Category: Antichrist

Top US general in Europe: Don’t give Turkey F-35 if they buy Russian system

By: Aaron Mehta and Joe Gould   22 hours ago

The sale of the F-35 to Turkey could be halted should the country buy a Russian air defense system. (Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee/U.S. Air Force)

WASHINGTON — The top uniformed officer in NATO and the head of American forces in Europe said Tuesday that if Turkey goes through with its decision to buy a Russian air defense system, he would recommend the Pentagon refuse to give Ankara its planned purchase of the F-35 joint strike fighter.

Testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti said it would be his “best military advice” that sales to Turkey of the F-35 be cut, should that nation buy the S-400 air defense system.

“If they accept the S-400 to establish it in Turkey, there is first the issue that it’s not interoperable with NATO systems, nor is it interoperable inside of our integrated missile defense system. The second has to do with the F-35. It presents a problem to all of our aircraft, but specifically the F-35, I believe,” Scaparrotti said.

“My best military advice would be that we don’t then follow through with the F-35 — flying it or working with an ally that is working with Russian systems, particularly air defense systems, with one of our most advanced technological capabilities,” he added.

The comments came in an exchange with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who has sponsored legislative language to to explore Turkey’s removal from the F-35 program.

Concerns about Turkey’s decision to procure the S-400 are nothing new. Officials in the U.S. and Europe believe Russia could gain a dangerous amount of information on the fifth-generation fighter should the systems be linked.

But Scaparrotti’s statement is particularly notable, as he also serves as supreme allied commander of NATO. His comments come weeks after the Munich Security Conference, where U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned Turkey that “we will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries. We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”

Sign up for our Early Bird Brief
Get the defense industry’s most comprehensive news and information straight to your inbox

Turkey plans to buy 100 joint strike fighters over the course of the program, and its first F-35 pilots have already begun training alongside U.S. pilots at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Turkish companies play a key industrial role in the program as one of the producers of the center fuselage and the maker of the cockpit display.

As a result of the planned S-400 procurement, the Pentagon launched a large study into whether it would be possible to remove Turkey from the F-35 industrial base.

Asked about the industrial base, the general said: “For them I would underscore this is a huge decision for Turkey. I have talked to them, as all of our leadership has.” He added that there is a team on the ground today talking with the Turks about the issue.

“I would hope they would reconsider this decision on the S-400, one system, but potentially forfeit many of the other systems and one of the most important systems we provide them,” he said.

One such system besides the F-35 that could be impacted should Russia buy the S-400 is the Patriot missile defense system, which Turkey was recently cleared to buy.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9669

Turkey: Uniting an “Army of Islam” to Defeat Just One Country

by Uzay Bulut
February 21, 2019 at 4:30 am

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13559/turkey-army-of-islam

At the conference, Adnan Tanriverdi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s top military advisor, delivered a speech detailing the inner workings of the “Islamic Confederal State” that Tanriverdi’s Strategic Research Center for Defenders of Justice (ASSAM) aims to establish with 61 Muslim countries.

Judging by an article Tanriverdi penned in 2009, the purpose of this joint Islamic force is to defeat Israel, which “should be made to get engaged [in war] and the length of the war should be extended.”

Erdogan and his chief military advisor are obviously engaging in projection. It is Turkey that has ethnically cleansed itself of Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians, and that is now targeting Syrian Kurds. It is the Turkish government’s continued aggression against various peoples in Israel, Syria, Iraq, Cyprus and other countries that is a threat to world peace; not Israel. It is Turkey, not Israel, whose destabilizing foreign policy needs to change.

Istanbul recently hosted the second “International Islamic Union Congress,” sponsored mainly by the Strategic Research Center for Defenders of Justice (ASSAM), which is headed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief military advisor, Adnan Tanriverdi, a retired lieutenant general and an Islamist .

At the conference, Tanriverdi delivered a speech detailing the inner workings of the “Islamic Confederal State” that ASSAM aims to establish with 61 Muslim countries. In his address, Tanriverdi said that a “rapid deployment force” should be created. Judging by an article Tanriverdi penned in 2009, the purpose of this joint Islamic force is to defeat Israel, which “should be made to get engaged

[in war]

and the length of the war should be extended.”

“If Israel has to call all of its reserve soldiers to duty,” he explained, “there will be no one left at home or in their businesses. It cannot continue like that for a long time.”

Tanriverdi also suggested how this could be accomplished:

“The Defense Ministers of Islamic Countries should be invited to an urgent meeting, at which possibilities for ‘defense cooperation’ should be examined; Turkey, Iran, Syria, the Iraqi Resistance Organization and Palestine should be the core of this cooperation.”

Within this context, he said, a “‘rapid Deployment Force of Islam,’ which will consist of an amphibious brigade, an armored brigade and an aero-landing brigade, should be encouraged.”

He went on:

“A peace force of Islamic countries should be deployed in Gaza… International efforts should continue, and the use of military force in Islamic countries should be encouraged. A joint military operation by our ground, naval and air forces should be carried out in the international waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. Aid convoys from Turkey, accompanied by Turkish warplanes, should land at the Gaza port. The resistance movements in Gaza should be supported with anti-tank and low-altitude anti-aircraft weapons.

“An aid fund should be formed by Islamic countries; the monthly budget of the legitimate Palestinian government should be paid from this fund and every adult individual in [the Palestinian territories] should be paid a monthly salary… Egypt should be pressured to open the Rafah border crossing. Syria should be encouraged to enhance its military presence on the Israeli border.”

Tanriverdi also claimed that:

“Turkish states, throughout history, prevented 21 crusades through which the West targeted Islam. Turkey did not get involved in the invasions following World War II, the establishment of the State of Israel and the US invasion of Iraq, which we could call the 22nd, 23rd and 24th crusades. It is Turkey’s duty to rectify this. Avoiding this responsibility would be contrary to our historic mission, our commitment to the civilization to which we belong and to Turkey’s survival.”

Tanriverdi’s views are the impetus for the founding in 2012 of his company, “SADAT International Defense Consultancy.” On its official website, Tanriverdi writes:

“The Turkish Armed Forces give services of training, consultancy and equipment to 22 friendly Turkish and Muslim countries. But it is impossible for them to respond to all the needs of 60 Islamic countries in the defense sector.

“In order to give services in needed fields, to prevent dependence on crusader-minded colonialist countries, to help form an environment of defense industry and defense cooperation among Islamic countries, and to serve the Islamic alliance, SADAT was formed by 23 founding shareholders and with the support of 64 army officers and non-commissioned officers who have successfully served the Turkish armed forces and who are respectful of the religious sensitivities of Islamic countries.”

Four years after SADAT’s establishment, Necati Yılmaz, an MP from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), submitted a written parliamentary motion to then-Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, questioning SADAT’s activities and international connections. The motion read, in part:

“SADAT states on its official website that that it tries to ‘help establish a military force in the Islamic world that will be self-sufficient.’ With what countries does SADAT have connections? Is there any other country to which SADAT gives military and intelligence training? Does it have camps in other countries?

“Is it true that Sadat has connections with al-Nusra, al-Qaeda and ISIS? Is it true that Sadat has trained ISIS militants?”

Yıldırım did not answer the motion during his tenure, but allegations about SADAT’s providing military training to jihadist organizations abroad and to some pro-Erdogan groups in “secret military camps” in Turkey have not subsided. Tanriverdi and other SADAT officials have repeatedly denied the accusations, going as far as to sue some newspapers that published pieces repeating them.

In an interview last January with the pro-government newspaper, Habertürk, Tanriverdi called claims about SADAT “slanderous” and “imaginary.” Replaying SADAT’s “founding objective,” he insisted that it “engages with the state organs of friendly nations and provides them with services of corporate consultancy, training and equipment in line with their laws in their own countries.”

He continued:

“With very pure and decent feelings, we just want to transfer the experiences of our armed forces to Islamic countries. That is all. We also want the Islamic countries to get united.”

He failed, however, to remind readers that SADAT’s objective is to unite against the West and Israel. He also omitted comments from his 2009 article entitled “Palestine too should have an army”, such as:

“The states whose peoples are Muslim should either protect Palestine with their own armed forces or form a modern armed force for Palestine to deal with Israel.”

Although Tanriverdi’s dream of an “army of Islam” to fight Israel has yet to be realized, his company, SADAT, seems to be aiding Palestinian-Arab jihadist organizations targeting Israel. In February 2018, for instance, Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, said that Hamas was funneling terror funds to the West Bank and Gaza through Turkey. The Shin Bet statement also accused Turkey of aiding Hamas’ military build-up via SADAT. Kamil Tekeli, a Turkish law professor who was arrested in Israel in mid-January, told his interrogators that SADAT sends money and arms to Hamas. Tekeli, after being interrogated, was deported back to Turkey, according to the Israeli media. The Turkish Foreign Ministry, however, rejected the Shin Bet’s accusations.

Tanriverdi’s statements and his company nevertheless appear to reflect Erdogan’s worldview.

“We as Turkey and myself — as long as I am in charge — can never have a positive view of Israel,” Erdogan said in 2014. “The obvious reality is that Israel is the country that threatens peace in the world and in the Middle East.”

More recently, on December 15, Erdogan repeated one of many hostile claims he has made over the years — comparing Israel to the Nazis.

Erdogan and his chief military advisor are obviously engaging in projection. It is Turkey that has ethnically cleansed itself of Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians, that refuses to recognize the religious rights of the Alevi minority and that is now targeting Syrian Kurds. It is the Turkish government’s continued aggression against various peoples in Israel, Syria, Iraq, Cyprus and other countries that is a threat to world peace, not Israel. It is Turkey, not Israel, whose destabilizing foreign policy needs to change.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9646

Turkey Receives Russian Help To Build Massive Nuclear Plant That Will Be Operational By 2023

By Andrew Bieszad on February 4, 2019 in Featured, General

Turkey has for a long time wanted to become a nuclear power. This goal is about to be realized, as decades of lobbying and laboring have come to fruition with the construction of a nuclear plant on the Black Sea coastline backed with Russian help that will be operational in 2023, the 100-year anniversary of the modern Turkish republic:

Turkey’s elusive quest for harnessing nuclear energy dates back to times which most of us perceive only through the black-and-white footage of 1950s and stories of our parents and grandparents. Launched by President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program, it took off steadily as by 1956 Turkey already boasted a reactor research facility not far away from Istanbul, on the shores of lake Küçükçekmece. By the 1970s the Turkish authorities have pinpointed the most suitable site for the construction of a nuclear plant – they have chosen Akkuyu on the Anatolian coast, making use of its proximity to the sea, low population density and at the same time closeness to big demand hubs, as well as its low seismic activity.

What the Turkish planners envisaged some 50 years ago is progressively being realized with the Rosatom-led Akkuyu project. In many ways, the Akkuyu project is a novelty – it is Rosatom’s first project constructed at a build-own-operate (BOO) parity and its first-ever real endeavor in the Levant. Yet when the Chernobyl-entailed mass hysteria slowly started to fade in the late 1990s, Russia was nowhere to be seen in the list of interested parties – at that time it seemed that either Westinghouse of Framatome (the predecessor of Areva) would get it. However, by the time the Turkish government issued a tender for the construction of Akkuyu, only Rosatom filed an official bid to build four 1200MW pressurized water reactors, supported by a commitment to dispose of all the plant’s used nuclear fuel.

From there on, things took a swift turn – an intergovernmental agreement was signed in 2010, the legislative basis for the construction was erected (as Turkey had previously no comprehensive set of laws for nuclear energy), a limited construction resolution was issued in 2016 to be followed two years later by the official start of construction works. The plan is to commission the nuclear plant in 2023 when the Turkish Republic celebrates its centenary. Interestingly, the nuclear project went forward despite significant turbulences in the Russo-Turkish relations, such as the 2015 shooting down of a Russian fighter jet over (allegedly) Syrian territory. Tariff negotiations were successful, too – the sides fixed the electricity tariff at 0.1235 USD/KWh for the first 15 years of operation with the option to increase it to 0.1533 USD/KWh should there be any payback issues.

Roughly around the same time as Ankara committed to the Akkuyu Nuclear Plant, it had also kick-started the quest to build another nuclear plant, this time on the Black Sea coast of the country, in Sinop. Somewhat differently to Akkuyu, the government went for a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme with Sinop, signing a contract with Atmea, the Franco-Japanese consortium comprising Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Areva, in 2013. It was estimated that construction works on the four Generation III pressurized water reactors would start in 2017, costing approximately 18 billion USD. According to a preliminary agreement, Atmea would own 51 percent of the Sinop nuclear plant, Turkish state utilities company EUAS would take 49 percent and Engie would operate it. On paper, everything seemed fine, yet ended in an all-around fiasco.

The root cause of its cancellation, officially announced in December 2018, was cost inflation. The 18 billion USD cost estimate spiraled up to 44 billion USD due to the necessity to implement stricter post-Fukushima safety standards – despite regular insistences by Ankara to keep the cost level at its initial level. The deal breakoff led to a nightmarish result for Japanese nuclear companies – after the retraction of a nuclear project in Taiwan (2014) and Vietnam (2016), followed by the calling off of Sinop and Anglesey in Wales (this January), Japan has currently no active nuclear plant construction abroad, pretty much leaving the global nuclear market to the Russians and Chinese.

What is the difference between the two projects that made Akkuyu feasible and has rendered Sinop unattainable? Most importantly, in case of the former, the entirety of financial risks arising from any appreciation of the project lies entirely on Rosatom, a state company whose former CEO is now First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Presidential Administration. Even an appreciation of 5-6 billion USD (initially Akkuyu was estimated to cost 15.8 billion USD, its current price tag hovers around 22 billion USD) is tolerable under such circumstances. Not only did Sinop depend on the cooperation of the French and Japanese, it also presupposed Turkish financial involvement in the project. Secondly, whilst Akkuyu remained quite high on the agenda of Turkey-Russia political summits, Sinop did not receive the same kind of political backing.

A good example of why political backing matters is the ownership structure of Akkuyu. Similarly as with Sinop, it was by no means easy finding Turkish counterparts for the project. It was expected that Turkey would be represented by a consortium consisting of three private companies, mostly known for their dealings in the construction business – Cengiz Holding, Kolin Insaat and Kalyon Insaat. Yet when all three companies quit the project in February 2018 (i.e. 2 months before the start of construction), Akkuyu did not ground to a halt. Instead, negotiations were initiated between the Turkish state-owned electric power holding EUAS to buy into the project, potentially even aiming for a 49 percent stake. It would be quite incredible if this was not the result of a political agreement in the background.

The Sinop nuclear plant setback did not stop Turkey from dreaming big. Akkuyu would supply “only” 10 percent of the nation’s energy demand, indicating more is needed to rid Turkey of its environment-polluting coal dependence. Last year President Erdo?an announced Turkey would build a third nuclear plant – the location is rumoured to be the Thrace region northwest of Istanbul, close to the Bulgarian border. Even though there is still no clarity on who would lead the project, however, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez hinted that Ankara would cooperate with China on the project.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9606

Turkey-Qatar pact can be ‘misused for military missions’ in the Gulf

Staff writer, Al Arabiya EnglishTuesday, 8 January 2019

Turkey’s military agreement with Qatar is full of loopholes and vague terms that appear to have been deliberately inserted, according to a report by the Nordic Monitor, a Sweden-based monitoring site.

The report by Abdullah Bozkurt, reveals that the bilateral agreement would allow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to use Turkish air, land and naval assets to promote his own ideological and personal interests in the Gulf and beyond by using the hard power of the NATO military alliance’s second largest army.

“If not checked, the agreement carries huge risks of escalation of Turkey’s involvement in potential conflicts that may have nothing to do with protecting or promoting Turkey’s national interests. This further confirms the view that the vagueness in the agreement provisions were deliberate and systematic to allow Erdogan to use them as he sees fit,” writes Bozkurt.  

Combat missions 

The agreement goes beyond mere training and joint exercises and also incorporates “operations,” which may very well suggest combat missions for Turkish troops.

According to the report in the Nordic Monitor, “The agreement was rushed through the cumbersome and slow-moving process in the Turkish Parliament in 2017 when Turkey wanted to send a message to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab states that had picked a fight with Qatar, Erdogan’s sweetheart Islamist ally.”

Article 4 of the “Implementation Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the State of Qatar on Deployment of Turkish Forces into Territory of Qatar,” which was signed on April 28, 2016 in Doha, includes the undefined phrase “any other missions” for the deployment of Turkish troops. This means Erdoğan can also bypass the Turkish Parliament for authorization of overseas missions, using the vague definition to fit his whims and would not need to obtain the advance approval from Parliament that is required for the deployment of Turkish troops abroad according to the Turkish Constitution.

The full text of this provision in the agreement reads as follows: “The main mission of the unit is to support enhancement of defense capabilities of Qatar through joint/combined exercises and training, and subject to approval by both parties, execute training/exercises with other nations’ armed forces and contribute to the counter-terrorism and international peace support operations and any other missions mutually agreed upon by written consent of both parties.”

Ambiguity in the agreement

Another ambiguity in the agreement, which was incorporated into Turkish law on June 9, 2017, is that it does not say how long Turkish troops will remain in Qatar. Article 1 of the agreement on the scope and the purpose of the agreement say that the deal regulates “the long term, as well as temporary, presence and activities of Turkish Armed Forces.”

What “the long term” prospect is and who defines the duration of the commitment for Turkish troops and on what criteria are not specified in the agreement. Article 17 specifies the duration of the agreement to be 10 years with automatic renewals for an additional term of five years for each extension. Whether that term applies to the presence of troops remains an open question.

The agreement does not specify force level or the number of troops. Article 2 states that Turkey will send air, land and naval assets to Qatar without setting any number or level of the forces. Although section two of this article states that “the deployment of the forces shall be in accordance with the plan to be accepted by the Parties,” the following section says Turkey will make a determination on “the duration of the mission of personnel to be assigned.”

Furthermore, Turkey’s military agreement with Qatar does not foresee a third-party dispute settlement mechanism, either. Article 16 of the agreement says disputes “shall be resolved by negotiation between the Parties, without referring to the jurisdiction of any third party, establishment, or national or international tribunal.”

This implementation agreement is actually a follow-up of the “framework” military cooperation agreement that was signed by the two countries on December 19, 2014, and entered into force on June 15, 2015. In contrast to the framework deal, the implementation agreement gives detailed clues as to what Turkey and Qatar hope to accomplish in the Gulf.

Turkey considers ties with Qatar to be strategic, and Turkey’s Erdogan and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in 2014 set up a High-Level Strategic Council (HLSC), an intergovernmental mechanism that brings together most ministers at summits led by the heads of state and government.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9549

Erdogan is not a Benevolent Sultan of Old, he’s a Monster that Must be Stopped

By Ben-Dror Yemini December 26, 2018 , 8:00 am

Once upon a time, a Turkish sultan in situ was good news, such as those, for example, during the expulsion from Spain in 1492. The Sultan Bayezid II, who ruled 1481-1512, sent ships to Grenada to save the dispossessed Jews and invite them to live across the Ottoman Empire. Your loss, Bayezid tolds those who signed the deportation order, is our gain. And gain they did. The Jews were not only loyal, but also helped to develop the economy and spiritual life in every place they reached across the empire.

Life was not always good for the Jews under the Ottomans and/or the Turks. But what is very clear is that the current Sultan, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is an impudent anti-Semite. His repeated statements make it clear that his role model is former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and not sultans of yore who treated the Jews fairly. This attitude of Erdogan’s did not start today, or even with the 2010 Mavi Marmara crisis, when IDF troops and Turkish activists clashed on board a Gaza-bound boat with deadly results. When he was younger, Erdogan wrote a play called “Mas-Kom-Ya”, which depicts a conspiracy by the Freemasons, the Communists, and the Jews.

Since 1984, Turkey has destroyed 3,000 Kurdish villages, implemented mass transfer of the local population and caused a “Kurdish Nakba” of two million people who became refugees in their own country. During this orchestrated war on the Kurdish people, there have been massacres during which 30,000 people were killed. Even if Israel made every effort, it could not scratch the surface of the horrors perpetrated by the Turks, not those of recent decades and certainly not those of the last century, including the genocide committed by the Turks against the Armenians, and the atrocities committed in the framework of the expulsion of Christians at the end of the First World War.

Erdogan himself is responsible for several massacres committed in recent years. For example, his soldiers raided the city of Cizre, in the northeast of the country, in February 2016. Hundreds of civilians hid in three basements, but it did not help them as Erdogan’s soldiers massacred them mercilessly. A total of 178 people were killed, most of them innocent civilians.

And this is one of many events. The list of crimes is long, but the world barely pays heed with them, because the guiding principle is all too familiar: As far as Muslims massacring Muslims is concerned – the world is silent. Muslims are treated like stupid children, and allowed to get away with much. The unfortunate Muslims on the receiving end complain bitterly about this treatment, which is seen as a license to commit atrocities.

Erdogan has managed to raise this principle to new heights. He complains about Israel, which is fighting jihad, while he also supports this jihad; he has erased the gap (although it is doubtful this gap even exists) between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism; he commits massacres against his own people, while accusing Israel of massacring the Palestinians.

Erdogan’s anti-Semitic campaign continues with full force. Last year, Turkish TV aired an anti-Semitic series that included allegations of plots that were allegedly the brainchild the Jew Theodor Herzl, which were “inspired by real historical facts.” This was not the first antisemitic series. In Turkey, it’s routine.

One cannot easily dismmiss Erdogan, who in the past voiced opposition to Bashar Assad’s continued rule in Syria, but soon joined the axis of evil that includes Iran and Hezbollah. There are those who argue that Turkey’s economic interests will lead to restraint, but that’s a mistake. History proves that leaders of Erdogan’s ilk will pick ideological principles, especially those rooted in hatred, over national interests. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, whose founder, Hassan al-Banna, penned an article on the importance of the “industry of death.” That’s the idea, those are the principles that Erdogan follows.

It is important to note that the president of Turkey is not the enemy of Israel, he is the enemy of the free world. Europe already detests him; countries such as the Netherlands and Germany refused entry to ministers from his party. But this did not stop Erdogan from becoming the contractor for the project to stop the flow of refugees, for which he gets billions. This helps in the short term, but in the long run, Europe is cultivating a monster who is becoming increasingly racist and anti-Semitic.

Monsters like this must be stopped when they are small and toothless. But Europe has forgotten everything and learned nothing. And the monster continues to grow.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9528

NEW WORLD DISORDER: The Global Shaking That We Predicted In 2016 Has Not Only Come True, It Is Reshaping Politics Around The World

In France, people who feel left behind by a globalizing world have spent the last few weeks marching and rioting to protest a government they call elitist and out of touch. The government, whose initial dismissiveness seemed to confirm their suspicions, was finally forced to change tack. Britain is still shuddering from a referendum that its government called to muzzle naysayers, only to see those naysayers win the day. Now, as politicians go through awkward contortions to deliver on that vote, the government is on the verge of collapse.

by Geoffrey Grider December 15, 2018

Bickering in the Oval Office. Shouting at the Houses of Parliament. Rioting on the Champs-Elysees. It’s a chaotic moment for the countries that have long underpinned the established global order, a time of instability for the balance of power that has reigned for decades.

NTEB was one of the very first news publishers to boldly declare that Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States, and we took tons of heat from Christians and non-Christians alike. I was personally called every name in the book, readership of the site fell off by 50%, revenues plummeted. Then, trusting that the Lord was leading, we doubled down.

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:6,7 (KJV)

In December of 2016, I wrote an article updating earlier statements I had made about how a Trump presidency, ordained by God, would trigger a ‘global shaking’ around the the world. Everything that has so far transpired, from the Trump Revolution in 2016 to the Yellow Vest protests happening right now in France, prove that to be true.

Corporate Globalism has many names and comes in many forms depending on where you live. There is a ‘deep state‘ in every government in all 196 member states in the United Nations, and they all work towards the same goal that has the same end. But the election of Donald Trump has triggered events that two years later are only intensifying and growing stronger.

That New World Order, ordained and blessed by President George H.W. Bush on September 11, 1991, and reaffirmed by 2 term presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, is under tremendous pressure and in danger of coming apart at the seams. Look anywhere you like – America, England, France, Sweden, Brasil, Mexico – the Trump Effect is igniting change on an unprecedented scale. People are rejecting globalism, and governments are caving into the pressure.

But the New World Order doesn’t die quickly or easily, so you better buckle up. The chaos is only just getting started.

Analysis: In democracies’ political chaos, a new model emerges

FROM THE AP: Across the world, people are questioning truths they had long held to be self-evident, and they are dismissing some of them as fake news. They are replacing traditions they had long seen as immutable with haphazard reinvention.

In France, people who feel left behind by a globalizing world have spent the last few weeks marching and rioting to protest a government they call elitist and out of touch. The government, whose initial dismissiveness seemed to confirm their suspicions, was finally forced to change tack.

Britain is still shuddering from a referendum that its government called to muzzle naysayers, only to see those naysayers win the day. Now, as politicians go through awkward contortions to deliver on that vote, the government is on the verge of collapse.

And in the United States, a president who some accuse of upending ideals that the nation holds dear is aggressively abandoning protocol and customs that have prevailed through a dozen of his predecessors. His core followers are thrilled; many others are getting vertigo.

What’s more, these events are playing out not only in the lands of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, of the Magna Carta and of the Declaration of Independence, but across the Western world.

It’s a similar narrative in each place: People outside the centers of power are rejecting political elites they feel take them for granted, and backing new movements that eschew the rules and that often play to their basest thoughts.

To be clear, this isn’t a weakening of democracy. In a way, it’s the opposite.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9520

A New Silk Road Is Being Created, It Is Part Of A Massive Plan To Destroy The Human Race And Create A New Pagan Order That Will Slaughter Christians




By AndrewBieszad on December 8, 2018 inFeatured, General, Highlight
Astana is the capitol of Kazakhstan and is the “newest” capitol in the worldin that the entire city was rebuilt from the ground up in the years followingthe death of the Soviet Union into a brand new city. However, as many havenoted, Astana is also one of the strangest capitols in the world as it isfilled with what is at the surface objectively strange imagery that upon deeperobservation has direct ties to the occult:
Of all places, why put a city here? From the aeroplane window it’s more ofthe same: flat, empty and endlessly vast. At 30,000 feet, a few lonely lakespolka-dot the landscape. There is no evidence of human activity. There arescarcely any trees and few distinguishing landmarks. On and on it goes –Kazakhstan is the size of western Europe, and so unremittingly flat, it’s as ifsome gigantic plasterer has skimmed the land. Here wolves outnumber people.Little wonder the Soviets chose this vast emptiness to hide their Gulags andtheir space programme, and to test their nuclear weapons. Much of itradioactive, it’s an agoraphobic’s vision of hell.
And then, out of nowhere, Astana comes glistening into view, all shiny metaland glass, implausibly rising up from the Kazakh steppe like some post-modernlego set that has stumbled into the opening sequence of Dallas. Welcome toAstana, one of the strangest capital cities on earth.
There was some early talk of Astana – which means “capital” in Kazakh –being named after the president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. After all, his name andvision are omnipresent. Since independence from the USSR in 1991, he was thefirst – and has been the only – president of the Republic of Kazakhstan, withan electoral victory earlier this year in which he received a comedy 97.7% ofthe vote.
All presidents are limited to a term of five years – except, of course,Nazarbayev, over whom the press has suspended any modicum of criticalvigilance. Many Kazakh officials are quite open about it: they have chosen todo economic development first, and proper democracy (they hope) will come atsome point later.
Given the billions of barrels of oil and gas that have been discovered inthe country, and its very low population of only 16 million, every Kazakhstanishould be a millionaire by now. One look at Astana and you can see where muchof the money has gone: everywhere it’s big, flashy signature buildings, allwearing their architects’ names like fashion labels, all competing forattention like a collection of spoiled teenagers insecurely shouting: “Look atme!”
Take the Norman Foster-designed Khan Shatyr shopping centre, on the roadinto town from the airport. It’s the world’s largest marquee with total area of127,000 sq metres and a height along the spire of 150 metres. A specialchemical lining protects those inside from the brutal icy winter and helps itmaintain its special microclimate. The artificial beach, with sand speciallyimported from the Maldives, requires a constant 35C. All shopping centres needa beach, of course.
For a centrally planned city, the aesthetic juxtapositions are remarkablydiscordant. A flashy glass pyramid. A towering set of apartments built to matchMoscow University in the Stalinist empire style. A Disney version of the WhiteHouse. A vase-like tower with a ball on top that the president apparentlydesigned on the back of a napkin during a state dinner. A finance ministryshaped as a dollar bill.
Few of these buildings seem to have been designed with practicality in mind.The lifts in the pyramid go up, then left, then up, then left – it must havebeen incredibly expensive to get them to waltz like that. My hotel has animpressive light show on the outside of the building … and terrible Wi-Fi.
When the capital was moved here from Almaty in 1997, there was littleenthusiasm among government officials who were forced to relocate. Almaty –which finds out this week if it has been successful in its bid to host the 2022Winter Olympics – is more than a thousand kilometres further south, and is amuch older and considerably classier affair. This is where Prince Harry enjoyedhis winter holiday with Cressida Bonas in 2014, and where government officialsspent long weekends cooking plov at their luxury dachas styled on Englishcountry houses.
The official reason for relocating to Astana – previously the provincialsettlement of Tselinograd, with a crumbling Soviet housing stock – was Almaty’slocation in an earthquake-prone region. But its close proximity to the Chineseborder and Kazakhstan’s need to strengthen its hold on the north of the countrywith its large number of ethnic Russians made it logical from a strategic pointof view. In this regard, the comparison with Ukraine is instructive: both havehigh Russian populations.
However, Nazarbayev is playing wise, carefully manoeuvring between Russia,China and the US, and is duly credited for encouraging intra-ethnic – andindeed, intra-religious – harmony. There are several large mosques in Astana,but also churches and synagogues. The baby-blue Beit Rachel synagogue is thelargest in central Asia. With the threat of militant Islam on its southernborder, healthy ecumenical relations are not just a communal nicety; they are astrategic necessity.
Other positives include Astana’s new university. Opened in 2010, and namedafter Nazarbayev (who else?), it is a point of pride for many that foreignacademics staff many of the departments. Indeed, education has become a legacyissue for the 75-year-old so-called “father of the nation”. Nazarbayev has madeit possible for school graduates to study overseas, all expenses paid, providedthey return to Kazakhstan to work for at least five years after graduation.
Many of this new breed of foreign-educated Kazakhstanis now make theircareers in Astana. Nothing whatsoever like that famous anti-hero of Kazakhstan,Borat, these new go-getting graduates increasingly dominate what is a youngcity both in terms of its age – Astana celebrated its 17th birthday on 6 Julythis year (the same day as the president’s) – and overall demographic. Youdon’t see many over-50s out on the streets.
This flashy toy-city is locked in a fascinating negotiation between a Sovietcommand-and-control past and an aspirational, market-savvy present. But out onthe edge of town, all the architecture stops abruptly. All the frantic energycomes to a halt, and the vast unremitting steppe suddenly begins. Which is whyAstana feels like some great existentialist parable, an attempt to overcome theterror of endless emptiness with the frantic distraction of human endeavour.
From 30,000 feet, let alone sub specie aeternitatis, it seems that NormanFoster doesn’t really stand a chance. But who knows? (source,source)
As several blogs have noted, the curious design of Astana points to theencouragement of a religious syncretism as well as the capitol itself beingdesigned in the form of a Freemason temple with an seemingly open emphasis onsun worship:






Conceived by Britain’s most prolific architect, Lord Norman Forster, thisgiant pyramid is an odd presence in the middle of the Asian Steppes. Thebuilding is dedicated to “the renunciation of violence” and “to bring togetherthe world’s religions”. Norman Foster has said that the building has norecognizable religious symbols to permit the harmonious reunification ofconfessions. In reality, the pyramid is a temple for the occultist’s only TRUEreligion: Sun worship. A journey inside this building is a truly symbolic one.It represents each human’s path to illumination….As Manly P. Hall stated, thepyramid is the ultimate symbol representing the mysteries of ancientcivilizations. Sublime in their simplicity, divine in their proportions, theyembody both the divine knowledge owned by the illuminated and the bewildermentof the masses. Today’s elite, initiated to the occult, are the heirs of thisancient wisdom and use the pyramid as a symbol of power in the modern world.The illuminated/floating/missing capstone represents the divine principlepresent in the universe as well in each human being. Another symbolic meaningattributed to the missing capstone is the unfinished nature of the New WorldOrder. It is said that the capstone of the Great Pyramid will be reinstatedwhen this age-old project will become reality.
Right on top of the opera house is the central space of the pyramid. It actsas the meeting room for conferences reuniting religious leaders of the world.Take a minute and soak up the symbolism here. You have religious leaders fromaround the world sitting around a huge figure of the sun, discussing how toreconcile their differences for the coming New Age. The symbolism is blatant:all these theologies are simply an outgrowth of the original object of worship:the Sun. (source)
There are also the curious pillars in the city that bear a strikingsemblance to those in Freemasonry by their positioning:



And this is shown by air too, as it points to a tower called the Bayterek,which is representative of ancient sun worship in Central Asia:






It is, objectively speaking, a strange capitol. Buy why in Central Asia? Whynot somewhere else in the world?
A possible answer that synchronizes current world trends and movements onthis has not been proposed. That is, until now.
The Relationship between Economics and Politics.
There is a direct relationship in life between politics and economics. Thisis as much applicable to individuals as it is to entire societies. One’sparents or teachers may have told a child that “you are what you eat,” or inthe words of an employer, “GIGO”, meaning “garbage in, garbage out”, or as somehave said, “you only get out what you put in.”
Economics and politics function in the same way, with economics acting asthe input and politics as the output. What one consumes for his personal lifethrough the expenditure of his finances is what one will receive in terms ofhow his life is governed. In a social level, what a country likes to buy orsell directly determines how it interacts with other nations.
Kazakhstan is both a poor and rich nation at the same time. She is poor inthat her people are very poor, and her economy is, like Russia and many formerSoviet republics with few exceptions (Poland being one of them) is non-existentexcept for the extraction of natural resources in raw form and then sellingsaid resources to other nations, mostly involving petroleum. Kazakhstan is noexception, with the majority of her economic activity based on selling petroleum and thenuranium or other radioactive ores. Most of this money goes to benefit thecurrent president and family of the President in Kazakhstan, who like many aCentral Asian Despot uses it to fund his own lavish lifestyle.
But that aside, one must note the relationship between economics andpolitics, for control is preceded by human social intercourse that comesthrough exchange, and the struggle for power in this world is often equivalentto the struggle for dominance in terms of finance over a particular region. Ifone controls the economy of an area, one can to a large extend control itsdestiny and even the destiny of men.
The Silk Road



A map of the ancient Silk Road. Notethat almost all of the routes go through Central Asia
In the ancient world, it was said that “all roads lead to Rome.” Globalismas it is called today has always existed, and it was made no clearer than inthe existence of the famous “Silk Road” that connected the Roman Empire at notjust Rome, but its most remote outposts in places such as Carnuntum and Angliawith northeast China, Korea, and even Japan, and with all things in between.While the term “Silk Road” was not in existence until the 19th century and waspopularized by the famous Swedish Silk Road explorer Sven Hedin, the giant“road” that lay at the heart of Central Asia, eastern Persia, and parts ofPakistan, Afghanistan, Jammu and Kashmir going into going into Xijiang in Chinaand over oases such as Kashgar defined trade for thousands of years, pre-datingbut amplified by the empire of Alexander the Great and continuing for all ofantiquity.
If one looks at the spread of Christianity, one will note that the routes ofthe Apostles greatly followed the Silk Road. This was exemplified no greaterthan by St. Thomas the Apostle. St. Thomas, who is sometimes called “doubtingThomas” because he did not believe Jesus appeared to the other apostles unlesshe could put his hands into the nail marks and spear wound and then fell to hisknees in fear after Our Lord appeared to him and showed His wounds to him,Thomas was the most traveled of all the disciples, going throughout Egypt,Ethiopia, all of Arabia, Iraq, Iran, making converts and establishing churchesuntil he was martyred by being skinned alive in India. To a great extend, hefollowed the ancient Silk Road during his travels.
The evil armies of Mohammed, upon emerging from the deserts of Arabia in 632AD after Mohammed’s death, followed the Silk Road for all of their conquests.It was what brought the armies of Islam not only across North Africa and toSpain, but also into Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and all the way throughUzbekistan to the final battle at the Talas River valley in 748 AD at the endof the Umayyad reign and what brought Islam to its easternmost point. It wasthe conquests of Islam that greatly ended the classical Silk Road and alsomarked the end of antiquity, and Islamic merchants supplanted the old merchantsand trading posts that existed, creating an economic lock on trade within theMiddle East and Far East that while trade continued would not be opened upagain in a massive way until the 15th century with the first Portugueseexplorations by sea to the Far East and Western Hemisphere.
As sea power eventually eclipsed the over-land roads, which were frequentlydangerous, prone to caravan robbery, and long-suffering in their ability tobring goods between points, the old roads fell into disuse and the areas wereforgotten as compared with their previous significance. As Peter Hopkirk pointsout in his book, ForeignDevils On the Silk Road, the peoples of the area, who had become very poor,were more than happy to sell artifacts of their culture to adventurers,scientists, and explorers, many who came from Europe and even America and Japanseeking treasure, fame, and fortune during the late 19th and early 20thcentury.
Geopolitical Significance
However, the decline of the ancient Silk Road as a direct does not mean thatthe road itself lacks geopolitical significance, nor that it could notre-emerge as a significant economic force given the proper conditions.
One may consider the case of Marco Polo and hisexpedition to China to visit Kublai Khan in this context. Marco Polo, a wealthyVenetian merchant, famously spent seventeen years away from his home in Genoaliving among the peoples of China and traveling through Persia and Central Asiaduring the 13th century. A trader by nature as Venice was also a great andancient mercantile power, he followed the ancient Silk Road paths on histravels. Other great missionaries from the similar period, such as Blessed John ofMontecorvino, traveled the same roads to Xijiang, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan,where he preached the gospel and it is said he made tens of thousands ofconverts to the Catholic Faith, of which many were sadly annihilated under therule of Tamerlane during hisvicious persecutions of all things he believed were an obstacle to his power.
The significance of the Silk Road is directly tied to Mackinder’stheory of world power (youcan read our article about this here). There never was a time that it willnot be significant because the nature of the road is that it was born out ofnatural geographic divisions that translated into physical structures overseenby various empires. The empires and peoples would change, but the land wouldnot and so the road would remain and if unused, its potential could remain tobe exploited by those able to adapt the available technologies to bring aboutits revival.
It is sort of like the seas. St.Brendan, the Irish missionary, is said to have sailed on a raft toNewfoundland and as far south as North Carolina before returning to Ireland. Hewas carried by the ocean currents, which guided his travels. Those currentsexisted before him, as they have always existed, and while the people canchange, the usefulness of those currents remains for those who could exploitthem with the technologies they have available.
Mega Railroads
Recently, Goldman Sachs announced they were following China into Kazakhstan,with major investments into into the railway industry:
It’s not for the long freezing winters or the haute cuisine, but GoldmanSachs is heading to Astana, the capital of the ex-Soviet republic ofKazakhstan.
Goldman announced on October 1 that it was joining the Astana InternationalExchange(AIX). Kazakhstan’s reformist-minded financial market is the first ofits kind in Central Asia and counts the Shanghai Stock Exchange and China’sSilk Road Fund as shareholders, and the Nasdaq as a technology partner. Goldmandid not respond to requests for comment about how much they’ve invested, buttheir press office confirmed their entry into one of one of the hottest marketsin Eurasia. FTSE and MSCI do not yet consider KZ an emerging market.
Goldman Sachs bought 108,480 ordinary shares of the Astana stock market,meaning they own 4.1% of AIX . But just in case this pie-in-the-sky exchangedoesn’t work out according to plan, they also entered into a 5-year put optionagreement with the one-year-old Astana International Financial Center (AIFC)Authority as insurance.
The Astana International Financial Center is AIX’s home. It is a symbol ofmodern, pro-Western, pro-capitalist Kazakhstan. Reminiscent of Disney’sspherical Epcot Center, it was built as part of last year’s World Expo 2017held in Kazakhstan.
AIFC is perhaps the final signature project of Kazakh president NursultanNazarbayev. Foreign bond investors like him because he has taken on anambitious modernization campaign to make the country more competitive throughinvestment in human capital and diversify away from natural resources. Kazakhbonds are investment grade.
There is nothing like this in the former Soviet Republics, especially inCentral Asia. The 78-year-old Nazarbayev says he plans on making Kazakhstan oneof the 30 top most-developed countries in the world by 2050. It remains astandout. In the latest Doing Business report by the World Bank, KZ beatsRussia.
I was told that AIFC is sort of a bootstrapping exercise, not unlike whatSingapore accomplished decades ago. Every European investor with money in KZgives it at least an A for effort, but execution is a different matter.
During the Astana Economic Forum in May, the general consensus among thebusiness community there was that the Center seems like a great idea—anundeniably good opportunity for high finance and big multinationals. Butconcern remains over how AIFC’s success will translate to the small and midsizebusiness owner’s living outside of Astana.
“One of our main goals is the development of the economy of Kazakhstan andthe region,” AIFC’s manager Ayan Adilbekov told me. It’s billed as the Kazakh21st-century commercial center; with nonfinancial companies and fintech firmslike Finclusion from Thailand and U.K.-based Paysend setting up offices there.
The AIFC jurisdiction is based on U.K. law. It brings companies into thefold via tax breaks, including for small and mid-sized operations that canactually move their operations there. So far, some 80 companies are registeredwithin the AIFC, which is like a country within a country in terms of bothlegal and fiscal benefits.
Chinese finance currently dominates the scene. The China Development Bank,China International Capital Corporations, Hong Kong Securities and ShenwanHongyuan Securities of Hong Kong are there. A subsidiary of Russia’s Lukoil isone of the official members of the AIFC.
But China is still where the action is.
Kazakhstan is the Central Asia buckle of China’s Belt and Road initiative ,receiving hundreds of millions of dollars for infrastructure investmentsranging from railroads to oil pipelines and a dry port along its border to shipgoods by rail into Europe.
The AIX–Shanghai Stock Exchange partnership makes investing in Kazakhstanthat much easier for Chinese stakeholders waiting for Nazarbayev’sprivatization plans to kick in.
“We have access to China’s capital pools and liquidity,” says Adilbekov.
Meanwhile, Nasdaq worked with AIX on trading systems and technologies thatwill make the young AIX work like a modern exchange. AIX allows KZ localsaccess to global brokers that meet the usual legal requirements. Nasdaq hassimilar setups in Lithuania.
AIFC did not respond to questions about the government’s privatizationplans, however. This is likely one of the key reasons why Goldman is involvedin the exchange, to get a first look at the opening up of new state-ownedenterprises to foreign investors.
Kazakhstan’s population is smaller than that of Shanghai, with just around18 million inhabitants. Per capita income in dollars is around $8,500, about$1,000 less than Brazil, according to Focus Economics.
Its unemployment rate sits at around 5%, with real interest rates close to3%. The country’s public debt as a percentage of GDP is just 26%, compared toaround 80% for Brazil and Argentina, though its economy—still heavily relianton hydrocarbons—is not as diverse as either of them. By comparison, at least,as a smallish frontier market, it has one of the more exciting free-marketprojects out there.
There is a chance that the reformist-minded Nazarbayev government gives KZ aboost in terms of market prowess; a market which is still all about extractionindustries and speculative-grade corporate bonds. Everyone sees it as the bestof the “Stans,” those majority Muslim, mostly secular ex-Soviet nations justsouth of Russia.
Washington likes Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev visited in January and metwith President Trump, and his Uzbek counterpart, Shavkat Mirziyoev followedsuit in May. Both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan announced U.S. private-sector dealsworth around $15 billion following those meetups.
Like the Russians, KZ’s central bank has been tasked with fixing the strugglingbanking sector and cleaning up the financial system. They’ve closed three lowerlevel banks this year.
AIFC’s success is linked with the health of Kazakhstan’s economy andfinancial markets. State lenders dominate everything, making it harder forcertain sectors of the economy, especially small and midsize businesses, to getloans from the big banks. It seems they are aware of this.
“We need to enhance the efficiency of managing pension assets and socialinsurance system resources, and effectively develop alternative financial toolslike a securities market, and insurance,” Nazarbayev said in a State of theCountry address on October 5.
That’s the long game for Astana, which is better than no game at all.
“AIFC [will] play a pivotal role in providing business with foreigninvestment and access to capital,” Nazarbayev said.
If Kazakhstan’s financial center and the AIX succeeds, that’s an opportunityfor Goldman Sachs, freezing winters aside. (source,source)
It’s not just the Chinese that are looking to invest in Kazakhstan. It isalso the US, who is putting up a lot of funding with China in what KazakhPresident Nurbayev is calling the new Silk Road:
China’s “Beltand Road” investments in Kazakhstan are paying off, allowing theCentral Asian country to promote itself as an attractive market for the U.S.and other global investors.
During a Jan. 16 visit to the White House, Kazakh President NursultanNazarbayev declared a “new era of relations” between the two countries. Thatafternoon, U.S. companies signed 20 commercial contracts with Kazakhstan worth$7.5 billion at a business roundtable.
One of three areas of collaboration named in a jointpress statementis agriculture, where Kazakhstan’strade with China is growing. Produce grown in the central Asian countrytravels into China through railroads and inland “ports” built as part of themassive regional development program Beijing launched five years ago.
“The Kazakhs have been more successful opening up the agriculture market inChina to Kazakhstan for wheat, vegetables and beef than others have been,” saidDavid Merkel, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a U.S.-basedthink tank. He is also on the board of trustees of Nazarbayev University inAstana, Kazakhstan.
“Now because of the infrastructure built out because of the [Belt and RoadInitiative], they have the market to be looked at more favorably forinvestments,” Merkel said.
The Kazakhs, he added, are using their success in accessing the Chinesemarket as “leverage to say to U.S. investors, ‘Invest in Kazakhstan, not justfor the Kazakh market but also the Chinese market and what’s beyond China.’” (source,source)
Below is a map of the new “Silk Road” proposed in the agreement. Compare itwith the second map below (also earlier in the article) of the rough route ofthe ancient Silk Road:
If one looks carefully at the route, which passes by the Caspian andremnants of the Aral Sea, one will note that the route is almost exactlythe same as it is in ancient times, with the possibility of skirtingnear to or just outside the reach of Kyrgyzstan, a country that few haveheard of in the US and is, as far as economics is concerned, an irrelevantbackwater in the recesses of the world. But this was not so once upon a time,for Kyrgyzstan was a central crossing point for millenia on the ancient SilkRoad from China to the Middle East and Europe, and her geopolitical location isjust as important then as it is being recognized for again today.
Kyrgyzstan, a small Muslim nation but generally secular with Islam as littlemore than a cultural dressing, and she is regularly involved in violentborder disputes with her neighbors. She is the closest ally of Russiawithin Central Asia, but is also close to the US, as she is the only country inCentral Asia which Americans can visit without needing to obtain a VISA, andthe same applies for much of Western Europe. Kyrgyzstan is also working on arailroad project with China that will stretch through her neighbor ofUzbekistan, bringing the landlocked nation to the Caspian Sea and due to herproximity with the railway being worked on by Kazakhstan will naturally connectthe two lines.
This “railway diplomacy” was picked up by the Jamestown Institute, the samegroup behind the “Russia inDecline” project that I have written about and lists it as a criticalproject for the future of Central Asia, and that it will connect Afghanistanand Pakistan to the region, thus having the potential to bring the entire Hindusubcontinent into that part of the world:
An official delegation from Uzbekistan, led by Foreign Minister AbdulazizKamilov, visited Pakistan on November 1–2. Kamilov and his retinue werereceived by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and held meetings with ForeignMinister Mahmood Qureshi as well as the host country’s top military brass. Inthe discussions with Pakistani officials, the Uzbekistani foreign ministerproposed several ground-breaking initiatives, including a railroad connectionbetween the two countries that would pass through Afghanistan (The New IndianExpress, November 2).
The proposal to build a rail link to Pakistan came one month afterUzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyaev traveled to India, on October 1. InDelhi, the Uzbekistani head of state invited his hosts to partner in implementinganother trans-Afghan railway project, connecting the Afghan cities ofMazar-I-Sharif and Herat. Uzbekistan’s government pledged $500 million from itsown funds for this important railway line, which, if realized, will become theshortest transit route to the Iranian port of Chabahar. The Indian governmentdid not immediately agree, however, and is taking its time to consider theUzbekistani proposal (The Hindu, September 28; Review.uz, October 30).
Trans-Afghan railway plans have existed for many years and currently arepart of the Uzbekistani government’s new strategy of developing all-roundcooperation with Afghanistan (see EDM, June 27, 2017; December 13, 2017). Tofacilitate trade, Uzbekistan’s authorities halved transit fees for Afghanrailway coaches and trucks in addition to signing a landmark transit agreementwith this country, allowing greater access for Afghan goods to Uzbekistan andother Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) markets (Eadaily.com, January24, 2018). Bilateral discussions on creating a free trade zone between the twocountries have also begun (Podrobno.uz July 12).
Moreover, Uzbekistan has been encouraging other fellow CIS countries to useits railway connections with Afghanistan. During Russian President VladimirPutin’s recent visit to Uzbekistan, on October 19–20 (see EDM, October 22),President Mirziyaev invited Russian companies to open their manufacturing andprocessing units in Uzbekistan to penetrate the Afghan market (YouTube, October19).
This invitation could be considered an encouraging new development, showingthat the Uzbekistani-Russian strategic dialogue over the situation inAfghanistan might be slowly moving beyond solely security matters. Putin alsopraised Uzbekistan’s moves to help achieve peace and stability in Afghanistanthrough direct talks between the Taliban and Afghan government, which could behosted in Tashkent (YouTube, October 19).
As a result of the Uzbek-Russian Business Forum, held during Putin’s visitto Uzbekistan, one of the largest Russian wheat exporting companies, THSiberian Giant, announced plans to set up a processing center in southernSurhandarya province, Uzbekistan, with an eye toward the Afghan market(Sputniknews-uz.com, October 22). In a similar fashion, Belarus’s President AlyaksandrLukashenka, during his visit to Tashkent last September, expressed interest inpartnering with Uzbekistan to export Belarusian agricultural equipment toAfghanistan (Podrobno.uz, September 13).
Uzbekistan already implemented a number of vital infrastructure and energyprojects in Afghanistan in the past and is arguably Afghanistan’s only neighborwith which the government in Kabul does not currently have any irritants inbilateral relations. Having said that, however, in the broader geopolitical contextthat involves outside powers vying for influence in Afghanistan, Uzbekistandoes not presently wield much strategic influence over developments in thisstrategically important neighboring country. Perhaps as a result, ZalmayKhalilzad, the United States’ Special Representative to AfghanistanReconciliation, did not include Uzbekistan in his first regional tour, whichrecently took him to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar andSaudi Arabia—traditionally considered influential power-brokers vis-à-vis Kabul(State.gov, October 3).
The importance of linkages to world markets cannot be overestimated fordouble-landlocked Uzbekistan. Various studies have repeatedly concluded thatinsufficient development of physical interregional infrastructure is among themain reasons for the high cost of trade between Central Asia and other regions.The magnitude of the high cost faced by the economies of Central Asia in globaltrade is comparable only with landlocked countries in Africa (Forbes.kz, October27).
Trans-Afghan railway lines concy is working on these days. The long-elusiveChina–Kyrgyzstan–Uzbekistan railway is another important and actively pursuedlinkage (Uza.uz, August 11). Currently, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan areworking on its implementation, and the recent warming in relations betweenTashkent and Bishkek (see EDM, September 18, 2017; October 17, 2017) hasinjected some cautious optimism that the three countries will finally be ableto reach an agreement. Nevertheless, this cautious optimism has to reckon witha set of challenges that still lie ahead for this railway line’simplementation. (source,source)
Within three weeks after this piece was published by the JamestownInstitute, Russia met with Kyrgyzstan officials to discuss further railroadbuilding projects (source, source).
As I and Ted have continually written about, there are major projects underway to build massive railway networks accompanied by oil pipelines going fromEurope and Turkey all the way into Central Asia, which would then naturallyconnect with those lines. Japan is also working aggressively to build her ownrailway networks with US help, going through China and connecting to the linesinto Central Asia.
If you have not read ourarticles on the railway networks, please click here and here toread them, as they provide critical information on the western aspect ofconstructing these networks.
If one looks at a map of the ancient Silk Road, it becomes immediatelyobvious that the “ancient world” as it is known is making a major revival withthe rebirth of the Silk Road, this time with bullet trains as the new caravans,able to transport goods and people in mass with rapid speed between East andWest.
As I noted above, economic precedes political control, and in the example ofDade County, GA, the little Georgia county that fought the government fordecades but was finally forced into federal control by the construction ofmajor roads that have permanently reshaped its destination, Central Asia ismuch the same way. Once a major area of commerce relegated to isolation, thenew “Silk Road” by the construction of major railways will leave a permanentchange in the area, as it will invite the massive influx of people to theregion that will bring about an economic revival but also a reborn politicalcontrol of the region through those who control the financial and economicpower in the area.
Returning to Mackinder’s theory, it is out of Central Asia that almost allmajor world empires have historically emerged. It is also believed by theGermans, Turks, and Japanese that they share a common history born from theSteppes of Central Asia in the lands around the Caspian, known as the Turanianbasin. Pan-Turanism,or the calling of all of these said peoples together under the unity of “bloodand soil” is taking place as we speak, and even major world governments, suchas that of Hungary, are goingto Central Asia to open up relations on the basis of this, let alone themajor economic ties one can see being brought about between the powers.
Eurasian century, and the new master race
Alexander Dugin, one of the close advisers for President Putin, has oftenspoken of a “Eurasian century” to define the 21st century. China has alsospoken about this, talking about the future of uniting East and West. This isfar more than just economic commerce brought about by railroads, but aboutspecific racial ideologies and the destiny of the human race as is believed bythe current and upcoming voices of eugenicists.
Years ago when the refugee crisis first emerged, I discussed a man by thename of Count Richard Cloudenhove von Kalergi. A Habsburg nobleman of mixedJapanese descent, he believed that the man of the “future” will be one of“mixed races”, as he notes in his book “Practical Idealism:
The man of the future will be of mixed race. The races and classes of todaywill gradually disappear due to the elimination of space, time, and prejudice.The Eurasian-negroid race of the future, similar in appearance to the AncientEgyptians, will replace the current diversity of peoples and the diversity ofindividuals. Instead of destroying European Judaism, Europe, against her will,refined and educated this people, driving them to their future status as aleading nation through this artificial evolutionary process. It’s notsurprising that the people that escaped from the Ghetto-Prison, became thespiritual nobility of Europe. Thus, the compassionate care given by Europecreated a new breed of aristocrats. This happened when the European feudalaristocracy crashed because of the emancipation of the Jews [due to the actionstaken by the French Revolution]
World War III and a possibly scarier future
As I have noted before, the movements in the financial world indicate thatthe conditions for a major world war are being set up right now. However, thisis not something that one should be surprised about, as ithas been desired since the 1950s according to declassified CIA documents,and is directly tied to Operation Gladio, the 20th century variant of theBritish “Great Game” against Russia, and is meant to reduce Russia to a seriesof warring, vassal states.
But is the destruction of Russia the final end game, or is it somethinglarger? According to declassified CIA documents from 1954, it noted on thebasis of a Soviet operative that the USSR did not want a Third World Warbecause they believed it would be an opportunity for the Soviet satelliterepublics to break away:
It notes that a resistance would be “impossible” in Siberia due to thesituation of the people, but that was almost 70 years ago when this waswritten. Due to the continual decline of Russia caused by internal problems andsocial problems, the nation is very weak while the Turkic peoples of Siberiaand the Central Asian republics, while also weak, are the only segments of theRussian population reproducing with more than 2 children per family, and eventhe lowest regions still have more than the average Russian family. This ishappening at a time when there is also a large migration from Central Asia intoparts of Russia.
It is completely possible at this point, given the situation of Russia, thatin a major global conflict involving the US and either Germany, Turkey, orJapan, and absolutely so involving all four, that Russia would lose because shelacks the physical capability to defend herself. Germany is actively planningfor a war against Russia, which is the reason why she has been working soardently with the US and Turkey at setting up gas lines from the Caspian Sea toEurope, as she is attemptingto avoid a Battle of Stalingrad scenario that she faced in World War II.
In another document from the CIA archives, the Peron government of Argentinain 1948 was asked about a Third World War between the US and Russia, and thegovernment responded that in the event of this happening, it would be“ideological” instead of based on “political and material interests”:
What specific “ideology” could this be? Communism versus “Capitalism”? Orcould it be something deeper than even what Mr. Mariategui could have seen?
Carr’s Forgery, Freemasonry, and a New Pagan Order
Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased. Uponhim I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry out, nor shout, nor make his voice heard in the street. Abruised reed* he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench.He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow dim or be bruiseduntil he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for histeaching.
Thus says God, the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, whospread out the earth and its produce, Who gives breath to its people and spiritto those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you for justice, I have grasped you by the hand, Iformed you, and set you as a covenant for the people, light for the nations, toopen the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and fromthe dungeon, those who live in darkness. -Isaiah 42:1-7
In the New Testament, Jesus warned His disciples that when He returns, willHe “find faith on the Earth?” This statement seems to imply a future apostasyfrom the true Faith, and as with all apostasy, it eventually in final formleads a man to return to the very paganism that Christ came to rescue him from,except that instead of man never having received the Gospel before, he hassince had the chance to receive it and has instead chosen to reject it.
What must be made clear here is that what is being proposed is the exactopposite of what Christ came to restore. Christ brought order from chaos, freedman from the eternal debt owed to God by his sinful actions, and showed man thetrue way to God, healing the wounds between the brothers Ham, Shem, andJapheth, castigating those who called themselves “chosen” because of any innateor associated characteristics, and showing them the meaning of true service,that all men are equal in the eyes of God, that all possess functions ofdignity before God and man, and that true service to God is not found in thepossession of material things, but in obedience to His commands, perfecting thewords of the Old Testament, where God angrily calls Israel “Sodom” and“Gomorrah,” and He says to them through Isaiah:
Hear the word of the LORD, princes of Sodom! Listen to the instruction ofour God, people of Gomorrah!
What do I care for the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD. I havehad enough of whole-burnt rams and fat of fatlings; In the blood of calves,lambs, and goats I find no pleasure.
When you come to appear before me, who asks these things of you? Trample mycourts no more! To bring offerings is useless; incense is an abomination to me.New moon and sabbath, calling assemblies— festive convocations with wickedness—these I cannot bear.
Your new moons and festivals I detest; they weigh me down, I tire of theload. When you spread out your hands, I will close my eyes to you; Though youpray the more, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood!
Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; ceasedoing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hearthe orphan’s plea, defend the widow.
Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD: Though your sins be likescarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, theymay become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; Butif you refuse and resist, you shall be eaten by the sword: for the mouth of theLORD has spoken! – Isaiah 1:10-20
If one was to look at the words of the Lord, and the example of history,what would in modern times a world look like that had rejected Christ andreturned to paganism?
Some characteristics are obvious. Human life would be cheap, seen only asvaluable as to its perceived use. The pursuit of the self and one’s own powerand glory would be the focus of life, giving a man over to indulge himself inthe basest of hedonism. There would be people of different ethnic backgrounds,and likely stratified by class on the absolute basis of said backgrounds, withthe “purest” by whatever measure constituted “pure” as the “ruling” class, andthose “impure” forced into progressively lower classes based on their perceived“impurity”. Following in the example of past peoples, there would be attemptsto worship things like God or even to have some men attempt to become like Godwho are then worshiped as God, usually being done by the “rulers” to the“ruled.” Abhorrent practices such as sodomy, abortion, infanticide, and humansacrifice would be seen as normal manifestations of culture and taught to be assuch, without any question over the immoral nature of them at all. It would be,ultimately an attempt to restore the disorder of Nimrod when some of the sonsof Ham, Shem, and Japheth came together in rebellion against God and tried tomake the tower of Babel that they might seek to be like God, and God destroyedtheir tower, confounded their language, and scattered them throughout theEarth.
It is claimed that the famous American Freemason Albert Pike wrote a letterto Freemason and Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini in 1871 discussing a“three world wars” scenario. The history of the letter is dubious, and mostlikely a forgery by W.G. Carr, the first person alleged to have reported it. But, perhaps, wasCarr referring to this in an allegorical sense, similar to what many othershave claimed about books with controversial or objectively untrue ideas?
 “The First World War must be broughtabout in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars inRussia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism. Thedivergences caused by the “agentur” (agents) of the Illuminati between theBritish and Germanic Empires will be used to foment this war. At the end of thewar, Communism will be built and used in order to destroy the other governmentsand in order to weaken the religions.”
It is true that the US/UK and Germany funded the rise of Bolshevism and thedestruction of Russia by Lenin and his hooligans. Christianity was virtuallyexterminated from Russia, and those caught were often times put to death on thespot or sent to Siberia to be worked to death in the camps at Kolyma and otherplaces, known as the “State Camps,” or GULAG.
“The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of thedifferences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must bebrought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism bestrong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine. During theSecond World War, International Communism must become strong enough in order tobalance Christendom, which would be then restrained and held in check until thetime when we would need it for the final social cataclysm.”
It is true that while there were many atrocities committed by Germany, therewas major collaboration between Nazis and Jews, from the philosophyof National Socialism itself to thefinancing of the Nazi party. The US worked not only with the USSR, butwillingly allowed for the USSR to expand into all of Eastern Europe andcontinue her reign of terror against her people.
“The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differencescaused by the “agentur” of the “Illuminati” between the political Zionists andthe leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way thatIslam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel)mutually destroy each other.
Remember, this letter was written in 1952. Islam was scarcely in the publicmind at all, but as we have written about, the US government was planning for aThird World War as early as this time, and was also funding Islamic rebelsthroughout the USSR and in other parts of the world as a part of OperationGladio, creating “stay behind” groups as a part of an anti-Russian geopoliticalstrategy that involved often times supporting Islamic terrorist groups such aswith Operation Cyclone.
Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will beconstrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual andeconomical exhaustion… We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and weshall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will showclearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery andof the most bloody turmoil.
Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against theworld minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers ofcivilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with christianity, whose deisticspirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for anideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the truelight through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer,brought finally out in the public view.
This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement whichwill follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered andexterminated at the same time. (source)
It is a curious observation that in recent times, there has been a continualdecline in Christianity, stemming from the apostasy beginning in the yearsfollowing World War II, and at the same time a rise in the support of bothatheism and even more recently, an “anti-atheism” movement, while there is anincreasing interest in “spirituality” that is little different from a new formof paganism.
It is important to remember that Carr’s letter should not be lookedat as a historical document, but as one man’s allegory for what he concluded,based on his readings about how the future may look. It is to encapsulate thespirit of a movement in the context of history rather than an actual movementor historical record itself. 
Returning to Astana
Looking at the design of Astana, one can see that clearly it bears asemblance to things found in Freemasonry. However, the question is not if “theFreemasons” are involved in Astana itself or not, because it is what theconcept of Freemasonry represents, which is the rebellion against God and the establishmentof a naturalistic order in a modern version of what Nimrod and the sons of Ham,Shem, and Japheth attempted to do at Bable thousands of years ago.
There is no accident for the focus on Central Asia, as the rebuilding of thenew Silk Road is as much an attempt to revive a real and true economic corridoras it is to instill political and social control in the area as it is tied tothe particular concepts of pagan racial supremacy and power and attempting torevive them in what seems to be future plans for an attempt to bring about anew, pagan world order defined by all of the evils that Christ came to fight.
It is said that order is brought about through chaos, and given the knowndesires of the Turkic peoples in Central Asia and Russia towards independenceand rebellion, encouraged by the Americans and rightfully suppressed anddiscouraged by the Russians, as is documented by the CIA could be realizedthrough a war. This would not be to benefit the peoples, but to subjugate themin a different manner, by billionaires and businessmen in suits instead ofdirect government force. For the Americans, it would be to eliminate their maingeopolitical competitor, for her allies in Germany, Turkey, and Japan, it wouldbe the ability to converge together into the heart of what would be landsformerly under Russian control in the name of Turanian racial unity, and forall it would be the opportunity to apply principles of eugenics in the name of“creating a better world.” It is possible that, as is was predicted that WorldWar III would be based not on economic needs but particular ideologies, thatsuch a war would be a tool to wipe out possibly a large part of the human raceand then, from the ashes of destruction, to have birthed anew a pagan phoenixand the call for, as in what happened after World War I with the League ofNations and after World War II with the United Nations, a call for a “unitedworld” of sorts but this time rooted in the same pagan humanistic,anti-Christian, anti-God teachings exemplified by  the Freemason rebellionduring the 18th century. In an ironic twist of the preternatural, it would bethe application of nationalism to bring about a new form of globalism worsethan the previous form
The Bible predicted the philosophy of such men in the words of Wisdom 2:
For, not thinking rightly, they said among themselves: “Brief and troubledis our lifetime; there is no remedy for our dying, nor is anyone known to havecome back from Hades.
For by mere chance were we born, and hereafter we shall be as though we hadnot been; Because the breath in our nostrils is smoke, and reason a spark fromthe beating of our hearts, And when this is quenched, our body will be ashesand our spirit will be poured abroad like empty air.
Even our name will be forgotten in time, and no one will recall our deeds.So our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud, and will be dispersedlike a mist pursued by the sun’s rays and overpowered by its heat.
For our lifetime is the passing of a shadow; and our dying cannot bedeferred because it is fixed with a seal; and no one returns. Come, therefore,let us enjoy the good things that are here, and make use of creation withyouthful zest. Let us have our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let nospringtime blossom pass us by; let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before theywither.
Let no meadow be free from our wantonness; everywhere let us leave tokens ofour merriment, for this is our portion, and this our lot (Wisdom 2:1-9)
In that sense, the French Revolution never actually ended, for it was a warto bring about rebellion against God, His Church, and all order in the name ofestablishing a dictatorship of man. During the 19th century it was the “wars ofindependence” in Europe and the Americas that were directly influenced by thelodge or indirectly by its ideals. In the 20th century, it began with World WarI that destroyed much of the systems of order established for almost twomillenia in Europe, and that was finished off by World War II. In thisChristianity survived, but it was systematically ripped out from its places ofoccupation or relegated to a place of social isolation separate from the moralethos of society, creating a social contradiction that would force a man tochoose between his faith and mere existence in the current society under asemblance of normalcy, and most would elect to follow the latter instead of theformer because of the rigor involved.
Could it be that World War III is the catalyst for bringing about notdestruction, but the birth of paganism?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9513

Russia missile THREAT: USA eyes up more Turkey sanctions as Ankara IGNORES warnings

DONALD Trump’s administration could slap Turkey with more sanctions over a decision by Ankara to deploy an advanced Russian missile system on Europe’s doorstep, Turkish media reports.

By Harvey Gavin

PUBLISHED: 19:17, Thu, Nov 15, 2018 | UPDATED: 19:17, Thu, Nov 15, 2018

Turkey could face further sanctions over its purchase of the Russian made S-400 missile system (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

The United States has repeatedly warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to go ahead with a purchase of the S-400 surface-to-air missile platform amid concerns it could be used to target the new F-35 stealth fighter. But it emerged in September that Turkey had begun work on a launch site to accommodate the Russian-made weaponry. Turkey insists the missiles are not a threat to American jets, but US officials are “not optimistic” over Ankara’s assurances, according to Turkish news agency Anadolu.

But the source added negotiations between Washington and Ankara over the issue are “continuing”.

The Russian-made S-400 can target multiple aerial targets within its 250 mile range (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

The S-400 reportedly poses a ‘threat’ to the US-made F-35 jets (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

The S-400 is touted as one of the most advanced systems in the world and is capable of engaging multiple aerial targets within its 250 mile range.

It is designed to knock incoming ballistic missiles out of the sky before they reach their target and can also target stealth warplanes – including the new F-35 fighter.

Turkey is due to receive two F-35s in the near future ahead of a further order which will eventually see the country take delivery of 100 of the high-tech jets.

But experts have warned the planes, combined with the S-400 missile system, could allow Russia to analyse the stealth technology fitted to the plane.

Writing in the National Interest, defence expert Sebastien Roblin said: “In short, the Pentagon sees the combination of S-400 batteries and F-35 fighters as one that may give Russia a chance to closely study the stealth jet, and tailor their air defences to defeat it.”

Trump reveals that Turkey released Pastor Andrew Brunson

 

Russia said Turkey’s S-400 missiles will be delivered in 2019 (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

NATO countries have also expressed concerns over Turkey’s S-400 purchase because it is incompatible with equipment used by the Western alliance.

Relations between Ankara have Washington improved slightly in recent weeks following the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson who was being held in Turkey on terrorism charges.

President Donald Trump had slapped Turkey with tough sanctions after a deal he struck with President Erdogan to secure Mr Brunson’s release fell through.

But following the pastor’s release last month, Mr Trump signalled a thawing of relations could be possible, tweeting the move “will lead to good, perhaps great, relations between the United States & Turkey!”

However the ongoing row over the S-400 threatens recent progress between the two nations.

Russia has previously said it plans to deliver the new missiles in 2019.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9468

Turkic Muslims: China’s and the Muslim World’s Achilles Heel

By Dr. James M. Dorsey September 26, 2018

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 959, September 26, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A list of 26 predominantly Muslim countries considered sensitive by China reflects Chinese concerns that they could reinforce religious sentiment among the People’s Republic’s Turkic Muslim population with potentially far-reaching consequences if the Islamic world were to take it to task for its crackdown in Xinjiang, the most frontal assault on Islam in recent history.

A list of 26 predominantly Muslim countries considered sensitive by China, which was compiled by Human Rights Watch as part of a just published report on the crackdown in China’s strategic northwestern province, details the rollout of the world’s most intrusive, 21st-century surveillance state as well as an attempt to re-educate a population of 10 million. That population includes primarily Uighurs, an ethnically Turkic Muslim group, as well as Muslims of Central Asian origin.

The re-education is designed to reshape the population’s religious beliefs so that they adopt an interpretation of Islam that is in line with the Chinese Communist Party’s precepts rather than prescriptions of Islamic holy texts in a bid to counter Turkic Muslim nationalist, ethnic, or religious aspirations as well as political violence.

China worries that national and religious sentiment and/or militancy could challenge China’s grip on Xinjiang, home to 15% of its proven oil reserves, 22% of its gas reserves, and 115 of the 147 raw materials found in the People’s Republic as well as part of its nuclear arsenal.

Included on the list of countries are Afghanistan and Pakistan; former Soviet Central Asian nations, many of which border on Xinjiang; Southeast Asian nations like Malaysia and Indonesia; and key Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey, which have historic, ethnic, and linguistic ties to China’s Turkic Muslims and have been sympathetic for decades to Uighur aspirations.

China’s crackdown, according to a plan developed by the Baluntai Town government in north-central Xinjiang, involves targeting, among others, Turkic Muslims who remain in contact with family and friends abroad, people who have stayed abroad “too long,” and those who have, independently and without state permission, organized Hajj pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia. China is particularly concerned about Uighur contact with Muslim countries.

Human Rights Watch quoted Inzhu, a 50-year-old mother, who lives in an unidentified country, as saying, “It was 2 a.m. and my daughters [in a foreign country] were chatting with their father [in Xinjiang] on the phone. You know, they’re daddy’s girls and they were telling him all their secrets … when suddenly my daughters ran in to tell me, ‘The authorities are taking away daddy!’”

For China, the Muslim world’s silence constitutes a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Beijing’s campaign in Xinjiang is effectively enabled by this silence, which is driven primarily by the desire of governments, many of which are deeply indebted to China, to preserve economic relations. It allows it to largely ignore criticism by Western nations and human rights groups as well as the Uighur Diaspora.

On the other hand, the silence potentially gives Muslim countries a degree of leverage. Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Muhammad seemingly exploited that leverage with China treading carefully in the face of an anti-Chinese election campaign that returned the 93-year old to office in May. Maharthir subsequently suspended US$22 billion of Chinese-backed Belt and Road-related infrastructure projects.

This leverage could also factor in the intention of financially troubled Pakistan to review or renegotiate agreements related to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a crown jewel in the Belt and Road initiative and at US$50 billion plus, its single largest country investment.

The risk for China is that mushrooming publicity about its crackdown in Xinjiang, which includes pressure on Uighurs abroad to return to the Chinese province or risk incarceration – a push that has led countries like Egypt, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia to extradite Uighurs to China – will make it increasingly difficult for Muslim countries to remain silent.

The risk is also that the crackdown could have a boomerang effect, fueling radicalization at home as well as abroad. A study quoted in The New York Times by Qiu Yuanyuan, a scholar at the Xinjiang Party School, where officials are trained, warned that “recklessly setting quantitative goals for transformation through education has been erroneously used … The targeting is imprecise, and the scope has been expanding.”

The risks are enhanced by black swans such as a recent court case in Kazakhstan that forced the government in Astana to walk a fine line between avoiding friction with China and shielding itself from accusations that it is not standing up for the rights and safety of Kazakh nationals.

Kazakhs were taken aback when 41-year-old Sayragul Sauytbay, a Chinese national of Kazakh descent, testified in an open Kazakh court that she had been employed in a Chinese re-education camp for Kazakhs only that had 2,500 inmates. She said she was aware of two more camps reserved for Kazakhs.

Ms. Sauytbay was standing trial for entering Kazakhstan illegally. She said she had escaped to Kazakhstan after being told by Chinese authorities that she would never be allowed to rejoin her family because of her knowledge of the camps. Ms. Sauytbay was given a six-month suspended sentence and allowed to stay in the country where her recently naturalized husband and children reside.

The inclusion of ethnic Kazakhs, a community in China of 1.25 million people, in the crackdown sparked angry denunciations in Kazakhstan’s parliament. “There should be talks taking place with the Chinese delegates. Every delegation that goes there should be bringing this topic up … The key issue is that of the human rights of ethnic Kazakhs in any country of the world being respected,” said Kunaysh Sultanov, a member of parliament and former deputy prime minister and ambassador to China.

Anti-Chinese sentiment in the Pakistani Chinese border province of Gilgit-Baltistan ran high earlier this year after some 50 Uyghur women married to Pakistani men were detained on visits to Xinjiang and China refused to renew the visas of Pakistani husbands resident in Xinjiang.

Beyond economic leverage, China has so far benefited from the fact that Muslim politicians and leaders see more political mileage in pushing causes like the Palestinians rather than those that have not been in the Islamic world’s public eye.

You gain popularity if you show you are anti-Zionism and if you are fighting for the Palestinians, as compared to the Rohingya or Uighurs,” said Ahmad Farouk Musa, director of the Islamic Renaissance Front, a Malaysian NGO.

It’s a bet Muslim countries and China could continue to win, but could prove costly if they eventually lose.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9395

Are Turkey and the USA on a collision course? Not necessarily

Where are we headed? The Brunson crisis has gone on for several weeks – does Erdogan really think Trump will concede?

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, 27/08/18 13:08 | updated: 16:03

Modern Turkey was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (“Father of the Turks”) – in 1923 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire during WWI (1917). He led Turkey into the modern age by abandoning Islam and using constitutional and governmental means to force a secular nationalist agenda on the country’s citizens. The secular state allowed many of the things prohibited by Islam, such as the sale of alcoholic beverages and their consumption in public, civil marriages, casinos and betting, while some of the things permitted by Islam became illegal, such as polygamy and child marriage.

As the years passed, the demographic makeup of the country changed, and the mostly liberal and secular urban public declined in number due to a lowered birth rate and high rate of emigration, while the rural public, more traditional and religiously observant, increased and gained strength due to its high birthrate and low level of emigration. This cultural change was reflected in the 1996 elections when Necmettin Erbakan, head of the Islamic Welfare Party, was elected prime minister and deposed in 1997, the following year.

Erbakan’s pupil, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, head of  the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was elected prime minister in March 2003 and served  for two terms until August 2014, when he was elected President – one whose authority is steadily expanding as time goes on. The renewal of an Islamist party regime in a state which had an 80 year tradition of a secular government caused consternation in the West among leaders, journalists, intellectuals and academics who feared a Turkish version of the 1979 Iranian revolution that brought Khomeni to power.  In order to calm them down, Erdogan decided to play both sides simultaneously – at least in public.

Playing both sides in the religious sphere

In order to  assuage the fears of those inside Turkey and outside of it who were concerned about his becoming president, Erdogan ran a clever election campaign which included holding a press conference during daylight hours in the month of the Ramadan fast where he enjoyed  a sandwich in full view of the assembled  photographers and media representatives. Audible sighs of relief were heard worldwide, with no one understanding that this did not prevent him from simultaneously being a Muslim Brotherhood Islamist – and in fact, some time later, Erdogan admitted that the sandwich was a publicity stunt meant to soothe Western nerves. Playing both sides…

In the military sphere

Tiurkey is a full-fledged member of NATO and an honorary member from its founding. The Incirlik Air Base in Turkey was the front line position of NATO forces against the USSR, and U2 and SR71 planes took off from the base to missions above the USSR and its Warsaw Pact allies, without any of those countries being capable of intercepting the high flying planes.

When the Islamist Party took over the Turkish regime, Turkey’s relations with the West became complicated, starting with the Erdogan regime’s decision to stop NATO forces from invading Iraq from Turkish soil. This came as a great surprise to the US, causing a major change in the plans for the Second Gulf War.  Erdogan did not leave NATO, but did not cooperate with any of the organization’s military plans in any Islamic state: Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria.  Simultaneously, a member and a non- participant. Playing both sides…

Relations with Middle Eastern states

Turkey is attempting to gain recognition as a regional power overseeing the area’s other countries on the basis of 1) its national pride 2) j400 years of historical consciousness as an Empire (1517-1917) and 3) political Islamic ideology which leads Erdogan to believe that he alone is fulfilling Allah’s will.

The Arab regimes have understood Erdogan’s motives since 2003 and he has them greatly concerned. Bashar Assad had an excellent relationship with him until 2011, with the need for visas waived for Turks visiting Syria and vice versa. This is unusual in Arab states, where a visa is always necessary to travel from one to another. Erdogan blew a fuse, however, when Assad the Alawite began butchering his Sunni Muslim citizens and particularly Muslim Brotherhood members, Erdogan’s ideological brothers. At that point, all the former agreements vanished into thin air, and in 2014, Erdogan even supported ISIS.

Erdogan has a dual relationship with Egypt as well: He wholeheartedly supported Morsi, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president from late June 2012 till early July 2013, and has an ongoing feud with al-Sisi who deposed Morsi. This is not about the relations between Turkey and Egypt, but is concentrated on the personal relationship between Erdogan and whoever rules Egypt. Everything is personal and revolves around the ideological preferences of one person – Erdogan.

Erdogan’s special love is reserved for Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Erdogan supports and helps them wholeheartedly in every way he can, although he is careful not to transfer funds to them so as not to go up against the US law that forbids transferring funds to Hamas as they are listed as a terrorist organization.

The most extreme incident was the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship filled with IHH terrorists that tried to sail through the blockade on Gaza in May 2010. On the one hand Erdogan has diplomatic relations with Israel and on the other, he supports those who call for its destruction. Playing both sides…

When it comes to Israel, Erdogan plays both sides in other ways. Turkish construction companies, headed by Yilmaz, build upscale office buildings in the center of Tel Aviv, Turkish factories manufacture clothes, food and electric appliances for Israeli companies. On the other hand, however, Erdogan sends tens of millions of dollars to support Islamic resistance to Israeli rule in East Jerusalem, an inseparable part of Israel’s capital, its faith and history.

Playing both sides in Europe and the US

Erdogan’s dream is to be accepted to the European Union so that he can reap economic benefits from joining one of the world’s strongest and largest economic bodies. Up until the economic crisis of 2008, Erdogan was insulted to the depths of his soul if some European leader said something against Turkey joining the EU, because he realized that Europe did not want to give him the opportunity to export millions of Muslims to Europe and speed up its Islamization.

On the other hand, when Greece was in dire economic straits and needed massive European economic aid, Erdogan was glad not to be an EU member. The last thing he wants to do is to help the Greek Christians he hates so much. He wants to be accepted to the EU, but not really….

Then came the migrant wave of 2015 that flooded Europe with over 1 million refugees, some of them Syrian but most of them Iraqi, Afghan or Pakistanis who, if they managed to survive crossing the Aegean Sea, landed in small, rickety boats on the Greek coast. Where did they sail from? Syria? Iraq?   Not at all. They embarked on the dangerous sea journey from Turkey, the country they fled to from their collapsing states. According to international law, the minute a refugee arrives in a functioning state, he may not be expelled from it and must be granted refuge within its borders. In other words, all the hundreds of thousands of refugees who reached Greece were sent on their way by Turkey, which is not in a state of war.

Do you get it? Erdogan, the celebrated Islamist, sent hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, the overwhelming majority of them Muslim, to drown (remember the little boy with the red shirt lying on the shore?) or to reach heretic European states.

Why didn’t the Europeans stop the Erdogan-created migrant wave before it hit their shores? Who knows.

Later on, they paid him a billion euro to stop the migration from Turkey to Europe. He took the money and continued sending migrants. Why? Because that is the way to turn Europe into a Muslim continent. Why did he want to do this? Because he is an Islamist.

Then US  President Barack Obama, said not a word against Erdogan and the wave of immigrants he created. Conspiracy theorists will tell you that Obama, like Erdogan, wanted Europe to become Islamic. The extensive reports in the media about the refugee wave helped Trump win the election, because he spoke of stopping the lesser wave of migrants that reached North America. Trump knew who was responsible for the wave of migrants, and it makes sense to infer that his opinion of Erdogan already began to be forged during that period.

The personal aspect of the issue cannot be ignored. Trump and Erdogan are both extremely sure of themselves and their ideas, two men whose style of leadership is at once personal, loud and emotional. They both love to speak straight to their supporters, rallying them to whatever cause they are espousing and radicalizing their opinions.  The chance that the two will have a head on collision  is  the same as the probability that two billy goats trying to cross a narrow bridge from opposing ends will bump into one another.

Trump’s opinion of Islamist leaders is well known. He has the same level of affection for Erdogan as he has for the Iranian mullahs, but instead of taking that into account, Erdogan has done everything he can to infuriate the US president. In Syria, Erdogan collaborates with the Russians, says nothing about the heavy bombing that shattered the US-supported anti-Assad forces, and battles the Syrian Kurds although he is aware that the US that armed them so they would fight ISIS.

Erdogan came out loudly and publicly against Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and once it was a fait accompli, called a conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) representing 57 Islamic states in order to condemn Trump’s action and work against it. What was he thinking? That Trump would send a recorded blessing to the conference?

That’s when the Pastor Brunson issue surfaced. Erdogan has had him incarcerated since 2016, at first in prison and now under house arrest, for allegedly taking part in the rebellion against the government. I do not know what really happened there, but it seems that Trump simply does not believe that a Christian leader, whose activities are totally religion-oriented, would take part in a military coup. Trump convinced Israel to release a woman suspected of transferring funds to Hamas, expecting the quid pro quo to be Brunson’s release, but that did not happen. What was Erdogan thinking?  That a leader whose voters are in a large part Evangelists would give up the efforts to release an Evangelist pastor?  Yet the Brunson crisis has gone on for several weeks – does Erdogan really think Trump will concede?

Trump took the economic steps he knows how to do without burning all his bridges, from sanctions against two ministers to a tax on metals. These are sanctions that can be stopped in a moment, but Erdogan has not given in and is ready to sacrifice his country’s economy on the altar of his inflated ego. The Turkish lira is in a state of collapse, the stock market has crashed, Qatar – another terror and Muslim Brotherhood sponsoring country – is offering aid, but Erdogan has not yet freed Bronsun.

Where are we headed? It looks as though there are behind the scenes contacts whose goal is to find a solution, but it is clear that Trump does not see Erdogan as a partner despite his formal NATO membership. He may even have given the USAF orders to prepare for the day Erdogan expels the US from Incirlik – yes, even that is being talked about by some voices in Turkey.

It is possible that some kind of solution will be found, one that allows both leaders to preserve their honor and images. It will not be easy, but from this important podium I would like to humbly suggest a solution to the two of them:  Bronsun has a weak heart, he is beginning to feel ill, his health is deteriorating and his llfe is endangered. Erdogan can arrange the “patient’s” medical transfer to Europe as a lifesaving goodwill gesture and after two days of tests in the US army hospital in Germany, Trump can remove the sanctions, welcome Bronsun and let Erdogan come out a winner as well. Playing both sides again – but so what?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9350