Sunday, August 31, 2014

Israel To Expand Settlements In West Bank: U.S., Palestinians Protest




State Seizes 1,000 Acres In West Bank


The state has announced plans to appropriate about 1,000 acres of land in the West Bank, close to the spot where three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped in June, the military said Sunday.
“On the instructions of the political echelon… 4,000 dunams at (the settlement of) Gvaot is declared as state land,” the army department charged with administering civil affairs in occupied territory said, adding that concerned parties have 45 days to appeal.
Critics said the move to expropriate the land near Gvaot in the Gush Etzion region, south of Jerusalem, was “a stab in the back” for the Palestinian leadership.


Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major-General Yoav Mordechai said that the move comes “as the continuation of the political leadership’s directives given at the end of Operation Brothers’ Keeper.”
The Israeli army declared that there was no claim of Palestinian ownership on the land in question, the Ynet news site reported.
Israel accused Hamas of being behind the June 12 abduction and killing of Naftali Fraenkel, 16, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19. The three were last seen at a hitchhiking post outside the settlement of Alon Shvut in the Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem.
The abduction sparked Operation Brother’s Keeper, a massive search to locate the teenagers and a crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank, with hundreds arrested. The bodies of the three teens were found near Hebron on June 30, and a number of Israeli hardliners set up unauthorized West Bank outposts in reaction.

The Etzion settlements council welcomed Sunday’s announcement, and said it was the prelude to expansion of the current Gvaot settlement.
It “paves the way for the new city of Gvaot,” a statement said.
“The goal of the murderers of those three youths was to sow fear among us, to disrupt our daily lives and to call into doubt our right to the land,” it said. “Our response is to strengthen settlement.”
Yariv Oppenheimer, the head of dovish group Peace Now, strongly criticized the move and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of having no real diplomatic plan.
“The expropriation is a stab in the back for [Palestinian leader] Mahmoud Abbas and the moderates in the Palestinian Authority, proving again that violence delivers Israeli concessions while nonviolence results in settlement expansion,” Oppenheimer said. “The Israeli government has once again proven that Netanyahu has no diplomatic horizon.”







The US has called for Israel to cancel its plan to appropriate about 1,000 acres of land in the West Bank, close to the spot where three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped in June.
“We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” a US official told Reuters. “ This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes… is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians.”

“We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision,” the official said in Washington.
Earlier Sunday, The Palestinian Authority decried Israel’s announcement, with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called for diplomatic action against Israel.

“The Israeli government is committing various crimes against the Palestinian people and their occupied land,” he told AFP.
“The international community should hold Israel accountable as soon as possible for its crimes and raids against our people in Gaza and the ongoing Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the announcement would cause the situation in the region to deteriorate further, and added that settlements in general are illegal, Israel Radio reported.


The Israeli army declared that there was no claim of Palestinian ownership on the land in question, the Ynet news site reported.











Washington says Israel's decision to assign land in Gush Etzion as state land is “counterproductive”.

The United States on Sunday condemned Israel over its decision to assign about 4,000 dunams (988 acres) of land in Judea and Samaria, mostly in Gush Etzion, as state land.
Officials in Washington quoted by the Reuters news agency said that the U.S. sees Israel’s announcement as “counterproductive” to peace efforts.
“We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” a State Department official said.

“This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue is counterproductive to Israel's stated goal of a negotiated two-state solutionwith the Palestinians,” the official added.
“We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision,” the official said.
Sunday’s decision is one of Israel's responses to the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel, and Gilad Sha'ar. The three were kidnapped in Gush Etzion and their bodies were found several weeks later in a field near Hevron.







Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a Fatah conference in Ramallah that if Israel did not agree to negotiate over a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, he would join international bodies, including the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Israel Radio reported.

“Is the Palestinian nation so trivial in our eyes?” he asked.

Abbas also repeated his criticism of Hamas for refusing to accept a ceasefire in Gaza, causing the deaths of thousands of Palestinians.

On Friday, the International Criminal Court prosecutor said that Palestine was now eligible to join the Rome Statute and file war crimes charges against Israel.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on August 29 wrote an op-ed in the British newspaper The Guardian to answer charges that the ICC has avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza due to political pressure.
The Palestinian Authority sought to join the court in May 2009. After three years of research and analysis, the ICC Prosecutor’s Office determined in April 2012 that since Palestine was an “observer entity,” it could not sign on to the Rome Statute.
Several months later, in November 2012, Palestine’s status was upgraded in the United Nations to “non-member observer state,” which gives it legitimacy to join the Rome Statute, Bensouda told The Guardian.
Membership in the ICC would grant Palestine the right to file war crimes against Israel and Israeli figures with the court.
“I have made it clear in no uncertain terms that the office of the prosecutor will execute its mandate, without fear or favor, where jurisdiction is established and will vigorously pursue those — irrespective of status or affiliation — who commit mass crimes that shock the conscience of humanity. My office’s approach to Palestine will be no different if the court’s jurisdiction is ever triggered over the situation,” Bensouda wrote.





Islamic State To Seek Biological Weapons: Barbarians At The Gate





Plans Discovered: Islamic State Said To Seek Biological Weapons




Plans to develop biological weapons and instructions on how to weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals were found on a laptop belonging to a Tunisian Islamic State jihadist, by a Syrian rebel commander from a moderate group in northern Syria.

The laptop was seized during an attack on an IS hideout in Idlib province, near the Turkish border, in January, according to the Syrian commander, dubbed Abu Ali, Foreign Policy Magazine reported.

He said IS men fled the building before it was attacked by his men.

Among the over 30,000 files found on the machine — including a trove of documents containing jihadist propaganda, instructions on bomb-making, training for deadly campaigns and lessons on how to use disguises to evade capture — Foreign Policy said it found evidence that the laptop user was teaching himself about biological weapons, “in preparation for a potential attack that would have shocked the world.”


Information gleaned from the laptop revealed that it belonged to a Muhammad S, a Tunisian national with a background in physics and chemistry. Details indicated he joined the Islamic State after having left Tunisia sometime in 2011.
A 19-page document in Arabic on the laptop detailed the “advantages” of the deadly weapons and included instructions of how to test them safely, before use in an attack.






Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.
Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.
Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source. “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.


Judicial Watch is not disclosing their sources out of fear for their safety and rightly so. A warning bulletin of an imminent terrorist attack was issued to ‘agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies,’ instructing them ‘to aggressively work all possible leads and sources’ to head it off. Good luck with that since we don’t search trucks crossing the border. The commander of Fort Bliss has also been allegedly briefed on this. What do you say we shut down the freaking border before a nuke goes off in Texas or Arizona? Hell… I don’t even want one going off in California, although it is tempting.
This is not a game… it is deadly serious. If we don’t stop this, a lot of people are going to die and it will happen over and over. And guess what? Obama and Holder will just let it — I’m sure they have a ton of excuses all lined up as the blood and body parts flow. They want the death, destruction and mayhem this will bring. And Obama’s Jayvee has now joined with al-Qaeda and are actively planning a party on or around 9-11. Bring out the party favors and the Burqas boys… it’s Jihad time on the Southern border.
There are now multiple sources (Fox NewsBreitbart, Judicial Watch) out there with multiple bulletins that are screaming something very wicked this way comes and fast. In response to a dire and elevated risk, what does our esteemed leader do? Nothing, except maybe golf a little more.



The Border Patrol is handcuffed and can’t do their job… orders have been issued to release illegal immigrants, including violent felons, from jail… 10′s of thousands of illegal immigrant children are being bussed to every corner of the US, with special emphasis on Conservative areas to change the voting block there… violence, drug trafficking and human slavery have skyrocketed on the border and Americans are told that our borders have never been safer or more secure. That we should do this for the children and trust our glorious leaders. Lenin and Stalin would have been impressed.
Saudi Arabia is now warning that there will be attacks here in the West within a month or two, if we do not confront the enemy and put them down:


The Texas Department of Public Safety is warning that ISIS is actively promoting and encouraging supporters to take advantage of the porous Texas-Mexico border to carry out terrorist attacks against US citizens – they also released this in a document yesterday. Texas knows what is at their doorstep and what is coming and they are getting ready for a fight. We all should be getting ready, because the time has finally arrived that fighting Islamic terrorists will be the greatest battle of our lives. It will be a fight to the death – Islam against everyone else and it will be brutal. Radical Islamists have no pity, only the will to conquer, rape and pillage.
Britain has raised their terror level to severe — one step below critical. Even the Brits realize that things are about to get very, very real. ISIS is also threatening the Pope and Italy is on alert. Let’s not forget the million or so Christians, Muslims and others who have been slaughtered in all of this as the Caliphate sweeps the planet. It’s only getting started folks. You want a plague? Well, look no further.
The terrorist chatter on communication channels and social media is off the charts. It far eclipses the traffic pre-9-11. Obama won’t raise our threat level because frankly, he doesn’t give a crap. Americans might want to move to do something before a nuke goes off on the White House lawn and the black flag of ISIS is raised there for realsies.
The ISIS barbarians are at our gates and Obama is holding those gates wide open… maybe it’s time for the American people to bypass the Executive Branch, just as Obama bypasses Congress, to protect our borders and our people from Islamic terrorists and Jihadist hordes. I say bomb the asshats back to the Stone Age wherever we find them. Level the playing field and leave nothing but rubble and dust.







The celebrations by thousands of Gaza Strip residents on Wednesday evening appeared genuine. The sense, at least to the outside observer (watching television), was that more than a few Gazans truly wanted to show their feeling that Hamas had been victorious in the 50-day conflict. Nobody was forced to go out into the streets to celebrate at gunpoint.

Still, in the age of the Hamas dictatorship, in which dozens of people without any connection with Israel are summarily executed (said by Hamas to be “Zionist agents”), one doesn’t argue with the boss. When Hamas announces a victory celebration, the masses celebrate a victory.


Or perhaps, as a Gazan friend explained to me, the truth lies somewhere in the middle: “They went out to celebrate the end of the war, make no mistake. Never mind the Hamas claims of victory. People are happy that this story’s over. Life here became hell.”

Al Jazeera put aside its regular coverage of Iraq, Syria and the other Middle East conflicts and launched a special news edition on Thursday morning on the celebrations. A woman interviewed from the floor of parliament in central Gaza shouted, “We won, we won, we are the people of the resistance,” as if she were trying to convince someone that the public still supports Hamas (whose nickname is “the resistance”). Reporter Tamer al-Mishal interviewed a young man who lost both his legs and his hand who vowed that the struggle will continue.


The rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip is expected to be the most immediate problem with which the Israeli government, Hamas and the Palestinian government will be forced to contend. In order to allow the rebuilding of those same thousands of homes (according to UN statistics, roughly 17,000 families lost their homes, which were completely destroyed or unsuitable for habitation) and the rehabilitation of tens of thousands of others, and to provide even temporary shelter for all the new refugees that filled the streets of Gaza for the past 50 days, it’s necessary to permit the import of huge amounts of building materials into the Strip. The government of Israel will insist, of course, on some kind of oversight mechanism to ensure that the materials let into Gaza won’t be used by Hamas to build new tunnels.


Beyond the threats, the regional changes also highlight new — and some not-so-new — opportunities created for Israel. The war and ceasefire in Gaza brought two Arab leaders to the fore.
The first is Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Contrary to the halting Israeli leadership, which lacks a clear policy, el-Sissi practically led the Israeli policy in the negotiations with Hamas. He’s the one who from the second day of the conflict (with Israeli consultation, apparently) set the terms of the ceasefire.
El-Sissi demonstrated leadership and determination that isn’t often seen in this region, including in Israel, anymore. Time after time he explained to Hamas, to US Secretary of State John Kerry, and to his rivals in Doha and Ankara that it was not his intention to change the ceasefire proposal. What it was, it would be: a return to the ceasefire terms of November 2012, at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, with the remaining issues to be discussed at a later date.









The latest Washington lie, this one coming from NATO, is that Russia has invaded Ukraine with 1,000 troops and self-propelled artillery.
How do we know that this is a lie? Is it because we have heard nothing but lies about Russia from NATO, from US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, from assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland, from Obama and his entire regime of pathological liars, and from the British, German, and French governments along with the BBC and the entirety of the Western media?
This, of course, is a good reason for knowing that the latest Western propaganda is a lie. Those who are pathological liars don’t suddenly start telling the truth.
But there are even better reasons for understanding that Russia has not invaded Ukraine with 1,000 troops.
One reason is that Putin has invested heavily in diplomacy backed by unprovocative behavior. He would not risk his bet on diplomacy by sending in troops too few in number to have a decisive effect on the outcome.
Another reason is that if Putin decides he has no alternative to sending the Russian military to protect the Russian residents in eastern and southern Ukraine, Putin will send in enough troops to do the job quickly as he did in Georgia when the American and Israeli trained Georgian army invaded South Ossetia and was destroyed in a few hours by the Russian response. If you hear that 100,000 Russian troops accompanied by air cover have invaded Ukraine, it would be a more believable claim.
A third reason is that the Russian military does not need to send troops into Ukraine in order to stop the bombing and artillery shelling of the Russian populations by Washington’s puppet government in Kiev. The Russian air force can easily and quickly destroy the Ukrainian air force and artillery and, thereby, stop the Ukrainian attack on the secessionist provinces.


It was only two weeks ago that a fabricated report spread by the UK Guardian and the BBC that a Russian armored convoy entered Ukraine and was destroyed by the Ukrainian Military. And two weeks prior to that we had the hoax of the satellite images allegedly released by the US State Department that the corrupt US ambassador in Kiev spread around the world on social media allegedly showing that Russian forces were firing into Ukraine. One or two weeks from now we will have another lie, and another a week or two after that, and so on.
The cumulative effect of lie piled upon lie for most people is to build the view that the Russians are up to no good. Once this view is established, Western governments can take more serious moves against Russia.


The alleged entry of 1,000 Russian soldiers into Ukraine has been declared by NATO Brigadier General Niko Tak to be a “significant escalation in Russia’s military interference in Ukraine.” The champion liar Samantha Power told the US Security Council that “Russia has to stop lying.” The UK ambassador to the UN said that Russia was guilty of “a clear violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory.” UK prime minister Cameron warned Russia of “further consequences.” German chancellor Merkel announced that there would be more sanctions. A German Security Council advisor declared that “war with Russia is an option.” Polish foreign minister Sikorski called it Russian aggression that required international action. French president Hollande declared Russia’s behavior to be “intolerable.” Ukraine’s security council imposed mandatory conscription.
This suicidal drive toward war with Russia by Europe’s leaders is based entirely on a transparent lie that 1,000 Russian troops crossed into Ukraine


Of course the Western media followed in lock-step. The BBC, CNN, and Die Welt are among the most reckless and irresponsible.
The mountain of lies piled up by Western governments and media has obscured the true story. The US government orchestrated the overthrow of the elected government in Ukraine and imposed a US puppet in Kiev. Washington’s puppet government began issuing threats and committing violent acts against the Russian populations in the former Russian territories that Soviet leaders attached to Ukraine. The Russian people in eastern and southern Ukraine resisted the threat brought to them by Washington’s puppet government in Kiev.


The only possible conclusion from the facts is that Washington is determined to involve Europe in a war with Russia or at least in an armed standoff in order to break up Europe’s political and economic relations with Russia.
Europe’s leaders are going along with this because European countries, except for Charles de Gaulle’s France, have not had independent foreign policies since the end of World War II. They follow Washington’s lead and are well paid for doing so.







This article is the first of a two part series which details the coming war. This war will not be a simple war of occupation such as what we saw in Iran and presently in Afghanistan. This war will be utterly devastating and has the potential to escalate into a conflict befitting the over-used term, "Armageddon."


The coming war will largely feature what pundits call the BRIC nations and the USA and her allies. Each side of this coming conflict possesses widely divergent military strengths, weaknesses and strategies.
The United States and her allies have a decided advantage of quick strike, long range battlefield capabilities because of superior aircraft and carrier strike capabilities. The BRIC nations have an advantage with manpower, rocket propelled weapons and tanks. The USA and her allies cannot win a sustained battlefield campaign because of the attrition factor. The Chinese have demonstrated the ability to negate the United States Navy's technological advantage through the use of killer satellites. Therefore, the entire US strategy is predicated on a first strike before the Chinese can destroy the majority of the eyes and ears of the US military, namely, its superior satellite capabilities in which the US forces can quickly locate and destroy the enemy with its smart weapons before the enemy knows what hit them.

Nuclear submarines are often looked at as the great equalizer. No matter who is winning on the ground, in the air and on the surface of the oceans, the submarine force has the capability to reign down unimaginable destruction upon their enemy. In the case of submarines, the USA and her allies are matched by their BRIC counterparts. Most subs carry eight nuclear missiles, each capable of destroying a major city. The USA presumably has superior evasive techniques and therefore, would presumably survive sub-killer strategies with greater frequency that their BRIC adversaries. Therefore, the BRIC nations might win every land battle, however, the victorious BRIC nations would not have many of its cities left to return to in the case of a nuclear war. The US submarines are, in effect, a formidable doomsday weapon.

For the United States and her allies to win a conventional war, a quick strike, surprise engagement is critical to the success of these forces. The BRICS would have an advantage in a longer prolonged conflict. This is particularly true when one considers that if time permitted, the Chinese have bragged that they could put 100 million men on a battlefield. Following the teachings of Sun Tsu in the famous book, The Art of War, it is critical that the BRIC nations be brought to the battlefield of choice by the USA for a quick and decisive engagement.


From a conventional warfare standpoint, the engagement is likely to be naval and involve aircraft. This plays to the advantage to the USA, whose superior long range strike capability is enhanced by their superior aircraft carriers. The USA forces would likely engage in a distracting land engagement first to hold and occupy the maximum number of the BRIC forces. The land strike, a first strike, will be directed at Syria. Given the present crisis, the Russians would have to decide on choosing between protecting its eastern border with the NATO forces poised to attack, or launching an offensive directed at protecting Syria. The Russians will choose self-defense. The timing of the American invasion of Syria will take place when a sufficient number of American naval vessels are present in the Black Sea to checkmate the Russia military buildup in Crimea which would serve as a staging area for military action in Syria. At the end of the day, once a large contingent of the American navy has moved into position off of the Baltic states, Russia will be powerless to prevent an US takeover of Syria. The path and progress of the CIA force, ISIS, as it creates more designed havoc in Syria, will provide the impetus for US forces to enter Syria, thus provoking a Russian and a BRIC nation unified response.

Conventional wisdom states that once the US occupies Syria, Russia will be powerless to intervene on behalf of America's next target, Iran because the US medium range missile batteries will prevent the Russian army from moving south into the region. With Russia out of the way, Iran will capitulate and stop selling oil for gold to the BRIC nations and the Petrodollar will be preserved. Iran will agree to the control of their oil fields by the US to avoid an invasion. They will capitulate because nobody will come to their rescue. At least that is what the US is hoping for. In part two, I will present a more likely scenario.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

French President: 'There Is Risk Of War' As Europe Plans Additional Russian Sanctions




French President Says 'There Is Risk Of War' As Europe Plans Additional Russian Sanctions


[From Zero Hedge]



For months Europe had thought that mere verbal (and hollow) threats, populist posturing and propaganda would be enough to force Russia's Putin to back off and withdraw from the endless Ukraine escalation, into a Kremlin cocoon with his tail between his legs. What they didn't anticipate was that Putin would in no way back down (as that would be seen as defeat and weakness by his numerous internal foes), nor would have have to: with Russia providing a third of European gas and with winter approaching, Russia had all the trumps cards from day one. Furthermore, as a result of escalating trade wars it is not Russia's economy that is hurting but Europe, which is on the verge of a historic triple-dip recession, only unlike 2010 and 2012, this time it is Europe's growth dynamo, Germany, itself which is leading the lemmings into the abyss.

Now, finally, Europe has realized that its "strategy" (if it ever had one, red: Obama's 'strategy' on dealing with ISIS) was flawed. It is with this mindset that European Union leaders met in Brussels earlier today and while, as usual, the the threat of new and improved sanctions to Russia was present, suddenly Europe's leaders seem far more "fearful of a new Cold War and self-inflicted harm to their own economies" and instead decided to give Moscow another chance to make peace according to Reuters.
Confirming Europe's realization just how serious events are, and how far down the rabbit hole Europe's bureaucrats have gone, French President Francois Hollande, while stressing that a failure by Russia to reverse a flow of weapons and troops into eastern Ukraine would force the bloc to impose new economic measures i.e., nothing new, it is what he said just after that indicated a dramatic change in rhetoric: "Are we going to let the situation worsen, until it leads to war?" Hollande said at a news conference. "Because that's the risk today. There is no time to waste."

Of course, the problem of hypocrisy promptly emerges, because it is France whose mistral amphibious assault ship is being delivered to Russia over the objections of both Germany (whose own military export complex has quite a few pending RFPs to the Kremlin) and of course Washington. That, and the fact that it is Europe's actions that have led the situation to the bring of another world war. Actions such as the expansion of NATO to Russia's borders which the Kremlin, justifiably, sees as yet another offensive intrusion by the west into purely regional matters, because last time anyone checked, Ukraine was neither a member of NATO nor the European Union.
The paradoxical hypocrisy continued when none other than British PM, who has been teasing with pulling the UK out of Europe for months over the election of Jean-Claude "You have to lie pretty much all the time in Europe" Juncker, also spoke on behalf of a united Europe. From Reuters:




British Prime Minister David Cameron said: "We have to address the completely unacceptable situation of having Russian troops on Ukrainian soil. Countries in Europe shouldn't need to think long before realising just how unacceptable that is. We know that from our history.

"So consequences must follow if that situation continues."


Consequences such as pushing Germany into outright depression, which in turn would lead to a global economic contraction? Sure, go ahead, but keep in mind that once again Putin has done his homework. Unless, of course, the entire premise is to launch another round of global coordinated QEasing, and this time blame the Kremlin as the "scapegoat" for thrusting the world into at least one more year of unprecedented Reverse Robin Hood wealth redistribution by way of central banks.

Meanwhile, Europe's hawkish warmongers had free reign today to tell the world how they really feel:



The president of formerly Soviet Lithuania, an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin and of EU hesitation to challenge him, called for urgent military supplies to Kiev and a tougher arms embargo on Russia. Dalia Grybauskaite said Moscow, by attacking Ukraine, was effectively "in a state of war against Europe".

But large Western countries are wary of damaging their own economies through sanctions. Those include Germany, Britain and France, as well as Italy, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas and expects to secure the post of EU foreign affairs chief. 

Poroshenko gave short shrift to Moscow's denials by denouncing the past week's incursion of thousands of troops with hundreds of armoured vehicles and said he expected the summit to order the European Commission to prepare a new set of sanctions.

But, like Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, he used their joint news conference to stress a will to find a political solution to a crisis that President Putin blames on Kiev's drive to turn the ex-Soviet state away from its former master Moscow and toward a Western alliance with the EU and NATO.

He said he was not looking for foreign military intervention and expected progress toward peace as early as Monday - because failure could push the conflict to a point of no return: "Let's not try to spark the new flame of war in Europe," he said.

Barroso also warned of the risk of a "point of no return" in stressing that EU leaders wanted to defuse the confrontation with their nuclear-armed neighbour.

"It makes no sense to have ... a new Cold War," Barroso said. Further conflict would hurt all of Europe, he said, adding that sanctions were meant to push Moscow to talk. His Commission already had prepared a number of options for further measures.


Europe may be shocked to learn that the Cold War never went away, but simply was on hiatus until the Russian bear and the Chinese dragon felt strong enough they can finally ascend to global superpower status, in the process sweeping away the insolvent west, and its reserve currency status.
All that said, no pun intended, there was nothing actually decided today in Brussels, nor was any action taken, as is generically the case in Europe. In fact, the only thing that did happen is that as was known in advance, moments ago Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk replaced Haiku-spewing, unelected Gollum lookalike Herman Van Rompuy, a well-known figurehead from the days when Europe was actively fighting for its survival.


To summarize: more worthless power moves, more hollow rhetoric and threats, more verbal escalation; nothing else.
In fact, the most notable comment all day today came from Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban who said that EU sanctions on Russia haven’t worked and it’s "self-delusion" to think they’ll help resolve the crisis in Ukraine.
Well, if there is anything Europe, and its allegedly unlimited but certainly very limited amount of political capital spent to preserve an unsustainable, artificial union, excels in it is "self-delusion."