Russian Diplomacy

global chess

By Charlie Johnston

(This piece is almost verbatim a copy of a reply I made to a commenter earlier today. I thought it important enough to use as a stand-alone column. This plays into what I have been saying about how things come into focus for the ultimate confrontation in this series of events. I really am baffled at how blind so many are to what seems obvious just from normal long-range strategic analysis. Putin is not playing chess while his opponents are playing checkers – his opponents haven’t even gotten out of the “Go Fish” stage of strategic thinking. And yet, the sophisticated gambit Russia is mounting now will steady the Christian world for the battle to come.-CJ)

I have been stunned at how puerile western commentary (including the normally solid National Review) – and even professional analysis of Russia and its strategy has been for almost a decade. A day before Russia invaded Crimea and the administration said it absolutely would not happen, several old colleagues out east called to get my take. I told them of course Russia would invade. Regardless of whether it had caused the problem or not, it had to  secure its warm water port, so it would invade. Shortly after that, some of the same people called about western Ukraine and new reports that that was next. I told them not to worry – Putin would threaten, but it would only be a bargaining chip. Western Ukraine offered many problems and few benefits – so Putin would use western cluelessness to threaten, but was unlikely to actually invade Ukraine, for it was not in his perceived national interest to do so. Putin, while bold, is quite predictable – he always acts in his perceived national interest from his framework of making Russia a truly great power and defending against the inevitable confrontation with China. I was right on both counts, the media-governmental complex was wrong on both. I think the incoherence of American foreign policy has blinded American commentators from actually seeing coherent national-interest politics for what it is.

The estimable Charles Krauthammer starts to get a clue on this in this article today, but even he has not gotten the gist of it yet. This is the opening gambit in a bid for Russian diplomatic dominance in the Middle East – and it is specifically an appeal by Russia to Israel. Do not try to interpret this as a one-move act. This is a brilliantly played maneuver that will require several subsequent moves to succeed, but the payoff for Russia is enormous. Let me explain:

Bashar Assad is a monster, rightly seen as a pariah in all the world. Few nations in the Middle East trust Russia. Russia has to get its foothold somewhere – and Syria’s Assad is almost perfect on all counts. First, he is desperate enough to welcome Russia with open arms. If Russia comes in, firmly secures Assad in power, fighting whoever threatens that, Russia accomplishes three things:

1)It gets a major new warm water port from which to project power beyond its borders. A nice notice to China, which has deep maritime ambitions these days.

2) It gets a client state in the heart of the Middle East.

3) Most importantly, it demonstrates that an alliance with Russia is a solid bet, even if you are an international pariah. As America has proven it is neither serious foe nor steadfast ally to anyone, this is vitally important in a region which has been going up in flames. Watch as both Saudi Arabia and Egypt make strategic security alliances with Russia. The lesson will not be lost on Israel, a force for freedom and good in the region which is treated like an international pariah. If Assad is secured in Syria, Israel will forge serious ties with Russia – as it can’t even count on lip service from America any more. It will do so in a way that leaves the door open for a new American leader eventually, but it needs serious dependable allies NOW.

Once Israel has forged strong strategic ties with Russia, the latter is completely diplomatically dominant in the Middle East.

Putin has been brilliant on this. He has to first secure Assad’s rule in Syria to demonstrate he is an indispensably steadfast ally to the others he courts. To do this, the enemies of Assad must be his first target, not ISIS, which constitutes the greater threat. At the same time, he makes Jihadi John, the public face of ISIS, his number one target – even though Jihadi John is not a serious threat to Assad. That signals to the rest of the region that ISIS is Putin’s ultimate target, which adds more urgent motivation to the involved nations to ally with Russia.

This is brilliantly subtle great power statesmanship worthy of a Metternich or Kissinger. When American policy makers and commentators get beyond kindergarten level in geopolitical diplomacy, they may begin to understand it. Some of the folks at National Review have gotten to junior high level, but Putin is running some of the shrewdest power diplomacy the world has seen in a while.

As for those neophytes who ask about Russia’s alliance with China, of course it had to make that alliance – but only after it saw America had become completely feckless and unreliable. Russia knows China seeks hegemony in the region – and Russia is its ultimate target. Russia bought time because it saw it could not depend on the west. But note that every move Putin makes solidifies Russian defenses against any Chinese aggression. I will guarantee that China has noticed.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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87 Responses to Russian Diplomacy

  1. Martha says:

    Could Putin be receiving the same heavenly help that you are receiving?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I don’t know about that, Martha, but temporal analysis is sufficient here. Fifty years ago, this would have been pretty obvious to most serious thinkers on global affairs. It is shocking that it is not obvious now…shows how infantilized we have become.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. anaverena1 says:

    Being currently based in Moscow, I see Putin through Russian eyes – he commands great respect. I am also impressed by the obvious spirituality of ordinary people and by its traditional modes of behaviour- there are no “gay pride ” marches here and attitudes are those which used to be the norm in the west.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Stephelin says:

      Read Bill Browder’s book ” Red Notice” and think again.

      Like

      • NancyA says:

        There are other books which show the very dark, ugly side of the Putin machine, as well as the man. I have a deep distaste for all I know of him, but I think of two things: we are all sinners, and there is the possibility that he has had a true Christian conversion and also, his leadership of his country is outside of his own personal merits or lack thereof. Too, the ordinary people of Russia are not to be judged by his personal vices or sins… I certainly hope never to myself be judged on the merits of my country’s so called leader.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chantal says:

          We need to understand that we get nothing but propaganda. The West sees Russia as the enemy and everything that comes our way in the West must confirm that. It is a brainwashing. However our news is so incompetent and people are looking for more reliable newsources. For me the constant repetion of negative phrases, demonization that I read made me look for other sources. Hey I´m catholic and pro-life and I saw Russia and Putin treated the same way so I looked harder. The constant attacks on Russia because of its stance on gays and intolerance to desacration by feminists extremists made me think, there is something else going on and I´m not buying the news that I´m being told.
          I found the news coming out of Ukraine to be uncredible and often false. I´ll leave it at that. Ukraine is in horrible shape and destroyed. At least Putin, has tried to help the people in the East, and welcomed its refugees. There is no way the people in the East want anything to do with Kiev after the destruction and death that was brought there. I simply remember the beginning, where it was the people, grandpas-grandmas, ect that stopped the tanks, of the military switching over refusing to shoot on the citizens of Eastern Ukraine.
          As for Assad… why the focus on Assad? Is Saudi Arabia not also a dictatorship?, or North Korea? or China? Every country the US has stuck its nose in the “name of democracy” has ended in chaos. People are happy that Russia is doing something to try to bring some stability to Syria and the Middle East. In the end, people want stability, even if it is a dictatorship.
          For me, Putin is the only world leader that intrigues me or who I find worthy of listenning to and who makes some sense. The Pope, I know what he believes and stands for, Putin… I know what I´m told and I don´t buy it.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Well now, the U.S. is not an ally of North Korea…and Saudi Arabia does not routinely butcher large numbers of its own population ‘just because.’ Not every country the U.S. has stuck its nose into in the name of democracy has ended in chaos. What of Japan, South Korea, Italy, Germany? When the US used to follow through, things turned out differently. And I am not ready to crown Putin as “humanitarian of the year” just because I don’t think he is an irrational madman.

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          • Chantal says:

            Point taken, however the past 15-20 years, I think my statement stands true…
            I am very intrigue by Putin. AS I said, not sure what to think of him. I don´t accept everything that is said in the media about him, and I agree with many of his speeches… just don´t know if they are sincere.
            I do know that most of our info on Ukraine is false. I honestly tried to read both sides and tried as much as possible to get to eyewitnesses sources.
            One is a blog called the vineyard of the saker (A Ukrainian living in the US) the other is slavangrad (Ukrainian citizen, born in Mariupol now living in Canada). Both of these sites started by simply translating Russian info into English. Both were very interesting in understanding the situation in Ukraine and I found them reliable in their information.
            The vineyard of the saker had some interesting articles regarding the Orthodox religion.

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  3. Fran says:

    Brilliant analysis of the temporal. Spiritual motivation behind Putin’s incursion. Perhaps I am jumping to conclusions but I think you are spot on!

    Like

  4. Becky-TN says:

    Stuff like this usually goes over my head. My hubby is more the historian in the family…says the history major (me :\). But Charlie, I think I actually get it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. SVogel says:

    You have my attention, Mr Johnston

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    From:”The Next Right Step” Date:Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 12:15 PM Subject:[New post] Russian Diplomacy

    charliej373 posted: ” By Charlie Johnston (This piece is almost verbatim a copy of a reply I made to a commenter earlier today. I thought it important enough to use as a stand-alone column. This plays into what I have been saying about how things come into focus for the ult”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kim in Ohio says:

    For years I have heard and read that the leaders and politicians in Israel are agnostic and/or communist and have had a long relationship with Russia/Communism. Your article is spot on Charlie. We must pray for everyone’s conversion.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I don’t believe your first statement for a minute, Kim. When America was a Christian nation, Israel was firmly allied with it. Now that America has gone officially atheist and Russia has gone Christian, Israel is likely to ally with it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kim in Ohio says:

        It’s been a while that I came across the information, but within the past 30 years. It was probably from a Protestant source. The issue was politicians/business men who were Jewish in name only (communist at heart) to keep their status, but business continued with the Russians behind closed doors. When Russia is converted, I pray Israel and the rest of the world will stand in awe and come to know our Lord and convert to. God’s will be done.

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  7. BD says:

    Putin just stomped on the west’s pipeline ambitions to be routed through Syria to reduce the reliance in Europe to Russian gas imports. This was our brilliant leaders plan to further isolate Russia and Putin to further their NWO plans. We armed so called moderate terrorists that continue to defect to ISIS. We drop tons of weapons and ammunition and hope moderate elements find them. Putin sees the west as unable to be trusted because we have launched moslem brotherhood and color revolutions all over the world. Putin also has to be scratching his head as each of these revolutions have been doomed to failure, and may have contributed to the ISIS phenomenon.

    I pray for the true conversion of Russia, but even more so for the conversion of Washington DC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      As tough and brutish as he can be, I know Putin has to be constantly scratching his head at the unbelievable incompetence and fecklessness of what passes for American diplomacy these days. I remain convinced Putin very much wanted to play Russian bad cop to America’s good cop – and establish a certain stability. I think it frustrates himself that he got a dance partner with two left feet that is constantly tripping over itself.

      Liked by 6 people

  8. Pat Darby says:

    I appreciated your insight into Putin. I have had the impression that he is not the villain he is made out to be here in America. He is an example of a good leader; I respect him and pray for all of our leaders.

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  9. Donette says:

    So Charlie. Did you see this one from the Mystic Post in regard to Russia:

    http://mysticpost.com/2015/10/10/the-surprising-rise-of-christianity-in-russia/

    Like

  10. Donette says:

    Many of us are watching, Charlie, but frankly, sometimes I feel like a little prairie dog with my head stuck out of its hole in the ground watching the big thinkers and actors of the world lobbing missiles of all types over my head and meanwhile my prayers sound something like “Are we there yet God?”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Donette says:

    So why does the West fear Putin?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Amy says:

    Do you see his spirituality as genuine Charlie?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Amy, I rarely consider that at all. When I choose a plumber or a mechanic, I choose based on their competence. If I had to have brain surgery, I would rather have a competent atheist than an incompetent Christian – though a competent Christian would be best. Whether he knows that what he is doing prepares the field for the great struggle or doesn’t know is a matter I don’t ponder much. Either way, God’s will is accomplished, whether through conscious or unconscious instruments.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Pam F. says:

        Great piece Charlie. I wish you were there with your Next Right Step when I was a poli sci major in the early 80’s. My fascination for Reagan, Thatcher, Gorbachev & John Paul the Great is what kept my attention. But the endless monologues of my liberal anti American professors made a poorly chatechized, weenie Catholic student like myself unable to see much beyond the headlines. What I needed was to acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a help and hope to those around me. And let God’s will be accomplished!

        Liked by 2 people

      • mmbev says:

        Again, and as usual, right on the money, Charlie. You are able to interpret what we observe with finesse.

        Like

  13. Fred says:

    Charlie-

    You could not be more right. Putin is a Cold War warrior in a world that has somehow forgotten we had a Cold War in the first place. Western leaders, and the Western populace in general, are a bunch of navel-gazing narcissists who are more concerned with what happened to Lamar Odom last week and avoiding whatever brand of “herbal” Viagra he consumed than taking a hard look at the nature and character of the world today, let alone at the miserable state of our own messed-up lives. The plight of the poor folks in the Middle East who are caught in the biggest battle between good and evil since WWII are not even on our radar, unless we are talking about the progressive elites who are using the massive influx of Middle Eastern immigrants as a means of thoroughly and permanently changing the demographic face of Europe. I’m not sure if this a byproduct of their misplaced hatred of their own cultures, or their desire to somehow use immigration as a tool for power (as is being done here in the US), or both. In any event, Putin has correctly understood that American “leadership” is vacuous and over-matched, our sycophantic press corrupt and neutered, and the American people soft, stupid, and entirely selfish. We have no stomach for being a force for good in the world anymore, nor the intellectual or spiritual capacity to understand the mistakes we are making. Putin is not trying to fill the role we have abdicated so much as taking care of some of the dirty work we used to tend to that allowed him to operate with a lower profile. He rightly understands that a vacuum in the Middle East will ultimately lead to a much wider war and he intends to fill that vacuum in lieu of forces such as ISIS. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I never thought I would find myself actively rooting for the Russians, but I am now. I am under no illusions concerning Putin having any benevolence in his heart, but at least he is a known quantity and would be a better problem to have in place in the Middle East than a resurgent and unopposed Caliphate threatening to overrun Europe (again).

    A younger me would be much more worried about all of this. However, your message and your insights have helped me to trust that in the end, God will help us in our need as He works to undo the giant mess we have created. He always bring good out of evil. Even now, He is using Russia’s moves in the Middle East to reduce the suffering of the Christian community there who are really bearing the most brutal burden of the hatefulness associated with radical Islam.

    Anyway, thanks for your insights and for your steady resolve in being a voice of hope in a world filled with so much hopelessness.

    We must remember to often repeat the prayer, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

    Fred

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Donette says:

    P.S. Charlie, The “Little ‘ol Ladies Prayer Group” that I have belonged to for quite a number of years, when meeting to pray the Rosary as Our Lady of Fatima requested, right after saying the Angel’s prayer “Oh my Jesus, for give us out sins……..the oldest members of of the group would add this request to Our Lady….”Save Russia and America.”

    These were the women who stayed home and cleaned house and cooked, raised their children, fund raised for the Church and kept the American Union strong. These were the “new Eve’s who were really brilliant in their own quiet way.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. Jim M. says:

    Charlie,

    I think you are almost spot on. What has passed for foreign intelligence and policy on the US is deplorable. The concept of intelligent thought seems to have given way to algorithms and predictive computer programs that do not address the human aspect of things or higher thought; another fatal consequence of over reliance on technology instead of our human faculties.
    I don’t think you are giving Putin enough credit. I think he is much shrewder than that.

    He has aligned himself with Iran and Syria. Russia has a joint defense compact with Iran and already has a naval operation in Syria. He has solidified his alliance with Iran, and now plays the role of both savior and peacekeeper in Syria.

    Putin knows full well that ISIS is the creation of the US government. Much like we created Al Qaeda as the offspring of our involvement in the Soviet–Afghan war, so too we armed and trained “rebels” to topple Assad who were to become ISIS. The added bonus here is that Putin gets a little payback against the US for its role in driving Russia out of Afghanistan. While taking those billions of dollars the US has spent there and turning them into fuel for his machine. Putin’s stock in Russia skyrockets.

    But the best is yet to come. Putin is capitalizing on the Sunni/Shia split of Islam. Most of Islam is of the Sunni sect. Iran, however, is close to 90% Shia and is controlled by the Shiites. While over 80% of the population of Syria is Sunni, Assad is Shia. Shiites have traditionally been oppressed by the Sunnis that outnumber them, and those memories are long. So Putin uses Iran as the keystone and helps to preserve Shia rule in Syria. Most of Lebanon is Shia, with Hezbollah being the most well-known Shia group in that area. Putin then holds the leash to the junk yard dog next to Israel.

    Then there is Iraq. We saw what happened after the US tried to set up an Iraqi government that was predominately Sunni. The majority of the Iraqi people are Shia. With Iraq welcoming in Iran to help them fight ISIS, Putin has a pass to consolidate his influence there as well with Iraq likely moving to Shia rule. The trillion dollars plus the US spent on the Iraq war now looks like a charitable donation to Russia.

    Sunnis and Shiites have a high level of distrust of one another. When they have a common enemy to fight (like Israel), they grudgingly get along. When they do not have infidels or Jews to slaughter, they have typically gone after one another.

    Most of the rest of the Middle Eastern countries have majority Sunni populations and all of them with the exception of the Shia ruled countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon are ruled by Sunni governments with Sunni majority populations. “Majority”, however, is not what it seems. With the exception of Egypt, which is over 95% Sunni, the other Sunni ruled Middle Eastern countries have sizeable Shiite (15% to 25%) populations.

    Those percentages are a significant enough number to cause Sunni rulers a great deal of concern. If I remember correctly, before the Revolutionary War here in the US, only about 20% of the population favored separation from England. Those Shia populations are sizeable enough to keep their Sunni rulers in check.

    And with Iran having nuclear capabilities (let’s not fool ourselves into believing it does not, it is merely buying time to build more), Iran becomes the Shiite big brother that Shia populations in other countries can look to for help. Putin does not have to cozy up to Sunni rulers – he has Iran as a proxy to keep them in line with the ultimate threat in the name of protecting their Shia brothers in Sunni controlled countries.

    Meanwhile, he targets Jihadi John as enemy number one while bolstering his persona as the savior of Christianity. I have seen the work of Spetznatz troops. Make no mistake, they will get him. Russia’s “rules of engagement” are not subject to the restraints we put our commanders under.
    Right now, Saudi Arabia is quaking in its sandals. Their US ally has become an impotent, fangless guardian. Putin will not have to come to them, they will come to him. Neutralizing and perhaps eradicating the Sunni threat also helps Putin to solve the issue he has had in Chechnya and Dagestan.

    As for China, the Muslim world, both Sunni and Shia, has taken notice of the very unkind way the Chinese have treated Islam in China. Any Chinese action against Russia will turn into a hornets nest for China.

    Israel is an interesting situation. They are the “enemy of my enemy” that can and has united Sunni and Shia in the last 100 years. If Putin cozies up to Israel, he faces the potential of losing some loyalty from Iran and Syria. Plus, with an isolated Israel in the picture, he may be able to spread his influence in Sunni ruled countries beyond the Shia population. Israel is the red meat that keeps the wolves focused on the prize, making them easier to control. I think he lets Israel feign for themselves, leaving them to the fair-weather protection of their only major ally, the US. If the US comes to Israel’s aid, that just causes the US to spend time, energy and capital it has in short supply. If it does not, it is a propaganda victory, painting any US alliance as worthless and consigning what remains of US influence in the world to the bench.

    With the US further isolated, Putin can also placate China by providing tacit support in China’s ambitions to control things to its East. The US is to China’s East. Putin lays claim to everything to the West (including Europe), while China heads East. There will be a precipitating event to that expansion, much like a starter’s pistol. Meaning all hell will break loose very quickly.

    Team Obama is playing checkers while Putin plays 3 dimensional chess.

    And strange as it sounds, this will all set the stage for a Russian/US alliance down the road. That alliance will be, strangely enough, kindled and fueled by Christianity in Russia.

    Those are my thoughts on how I see things, without the benefit of algorithms or predictive software.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Rosie says:

    Mr. Putin seems a brilliant chess player, and of course look who he is playing against, a country (USA)who wants to give away its resources and land to heathen people, who will in turn try to crucify us and enslave us. Boy did we go south on this! And it all began when we allowed satan to come into our families and seize our conscience and love for our Lord. It all blends together, and it only becomes darker, until those of Christ Church stand and fight. If you yank the foundation out of the teachings of our Lord, water them down, ignore them, you will stop receiving great His mercy and Grace. My heart breaks at people’s lack of understanding and blindness. And what is more terrifying, is their allegiance has changed because either from fear or convenience. As soon as people realize that very quickly our backs will be to the wall, and the only helpful resource will be prayer and counting on our Blessed Mother’s promise, the sooner they will begin to pray, so start now to teach others to pray. Our Blessed Mother has promised so much help to those who will come to her Son through her, how can this go wrong! It’s never been about a country…it’s always been about each individual, and how we interact with each other. This is a journey, we are just one blink of an eye away from eternity. Best get started. Thank you, Charlie for all your help. The Lord has placed true gem in our midst.

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  17. Kevin DuBree says:

    Spot on analysis. All one has to do is go to you tube and see/listen to Putin. What you will see is completely at odds with what the Western media’s portrayal is. He is not a wild eyed madman but a rational leader who is acting in ways that he feels are in his country’s self interest. That is his responsibility. He is not a warmongersimply because he is not supporting an incoherent foreign policy of an American President. There is no reason in the world why our relationship with Russia should be as horrible as they currently are. It is almost as if the President has taken a personal dislike of Putin and simply has abandoned all diplomacy in order to somehow “punish” Putin in a spiteful way. Absolutely juvenile and dangerous behavior. The President seems to think that Chicago style politics will work on an international stage. It does not. Threats and slander against a nation as powerful as Russia is not a fruitful enterpise. It may work in Chicago and even, sadly, on the United States political arena but it is absolutely feckless, childish and disastrous on a global level. It seems apparent to me that Putin is stunned with the sheer ignorance of our leadership and would probably welcome a rational, strong US leader be elected to stabilze the world. As it is…things are too dangerous even for his liking.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I don’t have the knowledge to judge matters such as these (though Charlie’s words here seem sound to me), but what I would like to do is throw into the mix what Jesus said to Luisa Piccarreta 97 years ago concerning similar matters; for I believe we are now entering into the end-phase of the same grand event that Luisa lived in the beginning phase of. My hope is that better men than myself will be able to make more sense of this in light history and current events!

    Luisa’s Diary. October 16, 1918:

    ….. Italy and France have already been humiliated, and they will be no longer, until they are purged and they return to Me, freely, voluntarily and peacefully. In the merely apparent triumph which they enjoy, they already suffer the greatest humiliation: they did not do it by themselves, but a foreigner, not even European, came to drive the enemy away. So, if this could be called a triumph – which it is not – it belongs to the foreigner. But this is nothing. Now more than ever, they lose more – in moral things, as much as in the temporal – because this will dispose them to commit greater crimes, to fierce internal revolutions, such as to surpass the very tragedy of war.

    And then, what I told you did not regard only the present times, but also the future, and all that is not happening now, will happen then. And if someone will raise difficulties and doubts, it means that he knows little about my way of speaking. My speech is eternal, just as I am.

    Now I want to tell you something consoling. Italy and France now lose, while Germany wins. All nations have some black stains, and all of them deserve humiliations and crushings. There will be a general uproar – confusion everywhere. I will renew the world with the sword, with fire and with water, with sudden deaths, and with contagious diseases. I will make new things. The nations will form a sort of tower of Babel; they will reach the point of being unable to understand one another; the peoples will revolt among themselves; they will no longer want kings. All will be humiliated, and peace will come only from Me. And if you hear them say ‘peace’, that will not be true, but apparent. Once I have purged everything, I will place my finger in a surprising way, and I will give the true Peace. Then, all those who are humiliated will return to Me. Germany will be Catholic; I have great designs upon for her. England, Russia, and all the places where blood has been shed, will rise again to Faith, and will be incorporated into my Church. There will be great triumph and union among peoples. Therefore, pray – and it takes patience, because this will not be so soon, but it will take time.”

    Liked by 6 people

    • Sorry — meant to include a brief excerpt from what He said to her two days before that as well:

      “My daughter, governments feel the ground missing under their feet. I will use all means to make them surrender, to make them come back to their senses, and to make them know that only from Me can they hope for true peace – and lasting peace. So, now I humiliate one, now another; now I make them become friends, now enemies. I will be up to all sorts of things; I will make their arms fall off; I will do unforeseen and unexpected things in order to confuse them, and make them comprehend the instability of human things and of themselves – to make them comprehend that God alone is the stable Being from Whom they can expect every good, and that if they want Justice and Peace, they must come to the Fount of true Justice and of true Peace. Otherwise, they will not be able to do anything; they will continue to struggle; and if it may seem that they will arrange peace, it will not be lasting, and the brawls will start again, more strongly. My daughter, the way things are now, only my omnipotent finger can fix them. At the right time I will place it, but great trials are needed and will occur in the world. Therefore, it takes great patience.”

      Then, with a more moving and sorrowful tone, He added: “My daughter, the greatest chastisement is the triumph of the evil. More purges are needed, and through their triumph the evil will purge my Church. Then I will crush them and scatter them, like dust in the wind. Therefore, do not be troubled at the triumphs that you hear, but cry with Me over their sad lot.”

      Liked by 8 people

      • ann says:

        I find this last statement very comforting because surely evil is “purging” the church right now. Every day, deeper and deeper it goes. It is encouraging to hear that we must not be troubled at evil’s seeming triumph but rather cry with Our Lord over their sad lot;. There are many promises in these words that really give hope. Thank you for sharing.
        I always remember Padre Pio saying that Russia had God deep in her soul so that Communism was not going to overcome it. But he worried about the Nazi philosophy at that time flooding Germany because it was quasi-religious and therefore very very dangerous to souls.

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  19. Mr. Johnston is it possible that any chnages the Church may undergo after the current Synod may be Pope Francis’ s move to align the Church to be in a position to unify with the orthodox church? I’m thinking here of the Synodality of the Church, the divorce issue and as mentioned earlier in the year adopting a common Easter celebration date?

    And thank you for your blog, your words and thoughts are appreciated.

    Like

  20. Joseph says:

    Charlie,
    My name is Joseph, I’m an officer in the military and have spent several years serving my country. I have a wonderful wife and two beautiful children that for the past two years I have been away from them for about 70% of the time. As I write this I am once again away from them for approximately 40 days training. Several months ago I found out about your site from my mother, and ever since then I have been an avid reader. I am scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan Feb/early March of 2016. I am so full of dread of being away from my family. I know from reading your writings, and the comments that others have posted that all I am supposed to trust in God, take the next right step, and not let anxiety overwhelm my ability to be a good husband, father, and leader, but the truth is, I am being overwhelmed with worry and anxiety. I know in my heart that God is looking out for us, but I am having a hard time putting it in action. I think my biggest fear is that if something big happens, I will not be able to get to my family. Please pray for my family.

    Sincerely,

    Joseph

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      I understand, Joseph. Some years ago my brother and son were both stationed at a spot I knew a disaster would hit (but at an unknown time), but was not allowed to warn them. It scared me a lot, but I knew the consequence of disobedience. So I prayed all the more. They were both back from Japan before the tsunami hit – and it actually did minimal damage to people for how big an event it was. I think the whole point was to pray intensely and trust. I wish I had easier comfort to offer for you other than telling you I know your fear intimately. Pray hard and trust that God knows where you are and what He intends of you.

      Like

    • jlynnbyrd says:

      Joseph you and your family will be in my daily prayers for perfect trust and enduring safety during the storm. God bless you and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service and sacrifice as a soldier. We the NRS prayer warriors have got your backs. 🙂

      Liked by 6 people

    • Judith says:

      Dear Joseph
      I am holding you and your loved ones in my heart, in my prayers. I have prayed the prayer of miraculous trust for your needs and asked the intercession of mighty St Michael and great St John Paul II.

      You are not alone in feeling anxiety, BUT, it is total trust in Jesus that is our refuge, strength and protection. Surrender prayed frequently! I am a great one for wanting to take control and make everything OK. Slow learner here. God’s mercy brought me to a novena prayer of surrender to the will of God, given by Jesus to Fr Dolindo Ruotolo. The prayer is: O JESUS, I SURRENDER MYSELF TO YOU, TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING [10 times].

      The novena is too long to print here but a copy was on Pelianito’s blog site [see side bar above]. The site was changed recently so hopefully the novena can still be found. I know she follows this site, so, perhaps, she can give guidance if needed.

      Let me reassure you that God blesses our surrender, even our weak attempts. My daughter and my grandson have participated in a Halloween “haunted” event for the past 3 years as the ghouls. These events ran 6-7 hours every Friday, Saturday and some Sunday evenings from late September thru Halloween. It filled me with great anxiety because of the negativity coming out of this activity [read evil] -rudeness, arguing, disobedience, boredom, etc.
      I didn’t say anything to them, but this year I was armed with the novena of surrender. I prayed the full novena once but repeated my surrender frequently throughout the day. Peace indeed comes when we really mean it and let go. Two days ago the daughter tells me how this is the last year for her, she’s tired of it. Yesterday she tells me that the grandson wants to quit now, he’s bored with it because he and his friend weren’t together any longer doing the scaring. Wow! Just out of the blue and it’s not even Halloween yet. Is God great, or what!!! I was praising and thanking Him all the way home, and sharing the great thing that God has done.

      So, Joseph, God has your “six” if you surrender to Him and let Him take care of everything.

      Be Blessed.
      Judith

      Liked by 5 people

    • Marita says:

      Joseph, your comments touched me deeply. I have a great love and admiration for our military. God loves and honors you and your many sacrifices and He will absolutely not fail you! He will keep your family protected no matter if you are separated or together. If you are separated there is no one better to look out for them then Jesus and Mary, and whatever the situation, you will be right where He wants you to be and your family will be right where He wants them to be. No worries! You and family are now added to my daily prayers. God bless You!

      Liked by 4 people

    • jobrower says:

      We will keep you and your family immersed in prayer, Joseph. Please be in peace.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Kim in Ohio says:

      Blessings and God’s peace to you Joseph. My sincere prayers go out to you, your family, and all the US military. I am a Marine brat and former military at the beginning of the first Gulf War. Your love and faith is what your family needs. If you remain a true man of God, all of you will be well no matter what happens. My faith got me through trying times as a Christian and woman in the military. My mom’s faith, kept my dad safe during 2 terms in Vietnam.

      Liked by 1 person

    • barb129 says:

      Praying for you and your family, Joseph.

      Like

    • Doug says:

      Thank you for your service Joseph!

      Like

    • annef444 says:

      Joseph, thank you and your wife for your service to our great country. Our country is still the greatest on earth because of people like you. You have given me a gift by sharing your feelings here. I don’t have any family in the military so my prayers are never personal. I will continue to pray for you Joseph that you give all your stress and worries to God. I can’t imagine how Joseph felt when Mary was in labor with Jesus. Trust God He knows you and He has a plan. Please find comfort that all of us here will continue to pray for you and your family. Be safe Joseph. God bless you

      Like

    • vbrewing says:

      Joseph, I also often pray Mother Teresa’s urgent novena of 9 Memorare’s in a row. Many times in a row if needed. Praying for you and your family.

      Like

    • Amy says:

      Dear Joseph,
      I want to tell you that I have experienced similar dread of being separated as a family when serious events unfold. I have tried to use those different times to increase my trust. The prayer of Miraculous trust is helping me in this endeavor. I know its harder for Fathers whose role is to protect and defend. Remember that our Father in heaven loves our families even more than we do. Pray the family Rosary. My husband was in the Navy and now works for the Army and though not deployed like you are anymore is gone at times. We have disabled children too. How he must worry when he is away. I will pray for you. This is all easier said than done and its a process. Jesus I trust in you!

      Liked by 2 people

    • ann says:

      Dear Joseph–be assured of my prayers for your safety. I know well what this all means since my son was a career Marine officer. My (humble) advice: Keep your Rosary with you at all times and wear your brown scapular. I could tell you many wonderful true miraculous stories of Our Lady’s protection over her soldier children consecrated to her through the brown scapular. And of course St. Michael! He should be your new best friend. Sounds kind of silly, but I’m serious. Heavenly protection is real. Stay close to Our Lord and His Mother, your Guardian Angel and St. Michael and in a state of grace and then as Padre Pio says, “pray, hope and don’t worry.”
      Again, I will pray for you and your family.

      Like

    • LukeMichael says:

      Joseph, thank you so much for your service to our country. I identify with your situation because my daughter, son-in-law and their two beautiful, precious children are moving to a not so safe now foreign country for one year. I have just put it Our Lady’s hands. I will think of you and offer a prayer every time I think of them and pray the prayer of Miraculous Trust for you asking St Longinus to intercede.

      Liked by 1 person

    • JoyInTheLord says:

      Thank you for your service to our country, Joseph, for the sake of peace. I have deep respect for the military, knowing that I cannot do even a fingerling of what they do. But our prayers will be with you, those of good will and of God-loving folks. We entrust you to our heavenly Mother that she may comfort you and your loved ones at the moments you all need them most.

      Like

      • Joseph says:

        I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for taking the time to respond to my question. Charlie, and everyone else, thank you for the kind words and the prayers. I will be praying for each of you and your families tomorrow at Mass. Thanks again for the responses, and prayers. God bless all of you.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Mick says:

          Joseph, I’m a little late to this party; but I wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you and your family; and I have added your family to my “territory of souls.” (So whenever I pray the rosary or the Chaplet, and whenever I attend Mass and receive Holy Communion, your family will be included in my prayers.)

          I also want to sincerely thank you for your service. I am not from a military family, but I married into a family with a long tradition of military service. I greatly appreciate the sacrifice that you and your family are making for this country.

          If I may, I’d like to pass along this prayer to your patron saint; it is one that I have on a holy card and have seen in prayer books. Perhaps you, your wife and kids, and your mother might like to pray it:

          http://www.alwayscatholic.com/?page_id=2639

          And to encourage you and your family, I would like to share with you a World War II rosary miracle associated with the Knights of Columbus in my hometown. This article about the miracle was in my town’s newspaper in 2011:

          http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2011/11/knights_of_columbus_members_cr.html

          If you don’t have time for the whole article. below is a snippet that I lifted from it (it is taken from a bronze plaque that hangs at our parish):

          • The plaque at Queen of the Miraculous Medal Church commemorating the prayer vigil that Council No. 609 members believe aided in the safe return of their brothers from World War II reads, “In World War II, 166 brothers of this council marched forth to engage in battle in every corner of the world in the most destructive war in history. Of the brothers who remained behind, a small but faithful band met and recited the holy rosary daily throughout the war, praying for peace and the safe return of their brothers. At war’s end, all brothers returned home safely. Not one life was lost.”

          If I may second what Ann said above, I would encourage you, your wife, and your children to all wear the Brown Scapular and pray the Rosary daily. If you all do this, you may all rest assured that “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well” (Julian of Norwich).

          God bless you and your family, and please be assured of my prayers.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Petra says:

            Thanks for the links, Mick. Especially AlwaysCatholic.com I noticed on their home page they re-published the Prayer Against Storms on Oct. 23 which you onetime provided here along with a miraculous story of how a tornado went around your home while/after you prayed this prayer with your kids. I liked this prayer so much I printed out and now pray every night as a part of my nightly prayers. I don’t know why I like it so much, but I sense it also is a powerful preemptive protection against THE Storm we so often speak about here.
            God bless.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mick says:

            You’re welcome, Petra. 🙂

            Like

    • CrewDog says:

      Hang in there Brother!
      May God keep you and all My Comrades in Arms ….. and their Families. AMEN!!

      GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Matthew says:

    I’m still waiting for Putin to marry one of the Romanov’s and declare himself Czar of all the Russias.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Now THAT would be a twist I didn’t see coming!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Noah603 says:

      Wait….you can do that?

      Like

      • jaykay says:

        Like it 😊 Still, that era of history is over and done with. It failed. Big-time. The Romanovs will not come back again. They were unworthy. No more than we in Ireland can resurrect our ancient Kings (and our failing was that we had too many; don’t get me going on that score). Vladimir Putin is a man of his Soviet, and post-Soviet, era, very (very) rough around the edges, playing a real game in a world of Western wussies. Old Europeans like Kissinger understand; modern europeans (lower case deliberate) have completely lost the plot. Those of us who studied and love history are flabbergasted by the complete and utter stupidity that has descended on our “leaders” over the last decade and a bit. So until the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart comes about, expect that an ancient and basically warlike nation like Russia will seize every opportunity to advance its perceived interests, warm-sea port and all, as in the 1870s onwards. They don’t forget history. Yes, it’s going to be rough. But we were warned almost a century ago, and we gave in and have practically abandoned our real arsenal. I don’t mean armaments either. Only 26 years ago it (our Lady’s weapon) crashed down the nightmares of those of us of a certain age, in an unbelievable way. It will do so again but, Lord, how much lost ground must we make up… provided that we take up the utterly peaceful “weapons” She gave us.

        Like

  22. Mack says:

    Thanks very much, Charlie, for expanding on this question of Russia. I’m glad for it because it is had to get a good sense of what’s going on from our own news outlets. Looking at things from the viewpoint of the Storm gives a very different perspective. This makes me more hopeful, because the commentators were saying that Putin doesn’t care about ISIS. I sure hope that he will stop ISIS and stop it soon. This is encouraging!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Debra says:

    So, Charlie…where does America go from here? Is our foolish government done playing these dangerous games in other nations? And do you think Putin will be able to stabilize the situation in the Mid East at all, especially concerning israel?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      I have told you the things that must unfold. Watch and see what the Lord is using the devisings of men to bring about. Every once in a while I do a piece such as this when I see utter nonsense passing for conventional wisdom.

      Liked by 3 people

  24. Judith says:

    Charles, Thanks for a most helpful and hope-filled post. Does this come from your astute observations and political insight or from heavenly infusion, or both?

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Anyone can come to this by sound temporal analysis. It confirms some of what I have been shown as events gently snap into place, but is not at all dependent on them. This is simply the sort of normal analysis I always did in my ordinary work.

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Thank you for speaking slowly and clearly for this feeble mommy brain!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. kent4jmj says:

    Your post makes sense. I’m no polysci genius. It just makes sense. If Putin is the instrument to bring stability then praise God.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Petra says:

    Not a bad analysis for a verbatim comment. 😉 By the way, I agree with you totally in this analysis. These days I find myself rolling my eyes at some of the political “analysis” I see posted on the internet or hear on the T.V. Not even worth reading or listening to.
    One factor that always comes to mind in recent events in the Middle East is that I heard that there are recently discovered oil reserves under the sea off the coast of Israel, potentially worth upwards of 10 Billion. I always sort of try to factor in this fact into the news events I hear regarding all that goes on in the Middle East.
    God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SteveBC says:

      Petra, the stuff offshore is worth far more than $10B. Further complicating the situation is that in Sept/Oct, an American company drilling in the Israeli portion of the Golan Heights found enormous shale deposits, in one case it seems the shale is 1,000 feet thick, which is much thicker than normal shales, and the oil is there in the rock.

      It is very much in the interest of Russia and Israel to come to an understanding of how that oil would be used, or they could end up at each other’s throats. If Russia pushes Syria to let the Israelis drill out the oil, provided that Israel never sells it to anyone in Europe and the Israelis provide some profit off the top to the Syrians (which rake-off might be problematic given jurisdiction issues long-term), the three players involved could come to an accommodation. I would also suspect that the Russians would want to see the Israelis stop any plans they might have to build a pipeline to Greece to feed some of their offshore gas to Europe, because that is one of the Russians’ red lines.

      I do find it interesting that Putin appears to have decided to go into Syria soon after the original news about the oil in the Golan was announced a few months ago. Probably coincidence, but it is an odd confluence of events.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Petra says:

        SteveBC: You’re so right about the value of the oil. I think when I put that number in (10B) I had glanced at a site reporting the oil find and that’s the number they published, but I think if I had read more carefully it was just for that particular find.
        You said: “I do find it interesting that Putin appears to have decided to go into Syria soon after the original news about the oil in the Golan was announced a few months ago. Probably coincidence, but it is an odd confluence of events.”
        After reading that, I am reminded of my brother oft quoting (Franklin) Roosevelt, “In politics, NOTHING happens by accident.” :-))
        God bless.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Patricia says:

    So called gender issues are creating havoc with our young men and boys. Consequently, our young males do not look or act like the men of the WW ll generation. Take a look at a movie from the 40’s and 50’s, the actors look grown up. Then look at the actors from today: they are insipid, unshaved, unsure of themselves, undressed, selfish, etc etc. Now look at who is running our government and then compare that to Putin and his cronies. When we want a real man at least we know where we can find one and it is not in DC. Apologies to the real men left in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Noah603 says:

      You are right on the mark, Patricia. I’ve felt the same way and your litmus test of the movie actors is solid. Hollywood is a (blurry) reflection of society’s views, as the producers naturally want to make money on their films. There are real men everywhere. But the feminization of the picture of an ideal man in our culture has certainly happened. Since you mentioned older movies, have you noticed that priests were depicted very differently in the movies back then? They were manly, solid figures due respect. Have you seen any mainstream movies in the last couple of decades which depict our priests that way?

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Doug says:

    Charlie, I am for Russia going into Syria. I have said this privately to friends that no one else is helping to really stop the slaughter of Christians and non Muslims in general. The Muslim religion (not really worthy of being called a religion when its objectives are understood), seeks to dominate kafirs (non Muslims). Period. They will do that at any cost because this is what Islam says. Assad may be a bad dude, but if he falls, there will be a complete vacuum in the Middle East with no one to stop ISIS. When you understand Islam, you will understand that ISIS is Muslim at its core. It has not hijacked Islam; it is Islam. If anyone wants to understand this, check out http://www.politicalislam.com

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Lynch says:

      I don’t believe that Mr. Putin is the monster that many have portrayed him to be. The persecuted Christian bishops and faithful in Syria are happy to have his help. He is baptized and I have seen images of him reverently blessing himself. I never saw images of Hitler, Stalin or Mao doing so.

      “Let us move forward steadfastly together into the storm…keep calm and carry on!” (Winston Churchill).

      “In the shadow of your wings I take refuge till the storms of destruction pass by.” (Psalm 57).

      Dan Lynch Apostolates promoting devotion to
      Our Lady of Guadalupe, Jesus King of All Nations,
      Our Lady of America and Saint John Paul II
      Visit our website at http://www.JKMI.com
      E-Mail Us at JKMI@JKMI.com
      May Our Lady of Guadalupe keep you under the mantle of her protection and
      may the Reign of Jesus King of All Nations be recognized in your heart!

      Liked by 2 people

  30. BlessedToLiveNow says:

    While this doesn’t directly relate to this subject, I wanted to share a couple of thoughts. I feel that God directly speaks through natural events, so the fact that the largest hurricane in history is happening off the coast of Mexico, to me is not a shock. Our Lady of Tepeyac wants our prayers and nothing like a storm to get prayers in motion! I know I prayed throughout my day for Her intercession. Also, in the heavens of space our sun released a very rare three hour CME, pictures of which are so beautiful that they gave me chills. Planned Parenthood lost in my old liberal hometown of Portland Oregon, lost in Texas too. Now they may have hearings on Autism, much that has been hidden is just starting to be revealed.

    In addition to prayer, I felt very called to watch the Sound of Music this past weekend, but didn’t have time. Something about that musical lends itself to the storm: The war, Catholicism, crossing the mountains or ? Watched it twice on Monday and I’ve felt boosted and comforted from it, a great example of taking the next right step with song and prayer.

    Love and gratitude to all of you here, I enjoy and am comforted by all that I read. Prayers to all of you in your trials and in your joys.

    Liked by 5 people

  31. Anne says:

    Moynihans latest letter interesting….. No47.
    Opening door for unity with orthodox.
    The Church needs unity…… Garabandal spoke of pope going to Moscow.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Rick says:

    Thanks for your sound analysis, Charlie. I don’t think our leaders are quite as ignorant as they appear, instead fostering an agenda intended to serve certain hidden elite, enormously wealthy and powerful people who have successfully pulled the strings of major governments for hundreds of years. In their arrogance these men behind the curtain truly believe they will prevail in their plans for world domination, and just as they are deluded into believing their plans are coming to fruition, our Lord will have the last word. We need to trust in Him like never before, and as so many confusing and surreal events unfold well beyond our comprehension, we need to hang on to God amidst the hurricane force winds.

    Like

  33. “In many countries today, moral and ethical norms are being reconsidered. They’re now requiring not only the proper acknowledgment of freedom of conscience, political views and private life, but also the mandatory acknowledgment of the equality of good and evil.”

    -Vladmir Putinst

    I look at the direction of our country and I read statements like the above, and I pretty much just concluded a while ago that I died and went to Bizarro World.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Steve says:

    In the August 14 issue, Foreign Policy Journal published an article, “Spiritual Roots of Russo-American Conflict,” that substantiates Charlie’s comments about Russia, The intro states, “Whatever Russia is called outwardly, there is an inner eternal Russia whose embryonic character places her on an antithetical course to that of the USA.” The article describes how Russia is on a spiritual trajectory towards Christianity whereas America’s trajectory is toward decline because of its prioritization of material wealth above spiritual virtues. The article can be found here:
    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2015/08/14/spiritual-roots-of-russo-american-conflict/

    Liked by 2 people

    • NancyA says:

      To think… without calling itself so, America (in the upper echelons and many of her sheep) has actually come to embrace that spread of communism and denial of God that fanned out from Russia.

      Like

  35. polycarp33 says:

    Charlie, when you say Israel is “a force for freedom and good in the region” of the Middle East, is this something indicated or confirmed by your visitations?

    Like

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