Sunday, September 20, 2015

Prophetic Puzzle Coming Together As Russia's Power And Influence Grows

Regarding the first article below, I have to ask the following question: "When was it determined that the U.S. can decide which sovereign nations's leaders can stay in power or be removed?"...Perhaps I missed some international law that was passed? Was it formally declared, at some point in the past that the U.S. can decide which leaders stay in place and which ones have to be removed? The arrogance of this is beyond belief. That issue however is a footnote. More importantly is the progress of the rebirth of Russian influence and power in the world as we await the "land of Magog" making their biblical moves, namely Ezekiel 38-39. Additionally, we see the movements by the pope which seem far more political than religious and his actions look hauntingly familiar to anyone who has read Revelation 13. 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has to go but the timing of his departure should be decided through negotiation.

Speaking after talks with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in London, Kerry called on Russia and Iran to use their influence over Assad to convince him to negotiate a political transition.

Kerry said the United States welcomed Russia's involvement in tackling the Islamic State in Syria but a worsening refugee crisis underscored the need to find a compromise that could also lead to political change in the country.

"We need to get to the negotiation. That is what we're looking for and we hope Russia and Iran, and any other countries with influence, will help to bring about that, because that's what is preventing this crisis from ending," said Kerry.

"We're prepared to negotiate. Is Assad prepared to negotiate, really negotiate? Is Russia prepared to bring him to the table?"
Russia's buildup at Syria's Latakia airbase has raised the possibility of air combat missions in Syrian airspace. Heavy Russian equipment, including tanks, helicopters and naval infantry forces, have been moved to Latakia, U.S. officials say.

Kerry said of Assad's removal: "For the last year and a half we have said Assad has to go, but how long and what the modality is ...that's a decision that has to be made in the context of the Geneva process and negotiation."

Kerry said he did not have a specific time frame in mind for Assad to stay. "I just know that the people of Syria have already spoken with their feet. They're leaving Syria."

Hammond, who on Sept. 9 said Britain could accept Assad staying in place for a transition period, said Assad could not be part of Syria's long-term future "but the modality and timing has to be part of a political solution that allows us to move forward."

Hammond said the situation in Syria was now more complicated with Russia's increased military involvement in the country.
"Because of the Russian engagement the situation in Syria is becoming more complicated and we need to discuss this as part of a much bigger problem - the migration pressures, the humanitarian crisis in Syria as well as the need to defeat ISIL," he said.

In a recent article for Israeli news portal Walla!, journalist Amit Leventhal suggested that Russia's moves to assist Syria in its war against Islamic extremism amidst Western hesitation are effectively turning Russia into the 'diplomatic superpower' President Vladimir Putin 'has always dreamed of'.

In his piece, Leventhal argues that Russia has come to assist Syria at "just the right moment," shoring up support for the Syrian government ahead of the 70th UN General Assembly meeting in New York later this month, "where Vladimir Putin plans to make a speech on the victories of Russian diplomacy."

The journalist believes that the Russian leader has something to celebrate, with "his goal of returning Russia's superpower status and influence in the international arena gradually being achieved." Levanthal notes that to a great extent, this has to do with Moscow's continuing support for the Syrian government, including the provision of advanced weaponry for the country's military, as well as the expansion of Russia's military presence in the area via the construction of a large air base in Latakia.

Leventhal proposes that "from a tactical point of view, Putin has chosen the perfect moment," suggesting that Russia is "supporting Assad's flagging army, which is losing territory and suffering casualties." 

The columnist notes that "from a strategic point of view, the moment is also very well-chosen, coming on the eve of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly. At the end of the month, heads of state from around the world will arrive in New York. On the meeting's agenda will be the wars in the Middle East and the migration crisis in Africa which they have spawned."

"Appearing on the podium of the UN on September 28, following a ten-year absence, Vladimir Putin will not be coming empty-handed," Leventhal noted. "He will outline his proposal to resolve the crisis in Syria, including proposals for dialogue between Assad and the so-called 'healthy opposition', that is, the Free Syrian Army and moderate opposition. He will propose the formation of a coalition for the fight against ISIL, but in a form which suits Russia."

In this vein, according to the journalist, Moscow's support for Assad in the Syrian conflict has turned Russia "into a diplomatic factor which the UN will have to take account of. This is a major success for Putin, turning his country into an initiator of processes in the international arena."

The journalist cited Russia's closening relations with the Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who, in Leventhal's view, has "become an ally of Moscow." Leventhal recalled that "Russia is supplying weapons to the Egyptian army, is assisting it in its fight against Jihadist terrorist groups, and is promoting a project to build Egypt's first nuclear power plant. Sisi also invited Putin to take part in the dedication ceremony of the opening of the expanded of the Suez Canal, but the Russian leader eventually sent the prime minister in his place instead. In May and August, Putin hosted the Egyptian president, who promised to support Russia's proposals on Syria."

Leventhal noted that in its efforts "to gain influence in the Middle East and around the world," Russia has also developed "active contacts among the Arab Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, hoping to persuade them to also accept Moscow's initiative on Syria. Recently, the leaders of many Middle Eastern countries have visited Russia, including Jordan's King Abdullah II, one of the US's main allies. He acknowledged Russia's importance by noting that the Syrian conflict must be resolved, and that Russia plays a crucial role in uniting the forces of the Syrian opposition and bringing them to a dialogue to resolve the crisis."

No nation in history has ever threatened peace more than the United States, US author Stephen Lendman emphasizes, adding that Washington bears full responsibility for creating the notorious Islamic State.

US President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are hypocritically calling for a diplomatic solution to the world’s burning conflicts, while waging perpetual wars in multiple theaters, US author and syndicated columnist Stephen Lendman underscores.
Remarkably, the recent poll carried out by the British polling organization ORB International, an affiliate of WIN/Gallup International, has found out that 82 percent of Syrians blame the US for creating ISIL, while 79 percent claimed that “foreign fighters made war worse.”

Furthermore, the poll has indicated that Bashar al-Assad’s positions in Syria have strengthened from a year ago.

“[T]he more that the war has continued, the more opposed to the US the Syrian people have become, and the more that they are supporting Bashar al-Assad, whom the Syrian people know that the US is trying to bring down,” US investigative historian Eric Zuesse commented on the issue in one of his recent articles.

Meanwhile, the Russian leadership is urging the international community to team up and fight against the ISIL threat.

“Russia…has proposed (forming) a wide coalition to fight extremists without any delay. It should unite everyone [against a common enemy],” Russian President Putin said as quoted by Lendman.

Russia is open to dialogue with the United States on the Syrian crisis issue, the Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova notes.

“We have never avoided dialogue with the United States, and remain open for discussion of all issues of mutual interest, including Syria,” Zakharova told RIA Novosti.

The Kremlin has repeatedly clarified that it is providing military aid under existing contracts to official Damascus because now it is the only credible force, capable of resisting Islamic State on the ground.
However, although all of Russia’s actions are within the norms of international law and are carried out in close coordination with the Syrian government, US top officials have no scruples about saying that Russian involvement in Syria “exacerbates” and “extends” the conflict, undermining the US-led coalition efforts to counter extremism.
Washington’s stance is the polar opposite of the truth, Lendman stressed.
“Washington and rogue allies wage endless wars on humanity. Peace and stability defeat their agenda. Mass slaughter and destruction serve it, targeting one country after another, heading inevitably toward direct US confrontation with Russia and China, risking nuclear war to make both countries US-controlled vassal states,” the US author highlighted.

The Pentagon is reportedly reviewing and updating its contingency plans for a war with Russia for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, with a defense official telling US media that Russia's “actions” prompted the assessment.
“Given the security environment, given the actions of Russia, it has become apparent that we need to make sure to update the plans that we have in response to any potential aggression against any NATO allies,” a senior defense official familiar with the plan told Foreign Policy. 
According to Michèle Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy and co-founder of the Center for a New American Security, the move was prompted by the Ukraine situation.

“Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine made the US dust off its contingency plans,” Flournoy told FP. “They were pretty out of date.”

Although the Department of Defense generates contingency plans continuously, the move is significant because it marks the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 that Washington has revisited plans for a potential armed conflict with Moscow.

According to a senior defense official, the new plans focus on hypothetic Russian incursions into the Baltics and have two parts: one focuses on what the US can do as part of NATO if Russia chooses to attack a member state, while the other considers US action independent of NATO.

But President Putin told Italian media in June that such “scaremongering” should not be taken seriously, adding that Russia's military is “not global, offensive, or aggressive,” and that it has “virtually no bases abroad.” He added that the few that do exist abroad are remnants of its Soviet past.

But while the US apparently views Russia as a threat, Moscow says NATO and its "eastward expansion" is the real cause for concern. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated earlier this month that Russia may soon create more Air Force facilities in neighboring countries.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said NATO is provoking Russia into an “arms race,” after there were reports of “American missiles put in a certain location and about certain ammunition depots in Eastern European countries and the Baltic.” 

Last month, the Russian Foreign Ministry said increasing troop presence at Russia's borders is being done to achieve “dominance” in Europe. The ministry added that the military buildup is “counter-productive” and serves as a “financial burden” for member states, as it “distracts” the alliance from dealing with other threats. 

On Saturday we brought you the latest from Syria where the Assad regime’s rejuvenated forces carried out aggressive air raids on ISIS positions for a second consecutive day on Friday, striking targets in Idlib and Palmyra, the UNESCO heritage site that fell to Islamic State in May. 

The arrival of four Sukhoi "Flanker" jets and presence of eight Russian military helicopters further underscored the extent to which Moscow is now preparing to play a pivotal combat role and by Friday, Washington was left with little choice but to put Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on the phone with his Russian counterpart. Here’s how we described the situation currently facing the US: 

Moscow, realizing that instead of undertaking an earnest effort to fight terror in Syria, the US had simply adopted a containment strategy for ISIS while holding the group up to the public as the boogeyman par excellence, publicly invited Washington to join Russia in a once-and-for-all push to wipe Islamic State from the face of the earth. Of course The Kremlin knew the US wanted no such thing until Assad was gone, but by extending the invitation, Putin had literally called Washington’s bluff, forcing The White House to either admit that this isn’t about ISIS at all, or else join Russia in fighting them. The genius of that move is that if Washington does indeed coordinate its efforts to fight ISIS with Moscow, the US will be fighting to stabilize the very regime it sought to oust. 

The game, as they say, is officially up for Washington. Toppling Assad will now mean ISIS, al-Nusra, YPG, and the various and sundry other groups operating throughout the country will need to first defeat Russia, an exceptionally unlikely outcome and one that the Pentagon certainly cannot afford to wait out.

All that’s left now is for Washington to try and save face by negotiating for some manner of deal that removes Assad from power, but even that now looks less than likely. Speaking from London on Saturday, John Kerry attempted to hang on to the “Assad must go” narrative, but in what might fairly be described as the most conciliatory language yet, Washington’s top diplomat essentially admitted that the timetable for Assad’s exit is now completely indeterminate.

Speaking after talks with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in London, Kerry called on Russia and Iran to use their influence over Assad to convince him to negotiate a political transition.

Kerry said the United States welcomed Russia's involvement in tackling the Islamic State in Syria but a worsening refugee crisis underscored the need to find a compromise that could also lead to political change in the country.

"We need to get to the negotiation. That is what we're looking for and we hope Russia and Iran, and any other countries with influence, will help to bring about that, because that's what is preventing this crisis from ending," said Kerry.

Note that this a far, far cry from the hardline rhetoric the US was still clinging to just months ago and it marks a tacit recognition of what should have been obvious from the very beginning. That is, the US backed effort to assist Qatar and the Saudis in destabilizing the Assad regime was doomed from the start. 

Quds Force and its spymaster general Qassem Soleimani have supported the Assad regime both financially and militarily for years and that support hasn't and probably will never will wane. “I don’t think the Iranians are calculating this in terms of dollars. They regard the loss of Assad as an existential threat,” a Mid-East security official told The New Yorkerin 2013. “Suleimani told us the Iranians would do whatever was necessary, he said ‘We’re not like the Americans. We don’t abandon our friends’”, an Iraqi politician added. And here is Assad last week: "The relationship between Syria and Iran is an old one. It is over three-and-a-half decades old. There is an alliance based on a great degree of trust. That’s why we believe that the Iranian role is important.”’s incomprehensible that the US ever believed its strategy in Syria had a chance of succeeding. Washington and Riyadh were attempting to simultaneously subvert Tehran’s regional ambitions, tip the Sunni/Shiite divide in favor of Sunni extremists against the Quds even as the US literally attempted to do the exact opposite in neighboring Iraq, and jeopardize Russia’s energy leverage over Europe at a time when that leverage was key to Russia’s bargaining position over Ukraine. To call that a fool’s errand is to be exceptionally generous. 

["Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb but spoke like a dragon." Revelation 13:11]

Pope Francis has studiously crafted and nurtured a reputation as a deeply compassionate, caring man who willingly opens his heart and mind to the down trodden, abused, and powerless victims of injustice.

In that regard, it is reported that the Pope plans to speak strongly in advocacy for the tens of millions of foreign illegal aliens who violate US borders and immigration laws, take jobs that should be filled by Americans, and use welfare, health care, food stamps and other social benefits to which they are not entitled, and which cost US taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

With all of the grandstanding and political hoopla surrounding the Papal visit, one would expect that Pope Francis would be willing, even eager, to lend a sympathetic ear to the victims of oppression and human rights abuses at the hands of Cuba’s communist leaders, past and present.

After all, the Castro brothers are declared atheists and their abuses should be particularly offensive to a man of God like the Pope.

However, as reported, Pope Francis is apparently going to deliberately avoid meeting with Cuban dissidents.

“Pope Francis plans to meet with Cuba’s president and its priests, its young and its sick, its churchgoers and its seminarians as he travels around the island starting Saturday. But not its dissidents.
The absence on Francis’ agenda of any meeting with the political opposition has sparked bitter critiques from dissidents who say they feel let down by an institution they believe should help push for greater freedom in Cuba.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said this week that Francis had not accepted any invitations to meet with dissidents, and well-known opposition members told The Associated Press they have received no invitation to see him.

The big question: Why are the lives of Cuban dissidents living under atheist communists less important than foreign criminal invaders who violate US borders and immigration laws and actively steal from American citizens?

Pope Francis has arrived in Havana this afternoon and starts a historic 10-day visit to Cuba and the United States, according to reports.
Cuban President Raul Castro welcomed Pope Francis in a long speech at the airport. In his speech, Castro said the communist government has "founded an equitable society with social justice" in Cuba and he praised the pope's critiques of the global economic system that has "globalized capital and turned money into its idol."
Castro thanked the pope for facilitating negotiations that led to a detente between the United States and Cuba. Castro is also calling for the end of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, which he called "cruel, immoral and illegal," and the return of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

The pope has been opposed to the long-standing U.S. trade and travel embargo. New regulations issued on Friday are intended to increase travel and trade between the U.S. and Cuba.

Not all lawmakers are happy with the Pope's historic address.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Az., said that he would boycott the pontiff's visit mainly due to his thoughts on climate change.
"If the Pope wants to devote his life to fighting climate change then he can do so in his personal time," he wrote in a letter on the website "But to promote questionable science as Catholic dogma is ridiculous."
Francis also plans stops in Philadelphia and New York to speak at the United Nations.

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WVBORN56 said...

Scott nice find on Revelation 13:11 as it may apply to the Pope! Sure looks like it!

Gary said...

Maybe the rapture could be explained with....CERN? Just putting that out there.

Scott said...

HMMM.....Interesting thought Gary - One I hadn't considered...

WV - we'll see but I don't believe in coincidence these days

Unknown said...

What is the schedule for the CERN experiment, fire-up, test, or whatever? I know it's been ramping up for something for a bit, but I don't know the date. thanks to whoever can answer

Scott said...

Im not 100% sure. And it may not be a single date because i think its a process over several days or weeks as they increase power (?)

Unknown said...

That's what I was thinking as well, but I was wondering. Seems like 9/23 date keeps showing up...could be an interesting week.