Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1896
Editorial board of Haaretz, Israel’s leading newspaper
Ep. 29 After the Hamas attacks, what’s the wise path forward? pic.twitter.com/AwWkcLFUBb
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) October 9, 2023
The other Palestinians
MUST-WATCH interview on CNN. Genuinely shocked they have aired it. pic.twitter.com/madjVCpBOb
— David Adler (@davidrkadler) October 8, 2023
“In the US no one was held accountable for the security failures on September 11, which should have told us a lot. Not knowing, we can but speculate. We have a motive. Israel can now steal the rest of Palestine.”
I am being asked about the Israeli-Palestine conflict, which seems to be taking attention away from the Ukraine-Russia conflict. People, by which I mean people who pay attention, are wondering why the Palestinians would attack Israel like this as it provides Netanyahu with an excuse to grab the remaining bits of Palestine and destroy the Gaza strip, thus disposing of the two-state solution by conquest. Who can blame Israel after Palestinians killed Israelis and took hostages? I have heard the official explanation of Palestinian perfidy, but I don’t have an explanation for the attack. It seems it would have to be more than perfidy. I do agree with readers that it seems a curious thing for Hamas to do as it plays into Israel’s hands. I also agree that there is something else strange about the attack. How did drones and so many rockets, allegedly from Iran, and some say Ukraine, get into the Gaza strip, and how did the Hamas attackers get into Israel?
The Hamas attack has something of 9/11’s flavor. Just as every aspect of the US National Security State failed simultaneously on September 11, 2001, Israel’s security system, including the Iron Dome the US constructed for Israel, simultaneously failed. Mysteriously, the Hamas fighters entered Israel on the ground and through the air and on the sea without being detected. Mysteriously, large quantities of weapons entered Palestine through Israel without being detected. This is too much convenient failure to be believable. It will be interesting to see if anyone in Israel is held accountable for the total security failure. In the US no one was held accountable for the security failures on September 11, which should have told us a lot. Not knowing, we can but speculate. We have a motive. Israel can now steal the rest of Palestine.
Another motive might be that Israel can expand the conflict into a wider war and succeed this time in grabbing the water resources of southern Lebanon. It could even get nastier with Israeli moves against Syria and Iran. Oil prices could go sky high causing world disruption. A victorious war and the end of the Palestinian problem would free Netanyahu from his legal and political problems. There is a lot to think about. But let’s move on to the security failure that made the attack possible. Why would Netanyahu enable Hamas to attack Israel by standing down Israel security? It seems a nonsensical suggestion, but isn’t as it creates the conditions in which Israel can absorb all that remains of Palestine, just as 9/11 created the conditions for the neoconservatives to launch the wars they had planned in the Middle East.
The difficult question is why would the Palestinians bring on their own destruction by attacking Israel when Hamas has no prospect of defeating Israel? Again, we can only speculate. It could be an Israeli operation from start to finish. Israel infiltrates Hamas, just as the FBI infiltrates Trump supporters and patriotic groups now called domestic terrorists. The Israeli agents play up Israel’s abuse of the Palestinians. Netanyahu helps them along by blowing up the sacred Mosque. The agents come up with an attack plan made possible with weapons from Iran and devices from Iran to jam Israeli security. They go about this carefully, relying on the decades of anger and hurt and the prospect of release from impotence to crowd out Hamas’ reason. I don’t say these speculations suffice as the explanation. But I would not be surprised if these speculations, if investigated, would prove to be closer to the truth than whatever official narrative emerges.
“..this battle would likely endure for at least four months — perhaps longer. And Israel will suffer massive casualties..”
The Gaza Strip is the home base of Hamas, but there is not a single specific location in Gaza that can be targeted and destroyed in order to bring an end to Hamas. I believe that Israel is dangerously over confident in its bellicose declarations that it will wipe Hamas off the face of the earth. Short of using nukes, Israel will have to send its ground forces into the strip and fight house to house battles. I think many of Israel’s supporters labor under the delusions that Gaza is a small area that can be easily dealt with. It is not. Let me put this into perspective. The Gaza Strip is 141 square miles in size. Let’s compare it to Iwo Jima — that tiny island is almost 9 square miles. Unlike Iwo Jima — a small island — the Gaza Strip borders Egypt, which means it has a supply route that Israel cannot close unless Israel decides to go to war with Egypt as well.
Why do I bring up Iwo Jima? Because the Gaza Strip is ripe with tunnels and bunkers designed to protect Hamas fighters from aerial bombardment. Just as the United States Navy decimated the surface of Iwo Jima, Israel can flatten the dwellings and office buildings crowded into Gaza. But the U.S. Navy failed to destroy the Japanese force hiding below the surface with the naval fusillade. The U.S. Marine Corps had to land on the beaches and fight a bloody month long battle to clear the island. I think Israel is looking at the equivalent of fighting the Battle of Iwo Jima in the Gaza Strip. Only instead of a month long effort, this battle would likely endure for at least four months — perhaps longer. And Israel will suffer massive casualties. I believe the length of the battle hinges on two critical factors: 1) The ability of Hamas to get resupplied from Egypt with food, weapons and ammunition and 2) The skill and tenacity of Hamas in using anti-tank guided missiles and light artillery effective at short range.
If Hamas replicates the tactics Hezbollah employed against Israel in its 2006 incursion into Southern Lebanon then Israel’s chances of prevailing quickly are slim. Israel’s strategic position will be further complicated if Hezbollah decides to enter the fray in a significant way. Fighting a two front war over an extended period of time will sap Israeli resources. The problem this presents is that Israel’s traditional supplier of weapons and ammunition — the United States — is running on fumes having depleted its stores in order to support Ukraine. Let me give you some other urban combat battles that might provide some historical lessons for the campaign Israel is about to undertake — the Battle of Fallujah, the Battle of Hue City, the Nazi attack on the Jewish uprising in Warsaw. That should get the discussion going.
“..the final Jewish solution to remove the Arabs from the territory according to the Basic Law, ratified by the Israeli Supreme Court in 2021, which legalizes the takeover of Palestinian territory as a “natural” Jewish right.”
Between August 18 and September 1, the Soviet aircraft carrier Moskva passed through the Turkish Straits and into the Mediterranean, accompanied by two guided-missile destroyers. Over the next seven days the Soviet Navy gathered almost seventy surface ships – with uncounted submarines – and deployed between the Greek island of Crete and the point on the Libyan coastline where the Libyan and Egyptian border ran into the sea. That was fifty-four years ago in 1969. Ostensibly, the Soviet operation was to screen an amphibious troop landing exercise of Soviet, Egyptian and Syrian troops. In fact, the naval screen protected Libyan Army Captain Muammar Qaddafi and a dozen junior officer associates when, on September 1, 1969, they successfully toppled the regime of Libyan King Idris and ended US occupation and control of Libya through the Wheelus Air Force Base.
Can the Palestinian operation, Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, which Hamas forces commenced on Saturday morning, continue for long enough to engage the Arab state militaries, the Iranian, US and Russian forces, to turn into a new war of the worlds, as the US and NATO war against Russia is on the Ukrainian battlefield? Will the US force, including the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford and its five cruiser and destroyer escorts, screen Israel as it orders emergency resupply of US arms and ammunition? Will it attempt to blockade the Arab coast – Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Egypt – to prevent resupply convoys from Turkey or Iran aiding the Palestinians? “This is the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation and the last apartheid regime of earth,” the Hamas military commander, Mohammed Deif, has declared.
Is this the final Israeli war of “mighty vengeance”, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared, forcing all Palestinians in Gaza “to leave now”, and in the phrase of the spokesman of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), “end the Gaza enclave”? Is this the final Jewish solution to remove the Arabs from the territory according to the Basic Law, ratified by the Israeli Supreme Court in 2021, which legalizes the takeover of Palestinian territory as a “natural” Jewish right. “The State of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish People,” the constitution enacted in 2018 by the Knesset declares, “in which it realizes its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination. The exercise of the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People”; and “the State views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value, and shall act to encourage and promote its establishment and strengthening.” Is this race war — is it now the war of the worlds?
“I am sorry even for the deaths of individual Israeli soldiers, and more so for all the innocents who died and are now dying. But I will not condemn Hamas.”
There have been decades of photos of dead Palestinian women and children, and kids being beaten, humilated and imprisoned by Israeli soldiers. The historic killing rate in this “conflict” has been fairly consistent at about 40:1. None of this ever caused more than a raised eyebrow and a mild tut-tut from the western “liberal” Establishment. I can’t recall camera crews ever pursuing any zionist politicians down the street demanding that they use the word “condemn” of the latest Israeli atrocity. The paroxysm of hatred in the political and media class, unleashed by a single day of the boot being on the other foot is instructive. It is particularly instructive in their near complete unanimity – what percentage of the discussion on broadcast TV or radio have you heard this last 48 hours given over to Palestinian or pro-Palestinian voices?
Yet it is very plain from social media that the public is by no means as unanimous in their support of Israel as are the political and media class. But then the public are not bought and paid for. Asymmetric warfare tends to be vile. Oppressed and colonised peoples don’t have the luxury of lining up soldiers in neatly pressed uniforms and polished boots, to face off against the opposing army in an equality of arms. A colonised and oppressed people tends, given the chance, to mirror the atrocities perpetrated on them by their oppressor. This of course feeds in, always, to the propaganda of the Imperialist. A paroxysm of resistance by the oppressed always ends up portrayed by the Imperialist as evidence of the bestiality of the colonised people and in itself justifying the “civilising mission” of the coloniser.
Thus the “Indian Mutiny” became a Victorian tale of rape and murder of British women and of the Black Hole of Calcutta. Thus the Mau Mau were evil butchers, and the IRA were terrorists, which is the modern term of art for those resisting evil and foreign rule. The Israeli Ambassador to the UN yesterday described the Hamas fighters as “animal like”. This of course is not true. They are people, but people who have been crazed by unbearable levels of injustice and oppression. I am extremely sorry for all those who die, as in all wars. I am sorry even for the deaths of individual Israeli soldiers, and more so for all the innocents who died and are now dying. But I will not condemn Hamas.
For this I do not even need to delve into the backstory of Hamas’ initial sponsoring by Israel to split Fatah. They have grown well past that. I do not condemn Hamas because the resistance of the Palestinian people is a reflex response to their slow genocide. Yes it is an inchoate and violent response. Of course I wish it did not have innocent victims. The people I do condemn are the political class internationally who, with one voice, put out statements supporting “Israel’s right to self-defence”. A right they grant to the oppressor but deny to the oppressed. Those are the people who need to be condemned.
“..one anonymous official told the Post that the move would be wise because it “jams the far right”..
Top White House officials are considering whether to include more Ukraine funding in an emergency aid package for Israel, multiple news outlets reported. One staffer suggested the move would force “far right” lawmakers to authorize additional aid for Kiev. Though President Joe Biden already announced that military assistance was “on its way” to Israel following a surprise attack by Palestinian militants over the weekend, the White House has signaled that it would soon ask Congress to approve additional aid for the Jewish state. Lawmakers in both parties and senior administration officials have hinted that the aid package could also include provisions for Ukraine, unnamed sources told the Washington Post, NBC News and other outlets on Monday.
Though no final decision has been made, one anonymous official told the Post that the move would be wise because it “jams the far right”– referring to Republicans who vocally support Israel but are skeptical of continued aid to Ukraine. White House spokesman John Kirby, meanwhile, declined to say whether the two aid packages would be linked, only stating “We believe both are important.” While debate over the aid is likely to be contentious, the Pentagon has assured that it has plenty of weapons for all US partners. During a background briefing on Monday, a senior defense official told reporters that Washington could “continue our support both to Ukraine, Israel, and maintain our own global readiness,” noting that the US has been able to meet “every request that our Israeli counterparts have made.”
Israel is among the largest recipients of US foreign aid, taking in some $3.3 billion in American tax dollars in 2022 alone – a comparable amount to previous years – according to US government statistics. Since the conflict with Russia escalated in February 2022, Ukraine has also become a major beneficiary, with the White House approving at least $45 billion in direct military aid through 47 separate transfers. Both Republicans and Democrats have largely voiced support for Israel after the deadly Hamas attack early on Saturday morning, which has prompted harsh retaliation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and an intense bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip. More than 1,500 people have been killed on both sides of the conflict so far, while Palestinian fighters claim to have captured over 100 Israeli and foreign hostages during their raids.
Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have evacuated their homes due to the violent flare-up, while the IDF has called on 300,000 reservists as it mobilizes for a larger conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that his country was in a state of “war” as the attack unfolded, and said on Monday that the military response was “just getting started.”
“What was in the past will not be in the future.”
Israel will “never forgive” this weekend’s attack by Hamas and will take “a long time” to deal with the terrorist threat, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said on Monday. “It will take time. It will not take a few days. It will take a long time,” Cohen said during a video-link press conference from his office in Jerusalem, adding that such “inhuman terrorists” and “monsters” cannot be allowed to threaten Israel, the region and the world. Cohen called Hamas “the proxy of Iran” and accused the militant Palestinian group of carrying out “a historical massacre that the world will not forget.” According to Israeli authorities, more than 700 of their citizens have been killed since Saturday, when Hamas launched a rocket barrage against Israel and its militants crossed from Gaza into the surrounding Jewish settlements. “Israel will never forgive,” Cohen insisted. “What was in the past will not be in the future.”
Cohen also echoed the words of PM Benjamin Netanyahu that “Israel is at war” against Hamas, which he called a “vicious terror organization,” and vowed that Israel will “regain control, and win back security and stability.” The foreign minister claimed that Hamas only wants to “murder as much as they can” and that there was no land dispute between Israel and Gaza, because “we gave the Palestinians Gaza to the last millimeter.” As part of the 2005 “disengagement,” Israel paid some 8,000 Jewish settlers to dismantle 21 of their settlements in the Gaza Strip, which was then handed over to the Palestinian Authority. Israel remained in control of the sea, airspace, and all the utilities. In 2007, Hamas ousted the Fatah faction of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and became the de facto government in the territory. The UN still considers Gaza to be under Israeli military occupation.
“Russia considers a two-state solution, as outlined in resolutions by the UN Security Council, to be the only viable way towards stability, but neither Israel nor Washington appear committed to it, Lavrov noted.”
Moscow is deeply concerned at last weekend’s surge in violence between Israel and the Palestinian militant movement Hamas, but finds the US approach to the crisis problematic, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. Washington’s position is questionable “because they say: stop it all immediately, Israel must win, destroy the terrorists, and that’s it,” the top diplomat said on Monday. There were many escalations in this long-running conflict, “and never after the situation calmed down were the necessary efforts to remove the main cause undermining stability in the Middle East undertaken,” he added, referring to the fact that Palestinians don’t have a nation state. Russia considers a two-state solution, as outlined in resolutions by the UN Security Council, to be the only viable way towards stability, but neither Israel nor Washington appear committed to it, Lavrov noted.
Quashing extremism without creating a viable Palestinian state cannot bring peace, he said. Instead “the Americans are trying to monopolize mediation efforts” and focus attention on security problems, which are genuine, and discussions of how daily conditions may be improved for Palestinians, according to the Russian minister. Lavrov reiterated that Russia considered violence directed at civilians unacceptable, regardless of which side perpetrated it. He condemned the practice of taking hostages, as Hamas fighters had during their incursion from Gaza into southern Israel on Saturday. Of particular concern for Moscow is the threat that Russian citizens living in Israel face amid the escalation, the diplomat added, offering assistance to those who may seek evacuation from the country.
The minister made the remarks during a joint press conference in Moscow with Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit. He said the organization has recently achieved progress in reducing tensions between various players in the Middle East and was in a position to play a “definitive role in the complex improvement of the regional situation,” including in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Moscow will back the League’s effort, Lavrov pledged. Washington has declared its full support for Israel in the hostilities with Hamas and sought to make members of the UN Security Council condemn the group during an emergency session on Sunday. Many Arab nations stated that Israel was at least partially responsible for the violence, due to its treatment of Palestinians. Consecutive Israeli governments have been expanding Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law. The Gaza enclave, the domain of Hamas, has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.
Washington can meet all of West Jerusalem’s requests for weapons, equipment and ammunition while continuing to support Kiev, a Pentagon spokeswoman told reporters on Monday. “We are able to continue our support both to Ukraine, Israel, and maintain our own global readiness,” a senior Defense Department official said in a background briefing. “While we are providing and will continue to provide a significant amount of support to Ukraine, we are careful about ensuring we can also respond to other crises and contingencies, support other partners and maintain our own military readiness and our ability to support others,” the official later added.
The US has been able to meet “every every request that our Israeli counterparts have made” and anticipate to see “continual delivery” on some of those requests, the official also said. While declining into specifics, the spokesperson said this does apply to ‘Iron Dome’ systems and other air defenses. The Pentagon is “working as fast as possible” to expedite the delivery of “critically needed” ammunition and equipment, as well as contacting military contractors to expedite pending Israeli orders. When reporters voiced concerns about how the US weapons might be used, the Pentagon official said there were “robust end-use monitoring practices and procedures” in place, and that the US was “in constant dialogue with the Israelis about their operational plans.”
US cargo planes have already begun landing in Israel, even as the government in West Jerusalem announced a “total siege” of Gaza in reprisal for Hamas incursions that began on Saturday. The conflict, which began on Saturday, is the bloodiest that Israel has seen since 1973. The Pentagon has described the deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean as “an unequivocal demonstration in deed and not only in words of US support for Israel’s defense.” The carrier is supposed to “serve as a deterrent signal to Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah, and any other proxy across the region who might be considering exploiting the current situation to escalate conflict,” the official said.
Too late to start tracking them now. That was the plan?!
The weapons Kiev’s Western backers have actively supplied to Ukraine have found their way to Hamas militants and are now “being actively used in Israel,”former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said in a Telegram post on Monday, adding that any future military hardware supplied to Kiev could end up on the black market as well. “It will only get worse from here,”Medvedev warned, predicting that the world should “expect missiles, tanks, and even planes from Kiev on the black market soon.” His words came amid rumors that Hamas militants that control the Gaza Strip had gotten their hands on some US-made weaponry before their attack on Israel over the weekend. No solid evidence confirming these claims has emerged so far.
However, an unverified video circulating online showed a Palestinian militant displaying assorted US-made pieces, including a standard-issue M136 anti-tank grenade launcher, while thanking Ukrainians for the weapons. According to Medvedev, “corrupt authorities” in Ukraine would not hesitate to trade everything they had received from their backers. “They would steal everything in sight,” the former president claimed, adding that the Western weapons sent to Ukraine would soon fuel conflicts in other parts of the world, just like the trove of weapons the Americans left in Afghanistan during their hasty withdrawal from the country in 2021. The aforementioned video has already sparked concerns in the US, with Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene saying on Sunday that its origins must be investigated.
The congresswoman also claimed on X, formerly known as Twitter, that some of the arms used by the militants might have come from Ukraine or Afghanistan. Washington has been Kiev’s biggest supplier of military aid since the onset of its conflict with Moscow. The US has poured a total of $46.6 billion into military assistance to Ukraine, including direct weapons and ammunition shipments, as well as grants and loans for weapons and equipment. Kiev has repeatedly faced accusations of misusing or selling off the weaponry, which it has vehemently denied. On Monday, the Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) blamed the rumors about weapons supposedly coming from Ukraine to Hamas on Russia.
Moscow was allegedly waging a “discreditation” campaign against Ukraine in the Middle East, GUR claimed in a Facebook post, adding that the weapons that ended up in the hands of Hamas were “trophy weapons” captured by Russian forces from Ukrainian troops. Russia has not commented on these claims so far. The news came amid the latest escalation between Hamas and Israel, which began last Saturday when the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack on multiple locations along the Gaza border. Israeli officials have estimated that more than 700 people have been killed in the Hamas assault and over 2,200 have been injured.
“..no matter where it comes from—from any point of the world ocean or from any territory—such a number, so many hundreds of our missiles appear in the air in a retaliatory strike that there is no chance of survival..”
“Russia won’t be the first to resume testing of nuclear weapons. But if the United States were to go down that path, then Russia would respond immediately..”
“If the United States were to resume a nuclear arms race by returning to nuclear testing, Russia would begin such a race with an insurmountable lead in nuclear delivery systems. Game, set, match—Russia.”
In the audience at the Valdai Discussion Club was Sergei Karaganov, a well-known Russian political scientist who, in an article titled “A Difficult but Necessary Decision,” published on June 13, 2023, in the journal Russia in Global Affairs, articulated in favor of Russia moving away from a nuclear posture based upon assured nuclear retaliation to one that favored pre-emption. “We will have to make nuclear deterrence a convincing argument again,” Karaganov wrote, “by lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons set unacceptably high, and by rapidly but prudently moving up the deterrence-escalation ladder.” According to Karaganov, “If we correctly build a strategy of intimidation and deterrence and even use of nuclear weapons, the risk of a ‘retaliatory’ nuclear or any other strike on our territory can be reduced to an absolute minimum.
Only a madman,” Karaganov argued, “who, above all, hates America, will have the guts to strike back in ‘defense’ of Europeans, thus putting his own country at risk and sacrificing conditional Boston for conditional Poznan.” If such a madman did, in fact exist, then, Karaganov noted, “we will have to hit a bunch of targets in a number of countries in order to bring those who have lost their mind to reason. Morally, this is a terrible choice as we will use God’s weapon, thus dooming ourselves to grave spiritual losses. But if we do not do this, not only Russia can die, but most likely the entire human civilization will cease to exist.” President Putin, using the prerogative that is accrued through his position, called on Karaganov to ask a question. This was no accident, given the outcry that had followed the publication of Karaganov’s article, which led to much speculation that Putin was considering adopting a nuclear posture along the lines proposed by Karaganov.
The Russan academic did not disappoint, asking the Russian President whether it was not time for Russia to change its approach to nuclear arms and restore its deterrent strength in the eyes of Western elites who repeat endlessly that Russia is weak. It was a trap. “I have read your article,” Putin responded, before laying out a detailed answer that made it clear to all who listened that the Russian president did not agree with Karaganov’s thesis. “From the moment the launch of missiles is detected,” Putin said, “no matter where it comes from—from any point of the world ocean or from any territory—such a number, so many hundreds of our missiles appear in the air in a retaliatory strike that there is no chance of survival there will be no single enemy left, and in several directions at once.” Putin urged America to understand that any threats against Russia are “absolutely unacceptable for any potential aggressor.”In short, President Putin was reinvigorating the Cold War-era nuclear posture of mutually assured destruction as Russia’s go-to nuclear doctrine.
Moreover, Putin noted, Russia would launch a nuclear attack against any country or countries that threaten its continued existence as a sovereign state, regardless of whether the threat posed is by nuclear arms or conventional arms. Since there is no such existential threat to Russia today, the Russian President concluded, there is no reason to threaten the use of nuclear arms. However, Putin said, there was one aspect of Russian nuclear policy that could, and indeed should, be changed—Russia’s ratification of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The United States, Putin noted, had signed the treaty, but had never ratified it. Given Russia’s modernization of its nuclear arsenal, which included, in addition to the Burevestnik cruise missile, the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, the Poseidon nuclear torpedo, and hypersonic delivery vehicles, many in the Russian military were demanding that Russia resume nuclear testing to be sure that the new cutting-edge strategic weapons systems that constitute the heart of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces perform as intended.
Putin observed that this very same question had been discussed in the United States by its military officials, who were, de jure, unrestrained by a treaty that had not been ratified, and as such never entered into force. Thus, the big news out of the Valdai Discussion Club isn’t a new Russian missile or nuclear posture. The big news is that the Russian president will be sending a bill to the Russian Duma that would revoke Russia’s ratification of the test ban treaty. Russia won’t be the first to resume testing of nuclear weapons. But if the United States were to go down that path, then Russia would respond immediately. The important point here is that any US testing would be done in support of either legacy nuclear weapons that are in dire need of being replaced, or future nuclear weapons which have yet to be developed and fielded.
Russia, as Putin underscored, has already modernized its nuclear force. If the United States were to resume a nuclear arms race by returning to nuclear testing, Russia would begin such a race with an insurmountable lead in nuclear delivery systems. Game, set, match—Russia.
“..in an era where figures on all sides of the ideological spectrum have found success running against establishment politics..”
The unorthodox political figure declared he is running as an independent candidate Monday morning in a speech that called for national renewal via a rejection of America’s political order. “We declare independence from the two political parties and the corrupt interests that dominate them and the entire rigged system… that have turned government officials into indentured servants for their corporate bosses.” It’s a statement that could have come from Bernie Sanders or, if not for the vaguely anti-capitalist rhetoric, perhaps Donald Trump. But in an era where figures on all sides of the ideological spectrum have found success running against establishment politics, it instead came from activist and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Kennedy has made his name in public life as a highly idiosyncratic figure. After a brief stint as an assistant district attorney in New York City, he drifted towards environmental activism. Followers of online anti-vaccine discourse may know him for his prominent activism around that issue, which critics say trends towards conspiracy theory. On Monday, the heir to the influential Kennedy political brand cast himself as a champion of those estranged from US politics over a wide array of issues. “Most of us agree that we should take care of our veterans,” said Kennedy. “Most of us agree that we should seek peace abroad instead of war. We all agree that teachers should receive decent salaries and respect. We all agree that housing should be affordable and corporations should pay their fair share.”
“And yet these universal yearnings stand alongside a broad agreement that our country has lost its way.” Kennedy seems to believe the political party of his father and uncle has lost its way as well. Since first announcing his presidential bid under the Democratic banner half a year ago, Kennedy registered as high as 20% in voter intention surveys for the party’s primary. But party figures, fearing his candidacy would weaken presumptive nominee President Joe Biden, strongly rejected him. Spurned by liberal media, Kennedy instead turned to independent online outlets, as well as Fox News. In the process Kennedy gained a following among political conservatives, to the extent that Republicans now seem most fearful of the candidate’s spoiler potential.
That concludes the investigation?!
Unlike in Trump’s case, there are zero legal reasons why Biden would have classified docs at home. Pretty simple.
It takes impressive legal gymnastics to accuse a president and leave a vice-president alone for the same thing.
sUS President Joe Biden met with federal investigators multiple times in recent days, as the Justice Department seeks to determine how classified documents wound up in Biden’s home and personal office without proper approval. The president sat down with special counsel Robert Hur to discuss the documents case on Sunday and Monday, the White House confirmed, noting that the interviews had “concluded” and were strictly “voluntary.” “As we have said from the beginning, the president and the White House are cooperating with this investigation, and as it has been appropriate, we have provided relevant updates publicly,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement, vowing to be “as transparent as we can” while preserving “the integrity of the investigation.”
The Justice Department launched the documents probe last November, after the president’s lawyers reported that a trove of secret files had been found in one of Biden’s private offices. Additional material was later turned up at Biden’s Delaware home, and in January Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hur to lead an investigation into “the possible unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents.” Hur has reportedly questioned Biden’s “closest aides and advisers” as part of a “quiet inquiry” over the last nine months, including top officials such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, according to the New York Times.
Investigators have worked to determine the chain of custody for the sensitive documents, and whether Biden’s team “adhered to security protocols in handling and packing up official documents and private notes from his vice presidency,” the outlet added. Until Monday, it was unclear whether the president would submit for an in-person interview, with the White House declining to comment on the matter previously. Hur’s team has similarly offered few details about the investigation to the public. The Biden probe coincided with another major classified documents case involving former President Donald Trump, who was indicted on 37 felony counts linked to the alleged mishandling of secret files in June. Federal agents previously raided the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and turned up a large number of classified papers, though Trump maintains he was authorized to possess the documents and denies any wrongdoing.
“The Bidens had only one family business. They did not make furniture or sell groceries. They sold influence and, as Biden associate Devon Archer explained, Joe was their “brand.”
There is a sharp disconnect between the public persona long maintained by the press and what is becoming more apparent to the public now. Although the image of a “unifier-in-chief” quickly collapsed, the most lasting portrayal is that Joe Biden cares. Unlike Trump, he is portrayed as acting not out of greed, but an overwhelming desire to do good. In a typical article, a contributor to Forbes gushed about “How Empathy Defines Joe Biden.” The article explained that “Biden feels empathetic because that is who he is.” That is not the image that emerges from the growing evidence about Biden and his family. The Bidens are suffering from legal exposure in actions concerning everything from withholding child support to peddling influence to federal felonies.
The investigations and inquiries often turn on questions of intent for actions taken by Biden family members, including the president himself. The motive is often all too apparent. Hunter Biden left a long trail of emails and texts seeking millions in exchange for access to his father. He is shown in messages invoking his father’s power, threatening foreign figures to send him money. In one message, he allegedly makes a demand for an immediate transfer of cash from a Chinese businessman by saying that his father is sitting next to him to make sure the payment comes through. Hunter Biden was burning through a fortune on drugs, prostitutes and high living. There were many eager to have the son of the vice president dependent on their largesse. While Hunter is often portrayed as a human wreck, salvaged by influence-seekers, his uncles generated their own controversies.
James has been a well-known figure among alleged influence peddlers for years in cashing in on access to his brother, Joe. Joe’s younger brother, Frank, has also been long identified as involved in the family influence peddling. Like Hunter, Frank appears to have been in dire financial straits due to his careening lifestyle and lack of any appreciable skills. Frank’s need for money was not only great but known to his brother. In 1999, at age 43, Frank was involved in a car crash in Cardiff-by-the-Sea near Encinitas, California. He was accused of responsibility for the death of single father Michael Albano and then of evading service and responsibility in lawsuits by Albano’s surviving children. He only recently began paying what he owes. [..] The Bidens had only one family business. They did not make furniture or sell groceries. They sold influence and, as Biden associate Devon Archer explained, Joe was their “brand.” As these investigations and prosecutions continue, the public may conclude that it is not empathy but avarice that defines the Bidens.
“Reality is finally asserting its rugged old self to say that our country is as broke as broke can be..”
I’m confident that Congress will sort out this new Speaker business in short order, now that the world appears to light up. But what of its current projects? For instance, the inquiry into the darkish business ventures of the Biden Family, Inc., and what to do about it? That look-see is tending toward a picture that shows an appalling connection between the Bidens’ lustful chasing of global main chances and the horrifying demolition of Ukraine currently ongoing. If it’s not already obvious to a majority of USA adults that “Joe Biden,” the cats-paw in the White House, must go, it will be in a matter of weeks as the bank records step into the spotlight and speak for themselves.
Are you ready for President Kamala and government-by-word-salad? E.g.: “It’s very important, as you’ve heard from so many incredible leaders, for us at every moment in time, and certainly this one, to seize the moment of time in which we exist, in our present, and be able to contextualize it, understand where we exist in history and in the moment as it relates not only to the past but the future,” she said. Doctoral dissertations will be penned explicating that mouthful for years to come (where and whenever those years might be located on time’s mystifying spectrum).
As for Congress and its grim duties, there is also the matter of the current laughable budget resolution running out again just before Thanksgiving. Work to do! The USA is in such a desperate debt and bond issuance dilemma that it’s like a trapped wild animal faced with having to chew off its own leg to escape death. And the cause of that dilemma is our legislature’s failure to control the nation’s spending. As America’s Venerable Bede, Sen. Everett Dirksen (d. 1969) used to say: “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” Well, that game is drawing to a close. Reality is finally asserting its rugged old self to say that our country is as broke as broke can be and there has to be a painful adjustment. It will be presented as a Hobson’s choice: you can have no money… or you can have plenty of money that’s worthless. What’s it gonna be?
I’d guess that the new Speaker will have to be Mr. Jordan of Ohio, because at this time Congress badly needs to be led by someone who at least appears to be muscular and confident. One has to wonder, though, that even muscles and confidence might not be enough in the current situation — that moment of time in which we exist, as the Veep put it so well. And yet, so many things are happening at once that it feels like someone up there is monkeying with time itself. Or perhaps a giant blob has gummed up its wheels. But, really, I must ask: are you not a little tired of being a country that doesn’t know what it’s doing?
“Most of us have small, sad places in our hearts. My father felt deeply but kept his feelings to himself. Or rather, being a writer, he let them escape in his writing. And so such sadnesses as there were put on cap and bells and emerged as Eeyore.”~C.R.Milne
1 in every family
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