Video: Putin: I Envy Obama

“I envy Obama because he can spy on his allies without any consequences,” said Vladimir Putin when asked about how his relations had changed with the US following Edward Snowden’s espionage revelations…

Pope Francis, Jihad, and Moscow’s “Espionage Church”

Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales) (Creative Commons)

Before Pope Francis created a controversy by denouncing “trickle-down” economics, the pro-growth policies associated with President Reagan, Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting the Vatican and acting like a religious believer. Putin made the sign of the cross, gave the pope a Virgin Mary icon, and bent over to kiss it. The pope followed suit.

The Putin visit carries far more significance than a papal document which criticizes free markets and is considered a step toward the possible collaboration—or even merger—of the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church in global affairs. Discussions between these churches are already taking place under the rubric of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The Russian Orthodox Church has been dominated by Putin’s old KGB and continues to serve the interests of the Kremlin.

The document, labeled an “apostolic exhortation” and titled “The Joy of the Gospel,” also purports to describe the nature of global Islam. But these comments, even more controversial than the statements attacking free markets, have been mostly ignored by the press.

Pope Francis insists, in the face of evidence to the contrary, that “Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”

Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of Nations was greatly alarmed, writing, “At a time when Christianity worldwide is under siege by Islamic jihadists, the leader of the Catholic Church claims that the Koran teaches non-violence.” She adds, “Nothing will be gained by this refusal to face reality. Christians will still be slaughtered in the name of Islam and jihad all over the Muslim world. And now the Pope has forbidden Catholics to speak honestly about what is happening and why. It’s a disgrace.”

The papal document is addressed to Catholic bishops, clergy, and the lay faithful.

The Vatican’s dealings with Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church also deserve major media attention. David Satter, a former Moscow correspondent, says Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, was exposed by material from the Soviet archives as a KGB agent. “This means he was more than just an informer, of whom there were millions in the Soviet Union. He was an active officer of the organization,” writes Satter.

Former KGB officer Konstantin Preobrazhensky has called the church “Putin’s Espionage Church,” and devotes a major portion of his book, KGB/FSB’s New Trojan Horse, to the topic. “During the Soviet period,” wrote Preobrazhensky, “the Moscow Patriarchate [of the Russian Orthodox Church] bishops were all KGB agents, and the highest of them were also members of the Communist Party.” The FSB is the successor to the KGB.

In connection with Putin’s visit to the Vatican, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, who worked on KGB operations as head of Romanian intelligence, explains the background of what is coming to pass: “On December 5, 2008, Aleksi II, the fifteenth Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, died. He had worked for the KGB under the codename ‘Drozdov’ and was awarded the KGB Certificate of Honor, as was revealed in a KGB archive accidentally left behind in Estonia when the Russians pulled out. For the first time in its history, Russia had the opportunity to conduct the democratic election of a new patriarch, but that was not to be.”

He goes on: “On January 27, 2009, the seven hundred Synod delegates assembled in Moscow were presented with a slate listing three candidates: Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk (a secret member of the KGB codenamed ‘Mikhaylov’); Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk (who worked for the KGB under the codename ‘Ostrovsky’); and Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga (who had the KGB codename ‘Topaz’).”

In the end, when the bells at Christ the Savior Cathedral tolled to announce that a new patriarch had been elected, Kirill proved to be the winner.

“Regardless of whether he was the best leader for his church, he certainly was in a better position to influence the religious world abroad than were the other candidates,” Pacepa explains. “In 1971, the KGB had sent Kirill to Geneva as a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to that Soviet propaganda machine, the World Council of Churches (WCC). In 1975, the KGB infiltrated him into the Central Committee of the WCC, which had become a Kremlin pawn. In 1989 the KGB appointed him chairman of the Russian patriarchate’s foreign relations as well. He still held those positions when he was elected patriarch.”

Pacepa tells Accuracy in Media: “In his acceptance speech as the new patriarch, ‘Mikhaylov’ announced that he planned to take a trip to the Vatican in the near future. His boss went ahead, to prepare the way.”

Except for the Associated Press, the major U.S. media failed to report Putin’s display of religious piety at the Vatican, preferring to emphasize a matter of protocol—that he arrived at the Vatican late for his meeting with the pope. Perhaps the omission could be explained by the mystery associated with a former KGB officer from the Soviet era professing a belief in God. The odd spectacle just raised too many questions requiring too many complicated answers.

The AP said, “Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown off his religious side during a visit to the Vatican, stopping to cross himself and kiss an icon of the Madonna that he gave to Pope Francis.” It did not explore the issue of Putin’s sincerity.

Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT) television reported, in a matter-of-fact manner, that “Putin, an Orthodox Christian, has repeatedly said that he is a man of faith and his administration has consistently sought closer ties with the Russian Orthodox Church.”

Some Catholics are buying it. “The return of Christianity to Russia should give us hope for our own Nation as we face the effects of moral relativism, secularism and the growing hostility toward Christianity,” writes Deacon Keith Fournier, the Editor in Chief at Catholic Online.

But the “The Joy of the Gospel” document, with its attacks on the free market, has others worried.

One conservative Catholic Priest told me, “Pope Francis may have opposed Liberation Theology in Argentina, but he does not seem to be opposed to Marxism in general. It concerns me that we may have a heretic Pope.”

Despite some initial reports, the papal document does not condemn “unfettered capitalism.” It does, however, attack “trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.” The term “trickle-down” is associated by some in the liberal media with President Reagan’s pro-growth policies and is meant to disparage the beneficial impact of tax cuts on the economy.

The Washington Post noted, “The phrase has often been used derisively to describe a popular version of conservative economic philosophy that argues that allowing the wealthy to run their businesses unencumbered by regulation or taxation bears economic benefits that lead to more jobs and income for the rest of society.”

In fact, however, as Richard Butrick notes in his 2012 article, “The Trickle-Down Hoax,” there is no “trickle-down school of economic theory” or economic thought. He explains, “From Hayek to Friedman to Sowell, the main thrust of conservative economics is that money in the private sector is much more productive than money in the public sector and that the path to growth is to keep government (taxes-spending) to a minimum.” This was the Reagan approach.

Conservative Catholics should not “worry that the throne of Peter has been seized by a Marxist anti-pope,” writes Ross Douthat of The New York Times. “But his plain language tilts leftward in ways that no serious reader can deny.”

The big mystery, which may cause even more concern, is what Pope Francis intends to do in the future regarding the Kremlin and its “espionage church.”


This commentary originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission. 


Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales) (Creative Commons)

The Left Learns A Lesson

Photo credit: HowardLake (Creative Commons)

Every so often, the Left gets a rude reminder that America is where freedom lives, and not the “oppressive” gulag they believe it to be.  The Left, both here and abroad, is finally beginning to feel what it is like to be abandoned by their powerful friends. They are feeling the sting of reality.

The “safety net” supplied by their powerful friends, which once extended around the world, is tearing apart (especially in Russia, their old capital, where Vladimir Putin has shown he doesn’t care about political correctness or a critical media.) A group of self-styled Greenpeace warriors determined “to save the world’s environment” is learning this first-hand.

When the Russian Navy captured them as they attempted to disrupt the operation of a Russian oil rig, these deluded fools probably thought they would be slapped on the wrist, given a few hot meals, and sent home. The joke is on them.

News reports tell of a British journalist (the title ‘journalist’ is supposed to be a shield against prosecution for any crime)who  says he now fears “losing years of his life” and “being kept away from his family and friends.”

When he and a group of other “brave warriors for the environment” picked a Russian oil rig to attack, he probably thought they would be gently helped onto a Russian Navy boat and escorted to a plane bound for England. This isn’t what happened.

The “Hero of The People” now spends 23 hours a day in his cell “with nothing but the occasional book and my thoughts.”

Australian Alexandra Harris was another member of the “saviour of the world” oil rig assault team. She too spends 23 hours a day in her cell and is allowed an hour to walk around what she calls “an outdoor chicken pen,” enduring Arctic blizzard-like winds.  Nevertheless, what is worse for this deluded halfwit is that now, the poor thing has actually admitted that the harsh treatment she is getting in the real world has (GASP!) caused her to start praying to God for help.

The Russians have accomplished something not possible using a sandwich and a Starbuck’s latte; they got this woman to pray.     


Photo credit: HowardLake (Creative Commons)

Forbes: Putin More Powerful Than Obama

Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama SC

Forbes magazine, which compiles an annual list of the most powerful leaders in the world, has replaced Barack Obama with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the top of the chart. Obama now sits in the number two spot.

Citing numerous reasons for the decision, Obama’s glaring lack of leadership over the past several months was a major factor for Forbes.

“Putin has solidified his control over Russia,” the report stated, “while Obama’s lame duck period has seemingly set in earlier than usual for a two-term president.”

The recent federal government shutdown proved how ineffective his presidency has become, the article noted.

Recent squabbles between the two top leaders have overwhelmingly favored Putin, Forbes determined. Detailing events such as Russia’s willingness to take in fugitive Edward Snowden after the former intelligence operative leaked classified documents from the National Security Agency, Forbes concluded that Putin has a better grasp on his position than does his American counterpart.

Furthermore, the magazine applauded Putin’s role in cooling Syrian tensions after Obama threatened a military strike on the troubled nation.

“Anyone watching this year’s chess match over Syria and NSA leaks has a clear idea of the shifting individual power dynamics,” the report concluded.

The list’s top-ranking woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is also involved in a war of words with Obama. She is among several foreign leaders upset with the NSA’s policy of spying on ally nations.

While Americans in general believe we are uniquely blessed and capable of being a great force for good throughout the world, Obama and his ilk are more interested in being one of many indistinguishable nations. As a result, it has not been just Obama’s standing that has taken a dip, but that of the entire U.S.

Before it is too late, we must once again elect a president who actively wants to see America at the top of every power list. Until then, we remain at the mercy of the dictators and despots with whom Obama is so anxious to compromise.

–Western Journalism staff writer

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Report: NSA Spying Reaches Vatican

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It is becoming clear that there is virtually nowhere off limits to the prying eyes of the National Security Agency.

Currently under fire from the leaders of several ally nations upset about the practice of spying on them and their citizens, one recent report by an Italian news magazine indicates that even the Pope is not immune to the NSA’s intrusion.

According to the report in Panorama, the federal agency used devices to monitor inbound and outbound phone calls during the conclave established to name a new pope earlier this year.

Furthermore, the magazine alleges, outgoing Pope Benedict XVI was also likely monitored during the final period of his papacy.

“It is feared that the great American ear continued to tap prelates’ conversations up to the eve of the conclave,” the magazine reports.

Numerous reports of such monitoring by the NSA have surfaced since Edward Snowden’s notorious leak of classified government documents. Described as both a traitor and a hero, Snowden is now living as a fugitive in Russia for revealing information he gained while working as an intelligence operative.

While intelligence-gathering is an important aspect of our ongoing war against terrorism, documentation along with continuous allegations indicates that the U.S. government has substantially overreached in spying on citizens from all walks of life.

There is an unquestionably fine line between spying on legitimate targets and invading the privacy of law-abiding citizens. When the U.S. government intercepts communications from those tasked with selecting the next pope, though, it is obvious that this line has been obliterated.

–Western Journalism staff writer

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Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales) (Creative Commons)