he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
He Hath Said
Greetings! There is a well known phrase from the 19th century that says; “Coming events cast their shadows before them.” One dictionary definition of this phrase explains; “Significant events are often preceded by signs that they are about to happen. (From Thomas Campbell's poem, "Lochiel's Warning.") If you pay attention to the news, you can generally tell when something momentous is about to happen. Coming events cast their shadows before."
Over the years 'People of the Keys' has presented hundreds and hundreds of news articles which most often are accompanied with an introduction.
Generally, the majority of the articles we have presented, we have tried to link to Bible based events either past, present, or future, with the greater number of articles pointing towards the fulfillment of future prophetic fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
These articles have encompassed a wide array of topics, as we understand Bible prophecy, such as the coming rise of the anti-christ, mark of the beast, second coming of Jesus, trans humanism, the lining up of the powers that be for the battle of Armageddon, post tribulation rapture, signs in the heavens,etc. etc. etc.
Jesus, when speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees,(the very elite religious leaders of the Jewish religion of His day) said, “When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”
Not only did He tell them they were hypocrites, he also told them they had no discernment.
Strongs Hebrew dictionary gives the short definition of “discern” as “understand”. The Pharisees and Sadducees were unable to discern or understand what was happening. They hadn't seen the signs, the shadows that had been cast before them indicating what was coming.
There are many verses in the Bible about discernment, below are just a sample taken from Youngs Literal Translation of the Bible.
“And prophets -- let two or three speak, and let the others discern.” 1 Corinthians 14:29
“For the reckoning of God is living, and working, and sharp above every two-edged sword, and piercing unto the dividing asunder both of soul and spirit, of joints also and marrow, and a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
following three verses are in regards to Solomon's prayer to God when
in a dream God asked Solomon “Ask what I shall give thee.” 1
“And Thou hast given to Thy servant an understanding heart, to judge Thy people, to discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this Thy great people?
And the thing is good in the eyes of the Lord, that Solomon hath asked this thing, and God saith unto him, 'Because that thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thee many days, nor asked for thee riches, nor asked the life of thine enemies, and hast asked for thee discernment to understand judgment, lo, I have done according to thy words; lo, I have given to thee a heart, wise and understanding, that like thee there hath not been before thee, and after thee there doth not arise like thee.”
Another example of this type of understanding can be found in Proverbs 22:3, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” The key word being “foreseeth” seeing the shadow that has been cast.
Then there is Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
Part of a prophecy we have published in the past that a prophetess received in 1966 says “So sudden will be the great confusion that it will cause a mighty widening of the eyes of those who have not discerned the signs of the times.”
So where are we going with all this?
We have all sensed and felt the gusts of the storm that is coming, sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker. We can see it on the horizon approaching, gaining in strength and ferocity. We can feel the winds increasing in strength as so many global entities are combining together to create the perfect storm which will soon crash upon the entire world.
We at 'People of the Keys' are not predicting, or prophesying, just exactly when it will begin, but as 2014 draws to a close, we, and many others would not be surprised to see major earth changing events begin to take place in the latter half of 2015.
As “coming events cast their shadows before them” the dark clouds at play in the world today would seem to be definitely casting a mighty shadow across the globe.
“For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5
Rick Warren’s Call for Christians to Unite With Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ Raising Concerns
December 2, 2014
In a new video, megachurch leader and author Rick Warren is calling for Christians to unite with Roman Catholics and “Pope Francis,” who Warren recently referred to as the “Holy Father”—a move that is raising concerns among Christians nationwide and is resulting in calls for Warren to repent.
Warren made the comments following his visit to the Vatican last month, where he spoke at an interfaith conference on the “Complementarity of Man and Woman.”
“We have far more in common than what divides us,” he said in the two-minute video released by the Catholic News Service on Wednesday, described as being an outline for “an ecumenical vision for Catholics and Protestants to work together to defend the sanctity of life, sex and marriage.”
“They would all say, ‘We believe in the Trinity; we believe in the Bible; we believe in the resurrection; we believe in salvation through Jesus Christ,” Warren asserted, speaking of the various denominations within Christianity, of which he included Roman Catholicism. “These are the big issues.”
The author of the bestselling book “The Purpose Driven Life” then sought to defend Catholics from those who take issue with the practice of seeking the intercession of Mary and the various deceased persons that have been sainted by the Vatican.
“Sometimes protestants think that Catholics worship Mary like she’s another god, but that’s not exactly Catholic doctrine,” Warren contended. “People say, ‘What are the saints all about? Why are you praying to the saints?’ And when you understand what they mean by what they’re saying, there’s a whole lot more commonality [that we have with Roman Catholics].”
“There’s still real differences—no doubt about that,” Warren stated. “But the most important thing is, if you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.”
He closed by speaking of his belief that Christians and Catholics serve as co-laborers for the cause of defending life and family.
“When it comes to the family, we are co-workers in the field in this for the protection of the sanctity of life, the sanctity of sex and the sanctity of marriage,” Warren said. “So, there’s a great commonality and there’s no division on any of those three.”
But Warren’s comments have raised concern from Christian leaders nationwide, who are now calling the Saddleback leader to repentance. Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) repudiated each of Warren’s points.
“Sure, there are Catholics who love the real Christ, the one who died on the cross for our sins. That is not the problem,” he said. “The problem is the Roman Catholic Church’s false teachings concerning Mary and salvation.”
“Rick Warren says both the Catholics and the Protestants believe in the Bible. But, there is a significant difference between the Bible of the Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church, which has added seven books,” Slick wrote. “[T]here are numerous problems in the apocryphal books, such as the teaching of salvation by works [and] the offering of money for the sins of the dead.”
“Warren implies that both Protestants and Catholics have the same view of salvation,” he continued. “Though it’s technically correct to say that Catholics believe in salvation through Jesus Christ, they reject justification by faith alone in Christ alone. Instead, it teaches that good works of various kinds are necessary for salvation.”
The Christian apologist then pointed to several Roman Catholic teachings on Mary, mainly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), such as that Mary “by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation” and that “[b]y asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All-Holy One.”
“Rick Warren has not only failed to recognize the problems in these serious areas, but he has lent his credibility as a Protestant pastor in support of the Roman Catholic Church,” Slick wrote. “This should never be done by any Protestant pastor who takes the Bible seriously. I must conclude that Mr. Warren does not take the word of God seriously and/or he does not understand the damnable teachings of Roman Catholicism regarding salvation.”“Rick Warren needs to repent,” he said.
Pay Palestinians to leave: Israeli foreign minister
Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:26PM GMT
Amid a worldwide push to recognize Palestine as a state, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman supports paying Palestinians to leave Israel.
The hardline politician made the assertions in a manifesto of his right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) party, which was published on Friday.
Lieberman said he backed providing economic incentives for Palestinians to encourage them to emigrate.
The comments came amid Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s push to pass a so-called Jewish nation-state bill, which defines Israel as a Jewish state and grants national rights only to the Jewish people.
The bill, which Netanyahu says is necessary to safeguard Israel's future, is opposed by a wide range of Israeli political figures, including Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. It, however, is strongly supported by right-wing members of the ruling coalition, including Lieberman.
Speaking at Knesset (Israeli parliament) on Wednesday, Netanyahu questioned why many support the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israel occupied the three territories during the Six-Day War of 1967. The Tel Aviv regime withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but Israeli forces have been carrying out regular deadly forays into the coastal sliver ever since the pullout.
Palestinians are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
So far 135 countries have recognized the sovereignty of Palestine as a state.
Earlier in the month, Spanish lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution recognizing Palestine.
Britain and Ireland have already passed similar non-binding motions. Danish and French members of the parliament are also to hold votes on whether to recognize Palestine.
France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said the country will recognize Palestine as a state should Israeli-Palestinian negotiations fail to resolve the conflict between the two sides.
Rabbi Weiss: Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu manipulating Judaism
Wed Dec 3, 2014 6:29PM GMT
An American rabbi says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pursuing a Zionist agenda by manipulating the Jewish religion.
Yisroel Dovid Weiss said in an interview with Press TV that Netanyahu’s new bill aimed at defining Israel as a “Jewish state” is “hijacking” the genuine teachings of Judaism.
Following a stormy meeting on November 30, the Israeli cabinet voted in favor of the controversial motion in another sign of increasing efforts to Judaize the occupied Palestinian territories.
The rabbi also stated that the Zionist regime of Israel is a false identity whose existence is totally contrary to the teachings of the Torah.
He also blamed the Israeli premier for “fueling nationalism” and furthering his political objectives in the name of the Jewish religion.
Rabbi Weiss went on to say that Zionists have “rebelled against God” and are opposed to the true Jewish principles and laws.
Jews around the world - those who are faithful to the Torah - pray for a total and speedy dismantlement of Israel, the rabbi stated.
Weiss wished for a unified Palestine where all Muslims, Jews and Christians can coexist and live in peace together.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Weiss referred to the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state by some European countries and said that the motions show the world’s “willingness to support the Palestinian cause.”
On November 29, 2012, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.
It’s official: America is now No. 2
By Brett Arends
Published: Dec 4, 2014 11:18 a.m. ET
Chinese economy overtakes the U.S.’s to become the largest
A Bank of China branch under construction early this year in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
Hang on to your hats, America.
And throw away that big, fat styrofoam finger while you’re about it.
There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. Yes, it’s official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet.
It just happened — and almost nobody noticed.
The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.
As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese.
To put the numbers slightly differently, China now accounts for 16.5% of the global economy when measured in real purchasing-power terms, compared with 16.3% for the U.S.
This latest economic earthquake follows the development last year when China surpassed the U.S. for the first time in terms of global trade.
I reported on this looming development over two years ago, but the moment came sooner than I or anyone else had predicted. China’s recent decision to bring gross domestic product calculations in line with international standards has revealed activity that had previously gone uncounted.
These calculations are based on a well-established and widely used economic measure known as purchasing-power parity (or PPP), which measures the actual output as opposed to fluctuations in exchange rates. So a Starbucks venti Frappucino served in Beijing counts the same as a venti Frappucino served in Minneapolis, regardless of what happens to be going on among foreign-exchange traders.
Make no mistake. This is a geopolitical earthquake with a high reading on the Richter scale.
PPP is the real way of comparing economies. It is one reported by the IMF and was, for example, the one used by McKinsey & Co. consultants back in the 1990s when they undertook a study of economic productivity on behalf of the British government.
Yes, when you look at mere international exchange rates, the U.S. economy remains bigger than that of China, allegedly by almost 70%. But such measures, although they are widely followed, are largely meaningless. Does the U.S. economy really shrink if the dollar falls 10% on international currency markets? Does the recent plunge in the yen mean the Japanese economy is vanishing before our eyes?
Back in 2012, when I first reported on these figures, the IMF tried to challenge the importance of PPP. I was not surprised. It is not in anyone’s interest at the IMF that people in the Western world start focusing too much on the sheer extent of China’s power. But the PPP data come from the IMF, not from me. And it is noteworthy that when the IMF’s official World Economic Outlook compares countries by their share of world output, it does so using PPP.
Yes, all statistics are open to various quibbles. It is perfectly possible China’s latest numbers overstate output — or understate them. That may also be true of U.S. GDP figures. But the IMF data are the best we have.
Make no mistake: This is a geopolitical earthquake with a high reading on the Richter scale. Throughout history, political and military power have always depended on economic power. Britain was the workshop of the world before she ruled the waves. And it was Britain’s relative economic decline that preceded the collapse of her power. And it was a similar story with previous hegemonic powers such as France and Spain.
This will not change anything tomorrow or next week, but it will change almost everything in the longer term. We have lived in a world dominated by the U.S. since at least 1945 and, in many ways, since the late 19th century. And we have lived for 200 years — since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 — in a world dominated by two reasonably democratic, constitutional countries in Great Britain and the U.S.A. For all their flaws, the two countries have been in the vanguard worldwide in terms of civil liberties, democratic processes and constitutional rights.
America is on a “Hot War Footing”: House Legislation Paves the Way for War with Russia?
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, December 05, 2014
America is on a war footing. While, a World War Three Scenario has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than ten years, military action against Russia is now contemplated at an “operational level”. Similarly, both the Senate and the House have introduced enabling legislation which provides legitimacy to the conduct of a war against Russia.
We are not dealing with a “Cold War”. None of the safeguards of the Cold War era prevail.
There has been a breakdown in East-West diplomacy coupled with extensive war propaganda. In turn the United Nations has turned a blind eye to extensive war crimes committed by the Western military alliance.
The adoption of a major piece of legislation by the US House of Representatives on December 4th (H. Res. 758) would provide (pending a vote in the Senate) a de facto green light to the US president and commander in chief to initiate –without congressional approval– a process of military confrontation with Russia.
Global security is at stake. This historic vote –which potentially could affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people Worldwide– has received virtually no media coverage. A total media blackout prevails.
The World is at a dangerous crossroads. Moscow has responded to US-NATO threats. Its borders are threatened.
On December 3, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation announced the inauguration of a new military-political entity which would take over in the case of war.
Russia is launching a new national defense facility, which is meant to monitor threats to national security in peacetime, but would take control of the entire country in case of war. (RT, December 3, 2014)
Timeline of War Preparations
In May 2014, the Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) was introduced in the US Senate (S 2277), calling for the militarization of Eastern Europe and the Baltic States and the stationing of US and NATO troops on Russia’s doorstep:
S.2277 – Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014
Directs the President to: (1) implement a plan for increasing U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, and other NATO member-states; and (2) direct the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO to seek consideration for permanently basing NATO forces in such countries.
Directs the President to submit a plan to Congress for accelerating NATO and European missile defense efforts.
While The S 2277 resolution was sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for review, its essential premises are already in the process of being implemented. In mid-July, NATO’s Europe commander General Philip Breedlove in consultation with the Pentagon and Britain’s Ministry of Defence, called for:
“stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia”.(RT, July 24, 2014).
According to General Breedlove, NATO needs “pre-positioned supplies, pre-positioned capabilities and a basing area ready to rapidly accept follow-on forces”:
“He plans to recommend placing supplies — weapons, ammunition and ration packs — at the headquarters to enable a sudden influx of thousands of Nato troops” (Times, August 22, 2014, emphasis added)
Breedlove’s “Blitzkrieg scenario” –which could potentially lead to military escalation– was reaffirmed at the September NATO Summit in Wales. A so-called NATO action plan directed against the Russian Federation was decided upon. The Wales Summit had given the “green light”.
Barely a month later, in October, US-NATO military drills were held in the Baltic States. In early November, a second round of drills was held in both the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.
As part of this broader endeavour, NATO’s Iron Sword 2014 military exercises –involving the participation of nine member countries of the Atlantic Alliance– were launched in Lithuania in early November:
”US tanks rolled in to Lithuania earlier this month is a show of force to Russia that it’s not welcome in the region.”
The military exercises were explicitly directed against Russia. According to Moscow, they consisted in “increasing operation readiness” as well the transfer of NATO “military infrastructure to the Russian borders”.
In response to NATO deployments on Russia’s borders, the Russian Federation also conducted in early November extensive war games in the sea of Barent. The Russian drills consisted in testing “its entire nuclear triad consisting of strategic bombers; submarines” and the “silo-based Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile launched from Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk Oblast” on November 1st.
The US House of Representatives H.Res. 758 Resolution
On 18 November, a major resolution H. Res. 758 was introduced in the House of Representatives. Its main thrust consists in portraying Russia as an “Aggressor Nation”, which has invaded Ukraine and calling for military action directed against Russia:
H.RES.758 — Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset’ relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador… (Introduced in House – IH)
HRES 758 IH
H. RES. 758
Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.
H. Res. 758 not only accuses Russia of having invaded Ukraine, it also invokes article 5 of the Washington Treaty, namely NATO’s doctrine of collective security.
An attack on one member of the Atlantic alliance is an attack on all members of the Alliance.
The underlying narrative is supported by a string of baseless accusations directed against the Russian Federation. It accuses Russia of having invaded Ukraine. It states without evidence that Russia was behind the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17, it accuses Russia of military aggression.
Ironically, it also accuses the Russian Federation of having imposed economic sanctions not only on Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova but also on several unnamed member states of the European Union. The resolution accuses the Russian Federation of having used “the supply of energy for political and economic coercion.”
In essence, House Resolution 758 were it to become law would provide a de facto green light to the President of the United States to declare war on the Russian Federation, without the formal permission of the US Congress.
In this regard, it could be interpreted as “mildly unconstitutional” in that it contravenes the substance of Article 1, Section 8, of the US Constitution which vests in the Congress “the Power to declare war…”
The resolution urges the President of the United States in consultation with the US Congress to
“conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of the United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each is sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self defence under article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies” .
What the above paragraph suggests is that the US is contemplating the use of NATO’s collective security doctrine under article 5 with a views to triggering a process of military confrontation with the Russian Federation.
The structure of military alliances is of crucial significance. Article 5 is a convenient mechanism imposed by the US on Western Europe. It forces NATO member states, most of which are members of the European Union, to act wage war on Washington’s behalf.
Moreover, a referendum on Ukraine’s membership in NATO is contemplated. In case Ukraine becomes a member of NATO and/or redefines its security agreement with NATO, article 5 could be invoked as a justification to wage a NATO sponsored war on Russia.
The speed at which this legislation was adopted is unusual in US Congressional history.
House resolution 758 was introduced on November 18th, it was rushed off to the Foreign Affairs Committee and rushed back to the plenary of the House for debate and adoption.
Two weeks (16 days) after it was first introduced by Rep. Kinzinger (Illinois) on November 18, it was adopted by 411-10 in an almost unanimous vote on the morning of December 4th.
Members of Congress are puppets. Their vote is controlled by Washington’s lobby groups. For the defence contractors, Wall Street and the Texas oil giants, “war is good for business”.
In the words of Dennis Kucinich in an open letter published on December 2:
The resolution demands Russia to be isolated…In other words, ‘let’s get ready for war with Russia.’
This is exactly the type of sabre rattling which led to the initiation and escalation of the Cold War. It is time we demanded that the US employ diplomacy, not more military expenditures, in the quest for international order.
One would expect that this historic decision would has been the object of extensive news coverage.
In fact what happened was a total news blackout.
The nation’s media failed to provide coverage of the debate in House of Representatives and the adoption of H Res 758 on December 4.
The mainstream media had been instructed not to cover the Congressional decision.
Nobody dared to raise its dramatic implications. its impacts on “global security”. ”World War III is not front page news.”
And without mainstream news concerning US-NATO war preparations, the broader public remains unaware of the importance of the Congressional decision.
Cutting Russia out of SWIFT banking system would mean ‘war’ – head of VTB
Published time: December 04, 2014 09:33
Excluding Russia from the global SWIFT banking transactions system is another form of sanctions and would mean “war,” said Andrey Kostin, head of VTB Russia’s second largest bank, adding that should it happen Russia has a “Plan B.”
"In my personal opinion, if such a sanction is introduced it would mean war," Kostin said in an interview with Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper. If Russian banks no longer have access to SWIFT, the American ambassador would leave Moscow the same day, he said.
Kostin added that the banking system is highly dependent on the dollar and euro, and is the most vulnerable part of the Russian economy. However, he said Russia has an alternative should the SWIFT system be no longer available to Russia. Last month the Bank of Russia said it’s going to launch an alternative for financial transactions in May 2015.
“There is much talk about the possibility of disconnection from SWIFT,” said VTB’s first deputy president Yuri Soloviev to Kommersant. He explained that 90 percent of all banking transactions are domestic that can be processed through alternatives to SWIFT.
"Problems may occur with the remaining payments passing through foreign contractor banks, but we are actively working on possible solutions," he added, saying VTB hopes disconnection from SWIFT won’t happen.
Earlier Andrey Kostin said that VTB is in talks with Sberbank on creating a new alternative to SWIFT.
After the US and EU imposed sanctions on Russian banks there were fears that the next stage would be cutting Russia off from the SWIFT system.
A call to shut down the SWIFT system in Russia first came from British Prime Minister David Cameron. A resolution in the European Parliament also included such a proposal.
However, SWIFT representatives said that they will not switch Russia off the company’s services despite political pressure, adding it has "no authority" to make unilateral sanctions decisions. The company said it can happen only if the EU takes the decision.
SWIFT is a global banking transactions system connected to more than 10,000 financial institutions in 210 countries. The daily turnover of payments made via SWIFT is around $6 trillion. Russia is the world’s second largest SWIFT customer after the US.
FALLING OIL PRICES COULD CRIPPLE ‘VULNERABLE’ RUSSIA, TRIGGER WORLD WAR III
The Cold War 2.0 is going hot
Image Credits: Eric Kounce, Wikimedia Commons
by MAC SLAVO | SHTFPLAN.COM | DECEMBER 2, 2014
The Cold War 2.0 is going hot, and while it may someday be fought with planes, tanks, guns and bombs, the first front is being fought with oil and shale gas.
The U.S. and European sanctions against Russia will become more severe and crippling in the face of drastically falling oil prices – prices which are falling drastically because of the unprecedented boom of shale gas fracking both domestically in the U.S. and abroad in Ukraine and other locales. The oil & gas giants like Chevron and Exxon Mobil have created revolutionary conditions with now direct consequences on U.S. foreign policy and global war for dominance. Via Bloomberg:
Oil’s decline is proving to be the worst since the collapse of the financial system in 2008 and threatening to have the same global impact of falling prices three decades ago that led to the Mexican debt crisis and the end of the Soviet Union.
Russia, the world’s largest producer, can no longer rely on the same oil revenues to rescue an economy suffering from European and U.S. sanctions. Iran, also reeling from similar sanctions, will need to reduce subsidies that have partly insulated its growing population. Nigeria, fighting an Islamic insurgency, and Venezuela, crippled by failing political and economic policies, also rank among the biggest losers from the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last week to let the force of the market determine what some experts say will be the first free-fall in decades.
“This is a big shock in Caracas, it’s a shock in Tehran, it’s a shock in Abuja,” said Daniel Yergin…
The destabilization in Ukraine and numerous spots in the Middle East – including the ISIS-threatened Iraq and Syria – have been mere preludes to what is coming.
The OPEC countries, led by Saudi Arabia, are allowing oil prices to fall drastically, in clear coordination with its Anglo masters, and in response to the sudden rise of shale gas production obtained through fracking. These Arab states will not lose power with the falling oil prices, while many other regimes will face pressure in all sectors.
Targeted at the center of this web of intrigue is, of course, Russia. Natural gas is at the center of the Ukrainian conflict – with Russia’s Gazprom supplying some 25% of Europe’s natural gas.
U.S. operatives are working overtime to undermine that by cutting off Russian gas and supplying Europe, instead, with booming shale gas from fracking in and around Ukraine and its rich mineral holdings.
Between rising U.S. domestic production, falling OPEC oil prices and U.S.-led production and exploration in Ukraine, gas could prove a trump card against Russia, though Putin has downplayed these consequences:
“Russia in particular seems vulnerable,” said Allan von Mehren, chief analyst at Danske Banke A/S in Copenhagen. “A big decline in the oil price in 1997-98 was one factor causing pressure that eventually led to Russian default in August 1998.”
VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest bank, OAO Gazprombank, its third-largest lender, and Russian Agricultural Bank are already seeking government aid to replenish capital after sanctions cut them off from international financial markets. Now with sputtering economic growth, they also face a rise in bad loans.
Oil and gas provide 68 percent of Russia’s exports and 50 percent of its federal budget. Russia has already lost almost $90 billion of its currency reserves this year, equal to 4.5 percent of its economy, as it tried to prevent the ruble from tumbling after Western countries imposed sanctions to punish Russian meddling in Ukraine. The ruble is down 35 percent against the dollar since June.
At the same time, Russia has just given up its bid to build a South Stream pipeline to bypass Ukraine and has been accused of covertly funding anti-fracking protests in Romania, Ukraine and other areas in the hotzone of the Eastern Europe proxy war over natural gas.
An important secondary consequence of falling oil prices will come in the form of disruptions to social services in countries that have been supporting citizens with money from high oil prices – including Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria and others.
Falling oil revenue will mean less money for subsidies and handouts. For the geopolitical orchestrators in the Anglo-elite network, this is part of the strategy.
Coddled by years of $100 crude, governments instead spent that windfall subsidizing everything from 5 cents-per-gallon gasoline to cheap housing that kept a growing population of underemployed citizens content.
The Council on Foreign Relations heralded this fracking boom as a means of reassertingNorth American-based U.S. Power around the world and ‘transforming the global energy landscape.’
Now, a spokesperson from its secretive sister organization the Royal Institute of International Affairs, based at Chatham House, has fingered it as a political weapon to spark upheavals and internal revolutions:
“If the governments aren’t able to spend to keep the kids off the streets they will go back to the streets, and we could start to see political disruption and upheaval,” said Paul Stevens, distinguished fellow for energy, environment and resources at Chatham House in London, a U.K. policy group. “The majority of members of OPEC need well over $100 a barrel to balance their budgets. If they start cutting expenditure, this is likely to cause problems.”
For a U.S. that many have said lost its credibility in the world, and has seen a decline in its position as the foremost global superpower and a certain, but slow decline of the petrodollar’s status as world reserve currency, the move in shale gas is a power move to level the global playing field.
The “sudden rise” of shale natural gas has been a planned, coordinated and highly strategic move. Plummeting oil prices are indeed an economic weapon against Russia, as many analysts have shown, and act to call the bluff of the other players at the table as well. It poses serious challenges to tensions with Russia, and will have immediate consequences for many other economies based on oil. Bloomberg explains the positions:
To be sure, not all oil producers are suffering. The International Monetary Fund in October assessed the oil price different governments needed to balance their budgets. At one end were Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which can break even with oil at about $70 a barrel. At the other extreme: Iran needs $136, and Venezuela and Nigeria $120. Russia can manage at $101 a barrel, the IMF said.
“Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and Qatar can live with relatively lower oil prices for a while, but this isn’t the case for Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Venezuela, Algeria and Angola,” said Marie-Claire Aoun, director of the energy center at the French Institute for International Relations in Paris. “Strong demographic pressure is feeding their energy and budgetary requirements. The price of crude is paramount for their economies because they have failed to diversify.”
To be sure, there are no good guys at the table of global power. All are corrupt.
But the powers-that-be in the elite Anglo-financial world are betting that it will be enough to hold U.S. power across the world, boost the U.S. economy and hold its competitors in the ongoing game of global chess at bay. Current economic forecast show the possibility and perhaps likelihood that they have put down another dominating hand that will shape global trends for decades to come.
Through fracking, the U.S. trade deficit in oil is expected to balance out and to transform America into a profitable net exporting region in petroleum and gas within just a few short years:
There is no question that the US has entirely changed the global energy landscape and poses an existential threat to Opec. America has cut its net oil imports by 8.7m bpd since 2006, equal to the combined oil exports of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
The country had a trade deficit of $354bn in oil and gas as recently as 2011. Citigroup said this will return to balance by 2018, one of the most extraordinary turnarounds in modern economic history.
It may, of course, also carry enormous environmental consequences for Americans who face the possibility of tainted groundwater supplies, water shortages, increased earthquakes (as seen in Oklahoma) and other forms of pollution related to the use of countless chemicals shot into the earth during the hydraulic fracturing process.
In the Godfather, Michael Corleone took care of “all family business” in one fell swoop during his baptism as The Don following his father’s death, targeting the heads of the five gang families at war with his family’s cartel, along with several other vendettas, both persona and “just business”…
Today, the U.S. is attempting to do the same through fracking and the orchestrated, falling global oil prices.
TENSIONS BETWEEN THE U.S. AND RUSSIA ARE WORSE THAN YOU REALIZE – REMARKS BY FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEY LAVROV
The similarities to the period just before WWI are indeed striking
by MICHAEL KRIEGER | LIBERTY BLITZKRIEG | DECEMBER 2, 2014
“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.”
– Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
Despite an interest in geopolitics, I haven’t really written anything on the concerning and worsening tension between the government of the United States and the government of Russia. I intentionally wrote government twice in order to emphasize the fact that 99.9% of Americans do not have real grievances with actual Russian people, and vice versa. This is a high-level conflict between powerful “leaders” playing a game of Risk with average citizen as pawns. This is how it’s always been. As human beings, we should never lose sight of this so the mistakes we make in the future aren’t nearly as tragic as those made by our ancestors.
One disconcerting thing I have noticed amongst some “liberty-minded” people I follow, is a knee-jerk tendency to pick a side in this affair. When it comes to powerful men running centralized nation-states with nuclear weapons, there are no church boys involved. I have noticed a desire to defend Russia every step of the way in what appears to be a simple-minded emotional reflex birthed in justifiable disgust with what they see happening in their home nations (the U.S. and UK in particular).
This behavior has always made me uncomfortable, and reminds me very much of how people get upset with one fake political party and then vote for the other guy simply because they are not a Democrat or a Republican. The best choice is to accept they are both useless and not vigorously defend either party. I take the same tact when it comes to battles between nation-states. Just because I am disgusted and horrified with what is happening in these United States, doesn’t mean I need to slavishly defend Russia, Vladimir Putin or pick any sides in a conflict in which the primary losers will always be powerless civilians.
I’ve never been to Russia, thus my opinion of the country is basically worthless. Nevertheless, based on what I have read and observed, I’d still much rather live in the U.S. than Russia despite all of our society’s failings and decay in recent decades. While this view could certainly change as time and events unfold, that is how I strongly feel at the moment. Putin is by all accounts an authoritarian cult-like leader who wants to ban Bitcoin, journalism can be a deadly affair, and oligarchs continue to run free (as long as you are friends with Putin). Recall my recent post: American Upper Middle Class Share of Wealth is Worse than Every Country Besides Russia and Indonesia. Yes, “besides Russia and Indonesia.” Russia is no economic utopia.
Nevertheless, this piece isn’t meant to be a pointless debate about which overly-centralized, archaic and corrupt nation-state is better than the other. Neither place has a political or economic structure that even comes close to providing a fertile environment in which human existence can reach its highest potential. Rather, both nation-states are controlled by a small group of ambitious, authoritarian and, when necessary, ruthless and violent men and women. That said, there are two reasons I think the following remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are so important.
First, as someone who spends much of his time analyzing and critiquing the many destructive policy decisions made by American “leaders,” I was shocked to find how accurate his description of the U.S. power structure’s mindset seems to be. He gets it, and he is more or less trying to warn the world that America’s leaders are basically power-drunk children. I concur.
Second, Lavrov also describes the negative impact that this behavior has had on the Russian psyche generally. He expresses dismay that the U.S. status quo sees the world as unipolar, and attempts to tackle every problem from the perspective that might is right. In no uncertain terms, Lavrov makes it clear that Russia will not stand for this. I don’t think the Russians are bluffing, so this is a very dangerous situation.
If there was actually someone in the U.S. State Department capable of such introspective and clear thinking, we might actually diffuse this situation. Don’t hold your breath.
Here are some excerpts from Mr. Lavrov’s remarks at the XXII Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy in Moscow on November 22, 2014.
I’m happy to be at this annual Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (Russian abbreviation SVOP). It is always a great pleasure for me to meet people and feel the intellectual potential, which enables the Council, its leaders and representatives to respond to global developments and analyse them. Their analysis is always free from any hysteria, and its members offer well-grounded and solid arguments, taking a step back, since those caught in the midst of events can hardly adopt an unbiased perspective. We are inevitably influenced by the developments, which makes your observations, analysis, discourse and suggestions even more valuable to us.
Naturally, I will start with Ukraine. Long before the country was plunged into the crisis, there was a feeling in the air that Russia’s relations with the EU and with the West were about to reach their moment of truth. It was clear that we could no longer continue to put issues in our relations on the back burner and that a choice had to be made between a genuine partnership or, as the saying goes, “breaking pots.” It goes without saying that Russia opted for the former alternative, while unfortunately our Western partners settled for the latter, whether consciously or not. In fact, they went all out in Ukraine and supported extremists, thereby giving up their own principles of democratic regime change. What came out of it was an attempt to play chicken with Russia, to see who blinks first. As bullies say, they wanted to Russia to “chicken out” (I can’t find a better word for it), to force us to swallow the humiliation of Russians and native speakers of Russian in Ukraine.
Honourable Leslie Gelb, whom you know all too well, wrote that Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the EU had nothing to do with inviting Ukraine to join the EU and was aimed in the short term at preventing it from joining the Customs Union. This is what an impartial and unbiased person said. When they deliberately decided to go down the path of escalation in Ukraine, they forgot many things, and had a clear understanding of how such moves would be viewed in Russia.They forgot the advice of, say, Otto von Bismarck, who had said that disparaging the millions-strong great Russian people would be the biggest political mistake.
President Vladimir Putin said the other day that no one in history has yet managed to subjugate Russia to its influence. This is not an assessment, but a statement of fact. Yet such an attempt has been made to quench the thirst for expanding the geopolitical space under Western control, out of a mercantile fear to lose the spoils of what they across the Atlantic had persuaded themselves was the victory in the Cold War.
The plus of today’s situation is that everything has clicked into its place and the calculus behind the West’s actions has been revealed despite its professed readiness to build a security community, a common European home. To quote (singer/song-writer) Bulat Okudzhava, “The past is getting clearer and clearer.” The clarity is becoming more tangible. Today our task is not only to sort out the past (although that must be done), but most importantly, to think about the future.
Talks about Russia’s isolation do not merit serious discussion. I need hardly dwell on this before this audience. Of course, one can damage our economy, and damage is being done, but only by doing harm to those who are taking corresponding measures and, equally important, destroying the system of international economic relations, the principles on which it is based. Formerly, when sanctions were applied (I worked at the Russian mission to the UN at the time) our Western partners, when discussing the DPRK, Iran or other states, said that it was necessary to formulate the restrictions in such a way as to keep within humanitarian limits and not to cause damage to the social sphere and the economy, and to selectively target only the elite. Today everything is the other way around: Western leaders are publicly declaring that the sanctions should destroy the economy and trigger popular protests. So, as regards the conceptual approach to the use of coercive measures the West unequivocally demonstrates that it does not merely seek to change Russian policy (which in itself is illusory), but it seeks to change the regime — and practically nobody denies this.
We hear the daily repeated mantra that Washington is aware of its own exclusiveness and its duty to bear this burden, to lead the rest of the world. Rudyard Kipling spoke about “the white man’s burden.” I hope that this is not what drives Americans. The world today is not white or black, but multi-coloured and heterogeneous. Leadership in this world can be assured not by persuading oneself of one’ exclusiveness and God-given duty to be responsible for everyone, but only by the ability and craft in forming a consensus. If the US partners committed their power to this goal, this would be priceless, and Russia would be actively helping them.
However, so far, US administrative resources still work only in the NATO framework, and then with substantial reservations, and its writ does not reach beyond the North Atlantic Alliance. One proof of this is the results of US attempts to make the world community follow its line in connection with the anti-Russian sanctions and principles. I have spoken about it more than once and we have ample proof of the fact that American ambassadors and envoys across the world seek meetings at the highest level to argue that the corresponding countries are obliged to punish Russia together with them or else face the consequences. This is done with regard to all countries, including our closest allies (this speaks volumes about the kind of analysts Washington has). An overwhelming majority of the states with which we have a continuing dialogue without any restrictions and isolation, as you see, value Russia’s independent role in the international arena. Not because they like it when somebody challenges the Americans, but because they realize that the world order will not be stable if nobody is allowed to speak his mind (although privately the overwhelming majority do express their opinion, but they do not want to do so publicly for fear of Washington’s reprisals).
Many reasonable analysts understand that there is a widening gap between the global ambitions of the US Administration and the country’s real potential. The world is changing and, as has always happened in history, at some point somebody’s influence and power reach their peak and then somebody begins to develop still faster and more effectively. One should study history and proceed from realities. The seven developing economies headed by BRICS already have a bigger GDP than the Western G7. One should proceed from the facts of life, and not from a misconceived sense of one’s own grandeur.
In attempting to establish their pre-eminence at a time when new economic, financial and political power centers are emerging, the Americans provoke counteraction in keeping with Newton’s third law and contribute to the emergence of structures, mechanisms, and movements that seek alternatives to the American recipes for solving the pressing problems. I am not referring to anti-Americanism, still less about forming coalitions spearheaded against the United States, but only about the natural wish of a growing number of countries to secure their vital interests and do it the way they think right, and not what they are told “from across the pond.” Nobody is going to play anti-US games just to spite the United States. We face attempts and facts of extra-territorial use of US legislation, the kidnapping of our citizens in spite of existing treaties with Washington whereby these issues are to be resolved through law enforcement and judicial bodies.
According to its doctrine of national security, the United States has the right to use force anywhere, anytime without necessarily asking the UN Security Council for approval. A coalition against the Islamic State was formed unbeknownst to the Security Council. I asked Secretary of State John Kerry why have not they gone to the UN Security Council for this.
Francis Fukuyama recently wrote the book, Political Order and Political Decay, in which he argues that the efficiency of public administration in the United States is declining and the traditions of democratic governance are gradually being replaced with feudal fiefdom ruling methods. This is part of the discussion about someone who lives in a glass house and throws stones.
Indeed, describing, lamenting and suggesting remedies for the above is basically what Liberty Blitzkrieg is all about. Don’t forget, an academic study from Princeton and Northwestern already proved the U.S. is nothing more than an oligarchy.
So far, those who are not guided by real problems, but rather by a desire to quickly grab things from freshly turned up ground. It is deplorable. Exporting revolutions – be they democratic, communist or others – never brings any good.
I can’t fail to mention Russia’s comprehensive partnership with China. Important bilateral decisions have been taken, paving the way to an energy alliance between Russia and China. But there’s more to it. We can now even talk about the emerging technology alliance between the two countries. Russia’s tandem with Beijing is a crucial factor for ensuring international stability and at least some balance in international affairs, as well as ensuring the rule of international law. We will make full use of our relations with India and Vietnam, Russia’s strategic partners, as well as the ASEAN countries. We are also open to expanding cooperation with Japan, if our Japanese neighbours can look at their national interests and stop looking back at some overseas powers.
There is no doubt that the European Union is our largest collective partner. No one intends to “shoot himself in the foot” by renouncing cooperation with Europe, although it is now clear that business as usual is no longer an option. This is what our European partners are telling us, but neither do we want to operate the old way. They believed that Russia owed them something, while we want to be on an equal footing. For this reason, things will never be the same again. That said, I’m confident that we will be able to overcome this period, lessons will be learned and a new foundation for our relations will emerge.
The similarities to the period just before WWI are indeed striking, as Niall Ferguson noted in an excellent Op-Ed in August. Hopefully we can be smarter this go around.
Russia's Sergey Lavrov Clash of Civilizations
“NATO is going beyond all borders. We are really disturbed over this barbaric action. We are outraged...and we call and demand an immediate investigation.” - Sergey Lavrov"
Russia’s Sergey Lavrov “Clash of Civilizations”
Since the Western Press has directed their wrath at Vladimir Putin as their latest villain, while his approval rate soars to 88% in Russia, most Americans are not familiar with Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov, much less know his public statements. Lavrov is a thoughtful contrast to the rigid and contemptuous foreign policy spokesmen’s from the Soviet era. It is well worth the time to investigate the actual sentiments that Lavrov has expressed throughout his diplomatic career. An insight of the mindset that underpins his thinking is revealed over two years ago, in the Voltaire Network, which published Sergey Lavrov’s account, On the Right Side of History and provided the following assessment.
“Western propaganda continues to distort Russia’s position in respect of the Syrian crisis. It accuses Moscow of supporting Damascus for profit motives, or even criminal solidarity. In this piece, Sergey Lavrov does not expound on his country’s strategic choices, but rather on the principles that underpin his diplomacy. He responds imperturbably to the inanities spouted by Western media, underscoring Moscow’s commitment to international law and its pledge to support people. Lavrov counterpoints the massive popular support enjoyed by President al-Assad and the illegitimacy of the sectarian armed opposition, sponsored from abroad.”
Quoting from the Lavrov test:
“Back in the 1990s in his book The Clash of Civilisations, Samuel Huntington outlined the trend of the increasing importance of identity based on civilisation and religion in the age of globalization; he also convincingly demonstrated the relative reduction in the abilities of the historic West to spread its influence. It would definitely be an overstatement if we tried to build a model of the modern international relations solely on the basis of such assumptions. However, today it is impossible to ignore such a trend. It is caused by an array of different factors, including more transparent national borders, the information revolution which has highlighted blatant socio-economic inequality, and the growing desire of people to preserve their identity in such circumstances and to avoid falling into the endangered species list of history.”
From the official site of THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, read the entire remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the latest Council on Foreign and Defense Policy meeting. The information contained in these annotations requires a serious evaluation.
Watch the video, 'Western sanctions aimed at regime change in Russia' – Lavrov that supplements the text account. Interrupting the significance of this presentation, the blog - The Vineyard of the Saker writes an account of the Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the XXII Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Moscow, 22 November 2014.
I have bolded out what I consider to be the most important statements made by Lavrov that day. I would just like to add the following:
1) Lavrov is considered very much a "moderate" and his language has always been strictly diplomatic. So when you read Lavrov, just imagine what folks in other Russian ministries are thinking.
2) Lavrov makes no secret of his view of the USA and of his plans for the future of our planet. When you read his words, try to imagine what a US Neocon feels and thinks and you will immediately see why the US elites both hate and fear Russia.
3) Finally, Lavrov openly admits that Russia and China have forged a long-term strategic alliance (proving all the nay-sayers who predicted that China would backtstab Russian wrong). This is, I would argue, the single most important strategic development in the past decade.
4) Finally, notice the clear contempt which Lavrov has for a pseudo-Christian "West" which dares not speak in defense of persecuted Christians, denies its own roots, and does not even respect its own traditions."
Complimenting this viewpoint is the YouTube, Lavrov: West stuck with Cold War mentality (UN Gen Assembly Full Q&A). If Lavrov is correct that the NeoCon American foreign policy after the collapse of the Soviet empire has positioned itself to become the single dominating armed force on the planet, what other results but an unending warfare environment can one expect? Longing for an enemy to keep the military machine in high gear certainly is perceived by the rest of the world as threatening.
Blogger Nick Freiling presents an assessment in, What the others are saying, of the following Lavrov quotation.
“In attempting to establish their pre-eminence at a time when new economic, financial and political power centres are emerging, the Americans provoke counteraction in keeping with Newton’s third law and contribute to the emergence of structures, mechanisms, and movements that seek alternatives to the American recipes for solving the pressing problems. I am not referring to anti-Americanism, still less about forming coalitions spearheaded against the United States, but only about the natural wish of a growing number of countries to secure their vital interests and do it the way they think right, and not what they are told “from across the pond.”
Mr. Freiling writes his own comments.
“It’s worth noting that perspectives like these aren’t totally absent from mainstream punditry in the U.S. Libertarians, for one, have long warned about the dangers of stretching American resources too thin in pursuit of foreign policy initiatives that don’t have immediate national security implications. Politicians like Rand Paul have even brought hints of such sentiments into the mainstream.
But this is still a far cry from what most Americans consider an “orthodox” perspective on U.S. foreign policy, even if most people agree we’re overextended in many world arenas.”
The fourth point that the Vineyard of the Saker makes, is expanded upon in the Radical Reactionary essay, Western Secularism vs. Russian Christian Revival where the background and recent direction in Russia is traced.
If you expand your analysis beyond mere political and economic context, the Lavrov foreign policy initiative has a component of emphasizing a traditional and historic cultural motivation. While a religious factor may not have anything to do with forging a new Russia and China alliance, dismissing a spiritual and inward revival in Russia would be a profound error.
Radio Free Europe in the article, Orthodox Churches Fight Back As Eastern Europe Pushes To Modernize, Secularize, makes the case and linkage in Tradition of Religious Nationalism parallels Lavrov’s cultural autonomy.
“Geraldine Fagan, a Moscow-based correspondent for the religion-focused news agency Forum 18 and author of the new book "Believing in Russia: Religious Policy After Communism," says that religious nationalism, although condemned as heresy in the 19th century, is a profound tradition in Orthodox cultures.
"In many cases, Orthodox churches were ministering to a single ethnic group, and this gave rise to nation-states," Fagan told RFE/RL in an e-mail. "And there is a lingering sense in places across the Orthodox world that national security depends in a profound -- even mystical – way on the nation remaining Orthodox."
The difference of a nation state from an empire is crucial for comprehending the nature of a legitimate government. The fall of the Soviet empire was inevitable. The notion that an American empire will avoid the same fate is absurd.
This “Clash of Civilizations” is understandable not because either empire rode the high moral road, but because both abandoned the fundamental principles that create a viable society and nation.
Civilization is fragile and requires a deep commitment to institutions that practice and administer legal justice, traditional social values and high moral standards. Maintaining governments that earn the rightful consent of its citizens is difficult and usually breaks down over time.
International affairs are even more delicate than internal equilibrium. Countries do not have permanent allies, they only have interests. Russia has a litany of problems and is no more a friend than any other regime that is exerting its own national self-interest.
The intrepid Brother Nathanael Kapner points the finger at THE ZIONIST HATE CAMPAIGN AGAINST RUSSIA, for an explanation why the pressitute media wants to suppress Russian nationalism. The orthodox cleric is echoing Sergey Lavrov when he cites “For it is NATO that Moscow is opposing owing to its creeping encroachment upon Russia’s borders.”
Americans need to oppose foreign policy adventures and certainly one that risks a global holocaust. Ready for World War III with China?, essay is just as valid when Russia is substituted. What effect would a Russian and Chinese strategic alliance have as the NWO juggernaut continues on it current path to destruction?
Transnational Opposition to Russian Sanctions illustrates why Western countries are playing a dangerous game. Lavrov’s latest address provides a road map for what Russia is embarking on and what the international community should do to lower the tensions and restore constructive economic and political stability.
It is not too far fetch to imagine a current day, Western version for pounding of shoes, with the message “We Will Bury You” reverberating from the halls of the UN. If this seems ridiculous, ask why pushing a Clash of Civilizations is any different?
SARTRE – December 2, 2014
Top German Magazine Joins Attack on Merkel: She Totally Botched it on Ukraine, Russia (Spiegel)
The timing of this is important - a growing chorus of criticism from influential voices - Merkel is under attack
Written by one of Germany's most prominent political journalists
Argues that Merkel personally ruined relations with Russia, lost Ukraine, and worst of all, backed a miserable war
Basically says she was incompetent
Christiane Hoffmann (Der Spiegel)
November 28, 2014
More evidence that Merkel is in serious trouble on her Russia policy.
Under the no-holds-barred headline of "Summit of Failure: How the EU Lost Russia over Ukraine" Der Spiegel has published a major article blasting her "historical failure" and pinning personal responsibility on her for a "standoff with Russia and war in the Donbass".
The mammoth – 7,000 words long – article came from under the pen of a 6-man team headed by the influential Christiane Hoffmann, one of Spiegel's most senior political writers, and a Russia specialist.
The appearance of an article like this in Germany is of much more significance than it would be in an anglo-saxon culture, which encourages spirited debate. German culture is much more consensual, and the media tends to move in lock-step on important policy matters.
That this article is appearing now is a very big deal, and hardly a coincidence.
The article gives a detailed chronicle of Germany's and EU's dealings with Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovich from his inauguration until shortly before his downfall.
Without any needless, high-pitched rhetoric it systematically exposes German officials and Merkel herself as naive bumblers who consistently fail to understand Yanukovich, the Ukrainian realities and, most importantly, the critical importance Ukraine holds for Russia.
The end impression is that the current mess could have been easily avoided, and the EU could have even had its Ukraine deal, if it had only listened to Kiev and talked to Russia.
Here are some of the key paragraphs:
Everyone came to realize that efforts to deepen Ukraine's ties with the EU had failed.
But no one at the time was fully aware of the consequences the failure would have: that it would lead to one of the world's biggest crises since the end of the Cold War; that it would result in the redrawing of European borders; and that it would bring the Continent to the brink of war.
It was the moment Europe lost Russia.
For Ukraine, the failure in Vilnius resulted in disaster. Since its independence in 1991, Ukraine has strived to orient itself towards the EU while at the same time taking pains to ensure that those actions don't damage its relations with Moscow.
The choice between West and East, which both Brussels and Moscow have forced Kiev to make, has had devastating consequences for the fragile country. But the impact of that fateful evening in Vilnius goes far beyond Ukraine's borders.
Some 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and almost 70 years after the end of World War II, Europe is once again divided.
The estrangement between the Russians and the Europeans is growing with Moscow and the West more inimical toward each other today than during the final phase of the Cold War. It's a reality that many in Europe have long sought to ignore.
When the German delegation, under Merkel's leadership, met with Yanukovych the next morning for one final meeting, everything had already been decided. They exchanged their well-known positions one last time, but the meeting was nothing more than a farce.
In one of the most important questions facing European foreign policy, Germany had failed.
More than anything, though, the Europeans underestimated Moscow and its determination to prevent a clear bond between Ukraine and the West.
They either failed to take Russian concerns and Ukrainian warnings seriously or they ignored them altogether because they didn't fit into their own worldview.
Berlin pursued a principles-driven foreign policy that made it a virtual taboo to speak with Russia about Ukraine. "Our ambitious and consensual policy of the eastern partnership has not been followed with ambitious and consensual policy on Russia," Füle says. "We were unable to find and agree on an appropriate engagement policy towards Russia."
Yanukovych had just spoken.
In meandering sentences, he tried to explain why the European Union's Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius was more useful than it might have appeared at that moment, why it made sense to continue negotiating and how he would remain engaged in efforts towards a common future, just as he had previously been.
"We need several billion euros in aid very quickly," Yanukovych said. Then the chancellor wanted to have her say.
Merkel peered into the circle of the 28 leaders of EU member states who had gathered in Vilnius that evening. What followed was a sentence dripping with disapproval and cool sarcasm aimed directly at the Ukrainian president. "I feel like I'm at a wedding where the groom has suddenly issued new, last minute stipulations."
Haber in particular demonstrated little enthusiasm for a compromise. When the ambassador sought to explain the Ukrainian position, Haber interrupted him saying: "Your Excellency, we are familiar with all of your arguments,"
"Stefan, if we sign, will you help us?" Yanukovych asked.
Füle was speechless. "Sorry, we aren't the IMF.
Where do these numbers come from?" he finally demanded. "I am hearing them for the first time." They are secret numbers, Yanukovych replied.
"Can you imagine what would happen if our people were to learn of these numbers, were they to find out what convergence with the EU would cost our country?"
"It was an unavoidable decision. Please understand me. I simply can't sign it now," Yanukovych said.
"I had to urgently turn towards Moscow, but I want to keep the doors to Europe open.
Please don't see this as a rejection of Europe."
"Today, we are going to make a bold chess move," one of Füle's people said, refusing to elaborate.
Were the Europeans going to offer Ukraine financial assistance after all?
... And then came the "bold chess move" that had previously been hinted at. Barroso said that Brussels would be willing to abandon its demand that Tymoshenko be released.
Yanukovych was dumbfounded. Didn't Brussels understand that other issues had long since become more important?
With Its Gold "Vaporized", A Furious Ukraine Turns On Its Central Bankers
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/02/2014 21:15 -0500
As reported two weeks ago, following a stunning announcement by the head of Ukraine's central bank, Valeriya Gontareva, on primetime TV we learned that (virtually) all of Ukraine's gold was gone, or - in the parlance of Jon Corzine - had "vaporized."
And as we also predicted two weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before Ukraine's people - the vast majority of whom are innocent pawns in a vast game of realpolitik between the west and east - finally got angry and demanded some answers, if not heads. That time came earlier today when as Interfax.ua reported "a Kyiv-based court has instructed Kyiv prosecutors to bring an action against National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Governor Valeriya Gontareva on charges of abuse of power or misuse of office to obtain illegal profit, the Vesti newspaper reported on Tuesday."
According to Interfax, "This decision was taken by Kyiv's Pechersk district court on December 1 after it had examined case No. 757/33660/14. It ordered the Kyiv prosecutor's office to launch an investigation and include it in the register of pre-trial investigations," the newspaper reported.
Gontareva is charged with abuse of power or misuse of office under Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
The plaintiff is lawyer Rostyslav Kravets, the newspaper said. He confirmed this information in his post on Facebook, saying that the decision was taken by the court at the third attempt, and in November 2014, the prosecutors declined to bring an action to meet his claim.
The charges against the chief banker involve foreign currency interventions by the Central Bank in August 2014: On August 5 the NBU bought U.S. dollars on the interbank forex market for UAH 11.93 per U.S. dollar and sold them for UAH 12.26 per U.S. dollar. During the same week, on August 8, it traded in foreign currency at a higher rate: UAH 12.45-12.6 per U.S. dollar. First it sold $69 million on the interbank forex market at a lower rate, and some days later it bought $35 million at a more favorable price.
As a result of these transactions, the NBU lost 19 kopecks per U.S. dollar, Kravets said.
Kravets claims that by acting so, Gontareva "has intentionally committed an extremely unfavorable transaction for the gold and forex reserves of Ukraine, despite the fact that under Ukraine's Constitution it is the Central Bank that is in charge of maintaining the country's gold reserves."
* * *
That, and of course, there is also that as a result of central bank "transactions" the Ukraine central bank is now essentially gold-free, which per Gontareva's recent appearance, has just 1% of total reserves in the form of the yellow metal.
And while it remains to be seen if this will be the spark that lights the counter-revolution (after all it took Egypt not less than a year to turn against the puppet regime dumped upon it by the CIA and the US State Department) others are already sensing which way the wind is blowing. As Bloomberg reported moments ago, another central banker, Olena Shcherbakova who is head of the monetary policy department at the Ukrainian central bank, said she is resigning. When reaced by phone she stated that she "has the right to step down," without giving reason for decision.
She sure does, although we doubt even a former Goldman Sachs partner would be willing to replace her, as the realization among the Ukraine people finally seeps through that they were thoroughly betrayed by the same people who promised they would fix the country following the February presidential coup.
Hungary fuming after McCain calls PM Orban ‘neo-fascist dictator’
Published time: December 03, 2014 18:39
Edited time: December 04, 2014 01:18
Hungary’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the US envoy after US Senator John McCain called Prime Minister Viktor Orban a “neo-fascist dictator.” Washington is incensed with Orban for seeking closer ties with Russia.
The US charge d’affaires, Andre Goodfriend, will be asked for an explanation for McCain’s comments.
"The Hungarian government ... rejects the words of Senator John McCain regarding the Hungarian prime minister and the relationship of Hungary and Russia," Levente Magyar, state secretary at the ministry, told national news agency MTI, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile the country’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, said: "Hungarian citizens ... articulated a very clear opinion that everyone ought to respect,” referring to the victory of Orban’s center-right Fidesz party in parliamentary, European and local elections.
McCain’s comments came in a highly charged speech at the US Senate on Tuesday, where he hit out at President Barack Obama’s appointment of Hollywood producer Colleen Bell as the new US ambassador to Budapest.
"I am not against political appointees... I understand how the game is played, but ... [Hungary] ... is on the verge of ceding its sovereignty to a neo-fascist dictator getting in bed with Vladimir Putin, and we're going to send the producer of 'The Bold and The Beautiful' as the ambassador," he told the Senate, Reuters reported.
The US State Department however does not share Sen. McCain's hawkish view.
“I think it’s no surprise that there are a number of views Senator McCain has espoused that we don’t share," Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department told reporters. “As an Administration, I would put that in this category, of course.”
Harf went on to defend Washington's choice in appointing a new ambassador to Hungary saying, “we believe she will be a very good ambassador, [and] are happy she’s been confirmed.”
Last month, AFP reported Orban as saying that Hungary's relations with Russia have become “entangled in geopolitical and military and security policy issues.” The PM said that the US was retaliating for Budapest's willingness to endorse the South Stream gas pipeline, as well as a deal that would see Russian firm Rosatom develop Hungary’s nuclear power.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (AFP Photo/Attila Kisennedek)
Under a deal worth up to €10 billion, Rosatom will build a 2,000 megawatt addition to Hungary's state-owned nuclear power plant, MVM Paksi Atomeromu. Russia is Hungary’s largest trade partner outside of the EU, with exports worth $3.4 billion in 2013. It is highly dependent on Russian energy.
“We don’t want to get close to anyone, and we don’t intend to move away from anybody. We are not pursuing a pro-Russian policy but a pro-Hungarian policy,” Orban said, adding that expansion of the nuclear plant was the “only possible means” to lower dependence on external energy resources.
Orban has been highly critical of US and EU sanctions imposed on Russia for what he says is Moscow’s “perceived role” in the conflict in Ukraine. Speaking in August, he said the measures are like “shooting oneself in the foot.”
“The sanctions policy pursued by the West, that is, ourselves, a necessary consequence of which, has been what the Russians are doing, causes more harm to us than to Russia,” Reuters quoted Orban as saying on the radio.
UK Daily Mail
MYSTERIOUS EXPLOSIONS HEARD ALL OVER UK: MOD DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED
A recording of the 'loud bangs' has emerged
Image Credits: Adrian Pingstone, Wiki Commons
by UK DAILY MAIL | NOVEMBER 30, 2014
Listen to mysterious explosions that have puzzled a nation:...
Last night, Britons from Aberdeen to Devon were left baffled by a series of mysterious explosions which shook windows and disturbed sleeping children.
Now a recording of the ‘loud bangs’ has emerged – taken by a woman as she sat at home in Croydon, south London.
Hundreds of Twitter users reported the sounds between around 9pm and 10pm last night, but the Ministry of Defence said it still does not know what could have caused them.
And the Met Office today dismissed suggestions that unusual weather conditions might be the source.
Claudia Angiletta said that she was watching TV at home when the unexplained sounds started.
Puns are now punishable in China
BY WILLIAM SUPHAN November 29,2014 IN WORLD
China has banned the use of wordplay within its borders in all forms of media. No puns, idioms, or other creative uses of language allowed.
It sounds like a joke, but it's true. According to The Guardian, the State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television in China has ordered that all media shall use literal language and refrain from puns and other creative wordplay.
They claim that such wordplay makes it harder to expand cultural heritage and misleads the public, despite the fact that wordplay is an inherent part of Chinese culture. They state that it would create "cultural and linguistic chaos" to continue to do what they've been doing for centuries. As of yet, social order has not taken a licking from idiomatic use of the Chinese tongue.
The academic director for CET Chinese studies at Beijing Capital Normal University, David Moser, says, "It could just be a small group of people, or even one person, who are conservative, humourless, priggish and arbitrarily purist, so that everyone has to fall in line. But I wonder if this is not a preemptive move, an excuse to crack down for supposed ‘linguistic purity reasons’ on the cute language people use to crack jokes about the leadership or policies. It sounds too convenient."
This could be likely, as Chinese internet users have been resourceful in using wordplay to discuss sensitive and subversive issues.
The order states, “Radio and television authorities at all levels must tighten up their regulations and crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language, especially the misuse of idioms.”
U.S. govt. to black out all news sites on the web - trial run tested in California - huge upcoming event?
Thursday, December 04, 2014 by: J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Mistrust of government is high these days, so anytime there is an event of unusual circumstance, millions of us immediately think that there must be ulterior motives.
Such is the case with actions taken by certain Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on Wednesday, when a number of online news sites were blocked as the ISPs "tested" advanced technology that is capable of blocking access to the Internet.
As reported by Before It's News, which cited reporting from regular news sources:
The blocking included popular sites like Before It's News, Drudge Report, CNN, MSNBC, Natural News, The Epoch Times, Instapundit and others. The Chinese version of Epoch Times was unaffected, indicating it was targeted to English language news web sites. A blank white screen and "couldn't connect" message were the result after the request timed out.
The Before It's News site and others noted that the outages lasted for several hours and ended around 10 am Pacific Time Wednesday. And only news sites -- certain news sites -- were blocked.
Independent news site WorldNetDaily was also blocked for a time, according to published reports.
They "went dark" for hours
"According to technical staff at Before It's News, the blockage could have been caused by deep packet inspection used inside the routers that move information packets along the Internet," the site reported. "This technology allows ISP's to 'look inside' the packets your computer sends and receives and then make a decision to allow the packets through, modify the packets or block them. This technique can also be used to slow or speed up traffic."
The Washington Times reported that The Drudge Report and WorldNetDaily "went dark" as a "curious coincidence" in the midst of an FBI warning about a widespread malicious software (malware) attack that was launched initially against Sony Pictures Entertainment.
In addition, TheBlaze reported that the two sites were offline for hours, giving visitors this message: "This webpage is not available."
The Times reported that it was unclear whether the sites were merely offline because of technical issues -- it would be odd for two of the Web's top conservative/independent news sites to be offline at once -- or if they had been the target of cyberattacks. Nevertheless, the Times noted, the timing is "suspicious."
An angry North Korea?
Why? Because "the FBI had just sent a warning to businesses in the United States that hackers were using malicious software to infiltrate various websites," the paper reported in its online edition, "and that this follows a massive hit at Sony Pictures Entertainment last week that exposed the personal information of several Hollywood bigwigs."
Reports suggested that North Korea may have been responsible for the Sony Pictures hack, as retaliation for the action-comedy flick The Interview, in which the producer and host of a celebrity tabloid show are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after they land an interview with him.
Private-sector intelligence sources reviewed by Natural News said that North Korea was extremely angered by the movie, describing it as an "act of war" and calling on the United Nations and the U.S. government to prevent its release. The sources also said that North Korea has so far not denied the Sony attack and has been developing increasingly sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities to make up for its lack of conventional power beyond its own peninsula.
"I believe the coordinated cyberattack with destructive payloads against a corporation in the U.S. represents a watershed event," said Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer with security software maker Trend Micro Inc., as reported by the New York Post. "Geopolitics now serve as harbingers for destructive cyberattacks."
Attempts to block access to news should be viewed with suspicion
The FBI issued its warning to businesses late Monday in a five-page "flash" memo, according to the Post. The warning provided instruction on how to counter the malware and asked any victims of the cyberattack to alert the federal law enforcement agency.
Days ago, Sony suffered an attack that industry experts described as unprecedented in terms of cyber assaults, crippling its corporate email for a week and damaging scores of computer files and systems at the world's largest film studio. In a statement, Sony officials said the company had managed to restore "a number of important services" but nevertheless was still "working closely with law enforcement officials to investigate the matter," the New York Post reported.
But, as Before It's News reported, news and information -- especially from alternative, non-corporate (and thus co-opted) sources -- is vital in any emergency, especially. So consumers of news should view any attempt by any entity to deny access to news sites (especially those that do their own independent reporting and are not beholden to corporate/government interests) should be viewed with suspicion.
"If this information can be blocked or modified, markets could crash or people could perish in natural disasters," reported Before It's News. "It could also be exploited as a form of cyber-warfare by a state actor, as an alternative to traditional war."
next week...keep on believing.
doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew,
as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the