Monday, May 29, 2017

Putin, Macron Meet In Versailles, Egyptian Christians Killed For Refusing To Renounce Their Faith



Putin, Macron meet in Versailles on 300th anniversary of Tsar Peter’s visit to France


Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in France to meet new French leader Emmanuel Macron. Macron, who in the past has been critical of Moscow, is hosting Putin at the Chateau de Versailles, just outside Paris.

Macron invited Putin to participate in the inauguration of a major exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of Peter the Great’s diplomatic visit to France in 1717.
“I have respect for Russia, and I invite Vladimir Putin in the framework of a three hundred year diplomatic relationship,”Macron said this weekend.

Macron has also acknowledged the importance of dialogue with Russia in resolving certain international problems, such as Syria and Ukraine, which he plans to discuss during his meeting with Putin.
“Many international problems cannot be resolved without Russia,” Macron said at a news conference after the two-day meeting of G7 leaders in Sicily, which wrapped up Saturday.

The new French leader emphasized that he was planning to have “a demanding dialogue with him [Putin] and I will discuss all the problems.”
Putin’s visit will also afford an opportunity for the two leaders to “discuss the state and the prospects of development of Russo-French relations in political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
It remains to be seen, however, if the new French president manages to build a constructive relationship with the Russian leader, as over the course of his campaign, Macron pledged to deal firmly with Moscow.








Following the Group of Seven meeting in Europe, which saw German Chancellor Angela Merkel sighing that the U.S. is no longer a reliable partner, France's new president is opting for another tack: Openly courting Russia's Vladmir Putin.
What we are seeing is classic European power politics, where France aligns with Russia to check Germany and possibly the U.K. and U.S. It's high-school, but this is how Europe has always done it. With no European Union of any credibility around, it's easy to see the new outlines of the power structure. And as the Napoleonic Wars demonstrate, the power alliances can be shifted around at the drop of a hat.

It shows the unexpected strength Macron has in playing power games, perhaps something he learned from his days as an investment banker with one of the storied Rothschild banks. Macron in general has shown himself to be a fairly strong entity, not at all the idiot his youth and inexperience would suggest. A Justin Trudeau he is not.

The new French president, who in the past has been critical of Moscow’s policies, is due to host President Vladimir Putin for the first time at the Chateau de Versailles. The meeting comes less than a month after Emmanuel Macron assumed office.
Macron invited Putin to participate in the inauguration of a major exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of Peter the Great’s diplomatic visit to France in 1717.
“I have respect for Russia, and I invite Vladimir Putin in the framework of a three hundred year diplomatic relationship,”Macron said this weekend.
Clearly, Macron is making an extensive effort to go all out to please Putin. He obviously knows that Putin is obsessed with Peter the Great and would do anything to match the great Russian hero's achievements. It's a sign he knows how to flatter Putin - in a way that Putin likes, to put a La Rochefoucauldian touch on it. Though there have been several impressive 19th century tsars, Peter the Great really is Russia's best hero. Putin knows that. Macron knows that. Macron knows that Putin knows that. And now we see the rather unprecedented red-carpet treatment honoring the anniversary of a tiny event at Versailles a couple centuries ago as a sign of a continuing logical alliance.

Macron clearly is seeing his opportunities in the wake of the G-7 and taking them. It will take astute strategization on the part of the U.S. to counter it, and that probably means ending the continuous sanctions on Russia. In any case, the great power politics of the 19th century do seem to be taking hold as President Trump rattles the world order.









As more and more details emerge concerning Friday’s Ramadan attack on a busload of Christians on pilgrimage, the more it becomes evident that these 29 martyrs died solely because they were Christians.

Survivors of the attack said that the ten masked Islamic State militants did not merely open fire on the bus full of Christian pilgrims on their way to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confesor, but that the victims were made to descend from the bus and asked one by one whether they were Christians before being shot by the assailants.
According to one of the chaplains of the group, Father Rashed, as each pilgrim came off the bus they were asked to renounce their Christian faith and profess belief in Islam, but all of them—even the children—refused. Each was killed in cold blood with a gunshot to the head or the throat.

“Wherever innocent blood is spilled, a wound is inflicted upon humanity,” the statement said. “But this attack also steels our resolve to bring nations together for the righteous purpose of crushing the evil organizations of terror, and exposing their depraved, twisted, and thuggish ideology.”

The attack occurred in the midst of a three-month state of emergency period in Egypt following twin attacks on Coptic churches on Palm Sunday last month that killed some 46 Christians who were in church honoring the celebrations. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for those attacks as well.

On Saturday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for Friday’s slaughter through its Amaq news agency.









Video interviews with survivors of a deadly attack by Islamic militants on a bus taking Egyptian Christians to a remote desert monastery are painting a picture of untold horror, with children hiding under their seats to escape gunfire.
The videos surfaced on social media networks on Sunday, two days after 29 were killed in the attack on a desert road south of the capital. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on Friday. It was the fourth attack against Christians in Egypt since December to be claimed by the IS. The string of attacks have killed more than 100 and injured scores.
One survivor, a small boy who seemed to be about six, said his mother pushed him under her seat and covered him with a bag. A young woman speaking from her hospital bed said the assailants ordered the women to surrender their jewelry and money before they opened fire, killing the men first and then some of the women.
The woman said the gunmen were masked and wore military uniforms.
Two girls, ages 2 and 4, were among those killed, according to a list released by the local government in Minya, the province where the shooting took place. The attack left 26 wounded, including nine children. Only 11 of the 26 remained hospitalized on Sunday.
Bishop Makarios, the top Coptic Orthodox cleric in Minya, said the assailants told Christian men they ordered off the bus that their lives would be spared if they converted to Islam.
"They chose death," said Makarios, who has been an outspoken critic of the government's handling of anti-Christian violence in Minya, where Christians account for more than 35 percent of the population, the highest anywhere in Egypt.
"We take pride to die while holding on to our faith," he said in a television interview aired late Saturday.

Makarios confirmed that the assailants stole the women's jewelry and his contention that the men were ordered off the bus before being killed was also confirmed by a video clip purportedly taken in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. This video showed at least four or five bodies of adult men lying on the desert sand next to the bus; women and other men screamed and cried as they stood or squatted next to the bodies.








After the Manchester terror attack in which 22 people were killed and 59 injured, a Texas sheriff urged the citizens under his watch to “pay attention” to what is happening in Europe, because the ideology behind the threat to the continent is active in the United States as well.

While many citizens of Denton County, north of Dallas, expressed appreciation for the warning by Sheriff Tracy Murphree, an Islamic group that regards itself as “moderate,” casting its role in the U.S. as a defender of the civil rights of Muslims, expressed outrage, noted author Robert Spencer on his Jihad Watch blog.

The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement calling on Murphree “to reaffirm his pledge, and that of his officers, to serve and protect all Denton County residents regardless of their faith, ethnicity or national origin.”
“We are concerned that someone obligated to provide equal justice for all holds such inaccurate, stereotypical and divisive views,” said CAIR-DFW Civil Rights Director Nikiya Natale.


“Pay attention to what you see in Manchester England tonight. Pay attention to what is happening in Europe. This is what happens when you disarm your citizens. When you open your borders without the proper vetting,” he wrote.
The sheriff warned against allowing “political correctness to dictate how you respond to an enemy that wants to kill you.”
Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer commented that CAIR’s response “is extremely odd, since ostensibly CAIR is a ‘moderate’ group that rejects all the acts committed by Muslims that Murphree enumerates as ‘extremism’ stemming from a ‘hijacking’ of the Islamic faith.”

“Isn’t Hamas-linked CAIR against saying ‘convert or die’ to infidels, and treating women as property, and killing gays and women and Christians with impunity? Apparently not,” said Spencer.









I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to anti-Israel reporting in the so-called mainstream media, the New York Times consistently takes top prize. Its writers have attempted to mainstream hate sites, romanticized rock throwing and have openly stated that they could not be impartial when writing about those pesky Jews. Given its current radical trajectory it’s safe to say that NYT will retain this dubious distinction for the foreseeable future. But another paper is giving the NYT a run for its money.

Led by its Jerusalem bureau chief, William Booth, the Washington Post has aggressively engaged in historical revisionism, propaganda and yellow journalism. On May 24, the paper featured an article called, “A Palestinian’s daily commute through an Israeli checkpoint.” The piece, which lacks balance as well as context, centers on a sympathetic Palestinian Arab named Taweel, and the “frustration humiliation [and] pressure” he must endure when entering Israel proper through a checkpoint called “Checkpoint 300.”

The article notes that Taweel, while working in Israel, earns double what he would earn working for a Palestinian employer. What the article fails to note is that there is a dearth of jobs in Palestinian Authority controlled areas. This is because the Palestinian economy is rife with corruption and graft. Well-paying government jobs are awarded through connections rather than competence. The same holds true for obtaining lucrative government contracts. 

Private sector growth, innovation and healthy competition are virtually non-existent. The Palestinian economy, to the extent that one could call it that, is a beggar economy which has gotten used to living off the fat of the West. The PA receives billions in Western aid and much of that money gets siphoned off by government officials or those connected to them. Some of it is channeled as stipends to the families of imprisoned and dead Arab terrorists, neutralized or arrested while carrying out acts of barbarism against Israeli, American and British nationals.



















Sunday, May 28, 2017

'Watershed Moment': Merkel Says Germany Can No Longer Rely On The U.S., N Korea Launches Another Ballistic Missile




In "Watershed Moment" Merkel Says Germany Can No Longer Rely On America


One day after Donald Trump infuriated Angela Merkel and the rest of his G-7 peers, when the US president refused to endorse the Paris climate treaty, prompting the German chancellor to say  that “the whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory... here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one", Germany's prime minister made what many have dubbed, an "era-defining" statement.
Speaking at a CDU election rally in Munich, Merkel said that Europe "must take its fate into its own hands" or as the AFP put it, "Merkel warns US, Britain no longer reliable partners."

Video: Merkel's speech in Munich saying Europe can't rely on the US & UK anymore & "must take destiny in own hands"pic.twitter.com/ikfbjhcxUG

Faced with a western alliance divided by Brexit and Donald Trump's presidency, Merkel said "die zeiten, in denen wir uns auf andere völlig verlassen konnten, sind ein Stück vorbei", or loosely translated "the times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out" and added that "I've experienced that in the last few days." 

Merkel today: "The times in which [Germany] could fully rely on others are partly over. I have experienced this in the last few days."

Merkel then said that while Germany and Europe would strive to remain on good terms with America and Britain, "we have to fight for our own destiny" and she also said that special emphasis was needed on warm relations between Berlin and newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron.

Her comments came after Trump said during the G-7 meeting he needed more time to decide if the US would continue backing the Paris climate deal, which has frustrated European diplomats. A subseqent report by Axios, Trump privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that "he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change" which will likely further infurate his European allies.

During his trip, Trump also echoed his past criticism of NATO allies for failing to meet the defensive alliance's military spending commitment of two percent of GDP. 

On Friday, Trump also described German trade practices as "bad, very bad," in Brussels talks last week, complaining that Europe's largest economy sells too many cars to the US.
Reactions to Merkel's striking comment came pouring in from the likes of Edward Snowden who called her speech an "era-defining moment":



... the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Richard Haass, who called it a "watershed moment"

... the editor of the Financial Times, calling it a"big moment in transatlantic relations"


... and many others:
In short, it seems that the time for a New-er World Order may be at hand, and many are not too happy.








It's becoming a weekend tradition. 
Almost exactly one week after the latest ballistic missile test launch by Pyongyang last Sunday, and two weeks after a similar launch the weekend prior, North Korea has fired its latest unidentified ballistic missile early on Monday, South Korea's military said according to Yonhap News. According to NBC, the North Korean missile flew for 6 miles after launch and landed in the Sea of Japan.
The launch will be the 12th missile Pyongyang has fired this year (according to the WSJ, and 9th according to Bloomberg, which count launch "errors" differently).

The unidentified missile was fired from near the North Korean coastal city of Wonsan, Seoul's Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) said. The missile flew in a easterly direction, sources said. 
The launch was immediately reported to President Moon Jae-in, who called a meeting of the National Security Council at 7:30 a.m. (2230 GMT Sunday), the South Korean office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, according to Reuters.
While there was little initial information, the North Korean projectile may fall into waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, according to Japan's public broadcaster NHK which cited the Japanese government.

NHK also adds that the Defense Ministry is analyzing details such as projectile path, and added that the foreign ministry will - again - protest to North Korea using diplomatic channels.  Prime Minister’s office collecting information in task office from related agencies and heighten alert.
There has been no official response from the White House yet, altough we expect the token "the White House is aware of the launch" will be fortcoming momentarily. 
Trump, who has said all options are on the table to deal with Kim’s regime, has repeatedly sought more help from China to rein in its neighbor and ally. Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton on Friday acknowledged China’s efforts such as banning North Korean coal imports and tightening border controls, while adding that “they clearly have to do more.” Clearly, because on Friday Yonhap reported that North Korea's grain imports from China showed a more than fivefold surge last month from a year ago.
At least North Korea has so far this year refrained from conducting a nuclear test, something which even Beijing has said would be a 'red line."
Meanwhile, as reported yesterday, a third US aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz is now making its way to the Korean Peninsula where it will join the Carl Vinson and Ronald Reagan, ahead of what many anticipate could be a "decapitation" attack on the North Korean regime.





Survey: Majority Of People Around The World Favor A Global Government






A major new survey has found that the vast majority of people all over the planet are ready to embrace a global government in the hope that it will save humanity from catastrophe and major threat.
The survey, carried out by ComRes on behalf of the Stockholm based group  Global Challenges Foundation found that on average, close to three quarters (71%) of the general public wish to see the creation of a new “supranational organisation to make enforceable global decisions” about major threats to humanity.
In every single country, over 60% of respondents said they wished to see a global government to tackle such issues as climate change, disease pandemics, artificial intelligence turning against humanity, weapons of mass destruction, natural disaster, and asteroids.

The wording of the specific question in the survey was as follows:


A supranational organisation is an international body comprised of different member countries. It does not replace national governments, but places global interests above that of nation-states. Examples of supranational organisations include the European Union, NATO, and the United Nations. 
Do you think that a new supranational organisation should be created to make enforceable global decisions to address global risks? 

As The London Independent reports, almost 70% of people in the UK supported the idea of a global government, with 62 per cent saying they consider themselves to be “a global citizen”.
A further 54% of Brits said they would happily give up national sovereignty in order for worldwide threats to be more readily dealt with by a global body.
The survey collated information from 8,100 people in eight countries, encompassing half the world’s population. Those countries were Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, South Africa, the UK and US.
It found that support for a “supranational organisation” was high across the board, with the most support coming from India (84 per cent), China (78 per cent) and South Africa (76 per cent).
In the US, 67 per cent said they supported the creation of a world governing body to deal with threats. The lowest support was measured in Germany, yet the figure was still a resounding majority at 62 per cent.

Over 60% in every country said they considered themselves a ‘global citizen’. In the US the figure was 67%.


Specifically on the issue of climate change, a huge 88% of respondents said they would be willing to see their living standards change in order to offset catastrophic future climate changes.
“As world leaders gather for the G7 Summit, they should be aware that citizens across the planet are yearning for them to collaborate and work harder to find solutions for these critical threats to humanity,” said Mats Andersson, the foundation’s vice-chairm, adding that “The next 50 years will shape our far future over the next 10,000 years and beyond.”
The survey was commissioned as part of a $5m competition for new proposals to “re-envision global governance to better cope with 21st century risks” according to the group’s website.

It asks those taking part to “be part of the global conversation. Help to change the shape of things to come.”
The report paints a grim picture on climate change, focusing on the notion that the average global temperature will rise one to three degrees Celsius in the foreseeable future.
“Even in mid-range scenarios, entire ecosystems would collapse, much agricultural land would be lost, as would most reliable freshwater sources, leading to large-scale suffering and instability.” it states.




U.S. Deploys Third Aircraft Carrier Toward N Korea, ISIS Defense Lines Destroyed By Syrian Army, Russian Air Force, Israel Preparing Partial Evacuation In Case Of Conflict, Europe Fights Back: With Candles And Teddy Bears





US Deploys Third Aircraft Carrier Toward North Korea




One month ago, when we first discussed that in addition to the CVN-70 Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group, the US was deploying two more carriers toward the Korean peninsula, some took the Yonhap-sourced report skeptically: after all, what's the incremental symbolic impact of having three, or even two aircraft carriers next to North Korea when just one would more than suffice. Then, two weeks ago, the report was proven half right when US officials announced that in addition to the first US carrier already on location, the US Navy is moving the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula, where it would conduct dual-carrier training exercises with the USS Carl Vinson.

We concluded our report from mid-May by saying that the US Navy may soon "further deploy the CVN-68 Nimitz, which was the third carrier reported to be eventually making its way toward Korea."
We didn't have long to wait, because on Friday the Kitsap Sun confirmed what we reported initially over a month ago, namely that the USS Nimitz will depart Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton on Thursday on its first deployment since 2013. Official details of the deployment were hazy, with spokeswoman Theresa Donnelly saying that The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is expected to be in the western Pacific for six months with visits to the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, "though plans could change in response to world events."


The United States is sending a third aircraft carrier strike force to the western Pacific region in an apparent warning to North Korea to deter its ballistic missile and nuclear programs, two sources have told VOA. The USS Nimitz, one of the world’s largest warships, will join two other supercarriers, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan, in the western Pacific.

While it is rare for the U.S. military to deploy two carriers in the same region at the same time, it is almost unheard of to have three aircraft carriers in close proximity to each other absent current or imminent military action. Which may be the case soon: as VOA notes, North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threat is seen as a major security challenge for Trump, who has vowed to prevent the country from being able to strike the U.S. with a nuclear missile. 

Meanwhile, as reported on Friday, the U.S. military will test a system to shoot down an ICBM for the first time next week. It is intended to simulate a North Korean ICBM aimed at the U.S. The Missile Defense Agency said it will test an existing missile defense system on Tuesday to try to intercept an ICBM.









On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies announced start of the Operation “Grand Dawn” in eastern Syria. The aim of the operation is to expel militants from the eastern desert and to set a foothold for a push to Deir Ezzor. The declaration followed a major success of government forces in southeastern Homs where they had liberated about 5,000 km2 and got a full control over the Damascus-Palmyra highway.
ISIS deployed a force for a counter-attack but its formidable military convoy was fully destroyed by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force en route to the Zaza triangle area. Thus, the terrorist group defense lines just collapsed.

The government advance south of the Homs-Palmyra highway also allowed government forces to isolate Jaish al-Islam militants in eastern Qalamoun and to prevent their attempt to unite efforts with US-backed militant groups operating near the Syrian-Jordanian border.
A new photo appeared online showing a Russian-made self-propelled 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzer with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Syria. The modern howitzer was supplied to the Syrian government by the Russian military.
Summing up the recent developments, the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance have taken the initiative in its hands and now is aiming to achieve own strategic goals in eastern Syria, while the US-led coalition attempts to make some gains along the Jordanian and Iraqi borders and prepares for a storm of Raqqah.









A senior Israeli military official told The Media Line that Israel has prepared a partial evacuation plan for areas close to the border with Lebanon in case of a renewed round of fighting with pro-Iranian Hezbollah guerrillas. He confirmed media reports that Hezbollah has more than 100,000 rockets that can cover all of Israel, but said “90 percent” of them are short-range rockets, with a range of about 28 miles.

“We know that (Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan) Nasrallah wants to harm Israeli civilians and he is using psychological warfare against our citizens,” he said in an exclusive briefing with The Media Line. “But we also believe that Nasrallah is acting out of weakness because he has lost about 1500 fighters in Syria.”

Nasrallah has recently up his rhetoric against Israel, saying that “Israel should think a million times before it goes to war with Lebanon,” and that “Hezbollah is ready for any threat.” He has also threatened to hit Israel’s nuclear facilities in Dimona.


Israel has stepped up its own psychological warfare. Earlier this month, Nasrallah gave a speech on the anniversary of the death of military commander Mustafa Badreddine killed in Syria last year. The Lebanese group has said Israel is responsible for the assassination – which Israel neither confirmed nor denied.

During Nasrallah’s recent speech, thousands of Lebanese citizens received voice and text messages saying that Nasrallah ordered Baddreddine killed. Iranian media said that Israel was behind those messages.

The senior Israeli official said that the Israeli assessment is that neither Hezbollah nor Israel wants a war, but “there could be escalation or miscalculation on both sides.”









This long and sad list is the human harvest of Islamic terrorism on Europe's soil:

Madrid: 191. London: 58. Amsterdam: 1. Paris: 148. Brussels: 36. Copenhagen: 2. Nice: 86. Stockholm: 4. Berlin: 12. Manchester: 22. And it does not take into account the hundreds of Europeans butchered abroad, in Bali, in Sousse, in Dakka, in Jerusalem, in Sharm el Sheikh, in Istanbul.

But after 567 victims of terror, Europe still does not understand. Just the first half of 2017 has seen terror attacks attempted in Europe every nine days on average. Yet, despite this Islamist offensive, Europe is fighting back with teddy bears, candles, flowers, vigils, Twitter hashtags and cartoons.


Europe has still not realized that the terror which struck its metropolis was a war, and not the mistake of a few disturbed people who misunderstood the Islamic religion. Today there are more British Muslims in the ranks of ISIS than in the British Armed Forces. According with Alexandre Mendel, author of the book Jihadist France, there are more violent Salafists in France than regular soldiers in the Swedish army.

Thirteen years after the attack on Madrid's trains, Europe's leaders read from the same script: hiding the images of pain, so as not to scare anyone; concealing that the Islamist attackers are "made in Europe" insiders; repeating that "Islam is a religion of peace"; being prisoners inside our liberties; watching them removed one-by-one while we proclaiming that "we will not change our lifestyle"; and eradicating the fundamentals of our civilization -- freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom of movement, freedom of religion -- the entire basis, in fact, of the Judeo-Christian West.

Radical Islam is the greatest threat to Europe since Nazism and Soviet Communism. But we still have not been inclined to question any of the political or ideological pillars that have led to the current disaster, such as multiculturalism and mass immigration. Hard counter-terrorism measures, the only ones that could break the terrorists' plans and morale, have never been taken. These would include shutting down mosques, deporting radical imams, banning foreign funding of mosques, closing toxic non-governmental organizations, draining the welfare financing of Europe's jihadists, refraining from flirting with jihadists, and stopping foreign fighters from returning home from the battlefront.


We dismiss radical Islam as the "mental illness" of a few disturbed people. Meanwhile, every week, two new Salafist mosques are opened in France, while radical Islam is preached in more than 2,300 French mosques. Thousands of European Muslims have gone off to wage jihad in Syria and Iraq, and fundamentalists are taking control of mosques and Islamic centers. In Brussels, all the mosques are controlled by the Salafists, who are disseminating radical Islam to the Muslim masses.

The sad truth is that Europe has never had the political will to wage a total war against ISIS and the other jihadist groups. Otherwise, Raqaa and Mosul would already have been neutralized. Instead, Islamists have been taking over Molenbeek in Belgium, the French suburbs and large swaths of Britain. We now should be celebrating the liberation of Mosul and the return of Christians to their homes; instead we are mourning 22 people murdered and 64 wounded by an Islamic suicide-bomber in Manchester, and 29 Christians killed in Egypt this week alone.

Instead of concentrating on jihad and radical Islam, Europe's leaders continue to talk about the "Russian threat". It would indeed be a mistake to neglect Russian expansionism. But did Vladimir Putin's troops attack Westminster? Did Russian agents blow themselves up, taking the lives of children at a Manchester concert? Did a former Soviet spy massacre Swedes walking in Stockholm? For Europe's leaders, talking about Putin appears a welcome distraction from the real enemies.