Trump may not defend NATO allies

Donald Trump said that he may or may not come to the defense of a NATO ally if it were attacked.  Never mind the treaty commitment that an attack upon one is an attack upon all.  He said that the US action would depend on whether or not the country “fulfilled their obligations to us.”

He was referring specifically to what he would do if one of the Baltic Republics (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) were invaded by Russia.

Remember that Trump and Vladimir Putin have something of a mutual admiration society.  What would the international scene be like if the United States allies itself with Russia, instead of Western Europe?

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Russia forbids evangelizing outside of church

A new Russian law forbids evangelizing except within a church service.  This includes using e-mail or other online communication.  It even outlaws private evangelistic conversations within one’s own home.

This is not the work of Godless communism.  It comes out of the Russian Orthodox Church and its resistance to “proseletyzing” on the part of Western Protestants and Roman Catholics. I wonder what would happen, under this law, if a devout Orthodox Russian tried, over glasses of vodka, to persuade an old-line Communist to embrace Orthodox Christianity.  I suspect this would be allowed.  My impression is that the Russian Orthodox Church considers all of Holy Russia to be its domain, even among the unbaptized.  But I don’t know.

 Ironically, the recent Great and Holy Council of the orthodox, the Russians not attending, put out a statement affirming religious liberty that pointedly did not include “the right to convert.”  I’d love to hear from Orthodox readers about why this is.

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Liberals who now work for Putin

Remember Ed Schultz, the liberal talker on MSNBC, who praised all things Obama and Clinton, and who ridiculed Trump and condemned Vladimir Putin (whom he called derisively “Putie”)?  Well, now he works for RT America, Putin’s propaganda cable network.  Now he has nothing good to say about Obama and Clinton and is now, at his new master’s behest, praising Trump.

Larry King, the former CNN icon, also works for Putin.  So does Jesse Ventura, former governor of Minnesota, professional wrestler, and radio talk show host.  (He is arguably not a liberal, but was something of a populist precursor to Trump, on the state level.)  Also working for Putin is, disturbingly, Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s equivalent of the CIA.

Michael Crowley has a story about this in Politico, excerpted and linked to after the jump.  He also discusses the connections between Putin and Trump. [Read more…]

NATO member shoots down Russian plane–Putin threatens

Turkish fighters shot down a Russian attack aircraft over Syria, after accusations that it invaded Turkish air space (which Russia denies).  The two pilots ejected but were  reportedly killed by gunfire from the ground as they parachuted.  A Russian marine on a helicopter rescue mission was also shot.

Vladimir Putin called this a “stab in the back” and said Turkey will face “significant consequences.”   President Obama defended Turkey’s right to defend its air space.

As this unfolds, keep in mind that Turkey belongs to NATO, and, by treaty, an attack on one NATO member is treated as an attack on them all.

UPDATE:  Russia is bombing the area of Syria where the plane came down, hitting both Al Qaeda and Turkmen (Syria’s ethnic Turks) anti-Assad insurgents.  Russia says one of its pilots is alive, though the Turkmen claim to have killed them both.

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“We need a union of all who can fight”

French president Francois Hollande called for “a union of all who can fight” to destroy ISIS.  He called on the United States and Russia to set aside their differences and to join together in an international coalition to battle jihadist terrorism.

But President Obama appeared to reject that plea, saying that what his administration is currently doing is sufficient!

Details and new information about the Paris attack after the jump.

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Russia attacks ISIS

Russia is doing what many people hoped the United States would do.  It has gone into Syria and is bombing ISIS, reportedly wiping out its command center.  True, Vladimir Putin is supporting the Syrian government, which we don’t approve of, against its various factions of rebels.  He is also presenting Russia as the defender of humane values against the evils of terrorism.  But this is surely good news for the United States.  Let Russia get entangled in another mideast war.  And if Russia stops ISIS, that would be good news for everyone. [Read more…]


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