Biden 2012: Romney Wants to Go to War with Syria

By Ian Tuttle
September 23, 2014 11:42 AM

Joe Biden mocked Mitt Romney’s foreign policy during the 2012 presidential campaign — but Obama-approved air strikes in Syria, which commenced Monday evening, suggest that the administration is coming around to the position of the former GOP nominee.

“He [Romney] said it was a mistake to end the war in Iraq and bring all of our warriors home,” Biden told an audience in York, Penn., on September 2, 2012. “He said it was a mistake to set an end date for our warriors in Afghanistan and bring them home. He implies by the speech that he’s ready to go to war in Syria and Iran.”

Biden also scoffed at Romney for his tough talk about Russia: “He wants to move from cooperation to confrontation with Putin’s Russia. And these guys say the president’s out of touch?”

VIDEO: ISIS TERRORISTS OPENLY COMMUTE ON SUBWAY IN ISTANBUL, TURKEY

ISIS enjoys support in Turkey, a member of NATO

by KIT DANIELS | INFOWARS.COM | SEPTEMBER 20, 2014

A new video shows alleged Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorists using public transportation in Istanbul, Turkey, without fear of local authorities, emphasizing the support ISIS enjoys in the NATO country.

Filmed in an Istanbul subway, the video shows the two men wearing ISIS gear while commuting through the Turkish city of over 14 million people.

The men appear calm and relaxed in public, which would be expected given that not only are stores within the NATO country selling ISIS merchandise, but the Turkish government has also trained ISIS militants to fight in Syria.

“At least one clothing shop was found in Bagcilar, a working class district near the outskirts of Istanbul, selling T-shirts, hats, cargo pants and bandanas with Islamic State imagery,” Fox News reported.

Turkey is one of the largest sources of foreign fighters for ISIS and many of these militants received training and equipment from the Turkish government near the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, where American personnel and equipment are located.

“…After training in Turkey, thousands of ISIS fighters went to Iraq by way of Syria to join the effort to establish an Islamic caliphate subject to strict Islamic law, or Shariah,” Aaron Klein of WND reported.

The centuries-old conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims and the trillions of dollars in potential oil and gas revenue in Syria are both key factors motivating the Sunni-dominated Turkish government to aid Islamic militants trying to overthrow the Shia Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad.

In 2011, Syria announced the discovery of a promising gas field in the city of Homs, which, not surprisingly, became a battleground between Assad’s forces and ISIS, preventing Syria from fully tapping into the field.

Syria also rivals Turkey as one of the most strategic locations for natural gas pipelines to flow into Europe from Asia.

“Syria is the site of the proposed construction of a massive underground gas pipeline that, if completed, could drastically undercut the strategic energy power of U.S. ally Qatar and also would cut Turkey out of the pipeline flow,” Klein also reported. “Dubbed the ‘Islamic pipeline,’ the project may ultimately favor Russia and Iran against Western energy interests.”

But like the gas field in Homs, the construction of the 3,480-mile pipeline has also been delayed by Syria’s war with ISIS.

This is definitely to Turkey’s benefit, which views the proposed Islamic pipeline through Syria as a threat to its goal of becoming the main transit point for oil and gas flowing from East to West.

And if Syria falls to ISIS, Turkey stands to gain trillions.

Ukraine hosts military drills led by US and joined by NATO

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A total of 1,300 troops from 15 nations, either active NATO members or would-be members, have come together for a military exercise in western Ukraine – even as the fragile truce in the east of the country barely holds.

NATO members start supplying weapons to Kiev – Ukrainian Defense Minister

The exercise, code-named “Rapid Trident” has been an annual event since 2006, and has been organized by the Germany-based US European Command (EUCOM). It was initially planned to have this year’s drills in mid-July, but they were postponed because of heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine.

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“This year’s exercise will involve command post exercises, patrolling, counter-IED training and a field training exercise,” the EUCOM Public Affairs Office said in a statement. It adds that “no live fire exercises” have been scheduled for the drills.

The exercise is being conducted near Yavoriv, 60 kilometers from the city of Lvov in north-western Ukraine, at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center (IPSC).

The US earlier pledged to send 200 troops to take part in the exercise.

US prepares military drill in W. Ukraine for mid-September

Earlier in September, Ukrainian and American naval forces held joint maritime drills in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.

The Russian Black Sea fleet simultaneously tested its new-generation Bastion coastal defense system, saying the test was pre-scheduled and was not a response to the US-Ukraine drills in the Black Sea.

Moscow has been particularly sensitive about NATO’s increased activity in Eastern Europe and has been thinking of reviewing its military doctrine due to this new situation.

Russia to adjust military doctrine due to NATO expansion, Ukraine crisis

Eastern Ukraine has meanwhile seen the fragile ceasefire there being put to a serious test on Sunday, when the city of Donetsk witnessed some heavy shelling.

A crew from RT’s video agency Ruptly working on the outskirts of Donetsk witnessed an episode when a family was forced to run for shelter to escape shelling.

A group of OSCE observers also came under fire near Donetsk the same day.

Ukrainian troops and the anti-government forces have blamed each other for the ceasefire violations.

US extends Russia sanctions, targets biggest lender Sberbank & gas giant Gazprom

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The US has introduced new sanctions against Russia’s biggest lenders – Sberbank, Gazprombank and Rosselkhozbank – and added some of the country’s state-owned technology firms and five energy companies, the Treasury said on Friday.

Another Russian lender, Bank of Moscow is also on the blacklist.

In the oil sector, there will be new limitations on exploration facilities for Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, and Rosneft.

The US also said it would prohibit “transactions in, provision of financing for, or other dealings in new debt of greater than 90 days maturity issued by two additional Russian energy companies, Gazprom Neft and Transneft.”

The US said it was joining European allies, as Russia keeps on with“direct military intervention and blatant efforts to destabilize Ukraine,”Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a press release.

READ MORE: EU publishes Russia sanctions list: Energy, finance, defense targeted

However, the US said it was ready to withdraw some of the sanctions against Russia, if Ukraine and the militia in the east of the country fulfill the Minsk agreement sealed in early September, as ITAR–TASS quotes a US spokesman.

While on paper sanctions have become tougher, in fact little will change for Sberbank, the lender’s head Herman Gref said.

“Given the fact that the [western debt] markets are de facto closed today, the financing for three months, or for even 30 days is no longer possible. Therefore de jure sanctions worsen the situation, but de facto – nothing new has happened,” Gref said.

Sberbank has also started exploring new capital markets, Gref added.

“We are exploring all possibilities. Our objective is to explore everything that can somehow be used in such a situation,” Gref added.

However, he declined to comment on whether Sberbank will place its securities on alternative capital markets this year.

RUSSIA SUCCESSFULLY TESTS NUCLEAR MISSILE

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Missile can travel 5,000 miles

(Reuters) – Russia carried out a successful test of its new Bulava intercontinental nuclear missile on Wednesday and will perform two more test launches in October and November, the head of its naval forces said.

The armed forces have boosted their military training and test drills since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which Russia considers in its traditional sphere of influence.

The 12-meter long Bulava, or mace, has undergone numerous tests, some successful, and can deliver an impact of up to 100 times the atomic blast that devastated Hiroshima in 1945.

Naval Commander-in-Chief Admiral Viktor Chirkov said the test launch had been carried out from the White Sea and that the test missile had hit its target in Russia’s far east.

“In October and November of this year, the naval fleet will carry out two more launches with two rocket cruisers equipped with ballistic missiles,” Interfax quoted Chirkov as saying.

A Bulava missile weighs 36.8 tonnes and can travel 8,000 km (5,000 miles) and hold 6-10 nuclear warheads.