Russia’s Threat in the Americas

vladimir-putin-nicolas-maduro-evo-morales-cumbre-gas-rusia-foto-efePresident Obama dismissed Russia as no more than a “regional power” in remarks he made to the press in The Hague on March 25th, where he was attending a summit meeting on nuclear security. “Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength, but out of weakness,” he said.

True, the Russian Federation is a shadow of the Soviet empire in its heyday. And Russia is not driven by a global Communist ideology that it seeks to spread to every part of the world in opposition to the capitalist democratic model, as the Soviet Union tried to do. But that does not make Russia a weak neighborhood bully posing little threat beyond its “immediate neighbors,” as President Obama seems to think. Mitt Romney was right when he said during the 2012 presidential campaign that Russia is “our number one geopolitical foe.”

First, consider Russia’s nuclear arsenal. According to a Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists study published in May 2013, it was estimated that, as of March 2013, Russia had “a military stockpile of approximately 4,500 nuclear warheads, of which roughly 1,800 strategic warheads are deployed on missiles and at bomber bases.” Russia is also “modernizing its nuclear forces, replacing Soviet-era ballistic missiles with fewer improved missiles. In a decade, almost all Soviet-era weapons will be gone, leaving a smaller but still effective force that will be more mobile than what it replaced.”

While these are only estimates, since Russia is not transparent about how many nuclear weapons it has, the size of Russia’s arsenal and its ambitious modernization program do not connote the image of weakness that Obama wants to paint of Russia as a mere “regional” power. By way of comparison, the United States “has an estimated 4,650 nuclear warheads available for delivery by more than 800 ballistic missiles and aircraft,” according to a Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists study published in January 2014.

These numbers and Russia’s modernization strategy should be placed in the context of a very disturbing statement made last December by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Dmitry Rogozin: “We have never diminished the importance of nuclear weapons—the weapon of requital—as the great balancer of chances.” Rogozin has said that Russia was prepared to use nuclear weapons if attacked first even by only conventional weapons.

Russia is also on the march far from its immediate neighborhood and much closer to the United States. According to Gen. James Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, who discussed his concerns regarding the increased presence of Russia in Latin America at a Senate hearing earlier this month, there has been a “noticeable uptick in Russian power projection and security force personnel. It has been over three decades since we last saw this type of high-profile Russian military presence.”

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced last month plans to build military bases in such countries as Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, as well as outside of Latin America including Vietnam, the Seychelles, and Singapore. “The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents,” Shoigu said. Russia is also on the lookout for refueling sites for Russian strategic bombers on patrol.

Russia is already a major arms supplier to Venezuela, whose navy has conducted joint maneuvers with Russian ships. At least four Russian Navy ships visited Venezuela last August, the Venezuelan daily El Universal reported.

“Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers flew last October from an airbase in southwestern Russia and landed in Venezuela in routine exercise,” Russia’s Defense Ministry announced, according to the Voice of Russia. “The nuclear-capable bombers, which took off from the Engels airbase in the Volga region, ‘flew over the Caribbean, the eastern Pacific and along the southwestern coast of the North American continent, and landed at Maiquetia airfield in Venezuela,’ the ministry said in a statement.”

Nicolas Maduro, the President of Venezuela, is so enamored of Putin that he expressed support last year for the Russian president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. During a visit to Moscow by Maduro last summer, Maduro and Putin reaffirmed, in Putin’s words, “their wish for continuing their course towards strategic cooperation in all sectors.”

Putin was the first Russian president to visit Cuba since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Pravda quoted Putin as declaring in 2012 that Russia gained the consent of the Cuban leadership to place “the latest mobile strategic nuclear missiles ‘Oak’ on the island,” supposedly as a brush back against U.S. actions to create a buffer zone near Russia. Last month, according to a report by Fox News Latino, “the intelligence-gathering ship Viktor Leonov docked in Havana’s harbor without warning.” It was reportedly armed with 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.

Left-wing Argentinian President Cristina Fernández is intent on forging closer relations with Russia, inviting Russia to invest in fuel projects. In return for Russia’s support of Argentina’s quest to annex the Falkland Islands, Fernández supported Putin’s grab of Crimea. Crimea “has always belonged to Russia,” she said, just as the Falkland Islands have “always belonged to Argentina.” She added that the Crimean referendum was “one of the famous referendums of self-determination.”

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa praised Russia as a “great nation” during a visit to Moscow last October after Putin pledged to invest up to $1.5 billion into new domestic energy projects in Ecuador. Correa said Ecuador was also interested in buying Russian military equipment.

Brazil is planning to purchase short-to-medium-range surface-to-air Pantsir S1 missile batteries and Igla-S shoulder-held missiles from Russia. It has already bought 12 Mi-35 attack helicopters. This is all part of what Brazil views as a growing strategic relationship with Russia, as Brazil leads efforts to counter U.S. electronic surveillance that included alleged spying on Brazilian citizens. “More than buying military equipment, what we are seeking with Russia is a strategic partnership based on the joint development of technology,” said Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim after meeting with his Russian counterpart.

After Daniel Ortega, the leader of the Sandinista revolution, returned to power in Nicaragua in 2007, Russia and Nicaragua have moved in the direction of a strategic economic and military relationship. In October 2013, for example, Nicaragua and Russia signed a memorandum of international security cooperation. Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev noted during his visit to Nicaragua that “Nicaragua is an important partner and friend of Russia in Latin America,” pointing to the coincidence of views of the two countries’ authorities “on many issues.” For his part, Ortega said: “We are very grateful and very much appreciate the Russian people’s support of our country.”  Ortega welcomed the arrival of two Russian strategic bombers Tupolev Tu-160.  Ortega added that Putin had sent him a letter, in which the Russian leader reaffirmed his “readiness to continue to work together with our country.”

According to a March 2014 report by the Strategic Culture Foundation, a progressive, pro-Russian think tank, Nicaragua’s

parliament has ratified a cabinet resolution allowing Russian military divisions, ships and aircraft to visit the republic during the first half of 2014 for experience sharing and training of military personnel of the Central American republic. Furthermore, the parliament has approved the participation of Russian military personnel in joint patrols of the republic’s territorial waters in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean from January 1 through June 30, 2015.

Russia is also forging a closer relationship with El Salvador, which has been led by the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (“FMLN”) that arose out of a left-wing guerrilla movement from the country’s 1979-1992 civil war. Leftist ex-guerrilla Sanchez Ceren has just won the presidential election. He can be expected to build on the “Federal Law On Ratification of the Agreement on the Foundations of Relations” between the Russian Federation and the Republic of El Salvador, signed by Vladimir Putin in November 2012. It was the first interstate agreement between the two countries since they established diplomatic relations in 1992.

In fact, given Ceren’s background – one of five top guerrilla commanders during the civil war that left 76,000 dead and over 12,000 missing – we can expect a more avowedly anti-U.S. government that will welcome Russia’s outstretched arms. After all, the FMLN leadership during the civil war described its own ideology as “Marxism-Leninism.”

On a regional level, the Strategic Culture Foundation has reported that the Central American Common Market, which includes Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, “advocates the creation of a free trade zone with the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.”

Foreign ministers from members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and Russia declared their intention, after meeting in Moscow last May, that they were working to establish a means of continuous dialogue “to discuss and synchronize positions on international issues.” CELAC includes thirty-three countries in the Americas, but the United States and Canada are excluded.

“Imperial Russia never left, to be blunt,” Stephen Blank, senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council said as quoted in Deutsche Welle. “What they’re looking for in Latin America is great-power influence, they have never forsaken that quest. There’s no doubt that Moscow is dead serious about seeking naval bases and port access in Latin America.”

In the Middle East, also out of range of Russia’s “immediate neighbors,” Russia continues to prop up the Assad regime in Syria with increased shipment of arms. Reuters reported in January 2014 that “[I]n recent weeks Russia has stepped up supplies of military gear to Syria, including armored vehicles, drones and guided bombs.” Putin also managed to out-maneuver Obama regarding the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons program, buying more time for Assad and enhancing his legitimacy.

Moreover, Russia is running interference for Assad at the United Nations Security Council, where Russia, along with China, vetoed a series of resolutions aimed at condemning and sanctioning the Assad regime. Its veto power in the Security Council puts Russia in parity with the other four permanent members of the Security Council – the U.S., the United Kingdom, France and China. As Russia demonstrated with regard to Syria as well as the veto it recently exercised to block a Security Council resolution on Crimea, Russia is exploiting this lever of “soft power” to exert its influence on the global stage.

Russia is also continuing to cultivate stronger ties with Iran, while also participating in the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program that include the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany. Russia is one of Iran’s leading trading partners, selling Iran nuclear technology and arms. When Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif visited Moscow last January he extended an invitation to Vladimir Putin to visit Tehran. Putin replied: “I hope to visit you in Tehran very soon. We have a large bilateral agenda. This relates firstly to our trade and economic ties, of course.” Putin also went out of his way to praise the Iranian regime, declaring that the nuclear negotiations were advancing because of “the efforts of the Iranian authorities and the stance of the Iranian authorities.” More recently, because of the mounting tensions over the Ukraine crisis, Russia has threatened to stop cooperating with respect to the nuclear negotiations with Iran. That may not mean very much, considering Russia’s existing back door dealings with Iran that reduce Iran’s economic incentives to negotiate in good faith. However, just by making this threat and having it paid attention to in Washington and other world capitals, Russia has made a point regarding its influence beyond its “immediate neighbors.”

Finally, there is the whole battleground of cyber warfare which has no geographical boundaries. An article in the winter 2014 publication of inFocus Quarterly, titled “Russian Cyber Capabilities, Policy and Practice” by David J. Smith, Senior Fellow and Cyber Center Director at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Washington and Director of the Georgian Security Analysis Center in Tbilisi, paints a grim picture.

“Russia—its government and a motley crew of sometimes government-sponsored but always government-connected cyber-criminals and youth group members—has integrated cyber operations into its military doctrine,” according to Mr. Smith. Russia “has used cyber tools against enemies foreign and domestic, and is conducting strategic espionage against the United States.”

After describing the multifaceted Russian approach to information warfare and the government’s close links with the “thriving cyber-criminal industry” and extensive well-trained youth groups all too happy to sell their services to the government, Mr. Smith concluded:  “In sum, Russia—in its capabilities and its intent—presents a major cyber challenge to the United States.”

Russia is not a superpower on the order of the former Soviet Union. But Putin’s animosity towards the United States, coupled with Russia’s expanding role internationally through alliances with countries in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, Russia’s exploitation of its permanent member status on the UN Security Council and its nuclear arms and cyber warfare capabilities, all add up to a very dangerous geopolitical foe.  President Obama needs to wake up to the fact that Vladimir Putin will not be content to play only in his own neighborhood, and that he has a variety of tools at hand to cause serious mischief far from Russia’s own borders.

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  • truebearing

    We need to start asking different questions. Instead of the usual stuff about Obama’s competence, we need to seriously ask ourselves if Obama is complicit in allowing Russia’s agenda. Everything Obama has agreed to with Russia has helped them and hurt us, or the West. Every move he has made regarding our military looks like Putin’s wish list. The uglier it gets, the more likely it becomes that Obama is a traitor. Ideologically, he always has been.

    • nomoretraitors

      What sealed it for me was when his pick to head NASA said one of the agency’s missions was to highlight Muslim contributions to math and science

      • Well Done

        Yes, 0bama’s mewlings about what NASA’s mission should be only make his agenda obvious. That’s what he meant when he said his administration would be “transparent”. Too many American’s still won’t see it, though. NASA recently published a study that “found” egalitarian Socialism is the only way humanity can survive.

        It’s time to take out the garbage, America, but conflicts over just what the garbage is will by your undoing. Buy property in Canada!

        • truebearing

          Canada is headed towaqrds a split between Quebec and western Canada. If you move to Canada, make sure it is in the West. They like us there, as opposed to eastern Canada.

        • Ray – Jesus is the Son of God.

          As we all know the world we live in has turned upside down. What is good is now called evil. What is evil is now called good. God’s Word is now called “hate material” and talking about God’s laws is called “hate speech.” Lawlessness is increasing at every level. The wicked continue to push their evil upon us. Christians are being persecuted, arrested, beaten and jailed. Many Christians are being murdered in cold blood. Our liberties are being taken away from us. We are moving into a One World Government….

          Pastor Kirk DiVietro and I have created a website that explains from God’s Word what is going on and where it’s all leading to. Our website is called: itshallcometopass dot org

          Respectfully, Ray

    • Hktony

      Obama has only ever hurt the USA . This has nothing to do with Putin or china or any other group Americans don’t like. Obama will do what he can to destroy America. Putin is doing what Obama should be doing and that is helping his people. China is helping its people. Iran is helping its people. Your traitor in chief is helping these people. Unfortunately it seems your political system is happy or he would have been impeached years ago.

  • How Not To Play The Game

    The same bankers have financed all sides of war since at least Waterloo. They are at it again. The people see the games and charades being played out upon them in real time and are all but helpless to stop it. It is surreal.

    • BagLady

      There was a time they could have stopped it but they got swallowed up by the credit bubble. They stopped fighting their corner and failed to notice the build up of ‘homeland security’ that will blast them into oblivion when they eventually rise up against the Bilderbergs.

      Life’s an eternal circle and we have arrived back at the 1930’s. Welcome.

  • ColoursFed

    You allowed this Black man to lead YOUR COUNTRY, IT’S YOU WHOM ARE TO BLAME?

    • How Not To Play The Game

      That he is an idiot has nothing to do with what he looks like. You assume America has un-corrupted elections. You are poorly informed. Very poorly informed indeed.

      • Well Done

        He got elected because of “what he looks like”. He’s not an idiot, either. He means to do exactly what he’s doing, and at least one third of the people who voted for him are very poorly informed. It was the height of arrogance for the left to say the Crimean referendum was rigged.

        • T800

          the Crimean Referendum is not valid,it was implemented only after invasion,while the Crimea was held by armed invaders,and had only two choices,both being leaving Ukraine. Plus Russian military troops voted,and they were not (are not) citizens of Crimea.

          • BagLady

            The Crimean Referendum was a democratic success for the people. The fact it didn’t produce the result you personally wanted doesn’t in any way invalidate it. Get over yourself.

  • nimbii

    So, we ship energy to Europe, start fracking there.

    Then, we remove regulations making manufacturing impossible in America.

    We tell the Chinese that as a result of our lost jobs from their currency manipulation, we are reducing our debt to nothing.

    We tell the Chinese to sell their junk to themselves.

    Unfortunately, we will probably have to declare a state of emergency to curtail their partners in our own government bent on our destruction.

    • dragon rising

      you could try that. and then we could take you court and lock your gwailo a## out of the world markets. i wont lose any sleep over it.

      • Drakken

        That is what I love about you chins, complete lack of imagination.

    • Hktony

      Pathetic! Blame someone else. I know let’s blame the Chinese. China manipulates its currency for sure but you must also know the states does the same and Turning the dollar into toilet paper value.
      The Chinese junk you refer to is sold at just above cost price because of the horrible demands american buyers put on Chinese manufacturers. Many Chinese manufacturers won’t even answer the phone to Americans because of how poorly Americans deal with them.
      Perhaps if you took a look at how expensive your manufacturing costs were you might be able to fix the Chinese junk problem . Germany is expensive but they have maintained their industry. Go ask them how if you want to stop junk as you call it being sold in america.
      Or perhaps you could manufacture a problem in the east and bomb china. O no you cannot there too big.
      What the hell happened to the states? The land of the free and all that. It’s become the land of blamers.

  • Johnnnyboy

    If we are through playing the world’s policeman then we should at the least be tending to our own interests. Our ability to impact events in the land north of the Black Sea is limited both by the difficulty of putting military forces in the area and by the fact that our direct interests in the region are not great. Instead of fussing the Russians about their military moves in the Crimea, we should be troubling them over what they are doing in our own back yard.

    • Well Done

      Troubling the Russian over what they are doing in America’s backyard would be nice. Too bad Congress has passed laws against that sort of thing. Yes, the Dem’s heinous, blame-America first mindset had done a lot of damage. Unfortunately, putting a Jihadi quisling in the White House is one of the most damaging offenses of all..

      • BagLady

        What are Russians doing in the US backyard?

  • W.C. Taqiyya

    I’ve been saying Cuba needs to be liberated for years. Nobody listened. Now lets get it done.

    • MidSouthMitch

      Second that. Just like Crimea…

    • BagLady

      Liberation can only come from losing the ridiculous sanctions.

      • W.C. Taqiyya

        I rather had in mind some cheerleaders and a marching band. Wouldn’t take much more than that.

  • Josh Randall

    Obama hates the military and the United States. He wants us to be weak. Putin knows this. The man was a KBG’er. I have never trusted any of those counties south of the border either.

  • logdon

    There was once a time when we knew who the bad guys were.

    Now we don’t.

    When Clinton/Blair and Obama/Cameron and co cosied up to Islam the credibility went.

    Pamela Geller has views completely outside the box of received wisdom on Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo and the raft of disinformation swallowed whole by the vast majority of the western msm.

    Meanwhile watch this and make up your own minds.

    • Drakken

      Funny you should mention the Balkans, it looks like they are gearing up for round 2 there and this time Russia isn’t going to stand quietly aside, and in fact help their little Serbian brothers. Riddle me this, why are there over 1,800 Russian advisors in Serbian areas of Bosnia and Serbia proper and why is it that no one is talking about it?

  • Arizona

    HERES the good news you’ve all been waiting for?Everywhere on the planet the RATS have been growing to sizes NEVER before seen,AFTER the government crushes the value of your money,it WILL put almost everyone out of work,AT that point in time you’ll have TWO choices,TAKE THE MARK OF THE BEAST and be KILLED LATER,in the FEMA DEATH CAMPS,or LEARN TO ENJOY THE TASTE OF RATS,over the barby,WHAT a great future you have arranged for the children,BIG paychecks and destroy america,MAYBE YOU should try getting your head out of your ass and look ahead a couple years and ask your self where your taking america….SERFS aren’t allowed to eat the DICTATORS wildlife,they only get the RATS,just like they used to in the middle ages………………….

  • Arizona

    I would hope as news paper people you have studied the GREAT DEPRESSON of the 30’s……22,000,000 thats right americans STARVED TO DEATH,you might think I’am kidding about eating RATS,…I’AM not kidding,FAMINES are common in countries where the money crashed,I’am standing on the WALL screaming my head off about it,…….IS ANYONE LISTENING??? I’am certain its coming,and eating rats ain’t my IDEA of dinner…………………..

    • Geoffrey_Britain

      22,000,000 Americans did NOT starve to death during the depression. Fool or liar which is it?

    • BagLady

      They taste a bit like chicken. Apparently.

  • you are a menace

    russia is not a threat america is. ask anyone in the world who they are more afraid of.

    • Geoffrey_Britain

      Traitor and enemy and…liar.

      • BagLady

        Silly nonsense you speak

    • WhiteHunter

      If you believe that delusional rubbish, you no doubt also believe you can keep your doctor, and that this is “the most transparent regime ever.”

      • BagLady

        What a terrible state of affairs when your medical system doesn’t allow you to keep your family doctor.

  • RMthoughts

    Why do we think we can break the promises made at the break-up of the Soviet Union not to expand Nato into Eastern Europe and the traditional Russian sphere of influence. The Ukraine was the final move which would see Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus brought into the EU and NATO and a socialistic European Union Empire which stretched “from the Atlantic to the Urals.

    Ukraine isn’t just a line in the sand for Russia… It’s the the mother of all flashing-light, bleeding-red, carved-in-granite lines. As NATO and the EU have over the past 25 years claimed chunks of the former Soviet Union’s sphere of influence – Poland, the Baltics, and the Balkans, for starters – Russia has watched with increasing alarm. From a Russian perspective, it’s only a question of time before the west comes for Russia itself… whether it’s by helping foment revolution to overthrow the Kremlin, or by encroaching on Russian territory. Ukraine is on Russia’s border, and it’s the last line of defense for Russia… from a Russian perspective, if Ukraine is
    “lost” to the west, it’s really the beginning of the end for Russia.

    As we expand our sphere of influence to the doorstep of Moscow, should we be surprised that they make their counter-move into the Americas.

  • marvin nubwaxer

    “Russia’s Threat in the Americas”
    “First, consider Russia’s nuclear arsenal.”
    next thing you know we’ll be doing duck and cover drills. this is so tired and dated cold war propaganda that was baloney back in the 50″ and 60’s when i was growing up.
    this sort of gloom and doom right wing propaganda should have died out with the hula hoop.

    • UCSPanther

      It’s back, baby.

      Russia was only sleeping for the past 20 years.

    • Flowerknife_us

      No grab and go bags for you eh?

  • T800

    You neglected to mention the belief that Russia has not been fully abiding by the strategic arms treaties they’ve signed. That they may still retain chemical weapons,and have not been completely honest about the number of nuclear missiles they actually have.
    Also,New START forces the US to cut back on nuclear warheads AND delivery systems,but allows Russia to build UP to the limits,which they ARE doing,along with modernizing their ICBM force with Topol-M roadmobile missiles

    • BagLady

      Maybe not but they are not up there with the big boys and I doubt they will be resorting to such desperate measures for a strip of bankrupt land.

  • Arlie

    The world is regressing into darkness because of the major error of not passing on to successive generations any wisdom gained, righteousness of morals or truth of history. Evil never gives up and now we have cruel masters wanting to subjgate, threaten and terrorize once more.

    I found this article,as well, interesting:
    The structure of how the system works & is easy to understand.

  • T800

    WHERE is the moderator for this site? asleep at the wheel?

    • BagLady

      You’re a big boy now. You can fight your own corner without being babied by a moderator.

  • usmcmailman

    Short version of this article…………we have lots of enemies and no allies !

  • herb benty

    The MDPA, or Marxist Democratic Party of America is complicit in this World Communist growth and even an idiot should see this. Our universities aren’t filled with Marxist professors for nothing.

    • BagLady

      Perhaps for every oligarch you need a million communists to balance the financial scales.

      • herb benty

        Communism is an evil system for the average person. American ingenuity… there’s a real threat, ha! ha! Steve Jobs, Gates, etc are no danger to the world. Your Communist “millions” are a danger however. Obama’s Crony Capitalists are your “Oligarchs”

        • BagLady
          • herb benty

            In our wonderful Capitalist system there should be no surprise that business types are involved in government. I mean our high standard of living, long lives, security etc is not due to bureaucrats. Companies make things people want, companies employ people, people have shares in companies etc.Businesses are the people.I sure as heck would rather have business types in gov’t than America-hating commies.

  • FurtherBeyond

    The current controversy over the validity of referenda simply illustrates British and US hypocrisy on this issue. Russia has been behaving like a neo-colonial power by encouraging the ‘colonisation’ of Ukrainian territory by ethnic Russians. Once the process creates a majority in the territory being colonised, these neo-colonists then simply demand independence or re-unification with their motherland/fatherland on the basis of a presumed universal right to self-determination.

    However, this is hardly a novel approach, after all, this is the very same ploy that the UK has used for many years now in an attempt to legitimise the so called right of their colonists to determine the nationality of territories they occupy such as Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

    It is important therefore to point out that the so called right to self determination is not universal but limited. Under international law there are exceptions to the right to self-determination. For example, this right does not apply to colonies such as the Falklands, Gibraltar and the Palestine occupied territories where transplanted populations illegally occupy another nation’s territory.

    The International Court of Justice has recognized that there are exceptions to the right of self-determination in such cases. For example, in the Western Sahara advisory opinion several Justices of the Court recognized the existence of territorial limitations in dicta. Justice Singh wrote in a separate opinion that situations could arise in which prior legal ties between a territory and a claimant state would bring into effect paragraph 6 of resolution 1514, and force reintegration of the territory. In another separate opinion, Justice Petren recognized that ‘[where] the territory belonged, at the time of its colonization, to a State which still exists today …[the claim would be] on the basis of [the State’s] territorial integrity.’ Justice Petren also stated that ‘in certain specific cases one must equally take into account the principle of the national unity and integrity of States’.

    Significantly, at no point in the opinion did the Court recognize an absolute right to self-determination for the population of Western Sahara, a non self-governing territory. Instead, the Court engaged in an extensive exploration of Morocco’s, Mauritania’s, and Spain’s historical ties to the territory. Although this analysis had been requested by the General Assembly, the issue would have been moot under international law had the Court recognized the Saharans’ absolute right to self-determination.

    This exception to the right of self-determination has been re-affirmed by the International Court of Justice as recently as 2004 when it ruled that ‘…under the terms of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention …an Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilianpopulation into the territory it occupies. … Such policy and practices “have no legal validity” and constitute a “flagrant violation” of the Convention and are in breach of international law.’ (see International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004).

    If we want ‘autocratic’ Russia to respect international law then we should insist that the so called ‘great democracies’ such as the UK lead by example.

    • BagLady

      However, this is hardly a novel approach, after all, this is the very
      same ploy that the UK has used for many years now in an attempt to
      legitimise the so called right of their colonists to determine the
      nationality of territories they occupy such as Gibraltar and the
      Falkland Islands.”

      So what you are saying is that the people of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands have no right to choose their own identity?

    • Drakken

      Take your international court and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Your effing so called international court didn’t do a goddamn thing about the Germans forcibly moved and slaughtered after the war and here you are whining about the fakestinians the Falklands and Gibraltor, here let me help you out leftard, war is the decider of all things in the end, for to the victors go the spoils and that is the end of it.

  • Srinivas Varma

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  • Katya

    The USA lay the blame at someone else’s doorstep as usual. It is precisely the USA that destroyed nation after nation. IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, LIBYA, SYRIA, EGYPT, YEMEN, PALESTINE, LEBANON, SUDAN, CHAD,SOMALIA, UKRAINE, GEORGIA, SOUTH OSSETIA, VENEZUELA, HONDURAS, PANAMA, YUGOSLAVIA,
    SERBIA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, ALBANIA, MYANMAR, THAILAND, PHILIPPINES, VIETNAM. That is just a partial list of the most recent and obvious unprovoked wars and military actions carried out or supported by the good USA. And Obama had the audacity to lecture Russia for simply responding to the outright agression in the Ukraine, which occured by way of the US-EU sponsored revolution in Kiev, The Ukraine is, after all, on its very border.
    Ukrainian woman

    • Texas Patriot

      Thank you for your post, Katya. There are some in America who always see Russia and China as evil, just as no doubt there are some in Russia and China who always see America as evil. I don’t agree with them. As the three greatest powers in the world today, America, Russia, and China have the potential of building a great economic and military alliance for the purpose of combatting the scourge of international Islamic jihad, and that needs to be our number one priority going forward. High technology competition, military cooperation, and airtight international security can be the new paradigm for freedom and prosperity in the 21st Century, and the sooner we make it happen the better. Best wishes to you and your family.

    • Cheese83

      The funny thing about this post is that mother russia was involved in destabilizing and destroying these countries well before the US got on the scene.

    • Cheese83

      But I guess when they are funded by Russia they are freedom fighters

  • BagLady

    Ah, now you get it. It’s called the New World Order.

  • Texas Patriot

    I hope Russia and China maintain their nuclear arsenal, just as I hope we maintain ours at full fighting strength and readiness. As the three survivors of the Cold War, America, Russia, and China have proven that they can be trusted with a gun to each other’s head notwithstanding the pressures of hot-headed idiots in their respective ranks. There is no such guarantee with Iran. Allowing the Islamic Revolutionary Party of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons could potentially the most destabilizing political event in the last three hundred years. My guess is that the Big Three will find a way to make sure it doesn’t happen.

  • nimbii

    You have made interesting points Hktony

    i will rephrase per your comments:

    Remove US gov’t regulations making manufacturing impossible (and jobs for illegals possible). Good point.

    Looking at Germany, et al, may be a good start. But, we must keep in mind that we are competing with Chinese slave labor and near slave labor. Perhaps that’s why Chinese manufacturers get such disdain from US customers.

    Inflating the dollar is a concern to all holders including Americans. It is a hidden tax but that’s another discussion. Still, China fixed their currency before the US started inflating the dollar.

    Most Americans would agree that America is still the land of the free and home of the brave but there are a lot of radical lefties in our academe, gov’t, MSM, high-tech and the arts that want to change all that.

    Thanks to people like David Horowitz, we’re on to these radical lefties but they have decades of death and devastation behind them in search of their unicorns and it’s not going to be easy with a complacent electorate…maybe Obamacare will wake them up. But I digress…

    As for the bombing, I realize that is a bid of sarcasm on your part but perhaps deserved. Our weak president is not much help to project a strong international image.

  • Littlebitrat

    Weed rat stew is said to be pretty tasty.

  • emachines

    All countries seek to forge mutually beneficial relations with others around the world. Since Russia is no longer a communist state what is the problem ?

  • Johny Wong

    Russia + China + real Muslims VS Nato + al qaeda, al nusra, etc…

  • Plymouth Duster

    obama is a monkey

  • Christopher Chekosky

    Russia isn’t a regional power. It hasn’t been considered one since World War II. The fall of the Soviet Union did significant damage to Russia’s global reach, but that has rebounded, just in different ways (such as cyber-warefare, oil, subsidies, etc). Naturally, U.S. leaders will use rhetoric to paint a different picture, just as we have since 1945.