For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”
(Hosea 8:7)

Reap The Whirlwind

Dear Friends,

Greetings! If you are a follower of current events then you will know that the past week has seen a flurry of activity especially in the Middle East where so much of Bible prophecy plays out.

Possibly the most important story of the past week concerns the gains the group ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, have made particularly in Iraq. We have included three articles below concerning this group along with maps to help in understanding the present situation.

Whether this is a false flag scenario to get US troops back into Iraq is uncertain. At this point this would not appear to be the case.

There is an interesting verse in the book of Hosea, chapter eight: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”

Is ISIS the whirlwind from the wind (war) sown by mainly the US and the UK?

Interestingly the first war with Iraq led by the US was called Operation Desert Storm, January 1991– 28 February 1991

God's Word says to “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

There has been a tremendous amount of death and destruction sown over the past several years by the powers that are wanting to establish the New World Order, covering a very large area of the globe.

(See the interesting article below, PUTIN’S BRAIN’ BELIEVE THAT THE UNITED STATES IS THE KINGDOM OF ANTICHRIST?, for Putin's take on the New World Order.)

Just to mention that all though we do present articles written by the mainstream we by no means rely on them for in depth truth in reporting. The Bible is the best source by which to judge events.

Millions have gotten off the mainstream news merry-go-round years ago and now just mostly watch it spin.

We have noticed the word “hubris” has been used much more in recent times, especially when it concerns the US and its policies, foreign and domestic.

As the Bible says, it might be better to say promises, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

And what about the acronym for this new group, ISIS, traveling like a whirlwind across Syria and Iraq that wants to establish an Islamic caliphate.

You may be aware that Isis was one of the most important gods in the ancient Egyptian pantheon of gods, and figures very prominently in some of the most important elite secret societies in the world today. Isis was part of a trinity that many Biblical researchers believe was an imitation Luciferian trinity of the Holy Trinity of God, and that this imitation trinity which also includes Osiris will figure significantly in the End Time.

According to Wikipedia: “Isis is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden, but she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers. Isis is often depicted as the mother of Horus, the hawk-headed god of war and protection (although in some traditions Horus's mother was Hathor). Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children.

The name Isis means "Throne". Her headdress is a throne. As the personification of the throne, she was an important representation of the pharaoh's power. The pharaoh was depicted as her child, who sat on the throne she provided. Her cult was popular throughout Egypt, but her most important temples were at Behbeit El-Hagar in the Nile delta, and, beginning in the reign with Nectanebo I (380–362 BCE), on the island of Philae in Upper Egypt.

In the typical form of her myth, Isis was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, goddess of the Sky, and she was born on the fourth intercalary day. She married her brother, Osiris, and she conceived Horus with him. Isis was instrumental in the resurrection of Osiris when he was murdered by Set. Using her magical skills, she restored his body to life after having gathered the body parts that had been strewn about the earth by Set.”

For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” Ephesians 6:12

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.” Jeremiah 25:32

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CNN

Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres pray with Pope Francis for Mideast peace

By Steve Almasy, CNN

June 9, 2014 -- Updated 0458 GMT (1258 HKT)

Source: CNN

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Pope Francis says meeting is for people who want to stop living as enemies

Israeli President Shimon Peres says peace must be pursued no matter how distant it seems

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calls for divine help to make the region secure


(CNN) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres committed themselves to the quest for peace Sunday during a meeting of key figures in the Middle East peace process.

But unlike previous attempts to achieve a resolution to the region's turmoil through traditional means, there would be no negotiating nor any political talks at Sunday's summit. This appeal would be made to a higher calling: Abbas and Peres prayed for peace together Sunday at the Vatican home of Pope Francis.

The meeting comes two weeks after the Pope invited the two leaders to do so during his visit to the Holy Land.

"In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace" the Pope said in Bethlehem's Manger Square following a May 25 Mass, " I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace."

Sunday's meeting was a first for the Vatican, which had never hosted a prayer gathering of two leaders engaged in conflict.

However pious the agenda, the day wasn't totally free of political subtext.

After prayers read in Arabic, Hebrew and Italian by figures from different religions, each leader offered his own invocation.

"Without peace, we are not complete. We have yet to achieve this mission of humanity," Peres said. "Even when peace seems distant, we must pursue it to bring it closer."

"We ask you, Lord, for peace in the Holy Land, Palestine and Jerusalem," said Abbas, according to a CNN translator. "Together with its people, we call on you to make Palestine and Jerusalem, in particular, a secure land for all believers, a place of prayer and worship."

The Pope said the meeting is the response to people who want to live as brothers and sisters and not as enemies.

"I hope that this meeting will be a journey toward what joins us, to overcome what divides us," Francis said.

The groundbreaking meeting -- which was the result of the Pope offering an olive branch two weeks ago -- concluded with the two men exchanging kisses on the cheek before they broke ground themselves for the planting of an olive tree.

Only time will tell if today's prayers will go answered.

"The metric that Pope Francis would be using to measure the success of this event is much longer term. I don't think anyone is expecting an immediate result," said CNN senior Vatican analyst John L. Allen Jr. "Now that said, you could also argue that the success of tonight could be measured by the simple fact that it happened."

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THE CATHOLIC THING

The Final Confrontation

By Fr. C. John McCloskey

SUNDAY, 01 JUNE 2014

We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.

We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. . . .How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.”

Bicentennial talk given in the United States by the future St. John Paul II, then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Kraków, Poland

My eyes almost popped out when I first read this. I could not believe it was authentic, but I have checked it repeatedly and yes, he did say it. And he said it to us Americans, who were at perhaps the apogee of our greatness, short of the fall of the “Evil Empire.”

Well, how seriously should we take this? Very, very seriously. After all, the speaker was about to become one of the greatest popes in the history of the Church. In addition, he was a mystic and, yes, a prophet and truth-teller who suffered under Nazism and communism, as well as in a certain sense also from Islam. (Recall that he was almost killed by a Muslim assassin, only to be saved by the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, according to his own words.)

Let me be clear: my musings on the words of John Paul are not meant to encourage you to sell your property, close the bank account, build a bomb shelter, and await the rapture. That is not the Catholic thing to do. But it’s hard not to “ponder these things in [our] hearts.” What exactly did the pope see or have revealed to him? Perhaps the best place to seek the answer is his writings, although we lack space to comb through them all here.

We can also look around us at the remains of what was once called the Christian West, noting a host of behaviors and beliefs that seem custom-made to initiate and accelerate decline. For example, we find in the West depopulation, legal abortion, open homosexuality and same-sex “marriage,” epidemic levels of pornography use, declining marriage rates, and rising cohabitation rates.

Politically, even supposedly tolerant and democratic states like our own are beginning to deny the religious liberty rights of families, businesses, and churches. In addition, we observe growing centralization of power in the hands of those unfavorable to any faith except the idolatry of health, wealth, and technology. They place their long-term hope in the possibility that science may one day arrest death. They watched too many Star Trek and Star Wars movies as children. Unfortunately, they may well go where many men have gone before – and not simply into outer space.

This, surely, is the Anti-Church that St John Paul foresaw – in any event it is here, it is growing, and to a great extent it has already demolished Europe.

Cardinal Wojtyla at the Shrine of Our Lady, Orchard Lake, Michigan (1976)

What are we to do? First, of course, do not despair. As Catholics we live this life looking forward to the next. We can’t lose, for as St. Paul put it, for us death is gain, not something to fear.

How then to confront and combat the Anti-Church? Imitate the lives of the first Christians! Consider this justly famous description of Christians in the anonymous “Letter to Diognetus,” written in 79 A.D.:

For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. . . .They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. (2 Corinthians10:3) They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. (Philippians 3:20) They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. . .they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonored, and yet in their very dishonor are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; (2 Corinthians 4:12) they are insulted, and repay the insult with honor; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers.

If we live as the first Christians did, we too can confront and triumph over the Church of the evil Global Empires.

Fr. C. John McCloskey is a Church historian and Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington DC.

***

The Independent

Pope Francis sacks entire board of Vatican's financial watchdog

Experts from Switzerland, Singapore, the United States and Italy to replace all-Italian group

MICHAEL DAY

ROME

Thursday 05 June 2014

Pope Francis’s battle to clean up the Vatican’s scandal-mired bank, the Institute of Religious Works (IoR), has entered a new stage, with his removal of the entire board of the Holy City’s financial watchdog.

The five Italians heading the Financial Information Authority (AIF) have been replaced with an international group of experts, including a woman, two years before they were supposed to step down. Vatican insiders say the drastic move followed clashes between the board members, who formed part of the old boys’ network and the body’s Swiss director, René Brülhart, an anti-money laundering expert, who remains in charge.

“Brülhart wanted a board he could work with and it seems the Pope has come down on his side and sent the old-boy network packing,” a Vatican source told Reuters. The Vatican said in a statement that Pope Francis had thanked the “illustrious” former members. Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the changes were in line with the agency’s “internationalisation” and were in response to the requirements of a new statute introduced last year.

The new board members are Juan Zarate, a Harvard law professor and former US presidential financial security adviser; Marc Odendall, a financial consultant to Swiss charities; Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay, the former head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; and Maria Bianca Farina, the head of two Italian insurance companies.

According to the Catholic weekly, The Tablet, reformist members of the Curia had urged the Pope to bring in professionals with a global perspective who would back Mr Brülhart’s efforts to modernise the IoR, following years in which the institution had dragged its heels on complying with international standards on financial transparency.

Among the recent scandals, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a former senior Vatican accountant who had close ties to the IoR, is currently on trial accused of plotting to smuggle millions of dollars into Italy from Switzerland in order to help rich friends lower their tax bills. Investigators believe he used his two IoR accounts as overseas slush funds. Records show that on one occasion in 2012 he withdrew €560,000 (£455,000) from an IoR account in a single transaction.

Paolo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli, the IoR’s former director and deputy director, who resigned last July after Msgr Scarano’s arrest, have been ordered to stand trial on charges of violating anti-money laundering norms.

Last July Pope Francis also appointed a separate five-person commission to examine the overall management of the Vatican’s finances. But some critics said that instead of a breath of fresh air, they were Vatican insiders, all of whom had IoR bank accounts. Some of the commission members were reported to have personal connections to Carl Anderson, who is a member of the IoR’s board of directors and head of the wealthy Knights of Columbus, which has been described as the “Catholic masons”.

In June last year, a report was released on a 30-month investigation into the IoR. The document said that high demand for recycling cash, together with the lack of checks and controls by the IoR and the Italian financial institutions it dealt with, made the Vatican bank a money-laundering hot spot. The same month it emerged that the IoR was seeking to close 900 suspicious accounts. According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, four of the suspect accounts were linked to the Vatican embassies in Indonesia, Iran, Iraq and Syria. In a press conference as he was flying back from his trip to the Middle East, the Pope stressed he was committed to bringing “honesty and transparency” to the Holy See’s finances.

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Irish Central

Mass grave at Galway home not the only one, says Irish leader Kenny

Sheila Langan @SheiLangan June 06,2014 04:09 AM

Government will investigate other mother and baby homes for similar graves and practices.

The mass grave of 796 children at a former home for unwed mothers and children in Tuam, Co. Galway is likely not the only one of its kind in Ireland, Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said.

A government investigation launched in wake of the shocking discovery will focus on all of the former so-called ‘mother and baby homes’ in Ireland, it was announced yesterday.

Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan is organizing a group of senior officials who will advise the government on the scope of investigation required and the best course of action at the end of the month.

Speaking from the US, where he is currently on a trade mission, Kenny said that Flanagan and his committee would determine “whether this is an isolated [incident] or whether there are others around the country that need to be looked at” and to “decide what is the best thing to do in the interests of dealing with another element of our country's past.”

He also acknowledged that the government had not been entirely ignorant of the dire conditions at the Tuam home, where children suffered from malnutrition and other serious ailments.

“I understand that this has been known about since 1972 and clearly the Dáil [parliament] records themselves show references to inspections under the system that operated at health level way back in the 1930s – so it is an issue that we need to deal with,” he said.

In Dublin, Flanagan announced that the group will “properly review all issues (and) will not confine this review to Tuam,” adding that it was not unique in Ireland as a mother and baby home.

“The history of mother and baby homes in Ireland in the early and middle decades of the 20th century reflects a brutally unforgiving response by society, religious and State institutions and, in many cases, families, to young women and children when they were in most need and most vulnerable,” he said in a statement. “It is fully recognized by me and my government colleagues that we need to establish the truth.”

Many other homes for unwed mothers, their “illegitimate” children and other orphans operated in Ireland throughout the 1900s. There was Bessborough in Co. Cork, Sean Ross in Tipperary (where Philomena Lee had her son), and Castlepollard in Westmeath – all run by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The mortality rates at these homes were far higher than the national average, the Irish Examiner recently reported, ranging from 30% - 50% between 1930 and 1945.

There were Protestant mother and baby homes too, such as the Bethany Home in Dublin, where a similar scandal took place. Between 1922 and 1949, close to 220 children died and were buried in an unmarked grave at Dublin’s Mount Jerome Cemetery. They were memorialized in 2010.

Yesterday, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, echoed the demands for a thorough inquiry. He also called for cooperation, urging “those responsible for running any of the mother and baby homes in Ireland, or any other person having information about mass graves, to give that information to the authorities.”

The Order of the Bon Secours Nuns, which ran the Tuam home from 1925 – 1961, said that they no longer hold any of the records from the home.

“In 1961 the Home was closed. All records were returned to the local authority, and would now be within the Health Service Executive, Co Galway,” read a statement issued on Thursday.

The statement noted that the sisters are shocked and deeply saddened by the findings, and that they are committed to engaging with Catherine Corless, the local historian who brought the story to light, and the Graveyard Committee seeking to establish a proper memorial “as constructively as they can on the graves initiative connected with the site.”

In Tuam, the local Gardaí (police) are in the process of determining whether the case warrants a criminal investigation.

Geoff Knuper, a forensic scientist interviewed on RTE’s "Morning Ireland" program, said that if the remains are exhumed, it may be possible to determine the causes and dates of death.

“Obviously it all depends on the state of preservation,” he explained. “After all this time of course, soft tissue will no longer be available but the harder tissue, skeletal structures, should have survived. In addition to providing opportunities for DNA identification, the skeletal structures could show evidence of physical violence, of disease, even malnutrition.”

The local committee seeking to establish a proper memorial for the grave site has started a crowd-funding campaign to create a Tuam Mother and Baby memorial that will list the names, ages, and dates of death of each of the 796 children.

The Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, told RTE that he planned to work with the committee, the local community and the Bon Secours Sisters to create a “suitable commemorative prayer based memorial service and plaque, and to ensure that the deceased and their families will never be forgotten.

“It will be a priority for me, in co-operation with the families of the deceased, to seek to obtain a dignified re-interment of the remains of the children in consecrated ground in Tuam."

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FRONTPAGE MAG

Meet Ruby Rivlin, Israel’s New Strong, Nationalistic President

June 11, 2014 by Ronn Torossian

On Tuesday afternoon, Israel elected a nationalist President — Likud Party Knesset Member Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin who defines himself in two ways: A man of Jerusalem and a student of Zionist prophet Ze’ev Jabotinsky. He is devoted to strengthening the entire land of Israel, including the settlements of Judea and Samaria and an opponent of the creation of a Palestinian Arab state.

Fitting with his long-standing history as a proud, tough Jew, Rivlin accepted the position as the 10th President of Israel and placed a skullcap on his head and recited a prayer from the Torah. He is respected, thought highly of and as a man born in Jerusalem, a descendant of great Rabbis. Israel’s President is largely a ceremonial position — but the world can expect to see a strong Israeli occupying the office of President.

Some highlights and comments worth noting:

Rivlin has noted on numerous occasions that “The heart of the dispute in our region is not just one of local territorial disputes,” but an “all-over Arab-Jewish dispute.” He continued: “Only after we solve the Arab-Jewish conflict and can be confident that the Arab countries recognize Israel and our right to live here in security, can we address the conflict between ourselves and the Palestinians, with whom we are destined to live together.” “We will not, under any circumstances, allow the establishment of a neighboring state that will be a genuine threat on our existence.”

“We have returned to our homeland over the past 200 years in order to stay here. We want real peace, not fake, short-term ‘Peace Now,’ which is liable to be nothing more than an illusion.”

The man is a nationalist who stands strong – as he proclaimed when he was speaker of the Knesset in 2010, “We will not apologize for having liberated Hevron or building Jerusalem. We hereby declare for all to hear: This city will have its defenders! Even if there are those amongst us who have become weak, and who are replacing Zion with Uganda and wish to divide King David’s City – we will not sit by quietly when people come to try to divide this city.”“It is no coincidence that every additional Jewish home in the City of David, the Old City and elsewhere in Jerusalem, shakes the world to its foundations…. The blood of the Hadassah nurses [murdered by an Arab mob in Jerusalem in 1948] cries out from the mountains of Jerusalem. Who dares to divide the ever-united city!? It is the legacy of the fallen that from this mountain we will again take this oath: ‘If I forget thee, o Jerusalem, let my right hand wither.’”

In speeches to “settlers,” Rivlin notes, “You, my brothers, are pioneers.” Tellingly, Dani Dayan, representative of the residents of Judea and Samaria noted yesterday, “Ruby is a true friend of Judea and Samaria, an honorable man whose election is a victory of the whole, beautiful and good land of Israel. “The State of Israel secured a nationalistic President, the scion to a family who built the land, who sees before him the right way to head, without forgetting the path of our fathers, the past and our history.”

Rivlin has said that if Jews cannot live safely in Hebron, neither should Arabs be able to live safely in nearby Abu Sneneh. “But when a playground becomes the murder site of a ten-month-old baby, diplomatic considerations must take a back seat to the need to protect our citizens’ lives.”

When President Obama visited Jerusalem and spoke at the Convention Center rather than the Knesset, Rivlin said: “Three American presidents [Carter, Clinton and Bush] have spoken on the Knesset stage, as well [Egyptian President Anwar] Sadat and leaders from Europe. President Obama should speak to the people of Israel through its elected representatives.” He added, “President Obama decided not to visit the Knesset, a decision which is in bad taste….The Knesset is a symbol of Israeli sovereignty, and with all due respect to the president, it cannot be ignored.”

In a speech in the Knesset where he urged fellow Knesset members to not cede land, Rivlin said, “Don’t you realize that the moment we retreat from one of our fundamental beliefs and dreams, there will no longer be or remain the Zionist entity that we so much wanted to see as the sprouting of our Redemption?”

“We will not apologize – not for conquering Katamon or Jaffa or Tzfat, nor for liberating Hevron, and not for building Jerusalem our capital.”

World: Meet Ruby Rivlin.

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CNN

ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic State?

By TIm Lister, CNN

June 12, 2014 -- Updated 1146 GMT (1946 HKT)

Terrorists gain ground in Iraq fighting

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Suppression of Sunni dissent was the best recruiting sergeant ISI has

Al Baghdadi even served fours years in a U.S. prison camp

It uses cash reserves from banks, equipment seized from military

It wants to establish an Islamic caliphate stretching across the region

(CNN) -- The face of a balding, middle-aged man stares unsmilingly into the camera. He is dressed in a suit and tie and could pass for a mid-level bureaucrat.

But the photograph is that of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who has transformed a few terror cells harried to the verge of extinction into the most dangerous militant group in the world.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has thrived and mutated in the security vacuum that followed the departure of the last U.S. forces from Iraq and the civil war in Syria.

Its aim is to create an Islamic state across Sunni areas of Iraq and in Syria.

With the seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city and advances on others, that aim appears within reach.

ISIS controls hundreds of square miles where state authority has evaporated. It ignores international borders and has a presence all the way from Syria's Mediterranean coast to south of Baghdad.

What are its origins?

In 2006, al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) - under the ruthless leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- terrorized Sunni parts of Iraq as it tried to ignite a sectarian war against the majority Shia community.

It came close to succeeding, especially after the bombing of the al Askari mosque, an important Shia shrine in Samarra, which sparked retaliatory attacks.

But the killing of Zarqawi by American forces, the vicious treatment of civilians by AQI and the emergence of the Sahwa (Awakening) Fronts under Sunni tribal leaders nearly destroyed the group.

Nearly, but not quite.

When U.S. forces left Iraq, they took much of their intelligence-gathering expertise with them.

Iraqi officials began to speak of a "third generation" of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Two years ago, a former spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, warned that "if the Iraqi security forces are not able to put pressure on them, they could regenerate."

The capability of those forces was fatally compromised by a lack of professional soldiers, the division of military units along sectarian lines and a lack of the equipment needed for fighting an insurgency, such as attack helicopters and reconnaissance capabilities.

The new al Qaeda was rebranded in 2006 as the "Islamic State in Iraq (ISI)." It would add "and Syria" to its name later.

The group exploited a growing perception among many Sunnis that they were being persecuted by the government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, starved of resources and excluded from a share of power.

The arrest of senior Sunni political figures and heavy-handed suppression of Sunni dissent was the best recruiting sergeant ISI could have.

Who is its master of terror?

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi graduated to the top job in 2010 -- at the age of 39 -- after Abu Omar al Baghdadi was killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation.

At the time, al Qaeda in Iraq, which had been rebranded as the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI) in 2006, was in a pitiful state. But with U.S. forces and intelligence on the way out, he set out about reviving the group.

Very little is known about al Baghdadi, but a biography posted on jihadist websites last year said he held a PhD. in Islamic Studies from a university in the capital.

He formed his own militant group in the Samarra and Diyala areas, where his family was from, before joining al Qaeda in Iraq.

Al Baghdadi even served fours years in a U.S. prison camp for insurgents -- at Bucca in southern Iraq -- a time in which he almost certainly developed a network of contacts as well as honed his ideology.

He was released in 2009, and went to work.

Where does the group's money come from?

In the beginning, Al Baghdadi focused on secrecy, with loosely connected cells making it more difficult to hunt down the leadership, and on money.

Extortion, such as demanding money from truck drivers and threatening to blow up businesses, were one revenue stream; robbing banks and gold shops were another.

It seemed the group had become little more than gangsters, but the income would help finance a growing stream of suicide attacks and assassinations that would poison the political atmosphere.

It would also aid the recruitment of Sunni tribal fighters and finance spectacular prison raids that liberated hundreds of fighters as well as attacks on police patrols and the assassination of officials.

Now, Al Baghdadi has a new strategy of generating resources: large-scale attacks on several axes, aimed at capturing and holding territory.

Ayham Kamel of the Eurasia Group, a US based consultancy, says that in the latest iteration of this strategy, ISIS will "use cash reserves from Mosul's banks, military equipment from seized military and police bases and the release of 2,500 fighters from local jails to bolster its military and financial capability."

What's been its key to survival?

Al Baghdadi avoided Zarqawi's mistakes. ISIS avoided alienating powerful tribal figures.

When it captured Fallujah, west of Baghdad, in January, it worked with local tribal leaders rather than raise its blag flag over the city.

One of the group's ideologues, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, even admitted: "As for our mistakes, we do not deny them. Rather, we will continue to make mistakes as long as we are humans. God forbid that we commit mistakes deliberately."

What is it trying to accomplish?

It wants to establish an Islamic caliphate, or state, stretching across the region.

ISIS has begun imposing Sharia law in the towns it controls. Boys and girls must be separated at school; women must wear the niqab or full veil in public. Sharia courts dispense often brutal justice, music is banned, and the fast is enforced during Ramadan.

How is it drawing support?

ISIS is -- in essence -- trying to capture and channel the resentment of the Sunni street. And in both Syria and Iraq, it is trying to win favor through dawa -- organizing social welfare programs and even recreational activities for children, distributing food and fuel to the needy, setting up clinics.

Again, having the money matters. The price it demands is enforcement of the strict Sharia code.

How does Syria fit into the picture?

A senior U.S. counter-terrorism official told CNN this week that ISIS looks at Syria and Iraq as "one interchangeable battlefield and its ability to shift resources and personnel across the border has measurably strengthened its position in both theaters."

The explosion of violence in Syria was a gift to al Baghdadi.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad lost control over large parts of the north and the long border with Iraq.

ISI could build a refuge, a rear base, where it could recruit foreign fighters, organize and escape from any Iraqi army operations.

Al Baghdadi may have sent operatives across the border as early as the autumn of 2011, and the group later changed its name -- adding 'al Sham' (Syria.)

It moved swiftly to take control of the Syrian province of Raqqah, aided by the Assad regime's focus on Homs and Aleppo.

What is its relationship with other al Qaeda groups?

As it has grown in strength, ISIS' vision of a Caliphate under its control has expanded.

Its ambition extended to declaring early in 2013 that it was absorbing another militant group in Syria, the al Nusra Front. According to some accounts, al Baghdadi had been instrumental in creating the group; now he wanted its obedience.

The declaration -- and al Nusra's rejection of it -- set off a rare public clash between two groups that both saw themselves as part of al Qaeda.

From his hideout somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan, al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri at first tried to mediate between the two, and then disowned ISIS when it refused to concentrate on Iraq.

Rather than seek reconciliation, ISIS has hit back. Earlier this year, the group's spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, told Zawahiri in a recording: "Sheikh Osama (bin Laden) gathered all the mujahideen with one word, but you divided them and tore them apart."

"You make the mujahideen sad, and make the enemy of the mujahideen gloat because you support the traitor, and you make the heart bleed," he said -- referring to the leader of the al Nusra Front, Abu Mohammed al Jolani.

It was another sign of the extraordinary confidence of the ISIS leadership.

Despite the rift, ISIS' success against what are seen by militant Sunnis as loathsome Shia regimes in Syria and Iraq has attracted thousands of foreign fighters to its ranks, enabling it to continue battling al Nusra in Syria while preparing for its big offensive in Iraq.

What is its strategy?

For western counter-terrorism agencies, the combination of fanaticism and disciplined organization is the nightmare scenario. ISIS has plenty of both.

While the world was shocked by its sudden capture of the city of Falluja, ISIS was still focused on a bigger prize: Mosul and the province of Nineveh. Operations in Falluja and elsewhere in the western province of Anbar were meant to (and did) draw Iraqi forces away from the North.

It has developed an ability to conduct operations -- from suicide bombings and attacks on the security forces to wresting control of towns -- in several regions at once, keeping the demoralized Iraqi army off balance.

And battle experience has created a resilient force capable of ever more sophisticated attacks.

In raids on Samarra, for example, its fighters used bulldozers to remove barriers that had been in place since the U.S. occupation.

Some analysts expect critical parts of the Iraqi oil infrastructure around Mosul to be among its future targets.

Where does its weakness lie?

ISIS runs the risk that its rapid expansion -- and threat to the Iraqi state -- will overstretch the group.

In northern Syria, it has retreated from some towns it held after clashes with al Nusra and other groups.

Al Nusra is making common cause with other groups in an anti-ISIS front.

And by taking Mosul, which Iraq's Kurds see as in their sphere of interest, it may invite greater cooperation between the Iraqi army and experienced Kurdish peshmerga fighters.

A U.S. counter-terrorism official told CNN that ISIS "still has significant weaknesses. It has shown little ability to govern effectively, is generally unpopular, and has no sway outside the Sunni community in either Iraq or Syria."

How significant is its threat?

The weakness of the governments ISIS is confronting -- and the hatred among Sunnis for those governments -- means that a few dozen trucks of fighters can seize towns and cities, overcoming forces many times larger by their sheer ferocity and battle experience.

In the words of the Soufan Group, a political risk consultancy, "ISIS has become indisputably the most effective and ruthless terrorist organization in the world."

"It now challenges the authority of two of the largest states in the Middle East, and has attracted significant numbers of fighters, not just from Iraq and Syria, but also from Saudi Arabia and other Arab states including Jordan."

There is no doubting the group's confidence and ambition.

ISIS spokesman al Adnani took to Twitter Wednesday to declare that "The battle is not yet raging it, but it will rage in Baghdad and Karbala. Put on your belts and get ready," according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Al Adnani openly mocked al Maliki as an underwear salesman who had lost Iraq for the Shia.

"You lost a historic opportunity for your people to control Iraq," he said, "and the Shi'ites will always curse you for as long as they live."

***

MailOnline

The ancient Muslim hatreds tearing apart the Middle East: How 1,400-year-old feud between Shia and Sunni sects flared into life with the fall of dictators like Gaddafi and Saddam... and now threatens to swallow all of Iraq

  • Sunni and Shia factions have been warring since 632AD disagreement over successor to prophet Muhammad

  • ISIS militants - who are Sunni - have been stampeding through majority-Shia Iraq

  • But the militants have stuck to Sunni heartlands, where residents are glad to be rid of Shia government forces

  • Religious tensions are flaring again now that dictators such as Colonel Gadaffi and Saddam Hussein have fallen

  • Rest of the world - and especially other Middle Eastern states - are watching nervously as the conflict intensifies

By MICHAEL BURLEIGH

PUBLISHED: 18:25 EST, 12 June 2014 | UPDATED: 01:56 EST, 13 June 2014

At the heart of the terrifying meltdown in Iraq is the centuries-old hatred between two Muslim ideologies: Sunni and Shia.

The deadly power struggle between these two rival versions of the same faith has flared into life as Sunnis in the extremist terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) advance on Baghdad, where flailing prime minister Nouri al-Maliki - who is Shia - begged his parliament to declare a state of emergency.

It is a battle being watched with trepidation throughout the Middle East, where the escalation of the traditional Sunni/Shia conflict threatens governments and national borders.

Already, ISIS has effectively established its own nation state - or Islamic caliphate - which spreads across the north of Syria and Iraq, taking no heed of the border between the countries.

Its extraordinary success could not have been achieved without the tacit support of ordinary Sunni people in the areas it has conquered.

The Sunnis in Mosul regarded the Shia-dominated army from the south of the country as an occupying force and were only too pleased to see the back of them.

True, these people are terrified of the brutal ideology of ISIS, which specialises in amputations and crucifixions for those who do not subscribe to its fundamentalist creed.

But for now, their hatred of al-Maliki’s authoritarian government, which treats them as a lower caste, outweighs those fears.

To add to the tribal tensions in Iraq, the country’s north-eastern Kurdish population - who were persecuted by Saddam Hussein and gassed in their thousands - have established what is, in effect, their own independent state in the north of the country.

Their force of 250,000 crack Peshmerga militia - who have just taken the oil-rich city of Kirkuk - could defeat ISIS, but they are in dispute with al-Maliki over oil revenues and are in no mood to help.

Meanwhile, across the Middle East, Sunni and Shia rivalries are festering like open sores. Of the world’s 1.6billion Muslims, the vast majority are Sunnis; Shias comprise 10 to 15 per cent - two hundred million people.

Egypt, Turkey, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are Sunni. In Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the ruling Sunni treat Shia as second-class citizens.

The Shia are concentrated in Iran, southern Iraq and Lebanon. And despite being in the minority in Syria, they are powerful there, too: President Bashar Assad’s ruling party belong to a Shia sect called the Alawites.

Once you understand the Sunni/Shia divide, you can make sense of the rivalries in the Middle East. It explains why Sunni rebels - backed by the predominantly Sunni powers, ranging from Turkey to Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf states - are determined to fight Assad’s Shia-dominated army to the death.

And why Lebanese Hizbollah militias (Shia) are fighting for Assad, under the command of Revolutionary Guards officers from Iran (also Shia).

The most extraordinary fact in all this is that the conflict goes back to the seventh century and centres on a dispute over who should succeed Islam’s founder Prophet Muhammad after he died in 632 AD.

The largest group (Sunnis) wanted traditional tribal elders to decide upon the best person; the name Sunni comes from Ahl al-Sunna, meaning the people of tradition.

A minority (Shia) wanted a blood relative of the Prophet, and this clash grew violent when Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, became the fourth caliph - an office that fuses political and religious power. Shia derive their name from shiaat Ali or followers of Ali.

During the years of Empire, these divisions were muted as Sunni and Shia united against the colonial rulers, who took little account of tribal rivalry when they arbitrarily created new countries such as Iraq, a concoction dreamed up by Britain and France in 1921 after the fall of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

Two former Turkish territories were handed to princes in the Hashemite family. Prince Feisal, a friend of Lawrence of Arabia, would become king of a new country called Iraq. His brother, Prince Abdullah, would rule Transjordan - now Jordan.

Authoritarian rulers - Saddam Hussein, President Assad and Colonel Gaddafi in Libya - ruthlessly kept a lid on the religious rivalry.

But with their removal, the divisions have exploded throughout the Middle East and beyond.

This is why extreme fundamentalist Sunnis who wish to restore the medieval caliphate are on the march.

Given the chance, they would kill all Shia as heretics - along with Jews and Christians - and sweep away corrupt and ‘faithless’ rulers in the region, from Jordan’s King Abdullah to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

This explains why the very Gulf rulers who covertly back them - if only in an attempt to buy themselves peace and encourage them to leave their shores for jihadist missions abroad - are even more terrified than the rest of us.

Proof Blair and the West made a catastrophic mistake

COMMENTARY BY ANDREW GREEN, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO SYRIA

The news from Iraq finally disposes of the case for Western military intervention. I say that with feeling, having been firmly opposed to our interventions in Iraq and Libya as well as any mooted for Syria.

It must now be clear that Western leaders have been downright naïve about the societies of the Middle East and about the prospects for democracy in that region any time soon.

Dictators, we were told, must be removed to allow the people freedom of expression. Indeed so. Nobody doubts the appalling records of Saddam, Gaddafi and the Assads.

But we must surely recognise their iron grip held in check highly destructive tensions within their own societies. This is not to promote the cause of dictators, simply to point out that the question we should have been asking ourselves before intervening was, and remains, whether the West was in any position to improve matters.

In every case we tended to focus on military success and failed utterly to think of what might happen once the dictator was removed. In Iraq, we were taken to war by Blair and Bush on a prospectus which they must have known was false.

First, claims that Saddam was in league with Al  Qaeda were known by every expert to be incorrect - the two had long been sworn enemies.

Second, there were the chemical weapons Saddam was alleged to possess and which were somehow a threat to UK interests.

British intelligence was distorted to produce the famous ‘dossier’ which claimed Iraq could deploy those weapons within 45 minutes. In a shameful episode in British intelligence history, the process of gathering and analysis was abused by allowing Alastair Campbell, an unelected political aide, to ‘edit’ the key intelligence summary - the cornerstone of Blair’s case.

Having got us into that war, Blair and Bush had absolutely no idea what to do next. Their mantra that ‘the world is a better place without Saddam’ was no more than a simplistic analysis of an extremely complicated Iraqi society, quite different to those in the West.

Today’s chaos in Iraq has its roots in the damage the West did to Iraqi society in the aftermath of our invasion. We disbanded the army, a key to stability in most Arab countries. This was sheer foolishness.

The Islamist militia is so ruthless and extreme that even al-Qaeda has cut ties and distances itself from them

Similarly, disbanding Saddam’s ruling Ba’ath party - to which most senior Iraqis were obliged to belong, whatever their views - was another act of folly. We destroyed the very sinews of Iraqi society while imagining our imposition of ‘democracy’ would somehow replace them. Meanwhile, the immediate effect of our invasion on the wider region was greatly to increase the power of Iran.

Since the fall of the Shah a generation ago, Iranian influence in the Gulf had been held in check by the forces of its mortal enemies, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. This constraint was blown away by Saddam’s removal, leaving Iran as the leading Shia power in the Muslim world.

This week, we saw the bitter irony of Iranian special forces reportedly being sent to Baghdad to prop up the floundering regime.

Libya is a very different country to Iraq, but again we have seen the ousting of an unpleasant dictator - and ensuing anarchy.

That country is now splitting at the seams as militia in its east and west fight for influence while the tribes in the south are similarly bellicose. One consequence is a sharply increased flow of migrants from other parts of Africa to Libya seeking to cross to Europe.

In Syria we have, thankfully, steered clear of direct involvement. As events have turned out, President Assad has not only survived but gained control of key areas, while leaving much of the north and east in opposition hands. After three years of a dreadful civil war, many Syrians, Sunnis included, want the fighting to stop.

Not so the Sunni Islamic extremists led by ISIS. They have proved to be the most ruthless of occupiers and their blitzkrieg heading for Baghdad is extremely serious for the region.

Make no mistake, there are consequences for Britain, too. The security services say ‘blowback’ from Syria is one of the main threats to our security; that UK citizens fighting there will return battle-hardened and indoctrinated, seeking to attack our way of life.

The success of ISIS would be a huge boost for the Jihadists and attract even more UK recruits. The luck of the security services cannot hold for ever. The number of dangerous suspects is growing and so are the odds against terrorist plots being foiled.Meanwhile, Syria’s civil war is spreading to Iraq - and who knows where that might lead?

***

MailOnline

Blood-soaked fanatics who make Al Qaeda look amateur: Formidable army of 12,000 black-clad fanatics who rule by beheading, amputation and crucifixion

  • Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rules nation-sized swathe of land

  • Grew out of Al Qaeda in Iraq, but has eclipsed them in power and brutality

  • Boasts 12,000 fighters, many of whom have flooded in from abroad

  • Grew stronger thanks to unrest in Syria - and is well-armed and well-funded

  • Rules its territory with a ruthless take on Islamic law, involving brutal punishment

By MICHAEL BURLEIGH

PUBLISHED: 17:51 EST, 11 June 2014 | UPDATED: 17:08 EST, 12 June 2014

The Iraqi government policemen and soldiers in Mosul abandoned their weapons and uniforms with barely a fight against the army of black-clad killers from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terror group.

The gunmen quickly laid their hands on a mass of abandoned U.S. military equipment to add to their massive arsenal, ranging from Humvee vehicles to night-sights and body armour.

Among the first acts of this ruthless force of Islamic militants was to liberate 2,500 prisoners from two jails - many of them terrorists who immediately joined their ranks.

Brutal: Masked ISIL gunmen gather in the Iraq desert

Meanwhile, ISIL terrorists are also on the verge of taking Iraq’s largest oil refinery in the town of Baiji, 130 miles north of Baghdad and have taken Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, too.

The evening before, ISIL chiefs phoned Baiji’s sheiks, and told them to warn policemen and soldiers to lay down their arms or be killed. They meekly complied.

Who are ISIL and why do they inspire such fear? Could they really, as serious commentators and political leaders suggest, threaten not only the entire stability of the Middle East but also bring a new reign of jihadist terror to the West?

Now Tikrit falls to Islamist terrorists: Hundreds of thousands flee as second Iraqi city is seized by the extremist warlord who is more 'virulent and violent than Bin Laden' - and will Baghdad be next?

Marauding ISIS militia beheading their way to Baghdad: How jihadist group so extreme even al-Qaeda has distanced itself threatens to take Iraq three years after America left




US has no plans to send any of its 35,000 Middle East-based troops into Iraq after al-Qaeda overruns two cities and forces 500,000 to flee for their lives

One thing is certain: this formidable army is a very different beast to the Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda from which it originated and which fought the U.S. and the Iraqi government from the 2003 invasion until American troops left in 2011.

ISIL fanatics are hardline followers of the Sunni Muslim creed. They despise Iraq’s leadership - as well as the majority of the country’s population - who follow the Shia version of the faith.

This Sunni/Shia divide has been a source of violence across the Middle East since the 7th century. It was kept in check by brutal dictators such as Saddam Hussein, Colonel Gaddafi and President Assad.

But their removal - attempted in the case of Syria’s Assad - by gung-ho Western leaders such as Tony Blair and George W. Bush has re-ignited the bitter hatred with terrifying fervour. And ISIL is the living embodiment of that hatred.

The sectarian civil war in Syria has been the terror group’s biggest asset. In the past they would have been crushed ruthlessly by Assad’s forces, but during the past two years, the war has enabled them to train and shelter militants in the increasingly ungoverned areas between Syria and Iraq.

The group originated in Iraq and incorporated the Levant (Syria) into its name two years ago to reflect its spearheading of the fight against Assad.

Later, it fell out with the Al Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan - and redefined itself to become a far more lethal and powerful army than ever operated against Western troops in Iraq, eclipsing Al Qaeda.

Today, it effectively governs a nation-sized area stretching over north and west Iraq and Syria.

‘This is a force that is ideologically motivated, battle-hardened and incredibly well-equipped,’ explains Douglas Ollivant, of the New America Foundation, who advised the Obama and Bush administrations on Iraq and served two tours of duty there.

‘It also runs the equivalent of a state. It has all the trappings of a state, just not an internationally recognised one.’

Whereas Al Qaeda concentrated on counter-insurgency, ISIL transformed itself into a full-blooded army with thousands of fighting men to call on.

‘Al Qaeda in Iraq didn’t really fight the Americans,’ explains Ollivant. ‘They were great bomb-makers and kidnappers, but if caught in a firefight, they would probably get killed because they weren’t good line-infantry,’ he said. ‘Now that has been fixed.’

The U.S. congratulated itself on beating Al Qaeda in Iraq before it withdrew its troops in 2011 and handed power to the Baghdad government, dispersing $14billion of military aid to the Iraqi army.

But since then, Iraqi jihadists under the control of ISIL have won control of key towns, such as Fallujah, Ramadi, Samara - and now Mosul - while carrying out suicide bomb attacks in Baghdad that are causing 1,000 fatalities a month.

Within those areas it has conquered, it is imposing a vicious form of hardline Islamic sharia law, which has involved crucifixion of ‘spies’, as well as beheadings and amputations.

The transformation of ISIL came about under the command of a shadowy 42-year-old ex-preacher called Abu Bakr al Baghdadi - who was captured in southern Iraq in 2005 after being identified as  Al Qaeda’s point man in a flyblown town in Iraq’s western desert.

According to a Pentagon document, he was ‘connected to the intimidation, torture and murder of civilians,’ as well as publicly executing ‘entire families’.

Astonishingly, he was released in 2009, possibly because of some amnesty agreement or through confusion - his name is a nom de guerre used by several people.

‘We either arrested or killed a man of that name about half a dozen times,’ explained Lieutenant-General Sir Graeme Lamb, a former British special forces commander who fought Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Today, with a $10million bounty on his head, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi wears masks and avoids being photographed - the only image of him is a U.S. prison mugshot of a thickset man with cropped hair.

ISIL became the richest terror group ever yesterday after stealing £256 million from Mosul’s central bank.

Funding also comes from shadowy opponents of President Assad’s regime, and it extorts more than £600,000 each month from the prosperous citizens of cities such as Mosul, where it has long been a covert presence.

In the meantime, it has been recruiting foreign fighters for the war in Syria. Some 12,000 have flocked to fight in Syria from as far away as Chechnya, China and Pakistan - 3,000 of these foreign volunteers are Westerners, including an estimated 400 Britons.

ISIL’s aim is to create a Taliban-style caliphate, where political and religious leadership are fused, in Iraq and Syria, countries which it considers meaningless colonial constructs.

In order to achieve its vision, the terror group is not only simultaneously fighting Assad and the Iraqi regime of PM Nouri al-Maliki, but also other Syrian rebel groups that object to its appalling brutality - brutality that has proved even too much for Al Qaeda.

In addition, to the deep concern of Western governments, ISIL is encouraging its foreign fighters to commit atrocities in their home countries - particularly if these countries intervene in this conflict.

Earlier this month, a Frenchman who spent more than a year fighting in Syria was detained after three people were shot dead and another critically wounded outside a synagogue in Brussels.

He was carrying a Kalashnikov automatic rifle, a handgun, a 40-second film in which he appears to claim responsibility for the shootings - as well as an ISIL banner.

It can only be a matter of time before a Briton, indoctrinated in Syria by ISIL, tries to launch a terror attack here.

Can anything be done to defeat this monstrous army? Certainly, we can’t rely on the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a dour, joyless figure who failed to win a majority in Iraq’s elections this April, and will not have a ruling coalition for months.

His regime is not only at loggerheads with Iraq’s Sunni Muslims - who see him as a puppet of Iran’s Shia regime - but also with  the ethnic Kurds in the north of Iraq, who enjoy all the trappings of independence and are in dispute with al-Maliki over the country’s oil wealth.

The Kurds’ own ferocious 250,000-strong peshmerga militia could probably make mincemeat of the jihadis, but they refuse to help unless Maliki meets their demands on oil revenue.

The result is that we are rapidly advancing to the point where Iraq disintegrates into three separate states, with the Kurds demanding full independence, ISIL establishing its own territory in the north and west, and Iraq’s Shia population settling for the rest of the country.

This would destabilise the whole region, compounding existing refugee problems and inflaming the Sunni/Shia conflict.

It is also what the West has desperately tried to stop happening for the past decade - but the cost in the blood of British, American and other countries’ soldiers means no Western leader will countenance sending troops back into Iraq.

***

***

AMERICAN DREAM

PUTIN’S BRAIN’ BELIEVE THAT THE UNITED STATES IS THE KINGDOM OF ANTICHRIST?

by MICHAEL SNYDER |

JUNE 13, 2014

Alexander Dugin, the man known as “Putin’s Brain“, believes that the U.S.-led New World Order is the “kingdom of the Antichrist” and that it is inevitable that it will be destroyed someday. His version of Neo-Eurasianism envisions an inevitable conflict between Eurasia (dominated by Russia) and the Atlanticist New World Order of the western world during which the forces of global liberal hegemony will be defeated. In simpler terms, he is fundamentally convinced that someday there will be a major war between Russia and the United States which Russia will win. Before you dismiss Dugin as a “nutjob”, you should be aware that he is a professor at the top university in Russia, he is a frequent guest on all of the top Russian television networks, and his books are extremely influential. Dugin’s writing about Eurasia was making waves long before Putin took office or ever came up with the idea for a “Eurasian Union“. If you want to be honest about it, much of what Putin is promoting now had its genesis in the work of Alexander Dugin.

Most people in the western world have never heard of Dugin, but they should be aware of him. He is radically anti-western, and this is especially true when it comes to the liberalism of the western world. He is always making statements such as the following…

“If you are in favor of global liberal hegemony, you are the enemy.”

In particular, Dugin has a tremendous distaste for the cultural “colonialism” of the United States. He believes that U.S. meddling in world affairs is the cause of a great deal of what is wrong in our world today…

“The USA is a chimerical, anti-organic, transplanted culture which does not have sacral state traditions and cultural soil, but, nevertheless, tries to force upon the other continents its anti-ethnic, anti-traditional [and] ‘babylonic’ model.”

But he goes far beyond what most critics of the U.S. in the western world do. In fact, he is not afraid to use terms such as “New World Order” and “reign of Antichrist” to describe the United States. The following is an excerpt from a scholarly article about Dugin’s Neo-Eurasianism…

In his most important book, Osnovy geopolitiki [Foundations of geopolitics], Dugin – ‘a sort of mouthpiece and ideologue’ of ‘the demonization of Western values’ – has geopolitically grounded Neo-Eurasianist aversion to the US and the Anglo-Saxon world in general. According to the imperialist geopolitical theories to which he adheres,
the planet is roughly divided into three large spaces: the World Island (principally the US and the UK), Eurasia (predominantly Central Europe, Russia, and Asia), and the Rimland (the states between the World Island and Eurasia). According to the Neo-Eurasianist doctrine, there is a perennial irresolvable confrontation between the ‘Sea power’ associated with the US dominated ‘homogenizing New World Order’ and the ‘Land power’ of the Russia-oriented ‘New Eurasian Order’ which resists globalisation and ethno-cultural universalisation. In classic Manichean tradition, Dugin demonizes the US and the whole Atlanticist ‘World Island’ as a ‘reign of Antichrist’.

So what will happen to the “reign of Antichrist” in Dugin’s opinion?

Well, he appears to be absolutely convinced that one day the “American empire” will be destroyed…

Eurasianism leaves intact many of the territorial goals of the old Soviet Union while updating the ideology for a world which has grown cold to Bolshevik boilerplate. Gone is the old Marxist-Leninist claptrap about the “class struggle” in favor of a global conflict rooted in “sacred geography” and an “inevitable” conflict between the continental might of Eurasia and the “sea power” of the United Kingdom and United States.

However, Dugin is not only “Putin’s Brain”—he’s also “Putin’s Rasputin.” Dugin’s ideology is filled with invocations of “metaphysical Marxism” and adherence to the Traditionalist views of the “mystical fascist” thinker Julius Evola. Dugin’s ideology is one which claims that a final conflict is coming between Eurasia and (in Dugin’s words) “the kingdom of the Antichrist.” As pertains to this kingdom of the Antichrist, Dugin maintains, “the United States is the center of its expansion.” For Dugin, there is one course which lies open before those who oppose the “Antichrist”: “The American Empire should be destroyed. And at one point, it will be.”

Once again, this is coming from someone that is very well known and deeply respected in Russian society.

And if Vladimir Putin did not approve of what he was saying, he would be simply removed from the airwaves…

In 2008, Dugin was made a professor at Russia’s top university, Moscow State University, and the head of the national sociological organization Center for Conservative Studies. He also appears regularly on all of Russia’s leading TV channels, commenting on both domestic and foreign issues. His profile has only increased since the pro-democracy protests of the winter of 2011–12 and Putin’s move around the same time to build a Eurasian Union. His outsized presence in Russian public life is a sign of Putin’s approval; Russian media, particularly television, is controlled almost entirely by the Kremlin. If the Kremlin disapproves of (or not longer has a use for) a particular personality, it will remove him or her from the airwaves.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but there is a tremendous amount of anti-Americanism in Russia right now.

In fact, one recent survey discovered that anti-American sentiment in Russia was not even this strong during the days of the Cold War.

And this anti-Americanism is constantly being fueled by thinkers such as Dugin. He regards the political correctness and the liberalism of the United States and the western world as a “common enemy” that the rest of the planet must unite to fight against. The following is an excerpt from an interview with Dugin…

“What we are against will unite us, while what we are for divides us. Therefore, we should emphasize what we oppose. The common enemy unites us, while the positive values each of us are defending actually divides us. Therefore, we must create strategic alliances to overthrow the present order of things, of which the core could be described as human rights, anti-hierarchy, and political correctness – everything that is the face of the Beast, the anti-Christ or, in other terms, Kali-Yuga.”

In the United States, there are very few people that believe that war with Russia is “inevitable” in this day and age.

But in Russia it is a much, much different story.

This conflict in Ukraine is just the tip of the iceberg. Russian thinkers such as Dugin consider this just to be one battle in a far larger conflict.

And in the end, they envision a day when only one side will be left standing.

***

THE LIES GROW MORE AUDACIOUS

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

JUNE 7, 2014

If there were any doubts that Western “leaders” live in a fantasy make-believe world constructed out of their own lies, the G-7 meeting and 70th anniversary celebration of the Normandy landing dispelled the doubts.

The howlers issuing from these occasions are enough to split your sides. Obama and his lap dog Cameron described the Normandy landing on June 6, 1944, as “the greatest liberation force that the world has ever known” and took all the credit for the US and Britain for the defeat of Hitler. No mention was made of the Soviet Union and the Red Army, which for three years prior to the Normandy landing had been fighting and defeating the Wehrmacht.

The Germans lost World War II at the Battle of Stalingrad, which was fought from August 23, 1942 until February 2, 1943, when most of the remnants of the powerful German Sixth Army surrendered, including 22 generals.

Nineteen months previously the largest invasion force ever assembled on planet earth invaded Russia across a one thousand mile front. Three million crack German troops; 7,500 artillery units, 19 panzer divisions with 3,000 tanks, and 2,500 aircraft rolled across Russia for 14 months.

By June 1944, three years later, very little of this force was left. The Red Army had chewed it up. When the so-called “allies” (a term which apparently excludes Russia) landed in France, there was little to resist them. The best forces remaining to Hitler were on the Russian front, which collapsed day by day as the Red Army approached Berlin.

The Red Army won the war with Germany. The Americans and the British showed up after the Wehrmacht was exhausted and in tatters and could offer little resistance. Joseph Stalin believed that Washington and London stayed out of the war until the last minute and left Russia with the burden of defeating Germany.

Hollywood and popular writers have, of course, buried the facts. Americans have all sorts of movies, such as “A Bridge Too Far,” that portray insignificant events, however heroic, as turning points in the war. Nevertheless, the facts are clear. The war was won on the Eastern front by Russia. Hollywood’s movies are fun, but they are nonsense.

Russia is again on the outs with “the world community,” because Obama’s plan to seize Ukraine and to evict Russia from its Black Sea base in Crimea has come a cropper. Crimea has been a part of Russia for as long as the US has existed. Khrushchev, a Ukrainian, stuck Crimea into the Ukrainian Socialist Republic in 1954 when Russia and Ukraine were part of the same country.

When the Washington-imposed stooge government in Kiev recently declared that it was abolishing the use of the Russian language and arresting Ukrainians who had dual Russian citizenship and began tearing down Russian war memorials consecrated to the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis, the people in Crimea used the ballot box to disassociate from Washington’s stooge government in Kiev, first voting their independence and then voting for reunification with their mother country.

Washington, and the other G-7 countries following Washington’s orders, described this Crimean act of self-determination, which is exactly comparable to the act of self-determination declared by Britain’s American colonies, to be a case of “Russian invasion and annexation.” Similar efforts to disassociate from Kiev are underway in other former Russian territories that today comprise eastern and southern Ukraine. Washington has equated self-determination in eastern and southern Ukraine with “terrorism” and has encouraged its stooge in Kiev to use military violence against protesting civilians. The reason for branding separatists “terrorists” is to make it OK to kill them.

It is extraordinary to any learned person that the President of the United States and the titular heads of state of the Western European countries would publicly declare such blatant lies to the world. The world has historians. The world has peoples whose knowledge vastly exceeds that of the “mainstream media,” a.k.a., the Ministry of Propaganda, or, as Gerald Celente brands them, “the presstitutes.” Whatever name we use, the Western media is a collection of well paid whores.They lie for money, dinner party invitations, and speaking invitations with large honorariums and book contracts with large advances.

I know. They tried to recruit me.

Notice how narrowly Washington defines “the world community.” The “world community” consists of the Group of 7. That’s it. Seven countries make up the “world community.” The “world community” consists of six white countries and Washington’s puppet state of Japan. The “world community” is the US, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan. The other 190 countries are not part of Washington’s “world community.” In the neocon doctrine, they are not even part of humanity.

The “world community” doesn’t have the population of single excluded countries, such as China or India. I haven’t done the calculation, but probably the land mass of Russia itself exceeds the land mass of the “world community.”

So, what is this “world community?”

The “world community” is the assemblage of US vassal states. Britain, France, and Germany were important on the 20th century scene. Their histories are studied in universities. The populations had a decent standard of living, although not for all citizens. Their past is the reason for their present importance.

In effect, these countries were propelled forward by history, or by the history important to the West. Japan, being an appendage of Washington, has tried to become “western.” It is extraordinary how such a proud, war-like people became nothing.

As I have finally stopped laughing at the presumed non-role of Russia in the defeat of Hitler, let’s return to the G-7 meeting. The Big Happening of this meeting was Russia’s exclusion and the shrinkage of the G-8 to the G-7.

This was the first time in 17 years that Russia was not allowed to participate in the meeting of which Russia is a member. Why?

Russia is being punished. Russia is being isolated from the 7 countries that the White House Fool thinks constitute “the world community.”

Obama is angry that his National Security Council and the morons he appointed to the State Department and UN were so poorly educated that they did not know that much of the Ukraine consists of former Russian provinces inhabited by Russians. These ignorant Obama-appointed morons thought that they could grab Crimea, evict Russia, and leave Russia without access to the Mediterranean, thus unable to hold on to its naval base in Tartus, Syria, the easier for Washington to invade Syria.

Crimea has been part of Russia since Russia completed the reconquest from the Tartars. I remember the Tarter, or Tater, ethnics from my visit to Tamerlane the Great’s (Timur as he was also known) tomb in Samarkand 53 years ago. Today Tamerlane’s city is refurbished as a tourist site. 53 years ago it was a desolate place in ruins, overgrown with trees growing out of the tops of the minarets.

As Obama’s plan to seize Ukraine failed, like every one of his other plans has failed, Washington’s spokesmen for the vested private interests have seized on the opportunity to demonize Putin and Russia and to restart the Cold War. Obama and his Group of 7 puppets or vassals used the occasion to threaten Russia with real sanctions, in place of the present propaganda sanctions that have no effect. According to Obama and his British lap dog, Putin must somehow prevent the Russian populations of eastern and southern Ukraine from protesting their subservience to a neo-fascist government in Kiev backed by Washington, or else.

Putin is supposed to embrace the Oligarch, a former minister of the government that Washington overthrew, put in office by a fake vote in which turnout was a small percent of the population. Putin is supposed to kiss this corrupt Oligarch on both cheeks, pay Ukraine’s natural gas bills and forgive its debts. In addition, Russia is supposed to repudiate the Crimean people, evict them from their re-unity with Russia and hand them over to the neo-Nazi Right Sector to be eliminated as retribution for Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany, for whom some Western Ukrainians fought. In exchange, Washington and NATO will put anti-ballistic missile bases on Ukraine’s border with Russia in order to protect Europe from nonexistent Iranian nuclear ICBMs.

This is supposed to be a win-win deal for Russia.

The Obama regime used its well-paid NGOs in Ukraine to overthrow an elected, democratic government, a government no more corrupt than those in Western or Eastern Europe or Washington.

The political morons who have England, France, Germany, and Italy in their hands are wagging their fists at Russia, warning of more, this time real, sanctions. Do these morons really want their energy supplies cut off? There is no prospect, despite the propagandistic claims, of Washington supplying the energy on which Germany industry depends and on which Europeans depend so that they do not freeze in the winter.

Sanctions on Russia will wreck Europe and have little, if any, effect on Russia. Russia is already moving, with China and the BRICS, outside the dollar payments mechanism.

As the demand for dollars drops, the dollar’s exchange value will drop. Initially, Washington will be able to force its vassals to support the dollar, but eventually this will become impossible.

What the White House Fool, the neoconized National Security Council, the presstitute media, and subservient Congress are doing is to support and uphold the policies based on hubris and arrogance that are leading the US into the abyss.

An abyss is like a black hole. You don’t get out.

Washington’s lies are so blatant and transparent that Washington is destroying its own credibility. Consider the NSA spying. Documents released by Snowden and Greenwald make it completely clear that Washington spies not only on government leaders and ordinary people but also on foreign businesses in order to advance US commercial and financial interests. That the US steals Chinese business secrets is not in doubt. So what does Washington do? Washington not only denies what the documents prove but turns the charge around and indicts five Chinese generals for spying on US corporations.

The only purpose of these indictments hyped by the US attorney general is propaganda.The indictments are otherwise totally meaningless, not merely false. China is not about to turn over five Chinese generals to the liars in Washington. For the presstitute media the story is a way to move the NSA’s spying out of the spotlight. China is substituted for the NSA as the guilty party.

Why doesn’t China, Brazil, Germany and every other country issue arrest warrants for NSA’s top officials, for Obama, and for the members of the congressional oversight committee? Why do other countries always allow Washington to control the explanation with propaganda first strikes?

Americans are very susceptible to propaganda. They seem to have a special taste for it. Consider the hate whipped up against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a US soldier just released by the Taliban in a prisoner exchange with the US. The hatred and bloodlust that the presstitute media have whipped up against Bergdahl has caused his hometown to cancel the celebration of his release. The press engineered hatred of Bergdahl has spilled over into threats against Hailey, Idaho.

What is the basis for the attacks on Bergdahl? Apparently, the answer is that Bergdahl, like pro-football star Pat Tillman who turned down a $3.6 million contract to join the Army Rangers and go to defend freedom in Afghanistan, came down with a case of doubts about the war. Originally Pat Tillman’s death was attributed to his heroic action and enemy fire. Then it emerged that Tillman was a victim of “friendly fire.” Many concluded that he was murdered, because the government did not want a sports hero speaking out about the war. As Bergdahl is off the battlefield, he has to be murdered in the press–like Russia, China, Iran, Putin, Assad, Crimeans, and the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine.

In America hate and the cultivation of hate is alive and well. But not a single moral virtue is.

***

***

the guardian

A French message to Britain: get out of Europe before you wreck it

The European Union is on its knees but you, the British, want to block even small steps to democratic legitimacy


Cameron and Hollande. 'Your demands became even more outrageous… Two vetoes in 10 years, that takes some nerve.' Photograph: Andrew Winning/Reuters

There is, between you and us continental Europeans, a disagreement which is turning ugly. Your immense history justifies a limitless admiration for you. You were the inventors of democracy and of human rights, you dominated the world for centuries, first ruling the oceans and after that the world of finance. And when apocalypse threatened, your courage and tenacity – you held on long, American and Russian help arriving late in the day – saved our honour and freedom.

We know this and we have never shied away from saying, including in this commemorative week, that we owe you an immense debt. This should not, however, allow you to treat us with contempt and double-dealing.

You do not like Europe – that is your right and it is understandable. You nevertheless joined 41 years ago, but on a misunderstanding. You never shared the true meaning of the project which Winston Churchill, speaking on your behalf, set out in Zurich in 1946 with his incredible words: "We must build a kind of United States of Europe … Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America – and, I trust, Soviet Russia … must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live."

Were you not listening? These were the thoughts of a giant, shared by another giant, Charles de Gaulle.

You wanted trade, and you thought about nothing else. With President de Gaulle gone, you were able to join. But from this point you never, ever allowed even the smallest step towards greater integration, or even the smallest expansion of genuinely joint decisions.

The European community did trade, which suited you, because it defined itself as an economic community, but for those things that should be at the very heart of an economy – taxation, dispute settlement law, social policy – you demanded and imposed the continuation of unanimous decision-making. You wanted paralysis. So many neighbouring countries applauded and envied our achievements and wanted to join. You supported each enlargement; we did too, even though we knew it would dilute the community. But you never allowed the slightest deepening of the union. Europe remained bogged down and badly run, an economic giant, a political dwarf.

Eventually the size and success of the European community meant that it made little sense for it to be involved only in the economic aspects of our shared lives. Diplomacy, defence, justice were all raised. You succeeded in limiting joint political actions to a few narrowly defined circumstances and instances.

Thanks to you, the Maastricht treaty was a failure and only narrowly voted through. You did not have to do much to ensure that the Amsterdam and Nice treaties and the constitutional convention would also be flops because they changed little. Paralysis was guaranteed, because you had already got what you wanted. But you had to make things worse. When you didn't like the agreed rules, you tore them up by seeking derogations, "I want my money back" agreements such as the British budget rebate, and eventually the right to opt out of policies altogether when they did not suit you.

But your demands became even more outrageous. Amid the paralysis and growing anger the continental desire grew for stronger and more powerful leaders.

The nationalities of the Belgian Jean-Luc Dehaene and the Luxembourger Jean-Claude Juncker could not have bothered you, it was enough that they were federalist in outlook, had strong voices and would not be easily pushed around. Two vetoes in 10 years, that takes some nerve. You dared to do it.

Europe is dying from it. The most recent elections have confirmed this. Even the euro, the only policy that you could not block, yet whose rules you were involved in writing, and which therefore bear your influence, remains weak and suffers from the lack of oversight that you were able to make sure would prevail across the EU.

I know, you are not completely alone in this. The refusal to recognise a common European interest, always putting the national interest first – you reintroduced these ideas and made them contagious. Nobody is perfect. Acknowledge at least that you deserve the prize.

Out of this disaster and ahead of the European elections, the tenacious among us managed to inject more democracy into the rules. So it was agreed that the majority in the European parliament would choose the European commission presidency. It hardly changes the essence, but it is a start, a way to begin restoring public interest and engagement. Personally, I voted for Martin Schulz as it would trouble me to see somebody with a monetarist outlook at the head of the commission. But the people have spoken. It may be relative, but there is a majority and its leader is Jean-Claude Juncker, a bold and courageous federalist. Democracy demands that he become the president of the European commission. But you want to prevent this. You want to break the process by which a more democratic Europe could emerge. You are stopping Europe finding the democratic force and legitimacy that it needs. A leader picked in these circumstances will be weakened. But this is what you want. Without internal democracy Europe is unworthy, and is in the process of dying. And you are sending us back to that Europe, you despise us so much. What right do you have? And beware, this contempt will backfire on you. You will eventually be right.

Now you pretend to want to exit; the majority of your people are in no doubt about it. But you have a banking interest in remaining to capitalise on the disorder that you have helped to create.

So go before you wreck everything.

There was a time when being British was synonymous with elegance. Let us rebuild Europe. Regain your elegance and you will regain our esteem.

This article was published in Le Monde on 5 June 2014

***

The New York Times

France’s Ticking Time Bomb

By FRANÇOISE FRESSOZJUNE 6, 2014

With her key political opponents in disarray, Marine Le Pen only has to reap the whirlwind.

Credit Kenzo Tribouillard/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

PARIS — The French aren’t that interested in Europe to begin with, and these days care less and less about it. Even so, they managed to morph the recent European parliamentary elections into a time bomb and plant it under their country’s own future.

The French political puzzle has been flipped upside down by the May 25 vote, with Marine Le Pen, flag bearer of the far-right National Front, left fiddling with the pieces. With its stunning score of nearly 25 percent of the European vote in France and utter crushing of all other political camps, the National Front not only flexed its muscles but upended its two traditional opponents, the governing Socialists and the conservative Union for a Popular Movement (U.M.P.).

This wouldn’t seem so earth-shaking if it didn’t come just three years before France’s next presidential election, in 2017, because the French are now asking the unthinkable: Can the National Front rise to the top of the national ladder?

Manuel Valls, named prime minister just over two months ago to rescue François Hollande’s flailing presidency, didn’t hesitate an instant to call the European election results an “earthquake.” He might have done better to keep quiet, all the more that the next day the president went on prime-time TV to share his view of the disaster — only without the least hint of what he could do about it.

Just like that, French politics veered into tragicomedy. While the Socialists run around shouting “Every man for himself,” the U.M.P., the party that propelled Nicolas Sarkozy to the presidency in 2007, promptly burst into flames whipped up by the so-called Bygmalion affair. The scandal, which had been smoldering for weeks, swirls around more than 10 million euros in “fake invoices” intended to hide overspending by Mr. Sarkozy’s 2012 re-election campaign. The fakes were issued by the Bygmalion communications firm under pressure from the U.M.P., which wanted them passed off as bills for party meetings and not Sarkozy campaign events. Evidence uncovered by the newsweekly Le Point and the daily Libération newspaper had already convinced everyone that the fire would reach the party’s president, Jean-François Copé.

No one, however, was prepared for the firestorm that erupted on May 26, the day after the European elections, when Mr. Copé’s lieutenants, to save their skin, threw their hapless boss (and Mr. Sarkozy) out of the window by admitting to the entire scheme and declaring that the fake invoices were an attempt to cover up huge (and illegal) campaign spending excesses. Here was Jérôme Lavrilleux, Mr. Copé’s chief of staff and deputy director of Mr. Sarkozy’s 2012 campaign, spilling the beans in a tearful TV interview, melting down under the studio lights as he confessed. The nation blinked and wondered, and then sighed as the U.M.P. went up in smoke.

Meanwhile, over in Mr. Sarkozy’s office, the earth shook firmly. At U.M.P. headquarters, too, though Mr. Copé — whose hero is none other than Zorro — dug in his heels and swore he hadn’t known what was going on until just recently. The next day, however, the big men of the party gathered to boot him out, the tale of his political execution sent out via Twitter to anyone who cared.

The Bygmalion affair has crippled the U.M.P. The courts are now involved. The party has no viable leader to oppose Ms. Le Pen. Even Mr. Sarkozy can hardly ride to the rescue this time.

Ms. Le Pen, meanwhile, only has to reap the whirlwind, just like her father, Jean-Marie, did in the 1990s when political financing scandals in France exposed the “total rot” of the system. It was Mr. Le Pen who, in April 2002, got into the second round of the presidential election against Jacques Chirac.

These days, the National Front is driven by its desire to end the grip of the major parties; to deconstruct Europe; and to block immigration in order to give the French people back “their country, their freedom, their fortunes and their pride.” With lofty fervor, Marine Le Pen declares that the political divide is no longer between left and right, but between a country, France, and the forces of globalization. By casting the National Front as the alternative to the Socialist Party and the U.M.P, she is betting that her party will soar in the battle for the presidency in 2017 — maybe even win.

That’s a sobering thought for a country stuck in economic malaise. Mr. Hollande, the Fifth Republic’s most unpopular president, has practically no cards left to play, other than to somehow get Europe to initiate an economic revival. But it’s been two unfruitful years since he began pushing Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to get things going. And he got nowhere fast at a European policy meeting in Brussels on May 27, the first high-level conclave since the parliamentary elections, when he conjured up a Euro-phobic wave washing over the Continent. In response to his renewed pleas for a European rebirth, Ms. Merkel didn’t say no, but she didn’t say yes either. What she focused on, however, was how weak France had become, to the point that it could be considered the new “sick man of Europe.” Not exactly what a reeling national leader wanted to hear.

Which brings us back to Marine Le Pen and the National Front. Few want to admit that she could win the presidency, though a lot of people would vote for her out of protest. A cartoon in the satirical French weekly Le Canard Enchaîné shows Marine and her father toasting their party’s victory in the European elections: She says, “To the unhappy French!” And he says, “That they stay that way till 2017!”

They probably will. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone in France who isn’t fed up with national politics and all the expensive drama, impatient to pull out of the six-year-long economic spiral, or even willing to give up on the grand European project. The French would more than like to see better days. And if that means sending Marine Le Pen to the Élysée Palace in 2017, then a lot of people say: So be it.

But the space between now and then is a pretty serious gap. After all, Ms. Le Pen has yet to convince the French that pulling out of the euro, as she hopes to do, will mean a revival of France’s fortunes. While she has ample time before the election to fine-tune her argument, the big French left and right parties have little time to keep a Le Pen presidency from actually happening.

Meanwhile, you can be sure that moderate Europe is watching the French tragicomedy closely as scores of nationalist and ultra-nationalist Euro-deputies from across the Continent march into their newly won offices. Wasting no time, Ms. Le Pen has vowed to lead the Euro-phobic movement in the European Parliament. That may not be so easy, however, since Nigel Farage of the U.K. Independence Party, whose grouping got 27 percent of Britain’s European vote, ruled out any sort of formal alliance with the National Front, though he knows they may end up on the same side on some issues. In the coming battle for power, we may well witness a political and economic shootout at the heart of Europe that leaves the radicals and their extreme cousins standing tall.

It is no exaggeration to say that the French fire could threaten the entire European house. All the same, in a sad twist on be careful what you wish for, no one seems to know quite what to do.

Françoise Fressoz is a political columnist for Le Monde and author of the blog Le 19 Heures. This article was translated by Kyle Jarrard from the French.

***

The Washington Post

Thai police: We’ll ‘get you’ for junta criticism

A Thai soldier places barbed wire on the ground after pulling it out from a canal near the Government House during a cleanup operation Friday, June 6, 2014 in Bangkok. Thailand’s new military government moved against two of its top targets on Thursday, capturing a top organizer of protests against its recent takeover and launching a probe into the finances of the former elected prime minister. (Wason Wanichakorn/Associated Press)

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS June 6 at 12:15 PM

BANGKOK — Thai police warned online critics of the military junta Friday that they will “come get you” for posting political views that could incite divisiveness, the latest reminder about surveillance of social media in post-coup Thailand.

The Technology Crime Suppression Division, a police unit that is working with the army, cited Thursday’s capture of a leading organizer of anti-coup protests as a lesson to everyone in the country using social media.

Police tracked Sombat Boonngam-anong’s IP address to learn where he was after he made Facebook postings calling for protests against the May 22 coup, said police Maj. Gen. Pisit Paoin, who handled the arrest.

“I want to tell any offenders on social media that police will come get you,” Pisit told The Associated Press. “Any expressions of political views online must be done in a way that will neither incite divisiveness or violence.”

The military government, which has warned that it is closely monitoring online activities, has blocked hundreds of websites and plans to expand its surveillance capabilities. But Sombat’s arrest was likely to spread new fear through Thailand’s active online community.

Sombat, a prominent social activist, had spearheaded an online campaign calling for people to silently show opposition to the coup by raising a three-finger salute in public places — borrowing a symbol of resistance to oppression from “The Hunger Games.”

In a bow to the publicity generated by the gesture, coup leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha devoted a few words to it in his almost hour-long televised speech setting out his regime’s intentions.

“There have been gestures of holding three fingers in protest — that is fine. I have no conflict with you,” he said. “But how about if we all raise five fingers instead - two for the country and the other three to signify religion, monarchy and the people.”

He said raising three fingers amounted to copying foreign films, and suggested, “We should be proud of our own identity.”

While his speech covered general intents and policies, particularly covering the economy, it also mentioned morality, a touchstone of conservatives Thais who have backed the last two coups.

***

GlobalResearch

28 Signs That The West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear Radiation From Fukushima

By Michael Snyder

Global Research, June 07, 2014

The Truth 21 October 2013

The map below comes from the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center. It shows that radiation levels at radiation monitoring stations all over the country are elevated. As you will notice, this is particularly true along the west coast of the United States. Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean. That means that the total amouont of radioactive material released from Fukushima is constantly increasing, and it is steadily building up in our food chain.

Ultimately, all of this nuclear radiation will outlive all of us by a very wide margin. They are saying that it could take up to 40 years to clean up the Fukushima disaster, and meanwhile countless innocent people will develop cancer and other health problems as a result of exposure to high levels of nuclear radiation. We are talking about a nuclear disaster that is absolutely unprecedented, and it is constantly getting worse. The following are 28 signs that the west coast of North America is being absolutely fried with nuclear radiation from Fukushima…

1. Polar bears, seals and walruses along the Alaska coastline are suffering from fur loss and open sores…

Wildlife experts are studying whether fur loss and open sores detected in nine polar bears in recent weeks is widespread and related to similar incidents among seals and walruses.

The bears were among 33 spotted near Barrow, Alaska, during routine survey work along the Arctic coastline. Tests showed they had “alopecia, or loss of fur, and other skin lesions,” the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement.

2. There is an epidemic of sea lion deaths along the California coastline…

At island rookeries off the Southern California coast, 45 percent of the pups born in June have died, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. Normally, less than one-third of the pups would die. It’s gotten so bad in the past two weeks that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an “unusual mortality event.”

3. Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at a historic low. Many are blaming Fukushima.

4. Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.

5. A vast field of radioactive debris from Fukushima that is approximately the size of California has crossed the Pacific Ocean and is starting to collide with the west coast.

6. It is being projected that the radioactivity of coastal waters off the U.S. west coast could double over the next five to six years.

7. Experts have found very high levels of cesium-137 in plankton living in the waters of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the west coast.

8. One test in California found that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.

9. Back in 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…

• 73 percent of mackerel tested

• 91 percent of the halibut

• 92 percent of the sardines

• 93 percent of the tuna and eel

• 94 percent of the cod and anchovies

• 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish

10. Canadian authorities are finding extremely high levels of nuclear radiation in certain fish samples…

Some fish samples tested to date have had very high levels of radiation: one sea bass sample collected in July, for example, had 1,000 becquerels per kilogram of cesium.

11. Some experts believe that we could see very high levels of cancer along the west coast just from people eating contaminated fish…

“Look at what’s going on now: They’re dumping huge amounts of radioactivity into the ocean — no one expected that in 2011,” Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear policy lecturer at the University of California-Santa Cruz, told Global Security Newswire. “We could have large numbers of cancer from ingestion of fish.”

12. BBC News recently reported that radiation levels around Fukushima are “18 times higher” than previously believed.

13. An EU-funded study concluded that Fukushima released up to 210 quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 into the atmosphere.

14. Atmospheric radiation from Fukushima reached the west coast of the United States within a few days back in 2011.

15. At this point, 300 tons of contaminated water is pouring into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.

16. A senior researcher of marine chemistry at the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Meteorological Research Institute says that “30 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium and 30 billion becquerels of radioactive strontium” are being released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.

17. According to Tepco, a total of somewhere between 20 trillion and 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium have gotten into the Pacific Ocean since the Fukushima disaster first began.

18. According to a professor at Tokyo University, 3 gigabecquerels of cesium-137 are flowing into the port at Fukushima Daiichi every single day.

19. It has been estimated that up to 100 times as much nuclear radiation has been released into the ocean from Fukushima than was released during the entire Chernobyl disaster.

20. One recent study concluded that a very large plume of cesium-137 from the Fukushima disaster will start flowing into U.S. coastal waters early next year…

Ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 could begin flowing into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016.

21. It is being projected that significant levels of cesium-137 will reach every corner of the Pacific Ocean by the year 2020.

22. It is being projected that the entire Pacific Ocean will soon “have cesium levels 5 to 10 times higher” than what we witnessed during the era of heavy atomic bomb testing in the Pacific many decades ago.

23. The immense amounts of nuclear radiation getting into the water in the Pacific Ocean has caused environmental activist Joe Martino to issue the following warning…

“Your days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over.”

24. The Iodine-131, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 that are constantly coming from Fukushima are going to affect the health of those living the the northern hemisphere for a very, very long time. Just consider what Harvey Wasserman had to say about this…

Iodine-131, for example, can be ingested into the thyroid, where it emits beta particles (electrons) that damage tissue. A plague of damaged thyroids has already been reported among as many as 40 percent of the children in the Fukushima area. That percentage can only go higher. In developing youngsters, it can stunt both physical and mental growth. Among adults it causes a very wide range of ancillary ailments, including cancer.

Cesium-137 from Fukushima has been found in fish caught as far away as California. It spreads throughout the body, but tends to accumulate in the muscles.

Strontium-90’s half-life is around 29 years. It mimics calcium and goes to our bones.

25. According to a recent Planet Infowars report, the California coastline is being transformed into “a dead zone”…

The California coastline is becoming like a dead zone.

If you haven’t been to a California beach lately, you probably don’t know that the rocks are unnaturally CLEAN – there’s hardly any kelp, barnacles, sea urchins, etc. anymore and the tide pools are similarly eerily devoid of crabs, snails and other scurrying signs of life… and especially as compared to 10 – 15 years ago when one was wise to wear tennis shoes on a trip to the beach in order to avoid cutting one’s feet on all the STUFF of life – broken shells, bones, glass, driftwood, etc.

There are also days when I am hard-pressed to find even a half dozen seagulls and/or terns on the county beach.

You can still find a few gulls trolling the picnic areas and some of the restaurants (with outdoor seating areas) for food, of course, but, when I think back to 10 – 15 years ago, the skies and ALL the beaches were literally filled with seagulls and the haunting sound of their cries both day and night…

NOW it’s unnaturally quiet.

26. A study conducted last year came to the conclusion that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster could negatively affect human life along the west coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska “for decades”.

27. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is being projected that the cleanup of Fukushima could take up to 40 years to complete.

28. Yale Professor Charles Perrow is warning that if the cleanup of Fukushima is not handled with 100% precision that humanity could be threatened “for thousands of years“…

“Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear reaction that would be uncontrollable. The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo. Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years.”

Are you starting to understand why so many people are so deeply concerned about what is going on at Fukushima?

About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishesThe Truth.

***

Sunday Times

Africa's creaking giant Kariba dam threatens to unleash biblical deluge

Friday, 6 June 2014

The Kariba dam provides much of southern Africa with power (Ariadne Van Zandbergen)

By RW Johnson

FEARS of a humanitarian disaster are growing as engineers warn that Africa’s mighty Kariba dam, opened by the Queen Mother in 1960, has developed severe structural faults.

A collapse would unleash 180bn tons of water from the largest man-made lake on the continent, sweeping thousands of hippos and crocodiles into an area of Zambia that is home to 3.5m people.

The torrent could roar on into Mozambique and Malawi.

Much of southern Africa, which depends upon the dam’s turbines for electricity, would be plunged into darkness.

This month Felix Nkulukusa, permanent secretary at the Zambian finance ministry, told reporters that the wall of the dam had developed serious structural weaknesses. “We are told by engineers that if nothing is done in the next three years the dam may be swept away,” he said.

A Zimbabwean engineer at the dam, who did not wish to be named, told The Sunday Times last week that the vibrations are “downright scary” when the floodgate is opened to allow water to be discharged after heavy rains. “You can hear and feel the dam wall vibrate,” he said.

The water cascades into a plunge pool beneath the 420ft-high dam. It is supposed to be 30ft deep but has eroded at points to more than 250ft, potentially undermining the dam wall.

Adding to the problem is a risk of earthquakes. The dam is built at the southern end of the Rift Valley, a tectonically active area where there have been at least 20 quakes of a magnitude greater than 5.

Elizabeth Karonga of the Zambezi River Authority, which is jointly owned by Zambia and Zimbabwe, sought to allay fears but admitted that “the situation at the Kariba dam wall is cause for grave concern”.

Chris Yaluma, the Zambian minister of mines, energy and water, managed to spread further disquiet when he said: “There is no need to panic. The dam wall will not collapse overnight.” A collapse of the Kariba dam could trigger further disasters. Once the tidal wave of water reached Mozambique it would overwhelm the mighty Cahora Bassa dam and release another 51bn tons of water, making the spillage four times bigger than the largest on record.

The river authority regards repairs to the plunge pool as urgent and it is sufficiently worried about a failure of the floodgate to suggest the construction of a new emergency gate.

At least $250m is needed for the repairs. But Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe has kicked out the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and anyone else who might lend the money.

The Zambians are more optimistic and say the World Bank, the European Union and the African Development Bank are all likely to help. Even so, such repair work will not start for many months.

“People are worried, perhaps irrationally,” said Richard Maasdorp, a Zimbabwean engineer. “But they know the clock is ticking.”

***

Mirror

Godzilla? 9-foot great white shark EATEN by huge mystery sea monster, say scientists

Jun 07, 2014 14:56

By Mikey Smith

We're going to need a bigger boat. This huge predator was definitely eaten, but scientists don't know what ferocious beast could have defeated a great white!

Getty

Godzilla? The Kraken? What could possibly have eaten a great white shark?

A nine-foot-long great white shark was eaten by a huge mystery sea monster, according to scientists in Australia.

As the saying goes, there's always a bigger fish - but scientists never expected an apex predator like a great white to have any serious enemies.

Researchers tagged the shark so they could track it as part of a study, but it washed up on a nearby beach two months later.

When they checked the information stored on the recovered tracking device, it showed the shark had suddenly plunged 1,900 feet deep into the ocean.

Shortly after, the tag registered a rapid temperature rise - to about the conditions you'd find inside a digestive system.

The tag stayed at that depth, and at that temperature for many days, occasionally moving nearer the surface only to descend again, before washing up on the shore.

The only theory scientists have come up with so far - beyond it being Godzilla or the Kraken - is that the shark was eaten by an evan bigger, 'colossal, cannibal great white shark.'

They estimate the kind of shark that could defeat a nine-footer would have to be 16-feet-long and weigh more than two tonnes.

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Mirror

Outrage as 'anti-homeless spikes' spotted outside London building

Jun 07, 2014 13:37

By Mikey Smith

The spikes, designed to prevent vagrants from sleeping in doorways have sparked anger on Twitter after photos of a London doorway went viral

Spikes: The metal studs on Southwark Bridge Road

Metal spikes designed to stop homeless people sheltering in doorways have caused outrage, after photographs of a London building went viral.

The property, a building of flats on Southwark Bridge Road, has a series of at least 17 inch-long metal studs embedded in the floor of an alcove next to the doorway.

The photographs were posted on Facebook last night, before being posted on Twitter, where they have been shared thousands of times.

The pictures upset a lot of people, with many comparing them to spikes used to stop pigeons landing on buildings.

Although the anger of the internet was newly directed at these cruel devices, anti-homeless spikes are not new additions to our streets.

They've been in use for more than a decade, particularly on older, more ornate buildings where wide windowsills and ledges can seem like a relatively comfortable place to sleep.

Katharine Sacks-Jones, head of policy and campaigns at homelessness charity Crisis, said: "It is a scandal that anyone should sleep on the streets in 21st century Britain. Yet over the last three years rough sleeping has risen steeply across the country and by a massive 75% in London.

"Behind these numbers are real people struggling with a lack of housing, cuts to benefits and cuts to homelessness services to help them rebuild their lives.

"They might have suffered a relationship breakdown, a bereavement or domestic abuse. They deserve better than to be moved on to the next doorway along the street. We will never tackle rough sleeping with studs in the pavement. Instead we must deal with the causes."

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BUSINESS INSIDER

THESE 10 CORPORATIONS CONTROL ALMOST EVERYTHING YOU BUY

Despite a wide array of brands to choose from, it all comes back to the big guys

by ASHLEY LUTZ

JUNE 6, 2014

A chart we found on Reddit.com (click the graphic above to see a larger version) shows that most products we buy are controlled by just a few companies. It’s called The Illusion of Choice.

Ever wonder why you can’t get a Coke at Taco Bell? It’s because Yum Brands was created as a spin-off of Pepsi — and has a lifetime contract with the soda maker.

Unilever produces everything from Dove soap to Klondike bars. Nestle has a big stake in L’Oreal, which features everything from cosmetics to Diesel designer jeans.

Despite a wide array of brands to choose from, it all comes back to the big guys.

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PreventDisease.com

The Secrets of Food Marketing and How You're Being Fooled By Advertising

JUNE 6, 2014 by APRIL McCARTHY


There are large divisions within every population in the world where people have absolutely no idea where their food comes from. They believe cows, pigs and chickens run around in green pastures, without any comprehension of what they're fed, how they're treated and most of all, completely unaware of the confined quarters they live in for the majority of their lives. This is the reality of factory farming. The speaker in this video is portraying herself as a so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon and how they fool the public through deceptive strategies to encourage the false belief that meat comes from humanely treated animals. The audience's expression says it all.

The speaker in this video is actually an actress named Kate Miles, but the facts about produce and its marketing are 100% real. The audience is also real, and thus the looks of disgust are totally real too.

There are things we can all do as individuals to end factory farming, but there are some things that we can only do together: Exposing the suffering, changing the minds of food businesses, of politicians, and of the public.

There is no doubt that consumer awareness and concern about the lives led by animals raised for food is on the rise. Ethical concerns are playing an increasingly important role in purchasing decisions. Labeling makes a difference but they are both educating and confusing consumers. For example, egg producers -- perhaps more than any other -- have responded to this trend by adding an abundance of confusing claims on egg cartons.

Most ingredients commonly used in factory farms include genetically modified grains, plastic pellets, animal byproducts, dangerous chemicals including drugs, antibiotics and vaccines in misguided attempts to fight disease and control parasites.

Antibiotics are added to animal feed or drinking water of cattle, hogs, poultry and other food-producing animals to make them gain weight faster or use less food to gain weight.

It's time to create awareness at all levels. Inform your families, relatives, colleagues, friends about the tactics these industries use to manipulate public opinion and conceal what is really going on behind close doors.

Most of all, speak your mind with your wallet. Avoid toxic factory farmed meat. As a consumer, select organic, grass-feed varieties whenever and wherever possible. Action first begins with you and your choices.

No amount of marketing makes factory farming acceptable. You can stop the spin.

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Business Insider

The 41 Most Nutritious Foods On Earth

LAUREN F FRIEDMAN

JUN. 5, 2014

Watercress salad.

Nutritional guidelines encourage Americans to consume more "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables — those foods that are most strongly associated with reduced risks of chronic disease. But there's been no clear directive on how exactly "powerhouse" foods should be defined.

Now, a Jun. 5 study in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease puts forth a method for defining and ranking powerhouse foods.

Lead author Jennifer Di Noia, a sociologist at William Paterson University who specializes in public health and food choice, came up with a preliminary list of 47 "powerhouse" foods based on consumer guidelines and scientific literature. For example, berries and vegetables in the onion/garlic family were included "in light of their associations with reduced risks for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and some cancers."

Di Noia then ranked the foods based on their nutritional density. She focused on 17 nutrients "of public health importance per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine." These are potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.

Each food had to provide at least 10% of the daily value of a particular nutrient to be considered a good source. Providing more than 100% of the daily value of one nutrient conferred no extra benefit. The scores were calculated in favor of lower-calorie foods and weighted based on how "bioavailable" each nutrient is (i.e., how much the body can make use of a nutrient once it's been ingested in food form).

Six foods (raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, garlic, onion, and blueberry) on the original list of 47 did not satisfy the "powerhouse" criteria. Here are the remaining 41, ranked in order of nutrient density. Foods that are high in nutrients without also being high in calories will be at the top.

  1. Watercress (Score: 100.00)

  2. Chinese cabbage (Score: 91.99)

  3. Chard (Score: 89.27)

  4. Beet green (Score: 87.08)

  5. Spinach (Score: 86.43)

  6. Chicory (Score: 73.36)

  7. Leaf lettuce (Score: 70.73)

  8. Parsley (Score: 65.59)

  9. Romaine lettuce (Score: 63.48)

  10. Collard green (Score: 62.49)

  11. Turnip green (Score: 62.12)

  12. Mustard green (Score: 61.39)

  13. Endive (Score: 60.44)

  14. Chive (Score: 54.80)

  15. Kale (Score: 49.07)

  16. Dandelion green (Score: 46.34)

  17. Red pepper (Score: 41.26)

  18. Arugula (Score: 37.65)

  19. Broccoli (Score: 34.89)

  20. Pumpkin (Score: 33.82)

  21. Brussels sprout (Score: 32.23)

  22. Scallion (Score: 27.35)

  23. Kohlrabi (Score: 25.92)

  24. Cauliflower (Score: 25.13)

  25. Cabbage (Score: 24.51)

  26. Carrot (Score: 22.60)

  27. Tomato (Score: 20.37)

  28. Lemon (Score: 18.72)

  29. Iceberg lettuce (Score: 18.28)

  30. Strawberry (Score: 17.59)

  31. Radish (Score: 16.91)

  32. Winter squash (Score: 13.89)

  33. Orange (Score: 12.91)

  34. Lime (Score: 12.23)

  35. Grapefruit (pink/red) (Score: 11.64)

  36. Rutabaga (Score: 11.58)

  37. Turnip (Score: 11.43)

  38. Blackberry (Score: 11.39)

  39. Leek (Score: 10.69)

  40. Sweet potato (Score: 10.51)

  41. Grapefruit (white) (Score: 10.47)

Everyone has different dietary needs, and no one should make drastic dietary changes without consulting a dietitian or a doctor. But adding more "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables to your diet is a good first step on the way to a healthier lifestyle.

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Until next week...keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”
(Genesis 1:29)


http://www.missionarychristian.org