Monday, May 19, 2014

Signs Of The Times: Persecution And Oppression

We really shouldn't be surprised: 

When the U.S. military “liberates” a nation, shouldn’t it result in more liberty, freedom and peace for the people living there?  Instead, we find just the opposite.  In fact, in every single case since 9/11, when the U.S. military has “liberated” a nation it has resulted in the persecution of Christians in that country becoming much worse.  In areas where we spent hundreds of billions of dollars and where thousands of precious American lives were sacrificed, churches are regularly being bombed, Christians are being brutally beheaded, and laws have been passed to make it illegal for a Muslim to convert to Christianity.  If we were not even able to provide the most basic of liberties and freedoms to the people living in those nations, what in the world did we actually accomplish by “liberating” them?
Just look at what has happened in Afghanistan.  We have been at war in Afghanistan for more than a dozen years, and yet things are so bad for Christians in that country at this point that there is not a single church left

The supposedly “moderate” Karzai government installed by the U.S. upholds many of the draconian laws enforced by the Taliban—including the apostasy law, fiercely persecuting those who seek to convert to Christianity—and, in 2011, under U.S. auspices, it destroyed Afghanistan’s last Christian church.

We find a similar story in Iraq.  It is estimated that before the invasion, there were up to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Now that number is down to less than 450,000, and it is falling fast.
In fact, things are so dire for Iraq’s Christian community that some Iraqi Christian leaders are warning that Christians may soon become “extinct” in that nation…

As the mass exodus of Iraq’s Christians continues, so does the call for ending the plight of those who have remained. Like Iraq’s ancient Jewish community before them, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities may soon cease to exist.
The disappearance of Iraq’s religious minorities has been a troubling trend since the US-led invasion in 2003, and it has threatened to end the cultural diversity of Iraq. As the violence in the country spikes and religious intolerance grows, many Christians, Yazidis, Mandaeans and other minority community members are leaving the country.
Last week, the head of the Iraqi Catholic Church sent a chilling warning that Iraq’s 2,000-year-old Christian community is on the brink of extinction as new waves of Christians take the journey of exodus.
The Obama administration likes to brag about how it got rid of Qaddafi and “liberated” Libya, but now al-Qaeda is in control of much of the country and things are much worse for Christians than ever before

Ever since U.S.-backed, al-Qaeda-linked terrorists overthrew Qaddafi, Christians—including Americans—have indeed suffered extreme persecution. Churches have been bombed; Christians have been tortured and killed (includingfor refusing to convert); and nuns have been threatened.

In Syria, the Obama administration is shamelessly allying with radical al-Qaeda jihadists in a desperate attempt to overthrow the Assad regime.
As these jihadists torture, behead and even crucify Christian believers, the mainstream media in the United States is virtually silent about it.
Why is the media being so quiet?
Well, because exposing what is going on would make the Obama administration look bad.
Those carrying out this persecution of Christians in Syria are being directly funded and aided by the governments of the United States and Saudi Arabia.  For much more on what is going on in Syria, please see my previous article entitled “Why Is The Media Silent About The Crucifixion Of Christians By Radical Jihadists?

In this episode of Focus on Israel, host Laurie Cardoza-Moore uncovers the challenges that the modern state of Israel faces in the world of media – on television reports, in newspapers and magazines, on the worldwide web as well as in journalism schools around the world.
Too often, when CNN, the BBC, the New York Times, the Associated Press and other mainstream media outlets begin to work on a story about Israel, they have an end goal in mind: a goal to vilify and delegitimize Israel.
Farah further states that “if you look objectively on the map … Israel is outnumbered in every way, so it’s very hard to accept that Israel is an aggressor. It’s ridiculous that people believe it, but they hear it repeated over and over, and so conception becomes reality.”
For example, in a recent attack, a Hamas mortar landed on a school in Israel. Following the bombing, the Israeli Air Force struck at the Hamas launch site. Yet in the news report, the attack on the Jewish children is left out, and the media broadcasts a story making Israel look like the aggressor. Seldom in the media do you see or hear the other side of the story.

Cisco Systems Inc's chief executive officer has written a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama urging him to curtail government surveillance after evidence circulated showing the U.S. National Security Agency had intercepted Cisco equipment, a company spokesman said on Sunday.​
In a letter dated May 15, John Chambers, chief executive officer and chairman of the networking equipment giant, warned of an erosion of confidence in the U.S. technology industry and called for new "standards of conduct" in how the NSA conducts its surveillance.

In a letter dated May 15, John Chambers, chief executive officer and chairman of the networking equipment giant, warned of an erosion of confidence in the U.S. technology industry and called for new "standards of conduct" in how the NSA conducts its surveillance.
"We simply cannot operate this way, our customers trust us to be able to deliver to their doorsteps products that meet the highest standards of integrity and security," Chambers said in the letter.
The letter follows the circulation of pictures on the Internet showing NSA staff opening boxes of Cisco gear, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. "There have been allegations that the NSA has intercepted IT equipment in transit from manufacturers to customers to help monitor and gain information on surveillance targets," the paper wrote.
The allegations stem from early reporting from Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has written about a number of NSA documents that were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
In the letter, Chambers states that "if these allegations are true, these actions will undermine confidence in our industry and in the ability of technology companies to deliver products globally."

The EPA is about to impose a new regulation that will reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants starting June 2 and will become permanent in 2015. The new regulation, according to Politico, is the “most dramatic anti-pollution regulation in a generation.” Because the new regulation will further cripple the coal industry, as coal-burning plants will be severely affected, American power will become more dependent on natural gas, solar and wind.

In a case of strange bedfellows, environmentalists and the GOP may both be quite happy with the Obama Administration’s continued “War on Coal.” One environmentalist, Kyle Aarons at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, was pleased, saying, “This rule is the most significant climate action this administration will take.” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) an environmentalist supporter, encouraged the EPA to “go ahead boldly” with the proposed rule.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said reducing fossil fuels could be life-threatening for some people, asserting, “You have another polar vortex next year, how many people will lose their lives?” Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, running against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, is distancing herself from the EPA’s new regulations, and already called an earlier restriction imposed by the EPA an “out-of-touch Washington regulation.” Democrat West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall, who may be in trouble in 2014, said in 2013, “this callous, ideologically driven agency continues to be numb to the economic pain that their reckless regulations cause.”  Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) wants to impede the EPA’s aggressiveness.
But Barack Obama has blithely ignored his party’s minions, giving interviews with various television meteorologists to push his climate change agenda and even telling one meteorologist, “This is a problem that is affecting Americans right now, whether it means increased flooding, greater vulnerability to drought, more severe wildfires. And people’s lives are at risk.”
But manufacturers and oil refining industries have joined the coal industry to condemn the EPA’s efforts, worried they are the beginning of a slippery slope that will eventually cripple all of them. Ross Eisenberg, vice president for energy and resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, said, “These regulations could reduce the diversity of our energy supply, increase electricity and compliance costs for American businesses and shrink our competitiveness. We can’t sit by silently while that happens.”

A large number of People's Liberation Army troops have been spotted heading towards the China-Vietnam border as tensions between the two countries continue to escalate, reports Hong Kong's Sing Tao Daily.
Thousands of Chinese nationals living or on business in Vietnam have already fled the country amid anti-China riots, which were sparked by a tense standoff between Chinese and Vietnamese naval ships near a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters off the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on May 4.
The Chinese foreign ministry confirmed Friday that at least two Chinese nationals have been killed and nearly a hundred were injured during violent protests last week that saw dozens of Chinese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong factories set on fire. The UK's Guardian claims as many as 21 people have died.
As yet another large-scale anti-China protest was scheduled for Sunday, Chinese netizens reported seeing an "endless stream" of PLA soldiers in full combat gear at Chongzuo train station, apparently on their way to the 97-kilometer China-Vietnam border at Pingxiang city in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. The soldiers were said to have been accompanied by tanks, armored vehicles, missile launchers and other heavy artillery.
Pingxiang was where the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979 began, and locals are reportedly preparing to evacuate the area out of fears of an imminent military conflict.

Beijing may be considering a military response to anti-China protests that have erupted in Vietnam over the last two weeks, with reports of an “endless stream” of PLA troops, tanks, missile launchers and other heavy artillery heading to Pingxiang city, where the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979 began.

The protests were sparked byChina’s attempt to place a huge state-owned oil rig inside Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on May 2, a move Vietnam treated as an illegal act of provocation. The deployment of the rig was accompanied by 80 ships including 7 PLA warships which were confronted by Vietnamese forces. Chinese ships used water cannons and rammed the Vietnamese ships, fueling a dispute that has raged ever since with violent anti-China riots leading to the death of 21 protesters.

Chinese netizens reported seeing an “endless stream” of PLA soldiers in full combat gear at Chongzuo train station, apparently on their way to the 97-kilometre China-Vietnam border at Pingxiang city in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. The soldiers were said to have been accompanied by tanks, armoured vehicles, missile launchers and other heavy artillery,” reports the China Daily Mail.

Images posted on Chinese social media site Weibo show large numbers of troops, tanks and other armored vehicles on the move.

The report also notes that locals in Pingxiang city are evacuating “out of fears of an imminent military conflict,” partly driven by the fact that the Sino-Vietnamese War was launched from the same area in 1979, leading to the death of over 10,000 Vietnamese civilians

Amid tensions between the United States and Russia in recent months many international analysts have warned of consequences that may include everything from thermo-nuclear detonations to asymmetric warfare such as financial cyber attacks, weapons of mass destruction, or targeting of the national utility grid.

Russia’s control of valuable domestic resources puts them in a unique strategic position against the United States and gives them significant leverage should they choose to implement sanctions of their own. The country is rich in oil and gas, an advantage they have used time and again in negotiations with Europe by simply threatening to shut down gas pipelines if their demands weren’t met. But something most people don’t realize is that the Russians also dominate the rare earth metals sector, namely the mining of uranium.
If Russia were to restrict the export of that uranium, explains Katusa, life as we know it in the United States could come to an abrupt halt.

If that happened America’s lights would go out. It would be the greatest blackout in American history…
The irony is John Kerry is going out there with Obama and talking about all these sanctions they’re going to put on the Russians. If the Russians wanted they could pull the rug out from under the American energy matrix and 20%, one out of every five homes in America, would be in blackout.
You have to remember the facts… You can talk about hope and dreams all you want, but the reality is that one in every five homes in America is powered by Russian fuel.

In 2013 America consumed just over 45 million pounds [of uranium] and in the U.S. last year they produced just under 4.4 million pounds. So, depending on which numbers you want to use and what the actual recoveries are, somewhere confidently less than 10% but more likely somewhere around 6% to 7% [of the uranium Americans use is mined in the United States].
The U.S. imports over 90% of what they consume and that is a strategic issue when you think about the fact that 20% of base-load power is based on nuclear energy and they depend on 90% from imports… Americans should be in shock with that. On of that, half comes from the former USSR, what I call the Soviet influence.

Since the end of the cold war we’ve experienced a relatively stable trade relationship with Russia up until a few months ago when Ukraine exploded in revolution. Now Americans face a new energy threat that could, should Russia choose to exercise this option, lead to rolling blackouts across the United States and cause electricity prices to sky rocket almost overnight.
It’s a threat that doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s radar, but one that could have an immediate impact on Americans’ way of life if Vladimir Putin decides he’s had enough of the political showmanship.

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