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Sunday, December 14, 2014

‘Millions March’ rallies roll through US demanding justice for police violence victims

Russia Warns May Send Troops To Ukraine After Congress Unanimously Votes To Give Lethal Aid To Kiev

While the market, and America's media, was focusing over the passage of the Cromnibus, and whether Wall Street would dump a few hundred trillion in derivatives on the laps of US taxpayers once again (it did), quietly and unanimously both houses passed The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, which authorizes "providing lethal assistance to Ukraine’s military" as well as sweeping sanctions on Russia’s energy sector.
The measure mandates sanctions against Rosoboronexport, the state agency that promotes Russia’s defense exports and arms trade. It also would require sanctions on OAO Gazprom (GAZP), the world’s largest extractor of natural gas, if the state-controlled company withholds supplies to other European nations (yes, the US is now in the pre-emptive punishment business, and is enforcing sanctions on a "what if" basis).
But while one may debate if additional sanctions will do much to impact a Russian economy which is already impaired due to the plunging ruble, the clear escalation is that unlike previously, when the US limited itself - at least on paper - to non-lethal assistance to the Ukraine, now the US is finally preparing to send in weapons, and potentially "military advisors" as well. We say "on paper", because in late November hacked US documents revealed the extent of secret US "Lethal Aid" for the Ukraine army. And since America's under-the-table support for Ukraine's insolvent armed forces has been revealed, there is little point in pretending to keep a moral upper hand (especially in light of recent "other" revelations involving the US, most notably its intelligence services).
And as has happened for the entire duration of the second Cold War, any action by the US was promptly met with a just as provocative reaction by Russia. In this case, a leftist member of the Russian Duma said the US Senate’s decision to arm the Kiev regime should prompt ‘adequate measures’ from Russia, such as deploying military force on Ukrainian territory before the threat becomes too high.
In other words, in addition to the global energy meltdown which is about to send oil exporting nations into a state of shock matched only by owners of US High Yield energy bonds, the Ukraine conflict, which the algos and carbon-based Portfolio Manager forgot about, is about to re-escalate, with Russia now set to recreate the Crimea annexation after it officially sends its troops on Ukraine soil.
“The decision of the US Senate is extremely dangerous. If it is supported by the House of Representatives and signed by their president, Russia must reply with adequate measures,” Mikhail Yemelyanov of the Fair Russia party told reporters on Friday.

It is quite possible that we should return to the decision by our Upper House and give the Russian president an opportunity to use military force on Ukrainian territory preemptivelyWe should not wait until Ukraine is armed and becomes really dangerous,” the lawmaker stated.

Yemelyanov also noted that in his opinion the US Senate’s decision to arm Ukraine had revealed that Washington wasn’t interested in the de-escalation of the Ukrainian conflict. He then said that US actions gave him the impression they was seeking to turn Ukraine into some sort of an “international militant targeting the Russian Federation.”

“In a few years Ukraine will turn into a poor and hungry country with an anti-Russian government that will teach its population to hate Russia. They will be armed to the teeth and Ukraine and US reluctance to recognize the Russian Federation within its current borders would always provoke conflicts,” the MP said.
So does this mean that what was a lingering proxy cold civil war in east Ukraine between NATO-armed Ukraine troops and Russia-armed Separatists and local militias is about to escalate into a shooting precursor to something greater? There is still hope an all out escalation can be avoided. From Bloomberg:
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said today that the administration hadn’t finished reviewing the language and isn’t ready to take a position on the legislation. He said the administration wants to ensure that the U.S. and its European allies are working together, that any sanctions are effective and that they minimize harm to U.S. and European companies.

“This is delicate work,” Earnest said.
Did we say "there is hope"? Never mind.
The good news is that preparations for yet another world war are taking place, the US will "prove" it has the moral superiority by offsetting Russian propaganda.... with its own propaganda!
From the last line of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act:
"Directs the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors to submit to Congress a plan for increasing the quantity of Russian-language broadcasting into the countries of the former Soviet Union in order to counter Russian Federation propaganda. Requires such plan to prioritize broadcasting into Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova by the Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty."
Which can only mean one thing: the US is about to flood the airwaves east of the Dnieper river with reruns of Rocky 4 all over again.

Credit to Zero Hedge

Obama: I will not give up on peace negotiations with the Palestinians

U.S. President Barack Obama sends sharp message to Israel • "Here is a caution ... divided government ... does not necessarily mean foreign policy gridlock," U.S. ambassador says • Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon: Obama administration won't last forever.
Shlomo Cesana and Israel Hayom Staff

U.S. President Barack Obama still intends to push for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement

| Photo credit: AP

U.S. President Barack Obama sent a clear and sharp message to Israel on Tuesday: I will not give up on peace negotiations with the Palestinians, even during the final two years of my presidency. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro issued the message during a speech at Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies on Tuesday.

"There is no other solution" other than two states for two peoples, Shapiro said. The American ambassador chose to say his words on the same stage where in 2009 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed to Israeli recognition of the solution of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

According to Shapiro, "The main reason we remain committed to achieving a two-state solution is that we see no alternative that would achieve Israelis' and Palestinians' legitimate goals."

Shapiro said the Obama administration was dedicated to the peace process and "committed to keeping that hope alive," despite Obama's weakness in the House of Representatives and Senate.

"Israelis follow American politics closely, whether during midterm or presidential elections," Shapiro said. "Since our midterms last month, much ink has been spilled about what the results mean for the next two years. Here is a caution, lest anyone jump to conclusions: divided government, in which one party controls Congress and the other the Executive Branch, does not necessarily mean foreign policy gridlock.

"What is unmistakable about our foreign policy system is that the constitution provides the president with the largest share of power. Congress plays a critical role, but history shows that, whether faced with domestic political gridlock or not, presidents often surge and engage even more intensively in national security affairs in their final years in office."

Meanwhile, according to an Army Radio report, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon told yeshiva students in Gush Etzion on Tuesday that the Obama administration "will not last forever."

Asked by a student about Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, Ya'alon replied, "I really want to approve the plans and build more, but now this draws a response first of all from the Americans, and later threats from others. Therefore, we are very, very careful not to stretch the rope too much. I hope this is temporary, as there is now a certain government in the U.S., and the U.S. leads this line. This government will not last forever."

In response to the Army Radio report, a Ya'alon associate said the Israeli and U.S. defense establishments had ties "unprecedented in depth and scope."

Yet, "there are several disagreements between the countries on various matters, but this does not diminish in any way the appreciation and esteem Minister Ya'alon has for the contribution of the U.S. and its government to the security of Israel and the fact that the U.S. is Israel's best friend and strategic anchor."

Credit to Hayom

ISIS: Prelude to Apocalypse

Standing atop a mountain plateau in the stark Judean wilderness, one can look down at the remains of Roman siege camps that eventually trapped some 960 Jewish men, women and children who had fled Jerusalem to Masada while the Romans slaughtered Jews by the thousands in the Holy City in A.D. 70.

Masada stands as a stark testimonial to a chapter in history most thought would never happen again. The scope of Roman savagery is a study in the fallen nature of godless, corrupt tyrants who have no regard for human life.

However, almost 2,000 years later, Christians and an estimated 40,000 people of the Yazidi sect sat trapped last summer on another mountain, awaiting death by starvation, exposure or execution while praying for deliverance. The United Nations estimated that 5,000 Yazidi men were executed and bulldozed into mass graves, while 7,000 women were being kept as slaves. This horror involves the annihilation of Christians and others who refuse to submit to the demands of the jihadist ISIS hordes running rampant through Iraq and Syria.

ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is a barbaric terrorist group bent on establishing an Islamic caliphate throughout the Middle East. It then plans to move west to create a global Islamic empire. Christians and Jews are marked for annihilation unless they convert to Islam, as are dissenting Muslims and anyone else refusing to submit to ISIS' outrageous demands.

ISIS' stunning barbarism has been displayed in the beheadings of five Western hostages including three Americans. The executions are reminiscent of the slaying of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl by Pakistani terrorists linked to al-Qaeda in 2002.

Beyond this reprehensible savagery is an inflexible ideology. There is no appealing to these people. They will not cede to Western demands. Establishing a triumphant, global Islamist caliphate is their goal, and spreading fear among their enemies is their tactic to silence opposition, as is making their enemies believe concessions equivalent to surrender will bring peace.

ISIS' satanically motivated mass murderers demand acceptance of their concept of Islam. Failing to comply brings death. Being killed for refusing to renounce one's faith in Christ means decapitation, crucifixion or an assortment of demonically concocted horrors designed to inflict the most appalling torture achievable.

In the pagan world of the ancients, watching ravenous beasts tear the innocent limb by limb was a blood sport that entertained the masses. People who delight in murdering, raping and ravishing the helpless, as ISIS does, are driven by the same passion as their ancient counterparts: they love to kill. Their lust for carnage, however, is disguised as a commitment to religion. They do it in the name of their god. Early Christians assembled in small groups on the floors of pagan theaters and arenas because they would not trade their faith for freedom, and they were murdered as a result. The same was true of believers who were bound to stakes, waiting for flames to consume them because they refused to forsake their Savior.

No one anticipated that the most egregious crimes against Christians would be perpetrated in our lifetime. The evil equals or exceeds that of previous eras. Open Doors USA serves the worldwide persecuted church. Each year it compiles its World Watch List. In no fewer than 50 countries, Christians suffer extreme to moderate persecution. In Nigeria, the Islamic Boko Haram terrorists' brutal abductions and assaults on schools, churches and entire Christian communities have forced even the silent mainstream liberal media to report on them.

If the secular media's silence is due to its ideological prejudice or animosity toward Christianity, how does one explain the muteness of the majority of American Christians? Christians should be speaking out because the jihadists who now seem far away proclaim their intent daily for America. There is no better statement on the perils of apathy than that of German Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller, whose outspoken opposition to Adolf Hitler earned him seven years in a fetid Nazi concentration camp:

First they came for the Socialists,
and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Russian military tests new APC 'Rakushka'