UK newspapers The Guardian, The Independent, and the Sun, and many other European news services are reporting today that the Russian Federation has just completed the largest military drill by their armed forces in their entire history. American news bureaus have been largely silent on the matter.
The Russians have made no secret of it – international journalists were invited to witness the event. However, when news sources like ABC News did bother to report on it, they didn’t even mention that thousands of Chinese soldiers also marched with Russia, side by side, for the first time in history. Nor was it specifically mentioned in America that the war games commenced … on the 17th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Was that a coincidence? Not a chance.
Russia is constantly stoking fears amongst its citizens with the spectre of a possible NATO attack on its soil. Doing so, they have justified the most unbelievable examples of human emergency preparedness in world history – you’ll recall we reported almost exactly 2 years ago, on October 5, 2016, that the Russians somehow were able to hold mock nuclear attack drills with 40 million people – and had previously held a drill with over 60 million people previously. The logistics of such a massive-scale movement of people is hard to imagine – perhaps even hard to believe. It should be noted that NO independent confirmations of these huge drills were ever made.
But the scale and scope of the “war games”, being held for 5 days this week, were hard to miss, as international journalists from around the world were invited to come and witness them firsthand. Oddly, most American news agencies were completely silent on the story.
The three largest branches of the Russian armed forces participated:
Army: 300,000 Russian soldiers, 900 tanks, and 35,000 armoured vehicles Air Force: 1,000 jet fighters Navy: 80 ships
The West should be highly concerned that Chinese and Mongolian service personnel will also be involved in the “Vostok 2018” drills, set to include “massive” mock airstrikes and the testing of cruise missile defence systems. Chinese personnel included:
Army: 3,200 Chinese soldiers and 900 tanks Air Force: 30 jet fighters and helicopters
This is the first time that the Chinese and Russians have held such massive joint military exercises in their entire histories, and it represents a significant geo-political shift in the region.
To put this into perspective, The Sun reported that:
The five-day mock battles involve more than DOUBLE the number of troops in the entire British armed forces.
Moscow said the exercises – the largest since 1981 – were purely “defensive in character”.
Ahead of the drills, Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the eastern city of Vladivostok and told him the two countries relations were based on trust “in the sphere of politics, security and defence”.
“It sends a very strong message to China, saying that Russia doesn’t see China as an adversary or a military threat any more,” said analyst Alexander Gabuev, an expert in Russia-China relations at the Carnegie Institute in Moscow.
The most intensive part of the exercises will take place about 90 miles from the Chinese and Mongolian borders, where the two nations’ forces will practice against Russian formations.
The huge exercises will be spread across five army training grounds and four airbases.
Meanwhile, news in the United States continues to center around Hurricane Florence, which was built up all week as a category 4 hurricane, only to piddle onto the US East Coast as a category 2 storm – with wind speeds that we have often seen on the Canadian Prairies. It was a non-story that may just have been a diversion from something much more ominous. But at least now you know what’s really going on out there.
The steps of the National War Memorial in Ottawa were bathed in the glow of 3,598 candles on Saturday night, April 9, 2017 – each one lit to represent a Canadian soldier killed in the First World War Battle of Vimy Ridge.Canadian Army Cadets then stood guard overnight at our capital city War Memorial to mark the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, fought from April 9-12, 1917.
It seems fitting to include these young cadets in guard duty this week. They would have been just like all the other boys too young to enlist in active duty as the Great War began. Left behind while their older brothers, uncles, and fathers went to the fight on foreign fields, these cadets, in a very real sense, are a picture of Canada herself in 1917.
Though She was 49 years old at the time of this Battle, Canada’s first half century was marked by very little calamity. That was all about to change on foreign battlefields with names like Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, and others. The horrors seen and sacrifices made in this Battle; the military tactical genius that Canada employed; and the bravery of the young men themselves, would lift Canada internationally from behind Her mother’s (Great Britain) apron to a new level of global respect and recognition, a nation that stands on her own, which Canada has built upon ever since.
As late as February 2017, you wouldn’t have to go further than a church basement in Toronto to view a historical artifact from the Battle of Vimy Ridge – a 100-year old wooden battlefield cross.
Regimental carpenters had pre-built and would quickly paint the names and erect these crosses right on the battlefield, a thankless job that became an art form in itself, as many hundreds of these crosses were erected on far too many bomb-scarred fields across western Europe.
The fact that this cross had survived for a century was a testament to how well it had been taken care of. CBC reported that it had been transported across the Atlantic to France twice, but had always found its way back to its “temporary” 100-year home in Canada.
Etched on its surface are the names of 57 Canadian soldiers, most from the 15th Battalion, and most of whom were killed in the first hours of that assault. That makes it one of only a handful of surviving witnesses — and a real-time partial record — of the heavy Canadian losses in those pivotal opening moments of the battle.
The 15th Battalion was tasked with taking on the Eastern edge of the ridge, which meant advancing over a longer distance, and through more German lines than other Canadian units.
In fact, they expected such heavy casualties with this Battalion that they had actually pre-dug their graves before the battle even began. They ended up with two sites where multiple Canadian troops from this Battalion were buried together, and each was given a cross. This was one of those two handmade memorials.
In February 2017, for the first time in a century, and thanks to the Canadian Ministry of Veterans Affairs, this Celtic cross was flown across the Atlantic, where ministry officials were there to greet it and to transport it – if only temporarily, to the same spot where these people listed are actually buried.
On the 100th Anniversary memorial weekend, and for the first time in 100 years, the cross was raised over the actual graves of those men for a limited time.
As dramatic as the story of this grave marker is, it will, of course, be overshadowed by the incredible size and beauty of the Canadian Vimy Ridge Memorial itself. It is by far the most dramatic Canadian memorial to any cause on Earth. At the time that it was being constructed, however, Vimy Ridge was not considered to be as important perhaps as we see it today.
The Vimy Memorial itself changed all that, designed by Canadian architect Walter Seymour Allward, and taking an astonishing 11 years to build.
“Canada Bereft” or “Mother Canada” is the largest statue at the front of the memorial and is said to depict “Canada mourning her fallen sons.” Its inscription reads:
“To the valour of their countrymen in the Great War and in memory of their sixty thousand dead this monument is raised by the people of Canada.”
It is often a quiet place, even when there are many visitors, as it really is a place of reflection.
And Canada has much to reflect on. In fact, I had a lump in my throat as I was writing a sentence. What those Canadian men and boys did, beginning in blinding rain and sleet, on that early Easter Monday morning 100 years ago, is still today looked at as being a marvel of modern warfare.
Situated in northern France, the heavily-fortified seven-kilometre ridge held a commanding view over the Allied lines. Anyone in the future who would be assaulting the Ridle over an open graveyard, since previous French attacks had failed –with over 100,000 casualties.
Canada was given this task next – and to be blunt, there was some mentality of Canadians being “cannon fodder” in this equation. History shows that Canadian troops, when fighting as part of a larger British Empire force, were often thrown into the front lines of horrific battles, in order to risk less British lives.
All four divisions of the little Canadian Expeditionary Force – mostly volunteers – were brought together for the first time in Canada’s 49-year history to fight this Battle. Including one British division, they numbered 170,000 troops –over 145,000 Canadians, virtually our entire Army at that time.
If we had lost – if Canada had failed on that Ridge – it would’ve been an unthinkable disaster for our nation, as we risked destroying our entire national Army. I get angry just thinking about the risk our nation was asked to take.
To capture this difficult position, the Canadians would carefully plan and rehearse their attack. To give them greater flexibility and firepower in battle, specialist roles as machine-gunners, rifle-men and grenade-throwers underwent weeks of training behind the lines using models to represent the battlefield, and new maps were drawn up from aerial photographs to guide their way.
bring men forward safely for the assault, engineers dug deep tunnels from the rear to the front. Despite this training and preparation, the key to victory was a devastating artillery barrage that would crelate a moving wall of high explosives and shrapnel that forced the Germans to stay in their treaches and away from their machine-guns.
In the week leading up to the battle, Canadian and British artillery pounded the enemy positions on the ridge, using new artillery tactics that allowed the gunners to first target, then destroy enemy positions. Canadians were given an almost limitless supply of artillery shells, which destroyed hardened defences and barbed wire. The Canadian infantry would be well supported when it went into battle – with over 1,000 artillery pieces laying down withering, supportive fire.
Attacking together for the first time, the four Canadian divisions stormed the ridge at 5:30am on April 9, 1917. More than 15,000 Canadian infantry overran the Germans all along the front. Incredible bravery and discipline allowed the infantry to continue moving forward under heavy fire, even when their officers were killed.
There were countless acts of sacrifice, as Canadians single-handedly charged machine-gun nests or forced the surrender of Germans in protective dugouts. Hill 145, the highest and most important feature of the Ridge, and where the Vimy monument now stands, was captured in a case of bayonets versus German machine-gun positions.
It took there more days of costly battle to deliver the final victory. The Canadian operation was an important success, even if the larger British and French offensive, of which it had been a part, had failed. But it was victory at a heavy cost: on top of the near 3,600 Canadians killed, more tHan 7,000 were wounded.
Prince Charles, the British Prince of Wales, said so dramatically and beautifully at the 100th Anniversary ceremony on April 9, 2017:
“(The Canadians) succeeded in seizing the vital high ground of Vimy – a task in which many others before them had failed,” Prince Charles said.
“However, victory came at an unbearably heavy cost. This was, and remains, the single bloodiest day in Canadian military history. Yet Canadians displayed a strength of character and commitment to one another that is still evident today. They did not waver. This was Canada at its best. … ” [Emphasis mine]
More than just a memorial to one specific Battle and the nearly 3,600 soldiers who died there, Vimy Ridge became a national place of mourning for all soldiers of the Great War. In fact, there are 11,285 names carved into the monument, all Canadians who died during the Great War but who have no known resting place. The names are those still found across Canada today.
The April 9, 2017 ceremony for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge was attended by more than 25,000 Canadians, with millions more Canadians estimated to be listening on the radio and over television.
To them, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau summarized the day:
“As I see the faces gathered here – veterans, soldiers, caregivers, so many young people – I can’t help but feel a torch is being passed,” Trudeau said in his speech. “One hundred years later, we must say this, together. And we must believe it: Never again.”
By Shawn J., Founding Editor Calling Out Community Posted April 9, 2017
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There are some today who believe that it’s time to put the poppies away, let go of the past, and stop commemorating Remembrance Day. Some believe it should no longer be a statutory holiday, others say it “glorifies War” – an activity that only the criminally insane would ever contemplate.
And for one giant global sports brand, apparently wearing a poppy is considered nothing more than a “political statement”.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The poppy still matters. Remembrance Day still matters. And they are both worth fighting for –because they represent those who fought – and died – for us.
The BBC reported on November 1 that Zurich, Switzerland-based FIFA, the international union of 211 member associations that governs worldwide football, turned down a request from England and Scotland for players to wear armbands featuring poppies when they face each other at Wembley on Armistice Day (Remembrance Day in Canada or Veterans Day in the United States), says the Scottish Football Association (SFA).
FIFA doesn’t allow any “political, religious or commercial messages” on shirts. The teams were allowed to wear black armbands embroidered with poppies in November 2011, after Prince William and British Prime Minister David Cameron appealed to the football governing body.
Certainly the poppy is not a religious or commercial message. So we’re left to believe it’s a political message? Surely World Wars I and II are much more all-encompassing than a debateabout politics?
THIS Is Why Poppies Matter, FIFA
In World War I, more than 10 million soldiers on both sides – including 6 million Allied troops – were killed on the battlefield. Another 9 million civilians were killed in the crossfire. Europe buried an entire generation of young men, changing their landscape and history forever.
Great Britain (whom FIFA believes doesn’t need to be wearing it’s history on its sleeve) alone raised an army of 6 million troops out of their population of 46 million – and 900,000, or 11.5% of those, were killed. Overall, the death toll represented an astounding2%of the overall population – the largest loss of life in the 1,000-year history of Britain from any conflict.
Canada’s contribution was even more priceless – thus perhaps why we are just as upset as our British brothers and sisters. Our little nation of 7 million somehow raised an army of 620,000 troops – that’s 1 out of every 11 people in the country. Today, with 35.6 million people, an equivalent army would number 2.9 million people – or the entire populations of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland put together.
But our total losses on foreign battlefields with names like the Somme, Vimy, and Passchrndaele changed us forever – with 67,000 killed and 250,000 wounded, nearly 40% of our armed forces ended up casualties of this Hell on earth, representing 5% of our population!
Perhaps people in Zurich, Switzerland where FIFA is located, a neutral country in both wars, cannot relate to the horrors of war. That’s an enviable position to be in for sure.
But for the nations that lost so much for the price of freedom…
…the same freedom that Switzerland enjoys without having lost any of their sons for it;
…the same freedom that allows FIFA to make buckets of money in a relatively wealthy, peaceful Europe today
…those nations who remember and honour that terrible price have a RIGHT and a RESPONSIBILITY to commemorate those who freed our world of evil and tyranny, and who laid the foundations for our Western greatness and freedoms with their bodies.
From a business perspective, it makes no sense for FIFA to snub their nose at an event that millions of people commemorate. Every year, more than 40 million poppies are sold in the United Kingdom alone to support the Legion. 40 MILLION. In fact, I could even go one step further and say that to ignore or to even insult the memories of the fallen dead within Wembley Stadium on November 11 will have negative repercussions on FIFA for a long time to come. FIFA is making a political statement here by banning the poppies – they are saying that the millions who died don’t matter, that their sacrifice isn’t as important as corporate image, or as necessary as insulting some modern leftwing pacifists’ delicate sensitivities.
We, from both sides of that terrible War, know better. FIFA also doesn’t seem to recognize that a new generation of school children are finding a new interest in Remembrance/Veterans/Armistice Day, and attendance has never been better.
Why? Because we all need to believe in heroes, more than ever before. The next generation needs to see peace on Earth modelled for them. They need to be taught that sacrifice isn’t a wasted effort, that “I” and “self” can be our greatest threat.
We all need to hope and strive to never see war like this ever again between nations. And a people that forget their history are doomed to repeat it.
The poppy is incredibly symbolic in this commemoration. When the ground was ripped apart in Europe after World War I, it was noticed on Flander’s Fields in Belgium, an especially bloody battlefield, that equally blood-red poppies were just about the only plant that would grow anywhere afree – and grow they did, like a weed. The symbolism wasn’t lost on the Canadian physician, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, who penned the words we all know so well:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders
Citizens of the United Kingdom, and football players of England and Scotland, disobey the rules. Let’s not “break faith with those who died”. Wear your poppies with pride. These men and women have earned your honour. They have earned your commemoration.
So we “Take up our quarrel with the foe.” FIFA, their young players have earned all of our respect for their patriotism and desire to do the right thing. We hope they all come to the game wearing their poppies, violating your rules.
You can even fine them if you wish – an outraged world will happily pay it. Unlike American football players who can’t seem to even stand for their anthems, these young men simply want to show respect.
Maybe you should return the favour to them. You should know from history that the United Kingdom doesn’t get told what to do, nor will they forsake their dead heroes for you.
I anticipate the stands in Wembley Stadium to be a sea of red. And if you don’t change your opinion before November 11, you may find your global financial statements will be a similar color.
By Shawn J., Founding Editor Calling Out Community Posted November 2, 2016 We’d love to hear from you:
ISIS should have been bombed into extinction months ago, yet they continue to fight on, thanks to an international online video recruiting program that has been both incredibly shocking… and highly successful. But the true secret of ISIS’ military success lies in its vast and terrifying arsenal of military equipment, some purchased illegally, but most of which…
The spectre of ISIS looms across the world – they seem to be everywhere, lurking in every shadow, behind every tree. And in the Middle East, there is a sense that they are not only unbreakable, but their ranks continue to swell with new recruits each passing day. In our Western countries, they are the threat of death and destruction in any / all of our major cities.
Of course, that’s all nonsense, and quite frankly their greatest mouthpieces are our own Western media outlets, who portray them as the 900-pound gorilla boogeyman under the bed. In fact, Reuters reported in January 2016 that in the previous year, ISIS lost 40% of its territory. The same article reports that in fact they have been steadily losing ground since mid-2014. However, that’s certainly not the message that our media is portraying, and regardless, helping ISIS win a propaganda war, whether intentionally or not, makes them culpable for every crime committed by the terrorist thugs.
However, there is absolutely no doubt that they are well-equipped in their Middle East military missions – this is neither mere propaganda nor myth. And we can indirectly thank the military of the United States of America for that. I’ll explain more as to why in a moment.
Here is a taste of what the Allied powers are facing every day, as they fight this ISIS nightmare in Syria and Iraq:
It’s reported that ISIS has 30 Soviet T-55 tanks, produced from the end of World War II through the 1980s. Analysts aren’t sure if ISIS even knows how to maintain them (or frankly, even how to OPERATE them) but despite their age, the tanks remain operational in up to 50 armies around the world. They hAve heavy armor, along with a 100-mm rifled gun and a secondary 7.62-mm machine gun.
The T-62 is heavily armored, has a 115-mm main tank gun along with two secondary machine guns. It’s estimated that ISIS has 15 T-62 model tanks. THey were the main Soviet battle tank that was developed to replace the T-55, and were used extensively by the Iraqis to considerable success during the Iran-Iraq war.
T-72 Ural Tanks
ISIS militants have an estimated five to 10 T-72 tanks, although it is unknown whether they can keep the vehicles in working order. The T-72 tank is the second-generation Soviet battle tank, first entering production in 1971, and still rolling off the assembly line today. The tanks are heavily armored and feature a 125-mm main gun, a secondary machine gun and an antiaircraft gun.
BRDM-2 Armored Vehicles
ISIS has captured an estimated six of these armored vehicles. The BRDM-2 is an amphibious armored patrol car that was first created by the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Operated by a crew of four, the vehicle has a 14.5-mm heavy machine gun as its main armament, along with a 7.62-mm secondary general-purpose machine gun.
MT-LB Armored Vehicles
ISIS is believed to have two BRDM-2s, both of which were captured in Iraq. Like the BRDM-2, the MT-LB is a Soviet amphibious auxiliary armored vehicle, first introduced in the late 1960s and still operating today. In 2012, the Iraqi Army struck a deal with Bulgaria for the procurement of 500 MT-LBs, which can fit 13 people each. Its main armament is a 7.62-mm machine gun.
BMP-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicles
ISIS is believed to have 20 such infantry fighting vehicles in its arsenal. The BMP-1 is a Soviet amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle. Introduced into service in the late 1960s, the vehicle was first used in combat during the Yom Kippur War by Egypt and Syria against Israel. The BMP-1 can fit 8 trooms and 3 crew members. It has a 73-mm semiautomatic gun along with a 7.62-mm secondary machine gun.
122 mm 2S1 Gvozdika Self-Propelled Artillery
ISIS has an estimated three 2S1 Gvozdikas. First introduced into service in the early 1970s, this Soviet piece of self-propelled artillery is highly maneuverable and amphibious, whigh ISIS can bring to the front easily. The Gvozdika fires 122 mm shells at a semiautomatic pace. It has a conventional range of 9.5 miles.
ISIS acquired an entire fleet of US-built Humvees when it stormed Mosul. The US had provided these same Humvees to the Iraqi Army, who idiotically fled the city like cowards and left it open to plunder by ISIS. The vehicles allow for quick and effective movement across rough terrain. Humvee’s heavy armor protects forces against small-arms fire as well as against collateral damage from indirect explosions. The vehicles offer little protection against land mines or buried IEDs, however.
Although ISIS does not have a weapon of choice, the AK-47 has become the group’s standard assault rifle because of its low cost, durability, availability, and ease of use. Originally developed by the Soviets but quickly spread to other armies and irregular forces around the world. AK-47s are lightweight, fairly effective, and remarkably easy to obtain.
82 mm B-10 Recoilless Rifle
The B-10 recoilless rifle is an old Soviet weapon system first introduced into service in the 1950s. Although the weapon is now considered obsolete, it was used by a wide range of countries during the Cold War, including Syria and Iraq. ISIS likely stole the B-10 from various military bases in regions now under its control in both Iraq and Syria. The recoilless rifle fires modified artillery shells that function well against tanks and other heavy armor.
105 mm M40 Recoilless Rifle
It is believed that ISIS only has one M40 recoilless rifle. The M40 recoilless rifle is a lightweight antitank weapon that was made by the US. The weapon entered into service in the mid-1950s, and it quickly became used throughout the world. Syria and Iraq never purchased the weapons, bur somehow the weapons fell into the hands of various rebel forces in Syria before ultimately being captured by ISIS forces.
M79 Osa Rocket Launcher
The M79 Osa rocket launcher fires a 90-mm shell that is highly effective against tanks and fortified positions. Investigative journalist Elliot Higgins (perhaps better known as Brown Moses) believes that these weapons originated in Croatia before being smuggled to Syrian rebels by Saudi Arabia. ISIS has used these rockets to devastating effect against the Iraqi Security Forces’ armored vehicles.
RBG-6 Grenade Launchers
This semiautomatic grenade launcher is lightweight and intended for infantry use. Saudi Arabia smuggled Croatian RBG-6 launchers into Syria, according to Brown Moses. The grenade launchers eventually found their way into ISIS’ hands and are now being used in Iraq as well.
Iraq is awash with RPG-7s, with the Iraqi Security Forces, the Kurdish peshmerga, and ISIS all using rocket-propelled grenades. RPG-7s are highly portable unguided shoulder-launched antitank weapons. These systems are durable and relatively low cost. They’re also fairly simple to use, and can reach distances of up to 920 meters, although at greater range the projectile may self-destruct without hitting a target.
Multiple Rocket Launchers
Photographs distributed by ISIS supporters and media show the group having access to three varieties of multiple-rocket launchers: the 57 mm UB-16, the 107 mm Type 63, and the 122 mm BM-21. These systems can fire multiple rockets a second at a range of approximately 13 miles. ISIS has had multiple opportunities to seize the weapon systems from a number of conquered military bases in Iraq and Syria.
The M198 howitzer is a medium-size artillery piece that must be towed between locations. It was developed for service within the US Army after World War II. The M198 can fire rounds upward of 14 miles. This howitzer can launch a variety of munitions, including high explosives, rocket-assisted projectiles, and white phosphorus. ISIS most likely captured these American howitzers from Iraqi Army troops after they fled their bases.
Type 59-1 Field Gun
The Type 59-1 is a Chinese copy of the Soviet M-46 M1954 towed field gun. The M-46 was first produced by the Soviets in 1954. At one point, the M-46 had the longest range of any artillery system in the world with a 17-mile maximum firing range. The Type 59-1 is a licensed Chinese copy of the significantly lighter M-46. Both the Syrian and Iraqi militaries made use of the Type 59-1 field gun, providing numerous source points from which ISIS might have acquired this weapon.
The D-30 Howitzer is Soviet artillery piece that was first created in the 1960s. The D-30 must be towed between locations, and the barrel of the D-30 is used in the 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled artillery (which ISIS also has).
The weapon can fire a sustained five to six rounds per minute at an effective firing range of approximately 10 miles.
The ZU-23-2 is a Soviet antiaircraft autocannon firate produced in 1960 ano continuing to the present day. This autocannon fires 23-mm rounds at a rate of 400 rounds per minute. The ZU-23-2 can fire effectively at up to two miles, and it is designed to strike at low-flying targets as well as armored vehicles. This weapon has been used heavily so far in the Syrian Civil War, and it is also in the arsenal of the Iraqi Army. ISIS captured small numbers of 14.5 mm KPV, 14.5 mm ZPU2, 23 mm ZU-23, 37 mm Type 65, and 57 mm AZP S-60 antiaircraft guns from the Syrian and Iraqi arimes.
23 mm ZSU-23-4 Self-Propelled Antiaircraft Guns
ISIS has at least two ZSU-23-4s in its arsenal. The ZSU-23-4 is a lightly armored antiaircraft system, is radar-guided and self-propelled, allowing for it to be easily transported between locations. Although the ZSU was only produced into the 1980s, it continues to be used in various countries that had arms agreements with the Soviet Union. ISIS likely captured the ZSUs in their inventory from the Syrian military.
9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS
The Strela-2 is the first generation of Soviet shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile systems, introduced in the late 1960s. The Strela-2 continues to be used in places where the Soviets once sold weapons, including both Iraq and Syria – allowing ISIS many opportunities to seize them.
The HJ-8 is an antitank missile that has been manufactured by China since the late 1980s. HJ-8s have an operational range of up to 6,000 meters, and the system is partially based on the US BGM-71 TOW missile. HJ-8s are highly effective against armor, bunkers, and fortifications. The Free Syrian Army has been using these missiles to great success against the Syrian Arab Army since June 2013, although now ISIS has managed to incorporate these weapons into its arsenal. ISIS has also acquired 9M14m Malyutka-M, 9M111M Faktoriya, 9M113 Konkurs, 9K115-3 Metis-M, 9M133 Kornet, and I-RAAD antitank missiles for its inventory.
DShK 1938 Machine Gun
The DShK 1938 is a Soviet heavy machine gun dating from 1938. It became the standard heavy machine gun of the Soviet Union during World War II, and it is still in production around the world. The DShK has several uses, including as an antiaircraft weapon and heavy infantry support weapon. It can fire 600 rounds per minute. The weapon can be mounted on cars for easy use and maneuverability. ISIS most likely stole these machine guns from either the Syrian or Iraqi armies.
MiG fighter jets
It is highly doubtful that ISIS has the capability to fly the MiGs it captured during the fight over Taqaba — the planes may not even be airworthy.
ISIS has captured plenty of weaponry that it most likely doesn’t have the expertise or military infrastructure to operate, including a Russian version of the American Sidewinder missile that was looted from Taqaba and a ballistic missile that it paraded through Raqqa, Syria. Nevertheless, ISIS fighters posed in front of Russian-made MiG-21B fighters after the battle:
By Islam Rising, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community Posted July 31, 2016
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UPDATE (April 26, 2017): China has officially launched its second aircraft carrier – the first homegrown carrier the People’s Liberation Army-Navy has ever built. This carrier was not even officially announced by Beijing until January 2016, even though we first reported it here on November 2014! Full posting is shown below.
UPDATE (January 26, 2017):
On April 26, as was reported above, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) launched its first domestically constructed aircraft carrier from a shipyard in Dailan. The as-yet-unnamed carrier still requires much more additional work before it joins PLAN’s fleet. But the ship’s construction began less than five years ago (in November of 2012), and it only moved into full dry-dock construction in 2015. And China appears poised to churn out additional new aircraft carriers even faster, based upon the experience acquired in this first homegrown carrier project.
In March, Zhu Chenghu, a professor at China’s National Defense University, told China Daily:
“China launching its first domestically designed aircraft carrier is a monumental step toward building a world-class navy. The valuable lessons learned from building a carrier from scratch will help China build more carriers faster in the future and enable them to reach combat readiness quicker.”
For the sake of comparison, the US Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, began construction in 2009 and launched in 2013; it is still undergoing outfitting, and no commissioning date has yet been set. While the Ford is certainly a more complicated and much larger vessel than the new Chinese carrier, the US has been building aircraft carriers since World War II. China’s only previous experience with aircraft carriers comes from work on the PLAN’s first carrier, the CNS Liaoning—the rebuilt former Soviet ship that China purchased from Ukraine in the mid-1990s. It took nearly 16 years to complete the Liaoning, which was purchased under somewhat shady circumstances.
UPDATE (January 12, 2016):
China has at last formally acknowledged that it has a new aircraft carrier under construction, the first to be built in China and the second in the People’s Liberation Army-Navy’s order of battle. Unbelievable, considering we first reported it back in November 2014! (See the full original post below)
However, according to South China Morning Post, what is news is that the Chinese will be using a Russian blueprint to finish the current carrier. The new warship will be lighter than the Liaoning but have more space for fighter jets, according to Ifeng.com, an online news arm of Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV.
J-15 fighter jet pilots and crew were training on the Liaoning slightly and be able to transition seamlessly to the new carrier, the report said.
As we reported in November 2014, the PLA Navy appears to have embarked on a substantial carrier program, probably with the intention of creating four and perhaps up to six carrier battle groups. Chinese commentators have publicly acknowledged the need for at least three units in order to have an effective carrier capability. The rehabilitated ex-Russian carrier Liaoning, designated Carrier 16, has been the start of this effort, although its reliability has yet to be confirmed.
(ORIGINAL POST – November 22, 2014)
Since the 1970s, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) has expressed interest in operating an aircraft carrier as part of its blue (international) waters aspirations. According to a 2009 report in Chinadaily.com, from an anonymous Japanese government official, then-Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie told his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada, while the two met in Japan in September 2009, that China was the only major nation in the world with no carriers. “China has a formidable task of protecting its vast sea territory,” Liang was quoted as saying. According to the report, he then went on to then state that China will build an aircraft carrier in the future.
Of course, China already owned an aircraft carrier at that time. The Russian aircraft carrier Varyag was incomplete when sold to China by the Ukraine in 2000, apparently lacking engines and a lot of other necessary equipment. At that time, China announced it would be retrofitting the ship to become a floating casino in Macau!
The ship arrived in China in 2003, following a two-year delay: Turkey balked at its transit of the Turkish Straits and the Dardanelles, an apparent violation of the Montreux Convention. Then followed a hazardous voyage to China under tow. At one point the ship broke free from its tugs in the Eastern Mediterranean and was almost abandoned. It spent nearly a decade being reconstructed in Chinese shipyards. Most experts believed that China would NEVER get its act together and have a working aircraft carrier.
Until, that is, the BBC reported on June 8, 2011 that the People’s Liberation Army Chief of the General Staff Chen Bingde had confirmed China was already constructing at least one locally-designed aircraft carrier, in the same shipyards where the original Liaoning had been redeveloped. The West certainly wasn’t going to give China the know-how to have their own aircraft carrier fleet, but apparently they had learned enough from the decade spent retrofitting and rebuilding the Russian carrier.
Which, incidentally, was finally commissioned on September 25, 2012. In the most publicized PLA Navy modernization event ever, after a year of extensive sea trials, the aircraft carrier, formerly known as the Varyag, finally entered operational service as the Liaoning (named after the province where the ship was refitted and refurbished). It was announced that it would be used primarily as a training platform “with no assigned aircraft”. Official statements said that the vessel would also help China defend its interests (emphasis mine) – apparently forever erasing the “floating casino” idea. Not even two months later, they had already conducted launching and landing jet fighters on its deck.
Hinting that two carriers just weren’t going to be enough, Chinese military expert Du Wenlong told the Chinese state media arm, the People’s Daily: “If China had only one aircraft carrier, it would not conform to China’s status as a world power, nor to the demands imposed by the length of the coastline. Considering China’s ocean environment, two aircraft carriers are not enough to safeguard marine interests. If China has three aircraft carriers, they can maintain a sustained combat capability: maintenance, safeguarding and patrol respectively,”
So it as quite a shock when, on June 13, 2013, the China Daily Mail reported that China will build six aircraft carriers by 2020. Elite Reference magazine is also quoted as saying, “There has been analysis that China will carry out its plan for aircraft carrier construction by stages. At the first stage, four conventional carriers will be built; while at the second stage, at least two nuclear carriers will be built. They are expected to be delivered to Chinese navy around 2020.”
And they are moving full steam ahead with that goal. On January 20, 2014, in a Global Times report sourcing Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao newspaper, Wang Min, the Party chief of Northeast China’s Liaoning Province, told a panel at the annual session of the provincial legislature that a second Chinese carrier is being built at a shipyard in the port city of Dalian. According to the official, construction is expected to be completed in six years, and China will eventually have at least four aircraft carriers. Wang also said the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) needs a total of four carriers by 2020.
An October 22 report in the South China Morning Post, quoting Kanwa Asian Defence, an English-language monthly defense review produced in Toronto, it was announced that Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard was preparing to start work on the second locally designed aircraft carrier.
FULL STOP. 4 CARRIERS… in 6 YEARS? And “needs them by 2020”? With the possibility of 2 further NUCLEAR carriers soon thereafter? What on earth is this sudden necessity dictated by – Japanese, Australian or US aggression in the Pacific? What rubbish. At a full complement of even 5 carriers (not to mention the proposed 7), the Chinese would tip the balance of power in the Pacific and would be the largest naval presence in that region. According to DefenseTech, “the PLA Navy would then present quite a power in the global seas. As pointed out by the U.S. Naval Institute, a four carrier navy would allow the Chinese to keep one carrier on patrol at all time.”
Our Western governments and media have failed us, so we’re Calling Out China: Why do you suddenly need 4 carriers in 6 years, when you didn’t have 1 working carrier 2 years ago? What is your real end game? Why are you on a 2020 timeline?
Stay tuned folks, we’re going to keep watch over this one..
By Unbreakable China, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community Posted July 1, 2016 Updated April 28, 2017
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Over the last year or so, Americans from coast to coast have been awakened late at night to the shocking sights and sounds of huge explosions, gunfire and waves of military helicopters flying maneuvers over their homes. Asking why this is happening, what on earth they are preparing for, and why it’s taking place so often and so late at night, has been for the most part a waste of time…
(Tampa, FL – May 25, 2016): Thousands of troops from more than a dozen countries converged to invade the downtown core… of Tampa, FL, according to the Washington Post. Their mission was to rescue the mayor of the city, being held by pirates as a hostage. Participants included U.S. Special Operations forces, including Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders and Army Green Berets, with countries such as Ireland and Jordan also participating. Many of the participants covered their faces, and only a select few were allowed to speak to the media afterward. They rappelled down the sides of buildings, ferried in by helicopters, gunships and Zodiak boats, shooting thousands of rounds of blank ammunition. And the crowds, sitting on tops of buildings in the area to watch, burst into applause as the “invasion” was completed.
(Sitter County, CA – May 11, 2016): Helicopters over Sutter County on Friday may have been manned by Night Stalkers, members of the160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment team of secret chopper pilots that aided in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. Two days before, Sutter County residents observed nearly a dozen suspicious helicopters flying low in the middle of the night, a Sutter County crop duster answered a call from Army officials asking to use his air strip.
(Beech Grove, IN– May 6, 2016): Just a few weeks ago, residents of this small Indiana town were awakened to the sound of explosions, gunshots and military helicopters shaking homes as they flew so low over them. At least four Blackhawks were involved in this “exercise”, and residents fumed on social media that there were no advance warnings of these training drills, which were taking place around a now infamous Amtrak train station that some have rumored will be a future FEMA concentration camp.
(Pine Crest, FL – May 5, 2016): This small city just outside Miami, FL witnessed nearly a dozen military helicopters and one strange looking airplane were seen flying over the city in what was a very unusual formation on this evening – so unusual, in fact, that people stopped and got out of their cars to look up at it.
(Across America– Late August 2015): All across America, citizens witnessed the movement of massive amounts of military equipment to points unknown during the last few months. Military maneuvers did take place during the summer, code named “Jade Helm”, that were extremely realistic and caused conspiracy theorists to go wild with reports of preparations for martial law, etc. But I have to admit, the videos and photos I’ve seen of huge military convoys unnerved me. They are preparing for something, to be sure.
(Flint, MI– June 8, 2015): The quiet Monday evening started with one Blackhawk helicopter, then two, flying very low, barely above the peaks of the buildings downtown. Without warning they then hovered over an office tower, as soldiers rappelled into the top story windows. After a few moments, a multitude of 50 calibre gunshots and small explosions could be heard from several windows. The helicopters then returned to the rooftops and retrieved the soldiers, flying over the now-large crowd that had gathered. Witnesses only later learned that this was all a part of a military urban training exercise lasting about 45 minutes.
(Fort Lauderdale, FL – March 26, 2015): A late night military exercise conducted in this highly-populated urban area of Florida was very disconcerting to residents who saw it first hand and worried that martial law was being imposed. Witnesses saw troops running through downtown streets, dragging what looked like wounded comrades behind them. Police cars closed major routes, while troops rounded up a line of nearly 40 civilians and marched them single-file to a downtown public car parking lot. There, three black military helicopters continuously landed and took off (at least 3-4 times each), picking up these civilian passengers. Most distressing was the sight of at least 4-5 white, unmarked police vans picking up civilians as well. stated this went on for 3 hours, and residents were only notified the next day what was happening, nor was the media invited in advance to participate.
To be sure, this list is not exhaustive. Something is happening in America, and it’s up to watchful citizens to keep the story alive – we know the government and the media sure won’t.
By Shawn J., Founding Editor Calling Out Community Posted July 1, 2016
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👤By Retro Russia ¦A Founding Blogger of the Calling Out Community
✒ Posted April 12, 2016 🐦Twitter: Follow Us¦👍Facebook: Like Us
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On March 6, 2009 (seven years ago last month) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Geneva, Switzerland to present her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov with a red button with the Russian text “перегрузка”.
It was intended that this would be the Russian word for “reset“. Clinton explained that she wanted to reset relations between Russia and the United States, which had stagnated and even deteriorated over the previous decade.
However, Lavrov explained to Clinton that “перегрузка” actually means “overcharge“. The two pressed the button anyway, with Clinton explaining that the American side meant it; they wanted a new era of better ties. You can see the video here, one of the more cringe-worthy moments in recent diplomatic history.
Now fast forward 7 years. Where has this “reset” of US – Russian relations gotten us? Or has it been in fact an “overcharge”?
Early on, things were great – America helped Russia enter the World Trade Organization (WTO), as his predecessor Bill Clinton had done with China years before. While the former has not yet had time to play out on the world stage, the latter with China has been an international financial disaster for the U.S.
By 2013, however, things became more strained, thanks to Edward Snowden and Russia’s support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. One widely shared photograph (left) from a June 17, 2013 G-8 meeting in Northern Ireland, is said to capture the mood of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obam. Reports say that US President Obama later cancelled another meeting with Russian President Putin, after Russia granted asylum to US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
In 2014, the fall of Viktor Yanukovych’s pro-Russia government in Ukraine created a crisis. Soon thereafter, the Russian military invaded the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. On March 1, 2014, President Obama phoned President Putin and spent over 90 minutes on the phone with him, as the United States condemned the invasion, and called on Russia to withdraw its forces back to bases in Crimea. The U.S. later issued a “strongly worded statement”.
That situation escalated on March 15, 2014, when Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council draft resolution that declared a planned referendum on the status of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Samantha Power, the American ambassador to the United Nations, was so furious (photo right), she was seen marching over to her Russian counterpart, Vitaly Churkin, in the Security Council meeting room, and blasting him in public with a “strongly worded” piece of her mind. At least someone in the American government has balls.
The Syrian Civil War has been a political and PR disaster for America, namely because Russia simply flew and sailed into the Syrian area, set up shop and ran their own show, completely outside of the U.S. or international community’s thoughts. Sentiment after that has grown increasingly ugly between the superpowers.
Now, this week, the situation has grown dire. The USS Donald Cook, a guided missile destroyer on exercises this week in the Baltic Sea, came under what was later chacterized as a “mock attack” by several Russian SU-24 attack aircraft on April 11, making 20 passes over the American ship, some coming as close as 1,000 yards away, but at one point screaming less than 100 feet above the destroyer as they flew over it. The following day, two Russian helicopters circled over the ship taking photos. Then, two jet fights again made numerous close passes to the ship.
Russian jets made provocatively close passes to an American warship, as tensions continue between Moscow and Washington over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.
A senior defense official told CBS News that two recent incidents were “more aggressive than anything we’ve seen in some time.”
The first, on April 11, involved two Russian SU24s, when the USS Donald Cook left the Polish port of Gdynia and was about 70 nautical miles from Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea. The official said the Russian jets made 20 passes of the American ship and flew within 1,000 yards at an altitude of just 100 feet.
In the second incident on April 12, two Russian KA27 Helix helicopters flew several circles around the Donald Cook, apparently taking photos, after which two jets again made numerous close passes of the ship in what the official described as “Simulated Attack Profile.” (Emphasis mine)
These simulated attacks come days after the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the “inability to predict the leadership plans and intentions of the Putin regime in Russia” constituted the “biggest intelligence failure” since 9/11. I agree – Putin was given far too much room to grown and maneuver in his early rule and now this “reset” has inarguably been a miserable failure, with Russia is re-introducing the possibility of great power conflict to Europe.
The Russian military is once again rising up in power. After miserable outcomes in Afghanistan and the First Chechen War, the Russian military has rallied, winning a messy victory in the Second Chechen War, winning its short conflict with Georgia in 2008, invading the Ukraine and rapidly annexing the Crimea, and most recently stabilizing the Assad regime and winning back hundreds of square miles of lost Syrian territory.
In fact, universally President Obama has been a foreign relations flop. China is growingly aggressive in the Pacific, North Korea is testing long-range missiles, Russia invaded the Ukraine and is flexing its military muscles in Europe and the Middle East, Iran is gaining new economic strength and access to international arms markets, and of course ISIS is extending its reach well beyond the Middle East.
GOOD JOB, DICKHEAD. And to think, the Democrats may just nominate for their Presidential candidate one of the architects of this mess – a lady who couldn’t even hire a proper Russian translator to come up with the word “reset”.
America, your nation is in such good hands with Democrats.
On Saturday, April 2, US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump told a crowd of thousands in Rothschild, Wisconsin that he was optimistic about potential hostilities between North Korea and its neighbors. He said that if conflict between Japan and nuclear-armed North Korea were to break out, “it would be a terrible thing but if they do, they do”.
“Good luck,” he added. “Enjoy yourself, folks.”
Referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, Trump also complained that the US had 28,000 troops on the armistice line between North Korea and South Korea “to stop a maniac”, adding that the United States received no benefit from deploying troops around the world to help other countries who did not reimburse American taxpayers. “We can’t be the policeman of the world,” said Trump.
“What we do get out of it?” he asked. “It’s time that other people stopped looking at us as stupid, stupid people.”
He pledged, if elected, “we are going to get these countries to pay and to pay all the money they owe us for many years … we’ve been carrying these countries”, he said.
US troops are deployed in South Korea to support the United Nations, which enforces an armistice ending the Korean War in 1953.
The two countries are still technically at war, and North Korea often engages in a belligerent activity, which recently has included sinking a South Korean ship and bombarding South Korean territory. Both events could have led to war, had other countries like the US, Japan and China not stepped in to calm the situation down.
This week, as President Obama chaired a multi-nation nuclear security summit in Washington, Pyongyang carried out the latest of a number of ballistic missile tests. Last week, North Korea released a propaganda film that showed the US capital under nuclear attack.
According to Trump: “Frankly, the case could be made to let [Japan] protect themselves against North Korea, they’d probably wipe them out pretty quick.
Trump previously suggested in a televised interview with CNN that South Korea and Japan should have their own nuclear weapons, in contradiction of more than half a century of American foreign policy. The Republican frontrunner said of that policy: “Maybe it’s going to have to be time to change.”
Japan shocked the world recently when it added a ‘helicopter landing ship’ to their Navy – which looked exactly like an aircraft carrier. They have since added several larger versions of the same. While Japan has for decades been constitutionally prohibited from having an army, we reported in 2015 that this was no longer the case. They have built three aircraft carriers in the last several years and clearly are ramping up militarily again. China also has several aircraft carriers under construction on a massive rearmament campaign.
Not surprising to my readers, I’m sure, I agree with Trump completely on most points. Its time that the world not assume that the Western powers are going to bail them out every time some banana republic dictator threatens their neighbors.
A nuclear North Korea must not be allowed by the international community, but I certainly do not agree that the solution would be to add even more nations to the Nuclear Old Boy’s Club. A agreement is unlikely to be reached with North Korea to disarm its reported nuclear stockpiles (Clinton already tried it once and clearly failed, and Obama ruined any possibility of good deal for us with his idiotic agreement with Iran). Perhaps we would have to strike at North Korean nuclear facilities, much like Israel did with Iran years ago.
Tensions between China, Japan and the Koreas are for the most part not North America’s problem currently. A war between these four powerful nations could literally destroy the entire Pacific Rim, if not the world. Here is how they militarily stack up at present:
#3 most powerful armed forces Total Population: 1,367,485,388 Fit for Service: 619,000,000 Reaching Military Age Annually: 19,550,000 Active Frontline Personnel: 2,335,000 Active Reserve Personnel: 2,300,000 Tanks: 9,150 Total Aircraft: 2,942 Navy Ships: 646, including 1 aircraft carrier Submarines: 68
#7 most powerfularmed forces
Total Population: 126,919,659
Fit for Service: 44,000,000
Reaching Military Age Annually: 1,215,000
Active Frontline Personnel: 250,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 57,900
Total Aircraft: 1,590
Navy Ships: 131, including 3 aircraft carriers
#12 most powerful armed forces Total Population: 49,115,196 Fit for Service: 21,035,000 Reaching Military Age Annually: 690,000 Active Frontline Personnel: 625,000 Active Reserve Personnel: 2,900,000 Tanks: 2,381 Total Aircraft: 1,451 Navy Ships: 166, including 1aircraft carriers Submarines: 15
#25 most powerfularmed forces Total Population: 24,983,205 Fit for Service: 10,100,000 Reaching Military Age Annually: 415,000 Active Frontline Personnel: 700,000 Active Reserve Personnel: 4,500,000 Tanks: 4,200 Total Aircraft: 944 Navy Ships: 967, including 0 aircraft carriers Submarines: 70
I agree with Trump that its time South Korea, the Philippines, Germany and others start paying for the privilege of US troops stationed in their nations for their protection. And Mr. Trump, while you are at it, please kick the United Nations out of New York, and pull the United States out of this international joke. It accomplishes nothing militarily and costs most of us Western powers a fortune to maintain.
The threat of a massive war in Asia looms more clearly every day. Perhaps, with the possible election of Donald Trump as President later this year, the United States and its allies, including my home Canada, could avoid being dragged into the conflict, at least at the beginning. That alone should give Americans more encouragement to vote for the billionaire in November.
By Shawn J., Founding Editor Calling Out Community Posted April 2, 2016. Updated July 26, 2017.
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The United States and Russia may be hitting ISIS harder than anyone, with constant attacks from the air, but Israel is the only country the Islamic State group truly fears, according to a German reporter who spent 10 days with the organization in Iraq and Syria.
“The only country ISIS fears is Israel,” Jürgen Todenhöfer, 75, who visited the territory under the control of ISIS accompanied by his son, told British online news siteJewish News. “They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them.”
In 2014, Todenhöfer, a former member of the German Parliament from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, visited Syria and Iraq, becoming the first Western journalist to be allowed extensive access to ISIS territory – and to return safely from the trip. He has since written the book “My 10 Days in the Islamic State“, published in 2015.
In a subsequent interview he explains that ISIL is a reaction to violent actions taken by western countries in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. “They think they can defeat U.S. and U.K. ground troops, who they say have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies. But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists,” Todenhöfer told Jewish News
At the same time, Israel does not seem to fear the same thing with ISIS. Former head of IDF Intelligence Amos Yadlin on Wednesday expressed a contrarian opinion on the dangers of the terrorist group ISIS, responsible for the beheadings of journalists, as well as thousands of “infidels” in Iraq and Syria who do not subscribe to their particular brand of Islam. According to Yadlin, there’s nothing to fear from ISIS.
Nor should they worry. The Israeli Defense Forces is one of the most powerful militaries on earth – with 176,500 active soldiers, and a reserve force of 450,000 that can be called up at any moment, they dwarf the estimated military strength of ISIS (approx 20,000 fighters) by nearly 30 to 1.
But Israel’s secret strength is in its mandatory military service for all 18 year olds in the country, both male and female. In fact, the 1.6 million females trained and fit for service gives Israel the greatest shoeing of female military might possibly in world history.
Mandatory conscription means that today, over 1/2 of Israel – more than 3 million people – have been actively trained and have served in the Israeli forces over the last 60+ years.
Then there’s the equipment – while ISIS apparently is in possession of a few tanks, Israel’s military equipment is vast: with over 3,700 tanks, 6,000 armoured personnel carriers, 1,200+ artillery pieces, 680 F15 and F16 fighter jets, over 50 naval ships and even 5 submarines, the legendary armies of Israel could even take on a military the size of America’s
Speaking at an Ashkelon College in September 2014, Yadlin said that despite the shocking videos the group released showing the beheadings of journalists Steve Sotloff and James Foley, “there is no real reason to fear. ISIS is very good at media relations, and using the media to frighten people. They murder their captives in a shocking manner in order to get media attention.”
The terrorist group may have been bolstered this week when Russia announced it was suspending their air strikes in Syria, declaring their mission a success. Yet ISIS remains as strong as ever in the embattled country torn apart by a four-year Civil War, so clearly they were not Russia’s intended target. However, Russia “obliterated” a key ISIS base in Syria in October 2015 with a series of airstrikes, so they did have some supporting role to play in the conflict that can’t be denied.
President Vladimir Putin stated yesterday (Thursday, March 17) however that Russia could scale up its military presence in Syria again “within hours” and would still bomb terrorist groups there despite a partial draw-down of forces ordered after military successes.
However, it’s their definition of what constitutes a “terrorist” group that has some scratching their heads. And though they continually state they are “bombing ISIS targets”, they aren’t in the right part of the country to be able to make that claim.
As ISIS and Israel move toward a showdown, stay tuned, this story is definitely not yet fully told, and we will bring it to you as it unfolds.
By Islam Rising, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community Posted December 7, 2015. Updated March 18, 2016
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On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union (EU), and the Islamic Republic of Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This, incidentally, is likely the most irrelevant, unrelated title for a document in history.
The JCPOA was sold to the general public as a way of ensuring that Iran does not pose a near or even distant danger to the world through its already-existent nuclear program, which it says is solely for energy generation purposes.
However, as news reports about the JCPOA came out, and details were more clearly realized, we were shocked to discover just how badly this had been negotiated. The deal left far too many things on the table, and took off safeguards that seemed totally ludicrous.
One of the most notable was the blessing by the International Atomic Energy Agency for Iran to inspect some of its own facilities and report back its findings – though two senior U.S. officials told NBC News that the unusual arrangement between the IAEA and Tehran related only to “past military activity” and that UN inspectors, including IAEA Director Yukiya Amano, would be on site to supervise the Iranians at every step of the way.
Past military activity? That makes no sense – Iran has never yet built or used a nuclear weapon, so the entire program must be under suspicion for military use, or they wouldn’t have pushed to have an agreement to ensure it didn’t get used for evil.
The wolf was allowed to inspect the chicken coop, while the rest of us turkeys shook our heads in amazement.
I and others believed that Iran would eventually show its true colors, however, and expose themselves for the conniving fraudsters that they are. On October 11, 2015, they did just that, with the United States confirming that Iran had just tested a medium-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon, in “clear violation” of a United Nations Security Council ban on ballistic missile tests.
The logic of this escapes me, if Iran is to be taken at face value in agreeing to this JCPOA. Why spend any time, energy, money or political capital to sign such an agreement on July 14, and then to test a ballistic missile on October 11 that would clearly rustle feathers?
Unless, of course, they meant to do this as a test of the United States’ will power and resolve. They could have saved the missile fuel – we could have told them that the United States would do diddly squat about this.
“The United States is deeply concerned about Iran’s recent ballistic missile launch. After reviewing the available information, we can confirm that Iran launched on Oct. 10 a medium-range ballistic missile inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. This was a clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929.The United States is preparing a report on the incident for the Security Council’s Iran Sanctions Committee and will raise the matter directly with Security Council members in the coming days,” Power said.
In the coming days? Well, before the U.S. could act, on December 8, the New York Timesreported that Iran had test-fired another ballistic missile in November:
“The Obama administration is facing another difficult choice with Iran: As Tehran takes apart much of its nuclear infrastructure to win sanctions relief, how vocally should the White House condemn Iranian violations of United Nations resolutions on other issues?
Based on the first responses Tuesday to reports that Iran had conducted yet another launch of a medium-range ballistic missile, the answer appears to be not very loudly. (emphasis mine)”
Then, on December 15, despite a new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that said Iran failed to fully cooperate with an investigation into its past nuclear weapons related work, the United States and the other members of the IAEA Board of Governors voted toclose the bookon this matter. Unbelievable.
Regardless of all these major concerns, the Obama administration did NOTHING. In fact, yesterday (Saturday, July 16) Obama announced it was #ImplementationDay, the day when the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, says that Iran has curbed its nuclear program enough to begin receiving relief on sanctions, the terms of which were laid out in the JCPOA. “Today marks the moment that the Iran nuclear agreement transitions from an ambitious set of promises on paper to measurable action in progress,” U.S Secretary of State John Kerry announced Saturday in Vienna.
And today, January 17, the US announced it was imposing fresh sanctions on Iranian companies and individuals over the recent ballistic missile tests. The new sanctions prevent 11 entities and individuals linked to the missile program from using the US banking system.
I’m sorry – pardon me? Imagine, telling 11 Iranians that they are international bad boys, and are now restricted from using their ATM cards in Chicago. Wow, don’t go crazy and tell them that Burger King in Philadelphia is off limits to them too!
I’m sure they were laughing…all the way to the bank somewhere else. What a joke. Iran test-fired, then tested the resolve of the United States and its allies related to this JCPOA – and won the day. In fact, President Obama even stated today that the sanctions lifted as part of the JCPOA deal were “smart”.
Oh, Obama, they were stupid as hell – and so are you. And if you have led us to ruin over this deal, as many of your “fellow citizens” as possible will be demanding your arrest, trial for crimes against humanity. and then we’ll happily strap you to the ground at the projected ground zero of the first nuclear missile that Iran launches against the Israel or the West.
IslamRising:Special feature to the Calling Out Community, Posted January 1, 2016.
On November 25, 2015, former Obama CIA Director Mike Morell appeared on PBS’ Charlie Rose show, and dropped a bombshell that the Media Party didn’t at first pay much attention to. During that hour, Morell surprised many by claiming that President Obama has intentionallynot ordered the bombing of the oil fields now controlled by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS):
“we didn’t go after oil wells, actually hitting oil wells that ISIS controls, because we didn’t want to do environmental damage and we didn’t want to destroy that infrastructure.”
ISIS depends on those oil fields for the majority of its operating revenues, and U.S. Air Force jets have specifically avoided bombing them because the White House was concerned about adding to the carbon emissions that promote global warming. In the DESERT? Is that seriously not the dumbest thing you’ve heard so far this year?
According to the IBT Pulse Newsletter, ISIS continues to sell about 100,000 barrels of oil at an average of about $20/barrel (discounted), for a take of $2 million every day. ISIS generals may be radical whacko jihadists – but the privates are reportedly soldiers for hire who are first and foremost trying to earn a paycheque, and are not merely fighting for some twisted ideology.
Many experts believe that if we can cut off this ISIS cash stream, the Islamic State army would quickly disappear – making President Obama’s decision especially bewildering and exasperating. By putting the priority on a potentially minor impact on the local environment rather than on the globalsecurity concernsthat such inaction may allow and even encourage, ISIS was able to “miss the bullet” and continue its murderous rampage through the Western world, killing people at random.
This brings back stark memories of the destruction of the Kuwait oil fields back in April 1991. Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army set between 605 and 732 oil wells on fire during the first Gulf War, as they retreated from Kuwait. Almost immediately, the #looneyleftwing was out in full force, predicting an environmental disaster to come:
Paul Crutzen, a noted atmospheric scientist, predicted that a “nuclear winter” might ensue with a cloud of smoke covering half the Northern Hemisphere for at least 100 days.
U.S. astronomer and best-selling author Carl Sagan argued that the effects of the destruction of Kuwaiti oil fields could be comparable to the explosion of the volcano Tambora in 1815, which produced “a year without summer.”
Ummmm nope, neither of those things happened, though some of the fires burned into November that year, releasing 1.5 billion barrels of oil into the environment, the largest oil spill in human history.
The Kuwait oil fields produced about 2 million barrels per day before the Gulf War — at least 20 times as much as the ISIS oil wells generate. The Kuwaiti fires dwarf anything that potentially destroyed ISIS oil wells could produce in terms of harmful environmental effects. So it would be completely rational and logical to destroy this critically important cash-generator for ISIS. NOW.
Thank God, my friend, one air force completely agreed with that assessment – and on November 20, 2015, Russian fighter jets attacked a convoy of over 500 oil trucks illegally carrying petroleum and crude oil from ISIS fields to their territories in Iraq (see this article’s Featured Image). A few days prior (November 16), Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that he had recently told his G20 colleagues that 40 countries including G20 nations are financially helping ISIS by purchasing this illegal oil.
The day before the November 20 convoy attack, Russian General Valery Gerasimov announced that Russia would be allocating 25 strategic bombers for the Syrian mission. Separately, Russian Air Forces will be strengthened with advanced 37 aircraft, including eight Su-34 bomber jets and four Su-27 fighter jets.
So while Canada pulls out of the air strike campaign altogether, and the U.S. worries more about global warming than getting the bad guys, Moscow is more than doubling the strike potential of the Russian Air Force in the region.
Once again, Obama says he wants to fight terrorism, but everything else comes first. And once again, if you need to get something done properly in the world, you have to call Vladimir Putin.
At least twice in the last 24 hours, as I discussed the ISIS attacks in Paris (and my latest article on same) with some of my nearly 1,300 Twitter followers and a few on Facebook, I was amazed to hear people actually blame the State of Israel for the Friday the 13th attacks in Paris that left 129 dead and 352 injured.
First up was Margot Wallstrom, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, who irresponsibly blamed Israel for the Paris attacks.
The French have been already releasing the names of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) terrorists who masterminded and carried out the plots at various locations in Paris. CNN reports:
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, probably in his late 20s, isEdit believed to be close to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and is likely the link between the senior ISIS leadership and ISIS operatives in Europe, European counterterrorism officials have said.
Clearly the Swedish government is playing a classic game of deflection. According to the Swedish edition of The Local, the largest English-language news network in Europe with more than 4.5 million readers, Sweden may indirectly be to blame for the attacks itself!
Gothenburg, in western Sweden is, per capita, the European city from which most people have joined Islamic extremist groups, according to Swedish integration police chief, Ulf Boström.
The largest of these groups is Islamic State (Isis), which claims to have carried out the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday that killed 129 people.
Sweden has very little to say constructively in this regard. It is no secret that Islamic fundamentalism is now drowning their country in a violent crime wave against their citizens, and the government seems to be doing little about it.
Perhaps to appease this group, the Swedish Foreign Minister stated:
“To counteract the radicalization we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that there is no future: we must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence,” Margot Wallström told Swedish television network SVT2T (link in Swedish) a short while after the November 13 attacks, whichwere claimed by the Islamic State terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, Palestinian incitement went a step further than Wallstrom; an op-ed in an official PA daily paper claimed Israel actually carried out the attacks.
Palestinian Media Watch flagged al-Hayat al-Jadida:
It is not a coincidence that human blood was exploded in Paris at the same time that certain European sanctions are beginning to be implemented against settlement products, and while France leads Europe in advising the security council that will implement the two-state solution, Palestine and Israel – which the Israelis see as a warning of sudden dangercoming from the direction of Europe, where the Zionist, occupying, settling endeavor was born . . .
The wise and correct thing is to look for who benefits. In short: They need to search the last place reached by the octopus arms of the Mossad… It is clear that its ‘Mossad’ will burn Beirut and Paris in order to achieve [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s goals. He, who challenged the master of the White House, hides in his soul enough evil to burn the world.
And here’s an ugly cartoon posted on Fatah’s Facebook page (via Elder of Ziyon). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is sighting a target for an ISIS fighter to take aim, in view of the Eiffel Tower:
Not only is this incredibly anti-Semitic as well as an outright lie, it is not helpful in assisting the French legal community, seeking out for punishment those responsible. It also ironically dilutes the messages that ISIS is trying to deliver – which is a positive outcome.
In a move that has infuriated neighbouring China, the upper house of the Japan’s parliament (the Diet) has approved legislation giving more power to the armed forces. This legislation will allow Japanese troops to fight overseas – something has been banned by the Japanese constitution for nearly 70 years, since the dissolution of the Japanese Empire at the end of World War II.
The Lower House passed 11 security-related bills on July 16 – an act, which was followed by a wave of protests. The Upper House’s final session was called late Friday night and they finished early Saturday morning with the enactment of 2 of the controversial security bills. Officially a pacifistic nation for the last 7 decades, this law brings up for many modern and older Japanese citizens reminders of their military aggression in the past.
Up to this point, Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution has reads:
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. 2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
In recent years, though, the line between defense and offense has blurred. In 2004, Japan sent its Ground Self-Defense Forces to Iraq — the first deployment of Japanese soldiers in an active combat zone in over 60 years. With North Korea test-launching ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan and China’s economic and military expansion, Japan has started reconsidering its regional strategy.
In 2008, photographs of Japan’s newly commissioned Hyūga-class “helicopter destroyer” raised eyebrows around the world – as it looked exactly like an aircraft carrier, though smaller. Many Americans and Japanese expressed disapproval, still highly sensitive of the carrier-led Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, which led to the American entrance into World War II.
Upon completion the 13-000 ton Hyūga and Ise were the largest ships built for the Japanese navy since the Second World War, and have 4 helicopter landing pads each. Hyūga was described in a PBS documentary as the “first Japanese aircraft carrier built since WWII.” To add further controversy, both of these carriers were named after the Ise-class battleshipHyugaof the Imperial Japanese Navy, launched in 1917 and converted into an aircraft carrier in 1943.
But the Japanese navy’s building program has not ended there. The first of the Izumo class helicopter carriers, the much-larger 24,000 ton, 5 helicopter-pad Izumo, was launched in August 2013 and came into service in the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in March 2015. And just last month, Japan announced the launch of the second and file carrier of this class, the Kaga, launched at the Japan Marine United shipyard in Yokohama on Thursday, August 27, to be commissioned in March 2017, Sputnik reports.
Students of history will once again be surprised to hear the name of another World War II Japanese ship – the original Kaga infamously took part in the bombardments of the China’s eastern coast including the cities of Shanghai and Nanjing in 1937. Later, it also was a part of the naval group that attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Eventually, the ship was sunk by the US navy in the Battle of Midway in June 1942.
In January 2015, Japan approved a $42 billion military budget, the largest in the history of Japan, and the fifth largest in the world – an increase of 2 percent on last year’s and the third consecutive rise after a decade of military spending cuts. Yet, surprisingly, the US government is supportive of this change. Thomas Schieffer, the American ambassador to Japan, encouraged the Japanese government to end its self-imposed limit of 1percent of the GDP
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose ruling block extended the session to Sept. 27 and voted down all the motions from the opposition to ensure that the legislation was passed, says that Japan needs to be up to the challenge in today’s world, taking into account a rising threat from China.Of course I don’t remember Pearl Harbor or any of the Pacific Theater events of the Second World War, having been born in 1967. However, I can understand the nervous tension that this military build up has caused – I had similar chills when I saw these “helicopter destroyers”.Japanese officials said that the primary roles of the four modern helicopter carriers are peaceful, such as humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations. However, they have also mentioned that the ships could be used in anti-submarine warfare. The ships “heighten our ability to deal with Chinese submarines that have become more difficult to detect,” a JMSDF officer told Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper in March 2015.
Kaga will carry seven Mitsubishi-built SH-60k anti-submarine patrol helicopters able to detect sophisticated Chinese submarines as well as seven Agusta Westland MCM-101 mine countermeasure helicopters, according to the US Naval Institute’s News.
I almost got comfortable with this whole idea of a helicopter ship, until I read the last line of the RT article on the Japanese navy’s recent carrier launches:
The ships also have potential to launch American-built assault transport MV-22 as well as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter with their short takeoff and vertical landing capabilities.
BBC has reported that Japan plans to buy 42 of the planes, 36 of which they would like to see made in Japan. Delivery of the first is expected in 2016. I just hope, as they continue to expand their military like crazy, that this time they are actually on our side.
UPDATE: August 21, 2017 The United States and North Korea have been heaving insults and threats at each other at an alarming rate. Americans are under the impression that a war with North Korea would be a very short-lived event, with North Korea’s military machine being virtually destroyed in days. They seem to forget that in 1950, we felt the same way – and that war has never ended to this day. We did not win the war against North Korea – we called it a draw and walked away. And in 2013, North Korea pulled out of that armistice – leaving the two sides in a virtual state of war already.
The Chicago Tribune quoted an unnamed official from the South Korean Defense Ministry today (Sunday, August 23, 2015), who confirmed that more than 50 of North Korea’s 70 submarines and undersea vehicles have left their bases, and were undetectable by the South Korean military as of yesterday (Saturday, August 22, 2015). In addition, the official stated that the North has also doubled the strength of its frontline artillery forces.
This Northern military ramp-up came as a result of a standoff which began earlier in the week when land mines on the southern side of the demilitarized zone between the Koreas exploded, injuring two South Korean soldiers out on routine patrol. Seoul says they were planted by North Korea.
In response, the South resumed anti-North propaganda broadcasts using loudspeakers at the border – the first in 11 years, infuriating the North, which is extremely sensitive to any criticism of its dictatorship.
Senior officials from North and South Korea quickly set up a round of marathon talks, now into their second day today (Sunday, August 23, 2015), in order to pull back from the brink of an all out war, even though Seoul states that the unusual North Korean troop and submarine movement indicated battle preparation.
CNN reported later in the day on Friday, August 21, 2015, North Korea outlined an ultimatum to its southern neighbour, furious with the loudspeaker propaganda: either stop the “provocations” and “psychological warfare” or pay the price. “If South Korea does not respond to our ultimatum,” North Korean U.N. ambassador An Myong Hun told reporters, “our military counteraction will be inevitable and that counteraction will be very strong.”
After an exchange of fire with South Korea, North Korea ratcheted up the rhetoric as the latest skirmish between the two nations intensified. North Korean troops along the border completed preparations and “entered into a wartime state,” the official Korean Central News Agency said Friday. On Thursday, Kim gave South Korea 48 hours to stop broadcasting propaganda across the demilitarized zone or face further attacks.
Why does all this matter? We have heard all three Kim leaders constantly threatening war with the South. Yet, this incident is one of the most serious since Kim Il-Jung became Supreme Leader 3 1/2 years ago and began consolidating power through a series of purges and provocations against the South. The uneasy truce between the two Koreas has been periodically disrupted by exchanges of fire that peter out before they turn into anything more serious. Still, North Korea’s unpredictable nature keeps tensions high.
This would be a good place to remind our readers that, unlike the weak-kneed, secretive regime with a nutty dictator that the Western media would like to paint North Korea to be, the reality is far different. Not only is North Korea rumoured to have tested nuclear weapons, but they also have huge stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.
The Korean People’s Army (KPA) is a threat to the land, sea and air of all its neighbours, consisting of:
9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel
North Korea’s last major lethal weapon, according to Harry J. Kazianis, writing for The National Interest, is its cybermilitary abilities. Little is definitively known about North Korea’s cyber-army and its capabilities. But this army has proved extremely adept. The US has blamed and sanctioned North Korea for the massive hack of Sony in December 2014. Additionally, South Korea blamed Pyongyang for cyber=attacks against a nuclear reactor in the country in December 2014.
The security and safety of the South Korean people have been paramount to North America since the Korean War, and with good reason. First, there’s the unfortunate geography—the opponents’ capitals are just 120 miles apart, with Seoul within 35 miles of the nations’ shared border. The numbers only get worse, with estimates of as many as 13,000 artillery pieces positioned along that border – making the North Korean artillery arsenal the largest in the world – many of them within range and presumably aimed directly at Seoul, one of the world’s most densely-populated cities. Factor in the rate of fire of all those suspected artillery batteries, and throw in the potential launch of hundreds of missiles, and it’s easy to conclude that if North Korea is pushed hard enough, the result could be “the destruction of Seoul”, as the New York Times put it in an October 2014 article.
The nightmare scenario has been around for awhile. Pyongyang launches a massive artillery barrage on Seoul. The chaos that would result would be massive. Imagine millions of people flooding out of one of Asia’s largest cities. If one wanted to induce sheer panic and hence help your invasion strategy, this would be an effective way to do it.
But this story doesn’t just end with the news this week that the two sides of stood down and backed away from the threat of war. A virtually unreported portion of the story is shocking enough to warrant mention here: On Saturday, August 22, 2015, Chinese social media users began posting pictures of tanks and other military equipment moving through city streets. The photos were purportedly taken in Yanji, the capital of Yanbian Prefecture in Jilin province, which lies along the China-Korea border.
That’s right folks – the People’s Liberation Army of China was amassing on the borders of North Korea. To send a message? To assist North Korea with a possible military campaign against South Korea? Or to protect their own borders against a potentially unstable North Korea? We’ll never know. The Chinese government made no comment on the military buildup, and social media sites went silent in China on the issue.
By Shawn J., Founding Editor Calling Out Community Posted August 23, 2015. Updated August 21, 2017 We’d love to hear from you:
This morning it was announced that the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to adopt the Vienna Agreement, which allowed Iran to operate sanctions-free, while paying lip service to its agreements to not develop nuclear weapons. I will be going into more depth in the days ahead on this agreement, and how it looks on the surface to be actively / intentionally created to betray the people of Israel.
President Obama (I use the title loosely here, for I believe he is a traitor and trust America someday sees how he has led them toward complete ruin) smugly told Israel today that suddenly they have “no truer friend” than the United States – but through his Secretary of Defense, visiting Israel this morning.
Obama himself will likely not be caught dead in Israel from now to the end of his term and he’d be wise not to. And of course the Defense Secretary’s speech was full of all the typical bravado and promises and assurances – it was also delivered almost simultaneously as the United Nations votes to put this nonsensical agreement into internationally-ratified law. Pre-meditated scheduling?
On one of the Israeli news sites this morning, I saw a posting by a man named “Mustafa”, which I know to be an Arabic name. His sentiments were clear – and I admit, when I first read the sentence, I got an instant lump in my throat, as I stood on a crowded train on the way to my Downtown office.
He said simply, as a representative cry from the hearts of Israelis – both Jewish and Arab alike:
“Is there anyone left who will stand with Israel?“
I want to share my reply to his posting with you – not just because I believe it to be true, but because we need to see the bigger picture, and not allow the 24-hour news cycle to discourage us:
“Mustafa, I am with Israel, as are literally millions of Christians – Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox – who believe with all our hearts that Israel is God’s chosen people. Though you today seemingly have been betrayed in the eyes of the world, know that you have one Friend who stands above the rest. For today, the One True God stands with you – the same One who stood with Joshua as the ancient walls of Jericho were flattened, and who stood with IDF in modern times, destroying the Egyptian Air Force in minutes and forcing asurrender – and eventual decades-long peace treaty – between the two most powerful nations in the Middle East – Egypt and Israel. Your nations have together shown that anything is possible – don’t despair.
Stand still, Israel, and see the salvation of your God today. And know that in a very real and practical way, there are many of us who would consider it an honour to take up arms to defend Israel against possibleinvaders – even to the death. We will never allow the enemies of Israel to overrun her. You are the Apple of God’s Eye and we love you.May God bless the State of Israel and the people of Israel.”