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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Fatima Watch: Obama Requests Military Support for Possible War Against Russia

Fatima Watch: Obama Requests Military Support for Possible War Against Russia
Off Guardian
Wars N Rumors of Wars

According to an April 23rd article carried by Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (German Economic News), U.S. President Barack Obama is “demanding the active deployment of the Bundeswehr [Germany’s armed forces, including their Army, Navy, and Air Force] to NATO’s eastern borders” at Poland and the Baltic republics, to join the quadrupling of America’s forces there, on and near the borders of Russia. This is an extreme violation of what Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to when he ended the Soviet Union and its NATO-mirror organization the Warsaw Pact, but it’s actually culminating a process that began shortly after he agreed to America’s terms, which included that NATO “not move one inch to the east.”

Furthermore, DWN reports that on April 25th, the U.S. President will hold a summit meeting in Hannover, Germany with the leaders of Germany (Angela Merkel), Italy (Matteo Renzi), France (Francois Hollande), and Britain (David Cameron). The presumed objective of this meeting is to agree to establish in the NATO countries bordering on Russia a military force of these five countries, a force threatening Russia with an invasion, if or when NATO subsequently decides that the ‘threat from Russia’ be ‘responded to’ militarily.
NATO’s encirclement of Russia with forces hostile to it is supposedly defensive — not an offensive operation — against Russia and is presented as such by our media.   During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis,  J. F. Kennedy didn’t consider Nikita Khrushchev’s plan to base nuclear missiles in Cuba to be ‘defensive’ on the USSR’s part — and neither does Russia’s President Vladimir Putin consider America’s far bigger operation of surrounding Russia with such weapons to be ‘defensive’.  The U.S. government, and NATO, act as if Russia is threatening them rather than them threatening and encircling Russia — and their news media transmit this lie as if it were a truth and one worthy of being taken seriously.  In actual fact, NATO has already expanded right up to Russia’s western borders.
Obama is thus now adding to the economic sanctions against Russia that he had imposed because of Russia’s alleged ‘seizure’ of Crimea from Ukraine after the US and EU engineered coup overthrew Russia’s ally Viktor Yanukovych who had led Ukraine until the coup in February 2014.
Even though Western-sponsored polls in Crimea, both before and after the coup, had shown higher than 90% support by Crimeans for rejoining with Russia, right after Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia, Obama slapped sanctions against Russia. Nuclear weapons were prepared, both on the U.S.-EU side and on the Russian side, for a possible nuclear war.
This is no mere restoration of the Cold War (which was supposedly based on the capitalist-communist ideological disagreement); it’s getting forces into position for a possible invasion of Russia, pure-and-simple — raw conquest — though no major news-media in the West are reporting it as being such.
The current preparation doesn’t necessarily mean a nuclear war will result from them. Russia might accept whatever the demands ‘the West’ makes of it and thus lose its  sovereignty.  Alternatively, if Russia stands-its-ground and refuses to yield up its national sovereignty,‘the West’ (the U.S.leadership, and the leaderships in its allied countries) could cease with its evermore-ominous threats and simply withdraw from Russia’s borders.
Basically, by 2013 the U.S. leadership had decided to take over Ukraine and refused to acknowledge the rights of the Crimean people to reject the new dispensation in Kiev and decide on its own future — and, by late February 2014, Russia’s leadership decided toprotect them against the type of invasion that subsequently occurred in Ukraine’s former Donbass region, where the opposition to Obama’s coup was even more intense.
The West keeps asserting that Russia is somehow in the wrong here.  However, since even the head of Stratfor has called what Obama did in Ukraine “the most blatant coup in history”, and since the fact that it was a U.S. coup has been documented extensively on cellphone and other videos, and in the most thorough academic investigation that has been performed of the matter — and was even acknowledged by Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko, a participant in the coup, to have been a coup — and since evidence survives on the Internet of the U.S. Embassy’s preparations as early as 1 March 2013 for the February 2014 coup; and since even the U.S. government’s hired polls showed that Crimeans rejected overwhelmingly the U.S. coup and supported rejoining Russia; the question still needs to be answered: What is the basis of the West’s aggressive actions threatening Russia’s national security other than its own imperialist ambitions towards Russia camouflaged with the lies about an aggressive Russia and an aggressive President Putin the Western mass media have been bombarding the public with?  And, that’s a very worrisome basis — worrisome regarding, essentially, a type of dictatorshipin the West, rather than any dictatorship outside it.   The aggression and the threat here seem clearly to be coming from the West, against the East.
Back in January, Russian President Vladimir Putin had once again called out American President Barack Obama on Obama’s big lie that America’s “ABM” weapons to disable in-flight nuclear missiles were being installed in Europe in order to protect Europe against Iranian nuclear missiles.  Now, however, while the U.S. acknowledges that Iran doesn’t have, and won’t have, any nuclear missiles, Obama is stepping up (instead of ending) those same ABM installations in Europe, close to Russia’s borders.  The only real reason they have been installed, as Putin argues, is in order to enable a sudden nuclear attack against Russia capable of disabling Russia’s retaliatory capacity in a matter of minutes.
The only rational response by the Western public to what Obama and his foreign allies are doing is to recognize what is actually happening and to take action against their own leaders, before this increasingly high-stakes confrontation becomes terminal.  In this instance, the people of the countries that comprise the political West need to defend themselves against their own national leaders. This is a situation that is frequently encountered in dictatorships.
The key questions are not being asked in the Western press, however; they are being ignored by it.  Unless these questions are publicly dealt with — and soon — the answer to them all could well be terminal for millions of civilians in Europe and elsewhere.
The closer things get to a nuclear war, the more difficult it is for either side to back down from it — and this is especially the case with the aggressor, most especially when it falsely claims that it is being aggressed-against.
This is the reason why the lies peddled by the political leadership of the West urgently need to be exposed.

Moscow voices alarm as NATO Romanian missile defense base goes live 

As a new Romanian interceptor missile base prepares to go live Thursday, Moscow has slammed NATO’s expanding defense shield, calling it a threat to security, and a violation of a key international treaty.
"The creation of a European and global missile defense shield has an adverse effect on strategic stability," Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the Russian foreign ministry's department for proliferation and arms control issues, said on Wednesday.
NATO will formally declare its missile defense base in the remote location of Deveselu, Romania, operational on Thursday, bringing to fruition a plan to construct a shield in eastern Europe that was first announced by George W. Bush as far back as 2007.
“Our direct interests, the interests of our national security are affected by the decision,” said Ulyanov.

Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex in Kauai, Hawaii © Leah Garton
The Russian official said that not only was the missile defense aimed at neutralizing Russia’s offensive capability – an accusation the Pentagon has repeatedly rejected – but that Deveselu’s MK 41 launching systems it uses could be re-equipped with offensive cruise missiles.

READ MORE: US missile shield in Europe poses no critical threat to Russia – Strategic Missile Forces commander

Ulyanov said that Washington was acting in breach of the 1987 INF treaty, under which Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan signed their respective countries up to obligations “not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.”
 ‘Not aimed at Russia’: State Dept. contradicts Pentagon on US missile defense expansion goals
The US embassy in Moscow produced a counter-statement, condemning Moscow’s allegations as “unacceptable and irresponsible.”

“The missile defense system is not aimed at Russia, or undermining its strategic potential. From the point of view of geography and physics, it is impossible to shoot down Russian inter-continental missiles from Romania or Poland,” said the document, penned by embassy spokesman William Stephens, and obtained by RIA news agency.
Washington says that the eastern European missile defense segment is meant to thwart a potential threat from Iran, but in a separate statement on Wednesday evening, Russia’s foreign ministry said that worries that Tehran posed a threat to NATO were “unfounded.”
The missile shield uses a network of radars that track potential threats in the atmosphere, before launching an interceptor missile from a stationary base, or a fleet.
Simultaneously with Romania coming online, construction work is beginning on a complementary base in Poland, which will complete the eastern European segment of the shield in 2018.

Russia amassing troops at borders in challenge to NATO

MOSCOW, May 4 (UPI) -- Russia is set to establish three new military divisions -- around 30,000 troops -- along its borders in a direct challenge to Western allies' troop buildup in the region.
NATO revealed last month that it would be sending around 4,000 troops to Poland and the former Soviet countries in the Baltic.
Now Moscow has hit back by announcing its own plans to expand its military presence.
"The Defense Ministry is taking a series of measures in order to counter the expansion of NATO forces in direct proximity to the Russian border," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday on state television.
"By the end of the year two new divisions will be formed in the western military district and one in the southern military district."
The Pentagon has said new NATO troop deployments are in response to Russia's "provocative" military exercises along its borders. Since December, Russia has staged more than 1,000 war games, but insists they are simply responding to increased NATO presence along its Western borders.
Tensions continue to rise in the region. Last month, Russian warplanes and a military helicopter repeatedly buzzed the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook as it carried out operations on the Baltic Sea.
Russia has spent billions of dollars in recent months upgrading its military and modernizing its arms industry.
President Vladimir Putin has promised to spend more than $300 billion to revamp Russia's fighting forces by the end of the decade.
Moscow is planning to add a further 10,000 recruits to its military this year in its aim to have a million men and women fighting force.

Russia Has Been Encircled and Pushed to the Brink of War: “They Have Exercised Remarkable Restraint”

Readers, I wish to begin this article by explaining that although many pieces have been written concerning Russia’s military actions, I do not believe for one moment that they are impromptu and without justifications.  The preference regarding Russia was to emphasize in previous articles that they are a capable and professional nation from a military perspective.  The fact of the matter is that they have been continually provoked and hemmed in for several decades, now.  The U.S. and its cabal are responsible for the corralling of a nation that actually intended to enter NATO.
Gorbachev agreed to the reunification of Germany (West and East) and the dissolution of the Soviet Union with the preconditioned term that it (Russia) would be able to enter NATO as a full-fledged member of the European Community.  The actions were taken: Germany reunified (the Berlin Wall fell in Nov. 1989) in 1990, and the Soviet Union “dissolved” in 1992.  Those actions were then repaid with treachery: George H.W. Bush (Bush Senior) had no intention of ever allowing the Russians to join NATO or become a U.S. ally for that matter.
But what did happen was the U.S. business interests, on the heels of détente and glasnost managed to insert oligarch-led businesses and American capital to try and turn Russia into another post WWII Japan.  All of the American businesses, fueled by the North American Free Trade Agreement fervor and free trade with China (initiated by Bush Sr., and signed off on by Clinton) ran for the Russian cash cow.  Plans were in the works to milk Russian resources and turn it into another IMF and Federal Reserve dominated vassal state.
The plan backfired, for several reasons.  Firstly, the influx of American technology was quickly implemented and/or duplicated within Russia regarding industrial procedures and the gathering of natural resources.  Next, the SSR’s or “Satellite Nations” of the former Soviet Union had been relinquished and these nations were now not only “free” of Russia, but Russia was free of them.  Russian scaled back, and over the first decade concentrated on growth of a Russian nation rather than a Soviet one.  The smaller scale enabled them to trim excess spending and definitively develop their own base of natural resources and industry, while maintaining ties with the former SSR’s that kept trade from dying off completely.
Vladimir Putin rose to prominence and the Russian people found a new identity for themselves based on national zeal and pride.  Much of the basic infrastructure is still modeled after (or even maintains itself in the manner of) the former Soviet Union, but with a free market-based economy that is no longer shut off from international trade.  Many people today do not realize that the attempt to undercut Russia and monopolize its resources had been done years before.  The Rockefellers managed to build a $50 million aluminum plant in Russia in the 1960’s during the Vietnam War.  Not only did the U.S. government permit this, but also much of that plant produced goods that the USSR used for war materials that actually shifted right into the hands of Vietnam.  The Rockefellers “slipped under the cracks,” and were not brought up on criminal charges.
With Russia growing and prospering, the U.S. has been countering with military supplies and equipment.  The U.S. and NATO have been keeping the Cold War alive to support the military-industrial complex as well as boost the IMF presence and control in and of Europe.  We are now seeing true reemergence of a Cold War stance between NATO and Russia.  This was not started by Russia; however, Russia may very well finish it, as they don’t take any of these insidious IMF actions and nefarious NATO movements lightly.
On Monday, April 25th, Obama held a summit with the leaders of Germany, Italy, France, and Britain to discuss establishing a NATO force to be able to fight against Russian military forces.  This amounts to nothing more than an encirclement and potential invasion into Russia by NATO.  It violates the treaties and agreements drawn up that were mentioned before with Gorbachev that promised not to allow NATO to expand at all in Europe and encroach on Russia.
We have witnessed the coup d’etat of Viktor Yanukovych and the insertion of Arseny Yatsenyuk in Ukraine in February of 2014.  Russia did not sit this one out.  The coup and the subsequent actions of NATO and the IMF showed Russia that the U.S. and NATO were adding another vassal state to the ones already encroaching upon her borders.  Russia was actually labeled in the Ukrainian draft provisions as both an “aggressor” and an “enemy,” just prior to Russia’s action with regard to Crimea and Sevastopol.  There was no way that Russia was going to allow its Black Sea Fleet to be penned up, and their naval base (the only one with access to the Med) to be seized, and they acted, vigorously and decisively.
The U.S. has boosted up its troop presence in Europe throughout the Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, and Moldova.  The U.S. has also emplaced Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) batteries throughout those nations to deter and disable incoming missiles from Russia.  The U.S. now has 200 new “advisors” as of this writing deployed to Western Syria.  Seems the U.S. and NATO are not scrapping those plans for a gas pipeline from Qatar through Syria to undercut Gazprom after all.
To summarize, Russia has been very well justified in taking action and shifting its military personnel throughout the theater.  If anything they have exercised remarkable restraint…more than many nations would in its situation.  Naturally they have to defend their interests, and these latest maneuvers and troop positionings by the U.S. and its allies are threatening those interests.  As I have written before, it is the U.S. that will cause or initiate a war with Russia, because the colonizing power is with – and has been with – the United States for decades, now.  Russia is no shrinking violet, and this time we’re going to receive at least as well as we give.




NATO Prepares Four Battalions for Russian Border

By Daniel McAdams

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that NATO is preparing to deploy four battalions -- approximately 4,000 troops -- to Russia's western border. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work was in Brussels today to announce the Western military escalation on Russia's border, which he claimed was in response to Russian military exercises near the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

According to Deputy Secretary of Defense Work, two of the battalions would come from the United States, with one each coming from the UK and Germany. This announcement might come as news to German lawmakers, as such a significant German military presence on Russia's borders has not been approved by Berlin. Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel has given Washington reason to believe that Germany would join the escalation, the move is considered highly controversial in a Germany growing weary of following US foreign policy dictates. In fact, according to recent polling, only one in three Germans supports the idea of the German military defending the Baltics even if there were a Russian attack. A clear majority of Germans oppose NATO military bases on Russia's border.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the UK government has not agreed to send the troops either, despite the claims of unnamed "Western officials."

The US deputy secretary of defense explained in Brussels that the US must send these thousands of troops thousands of miles from the US because Russia is conducting military exercises on its own soil and the US finds that intolerable.

Said Deputy Secretary Work:
The Russians have been doing a lot of snap exercises right up against the borders, with a lot of troops. From our perspective, we could argue this is extraordinarily provocative behavior.
What is not made clear in the article but should not be lost on readers is that "right up against the borders" is still Russian territory. But "right up against the borders" on the other side -- where the US military is to be deployed and to conduct exercises -- is most definitely not US territory. In other words, the US is traveling thousands of miles to place its troops on Russia's border in response to Russian troops inside its border.

Here is Washington logic: Russian military exercises inside Russia are "extraordinarily provocative" but somehow stationing thousands of US troops on the border with Russia is not at all provocative. Just like US military exercises in the Baltic sea some 50 miles from Russian soil is not at all provocative, but Russian military plane fly-overs in response to these US military exercises is "reckless and provocative." And just like the US flying a spy plane over highly-secret Russian military facilities on the Kamchatka peninsula is not at all provocative, but when the spy plane is buzzed by another Russian fighter, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter warns, "This is unprofessional. This is dangerous. This could lead somewhere."

It's never provocative when Washington's interventionists do it.

The World Goes On High Alert As The US Pushes For WWIII


Russia to boost military force if Sweden allies with NATO - senator 




“World War III Has Begun” — Paul Craig Roberts

 he Third World War is currently being fought. How long before it moves into its hot stage?

Washington is currently conducting economic and propaganda warfare against four members of the five bloc group of countries known as BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Brazil and South Africa are being destabilized with fabricated political scandals. Both countries are rife with Washington-financed politicians and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Washington concocts a scandal, sends its political agents into action demanding action against the government and its NGOs into the streets in protests.
Washington tried this against China with the orchestrated Hong Kong “student protest.” Washington hoped that the protest would spread into China, but the scheme failed. Washington tried this against Russia with the orchestrated protests against Putin’s reelection and failed again.
To destablilze Russia, Washington needs a firmer hold inside Russia. In order to gain a firmer hold, Washington worked with the New York mega-banks and the Saudis to drive down the oil price from over $100 per barrel to $30. This has put pressure on Russian finances and the ruble. In response to Russia’s budgetary needs, Washington’s allies inside Russia are pushing President Putin to privatize important Russian economic sectors in order to raise foreign capital to cover the budget deficit and support the ruble. If Putin gives in, important Russian assets will move from Russian control to Washington’s control.
In my opinion, those who are pushing privatization are either traitors or completely stupid. Whichever it is, they are a danger to Russia’s independence.

Eric Draitser provides some details of Washington’s assault on Russia
of Washington’s attack on South Africa
and of Washington’s attack on Brazil.

For my column on Washington’s attack on Latin American independence, see this.
As I have often pointed out, the neoconservatives have been driven insane by their arrogance and hubris. In their pursuit of American hegemony over the world, they have cast aside all caution in their determination to destabilize Russia and China.
By implementing neoliberal economic policies urged on them by their economists trained in the Western neoliberal tradition, the Russian and Chinese governments are setting themselves up for Washington. By swallowing the “globalism” line, using the US dollar, participating in the Western payments system, opening themselves to destabilization by foreign capital inflows and outflows, hosting American banks, and permitting foreign ownership, the Russian and Chinese governments have made themselves ripe for destabilization.
If Russia and China do not disengage from the Western system and exile their neoliberal economists, they will have to go to war in order to defend their sovereignty.

Related Reads
World War III Approaches: Saudi Arabia and Turkey Drop Hints That an Invasion of Syria Is Imminent
World War III Starts in the Middle East? Saudi Arabia and Turkey Consider a Ground Invasion of Syria
World War III Draws Closer as Russia Accuses Turkey of Being ‘Secret Allies’ with ISIS
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


North Korea vows 'baptism of nuclear fire' on U.S.

North Korea threatened to put the United States through a "baptism of nuclear fire" if Washington does not suspend its "hostile policy" against Pyongyang.

The statement of condemnation was published in Wednesday's issue of the Rodong Sinmun, under the headline, "Will they change policy, or prefer a baptism of nuclear fire"?
Pyongyang's media blamed the United States for "blowing away" a chance for a peace proposal, and the only choice for Washington now is the "method of last resort," South Korean news service Newsis reported.
The editorial stated the North had recently offered concessions, although North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Ri Tae Song told reporters in Beijing Tuesday there are no conditions for which nuclear tests would be stopped.
"The United States has ignored reality and if they dare attack us a nuclear bolt of lightening would hit the U.S. landmass, leading to catastrophic disaster that would turn the country into powder," North Korea said in a statement.
Pyongyang went on to say the United States "cannot deny the fact we are able to pressure it as a nuclear power," stating there is "scientific confirmation" the North can beat down enemies with its "revolutionary weapons."
U.S. policy is to be blamed for this predicament, North Korea stated in the newspaper that analysts have said targets a domestic audience.
North Korea has increased its verbal attacks on the United States and South Korea since the adoption of sweeping sanctions at the United Nations Security Council.
The sanctions have made it difficult for North Koreans overseas to remit earnings.
In Seoul on Wednesday, South Korean intelligence chief Lee Byung-ho said more North Korean restaurants are closing.

Hysterical U.S. government officials try to BS the world about "Russian aggression"

 Joe Quinn

In the latest in a long series of similar fleeting engagements between the US and Russian militaries, the USS Donald Cook was "aggressively buzzed" last week by two Russian Su-24 jets in the Baltic sea. Reports in the Western press echoed the response of US officials who called the maneuvers of the Russia jets "reckless" and "provocative". John Kerry went as far as to suggest that the Russian jets could have been shot down: "under the rules of engagement that could have been a shoot-down", the US Secretary of State said. For its part, the Pentagon flat-out lied, claiming it was a "simulated attack," even though the Russian aircraft approached "wings clean," without armaments, indicating no aggressive intent.

Readers will remember that the USS Donald Cook was previously buzzed by a Russian Su-24 in the Black Sea exactly two years before this latest incident, on April 12, 2014. At the time, several websites claimed that the Aegis Combat System of the American missile destroyer was completely neutralized by the 'Khibiny' electronic warfare complex on the Russian jet. Since then, the manufacturer of the system, Kret, has denied that the Su-24 was carrying their equipment:

"Nowadays Khibiny is being installed on Su-30, Su-34 and Su-35, so the famous April attack in the Black sea on USS Donald Cook by a Su-24 bomber jet allegedly using Khibiny complex is nothing but a newspaper hoax. The destroyer's buzzing did take place. This EW system can completely neutralise enemy radar, but Khibiny are not installed on Su-24s."
But while last week's 'incident' was very much par for the course in terms of the faltering Russia/NATO relationship in recent years, the response of US officials was very instructive in highlighting what US officials really think about the resurgence of Russia over the past 10 years, and the state of the East/West 'balance of power'.

Russia, it seems, is very confident that it can taunt US military ships and other aircraft with impunity, the bluff and bluster of US officials notwithstanding. In fact, it seems that what is being deliberately provoked by Russia with these maneuvers is that same bluff and bluster.

On January 25 of this year, the US whined that a Russian fighter jet had intercepted a US Air Force spy plane over the Black Sea in "an unsafe and unprofessional manner". The exact same scenario then played out on April 14, this time over the Baltic Sea: US spy plane, Russian fighter jet, "unsafe and unprofessional manner" and "posing a threat" to the US military crew. Yet it is patently obvious that a US reconnaissance plane coming close to the Russian border is a deliberately threatening move by the US military against Russia, and the intercept by the Russian jet is, therefore, entirely justified.

With each new encounter like the Baltic Sea 'fracas', Russia exposes the fact that the US military is impotent when confronted by anything other than a second rate military. And it's so much fun to watch John Kerry and Co. try to pretend the opposite is true. In addition, by deliberately provoking such encounters (and the predictable response from US politicians), the Russian government seeks to expose to the global public the long-term, nauseating arrogance of the 'exceptional' USA. And it seems to be working.

Consider the fact that the USS Donald Cook was in the Baltic Sea, 40 miles from Russian territory. Several internet memes have arisen as a result of this story, most of them aiming to give the US government a lesson in geography and what is, and is not, commonly understood as justifiable action.

© Cody Gladz - Facebook
One internaut produced this instructional map for the Pentagon
Officially, the Donald Cook was "engaged in maneuvers with Polish aircraft", and what could be more benevolent than helping out the poor Polish military!? But the US-based military affairs publication Defense One quoted a US official as saying something rather more sinister, and therefore more probable, was going on:
"The US military has witnessed an increase in Russian submarine activity in the region over the last 18 months - the most US officials have seen since the end of the Cold War... As a result, the US has increased its surveillance of those subs. The rise in sub-hunting operations could explain why the Russian military responded so aggressively to the [USS Donald] Cook."
Now stop for a moment, and turn that around and imagine a Russian military official saying that the Russian government had "witnessed an increase in US submarine activity 40 miles off the coast of the USA", and therefore Russian war ships had "increased their surveillance of those subs". And that any close passes of US fighter jets to Russian war ships (40 miles off the US coast) was "aggressive and provocative". Would that sound a little outrageous?

You're damn right it would. Because it is outrageous, and arrogant, and obnoxious, and psychopathic for the US government to claim the entirely unjustified right to sail, fly, bomb and overthrow wherever and whomever it wants. And Vladimir Putin is only too aware of it. And if the Russian government and military can continue with the masterful display of self-control, discipline, forbearance and timing in dealing with puffed-up American oligarchs that it has shown to date, much of the rest of the world may soon also wake up to those facts.

As a Sott.net editor commented recently:
"The US government and Western press have been waging an information war for a very long time. Considering the power of information and that we live in the information age, it may be the most significant battle currently being waged; and it is being waged through us, no less.

Since the entire legitimacy of the US/Western empire, along with its ability to function, is based on people believing the lies and propaganda that it produces, then the information war is very, very real. Because of this, learning and spreading the truth wherever possible may be the greatest option we have to change how this world operates, if we want to see a different reality than the bizarro world that we currently live in."


China denies reports of massing troops at North Korea border

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Defense Ministry on Friday denied reports that Chinese troops were massing on the North Korean border, ahead of a possible fifth North Korean nuclear test, saying its deployments there were normal.
The Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said earlier this week that China had sent 2,000 troops to the border, a story picked up by Russian and Iranian news outlets, among others.
The decision was made ahead of the expected testing of North Korea's fifth nuclear device, the report said, in violation of U.N. sanctions.
"The relevant report does not accord with the facts," the Defense Ministry said in a short statement. "The Chinese military maintains normal combat readiness and training on the China-North Korea border."
It did not elaborate.
Reports periodically surface about unusual troops movements on the border, which are hard to verify independently and generally quickly denied by the Chinese government.
North Korea has vowed to conduct further nuclear tests, despite stepped up international sanctions.
Some experts expect North Korea to conduct a fifth nuclear test in the near future, possibly before a ruling party congress in early May, following an embarrassing failure of a test of an intermediate-range missile earlier this month.
China is North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic backer, but has been infuriated by North Korea's nuclear and missile tests and has signed on for tough U.N. sanctions.
North Korea and the rich, democratic South are still technically at war after the 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice, not a treaty. China and North Korea fought side-by-side against a U.S.-backed South Korea, which joined forces under the U.N. flag.
The North routinely threatens to destroy South Korea and the United States.

Russian forces in Syria fired on Israeli aircraft: Israeli newspaper

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Russian forces in Syria have fired at least twice on Israeli military aircraft, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek improved operational coordination with Moscow, Israel's top-selling newspaper said on Friday.
Asked about the alleged incidents, however, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "In this case, Israeli press reports are far from reality."
But Netanyahu, in remarks published by Israeli reporters whom he briefed by phone on his talks on Thursday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said "there have been problems" regarding Israeli military freedom of operation in Syria.
He gave no details, but said: "If you don't deal with the friction, it could develop into something more serious."
The unsourced report in Yedioth Ahronoth made no mention of dates or locations for the two reported incidents, nor did it give any indication of whether the Israeli planes were hit.
Russia mounted its military intervention in Syria in September to shore Damascus up amid a now 5-year-old rebellion.
Separately, Israel's Channel 10 TV said a Russian warplane approached an Israeli warplane off the Mediterranean coast of Syria last week but that there was no contact between them.
An Israeli military spokesman declined comment. Netanyahu's office and the Russian embassy in Israel did not immediately respond.
Israel, which says it has carried out dozens of bombings in Syria to foil suspected arms handovers to Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, was quick to set up an operational hotline with Moscow designed to avoid accidentally trading fire with Russian interventionary forces.
In Moscow on Thursday, Netanyahu told Putin in televised remarks: "I came here with one main goal - to strengthen the security coordination between us so as to avoid mishaps, misunderstandings and unnecessary confrontations."
In an apparent allusion to Syria, Putin said: "I think there are understandable reasons for these intensive contacts (with Israel), given the complicated situation in the region."
According to Yedioth, the reported Russian fire on Israeli planes was first raised with Putin by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who visited Moscow on March 15. At the time, Putin responded that he was unaware of the incidents, Yedioth said.