Top U.S. Officials Gather To Discuss “Military Options” In Venezuela As Russia Warns Of “Grave Consequences” If America Invades

On Wednesday afternoon, senior U.S. officials gathered at the White House to discuss possible military options for Venezuela.  Meanwhile, the Russians are warning of grave consequences if the U.S. invades, and so the stage is being set for a potential showdown between the world’s two foremost military powers.  Previously, administration officials had hoped that the Venezuelan people would rally around Juan Guaido to such a degree that it would not require military intervention to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, but that hasn’t happened.  In fact, Guaido’s big push to start a revolution in the streets over the past few days has ended up being a total flop.  The following comes from Yahoo News

Guaido had called for the “largest march” in Venezuela’s history and said on Twitter that “millions of Venezuelans” were in the streets in “this final phase” of his move to oust Maduro.

But by late afternoon, many of the protesters in the capital Caracas were drifting home.

Despite Guaido’s calls for the military to support him, the armed forces leadership has so far remained loyal to Maduro, who has been in power since 2013.

In the long-term, the situation in Venezuela isn’t going to change much if the U.S. is able to replace one socialist president (Maduro) with another socialist president (Guaido).  Socialism always ends badly, and the people of Venezuela are going to have to decide for themselves that they don’t want socialism any longer.

But that isn’t what this is about.  U.S. officials have decided that it is time to impose their will on the people of Venezuela, and they have determined that Maduro must go.  If Guaido cannot create a successful internal revolution, then other options will be explored.

And as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, there was a very, very important gathering of top U.S. officials at the White House on Wednesday afternoon

Senior U.S. administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, and National Security Advisor John Bolton, will meet at the White House Wednesday afternoon. With the situation on the ground still “extraordinarily fluid,” according to Shanahan, the U.S. says it is still weighing military options.

Don’t you wish that you could have been a fly on the wall for that meeting?

Of course we already know what Pompeo and Bolton are thinking.  This is what Pompeo just told Fox Business

“Military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do.”

In other words, if Guaido can’t get the job done, our boys and girls are going in.

And John Bolton has repeatedly insisted that “all options are on the table” regarding Venezuela, and he just told reporters the following about potential Russian interference

“This is our hemisphere,” he told reporters outside the White House. “It’s not where the Russians ought to be interfering. This is a mistake on their part. It’s not going to lead to an improvement of relations.”

So precisely what would Bolton like us to do about it?

The Russians already have troops and military equipment in Venezuela, and they are there with the permission of the Venezuelan government.  Does Bolton really want us to attack and risk a war with Russia?

And for what?  Venezuela certainly has a lot of oil, but the truth is that there is no fundamental national security interest at stake in Venezuela.

Unfortunately, there is a growing consensus in Washington that something must be done about Venezuela, and the hysteria has already reached absolutely ridiculous levels.  For example, just consider the words of U.S. Senator Rick Scott

“Here is what is going to happen. We are in the process, if we don’t win today, we are going to have Syria in this hemisphere. So, we can make sure something happens now, or we can deal with this for decades to come. If we care about families, if we care about the human race, if we care about fellow worldwide citizens, then we’ve got to step up and stop this genocide.”

Did you catch that?

Apparently, if you are not in favor of a U.S. invasion of Venezuela, you don’t “care about families” and you don’t “care about the human race” either.

In response to those comments, this is what Tucker Carlson had to say

When was the last time we successfully meddled in the political life of another country? Has it ever worked? How are the democracies we set up in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria, and Afghanistan right now? How would Venezuela be different? Please explain — and take your time.

Are we prepared for the refugees a Venezuelan war would inevitably produce? A study by the Brookings Institution found that the collapse of the Venezuelan government could force eight million people to leave the country. Many of them would come here. Lawmakers in this country propose giving them temporary protected status that would let even illegal arrivals live and work here, in effect, permanently, as many have before, with no fear of deportation. Are we prepared for that?

If we are going to ask members of our military to shed their blood, it had better be for a really, really good reason.

And switching out one socialist leader for another socialist leader in Venezuela definitely does not qualify.

Of course that is the best case scenario.

In a worst case scenario, a U.S. military invasion of Venezuela would spark a war with Russia, and the Russians are making it very clear that there will be “grave consequences” if we attack…

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Pompeo by phone on Wednesday that further “aggressive steps” in Venezuela would have grave consequences, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is getting dangerously close to war with Iran as well.  The Iranians are threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for Washington cutting off all their oil exports, and if the Strait of Hormuz gets shut down all hell could break loose.

U.S. officials want to “get tough” with all of our enemies around the world, and that is fine as long as you know what are you doing.

Because even one miscalculation can result in missiles flying back and forth, and once peace is taken from the Earth things could get wildly out of control very rapidly.

So let us hope that cooler heads prevail, because right now we are quickly approaching a tipping point.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

2 Aircraft Carriers Have Left Port – Are The USS Eisenhower And The USS Roosevelt Headed South Toward Venezuela?

Juan Guaido has initiated a violent uprising in an attempt to overthrow Nicolas Maduro, and it appears that the U.S. may be preparing to intervene in the conflict militarily.  The USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker accurately tracks the current positions of U.S. naval assets, and according to them the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has left port on the east coast and the USS Theodore Roosevelt has left port on the west coast.  In both cases, each aircraft carrier was originally slated for “training” exercises, but now there is lots of speculation that they are both steaming south toward Venezuela.  Since there has been no official confirmation from Washington, let me stress that once again that any talk about the potential destination of these carriers is just speculation.  But considering what is taking place in Venezuela at this moment, it certainly would not surprise anyone if the waters off Venezuela is precisely where they are heading.

Earlier today, the Intel_Radar Twitter account created quite a stir with a series of seven tweets

BREAKING: US Navy deploys two aircraft carriers, both southbound, one from each coast, amid Venezuela crisis.

Update 1 : Eisenhower left Virginia headed South, on the same day Roosevelt deployed out of San Diego headed for the Panama Canal.

Update 2 : US Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (MMSI:368962000|CS:NIKE) departed Norfolk ~2019-04-26, was off AIS for 4 days, and seems to be headed South, off the US East Coast.

Update 3 : American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) RoRo Integrity (IMO:8919934|MMSI:367063310) departed Mexico with a fake destination, “hiding their destination”.

Update 4 : USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has earned a number of awards, including the Battle “E” in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2006 and 2012 as the most battle efficient carrier in the Atlantic Fleet.

Update 5 : 6248 kHz LSB Venezuela naval freq still active. Also morse code in background.

Update 6 : A US Navy fast combat support ship departed Norfolk just a little bit ago.

If all of this information is true, it would certainly seem to indicate that something is up.

Could it be possible that the U.S. is about to go to war with Venezuela?

If you are not familiar with what happened in Venezuela on Tuesday, here is a pretty good summary

It was a ploy that from its outset felt like a long shot. Before dawn Tuesday, Juan Guaido, flanked by his political mentor Leopoldo Lopez and a handful of soldiers who had broken ranks, issued a message to Venezuela and the world: The time to topple Nicolas Maduro’s authoritarian regime was right now.

By dusk, with Maduro still firmly in control of the military command, Lopez had sought refuge in the Chilean ambassador’s residence in Caracas and the streets were beginning to empty of the protesters who had heeded Guaido’s call to join what he called Operation Liberty.

Either Guaido is completely suicidal, or he is coordinating with the U.S. and he believes that U.S. military help in on the way.

The second option seems more likely, and on Tuesday John Bolton even admitted that “a deal had been struck” with key members of Maduro’s regime…

The whole episode was so bizarre — with Guaido seemingly lacking the military might to have any chance at all — that it was hard to understand the day’s events. One explanation, as related by National Security Adviser John Bolton, was that a deal had been struck behind the scenes and that key members of Maduro’s regime had agreed to flip, paving the way for Guaido to easily assume power.

Well, either Bolton was bluffing or those officials double-crossed him, because it just hasn’t happened.

And perhaps that would help to explain this very angry tweet from Bolton

.@vladimirpadrino, @Ivanr_HD, @MaikelMorenoTSJ: Your time is up. This is your last chance. Accept Interim President Guaido’s amnesty, protect the Constitution, and remove Maduro, and we will take you off our sanctions list. Stay with Maduro, and go down with the ship.

In response to Bolton’s tweet, one top Venezuelan official posted the following

Dream on … Not today!

Subsequently, Bolton once again told the press that “all options are on the table” when it comes to Venezuela…

Bolton later told reporters that the U.S. would consider intervening in Venezuela.

“We want, as our principal objective, the peaceful transition of power, but I will say again as the president has said from the outset and as Nicolas Maduro and those supporting him — particularly those who are not Venezuelan — should know, is all options are on the table,” Bolton said.

But if the U.S. goes into Venezuela, it will be a full-blown war against a seasoned military with more than 300,000 troops in a country twice the size of Iraq.

In addition, the Russians and the Cubans already have troops there, and they have no intention of pulling their forces out.

In other words, an invasion of Venezuela could potentially spark World War 3.

But John Bolton doesn’t seem fazed by any of that.  He is a hardcore war hawk, and he has been calling for military conflict for years.  If you will remember, he actually called for a pre-emptive war against North Korea just two months before joining the Trump administration

For John Bolton, the national-security adviser, the summit represented a conundrum. Two months before he entered the White House, in April, 2018, he had called for preëmptive war with North Korea. During the past two decades, Bolton has established himself as the Republican Party’s most militant foreign-policy thinker—an advocate of aggressive force who ridicules anyone who disagrees. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, he argued that Kim’s regime would soon be able to strike the United States with nuclear weapons, and that we should attack before it was too late. “The threat is imminent,” he wrote. “It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current ‘necessity’ posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first.”

We truly live in ominous times, and many are deeply concerned that Bolton seems to have so much influence over U.S. foreign policy right now.

Ultimately, we don’t know what is going to happen next, but it is interesting to note that White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney also used the phrase “all options are on the table” during an interview with Maria Bartiromo…

“The only messages I think we are trying to get out there is that we want to make sure the Russians and the Cubans know they are not supposed to get involved and that we do and have said a bunch of times that all options are on the table” said Mulvaney during a conversation with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo from the Milken Institute Global Conference Opens a New Window.

They are making it very clear that a full-blown invasion of Venezuela is a real possibility, and most Americans have absolutely no idea what that would mean.

We are talking about a conflict that would be several magnitudes greater than the Iraq war, and it could be right around the corner.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Airstrikes, Tanks Heading To The Border And Planes Shot Down – India And Pakistan Are In A State Of War

War has erupted in Asia.  India is the second largest country in the world by population, and Pakistan is the fifth largest, and they both possess large nuclear arsenals.  If this conflict continues to escalate, things could get really, really bad very quickly.  On Wednesday, military aircraft were shot down by both sides, there was shelling across the border by both armies, and in recent hours videos have been posted of Pakistani tanks and Indian tanks both heading to the border.  Once one army crosses the “Line of Control”, it is going to be very difficult to get the two sides to sit down at the negotiating table.  War is one of the elements of “the perfect storm” that I have been warning you about, and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of the conflict that we are going to see in 2019.

The Pakistani military was greatly embarrassed by the successful Indian airstrikes on Monday, and on Tuesday military aircraft from both sides were shot down

Earlier today Pakistan and India said they had shot down each other’s warplanes, in a dramatic escalation of the dangerous confrontation between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Pakistan said it downed two Indian jets in its airspace and captured two pilots, later amended to one: whom they then seemingly paraded – blindfolded and bloodied – for the camera.

On Tuesday evening, Islamabad used heavy calibre artillery to shell 12 to 15 places along the Indian side creating panic among the populace on the border where bunkers are being hastily thrown up to ease their fears.

When the Indian pilot that was shot down was discovered by locals in Pakistan, they started beating the living daylights out of him.  The following comes from the Mirror

The brief clip shows the cameraman approach a group of people huddled around the stricken pilot in what appears to be a small creek.

The pilot, whose arms are being held above his head, is struck in the face twice before being kicked in the back of the head, with someone behind him appearing to attempt to knee him.

The Pakistani military was able to rescue the pilot from the locals, and they are now holding him in a detention facility.

In addition to airstrikes, it is being reported that both armies “have been shelling across the LoC (Line of Control)”.  Needless to say, a lot of civilians that live along the border are really freaked out, and on the Indian side of the border a total of 14,000 bunkers are hastily being constructed to give concerned citizens some shelter.

Most westerners don’t really think of India and Pakistan as prominent global military powers, but the truth is that they both have very large standing armies.  And at this point India is allocating even more money than the UK toward military spending…

India, home to 1.3 billion people, has a conventional army of about 1.4 million soldiers. Pakistan, with a population of over 200 million people, has about 650,000 troops. Both countries have spent billions developing conventional arms. Last year, Pakistan spent about $11 billion or about 3.6 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. India meanwhile allocated about $58 billion, or 2.1 percent of its GDP on defense, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. India’s ballooning military spending has propelled it to the world’s fifth-biggest defense spender, surpassing the United Kingdom, according to the IISS.

But the big concern is that this crisis could go nuclear.

If India and Pakistan fought a war and it stayed strictly conventional, the rest of the world would probably not be affected too much.

However, it is being reported that India and Pakistan both “possess more than 100 nuclear warheads each”, and if such weapons are actually used the global impact would be “devastating”…

Both India and Pakistan are believed to possess more than 100 nuclear warheads each and have conducted atomic weapon tests. Both countries have test-fired nuclear-capable missiles. Pakistan also has refused to renounce a first-strike option with its atomic bombs should it feel outgunned in a conventional war. It takes less than four minutes for a missile fired from Pakistan to reach India. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warns that “computer models have predicted that the physical impacts of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, or even a single strike on a large city, would be devastating and would reverberate throughout the world.”

Approximately one out of every five people on the entire planet lives in either India or Pakistan.

So the death toll in a nuclear conflict between these two nations could result in a death toll that would be unimaginable.

And let us not forget that it looks like the U.S. is about to enter another new war as well.  In an article that I posted yesterday, I discussed the fact that Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev has just accused the United States of shipping troops to Colombia and Puerto Rico in preparation for an invasion of Venezuela.  China has come out very strongly against western military intervention in Venezuela, and the Russians already have special forces there.

If someone makes the wrong move, it could end up sparking World War 3.

We are living in one of the most pivotal times in all of human history, and most people don’t even realize it.

If India backs down, Pakistan will probably be willing to go to the negotiating table.  But if India’s tanks cross the Line of Control, Pakistan may feel forced to resort to using nukes because they can’t match India’s military strength, and then all hell could break loose.

Similarly, if the U.S. backs down and doesn’t arm the opposition in Venezuela, there probably won’t be a bloody war in that nation.  But if the U.S. arms the opposition and decides to invade on top of that, it is going to unleash a series of negative consequences that we will not be able to control.

Critical decisions are being made right now that are going to greatly alter our future, and let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Shocking Intel: It Is Being Alleged That Weapons And Ammunition Are Being Moved Into Position For The Coming War In Venezuela

It looks like the war in Venezuela could begin as soon as next month, and it doesn’t appear that there will initially be much opposition to the conflict in the United States.  There is widespread bipartisan support for “regime change” in Venezuela among both Democrats and Republicans, and the mainstream media is clearly willing to go along for the ride.  Donald Trump is now surrounded by extremely hawkish advisers that are very eager to do something about Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and if Trump decides to pull the trigger it is likely that the vast majority of his supporters will fully back the decision.  And at this point most of the other major western nations are also calling for Maduro to go, but Maduro insists that he isn’t going anywhere.  So a peaceful solution to this crisis appears to be out of the question, and that means that war is almost certainly coming.

This weekend was the first step.  If western aid could be forced across the border, it would show that Maduro was losing control of the country.  But if Maduro was able to block the aid that was coming across, that would make him look like a leader that doesn’t care about his people to those in the western world, and sympathetic media reports would help drum up support for war.  Of course by now most of us have seen images of the violence that happened along the border over the weekend, and a lot of blood was needlessly shed.  The following comes from Vox

Starting Friday, violent clashes erupted at several points along Venezuela’s border with Colombia as armed government forces tried to block shipments of aid from entering the country. By the end of Saturday, at least four people had reportedly been killed along that line and along the Latin American country’s border with Brazil; hundreds more were injured. Maduro has insisted that the humanitarian supplies are unnecessary and spent the weekend continuing to celebrate his ongoing rule with his supporters — even as the United States and other international leaders amped up calls for him to step down.

CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are going to endlessly run footage of the violent clashes over the weekend, and this will build support for whatever action is ultimately taken.

During the Bush years, direct military action was the preferred model, and we saw this in Afghanistan and Iraq.  During the Obama years, arming the “resistance” and starting civil wars was the preferred model, and we saw this in Syria and Ukraine.

So what will Trump ultimately decide to do?

Well, the Russians appear to believe that in this case the Obama model will be followed, and they are accusing the United States of making preparations to arm the opposition in Venezuela.  According to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, the U.S. has already transported special forces personnel and military equipment “closer to Venezuelan territory”

Zakharova alleged that the US had moved special forces and military equipment ‘closer to Venezuelan territory’ and was considering large-scale weapons purchases to arm the opposition.

Noting that it had been five years since the Ukrainian revolution that ousted a Russian-backed leader – which Moscow has accused the US of orchestrating – Zakharova said Washington was preparing for more regime change in Venezuela.

‘It seems that in Washington there is nothing to mark the fifth anniversary of the coup d’etat in Ukraine, so they decided to hold a new coup d’etat,’ she said.

She also told the press that the U.S. is planning to transfer “a large batch of weapons and ammunition” from an Eastern European nation to those that are ready to fight against Maduro’s government in Venezuela…

“We have evidence that US companies and their NATO allies are working on the issue of acquiring a large batch of weapons and ammunition in an Eastern European country for their subsequent transfer to Venezuelan opposition forces”, she said during the briefing.

If these allegations are true, the United States is about to turn Venezuela into a horrific war zone.

And Zakharova went on to say that “the cargo” is scheduled to arrive in Venezuela “in early March”

“The cargo is set to arrive in Venezuela in early March through a neighboring country on aircraft flown by an international shipping company,” she said.

Could it be possible that everything that the Russians are saying is untrue?

Sure.

But when they publicly call us out on something like this, they usually have their ducks in a row.  And if these allegations are true and the Russians were able to acquire this information somehow, this represents a stunning security failure for the U.S. military.

Of course a civil war is quite unlikely to be successful in overthrowing Maduro, and it is still possible that President Trump may opt for direct action by the U.S. military.

In fact, it appears that Venezuela’s self-declared “acting president” Juan Guaido could be on the verge of formally asking the U.S. military for help in “the liberation of our homeland”

The threat comes just Guaido announced he would attend a summit of the Lima Group – a meeting of 12 American states which have recognized him as “legitimate” leader of Venezuela.

Crucially, Guaido is to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence at the summit where he will “propose formally to the international community that we should keep open all options for the liberation of our homeland, which is fighting and will continue to fight,” according to a tweeted statement Saturday evening.

If Guaido does officially request U.S. military intervention, it will only be because the U.S. has already assured him that he will get it.

In recent days, President Trump has repeatedly stated that all options are “open” when it comes to Venezuela, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the same thing during an interview with Fox News on Sunday

It appears this weekend’s provocations and border showdown over US aid entering Venezuela were just the beginning. US State Secretary Mike Pompeo discussed the prospect of military action against Caracas on Fox News Sunday, saying the Maduro regime’s days are “numbered” and that “every option” is on the table toward making that happen.

Pompeo said the US is “going to do the things that need to be done” and this will not stop until “makes sure” that “there is a brighter future for the people of Venezuela,” which includes continued support for self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido.

There are a few voices on the right and a few voices on the left that are speaking out against war in Venezuela, but right now the overwhelming consensus in Washington is that regime change is necessary.

Needless to say, whenever there is an overwhelming consensus on something in Washington, it is usually a really, really bad idea.

My regular readers already know that I believe that the U.S. should not be “the police of the world”, and that if we are going to ask young American men and women to die it should be for a very, very good reason.

Replacing one socialist leader in Venezuela with a slightly less socialist leader does not qualify.

But the winds of war are now blowing all over the globe, and this is something that I detailed in my recent article entitled “‘Wars And Rumors Of Wars’: The U.S., Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, India And Pakistan All Move Closer To Military Conflict”.

Steve Quayle has noticed all of the war talk as well, and in his most recent alert he called these “very dangerous times”

MANY DIFFERENT AREA’S IN THE WORLD SEEM TO HAVE BEEN KICKED INTO WAR MODE, AT THE FLIP OF THE GLOBALIST SWITCH-KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ESCALATION BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA, AS WELL AS RUSSIA VERSUS THE UKRAINE. BACKROOM TALK OF CUBA BEING PUT ON WAR FOOTING ALSO. PRESIDENT PUTINS ANGER, IS OFF THE CHARTS AND THE WEST IS ABOUT TO INITIATE A SERIE OF EVENTS THAT WILL ESCALATE RAPIDLY-USE TOMORROW TO TOP OFF PREPS JUST IN CASE! RUN THROUGH YOUR LISTS TONIGHT -GOOD TIME TO RUN THROUGH YOUR CHECKLIST-AND CHRISTIANS PRAY AND INTERCEDE WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART-VERY DANGEROUS TIMES

I have written this article with a very heavy heart.  I have a really bad feeling about what is going to happen, and I wish that I could do something to stop it.

Peace is being taken from the Earth, and what is coming next is going to shock all of us.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Russia And Ukraine Are On The Brink Of War – And Why That Could Lead To World War 3

A respected foreign journalist living in Ukraine is warning that a war that most Americans cannot even imagine “teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real”.  When Russia opened fire on Ukrainian Navy vessels and captured three of their ships, it made headlines all over the globe.  An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was hastily arranged for Monday at 11 AM, and hopefully there will be a positive outcome from that meeting.  Because right now Moscow and Kiev are on the brink of war, and once a Russian invasion happens there will be no turning back.  At that point the U.S. would have a major decision to make, and if we chose to defend Ukraine that could mean that we would suddenly find ourselves fighting World War 3.

Most people don’t realize that this crisis has been simmering for over a week.  The following is from a U.S. News & World Report article that was posted on November 19th

A dispute over shipping lanes is threatening to reignite the 4-year-old simmering war between Ukraine and Russia following confrontations sparked by both sides in recent days.

Russian border guards on Monday detained Ukrainian fishing vessels in the Sea of Azov, a strategically important body of water contained to the north by Ukraine, to the west by the Crimean Peninsula and to the east and south by Russia. Monday’s incident came days after Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed Kiev for detaining Russian commercial ships also in the Azov in what he described as “a totally illegal move” and which Kremlin officials have warned may prompt retaliation.

When you realize what has already taken place, it puts the most recent events in an entirely different context.

The Russians blocked the Kerch Strait in retaliation for having had their own commercial vessels detained by the Ukrainian government.

And when the Ukrainians decided to test the Russians by sailing Ukrainian Navy vessels into the Kerch Strait, the Russians decided not to back down.  The following comes from Sky News

Russia has opened fire on Ukrainian ships and captured three vessels in a major escalation of tensions off the coast of Crimea.

Three sailors have been wounded after the Ukrainian navy said two artillery boats were hit by the strikes in the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency session of his war cabinet and said he will propose that parliament declare martial law.

So the truth is that neither side is exactly “innocent” in this situation.

The Kerch Strait is absolutely critical, because it is the only way into and out of the Azov Sea

The strait connects the Azov Sea with the Black Sea and runs between the Crimean Peninsula and Russia. It’s a shallow, narrow stretch of water just two to three miles (3.2 to 4.8 kilometers) wide at one point near the Chuska landspit.

The strait is an important economic lifeline for Ukraine, as it allows ships leaving the port city of Mariupol to access the Black Sea.

It’s also the the closest point of access for Russia to Crimea, a peninsula Moscow annexed in 2014. The international community has largely not recognized Russia’s annexation of Crimea, but that did not stop Russia from building a bridge over the Kerch Strait connecting Crimea to mainland Russia. The Kerch Strait bridge was opened in May.

In addition to asking for a declaration of martial law, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has also been gathering with his top military leaders.  Poroshenko is pledging that Ukraine will not take any “offensive” military actions, but he also says that they are ready to defend against any attacks from Russia.

The Russians are accusing Poroshenko of manipulating this crisis in order to pump up his flagging approval ratings for the upcoming presidential elections.  There is a very real possibility that Poroshenko could lose, and he is desperate to stay in office.

Of course the Ukrainians are blaming Russia for everything, and Poroshenko says that what happened on Sunday “was an act of war”

Finally, Ukraine has called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting over ‘Russian aggression’ while Ukraine’s secretary for national security, Oleksander Turchynov, accused Russia of engaging in an act of war: “We heard reports on incident and have concluded that it was an act of war by Russian Federation against Ukraine”.

At this point, it is unclear what the Russians will do next.

Hopefully they will see that a full-blown invasion of Ukraine would not be wise.

But if they decide that such a war is inevitable, they will move with lightning speed as we have seen in other conflicts.  For example, Russia had already annexed Crimea before the rest of the world even started talking about it.  And we all remember what happened in Georgia.

If and when Russia finally pulls the trigger, their forces will be halfway to Kiev before the mainstream media in the western world even realizes what is happening.

And if Russia does invade, the Trump administration will be under tremendous pressure from Republicans, Democrats and other NATO members to intervene.  Already, there has been some very tough talk from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

It’s yet unclear how far the U.S. is willing to go in support for Ukraine. In a joint statement after Klimkin’s meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, both sides “condemned Russia’s aggressive actions against international shipping transiting the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait to Ukrainian ports” and agreed that “Russia’s aggressive activities in the Sea of Azov have brought new security, economic, social, and environmental threats to the entire Azov-Black Sea region.”

But if we directly intervene in a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that could very easily trigger World War 3.

Most Americans are not concerned that a conflict between Russia and Ukraine could potentially affect the United States, but the threat is very real.  In fact, according to foreign correspondent Nolan Peterson such a war “teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real”…

This is the most dangerous moment I’ve seen in Ukraine in years. Tonight, a war that many people in America can only imagine thanks to Hollywood movies, teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real. Tonight in Ukraine we go to sleep not knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Let us hope for peace, because right now the world is becoming a more chaotic place with each passing day…

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News

Nobody else needs to dig a grave for CNN because they are doing it themselves.  There has been scandal after scandal at the network, and now one of their producers has been caught on undercover video admitting that CNN has been pushing fake news stories about a connection between Donald Trump and Russia in a desperate attempt to get ratings.  In other words, CNN’s entire Russia narrative has been a complete lie all along.  Unfortunately for CNN, they are going to discover that once your credibility is gone it is incredibly difficult to ever get it back.

On Tuesday, Project Veritas made headlines all over the world when it released undercover video of CNN Producer John Bonifield admitting that CNN’s Russia narrative is fake news.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you can view the entire video right here.  Now that this video has been made public, I don’t see how CNN is ever going to recover from this.  When one of your top producers admits that the story you have been pushing for months is basically a load of cow manure, it is impossible to maintain the pretense that you are a legitimate news organization any longer…

Project Veritas has released a video of CNN Producer John Bonifield who was caught on hidden-camera admitting that there is no proof to CNN’s Russia narrative.

“I mean, it’s mostly bullshit right now,” Bonifield says. “Like, we don’t have any giant proof.”

He confirms that the driving factor at CNN is ratings:

“It’s a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss… All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business.”

And of course this comes on the heels of three reporters being forced out of CNN for publishing a false story that attempted to link a Russian investment fund with Trump…

Three CNN employees have handed in their resignations over a retracted story linking President Trump to Russia, the network announced Monday.

The article was removed from CNN.com on Friday after the network decided it could no longer stand by its reporting.

“In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignation of the employees involved in the story’s publication,” a network spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement.

President Trump has taken a lot of heat for referring to CNN as “fake news”, but after the events of the past several days he has been completely vindicated.

And once news broke of three reporters being forced out of the network for a false story about Russia, he took a bit of a victory lap with this tweet

Wow, CNN had to retract big story on “Russia,” with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!

This is such a shame, because I always liked CNN’s election coverage compared to the other networks.  John King always did such a great job breaking things down county by county, and Wolf Blitzer always made things seem so dramatic.

But now it is exceedingly difficult to see any sort of a future for the network after all of this.

And of course other major news outlets have been guilty of pushing fake news about Russia too.  The following comes from the Intercept

Over and over, major U.S. media outlets have published claims about the Russia Threat that turned out to be completely false — always in the direction of exaggerating the threat and/or inventing incriminating links between Moscow and the Trump circle. In virtually all cases, those stories involved evidence-free assertions from anonymous sources that these media outlets uncritically treated as fact, only for it to be revealed that they were entirely false.

But with CNN it has always been on another level, and we now have a top insider on tape admitting that a connection between Trump and Russia is being pushed even though there isn’t any evidence.  In fact, Bonifield says that CNN CEO Jeff Zucker has been personally pushing this angle himself

“Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN (Jeff Zucker) said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with that, let’s get back to Russia.”

I can’t imagine that Zucker gets to keep his job now that this has been revealed.

It may not happen immediately, but look for him to be shown the door in the not too distant future.

All along, Trump has insisted that this whole thing with Russia has been a “witch hunt”, and that is what I have been saying too.  And it turns out that Bonifield feels the exact same way

“I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the President is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”

If this doesn’t kill “the Russia story”, I don’t know what will.

This whole thing has been a massive charade from the very beginning, and the big news networks have been endlessly pushing it for ratings.

In their zeal to destroy Trump, they have “jumped the shark” and have destroyed their own credibility instead.

Once upon a time, most mainstream journalists at least attempted to pretend that they were being objective, but those days are long gone.

Today, it is absolutely imperative for all of us to understand that everyone has an agenda.  In other words, every single person that you see on television is trying to get a message across.  So instead of taking in news and entertainment passively, we need to have our filters up and we need to be thinking for ourselves.

Fortunately, episodes such as this one tend to awaken a lot of people, and more Americans than ever are sick and tired of the lies and misinformation that they are constantly being fed.

The Russian Love Affair With Donald Trump Sours As The U.S. And Russia Move Toward War

NATO Seasparrow surface missile is launched from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush - Publc DomainIn recent months Donald Trump has been severely criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for not being sufficiently “anti-Russia”, but the truth is that the Trump administration has not been working hard enough to repair a relationship that is now souring very rapidly.  When Donald Trump won the election in November, the Russians celebrated tremendously, because they greatly preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton.  But just because Trump was victorious does not mean that our relationship with Russia will automatically improve.  Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin both have huge egos, and it is quite easy to imagine a scenario in which things between them go very, very badly.

In fact, we may already be starting to see such a scenario play out.  As you will see below, under President Trump U.S. troops are being deployed to a very sensitive area of Poland, and they are also being sent to key areas of Bulgaria and Romania.  That is not sitting well with the Russian government, but they were much more upset when Trump insisted that Russia must give the Crimea back to Ukraine.  This is something that the Russians would never do, and they were quite stunned that Trump would even suggest such a thing.

On the flip side, the Pentagon was quite annoyed when Russian fighter jets buzzed a U.S. warship in the Black Sea just a few days ago, and when a Russian spy ship set up shop just off the coast of Connecticut recently, President Trump told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that “the greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that’s 30 miles off shore right out of the water”.

When I first heard about that quote I thought it might be “fake news”, but it was actually reported by ABC News and a whole host of other prominent news outlets.

I know that Trump doesn’t have much of a filter, and that is a good thing when he is dealing with the mainstream media, but it can be a very, very bad thing for foreign policy.

Look, you may think that it is a good idea to blow a Russian spy ship out of the water, but you never, ever say such a thing out loud.

The Russians think like mobsters.  That means that they are quite paranoid, and it also means that they take whatever you say very, very seriously.

In a few days, most of us living in the United States will completely forget what Trump said about that Russian spy ship, but over in Russia they will remember this quote forever.

This is just how the Russians operate – they never forget, and they never, ever forgive.

When you are dealing with Russia, you have got to be very, very careful.  Unfortunately, being cautious is not one of Trump’s strengths, and the wild optimism about Trump in Russia is now being replaced by disappointment and anger

The new U.S. president has been in his role for just under a month, taking office in a transition that has been marked by chaos and missteps. And already, from the right of the political spectrum to the marginalized Russian left, a mixture of disappointment with the new U.S. president — who came into office promising to remake relations between the two countries — and a sense of vindication that Trump couldn’t be trusted after all has crept into Russian political chatter.

“Is Trump already out of fashion?” the independent Russian journal Russkaya Fabula asked on Wednesday — the same day that the Trump administration was dealing with the fallout stemming from revelations about National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador. The site pointed to a small demonstration by hard-line nationalists this week, which picketed a major state-run news outlet and demanded the end of the “cult of Trump” in Russian media.

And in a sign of how far things have already deteriorated, Putin has ordered state media over in Russia to cut back on their coverage of Trump

The Kremlin ordered state media to cut back on their fawning coverage of President Donald Trump, reflecting a growing concern among senior Russian officials that the new US administration will be less friendly than first thought, three people familiar with the matter said.

Just before Trump took office, Barack Obama aggressively moved U.S. troops toward the Russian border, and I highly criticized him for that.

So now that Trump is doing the exact same thing, I have to be critical of him as well.  Somebody needs to tell Trump that stationing 1,000 U.S. troops in northeastern Poland is not going to help our relationship with Putin…

The US Army’s Europe headquarters located in Wiesbaden, Germany announced late Saturday that 1,000 US troops and their vehicles would be sent to northeastern Poland at the end of March.

The unit – part of 4,000 US troops being deployed in rotation along NATO’s eastern flank  under its “Atlantic Resolve” mission – will be located at Orzysz.

That particular Polish city is less than 90 miles from the extremely sensitive Russian city of Kaliningrad.

If I was Trump, this is something that I would not have done.

At this point, the Russians are not quite sure what to make of Trump.  In fact, they have even gone so far as to prepare a “psychological dossier” on him to help Putin prepare for his first meeting with Trump…

A dossier on Donald Trump’s psychological makeup is being prepared for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser.

Unfortunately, Trump tends to listen to those in his immediate vicinity, and in Washington he is surrounded by war hawks that absolutely hate Russia.  The following comes from Pat Buchanan

The anti-Putin paranoia here is astonishing.

That he is a killer, a KGB thug, a murderer, is part of the daily rant of John McCain. At the Munich Security Conference this last weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham promised, “2017 is going to be a year of kicking Russia in the a– in Congress.”

Members of Congress such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham are playing a very dangerous game.

It is okay to be critical of Russia, but if you are constantly making inflammatory statements all the time that is just going to push us toward war.

And as I explained in my latest book, we do not want a war with Russia.

For years, the Russian military has been laser-focused on preparing for a war with the United States, while at the same time the U.S. military has been primarily focused on fighting wars in the Middle East.

So the Russians have been working very hard to upgrade their strategic nuclear arsenal, and at this point their arsenal is far superior to ours.  The following comes from an article that I came across earlier today

Russia is constantly improving its nuclear deterrence and is very close to deploying new technologically-advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles which can defeat any US missile defense systems, a Russian deputy prime minister said in an interview.

“These weapons will soon appear in our armed forces,” Dmitry Rogozin told Rossiya-1 TV on Sunday. While not naming the new ICBM, the deputy PM in charge of the defense industry said the missile will have the capacity to penetrate any American air defenses.

“These weapons are able to clear the United States’ missile defense both of today and of tomorrow – and even of the day after tomorrow,” Rogozin said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to rely on weapons systems that were developed in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Russians are a very dangerous foe, and it is in our national interest to try to have a positive relationship with them.

There are going to be times when we strongly disagree with what the Russians are doing, but our interactions with them should always be focused on trying to avoid a nuclear conflict.

So yes, we should let the Russians know when we are upset about something, but constantly making provocative and incendiary statements is a recipe for disaster.

Hopefully our leaders will start to realize this very soon, because right now our relationship with Russia is deteriorating very rapidly.

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