North Korea and Iran Threat Updates

Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by Carol55, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Yes, I remember. They never would have had the votes to ratify it had they taken the appropriate actions. This is why the "agreement" has all kinds of side deals also which were not revealed to any oversight either. I wonder what these deals consisted of? Could they have involved other nations such as England, France, Germany, Russia ... Many of the nations which have come to the US in the last few months to try to persuade President Trump from breaking the non treaty, non agreement. What should it even be called?

    The whole thing is absolutely absurd. It was deliberately set up in this way to release billions in cash to Iran and its interests in the middle east and the MSM hailed it as some kind of Nobel Peace Prize worthy event. If only they had broken that glass ceiling... They never would have had to answer to anyone for their crimes and treason.

    Lawlessness. The entire Obama Presidency from his election to the end of his reign encompassed this word.

    Odd that Kerry would urge Iran to not violate the terms of this agreement with Obama no matter what. Seems a bit peculiar to me when anyone can see that US sanctions are going to go right back into place regardless of their actions. What does it matter at this point. Must be a bit more than meets the eye here...

    Uranium 1 will likely shed some light on all this. All in good time.
    BrianK likes this.
  2. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Don_D, I think that the JCPOA is usually referred to as an agreement and you are correct it is all very difficult to figure out.

    Raymond Arroyo interviewed Sebastian Gorka about this week's events in relation to the JCPOA, including the USA/President Trump, Iran, Israel and Syria,

    Don_D likes this.
  3. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Thanks Carol, as usual the World Over delivers!

    Not telling us what to think but giving us the facts. :)
  4. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Since this is related to Iran I am posting it on this thread,

    Russia, after Netanyahu visit, backs off Syria S-300 missile supplies
    Andrew Osborn May 11, 2018

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is not in talks with the Syrian government about supplying advanced S-300 ground-to-air missiles and does not think they are needed, the Izvestia daily cited a top Kremlin aide as saying on Friday, in an apparent U-turn by Moscow.

    FILE PHOTO: An S-300 air defense missile system launches a missile during the Keys to the Sky competition at the International Army Games 2017 at
    the Ashuluk shooting range outside Astrakhan, Russia August 5, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

    The comments, by Vladimir Kozhin, an aide to President Vladimir Putin who oversees Russian military assistance to other countries, follow a visit to Moscow by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, who has been lobbying Putin hard not to transfer the missiles.

    Russia last month hinted it would supply the weapons to President Bashar al-Assad, over Israeli objections, after Western military strikes on Syria. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the strikes had removed any moral obligation Russia had to withhold the missiles and Russia’s Kommersant daily cited unnamed military sources as saying deliveries might begin imminently.

    But Kozhin’s comments, released so soon after Netanyahu’s Moscow talks with Putin, suggest the Israeli leader’s lobbying efforts have, for the time being, paid off.

    FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia May 9, 2018. Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool/File Photo via REUTERS
    “For now, we’re not talking about any deliveries of new modern (air defense) systems,” Izvestia cited Kozhin as saying when asked about the possibility of supplying Syria with S-300s.

    The Syrian military already had “everything it needed,” Kozhin added.

    The Kremlin played down the idea that it had performed a U-turn on the missile question or that any decision was linked to Netanyahu’s visit.

    “Deliveries (of the S-300s) were never announced as such,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call, when asked about the matter.

    “But we did say after the (Western) strikes (on Syria) that of course Russia reserved the right to do anything it considered necessary.”

    The possibility of missile supplies to Assad along with its military foray into Syria itself has helped Moscow boost its Middle East clout with Putin hosting everyone from Netanyahu to the presidents of Turkey and Iran and the Saudi king.

    FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive for the Victory Day parade, marking the 73rd
    anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo


    Israel has made repeated efforts to persuade Moscow not to sell the S-300s to Syria, as it fears this would hinder its aerial capabilities against arms shipments to Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah. Israel has carried out scores of air strikes against suspected shipments.

    On Thursday, Israel said it had attacked nearly all of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory. S-300s could have significantly complicated the Israeli strikes.

    The missile system, originally developed by the Soviet military, but since modernized and available in several versions with significantly different capabilities, fires missiles from trucks and is designed to shoot down military aircraft and short and medium-range ballistic missiles.

    Though since been superseded by the more modern S-400 system, the S-300s are still regarded as highly potent and outstrip anything that the Syrian government currently has.

    Syria currently relies on a mixture of less advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft systems to defend its air space.

    Russian media on Friday were actively circulating a video released by the Israeli military which showed an Israeli missile destroying one such system — a Russian-made Pantsir S-1 air defense battery — on Thursday in Syria.

    Additional reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Richard Balmforth
    heyshepard likes this.
  5. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Earlier this week President Trump withdrew from the sham Iranian nuclear deal. President Trump knew the deal with the Iranian mullahs was not working.
    This was despite former Secretary of State John Kerry working against the Trump administration to salvage the weak deal with the Iranian regime.

    On Saturday John Kerry was spotted at a meeting with Iranian officials in Paris, France.

    Of course, the Iranian regime is very upset with President Trump’s decision.

    Now this…
    Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari warned Western officials this week that if they do not put pressure on the Trump administration the Iranian regime will leak the names of all Western officials who were bribed to pass the weak deal.

    Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari (Press TV)

    H.J.Ansari Zarif’s senior advisor: “If Europeans stop trading with Iran and don’t put pressure on US then we will reveal which western politicians and how much money they had received during nuclear negotiations to make #IranDeal happen.”
    That would be interesting.#JCPOA

    — Raman Ghavami (@Raman_Ghavami) May 8, 2018

    This could get good.

    Looking fwd to finding out!#HosseinJaberiAnsari @JZarif ’s sr advsr: “If #Europeansstop trading with #Iran & don’t put pressure on #USA then we'll reveal which #Western#politicians & how much money they receivd durng #nuclear #negotiations to make #IranDeal happen.” #JCPOA

    — Banafsheh Pour'Zand (@BanafshehZand) May 12, 2018
    BrianK likes this.
  6. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Remember, 400 Million dollars was paid in cash amidst the protests of a bunch of Republicans. I wonder just how much of that was kickbacks and bribes.
    BrianK likes this.
  7. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Don, Thanks for posting this, I suppose we'll see what happens. I read through some of the comments on the article also.
    This is the twitter account that is linked in the article^tfw&ref_url= . I'm posting the following screenshot because I think that it is a little easier to read than your post,

    and it also contains the following post,


    UN's top nuclear inspector resigns suddenly 5/12/2018
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  8. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    New York Times hand-wringing over European reaction to Trump Iran deal cancelation
    By Thomas Lifson May 11, 2018

    The New York Times is really upset that Europeans are upset with President Trump leading from the front and canceling the Iran deal (that the Iranians never even signed). The headline for the article by Steve Erlanger expresses the tone: "Europe, Again Humiliated by Trump, Struggles to Defend Its Interests."

    The problem, you see, is not doing business with a genocidal regime (again), nor is it the hundreds of thousands of people murdered in Syria. Nope, the problem is that Europeans are upset, and we can't upset the Europeans as they count the profits on fat contracts with the mullahs, enriched by a hundred-some billion dollars shipped to them by Obama's deal.

    It is by now a familiar, humiliating pattern. European leaders cajole, argue and beg, trying to persuade President Trump to change his mind on a vital issue for the trans-Atlantic alliance. Mr. Trump appears to enjoy the show, dangling them, before ultimately choosing not to listen.​

    Trump is a mean sadist, you see. And it is going to be a disaster, just like the nuclear war with North Korea that they warned against.

    Instead, he demands compliance, seemingly bent on providing just the split with powerful and important allies that China, Iran and Russia would like to exploit.​

    Except that a little later, it seems that Trump has read the power dynamics accurately:

    "The allies are certainly sick of this but don't seem to have an alternative," said Jeremy Shapiro, a former career State Department official now at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

    "The Europeans are invested down a path of trying to please the president, not out of belief but more hope against hope that they will convince him," he added. "And they only pursue this at such a level of embarrassment because they don't have an alternative."​

    In the moral universe of the New York Times, normalizing and strengthening the Iranian tyrants bent on provoking Armageddon by "wiping Israel from the map" before taking on the "Great Satan" is fine, but upsetting the Europeans who want to get rich doing business with them is truly appalling. Even though the Europeans can't do much but go along.

    Richard Baehr emails: "The New York Times has Guardian/BBC envy."

    Read more:
    Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

    A Trip Down Memory Lane: In 2015 the Obama Administration Said the Iran Deal Wasn’t Even a ‘Signed Document’
    By David French May 10, 2018 Comments
    President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry at a meeting in China in 2016. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

    How easy we forget. On November 19, 2015, the State Department sent a letter to then-Representative Mike Pompeo that severely undercuts the notion that the Iran deal represents any form of binding American commitment. It turns out that the Obama administration not only acknowledged that the deal wasn’t a treaty (obvious enough), but it also admitted that it wasn’t “an executive agreement” or even a “signed document.”
    Here are the key paragraphs:

    The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document. The JCPOA reflects political commitments between Iran, the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China), and the European Union. As you know, the United States has a long-standing practice of addressing sensitive problems in negotiations that culminate in political commitments.

    The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose — and ramp up — our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments.​

    You can read the entire letter here.

    The Iran deal was no sacred American commitment. This was the action of one administration, working with allies and other nations who were fully aware of American domestic skepticism and fully aware of the nature of the “political commitment” they were making.

    As our Joel Gehrke reported in 2015, “President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal.” In short, there was nothing truly binding about this deal. From its inception it existed only so long it was politically or strategically expedient for the relevant parties. The only thing truly concrete that came out of the JCPOA was the substantial financial benefit to the world’s most dangerous jihadist state.

    Finally, let’s not forget that one of the justifications for the deal was the entirely faith-based belief that it could represent a turning point in American-Iranian relations, one that would ultimately lead to Iran “fully rejoin[ing] the community of nations.” That didn’t happen. Instead, Iran doubled down on jihad and doubled-down on its efforts to directly threaten Israel from bases in Syria. A foundational premise of the agreement went up in the choking smoke Middle Eastern war.

    The Iran deal wasn’t binding then, and it’s not binding now. It wasn’t a true “agreement” then, and it isn’t now. America can’t break its word when it never made a promise.

    Europe, Again Humiliated by Trump, Struggles to Defend Its Interests

    European Companies Rushed to Invest in Iran. What Now? 5/9/2018
  9. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    So, now it makes one wonder just how much these European nations have invested in Iran in trade the last 3 years and whether it is worth it to them going against the incoming sanctions by the US against Iran.

    Here is a quick rundown that someone made up and is still in progress;

  10. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    So who exactly is John Kerry representing in his meetings with Iranian officials in Paris? I would say it most certainly is not the US...
  11. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Pompeo and Bolton outline North Korea plans as talks approach
    By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

    Updated 11:45 AM ET, Sun May 13, 2018

    Bolton: Strong prospects for North Korea if ... 01:00
    Washington (CNN)Senior Trump administration officials are outlining new details of their plans to work toward the denuclearization North Korea as President Donald Trump prepares for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month.

    White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that North Korea's prospects are "unbelievably strong if they'll commit to denuclearization."
    "I think what the prospect for North Korea is to become a normal nation, to behave and interact with the rest of the world the way that South Korea does," Bolton said.
    Bolton said the United States is pursuing a standard of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" heading into negotiations.

    "On the denuclearization side of the program, that means all aspects of their nuclear program," he added. "Clearly, the ballistic missiles program, as with Iran, with the intention of being a delivery system for nuclear weapons -- that's gotta go. I think we need to look at their chemical and biological weapons programs as well. The President's going to raise other issues, the Japanese abductees, South Korean citizens who were kidnapped."
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on "Fox News Sunday," "Our eyes are wide open with respect to the risks, but it is our fervent hope that Chairman Kim wants to make a strategic change."
    Pompeo also offered more details on what a path to prosperity for North Korea would look like with direct investment by the US if Kim agrees to Washington's demands.
    "This will be Americans coming in -- private sector Americans, not the US taxpayer -- private sector Americans coming in to help build out the energy grid," he said. "They need enormous amounts of electricity in North Korea."
    Pompeo said the US would "work with them to develop infrastructure, all the things that the North Korean people need, the capacity for American agriculture to support North Korea so they can eat meat and have healthy lives. Those are the kind of things that if we get what it is the President has demanded -- complete verifiable irreversible denuclearization of North Korea -- that the American people will offer in spades."
    Pompeo added that the US "will have to provide security assurances" to Kim as well.
    The comments from Bolton and Pompeo come as Trump prepares to meet with Kim in June. According to Bolton, Trump has been extensively preparing by speaking with advisers, "different people, foreign leaders, (and) he had an extensive conversation with (President) Xi Jinping of China earlier this week."
    "I've been on the job about five weeks," Bolton said. "I would say that Iran and North Korea probably (have) taken up over half of my time, and a lot of that obviously is -- is helping him make the decisions and get ready for these meetings."
    Pompeo said Trump is in a unique position.
    "No president has ever put America in a position where the North Korean leadership thought that this was truly possible, that the Americans would actually do this, would lead to the place where America was no longer held at risk by the North Korean regime," he said, adding, "That's the objective."
    Pompeo added that Kim follows the Western press and "he's paying attention things the world is saying. He too is preparing for June 12th."
    "He'll probably watch this show at some point," the secretary told "Fox News Sunday."

  12. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria


    The following NY Times article discusses that although several deals were made with various Western companies several issues were experienced also ,


    Despite its potential, however, Iran has largely been a disappointment for European investors. In a dysfunctional economy, many failed to gain traction in a huge bureaucracy rife with political power struggles.

    Companies have also been stifled by a reluctance of foreign banks to provide financing, and fears — fully justified, as it turned out — that the nuclear détente would not last.

    Although exports from the European Union to Iran increased by about one-third last year to 10.8 billion euros, or about $12.8 billion, the country still ranked only 33rd among the bloc’s trading partners, behind the likes of Kazakhstan and Serbia.

    “German-Iranian economic relations are lagging their potential,” Volker Treier, head of the exports department at the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said in an email.

    So far, Airbus has delivered just three jets, none of them super jumbos, a company spokesman said on Tuesday. Two of the three have been leased.

    In 2016, Daimler signed an agreement with Iran Khodro, a vehicle maker based in Tehran, to distribute Fuso brand trucks. Demand has been limited, however, because of Iran’s weak economy, Daimler spokesman Florian Martens said Tuesday.

    Even the Iranian oil industry was having trouble attracting foreign investors — the only significant deal the country signed after sanctions were lifted was with Total for an offshore natural gas development.

    Whether Total can stay in the deal is open to question. Although Europe may yet carve out protections for companies from the region, the company fears the imposition of so-called secondary sanctions by the United States against non-American businesses and individuals as part of the decision to pull out of the nuclear accord.

    Patrick Pouyanné, Total’s chief executive, recently said that the company would argue that because it had signed its Iran deal before Mr. Trump’s decision, Total should benefit from a “grandfather clause” and would ask for a waiver from the United States to continue. Total also might turn its share over to its minority partner CNPC, a Chinese state-owned oil company.

    European Union officials said on Tuesday that they were making plans to blunt the impact of Mr. Trump’s withdrawal — presumably helping insulate companies like Total.

    “We are working on plans to protect the interests of European companies,” Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, told reporters on Tuesday.

    It was unclear, however, what those measures might be.

    France, for example, hopes to engage in more detailed dialogue with the Trump administration to press for waivers for its companies. But it was too soon to say whether Mr. Trump would be swayed, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. It was also not immediately clear whether Mr. Trump would recognize the “grandfather clause” arguments favored by Total, the people said.

    Here are two recent tweets from President Trump in regard to Iran,


    An example of one of Iran's recent military expenditures,
    Iran displays [Russian made] S-300 air defense missile system to public 9/24/2017

    It appears that the only way for all of this to "work out" would be if Iran would come back to the negotiating table as President Trump has asked them to do for months now. The following is from this Reuter's article dated May 8th ,

    Iranian officials will next week meet counterparts from France, Britain and Germany. Khamenei appeared sceptical whether they could deliver: “I don’t trust these three countries.”
    The chances of saving the deal without Washington depend largely on whether international firms are willing and able to keep trading with Iran despite the threat of U.S. sanctions.

    Also from this article, the following chart depicts the current nuclear facilities in Iran and what the JCPOA imposed on those facilities,

    Iran denies long-standing Western suspicions that it tried in the past to develop atomic weapons and says its nuclear energy program has been for peaceful purposes.
    Iran vows to restart nuclear program if deal collapses 5/11/2018 ???
  13. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    Yep, it is billions in trade. 4 billion last year for Germany if I remember correctly and I am not sure about France but I would venture it is significant as well.
    The Iranian leadership will face the same harsh sanctions yet again but this time they may hope to keep the support of the EU nations due to their mutual enrichment.

    I actually see it as quite promising that there are European's hesitant to invest their businesses in Iran. I think it was foolish of those who did with an agreement put in place which is literally not worth the paper it was written on and couldn't be bothered to be signed.

    Like I said, if things go poorly we will find out who our allies truly are. It will undoubtedly be quite the painful sacrifice for those in the US needing to upgrade to the most recent model year BMW or Mercedes.
    Their sacrifices will not be in vain. :)
  14. Richard67

    Richard67 Powers

    Why Is Putin "Allowing" Israel to Bomb Syria?

    I often see that question in emails and in comments, so I wanted to address this issue today.

    First, we need to look at some critical assumption implied by this question. These assumptions are:

    1. That Russia can do something to stop the Israelis
    2. That Russia should (or even is morally obliged) to do something.
    Let me begin by saying that I categorically disagree with both of these assumptions, especially the 2nd one. Let’s take them one by one.

    Assumption #1: Russia can stop the Israeli attacks on Syria

    How? I think that the list of options is fairly obvious here. Russian options range from diplomatic action (such as private or public protests and condemnations, attempts to get a UNSC Resolution passed) to direct military action (shooting down Israeli aircraft, “painting” them with an engagement radar to try to scare them away or, at least, try to intercept Israeli missiles).

    Trying to reason with the Israelis or get the to listen to the UN has been tried by many countries for decades and if there is one thing which is beyond doubt is that the Israelis don’t give a damn about what anybody has to say. So talking to them is just a waste of oxygen. What about threatening them? Actually, I think that this could work, but at what risk and price?

    First of all, while I always said that the IDF’s ground forces are pretty bad, this is not the case of their air forces. In fact, their record is pretty good. Now if you look at where the Russian air defenses are, you will see that they are all concentrated around Khmeimim and Tartus. Yes, an S-400 has a very long range, but that range is dependent on many things including the size of the target, its radar-cross section, its electronic warfare capabilities, the presence of specialized EW aircraft, altitude, etc. The Israelis are skilled pilots who are very risk averse so they are very careful about what they do. Finally, the Israelis are very much aware of where the Russians are themselves and where there missiles are. I think that it would be pretty safe to say that the Israelis make sure to keep a minimal safe distance between themselves and the Russians, if only to avoid any misunderstanding.

    But let’s say that the Russians did have a chance to shoot down an Israeli aircraft – what would be the likely Israeli reaction to such a shooting? In this article Darius Shahtahmasebi writes: “Is it because Israel reportedly has well over 200 nukes all “pointed at Iran,” and there is little Iran and its allies can do to take on such a threat?” I don’t see the Israelis use nukes on Russian forces, however, that does in no way mean that the Russians when dealing with Israel should not consider the fact that Israel is a nuclear armed power ruled by racist megalomaniacs. In practical terms this means this: “should Russia (or any other country) risk a military clash with Israel over a few destroyed trucks or a weapons and ammunition dump”? I think that the obvious answer is clearly ‘no’.

    While this is the kind of calculations the US simply ignores (at least officially – hence all the saber-rattling against the DPRK), Russia is ruled by a sane and responsible man who cannot make it a habit of simply waltzing into a conflict hence the Russian decision not to retaliate in kind against the shooting down of the Russian SU-24 by the Turks. If the Russians did not retaliate against the Turks shooting down one of their own aircraft, they sure ain’t gonna attack the Israelis when they attack a non-Russian target!

    There are also simply factual issues to consider: even if some Russian air-defense systems are very advanced and could shoot down an X number of Israeli aircraft, they are nowhere near numerous enough to prevent the entire Israeli air force from saturating them. In fact, both Israel and CENTCOM simply have such a numbers advantage over the relatively small Russian contingent that they both could over-run the Russian defenses, even if they would take losses in the process.

    So yes, the Russian probably could stop one or a few Israeli attacks, but if the Israelis decided to engage in a sustained air campaign against targets in Syria there is nothing the Russians could do short of going to war with Israel. So here again a very basic strategic principle fully applies: you never want to start an escalatory process you neither control nor can win. Put simply this means: if the Russians shoot back – they lose and the Israelis win. It’s really that simple and both sides know it (armchair strategist apparently don’t).

    And this begs a critical look at the second assumption:

    Assumption #2: Russia has some moral duty to stop the Israeli attacks on Syria

    This is the one which most baffles me. Why in the world would anybody think that Russia owes anybody anywhere on the planet any type of protection?! For starters, when is the last time somebody came to the help of Russia? I don’t recall anybody in the Middle-East offering their support to Russia in Chechnia, Georgia or, for that matter, the Ukraine! How many countries in the Middle-East have recognized South Ossetia or Abkhazia (and compare that with the Kosovo case!)? Where was the Muslim or Arab “help” or “friendship” towards Russia when sanctions were imposed and the price of oil dropped? Remind me – how exactly did Russia’s “friends” express their support for Russia over, say, the Donbass or Crimea?

    Can somebody please explain to me why Russia has some moral obligation towards Syria or Iran or Hezbollah when not a single Muslim or Arab country has done anything to help the Syrian government fight against the Takfiris? Where is the Arab League!? Where is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation?!

    Is it not a fact that Russia has done more in Syria than all the countries of the Arab League and the OIC combined?!

    Where do the Arab and Muslims of the Middle-East get this sense of entitlement which tells them that a faraway country which struggles with plenty of political, economic and military problems of its own has to do more than the immediate neighbors of Syria do?!

    Putin is the President of Russia and he is first and foremost accountable to the Russian people to whom he has to explain every Russian casualty and even every risk he takes. It seems to me that he is absolutely right when he acts first and foremost in defense of the people who elected him and not anybody else.

    By the way – Putin was very clear about why he was ordering a (very limited) Russian military intervention in Syria: to protect Russian national interests by, for example, killing crazy Takfiris in Syria so as not to have to fight then in the Caucasus and the rest of Russia. At no time and in no way did any Russian official refer to any kind of obligation of Russia towards Syria or any other country in the region. True, Russia did stand by President Assad, but that was not because of any obligation towards him or his country, but because the Russians always insisted that he was the legitimate President of Syria and that only the Syrian people had the right to replace (or keep) him. And, of course, it is in the Russian national interest to show that, unlike the US, Russia stands by her allies. But none of that means that Russia is now responsible for the protection of the sovereignty of the Syrian airspace or territory.

    As far as I am concerned, the only country which has done even more than Russia for Syria is Iran and, in lieu of gratitude the Arab countries “thank” the Iranians by conspiring against them with the US and Israel. Hassan Nasrallah is absolutely spot on when the calls all these countries traitors and collaborators of the AngloZionist Empire.

    There is something deeply immoral and hypocritical in this constant whining that Russia should do more when in reality Russia and Iran are the only two countries doing something meaningful (and Hezbollah, of course!)....(cont.)
  15. Richard67

    Richard67 Powers


    So what is really going on between Russia and Israel?

    As I have explained elsewhere, the relationship between Russia and Israel is a very complex and multi-layered one and nothing between those two countries is really black or white. For one thing, there is a powerful pro-Israel lobby in Russia at which Putin has been chipping away over the years, but only in very small and incremental steps. The key for Putin is to do what needs to be done to advance Russian interests but without triggering an internal or external political crisis. This is why the Russians are doing certain things, but rather quietly.

    First, they are re-vamping the aging Syrian air defenses not only with software updates, but also with newer hardware. They are also, of course, training Syrian crews. This does not mean that the Syrians could close their skies to Israeli aircraft, but that gradually the risks of striking Syria would go up and up with each passing month. First, we would not notice this, but I am confident that a careful analysis of the types of targets the Israelis will strike will go down and further down in value meaning the Syrians will become more and more capable of defending their most important assets.

    Second, it is pretty obvious that Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are working synergistically. For example, the Russians and the Syrians have integrated their air defenses which means that now the Syrians can “see” much further than their own radars would allow them to. Furthermore, consider the number of US cruise missiles which never made it to the Syrian air base Trump wanted to bomb: it is more or less admitted by now that this was the result of Russian EW countermeasures.

    Finally, the Russians are clearly “covering” for Hezbollah and Iran politically by refusing to consider them as pariahs which is what Israel and the US have been demanding all along. This is why Iran is treated as a key-player by the Russian sponsored peace process while the US and Israel are not even invited.

    So the truth of the matter is simple: the Russians will not directly oppose the Israelis, but what they will do is quietly strengthen Iran and Hezbollah, which is not only much safer but also much more effective.


    We live in a screwed-up and dysfunctional society which following decades of US domination conflates war and aggression with strength, which implicitly accepts the notion that a “great country” is one which goes on some kind of violent rampage on a regular basis and which always resorts to military force to retaliate against any attack. I submit that the Russian and Iranian leaders are much more sophisticated then that. The same goes for the Hezbollah leadership, by the way. Remember when the Israelis (with the obvious complicity of some members of the Syrian regime, by the way) murdered Imad Mughniyeh? Hezbollah promised to retaliate, but so far, almost a decade later, they have not (or, at least, not officially). Some will say that Hezbollah’s threats were empty words – I totally disagree. When Hassan Nasrallah promises something you can take it to the bank. But Hezbollah leaders are sophisticated enough to retaliate when the time is right and on their own terms. And think about the Iranians who since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 have been in the crosshairs of both the US and Israel and who never gave either one of them the pretext to strike.

    When you are much more powerful than your opponent you can be stupid and reply on brute, dumb force. At least for the short to middle term. Eventually, as we see with the US today, this kind of aggressive stupidity backfires and ends up being counterproductive. But when you are smaller, weaker or even just still in the process of recovering your potential strength you have to act with much more caution and sophistication. This is why all the opponents of the AngloZionist Empire (including Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela) do their utmost to avoid using force against the AngloZionists even when it would be richly deserved. The one exception to this rule is Kim Jong-un who has chosen a policy of hyperinflated threats which, while possibly effective (he seems to have outwitted Trump, at least so far) is also very dangerous and one which none of the Resistance countries want to have any part in.

    The Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah are all “grown adults” (in political terms), and Assad is learning very fast, and they all understand that they are dealing with a “monkey with a hand grenade” (this fully applies to both Israeli and US leaders) which combines a nasty personality, a volatile temper, a primitive brain and a hand grenade big enough to kill everybody in the room. Their task is to incapacitate that monkey without having it pull the pin. In the case of the Israeli strikes on Syria, the primary responsibility to respond in some manner would fall either on the target of the strikes (usually Hezbollah) or on the nation whose sovereignty was violated (Syria). And both could, in theory, retaliate (by using tactical missiles for example). Yet they chose not to, and that is the wise and correct approach. As for the Russians, this is simply and plainly not their business.

    Addendum 1:

    One more thing. Make no mistake – the Israeli (and US!) propensity to use force as a substitute for diplomacy is a sign of weakness, not of strength. More accurately, their use of force, or the threat of force, is the result of their diplomatic incompetence. While to the unsophisticated mind the systematic use of force might appear as an expression of power, history shows that brute force can be defeated when challenged not directly, but by other means. This is, by necessity, a slow process, much slower than a (mostly entirely theoretical) “quick victory”, but an ineluctable one nonetheless. In purely theoretical terms, the use of force can roughly have any one of the following outcomes: defeat, stalemate, costly victory and a relatively painless victory. That last one is exceedingly rare and the use of force mostly results in one of the other outcomes. Sometimes the use of force is truly the only solution, but I submit that the wise political leader will only resort to it when all other options have failed and when vital interests are at stake. In all other situation a “bad peace is preferable to a good war”.

    Addendum 2:

    Contrary to the hallucinations of the Neocons, Russia is absolutely not a “resurgent USSR” and Putin has no desire whatsoever to rebuilt the Soviet Union. Furthermore, there is no meaningful constituency in Russia for any such “imperial” plans (well, there are always some lunatics everywhere, but in Russia they are, thank God, a tiny powerless minority). Furthermore, the new Russia is most definitely not an “anti-US” in the sense of trying to counter every US imperial or hegemonic move. This might be obvious to many, but I get so many questions about why Russia is not doing more to counter the US in Africa, Latin America or Asia that I feel that it is, alas, still important to remind everybody of a basic principle of international law and common sense: problems in country X are for country X to deal with. Russia has no more business than the US in “solving” country X’s problems.

    Furthermore, country X’s problems are usually best dealt with by country X’s immediate neighbors, not by megalomaniac messianic superpowers who feel that they ought to “power project” because they are somehow “indispensable” or because “manifest destiny” has placed upon them the “responsibility” to “lead” the world. All this terminology is just the expression of a pathological and delusional imperial mindset which has cost Russia and the Soviet Union an absolutely horrendous price in money, energy, resources and blood (for example, the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan was justified in terms of the “internationalist duty” of the Soviet Union and people to help a “brotherly nation”).

    While this kind of nonsense is still 100% mainstream in the poor old US, it is absolutely rejected in modern Russia. For all the personal credibility of Putin with the Russian people, even he could not get away with trying to militarily intervene, nevemind police the whole planet, unless truly vital Russian interests were threatened (Crimea was such a very rare case). Some will deplore this, I personally very much welcome it, but the truth is that “the Russians are *not* coming”.
  16. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    I really don't think all this is going to play out the way that people are portraying it especially the MSM with its constant fear mongering.
    In fact, I don't believe that the message that the MSM is running on a loop regarding Russia has even the support of the 20% of hardcore democrats anymore. Let alone the so called neocons who are retiring and declining to run for their seats again this year.
  17. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Russia appears to have turned its back on Iran's forces in Syria and now Israel looks in charge
    Alex Lockie May 14, 2018
    The Aviationist
    • Russia on Friday reportedly declined to export its advanced S-300 missile defense system to Syria.
    • A bunch of Syrian air defenses reportedly were destroyed by Israel on Wednesday, but Russia still declined.
    • The developments indicate Russia may have turned its back on protecting Iranians, who were the targets of the Israeli airstrikes on Wednesday night.
    • Now, undefended Iranian forces in Syria are at the mercy of Israel, who seems capable of striking when and where it likes, despite Iran being Russia's ally.
    Russia on Friday reportedly declined to export its advanced S-300 missile defense system to Syria despite a high tempo of international and Israeli airstrikes peppering the country over the last few months, in the latest sign that Moscow has turned its back on Iran in the country.

    Russia is Syria's ally. The US, UK, and France launched airstrikes on Syria in April. Israel launched airstrikes on Syria in May, and likely many others in April, March, and February.

    Israel maintains it will strike Iranian targets in Syria as long as they ally with Hezbollah and Hamas, both anti-Israel US-designated terror organizations that operate near Israel's borders.

    Despite the near constant stream of powerful countries bombing targets in Syria, and Syria's weak attempts to defend against the attacks, Russian President Vladimir Putin's aide in charge of foreign military assistance said Syria had "everything it needs."

    On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Putin in Moscow. That same night, Israeli airstrikes reportedly wiped out the majority of Syrian air defenses in the southern part of the country. Russian-owned and operated air defenses in Syria, which include the S-300, did nothing to stop the attack.

    Israel has long wanted Russia to withhold its more powerful defenses from Syria.

    Israel is in charge now
    Video of an Israeli missile taking out a Russian-made air defense system. Screenshot/IDF
    Israel stomped on Russian-made Syrian air defenses on Wednesday night in the largest Israeli Air Force attack in Syria since the two countries went to war in 1973. The massive battle saw Syria's older Russian-made air defenses outmatched — and obliterated.

    Israel has carried out strikes with the express purpose of beating down Iranian forces in southern Syria. By all accounts, the attacks succeeded in taking out command posts, infrastructure, and munitions. Israel won't tolerate a buildup of Iranian forces along its borders in Syria as Iran explicitly seeks to destroy Israel.

    Though Israel has engaged in more than 100 airstrikes in Syria since 2012, mostly against Iranian-linked forces, it has treaded softly and attempted to avoid a larger war.

    Without new reinforcements like Russia's S-300, and with the former defenses laying in ruin, Iranian forces in Syria will be greatly exposed to Israeli air power.

    Russia may continue to trade with Tehran after the US imposed sanctions following its withdraw from the Iran deal, and continue to be Iran's ally on paper. But Russia, by denying Syria air defenses, looks to have turned its back on supporting the regional ambitions of Ayatollah Khamenei.

    SEE ALSO: Israel's F-35s may have already flown a combat mission against Russian air defenses in Syria
  18. Don_D

    Don_D ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

    The funny thing is Russia was never allied with Iran in Syria to begin with and stopped the sale of the S-300 to Iran in the past over concerns they would use them near their nuclear facilities. I mean yeah they sell Iran some weapons systems but so does most of Europe especially France. This all just seems like a whole lot of disinfo to me trying to manufacture strife where there really is none.

    Another thing, its the S-400 that is Russia's "advanced" air defense system and they don't sell it. The S-300 came out back in 1978 and although it has surely been upgraded and is a formidable air defense system this whole insinuation that they have anything remotely resembling super power weaponry or defenses is absurd. Also, they need to restock those missiles as well and they don't manufacture them per their agreement with Russia so they would have to buy them from them. Add to this that Israel has always been smart with their air power. They would simply use cruise missiles to take out these SAM systems and then use their air force once the threat has been mitigated.

    Honestly, this article is pure fear mongering and disinfo. It's good to see that they are worried enough about losing the message to spew such total BS though. lol
    BrianK likes this.
  19. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Tougher Israeli Posture in Syria Tests Russia-Iran Alliance
    The Kremlin’s response to Israeli strikes against Iranian forces was muted

    By Thomas Grove and Raja Abdulrahim May 14, 2018 23 COMMENTS

    MOSCOW—The Kremlin’s military alliance with Tehran in Syria is showing cracks after fierce Israeli strikes against Iranian forces, testing the limits of the relationship.

    The Israeli attack—its biggest ever in Syria—came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual military parade last week in Moscow. Russia’s response to the strikes has been muted, and the two leaders likely agreed on acceptable targets, said Fyodor Lukyanov, the head of a Kremlin advisory body.

    The rising hostilities with Israel lay bare tensions in the alliance between Moscow and Tehran that turned the tide of the Syrian conflict in favor of President Bashar al-Assad. The strategy helped assert Russia once again as a global power and Iran to expand its Middle Eastern influence.

    Now, as Mr. Assad regains control of much of the country, Russia and Iran have shown how much their interests diverge in Syria. In particular, Russian analysts said, Moscow has grown concerned over Iran’s attempt to use Syria as a beachhead to threaten Israel and boost its power over Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories.

    An image from a video distributed by the Israeli Defense Forces purportedly shows a Syrian missile launcher targeted by an Israeli airstrike at an undisclosed location in Syria last week. Photo: israeli defense forces/EPA/Shutterstock

    “Russia would like to see Iran’s influence reduced in Syria, especially since they have radically different views on what post-conflict Syria should look like,” said Nikolay Kozhanov, a former Russian diplomat in Iran and a professor at the European University at St. Petersburg.

    The current tensions don’t endanger the broader transactional relationship between Iran and Russia in places including Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Caspian region, where both countries have strong influence. Russia is keen to work more closely with Iran’s oil sector and wants to boost its presence in Iraq, where Iranian influence is also strong, analysts said.

    In Syria, their partnership was designed to prevent Mr. Assad falling the way of other leaders during the Arab Spring. Even before Russia’s military intervention, Iranian delegations covertly traveled to Moscow to hash out a strategy marrying Iran’s ground presence and Russia air power. Iran even secretly opened at least one of its Syrian air bases, Hamadan, for Russian use in the bombing campaign, said an official close to the defense ministry.

    “Iran has been happy to have a partner like Russia which had their back during the sanctions regime,” said Dina Esfandiary, an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Middle East Program. “But Iran knows it’s a pragmatic relationship and not an ally that will stick with them through thick and thin.”

    The Kremlin said the Russia-Iran relationship can’t be measured through the lens of the Israel strikes. “They have an independent dimension,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov of relations with Iran.

    From left, Russian acting Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Vladimir Putin taking part in a ceremony last week marking the 73rd anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany. Photo: yuri kadobnov/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    Analysts said the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal and appearance to move lock step with Israel has raised the stakes and forced Iran into a corner.

    An official at Iran’s United Nations mission didn’t respond to a request for comment. Iranian officials have in the past stressed their increasing closeness to Moscow as the countries work together in Syria.

    But Russia sees the increasing presence of Iran near Israel’s border as a problem and has tried to use its limited sway over Iran to satisfy Israeli demands. Russia’s military, in turn, warned Iran that it won’t provide air cover for government troops or Iran’s proxies that appear in southwestern Syria.

    Moscow has even tried to open up informal diplomatic channels between the two countries, Mr. Kozhanov said. He added that Moscow recently sent Russian citizens with strong ties to Israel to Tehran, in effect carrying messages from Israel.

    A spokesman for Mr. Netanyahu declined to comment.

    Syria's government, which provided this image, says it shows senior Iranian officers in the northern province of Aleppo, Syria, last year. Photo: Syrian Central Military Media/Associated Press

    Mr. Netanyahu has tried to forge a personal relationship with Mr. Putin, visiting Moscow several times and trying to convey the threats Israel sees in Iran’s presence across the border.

    Those threats came to a head earlier last week with what Israel said were Iranian mortars fired at the northern Israeli border from Syria. Israel said it struck back targeting Iranian positions in Syria, causing significant damage. That followed other recent Israeli attacks on Iranian military interests in Syria.

    Iran last week condemned the Israeli attack on Syria, semiofficial media reported, citing Bahram Ghasemi, the spokesman for the country’s foreign ministry. He didn’t address the allegation of an Iranian attack on Israel first or the damage Israel said it inflicted on Iranian assets in Syria.

    But examples of tension abound between Russia and Iran.

    Iran and Moscow are splitting over the spoils of war. Rights to help the Syrian government develop a phosphate mine near Palmyra were recently awarded to Russia, according to the Syria Report, a Beirut-based publication that tracks Syrian economic news, months after an Iranian company thought it had clinched the deal.

    Last year, Iranian-backed soldiers ignored targets agreed to by Moscow and Tehran, and called in Russian airstrikes against their own preferred targets, enraging Russia’s central command and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, a person close to the ministry said.

    Posters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Aleppo, Syria, earlier this year. Photo: Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

    Mr. Assad has manipulated the divisions. “Damascus is really good at playing Russia off of Tehran and saying well maybe we’ll rely more on Iran,” said a European diplomat who works on the Syria crisis.

    Russia has gained an advantage over Iran in talks with Syria’s opposition, who say Moscow’s presence is a way to burnish its international reputation.

    “They have real conflict of interests, because their plans are different,” said Yahya Al-Aridi, a spokesman for the main political body representing Syria’s opposition in peace talks.

    Without a broader strategy at hand, Mr. Putin is employing a familiar tactic of waiting and watching. For now Moscow hopes the two sides can exchange fire without hurting Russian interests there or causing an all-out regional conflict.

    “As far as Mr. Putin is concerned, Israel and Iran can continue fighting as long as they keep their operations within certain limits,” Mr. Lukyanov said.

    —Asa Fitch in Dubai and Felicia Schwartz in Tel Aviv contributed to this article.
  20. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Don, The article is not about Russia selling weapons to Iran, it is about Russia not selling S-300's directly to Syria and Russia attempting to stay out of the mix between Iran and Israel. Since you brought it up, it is odd that Russia only sold S-300's to Iran and not the newer S-400's, maybe they were just getting rid of the old stock and maybe they don't want Iran to be successful against Israel. It is strange.
    The Wall Street Journal article that I also posted on this subject might will help you to understand the situation a little better. I certainly wouldn't refer to the Business Insider article as "pure fear mongering and disinfo" or "total BS" but you have a right to your opinion.
    Last edited: May 15, 2018

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