Monday, June 25, 2018

The World Transformed And No One In The West Noticed

The world transformed and nobody in the West noticed. India and Pakistan have joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. 

The 17 year-old body since its founding on June 15, 2001 has quietly established itself as the main alliance and grouping of nations across Eurasia. Now it has expanded from six nations to eight, and the two new members are the giant nuclear-armed regional powers of South Asia, India, with a population of 1.324 billion and Pakistan, with 193.2 million people (both in 2016).

In other words, the combined population of the SCO powers or already well over 1.5 billion has virtually doubled at a single stroke.

The long-term global consequences of this development are enormous. It is likely to prove the single most important factor insuring peace and removing the threat of nuclear war over South Asia and from 20 percent of the human race. It now raises the total population of the world in the eight SCO nations to 40 percent, including one of the two most powerful thermonuclear armed nations (Russia) and three other nuclear powers (China, India and Pakistan).

This development is a diplomatic triumph especially for Moscow. Russia has been seeking for decades to ease its longtime close strategic ally India into the SCO umbrella. This vision was clearly articulated by one of Russia’s greatest strategic minds of the 20th century, former Premier and Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who died in 2015. In the past China quietly but steadfastly blocked the India’s accession, but with Pakistan, China’s ally joining at the same time, the influence of Beijing and Moscow is harmonized.
The move can only boost Russia’s already leading role in the diplomacy and national security of the Asian continent. For both Beijing and Delhi, the road for good relations with each other and the resolution of issues such as sharing the water resources of the Himalayas and investing in the economic development of Africa now runs through Moscow. President Vladimir Putin is ideally placed to be the regular interlocutor between the two giant nations of Asia.

But in reality this alarming trend goes back at least to the bombing of Kosovo by the United States and its NATO allies in 1998, defying the lack of sanction in international law for any such action at the time because other key members of the United Nations Security Council opposed it.
Since then, under four successive presidents, the US appetite for unpredictable military interventions around the world – usually bungled and open-ended – has inflicted suffering and instability on a wide range of nations, primarily in the Middle East (Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen) but also in Eurasia (Ukraine) and South Asia (Afghanistan).
The accession of both India and Pakistan to the SCO is also a stunning repudiation of the United States.

US-Pakistan relations have steadily deteriorated even since the United States charged into Afghanistan in November 2001, but through it all, US policymakers have always taken for granted that Islamabad at the end of the day would “stay on the reservation” and ultimately dance to their tune.

The United States has courted India for 17 years since President Bill Clinton’s state visit in 2000, which I covered in his press party. Current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a Joint Session of Congress in 2016, the ultimate accolade of approval by the US political establishment for any foreign leader.

US policymakers and pundits have endlessly pontificated that India, as an English speaking democracy would become America‘s ideological and strategic partner in opposing the inevitable rise of China on the world stage. It turned out to be a fantasy.

However, what we have seen following this latest epochal development is far more extraordinary. The decisions by Delhi and Islamabad have not been praised, condemned or even acknowledged in the mainstream of US political and strategic debate. They have just been entirely ignored. To see the leaders and opinion-shapers of a major superpower that still imagines it is the dominant hyper-power conduct its affairs in this way is potentially worrying and alarming.

IDF: Hamas Behind Gaza 'Fire Kite' Attacks

IDF accuses Hamas of being behind Gaza 'fire kite' attacks

The Israeli army on Sunday accused the Hamas terror group of directing ongoing airborne arson attacks from the Gaza Strip, identifying key figures suspected of being responsible for the project and sharing a video that it said showed incendiary balloons being prepared near a Hamas position.
“Hamas is leading this phenomenon of explosive and incendiary kites, it is behind the launching of them and it will bear the responsibility of this terrorist activity,” the army said.
As evidence, the military released a video (above), filmed from its surveillance cameras, showing masked operatives taking balloons from what the IDF said was a Hamas observation post and walking toward the border, presumably to launch them at southern Israel.

For the past several weeks, dozens of incendiary kites and balloons have been regularly flown into Israel each day. They have sparked hundreds of fires that have burned thousands of acres of agricultural fields, grassland and forests, and caused millions of shekels in damage.

The army said the efforts to launch the incendiary and explosive devices were being directed by Hamas regional commanders. Some of the materials used to make the kites and balloons are also coming from Hamas positions, according to the IDF.

The military released the names and photographs of four men that it accused of being leaders in the arson attacks: Bassem Hatem Abd Hazin, Mutasim Fathi Atia Nabahin, Muhana Ibrahim Abd Hamdan and Amro Hussein Muhammad Abu Deif.

By identifying the men, the IDF was sending a tacit threat both to them and to the Hamas organization in general, with the implication that the military could target them for assassination.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who has been an adamant advocate of shooting-to-kill the launchers of such kites and balloons, said the army’s claims that Hamas was behind the arson attacks was further proof that lethal force was necessary and justified.
“Another piece of evidence that we should shoot at these terrorists launching terror kites and explosive balloons in order to thwart the threat to life that they create,” he wrote on Twitter, linking to the video released by the military.
“The IDF is working with increasing force against these terror cells — by shooting near them — against the terrorist infrastructure that belongs to them, and against Hamas targets deep in the Gaza Strip,” the army said. “We will not allow this terror to be a threat to the citizens of Israel and its land.”

The IDF has twice conducted predawn airstrikes against Hamas targets in response to extensive airborne arson attacks. In both cases, the terror group and its ally the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad have retaliated to the air raids by launching rockets or mortar shells at Israel.

A 'Perfect Storm' Arising In Europe?

Merkel's Troubles Began In Syria And End In Italy

It looks like we are entering the end of Merkel-ism in Europe.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel is approaching her final days in that position.

Be it next week or the end of this year, we are looking at unprecedented change in European politics thanks to Merkel’s insistence on taking in millions of Syrian and North African refugees from chaos unleashed by aggressive and insane foreign policy actions by the U.S. and supported by the EU.
From the destruction of Libya to the manufactured ‘civil war’ in Syria the displacement of millions of people was created from the desired to destabilize the entire region for the betterment of the U.S. and its allies in the region, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Jordan, Turkey and Qatar were originally involved but have since jumped ship in the wake of Russia’s intervention there.
Merkel’s current plight politically stems from her intractability in accepting the chain of events that led us to this point. All of the problems of Europe now stem from the collision of these foreign policy disasters and the economic degradation of the euro-zone from the flawed structure of the euro itself.
And the insistence of the U.S./Saudi/Israeli alliance to continue trying to manufacture a win in Syria that is clearly beyond their control at this point only tightens the noose around Merkel’s neck.
Let me explain.

Simply put, there is a perfect storm now arising in Europe as the consequences of a number of policies converge into this period of time.  They are as follows:

  1. Having each country maintain a separate central bank to issue sovereign debt denominated in euros is the main culprit for enriching Germany and the northern bloc like the Netherlands and Holland and impoverishing much of the rest of Europe — Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece, to name a few.
  2. This mispriced the risk of these loans by implying a German backstop to them via the ECB and the Bundesbank.
  3. As the euro rose in the 2000’s the value of the debt these countries issued skyrocketed in real value, destroying their fiscal situation and forcing debt restructuring which kicked the can down the road.
  4. The Troika of the IMF, the ECB and the EU, led by Germany, forced new loans on these countries with ‘easy terms’ to pay off the old loans but never fixed the underlying problem because, well, Keynesianism.
  5. To obtain this ‘relief’ from the Troika these countries had to accept onerous and politically unpopular ‘austerity’ measures which targeted budget deficits without reforming the euro to achieve any kind of growth.
  6. This fueled the rise of populism across Europe which began stirring with early strong returns from Five Star Movement in Italy, Syriza in Greece and UKIP in the U.K.
  7. The economic ruination of Europe climaxed with the horrific Greek debt showdown of 2015 which ripped the kindly mask off of Germany as the beneficent Emperor of the EU and revealed Merkel and her henchman Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble as the rapacious oligarchs they are.
  8. Meanwhile the U.S. began the operation to overthrow Assad in Syria in 2012, which by early 2015 had displaced millions into countries like Turkey, who, at Merkel’s invitation, began shipping them to Europe so she could then play Mother Theresa to the world’s ‘tired and hungry, yearning to breathe free’ or some such nonsense.
  9. Now with all of these refugees coming into Europe, the countries who were under ‘austerity’ from the Troika got no help nor any accounting relief from them.  Merkel insisted that they absorb these people in principle while also adhering to strict budgetary restraints imposed on them for Merkel’s loan-sharking  assistance.
  10. By 2017 the revolt against migrants in Western Europe saw the overthrow of ruling parties all over the map.  Merkel was losing allies left and right.  It continues today.
  11. The Italian elections ended with a hostile coalition to her while her own elections left her without much support within the Bundestag and vulnerable to a ‘no-confidence’ vote over immigration policy, which is where we are today.
  12. President Trump is attacking Germany’s status as the rentier class of the EU through both tariffs on Germany’s main exports to the U.S. as well as its refusal to honor its commitment to NATO on defense spending.
  13. The U.S. and Israel continue to drag out their loss in Syria by opposing any further consolidation of President Assad’s power in the hope of retaining enough territory to keep Syria an open wound to make headlines with while frustrating Iran and Russia.

It is the last point, however, I want to focus on now.  Merkel is trapped now by this situation.  There is no ‘third way’ out of this.  The people who stand behind her, the Soros-Set, for lack of a better term, want continued influx of migrants into Europe.

Trump’s campaign in Syria goes beyond just trying to effect regime change in Iran.  It is also part of his full-court press to force real change in Europe.  By keeping Syria a mess, with multiple areas of the country unstable it puts even more pressure on Europe to deal with potential migration issues.
This morning, as part of his election campaign, President Erdogan in Turkey vowed to send the Syrian refugees in Turkey back home.  But to where, exactly?

But any substantive change in the U.S.’s military position in Syria will change that in a heartbeat.  The main source of the instability in Syria would end and life there could begin to return to normal.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t serve the goals of the power elite nor their quislings, like Merkel.  And so this insanity will continue until it can’t and then something radical will change.
For Merkel, she no longer has any allies.  Macron in France wants to take over for her as leader of the EU, so he’ll back the U.S. in Syria.
It is Italy that has the leverage over her now.  They can’t come out against the U.S. in Syria when they need Trump’s help with Merkel.  So, the immigration issue will stay on the front burner long enough to get Merkel removed from power and gain the new government domestic support.
For her part Merkel and Macron’s new EU restructuring plan would be in Italy’s favor but it was solidly rejected by most of the creditor nations, unsurprisingly.
Let the negotiations for Merkel’s future begin.

Erdogan Declared Winner In Turkish Election, Cementing Grip on Power

Erdogan declared winner in Turkish vote, cementing grip on power

 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won tightly-contested presidential polls, the election authority said Monday, extending his 15-year grip on power as the opposition complained bitterly about the conduct of the vote count.
Turkish voters had for the first time cast ballots for both president and parliament in the snap polls, with Erdogan looking for a first round knockout and an overall majority for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The stakes were particularly high as the new president will be the first to enjoy enhanced powers, without even a prime minister, under a new constitution agreed in an April 2017 referendum strongly backed by Erdogan but which opponents say grants autocratic powers.

Erdogan defeated his nearest rival Muharrem Ince with an “absolute majority” of more than half the vote without needing a second round, said the chief of Turkey’s election authority, Sadi Guven.
“I have been entrusted by the nation with the task and duties of the presidency,” Erdogan said in a victory address at his Istanbul residence.
“Turkey has given a lesson in democracy to the entire world,” he added, pointing to an 88 percent turnout.
Erdogan won 52.5 percent in the presidential poll while Ince, of the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP), was on 31.5 percent, state-run Anadolu news agency said, based on a 99 percent vote count.
Celebrations erupted outside Erdogan’s residence in Istanbul and AKP headquarters in Ankara, with crowds of flag-waving supporters, AFP correspondents said.
Hamas leader Ismail Hanieyh also called Erdogan to congratulate him, according to a statement from the Palestinian terror group, which counts the Turkish leader as a strong ally.

Erdogan also warned anyone against casting doubt on the results: “I hope nobody will harm our country’s democracy by casting a shadow on the election system and its results in order to disguise their failure.”

* New powerful presidency comes into effect after polls
* Lira strengthens slightly on unofficial results
* Turkey faces growing economic woes, security threats (Adds opposition party comment, updates currency trading)

Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party claimed victory in Turkey's presidential and parliamentary polls on Sunday, overcoming the biggest electoral challenge to their rule in a decade and a half.
The main opposition party did not immediately concede defeat. But after initially saying Erdogan would fall well short of a first-round victory, it said it would continue its democratic struggle "whatever the result".
Erdogan, 64, the most popular but also the most divisive politician in modern Turkish history, later waved to cheering, flag-waving supporters from the top of a bus in Istanbul.
Sunday's vote ushers in a powerful new executive presidency long sought by Erdogan and backed by a small majority of Turks in a 2017 referendum. Critics say it will further erode democracy in the NATO member state and entrench one-man rule.
An unexpectedly strong showing by the AK Party's alliance partner, the nationalist MHP, could translate into the stable parliamentary majority that Erdogan seeks in order to govern freely.
"This sets the stage for speeding up reforms," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek tweeted of the results.
Turkey held Sunday's elections under a state of emergency declared after a failed military coup in July 2016 that Erdogan blamed on his former ally, U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
It limits some freedoms and allows the government to bypass parliament with decrees, although Erdogan says he will soon lift the measure.
Since the coup attempt, Erdogan has waged a sweeping crackdown on Gulen's followers in Turkey, detaining some 160,000 people, according to the United Nations.

Critics, including the European Union, which Turkey still nominally aspires to join, say Erdogan has used the crackdown to stifle dissent. He says his tough measures are needed to safeguard national security. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Orhan Coskun, Gulsen Solaker, Ali Kucukgocmen, Nevzat Devranoglu, Ezgi Erkoyun, Can Sezer, David Dolan, Daren Butler and Dominic Evans; Writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Jon Boyle and Peter Cooney)

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Things To Come: Rising Socialism Despite A History Of Failure, Oppression, Misery: Venezuela's Bitter Lesson

Socialism's Growing Popularity Is An Ominous Sign For The Democratic Party — And For The Country

Are socialists becoming the new Democratic Party mainstream? After candidates endorsed by the socialist party won nomination battles for state legislative seats in Pennsylvania and far-left progressives triumphed over moderates elsewhere, the answer seems to be yes.

Four — count 'em, four — candidates backed by the Democratic Socialists of America won spots on the ballot during this week's primary elections in the Keystone State. Two of them won't even be opposed by a Republican in the general election.

Some are writing it off as a fluke, a local aberration, but it isn't. Increasingly, the national Democratic Party is being California-ized pushed to the far left on issues ranging from single-payer health care, an open border and tax hikes to hostility toward Israel,  opposition to the Second Amendment, and a loathing of the U.S. military.

Speaking of socialist Bernie Sanders, his campaign in 2016 seems to have opened the way for the mainstreaming of socialism in the Democratic Party.
That's quite a change, given that just 10 years ago Democrats insisted on their moderate bona fides and recoiled from being called "liberal."

Sadly, a mere 28 years after the collapse of communism, a new generation of youth not then born or too young to understand it see that epochal event as ancient history, irrelevant to their new understanding of the world.

They do not understand that the topping of communism wasn't merely a repudiation of the gerontocratic rulers of communism, but of the very idea of socialism.

Socialism  Goes Mainstream

Unfortunately, the acceptance of socialism  now permeates all strata of society, according to a 2017 survey of adults by The American Culture and Faith Institute (ACFI).
The basic findings weren't too surprising: 48% described themselves as politically moderate, while 25% said they conservative and 17% liberal. Those who called themselves both socially and fiscally conservative made up just 6% of the population.
But here's the bombshell: Of those queried, four out of 10 adults said they preferred socialism to capitalism. That's 40%. This is what irrational hatred of Donald Trump has wrought.
"It ought to set off alarm bells among more traditionally-oriented leaders across the nation," said ACFI Executive Director George Barna.
It seems even among adults, the lessons of the Cold War and of more than 100 years of tragic socialist history have been entirely lost.

Let's start with these two stark facts:
First, there has never been a successful socialist government in history. None. Everywhere socialist precepts are put in place, poverty, loss of freedom and rights, and societal decline inevitably follow. Collapse is a frequent result.
Second, socialist governments are murderous. According to the "Black Book of Communism," written by French former Marxist Stephane Courtois, socialist  regimes killed over 100 million people during the 20th century. No other ideology or "ism" came close to that blood-soaked record.

Whether it's the USSR, China, Cuba, Vietnam, the former East Germany, North Korea, Laos, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Venezuela or any of the other failed experiments in socialism, it's never worked anywhere. It's led only to misery, deprivation, government control and a loss of basic human rights.
Socialist regimes always start off with high ideals, promising "free" this, and "free" that — education, health care, whatever. But as their ideas fail, they inevitably resort to compulsion, and eventually torture, political "re-education," imprisonment, exile and murder for those who disagree.
What's perhaps most surprising is that we have today yet another very clear example of the failure of socialism taking place in our own hemisphere: Venezuela.
The Washington Post, to its credit, toted up what has happened in Venezuela since socialism was imposed on the country with the world's largest oil reserves and a once-thriving middle class.

Venezuela's Bitter Lesson

"Since Maduro took over from Hugo Chávez — his mentor, who died in 2013 — Venezuela's crisis has steadily intensified as a result of lower oil prices, corruption and a socialist system plagued with mismanagement. But as Maduro has sought to further consolidate power in the past 12 months, the economy, public services, security and health care have all but collapsed.
"Armed gangs and Colombian guerrilla groups are operating unchecked on Venezuela's borders. Pro-government militias are terrorizing urban areas, while police stand accused of extrajudicial killings. Four of the 10 most dangerous cities in the world are now in Venezuela, according to a 2017 study by the Igarapé Institute, a Brazilian think tank that studies violence.
"Hundreds if not thousands of members of the armed forces are deserting, in part because of meager rations, according to military analysts. Power and water grids and the transportation systems are breaking down. In just the first three months of the year, Venezuela suffered 7,778 blackouts."

You might want to read the whole thing. It's just the latest try at socialism that ended in misery, soaring crime rates, unnecessary deaths from routine illnesses, the dissolution of civil society, and the collapse of national institutions. We call that Socialist Realism.
We wonder why those celebrities and politicians who in the past gave fawning and obsequious love to Venezuela's hated socialist leaders — including Sean Penn, Michael Moore and, yes, the clueless socialist Bernie Sanders — have suddenly gone mute?
Today, more than anything, the ideals of socialism are splitting this country apart. They're also splitting the Democratic Party apart, and damaging civil, reasoned discourse in our society. It's a shame, on a par with the hateful and bitter debate the presaged our Civil War.
It is a great, self-evident truth that socialism doesn't stack up against free-market capitalism when it comes to guaranteeing the universal and in-born rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As for those in America who think socialism is the answer, they are correct. But only if the question is: What one thing would end our precious experiment in democracy and republican government, leading to mass misery, impoverishment and even death?

EU Leaders Convene For Emergency Talks On Migration

 European Union leaders gather in Brussels on Sunday in an attempt to bridge their deep divisions over migration, an issue that has been splitting them for years and now poses a fresh threat to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Though arrivals across the Mediterranean are only a fraction of what they were in 2015, when more than a million people reached Europe, a recent opinion poll showed migration was the top concern for the EU's 500 million citizens.
Under heavy pressure from voters at home, EU leaders have been fighting bitter battles over how to share out asylum seekers in the bloc.
Unable to agree, they have become more restrictive on asylum and tightened their external borders to let fewer people in. They have given money and aid to countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East to keep people from heading for Europe.
Only 41,000 refugees and migrants have made it to the EU across the sea so far this year, U.N. figures show.
But the issue has in the meantime won and lost elections for politicians across the bloc from Italy to Hungary, with voters favoring those advocating a tougher stance on migration.
On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron said France favored financial sanctions for EU countries that refuse migrants with proven asylum status.
Merkel is under pressure because her longtime conservative allies, Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU), have threatened to start turning away at the German border all asylum seekers already registered elsewhere in the EU unless the bloc reaches an agreement on distributing them more evenly.
They mostly live in countries like Greece and Italy - both long overwhelmed with arrivals - or wealthy states like Germany or Sweden, where they choose to try to start a new life.
The ex-communist states in the EU's east led by Hungary and Poland have refused to host any of the new arrivals, citing security risks after a raft of Islamist attacks in Europe.
The bloc has been unable to break the deadlock, the bad blood spilling over to other areas of their cooperation, including crucial talks on the bloc's next seven-year budget from 2021.
With Germany being the main contributor to the bloc's joint coffers, the southern gateway countries were promised more money to handle migration, while the reluctant easterners face cuts in development aid.
Merkel is now pushing other EU states, including Italy, to do more on migration so that fewer people get to Germany and she can convince the CSU not to go ahead with their plan.
She opposes the idea by the CSU, which will face the anti-immigration AfD party in Bavarian elections in October, because it would mean rigid border controls inside what is normally the EU's coveted control-free travel zone.
To placate the CSU, Merkel must get something from Sunday, arranged hastily among more than a dozen EU capitals, and also from the full summit of the bloc's 28 leaders on June 28-29.
All EU leaders agree they must further curb immigration by working with third countries, though that often proves slow.
Berlin's other idea is to send back those asylum seekers who make it to countries like Germany to the states of their first arrival, like Italy.
But Rome has already rejected measures that could see it handle even more people and the Sunday talks are all but certain to see the two countries clash.
In the mid-term, the EU is only going to become tougher on migration, something rights groups denounce as turning it into a "fortress" beyond reach for those less privileged.
The U.N. refugee agency chief Filippo Grandi reminded the bloc that the height of their migration crisis was back in 2015.
"Despite today's dramatically lower arrival rates, the shockwaves of that event still reverberate - at the political level, and in the tendency toward restrictive, unilateral approaches that some European countries have pursued," he said.
"EU policies on asylum can and should set an example on how to manage refugee situations with compassion and solidarity," he added, urging the bloc to overcome its divisions to help those in need rather than focus on just winning the next election.

Europe's Refugee Crisis - A Closer Look

How the US, Under Obama, Created Europe’s Refugee Crisis

The current US President, Donald Trump, claimed on June 18th, that Germany’s leadership, and the leadership in other EU nations, caused the refugee-crisis that Europe is facing:  
“The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”
The US Government is clearly lying about this. The US Government itself caused this crisis that Europeans are struggling to deal with. 
Would the crisis even exist, at all, if the US had not invaded and tried to overthrow (and in some instances actually overthrown) the governments in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere — the places from which these refugees are escaping? 
The US Government, and a few of its allies in Europe (the ones who actually therefore really do share in some of the authentic blame for this crisis) caused this war and government-overthrow, etc., but Germany’s Government wasn’t among them, nor were many of the others in Europe. 
If the US Government had not led these invasions, probably not even France would have participated in any of them. The US Government, alone, is responsible for having caused these refugees. The US Government itself created this enormous burden to Europe, and yet refuses to accept these refugees that it itself had produced, by its having invaded and bombed to overthrow (among others) Libya’s Government, and then Syria’s Government, and by its aiding Al Qaeda in organizing and leading and arming, jihadists from all over the world to come to Syria to overthrow Syria’s Government and to replace it with one that would be selected by the US regime’s key Middle Eastern ally, the Saud family, who own Saudi Arabia, including its Government, and who are determined to take over Syria. Trump blames Angela Merkel for — in essence — having been an ally of the US regime, a regime of aggression which goes back decades, and which Trump himself now is leading, instead of his ending, and of his restoring democracy to the United States, and, finally, thus, his restoring freedom (from America), and peace, to other nations, in Europe, and elsewhere (such as in Syria, Yemen, etc.). He blames Merkel, not himself and his predecessor — not the people who actually caused these refugees.

As the 2016 study, "An Overview of the Middle East Immigrants in the EU: Origin, Status Quo and Challenges” states in its Abstract:

“EU has the most inhabited immigrant population; it has up to a population of 56 million foreign-born people. And due to the perennial war and chaos in the Middle East, the amount of relocated population in the region, especially the number of refugees, ranks the No.1 all over the world. … There are a large number of refugees and asylum seekers heading to EU countries; it can be divided into four stages. Since the Arab Spring, especially after the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011, and the rise of the “Islamic State” in 2013, the whole EU area have experienced the biggest wave of refugees since World War II.”

All of these invasions have been, and are, invasions of countries where the US regime demands regime-change.

Back at the start of the promised post-Cold-War period, in 1990, the US regime, under its then-President, George Herbert Walker Bush, privately and repeatedly agreed with the USSR regime, under its then-President Mikhail Gorbachev, to end the Cold War — agreed that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east” — that there would be no expansion of the US military alliance against the USSR (soon to become against Russia alone).

The US regime’s promise was that NATO would not take in and add to NATO’s membership, any of the countries that then were either in the USS.R’s military alliance the Warsaw Pact (Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania) or in USSR itself other than Russia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan), except for the eastern part of Germany. The US regime simply lied. But the Russian Government followed through on all of its commitments. Russia was now trapped, by Gorbachev’s having trusted liars, whose actual goal turned out to be world-conquest — not peace.

Obama’s coup to grab Ukraine away from its previous neutrality and to make it immediately a neo-Nazi rabidly anti-Russian country, has destroyed Ukraine — not only from the standpoint of the EU, but (and click on the link if you don’t already know this) from the standpoint of the Ukrainian people themselves. Who wouldn’t want to leave there?
Europe’s enemy isn’t Russia’s aristocracy, but America’s aristocracy. It’s the billionaires who control America’s international corporations — not the billionaires who control Russia’s international corporations — it is specifically America’s billionaires; it is the people who control the US Government; these, and no Russians at all, are the actual decision-makers, who are behind bringing down Europe. In order for Europe to win, Europeans must know whom their real enemies are. The root of the problem is in the US, Europe’s now fake ‘ally’. Today’s America isn’t the America of the Marshall Plan. The US Government has since been taken over by gangsters. And they want to take over the world. Europe’s refugee-crisis is simply one of the consequences.
In fact, Obama had started, by no later than 2011, to plan these regime-change operations, in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. But, in any case, none of the regime-change operations that caused the current unprecedented flood of refugees into Europe started because of what Europe’s leaders did (other than their cooperating with the US regime). Today’s American Government is Europe’s enemy, no friend at all, to the peoples of Europe. Trump’s blaming this crisis on Europe’s leaders isn’t just a lie; it is a slanderous one.

Criticize 'Child Abuse' On Facebook, Get Banned For 'Hate Speech'

Criticize ‘child abuse’ on Facebook, get banned for ‘hate speech’

Posting a video on Facebook in which an adult is seen enthusiastically indoctrinating very young children in the wonders of being homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, a “gay icon,” or at the very least a “gay ally,” is just fine.
But criticizing the video on Facebook, however mildly, is “hate speech.”
That’s the bizarre message the social-media giant delivered to Robert A.J. Gagnon, Ph.D., former associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, who was blocked from Facebook for 24 hours for supposedly engaging in “hate speech” when he briefly criticized the shocking video.

In it, pro-homosexual Canadian television host Jessi Cruickshank promotes to young children “sexual diversity,” “coming out of the closet,” the importance of kids being “gay allies,” and even explains how she had questions about her own sexuality as a child when she watched, over and over, a nude Jodie Foster cavort onscreen.
The video was made by CBC Life, a taxpayer-funded subsidiary of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
It shows children in a room decorated birthday party-style with gay pride flags and rainbow balloons. Cruickshank begins, “Happy pride, everybody!”
Gagnon’s comments?
“This clip is about celebrating sexual perversity, not ‘sexual diversity.’ Brought to you by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian equivalent to our PBS, paid for by tax dollars. No indoctrination or recruitment going on here (or on PBS), right? Any resemblance to Orwell’s Big Brother (or Kim Jong Un) is purely coincidental? It is a measure of how corrupt things have become that this woman is not vilified throughout Canada and legislators are not threatening to remove funding from the CBC. By the end the woman is talking to little children about [Jodie] Foster helping her to question her own sexuality as a child and about Foster’s nudity in a film.”
That, Facebook’s judge and jury decided, deserved a suspension.
Faithwire said the fact that the video is produced by the Canadian government, “while at the same time they are beginning to ban certain ‘offensive’ Bible verses, is certainly alarming.”
Laurie Higgins, cultural affairs analyst with the Illinois Family Institute, wondered what kind of “twisted person” makes a video telling “two 5-year-old girls and two 5-year-old boys” that she watched the movie “Nell” multiple times “in order to see actress Jodie Foster naked.”
That kind of person, she concluded, is Jessi Cruikshank.
“In a clownish, polka-dotted outfit and surrounded by rainbow balloons, she quizzes these five-year-olds on their understanding of homosexuality, ‘pride’ month, the importance of affirming homosexuality, and the meaning of the term ‘gay icons’ — you know, people like Neil Patrick Harris, Ricky Martin, Lady Gaga, Anderson Cooper, and Jodie Foster, all of whom she lists for the children. Cruikshank tells them that ‘gay pride’ is a celebration of ‘sexual diversity,’ a concept young children have no capacity to understand.”
Higgins charges that Cruikshank’s goals are not explanation, but “indoctrination.”
“She wallows in perverse delight that that these little ones know the terms ‘gay,’ ‘lesbian,’ ‘transgender,’ and ‘bisexual.’ She shows her delight in one little girl’s positive response to the idea of how ‘cool’ it would be to be raised in a fatherless home, cheering her on, saying ‘Yeah … so many advantages!'”
“This is a form of child abuse,” said best-selling author and WND Managing Editor David Kupelian. “It’s one thing for LGBT activists to push for their agenda, to fight for it in the courts, legislatures and public square. But for God’s sake, leave the children alone. I’ll say it again: This is child abuse. To indoctrinate and emotionally manipulate little kids, who cannot possibly understand what ‘sexual diversity’ or ‘transgender’ or ‘bisexual’ or ‘coming out’ mean, into parroting the left’s catechism and identifying as ‘gay allies’ is a new low.”
Higgins quipped that librarians from Minnesota likely would be “rejoicing” over the video. That’s because, as WND has previously reported, “Drag Queen Story Hours” have been held in various libraries, including in Minnesota. Again, specifically targeting young children.

Set to debut June 28 is an animated show about “toddler drag queens” called “Drag Tots!” features voicing from “famous drag queens,” including RuPaul. Then there’s the Netflix cartoon “Super Drags.”
The new programming has advocates for children aghast.
“More than ever, parents need to be on top of what their children may be watching, because the days of innocent Saturday morning cartoons is officially over,” said Movieguide, noting, “Honestly, it’s been over for a while.”
The two new shows “are pushing cross-dressing lifestyles on children,” Movieguide said, calling “Drag Tots!” a “disturbing cartoon.”

Syrian Conflict Moves Closer To Golan Border: IDF Fires Patriot Missile Toward UAV Approaching Israel's Golan Heights

IDF: Patriot missile fired at incoming UAV from Syria, which retreats

The Israel Defense Forces launched a Patriot interceptor missile at a drone that was heading toward Israeli airspace from Syria, prompting the incoming unmanned aerial vehicle to beat a retreat, the army said.
“As a result, the aircraft fled from the border. No interception was reported,” the army said in a statement.
The drone was being used as part of the Syrian military’s activities in the Quneitra region, near the Israeli Golan Heights, a commander in the coalition supporting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad later told the Reuters news service.

The IDF did not immediately identify the operator of the drone.
The military said its systems spotted the incoming aircraft and fired at it before the UAV reached the border.
“The IDF will not allow a violation of the aerial sovereignty of the State of Israel and will take action against any attempt to harm its citizens,” the army said.
Residents of northern Israel quickly began sharing photographs and videos showing the white trail left behind, apparently by the Patriot launch.
In recent days, fighting has intensified near Israel’s border with Syria, as dictator Bashar Assad’s forces, aided by the Russian military, move in on one of the last remaining areas of rebel-controlled territory in the country.
On Sunday, intensive clashes were reported near the southern Syria city of Daraa, with dozens of airstrikes that local activists said were carried out by the Russian air force.

Russia bombed rebel-held parts of southern Syria late Saturday for the first time since brokering a ceasefire there nearly a year ago, a monitor group said, as allied regime troops prepare a ground assault.
Southern Syria is a strategic prize for local and global players involved in the country’s convoluted seven-year war.
After securing the capital Damascus, Syrian President Bashar Assad appears keen to recapture the southern provinces of Daraa and Sweida, still mostly held by rebels.

He has sent military reinforcements there for weeks, dropped flyers demanding rebels surrender, and escalated bombardment in recent days.
Late Saturday night, his Russian allies bombed rebel-held towns in Daraa for the first time since the summer of 2017, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“Intense Russian air strikes are hitting towns in Daraa’s eastern countryside for the first time since the ceasefire was agreed in southern Syria last year,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

The Observatory said the warplanes used Saturday — based on type, location, munitions and flight patterns — had come from the Russian-operated Hmeimim base in coastal Syria.
The Britain-based monitor said at least 25 Russian strikes hit the rebel zones but did not have any casualty figures.

Russia, the United States, and Jordan agreed in July of last year on a de-escalation zone in rebel-controlled parts of southern Syria that would tamp down hostilities there.
Since then, Moscow’s warplanes — active in Syria since 2015 — had refrained from bombing rebel positions in the south.
But violence has been ratcheting up this week as Syrian government forces look to retake the south militarily.
Forces loyal to Assad began ramping up their airstrikes and artillery fire on the zone on Tuesday.
At least 19 civilians in rebel-held zones have died since then, according to the Observatory.

The IDF confirmed firing a Patriot missile towards an unmanned aerial vehicle approaching Israel’s Golan Heights from Syria on Sunday. 

“Air defense systems as well as detection systems identified the threat in advance and before it crossed into the country,” read a statement released by the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit adding that the military “will not allow for a violation of Israel’s aerial sovereignty and will act against any attempt to harm its citizens.” 

The drone was in engaged in ongoing operations by the Syrian army, a commander in the regional alliance supporting President Bashar Assad said.

The interception comes amid a large-scale offensive in the southwestern Syrian province of Dara’a aimed at recapturing the strategic areas bordering Jordan and the Golan Heights from rebels.

Over the weekend the Syrian army, backed by Russian airpower and Shiite militias, pounded the rebel-held areas causing thousands of civilians to flee to other opposition held areas along the Israeli and Jordanian borders.

The border with Syria has been tense since the war erupted in 2011, and Israel has stepped out  strikes against Iranian military targets in the war-torn country as well as against Hezbollah weapons convoys in Syrian territory.

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced their concern about the entrenchment of Iran and its proxies such as Hezbollah entrenching themselves in Syria and in February an armed Iranian drone sent to to carry out a sabotage attack was downed by an Apache attack helicopter after it infiltrated into northern Israel after taking off from the T-4 airbase deep in the Syrian province of Homs 

Following the infiltration Israeli jets took off to strike the launch site of the drone as well as the drone control vehicle that guided the drone into Israeli territory and were met by massive Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Over 20 missiles were launched toward the Israelis jets from SA-5 and SA-17 batteries. Shrapnel from the Syrian anti-aircraft fire hit one Israeli F-16i causing it to crash in the lower Galilee.  Both pilots evacuated from the jet.

Israel has used Patriot missile batteries stationed in the north of the country to intercept drones infiltrating into Israeli airspace from Syria. 

In September an Iranian-built unmanned aerial vehicle that breached the “Bravo line” that marks the Syrian demilitarized zone, firing one Patriot anti-ballistic missile stationed near the northern city of Safed.

The previous year a Patriot missile intercepted a UAV that was believed to have been gathering intelligence for the Syrian regime. The system was also used in July 2016, when two Patriot missiles were fired at a suspicious drone that crossed into Israeli airspace from Syria. Both missed their targets and the unmanned aircraft returned to Syria.

Israel’s air defenses also include the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets and the Arrow system which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and the David’s Sling missile defense system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 to 300km.