NATO commander Claims That US Troops May Be Redeployed to Europe Over Ukrainian Crisis

NATO commander says US troops may be deployed to Europe over Ukrainian crisis

Russia-Today

The United States Air Force commander in charge of the NATO alliance’s military presence in Europe said on Wednesday this week that US troops may soon be deployed to the region as tensions continue to worsen near the border between Ukraine and Russia.

In an interview with the Associated Press, US Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove said that forthcoming plans intended to ensure stability in Europe for the NATO partners in the area could involve the mobilizing of American troops.

Representatives from the 28 countries involved in the multinational organization have asked Breedlove — a four-star general who has since last year served as the supreme allied commander of NATO’s European operations — to have a plan ready by early next week, according to the AP’s John-Thor Dahlburg, to reassure partners in the region “that other alliance countries have their back.”

Breedlove told the newswire that he has every intention of unveiling his proposal ahead of next Tuesday’s deadline, and that he wouldn’t “write off involvement by any nation, to include the United States.”

When asked by the AP for clarification about the potential for US military involvement, Breedlove reportedly reiterated, “I would not write off contributions from any nation.”

NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove (Image from wikipedia.org)

NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove (Image from wikipedia.org)

The general’s remarks come in the midst of an ongoing uprising in Ukraine that led to the ousting of that country’s president earlier this year in February and has escalated ever since.

Last month, people in the adjacent Crimean peninsula overwhelmingly voted to sever ties with Ukraine and align with Russia amid a growing rift between nationalists and separatists in the region, and shortly afterwards Russia formally accepted the results of that referendum.

But concerns about further escalation have been rampant in the days since, with Breedlove saying last week that Russia had not only amassed roughly 40,000 troops near the federation’s border with eastern Ukraine, but also has the resources to invade and annex that portion of the country as well in the span of just three to five days. Then over the weekend, pro-Russian protesters seized government buildings in the Ukrainian cities of Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov, rekindling concerns of a potential split in the country’s mainland.

Also on Wednesday this week, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that both the Ukraine and US have “no reason for concern” about the heightened presence of forces in the region, and that “Russia has repeatedly stated that it does not conduct unusual or unplanned activities which are militarily significant on its territory near the border with Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, Breedlove suggested that the situation there remains as serious as ever.

“What we see there is a force of about 40,000,” he told the AP following a NATO conference Wednesday in Paris, Dahlburg reported. “I would characterize it as a combined arms army. In other words, this is an army that has all of the provisioning and enabling that it needs to accomplish military objectives if given them.”

At the same time, though, the AP reported that Russia’s objectives remained unclear to Breedlove, and could result in any which action upon the directive of Moscow.

“The force could stand pat and intimidate Ukraine solely by its presence, drive south to create a land bridge with Crimea, push along the Black Sea coast to the Ukrainian port city of Odessa and the largely Russian Trans-Dniester enclave of Moldova or invade areas of eastern Ukraine where ethnic Russians are also demanding unity with Russia,” Dahlburg said of the commander’s concerns.

Speaking to CNN on Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said, “We’re always vigilant and we’re always looking at the options that we need to take.”

The NATO member-states of Romania, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary all share international boundary lines with Ukraine, though are at a minimum 500 miles away from the country’s border with Russia where tensions continue to worsen.

“Blackwater” Shock Troops In Direct Confrontation With Putin’s Proxies In Donetsk

[SEE:  Pro-Russian Protestors Seize Buildings After Ukrainian Officer Killed by Protesters;

Moscow warns Kiev against using military, mercenaries in southeastern Ukraine ;

Ukraine says it retakes building seized by protesters

Greystone Limited mercenaries operating in Ukraine

phantom report

by stratagem

 

Мобилизация на Украине провалена. В стране орудуют Blackwater и другие наёмные организации

Source: Soha

Source: politikus.ru

 

Website politikus.ru reported, on the night of 2-3, the flight landed at the airport Borispol and Zhuliany , Ukraine carrying many men in civilian clothes but carrying large bags (similar to type bag that the U.S. military used to store equipment).

All these people were identified as employees of private security companies Greystone Limited. It is a subsidiary of Vehicle Services Company LLC (which is a private security company Blackwater USA’s notorious was renamed in 2009). Currently, the number of employees of this company in Ukraine is said to be up to 300 people.

The presence of the security personnel are specially trained in Ukraine this will enhance protection for the new administration in the area east and southeast, where the anti-government protests erupted powerful new .

The only question now is how many private security personnel of foreign countries in Ukraine real and who is paying them (the cost to hire a private company like that is very expensive and government Ukraine’s new budget clearly not sufficient to cover these costs).

While the number 300 is not a large army and these employees do not carry heavy weapons, but with the highly trained and mastered many fighting skills, then this may be staff conduct minor damage as a sniper or cause explosions, … similar to what they used to do in Africa and elsewhere.

Some suggested that there was a collusion between the new government of Kiev and the U.S. Embassy in the use of private security companies in Ukraine. In the near future, they may become subject to destabilize the situation in the country.

Image Credit: GreyStone Limited

В Донецке появились неизвестные наемники

 

NATO Pushing Russia Into Pre-Invasion Scenario

[In keeping with established Pentagon policy, the Western powers will do everything within their power to ensure that their worst-case scenarios come true.  Just like every other aspect of the terror war, where every Pentagon strategy is tailored to shaping policies which multiply the terrorists (think of assassination drones), we know for a certainty that the US will force Russia to invade Ukraine by its rushing of men and equipment to the Russia/Ukraine "front" (SEE:  US Arranges New War Games In Ukraine, Along Border With Crimea; Germany Set To Help Militarize the Political Situation In Eastern Europe ).  When the degree of the Western militarization of Eastern Ukraine becomes too obvious to ignore, Putin will have no choice left to him but to enter Ukraine and to fulfill the West's worst nightmares, or greatest expectations.]

Russia has all the forces it needs on Ukraine’s border if it were to decide to carry out an “incursion” into the country and it could achieve its objective in three to five days, NATO’s top military commander said Wednesday.

Calling the situation on the border “incredibly concerning,” U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove – who is both NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the head of the U.S. Military’s European Command – said NATO had spotted signs of movement by a very small part of the Russian force overnight but there was no indication that it was returning to barracks.

NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels have asked him to draw up by April 15 a package to reassure nervous NATO allies in eastern Europe that would include reinforcements by land, air and sea, he said in an interview with Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

NATO suspended all practical cooperation with Russia on Tuesday in protest at its annexation of Crimea, and ordered military planners to draft measures to strengthen its defenses and reassure nervous Eastern European countries.

Foreign ministers from the 28-nation, U.S.-led alliance were meeting for the first time since the Russian occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea region touched off the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.

State Dept Hides Embarrassing Truth About Saudi Terrorist Indoctrination In Public Schools

Report Alleges State Department Withholding Saudi Textbook Study Because It Would Embarrass the Saudis

the blaze

As President Barack Obama sets out for his visit to Saudi Arabia this week, a new report suggests the State Department has intentionally been withholding a comprehensive study on Saudi textbooks, because the books include offensive material that dehumanizes Christians and Jews that if made public would embarrass the kingdom.

President Barack Obama waves upon his arrival on Air Force One at Brussels International Airport, Tuesday, March 25, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. Obama is visiting Brussels to attend European Union and NATO summits. Later this week, he heads to Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“The State Department appears to be withholding a government-commissioned textbooks study on the subject,” said the report by the DC-based research organization the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “Textbook Diplomacy: Why the State Department Shelved a Study on Incitement in Saudi Education Materials.”

“Passages [in textbooks] continue to dehumanize Jews and Christians, promote the murder of perceived deviants such as homosexuals, and sanction violence against Muslims who do not follow the Wahhabi brand of Islam that is sponsored by the Saudi state,” the government-commissioned study found, according to the think tank report.

David Andrew Weinberg, who authored the Foundation for Defense of Democracies report, wrote that in 2011 the State Department paid the non-profit organization the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD) $500,000 to conduct the study of Saudi government-published textbooks that are used widely not only in the kingdom, but are also sent free of charge to Muslim schools around the world, including in the U.S.

“However, when the results of this study were ready for release in 2012, U.S. government officials decided not to publish its findings. Nor did the Department release this study in 2013, despite issuing a similar but controversial study equating the narratives found in textbooks used by Israelis and Palestinians,” Weinberg wrote.

According to Weinberg, ICRD’s leadership asserted their study was withheld from the public because it showed the Saudis had made progress on textbook improvements and that the State Department did not want to discourage further progress by publicly criticizing the remaining areas of disagreement.

“However, current and former officials contest this characterization, asserting that ICRD’s study was withheld because of how bad it makes the Saudis look,” Weinberg wrote.

State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf insisted during Tuesday’s State Department briefing that the report was never meant to be released.

“This project, this assessment from this project, was never intended to be made public, as they often are not,” Harf said. “It was intended to drive and inform the work of the State Department as we work with the Saudi Government to push them to reform their textbooks.”

“There’s no one keeping a public report quiet. It was always supposed to be internal,” she added.

Of the reported evidence that the Saudi textbooks continue to contain offensive themes, Harf said, “We know there’s more work to be done. We’ve been very clear about that publicly, again, regardless of whether a report is released or not. And we have worked with the Saudis over the years, and we believe that it is – every country reforms at its own pace.”

Michael Posner — who was assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor during President Barack Obama’s first term – suggested to the Daily Beast that the State Department had never ruled out making the study public.

“We commissioned the study to assess and evaluate the content of the textbooks with the intention of sharing our findings with the Saudi government and with the option, depending on the findings, of making it public if the problems persisted,” Posner told the Daily Beast.

Posner would not provide details on the unpublished textbook study, but spoke more generally about the problems in Saudi study materials.

“Among the references that were most offensive were commentary that linked Christians and Jews to apes and pigs,” Posner told the Daily Beast. “If those references are still in some textbooks then the problem hasn’t been solved.”

Since 9/11, the U.S. government has been concerned about inciting materials in Saudi textbooks that could encourage Islamic extremism. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks were Saudi nationals.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies quoted a source familiar with the study who provided quotes from the ICRD report which said Saudi textbooks “create a climate that fosters exclusivity, intolerance, and calls to violence that put religious and ethnic minorities at risk.”

A tenth grade Islamic law book said students should “kill the person who changes his religion…for there is no benefit in keeping them alive.”

Christians, Jews and pagans were described in a twelfth grade monotheism textbook as “the worst of creatures” who will “dwell in hellfire.”

According to Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ unnamed source who saw the study, in another tenth grade book, Christians were compared to idol worshippers. It also wrote of Jews that God “made them of swine and apes.” Yet other books praised violence against non-Muslims.

Douglas Johnston, the president and founder of ICRD which conducted the study told the Daily Beast that he recommended against publishing its results.

“We strongly suggested it should not be published because they are making great progress on this. We can achieve a lot more if we pursue this outside the public domain,” Johnston said.

Read the full report from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies at this link.

The Dangerous Nazification of Ukrainian Airwaves

[Ukrainian TV HAS to be even more boring than Russian TV.  Let's see how long Svoboda can contain the restless longings of the Ukrainian masses if they are all bored beyond the point of their capacity to be mesmerized by inanity.]

OSCE slams Ukraine’s repressive censorship of Russian TV channels

Russia-Today

Neo Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok

The OSCE has criticised Kiev’s “repressive” move to shut down the broadcasting of Russian TV channels after the media watchdog reported over 50% of providers have already fulfilled the order allegedly aimed at “ensuring national security and sovereignty.”

“As of 11:00 GMT, March 11th, 50 percent of providers throughout Ukraine have disabled broadcasting of foreign channels,” others are preparing to follow, the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine, said on its website.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has voiced strong concerns over the decision.

“I repeat my call to the authorities not to initiate these repressive measures,” OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said. “Banning programming without a legal basis is a form of censorship; national security concerns should not be used at the expense of media freedom.”

“While I deplore any kind of state propaganda and hate speech as part of the current information war, everyone has the right to receive information from as many sources as he or she wishes,” Mijatovic said. “Switching off and banning channels is not the way to address these problems; any potentially problematic speech should be countered with arguments and more speech.”

So far at least 5 Russian channels have been excluded from the list of options, following an appeal by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine last week.

“The National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine requires the program service providers to stop the broadcast of the Russian TV channels Vesti, Russia 24, Channel One (worldwide transmission), RTR ‘Planeta’, and NTV-World in their network,” the National Council order says.

More than half of Ukraine’s population speaks Russian regularly and one third say it’s their native tongue. In Crimea over 90 percent of the population uses Russian on an everyday basis.

Participants of a rally on Yevpatoria's central square voice their support to Russia. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)Participants of a rally on Yevpatoria’s central square voice their support to Russia. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)

On Sunday, Republic of Crimea began broadcasting Russian TV channels on frequencies earlier occupied by Ukrainian television. It has been done because of “legal reasons and moral principles,” Crimea’s information minister Dmitry Polonsky told Itar-tass.

“From the moral point of view, all Ukrainian TV channels were rigidly censored by Kiev’s illegitimate authorities. In violation of fundamental principles they broadcast only one point of view – Crimean politicians, community leaders and Crimeans were unable to comment on the situation,” Polonsky said, adding that their round the clock false reporting of “Russia occupying Crimea” or “declaring war on Ukraine” did not correspond to reality and was used to aggravate the situation and escalate violence.

Polonsky also said that existing contracts should be brought into line with the “current legal situation”, as he urged Ukrainian TV channels to renegotiate contracts for new frequencies with the Crimean broadcasting authorities.

Following the move Ukraine’s media watchdog Goskomteleradio demanded an immediate resumption of Ukrainian TV channels broadcast in Crimea, accusing Russia of “aggression.”

“We regard this as a manifestation of undisguised information aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation,” the statement reads.

Russia has long voiced concerns over banning Russian media broadcasts on Ukraine’s national frequencies, calling it a violation of human rights.

“We are aware of proposals to prohibit broadcasts in Ukraine by companies of countries that are not signatories to the European Broadcasting Convention,” Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said late February after the proposal to ban some channels were first introduced by Svoboda Party in Ukraine.

“Russia is not a signatory to this convention, but this circumstance has not stopped us from broadcasting across Europe. Such broadcasts have not encountered any problems in any country of the European Union. If such a decision is adopted in Ukraine, it will be serious violation of freedom of speech,” Lavrov added.

Why Is World War II Being Rekindled in Ukraine?

Why There Will Be War in Ukraine

Moscow Times

The current crisis is not about Crimea. It is about the rights of Russian-speakers throughout Ukraine whom the Kremlin wants to protect from violence and discrimination. Russia does not want a military intervention in Crimea and does not want to take Crimea from Ukraine.

There is a political solution to this crisis. First, create a coalition government in Kiev composed of all parties, including those from the east and south of the country. The current government is dominated by anti-Russian extremists from western Ukraine.

If the extremists who seized power in Kiev do not accept Russia’s democratic proposals, Russia will likely be forced to revert to military means to solve the crisis in Ukraine.

Second, Ukraine needs to draft a democratic constitution that has guarantees for Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population that would grant official status to the Russian language and establish the principle of federalism.

Third, presidential and parliamentary elections must be held soon. Independent election observers must play an active role in ensuring that the elections are free and fair. There is a real danger that they will be manipulated by the neo-Nazi militants who de facto seized power in a coup.

If these democratic and peaceful solutions to the crisis in Ukraine are rejected by the opposition forces that have seized power in Kiev, I am afraid that Russia will have no other choice but to revert to military means. If the junta leaders want to avoid war, they need to adopt Moscow’s peaceful and democratic proposals and adhere to them.

Those currently in power in Kiev are carrying out a political strategy that is not so much pro-European as it is anti-Russian, as evidenced by the surprisingly heavy-handed tactics the U.S. and European Union  have employed in Ukraine. In the end, a minority executed a violent coup that removed the democratically elected and legitimate president of Ukraine.

The Kremlin believes that the current Ukrainian leadership will manipulate the elections planned for May 25 to install a single leader or coalition government functioning much as former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili did in Tbilisi. A “Ukrainian Saakashvili” will unleash an even more repressive campaign of intimidation against Russian-speakers, one that over several years would stoke anti-Russia hysteria among the general population.

After that, Kiev may evict Russia’s Black Sea Fleet from Sevastopol and purge Crimea of any Russian influence. Ukraine could easily become a radicalized, anti-Russian state, at which point Kiev will fabricate a pretext to justify taking subversive action against Moscow. This looks especially likely considering that ruling coalition members from the neo-fascist Svoboda and Right Sector parties have already made territorial claims against Russia. They could easily send their army of activists to Russia to join local separatists and foment rebellion in the North Caucasus and other unstable regions in Russia. In addition, Russia’s opposition movement will surely want to use the successful experience and technology of the Euromaidan protests and, with the help and financial support of the West, try to carry out their own revolution in Moscow. The goal: to remove President Vladimir Putin from power and install a puppet leadership that will sell Russia’s strategic interests out to the West in the same way former President Boris Yeltsin did in the 1990s.

The official census puts the Russian minority in Ukraine at 16 percent of the total population, although that number was falsified. The actual number is closer to 25 percent. Surveys indicate that 45 percent of the country’s population speak Russian at home, 45 percent speak Ukrainian and 10 percent speak both languages. In the most recent Gallup survey, when asked in which language they would like to be polled, 83 percent of respondents chose Russian. Taking into account the rural population in western and central Ukraine, about 75 percent of the people, probably speak Russian. Of that 75 percent, only about 10 percent are those in Kiev and a few other major cities who supported the protests. This means that only 35 percent of the population are attempting to impose its will on the remaining 65 percent, using a violent coup to achieve their goals.

Putin made the right decision: He did not to wait for that attack and took preventative measures. Many in the West say the Kremlin’s reactions were paranoiac, but Germany’s Jews also thought the same of leaving the country in 1934. Most of them chose to believe they were safe and remained in Germany even after Hitler came to power. The infamous Kristallnacht took place five years later, one of the first early chapters in the “Final Solution.” Similarly, just four years remain until Russia’s presidential election in 2018, and there is a strong risk that subversive forces within and outside Russia will try to overthrow Putin, in part using their new foothold in Ukraine.

Will there be war in Ukraine? I am afraid so. After all, the extremists who seized power in Kiev want to see a bloodbath. Only fear for their own lives might stop them from inciting such a conflict. Russia is prepared to move its forces into southern and eastern Ukraine if repressive measures are used against the Russian-speaking population or if a military intervention occurs. Russia will not annex Crimea. It has enough territory already. At the same time, however, it will also not stand by passively while Russophobic and neo-Nazi gangs hold the people of Crimea, Kharkiv and Donetsk at their mercy.

Sergei Markov is director of the Institute of Political Studies.

The Psywar Hits Qatar

[Was this the opening salvo in the rapidly escalating Saudi/Qatari conflict?  The Pig of Qatar has made a lot of enemies in his attempts to create an Islamist caliphate, the same caliphate which has now become the point of global shock in Syria.  Overlooked, or hidden by the so-called "al-Qaeda split," was the real Islamist split, the gaping chasm between Riyadh and Doha (SEE:  Qatari Prime Minister: The Saudi regime will inevitably fall by our hands).   A good clean terrorist attack upon a Qatari facility could have been a gift from lots of intel agencies, at the top of the list would be Saudi Arabia and Russia.  Russia has been making threatening motions towards the Saudis for supporting terrorism in Chechnya and for selling the Syrians missiles, but it has also condemned both Wahhabi governments in the past.  The Saudis are currently trying to get the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to cooperate in creating a Qatari "no fly zone," as punishment for supporting Egyptian Islamists (SEE: Riyadh threatens Qatar over Muslim Brotherhood support  ; Riyadh asks GCC states to condemn Qatar's actions in Egypt and Yemen  ).  Trying to avoid further hassles, Qatar is allegedly muzzling the radical Islamist mouthpiece of the Ikhwan (SEE: Qatar: Youssef al-Qaradawi unwanted ). 
Obama and the Saudis are still trying hard to play the "moderate Islamist" card, without having much luck.  No one will care about moderate Islamists so long as the radical Islamist extremists dominate the media circus.] 

Twelve dead in Qatar restaurant gas explosion: news agency 

Reuters

By Amena Bakr

DOHA

People stand amidst debris near a Turkish restaurant following a gas explosion in Doha February 27, 2014. Twelve people were killed, including two children, and about 30 wounded when a gas tank exploded at the Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital off Doha on Thursday, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported. REUTERS-Stringer
Rescue workers and policemen stand amidst debris near a Turkish restaurant following a gas explosion in Doha February 27, 2014. Twelve people were killed, including two children, and about 30 wounded when a gas tank exploded at the Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital off Doha on Thursday, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported. REUTERS-Stringer
People stand among debris near a Turkish restaurant following a gas explosion in Doha February 27, 2014. Twelve people were killed, including two children, and about 30 wounded when the gas tank exploded at the Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital off Doha on Thursday, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported. REUTERS-Stringer

People stand amidst debris near a Turkish restaurant following a gas explosion in Doha February 27, 2014. Twelve people were killed, including two children, and about 30 wounded when a gas tank exploded at the Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital off Doha on Thursday, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

(Reuters) – Twelve people including two children were killed on Thursday when a gas tank exploded at a Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital Doha, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported.

About 30 others were injured in the blast at the Istanbul Restaurant that one security source said was accidental.

Another security source at the scene said two Asian children were among the dead.

Major General Saad bin Jassim al-Khalifi, Qatar’s head of public security, said non-Qatari Arabs, Asians and one Qatari were among the dead and wounded.

Preliminary investigations suggested a gas tank exploded, setting off a fire and causing part of the building to collapse, he told a news conference. But investigations were continuing to discover why the gas tank exploded.

“It was a very big blast,” he said. “It blew away cars and shrapnel was scattered 50 to 100 meters away.”

Chunks of masonry, metal debris and shattered glass lay outside the restaurant in a northwestern district of the city. Cars nearby were apparently crumpled by the explosion.

The incident was the deadliest in Qatar since May 2012, when at least 19 foreign nationals, including 13 children, were killed by a fire in an upscale shopping mall.

In a separate incident on Thursday, medics and security sources at the Hamad medical city in Doha said dozens of people were hurt in the afternoon due to a gas leak at a chemical plant in an industrial area near Doha.

They gave no figures or details on their condition, but said helicopters were despatched to fly victims of the leak to the Hamad medical center quickly as ambulances had been caught in heavy traffic caused by the restaurant incident.

The gas- and oil-rich Gulf Arab state with an estimated national population of at least 200,000 has one of the highest standards of living in the world. The bulk of the 2 million population of Qatar are foreigners.

The restaurant is on the outskirts of the capital near Landmark mall, a well-known shopping complex usually busy with families.

“I was eating in a restaurant close by and suddenly heard a big (blast) and everything around me exploded,” Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Kareem, an Indian driver, told Reuters at Hamad hospital. “I have too much damage now, my legs are broken and my head is (wounded).”

(Additional reporting by Rania El Gamal, Regan Doherty, and Mirna Seliman; Writing by William Maclean; Editing by Alison Williams and Hugh Lawson)