Tuesday, February 7, 2017

NATO Presence In Baltics Sends Clear Signal, Did China Make A Mistake In S China Sea?, UN: Israeli 'Settlements Law' Crosses Red Line

NATO Presence in Baltics Sends Clear Signal, Lithuania Says

More than 1,000 NATO soldiers being stationed in Lithuania sends a clear signal that the alliance stands "strong and united" in the Baltics in the face of Russian aggression, the Lithuanian president said Tuesday.
Dalia Grybauskaite said that Lithuania has "never before" seen "forces of such size and integrity" deployed in one of NATO's easternmost countries close to key Russian exclave Kaliningrad.
At last year's NATO summit in Warsaw, the alliance decided to deploy forces in the countries bordering Russia and Belarus. After Russia displayed its might in Georgia and Ukraine in recent years, there is a fear in Baltic countries and Poland that other ex-Soviet republics could be next.
Germany will lead the multinational unit of more than 1,000 soldiers that will be based near Kaliningrad with a navy base and long-range missiles. NATO battle groups are also being stationed in Poland, Latvia and Estonia as part of an alliance mission as countries in the region fear a resurgent Russia.
The buildup "sends a very clear and important message to all that NATO stands strong and united," Grybauskaite said Tuesday.
"The battalion arrives to the right place at the right time. Because we do see the aggressive militarization of the Kaliningrad region. It's on our border," Grybauskaite said, adding "This means this is a threat to (the whole) alliance, and Europe."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comment during his confirmation hearing that the United States would deny China access to its man-made island bases in the South China Sea caused a predictable furor.
However, few people seriously think the US is going to blockade the islands. This is a poor option anyway.

China’s military is not going to be rolled back and abandon the islands. It can’t.  Beijing’s leadership has proven it is no better at running an economy than anyone else in human history. That only leaves restoring China’s grandeur to justify Chinese Communist Party rule. Backing down in the face of US pressure would be humiliating and possibly threaten regime survival.

Even if the US has few decent options for direct military pressure on existing Chinese-held island bases, Tillerson’s comments and subsequent statements by Trump Administration officials suggest an abrupt change in longstanding US policy towards China.

One might now anticipate an end to accommodationist (some would say, appeasement) policy under which the norm was ‘de-escalation’ whenever China did something provocative.

Regional geography is an unchanging variable and not in China’s favor in this case as it leaves open the possibility that if push comes to shove, the US and its partnerscould hem Chinese forces inside the 1st Island Chain.  And, if necessary, make life exceedingly difficult for Chinese forces operating inside the chain.
The geography makes the 1st Island Chain effectively a barrier. There are relatively few ‘access (or exit) points’ through the chain that stretches all the way from Japan in the north down past Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia, and over to the Straits of Malacca in the south.
The aforementioned ‘asymmetrical’ weapons do not take into account the considerable resources of the US (and other nations) in the form of naval combatant ships, submarines, airpower, Marines, and surveillance resources that can be used to block the 1st Island Chain.
With a newfound US backbone, particularly if solidly linked operationally and politically with Japan and its considerable, if latent, military resources other regional nations might feel more confident about asserting their own interests.

President Xi and his immediate predecessors perhaps didn’t think through the geography angle as much as they might have. And China tipped its hand too soon in 2009 when it ended its so-called charm offensive, which was indeed lulling to sleep regional nations (and even many Americans), and started throwing its weight around.

The political forces that are behind the latest outbreak of violence in eastern Ukraine are seeking to block the path towards improved US-Russian relations the Russian envoy to the UN told RT.
Those, who are provoking those manifestations of violence in the Eastern Ukraine,” are actually aiming at making “sure that there are additional obstacles for the improvement of relations between the US and Russia” because they do not want the relations between the two countries to improve, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin told RT’s Aleksey Yaroshevsky in an interview.
Churkin said the “recent spike of military activity [in the Eastern Ukraine] was initiated by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the [so-called] volunteer battalions” that are fighting in the east of the country.
He particularly emphasized that the reports of the OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine prove that the bulk of the blame lies on Kiev. “If you read the reports of the OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine, … it is obvious that it is the fault of the Ukrainian [government],” Churkin said, referring to the latest escalation of violence in Ukraine.

He added that the OSCE mission “could be clearer in presenting the facts, which they have” at some points. He then said the western media's coverage of the Ukrainian conflict distorted the facts to a great extent.

The United Nations warned Israel on Tuesday that the new Settlements Law helps pave the way for the annexation of the West Bank.

It "opens the potential for the full annexation of the West Bank and therefore undermines substantially the two-state solution," the UN Special Envoy to the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov told AFP. 

"This is the first time the Israeli Knesset legislates in the occupied Palestinian lands and particularly on property issues," he told AFP.

"That crosses a very thick red line,” he said and added that it also increased the possibly that the International Criminal Court would rule on the issue of West Bank settlements.

The Israeli Right cheered the the so-called Settlements Bill that retroactively legalizes 4,000 new homes on private Palestinian property while offering the landowners compensation. They hoped it would prevent any future forced demolitions of settler homes, such as the last week’s evacuation of the Amona outpost and next months scheduled demolition of nine homes in the Ofra settlement.

"Those settlers in Judea and Samaria that were sent by past governments to live there have suffered from a great deal of injustice over a long period of time. Tonight we made sure to fix it and regulated their status – once and for all," Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said after the bill’s passage.

But European countries condemned the new legislation on Tuesday. 

“This law could exacerbate regional tensions,” stated French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

 “The law further harms the two-state solution,” said Ayrault as he recalled that in January some 75 countries and international organizations had affirmed that this option was the best way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He called on Israel to respect international law, which considers settlement activity to be illegal.

In Jerusalem, Netanyahu spoke with visiting Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel about the almost three-year freeze in the peace process.

“I think the problem for which we lack peace with the Palestinians is a simple truth – the persistent Palestinian refusal for the last 70 years, 68 years since Israel was established, to recognize a Jewish state in any boundaries. 

“This is the core of our particular conflict. I look forward to the day when we have Palestinians who are willing to recognize, finally, the Jewish state. That will be the beginning of peace and a great step forward to achieving it,” Netanyahu said.

An extensive new poll has found that 55 per cent of Europeans want to stop immigration from Muslim countries, with just 20 per cent supporting its continuation.
A survey carried out by the Royal Institute of International Affairs think tank asked 10,000 Europeans in ten different countries if they agreed with the statement, “All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped.”
55 per cent answered in the affirmative, 25% said they don’t know and just 20% said they disagreed with the statement.
Opposition to Muslim immigration is strongest in Poland, where 71% oppose it compared to just 9% who support it.
In France, which has experienced a number of horrific terror attacks over the last two years, 61% oppose Muslim immigration while just 16% support it.
In Germany, which has seen instances of mass molestation of women carried out by Muslim migrants, most notably in Cologne, 53% support a halt on Muslim immigration, while 19% oppose that view.

This poll proves that opposition to Muslim immigration in Europe is now the mainstream view.
With new elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany set to take place later this year, it remains to be seen how that resentment will translate into actual political change.

The leftist multi-billionaire George Soros is the financier behind multiple progressive organizations including ACORN, Apollo Alliance, National Council of La Raza, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Tides Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center, People for the American Way, Media Matters, and Moveon.org. Among Soros’s leftwing causes is the eradication of national sovereignty in favor of open borders. “Insofar as there are collective interests that transcend state boundaries, the sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions,” Soros said nearly 20 years ago. 

Soros and his Open Society Foundations had lobbied the Obama administration to sharply increase the admission of refugees to a total of at least 100,000 annually. President Trump wants to cut that total back to 50,000 once the admission of refugees to the United States resumes. Through Soros's front group, the Open Society Foundations, he is now bankrolling various progressive organizations that are challenging President Trump’s anti-terrorist immigration executive order in court.  

“It shouldn't surprise anyone that pressure groups funded by George Soros are litigating to keep U.S. ports-of-entry wide open to terrorists and other people who hate America," Matthew Vadum, senior vice president of the Capital Research Center, told LifeZette. "Soros has said he wants to bring America down. Flooding the country with Muslim aliens who won't assimilate is one way to do that."

For example, the Soros organization has contributed at least $35.5 million to the American Civil Liberties Union, which was one of the first leftwing groups to represent plaintiffs in a challenge to the executive order. “President Trump's war on equality is already taking a terrible human toll. This ban cannot be allowed to continue,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

The International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center and the National Immigration Law Center, also Soros donees, have participated in the litigation. Taryn Higashi, executive director of the Center’s International Refugee Assistance Project, is an Advisory Board Member of the Open Society Foundation's International Migration Initiative.

“The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at the Urban Justice Center is outraged at the executive order signed by President Trump that suspends all refugee resettlement for 120 days, bans refugees from Syria indefinitely, and reduces the number of refugees to be resettled this Fiscal Year to 50,000,” the progressive advocacy group stated in a press release. “Denying thousands of the most persecuted refugees the chance to reach safety is an irresponsible and dangerous move that undermines American values and imperils our foreign relations and national security.”
This is the kind of hysteria the left traffics in. Why didn’t these bleeding hearts cry out when only a very tiny percentage of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States by the Obama administration were the truly persecuted religious minorities who were the victims of genocide? These religious minorities included Christians and Yazidis, whom were virtually ignored by the Obama administration.
Leftists are instead allying themselves with the Muslim Brotherhood-tied Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), who falsely labeled President Trump’s executive order the “Muslim Exclusion Order” in a lawsuit CAIR filed on behalf of a number of radical Islamists. It won’t be the first time that CAIR has teamed up with a Soros-funded organization. For example, representatives from CAIR, the George Soros-funded New America Foundation and Hamas attended an Al-Jazeera Forum in Doha, Qatar in 2011.
Once again, the left and radical Islamists have joined forces to use open borders and the Islamophobia canard as rallying cries against the country they both despise. What rankles them the most is that President Trump will not be cowered into surrendering his resolve to protect the American people.

Billionaire leftist teams up with Democrat attorneys general to bury administration in legal challenges

More than a dozen lawsuits and counting have been filed against President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily blocks visas from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. Looking beyond the handful of emotional personal stories that are gaining the media’s sympathy, there is a more predictable political power dynamic at play. The lawsuits largely stem from organizations bankrolled by billionaire leftist George Soros and Democratic state attorneys general.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has carried out a political vendetta against Trump, led 15 other state attorneys general in a joint statement condemning what they called an “unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful executive order.” The Democratic AGs also said, “Religious liberty has been, and always will be, a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth,” a curious statement from the party that targeted the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Last August, George Soros’ son, Alex Soros, posted a picture of himself with Schneiderman on Instagram, and wrote, “Great to meet with #newyork attorney general @ericschneiderman who recognized that @realdonaldtrump was a fraud way before many and has courageously taken him on!”

Democrats are even raising money off the lawsuits. In a Facebook post, the Democratic Attorneys General Association said, "Stand with Attorney General Bob Ferguson and all Democratic State Attorneys General fighting for what's right!" It added, "Chip in to support Democratic AGs fighting for progressive rights and freedoms."
Outside of the politicians, Soros' Open Society Foundations, which advocates for open borders, is financing several advocacy groups that initiated litigation against the order.
Leading the way in these lawsuits in several states is the American Civil Liberties Union, which has gotten at least $35.5 million from the Open Society Foundations, according to the Capital Research Center, a Washington think tank that investigates nonprofits.
Soros also gave $4.6 million to the National Immigration Law Center, which has been involved in litigation, according to the CRC; and $621,000 to the Urban Justice Center, which has an appendage known as the International Refugee Assistance Project that has jumped into the lawsuits, according to the CRC.

1 comment:

Caver said...

Do we have any Legal Eagles here? It would seem that what Soros is doing and the methods he's using are, in fact, against the law. Treason comes to mind, and many laws to lesser standards not to mention the RICO statues.

Is it not possible to start an investigation and/or charge the man and stop these "color" revolutions that's causing so much upheaval, death, and misery.