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The complete history of Barack Obama's second term -- click Views/Repies for top stories
 
 
 


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IOENO

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Reply with quote  #126 

Svoboda is a Neo-Nazi Party, Ukraine’s fourth biggest party holding 36 seats out of 450 in parliament.  They’re also part of the Alliance of European National Movements along with the BNP and Jobbik.  Svoboda is supported directly by Washington.  This is Svoboda and the “Right Sector”: the Neo-Nazi group which led the “protest movement” in Ukraine. These Neo-Nazis are armed gunmen.

The BBC headlines read: “We are putting our hopes in a new generation of politicians” amidst reports that an arrest warrant has been issued for the democratically  elected president.

Speaker of the Parliament Oleksandr Turchynov who issued the arrest warrant directed against President Viktor Yanukovych stated “We must move towards a national government by Tuesday”. That government, were it to be formed, would be integrated by Svoboda.

Update:

That coalition government has now been formed with Neo-Nazis of the Svoboda and Right Sector parties in control of the Armed Forces, National security, Justice and Education.

While Obama is accusing Russia of interventionism, the US and the EU are supportive of both the terrorist Neo-Nazi militia as well as the Svoboda party.  Meanwhile, the media is mum: discussion of EU-US support to Neo-Nazi political formation is a taboo.

The existence of a Neo-Nazi party working in tandem with Brown shirts militia is casually denied.  Those who dare raise the issue are accused of propagandizing

Who is Lying? Who is Telling the Truth?

Scroll down to meet the “new generation of politicians” supported and financed by the Obama administration. Six major portfolios are controlled by the Neo-Nazis.

Svoboda’s Oleh Tyahnybok doing their party salute when re-elected their leader.

the rest is here ---  - http://www.globalresearch.ca/there-are-no-neo-nazis-in-the-ukraine-and-the-obama-administration-does-not-support-fascists/5370269

related

http://rt.com/politics/leading-party-soros-prepares/

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-27/ukraine-central-bank-promises-liquidity-local-banks-one-condition

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/Ukraine-Approves-Major-Shale-Deal-with-Chevron.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/13/us/politics/trade-dispute-centers-on-ukrainian-executive-with-ties-to-clintons.html?_r=1

http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-and-turkey-liquefied-natutal-gas-lng-and-the-european-energy-coup/5355322

http://theulstermanreport.com/2014/03/23/soros-and-lagardes-imf-vs-putins-russia-the-ukraine-coup-and-the-war-for-the-world/

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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #127 

Obama's view: US and EU are united in imposing cost on Russia

Putin's view:

ObamaTheCaddy.jpg



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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #128 

Obamov's KGB file was published last week

ObamaKGB.jpg

Mvonfr says there can be no doubt that the man is on a mission which he is executing it just fabulously.

The medal on the right is said to be awarded to Col. Obamov for his heroic efforts in the liberation of Crimea.



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snowyriver

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Reply with quote  #129 
Obama's weak and idiotic sanctions are his way of helping Putin as he said he would when he said after the next election he would have more leeway!! Beware the fox in sheep clothing.
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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #130 

Obama's pathetic response to Putin's invasion of Crimea

Charles Krauthammer says early in the Ukraine crisis, when the Europeans were working on bringing Ukraine into the EU system and Vladimir Putin was countering with threats and bribes, one British analyst lamented that "we went to a knife fight with a baguette."

That was three months ago. Life overtakes parody. During the Ukrainian prime minister's visit to Washington last week, his government urgently requested military assistance. Obama's Pentagon refused. It offered instead military ration kits.

Putin mobilizes thousands of troops, artillery and attack helicopters on Ukraine's borders and Washington counters with baguettes, American-style. One thing we can say for sure in these uncertain times: The invasion of Ukraine will be catered by the United States.

Why did we deny Ukraine weapons? Because in the Barack Obama-John Kerry worldview, arming the victim might be taken as a provocation. This kind of mind-bending illogic has marked the administration's response to the whole Crimea affair.

Why, after all, did Obama delay responding to Putin's infiltration, military occupation and seizure of Crimea in the first place? In order to provide Putin with a path to de-escalation, "an offramp" -- the preferred White House phrase.

An offramp? Did they really think that Putin was losing, that his invasion of Crimea was a disaster from which he needed some face-saving way out? And that the principal object of American diplomacy was to craft for Putin an exit strategy?

It's delusional enough to think that Putin -- in seizing Crimea, threatening eastern Ukraine, destabilizing Kiev, shaking NATO, terrifying America's East European allies and making the West look utterly helpless -- was actually losing. But to imagine that Putin saw it that way as well and was waiting for American diplomacy to save him from a monumental blunder is totally divorced from reality.

After Obama's Russian "reset," missile-defense retreat and Syria comedown, Putin had already developed an undisguised disdain for his U.S. counterpart. Yet even he must have been amazed by this newest American flight of fantasy. Putin reclaims a 200-year-old Russian patrimony with hardly a shot and to wild applause at home -- Putin's 72 percent domestic popularity is 30 points higher than Obama's -- and America's leaders think he needs rescue?

Putin made it clear that he preferred Sevastopol to good reviews from the "international community." Yet Obama and Kerry held off doing anything until the Crimean referendum -- after which, they ominously threatened, there would be "consequences."

Obama unveiled them Monday in a four-minute statement as flat-toned as a legal notice in the classifieds. The consequences? Visa denial and frozen assets for 11 people, seven of them Russian.

Seven! Out of 140 million. No Putin. No Dmitry Medvedev. No oligarchs. Nor any of Putin's inner circle of ex-KGBers. No targeting of the energy sector or banks, Russia's industrial and financial lifeblood.

This elicited unreserved mockery from the targeted Russians themselves. One wondered whether the president's statement had been written by a prankster. The Duma voted that it should be sanctioned -- all 353 members who'd voted for annexation. And the financial markets, which abhor disruptions and crave nothing but continuity, responded with relief: Russia's spiked 3.7 percent; the Dow Jones rose 1.1 percent (180 points).

Putin responded with appropriate contempt. Within hours he recognized Crimea's secession. The next day, he signed a treaty of annexation. (Two days later, Obama expanded the list of sanctioned Russians and added one bank. It will make no difference.)

Europe's response was weaker still, sanctioning a list of even lesser Russian functionaries. The irony is that for two decades we've encouraged Russia's integration into the world economic system -- including Obama's strong support for Russian accession to the World Trade Organization -- thinking those ties, and the threat of losing them, would restrain Russian behavior.

On the contrary. It restrained European behavior. Europe has refused to adopt any measure that might significantly affect its commerce and natural gas imports from Russia.

What's our excuse? We import no Russian gas and have minimal trade with that Russia. Yet our president appears strangely disengaged. The post-Cold War order of Europe has been brazenly violated -- and Obama is nowhere to be seen.

As I've argued here before, there are things we can do: Send the secretary of defense to Kiev tomorrow to negotiate military assistance. Renew the missile-defense agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic. Announce a new policy of major U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas. Lead Europe from the front -- to impose sanctions cutting off Russian enterprises from the Western banking system.

As we speak, Putin is deciding whether to go beyond Crimea and take eastern Ukraine.

Obama's reaction? Brackets!


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #131 

Obama and "March Madness"

ObamaRussia.jpg


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #132 

"It wasn't a failure"

Thomas Rose is reporting that as Europe's post-cold war architecture crumbles in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, the prime architect of Barack Obama's "reset" policy still argues it has been a great success.

Reset.jpg

Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken is quoted in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that Obama's increasingly lampooned quest to improve relations with Russia by acceding to its economic and military demands "was not a failure", because "there were areas where it made sense to cooperate with Russia."

Blinken re-asserted the Administration's now discredited mantra that "We don't see the world in zero sum terms," and echoing his boss, continued to suggest that the Obama Administration's has a better understanding of Russian national interests than do the Russians themselves. "A successful, integrated Ukraine," Blinken said, "is not only good for Ukraine, it is good for Russia."

The Journal reports that even after yesterday's Russian annexation of Crimea, the State Department and Secretary Kerry still cling to the 'reset' as the most effective approach to engaging Russia. The Journal quotes an unnamed State Department official who rejected charges that the reset has failed by pointing to the fact that "Mr. Kerry continues to talk with (Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov) Mr. Lavrov almost daily,"  and that the State Department "still does not rule out having direct talks with Mr. Putin."

In a particularly scathing rebuke to the efficacy of Obama's continued belief that personal diplomacy remains the best way to limit Russian military aggression, the Journal reports that last week, at the height of the crisis in Crimea, during supposedly high level talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov was unable to get instructions from Moscow because his boss, President Vladimir Putin refused to take his calls.

Next week, Obama travels to the Hague to make yet another speech on behalf of nuclear non-proliferation. There has been no word yet from Kiev as to whether Ukraine, which in 1994 unilaterally relinquished its entire nuclear arsenal, then the world's third largest, in exchange for US, British and Russian guarantees that's its territorial integrity would be respected and defended, will be in attendance to listen to Obama's appeal.

Re: "Obama travels to the Hague to make yet another speech."

Speechifyin' is all Obama ever does.



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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #133 

Obama don't get no respect

Cheryl K. Chumley is reporting that the prime minister of Crimea has a sense of humor -- and he unleashed it at the White House on Monday, sending out a mocking Photoshopped photograph of President Obama wearing a Russian military uniform.

ObamaTheRussian.jpg

And the accompanying translated text -- take or leave a couple of pronouns -- that’s attributed from Sergey Aksyonov, as reported by The Huffington Post: "Interestingly, after the success of the company in returning Crimea, Barack is getting the rank of colonel?"

Meanwhile, Kirit Radia is reporting that Russia’s deputy prime minister laughed off Obama’s sanction against him today  asking "Comrade @BarackObama" if "some prankster" came up with the list.

The Obama administration hit 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials with sanctions today as punishment for Russia’s support of Crimea’s referendum. Among them: aides to President Vladimir Putin, a top government official, senior lawmakers, Crimean officials, the ousted president of Ukraine, and a Ukrainian politician and businessman allegedly tied to violence against protesters in Kiev.

That'll fix 'em!

So, according to Josh Rogin, Putin responded to Obama's sanctions of Russian officials with his own list. Several U.S. Senators and officials will be banned from visiting Russia, including Sen. Dick Durbin.

Dr. Charles nails it.

Dick Cheney addresses the notion that Obama is weak:

So, Obama don't get no respect -- respect is earned -- and Obama has sullied the Oval Office with his empty bluster.

I don't expect or want the U. S. to go to war with Russia over the Crimea, but I don't expect the most powerful man in the world (allegedly) to make empty threats he has no intention of backing up -- remember the Syrian "red line?"

Obama is a very small man, and when he makes a laughing stock of himself, he makes a laughing stock of America.



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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #134 

"A cupcake vs. a steak knife"


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CAPTAINMACK

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Reply with quote  #135 
I'd sooner believe Obama just returned from the golf course and at least he didn't have his feet up on The Resolute Desk!
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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #136 

Sarah Palin's comparison of Obama and Putin nails it!

Rush adds his two cents

"If you want to know the truth, Obama is criticizing Putin on Ukraine 'cause that's what it says to do in the 'How-to-Be-President Manual.' He really doesn't care."

"This generation of leaders is literally clueless about our enemies."

"There's no question what's going on here. Vladimir Putin's reassembling the Soviet Union. I predicted this back in 2008 and all the smart money in Washington, inside-the-Beltway, they're shocked. They can't believe it."

"The purpose of any military is to kill people and break things. It's not to advance anybody's social agenda. It's not a laboratory for the Left's social ideas or playgrounds."

"Breaking news from the Obama Regime: 'The US will not send a presidential delegation to the upcoming Paralympic Games in Sochi to protest the Ukraine situation.' So the gloves are off, folks."

"The aggressor sets the rules, and right now, Putin is setting the rules."

"Sarah Palin, back in 2008, predicted and warned that Russia was gonna take Ukraine. She was laughed at. She was mocked and made fun of because, of course, that was the narrative."

"Do you realize, folks, how absolutely literally idiotic it is for the American Secretary of State to start whining about, 'Russia can't do that! You can't fight a Twenty-First Century war with a Nineteenth Century tactic! You can't do that! You can't violate pieces of paper!'"

"Sarah Palin never said was she an expert on the Soviet Union 'cause she could see it from her backyard. Tina Fey said that in a comedy sketch. Palin never said it, yet it was attributed to her."

"These are heavyweight times, and we've got a lot of people dazed and confused and just, in addition to dazed and confused, entirely misinformed. They happen to be our leaders at the moment."

"Did you hear that the White House put out a photo of Obama talking on the phone with Vlad, and Obama's sleeves were rolled up? That was done to make it look like Obama was really working hard -- I mean, really taking it seriously."


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #137 

Graham to Obama: Stop going on TV and threatening Putin

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) implored Barack Obama to stop going on television and making baseless threats against Vladimir Putin or other dictators yesterday on CNN.


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #138 

Judge Jeannine tears Barry a new one

Related:  As Russia invades Ukraine -- Obama goes to dance recital


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CAPTAINMACK

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Reply with quote  #139 
Did anyone else notice how careful Obama was to not draw any lines in the sand? Not any red ones or any other color for that matter.
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Beckwith

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Obama skips National Security Team meeting on Russia, Ukraine

Barack Keith Koffler is reporting that Barack Obama made a hastily scheduled appearance in the White House briefing room this afternoon to warn Russia about troop movements related to the situation in Ukraine, saying:

"There will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine."

Then he delegated the crisis to his staff to figure out how he could avoid following up on his threat without doing anything beyond making another speech.

Daniel Halper is reporting that a White House official emailed some reporters to say that Obama's team met today to discuss the ongoing situation on Ukraine. It appears that Obama did not attend.

The full statement reads:

"The President's national security team met today to receive an update on the situation in Ukraine and discuss potential policy options. We will provide further updates later this afternoon."

Tweet06.jpg

According to Time magazine's Zeke Miller, Obama skipped the meeting. "Obama did not attend the meeting, but WH official says he has been briefed by Susan Rice and his national security team," says Miller.

Tweet07.jpg

Putin better watch out.  If the Russian invasion of the Ukraine came between Obama and the golf course, there could be hell to pay.



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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #141 

Russia invades Ukraine

Obama's response


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Old37thSig

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Reply with quote  #142 

Saw this last night on WND

Forgotten treaty could drag U.S. into war with Russia

1994 legally binding agreement signed by Bill Clinton obligates America to defend Ukraine
Published: 16 hours ago

(London Daily Mail) A treaty signed in 1994 by the US and Britain could pull both countries into a war to protect Ukraine if President Putin’s troops cross into the country.

Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine – agreed to the The Budapest Memorandum as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union

Technically it means that if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war.

Putin installed 150,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders after the overthrow of Moscow ally Viktor Yanukovych by pro-European protesters.

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lawyer12

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Reply with quote  #143 
And they think conservative Americans are racists?
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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #144 

Russia insults Obama with torch-lighting

[RussiaOlympics01]

The Hill is reporting that Russia chose a lawmaker and former figure skater who tweeted a racially charged photo of Barack Obama to light the Olympic cauldron on Friday.
[RussiaOlympics02]

Irina Rodnina made international headlines last September when she sent out a doctored photo of Obama and first lady Michelle Obama appearing to stare at a banana. The photo outraged the Obama administration and prompted U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul to denounce Rodnina's "outrageous behavior, which only brings shame to her parliament and country."

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny retweeted the photo, with the caption: "Look at the jokes Russian MPs make."

Rodnina erased the tweet soon after but defiantly refused to apologize.

"Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, and you should answer for your own hang-ups," she wrote at the time.

Rodnina is a member of Vladimir Putin's United Russia and one figure-skating's most decorated athletes, having won three Olympic gold medals in consecutve games from 1972 to 1980. She lit the torch with Vladislav Tretiak, a former goal-keeper for Russia's national ice hockey team and also a three-time gold medalist.

A string of famous athletes carried the torch through the Olympic stadium at Sochi before handing it off to Rodnina and Tretiak for the symbolic finale. Tennis star Maria Sharapova carried the torch into the arena, which was handed it off in turn to pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, wrestler Aleksandr Karelin and gymnast Alina Kabaeva, who is widely rumored to be Putin's girlfriend.


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Longknife 21

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Reply with quote  #145 
The RT report goes on to say:

During an annual question-and-answer session with journalists, Putin praised Edward Snowden’s actions, saying that he was working for a “noble cause.”At the same time he accepted the importance of espionage programs in the fight against global terrorism, but said the NSA needed guidelines to limit its powers.

“There is nothing to be upset about and nothing to be proud of, spying has always been and is one of the oldest professions,” said Putin.

Referring to the vast amounts of metadata gathered on citizens by the NSA, Putin said it is impossible to sift through all of that information. It is “useless” to look at the analysis of spy agencies because it is the opinion of analysts and not facts and as such can be misleading.

“You need to know the people who analyze them, I know, I did it,” said Putin, harking back to his career as a KGB agent.

The Russian president described Snowden as a “curious character” and said it was not clear why the former CIA contractor had decided to blow the whistle on the NSA’s international espionage program at such a young age.

Russia is not working with Snowden and has not received classified documents from him, Putin said. The whistleblower has been allowed to reside in Russia but only on the condition he does not “engage in anti-American propaganda.” 

The spy revelations triggered massive diplomatic backlash and have had an adverse effect on the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Europe in particular reacted angrily after it was found that the NSA had been monitoring high-ranking political figures, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs met Wednesday to discuss what action the EU should take in the wake of the spy revelations. Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist renowned for publishing Edward Snowden’s leaks, testified at the meeting. Greenwald claimed that the NSA’s activities had nothing to do with the fight against terrorism and are instead aimed at the elimination of privacy worldwide.

“What a lot of this spying is about has nothing to do with terrorism and national security. That is the pretext. It is about diplomatic manipulation and economic advantage,” said Greenwald.

In the wake of the spy scandal Washington has defended the NSA, saying their work has foiled over 50 terror plots in the US and EU.
...............................................................................

In the wake of recent changes in Russia's policy and influence in its news agencies RT must be considered 'an official govt organ' and a Putin propaganda device. That said, it is interesting that Putin seems mostly amused, his reference to “There is nothing to be upset about and nothing to be proud of, spying has always been and is one of the oldest professions,” and he continues to joke in reference to 'prostitution the other oldest profession'.

I find it curious that he makes light of the potential value of NSA's spying by, "
It is “useless” to look at the analysis of spy agencies because it is the opinion of analysts and not facts and as such can be misleading. " and then jokes about his previous experience in the KGB.

Putin is sly, and I think he greatly enjoys embarrassing Obama, whom he clearly disrespects.  He will use Obama's many failures to increase his and Russia's standing in the world, but I don't get the old Soviet 'vibe' that America and the American people are their Enemy. It is more that he pities us for having such a "joke" for a President that it really is a cruel joke on the American People.  We will see. 

I think Mr. Greenwald's observation is very important, just doesn't go far enough.  It is all about POLITICAL POWER. The Obamunists' consolidating and maintaining the power to force their agenda on the American People.

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Putin says, "I envy Obama"

The voice you hear is the voice of the interpreter, not the reporter or Putin.  The original speaker is the person on the screen.

Western Journalism is reporting that Vladimir Putin said, "I envy Obama because he can spy on his allies without any consequences," when asked about how his relations had changed with the US following Edward Snowden’s espionage revelations…


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Beckwith

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Russian Mediterranean fleet to be expanded to 11 warships

Pamela Geller is reporting that Russia's re-emergence is thanks to Obama, and only to Obama. They should put up a statue of him in the Kremlin.

Russian Mediterranean fleet to be expanded to 11 warships RT September 16, 2013 (thanks to Christian)

[RussianLandingShip]

The Yamal large landing craft (RIA Novosti/Alexey Kudenko)

The Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea will be boosted by another military vessel till the end of September, according to the country’s Black Sea Fleet command.

The large landing ship, Yamal, is set to depart from the port of Sevastopol, Ukraine by the end of the month to join the 10 vessels Russia already has in Mediterranean waters. “The Yamal’s crew has completed preparations for relocation to the Mediterranean Sea,” Captain Vyacheslav Trukhachev, the Black Sea Fleet information chief told ITAR-TASS news agency. “As part of the preparatory period, the ship has performed several drive outs, which included target practice on sea and land.” The Yamal will represent the country at the annual ‘Russian Weeks’ forum in Greece, which this year will be hosted by the Ionian Islands.   The large landing ship – commanded by Captain Sergey Gritsay – is also expected to be called to the Greek port of Pylos and to visit Montenegro, Trukhachev added. The Yamal vessel, which has been in service since 1988, is designed for landing operations and the transportation of military personnel and cargo. It’s able to carry up to 250 troops and 10 tanks. Russia began its military build-up in the Mediterranean in 2012, establishing a constant presence in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea since December last year. 

Key words in this report -- "landing ship" -- that means Russian "boots on the ground."


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Beckwith

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The "real" version of Putin's Times op-ed

The New York Post editors say it's not hard to tell that Vlad's figured out how to handle Barack Obama.

Thursday’s New York Times carried an op-ed on Syria by Vladimir Putin. Below we run what we imagine was the original draft before the Times’ editing:

Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and your leaders. After the president’s speech Tuesday night, let me say what you all know to be true:

Barack, I own you. Or as we say in Russia, the wolf felt pity for the lamb, so he left the skin and bones.

Mr. President, we have much in common. People fear what we might do. We each have a media eating out of our hands. We both hate George W. Bush.

I also share with you the outrage at President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons on women and children. And I have made Russia’s displeasure clear to him. Bashar, I said, if you have to murder women and children, conventional arms like the ones I used at Grozny or the rescue at Beslan are just as deadly. Lord knows I have supplied Syria with more than enough weaponry.

Now I have given you an out on Syria. And you know what? I’ve become the man of peace. Me, the KGB guy. I don’t know how many legions the pope has these days, but I’m pretty sure they’re on my side, too.

I tried to tell you at the G-8 in June we Russians are not the crude caricatures you Americans think. We value negotiations, and we appreciate the UN. Indeed, we share with this great international body for peace and human rights the view that American military action is always an act of aggression. That, and blame the Jews.

Our two nations can be grateful for the dialogue we saw Thursday in Geneva when John Kerry received his marching orders from my foreign minister. Now begins the protracted negotiations that will keep Assad in power while relieving you of having to do anything so long as there is ongoing diplomacy. Can anyone say, Reset?

Once you commanded cheering masses and were awarded the Nobel Prize simply for being elected. Now re-runs of "Cheers" get better ratings than a prime-time presidential address, and the world sees you as the warmonger. Still, I will not abandon you. Join me in Oslo next year when I accept my own Nobel Peace Prize, and I will give you your full due for the flexibility you have shown in promoting my plan for Syria. Together we will make history.

Do svidaniya.


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Putin makes Obama pay a high price for Syria escape

Chris Stirewalt is reporting that John Kerry can finally say he knows how Richard Nixon felt.

Kerry rose to power because of his leading role in the American antiwar movement of the 1970s. His testimony accusing, sometimes wrongly, American soldiers of atrocities in Vietnam launched a political career that took him to the Senate, the Democratic nomination for the presidency and, now, to the top post in Barack Obama’s cabinet.

Vladimir Putin rose to power because of his service in the KGB, which in the 1970s was trying to exploit and manipulate the American antiwar movement. We know that while Kerry and others on the left were comparing American troops to Genghis Kahn and throwing their medals away, the KGB was working overtime to infiltrate antiwar groups and overtly propagandizing with the same messages embraced by American liberals.

Kerry has certainly changed his tune. It would appear that Putin has not.

Kerry, more than any other American, can take credit for bringing the country to the cusp of entering the Syrian civil war on the side of Islamist rebels. His relentless sales pitch in speeches, in internal administration debates and to members of Congress very nearly precipitated U.S. airstrikes against Syria in reprisal for the use of chemical weapons last month in that country’s years-long civil war.

When Obama opted to duck the decision on launching the strikes, Kerry chased the war plan down Pennsylvania Avenue to Congress. There, relying on what we have since learned is some intelligence from at least one questionable source, Kerry vainly sought congressional approval for going to war.

But the same dovish tendencies inside the Democratic Party that made Kerry famous and powerful also made his task impossible. Since most Republicans opposed the Obama plan for a "shot across the bow" in Syria as being simultaneously weak and provocative, Democratic support was made more crucial. Since Obama was unwilling to strongarm his fellow Democrats, observing that he was "elected to end wars, not start them," hawkish hopes for action flitted away.

Obama shoved the Syria strikes onto Congress in a move one of his advisers publicly bragged would leave Republicans to blame for the resulting action or inaction. Instead, Obama found himself "the dog who caught the car." A bipartisan defeat for his war plea would be a humiliation at home and abroad and leave his already tattered second-term agenda in ruins. Obama was stuck by his own escape plan.

A frustrated Kerry headed overseas to try to win allies that might convince anxious Democrats that this was not the start of a new quagmire for America. While abroad, Kerry gave a sardonic response to a question about a diplomatic solution. The gist: Oh sure, whenever Bashar al Assad gives up his weapons I’ll quit trying to bomb him.

It was very Louis Winthorp III.

The Russians, however, played it straight. And while Kerry was trying to make his own coalition of the willing, Vladimir Putin found the sweet spot with Obama. Putin offered Obama a way out of a political jam of his own making and allowed Obama to take a little credit for preventing, not starting another war.

Obama jumped at the chance and now, well, let’s let Putin tell the tale, via his New York Times OpEd today: "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."

This is a double slap at Obama who early in his presidency tried to redefine American exceptionalism, saying: "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Once he was beating half a war drum, Obama reverted to the more traditional, empowered sense of the term. Putin here reminds American liberals how much they liked the old Obama, champion of Greek exceptionalism.

Worst of all, Putin called Obama George W. Bush, dropping in buzz phrases Obama used to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency. The Cold War Kremlin tropes tailored for the American left about insufficient communication and the need for international equality got gussied up for the 21st century.

But Putin was doing exactly what his bosses at the KGB showed him back in the day, especially when it comes to Democrats: tug at the pacifistic heartstrings of the left when trying to hamstring an American adversary at the negotiating table.

Kerry begins his negotiations with his Russian counterpart today, and any idea that the US was going to strike has evaporated. Obama is inert, rendering Kerry’s threats empty. As Putin’s op-ed shows, the old game can still be quite effective.


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Russia has stationed 20 warships in the Mediterranean

Timothy Heritage is reporting that Russia is sending two more warships to the east Mediterranean, Interfax news agency said on Thursday, but Moscow denied this meant it was beefing up its naval force there as Barack Obama prepares for military action against Syria.

Interfax quoted a source in the armed forces' general staff as saying Russia, Syria's most powerful ally, was deploying a missile cruiser from the Black Sea Fleet and a large anti-submarine ship from the Northern Fleet in the "coming days".

Any strengthening of the navy's presence could fuel tension, especially as the United States has said it is repositioning naval forces in the Mediterranean following an alleged chemical weapons attack which is blames on Syrian government forces.

"The well-known situation now in the eastern Mediterranean required us to make some adjustments to the naval force," the source said in a reference to the events in Syria.

It was not clear when the vessels would arrive but Interfax said the Moskva missile cruiser was currently in the North Atlantic and would set sail in the next few days.

President Vladimir Putin has said the naval presence is needed to protect national security interests and is not a threat to any nation. Russia cooperates with NATO navies against piracy and its ships call at Western ports.

[PutinPreps]

The navy later indicated a deployment was imminent in the Mediterranean but gave no details except to say it would be part of a long-planned rotation and suggested it would not increase the size of Russian forces there.

"This is not a new group ... but a planned rotation," an highly-placed navy official who was not identified told state-run RIA news agency.

The reason for the discrepancy in the reports by Interfax and RIA was not clear but confusion has at times surrounded previous Russian deployments in the Mediterranean because of the secrecy involved. The Defence Ministry declined comment.

Washington accuses Syrian government forces of carrying out last week's chemical weapons attack and has made clear it could soon launch a military strike.

Russia is one of Assad's biggest arms suppliers. It opposes any military intervention in Syria and has shielded Damascus against further sanctions at the U.N. Security Council.

Defense experts said the deployment of the two warships identified by Interfax could give Assad early warning of cruise missile launches, particularly by submarine, or jam radars or navigation systems although they might never be used for this.

"What we may be seeing here is an example of gunboat diplomacy rather than a deliberate attempt to interfere directly in any coalition strike militarily," said Lee Willett, editor of IHS Jane's Navy International.

"The simple presence of any ships will have an impact politically, and that is the primary intent."

Russia's chief of staff said in June the navy had stationed 16 warships and three ship-based helicopters in the Mediterranean, its first permanent naval deployment there since Soviet times.


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