That which happens in Ukraine matters to America. George Friedman gives you the reasons why.
Borderlands: First Moves in Romania
MAY 27, 2014 – 03:02
I arrived in Bucharest, Romania, the day after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will be here in a few weeks. The talk in Bucharest, not only among the leadership but also among the public, is about Ukraine. Concerns are palpable, and they are not only about the Russians. They are also about NATO, the European Union, the United States and whether they will all support Romania if it resists Russia. The other side of the equation, of course, is whether Romania will do the things it must do in order to make outside support effective. Biden left Romania with a sense that the United States is in the game. But this is not a region that trusts easily. The first step was easy. The rest become harder.
If this little Cold War becomes significant, there are two European countries that matter the most: Poland and Romania. Poland, which I visit next, stands between Germany and Russia on the long, flat North European plain. Its population is about 38 million people. Romania, to the south, standing behind the Prut River and bisected by the Carpathian Mountains, has a population of about 20 million. Of the roughly 82 million people along the eastern frontier (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria), approximately 58 million live in Poland and Romania. Biden’s visit to Romania and U.S. President Barack Obama’s planned visit to Poland provide a sense of how Washington looks at the region and, for the moment at least, the world. How all of this plays out is, of course, dependent on the Russians and the course of the Ukrainian crisis.
All Soviet satellites emerged damaged after the collapse of the old order in 1989. Few were as damaged as Romania. In many ways, the damage was self-inflicted: The villain of the piece was a Romanian, Nicolae Ceausescu. Ceausescu followed an anti-Soviet line, staying in the Warsaw Pact but displaying singular hostility to the Soviet Union. I recall Americans being excited about Ceausescu’s Romania since, being anti-Soviet, it was assumed that by definition he had to be pro-American. To America’s amazement, he wasn’t. He wasn’t even pro-Romanian given that he concocted a scheme to pay off all of Romania’s foreign debts by destroying the lives of a generation of Romanians by consigning the vast majority of the country’s agricultural and industrial production to hard currency exports. Beyond that, he created a nightmarish security system that was both corrupt and vicious. The world barely noticed. When the end came, it also came for Ceausescu and his wife, the only Eastern European leaders to be executed (amid intense fighting between factions).
For all that, Romania has done remarkably well. Romania’s unemployment rate is only about 7 percent, which by European standards is remarkably low. Its annual growth rate stands at more than 3 percent, which is conversely high. In talking to Romanians, it is hard to see into their hearts. They seem a gracious and friendly people, with a measure of distrust and a taste for conspiracy no greater than the norm for this region. What is remarkable about the Romanians is that they are unremarkable. They have emerged from a nightmare inflicted by one of their own and have regained their balance.
Ceausescu aside, the nightmare was initiated by the Soviets, who were drawn in by the Germans. This has resulted in a lasting national trait: When the Russians act, it strikes fear deep into the Romanian heart. When the Russians act and the Germans have a hand in the action, the Romanians’ worst nightmare is realized. Their reaction doesn’t manifest itself as with the Poles, who are always committed to the decisive confrontation. Instead, the nightmare scenario elicits a more cautious and sinewy response involving the search for a way both to resist and if necessary to accommodate. Above all, it elicits a search for allies, preferably far enough away not to occupy them and strong enough to offer meaningful support. Obviously, the Americans are tailor-made for this role, so long as they don’t overstep their bounds and generate fears of domination.
The Ukrainian Factor
Events in Ukraine have, of course, set this process in motion. Remarkably, the United States, which remained a bystander other times, has gotten quickly and significantly involved this time around. There is no question in Romania as to the importance of Ukraine to Russia, nor any belief that the Russians will let go of it. My view is that Russia will not let go, but will let things quiet down a bit. The Russian gamble is that no matter what the outcome of Ukraine’s elections, the Ukrainians will be unable to form a coherent government. If that is true, then the Russians can pick the Ukrainians apart over time, returning to the status quo ante. Therefore, the Russians will wait. Time, if this view is correct, is on the Russians’ side.
The Russians do not want to be excessively aggressive for another reason: namely, Germany. The Germans do not want to go beyond occasional rhetoric in confronting Russia. In fact, they don’t want to confront Russia at all. They want to do business with Russia. I heard several times that the Germans have already opted to align themselves with Russia for commercial reasons. In my view, German policy is moving in that direction, but the deal is not yet sealed. In the same way that Russian President Vladimir Putin rushed to China to gain at least the appearance of strategic options, so, too, Putin wants as deep a relationship with Germany as he can get. He will not be excessively and overtly aggressive until and unless he must be. The Germans cannot be seen as simply abandoning their European allies, and Putin cannot put them in that position
The Russians want to quiet Ukraine down for another reason. Crises galvanize Americans to act rapidly, and frequently, effectively. Crises that are dying down cause the Americans to pause and consider the direction of events. As Biden’s visit to Romania indicated, Washington moves fast in crisis mode. The Russians can control the tempo of American actions by cooling things down in Ukraine — or so they think. And this is precisely what worries the Romanians. They see themselves as having a long-term Russian problem. At the moment, they are making a large bet that the Americans will follow through on their commitments and interest even as the Russians dial down the immediate crisis.
Fairly or not, the Romanians see the Obama administration as insufficiently engaged and heedless of the dangers the Russians pose. They also see the administration as intensely critical of Romania’s culture of corruption — which the Romanians admit is a problem — but intensely interested in military and political coordination. They understand the United States, which is what worries them. On the one hand, they will be courted intensely by the vice president only to be condemned by the State Department, and expected to expose themselves to Russian retaliation. I tried to explain the complexities of being American. The Romanians’ sympathy was restrained. They think they heard a real commitment from the American side, but they simply don’t know how genuine it is.
In the course of various conversations I tried to explain my view of the situation. The United States has a pattern of engagement in Europe. It postpones intervention to the last moment, builds alliance structures, supports allies with economic and military aid, and then waits until late in the game to intervene, always hoping it won’t have to. Biden’s and Hagel’s visits are part of the process of creating a regional bloc to contain the Russians and to establish a framework for military aid. Intervention comes much later, if ever.
The Romanians are more comfortable with this than the Poles are, who have asked for 10,000 NATO troops on their territory. The Romanians have no such expectations. They are also prepared to increase their defense budget to 2 percent of gross domestic product, which is significant for Europe these days. But they expect the United States to help finance the cost of the weapons they need to purchase. Expecting credit when facing the Russians, however, is no more reasonable than subjecting a country to State Department criticism while the Defense Department is urging risk taking. The Romanians ultimately feel that the U.S. intent isn’t clear.
The American intent at this point is to maintain an independent, pro-Western Ukraine. That might simply not be possible. But the problem is that in having this goal, and pursuing it to some effect, the United States has convinced the Russians that it intends to break the Russian Federation by denying it an essential sphere of influence. The Russians have now concluded that whatever happens in this round in Ukraine, this process will not end.
Whatever the American thoughts initially, they are realizing that the Russian threat to Ukraine is permanent, and that whatever happens in Ukraine, it will extend to countries like Romania. And Romania particularly matters to the Russians for two reasons. First, Romania is on the Black Sea, and the Black Sea is Russia’s southern maritime access to the world. That’s why they had to hold Sevastopol, and that’s why Odessa mattered so much. The Russians are aware that they need access to the Bosporus, controlled by the Turks. Still, American aircraft in Romania and Romanian ships in the Black Sea could complicate the Russians’ lives substantially, including their power in the Caucasus, since Georgia is on the Black Sea as well. It should be noted that boosting naval power is on the Romanian-American agenda, and both countries understand the challenge this creates for Russia.
The second challenge is that Romania is potentially capable of producing significant hydrocarbons, including oil. The Russians’ only real card in this game is their energy sales to Europe. If they withhold it, the pressure is enormous and that economic pressure can be converted to political power. Germany’s attitude is influenced by several things, but energy dependence is certainly one of the main ones.
There is no simple energy alternative to Russia, but one can be cobbled together from several sources, if not to replace Russian energy then to mitigate its power. Romania has energy and other resources to contribute to this, and the public statement issued by the United States and Romania included a commitment by Romania to focus on energy production as a critical element of the partnership. This is not as easy as it sounds. Romania has a reputation abroad for enormous complexity and unreliability in its permitting process.
This is another point where Romania’s new strategy intersects with Russian interests. The Romanian view is that the Russians are extending their influence throughout the region, but particularly in Romania. They do it by the traditional means of using their intelligence services to try to manipulate the political process in Romania. As important, they can use commercial relations to weave networks of influence that are designed to make it costly for Romania to resist the Russians. The Russians are particularly adept at using Gazprom, its subsidiaries and other Russian energy companies to purchase and invest in Romanian and regional companies. The deals are never unattractive to either side in business terms, but they also serve to put the Russians in a position to shape both energy policy and political dynamics. This what I call commercial imperialism: the use of deals, particularly in energy, to create blocking points within the political system when Russian interests are threatened. This is not confined to Romania; the Russians use this tool to shape the behavior of other countries. Though certainly far less unpleasant than Soviet occupation, it nevertheless poses a challenge to U.S. influence.
Moldova, Energy and Russian Subtlety
There is another dimension to all of this, namely, Moldova. Moldova is ethnically Romanian but has been dominated by the Soviet Union and before that the Russian Empire. It is a place that survives by its wits and by accommodating Russian influence. It is an important place in the sense that if it were to be occupied by the Russians, Moscow would have access to the Prut River, with only a plain between it and Bucharest. If Moldova were to join Romania, then NATO would be on the Dniester River, less than a hundred miles from Odessa.
But such calculations matter only in wartime, and the Russians are inherently weak. Their single advantage is energy exports, and that advantage depends on the world price of oil, where they make their real profits. They do not control that price and in the future it is possible that the United States, suddenly a massive producer of oil, will be pushing the price downward. If that happens, there is little left for them.
But that won’t happen for a couple of years, if it happens at all. And the full strength of the United States will not be at Romania’s call for a few years, if it does become available. And Romania’s obligation to produce energy won’t manifest itself for a couple of years. So here in southeastern Europe, the Russians have a window of opportunity to create a framework that can withstand the winter that is coming.
They cannot live without Ukraine. They cannot take Romania. With or without the Americans, the Russians aren’t strong enough for that. What they can do is manipulate, subvert, confuse and deflect. They need to undermine the Romanian entente with the United States, and they are skilled at the political maneuvering needed to do that. To many in Romania, Russia is near and strong, America far and indecisive. This was pointed out to me at one meeting. I replied: “In the 20th Century, the United States has won three wars in Europe. How many have the Romanians won?”
The most remarkable thing about Romania and even Europe as a whole is that in spite of the historical reality that the United States wins European wars, there is a view of the United States that it is naive, unfocused and bumbling. This goes beyond this administration to every administration I can recall. And yet, it is the United States that decides the fate of Europe consistently.
The Romanians know this, but they still feel that the Russians are more clever and capable than the United States. I think the reason is that the Russians move with enormous subtlety and complexity. They do this to compensate for their weakness. The United States operates more simply. It can afford to; it is playing from strength. For now, the Romanians accept this, but their acceptance is fragile. It depends on political consistency on the part of the United States, but with great distance come options and the ability to change one’s mind. Romania is here and can’t go elsewhere. It can only change alliances and hope for the best, something both sides need to consider.
Reprinting or republication of this report on websites is authorized by prominently displaying the following sentence, including the hyperlink to Stratfor, at the beginning or end of the report.
“Borderlands: First Moves in Romania is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
Copyright © 2014 Stratfor | 221 West 6th Street Suite 400 – Austin, TX 78701, USA
George Friedman is the Chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996 that is now a leader in the field of global intelligence. Friedman guides Stratfor’s strategic vision and oversees the development and training of the company’s intelligence unit.
Dr. Friedman is the author of The New York Times best-seller The Next Decade, which forecasts the major events and challenges that will test America and its presidents over the course of the next decade. Dr. Friedman’s previous book, The Next 100 Years, was also a New York Times best-seller and was published in over 20 languages. His other books on warfare and intelligence include America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge.
A very popular keynote speaker, Dr. Friedman is … READ THE REST
Did you know NATO members are making military deals with Russia while that nation’s President Vladimir Putin is slowly carving up Ukraine for the new Russian Empire? In case you are too young let me remind you that NATO was formed after WWII specifically to present a united front against the Russian dominated Soviet Union. That old USSR was really a Communist Empire that incorporated independent nations by force to be under Russian Communist sovereignty. As soon as the Communist system of the Soviet Union collapsed all those former Socialist Republics separated politically from Russia establishing independence as sovereign nations. Ukraine IS one of those nations.
As American voters should we allow our political leaders to continue sharing military whether by sales or donation with a reasserting Russian Empire?
NATO Allies Actively Assisting Russian Military? Unacceptable
May 21, 2014 at 10:17 am
Ukrainian soldiers and police remain willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to fend off Russia’s attempts to take over eastern Ukraine — last week, seven Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another seven wounded when they were ambushed by separatists near Kramatorsk.
But so far, beyond hoping for some kind of face-saving diplomatic solution, U.S. leadership has been nearly nonexistent. In fact, while Russia attempts to carve up Ukraine, some NATO allies continue to assist Russia with weapons sales and logistical support for the Russian navy.
Spain continues to allow Russian naval vessels to use its cities along the coast of North Africa to refuel and resupply. Some of the same Russian navy ships that have docked in Spanish territory have sailed aggressively close to the coasts of other NATO allies, including, most recently, the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, France refuses to halt the sale of two amphibious assault ships to Russia that are capable of holding 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 troops.
NATO is suffering from a lack of leadership. The United States must recommit itself to transatlantic security and develop realistic policies for U.S.-Russia relations moving forward. Vice President Joe Biden is on a four-day trip to Europe, in which he will visit Romania and Cyprus. On his trip, he must carry two strong messages to our allies in NATO:
o The United States is wholly committed to the NATO alliance, especially to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of allies in Eastern Europe.
o NATO member states giving assistance to the Russian military is entirely unacceptable and should be halted immediately.
Deterring Russia’s aggression against NATO allies in Eastern Europe requires a strong, united front. It is past time for our allies in Western Europe to stop assisting the Russian military and to stand in unison against Moscow’s aggression. So far, the Obama administration has failed to show real leadership on the crisis in Ukraine. Convincing our allies to stop supporting the Russian military seems like a good place to start.
(Heritage Foundation) Copyright Notice
U.S./Europe LNG Cooperation can Bring Prosperity
John R. Houk
© April 29, 2014
There is the potential for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to become the new boon for the U.S. economy. The cost of liquefying LGN is cost effective enough to meet a growing foreign demand for LNG in light of the current Russian extortion of some of its former Communist empire nations and Western Europe. The hat trick is to get busy in building enough terminals for exporting and importing to liquefy natural gas then ship it overseas then re-vaporize LNG to make it usable for European costumers.
My concern is that socialist and emerging former Communist nations of Europe may neither have the technical expertise or the financial capital to quickly and safely build that which is needed to create a market that is competitive enough to make the Russians think twice about its oil and gas extortion of Europe.
What would it take? It is my humble (and definitely not expert) opinion that something on the scale of the old Marshall Plan (SEE Also HERE) that was used to rebuild war crumbled economies of Europe that essentially raised Free Europe to a competitive edge with the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (aka USSR or Russian Communist Empire). This time Russia is using the economic force of its natural resources rather than Communist ideology to call shots that are beneficial to Kremlin perceived Russian National Interests.
I pray President Barack Hussein Obama has an epiphany that for all his governing debacles on foreign and domestic policy he sees the opportunity to do one thing that can be an actual positive for a Presidential legacy. That would entail the unlikely scenario of closing his eyes and ears to the fear mongering of Environmental Marxists, Climate Change delusions and Agenda 21 sustainability projects that threaten the sovereignty and Liberty of Americans. If Obama can get past those kind of Leftists he could pull a Reagan and stop Russia in it National Interest tracks without firing a shot and bring some much needed prosperity to the USA which in turn will increase tax revenue (without crazy taxation) and start the ball rolling on reducing the U.S. deficit.
Yeah I know that is a lot of “ands”; nevertheless a successful LNG building program benefitting Europe and America would cause such economic gain that if or (hopefully when) Conservatives take over Congress and the Oval Office there would be great hesitation to open the dirty books I believe will expose Obama as one of the most corrupt Presidents this nation has had since the scandal riddled Administration of Ulysses S. Grant (SEE Also HERE). Obama success with a LNG economic scenario between the USA and Europe would create a situation which no one would want to darken with past nefarious actions.
Here is a video that will enable to visualize the potential of exporting wealth even though the video looks at the ease of importing LNG.
VIDEO: LNG The Facts Video
Now with all this in mind you need to contact your Congressman to show your support for HR 6 which has the name Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act. This House Resolution if passes gets the ball rolling on exporting LNG to Europe so that nations have less dependence on energy resources from Russia. I am certain other Conservative organizations are supporting this. If you find a favorite one get on board. I heard about HR 6 via a Let Freedom Ring email from Colin Hanna. You can check that out below.
ACTION ALERT: Write to your Reps & Senators TODAY!
President, Let Freedom Ring
Sent: 4/29/2014 8:59 AM
This Wednesday a bill that would force the government to allow the export of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe and third world countries will be marked-up in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill is the The Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, H.R. 6, and we should all support it right now.
“I write to support the swift passage of the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, H.R. 6 and to thank Mr. Gardner for introducing it. This bill would respond to the urgent need to expand the exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the benefit of the American worker in the current difficult economy and for our friends in Europe and elsewhere who are at the mercy of Russia and Iran for their energy.
“The Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, H.R. 6, would expedite the approval of export licenses to countries that belong to the World Trade Organization. Currently export applications are languishing and are only considered for export to countries with which the United States has a free trade agreement. It would also direct the approval of applications published in the Federal Register before March 6, 2014 without modification or delay.
“America’s plentiful natural gas, developed and undeveloped, can be a boon to the U.S. economy and it can help our allies and developing nations gain access to economical energy, giving them an alternative to supplies from Russia and Iran.
“Studies and reports from the Department of Energy, the House Committee on Commerce and Energy, and others have found that there is great interest in the world in American natural gas. Now is the time to take this simple step to create more American jobs and strengthen our national security.”
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD IN WASHINGTON. LET US HELP YOU CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS TO SUPPORT H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act.
With warm regards,
President, Let Freedom Ring
U.S./Europe LNG Cooperation can Bring Prosperity
John R. Houk
© April 29, 2014
ACTION ALERT: Write to your Reps & Senators TODAY!
Let Freedom Ring, 2207 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA
About Let Freedom Ring:
Let Freedom Ring is a non-profit, nonpartisan public policy membership organization, with a three-pronged mission statement.
Our mission is to promote:
§ Constitutional government
o Original intent of the Framers of the Constitution
o Limited (Federal) government
o Separation of powers (Judiciary not legislating, etc.)
§ Economic Freedom
o Free enterprise and equal opportunity
o Social Security Reform — to achieve financial independence, not dependence
o Profit as an economic incentive
§ Traditional values
o Family as the basic building block of society
o Sanctity of life
o Religious liberty, not restraint of religious speech
About Let Freedom Ring
Let Freedom Ring was formed to counter the attacks of anti-conservative groups on patriotic candidates as well as attacks on the important issues of our day – those that affect the core of our society: the family, marriage, the economy, energy, abortion, health care and foreign policy, to name just a few. We also work to keep our constituents and the media informed about what our founding fathers’ intentions were and how history shapes laws and our culture today. Through seminars, workshops, ad campaigns, leadership and grassroots training and educational materials, Let Freedom Ring strives to motivate, activate and educate those who are interested in keeping America the great nation it has always been.
Let Freedom Ring has READ THE REST
Norma Zager manages to use humor to drive home the point that Vladimir Putin is forcing the world to respect Russia and realize President Barack Hussein has transformed America into a weak doormat being prepared to be trampled upon.
I suspect American Baby Boomers will latch on to the humor-analogies quicker because their historical presence during classic TV, Old Movies (but not ancient) and a smattering of knowledge of past current events. Enjoy!
Praise the Lord and Pass the Putin
Putin, What a Riot! (The New James Bond)
By Norma Zager
Sent: 3/19/2014 10:59 AM
There is a rumor that a big Hollywood producer has approached Putin to do his own Reality Show. Why? Because Putin makes good TV. He is easily the most entertaining Russian leader since Khrushchev, who blustered and beat his shoes on desks. What a kick to watch.
So what is it about Putin that makes him so much fun? After all, the moron in North Korea is an ignoramus and has definitely replaced Tattoo as the short funny guy on that Fantasy Island he inhabits. Yet, he still has the kid in class who thinks he’s cool, and sits and picks his nose and grosses everyone out vibe.
But back to Putin. He is the new generation of Russian leader. He talks to the world leaders and winks into the camera. We get it. He rides shirtless on a horse like some wanna be Beckham and the world laughs.
There is a definite feeling that even James Bond would have a hellava time getting rid of this Russian.
So what is his appeal, if that is really the word to describe a former Russian KGB agent?
I suggest the real reason people are amused by Putin is because he is actually a Bond character. A real life Fleming villain minus the pussycat on his lap. Okay, so he has the horse.
In a world where each morning we awaken to a new set of horrifying realities, he is the comic relief.
It’s as if he is simply a product of the comedy mind of the Daily Show and not a real guy. Just made up so Stewart can point and use him for the laugh. And laugh we do.
He walks in and takes Crimea without firing a damn shot, and we yuk it up.
Why? Because he lies and makes stuff up and John Kerry makes that face that says, “yeah, right what a liar,” and we laugh harder.
Why? Because all our politicians lie to us, and we are conditioned to accept the lies and say, “okay so they lie. What do you expect?”
And that’s the problem. We have come to expect our leaders to lie, be dishonest, act ridiculous and do everything to harm us and we just laugh and shrug our shoulders.
Something has definitely changed in the last forty years because we were not laughing at Nixon. Nobody found him amusing at all. Woodward and Bernstein put their lives on the line to bring a president down because he was dishonest.
Now when our president lies, the media swear to it and get a tingle down their leg.
So whose problem is the lack of accountability with our leaders? Is it the American people, the media or the politicians who like dogs will hump anything in sight if they can; or is it merely the times? And do we have the ability to reset, and yes I used the term purposely.
If Putin is funny and Obama can do no wrong, or is it he can do wrong and it’s just all right, then who is really responsible for the lack of respect for the people running the world?
Russia and the United States are still powers without equal. Angela Merkel told Obama Putin doesn’t speak like he’s in this world. Okay, so what world does she suspect he’s in? Is she perhaps alluding to the fact he is an alien? Maybe the one who stole the Malaysian plane and flew it up to Mars with a stopover at the Crimean border?
Putin still has the firepower to end the world if he wishes, and we can match and top him for sure.
When is it no longer funny and simply tragic to watch?
I have heard so many people ask, “Really what’s our business if Putin takes Crimea?”
If Europe doesn’t care why should we? And that’s a good point. Hard to find a comeback for that one, but I will try.
In 1994 we signed a paper telling Ukraine we had their back. What has changed? When did the United States stop caring about the bullies on the playground beating up the little guys?
When was it okay to walk away?
When Syrian children are being murdered?
When our ambassadors are murdered?
When Iran tweets we are idiots?
I’m confused. No wonder. Our foreign policy, whatever that may be, changes daily, even hourly. Where the hell is John Wayne when we need him?
Oops, someone will accuse me of living with a 1980’s cold war mentality. What’s so cold about nukes?
Putin, the reset, American foreign policy.
Oddly we jumped in feet first to oust Mubarak, oust Kaddafi and pitched a fit over Syria then backed down when Putin stepped in and said, “I’ll handle this guy, after all were buds.”
Begs the question; who is getting handled here?
We just watch as Putin runs into convenience store and grabs a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of scotch and runs out before the owner sees him.
He has become that guy who will pull the stunts and the crap no one else has the guts to do, and we just go along for the thrill.
If Putin lived in America, he would be governor of Texas, riding bareback across his twenty acre spread, munching on a barbecue rib and guzzling a Bud.
A good old boy. We are not intimidated by him, because he is so familiar, we know this guy.
Hard to tell the good guys from the bad, when each claims they are in the right, and all their friends swear to their lies.
Annette Funicello died last year. If you weren’t paying attention you may not have noticed.
Mouseketeers, Putin, what’s the point here? Just this; an era has ended and we hardly noticed. Our youth is gone and with it decency, civility and right and wrong have left the building.
There are new sheriffs in town; ones we don’t know or recognize, scary black presences that are more frightening than Michael Landon dressed as a teenage werewolf.
Once the line, “To Serve Man is a cookbook,” scared the hell out of me and sent chills down my spine, now it’s the phrase, Russian Reset.
Pass the ribs and crack open a Bud; they’re cooking our goose for dinner.
Edited by John R. Houk
Norma Zager is an award-winning investigative journalist and author. Her passion for Israel has driven her to dedicate the past decade writing and having a radio show about Israel.
This is the latest in the series “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” a collaboration between Zager and Bussel, a foreign correspondent reporting from Israel.
Ari Bussel and Norma Zager collaborate both in writing and on the air in a point-counter-point discussion of all things Israel-related. Together, they have dedicated the past decade to promoting Israel.
© Israel Monitor, March 2014
First Published March 18, 2014
Justin Smith writes about Ukrainian prospects. The Maidan protesters were influential in getting the corrupt Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych kicked out of Office by the Ukrainian Parliament; however Justin indicates Ukrainian voters may face future choices of corrupt candidates for President in the next election. It seems to me Ukrainian voters may have to find a leader from their grassroots able to sway voters. It reminds me of the difficulty among Conservative Republicans being continuously let down by the Republican Establishment.
By Justin O. Smith
Sent: 3/8/2014 10:38 PM
The protesters in Independence Square have suffered a long train of abuses and usurpations from a succession of presumably democratically elected governments that consistently have sunk into the depths of corruption and arbitrary, illegal and despotic actions, forcing the people to oppose them and unify for the salvation of Ukraine. They did not initially ask for President Viktor Yanukovych’s removal, only that he honor the European Union – Ukraine Association Agreement. But, several hundred wounded and over eighty dead, at Yanukovych’s orders and Putin’s direction changed everything and created a call for new Guards, which is any freedom-loving people’s right.
The ouster of Yanukovych from office by the Ukrainian Parliament was no more a coup than was U.S. President Richard Nixon’s resignation over Watergate. Yanukovych was abandoned by his own Regions Party and accused of embezzling $40 billion over three years and betraying Ukraine. Assertions by Russian media and Putin that this was a “fascist coup” are outright Stalinist propaganda tactics, and pundits, such as Phil Valentine (Cumulus Radio), repeatedly calling this a “coup” are ignorant of the East-West dynamics, the ongoing trade war between the EU and Russia, and parliamentary procedures and “votes of no confidence.”
For months the protesters of Maidan held Berkut anti-riot police at bay, as they were injured and killed. They treated their wounded, prayed over their dead, and they fought for their right to form a new state governed, hopefully, by moral leaders, free from corruption. And now, they have been stunned by a new sense of betrayal, a new group of oligarchs, driving Mercedes and BMWs, form the interim government in the name of Ukraine’s people.
Betrayals came one after another, once Yanukovych appeared in Russia. Putin violated several international treaties by invading Crimea, as the European Union ringed their collective hands over Putin’s threats to raise gas prices from Gazprom, and Obama frantically floundered around the U.S.-Russian “reset button”, giving empty lip-service to sanctions no one will honor; don’t look for Russia’s removal from the G-8 either, since Chancellor Angela Merkel is pursuing angles for Germany during this internationally clustered imbroglio.
Ukrainians have long sought closer ties with the EU and the U.S. and their markedly freer cultures and political systems, not Putin and Russia. Five-hundred thousand dollars have gone towards this goal annually, since 2011, through the U.S. Agency for International Development [USAID], because many influential Ukrainians, such as Vitali Klitshko – member of Ukraine Parliament, feared Yanukovych’s growing subservience to Putin; Putin’s $15 billion bribe was intended to coax Ukraine into his Eurasian Union, and, in appealing to Yanukovych’s corrupt nature, it effectively sabotaged the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement: So, an East-West confrontation emerged, which is based on Putin’s desire to keep Russian hegemony in the region and enhance his own power.
The new interim President of Ukraine, Oleksandr Tuchynov, is a Baptist pastor and the one time head of the SBU (Ukraine’s secret service), which was essentially an extension of the KGB during the old USSR days. He is also Yulia Tymoshenko’s right hand man, and while she holds no official post in the new government, she is directing government affairs through him.
Elections are scheduled for May throughout Ukraine, and should Tymoshenko get elected, it will signal the continued reign of oligarchs and communists, along the lines of Leonid Kuchma, Ukrainian president (1994-2005), who ordered the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze in 2000. Many of Tymoshenko’s countrymen refer to her, as “Putin in a skirt.”
A separate referendum is being called for in Crimea in order to decide if Crimea stays with Ukraine or joins Russia. Even though Putin stated he would ensure Ukraine’s territorial integrity last month, he has exacerbated the situation, and he is using this as leverage against the interim government in Kiev, because he can. And, he can because Obama has failed to offer global leadership and clarity of vision, offering in its stead meaningless warnings and weak statements that invited this aggression.
Currently, even if some older ethnic Russian pensioners, the old communist apparatchiks, want to return Crimea to the Russian state, the majority of the Russian-speaking easterners __ Russo-sympathetic __ are not so indoctrinated by Russian propaganda that they would accept slavery in Putin’s totalitarian state over membership in NATO or the EU. At different times during recent history, Crimea has voted to be independent of the Soviet Union (December 1991) and Ukraine (May 1992-rescinded then reconsidered 1994), so Crimea will do what it will. But, all the signatories of the 1975 (non-intervention) Helsinki Final Act and the Budapest Memorandum, which includes the U.S. and the Soviet Union (Russia affirmed 1994) assured Ukraine’s security and territorial integrity.
To imagine Germany today occupying western Poland under a pretext of protecting ethnic Germans living there conveys a strong analogy of the historical offense Putin committed against Ukraine, and it explains the fear that many other nations with Russian minorities and dire memories of Moscow are now experiencing.
George W. Bush attempted to gain NATO membership for both Georgia and Ukraine in 2008, but Europe refused their membership out of fear of Russia’s reaction, and four months later Putin entered Ossetia, claiming then, as now, that he was protecting ethnic Russians. This precise sort of weakness and policy must be rejected by both Europe and future U.S. administrations, not in favor of war but in the name of peace.
If Europe and the U.S. do not help Ukraine resist Russia successfully, who is next? Belarus? Poland?
On March 1, 2014, Jim DeMint, former U.S. Senator from South Carolina, said, “The Ukrainians who rose to demand freedom need to be comforted by our words and intentions, and the thugs in the Kremlin need to fear them” (Heritage Foundation).
Obama will likely not negotiate this crisis well, and this will be a severe geopolitical blow to the U.S., in many respects, and those patriotic activists in Maidan and across Ukraine, who understand that democratic Ukraine is on the frontline of the struggle against authoritarianism. Let us resolve, despite Obama, to see Ukraine enter the EU and NATO under the next administration, if that is truly their desire. Let us immediately erect a tactical nuclear shield, across the European fault lines and aimed directly at Moscow, as was planned for by Ronald Reagan, and only then worry with making Putin pay an economic price. Let us move forward unwilling to permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed and more determined than ever to not tempt our adversaries with weakness, as we prevent one tyranny, once removed, from being replaced by a far more iron tyranny.
By Justin O. Smith
Edited by John R. Houk
© Justin O. Smith
President Yanukovych’s arbitrary decision to nullify an economic agreement with the European Union (EU), with few strings attached, and accept a $15 billion aid package from Russian President Vladimir Putin was viewed with horror and revulsion. The specter of life under Russian influence and control surfaced, and this is a life that the majority of Ukrainians will never willingly accept again – something they will fight to the death before being forced once more down the road to serfdom.
From the first day of acquiring most of Ukraine from Poland, under the Treaty of Andrusovo (1667), Russian Tsars sought to destroy any sense of national identity in the Ukrainian people. In 1876 Alexander II actually banned books from being published in Ukrainian and speaking Ukrainian in theater plays.
Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine’s first major poet (1814-1861), synthesized urban and rural linguistic usages with Church Slavonic to articulate a full range of ideas and feelings. Shevchenko railed against the autocratic Russian state in the name of “this land of ours which is not ours”. His nationalist verses reassured literate Ukrainians that they were at least a potential nation.
The Ukrainian people have never forgotten the millions of peasants who were murdered during the 1919 de-Cossackization of the Don region, they have never forgotten the 10 million Ukrainians who were starved to death by Stalin’s regime between 1932 and 1934, and they remember the forced exiles to Siberia during 1944-45. Their resentment and hostility towards Russia and communism/authoritarianism has remained into the present, and, in large part, this explains the anger Ukrainians felt towards the corrupt Viktor Yanukovych and his cozy arrangement with the former director of the KGB, Vladimir Putin.
Ulrich Speck of Carnegie Europe (New York Times) recently pointed at Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Romania as EU success stories, and declared that “the protest movement… centered in Kiev’s Independence Square, has won,” although many others declare that Ukraine will not find real freedom within a European Union economic stricture and the immigration burdens that accompany the EU’s open borders policy; however, the initial EU deal was simply an offer of economic aid, a loose association and a free trade agreement, and EU membership was not offered. But no matter how one views the EU, the Ukrainian people are obviously in desperate need of assistance, and perhaps an effective joint economic aid plan will soon be managed by the U.S., the EU and the International Monetary Fund, with mutually beneficial terms included.
Of course, the big pink Russian Bear’s reaction remains to be seen, as Russian military “maneuvers” are now occurring along Crimea’s border. Right or wrong, Ukraine, “Little Russia”, has been seen as critical to Russia’s national security, because it was the breadbasket of the old Soviet Union and it was also used as an invasion route by numerous past enemies, including Napoleon and the Nazis. Russian technological advances in missile delivery and other armaments negates this as a serious concern. But, no one should be overly hopeful that Putin will follow Boris Yeltsin’s declaration that “The Russian state…will never be an empire…It will be an equal among equals.”
At Putin’s urging,Yanukovych intensified the use of force against the Maidan protesters, resulting in 82 people dead. Since then, Putin has questioned the legitimacy of the recent actions by the Ukrainian Parliament. And, with a heavy imprint in the Crimea (eastern Ukraine) from decades of “russification” programs, Putin’s pure naked desire, thinly veiled in a proposed Eurasian Union, to reconstruct the old Soviet Union may result in an Ossetia-style Russian intervention, despite Obama’s warnings and Putin’s assurances to the contrary; or, at the very least, this means several more months of civil strife and turmoil, since pro-Russian protesters were flying Red Communist flags in Donetsk on February 23rd, and armed men occupied all the government buildings in Simferopol (Crimea) on February 27, 2014 (Reuters).
On Sunday, February 23, Yanukovych’s Party of Regions abandoned him and accused him of facilitating the deaths of the protesters and betraying his country. This same day, Yanukovych appointee and military chief of staff, Yuriy Ilvin said, “As an officer I see no other way than to serve the Ukrainian people honestly and assure that I have not and won’t give criminal orders.”
To the heart of the matter, Serhiy Sobalev, a member of Parliament from the Balkivshchyna Party, stated: “We will come out of Maidan either free or as slaves. But we don’t want to be slaves.”
After Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Russian parliamentary committee that deals with former satellite states, exclaimed, “They are trying in every possible way to tear Ukraine away from Russia” (Interfax), the world should have asked, “So?” – Russia’s claim to the Ukraine has always been illegitimate, and the Ukrainians have never wanted to be integrated into Muscovy. Doesn’t Ukraine have a natural right to self-determination and their own independent state? History says “Yes.”
Interim Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov, Petro Poroshenko – opposition member of Ukraine’s Parliament, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama all agree that Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be preserved. Each has a different understanding of this term “territorial integrity.” Just as in the 1950s, today some Ukrainians in the Orthodox east and south still long for the Russian state, while in the west, with its Hapsburg and Polish traditions and its strong Uniate Church, Ukrainian nationhood is understood as inherently anti-Russian.
Recently, Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, announced she would run for the presidency, even though much of her former appeal has been tarnished by being seen as part of a corrupt power structure. In many respects, Tymoshenko was much closer to Putin thanYanukovych could ever have hoped to be. But she did herself and her country proud, when she tearfully told a crowd on February 22, “After what you did, Ukraine is yours.”
In the years leading up to 1917, Ukraine was torn through national and social upheaval and embroiled in chaotic violence, much like Ukraine after the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Trans-Dniester Republic in 1991, much like present day Ukraine. Professional people, rural cooperatives and officers from the imperial army convened a Ukrainian Military Congress, which proclaimed the Ukrainian People’s Republic in November 1917, and it was immediately challenged by a Soviet government in Kharkov and supported by many of the workers and peasants in eastern Ukraine. But, the memory of their national independence from 1917 to 1921, no matter how brief, precarious and embattled, generates a powerful longing for fulfillment in the modern day Ukraine.
I would like to leave you with two of the most poignant thoughts I received from two young activists, as I communicated with them on the 23rd and 24th of February:
4:45 pm Sunday 23rd/ Galyna Kolodkevych, Professor of Ukrainian literature in Kiev, asked, “What is the way forward now?” She continued, “Maidan has become (the) opposition now and (the) new authority has to listen to the people of Maidan, but not to the West or Russia. Our politicians receive the power but then forget us…We demand full lustration of official power, without previous communists, party of regions, (and) (Yulia) Tymoshenko. So, Maidan hasn’t won yet. People will stand until the murderers are punished.”
4:37 am Monday 24th/ Yevgeniya Goncharuk cried out, “There is a pain in my heart. Ukraine (is) washed with tears. Many different and difficult thoughts are in my head. Fear to forget. Fear to allow politicians to forget what happened. There is no feeling something great was achieved. I do not see a clear plan for how to remove the old politicians, judges and policemen. But I know that people have to learn by new, normal rules – moral law. The main thing is to remember all the mistakes and lies of every person, who worked in the government. The criminals have to sit in jail. How long will they avoid punishment? …There is hope….Ukrainians are great, they are beautiful people. They surprised themselves. Suddenly they show that they are brave, desperate and they deserve a better life.”
No, Maidan hasn’t won yet, but the Ukrainian people have always been brave, and they do deserve a better life. They have the right to choose and to create for themselves a more perfect union, with one’s liberties and human dignity guaranteed, where equality under a moral law reigns and everyone lives and dies free; today I, all of us, and the world share the chains of the Ukrainian people, since the destruction of just a single person’s freedom creates a ripple effect throughout civil society: So, without undue influence, the Free World must enable, through every available means, the destiny of the Ukrainian people to manifest itself through the people’s own free will, uncorrupted by immoral men.
Newbill takes a look at how currency is a part of a Leftist agenda to wrangle the USA away from being the international currency of trade. The emails suggest that China is the primary culprit behind this global Leftist agenda. There is a story about “ghost cities” possibly causing a financial crisis due real estate speculating; however it is my opinion you should read between the lines on that story. China is a controlled economy and they are not going to literally allow the construction of empty metropolitan areas without a specific purpose in mind. As you read behind the lines on the ghost city you really need to contemplate why China would allow such an expansion of real estate to occur.
Story about Wall Street Living off Fake Money
Sent: 11/13/2013 8:05 AM
They are doing this because of Peak Earth Ideology [Editor: Here is a gist of Peak Earth Ideology] and this gives them Control over consumption rates of the Consumer. Squeezing resources will be the future and bending the cost curve will mean lowing the life expectancy rate.
Dividing the society is key to accomplishing this goal.
The story about Wall Street living off Fake Money from the Federal Reserve Proves the International market Scheme is Over and the USA is only running higher and higher debts to try and keep it going!!!!
I can only say: I’m sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.
Five years ago this month, on Black Friday, the Fed launched an unprecedented shopping spree. By that point in the… (To read the rest you have to be a subscriber or subscribe to the WSJ – Andrew Huszar: Confessions of a Quantitative Easer; 11/11/13)
This is why I think the best hope for the USA is to isolate and get back to being a Self-Supplying Nation. We have plenty of resources for our sustainable Population, it’s when we try and supply the rest of the world that we are running into and running out of what we need to survive let along innovating any new expansion in or renewable resource supply.
(CNN) Editor’s note: Paul Gilding, author of “The Great Disruption,” is an advocate and adviser to nongovernmental organizations and businesses and the former chief executive of Greenpeace. He spoke at the TED2012 conference in February. TED is a nonprofit dedicated to “Ideas worth spreading” which it makes available through talks posted on its website.
(CNN) — For 50 years the environmental movement has unsuccessfully argued that we should save the planet for moral reasons, that there were more important things than money. Ironically, it now seems it will be money — through the economic impact of climate change and resource constraint — that will motivate the sweeping changes necessary to avert catastrophe.
The reason is we have now reached a moment where four words — the earth is full — will define our times. This is not a philosophical statement; this is just science based in physics, chemistry and biology. There are many science-based analyses of this, but they all draw the same conclusion — that we’re living beyond our means.
The eminent scientists of the Global Footprint Network, for example, calculate that we need about 1.5 Earths to sustain this economy. In other words, to keep operating at our current level, we need 50% more Earth than we’ve got.
In financial terms, this would be like always spending 50% more than you earn, going further into debt every year. But of course, you can’t borrow natural resources, so we’re … READ THE REST – be warned its pro-Climate Change propaganda (The Earth is full; By Paul Gilding; CNN; 4/8/12)
Population is a complicated topic. With the worldwide population slated to top 7 billion in 2011, we decided it was one we needed to tackle. But we wanted to do it in a way that gives readers room to think. We spread out our coverage over a year, with articles that take deep dives into specific issues—demographics, food security, climate change, fertility trends, managing biodiversity—that relate to global population. Our reporting is collected here. Feel free to explore and share your thoughts on twitter at #7billion. (7 Billion; National Geographic)
World Population: Past, Present, and Future … READ THE REST – A lot of Charts (WorldOMeters)
China’s ability to be a trusted Alternative Trade Currency
Sent: 11/17/2013 7:55 AM
More Reason to question China’s ability to be a trusted Alternative Trade Currency???? And see how they are using finance and trade to divide Alliances.
JERUSALEM — The Israeli government has decided to prevent a key witness from testifying in an anti-terrorism case in the United States, drawing accusations that it is caving in to pressure from China.
The lawsuit revolves around allegations that Bank of China knowingly allowed Palestinian militants to use its accounts to finance their operations, including a suicide attack in the city of Tel Aviv in 2006 that killed 11 people.
Families of the dead, among them 16-year-old American holidaymaker Daniel Wultz, have launched at least two cases in the United States against China’s fourth largest lender.
The bank denies any wrongdoing.
Plaintiffs hoped that evidence from a former Israeli intelligence officer, who allegedly told Chinese counterparts in 2005 about suspicious transactions, would prove decisive.
A Washington district court issued the official, Uzi Shaya, with a subpoena to testify on Nov. 25.
However, on Nov. 15, the Israeli government filed a petition, which was seen by Reuters on Saturday, seeking to block his appearance and to stop him revealing what it said were state secrets.
“The disclosure of such information would harm Israel’s national security, compromise Israel’s ability to protect those within its borders, and … READ THE REST (Israel muzzles witness in US anti-terrorism lawsuit; By Crispian Ballmer; NBC News Investigations via Reuters; 11/16/13 11:33 PM EST)
Why China wants to replace dollar as Worlds Trade Currency
We have written about China’s ghost towns — neighborhoods with massive new buildings not inhabited by any people. Many see this as the clear evidence of overbuilding and a housing bubble.
Yale’s Stephen Roach has said, however, that China’s modernization is “the greatest urbanization story the world has ever seen,” and that these ghost cities will soon become “thriving metropolitan areas.”
But analysts say most Chinese people can’t afford the types of homes being built in the ghost cities.
China has been trying to get a grip on its property market for some time now and some say officials are in control and have been deflating the housing bubble.
However, the risks of the housing bubble evolving into a financial crisis appear to be high.
There is a new report from “60 Minutes” titled “China’s real estate bubble.” We’ve seen photos of China’s ghost towns, but they are … READ THE REST – Most of the rest of the article are screen shots of empty Chinese cities ending with the 60 Minutes feature entitled “China’s real estate bubble”. I will post the Youtube version of the 60 Minutes episode. (This ’60 Minutes’ Video Of China’s Ghost Cities Is More Surreal Than Anything We’ve Ever Seen; By MAMTA BADKAR; Business Insider; 3/3/13 8:26 PM)
Editor: This is a thought that I am not going to take the time to substantiate. I remember reading a Conspiracy Theory that these Chinese ghost cities were actually built in China’s anticipation of a destructive war.
VIDEO: China’s real estate bubble
Blame another for Spying on U.S. Citizens
Sent: 11/17/2013 8:11 AM
So if the Agency Spying going through this Avenue is allowed secretly and it not be able to have regulation by our Congress Oversight, won’t this be the END of U.S.A. Liberty????
Won’t this be a Great way to blame another for Spying on U.S. Citizens?????
WASHINGTON — In the view of America’s spy services, the next potential threat from Russia may not come from a nefarious cyberweapon or secrets gleaned from the files of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor now in Moscow.
Instead, this menace may come in the form of a seemingly innocuous dome-topped antenna perched atop an electronics-packed building surrounded by a security fence somewhere in the United States.
In recent months, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon have been quietly waging a campaign to stop the State Department from allowing Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, to build about half a dozen of these structures, known as monitor stations, on United States soil, several American officials said.
They fear that these structures could help Russia spy on the United States and improve the precision of Russian weaponry, the officials said. These monitor stations, the Russians contend, would significantly improve the accuracy and reliability of Moscow’s version of the Global Positioning System, the American satellite network that steers guided missiles to their targets and thirsty smartphone users to the nearest Starbucks.
“They don’t want to be reliant on the American system and believe that their systems, like GPS, will spawn other industries and applications,” said a former senior official in the State Department’s Office of Space and Advanced Technology. “They feel as though they are losing a technological edge to us in an important market. Look at everything GPS has done on … READ THE REST (A Russian GPS Using U.S. Soil Stirs Spy Fears; By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and ERIC SCHMITT; NYT; 11/16/13)
Morning Joe: Who will pay more under Obamacare?
Sent: 11/20/2013 7:42 AM
Who will pay more under Obamacare?
Top Talkers: President Obama is set to meet with health insurance CEOs to discuss Obamacare, and Steve Rattner brings his infamous charts to show Obamacare’s impact on the country, including who will pay more under the law. (Click MSNBC link to watch the episode Newbill is referring to.)
On Morning Joe today they are trying to sugar coat the Percentage of people who are losing their Healthcare insurance by saying it’s a small Percentage, but they are not taking into consideration what’s going to happen once we get to 2015 when that exemption is OVER that the President gave all who get their Insurance through their Employer!!!!!
Wait till 2015 YOUR CORPORATE Cover will go away and then we will REALLY see the collapse that was delayed with the Unconstitutional exemption for a year by Obama.
How can you not be a dictator when you pass a Law with Bribes then turn around and Single handedly Delay it???
These Liberals all know this is just a Path towards Single payer and they don’t care what kind of LIE it takes to keep everyone chilling while the current system collapses along with the current Obamacare law, and Nothing is Left but a Government Option.
VIDEO: Shocking Obama Videos Reveal Real Goal!
Dodd Frank plans to regulate the Fund managers and personal IRAs
Sent: 12/7/2013 10:59 AM
Dodd Frank plans to regulate the Fund managers and personal IRAs in case of a market shock.
This report provides a brief overview of the asset management industry and an analysis of how asset management firms and the activities in which they engage can introduce vulnerabilities that could pose, amplify, or transmit threats to financial stability.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council (the Council) decided to study the activities of asset management firms to better inform its analysis of whether—and how—to consider such firms for enhanced prudential standards and supervision under Section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act.1 The Council asked the Office of Financial Research (OFR), in collaboration with Council members, to provide data and analysis to inform this consideration. This study responds to that request by analyzing industry activities, describing the factors that make the industry and individual firms vulnerable to financial shocks, and considering the channels through which the industry could transmit risks across financial markets.
… READ THE REST – 34 page PDF document (Asset Management and Financial Stability; By Office of Financial Research; September 2013)
In his first term, Obama managed to get his paws on health care, banking, energy, student loans, the auto business, and more. Now he has his sights set on your 401(k).
The left has had its eye on retirement savings for years, but so far takeover attempts have been rebuffed. One egregious attempt was the proposal, following the 2010 financial crisis, to “safeguard” retirement savings by requiring that they be rolled over into Treasury bonds. Had this legislation succeeded, it would have appropriated all or part of the retirement savings of millions of Americans. The funds would have been used to finance further expansion of government. In return, savers would have received a promissory note from the federal government similar that issued by the Social Security Trust Fund.
Needless to say, most investors were not keen to convert their savings into Treasury obligations — or, to be more precise, into an unsecured note promising a return approximating that of Treasury bonds. That is because, as with every other endeavor, government’s management of retirement savings (aka Social Security) has been a disaster.
Despite its 2010 failure to take over retirement savings, the left has not given up. As reported in WND, officials at the U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments continue discussions aimed at channeling private savings into Treasury obligations via a so-called “Automatic IRA.” Once it has forced workers and employers to contribute to Automatic IRAs, and eventually forced existing savings into government obligations as well, government would control much of the investment capital in America. The free market will cease to exist.
Perhaps in support of that goal, Dodd-Frank legislation of 2010 established the Office of Financial Research (OFR) [Blog Editor: This should sound familiar to the PDF report linked above!], which recently issued a report suggesting that mutual funds may pose a risk to financial stability. At several points in the report, the authors suggest that many aspects of the financial system are not at present highly regulated and that the risks of these unregulated private transactions are unknown. The implication seems to be that greater government scrutiny is called for.
OFR is a bureaucracy charged with the task of sniffing out systemic risk and passing along its findings to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). The chairman of that august body is none other than Jacob Lew, Obama’s secretary of the treasury. This is the same Jacob Lew who was employed as chief operating officer at Citigroup Alternative Investments (CAI) during the financial crisis. CAI reportedly incurred significant losses during the financial crisis. As COO of that division of Citigroup, Lew would not seem to be an ideal candidate to chair a committee on Financial Stability — much less the person to be put in charge of America’s retirement savings [Blog Editor: Oh-Oh, Do you see the Leftist agenda at work in your personal life yet?].
That is the reality, I believe, behind the innocuous-sounding Office of Financial Research and its report on the supposed risk to the financial system underlying mutual funds. It is an important cog in this administration’s insidious scheme to destroy capitalism and convert America into a socialist state. READ ENTIRETY (Obama’s Plan to Snatch Your Savings; By Jeffrey Folks; American Thinker; 12/5/13)
Here’s a Possible Shock …..
Is a threat to the dollar as world’s trade currency a China and Germany alliance?????
Below a translation of an article on gold price suppression by global finance expert from the China Gold Association Zhang Jie, published on April 15, 2013. We have posted a Google Translate version of this article on August 13, but because of the significance of the insights of the writer we searched for real translators to make it into a more clear and understandable read. The result is a very interesting analysis of a monetary game played by the US and other countries through gold leasing and derivatives.
We will be publishing translations from Chinese economists on a more frequently basis as these gives us important information on China’s present and future gold policy.
Translated by Maarten van Mourik and J. Chin. [Italicized by Blog Editor]
Gold Leasing Is A Tool For The Global Credit Game
- By Zhang Jie, Deputy editor of “Global Finance”, expert specially engaged by China Gold Association.
The world’s financial and real estate crisis will eventually produce a credit crisis.
The price of gold is closely related with credit, the implication from suppression the gold price lies not only on gold, but more so in currencies and the trust behind currencies.
Gold leasing is an important innovation in the gold settlement system. Through continuous gold leasing the gold in the market can be circulated and produce derivatives, creating more and more paper gold. This is very significant for the United States. Gold leasing is a major tool for the Federal Reserve and other central banks in the West to secretly control and regulate the gold market, creating gold credit derivatives and global credit conflict.
China suffered from gold lease in the past
World gold leasing started in the 1980s, when the gold price rose to over 800 US$ per ounce. Gold leasing at that time effectively combated the price of gold. More strategically, the gold price affected national creditworthiness. A lower gold price suppressed the Soviet Union and China after 1989 when they were sanctioned by the West, in addition to the sanctions imposed on South Africa for apartheid. As all three were heavily dependent on gold to import necessities, the gold price had become a protection for foreign credit in these countries.
In the 1990s, the introduction of gold leasing effectively lowered the price of gold. Low gold and oil prices have caused great difficulties for China, the former Soviet Union and South Africa who were in dire need of foreign currencies. As a result, these countries had to sell resources or core assets very cheaply, which now have to be bought back more expensively. The West thus gained extensively by suppressing gold prices.
Gold credit is even more critical in today’s world where risk of global crises, war and conflicts increases. If a global full-scale conflict were to develop, the globalised financial system would collapse and trust in national currencies would vanish completely. Only liquid assets, of which the best liquid asset is gold, can establish trust between nations. Consequently, the trust in gold will become critical; gold can become a powerful weapon in the world credit game. Crude oil and other commodities that are difficult to store can’t be used as trust equivalents. Gold being the leading candidate is inevitable, thus led to gold leasing becoming the tool and mean of the world credit game.
Gold leasing to control credit
If the Fed were to engage in gold leasing, the lessee is the key in this process. In the bull market during the past several years, gold leasing agencies which shorted gold may incurred huge losses. Although these losses exist, we don’t see them because it’s possible for entities such as Lehman Brothers to manipulate their accounts. However, it is unlikely for the Fed to be involved directly in the shorting of gold reserves and manipulation of accounts, but it is entirely possible for the Fed to engage in gold leasing on a huge scale, and the related lessee could thus bear a huge loss. If the loss is exposed, even a large institution could collapse. This could create a crisis as bad as the one caused by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Germany and the IMF should see the signs of such a crisis that would have a serious impact on the creditworthiness of countries and agencies.
Germany staged a coup on the US Fed
If the Fed’s large gold reserves are used in gold leasing, there will be a serious problem. Germany therefore will threaten the Fed’s dominant position by demanding their gold back; the Fed subsequently needs to withdraw the leased gold and thus could destabilize the market. This is a new credit game of international capital.
If the Fed is engaged in gold leasing it’s impossible that the Fed is able to show Germany and France their stored gold because the gold has been used in gold leasing. The Fed should be able to combine the remaining gold deposits from all remaining countries to allow for Germany’s inspection – Germany has no right to audit gold reserves of other countries. The Fed probably has agendas aimed at preventing Germany to inspect its gold or to ship it back to Germany. These agendas are likely to be related to the game of international finance and the credit game between countries. Gold is a financial and monetary product; it represents the authority of …
For the Fed, it is crucial that the dollar dominates the world and so the Fed will store gold reserves from countries all over the world to control the gold settlement system. If there were another gold settlement system, it would compete with the dollar’s trust. Natural gold credit would be a nightmare for the continuous printed dollar. The dollar can only be the world currency as a result of the United States controlling global gold settlement. However, if other countries want their gold back from the Fed, the Fed will lose its gold settlement position. Underneath the global gold reserves at the Fed, there is the promise of the United States to continue with the dollar-gold price under the Bretton Woods system. Since the collapse of the Bretton Woods system 30 years ago, it is suspected that the United States violated the original agreement; therefore other countries have the right to demand their gold reserves back from the Fed.
… If Germany holds its own gold reserves, this will restrict other countries to lease gold. Such action could create a panic over gold, subsequently support gold prices and blow the confidence of gold short sellers. This will have significantly more impact on the market’s confidence than actual market transactions. At a time when the market is concerned about the US Fed having a huge gold deficit, who dares to short gold on a massive scale? Here we should see the divergence between United States and Europe as well as with Germany.
This translation is a combination of two translations, by Maarten van Mourik and J. Chin, which were merged by Koos Jansen. This link (choose file, than download) gives access to a document that contains the Chinese text as well as the two original translations by Mourik and Chin. READ ENTIRETY (Gold Leasing Is A Tool For The Global Credit Game; By Koos Jansen; In God We Trust; 8/31/13 6:56 pm)
Edited by John R. Houk
© Tony Newbill
This set of emails begins with more of Newbill following the possible reasons that Obama is interested in what happens in Syria. It does have to do with American National Interests, natural gas, oil and Russia. The other emails deal with the dangers facing the American economy and the Federal Reserve’s economic management.
This Syrian War is a Pipeline Dance among the Global Elites!!!!!!!
Sent: 9/10/2013 1:51 PM
Russia wants to be the Supplier to Europe but Needs the energy from the Middle East regions that they are Associated with to make this happen:
Pipeline Politics; Is Putin Running Out of Gas?
The Cold War is now so over that it might as well be grouped with the ancient ice ages, but there is one echo rolling across Europe from East to West: the Russian attempt to dominate the natural gas market on the European continent. As the energy sector accounts for 25 percent of Russia’s economy, any large changes in energy markets present major challenges for Vladimir Putin. Those old enough to recall the Soviet gas pipeline controversy of the early 1980s a high-profile fight of the Reagan administration to deprive Moscow of hard currency are right to have a feeling of déjà vu, as Putin’s motives transcend honest commerce.
Despite huge gas reserves waiting to be tapped, most of Europe lags the United States in the shale gas boom for several reasons: a lack of mineral rights on private land, bureaucratic obstacles, the usual intransigent opposition from Europe’s potent green lobby, and, perhaps most important, the lack of adequate pipelines to connect new gas fields to the market. Hence, natural gas prices in Europe are several times higher than U.S. prices. Since natural gas and oil are Russia’s principal export commodities, the prospect of newly abundant oil and cheaper gas outside of Russia is a grave threat to Russia’s economic and political might in the region. Russia can’t do much about global oil trends, but Putin and the state-controlled Gazprom are doing everything they can to throttle new gas development in Eastern Europe, rerunning the same kind of behind-the-scenes propaganda against shale gas that the KGB ran against new NATO missiles back in the Cold War. Propagandists in Russia are promoting every translation possible for the message fracking=bad. The second prong of Putin’s strategy is to control pipeline development as far as possible. But things are not going well for him.
Gazprom is the linchpin of Putin’s political and economic strength. The state-controlled natural gas conglomerate is a huge source of revenues for the Russian budget, but also a slush fund for Putin’s clan the corrupt network of power-political and economic relationships that rules Russia today. Immediately after coming to power in 2000, Putin moved to put the company under his direct control. In short order, he made his protégé and current prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, chairman of Gazprom’s board and appointed another protégé, Alexey Miller, as CEO. According to a book by two prominent former Russian politicians, 11 of the 18 executive positions in Gazprom were quickly filled with Putin cronies. He then moved to make the company a national champion, giving it an exclusive license for the export of the country’s gigantic gas wealth. It is widely believed that Putin makes all of the key Gazprom decisions himself.
Putin’s energy cronyism is vertically integrated, as he ensures that infrastructure projects such as pipeline construction go to his friends’ firms at lucrative prices. Gazprom pipelines typically cost two to three times more than those built by Western companies, despite the much lower wages paid to Russian labor. While the German portion of the Nord Stream pipeline, for instance, cost $2.8 million per kilometer, the Russian portion built by one of Putin’s handpicked companies cost $6.5 million/km. This is one reason Putin likes pipelines, even if he can’t guarantee they will be fully utilized.
Sitting on 18 percent of the world’s current proven gas reserves (a percentage that shrinks with each new discovery elsewhere), Gazprom became one of the largest companies in the world. At the 2008 peak of the bubble in oil prices, to which Russian gas prices were indexed, Gazprom’s hubris overflowed. With a market valuation of $365 billion at the time, Alexey Miller confidently predicted that his company would become the largest in the world, with a market cap of up to $1 trillion by 2015, and that it would dominate the huge Chinese market as well as 10 percent of the American market with shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Gazprom’s optimists thought it could command 30 percent of the world market.
Two other threats to Gazprom’s fortunes must also be mentioned. For years Gazprom and Kremlin propaganda have done their level best to scare the Europeans away from shale gas exploration. Alternatively dismissing it as a Hollywood invention or conjuring up an ecological apocalypse, the Kremlin seemingly believed that it can wish this threat away, despite evidence of the massive impact of the shale gas revolution in America. Early on, things seemed to go their way, with France and Bulgaria imposing a moratorium on shale gas exploration. No longer. With Great Britain now allowing fracking and Germany’s government submitting a draft law to do the same, the genie is out of the bottle. It’s only a matter of time before European countries begin exploiting their domestic shale gas fields, posing yet another challenge to the Russian monopolist.
Vladimir Putin may have dreamed of becoming the J.R. Ewing of Europe, but his recent moves are more in the mold of the hapless Cliff Barnes. His signature initiative at the moment is the proposed South Stream pipeline, which would run under the Black Sea and through Bulgaria to points west. Putin was hoping Gazprom could retain monopoly control of the pipeline, but because it runs through European Union territory, it is subject to the EU’s market regulations (known as the Third Energy Package ), which require that all pipelines be available for use by competing suppliers and overseen by an independent EU regulator. These conditions are unacceptable to Putin and make it unlikely that South Stream will be built.
That strategy envisaged South Stream as achieving two key political objectives. In bypassing Ukraine, heretofore the key transit country for Russian gas to Europe, it would provide the Kremlin with a powerful weapon for continued economic and political blackmail of Kiev. And, just as important, it would preempt the realization of the competing Nabucco pipeline project, designed to bring non-Russian gas from the Middle East and Central Asia into Europe. The Nabucco pipeline will run to Europe either by way of Greece and Albania into southern Italy, or through Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary to a hub at Baumgarten, Austria. A decision on the final route is expected in June. The defeat of South Stream holds dire implications for Russia’s standing as the indispensable gas supplier to Europe and for the political fortunes of Putin. [Bold Emphasis Blog Editor – It is my impression Tony Newbill is drawing attention to the fact that the control of the proposed Nabucco Pipeline from Syria by Putin would make up for his ongoing apparent natural gas designs gone awry.]
Putin’s grand scheme of strong-arming Ukraine, Poland, and others and making Europe ever more dependent on Russian gas has not only failed but seriously endangers the gas monopoly’s very existence. Well-known experts such as Mikhail Korchemkin, head of East European Gas Analysis, believe that Gazprom has only a few years before bankruptcy. With Russia’s future oil exports looking soft the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Energy Research Institute in early April forecast that oil exports could drop by 20 percent over the next 30 years weakness in gas exports will deliver a double-whammy to Putin’s power base. The financial flop of the Soviet gas pipeline in the 1980s contributed significantly to the eventual collapse of the evil empire a few years later; the prospective collapse of Putin’s energy strategy may similarly hasten the demise of his evil empire lite. (READ ENTIRETY – Pipeline Politics; Is Putin Running Out of Gas? By Alex Alexiev & Steven F. Hayward; Downstream Today – Originally Weekly Standard; 5/27/13)
The Competition to this is described here in this link:
It’s not about the chemical weapons, it’s about the Syrian pipeline (Photos)
Obama is going after Syria to secure gas pipelines for Sunni Muslims.
America’s quest to bomb Syria is not about chemical weapons being used against the Syrians. Chemical weapons are basically a smoke screen, and Obama desperately wants to remove Assad from power for other reasons.
The players in this continuing world drama are Turkey, the United States, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia. There is a good reason why Turkey and Saudi Arabia both have their backs against the wall and are desperate to take out Assad.
Two years ago, Syria announced it found a promising gas field in its country, and Oil Minister Sufian Allawai said “The first wells were drilled at Qara in Homs governorate, and the flow rate is 400,000 cubic meters per day.” This is great news for Syria’s energy revenues. Besides the prospect of its own gas field, Syria is also one of the most strategic locations for natural gas pipelines to flow to Europe.
Qatar, home to the world’s largest gas field along with Iran, has proposed a gas pipeline from the Gulf to Turkey that would traverse Syria to the Mediterranean, with the gas then being shipped to Europe. Assad in 2009 refused to go along with the Qatar plan, instead inking deals with Russia and Iran.
Called the Islamic pipeline, it is set to open in 2016; in fact, Iran, Iraq and Syria signed deals in 2011 to construct the 3,480 mile natural gas pipeline that runs from Iran’s South Pars to Europe. This Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline is set to be the largest gas pipeline in the Middle East. It will snake through Iran, Iraq, Syria, South Lebanon and through the Mediterranean; in addition, the best refinery and infrastructure is in Damascus. Further talks between Iran, Syria, and Iraq for construction of the Islamic Pipeline kicked off in Baghdad today.
The Islamic pipeline through Syria could cut energy power of Qatar and Turkey. To make matters worse, most Arabs view the Islamic Pipeline as a Shi’ite pipeline serving Shi’ite interests. After all, it originates in Shi’ite Iran, passes through Shi’ite Iraq, and flows into Shi’ite controlled Syria. Therefore, the Sunni-dominated Gulf nations have both an economic and to a lesser extent, a religious reason, for stopping the Islamic Pipeline from becoming a reality. So far, the Gulf nations have violently opposed Syria’s adoption of the Islamic Pipeline by arming opposition fighters within Syria in order to destabilize the nation.
This is certainly one reason why President Obama helped run weapons from Benghazi, Libya, through Turkey into the hands of the Syrian rebels. Al Qaeda strongly opposes the Assad government and has joined other rebel factions in an effort to overthrow Assad and to install a more Sunni-friendly government.
Russia has built up naval presence in the ports of Latakia and Tartus to protect the pipeline.
Saudi Arabia is desperate to get rid of Assad. The Saudi’s, through their intelligence … (READ ENTIRETY - It’s not about the chemical weapons, it’s about the Syrian pipeline By Vicky Nissen; Examiner; 9/9/13)
And the US Political Elites on both sides of the Isle are Involved, see here look at the board members:
And this Link shows you the connection between the Genie Oil & Gas Co and the Pipeline project that will compete with Russian Interests if Syria Falls:
Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights
Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy.
Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild. This from a 2010 Genie Energy press release:
Claude Pupkin, CEO of Genie Oil and Gas, commented, “Genie’s success will ultimately depend, in part, on access to the expertise of the oil and gas industry and to the financial markets.
Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch are extremely well regarded by and connected to leaders in these sectors. Their guidance and participation will prove invaluable.”
This will rock your world!!!
Sent: 9/12/2013 9:35 AM
[Blog Editor: The above link is to a video that has interesting information but will make an offer to deal with the info. Video title below]
Could Take Effect as Early as October 17
“When it happens, 16 states are ready to disappear from the United States, including California and Florida.” Wall Street Journal
Warren Buffet, Bank of America and all the Big Banks
Sent: 9/20/2013 7:42 AM
Warren Buffet and Bank of America as well as all the Big Banks have this helping them profit…. It’s the greatest group of insiders ever in the history of the world!!!!! This will take you right to page 144 and show you the insider information …….
Here is how they are controlling inflation…. and it shows how the insider’s club is not helping the debt investment market that feeds a consumer supply-side demand. So this means the market is overpriced.
The Federal Reserve Is Paying Banks NOT To Lend 1.8 Trillion Dollars To The American People
Did you know that U.S. banks have more than 1.8 trillion dollars parked at the Federal Reserve and that the Fed is actually paying them not to lend that money to us? We were always told that the goal of quantitative easing was to “help the economy”, but the truth is that the vast majority of the money that the Fed has created through quantitative easing has not even gotten into the system. Instead, most of it is sitting at the Fed slowly earning interest for the bankers. Back in October 2008, just as the last financial crisis was starting, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that the Federal Reserve would start paying interest on the reserves that banks keep at the Fed. This caused an absolute explosion in the size of these reserves. Back in 2008, U.S. banks had less than 2 billion dollars of excess reserves parked at the Fed. Today, they have more than 1.8 trillion. In less than five years, the pile of excess reserves has gotten nearly 1,000 times larger. This is utter insanity, and it will have very serious consequences down the road.
Posted below is a chart that shows the explosive growth of these excess reserves in recent years…
This explains why all of the crazy money printing that the Fed has been doing has not caused tremendous inflation yet. Most of the money has not even gotten into the economy. The Fed has been paying banks not to lend it out.
But now that big pile of money is sitting out there, and at some point it is going to come pouring in to the U.S. economy. When that happens, we could very well see an absolutely massive tsunami of inflation.
Posted below is a chart that shows the growth of the M2 money supply over the past several decades. It has been fairly steady, but imagine what would happen if you … (READ THE REST - The Federal Reserve Is Paying Banks NOT To Lend 1.8 Trillion Dollars To The American People; By Michael Snyder; The Economic Collapse; 7/1/13)
Then they pumped this into the equities markets:
Wall Street Week Ahead: Fed may taper without causing market tantrum
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Months of anticipation will come to an end next week when the Federal Reserve finally says whether it will start to rein in its massive stimulus of the economy, which has flooded financial markets with some $2.75 trillion over the past five years, supercharging returns on everything from stocks to junk bonds.
But for all the concerns that the reduced presence of such a giant asset buyer would be calamitous for investors, it appears equity and bond markets are poised to take next week’s Fed decision largely in stride – provided the central bank doesn’t surprise with the size of its move or shock in some other way.
The Fed has telegraphed its intentions to … (READ THE REST – Wall Street Week Ahead: Fed may taper without causing market tantrum; By Ryan Vlastelica; Yahoo Finance; 9/13/13 5:50 PM EDT)
Big Government Rationed Economic System
Sent: 9/25/2013 5:30 PM
Obamacare is a Result of this Trend because they have not the will to try and continue to allow the free market economic concept to feed demand because of Peak Earth Ideology!!!!!!
This 15 year chart shows why the Governments around the world are setting up the free market consumer driven international economy to become a Big Government rationed economic system.
The rate of this inflation is an unsustainable signal that demand is out pacing any kind of supply-side growth potential in the key areas of resource production and development that sustains life growing at the rate it has been.
This is why we see a dysfunctional Government not willing to up hold the values of the Constitution in their entirety.
This is a 15 Year chart of key resource price inflation and interest rates
This will end in nation Isolating from the International free market Scheme because as these supply demand struggles increase without any future growth expanding the supply and population continuing to expand incomes in the free market will not be able to manage the continued inflation in the key vital resource categories and nations will have to respond to their society outcry with intervention in free market profitability.
© Tony Newbill
Edited by John R. Houk
Here are a couple of Tony Newbill emails that brings another angle President Barack Hussein Obama’s reasoning in desiring to attack Syrian Chemical Weapons. Theme spoiler: Syrian WMDs are from Iraq and Saudi Arabian Intelligence is manipulating the USA into a Middle Eastern war with the object of gaining regional hegemony rather than Iran.
Is the Syrian Limited Strike to Cover up the Iraqi WMDs???
Sent: 9/3/2013 2:46 PM
Is the Syrian Limited Strike [option] to Cover up the Iraqi WMDs??? They Need to be Asking Clapper because Even James Clapper, now the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] and formerly the director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency [NGA, Here and Here] , said [corroboration Link] in 2003 that he believed materials had been moved out [Here, Here, Here, Here, Here and yes Yellowcake for Nukes too] of Iraq in the months before the war and cited satellite imagery.
Oh they want to make sure this doesn’t happen!!!!!
If the Bashar al-Assad regime falls, and should the securing of the chemical and biological stockpiles of Syria be necessary, what would be the effect if some of those materials and munitions bear Iraqi markings?
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence in the Obama Administration, thought so.
From the Daily Beast:
Whether or not sensitive weapons technology was moved to Syria is a hotly disputed question in the intelligence community. James Clapper, now the Director of National Intelligence and formerly the director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, said in 2003 that he believed materials had been moved out of Iraq in the months before the war and cited satellite imagery.
If the Bashar al-Assad regime falls, and should the securing of the chemical and biological stockpiles of Syria be necessary, what would be the effect if some of those materials and munitions bear Iraqi markings?
Former Iraqi General Sada asserted that Saddam’s chemical stockpile was lifted, in … (READ THE REST – Iraq Chemical Weapons Moved to Syria Before 2003 Invasion? Posted by UltimaRatioReg; U.S. Naval Institute; 7/20/13)
IS IT that they want to hit the areas in Syria where they Think the WMDs from Iraq are [located] to cover-up what was said [about WMDs] NOT There after the Invasion of Iraq???? And if the International Community knows this and we strike what will that do to our Relationships???
You can see this is leverage for Assad and Russia, and why they just want what they are calling a Limited strike.
Why does Assad Trust Kerry then?? Did they have an agreement that [Iraq WMDs are] Now is about to be Exposed??? And How tight [lipped] Obama and Other Democrats were before now?? Are Russia and China using this Knowledge of Iraqi WMDs in Syria against the Democrats and Obama???
Assad in 2010: I Trust John Kerry
Saddam’s WMDs and Russia
In the 1970s and 1980s there were several indications about Saddam Hussein’s development of the WMD programs (biological, chemical and nuclear). The Israeli attack on the Iraqi French-made Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981 slowed down the progress of the Iraq’s nuclear weapons program but the biological and chemical WMDs were highly developed, due to the Soviet assistance, Iraqi scientists and a sophisticated system of procurement, organized by the Iraqi Intelligence in Western Europe and in other parts of the World. The nuclear weapons program was never abandoned by the regime, and before the first Gulf War (1991) Iraq was very close to producing its own nuclear weapons. (There is some evidence that Saddam could have purchased nuclear technology from Pakistan, through Dr. Khan’s network, and that he has tried to buy nuclear weapons or components from China). The war destroyed the technical base for the production. But the highly skilled scientific and technical personnel (over 200) remained in place, dispersed. The regime managed to save their nuclear fuel, many technical means of production and the blueprints of the nuclear weaponization. The after-war international (UN) control proved ineffective. Iraq also saved an essential part of its biological and chemical warfare technology, materials and personnel. Some of the WMDs, materials, specialists from Iraq have been transferred abroad to continue research and to organize the production abroad: mainly to Sudan, Libya and Algeria but also to the neighboring Syria (with a purpose to strengthen Syrian regime’s offensive capabilities against Israel).
Saddam regime’s WMD policy after the 1st Gulf War
The efforts of the Saddam’s regime to preserve and develop its biological, chemical and even nuclear weapons capabilities have been well documented in a report, submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives by Yossef Bodansky on February 10, 1998 (See: Task Force on Terrorism & Unconventional Warfare, “The Iraqi WMD Challenge — Myths and Reality”). From the very beginning, Saddam Hussein embarked on a policy of concealment and cheating of the UN inspection. Thus the elimination of the Iraqi strategic military programs and the destruction of their technical means have never been completed and fully effective. “Despite Baghdad’s protestations, Iraq does have a small but very lethal operational arsenal of WMD and platforms capable of delivering them throughout the Middle East and beyond.” — summarized Yossef Bodansky in 1998 [page 2 of the report]. This capability was possible due to the following actions: (1) dispersing and hiding of WMD materials, technical means, blueprints for the production and personnel in Iraq proper; (2) transfer of a large part of the Iraqi WMD arsenal, technical means, materials for the production and scientific-technological personnel to other countries, mainly to Sudan, Libya and Algeria, and partly to Yemen and Syria; (3) reviving of the sophisticated system of illegal procurement of WMD technology, sub-systems and strategic materials in Western Europe (mainly Germany, Austria and Switzerland), via other countries (Bulgaria, Belarus, the Ukraine, Poland) and in Asia (Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, China).
After reading the Front Page Mag article you can see the CONNECTION TO THE MBH!!!! Saddam was rallying together the factions that had MBH members all through them with Russia, and this was a Threat to the Dollar continuing to be the Petrol Settlement Currency for OPEC international markets. Obama was placed in Power to counter this Russian Influence by Bribing the MBH away from Russian Influence.
Syria’s Chemical Weapons Came From Saddam’s Iraq
War On Terror: As the regime of Bashar Assad disintegrates, the security of his chemical arsenal is in jeopardy. The No. 2 general in Saddam Hussein’s air force says they were the WMDs we didn’t find in Iraq.
King Abdullah of neighboring Jordan warned that a disintegrating Syria on the verge of civil war puts Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons at risk of falling into the hands of al-Qaida.
“One of the worst-case scenarios as we are obviously trying to look for a political solution would be if some of those chemical stockpiles were to fall into unfriendly hands,” he said.
The irony here is that the chemical weapons stockpile of Syrian thug Assad may in large part be the legacy of weapons moved from Hussein’s Iraq into Syria before Operation Iraqi Freedom.
If so, this may be the reason not much was found in the way of WMD by victorious U.S. forces in 2003.
In 2006, former Iraqi general Georges Sada, second in command of the Iraqi Air Force who served under Saddam Hussein before he defected, wrote a comprehensive book, “Saddam’s Secrets.”
Anticipating the invasion, his job was to supervise the removal of such weapons and erase as much evidence of Russian involvement as possible.
The Russian-assisted “cleanup” operation was entrusted to a combination of GRU and Spetsnaz troops and Russian military and civilian personnel in Iraq “under the command of two experienced ex-Soviet generals, Colonel-General Vladislav Achalov and Colonel-General Igor Maltsev, both retired and posing as civilian commercial consultants.”
Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz reported on Oct. 30, 2004, that Achalov and Maltsev had been photographed receiving medals from Iraqi Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad in a Baghdad building bombed by U.S. cruise missiles during the first U.S. air raids in early March 2003. Apparently they did their job well.
An article in the fall 2005 Middle East Quarterly reports that in an appearance on Israel’s Channel 2 on Dec. 23, 2002, Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, stated: “Chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria.” According … (READ ENTIRETY – Syria’s Chemical Weapons Came From Saddam’s Iraq; By IBD Editorials; Investors Business Daily; 07/19/2012 07:02 PM ET)
And this dinner meeting by a Top Democratic leader who had been very Vocal about the WMDs in Iraq and Led the Democratic Party on this Chant in 2004 and beyond [about WMD] not being there, sure could be about making sure Assad keeps those weapons covered up, huh? I just keep hearing from the Congressional leaders that they just want a Limited attack to send a message when Regime Change was the priority by Obama before. So something’s missing here regarding the Mission, its different now, why???
Kerry’s Cozy Past with Assad, ‘He’s a Very Generous Man’ – See more at:
Secretary of State John Kerry is calling for the overthrow and murder of his friend, Syria’s president Assad, claiming definitively that he used chemical weapons against his own people.
John Kerry was a frequent visitor of Assad’s over the last few years. Perhaps no one in U.S. politics knows him better than Kerry who was complimentary of Assad as short as 2 years ago when he referred to him as a “very generous man”.
Kerry (America) has not provided the world with any proof other than grainy videos allegedly taken during the event and a declassified report which is probably as reliable as Bush’s Iraq 45 minutes to nuclear launch reports. Assad has emphatically denied the accusations and no independent source has yet confirmed America’s claims.
“Well, I personally believe that — I mean, this is my belief, okay? But President Assad has been very generous with me … (READ THE REST - Kerry’s Cozy Past with Assad, ‘He’s a Very Generous; By Activist Post; The Daily Sheeple; 8/31/13)
John Kerry, who is expected to be nominated as secretary of state later this afternoon, has made frequent visits to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Assad is now under fire for mass murdering his own civilians, as he fights an internal war to keep his position of power. Even Obama has called for Assad to go.
In February 2009, Kerry led a delegation there to engage Syria. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told visiting US members of Congress on Saturday that the United States should ‘move away from a policy based on dictating decisions.’ Assad’s guests on Saturday included US Senator John Kerry, who headed the third delegation this week to call on the Syrian president’s door as Washington reviews its policies toward countries the previous administration regarded as hostile. Assad told his visitors that future relations should be based on a ‘proper understanding’ by Washington of regional issues and on common interests, SANA news agency reported,” AFP reported at the time.
AFP followed up with this report after the visit stating that Kerry believes “Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region”:
“President Barack Obama’s administration considers Syria a key player in Washington’s efforts to revive the stalled Middle East peace process, US Senator John Kerry said in Damascus on Thursday. ‘Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region,’ Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a speech after meeting President Bashar al-Assad. ‘Both the United States and Syria have a very deep interest… in having a very frank exchange on any differences (and) agreements that we have about the possibilities of peace in this region,’ he said in the statement.”
Later, a couple months later, Kerry met again with Assad. “US Senator John Kerry met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a second time in as many months on Saturday for talks on ‘regional issues,’ the American embassy in Damascus said,” reported the AFP.
And in 2011, when Kerry again wanted to go to Syria, his visit was blocked–by the Obama administration. “The Obama administration and France reportedly nixed a visit by U.S. Sen. John Kerry to Syria. Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has cultivated a relationship with the Syrian regime otherwise treated as a pariah in the West in the hope of drawing it away from Iranian influence. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Kerry had planned a visit last month, but the governments of the United States and of French President Nicolas Sarkozy blocked the visit out of concern that it would signal ‘Western weakness’ as … (READ THE REST - Kerry a Frequent Visitor with Syrian Dictator Bashar Al-Assad; By DANIEL HALPER; Weekly Standard; 12/21/12 12:26 PM)
Keeping the Saudis Loyal to the U.S. Dollar is the Key
Sent: 9/5/2013 11:18 AM
I found this link someone posted and what is said below makes sense. The use of the Dollar and keeping Saudi loyal to its use is KEY to this Whole Mess!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s becoming clear that Obama has been using the Muslim Brotherhood in a Leverage position to keep Saudi Arabia from just walking all over the USA and EU interests. By Obama siding with other nations and possibly rejecting the dollar as the Trade currency for OPEC energy resources and trying to keep the dollar relevant in this Mess, but Egypt overthrowing the Brotherhood has now moved the goal posts to Syria to try and establish a front for the Brotherhood.
Has Saudi Arabia been behind the Middle Eastern War on Terror to Use the West and primarily the USA to TAKE over the Middle East????
Syrian War is a Saudi Intelligence Operation
Has Saudi Arabia been behind the Middle Eastern War on Terror to Use the West and primarily the USA to TAKE over the Middle East????
Just moments ago, I saw Secretary of State John Kerry admit that the Syrian War is a Saudi operation. And, I watched him squirm in his chair as he said it, because he KNOWS that this is what he’s admitting. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Even more, he was tacitly admitting Saudi involvement in other interventions.
For those of us who have more than half a brain, and at least SOME knowledge of the Middle East… We’ve noticed the fingerprints of Saudi intelligence all over what’s going on in Syria. In fact, I was planning to write about the involvement of the Saudi General Intelligence Services (or, Al Mukhabarat Al A’amah) today, when John Kerry went and poured gasoline on my fire. (And, I must say, John, that you really, REALLY looked uncomfortable making that admission.)
So, America will go to war at the behest of their Saudi paymasters. This makes me sick, and it should make you sick, too. This will launch us straight into World War III, and it will be the Saudis that pulled the trigger.
For those of you who keep preaching ‘Zionist Conspiracy’, you are complete and utter fools. Furthermore, you have dragged others down with you, and THAT is inexcusable. [Editor: This an excerpt that Tony Newbill posted in this email. There is a lot more including videos. Here is a sneak peak of the rest of which the first sentence is actually the last sentence in which the author castigates Antisemitics that accuse of a “Zionist Conspiracy”:
God will protect Israel – although many, many Israelis will die – but, God will not protect YOU.
For a biblical introduction to what is happening, go to the website that I created to deal with this subject:
Secretary of State John Kerry said at a House Foreign Affairs committee hearing that Arab counties have offered to pay for the entirety of unseating President Bashar al-Assad if the United States took the lead militarily: http://wapo.st/1ajCnKA
The Syrian War What You’re Not Being Told, in this Video you will hear General Wesley Clark make some outlandish Claims!!!!!
Ben Swann Reality Check: What The Media Isn’t Telling You About Syria
© Tony Newbill
Edited by John R. Houk
Brackets indicate Editor additions.
I found a news story at Sharia Unveiled entitled, “Russian Court Rules ‘al-Qur’an is Hate Literature’ and Orders Placement on Federal List of Extremist Material”. If you are an American the title should pique your interest. In America this would come under extremely NOT Politically Correct.
I have to tell you that Russia again is on a confrontational path with the USA because of that nation’s old past history of being a geopolitical powerhouse. This was true under the Czars and it was true in the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist days of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Vladimir Putin obviously is reigniting the Old Russian nationalism which makes the USA and its paradigm a target.
Nevertheless, I say kudos to this Russian Court that has codified that the Quran is extremist material. Now I realize this probably lead to Russian persecution of Russian-Muslims. I do not advocate that. On the other hand I do advocate that people globally – and in America – learn what the Quran teaches Muslims to do actively against non-Muslims. Quranic action against non-Muslims is not a pretty picture and that issue is something that is actively obfuscated by Muslim Apologists.
So this is what I am going to do. I am going to cross post this story; however I will use the source that Sharia Unveiled used because it offers more detail to a Russian Court ruling I find quite amusing.
Russian court in Krasnodar orders Quran to be added to Federal list of extremist materials
September 23, 2013 8:31 am
“According to the report on the study by the Forensic Center… in the books there are statements containing a positive assessment of hostilities of a group relative to another group of persons united, on the grounds of their attitude to religion, in particular, Muslims against non-Muslims; as well as the statements of encouragement, for semantic understanding calling for hostile and violent actions of one group of people against another group of persons united by religion, in particular, Muslims against non-Muslims.”
“…the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation to include the Edition to the federal list of extremist materials.”
Russians are once more becoming heroes. No matter how sad it sounds that we now have to turn to a bunch of commies and delinquent KGB officers for any common sense (‘commie-sense’), Putin has proven to be one of the few voices of reason lately. Let’s not forget that Putin warned Europe and the U.S. repeatedly for many years not to permit Muslim immigration into the countries, or they risk an endless infiltration of extremists and deliberate expansion of radical cells within the country itself by the Muslim immigrants they let in. No one listened to him.
We are firmly heading towards the same situation we saw in Kenya yesterday. It’s only a matter of time.
Russia has centuries of experience of battling with Muslim extremism and being subject to their endless aggressions and provocations. And now more communists come forth with more sense than the rest of the so called ‘progressive world’ combined: The Quran has finally and rightfully been declared AN EXTREMIST BOOK by court of law and added to a federal list of extremist materials. At least in Novorossiysk, Krasnodar in Russia.
[Google and Bing translation] NR News, Russia
In Novorossiysk Court declare “Semantic translation of the holy Quran in Russian Language” an extremist book.
В Новороссийске суд признал экстремистской книгу «Смысловой перевод священного Корана на русский язык»
The October District Court of the hero-city of Novorossiisk was satisfied with the statement of the Novorossiysk transport Prosecutor of recognizing extremist books and the translation of the Holy Quran in Russian language.
Novorossiysk transport Prosecutor’s Office, during the course of the Investigations Division in Novorossiysk, to dismiss the criminal case based on elements of crime under part 1 article 282 of the RUSSIAN CRIMINAL CODE, established that in the text of the book “translation of the Holy Quran in Russian language/translation from Arabic E.r. Kuliev. 1, edition of the King Fahd complex for printing the Holy Quran. p.o. box 6262. Medina Munavvara. Saudi Arabia, 2002.1088 s”, arrived in the international postal administration no. EM 177973005, describes possible extremist content.
So, according to the report on the study by the Forensic Center of the RUSSIAN MINISTRY of the INTERIOR for the Krasnodar territory, in the books there are statements that negatively evaluated a person or a group of persons on the grounds of ties to a specific religion (in particular, non-Muslims) and are saying that they are talking about the superiority of one person or group of persons in front of other people on grounds of their attitude to religion, in particular, of Muslims over non-Muslims; statements containing a positive assessment of hostilities of a group relative to another group of persons united, on the grounds of their attitude to religion, in particular, Muslims against non-Muslims; as well as the statements of encouragement, for semantic understanding calling for hostile and violent actions of one group of people against another group of persons united by religion, in particular, Muslims against non-Muslims.
Dissemination of extremist materials leads to an increase in extremist crime that endangers the national security of the State the Novorossiysk transport Prosecutor concluded based on 1. Article 45 of the code of civil procedure of the Russian Federation Prosecutor turn in court in defense of the interests of the Russian Federation.
The Kastrychnitski District Court of Novorossiysk from 17.09.2013 statement the Prosecutor met in full: old book “translation of the Holy Quran in Russian language/translation from Arabic E.r. Kuliev. 1, edition of the King Fahd complex for printing the Holy Quran. p.o. box 6262. Medina Munavvara. Saudi Arabia, 2002.1088″ with focus on extremism.
After the Court decision enter into force it will be instructed that the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation to include the Edition to the federal list of extremist materials.
Reported by Senior Assistant Attorney Novorossiysk transport.
The announcement in the news site NR News:
[Editor: Screen Shot Photo in Russian]
Is the Quran Extremist Material? You Betcha!
John R. Houk
© September 24, 2013
Russian court in Krasnodar orders Quran to be added to Federal list of extremist materials
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