The Beginning Of The End
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The Road To World War 3: Russia And Ukraine Are Now Engaged In A Shooting War

Russian Tanks - Photo by Yana AmelinaRussian soldiers and Ukrainian soldiers are now shooting at each other in eastern Ukraine.  Could this conflict ultimately lead us down the road to World War 3?  This week, a very robust force of “tanks, artillery and infantry” has opened up a “third front” in the Ukrainian civil war in a part of southeastern Ukraine that had not seen much fighting yet.  Exhausted Ukrainian forces are suddenly being pushed back rapidly and many outsiders are wondering how the nearly defeated rebels were able to muster such impressive military strength all of a sudden.  But it really isn’t much of a mystery.  The tanks, artillery and infantry came from inside Russia.  In recent days, Ukrainian units have captured ten Russian paratroopers and there have even been funerals for Russian paratroopers that have been killed in action back home in Russia.  Even though it has become exceedingly obvious that Russia is now conducting a stealth invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is still choosing to deny it.  But if he did publicly admit it, that would be even more dangerous.  Barack Obama would be forced into a position of either having to do something about the Russian invasion or look weak in the eyes of the public.  And as the Russians have already shown, they are more than willing to match any move that the Obama administration makes.

There has already been much written about who is to blame for all of this, and I am sure that much more will be written about who is to blame in the future.  The western world is blaming “Russian aggression” for the mess in Ukraine.    In return, the Russians point out that it was westerners that funded and organized the groups that violently overthrew the democratically-elected government of Ukraine.  To the Russians, the current government of Ukraine is made up of neo-Nazi terrorist usurpers that are attempting to brutally oppress millions of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

So the Russians seem themselves as “the good guys” in this conflict and so does the western world.  But that is how most wars start.  Both sides usually feel morally justified at the start of a conflict.

In the final analysis, however, is it really going to matter very much who was “right” and who was “wrong” if the end result is World War 3?

If the rebels in eastern Ukraine had been able to defeat the Kiev government forces on their own, Putin probably would have been content to let them do that.  But instead, they had been pushed back to two major cities and seemed on the verge of defeat.

But now it is the Ukrainian forces that are experiencing “panic and wholesale retreat”

Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials are calling a stealth invasion.

The attacks outside this city and in an area to the north essentially have opened a new, third front in the war in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, along with the fighting outside the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

How is this happening?

It is the Russians of course.

In fact, if you talk to Ukrainian soldiers, they are very clear on who they are fighting now…

“I tell you they are Russians, but this is what proof I have,” said Sgt. Aleksei Panko, holding up his thumb and index finger to form a zero. Sergeant Panko estimated about 60 armored vehicles crossed near Novoazovsk. “This is what happened: they crossed the border, took up positions and started shooting.”

The Ukrainian Vinnytsia brigade met the cross-border advance over the six miles of countryside separating Novoazovsk from the Russian border, but later retreated to the western edge of town along the Rostov-Mariupol highway, where soldiers were collapsed in exhaustion on the roadside. “This is now a war with Russia,” Sergeant Panko said.

And as I mentioned above, Ukrainian forces have even captured ten Russian paratroopers.  Rather than denying who they are, the Russian government is claiming that they wandered into Ukraine by mistake

Ten Russian soldiers were detained in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, that country’s Security Service said Tuesday, as tensions simmered over the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels.

The Russian soldiers were captured with documents and weapons on them, the Security Service said.

Moscow has repeatedly denied claims by Kiev that it has sent troops and weapons over the border into Ukraine, where the Ukrainian military is fighting pro-Russian rebels.

Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited a source in the Russian Defense Ministry as saying the soldiers had been patrolling the border and “most likely crossed by accident” at an unmarked point.

The denials that Russian forces are actively operating inside eastern Ukraine have become so absurd that even some in the Russian press are openly questioning them.  For example, just check out this excerpt from a USA Today article that was posted on Wednesday…

Vedomosti, a liberal business daily, published an editorial Wednesday on events in Ukraine under the headline, “Are We Fighting?”

It noted the recent capture of the Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory and reports of “mysterious funerals” of Russian soldiers, some of whom are officially counted dying during training exercises.

“The number of questions that hang in the air of the dead and detained Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine has reached a critical number. Does Russia fight in Ukraine and, if so, on what grounds? If not, then who is in those freshly dug graves or giving testimony at SBU (Russian Security service) interrogations?”

A Bloomberg editorial contained some more details about the “mystery funerals” that have been taking place inside Russia…

One such burial, of two soldiers, took place in the village of Vybuty near Pskov in northwestern Russia, where an airborne division is based. Efforts to conceal the deaths produced a fiasco. Though the wife of one paratrooper had reported his death on the Vkontakte social network, when a reporter, Ilya Vasyunin of the Russian Planet website, called the wife’s phone number, a woman who answered stated that the paratrooper was alive and well. Two reporters, from Russian Planet and TV Dozhd, who visited the cemetery where the two fresh graves had been seen were immediately attacked by men in black tracksuits. Local journalists, however, succeeded in photographing the graves. According to the independent TV Dozhd, the soldiers’ names and wreaths have been removed from the graves.

There are other reports of paratrooper funerals, which are hard to conceal. Soldiers have grieving families who do not necessarily share the authorities’ desire for deception. In any case, Ukrainian troops have captured some Russian paratroopers. For the first time since the conflict began in March, they were able to record interviews with them.

Sadly, most Americans are not paying much attention to this conflict.

Most Americans are not really going to care much about a war on the other side of the planet that does not directly involve us.

But they should care.

Because things are about to escalate to a level that we rarely saw even during the darkest moments of the Cold War.  Relations between the United States and Russia are spiraling downhill, and that could end up having a huge impact on all of our lives.

For example, in my previous article entitled “Russia Is Doing It – Russia Is Actually Abandoning The Dollar“, I discussed how this tug of war over Ukraine was causing Russia to think about moving away from the petrodollar.  Well, it turns out that now the Russians are actually taking concrete steps toward abandoning the petrodollar for good…

The Russian oil company Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in rubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese yuan for the transfers, the Russian business daily Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The Russian government and several of the country’s largest exporters have widely discussed the possibility of accepting payments in rubles for oil exports.

Last week, Russia began to ship oil from the Novoportovskoye field to Europe by sea. Two oil tankers are expected to arrive in Europe in September. According to Kommersant, the payment for these shipments will be received in rubles.

That is huge news, but you probably haven’t heard a thing about it on the big mainstream news networks.

Meanwhile, one thing that you probably have heard about is how “Russian hackers” attacked JPMorgan Chase earlier this month

Russian hackers attacked the U.S. financial system in mid-August, infiltrating and stealing data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and at least one other bank, an incident the FBI is investigating as a possible retaliation for government-sponsored sanctions, according to two people familiar with the probe.

The attack resulted in the loss of gigabytes of sensitive data, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the probe is still preliminary. Authorities are investigating whether recent infiltrations of major European banks using a similar vulnerability are also linked to the attack, one of the people said.

As relations between the United States and Russia continue to decline precipitously, both sides will be looking for ways to hurt one another.

And that won’t be good for any of us.

So let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

But ultimately, this current conflict could end up taking us to a destination that the Cold War never did.

World War 3 will probably not happen next week, next month or even next year, but right now we are on a road which could eventually lead to the unthinkable.

Let us pray that our politicians are able to find the exit ramp at some point.

15 Signs That Obama Has Already Made The Decision To Go To War With Syria

Obama Nobel Peace PrizeThe Obama administration seems absolutely determined to help radical Islamic jihadists that have beheaded Christians, that have massacred entire Christian villages, and that have pledged loyalty to al-Qaeda topple the Assad regime and take over Syria.  Yes, the Assad regime is horrible, but if these jihadist lunatics take control it will destabilize the entire region, make the prospect of a major regional war much more probable, and plunge the entire nation of Syria into a complete and utter nightmare.  It has been estimated that somewhere around 100,000 people have already been killed in the civil war in Syria, and now it looks like the U.S. military and the rest of NATO plan to become directly involved in the conflict.  The Obama administration is actually considering an attack on Syria even though the American people are overwhelmingly against it, Obama does not have Congressional approval to start a war, and he will never get approval for military action from the UN because it will be blocked by Russia.  This is setting up to become a colossal foreign policy disaster for the United States.

A potential war with Syria has been brought to the forefront because of a chemical weapons attack near Damascus last week that killed as many as 1,400 people.  The Obama administration and several other western nations are blaming this attack on the Assad regime.

But others are pointing out that it would make absolutely no sense for the Assad regime to do such a thing.  They appear to be winning the civil war, and Assad knows that Obama has previously said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a “red line” for the United States.

So why would the Assad regime launch a brutal chemical weapons attack against women and children just miles from where UN inspectors were staying?

Why would Assad risk war with the United States and the rest of NATO?

Assad would have to be extremely stupid or extremely suicidal to do such a thing.

The ones that benefit from this chemical weapons attack are the jihadist rebels.  The odds of foreign intervention in the conflict just went way, way up.

We will probably never learn the real truth about who was actually behind that attack.  And even if it had not happened, the U.S. and the rest of NATO would have probably come up with another justification to go to war anyway.  They appear absolutely obsessed with getting rid of Assad, but they have not really thought through the consequences.

The following are 15 signs that Obama has already made the decision to go to war with Syria…

#1 Syria has agreed to allow UN officials to inspect the site of the recent chemical weapons attack that killed up to 1,400 people, but a “senior U.S. official” says that such an inspection would be “too late to be credible“.

#2 According to ABC News, the White House is saying that there is “very little doubt” that the Assad regime was behind the deadly chemical weapons attack last week.

#3 Four U.S. warships with ballistic missiles are moving into position in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. If the command is given, they will be able to rain Tomahawk cruise missiles down on targets inside Syria within minutes…

U.S. defense officials told The Associated Press that the Navy had sent a fourth warship armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea but without immediate orders for any missile launch into Syria.

U.S. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military actions, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, as they did against Libya in 2011 as part of an international action that led to the overthrow of the Libyan government.

#4 CBS News is reporting that “the Pentagon is making the initial preparations for a Cruise missile attack on Syrian government forces”.

#5 On Saturday, Barack Obama met with his national security team to discuss what actions should be taken in Syria.

#6 U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says that Barack Obama has asked him to “prepare options for all contingencies” as far as a conflict with Syria is concerned.

#7 After a phone conversation with British Prime Minister David Cameron about the situation in Syria, the White House announced that both leaders expressed “grave concern” about the chemical weapons attack that took place last week.

#8 Military commanders from the United States, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, France, Italy and Canada are meeting in Amman, Jordan on Sunday to coordinate plans for upcoming attacks on Syria.

#9 According to France’s second largest newspaper, rebel forces that have been trained by the CIA have been pouring toward Damascus “since mid-August“…

According to our information, the regime’s opponents, supervised by Jordanian, Israeli and American commandos moving towards Damascus since mid-August. This attack could explain the possible use of the Syrian president to chemical weapons.

According to information obtained by Le Figaro , the first trained in guerrilla warfare by the Americans in Jordan Syrian troops reportedly entered into action since mid-August in southern Syria, in the region of Deraa. A first group of 300 men, probably supported by Israeli and Jordanian commandos, as well as men of the CIA, had crossed the border on August 17. A second would have joined the 19. According to military sources, the Americans, who do not want to put troops on the Syrian soil or arming rebels in part controlled by radical Islamists form quietly for several months in a training camp set up at the border Jordanian- Syrian fighters ASL, the Free Syrian Army, handpicked.

#10 The U.S. military moved a significant number of F-16 fighter jets to Jordan earlier this year for military exercises, and kept them there afterward “at the request of the Jordanian government“.

#11 According to a government document that Wikileaks released back in March 2012, NATO personnel have been on the ground inside Syria preparing for regime change since 2011.

#12 The Times of Israel is reporting that an internal military assessment has concluded that “Washington is seriously considering a limited yet effective attack that will make it clear to the regime in Damascus that the international community will not tolerate the use of weapons of mass destruction against Syrian civilians or any other elements”.

#13 U.S. Senator John McCain recently said that if the U.S. military does not hit Syria, it will be like “writing a blank check to other brutal dictators around the world if they want to use chemical weapons”.

#14 According to the New York Times, “the NATO air war in Kosovo” is being studied “as a possible blueprint for acting without a mandate from the United Nations”.

#15 The White House has released a statement that says that the Obama administration has no plans to put “boots on the ground“, but it did not rule out any other types of military action.

This is not a conflict that the U.S. military should be involved in.

And we should especially not be on the side of the rabidly anti-Christian, rabidly anti-Israel and rabidly anti-western forces that are attempting to take control of Syria.

The terrorists that the Obama administration is backing are absolutely psychotic.  Just check out the following example from a recent article posted on the Blaze

New video posted on YouTube purports to show the graphic murder – execution style – of three Syrian truck drivers who did nothing more than belong  to a minority faith the local Al Qaeda affiliate does not like.

In the video, a small band of Islamist radicals with the Al Qaeda-linked ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) group is seen waving the tractor trailers off the side of an Iraqi road and then proceeds to interrogate the unsuspecting drivers about their prayer habits, trying to discover if they are Sunnis or members of the Alawite minority in Syria.

When they “fail” the Sunni jihadis’ pop roadside quiz, the truck drivers are seated in a line in the median of the road and shot in the back of their heads firing squad style by the self-appointed law enforcers, jury, judge and executioner.

Why in the world would the United States want to arm such people?

Why in the world would the United States want to go to war to help such people take power?

It is utter insanity.

And as I mentioned earlier, most Americans are totally against getting involved.  According to a stunning new poll, 60 percent of all Americans are against U.S. military intervention in Syria, and only 9 percent are in favor of it.

So in light of all that you have just read, why is the Obama administration so determined to help the rebels in Syria?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

The Rise Of The Bear: 18 Signs That Russia Is Rapidly Catching Up To The United States

RussiaThe Russian Bear is stronger and more powerful than it has ever been before.  Sadly, most Americans don’t understand this.  They still think of Russia as an “ex-superpower” that was rendered almost irrelevant when the Cold War ended.  And yes, when the Cold War ended Russia was in rough shape.  I got the chance to go over there in the early nineties, and at the time Russia was an economic disaster zone.  Russian currency was so worthless that I joked that I could go exchange a 20 dollar bill and buy the Kremlin.  But since that time Russia has roared back to life.  Once Vladimir Putin became president, the Russian economy started to grow very rapidly.  Today, Russia is an economic powerhouse that is blessed with an abundance of natural resources.  Their debt to GDP ratio is extremely small, they actually run a trade surplus every year, and they have the second most powerful military on the entire planet.  Anyone that underestimates Russia at this point is making a huge mistake.  The Russian Bear is back, and today it is a more formidable adversary than it ever was at any point during the Cold War.

Just check out the following statistics.  The following are 18 signs that Russia is rapidly catching up to the United States…

#1 Russia produces more oil than anyone else on the planet.  The United States is in third place.

#2 Russia is the number two oil exporter in the world.  The United States is forced to import more oil than anyone else in the world.

#3 Russia produces more natural gas than anyone else on the planet.  The United States is in second place.

#4 Today, Russia supplies 34 percent of Europe’s natural gas needs.

#5 The United States has a debt to GDP ratio of 101 percent.  Russia has a debt to GDP ratio of about 8 percent.

#6 The United States had a trade deficit of more than half a trillion dollars last year.  Russia consistently runs a large trade surplus.

#7 The United States has an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent.  Russia has an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent.

#8 Since Vladimir Putin first became president of Russia, the Russian economy has grown at a very rapid pace.  The following is from Wikipedia

Under the presidency of Vladimir Putin Russia’s economy saw the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) double, climbing from 22nd to 11th largest in the world. The economy made real gains of an average 7% per year (1999: 6.5%, 2000: 10%, 2001: 5.7%, 2002: 4.9%, 2003: 7.3%, 2004: 7.2%, 2005: 6.4%, 2006: 8.2%, 2007: 8.5%, 2008: 5.2%), making it the 6th largest economy in the world in GDP(PPP). In 2007, Russia’s GDP exceeded that of 1990, meaning it has overcome the devastating consequences of the recession in the 1990s.

During Putin’s eight years in office, the industry grew by 75%, investments increased by 125%, and agricultural production and construction increased as well. Real incomes more than doubled and the average salary increased eightfold from $80 to $640. The volume of consumer credit between 2000–2006 increased 45 times, and during that same time period, the middle class grew from 8 million to 55 million, an increase of 7 times. The number of people living below the poverty line also decreased from 30% in 2000 to 14% in 2008.

#9 According to Bloomberg, Russia has added 570 metric tons of gold to their reserves over the past decade.  In the United States, nobody seems to be quite sure how much gold the Federal Reserve actually has left.

#10 Moscow is the second most expensive city in the world.  Meanwhile, the United States actually has the unfriendliest city in the world (Newark, New Jersey).

#11 More billionaires live in Moscow than in any other city on the globe.

#12 The Moscow metro system completely outclasses the subway systems in Washington D.C. and New York City.

#13 The United States has the most powerful military on the planet, but Russia is in second place.

#14 Russia has introduced a new “near silent” nuclear submarine which is far more quiet than anything the U.S. has…

The Borey Class submarine, dubbed Vladimir Monomakh, has a next generation nuclear reactor, can dive deeper than 1,200 feet, and carries up to 20 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

Each of these “Bulava” ICBM’s can carry ten detachable MIRV warheads, what they call “re-entry vehicles,” capable of delivering 150 kiloton yields per warhead

#15 While Barack Obama is neutering the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal, Vladimir Putin is working hard to modernize Russian nuclear forces.

#16 Russian missile forces will hold more than 200 drills during the second half of 2013.

#17 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made headlines all over the world when he climbed into the cockpit of Russia’s new “fifth generation” fighter jet and announced that it was far superior to the F-22 Raptor.

#18 It is estimated that Russia has more spies inside the United States today than it did at any point during the Cold War.

Unfortunately, whenever I write an article about Russia I find that most people simply do not get it.  They will make statements such as “the Cold War is over” or “Russia is our friend” which show a complete and total lack of understanding of the current geopolitical situation.

Russia has been steadily building a stronger relationship with China, and collectively they represent the number one strategic threat to the United States.

Someday this will become abundantly clear to the American people.  Hopefully it will not be too late by the time they realize it.

There Will Be War In The Middle East

The military action that we are watching in the Middle East right now is just a preview of coming attractions.  Tensions in the region are rising with each passing day, and all sides have been anticipating future conflicts and preparing for war for decades.  It would be wonderful if everyone could sit down, forgive each other and agree to quit fighting, but that is not going to happen.  Most of us that live in the western world have a very difficult time understanding the mindset of those immersed in these conflicts.  In the Middle East, there are vendettas and grudges that go back literally thousands of years.  Children are raised in schools where they are taught to bitterly hate their enemies from the time that they are first able to speak.  As Americans, we have forgiven former enemies such as Germany and Japan and we just expect that everyone else should be able to forgive as well.  But that is simply not the way that it works over there, and there is no long-term solution in the Middle East that is going to be acceptable to all sides.  Right now, Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Syria and Iran are all preparing for war.  Hopefully cooler heads will prevail in this current crisis, but that will only delay the inevitable.  There will be war in the Middle East.  Yes, politicians such as Barack Obama will do their best to broker more “peace agreements”, but even the declaration of a “Palestinian state” will never stop the fighting.  In fact, it would just set the stage for more war.  I don’t mean to sound pessimistic about the region, but the truth is that there will be more war until it is not possible to fight any longer.  Any “peace plan” will just be a pause in the warfare.

But hopefully the current crisis in the Middle East will not immediately erupt into a full-blown regional war.  That would not be good for the global economy.  In fact, that would not be good for anyone at all.

Here are some of the most recent developments…

-Hamas has launched dozens of rockets into Israel since Saturday.  At one point, the IDF estimated that at least 130 rockets had been fired from Gaza.  Other estimates have put the number of rocket attacks much higher.

-In response, the IDF launched a military operation in Gaza on Wednesday.  This involved the killing of the head of the military wing of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari, in an airstrike that was captured on video.  You can see video of the airstrike right here.

-The IDF also attacked more than 20 underground rocket launchers in Gaza.  The goal was to stop them from launching more rockets into Israel.  Apparently those rocket launchers were capable of hitting targets 25 miles over the border into Israel.

-In response to the Wednesday attacks by the IDF, a substantial number of rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel.  The IDF says that the Iron Dome missile defense system was able to intercept 13 of the rockets.

-The IDF says that the military operations they conducted on Wednesday were part of a “major offensive” and that a ground attack may also be coming.

-“Operation Pillar of Defense” is the code name that has been given to this campaign.

-The IDF is not taking any options off the table.  The following is from a message posted on the IDF Twitter account

“All options are on the table. If necessary, the IDF is ready to initiate a ground operation in Gaza.”

-In particular, the IDF is being very open about the fact that top Hamas leaders will be targeted.  The following is from another message posted on the IDF Twitter account

“We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.”

-The U.S. State Department has denounced Hamas for the rocket attacks against Israel and is saying that Israel has the right to self-defense.

-The military wing of Hamas says that Israel “has opened the gates of hell.

-One top Hamas official, Khalil al-Haya, is very clear about what his goal is…

“The battle between us and the occupation is open and it will end only with the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem”

-Islamic Jihad has released a statement that is very critical of the IDF attack on Wednesday…

“Israel has declared war on Gaza and they will bear the responsibility for the consequences.”

In Egypt, the head of the most important political party is warning that Egypt may have to get involved if the fighting continues.  The following is from a Breitbart report

Today, Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood – a party formerly headed by current President Mohammed Morsi – announced that Egypt would get involved if Israel continued to kill terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Such Israeli action, said the party, would prompt “swift Arab and international action to stop the massacres.” The party also warned that Israel “must take into account the changes in the Arab region and especially Egypt … [Egypt] will not allow the Palestinians to be subjected to Israeli aggression, as in the past.”

-Things also continue to get more tense with Syria.  Israel has fired tank shells into Syria twice since Sunday.  They did this in response to Syrian shells which struck the Golan Heights.  This marked the first time that Israel had fired tank shells into Syria since the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

-Syrian rebels are receiving a massive influx of arms and assistance.  The following is from a recent article in the Washington Post

Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials.

Obama administration officials emphasized that the United States is neither supplying nor funding the lethal material, which includes antitank weaponry. Instead, they said, the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.

-It is being reported that UK troops may soon be deployed to areas near the border with Syria.

-NATO has announced that it is prepared to defend Turkey if necessary…

NATO will defend alliance member Turkey, which struck back after mortar rounds fired from Syria landed inside its border, the alliance’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a meeting in Prague on Monday.

“NATO as an organization will do what it takes to protect and defend Turkey, our ally. We have more plans in place to make sure that we can protect and defend Turkey and hopefully that way also deter so that attacks on Turkey will not take place,” he said.

Once again, hopefully all of this will settle down in a few days.

But it is never easy to predict what is going to happen next in the Middle East.  There is so much hate and anger and things could literally explode over there at any time.

In the months and years to come, I expect the Middle East to become a major issue for the global economy and a major political issue inside the United States.

When war does erupt in the Middle East, it is going to dramatically affect the price of oil, and there will also be a tremendous amount of debate about whether the U.S. military should intervene or not.

Let us hope for peace, but let us also be very realistic about the situation over there.  Our world is becoming more unstable with each passing day, and the times that are coming are going to be very challenging.

So what do you think?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

When Times Get Tough, The Tough Get A Backbone

Do not ever give up.  That is one of the secrets to life.  Almost everyone comes to a moment in life when things look absolutely hopeless.  But those that have come through those moments know that there is always a way to turn things around.  When times get tough, the tough get a backbone.  Yes, a horrific economic collapse is coming and the world is going to become incredibly unstable.  But the purpose of waking people up and getting them to realize what is about to happen is not so that they can shiver in fear.  When a military unit gets intel that indicates that the enemy arrayed against them is far more powerful than previously thought, do they give up all hope and run away like little girls?  Of course not.  Instead, they use that intel to prepare for the coming battle.  Only cowards give up.  When you totally give up, you lose everything and the enemy wins.  Our life does not consist of what we own anyway.  If every single thing that you own was taken away from you, would your life be over?  No!  When we leave this world, we will not be remembered for what we owned.  Rather, we will be remembered for how we lived.

The cowardly never finish the race and they never win any prizes.  Being a coward may seem like a way to escape short-term pain, but in the end it is never worth it.

Those of us living in the United States have had it good for so long that most of us don’t even know what it is like to go through hard times.

But just because a great era of prosperity is coming to an end does not mean that our lives will be over.  There are plenty of people on the other side of the globe that only have one set of clothes and that don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and yet many of those same people are incredibly happy and full of life.

Just because a time of great darkness is coming to this world does not mean that you have to give in to fear.  All of us feel fear from time to time.  Courage does not mean that you don’t feel any fear.  It means that you can take action in spite of the fear.

When times are the darkest, that is when the light is needed the most.  As the world falls apart, there will be a much greater need for heroes than ever before.

So decide to be a hero instead of a coward.

Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that everything is going to be okay does not do anyone any good.  Denying clear and obvious evidence of what is about to happen is just another form of cowardice.

As I wrote about yesterday, 2012 is going to be a very difficult year and Europe is on the verge of a massive financial collapse.  The stunning long-term decline of the U.S. economy is likely to accelerate and the middle class is going to continue to be ripped to shreds.

All over the globe, prominent voices in the financial world are declaring that a nightmare is about to begin.  For example, renowned investor Jim Rogers recently said the following….

“Eventually one of two things has to happen. We have to get together now and ring-fence the problem and figure out how we are going to survive and start over. Or, in a year or two or three, the market is going to say, no more money, we won’t put up any more money. And then the whole system collapses, then you have gigantic chaos, social unrest, governments failing, civil war – huge mess”

So should we all throw our hands up in the air and give up?

No!

Now is the time to get a backbone and to prepare for what is ahead.

Just think of the great heroes throughout history.  What made those people into great heroes?

They became great heroes because they triumphed in the midst of great adversity.

So do you want to be a winner or do you want to be a loser?

If you give up, you are automatically a loser.

If you keep on fighting for what is right, you are automatically a winner even if it costs you your life eventually.

So don’t be stupid.

Is your life really hard right now?

Well, there are huge numbers of people sleeping on the streets of America tonight.  Most of them probably have it a lot rougher than you do.

A lot of people that have lost their homes have battled back and have totally rebuilt their lives.  They were able to do that because they never gave up.

For example, one woman in the Washington D.C. area that lost everything and ended up on the streets fought back and reclaimed her life.  She did what she could with what she had, and her tireless efforts paid off.  She even became a Twitter celebrity….

For AnnMarie Walsh, attaining social media celebrity from the streets and shelters of the Northwest suburbs meant using the Internet at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library or searching for places to charge a hand-me-down phone that demanded cash for minutes.

Walsh’s savvy landed her a spot in a documentary called “Twittamentary” and a trip across the country to speak at a glitzy Los Angeles theater for the “140 Characters Conference.”

But perhaps the 41-year-old’s biggest coup was finding a place to live after more than five years of homelessness, thanks to a social worker who connected with her through Twitter.

A reader of my site has a story that is similar in a lot of ways.  He identifies himself as “JD”, and he left the following comment on one of my articles quite some time ago….

I was laid off from my construction job almost 2 yrs ago was on unenjoyment for over a yr they cut me off last september so i lost my apartment. Since then ive been couch surfing and hotel hopping. Now i occaisonally sleep in my car. I was lucky enough to have a friend with a lawn care business so i can at least put ever increasing gas in my car\house. I hate to say it but i think we will see hoovervilles in the major cities soon. When the welfare & food stamps & all the other govt. programs end the anarchy begins.

But guess what?

He did not give up.

He kept hanging in there.

Today, he is no longer homeless, he has a new job, and things are looking much, much brighter for him.

The following is another comment that he left on a recent article….

I love it here in Montana. We have problems but not everyone could live here especially when its -70 windchill and blowing snow. Its a hard country but its worth it to be away from the insanity of the cities. Millions will be freezing and starving to death before this decade is out, mark my words. The fight for freedom is on! LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD!!!!

That is the attitude of a hero.

If you have not seen it yet, please take a few minutes and watch the short video posted below.  It is entitled “100 Years In 10 Minutes”, and it is a great reminder of many of the heroes that have gone before us….

Yes, there are going to be many challenging times ahead.

But don’t be stupid and give up.

Instead, decide right now that you are going to be a light in the darkness.

Being a coward is not going to get you anything.

But if you will stand up and fight for what is true and right, the enemy may be able to eventually take your life, but they will never take your freedom.

As noted earlier, when times get tough, the tough get a backbone.

Will the years ahead find you cowering in fear or will they find you enjoying greater adventures than you ever dreamed of?

The choice, my friend, is up to you.

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