UNINVITED II PANEL: UKRAINE UPRISING COULD HERALD ‘END OF THE POST-COLD WAR ARRANGEMENT’

russia-flag-crimea-reutersBreitbart, NATIONAL HARBOR, MD—The potential for a new world order in which Russia is the main superpower is a potential outcome of the current Ukrainian crisis, a national security panel at Breitbart News’s Univited II National Security Action Summit agreed Thursday.

At a talk sponsored by Breitbart News, the Center for Security Policy, and EMPAct America, a number of experts agreed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s kleptocracy needed to be contained for the good of the United States and the greater world community.

American Foreign Policy Council President Herman Pirchner began the discussion with a look into the Ukrainian protesters and their motivations. The Ukrainian crisis “is very much a generational problem,” he explained, with many young people looking towards more Westernized nations like Poland and the Baltics and hoping to be included in their prosperity. This did not mean that there was no support for Russia in Ukraine, or that individuals did not speak the language or adhere to some cultural norms, but the economic pull of Western neo-liberalism was there.

Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Ariel Cohen expanded upon that desire and the threat of Russia overriding it and changing the world map in a way that endangers America. Cohen, who was born in Crimea, warned that a victory for Putin in Ukraine could mean “the end of the post-Cold War arrangement and possibly the end of the post-World War II arrangement.” A move that allows Russia to work the way it currently is in Crimea would launch a competition between a number of nuclear-armed nations to stop each other and create a “more chaotic and dangerous environment,” he concluded.

Sebastian Gorka, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, agreed but emphasized America’s moral imperative to intervene. “Why should we care about Ukraine?” he asked simply. “Because we are Americans.” The issue of helping freedom-loving people was one of “morality, and what this nation stands for,” he asserted. “If we don’t care about Ukraine, 1776 means nothing.”

The Claremont Institute’s Claire Lopez spoke more about the nature of the Putin regime that has been in power for a decade. “We are up against a KGB thug,” she explained, one that runs a “KGB-controlled and directed kleptocracy.” The invasion of Crimea, she added, was no surprise after the invasion of Georgia in 2008, in which Russia never retreated out of Abkhazia or South Ossetia. “If we don’t make a stand,” she argued, “this won’t happen again.”

Breitbart’s own Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak concluded the discussion emphasizing how completely the Obama administration had left that part of the world to their own devices. The United States is “the only stabilizing force in the world,” he argued, “and we don’t always have to be fighting wars to do it,” something that escapes the Obama administration and many in Congress. Pollak also noted that Ukraine was not alone as a nation fighting for pro-America values and being left behind: “Why are the conservative media ignoring Venezuela?” The current state of affairs, a “hollow foreign policy still committed to internationalism,” would result in danger for Western values, he concluded.

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Thwart Putin’s ‘Evil Empire’ 2.0

1135894153Center for Security policy, By Frank Gaffney:

Vladimir Putin is claiming that his invasion of parts of Ukraine is required because Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine as Adolf Hitler came to that of Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.  He seems intent, however, on bringing all of the Ukraine to heel, as his predecessors in the Kremlin did with Hungary and Czechoslovakia during the Cold War. What is in prospect makes the sort of aggression Putin previously engaged in with Georgia in 2008 pale by comparison.

In fact, Putin’s goal seems to be to reconstitute as much as possible of the old Soviet Union, whose collapse he once called “the greatest calamity of the 20th Century.”  This statement, of course, speaks volumes about this former KGB colonel, given the competition for that dubious distinction – including World Wars I and II and the genocides perpetrated by the Nazis and assorted Communist regimes.

President Obama has responded to this renascent threat to the Free World in characteristic fashion: empty rhetoric about the will of the “international community” being flouted and unspecified costs that will be incurred if the Russians cross some ill-defined red-line. It would appear that they had already crossed it in Crimea, even before Mr. Obama warned them not to.

Thus far, Team Obama’s most concrete idea of how to respond to Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine – and, presumably, that in prospect elsewhere in the Russian littorals he menacingly calls “the near abroad” – is to boycott the next spectacle in Sochi: this summer’s G-8 meeting.  It is hard to imagine that such a penalty would even register as a cost in the calculations of the megalomaniac in the Kremlin.

What might just give Vladimir Putin pause, and perhaps spare the world another generation of Moscow-directed repression and imperialism, or worse, would be the adoption by President Obama and the rest of the Free World of a strategy modeled after the one Ronald Reagan used to end the last “Evil Empire.” It was articulated in a top-secret presidential directive known as National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 75.

Today, the key elements of such a strategy should be:

  • A clear objective:  To use NSDD 75’s formulation, we must work to “contain and over time reverse” Putin’s threatening geostrategic ambitions.
  • Information warfare: President Reagan understood that at the core of his NSDD 75 strategy had to be a robust assertion of the superiority of our constitutional republic and civilization – and a concomitant effort to delegitimate and undermine our enemies’ totalitarian form of government and repressive ideology.  A similar foundation is essential for countering Russia’s renascent hegemonism.

Every instrument of the U.S. government – especially a reconstituted and state-of-the-art information warfare capability at least as effective as that brought to bear at the height of the Cold War by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – must be utilized to wrest information dominance from Putin, his puppets and apologists.

  •  Political Warfare: Directing our support, legitimation and outreach efforts to the Ukrainians and others threatened by Putin, while denying it to the Kremlin, is an indispensable ingredient in our struggle against the Russian regime. In addition, others who lend support to Moscow must be regarded as part of the problem, not as allies.
  •  Intelligence Operations: We must take a page from the playbook developed during the Reagan administration by then-Director of Central Intelligence William Casey and use covert means wherever possible to counter, divide and undermine our adversaries. To the traditional intelligence techniques should be added aggressive use of psyops, cyberwarfare and special operations.
  • As with the Reagan strategy, there must be a central economic and financial warfare component.  This would entail, for example, constricting the principal source of revenue for the Russians – namely, the vast petrodollar transfers from Western nations to the Kremlin’s state-owned or state-controlled enterprises.  Make no mistake: Such funds are used to bankroll Putin’s military buildup and expansionism. Burgeoning North American energy resources and the possibilities for fuel-choice in this country’s transportation sector (i.e., in addition to gasoline, using methanol derived from our abundant natural gas deposits) offer opportunities for leverage that can be used as Reagan did to constrict our adversaries’ cash-flow.
  • Reestablish as America’s national security policy “Peace through Strength”: Just as President Reagan did in in his day, the contemporary hollowing-out of the U.S. military must be reversed as a matter of the utmost priority.  The perception of American weakness it bespeaks is only reinforcing the sense shared by Putin and other enemies of liberty that the time has come for intensifying their aggressive behavior.

As a result, restoring and enhancing the power-projection capabilities of our armed forces is not only necessary to ensure we have the range of capabilities necessary to address some of those threats.  It is also vital if we are to minimize the chances we will needlessly have to fight wars that might otherwise be deterred and, hence, avoided.

  • Finally, the American people must be mobilized to comprehend the perilous state we are in globally and the necessity for concerted action to correct it. By adopting and implementing an updated version of National Security Decision Directive 75, we can: clarify for the public the adversaries we confront; address the various forms of ideological, political, economic and financial underpinnings that animate and sustain them; and adopt the comprehensive steps necessary to counter those underpinnings.

An NSDD 75 2.0 formula is our best bet for preventing Vladimir Putin from realizing his goal of what would amount to an Evil Empire 2.0, a terrible defeat for the Free World and an ominous advance for its enemies worldwide.

Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Under Mr. Gaffney’s leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters. Mr. Gaffney formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.

 

 

Russian military convoy on the outskirts of the Crimea Armyansk in the direction of Kherson, Ukraine March 3, 2014

 

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Red Star Says It All: Egypt Makes Strategic Alliance with Russia

Sisi PutinBY RYAN MAURO:

Egyptian Defense Minister El-Sisi, whose power essentially makes him the head of state, made his first trip abroad. It wasn’t to the U.S., or even to Saudi Arabia. It was to Russia, where he was photographed wearing a jacket with a red star given to him by President Putin.

This single photograph sums up what has happened since the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled from power in Egypt. The Egyptian government immediately turned to Russia after the U.S. criticized the toppling of the Brotherhood and the subsequent crackdown on the Islamist movement. Egypt’s Arab allies like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are also moving towards Russia in response to U.S. policy towards Iran.

This change in relations was music to the ears of President Putin, who said in a national address that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the century. When Egypt embraced Russia, the Egyptian Foreign Minister said, “We want to give a new impetus to our relations and return them to the same high level that used to exist with the Soviet Union.”

Both parties have agreed that they want to return to the days of the Cold War. That agreement was on display when Putin gave El-Sisi the jacket bearing a red star and he publicly wore it.

Putin signaled to the Egyptian delegation that his meeting with El-Sisi isn’t just about selling arms. It’s strategic positioning. He told them, “Egypt is the center of stability in the Middle East.”

The language of the Russian government is clearly designed to contradict that of the U.S. Putin zeroed in on the points of friction between the U.S. and Egypt.

The U.S. opposed the Egyptian military’s toppling of the Brotherhood and almost certainly opposes his inevitable presidential bid. Putin, on the other hand, came as close to endorsing El-Sisi’s candidacy as a foreign head of state can.

Read more at Clarion Project

Let the Terror Begin? Jihadists Cast Pall of Fear over the 2014 Winter Olympics

Russia-OlypicsBy Andrew E. Harrod:

Many of the 120,000 persons expected to visit the Olympics do not realize that they are walking into what effectively is a war zone,” Hudson Institute Russia scholar David Satter recently opined with respect to the 2014 Winter Olympics opening in Sochi, Russia, on February 7, 2014.  Satter highlighted the security concerns due to Caucasian jihadist terrorism overshadowing the athletic events at this Black Sea town.

Sochi’s neighboring North Caucasus region, Heritage Foundation analysts observe, “exists in an atmosphere of low-level anti-Russian Islamist insurgencies.”  Here skirmishes between security forces and rebels “are almost a daily occurrence.”  Numerous jihadist groups seeking to overthrow Russian rule in the region include the Caucasian Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz, IK), established in 2007 and designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States State Department on May 26, 2011.

Amidst this turmoil Russian President Vladimir Putin made a “brazen bet” to demonstrate his stabilization of the Caucasus by bringing the Olympics to Sochi, argued Center for Strategic and International Studies Russia scholar Andrew Kutchins.  Despite doubts about Russian representations of their “young democracy,” Putin won in 2007 Olympic Committee endorsement of Sochi with a pledge of $12 billion in preparations, twice the amount offered by other countries.  Official Russian estimates now put the total cost invested in a highway, high-speed rail line, electric power stations, and thousands of hotel rooms, among other things, at $51 billion, making the Sochi games the most expensive ever held.

The “inability of the Russian authorities to prevent attacks” described by Satter recently became clear in two successive suicide bombing attacks in Volgograd, a key transit point for travel to Sochi. The December 29, 2013, attack on Volgograd’s train station and an attack on a trolley bus the following day claimed 34 lives.  A pre-recorded internet video furthermore appeared on January 19 with two young men believed to have been suicide bombers in the attacks ominously boasting of an Olympic “present from us for the Muslim blood that’s been spilled.”

The video complemented a previous July 3, 2013, online video from IK’s leader or “emir,” Doku Umarov, condemning the Olympics as “satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors.”  Umarov thereby recalled 19th century Russian slaughter of 1.5 million majority-Muslim Circassians while subjugating the region, culminating in an 1864 Circassian “last stand” near Sochi, 150 years before the 2014 Winter Olympics.  Outside of Russia, Austria’s Olympic committee revealed the reception of a German letter threatening two female Austrian athletes.

Dangers presented by groups like IK have prompted extraordinary Russian security measures to protect 6,000 athletes and team members from 85 countries along with spectators purchasing a planned 1.1 million tickets.  The successor to the Soviet Union’s KGB, the Federal Security Service (FSB), will oversee some 100,000 security personnel guarding Sochi and the games, including Cossacks.  These forces will implement an officially proclaimed “ring of steel” around Sochi (video here) with a “controlled” zone.  Only locally registered and Olympic-accredited vehicles may enter this zone subject to security checks including x-rays of vehicles and baggage.  Completely closed “forbidden” zones in the mountainous area around Sochi surround the “controlled” area.  Security at Sochi’s brand new airport is also tight.

Russian forces guarding Sochi include at least six Pantsir-S medium range surface-to-air missile systems capable of intercepting both aircraft and cruise missiles.  Numerous navy destroyers and coast guard cutters, meanwhile, patrol offshore.  Sochi stores such as hunting shops must also suspend during the Olympics sales of weapons, ammunition, and explosives or industrial and agricultural supplies containing them.  By comparison, the 2012 London Olympics had merely 18,000 security personnel, a deployment then criticized by Russian security officials as excessive.

The recent 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey, though, had “unprecedented security.”  Bomb sniffing dogs, fighter jets and helicopters, and high-speed boats with radiological and infrared sensors all guarded the event.  Every stadium delivery received a police escort while stadium workers underwent thousands of background checks.  The Russians in Sochi are thus hardly alone with terrorism concerns at large public events.

American concern is evident in Sochi as well, with the United States deploying the command ship U.S.S.Whitney and the frigate U.S.S. Taylor to the Black Sea.  C-17 transport aircraft will be two hours away on standby in Germany along with aircraft under State Department contract will complement any helicopter evacuation of Americans by these ships.  Russian concerns about foreign forces on their soil, however, could complicate any relief.  Needing help in an emergency would be 10,000 American citizens estimated by the State Department as attending the games as well as more than 500 American athletes and coaches.

An unspecified number of American security officials, meanwhile, will accompany the American teams in Sochi while Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey has discussed sharing advanced bomb disposal technology with the Russians.  For good measure, American athletes have received instructions not to wear national uniforms outside of Olympic venues.  Back home, American law enforcement agents have conducted “knock and talk” visits with individuals having ties to the Caucasus for “informational” purposes, similar to visits undertaken after the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing.

Yet the Heritage Foundation assesses that success of these security measures “is far from certain…as the targets are many, the terrain is difficult, and the Russian security standards are in need of improvement.”  Indeed, Russian officials have already put out alerts for a member of the notorious “black widows,” jihadist terrorists who lost their husbands to Russian security forces.  This woman might already be in Sochi and security analysts have warned of others.  Successful attacks at Sochi by jihadist groups or “Lone Wolfs” would be particularly prized for “international coverage,” Heritage warns.  This “is generally hard for them to achieve due to the difficult access to the region for both domestic and international journalists.”

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

The Caucasus Emirate and its Capacity to use Women Terrorists and other Methods to Attack the 2014 Winter Olympics

20140123_russiasochoterrorists_largeby ANNE SPECKHARD, PHD:

Security forces in Russia are frantically searching for four women thought to be suicide terrorists hiding out in the run up to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Ruzanna Ibragimova-one of the four-is believed to have already penetrated the “iron ring” of Putin’s security perimeter drawn in the radius around Sochi-waiting to attack.

Twenty-two year old Ruzanna Ibragimova, is motivated both by the separatist political and religious ideology of her senders and by her own personal trauma and desire for revenge. As many of the dozens of “Black Widows” that have gone before her; she is both a widow and traumatically bereaved. Russian forces gunned down her husband, a rebel insurgent, last February as she sat in the car beside him. Wounded as well, she escaped death.  Now she is willingly seeking it-after having trained under the protection of a Dagestani group that has already successfully dispatched female bombers to Moscow-one of them having caused a deadly explosion in the metro there in March 2010.

Oksana Aslanova another of the Dagestani women under search, like Ruzanna, is also traumatically bereaved. She is ready to avenge her husband’s death-Emir Valedjanov, the leader of the rebel group Jamaat Sharia of Dagestan was also killed by Russian forces. Upon his death, Oksana volunteered to become a suicide bomber and prepared to detonate herself last June on the Day of Russia in Dagestan, but she had to wait as the operation was postponed.  Oksana is now believed to be hidden somewhere near Sochi-filled with the desire to “martyr” herself.

Zaira Allieva and Dzannet Tshakhaeva, the other two women under search were good friends of Naida Asilova who in October of 2013 exploded herself on a packed bus in Volgograd. A week later the women fled Dagestan and are also believed to be in the vicinity of Sochi, ready to attack.

President Putin swears that his security is tight, yet posters of the women have been widely disseminated, and there is clearly a race to see who will win in this fight against terror. On the side of the state, Putin’s security apparatus is heavy handed, arresting and intimidating innocent family members of missing rebels throwing them in prisons as they have in the past. On their side, the Caucasus terrorists have shown themselves to have well placed terror cells, highly motivated cadres-whose motto is “Victory or Paradise”- who are clearly unafraid to die for their cause.  They have a demonstrated capacity for small scale but terrifying attacks-successfully detonating in transportation hubs and places where the public congregates.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Iran Takes Global ‘Victory Lap’

Hasan RouhaniBy :

Senior Iranian officials have launched a full blown diplomatic charm offensive across the Middle East and Europe following the recent signing of a nuclear accord that Tehran has celebrated as victory over the West.

Top Iranian leaders have shuttled between Tehran, Damascus, Baghdad, Moscow, and Turkey in recent days as they seek to boost Iran’s economic portfolio and regional influence on issues such as the Syrian civil war.

Iran’s diplomatic charm offensive comes on the heels of the recently inked nuclear accord that provides Tehran with some $7 billion in economic sanctions relief in exchange for a temporary halt of some of it nuclear activities.

Regional experts say that Tehran is feeling empowered by the deal and flexing its diplomatic muscles in a bid to court foreign investors and bolster its regional influence.

As Iran gets set to see sanctions rolled back for this first time in years, senior officials have been entertaining a cadre of foreign leaders.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was in Moscow on Thursday for a series of talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, according to regional reports.

Zarif stressed that Iran and Russia will “continue growing relations” on the economic, energy, and foreign relations front, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

Moscow has in turn been pushing for Iran to play a role in an upcoming global meeting on ending the civil war in Syria, where Tehran has backed President Bashar al-Assad militarily.

Zarif was in Lebanon for high-level meetings over the weekend and in Iraq earlier this week to meet with “senior officials” in Baghdad.

He then flew to Amman for “meetings with senior Jordanian officials” before taking off on Wednesday for Damascus, where he met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

“During the meeting on Wednesday, Zarif and Muallem reviewed the political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries as well as major regional and international developments,” Fars reported.

While in Damascus Zarif also met with a “number of Palestinian resistance leaders,” according to Fars.

Zarif then linked back up with Muallem to fly to Moscow, where they were scheduled to “meet high-ranking Russian officials” on the issue of Syria.

Zarif was expected to also meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has taken a particular interest in bolstering ties with Tehran.

Read more at Free Beacon

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From Saudi Arabia with Terror: Controversy Highlights Saudi Ties to Chechen Jihad

Exclusive to the Religious Freedom Coalition
Andrew E. Harrod, PHD explores the feud between Vladimir Putin and Prince Bandar bin Sultan

Given that the “Chechen groups that threaten…the games are controlled by us,” Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan allegedly promised to “guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics” to Russian President Vladimir Putin during an August 2013 Moscow visit.  Even if untrue, this story surrounding Bandar’s visit raises disturbing questions about ongoing Saudi ties to Chechen jihadists.

Prince of terror?

Prince of terror?

According to reported leaks, Bandar’s comments came in the context of various offers designed to induce Russian abandonment of its Syrian client Bashar al-Assad, currently embattled by Saudi-supported rebels.  The Bandar controversy from August remains ominous given ongoing attacks by Chechen jihadists across Russia.  A December 29, 2013, Volgograd train station suicide bombing, for example, killed 18, only to be followed the next day in the city by a trolleybus suicide bombing claiming an additional 16 lives.

Volgograd is a key transportation hub on the way to Russia’s volatile Caucasus region including Chechnya and the Black Sea city of Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics will open on February 7. Doku Umarov, Chechen “emir” of the terrorist Imarat Kavkaz (IK or Caucasus Emirate), called in a July 3, 2013, online videofor the games’ disruption. Umarov condemned the Olympics as “satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors.”

Past evidence suggests that Bandar could have made a veiled threat concerning Chechen jihadists to Putin.  Chechens seeking independence from Russia following the Soviet Union’s 1991 dissolution were initially largely secular.  Yet jihadist groups through the years such as those from Al Qaeda “have increasingly sought to co-opt the Chechen movement as their own,” Islamism scholar Lorenzo Vidino has noted.  As a result, the Russian military estimated in 2003 that Arabs were about one-fifth of Chechnya’s some 1,000 active fighters, providing the Chechens with most of their expertise in communications in mine laying.

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Do the Saudis really control the terrorists they court? by Paul Sperry

Terror Wave in Russia

Members of the emergency services work at the site of a bomb blast on a trolleybus in Volgogradby :

There have now been three major jihad terror attacks in Russia in four days. The attacks are a grim reminder of how vulnerable crowded public places are worldwide to jihad mass murder — and an indication of what the United States could look like sooner or later.

The latest round of jihad mass murder began last Friday, when jihadists murdered three people with a car bomb in Pyatigorsk in southern Russia. Then on Sunday, a jihad/martyrdom suicide bomber murdered sixteen people at the train station in Volgograd – the city that, as Stalingrad, was the bloody site of the turning point of World War II. Then on Monday, a jihadist murdered fourteen more people on a trolley bus in the same city.

These were by no means the first jihad strikes in Russia in recent years. In September 2004, Islamic jihadists under the command of Chechen jihad leader Shamil Basayev took 1,300 hostages at a school in Beslan, a town in the Russian Republic of North Ossetia; ultimately the jihadists murdered well over 300 people.

Then in August 2009, jihadists claimed to have murdered over 24 people with a bomb at Siberia’s Sayno-Shushenskata hydro-electric plant in Siberia, although the Russian government claimed that there was no bomb at all, and that the explosion was an accident. On November 27, 2009, jihadists murdered 27 people with a bomb planted under the Nevsky Express train between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Then in March 2010, Islamic jihad/martyrdom suicide bombers murdered 39 people on the Moscow subway. In February 2011, another jihad/martyrdom suicide bomber murdered 36 people at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow.

Another Chechen jihadist, Doku Umarov, the leader of a group that calls itself the Caucasus Emirate (Umarov styles himself the “Emir of the Caucasus”), told Russians in 2010: “I promise you that war will come to your streets and you will feel it in your lives, feel it on your own skin.” He later threatened that “more special operations” would soon follow, for “among us there are hundreds of brothers who are prepared to sacrifice themselves….We can at any time carry out operations where we want.”

He warned the Russians again last July, exhorting Muslims to wage jihad warfare against the Russians for daring to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi on the Black Sea coast. Umarov said that Muslims should “use maximum force on the path of Allah to disrupt this Satanic dancing” – by which Patrick Swayze-evoking locution he referred to the Games. The Russians, he said, “plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims buried on the territory of our land on the Black Sea, and we Mujahedeen are obliged not to permit that — using any methods allowed us by the almighty Allah.”

The Caucasus Emirate has not claimed responsibility for the jihad attacks this week, but given the threats Umarov has made against the Games, which are scheduled to begin February 6, it is understandable that suspicion has focused on this group. Vladimir Putin has tightened security, but Russian officials know that there is little he can do to prevent still more jihad terror. Alexei Filatov, whom Reuters describes as the “deputy head of the veterans’ association of the elite Alfa anti-terrorism unit,” observes: “We can expect more such attacks. The threat is greatest now because it is when terrorists can make the biggest impression. The security measures were beefed up long ago around Sochi, so terrorists will strike instead in these nearby cities like Volgograd.”

Read more at Front Page

Khodorkovsky and the Freedom Agenda

Jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky stands in the defendants' cage before the start of a court session in Moscow December 28, 2010. REUTERS/Tatiana Makeyeva

Jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky stands in the defendants’ cage before the start of a court session in Moscow December 28, 2010. REUTERS/Tatiana Makeyeva

by :

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Until his arrest in October 2003, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oligarch and oil executive, was the richest man in Russia. He might have still been the richest man in Russia today if he hadn’t started thinking about politics, and objecting to the fact that under President Vladimir Putin, Russia had abandoned all prospects for democracy.
With his billions, Khodorkovsky had the means to finance a challenge to Putin’s authoritarian rule. His arrest in 2003 and his 10-year imprisonment was ordered and orchestrated by Putin as a means of silencing and destroying the former KGB officer’s only potent challenger for power.

After 10 years behind bars, Khodorkovsky was suddenly released from prison last Friday, immediately after Putin issued him a presidential pardon.

He held a press conference in Berlin the next day. There he showed that prison had changed his political thinking.

Whereas in 2003, Khodorkovsky thought it was possible to transform Russia into a democracy by simply winning an election, after 10 years behind bars, he recognizes that elections are not enough.

“The Russian problem is not just the president as a person,” he explained. “The problem is that our citizens in the large majority don’t understand that their fate, they have to be responsible for it themselves. They are so happy to delegate it to, say, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and then they will entrust it to somebody else.”

In other words, until the Russian people come to the conclusion that they want liberty, no one can give it to them. They will just replace one dictator with another one. In his words, “If you have a ‘most important person’ in the opposition… you will get another Putin.”

So whereas George Washington was seen as the first among equals, an opposition leader who would succeed Putin, would be more like Robespierre in post-revolutionary France.

Khodorkovsky’s remarks show that you can’t instantly import democracy from abroad. The US defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War. But the Soviet defeat didn’t make the Russians liberal democrats. Until the seeds of democracy are planted in a nation’s hearts and minds, the overthrow of its overlord will make little difference to the aspirations of the people.

Over the past two months, in neighboring Ukraine, we have seen the flipside of Khodorkovsky’s warning. There, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been braving the winter cold to protest President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to ignore the public’s desire to associate with the European Union, rather than with Russia. As the protesters have made clear, they view a closer association with the EU as a means of securing Ukrainian independence from Russia.

For the past two months, Yanukovych has been alternatively assaulting and ignoring the masses rallying in Kiev’s Independence Square.

And last week he signed a deal with Russia that paves the way for Ukraine’s incorporation into Russia’s custom’s union, and its effective subordination to the Kremlin.

At this point, the opposition and Yanukovych are deadlocked. According to National Review’s Askold Krushelnyck, the protesters are trying to break the deadlock by turning to the US and the EU for help.

No, they are not asking for military support.

They have gathered information about financial crimes carried out by Yanukovych, his relatives and cronies. And they are asking the US and the EU to take legal action against them in accordance with their domestic statutes. They translated their information into English and posted it on a website (yanukovich.info), and ask that Western governments freeze their accounts and stop providing financial services to their shell companies.

What Ukraine’s protesters’ actions show is that they understand that when you are dealing with an authoritarian regime – particularly one supported by Putin’s authoritarian regime – it is not enough for a nation to seek democracy and independence. Outside help is also necessary.

Read more at Front Page

Vladimir Putin Vs. President Barack Obama

20120619_putin_obama_2012by ALAN KORNMAN:

Vladimir Putin is projecting Russian power across the world stage exactly as the former KGB operative was trained to do.  The Cold War never ended, just the tactics and technology have changed as we roll into 2014 and beyond.

The United States military led by President Ronald Reagan won round 1 of the U.S. / Russian cold war.  Today, Communist Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently had six significant victories every American must be aware of.

This is the sad story of the KGB Operative chess player versus our ill equipped community organizer — and the chickens are coming home to roost.

Communist Russia’s Objective

The Russians are expanding their presence in the high seas and upgrading their naval nuclear capabilities with the objective of controlling naval bases outside of their shorelines.  Russia currently has naval bases in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopal in the Black Sea.  According to Russia Today, June 26, 2013, the Syrian port of Tartus in the Mediterranean Sea is still an active Russian naval facility.  There are recent intelligence reports the Russians have vacated the Port of Tartus but is by no means a permanent situation.

“The future overseas naval bases, like the one is Sevastopal, are not being referred to as “naval bases” by Russian officials, but by other terms. Moscow is calling them “supply points” or “bases for naval logistics” to make them sound far less threatening. The nomenclature does not really matter. The functions of these naval facilities, however, are for Putin’s strategic military purposes.

Vladimir Putin is shifting the Russian naval fleet into a nuclear capable offensive attack force which should be fully operational by 2020.  The commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General Karakayev, said that Russia’s inter-continental ballistic missiles would become “invisible” in the near future.  ‘Invisible’ means submarines with nuclear warhead delivery capabilities.

Russian President Putin’s Victories 

#1 Egypt 

President Obama made a historical tactical error ordering the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in favor of the International terrorist group, The Muslim Brotherhood, and its leader Mohammad Morsi as ordered by Hillary Clinton.

On October 6, 1981,  Gamaa al-Islamiyya, a franchise of The Muslim Brotherhood, assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.  Hosni Mubarak, a declared and proven friend of America went after The Muslim Brotherhood terrorists with an iron fist.

President Obama backed the same Muslim Brotherhood terrorists who murdered Anwar Sadat back in 1981. Putin has not forgotten that Anwar Sadat was the Egyptian leader who canceled the Soviet’s Navy right to use Egyptian ports over 50 years ago in favor of the USA.

As a result of President Obama’s foreign policy blunders in Egypt,  the Russian Navy will likely again have a ‘supply station’ in Egypt’s warm water ports.  The current Egyptian government is very public against President Obama and running to the side of Vladimir Putin.

#2 Syria 

The President of Syria, Bashar Assad, had been an important partner of the United States for decades.  President Obama’s sparked a Sunni / Shia Muslim civil war and publicly called for Bashar Assad to step down or face the consequences if he overstepped his famous red line.

Bashar Assad dismissed Mr. Obama’s empty threats and chose to fight Al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Shariah, and the Muslim Brotherhood rebels who had Obama’s support.

President Obama laid down the red line saying American forces will attack Assad if he used chemical weapons.  Chemical weapons were used, Mr. Obama starts the countdown to attack and embroiling the US into another Middle East Conflict.  President Obama put himself into a position where his words of war caught up with him and he desperately needed a way out and not have to bomb Damascus.

In comes KGB statecraft expert Vladimir Putin to save our community organizer President Obama at his weakest moment.  Putin packaged a deal to defuse the situation and broker a chemical weapon free zone deal between the United States and Syria.  Mr. Obama hands Putin a unprecedented public relations victory as peacemaker.    Putin’s regional influence grows as  President Obama again shames America with another failure of world diplomacy that may well take decades to recover from, if ever.

The view from 30,000 feet is that Putin established Russia’s foreign policy influence on the world stage for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  President Obama has woken up a hungry Russian sleeping bear that is feeding on his failures and missteps.  Analysts have described this situation as Vladimir Putin playing chess while Mr. Obama plays checkers.

Read more: Family Security Matters 

 

American Betrayal 2.0

2947115834By Frank Gaffney at CSP:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt should have described November 16, 1933 as a day that will live in infamy.  As syndicated columnist Diana West notes in her splendid new book,American Betrayal, that date marked the beginning of a sustained and odious practice of our government lying to us about the Russians.  It appears that the Obama administration is determined to perpetrate a reprise of this practice.  Call it American Betrayal 2.0.

According to Ms. West, the betrayal syndrome began when FDR normalized relations with the Soviet Union on the basis of a written promise from the Kremlin not to subvert the United States.  Of course, the Soviets lied.  But, for years thereafter, so did our own government – with horrific effects – by insisting the Soviets were reliable friends, and even wartime allies.

Sound familiar?  Today, Team Obama is engaging in its own, serial and disastrous betrayals – from promising you can keep your health care to a deal that will allow Iran to keep its nuclear weapons program.  But two others regarding the Russians warrant special attention.

First, the New York Times reported on the eightieth anniversary of the infamous normalization deal (without, of course, noting the irony) that the U.S. Department of State was beavering away at a new arrangement that would allow half-a-dozen Russian facilities to be installed across the United States.  Ostensibly, these sites would be used to help the Kremlin build-out and operate its so-called Glonass satellite system, a counterpart to and competitor with America’s Global Positioning System (GPS).

There are several things wrong with this picture.  First, it is not clear why we would want to help the Russians compete with the GPS.  Second, the practical effect of the Red Army having its own global positioning system is that it may make ours a more certain target in the event of any future hostilities between us, or perhaps even between the United States and Russian clients.

Then, there is the problem that Glonass signals may interfere with those controlling our GPS satellites, especially if the Russian ground stations might be in proximity to the American ones.  Another serious concern has to be precisely what electronic equipment the Russians will put into these facilities.  Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, chairman of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee, recently wrote three agency heads out of concern that, among other things, some of such gear might not actually be needed for Glonass – but be useful for espionage, electronic warfare or other activities inimical to our security.

According to the Times report: “For the State Department, permitting Russia to build the stations would help mend the Obama administration’s relationship with the government of President Vladimir V. Putin, now at a nadir because of Moscow’s granting asylum to Mr. Snowden and its backing of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.”

It is a travesty, but in keeping with past betrayals of America, that our State Department – presumably, with White House approval – believes that we need to make further concessions in response to bad behavior by the Kremlin.  The outrageousness of such an idea is compounded by the fact that the folks in Foggy Bottom neglected to secure its approval from either the Defense Department or the intelligence community.  Both are reportedly up in arms about it – as indeed they should be.  But will they prevail?

At the same time, the Obama administration has another betrayal in the works.  This one involves not only the nation as a whole, but several of its Democratic allies in the United States Senate.

It seems that Team Obama is intent on dismantling at least one squadron of fifty Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles as its preferred approach to meeting the reductions in nuclear forces required by the seriously defective New START Treaty with Russia.  A timeline provided to Congress indicates that, in order for that to happen by the “treaty compliance date” of February 5, 2018, the Air Force needs to begin the lengthy decommissioning process by launching an environmental impact assessment next month.

This should be a shock to Senators Max Baucus and John Tester of Montana and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.  They were assured by President Obama that the ICBM forces like those located in Montana and commanded by the Global Strike Command in Louisiana would not be affected by New START.  It was on the basis of such assurances that all three Senators voted for that accord.

These legislators and their colleagues from the other ICBM basing states – Republican John Hoeven and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Republicans Mike Enzi and John Barrasso of Wyoming – should take the lead in amending the National Defense Authorization Act scheduled to be considered on the Senate floor this week to ensure that, as the President promised, the land-based leg of our nuclear Triad is not further weakened.  That is especially advisable at a time when the Russians are aggressively beefing up their nuclear threat to this country and its allies.

America needs a reset, alright.  It should feature not further concessions to the Russians, however, but an end to the betrayals of our people to the benefit of the Kremlin that have been perpetrated now for eighty years.  No more.

Welcome to Appeasement in Geneva

French President Hollande and Israeli PM Netanyahu

French President Hollande and Israeli PM Netanyahu

By Jerry Gordon:

A remarkable scene unfolded Sunday in Jerusalem. It was the eagerly awaiting arrival of French President Francoise Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.  Israel PM Benyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman greeted the French delegation.  This is a busy week for Netanyahu as he flies off to Moscow after the French State visit to confer with Russian President Putin amidst renewed  P5+1 negotations on Wednesday , November 20th.   He is  endeavoring to convince Putin of the folly of concluding unverifiable agreements with Iran on the verge of a possible nuclear breakthrough. Friday, US Secretary of State Kerry returns from Geneva to confer with Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Hollande is also simply seeking “gestures”  regarding resolution of Israeli development in the disputed territories. This in contrast to the full court press launched by Secretary of State Kerry in late July 2013  intent on concluding  a final status agreement between Israel and  the Palestinian Authority by a deadline of April 2014.  This is a dimmed prospect given faltering discussions between the two parties.

It was the French resistance  on display in Geneva on November 10, 2013 to forestall an act appeasement, the rush by the P5+1 to conclude an interim, first steps agreement with Iran over its burgeoning nuclear program and the means of delivering weapons.  Weapons that could threaten the existence of not only the Jewish nation but others in the Middle East and Europe including France, itself. An agreement with Iran that US Secretary of State Kerry and other members of the P5+1 sought to achieve via negotiations with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.  That effort is not lost on Peres.  He concluded secret agreements with the French in the 1950’s for delivery of uranium to fuel its own nuclear reactor. French Foreign Minister, Fabius called the P5+1 interim agreement an unverifiable “fool’s game”.

The exchange of greetings between French President Hollande and Israeli PM Netanyahu reflected Fabius’ valued stand calling out  appeasement in Geneva.  Hollande’s statement of resolute opposition to any first steps agreement was reflected in four points he made in his remarks to Netanyahu as reported by Agence France Press:

  • The first demand: put all the Iranian nuclear installations under international supervision, right now.
  • Second point: suspend enrichment to 20 percent.
  • Thirdly: to reduce the existing stock.
  • And finally, to halt construction of the Arak (heavy water) plant. These are the points which for us are essential to guarantee any agreement.

Netanyahu noted:

I’m concerned, gravely concerned, that this deal will go through and in one stroke of the pen, it will reduce the sanctions on Iran — sanctions that took years to put in place — and in return for this, Iran gives practically nothing.

[. . .]

Iran’s dream deal is the world’s nightmare.

Contrast French President Hollande’s position with that of President Obama who in a White House press conference, said:

(W)hat I’ve said to members of Congress is that if, in fact, we’re serious about trying to resolve this diplomatically . . .then there’s no need for us to add new sanctions on top of the sanctions that are already very effective and that brought them to the table in the first place.

The interim nuclear deal under consideration in the current round of P5+1 talks in Geneva according to Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington, DC – based Arms Control Association would include:

  • Iran’s agreement to halt all uranium enrichment to 20 percent levels and convert its existing 20 percent stockpile to oxide or lower enrichment levels.
  • It would also include a freeze on the introduction or operation of additional centrifuges; measures to reduce the proliferation potential of the Arak reactor . . . and acceptance (although not yet ratification) of a stricter IAEA inspection regime.
  • In exchange for these measures, the P5+1 may ease the current sanctions regime by releasing some Iranian oil sales-related assets that are frozen in other countries; and waiving certain sanctions on trade in gold or precious metals that were put into effect in July 2013 and/or on its auto and aircraft industries.

Read more at New English Review

Islam’s Equality For Women Is Da Bomb!

By :

It’s been proven myriad times just how misogynist the ideology is, that Muhammed created. Yet, men who partake in this apartheid philosophy … continue their campaign of paltering in order to deceive women to become a part of the chattel … and to keep the women already in servitude, content.

One of the biggest propaganda machines for Islam’s lies in the West, CAIR, had this to say concerning women in Islam: “Muslim women have the right to possess property, gain education, seek employment and participate in both political and social life. They can also keep their maiden names after marriage. It’s also important to consider the fact that while when Western women had to earn equality after suffrage, Muslim women were given these rights from the beginning without any struggle.” ~CAIR-Chicago

A larger pile of offal was never shoveled before the human oculus…

Just to skim the surface of their holy books:

– Women contaminate and defile – Quran: Sura (2:222; 4:43; 5:6)
– Women are inferior to men – Quran: Sura (2:228; 4:11; 4:176; 53:27; 37:149-155), Hadiths: Bukhari (88:219; 48:826; 72:715)/Tabari (IX:113; I:280) Bukhari (6:301; 62:58)
– A woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man – Quran: Sura (2:282); Hadith: Bukhari (5:59:462)

BUT, they did foray into equality in ONE area … which is par for the course in their vile view of women: Suicide Bombers

Samantha Lewthwaite, aka the “white widow”; a trainer of suicide bombers in Somalia: http://viewpointsofasagittarian. blogspot.com/2013/09/name-prophets-mother-recite-koran-or.htm

Samantha Lewthwaite, aka the “white widow”; a trainer of suicide bombers in Somalia: http://viewpointsofasagittarian. blogspot.com/2013/09/name-prophets-mother-recite-koran-or.htm

Female suicide bombers is not a new phenomenon … they have been used as human bombs for more than 20 years. According to Stratfor, the first appearance of female suicide bombers began in Lebanon in the mid-1980s. Followed by female Chechen militants, often referred to as “Black Widows,” who were responsible for several suicide attacks against Russian military targets in Chechnya, and civilian targets in Russia from 2000-2004. The Chechen faction was the first radical Islamist or jihadist groups to employ women as suicide bombers. (Bet you never heard that in the Western media.)

But, you may be surprised to know that the concept of women martyrs is supported in the Koran. In fact, Islam’s first martyr was a woman named Somaiya. Oh, that feminist Muhammed…

Read more at Clash Daily

ce9d86ef141ef9675004cc4f44a77619Audrey Russo is the Host of the weekly REELTalk Radio Show and the co-host of WOMANTalk Radio Show. She handles Middle East Issues/National Security/Terrorism for their eZine and writes on foreign affairs for The Examiner.com. She guests on several radio shows including The Rick Amato Show, The Simon Conway Show, The Pat Campbell Show and The Mike Wiley Show. Audrey is the Managing Editor for the online opinion journal Ediblog.com. Her articles can also be read at The Center for Changing Worldviews and the Gold Coast Chronicle as well as other online journals. She is also an active member of the NYC performing arts community as a singer and actor.

Russian Muslim clerics warn of unrest over ban on translation of Quran

President Putin: Champions Russian Orthodox Church as moral compass, but has also called for a multicultural Russian identity. — Reuters file pic - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/world/article/russian-muslim-clerics-warn-of-unrest-over-ban-on-translation-of-quran#sthash.jIdH1kKe.dpuf

President Putin: Champions Russian Orthodox Church as moral compass, but has also called for a multicultural Russian identity. — Reuters file pic – See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/world/article/russian-muslim-clerics-warn-of-unrest-over-ban-on-translation-of-quran#sthash.jIdH1kKe.dpuf

MOSCOW, Sept 21 — Russia’s senior Islamic clerics warned the country’s leaders yesterday unrest could erupt in Muslim communities in Russia and beyond if a court decision ordering the destruction of an interpretive translation of Quran is not overturned.

The ruling on Tuesday by a court in Novorossiysk, a city in southern Russia, ordered the widely read text outlawed under a Russian anti-extremism law that rights activists say has been abused by local officials out of prejudice or to persecute groups frowned upon by the dominant Russian Orthodox Church.

Rights campaigners said that the decision, which will apply nationwide unless it is overturned on appeal, comes dangerously close to banning the Quran itself.

Russia’s Council of Muftis sounded the alarm in an open letter yesterday to President Vladimir Putin, who has frequently called for unity among the leading faiths and warned that ethnic tension could tear Russia apart.

“Russian Muslims are very strongly indignant over such an outrageous decision,” Rushan Abbyasov, the deputy head of the council, which has close ties with the Kremlin, told Reuters.

If the ruling is acted on, the cleric warned: “There will be unrest … not only in Russia but all over the world, we are talking about the destruction of the Quran.”

In the letter to Putin, the council drew a parallel with violence in the Middle East and Afghanistan over the actions of an American pastor, Terry Jones, who threatened to burn the Quran on Sept. 11, 2010.

“Is it necessary to discuss how the destruction of books, especially sacred religious books, has been received in Russia in the past?” it said.

“We recall how the burning of just a few copies of the Holy Quran by a crazy American pastor elicited a firm protest not just from Russian Muslims but from our entire society, in solidarity with the stormy and longlasting anger of the global Muslim community and all people of goodwill,” it said.

A lawyer representing the text’s author, Azeri theologian Elmir Kuliyev, said he will appeal the ruling, which calls for the text to be banned and copies of it “destroyed”.

“This is pure idiocy. Some local prosecutor sent this material to a local court and they together decided to ban a holy book,” lawyer Murat Musayev, who has one month to appeal the ruling, told Reuters.

“On the one hand there is freedom of religion in Russia, on the other they are banning fundamental religious texts.”

Experts say the more than decade-old translation by Kuliyev is a respected scholarly work, one of four translations of the Quran into Russian.

“This is one step away from banning the Quran,” said Akhmed Yarlikapov, an expert on Islam with the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“This is a very high quality translation,” he said. “The banning of Kuliyev’s translation is utterly unprofessional, you could ban the Bible just as easily because it also has passages that talk about the spilling of blood.”

Read more at The Malay Mail Online

Moscow pulls away from Kerry-Lavrov deal on Syrian chemical disarmament. Assad gets to keep his WMD

assadobamaputin-ss-10-09-13DEBKAfile:

Russian leaders finally picked apart the Kerry-Lavrov understanding for Syria’s chemical disarmament – less than a week after it was unveiled in Geneva last Saturday. Thursday, Sept. 19, they slapped down a string of  coordinated obstructions. One knockout blow came from President Vladimir Putin, who commented dryly that he could not be 100 percent certain that the plan for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons would succeed. “But everything we have seen so far in recent days gives us confidence that this will happen. I hope so,” he said.

To dispel that hope, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu followed up with a denial of any plans to destroy the Syrian chemical stocks on Russian soil.
Then, in an interview to Fox News, Syrian President Bashar Assad, in sync with Moscow, asked mockingly: “It [the destruction of poison chemicals] is very detrimental to the environment. If the American administration is ready to pay this money and take the responsibility of bringing toxic materials to the United States, why don’t they do it?”

Since Russia and the US are the only countries with the industrial-scale capacity to destroy chemical munitions, and their import is banned under US law, Assad’s chemical arsenal is safe.

In fact, Germany alone has offered to send a small number of chemical experts to Syria, No one else is ready to oversee the complicated dismantling and removal of an estimated 10,000 tonnes of dangerously poisonous materials, pay for the operation or accept the materials on its soil.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, seeing his understanding with Sergey Lavrov slipping away, made a desperate attempt to save it. He called a news conference at the State Department Thursday to declare that it was essential the deal be enforced with a binding resolution and that the UN Security Council act on it next week, when the UN General Assembly holds its annual meeting in New York.

Kerry did not indicate how the US administration would react if the deal fell through or whether the US military option would be revived.

But it was already clear that his deal with Lavrov was going nowhere, even to the few Obama sympathizers who had hailed the president for finally managing to get Moscow on board for a solution of the Syrian war and the removal of Assad’s chemical arsenal.

The Syrian ruler calmly told Fox meanwhile that his government was willing to get rid of its chemical weapons but it would be a very complicated operation that would take about a year or more and cost around $1 billion.

Read more