Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1906
The Daily Show aired this segment on the Israel-Palestine conflict NINE years ago. pic.twitter.com/TfqI2qjp7w
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) October 11, 2023
They’ve been telling you right in front of your face, did you pay attention?
This was aired on Fox, and yes this actually happened pic.twitter.com/Hmxq1q9I7B
— The Punisher (@PunishDem1776) October 12, 2023
“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation.” George Orwell, 1984
“..there comes a point when you have so much information and data bits and everything like this that you don’t have a clear picture..”
The Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah may raise the stakes in the Israel-Hamas war by getting directly involved in the conflict. Over the past few days, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hezbollah fighters have been exchanging strikes across Lebanon’s southern border. The clashes came after Hamas’ surprise attack on Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip on October 7 and Tel Aviv’s retaliation. The question is whether the Shiite militants will resort to a direct military intervention in Israel in a show of solidarity with Hamas. “There has been some direct military intervention,” former British diplomat and MI6 agent Alastair Crooke told Sputnik. “Hezbollah, a few days ago, two or three days ago, destroyed three Israeli radar base posts. These were in the Shebaa Farms area, which is recognized as Lebanese territory, but is occupied by Israel.”
“There was an Israeli response, and now we’ve moved to a response by Hezbollah that ended up with firing on military bases inside Israel. And with the reaction of Israel to killing three of the Hezbollah cadres. And Hezbollah says they will react to that and they will respond by killing three Israelis. I mean, it’s very reminiscent for me of what started the 2006 war. If you recall, it was Hezbollah taking two soldiers, they slipped across the border and took two Israelis hostage in reaction for what Israel was doing in Lebanon at that point. So, it’s quite sort of similar. Hezbollah said it very clearly. Hassan Nasrallah has said ‘If Israel goes into Gaza militarily, then we will open a front, the next front.’ Most people, including I interpret that as quite a clear red line.”
Hezbollah is both a political party and militant group that was formed in 1982, during the 15-year Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), and earned the name “state-within-a-state” due to its sophisticated security apparatus, well-trained fighters, and political organization. Since its inception, Hezbollah has been involved in a continuous fight against Israel over what it called the “occupation” of Palestine. In 2006, the month-long Israel-Hezbollah war erupted, precipitated by the Lebanese militant group’s cross-border raid on an Israeli military patrol on July 12, 2006. A UN-brokered ceasefire was agreed by the warring parties on August 14, 2006, while on September 8, 2006, Israel lifted its naval blockade of Lebanon. Per Crooke, the IDF was outperformed by Hezbollah at the time.
“In 2006, [the IDF] lost the war and Hezbollah had the technological advantage over them,” the ex-MI6 agent said. “They were intercepting the Israeli military communications. They were intercepting deciphered messages coming to from Tel Aviv to Beirut. They had the security, Hezbollah’s operational practices. It was a defeat [for Israel] and the army was not very impressive. There were times when they didn’t even manage to provide for the reserves that arrived – there was no food, and there was no transport for them. It was a bit like this last weekend. It was pretty chaotic. And look what we saw [this past weekend]. Again, a former senior military officer in Israel said, ‘Look, this time, the command and control structure of the army just collapsed, when Hamas broke through the Erez crossing, it just collapsed and there were no troops, and there was no ability to respond at all.’ They just saw an implosion. So, it’s not really that great.”
Furthermore, the Israeli intelligence failure to proactively thwart the Hamas attack suggests the erosion of intelligence capabilities and understanding of the situation on the ground, according to Crooke. It appears that despite Tel Aviv and Washington’s top notch technology, the nations’ spies failed to correctly interpret the massive volumes of intelligence data. Crooke explained that the shift over to artificial intelligence (AI) as a means of intelligence gathering “has not been very successful, neither in Ukraine for the Americans and for NATO and computer modeling efforts.” “Nor has it for the Israelis, because there comes a point when you have so much information and data bits and everything like this that you don’t have a clear picture,” the former British intelligence operative emphasized.
To understand how people are thinking one needs “emotional intelligence” and some sort of empathy, and not just the AI-collected data, according to him. “I saw this in the past,” Crooke said. “The West is finding it harder and harder to understand, to empathize with other, if you like, civilizations, whether it’s Russian or Iranian. They reduce it to a sort of instrumentalism that they can do it, and think if they collect enough data points, they will understand how Russia thinks and how Iran thinks. And of course, they don’t get into the mindset. They don’t get into the way of thinking, which is quite different. Even the language is quite different. And the capabilities of AI to understand symbolic meaning, and let alone some of the sort of esoteric elements of Islamic meaning – it just depends on who’s writing the AI. But for sure, it will be someone who’s lived all their life in the Western sphere and finds this all a mystery.”
“[He] is finished. He is a walking dead man. He will stay in office only until the shooting stops . . . maybe another month or two.”
Benjamin Netanyahu “is finished,” as his decision to allow a group of Orthodox settlers to celebrate Sukkot in the West Bank last week was ill-timed, given the growing tensions between Jews and Palestinians in the region, an Israeli source told Seymour Hersh. On October 6 a group of Jewish settlers were reported to have clashed with local Palestinians in Huwara, a village in the northern part of the West Bank, which resulted in the death of a 19-year-old Arab man. Israeli settlers in the West Bank required “extraordinary protection” over the upsurge in violence. So, Netanyahu gave a nod to local Israeli military authorities to order two of the three Army battalions that controlled the border with Gaza to shift their focus to the Sukkot festival. Given that each battalion comprised about 800 soldiers, 1,600 were sent to shield the Orthodox Jews.
“That left only eight hundred soldiers to be responsible for guarding the 51-kilometer border between the Gaza Strip and southern Israel,” Hersh’s interlocutor said. “That meant the Israeli citizens in the south were left without an Israeli military presence for ten to twelve hours. They were left to fend for themselves.” Thus, unsurprisingly, the diminished IDF contingent was overrun by Hamas militants on October 7, while Israeli civilians were left unprotected. Hersh’s sources called the Saturday attack “the great military failure in Israeli history.” He noted that a previous surprise attack on Israel by Egypt and Syria in 1973 claimed the lives of soldiers, while this time peaceful civilians suffered. “Last Saturday twenty-two settlements in the south were under control of Hamas for hours, and they went house to house slaughtering women and children,” the insider said.
The source believes that this failure means the end of Netanyahu’s political career: “[He] is finished. He is a walking dead man. He will stay in office only until the shooting stops . . . maybe another month or two.” But not just for Saturday’s slaughter: the root of the problem named Hamas goes much deeper, per Hersh’s interlocutor. To begin with, Benjamin Netanyahu “was always opposed to the 1993 Oslo Accords,” the insider said. The agreement envisaged the gradual implementation of the so-called “two-state solution” for Israel and Palestine. It was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) negotiator Mahmoud Abbas in September 1993. Under the agreements, Tel Aviv accepted the PLO as the representative of the Palestinians, and the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace.
The document stipulated the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which would assume governing responsibilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At the time, Netanyahu was out of office: he served as a prime minister between 1996 and 1999 and won the Israeli prime ministership for the second time in 2009. When Bibi returned to office in 2009, he “chose to support Hamas” as an alternative to the Palestinian Authority, “and gave them money and established them in Gaza,” according to the insider. Furthermore, an arrangement with Qatar was made under which hundreds of millions of dollars were directed to the Hamas leadership with Israeli approval, per the source.
“In the drive towards a multipolar world, [..] there’s simply no place for an ethnocentric Apartheid state fond of collective punishment..”
=Only one year ago, the sweaty sweatshirt comedian in Kiev was talking about turning Ukraine into a “big Israel,” and was duly applauded by a bunch of Atlantic Council bots. Well, it turned out quite differently. As an old-school Deep State source just informed me: “Ukraine-earmarked weapons are ending up in the hands of the Palestinians. The question is which country is paying for it. Iran just made a deal with the US for six billion dollars and it is unlikely Iran would jeopardize that. I have a source who gave me the name of the country but I cannot reveal it. The fact is that Ukrainian weapons are going to the Gaza Strip and they are being paid for but not by Iran.” After its stunning raid last weekend, a savvy Hamas has already secured more negotiating leverage than Palestinians have wielded in decades.
Significantly, while peace talks are supported by China, Russia, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt – Tel Aviv refuses. Netanyahu is obsessed with razing Gaza to the ground, but if that happens, a wider regional war is nearly inevitable. Lebanon’s Hezbollah – a staunch Resistance Axis ally of the Palestinian resistance – would rather not be dragged into a war that can be devastating on its side of the border, but that could change if Israel perpetrates a de facto Gaza genocide. Hezbollah holds at least 100,000 ballistic missiles and rockets, from Katyusha (range: 40 km) to Fajr-5 (75 km), Khaibar-1 (100 km), Zelzal 2 (210 km), Fateh-110 (300 km), and Scud B-C (500 km). Tel Aviv knows what that means, and shudders at the frequent warnings by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that its next war with Israel will be conducted inside that country.
Which brings us to Iran. The key immediate consequence of Al-Aqsa Flood is that the Washington neocon wet dream of “normalization” between Israel and the Arab world will simply vanish if this turns into a Long War. Large swathes of the Arab world in fact are already normalizing their ties with Tehran – and not only inside the newly expanded BRICS 11. In the drive towards a multipolar world, represented by BRICS 11, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), among other groundbreaking Eurasian and Global South institutions, there’s simply no place for an ethnocentric Apartheid state fond of collective punishment.
Just this year, Israel found itself disinvited from the African Union summit. An Israeli delegation showed up anyway, and was unceremoniously ejected from the big hall, a visual that went viral. At the UN plenary sessions last month, a lone Israeli diplomat sought to disrupt Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi’s speech. No western ally stood by his side, and he too, was ejected from the premises. As Chinese President Xi Jinping diplomatically put it in December 2022, Beijing “firmly supports the establishment of an independent state of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. China supports Palestine in becoming a full member of the United Nations.”
Tehran’s strategy is way more ambitious – offering strategic advice to West Asian resistance movements from the Levant to the Persian Gulf: Hezbollah, Ansarallah, Hashd al-Shaabi, Kataib Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and countless others. It’s as if they are all part of a new Grand Chessboard de facto supervised by Grandmaster Iran. The pieces in the chessboard were carefully positioned by none other than the late Quds Force Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps General Qassem Soleimani, a once-in-a-lifetime military genius. He was instrumental in creating the foundations for the cumulative successes of Iranian allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Palestine, as well as creating the conditions for a complex operation such as Al-Aqsa Flood.
“..Hamas’ attack “destroyed the myths around Israel’s defense systems” and achieved for Hamas a more important moral victory than the military success of the attack..”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zakharova asked: “How did it happen that in a year; that’s how much time the operation was being prepared for, then carried out now in a few days, the United States as Israel’s closest ally did not warn about this? They have satellites everywhere, appropriate tracking devices, military bases, including in the region. There are all the possibilities to carry out, not just monitoring, but surveillance — the facts speak for themselves — of all information circulating on American-made equipment (hardware and software). For the whole year of preparing such a large-scale operation, the United States with all the power of its special services did not transmit anything to Israel as intelligence…How did it happen that during the whole year of preparation of the corresponding operation in the Middle East, the United States did not transmit any information to its partners in Israel?”
Moscow security affairs analyst Yevgeny Krutikov says the huge amount of weapons used in Hamas’ attack “could not fall from the sky. How did they get there (Gaza)?” The publication Vzglyad, a platform for Russian military thinking, published an article that concluded that Hamas’ attack “destroyed the myths around Israel’s defense systems” and achieved for Hamas a more important moral victory than the military success of the attack. Israel’s support for Ukraine against Russia has caused the Kremlin to rethink its relationship with Israel. Vzglyad reported that the Israeli government has become Russia’s adversary: “The time has come to take a new position on the Palestinian issue . . . to take a more pro-Palestinian position in the Middle East Conflict. To stand on the side of those who help Russia within the framework of their own interests (Iran, Saudi Arabia) against those who help our enemies. And thereby to send a very clear signal to the world – a signal that Russia will treat its partners exactly as they treat it. To help supporters – and not to act in the interests of opponents.”
It is possible that Israel’s military has been corrupted by too much American money, has been getting by on past successes, and has underestimated the Arabs. Washington is no longer the uni-power in the Middle East. The Russians, Turks, Syrians, Iranians, Saudis, and Hezbollah in Lebanon could all go to the aid of Palestine. Hezbollah alone has twice defeated Israeli invasions of Lebanon. Netanyahu’s invasion of Gaza could put Israel’s existence in jeopardy. In other words, Netanyahu’s plan to complete the conquest of Palestine could result in Israel’s destruction. On the other hand, the enmity among Muslims could again result in Muslim impotence and Israel’s success. My initial view was that Hamas’ attack would result in the disappearance of Palestine and no one would interfere. Now I am unsure. Netanyahu could be setting off a wider conflict from which Israel would not emerge a victor and Washington would have to choose between accepting defeat and using nuclear weapons.
“..Netanyahu “wants to open up the war with Lebanon, by attacking Hezbollah” in pursuit of his ultimate objective, “to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities..”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like Washington directly involved in the conflict with Hamas because he hopes to expand the war to Lebanon and Iran, a former senior security policy analyst at the US Department of Defense, Michael Maloof, told RT on Wednesday. On Monday, the US ordered the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford and five guided missile destroyers to the Eastern Mediterranean. According to Maloof, this “meets Netanyahu’s wildest dreams.” “He wanted the US involved in this conflict,” the former Pentagon official told RT. Netanyahu “wants to open up the war with Lebanon, by attacking Hezbollah” in pursuit of his ultimate objective, “to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities,” Maloof added. For that to happen, “he has to have a Gulf of Tonkin moment, if you will.”
Maloof recalled how US President Lyndon Johnson essentially started the Vietnam War by sending ships to the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964. An alleged North Vietnamese attack on two US destroyers was then used as a pretext for direct involvement. The US has also pledged to help Israel with deliveries of weapons and ammunition, with the Pentagon insisting it has enough to do so and continue supplying Ukraine. Maloof is skeptical of that assertion, however. He also told RT it was “not surprising” that some of the weapons Washington had sent Kiev ended up in the hands of Hamas. That accusation was first made by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Ukraine’s military intelligence, the GUR, responded on Monday by accusing Russia of sending captured Western weapons to Hamas militants in a “false flag” operation designed to make Kiev look bad to its backers. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the weapons claim, but rejected the Ukrainian insinuations of Russian involvement in the Hamas attack as “complete nonsense.”
“There are no intentions, no plans to put American troops on the ground in combat.”
No American troops will be deployed to Israel, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House on Thursday. The US will continue to supply the Israel Defense Forces in their fight against Hamas, however. “We have national security interests throughout the region,”Kirby said at the daily press briefing, referring to the deployment of a carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean, but quashed any rumors of airborne troops or Marines being sent to Israel. “The Israelis have made it very clear that they don’t want foreign troops on their soil, that they want to prosecute these operations on their own and they have every right to want to do that,” Kirby said. “There are no intentions, no plans to put American troops on the ground in combat.”
The US already has “some experts” providing West Jerusalem with “advice and counsel” on how to free hostages taken by Hamas, and maintains a “terrific information and intelligence-sharing relationship” with Israel, as well as “a strong defense relationship, when it comes to providing weapons and munitions,” Kirby added. The IDF is “small but very capable”and the US is “doing everything we can to improve those capabilities,” he added. Earlier in the day, IDF chief of staff General Herzi Halevi said that the military “failed” to protect Israel and its people on Saturday, and that there would be a reckoning once the war against Hamas was over.
The Palestinian group that controls much of Gaza struck on the anniversary of the 1973 war, launching thousands of rockets into Israel and sending more than 1,000 militants to breach the border fence in an operation dubbed ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’. Hamas fighters stormed 22 towns, villages, and settlements, as well as a music festival being held near Gaza. Israel responded by launching airstrikes against Gaza, while deploying tanks and artillery to the southern border. So far, around 1,200 people have been killed in Israel and at least 1,100 in Gaza, according to local officials.
Message from the arms industry.
Washington needs to urgently update and expand both its nuclear arsenal and the conventional military in order to face the combined might of Moscow and Beijing, the congressional Strategic Posture Commission argued in its final report published on Thursday. “The United States and its allies must be ready to deter and defeat both adversaries simultaneously,” the commission said. “The US-led international order and the values it upholds are at risk from the Chinese and Russian authoritarian regimes.” While the commission has not identified any specific evidence of Russia and China working together, “we worry… there may be ultimate coordination between them in some way, which gets us to this two-war construct,” a senior official involved in the report told Reuters, on condition of anonymity.
The current US national security strategy calls for defeating one major adversary while deterring another. The commission argued that the combined threat from China and Russia will become acute as early as 2027 so “decisions need to be made now in order for the nation to be prepared.” The 131 findings and 81 recommendations in the report amount to the need for massive expansion of both the conventional armed forces and the Nuclear Triad. The report demands more of the B-21 stealth bombers and Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines. The B-21 is still in development and is expected to enter service by 2027 at the earliest. The first two Columbia-class subs are under construction and are expected in 2030. The US Navy has planned to order 12, to replace the 18 Ohio-class boats currently in service.
“Amid all of the Commission’s recommendations to increase the number of strategic and tactical nuclear systems, there is almost no mention of cost in the entire report,” which “does not seem to acknowledge any limits to defense spending,” the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has said in response. At a press event announcing the report, the commission’s vice-chair, retired Republican Senator Jon Kyl, argued that higher military spending is a small price to “hopefully preclude” a possible nuclear war and that President Joe Biden and Congress need to “take the case to the American people” to spend more money.
According to FAS, however, the commission’s recommendations are “likely to exacerbate the arms race, further constrict the window for engaging with Russia and China on arms control, and redirect funding away from more proximate priorities.” The only reason the commission did not argue for an immediate expansion of the US nuclear stockpile “is that the weapons production complex currently does not have the capacity to do so,” FAS noted, adding that there is no need for a nuclear arms race so long as the US has enough submarines to present a credible deterrent to a first strike by an adversary.
“The rising centers of power do not want to put up with an aggressive Western dictate.”
The world is facing a “classic revolutionary situation” in the field of international relations, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, said on Thursday. An ever-increasing number of the “rising powers” around the world want more independence in their foreign policy and dislike the crumbling hegemony of the West, which it is desperately trying to preserve, he added. “The West, led by the US, can no longer ensure its dominance on a global scale,” Naryshkin told a meeting of intelligence chiefs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Baku. “The rising centers of power do not want to put up with an aggressive Western dictate.” In its efforts to maintain a unipolar world, the US deliberately tries to destabilize key world regions, he believes.
Washington and its allies in London and Paris do not hesitate when it comes to manipulating various destructive forces on the international arena to achieve these goals, he stated, adding that the list of such forces includes international terrorist groups, radical Islamists, and ultranationalist movements. According to Naryshkin, America’s efforts have disrupted the peace process in Syria and exacerbated the situation in Afghanistan. They have also recently turned their eyes towards Africa, where they have allegedly encouraged various militant factions to launch attacks against the infrastructure in Mali and the Central African Republic, the Russian spy chief said, citing what he called “reliable information” in his agency’s possession.
The West orchestrates “sabotage operations against African nations that are friendly to Russia,” Naryshkin claimed, adding that the group of the seven biggest developed economies known as the G7 also “actively work against Russia.” The West openly hosts and supports various “separatist terrorist structures calling for subversion of the Russian state order and violation of its territorial integrity,” the official said, naming the so-called ‘Free Nations of Post-Russia’ Forum among them. A loose association of various opposition activists, as well as ethnic and regional separatist movements, the forum openly advocates the disintegration of Russia under the slogans of “decolonization” and “de-occupation.” In March, it was designated an “undesirable organization” in Russia.
Three meetings of the forum have already been hosted, with two taking place in Poland and one in the Czech Republic. The fourth meeting is scheduled to be held in Sweden in December. “It is obvious to any sensible person that the manifestation of such … desires would have led to Eurasia plunging into a horrible ethnic and religious conflict,” Naryshkin said, calling it evidence of Washington’s intent to “set the Eurasian continent on fire.” The West is “playing with fire” and “the future of the world order is at stake,” he warned, calling on “more responsible global and regional actors” to join their forces and coordinate their efforts to prevent destabilization instigated by the West and lead the world towards a multipolar world order.
“Zelensky admitted that Ukraine is afraid of a possible shortage of financial resources and weapons. He added that Kiev has “many more fears” in the current situation.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent statement on Kiev entering a final stage of conflict with Moscow shows his hopelessness, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. “I think [of it] as an admission of hopelessness,” Lavrov told reporters, when asked about Zelenskyy’s statement. Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with a Romanian TV channel that the conflict in Ukraine is at its final stage. In addition, Zelensky admitted that Ukraine is afraid of a possible shortage of financial resources and weapons. He added that Kiev has “many more fears” in the current situation. In September, Lavrov said at a press conference after his speech at the UN General Assembly that Russia was ready for talks on Ukraine, but would not consider proposals for a ceasefire.
Borrell is headed for China, and he doesn’t come empty handed. No, he comes with criticism and demands. Which is the one thing you don’t do on such an occasion.
He also said: “It is time China started taking Europe more seriously..” Well, you just assured they won’t. You are the anti-diplomat.
China should do more to convince Kiev and its Western backers that it is not on Moscow’s side in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said ahead of a visit to the Asian superpower. He expressed doubt that neutrality on the issue is even possible. “Being neutral in such a case is just like watching on the sidelines as the fox enters the henhouse and waiting for the outcome,” he said in an interview with the South China Morning Post on Thursday. Beijing has criticized its ally, Moscow for using force, but agreed with Russian claims that NATO expansion in Europe was one of the main causes of the conflict. The EU has joined the US in describing Russia’s actions as “unprovoked aggression.” Moscow has said the conflict is part of a Western proxy war.
“China can certainly do more, including in its engagement on the peace formula put forward by Ukraine,” the commissioner added, stating that “a lot remains to be done to convince Ukraine that China is not on Russia’s side.” The ‘Zelensky formula’ that Borrell was referring to was put forward by Kiev and its backers as the only way to resolve the conflict. It demands that Russia concede defeat, pay reparations, and hand over alleged war criminals to an international tribunal. Beijing proposed its own roadmap to de-escalation last year, urging respect for the territorial integrity “of all countries” while addressing Russia’s national security concerns. Moscow has dismissed Kiev’s plan, saying it is “detached from reality,” while the Chinese proposal could serve as the basis for a long-term solution.
Borrell said his goal during the three-day visit is to affirm that “Europe takes China seriously and has no hidden agenda aiming at derailing its rise.” Brussels expects Beijing to take it seriously in return and to “stop looking at us through the lens of its relations with others.” He added that the “war in Ukraine has transformed us … from the position of an economic power to a geopolitical one, taking its strategic responsibilities very seriously.” The EU has decoupled its economy from Russia over the Ukraine conflict. The rejection of cheap Russian energy undercut the competitiveness of many businesses in member states, some of which relocated to other nations, including the US.
Senior EU officials have argued that the bloc needs to “de-risk” economic relations with China, specifically citing its non-alignment on Ukraine as a reason. “How China continues to interact with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war will be a determining factor for EU-China relations going forward,” European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen said in March. Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that Beijing is standing up “for its sovereignty, security and development interests,” when he hosted the EU official the following month.
And the US is trying to do them one better.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has said that nations in Europe were wrong to take in many people who are now supporting Hamas’ actions against Israel. Unless the militant group is punished for its hostage-taking, Europeans risk being targeted similarly, he warned. In an interview published on Wednesday, Mathias Dopfner, the CEO of German media group Axel Springer, asked the veteran statesman about “Arabs celebrating” in the streets of Berlin after Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel last week. Kissinger, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, said he found such gestures of support for criminal acts “painful.” “It was a grave mistake to let in so many people of totally different cultural and religious concepts because it creates a pressure group inside each country that does that,” he noted.
Asked what Germany and the EU should do in the current situation, Kissinger said he expected “unconditional” political support for Israel – as well as military suppor if needed. “There has to be some penalty; there has to be some serious limitation on their capability of taking this kind of action,” he said of Hamas tactics. “I would say that every European nation has the same interest because the same attitude might erupt in the direction of Europe,” he warned. Washington’s former top diplomat recalled peace talks that resolved the Yom Kippur War five decades ago, saying that Western nations and Israel were lucky to have an Arab leader “with a vision of the future” in Anwar Sadat, the former president of Egypt.
“I don’t think it is possible to find leaders among the Hamas group [with a similar vision],” he said, “I think Hamas should be excluded from a political role.” Pro-Palestinian rallies were held in multiple European cities amid the escalation in the Middle East. In Berlin, police broke down a spontaneous demonstration on Saturday, which was associated with the NGO Samidoun. The German law enforcement said the protesters posed an “immediate threat to public safety” due to “anti-Israel” chants “glorifying violence.” The German government was at the forefront of welcoming asylum-seekers during the 2015 influx, when some 1.3 million people arrived on the continent in just one year. Anti-migrant sentiments surged in many nations during the crisis, with some Eastern European members of the EU adopting policies to curb immigration.
Ep. 30 What's happening at the southern border isn’t just an invasion, but a crime. The politicians and NGOs responsible for it are criminals, who should be punished accordingly. pic.twitter.com/cbkTSUyogC
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) October 12, 2023
“I didn’t want to be dishonest, but I didn’t want them to know the truth.”
What would a second day of testimony in the FTX trial for Caroline Ellison have been without mentions of identity theft from Thai prostitutes and bribing Chinese officials? Taking the stand on Wednesday, Sam Bankman-Fried’s former love interest turned star government witness against him, Ellison, spoke about the balance sheet that led to the downfall of Bankman-Fried’s companies. Ellison stated that this balance sheet was a manipulated version of what Alameda had sent to its lenders, deliberately crafted to give the impression that the firm was in a more robust financial condition than was actually the case. She described the document as “deceptive.” Previously it had been reported that, at Bankman-Fried’s direction, Ellison had “prepared seven different versions of Alameda’s balance sheet to potentially show to lenders,” according to The Messenger.
However, even the manipulated figures were concerning—laden with FTX’s FTT token and other tokens closely affiliated with Bankman-Fried—casting doubt on the financial viability of both Alameda and FTX. Among potential lenders was Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Ellison testified Wednesday. She also lied to Genesis, one of FTX’s lenders, about Alameda’s balance sheet, @teddyschleifer reported on X Wednesday. “Caroline Ellison testified that Sam Bankman-Fried ordered her to lie in mid 2022 to Genesis, one of FTX’s lenders, about Alameda’s balance sheet,” he wrote. “Caroline prepared a bunch of bullshit balance-sheets that they could send, and Sam chose ‘Alternative 7’ as the best lie of the bunch.” Ellison reportedly said: “I didn’t want to be dishonest, but I didn’t want them to know the truth.”
Ellison testified on Wednesday: “I was in a constant state of dread. I knew we would have to take the money from our line of credit and that was money that could be called in at any time.” And where was the money going? Ellison testified that she and Alameda executives had “paid a large bribe to Chinese officials” to obtain funds that were locked on a Chinese exchange. After initial attempts to unfreeze funds by negotiating with the Chinese government through lawyers proved unsuccessful, Ellison stated that the FTX/Alameda team then endeavored—yet failed again—to access the funds by setting up fictitious exchange accounts using IDs that she believed belonged to “Thai prostitutes.”
Ultimately, Ellison was able to secure the funds after making a $100 million payment to a cryptocurrency account she believed was somehow connected to Chinese government officials. Ellison recounted an episode where an employee, whose father was a Chinese government official, voiced objections to the plan during a meeting. In response, Bankman-Fried became increasingly irritated and eventually told the employee to “shut the f*** up.” In a confidential “State of Alameda” memo authored by Ellison in November 2021, shortly after the payment was executed, she included an entry labeled “-150m from the thing?” under a section outlining “notable/idiosyncratic” financial events.
It’s a power game.
The CEO of X (formerly Twitter), Linda Yaccarino, has defended the platform’s response to a purported surge in disinformation and harmful content following Hamas’ attack on Israel in an open letter to EU internal markets commissioner Thierry Breton on Wednesday. The social media platform has “redistributed resources” and “refocused teams” to manage the flow of information regarding the conflict 24/7, Yaccarino explained, claiming that a dedicated “leadership group” had been assembled in the immediate aftermath of the Palestinian militants’ incursion to devise a platform-wide strategy. As a result, she said, tens of thousands of posts and other media related to the war had been removed since Saturday, while hundreds of accounts allegedly connected to terrorist groups, extremism, and violence had been deplatformed.
“There is no place on X for terrorist organization or violent extremist groups and we continue to remove such accounts in real time, including proactive efforts,” Yaccarino wrote. More than 700 Community Notes, the crowdsourced fact-checking platform owner Elon Musk has promoted as an alternative to establishment fact-checkers, are circulating regarding the conflict, she continued, revealing that the annotations are being published faster than ever before. Breton had warned Musk in an “urgent” open letter on Tuesday that X was facing a potential investigation and steep penalties under the EU’s new Digital Services Act if it did not immediately address the illegal content and disinformation purportedly running rampant on the platform regarding the Israel-Gaza conflict.
The billionaire was given 24 hours to respond to Breton’s demands, which included an order to reach out to law enforcement in order to “ensure [X] respond[s] promptly to their requests.” In her response, Yaccarino insisted that X was responding readily to requests from law enforcement, but that it had received none from Europol at the time of writing. While Breton had claimed that the EU had “indications” X was being used to spread both disinformation and illegal content, suggesting “qualified sources” had confirmed the platform was flouting EU regulations, he did not mention any specific violations in his letter. Musk repeatedly requested examples in a thread on X, but Breton demurred, claiming the Tesla CEO was “well aware” of complaints regarding “fake content and glorification of violence.”
X’s Safety division revealed earlier this week that the platform had seen an increase in daily active users in Israel and Palestine and was specifically targeting new Hamas-affiliated accounts for removal via a partnership with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. On Wednesday, Breton also reached out to threaten Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg with a similar “urgent” letter, warning the billionaire he had 24 hours to provide the bloc with a detailed description of how his platform was addressing the spread of disinformation and illegal content regarding the Israel-Hamas war.
“..Just as Bobby Kennedy sees a path to victory as an independent, so do the donors that were reluctant to contribute with him running as a Democrat..”
Within hours of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s announcement that he will run for president as an independent and not a Democrat, the super PAC supporting his candidacy raised more than $11 million. American Values 2024 disclosed on Oct. 10 that it has generated $11.28 million since Mr. Kennedy told an audience in front of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, “I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate for president of the United States.” Individual events have spurred bountiful fundraising for Mr. Kennedy. In September, a private fundraiser performance by musician Eric Clapton generated more than $2 million that was split between the campaign and American Values 2024.
The organization tallied about $6.47 million in July from a mix of donors who are registered Democrats and Republicans, according to American Values 2024. That number included about $5 million collected during Mr. Kennedy’s testimony in a hearing about censorship before the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Individuals can give as much as $3,300 to a political candidate’s campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission. Super political action committees (PACs) are allowed to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations, and individuals and “spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates,” according to OpenSecrets, an organization that tracks money in U.S. politics and its impact on elections and public policy.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) October 12, 2023
Unlike traditional PACs, super PACS may not contribute money directly to political candidates. Prominent Democratic Party donors like Abby Rockefeller have contributed to American Values 2024, but Republican donors have given a majority of the money the super PAC has received, including former President Donald Trump donor Tim Mellon, according to American Values 2024 reports. Tony Lyons, co-chair of American Values 2024, spoke to The Epoch Times about the influx of support. “People feel that the Democratic National Committee was disenfranchising them and that Bobby would not get the nomination based on the rules the DNC was putting into place and the inflammatory statements they have made about him time after time,” he said.
“They feel that their vote wouldn’t count, and that their donation wouldn’t be helpful because the primary would be rigged. Just as Bobby Kennedy sees a path to victory as an independent, so do the donors that were reluctant to contribute with him running as a Democrat,” Mr. Lyons explained. George Washington, America’s first president, is the only independent candidate to win election to the nation’s highest office. No independent candidate has won an electoral vote in the past 50 years. America, Mr. Kennedy believes, is ready for “a new page in American politics.”
..the Appalachian Mountains, the Atlas Mountains, the Scottish Highlands, the Watkins Range and Scandinavian Mountains were all once part of the same mountain range, the Central Pangean Mountains
Amazing art pic.twitter.com/8HQgZtNrj0
— Enezator (@Enezator) October 12, 2023
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