Monthly Archives: January 2009

>USSR2 File: Communist Party of the Russian Federation, other reds, Islamists unite under banner of Left Front to oust potemkin Putinist regime

>This past October an important political development occurred in Russia in which the openly communist forces of that country, with Gennady Zyuganov’s Communist Party of the Russian Federation at the helm, organized under the banner of the Left Front. The main objective of the Left Front is to oust the potemkin Putinist regime, which in any case is staffed by individuals who began their careers in the old Soviet regime, and openly re-implement Marxism in Russia and the Not-So-Former Soviet republics. The current global financial crisis, which has also adversely affected the Russian economy, will provide overt communists like Zyuganov and August 1991 coup mastermind Oleg Shenin with considerable ammunition to leverage some sort of coup in Moscow, whether by bullets or ballots.

The Red Youth Vanguard (AKM), which is affiliated with Shenin’s faction of the continuing Communist Party of the Soviet Union, occupies the Left Front’s leadership. According to AKM leader Sergey Udaltsov: “The Left Front will unite the majority of healthy, progressive, energetic, and, for the most part, young, left-wing forces of Russia. We finally agreed on combined actions, and agreed to reject ambitions, and ignore offences and ideological differences and act together.” Last month Udaltsov and other AKM thugs were arrested outside the Greek embassy in Moscow, where they were expressing solidarity with the communist-inspired riots that rocked Greece following the shooting death by police of an Athens teenager. AKM was formerly part of the Other Russia coalition, of which chess champion Garry Kasparov was the most internationally recognizable leader. Pictured above: Udaltsov in past confrontation with Russian police.

According to State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev, an “ex”-communist who represents the supposedly pro-Putin Just Russia party, “In the current situation of crisis, the purpose of the Left Front is the creation of a new society. We must interrupt the capitalist set-up.”

In a not-very-surprising development Russia’s Islamist groups are also involved in the Left Front. The banned National Bolsheviks also joined the new umbrella organization for Russia’s leftists. The article below was published at the English site of Prima News, the publication of the Moscow Human Rights News Agency, but is no longer accessible. A copy can be found here.

Pictured below, from left to right: The leaders of the constituent congress of the All-Russian Movement Left Front, including Islamic Committee of Russia leader Heidar Jemal, Udaltsov, Russian Communist Party-Communist Party of the Soviet Union leader Alexei Prigarin, Krasnodar journalist and Russian Communist Party activist Olga Ivanova, and Ponomarev.

Left Front of Russia founded
21.10.2008 19:55 MSK

RUSSIA, Moscow. A new oppositional movement has been founded in Russia – The Left Front. On October 18, in Moscow at the Izmailov Hotel Complex, a Constitutive Congress was held, where 143 delegates from 32 regions of the Federation were gathered, reported the Organizing Committee of the Left Front (LF) on October 19.

The following organizations participated in the work of the congress: the Advance Guard of Red Youth (AKM), the Russian Communist Party-CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) (RKP-CPSU), the Union of Communist Youth (SKM), the Russian Young Communist League (RKSM), Russian Communist Working Party-Revolutionary Party of Communists (RKRP-RPK), Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (VKPB), the movement “Working Russia”, the Associations of Marxist Organizations, the Islamic Committee [of Russia], the National Bolsheviks, and anarchists and activists of other social movements.

At the congress, members of the Organizing Committee of the Left Front spoke, including Aleksey Prigarin, Ilya Ponomarev, Sergey Udaltsov, Aleksey Sakhnin, Gemal Dzhemalya, Constantine Bakulev, Dmitriy Galkin, and Karin Kleman, and then the session took place.

According to AKM leader Sergey Udaltsov, the Left Front will unite “the majority of healthy, progressive, energetic, and, for the most part, young, left-wing forces of Russia. We finally agreed on combined actions, and agreed to reject ambitions, and ignore offences and ideological differences and act together”.

According to Gosduma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev, in the current situation of crisis, the purpose of the Left Front is the creation of a new society. “We must interrupt the capitalist set-up”, added Ponomarev. He also stated that all left-wing organizations are regarded as allies of the newly created movement.

RKP-CPSU leader Aleksey Prigarin stated that a new type of party can be created on the basis of the Left Front: a party that is “flexible and capable of both decisive action and of propagandistic work”.

In the opinion of the Chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia, and member of the Organizing Committee, Gemal Dzhemalya, in modern Russia “…there is a vacuum of political space; authority has been usurped by the bureaucracy”. Left-wing organizations are attempting to fill this vacuum and expect to overcome the bureaucratic heritage. National minorities, says Gemal, are forced to resist political persecution, and this is possible only through the left platform.

Director of the “Collective Action” Institute and member of the Organizing Committee of the Left Front, Karin Kleman, spoke about the role of social movements. She focused attention on the current politicization of these movements and named values general to all social activists: self-organizing, self-guidance, social justice, and public control over authority.

The following documents were accepted at the congress: a political platform and the Organizational Principles, Strategy, and the Tactics of the Left Front, which will be published after modification by the editorial commission. The congress also affirmed symbols of the movement – the flag and emblem. Leadership of the Left Front will be governed by a council which consists of more than 50 people, and an executive committee will guide coordination of activities. LF members are leaders of organizations which joined the Left Front, and representatives of regional departments of the LF. The Congress of the Left Front passed without the incident, in spite of strict control by the police, noted the LF communication.

Translated by OM Kenney PRIMA-News Agency [2008-10-20-Rus-19]

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>USSR2 File: Global recession hits Russia hard, communists call for national protests, Putin’s resignation; regional officials side with demonstrators

>Soviet Strategists Manipulate Global Recession to Oust Potemkin Putinist Regime, Reassert Open Communist Control in Moscow

Pictured here: Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev meets with representatives of Russia’s parliamentary parties at Barvikha, outside Moscow, on January 28, 2009. In attendance are Gennady Zyuganov of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (right), Sergei Mironov of Just Russia (second from right), Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party (third from right), and Boris Gryzlov of United Russia (second from left). Every politician seated at this table, per KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn’s 25-year-old warnings, is connected to the old Soviet regime.

According to the British media, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is defying a Kremlin ban on marches by calling for country-wide protests this Saturday that will demand improved living conditions and the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his cabinet. Even though Putin enjoys a public approval rating of 83 percent, Russian officials expect at least 600,000 people to take part in demonstrations held across dozens of cities. “Government figures show the Russian economy shrank 0.7 per cent in December, the first year-on-year decline since the 1990s,” The Telegraph reports, “One million people lost their jobs in the same month as falling oil prices undermined Russia’s energy driven economy.” In Kazan, for example, KamAz, Russia’s largest truck manufacturer, is suspending operations until February 12. In a similar development, Ford’s St. Petersburg plant shut down its assembly lines on December 24, only to reopen on January 21.

Attempting to divine the inner workings of the neo-Soviet leadership, The Telegraph states: “The Kremlin’s unease has been deepened by the spectacle of mass protests on Russia’s periphery and beyond. Police have broken up violent anti-government protests in Latvia and Lithuania, whilst smaller demonstrations have erupted in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Hungary, all of which are struggling to deal with the financial crisis. Protests in Iceland forced the government to call early elections last week.” “The number of unhappy people is still manageable but is on the rise,” The Telegraph quotes Nikolai Petrov, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Centre, as saying, “There is especial danger in cities and towns where local industry has collapsed.”

In a noteworthy development, regional and local officials in Russia are starting to side with anti-Putin demonstrators. For example, last month in Vladivostok police defied orders to quell demonstrations against a car import tariff. United Russia officials in the country’s Far East publicly articulated their support for the protests. Unimpressed by this breakdown in the command structure, the Kremlin flew in special troops from Moscow to break up the Vladivostok protests. As a result, dozens of demonstrators were injured and 200 others arrested. “The rebellion by state officials,” opines The Telegraph, “is unprecedented in the Putin era and raises doubts over how strong loyalty to the prime minister really is in Russia’s far slung regions.”

Yesterday, while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Putin revealed his true color (red) by blaming the global credit collapse on the practice of using the US dollar as a reserve currency:

The one reserve currency has become a danger to the world economy: that is now obvious to everybody. The pride of Wall Street investment banks don’t exist any more. We are witnessing a truly global crisis. The speed of developments beats every record, and the strategic difference from the Great Depression is that under globalisation this touches everyone. This has multiplied the destructive force. It looks exactly like the perfect storm.

Although we expected that they might do so during the 2007-2008 election season in Russia, the Soviet strategists may once again attempt to manipulate the global recession to oust the potemkin Putinist regime and reassert open communist control in Moscow. This may now be feasible in view of the fact that Latin America has all but succumbed to the region’s Red Axis, while the US and European economies have ground to a halt, undermining the long-term financial sustainability of NATO’s armed forces.

In addition to Iceland, the banking systems and governments of the United Kingdom and Greece, two important European Union countries; Latvia and Ukraine, two “former” Soviet republics; and Nicaragua, once again under open Sandinista control; face ruin as a result of the global recession. A Canadian columnist, citing Foreign Policy, a journal founded by US political scientist Samuel P. Huntington (died 2008), writes:

In its latest edition, Foreign Policy magazine includes an alarming look at five countries that could follow Iceland down the path to “to economic ruin and political meltdown.” As previously detailed, Iceland is a mess: its banks have collapsed, the government has been ousted and normally stoic Icelanders have taken to pelting political leaders with eggs and toilet paper. Foreign Policy suggests the same could happen in Britain, Ukraine, Greece, Latvia and Nicaragua.

Other signals that the global economy has lurched to a halt are the collapse of international shipping rates, the multitudes of shipping containers piling up in ports worldwide, and idle longshoremen. “They have already hit zero,” said Charles de Trenck, a broker at Transport Trackers in Hong Kong, referring to freight rates. “We have seen trade activity fall off a cliff. Asia-Europe is an unmit­igated disaster.” The Telegraph describes the importance of the Baltic Dry Index as an indicator of the health, or lack thereof, of global commerce:

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) which measures freight rates for bulk commodities such as iron ore and grains crashed several months ago, falling 96pc. The BDI – though a useful early-warning index – is highly volatile and exaggerates apparent ups and downs in trade. However, the latest phase of the shipping crisis is different. It has spread to core trade of finished industrial goods, the lifeblood of the world economy.

A report by ING earlier this month revealed that shipping activity at US ports has crashed. Outbound traffic from Long Beach and Los Angeles, the country’s two busiest ports, has fallen by 18pc year-on-year. “This is no regular cycle slowdown, but a complete collapse in foreign demand,” remarked Lindsay Coburn, ING’s trade consultant. The World Bank, the article concludes, provoked “shockwaves” last month when it issued a warning to the effect that global trade may decline in 2009 for the first time since the Second World War.

Economic crisis. Political crisis. War. Hunger. These are the revolutionary situations that communists and their fellow travellers will grasp to revitalize the war against property, nation, family, and God.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Bear bombers fly near Alaska; 4th Indo-Soviet naval maneuver begins; Russia accuses Georgia of capturing soldier

>I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal.
— US President Barack Hussein Obama, on campaign trail, quoted by NewsMax.com, June 10, 2008

– Cuban President/Tyrant Castro Arrives in Moscow on First State Visit since 1984, Promotes “Defense-Related” Cooperation between Moscow and Havana

– American Enterprise Institute Analyst: Russia Playing Double Game with North Korea by Offering Stalinist Regime Nuclear Technology, Brokering Six-Party Disarmament Talks

The Russian Air Force’s weekly long-range missions, which officially resumed in August 2007, continued yesterday with the flight of two Tu-95 bombers over the Arctic Ocean, near Alaska. “Two Tu-95MS strategic bombers took off from an airbase in eastern Russia on Tuesday and successfully carried out a patrol mission over the neutral waters of the Arctic Ocean and near Alaska,” Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Drik, who regularly comments on this subject, informed state-run Novosti. Drik elaborated: “During the 10-hour mission, the crews practiced instrumental flight maneuvers in Arctic climate conditions. En route, the bombers were accompanied for 10 minutes by four USAF F-15 Eagle fighters.” The Bear bomber’s powerplant technology may be 50 years old, but the Tu-95s are robust air-launched cruise missile platforms and should not be mocked.

Meanwhile, power networking among Communist Bloc leaders continues apace with Cuban President/Tyrant Raul Castro beginning an historic one-week visit to Moscow today (pictured above, arriving in Moscow). “Raul Castro’s visit will give a serious impetus to the development of bilateral relations,” Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev, a Soviet Komsomol graduate, was quoted by state-run Itar-Tass as saying. “The friendship between Russia and Cuba haspassed the test of time,” gushed Medvedev. Castro, a known KGB asset like his older brother Fidel, last visited Moscow in 1984, while Medevedev made an official visit to Havana last November. “After the pause in 1990s relations began restoring when the then president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, visited our country in 2000,” Castro, Fidel’s younger brother, informed Itar-Tass in an exclusive interview. “We consider this visit very important. This was the visit of the Russian leader that we name the second stage of our relations. We restored certain agreements, which were now being implemented.” Castro continued:

This is the base of relations between Russia and Cuba. I can justly say – today our countries maintain excellent relations. My upcoming visit to Moscow will continue strengthening and developing today’ s relations between Russia and Cuba. What do we hope for this visit? We hope to strengthen and consolidate what we achieved earlier and take one more step towards this direction. Both sides accumulated big experience. Our people know each other very well that is the solid base of our relations. We hope that these relations will be developed and strengthened in the future.

Last Friday, the Cuba-Russia Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation, meeting in Moscow, drafted a memorandum of understanding that will facilitate Russian-led oil exploration in Cuban waters. The consortium of companies includes the Cuba Petroleum Corporation and the Russian National Oil Consortium, itself consisting of Gazprom-neft, TNK-BP, Zarubezhneft, Rosneft, and Surgutneftegaz. In a related story, earlier this month former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, a shameless Kremlin stooge, was appointed to TNK-BP’s board of directors. On January 15 Bloomberg reported: “Schroeder has close personal ties with Putin and chairs OAO Gazprom’s Nord Stream pipeline venture, which plans to build a link under the Baltic Sea to supply Russian natural gas directly to Germany. President Dmitry Medvedev was Gazprom’s chairman before being elected to the presidency last year.” In the face of Moscow’s annual pricing spats with Kiev, which (not so) coincidentally occur in winter when Europe is most dependent on Russian natural gas shipments pumped via Ukraine, the Germans may wish to reconsider the wisdom of Nord Stream.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who was the Soviet Union’s pointman for weapons smuggling to Latin American insurgents during the 1980s, indicated that Moscow and Havana also plan to further cooperation in “defence-related technologies.” “Defense-related cooperation is part and parcel of our cooperation in general and we conduct it in full conformity with international agreements,” Sechin explained, defending the Moscow-Havana defense pact, “Everyone understands the importance of continued work in this sphere perfectly well, as our relations there aim to guarantee common security of our countries. Both Russia and Cuba have a sovereign right to cooperate with each other in this sphere.” We have previously documented Russia’s incremental assembling of a Red Dawn-style military coalition in Latin America.

Last month Castro’s Nicaraguan comrade President Daniel Ortega also made his first “post”-Cold War trek to Moscow, cap in hand. In our assessment Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela constitute Latin America’s communist troika, the pro-Soviet core of the region’s Red Axis. Hugo Chavez, for example, has visited Moscow no less than eight times since becoming Venezuela’s president in 1999, hosted Russian strategic bombers on his soil, and conducted a joint naval drill with the Russian Navy in the USA’s “backyard pool,” the Caribbean Sea.

Admittedly, Russia’s military is a shadow of its former strength in the “old” Soviet era. However, in spite of the global economic recession and the embarrassing poverty of Russia’s well-educated populace, the Putinist-Medvedevist regime is throwing a mass of rubles at the country’s military to modernize the Strategic Missile Forces and other branches of the armed forces, reform command structures, and improve troop morale. Deficiencies in all three areas were duly noted by Kremlin military planners during Russia’s re-invasion and occupation of Georgia last August.

In East Asia Moscow is cementing its relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin began his visit to Pyongyang yesterday. There the Russian diplomat met with North Korean counterpart Kang Sok-un. Borodavkin’s consultations with Kim Kye-gwan, the DPRK’s chief negotiator at the six-party talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, are scheduled for Thursday. “Our agenda is rather extensive,” Borodavkin told Itar-Tass, “We’ll discuss the development of bilateral ties, the situation in the Asia-Pacific region and, naturally, we’ll speak about our interaction within the framework of the six-party talks on nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula. I hope that the consultations will be held in the spirit of our traditional friendly relations with the DPRK and give an additional impetus to the development of ties.”

From the vantage of the long-range Soviet strategy in East Asia, which is to subvert non-communist states like the Republic of Korea, the Republic of China, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines into the Communist Bloc, the Kremlin has every good tactical reason to covertly support North Korea’s nuclear energy program. The last resulted in the underground test-detonation of the Stalinist regime’s first atomic bomb in October 2006. Nicholas Eberstadt, a North Korea expert at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, commented several months before that event: “Russia often seems more ambitious to restore that influence than to play a positive role in international affairs. We’ve got no reason to doubt that Moscow is playing a double game with North Korea. It’s not entirely surprising considering Vladimir Putin himself came up with the harebrained suggestion some years ago that Moscow, as a protector and provider for the North Korean regime, launch a North Korean satellite.”

In South Asia Moscow is consolidating its strategic partnership with India via the latter’s observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, military hardware sales, joint military research and development projects, and regular combined military exercises. Yesterday, the Russian and Indian navies commenced the fourth biennial Indra drill, the first having taken place in 2003, ostensibly designed to counter high seas piracy, terrorism, and drug smuggling. “The first stage of a PASSEX type exercise involves practicing combat interoperability and communications drills,” Novosti quoted one source as saying. The Northern Fleet’s Peter the Great missile cruiser and the Indian guided-missile destroyer INS Delhi are participating in the first stage of the drill, which will last until January 29. Afterward, the Russian cruiser will visit the Indian port of Marmugao until January 31, before making waves for the Somali coast. There Peter the Great will carry out the second stage of the drills in cooperation with a task force from Russia’s Pacific Fleet, comprising the Admiral Vinogradov, a tugboat and two fuel tankers, which are carrying out anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.

In a related story, the Indian Navy announced last Friday that there is “no delay” in its acquisition of a Russian nuclear-powered Akula-class submarine following a lethal technical glitch during last November’s sea trials. At the same time India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation admitted today that a supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by Moscow and New Delhi failed to hit its target in a test previously reported as successful. “The missile performance was absolutely normal till the last phase, but it missed the target, though it maintained the direction,” BrahMos project chief Sivathanu Pillai told the Press Trust of India. The missile was fired from the Pokhran range in the western desert state of Rajasthan, bordering Pakistan, that was also the site of India’s nuclear tests in 1998. The missile is named after India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River.

In the Caucasus region Russia, in what appears to be a Kremlin-inspired provocation to justify expanding its occupation of Georgia, is accusing the “pro”-Western regime in Tbilisi of kidnapping one of its soldiers in the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Russian military spokesentity Alexander Drobyshevsky responded angrily to a video of Russian army deserter Alexander Glukhov tucking into a fast-food meal at McDonald’s in downtown Tbilisi: “This was a media provocation obtained under physical and moral pressure under which anything possible can be obtained.” The Georgian interior ministry, however, countered the Russian assertion by insisting that the soldier had surrendered to Georgian police and requested Georgian citizenship because of “unbearable conditions” in the Russian Ground Forces. “The soldier said he was serving in unbearable conditions in Akhalgori, with poor food supply and not even minimal sanitary conditions. The soldier wants to stay in Georgia and to ask the president to grant him Georgian citizenship,” Interior Ministry spokesman Zurab Gvenetadze told the AFP news agency. Soviet forces have illegally occupied Georgia’s two separatist regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia since last August’s brief Caucasian War.

Finally, the Kremlin continues to test the resolve of newly installed US President Barack Hussein Obama by officially denying Russian media reports that Moscow has decided to suspend plans to deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad. Russian Defense Ministry officials called the reports “premature” and added: “Russia has not taken any practical steps to deploy the short-range Iskander missiles and therefore one can not speak of a suspension.” Within hours of Obama’s electoral victory in November, President Medvedev threaten to counter US plans to install 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic by deploying tactical missiles in the Baltic Sea exclave wedged between Poland and Lithuania. Russia considers the US National Missile Defense program a threat to its security. On the campaign trail last year Obama’s pledge to essentially scrap implementation of the treaties signed with Warsaw and Prague must have been music to the ears of the Soviet strategists:

I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems. I will set a goal for a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal.

Got bunker?

>Breaking News: Middle East truce shattered as Israeli tanks roll back into Gaza, avenge RPG attack on soldier; US, Egypt intercept Iranian arms ship

>The Israeli-Hamas cease-fire, barely 10 days old, is effectively over. According to Arutz Sheva, the Israeli Defense Forces sent their tanks and infantry back into the Gaza Strip this afternoon to avenge the death of a soldier killed by Hamas in a rocket-propelled grenade attack. Three other Israeli soldiers were wounded in the incident. Within hours IDF troops reached Khan Yunis in central Gaza. “This is a serious attack,” rumbled Defense Minister Ehud Barak (pictured above), who was present near the Tzeelim army base where and when the attack occurred. “We cannot accept it and we will retaliate. I do not think there is any point in saying how.”

Ground Troops, Tanks Return to Gaza; Hamas Attacks Negev
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

January 27, 2009

(IsraelNN.com) IDF tanks rolled back into Gaza along with foot soldiers Tuesday afternoon following an early morning roadside bomb explosion and a rocket-propelled grenade attack that killed one soldier and wounded three others, one seriously.

Hamas warned that it has not agreed to a “calm” and that its previous ceasefire announcement is dependent on Israel’s re-opening Gaza crossings to all commercial traffic.

“This is a serious attack,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told soldiers during a visit near a base close to the scene of the attack and at the same time it occurred. “We cannot accept it and we will retaliate. I do not think there is any point in saying how.”

He carried out his threat within hours as troops reached Khan Yunis in central Gaza. Local residents reported tank fire and Israel Air Force jets over the area. Arab sources also reported that the Air Force struck a terrorist target on a motorcycle, killing or wounding two people. The IDF say the cyclist was responsible for the morning attack.

Hamas responded with mortar fire on the Eshkol region, causing no damages or injuries but returned the area to the status quo of the days before the Cast Lead operation against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

The attack on the IDF patrol occurred around 8 a.m., after two or three terrorists were seen by local Arabs to be planting the roadside explosive that was detonated as an army vehicle passed.

Troops opened fire immediately, and one Arab was killed. His identity was not confirmed, and Gaza sources claimed he was a farmer. The attack came at the same time United States Middle East envoy Sen. George C. Mitchell was scheduled to confer with Egyptian officials prior to his arrival in Israel later this week.

In related story, reported by the Jerusalem Post below, the US and Egyptian navies have intercepted the Iranian-owned Cypriot-flagged Nochegorsk in the Red Sea. The former Russian freighter is laden with arms apparently destined for Gaza’s terrorist regime. Troops from the USS San Antonio, namely, Combined Task Force 151, first boarded the ship on January 19 and 20. The international naval task force discovered artillery shells but amazingly, according to Fox News, was legally unable to confiscate the arms–despite the violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution that prohibits Iran from selling arms–because there is no enforcement mechanism in place. Now the Egyptian Navy is holding the vessel at a Red Sea port just to the south of the Suez Canal. The article below reports that “. . . since the conclusion of Operation Cast Lead, large quantities of explosives, machine guns and other weaponry had arrived in the Sinai peninsula, but the Egyptians were taking measures to prevent them from being smuggled into Gaza, including erecting road blocks near Rafah and increasing patrols in the area.”

Cairo intercepts Iranian arms ship
Jan 26, 2009 23:43 Updated Jan 27, 2009 16:11

Israel is closely tracking an Iranian freighter believed to be carrying weaponry for Hamas that is currently docked in the Red Sea outside the Suez Canal, after Egypt refused to permit it to cross the waterway to the Mediterranean.

According to a report received at the Defense Ministry from the Pentagon, the US Navy recently boarded an Iranian vessel that was carrying artillery shells and other weaponry.


“This is a big test for the Egyptians,” a senior defense official said. “So far the Egyptians have prevented the ship from crossing the Suez and we hope it will stay that way.”

Defense officials said that Iran is trying to supply Hamas with new Grad-model Katyusha rockets and to replace high-grade explosives that were exhausted or destroyed by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead.

“There are two main smuggling routes,” one official explained. “Some of the weaponry comes by ground from Somalia, Sudan and then into Egypt and through a tunnel into Gaza, while some comes by boat.”

The boats sometimes unload the shipments in the Sinai’s Port Said, where it is smuggled into Gaza by land. Other times, the shipments are dropped overboard in waterproof containers and are picked up by Palestinian fishermen or divers.

As reported in The Jerusalem Post last week, the IDF is concerned that Iran will supply Hamas with long-range Fajr missiles that are capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

According to the London Times, Combined Task Force 151 of the US Navy, which is fighting pirates in the Gulf of Aden, has been instructed to track Iranian arms shipments to Gaza.

Last week, the report claimed, troops from the USS San Antonio boarded a former Russian cargo vessel that was flying a Cypriot flag and was reportedly carrying weaponry destined for Hamas.

In addition to the US, the French have also dispatched a frigate to the Mediterranean to participate in the clampdown on the Gaza Strip and to prevent weapons shipments from reaching Hamas.

The frigate is carrying a helicopter that can support reconnaissance missions off the Gaza coast.

Israeli officials said they are impressed with the international community’s efforts to curb the flow of weapons to Gaza, but also expect Egypt to take practical steps along the border with Gaza to uncover and destroy the smuggling tunnels.

Head of the Defense Ministry’s Diplomatic-Security Bureau Amos Gilad will head to Egypt in the coming week to continue discussions on the new mechanism established to counter the smuggling.

The new mechanism Israel has set up with the Egyptians consists of three layers – intelligence cooperation, obstacles in Sinai and the deployment of new tunnel-detection technology along the Egypt-Gaza border.

Defense officials said that, since the conclusion of Operation Cast Lead, large quantities of explosives, machine guns and other weaponry had arrived in the Sinai peninsula, but the Egyptians were taking measures to prevent them from being smuggled into Gaza, including erecting road blocks near Rafah and increasing patrols in the area.

>Latin America File: Cuban leader, KGB asset Raul Castro heads for Moscow; FMLN wins legislative election, eyes presidency; FARC operating in Venezuela

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Romanian Securitate Defector Ion Pacepa: Cuban President Raul Castro “Brutal,” “Cruel,” and “Ruthless”

– Beginning in 1950s Raul’s KGB Handler Was Nikolai Leonov, Later Vladimir Putin’s Mentor

– From Russia with Shove: Communist Cuba Welcomes Strategic Bomber Crews and at Least Two High-Level Military Delegations from Moscow in 2008

– Argentina’s Leftist President Kirchner Travels to Cuba and Venezuela, Signs Raft of Agreements in Both Countries, Discusses Ramifications of New Obama Presidency with Fidel

– FMLN Candidate Mauricio Funes’ Vice Presidential Running Mate Salvador Sanchez Ceren “Orthodox Hard Leftist,” Ordered Assassinations during Civil War in 1980s

– Miskito Indian Leaders, Opposition Candidates Charge Sandinistas with Fraud in Elections Held in Nicaragua’s Caribbean Region

– Chavez Political Advisor Admits Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Operating on Venezuelan Soil, Recruiting Indian Youths

This week Latin America’s Red Axis leaders continued to intensely network as they consolidate their grip on the Western Hemisphere and revitalize Cold War-era links with Moscow. On January 30, reports state-run Novosti, Raul Castro is slated to make his first state visit as Cuban president to Russia, thereby reciprocating Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev’s stopover in Havana last November. Raul is known to have last travelled to Moscow in 1984, when he was First Vice President of Cuba. However, the Western Hemisphere’s top communist leader first materialized in Moscow in the mid-1950s, when General Alexander Sakharovsky, boss of the KGB’s First Chief Directorate (PGU), or foreign intelligence service, invited the revolutionary to meet Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev. Therein lies the tale of the Communist Bloc’s establishment of a beachhead only 90 miles from the Florida Keys.

In 1953 Raul and elder brother Fidel, then members of the Marxist 26th of July Movement, participated in an attack against the Cuban army’s Moncada Barracks. Following a 22-month prison stint, the Castro Bros. fled to Mexico where they plotted to overthrow the US-backed regime of General Fulgencio Batista. In Mexico City Raul reportedly befriended Argentine-born terrorist Ernesto “Che” Guevara and established contact with a 25-year-old KGB agent named Nikolai Leonov, who eventually became Vladimir Putin’s mentor. In 2006 Ion Mihai Pacepa, former two-star general in Communist Romania’s Securitate, wrote of his meetings with the young Raul on “many occasions” and the clandestine linkages between the Castro Bros. and their KGB handler that persisted until the revolutionaries took over Cuba in January 1959:

At Khrushchev’s order, Sakharovsky had given Raúl an intelligence adviser: Nikolay Leonov, the PGU’s best expert on Latin America. Leonov (today a retired KGB lieutenant general and member of the Duma) provided Raúl with intelligence on the military forces of the then Cuban dictator, Batista, and helped Raúl plan his guerrilla war. In June 1957, Leonov gave him documents and photographs showing that Washington was providing weapons and logistical support to Batista, and he suggested that Raúl take a few dozen Americans hostage to force Eisenhower to withdraw from the conflict. Raúl did so. On June 26, 1958, his guerrilleros kidnapped fifty American and Canadian military and civilian personnel working in Cuba. Fearing for the lives of the hostages, Batista declared a cease-fire. That enabled the Soviets to bring new weapons into Cuba.

Pacepa paints a less-than-flattering portrait of the Cuban president, referring to him as the “brutal,” “cruel,” and “ruthless” murderer of thousands of Cuban dissidents:

Raúl is generally perceived as a colorless minister of defense, but he has also been the brutal head of one of Communism’s most criminal institutions: the Cuban political police. I met him in that capacity. He was cruel and ruthless. Fidel may have conceived the terror that has kept Cuba in the Communist fold, but Raúl has been the butcher. He has been instrumental in the killing and terrorizing of thousands of Cubans, and there is no question in my mind but that he would fight tooth and nail to preserve his powers. Otherwise, sooner or later Raúl would have to account for his crimes, and I do not know him to be suicidal.

Pictured here: Argentine President Cristina Kirchner visits Cuba’s grandfatherly revolutionary in Havana this past week.

The Moscow-Havana Axis was first revitalized in 2000, when then President Vladimir Putin showed up in the Cuban capital to rub elbows with the Castro Bros. In 2006 Russia’s rubber-stamp parliament passed a resolution condemning the US trade embargo against Cuba. In July 2008 the Kremlin media leaked reports from sources in the Russian Defense Ministry to the effect that Moscow’s strategic bombers could be deployed to Cuba in a repeat of the 1962 missile crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. The reason for Russia’s aggressive posture was to counter the USA’s burgeoning strategic parternship with Georgia, an alliance formalized earlier in January. At the same time, Novosti reported that last year Russian bomber crews staked out potential sites on the island for refueling their aircraft. During the Cold War Tu-95 Bear bombers regularly flew along the US East Coast, making pitstops in Cuba.

Then, between October 27 and November 3, a high-ranking military delegation from Russia arrived on the island to assess the state of Cuba’s air defenses, the main purpose of which is to detect and repel a hypothetical US sneak attack. General-Lieutenant Alexander Maslov, Chief of the Russian Armed Forces’ air defense units, met with Army General Alvaro López Miera, deputy minister and chief of the Cuban General Staff, and General Pedro Mendiondo Gómez, chief of Cuba’s Revolutionary Air Force.

Most recently, in late December 2008 a second Russian military delegation arrived in Havana. Although the Soviets and Venezuela carried out a high-profile naval drill in late November, below-the-radar snippets from various news sources indicated that Russia’s naval task force in the Caribbean Basin also intended to hold combined drills with Nicaragua and Cuba’s navies. Two days ago the Dutch media once again made reference to a Soviet-Cuban military exercise: “Cuba and Russia recently held a joint naval exercise in the Caribbean.”

These maneuvers did not appear to come to pass, but President Castro did hold talks with the crew of the anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, which weighed anchor in Havana harbor in an historic “post”-Cold War visit several days before Christmas. Present at the meeting (pictured above), which took place on December 22, were Army General Julio Casas Regueiro, minister of Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces; Army General Alvaro López Miera, mentioned above; Vice Admiral Pedro M. Pérez Betancourt, chief of Cuba’s Revolutionary Navy; and Brigade General Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez. The Russian delegation consisted of Mijail L. Kaminin, Moscow’s ambassador in Cuba; Vice Admiral Vladimir I. Koraliov, acting chief of Russia’s Northern Fleet; Colonel Vladimir A. Androsov, Moscow’s military, naval and air force attaché in Cuba; Lieutenant General Alexander M. Kasheiev; and Ship Captain Anatoli P. Dolgo, commander of the Admiral Chabanenko.

We have documented in previous posts our belief that Russia is incrementally assembling a Red Dawn-style military coalition in Latin America, principally with Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, with the intent of either attacking the USA or at least countering US influence around the Caribbean Sea.

In order to further cement Soviet-Cuban relations, the ninth Cuba-Russia Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation is underway this week in Moscow. On Friday participants will apply the final touches on more than 20 agreements. The new accords address bilateral cooperation in areas such as tourism, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, nanotechnology, information technologies, communications, agriculture, culture, and education. The commission’s Cuban co-chairman is Ricardo Cabrisas, Vice President of Cuba’s Council of Ministers. Cabrisas stated that “Cuba and Russia should take advantage of every opportunity to take economic and trade relations up to the same level the two countries used to have in the past.” Along the same theme, Igor Sechin, the commission’s Russian co-chairman and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, stated that “Russia and Cuba have intensified economic collaboration actions and the expectations are to strengthen such bonds through new joint projects.”

In addition to cementing ties with the neo-Soviet leadership, Communist Cuba is also consolidating its relationship with Peronist Argentina, neo-Sandinista Nicaragua, and Guatemala.

On January 19 Argentine President Cristina Kirchner arrived in Havana to formalize 11 bilateral agreements with the Castro regime. An official meeting was scheduled with Raul (pictured above), while a private meeting was slated with Fidel, the godfather of Latin American revolutionaries (also pictured above). Cristina, incidentally, succeeds her husband Nestor as Argentina’s head of state. The Cuban and Argentine presidents signed memorandums of understanding in the areas of nuclear energy production, agriculture, fishing, forestry, food production, biotechnology, and rural development. Argentina, it should be pointed out, boasts a civilian nuclear energy program, while Cuba does not. President Kirchner summarized her impressions of Fidel’s health and the elder Castro brother’s reflections on current events, especially the inauguration of US President Barack Hussein Obama:

He [Fidel] looked very good. We were talking with Comandante Fidel Castro about my visit to Cuba and sharing things on the international situation. Obviously, the first issue we dealt with was the coming to power of President Obama. Obama sincerely believes in what he’s saying and doing. I hope he can do it or that they let him do it, said Castro. I said yesterday that Obama’s speech seemed to me to confirm our expectations and it seemed to me a reaffirmation of my perception, the perception that he [Fidel] also had had about the remarks of President Obama, of the sincerity of his ideas.

Along with embracing the communist regime in Havana, Kirchner then flew to Caracas, where she huddled with the region’s No. 2 Communist Thug Hugo Chavez, signing another raft of agreements with the Venezuelan president that will firmly entrap Argentina in the region’s Red Axis. During their meeting (pictured here), Hugo referred to Cristina as “sister” (presumably in an ideological sense) and declared that Venezuela was prepared to supply Argentina with oil and liquefied natural gas for the “next 100 years.” Kirchner and Chavez then agreed to meet at least every three months. The Argentine president, it should be noted, already made her pilgrimage to Moscow last month, at which time the two countries confirmed a strategic partnership and security and defense pact that Russia has also established with Venezuela and Ecuador.

Yesterday Cuba’s Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque arrived in Managua, where he was welcomed by Nicaraguan counterpart Samuel Santos, Cuban ambassador Luis Hernandez, and Rafael Ortega, representing President Daniel Ortega. In a brief statement to the media, Perez Roque revealed that he intended to meet President Ortega for the purpose of discussing the “current world crisis” as it affects Central American countries, the political integration processes in Latin America, and specific “integration mechanisms” like the Havana/Caracas-led Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). Pictured below: Perez Roque and Ortega.

After touching down in the Nicaraguan capital, Perez Roque flew to Guatemala today to participate, on behalf of the Cuban presidency of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), in the opening ceremony of NAM’s Second Ministerial Conference on the Advancement of Women. In addition, Perez Roque’s was slated to meet with President Alvaro Colom and Cuban personnel working in the Central American country. Colom’s social democratic government is Guatemala’s first since President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán was ousted in a CIA-orchestrated coup in 1954. Although his demise is portrayed sympathetically by leftist historians, Arbenz himself joined a group of army officers in overthrowing the dictator Jorge Ubico in 1944. Upon Fidel Castro’s invitation, Arbenz sought exile in Cuba in 1960. When Arbenz’s widow Maria Cristina Villanova de Arbenz, then living in Costa Rica, died on January 5, 2009, Colom was quick to send his condolences to surviving family members.

Meanwhile, El Salvador is poised to join the Communist Bloc as the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, which was a Soviet/Cuban-backed guerrilla army until 1992, secured a slim majority in last Sunday’s Legislative Assembly election, with the promise of obtaining the presidency in March. Although the incumbent FMLN mayor of the capital San Salvador conceded defeat to the long-ruling ARENA party candidate on Monday, El Salvador’s main leftist party was projected to win a majority of the country’s 262 municipal posts. “They now have a real shot at the presidency,” opined Bernard Aronson, referring to Mauricio Funes, the FMLN’s “moderate” presidential candidate who never fought in the Salvadoran Civil War. Aronson was US President George H.W. Bush’s assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs from 1989 to 1993.

Recent public opinion polls indicate that Funes, a former CNN en Español journalist, led ARENA candidate Rodrigo Avila by up to 14 percent among likely voters. Funes’ vice-presidential running mate is Salvador Sanchez Ceren, an “ex”-guerrilla who represents the FMLN’s Marxist heart and soul. Journalist John R. Thomson, writing for the Hispanic American Center for Economic Research, describes Sanchez’s career in the Salvadoran Civil War:

The commanding general who approved every assassination, with the alias “Leonel Gonzalez,” was none other than Salvador Sanchez Ceren, vice presidential candidate of the FMLN in the country’s March presidential elections. Sanchez Ceren has long been a top FMLN leader and is considered one of the most orthodox hard leftists in the organization, together with party secretary-general Melando Gonzalez, whose terrorist moniker was “Milton.”

With a presidential FMLN victory, El Salvador will join other Latin American countries that have elected leftist leaders in recent years, including Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Brazil.

The FMLN’s ideological brethren in Nicaragua can be found in the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), which allegedly enjoyed on-the-ground support from FMLNistas during Nicaragua’s post-election violence. Nicaragua’s controversial November municipal elections provoked numerous street battles between cadres of the ruling FSLN and the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC), as well as political gridlock in the National Assembly, where opposition deputies refused to approve the 2009 budget. President Ortega, citing damaged created by Hurricane Felix in September 2007, postponed mayoral elections in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) until January 2009, banning several parties in the process.

Pictured here: Nicaragua’s past and present Marxist dictator Ortega (looking at camera) hosted the Central American Integration System (SICA) summit in Managua on January 15. He is president pro tempore of this mechanism for uniting Central America under one political and economic roof. SICA, in fact, is one of several such regional integrative mechanisms in the Western Hemisphere. Others include ALBA, mentioned above, the Caribbean Community, and the Union of South American Nations.

Following the January 18 elections in RAAN, leaders of the Miskitos, Nicaragua’s indigenous community on the Caribbean coast, accused the ruling Sandinistas of stealing the mayoral elections in several key municipalities. The Costa Rican media received unconfirmed reports of “strong bouts” of post-election violence in the jungles around Waspam, near the Honduran border. On Monday afternoon the country’s Supreme Electoral Council announced that the FSLN was positioned to win four of seven municipalities in the RAAN, including the regional capital Puerto Cabezas. Osorno “Comandante Blas” Coleman, the PLC’s candidate for mayor of Puerto Cabezas, informed The Nica Times that he refused to accept defeat in an election he insists was “marred by fraud.” Coleman claims that the Sandinistas bused in some 700 cadres from different municipalities to vote in Puerto Cabezas, and that some 1,500 soldiers, who do not live in the area, also voted in the elections.

Although the post-election conflict between rank-and-file supporters of the FSLN and PLC appears genuine, any animosity between the leadership of Nicaragua’s two major parties is supect in view of El Pacto, the agreement that former President Arnoldo (“Fatso”) Aleman inked with Ortega 10 years ago and which gave the two politicians lifetime parliamentary seats and immunity from prosecution. This week Aleman reaped the benefits of El Pacto when Nicaragua’s Supreme Court overturned the 2003 decision that convicted him of looting tens of millions of dollars during his 1997-2002 presidential administration. The Latin American Herald Tribune describes the unholy union between the Sandinistas and the PLCistas: “Nicaraguan media outlets speculated a year ago that the court ruling converting Aleman’s jail term to probation was the fruit of a deal between the right-leaning Liberals and President Daniel Ortega’s left-wing Sandinistas. Those press accounts linked the favorable ruling for Aleman to the pact the then-president sealed in 1999 with Ortega, under which the Liberals and Sandinistas agreed to share the spoils of power in the form of government posts and judgeships.”

Elsewhere among the benighted nations of Latin America, the Chavezista regime’s logistical and financial support for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has become blatant in recent months. “Members of Colombia’s largest rebel group,” reported the Los Angeles Times on January 21, “live openly on or near several Indian reservations in western Venezuela with at least the tacit approval of President Hugo Chavez, indigenous leaders here charge.” Venezuelan Congressman Arcadio Montiel, a Wayuu Indian, is quoted as saying: “Chavez sees the rebels as a line of defense in the event of U.S. interference or a civil war.” Montiel asserts that the FARC operates camps in the Perija Mountains, where the Colombian rebels recruit and train Venezuelan Indian youths. In an interview last year, Chavez’s political advisor Alberto Muller Rojas acknowledged the presence of FARC insurgents on Venezuelan soil, but insisted that the rebels are Colombia’s responsibility, not Venezuela’s. However, Indian leaders warn that FARC is corrupting their culture with arms, drugs, and Marxism. No, really?

>Useful Idiots Bin: Conspiracymonger Alex Jones interviewed by Russia Today, articulates Kremlin line, denounces Obama, bankers, globalists

>“We Love Obama! We Hate Obama!”: The Soviet Strategists Conquer America Via Dialectical Materialism

On Inauguration Day, Russia Today, the Kremlin’s slick, English-language propaganda platform, interviewed faux rightist “investigative journalist” Alex Jones, host of Infowars.com and PrisonPlanet.com. There Jones shamelessly parroted the Leninist lies of communist organ Pravda by insisting that “international bankers” and the “US military-industrial complex” own the Democratic and Republican parties, orchestrated the global financial crisis to centralize economic power and install Barack Hussein Obama as president, and are provoking a new cold war with Russia.

Pictured above: Russia Today takes over New York City.

This is not the first time that Jones has shilled for the Kremlin. In a past interview with Russia Today, Jones, referring to Georgia’s so-called provocation against Abkhazia and South Ossetia last August, stated: “I’m ashamed as an American. My country has been taken over by a private international military industrial complex, and they launched a sneaky attack on the Russian enclaves.”

Jones and countless other peddlers of “new world order” conspiracy theories are serving the Soviet cause well by pitting the political left against the right and providing ammunition for militias, racists, left-wing anti-Semites, and neo-Nazis. On the one hand, we have documented how the USA’s new socialist president was Moscow’s preferred candidate. On the other hand, the Soviet strategists, following the ideological zig-zags of dialectical materialism, do not hesitate to denounce Obama through shills like Jones. In the process, they have successfully organized an army of disloyal citizens who are ready to overthrow the current form of government in favor of a type they never expected to embrace–communism.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: NATO/NORAD jets shadow Russian bombers over Arctic, near Aleutians; Russian hackers cripple British defense computers

>– Internet Virus Disables British Ministry of Defense Computers on January 6:

1) Diverts Royal Air Force Emails to Russian Server

2) Affects 24 RAF Bases, Including Those Tasked with Countering Russia’s Strategic Bombers

3) Penetrates Computer Systems Aboard 75% of Royal Navy Warships, Including Aircraft Carrier HMS Ark Royal

4) British Defense Officials Cover Up Russian Involvement in Cyberattack

– Two Russian Landing Ships from Black Sea Fleet to Participate in Joint Indo-Soviet Drill Indra-2009

Pictured above: Royal Air Force pilot and Tornado interceptor aircraft at Leuchars base in Scotland.

Since we posted last Thursday, Israel and Hamas implemented a conditional cease-fire that will certainly allow the Gaza Strip’s terrorist government to rearm with Iran’s covert assistance, while the USA entered a new era of “mature socialism,” which we may for now call the Obama Presidency. The neo-Soviet leadership is no doubt keenly observing developments in both the Middle East and North America and will employ their agents, assets, and dupes to advance communism’s long-range strategy in these regions.

On January 16, while speaking at a Moscow news conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov articulated the party line by commenting that he “looks forward to working with the new US administration on a wide range of issues,” since the policies of the Bush White House were, to the Kremlin’s way of thinking, “unsatisfactory.” “Instead,” reports Voice of America, “he would like to see a continuity of principles that Moscow and Washington agreed upon at a high level.”

No doubt the removal of the USA’s four-decade trade embargo against Russia’s primary ally in the Western Hemisphere, Cuba, will be the chief topic of discussion when Cuban President/Tyrant Raul Castro visits Moscow later this month. In November 2006 Russia’s rubber-stamp State Duma unanimously passed a resolution condemning Washington for politically and economically isolating the communist regime in Havana. “I am particularly grateful for this resolution that condemns the unacceptable and illegal trade embargo on Cuba by the United States,” Ricardo Alarcon, chairman of the Cuban National Assembly, told Russia’s potemkin legislators at the time.

Preparing for the next stage in the military conflict known as the Fourth World is another important component in the Kremlin’s drive for global domination.

In the first such flights reported since early December, the Kremlin-run media relates that today two Tu-160 bombers carried out a “routine” 12-hour mission over the Norwegian Sea and Arctic Ocean, while two Tu-95 bombers simultaneously carried out a 10-hour patrol over the Arctic and near the Aleutian Islands. In the first case, the supersonic Blackjack bombers, the largest operational combat aircraft in the world, were periodically accompanied by NATO F-16 Falcon and Tornado fighter jets, while the hardy Bears, the fastest propeller-driven bomber in military history, were shadowed by US F-15 Eagle aircraft. “The shadowing of Russian warplanes by NATO fighters,” remarks Novosti, “has been common practice since Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans in August 2007.” Indeed, the Cold War, if it ever really went away, has resumed, but few denizens of the shopping mall regimes are paying attention.

In a related story, several weeks ago Russian hackers, presumably under the direction of the Federal Security Service (FSB/KGB), breached the security of Britain’s Ministry of Defense computers, diverting email traffic among Royal Air Force bases to a Russian internet server. The Times quoted an RAF source as admitting that the Russian computer virus originated from the “former eastern bloc” and demonstrated a high degree of technical “sophistication.” The virus affected at least 24 RAF bases and damaged the computer systems of 75% of Royal Navy ships, including the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. Not so coincidentally, the RAF bases affected included those from which Tornado interceptor aircraft are scrambled to counter Russian bombers testing British air defences. One such RAF group is the quick response squadron stationed at Leuchars in Scotland.

Pictured here: Kremlin energy imperialism: In Moscow this past Monday Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, follows Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko, a Komsomol graduate, as they prepare to sign a 10-year natural gas supply deal that will clear the way for the resumption of supplies to Europe. For nearly three weeks Europeans have been rubbing their hands to stay warm while the two “ex”-Soviet states wrangled over the price of gas.

Russia’s Strategic Moves in the Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, and Southwest Asia

Meanwhile, the Russian Navy is beefing up its presence in the pirate-infested waters near Somalia, a country that has lacked an effective central government since communist dictator Said Barre was overthrown in 1991. Over 130 pirate attacks took place near the east African nation in 2008, the vast majority on commercial shipping. Elements of the Soviet-era regime in Mogadishu remain in power in several provincial capitals. Earlier this month the missile destroyer Admiral Vinogradov from Russia’s Pacific Fleet replaced the missile frigate Neustrashimy as part of Russia’s contribution to the international armada off the Horn of Africa.

Today, according to the Yemeni media, the Admiral Vinogradov made a scheduled visit to Yemen’s largest port, Aden, to replenish supplies. Aden was the site of a Soviet naval base during the Cold War. Since Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh has enjoyed a long, chummy relationship with Moscow, Aden, along with Tartus and Latakia in Syria and Benghazi in Libya, have been selected for reactivation by the Russian Navy. The resuscitation of Russia’s Yemeni naval base may not sit well with locals, who this week accused the crew of the Admiral Vinogradov of accidentally ramming a fishing boat and killing one of its crew members.

Three more vessels from the Russian Navy are en route to the Indian Ocean, including the missile destroyer Admiral Chabanenko from the Northern Fleet, which underwent repairs at the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad following a multi-nation tour of the Caribbean Sea; Yamal and Azov, two large landing ships from the Black Sea Fleet that will join other Russian and Indian warships in upcoming joint drills known as Indra-2009; and Peter the Great, an imposing, nuclear-powered missile cruiser, also from the Northern Fleet, that completed a joint drill with Venezuela’s navy in November before making an historic port of call in Cape Town en route to Indra-2009.

“The ships will shortly start passing through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits. Later the two large landing ships will cross the Suez Canal and set off for the coast of Somalia to fight the local pirates,” Novosti, at the link above, quoted a source in the Russian Defense Ministry as saying. “Admiral Chabanenko urgently left the Baltiisk naval base on January 20 after receiving orders for a mission of state importance,” explained Sergei Mikhailov, a spokesentity at the Yantar shipyard. The Admiral Chabanenko will presumably also transit the Suez Canal en route to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

Incidentally, in a “first ever” for the history books, two destroyers from the People’s Liberation Army Navy, reports state-run Xinhua, joined the United Nations-sanctioned anti-piracy mission in Somalia earlier this month.

Elsewhere in southern Asia, Russia has jumped at the opportunity to rearm the Afghan military, even though 70,000 NATO troops, including US forces, have propped up the government in Kabul since 2001, whent the Al Qaeda-linked Taliban regime was ousted. In November Afghan President Hamid Karzai dispatched a letter to Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, requesting modern weapons and aircraft to replace the country’s Soviet-era hardware. “The equipment of our national army, our helicopters and tanks are Russian-made so this (request) has a technical aspect. We have strategic commitment to NATO and the United States,” Chief presidential spokesman Humayun Hamidzada informed Reuters. “Medvedev, in a letter addressed to Karzai, has said that Russia is ready to help Afghanistan in the defensive sectors,” an official statement from Kabul disclosed.

Indeed, the Kremlin is not only eager to re-equip the “pro”-Western regime in Afghanistan, but also Iraq’s “pro”-Western government, where Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is reviewing the possibility of purchasing 2,000 T-72 main battle tanks. The latter may be a militarily unwise purchase since US and allied forces destroyed 400 of these MBTs during the 2003 invasion that removed Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime.

In a related story, US officials announced today that General David Petraeus, commander of US Central Command, secured a deal with the government of Tajikistan to permit the transit of US troops through Central Asia en route to Afghanistan. US military planners, who expect to implement a troop surge of 30,000 personnel this summer, sought this alternative route in the wake of heightened political and military tensions between neighboring Pakistan and India. This, however, is probably only one reason. Barely one week ago The Telegraph reported that, in exchange for billions of dollars of Russian investments, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev is considering the closure of the US air base in Manas, which has supported the US-NATO operation in Afghanistan since 2001. Kyrgyzstan also hosts a Russian air base at Kant. The Kant air base is a strategic component of the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s Collective Rapid Reaction Forces, as well as the Russian Ground Forces’ 201st Motor Rifle Division.

>Latin America File: US Joint Forces Command report: Mexican state ripe for collapse as drug war rages; FMLN poised to win Salvadoran elections

>In a new troubling report published by the US Joint Forces Command, it is apparent that the US Department of Defense views both Mexico and Pakistan as failed states featuring weak, ineffective governments that are unable to maintain internal security in the face of, in the first case, out-of-control drug cartels and, in the second case, the Taliban/Al Qaeda/Islamist insurgency. The prospect of Mexico’s federal government losing control over the military and police forces and the loyalty of the populace, however, poses greater immediate risks for the USA. The Mexican security apparatus is corrupted by drug money at the highest levels, as evidenced by the arrest of the last “drug czar” Noe Ramirez Mandujano, on suspicion of accepting a US$450,000 bribe from the cartels. An excerpt from the US military report follows:

In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.

The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.

An overwhelming, northward flood of refugees–interspersed with criminal-terrorist elements, such as the Gulf Cartel’s heavily armed Los Zetas, recruited from both Mexican and Guatemalan special forces units–across the US-Mexican border is only one likely scenario that would follow the collapse of the Mexican government. The current illegal alien invasion of America would be dwarfed by comparison. In 2007 Mexican scholar Raul Benitez was quoted as saying “Los Zetas have clearly become the biggest, most serious threat to the nation’s [Mexico’s] security.”

Pictured above: US President George W. Bush meets with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon at the White House on January 13. Calderon’s visit was Bush’s last meeting in the Oval Office with a foreign head of state before the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama on January 20.

There is no question that Latin America’s Red Axis, with Moscow’s quiet approval, would definitely seize the opportunity presented by a power vacuum in Mexico City to install a radical left administration, possibly headed by failed presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. After all, communist regimes throughout the hemisphere–primarily Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia–and leftist insurgents–like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia–are along with Russia the prime movers behind the narco-subversion of the USA. El Paso Times reporter Diana Washington Valdez concludes: “Despite such reports, El Pasoan Veronica Callaghan, a border business leader, said she keeps running into people in the region who ‘are in denial about what is happening in Mexico.'”

Meanwhile, writing today for the Miami Herald, Marifeli Perez-Stable summarizes the various elections that will be taking place this year in Latin America, including this Sunday’s legislative poll in El Salvador. There the rightist Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) has held the presidency since that country’s civil war ended in 1992. At the same time, neither ARENA nor guerrilla army-turned-political party Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) has an outright majority in the Legislative Assembly.

In 2009, Latin America’s electoral calendar speeds up. Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Uruguay hold presidential elections. In Argentina, Mexico and El Salvador, citizens cast ballots in legislative contests. Referendums are set to take place in Bolivia and Venezuela. I’ll highlight a first set here, a second in the Jan. 29 column.

On March 15, Salvadorans elect their next president. In mid-December, Mauricio Funes — the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) candidate — held a 10-to-15 point advantage over Rodrigo Avila from the ruling Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA). Funes, a 50-year-old civilian and social democrat, couldn’t be more different from Schafik Handal (1930-2006), the FMLN’s 2004 candidate, once guerrilla leader and mostly unreconstructed communist.

Should Funes win, there would be no downplaying his victory. ARENA would end two decades in power. The FMLN would have to prove its mettle governing. El Salvador would inaugurate an opposition president, the ultimate test in young democracies. If the FMLN bests ARENA in Sunday’s legislative elections as polls indicate, it would be a good omen for Funes.

Several weeks ago, Nicaragua’s past and present Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega indicated that should the FMLN win both the legislative and executive office ballots, El Salvador will more than likely become the next member of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. In November, while he visited Hugo Chavez, Ortega, and Evo Morales in Caracas, President Dmitry Medvedev stated that Russia was also interested in joining Latin America’s socialist bloc.

>WW4 File: Still more rockets fired into Israel from Lebanon on Thursday; Iranian media: IDF massing army on northern border, Hezbollah on "red alert"

>Israel’s Channel 10 TV News: Russian Aircraft Carrier at Syrian Port to Monitor Regional Air Traffic

– Western Intelligence Sources: Hezbollah Relocates Command and Control and Logistics Centers from Beirut to Bekaa Valley

For the second time in as many days and for the third time overall, unknown militants in southern Lebanon have fired rockets into northern Israel. Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) also fired two rounds of artillery in return. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) announced that there were no reports of damage or injuries from the cross-border firing, but the UN is investigating whether Hezbollah, the de facto rulers of Lebanon, are trying to open a new front in the Israel-Hamas conflict. “UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Claudio Graziano once again yesterday urged maximum restraint and is working with both parties to maintain the cessation of hostilities . . . ,” one source reported. A joint UNIFIL-Lebanese patrol, while scouring the area of El Hebbariye after Thursday’s rocket fire, found three live rockets prepared for launch and deactivated them on site.

According to the Thursday edition of Middle East Newsline, Hezbollah is in fact preparing for another war with Israel by relocating its command and control and logistics centers from Beirut to the Bekaa Valley, near the Syrian border:

The Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah has relocated its commandand control centers in what could signal preparations for another war with Israel. Western intelligence sources said Hizbullah has intensified military preparations over the last few weeks amid the Hamas war with Israel. The sources said Hizbullah was transferring command and control and logistics centers from Beirut to southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley near the Syrian border. “Hizbullah is reorganizing its military assets in a way that suggests preparations for an escalation along the Israeli border,” an intelligence source said.

Meanwhile, even as an Egypt-brokered cease-fire initiative was under consideration in Cairo, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired at least 25 rockets at southern Israel today. Two Soviet/Russian-built Grad rockets injured six people, including two seriously, in Beersheba. Pictured above: An Israeli mobile artillery unit shells Gaza City from its position outside the northern Gaza Strip on January 15. The IDF began its heaviest shelling on Thursday in what might be a “final push” against Hamas before the cease-fire, already accepted in principle by the terrorist group, is implemented.

In a related development, Iran’s state-controlled Press TV, citing the Lebanese daily Al Safir, reported yesterday that the IDF was building up its forces along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, including tanks, armored vehicles, and Apache helicopters. “The Israeli army has mobilized its troops along the border from the western Lebanese village of Naqurah to the southern border village of Al Wazzani,” Al Safir related, adding that Israeli forces had also fired flares over Lebanese territory. The Lebanese army is on “high alert,” while Hezbollah militiamen were on “red alert,” “informed sources” explained to Press TV’s correspondent in Beirut.

Last fall Syria, in an effort to combat “smuggling,” has deployed troops adjacent to the Golan Heights, which Israel annexed in 1981, and the northern and eastern borders of Lebanon. Presumably, those forces are still there. In the previous links we posted information revealing that Syrian and Iranian operatives and special forces have already taken up positions in northern and southern Lebanon.

Considering Tehran’s antipathy for Israel, this report could be disinformation, designed to portray the beleaguered “Zionist regime” as warmonger. On the other hand, Israel is surrounded by enemies. If the country’s political and military leadership has any strategic sense, then the Israelis will guard their back while engaged in the Gaza offensive.

Incidentally, Syria, like Iran, is little more than a client state for Soviet weaponry, while the ruling Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party (BASP) enjoys a cozy relationship with the secretly ruling Communist Party of the Russian Federation. In 2008 BASP leaders Mohammad Said Bkheitan and Abdullah al-Ahmar signed an inter-party cooperation agreement with CPRF Chairman Gennady Zyuganov. Following the self-congratulatory back-patting typical of dictatorships, the BASP website reported: “Mr. Zyuganov praised Syria’s national stances and its vital role in establishing the just and comprehensive peace and commitment to the international legitimacy resolutions.”

On Monday Russia’s sole aircraft carrier arrived at the Syrian port of Tartus, where the Soviets have maintained a supply base for their navy since the Cold War. According to Israel’s Channel 10 television news, reports the Jerusalem Post, the Admiral Kuznetsov will be monitoring air traffic in the region. Although the military situation in the Gaza Strip is not apparently under discussion, a Russian business delegation is currently visiting Damascus. Today, reports the Syrian Arab News Agency, Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-Otari received Yuri Chavranic, Chairman of the Federation of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia, to “develop bilateral cooperation in the fields of oil and gas exploration and power generation.”

In previous posts, we have considered the renewed Russian military presence in the Middle East from the vantage of Bible prophecy.

>WW4 File: Three rockets fired from Lebanon land in N. Israel, IDF returns fire; follows 2 missile salvos on Jan. 8; sirens wail in Jerusalem

>– Hamas Accepts Egypt-Brokered Cease-Fire Deal, Awaits Israel’s Response (While No Doubt Regrouping and Rearming) (source)

– The Australian: Hamas’ Poor Performance in Ground Battles, Lack of Apparent Command Structure May Be Ruse to Disorient, “Trap” IDF (source)

Iranian “Humanitarian” Vessel Makes Second Attempt to Breach Israeli Navy’s Gaza Blockade, Heads for Egyptian Port

While Israeli soldiers engage in house-to-house combat with Hamas terrorists in Gaza City, the Middle East Diplomatic Quartet frets and fumes in Cairo, the Global Islamic Caliphate breathes out Allah’s imprecations against Jews and Christians, and Evo Morale’s red cocaine republic in Bolivia follows Hugo Chavez’s example by severing relations with Israel, this morning Hezbollah, or possibly Palestinian insurgents, lobbed a few more rockets from Lebanon into northern Israel.

“The rockets, fired Wednesday morning,” reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “landed near Kiryat Shemona. No damage or injuries were reported. A fourth Katyusha fell short, landing in Lebanon, Lebanese officials confirmed.” The Isreali Defense Forces returned fire, while residents of northern Israel were ordered to bomb shelters during the attacks and remained near the shelters in case of subsequent attacks.

Pictured above: Smoke rises during Israel’s offensive in the northern Gaza Strip today.

It is apparent that Israel’s enemies are endeavoring to open another front in the 60-year-old Arab-Israeli war, but few political leaders in the West appreciate the fact that Israel, more than any other Western country, is at the vanguard of the War on Terror. “Anything else will be met with the Israeli people’s iron fist,” Ehud Olmert vowed on Monday, speaking from the partly deserted city of Ashkelon, “We will continue to strike with full strength, with full force until there is quiet and rearmament stops.” (See first link above.) Courageous words from Israel’s prime minister, but if Olmert’s mentor, former PM Ariel Sharon had not withdrawn Israeli troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005, then the Hamas coup d’etat of 2007 and Operation Cast Lead might have been avoided and lives spared.

This morning Hamas fired 16 rockets into southern Israel, missing a kibbutz in the Sdot Negev region. The towns of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot, and Beersheba were also hit. Two Grad rockets also struck the Shfela region, in the central district, while rockets fired in the direction of Jerusalem caused panic among civilians when the missiles activated air raid sirens throughout the city. However, as the Jerusalem Post shows in the graph here, the IDF operation in the Gaza Strip has severely impacted Hamas’ capacity to launch missiles at Israel.

Today, in an interview with Itar-Tass, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated: “Israel seeks Russia’s pressure on Syria and Iran to stop their support for Palestine’s Hamas. Israel is interested in informing Hamas that it will gain no recognition through terror, in exerting pressure on Syria and Iran to stop their support for Hamas. There were certain ideas as concerns the monitoring of the borders, but we need effective measures against Hamas and not monitoring alone.” The fact that Jerusalem rightly recognizes that Moscow exerts “pull” with Syria, Iran, and Hamas should be an important consideration in the formulation of any Western country’s Middle East policy.

For months there was speculation that Israel would attack Iran’s nuclear program before Barack Hussein Obama is sworn in as US president on January 20. “We are prepared and ready to do whatever Israel needs us to do and if this is the mission we’re given then we are ready,” Israeli Air Force Commander Ido Nehushtan informed German magazine Der Spiegel in November, “A strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities is a political decision, but if I understand it correctly, all options are on the table … The Air Force is a very robust and flexible force. We are ready to do whatever is demanded of us.” The current Hamas missile assault on Israel, which ramped up again on December 20, when the last cease-fire terminated, may very well have been a Tehran-orchestrated distraction to tie down Israeli political and military leaders.

Today, reports Debkafile, the Israeli Navy turned back an Iranian vessel as the Shahed attempted to again breach the blockade that Israel imposed on Gaza on December 27. The Israelis first intercepted the Shahed on Tuesday, although some official sources deny this incident occurred. The ship then tried to unload its cargo of food, medicines, and clothing at Port Said but was prevented by Egyptian authorities. After the second encounter with the Israeli Navy, the Iranian vessel sailed for the Sinai port of El Arish, where the Egyptians again prevented the Shahed from docking. In view of the terrorist training and weapons that Hamas operatives have received at camps in Iran and Syria, one can only wonder if the Shahed contains more than “humanitarian” cargo.

>End Times File: Magog invasion of Israel approaching: Russian aircraft carrier deploys to Syria, IDF troops come under fire from Syria, Jordan

>Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’s anger come upon you [Second Coming of Jesus Christ]. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’s anger. For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites [Philistia/Palestine]! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines [Palestinians], I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. — Zephaniah 2:1-6

– Zephaniah’s Prophecy Fulfilled Before Your Eyes:

1) Since December 27 40% of Ashkelon Residents Have Fled Hamas Rockets for Relative Safety of Northern Israel (source)

2) Defense Ministery Assumes Control over Local Government Functions in Southern Israel, Extends “Special Situation” Radius to Include Ashdod (source)

– Turkey: The Missing Link in the End-Times Russian-Arab Military Coalition against Israel

1) Jerusalem Post: Turkey under AKP Regime No Longer a Reliable NATO Ally, Drifting into Alliance with Russia and Iran

2) Ankara Offers to Send Troops to Gaza; Proposal Receives Warm Welcome from Hamas, Would Be First Turkish Troops in Vicinity of Israel since 1917

For students of Bible prophecy–particularly the end-times prophecies concerning the Magog invasion of Israel (Daniel 38 and 39), the obliteration of Damascus (Isaiah 17), and the demise of Gaza (Zephaniah 2, Zechariah 9)–an intriguing alignment of nations against Israel and its military offensive in the Gaza Strip, Operation Cast Lead, has emerged in recent weeks and months. This alliance is led by the Russian Bear (Magog), which emerged from a 17-year hibernation last August when the Soviets re-invaded Georgia. Tbilisi’s army, much to the Kremlin’s displeasure, was trained and equipped by the USA and Israel. This may very well constitute the “hook in Gog’s jaws” (Ezekiel 38:4), which draws Magog to its supernatural doom on the mountains of Israel.

The modern coalition, per Ezekiel’s prediction, includes Iran (“Persia” until as recently as the early 20th century), Libya and Ethiopia (both by name in the Holy Scriptures), and Turkey (Togarmah), a secularized Muslim country that holds NATO membership and which has never before been in alliance with the Soviets or the Islamic states. Isaiah’s prophecy refers to Syria (Damascus), while Zephaniah’s prophecy mentions Syria (Assyria), Jordan (Moab, Ammon), and the Palestinians (Philistines). The King of Jordan’s website admits: “The Iron Age (c. 1200-332 BCE) saw the development and consolidation of three new kingdoms in Jordan: Edom in the south, Moab in central Jordan, and Ammon in the northern mountain areas.” Incidentally, in identifying themselves as Palestinians, Israel’s modern enemy is also identifying with the ancient pagan nation of Philistia, which caused so much grief for the ancient Hebrews.

The exact timing between these three prophecies is not clear, at least to your resident blogger, but it would appear that they will unfold in close proximity to one another.

First of all, the Russian Navy has reactiviated its Soviet-era maintenance and resupply site in Tartus, Syria, which can accommodate a dozen warships and presently hosts about 50 naval personnel and three floating piers. Russian media reports have suggested the facility could be turned into a base for the country’s Black Sea Fleet, which could lose its base in Sevastopol, Ukraine in 2017. On Monday, reports Novosti, Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and the destroyer Admiral Levchenko arrived at Tartus on their tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea. “Our sources,” explains Debkafile, “believe Moscow may be signaling its disapproval of Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip.”

More than a week ago the Admiral Kuznetsov’s deck-based fighter jets carried out drills in Greek airspace around the islands of Rhodes and Crete, before weighing anchor at the Turkish naval port of Aksaz, which is near Rhodes. Earlier on Monday the Russian and Turkish navies, presumably under the foolish provisions of NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program, completed joint search and rescue operations. Greece and Turkey are both NATO member states but have growing military relations with Russia, the country that NATO was supposedly designed to hold at bay. During the Cold War joint military exercises between NATO and Soviet Bloc states would have been unthinkable.

Second, Turkey has positioned itself to become a key player in peace talks between Israel and its Arab Muslim enemies, especially Syria and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. On January 8 the Turkish media quoted government spokesman Cemil Iek as saying: “We can send troops to the region [Gaza] if it is going to contribute to peace.” Last week Foreign Minister Ali Babacan met with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Moallem in Turkey to discuss the implementation of a cease-fire in Gaza. “The international community must act in unity. Nothing is more valuable than the lives of people,” Babacan told reporters at a joint press conference, “Any ceasefire should be monitored by international groups. Turkey would not shy away from undertaking such a mission if it were asked to contribute.” Finally, a Turkish diplomat complained, “We were disappointed when the indirect peace talks we had been mediating since May between Syria and Israel were dealt a blow by Israel’s military incursion into Gaza. Turkey has a privileged position: it is anchored in the West but also has an influence in its region.”

Although Egypt’s government, which is theoretically at peace with Israel, has rejected suggestions concerning the deployment of international monitors on its border with Gaza, the embattled Hamas welcomes the presence of Turkish troops. “We trust Turkey and its role as an Islamic country,” Hamas officials opined, referring to a proposal submitted by Turkish officials to Hamas’ exiled political chief Khaled Meshal in Damascus. Turkish troops were last present in Israel in 1917, when the forces of British Field Marshal Lord Allenby routed the Ottoman Turks from “Palestine.” The same year the Balfour Declaration expressed the British government’s sympathetic view of the restoration of the Jewish homeland.

Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently condemned Israel for its invasion of the Gaza Strip, invoking Allah’s judgment upon the Jewish state. While visiting a Palestinian patient at a Turkish hospital today, Erdogan once again uttered harsh words against Israel, accusing the IDF of using white phosphorus shells against civilians. On January 14 the Jerusalem Post acknowledged that Turkey is no longer a reliable NATO ally but, rather, under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is drifting into alliance with Russia and Iran. Svante E. Cornell editorializes:

Ankara’s deep links to the US and Europe are too strong to be reversed anytime soon. But as long as the AKP remains in power, these ties are likely to gradually erode even further. Rather than a part of the West, Turkey could rather become equidistant between the West and powers like Russia or Iran. Were that to happen, it would require strategic thinkers in Washington, Brussels and Tel Aviv to reconsider some of their earlier assumptions.

France, whose President Nicolas Sarkozy is co-president of the new Union for the Mediterranean, has also offered to deploy soldiers from his country to monitor a proposed cease-fire.

Third, since the Israeli Defense Forces began Operation Cast Lead on December 27, tensions along Israel’s borders with the Arab states of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan have risen. Last Thursday, “Lebanese militants” launched two barrages of rockets on northern Israel. Israeli forces responded with mortar fire. No one claimed responsibility for the initial rocket attack, but Israeli defense commentators suspect that Hezbollah militimen, Lebanon’s de facto rulers, were behind the salvos.

On Sunday IDF soldiers in the Golan Heights came under cross-border fire, producing no casualties. “In the afternoon, there were a number of bullets fired from Syria at an Israeli army force doing engineering work near the fence,” an IDF spokesman related, “No one was hurt but a vehicle was damaged. Forces in the field are examining the incident and a complaint was sent to UNDOF which sent a team there. The circumstances of the incident are still unclear.” The IDF believes that Palestinian militants based in Syria, rather than the regular Syrian army, were reponsible for the small arms fire.

Earlier today, moreover, an IDF patrol near the Israel-Jordan border at Eilat, on the Gulf of Aqaba, came under small arms fire from unknown sources. Israeli forces returned fire. Jordanian authorities denied that their soldiers were reponsible. Eilat is adjacent to the Egyptian village of Taba, to the south, and the Jordanian port city of Aqaba, to the east. Jordan has been at peace with Israel since 1994, while a state of war has continued between Israel and Syria since the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

Fourth, the Islamo-Nazi regime in Iran is carefully monitoring the Israeli offensive in Gaza, as evidenced by the arrival of Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in Ankara to discuss Operation Cast Lead with Turkish officials. Contrary to claims by the Iranian media, the Israeli Navy denies intercepting an Iranian vessel carrying “humanitarian aid” to the Palestinians, 20 miles from the Gaza coast.

Last week Ashiyaneh, a cell of Iranian computer hackers, stated that they carried out a cyberattack against Mossad’s website to protest the ongoing Israeli incursion of Gaza. “The Zionist Regime considers the merciless killing of the defenseless people in Gaza as its right and assumes that the world people will keep silent about it,” the hackers declared. Mossad, which means Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, is Israel’s national intelligence agency. Leftists and faux rightists erroneously believe that Mossad, as well as the US Central Intelligence Agency, are the chief sources of the world’s ills.

Fifth, the Free Gaza Movement, a consortium of troublesome terrorist sympathizers, leftists, and peaceniks organized by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), is also meddling in Israel’s Gaza offensive by trying to deliver “food and medicine” to the Palestinians. Free Gaza is using communist Cyprus as a staging ground for their “relief efforts,” probably because the government in Nicosia has also condemned Operation Cast Lead. Two weeks ago the Israeli Navy ordered one such ship, which was transporting a diverse crew including one Cypriot parliamentarian and CNN journalists, back to Cyprus in order to maintain its blockade of Gaza. Two days ago another “aid ship,” also carrying politicians from Greece, Spain, and Belgium, returned to Cyprus as a result of mechanical problems.

Pictured here: The ruins of the al-Taqwa Mosque in Gaza City, bombed by the Israeli Air Force. The IDF contends that Hamas uses mosques as ammo dumps and missile platforms and that, therefore, the religious facilities are legitimate military targets. Utilizing extensive ground-based intelligence, the IAF has bombed a number of such sites across the Gaza Strip. Airborne video shows secondary explosions that reveal the presence of ammunition stored in the mosques.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government has respectfully rejected calls by the United Nations Security Council to unilateraly impose a cease-fire on Operation Cast Lead. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak explained: “Yesterday, we heard, and we respect the calls of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and, of course, we are also monitoring developments on the Egyptian initiative, but the fighting goes on and the IDF is continuing to apply force.” Today Israeli ground forces continued to clash with Hamas gunmen in Gaza City and endeavored to destroy the terrorist organization’s extensive, Vietcong-like smuggling tunnels under the Palestinian exclave. The IDF estimates that at least 450 Hamas gunmen have been killed, along with an additional 500 Palestinians. The Israeli military also believes that among the remaining 500, a significant percentage were also Hamas operatives.

Defense Ministry Director-General Pinchas Buchris, the Jerusalem Post reports, made a “lightning trip” to Washington yesterday for talks with the Pentagon about a “wide range of issues,” including the Iranian nuclear threat and ongoing IDF operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Last week the Pentagon denied that a large arms shipment bound for Israel, with a little help from the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command, was related to Operation Cast Lead. Although the USA does not figure in Bible prophecy, at least not by direct mention, America’s support for Israel over the years has probably served as a shield against God’s judgment on a country that has by and large turned its back on its Christian heritage.

The latest developments in the Middle East are prophetically significant because they portend the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week, a seven-year period of war, desolation, and God’s judgment on the nations. The last will witness the death of more than one quarter of the world’s population (Revelation 6:8). We believe that the Magog invasion of Israel occurs at the beginning of this period as the Jews will require seven years to dispose of the invading armies’ weapons. See Ezekiel 38:4 and 39:9 where the weapons of modern warfare are portrayed under imagery understandable to the ancient Jews.

Current events also point to the soon fulfillment of the rapture, or the physical translation of the saints to heaven prior to the tribulation period (1 Thessalonian 4, Revelation 3:10). The instantaneous removal of millions of Bible-believing, born-again Christians from the earth might be a welcome relief to militant communists, atheists, and Muslims, but the rapture will deprive Israel of its staunchest supporters in the face of ever-growing hatred toward Jews and the Jewish state.

In the wake of the IDF’s offensive in Gaza, anti-Semitism is once again resurgent throughout the world. The attempt on January 6, presumably by French Muslims, to ram a car through the gates of a Toulouse synagogue and then torch the vehicle is but one example. A lecture was in progress in the synagogue when the incident occurred. Three petrol bombs were found in a second car nearby.

>Latin America File: Panama snuggles up to Cuba, communists worldwide rally around neo-Sandinista regime, Nicaragua’s post-election violence continues

>Panama Canal Well and Truly Under Communist Influence:

– Panamanian President Visits Havana for Sixth Time, Panama Canal Authority Board Member Coddles Cuban Dictatorship

– Previous Posts: Red Chinese Front Company Controls Canal Ports, Russian Warship Visits Balboa under Nose of US State Secretary Rice (post 1, post 2)

As the Red Spread engulfs Latin America, preparing to consume El Salvador during that country’s March presidential election, diehard revolutionaries Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and Evo Morales took advantage of the new year to heap hosannahs on Cuba’s 50-year-old communist dictatorship. “The Cuban Revolution was the mother of all Latin American freedom movements and the vanguard of people’s pursuit for dignity in the continent,” Chavez gushed in Caracas. Panama’s social democratic President Martin Torrijos, son of former strongman Omar, took advantage of the region-wide love-fest to actually visit Cuba on Tuesday, as did Ecuador’s socialist President Rafael Correa yesterday.

Pictured above: Cuba’s President/Tyrant Raul Castro (right) hugs Torrijos during a ceremony at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana on January 5. On this occasion, his sixth visit to Cuba, Torrijos was awarded with a medal of the Order of Jose Marti, the country’s highest distinction, during his three-day official visit to the all-inclusive gulag resort known as Cuba. The Cubans also unveiled a monument to Martin’s deceased father, who negotiated the repatriation of the Panama Canal with a little help from former US president and veteran international meddler Jimmy Carter. Torrijos, in return, decorated the leader of the Cuban Revolution himself, the cadaverous Fidel Castro, with the Division General Omar Torrijos Herrera Order in the degree of Great Extraordinary Cross.

Reflecting upon Martin’s latest trip to Havana, Adolfo Ahumanda recalled that in the 1970s the elder Torrijos “ignored warnings and threats by the United States to avoid reestablishment of relations with Cuba.” According to Ahumanda, Omar received a letter from the US Secretary of State warning that Panama would face “consequences” for reestablishing relations with Cuba. Ahumanda emphasized that Omar’s monument in Havana is a “permanent reflection of the existing relations between both countries.” Ahumanda should know. He served as a member of the Panamanian committee assigned to the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaty negotiations and, in 1995, joined the Panama Canal Treaty Consultative Committee, in which he represented Panama as co-president. Ahumanda currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority.

In a total “disconnect” regarding the network of subversive relations between Latin America’s communist regimes and insurgent armies, President Martin Torrijos visited the border region where Panamanian border guards clashed in early December with guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. There he bestowed Panama’s Medal of Valor on 23 members of the National Border Service for repelling the incursion by a “group of armed bandits” and promised to beef up security along the porous border. Panama’s jungle province of Darien is a hotbed for Colombian drug traffickers, guerrillas, and right-wing paramilitaries.

Pictured here: Latin America’s leaders begin a new year’s parade to Communist Cuba. “It is always a joy to arrive in Cuba for a visit on the 50th anniversary of its Revolution,” enthused President Correa upon his arrival in Havana, “It is an honor for me to visit the sister Republic of Cuba, a land full of dignity, solidarity and Latin Americanism.” Joy? Honor? Dignity? What are Castro, Correa & Co. smoking down there? More than Cuban cigars, it would appear.

Meanwhile, on December 26, 2008, at the behest of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front, communists and other leftists worldwide signed a manifesto, “In Defense of Nicaragua,” in support of Daniel Ortega’s government in Nicaragua. The introduction of the manifesto states:

In November 2006, the Nicaraguan people elected the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) to guide their destiny and since January 10, 2007, the new government has restarted the process of rebirth begun on July 19, 1979 but abandoned for 17 years by three capitalist, neo-liberal, anti-democratic governments. Nicaragua has regained the national dignity of an independent government from the imperial powers, and has again put the poor at the center of development policies.

As part of this process, Nicaragua joined the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). With the generous support of many people and governments, especially Cuba and Venezuela, the Sandinista government has implemented various programs through which the Nicaragua people have recovered much of their social and economic rights, opening the possibility for national, democratic, and socialist progress.

The signatories vowed:

1. Our unconditional support for the Nicaraguan people’s right to self-determination and national sovereignty, without foreign interference of any kind.
2. Our support for the independent, sovereign, and popular path adopted by the FSLN government led by President Daniel Ortega.
3. Our celebration over the Sandinista victory in 105 of 146 municipal governments.

The signatories rejected and condemned:

1. The alleged foreign, especially US and European, interference in the internal affairs of Nicaragua.
2. The US government and European Union’s alleged policy of blackmail with respect to Nicaragua.
3. The alleged campaign of lies and disinformation unleashed by multinational corporations about the FSLN government.

Pictured here: Ortega’s panegyric for the Cuban Revolution and mentor Fidel. The poster notes that 2009 represents the 50th anniversary of the communist takeover in Cuba and the 30th anniversary of the Sandinista revolution.

As of December 29 more than 1,200 individuals, organizations, and political parties–most from Latin America but also other regions–endorsed the manifesto, including:

– Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the United Nations General Assembly and foreign minister during first Sandinista regime
– Gustavo Porras, National Front of Workers, Nicaragua
– Julio Briceño Dávila, Nicaraguan Marxist Revolutionary Movement
– Jacinto Suarez Espinoza, FSLN faction leader in Central American Parliament
– Mensaje de Alberto Muller Rojas, National Vice-President, (ruling) United Socialist Party of Venezuela
– Patricio Echegaray, General Secretary, Communist Party of Argentina
– National Director, Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, El Salvador
– Jaime Caycedo, Secretary General, Colombian Communist Party, Alternative Democratic Pole
– Silvia Solórzano, Committee for Solidarity with the Peoples of Guatemala, Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity Party
– Victor Oliva, Secretary General, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Peru
– Ivan Pinheiro, Secretary General, (ruling in coalition) Communist Party of Brazil
– Iván Rodríguez, Secretary General, (ruling in coalition) Dominican Workers’ Party, Dominican Republic
– Manuel Salazar, Communist Party of Labor, Dominican Republic
– Humberto Vargas Carbonell, Secretary General, Popular Vanguard Party, Costa Rica
– Carlos Eduardo and Alejandro Mendez, (ruling) Broad Front, Uruguay
– Secretary of International Relations, (ruling) Movement toward Socialism, Bolivia
– Osvaldo Chato Peredo, Che Guevara National Foundation, Bolivia
– Catalina Fernandez, Director, National Organization of Militant Peronism, Argentina
– Ruben Mendoza, Speaker of National Bolivarian Circles, Venezuela
– Jose Mendoza, spokesman, (ruling) United Socialist Party of Venezuela Battalions
– Aldo Vera, Secretary of International Relations, Movement toward Socialism, Paraguay

There are numerous signatories from the ruling Socialist Party of Chile, the Communist Party of Chile, and assorted Allende groupies:

Gonzalo S Meza Allende, grandson of former Marxist Chilean President Salvador Allende and member of Salvador Allende Foundation
– Manuel Cortes Iturrieta, President of Association of Former Members of Security Staff of President Salvador Allende; member of Central Committee, Socialist Party of Chile
– Carlos Moya, Central Committee, Socialist Party of Chile
– Rafael Araya, Central Committee, Socialist Party of Chile
– Paddy Ahumada, Central Committee, Socialist Party of Chile
– Guillermo Teillier, General Secretary Communist Party of Chile
– Jorge Insulza, Political Committee, Communist Party of Chile
– Lautaro Carmona, Communist Party of Chile

Beyond Latin America the following communist organizations have given their imprimatur to the new FSLN regime in Managua:

– World Federation of Democratic Youth, Budapest
– World Federation of Trades Unions
– Miguel Figueroa, General Secretary, Communist Party of Canada
– Marie Nassif-Debs, Politburo, Communist Party of Lebanon
– Dr. Gyula Thurman, President, Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party
– Luke Weyland, Socialist Alliance and Democratic Socialist Perspective, Australia
– Walid Ahmad, Member, Central Committee, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
– Feidias Pairidis, Editor of Aristera! (Left!), organ of Communist Organization of Greece, Athens

Nicaragua’s post-election violence, reports the Costa Rican media, spilled into the new year on Thursday when Sandinistas and supporters of the Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC) in the contested municipality of Nindirí reportedly attacked the homes of each other’s candidates. Suspects under the influence of alcohol fired mortar bombs at the house of former PLC mayoral candidate Lucas Reyes around 2 a.m. yesterday morning. The attack was allegedly in response to the bullets that were fired at the house of Nindirí’s Sandinista mayor-elect, Clarisa Rivas. Violence was also reported in the northern border outpost of Wiwilí, where the mayor’s office was burned to the ground yesterday morning. Eighty percent of the building and many official documents were destroyed. The violence in Nindirí and Wilwilí came one day after Sandinistas attacked and injured four Liberals in yet another contested municipality, La Concepción.

>WW4 File: Hamas claims missile hit Tel Nof air base near Tel Aviv, facility allegedly houses nukes; Israel ignores UN resolution, pursues Gaza op

>The United Nations Security Council, which is dominated by communist superpowers Russia and China, passed a resolution today calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government, however, ignored the resolution, citing the security of citizens and territory as justification for continued suppression of the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza City. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rightly rejected the UN resolution, saying on Friday morning, “The (Hamas) rocket attacks this morning on the residents of the south only prove that the U.N.’s resolution is not practical and will not be upheld by the Palestinian murder organizations.” Hamas fired more than 30 rockets toward Israel this morning.

Although additional confirmation has yet to surface, al-Aqsa television quoted Hamas officials as contending that today one of their Grad rockets hit Tel Nof, an important air base on the outskirts of Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv. Tel Nof, which is home to several fighter jet and helicopter squadrons, allegedly houses Israel’s nuclear weapons.

Today Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov, after holding talks with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal in Damascus, travelled to Israel where he conferred with that country’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. At the time Saltanov warned of the eruption of a wider conflagration in the Middle East: “The continuation of Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip could spread beyond the coastal sliver. The large-scale offensive in Gaza threatens the security of other regions as well.”

Meanwhile, BBC reports that Palestinians protesting against the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip clashed with Israeli security forces in the West Bank today: “At the Qalandiya checkpoint, an entrance to the city of Ramallah, Palestinian youths threw stones at soldiers who again fired tear gas and stun grenades at the protesters. In the West Bank village of Bilin, protesters dressed as Holocaust concentration camp inmates and threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded with tear gas.”

The AFP news agency also reports that in Alexandria the Muslim Brotherhood rallied more than 50,000 Egyptians to protest Israel’s suppression of the Hamas insurgency. Hamas represents the Gaza chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood. Anti-Israel protests also occurred in other Arab states like Algeria, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Asia and Europe. In the latter, the Greek Communist Party urged more than 2,000 rioters in Athens and Thessaloniki to burn the United States and European Union flags outside the US embassy and the Israeli flag outside the Israeli mission.

>EU File: European governments declare states of emergency as Moscow turns off gas supply in row with Kiev, Ukraine militarizes border with Russia

>January 9, 2009 Updates

-Kurt Volker, US Ambassador to NATO: Military Coalition Might Intervene in Russia-Ukraine Gas Dispute to Assist Member States Bulgaria and Romania (source)

– Poking the Soviet Bear: Ukraine’s Top General: Troops Could Join NATO Reaction Forces, EU Tactical Units by 2011

On January 1 Russia’s Gazprom turned off the natural gas supply to client Ukraine, the USA’s new strategic partner, in a row over unpaid bills. About one quarter of Europe’s gas is supplied by Russia, an estimated 80 percent of which passes through pipelines across the “former” Soviet republic. The Kremlin’s petulant energy imperialism previously manifested itself in the depths of winter 2005-2006 and again in winter 2006-2007. A week later, The Times reports that twelve countries have received no Russian gas: Austria, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey. France, Italy, Germany, and Poland reported that their supplies from Russia were markedly down.

In response, governments across Europe declared states of emergency and ordered factories and schools to close. Sven Alkalay, Bosnia’s Foreign Minister, complained: “Four million of our citizens are in danger.” Almir Becarevic, the manager of Bosnia’s state gas company, said: “If this lasts it could turn into a humanitarian disaster. We pray that someone can find a solution.”

Pictured above: Yesterday natural gas workers control a valve at the FGSZ Natural Gas Transmission Closed Company, the largest station in Vecses, outside Budapest, Hungary.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, an “ex”-communist from Portugal, charged both countries with holding the European Union’s energy supply “hostage” amid a cold snap across the continent. He feebly urged them to reopen the pipelines post haste. To reopen the gas taps, the EU offered to send independent monitors to scrutinize the guages on the pipelines at Ukraine’s borders. Russia claims that Ukraine is diverting gas from these pipelines, reducing the onward supply to Europe. The Kremlin has responded by cutting supplies by the amount Ukraine is supposedly stealing.

Barroso has also offered to mediate the dispute between Vladimir Putin, Russia’s Prime Minister, and Ukrainian counterpart, Yulia Tymoshenko, who will send officials to Brussels today to resolve the issue. The European Commission President conversed with both leaders yesterday, commenting:

Prime Minister Putin told me that Russia is providing the gas destined for the EU, Prime Minister Tymoshenko told me that they have created no problems with transit through Ukraine. The conclusion is clear: if both Russia and Ukraine behave as they say they are behaving, there should be no problem. If Ukraine is trying to be closer to the European Union, it should not create problems when it comes to the supply of gas to the EU.

Since the political leadership of both Russia and Ukraine are connected to the old Soviet regime–Putin is “ex”-KGB/CPSU, while Tymoshenko is ex-Komsomol–there is good reason to believe that the spat between Moscow and Kiev is contrived to advance the long-range Soviet deception strategy of turning the EU into Russia’s vassal state. Part of the deception appears to be the militarizing of the Ukraine-Russia border.

In November Novosti, citing the Russian-language business daily Delo, reported that Kiev plans to deploy more troops along the common border. “The events in the Caucasus have forced every country in this region to think about security. It turns out that not everything is so calm, that even Europe may experience military conflicts,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov was quoted as saying by Delo. Yekhanurov identified raising the combat readiness of air defense units and increasing security around strategically important assets as “priority tasks” for 2009. According to Delo, the modernization of the existing S-300, Buk-M1, Osa, and Tunguska air defense systems is also under consideration. Another Novosti article, citing the UNIAN news agency, appeared a week later. “Moscow should not worry about this redeployment – it does not threaten Russia,” assured Yekhanurov.

Last month, the chief of the Ukrainian General Staff, Army General Sergey Kirichenko, revealed that “certain units of Ukraine’s armed forces could take part in the first rotations of NATO reaction forces and EU tactical units starting in 2011.” This proposal, if implemented, would no doubt enrage the Moscow Leninists–which is exactly what they want: a pretext to nuke the West.

>Breaking News: "Lebanese militants" launch 2nd rocket attack on N. Israel, Home Front Command opens bomb shelters, IDF: Beiruit culpable in attacks

>A northern front in the latest phase of the 60-year-old Middle East war may be opening along the Israeli-Lebanese border. The Israeli media reports that “Lebanese militants” have launched a second barrage of rockets into northern Israel:

Radio and TV stations say air-raid sirens have gone off in two northern towns. There have been no reports of injuries. But the attack follows an earlier salvo on northern Israel. Israeli officials have been concerned that Hezbollah guerrillas may try to open a second front against Israel as it presses on with an offensive in the Gaza Strip. Israel has activated thousands of reserve troops to guard the north and repeatedly warned Hezbollah against attacking.

According to the Jerusalem Post, after the first barrage of Katyusha rockets at communities in the north this morning, the Home Front Command instructed all municipalities there to open bomb shelters, even though, “defense officials carefully assessed that the incident was an isolated case and not indicative of an escalation on the northern border.” In this case, watch what the Israeli government does, not what it says.

The Israeli Defense Forces’ Northern Command also held consultations at this time and announced that “Israel holds the government of Lebanon and the Lebanese armed forces responsible for preventing rocket fire into Israel.” Army representatives insisted that Palestinian terrorists were interested in “dragging Lebanon into a war.” Meanwhile, the Iranian media reports that the Israeli Air Force conducted overflights in southern Lebanon following the initial salvo of missiles.

>WW4 File: Hezbollah denies responsibility for rocket attack on N. Israel, IDF returns fire; Russia evacuates more nationals from Gaza, delivers aid

>In the wake of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s implied threat of opening a second front along the Israeli-Lebanese border, three Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon struck the northern Israeli city of Nahariya earlier today. One rocket exploded in a retirement home, injuring two persons. Lebanon’s minister of labor, Mohammed Fneish, a member of Hezbollah, denied that his party/terrorist organization was responsible for the incident. In response to the rocket attack, Israeli troops returned mortar fire across the border. “Nothing happens in Lebanon without a green light from Hizbullah,” an Israeli defense official commented, “Even if it was a Palestinian group who fired the rockets, Hizbullah would have to at least have turned a blind eye to allow the rocket fire.”

Pictured above: This morning Israeli Army Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defence Minister Ehud Barak, and Yoav Galant, chief of the army’s Southern Command met at the Tzeelim military base in southern Israel to assess the situation in Gaza. Photo provided by the Israeli Government Press Office.

Fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas insurgents continue in the Gaza Strip today, amidst predictable condemnation from Islamic and communist regimes. The Jerusalem Post reports that an IDF officer was killed and a soldier lightly wounded in a clash with Hamas gunmen in the central Gaza Strip. Citing Palestinian sources, the Israeli media reported that the air force carried out two dozen strikes on Thursday, killing one Hamas operative and wounding 1o others in Gaza City. An air strike in northern Gaza killed three members of a rocket-launching cell.

Pictured here: Equating Zionism and nationalism in general with oppression, leftists throughout the world reject Israel’s attempt to defend its citizens and territory from the Palestinian insurgency, which is largely Marxist in orientation. On January 2, cadres of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) in New Delhi burned a joint effigy of Olmert and US President George W. Bush.

Latin America’s Red Axis is also united in denouncing Israel over the Jewish state’s extirpation of the Hamas insurgency in Gaza. Last Sunday Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega ranted: “I want . . . to ask the international community to make all necessary efforts to stop the criminal acts of the Israeli government against the suffering Palestinian people.” Today 100 Palestinians living in Nicaragua marched through downtown Managua before demolishing a menorah-shaped monument in the city center. The seven-branched candelabrum is Israel’s national emblem. The Palestinian Ambassador to Nicaragua Walid Al-Mua’qat took part in the demonstration, which was endorsed by mass organizations affiliated with the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front.

In Canada left-wing anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head in the form of a proposed ban on Israeli academics teaching in the province of Ontario’s universities. “In response to an appeal from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, we are ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general,” piously intoned Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Len Rudner, regional director of the Canadian Jewish Congress in Ontario, branded the resolution “unbalanced, unfair and unhelpful.”

Meanwhile, on Thursday Russia evacuated a second group of nationals from the Palestinian territory. The first such airlift occurred on January 2. Moscow is also heavily involved in relief missions for the Palestinian National Authority. Today a fourth humanitarian flight, carrying 28 tons of food and five tons of medicine, arrived in the Egyptian town of Larish, which will then be trucked into the Gaza Strip. KGB-trained PNA President Mahmoud Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, another KGB asset, is closely aligned with the Soviet strategists.

>Blast from the Past File: Resurgent elements of Rawlings’ communist regime reassert control over Ghana, President Atta Mills an "ex"-Marxist-Leninist

>Today John Evans Atta Mills, who ran on the social democratic platform of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was sworn in as Ghana’s new president. Between 1997 and 2001 Atta Mills was vice president under “former” Marxist military dictator Jerry Rawlings, a slavish Cold War ally of both the Soviet Union and Libya. Rawlings (pictured here) attended his compliant protege’s inauguration in Accra on Wednesday. Atta Mills won by a very slim majority, ousting the conservative New Patriotic Party that ruled Ghana for the last eight years. Examining their rhetoric, though, we find that Rawlings and Atta Mills are little more than warmed-over communists who survived Africa’s Cold War.

Writing before last month’s hotly disputed Ghanaian presidential election, journalist Kofi Akosah-Sarpong of the Expo Times Independent Sierra Leone writes of Rawlings’ political vehicle, the NDC, which belongs to the Moscow-controlled Socialist International:

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has always been a one trick horse. In its first eight years after emerging from military roots, the NDC ran on befuddled socialism under its founder Jerry Rawlings who ruled Ghana for almost 20 years. Out of power for almost eight years in a new democratic dispensation, it transformed itself and ran on social democracy. In the upcoming 2008 December General Election, the NDC appears to run without the benefit of either. Marxist-Leninist ideology via socialism is on the shelf. Social democracy is in the rear-view mirror, the ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) and minority Convention Peoples Party (CPP) having virtually encroached into the NDC ideological terrain and appropriated its social democracy ethos.

Of Professor Atta Mills, a former law instructor and self-avowed “Marxist-Leninist socialist,” the same political analyst wrote last September that “Atta-Mills is seen as the puppet of Rawlings, who has iron grip on the NDC and whose democratic commitment is suspect.” A larger excerpt follows from the Akosah-Sarpong article:

When I listen to Atta-Mills, and hear him talk about the NDC’s social democracy, I get flash of his years as a Marxist-Leninist socialist. While both the NDC and the CPP are social democrats, there are philosophical differences. While Atta-Mills is sincere, his NDC, as the main opposition party, hasn’t campaigned fully on freedoms and democratic growth. Atta-Mills is seen as the puppet of Rawlings, who has iron grip on the NDC and whose democratic commitment is suspect. Atta-Mills body language doesn’t look like somebody who wants to be president, more because of the brutal shadow of Rawlings whirling around him. With the national view that he is not-his-own-man; Atta-Mills is a mismatch within the overwhelming Rawlings machine within the NDC. Atta-Mills don’t have the freedom to consolidate democracy.

Just in time for Ghana’s neo-Rawlingist regime, old allies Russia and Libya, operating through the Kremlin’s Technopromexport and Tripoli’s African Investment Portfolio, are moving in to town to build a power plant in the West African country. The Libyan media reported last month that the newly founded consortium “Laptechno-Power” will also build and operate power facilities in Libya, Uganda, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, and Namibia. The African Investment Portfolio will finance the projects through a US$6.73 billion investment fund. Although the Soviets, the Libyans, and assorted Third World revolutionaries like Rawlings have toned down their Cold War rhetoric, it seems like old times in Africa.

Resurgent elements of old communist regimes have appeared in other West African states in recent months. Last year the All People’s Congress, which ruled Sierra Leone as a single-party dictatorship between 1978 and 1991, was voted back into power. Under the guidance of former President Siaka Stevens (1967-1985) the APC implemented “pragmatic socialism.” Although it is not clear whether the new generation of leadership in the APC, including President Ernest Bai Koroma, is still committed to socialism, Libya continues to extend its baleful influence throughout West Africa. On January 3 the ruling APC and opposition parties bestowed Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi, who was then visiting Freetown, with honorary membership in the Sierra Leonean House of Parliament. Since Koroma became president, Sierra Leone has been the recipient of Libyan buses, tractors, shipments of rice, and a large, ultra-modern mosque in Rokupa, in the eastern dictrict of Freetown.

After his stopover in Sierra Leone, veteran revolutionary and advocate of pan-Arab/African unity Qaddafi flew to neighboring Guinea, where he held talks with the new ruling military junta. The AFP news agency did not disclose the substance of those discussions.

>WW4 File: Russia, Turkey, ME allies close ranks against Israel, Hezbollah hints at 2nd front; Chavez expels Israeli ambassador, rants against Jews

>Palestinian President Conferred with Ex-SVR Chief Primakov, His Former PhD Thesis Supervisor, in April 2008; Kommersant Daily: Abbas Has “Many Friends” in Moscow

– Russian Envoy Saltanov Meets Exiled Hamas Chief Mashaal in Damascus

– Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Lashes Out at Israel with Imprecations of Allah’s Judgment

– London-Based Al-Quds al-Arabi Newspaper: US Engineering Corps Deployed in Rafah to Monitor Gaza-Egypt Border and Locate Smuggler’s Tunnels (source)

Pictured above: Ludmilla Mashavisky mourns beside the flag-draped coffin of her son Alex during his funeral at a cemetery in Beersheba today. Mashavisky was killed yesterday during Israel’s offensive in Gaza. One of the objectives of Operation Cast Lead, ignored by Islamists and their leftist sponsors worldwide, is to neutralize Hamas’ capability of launching rocket attacks against the Jewish state.

The storm clouds of war, stirred up by the relentless drive for global domination by the Kremlin and its Islamic allies, continue to swirl about the Middle East as Israel prosecutes the fifth day of its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. Clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian insurgents, reports Reuters, resumed in the city of Gaza today after the termination of a three-hour truce to permit the admission of humanitarian aid.

Unmoved by a cease-fire plan proposed by France, Egypt, Turkey, and Syria, Moussa Abou Marzouk, the exiled deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, rejected calls for a permanent truce with Israel. France and Egypt hold the co-presidency of the new Union for the Mediterranean. As if on cue, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, the de facto ruler of the failed state known as Lebanon, today warned Israel, Egypt’s “moderate” leadership, and the world:

We have to act as though all possibilities are real and open (against Israel) and we must always be ready for any eventuality. I say to [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert, the loser, the vanquished in Lebanon that you cannot overcome Hamas or Hezbollah. Your 2006 war will be but a walk in the park compared to what we have prepared for you in the event of a new offensive. We are ready to sacrifice our souls, our brothers and sisters, our children, our loved ones for what we believe in. We will not abandon the fight or our weapons. Does the government in Egypt need more than 650 martyrs and 2,500 wounded to open the Rafah crossing once and for all to help the people of Gaza toward victory? I am simply asking for the opening of a crossing and not another front.

Nasrallah also commended Venezuela’s red dictator Hugo Chavez for expelling Israel’s ambassador to Caracas and urged all Arab states to follow that example: “Chavez’s decision is a slap in the face for all countries that host an Israeli ambassador. Arab governments must learn from this great Latin American leader.” Jordan and Egypt are the only two countries in the Middle East to have diplomatic relations with Israel.

Yesterday, with typical communist hypocrisy, Chavez ranted on state televsion: “Now I hope that the Venezuelan Jewish community speaks out against this barbarism. Do it. Don’t you strongly reject all acts of persecution? How far will this barbarism go? The president of Israel should be taken before an international court together with the president of the United States, if the world had any conscience.” In light of the fact that Chavez accused the Israelis of acting like “Nazis” in their war against Hezbollah in 2006 and dispatched two dozen heavily armed policemen to search for “subversive activities” at the Hebraica community center in Caracas in December 2007, Venezuelan Jews would do well to look over their shoulders. “We’re facing the first anti-Jewish government in our history,” Simon Sultan, president of Hebraica, opined at the time.

The Kremlin continues to intrude its baleful influence into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under cover of its membership in the Middle East Diplomatic Quartet. Palestinian President/Archterrorist Mahmoud Abbas enjoys a cozy relationship with the neo-Soviet leadership, especially ex-Foreign Intelligence Service chief Yevgeny Primakov, who was Abbas’ PhD thesis supervisor at Moscow’s State Institute of Oriental Studies in 1982. Referring to Abbas’ April 2008 trip to Moscow, Kommersant Daily reveals:

It’s the fourth time Mahmoud Abbas visits Moscow as President of the Palestinian National Authority, although he’d come to Russia’s capital many times before. Since the Soviet times, Abbas has had a lot of friends here. The Palestinian President met with one of them, Russia’s ex-Prime Minister, ex-Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), now President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yevgeny Primakov right after his arrival Wednesday night. In his time Mahmoud Abbas defended a Ph.D. thesis at Moscow’s State Institute of Oriental Studies, with Mr Primakov being his scientific advisor. Of all the official contacts of the Palestinian President in Moscow, that meeting was probably the most informal one.

On December 22 Abbas flew to Moscow again for face-to-face talks with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev and this past Monday held telephone talks with the same. In addition to encouraging the Palestinian National Authority in its quest to destroy Israel via either a two-state or binational one-state solution, the neo-Soviet leadership is also briefing Hamas, Gaza’s terrorist government.

Today, in a rare meeting, Russian envoy Alexander Saltanov conferred with the head of the Hamas politburo Khaled Mashaal (or Meshaal) in Damascus, where the terrorist chief lives in exile. A post-meeting statement declared: “Khaled Meshaal expressed his readiness to take part in such a solution to the conflict. But he added that the imposition of capitulatory conditions by Israel were unacceptable. Saltanov called on the leadership of Hamas to behave responsibly towards the fate of the people in the Gaza Strip and take constructive decisions.” In a separate meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, Saltanov insisted upon a “swift resolution to the crisis, which would put an end to the suffering of the civilian population.”

Meanwhile, in a related development, the Russian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and the destroyer Admiral Levchenko continue their port of call at the Turkish naval base of Aksaz, across from the Greek island of Rhodes, where its deck-based fighter jets carried out exercises last weekend. State-run Novosti quotes naval spokesentity Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo as saying: “The Levchenko will dock at the base while the Kuznetsov remains at sea. The visit will last until Thursday, after which the carrier group will carry out joint exercises with the Turkish Navy before returning to its duties in the Mediterranean Sea.” Thus, in addition to utilizing Greek (NATO) airspace for its own naval aviation drill, the Russian Navy will be holding an exercise with (NATO member) Turkey. On Friday the naval task force and its aircraft will carry out a second set of maneuvers near Crete.

As we pointed out in a previous post, should Moscow’s intervention be summoned, the Admiral Kuznetsov is but a hop, a skip, and a jump across the Mediterranean Sea from the conflict in the Gaza Strip. Israel’s support for the pro-Western government of Georgia earned Moscow’s displeasure last year. The willingness of incoming US President Barack Hussein Obama, moreover, to stand up against neo-Soviet adventurism is questionable at best.

We suspect that Greece and Turkey’s amicable view of Russia’s revitalized naval presence in the Mediterranean Basin is probably taking place within the context of the foolish NATO initiative known as Partnership for Peace. According to the NATO website, this program permits NATO member states, Russia, and other “post”-communist countries to engage in “practical bilateral cooperation between individual Partner countries and NATO. It allows Partner countries to build up an individual relationship with NATO, choosing their own priorities for cooperation.” Seeking an opening to advance the long-range Soviet strategy through East-West convergence, a key communist objective, the Moscow Leninists have driven a wedge into the southern flank of NATO.

In what could be another related development, Turkey’s Interior Ministry has intercepted a suspicious shipment bound for Venezuela from Iran, two countries that are openly united in their hatred of the USA and Israel. Last month Turkish customs officials seized 22 containers labeled “tractor parts” at the Mediterranean port of Mersin, only to discover that the shipment contained lab equipment capable of producing explosives. A Turkish customs spokesman explained: “Experts from Turkey’s Atomic Institute determined there were no traces of radioactive material, but said the equipment was enough to set up an explosives lab. We have asked the military to send experts to determine whether to resume the shipment.”

Finally, last Sunday Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced Israel’s Gaza offensive, insisting that the Jewish state was “perpetrating inhuman actions which would bring it to self-destruction. Allah will sooner or later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents.” The Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv refused to comment on Erdogan’s tirade, reports the Jerusalem Post. For students of Bible prophecy, however, the current alignment of Russia(Magog), Turkey (Togarmah), Iran (Persia), Libya (by name), and Ethiopia (by name) against Israel dovetails nicely with Ezekiel’s prediction in chapters 38 and 39 of an end-times military coalition that will invade the Jewish state during the early part of Daniel’s seven-year tribulation period.

>End Times File: French president, UPM architect Sarkozy rushes to Ramallah, Jerusalem; Tony Blair: secret Israeli-PNA peace deal exists

>– Senior Palestinian Negotiator: Olmert Ready to Give Away Temple Mount; Israeli Prime Minister Denies Such Claims

– Bible Prophecy Expert J.R. Church: Hamas Attacking Israel at Iran’s Prompting to Preempt IAF’s Reported Plan to Take Out Tehran’s Nuke Capability Prior to Obama Inauguration (Monday webcast)

The man whom we suspect is the most likely candidate for the Antichrist of Bible prophecy, French President Nicholas (“Prince of Darkness”) Sarkozy, rushed to Israel and the West Bank today, seeking to broker a ceasefire between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas, the Gaza Strip’s terrorist government. Until December 31 Sarkozy was also European Union (EU) President, but he remains, along with Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, co-president of the new Union for the Mediterranean (UPM), which includes the EU, North Africa, and the states of the eastern Mediterrean Basin, including Israel. The UPM is, in fact, Sarkozy’s offspring and encompasses all of the territory of the ancient Roman Empire and then some. The rotating EU presidency transferred to the “ex”-communist Czech Republic on January 1. Prague has defended Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ missile strikes.

In Ramallah, reports the AFP news agency, Sarkozy conferred with KGB-trained Palestinian President/Archterrorist Mahmoud Abbas, accusing Hamas of “irresponsible and unforgivable” actions in connection with its rocket attacks against Israel. However, he also urged Israel to terminate its four-day-old ground invasion of the Gaza Strip:

I will tell President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in all frankness that the violence must halt. We, Europe want a ceasefire as soon as possible. Time is working against peace. The weapons must be silence and there must be a temporary humanitarian truce. Hamas acted in an irresponsible and unforgiveable manner … Hamas is to blame for the suffering of the Palestinians.

For his part, Abbas demanded “an immediate and unconditional end to the Israeli aggression against my people in the Gaza Strip.”

If Sarkozy, a Gentilized descendant of Jacob/Israel, is “the prince who will come” to rule the world during Daniel’s 70th week, then it can be expected that he will broker a seven-year covenant with the “many,” including’s the prophet Daniel’s people, Israel. Among other provisions, this covenant will permit the Jews to rebuild their Temple on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Several Orthodox Jewish sects, as we have reported in past months, are in an advanced state of readiness to reinstitute the Levitical worship system, having ordained men to this ministry and fashioned the required Temple furniture and accessories.

According to the Palestinian media, a secret covenant establishing peace between Israel and the Palestinians, needing only public confirmation and political enforcement by a pretended friend of Israel like Sarkozy, already exists. On December 4 Al Quds, the largest daily newspaper in the Palestinian territories, interviewed former British prime minister Tony Blair, who is presently Special Envoy for the Middle East Diplomatic Quartet:

He [Tony Blair] stressed that the ongoing meetings between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas with Olmert and negotiations conducted by the Palestinian negotiating team and Israel, which he said focused on the issues of the final stage, has resulted in an agreement and a demand for clarification. He said that both sides decided to refrain from talking about it openly or disclosing it.

About the same time, World Net Daily reported that an anonymous senior Palestinian negotiator contested Israeli Prime Minister Olmert’s public claim that the Temple Mount was not on the bargaining table:

What Olmert said is absolutely false. I think he’s not yet ready to tell the Israeli public and is waiting for the right time and he fears his coalition with religious extremists will fall apart if he announces it now. We had intense debates on many topics, which remain open and unsettled, but the Harem Al-Sharif [Temple Mount] is not a sticking point. The Israelis didn’t argue with us. We were pleasantly surprised Olmert didn’t debate about giving the lower section of the Mount either, which was a sticking point in the past.

Israel recaptured the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, during the Six Day War in 1967. According to the Palestinian source above, Olmert agreed to evacuate the Temple Mount but only if joint control of the holy site is granted to the PNA, Egypt, and Jordan.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia’s navy approves permanent redeployment of warships overseas; Medvedev, Assad discuss Israel’s Gaza offensive

>Russian Military Undeterred by Failed Test Launch of Bulava MIRV-able SLBM on December 23, Testing to Continue Throughout 2009

Although the Russian Navy is a shadow of the old Soviet Navy, yesterday Russia’s military brass approved a plan to permanently station warships at friendly ports around the world. “The General Staff has given its position on this issue and it fully supports the position of the (Navy’s) main committee,” Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, is quoted by Novosti and Reuters as saying, “Nobody can predict where problems could flare up. What we need are permanent bases, but these are very costly. They need to be considered very carefully.”

Pictured above: The Sukhoi Su-25 close support aircraft was introduced to the Soviet Air Force in 1981. A squadron of these warplanes is stationed on Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (see below), presently carrying out a drill near NATO member Greece.

The Kremlin has already reactivated and is in the process of modernizing its two Soviet-era naval facilities in Syria, Tartus and Latakia. Incidentally, on Saturday Syrian President/Tyrant Bashar al-Assad conversed by telephone with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, at which time the allies discussed Israel’s offensive against the Gaza Strip’s Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist government, which expanded into a full-blown ground invasion on the same day.

In recent months, the Moscow Leninists have also expressed an interest in redeploying warships to Soviet-era ports at Aden, Yemen, and Cam Rahn, Vietnam, which was closed down as recently as 2002. In North Africa long-time Soviet ally Muammar al-Qaddafi has offered the port of Tripoli to Russian warships, while in Central America Moscow, Tehran, and Caracas have pledged to dredge a deep-water port at Monkey Point, on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. The pro-Soviet Sandinista National Liberation Front returned to power in Nicaragua’s 2006 elections. This past summer, the neo-Soviet leadership indicated that it wishes to build a naval port in Sukhumi, Abkhazia, the Russian-occupied region on Georgia’s Black Sea coast.

In another sign that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is no longer united as an effective bulwark against Soviet militarism, two warships of Russia’s Northern Fleet, the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and the Admiral Levchenko destroyer, reports Novosti, arrived at the Turkish naval base of Aksaz today for a four-day visit. Aksaz is near the Greek island of Rhodes. Over the weekend, fighter jets based on the Admiral Kuznetsov completed the first of several exercises near the Greek island of Rhodes, while additional exercises will take place near Crete later this week. Although the carrier remained in international waters, its deck-based fighter jets flew in Greek airspace, a scenario that obviously required permission from the Greek Defense Ministry. Taking into account the wider geopolitical picture, the flagship of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, not so coincidentally, is only a hop, a skip, and a jump across the Mediterranean Sea from Israel and Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Russian Navy reveals that the Admiral Chabanenko, which paid visits to Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua, and Cuba last month, is plying the waters of the North Atlantic back to its base in Murmansk. The nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, to which the Admiral Chabanenko was assigned during Russia’s combined war game with Venezuela, is making waves through the South Atlantic, where it will pay an historic visit at Cape Town this Friday, en route to joining an Indo-Soviet naval drill in the Indian Ocean. South Africa fell under communist domination in 1995 after the first post-apartheid election, while communists hold the balance of power in the Indian parliament.

In summary, the Russian Navy, apart from many years of proposed but expensive expansion, is no match for its US counterpart. However, the Kremlin is sending a significant political message to Washington: Russia has allies worldwide, while America is surrounded by enemies.

Meanwhile, Colonel-General Nogovitsyn yesterday brushed aside the failed test launch of a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile, which took place on December 23 from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine, then submerged in the White Sea. The latest test launch was Bulava’s tenth and the fifth failure. “The missile will be a success. We see what we started from and at which stage of development it is now. This is a big contrast,” Nogovitsyn pontificated. The previous test of the Bulava missile occurred on November 28. The launch, which successfully engaged a target on the Kamchatka Peninsula, was also carried out by the Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea.

In earlier announcements, the Russian Navy stated that the Bulava would enter service in 2009, but more test launches will be carried out this year before a final decision is made to admit the SLBM into service. The Bulava (SS-NX-30) carries up to 10 nuclear warheads, boasts a range of 5,000 miles, or 8,000 kilometers, and is designed for deployment on Borey-class Project 955 nuclear-powered submarines.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Putin’s warning to West; Russian warplanes to use Greek airspace for exercise, Turkey buys 32 Havoc gunships

>Poking the Soviet Bear: USA Signs Strategic Accords with Ukraine and Georgia as Russia Subverts NATO’s Southern Flank

Neo-Soviet Russia continues to probe for cracks between NATO member states. A crack has definitely emerged along the military coalition’s southern flank, as evidenced by Russia’s latest naval aviation exercise in Greek airspace and pending sale of military helicopters to Turkey. While both Greece and Turkey belong to the Western Alliance, hatreds fester between the two nations, especially over Turkey’s occupation of northern Cyprus in 1975. Last February a slavishly pro-Moscow communist, Dimitris Christofias, was elected president of the Republic of Cyprus and promptly took up the torch of reuniting Greek and Turkish Cypriots under one state.

Regarding the Kremlin’s baleful influence over Greece, Novosti and Reuters report that aircraft based on Russia’s sole carrier Admiral Kuznetsov will utilize Greek airspace and the skies near the capital Athens with the approval of the Greek National Defense General Staff. “The exercises will take place on January 3-4 and on January 8-10 southeast of Rhodes Island and on January 11 south of Crete,” explained the Greek Defense Ministry, which has apparently taken leave of its senses as well as patriotism. “The Kuznetsov, which is sailing in the southeast Mediterranean, asked Greece’s civil aviation authority to operate within the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR),” the ministry related in a statement. “The request was granted. Sukhoi 25 and Sukhoi 33 fighter aircraft will take part in the operations, as well as Kamov helicopters. It is the first time that such a request was made.”

The Admiral Kuznetsov has begun a tour of duty in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea in a bid to re-project Russia’s naval presence overseas. The aircraft carrier itself will remain in international waters. In view of Greece’s capitulation to the Soviet long-range deception, we must pose the following question: Will the Kremlin be requesting use of US airspace next to test its Strategic Missile Forces?

Last month Greece was rocked by violent, communist-led protests against the faux rightist New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. In April 2008 Karamanlis travelled to Moscow where he signed a deal that will involve Greece’s participation in Gazprom’s South Stream project, increasing Russia’s grip on European natural gas supplies. This is the same Gazprom, incidentally, that turned off the natural gas tap to Ukraine yesterday, just as it did in January 2006. The Kremlin’s energy imperialism, however, will not stop the Greek army from taking delivery of 420 Russian-built BMP-3M infantry fighting vehicles in a deal inked last October.

Across the Agean Sea, Turkey has given up attempts to purchase US-made Cobra and SuperCobra helicopter gunships and, instead, plans to buy 32 used Mi-28 choppers in an arms package worth US$1 billion. Pictured above, the Mi-28 enjoys the NATO designation “Havoc” and is manufactured by the Rostvertol plant in southern Russia. Novosti reports: “Russian helicopters will tide Turkey over until deliveries of Agusta A-129 Mangusta helicopters, co-produced with Italy’s Agusta Westland, are received by the Turkish Armed Forces. The Italian company won a tender for the production of 52 helicopters in 2007.” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov made an official visit to Turkey last November.

Pictured here: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice holds a joint press conference with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, whom we suspect is a tool of the Moscow Leninists.

The two communist superpowers, Russia and China, continue to close ranks in their new, “post”-Cold War military coalition, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, by implementing a hotline that will for the first time permit Russian and Chinese military leaders to directly converse without first negotiating multiple layers of bureaucracy. The first-ever Sino-Soviet war game took place in 2005, a second transpired in 2007, and a third is slated for later this year. Ostensibly billed as “anti-terrorism drills,” Peace Mission 2005 and Peace Mission 2007 clearly represented the Moscow-Beijing Axis’ intention of eventually confronting the USA and its few remaining allies.

The latest growlings from Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, prove this point. On December 20, which is Chekist Day in Russia, Putin addressed a meeting of top security and intelligence officials. At this time he warned his colleagues in the Federal Security Service (FSB) that unnamed foreign enemies were still seeking to “destabilize” Russia, a theme that Putin raised at least four years ago after the FSB’s provocation in Beslan, North Ossetia:

Any attempts to weaken or destabilise Russia, damage the country’s interests and its citizens will be toughly suppressed. We are counting on your efforts to preempt the very possibility of carrying out terror acts in Russia, as well as on your active work in other priority directions too. These are countermeasures against corruption, organised crime, fighting narcotics aggression against the country’s citizens. And also protection of economic security.

The primary unnamed enemy of Russia, of course, is the USA, which is perceived as the aggressor in view of Washington’s new strategic parternships with “former” Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia. Along the same theme, in November Leonid Kagansky, senior adviser for European affairs to deceased Soviet tyrant Leonid Brezhnev, was quoted as saying: “The USA will be at war with Russia within five years.” Kagansky, who lives in retirement in Israel, “believed the US will be drawn into a battle for control over these former communist countries.” In the 17 years since Eastern European communism “collapsed,” the Soviet strategists have not been idle in portraying America as the world’s most dangerous “terrorist state.”

>Red Terror File: India Daily: Chinese military intelligence aided Mumbai attackers with weapons, speedboats; Beijing protecting Pakistan’s top general

>In our first post on the November Mumbai terrorist attacks we considered the “Kremlin trace” behind the “Deccan Mujahideen,” the mysterious (possibly fictitious) organization that claimed responsibility for the four-day bombing and shooting spree in India’s financial capital. New Delhi, however, attributes the attacks to Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist outfit based near Lahore, Pakistan, and elements of Islamabad’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

Pictured above: On New Year’s Eve Indian police guard Mumbai’s Taj Majal Hotel, which terrorists stormed on November 26.

Yesterday the Indian media adopted a new tack, intimating that Chinese military intelligence was also behind the Mumbai atrocities. “The shadow ISI, the unofficial intelligence militia of [General] Kiani,” reports India Daily, “may have received direct help and intelligence from Chinese secret military intelligence in carrying out the Mumbai massacre.” The same source adds: “Some very advanced intelligence organization helped the terrorists and their sponsors to cause maximum panic and destruction with a limited resource. Pakistan’s ISI is not that capable just alone working with its mediocre intelligence and espionage personnel.”

Specifically, the India Daily points out that the terrorists from Pakistan used Chinese-made arms and ammunition, and alleges that Red Chinese operatives in India may have provided the terrorists with the rubber speedboats used to enter Mumbai harbor. The same source insists that Beijing is protecting Pakistan’s top general General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, spelled “Kiani” above, under a shroud of lies, denials, and inaction. In a previous post we noted that on December 15 of last year Pakistan’s General Tariq Majid travelled to China on a weeklong official visit, during which time he met with General Chen Bindge, Chief of the PLA General Staff.

Incidentally, Chinese military intelligence is carried out by the Second Department of the General Staff Headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army. “The PLA Institute of International Relations at Nanjing,” relates the Federation of American Scientists’ Intelligence Resource Program, “comes under the Second Department of the General Staff Department and is responsible for training military attaches, assistant military attaches and associate military attaches as well as secret agents to be posted abroad.”

“Sooner or later,” concludes India Daily perceptively, “RAW and CBI will find out the secret Chinese connections but Indian public will be kept in the dark for international political reasons.” RAW refers to Research and Analysis Wing, India’s foreign intelligence agency, while CBI refers to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The theory advanced by the Indian media is very possible since Pakistan is openly allied with China, which is openly allied with Russia, which is openly allied with India, which is Pakistan’s archenemy. Confused? The Moscow-Bejing Axis isn’t. The two communist superpowers are simply stirring the pot of strife so that New Delhi and Islamabad are either sorely tempted to nuke each other into oblivion or, better still, seek peace and security through full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.