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Ukrainian regime in bid to kick Orthodox clergy out of their churches

Religious freedom in Ukraine has gone from tenuous to dangerously imperilled.

Eric Zuesse

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The Ukrainian Government is trying to pass a law which will allow Russian Orthodox churches to be taken over by other faiths, but legislative approval has long remained in doubt; and, so, the government is instead just standing aside, while it lets non Russian-Orthodox believers, and especially Catholic believers, take possession of Russian-Orthodox churches. But this Ukrainian Government is simultaneously propagandizing for the legalization of those church-seizures, the passing of this bill into law; they are anything but neutral about it.

This is happening in a Ukrainian context which is extremely polarized politically, and almost as polarized religiously; so, the political division is even stronger than is the sheerly religious one, and this Ukrainian Government is thus increasing Ukraine’s polarization, as a simultaneously political-and-religious divide, in which the political and religious hatreds feed off of one-another. The public don’t want it; even the clergy don’t want it; but, the Government does, and it continues trying to pass this measure into law.

The development and present status of this matter will be summarized here, with links to the sources.

First, however, here is the political background:

The election map of the final democratic Ukrainian election — the one in 2010 — showed a political chasm in Ukraine, between the east and the west. This was the last election before the nation split-up in 2014 as a result of the U.S. coup (called by the U.S. a ‘revolution’) that took place in February 2014. This 2010 election-map (like all the ones before it) showed Ukraine to be an extremely polarized country, with the Catholic far-west having voted overwhelmingly for the U.S.-NATO-backed candidate Yulia Tymoshenko, and the Russian Orthodox far-east having voted overwhelmingly for the Russia-backed Viktor Yanukovych. Ukraine’s mid-section, except in the south, is Ukrainian Orthodox, which is “on the fence” regarding the Russia-versus-America divide — or, during WW II, it was the Stalin-versus-Hitler divide. America’s coup was perpetrated mainly by Catholics against Orthodox believers; and, so, it was a major victory for The West, in the ancient East-West Schism. The main domestic support for the “Maidan ‘revolution’,” and for the actual coup, were the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the formerly strongly pro-Hitler area surrounding the far-western city of Lviv. This victory in Ukraine, of the U.S.-led fascist west, against the pro-Russia east, is starting to be felt in the explicitly religious sphere, by the post-coup Ukrainian Government’s allowing Catholic clergy to begin taking over Orthodox (especially Russian Orthodox) congregations.

So:

On 1 March 2016 was headlined in Ukraine, “A BILL ON TRANSFER OF RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES TO ANOTHER JURISDICTION PRESENTED IN PARLIAMENT”.  It said:

According to the authors, the bill is designed “to enforce the rights of members of religious communities to informed choice and free and unimpeded change of affiliation with religious centers for satisfying their religious needs and dignified expression of religious feelings.” The proposed changes are intended to “regulate the procedure of changing affiliation of the religious communities and religious centers (leadership) operating in Ukraine and abroad.”

This initiative has provoked criticism of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), whose representative expressed concern about using these changes to simplify the transfer of churches in the course of transitions of Orthodox communities from the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate to that of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate.

“In practice, it will look as follows – the general meeting of faithful (parish meeting) will be attended by other persons who do not belong to the religious community, but nevertheless will have the right to vote and will be entitled to adopt or amend the statute of the religious community,” said Rev Alexander Bakhov, head of the UOC Synodal Legal Department. …

Then, on March 31st, was bannered “Religious confrontation in Ukraine”, and that report opened, “A new bill [bill #4128], registered in the parliament, can not only legalize church raiding, but also provoke sectarian conflicts.” Furthermore:

As was emphasized by the head of the legal department of the UOC [Ukrainian Orthodox Church — Moscow Patriarchate (Ukraine’s branch of the Russian Orthodox Church)] Archpriest Alexander Bach, representatives of the “Kiev Patriarchate” and authorities have since 2014 taken permanent actions to seize churches belonging to the UOC.

“During this period, 31 seizures of the UOC churches are recorded, 12 are under threat of seizure, 8 changed their affiliation in accordance with the Law of Ukraine ‘On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations’. Moreover, these seizures are passed off as a voluntary transition of believers,” says the priest.

Also on March 31st, the U.S.-imposed regime’s Religious Information Service of Ukraine bannered, “HOW DO WE ‘GET OUT’ FROM MOSCOW” and presented the argument from the Government’s side:

The right to change religious beliefs and religious affiliation is a fundamental human right. As follows from Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, they can be changed either alone or collectively with others. Meanwhile, the problems that Ukrainians had faced for a long time in the implementation of this law, became more severe and obvious with the beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Orthodox believers, being indignant of the Moscow Patriarchate’s support of aggression, blatant anti-Ukrainian actions of its hierarchy, showed their desire to leave the Russian Church and join the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate.

This is not just a problem of jurisdiction, this is an issue that pertains to the depth of the human conscience.

This article ignored the fact that these “raidings” or “seizures” of church buildings were being carried out by members of other denominations (nominally to favor the “Ukraine Patriarchate” of Orthodox Christianity, over the “Moscow Patriarchate” of Orthodox Christianity; but, actually, to weaken the Russian Orthodox Church against all denominations and especially against the two Catholic denominations. It was not being carried out by co-believers of any denomination, but only against them.

On 7 June 2016 was reported that, “The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine bill #4128 is not acceptable to the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, which represents the religious community of Ukraine.” So: this maneuver was being pushed upon Ukraine’s clergies by the U.S.-installed regime; not being pushed upon that regime by the clergies.

The U.S.-installed regime thus continued its religious assault unimpeded, even despite the resistance to it from both the Ukrainian public, and the Ukrainian clergies; and, so, on the day before the bill was to be voted upon in the Rada for the first time, was headlined on 5 October 2016, “Ukrainian believers protest against the laws of religious discrimination”, and the article reported that, “thousands of people have gathered near the building of Ukrainian Parliament. The clergy have ministered the solemn prayer for peace in Ukraine.” On that same day appeared also a headline, “Despite a barrage of criticism from experts and the religious community, highly controversial Draft Law No. 4128 will still be considered in Verkhovna Rada”. The latter noted:

It has been reported earlier that this bill received a negative reaction from the representatives of World Church Councilmembers of Secretariat of All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious organizationsScientific and Expert department of Verkhovna RadaReligious Freedom Institutethe lawyers of International human rights protection Institute of Eastern Europe, and religion scientists.

Both of those news-reports came from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — its clergy, too, weren’t supporting the U.S.-imposed regime’s objective of one denomination “raiding” the churches of another.

So: the regime tried also another legal assault against the Orthodox churches. On 26 October 2016 was introduced in the Rada bill # 5309. Here is what Andrei Vlasov of the Union of Orthodox Journalists said on 14 July 2017 under the headline “Bill No. 5309: the Church is swung but not yet struck”:

The essence of the bill is reduced to two points:

  • legally bind one single religious organization in Ukraine to change its name: from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church into the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine;
  • prohibit the clergy of the UOC to provide spiritual guidance for servicemen. …

This seems most likely – endeavors to pass bills No.№ 4128 and 4511 have failed. Both ordinary believers and international organizations rebelled against them, as well as all the Local Orthodox Churches and even the Vatican. In these circumstances, the adoption of bill No. 5309 is still unlikely. But the threat of its adoption can become a bargaining chip in the political game. After all, the authorities must adopt very ambiguous laws on Donbass, on medical and pension reforms, etc.

And now the pace of illegal church-seizures has sped up. Here are a few of the recent reports (some of them autotranslated into English):

——

http://ivano-frankivsk.church.ua/2017/10/18/rozyasnennya-shhodo-sprobi-nezakonnogo-perevedennya-pravoslavnoji-gromadi-s-starij-gvizdec-u-kijivskij-patriarxat/

Clarification on the attempt to illegally transfer the Orthodox community from. Old Gvizdets in the Kyiv Patriarchate

in the ministry of the bishop. Main Events / Legal Department. Protection of Faith – by osadmin -10/18/2017

The press service of the Ivano-Frankivsk diocese reports that on October 15, 2017, in the village council building with. The old Guys of the Kolomyia district hosted a meeting of the village residents headed by the village head Dyakiv MP and with the participation of the priests of the Kyivan Patriarchate.

At the meeting of the territorial community, the villages, which were not actually parishioners, raised the question of the confessional subordination of the temple in honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Just like in the village of Ostrivets, villagers who are not parishioners of the temple have taken responsibility for changing the confessional belongings of the religious community. The rector and church faithful at the meeting were not invited, and the opinion of those present was not taken into account. Moreover, they were forced to leave the assembly room. …

——

http://www.uoj.org.ua/en/novosti/sobytiya/radicals-announce-the-date-of-orthodox-church-seizure-in-the-village-of-ostrovets

Radicals announce the date of Orthodox church seizure in the village of Ostrovets

19/10/2017 30

Author:  UOJ editorial

On October 18, the rector of the St. George the Victorious Church in the village of Ostrovets, Fr. Nikolai Bogachenko, was called to the village council to demand that the priest give the keys to the church. As reported by a UOJ source, Fr. Nikolai said that “otherwise bloodshed is possible”.

In the Gorodenka district of the Ivano-Frankivsk region, remained the only temple of the UOC not seized by schismatics – St. George’s Church in the village of Ostrovets.

Local authorities decided that there should not be a canonical church in the village. On October 14, a community meeting was held, and, allegedly, the majority demanded a transfer to the Kyiv Patriarchate.

According to the UOJ source, representatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate took their people to the polls by buses. Such a “meeting” took into account even the voices of minors.

Rector of the church Fr. Nikolai Bogachenko said that he did not recognize the legality of such a meeting. Only the church community has the right to decide the fate of the church.

The priest refused to give the keys to the church. He was threatened that on Sunday, October 22, the temple would be taken by force.

——

http://www.uoj.org.ua/en/novosti/sobytiya/a-uoc-temple-taken-over-in-ivano-frankivsk-region?sphrase_id=39111

A UOC temple taken over in Ivano-Frankivsk region

20/10/2017 98

Author:  UOJ editorial

In the village of Stary Gvozdets, Kolomyia district, there was a meeting of the territorial community at the village council. Reрresentatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate agitated the villagers to transfer the UOC rural temple to schismatics. Parishioners of the temple and members of the religious community of the UOC were not invited to the meeting. It is reported by the press-service of Ivano-Frankivsk eparchy.

The fate of the temple of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in the village of Stary Gvozdets was decided by people who attend the church only several times a year.

Supporters of the Kyiv Patriarchate took the keys from the church from the believers and already hung new locks.

Rector of the church, Protopriest Nikolai Kushnir and the Orthodox community of the village are forced to perform divine services on the street.

The Ivano-Frankovsk eparchy has already applied to law enforcement agencies, government officials and international organizations with a request to protect the rights of the UOC community in the village of Stary Gvozdets.

——

http://www.uoj.org.ua/en/publikatsii/tochka-zrenija/five-months-of-confrontation-why-uniates-take-over-a-temple-in-kolomyia

Five months of confrontation: why Uniates take over a temple in Kolomyia

25/10/2017 41

Author:  Kirill Alexandrov

A stand-off around the temple of the Annunciation of the Holy Virgin in Kolomyia has continued for nearly five months now. With five months gone there are even more questions, the main of which being if the Uniate raiders actually need so badly a small church in the inner area, or their real goal is to sparkle an international conflict?

Question one: why do Greek-Catholics need the Annunciation Church?

Absolutely definitely, they need it not for praying and spiritual guidance of people. Not at all. The purpose was directly pointed to by Uniate priest Nikolay Medinsky on his Facebook page: “Say no to the ROTTEN STUFF of the Russian world in my DECORATED Kolomyia.”

The fight against the “Russian world” in Ukraine now justifies anything: pogroms of banks and TV channels, attacks on business structures, absurd bills. So why not use this fight as an excuse for church raiding as well? But what is quite clear: motives for the illegal seizure of temples are not religious, but exclusively political.

Question two: how come it is Uniates?

Why did Greek Catholics suddenly take over the Orthodox temple? For all post-Maidan years, church raiding has been associated namely with the UOC-KP. On its account there are more than 40 captured temples. UGCC had never seized temples before that and constantly stressed it at an official level. What an exceptionally peace-loving confession! And then, out of the blue – Kolomiya! In fact, the Uniates have clung to this temple like grim death. Why did it happen? …

——

http://www.uoj.org.ua/en/novosti/sobytiya/ugcc-chaplain-targets-another-uoc-temple-in-kolomyia

UGCC chaplain targets another UOC temple in Kolomyia

31/10/2017 23

Author:  UOJ editorial

Uniate chaplain Nikolai Medinsky, organizer of the raider attack of the Annunciation temple, feels outraged by another UOC temple in Kolomyia. This time Greek-Catholics are not happy about the fact the church is located too close to the aerodrome. This is written by Medinsky on his Facebook page.

“Within 500 meters from the strategic site, another wasp nest of the Moscow Church is located (actually a division of the FSB),” writes Medinsky.

The chaplain appeals to the patriots to somehow react to this “outrageous fact.”

Raiding proponents, who committed an illegal seizure of the Annunciation temple of the UOC, threatened the believers ”to cut their throats”.

——

http://uoj.org.ua/en/novosti/sobytiya/police-help-schismatics-take-over-the-uoc-temple-in-vlg-stary-gvozdets-video

Police help schismatics take over the UOC temple in vlg. Stary Gvozdets (VIDEO)

07/11/2017 12

Author:  UOJ editorial

On November 4 there was a forced seizure of the Holy Annunciation temple in Stary Gvozdets village and, despite the court decision, the police took the side of raiders from the Kyiv Patriarchate, reports the press-service of Ivano-Frankovsk eparchy of the UOC.

At 9 o’clock in the morning supporters of the Kyiv Patriarchate opened the church and held their divine service there. About 30 policemen pushed aside the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and did not allow them to enter the worship building. It is noted that on the eve of November 3, the Kolomyia District Court issued a decision that satisfied the complaint of the religious community of Stary Gvozdets village about the inaction of the Kolomyia police department and ordered the law enforcers to bring information to the Single Register of Pre-trial Investigations concerning the events that occurred in Stary Gvozdets in October 2017.

Ostap Bileychuk, head of the Kolomyia department of the police of the State Unitary Enterprise in Ivano-Frankivsk region, personally banned Orthodox believers from entering the church, which was transferred to them for use in 1991, and noted that if believers are dissatisfied with something, they can go to court. The UOC eparchy specifies that namely this official in June facilitated raiding of the Holy Annunciation church of the UOC of Kolomyia by the so called “chaplains” from the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. Bileychuk was also present during the bashing of the Orthodox priest in the court session hall n 29 June 2017, after the court hearing on the inaction of law enforcement and illegal seizure of the temple in Kolomyia. …

——

http://forpost.lviv.ua/replika/7864-suchasna-stratehiia-polshchi-mozhe-pryvesty-do-viiny-proshu-hospoda-pro-prosvichennia-ta-%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B7%D1%83%D0%BC

Modern Polish strategy can lead to war. I ask the Lord for enlightenment and intelligence

  1. Justin Boyko, Replica, Monday, November 06, 2017, 23:03

The modern strategy of Poland – the return of the eastern christs [churches]? If so, then this is the road to the war between Ukraine and Poland!

If I had someone else 10 or 15 years ago saying that Poland would again begin to disrespect and [be] hostile to Ukrainians, I would never believe it. Now the current Polish political elite, which is in power, frankly propagandizes hatred for Ukraine and Ukrainians by the example of Sinkevich “Fire and sword”. The method that justifies everything is “ku pokrzepieniu serc”.

Obviously, the goal of the ruling political elite is to stay in power. But they woke a long [time] ago buried hatred between Ukrainians and Poles, which at one time grew into the notorious events before the Second World War, which I do not want to mention. In the light of everything, it seems that Churchill was right when he said that “the main lesson of history is that mankind does not learn anything.” It is a pity to admit, but it is a reality in which we live.

Why am I writing this? Because I am terribly sorry about this, because I spent 6 beautiful years in Poland, learned wonderful people, got a lot of friends. And now, the impression is that everything is falling, because the mood in Poland between Ukrainians and Poles really changes to the worst when to take propaganda. Local leaders and some intellectuals are trying to resist this, but unsuccessfully.

It’s scary that these moods are supported by a large part of the Catholic clergy in Poland. I ask the Lord for enlightenment and intelligence, and I myself hope that common sense and sense of duty will rise to the future generations.

 

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Erdogan accepts Syria DMZ off-ramp, in deal with Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 111.

Alex Christoforou

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The deal struck in Sochi averts a large scale Syria’s offensive on Idlib, as Turkey gives it guarantee to monitor what will effectively become a demilitarized zone.

According to the agreement, troops from Russia and Turkey will enforce a new demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Idlib, from which ISIS/Al Qaeda rebels will be required to withdraw by the middle of next month.

Speaking alongside Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the 15 to 20 km-wide zone would be established by October 15th. The DMZ would require a complete “withdrawal of all radical fighters” from Idlib, including the rebranded Al-Qaeda affiliated Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

Putin also noted that heavy weapons would be withdrawn from the DMZ by all opposition forces by October 10th, which is a move supported by the Syrian government.

The Russian President described the agreement as a “serious result” further saying that “Russia and Turkey have confirmed their determination to counter terrorism in Syria in all its forms”.

Erdogan said both his country and Russia would carry out coordinated patrols in the demilitarized zone:

“We decided on the establishment of a region that is cleaned of weapons between the areas which are under the control of the opposition and the regime.”

“In return, we will ensure that radical groups, which we will designate together with Russia, won’t be active in the relevant area.”

According to Al Jazeera Iran’s foreign minister has hailed an agreement between Turkey and Russia to avert an assault on the Syrian rebel-held Idlib province, as an example of “responsible diplomacy”.

An agreement to halt plans for an offensive on the last major rebel-held stronghold was announced in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday after a meeting between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On his Twitter account, Zarif wrote: “Intensive responsible diplomacy over the last few weeks-pursued in my visits to Ankara & Damascus, followed by the Iran-Russia-Turkey Summit in Tehran and the meeting (in) Sochi-is succeeding to avert war in #Idlib with a firm commitment to fight extremist terror. Diplomacy works.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the agreement reached in Sochi, which for now avoids full scale conflict in Idlib, Syria. Who won, who lost, and which interests were met with the DMZ agreement?

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Via Xinhuanet

An anticipated Syrian military offensive on the northwestern province of Idlib is on hold after Turkey and Russia reached a deal following Ankara’s guarantee on behalf of the rebel groups, experts said.

The deal was reached Monday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, as the two sides agreed to create a demilitarized buffer zone in Idlib, the last rebel stronghold.

This agreement brings Turkey to a position of giving a guarantee on behalf of the rebel groups, the experts said.

“Moscow is convinced that it would not be able to handle the burden of a humanitarian tragedy in case of a military offensive in Idlib,” said Metin Gurcan, a Turkish security analyst with the Istanbul Policy Center of Sabanci University.

Russia has also secured its airbases in northern Syria, including its airbase in Hmeymim as a guarantee by Turkey under the Sochi agreement, he said.

Gurcan recalled a trilateral summit of Turkey, Iran and Russia held in Iranian capital Tehran early September, which ended without agreement as Erdogan’s call for a ceasefire in Idlib was rejected by Moscow and Tehran.

Erdogan’s proposal for a ceasefire by all parties in Idlib was rejected by Putin on the grounds that those groups were not represented at the table there, he said.

“Now Turkey has given a guarantee on behalf of radical groups which Putin earlier said that ceasefire cannot be discussed because they were not represented at Tehran meeting,” Gurcan said.

Now everyone is curious how Turkey has given guarantee to Moscow and how will those radical groups accept a proposal for demilitarization by surrendering heavy weapons and withdrawing from the demilitarized zone, Gurcan noted.

“Ankara has given this promise relying on its military power on the ground and on its capacity to convince armed opposition groups,” he said.

Turkish army has reinforced its presence in Idlib in the past few months, and Turkey has 12 military outposts with 1,200-1,300 troops on the border line of the province separating the rebel stronghold from the pro-Iran militia-controlled South of Aleppo and the government-controlled southeast, Gurcan said.

Rebel groups, including the Free Syrian Army, in the region are gathered with Turkish backing under the banner of the “National Front for Liberation.”

Putin and Erdogan agreed on Monday in Sochi to create a 15-20 km buffer zone along the line of contact between rebels and regime troops by Oct. 15.

The agreement entails the “withdrawal of all radical fighters” from Idlib as well as “heavy weaponry from this zone,” Putin said at the joint press conference after signing the deal with Erdogan.

By the end of the year, transportation routes between the key port of Latakia and Aleppo as well as the city of Hama must be restored, Putin added.

The Russian leader also said all heavy weapons had to be withdrawn from the zone by Oct. 10, according to Erdogan’s proposal.

Ankara has been warning against any military offensive by Russia-backed Syrian regime forces in Idlib, warning that it would lead to a humanitarian crisis and refugee influx to the Turkish border.

Turkey and Russia, along with Iran, are guarantors of the Astana deal which declared ceasefire in four de-escalation zones in Syria, including Idlib.

Turkey will deploy more troops in Idlib province after the Sochi deal, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

“We will need extra troop reinforcements. Turkey and Russia will patrol on the border areas. Civilians and moderate (opposition) will stay here,” Cavusoglu said.

Another outcome of the Sochi deal is that Turkey and Russia prevented a possible attack by the United States in Idlib, Naim Baburoglu from Aydin University said.

He recalled that the U.S. was giving signals that it wanted to intervene in the situation in Idlib, if Syrian government troops launch an assault on the rebel stronghold.

Washington recently threatened to take swift and decisive actions against any use of chemical weapons in Idlib.

“This agreement showed that the U.S. has room for maneuver only in the east of Euphrates and Manbij region,” Baburoglu said.

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Pat Buchanan: “The Late Hit” On Judge Kavanaugh

Wha exactly is professor Ford’s case against Judge Kavanaugh?

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


Upon the memory and truthfulness of Christine Blasey Ford hangs the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, his reputation and possibly his career on the nation’s second-highest court.

And much more. If Kavanaugh is voted down or forced to withdraw, the Republican Party and conservative movement could lose their last best hope for recapturing the high court for constitutionalism.

No new nominee could be vetted and approved in six weeks. And the November election could bring in a Democratic Senate, an insuperable obstacle to the elevation of a new strict constructionist like Kavanaugh.

The stakes are thus historic and huge.

And what is professor Ford’s case against Judge Kavanaugh?

When she was 15 in the summer of ’82, she went to a beer party with four boys in Montgomery County, Maryland, in a home where the parents were away.

She says she was dragged into a bedroom by Brett Kavanaugh, a 17-year-old at Georgetown Prep, who jumped her, groped her, tried to tear off her clothes and cupped her mouth with his hand to stop her screams.

Only when Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, laughing “maniacally,” piled on and they all tumbled off the bed, did she escape and lock herself in a bathroom as the “stumbling drunks” went downstairs. She fled the house and told no one of the alleged rape attempt.

Not until 30 years later in 2012 did Ford, now a clinical psychologist in California, relate, in a couples therapy session with her husband, what happened. She says she named Kavanaugh as her assailant, but the therapist’s notes of the session make no mention of Kavanaugh.

During the assault, says Ford, she was traumatized. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me.”

Here the story grows vague. She does not remember who drove her to the party. She does not say how much she drank. She does not remember whose house it was. She does not recall who, if anyone, drove her home. She does not recall what day it was.

She did not tell her parents, Ford says, as she did not want them to know she had been drinking. She did not tell any friend or family member of this traumatic event that has so adversely affected her life.

Said Kavanaugh in response, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

Mark Judge says it never happened.

Given the seriousness of the charges, Ford must be heard out. But she also needs to be cross-examined and have her story and character probed as Kavanaugh’s has been by FBI investigators as an attorney for the Ken Starr impeachment investigation of Bill Clinton, a White House aide to George Bush, a U.S. appellate judge and a Supreme Court nominee.

During the many investigations of Kavanaugh’s background, nothing was unearthed to suggest something like this was in character.

Some 65 women who grew up in the Chevy Chase and Bethesda area and knew Kavanaugh in his high school days have come out and spoken highly of his treatment of girls and women.

Moreover, the way in which all of this arose, at five minutes to midnight in the long confirmation process, suggests that this is political hardball, if not dirt ball.

When Ford, a Democrat, sent a letter detailing her accusations against Kavanaugh to her California congresswoman, Anna Eshoo, Ford insisted that her name not be revealed as the accuser.

She seemingly sought to damage or destroy the judge’s career behind a cloak of anonymity. Eshoo sent the letter on to Sen. Diane Feinstein, who held it for two months.

Excising Ford’s name, Feinstein then sent it to the FBI, who sent it to the White House, who sent it on to the Senate to be included in the background material on the judge.

Thus, Ford’s explosive charge, along with her name, did not surface until this weekend.

What is being done here stinks. It is a transparently late hit, a kill shot to assassinate a nominee who, before the weekend, was all but certain to be confirmed and whose elevation to the Supreme Court is a result of victories in free elections by President Trump and the Republican Party.

Palpable here is the desperation of the left to derail Kavanaugh, lest his elevation to the high court imperil their agenda and the social revolution that the Warren Court and its progeny have been able to impose upon the nation.

If Kavanaugh is elevated, the judicial dictatorship of decades past, going back to the salad days of Earl Warren, William Brennan, Hugo Black and “Wild Bill” Douglas, will have reached its end. A new era will have begun.

That is what is at stake.

The Republican Senate should continue with its calendar to confirm Kavanaugh before Oct. 1, while giving Ford some way to be heard, and then Kavanaugh the right to refute. Then let the senators decide.

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Russian Il-20 downed by Syrian missile. Russia blames Israel. Israel blames Syria (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 110.

Alex Christoforou

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The unthinkable has happened in Syria.

The world now teeters on the brink of all out war in Syria as a Russian Il-20 was downed by Syrian missile after Israeli F-16s used it as cover during attack, according to statements made by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

President Vladimir Putin, answering a reporter’s question during a press conference with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, said the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane looks like “a chain of tragic circumstances.” 

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the tripwire triggered that has the potential to tip the fragile balance in Syria towards conflict between Russia, Iran and Israel.

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The Russian military says an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its Il-20 plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile. Moscow reserves the right to respond accordingly.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said…

“Israel did not warn the command of the Russian troops in Syria about the planned operation. We received a notification via a hotline less than a minute before the strike, which did not allow the Russian aircraft to be directed to a safe zone.”

The statement by the Russian Defense Ministry said that four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria’s Latakia after approaching from the Mediterranean.

The Israeli warplanes approached at a low altitude and “created a dangerous situation for other aircraft and vessels in the region.”

The statement further said that 15 Russian military service members have died as a result…

“The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces. As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile.”

According to reports from RT, the Russian military said that the French Navy’s frigate ‘Auvergne,’ as well as a Russian Il-20 plane were in the area during the Israeli operation.

Map of the incident on September 17 in Syria provided by the Russian defense ministry.

The Russian ministry said the Israelis must have known that the Russian plane was present in the area, but this did not stop them from executing “the provocation.” Israel also failed to warn Russia about the planned operation in advance. The warning came just a minute before the attack started, which “did not leave time to move the Russian plane to a safe area,”the statement said.

The statement gives a larger death toll than earlier reports by the Russian military, which said there were 14 crew members on board the missing Il-20. It said a search and rescue operation for the shot-down plane is underway.

A later update said debris from the downed plane was found some 27km off the Latakia coast. The search party collected some body parts, personal possessions of the crew, and fragments of the plane.

Meanwhile Israel has come out to blame the Syrian government for the downing of the military plane, according to an IDF statement.

Israel said that it “expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members” of the Russian plane. However, it stated that the government of Bashar Assad “whose military shot down the Russian plane,” is “fully responsible” for the incident.

Israel further blamed Iran and Hezbollah for the incident.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) explained that its jets were targeting a Syrian facility “from which systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons were about to be transferred on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Israel claimed that the weapons were “meant to attack Israel.”

Via RT

The IDF assumed that the Syrian anti-air batteries “fired indiscriminately” and didn’t “bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air.” The Israelis said that when the Syrian military launched the missiles which hit the Russian plane, its own jets were already within Israeli airspace. “During the strike against the target in Latakia, the Russian plane that was then hit was not within the area of the operation.”

According to the Israeli military, both IDF and Russia have “a deconfliction system,” which was agreed upon by the leadership of both states, and “has proven itself many times over recent years.” The system was in use when the incident happened, the IDF stated. The IDF promised to share “all the relevant information” with Russia “to review the incident and to confirm the facts in this inquiry.”

The military presented a four-point initial inquiry into events in Latakia. It insisted that “extensive and inaccurate” Syrian anti-aircraft fire caused the Russian jet “to be hit and downed.”

The Russian Il-20 aircraft, with 15 crew on board, went off radar during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria’s Latakia province late Monday. Later on Tuesday the Russian Defense Ministry said that an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile.

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