Russian vs US foreign policy

Russian vs US foreign policy

by Don Hank

Our thanks to our UK friend Viv for a video link to an excellent exposition by Nikolai Starikov, a brilliant geopolitical analyst. The US has some analysts of this caliber, such as Pat Buchanan but will never give them political power. (I had commented here under the heading “Culture,” on the State Department’s puzzling refusal to hire competent geopolitical analysts).

The “professional” analysts in Washington are for the most part anti-analysts who perceive it as their task to ram through an ideology described as “Western values,” whose main purpose is to destroy traditional Western values throughout the world, particularly Christian values (I had shown here that the US-controlled World Bank imposes values that deny sovereignty to Third World countries). The Starikov talk is well worth watching and reading the subtitles! You will hear a real professional analyst in contrast to the absolute know-nothings who are routinely interviewed on TV. There are rare exceptions such as Stephen Cohen, a true expert on Russia who bucks the current and is not afraid to tell the truth.

I viewed the video twice and 4 things became clear:

1—The US government has fostered wars for more than a half century, for example, by creating Pakistan out of India. Why? Starikov implies it is for control. He says that pattern has always been to create a territory and an anti-territory. Pakistan was the anti-India, created by the West. The Satanists in Washington (he doesn’t use that term but it fits perfectly) created Islamic terror groups there to harass India, just as they have done throughout the Middle East and in Kosovo, for example. They think this will give them control over the world (naturally, they will ultimately fail because they can’t deceive enough of their own people indefinitely to keep up this foul game.) Starikov echoes my commentary “Who is the real bully in the Ukraine crisis?,” showing that in Ukraine, the Washington elites had created an “anti-Russia” by initiating and supporting a violent coup and eventually a war. He says that Russia is unable to counter the US strategy simply by recognizing the Lugansk and Donetsk rebel republics because that could lead to war with Russia and thousands of casualties. Russia, by not recognizing these break-away republics, is actually preserving the peace.

2—Starikov advocates using reason and logic and not emotions when forging foreign policy.

3—However, there are hotheads in Russia (such as Alexander Dugin, whom Starikov does not mention by name) who are guided by emotions, and the implementation of their ideas could sabotage the Putin plan, leading to war. (Obviously, Dugin is Putin’s polar opposite in his position on the Ukraine, even though there are Russia-bashing writers who insist that Dugin is Putin’s “mentor,” as I pointed out here).

4—The current Russian government want peace. This is not to say that its motives are all sterling and altruistic. However, peace would ultimately benefit everyone, even the US, by bringing about prosperity and enabling free trade everywhere.

Ironically, if all countries fostered peace, they would all benefit equally, for a win-win situation. What we have now, thanks to US foreign policy, is a lose-lose situation.

While Starikov does not mention this, the US, by constantly antagonizing Russia, eg, with economic sanctions and with a perpetual barrage of anti-Russian commentaries in the msm, as I have pointed out here, for example, is creating enormous resentment in Russia, even though Putin has kept his cool through it all. Should Putin leave office for whatever reason, a leader of a more excitable temperament may very well lack Putin’s discipline and self control and might easily adopt a belligerent stance, threatening war and perhaps even going there. The results would be unthinkable. I believe this is the main reason that shadow-government figures such as Kissinger, Soros and George Friedman have recently warned against further antagonizing Russia. And you may recall that it was these very men who played the Russia bashing game best. So if they are now afraid, caution is advised.

State governor bans Christian tradition in “Land of the Free”

State governor bans Christian tradition in “Land of the Free”

 

by Don Hank

Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia has usurped power over his own citizens and abolished religious freedom in his state by vetoing house bill HB757, with the text:

 

 “A BILL to be entitled an Act to protect religious freedoms; to amend Chapter 3 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to marriage generally, so as to provide that religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion;…” [my emphasis]

 

This veto, if translated into law, will effectively end the rights of all traditional Christians in Georgia to hold to their faith and to the Bible. Contrast this with the First Amendment, which says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

Now you will admit that whatever guarantees of human rights apply legally to the national legislature would have to apply to the state legislatures. Otherwise, the states could blithely render federal laws null and void and step on human rights within their states.

As you can see from the above quote, HB 757 did not discriminate against anyone. It simply guaranteed that religious officials could remain within the confines of their faith by refusing to perform same-sex marriages. Any same-sex couple who wished to be “married” under these conditions could apply to a state official or to a religious official who recognized same sex marriage as a “right.”

By vetoing HB757, Governor Deal effectively abolished the rights of church officials to remain within the traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. As a sidebar, note that adherence to this traditional definition is not only a religious or even a Christian tradition. It is a human tradition that has stood since prehistoric times. As a linguist, I am particularly aware of the features of foreign languages, including ancient ones. I can therefore state with certainty that, of the over 600 existing world languages, there is none in which the equivalent of the word “marriage” in English has traditionally applied to anything but a union between a man and a woman. I have discussed this in greater detail here and I urge you to read this commentary because it explores the linguistic aspect, which is almost invariably ignored).

I am not disputing that in some cultures, polygamous marriage was recognized. For example, a man was sometimes allowed to marry more than one woman. However, none of these marriages were performed for the purpose of enabling sexual relationships to occur within the same sex. Therefore, in vetoing HB 757, Governor Deal upset not only the 2000 year Christian traditional definition, the 4000 year Hebrew traditional definition but in fact, a universal, religious and non-religious traditional definition that was never seriously challenged until a few decades ago. The issue that no one talks about is language, and yet language is really central to everything (In the beginning was the word… John 1:1). There is a human right that few laws have protected and few authorities have discussed, simply because this right has rarely – until recently – been challenged, and that is the right to one’s own traditions and culture. In a previous commentary (see the heading “Culture” therein), I have shown that the global elites, including the US government, are hostile to tradition and culture. By definition that makes them hostile to common sense, the mental faculty that defends all of human society from total chaos and ultimate destruction. Intuitively, we know that common sense is synonymous with survival. Incredibly, we are actually not supposed to survive as a species.

Folks, I have a dream of some day performing an experiment, which I will explain below.

You know how the msm and the Western political establishment keep telling us, or at least suggesting, that Russia is the biggest threat to freedom and that we must beef up NATO so that we can eventually defeat them? (See my commentaries on NATO, for example, here, here, here and you may also do a site search at laiglesforum.com to find more on NATO).

Now – aside from the fact that a confrontation with Russia would almost certainly lead to a nuclear confrontation with Russia and China et al., which would almost certainly end all life on earth if it happened – the main issue in this anti-Russian campaign is the following question:

Is Russia really a threat to freedom?

Now reason tells us that a US party can reasonably claim that Russia is a threat to freedom only if the US can be shown to afford its citizens more freedom than Russia affords its citizens. Otherwise, it would be hypocritical for Americans to accuse Russia of denying freedom, or Putin (a duly, democratically, elected president) of being a “dictator.”

The official and media opposition to Donald Trump’s candidacy is clear cut evidence that our country has very limited political freedom, ie, the freedom to choose our own leaders. The same can be said of Europe, where the EU attempts to dictate to member states to open their borders to oft times unvetted “refugees” that demonstrably pose a major risk to citizens’ lives and safety as well as to their cultures.

So the purpose of the experiment I have in mind would be to determine if the US has more freedom than Russia or the other way around.

My experimental method would be to carry a sign first in a busy street in a major US city bearing the text:

Marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

Then I would translate this into Russian and carry the sign down a busy street in a major Russian city, securing first the permissions to do so in each of the respective cities, of course.

I would record the responses of passersby in each city on video and draw my conclusions from the responses.

What do you suppose the responses would be in the US? In Russia?

Let me know, preferably by posting your best guess in the forum below. (Unless you register first, your post will not appear until I have gone in and approved it, so keep an eye on this site).

Thank you!

 

 

 

NATO’s double standard being exposed

NATO’s double standard being exposed

Don Hank

Long before Russia got involved militarily in Syria, I had read in the Greek press about the frequent invasions of Greek airspace by Turkish fighters. No international organization — not the EU, not NATO, not the US government — none of them even issued an opinion let alone a scintilla of a rebuke in Turkey’s direction. Except for Greece and Russia, the msm were mum. Then when Turkey shot down the Russian fighter over Syria and the pilot was murdered by Turkish allies on the ground, the Western allies finally issued an opinion. Obama said only that all countries have a right to defend their borders. He didn’t mention that countries who are in the same coalition on the same identical mission are not expected to shoot down each other’s planes on the grounds that these planes spent a few seconds in the other ally’s airspace. Besides, why didn’t he say that when Turkey started making regular incursions into Greek airspace? His silence was deafening.

Now Barack Obama, as president of the US, has more power over NATO than anyone alive today. So what does the Obama-led NATO say about the shootdown of the Russian jet?

Why they say that NATO-member Turkey has every right to defend its airspace but NATO-member Greece does not.

Here’s what the Greek press says:

 

http://www.takaluteraedo.gr/2015/12/blog-post_19.html

 

My translation of excerpt:

PROTOFANIS CHALLENGES NATO Secretary General:

“the Turkish violations in Greek air space are a different thing”

Commenting on the downing of the Russian aircraft in Syria, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed Turkey’s right to defend its borders. However, when reminded of the violations of Greek airspace by Turkey, he stressed that these are “two completely different situations.”

Well-known CNN journalist Hala Gorani said that the NATO Secretary General has essentially “double standards” in this case and should apply the same standards to everyone, reports Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Therefore, according to Mr. Stoltenberg, Turkey has the absolute right to defend its airspace, but Greece “may not.” In other words, one NATO country is free to violate the air borders of another, and the latter is not allowed to “respond.”

 

END EXCERPT

 

This story of the Turkish encroachments on Greek airspace is all over the Greek press. Here is another of many examples:

 

My translation of excerpt:

 

http://www.enikos.gr/international/356097,Kasoylidhs-Oi-Ellhnes-pilotoi-panta-deixnoyn-egkrateia-stis-Toyrkikes-paraviase.html

 

Kasoulides: Greeks pilots always show restraint in Turkish violations – VIDEO

During the joint press conference of Foreign Minister of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, the Cypriot official was asked about the Turkish violations in Greek air space.

“I fully support the position of the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, that Greek pilots always show restraint whenever Turkish fighters invade Greek airspace, without having tragic results and hoped the Turks would show similar behavior when their own air space was violated for a few seconds”, said Ioannis Kasoulides.

 

END EXCERPT

 

This goes to show that the world is noticing the extreme hypocrisy of NATO and the West in general.

Of course, if it stopped at Greece, the hypocrites may not have much to worry about.

But the story of Erdogan as a villain is spreading around the world. A search of the German press yesterday showed that even the most popular news sites, such as Bild, were spreading Putin’s story about Turkish president Erdogan’s involvement with ISIS and how, for example, Erdogan’s son Bilal had purchased millions of dollars worth of stolen ISIS oil for resale.

This morning I saw ample coverage of the Erdogan scandal on Italian cable channel RAI. Only at the very end of this coverage did they briefly mention Turkey’s denial of the story. Italian viewers saw a Moscow war room with oversized satellite photos of the ISIS oil installations and tank trucks headed for Turkey in various directions. The presentation was done as a clear indictment, showing Erdogan as a culprit funding ISIS and offering no excuses.

No matter how hard the Madwoman of Berlin tries to persuade Europe to accept Turkey as a member of the EU, the public pressure is building and will not stop.

Thanks to Putin’s saintly restraint and his fearlessness in sharing these satellite images, Erdogan is emerging as the big loser in this propaganda war and the public is gradually siding with Putin.

 

Will Russia be first to unite the Middle East?

Will Russia be the first to bring Shiites and Sunnis together?

 

by Don Hank

 

Today’s situation in the Middle East is very confusing to the uninitiated because US policy is secretly based on a decivilizing and disordering strategy that, to survive, must masquerade as being beneficial to all and designed to bring peace and justice. A major challenge for deceitful policy makers. For example, Obama originally had decided not to send arms and troops to the Syrian “rebels,” but when he saw the Russians bombing rebel bases, he decided to send more troops and arms (perhaps to appease the Neocons or perhaps because he has become one), as reported here.

BTW, note that Israel has apparently done the same, as reported here.

A few months ago Ted Cruz addressed a group of Syrian Christians living in the US. Like many naive Americans, he assumed that the Middle East Jews and Christians share the same plight and therefore sympathize with each other. However, the Christian-killing terrorists in Syria have the moral support of many Israelis and the Israeli government because these terrorists are, for now, also opposed to Hezbollah and Iran, which the Israelis see as enemies. This complexity is overwhelming for most Westerners because the pertinent dots are never connected in our media.

The ingenuous Cruz was surprised at these Christians’ hostile response when before this crowd of Syrian Christians, he repeated the shibboleth “I stand with Israel,” indicating that, like nearly all US politicians, he hasn’t a clue as to Syrian sentiments and the reality there. (Ben Carson, unlike Trump, also wants to ratchet up the cold war).

To state this reality as simply as possible, the Shiites (the Iranian people and the Syrian government–supported by Russia) are perceived as enemies of Israel while the Sunnis (essentially the Saudis, Gulf states and Turkey), who hate the Shia, are perceived as allies.

This unintentionally pits US supporters of Syrian Christians against Israel in the sense that to support these Christians, one naturally supports Russia’s efforts to defeat ISIS and the rebels, but Israel perceives Russia as a threat because she is defeating their Sunni “allies” in ISIS. Thus, when Israelis hear Americans sympathizing with the Syrian Christians, many of them tend to get nervous. On the other hand, US Christians and others who mouth the slogan “I stand for Israel” make Syrians nervous because this suggests that the person who says this is seen as a threat to the Syrian Christians and other minorities.

Thus far, geopolitically illiterate Western politicians (the vast majority) and by far the majority of US analysts, seem to think that not only are Sunnis and Shia irreconcilable, but that in the outside chance they could be brought together, their newfound unity could threaten US interests.

Yet they also perceive perpetual war to be in the US interest, a proposition that is counterintuitive and morally untenable. I have tried to explain here how this absurd and dangerous idea came about and why it has been perpetuated for a half-century with almost no opposition in politics and media.

So how can both sides be brought together?

Putin is an unrivaled statesman who obviously wants to do unite these enemies of long standing. He recognizes that the US-aggravated rivalry between the Sunnis and Israel on the one hand and the Shia and Russia on the other is untenable in the long run and will lead to war. He is clearly trying to defuse the tension nurtured by the US. While attacking the Syrian terrorists who have the tacit support of Israel, he has shown Israel his support by meeting with and speaking with Netanyahu and by agreeing with the latter to involve Russia in the extraction of the Leviathan gas deposit, part of which is claimed by Israel. This tacitly implies several important things:

1—Russia accepts Israel’s existence as a nation

2—Russia agrees with Israel’s claim to its share of Leviathan even though Israel has stretched international law by extending its waters from 12 miles to 200 miles to include the relevant part of the deposit.

3—Russia will not allow encroachment on this deposit during its extraction and will protect any portions of the pipeline that cross Israeli territory.

It is a virtual military protection agreement for Israel. Further, none of this will come as a surprise for Russia watchers of the non-Neocon variety because Putin had visited Israel years ago and gave a press conference relating to this trip in which his respect for the Jews and the people of all faiths is reflected. This video of the conference best illustrates the fact that Putin is by his very disposition a true uniter of peoples and a man of good will.

It was only a matter of time before Israel’s tenuous support of the Sunni terrorists would be discovered and would therefore backfire mightily.

The US and Israel were playing with fire by cultivating Sunni Saudis and, by extension, the Saudis’ pets in ISIS,as their main allies (with the US all the while pretending to fight ISIS for cosmetic purposes). They had set a trap for themselves that has now been sprung by Russia.

Russia is now the only country in the world that intends to bring the Sunni world – and  its allies Israel and the US – and the Shia world – ie, the Iranian people and Syrian government – together as clearly suggested by this report showing that in September, Putin either spoke by phone or met with not only the Shia leaders of Iran and Syria but also their supposed arch enemies the leaders of the Sunni countries Palestine, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and most amazingly, Israel. This convergence of the Middle East in Moscow represented nothing short of an epoch making plate shift but went almost completely unreported in the West, a benighted region which still seeks answers solely in policies that divide the Middle East and make it more barbaric, supposedly to benefit US interests but in fact to no one’s benefit.

After years and years of relentless brainwashing, the idea of a relatively peaceful Middle East is now alien to Americans, most of whom would scoff at the idea.

Putin, however, understands the commonality of these seemingly divergent peoples (if only based on economic expediency) and his effort to unite all of their leaders is by far the most ingenious, monumental and momentous peace effort ever attempted in the Middle East. Yet no one, not even the brightest and best of geopolitical analysts, seems to have noticed. They are too busy taking sides in an effort to prop up a falling empire.

Some will say that my analysis is weighted in favor of our one-time enemy Russia. Yet what I have shown suggests a happier ending for the US than most would admit to.

Putin continues to refer to the US as a partner, and if only for economic reasons, he is deadly serious about this.

Putin knows that an economically failed US does not favor Russia or its Eurasian partners, all of whom are seeking the greatest prosperity for all, if for no other reason than to benefit from trade with us. After all, what is the percentage in trading with poor countries?

This came in since I wrote the above and it substantiates my commentary:

http://journal-neo.org/2015/11/12/saudi-russo-rapprochement-back-on-track/

 

Is Putin a sincere Christian? The Bible says it doesn’t matter

Is Putin a sincere Christian? The Bible says it doesn’t matter

by Don Hank

If your young child were drowning in the surf and a swimmer ran toward the water’s edge to save him, would you consider stopping the would-be rescuer and asking him whether he was a Christian before allowing him to proceed to save your precious child?

Of course not. You’d allow even a dog to save the child and you wouldn’t think twice about the worthiness of the rescuer. And yet, the entire world is watching someone save Christians and other minorities in Syria and some Christians are crying “foul” because they think that Putin may not be completely sincere and therefore not morally worthy of saving them. They want only Christians to save Christians. Yet none of them is going to Syria to save these desperate people. Such hypocrisy cries out for a strong response (and even perhaps a severe lashing).

Some Americans keep insisting that Russian President Vladimir Putin must prove his sincerity. Oddly these same people never speak of “sincerity” when assessing US candidates. This is because US candidates are typically insincere and have made us cynical. Many of us assume deceit is part and parcel of politics.

I don’t know whether Putin is sincere, but as I keep saying, he does not owe us an explanation of his faith. He is a political leader of a secular government. Remember that all attempts to create a Christian theocracy have failed. The Chiliastic Christians of the Dark Ages wanted a theocracy. Thinking they were sent by God to save Europe from the autocratic Catholics and feeling called to usher in the Millennium, they massacred priests, burned churches, plundered shamelessly, and finally were subdued and their leaders executed. (I say this as a Protestant. Truth is truth. Life is not a football game where one is obliged to root for the “home team”).

How could such people believe God would bless their bloody endeavors? Such runs counter to Christ’s teachings of free-will choice, whereby each of us makes his or her personal choice whether to accept or reject Him or how to worship Him.

Putin has professed his Christianity, whatever that may mean to him. He has said that he is not publicly entering into detail about his faith because it is a personal matter. This stance is in no way incompatible with Christ’s teachings when we consider that Jesus said we are to pray in the closet instead of flaunting our faith. Why is that commandment almost universally ignored among Christians, many of whom are rushing to be seen as saviors of mankind, even starting foundations and asking shamelessly for donations supposedly in an attempt to “restore a Christian America,” something they must know they will never accomplish? Is it not in fact all about them? Do they not in fact desire to be worshiped? Yet many of these same people condemn Putin for a lack of sincerity! It often seems as if they are vying for the title of Mr. or Mrs. Hypocrisy.

The important thing is not whether Putin is sincere but how his actions are furthering God’s work. We all know how. It is obvious. Traditional Christianity — including the true definition of marriage — is flourishing in Russia and Syrian Christians are being saved from ISIS only because Putin intervened. Once any of Putin’s critics have done this much, they are free to pile on him. Otherwise they are nothing but hypocrites.

God chooses people to do His work and does not have any religious requirements for this.

Nebuchadnezzar and Constantine are good examples.

Historians are not certain whether Constantine was a Christian but he was indisputably enormously instrumental in legitimizing Christianity in Europe and elsewhere. If that is not enough, let his critics do better.

Many readers will be surprised to learn that in another woefully neglected passage, Paul taught that it does not matter whether the one who delivers Christ’s message is sincere or not.

Philippians 1:

…17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. 18 What matter? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ…

Though I can’t prove it, I believe that Putin is not acting solely out of selfish ambition. There is abundant evidence that he is working for the good of his people (as well as for a better world — a world he calls multipolar, where no country lords it over others). If the Russians had good reason to suspect otherwise, they would not have reelected him so many times. If only the West had even one leader who did likewise!

Honi soit qui mal y pense.

 

 

Game over for Obama power in the world?

I don’t know how to make people realize how significant just that first sentence in the QUOTE OF THE CENTURY below. Suffice to say it signals the end of Obama’s power in the world arena.

Merkel broke the ice about a week before Putin’s blockbusting speech at the UN debate, saying that Assad needs to be included in any negotiations over Syria. http://www.dw.com/en/merkel-says-assad-must-have-role-in-syria-talks/a-18736427

Other European leaders seemed to – reluctanctly — agree.

Hollande is the biggest holdout, but no one can seriously doubt that he will bow to Junker on this.

Obama can huff and bluff all he wants now but it is over. This is reminiscent of how he “warned” his partners not to join the AIIB (Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), on the flimsy excuse that it lacked “safeguards.” If you wonder what he meant by “safeguards,” the story is here http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/hank/150319.

I had said then that it looked like the rest of the world was turning its back on the US government. My first inkling of that was something a Chinese monetary expert had said: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/hank/141219 in a press conference given only in Chinese.

Those were the big signs that America (not Russia as many air heads have said) was being isolated as a result of its insensitivity and outright bullying.

4 major signs so far that the US is losing its place on the world stage:

1—surge of the RMB as part of dedollarization

2—The accession of almost all US allies to the AIIB, a direct competitor of the World Bank/IMF

3—Merkel’s signaling that Assad is an indispensable partner in the war on terror

4—Now, today’s news that Jean-Claude Junker is shucking off the Washington yoke and making a significant overture to Russia.

Alone, Washington can no longer support terror in the Middle East. A sad and disgraceful chapter in US and world history seems to be coming to an end.

This loss of prestige will in turn change American minds like nothing has ever done and will influence our politics. Warmongers like Fiorina are already finished. Obama seems poised to exit the stage with his tail between his legs. Likewise, the Neocons, who also supported the anti-Christian terror in the Middle East, will see much of their prestige and credibility vaporize.

There is only one alternative to that for the Neocons: WW III and the end of life on this planet. Will they risk it?

Only if YOU let them.

 

QUOTE OF THE CENTURY by no less than the head of the EU Commission:

“We can not have our relationship towards Russia dictated by Washington. It’s simply not on.”

Jean-Claude Junker

 

Junker Throws in the Towel

This article originally appeared at German Economic News. Translated from the German by Boris Jaruselski

Huge reversal: the EU seeks a normal relationship with Russia. It seems that the EU is being greatly affected by the actions of Vladimir Putin in Syria: suddenly the EU President Jean-Claude Junker is saying that the EU must not let the US dictate their relationship with Russia. He has demanded a normalization of relations – and indirectly, the end of sancitons.

The EU Commission President advocated a relaxation in the conflict with Russia. “We have to achieve a sustainable relationship with Russia. It’s not sexy, but has to be done. We can’t go on like this anymore”, he said on Thursday in Passau. It isn’t necessary to achieve overall understanding, but a sensible conversational basis. “The Russians are a proud people”, the country has “a role to play”, said Junker: “One must not remove them from the bigger picture, otherwise they’ll call again, very quickly, as we seen already.” He critisized US Presidnet Barack Obama, for having downgraded Russia as “regional power”. “Russia needs to be treated correctly”, the Luxemburgian explained. “We can not have our relationship towards Russia dictated by Washington. It’s simply not on.

This statement is particularly noteworthy. Until now, the EU always placed emphasis on having complete accord with the Americans, with the placement of the Russian sanctions. Some time ago, the US Vice President Joe Biden made it clear that the US had urged the EU to impose the sacntions. Junkers’ big back flip is confirming the statement made by Biden. It’s hard to discern what’s really going on Junker’s mind: as late as March, Junker was demanding the establishment of a EU army, which was expressly directed against Russia: such a European army would “give Russia the impression, that we are seriously intending to defend European Union’s values”, Junker said word for word, back then.

 

Ron they never knew ye

Ronald Reagan would be crying now

 

by Don Hank

In the context of the current Syria crisis, I am seeing articles by “conservatives” suggesting that Ronald Reagan would have solved this by threatening the Russians or even shooting down Russian planes in Syria.

Conservatives (really Neocons if we are to be honest), I daresay you have forgotten who Ronald Reagan was and what made him a great statesman. His salient trait was, if anything, restraint. He was characterized precisely by not being the cowboy he was accused of being.

This year the GOP held its first major debate in a Reagan-themed venue, suggesting that the candidates were Reagan-like. All but one were the cheapest and shoddiest of imitations. Trump came closest because he is anti-establishment and tussles with the media, as Reagan had done. Of course, unlike Reagan, Trump does not exactly sound like a wise grandfather, more like a cantankerous uncle, but he is the only one who shows restraint toward Russia.

For all their hot air about Reagan, here is what today’s GOP wants you to forget:

Reagan never got the US into wars that killed thousands of Americans, the way the Bushes did.

Despite his cowboy image, exaggerated by the press, his skirmishes were brief and relatively safe. Only 19 Americans died in Grenada (although to be fair, legal experts tell us that war was not in line with international law), only two US airmen died in the 1986 attack on Libya, and no US military fighters died in Afghanistan because Reagan knew he did not dare go head to head with the Soviet Union in that conflict. Unlike today’s amateurs, Reagan knew that a nuclear confrontation would likely spell the end of civilization, if not of human life.

In fact, most of us have forgotten by now that, despite Reagan’s vehement philosophical disagreement with the Soviets, he did nothing to escalate the tension even after the Soviet Union shot down Korean Airlines flight 007 in September of 1983.

Instead of risking US lives in foreign conflicts, Reagan engaged in secret operations, for example, recruiting Osama bin Laden to fight the Russians in Afghanistan and numerous terror groups to ostensibly fight communism in Latin America and elsewhere (some of which groups we now, unfortunately, face as enemies).

Reagan also cautiously entered the conflict in Lebanon. However, instead of trying to reconcile the belligerent factions, he sided militarily with the Christian faction because he felt he should represent the people closest in religion to most Americans. Very shortly after that, the US Marine barracks were blown up by suicide bombers and he realized his mistake.

Now if he had been a Bush, he would no doubt have sacrificed still more lives for the sake of American “prestige.” Instead, to his credit, he pulled out all US troops and offered no lame excuses. The plaque on his desk said it all: “the buck stops with me.”

Now I am opposed to about everything our current radical socialist White House resident has done domestically, so the following is hard to say, but I hope you will make an effort to understand this: Like it or not, Obama’s policy of standing aside for Putin in Syria resembles Reagan’s policy in Lebanon and in the 007 shootdown incident more than the Neocon saber-rattling to which we are subjected 24-7. A good president knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. Even a bad president has some good (and many bad) advisers. A stopped clock is right twice a day.

I can’t imagine the Gipper going up against Russia, and for the same reason that Obama won’t. It is just too downright dangerous. And yet, knowing the Gipper as we do, I am sure you will agree that he would not put the Syrian Christians in harm’s way as Obama has done. I would expect that Reagan would have made an effort to reconcile with Assad, knowing that the latter was protecting Christians and all other minorities in Syria.

So would Reagan have taken Israel’s side and opposed Assad over the Golan Heights?

Who knows? At any rate, you will no doubt agree that he’d have tried to find a mutually agreeable solution. On the other hand, it is true that no president, including Reagan, has ever supported making Jerusalem the capital of Israel – despite pressure to do so. Therefore, there never has been a totally pro-Israel US president.

Another important detail is that Jonathan Pollard was convicted of spying for Israel in 1987, near the end of the Reagan administration, and the president did not bow to pressure from Israel to release Pollard.

There are many unfathomables in US politics. Reagan was one of them. Yet some foolish Neocons hide behind the Reagan brand to defend their warlike policies and reckless statements about Putin.

Ron, they never knew ye.

Normandy Four snub Obama

Normandy Four snub Obama

 

by Don Hank

The fact that Ukraine, Germany and France have agreed to meet with Russia in Paris on Oct 2 (see story linked below) without any kibitzing from Obama (not invited) is clear evidence that

1-Obama – not Putin (per the Neocon fable) is the one who is isolating himself with his uncompromising rigidity.

2-Putin scored points and changed minds at the UN debate on Monday.

3-Europe, while perhaps still wary of Russia, still considers it a negotiating partner, either despite of or – more likely – because of Putin’s bold military initiative in Syria – standing as it does in bold contrast to Obama’s inertness.

After all, as I have seen on European talk shows (Deutsche Welle, RAI Italia, TV 5 from France) since the Syrian air strikes, the Europeans – unlike the US – are more immediately concerned about the immigration crisis than any other aspect of the Syrian issue. No one — particularly not the US — has made any progress in stopping the terror that the refugees are escaping (and as Putin rightly suggested without naming names, ISIS is a US invention). Germany, which initially put on a show of compassion for the refugees, has seen violence (eg, against women, Shiites and Christians) and chicanery (false passports) among these refugees. Worse, their refugee welcome centers are overwhelmed and so are many public schools, unable to keep up with the demand for German language classes, etc.

American Neocons can sit down and moralize about Syria, pretending that the duly elected Assad is a “dictator” (while pretending that the Saudis and their unelected king are somehow democratic and more civilized – even as they bomb poor little Yemen to smithereens).

But Europe’s institutions are under siege and individual EU countries cannot reach an agreement even over whether to accept ANY refugees, let alone 10,000 a day. This is causing a rift that threatens the integrity of the Union.

Europe’s “leaders” are panicked and, Like him or hate him, they know that Putin is the one who has stepped into the gag and is helping to solve their problem (despite silly statements by Obama to the contrary). His prestige in Europe has undoubtedly gone up since the UN debates and the Syria initiative.

And our hapless White House resident said Putin needs to “become a little smarter”? LOL!

http://rbth.com/news/2015/09/30/normandy_four_meeting_in_paris_is_joint_initiative_of_france_germany_rus_49671.html