“Democracy Without God?” by George Weigel
Christianity and Democracy, War and Peace, Pope John Paul II – Books (2008)
George Weigel (born 1951) is an American author and political and social activist. He currently serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Weigel was the Founding President of the James Madison Foundation. He is the author of the best-selling biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope and Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace.
Weigel was born and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where he attended St. Mary’s Seminary and University. He later received his masters degree from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. He has received 18 honorary doctorate degrees, as well as the papal cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and the Gloria Artis Gold Medal from the Polish Ministry of Culture.
Weigel lived in Seattle, serving as Assistant Professor of Theology and Assistant Dean of Studies at the St. Thomas the Apostle Seminary School of Theology in Kenmore, and Scholar-in-Residence at the World Without War Council of Greater Seattle, before returning to Washington, D.C. as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Weigel served as the founding president of the James Madison Foundation (not to be confused with the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation) from 1986 to 1989. In 1994, he was a signer of the document Evangelicals and Catholics Together.
He currently serves as Distinguished Senior Fellow and Chair of Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C..
Each summer, Weigel and several other Catholic intellectuals from the United States, Poland, and across Europe conduct the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society in Krakow, in which they and an assortment of students from the United States, Poland, and several other emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe discuss Christianity within the context of liberal democracy and capitalism, with the papal encyclical Centesimus Annus being the focal point.
Weigel and his wife Joan live in North Bethesda, Maryland. He has three children.
He is a member of the advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Weigel writes and serves on the Institute board for the Institute for Religion and Public Life, which publishes First Things, an ecumenical publication that focuses on encouraging a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.
The main body of Weigel’s writings engage the issues of religion and culture.
Weigel advocates a U.S. foreign policy guided not by utopian notions about how nations should behave, but by moral reasoning. “From the Iliad to Tolstoy and beyond, that familiar trope, “the fog of war,” has been used to evoke the millennia–old experience of the radical uncertainty of combat. Some analysts, however, take the trope of “the fog of war” a philosophical step further and suggest that warfare takes place beyond the reach of moral reason, in a realm of interest and necessity where moral argument is a pious diversion at best and, at worst, a lethal distraction from the deadly serious business at hand.”
In some cases, he adds, moral reasoning may require that the United States support authoritarian regimes to fend off the greater evils of moral decay and threats to the security of the United States. For Weigel, America’s shortcomings do not excuse her from pursuing the greater moral good.
Weigel achieved much fame for writing Witness to Hope, a biography of the late Pope John Paul II, which was also made into a documentary film. In 2004 Weigel wrote an article in Commentary magazine, entitled “The Cathedral and the Cube”, in which he used the contrast between the modernist Grande Arche, and the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, both located in Paris, France, to illustrate what he called a loss of “civilizational morale” in Western Europe, which he tied to the secular tyrannies of the 20th century, along with, more recently, plummeting birthrates and Europe’s refusal to recognize the Christian roots of its culture. Weigel questions whether Europe can give an account of itself while denying the very moral tradition through which its culture arose: “Christians who share this conviction (that it is the will of God that Christians be tolerant of those who have a different view of God’s will) — can give an account of their defense of the other’s freedom even if the other, skeptical and relativist, finds it hard to give an account of the freedom of the Christian.” This is a theme sounded clearly by Marcello Pera and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (from 2005 to 2013 Pope Benedict XVI), in their book Without Roots: the West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, for which Weigel authored the foreword. In 2005, he expanded the article into a book, The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God.
Ten Things To Know About Pope Francis (George Weigel – Acton Institute)
Top 10 Immigrant Countries
The ten countries with greatest number of foreign born residents.
10. Spain 6.5 million immigrants (13.8% of pop)
9. Australia 6.5 million immigrants (27.7%)
8. Canada 7.3 million immigrants (20.7%)
7. France 7.4 million immigrants (11.6%)
6. United Kingdom 7.8 million immigrants (12.4%)
5. United Arab Emirates 7.8 million immigrants (83.7%)
4. Saudi Arabia 9.1 million immigrants (31.4%)
3. Germany 9.8 million immigrants (11.9%)
2. Russia 11 million immigrants (7.7%)
1. USA 45.7 million immigrants (14.3%)
The World in 2015: Global population and the changing shape of world demographics
Demographic Winter – the decline of the human family (Full Movie)
Future World Populations (2050)
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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts
Story 1: Trust, But Verify: Paul Ryan Is No Conservative, But A Neoconservative Neither New Nor Conservative! — Ryan Is A Leader of Political Elitist Establishment–All Big Government Republicans that Support Work Status and Amnesty for Illegal Aliens — Conservatives and Libertarians Are Not Interested In Ryan As House Speaker! — Do Not Be Neoconned — Videos
Neocon Manifesto: Paul Ryan
“I worship the ground Paul Ryan walks on,” says Dick Cheney
Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned
No Saving Private Ryan! Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and the Betrayal of Ayn Rand
Voted YES corporate welfare for big agriculture
Voted YES pm TARP
Voted YES for a bloated defense bill
Voted NO to repeal NDAA indefinite detention
Voted YES to prohibit reductions in nuclear weapons as required by START Treaty
Voted NO to limit military spending on the Afghanistan War
Voted YES to override military sequestration (spending cuts) negotiated in last year’s ‘let raise the debt limit bill’.
Voted YES on CISPA, the bill that attacks Internet liberty and the 1st amendment.
Voted YES on corporate welfare for the Keystone Pipeline which also authorized the use of Eminent Domain to seize private property for a private use.
Voted NO to extend payroll tax cuts which is effectively a tax increase on the poor and middle class.
Voted YES to increase the debt ceiling
Voted YES on war in Libya
Voted NO to limit funding of NATO for use in Libya
Voted NO on removing armed forces from Libya
Vote YES to extend the Patriot Act
Paul Ryan’s Budget:
Ryan’s “roadmap to prosperity” lays out $6.2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years—not, sadly, cuts from what government spends today, but from what President Obama wanted to spend. Spending would actually increase by about a trillion dollars over the decade.
Ryan’s “radical” budget would only reduce government spending to 20% of GDP by 2015. Obama wants to cut it to 23%. It is currently at 25%. when Bill Clinton left office, it was 18 percent.
“The president’s plan will add about $11 trillion to the debt over 10 years,” Paul told me. “Congressman Ryan … is trying to do the right thing, but his plan will add $8 trillion to the debt over 10 years. We need to do something much more dramatic, or I think we’re in for a world of hurt.”
The inconvenient truth for conservatives is you cannot balance the budget if you eliminate (only) nonmilitary spending.
It would also reduce the federal workforce by 15 percent. Ryan’s figure is 10 percent. That’s a start. But they would do it by “attrition.” That’s cowardly. It’s not management. They should fire the worst 10 or 15 percent. That’s what private-sector managers do.
it grows revenues miraculously from $2.4 trillion to $4.6 trillion in 10 years by cutting taxes
– It led to 10 more years of deficit spending
– It added between $5-11 TRILLION dollars to the national debt
– It spent a total of $40 TRILLION over the next 10 years
– His plan REQUIRED the debt ceiling to be raised
– It was an obviously unbalanced budget (in fact it doesn’t fully balance until the year 2040)
– It increased spending over the next few years (it merely slows the rate of spending, not actually cutting spending anytime soon)
– It was was bigger than what we had under Bill Clinton
“I worship the ground Paul Ryan walks on,” says Dick Cheney
Sources Paul Ryan mulls House Speaker bid
Will Paul Ryan run for House speaker?
Paul Ryan, Not Interested in Speaker Position
What 6 House Conservatives Want From Their New Speaker
Candidates for House Speaker Try to Rally Conservative Support
Jason Chaffetz Announces House Speaker Bid
Jason Chaffetz Discusses Planned Parenthood
Rep. Jason Chaffetz Grills Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards | The Blaze
Kevin McCarthy | Rep. Kevin McCarthy Drops Out of House Speaker Race
House conservative group backs Webster, complicates Speaker race
Newsmax Prime | Rep. Daniel Webster on why he wants to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House
Rep. Dan Webster on running for Speaker of the House
Daniel Webster Commercial: Fixing Washington Together
Congressman Dan Webster says he would break Norquist pledge
Paul Ryan Pushes Back Against TPNN’s Scottie Hughes, Defends His Record as Conservative
Tom Woods: Is Paul Ryan a real fiscal conservative?
Laura Ingraham: Elizabeth Warren sounds more conservative than Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan Is Not a Libertarian!
Paul Ryan is more the architect and messenger of Irving Kristol’s “conservative welfare state” than a libertarian. Check out my blogpost series on the subject of Paul Ryan as neo-con not conservative:
Reality Check: Is Rep. Paul Ryan Actually A Big Spender? His “Principle” Problem
Paul Ryan on Immigration, Sequester, and the Budget
Paul Ryan Defends Immigration Bill: “We’re Going To Have Labor Shortages”
Ted Cruz on John Boehner: “I’m Going to Tell You Why He Resigned”
and NumberUSA immigration reduction grades.
Senator Ted Cruz
A 96% A
Senator Rand Paul
A 93% A
Rep. Louie Gohmert
A 96% A
Representative Mark Meadows
A 96% A
Representative Trey Gowdy
B 85% B
Representative Jason Chaffetz
B 82% B
Political Elitist Establishment
Phony Conservatives: Liberal/Progressives Big Government Republicans
D and F Rated By Conservative Review
Senator John Cornyn
F 57% F
Senator Mitch McConnell
F 50% F
Representative Daniel Webster
D 64% D
Representative Paul Ryan
F 58% F
Representative Darrell Issa
F 55% F
Representative Kevin McCarthy
F 45% F
Representative John Boehner
F 37% F
Representative Peter King
F 35% F
Liberal/Progressives Big Government Democrats
Senator Harry Reid
F 2% F
Representative Nancy Pelosi
F 9% F
Why? Trust, but verify.®
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Why I Support Jason Chaffetz for Speaker of the House
Yes, I know. Congressman Paul Ryan just penned support for California Congressman and current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House.
Perhaps there’s a record there. He helped ban earmarks. So did US Senator John McCain, and conservatives want McAmnesty out of office. How about reforming entitlements? How about ending the War on Drugs? How about confrontation with a capital C?
I am a California conservative, and I want someone who is not connected to the Old Boys Club, the business of working the backrooms to get deals. John Boehner, tanned and now panned, stepped down because the Freedom Caucus, and more importantly their nationwide supporters, pushed him to step down, because he would not fight for and demand real reforms in the House, from the US Senate, and the President. The call for new leadership is more than about differing factions. This is more than Tea Party v. Establishment, or centrist v. conservative. Meadows forced a showdown again a Speaker who was simply not doing his job.
I spoke with representatives from McCarthy’s office during the CRomnibus back-and-forth in late 2014. I kept hearing about how the leadership did not want to shut the government down. “It would be emotionally satisfying, but would make us look bad.” Really? They wanted to avoid the fights and missteps which had “occurred” during the 2013 shutdown. By the way, in case anyone missed it, the Tea Party movement actually forced spending cuts, and they went through, no questions asked, because they refused to cave. Republicans wiped out Democrats across the country. We have fiscal conservatives in deep blue Maryland and Massachusetts, too. Now Washington needs the bluster that puts up rather than sits down.
Now more than ever, Republicans in Congress, and all liberty minded, libertarians, conservatives in general, must accept one sordid fact: Obama and his Democratic cohorts are not interested in governing by consent, consensus, or principled compromise. He lied during the 2010 meeting with members, when he declared: “I am not an ideologue”. Congressman Mick Mulvaney blasted the Fiscal Cliff fiasco in 2012: “They want to buy a home for one dollar. That is not compromise!” Obama is interested in conflict, confrontation, and conquest. He has incited a war of polar opposites, not a debate of reasoned opponents trying to forge the best outcomes for both sides. Such is the outcome when the Chief Executive refuses to recognize our Constitution or the Chief Lawgiver, Congress.
We don’t have Bubba in the White House, people (who would have to be a Republican today, since his party has left him). We have a rogue Occupier who does not respect the rule of law, his oath of office or the United States Constitution.
So, the back-slaps, the cigar parties, and the Wednesday night dinners with opposing sides are a thing of the past. Just as US Senate candidate Rand Paul refused to shake his 2010 Dem rival’s hand during their last debate, so too friendship among differing parties is a thing of the past.
We don’t know picture parties and cocktail dinners. We need reform, we need change that we can see as well as believe in. And I do not trust McCarthy to bring either.
Apparently, even the Los Angeles Times is having second thoughts about a McCarthy Speakership.
So. . .why Chaffetz, then? Is this not the long ago Democrat-turned-Republican who has a fan in Michael Dukakis? Yes, and that’s a point worth celebrating: a liberal, mugged by reality, who embraced conservative values over time and became a staunch Republican. I like that.
Didn’t Oversight Committee Chairman Chaffetz try to remove Rep. Mark Meadows from his sub-committee chairmanship earlier this year? Yes, he did. Guess what? He backed off. I want leadership that will do what conservatives want. Don’t you? I don’t want a fully independent Speaker. I want a sock puppet who will do and say what conservatives, constitutionalists, and citizens in general want.
Is this not the guy who sought out my loathsome former Congressman Henry Waxman to emulate his confrontation style as House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman? Yes, and I even blasted his seeming selling out to “the Establishment”. Since then, I have looked over his current tenure as chairman. Come to think of it, I want a right-wing version of Henry Waxman, someone who will embrace rather than avoid confrontation. Maybe he will threaten to throw meandering Marylander Rep. Elijah Cummings off the committee if he refuses to stop frustrating investigations into government abuse.
Once again, readers, Chaffetz backed off his attempted overthrow of Rep. Meadows, who lived to serve on the committee, and then file the discharge petition ousting retiring Speaker Boehner. Inadvertently, we can thank Chaffetz for the little dust-up earlier this year.
I want Jason Chaffetz, the conservative who is the most electable. Not because he is perfect, not because he will be some savior to right the course of wrong-doing in Washington all by himself. He can communicate (McCarthy has already stumbled). He can count (McCarthy does not have 218 votes for the floor vote later in October or November), and as conservatives recognize their power to force change and influence outcomes in the House, I believe that Chaffetz will be easier to pressure to our cause, the country’s and the Constitution’s. Also, his win will further disrupt the Old Boys Club of Boehner-McCarthy, and further prove the individual voters’ muster. Now, I have learned another lesson about grassroots activism. It is not my job to make anyone, friend of acquaintance, support my choice for leadership. You make that decision for yourself.
So, I support for Chaffetz for Speaker. More importantly, I celebrate and continue to debate that conservatives can and must mobilize more effectively, not just propping up leaders whom we want, but getting more legislators, whether Republican or Democrat, to start accomplishing the right things: demanding constitutional rule which advances limited government, lower taxes, less spending, looser regulations, and most importantly individual liberty.
Conservatives cool to Ryan as Speaker
By Peter Schroeder
While top House Republicans are trying to push a reluctant Ryan into the job, on the grounds that he alone can unify the conference, conservative lawmakers gave a decidedly cool response Friday when asked if they want him to be their new leader.
Several GOP lawmakers noted that Ryan has repeatedly said he is not interested in the job, while appearing less than convinced that he is the only viable candidate.
“The name came out,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) after Friday’s private GOP meeting. “Last I knew, [Ryan] definitely didn’t want to do it.”
Huelskamp also criticized one of Ryan’s major legislative achievements in Congress, the two-year budget agreement he hammered out with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in 2013.
The Kansas Republican noted that he opposed the pact, “as did a lot of other people,” and pointed out lawmakers in both parties are now pushing to further ease the spending caps it established.
“A lot of folks want to break that up already,” Huelskamp said.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) declined to weigh in on Ryan as Speaker, noting only that his group had earlier backed Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) for the job.
And Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) dismissed the idea of a Ryan groundswell.
“I think that’s more media-driven. I think that’s you guys who keep talking about Paul Ryan,” he said. “Paul has made it clear he’s not interested.”
For his part, Ryan has repeatedly rebuffed calls for him to take over as the head House Republican. On Friday, a Ryan spokesman reiterated that the 2012 vice presidential candidate is “still not running for Speaker.”
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said the Freedom Caucus continues to back Webster. Still, he said Ryan would probably be a more palatable option compared to Boehner or House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who dropped out of the Speaker’s race on Thursday.
“I think that Paul Ryan would be a more acceptable candidate than the current leadership team, primarily because he’s not in the current leadership team. And I believe he’d provide a different approach,” Amash said.
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said that if hardliners reject Ryan, “they would lose all credibility.”
“Listen, these guys don’t know what they’re doing anyway. They would prove to the American people they have no idea what they’re talking about,” King said.
The level of support for Ryan among conservatives is critical, given that it was rightward pressure that originally pushed out Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and helped upend the campaign by McCarthy to replace him.
Despite being broadly popular among House Republicans, McCarthy stunned his colleagues Thursday by dropping out of the race, minutes before a vote he was expected to win.
He told members he was removing himself because he did not think he would be able to unite the divided Republican conference and win over enough conservatives.
Paul Ryan considering running for House speaker
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy drops out of race for House speaker
By Mike DeBonis, Robert Costa and Rosalind S. Helderman
The infamously fractious House Republican Conference sank deeper into chaos Thursday after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy abruptly withdrew his bid to replace John A. Boehner as speaker, a stunning move that left the party scrambling to find a new leader and deeply uncertain about how to effectively manage the House.
McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced his surprise decision at a meeting of House Republicans who gathered to select their candidate for speaker ahead of the official floor vote scheduled for Oct. 29. McCarthy was widely expected to win the support of his colleagues.
Instead he emerged to declare: “We need a fresh face.” McCarthy said at a news conference that he did not want to burden his members with a tough vote for speaker.
“I don’t want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes,” he said. “I think the best thing for our party right now is that you have 247 votes on the floor.”
With his wife at his side, he said his decision was about promoting unity. “If we’re going to unite and be strong, we need a new face to help do that. So nothing more than that.”
[This contest is now wide open. Who’s next?]
McCarthy’s candidacy to succeed the retiring Boehner (R-Ohio) was damaged in recent days by a public gaffe — a television interview in which he seemed to suggest that the Select Committee on Benghazi, the panel assembled by Republicans to investigate the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Libya, was intended to damage Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential poll numbers.
“Well, that wasn’t helpful. I could have said it much better,” McCarthy acknowledged after dropping out of the race. “That’s part of the decision as well.” McCarthy said he will remain in his post as majority leader and seek reelection in 2016.
Still, McCarthy, who had been Boehner’s preferred successor, had been expected to earn the votes he needed before heading to a vote of the full House. That left significant confusion about his last-minute withdrawal — and whom Republicans might rally around as an alternative for the nation’s third-highest job.
There was an immediate push to recruit Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the former vice-presidential nominee and chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Ryan is one of most widely respected members in the conference, with broad support among conservatives and moderates, as well as newcomers and veterans. But Ryan has repeatedly insisted he is not interested in the job, including in a new statement soon after McCarthy’s withdrawal. “While I am grateful for the encouragement I’ve received, I will not be a candidate,” he said.
[Why Paul Ryan won’t run for speaker]
Over two long phone conversations Thursday, Boehner urged Ryan to reconsider, according to two sources familiar with the exchanges, insisting that Ryan is the only person who can unite the House GOP at a time of turmoil.
Boehner, who last month said he would resign the speakership after weeks of facing a near-certain revolt from conservatives, had been scheduled to step down Oct. 30. Following McCarthy’s declaration, Boehner promised to stay on until the House elects his replacement.
McCarthy: ‘It’s best we have a new face’
After dropping out of the race for speaker of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif). said he did not want to be a “distraction” from the committee investigating the attack on Americans in Benghazi. (AP)
Reaction to McCarthy’s surprise departure from the speaker’s race reflected deep divisions within the Republican Party.
Some conservatives seized the moment as a victory, celebrating the downfall of one of the House’s fastest-rising but more moderate stars.
On the eve of Thursday’s planned vote, a group of 30 to 40 of the chamber’s most conservative members, known as the Freedom Caucus, significantly changed the dynamics of the race by promising to throw its weight behind low-profile Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) over McCarthy.
The move had jeopardized McCarthy’s chances to lock up the speakership on the floor, where he could not afford to lose more than 29 Republican votes if he wanted to win without Democratic support. In McCarthy’s place, they pledged to push for one of their own, a hard-liner on fiscal and social issues.
[The Fix: Republicans have a revolution on their hands]
More-moderate Republicans, including McCarthy allies from swing districts, also worked Thursday to draft a candidate.
Democrats tried to capitalize on the chaos, citing McCarthy’s withdrawal as a sign that the GOP is ungovernable — and unable to govern the country.
“There’s a minority group of conservative politicians that places their own extreme ideology ahead of everything else and certainly ahead of effective governance of the country, but also today of effective governance of the House Republican caucus,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.
[House conservatives spurn McCarthy ahead of speaker vote]
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) urged Republican leaders to quickly move legislation that would lift the government’s debt limit, which the Treasury Department estimates will be hit around Nov. 5. “Republican chaos is likely to get worse before it gets better but the economic livelihood of the American people should not be threatened as a result of Republicans’ inability to govern,” he said in a statement.
Several lawmakers said they were caught off guard by McCarthy’s departure, and much of the day was spent speculating about McCarthy’s motives. Many believed he had simply concluded he could not win the job.
The California Republican had failed to woo conservatives, and some establishment Republicans threatened to oppose him, too, if he was likely to win the job only by a thin margin. Others attributed McCarthy’s downfall to the continuing anger at his comments about the Benghazi panel.
At a meeting Thursday morning that preceded the scheduled conference vote, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) publicly dressed down McCarthy for his Benghazi comments and described how they had harmed his ability to lead and be a forceful speaker in the 2016 campaign. Rohrabacher “went off on McCarthy on how bad and wrong it was” and how much his comments had embarrassed and politically kneecapped House Republicans, one lawmaker said.
Some also questioned whether McCarthy was chased from the race by a letter sent by Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who chairs the Republican conference. In the letter, Jones called for any leadership candidate who had committed “misdeeds” since joining Congress to drop out of the running.
“I’m asking that any candidate for speaker of the House, majority leader, and majority whip, withdraw himself from the leadership election if there are any misdeeds committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference, and the House of Representatives if they become public,” Jones urged.
He offered no further specifics in the letter, and in an interview after McCarthy’s announcement, Jones said his letter was not directed at McCarthy in particular. He also said he had no reason to believe the letter forced McCarthy’s exit. “Everybody wants to know why he stepped down, the man that was in the lead,” Jones said. “I don’t know why he would step down.”
McCarthy insisted the letter played no role in his decision. “Nah, nah. Come on,” he told a reporter who asked about it.
Without Ryan in the race, the ideal pick for both establishment and conservative Republicans was unclear.
Other hopefuls — including Webster, who was a state House speaker in Florida, and Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) — were working to convince colleagues that they were up to the job. Chaffetz had announced Sunday that he would challenge McCarthy for the position.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), a Boehner ally floated Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a respected former House GOP campaign chairman, as a person who could be a calming presence.
Several conservatives suggested House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.), a former member of the Boehner leadership team, as a contender with strong relationships with the party’s conservative bloc. Other names mentioned were Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chair of the Benghazi committee, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chair of the House Freedom Caucus. But Gowdy said he is backing Ryan and Jordan said he was not interested in running. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who preceded Chaffetz as chairman of the Oversight Committee, was also said to be considering a bid.
Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-Ga.) said he is considering a run for speaker. He told a group of his colleagues in a conference call that his experience in the state legislature prepared him for the role and that he planned to make calls Friday to seek support.
Most of the ambitious but less-seasoned Republicans who have considered leadership spent Thursday reacting to the news rather than quickly assembling coalitions.
Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.), who were already running for lower leadership spots should McCarthy have won the speakership, were encouraged to look higher up the chain of command but appear inclined to hold on to their current positions. Rep. Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.), who was a frontline participant in the latest talks about the GOP’s future, also mulled his options. So did McMorris Rodgers, the conference chair and the party’s highest-ranking woman, and House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), who has harbored dreams of leadership and had previously run unsuccessfully.
Yet none of these members seemed poised Thursday to take McCarthy’s position as the front-runner. All are relatively popular in certain circles, but few carry the national political heft of Ryan or McCarthy.
EXCLUSIVE– MARK LEVIN WARNS HOUSE REPUBLICANS: DO NOT SUPPORT KEVIN MCCARTHY FOR SPEAKER
Popular talk radio host and best-selling author Mark Levin is warning Republicans in Washington: don’t replace outgoing House Speaker
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Levin’s a tirelessly warrior against Speaker Boehner and the Washington establishment. “Kevin McCarthy is Eric Cantor with ten less IQ points,” Levin declares in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News.
The radio star adds Republicans must learn their lesson and not repeat the mistakes they made following Eric Cantor’s historic fall from power—namely that Republicans must replace Boehner with a “principled conservative.”
Levin explained that with the resounding defeat of the former-House Majority Leader, conservative voters made their voices heard and sent a clear message to the Republican establishment. Washington Republicans, however, refused to get the message.
“The Republican establishment never learned their lesson after Cantor… They replaced Cantor with McCarthy, who is a wheeler and dealer—he is not a principled conservative… My concern now is that they will do the same thing again,” Levin said.
Kevin McCarthy occupies the business wing of the Republican Party shared by other politicians like
. All seem to think that increasing corporate profits through large-scale immigration and globalist trade pacts like Obamatrade are more important than prioritizing the wages of Americans or preserving America’s cultural identity as a Western nation.
This vision is also in line with the donor-class idea of governing, which means lowering expectations and trying to manage the affairs of Congress in a smooth and non-confrontational way. For instance, only a few days ago, presidential contender Sen. Marco Rubio dismissed attacks on Republican leadership in an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier. Rubio said, “expectations were raised unnecessarily high.”
In other words, that conservative voters were expecting too much when they sent their elected officials to Washington to represent them. This stands in contrast to his presidential competitor Sen. Ted Cruz, who recently suggested that
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
has abdicated his position of power: “Today,
is the de facto leader of the Senate.” Breitbart News asked Levin about McCarthy’s repeated support for open-border policies.
As Politico reported
last year, McCarthy is viewed as the “go-to” guy for Silicon Valley because he listens to the tech giants’ concerns “100 percent” of the time. Silicon Valley billionaires such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have lobbied for countless immigration expansion bills– including Marco Rubio’s new I-Squared bill, which would essentially lift the cap on university green cards, triple the number of guest workers admitted on H-1B visas, and substantially increase Muslim immigration into the country.
“These guys are such lightweights.” Levin declared. “We need true leaders. They have too much tied to Washington, too much tied to the Chamber of Commerce, corporatists and the donor class.”
Levin said that House conservatives—many of whom are a part of the House Freedom Caucus—need to demand better for their voters.
“Those thirty or so Republicans need to remain united” to elect a principled conservative leader who represents the interest of Republican voters, Levin explained. “Republicans could make a real difference now for the Party and for the country if we elect a Speaker or a Majority Leader who’s a conservative—such as
. But he’s just one example.”
“We need leaders who are solid, who are intelligent, who are strategic, who are constitutionalists, who can bring in– not just the mainstay of the Party– but demonstrate to millions of us in the grassroots that the message has finally been received. [We need to see that] there is a serious effort—not just a PR effort—but a serious effort to try to govern and keep the President in check—that they are prepared to fight, prepared to show courage, and that they’re going to stop cutting deals with the inside the beltway crowd.”
Levin explained that House conservatives should not squander the opportunity this new leadership election affords them.
“I’ve been pushing very hard for the replacement of this leadership, not just to save the Republican Party, but to save the Republic itself against an out-of-control President.”
Levin predicted that Republican and media elites will try to use Boehner’s resignation as grounds to belittle and demean Republican voters, but that the Republican voters should continue making themselves heard.
“Today, Republican after Republican will lament what’s taking place. There will more trashing of conservatives, more trashing of the base—using liberal terminology to describe conservatives as ‘extreme right’ and they will not learn their lesson.”
“This is also the reason why you can see the rise of Donald Trump,” Levin explained. People are tired of donor class Republicans who refuse to represent the interests of their voters and they are ready for things to change.
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Story 1: War and Peace in The Middle East — Heads Up– Bombs Away — Putin’s Bright Red Line — Obama Leads From Behind — Kerry Talks Deconfliction — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Glares In Silence Vows To Destroy Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program — Sounds of Silence
Reduce the risk of collision between (aircraft, airborne weaponry, etc.) in an area by coordinating their movements.
Su-25 Ground Attack
Su-30 Multirole Fighter
4 Su 30 and 12 Su25
Il-20 Spy Plane
‘Deconflict’: Buzzword to Prevent Risk of a US-Russian Clash Over Syria
US and Russia to hold ‘deconfliction’ talks over Syria
Russian fighter jet SU-25 shot down by Syrian rebels in Hama
Pres. Putin criticizes US support for militants in Syria
With Russia in Syria, US days are over
War in Syria Russian bombers have bombed positions of ISIS at Aleppo
Russian Air Force Air Strikes in Syria.
Su-24M “Fencer” Bomber
Russia Attack ISIS In Syria
Russian Warplanes Hit Targets in Syria
Footage Russia begins air strikes against ISIS in Syria after warning the US to remove its planes
Russian Air Force IL-76 aircraft leading four Su-24 over Homs Governorate, Syria, 20 September 2015
Russia Launches Airstrikes In Syria
Russia Sending Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Syria
Russia orders U.S. planes out of Syria as they Begins Air Operations
U.S. concerned about Russian air strikes in Syria: Kerry
John McCain condemns Russian airstrikes in Syria
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu Slams Iran In Speech At UN | Iran Nuclear Deal | Iran threat to Israel
Netanyahu glares at U.N. for 45 seconds after berating its silence on Iran threat to Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu glares silently at the United Nations for 45 seconds after berating the organization for their silence in the wake of Iran’s continued threats against the Jewish state.
Background Articles and Videos
Russia launches drones in Syria
Russia deploys 28 combat planes in Syria: US officials
Russia sends Antonov-124 Condor military transport planes to Syria – TomoNews
Russian jets in Syrian skies
Russian Fighter Jets
WORST NIGHTMARE for the US Air Force !!! Russian Air Force Aircraft Documentry
Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America
Iran troops to join Syria war, Russia bombs group trained by CIA
By By Laila Bassam and Andrew Osborn
Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, Lebanese sources said on Thursday, a further sign of the rapid internationalization of a civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake.
Russian warplanes, in a second day of strikes, bombed a camp run by rebels trained by the CIA, the group’s commander said, putting Moscow and Washington on opposing sides in a Middle East conflict for the first time since the Cold War.
The U.S. and Russian militaries were due to hold talks via video link to seek ways to keep their militaries apart as they wage parallel campaigns of air strikes in Syria, a U.S. defense official said.
Russian jets struck targets near the cities of Hama and Homs in western Syria on the second day of their air campaign.
Moscow said it had hit Islamic State positions, but the areas it struck are mostly held by a rival insurgent alliance, which unlike Islamic State is supported by U.S. allies including Arab states and Turkey.
Hassan Haj Ali, head of the Liwa Suqour al-Jabal rebel group which is part of the Free Syrian Army, told Reuters one of the targets was his group’s base in Idlib province, struck by around 20 missiles in two separate raids. His fighters had been trained by the CIA in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, part of a program Washington says is aimed at supporting groups that oppose both Islamic State and Assad.
“Russia is challenging everyone and saying there is no alternative to Bashar,” Haj Ali said. He said the Russian jets had been identified by members of his group who once served as Syrian air force pilots.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said later that Moscow was targeting Islamic State and did not consider the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army a terrorist group, adding that they should be part of a political solution in Syria.
The aim is to help the Syrian armed forces “in their weak spots”, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Two Lebanese sources told Reuters hundreds of Iranian troops had reached Syria in the past 10 days with weapons to mount a major ground offensive. They would also be backed by Assad’s Lebanese Hezbollah allies and by Shi’ite militia fighters from Iraq, while the Russia would provide air support.
“The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria: soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisers … we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more,” one of the sources said.
So far, direct Iranian military support for Assad has come mostly in the form of military advisers. Iran has also mobilized Shi’ite militia fighters, including Iraqis and some Afghans, to fight alongside Syrian government forces.
SAME ENEMIES, DIFFERENT FRIENDS
Russia’s decision to join the war with air strikes on behalf of Assad, as well as the increased military involvement of Iran, could mark a turning point in a conflict that has drawn in most of the world’s military powers.
With the United States leading an alliance waging its own air war against Islamic State, the Cold War superpower foes, Washington and Moscow, are now engaged in combat over the same country for the first time since World War Two.
They say they have the same enemies – the Islamic State group of Sunni Muslim militants who have proclaimed a caliphate across eastern Syria and northern Iraq.
But they also have very different friends, and sharply opposing views of how to resolve the 4-year-old Syrian civil war, which has killed more than 250,000 people and driven more than 10 million from their homes.
Washington and its allies oppose both Islamic State and Assad, believing he must leave power in any peace settlement.
Washington says a central part of its strategy is building “moderate” insurgents to fight against both Assad and Islamic State, although so far it has struggled to find many fighters to accept its training.
Moscow supports the Syrian president and believes his government should be the centerpiece of international efforts to fight extremist groups.
It appears to be using the common campaign against Islamic State as a pretext to strike against groups supported by Washington and its allies, as a way of defending a Damascus government with which Moscow has been allied since the Cold War.
The Russian strikes represent a bold move by President Vladimir Putin to assert influence beyond his own neighborhood: it is the first time Moscow has ordered its forces into combat outside the frontiers of the former Soviet Union since its disastrous Afghanistan campaign in the 1980s.
In the second day of strikes, Russia said it launched eight sorties with Sukhoi warplanes overnight, hitting an ammunition depot near Idlib, a three-storey Islamic State command center near Hama and a car bomb factory in the north of Homs. None of those areas has a large presence of Islamic State.
Al-Mayadeen, a pro-Damascus television channel based in Lebanon, said the jets carried out at least 30 strikes against an insurgent alliance known as the Army of Conquest. The alliance includes the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, but not Islamic State.
The station later said Russian forces had also struck Islamic State positions in Raqqa province in the east. This could not be immediately confirmed.
The Russian and Iranian intervention in support of Assad comes at a time when momentum in the conflict had swung against his government and seem aimed at reversing insurgent gains.
“The Russian strikes are a game changer. Damascus is off the hook,” a diplomat tracking Syria said.
The Army of Conquest in particular has been advancing against government forces in northwestern Syria, supported by regional countries that oppose both Assad and Islamic State.
Russia says its air strikes, unlike Washington’s, are legitimate because they have Assad’s blessing, and more effective because they can coordinate with government forces to find targets.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi of neighboring Iraq, where Washington is also leading an air war against Islamic State while Iran aids government forces on the ground, said he would be open to Russian strikes as well.
In Syria, insurgent-held Idlib province is of particular strategic importance to the government because it is close to Assad’s heartland on the Mediterranean coast, where Russia also has its only Mediterranean naval base.
A Syrian military source said on Thursday that Russian military support would bring a “big change” in the course of the conflict, particularly through advanced surveillance capabilities that could pinpoint insurgent targets.
Putin’s gamble of going to war in Syria comes a year after he defied the West to annex Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, drawing U.S. and EU economic sanctions while igniting a wave of popular nationalist support at home.
He appears to be betting that decisive action to aid Assad will improve Russia’s position at future talks on a political settlement, safeguard its control of the naval base and limit the influence of regional rivals like NATO member Turkey. It could also help his image at home as a strong leader willing to challenge global rivals, first and foremost the United States.
US, Russia hold military talks to avoid mishaps over Syria
The Pentagon held talks with Moscow officials Thursday to try to avoid mishaps between the two military powers, though it wasn’t clear how fruitful the effort was amid a second day of Russian bombing in Syria.
US military officials were furious Wednesday after Russia only gave them an hour’s vague “heads-up” it was about to begin bombing. The warning didn’t specify when or where the strikes would occur, only that coalition planes should avoid the area.
With a US-led coalition carrying out near-daily plane and drone strikes in Syria, the new reality of Russia flying sorties in the same air space has left the Pentagon worried about planes crossing paths and sparking a major international incident.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Defense Department officials spoke with Russian counterparts for about an hour via video in what he said was a “cordial and professional” exchange.
He gave few details but said officials discussed which international frequencies could be used if a pilot was in distress and what language aircrews should communicate with each other in.
“We made crystal clear that at a minimum the priority here should be the safe operation of the aircrews over Syria,” Cook said. No follow-up calls had been scheduled yet, he added.
The United States has repeatedly stressed the urgent need for Russia to communicate with it about when and where it plans to fly its fighter jets and bombers. In military jargon, such discussions are known as “deconfliction.”
Russia on Wednesday launched its first air strikes in Syria, marking its explosive arrival in the 4.5-year-old conflict that has claimed some 250,000 lives.
Strikes continued Thursday with Russian warplanes hitting opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Russians currently have at least 32 warplanes deployed in Syria, US officials say.
Putin’s Jets in Syria Are a Threat to the U.S.
Putin just deployed an array of jets and missiles to the Middle East. But they’re not the kind of weapons he’d need to fight ISIS. They’re built for countering another major power.
On September 30, Russian lawmakers unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s plan to begin combat operations in Syria—and hours later Moscow’s warplanes in the region began attacking what the Russians said were ISIS militants.Right before the bombs rained down, a Russian general arrived in Baghdad warned the U.S. military planners to keep America’s own warplanes out of the way. U.S. officials said they would not alter their flight plans.This is the beginning of a dangerous new phase of the international intervention in the Syrian civil war. Not only has Russia tried to order U.S. forces to step aside, it actually has the firepower to back up its demands. Some of the 35 warplanes Russia has deployed to Syria are specifically designed for fighting foes like the United States, not ISIS.Seemingly out of nowhere on September 21, they appeared at an air base in Latakia, a regime stronghold in western Syria—28 of the Russian air force’s best warplanes, including four Su-30 fighters and a number of Su-25 attack planes and Su-24 bombers.Soon six more Su-34 bombers and at least one Il-20 spy plane followed, part of a contingent of Russia forces reportedly including some 500 troops plus armored vehicles and SA-15 and SA-22 surface-to-air missiles.For U.S. and allied officials observing the deployment, there has been plenty of cause for confusion…and alarm. It’s not just that, more than four years into Syria’s bloody civil war, Russia has decided to jump in and make things more complicated.No, it’s what kinds of weapons—planes and missiles, especially—Moscow decided to send, and what those weapons say about the Kremlin’s ultimate plan in Syria. Many of them don’t seem to bewell-suited to fighting ISIS. They’re built to battle adversaries like the United States.To be clear, 35 warplanes and a few surface-to-air missiles aren’t a lot in the grand scheme of things. There’s no shortage of military aircraft flying over Syria five years into the country’s bloody civil war.Every day some of Syria’s aging Soviet-made planes—from the 300 or so that have survived four years of combat—take off from regime airfields to bomb ISIS militants and secular rebels slowly advancing on Syria’s main population centers.Meanwhile hundreds of jets from the American-led international coalition have been waging, since the fall of 2014, an intensive air campaign against ISIS and al Qaeda targeting just the militants.What’s weird and alarming about the Russian contingent is that it’s not really optimal for attacking lightly armed insurgent fighters. Surface-to-air missiles areonly good for destroying enemy aircraft, which Syrian rebels do not possess. And the Su-30s are best suited for tangling with other high-tech forces.Who in region possesses these high-tech forces? The United States, for one. Israel, too. Why, the United States, of course. Russia’s warplanes and missiles in Syria could pose a threat to America’s own aircraft flying over the country—all in order to carve out and preserve a portion of Syria that the United States can’t touch.Officially, Russia has deployed its forces to Syria to reinforce embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and help defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
“There is no other way to settle the Syrian conflict other than by strengthening the existing legitimate government agencies, support them in their fight against terrorism,” President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with American news networks ahead of his September 28 meeting with President Obama at the United Nations in New York City.
“There are more than 2,000 militants in Syria from the former Soviet Union,” Putin said. “Instead of waiting for them to return home we should help President al-Assad fight them there, in Syria.”
Sure enough, Su-25s, Su-24s, and Su-34s are capable ground-attack planes, roughly equivalent to U.S. Air Force A-10 attack jets and F-15E fighter-bombers.
But that’s only a portion of the Russian air arsenal. The problem is, the Su-30s are next to useless for fighting ISIS. The Sukhoi fighters are primarily air-to-air fighters—and some of the best in the world. Besides Russia, China also flies versions of the twin-engine, supersonic Su-30 and has even begun outfitting them with new air-to-air missiles that U.S. Air Force Gen. Herbert Carlisle has repeatedly described as one of his biggest worries.
In a series of aerial war games in the last decade, India’s own Su-30s have tangled with—and reportedly defeated—American and British fighters in mock combat, sparking minor controversies in both countries as their respective air forcesscrambled to explain why the Russian-made planes weren’t necessarily superior to U.S. F-15s and British Typhoon jets.
It’s obvious why Russia, China, and India, among other countries, would deploy Su-30s to counter heavily armed enemies possessing high-tech fighters of their own. But that doesn’t explain the Russian Su-30s in Syria. “I have not seen [ISIS] flying any airplanes that require sophisticated air-to-air capabilities,” U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the military head of NATO, told an audience in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 28.
Moreover, Breedlove said Russia didn’t need to deploy the SA-15 and SA-22 surface-to-air missiles to Syria if its mission is to help Assad beat ISIS. “I have not seen ISIL flying any airplanes that require SA-15s or SA-22s,” he said, using one of several acronyms for the militant group.
Breedlove said he suspects Russia is trying to set up what the military calls a “anti-access, area-denial,” or A2AD, zone in western Syria. Moscow has recently established these zones in the Baltic region and in the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014. “We are a little worried about another A2AD bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean,” Breedlove said.
The point of these zones is to give Russia exclusive access to strategic regions, Breedlove claimed. In the case of western Syria, an A2AD zone helps to ensure that Moscow can send forces into the eastern Mediterranean, which NATO has dominated since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.
Russian access to the Mediterranean via Syria requires that Assad’s regime survives, however. In that sense, Moscow’s strategic aims dovetail with the Syrian regime’s goals. Thus the Su-25s, Su-24s, and Su-34s very well could end up joining Damascus’s air war on the rebels and militants. The Su-30s, however, will probably be guarding against a very different enemy.
Of course, high-end warplanes can be repurposed to fight lower-tech foes—the U.S. has done just that, in its decade and a half bombing Afghanistan and Iraq. And many militaries deploy air-to-air fighters merely as precautions. A small contingent of U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighters, which can carry bombs but are best at aerial fights, plays a leading role in the coalition air campaign targeting ISIS.
The F-22s act as “quarterbacks,” according to Carlisle, using their sophisticated sensors to spot targets for other planes and also protecting those planes against Syrian fighters and missiles. To date, the Syrian regime has not attempted to interfere with the U.S.-led bombing runs, but the F-22s keep flying.
But neither has the coalition tried to interfere with the Syrian air force’s attacks on opposition fighters—yet. U.S. Army Special Forces have been training, at great expense, a small number of Syria rebels the Pentagon had hoped could form the core of a reinvigorated, secular rebel force that can knock back ISIS.
The problem is, many rebel trainees in the American program have made it clearthey prefer to fight the regime first. Many have dropped out of the program in the face of Washington’s demands, compelling the Pentagon to remove them from the training effort. U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told Congress, using the administration’s preferred acronym for ISIS, that he wants recruits “to have the right mindset and ideology, not be aligned with groups like ISIL…[and] to fight ISIL.”
“It turns out to be very hard to identify people who meet both of those criteria,” Carter added.
Worse, once the recruits complete their training and go to fight ISIS, the U.S. military will have “some obligations” to protect them, Carter said. If U.S.-trained rebels turn their weapons against the Syrian regime and Russian warplanes bomb them, would that compel American F-22s to attack the Russians—and then force the Russian Su-30s to intervene?
It’s not hard to see how Russia’s support of Assad could run afoul of America’s support for secular Syrian rebels—and how Moscow’s effort to establish an aerial foothold in Syria could draw U.S. and Russian jet fighters into battle with each other.
Don’t pretend for a moment that that terrifying notion hasn’t crossed the minds of generals and politicians in both Moscow and Washington.
Russia has sent over 50 military aircraft to Syria: ministry
Russia has sent more than 50 military aircraft as well as marines, paratroopers and special forces into Syria, where it has launched air strikes against Islamic State militants, the defence ministry said on Thursday.
“More than 50 warplanes and helicopters are part of the Russian airforce striking Islamic State targets in Syria,” defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told the Interfax news agency.
Russia on Wednesday waded into the multi-front conflict, launching air strikes against what Moscow said were IS militants battling its Soviet-era ally Syria.
In the run-up to the strikes, Russia had expanded its naval facility in the port city of Tartus and established a military base in Latakia, the stronghold of the beleaguered regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Konashenkov said marines, paratroopers and special force units would be mobilised to protect Russia’s military assets.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a broad UN-backed coalition to fight IS jihadists as he addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time in a decade.
Moscow has been pushing for a broader coalition to fight the Islamic State group to include allies of the Assad regime, an idea that the West has rejected.
Putin’s proposal is seen as a direct challenge to US President Barack Obama who has vowed to crush IS and called on countries to join the United States in its campaign.
Moscow has ruled out joining the US-led coalition.
“Theoretically, it would look nice (to join the US-led coalition) from a political point of view, but I think that we have difficulty understanding the principles on which the coalition is acting,” foreign ministry official Ilya Rogachyov said.
“On the basis that the coalition currently exists, we are unlikely to join,” he told the state news agency RIA Novosti.
Russia has appointed Lieutenant General Sergei Kuralenko to represent Russia at the Baghdad-based intelligence task force Moscow is setting up with Iran, Iraq and Syria, a defence ministry spokesman said on Thursday.
Here’s how the Russian Air Force moved 28 aircraft to Syria (almost) undetected
- David Cenciotti, The AviationistSatellite imagery released in the last couple of days has exposed the presence of 28 Russian aircraft at al-Assad airfield, near Latakia, in western Syria.The photographs taken from space gave us the possibility to identify the combat planes as 4x Su-30SMs, 12x Su-25s (based on their color scheme, these are Su-25SMs belonging to the 368th Assault Aviation Regiment from Budyonnovsk) and 12 Su-24M2s along with about a dozen helicopters, including 10 Mi-24PN, Mi-35M and a couple of Mi-8AMTSh choppers, from the 387th Army Aviation Air Base Budyonnovsk.One of our sources with IMINT Imagery Intel experience, who has had access to the imagery in the public domain, noticed something interesting on one of the Su-30SM: the first on the left (the one closer to the runway threshold) should be equipped with a KNIRTI SPS-171 / L005S Sorbtsiya-S mid/high band defensive jammer (ECM) at the wing tips. To be honest this is almost impossible to verify unless more high-resolution images become available.
Whilst satellite shots provided much details about the deployed assets, they obviously didn’t help answer the basic question: how did they manage to reach Syria undetected?
According to one source close who wishes to remain anonymous, the Russian combat planes have probably deployed to Latakia trailing the cargo planes that were tracked flying to Syria and back on Flightradar24.com, something that other analysts have also suggested.
There is someone who believes that during their ferry flight, some if not all the formation (each made of a cargo plane and four accompanying fast jets), may have made a stopover in Iran before flying the last leg to Latakia. This would also explain why some Il-76s (with an endurance that would allow a non-stop fly from Russia to Latakia) were observed stopping at Hamadan on Sept. 18-19, just before the Sukhois started appearing on the tarmac at Latakia.
Also interesting is the activity of several Israeli aircraft, including a G550 “Nachshon Aitam,” a sort of mini-AWACS equipped with 2 L-band antennas, on both sides of the fuselage, and 2 S-band antennas, on the nose and tail of the aircraft.
The G550, a so-called CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) asset, flew a mission over the eastern Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon on Sept. 20 (and could be tracked online on Flightradar24.com…). Just a coincidence?
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