Reader’s links for October 11 – 2016

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

117 Replies to “Reader’s links for October 11 – 2016”

  1. Russia to Build Permanent Syrian Naval Base, Eyes Other Outposts

    By Andrew Osborn

    MOSCOW (Reuters)–Russia will create a permanent naval base in Syria to expand its military footprint in its closest Middle East ally, a government official said on Monday, a week after Moscow said it was considering reopening Soviet-era bases in Vietnam and Cuba.

    The move, announced by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov, is further evidence Russia is building up its capabilities in Syria despite a partial drawdown in March and another sign it is digging in for the long haul to help prop up President Bashar al-Assad.

    “By doing this Russia is not only increasing its military potential in Syria but in the entire Middle East,” Senator Igor Morozov, a member of the upper house of parliament’s International Affairs Committee, told the RIA news agency.

    A Reuters analysis of publicly available tracking data shows Moscow has steadily built up its forces in Syria since a ceasefire collapsed in late September, doubling supply runs by air and sea.

    The base plan, which will involve upgrading and expanding an existing naval facility at the port of Tartus which Moscow leases from Syria, is part of a push to expand or create a new military presence abroad.

    The Izvestia newspaper said Moscow was also in talks to open an air base in Egypt, while the state-owned Rossiskaya Gazeta daily noted that Russia has said it wants bases in Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, and Singapore too.

    At odds with Washington over Syria and Ukraine, Russia has engaged in a bout of sabre-rattling in recent weeks, moving S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Tartus, nuclear-capable missiles to its European exclave of Kaliningrad, and reinforcing its Syria strike force.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that Russian paratroopers would for the first time also take part in war games with Egyptian paratroopers on Egyptian soil this month.


    Pankov said plans for the permanent naval base at Tartus were well advanced.

    “The necessary papers are ready and are in the process of being approved by different agencies,” he told senators. “We hope we can ask you to ratify these documents soon.”

    Moscow already has a permanent air base in Syria from which it flies air strikes against anti-Assad rebels and uses military trainers, special forces, marines, and artillery specialists to help support Syrian government forces on the ground.

    Senator Morozov said that having a permanent naval base as well would allow Russia to operate more ships in the Mediterranean as they would have an enhanced facility where they could refuel and resupply.

    Moscow inherited the Tartus facility when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and it is now the Russian navy’s sole foothold in the Mediterranean. Despite some modernization, it is currently fairly modest and unable to welcome larger warships.

    Leonid Slutsky, a senior parliamentarian, told RIA its capacity would be expanded and it would be equipped with anti-submarine defenses and new electronics systems on top of the S-300 missiles it recently received.

    • Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror’s overview – a bit long, but edited from a much longer piece. Don’t miss it.
      Tip of the Iceberg: Russian Use of Power in Syria

      EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Russians are determined to reacquire some of the status once enjoyed by the Soviet Union of yore. They believe Western carelessness is to blame for the rise of Islamic State, and are using the Syrian theater to demonstrate their strategic capability.

    • From June. I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds like fun. [fyi The Besa Center is the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.]

      The Return of the Russian Bear to the Middle East
      Executive Summary
      On September 30, 2015, the nature of Russia’s involvement in the Syrian crisis underwent a sea change, as the Russian air force attacked rebel and Islamic State targets. This was the first time since the Soviet- Afghan War that Russian forces had been in action beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union. This military engagement highlighted the change that has occurred in Russian foreign policy in the international arena in general, and the Middle East in particular, since Putin’s return to the presidency in May 2012. The new policy is marked by a forceful stance aimed at advancing Russia’s national and security interests, even at the price of confrontation with the West, as evident in the occupation of the Crimean Peninsula.

      This study examines Russia’s activity in the Middle East, from the provision to the Syrian regime of a diplomatic umbrella and military support unprecedented in its scope and power; through increased military and security cooperation with Iran; to attempts to broaden ties with the region’s Sunni states, alongside growing hostility to Turkey. It will include an examination of President Putin’s outlook on Russia’s place and role in the global system, and a close analysis of the various considerations and interests, both domestic and foreign, which drive Russia’s actions. Finally, the study also looks at the direct and indirect implications for Israel.

      The study’s main conclusion is that, despite its economic difficultiesand the decision to withdraw a large part of its forces from Syria, Russia under Putin is once again becoming a significant and influential actor in the Middle East, with Syria serving as an opportunity to demonstrate its status and potential impact, while exploiting America’s reduced involvement in the region. For Israel, this development creates a mixed balance of dangers and opportunities. On the one hand, Russia is providing direct aid to the radical axis led by Iran, which might lead to the latter strengthening its regional position and upgrading its military capabilities, and might limit Israel’s freedom of action. On the other hand, this new reality might offer Israel opportunities to demonstrate its value to Western states, to form coalitions with Sunni states, and restore its relations with Turkey.

      In any case, Israel needs to display sensitivity and caution so as not to harm Russian interests and goals in the region. In parallel, it needs to make use of the relations between the two states, and of those between President Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu, in order to prevent misunderstandings in military affairs, and as a channel for delivering messages to the radical side, particularly during crises.

    • Russia wants new military bases in <emVenezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, and Singapore as Liberty Unyielding editors said these should wake people up. The first two are to reinforce and support the base in Cuba while the latter two are to reinforce and support the base in Nam.

      The bases in South America are to block the US and reduce any influence that the US still has in that region. Which may or may not turn out good depending on what the Jihadists in South America do.

      The Bases in the Far East are to reinforce and support not only the base in Nam but to do the same for the base in the Japanese Islands that Russia seized after WWII and have never turned loose. This is to contain and hamper China and depending on who the next US President is it may cause the nations bordering on the South China Sea and threatened by China’s moves to take over the entire South China Sea to seek mutual defense treaties with Russia.

      Depending on how religious South America still is (I don’t trust the media reports) Putins deep religious faith and Orthodox membership will help with the Roman Catholics in South America. He will be in the position to set himself up as protector of the faith in another region.

      To counter these moves the US needs to increase the size of our facilities at Gitmo and reopen the Naval ports in Alabama that LBJ closed because Alabama voted for Goldwater. We also need to renegotiate our treaties with Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan and increase our committed there as well as renegotiate our treaty with Singapore.

      All of the above is going to cost the US money, money we don’t have (yet) but if Trump is elected the loans to the US can be renegotiated. There is an old saying in business, if you owe someone $10,000 and can’t pay him you have a problem, if you owe someone $10,000,000 and can’t pay him he has a problem. Obama has borrowed so much money both the US and the lenders have a problem and they will have to renegotiate the loans or lose everything. They don’t want to lose everything because if the US defaults on our loans the worlds economy will collapse like the house of cards it is.

  2. Obama to consider ‘proportional’ response to Russia hacking

    U.S. President Barack Obama will consider a variety of responses to Russia’s hacking of political party organizations and it is possible that any action may not be announced publicly, the White House said on Tuesday.

    “There are a range of responses that are available to the president and he will consider a response that is proportional,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One. “It is certainly possible that the president can choose response options that we never announce,” he said.

    White House says U.S. will retaliate against Russia for hacking

    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest promised on Tuesday that the U.S. would deliver a “proportional” response to Russia’s alleged hacking of American computer systems.

    In addition to pledging that the U.S. “will ensure that our response is proportional,” Earnest told reporters flying on Air Force One that “it is unlikely that our response would be announced in advance.”

    “The president has talked before about the significant capabilities that the U.S. government has to both defend our systems in the United States but also carry out offensive operations in other countries,” he said as the press corps traveled with the president to a Hillary Clinton campaign event in North Carolina. “So there are a range of responses that are available to the president and he will consider a response that is proportional.”

    After months of speculation to that end, President Barack Obama’s administration officially pointed the finger last week at Russia, blaming it for cyberattacks against political targets in the U.S. Most notably, cyberattacks earlier this summer exposed the inner workings of the Democratic National Committee by making public emails from former Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other top officials.

    The disclosure of internal emails detailing the preference among the DNC chair and her allies for Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary prompted the Florida congresswoman to resign just days before her party’s nominating convention in Philadelphia. Other hacks have leaked the personal emails of former secretary of state Colin Powell and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

    “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process,” said Jeh Johnson, the secretary of homeland security, and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, in a statement last week. “Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there.”

    A spokesman for the Russian embassy in Washington unequivocally denied the allegations.

    “This is another piece of nonsense! Putin’s website is attacked by tens of thousands of hackers daily. Many attacks are traced to the US territory,” spokesman Yury Melnik said in a statement last week. “But we don’t go blaming them on the White House or Langley every time.”

    • Old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times.

      Times are going to get real interesting before Obama is out of office, I just pray we and the Russians aren’t shooting at each other before then.

  3. Groups opposing the accommodation of immigrants in Bulgaria plan to organize civil patrols.
    As migrant centers are getting more and more overcrowded, migrants are leaving the centers and roaming the country without any money.
    There is a presidential campaign, and support for the nationalists’ candidate has increased with 7% since last time. Even the Socialist party candidate says he will oppose turning Bulgaria into a “buffer zone” – tens of thousands of migrants trying to reach Western Europe remaining stuck here.
    Two more protests will take place in the capital this month.

  4. Spain seizes drugs shipment to Libya in global operation

    Spanish police said Tuesday a boat carrying nearly 20 tonnes of hashish to Libya was seized as part of a global operation targeting the financing of armed groups in North Africa and the Middle East.

    With the help of Europe’s police agency Europol, information from French customs and air support from Italian police, Spanish forces intercepted the boat registered under the Panamanian flag off Spain’s southeastern coast on September 23.

    They said all crew members were detained — 11 Ukrainians and one Uzbek — in what a spokesman for French customs said was “one of the biggest seizures of hashish” ever in Europe.

    The Guardia Civil police force said the boat was intercepted as part of an operation launched in 2013 by Spanish, Moroccan, French, Italian and Greek authorities, with additional support from the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

    Some 100 tonnes of hashish have been seized in the multi-country operation and 109 people detained — with a majority being nationals of Syrian, Moroccan and Spanish.

    “This trafficking is being used to finance insurgents in existing conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East,” Javier Rogero, lieutenant colonel at the Guardia Civil, told reporters.

    He would not be drawn on which groups the drugs and weapons were benefiting, but said police were “convinced… that they also finance jihadist terrorism.

    – Captagon pills seized –

    Rogero described the Mediterranean Sea as “a sort of highway for illicit trafficking.”

    A total of seven boats have been caught as part of the operation — two of them carrying weapons and five full of hashish, believed to be used to buy arms.

    The boats had all departed from Turkey. In the case of those carrying drugs, though, the hashish — which came from Morocco — was loaded on board in the Atlantic ocean.

    In the case of the two boats carrying weapons, the arms were already on board when they left Turkey.

    One of them was intercepted last year, and another in February.

    Altogether, they carried 11,400 long guns, more than a million cartridges and ten tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make explosives.

    One of the boats, which was registered in Togo, was heading to Misrata on Libya’s northwestern coast.

    The intended recipients are unclear but Misrata is home to powerful militias who were among the forces that seized the capital Tripoli in 2014 and forced the government to flee further east.

    But they are now fighting alongside forces from a UN-backed unity government formed earlier this year — and re-established in Tripoli — to oust the Islamic State group from nearby Sirte.

    Rogero said that the exchange of information with other countries also allowed the Egyptian navy to intercept a shipment of 1.2 million Captagon pills, an amphetamine popular in Gulf and other Middle Eastern countries that is also believed to play a crucial part in Syria’s civil war.

    The production of this synthetic stimulant provides income for the warring factions and also keeps fighters awake and energised over long periods.

  5. US Considering Retaliation for Missile Firing at Navy Ship (abcnews, Oct 11, 2016)

    “The Pentagon has said that it is considering a military retaliation against Houthi militants in Yemen after two missiles were fired Sunday at the destroyer USS Mason from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen. Both missiles fell short of the destroyer and landed in the sea.

    Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said today that the U.S. is still assessing who fired missiles at the destroyer when it was in the Red Sea on Sunday.

    “Anytime anyone engages a U.S. Navy ship at sea in hostility … they do so at great peril to themselves,” said Davis…”

  6. UN Wants to Vaccinate 41 Million African Kids Against Polio (abcnews, Oct 11, 2016)

    “The U.N. children’s agency says a major health campaign is taking place to vaccinate 41 million children against polio in the four countries comprising the Lake Chad Basin — Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

    UNICEF said Tuesday the re-emergence of polio after two years without any reported cases is “a huge concern” especially in an area where Boko Haram Islamic extremists are active.

    The agency said nearly 39,000 health workers are deployed in high-risk areas and so far approximately 30 million children have been vaccinated with the oral polio vaccine.

    U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said UNICEF’s response remains hampered by continued insecurity and by a lack of funding. Only $50.4 million of the $158 million needed for the emergency vaccination campaign has been received so far, he said.”

  7. The Latest: Hezbollah Head Expects ‘Escalation’ in Syria War (abcnews, Oct 11, 2016)

    “The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group says he expects a further escalation of Syria’s conflict because he does not believe there will be any realistic initiatives proposed in the near future to secure a political solution.

    Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, whose group is fighting in Syria alongside government forces, said Tuesday the situation in Syria is heading toward more “tension, escalation and confrontations.”

    In recent weeks, Syria has witnessed some of the fiercest violence in years, mostly in the northern city of Aleppo.

    Nasrallah, who made a rare public appearance in his group’s stronghold south of Beirut, blamed the United States and Saudi Arabia for the failure of recent attempts to reach a truce.

    He says despite the bloodshed, “we should work” for a political solution to end the five-year crisis…”

  8. ISIS plotted to BLOW UP burkini ban mayor from Marie Le Pen’s Front National party (express, Oct 11, 2016)

    “POLICE in France have arrested three women in connection with an ISIS plot to blow up a mayor from Marie Le Pen’s Front National (FN) party.

    The trio are suspected of being involved in the planning of a number of terror attacks including an alleged conspiracy to kill French politician Marc Etienne Lansade in order to strike a blow to “the heart the French government.”

    Mr Lansade, who is close to Ms Le Pen and is the mayor of Cogolin which straddles Provence and the Cote D’Azur, had previously advocated a burkini ban on the beaches in his consituency.

    Cops swooped on the women at an apartment on September 8 near Boussy-Saint-Antoine, Essonne outside Paris after tracing their movements by phone.

    According to reports the women, who were using the messaging app Telegram, were also responsible for an attempt to blow up a car outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on September 7.

    It is alleged they were colluding to attack a Jewish synagogue using home made motolov cocktails as well as attack police officers with knives…”

  9. OT
    This is it. On the threshold to the New Year 5777.
    I ask all of you to forgive me if I’ve offended you over the last year. For being annoying and wasting your time. For messy links and off-topic foolishness.

    To Eeyore and all my friends here:
    May you and your loved ones be inscribed for a happy and healthy New Year. I pray that our countries find guidance from Heaven – somehow, no matter what.

    And I'm sorry for the sloppy blessing as I chase the last M&Ms down the hatch.
    As ever,
    Yucki, YankeeKafir

  10. USA: Protesters wearing ‘Bill Clinton’s a Rapist’ t-shirts crash Obama’s speech

    Two protesters wearing t-shirts printed with “Bill Clinton’s a Rapist” interrupted US President Barack Obama’s speech at the A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, Tuesday.

  11. Merkel announces security and aid package for Niger (thelocal, Oct 11, 2016)

    “German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday announced a €27-million aid package for Niger, her second stop in a three-nation Africa tour aimed at fighting terrorism and stemming the migrant influx to Europe.

    The German leader said the army of the arid west African country, one of the world’s poorest, would receive €10 million worth of equipment next year.

    Germany will also build a military base to back up the UN mission in neighbouring Mali, the first country she had visited on the whirlwind African tour.

    Merkel also promised €17 million as development aid for Niger’s arid and desperately impoverished Agadez region in the north in a bid to fight migration to Europe.

    “What compensation can we offer to the people of Agadez to help them survive?” she said.

    “While these people fight smugglers, illegal emigration, they need revenues. Earlier they lived off tourism and that is something they cannot do now,” she said.

    Unrest in the region, including jihadist attacks and tourist kidnappings, have led to a sharp fall in the number of visitors.

    She said efforts to stall the influx of migrants into Europe would be futile without development.

    Niger is a key transit point for people from sub-Saharan Africa who try to cross the Mediterranean to enter Europe…”

  12. Suicide bomber dies in attack on Swedish troops in Mali (thelocal, Oct 11, 2016)

    “UPDATED: Swedish soldiers in Timbuktu were caught up in a suicide attack late last night.

    “On Monday night a Swedish patrol on a mission in Timbuktu city was exposed to a suicide bomber. No Swedish soldiers were injured in the incident,” read a statement by the Armed Forces.

    It added that the troops were being looked after by the Swedish unit in Mali.

    “The most important thing for us just now is that we don’t have any injured Swedish personnel,” spokesperson Tony Remes told the TT news agency. “Some form of crisis team is looking after them.”

    The Armed Forces said there were no other nationalities involved.

    Another statement issued later on Tuesday said that the soldiers had been carrying out a routine mission in Timbuktu when an unknown man approached them and detonated explosives he was carrying.

    “The perpetrator died in connection with the attack,” read the second statement…”

  13. INTERPOL Warns Morocco of 6,000 ISIS-Linked Fake Passports (moroccoworldnews, Oct 11, 2016)

    “INTERPOL has informed Morocco to stay on guard to spot 6,000 fake passports currently in use by agents of the Islamic State to travel internationally, according to a new report by Le360.

    Morocco will be strengthening security at airports to identify the passports and prevent ISIS fighters from boarding a flight to their intended destination or entering the kingdom.

    The international police organization has provided national authorities with the personal information through which the passports have been registered and has asked for the data to be distributed to all Moroccan airports.

    Other countries that could come in contact with the passports have also been notified of the fake documents and have been encouraged to share any new information regarding those who held the illegitimate documentation.

    In November 2015, INTERPOL’s Foreign Terrorist Fighter’s Working Group claimed roughly 10 percent of the 25,000 jihadists that have joined ISIS are Moroccans.

    The group conducted a census of the fighters and found them to be from over 50 countries.

    Moroccan security forces have successfully dismantled dozens of ISIS-related terrorist cells over the past few years. The kingdom’s intelligence has assisted in the capture of several perpetrators of the November 2015 attacks in France and the March 2016 attacks in Belgium.”

  14. Two Moroccans Arrested in Spain for Advocacy of Terrorism on Internet (moroccoworldnews, Oct 11, 2016)

    “The Spanish Interior Ministry announced Tuesday the arrest in Gijon and San Sebastian (Northern Spain) of two Moroccan nationals for glorifying and promoting the terrorist group ISIS on the internet.

    The individuals, one of whom has also Spanish nationality, “were two important elements” of ISIS’ propagandist network, the Ministry said in a statement, noting that they have developed an intense indoctrination activity and published comments on the internet inciting to commit terrorist acts.

    “The suspects were part of ISIS’ structure, after they joined the terrorist organization voluntarily,” the statement said.

    Some contents on the Internet by these two suspects were on “military victories and social achievements” of ISIS, while others were “more radical and of extreme cruelty” as part of the communication strategy of this organization that preaches terror and violence.”

  15. 40,000 denounced to police as Gülenists in Ankara (hurriyetdailynews, Oct 11, 2016)

    “Some 40,000 people in total have been denounced to police in Ankara as followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen since the failed coup attempt of July 15.

    The informants include those who have denounced their parents, children, relatives and neighbors, daily Habertürk reported on Oct. 11.

    Denunciations started to pour into Ankara counter-terrorism police immediately after the thwarting of the coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Gülen movement.

    Counter-terrorism police are concerned that a majority of the denunciations are unfounded, with sources saying some of the information is based on “grudges and hatred” stemming from “personal problems.”

    However, police also stress that all allegations are being investigated.

    “Unfounded claims take up a lot of our time and hamper our other duties. We call on all citizens to act sensitively on this issue,” a security source told daily Habertürk.

    “There are fathers who denounce their sons, wives who denounce their husbands, citizens who denounce their neighbors. Of course, all the information coming from the informants is evaluated and put into the necessary process. We have to separate the unfounded claims from the real ones.

    If the denunciation clearly aims to simply defame someone, then we take action against the person who has made the unfounded denunciation,” the source added.

    Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m previously said that anonymous denunciations would be discarded in probes into the Gülenist movement, adding that “unjust treatment” was resulting from some of the testimonies.

    “For example, some who hate each other, or who simply disagree on things, or those who want to replace others in their positions, may denounce their rivals with the benefit of anonymity. Unjust treatment is the result,” Y?ld?r?m told reporters in Ankara on Sept. 23.

    Elsewhere, Istanbul prosecutors have issued warrants for a total of 125 Istanbul Police Department personnel as part of a probe into the Gülenist movement on suspicions that the personnel were using the ByLock program, a messaging application that is said to have been used by the group for concealed conversations.

    Thirty of the suspects were reported to be deputy police chiefs…”

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