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Some Reading on Russia

by coldwarrior ( 1 Comment › )
Filed under Academia, Economy, History, Politics, Russia, Special Report at December 19th, 2014 - 8:21 pm

As this is a special report, Please take your time and read the following article here before commenting, it is worth you effort:

 

…I thought the economic problems of Russia would be foremost on people’s minds. The plunge of the ruble, the decline in oil prices, a general slowdown in the economy and the effect of Western sanctions all appear in the West to be hammering the Russian economy. Yet this was not the conversation I was having. The decline in the ruble has affected foreign travel plans, but the public has only recently begun feeling the real impact of these factors, particularly through inflation.

But there was another reason given for the relative calm over the financial situation, and it came not only from government officials but also from private individuals and should be considered very seriously. The Russians pointed out that economic shambles was the norm for Russia, and prosperity the exception. There is always the expectation that prosperity will end and the normal constrictions of Russian poverty return….

#Caturday, 12/13/14: Vladivostok airport seafood shop suffers $1100 feline heist

by 1389AD ( 5 Comments › )
Filed under Caturday, Open thread, Russia at December 13th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Кошка ест морепродукты в прилавке магазина в аэропорту Владивостока

Published on Dec 9, 2014 by ПримаМедиа ТВ

RT has the story:

During the night, a ginger cat sneaked into a sea food store at Vladivostok airport and treated itself to fish from the deli counter. The animal’s feast, which included squid and flatfish, was worth 60,000 rubles – some $1,100.

The feline burglar also went for the dried octopus – he torn up the packaging, but couldn’t quite get to the food inside. The shop owners still had to count the costs because the sealing on the packages was broken.

“The cat made its way inside the counter, and ate and nibbled the goods, scratched and wrecked the packaging around the squid and dried fish,” a shop assistant told Ria Novosti agency.

The shop was forced to write off the entire fish counter the cat had laid its paws on, to comply with sanitary rules. The store at Vladivostok international airport in Russia’s Far East was thoroughly disinfected, its owners promised the local PrimaMedia news.

The cat’s Friday feast was spotted and filmed by airport staff, who were amused by the gluttonous animal for some time before calling the shop owners. It’s still unknown how the animal sneaked his way into fishy heaven.

While shop assistants say the animal is homeless and lives near the airport, sometimes coming into the terminal for warmth and to be fed, the airport says the presence of any unsupervised animals on the premises is strictly forbidden due to security regulations.

A special order has been issued, and a company has been appointed to keep stray animals out, the airport’s press service said, adding that the cat might have been lost by one of the passengers. The blame lies completely with the shop, the airport said.

Story here.

Canada Considers Fence On Southern Border To Stem Wave Of Illegal Immigration

by Bunk X ( 4 Comments › )
Filed under America, Canada, Elections 2010, Elections 2012, Humor, immigration, Immigration, Mexico, Politics, Russia, Satire, Special Report at November 22nd, 2014 - 10:54 pm

CAUTION

Mexico allows Central and South American immigrants to pass through her borders on 72 hour visas, and most of those people are headed for the porous southern border of the US. As these illegal immigrants pour in, local pressure builds, and now there’s another movement happening at the US – Canadian Border. Canadians don’t like it.

US Canada Border Fence

Here’s the full transcript from The Manitoba Herald 1 December 2010:

Border Fence Proposed
by Clive Runnels
The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The recent actions of the Tea Party and the fact Republicans won the Senate are prompting an exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they’ll soon be required to hunt, pray, and to agree with Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck.

Canadian border farmers say it’s not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.  “I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,” said Southern Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold,exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn’t have any, he left before I even got a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?”

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. He then installed loudspeakers that blared Rush Limbaugh across the fields. “Not real effective,” he said. “The liberals still got through and Rush annoyed the cows so much that they wouldn’t give any milk.”

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, and drive them across the border where they are simply left to fend for themselves. “A lot of these people are not prepared for our rugged conditions,” an Ontario border patrolman said. “I found one carload without a single bottle of imported drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though.” When liberals are caught, they’re sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about plans being made to build re-education camps where liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR races.

In recent days, liberals have turned to ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have been disguised as senior citizens taking a bus trip to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans in powdered wig disguises, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizens about Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney to prove that they were alive in the ’50s. “If they can’t identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we become very suspicious about their age,” an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and are renting all the Michael Moore  movies. “I really feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can’t support them,” an Ottawa resident said. “How many art-history majors does one country need?”

In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice President Biden met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals. A source close to President Obama said, “We’re going to have some Paul McCartney and Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we might even put some endangered species on postage stamps. The President is determined to reach out,” he said.

The US and Canada are not the only countries experiencing an influx of illegal immigrants crossing their southern borders. Check out this image from Vladikavkaz, Russia:

illegal-immigrants-in-russia

If the Theory of Global Worming is true, there’s going to be a massive influx of people from all regions south of the Arctic Circle, judging from the current migration patterns.

Sure, Canada has Molson’s and poutine, but I’m gonna stay put and watch the parade. By the way, The Manitoba Herald folded in 1877, there is no such person named Clive Runnels, and I am not the author of the quoted satirical article. Go figger.

No Cold War To See Here, Move Along, Move Along

by Flyovercountry ( 146 Comments › )
Filed under Conservatism, Russia, The Political Right at August 13th, 2014 - 3:00 pm

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Two of my pet peeves in life have long been the substitution of cliche for coherent statement and snark for debate. These things represent the scoundrel’s way out of a losing hand. They’re deflections, illusions, misdirections, or more to the point, simply dishonesties, all dressed up and placed into the arena meant for ideas, as if they really belonged there. The perfect example of snark being substituted for debate would be President Obama’s statement to Mitt Romney that the 1980′s had called and asked for their foreign policy back when discussing the topic of continued Russian aggression during the 2012 Presidential Debates.

History of course has proven once again that Mitt Romney was correct in his assertion, as he was with just about everything else that came up during that campaign. History has showed also that Barack Obama was wrong, and disastrously so, just like he was on almost every statement that he made during that campaign. Now, you may be asking yourself, “what difference, at this point does it make who was right and who was wrong.” I could give you a snarky answer, but that just wouldn’t fit well within the context of what I’ve written so far. Instead, I’d like to show you what difference at this point it makes.

From the Hot Air article linked to above:

According to a report from the Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz, U.S. defense officials are warning that Russian strategic nuclear bombers have conducted no less than 16 incursions into American airspace in just a 10-day period. Gertz characterizes this uptick in the number of times American airspace has been penetrated by Russian air assets as an “unusually sharp increase.”

“The numerous flight encounters by Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers prompted the scrambling of U.S. jet fighters on several occasions, and come amid heightened U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine,” the report read.

Barack Obama’s statement that there is no cold war, or that the Russians are nothing to worry about given the suddenly increased sinister tone taken by her KGB raised leader will be of little comfort to the American Citizens living in Alaska watching Russian Long range bombers flying over head en route to points further East, meaning Canada and the contiguous 48. Be assured America, the Bamster is defending us against the really terrible enemies of the American people, Global Warming and the Tea Party. And while that may have been my own example of snark, rest assured it is rooted in a terribly important train of thought. Namely, that in serious times, we need for our leaders to be serious people, a luxury Americans have not enjoyed since January of 2009. While that may actually be our fault, having voted twice for this current group of crisis pimps, we are, thanks to our Constitutional form of governance still capable of addressing this mistake via future elections.

Maybe this was part of the understanding Vladimir Putin took from Obama’s private message via Medvedev, that after the Narcissist in Chief faced his last election, he would have greater flexibility to look the other way when ever Vladimir felt emboldened to test our borders and resolve through increasing levels of provocative action. the only sense in which we are not engaged in a new Cold War is that it takes two sides to be engaged in such. So far, we have not only failed to respond to Russia’s aggressive behavior, but have signaled that we clearly have zero intentions of changing that.

Evil loves a vacuum, and creating those seems thus far to be the only thing Barack Obama has proven himself to be even remotely competent. For those of you who are still in the Vladimir is not evil fan club, let me just add a couple of things. Vladimir is not the entirety of the Russian People. I know a lot of Russians, most of whom are staunch free marketeers and politically conservative. They hate Socialism and remember its ravages well. Vladimir knows how to seize power without the support of the citizenry over which he rules, and lives his life free of the baggage that poor world opinion carries. The other thing to consider is the organization that raised Vladimir, and created him. More on that will be explained in the video below, from Bill Whittle’s new site, TruthRevolt.org.

Vladimir is playing, “Thermo Global Nuclear War,” to borrow the reference from that liberal preach fest of a movie entitled, “War Games,” and our President is playing Checkers. When a sitting President sends a message back to Vladimir via a foreign dignitary, that Vladimir should quiet things down to help him get reelected, it is quite possible that Vladimir may have read that to mean that said President was nothing more than a self absorbed pompous narcissist with nothing deeper on his mind than his own vanity. Such is the measure of our current leader, and Russia’s current leader is taking full advantage of that.

The consequence to all of this is that our air space is now being used as a military training ground for the Russian Air Force. Fear not though, I hear that our own military is trolling the Arctic trying to find evidence that Global Warming is real. This despite the recent set back, a revelation that the NOAA, who controlled the actual temperature data and won’t let anyone else see the raw numbers, faked at least half of their measurements in order to show us all how real it actually is. When those peace loving Russians decide to accidentally drop the bombs held in the bellies of those bombers flying over our nation, our armed forces will be too busy protecting us from thermometer readings and free speech advocates to do a gosh darned thing about it. So, I hope Vladimir wishes to go no further than his latest examples of provocation. History however has zero actual examples of such characters declaring, I’ve gone far enough. Maybe Putin will be the first. That after all is our only hope until at least January of 2017.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Vice News: Rise of the Islamic State Parts I and 2

by Rodan ( 21 Comments › )
Filed under Al Qaeda, Albania, Bosnia, British Islamic Jihadists, Chechnya, Iraq, Islam, Islamic Invasion, Islamic Terrorism, Islamists, Jihad, Kosovo, Sharia (Islamic Law), Special Report, Syria, Terrorism at August 8th, 2014 - 7:47 pm

Vice News was able to embed a reporter with ISIS and record this documentary.

Part 1

Part 2

ISIS continues its march

by Rodan ( 267 Comments › )
Filed under Al Qaeda, British Islamic Jihadists, Chechnya, Gaza, Hezballah, IDF, Iran, Iraq, Islamic Invasion, Islamic Supremacism, Islamists, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, NIGERIA, Syria at August 4th, 2014 - 10:02 am

ISIS continues to expand its reach in the Middle East. In Iraq they seized a major dam and several villages from Kurdish forces. In Lebanon ISIS along with their rival Nusra Font have combined to seize territory in Lebanon centered around the town of Arsal. They are now clashing with the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah.

ISLAMIC State (Isis) fighters have seized control of Iraq’s biggest dam, an oilfield and three more towns after inflicting their first major defeat on Kurdish forces since sweeping through the region in June.

Capture of the Mosul Dam after an offensive of barely 24 hours could give the Sunni militants the ability to flood major Iraqi cities, sharply raising the stakes in their bid to topple Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government.

[....]

sis fighters have also been involved in violent exchanges with Lebanese armed forces around a border town in a push to dislodge the biggest incursion by militants into Lebanon since Syria’s civil war began.

At least ten Lebanese soldiers have died in the fighting, which erupted after Islamist gunmen seized a local police station on Saturday in response to the arrest of their commander, security officials said.

An unknown number of militants and civilians have also been killed, and security sources say at least 16 members of Lebanon’s security forces have been taken captive.

The gunmen in Arsal include fighters linked to the Islamic State (Isis), the al Qaeda offshoot that has seized territory in Syria and Iraq, as well as Syria’s al Qaeda branch, the Nusra Front.

ISIS and its allies are now battling on multiple fronts Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Nigeria where Boko Harram has pledges allegiance and Libya. The self describe Caliphate has shattered the Iranian led Shiite crescent and are threatening Jordan. This organization is a cancer that is spreading. ISIS believes it is reliving the 7th Century Jihad.

And Who Is The Defender of Western Civilization?

by coldwarrior ( 216 Comments › )
Filed under Christianity, Open thread, Orthodox Christianity, Politics, Progressives, Religion, Russia at June 4th, 2014 - 2:00 pm

Take your time to answer….

British consulates open doors to same sex marriages in Russia

Gay Britons living in Russia, China and Serbia are now be able get married in the British consulate

Same sex marriages can take place in the British consulates of more than 20 countries where the ceremonies are not legal including Russia, Azerbaijan, Serbia and Hungary.

The Foreign Office has opened the doors of its missions to British nationals and their partners who wish to wed but are unable to under foreign laws.

Chris Bryant, the former Foreign office minister and openly gay Labour MP, said he hoped the move would be “celebrated” in countries like Russia where homosexuals face prejudice and persecution.

In June last year Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, signed into law a bill punishing people for homosexual “propaganda”.

The law imposed fines on those who disseminate information aimed at minors ‘directed and forming non-traditional sexual set-up’, or which may cause a ‘distorted understanding’ that gay and heterosexual relationships are equal.

Activists and celebrities have repeatedly called on Mr Putin to repeal the law but to no avail, while there were also calls to boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi earlier this year.

Mr Bryant said: “Part of the Foreign Office’s job is to export British values abroad. Just as people have been able to perform civil partnerships in countries like Australia, Russia and Iran, so now they can get married.

“Russia is meant to be a signatory top the European Convention of human rights. I hope that when they start seeing gay and lesbian couples getting married in the British consulate in Moscow they will celebrate rather than denigrate and persecute.

“There are many countries in the world where there is prejudice and active persecution against LGBT people. All too often the state and the church is complicit.”

The Foreign Office said that it is offering same-sex marriages in 23 countries where same sex marriage is not legal and “local authorities” have given permission for the ceremonies to be carried out.

Ruth Hunt, acting Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: “This is a really positive step forward for same sex couples around the world.

“We look forward to a day when every single country will recognise these relationships in exactly the same way as marriages of heterosexual people.”

However, she pointed out that the marriages are not recognised under foreign law meaning that same-sex couples are denied many of the benefits of marriage.

* Same sex marriages can now take place in the British consulates of Australia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, and Vietnam.

And now, about the Church’s role in Russia, a good read. More defense of the traditional, the conservative, defense of Western Civ, if I may.

The Russian Orthodox Church’s emerging role

The search for an identity that began after the collapse of Communism remains a critical question for Russians. The Orthodox Church is the only institution that unites Russians with their “near abroad” and has survived throughout the country’s long history. Today, the state needs the church much more than vice-versa.

When foreigners convert to Orthodoxy, more often than not it is because they are impressed by the splendour and majesty of Russian liturgy.

They appreciate that strict Orthodox priests do not connive at human weaknesses or play up to the individual, accustomed to indulgence. They are attracted by the centuries-old spiritual tradition, which is inevitably conservative and inflexible but all the stronger for that.

It stands in stark contrast to the “flexibility” of Western Churches adapting to changing circumstances, which in many ways has left them today in a “social ghetto”.

The Russian faith, like the Russian revolution and like life in Russia itself, never condescends to the individual.

In the 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet system, the Russian Church has been rebuilt from ruins inhabited by shuffling old women and somewhat eccentric zealots into the most powerful body on the post-Soviet stage.

No other Russian social institution has experienced such a rising from the ashes. And no other country has seen such an obvious revival of faith as has occurred in Russia…

It is not the Church which has sought union with the state in recent years. Rather it is the state that has been eager to demonstrate its loyalty to the Church – and perhaps to seek its counsel.

It turned out that after the collapse of the Soviet Union only one institution – the Church – had ideas, understanding of what was happening and vision.

Russia is in search of its identity. It needs to re-establish key reference points that were lost in the Soviet period. And the Church, while not calling for the past to be restored, relies on traditional values that underpinned the life of Russian people for centuries, whether they were Christians, Muslims or adherents of other faiths.

When Patriarch Kirill is addressing believers he often uses the concept of Holy Russia. This is not simply a historical reference.

Today the Church is the only thing that binds together the peoples of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, as well as a number of other countries, despite their conflicts and squabbles – the only thing that makes them feel they are a single and indissoluble whole, a part of that spiritual and cultural space which is Russian Orthodox civilisation.

The Patriarch’s active stance on the post-Soviet scene is not Great Power nostalgia; it underlines his devotion to the common identity of Orthodoxy, which has no national or state borders…

 

Actually, this is a boring post.

by 1389AD ( 102 Comments › )
Filed under Russia, Technology at May 12th, 2014 - 10:00 pm

The deepest hole in the world, and what we’ve learned from it

Published on May 5, 2014 by SciShow
SciShow takes you down the deepest hole in the world — Russia’s Kola Superdeep Borehole — explaining who dug it and why, and what we learned about Earth in the process. Don’t fall!
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Sources:
http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/kola-superdeep-borehole
http://www2.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF7/725.html
http://www.damninteresting.com/the-deepest-hole/
http://www.wirelinedrilling.com/sites/default/files/Kozlovsky%20Kola%20Deepest%20Well%20.pdf
http://www.csmonitor.com/1985/0822/drock.html
http://www.nytimes.com/1981/09/29/science/russians-plan-dramatic-expansion-of-effort-in-earth-drilling.html

Location of Kola well and other deep bores
Location of Kola well and other Soviet deep bore project sites

Life under the Obama doctrine

by Speranza ( 115 Comments › )
Filed under Al Qaeda, Barack Obama, China, Iran, Israel, Japan, Libya, Libya, Russia, South Korea, Syria, Ukraine at May 6th, 2014 - 7:00 am

It seems as if Obama is an even worse foreign policy president than he is on domestic issues. Our friends and allies need to wait him out.

by Caroline Glick

For most commentators, President Barack Obama’s biggest achievement in his four-nation tour of Asia was the enhanced defense treaty he signed with Philippine President Benigno Aquino. The pact permits US forces to operate on Philippine military bases and sets the conditions for joint training of US and Philippine forces, among other things.

There are two problems with the treaty, however.

And they reflect the basic problem with US foreign policy generally, five-and-a-half years into the Obama presidency.

First, there is the reason that the treaty became necessary.

The Philippines has been under attack by China since 2012 when China seized the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines. Despite its mutual defense treaty with Manila, Washington did nothing.

This non-response emboldened China still further.

And today China is threatening the Second Thomas Shoal, another Philippine possession.

So, too, late last year China extended its Air Defense Identification Zone to include Japanese and South Korean airspace. The US responded to the aggressive move by recommending that its allies comply with China’s dictates.

The administration’s top priority in all these cases, as well as in the case of Beijing’s challenge to Japan’s control over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, has been to avoid conflicts with China.

But American timidity and refusal to abide by US treaty obligations to the Philippines and Japan have had the opposite effect.

By not responding to Chinese aggression, far from moderating China’s behavior, the Obama administration emboldened it. And in so doing, it destroyed the US’s deterrent posture in Asia. As China’s increasingly belligerent behavior has made clear, Obama’s attempt to appease China was perceived in Beijing as a green light for further aggression, because the Chinese correctly determined that Obama would never make them pay a price for seizing territory and otherwise harming America’s Asian allies.

Under these circumstances, Obama had no choice but to sign an enhanced defense treaty with the Philippines.

Far from calming the situation, though, the treaty increases the chance of war between China and its neighbors. No one, least of all China’s leadership, is fooled by Obama’s whiny insistence that the defense pact isn’t directed against China. And now China, already itching for more confrontations, will feel compelled to respond strongly.

This brings us to the second problem with the Obama administration’s new assertiveness in Asia. It simply isn’t credible.

[........]

We already know Obama lacks the will to confront China. And his decision to downsize the US military ensures the US will lack good options for confronting it in the coming years.

During his joint press conference in Manila on Monday with Aquino, Ed Henry from Fox News asked Obama to explain his foreign policy doctrine.

“What do you think the Obama Doctrine is in terms of what your guiding principle is on all of these crises and how you answer those critics who say they think the doctrine is weakness.”

Obama responded with his signature peevishness.

Before launching into a 900-word assault on a series of straw men to whom he attributed positions that at best distorted and at worst willfully misrepresented the positions of his critics, Obama muttered, “Well, Ed, I doubt that I’m going to have time to lay out my entire foreign policy doctrine.”

One thing that Obama did have the time do was signal to the Philippines that the US is no longer a reliable ally. After touting the new defense pact in one sentence, Obama proceeded to explain in the next that his administration cannot be expected to honor any commitment to defend the Philippines militarily.

Obama’s bloviations demonstrated why Henry’s question was so important.

For five-and-a-half years, Obama has not given a straightforward presentation of his foreign policy.

Instead, he has tailored his foreign policy statements to what he thinks the public wishes to hear.

So for instance, in responding to Henry, Obama sounded an isolationist note, attacking imaginary critics for their automatic rush to arms in all circumstances.

Beyond being a gross mischaracterization of his critics, Obama’s remarks ignored the inconvenient fact that he sent US forces on a NATO mission to overthrow the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya without congressional authorization.

No Republicans forced his hand. Since 2004, Gaddafi had posed no threat to US interests.

And in the aftermath of Obama’s unauthorized war in Libya, the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi.

Al-Qaida and other jihadist groups that benefited from NATO’s operation have taken over large swathes of the country and sunk it into ungovernable chaos.  [........]

Although Obama’s 900-word rant obscured rather than explained his foreign policy doctrine, the Obama Doctrine is easily understood from his actual policies – including his military adventure in Libya.

If Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy doctrine was “Peace through strength,” Obama’s doctrine can be summed up in two sentences: “Speak loudly and carry no stick.” And “Be good to your enemies and bad to your allies.”

The defense treaty with the Philippines, like Obama’s bluster in Ukraine and Syria, is a sterling example of the first part of his doctrine.

And Obama’s obsequious policies toward China, Russia and Iran on the one hand, and his coldness toward Japan, South Korea, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Israel on the other hand demonstrate the validity of the second part of his doctrine.

The reason that Obama has not shared his own doctrine with the American people is not because he can’t explain it in the course of one speech. It is because he knows that they won’t accept it.

For their part, the American people seem to have him figured out. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll published on Wednesday, Obama’s approval rating for his handling of foreign policy is at an all-time low. Only 38 percent of Americans approve of his handling of foreign policy and 53% disapprove.

The same poll gave respondents two foreign policy doctrines and asked them to choose the one they preferred.

The first was, “We need a president who will present an image of America that has a more open approach and is willing to negotiate with friend and foe alike.”

The second was, “We need a president who will present an image of strength that shows America’s willingness to confront our enemies and stand up for our principles.”

Thirty-nine percent preferred the first policy course and 55% the second one. These numbers are nearly identical to the approval numbers for Obama’s foreign policy.

[......]

For America’s allies this reality requires them to carve out their own courses the best they can.

In Israel’s case, this involves first and foremost taking a less idealistic and more mercenary view of the world. This means not shrinking away from opportunities with the likes of Russia and China when they arise. And certainly it means not automatically siding with the Obama administration against them.

The Obama administration is reportedly angry with Israel for refusing to join America in scolding Russia for its aggression in Ukraine. But it is far from clear that the Obama White House offers Jerusalem a better option. To date, Obama has repaid Israel for its willingness to toe his line by undermining its core interests, publicly attacking it and seeking to subvert the elected government.

Israel has no interest in getting on Russia’s bad side in order to placate the Obama administration.

Nor is there any reason for Israel to obey the Obama administration’s demands for belligerent rhetoric when the next step of the Obama White House would doubtless be to turn around and castigate the “Israel lobby” for allegedly pushing the US toward war.

The same goes for China. There is no reason for Israel to jump into conflict with the growing Asian power. While Secretary of State John Kerry is egging on the Europeans to expand their trade war against Israel, China is assiduously expanding its trade with Israel. According to the Economy Ministry, next year Asia will surpass the US as Israel’s largest trading partner.

Then, of course, there is Iran. Out of loyalty and basic trust in the US’s strategic sanity, for the past decade, Israel has been willing to play second fiddle to the US in contending with Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program.  [.......]

Since his first days in office, Obama has signaled clearly through his deeds that he had absolutely no interest in blocking Iran’s nuclear progress. On the contrary, Obama’s policies in the Middle East have consistently involved strengthening and legitimizing the Iranian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood at the expense of Israel and the less radical Sunni Arab states.

Out of habit, and in the hopes that something would change, Israel pretended away this reality and continued to follow Washington’s lead, limiting its goals to covert operations against Iran – that Obama leaked to the media – and lobbying Congress for sanctions that never had any chance of blocking Iran’s race to the nuclear finishing line.

[.......]

And so Israel must ignore it. Every day that Israel does not set back Iran’s nuclear progress brings Israel closer to being the subject of nuclear blackmail, Iranian-backed terrorism, and even nuclear Armageddon.

Obama may hide his doctrine behind petulance, populist canards and straw men, but it is clear enough. And that means that as far as Israel is concerned, its goal of securing its survival and prosperity for at least the next two-and-a-half years requires Jerusalem to act on its own and in the face of White House opposition.

It isn’t pleasant to defy the American president.

It isn’t easy. But in light of the Obama Doctrine, defying the White House is required to preserve the freedom of the Jewish people.

Read the rest - Life under the Obama doctrine

Obama angry over lack of Israeli support on Ukraine

by Speranza ( 2 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Chechnya, Headlines, Iran, Israel, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Russia, Ukraine at April 28th, 2014 - 7:13 pm

Israel should keep out of it!

by Daniel Greenfield

The source of the article is Haaretz, a left-wing paper in Israel that tries to play up “crises” with the US in order to undermine Netanyahu.

So its credibility in this case is weak.

Still Israel is probably not too enthusiastic about jumping in on the conflict, considering that Kerry just blamed Israel for the collapse of peace talk, the history of the Holocaust and its general lack of escalating foreign geopolitical conflicts. Or to put it another way, Israel isn’t a world power and isn’t trying to be one.

In this respect, the present dilemma is reminiscent of the last, at the end of the 1990s, when Washington naturally expected support from client states like Israel for its anti-Serbian Balkans policy – and found the Israeli foreign minister, Ariel Sharon, much less than enthusiastic. This happened despite Prime Minister Netanyahu’s repeated urgings that Israel broadcast its support for its patron.

Considering that Clinton was working to overthrow Netanyahu, and eventually succeeded, a lack of enthusiasm was not surprising. Sharon was somewhat blunter about it.

You can’t expect support from a government that you’re busy undermining.

Israeli policy is driven by its own security interests and does not need to be identical to that of the U.S., a senior defense official said Sunday in response to Haaretz’s report that White House and State Department officials in Washington have built up a great deal of anger over Jerusalem’s “neutrality” regarding Russia’s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula.

Obama Inc. has been building up a great deal of anger over Israel long before it was even in office.

 White House and State Department officials in Washington have built up a great deal of anger over Jerusalem’s “neutrality” regarding Russia’s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula.

The Israeli government does not. But unfortunately both sets of relations are basically hostile.

This follows multiple paragraphs claiming that Israel abstained from the UN vote on Crimea due to its support for
Russia when in fact its diplomats were on strike.

(Yes, that happens in Israel.)

According to the Israeli official, in response to U.S. inquiries Israel attributed its absence at the vote to the strike by the Foreign Ministry’s employees. The White House and the State Department found the explanation wanting, especially in light of the lack of advanced notice from Jerusalem.

If the State Department had been paying attention to events in Israel not involving new housing, it wouldn’t have needed advanced notice for a major story. Does no one at Foggy Bottom read the Jerusalem Post?

Adding more fuel to the flames in Washington were public remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in which they maintained their “neutrality” and failed to back up the United States.

“We have good and trusting relations with the Americans and the Russians, and our experience has been very positive with both sides. So I don’t understand the idea that Israel has to get mired in this,” Lieberman told Israel’s Channel 9 television when asked about the Ukraine crisis.

When White House and State Department officials read these comments, they nearly went crazy. They were particularly incensed by Lieberman’s mentioning Israel’s relations with the United States and with Russia in the same breath, giving them equal weight.

Tellingly, Haaretz does not quote the supposed Netanyahu neutrality statement. Lieberman has extensive connections in Russia and his party depends on a Russian vote so his views are not terribly surprising.

They also don’t particularly matter. It’s like getting angry about something that Biden says.

[.......]
So yes, Israel is making a show of cutting ties. Probably more of one than D.C. is.

Israel’s relations with Russia have consisted largely of empty diplomatic gestures and appeasement, surrendering territory to Russia. Israel certainly hasn’t gotten anything out of it and unlike China, there’s no point to the relationship. Russia is going to keep on backing Iran and assorted terrorists because it’s playing a larger war game with the West. Israel has no way of opting out of that game.

But neither does Israel have any incentive for tagging along on foreign policy after Obama has given the green light to Iran’s nuclear program and after Kerry blamed Israel for the collapse of the peace process.

Read the rest – Obama angry over lack of Israeli support on Ukraine