Two major developing stories this week include the land of Magog flexing its muscles and the growing world-wide police state with a focus on the U.S.:
Shortly after the US warned Russia over its "provocative actions" with regard Ukraine...
- *KERRY: RUSSIA MILITARY MOVE ON UKRAINE WOULD BE GRAVE MISTAKE
RiaNovosti reports defense minister Sergei Shoigu saying Russia plans "to expand permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries," including Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, and Singapore. "The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents," Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.
Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.
Shoigu said the list includes Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Singapore and several other countries.
“The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.
The minister added that the negotiations cover not only military bases but also visits to ports in such countries on favorable conditions as well as the opening of refueling sites for Russian strategic bombers on patrol.
Moscow currently has only one naval base outside the former Soviet Union – in Tartus, Syria, but the fate of this naval facility is uncertain because of the ongoing civil war in that country.
Post-Soviet Russia closed a large naval base in Vietnam and a radar base in Cuba in 2002 due to financial constraints.
However, Russia has started reviving its navy and strategic aviation since mid-2000s, seeing them as a tool to project the Russian image abroad and to protect its national interests around the globe.
Now, Moscow needs to place such military assets in strategically important regions of the world to make them work effectively toward the goal of expanding Russia’s global influence.
PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin has put Russian combat troops on high alert for a drill, the Kremlin's most powerful gesture yet after days of sabre-rattling since its ally Viktor Yanukovich was toppled as president of Ukraine.
Thousands of ethnic Russians, who form the majority in Ukraine's Crimea region, demonstrated for independence for the peninsula that hosts part of Moscow's Black Sea Fleet yesterday. They scuffled with rival demonstrators, mainly from the Tatar minority, who support the new authorities in Kiev.
Moscow also denounced what it described as the rise of "nationalist and neo-fascist sentiment" in the country's mainly Ukrainian-speaking western areas, where it said Russian speakers were being deprived of rights. It has repeatedly expressed concern for the safety of Russian citizens in Ukraine.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said: "In accordance with an order from the president of the Russian Federation, forces of the Western Military District were put on alert."
Since Mr Yanukovich's downfall on Saturday, all eyes have been on Mr Putin, who ordered an invasion of neighbouring Georgia in 2008 to protect two self-declared independent regions with many ethnic Russians, which he then recognised as independent states.
Any military action in Ukraine would be far more serious - arguably the closest the West and Russia have come to outright confrontation since the Cold War.
Tensions have rapidly increased in Crimea, where ethnic Russians look east toward Moscow rather that north toward Kyiv for their heritage, and perhaps destiny. After several days of unrest in which the Crimean regional parliament declined to seek separation from the new government of Ukraine, several armed men seized the building and hoisted the Russian flag onto the roof. The new government in Kyiv warned Russia to keep its military forces in its Crimean base within the confines of the facility:
Armed men seized the regional government headquarters and parliament in Ukraine’s Crimea on Thursday and raised the Russian flag, alarming Kiev’s new rulers, who urged Moscow not to abuse its navy base rights on the peninsula by moving troops around.
“I am appealing to the military leadership of the Russian Black Sea fleet,” said Olexander Turchinov, acting president since the removal of Viktor Yanukovich last week. “Any military movements, the more so if they are with weapons, beyond the boundaries of this territory (the base) will be seen by us as military aggression.”
In response, Russian military jets began patrols near the Ukraine border, in addition to keeping its ground forces on alert status:
Also according to the AP, the now-deposed Viktor Yanukovich has surfaced in Moscow after disappearing from Kyiv. Yanukovich reportedly tried to get across the border almost immediately after fleeing the capital, but was prevented from flying out of Kharkiv by border guards. An arrest warrant for mass murder was issued shortly afterward, but Yanukovich had gone underground by that time. The AP update briefly notes that a Russian official announced that Yanukovich had asked for protection from Moscow and gotten it.
Yanukovich also declared himself the rightful head of state for Ukraine:
In a statement sent to Russian news agencies from an unknown location, Yanukovich railed against the “extremists” who had stolen power in Ukraine, threatened violence against himself and his closest aides and passed “illegal” laws. …
Crimean peninsula will be the flashpoint for any action, and it’s not long odds on Ukraine losing it, either diplomatically or otherwise. The new government in Kyiv can’t sustain a war against Russia, and the EU won’t attack Putin on their behalf. They could well isolate Putin economically, though, and he knows it, especially if they begin buying natural gas from the US or developing their own through expanded fracking.
A Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.
The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 boat, measuring 91.5 meters (300 feet) long and 14.5 meters wide, was docked at the port of Havana's cruise ship area, near the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
The Vishnya, or Meridian-class intelligence ship, which has a crew of around 200, went into service in the Black Sea in 1988 before it was transferred seven years later to the northern fleet, Russian media sources said.
Neither Cuban authorities nor state media have mentioned the ship's visit, unlike on previous tours by Russian warships.
The former Soviet Union was Cuba's sponsor state through three decades of Cold War. After a period of some distancing under former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, the countries renewed their political, economic and military cooperation.
The ship is reportedly armed with 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.
Its visit comes as isolated Havana's current economic and political patron, Venezuela, is facing unprecedented violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro's government.
Russian fighter jets along the country’s western border have been put on combat alert as tensions mount over fears that Moscow is preparing to intervene militarily to protect its interests in Ukraine.
“Constant air patrols are being carried out by fighter jets in the border regions,” Interfax quoted aministry statement as saying. “From the moment they received the signal to be on high alert, the air force in the western military region left for the … air bases.”
The news arrives just a day after the United States warned Russia it would be a “grave mistake” to conduct any kind of military intervention in Ukraine following Moscow’s announcement yesterday that a snap drill involving 150,000 troops would take place in western Russia
The Middle East:
“In his recent speech, Hassan Nasrallah warned that Hezbollah’s readiness against the [Israeli] enemy has nothing to do with other battles,” Ibrahim Al-Amin, editor of Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar daily wrote in a column. “What he did not say publicly, he told his party’s military personnel in closed meetings where he called them to action, saying that the resistance [Hezbollah] may be forced to wage a battle on three fronts at the same time: in Syria, inside [Lebanon], and against the [Israeli] enemy.”
Israel put its troops on the northern border with Lebanon on high alert Wednesday, shortly after Hezbollah threatened retaliation for the alleged Israeli airstrike. Lebanese media reported Monday that Israeli Air Force jets struck targets near the border with Syria in the Bekaa Valley.
Police State - Creeping Totalitarianism
A former cybersecurity adviser to President George W. Bush fears that the NSA has created the “potential for a police state” to emerge in the United States.
“But they have created, with the growth of technologies, the potential for a police state,” said Mr. Clarke, a member of President Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology.
Mr. Clarke, speaking about a 2013 report on data collection by government agencies that he was involved in, went on to note that much of the blame can be placed at the feet of policymakers who have failed to ask tough questions about what the NSA is doing and to lay out very specific ground rules.
“If you’re not specific, an agency that bugs phones is going to bug phones,” Mr. Clarke said, Search Security reported. “The NSA is an organization that’s like a hammer, and everything looks like a nail.”
Do you want solid proof that paid government shills are targeting websites, blogs, forums and social media accounts? For years, many have suspected that government trolls have been systematically causing havoc all over the Internet, but proving it has been difficult. But now thanks to documents leaked by Edward Snowden and revealed by Glenn Greenwald, we finally have hard evidence that western governments have been doing this. As you will see below, a UK intelligence outfit known as the Government Communications Headquarters, through a previously secret unit known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, has been systematically attempting “to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse”. This should be deeply disturbing to anyone that values free speech on the Internet.
It isn’t just that the British government is trying to influence what people are thinking. The reality is that this is far bigger than a mere propaganda campaign. As Greenwald recently noted on his new website, the “integrity of the Internet itself” is at stake…
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques tomanipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
So what kind of people are the governments of the western world targeting online?
Well, when it comes to the U.S. government, all you have to do is to look at their official documents to see who they consider the “problems” to be. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered ‘Potential Terrorists’ In Official Government Documents“.
Sadly, the reality of the matter is that the days of the free and open Internet are numbered. The governments of the world are increasing their control over the Internet with each passing day, and eventually a time will likely come when we will not be able to communicate openly like this any longer.
Things have gotten so bad in the U.S. already that even Google is spooked…
This is what control freaks always want.
They always want to shut down those that are presenting opposing views.
They don’t believe in free speech and a “marketplace of ideas”. Rather, they believe in shoving what they believe down the rest of our throats.
And now we have solid proof that the governments of the western world are paying people to manipulate discourse on social media, blogs, forums and websites.
So will there be great outrage over this, or will the apathetic public just roll over and ignore this like they have so many other times the past few years?
This is no small matter. The U.S. Constitution says that “all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” When a president usurps a power that the U.S. Constitution explicitly assigns to Congress, it is nothing less than a partial coup. In fact, at this late date, it is a partial coup occurring toward the end of a long series of partial coups, which when completed will add up to a total Revolution. If the American people do not soon recognize what is (and a way to stop it), we will find ourselves under a completely different kind of government, an absolutely unlimited government, without knowing how it happened.
In the last 75 years, in no less real a way than when Henry Bolingbroke usurped the power of Richard II’s throne, the Federal government (in all of its branches) has usurped nearly all the reserved powers of the States, the President has partially usurped the powers of Congress, and the Supreme Court has at times usurped the powers of both the President and Congress.
“As [the power of government] has increased, it has also become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. In America … the States [have lost power] to the Federal Government, and Congress to the President.”