Tag Archives: Ukraine

White House reached goal of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees Monday

O laughs

From MSN: The White House will reach its goal, articulated a year ago, of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. on Monday afternoon. A plane carrying the refugees has departed Jordan and will soon land in the U.S., CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reports.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that we will meet this goal more than a month ahead of schedule. Our 10,000th Syrian refugee will arrive this afternoon,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in a statement.

Between last October and the end of this September, the U.S. is expected to admit a total of at least 85,000 refugees, Rice said, including from countries like Burma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, Ukraine, among many others.

President Obama said last year that would admit 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the fiscal year. Monday’s announcement means the White House attained its goal a month ahead of schedule, an achievement due at least in large part to a surge of State Department and Homeland Security officials deployed to the Middle East to help process a backlog of applications. The 10,000 are a significant increase over the 1,500 the U.S. was on track to admit in 2015. 

An overwhelmingly majority of the refugees, 80 percent, who have already resettled in the U.S. are women and children under the age of 18, according to the State Department. Data also shows that 96 percent of the refugees are Muslim.

U.S. officials say that the refugees have gone through extensive vetting, which not only involved numerous interviews but also intelligence-driven vetting and reviews of their social media accounts.

baby laughing

The average review took more than a year and a half to complete. The names of the refugees were run through Pentagon, State Department, FBI and other agency databases, Brennan reports.

The news comes as Donald Trump continues to slam the president’s and Hillary Clinton’s immigration policies, especially in relation to Syrian refugees. Trump has in the past compared Syrian refugees to snakes and he has advocated a plan to block people from entering the U.S. from countries with ties to terrorism.

DCG

U.S. repeatedly loses in Pentagon war games against Russia

In addition to the Pentagon’s war games showing the U.S. losing to Russia, what is interesting about this post is a purported internal report by the Russian Ministry of Defense on Christian Americans being severely alienated from the U.S. government under Obama. Russia anticipates American Christians to act as a 5th column who may side with Russia in war.

The Russian report also cites a FOTM post on Christians being driven out of the U.S. military. Moscow is reading FOTM!

I fear this report will only be used by Obama to justify an intensification of his persecution of Christians. But we will stand firm on our beliefs and principles.

 

Consortium of Defense Analysts

On Sept. 29, 2015, an op/ed by reporter Benny Avni in the New York Post proclaimed Vladimir Putin’s Russia as “the world’s new sole superpower.” Avni wrote:

The baton was officially transferred Monday to the world’s new sole superpower — and Vladimir Putin willingly picked it up.

Putin’s deployment of forces in Syria and arming of Assad create facts on the ground. They have also propelled him to the top by taking initiative on today’s most consequential world fight….That’s how Putin seized leadership from America….

And it’s bad for America. Because sooner or later, after more bloodshed and under even worse conditions than now, our next president will be called upon to retake the leadership baton from Putin. And that could prove tricky.

Avni’s proclamation isn’t that far-fetched given the fact that the Pentagon’s own war games show that the U.S. would lose in a Baltic war against Russia.

Julia…

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U.S. Army commander says Russia is “real threat” as Patriot missiles are deployed to Poland

At a time when our soldiers’ morale is at an all-time low (see DCG’s post here), tensions with Russia are at an all-time high — tensions that largely had been provoked by the Obama administration over Ukraine and Crimea. (See U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s leaked phone conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, here.)

This has led to Obama reversing a policy of just a year ago when all battle tanks were removed from Europe. Now, the U.S. is moving those tanks back to the continent, together with live Patriot missiles to Poland.

Consortium of Defense Analysts

Lt. Gen. Ben HodgesJustin Huggler reports for The Telegraph, April 18, 2015, that Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, Commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, warns that NATO must remain united in the face of a “real threat” from Russia:

It’s not an assumption. There is a Russian threat.You’ve got the Russian ambassador threatening that Denmark will be a nuclear target if it participates in any missile defense program. And when you look at the unsafe way Russian aircraft are flying without transponders in proximity to civilian aircraft, that’s not professional conduct.”

Gen. Hodges spoke to the Telegraph on the sidelines of a military debriefing after an exercise to move live Patriot missiles 750 miles across Europe by road and deploy them on the outskirts of Warsaw. The sight of a US military convoy crossing the German-Polish border more than 20 years after the end of the Cold…

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U.S. deploys 290 paratroopers to Ukraine flashpoint

For a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Obama sure behaves like a war president.

The war in Iraq is supposed to have ended, but the Army is deploying 1,250 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division back to Iraq “to train, advise and assist the Iraqi security forces as they battle the Islamic State.” (See DCG’s post: https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2015/03/31/paging-code-pink-troops-from-10th-mountain-division-heading-to-iraq-this-summer/)

Now comes news that, in addition to supplying lethal arms to Ukraine, Obama is deploying 290 paratroopers to train Ukraine’s national guards, which is curious behavior for an administration that insists the U.S. is working with all sides in the Ukraine crisis to reach a peaceful solution and that “ultimately it is up to the Ukrainian people to decide their future.”

That is a lie, as shown by the leaked phone conversation between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt more than a year ago. The conversation shows the Obama administration favors the Ukraine “opposition” and has very clear ideas about what the outcome should be and is striving to achieve these goals. See https://cofda.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/u-s-arms-latvia-against-russia-with-120-armored-units/.

Consortium of Defense Analysts

The Ukraine flashpoint between the U.S. and Russia is heating up.

More than 10 days after the AFP first reported that the Obama administration will be deploying 290 paratroopers to Ukraine to train its national guard soldiers, the story finally is getting traction, carried by other news media like NewsMax, MoneyMorning, and China Post.

Beginning April 20 in three waves of training, each lasting eight weeks, 290 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Teambased in Italy, will train 900 Ukrainian national guard troops in the town of Yavoriv in the government-controlled western region of Lviv, near the Polish border.

Yavoriv, Ukraine

At the end of the training, the U.S. and Ukraine will conduct joint war games.

U.S. Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said the paratroopers will train six Ukrainian national guard companies “with a focus on internal security and territorial defense, and that “While we continue…

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U.S. to close 15 military bases in Europe, as Russia’s presence grows

After provoking a new Cold War with Moscow — imposing economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, specifically Crimea — the U.S. is retreating from Europe with the closure of 15 military bases.

At a minimum, Obama’s foreign policy is a mess of confusion and mixed messages. At a maximum, he’s doing this by design.

Remember his whispered words to then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Seoul, South Korea, March 26, 2012? Not realizing his words would be picked up by live microphones, Obama signaled to Medvedev that — wink, wink, nudge, nudge — he’ll be much freer to act as he pleases after he’s won reelection: “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility” to deal with missile defense by tearing down America’s missile shield. Then he asked for Russia’s patience — for more “space” and “time.”

See also “U.S. physicist Tom Fife: Obama was groomed to be President by Soviet Communists

Consortium of Defense Analysts

U.S. European CommandClick map to enlarge

Adam Kredo reports for The Washington Free Beacon, Jan. 9, 2015, that the U.S. military is set to shutter 15 sites across Europe and reduce the number of active personnel stationed in these areas as the result of a wide-ranging restructuring that aims to consolidate some operations on the continent, according to Derek Chollet, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.

The European restructuring is the culmination of a two-year consolidation plan known as the European Infrastructure Consolidation (EIC) that is reminiscent of a previous decade-long realignment following the Cold War.

The following changes will take effect in the coming years:

  • 15 sites in all will be returned by the United States to their host nations.
  • “Approximately 1,200 U.S. military and civilian support positions will be eliminated, and about 6,000 more U.S. personnel will be relocated within Europe,” said John Conger, the acting…

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Obama’s speech to the UN General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2014

Here’s the full text of Obama’s speech to the UN on Wednesday, or does anyone care? LOL

I’m reblogging this only because Roger Cohen (who he?) of the New York Times quoted from the speech and lauded Obama on his “new resolve.” Gag….
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/26/opinion/roger-cohen-obama-leads-on-isis-he-is-right-to-take-the-risk.html?_r=0

Consortium of Defense Analysts

O's UN chairObama at the UN General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2014

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery by President Barack Obama
Address to the United Nations General Assembly
September 24, 2014
New York City, NY

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.

Around the globe, there are signposts of progress. The shadow of World War that existed at the founding of this institution has been lifted; the prospect of war between major powers reduced. The ranks of member states has more than tripled, and more people live under governments they elected. Hundreds of millions of human beings have been freed from the prison of poverty, with the proportion of those living in extreme poverty cut in half. And the world economy continues to strengthen after the worst financial crisis of our lives.

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What time is it?

Did you know that prophecies account for nearly one third of the Bible?

Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

Two recent essays point to the unsettling and troubling times we live in. Is the time near?

~Eowyn

Helm's Deep

Victor Davis Hanson, “Are the Orcs Winning?,” PJMedia, Sept. 7, 2014:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was sometimes faulted by literary critics for caricaturing the evil orcs as uniformly bad.  All of them were as unpleasant to look as they were deadly to encounter. There is not a single good orc or even a reformed orc in the trilogy. The apparent one-dimensional assumption of men, hobbits, dwarves, and elves is that the only good orc is a dead orc. So the absolutist Tolkien tried to teach us about the enduring nature of absolute good and evil. Apparently he did not think that anything from his contemporary experience might allow him to imagine reforming or rehabilitating such fictive folk.

Tolkien’s literary purpose with orcs was not to explore the many shades of evil or the struggle within oneself to avoid the dark side; he did that well enough in dozens of once good but weak characters who went bad such as the turncoat Saruman the wizard, his sidekick Wormtongue, a few of the hobbits who had ruined the Shire, and, best of all, the multifaceted Gollum. Orcs, on the other hand, are unredeemable. Orcs, goblins, and trolls exist as the tools of the even more sinister in proud towers to destroy civilization, and know nothing other than killing and destruction. Their reward is to feed on the crumbs of what they have ruined.

In the 21st century we are often lectured that such simplistic, one-dimensional evil is long gone. A ubiquitous civilization has so permeated the globe that even the worst sorts must absorb some mitigating popular culture from the Internet, Twitter, and Facebook, as if the sheer speed of transmitting thoughts ensures their moral improvement.

Even where democracy is absent, the “world community” and a “global consciousness” are such that billions supposedly won’t let Attila, Tamerlane, and Genghis Khan reappear in our postmodern lives. To deal with a Major Hasan, Americans cannot cite his environment as the cause, at least not poverty, racism, religious bigotry, nativism, xenophobia, or any of the more popular –isms and-ologies in our politically correct tool box that we customarily use to excuse and contextualize evil behavior. So exasperated, we shrug and call his murdering “workplace violence” — an apparent understandable psychological condition attributable to the boredom and monotony of the bleak, postmodern office.

But then suddenly along comes the limb-lopping, child-snatching, and mutilating Nigerian-based Boko Haram. What conceivable Dark Age atrocity have they omitted? Not suicide bombing, mass murder, or random torture. They are absolutely unapologetic for their barbarity. They are ready to convert or kill preteens as their mood determines for the crime of being Christian. In response, the Nigerian government is powerless, while the United States is reduced to our first lady holding up Twitter hashtags, begging for the release of the latest batch of girls.

Is the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab worse? It likes the idea that it is premodern. In addition to the usual radical Islamic horrors of beheadings, rape, and mutilation, Al-Shabaab even kills protected elephants, perhaps thousands of them, to saw off tusks and fund their killing spree. They seem to make the medieval Taliban look tame in comparison.

Roger Cohen, “The Great Unraveling,” New York Times, Sept. 15, 2014:

(Note: my words are colored teal)

It was the time of unraveling. Long afterward, in the ruins, people asked: How could it happen?

It was a time of beheadings (ISIS). With a left-handed sawing motion, against a desert backdrop, in bright sunlight, a Muslim with a British accent cut off the heads of two American journalists and a British aid worker. The jihadi seemed comfortable in his work, unhurried. His victims were broken. Terror is theater. Burning skyscrapers, severed heads: The terrorist takes movie images of unbearable lightness and gives them weight enough to embed themselves in the psyche.

It was a time of aggression. The leader of the largest nation (in land mass) on earth (Russia) pronounced his country encircled, even humiliated. He annexed part (Crimea) of a neighboring country (Ukraine), the first such act in Europe since 1945, and stirred up a war on further land he coveted. His surrogates shot down a civilian passenger plane (MH17). The victims, many of them Europeans, were left to rot in the sun for days. He denied any part in the violence, like a puppeteer denying that his puppets’ movements have any connection to his. He invoked the law the better to trample on it. He invoked history the better to turn it into farce. He reminded humankind that the idiom fascism knows best is untruth so grotesque it begets unreason.

(See “Was it really a Russian INVASION of Crimea?” )

It was a time of breakup. The most successful union (United Kingdom) in history, forged on an island in the North Sea in 1707, headed toward possible dissolution — not because it had failed (refugees from across the seas still clamored to get into it), nor even because of new hatreds between its peoples. The northernmost citizens (Scotland) were bored. They were disgruntled. They were irked, in some insidious way, by the south and its moneyed capital, an emblem to them of globalization and inequality. They imagined they had to control their National Health Service in order to save it even though they already controlled it through devolution and might well have less money for its preservation (not that it was threatened in the first place) as an independent state. The fact that the currency, the debt, the revenue, the defense, the solvency and the European Union membership of such a newborn state were all in doubt did not appear to weigh much on a decision driven by emotion, by urges, by a longing to be heard in the modern cacophony — and to heck with the day after. If all else failed, oil would come to the rescue (unless somebody else owned it or it just ran out).

It was a time of weakness. The most powerful nation on earth (USA) was tired of far-flung wars, its will and treasury depleted by absence of victory. An ungrateful world could damn well police itself. The nation had bridges to build and education systems to fix. Civil wars between Arabs could fester. Enemies might even kill other enemies, a low-cost gain. Middle Eastern borders could fade; they were artificial colonial lines on a map. Shiite could battle Sunni, and Sunni Shiite, there was no stopping them. Like Europe’s decades-long religious wars, these wars had to run their course. The nation’s leader (POS) mockingly derided his own “wan, diffident, professorial” approach to the world, implying he was none of these things, even if he gave that appearance. He set objectives for which he had no plan. He made commitments he did not keep. In the way of the world these things were noticed. Enemies probed. Allies were neglected, until they were needed to face the decapitators who talked of a Caliphate and called themselves a state. Words like “strength” and “resolve” returned to the leader’s vocabulary. But the world was already adrift, unmoored by the retreat of its ordering power. The rule book had been ripped up.

It was a time of hatred. Anti-Semitic slogans were heard in the land that invented industrialized mass murder for Europe’s Jews. Frightened European Jews removed mezuzahs from their homes. Europe’s Muslims felt the ugly backlash from the depravity of the decapitators, who were adept at Facebooking their message. The fabric of society frayed. Democracy looked quaint or outmoded beside new authoritarianisms. Politicians, haunted by their incapacity, played on the fears of their populations, who were device-distracted or under device-driven stress. Dystopia was a vogue word, like utopia in the 20th century. The great rising nations of vast populations held the fate of the world in their hands but hardly seemed to care.

It was a time of fever (Ebola). People in West Africa bled from the eyes.

It was a time of disorientation. Nobody connected the dots or read Kipling on life’s few certainties: “The Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire / And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire.”

Until it was too late and people could see the Great Unraveling for what it was and what it had wrought.