Sources Inside Obama’s BLM And LVMPD Say Feds Planning Raid On Bundy Home (Audio)

Exclusive: Sources Inside The BLM And Las Vegas Metro Say Feds Are Planning A Raid On Bundy Home – Ben Swann

As reported yesterday, hundreds of federal agents are still at the Bundy Ranch and the area continues its status as a no-fly zone. Despite major media reports that the Nevada Bureau of Land Management is retreating, the remaining activity that still surrounds the ranch illustrates a different scenario.

Not only is the BLM not actually backing off of Cliven Bundy, Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has revealed stunning information: on Ben Swann’s radio program, Mack said that he has received intelligence from multiple, credible sources inside the BLM and the Las Vegas Metro that there is “no question” that the federal government is planning a raid on the Bundy home and the homes of their children who live on the property.

According to Mack, the so-called retreat was nothing more than theatrics. “It was a ploy to get people to back off, to get people out of the way. They weren’t expecting us to get this amount of people here. They were surprised by the numbers and so they wanted a way to get us out of here. This was a ploy to get us out of here and then they’re going after the Bundys.” Mack said that when he was at the Bundy ranch on Saturday there were an estimated 600 to 800 protesters present when federal agents were releasing the cattle.

“If they do that kind of raid, I don’t believe there’s any way that could happen without bloodshed,” Mack told Swann.

Mack spoke about the tactic that protesters could use by putting women at the front of the line facing the federal agents to make them think carefully before opening fire.

“I would’ve gone next. I would’ve been the next one to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I’m willing to die here,” said Mack.

Mack said that he had been told by Bundy that the federal government is actively shutting down the ranching industry, specifically in Clark County. He also revealed that there used to be 53 ranches in Clark County. All of those ranchers have been put out of business, except for Bundy who is still trying to hold on. “Every American should be outraged by it,” said Mack. The ranch has been in Bundy’s family since 1877.

Mack decried Nevada governor Brian Sandoval for declaring this situation unconstutional while doing nothing to stop it. “He could have called in the state’s national guard, could have called in the sheriff’s office, could have called in highway patrol, and he’s done nothing except assail what’s going on. That’s easy, that’s cowardly.”

Sheriff Mack also called out media including radio host Glenn Beck who he says is siding with the BLM on this issue.

“I can’t believe that there are some Americans, and some media like Glenn Beck, that are supporting the BLM in this and it’s absolutely disgraceful.”

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Armed Guards Surround Bundy, Supporters Fear Imminent Threat – KLAS

Local rancher Cliven Bundy may have his cattle back, but his supporters say they are still preparing for an imminent threat.

Militia groups from all over the country say they are flocking to the Bundy ranch to protect the family from a feared federal government raid.

The Bureau of Land Management allowed Bundy to release his cattle Saturday, after they felt threatened.

Bundy now has a whole contingent of armed guards surrounding him 24 hours a day.

“They’re just there, trying to make sure something crazy doesn’t happen to him,” Bundy’s son Ammon Bundy said.

His security detail and family feel he is someone to be protected because of what the federal government could do.

“There were snipers on the hills and armed guards and you know, military forces with cameras all over.” Ammon Bundy said.

Cliven Bundy fears that the government could gather up again because they never reached a formal deal.

He is also trying to determine whether federal agents damaged any of his cattle before they released them.

The BLM only allowed the family to open up the gate of the pen where the animals were being held because officers were afraid of violence. As of now, no one has cleared him to take back his cattle for good.

Taking the stage to address supporters Monday, Bundy was quickly obscured behind his guards. The detail told 8 News NOW they are now patrolling the area 24 hours a day looking for federal snipers.

“You never know, you never know,” Ammon Bundy said.

According to the BLM, Bundy has allowed his cattle to graze public land illegally for the past 20 years. Following two court orders, the feds started rounding up the cattle last week.

The agency also says Bundy owes more than $1 million in grazing fees for trespassing on federal lands since the 1990s.

Saturday, the BLM agreed to pull out of the area but hundreds of protesters flooded a BLM holding station, aiming to release hundreds of Bundy’s cattle.

Monday, Bundy says he never told his supporters to flood a federal cattle pen, using weapons. Members of Bundy’s security details say more militia groups are on their way and will be there for weeks to come.

Ammon Bundy says he was awake last night fearful the feds were going to come in and arrest his family.

No law enforcement have talked about arresting anyone in this dispute, and there is still no clear resolution to the fact that Bundy is grazing cattle on federal land without paying fees.

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Harry Reid On Bundy Ranch Situation: ‘It’s Not Over’ – National Review

Clive Bundy may have prevailed over the weekend in his standoff with the Bureau of Land Management regarding his Nevada ranch and disputed ranch, but that’s just the first phase, according to Harry Reid.

“Well, it’s not over,” he told Reno’s KRNV. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and just walk away from it, so it’s not over.”

Last week, the BLM began rounding up Bundy’s cattle amid controversy over whether he owed the federal government millions in grazing fees for his cattle being on their land. Bundy and his supporters, who gathered in Bunkerville, Nev., say that the rancher and his family have had rights to the land for over a century.

With tensions high, the BLM and federal agents backed off on Sunday, prompting some to think Bundy had prevailed. Reid’s comments may mean the government’s withdrawal was temporary, or that it will take a different approach to addressing the situation.

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Game-Changer: U.S. Navy Turning Seawater Into Fuel (Video)

Could You Soon Be Filling Up With Seawater? US Navy Reveals ‘Game Changing’ Fuel Created From Water – Daily Mail

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The US Navy has developed a radical new fuel made from seawater.

They say it could change the way we produce fuel – and allow warships to stay at sea for years at a time.

Navy scientists have spent several years developing the process to take seawater and use it as fuel, and have now used the ‘game changing’ fuel to power a radio controlled plane in the first test.

The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as ‘a game-changer’ because it would allow warships to remain at sea for far longer.

The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.

All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.

The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.

The predicted cost of jet fuel using these technologies is in the range of $3-$6 per gallon, and with sufficient funding and partnerships, this approach could be commercially viable within the next seven to ten years.

Pursuing remote land-based options would be the first step towards a future sea-based solution, the Navy says.

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Vice Admiral Philip Cullom declared: ‘It’s a huge milestone for us.

‘We are in very challenging times where we really do have to think in pretty innovative ways to look at how we create energy, how we value energy and how we consume it.

‘We need to challenge the results of the assumptions that are the result of the last six decades of constant access to cheap, unlimited amounts of fuel,’ added Cullom.

‘Basically, we’ve treated energy like air, something that’s always there and that we don’t worry about too much.

‘But the reality is that we do have to worry about it.’

They hope the fuel will not only be able to power ships, but also planes.

The predicted cost of jet fuel using the technology is in the range of three to six dollars per gallon, say experts at the US Naval Research Laboratory, who have already flown a model airplane with fuel produced from seawater.

Dr Heather Willauer, an research chemist who has spent nearly a decade on the project, said:

‘For the first time we’ve been able to develop a technology to get CO2 and hydrogen from seawater simultaneously, that’s a big breakthrough,’ she said, adding that the fuel ‘doesn’t look or smell very different.’

Now that they have demonstrated it can work, the next step is to produce it in industrial quantities.

But before that, in partnership with several universities, the experts want to improve the amount of CO2 and hydrogen they can capture.

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‘We’ve demonstrated the feasibility, we want to improve the process efficiency,’ explained Willauer.

Collum is just as excited.

‘For us in the military, in the Navy, we have some pretty unusual and different kinds of challenges,’ he said.

‘We don’t necessarily go to a gas station to get our fuel, our gas station comes to us in terms of an oiler, a replenishment ship.

‘Developing a game-changing technology like this, seawater to fuel, really is something that reinvents a lot of the way we can do business when you think about logistics, readiness.’

A crucial benefit, says Collum, is that the fuel can be used in the same engines already fitted in ships and aircraft.

‘If you don’t want to reeengineer every ship, every type of engine, every aircraft, that’s why we need what we call drop-in replacement fuels that look, smell and essentially are the same as any kind of petroleum-based fuels.’

Drawbacks? Only one, it seems: researchers warn it will be at least a decade before US ships are able to produce their own fuel on board.

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Mexican Soldiers Cross Into U.S. And Hold Border Patrol Agents At Gunpoint; Obama Ignores Incident

Mexican Soldiers Draw Guns On U.S. Agents – WorldNetDaily

The U.S. government is taking no action on an “unbelievable foray” in which two Mexican soldiers came across the border near Sasabe, Ariz., and held U.S. Border Patrol agents at gunpoint for half an hour, according to a government watchdog organization.

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Judicial Watch said that after the 35-minute “tense confrontation,” Jan. 26, the Mexican soldiers retreated south across the border “as if nothing ever happened, and the Obama administration just let it slide.”

Judicial Watch, which keeps an eye on government behavior, such as the mega-million dollar vacations for the Obamas, said that incident was , which obtained government documents with details of the incident.

According to a Border Patrol foreign military incursion report and a letter from Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, the Mexican soldiers retreated when the U.S. agents drew their weapons and summoned assistance.

The report said the Mexicans “misidentified themselves to border agents, claiming to be pursuing drug smugglers.”

Judicial Watch said, however, the Mexican soldiers aren’t chasing drug smugglers but instead are protecting cartels as they transport their cargo into the U.S. through the desert.

The incident, said Judicial Watch, is just the latest in a long string of incursions by the Mexican military into the U.S.

Records from the Department of Homeland Security show Mexican military incursions occur often and go unpunished by the U.S., Judicial Watch said.

The problem has only gotten worse over the years.

DHS documents reveal 226 incursions by Mexican government personnel into the U.S. occurred between 1996 and 2005. In 2007 alone, there were 25 incursions.

The fact that guns were drawn makes the January incident one of the most serious incursions in recent years, the Times said.

The report said Mexican embassy officials denied soldiers were involved. But they changed their story later to say the camouflage-wearing personnel were “part of a counter-narcotics operation.”

Mexican officials told the newspaper soldiers from both countries occasionally cross the border, and “both countries understand that this is something that happens as part of normal activities.”

U.S. officials in the Mexico City embassy said the incursions by the military are “unintentional,” and Kerlikowske announced no action was needed.

But Judicial Watch previously has documented Mexican police officers who had been warned not to enter the U.S. crossed the border and “arrested” two subjects.

During that incident, the officers also “threw rocks at a group of people.”

Judicial Watch described another previous incident in which a resident of Arivaca, Ariz., saw five men land a helicopter and get out, dressed in black and wearing masks and body armor.

“They had the word ‘Mexico’ on their sleeves and on the back of their shirts was some lettering starting with the letter ‘A.’ Three of the men had automatic fire rifles and the other two were armed with pistols.”

They eventually left.

Judicial Watch also cited another case: “A few years ago police in Phoenix, Ariz., reported that three members of Mexico’s army conducted a violent home invasion and assassination operation that killed one person and littered a neighborhood with gunfire. The Mexican military officers were hired by one of that country’s renowned drug cartels to carry out the deadly operation, according to Phoenix police officials, who confirmed the soldiers were armed with AR-15 assault rifles and dressed in military tactical gear.”

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Obama Regime Covertly Providing Russia With Free High Tech Military Equipment (Video)

Obama Administration Caught Giving Free High Tech Military Equipment To Russia – Gateway Pundit

This is not 21st century behavior.

The Obama administration has been secretly giving Russia free Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), a tactical force-on-force trainer, which uses a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat for soldiers.

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While slapping Russia publicly on the wrist, the Obama Administration has been giving Russia FREE high tech military equipment.

Judicial Watch reported:

Behind closed doors the U.S. government is giving Russia free military equipment – also used to train American troops – even after President Obama announced punitive sanctions against Moscow and, more importantly, a suspension in military engagement over the invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

The secret operation was exposed this week by members of Congress that discovered it in the process of reviewing the Fiscal Year 2014 budget and the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget request. It turns out that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has been providing the Russian Federation with the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), the federal legislators say. The U.S. military uses MILES for tactical force-on-force training because it has a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat.

It’s a crucial, military-grade technology that’s similar to a “laser tag” available in some commercial markets, according to one of the outraged lawmakers (Oklahoma Republican Jim Bridenstine) that helped uncover the scandal. Bridenstine, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has joined forces with Ohio Republican Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, to demand an end to the program. Along with about a dozen other House colleagues they penned a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who oversees the agency carrying out the “irresponsible military equipment transfers” to Russia.

The Obama administration’s planned supply to the Russian Federation is a grave mistake given the recent invasion of Ukraine launched by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, the legislators point out. “It is difficult to imagine a worse time to provide military-grade technology employed by the U.S. Marine Corps, Army, and Special Operations Forces to Russia than when it has illegally invaded Ukraine and is violating the intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty,” the letter to Moniz says. “To make matters worse, it is our understanding from the budget documents that the Department has been, and continues to propose, providing this technology to Russia free-of-charge.”

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President Asshat Trying To Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs

Obama To Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs – Washington Free Beacon

President Barack Obama is seeking to abolish two highly successful missile programs that experts say has helped the U.S. Navy maintain military superiority for the past several decades.

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The Tomahawk missile program – known as “the world’s most advanced cruise missile” – is set to be cut by $128 million under Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal and completely eliminated by fiscal year 2016, according to budget documents released by the Navy.

In addition to the monetary cuts to the program, the number of actual Tomahawk missiles acquired by the United States would drop significantly – from 196 last year to just 100 in 2015. The number will then drop to zero in 2016.

The Navy will also be forced to cancel its acquisition of the well-regarded and highly effective Hellfire missiles in 2015, according to Obama’s proposal.

The proposed elimination of these missile programs came as a shock to lawmakers and military experts, who warned ending cutting these missiles would significantly erode America’s ability to deter enemy forces.

“The administration’s proposed budget dramatically under-resources our investments in munitions and leaves the Defense Department with dangerous gaps in key areas, like Tomahawk and Hellfire missiles,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), a member of House Armed Services Committee.

“Increasing our investment in munitions and retaining our technological edge in research and development should be a key component of any serious defense strategy,” he said.

The U.S. Navy relied heavily on them during the 2011 military incursion into Libya, where some 220 Tomahawks were used during the fight.

Nearly 100 of these missiles are used each year on average, meaning that the sharp cuts will cause the Tomahawk stock to be completely depleted by around 2018. This is particularly concerning to defense experts because the Pentagon does not have a replacement missile ready to take the Tomahawk’s place.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Seth Cropsey, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower. “This really moves the U.S. away from a position of influence and military dominance.”

Cropsey said that if someone were trying to “reduce the U.S. ability to shape events” in the world, “they couldn’t find a better way than depriving the U.S. fleet of Tomahawks. It’s breathtaking.”

The Navy has used various incarnations of the Tomahawk with great success over the past 30 years, employing them during Desert Storm and its battle zones from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Balkans.

While the military as a whole is seeing its budgets reduced and equipment scaled back, the Tomahawk cuts do not appear to be due to a lack of funds.

The administration seems to be taking the millions typically spent on the Tomahawk program and investing it in an experimental missile program that experts say will not be battle ready for at least 10 years.

“It is definitely short-sighted given the value of the Tomahawk as a workhorse,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, a former Pentagon staffer who analyzes military readiness. “The opening days of the U.S. lead-from-behind, ‘no-fly zone’ operation over Libya showcased how important this inventory of weapons is still today.”

Overall, the Navy has essentially cut in half its weapons procurement plan, impacting a wide range of tactical weapons and missiles.

Navy experts and retired officials fear that the elimination of the Tomahawk and Hellfire systems – and the lack of a battle-ready replacement – will jeopardize the U.S. Navy’s supremacy as it faces increasingly advanced militaries from North Korea to the Middle East.

The cuts are “like running a white flag up on a very tall flag pole and saying, ‘We are ready to be walked on,’” Cropsey said.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Russell called the cuts to the Tomahawk program devastating for multiple reasons.

“We run a huge risk because so much of our national policy for immediate response is contingent on our national security team threatening with Tomahawk missiles,” said Russell, who is currently running for Congress.

“The very instrument we will often use and cite, we’re now cutting the program,” Russell said. “There was a finite number [of Tomahawk’s] made and they’re not being replenished.”

“If our national policy is contingent on an immediate response with these missile and we’re not replacing them, then what are we going do?” Russell asked.

North Korea, for instance, has successfully tested multi-stage rockets and other ballistic missiles in recent months. Experts say this is a sign that the Navy’s defensive capabilities will become all the more important in the Pacific in the years to come.

Meanwhile, the experimental anti-ship cruise missile meant to replace the Tomahawk program will not be battle ready for at least 10 years, according to some experts.

The Long Range Anti Ship Missile has suffered from extremely expensive development costs and has underperformed when tested.

“You have to ask yourself: An anti-ship missile is not going to be something we can drive into a cave in Tora Bora,” Russell said. “To replace it with something not needed as badly, and invest in something not even capable of passing basic tests, that causes real concern.”

The Pentagon did not return requests for comment.

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Egyptian Court Sentences 529 Obama-Backed, Muslim Brotherhood Extremists To Death

Egypt Sentences 529 Morsi Supporters To Death – Times Of Israel

A court in Egypt on Monday sentenced 529 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to death after a mass trial, judicial sources said.

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Islamist backers of Morsi are facing a deadly crackdown launched by the military-installed authorities since his ouster in July, with hundreds of people killed and thousands arrested.

The sentence was delivered in the second hearing of a trial which began on Saturday in Minya, south of the capital.

Of those sentenced, 153 are in detention and the rest are on the run, the sources said, adding that 17 others were acquitted. The verdict can be appealed.

Those sentenced are among more than 1,200 Morsi supporters on trial in Minya. A second group of about 700 defendants will be in the dock on Tuesday.

They are accused of attacking both people and public property in southern Egypt in August, after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps set up by Morsi supporters on August 14.

They are also charged with committing acts of violence that led to the deaths of two policemen in Minya, judicial sources said.

The accused include several leaders of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, including its supreme guide Mohamed Badie.

Morsi, Egypt’s first elected and civilian president, was ousted by the army on July 3 in a move that triggered widespread unrest across the deeply polarised nation.

Hundreds of people died in the August assault on the two Cairo protest camps and in subsequent clashes that day.

Rights group Amnesty International says at least 1,400 people have been killed in violence across Egypt since then, and thousands more have been arrested.

Morsi is himself currently on trial in three different cases, including one for inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace while he was in office.

Morsi was removed after just 12 months as president following mass street protests against his rule amid allegations of power grabbing and worsening an already weak economy.

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*VIDEO* Bill Whittle: Gulliver, Unbound


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Putin Sending Ships, Long-Range Bombers To Latin America; Plans New Bases In Cuba, Venezuela And Nicaragua

Putin’s Quiet Latin America Play – The Hill

Away from the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is quietly seeking a foothold in Latin America, military officials warn.

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To the alarm of lawmakers and Pentagon officials, Putin has begun sending navy ships and long-range bombers to the region for the first time in years.

Russia’s defense minister says the country is planning bases in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, and just last week, Putin’s national security team met to discuss increasing military ties in the region.

“They’re on the march,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said at a Senate hearing earlier this month. “They’re working the scenes where we can’t work. And they’re doing a pretty good job.”

Gen. James Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command said there has been a “noticeable uptick in Russian power projection and security force personnel” in Latin America.

“It has been over three decades since we last saw this type of high-profile Russian military presence,” Kelly said at the March 13 hearing.

The U.S. military says it has been forced to cut back on its engagement with military and government officials in Latin America due to budget cuts. Kelly said the U.S. military had to cancel more than 200 effective engagement activities and multi-lateral exercises in Latin America last year.

With the American presence waning, officials say rivals such as Russia, China and Iran are quickly filling the void.

Iran has opened up 11 additional embassies and 33 cultural centers in Latin America while supporting the “operational presence” of militant group Lebanese Hezbollah in the region.

“On the military side, I believe they’re establishing, if you will, lily pads for future use if they needed to use them,” Kelly said.

China is making a play for Latin America a well, and is now the fastest growing investor in the region, according to experts. Although their activity is mostly economic, they are also increasing military activity through educational exchanges.

The Chinese Navy conducted a goodwill visit in Brazil, Chile and Argentina last year and conducted its first-ever naval exercise with the Argentine Navy.

Meanwhile, the U.S. had to cancel the deployment of its hospital ship USNS Comfort last year.

“Our relationships, our leadership, and our influence in the Western Hemisphere are paying the price,” Kelly said.

Some experts warn against being too alarmist, and say Russia, China and Iran do not have the ability or desire to project military power beyond their borders.

Army War College adjunct professor Gabriel Marcella said Russia’s maneuvering is more about posturing than a real threat.

“Latin America is seen as an opportunity to challenge the United States in terms of global presence,” he said. “They want to show the flag to assert their presence and say they need to be counted on the world stage.”

Other experts said the encroachment of rivals has huge economic implications for the U.S., which has more trade partners in Latin America than in any other region in the world.

“[Russia’s presence] serves to destabilize what has become a more stabilized, middle class continent with an increasing respect for the rule of law… Any type of unsettling of that environment will scare off investors,” said Jason Marczak, deputy director at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

“Market economies and democracies are fundamental for trade, for jobs, and for stable investment environments,” he said.

Marczak noted the instability in Venezuela, which is facing civil unrest from anti-government protestors.

“In Venezuela, a lot of the money that’s been able to prop up President Chavez and now Maduro has been Chinese money,” Kelly said.

So far, 31 protestors have been killed in clashes with government security forces.

“I see a real degradation in what used to pass as Venezuelan democracy. There’s less and less of that now,” Kelly said.

And while Chinese investment in Latin America could have positive aspects for the region, it could also make it more difficult for U.S. official to push labor and environmental safeguards that it argues are building blocks for democracy, Marczak said.

Angel Rabasa, a senior political scientist at RAND, said cuts to the defense budget are going to accelerate a long trend of U.S. neglect and disengagement with Latin America.

According to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), there are 10 countries in Latin America that currently have no U.S. ambassador because they either haven’t been nominated yet or confirmed, a sign that the region is seen as a low priority.

“We will be losing the ability to influence developments in a region that is very important to us because of proximity,” Rabasa said.

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Vlad Putin Eyes Estonia; Signals Concern For Russian Minority

As Ted Cruz Predicted: Putin Eyes Estonia; Signals Concern Of Russian Minority – Gateway Pundit

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Today Russia signaled concerns of the large Russian minority in Estonia.

Reuters reported:

Russia signaled concern on Wednesday at Estonia’s treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority, comparing language policy in the Baltic state with what it said was a call in Ukraine to prevent the use of Russian.

Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian-speakers outside its borders, so the reference to linguistic tensions in another former Soviet republic comes at a highly sensitive moment.

Russia fully supported the protection of the rights of linguistic minorities, a Moscow diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, according to a summary of the session issued by the U.N.’s information department.

“Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups,” the diplomat was reported as saying. Russia was “concerned by steps taken in this regard in Estonia as well as in Ukraine,” the Moscow envoy was said to have added.

Ted Cruz warned about this earlier today.

Today his sights are set on Ukraine, but if he continues undeterred tomorrow it could be Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, the Czech Republic, or Poland. Meeting his challenge now with strength, not appeasement, would be the best way to ensure that this does not happen, and that we do not squander our hard-won Cold War victory over the Soviets.

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Your Daley Gator Crimean Annexation News Roundup

Masked Forces Storm Ukrainian Navy HQ, Raise Russian Flag and Detain Commander – The Blaze

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Masked Russian-speaking troops on Wednesday seized control of Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea after it was stormed by militiamen. Pro-Moscow Crimean authorities also detained the Ukrainian navy commander and reportedly blocked the defense minister and another government official from traveling to the peninsula in what they said was a bid to defuse tensions.

Ukraine’s military, which is heavily outnumbered in Crimea, has come under increased pressure since the region was nominally incorporated into Russia on Tuesday.

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Members of the Crimean pro-Russian self-defense forces climb up to take down a Ukrainian flag, right, and a Ukrainian navy flag, left, at the Ukrainian navy headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Crimea’s self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region. In center is a Russian flag. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

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Crimean pro-Russian volunteers in military fatigues line up in a square in front of a statue of Vladimir Lenin, next to the Council of Ministers of Crimea’s building, in Simferopol, on March 14, 2014, two days ahead of the referendum over Crimea’s bid to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. US Secretary of State John Kerry said on March 14 that Russian President Vladimir Putin will make no decision on Ukraine until after Sunday’s referendum on the region of Crimea. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL LEAL OLIVAS AFP/AFP/Getty Images

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Russian soldiers stand guard near Ukranian soldiers walking inside the Ukranian navy headquarters in Simferopol on March 18, 2014. Russia’s Constitutional Court unanimously ruled on March 19, 2014 that President Vladimir Putin acted legally by signing a treaty to make Crimea part of Russia, in an essential step in the Russian legal process towards ratifying the treaty. AFP PHOTO/ Filippo MONTEFORTE

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The several hundred militiamen who captured the base in Sevastopol met no resistance. Sevastopol is also the home port of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, and tens of thousands of Russian-led troops are now patrolling Crimea.

It came a day after a confrontation between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian militia left two dead.

The Russian-speaking troops, who arrived on the base after the storming, wore helmets, flak jackets and uniforms with no identifying insignia. By afternoon, they were in full control of the naval headquarters, a set of three-story boxy white concrete buildings with blue trim. It was not immediately clear how many, if any, Ukrainian servicemen remained on the base.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said no one was injured in the raid, which it said was led by pro-Russian militiamen and Cossacks.

The ministry said in its statement that Rear Adm. Sergei Haiduk was detained by unknown people after the storming of the fleet headquarters. The Russian state ITAR-Tass news agency reported that he was being questioned by Crimean prosecutors.

Ukraine’s defense minister and deputy prime minister had planned to travel to Crimea on Wednesday in what they said was a bid to avert an escalation in hostilities.

The prime minister in Crimea warned after the announcement of their departure that they would be turned back, however.

“They are not welcome in Crimea,” Sergei Aksyonov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. “They will not be allowed to enter Crimea. They will be sent back.”

Interfax later cited Welfare Minister Lyudmila Denisova as saying the officials had been denied entry to Crimea. She said an emergency session of the National Security and Defense Council will held in response.

At the Ukrainian navy headquarters, an Associated Press photographer said the militiamen took down the gate and made their way onto the base. They then raised the Russian flag on the square by the headquarters.

The unarmed militiamen waited for an hour on the square and, following the arrival of the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, they took over the building.

The AP photographer was able to enter the headquarters and saw the militia roaming around while the Ukrainian servicemen were packing up and leaving.

On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia following a referendum Sunday in which residents of the region overwhelmingly backed the move.

Jubilant crowds in Moscow and other cities across Russia hailed the annexation, while Ukraine’s new government called Putin a threat to the “civilized world and international security,” and the U.S. and the European Union threatened tougher sanctions against Moscow. On Monday, Washington and Brussels targeted Russian and Crimean officials with visa bans and asset freezes.

Russian news agencies on Wednesday cited Constitutional Court chairman Valery Zorkin as saying the treaty signed by Putin has been ruled valid, thus formally clearing another hurdle for Moscow to annex Crimea. The treaty now only requires ratification by the Russian parliament.

A Ukrainian serviceman and a member of a militia were killed by gunfire in the incident in Crimea on Tuesday.

It is unclear whether the militiaman was a Ukrainian citizen. Although Moscow has insistently denied it has not deployed its own troops in Crimea, people in the peninsula have reported seeing a large number of military vehicles with Russian plates.

Thousands of troops under apparent Russian command took over Crimea two weeks before Sunday’s hastily called referendum, seizing Ukrainian military bases, blockading others and pressuring Ukrainian soldiers to surrender their arms and leave.

Putin insisted Russia’s military presence in Crimea was limited to those stationed under the terms of a treaty with Ukraine that allows Russia to have up to 25,000 troops at its Black Sea fleet base. Ukraine claims that Russia deployed further forces, however, and expressly went against its request for troops to remain confined within their barracks.

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Russia Confiscates Half Of Ukrainian Fleet In Crimea Including Submarine – Gateway Pundit

Twenty Ukrainian ships were confiscated by the Russians.

Unian.net reported:
(Article was translated)

Those ships and vessels, which are now in the Crimea will formally first in the so-called “maritime self-defense force” of the Crimea, and then in the Battle of the Black Sea Fleet of Russia.

Up to 20 warships and support vessels of the Naval Forces of Ukraine (VMSU) may enter into operation in the Black Sea Fleet of Russia, told RIA Novosti Chairman of Russian State Duma Committee on Defense, former Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov.

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Biden’s Turn To Warn Russia With A Sternly Worded Statement – Weasel Zippers

I’m sure Russia is riddled with fear.

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) – Issuing an outright warning to Moscow, Vice President Joe Biden declared Wednesday the United States will respond to any aggression against its NATO allies, as Russia’s neighbors looked warily to the escalating crisis in nearby Ukraine.

Standing side by side with a pair of Baltic leaders in Vilnius, Lithuania, Biden said the U.S. was “absolutely committed” to defending its allies, adding that President Barack Obama plans to seek concrete commitments from NATO members to ensure the alliance can safeguard its collective security.

In a jab at Russia, he said the U.S. stands resolutely with Baltic states in support of the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression.

“Russia cannot escape the fact that the world is changing and rejecting outright their behavior,” Biden said, after meeting in Vilnius with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Latvian President Andris Berzins.

Biden’s comments came at the close of a two-day trip to Lithuania and Poland with a two-pronged theme: Sending a stern message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the U.S. won’t abide Russian intervention in Ukraine, and reassuring fretful NATO allies that the U.S. and others will come to their defense if necessary.

“We’re in this with you, together,” Biden said.

Amid the tough talk from Biden and the Baltic leaders, Russia’s annexation of Crimea was increasingly looking like a foregone conclusion.

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Jubilant Putin Urged To Snatch Back Belarus And Kazakhstan As Demonstrations Celebrating Crimea Secession Erupt Across Russia – Daily Mail

Russian politicians and media were last night demanding Vladimir Putin goes further by grabbing back more former Soviet regions and states.

The nationalistic frenzy whipped up by the return of Crimea – in defiance of the West – has led to calls on state-run TV for Moscow to take back oil and gas-rich Kazakhstan and authoritarian Belarus as well as more slices of a battered Ukraine, already filleted by the Kremlin.

Putin was last night riding the crest of an adulatory wave after righting what many Russians see as an historical wrong and reintegrating Crimea and the Black Sea fleet headquarters of Sevastopol back in to Russia after a gap of 60 years.

Senior politicians openly mocked Western sanctions and discounted Putin’s assertion that he did not seek more of Ukraine as long as the West stops seeking sway in his backyard.

The Russian strongman defiantly told a joint session of the Russian parliament that he would not accept NATO ‘next to our home or on our historic territories’.

Accusing the West of hypocrisy in pushing for self-determination for Kosovo but denying Crimea, he said the peninsula had been ‘robbed’ from Russia in Soviet times while ‘regions of Russia’s historic south’ were only now Ukrainian because of a Bolshevik blunder.

In an emotional and historic address he said: ‘In the hearts and minds of people, Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia.’

Putin has succeeded in uniting many of his foes behind him but last night it also appeared he had unleashed a tidal wave in favour of more land grabs.

Senior politician Sergei Mironov hailed ‘the great day when the gathering of Russian lands began’.

Sergey Zheleznyak, deputy chairman of lower house, demanded Russian ‘support’ for other Ukrainian regions.

‘We cannot feel calm and happy as long as we realise how our brothers in other regions of Ukraine are suffering,’ he said.

A prime time TV talk show speculated about restoring the sovereign states of Belarus and energy-rich Kazakhstan in a substantial remaking of the Soviet Union, while also calling for the historically Russian cities of Donetsk and Odessa in Ukraine to be returned.

Meanwhile a campaign was underway for the breakaway republic of Transdniestria – in Moldova – to follow Crimea back into the embrace of the Russian bear.

With some parliamentarians in tears during Putin’s historic speech – when he officially welcomed Crimea and Sevastopol back to Russia – only his prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, caught napping during the barnstorming address, failed to join the patriotic fervour punctuated by standing ovations.

Politicians queued up to pour scorn on Western sanctions with deputy speaker Sergey Zheleznyak branding them a ‘kindergarten measure’ and close Putin ally Igor Sechin accusing the U.S. and EU of ‘hysteria’.

Stage-managed patriotic celebrations were marked across Russia’s nine time zones yesterday.

In Moscow, residents were urged by officials to fly Russian flags from their balconies to ‘celebrate’ the return of Crimea.

Ukraine watched helplessly as Putin and Crimean leaders penned an agreement restoring the territory to Russia.

Senior diplomat Yevhen Perebyynis warned: ‘What has made the entire world shudder is the real rebirth of Russian imperialism, for which nothing is sacred, neither internationally recognised borders of sovereign states, nor the rights and freedoms of citizens, nor international obligations.’

Kiev protested that the move ‘has nothing in common with law or democracy or common sense’.

But in a warning to the world, the country’s foreign ministry said: ‘Putin’s address very clearly demonstrates just how real the threat is that Russia poses to international security and international security.’

Ukrainian volunteers were queuing to sign up for a newly-created National Guard amid fears that the threat of invasion from Russia remains, or that Putin will use alleged ‘saboteurs’ to spark riots and political protests in major cities.

Kiev claimed it had uncovered ‘convincing evidence of the participation of Russian special services in organizing unrest in the east of our country.’

Last night it was claimed a Ukrainian naval officer was shot twice in the leg seeking to defend a naval facility from pro-Moscow attack in Crimea.

But Putin insisted: ‘The residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia with a request to protect their rights and their lives. We could not have rejected their appeal and left them in trouble.’

He complained that the fall of the USSR left Russia ‘the biggest divided nations in the world’ with millions of compatriots waking up in a foreign country.

In Ukraine, ethnic Russians were undergoing ‘forced assimilation’ in a country where ‘neo-Nazis’ played a key role in decision making.

Western diplomats saw him as using rhetoric which could act as justification for future military adventures to restore other areas of the old USSR.

But Putin told Western leaders to ‘stop the hysteria’ and respect his country’s national interests. ‘They keep trying to drive us into a corner’, and could have grabbed Sevastopol for themselves.

NATO members ‘are great guys, but it’s better for them to come visit us in Sevastopol, than for us to visit them there’.

Crimean clocks are to be switched back two hours later this month, so they tick by Moscow time. Putin ordered three official languages in his new province – Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.

The Kremlin last night began pouring roubles into Crimea but was eyeing the seizure of 20 warships in the Ukrainian navy which are stranded here.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev – often seen as a Putin critic – hailed Crimea’s vote to join Russia as a ‘happy event.’

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The British House of Commons Supports Additional Sanctions Against Russia – Washington Free Beacon

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While answering questions in the British House of Commons Prime Minister David Cameron was asked by Opposition Leader Ed Miliband, “Does the Prime Minister agree with me that the referendum was illegal, and in direct violation of the terms Ukrainian constitution? Does he all so share my deep concern following the news that a Ukrainian servicemen were shot and killed at a military base in Crimea yesterday?”

Prime Minster David Cameron responded, “Well the right honorable gentleman is absolutely correct that the referendum in the Crimea was illegitimate and illegal. It was brought together in the 10 days and held at the point after Russian Kalashnikov. This can not be accepted legitimatized by international community.”

When asked if he would support further sanctions on the Russia Federation David Cameron answered:

We said if the Russian Federation did not take part in a contact group with the Ukrainian government to take forward discussions, then asset freezes travel bans should follow. Those have been put in place at the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday. And I believe further action should be taken at the European Council of Ministers which I will take part in on Thursday. I also think we should be responding to the fact of this annexation. That we said that if there was further action to destabilize the Ukraine and this annexation is that action, further consequences need to follow. We need to set that out, on Thursday, in concert with our European partners and at the same time I think we need to put down a very clear warning that if there was further destabilization for instance, going into the eastern Ukraine in any way, then we would move to a position of sorts of economic sanctions that we discussed in The House last week.

Opposition Leader Ed Miliband told Prime Minster Cameron that he would have the full support of the House of Commons to enact, “for the toughest possible diplomatic and economic measures against the Russian Federation given the totally illegitimate actions they have taken.”

Prime Minster David Cameron finished his remarks by indicating he would be open to expelling Russia from the G-8.

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Beaten Obama Turns His Back On The World – Michael Goodwin

The words came out of my mouth before I could stop them. “I feel sorry for Obama,” I said. As my wife looked at me in disbelief, I quickly added a correction. “Well, almost.”

Beset by failures at home and abroad, the president cuts a lonely and sad figure these days. His aura of grief reflects his profound loss.

His worldview crashed headlong into reality, and reality won. Obamaism is dead, may it rest in peace.

That’s sad for him, but hold the tears – his loss is mankind’s hope. If Obama wakes from his utopian visions and faces the truth, there is a fighting chance to reverse America’s slide and keep the peace.

But first, he must come to grips with the historic dimensions of what has happened, and I’m not sure he’s capable of it. The signs aren’t encouraging.

In many ways, Vladimir Putin’s grab of Crimea is as significant as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 35 years ago.

Then-President Jimmy Carter quickly understood he had been wrong to trust the Soviets, and shifted to offense. His January 1980, speech was defiant and bold. Compared to Obama’s timid rebukes of Putin, Carter sounded like Churchill rousing Great Britain against Hitler.

Obama is still stuck in the belief that Putin is either crazy, or secretly looking for a way to save face and end the confrontation. He hasn’t accepted Putin for what he is because to do so would mean acknowledging that Obama’s whole approach to international relations has been a mistake.

The world, meaning friend and foe alike, already knows the president is uncomfortable with American power. The result is that his once-magical ability to inspire with words is now an international punch line because they are just words. He promised change and delivered disaster.

From Syria and Iran to North Africa and North Korea, the abdication of American leadership is proving calamitous. And now Putin’s move in Europe demolishes once and for all any illusion that Obama’s election would herald a turning point for mankind. Instead of people the world over beating their swords into plowshares, the 21st century is turning out to be a chaotic and bloody mess.

“The tide of war is receding,” Obama insisted.

Like so many of his pronouncements, he was confusing the ideas in his head with reality. It is not clear if he knows the difference.

The world looks to America, and America looks away. “It it is time to focus on nation-building here at home,” he declared, as though the Earth would take care of itself in a one-big-happy-family kind of way.

It turns out that the committee system is no better at running the global order than it is at running a corner grocery.

Somebody has to take the lead and assume responsibility for success. Somebody has to set the rules and enforce them.

That somebody used to be America, and it is no accident that when America led, the Earth became a better place for more people. The seven decades after World War II marked a historic era of peace and stability around the globe.

As Robert Kagan wrote in “The World America Made,” his 2012 book, “The most important features of today’s world – the great spread of democracy, the prosperity, the prolonged great-power peace – have depended directly and indirectly on power and influence exercised by the United States.”

But the reverse is also true, and that is what we are witnessing today. As Kagan put it, “when American power declines, the institutions and norms American power supports will decline too.”

All is not lost – yet. But Obama must take off his rose-colored glasses and face the facts.

Putin is his most immediate test. The president’s wrist-slap sanctions at a few functionaries were predictably dismissed, and widely regarded as a sign of weakness. That can only embolden the would-be czar.

Even worse was the timing, with talks on Iran’s nuclear program starting again. Bet the farm the mullahs will take their cue from whether Putin pays a serious price for carving up a country.

If he gets away with it, the Iranians won’t even bother to pretend to care what Obama says. Why should they?

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Putin Signs Treaty Annexing Crimea (Video)

Russia’s Putin Signs Treaty To Annex Crimea – Wall Street Journal

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday moved to annex the breakaway Ukrainian region of Crimea but sought to reassure Ukrainians by saying Moscow has no further designs on its southern neighbor’s territories.

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In an otherwise defiant speech to both houses of parliament and top officials, Mr. Putin dismissed sanctions and threats of other consequences from Europe and the U.S., saying the West had “crossed the line” by fomenting what he called a putsch in Kiev earlier this year.

Mr. Putin signed treaties formally annexing Crimea and the port city of Sevastopol, which has long had a separate administrative status. Even if he stops there, Mr. Putin’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula would be the first such move in Europe since the end of World War II, upending long-held assumptions about security on the continent and potentially condemning Russia to a period of prolonged isolation.

Western leaders immediately denounced the move and threatened new sanctions. U.S. President Barack Obama called for a meeting next week of the leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations in Europe to discuss the crisis, pointedly excluding Russia from what had been known as the G-8.

Legislators were expected to complete the ratification process this week and the regions would become Russian territory within days. The process has moved swiftly since voters in Crimea on Sunday overwhelmingly passed a referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

Reaching back centuries into czarist history and relying heavily on widely felt nostalgia for the superpower status of the Soviet Union, Mr. Putin said Russia will stand up for the millions of ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers in what he called “historic Russian lands” now outside its borders.

“In the hearts and consciousness of people, Crimea always was and will be an inalienable part of Russia,” he said, arguing that the 1954 Soviet decision to assign the region to Ukraine was a “blatant historical injustice” conducted in violation of laws then in effect.

“Crimea is our common property and a very important factor in the stability of the region,” he said. “This strategic territory should be under a strong, sovereign state and that in fact can only be Russia.” Leaving Crimea in Ukrainian hands, he warned, could lead Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, to become a harbor for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Mr. Putin was interrupted repeatedly by applause and some wiped tears from their eyes. Dignitaries chanted “Glory to Putin” during the ovations.

He signaled that Moscow isn’t planning to send its troops – which occupied Crimea over the last two weeks – further into Ukraine. But he reiterated his harsh denunciations of the Western-backed government in Kiev as illegitimate and dominated by nationalists.

Appealing to the people of Ukraine, Mr. Putin said, “don’t believe those who are using Russia to scare you, who say that other regions will follow Crimea. We don’t want a partition of Ukraine. We don’t need this.”

“Millions of Russian people, Russian-speakers, now live and will continue to live in Ukraine, and Russia will always defend their interests through political, diplomatic and legal means,” he said.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry didn’t appear persuaded by Putin’s signal that Moscow wasn’t planning to send troops, and said it wouldn’t recognize the annexation.

“The signing of the so-called agreement on the inclusion of Crimea in Russia and the president’s speech has nothing to do either with the law, or with democracy or common sense,” a spokesman said. “Putin’s speech demonstrated how dangerous Russia is for the civilized world and global security.”

Elsewhere in the speech, Mr. Putin seemed to cast doubt on Ukraine’s historical claims to the eastern and southern regions where ethnic Russians make up a large share of the population. Mr. Putin said those territories – which he called “the historical south of Russia” – were given to Ukraine by Bolshevik leaders in the early 1900s without the approval of residents.

Western capitals have called the annexation a violation of international law. On a visit to Warsaw, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the world sees through Mr. Putin’s “flawed logic” and that the U.S. was ready to impose further sanctions on Russia.

The U.S. joins “Poland and the international community in condemning the continuing assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the blatant violation of international law by Mr. Putin,” he said.

Mr. Putin scoffed at such criticisms in his speech, accusing the U.S. and its allies of ignoring international law when it suited their interests and “cynically” relying on “the law of the strong.”

“We’ve been deceived time after time” by Western assurances that Russia’s interests would be taken into account, he said. “We have every reason to believe that the well-known policy of containing Russia from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is being continued today.”

After years of weakness in the 1990s where Russia couldn’t defend its interests, Mr. Putin said Russia now is able to stand up for itself. “If you compress a spring to the limit, it will ultimately rebound strongly,” he said.

He dismissed threats of western sanctions. “We of course will confront external pressure, but we have to decide for ourselves whether we are ready to consistently defense our national interests or endlessly betray them, retreating who knows where,” he said.

Russia’s currency and stock markets have dropped since the crisis began and capital flight has accelerated, leading many economists to warn that the economy faces stagnation this year.

But investors welcomed the tone of Mr. Putin’s speech, interpreting it as more conciliatory than expected.

European shares, which had fallen as investors awaited the speech, rallied sharply. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.8% midafternoon. Russia’s RTS index climbed 2.5%, while the Russian ruble bounced back from steep losses earlier in the day.

Officials blacklisted by the U.S. and EU on Monday laughed off the initial wave of sanctions, with many saying they have no overseas assets that could be targeted. Many said they viewed being named as an honor.

All of the 353 deputies of the lower house of parliament, the state Duma, present Tuesday voted to join in on the sanctions, state news channel Rossiya 24 reported.

In his speech, Mr. Putin cited strong public support for the annexation, noting that polls show over 90% of Russians back the move. The Kremlin organized a celebratory rally on Red Square on Tuesday afternoon, where Putin also spoke.

A poll released this week found that about as many Russians – 48% – said they wanted to live in a “great power that other countries respect and fear” as said they wanted to live in a country with a high standard of living that wasn’t one of the most powerful in the world.

Fueling fears the hardening of foreign policy is bringing a crackdown on opponents at home, Mr. Putin also warned that any efforts by outsiders to undermine Russia’s resolve through what he called “a fifth column or various national traitors” would provoke a firm response.

In recent weeks, the Kremlin has tightened pressure on independent media and political opponents.

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Your Daley Gator Ukrainian Revolution News Update

Crimea Parliament Declares Independence, Asks To Join Russia After Landslide Vote – Fox News

The disputed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea formally applied to join Russia Monday, after its people voted 97 percent in favor of a referendum to secede. The referendum has been condemned as illegal by Ukrainian leaders and the U.S. and its European allies are expected to announce sanctions against Russia Monday.

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European Union foreign ministers moved quickly to impose travel bans, and froze the assets of 21 people linked to the Ukraine unrest Monday.

A statement on Crimea’s parliament website said it proposed “to the Russian Federation to admit the Republic of Crimea as a new subject with the status of a republic,” Reuters reported.

The proposal came after Crimea’s election chief Mikhail Malyshev said in a televised news conference Monday that the final tally of voters in favor of joining Russia was 96.77 percent. The announcement was merely confirmation of what had been expected once the referendum was announced by the region’s parliament earlier this month.

Later Monday, the Crimean parliament voted to formally declare its independence from Ukraine. In the same resolution, it said that all Ukrainian state property on the territory of the Black Sea peninsula will be nationalized and become the property of the Crimean Republic. A delegation of Crimean lawmakers is set to travel to Moscow Monday for negotiations on how to proceed further. Russian lawmakers have suggested that formally annexing Crimea is just a matter of time. Crimean lawmakers have also asked the United Nations and other nations to recognize it.

The election had been denounced as illegal and destabilizing by the U.S., the European Union, and the interim Ukrainian government. The vote offered residents of the strategic Black Sea peninsula the choice of seeking annexation by Russia or remaining in Ukraine with greater autonomy.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday that he was confident that the 28 E.U. member nations would reach agreement Monday on which Russian officials to hit with sanctions, which would possibly include asset freezes and visa restrictions. Hague also hinted that more measures could be taken at a summit of E.U. leaders due to begin Thursday.

President Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the vote, and the White House said it would reject the results of the referendum held “under threats of violence and intimidation.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also spoke to Putin by phone Sunday, proposing that an international observer mission in Ukraine be expanded quickly as tensions rise in the east. Her spokesman said she also condemned the Russian seizure of a gas plant near the Ukrainian village of Strilkove Saturday.

Opponents of secession appeared to largely stay away Sunday, denouncing the vote as a cynical power play/land grab by Russia. But turnout was reported to be well above the 50 percent that would make the referendum binding.

Russian lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky said the annexation could take “from three days to three months,” according to the Interfax news agency.

Valery Ryazantsev, head of Russia’s observer mission in Crimea and a lawmaker from the upper house of the Russian parliament, said Monday that the results are beyond dispute. He told the Interfax news agency that there are “absolutely no reasons to consider the vote results illegitimate.”

Senior officials in Moscow were discussing Crimea’s annexation as a fait accompli. Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov said the region could receive tax breaks.

“We want to go back home, and today we are going back home,” said Viktoria Chernyshova, a 38-year-old businesswoman. “We needed to save ourselves from those unprincipled clowns who have taken power in Kiev.”

Ukraine’s new government in Kiev called the referendum a “circus” directed at gunpoint by Moscow, referring to the thousands of troops that now occupy the peninsula, which has traded hands repeatedly since ancient times.

“Today is a holiday!” said 66-year-old Vera Sverkunova, breaking into a patriotic war song: “I want to go home to Russia. It’s been so long since I’ve seen my mama.”

The referendum comes two weeks after Russian-led forces seized control of Crimea. Locals say they fear the new Ukrainian government that took over when President Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia last month will oppress them.

Putin insisted the referendum was conducted in “full accordance with international law and the U.N. charter.” At the United Nations on Saturday, Russia vetoed a Security Council resolution declaring the referendum illegal. China, its ally, abstained and 13 of the 15 other nations on the council voted in favor – a signal of Moscow’s isolation.

Andrew Weiss, vice president for Russian and East European studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, suggested the confrontation could intensify.

Russia “is really turning its back on the outside world and is basically going to say to the West, ‘Now, go ahead. Show us how tough you are.’ And the West, I think, is struggling to come with an adequate response.”

Ukraine’s Regional Policy Minister Volodymyr Groisman told The Associated Press that the new government was already working on giving towns and regions more autonomy but said there were no plans to turn Ukraine into a federation.

In Donetsk, one of the main cities in eastern Ukraine, pro-Russia demonstrators called Sunday for a referendum similar to the one in Crimea and some of them stormed the prosecutor-general’s office.

In Sevastopol, speakers blared the city anthem up and down the streets, giving off a block-party feeling. But the military threat was not far away – a Russian naval warship still blocked the port’s outlet to the Black Sea, trapping Ukrainian boats.

At a polling station inside a historic school, tears came to Vladimir Lozovoy, a 75-year-old retired Soviet naval officer, as he talked about his vote.

“I want to cry. I have finally returned to my motherland. It is an incredible feeling. This is the thing I have been waiting for for 23 years,” he said.

But Crimea’s large Muslim Tatar minority – whose families had been forcibly removed from their homeland and sent to Central Asia during Soviet times – remained defiant.

The Crimea referendum “is a clown show, a circus,” Tatar activist Refat Chubarov said on Crimea’s Tatar television station. “This is a tragedy, an illegitimate government with armed forces from another country.”

The fate of Ukrainian soldiers trapped in their Crimean bases by pro-Russian forces was still uncertain. Crimea’s pro-Russian authorities have said if those soldiers don’t surrender after Sunday’s vote, they will be considered “illegal.”

“This is our land and we’re not going anywhere from this land,” Ukraine’s acting defense minister, Igor Tenyuk, was quoted as saying Sunday by the Interfax news agency.

But Tenyuk later said an agreement had been reached with Russia that its forces would not block Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea through Friday. It was not clear exactly what that meant.

On the streets of Simferopol, blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flags were nowhere to seen but red, white and blue Russian and Crimean flags fluttered in abundance.

Ethnic Ukrainians interviewed outside the Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral of Vladimir and Olga said they refused to take part in the referendum, calling it an illegal charade stage-managed by Moscow. Some said they were scared of the potential for widespread discrimination and harassment in the coming weeks, similar to what happened in parts of nearby Georgia, another former Soviet republic, after its 2008 war with Russia.

“We’re just not going to play these separatist games,” said Yevgen Sukhodolsky, a 41-year-old prosecutor from Saki, a town outside Simferopol. “Putin is the fascist. The Russian government is fascist.”

Vasyl Ovcharuk, a retired gas pipe layer who worked at Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, predicted dark days ahead for Crimea.

“This will end up in military action, in which peaceful people will suffer. And that means everybody. Shells and bullets are blind,” he said.

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What A Turnout! 123% Of Sevastopol, Crimea Voted For Merger With Mother Russia – Gateway Pundit

You don’t see turnouts like this very often.

123% of Sevastopol, Crimea residents voted yesterday to join with Mother Russia.

Pravda Ukraine reported:
(Translated)

If you believe the Crimean “authorities”, 474,137 people voted in Sevastopol “referendum”.

However, as of November 1, 2013, according to the statistics in Sevastopol , all the permanent population of the city – 383,499 people, and is present at the time – 385,462 people.

At the end of last year, the voting population of Sebastopol was 385,462. This tailored to the children who did not have the right to vote. 474,137 – 385,462 = 88,675 people accidentally appeared in Sevastopol to vote during the referendum. 474 137/385 462 * 100 = 123% of Sevastopol voted for entry into Russia.

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Impeach: Obama Skips Another National Security Staff Meeting On Russia – Conservative Times

There’s no question about it – we’re currently involved in a full Cold War-style standoff with Russia right now over what’s going on in Ukraine.

The Crimean region just overwhelmingly (95% of the vote) passed a referendum to join the Russian Federation. Obviously, with thousands of Russian troops ominously looking on nearby, this was essentially voting at gunpoint.

The vote has already been condemned by the government of Ukraine, the US, and most of the rest of the West. Russian president Vladimir Putin is flexing his muscle to see just how tough Western governments really are. e knows Obama is weak, and he has the president looking clueless and spineless on the world stage.

As threats of sanctions from the UN and individual nations loom large, you’d expect for our president to be actively involved in the process of crafting official US national security policy to deal with this crisis. Wrong.

Obama has skipped yet another national security staff meeting on the situation, instead opting to be briefed on the meeting. Amazing.

Remember, he already skipped one national security staff meeting while a Russian invasion of Ukraine was impending and was instead briefed by Susan Rice, the same woman who spent weeks telling us that Benghazi had everything to do with a YouTube video.

Via Yahoo News:

President Barack Obama’s national security team discussed the Ukraine crisis in a session at the White House on Saturday after a last-ditch bid to find a diplomatic solution to the Cold War-style standoff with Russia floundered.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who just returned from talks with his Russian counterpart in London, was at the White House meeting along with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Obama did not attend the meeting but was being briefed about it and other developments involving Ukraine, said Laura Lucas Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.

Being briefed on a meeting of this gravity is no substitute for being actively involved in the process of deciding what the official US response to the Ukraine crisis will be. s Commander in Chief, Obama is charged with being the sole organ of foreign policy in the United States – not Congress or another branch of government or the military. His utter disregard for his most important duty shows that he isn’t remotely fit for office. It’s past time to impeach.

Are you outraged that Obama is skipping yet another vital national security staff meeting on Russia? Share this article on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about how Obama is neglecting his most basic duties as Commander in Chief.

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John Bolton: Sending Kerry To Deal With Russian FM Lavrov Is Like “Sending A Cupcake To Negotiate With A Steak Knife” – Weasel Zippers

Cupcake and Mom Jeans, in charge of fore-in policy.

Bolton is however wrong about there being no votes before. In 1991, Ukraine including Crimea voted along with the the rest of Ukraine to be an independent entity. 54% of Crimeans (not under a gun) voted to be part of an independent Ukraine.

Via IJR:

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, but this latest comparison literally “takes the cake.” While appearing on Fox News to discuss the referendum in the Crimea to join Russia, Bolton discussed the weak sanctions America is taking against Russia:

“I don’t think [the sanctions] will have much impact. I think the Obama administration and the Europeans are demonstrating weakness, these sanctions are pinpricks, and y’know we sent Secretary of State John Kerry to London to negotiate with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, that’s like sending a cupcake to negotiate with a steak knife.”

Bolton continued to describe the collective failure of leadership in the West, which he says has ignored these threats for five years, and is now seeing the consequences of this inattentiveness. Finally, he predicts that Putin will use the Crimea to get what he “really wants, which is a government subservient to Russia.”

Meanwhile, Obama is defending his wearing of mom-pants to Ryan Seacrest in an attempt to sell Obamacare to young people.

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Ukraine Mobilises Its Army As Kremlin Ups The Ante With Warning To America: ‘We Can Reduce You To Radioactive Ash’ – Daily Mail

The Crimean crisis moved a step closer to all-out war today as Ukraine mobilised its armed forces and a firebrand Kremlin mouthpiece warned America to stay out of its business, declaring: ‘We could turn you to radioactive ash.’

Since a referendum called for Crimea’s annexation to Russia last night, tensions between Russia, Ukraine and the rest of the world have risen faster than at any point since the stand off erupted three weeks ago.

As dawn broke this morning, the Ukrainian parliament approved the deployment of 40,000 battle-ready soldiers as it vowed to ‘defend our homeland’ from any incursion.

But with a pool of just 160,000 active frontline personel, the Ukrainian armed forces are dwarfed by a Russian army that includes more than 700,000 men and women and many more in reserve.

Already tens of thousands of heavily-armed Russian troops – mostly in uniforms without identifying insignia – stand guard over swathes of Crimea as Moscow appeared to ratchet up its rhetoric, ignoring western pleas for peace.

Instead, it upped the ante when the head of its state news agency, Dmitry Kiselyov, issued a thinly-veiled threat to America on live TV, urging the superpower to stay out of the crisis or risk facing the full force of Russia’s military muscle.

Speaking against a backdrop of a nuclear mushroom cloud, Kiselyov – who was handpicked personally by president Vladimir Putin – told viewers of his popular news show: ‘Russia is the only country in the world that is realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash.’

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Far from warding the US and Europe off, however, his incendiary remarks only added to the situation’s trembling volatility.

This morning Barack Obama responded to Russia’s growing belligerence and imposed visa bans and asset freezes on 11 Russian and Ukrainian politicians blamed for the military incursion, in the most comprehensive sanctions applied to Russia since the end of the Cold War.

Among those sanctioned were ousted Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich and Putin aides Vladislov Surkov and Sergei Glazyev.

Within hours, the European Union followed suit, imposing similar sanctions on 21 Russian and Ukrainian politicians.

In further developments today, Ukraine recalled its ambassador to Russia for consultations on the international ramifications of the situation in its Crimea region.

‘In connection with the situation in Crimea and the necessity of discussing some of its international aspects, the Ukrainian side is recalling its ambassador to the Russian Federation, Volodymyr Yelchenko,’ the Foreign Ministry said.

Today’s events come after Crimea’s parliament declared itself an independent state, following a regional referendum yesterday that saw 96.6 per cent of its residents vote to break off from Ukraine and join Russia.

The referendum, however, is not recognised by the West, and the United States and the European Union are preparing further sanctions against Russia, whose troops have been occupying Crimea for several weeks.

The White House has dismissed the secession vote in Crimea as an illegal power grab by the former Soviet state, saying it violated both the Ukrainian constitution and international law, and urged president Putin not to follow through with threats to annex the peninsular.

And today a senior US diplomat revealed there is ‘concrete evidence’ that some ballots arrived ‘pre-marked’ in the referendum adding that other voting anomalies were also detected.

As a shot across Russia’s bows, Obama today warned that continued Russian military intervention in Ukraine would only increase Russia’s isolation and exact a greater toll on its economy.

‘If Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, we stand ready to impose further sanctions,’ he said.

Amid fears that Russia might move into eastern Ukraine, Obama said further provocations will achieve nothing except to ‘further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world.’

Senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the penalties said they were the most comprehensive sanctions applied to Russia since the end of the Cold War.

The European Union took similar steps, targeting 21 people in Russia and Crimea while leaving open the possibility of adding harsher economic measures when EU leaders meet later this week.

At a briefing today, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague revealed Britain would join Europe in reducing its dependence on Russian energy which currently supplies 30 per cent of the continent’s gas.

‘We have started today discussing the longer term, the need to reduce European dependence on Russian energy over many years to come,’ he said. ‘It is some of these sorts of things that will be the biggest costs in the long term to Russia if we make no diplomatic progress over the coming weeks.’

As Ukraine recalled its ambassador to Russia for consultations on the international ramifications of the situation in its Crimea region, Ukrainian foreign minister Andrii Deshchytsya also came out fighting today, promising that his government was ‘prepared to defend our homeland’.

He told BBC Radio 4′s The World At One programme: ‘We are very much concerned with the deployment of Russian troops on the eastern border of Ukraine and the number of provocations made by Russians in eastern regions of Ukraine.

‘We are prepared to defend our homeland if Russia will decide to move further into the eastern parts of Ukraine.’

Mr Deshchytsya said the sanctions agreed today were a ‘step forward in mobilising the international community’.

‘But I think we also need to deepen our relations with the European Union,’ he said.

Parts of the Crimea is now swarming with well-armed soldiers without identifying insignia but believed to have been sent across the border by Russia.

Crimean lawmakers have asked the United Nations and other nations to recognize it.

A delegation of Crimean lawmakers is set to travel to Moscow Monday for negotiations on how to proceed further. Russian lawmakers have suggested that formally annexing Crimea is almost certain.

The Kremlin clearly put the issue on a fast track. Both houses of parliament were set to gather for a joint meeting in the Kremlin on Tuesday to hear President Vladimir Putin’s address on the subject.

In Kiev, the national parliament approved acting President Oleksandr Turchynov’s call for a military mobilization that would include 20,000 volunteers with previous military experience, and reservists.

Ukraine recently formed a national guard also about 20,000-strong.

Turchynov said the order was necessary “considering the continuing aggression in… Crimea, which Russia is trying to disguise with a large farce called `referendum,’ which will never be accepted by Crimea or the whole civilized world,” he was quoted as saying by the Intefax news agency.

Russia is expected to face strong sanctions from the U.S. and Europe over backing the Crimean referendum, which could also encourage rising pro-Russian sentiment in Ukraine’s east and lead to further divisions in this nation of 46 million. Residents in western Ukraine and the capital, Kiev, are strongly pro-West and Ukrainian nationalist.

Russian forces effectively took control of Crimea late last month after Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country in the wake of months of protests.

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Ron Paul Is Supporting Russia’s Illegal Occupation Of Crimea – Daily Beast

The libertarian godfather has become one of the biggest cheerleaders for the “referendum” that will lead to Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula.

In the Crimea crisis, it seems Ron Paul thinks that libertarianism stops at water’s edge.

The former Republican congressman and libertarian icon has long enjoyed a mixed reputation in the United States. While many admire Paul for his small government views on civil liberties, other shy away from a politician who has criticized the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and allowed a series of racist and conspiratorial news letters to be published under his own name.

However, the former congressman whose presidential bids in 2008 and 2012 helped elevate libertarians from a political afterthought to a key constituency in the Republican Party and whose son, Rand Paul is poised for a 2016 bid for the White House, has now started a new chapter of his career. He’s defending the chauvinist and imperialist Russian regime of President Vladimir Putin.

Over the past several weeks, Paul has become one of the most vocal American supporters of Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea, a semi-autonomous region of Ukraine. In the aftermath of a revolution that drove out its ally in Kiev, Viktor Yanukovych, Moscow is attempting to annex the province by holding a “referendum” Sunday in hopes that it will provide a patina of legality to its blatantly illegal land grab. Paul, long a foe of military action and democracy promotion efforts overseas, has not been content to limit himself to criticisms of American policies in Eastern Europe. He has gone out of his way to legitimize and justify the actions of Putin.

“He’s no angel but actually he has some law on his side,” Paul said earlier this week on the Fox Business Network. “They have contracts and agreements and treaties for a naval base there and the permission to go about that area.” While Russia has leased its naval base from the Ukrainian government in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol until 2042, the terms of that agreement explicitly prohibit Russian forces from leaving their barracks, never mind overrunning and occupying government buildings, violating Ukraine’s airspace, and taking over border posts.

It is for this reason that the 20,000 or so Russian forces now spread out across the peninsula, harassing journalists and threatening anyone else who protests their presence there, are not wearing Russian uniforms; according to Moscow, these men are “local self-defense forces,” not Russian soldiers. This is a lie, and only the most slavish of Russian propagandists are claiming otherwise.

Russia’s actions also violate the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, which it signed along with the United Kingdom and the United States, committing all parties “to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine” in exchange for Kiev’s transferring its then-considerable post-Soviet nuclear weapons stockpile to Moscow.

Paul and his supporters used to complain that the American media and political establishment never gave him a fair shake in his various presidential campaigns, so it is a little odd to see him and his denizens providing a democratic gloss to Sunday’s “referendum” on Crimea’s status. The referendum on the Crimea is happening quite literally at gunpoint as Russian forces have occupied the entire peninsula and offers no option for Crimeans to maintain their current status within the Ukraine. Instead, voters can either vote to allow Russia to annex the peninsula or “reunification of Crimea with Russia” in the parlance of the ballot or to “restore the 1992 Constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine.” (Early exit polls show 93% of Crimean voters chose to join Russia.)

The referendum – which has been denounced as illegal by outside observers, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – was only scheduled by the Crimean parliament after armed men occupied that body in late February. Those gunmen installed a pro-Russian figurehead as the region’s Prime Minister, as well – a guy named Sergey Aksyonov, the alleged criminal leader of a miniscule pro-Russian political party which has never earned more than 4% at the polls.

But for Ron Paul and the acolytes at his think tank, a motley crew of Putin apologists and admirers of post-Soviet thugs, Sunday’s sham election is all about the spirit of 1776. He recently wrote that “The only question that remains is whether there will there be an honest election, and I don’t see any reason there can’t be.” He did this on the website of his Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, which, in light of current events might be better called the Ron Paul Institute for Russian Aggression and Economic Exploitation (Its director, Daniel McAdams, has referred to the American ambassador to Ukraine as an “outlaw.”)

Paul bases his support of the Crimean referendum on libertarian grounds, as if what’s happening half a world away under the watchful eyes of the Russian military is akin to a Tea Party protest demanding less federal control over education policy. “There should be a right of secession,” Paul said on Fox. One cannot consider Paul’s defense of the Crimean “secession” without first becoming familiar with his nostalgia for the American one.

A crucial element of Paul’s worldview and that of his paleoconservative brethren is that America began to go to hell in a hand-basket with the Union victory in the American Civil War. Abraham Lincoln’s firm use of executive power to crush the slaveholding states’ attempt to secede initiated, in their view, the centralization of federal government power that continues to this day. The 1992 issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report (the name of which was a deliberate appeal to the then burgeoning far-right “survivalist” movement preparing for racial apocalypse) stated that “the right of secession should be ingrained in a free society” and that “there is nothing wrong with loosely banding together small units of government. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, we too should consider it.” Ironically, while Paul was applauding Ukrainian independence 20 years ago, he is now cheering the Crimea’s forcible reintegration into Russia.

In addition to whitewashing Russian aggression, Paul depicts some of the most benign elements of America’s overseas involvement as nefarious and illegitimate. “The evidence is pretty clear that the NGOs [non-governmental organizations] financed by our government have been agitating with billions of dollars, trying to get that government changed,” he told The Guardian. “Our hands are not clean.”

By this, Paul was referring to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a U.S.-government funded, independently operated grant-making institution that supports civil society organizations in authoritarian states as well as emerging democracies. It enjoys bipartisan support, but has long been a target of Paul and other American isolationists, who see malevolence in everything their government does. Paul’s belief that America was trying to orchestrate “regime change” in Ukraine goes back to at least 2004, when he railed against supposed NED “meddling” in the 2004 presidential election that Yanukovych attempted to steal. (For the curious, here’s a list of NED grantees in Ukraine, which range from a “weekly youth journal” to election monitoring outfits).

To be sure, Yanukovych’s election theft was exposed and resisted by some U.S. and European government-funded civil society organizations, which would scarcely be able to exist without outside support. Why Americans should be outraged about this is something Paul neglects to answer.

There is an irony in a so-called “libertarian” defending the likes of Vladimir Putin. Ron Paul and his ilk claim to support individual rights, free markets, and a foreign policy of non-violence, yet here they are defending a man who hounds gays, presides over a kleptocratic mafia state, and invades his neighbors. Paul shirks the label of “isolationist,” preferring instead that of, “non-interventionist,” which is true only in the sense that he opposes interventionism – of even the non-violent sort – undertaken by the United States and its democratic allies. When it comes to violent Russian intervention in the affairs of its sovereign neighbors, however, Paul agrees with none other than former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who said that Moscow retains a “sphere of privileged interests” among the ex-vassal states of the Soviet Union. Why would a formerly elected official in America lend ideological cover to a foreign dictator’s assault on the basic human rights of his own people?

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Personnel On Ground During Benghazi Attacks Outraged That CIA IG Has Never Conducted An Investigation

‘Very Upset’: CIA Sat On Benghazi Investigation, US Personnel Fuming – Fox News

American personnel on the ground in Benghazi the night of the 2012 terror attack are outraged after learning that the CIA’s inspector general never conducted an investigation into what happened – despite two CIA workers being killed in the attack and despite at least two complaints being filed by CIA employees.

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Former Ambassador Chris Stevens, another State official and two ex-Navy SEALs working for the CIA were killed in that attack.

Many in the agency were told, or were under the impression, that an investigation was in the works, but that is not the case.

One person close to the issue told Fox News: “They should be doing an investigation to see what the chief of base in Benghazi and station chief in Tripoli did that night. If they did, they’d find out there were some major mistakes.”

This source claimed an investigation would likely uncover a lot of details the public does not know.

Asked why such a probe has not been launched, a CIA spokesman said: “CIA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) always reviews carefully every matter that is brought to its attention, and takes appropriate action based on a variety of factors.”

Still, at least two complaints were filed by CIA employees concerned about the attack, which began at the U.S. compound and eventually spread to the CIA annex one mile away. There is no question that CIA personnel saved a lot of lives; those on the ground that night continue to herald the heroism of the individuals who responded to try and help Stevens and others under attack.

Yet questions remain about the overall decision-making, possible destruction of evidence and warnings of an impending attack.

“There needs to be a CIA investigation… there was a lot of things done wrong,” one special operator said.

But a CIA spokesman said the OIG has already “explained fully” to the agency’s congressional oversight committees “why it did not open an investigation into Benghazi-related issues.”

“That decision was based on a determination that the concerns raised fell under the purview of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board, and that a separate OIG action could unnecessarily disrupt the FBI’s criminal investigation into the Benghazi attacks,” the spokesman said.

The Accountability Review Board probe was ordered by the State Department, and the board reported its findings in December 2012.

But separate investigations haven’t stopped the OIG from investigating issues before. Why they held back in this instance is a question starting to filter through the agents at the CIA. Fox News has been told some of the investigators initially assigned to review the Benghazi complaints are “very upset and very frustrated” that they were told to stop the process.

Some members of the Senate Intelligence Committee expressed some of these same concerns in their review of the Benghazi attacks. On page 15 of the Republican response on Jan. 15, it states: “…the committee has learned that the CIA Inspector General did not investigate complaints relating to the Benghazi attacks from CIA whistle blowers. Whether these complaints are ultimately substantiated or dismissed is irrelevant. On a matter of this magnitude involving the deaths of four Americans, the Inspector General has a singular obligation to take seriously and fully investigate any allegation of wrongdoing. His failure to do so raises significant questions that we believe the Committee must explore more fully.”

Fox News has also learned that the Senate Committee was told by the CIA that the investigation did not take place because it would interfere with the State Department Accountability Review Board, which was conducted to “examine the facts and circumstances of the attacks.” While that review contained major criticism aimed at State Department officials in Washington, it didn’t directly mention the CIA.

“Since when does the CIA defer to State? The ARB is in a total different agency anyway,” one special operator said.

Former U.S. United Nations spokesman Richard Grenell also is critical of the CIA actions. “It’s puzzling that the Obama administration is so reluctant to do a real investigation of the facts surrounding the Benghazi attack,” he said. “The ARB conveniently never interviewed Hillary Clinton or her political team about what they knew in the lead up or how they reacted during the crisis. And now we learn that the CIA wasn’t interested in conducting a real investigation either.”

The frustration within the agency is building over the fact that many see the CIA inspector general as their last line of defense internally. While the internal complaints are classified, Fox News has learned that besides questioning the actions of the station chief and chief of base, the complaints also question dealings with the Libyan security forces – and include questions about the reliance on a group of local volunteer militiamen called the February 17 Martyrs Brigade for security and their likely participation in the attack.

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Traitor/War Criminal/Secretary Of State John F-ing Kerry Warns Russia It Has Until Monday To End Invasion

Kerry: Russia Has ‘Til Monday To End Invasion – Sweetness & Light

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From the Washington Examiner:

John Kerry: Russia has until Monday to reverse course in Ukraine

By Susan Crabtree | March 13, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry warned of serious repercussions for Russia on Monday if last-ditch talks over the weekend to resolve the crisis in Ukraine failed to persuade Moscow to soften its stance.

How many ‘red lines’ has Obama painted and Putin crossed so far? Is anyone keeping count?

Kerry will travel to London for a Friday meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ahead of a Sunday referendum vote in the Crimea region to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.

U.S. and European officials argue that Moscow is orchestrating the referendum and waging an intimidation campaign with thousands of Russian troops controlling the region. If Russian-backed lawmakers in Crimea go through with the Sunday referendum, Kerry said the U.S. and its European allies will not recognize it as legitimate under international law.

The U.S. and Europe on Monday would then unite to impose sanctions on Russia, Kerry told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Thursday during a hearing on the State Department’s budget.

Despite Kerry’s big talk there will be no meaningful sanctions against Russia. Because we now have such an interdependent global economy sanctions would hurt the US and Europe almost as much as Russia. And the bitter irony is we have always been told that having an economically interdependent world would make conflict and aggression less common.

Well, guess what? Being interdependent also stops countries from being able to use sanctions to punish aggression. So they either have to resort to military force or just accept things like what Putin has done. So the supposedly peace-inducing a global economy actually makes it easier for bullies to invade other countries and get away with it.

“There will be a response of some kind to the referendum itself,” Kerry said. “If there is no sign [from Russia] of any capacity to respond to this issue… there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday.”…

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a top critic of President Obama’s foreign policy, asked what the administration would do if Russian forces advance farther into the eastern area of Ukraine, and the new government in Kiev asks the U.S. for weapons to fight the Russians.

Kerry responded carefully, saying “we have contingencies – we are talking through various options that may or may not be available.”…

How absolutely pathetic. Putin and everyone else knows Obama will do nothing.

U.S. authorities are closely monitoring the number of Russian troops in Crimea, as well as their movements, he said, noting that Moscow is allowed to have a total of 25,000 troops in Crimea.

[Kerry] said that currently Russia does not have the assets positioned to “march in and take over all of Ukraine but that could change and we recognize that.”…

Proving once again that John Kerry is a total jackass in all things. Here is a headline from yesterday’s New York Times: ‘Russian Troops Mass at Border With Ukraine.’

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President Asshat Wants To Cut Airborne Warning And Control Fleet By 25 Percent

Obama Wants To Cut AWAC Fleet By 25 Percent – Sweetness & Light

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From the Washington Free Beacon:

Obama to Cut Key Reconnaissance Fleet By 25 Percent

Planes being used to monitor Ukraine crisis

By Adam Kredo | March 10, 2014

A key fleet of U.S. reconnaissance planes used to detect enemy aircraft in hostile settings will to be cut by 25 percent under President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget, according to multiple sources familiar with the budget proposal.

A fleet of 31 AWACs, or Airborne Warning and Control System planes, will be reduced to 24 by 2015 under Obama’s budget proposal.

The situation has prompted concern in defense circles and elsewhere, where sources have pointed out that AWACS are currently deployed in Poland and Romania in order to help monitor the standoff in Ukraine.

Hell, as we noted last week, Obama’s budget also does away the A-10 anti-tank helicopters. From the New York Times: “Under Mr. Hagel’s proposals, the entire fleet of Air Force A-10 attack aircraft would be eliminated. The aircraft was designed to destroy Soviet tanks in case of an invasion of Western Europe, and the capabilities are deemed less relevant today.”

Nope. No way we’ll ever need ground support from those A-10 ‘Thunderbolts’ again. (Even though they have been recently used in Iraq, Afghanistan and even Libya.)

AWACS are a highly advanced type of reconnaissance craft able to monitor enemy movements in the sky and ground from great distances. Each AWAC unit costs $270 million, according to the Air Force.

Which is how many EBT cards?

NATO dispatched several of its own AWACs on Monday to monitor Russian movement in Ukraine’s Crimea region, where a tense standoff is still taking place. “All AWACs reconnaissance flights will take place solely over alliance territory,” a NATO spokesman was quoted as saying by the BBC.

And they will be quickly grounded as soon as Putin says ‘boo.’

The seven U.S. AWAC planes cut in Obama’s budget would be completely scrapped if the proposal is adopted…

Lawmakers could pressure the Air Force to fight the cuts.

The Air Force, like every branch of the military, has seen its budgets significantly constrained in recent years. The Pentagon is faced with massive spending cuts under the budget and is considering cutting some 420,000 Army soldiers due to the financial constraints.

No, this is all due to Barack Hussein Obama. He is cutting our military to the bone, and then cutting the bone.

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Iran-Backed Palestinian Terrorists Launch 60 Rockets At Israel

Iran-Backed Terror Group Launches 60 Rockets At Israel – Washington Free Beacon

Palestinian terrorists tied to Iran fired more than 60 rockets into Israel on Wednesday, causing widespread panic among Israeli citizens and throwing into jeopardy months of U.S.-led negotiations towards a peace deal.

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The Iranian-backed terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) reportedly claimed responsibility for firing dozens of rockets into Southern Israel.

The Palestinian al Quds Brigade’s main website claimed earlier in the morning that PIJ was responsible for the attack. PIJ says it will be releasing a statement on the attacks within the next hours.

Al Quds reported that more than 90 rockets had been fired in retaliation for what claimed is Israeli aggression and “Zionist settlements.”

The boost in rocket attacks comes just a week after Israel seized a ship carrying advanced Iranian weapons destined for the Gaza Strip.

One Israeli official was quoted on local radio as saying, “It’s a barrage such as we haven’t seen for two years,” according to reports.

PIJ officials and the terror group Hamas have been threatening to attack Israel for weeks and similar rhetoric has emerged this week from Iran, where one of the country’s military leaders claimed Tehran has its “hands on the trigger” to destroy Israel.

Early reports indicate that no Israelis were harmed in the attack, but an official readout of the damage has not yet been released.

PIJ is just “one of several [terror] groups that observers worry have been stockpiling weapons, including advanced missiles,” according to the pro-Israel advocacy group The Israel Project (TIP).

A team of PIJ terrorists on Tuesday “managed to fire a mortar at Israel,” TIP reported.

Israel’s Air Force responded to the incident, killing three of the terrorists.

The Israeli Defense Forces recently disclosed that the intercepted Iranian weapons ship was carrying a large cache of advanced weapons.

“Naval forces discovered a large Iranian weapons shipment intended for Gaza terrorists,” the IDF reported on its blog. “The shipment included powerful M-302 rockets capable of striking almost any point in Israel, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.”

The IDF additionally discovered “40 long-range M-302 rockets, 181 mortar shells and approximately 400,000 7.62 caliber rounds.”

While Iran “attempted to hide its involvement in the weapons shipment,” the IDF said in a statement the “containers have Iranian authenticity seals on them, including seals of the Iranian postal company.”

The IDF said via Twitter that it “will act to protect our citizens.”

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Flashback: Obama Pushed Bill That Helped Destroy Tons Of Ukrainian Ammunition, Small Arms And Anti-Aircraft Missiles

Flashback: Senator Obama Pushed Bill That Helped Destroy More Than 15,000 Tons Of Ammunition, 400,000 Small Arms And 1,000 Anti-Aircraft Missiles In Ukraine – Daily Mail

As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama won $48 million in federal funding to help Ukraine destroy thousands of tons of guns and ammunition – weapons which are now unavailable to the Ukrainian army as it faces down Russian President Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Crimea.

In August 2005, just seven months after his swearing-in, Obama traveled to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine with then-Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar, touring a conventional weapons site.

The two met in Kiev with President Victor Yushchenko, making the case that an existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program covering the destruction of nuclear weapons should be expanded to include artillery, small arms, anti-aircraft weapons, and conventional ammunition of all kinds.

After a stopover in London, the senators returned to Washington and declared that the U.S. should devote funds to speed up the destruction of more than 400,000 small arms, 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles, and more than 15,000 tons of ammunition.

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Photographs from the trip show Obama inspecting a plant where Soviet-era artillery shells and shoulder-fired missiles were collecting dust, leftovers dumped in Ukraine after the USSR withdrew from Eastern bloc nations after the once-mighty communist nation fell apart.

The United Nations had already identified some 7 million small arms and light weapons, and 2 million tons of conventional ammunition, warehoused in more than 80 weapons depots spread across the country.

Many of the artillery shells shown in photographs from Donetsk, multiple weapons experts told MailOnline, would be the same types of ammunition required to repel advancing Russian divisions as they advanced to the west, had they not been destroyed.

Two experts said the ammunition, particularly small-arms rounds, would have been useful to train Ukraine’s armed forces and million-strong reserves.

‘Vast stocks of conventional munitions and military supplies have accumulated in Ukraine,’ Obama said in am August 30, 2005 statement from Donetsk. ‘Some of this stockpile dates from World War I and II, yet most dates from Cold War buildup and the stocks left behind by Soviet withdrawals from East Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungry and Poland.’

‘We need to eliminate these stockpiles for the safety of the Ukrainian people and people around world, by keeping them out of conflicts around the world.’

More than a year later, President George W. Bush signed into law a proposal authored by Obama and Lugar.

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Obama said then that the existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program ‘has effectively disposed of thousands of weapons of mass destruction, but we must do far more to keep deadly conventional weapons like anti-aircraft missiles out of the hands of terrorists.’

Much of the Ukrainian small-arms supply was ultimately exported, not scrapped, by a Yushchenko regime that chose revenue from arms dealing over the cost of melting down metal.

In 2008 the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported that between 2004 and 2007, the Ukrainian Export Control Service told the UN that it sent 721,777 small arms and light weapons to 27 different countries.

The United States was the top recipient, with more than 260,000 of those weapons, followed by the UK and Libya, which each imported more than 101,000.

That flood of weapons exports has continued, with annual export records showing hundreds of thousands of new exports each year, covering everything from pistols and carbine rifles to heavy machine guns and anti-tank weapons.

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But while today’s 130,000-strong standing Ukrainian military isn’t short on AK-47s, Russian troops have met little to no large-scale resistance from armored divisions or heavy artillery as they steamrolled their way into Crimea.

Some of that was Ukraine’s own doing – it sold 320 tanks to Pakistan in the 1990s, for instance – but Obama and Lugar accelerated the pace of the country’s arms liquidation.

While the Ukrainian army seems to have been careful to avoid provoking an even larger conflict, it’s impossible to know whether Putin would have behaved differently in the face of columns of heavy weapons that once belonged to the Soviet Union in whose KGB he held a high-ranking position.

Sky News video broadcast on Tuesday showed Russian troops firing automatic weapons over the heads of apparently unarmed Ukrainian Air Force personnel near a contested airfield in Crimea.

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Your Daley Gator Ukrainian Revolution Update (Pictures / Videos)

Putin Mocks The West And Threatens To Turn Off Gas Supplies – The Telegraph

Vladimir Putin has mocked diplomatic efforts to end the Ukraine crisis as Russia threatened to disrupt European gas supplies by cutting off sales to Kiev over its unpaid debts.

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The Russian president said through his official spokesman that, despite deep disagreements with the West, he did not want a confrontation over Ukraine to spiral into a “new cold war”.

Nevertheless Dmitry Peskov ridiculed Western demands for direct talks between the Kremlin and the new Kiev government, claiming that the loss of credibility involved “puts a smile on our face”.

The remarks were broadcast during the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, where the Ukrainian athlete carrying his national flag was given a loud cheer.

Earlier, Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy giant, said it would start to reduce deliveries to Kiev, a move that would disrupt supplies to Europe. Gazprom said Ukraine had failed to make payments on its £1.2 billion debts.

Ukraine is one of the main transit routes for the continent’s gas and the suspension of Gazprom exports in freezing temperatures in 2006 and in 2009 endangered national grids and caused sharp rises in prices. “We can’t supply gas for free,” Alexey Miller, the head of Gazprom, said. “Either Ukraine settles its debt and pays for current deliveries or the risk arises of a return to the situation we saw at the start of 2009.”

Energy experts said Russia had the power to cause problems in markets across Europe, even though peak winter demand was past. “Europe still relies heavily – in some cases 100 per cent – on Russian gas. And if that was interrupted very suddenly, there would be difficulties all round,” said Lord Howell, the former energy secretary.

But the White House brushed off the Russian announcement as less of a blow for EU economies than in previous years. Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, said reduced Russian exports would not have an immediate effect since stocks in Europe were above normal levels because of a mild winter. Structural changes in the industry also mean that less of Europe’s gas went through Ukraine.

Russian foreign ministry officials issued the tit-for-tat warnings a day after an EU summit suspended talks on visa-free access for Russians to Europe and threatened sanctions if Moscow did not change course. “Russia will not accept the language of sanctions and threats,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Two potential Ukrainian presidential contenders demanded a single, tough Western stance against Russia. Vitali Klitschko, the former boxer, and Petro Poroshenko, a businessman, both of whom are seen as likely candidates in presidential elections in May, used a visit to Paris to shore up European resolve.

Moscow displayed no signs of pulling back in the flashpoint region of Crimea despite the summit outcome and a subsequent telephone conversation between Mr Putin and President Barack Obama.

Russia’s parliament made preparations to endorse next week’s referendum in Crimea on joining the Russian Federation as a group of Crimean MPs were accorded a hero’s welcome in Moscow.

Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, said the outcome would be accepted “unquestionably”. Officials in Kiev retorted that no country in the “civilised world” would recognise a vote for merging with Russia.

Checkpoints manned by Russian soldiers and Crimea militias blocked efforts by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to enter the peninsula.

The OSCE convoy, led by a police car and followed by two buses carrying the observers, returned to the southern city of Kherson to decide if the unarmed monitoring mission can go ahead at all.

Russia said the mission was blocked because it had begun without seeking the traditional consensus support from all the organisation’s members.

Russia also scuttled a third ship in the Crimean harbour of Donuzlav to tighten its blockade on the doggedly loyal Ukrainian navy vessels trapped behind Russian lines.

The only bright point of the day came when Ukraine’s Paralympic team announced it would participate in the Winter Games in Sochi.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine prime minister, said his government was still pressing for direct talks with Russia to resolve the crisis. He demanded that Russia pull back its forces and stop supporting “separatist” activities inside Ukraine.

“We are ready to build relations with Russia,” he said. “But Ukraine will never be a subordinate or branch of Russia.”

Mr Yasenyuk also revealed the Kiev and the EU would soon sign an agreement on the political aspects of a strategic accord that fell through late last year.

The collapse of the EU association agreement provoked the mass pro-Western demonstration movement that led to the collapse of the former government of President Viktor Yanukovych.

“It is the matter of weeks now,” Mr Yatsenyuk said. “This is the most important decision that the whole country has been waiting for. This is what people were going to the streets for.”

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Tension In Ukraine Builds As Convoy Of 60 Unmarked Military Trucks Carrying Hundreds Of Soldiers Heads For Crimea As Pro-Russian Troops Fire Warning Shots At Peace Monitors – Daily Mail

A convoy of 60 unmarked military trucks carrying hundreds of soldiers was today spotted snaking its way from eastern Ukraine into Crimea, with the country appearing more divided than ever.

Warning shots were also fired inside Crimea as a foreign military mission was barred from entering the Ukrainian province by pro-Russian troops.

The mission, made up of soldiers of different nationalities from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, had automatic weapons fired over their heads.

The soldiers were told they had no authorisation to enter the peninsula. No injuries were reported.

Earlier this morning Russian foreign secretary Sergei Lavrov said that the crisis had been ‘artificially created’ for ‘geopolitical reasons’, though stopped short of accusing the West of creating tensions.

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He confirmed that Russia was open to further talks with the West as long as they remained ‘honest and partner-like’, and said he was in contact with the Ukrainian interim government, though he accused them of being right-wing extremists.

In a telephone call he also warned US secretary of state John Kerry that any sanctions would have a ‘boomerang effect’ on America.

Meanwhile pro and anti-Putin protesters have taken to the streets of Ukraine today as the country appears more divided than ever.

In the Crimean city of Simferopol hundreds of demonstrators waving Ukrainian flags marched to a military base surrounded by Russian troops while chanting ‘Russian Soldiers Out Of Crimea’.

Many of the activists waved Crimean Tartar flags. The Tartars were persecuted by Russian during the world wars and driven to Crimea, and so are strongly opposed to closer ties with the Kremlin.

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In another city, Bakhisaray, more Tartars gathered urging Ukraine to stay united after the regional government said Crimea was officially part of Russia and announced a public referendum on March 16 to confirm it.

Meanwhile in the city of Donetsk, former stronghold of ousted president Viktor Yanokovych, thousands gathered to wave banners reading ‘I Love Putin’.

Today is not the first time shots have been fired in the region, but it is the first time bullets have been directed at international troops.

Last week a Russian soldier fired above the head of Ukrainian air force troops as they marched unarmed to their base which had been occupied by Putin’s troops.

Late last night pro-Russia soldiers tried to take over a Ukrainian base in a tense stand-off that lasted for several hours.

Lt. Col. Vitaly Onishchenko, deputy commander of the base, said three dozen men wearing unmarked camouflage uniforms arrived late Friday.

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While one group climbed over a wall on one side of the base, another crashed a heavy military truck through the gates, Mr Onishchenko said.

He said that they turned off power, cut telephone lines and demanded that about 100 Ukrainian troops, who barricaded themselves into one of the base buildings, surrender their weapons and swear allegiance to Russia. The invaders left at about midnight.

No shots were fired in the stand-off, and no injuries were reported, but the incident reflected tensions running high on the Black Sea peninsula.

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In the week since Russia seized control of Crimea, Russian troops have been neutralising and disarming Ukrainian military bases there.

Some Ukrainian units, however, have refused to give up.

Crimea’s new leader has said pro-Russian forces numbering more than 11,000 now control all access to the region and have blockaded all military bases that have not yet surrendered.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has also confirmed that Ukraine owes $1.89billion and has threatened to turn off the gas supply, which could affect the rest of Europe as several important pipelines run through the country.

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Cyber Snake Plagues Ukraine Networks – Financial Times

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An aggressive cyber weapon called Snake has infected dozens of Ukrainian computer networks including government systems in one of the most sophisticated attacks of recent years.

Also known as Ouroboros, after the serpent of Greek mythology that swallowed its own tail, experts say it is comparable in its complexity with Stuxnet, the malware that was found to have disrupted Iran’s uranium enrichment programme in 2010.

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The cyber weapon has been deployed most aggressively since the start of last year ahead of protests that climaxed two weeks ago with the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich’s government.

Ouroboros gives its operators unfettered access to networks for surveillance purposes. But it can also act as a highly advanced “digital beachhead” that could destroy computer networks with wide-ranging repercussions for the public.

Cyber warfare experts have long warned that digital weapons could shut off civilian power or water supplies, cripple banks or even blow up industrial sites that depend on computer-controlled safety programmes.

The origins of Ouroboros remain unclear, but its programmers appear to have developed it in a GMT+4 timezone – which encompasses Moscow – according to clues left in the code, parts of which also contain fragments of Russian text. It is believed to be an upgrade of the Agent.BTZ attack that penetrated US military systems in 2008.

The malware has infected networks run by the Kiev government and systemically important organisations. Lithuanian systems have also been disproportionately hit by it.

Ouroboros has been in development for nearly a decade and is too sophisticated to have been programmed by an individual or a non-state organisation, according to the applied intelligence unit at BAE Systems, which was the first to identify and analyse the malware.

The Financial Times has corroborated the existence of Snake with security and military analysts.

BAE has identified 56 apparent infections by Snake globally since 2010, almost all in the past 14 months. Ukraine is the primary target, with 32 recorded instances, 22 of which have occurred since January 2013.

“Ukraine is top of the list [of infections] and increasing,” said Dave Garfield, managing director for cyber security at BAE, who added that the instances were almost certainly “the tip of the iceberg”.

“Whoever made it really is a very professional outfit,” Mr Garfield added. “It has a very high level of sophistication. It is a complex architecture with 50 sub-modules designed to give it extreme flexibility and the ability to evolve. It has neat and novel technical features.”

“You never get beyond reasonable doubt levels of proof in this area but if you look at it in probabilistic terms – who benefits and who has the resources – then the list of suspects boils down to one,” said Nigel Inkster, until 2006 director of operations and intelligence for MI6 and now director of transnational threats at the think tank IISS.

“Until recently the Russians have kept a low profile, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they can do the full scope of cyber attacks, from denial of service to the very, very sophisticated.”

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Journalists Beaten During Russian Storming Of Ukrainian Military Base, Then Live TV Crew Harassed When They Report On It – Weasel Zippers

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Another view:

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Mellunmäki
@mrzff

Это Костас, его пиздят второй раз уже. pic.twitter.com/09RbLJT6nE

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Patrick Jackson
@patrickgjackson

Journalists beaten up in #Crimea: photo by @mrzff pic.twitter.com/Y9cpbHDOiv
6:05 PM – 7 Mar 2014

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Via KPHG:

Ukrainian journalists are reported to have been brutally beaten during the seizure by Russian soldiers of a Ukrainian military unit on Friday evening, while in Simferopol STB journalists were attacked during a live news broadcast.

Budzhurova, head of the Crimean Association of Free Journalists stated on the Savik Shuster talk show on Friday that she had received two calls from Olena Myekhanik, a journalist from TV Inter. Myekhanik first told her that the Ukrainian military unit was under attack, that a KAMAZ truck had rammed the gates and 12 individuals had crossed onto the unit’s land. She asked for a journalist team from TV ATR to be sent. Later she rang in distress saying that the Ukrainian journalists present, including women, had been assaulted, and their video recorders smashed. The journalists were all at Unit 2355 where there is an air force command point in charge of overseeing air safety. The journalists also included a TV STB firlm crew and a Georgian national.

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Obama Reacts To Putin’s Invasion Of Ukraine By Threatening… Israel

As World Order Implodes, Obama Promises To Act… Against Israel – Breitbart

In a bombshell interview with Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg, President Obama issued his most direct public threats ever against Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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‘Bibi’, the President all but said, ‘If you don’t accept the peace plan that my Secretary of State hasn’t even released yet, you will ruin your country.’ The interview was released for publication almost the very moment as Netanyahu’s plane departed to meet with Obama in Washington.

In addition to droning on about the growing dangers posed by increasing Israeli settlement ‘expansion’, the “rights” of Palestinian refugees, the historic “moderation” of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the reasonableness of the Iranian regime, President Obama used the interview with Goldberg to issue ominous new threats and dire warnings against the Jewish state if it did not agree to accept his plan to shrink Israel back inside the 1949 armistice lines.

Obama tells Goldberg that it isn’t really the Palestinians who need to change. It is Israel. Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians is essentially the result of steps Israel takes to prevent such terrorism. The best way to change the Palestinian Authority’s incitement to – and celebration of blood curdling violence against Jews – is for Israel to change its housing policy.

Nothing new here. This has been the President Obama’s basic position since long before he ever ran for public office; and a position shared by most of the international community.

What is new about Obama’s latest interview are his threats. If Israel doesn’t do what Obama decides Israel should do, then Israel should no longer expect the U.S. to support it: “If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction – and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the past couple of years – if Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguously sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the fallout is going to be limited.”

If Israel accepts that Obama knows best, that his proposed solutions to Israel’s problems are superior to its own, then Israel will faced increased isolation and threats. On supporting Israel, Obama says: “It is getting harder every day”. He explains that Israel faces ‘increasing international isolation’ because there is a “genuine sense on the part of a lot of countries that this issue continues to fester and that nobody is willing to take the leap to bring it to closure.”

Back in January, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was forced to publicly apologise for comments he made to an Israeli newspaper stating his belief that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s all-consuming efforts to forge an Israeli-Palestinian “peace agreement” might be born out of a “misplaced obsession and messianic fervor”. His comments provoked an unusually ferocious firestorm of outrage from both the White House and State Department. It was outrageous, the State Department and White House told the world in strikingly harsh language, for anyone to question the wisdom of John Kerry’s unshakeable belief that “solving” the Israeli-Palestinian still remains the foremost challenge of U.S. foreign policy. Rarely, if ever, have administration officials used such sharp and pointed language towards the actions or statements of Iran or North Korea.

In the past four days, Russian forces have seized the Crimean Peninsula, another 150,000 troops are mobilizing on Ukraine’s eastern border. North Korea successfully test fired two medium range ballistic missiles. Hundreds of Christian civilians in Nigeria have slaughtered by Islamist terrorists that Obama and Kerry have pressured the Nigerian government to ‘accommodate’; UN nuclear inspectors reported that Iran is accelerating development of its nuclear program thus violating last November’s agreement with America. In our own hemisphere, Venezuela’s leftist regime escalated its brutal crackdown against opposition protestors, Russia announced plans to establish permanent basis in Venezuela and Cuba. In response, President Obama intensifies his rhetoric against Israel.

Maybe it is time that somebody important demand that Moshe Ya’alon retract his apology? If anything, Ya’alon’s “misplaced obsession and messianic fervor” comments might now subject him to charges of ‘understatement’.

The source of all this foolishness is much harder to accept than it is to identify. The Obama-Kerry (i.e. established Western) approach to peace in the Middle East is doomed to fail because it is built upon a false premise. It isn’t Israel’s current size, nor is it Israel’s current housing policy, nor is it even the current Israeli Prime Minister that is the source of the problem. The problem is Israel itself. It shouldn’t exist, argue its enemies. Until those who reject that existence either die off or genuinely accept the Jewish people’s right to a Jewish and sovereign state of their own, there is nothing Obama, Kerry, the UN or even Israel itself can do to “fix” the “problem.”

The Middle East “Peace Industry” is much too vested to allow itself to see any perspective other than the one it has spent 60 years constructing. Since it wants peace (and most of it does), then obviously everyone else must want peace too. Since President Obama and Secretary Kerry want peace, (and they almost surely do) then obviously the Palestinian people and the PA and Hamas who claim to represent them must want peace too. Since the Palestinians want peace, their continued resorts to violence must be the result of something Israel has forced upon them. War can not be a goal in itself for Israel’s enemies because it is not a goal for the Peace Industry.

Like Ptolemists struggling to defend geocentrism after Galileo, Obama can’t focus on Palestinian media incitement for the same reasons none of his predecessors did. Focusing on Palestinian incitement or terrorism would make those doing the inciting and the terrorising look bad. That might drive them away from the negotiating table. Without negotiating partners, there is no need for negotiating tables and the UN, the EU and the US have bought far too many negotiating tables to turn back now.

Obama can’t remind himself, let alone the world, that it was President Abbas who urged Arafat to reject Israel’s acceptance of nearly every Arafat demand in 1999 with a gruesome terror war against Israeli civilians because that would expose the falsity of his premise that the Palestinians truly want peace. He can’t point to opinion poll after opinion poll that shows an overwhelming majority of Palestinians reject the two state solution because that might undermine the carefully crafted image created by the West that Mahmoud Abbas represents a people who Obama says “yearn for peace with Israel.”

The President is hardly alone. Nearly the whole world has now developed an interest in ignoring Palestinian incitement. None more so than the world’s media. Focusing on Palestinian incitement would make the media look not just foolish but dishonest. It would threaten the entire foundation upon which Middle East peace making has been built over the past 60 years. Jettisoning the current approach to ‘Middle East peace making’ would upend an entire industry. It would spell the end for lavishly funded Washington peace institutes; it would mean no more glamorous global conferences, no more UN confabs and worst of all, perish the thought, no more Nobel Prizes for Middle East Peace Making.

The late Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov all but predicted the consequences of the UN’s infamous 1975 “Zionism is Racism” Resolution when he said: “It will only contribute to anti-semitism by giving it the appearance of international legality”.

Even years after its repeal, the sentiment that resolution validated lives on. It created a moral and legal justification for those who seek to destroy the very state created as a consequence of genocide and an antidote to future race-murder.

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Triple Amputee Air Force Veteran Brian Kolfage Eviscerates Obama In Epic Open Letter

Wounded Warrior Blasts Obama For Lack Of Leadership In Fiercely Worded Open Letter – Independent Journal Review

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Senior Airman Ret. Brian Kolfage vented his feelings to President Obama in a strongly worded letter that doesn’t mince words:

Dear President Obama,

My name is Brian Kolfage, I’m a triple amputee and retired Air Force veteran who was severely wounded on September 11, 2004 in Iraq.

I nearly died in a war that most of your colleagues supported overwhelmingly, including the two presidents who came before you. Many citizens may not agree with waging war in Iraq to free the oppressed Iraqi citizens, but it’s something that warriors like myself have no control over. I joined to serve my country and to better my life. I’ve seen things that you could never imagine, and they have made me the person I am today.

Mr. Obama, even though we have extreme opposite views, we have one thing in common, we both attended school in Hawaii. However, that’s where the similarities end. You see, as you attended your exclusive, private school, I would ride my bike to Kaimuki High School in one of the roughest areas in Hawaii. Every morning I would ride past Punahou, the exclusive private school you attended and I would notice all of the Bentleys, Maseratis, and fancy foreign cars that all the kids were dropped off in; wow it must have been extremely rough in Hawaii living that life, right? I could only imagine what it was like to have that kind of money. Fortunately for you, not many people are aware of the school that you and the upper class citizens of Hawaii attended. The tuition to attend your exclusive, private school was more than it cost me to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Arizona. You talk a big game when it comes to financial inequality, yet I’m quite sure you have no idea what it’s truly like to have to sacrifice. You were one of the elitist children in Hawaii.

After High School, we each chose very different paths. You were able to attend America’s finest Ivy League schools, while I pursued a career in the military, in hopes of earning a degree. What we have in life as children usually helps to set the tone for how we acheive success later in life. I worked to get where I am today, while it was HANDED TO YOU… Mr. Inequality.

I volunteered to go to Iraq on both of my deployments, and the second time I begged to go even after I wasn’t selected. During that second deployment, I was ultimately placed on the team where I would lose both legs and my dominant arm. Even though many Americans were against the war in Iraq, I’ve never asked myself if it was worth it after losing 3 of my limbs.

I am frequently reminded of the many young Iraqi children who would beg me for water, food, and toys while I was stationed in Iraq. Children, who in all aspects made the poorest of poor American children look rich. You have no idea what it really means to be poor. It’s laughable that you, who would have no idea what it means to be poor would so frequently play the inequality card.

While I was in Iraq, our mission was to liberate the Iraqi citizens from a tyrant and that’s what we did. Never forget, it was your people who sent us there, like the Clintons, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi & Carl Levin. However, since the day you busted onto the scene you’ve been talking about ending the war and pulling the troops out, not understanding the blood sweat and tears that so many Americans and Iraqi’s invested. And with complete disregard for every life sacrificed, every limb lost, and every broken family, you bailed on our mission to pursue an agenda that was completely centered on your re-election in 2012. If you didn’t bail on Iraq you were worried that you may not get re-elected and that’s a fact. Just before elections on Oct 11, 2012 you said “Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.” Look at Iraq now, they are in shambles and the Al Qaeda flag is flying freely. Clearly, you’re unfit for duty as a Commander in Chief. You put your own agenda ahead of America’s agenda, and now you have single handedly ruined and destroyed nearly everything we gained in Iraq. It clearly means nothing to you, because the only thing that you’ve personally invested in that country was a promise to bail on them. However, people like me gave limbs, friends have died, and we’ve watched families destroyed by war’s aftermath.

I’m not placing blame on you for the war, I’m placing blame on you for destroying what we’ve worked so hard to build. You’re not a leader, you’re a community organizer. A leader would have stood up regardless of the situation and put America’s agenda first and that is ensuring a secure Iraq even after 10 years of war. But, you placed Barack first, just as Robert Gates confirmed in his new book. I can’t help but think of those poor kids who I gave water and toys to 11 years ago. They’re probably 15 or 16 years old now, and I can only imagine what it’s like for them to have their nation being torn apart yet again; all because of your poor leadership qualities. Regardless of why we went to Iraq, its water under the bridge. We went there, we waged war, and we not only owed it to our KIA’s but we owed it to the citizens of Iraq. We invaded their country and turned it upside down, and you bailed on them. You bailed on our soldiers and you’ve wasted every death and every limb, it’s all for nothing. And to make matters worse you blame others for your failures.

You’re just another elitist rich thug who’s pretended to live the rough life growing up in the inner-city. You’re only worried about your own agenda and furthering your party instead of taking care of Americans. Your inability to be a leader at some of the most critical points has caused both of our wars to fail. You’ve been a joke to most of our veteran community and we have no faith in your ability to lead.

Senior Airman Ret Brian Kolfage USAF

“The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.” – Lou Holtz

Senior Airman Ret. Brian Kolfage truly sacrificed for this country because it has championed the ideals of freedom and equality; and like many other citizens, he now perceives Obama to be a threat to the American way of life.

Certainly, we wish the best for wounded vets like Senior Airman Ret. Kolfage, and godspeed.

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