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Awesome! Red Army War Sleds With Airplane Engines & Guns!

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This is from War History OnLine.

 

 

War Sleds

The Winter War of 1939, between Finland and the Soviet Union convinced the Soviets to develop more effective tactics in the so-called “General Winter” conditions.

 The Finns have already managed to repel the enemy attacks due to their knowledge of the terrain and since they were more accustomed to the harsh winter conditions. They managed to get an upper hand on the Soviets who had superiority both in technology and in manpower.

The Soviet Union adopted the idea of employing motor sleds into the Russian Imperial Army as early as 1910 when the first aeorosani (Russian for aero-sleds) were constructed under the guidance of Igor Sikorsky, the father of the world’s first helicopter.

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Sikorsky used very light plywood and old airplane engines and propellers to run his motor sleds. The Army wanted a fast, versatile snowmobile that could be used mainly for reconnaissance and border control.

The first successful series built for the Soviet Army were designed by the famous aircraft engineer, Andrei Tupolev, who would later succeed in making the main Soviet heavy bombers. In the 1940s there was a reason to believe that in 1924 the Soviets managed to obtain the plans for “air sleighs” from an American aviator Chester B. Wing, who had constructed the early snowmobile for civilian purposes like transport between towns in winter conditions and private usage.

The claim has been abandoned when a photograph occurred dating from the 1910, depicting Igor Sikorsky standing next to his prototype.

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Aerosans first saw combat during the Winter War under the command of the Soviet Armored Forces. They were initially used for transport, liaison and medical evacuation in deep snow.

They would usually maintain communication between units and formations, ferry ammunition, provisions or fuel to forces operating at great distances from their supply bases and evacuate the wounded quickly and efficiently from the battlefield.

Aerosan-foto2

The sleds had little use in winding forest roads and, basically, any terrain that wasn’t flat and covered with ice and snow, which limited their use on frozen rivers, lakes and plains during winter.  They could accomplish speed of 25-35 km/h, which was very fast, given that the most vehicles couldn’t move at all in the snow. There were initially two models used by the Red Army.

The first one was the KM-5, a small sled mainly made for transport and reconnaissance with a possibility of mounting a machine gun. The second one was the NKL-6, which started a series of multi-purpose light armored aerosanies. They were organized into transport or combat battalions of 45 vehicles, in three companies and used alongside with ski infantry for shock operations. Aerosanies could tow up to four ski infantrymen and carry three or four more.

During these raids the support was usually given by the heavier, machine gun-armed models. They were never used for direct assault since they couldn’t stand mortar fire. Rather than a direct strike, they were much more effective in surprise raids on an unprotected enemy.

aerisani1

These requirements including the specific terrain were met in the vast, snow-covered flatlands of Finland and on the surface of the huge frozen lakes such as Ladoga, Llmen, Seligar and in coastal regions of the Baltic sea such as the Gulf of Finland. The Finns, who were experts in ski infantry tactics, adopted the use of aerosan, mostly using the ones they had seized from the Soviets.

During the Second World War, the Soviet military leaders recognized the importance of a snowmobile in battles that were usually happening in below-zero-temperature conditions. They ordered every motor sled in the country to become available for military use.

The Soviets developed new models and improved the old ones. There was a variety of aerosan-type snowmobiles in the Red Army ranks.

The RF-8, a smaller WWII model powered by an inexpensive automotive engine
The RF-8, a smaller WWII model powered by an inexpensive automotive engine

Units were reorganized and made more effective due to the Winter War experience. The first aerosled units appeared in January, 1942, during the battle of Moscow. They were most active in the winter offensive of 1942-43.

This was the first time that the aerosanies were used in significant numbers as combat vehicles, harassing the retreating units or raiding supply lines and lightly defended outposts. Utilizing its speed and high mobility across snow-covered road-less terrain, the aerosleds suddenly attacked an enemy caught off guard.

aerisani2

They conducted short, but frequent raids from various directions simultaneously, which influenced the enemy morale since there was a constant danger of an aerosan raiding party coming out of the hypnotic whiteness of the snowy plains. This gave an overwhelming advantage to the Soviets against the Germans, since they could operate off roads that were controlled by the enemy, in a partisan-like fashion.

Thus, a number of successful raids into the enemy’s rear succeeded in destroying his rear area installations and capturing ammunition and equipment. Each aerosan was capable of carrying up to 500 kg of fuel and ammunition. It could be mounted with a machine gun, a medium mortar or a small caliber anti-tank gun.

Aerosan-foto3

During the course of the war the Nazis also used motor sleds to even the odds against the Soviets, but never actually went on to produce any. They’ve rather made use of the ones captured from the Russians and rarely engaged in combat with them, only using them for transport purposes.

The adoption of the Russian sleds by the Germans, shows how effective these vehicles were in winter warfare.

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10 Bizarre Cold War Tales Left Out Of History Books

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This is from ListVerse.

I found this list fascinating.

 

Although we already know a bit about the famous affairs that happened during the Cold War, that particular era spanned more than four decades—enough time for a lot of wackiness. Aside from learning about the slew ofridiculous government projects, let’s also get to know some of the other little-known, extremely strange events which took place in that period.

10North Korea And The US Almost Went To War Over A Tree

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Photo credit: SPC 4 LONG

This one arguably ranks somewhere among the most bizarre reasons to start a war. Known as the Poplar Tree Incident, the whole fiasco started on August 17, 1976. American soldiers tried to trim a huge poplar tree that had been obscuring visibility in the middle of the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarized Zone. Previously, the North Koreans had refused to allow the men to trim the tree. Now, they murdered two of the Americans and injured another nine.

In the aftermath, the US debated whether to strike back. Instead, they decided to cut down the tree while showcasing an overwhelming display of force against the North. On August 21, and in full view of their North Korean counterparts on the other side, a convoy of American and South Korean soldier-engineers drove up to the middle of the DMZ and cut the tree down. Dozens of helicopters and assorted aircraft also flew overhead as a deterrent to the hapless North Koreans who could only watch the event unfold.

While the incident triggered fears of a war, it instead led to North Korean President Kim Il-Sung conveying a message of “regret” to the families of those killed—a rare statement at the time.

9The US Created A Ring Of Copper Around The Earth

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Photo credit: United States Post Office Department

 

 

At one point the Earth had its own man-made ring of metal—thanks to the approximately 500 million copper needles the US launched into space in 1963.

Known as Project West Ford, the operation resolved to cure a major American weakness against a perceived Soviet attack on its undersea cables, which would have disrupted its long-range communications system. To prevent this, the Americans looked to the ionosphere, which was beyond the reach of the Soviets but still at the mercy of unpredictable solar storms. Then sometime in 1958, Walter E. Morrow—a scientist from MIT’s Lincoln Labs in Boston—suggested placing a copper ring around the Earth, which would be immune to both Soviet attacks and solar disruptions.

After a first attempt failed in 1961, the US finally launched the copper needles in 1963 and also successfully tested it out. While most of the needles have since fallen back to Earth, it is estimated that thousands of clumped ones are still in orbit today.

8The US Air Force Used Bears As Test Pilots

Think sending cats, dogs, and monkeys into space isn’t enough? How about using a sedated bear to test out the ejection capsule of a supersonic aircraft? We’re not kidding. The US Air Force regularly used black and Himalayan bears to test out the ejection capsule of its supersonic B-58 bomber in the ’50s and ’60s.

The premier intercontinental bomber of the Air Force, the B-58 Hustler, could reach Mach 2 and had been designed to carry nuclear bombs deep into Soviet territory. While superb in its design, the B-58’s poor-quality ejection capsule killed several crewmembers during one test flight. This particular incident forced the designers to design a better capsule, which they then tested on the ground using unemployed people. When it came time for live runs several thousand feet up in the air, however, the designers opted to use man-sized bears as test dummies.

After being sedated, these bears were strapped inside the ejection capsules and hurled out of the streaking aircraft before parachuting back down to be examined by its developers. While no deaths occurred during the tests, the animals did suffer major injuries, including broken bones and internal bleeding.

7The Zambian Schoolteacher’s Strange Space Program

While we know the United States and Soviet Union were the two major players in the Space Race, Zambia also had its own space program. Sort of.

Edward Makuka Nkoloso—a small-town elementary schoolteacher with an impossibly big dream—started his ambitious project in 1964 by recruiting 10 of his countrymen, a missionary, and a 17-year-old girl (along with her cat) and training them in his one-of-a-kind space training program. He rolled his trainees downhill inside barrels and had them ride swings that he would then cut after they reached the highest point. He claimed these methods would help the trainees get used to the weightlessness of space. When it came to simulating walking on the Moon and eventually Mars, Nkoloso taught his trainees the “correct method” of moving around by having themwalk on their hands.

For all his enthusiasm, however, Nkoloso failed to get any government support for his strange program. He also complained that his trainees seemed to be preoccupied with other matters. The 17-year-old, for one, ended up pregnant.

6The US Built An Underground Nuclear Ice Fortress In Greenland

If the British could come up with an aircraft carrier made of ice, then only the Americans could dream up something as radical as going under tons of ice for nuclear missile launch sites.

Wanting to know if nuclear missiles could be successfully stored underneath ice, and because they needed a location closer to the Soviet homeland, the Americans launched Project Iceworm in 1960 and set about building a massive underground complex called Camp Century in Greenland. At the time of its construction, the US officially billed the project as part of its scientific research to allay suspicion from the Danish government and the Soviet Union.

Virtually an underground city, the nuclear-powered Camp Century featured dozens of tunnels and trenches as well as a host of buildings that could accommodate up to 200 men. While the project seemed initially successful, the ever-moving ice sheets made Camp Century untenable, forcing the US to abandon the project in 1966.

5The British Annexed A Single Rock Islet

 

 

 

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Photo credit: Andy Strangeway

Amid the shadow of the historically more significant Falklands Islandsstands the uninhabited single rock islet of Rockall. Standing at just 20 meters (70 ft) and surrounded by miles of water (it is situated roughly 500 kilometers (300 mi) away from the British Isles), Rockall nevertheless received ample attention from the British government for security reasons. Specifically, they feared the uninhabited islet could be used by spies onboard Soviet submarines as an outpost to view missile tests.

Under orders from Queen Elizabeth, a contingent of Royal Marines landed on the islet in 1955 and planted a Union Jack flag along with a plaque. Due to the size of the island, the Marines noted the difficulty in using a helicopter to land them safely. One of them, a veteran rock climber named Brian Peel, even nearly got swept away by the waves after he tried to get some seaweed samples below the islet’s waterline.

4The Soviet Union Tricked Castro Into Giving Up His Nuclear Missiles

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Photo credit: Warren K. Leffler

As fate would have it, the Cuban Missile Crisis didn’t end with the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its nuclear missiles from Cuba in October 1962. The true ending came on November 22, 1962 when the Soviet Union successfully tricked Fidel Castro into giving up the remaining warheads still under his control.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had contemplated letting the warheads, believed to number more than 100, stay in Cuba as a consolation to Castro, who believed the Soviet Union sold Cuba out in the negotiations. To complete the secret negotiations, he sent out First Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan to personally haggle with the Cuban leader. However, Mikoyan, after observing Castro’s bouts of paranoia, believed giving the missiles to a madman would be nothing short of suicide.

In the end, he told Castro how a Soviet law—which was really nonexistent—prevented the Soviet Union from providing other countries with nuclear missiles. Amazingly, Castro bought the lie and allowed the Soviets to ship the remaining warheads back home by December 1962.

3Joseph McCarthy’s Campaign Against Gays

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Photo credit: United Press International

While Senator Joseph McCarthy will forever be known as the demagogue who led the communist witch hunts of the ’40s and ’50s, he’s largely forgotten for his role in the lesser-known but more devastating Lavender Scare.

In a paranoia-filled atmosphere, the government feared that gay employees sympathetic to the communist cause would be weak-willed enough to give away state secrets. The federal and state governments responded by firing hundreds of employees who had been otherwise loyal Americans. In fact, themajority of civil servants who resigned from their posts were accused not with communism but with homosexuality. McCarthy himself inextricably linked communism with homosexuality, claiming that those who opposed him must either be gay or communist.

According to historians, the Lavender Scare had two lasting effects. It forced the gay community to go underground and become social activists, and it influenced American foreign policy to become more “macho,” thereby dragging the United States toward the Vietnam War.

2The US Airdropped Tons Of Candy On Berlin

We’ve previously discussed how World War III could’ve started with Germany as the battlefield again, after the Soviet Union blockaded the Allied-held parts of Berlin to force the Allies to withdraw. Unfortunately for the Soviets, their scheme failed after the Allies conducted a massive airlift to supply blockaded areas with foodstuffs and other necessities.

In the midst of this massive operation, one US Air Force pilot named Gail Halvorsen began dropping candy bars to children near Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport after he witnessed their resolve in one prior encounter. Halvorsen, touched by the children’s appeal not to abandon them to the Soviets, promised he would lift their spirits up with candy.

Pretty soon, news of the Candy Bomber and Uncle Wiggly Wings (he wiggled the wings of his plane so the children would recognize him) reached his commanding officer, who reprimanded him for flouting regulations. However, overwhelming positive media reaction convinced airlift chief General William Tunner to let Halvorsen continue his candy drops.

Soon, “Operation Little Vittles” involved the entire Air Force dropping tons of candy donated by the American Confectioners Association. Halvorsen—who later became a hugely beloved figure in Germany—revealed how one child told him the candy drops symbolized hope more than anything for the Berliners during those dark times.

1Nikita Khrushchev And Richard Nixon Squared Off Inside An American Kitchen

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Known as the “Kitchen Debate,” Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Vice President Richard Nixon had a day-long debate on which ideology could provide a better living standard for their respective peoples. Nixon—who was in Moscow on July 24, 1959 to grace the opening of the American National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park—argued how capitalism enabled the American people (especially the working class) to easily acquire affordable yet luxurious homes. To prove his point, he toured Khrushchev inside the kitchen of an American home on display and showed him all the appliances.

Never the man to back down, Khrushchev dismissed the items and said the Soviet Union would surpass American technology in a few years’ time. He also boasted how Soviet homes were built sturdier than the American ones. Amid the gesticulations (Khrushchev even cursed during off-the-record-moments) and grandstanding, however, both men ended up agreeingfocusing on kitchen appliances sounded a whole lot better than arguing about military weapons.

 

Top 10 Reasons Why Hitler Lost World War II

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This is from TopYaps.

More ideological and fanatical, many believed that Hitler had created a fantasy world of his own and lived not too close to reality. This is probably the reason why he underestimated the zeal of the Russians, the Americans and the British, and lost many battles during the WW2. The failed Operation Barbarossa that was initiated in 1941 ultimately became the cause of heavy loss of manpower to the German army, and its final defeat.  For more on the top 10 reasons why Hitler lost World War II, read below.

10. The policy of never to retreat:

Hitler as we all know lived in his fantasy world more than he did in reality, and this was the reason why he believed that determination of his soldiers would be honored in the battlefield, without giving much heed to the reality. His soldiers were only commanded to move forward, but never retreat. When he denied Frederich Paulus the permission to retreat, it resulted in the total loss of the of 6th Panzer Army.

Fighting war on two fronts

9. Hitler dismissed all the right technologies:

Hitler could have won the war against Soviet Union if he would have acknowledged the right technology. But, he gave up many of the most useful innovations of that time including the cancellation of the first ever assault rifle, which was perfect for the Russian vast lands. Also, Me-262 fighter jets, the first jet powered aircraft was discarded by him. Since the early deigns of the fighter jet were that of an interceptor, and Hitler never wanted interceptors the project was smacked out.

Top 10 Reasons Why Hitler Lost World War II

8. US joining the World War II in 1941:

During 1941, Japan attacked the US at Pearl Harbor marking America’s entry in the World War II. As a promise to Japan, Hitler also announced war on America, but just the way it underestimated the British and also the Russians, it thought that reeling under the loss of war, America was incapable of defeating Germany. And what happened ahead proved him wrong.

Top 10 Reasons Why Hitler Lost World War II

7. Hitler became Commander-in-Chief, neglecting all advice:

By the time Hitler sensed the total failure of Operation Barossa, he had inculcated a lack of trust for all his generals and their abilities. Hitler lost as his mistrust grew so grave that instead of devising new strategies to gain back the defeat, he appointed himself as the Commander-in-Chief of the army. He thought he could undo their failures and plan better. Advice from the many wise Generals of Germany could have saved the German army.

Top 10 Reasons Why Hitler Lost World War II

6. Never paid heed to his Generals:

Although Generals are meant to be listened to and taken advice from, but Hitler wouldn’t listen to them. Initially he did show trust in them and won many battles, strategized by them. For example, Field Marshall Rundstedt had strategized the entire battle against France, which they eventually won. But, later on he wouldn’t listen to them seriously.

Top 10 Reasons Why Hitler Lost World War II

5. Ill prepared for the Russian winters:

The Germans and Hitler had underestimated the Russian Winters. The army was ill equipped for the winter. There was sharp scarcity of winter clothes, food and medical care. Of course maximum causalities were attributed to the war of Stalingrad, but other than that many had given in to the harsh weather conditions. By the end, the army had lost most of its young soldiers to the grip of the prolonged winter.

Top 10 Reasons Why Hitler Lost World War II

4. Battle of Stalingrad:

One of the bloodiest wars ever fought in the history of warfare, the Battle of Stalingrad became the main decider of Germany’s position in World War II. Hitler lost the war as the heavy loss of manpower, standing somewhere around two million, was something from which Germany wasn’t able to fully recover and awaited further defeat. In fact, before the war of Stalingrad, Hitler’s army was supposed to conquer the Caucasus oil fields, which would have given them substantial power, but they decided to invade the nearby Stalingrad, thus inviting defeat.

Top 10 Reasons Why Hitler Lost World War II

3. Poor Choice of allies:

Forming allies on the basis of ideology instead of shared common interests also lead to the major defeat of Germany. Whereas it should have allied with Japan for the ease of attack on Soviet Union, it allied with Italy, Hungary and Rumania, countries that were called the less powerful Axis; their motive was to conquer greater territory in the wake of war.

Top 10 Reasons Why Hitler Lost World War II

2. The war was started almost six weeks late:

Although Hitler was well aware about the harsh winter of Russia, its alliance with Italy had delayed its invasion of the Soviet Union by almost six weeks. Italy’s failed invasions to North Africa, Yugoslavia, and Greece demanded the intervention of Germany, and so Operation Barossa was delayed. By the times the Germans were on the verge of invading Russia, the autumn rains had already set in.

Top 10 Reasons Why Hitler Lost World War II

1. Fighting war on two fronts:

The primary target of Hitler had always been Russia, but in the middle of this it gave Britain undue importance and fought the battle of England, only to bring it to its knees and to make it accept the supremacy of Germany. But, instead what happened was that Germany lost that battle, and at the same time had also invaded into Russia. Hitler lost as he decided to deal with Britain later, which was a mistake.

Top 10 Reasons Why Hitler Lost World War II

 

 

German Jew Recounts How He Survived the Holocaust Disguised as a Member of the Hitler Youth and Even Crossed Paths With Hitler Himself

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This is from The Blaze.

I could never imagine the mental and physical stress  Shlomo Perel suffered.

 

For four years, Shlomo Perel didn’t dare go by his real name.

A German Jew by birth, Perel managed to survive the Holocaust as a teenager concealed as a member of the Hitler Youth and serving as a young translator for Nazi soldiers.

He even once saw Adolf Hitler up close.

In an interview with Israel’s Ynet, Perel, now 89, recounted how he took a photograph of Hitler from some 200 feet away when the German leader visited the Nazi division that had invaded the Soviet Union — and marked the beginning of Perel’s double life he took on to survive.

Image source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

“I looked him in the eye,” Perel said. “I was 16 years old then, a translator in the German army, with uniforms and a swastika, and I didn’t know who I was at all.”

Perel was born in Germany, but his parents took him and his three siblings to Poland after the Nuremberg Laws, which severely limited the rights of Jews in Germany.

The Germans invaded Poland three years after the Perels relocated to Lodz and forced the Jews of that city to move into a ghetto. Instead of going to the ghetto, Perel’s parents sent their 14-year-old son and his older brother Isaak to eastern Poland, then controlled by the Soviet Union.

“Before we left my father told me in Yiddish: ‘Don’t ever forget who you are.’ Meaning, ‘Stay a Jew.’ Mother added in Yiddish: ‘Go, you must live,’” Perel told Ynet. “When a mother sends her children away knowing she’ll never see them again – that’s the greatest love of all.”

The brothers made it to Grodno, now Belarus, where Perel was taken in by a Jewish orphanage.

But in 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union.

Perel recalled that on the morning of the invasion, the children tried to flee to the approaching Nazis. He remembered his mother’s words.

“The German[s] surrounded us in an open field and ordered us to stand in a line, and then it was my turn. The German soldier who stood in front of me ordered me to put my hands up and asked: ‘Are you a Jew?’” Perel told Ynet.

During that selection, Jews and Communists weremurdered by Einsatzgruppen units.

While he was waiting for his turn, Perel surreptitiously destroyed his identifying documents. His answer to the Nazi’s question was that he was a German named Josef Perjell who had lost his documents during the bombings.

“And then a miracle happened — for some reason he believed me,” Perel recalled. “All of the men had to pull down their pants and those found circumcised were executed, but not only did that soldier not order me to take off my clothes, he called me a ‘Volksdeutscher,’” an ethnic German living outside Germany.

The German soldier took Perel back to his unit, where he was appointed as a Russian and Polish translator and was given the nickname Jupp.

He crossed paths with Hitler on one of the German leader’s visits to the front lines.

“Only the high-ranked generals approached him and were allowed past his wall of bodyguards. I was hiding with a camera,” Perel said.

“After the war, I was asked many times: ‘Why did you photograph Hitler instead of killing him?’ And I tell the truth: Had I shot Hitler, I’m not sure I would’ve hit him, but I would’ve surely been killed on the spot. And I didn’t want to get into the history pages as a hero, I preferred being an anti-hero and survive,” Perel told Ynet.

Identifying document for Hitler Youth member "Josef Perjell" (Shlomo Perel). The document states that he was a Catholic of pure German nationality, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. (Image source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Perel described the lengths he went to in order to avoid being discovered, including making sure nobody ever saw him undressed and reveal that he was circumcised. He said he tried pulling on his foreskin every night in a futile effort to reverse his circumcision.

The survivor recounted that an army doctor who was secretly homosexual – considered criminal by the Nazis — tried to rape Perel while he was showering. After seeing that Perel was circumcised, the doctor realized that he was Jewish.

“He didn’t inform on me so as to not expose himself as a homosexual. I knew his secret and he knew mine, and after that incident he took care of me until he was killed,” Perel told Ynet.

Perel was later taken under the wing of one of the unit’s commanders who enrolled him in a Hitler Youth school back in Germany.

“I felt like any other Hitler Youth and I was so convinced, that no one suspected I wasn’t,” Perel said. “I stopped eating kosher and believing in God, but I believed I’ll stay alive. I felt immortal, like ‘it won’t happen to me.’”

“I was schizophrenic. During the day, I was a German youth who wanted to win the war, I sang songs against Jews and yelled ‘Heil Hitler’ — and at night, in bed, I cried out of longing for my family,” he said.

“When talking about the Holocaust, there’s a clear division: The victims were Jews, and the perpetrators were the Nazis, while I was both,” Perel told Ynet. “From the moment I wore the uniforms with a swastika on, I became my own enemy and I had to escape myself to survive.”

According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Perel was singled out during a lesson on racial science where the teacher pointed to the secretly Jewish youth as a “model of a typical eastern Baltic, ethnic German.”

He was later armed and sent along with his fellow Hitler Youth to the front to fight U.S. troops.

“When the American army came, I was taken hostage, but the lie was so deeply ingrained within me that I didn’t even tell the Americans I was a Jew,” Perel told Ynet. “I sat in captivity like everyone else, but for me it was a surreal situation: A Jewish youth wearing a Nazi Army uniform in American captivity.”

After the war, Perel learned that his family had been killed except for the brother with whom he had originally escaped. Perel moved to Palestine where he joined the Haganah – the pre-state Jewish defense force – and fought in Israel’s War of Independence.

Perel later wrote his memoir which was adapted into the 1990 film “Europa Europa.”

 

 

US, Cuba seek to normalize relations after Alan Gross released

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This is from Fox News Politics.

I think that introducing the free market to Cuba will help bring down the Castro Regime.

Look what capitalism did to bring down the Soviet Union people got a taste of freedom and wanted more.

I do not think Obama has what it takes to spread freedom to the world.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/3947813462001

 

Republican lawmakers pushed back strongly Wednesday against President Obama’s decision to enact a series of orders meant to normalize relations with Cuba, with some GOP heavy hitters calling it “another concession to tyranny.”

“These changes will lead to legitimacy for a government that shamelessly continuously abuses human rights but it will not lead to assistance for those whose rights are being abused,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Wednesday.

Obama said on Wednesday that the United States will end what he called an “outdated approach” with Cuba, and take steps to normalize diplomatic relations — including opening an embassy in Havana — after American Alan Gross was released from the communist country following five years in prison.

“In the most significant change in our policy in more than 50 years, we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between the two countries,” Obama during an address from the White House.

At the same time Obama addressed the U.S., Cuba’s President Raul Castro addressed his country.

“I ask the U.S. government to remove the obstacles that deteriorate or prohibit the links between our people, the families and citizens of both countries, in particular ones relevant to travel, mailing and telecommunication, and to reach a sustained exchange to show it’s possible to find solutions for many problems.”

Sources say Obama also plans to call on Congress to lift the long-standing embargo on Cuba. Together, the announcements would mark the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades and effectively end the half-century freeze in relations between the two countries.

Obama’s announcement was met with immediate condemnations from Republican lawmakers.

“The White House has conceded everything and gained little,” Rubio said. “They gained no commitment on the part of the Cuban regime to freedom of press or freedom of speech, elections. No binding commitment was made to truly open up the Internet. No commitment was made to allowing the establishment of political parties or even to begin the semblance of a transition to a democracy.”

Rubio has said that the administration’s approach will help the Castro government while doing very little to further human rights and democracy in Cuba.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also criticized the administration’s plan to change the current U.S. relationship with Cuba. McConnell said he defers to Rubio on the matter.

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a joint statement that the move damages American values.

“Unfortunately, we fear the most damaging chapter to America’s national security is still being written. We dread the day President Obama takes to the podium to announce a nuclear deal with the Iranian ayatollahs which does little, if anything, to deter their nuclear ambitions, placing our nation and our closest allies in even deeper peril,” the said in a joint written statement.

Senior administration officials said Obama spoke with Cuban leader Raul Castro for more than 45 minutes on Tuesday, the first substantive presidential-level discussion between the U.S. and Cuba since 1961.

Obama also plans to take several executive actions, including expanding travel and economic ties to the island. According to a White House document, the U.S. government would raise remittance levels and authorize certain travel to Cuba, as well as start of review of Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Obama also has formally directed the State Department to launch talks with Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations, which were cut in 1961. The embassy in Havana would be opened “in the coming months,” according to the White House.

Officials said the Cuban government was releasing 53 political prisoners. The announcement comes after Gross was freed, as part of an agreement that included the release of three Cubans jailed in the U.S. Gross landed in the U.S. shortly before noon on Wednesday.

A senior Obama administration official told Fox News that Gross left Cuba on a U.S. government plane Wednesday morning, and was “released on humanitarian grounds by the Cuban government at the request of the United States.”

Already, the rapid-fire developments were drawing a mixed response in Congress.

“It’s absurd and it’s part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants,” Rubio told Fox News, claiming the administration is “constantly giving away unilateral concessions … in exchange for nothing.” Rubio called Obama the “worst negotiator” the U.S. has had as president “since at least Jimmy Carter.” He also said Congress would not support lifting the embargo.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who like Rubio is a Cuban-American lawmaker, said this is a moment of “profound relief” for Gross and his family. But he voiced concerns that this constituted a “swap of convicted spies for an innocent American.”

“President Obama’s actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government,” he said in a statement. “Trading Mr. Gross for three convicted criminals sets an extremely dangerous precedent. It invites dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans serving overseas as bargaining chips.”

Other U.S. lawmakers hailed the agreement, and some even joined Gross on the plane ride to the U.S. — Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., were on that flight. U.S. officials said Pope Francis was personally engaged in the process as well and sent separate letters to Obama and Castro this summer urging them to restart relations.

The three Cubans released are part of the so-called Cuban Five — a group of men who were part of the “Wasp Network” sent by Cuba’s then-President Fidel Castro to spy in South Florida. The men, who are hailed as heroes in Cuba, were convicted in 2001 in Miami on charges including conspiracy and failure to register as foreign agents in the U.S.

Two of the Cuban Five were previously released after finishing their sentences.

Cuba was also releasing a non-American intelligence “asset” along with Gross, according to a U.S. official. Administration officials claimed that Gross was not technically traded for the three Cubans, and that his release was humanitarian.

Obama administration officials had considered Gross’ imprisonment an impediment to improving relations with Cuba, and the surprise deal was quickly making way for rapid changes in U.S. policy.

In a statement marking the fifth anniversary of Gross’ detention earlier this month, Obama hinted that his release could lead to a thaw in relations with Cuba.

“The Cuban Government’s release of Alan on humanitarian grounds would remove an impediment to more constructive relations between the United States and Cuba,” Obama said in a statement.

The president has taken some steps to ease U.S. restrictions on Cuba after Raul Castro took over as president in 2010 from his ailing brother. He has sought to ease travel and financial restrictions on Americans with family in Cuba, but had resisted calls to drop the embargo. Obama raised eyebrows when he shook hands with Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service last year.

The release Wednesday follows years of desperate appeals by Gross and his family. His wife, Judy Gross, said earlier this year that she feared for his life, saying he might do “something drastic.”

Gross was detained in December 2009 while working to set up Internet access as a subcontractor for the U.S. government’s U.S. Agency for International Development, which does work promoting democracy in the communist country. It was his fifth trip to Cuba to work with Jewish communities on setting up Internet access that bypassed local censorship.

Cuba considers USAID’s programs illegal attempts by the U.S. to undermine its government, and Gross was tried and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The surprise prisoner deal has echoes of the deal the U.S. cut earlier this year to secure the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by the Taliban. In exchange for his release in May, the U.S. turned over five Taliban prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

It Was 50 Years Ago, But Reagan’s ‘A Time for Choosing’ Speech Could Be Given Today

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This is from Independent Journal Review.

This is defiantly a time for choosing.

I pray we choose correctly.

 

 

The video is grainy, black and white, and the familiar voice sounds younger than most of us remember it. But Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” speech is eerily relevant today, 50 years after it was given.

It’s eloquent, powerful, delivered with just notes and not a teleprompter, and wasn’t designed to launch a political career.

It was one man’s heartfelt distillation of the decision facing all Americans in all generations, since there will always be greedy, power-hungry people and nations seeking to destroy America:

Will we stand up for individual freedom and liberty and the ideas of the Founding Fathers? Or plead for “peace at any price”?

On October 27, 1964, the Soviet Union was on the march, and country after country was adopting a Communist government. Today, as ISIS continues to gain strength both monetarily and in territory, Reagan’s words apply:

We’re at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it’s been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. Well I think it’s time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.

One year after the Affordable Care Act took effect, which has harmed many more people than it’s helped, it’s still the principle of “individual or government” that’s at stake.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the Americanrevolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

The “do-gooders” framed conservatives as the “Party of No” 50 years ago, too.

Yet anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we’re denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we’re always “against” things—we’re never “for” anything.
Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.

The final lines of Reagan’s speech are still inspiring, yet chillingly pertinent: “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”

Which direction will we choose?

Virginia Democrat: Those who support the NRA ‘pure trash’

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This is from the Examiner.

Is this a sign of things to come from the DemocRats?

I look for the Dem’s to go full-blown Communist.

 

 

On Saturday, Mike Dickinson, the Virginia Democrat seeking the House seat currently held by Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., continued his online campaign of hate by denigrating all supporters of the NRA as “puretrash.”

 

What’s obscene to you? @HustlerMag or a group like the @NRA that supports trophy hunting and elephant killing,” hetweeted Friday.

“What on Earth does this have to do with your political campaign?” one person asked.

“[T]hat the NRA is a god awful fear mongering group and those who support the NRA are pure trash,” Dickinson said inresponse.

This is not the first time Dickinson has attacked members of the NRA.

In February, he called gun owners “little children,” saying guns needs to be titled and registered. He was also schooled after falsely calling the NRA “descendents of the KKK.”

Dickinson’s campaign — if it can actually be called that — has so far consisted primarily of unhinged, largely fact-free, hateful rants on Twitter.

In one tweet, for example, he called those who oppose abortion stupid, and said those who watch Fox News “ate paint chips as children.”

He has also demanded stores like Hobby Lobby close down, calling them “a wart on the face of lady liberty in the United States.”

Dickinson caught national attention when he said Fox News lies all the time and called for the FCC to monitor and regulate the network in a fashion reminiscent of the former Soviet Union.

While Dickinson’s campaign of unhinged hate is apparently designed to attract his far-left wing base — those known as “low-information voters” — it will not propel him to victory in November.

Dickinson has been called “the next Alan Grayson” by the Daily Kos, but Dickinson is nowhere near as popular among fringe progressives as Grayson.

His Facebook page, for example, has remained stuck at 27 supporters for weeks.

Democrats in Spotsylvania County are also unsure about Dickinson due to his inexperience and connections with local adult businesses.

Making matters worse, a post at Red Knuckle Politics brings to light some of Dickinson’s seedier online activities, including what the article says is his fondness for sending tweets to women in the pornographic film industry using alternate identities.

Tim O’Donnell said he has confirmation of Dickinson’s alternate identities through one of his online followers.

“One of his deleted accounts, confirmed by the same sources, is @theshieldVCU. Another is @MikeD_PhD, for which I provide screenshots of his comments from there in which he says offensive and misogynistic things about women, insulting people by speaking about their weight, requests to show their breasts, and other things too lewd for publishing here,” he said.

O’Donnell said another account is used to send messages and pictures that “are beyond the decorum even for the industry from which Mr. Dickinson has made his living.”

We reached out to Dickinson for comment, but so far have received no response.

Instead, he chose to smear supporters of the NRA as “pure trash.”

Please! No More Bush Presidents

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This is from Godfather Politics.

I say not only no more Bush President I also say no more Clinton 

Presidents either and Oh Hell no to any more Obama’s.

We need more Ronald Reagan’s and no more Bush ,Clinton,

Obama and Johnson Presidents.

 

Jeb Bush is considering running for President in 2016. Please spare us. It’s just what the Republicans need. The second Bush barely eked out his 2000 and 2004 wins. It was his policies that created the Obama refrain, “It was Bush’s fault.” And much of it was, although the fault was created long before either Bush got into office. The media will have a field day.

What does Jeb Bush have to offer? He does speak Spanish.

Last month, Jeb Bush said that he would govern like Lyndon Johnson if he were ever elected as President. It would be worse than a Mormon from Massachusetts. I can see the conservative opposition now:

“Jeb Bush said that he will govern like Lyndon Johnson. You remember President Johnson. As Ronald Reagan said, Johnson’s Great Society started a war on poverty, and ‘poverty won.’”

Johnson was a smooth-talking bully. He was the guy who helped pass a law that prohibited churches from speaking out on politics. In addition to his expansion of the federal government, his policies ended up creating a multi-generational poverty class. The once-intact black family has been fragmented and made dependent on the government creating a perpetual voting class.

Tony Lee explained the nature of Jeb Bush’s fascination with President Lyndon Johnson’s governing style:

“He vowed to approach the presidency as ‘master of the Senate,’ as biographer Robert Caro described Johnson.

“‘He went and he cajoled, he begged, he threatened, he loved, he hugged, he did what leaders do, which is they personally get engaged to make something happen,’ Bush said of Johnson. Bush cited Caro’s latest book about Johnson, The Passage of Powerwhich covers the first part of Johnson’s presidency.”

I would rather he had mentioned Ronald Reagan’s governing style, especially how he took his policy initiatives directly to the people. Reagan didn’t try to smooth talk the Senate. The Democrats hated him and his policies. Reagan told the truth to the people who put him into office. The pressure of the people forced the Senate to act.

The shining and long-term effect of Reagan’s legacy was his stand for truth in the face of opposition from members of his own staff. “Truth before friendship,” as the saying goes.

It was under Reagan that the former Soviet Union began its slide toward collapse without a shot being fired. I’ll take Reagan’s methods any day rather than cajoling and begging the opposition.

It was Reagan’s foreign policy “experts” who wanted him to be more “loving” toward the leader of the Soviet Union. They were the same people who wanted Reagan to remove the line “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” from his speech at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987.

Here’s the important part of the story. Even Reagan’s administration officials wanted him to cut the line from his speech because they believed it to be an “outright affront to the Soviet leadership.” Here’s what Peter Robinson, Reagan’s speech writer, says happened:

“[T]he speech was circulated to the State Department and the National Security Council. Both attempted to squelch it. The assistant secretary of state for Eastern European affairs challenged the speech by telephone. A senior member of the National Security Council staff protested the speech in memoranda. The ranking American diplomat in Berlin objected to the speech by cable. The draft was naive, it would raise false hopes. It was clumsy, it was needlessly provocative. State and the NSC submitted their own alternate drafts — my journal records that there were no fewer than seven, including one written by the diplomat in Berlin. In each, the call to tear down the wall was missing.

The Berlin Wall came down, East and West Berlin reunited, and the Soviet Union collapsed. The Eastern Bloc nations regained their sovereignty and borders.

We need another Reagan, not another Lyndon Baines Johnson. Mr. Bush, please spare us another electoral disaster.

Read more: http://godfatherpolitics.com/9732/please-no-more-bush-presidents/#ixzz2OxGRKGkH

 

Gun Control Dictator Style

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This is from Godfather Politics.

All murdering tyrants agree gun control works for them.

 

dictators-gun-control

 

“All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” — Mao Tze Tung ( 1938)

How ironic that those who are calling for gun control are those who want the guns so they can have the control.

It is of interest to the American people to take note of those who they entrust to serve them. We are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, yet time and time again in this country we have leaders in government who put on the guise of “patriot” and then turn out to be the criminal in garb.

We learned in the past about the criminal acts of anti-gun mayors. We found that anti-gun mayors are criminals themselves, guilty as charged, within their own ranks of such crimes as tax evasion, extortion, accepting bribes, child pornography, trademark counterfeiting, perjury, and one demigod mayor was even convicted of assaulting a police officer.

The crimes that these anti-gunner mayors are convicted of suggest they are public enemies rather than public servants. No wonder they want to take guns from law-abiding citizens.

These politicians know all the while that where the citizenry operates in the rights given to them without government interference, namely the right to bear arms, crime diminishes. And with mud on their face, they know when they interfere with the right to bear arms, crime skyrockets.

What we see is that some of today’s politicians are magnifying the crimes they are placed in office to prevent.

They allow crime to be promoted through entertainment and when the crime is committed, they are there in hopes to grab the guns away. This is exactly how criminals in government operate. They demonize the gun, not the criminal.

Friends, this mentality is like blaming spoons for people being overweight, as if to say the act is apart from the actor.

Since criminal politicians refuse to look at history, which can be at the present our greatest teacher, it is very clear that gun banners know exactly what they are attempting to do – put the Second Amendment in the crosshairs.

Looking back, who has committed murder in the largest degree? Dictators Adolf Hilter, Mao Tze Tung, Josef Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, etc.

Time and time again, it has been a corrupt governments that has responsible for the mass murder of their own people under the deceptive guise of “gun control,” all of which the dictators implemented.

Keep in mind these people promised their citizens protection and freedom upon the forfeiture of their means to defend themselves and those freedoms.

How many times, I ask, does history need to repeat itself?

Let’s parallel history with the present ideology and methodology that those in the past blueprinted to implement gun control.

Mass murderer Adolf Hitler at a dinner talk on April 11, 1942 said:

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country.”

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

Josef Stalin, the dictator of the Soviet Union from 1924 to 1953, said: “If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.”

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Mao Tze Tung, communist dictator of China, said:

“War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.”

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Idi Amin, president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, said:

“I do not want to be controlled by any superpower. I myself consider myself the most powerful figure in the world, and that is why I do not let any superpower control me.”

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Pol Pot, who created in Cambodia one of the 20th century’s most brutal and radical regimes, was responsible for killing one million of his own ‘educated,’ yet unarmed citizens.

Our forefathers did not arm the American people for the purpose of hunting, but rather to protect themselves from those who were doing the hunting, namely the tyrant King George. The second amendment is only to vouchsafe our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and to ensure all of the other rights given unto us by our Creator.

The wisdom of the framers of the Constitution, once again, is found consistent with the lessons of the Bible they used as their bedrock for civil law. The people’s individual protection should always be a primary concern of government “of the people.” In a righteous country, self-government reigns by the constraint of Christian morals. The civil government that desires such a monopoly of force (i.e. they are the only ones with guns) is a threat to the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens, for that government ceases to be “of and for the people.”

George Washington, our first president, said:

“From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.”

Read more: http://godfatherpolitics.com/8940/gun-control-dictator-style/#ixzz2ICMQZDLz

 

 

Russian Warns Americans: ‘Don’t Give Up Your Guns!’

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This is from Political Outcast.

The Russians were murdered by Pa Pa Joe Stalin.

The Russians peasants were disarmed by Soviet Thugs.

Pravda, in Russian, means “truth.” Don’t get the wrong idea; I am definitely not a fan of Socialist cant, tiresomely palmed off as truth. But, as the saying goes, even a broken clock is correct twice a day. An article appeared in the English version of Pravda on December 28, 2012. It was written by Stanislav Mishin and is titled “Americans Never Give up Your Guns.” It is clear we have a genuine, national crisis on our hands when Pravda gets it right and the government, spearheaded by our president, gets it wrong.

Attempts to shred the second amendment are nothing new. There has been a determined effort to wrest guns from our nation’s populace for half a century or better. The latest full-court press, which includes escalating statements from the president and the vice fool, promising to bypass Congress (again) “if necessary” to restrict gun ownership, is the latest liberal push to create a problem that has never existed.

It doesn’t matter how many facts contradict liberal talking points on gun ownership. The proof that a gun in the hands of responsible citizens deters crime does not seem to matter. Statistics proving that deaths caused by methods other than firearms (including murders committed using hammers) outnumber deaths caused by guns are, apparently, irrelevant. The desperation to eliminate gun ownership as a constitutional right is under full sail.

There should be no need to reiterate what happens to a populace once disarmed by their government. There’s more than enough historical evidence of the disastrous results when the only armed segment of the population is the ruling class. The current, lemming-like sprint to get rid of American’s only protection against government incursion, however, makes Mr. Mishin’s article all the more vital.

Mr. Mishin informs the reader that Russia used to be one of the most heavily armed nations on earth. This was, of course, when Russia was “free,” under the Tsar. Mr. Mishin illuminates how citizens of countries that gave up gun ownership rights to their respective governments (such as Russia, Poland, France and Germany) and suffered for their mistake. He debunks widespread, liberal dogma:

“The excuse that people will start shooting each other is … silly. So it is our politicians saying that our society is full of incapable adolescents who can never be trusted? Then…explain how we can trust them or the police, who themselves grew up and came from the same culture?”

One might further ask how it is that a public capable of electing temporary, government officials is deemed incapable of governing their own lives and welfare.

Mr. Mishin tells a serious, cautionary tale. His point is, you should pardon the expression, right on “target.” Liberals are desperate for gun control solely for power:

“Government will use the excuse of trying to protect the people from maniacs and crime… No, it is about power and a total power over the people. Do not be fooled by a belief that progressives, leftists hate guns . . . they do not. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology. They hate guns in the hands of those who think for themselves and do not obey without question.” — Russia’s Pravda.

Read more: http://politicaloutcast.com/2013/01/russian-warns-americans-dont-give-up-your-guns/#ixzz2ICI1t0vw

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