alert. This is a mushroom cloud waiting to happen. So it’s really important right now for us to stand up and start building a force to do the right thing.
“No one should fool themselves into thinking that the dangers will be smaller, that they will be mitigated in any way for having Hillary in White House. In some ways, they’re arguably even more immediate and intense,” Stein said. “But the dangers will be mitigated if we have created a strong force and we stand up loud and clear and we have a political base for this social movement that is coming together across this country and, really, across the world–this movement that puts people, planet, and peace over profit.” “It’s very clear what kind of a trend we’re on,” Stein explained:
This is a race to the bottom between the greater and lesser evil. Where is the exit strategy if you buy into this [idea that one must vote for one of the major parties]? It means that in every election, we have two candidates that are more corporatist, more militarist, more imperialist, more economic elites, more serving Wall Street, off-shoring our jobs, more of these rigged corporate trade agreements, more of this climate policy. … There is no exit strategy if you buy into the lesser evil. It means with each race, we come closer and closer to the cliff. “We must find and elect alternatives to the Wall Street-backed oligarchy, the warmongers, and the anti-humanitarians,” Stein wrote on Twitter. –Brietbart
October 2016 – SYRIA – Aboard a US military aircraft (AFP) – A Russian fighter flew dangerously close to a U.S. warplane over eastern Syria, US defense officials said Friday, highlighting the risks of a serious mishap in the increasingly crowded airspace. The near miss occurred late on October 17, when a Russian jet that was escorting a larger spy plane maneuvered in the vicinity of an American warplane, Air Force Lieutenant General Jeff Harrigan said.The Russian jet came to “inside of half a mile,” he added. Another US military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the American pilot could feel the turbulence produced by the Russian jet’s engines. “It was close enough you could feel the jet wash of the plane passing by,” the official said. It appeared the Russian pilot had simply not seen the US jet, as it was dark and the planes were flying without lights.
“I would attribute it to not having the necessary situational awareness given all those platforms operating together,” Harrigan said. The incident raises serious questions about the extent to which pilots are able to track the complex airspace they operate in. The US-led coalition has set up a hotline with Russian counterparts so the different militaries can discuss the approximate locations and missions of planes, and avoid operating in the same space at the same time.
(Filed News Report : CNN – June 2016 – The Syrian Crisis – U.S. (D) Rep. Tulsi Gabbard)
In this case, the American pilot tried unsuccessfully to reach the Russian jet via an emergency radio channel. The next day, US officers used the hotline to ask Russia what had happened and they said “the pilot didn’t see” the American plane, the official said. Harrigan said there had been an increase in close calls over the past six weeks, with intentional near misses — when a Russian jet deliberately follows a coalition plane too closely – “happening one every 10 days-ish.” Russia is flying constant air patrols over Syria, the vast majority of them over the devastated city of Aleppo, and routinely transits parts of the country the US-coalition operates in, officials said. Russia says it has not bombed Aleppo since October 18. The Pentagon periodically chides Russia for “unsafe and unprofessional behavior” in air operations. This incident was deemed unsafe, but not necessarily unprofessional, officials said. –Yahoo
NATO says Russia a nuclear threat to Europe: Russia is willing to use its nuclear rhetoric to intimidate and threaten its European neighbors, the head of NATO has warned. Tensions between Russia and the West have reached some of their highest levels since the end of the Cold War, with the UK and NATO moving to bolster its presence in Eastern Europe. In recent weeks Vladimir Putin’s armed forces have made a series of bold statements and announcements – including showing off new advanced weaponry and carrying out large military exercises. Jens Stoltenberg told the Today program on Radio 4: “Russia is stronger than Russia was some years ago. “And Russia is a power which is willing to use military force against neighbors.
“We have seen substantial use of military force and add to that Russia is a nuclear power. A nuclear power which is using nuclear rhetoric to intimidate other European nations. “We take this seriously and that is why NATO is adapting and responding in a measured defensive way.” He continued: “We don’t seek confrontation with Russia, we don’t want a new Cold War. “We will continue to strive for a more cooperative and constructive relationship with Russia.
“But we have to do that based on collective defense deterrents.” A former British ambassador to Moscow warned on Thursday tensions between Russia and the West are at the “most dangerous” levels they have ever been. Sir Anthony Brenton said: “Having dealt with Russia for more than 20 years in the Foreign Office and served as British Ambassador to Russia between 2004 and 2008, we are in the most dangerous situation in our relations I have ever seen. “In Russia all the talk is of a second Cold War, with active preparations for fighting a hot war if necessary. “We have Syria, where Russia is supporting dictator President Bashar al-Assad and bombing besieged east Aleppo mercilessly. “There is no doubt Russia is very hyped up. They see a real threat of confrontation with the West.” Among the aggressive military moves ordered by Mr. Putin include equipping his warship fleet in the Baltic with long-range missiles and unveiling a new ICBM dubbed ‘Satan 2.’ –Express
Russian warns of retaliation: With US and Russia engaged what some call a new Cold War, some 900 US troops are about to find themselves on its most dangerous front. The US and NATO confirmed this week that the US will lead a multinational battalion in northeast Poland beginning in April 2017, a strategically crucial location that would put them in the center of hostilities should an armed clash between NATO and Russia break out. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told reporters Wednesday that the American soldiers will be headquartered in Orzysz, Poland, a town which lies only miles from the most likely target of a possible Russian attack against NATO, according to military analysts.
Carter made the remarks while speaking after a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels. He called the unit a “battle-ready battalion task force.” Russia was quick to criticize the announcement. In a series of tweets, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, called the deployments “confrontational schemes of military building up in areas along our borders” and threatened retaliation. “NATO countries understand that these actions will not remain without a response from our side,” he said. –CNN
Lithuania concerned about a Russian invasion: Conscription has been restarted and defense spending ramped up, not to mention their now-answered calls for NATO to deploy more troops to the Baltics. But even this is not enough to assuage anxiety — the Lithuanian government has Friday issued a 75-page guide on what to do if the country is invaded, entitled “Prepare to survive emergencies and war. Attention needs to be paid to the actions of the neighboring country — Russia,” says the manual.
“This country does not hesitate to use a military force against its neighbors, and at this moment it basically continues the military aggression against Ukraine.” It notes the Russian method of using “denial and ambiguity” at the beginning of an invasion and warns: “It is most important that the civilians are aware and have a will to resist — when these elements are strong, an aggressor has difficulties in creating an environment for military invasion.” –CNN
Politicians – they are the ones who start the wars. They are the ones who bankrupt the country. They are the ones who pass unfair trade deals that destroyed both the manufacturing base in America along with the Middle Class. They are the ones who appease special interest and favor big business over the individual tax-paying consumer. They are the ones who bail out the banks. They are the ones who lie to you to get elected. They are the ones who raise your taxes. They are the ones who fail to regulate the recklessness of Wall Street. They are the ones who deficit spends beyond what budget constraints should allow. They are the ones who appoint the federal judges who make the laws that infringe upon your personal liberties. No wonder they are always working to antagonize foreign nations or looking for a foreign bogeyman to vilify because that keeps your disgust off them, the real root cause of most of the country’s problems, and puts it on a foreign enemy that, chances are, they helped create in the first place.
October 2016 – MOSCOW/WASHINGTON – While people the world over are more interested in the November 8 U.S. presidential election and all the succulent stories coming from the campaign trail, a crisis of nuclear war proportions is gathering pace behind their backs. Hostilities between Russia and the United States are on the rise. Since the Ukrainian crisis of 2014, relations between the two countries have been marked by fiery exchanges of words and moves and counter moves aimed at checking each other on the chess board of global conflicts. The developments surrounding the present cold-war-like situation evoke memories of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis that brought the world perilously to the brink of a nuclear war.
On Wednesday, NATO rushed four battle groups to the Russian border in a move that is seen as linked to the ongoing Syrian war. In Syria, the unexpected entry of Russia last year upended the U.S. plans which were set in motion on behalf of its West Asian allies such Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to oust the Bashar al-Assad regime. When President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian fighter jets to attack ISIS positions, describing the terror group as an existential threat to Russia’s security, the U.S. and its Middle Eastern allies had no option but to grudgingly welcome it. What else could they do? Could they have rushed in to defend ISIS from Russian bombs? Could they have convened the United Nations Security Council to condemn Russia just as they tried to do this month to prevent Russia from freeing Aleppo from the clutches of the extremists? Global public revulsion against ISIS was so overwhelming then that it placed the US in an untenable situation and forced it to allow Russia into West Asia, a region which the US considered as its exclusive domain.
Russia’s war against ISIS in Syria was quite different to the U.S. war on the terror group, which was ironically supported by Washington’s allies. The recent Hillary Clinton emails leaked by Wikileaks exposed their ‘run-with-the-hare-and-hunt-with-the-hounds’ antics. Outsmarted, the architects of the Syrian war gnashed their teeth and waited for the opportune moment to hit back. Turkey, part of the U.S.-led alliance in Syria, fired the first shot by shooting down a Russian fighter jet on the border with Syria in September last year. Russia’s response was measured and more focused. The economic sanctions Russia imposed on Turkey eventually brought Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Moscow with an apology. This came in the aftermath of the failed military coup in August and against the backdrop of allegations that the U.S. supported the coup. Turkey then inked a pipeline deal with Russia on October 10 when Putin was in Istanbul for the World Energy Congress. This was another masterstroke by Russia.
The new pipeline will eventually replace the South Stream pipeline which goes through Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. The latter two states have backed the European Union sanctions on Russia following President Putin’s annexation of Crimea in the wake of the U.S. instigated coup against Viktor Yanukovych, the democratically elected pro-Russian president of Ukraine, in 2014. The new pipeline means these countries would lose their transit fees. Pipeline politics is certainly a casus belli for the Syrian civil war. It was not so much the Arab Spring that turned the peaceful country into a hellhole. Rather, it was Syria’s rejection of a Saudi-Qatari proposal to accommodate a pipeline that would take the two Gulf countries’ gas to Europe via Turkey. This prompted the war under the guise of a people power protest campaign. The Saudi-Qatari pipeline, if constructed, would have adversely affected Syria’s key ally Russia also, because Russia, hit by western economic sanctions and the oil-price plunge – engineered by Saudi Arabia — is now heavily dependent on its oil and gas exports to Europe for economic survival.
There is another less-talked about oil story. In 2013, an Israeli-American joint project was set up to extract new found oil in the Golan Heights, a Syrian territory occupied by Israel following the 1967 war. Israel has no right under international law to exploit the territory’s resources. Israel’s interests would be served if a pro-Israeli government is set up in Damascus – a government that would cede the Golan Heights to its Zionist neighbor. The entry of Russia into Syria to prop up the Assad regime has shattered the dreams of the war’s architects who did not care about the suffering they would inflict on civilians. They thought that just as they got rid of Muammar Gaddafi of Libya within a few months, they could throw out Assad also – what a costly mistake by a greedy few!
In the ongoing Mosul war by Iraqi troops under U.S. guidance, the Syrian war architects find another opportunity to hit out at Russia. The strategy is to drive the ISIS fighters from Iraq into Syria to make them fight Russia and thereby prevent a Russian-Syrian victory in Aleppo. If Aleppo is liberated, it could mean the Syrian war is all but ended in favor of Assad. Not unaware of this strategy, Russia, in a bid to increase its fire power in Syria, is sending a flotilla of warships, including an aircraft carrier and nuclear-powered submarines to the Mediterranean. As Russia frustrates the designs of the Syrian war architects, NATO, on Wednesday, launched a countermove, urging its members to contribute to its biggest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the Cold War. Its call signaled the opening up of another protracted quarrel with Moscow. NATO could now tell Russia that if it wants NATO out of its backyard, then it should get out of Syria.
On Wednesday, Britain sent tanks, drones and 800 troops to Estonia as part of this NATO build-up. France, Denmark, Italy and other members were expected to join the four battle groups led by the United States, Germany, Britain and Canada to go to Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. In anticipation of this buildup, Russia has already deployed its nuclear-weapon capable Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad near the Polish border. On Tuesday, Russia unveiled its largest ever nuclear missile which is capable of destroying the whole of France. The unveiling of the RS-28 Sarmat missile, which Nato scornfully calls Satan 2, came weeks after the Kremlin held a mega military drill over four days. The drill which involved a mock evacuation of 40 million people, raised questions whether Putin was preparing for a nuclear war. Russia has also fortified its defenses in the Black Sea region which Turkish President Erdogan has said is becoming a “Russian lake”.
Anonymous sends sobering warning message that World War 3 is on the Horizon 2016
With Hillary Clinton, the war party’s favorite, set to win the U.S. elections, the situation is only likely to be exacerbated, warranting the watchers of the doomsday clock to bring the long hand a minute or two closer to midnight. The clock was set to three minutes to midnight in January because of the threats posed by climate change and nuclear war. The only redeeming feature is that nuclear powers do not go to war. But that’s not a rule. –Daily Mirror