Art of the Crooked Deal
Many feel that the Hillary Uranium deal with Russia put her in the same category as Benedict Arnold, the American revolutionary war traitor.
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Article printed from Infowars: http://www.infowars.com
Is it ISIS – ransacking, raping and beheading its way across the region to carve out a new Caliphate and threatening terrorism inside U.S. borders – or is it Putin and his gang, cornering American statesmen in a deadly game of chess that could lead at any time to all-out nuclear war?
The answers may be conflicting, but it is clear that Obama has no idea what he is doing, and no way of containing all that confronts U.S. interests overseas. Check.
With Ukraine still boiling in the background, Vladimir Putin has taken things up a notch in Syria, by deploying 28 combat planes to aid Assad’s regime for reasons that don’t exactly rule out offensive attacks, or downplay concerns about Russian aggression..
This is just the latest and most pointed maneuver in the build-up of what has been dubbed “the largest deployment of Russian forces outside the former Soviet Union” since its collapse.
AFP reported that the Russia has sent in more than two dozen fighter planes to aid Assad against ISIS:
Russia has deployed 28 combat planes in Syria, US officials said Monday, confirming the latest move in Moscow’s increasing military presence in the war-torn nation.
“There are 28 fighter and bomber aircraft” at an airfield in the western Syrian province of Latakia, one of the officials told AFP… A second official… added there were about 20 Russian combat and transport helicopters at the base. That official also said Russia was operating drones over Syria.
This already complicated proxy war is taking on new dimensions, and arming up for a new phase of conflict.
Russia’s military build-up in Syria has grown to include the shipment of a half-dozen highly sophisticated battle tanks — and more troops— [the] first clear sign of offensive weapons arriving in Syria,” a defense official told Fox News. “This is the largest deployment of Russian forces outside the former Soviet Union since the collapse of the USSR.”
The catch, of course, is that Russia is preparing to defend Assad against ISIS – not to pick a fight with the West. But looks could be deceiving, and the schism between East and West cuts too deep to allow for a unified front against terrorism.
The United States has warned that Russian military backing for the Syrian regime only risks sending more extremists to the war-torn country and could further hamper any effort at bringing peace.
Moscow, meanwhile, has been on a diplomatic push to get the coalition of Western and regional powers fighting the Islamic State group to join forces with Assad against the jihadists.
The maneuver is interesting, because evidence continually points towards the covert Western-funding of Islamic State forces, as well as significant overlap between ISIS and anti-Assad rebel forces.
Putin’s latest tact would call the United States on the need to beat back the supposedly-unintentional outgrowth and takeover by the extremist ISIS forces in the region, and prioritize taking out America’s “number one terrorist threat” before belaboring the removal of Bashar al-Assad and empire building in the Middle East.
However, the bulk of United States’ diplomacy so far in the region appears much more concerned with Russia’s overt involvement than with eradicating ISIS forces. Record-sized war games have been acted out by both sides, and many military drills have doubled as stand offs that nearly sparked full-on war, according to reports. Will Putin call their bluff?
And what will it mean for the pending deal with Iran?
There is much, of course, that isn’t being said here, but on the surface, taking ISIS out of the equation would surely be a good thing.
As one commenter stated, “Excellent news. It’s time to get rid of the rebels so Syrians can return home.”
Article republished from WND: http://www.wnd.com
TEL AVIV – While outspoken critics view President Obama’s announcement of renewed diplomatic ties with Havana as rewarding a dictatorship, the White House move may have more to do with checking Russia’s growing influence in Cuba, located just 90 miles from the U.S. coast.
On Wednesday, Obama announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba, including the goal of reopening a U.S. Embassy in Havana that had been closed for 50 years. The U.S. will ease travel restrictions on Cuba and will make it easier for Americans doing business in the country. The State Department has been ordered to review Cuba’s status as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Russia responded to the U.S. move with public praise. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called Obama’s decision a “step in the right direction.” However, the Russians must be concerned Obama is responding to Moscow’s recent muscle-flexing in Cuba.
In July, the London Guardian reported Russia had quietly struck a deal with Cuba to reopen the Lourdes military base, a Soviet-era spy base and military facility that was the USSR’s largest foreign base during the Cold War. The Soviets reportedly used the base to intercept American radio and telephone communications. Some have seen the base’s reopening as largely symbolic, since spy methods now rely more on satellites and technology that can be deployed from anywhere. The Guardian quoted Moscow-based defense analyst Pavel Felgenhauer downplaying the reopening of the base as a “PR move” to show Washington the “middle finger.” Still, he allowed the base could be utilized for corporate espionage, explaining “because when individuals chatter they’re not always so attentive of secure lines.”
Robert Jervis, professor of international politics at Columbia University, warned Russia could use the base to provide information to communist allies such as Venezuela and Bolivia.
There is no mistaking the base reopening combined with other recent Russian moves toward Cuba pose a challenge to the U.S. It may in part help explain why, as part of the new rapprochement, Obama is eager to open a U.S. embassy on Cuban soil. The facility will clearly help establish a U.S. presence to check Russia in the country.
In August, Putin paid a visit to Cuba, where the Russian strongman reportedly forgave 90 percent of Cuba’s unpaid Soviet-era debts, which totaled $32 billion. He also reportedly signed industry, energy and trade deals with Cuba that includes a search for oil in Cuban waters. Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University, saw Putin’s trip to Cuba as “a reply to Obama’s notion that Russia could be isolated, by saying, ‘Hey, here we are back 90 miles off your shore with a big greeting, and we’re going back into economic business here.’” According to media reports, Putin utilized a Latin American tour in August to sign numerous military agreements to place Russian global positioning stations in not only Cuba but also Argentina and Brazil.
In February 2013, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reportedly signed a deal with Cuba to lease eight Russian jets.
In a move undoubtedly watched closely by the Pentagon, in April 2013 Russian Military Chief of Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov reportedly toured key Cuban military and intelligence site. Four months later, a spokesman for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet told reporters the fleet’s flagship, the Russian guided-missile warship Moskva, would tour the coast of Cuba and Central and South American ports. In February, it was reported another Russian warship, the Viktor Leonov CCB-175, had docked in Cuba.
With additional research by Joshua Klein.
BEIJING (AP) — On the surface, President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin were all niceties — a pat on the back here, a pleasantry there. But away from the cameras, the two leaders circled each other warily at a global summit in China, coming face to face while relations between their countries continue to deteriorate.
The White House said Obama and Putin spoke three times Tuesday on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific economic meeting, tackling some of the tough issues that have strained their relationship, including Russia’s provocations in Ukraine and support for Syria’s embattled government. They also discussed the fast-approaching deadline in nuclear talks with Iran, in which the U.S. and Russia find themselves on the same negotiating team.
Unlike at some of their past meetings, Obama and Putin kept their deep-seated policy disagreements behind the scenes. But their public encounters suggested their relationship remains tense.
Picturesque Yanqi Lake, just outside of Beijing, became the venue for an awkward pas de deux between two of the most powerful leaders in the world. Entering an ornate, wood-paneled room for the start of the summit, Obama and Putin looked a bit like sidekicks to Chinese President Xi Jinping. The summit’s host led the way, with the American on one side and the Russian on the other.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Putin said in Obama’s direction. “Yes, it is”, concurred a reticent Obama, avoiding eye contact with Putin and addressing his response to no one in particular.
As the three presidents came to a stop at the head of the table, Putin reached out to give Obama a slap on the back. But Obama had turned in a different direction, and it didn’t appear that the Putin’s hand landed on its intended target.
A few hours later, the two again found themselves in close quarters under an overcast sky as leaders planted trees in honor of their counties. Putin strode confidently up to his tree, ahead of Obama, who clasped his hands behind his back before picking up a shovel and greeting a Spanish TV crew with a wave.
Neither the White House nor the Kremlin offered much in the way of detail about the policy conversations Obama and Putin had on the sidelines of the summit. Putin’s spokesman said only that the two had spoken a few times, touching on “bilateral relations, the situation around Ukraine, Syria and Iran.”
The U.S. is furious over Russia’s presumed role in fueling pro-Russian rebels in neighboring Ukraine. White House officials have accused Russia of sending heavy weapons to the separatists and shelling Ukrainian troops, and have denounced Russia’s buildup of forces along the border.
A truce reached in September between the rebels and Ukraine’s government is teetering, destabilized by what the White House calls a “blatant escalation” by Russia and rebel-organized elections in eastern Ukraine that the U.S. condemned as a “sham.” Vice President Joe Biden, in a phone call last week with Ukraine’s president, vowed further U.S. sanctions against Moscow “if Russia continued to willfully violate the terms” of the cease-fire.
Russia’s economy has taken a major hit following U.S. and EU sanctions — the ruble has plunged by a third this year and hit an all-time low last week — but Putin has dismissed the notion that he’s hurting at the hands of the West. Addressing the Asia-Pacific economic summit here Monday, Putin said his government had the resources to stabilize its currency without taking any emergency measures.
“We want Russia to play a different role,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said Tuesday. “We want Russia to be a stabilizing force on issues that we care about. But they’re not going to be able to do that … if they’re violating the sovereignty of a country next door.”
Rhodes said Obama wouldn’t not be seeking out a meeting with Putin while in Beijing — nor in Brisbane, Australia, where the leaders will once again run into each other during a Group of 20 economic summit this weekend. “Putin knows where we stand,” Rhodes said, adding that Obama may discuss Russia’s actions with other G-20 leaders.
For Obama and Putin, awkward encounters at international gatherings have become almost expected. But the optics have gained even greater attention as the Ukraine crisis has taken center stage.
In June, on the sidelines of D-Day anniversary commemorations in Normandy, France, Obama and Putin avoided each other during a group photo, with Obama even using Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as a buffer. The two later spoke briefly during a private leaders’ lunch.
And during a formal meeting last year during a summit in Northern Ireland, Putin slumped in his chair and sat stone-faced as Obama tried to joke about the Russian leader’s athletic ability. Obama later said Putin frequently looks like “the bored kid in the back of the classroom.”
AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace in Beijing and AP writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.