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.
For the first time in over 40 years, since the spectre of the Cold War loomed across Europe, Sweden has called its entire Home Guard to begin immediate military drills, to bolster the country’s “defensive and operational capabilities”
But defense against WHAT? What are they planning? And wait until you see the book that was handed out to the citizens of Sweden this month – it may just give you pause that perhaps they know something we don’t know … or don’t want to deal with.
On June 6, 2018, the Kingdom of Sweden’s celebrated its National Day – much like July 1 in Canada or July 4 in the United States – by mobilizing all 40 Home Guard battalions in an unprecedented exercise, something they have not done in over 43 years – since 1975. That’s equivalent to over 22,000 reservists – only 12,000 fewer troops than currently serve in the standing Swedish Army!
The Supreme Commander of Swedish Armed Forces, Micael Byden, released a statement in Swedish and offered in English as well on their website, which stated:
“Our mission is to strengthen Sweden’s military defense and improve our operational capabilities. We are testing the chain of mobilization for around half our organization, something we have not done since 1975.”
The Supreme Commander never said in the brief statement, however, WHY exactly he felt this was necessary to do. He has been the head of the Swedish Armed Forces since 2015, and again, not to put too fine a point on it, but these military maneuvers have not been conducted since the mid-1970s. The Cold War seems to be long-since dead, and now Sweden wants to be prepared militarily?
Perhaps that’s because this isn’t about military readiness. Why do I say this? Because according to the English website of the Swedish Home Guard itself, their purpose is described in the following way:
“The service is on high alert, with mobilisation times measured in hours rather than days or weeks. It is required to support the entire range of defence activities – from civil support in peacetime to armed combat in war.
If Sweden was to be hit by a natural disaster, a major accident or other threat to society, the Home Guard is ready to support police, rescue services and others. The service also has CBRN platoons, traffic platoons and engineering units…
Home Guard units are contemporary military units, primarily tasked with protecting, monitoring, and supporting society at times of crisis, thereby providing a national and territorial bulwark for the defence and protection of Sweden.” (Emphasis mine)
It’s important to note that they aren’t the army. There is a separate Swedish Army, Navy and Air Force of about 34,000 soldiers that are tasked with the full-time responsibility of protecting the Scandinavian Kingdom against armed threats from hostile powers, either foreign or domestic. Again, reservists are only dispatched to deal with things like “natural disasters, major accidents or other threats to society”.
So do they know something we don’t know? Perhaps.
In addition to these new military training operations for reservists, Sweden is also sending an updated version of a Cold War-era advice booklet on how to cope with an outbreak of war…
…to around 4.8 million households.
The 20-page pamphlet, titled “If Crisis or War Comes,” released officially in English and in Swedish, contains advice about where to find bomb shelters and how to secure basic necessities such as food, clean water, and heat. It tells Swedes they have a duty to act if their country is threatened for “total defence,” and was first published during the Second World War and subsequently during the Cold War. “If Sweden is attacked by another country, we will never give up,” the booklet says. “All information to the effect that resistance is to cease is false.”
What on earth? Why the push to send this to millions of homes right now, while also calling up their entire military on maneuvers?
But Sweden isn’t the only country that’s actively preparing its citizens for potential disaster. According to the site The Local, Norway’s largest news site in English, the Norwegian government decided in August 2017 to give away free iodine tablets to anyone who wants them:
“We have seen an increasing number of nuclear submarines off Norway’s coast – both visiting allies and Russian submarines patrolling off the coast all the way to Great Britain,” Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority section manager Astrid Liland told NRK, a major source of news in the Norwegian language.
“Increased numbers of nuclear submarines along the coast of Norway increase the risk of radioactive accidents”, say authorities, “who have now decided to assess the viability of distributing iodine tablets to parts of the population.”
According to WebMD, iodine tablets are used for radiation emergencies, to protect the thyroid gland against radioactive iodides. Potassium iodide tablets for use in a radiation emergency are available as FDA-approved products (ThyroShield, Iosat) and on the Internet as food supplements. You can even buy them at Amazon.ca.
According to The Local article cited above, 43 crates containing a total of three million iodine tablets are already being stored at a depot in Oslo as one of Norway’s nuclear contingency precautions. At even a discounted rate of $1.00 a pill, that’s a lot of pills just sitting around waiting for what sounds like a nonsensical hypothetical situation. Especially when you learn that, according to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commision:
The shelf life of IOSAT 130 mg tablets is 7 years and the shelf life of ThyroSafe 65 mg tablets is 6 years. For States interested in extending the shelf life of KI, the FDA has published guidance on shelf life extension for the tablet form of potassium iodide.
So unless this nuclear accident is going to happen in about 6-7 years at the most, all that medication will just go to waste. Does this seem like a rational thing to be stockpiling, to prepare for an oddly-specific hypothetic nuclear submarine disaster?
To be sure, there have been 9 nuclear submarines sunk so far in history – 2 from the US, 5 from the former Soviet Union, and 2 from the modern Russian Navy, including the infamous Kursk, the massive 16,000-ton submarine destroyed in a major explosion on August 12, 2000, killing all 118 of its crew.
However, I think that perhaps another incident might be on the minds of these leaders across Western Europe. I’m reminded that in the Book of Revelation 8:11, it speaks about a great star that will fall from Heaven and hit the ocean:
The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
Iodine pills are also useful for purifying water that is contaminated by virtually anything out there. Even if an asteriod hit the ocean and made the water “bitter”. It is especially intriguing to also note that the Russian word for “Wormwood” is CHERNOBYL, the devastated Russian nuclear power plant that melted down in 1986. What a bizarre possible tie-in, that the Apostle John couldn’t possibly have known about nearly 2,000 years ago.
Perhaps the Norwegians are simply preparing as they state. However, blaming a possible Russian submarine disaster for causing these preparations is even more interesting, when you consider that, on the other side of the former Cold War, the Russians also seem to be preparing for a major event as well.
In previous articles, I have shared how the Russians recently completed construction on 5,000 bunkers in the city of Moscow to house all 11 million citizens – then, if that was not over-the-top enough, they held 2 different emergency preparedness drills in the last decade.
One drill involved 40 million citizens over a 4 day period. The logistics alone of such an endeavour, including how they would be fed and watered, washroom and sleeping arrangements, would be mind-boggling. Remember, these weren’t soldiers they were sending out for training – these were the average Ivans and Ivankas of Russia.
They also had completed another with 60 million Russian citizens. So this is incredibly serious stuff. WHAT ON EARTH are they preparing for in such large numbers? And bunkers for every single citizen in Moscow? No other nation on Earth has done anything even remotely close to that. Imagine how much cement was used to create these 5,000 bunkers, each of which can hold 2,000 people or more in them. Imagine the enormous human resource and financial costs?
Putin used the excuse of escalating tensions between Russia and the US near the end of the Obama administration as his excuse for building these bunkers. What science fiction. You don’t plan for and build emergency underground nuclear bunker housing for 11 million people in 1 or 2… or even 5 years. That would likely take a decade or longer to complete. In fact, the project may have started before he was even President of the Russian Federation.
Most experts would tell you that we haven’t been in the Cold War for years. It is a distant memory that a high school student today would not even remember – most likely wouldn’t even know what it was about. Yet, for some reason, NOW is the time that everyone in Europe decides to wake up and spend millions, even billions of dollars to prepare against nuclear calamities? Hogwash.
To be sure, they are preparing for something. And its something that could be coming sooner than later – possibly within the decade. This is just speculation at the moment, but the enormously obvious signs seem to be just everywhere in Europe. And once these realities about European preparations begin to really sink in, the painfully obvious follow-up questions must be asked:
Why has North America seemingly done NOTHING to prepare our citizens for these future calamities? Are we just going to be told some major event is happening, 20 minutes before it does, to avoid panic, to avoid people quitting their jobs and stagnating the economy? Are our political leaders really that cynical, that cruel, that compelled to continue the capitalist march forward to nowhere.
Truly stop for a moment RIGHT NOW and think about the above, and honestly answer those questions in your head to the best of your abilities.
I can hear most of you now. This is just ridiculous nonsense. Fair enough. But to recap…
60 million Russian citizens DID take part in a massive drill
Another 40 million Russians DID take part in a massive drill
11 million bunker spots WERE built for every single citizen of Moscow
Disaster planning booklets WERE sent to 4.8 million Swedish homes
22,000 Swedish reservists DID begin maneuvers for the first time in 40 years
3 million Norwegian iodine tablets DO sit in the dark in 43 crates in a warehouse somewhere, just waiting for a calamity, and
ALL of this DID happen within the last 3 years
Fear mongering folly, you say? Scare tactics? Click bait?
Sorry, NO, those would be FACTS.
Still not convinced? Ok, last attempt to wake you up: every one of those listed situations above took place in countries that are located directly beside each other on the map.
Awake now? Great. Now, you likely will want to review this. And thank the Swedish government for providing it – your government never bothered.
For 2,000 years, the Church has either been up…or getting up off the floor. She has withstood more opposition than any other single institution in history, with more challenges to her very existence over the last 2,000 years than She should ever have been able to withstand…
Yet stand she does, bearing the scars of many battles, both internal and external, over many centuries. The Church should not even exist today – Her continuous presence over 2,000 years defies logic and reason, and leaves one with only one possible rationale – the hand of God Himself must be resting upon Her. Today, as we conclude this series on the Body Christ, we catch a glimpse of her true character demonstrated through the centuries – that of the Church Triumphant.
DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ was arrested, sentenced to death and crucified. Most of his followers scattered, including Peter, Jesus’ choice as new Head of the Church, who denied Christ three times that night. Jesus is buried in a borrowed tomb. He arose the third day, appearing to his disciples and then ascending back to Heaven, commanding the Church to go into the whole world and spread His message. For the first 300 years, most of those who did were executed for their faith.
APOSTLE JAMES THE LESSER BEHEADED
Apostle James was arrested and led to execution. His unnamed accuser was moved by his courage, and not only repented and converted, but asked to be executed beside James. Both were beheaded.
APOSTLE PHILIP CRUCIFIED
Apostle Philip became a missionary in Asia. He traveled to the Egyptian city of Heliopolis, where he was scourged, thrown into prison, and crucified
APOSTLE SIMON THE CANAANITE CRUCIFIED
Apostle Simon the Canaanite AKA the Zealot visited Britain twice, and on the 2nd mission, he was crucified there.
APOSTLE JAMES KILLED WITH A CLUB
Apostle James (possibly the brother of Jesus) was elected the head of the Church in Jerusalem. At age 94, he was beaten and stoned by persecutors, who then killed him by hitting him in the head with a club.
NERO AND THE GREAT FIRE OF ROME
Beginning of Roman persecution of Christians, under Emperor Nero, who blamed the Church for the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64. Some historians think he ordered the fire and blamed Christians because they were already hated. Many Christians died at this time.
APOSTLE PETER CRUCIFIED UPSIDE DOWN
Apostle Peter, first Head of this new Early Church, was arrested under orders of Emperor Nero and was crucified upside down at his own request
APOSTLE PAUL BEHEADED
Emperor Nero condemned Apostle Paul to death by decapitation.
APOSTLE ANDREW CRUCIFIED
Apostle Andrew, the brother of Peter, went to Patras in western Greece, where the Roman proconsul Aegeates had him scourged, tied rather than nailed to a cross, so he would suffer longer. He lived for two days, during which he preached to passersby.
APOSTLE BARTHOLOMEW SKINNED ALIVE, BEHEADED
Apostle Bartholomew preached in several countries, including India, where he translated the Gospel of Matthew for believers. IThere, he was skinned alive and then beheaded.
APOSTLE THADDAEUS CRUCIFIED
Apostle Thaddeus, according to several stories, crucified at Edessa
APOSTLE THOMAS SPEARED
“Doubting” Thomas went to preach the gospel in Greece and India, where he angered local religious authorities, who martyred him by running him through with a spear on December 21.
APOSTLE MATTHEW STABBED TO DEATH
Apostle Matthew, former tax collector turned missionary was martyred in Ethiopia, where he was supposedly stabbed in the back by a swordsman sent by King Hertacus after he criticized the king’s morals.
EMPEROR DOMITIAN DEVELOPS EMPEROR WORSHIP
Emperor Domitian revived the practice of the imperial cult, which had fallen somewhat out of use under Vespasian. Significantly, his first act as an Emperor was the deification of his brother Titus. In 95 AD, Domitian executed or exiled several family members on charges of “atheism”. Members of the Senate were terrified of him, but in the end, he was assassinated by them.
DEATH OF JOHN – END OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE
The Apostle John was the only one of the original disciples not to die a violent death. According to Tertullian (in The Prescription of Heretics), John was to be plunged into boiling oil in the Colosseum in Rome, which seated between 50,000 and 80,000 people. But a great miracle took place, and John did not suffer any harm. Historians reported that the entire audience of the Colosseum were converted to Christianity because of this great miracle, during the reign of Emperor Domitian. John was then banished for the rest of his life to the Isle of Patmos. There, he received the Revelation of Jesus, which became the last Book of the Bible. He died there, 30 years after the other Apostles.
BISHOP OF JERUSALEM EXECUTED
Simeon, cousin of Jesus and Bishop of Jerusalem, was killed for political (anti-Semitic) reasons
BISHOP OF ANTIOCH MARTYRED
Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, martyred in Rome
POLYCARP, BISHOP OF SMYRNA, MARTYRED
Polycarp was one of the greatest stories of martyrdom in the history of the Early Church. A 2nd-century Christian bishop of Smyrna, he had been a disciple of the Apostle John. He died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, but the flames would not burn him. So he was stabbed when the fire wouldn’t kill him, but he bled out so much, he put out the fire.
EMPEROR SEVERUS FORBIDS CHRISTIAN CONVERSIONS
Emperor Septimius Severus forbids conversions to Christianity Judaism)
WIDESPREAD PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH
Emperor Decius decrees Empire-wide persecution of the Church. Many Christians were killed, and others denied the faith to escape persecution – which heavily influenced the development of Christianity, shaping Christian theology and the structure of the Church – and helped spark explanations and defenses of the Christian religion.
CONSTANTINE GIVETH, LICINIUS TAKETH AWAY
Roman Emperor Constantine the Great had become a Christian believer. Emperor Licinius had wed Constantine’s half-sister Constantia, and the two leaders split the empire between them. Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which granted rights to Christians and restored their property. Licinius was not a believer, however, and within 7 years, he marched against Constantine – both wanted the entire Roman Empire. In 320, Licinius expelled believers from the army and civil service and killed some for their faith.
Christianity was never so faithful to the Cross than under persecution When Christianity was made the state church of the Roman Empire in 380 AD, the Church became corrupt and barbaric. In AD 392, pagan religions were outlawed, and Christian monks persecuted them and robbed from their temples. Pagans were forced out of government offices by AD 416 to demand they convert.
END OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
In September, 476 AD, the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed by a Germanic prince, and the Dark Ages began in Europe – a time when the Church took great control over the people and brought much evil and paganism into the Church
THE DARK AGES
The cause of this “Dark Age” was the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the waves of invasions that followed. Many believed the Church caused or significantly contributed to the fall of the Western Empire, and the resulting corruption of the leaders of the Church in Rome damaged the reputation of the Church to this day.
PAGAN RITUALS IN THE CHURCH
Pope Gregory encouraged Augustine to go to the Anglo Saxons to be a missionary, but encouraged him to turn the pagan temples he found into Churches, keep some of the pagan ceremonies and incorporate them into Christianity – which was totally blasphemous.
During the Saxon Wars, the Christian king Charlemagne waged war on the pagan Saxons for over 20 years, seeking to Christianize and rule them. In AD 782, Charlemagne massacred 4,500 rebel Saxon prisoners and made it a law that one must convert to Christianity….or die. The Saxons were the last groups to be converted by Christian missionaries, and mostly because of death threats.
EAST-WEST SCHISM SPLITS THE CHURCH
The East-West Schism, also called the Great Schism, was the church split between present Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox churches, which has lasted since the 11th century. Three men all claimed to be Pope at the same time, causing a split for the next 1,000 years. Under a mysterious set of circumstances, Pope Francis and the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church met urgently together in 2017 for reasons unknown, for the first time in 1,000 years. The head of the Orthodox Church then went to Antarctica and performed a bizarre ceremony, consecrating the land to God.
FIRST CRUSADE AGAINST ISLAM
The First Crusade (1095–1099) attempted to recapture the Holy Land, called for by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095. Crusaders conquered the Holy Land, culminating in the July 1099 re-conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
SECOND CRUSADE AGAINST ISLAM
A great defeat for Christian armies, the only significant success of the Second Crusade came when 13,000 Flemish, Frisian, Norman, English, Scottish, and German crusaders in 1147 travelled from England to Portugal, where they stopped and helped the Portuguese army expel the Muslims from their capital Lisbon.
THIRD CRUSADE AGAINST ISLAM
The Third Crusade , also known as The Kings’ Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin. They conquered Acre and Jaffa, reversing most of Saladin’s conquests, but didn’t capture Jerusalem. The Pope had a heart attack and died when he heard the news about Jerusalem.
FOURTH CRUSADE AGAINST ISLAM
The Fourth Crusade, called by Pope Innocent III, originally intended to reconquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, a series of events ended with the Crusaders sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Christian-controlled Byzantine Empire.
FIFTH CRUSADE AGAINST ISLAM
The Fifth Crusade was an attempt by Western Europeans to re-conquer Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land by first conquering the powerful Ayyubid state in Egypt. Their attacks on Jerusalem ended in defeat
SIXTH CRUSADE AGAINST ISLAM
The Sixth Crusade started as an attempt to regain Jerusalem but involved very little fighting. The Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II negotiated the Kingdom of Jerusalem into regaining some control over Jerusalem for most of the next fifteen years (1229–39, 1241–44) as well as over other areas of the Holy Land.
SEVENTH CRUSADE AGAINST ISLAM
The Seventh Crusade was led by King Louis IX of France, but he was defeated by the Egyptian army, and captured by the Muslim armies, who demanded 800,000 gold coins for his release and return to France.
EIGHTH CRUSADE AGAINST ISLAM
The Eighth Crusade was launched again by Louis IX of against the city of Tunis, but he died just after arriving on the shores of Tunisia, with his disease-ridden army dispersing back to Europe shortly afterwards.
NINTH CRUSADE AGAINST ISLAM
King Edward sailed to Acre, Israel, and saw several impressive victories – but he eventually had to withdraw because of issues at home. Soon after, the last remaining crusader stronghold on the Mediterranean coast was destroyed. The last Crusade had been lost.
The King and Queen of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella began this horrific reign of terror against Jews, pagans, Muslims and anyone else that would convert to Christianity. The nightmare went on for over 250 years, and saw 150,000 convicted of “crimes”, and up to 5,000 executed
The Protestant Reformation was a church split in Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther and continued by John Calvin and others in 16th-century Europe. It started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517. Catholic doctrine teaches to this day that Protestant Christians will not go to Heaven and ironically, Protestants believe the same of most Catholics.
The major target of the Portuguese Inquisition were those who had converted from Judaism to Catholicism, but were thought to still be practising Jews. Many of these were originally Spanish Jews who had left Spain for Portugal, when Spain forced Jews to convert to Christianity or leave. The number sentenced is estimated at around 40,000 and over 1,000 were executed.
The Church begins to target itself for annihilation when this Inquisition was declared by the Pope in Rome. Responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of committing offenses relating to heresy, including Protestantism, sorcery, immorality, blasphemy, Judaizing and witchcraft, as well as for censorship of printed literature. The most famous victims were Copernicus, who devised a theory that the Sun was at the center of the universe, and the famed astronomer Galileo, who was put under house arrest for the rest of his life. Between 50,000 and 70,000 cases were tried, and 1,500 were executed.
MARY WORSHIP BEGINS
The Catholic Church elevated Mary to the level of mediator, advocate, and co-redeemer of humanity, in direct contradiction of Scriptures. Pope Pius IX declared Mary “immaculate,” or sinless, thus giving her the position of mediator, in opposition to 1 Timothy 2:5:”For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.
MEXICAN CHRISTIANS MARTYRED
The number of Catholics killed in Mexico from the late 1800s to 1930 is estimated at 107,000,
The Boxer Rebellion in China is responsible for at least 200,000 Christians and foreigners being executed.
RUSSIAN REVOLUTION AND SOVIET UNION KILLS MILLIONS OF CHRISTIANS
Czar Nicholas and his family are assassinated in the Russian Revolution, and Christianity is declared illegal by the Communists. The state advocated the destruction of religion, and it pronounced religion to be superstitious and backward. The Communist Party destroyed churches, ridiculed, harassed, incarcerated and executed religious leaders, flooded the schools and media with anti-religious teachings. The total number of Christian victims under the Soviet regime has been estimated to range between 14-22 million.
THE NAZI NIGHTMARE
Atheists and neo-Nazis today like to claim Adolf Hitler was a Christian – nothing could be further from the truth. Under the dictator and his Nazi Party, thousands of Lutheran pastors were executed, along with up to 1 million Christian believers during the war.
COMMUNIST CHINA KILLS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CHRISTIANS
An estimated 700,000 Christians are martyred by Communist China.
NORTH KOREA KILLS BELIEVERS
Before World War II missionaries were active throughout the Korean Peninsula, then a Japanese colony, and more than a fifth of the population was Christian – about 2 million people. Between 300,000 and 500,000 Christians are believed to remain in North Korea today, with hundreds of thousands sent to the largest concentration camp system in the world.
UGANDAN CHRISTIANS MARTYRED
300,000 Christians are believed to have been killed under Idi Amin in Uganda between 1971 and 1979.
BOKO HARAM SLAUGHTERS CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA
Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, The Taliban and ISIS begin a reign of terror throughout the world against the Church of Jesus Christ. In this photo, Boko Haram set fire to a Nigerian church, murdering dozens of Christians
Occasionally a photo or video will come along that goes viral, captures the hearts or imaginations of the people, who in turn influence their respective governments, and real, positive change is made that changes the world for the better.
This story is about 3 such photos that all meet those qualifiers – all iconic in their own rights – but all 3 share a dirty little secret. To be sure, the Middle Eastern events they portrayed shook us, made us cry, changed our lives and the policies of many of our nations…
…and yet NONE of them ever actually happened.
the Threatened Palestinian boy
You’ve likely seen it before: An IDF soldier aiming his rifle at a Palestinian’s head. No context is given – is the soldier about to execute the Palestinian at point-blank range? The photo spreads via Facebook, reinforcing the (false) narrative of “Israeli aggression against Palestinian victims.”
However, this event never happened. The latest charade in ‘Pallywood’ – a cottage industry dedicated to producing Palestinian propaganda – is now circulating on Facebook, showing “an Israeli rifle butt digging into a young Palestinian’s neck.”
Thankfully, Roi Rahmani, an alert media monitor, discovered another photo, this one showing the two Palestinian actors, appearing in a friendly selfie. The entire story was later covered on Israel’s Channel 2 news.
The following screenshot, published by Ahmed Mansour, a famed anchor on the Arabic Al Jazeera claimed that the following image is one of a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, being burned alive by the Egyptian Military – the narrative being that the current Egyptian government is putting ‘victim’ Brotherhood supporters to death.
The Brotherhood, under the leadership of President Morsi, were the government of Egypt from 2012-2013. The organisation, founded in 1928, has a presence in governments around the world – but as of 2015 is considered a terrorist organisation by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Not really the type one would get sympathy for.
If you search on the internet to check the truth about that image, you will find out that the original image is of a 2008 South African protester, who tragically set HIMSELF on fire. This was a very embarrassing revelation to Al Jazeera viewers, costing huge credibility in Egypt and beyond.
The Drowning Refugees
A photo of refugees floating in life jackets, looking for help has been portrayed all over the media as indicative of the plight that Middle Eastern refugees endure every day. on its own, it paints a grim picture of the risks that these refugees take, often with little kids with them in tow.
ONE SMALL PROBLEM – an uncropped version of the picture has surfaced, proving the photograph was selectively edited to persuade Americans into allowing open borders for refugees and to further liberal agenda.
The full image, provided by Bare Naked Islam, showed a group of young men standing about seven feet from the crisis. The ‘treacherous sea’ is 2 feet deep at most. Surprisingly, the media did not add a shark fin into the photo.
What we can learn
The first, and most important thing that we can take away from the story is that all consumers of news (whether we read it in the paper, watch it on TV, or listen to it on the radio) have a responsibility to not pass it on until we know it’s actually accurate.
So many times I have friends come up to me and tell me a new story that they read online or seen on television that was just so ridiculously fake and so stupid, I able to shoot holes in the story right away…with simple logic or facts they couldn’t dispute. So many people out there are gullible and naive followers of whatever comes their way – they don’t know what’s true and what’s not.
And some don’t even care. They’re looking for a biased opinion that meets their views – and whether it’s accurate or not is irrelevant. It could be a ridiculous myth – that’s the battle we fight today in looking for truth.
I don’t care whether you’re a conservative or liberal, I think that any time a news media source that you rely on has shown an obvious bias towards your particular views or those of the opposition, they should be ignored.
And sadly, that doesn’t leave many trusted options. Right wingers should not be relying on right wing news from Breitbart or Fox News to tell us the truth in every situation. Left wingers should not be relying on CNN or the mainstream media to tell them the truth. It behoves us to find the actual stories ourselves, often buried within the hyperbole and biased nonsense from both sides. The “no man’s land” between left and right sources is often the truth of the story.
We are not better informed about the particular issues of the day by listening to only the sources that we agree with. The only time that we will really learn anything about the world around us, and our response to it, is to watch both sides of a story.
One of the best little tools that I’ve ever found to help me know whether a certain online story is accurate or not is a website called TinEye.
You find a photo with an entire story developed around it, and you aren’t really sure you believe it. Save the photo in question to your device and then upload it to TinEye – and in seconds it will tell you when this photo first appeared on the Net, who the sources were – and you can then click those links and see if the original sources have now disappeared. It will also show you whether it has been doctored in the meantime.
It was with TinEye that I actually discovered that the drowning refugees’ story was based on a doctored photo – they had merely cropped it down and told a tale based on what was left. TinEye’s technology somehow analyses the pixels in one photo, runs it against its 17 billion image database, and comes back and says “here are the photos that most closely resemble it” – which is amazing because it almost always finds many sources for the same pic – but cropped, recolored, etc.
You can then click on the original sources of the photo – and may then learn that this “battle in Ukraine” today was actually a photo from Russia 10 years ago. Or a photo depicting something you are told has “just happened” may, in fact, have first appeared online years ago.
When fake news uses an image to tell a story it was never meant to tell, it costs the actual photographer or image owner, in reputation, etc. They might not have intended for this photo to tell this story, and being connected to it could result in them being punished by their customers, with bad publicity, etc.
Of course, the purveyors of today’s fake news aren’t concerned with misrepresentation. And they might not even be motivated by politics, but rather the potential profit from ads that can result from “going viral.”
As with any other form of image theft, photographers need to be practical about how to pursue infringement. But misrepresentation can damage a photographer’s credibility, so photographers would be wise to keep a vigilant eye out for real images used in fake ways.
Hear hear. In fact, we would all be wise to do that.
By Islam Rising, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community Posted February 4, 2017
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For the first time ever, the United States has been added to an annual list of the world’s persecutors of Christians and countries that are regressing in religious freedom.
We respect their opinions and can see why they would be concerned. But we’re also very concerned about what harm this messaging brings.
The United States, Mexico and Russia have been listed as “new and noteworthy” nations in the 2016 “Hall of Shame Report” published by the Washington, D.C., based human rights group International Christian Concern (ICC), the operators of the website Persecution.org.
The “worst of the worst” countries for Christian persecution – the “most egregious state persecutors” – included Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and North Korea.
Others listed as “core countries” – or nations that are less egregious in their persecution but are “perennial abusers of religious freedom” – were Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China and India.
While ICC notes “there is no comparison between the life of a Christian in the U.S. with persecuted believers overseas,” the group noted a number of “worrying trends as an alarming indication of a decline in religious liberty in the United States.
ICC President Jeff King explained:
“We felt it was very important this year that we highlight three countries where religious discrimination and persecution are deemed unusual but have reached a certain threshold of concern. These are Mexico, Russia, and sadly, the United States.
While conditions in the U.S. are in no way comparable to other countries on the list, a certain segment of the culture and the courts seem to be intent on driving faith out of the public square. There have been too many court cases with bad decisions to miss the clear trend line.
I personally think this is absolute nonsense, and the Church is now being named the fool as a result. One group has latched onto this concept, and are “making hay while the sun shines” – left-wing nutjobs , like the ones at RightWingWatch.org.
This narrative has become an important rallying cry for a movement that has found itself on the losing side of many of the so-called “culture wars.” By reframing political losses as religious oppression, the Right has attempted to build a justification for turning back advances in gay rights, reproductive rights and religious liberty for minority faiths.
See, this is why I hate special interest groups. I don’t care whether they’re on the right wing or on the left wing side of life, both sides usually prepackage or repackage or even manufacture news to begin with, to justify their position or belief. And ironically, the left is using this as a rallying cry for THEIR twisted, sick purposes as well.
It was completely unhelpful of Persecution.org to say that the United States is now a persecutor of Christians in the same league as Russia! That was just stupid. Have Christians lost some of their rights, some of their freedom of speech, some of their right to assemble, and freedom of worship? Perhaps, but as a comparative with RUSSIA? How idiotic.
And any backpedalling of freedoms in society is partly the American Church’s own doing. If the American church is losing rights, it’s because it doesn’t speak up and fight back.
Televangelist financial scandals, and massive money-making corporations run under the guise of charitable works,for example, has brought shame and reproach to the body of Christ – and it’s wrong.
Some pastors and evangelists run nonprofit societies, yet they live in million-dollar mansions due to the sale of their books and CDs – which they hawk through said non-profit ministries. That’s wrong, and may even be considered tax evasion.
For example, in March 2012, London’s Daily Mailnewspaper reported that two former employees of the world’s largest Christian television channel, Trinity Broadcasting Network, founded by Televangelists Paul and Jan Crouch, accused the non-profit of spending millions of dollars of its funding on extravagant personal expenses. Among purchases were a $50 million jet, 13 mansions and a $100,000-mobile home for Mrs Crouch’s dogs. Their accuser? Their granddaughter, Brittany Koper, 26, recently filed her allegations in court after a brief appointment as the network’s chief finance director in July. Pretty hard to ‘blame the Devil’ or excuse this in any possible way.
I recently even read in America some pastors stating that if they lose their tax-exempt status as a church or as a charitable entity, they will withdraw their services from society and let the city or province or state or whatever see just how much that service has given to that state or province free of charge. What a travesty – we were called to reach out to society whether they acknowledge it or not, financially or otherwise.
This is what we have become? A money-making whore that demands society look the other way while we generate revenues in exactly the same way as secular society does, but tax-free? Is a tax-free status a Christian right? Hardly. Jesus said, concerning taxes: “Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and give unto God that which is God’s” (Mark 12:17) Is it a good witness to disobey or even break laws around charitable institutions? NO.
If the American Church lost its charitable non-tax status across the board, it would be a gift in disguise. How many churches suffer financially while televangelists bring in $50+ million per year? Are any of those evangelists truly necessary to the body of Christ? Sure, a few – Billy Graham, James Robson, Reinhard Bonnke, Greg Laurie and a few others are changing the world.
Governments’ response to some Christian ministries’ tax-robbing ways is not persecution. We are also taxpayers, which means that everytime a ministry steals from society like this, we all pay for it anyway. Misusing the label ‘persecution’ is the most ridiculous thing of all, and mocks the real suffering of believers worldwide.
According to a September 20, 2015 report2 in the Daily Express newspaper, a Christian is martyred every 5 minutes by Islamic State terrorists alone. Believers are often singled out, tortured and faced with the brutal choice of converting to Islam or being slaughtered, according to Christian Freedom International.Those who refuse to comply have reportedly had their limbs cut off or have been crucified.
Research by CFI found that more than 200 million Christians are facing persecution in 105 countries, making Christianity the most at-risk faith group in the world. More Christians have been martyred in the 20th and 21st centuries than during the previous 19 combined, the organisation has claimed.
Not everyone agrees with this American Church persecution assessment either. For over 60 years,Open Doorshasbeena respected international organisation with a mission of advocacy for persecuted Christians in 60 countries around the world. I note that in their 2016 list of the top 50 countries where Christians face the most severe persecution for their faith, America was not found.
North Korea has ranked #1 for 13 years because it is illegal to be a Christian in North Korea, and Christians are often sent to labour camps or are killed if they are discovered. I was, therefore, both shocked and inspired to see that regardless of this verdict, North Korea has over 300,000 Christian believers. God, keep your hand on all of them, wherever they may be.
Are these the only countries where Christians are persecuted? Sadly no. Open Doors says that there are more than 65 countries where Christians are persecuted. If the American Church focused on their plight instead of its myopic own, they could change that dynamic for many of them.
By Shawn J., Founding Editor Calling Out Community Posted January 8, 2017
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In February 2016, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion called a press conference to publicly question the appointment of a Canadian law professor to a key United Nations job.
One wonders how “Libtarded” you would have to be before the Liberal government of Canada said “no way, this idiot needs to be fired”.
But even when a globalist government like Canada asks the United Nations to reconsider, they do nothing. Now nearly 9 months later, UN Human Watch joins a rising tide of opposition against this absolutely ridiculous, inappropriate and possibly fraudulent appointment within the well-heeled ranks of the United Nations – exposing their dark anti-Semitic plans.
For the first time in our blog’s history, the Calling Out Community issues the following notice to our valued readers:
WARNING: We assert that the foundational beliefs of the antagonist in this story, and the antagonist himself, are so BLATANTLY STUPID that uncontrolled squinting may result, as you continue to read the details. Reader discretion is advised.
A small but growing union of varied interests are demanding that he United Nations immediately suspend Michael Lynk, a Canadian expert on international law, from his appointment as “UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation Of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territory Occupied Since 1967.”
The job title itself shows the clear bias and intent of the United Nations to malign Israel every chance they can get (Israel, for example, would certainly not agree that they are “occupying” “Palestinian Territory”) – not to mention the fact that just reading the title causes epileptic fits.
But why on earth would a Canadian Liberal cabinet minister go out of his way to fight with the United Nations to have one of our own citizens fired from such a prestigious United Nations appointment? It seems that Mr. Lynk has embarrassed Canada by failing to disclose, when he applied for the post, that he was:
Why would it matter that he failed to disclose his leadership role in three pro-Palestinian organizations when he applied to be come the United Nations special investigator, looking into allegation of Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians?Hmmm, smells good to me – said no one, ever.
And this guy isn’t just biased, he’s clearly a card-carrying Jew-hater. As mentioned, he sits on the board of an organization that hosts an “Israeli Apartheid Week“. Just a tiny bit of anti-Israel bias, perhaps?
As they say in sports, “the fix is in”.
Apartheid Week is a misnomer – the word “apartheid” is defined in the dictionary as a uniquely-coined term relating to the racial discrimination policies of South Africa. Their site introduction:
“Each year, Israeli Apartheid Week takes place across more than 150 universities and cities. It aims to raise awareness about Israel’s ongoing settler-colonial project and apartheid policies over the Palestinian people.”
They list dates around the world, including in the mythical land called “Palestine”, which isn’t on any map, and South Africa – ironic to be trying to perpetrate “the Israeli apartheid” myth in the only country to have actual apartheid. They also seem to be getting a lot of sponsorship money or something, as they are all over the world?
A letter from the UN Watch group to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday, October 27 was issued hours before Lynk presented a 26-page report on Israeli actions against Palestinians to the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee. In it, he criticized the Jewish state for its actions in Gaza and the West Bank, particularly settlement building and what he termed “excessive use of force” against Palestinians.
Excessive force – wow. 1o,ooo rockets had been fired by Hamas at Israel over a decade, and Israel did nothing. 10,000 rockets, and over 2,300 were fired in 2012 alone, from UN-sponsored schools, hospitals, mosques, people’s homes – it was so outrageous. When Israel finally took action to stop it, a pro-Palestinian spokesmen actually stated “no big deal, Hamas rockets mostly missed their targets anyway, but Israel’s rockets DIDN’T miss”.
HEY KIDS– can you spot today’s special moral lesson, that the REAL Bozos in Hamas seem to have missed?
So, knowing that this guy was a total anti-Semitic hack with very public connections to pro-Palestinian groups, why would the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) want him to oversee their investigations into Israeli human rights violations? Isn’t it obvious – because they already wrote the final report, and just want someone to create the evidence.
So, clearly he was intentionally hired to do a hatchet job for them against Israel.
This becomes more obvious when you glance at the current membership of this “Human Rights” love fest including:
China (no comment required)
Cuba(no comment required)
Nigeria (the home of Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, killing Christians by the thousands)
Philippines (whose wingnut President admitted on TV that he’s murdered 3 drug dealers – then told citizens to do the same)
Russia (no comment required)
Saudi Arabia(how does a country, whose women cannot even drive or buy a coffee at Starbucks without male assistance, get on the UN Human Rights Commission. They also gripe about Israel’s military, budgeted at $18.6 billion, yet THEIR military budget is $87.2 billion)
UAE (they don’t even recognize Israel’s existence as a state, and the two countries have no formal diplomatic relations)
Venezuela (who’s people are starving and rioting in the streets)
Vietnam (America fought a war for 10 years almost to get rid of their Communists – who are still in power)
You could tell just from the make-up of Thugs ‘R Us that Israel would never get fair play with this bunch. Still, it was shocking to read the following Fox News report on March 24, 2016 from the United Nations:
“On March 24, 2016, the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) wrapped up its annual meeting in New York by condemning only one country for violating women’s rights anywhere on the planet – Israel, for violating the rights of Palestinian women.
On the same day, the U.N. Human Rights Council concluded its month-long session in Geneva by condemning Israel five times more than any other of the 192 UN member states.
There were five Council resolutions on Israel. One each on the likes of hellish countries like Syria, North Korea and Iran. Libya got an offer of “technical assistance.” And countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia and China were among the 95 percent of states that were never mentioned.” (Emphasis mine)
It makes my blood boil
Again, they are talking about ISRAEL, the one little country in the Middle East of 8 million people, the only democracy in the Middle East? This same Israel – where you are better off being a woman, a child, a senior, gay, Jewish, a Christian, a Muslim, black or an atheist than in any of the 16 enemy combatant nations that surrounds Her? Yes, THAT Israel.
It’s outrageous, it’s absurd, and it’s why the United Nations needs to be kicked out of New York and sent packing to one of these Third World crap holes. Maybe President Trump will get the job done.
By Israel Is Forever, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community Posted October 28, 2016
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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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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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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
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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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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.