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Neocons have declared war on Donald Trump

After several rather lame false starts, the Neocons have now taken a step which can only be called a declaration of war against Donald Trump.

The Saker

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Published with the permission of the author. First appeared on The Saker

It all began with CNN published an article entitled “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him” which claimed that:

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN. The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible (…) The two-page synopsis also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials.

BuzzFeed then published the full document. Here it is in full.

When I first read the document my intention was to debunk it sentence by sentence.  However, I don’t have the time for that and, frankly, there is no need for it.  I will just provide you here with enough simple straightforward evidence that this is a fake.  Here are just a few elements of proof:

  1. The document has no letterhead, no identification, no date, no nothing.  For many good technical and even legal reasons, sensitive intelligence documents are created with plenty of tracking and identification information.  For example, such a document would typically have a reference to the unit which produced it or an number-letter combination indicating the reliability of the source and of the information it contains.
  2. The classification CONFIDENTIAL/SENSITIVE SOURCE is a joke. If this was a true document its level of classification would be much, much higher than “confidential” and since most intelligence documents come from sensitive sources there is no need to specify that.
  3. The allegation that “The dossier is controlled by Kremlin spokesman, PESKOV, directly on PUTIN’S orders” is beyond laughable. Clearly the author of this fake has no idea how the Russian intelligence and security services work (hint: the Presidential spokesman has no involvement in that whatsoever.)
  4. On page 2 there is this other hilarious sentence “exploit TRUMP’s personal obsession and sexual perversion in order to obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him.”  Nobody in a real intelligence document would bother to clarify what the word “kompromat” means since both in Russian and in English it is obviously the combination of the words “compromising” and “materials”.  Any western intelligence officer, even a very junior one, would know that word, if only because of the many Cold War era espionage books written about the KGB entrapment techniques.
  5. The document speaks of “source A”, “source B” and further down the alphabet.  Now ask yourself a simple question: what happens after “source Z” is used?  Can any intelligence agency work with a potential pool of sources limited to 26? Obviously, this is not how intelligence agencies classify their sources.

I will stop here and submit that there is ample evidence that this is a crude fake produced by amateurs who have no idea of what they are talking about. This does not make this document any less dangerous, however.

First, and this is the really crucial part, there is more than enough here to impeach Trump on numerous grounds both political and legal.  Let me repeat again – this is an attempt at removing Donald Trump from the White House. This is a political coup d’etat.

Second, this documents smears everybody involved: Trump himself, of course, but also the evil Russians and their ugly Machiavellian techniques.  Trump is thereby “confirmed” as a sexual pervert who likes to hire prostitutes to urinate on him. As for the Russians, they are basically accused of trying to recruit the President of the United States as an agent of their security services.  That would make Trump a traitor, by the way.

Third, within one short week we went from allegations of “Russian hacking” to “having a traitor sitting in the White House”. We can only expect a further Tsunami of such allegations to continue and get worse and worse every day.

It is interesting that BuzzFeed has already preempted the accusation of this being a smear and demonization campaign against Trump by writing that “Now BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.” as if most Americans had the expertise to immediately detect that this document is a crude forgery!

Fourth, unless all the officials who briefed Trump come out and deny that this fake was part of their briefing with Trump, it will appear that this document has the official imprimatur of the senior US intelligence officials and that would give them a legal, probatory, authority.  This de-facto means that the “experts” have evaluated that document and have certified it as “credible” even before any legal proceedings in court or, worse, in Congress.

I sure hope that Trump had the foresight to audio and video record his meeting with the intelligence chiefs and that he is now able to threaten them with legal action if they now act in a way contradicting their behavior before him.

Fifth, the fact that CNN got involved in all this is a critical factor.  Some of us, including yours truly, were shocked and disgusted when the WaPo posted a list of 200 websites denounced as “fake news” and “Russian propaganda”, but what CNN did by posting this article is infinitely worse: it is a direct smear and political attack on the President Elect on a worldwide level (the BBC and others are already posting the same crap). This again confirms that the gloves are off and that the Ziomedia is in full state of war against Donald Trump.

All of the above further confirms to me what I have been saying over the past weeks: if Trump ever makes it into the White House (I write ‘if’ because I think that the Neocons are perfectly capable of assassinating him), his first priority should be to ruthlessly crack down as hard as he legally can against those in the US “deep state” (which very much includes the media) who have now declared war on him.  I am sorry to say that, but it will be either him or them – one of the parties here will be crushed.

Sidebar: to those who wonder what I mean by “crackdown” I will summarize here what I wrote elsewhere: the best way to do that is to nominate a hyper-loyal and determined FBI director and instruct him to go after all the enemies of Trump by investigating them on charge of corruption, abuse of power, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and all the other types of behavior which have gone on forever in Congress, the intelligence community, the banking world and the media.

Deal with the Neocons like Putin did with the Russian oligarchs or how the USA dealt with Al Capone – get them on tax evasion.  There is no need to open Gulags or shoot people when you can get them all on what is their normal daily behavior.

I sincerely hope that I am wrong, and I admit that I might be, but I don’t have the gut feeling that Trump has what it takes to hit hard enough at those who are using any and every ugly method imaginable to prevent him from ever making it into the White House or to have him impeached if he tries to deliver on his campaign promises. I cannot blame him for that either: the enemy has infiltrated all the level of power in the US polity and there are strong signs that they are even represented in Trump’s immediate entourage.

Putin could do what he did because he was an iron-willed and highly trained intelligence officer.  Trump is just a businessman whose best “training” to deal with such people would probably be his exposure to the mob in New York.  Will that be enough to allow him to prevail against the Neocons?  I doubt it, but I sure hope so.

As I predicted it before the election, the USA are about to enter the worst crisis in their history.  We are entering extraordinarily dangerous times.  If the danger of a thermonuclear war between Russia and the USA had dramatically receded with the election of Trump, the Neocon total war on Trump put the United States at very grave risk, including civil war (should the Neocon controlled Congress impeach Trump I believe that uprisings will spontaneously happen, especially in the South, and especially in Florida and Texas).

At the risk of sounding over the top, I will say that what is happening now is putting the very existence of the United States in danger almost regardless of what Trump will personally do.  Whatever we may think of Trump as a person and about his potential as a President, what is certain is that millions of American patriots have voted for him to “drain the swamp”, give the boot to the Washington-based plutocracy and restore what they see as fundamental American values.

If the Neocons now manage to stage a coup d’etat against Trump, I predict that these millions of American will turn to violence to protect what they see as their way of life, their values and their country. In spite of the image which Hollywood likes to give of them, most Americans are peaceful and non-violent people, but if they are pushed too far they will not hesitate and grab their guns to defend themselves, especially if they lose all hopes in their democracy.

And I am not talking only about gun-toting hillbillies here, I am talking about the local, state and county authorities, who often care much more about what their local constituents think and say than what the politicians are up to in DC.

If a coup is staged against Trump and some wannabe President à la Hillary or McCain gives the order to the National Guard or even the US Army to put down a local insurrection, we could see what we saw in Russia in 1991: a categorical refusal of the security services to shoot at their own people.

That is the biggest and ultimate danger for the Neocons: the risk that if they give the order to crack down on the population the police, security and military services might simply refuse to take action.  If that could happen in the “KGB-controlled country” (to use a Cold War cliché) this can also happen in the USA.

I sure hope that I am wrong and that this latest attack against Trump is the Neocon’s last “hurray” before they finally give up and leave.  I hope that all of the above is my paranoia speaking.  But, as they say, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that they are not after you”.

So please tell me I am wrong!

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Photos of new Iskander base near Ukrainian border creates media hype

But research into the photos and cross-checking of news reports reveals only the standard anti-Russian narrative that has gone on for years.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News obtained satellite photos that claim that Russia has recently installed new Iskander missile batteries, one of them “near” to the Ukrainian border. However, what the Fox article does not say is left for the reader to discover: that in regards to Ukraine, these missiles are probably not that significant, unless the missiles are much longer range than reported:

The intelligence report provided to Fox by Imagesat International showed the new deployment in Krasnodar, 270 miles from the Ukrainian border. In the images is visible what appears to be an Iskander compound, with a few bunkers and another compound of hangars. There is a second new installation that was discovered by satellite photos, but this one is much farther to the east, in the region relatively near to Ulan-Ude, a city relatively close to the Mongolian border.

Both Ukraine and Mongolia are nations that have good relations with the West, but Mongolia has good relations with both its immediate neighbors, Russia and China, and in fact participated with both countries in the massive Vostok-2018 military war-games earlier this year.

Fox News provided these photos of the Iskander emplacement near Krasnodar:

Imagesat International

Fox annotated this photo in this way:

Near the launcher, there is a transloader vehicle which enables quick reloading of the missiles into the launcher. One of the bunker’s door is open, and another reloading vehicle is seen exiting from it.

[Fox:] The Iskander ballistic missile has a range up to 310 miles, and can carry both unconventional as well as nuclear warheads, putting most of America’s NATO allies at risk. The second deployment is near the border with Mongolia, in Ulan-Ude in Sothern Russia, where there are four launchers and another reloading vehicle.

[Fox:] Earlier this week, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said authorities of the former Soviet republic are being “controlled” by the West, warning it stands to lose its independence and identity as a consequence. “The continuation of such policy by the Kiev authorities can contribute to the loss of Ukraine’s statehood,” Mr Patrushev told Rossiyskaya Gazeta, according to Russian news agency TASS.

This situation was placed by Fox in context with the Kerch Strait incident, in which three Ukrainian vessels and twenty-four crew and soldiers were fired upon by Russian coast guard ships as they manuevered in the Kerch Strait without permission from Russian authorities based in Crimea. There are many indications that this incident was a deliberate attempt on the part of Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko, to create a sensational incident, possibly to bolster his flagging re-election campaign. After the incident, the President blustered and set ten provinces in Ukraine under martial law for 30 days, insisting to the world, and especially to the United States, that Russia was “preparing to invade” his country.

Russia expressed no such sentiment in any way, but they are holding the soldiers until the end of January. However, on January 17th, a Moscow court extended the detention of eight of these captured Ukrainian sailors despite protests from Kyiv and Washington.

In addition to the tensions in Ukraine, the other significant point of disagreement between the Russian Federation and the US is the US’ plan to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Russia sees this treaty as extremely important, but the US point of view expressed by John Bolton, National Security Adviser, is that the treaty is useless because it does not include any other parties that have intermediate range nukes or the capability for them, such as Iran, North Korea, and China. This is an unsolved problem, and it is possible that the moves of the Iskander batteries is a subtle warning from the Russians that they really would rather the US stay in the treaty.

Discussions on this matter at public levels between the Russian government and the US have been very difficult because of the fierce anti-Russia and anti-Trump campaigns in the media and political establishments of the United States. President Putin and President Trump have both expressed the desire to meet, but complications like the Kerch Strait Incident conveniently arise, and have repeatedly disrupted the attempts for these two leaders to meet.

Where Fox News appears to get it wrong shows in a few places:

First, the known range for Iskander missiles maxes at about 310 miles. The placement of the battery near Krasnodar is 270 miles from the eastern Ukrainian border, but the eastern part of Ukraine is Russian-friendly and two provinces, Donetsk and Lugansk, are breakaway provinces acting as independent republics. The battery appears to be no threat to Kyiv or to that part of Ukraine which is aligned with the West. Although the missiles could reach into US ally Georgia, Krasnodar is 376 miles from Tbilisi, and so again it seems that there is no significant target for these missiles. (This is assuming the location given is accurate.)

Second, the location shown in the photo is (44,47,29.440N at 39,13,04.754E). The date on the “Krasnodar” photo is January 17, 2019. However, a photo of the region taken July 24, 2018 reveals a different layout. It takes a moment or two to study this, but there is not much of an exact match here:

Third, Fox News reported of “further Russian troops deployment and S-400 Surface to air missile days after the escalation started, hinting Russia might have orchestrated the naval incident.”

It may be true that Russia deployed weapons to this base area in Crimea, but this is now Russian territory. S-400s can be used offensively, but their primary purpose is defensive. Troops on the Crimean Peninsula, especially at this location far to the north of the area, are not in a position strategically to invade Kherson Oblast (a pushback would probably corner such forces on the Crimean peninsula with nowhere to go except the Black Sea). However, this does look like a possible defense installation should Ukraine’s forces try to invade or bomb Crimea.

Fox has this wrong, but it is no great surprise, because the American stance about Ukraine and Russia is similar – Russia can do no right, and Ukraine can do no wrong. Fox News is not monolithic on this point of view, of course, with anchors and journalists such as Tucker Carlson, who seem willing to acknowledge the US propaganda about the region. However, there are a lot of hawks as well. While photos in the articles about the S-400s and the Russian troops are accurately located, it does appear that the one about Iskanders is not, and that the folks behind this original article are guessing that the photos will not be questioned. After all, no one in the US knows where anything is in Russia and Ukraine, anyway, right?

That there is an issue here is likely. But is it appears that there is strong evidence that it is opposite what Fox reported here, it leaves much to be questioned.

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US Christians move to protect Christians in the Middle East

It is very good to stand up for Christians in places where they are persecuted in the world. We ought to start with the US and Europe.

Seraphim Hanisch

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ISIS represents the single most prominent national or pseudo national entity that makes the persecution of Christians a central part of its activity. The would-be Islamic Caliphate is widely understood to be on its last legs, having been destroyed or driven out of most of the Syrian territory and Iraq, which it had gained in surprisingly swift conquests during the administration of US President Barack Obama. However, ISIS is not the only persecutor of followers of Jesus Christ. In fact, Christianity is by far the most widely persecuted religion on earth, with the last 100 years seeing more martyrdoms than in the entire history of Christianity before.

In this video, released by Fox Entertainment, Dede Laugesen discusses the activity of Christians in the US moving to help those abroad. The video is well worth watching, but with additional considerations.

Persecution of Christians has many forces, and although this piece largely concerns itself with causing the physical death of Christian believers, it also makes a point of “exclusion from civil society, loss of property, and many other things.”

This may or may not be code for the other type of persecution that has taken place against Christians, that being in what we might call “First World” countries, like the United States itself, England and others in Europe.

During President Obama’s terms, for example, Christians were actively persecuted through the Affordable Care Act’s provisions of (at first) trying to get one dollar of  everyone’s health insurance policy premiums to go towards providing abortifacients or contraceptives to anyone who needed them. This was a violation of American First Amendment rights (Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…) and the Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops in the US spoke out against it strongly. The answer from the Administration was basically a shell game – insurance companies were thus mandated to provide such services for no charge at all.

Of course, the insurance companies are not about to lose money, so the original idea of a dollar per premium payment essentially survived; it was just slightly more hidden.

In 2015 and 2016, American Christians began to notice in very widespread fashion that they and those believing in a traditional understanding of family life and marriage, were now considered “hateful, bigoted, homophobic” and other pejorative labels. Some were driven out of business, like the cake backers in Oregon and Colorado. Homosexuality, a lifestyle that has been condemned by all Abrahamic faith traditions since recorded history began, was made legal by Supreme Court fiat in the United States. Now parents have to deal with the reality of lesbian or gay hero characters being portrayed by the likes of Marvel and DC productions on TV at home, and some public schools are insistent upon teaching children about “my two dads” or “my two moms” and so forth.

As Tucker Carlson noted in his own video presentation about two weeks ago, the attack against traditional family values for the sake of economic gain has caused unbelievable destruction in American society. The legalization of cannabis has accelerated this.

With all this is probably the most powerful attack yet devised against Christian believers. That attack says something like this:

Christianity? Sure, it’s okay if you want to be Christian. We do not mind. But keep your faith in Church. Be nice to the rest of us who do not believe like you do. Your faith is yours to keep but it offends us. Jesus said to love everyone, but when you talk about your beliefs (that we disagree with) you are being a bad Christian because you are being hateful to people who are different than you.

Many Christians have silently buckled to this argument. And why?

It is in our nature as Christians to strive for compassion and kindness to others. In America, a large part of our church upbringing talked about being nice to others whether they deserved it or not.

But being “nice” is not the same as being honest. There are still a lot of great parents that know that being too nice to their children will kill them. Being honest, strong, disciplined… these are also measures of what Christian love is.

Christian love is rooted in reality. The reality of God, of who we are, our ability to do either good or evil to ourselves and those around us, and far more than being nice to others, facing the Lord at the last moment in life or at the Last Judgement. To survive and make it through that session means that we have to make decisions that may not look nice. They may look harsh, unkind, or hateful. But every sane adult probably remembers times his or her parents put their foot down and did not let them do something. At the time it seemed wrong. But later it proved lifesaving.

We are under an attack as severe as ISIS’ attacks on Christians in those other parts of the world. If the seculars of our culture can render our faith as irrelevant, then they have won, and we all suffer.

 

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The Pences: defenders of Christian values in the White House

Article about Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen views Christian life as weird, showing nature of Christian persecution in the US.

Seraphim Hanisch

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A companion article noted that Christian believers in the US are seeking to help stand for those Christians in far off lands who are being martyred and persecuted for their faith at the hands of ISIS and other cruel religious and secular forces. But we also noted that this problem is extremely fierce in the Western “Christian” world, but the attacks try to bring Christian life to irrelevance and “shame it out of existence.”

An example of this in action came from Yahoo.com, carrying a news piece from AFP. Here is that piece; we have added emphases to focus on our point:

On page 11 of an application to work at a private Christian school in Virginia, teachers are bluntly asked to pledge to “maintain a lifestyle based on biblical standards of moral conduct.” It goes on to say banned conduct includes, but is not limited, to: “heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g. premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity” or “any other violation of the unique roles of male and female.”

Students at the Immanuel Christian School — who range in age from five to 14 — are also banned from engaging in “homosexual or bi-sexual activity,” according to an agreement parents must sign before enrollment. Vice President Mike Pence’s wife Karen is once again teaching art at the school in Washington’s suburbs — sparking anger from gay rights advocates who say it sends the wrong message from the inner circles of US power. “We’ll let the critics roll off our backs,” Pence said in an interview with Catholic television network EWTN. But he added: “The criticism of Christian education in America should stop.”

Of course, the Pence family’s brand of religious conservatism is exactly why Donald Trump chose him as a running mate in July 2016.

– Pro-prayer, anti-abortion –

At that time, Pence was the governor of Indiana and a former congressman with a low national profile. He had a few crowning achievements to boast of — a state anti-abortion law and a “religious freedom law” that said individuals and companies wishing not to serve gay and lesbian customers could cite a “substantial burden” on their religious beliefs as a reason.

An amendment was eventually passed to provide protections for LGBT citizens.

The anti-abortion law added limits to access, banning those motivated by the fetus’s race, gender or disability. But it was eventually blocked in the courts. Nevertheless, the two initiatives had burnished Pence’s reputation as a champion of the religious right. Since taking office as vice president, the 59-year-old Pence — who seems to make it his business not to make waves — regularly appears alongside the 45th president of the United States.

In meetings, he often takes a back seat, his lips sealed and his head nodding in approval. When he speaks in public, he never misses a chance to voice his admiration for the man who brought him back to Washington.

On the face of it, they could not be more different — Trump is brash, twice divorced, vocal about his sexual conquests and doesn’t seem to have a tight grasp on biblical passages. Pence meanwhile said last year: “I do try and start every day reading the Bible. My wife and I try to have a prayer together before I leave the house every morning.” On Thursday, the vice president was set to host a roundtable for pro-abortion rights activists on the eve of the March for Life, a major annual anti-abortion rally in Washington. Pence was the first vice president to speak at the march in 2017.

“We will not rest, until we restore a culture of life in America for ourselves and our posterity,” Pence told the crowd.

– The fight continues –

Mike and Karen Pence met at church — an evangelical Protestant congregation. One in four Americans associates with the movement. Today, they are often seen holding hands when they are together in public. Pence often begins his tweets by saying, “Karen and I are praying for…”

They are reportedly inseparable — a fact that sometimes sparks mockery. In 2002, Mike Pence, then a lawmaker, infamously told The Hill that he never ate alone with a woman other than Karen, and that he would not accept an invitation to an event where alcohol was being served if she were not there. “If there’s alcohol being served and people are being loose, I want to have the best-looking brunette in the room standing next to me,” Pence told the Washington paper.

While he has often joked about his traditional views of coupledom, he has never denied them. Karen Pence, 62, shares her husband’s conservative beliefs. In 1991, she wrote to The Indianapolis Star newspaper to complain about an article that, she claimed, encouraged children to think they were gay or lesbian, according to a copy of the letter released by The Washington Post. Since that time, gay marriage has become the law of the land — legal across the country. But there is no explicit federal ban on discriminating against someone for their sexual orientation, which allows employers like the Immanual Christian School to maintain its rules against “sexual immorality.”

For the Pences, as for other evangelicals, the battle continues.

The thing that is stunning about this news piece is that it casts what are traditionally Christian values and a traditionally good Christian family in a negative light. For AFP and Yahoo, the Pences are an anomaly, a throwback that needs to be thrown back. The contemporary reader is more likely to mock the “backwardness” of Family Pence rather than see their lifestyles as honorable.

This is the nature of the attack against Christianity in our country.

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