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Posts tagged ‘Western world’

Kasparov: Appease Putin and He’ll Come Back for More.


Image: Kasparov: Appease Putin and He'll Come Back for More

 

By Elliot Jager

Vladimir Putin is neither a modern-day Hitler nor a master strategist. He is best understood as a bellicose poker player up against a bunch of docile opponents, Garry Kasparov writes in Politico.

Kasparov, a chess grandmaster and chairman of the Human Rights Foundation in New York, who was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, then part of the Soviet Union, writes that he has dedicated himself “to opposing Vladimir Putin’s campaign to destroy democracy and civil liberties in Russia.”

What Putin has going for him that his Soviet precursors did not is unhindered entrée to international markets and institutions, Kasparov says. “Putin’s oligarchs bank in London, party in the Alps, and buy penthouses in New York and Miami, all while looting Russia under the auspices of a reborn KGB police state.”

European authorities have enabled Putin by facilitating his regime’s access to Western capital. Western banks helped underwrite the Kremlin takeover of dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Yukos oil empire, Kasparov writes.

Putin rules like an authoritarian communist dictator but acts like a Western mogul. He is no Hitler, but “turning the other cheek” to him “just gets you slapped again,” Kasparov writes.

President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are mistaken to worry about possible “instability” and “high costs” in confronting Putin. What “could be worse than the instability caused by the partial annexation of a European country by a nuclear dictatorship, carried out with impunity?”  Kasparov asks.

Merkel seems to now appreciate the urgency of standing up to Putin, he notes.

Kasparov’s conclusion is that “Putin is no master strategist. He’s an aggressive poker player facing weak opposition from a Western world that has become so risk-averse that it would rather fold than call any bluff, no matter how good its cards are.”

He’s no Hitler, but Kasparov writes the instructive analogy is that “appeasing a dictator” and “greedily grabbing at an ephemeral peace” in the face of aggression is a recipe for war in the long run.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Graham: Iran Sanctions ‘Crumbling’.


The nuclear arms agreement between the U.S. and Iran that eased some economic sanctions is “crumbling,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday, calling on Congress to impose new sanctions against Tehran.

“The sanctions are crumbling,” Graham told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “I want to put sanctions back on the table to let the Western world know that we’re serious about sanctions. And, let the Iranians know that the pressure is not off.”

Graham said he had 59 co-sponsors for a bill to reimpose sanctions against Iran. He said Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid wouldn’t allow it to come to the Senate for a vote, and was “making the mistake of a lifetime by not putting sanctions back in place before they crumble.”

“Harry Reid is following [President] Barack Obama’s dictate. Barack Obama’s running the United States Senate,” the South Carolina Republican said.

The U.S. and six world powers agreed with Iran late last year to ease certain economic sanctions on Iran for six months, in exchange for a freeze on some of its nuclear activities.

The sanctions are “collapsing,” Graham said, as indicators showed Iran’s economy was improving dramatically. He said the agreement was doing “nothing to dismantle their nuclear program.”

“The value of the Iranian currency is going up by about 30 percent. Their inflation rate has been dramatically lowered. Over 100 foreign delegations have visited Iran, lining up to do business. Their sales of oil to India have doubled. Their economy is resurging,” he said.

Graham said he was attempting to “reset this before it’s too late,” and pledged to “keep doing this until we get it successful.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers

Israel Tracks Western Jihadists in Syria, Worried About Their Return.


JERUSALEM — Israel is working with allies abroad to track Westerners fighting in Syria, concerned that such militants could attack Israeli or Jewish targets once back home, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday.

Of an estimated 10,000 foreign combatants among rebels battling Syrian President Bashar Assad, around 20 percent are from the West and that number is rising, the official said.

“Think of a scenario, even one of them returning and getting instructions from someone he worked with, someone he fought beside, someone like [the al-Qaida-linked] Nusra Front, to carry out an attack,” said the official, who is privy to intelligence assessments. “This has been keeping us very, very busy lately.”

The official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Israel was coordinating monitoring efforts with Western countries, whose legal options against fighters returning home were limited.

“It’s a problem [for Western authorities] to come and arrest someone just because he was in Syria. No one knows for sure what he did there,” the official said.

Security sources said Israeli officials monitoring Syria were meeting foreign counterparts more often, and Israeli diplomatic missions were scrutinizing visitors more closely.

The Israeli estimates for the number of Western combatants in Syria largely correspond to those cited in a report last week by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization, a partnership of five universities based at King’s College London.

The almost three-year-old Syrian civil war has indirectly helped Israel by diverting its Lebanese Hezbollah enemy, which has sent many guerrillas to fight for Assad’s army. Hezbollah battled Israel to a standstill in the 2006 Lebanon border war.

The official said Israel believed between 10,000 and 15,000 Hezbollah members have fought in Syria, but that it was not clear how many casualties the Iranian-backed group had suffered.

“There were many killed, wounded, but there are no numbers,” the official said. “It could be hundreds or thousands.”

“In all, their capabilities against Israel have been hurt. So their interest, for now, in opening a front against Israel is near zero,” the official said.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Iran’s Rouhani Eyes Rebuilding Relations With US.


BERLIN — Iran wants to improve bilateral relations with the United States and other Western powers, President Hassan Rouhani said in an editorial published in a German newspaper on Monday, broaching an issue he has so far avoided since he took office.

Rouhani won a landslide election victory in June promising a policy of engagement with the West and has had regular diplomatic contacts with the United States, but they have been limited to negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program.

“We want to rebuild and improve our relations to European and North American countries on a basis of mutual respect,” he wrote in a contribution for the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

“We are striving to avoid new burdens on relations between Iran and the United States and also to remove the tensions that we have inherited,” said Rouhani, who has promised to reduce Tehran’s isolation and to win an easing of sanctions.

Tehran and Washington severed relations after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

Iran cannot forget everything that has affected relations with the United States over the last 60 years, he said, but added: “We must now concentrate on the present and orientate ourselves towards the future.”

Rouhani’s diplomatic pragmatism has already resulted in significant progress. While in New York for the United Nations General Assembly in September, Rouhani held an historic telephone call with Barack Obama, the first time the presidents of the two nations have spoken in more than three decades.

“REMOVING DOUBTS”

Iranian officials subsequently emphasized the call was to support a diplomatic resolution of Iran’s nuclear program and did not concern direct bilateral ties. Two months later Iran and world powers signed an interim deal to curb part of Iran’s nuclear activities in return for some sanctions relief.

Rouhani, a former nuclear negotiator, said he was doing whatever he could to end tensions over Tehran’s nuclear activities, which have raised concerns in the West that Iran is seeking to develop an atomic weapons capability. Iranian officials have repeatedly denied such suggestions.

“We have never even considered the option of acquiring nuclear weapons,” Rouhani said. “We’ll never give up our right to profit from nuclear energy. But we are working towards removing all doubts and answer all reasonable questions about our program.”

Iran agreed under the Nov. 24 accord to stop its most sensitive nuclear work — uranium enrichment to a fissile concentration of 20 percent — and cap other parts of its activities in exchange for some limited easing of sanctions, including trade in petrochemicals and gold.

On Sunday, world powers and Iran suspended their technical talks in Geneva on how to implement the agreement until after the Christmas holidays following slow progress.

In a posting on Facebook on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said they would resume early next week but he described all stages of the talks as complex.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Report: Iran Says it Needs More Nuclear Power Plants.


TEHRAN, Iran  — Iran’s nuclear chief said Sunday that the Islamic Republic needs more nuclear power plants, the country’s official news agency reported, just after it struck a deal regarding its contested nuclear program with world powers.

Ali Akbar Salehi said the additional nuclear power would help the country reduce its carbon emissions and its consumption of oil, IRNA reported. He said Iran should produce 150 tons of nuclear fuel to supply five nuclear power plants.

“We should take required action for building power plants for 20,000 megawatts of electricity” in the long term, Salehi said.

The comments come after Iran agreed to freeze part of its nuclear program in return for Western powers easing crippling economic sanctions.

The deal requires Iran to cap its uranium enrichment level at 5 percent, far below the 90 percent threshold needed for a warhead. That 5 percent uranium can be used at nuclear power plants.

Iran also pledged to “neutralize” its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium — the highest level acknowledged by Tehran — by either diluting its strength or converting it to fuel for research reactors, which produced isotopes for medical treatments and other civilian use.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Western powers fear Iran could use its nuclear program to make atomic weapons.

Iran’s only nuclear power plant, near the southern port of Bushehr, produces some 1,000 megawatts of electricity. The plant came online with help from Russia, which will provide fuel for it through 2021.

Salehi said Iran is in talks with several countries — including Russia — to build four more nuclear power plants to produce 5,000 megawatts of power in the near future. He said he asked moderate President Hassan Rouhani to include a line of credit in next year’s budget for expanding nuclear power plants.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

Joe Lieberman: US Should Halt Iran Nuclear Deal.


Image: Joe Lieberman: US Should Halt Iran Nuclear Deal

Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 10:41 PM

By Greg Richter

Calling Iran‘s interpretation of the temporary agreement to lift sanctions “bad news,” former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman said the White House should “put the brakes on.”

The United States should not start to carry out any of the reduction of sanctions agreed to over the weekend in Geneva, Lieberman told Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” on Tuesday. It also shouldn’t unfreeze the billions of dollars in Iranian assets that were part of the agreement.

The negotiated deal freed $4.2 billion for the Iranian government, and the United States says the Iranians agreed to stop enriching uranium for the next six months.

But Iran says the agreement reads otherwise.

“What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva, and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action [the title of the Iran-Western powers deal], and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham was quoted as saying Tuesday by the English-language version of the FARS News agency.

“There’s not an agreement,” Lieberman told Fox News. “Unless you have an agreement, no part of it can be implemented.”

Iran, he said, seems to be disputing whether it has a right to perform nuclear enrichment.

“That’s critical,” he said, adding that Iran has been “chronically deceitful” for so long that it should not be allowed to enrich uranium until it has proved for several years that it can keep an agreement.

“We gave away something really big here if that’s, in fact, what happened,” he said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Is Obama’s Foreign Policy Killing Christians?.


Afghani terrorists
Taliban guerrilla fighters hold their weapons at a secret base in eastern Afghanistan.

While the temporary partial government shutdown has riveted our nation, Christians are being martyred all over the world.

The limited space of this column does not permit me to enumerate the long list of martyred Christians and the locations where Christians continue to be killed in cold blood. But needless to say, the violence stretches from Nigeria to Egypt to Iraq to Syria to Pakistan and beyond.

The most tragic act of treachery recently committed by Islamists against innocent Christians took place in a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, just a few weeks ago. There, 81 innocent worshippers were slaughtered and many more were wounded, some permanently.

The Western press, if they reported that tragedy at all, reported it as just another day at the office, as if it was unworthy of much news attention. Nothing to see here; move right along.

But those of us who read Arabic and Islamic publications know that Tehrik-e-Taliban Jundullah claimed responsibility for the bombing, stating that the attack of the 130-year-old All Saints Church in Peshawar was revenge for U.S. drone strikes.

Islamists view Christian churches, and Christians in general, as outposts of Western influence. Little do they know, however, that Western governments are just as anti-Christian as they are—although they are more polite in their opposition.

Western governments are not only silent when it comes to Christian martyrdom—which is now in the tens of thousands—but they are complicit as well. While enthusiastically supporting Libyan rebels against Moammar Gadhafi, and now Syrian rebels against Assad, Western governments have actually helped al-Qaida or al-Qaida affiliate members. Western governments have, wittingly or unwittingly, strengthened the hands of those who are now slaughtering whole Christian villages in Syria.

With the exception of Angela Merkel of Germany, who factually told a gathering of Lutheran leaders that Christianity “is the most persecuted religion in the world,” sadly nothing is being done for those beleaguered Christians.

Or take the case of the Copts in Egypt. They have been harassed, discriminated against and persecuted for 1,400 years. More recently, they have suffered violence from the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. That violence accelerated at a rapid pace because the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi felt emboldened—not only by the praise heaped on him by his fellow Islamists, but also by the praise of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

In fairness to President Obama, the harmful effect of our foreign policy on Christians started prior to his administration. Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there were 1.4 million Christians in that country. Now it would be a stretch to find 300,000.

So much for America’s protection of Christians.

Today, because of Western policies, Christians are being killed in greater numbers than during the first-century Roman Empire.

I do not expect Islamist groups to care about the anti-Christian posturing of Western governments. But for heaven’s sake and the sake of their own eternal judgment, may foreign policymakers of the U.S. and Western governments understand their culpability in this matter and do something about it.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Michael Youssef

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