Before getting to the evening update, its always fun and entertaining to watch Nigel Farage speak. But as usual, his points are highly germane (in this case relating to the Ukraine) and correct:
Earlier today, the leader of Britain’s UKIP, eloquent wordsmith and member of the EU Parliament, Nigel Farage, unleashed one of his most memorable and finest diatribes in recent years.
"We ourselves in the European Union provoked the conflict through our territorial expansionism in the Ukraine. We poked the Russian bear with a stick, and unsurprisingly, Putin reacted. But this now is to be used as an opportunity to build a European army... And Mr. Juncker said, we must convey to Russia that we are serious. Who do you think you are kidding, Mr. Juncker?"
As Liberty Blitzkrieg's Mike Krieger notes, while the topic of conversation was the recent push for an "EU Army," at its core the conversation was really about the dangerous and simmering catalyst for World War III, which continues to provoked in Ukraine.
With Likud polling at least three seats behind the Zionist Union, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced concern Wednesday at the possibility of a left-wing government forming after next week’s elections.
Speaking at a Likud party rally in the coastal city of Netanya, the prime minister said that if the gap between the ruling party and its center-left rival isn’t closed in the six days remaining before the country goes to the ballot box, “there’s a real chance that [Zionist Union leaders] Tzipi Livni and [Isaac] Bouji Herzog will be the next prime ministers of the state of Israel, with the support of the Joint [Arab] List.”
Netanyahu told potential voters for Israel’s right-wing parties that they “didn’t have the privilege” to vote for any party but Likud, contending that undecided voters who may cast ballots for Jewish Home, Yisrael Beytenu or Kulanu increase the odds of a left-wing government.
Netanyahu also told the right-wing Makor Rishon newspaper Wednesday that “there’s a chance of a political revolution” in next week’s elections, and placed the blame for his party’s decline in the polls on an “effort organized by a massive cash injection and by a savage and unprecedented campaign by various media sources.”
Netanyahu, who initiated the elections two years early by firing Livni as justice minister and Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) as finance minister three months ago, had told supporters Monday that there was “a tremendous effort, worldwide, to topple the Likud government.”
The poll found that the center-left and potential allies would take 54 mandates compared with 58 for the rightwing and religious parties within the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament.
The center-right Kulanu faction, which has not said whether it would back Netanyahu or Herzog and could play the role of kingmaker, is seen taking eight seats.
A similar poll by Channel 2 television released late on Tuesday gave the Zionist Union 25 seats to 21 for Likud, with the center-left and allies taking 55 seats to 57 for the right. It too forecast eight seats for Kulanu.
Potential allies for the Zionist Union include the Arab Joint List, the centrist Yesh Atid and the leftwing Meretz.
A week from Tuesday, on March 17th, millions of Israelis will go to the polls for one of the most consequential national elections of our times. We will be casting ballots for the political party of our choice, and in so doing choosing the makeup of the next Knesset (parliament) and our next Prime Minister.
As I’ve been traveling across the U.S. in recent weeks on The Third Target book tour, people have been asking me whether Benjamin Netanyahu will return as Prime Minister, particularly in the wake of his impressive but controversial speech to Congress.
The honest answer is: I have no idea.
There is a groundswell of “Anybody But Bibi” voters. Some 30,000 Israelis turned out the other night for a rally in Tel Aviv calling for Netanyahu to be defeated and removed from office. Most of the Israeli media hates Netanyahu and are doing everything they can to disparage and discredit him. The left-wing parties in Israel can’t stand Bibi and are throwing all they can at him. Some on the center-right have policy disagreements and/or personal frustrations with him in his ninth year as Israel’s premier. And President Obama’s top operatives are in Israel working to unseat the PM.
That said, polls show Israelis trust Netanyahu to be Prime Minister and to keep the country safe from Iran, ISIS and other threats significantly more than Yitzhak (“Bouji”) Herzog, head of the Labor Party, and Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatnua Party. (The two have formed the “Zionist Union” faction as the main opposition party to Bibi; if they come out on top, they have pledged that Herzog would serve as PM for two years, and then Livni for two years.)
At the moment, most polls show a dead heat between Netanyahu’s Likud Party and the Zionist Union, though one outlier poll yesterday showed Netanyahu’s team ahead by five seats.
It appears to be a jump ball between Netanyahu and Herzog. It could go either way. Thus, it is possible that Netanyahu could lose his position as PM this month, even as the showdown with Iran builds to a crescendo. I’m not predicting one way or the other, just trying to keep you up to speed.
As reported on Saturday March 7th by both German Economic News, and Spiegel magazine, the ongoing lies and arrogance from U.S. President Barack Obama’s Administration regarding Ukraine and Russia have finally raised to the surface a long-mounting anger of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Government.
This is especially the case with Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who comes from Germany’s Social Democratic Party, which is far less conservative (and far less anti-Russian) than the Christian Democratic Union Party, Chancellor Merkel’s party. The CDU has traditionally been hostile toward Russia, but the SDP has instead favored an unprejudiced policy regarding Russia, after the breakup of the Soviet Union and the end of communism there.
Steinmeier has always been skeptical of Obama’s intentions regarding Ukraine and Russia, but now it appears that even Merkel is veering away from the United States on these policies.
“Resistance to the US strategy toward Russia is growing in the EU,” reports GDN, which names especially U.S. General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Commander, as the major source of this turn-about, because Breedlove has “exaggerated the military role of Russia in Ukraine.”
Spiegel provides the details on Breedlove, but especially blames Victoria Nuland, the Obama official who actually ran the February 2014 coup in Ukraine and who selected the person who would steer the new, post-coup, Ukrainian Government in the ways that President Obama wants.
Spiegel’s headline is “Breedlove’s Bellicosity: Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine.” GDN’s is (as auto-translated by Google’s Chrome browser) “Ukraine Policy: First open conflict between Germany and NATO.”
Spiegel notes that, after the second — which was the Merkel-Hollande — Ukrainian ceasefire was reached at Minsk in late February, Breedlove announced that “well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery” had just been sent to the conflict-region, Donbass, from Russia. “What is clear,” Breedlove said, “is that right now, it is not getting better. It is getting worse every day.” All of that was fictitious.
Spiegel continues: “German leaders in Berlin were stunned. They didn’t understand what Breedlove was talking about. And it wasn’t the first time. Once again, the German government, supported by intelligence gathered by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency,” heard Breedlove lie and were shocked by it.
Throughout, Spiegel ignores that Obama has been driving his entire Administration to marginalize, weaken, and crush Russia, and that this overriding goal of his foreign policies does not originate with his hires but with himself: he chooses these “Super Hawks” regarding Russia, because this is who he secretly is. When he plays the good cop in the good-cop bad-cop routine on Russia, it’s an act, which is designed to fool the public. Obama bombed Libya because Muammar Gaddafi was friendly to Russia; he bombs Syria because Bashar al-Assad is friendly to Russia; he overthrew Ukraine’s Government because Viktor Yanukovych was friendly to Russia; and he has been and is squeezing Iran because Iran is friendly to Russia.
Maybe the EU will finally decide that they’ve had enough of it, and invite Russia to join with them, and will tell Ukraine that they’re a bit too American for European tastes, after all: Europe has had enough experience with fascism and nazism, so that they don’t want to invite it back in again.
But will Germany actually do this? Will France actually do this? Have they had enough of Sunni jihad, and of Christian nazism (both just aristocratic ploys), to decide that they want no part of either one? Maybe goodbye, U.S.; hello, Russia? What type of Europe would that be? Might it out-compete the U.S.? Would it be the best thing for Europeans?
That’s the big strategic question in our time. And it’s not America’s to answer. Either Europe will go with democracy and peace and abandon NATO (i.e., abandon the U.S. military), or else it will go with nazismand war and abandon democracy (like the U.S. itself has done, especially in Ukraine).
Stay tuned. These are exciting times: the stakes for future history have never been higher.
It’s not really Obama who is on the fence. It is Europe. And the decision will be for Europe’s leaders — not for America’s, nor for Russia’s — to make.
They are in the driver’s seat, for Europe’s future — and for the entire world’s.
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