Who Just Showed Up In Syria To Help Russia Makes Things Even More Perilous For USA

Russia appears to have a partner in its mission in Syria to prop up the Assad regime.

Fox News is reporting that Iran has deployed troops to the region to conduct ground operations in coordination with Russian airstrikes.

“It has always been understood in this building that the Russians would provide the air force, and the Iranians would provide the ground force in Syria,” one official said.

Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters: “We know the Iranians are a part of this. We’ve known that since day one.” Officials could not disclose the size of the Iranian force, due to the sensitive nature of the information. 

Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the Quds Force commander, is overseeing the operation in Syria. The general traveled to Moscow in August, which is when the deal was likely struck. 

Former Deputy Asst. Sec. of Defense K.T. McFarland told Fox News: “So we now have a new alliance in the Middle East: Russian, Iran, Iraq, [Syria’s Assad regime]…a Shiite crescent throughout the region.” She added: “The problem is, we’re not sure where it is going, and we are not sure who they are targeting.”

Syria Map

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Russia airstrikes are not being directed primarily against ISIS, but rebel forces fighting the Assad regime, who are backed by the United States.

One of [Wednesday’s] airstrikes hit an area primarily held by rebels backed by the Central Intelligence Agency and allied spy services, U.S. officials said, catapulting the Syrian crisis to a new level of danger and uncertainty. Moscow’s entry means the world’s most powerful militaries—including the U.S., Britain and France—now are flying uncoordinated combat missions, heightening the risk of conflict in the skies over Syria…

Russia has built up its military presence in Syria in recent weeks to support Mr. Assad after he suffered a series of battlefield setbacks and acknowledged publicly that he could no longer hold on to all of the country after more than four years of war. During the buildup, Moscow said its intent was to fight Islamic State and conflated opponents of the regime with terrorists.

US - Russia - Iran Competing Goals

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Moscow last week to coordinate with the Russians in the hopes of avoiding any unintended confrontations between their two nations’ military forces. President Vladimir Putin assured Netanyahu his country’s actions in the region would be “responsible.”

Reuters reports that the prime minister is worried that top-of-the-line Russian military equipment could end up in the hands of Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters, who are also on the ground supporting the Assad regime.

BREAKING: Russia Makes Massive Military Move, Makes Stunning Demand To America

On Wednesday, Russia launched its first air strike in Syria and has told the United States to get out of its way, according to a U.S. official.

Russian bombers attacked targets in Homs. It was unclear which of the rebel groups fighting Syria’s government was the target.

As the strikes were taking place, Russia’s government formally approved a request from President Vladimir Putin to authorize the use of Russian troops in Syria.

“Russia will factually be the only country to carry out this operation on the legitimate basis of the request of the legitimate government of Syria,” said Dmitri S. Peskov, Putin’s spokesman.

Russia also wanted the U.S. to stand down in northern Syria so that Russia can attack ISIS targets, according to sources who spoke to Fox News.

“If you have forces in the area we request they leave,” a Russian general told his American counterparts, according to Fox.

U.S. forces did not honor the request. A U.S. led coalition has launched thousands of airstrikes in Syria in the past year, and the United States has armed and trained some of the anti-Assad rebels.

“We still conducted our normal strike operations in Syria today,” a senior Pentagon official told Fox News. “We did not and have not changed our operations.”

However, on Tuesday, Defense Department spokesman Peter Cook said that U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has directed that the U.S. air effort not conflict with the Russian military.

Russia recently established a base of operations in Syria in an effort to prop up the government of dictator Bashar al Assad.

“The Russians are no longer advising, but co-leading the war in Syria,” one intelligence official told Fox News.

h/t: Fox News

What Happened Right After Obama Met With Putin Is Not A Good Sign For The U.S.

Following a meeting Monday between Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key U.S. official announced her resignation. Reports indicate that Evelyn Farkas has been employed by the U.S. Department of Defense for five years and has served most recently as deputy assistant defense secretary for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

One source cited by Politico explained that Farkas “has advised three secretaries of defense on Russia policy, providing steady counsel on how the U.S. should respond to Russia’s aggressive actions and has been deeply involved in securing $244 million in support for Ukraine.”

While the Obama administration has been criticized – even by some former insiders – for its perceived permissiveness regarding Russia’s aggressive military action, Farkas has maintained the Defense Department’s more aggressive stance. During a 2014 Senate testimony, she described Russia’s occupying forces as “an affront to the international order that we and our allies have worked to build since the end of the Cold War.”

Though early reports do not offer any official reason for her departure, there has been speculation that her motivation lies in a disagreement with the administration’s foreign policy positions.

Regardless of her reasoning, experts believe finding an appropriate replacement will be a tall order for the Pentagon.

“There are not a lot of Europe experts in this administration who have a long record of accomplishment,” one defense official said. “There’s no doubt this leaves the Pentagon weaker in terms of its policy-making on European issues.”

The Military Gravy Train: Full Speed Ahead

There’s something very odd about the United States military that makes many of the most budget-hawkish fiscal conservatives turn into starry-eyed, big government welfare pushers. The hypocrisy is breathtaking; at the same time as many conservatives are talking about “America’s descent into socialism” they are pushing their own brand of military socialism to ever more absurd lengths.

At a whopping $581 billion per year, the United States already spends more than the rest of the world combined on its military. However, even that number doesn’t represent the entire picture. As Robert Higgs has shown, when everything is included (from the Department of Veterans Affairs to the nuclear weapons expenditures in the State Department to the net interest on past debt-financed defense outlays, etc.) that sum is actually over one trillion dollars. Despite this, every Republican presidential candidate is pushing to increase the military budget. Even Rand Paul proposes adding $76.5 billion to the defense budget — which by itself is more than the military budgets of all but two other countries in the world (China and Saudi Arabia).

Fiscal conservatives love to pass around examples of government waste, such as the $615,000 grant that was given to the University of California at Santa Cruz to digitize photos, t-shirts, and concert tickets for The Grateful Dead, or the $175,587 spent “to determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behavior.” Yet, many of the best examples of such mind-numbingly insane expenditures come from the woefully bloated military of the United States.

For example, in 2007, the Pentagon spent $998,798 to ship two 19-cent washers; and the Department of Defense spends over $10 million dollars each year to maintain hundreds of golf courses it owns, presumably an effort to keep America safe. But the worst boondoggle may be the F-22 fighter. Or perhaps it’s the F-35? It’s hard to decide.

According to The Washington Post, the F-22 “… has recently required more than 30 hours of maintenance for every hour in the skies, pushing its hourly cost of flying to more than $44,000 …” Oh, and it can’t fly in the rain either. On the other hand, the F-35 has brought with it a modest price tag of only $400 billion dollars, 70 percent over its initial cost estimate. And it can’t even defeat the fighter jet it is supposed to replace in a dogfight. These massive taxpayer rip-offs join many other projects costing hundreds of billions of dollars, for weapons the military often doesn’t even want.

Indeed, the “military-industrial complex” as Dwight Eisenhower called it, is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, examples of corporate welfare and corporate/government malfeasance around. Lockheed Martin and other military contractors use a variety of unsavory means to ensure ever bigger contracts for ever more unnecessary military contraptions to be paid for at the taxpayer’s expense.

One method is spreading the work around. Basically, these companies will contract and subcontract the work for any given project to as many congressional districts as possible to ensure wide support among congressmen who don’t want to see their district lose jobs. (It should be noted that Eisenhower originally wanted to call it the military-industrial-congressional complex.) For example, the F-35 mentioned above had 1,300 suppliers in forty-five states.

Another tactic is using the “cost plus” approach, which basically has the government pay the contractor’s cost, plus a certain agreed upon profit. Unfortunately, as is probably apparent, this provides the extremely perverse incentive for the company to let the project become as expensive as possible in order to make as big a profit as possible. And with examples such as the F-35, it’s hard to believe these companies haven’t taken advantage of this incentive.

Just as welfare degrades people’s work ethic and resourcefulness, when looking at the sheer waste of these military contracts, it appears corporate welfare degrades a company’s dynamism. As Tom Woods notes in his book Rollback, the amount the United States has spent on its military is absolutely staggering:

… during the period from 1947 through 1987 [the Pentagon] used (in 1982 dollars) $7.62 trillion in capital resources. In 1985, the Department of Commerce estimated the value of the nation’s plants, equipment, and infrastructure (capital stock), at just over $7.29 trillion. In other words, the amount spent over that period could have doubled the American capital stock or modernized and replaced the existing stock.

And what has all of this gotten us? Tom Woods again:

… after all this spending, the end result has actually been a smaller military with older equipment. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, more than $2 trillion has been added to the 1999 baseline Pentagon budget. Roughly half went to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the other trillion went to non-war military spending. What did Americans get for that trillion bucks? A smaller Navy and Air Force, and a trivial increase in the size of the army.

Add to this that the Pentagon is the only federal department exempt from audit (well, aside from the Federal Reserve if you consider that a department). And this makes perfect sense as its books are in complete disarray. Back in 2001, Donald Rumsfeld admitted that “According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” And as Reuters reports, the Pentagon “doctored ledgers [to] conceal epic waste” such as when “the Army lost track of $5.8 billion of supplies between 2003 and 2011 as it shuffled equipment between reserve and regular units.”

Is this the kind of “small government” these fiscal conservatives are looking for?

Perhaps it is. As conservative Mark Steyn noted in his book After America, specifically with regard to the bloated welfare systems in Europe and the United States, as well as the demographic decline of the West,

Faced with a choice between unsustainable entitlements and maintaining armed forces of global reach, the United States, as Europe did, will abandon military capability and toss the savings into the great sucking maw of social spending. That, in turn, will make for not only a more dangerous world but a more vulnerable America that, to modify President Bush, will wind up having to fight them over here because we no longer have the capacity to fight them over there.

Perhaps Steyn should have rephrased it as the “great sucking maw of military spending would be transferred to the great sucking maw of social spending.” And what exactly the Iraq War, for example, did to make the world less dangerous or America less vulnerable is — for good reason — left unstated.

And of course, the biggest question is left altogether undiscussed; why does the United States need either a bloated welfare state or a bloated warfare state?

And this boils down to the heart of it; the two parties have little more than two slightly different versions of big government they want to foist on the American people and use to line the pockets of their favored interests. Only slightly of course, because it’s not like the Republicans reduce welfare spending or the Democrats reduce military spending.

In the end, it’s not very complicated; a small government with a massive military is an oxymoron. It’s about time that fiscal conservatives figured this out.

This commentary originally appeared at Mises.org and is reprinted here under a Creative Commons license

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

Disgusting: Obama Administration Enables ‘Boy Play’

God help us. Here’s what America’s newly homosexualized, “values neutral” military looks like.

Last week, in a strange fit of actual news reporting, the New York Times published an exposé revealing that, under this Obama administration, the Department of Defense is not only permitting the homosexual abuse of little boys at the hands of Muslim allies in Afghanistan, but is effectively facilitating it. A handful of U.S. servicemen have had enough and are courageously blowing the whistle on this unimaginably evil policy. Naturally, they’re being punished and drummed out of the service for doing so.

“Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population,” reports the Times. “The practice is called bacha bazi, literally ‘boy play,’ and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene – in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records. …”

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father, Gregory Buckley Sr., who recounted his conversation with the Times. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture,” Buckley added.

Isn’t multiculturalism peachy?

I sat down with Dr. Judith Reisman, research law professor and director of the Liberty Center for Child Protection, to discuss this shocking development. “Unfortunately, this has been going on for years, with the knowledge of our American government,” she told me. “I just received an email from one of my German child-protection colleagues. She included several links to violent torture films and photos of hundreds of real children being brutalized by animals in horrific scenes. There is no way the FBI, CIA, Interpol and all other policing agencies do not know about this, which is readily accessible.

“This is glamorization of ’50 Shades of Grey’ novels and films acted out on children, chained to beds, tortured, never to recover,” she added. “It’s a natural outgrowth of generations of Western ‘fee sex’ conditioning via the ‘sex science’ of violent bi/homosexual pedophile Alfred Kinsey in 1948 and his ‘pamphleteer’ Hugh Hefner, beginning in 1953. Kinsey’s claim he proved ‘children are sexual from birth’ has been supplemented by slow, devious conditioning of future generations through child pornography in Playboy. Can people be so brainwashed that they really believe we have always been so demonic?” she asks.

Indeed, Kinsey, though married to a woman who took part in his many filmed “scientific” orgies, was a promiscuous homosexual and sadomasochist. He managed to completely upend and twist the world’s perception of human sexuality in the 1950s and ’60s with his world famous “Kinsey Reports.”

Even today, most are completely unaware that during his tenure at Indiana University, Kinsey facilitated, with stopwatches and ledgers, the systematic sexual abuse of hundreds, if not thousands, of children and infants – all in the name of science.

Among other things, Kinsey asserted that children are “sexual from birth.” He further concluded, based upon experiments he directed and documented in his infamous Table 34, that adult-child sex is harmless, even beneficial, and described child “orgasm” as “culminating in extreme trembling, collapse, loss of color, and sometimes fainting. …” Many children suffered “excruciating pain,” he observed, “and [would] scream if movement [was] continued.” Some “[would] fight away from the [adult] partner and may make violent attempts to avoid climax, although they derive[d] definite pleasure from the situation.”

Yeah. Sounds like it.

Disturbing though this may be, what’s equally disturbing is that nearly all of today’s liberal “comprehensive sex education” curricula – such as that pushed by extremist groups like the National Education Association (NEA), Planned Parenthood and the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) – is derived entirely from the criminally fraudulent, pro-pedophile “research” of Alfred Kinsey.

What’s even more disturbing is that, in addition to the DOD, Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has likewise embraced the debunked Kinsey sex-education model and has long pushed curricula based upon it.

You may recall, for instance, that during his first term, the Obama administration provided on the HHS “Questions and Answers About Sex” website a “Quick Guide to Healthy Living” section which, like Kinsey, outrageously claimed that “Children are human beings and therefore sexual beings … which is healthy and normal.”

And what do “sexual beings” do? Well, they have sex, of course. “It’s hard for parents to acknowledge this,” admitted the page.

You think?

So we shouldn’t be surprised in the least that, since Obama repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy a few years back, not only have we seen a massive spike in male-on-male homosexual assaults in the armed services, we now discover that this administration is looking the other way as similar homosexual assaults are being perpetrated against children.

After all, “Children are sexual from birth,” right? They’re “born that way.”

And so are the men who rape them.

Don’t be a pedophobe, you bigot.


The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.