Obama Pushing the World To Embrace American Failure

How To Start A War, And Lose An Empire

zero hedge

CLUBORLOV

A year and a half I wrote an essay on how the US chooses to view Russia, titled The Image of the Enemy. I was living in Russia at the time, and, after observing the American anti-Russian rhetoric and the Russian reaction to it, I made some observations that seemed important at the time. It turns out that I managed to spot an important trend, but given the quick pace of developments since then, these observations are now woefully out of date, and so here is an update.

by Dmitry Orlov via Club Orlov blog,

At that time the stakes weren’t very high yet. There was much noise around a fellow named Magnitsky, a corporate lawyer-crook who got caught and died in pretrial custody. He had been holding items for some bigger Western crooks, who were, of course, never apprehended. The Americans chose to treat this as a human rights violation and responded with the so-called “Magnitsky Act” which sanctioned certain Russian individuals who were labeled as human rights violators. Russian legislators responded with the “Dima Yakovlev Bill,” named after a Russian orphan adopted by Americans who killed him by leaving him in a locked car for nine hours. This bill banned American orphan-killing fiends from adopting any more Russian orphans. It all amounted to a silly bit of melodrama.

But what a difference a year and a half has made! Ukraine, which was at that time collapsing at about the same steady pace as it had been ever since its independence two decades ago, is now truly a defunct state, with its economy in free-fall, one region gone and two more in open rebellion, much of the country terrorized by oligarch-funded death squads, and some American-anointed puppets nominally in charge but quaking in their boots about what’s coming next. Syria and Iraq, which were then at a low simmer, have since erupted into full-blown war, with large parts of both now under the control of the Islamic Caliphate, which was formed with help from the US, was armed with US-made weapons via the Iraqis. Post-Qaddafi Libya seems to be working on establishing an Islamic Caliphate of its own. Against this backdrop of profound foreign US foreign policy failure, the US recently saw it fit to accuse Russia of having troops “on NATO’s doorstep,” as if this had nothing to do with the fact that NATO has expanded east, all the way to Russia’s borders. Unsurprisingly, US–Russia relations have now reached a point where the Russians saw it fit to issue a stern warning: further Western attempts at blackmailing them may result in a nuclear confrontation.

The American behavior throughout this succession of defeats has been remarkably consistent, with the constant element being their flat refusal to deal with reality in any way, shape or form. Just as before, in Syria the Americans are ever looking for moderate, pro-Western Islamists, who want to do what the Americans want (topple the government of Bashar al Assad) but will stop short of going on to destroy all the infidel invaders they can get their hands on. The fact that such moderate, pro-Western Islamists do not seem to exist does not affect American strategy in the region in any way.

Similarly, in Ukraine, the fact that the heavy American investment in “freedom and democracy,” or “open society,” or what have you, has produced a government dominated by fascists and a civil war is, according to the Americans, just some Russian propaganda. Parading under the banner of Hitler’s Ukrainian SS division and anointing Nazi collaborators as national heroes is just not convincing enough for them. What do these Nazis have to do to prove that they are Nazis, build some ovens and roast some Jews? Just massacring people by setting fire to a building, as they did in Odessa, or shooting unarmed civilians in the back and tossing them into mass graves, as they did in Donetsk, doesn’t seem to work. The fact that many people have refused to be ruled by Nazi thugs and have successfully resisted them has caused the Americans to label them as “pro-Russian separatists.” This, in turn, was used to blame the troubles in Ukraine on Russia, and to impose sanctions on Russia. The sanctions would be reviewed if Russia were to withdraw its troops from Ukraine. Trouble is, there are no Russian troops in Ukraine.

Note that this sort of behavior is nothing new. The Americans invaded Afghanistan because the Taleban would not relinquish Osama Bin Laden (who was a CIA operative) unless Americans produced evidence implicating him in 9/11—which did not exist. Americans invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein would not relinquish his weapons of mass destruction—which did not exist. They invaded Libya because Muammar Qaddafi would not relinquish official positions—which he did not hold. They were ready to invade Syria because Bashar al Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people—which he did not do. And now they imposed sanctions on Russia because Russia had destabilized and invaded Ukraine—which it did not do either. (The US did that.)

The sanctions against Russia have an additional sort of unreality to them, because they “boomerang” and hurt the West while giving the Russian government the impetus to do what it wanted to do all along. The sanctions infringed on the rights of a number of Russian businessmen and officials, who promptly yanked their money out of Western banks, pulled their children out of Western schools and universities, and did everything else they could to demonstrate that they are good patriotic Russians, not American lackeys. The sanctions affected a number of Russian energy companies, cutting them off from Western sources of technology and financing, but this will primarily hurt the earnings of Western energy companies while helping their Chinese competitors. There were even some threats to cut Russia off from the SWIFT system, which would have made it quite difficult to transfer funds between Russia and the West, but what these threats did instead was to give Russia the impetus to introduce its own RUSSWIFT system, which will include even Iran, neutralizing future American efforts at imposing financial restrictions.

The sanctions were meant to cause economic damage, but Western efforts at inflicting short-term economic damage on Russia are failing. Coupled with a significant drop in the price of oil, all of this was supposed to hurt Russia fiscally, but since the sanctions caused the Ruble to drop in tandem, the net result on Russia’s state finances is a wash. Oil prices are lower, but then, thanks in part to the sanctions, so is the Ruble, and since oil revenues are still largely in dollars, this means that Russia’s tax receipts are at roughly the same level at before. And since Russian oil companies earn dollars abroad but spend rubles domestically, their production budgets remain unaffected.

The Russians also responded by imposing some counter-sanctions, and to take some quick steps to neutralize the effect of the sanctions on them. Russia banned the import of produce from the European Union—to the horror of farmers there. Especially hurt were those EU members who are especially anti-Russian: the Baltic states, which swiftly lost a large fraction of their GDP, along with Poland. An exception is being made for Serbia, which refused to join in the sanctions. Here, the message is simple: friendships that have lasted many centuries matter; what the Americans want is not what the Americans get; and the EU is a mere piece of paper. Thus, the counter-sanctions are driving wedges between the US and the EU, and, within the EU, between Eastern Europe (which the sanctions are hurting the most) and Western Europe, and, most importantly, they drive home the simple message that the US is not Europe’s friend.

There is something else going on that is going to become more significant in the long run: Russia has taken the hint and is turning away from the West and toward the East. It is parlaying its open defiance of American attempts at world domination into trade relationships throughout the world, much of which is sick and tired of paying tribute to Washington. Russia is playing a key role in putting together an international banking system that circumvents the US dollar and the US Federal Reserve. In these efforts, over half the world’s territory and population is squarely on Russia’s side and cheering loudly. Thus, the effort to isolate Russia has produced the opposite of the intended result: it is isolating the West from the rest of the world instead.

In other ways, the sanctions are actually being helpful. The import ban on foodstuffs from EU is a positive boon to domestic agriculture while driving home a politically important point: don’t take food from the hands of those who bite you. Russia is already one of the world’s largest grain exporters, and there is no reason why it can’t become entirely self-sufficient in food. The impetus to rearm in the face of NATO encroachment on Russian borders (there are now US troops stationed in Estonia, just a short drive from Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg) is providing some needed stimulus for industrial redevelopment. This round of military spending is being planned a bit more intelligently than in the Soviet days, with eventual civilian conversion being part of the plan from the very outset. Thus, along with the world’s best jet fighters, Russia is likely to start building civilian aircraft for export and competing with Airbus and Boeing.

But this is only the beginning. The Russians seem to have finally realized to what extent the playing field has been slanted against them. They have been forced to play by Washington’s rules in two key ways: by bending to Washington’s will in order to keep their credit ratings high with the three key Western credit rating agencies, in order to secure access to Western credit; and by playing by the Western rule-book when issuing credit of their own, thus keeping domestic interest rates artificially high. The result was that US companies were able to finance their operations more cheaply, artificially making them more competitive. But now, as Russia works quickly to get out from under the US dollar, shifting trade to bilateral currency arrangements (backed by some amount of gold should trade imbalances develop) it is also looking for ways to turn the printing press to its advantage. To date, the dictat handed down from Washington has been: “We can print money all we like, but you can’t, or we will destroy you.” But this threat is ringing increasingly hollow, and Russia will no longer be using its dollar revenues to buy up US debt. One proposal currently on the table is to make it impossible to pay for Russian oil exports with anything other than rubles, by establishing two oil brokerages, one in St. Petersburg, the other, seven time zones away, in Vladivostok. Foreign oil buyers would then have to earn their petro-rubles the honest way—through bilateral trade—or, if they can’t make enough stuff that the Russians want to import, they could pay for oil with gold (while supplies last). Or the Russians could simply print rubles, and, to make sure such printing does not cause domestic inflation, they could export some inflation by playing with the oil spigot and the oil export tariffs. And if the likes of George Soros decides to attack the ruble in an effort to devalue it, Russia could defend its currency simply by printing fewer rubles for a while—no need to stockpile dollar reserves.

So far, this all seems like typical economic warfare: the Americans want to get everything they want by printing money while bombing into submission or sanctioning anyone who disobeys them, while the rest of the world attempts to resist them. But early in 2014 the situation changed. There was a US-instigated coup in Kiev, and instead of rolling over and playing dead like they were supposed to, the Russians mounted a fast and brilliantly successful campaign to regain Crimea, then successfully checkmated the junta in Kiev, preventing it from consolidating control over the remaining former Ukrainian territory by letting volunteers, weapons, equipment and humanitarian aid enter—and hundreds of thousands of refugees exit—through the strictly notional Russian-Ukrainian border, all the while avoiding direct military confrontation with NATO. Seeing all of this happening on the nightly news has awakened the Russian population from its political slumber, making it sit up and pay attention, and sending Putin’s approval rating through the roof.

The “optics” of all this, as they like to say at the White House, are rather ominous. We are coming up on the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II—a momentous occasion for Russians, who pride themselves on defeating Hitler almost single-handedly. At the same time, the US (Russia’s self-appointed arch-enemy) has taken this opportunity to reawaken and feed the monster of Nazism right on Russia’s border (inside Russia’s borders, some Russians/Ukrainians would say). This, in turn, makes the Russians remember Russia’s unique historical mission is among the nations of the world: it is to thwart all other nations’ attempts at world domination, be it Napoleonic France or Hitleresque Germany or Obamaniac America. Every century or so some nation forgets its history lessons and attacks Russia. The result is always the same: lots of corpse-studded snowdrifts, and then Russian cavalry galloping into Paris, or Russian tanks rolling into Berlin. Who knows how it will end this time around? Perhaps it will involve polite, well-armed men in green uniforms without insignia patrolling the streets of Brussels and Washington, DC. Only time will tell.

You’d think that Obama has already overplayed his hand, and should behave accordingly. His popularity at home is roughly the inverse of Putin’s, which is to say, Obama is still more popular than Ebola, but not by much. He can’t get anything at all done, no matter how pointless or futile, and his efforts to date, at home and abroad, have been pretty much a disaster. So what does this social worker turned national mascot decide to do? Well, the way the Russians see it, he has decided to declare war on Russia! In case you missed it, look up his speech before the UN General Assembly. It’s up on the White House web site. He placed Russia directly between Ebola and ISIS among the three topmost threats facing the world. Through Russian eyes his speech reads as a declaration of war.

It’s a new, mixed-mode sort of war. It’s not a total war to the death, although the US is being rather incautious by the old Cold War standards in avoiding a nuclear confrontation. It’s an information war—based on lies and unjust vilification; it’s a financial and economic war—using sanctions; it’s a political war—featuring violent overthrow of elected governments and support for hostile regimes on Russia’s borders; and it’s a military war—using ineffectual but nevertheless insulting moves such as stationing a handful of US troops in Estonia. And the goals of this war are clear: it is to undermine Russia economically, destroy it politically, dismember it geographically, and turn it into a pliant vassal state that furnishes natural resources to the West practically free of charge (with a few hand-outs to a handful of Russian oligarchs and criminal thugs who play ball). But it doesn’t look like any of that is going to happen because, you see, a lot of Russians actually get all that, and will choose leaders who will not win any popularity contests in the West but who will lead them to victory.

Given the realization that the US and Russia are, like it or not, in a state of war, no matter how opaque or muddled, people in Russia are trying to understand why this is and what it means. Obviously, the US has seen Russia as the enemy since about the time of the Revolution of 1917, if not earlier. For example, it is known that after the end of World War II America’s military planners were thinking of launching a nuclear strike against the USSR, and the only thing that held them back was the fact that they didn’t have enough bombs, meaning that Russia would have taken over all of Europe before the effects of the nuclear strikes could have deterred them from doing so (Russia had no nuclear weapons at the time, but lots of conventional forces right in the heart of Europe).

But why has war been declared now, and why was it declared by this social worker turned national misleader? Some keen observers mentioned his slogan “the audacity of hope,” and ventured to guess that this sort of “audaciousness” (which in Russian sounds a lot like “folly”) might be a key part of his character which makes him want to be the leader of the universe, like Napoleon or Hitler. Others looked up the campaign gibberish from his first presidential election (which got silly young Americans so fired up) and discovered that he had nice things to say about various cold warriors. Do you think Obama might perhaps be a scholar of history and a shrewd geopolitician in his own right? (That question usually gets a laugh, because most people know that he is just a chucklehead and repeats whatever his advisers tell him to say.) Hugo Chavez once called him “a hostage in the White House,” and he wasn’t too far off. So, why are his advisers so eager to go to war with Russia, right now, this year?

Is it because the US is collapsing more rapidly than most people can imagine? This line of reasoning goes like this: the American scheme of world domination through military aggression and unlimited money-printing is failing before our eyes. The public has no interest in any more “boots on the ground,” bombing campaigns do nothing to reign in militants that Americans themselves helped organize and equip, dollar hegemony is slipping away with each passing day, and the Federal Reserve is fresh out of magic bullets and faces a choice between crashing the stock market and crashing the bond market. In order to stop, or at least forestall this downward slide into financial/economic/political oblivion, the US must move quickly to undermine every competing economy in the world through whatever means it has left at its disposal, be it a bombing campaign, a revolution or a pandemic (although this last one can be a bit hard to keep under control). Russia is an obvious target, because it is the only country in the world that has had the gumption to actually show international leadership in confronting the US and wrestling it down; therefore, Russia must be punished first, to keep the others in line.

I don’t disagree with this line of reasoning, but I do want to add something to it.

First, the American offensive against Russia, along with most of the rest of the world, is about things Americans like to call “facts on the ground,” and these take time to create. The world wasn’t made in a day, and it can’t be destroyed in a day (unless you use nuclear weapons, but then there is no winning strategy for anyone, the US included). But the entire financial house of cards can be destroyed rather quickly, and here Russia can achieve a lot while risking little. Financially, Russia’s position is so solid that even the three Western credit ratings agencies don’t have the gall to downgrade Russia’s rating, sanctions notwithstanding. This is a country that is aggressively paying down its foreign debt, is running a record-high budget surplus, has a positive balance of payments, is piling up physical gold reserves, and not a month goes by that it doesn’t sign a major international trade deal (that circumvents the US dollar). In comparison, the US is a dead man walking: unless it can continue rolling over trillions of dollars in short-term debt every month at record-low interest rates, it won’t be able to pay the interest on its debt or its bills. Good-bye, welfare state, hello riots. Good-bye military contractors and federal law enforcement, hello mayhem and open borders. Now, changing “facts on the ground” requires physical actions, whereas causing a financial stampede to the exits just requires somebody to yell “Boo!” loudly and frighteningly enough.

Second, it must be understood that at this point the American ruling elite is almost entirely senile. The older ones seem actually senile in the medical sense. Take Leon Panetta, the former Defense Secretary: he’s been out flogging his new book, and he is still blaming Syria’s Bashar al Assad for gassing his own people! By now everybody else knows that that was a false flag attack, carried out by some clueless Syrian rebels with Saudi help, to be used as an excuse for the US to bomb Syria—you know, the old “weapons of mass destruction” nonsense again. (By the way, this kind of mindless, repetitive insistence on a fake rationale seems like a sure sign of senility.) That plan didn’t work because Putin and Lavrov intervened and quickly convinced Assad to give up his useless chemical weapons stockpile. The Americans were livid. So, everybody knows this story—except Panetta. You see, once an American official starts lying, he just doesn’t know how to stop. The story always starts with a lie, and, as facts emerge that contradict the initial story, they are simply ignored.

So much for the senile old guard, but what about their replacements? Well, the poster boy for the young ones is Hunter Biden, the VP’s son, who went on a hookers-and-blow tour of Ukraine last summer and inadvertently landed a seat on the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest natural gas company (which doesn’t have much gas left). He just got outed for being a coke fiend. In addition to the many pre-anointed ones, like the VP’s son, there are also many barns full of eagerly bleating Ivy League graduates who have been groomed for jobs in high places. These are Prof. Deresiewicz’s “Excellent Sheep.”

There just isn’t much that such people, young or old, can be made to respond to. International embarrassment, military defeat, humanitarian catastrophe—all these things just bounce off them and stick to you for bringing them up and being overly negative about their rose-colored view of themselves. The only hit they can actually feel is a hit to the pocketbook.

Which brings us all the way back to my first point: “Boo!”

Canadian Parliament Attacker was Son of Libyan Muslim Jihadist

Canadian Parliament Attacker was Son of Libyan Muslim Jihadist

front page mag

xisis-photo-shooter.jpg.pagespeed.ic.CXIdDljPAK

While Zehaf-Bibeau is still being referred to as a Muslim convert, it appears that he is the son of a mixed marriage between a Canadian woman and a Libyan father.

He was a Muslim who was raised Western, but returned to his father’s religion.

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was born in 1982 and was the son of Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman who appears to have fought in 2011 in Libya, and Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. The two were divorced in 1999.

The irony of that marriage is obvious. And its product is the story of the death of the West.

His father’s history offers a hint of what Mr. Bathurst was concerned about. In 2011, a Montrealer named “Belgasem Zahef” was quoted in a Washington Times dispatch from the front in Libya, where he had travelled to join the rebel fight. The man described being detained at the Zawiyah oil terminal, where he witnessed torture.

This story, like most mainstream media accounts, is already infested with the accounts of Bathurst, another defector to Islam, who claims that Zehaf was mentally ill. That may or may not be the case. It’s certainly a convenient excuse. Claiming that the devil is after you may be considered mental illness in Western circles, but not in Muslim ones where stoning the devil is part of the pilgrimage to Mecca.

More to the point, Zahef did not carry out an attack against the Canadian government because he was mentally ill. He did it because he followed the call of ISIS to Jihad. We might as well dismiss Hitler as mentally ill and the invasion of Poland as a mental breakdown.

There are few details on Zehaf Sr. or who he was aligned with, but considering that the Libyan Civil War was dominated by Islamist militias, it probably wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that this is a case of, like father, like son.

Chinese/Iranian Navies Working Together, Run Joint Maneuvers

[SEE:  China Cuts Back On Saudi Oil Imports]

China's Defense Minister Chang Wanquan looks on during the welcoming ceremony in Warsaw, Poland.

China’s Defense Minister Chang Wanquan looks on during the welcoming ceremony in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Photo by AP

China seeking closer military ties with Iran

haaretz logo

Earlier this week, two Chinese warships docked for the first time at Iran’s Bandar Abbas port to take part in joint naval exercises.

By Parisa Hafezi, Ben Blanchard

REUTERS – China wants to have closer military ties with Iran, the Chinese defence minister told the visiting head of the Iranian navy on Thursday, state media reported, reaffirming diplomatic links despite controversy over Iran’s nuclear plans.

Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan told Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari that the two armed forces have seen “good cooperation on mutual visits, personnel training and other fields in recent years,” China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

“Exchanges between the two navies have been fruitful and their warships have paid successful visits to each other,” it cited Chang as saying.

“Chang… stressed China is willing to work with Iran to further pragmatic cooperation and strengthen military-to-military ties.”

Xinhua cited Sayyari as saying Iran attached great importance to its ties with China and was “ready to enhance bilateral exchanges to push forward cooperation between the two armed forces, especially in naval cooperation.”

For the first time ever, two Chinese warships docked at Iran’s Bandar Abbas port to take part in a joint naval exercises in the Gulf, Iranian state media reported on September 20.

Naval cooperation between Iran and China is aimed at reinforcing Iran’s military capability in the Gulf, analysts say, as well as displaying China’s plan to exert greater influence and presence beyond East Asia.

“The [port] call reflects China’s military-to-military relationship with Iran,” said Christian Le Mière, a naval expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank.

“It is the most explicit sign of Beijing’s acknowledgment of this relationship, which has remained relatively covert until now.”

China’s People’s Liberation Army Daily separately reported that Sayyari had been given tours of a Chinese submarine and warships, where he “listened to an introduction on equipment ability and weapons systems.”

Sayyari said he hoped Iran and China could cooperate on anti-piracy operations, the newspaper said.

China is Iran’s top oil buyer and has been the most aggressive in raising its crude purchases after an easing of the Western sanctions aimed at ending Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.

Iran and the United States said last week they made some progress in high-level nuclear talks aimed at reaching a final resolution to the decade-old dispute but that much work remained to clinch a deal by a late-November deadline.

China, a participant at the nuclear talks with Iran, has consistently urged a negotiated solution and decried efforts to place sanctions which have not been endorsed by the United Nations on Iran.

China Cuts Back On Saudi Oil Imports

[SEE:  Saudis Wage Economic War Against Russia and Iran]

China Cuts Saudi Oil Imports Amid Colombia Shipment Boost

BLOOMBERG

China reduced oil imports from Saudi Arabia even as the world’s largest crude exporter cuts prices to lure Asian customers amid intensifying competition from Colombia to Oman.

Oil deliveries from Saudi Arabia fell 2.7 percent to 4.74 million metric tons last month from a year earlier, according to data released today by the General Administration of Customs in Beijing. Shipments from Colombia surged 389.6 percent, while Russian deliveries increased by 56.8 percent.

Asian consumers are benefiting from a wider choice of suppliers offering cheaper crude, from Venezuela to Alaska and Nigeria, as the highest U.S. production in almost 30 years cuts American demand. Saudi Arabia reduced prices for oil for Asia to the lowest in almost six years as it aims to maintain market share even as global benchmark prices have dropped about 25 percent from June.

“Chinese refiners are favoring supplies from Oman and South America over Saudi Arabia as their prices relative to output are more competitive,” Amy Sun, an analyst with Shanghai-based ICIS-C1 Energy, a consultant, said by phone from Guangzhou. “China is also increasing imports from Russia with a new contract signed last year.”

Crude supplies from Colombia cost on average $94.56 a barrel last month and Brazilian imports were $95.27, while Saudi shipments were at $102.30 a barrel, Bloomberg calculations based on customs data show. PetroChina Co.’s Liaohe plant in northern China refined about 30,000 tons of Colombian crude as of Oct. 30 for the first time, its parent China National Petroleum Corp. said in a newsletter on its website yesterday.

Price Cut

State-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. on Oct. 1 cut prices for all grades and to all regions for November. The Asian price of Arab Light was cut by $1 a barrel to a discount of $1.05 to the average of Oman and Dubai crudes, the benchmark published by Platts, the energy-information division of McGraw-Hill Cos.

China Petroleum, Asia’s biggest refiner known as Sinopec, said it completed the expansion of its northern Shijiazhuang plant on Sept. 4, almost doubling the capacity to 8 million tons a year.

“Chinese refiners are also upgrading their facilities so that they can process heavier crude and cut the oil costs,” Sun said.

China trails only the U.S. in oil demand globally, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris. The Asian nation will import as much as 26 million tons a month of crude in the fourth quarter, forecasts ICIS-C1.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Jing Yang in Shanghai at jyang251@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pratish Narayanan at pnarayanan9@bloomberg.net Aaron Clark

Canadian Parliament Attack–update

Canada’s parliament attacked near where prime minister was speaking, Harper safe

reuters_india_logo

(Reuters) – At least one gunman entered Canada’s parliament buildings on Wednesday and many shots were fired just outside the room where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was addressing a meeting of legislators.

Harper was safely removed from the building but parliament was locked down. Eyewitnesses said at least 30 shots were fired in dramatic scenes in the heart of the Canadian capital.

“PM (Harper) was addressing caucus, then a huge boom, followed by rat-a-tat shots. We all scattered. It was clearly right outside our caucus door,” Treasury Board Minister Tony Clement said.

A spokesman for Harper said: “While the prime minister stated that facts are still being gathered, he condemned this despicable attack.”

The suspected gunman was shot dead inside the parliament building, Ottawa police said.

Minutes before the shooting there, a soldier had been shot and fatally wounded at the nearby National War Memorial in Ottawa.

But the incidents, shocking in Canada’s normally tranquil capital, were not over.

Ottawa police were searching for more suspects near the war memorial in central Ottawa, and on nearby Parliament Hill, a police spokesman said. Residents were warned to stay away from downtown Ottawa.

Dramatic video footage posted by the Globe and Mail newspaper showed police with guns drawn inside the main parliament building. At least a dozen loud bangs can be heard on the clip, echoing through the hallway.

Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, a former policeman, told the Toronto Sun that parliament’s head of security, Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, shot dead a suspected gunman.

“All the details are not in, but the sergeant-at-arms, a former Mountie, is the one that engaged the gunman, or one of them at least, and stopped this,” Fantino said.

Canadian cabinet minister Jason Kenney said a guard in parliament buildings had also been wounded in the incident.

‘DANGER HERE’

There was no word yet on the identity of any suspect or suspects or of any motive for the shooting.

It was also unclear whether there was any connection to an attack on Monday when an Islamic convert ran down two Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one, near Montreal, before being shot dead by police in the first fatal attack on Canadian soil tied to Islamic militants.

Canada announced this month it was joining the battle against Islamic State fighters who have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.

The attacks took place as the Canadian government prepared to boost the powers of its spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Public Safety Minister Stephen Blaney said last Thursday the new legislation would let the agency track and investigate potential terrorists when they travel abroad and ultimately prosecute them.

As the drama in Ottawa unfolded, police in dark bulletproof vests and carrying automatic rifles flooded the streets near parliament.

Some took cover behind vehicles and shouted to people to clear the area, saying: “We do not have the suspect in custody. You are in danger here.”

Police quickly cleared several blocks of downtown Ottawa. By noon ET (1600 GMT), the streets were empty.

Several police cars were parked on the lawns outside the parliament buildings. Small groups of police could be seen sheltering behind at least two cars.

Members of parliament were told to lock or barricade themselves in their offices, and stay away from the windows.

At the time of the shooting the opposition New Democrats were holding their weekly caucus meeting in parliament’s Centre Block, where the shooting took place. A tweeted picture sent from the room showed a pile of chairs jammed up against the main door to prevent anyone from entering.

Police told people in downtown Ottawa to stay away from windows and off roofs.

The soldier who died in the shooting was taken into an ambulance in which medical personnel could be seen giving him cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. CBC News reported that he was a reservist who had been serving in Hamilton, Ontario.

‘DOUBLE-BARRELLED SHOTGUN’

In Washington, a White House official said U.S. President Barack Obama had been briefed on the situation. He said the United States had offered assistance to Canada.

Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada, which has stricter gun laws than the United States. Compared with Capitol Hill in Washington, security on Parliament Hill is also fairly low key. Anybody could walk right up to the front door of parliament’s Centre Block with arms and explosives without being challenged before entering the front door, where a few guards check accreditation.

A construction worker who was on the scene in Ottawa when the shooting began told Reuters he heard a gunshot, and then saw a man with a scarf over his face running towards parliament.

“He was wearing blue pants and a black jacket and he had a double barrelled shotgun and he ran up the side of this building here and hijacked a car at gunpoint,” construction worker Scott Walsh told Reuters.

The driver got out safely, then the man drove the car to the Centre Block on Parliament Hill, where construction work is underway, Walsh said.

The suspected gunman rushed past a woman with a child in a stroller, who ran away screaming. He did not attack the woman or child, he said.

Centre Block is the main building on Parliament Hill, a sprawling complex of buildings and open space in downtown Ottawa. It contains the House of Commons and Senate chambers as well as the offices of some members of parliament, senators, and senior administration for both legislative houses.

One member of parliament, Mark Strahl, tweeted from inside parliament: “Very tense situation in Ottawa this morning. Multiple gun shots fired outside of our caucus room. I am safe and in lockdown. Unbelievable.”

The Canadian military closed its bases across the country following the events in Ottawa, CBC TV said.

(Additional reporting by Allison Martell and Andrea Hopkins in Toronto; Jeff Mason and Steve Holland in Washington; Writing by Frances Kerry; Editing by Amran Abocar; and Peter Galloway)

 

Soldier Shot Ottawa, 30+ Shots Fired Inside Canadian Parliament

Soldier shot near Canadian parliament, multiple shots inside reported

Russia-Today
This October 22, 2014 photo shows police and medical personell moving a wounded person into an ambulance at the scene of a shooting at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada. (AFP Photo/Michel Comte)

This October 22, 2014 photo shows police and medical personell moving a wounded person into an ambulance at the scene of a shooting at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada. (AFP Photo/Michel Comte)

A soldier has been shot at a war memorial in Ottawa, Canada, prompting a lockdown of Parliament Hill as police try to locate the gunman. Further local reports have stated that shots were also fired inside the Parliament building.

“So I’m locked down in Center Block on Parliament Hill after at least one shooter burst in and opened fire,” local reporter Josh Wingrove stated. “I heard dozens of gunshots and the smell of gunpowder is heavy in the hallways right now.”

Wingrove also reported seeing a motionless body inside the parliament building, which he could not confirm to be either dead or alive.

Some 30 shots were fired inside the building, an eyewitness told Reuters. The gunman was subsequently chased by police into the center block of the building.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper managed to exit the building safely.

Associated Press Television News journalist Jorge Barrera reported that police are in possession of a photograph of the gunman, who reportedly has dark skin and long black hair. Barrera also tweeted that police have the suspect’s cellphone.

There are reports that more than one assailant is active in the area. “There are multiple assailants,” police reportedly told local columnist John Invision, adding “move back, they’re targeting first responders.”

The incident comes a day after another soldier from Canada died in a road accident suspected to have been caused by an Islamic militant. He was one of two soldiers involved in the incident which was the first of its kind in Canada since it joined the fight against the Islamic State.

READ MORE: Canadian soldier dies after suspected Islamic radical’s car attack

Saudi rogue lobby in Pakistani establishment using Deobandi terrorists against Iran

Saudi rogue lobby in Pakistani establishment using Deobandi terrorists to spoil Pakistan-Iran relations

lubp-new

rogue

It is with deepest concern that we notice Deobandi terrorists transnational terrorist operations against Iran and Pakistan on the Iran-Pakistan border. In the last few days, scores of Iranian security personnel have been killed by Deobandi terrorsits based in Pakistan who cross the Iranian border to conduct terrorist attacks in Iran and then return to their safe refuge in local Deobandi mosques and madrassas in Balochistan. We would like Pakistan and Iran governments and army to beware of the Saudi-CIA plans against both countries in this region.

The interests of the Pakistan army and Iran converge when it comes to the issue of the fanatical Islamic State (aka IS or ISIS) which is currently operating in Paksitan in the shape of banned Deobandi takfiri terror outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP aka ASWJ aka LeJ aka Jundullah).

The Pakistan army under General Raheel Sharif has been trying to get rid of the Ziaist generals’ influence from his institution – those who support banned terrorist outfits such as ASWJ-LeJ aka Jundullah to achieve Jihadist geostrategic gains in Afghanistan and elsewhere. By raising the specter of Iran, these Takfiri-inspired Ziaists in Pakistani establishment want to create a divide between Iran and the Pakistan army and also take the attention away from the domestic violence that the Taliban  (TTP-ASWJ) are wreaking in Pakistan.

The most important Saudi proxy in Pakistan, a fact that is publicly boasted by the Saudi monarchy, is Nawaz Sharif.  Contrary to the propaganda of a certain lobby of commercially-motivated liberals, Nawaz Sharif is not “anti-establishment” but an important plank of the Saudi establishment that is intent on re-making Pakistan into an image of its intolerant and bigoted society. Nawaz Sharif never actually called for an army action against the Taliban – that decision was clearly taken by the new Army Chief.  Nawaz Sharif, through his brother Shahbaz Sharif always kept close contacts with the previous pro Taliban army chief, General Kiyani. However, General Raheel clearly does not share the same reluctance to take on the Taliban that General Kiyani did and that has pitted him against the Saudi establishment stooge, Nawaz Sharif. 

The Deobandi militants in various garbs have openly given their allegiance to IS. By creating the specter of Iran, the Ziaists want to deflect the army’s attention away from the IS-related activities in various parts of Pakistan. Under the instructions of their Saudi masters, the pro-takfiri loyalists of Generals Kayani, Aslam Beg and Hamid Gul, i.e., rogue elements in Pakistan military establishment continue to support banned sectarian terror outfit ASWJ-LeJ-Jundullah. The same group was responsible for the Jihadi alliance of Deobandi and Salafi-Wahhabi terror groups known as the Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC). Particularly in Balochistan, the ASWJ-LeJ terrorists are operating as Jundallah under the leadership of Ramzan Mengal Deobandi, the provincial head of ASWJ-LeJ.

Ramzan Mengal Deobandi has visible and tacit support of Pakistan Army’s Frontier Corps and the ISI in Balochistan. He enjoys full protocol and protection of the provincial government and Pakistan army’s intelligence.

Salafi Deobandi Terror Roots in Pakistan

The Ramzan Mengal Group has been given three tasks by the Saudi takfiri rogue lobby of the establishment:

1. Radicalize the peaceful Sunni Baloch Muslims to convert them into bigoted takfiri Deobandi and Wahhabi terrorists. These brainwashed terrorists are then used to target kill secular Baloch nationalists, Sunni Sufis and Hazara Shia Muslims of Balochistan. The aim is to somehow weaken the Baloch nationalist movement but also to contain the Sunni Sufi and Shia influence in Balochistan.

2. Cross-border attacks on Iranian border security personnel and other officials. The aim is to spoil the brotherly relations between Pakistan and Iran.

3. Expand the dangerous Saudi-CIA plan to export ISIS to Pakistan and Iran.

It is high time that Generals Kayani, Aslam Beg, Hamid Gul be arrested, the provincial chief of FC and ISI must be investigated to explain their links with the ASWJ-LeJ-Junduallah complex, particualrly with Ramzan Mengal and Rafiq Mengal and their role in target killings of Hazara and other Shia Muslims, secular Baloch activists and cross-border atacks on Iranian officials.

Here’s a relevant news report from the New York Times:

TEHRAN — Sunni (Deobandi) insurgents in Pakistan increased attacks on Iranian border posts in the southeast of the country this week, employing methods similar to those used by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

In one instance, a car bomber struck a fortified base near the city of Saravan, killing a senior officer and prompting Iranian commanders and politicians Thursday to call upon Pakistan to control its borders. On Tuesday, three police officers were killed in an ambush after responding to a distress call.

These were only the latest in a series of attacks. Last month, insurgents rammed a vehicle laden with more than 1,000 pounds of explosives into one of the outer walls of a central base before launching a surprise attack with a convoy of pickup trucks carrying 70 insurgents, a senior military official told the Fars news agency this week.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/10/world/asia/pakistan-sunni-insurgents-step-up-attacks-in-iran.html

The Reaction from Iran:

Iran has summoned the Pakistani ambassador and demanded immediate steps to stop attacks by “terrorists and rebels” that sparked deadly clashes on the countries’ border, state media reported Sunday.

Noor Muhammad Jadmani was called to the foreign ministry on Saturday evening following the deaths in the restive border province of Sistan-Baluchistan, the official IRNA news agency said,.

Two Iranian border guards and a Pakistani paramilitary officer were killed in a shooting on Thursday evening, sources on the two sides said. Iran said rebels had tried to infiltrate the country.

“It is unacceptable that terrorists and rebels attack our country from Pakistani territory and kill our border guards,” the foreign ministry’s western Asia director, Rasul Salami, told IRNA.

He asked the Pakistani government to “take serious steps to prevent any recurrence of such incidents,” the news agency said.

Thursday’s border shooting came after rebel attacks killed five people in Sistan-Baluchistan province earlier this month, four of them security personnel.

Iranian media said 14 people were arrested in connection with those attacks.

Last month, an Iranian soldier was killed and two pro-government militiamen wounded in an attack authorities blamed on Deobandi extremist group Jaish-ul Adl (Army of Justice).

The same group captured five Iranian troops in February, four of whom were released in April. The fifth soldier is presumed dead but his fate remains officially unknown.

Sistan-Baluchistan has a large Sunni Muslim community in otherwise predominantly Shiite Iran and it has been plagued by violence involving Sunni extremists and drug smugglers.

Ethnic Baluchis straddle the border into Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, where a long-running separatist conflict was revived in 2004.

The nationalists charge that the central government in Islamabad has exploited the region’s natural resources and committed human rights abuses.

But the idea of giving greater autonomy to the province, the size of Italy but with only nine million inhabitants, is highly sensitive in a country still scarred by the independence in 1971 of its eastern portion, now Bangladesh.

http://www.france24.com/en/20141019-iran-summons-pakistani-ambassador-over-border-killings/

Pakistan Army should not fall prey to the old tactics of Ziaist Generals like Aslam Baig and proceed to do joint operations with Iranian Army against Deobandi Terrotists of TTP,Sipah Sahaba (ASWJ LEJ)  and Jandullah in Balochistan.

 

Sheikh Rasheed Maulana Samiul Haq  Hamid Gul Munawar Hasan Ahmed Ludhianvi Ijazul Haq General Aslam Beg

Ziaist Takfiiri Eestablishment

- See more at: http://lubpak.com/archives/324913#sthash.9rd7Hdwj.dpuf