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Quid pro quo deal being reached between POTUS Trump and the Deep State

Bad Moon: (Trouble) Rising

Alex Christoforou

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For daring to say that the US should work with Russia, Trump was punished by the Deep State with a “Russia” scandal. The Deep State however has suffered a tremendous blow…it has had to come out of the shadows and reveal itself to the world.

Now it looks like both sides are moving towards compromise.

Art of the Deal methodology: weigh up the elements of power in your hands, and match them against those of your business opponent.

Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation says to expect a diversion that either a now exposed and vulnerable Deep State, and a hobbled President, might welcome as the chance to stand erect in public esteem.

It seems that we are coming to the crux: President Trump, like Reagan before him, was elected by ‘the people’ rather than by (what Paul Craig Roberts calls the ‘ruling interest groups’): “As a high official in Reagan’s government who was aligned with Reagan’s goals to end stagflation and the Cold War, I experienced first-hand, the cost of going against the powerful interest groups that are accustomed to ruling. We took away part of their rule from them, but now they have taken it back. And, they are now stronger than before”. I too, experienced something of the panic that the end to the Cold War induced amongst the ‘ruling interest groups’ — after all, American policy in the Middle East (and western Europe) was entirely dominated by an unstoppable momentum to cleanse it of all Russian influence. And then – ‘pop’ – the Soviet enemy suddenly, was ‘enemy’ no more. Yet, the ‘ruling interest groups’ were, by then, fully committed to a globalized (i.e. a culturally non-nationalist, consumerist, life-style,) rules-based, political and financial, ‘world’, shaped by the US. Serendipitously, after 9/11, terrorism emerged served to underpin the perceived need for a common defence-based, NATO-esque, global ‘order’, as the glue to America’s unipolar moment.

President Obama lay very much in the globalist ‘struggle for a democratic-liberal world’ mould, (though he did try to make the ‘ruling interests’ understand that there were limits: that there had to be boundaries to US commitments). In other words, Obama accepted the globalist premise, though he tried to mitigate some of its military impulses. Notably however, he acquiesced to re-heating the Russia ‘threat’ (after Medvedev gave place to Mr Putin (thus ending Obama’s hope to seduce Russia into the embrace of the global economic order).

But then Donald Trump, elected President by his deplorables’ base, made clear that he wished for détente with Russia, and even disdained the claims made on ordinary Americans by the maintenance of America’s unipolar global ‘order’. For this heresy, he has been punished by the manufactured ‘Russiagate’ non-scandal. “Can a president, concerned that he might be removed from office by a special prosecutor or possibly assassinated, resist the march toward war?” – asks Paul Craig Roberts, who asserts that the President has been effectively caged, by a trifecta of Establishment generals, on the one hand; and by a Goldman Sachs posse, on the other.

That the ‘ruling interests’ have managed substantially to contain President Trump is undeniable, but what is new, and perhaps – or perhaps, not – alters the calculus, is that these ‘ruling interests’ have had to come out from the shadows into the open. The former Acting Director of the CIA, Mike Morrell, an early voice peddling the Russian collusion meme now publicly admits in a surprisingly frank interview with Politico, his leading role in the intelligence community waging political war against President Trump, describing his actions as something he didn’t “fully think through”, adding that maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to leak against, and bash a new president: “There was a significant downside”, Morrell acknowledges. Just to recall: Not only had Morell in an early NY Times op-ed piece asserted that he was committed to doing “everything I can to ensure that she [Hillary Clinton] is elected as our 45th president”, but he went so far as to call then candidate Trump “a threat to our national security”, while making the extraordinary claim that “in the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

Now that Morrell has come clean, and the Robert Mueller investigation increasingly is publicly being revealed as a politicised hatchet operation, why then speak of a possible Bad Moon Rising? Well, simply because Morrell’s bout of candour does suggest that the Deep State now may be thinking compromise: It will give Trump some leeway, but will want its quid pro quo from him, too.

Some such signs of possible quid pro quo have been already apparent: Trump ate his campaign rhetoric on Afghanistan to allow the US military to persecute its (long and unsuccessful) war there. The Pentagon too, has announced that 2,000 US military, and an additional large number of contractors, will stay on in north-eastern Syria without specific time limit – after the end of anti-ISIS operations there. And fresh troops have been inserted into Iraq, and deployed to within 100 kms of the Iranian border. The ostensible justification is that with ISIS’ defeat – a void has opened, and into this ‘void’, Iran might penetrate. Only an aggressive US military presence might stop it, it is said. But American forces in Syria have been becoming ‘aggressive’ there too (against Russian Aerospace Forces, and not just Iranians) – as this report by RT makes clear:

(A US F-22 fighter was preventing two Russian Su-25 strike aircraft from bombing an ISIS base to the west of the Euphrates November 23, according to the Russian Defence ministry).

General Igor Konashenkov said: “The [USAF] F-22 launched decoy flares and used airbrakes while constantly maneuvering [near the Russian strike jets], imitating an air fight”. He added that the US jet “ceased its dangerous manoeuvres” only after a Russian Su-35S fighter jet joined the two strike planes, [chasing away the F22]. “Most close-mid-air encounters between Russian and US jets in the area around the Euphrates River have been linked to the attempts of US aircraft to get in the way [of the Russian warplanes] striking against Islamic State terrorists”, the general said.

The statement came as a response to the Pentagon’s claims about Russian or Syrian aircraft crossing “into our airspace on the east side of the Euphrates River,” Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, the spokesman for US Air Force Central Command, told CNN earlier on Saturday.

Konashenkov said that any claims made by US military officials concerning the fact that there is “any part of the airspace in Syria that belongs to the US” are “puzzling.” Konashenkov also said that “Syria is a sovereign state and a UN member. And that means that there… can be no US airspace ‘of its own’”.

All of this rather looks as though the US military wants to flex muscle and is ‘looking for trouble’ with someone. Operational military co-ordination in Syria between American and Russian militaries, deliberately is being allowed to wither (on the US side), I understand. President Putin it seems, has read the runes correctly, and is pre-empting this new US Deep State ‘purpose’ to protect the Middle Eastern (suddenly opening) ‘void’ – by announcing a part Russian military withdrawal from Syria. Putin is not ‘looking for trouble’ there. The job in Syria is done. He knows that the return of Russia to the Middle East stands as a ‘poke in the eye’ to decades of a neo-con doctrine of precisely trying to expel Russia from the region.

But … into this paradigm of US Establishment re-calibrated purpose: ‘to protect the Middle Eastern void’ from the likes of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Hash’d al-Sha’abi and Hizbullah, percolating their influence across the region, President Trump has tossed his bombshell of declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Trump had good domestic reasons for this act: the evangelical constituency within the Republican Party is significant (perhaps even fifty percent), and the Israeli Right (Sheldon Adelson has been a big Trump donor), and its powerful lobby, represents a ‘ruling interest’ that has a clout in DC that can match up to that of other components of the Deep State. It can, if it so chooses, cast an umbrella around an American politician.

In any case, ‘the act’ would have appealed to Trump’s delight in defying conventional wisdom (especially, if in so doing, he could snub his predecessor, too). It fits too, with his Art of the Deal methodology: weigh up the elements of power in your hands, and match them against those of your business opponent. And having done this analysis, where possible, remove or weaken your opponent’s components of strength – and build your own. From this optic, Palestinian ‘rejectionism’ in recognising Israel, and insisting on Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, was the primordial element to any Palestinian negotiating hand. Indeed, it has been pretty much all of it. And Trump simply KO’d it (or, so it may have seemed to him). Without Jerusalem, and the withholding of recognition of Israel remaining as Palestinian negotiating cards, the negotiation becomes banal. It is then just about ‘real estate’, and the amount of money required to get to a Palestinian ‘yes’. It is a particularly western way of negotiating: the weighing and balancing of literal components of power. It is not however the Hizbullah ‘way’ (I speak with a modicum of experience). Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (Secretary General of Hizbullah) simply recast Trump’s play: asymmetrically.

‘Yes’, he said: Jerusalem is indeed ‘the core, the axis and the essence of the Palestinian case’. But that is the half of it. For Jerusalem – the Holy City – represents the core, and the essence of Muslim and Christian cultural identity. It is their history, their meaning, their sanctities. President Trump cannot ‘confiscate’ that identity, that history, and meaning – and simply give it to Israel. Nasrallah has called for Israel to be diplomatically isolated, for an Intifada, and for all movements and components to the resistance (Shi’i and Sunni; Christian and Muslim) to join the struggle for Jerusalem – the Holy City – and for al-Aqsa, the holy shrine, which is now in grave peril, he claimed. Nasrallah turned President Trump’s play from a ‘real estate’ tussle into a war of religious symbols – paradigm. His rendering makes it hard for so-called Muslim ‘moderates’ to deny Nasrallah’s casting of the conflict as one of emotionally charged spiritual symbols. They cannot, and are not. (See here, Abdul Bari Atwan, for example).

In sum, Nasrallah, backed by Iran, and in parallel by Egypt’s Sunni religious leadership of al-Azar, by Turkey (taking the Caliph’s mantle) and many others, has redefined President Trump’s Art of the Deal ploy — not as one robbing the Palestinians of the heart of their cause, but as the re-ignition of the long struggle of all Muslims and Christians for Jerusalem, and all, for which it stands.

The American ‘ruling interests’ – after a long series of failures in the Middle East – will not abide yet more: they will retch at the thought of Israel challenged in this way; of Saudi Arabia humiliated and at Hizbullah and Iran in the vanguard of a regional campaign for Jerusalem, and for Palestine – and by implication, against those who have been seen willing to normalise with Israel.

A Bad Moon is rising: America is polarised at home; unitive government has splintered into departments at odds with each other, and with officials leaking on each other; with fake news abounding; with Congress gridlocked, and with American social and political fabric tearing apart. Against this background – can a president, concerned that he might be removed from office, and beset still by hitherto hidden ‘ruling interests’ now dragged out from the shadows into the public glare for their tawdry schemes, resist the march toward war – the original question posed by Paul Craig Roberts?

Either a war in North Korea (“the greatest threat facing America”, McMaster says), or an aggressive military show of force against ‘bad actor’ Iran – and in support of a failing Saudi Crown Prince. Is this the diversion that either a now exposed and vulnerable Deep State, and a hobbled President, might welcome as the chance to stand erect in public esteem? Both might share a common interest in escaping domestic problems to mount a show of American strength and military power. Very possibly they might, but oddly, the US military have chosen to leave American soldiers hostage and isolated in both cases: 30,000 US forces in the DMZ between the Koreas, and in smaller outposts in north-eastern Syria and in Iraq. This may turn out badly. Remember Beirut in 1983.

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Foolish French President Macron tests Trump’s patience (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 149.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump was ridiculed for his nationalist agenda by the very unpopular, globalist French President Emmanuel Macron, in a very public display of disrespect towards the United States and its president.

Macron, in front of world leaders brought together to commemorate the end of World War I, thought it wise to chastise Trump for his ‘America first’ policy, stating that nationalism was “tearing the world apart.”

Trump did find Macron’s smart ass tone to his liking, tweeting out his feeling the minute he landed stateside by reminding his European peers who pays the bills to keep the peace on the continent.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris reflect on Macron’s diplomatic gaffe, which Trump is unlikely to forget anytime soon.

Macron showed his boyish diplomatic skills, for which a man like Trump will make sure a heavy price is paid. The French President will certainly be at the receiving end of a very public and embarrassing dressing down at the hands of Donald Trump.

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Via Zerohedge

What was supposed to be a solemn visit to honor the 16 million soldiers who died during World War I alongside a coterie of world leaders in Paris was overshadowed by a mini-scandal surrounding President Trump’s missing an Armistice ceremony at an American military cemetery for purely cosmetic reasons (Trump reportedly didn’t want to get his hair wet during the ceremony which was held in pouring rain, though the White House maintained that he missed the beginning of the ceremony for security purposes).

Given the media’s focus on Trump’s purported vanity at the expense of nearly every other detail from Trump’s visit, it’s hardly surprising that the president has returned to the US rather agitated, and decided to lash out at his European partners in a series of tweets Monday morning.

While he said that his meetings with fellow world leaders were productive, Trump noted that it’s “never easy” to raise the issue that the US foots most of the bill for military protections in Europe thanks to its outsize shouldering of the cost burden of funding NATO.

Adding insult to injury, the US is paying “hundreds of billions of dollars” for the privilege of “losing hundreds of billions of dollars” with these countries on trade. Trump demanded that, going forward, the US must be treated fairly on military spending and trade.

It is time, Trump said, for these countries to either pony up, or find a way to start protecting themselves.

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Midterm Elections: A Disaster Denied, and What is Coming

The Democrats intend to mount a non-stopping offensive against the President.

The Duran

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Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces ) via SHTFplan.com:


Before the 2016 Presidential Election, and both before and after the inauguration, I wrote specifically about how important the midterm election would be, and the results if the President should lose even one House of Congress.  That happened: the Republicans just lost the House of Representatives. Now that the Democrats control it, not one piece of legislation will pass that is on the President’s agenda. In the supreme act of denial, the Republican party claims the “Blue Wave” was not successful; even the President declared a “victory” with the midterms.

Nothing could be further from the truth, on either count.

The Democrats intend to mount a non-stopping offensive against the President. First, they are going to demand that Mueller go on the attack again. They are already demanding the President’s tax returns. On Thursday, 11-8-18, thousands of people marched in Times Square in New York City in protest of Jeff Sessions’ departure from the White House…although Sessions was the one who tendered a letter of resignation. The mob of protesters carried mass-produced “No one is above the law” placards and signs.

Not one of those Marxists carried those signs when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resigned after Benghazi, where a U.S. Consular Outpost of the United States was destroyed, and the U.S. Ambassador and four of his staff murdered.

“Happy Veterans’ Day” is coming up, with the cliché eternal: “Thank you for your service.”

Nobody really cares about it, except the vets. Those who have to work receive time and a half for their pay, and Hallmark makes about another $50 million or so on the cards and gifts…about $10 million of that for the Government to “re-ingest” with the taxes….another day on the endless cycle:

The cycle of spending of disposable income, an indispensable part of the economy and all of the governmental employees on paid federal holiday, solemnly dispensed of at the expense of (to paraphrase Metallica) the government’s “disposable heroes.”

Where were the protests in the streets after Benghazi? Everybody was hidden, because at the time we were under Obama. When Donald Trump was elected President, a “hiatus” was granted from the nonstop march toward socialism/communism that reached a zenith as never before. Now that hiatus is shrinking, as the Communists and Marxists begin new offensives under their playbook “Rules for Radicals,” offensives targeting every area of the society.

Their plan should be obvious: to keep the President “backpedaling” and the economy faltering, in order to set the stage for the 2020 election. All of this I have written about before, and it came to pass with the Midterm elections. If they keep the President on the defense and keep pushing the “social issues,” it will render his administration ineffective…not delivering the change back toward the right that the voters wanted to see in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal published a piece on November 9 entitled Democrats plan to pursue most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades.” They have been receiving plenty of help on this one, with the Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and the recent murders by a former Marine last week. Here they come again! All of the legislators…with armed protectors paid for by you, mind you…clamoring for the guns. Here’s a piece of it for you:

Democrats say they will pass the most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades when they become the House majority in January, plans they renewed this week in the aftermath of a mass killing in a California bar. Their efforts will be spurred by an incoming class of pro-gun-control lawmakers who scored big in Tuesday’s midterm elections, although any measure would likely meet stiff resistance in the GOP-controlled Senate. Democrats ousted at least 15 House Republicans with “A” National Rifle Association ratings, while the candidates elected to replace them all scored an “F” NRA rating. “This new majority is not going to be afraid of our shadow,” said Mike Thompson, a California Democrat who is chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. “We know that we’ve been elected to do a job, and we’re going to do it.”

Now of course the argument to this rationale will be that the Senate is needed before a law passes. Yes, we all watched “Schoolhouse Rock” and learned about the three-party system of checks and balances. The problem?  Nothing was accomplished when the Republicans held both houses of Congress, and the Reds and Blues counter one another, and more:

The Democrats’ strategy is not to pass any laws: it is to stir up public controversy, win support of the “Zero” generation, and either force actions through the “tyranny of the majority,” or make it so horrible an arena that it detracts from or prevents any positive efforts and actions from the administration…setting the stage for the 2020 election.

Ocasio-Cortez just entered the House of Representatives at the “sage/sagacious” age of 29, and she is a self-described “democratic socialist” who favors single-payer healthcare, gun control, abolishing border controls, and declared that she would support the impeachment of the President. She was also part of Bernie Sanders’ campaign movement in 2016.

Lenin espoused some “gems” that should be considered. Here is one that falls in line with the “newly discovered wonderful possibility of socialism” the Zero-generation and twenty-somethings have fallen in love with hook, line, and sinker:

“The goal of socialism is communism.”

New York just placed a “democratic socialist” in the White House…a declared socialist, among all of the hidden Marxists camouflaged under the “progressive” or “democratic” monikers.

Gun control, coming at us once again, and once more, a quote from Lenin for you:

“Disarmament is the ideal of socialism. There will be no wars in socialist society; consequently, disarmament will be achieved. But whoever expects that socialism will be achieved without a social revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat is not a socialist. Dictatorship is state power based directly on violence. And in the twentieth century – as in the age of civilization generally – violence means neither a fist nor a club, but troops. To put “disarmament” in the program is tantamount to making the general declaration: “We are opposed to the use of arms.” There is as little Marxism in this as there would be if we were to say: “We are opposed to violence!” – Lenin, “The Disarmament Slogan,” from October of 1916

The next two years should be interesting, to say the least. Keep in mind: the President is not throwing in the towel, however, he has one more year to turn the tide…before he has to campaign. There is still another way, though: I mentioned it in the last article that I wrote. Bush Jr. used this technique successfully when he was trailing Kerry in the polls. Margaret Thatcher used this technique when she was about to be shown the door, and turned it around, remaining in office.

The “technique” is a war, whether a “quickie” (such as the Falklands War…Malvinas, if you prefer), or a protracted one (Iraq “II” where victory was declared within months of started, and it was achieved…with the decades and a half of Military Industrial Complex contracts…and the transition of the United States into a Surveillance and Police State).

The technique is a war, and if you keep abreast of what is going on, you will see that Russia and China are gearing up for a war, the nations are “decoupling” themselves incrementally from the dying fiat-backed Petrodollar, and North Korea is once again raising itself as a nuclear threat (on its own, or encouraged by one or more nations). A war could either suspend elections, or propel the incumbent into a victory based on the populace’s perception of what they need. Remember this last quote from Lenin, and let it sink in good:

“A standing army and police are the chief instruments of state power.” – Lenin, State and Revolution, 1917

The ultimate truth: the elections are akin to the Stock Market, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average. It doesn’t matter how many shares are bought or sold, as long as there are fluctuations and flux. The winners are the brokers, who pocket their commissions on every trade…a sell or a buy. The same exists here. The blue donkeys versus the red elephants. The “tribalism” of men, and their needs of a social order…a cohesive social grouping that reflects what they believe in…is exploited to its maximum advantage. All the while, the paradigm shifts almost imperceptibly, until before you know it….twenty years have elapsed, and you are not looking at the same country anymore.

The “art” is to make the people think they will be getting what they want…dupe them into believing it is something good, when it’s not. It took the blood of heroes to form and defend this nation.  The downfall is precipitated by traitors from within…bleeding the nation white by circumventing existing laws and replacing them with the greatest injustice and threat to personal liberty of all. What is that greatest threat? A foreign enemy? A spontaneous collapse of everything?

No. The greatest threat is the acceptance of the people of the illusion of “social justice,” that really translates into something for nothing by taking from those who have earned, and giving it to those who live within the entitlement cesspool of their own sloth. Such a mentality pervades our society today. In order to save the United States, we have to return to our fundamental values and become an ass-kicking, straight-shooting people who fear God and care for their families, neighbors, and nation once more. If we do this, we may emerge from the coming night as a nation once more. Ready your NVGs, and steel your hearts for the challenge before it arrives…now…at the twilight’s last gleaming.

May Veterans’ Day bring remembrance to your mind, may your heart find peace, and may any who serve in your family be safe and sound.


Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com or contact him here.

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Russia’s Next Weapon: A Church

The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces.

The Duran

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Authored by Michael Peck via The National Interest:


Meet Vladimir Putin’s newest weapon: a church.

The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces. Construction will soon begin of the Main Church of the Armed Forces, to be erected in Patriot Park outside Moscow, according to Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, deputy defense minister and chief of the armed forces’ Main Military-Political Directorate, a new organization responsible for political education of the troops.

The “new church will be one more example of the people’s unity around the idea of patriotism, love, and devotion to our Motherland,” Kartapolov told Russian journalists.

To say the church, dubbed by some as the “Khaki Temple,” will have a martial air would be an understatement.

“The walls of the military church are really made in the color of the standard Russian missile system and armored vehicle,” according to the Russian newspaper The Independent [Google English translation here ] “…From the inside, the walls are decorated with paintings with battle scenes from military history and texts from the Holy Scriptures. The projected height is 95 meters [104 feet] and is designed for 6,000 people.”

“Kartapolov is convinced that the modern Russian serviceman cannot be shaped without shaping lofty spirituality in him,” Russian media said. “Speaking about ideology, the deputy head of the military department pointed out that this will be based on knowledge of the history of our Motherland and people and on historical and cultural traditions.”

“Even though the Russian constitution states that ‘no ideology may be established as state or obligatory,’ the Kremlin continues to search for a unifying set of beliefs,” notes the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office.

Religion has long played a role in Russian military life, first through the Russian Orthodox Church in Tsarist times, and then—in a secular way—through Communism in Soviet times. “In late imperial Russia, when they began to build garrisons, every regiment sought to build a regimental church, but not a synagogue or mosque,” Roger Reese, an historian at Texas A&M University who has written books on the Tsarist and Soviet armed forces, told the National Interest. “In Putin’s Russia, the Orthodox Church seeks every opportunity to represent itself as the national religion and tie itself to the state as it had under the tsars, so this act represents continuity broken temporarily by the Soviet years. Of course the Soviet regime did not build churches for the army, but it did build the ‘House of the Red Army,’ shaped like a star, in Moscow dedicated to the use of the Red Army and its soldiers.

In some respects it was analogous to a USO [United Service Organization that supports American soldiers] building. So Putin’s dedicating one particular building to the use of the Russian Army soldiers for purposes of morale—and morals—is in line with that.”

While the thought of a military church will be distasteful to some, Russia is hardly unique in linking the military and religion.

Many armies, the United States and Israel included, maintain chaplains who wear uniform and hold military rank. Chapels are common on military bases, and soldiers are given time for – and sometimes pressured to – attend religious services. While a Russian military church is likely to favor a specific denomination – Russian Orthodoxy – even that isn’t unique: non-Christian members of the U.S. military have complained of religious discrimination , especially by Christian fundamentalists.

What’s interesting is how little things change. Be it the Tsar’s conscripts, or the Red Army’s draftees or the volunteers who comprise much of modern Russia’s military, some spiritual reinforcement is deemed necessary to get soldiers to fight.

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