Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren’t poisoned

If you were Vladimir Putin, you could be forgiven for feeling a little paranoid right now, as the Western world takes turns to blame, excoriate, vilify and condemn you over the Malaysian airline disaster.

You might well wonder whether a bullet, a Jiffy bag full of ricin or a lunchtime polonium sandwich were most likely to be the means of your imminent dispatch from this life. So it’s no surprise to learn that the Russian president employs a professional food taster on his full-time staff. Continue reading

The Alliance of the Threatened

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Own report) – The EU and USA have expanded their sanctions against Russia and – in addition to individuals – have now also placed important Russian companies on their lists. Washington has restricted dealings, for example, with Rosneft and the Gazprombank. Brussels has announced the possibility of preventing EU companies from doing business with Russian companies and is planning to list them by the end of July. German business circles are protesting. They have already suffered billions in losses. Experts are warning that, with its sanctions against Russia, the West may experience, in the economic arena, an overreach similar to that experienced by the US in the military arena with its war on Iraq. With the power of the West obviously waning, it has already become noticeable that even close allies are defecting. Observers explain this with the Crimea conflict: NATO countries had been unable to retain the Crimea within the reign of its allied Ukrainian government; therefore it seems that an alliance with NATO countries would no longer be a reliable assurance against ones enemies. Defections can be noticed in Asia and Latin America, not least of all because of the recent founding of the BRICS development bank, rivaling the US-dominated World Bank. Russia and China are among the founders of this bank. Continue reading

Kerry and Ban in truce bid to save Hamas from defeat. Israel holds reply. Cairo won’t amend truce proposal

Three rival groups are in a tug-o’-war over a ceasefire initiative for the Gaza conflict: The US and UN are pulling one way; Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the other; and Qatar, Turkey, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, are trying to manipulate the others.

Monday night, July 21, US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Cairo to press their case with Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi: Kerry’s directive was outlined by President Barack Obama a few hours earlier, “to focus on bringing about a ceasefire than ends the fighting and can stop the death of innocent civilians.”

Reported to be pushing for a long-term ceasefire, the UN Secretary went on to comment that it was impossible to go back to the situation that caused the conflict. He ruled out the “status quo ante” for the Gaza Strip as untenable. Continue reading

The Bear Is Loose

“The bear is loose!” President Obama has been saying, whenever he leaves the White House to visit Starbucks, or sandwich shops, or burger joints, or BBQ shacks, or neighborhood diners, in his increasingly rote and pathetic attempts to “connect” with “real people.” Obama, we have been told, is frustrated, “restless,” bored with the responsibilities and chores of office. He thinks of himself as the bear—intimidating, wild, untamed, roving—escaping his den. But he is flattering himself. Obama is not the bear. He is the cub: aimless, naïve, self-interested, self-indulgent, irresponsible, irresolute. The bear is in Moscow.

One can trace a line from any global hotspot to Russia and its authoritarian ruler. Iran? Russia has assisted its nuclear program for decades. Syria? Russia is Bashar Assad’s arms dealer. Iraq? Russia is sending men and materiel to the central government. Afghanistan? Putin muscled nearby Kyrgyzstan into closing our air base there, crucial for transport, resupply, and reconnaissance in the war against the Taliban. The contretemps between the United States and Germany is the result of Edward Snowden’s breach of national security. Where is Snowden? In Russia, where he has just asked to have his visa renewed. I wonder if Vladimir Putin will say yes. Continue reading

As the Israeli Cabinet delays its decision, Palestinians hammer Tel Aviv with heaviest barrage yet

As the Israeli Cabinet failed to reach a decision about Gaza operation, after a relatively quiet night the Palestinians Wednesday launched their heaviest barrage of rockets in the current conflict to date at Gush Dan. Hamas claimed responsibility for sending M-75s at the region.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s ceasefire ploy Tuesday, July 15, instead of calming the violence in Gaza, unleashed a furious spate of 140 rockets from the Gaza Strip, which drew dozens of Israel air strikes after a six-hour lull in operations. By the end of the eighth day of Operation Defensive Edge, the Israeli security cabinet saw it was saddled with a new dilemma: persuading the Egyptian ruler to punish Hamas to the full extent of his power. This is reported by debkafile’s Middle East and military sources. Continue reading

America: No longer 1 nation, 1 people

Speaking to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Albuquerque in 2001, George W. Bush declared that, as Mexico was a friend and neighbor, “It’s so important for us to tear down our barriers and walls that might separate Mexico from the United States.”

Bush succeeded. And during his tenure, millions from Mexico exploited his magnanimity to violate our laws, trample upon our sovereignty, walk into our country and remain here.

In 2007, supported by John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy and Barack Obama, Bush backed amnesty for the 12 million people who had entered America illegally.

The latest mass border crossing by scores of thousands of tots, teenagers and toughs from Central America has killed amnesty in 2014, and probably for the duration of the Obama presidency. Continue reading

Unilateral Gaza ceasefire collapses. Israeli air strikes resume after dozens of Palestinian rockets in hours

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the Israeli Air Force to resume strikes over Gaza Tuesday afternoon, six hours after a ceasefire proposed by Egypt, accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas, was due to go into effect. During those hours, dozens of Hamas rockets raked town after town and village after village. debkafile: The White House called off US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Cairo visit upon finding Tehran’s hand behind the rockets. Netanyahu goes on the air at 8 p.m. to explain what went wrong.

Straight after the ceasefire was due to go into effect Tuesday at 9 a.m., Hamas fired 20 rockets from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli security cabinet had meanwhile endorsed Cairo’s proposal to mediate the conflict with the Palestinian extremists, but warned that if they continued to fire rockets, Israel would hit back with “all possible force.”

In Cairo, Hamas official Mussa Abu Marzuk took responsibility for eight of the post-“truce” rockets, most of which landed on Ashdod, slightly injuring one woman. Iron Dome intercepted four. Continue reading

Mexico made deal to send more illegal aliens to the U.S.

On Monday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina held a joint press conference in Playas de Catazaja, Mexico, to officially announce an agreement to make it easier for those making the illegal journey to the United States from Central America, to cross into Mexico.

The Southern Border Program to Improve Passage, will provide for more border checkpoints along Mexico’s border with Guatemala, and offer more protection and even emergency medical care to those making their way north. The illegal aliens will receive a so-called Regional Visitor’s Card, according to El Universal. Continue reading

Obama administration tracking Muslim candidates for military, Pentagon positions

WASHINGTON — The administration of President Barack Obama has been identifying Muslims in the military in an effort to encourage their presence.

Officials said the Defense Department has been keeping records and tracking Muslims. They said the administration sought to attract Muslims both to the military and to the Pentagon.

“Our nation and our entire military family remain stronger because of the service and sacrifice of people of all faiths, including the thousands of patriotic Muslim Americans who have served and still serve in this long period of war,” Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said last week. Continue reading

Savage: Media ‘hiding’ illegal-alien disease threat

After earning his doctorate in 1978 and writing six books, Savage pitched to publishers a book titled “Immigrants and Epidemics,” which he wrote with the dean of a “prestigious public health university.”

Although all my previous books had done well,” Savage recalled, “all publishers in New York City in 1982 said we cannot publish a book on immigrants and epidemics, no matter how well (documented) or factually true it is. We can’t publish it for political reasons.

The rejection angered him, he said, and was one of the reasons he eventually decided to go into talk radio, in 1994.

Since then, he said, “I’ve been trying to warn Americans about what unscreened immigrants will be bringing into America.”

‘You’re not going to hear this’

As thousands of illegal-alien children, prompted by President Obama’s policies, overwhelm the capacity of southern border states, Border Patrol agents who essentially have been turned into child caretakers are being exposed to disease, Savage said.

“Right now, you’re not going to hear this, but we have Tuberculosis, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, Chagas disease – previously eradicated from Southern California – on the rise and testing positive in … Border Patrol agents,” Savage said.

Other diseases emerging among Border Patrol agents, he said, include H1N1 Swine flu and chicken pox.

Speaking to his critics, Savage pointed to his academic qualifications.

“It’s easy for you to say I’m simply an alarmist or a racist, I’m a this-ist or a that-ist,” he said. “Well you’ve got it all wrong. The only “ist” I am is an epidemiologist. I am not a racist. I am not an alarmist. I am an epidemiologist by training.” Continue reading

Jordanian Bedouin hoist Al Qaeda flag in Ma’an – 104 km from Eilat. US, Israeli forces on the ready

“Ma’an is the Falluja of Jordan!” shouted thousands of Bedouin Saturday, June 28, in the southern Jordanian town of Ma’an. This legend was inscribed on the placards and flags they bore aloft with one hand in the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). In the other, they waved automatic rifles.

Ma’an (pop: 50,000) is in a sensitive location:  218 km south of Amman, it also lies 104 km from the Israeli port town of Eilat and some 60 km from the main artery cutting south from northern Israel to the south.

But although pro-Al Qaeda riots have been going on for days in Ma’an, capital of the southern province of the Kingdom of Jordan, military and security personnel have not been seen in its vicinity. Continue reading

King Abdullah calls up Saudi armed forces on high preparedness. Egyptian troops ready to fly to kingdom

Thursday, June 26, the day before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due in Riyadh, King Abdullah summoned a National Security Council meeting “upon the current security events in the region, especially in Iraq,” and ordered “all necessary measures to protect the kingdom against terrorist threats.” This meant a general call-up of military units for a high level of preparedness.

debkafile’s military sources disclose that Egypt is assembling an expeditionary commando force to fly to Saudi Arabia and bolster its border defenses.

This flurry of Saudi-Egyptian military steps comes in the wake of intelligence gathered by Saudi reconnaissance planes showing Iraqi Al Qaeda-linked Sunni fighters (ISIS) heading for the Saudi border and aiming to seize control of the Iraqi-Saudi crossing at Ar Ar (pop: 200,000). Continue reading

Iran reportedly sent military advisers, head of Quds Force to Iraq

Iran reportedly has sent military advisers into Iraq and dispatched the head of its infamous Quds Force to help Baghdad strategize in its fight against Sunni militants, as the United States takes similar steps despite concern about Tehran’s involvement.

While not in lockstep, Tehran and Washington are now taking a similar approach in helping the beleaguered government in Baghdad.

Fox News confirms that Iran is flying surveillance drones over Iraq, something the U.S. also is doing.

The New York Times reported that Iran, in addition, is sending tons of military equipment to the fellow Shiite-led government in Iraq and is dispatching military advisers. According to the Times, about a dozen officers from Iran’s Quds Force have been sent into the country.  Continue reading

Russia Test Fires Six New Air-Launched Cruise Missiles

Russian strategic air forces fired six new, precision-strike cruise missiles in test launches Friday amid new tensions between Moscow and the West over the crisis in Ukraine.

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Friday that the missile firings took place during exercises involving eight Tu-95 Bear bombers—the same type of strategic bomber recently intercepted 50 miles off the California coast by U.S. jets.

Russian bombers, meanwhile, continued saber-rattling air defense zone incursions against Canada’s arctic and in Europe over the Baltic Sea.

On Monday, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu announced that Russian military forces had launched a large-scale “surprise” readiness exercise that was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Continue reading

What would the US do if war were to break out over Diaoyutais?

In an article for the Washington-based National Interest magazine on June 21, US defense expert Harry Kazianis laid out a possible a scenario involving Japan and China clashing over the airspace of the disputed Diaoyutai islands (Senkaku to Japan, Diaoyu to China) in the East China Sea to analyze whether the United States would be ready for such a conflict.

The scenario takes place on Mar. 1, 2015, Kazianis wrote, noting that China has already instituted daily non-naval maritime patrols around the disputed islands while its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and other warships have conducted exercises only 50 miles away from the islands since February. Continue reading