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Posts tagged ‘Bashar al-Assad’

Pete Hoekstra: What Happens in Ukraine Doesn’t Stay in Ukraine.


Russia has invaded Ukraine militarily and electronically. Already strained, P5 plus 1 negotiations over Iran’s nuclear weapons programs are breaking down.

Examined in isolation they would appear to be international outliers existing separately in their own vacuums. But are they really?

Not at all. What happens in Ukraine doesn’t stay in Ukraine.

What happens in Iran doesn’t stay in Iran. Events in the two countries are in fact closely intertwined.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has always resented the collapse of the Soviet Union and harbors ambitions in which he absorbs the breakaway sovereign satellite states – such as Ukraine – to once again become a global superpower.

At the same time, a defiant Iran continues to advance its nuclear weapons programs, expand its sphere of influence, extend its support of global terror, build its ballistic missile stockpile, and grow its cyber capabilities.

Both Russia and Iran have significant global aspirations and view the United States as the biggest obstacle to achieving their goals. Recent events have pushed Russia and Iran closer together, which will result in dangerous consequences for the United States.

Russia always had very few reasons to support the West during negotiations over lifting sanctions on Iran in exchange for halting its nuclear weapons program. It now has no reason to support the coalition given its aggression in Ukraine against strong Western opposition.

The nuclear talks with Iran will now inevitably fail without Russian support, and there will be no hope of re-imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Events in Ukraine will provide Iran with a significant amount of time to further work on its nuclear weapons program and build upon an already well-developed cyber capability.

The cyber capability may be the most troubling. Cyber reaches globally and crosses borders effortlessly. It can cause massive damage and is difficult to attribute.

Only a few years ago most experts rated Iran at tier two or tier three in its cyber capabilities. Today, with Russian assistance, Iran has closed the gap significantly and ranks closely behind tier one cyber powers such as the United States, China, and Israel. Experts are not only surprised, but they are perplexed at how Iran could have made up so much ground so quickly.

Iran’s cyber warfare program is now sophisticated enough to have carried out attacks on major U.S. financial institutions and penetrate into an unclassified U.S. Navy computer network that reportedly took four months to resolve.

Russia will continue its support for Iran’s aspirations of having a world class cyber warfare capability, both offensive and defensive.

Russia will also continue to extend its own global sphere of influence by antagonizing its neighbors and by moving into a perceived vacuum in Middle Eastern affairs created in part by Syria’s brutal civil war. Russia and Iran have long been suspected of sending weapons and other support to the Bashar al-Assad as the civilian death toll mounts.

The national security calculus for the United States is changing dramatically. It has at its core a developing relationship between Russia and Iran, an Iran with its nuclear program, terrorism support competencies intact, and a tier one cyber capability: none of which bodes well for the United States or the West.

Recent events should teach us that we cannot view any development in isolation, that it would be wise to consider the unintended consequences of any action or inaction.

What happens in Ukraine doesn’t stay in Ukraine. It can have ripple effects that alter the national security map around the world.

Pete Hoekstra is the former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the Shillman Senior Fellow with the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By Pete Hoekstra

Obama to Travel to Saudi Arabia to Discuss Security, Tensions.


The White House said on Monday that President Barack Obama will travel to Saudi Arabia in March to meet with King Abdullah to discuss a range of security issues in the Middle East that have caused some strains in the bilateral relationship.

The rare visit, which comes at the end of an Obama trip to the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy, will include discussions about “Gulf and regional security, peace in the Middle East, countering violent extremism, and other issues of prosperity and security,” the White House said in a statement.

King Abdullah met Secretary of State John Kerry in November and discussed concerns about the unwillingness of the United State to intervene in Syria and recent overtures to its arch-rival, Iran.

Saudi Arabia turned down a seat on the United Nations Security Council in October, in a display of anger at the failure of the international community to end the war in Syria.

That month, Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief said the kingdom was looking at making a “major shift” in relations with the United States.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have long been close allies on military and energy issues.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

US, UK advocate non-military approach for Boko Haram terrorists.


 

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The governments of United States and the United Kingdom have advised the Federal Government to increase its use of non-military approach and regional collaboration to tackle the menace of Boko Haram in parts of Nigeria.

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, and the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Andrew Pocock, disclosed this separately in Lagos and Abuja, where they said the incidences of Boko Haram attacks in parts of the North required new thinking and approaches beyond military diplomacy.
The US Ambassador who was at a media roundtable in Lagos said: “The Federal Government must look at the social and economic conditions that gave rise to the insurgency in the Northern parts of the country.

“The Federal Government must look at why did it start in the first place? What drew people to this organisation in the first place? Was it lack of employment opportunity? Was it education system?

I am not sure what the reasons might be. Sometimes it is hard to do but we need to ask why is it happening in our country and what can we do better in our country to make sure that this type of thing does not happen again.

Challenge of counter-terrorism
“Part of the challenge of counter-terrorism is that you are fighting an enemy who mixes with the population and one of the most difficult things for the military is to go into a mixed setting like that and figure out who is a terrorist and who are the innocent civilians.”

“In my conversation with your government and military, I have expressed these points and I think there is a growing concern over finding an enemy who mixes with the civilian population.
“These are enormously difficult thing to do and that is why we are trying to help the Federal Government.”
He also advised Nigeria to strengthen its regional diplomacy.

According to Entwistle,”there is the need for your government to work closely with Cameroun and Chad because these guys cross the borders. The only way to deal with these guys is to collaborate with your neigbours and relevant international organisations.”

Britain to help with security challenges
In Abuja, the British High Commissioner, Mr. Andrew Pocock, who spoke in Abuja at the welcome ceremony for Nigerian Chevening scholars, said: “We have already been working closely with the Nigerian government on the security agenda. There is a lot that is going on and will continue to go on.

“The other thing we are doing is to help promote the view which I think the Nigerian government already has, that the conflict in the North-East, the kind that we see, is not going to be solved easily and purely by military means. There is need for a co-ordinated approach on the political and economic fronts.

“Our development programme is very much aimed in assisting in the two aspects in bringing new approaches to dealing with the drivers of conflict and secondly, by promoting some of the basic elements that people require, particularly in parts of the north, education, health care, sanitation, elements of infrastructure uplift, helping marginalised people to become small entrepreneurs and to have access to the form of financial systems in Nigeria.”

Pocock explained further that his government had plans to assist Nigeria in dealing with its security challenges but noted that it was actively engaged in providing training for the Nigerian military on Command and Staff College.

Nigeria’ll overcome B’Haram challenges — Onaiyekan
Meanwhile, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, however, expressed optimism that Nigeria would overcome the challenges of Boko Haram insurgents.
Onaiyekan expressed the optimism at a mass to conclude the 2014 Prayer Project of Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria, at Papal Ground, Kubwa, Abuja.

He said there was nothing like Boko Haram 10 years ago and it would soon become history by the grace of God.
He said: “Let us continue to pray that God will deliver us from this ‘terrible infection’ of Boko Haram. We do not know how God will do it, but as Christians, we need deep faith and believe that God will do it.”
The cleric urged Christians to continue to pray for the peace and unity of the country.

By Hugo Odiogor & Victoria Ojeme

Source: Radio Biafra.

Standing At The Judgment Seat Of Christ.


“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;” 2 Corinthians 5:10,11a

Standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ

Some people hear the term “Judgment Seat” and automatically associate this with a judgment on sin. That is not what the bible is talking about here. The Judgment Seat of Christ is a public judgment in Heaven of the works that you did while on earth in the name of Jesus.

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CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST

It is not a judgment on sin because sin was already dealt with at the cross. If you are saved then all your sins have already been wiped away and forgotten about. The Judgment Seat is a fire into which your earthly works for the Lord will be cast into. The unsaved of the world will appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, mentioned in Revelation 20 -

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:11,1

Wood, hay and stubble

If some of the works you did in His name where really for your benefit, then they are placed into the “wood, hay and stubble” category. If you here on earth throw wood, hay and stubble – all combustible materials – into a fire, what happens? They burn up and are never seen again. There are people who enter into the ministry because it can be financially lucrative. We have all seen televangelists who drive Rolls Royces, live in mansions and ‘fare sumptuously’ on the revenues that their great religious empires provide for them. One would have to imagine that most of the works associated with this type of “christianity’ would fall into the wood, hay and stubble category. This is not to say that these people are not saved, only they and God know that. But works done in Jesus name that really served to enrich you will not make it through the fire of the Jusgment Seat.

Gold, silver and precious stones

Evangelist Henry Varley once said, in the hearing of the great man of God D.L. Moody, that “the world has yet to see what God will do with, and for, and through, and in, and by, the man who is fully consecrated to Him.” After meditating on what he had heard, Dwight Moody resolved within himself that “he would be that man’. History records in what a mighty way that Moody was used of God.

And so it shall be for anyone – young, old, man, woman, child – who truly decides to serve the Lord the best they can with the gifts that God has given them. Their works for the Lord will be counted at the Judgment Seat as “gold, silver and precious stones’ that when cast into the fire, will only come out the other side shinier and more precious than when they went in. Everyone from Moody, Sunday, the apostle Paul, all the way down to the little child who hands someone a tract because they want to see them know Jesus and get saved will all have rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

These rewards are given us as crowns, and there are 5 crowns the bible mentions: the Crown of Life, the Crown of Glory, the Crown of Rejoicing, the Crown of Righteousness, and the Crown Incorruptible. The bible says that when we receive these crowns that we will then thrown them at the feet of He who is worthy -

“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:10,11

What reward will you have at the Judgment Seat of Christ?

No matter how big your problems seem to you right now, and I am sure that there are many reading this who have pressing issues and lots of worry, let us assure you that one day the things and cares of this life will all be gone. In an instant. And you will find yourself standing before the One who redeemed you, Jesus Christ.

Only ONE life, twill SOON be past…and ONLY what’s done for CHRIST will last.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13,14

There is still time to get something done for Jesus, still time to add gold, silver and precious stones to your account. Get your eyes off of the temporary and on to the eternal weight of glory. Have you been saved, have you been redeemed? Then take the gifts and talents that the Lord has given you for His glory, and use them now while time remains.

The race is almost over, and the time for reckoning will begin soon. Do something for Jesus.

by NTEB News Desk

Tough time awaits Boko Haram – Jonathan.


 

President-jonathan-05

President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday that with the appointment  of new Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs, tough time awaits Boko  Haram, even as the House of Representatives ordered investigation into  the arrest of 320 suspected terrorists in Rivers State.
The President’s assurance came 48 hours after gunmen suspected to be  Boko Haram killed over 70 people including worshippers and villagers in  Adamawa and Borno states last Sunday.
In one attack, some men armed with guns and explosives killed 18  people at a Catholic church during a morning mass in Waga Chakawa  village in Adamawa State.
The community is in Madagali Local Government, which is a boundary  area with Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. The area is known  for series of insurgent attacks since the declaration of the state of  emergency.
Jonathan, who paid homage to the Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji  Barkindo Mustapha at his palace in Adamawa State yesterday, stressed  that the excesses of the terrorist group will be curtailed.
The President, who condoled with the people of Adamawa State for the  killings, congratulated the state for producing the current Chief of  Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh. Jonathan said, “he is  somebody I have worked with before and I believe with him and the other  service chiefs definitely, the security equation will change. They have  not been cleared by the National Assembly, which I believe will be done  this week.
“I believe by next week, we will have our first security council  meeting and I believe that the tempo will change. The police, working  with the Armed Forces, the excesses of Boko Haram will be reduced”, he  said.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday asked its  Committees on Police and Human Rights to investigate the reported arrest  of 320 suspected Boko  Haram members in Rivers State.
It also set up an 18-man panel to visit Borno State and commiserate  with the families of people killed by insurgents in Maiduguri recently.
The resolution followed  a motion moved by the Deputy Minority  Leader, Hon  Suleiman Abdularahman Kawu on the need to investigate the  arrest of 320 suspected Boko Haram members in Rivers State.
The motion was passed when the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, put the motion to vote.
From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE and Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Boko Haram terrorists attack death toll in Borno & Adamawa hits 138.


 

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Hours after Boko Haram struck in Borno and Adamawa states, grim details of the attacks emerged yesterday.

The death toll rose from 74, which was reported yesterday, to 138.

Eighty-five died in Kawuri village in Borno State, and 53 in Chakawa, Adamawa State.

No fewer than 16 others are believed to be missing in Borno, it was learnt.

Emerging details of the attacks indicated that the insurgents issued three warning letters to Kawuri community before they struck last Sunday, a survivor, Mallam Mohammed Tukur, said.

 

Tukur said the assailants also destroyed houses, mosques and a market square, adding that they operated for six hours before troops arrived.

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima was in Kawuri yesterday, amid tight security, for on-the-spot assessment.

He saw the over 200 destroyed homes that were and promised to rebuild them. He also made financial pledge to the victims.

Shettima, who visited the village with a high-powered delegation, took with him a large amount of relief materials and foodstuff which he distributed to affected residents.

Addressing residents at the palace of the village head, he said the rebuilding of the destroyed village would be a priority.

He announced that each family member of the slain residents, would get N250,000 each, bringing the total cash donation to N21.25 million.

Shettima said about 1,500 units of food items and other relief materials would be distributed to the victims to alleviate the devastating effect of the attacks.

The relief materials include 600 bags of rice, 30 bags of beans, 300 bags of maize, and 200 of blankets, mats and cartons of Maggie cubes, drugs and hospital essentials for the community health centre.

The governor said: “All the 200 burnt houses, mosques and market are to be rebuilt.”

The rebuilding of the demolished houses, he said, began yesterday.

“I am also going to compensate for all the destroyed property in this village, but not the lives of 85 people destroyed by these insurgents. They are not true Muslims; They continue to destroy people’s lives and property, without any genuine cause. As long as the insurgents continue to destroy your houses and other property, the state government will also continue to rebuild them, as you have no other place to go; and live in this state.

“Security will be intensified in this village. We will deploy more troops and policemen, so that your lives and property are adequately protected from the insurgents.”

An official, Dala Lawan, put the death toll at 85.

Lawan said 53 bodies were given mass burial. He said more bodies were still being found, adding that some of the injured have died. He said no fewer than 40 people were injured.

Many lay in the hospital in Konduga, the main town in the area, nursing bullet wounds and burns.

Suspected Boko Haram members stormed the Kawuri village weekly market, Sunday night, setting off explosives, shooting people and razing homes.

Kawuri is about 70 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The death toll of the attack on the Catholic Church in Chakawa village, has risen to 53, Chairman of Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Mr Maina Ularamu, said yesterday.

Ularamu said local officials counted 47 bodies, including those of two policemen. Many injured people are in hospitals, he added.

The gunmen were armed with sophisticated weapons. They left after invading another border village, killing and maiming before fleeing to neighbouring Cameroun Republic.

A resident, who spoke anonymously, said he counted about 53 bodies before they were evacuated to the morgue.

Brigade Commander of the 23rd Armoured Brigade, Yola, Brig. Gen. Rogers Nicholas, said he was yet to ascertain the death toll. He said the impact of the attack was minimal, adding that the military is on top of things.

Residents said they were living in fear because more attacks could be launched.

The spokesman of the Catholic Diocese of Yola, Rev. Fr. Raymond Danbouye, also confirmed that dozens were killed and buried after a funeral on Monday.

Northern elders-Why Boko Haram insurgency persists.


 

boko-haram-4

The Northern Elders’ Council yesterday attributed the continued Boko Haram insurgency to what it described as mutual distrust and provocative statements.

The group said it is yet to take a position on who to support as the North agitates for power shift in next year’s presidential election.

The body, however, promised to support all efforts aimed at ending violence in the country.

Addressing journalists after a crucial meeting in Abuja, one of the group’s leaders, Alhaji Tanko Yakassi, listed poverty, unemployment and mutual suspicion as some of the critical factors that are promoting violence in some parts of the country.

Yakasai said: “The security challenge of Boko Haram and other ethnoreligious crises in the North as well as violent crimes of kidnapping and armed robberies in

other parts of the country pose a serious challenge to the nation, including wide spread poverty and unemployment.

“In an effort to find lasting solution to this national malaise, there have arisen mutual distrust and suspicions leading to utterances by some people capable of affecting the standing, respectability and unity of the North in particular and the country in general.

“Boko Haram started in 2002. We do not support any form of violence whatsoever. We are a peace-loving people.”

He recalled that the nation’s founding fathers demonstrated tact, wisdom, courage and moderation in their conduct of public affairs.

Yakasai said: “Rather than follow the footsteps of these elders, today politicians and leaders have been inciting people and promote hatred, intolerance and violence.

“It is unacceptable to allow some people to exploit the situation to create disharmony, hate and general instability in the polity”.

He, however, alleged of moves by some politicians to drag traditional rulers to political controversy, describing such move as dangerous.

Yakasai said the group would not comment on the agitation by the North to produce the next President until all political parties made their presidential candidates known to Nigerians.

He said: “When we know the presidential candidates, we will make up our mind.”

Yakasai added: “We are not out to compete with the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF). We recognise ACF as the umbrella organisation for all northerners and we are therefore part and parcel of the ACF, but we are not in parallel of ACF, we are in harmony.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

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