Resurrection Day on the road to Damascus

Resurrection Day on the Road to Damascus

By Don Hank

On this Easter Sunday morning, even as our government prepares for war against the Damascus government, I could not help but remember that it was Paul who, in his early persona as Saul of Tarsus, was stopped short on his march to Damascus to persecute the early Christians. We are Saul on the road to Damascus and the Lord is Jesus. Nothing has changed. The story has been ongoing for 2 millennia.

The Damascus Road: Saul Converted (Acts 9)

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.[a] It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

The Satanic States of America (SSA), which, like Jerusalem in the story above, imagines itself to be a moral authority, is now headed like Saul to Damascus, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, to take out President Bashar al-Assad, the only man standing between the US-funded terrorists and the Christian population that has so far escaped the murderous onslaught of Washington, DC. Like Saul, before he became Paul, we are on the road to Damascus, Syria, to persecute and kill Christians.

What will the Lord do now? Have faith, my friends. It is all we have now and it is sufficient.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all our Orthodox brothers and sisters around the world, both those in the region where Christianity was born and those in the land that stands between persecuted Christians and the Satanic States of America, a blessed Resurrection Day!

I was in a Coptic Egyptian church in Lancaster County, PA, several decades ago when the presiding priest had the congregants stand at the end of the service, shake hands with each other and say to each other: He is risen!

God bless you all. He is risen!

In Christian Love,

Don Hank

 

 

Slapdown of Erdogan propagandist

The owner of a Turkish web site recently wrote the pro-Islamist email shown below to a group of his readers. I responded as follows and as shown in brackets and bold typeface in his message:

Ahmet,

In our quaint culture, when a person like you presents arguments to us, it is our custom to respond with arguments of our own — unless, of course, your side has a knife at our throat, as has typically been the case in the past.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts to beautify the pig’s face, there is a gradual shift in Western opinion toward Russia and against Turkey in the issue of the downing of the Russian plane over northern Syria.

The story of Recep Tayyip Erdo?an and son Bilal’s funding of ISIS is now firmly implanted in our Western consciousness (your unconfirmed diversionary assertion that Assad also participated in trade with ISIS is irrelevant to the emerging narrative regarding Turkey because Turkey is our coalition “partner” and fellow NATO member, thanks to the suicidal tendencies of our “leaders”). BTW, it is interesting how similar your arguments are to those of our own Neocons, who also make liberal use of diversionary tactics.

To tell you the truth, Ahmet, Islam is such an absurd idea to most Westerners that it can only be spread by terror, as you well know and as Mohammed also knew. That is how the Turks managed to spread it in the 14th century, not by means of intellectual arguments but by murdering Byzantine Christians and other kafir wholesale, as laid out masterfully by Bill Warner in his book and in this video.

The early Muslims knew that if they relied solely on apologetics in an appeal to the intellect and the spiritual senses (ie, the approach taught by Jesus), they would never have gotten to first base with Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, etc, which is why you folks massacred us. You were wise enough to know that dead people don’t debate.

As for why Muslim apologetics is ineffectual, I have shown here why the message of Islam fails to convince unless the sword is applied generously by our debating opponents.

My responses to your attempted arguments are in red typeface below.

I can see that you read some of the Western press in order to formulate your arguments. I would like to see at least some deeper thought go into your pro-terror propaganda in the future, because for one thing, I like a challenge and your diversionary Neocon arguments are anything but intellectually challenging, and secondly, if you start analyzing more deeply, you will realize that you can’t provide to sentient Westerners any attractive arguments in favor of Muslim terror and countries that fund and support it. I am sorry that you compel me to point out the obvious.

I am hoping and praying that you and your fellow Muslims –  and especially your allies in NATO – will open their eyes to the truth and heed the clear message of President Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, the only leaders in the world sincerely and effectively opposing terror — even as Washington and Brussels dither and slither.  If you still think you can create propaganda to defend your terror-supporting regime through an appeal to the intellect of the non-brainwashed, you will need to find out what the civilized side says that is swaying world opinion. You may try this site. Once you have heard the other side, you may then be better informed in preparing your truth-resistant arguments.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this topic. I look forward to your disingenuous and ineffectual response.

Best,

Don Hank

 

 

PUTIN: “The breakup of the USSR was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.” [Westerners don’t say this, so it is irrelevant to us, although in terms of fighting terror and barbarism, if the countries of the former Soviet Union could back today’s re-Christianized Russia in defending the West, we probably would not be seeing such an uncontrollable proliferation of terror, the hordes of “refugees” flooding Europe or the US-style wars that sow chaos everywhere]

FACT: As a matter of fact, the greatest tragedy of the 20th century was the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. With the empire gone, flocks of sheep numbering millions of people and inhabiting a geography that extends from Bosnia-Hercegovina to Yemen and from Morocco to Iraq, were left without their shepherd. All of the man-made catastrophes and crises in recent history are directly connected with the power vacuum left behind by the Ottoman Empire. These include the Yugoslav civil war, the Iraqi civil war, the Syrian civil war, the Libyan civil war, Greece’s bankruptcy, the Crimea crisis, the rise of the Wahhabi/Salafist creed and so-called “Islamic” terrorism. [The Ottoman Empire was created by massacring our fellow Christians, as shown above. I am amazed that you think the revival of this cruel despotic empire could be an attractive idea to civilized people at all, let alone Christians. Whom did you think you were addressing here?]

PUTIN: “The Russian jet never violated Turkey’s air space and was shot down without warning.”

FACT: In the last 18 months, the Russians had intentionally violated the air space of many allied countries including the UK. In Turkey’s case, they had been bombing Turkey’s allies in Syria [The coalition was formed to fight terror. If by your “allies,” you are referring to the Turkish speaking Syrian minority (erroneously reported to be descended from the people of Turkmenistan), these are people fighting the troops of Bashar Al-Assad, the legitimate, duly elected president of the Syrians. These allies of yours were an ethnic minority fighting the Syrian people and their government. The peoples of the Western world have no interest in supporting their illicit and criminal behavior — such as the cold blooded murder of a coalition pilot. Further, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov had already made it clear that Russia does not accept the absurdity of “good” terrorists vs “bad” terrorists, and Obama knew that when he allowed Russia to form the coalition. Turkey had to know it as well. The Turkish speaking fighters in Syria are terrorists, and given Erdo?ans known support for ISIS, it is not surprising that he would have warm feelings toward these terrorists in northern Syria. He is clearly the friend of all Sunni Muslim terrorists and is completely out of place in NATO], then flying over Turkish air space and thumbing their noses at the Turks. They needed the lesson. The warnings issued by the Turkish fighter jet were heard by US pilots flying in the region. One of the recordings circulating in the Internet was supplied by a pilot flying for the Lebanese airline MEA.

[The problem for you is that when coalition planes are participating in a shared mission, it is absurd on its face for one coalition member to intentionally shoot down another coalition member’s plane and the UN has already condemned the Turkish action on these grounds, so that’s that. The self-defense argument is moot. Turkey knew that its own country was not threatened by planes of its own coalition. Nor did coalition members have the mission of protecting certain terror groups in Syria].

PUTIN: “Turkey arms Isis, buys Isis oil.”

FACT: This week the US published a report saying that Russia’s ally Assad was buying most of the Isis oil to supply its troops. The Americans also identified and blacklisted the middle man who made this trade possible. As Putin knows well, Turkey’s leading energy supplier is none other than Russia. That is not all. The tanks and infantry vehicles used by Isis fighters are Russian. The rifles they hang over their shoulders and the AA guns they mount behind their pickup trucks are also Russian. This equipment can only be maintained with Russian spare parts and loaded with Russian ammunition. [There were Russian weapons all over the Middle East and they fell into the hands of terrorists. Unless you have concrete evidence that the Russians knowingly supplied these weapons to their own enemies (which you know very well they did not), this argument only serves as a distraction. (It is strangely similar to the kind of childish arguments regularly made by US Neocons). In the case of the Turkish purchase of oil, there is satellite imaging proving beyond any doubt that Turkey purchased ISIS oil, whereas here is no such evidence that Assad bought the ISIS oil. Putin showed these images to all members of the G20. This enraged Erdo?an at the time but it also led to the destruction of the oil trucks that were enriching him and his son, enraging him beyond his limits of self control. These were key factors in his desperate decision to shoot down a coalition plane and murder its pilot. He then made the stupid blunder of defending the murder, making him look complicit in a war crime. Finally, it is clear to anyone with knowledge of US military and foreign policy that our “leaders” also clandestinely support terror, in tandem with your country (as evidenced, for example, here,  here and here or by googling, for example, the terms: benghazi turkey gun running.) Therefore, the peoples of the West are locked in a death grip with our own renegade governments and also with Muslim terror groups and countries like Turkey that fund them. We can only win with God’s help and with the pure unadulterated truth as our weapon of choice. But while your master has endorsed the use of lies (taqiyya) when dealing with non-believers, our Master has said: ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.]

 

Dear Fox News: Has Russia left the planet?

Is there still a country called Russia?

I was once an avid viewer of Fox News. I still watch when my wife tunes in. A lot of my friends are in the same category with me, having once seen Fox as conservative and as fair and balanced. A long time ago, you presented the “other” side of the news and declared yourselves “fair and balanced.” Yet some of us saw you drift far from your base, like the GOP and most everything else.

I have a Masters in Russian and am a perpetual student of Russian, language, literature and current affairs. I follow Russian news in Russian and English. Years ago I noticed that whatever really big important events were happening in Russia were studiously ignored in the US press. Perhaps that is to be expected given the deplorable state of the msm. But Fox says it is different. Balanced and all that. Yet, ironically, I am now hearing more -balanced views on CNN, the channel that I was escaping from when I switched to Fox, back when you first went on the air. For example, I heard Christiane Amanpour remind her audience that France was not the only recipient of ISIS jihadism but that ISIS had also bombed a Russian airliner over the Sinai. I was almost overcome by emotion that a Western reporter would even mention that.

This is a sad state of affairs.

A few days ago I read in a foreign online site that Russia had doubled its air strikes, adding large bombers flying directly from Russia to Syria, and also making some pinpoint strikes with missiles from ships in the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas. The report mentioned that 600 jihadis were killed and that the ISIS commanders were forced to bury the dead in latrines. No one had ever come anywhere near this close to defeating ISIS. It was earth shattering news. Yet these intensified raids received precious little coverage in the US but a few sites in Britain (such as express.co.uk , theglobalnews and an Irish site) managed to carry the story.

I tuned in to your fair and balanced station and found a “military expert” opining that only the US could defeat ISIS but that our president would not attack them with sufficient vigor to make a difference. I waited to hear your coverage of the above-cited story of the doubled Russian attacks but did not catch it. I then did a search with the terms:

fox news russian bombers syria

and found no reports at all on Fox about these latest air strikes or any mention of the fact that Russia had doubled its number of active bombers. I was only able to find a report that a Russian aircraft had buzzed the USS Ronald Reagan over a month ago. Your loyal listeners and readers no doubt think that the uses of Russian air force jets are limited to buzzing American ships.

Therefore I conclude that, in Fox’s world, Russia has ceased to exist. I am asking that you re-investigate that view and see if you cannot find some information indicating that Russia has not yet left planet earth.

Best Regards,

Don Hank

laiglesforum.com

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.

 

US officials no longer cover lies about Syria, Russia

US officials don’t even bother to cover their lies about Syria

by Don Hank

Our Neocon Government used to make subtle suggestions and use obfuscation and omission to control your mind. Now they blatantly lie, even about things you can read about in the msm. Why? They know the public is so dumbed down anything goes. They can tell you on Sunday that it is Wednesday and the chances are you will believe it, cross off Wednesday on your calendar, write Sunday there and stay home from work.

Check out the first statement from a US Neocon official lying thru his teeth.

http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2015/10/04/folks-heres-what-the-media-wont-tell-you-about-russia-bombing-syria/

QUOTE: The [Russian] strikes hit targets in Homs and Hama, but there is no presence of ISIS in those areas, a senior U.S. defense official said¨[US official meme is that Russia ONLY attacks “moderates” and not ISIS – this supports the Neocon notion that Russia is evil and the US government is virtuous]

Really?

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/06/ISIS-seizes-key-Syrian-town-in-Homs-.html

Title: ISIS seizes key Syrian town in… where? HOMS

Ya say ya don’t trust Al Arabiya? How about BBC, reporting in August 2015:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33806122

QUOTE: Islamic State ‘seizes Syria town of al-Qaryatain’ in Homs province

But what about Hama? the official assured us there was  no ISIS in Hama province. Ooops! The NYT gives the lie to that lie.

Reported on April 1

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/world/middleeast/syria-isis-advances-in-hama-and-damascus.html?_r=0

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Islamic State militants in Syria have seized new territory on multiple fronts in recent days, killing dozens of civilians in the central province of Hama, residents there said, and advancing on Wednesday into the chaotic Yarmouk district on the southern edge of Damascus.

NEVER NEVER NEVER pay a bit of attention to what a US official tells you about foreign affairs, especially about what the Russians are doing in Syria. Especially when they say Russia is not taking out ISIS. They will take out ISIS so fast your head will spin. On the other hand, if you believe the official US statements, your head is already spinning.

In that case, don’t forget to stay home from work on Sunday – you know, the day after Tuesday.

High noon in Syria

High noon in Syria

by Don Hank

Fox News is between a rock and a hard place. They have always generally been anti-Putin because they have a lot of Neocon supporters. But now Putin has scored big at the UN. Even the British PM is cautiously inching over to his side and Merkel stated last week that she thinks Assad must be included in negotiations over the fate of Syria. Most European countries are taking a wait and see position and will bolt the US monopoly if such is appropriate. Putin has a plan and clearly wants to stop ISIS. Obama sorta has a, well, you know, maybe a plan or something and has been pretending to fight ISIS for years now. Judging by his actions, his plan is to lose the war on ISIS and allow them to romp freely, slicing throats to their hearts content until Assad – the only leader who has been sincerely fighting ISIS for 4.5 years – is gone. While Obama’s position is incomprehensible and confusing, Putin’s position is clear and easily understood. One could articulate it in part as follows:

Syrian Christians overwhelmingly support Assad because they know that if he leaves power, their life expectancy is considerably shorter.

Assad is not a dictator (though Fox still calls him that in the article below). He was duly elected (unlike the Saudis whom we support – NO Neocon voices are calling for the unelected dictator king to step down. How phony and hypocritical can you get?)

Since the popular Assad is still the president, anyone entering Syria without his permission – including the US military in its pretend fight against ISIS – is there illegally per international law. Putin and his coalition have been invited by the Syrian people via their elected leader to fight ISIS and are there legally and legitimately.

In a court of law, no fair-minded judge would hand a victory to the US or find against Putin, but the US, as the “exceptional” and “indispensable” world manipulator, has in the past bought all the judges so to speak. That is changing. I had pointed out before that the accession of almost all US allies to the AIIB was a signal that the hegemon has lost his support in the world community. And without that, he cannot stand. I had also pointed out that Russia is now selling oil to China for yuan (RMB) as part of a larger campaign to dedollarize world trade. The less the USD is used in international transactions, the less it is worth internationally, as one can deduce from my commentary and translation here. Dollar hegemony (which gives the US government and FRB the extravagant ability to print unlimited dollars for its military adventures) is being fought successfully, a step at a time. We are witnessing the changing of the guard. The good news is that, as I pointed out here, the Eurasianism of Putin, China, the BRICS and other Eurasian partners strictly pursues the multipolar principle whereby there shall not be a hegemon. (BTW, if the countries that joined the AIIB had had any reason whatsoever to believe that the AIIB would enable a hegemon – world dictator in the image of the US – to emerge, they would not have rushed en masse to join it and turn their backs on the US-led World Bank and IMF).

I have added comments to the biased Fox report below.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/30/boots-on-ground-russian-lawmakers-back-putin-sending-troops-to-syria/

Russia launches airstrikes in northern Syria, senior military official says

Published September 30, 2015

FoxNews.com

 

EXCLUSIVE: Russian warplanes have begun bombarding Syrian opposition [FOX USES THE WORD “OPPOSITION” TO SUGGEST TO UNWARY READERS THAT THESE ARE GOOD FOLKS WHO RECEIVED ARMS FROM THE US TO FIGHT A DICTATOR. HOWEVER, THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN TERRORISTS AND “OPPOSITION” HAS LONG BEEN BLURRED. IT IS COMMONLY KNOWN THAT THE US GOVERNMENT ROUTINELY GIVES ARMS TO ANYONE FIGHTING ASSAD AND THESE PEOPLE THEN ROUTINELY TURN AROUND AND JOIN ISIS OR ANOTHER TERROR ORGANIZATION–DON] targets in the war torn nation’s north, working on behalf of dictator [NEOCON FOX IS OBLIGED TO PRETENT THAT ASSAD IS A DICTATOR BECAUSE THEY ARE BEHOLDEN TO THEIR RICH SUPPORTERS TO KEEP UP THIS CHARADE. BUT AS I POINTED OUT ABOVE, ASSAD IS NOT ONLY POPULAR, HE IS DULY ELECTED. THE WEST HAS CONDEMNED HIM FOR KILLING PEOPLE, BUT THE WEST KILLS ALL THE PEOPLE IT WANTS, INTERFERES IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF NATIONS, STARTS AND FUNDS COLOR REVOLUTIONS AND ARAB SPRING-LIKE UPRISINGS AND IN SO DOING PLUNGES NATION AFTER NATION INTO ANARCHY, CREATIG A VACUUM THAT IS PREDICTABLY FILLED BY ISLAMIC TERRORISTS, TRIGGERING A MASS MIGRATION THAT IS OUT OF CONTROL. THE KEY US ALLY IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS A TRUE DICTATOR, THE SAUDI KING WHO IS UNELECTED. THERE IS NO GREATER HYPOCRISY THAN FOX CALLING ASSAD A DICTATOR WHILE GIVING THE SAUDI ROYALS A PASS—DON HANK] Bashar al Assad, according to a senior military official.

The official said airstrikes targeted fighters in the vicinity of Homs, located roughly 60 miles east of a Russian naval facility in Tartus, and were carried out by a “couple” of Russian bombers. It was not clear if the strikes targeted ISIS, Al Qaeda or other forces opposed to Assad, who Moscow is aiding [ANOTHER DECEITFUL SUGGESTION THAT PUTIN IS KILLING US APPROVED FORCES OPPOSED TO ASSAD, ALTHOUGH OBAMA HAS ADMITTED HIS ADMINISTRATION HAD ONLY MANAGED TO TRAIN A HANDFUL AT A PRICE OF SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS PER CAPITA AND THAT THESE MEN HAD MOSTLY DISAPPEARED].  According to a Twitter handle belonging to the Syrian government, the Russian strikes were initiated at the request of Assad. [AGAIN, AS I POINTED OUT ABOVE, THE FACT THAT THE OFFICIAL DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF SYRIA GAVE THE RUSSIANS PERMISSION TO BE THERE SHOWS THAT NO INTERNATIONAL LAWS OR TREATIES HAVE BEEN VIOLATED BY PUTIN, WHO, AS A EURASIAN (AS EXPLAINED here), ADHERES TO THE PRINCIPLE OF HONORING NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTIES—SOMETHING THE US HAS NOT DONE FOR OVER A HALF-CENTURY, FALSELY TELLING ITS PEOPLE THAT IT HAS EVERY RIGHT TO INTERFERE IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF ANY NATION IT DISAGREES WITH. BY REPORTING THIS, FOX IS ALSO UNWITTINGLY HIGHLIGHTING THE FACT THAT THE US AND ITS ALLIES IN SYRIA ARE THERE ILLEGALLY AND AGAINST THE WILL OF THE SYRIAN PEOPLE. FOX, OF COURSE, WANTS US TO THINK RUSSIA IS THE VIOLATOR HERE BUT JUST THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE. THE CASE IS CLEAR CUT AND ONLY THE BRAIN DEAD COULD FAIL TO SEE WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING—DON]

The development came after Pentagon officials brushed aside an official request from Russia to clear air space over northern Syria, where Moscow intends to conduct airstrikes against ISIS on behalf of Syrian dictator [NO, FOX. HE IS NOT A DICTATOR, AS I HAVE SHOWN ABOVE. THE SAUDI KING IS INDEED A DICTATOR (WHO RECENTLY BOMBED A WEDDING PARTY AND KILLED DOZENS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE) BUT YOU WOULD NEVER CALL HIM THAT. WHY? —DON] Bashar al-Assad, according to sources who spoke to Fox News.

The request was made by a Russian three-star general who spoke with U.S. officials at the American embassy in Baghdad, sources said. The general, who was not identified, used the word “please” when delivering the verbal request, known as a “demarche,” according to the written transcript of the exchange.

“If you have forces in the area we request they leave,” the general said.

A senior Pentagon official said the U.S., which has also been conducting air strikes against ISIS, but does not support Assad, said the request was not honored.

[SO IF THE US ENTERS SYRIA IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND IS FIRED UPON BY A NATION THAT IS THERE IN COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW, THEN THE US HAS NO MORAL RIGHT OR AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ANY DAMAGE IT SUFFERS AS A RESULT OF THIS TRESPASSING. (THE PENTAGON MUST ALSO EXPLAIN WHY IT ENDANGERED ITS PERSONNEL BY FORCING THEM TO ENTER TERRITORY ILLEGALLY). THE US HAS BEEN IGNORING INTERNATIONAL LAW FOR DECADES AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT BECAUSE IT WAS CLEARLY THE STRONGEST NATION. BUT NOW WE HAVE A COALITION OF RUSSIA WITH CHINA (THE LATTER MAY OR MAY NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE RUSSIAN LED COALITION). TOGETHER IT IS LIKELY THAT THEIR POWER IS GREATER THAN THAT OF THE US. FURTHER, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, OUR ALLIES ARE NO LONGER SOLIDLY BEHIND US. THIS CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE US IN ITS ROLE AS A VIOLATOR OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND RUSSIA IN ITS ROLE OF THE PARTY REQUESTED BY THE SYRIAN PEOPLE TO ENTER SYRIA, HAS THE POTENTIAL TO SMASH WHAT IS LEFT OF US PRESTIGE AND POWER. IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY BUT A COALITION OF THE TWO MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES RELENTLESSLY AND RECKLESSLY PURSUING INEXPLICABLE NEOCON POLICIES (WITH THE TACIT PERMISSION OF A BRAINWASHED PUBLIC THAT HAS BEEN TAUGHT TO FOLLOW THE LEADER AND NOT TO THINK FOR ITSELF) CAN’T BE EXPECTED TO WIN FRIENDS OR WARS. WE CAN ONLY HOPE AND PRAY THAT THE ABOVE-CITED PENTAGON OFFICIAL IS BLUFFING – DON]

 

My critique of Paul Craig Roberts’ critique of Putin

My critique of Paul Craig Roberts’ critique of Putin

 

by Don Hank

 

Recently, Paul Craig Roberts wrote an article criticizing Putin for thinking he can partner with the US. Roberts thinks this is naive, and indeed it would be naive if Putin really thought that way. But he doesn’t (I make it a point to read all of Putin’s speeches and interviews in the original Russian, much of which is not reported in the West, which picks and chooses the items that, out of context, make Putin look worse. In fact, Putin is a gifted statesman and has crafted a winning strategy that most Westerners, and even many Russian analysts, fail to grasp).

Almost any Western analyst is going to fail when writing about Russia because Western thinking is not applicable to Russia or China and few can grasp Eurasian thinking unless they have lived in Asia, studied the cultures and can read the languages.

Westerners have been conditioned for years into believing that the world needs, and will always have, a hegemon who can simply punish countries that “misbehave” and straighten them out at its whim. It doesn’t have to be polite or apply time-tested standards of fairness, because the hegemon defines fairness as it goes. Thus the Western way that the US has modeled for the world is to simply boss other nations around in the crudest and rudest way — as Victoria Nuland did when she was interacting with some top level Russian diplomats, sneering that they had “lost” (referring to the Cold War), implying they must now come to heel and obey their masters. Putin, by contrast, is modeling a mature and professional approach that has a universal appeal.

Eurasians no longer believe in the hegemon fairy tale. They are busy reinventing mutual respect and sovereignty of nations and are in turn garnering the respect of the rest of the world. This fact is crucial to interpreting the actions of China and Russia. Heavy handed Western writers have been trying for years to drive a wedge between Russia and China by suggesting that one or the other will eventually try to gain the upper hand and become king of the world. Yet the harder these propagandists try, the closer they drive the two countries together — to the extent that they are nearly inseparable at this point. And by that I mean economically/financially as well as militarily. The US government still believes in the cave man approach but the Eurasians have discovered that treating people with respect garners respect for them. Why would they abandon this approach as long as it works?

So why does Putin keep trying to negotiate politely with the evil Washington government as though he were dealing with peers, and why does he not use his enormous military power in Ukraine as Roberts (and, BTW, a lot of Russians) thinks he should?

Simply put, he is buying time, getting his last ducks in a row. (Note that each of Putin’s speeches gets a little bit stronger as he and his Eurasian partners gain strength).

Although Roberts was once assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy, oddly, he does not enter into economics and finance in his analysis, and yet, for Putin, the long term strategy is all about economics and finance.

Here is why I say Putin is buying time.

Russia and China are working feverishly to accomplish at least 2 goals behind the scenes:

1–Establish the RMB as the new world reserve currency.

2–set up a parallel SWIFT-like system of international money transfers, initially between the BRICS countries but later the world. See this, for example.

Why must the Eurasians do this?

Because even if they are superior to the US militarily, they need to become financially independent to prevent a lot of useless bloodshed. The US uses the dollar as a weapon, punishing its perceived enemies by freezing accounts, preventing transfers, imposing economic sanctions, seizing bank accounts (incl those of non-Americans living abroad) and generally seeking to paralyze them financially. Examples include the US-imposed record fine of $8 billion against French bank BNP Paribas in retaliation for that bank’s having made a dollar-denominated transfer to Iran (which was not illegal in France; the US’s rationale: since the transaction was denominated in dollars, it was illegal because the US is the legal owner of all dollars, the world reserve currency under the Bretton Woods agreement); and, on a smaller scale, seizure of foreigners’ cash, as with the IRS’s seizure of $8000 from the bank account of a Venezuelan man residing in Panama who had once lived in the US (not reported in the media. My banker told me the story).

The Eurasians, witnessing the results of this financial bullying, have made amazing strides in a very short time in achieving the 2 goals mentioned above, as I reported here and here.

As for the plan to make the RMB the fall-back reserve currency, that project is well underway, as shown in my translation and analysis here.

But one crucial step remains and that is to create and test the new Eurasian cash transfer system designed to bypass the US-controlled SWIFT system. Before this is accomplished, Russia and its Eurasian partners are still vulnerable to one last Western ace in the hole, and that is the freezing of money transfers anywhere in the world, as outlined here.

Reports on the target date for the new interbank transfer system differ widely but I think we can assume, based on Putin’s mild mannered behavior, that this is not yet accomplished.

Now just imagine if Putin had long ago played the military card in Ukraine and simply defeated the Ukrainian army that bombs its own citizens. Would US allies have rushed to join the Eurasian bank AIIB? They may have thought better of it knowing that Eurasia includes Russia. But Russia played the nice guy, bided its time, and these countries saw the AIIB as an opportunity to get out from under the obsolescent World Bank and IMF. The only main US allies who have not yet joined are Canada and Japan, and even that could change.

Putin plays a long game, a strategy virtually unknown in the West and not well understood even by the best American minds.

But not to fear: we will see it in action (non-military to be sure) soon enough.

So should we be worried?

Once the last piece in the Eurasian strategy is in place, I think we will see that Putin was not kidding when he talked about mutual respect. While the US has consistently sought to lord it over its trading partners, both militarily and economically, and has actually sought to bankrupt them via World Bank loans (see the book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins), the Eurasians focus on garnering and keeping the trust of all their partners. Unlike US elites, they are keenly aware of a key fact: The only way to get rich and stay rich is to trade with partners in ways that benefit both parties so that even poor partners become richer, boosting sales and loan transactions. And the best way to expand trade is to treat existing partners fairly and with respect. Making even one partner poor or showing a lack of respect undermines the trust that the rest have invested in you.

Now why didn’t we think of that?

 

Russian sanctions hurt (II)

Russian sanctions hurt (II)

 

by Don Hank

I have shown in a previous commentary that sanctions against Russia have really hurt. But not the Russians. They boomeranged on the US. How? By strengthening economic and military relations between Russia/Eurasian region and the rest of the world (eg, the accession of almost all US allies to the AIIB), military and economic coalition with China, lucrative contracts with the Saudis, India, etc.

As the icing on the cake, today I was translating an article in the Chinese economic daily finance.sina.com which shows that Russia in June sold a record amount of oil to China, and this, according to the article, for two reasons:

1—The Saudis obligingly raised their Asian benchmark oil prices selectively for Asia only, giving Russia the edge as an oil seller. (See the below time line for clues as to why the Saudis did this).

2—These oil deals with China are settled in yuan (RMB) making them more attractive to China in terms of both monetary policy (strengthening the RMB) and economics.

The latter fact is bad news for the dollar. The main thing propping up the USD is country-to-country trade settled in USD. The whole purpose of the petrodollar agreement with the Saudis in 1973 was to oblige them to accept payment only in USD for the purpose of maintaining an artificially high value of the dollar. Now Saudi Arabia itself is in fact sabotaging that deal, while sticking to the letter of it. This was a stroke of genius on someone’s part, and I think that someone was Russian President Putin.

Look at what Putin had been up to since no later than the end of 2014:

Timeline of Russia-Saudi negotiations.

1—December 2014, Putin meets with Saudi Intel Chief in Moscow

http://en.trend.az/world/arab/2218066.html

2—April 2015 King Salman bin Abdulazziz el-Saud calls Putin, sets up visit in June. (Was this motivated by the outcome of the Dec meeting?)

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/49304

3—June 2015, Saudis raise benchmark oil price for Asia

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/05/us-saudi-oil-price-idUSKBN0OL04720150605

4—June 2015, Russia signs 6 nuclear energy contracts with the Saudis (quid pro quo for the raised Asian oil prices?)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/06/19/uk-saudi-russia-nuclear-idUKKBN0OZ10R20150619

5—July 2015, Russia announces sale of Iskander missiles to Saudis (more quid pro quo for the raised Asian oil prices?)

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/04/418758/Russia-Saudi-Arabia-Iskander-missile-Yemen

There are no coincidences in events involving Russia. The tit-for-tat here is obvious. The Saudis got beefed up defenses and nuclear energy deals. Russia got a chance to sell more oil. Of course, for obvious reasons, the paper trail here omits the main details. The Saudis never disclose all the details of their agreements with other countries. But anyone who pays attention and knows what to look for can easily extrapolate the hidden details of these bargains.

Watch for more surprises soon.

As Donald Trump said: The decision makers in US policy are stupid.

Don Hank

 

PS: Speaking of stupid policy, did you happen to read about that fist fight that broke out in the Japanese Parliament over the latest change in the Japanese constitution allowing their armed forces to join with the US in its military adventures? An increasing number of Japanese are waking up to the insanity of US military policy and want nothing to do with US wars designed to be lost. Yet establishment thugs managed to pass this potentially disastrous piece of legislation, almost certainly under pressure from the war hawks in Washington.

Russian and US tactics are as different as day and night. Russia makes offers that tempt and reward. The US applies pressure and threats to punish.

Which side is winning?

Russian Sanctions hurt

Sanctions against Russia hurt

 

Don Hank

 

A reader tells me that the sanctions against Russia have been hurting them financially.

This is the perception throughout the West so far, unless you read reports from off the beaten trail. And then you see can easily through the lies.

You see, Western oligarchs are focused on keeping the world poor while robbing the little guy, and that is becoming an open secret. Eastern leaders can see this as a huge opportunity for doing business in ways that make everyone richer and better off. All they need to do is avoid the clumsy mistakes of the US oligarchs, and that is easy.

I have been forwarding articles showing that sanctions are not hurting Russia at all. They are gaining ground much faster than we are. Almost every one of our allies turned their backs on the World Bank (US based and led) and went over to the Chinese AIIB. This is a step toward dedollarization of world trade, which the Western press ignores pointedly (I pointed this out here http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/hank/141009)

In fact, the drop in the ruble is a huge boon for Russia, enabling them to sell more competitively to trade partners.

Then the Saudis struck deals with Russia for more powerful arms than we had ever sold them. That too is money in Russia’s bank.

Then about a week ago, almost every Middle Eastern leader met with Putin in Moscow, showing that they are pivoting away from the US and trusting Russia. For Putin that was like taking candy from a baby, because when a country’s government and oligarchs have cheated and lied repeatedly, eventually no lone trusts them. And that government is Washington.

In June Russia broke a record, selling more oil to China than the Saudis ever had sold them! The trade with China bypasses the dollar, using RMB only. Another major step toward dedollarization and loss of prestige for the dollar.

The Saudis are cooperating by charging more for their oil sold to Asia than is sold to the West. This helps Russia tremendously and is a clear signal that those closed door deals with the Saudis involved concessions to Russia in exchange for those weapons deals.

Now Russia is making deals with India for joint oil projects. These will almost certainly be denominated in currencies other than the dollar, another step in devaluing the USD.

Then there is the New Silk Route, a joint project with China to connect far flung regions for trade. Will the trade deals be in dollars? What do you think?

Rather than harming Russia, the sanctions drove them into the arms of our one-time allies. I don’t think they are coming back. My communications with Europeans shows they no longer trust the US, particularly since the bogus US subprime paper sold all over Europe, which set the stage for the current crisis there. Virtually every educated European knows this and, while their leaders remain discrete, they are waiting patiently for Washington to fall.

Russia’s new deals and sales of arms and oil are an indirect product of our sanctions and Russia is stronger now in trade and in world prestige than it ever was before.

Sanctions not only failed but they wound up greatly strengthening Russia!

The old Wolfowitz policy of encircling Russia has failed miserably as any fool knew it would. Russia is quickly emerging as the winner. Our policy makers are, to paraphrase Trump, STUPID!

It all reminds me of the Japanese emperor Hirohito in the last days of the war. He refused to believe that Japan could lose, even after the first nuke fell on one of his cities.

So the US dropped another.

Each of Putin’s actions is like one of those nukes, greatly curtailing US strength and prestige. Yet, Washington, caught in a paroxysm of normalcy bias, continues to forge ahead with its horrible policies, somehow convincing itself that it will win.

Let us hope and pray that whoever is elected our next president will start reversing these disastrous fraudulent foreign and financial policies that make America poor and garner the ridicule of nations.

And you know what? He may not have much choice.