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.
Vladimir Putin has done everything he can, whether consciously or not, to continue the upswing of gold over the last several years. No, we aren’t talking about the medal count at the recent South Korean Winter Olympics, which Russia did not attend as a national competitor. No, this is the real deal – and Putin is on an urgent push to own as much of it in reserve as possible. The world doesn’t seem concerned enough yet to even ask “why” – but we sure are.
The price of gold at the beginning of 2011 was at a record high of $1,400/oz, and experts felt that it wasn’t done yet, though no one could have predicted where it would go.
When gold prices hit an all-time high of $1,917.90/oz on August 21, 2011 in after-hours electronic trading, before pulling back to about $1,880, experts began to worry. As Matt Zeman, market strategist at Kingsview Financial in Chicago so aptly put it, “Gold could keep working its way higher, but it is starting to look a bit bubbly. The run-up reminds me of what silver did a few months ago. It climbed steadily week after week, sucked everyone in, and then the whole deck of cards came crashing down.”
Gold, considered a good hedge against inflation, was making no sense – inflation had only picked up 2.4% on an annual basis in the previous 10 years, but the price of gold had climbed over 21% a year during the same time period. Without a massive increase in inflation of 10% or higher, which would be deadly for the fragile global economy, the gold price had to start to come down. And fast.
Even the experts may not have realized how quickly that would come true – when less than 30 days later, during the week of September 21, 2011, the price of gold began to drop, and though it made several vain attempts to stabilize, a year later, it was $300 lower. A weak recovery to the end of 2012 saw it spike again to just under $1,800. Then, it started a free fall to its 2016 low of around $1,100.00/oz – losing over 40% of its value.
Enter Russia, very far stage left.
The election of Donald Trump, which many believe Russia had some hand in assisting with, helped the price of gold to drop through the floor to $1,127.80 in January 2017, the lowest point in 9 years – considered by most experts to tie directly to the President’s election and international markets welcoming the same.
And that was the time that Russia began to pounce on gold stocks around the world, “buying the dip” as it is called in commodities markets.
Since then, gold has performed much like it always does – as a safe haven in times of political or economic upheaval, having been the beneficiary of perils from North Korea (which one could argue Russia had a part to play in, having possibly supplied the Hermit Kingdom with some nuclear information) and Brexit (which again, some complain Russia played a part in the final outcome of).
The Bank of Russia has at first secretly and now completely openly been doubling its pace of gold purchases, bringing the share of bullion in its international reserves to the highest of Mr. Putin’s 17 years in power, according to World Gold Council data.
In the second quarter of 2017 alone, Russia accounted for 38% of all gold purchased by central banks. The gold rush is allowing the Bank of Russia to continue growing its reserves, while it continues to abstain from purchases of foreign currency for more than two years. While the global demand for global gold has fallen over the last two years, Russia is one of the only countries in the world to continue to bet on its lasting power.
But what may matter most is that gold is as geopolitics-proof an investment as any in the age of sanctions and a deepening rift with the US. For a country like Russia, which seems to have a habit of causing controversy all over the world, and particularly when it concerns the West, this rush to gold could be seeing as stocking up for the purpose of cashing in on an event that they themselves are creating.
Even the sanctions now being imposed by the West don’t hinder Russia – as no Western power has the ability to control the sale of gold to Putin. “Gold is an asset that is independent of any government and, in effect, given what is usually held in reserves, any Western government,” said Matthew Turner, metals analyst at Macquarie Group in London. “This might appeal given Russia has faced financial sanctions.”
So let’s recap:
Russia may have influenced the outcome of the US election, which brought the price of gold to the lowest in 9 years.
Then, Russia started to “buy the dip” like crazy, doubling their normal purchases in gold, raising their stake to 17% of the world’s total reserves.
Meanwhile, it is rumored they had a part to play in the North Korean crises by supplying the Kim government with nuclear information. They are also rumored to have been involved in the Brexit crisis rocking the United Kingdom. Both events have since spiked the price of gold again nearly 20% in the last 2 years.
Possibly assuming that the West would eventually levy sanctions against them once they discovered how much they had interfered, Russia stayed out of foreign currency purchases as well for the last two years.
They have continued to purchase gold in record quantities, knowing that no Western power has the ability to control or sanction their purchase of gold.
They seemingly are one of the only countries besides China that is currently amassing greater amounts of gold than ever before. As Russia’s meddling in Western affairs seems to be bringing up the price of gold, only two countries have benefitted the most from that – Russia and China, who are the two largest gold owners in the world – and the West’s two greatest adversaries. So we have enriched our enemies without knowing it. The price of gold Friday, February 23 went above $1,330/oz.
To the casual observer, all of this could be just mere speculation, to be sure, and few have been putting these clues together. However, it looks to me like Russia has managed to win the coldest of the Cold Wars imaginable – the one for cold hard gold.
At the same time, Russia has been clearly preparing for some catastrophic event, yet unnamed, that they know is coming on the Earth:
We reported on October 5, 2016 that Britain’s The Independent newspaper had announced the day before that 40 million Russian civilians, 200,000 trained personnel and 50,000 vehicles had begun a 4-day “emergency evacuation” drill, ordered by Russian President Putin. The drill was conducted between October 4-7, supposedly mocking chemical, biological and nuclear attacks on the Russian homeland.
That same Calling Out articlestated that Russia had also just completed 5,000 emergency bunkers in the city of Moscow – allowing a space for all 11 million residents safely in an underground shelter. No word yet as to why the enormous cost had been spent, nor why the West has done nothing similar.
Then, on August 21, 2017, the Independent again reported that the Russian military was about to embark on a massive real-military operation (which they do every four years at this time) in Belarus and western Russia. Russia has claimed that 13,000 would take part, but the real number is expected to be much higher
In a follow-up story by the New York Times on October 1, 2017, it was revealed that, in fact, the Independent prediction was spot-on: while Preliminary Pentagon and NATO assessments of the exercise, of the largest of its kind since the end of the Cold War, are classified and will take months to complete, the 13,000 troops engaged in a counterterrorism scenario in Belarus, the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, the Baltic Sea region and around St. Petersburg were joined by tens of thousands of Russian troops in the Arctic and Far East, the Black Sea, close to Ukraine’s borders and in the Abkhazia region of Georgia. “In effect, these activities together constituted a single strategic exercise, involving the full spectrum of Russian and Belarusian military,” said Oana Lungescu, the NATO spokeswoman. That array included warships, submarines, fighter jets, helicopters, tanks and artillery, air defenses, anti-ship missiles, special forces, and short-range and nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles. Russian war games have previously preceded or provided cover for real military operations, including in Ukraine and Georgia, analysts said.
Coming back to the gold rush in Moscow – besides being the largest official buyer of gold, Russia is also among the world’s three biggest producers, with the central bank purchasing from domestic miners through commercial banks and not in the open market. So they are stock piling gold like a baker stockpiles his own bread, preparing for the day when bread is suddenly necessary for everyone.
Since starting to accelerate bullion purchases in 2007, Russia’s holdings have more than quadrupled to 1,556 tonnes (54 million ounces), or $73 billion, at the end of June, just behind China, and more than Turkey, India and Mexico combined, bringing its share to near 17% of the world’s stocks. For every $1 the cost of gold goes up, Russia makes over $50 million.
However, Russia and others still have a massive way to go before they overtake the United States in reserves in gold. Fort Knox is reported in November 2017 to be storing 4,582 tonnes (147.3 million oz. troy), with a book value of over $190 billion. In contrast, the GDP of the United States was $19.4 trillion as of April 2017.
If Russian buying continues at a similar pace, the World Gold Council said the full-year increase in 2017 “could closely match” 2015 and 2016. And the questions will continue as to what Russia is up to. Should they plan to go to war, or should there be a catastrophic natural disaster that at least their capital city is fully prepared for, the price of gold will undoubtedly rise dramatically, which will give them the real-world financing capital they need to weather any storm to come – whether they start it or not.
This rush for gold is not normal, it is not average, it was not expected – and it should cause no small amount of concern.
Britain’s The Independent newspaper reported Wednesday, October 5 that 40 million Russian civilians, 200,000 trained personnel and 50,000 vehicles have begun a 4-day “emergency evacuation” drill, ordered by Russian President Putin. The drill was conducted between October 4-7, supposedly mocking chemical, biological and nuclear attacks on the Russian homeland.
Did they know something we don’t know? And why is the North American media strangely silent on these preparations?
Kids hiding under their desks in schools, air raid sirens blaring in small town America during mock drills, civilians awkwardly attempting to put on World War I army surplus gas masks. The Cold War images are iconic.
Families and neighbourhoods were drilled on what to do in an emergency, and local public shelters and private backyard bunkers were stocked with current supplies. Everyone thought that it was possible (many even believed it was unavoidable) that the U.S. would go to war against Russia at some point. But these drills were nothing in comparison to the ones being witnessed in Russia today.
Then the Gorbachev/Reagan era symbolized a time of hope for the world. For the first time in decades, American and Russian citizens were both faced with the possibility of a world where nuclear war was taken off the table.
Fast forward to 2016, and Russian president Vladimir Putin leads us to believe the possibility of a global conflict now exists with the United States. He is preparing for war, which he wants us to believe is inevitable, unavoidable and equally necessary for the protection of their national interests. Sounds like Hitler’s Germany in 1939, oddly enough.
He is clearly spending an incredible amount to re-arm the nation – the Defense Budget sitting around $80 billion US, an increase of $11 bilion from last year alone.
But the reasons for this conflict seems so manufactured. We are led to believe Putin is so upset about the US involvement in the Syrian conflict, that he’s willing to drag Russia into a possible nuclear war with America? This is a frankly bombed-out nation with 7 million citizens living in tents in the desert. What is the big attraction here?
For decades, nuclear stockpiles were greatly diminished as a result of several treaties between Russia and United States.
Hard fought, hard work to get them to the point they are today. Russia destroyed over 35,000 of its 40,000 missile arsenal.
(BREAKING: OCTOBER 8, 2016) Now, the Daily Mail is reporting that Russia has moved new nuclear-capable missile systems in Kaliningrad, bordering NATO members Poland and Lithuania. Poland said the development was of the “highest concern”, adding it was monitoring the situation.
On October 6, 2016, Defence One also reported that the United States has dropped two fake bombs as a test of their nuclear systems. The Defense Department confirms that a pair of U.S. Air Force B-2 bombers dropped two 700-pound faux nuclear bombs in the middle of the Nevada desert within the past few days.
It has been so long since we had any real threat of nuclear weapons, our use of the word “nuked” has changed to reflect our love for heating up TV dinners in the microwave.
As usual, the prestigious international organization always releases a statement with this Doomsday Clock update, to justify their reason for the change or, in this case, the holding of same time:
“Last year, the Science and Security Board moved the Doomsday Clock forward to three minutes to midnight, noting: ‘The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.’ That probability has not been reduced. The Clock ticks. Global danger looms. Wise leaders should act—immediately.” (See the full statement from the Science and Security Board on the 2016 time of the Doomsday Clock.)
Now we are learning that, according to London’s Daily Express, since 2012 the Russian government has been building bomb shelters in the city of Moscow – up to 5000 of them! All were constructed in less than a few years, completed now. Why on earth were they in such a hurry to build? We weren’t even in a Cold War at the moment?
In fact, during the Clinton administration, the New York Times reported that Russia was building a massive military complex in the Ural mountains. This complex was reported to be over 400 mi.² – roughly the size of the entire Washington, D.C. area:
“In a secret project reminiscent of the chilliest days of the cold war, Russia is building a mammoth underground military complex in the Ural Mountains, Western officials and Russian witnesses say.
Hidden inside Yamantau mountain in the Beloretsk area of the southern Urals, the project involves the construction of a huge complex served by a railroad, a highway and thousands of workers.
The project, some Russian officials say, was begun during the era of Leonid I. Brezhnev, when the Soviet Union was locked in an arms race with the United States, the Communist Party ruled the country and the military budget seemingly knew no bounds.”
Why would they feel the need to build basically an entire capital city underground? The Cold War was long since dead during the Clinton Administration too. So they didn’t build it over threat of war. And the cost must have been astronomical, at a time when their economy struggled. It makes no sense.
On September 30, Russian news agency Pravda reports that representatives for the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) stated that all bomb shelters and underground shelters in Moscow, meant for the evacuation of people in case of a nuclear attack or other emergencies, “were prepared and will be able to accommodate the entire population of the capital.”
Folks, Moscow has 11 million people in it.
It’s an incredible thought, but also very disconcerting – they began building these 5,000 super bunkers 4 years ago – yet they state nowthat they are using these bunkers in a mass drill to prepare for a possible full scale war with America over the Syrian conflict.
I think that’s a lie, a false flag to distract from the real truth. The Syrian conflict didn’t BEGIN until May 2012, and Russian forces weren’t even on the ground there in 2012. So why did they really build 5,000 shelters to hold 11 million people?
The Russian people know something we don’t know and they are preparing for it, and I believe nuclear war is a nonsensical false flag. Is it a coincidence that this special Russian drill takes place less than 2 weeks after the United States and NASA announced a new program called the Asteroid Redirect Mission? I kid you not – you must check out that link.
And on September 23, NASA was supposed to launch Expedition #49 to the International Space Station. However, Phys.org announced that the mission was delayed first until October 19, then November 1:
“…After testing revealed technical flaws in the mission (which were apparently due to a short circuit), Rocosmos decided to postpone the launch indefinitely. But after after days of looking over the glitch, the Russians space agency has announced that it is prepared for a renewed launch on Nov. 1st.”
One short circuit delays a space mission for 6 weeks? A “technical flaw” – why are they being so clearly non-descript? Something doesn’t quite add up here. As the Russian government orders a mass evacuation drill with 40 million people, supposedly to prepare for war with America, this NASA #49 mission will have two Russian astronauts, launching in a Soyuz (Russian) rocket – with an American astronaut also on board. The launch was delayed twice, the political climate has clearly changed between these two nations, yet the mission continues, and lead by the Russians?
Is there some other reason for this mission? Is a type of life-changing asteroid coming toward earth? While it sounds ridiculous even to write, it also sounds insane to report that such an “asteroid redirect” program at NASA even now exists. It sounds ridiculous that the entire city of Moscow could go underground in a matter of days, and 40 million people across the country were ordered to prove that could be done. That number is Biblical in proportions – why would they feel they needed to use so many at once in a mock drill?
Even more shocking – this is the second time Putin has ordered massive crowds to practice for an emergency. The first one, in 2013, involved 60 million people. Can you imagine the cost and logistics of such a massive drill?
Meanwhile, Canada and the United States do nothing to prepare our citizens for the same threat of war or worse? If all hell breaks lose worldwide, find a way to get to Moscow fast.
This past Tuesday, August 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss areas of mutual security interests. At the same time, the Russian President has been making overtures in the media with the President of Iran, urging him to join future discussions to create stronger ties in the region.
A month ago, this would have been impossible – you would never see these three countries sit down at any table together. Even more shocking – students of Bible prophecy immediately raised an alarm in the media, as the Prophet Ezekiel foretold (Ezekiel 38) of a future alliance between modern Russia, Turkey and Iran, warning that this alliance…
…will someday militarily attack and nearly completely destroy Israel.
Until the last week of July 2016, none of the events being played out today before the world were deemed even possible.
Then: Turkey was a strong partner in NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and as such was the largest ally of the West in the Middle East. They were also an applicant to the European Union, having determined that their future was better as part of a United Europe. As UK newspaper Express described it:
“Turkey is a key member state in NATO as it straddles the border between Europe and Asia and acts as a key broker between the West and the Islamic world.”
Then: Turkey was seen by Russia as a constant threat – Turkey allowing the United States access to her airbases, in the wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and now ISIS – the latter in direct contradiction to Russian airstrike plans in Syria.
Then: on November 31, 2015, the BBC reported the Russian / Turkish announcements that a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft was shot down by Turkish F-16s in the Turkey-Syria border area on November 24, though the pilot parachutes to safety. Putin was furious, condemning the Turkish attack.
Then: Iran was Turkey’s biggest trading partner and next door neighbour – until Turkey decided to host the establishment of a NATO missile shield in September 2011. Iran believed the U.S. wanted to detect missiles fired from within her borders, in order to protect Israel from any counter-attack should Israel target Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Then: In addition, Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Turkey should rethink its policies over Syria, the NATO defense shield, and promotion of secularism over the Arab world following the Arab Spring.
Then: relations between these three countries, in general, were in the toilet. That is, until July 15-16, when without warning, members of the Turkish First Army, Second Army, Third Army, Turkish Navy, Turkish Air Force and Turkish Gendarmie launched a full-scale military coup against the government, utilizing a shocking 8,651 soldiers, 1,676 non-commissioned officers, 1,214 military students, 35 planes (including 24 fighter jets), 37 helicopters, 74 tanks, 246 armored vehicles and 3 warships.
The conclusion of this coup has been even more shocking than its commencement. More than 15,000 arrested, including (presumably) almost anyone who ever opposed this current government – which could easily lead to a dictatorship. Even worse, the Turkish government is furious with NATO for not coming to her aid, although one wonders what kind of military response they expected when the whole thing was over in 2 days, and came without warning.
One also wonders how nearly 10,000 troops could have begun this coup on cue, in every single branch of the military, and NO ONE in government had any clue it was coming? That’s either gross incompetence or collusion.
I smell a setup so this President could pull Turkey out of NATO and become allies with Russia all on one fell swoop. Someone somewhere was brilliantly pulling these strings – perhaps Putin himself. He did it in Crimea – why not here?
This story has just begun. Regardless, the real story here is that the 2,600 year old prophecies of the prophet Ezekiel, chapter 38, just became today’s front page news:
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog [Russia], the chief prince of[a] Meshek and Tubal [Turkey]; prophesy against him 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of[b] Meshek and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia [Iran], Cush[c] and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.
By Retro Russia, Founding Blog Member, Calling Out Community Posted August 11, 2016
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In a surprise move Germany left the anti-Putin-alliance formed by the USA: Germany is now officially welcoming Moscow’s readiness to act in Syria and is starting an initiative together with the Russians and the French to bring an end to the war. This is to stop the constant stream of refugees. Germany has ordered thousands of soldiers into readiness.
Germany surprisingly left the alliance formed together with the United States which intended to block Russia’s entry into the Syrian conflict.
Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen told Der Spiegelthat she welcomed president Putin’s intentions of joining the fight against the extremist organization “Islamic State”. It would be a matter of mutual interests, she said.
A speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added, Germany would welcome additional efforts of Russia in the fight against ISIS. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier even announced the starting of a joint venture between him, Russian foreign minister Lavrov and their French colleague Laurent Fabius with the aim of bringing the Syrian civil war to an end. Lavrov and Fabius are expected to arrive in Berlin this Saturday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called upon the US-Ministry of Defence to coordinate their efforts with the Russian military. Because both sides are actively invested in Syria it would be paramount for the US to reinstate the previously ceased operational cooperation with Russia, said Lavrov on Friday in Moscow. This was intended to avoid “unintentional incidents”.
Russia’s military drills in the Mediterranean would be in accordance to international law. Larvrov explained furthermore, that Russia would keep delivering weapons to the troops of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to support their struggle against the extremist organization of Islamic State (IS).
Russia already began a diplomatic offensive weeks ago. The Americans did not precisely indicate whether they would support the Russian initiative. Under no circumstances would the US give Russia credit for solving the deadlocked situation, should Russia in fact be successful. Therefore the US-government warned precautionary of a worsening in the refugee crisis should Russia intervene.
Neoconservatives are issuing warnings about any cooperation with Russia in whatever matter. US-President Obama did not clearly state whether the Russian initiative was done in coordination with the White House. Foreign Minister John Kerry went on a surprise visit to Russia in spring which, however, remained without results regarding the Syrian matter. It is likely that the US-government changed their mind in the face of the worsening of the refugee crisis so that they are now willing to cooperate with Russia in the Middle East.
German Frank-Walther Steinmeier has long been trying to conciliate behind the curtains and is therefore constantly in touch with his Russian colleague Lavrov. It looks like he is the only one in the German government who realizes that the refugee crisis will get completely out of control if the war in the Middle East continues. Austria and Spain signaled days ago that a Russian participation in the battle against IS was crucial. Russia began expanding its military activities in Syria.
German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen wants to expand the deployment of the Bundeswehr, the (German unified Armed Forces) in Iraq. They Bundeswehr would be ready to continue its successful work in Kurdish regions in cooperation with the Iraqi government, she told Der Spiegelon Saturday.
First steps would already be undertaken. Germany delivered medical supplies, helmets and hazard-protections masks. Up to 100 Bundeswehr soldiers are training Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq. Weapons were also delivered.
Von-der Leyen also ordered thousands of German soldiers into readiness in the wake of the refugee crisis. If this was done because of the refugees or hints of terror threats is still unknown. The order was given to the troops a day before, said a speaker of the ministry on Friday in response to a report by Der Spiegel. Up to 4,000 soldiers are under constant readiness to be deployed.
French forces also maintain a strong presence in Syria, since launching air strikes against the Assad and ISIS regimes late last year. According to a Kurdish source, French troops stationed in northern Syria have also commenced constructing a military base near the city of Kobani in Aleppo province. Currently, the government of France said military personnel deployed to Syria are working only in an advisory capacity to ‘democratic’ Kurdish-led group.
France has 2,500 men in its special forces, of whom around 400 are deployed in 17 countries, mainly in the Sahel, the military said. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had indicated in early June, in remarks to a small state television channel covering French politics, that French troops were helping operations at Manbij. The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is also in the region.
It looks like it’s the United States’ move now. Clearly there are many groups today who feel the Obama has led a weak, emaciated and often confusing campaign in Syria, supporting some rebel groups in the region, and then announcing they have withdrawn funding or support for same – which would inevitably end with these allies’ deaths. Some believe that Obama’s actions several years ago may actually have assisted in the creation of ISIS in the first place.
[Translators comment: It has been reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called into question the effectiveness of the US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS). According to PNP magazine, he stated that concerned colleagues from within the US-led coalition turned to him. They informed him that the US military did not give clearances to their fighter pilots even though they clearly located and identified Islamic State positions.]
By Retro Russia, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community Posted July 25, 2016
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According to 2015 Gallup World Poll results, median U.S. leadership approval in 132 countries was 45%.
President Obama’s 2008 campaign pledge to improve the image of the United States around the world doesn’t seem to have reaped any of the harvest of good will that he jawed on about for the last 7+ years.
You may recall that on March 6, 2009, then 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 according to her and the Obama administration 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.
Today, 7 years after this “reset” relationship, the misspelled button may have been more accurately symbolic then earlier believed, as we learn that a decade-low one percent (1%) of Russians approveof American leadership, according to new poll results released May 26, 2016 by U.S. pollster Gallup.
In fact, Gallup said that Russia’s view of the U.S. is the lowest in the world and comes at a time when Moscow is flexing its military muscle in hotspots like Syria, while Obama is struggling to use force.
(Editor: So THIS is what progressive politics looks like and achieves. Not sure I get what all the fuss and hoopla is about. Perhaps this definition of “progressive” is what they are referring to:
prəˈɡresiv/ adjective (of a disease or ailment) increasing in severity or extent. (“progressive liver failure”)
And no matter how the loony left paints this, it does matter what the world thinks of America. I’m not referring to a mentally-weak, neurotic need to be noticed, even (God forbid) loved.
I’m talking about an America that in a very real sense is at risk of attack and/or even sudden destruction… if her enemies think that for even 5 minutes, they catch Her asleep at the switch.
Overly dramatic? Fear-mongering? Consider the things Russia has done when America has been wide awake:
March 2012 – at the beginning of the now 5-year Syrian Civil War, America supported a measure to bring sanctions to the Assad government, which was vetoed by Russia, to the frustration of all.
July 2012 – two Tu-95 Bears were intercepted by NORAD fighters in the air defense zone off the U.S. coast of Alaska, where they may have been practice-targeting Fort Greely and Vandenberg Air Force Base.
August 2012– An Akula-class submarine had conducted a patrol within the Gulf of Mexico without being detected, raising alarms of the U.S. Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
February 12, 2013 – just hours before the 2013 State of the Union Address, two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles circled the United States territory of Guam. Air Force F-15 jets based on Andersen Air Force Base were scrambled to intercept the aircraft. The Russian aircraft reportedly “were intercepted and left the area in a northbound direction.
April 2014 – 10,000 unmarked Russian soldiers seized the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine, an invasion that followed Ukraine’s ousting of a pro-Moscow leader. Despite denials from Russian President Vladimir Putin at the time that the troops belonged to Russia, he later admitted that he deployed them. Over 8,000 people, mostly civilians, are killed.
July 17, 2014– Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, a Boeing 777 flying from the Netherland to Malaysia’s capital, Kaula Lampur, disappears from radar and the jumbo jet is soon discovered blown to pieces in a field in the Ukraine. The Russians are accused by the Ukrainians, in the midst of a war, of shooting it down with a surface to air missile, but the BBC thinks a military jet may have shot it down. 298 people are killed, the worst aviation disaster in 20 years.
September 30, 2015– Russia lands troops in Syria and immediately begins over 1,000 airstrikes against stated “ISIS” targets (though ISIS resources were never anywhere nearby). As a result of Russia’s efforts, it’s estimated that 400 settlements and 10,000 km2 of land was reclaimed for Syrian government
The Russians in fact have made it a bit of an art form to mock and ridicule the United States, especially her lightning-rod President. For example, the New York Postreported last month that:
A Russian company is trying to cash in on the chilly relations between Moscow and Washington by releasing an ice cream called “Little Obama”, irritating U.S. officials.
The product, called “Obamka” in Russian, is glazed with chocolate and its wrapping features an image of a smiling young African boy, wearing an ear ring and holding an ice cream.
You might think that this is just harmless business fun – a little big-boy teasing?
No America, it’s time to wake up. You can’t afford 4 years of Hillary Clinton as President. I fear you couldnt afford the years you already had with her as Secretary of State either. An indictment or several on the former First Lady might assist in balancing that out.
👤 By Retro Russia, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community ✒ Posted June 14, 2016
👤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.
Russia marched and flew into the Syrian Civil War, set up shop and started bombing the heck out of ‘someone’, ‘somewhere’ and they then packed up, stating they had accomplished ‘something’. Are we ever going to know what at least ‘some’ of those facts are?
Update: June 26, 2016
Reuters broke the story 3 days ago that the Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) called on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday to launch an investigation into its accusations that Russia has repeatedly used air-delivered incendiary weapons in Syria.
Russia deployed warplanes to Syria last year to support President Bashar al-Assad against rebels seeking to end his rule. A crackdown by Assad on pro-democracy protesters five years ago sparked a civil war and Islamic State militants have used the chaos to seize territory in Syria and Iraq.
“Russian air forces have repeatedly deployed incendiary weapons and cluster munitions to kill, main and terrorize Syrian civilians, including in at least 10 documented incidents,” Riad Hijab, coordinator of the opposition HNC, wrote to Ban.
“They have violated the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and breached international humanitarian law,” he wrote.
Original Post: March 26, 2016
“MOTHER RUSSIA” – also known as The Bear, The Empire, or The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The West has always been suspicious of Russia’s motives – partly due to the fact that she never looked (nor do any nicknames sound) verymotherly.
For one thing, as the recent conflict in Syria so aptly demonstrated, she can be and is an extremely brutal bully.
Underneath it all, the old mistrust and even fear of Russia has been reborn. The Soviet Union we saw under Mikhail Gorbachev and even Boris Yeltsin didn’t look, act or feel right when it was reborn as the Russian Federation – it didn’t quite pass the smell test. After all, how could such a brutal Communist dictatorship just vanish, replaced by rainbows, unicorns and doves for so long, as we saw under Gorbachev? Or in the case of Boris Yeltsin, in a bottle of vodka? A dictator alone cannot rule a dictatorship of 11 time zones singularly – he must have hundreds of thousands of cruel dictatorial helpers.
Well, the Russia we knew wasn’t dead. She was apparently just sleeping – and she was awakened under the steel-blue gaze of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a President of Russia we can understand and not relate to – just as it was with Brezhnev, Andropov, Kruschev and the rest of their ilk all the way back to Lenin and Stalin. Putin gives you the impression that he will play with his kitten right now – but later tonight, he’ll burn your house down.
In all his years of rule, Putin never acted more like a Russian President normally does, than he did concerning the subject of Syria’s bloody 4-year Civil War. The brutal war has left approx. 250,000 Syrians dead, as we reported well over a year ago:
“CNN reported that the death toll has doubled every year for the last several years: ‘Since civil war broke out there, 310,000 people have been killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday. A year earlier, SOHR’s tally stood at 162,402. And the year before, the United Nations put the death toll at 70,000.’ According to the CNN report, this crisis is the equivalent of the complete emptying of Greater Boston and the displacement of its 7.5 million people, as well as the starvation of the entire population of Moscow, the capital of Russia.”
However, the real toll has been on the living– according to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) website on the “Syrian Arab Republic”. As of June 2015 they reported:
149,200 Iraqi refugees(which the UNHCR notes is a government figure for Iraqis living in Syria. Why on earth would Iraqi refugees reside in Syria, next door neighbor or not, when it’s being bombed to smithereens in a Civil War?)
4,194,554 Syrian refugees, as of June 2015, living in mostly giant tent cities set up in the deserts of Jordan, Syrian areas not directly affected by bombing, etc.
160,000 “stateless” people, which UNHCR defines as: “persons who are not considered as nationals by any State under the operation of its law. This category refers to persons who fall under the agency’s statelessness mandate because they are stateless according to this international definition, but data from some countries may also include persons with undetermined nationality”. So what, they just refused to tell UNHCR where they are from then? Hmmmm.
7,632,500 “internally displaced persons (IDPs)” – the true horror of this conflict, which UNHCR defines as: Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and assistance. It also includes people in IDP-like situations. For the most part, they simply have no home to go back to.
Total in need of United Nations assistance, of June 2015:
The city of Aleppo, formerly Syria’s second largest city, held nearly 2.3 million residents (2005) before the war. Now, according to British newspaper the Guardian:
Those who remain in eastern Aleppo, roughly 40,000 from a prewar population estimated at about a million
[Aleppo proper – Aleppo metro is 2.3 million], have been without electricity or running water for more than a year.[emphasis mine] Now a bombed-out shell, with nearly a million displaced from their homes
– what the United Nations is now calling the largest refugee crisis in world history -Russia came into the fray, told everyone else to get the Hell out of the way – and everyone did. Then they declared their objectives met after pounding Syria with over 1000 airstrikes, and headed for home.
What Did Russia Accomplish in Syria?
According to Al-Jazeera, as of January 20, 2016:
“At least 1,505 people have been killed in Russian air strikes since they started in September 2015. We have documented their names and can say at least 346 of them were children and only at least 47 were fighters,” Bassam al-Ahmad, spokesperson for the Violations Documentation Centre in Syria (VDC), told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.
The VDC is an independent, non-governmental organization that has been monitoring the conflict in Syria since April 2011.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 1,015, adding that 238 of those killed were children. The Observatory also said that at least 1,141 fighters had been killed, including fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.”
And yet the Civil War isn’t even close to being finished yet, and ISIS is still alive and well. So what were they doing in Syria? And why such a high proportion of civilians? We’ll likely never find out for sure. And that’s thanks to the weak leadership of Barack Obama.
👤 By Retro Russia, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community ✒ PostedMarch 26, 2016. Updated June 26, 2016. We’d love to hear from you:
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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