Henri Matisse Bathers by a River 1910
Time is The Fire In Which We Burn
This is an absolute MUST watch all the way through. It will blow your mind.
This is only for those who wish to truly be awakened. Red pill or blue pill?
It is 16 minutes that you won't regret.
Every word truth and enlightenment.
JFK: the starter
Trump: the finisher
— Joe Rambo (@BrainStorm_Joe) October 18, 2023
The Ottoman Empire disintegrated as a result of the Arab Revolt. Israel too will have to vacate its occupied territories and make space for a state of Palestine, which of course, will be a crushing defeat for the U.S. and marks the end of its global dominance.
From Alexander Aston: a side by side comparison of a Palestinian rocket strike and an Israeli bombing from the 2021 conflict.
Why not just worse than WWII, while you’re at it…
US President Joe Biden on Wednesday argued that the Hamas attack on Israel was worse than the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and vowed that America would “forever” stand with the Jewish state. At least 31 Americans were among “more than 1,300 innocent Israelis” killed by Hamas on October 7, Biden told the audience in Tel Aviv, from the music festival near the Gaza border to the nearby villages and kibbutzes. “Children slaughtered. Babies slaughtered. Entire families massacred. Rape, beheadings, bodies burned alive,” Biden recited, comparing Hamas to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and their atrocities to “pure unadulterated evil” that cannot be rationalized or excused.
“Since this terrorist attack took place, we have seen it described as Israel’s 9/11. But for a nation the size of Israel, it was like fifteen 9/11s,” Biden said. “The scale may be different, but I’m sure those horrors have tapped into some kind of primal feeling in Israel, just like it did and felt in the US.” The US leader urged Israelis to not get “consumed” by the “all-consuming rage” they surely feel, noting that the Americans were also enraged after 9/11, “and while we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes.” Biden noted that Hamas “does not represent the Palestinian people,” who are “suffering greatly as well.” The people of Gaza “need food, water, medicine, shelter,” and the US has asked Israel to agree to humanitarian deliveries from Egypt to the Palestinian territory – so long as they are inspected and do not go to Hamas.
The US has pledged $100 million in new humanitarian assistance to both Gaza and the West Bank, to support more than a million displaced and conflict-affected Palestinians, Biden announced. According to Biden, peace will only come with a “two-state solution” and the recent attacks have only strengthened his “commitment and determination” to get that done. “You are not alone. As long as the United States stands – and we will stand forever – we will not let you ever be alone,” Biden told the Israeli audience, concluding, “Israel will be a safe, secure, Jewish, and Democratic state today, tomorrow, and forever.”
“We are experiencing on the part of Israel and the US a total lack of judgment. The risks are being ignored. It is starting to look like the Armageddon that Revelation describes.”
The Biden regime refuses to defend US borders but does not hesitate to rush aircraft carrier task forces and the 101st US Airborne Division to defend Israel’s borders. “We have Israel’s back,” endlessly proclaims America’ Jewish Secretary of State. “America can afford two wars,” proclaims America’s Jewish Secretary of the Treasury. But forget protecting our own border and the burdens on American taxpayers. It seems our government is captured and risks our lives and welfare in the interest of another country. It seems everyone in Washington, Republicans and Democrats, especially Republicans, have intense war fever. While Washington quickly escalated the conflict by deploying US military forces to the area, the Republican Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, blames escalation on Iran and issues a threat: “if you escalate this war, we’re coming for you.” Graham continues with his threats, in our name, to Iran saying the US will “knock Iran out of the oil business.”
Like Israel and the Jewish-American neoconservatives, Graham’s target is the Lebanese militia, Hezbollah: “I am poised to use military force to destroy the source of funding for Hamas and Hezbollah.” Another House Republican, this one from Texas, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, says he is writing legislation for authority to commit the US military to Israel’s war on Palestine. What we are witnessing is Republicans who are as extreme as Hamas. Is this insanity real, or is this showmanship, with political campaign funding in mind, for the US military/security complex who will greatly benefit from America “affording two wars?” We are also witnessing the total failure of Western leadership, not only in Washington but throughout the Western world. Instead of escalating the situation by sending military forces, Washington should have used its offices to calm matters down. Why did not Washington calm the situation down instead of blowing it up?
Moon of Alabama speculates that the US forces accumulating in the war zone are a “war fleet,” the purpose of which is to finally bring regime change to Syria and kick out the Russians in an act of revenge for the Russians preventing President Obama’s planned overthrow of the Assad government. I can understand that the Biden regime’s neoconservatives want to continue their policy of cleansing the Middle East for Israeli expansion, but how safe is it to assume that Putin will run away with his tail between his legs? This would finish Putin as a leader of the dissident world and probably also finish him inside Russia. A show of Russian cowardice would certainly provoke an escalation of NATO’s involvement in Ukraine. It seems certain that a US attack on Syria would result in military conflict between the US and Russia.
The Israelis have been massacring Palestinians and stealing their country bit by bit since 1947, and no one has ever done anything about it. The UN passes resolutions, but the US vetoes them. So this final time Netanyahu expects no opposition, indeed, he expects help from the US and its empire in the commission of his war crimes. It is clear to me that the situation is awash in miscalculations. Hezbollah is a match for Israel. Indeed, the militia has twice defeated the vaunted Israeli Army and driven them out of Lebanon despite Israel’s air power. Syria’s army is battle hardened from fighting the mercenaries Washington sent to overthrow Assad. Like Hezbollah and Hamas, Iran has fervor and a large number of missiles that can hit Israel. If, as is claimed, 5,000 missiles from Hamas overwhelmed Israel’s Iron Dome, the Iron Dome has no chance against 100,000 or 200,000 missiles.
If Israel’s army is sent into Gaza, Hamas will keep it there, and Israel risks being overrun by Hezbollah, Syria, and Iraq and Iran should they care to participate. Faced with Israel’s defeat, Washington would commit its forces with catastrophic consequences. We are experiencing on the part of Israel and the US a total lack of judgment. The risks are being ignored. It is starting to look like the Armageddon that Revelation describes. The problem for humanity is that it has developed weapons that are capable of destroying all life, and these weapons are in the hands of emotional people incapable of restraint and reason. I have been, and continue to be, concerned about the conflict in Ukraine spiraling out of control. The situation developing in the Middle East is more dangerous. There doesn’t seem to be sufficient recognition of this danger. The war propaganda from the presstitutes is extreme and blinds people to reality. Those in office think they are in control, but they are not. Possibly Russia could prevent a wider conflict by raising its military presence in Syria, but Putin is not proactive. You tell me, where are the leaders to prevent a catastrophe?
“..the likelihood of Hezbollah launching a major operation on Israel’s northern border sharply increased on Wednesday and Thursday following a series of developments in the region.”
Israel seems holding back on an invasion of the Gaza Strip for fear that Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement will open a second front in the north. Some 199 Israeli soldiers are being held prisoner, along with dozens of civilian hostages, in the Palestinian territory since Hamas and other militant groups launched a surprise attack from the enclave on October 7. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under political pressure following the humiliation, has vowed to invade Gaza and destroy Hamas. Meanwhile, the likelihood of Hezbollah launching a major operation on Israel’s northern border sharply increased on Wednesday and Thursday following a series of developments in the region. The Palestinian Authority blamed the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) for a deadly bombing of the al-Ahli Baptist hospital in Gaza that killed at least 500 people — an atrocity which sparked immediate protests across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.
Earlier that day, Israel bombed the family home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, currently hundreds of miles away in Qatar, killing 14 people. And on Thursday morning the Palestinian WAFA news agency reported that a mob of Zionist settlers “under heavy protection from the Israeli police” had stormed the al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem — Islam’s third-holiest site and under the custodianship of neighbouring Jordan. War correspondent Elijah Magnier told Sputnik that the recently announced massive build-up of US forces in the region was intended to guard against the campaign Hezbollah has threatened if Israel launches a ground offensive in Gaza. Those forces include two US Navy carrier strike groups led by the USS Gerald Ford and the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, a US Marine amphibious landing ship with 2,000 marines and F-35 strike aircraft, a squadron of US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle jets and another of A-10 close support aircraft.
“It is because the Americans with the Israelis believe there is a second front that is going to open up with Lebanon on the northern Israeli-Lebanese borders,” Magnier pointed out. “And this possibility is very much alive, because we’ve seen since the 7th of October the exchange of fire between Hezbollah and Israel.” The war reporter said statements from Israeli government ministers left “absolutely no doubt” that an assault on Gaza would go ahead.”The problem lies in another place. So how long is this Israeli invasion of Gaza going to take? Is it going to be limited only to the north — That is a narrow part of Gaza, so the Israelis are not engaged in a large part?” he asked. He said Israel was wary of withdrawing its forces, including the Golani Brigade, one of just five regular non-reservist brigades in the IDF and which has with experience of fighting Hezbollah, to the south “They don’t want to move them from the front on the northern borders and to take them to Gaza because they are much more afraid of Hezbollah,” Magnier explained.
The Islamic resistance movement is “better trained, they have more experience the way engage with Israel in multiple wars in the past, and they fought against ISIS (aka Daesh)* in Iraq,” he added. “They fought against ISIS and al-Qaeda* in Syria. And they are better equipped with modern technology and long range missiles, drones, anti-ship missiles, everything.” Israel has called up a reported 350,000 army reservists — totalling around a tenth of the country’s workforce — since October 7. “To have reservists going into a deadly trap in Gaza, these reservists need some time to go in and to be trained,” Magnier said — time which Israel does not have. Therefore the Israel strategy is “to level Gaza in the area they want to go in: so they destroy all the buildings and they don’t have civilians because they would be either under debris or killed or have left the area.”
“No, we, the one nation with the power and influence to stop the most nakedly racist case of violence in the IDF’s long history of such aggression, will do nothing to prevent it.”
There have been many, very many singular moments among America’s purported leaders and assorted officials and commentators since Hamas staged its daring assault on southern Israel on the morning of Oct. 7. Let us consider a few of these moments and draw some conclusions. Let us look closely at what is being said and what the American public is now urged to think and accept as Israeli forces prosecute a campaign against Gaza’s 2.1 million people so extreme as to suggest ethnic cleansing is, as many have long argued, the ultimate Israeli project. “Well, there have been some members of Congress who have called for a ceasefire, and they have not gone as far as backing the administration’s call for support for Israel.” This was a reporter’s observation at a press conference last week that featured President Joe Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean–Pierre, and Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser.
Jean–Pierre’s response merits careful parsing for the large implications we find in it. In my read it reflects Washington’s increasing desperation as Israel’s conduct toward Palestinians tips into a savagery no rational human being can defend. “So, look, I’ve seen some of those statements this weekend. And we’re going to continue to be very clear,” Jean–Pierre replied. “We believe they are wrong, we believe they’re repugnant, and we believe they’re disgraceful.” Let’s not miss what transpired in those few seconds. To call for a ceasefire as the Israeli Defense Forces level an entire city and turn a million human beings into refugees — murdering many children and noncombatants in the process — is humane by any serious definition. To describe such a call as wrong, repugnant, and disgraceful is to assert that what is ordinarily decent must now be cast aside as indecent.
At this point, Washington’s defense of Israel becomes as baldly obscene as the apartheid state’s long record of lawless aggression toward the Palestinian population. Pressing on in a tone that is combative and unmistakably defensive all at once, Jean–Pierre added, “Our — our condemnation belongs squarely with terrorists who have brutally murdered, raped, kidnapped hundreds — hundreds of Israelis. There can be no equivocation about that. There are not two sides here. There are not two sides.” Not two sides, asserted twice. This, too, has implications we must consider. Later at the same presser, another White House correspondent asked Jake Sullivan, “Is the goal the destruction of Hamas? … What is — where do you draw the line? Is there a red line of where do you draw that line of what you need to accomplish?”
Good questions, if inarticulately posed. To which Sullivan replied, “I’m not here to — to draw red lines or issue warnings or give lectures to anybody.” Translation: No, we, the one nation with the power and influence to stop the most nakedly racist case of violence in the IDF’s long history of such aggression, will do nothing to prevent it.
“Those of us who have covered the occupied territories have run into Israel’s Alice-in-Wonderland narratives, which we dutifully insert into our stories — required under the rules of American journalism — although we know they are untrue.”
Israel was founded on lies. The lie that Palestinian land was largely unoccupied. The lie that 750,000 Palestinians fled their homes and villages during their ethnic cleansing by Zionist militias in 1948 because they were told to do so by Arab leaders. The lie that it was Arab armies that started the 1948 war that saw Israel seize 78 percent of historic Palestine. The lie that Israel faced annihilation in 1967, forcing it to invade and occupy the remaining 22 percent of Palestine, as well as land belonging to Egypt and Syria. Israel is sustained by lies. The lie that Israel wants a just and equitable peace and will support a Palestinian state. The lie that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. The lie that Israel is an “outpost of Western civilization in a sea of barbarism.” The lie that Israel respects the rule of law and human rights.
Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians are always greeted with lies. I heard them. I recorded them. I published them in my stories for The New York Times when I was the paper’s Middle East Bureau Chief. I covered war for two decades, including seven years in the Middle East. I learned quite a bit about the size and lethality of explosive devices. There is nothing in the arsenal of Hamas or Islamic Jihad that could have replicated the massive explosive power of the missile that killed an estimated 500 civilians in the al-Ahli Arab Christian hospital in Gaza. Nothing. If Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) had these kinds of missiles, huge buildings in Israel would be rubble with hundreds of dead. They don’t. The whistling sound, audible on the video moments before the explosion, appears to comes from the high velocity of a missile. This sound gives it away.
No Palestinian rocket makes this noise. And then there is the speed of the missile. Palestinian rockets are slow and lumbering, clearly visible as they arch in the sky and then tumble in free fall towards their targets. They do not strike with precision or travel at close to supersonic speed. They are incapable of killing hundreds of people. The Israeli military dropped “roof knocking” rockets with no warheads on the hospital in the days leading up to the Oct. 17 strike, the familiar warning given by Israel to evacuate buildings, according to al-Ahli hospital officials. Hospital officials also said they had received calls from Israel saying “we warned you to evacuate twice.” Israel has demanded that all hospitals in northern Gaza be evacuated. Following the strike on the hospital, Hananya Naftali, a “digital aide” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, posted on X, formerly Twitter: “Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza.” The post was quickly deleted.
Since the Oct. 7 incursion into Israel by Palestinian resistance fighters, which reportedly left some 1,300 Israelis dead, many of them civilians, and saw some 200 kidnapped as hostages and taken to Gaza, Israel has carried out 51 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza that have killed 15 healthcare workers and injured 27, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Out of 35 hospitals in Gaza, four are not functioning due to severe damage and targeting. Only eight of the 22 UNRWA primary healthcare centers are “partially functional,” the WHO says. The brazenness of Israeli lies stunned those of us who reported from Gaza. It did not matter if we had seen the Israeli attack, including the shooting of unarmed Palestinians. It did not matter how many witnesses we interviewed. It did not matter what photographic and forensic evidence we obtained. Israel lied. Small lies. Big lies. Huge lies.
These lies came reflexively and instantly from the Israeli military, Israeli politicians and Israeli media. They were amplified by Israel’s well-oiled propaganda machine and repeated with a cloying sincerity on international news outlets. Israel engages in the kinds of jaw-dropping lies that characterize despotic regimes. It does not deform the truth, it inverts it. It paints a picture that is diametrically opposed to reality. Those of us who have covered the occupied territories have run into Israel’s Alice-in-Wonderland narratives, which we dutifully insert into our stories — required under the rules of American journalism — although we know they are untrue.
“..Ha’aretz, Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, said Netanyahu “bears responsibility” for the attack. On Tuesday, the newspaper published an editorial titled “Netanyahu: Resign Now!”
In 1973, amid blistering tensions over Israel–Palestine, Arab coalition forces led by Egypt and Syria carried out a surprise attack, successfully pushing Israel, for a time, out of the occupied Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. Israeli intelligence noticed the Egyptian military buildup but incorrectly assessed that they were simply military exercises — an error repeated by the Israeli intelligence this past week, according to a news report. Just before the Hamas attack on Friday, Israeli security chiefs took part in a high-level meeting to discuss whether Hamas’s irregular activity was the prelude to an invasion or simply a military exercise, Axios reported on Thursday. Instead of anticipating the invasion, the chiefs — including the Israeli Defense Forces’ chief of staff, head of military intelligence, and Shin Bet director — decided to wait for more intelligence.
The two attacks a half-century apart also took U.S. intelligence by surprise. In 1973, Robert Gates, then a high-ranking CIA analyst who would later become CIA director and secretary of defense, was providing a briefing on the unlikeliness of military conflict in the Middle East when he learned of the Yom Kippur invasion on the radio. An intelligence community postmortem declassified in 2009 revealed that U.S. intelligence analysts had in fact looked at the question closely and incorrectly judged that there would be no attack despite “plentiful” and “ominous” signs that there would be an invasion. “To intelligence historians, the October 1973 War is almost synonymous with ‘intelligence failure,’” says a report by the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence about the Yom Kippur War.
Israel’s prime minister at the time, Golda Meir, oversaw a victory over the Arab forces — just as Israel’s military will vanquish Hamas and pummel the Gaza Strip — but she faced steady criticism for having ignored warnings from King Hussein of Jordan that a war with Egypt and Syria was imminent. Under pressure to resign, Meir later did. Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under fire for having ignored repeated warnings from Egyptian intelligence. In one such warning, Egypt’s intelligence minister, Gen. Abbas Kamel, personally called Netanyahu days before the attack, warning of “something unusual, a terrible operation,” according to the Israeli news outlet YNet.
Eighty-six percent of Israelis believe their government and Netanyahu are to blame for the attack, according to a new poll released Thursday. More than half of Israelis believe Netanyahu should resign. Shortly after the raid, the editorial board of Ha’aretz, Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, said Netanyahu “bears responsibility” for the attack. On Tuesday, the newspaper published an editorial titled “Netanyahu: Resign Now!”
“We believe any approaches should be based on a balance of interests of the parties, and not the imposition of someone’s interests at the expense of the interests of others”
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict may escalate into a region-wide one, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday. “As for the Gaza Strip, the risk of this crisis escalating into a region-wide conflict is quite serious,” Lavrov told reporters. “We are observing attempts to blame everything on Iran and we consider them quite provocative. The Iranian leadership, I believe, takes a fairly responsible, balanced position and is calling for preventing this conflict from spreading to the entire region and neighboring countries,” Lavrov said. Russia and Turkiye are in contact on the situation in the Middle East, Sergey Lavrov added.
At a press point in Pyongyang, Lavrov was asked to comment on Turkiye’s initiative to create a system of guarantor countries for the parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for peaceful settlement. “We are ready to discuss any constructive proposals. This initiative, which I heard the other day, is clearly dictated by the desire to achieve de-escalation and normalize the situation. What exactly is meant, we would, of course, like to hear from our Turkish friends with whom we are in contact on this issue as well,” Lavrov said. “We believe any approaches should be based on a balance of interests of the parties, and not the imposition of someone’s interests at the expense of the interests of others. It seems to me that the Turkish initiative is dictated by the desire to ensure such a balance. We will be ready to cooperate to consider it,” he said.
Nice talk with Ramaswamy veers into stupidity.
The US will lose in the war in the Middle East if Russia, China and Turkiye are drawn into it, said former Fox News journalist Tucker Carlson in his program on social network X (formerly Twitter). “The stakes are much higher than many Americans realize. It is easy to imagine several other countries being drawn into the conflict between Israel and Hamas. These countries include Russia, Iran, Turkiye, China, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, and probably many others,” Carlson said. According to the journalist, some may support Israel and the US, but most of the countries involved in the conflict will join forces against Washington.
“And that’s going to be a problem. The US military is weaker than it has been in the past 50 years,” Carlson said. The journalist added that the US Army has been exhausted by two senseless conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and has been fragmented from within by the Pentagon’s “buffoonish” policies. “This is not the time for a world war. We will lose it. But our Commander-in-Chief doesn’t realize that,” Carlson said. The journalist also criticized a recent statement by US President Joe Biden, in which the latter, in the context of supporting Ukraine and Israel, described the United States as “the most powerful country in the history of mankind”. “Pride precedes destruction. It always has and always will,” Carlson concluded.
Ep. 31 How to avoid World War III pic.twitter.com/kdzoMxOt3B
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) October 19, 2023
We will not have a ceasefire!
The United States showed its true intentions when it vetoed the UN Security Council resolution seeking a humanitarian pause in the Israel-Hamas war, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy said on Wednesday. “The masks are off. No matter how hard the Americans tried to appear as peacekeepers, they ultimately failed. A huge foreign policy failure for Washington,” Polyanskiy stressed. Earlier in the day, the US vetoed a Brazilian-drafted UN Security Council resolution that calls on Israel to rescind its evacuation order for Gazans. Russia and the United Kingdom abstained. Russia sought to amend the draft resolution to include a condemnation of “indiscriminate attacks” against civilians in Gaza, “in particular heinous strike against al-Ahli hospital,” and also to include a call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The UN Security Council rejected both proposed amendments.
“This fresh conflict, complete with alleged barbaric atrocities, is a far easier sell..”
Earlier this month, the world was shocked at terrorist attacks on Israel by hundreds of Hamas fighters. Not only did it signify the beginning of a new escalation in the age-old struggle between Jews and Palestinians, it also potentially marked a pivot point in political and military support for Vladimir Zelensky’s Ukraine. Before the savage Hamas attacks and the biblically brutal Israeli response, the US and its NATO allies were almost exclusively focused on Ukraine while occasionally glancing nervously toward China. Now, as the Western media spins into overdrive with its gaze firmly locked onto the Middle East, Kiev’s woes are set only to increase as attention shifts away from Kiev and towards Israel, Palestine, and Iran.
It’s worth noting that prior to the Hamas assaults, the trajectory of support for Ukraine already showed signs of waning. Mere months ago, the idea that previously stalwart allies like Poland would be openly questioning the wisdom of their no-strings-attached support for the war-torn state – likening it to a “drowning man” – would have been unthinkable. Couple this with widespread European war weariness, Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive, and collapsing public support for the war in the West, and it was already facing an uphill battle to maintain support from its “partners,” its people, and most importantly American political elites. The last thing Zelensky needed was a globally significant escalation in the Middle East to draw precious resources further away from the proxy war he is fighting against Russia on behalf of Washington. Indeed, a sceptic might suggest that the Hamas escalation offers an irresistible and previously unavailable route for the US to back out of its commitments to Ukraine.
Considering the imminent US presidential election, a ‘good guy vs. bad guy’ conflict with Hamas can be easily spun as an existential threat to a long-time crucial ally and partner, Israel. In contrast, the proxy war in Ukraine is becoming increasingly troublesome for US President Joe Biden, politically and financially. This fresh conflict, complete with alleged barbaric atrocities, is a far easier sell. Meanwhile, despite public pronouncements to the contrary, enthusiasm for sending military aid to Ukraine has been diminishing. Not to mention that the West simply doesn’t have the manufacturing capacity to fuel a large-scale ground war even in Ukraine, let alone a wider conflict. Another crucial issue has been the calamitous cost of Zelensky’s failed counteroffensive. This long-telegraphed manoeuvre, which was supposed to defeat Russia, has depleted Kiev’s manpower, materiel, and reputation in the West without delivering any gains on the battlefield. Instead, it has done nothing but compound the quietly inevitable sense in the West that Kiev will have to seek accommodation with Moscow and concede territory in the process.
It is beyond doubt that the emerging conflict in the Middle East threatens the continuity of physical and ‘emotional’ support for the Ukrainian proxy war. That’s not to say that it doesn’t concern Russia – it does. However, it does not bode well for Zelensky. As pressure to hold elections builds, he looks increasingly vulnerable, with a distinct sense of desperation leaking into the narrative. This was subtly evident when Grant Shapps, the new British secretary of state for defence, recently parroted the stock response when quizzed on the ability to “run two wars” at the same time, he responded that “Zelensky will be reminding us all, not only why it’s very important that we still maintain this battle, and show that we can so that Putin doesn’t win, but also don’t get distracted by the wider issues.” He added, “The war in Europe is absolutely at the forefront of our minds.” This reassurance is, of course, exactly the kind of thing that ominously happens publicly when the opposite is increasingly true in the background.
“..up to 77% of young people in the United States cannot enlist for a variety of reasons, including being overweight, drug abuse, or having physical or mental impairments..”
The US Army, Navy and Air Force are facing shortfalls in recruitment targets this year, as the Pentagon struggles to compete with civilian employment, while up to 77% of young people have been deemed ineligible to enlist, the New York Times said on Tuesday. By the end of its recruitment year on September 30, the US Army fell short of its target of adding 65,000 people to its ranks, the NYT says, instead ending up with about 50,000 new personnel. It is the third successive year that the army has not met its goal, prompting military bosses to cut unfilled positions and shrink its active duty membership to 452,000 from 485,000 in 2021.
The recruitment logjam has created “an existential issue for us,” Army Secretary Christine E. Wormuth told reporters this month, even as some branches of the military relax recruitment standards and even offer financial compensation of up to $75,000 to join. Primary factors in the stalled recruitment effort include many Americans seeking employment in the private civilian sector, as well as large sections of US youth being deemed ineligible to even apply. A recent report by the US Department of Defense concluded that up to 77% of young people in the United States cannot enlist for a variety of reasons, including being overweight, drug abuse, or having physical or mental impairments. The US Navy also fell short by about 7,500 hires this year, despite recruitment initiatives, including financial incentives. Even the Air Force, traditionally considered an attractive destination for new recruits, added about 10% less than expected.
“It’s been getting harder to recruit, and the military expects it to continue to get harder,” David R. Segal, a University of Maryland professor who studies historical enlistment trends, said according to the NYT. However, one US military branch not experiencing such issues is its Marine Corps. By the September 30 deadline, the Marines had already exceeded its goal of 28,900 enlistments – and did so with little-to-no extra perks or financial incentives. “Your bonus is that you get to call yourself a Marine,” a Marine Corps commandant said earlier this year, according to the Times. “That’s your bonus.”
“Under international law, atrocity crimes must not only be punished but also prevented.”
Craig Murray was detained on Monday under the UK’s so-called Prevention of Terrorism Act after he returned from a trip to Iceland. Before his arrest, he had taken part in a pro-Palestinian protest outside Iceland’s parliament building. In another X post on Sunday, Murray had clearly indicated his support for Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement. On the same day, Murray reposted an earlier X post by Francesca Albanese, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, calling on the world body to intervene for an immediate ceasefire in Israel’s ongoing bloody war against the Gaza Strip, adding, “Under international law, atrocity crimes must not only be punished but also prevented.”
His detention came amid an all-out war waged by the Israeli regime against the besieged Gaza Strip, which has so far claimed the lives of more than 2,800 Palestinians and injured close to 11,000 others. The war was waged after an operation by Gaza’s resistance groups, which has so far left some 1,200 Israeli forces and illegal settlers dead and close more than 200 others captive. The resistance factions launched the operation in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodshed and destruction against Palestinians. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said those supporting Hamas following the operation would be “held to account,” vowing support for the Israeli regime and pledging readiness on the part of London to provide Tel Aviv with military assistance.
Upon arresting Murray, British authorities seized his phone and other electronic devices. He was also questioned about attending the pro-Palestinian protest outside the Icelandic parliament. A former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, Murray was sacked by the country’s Foreign Office for criticizing the host country’s human rights record as well as vehemently opposing the United States administration’s extraordinary rendition program, which involved torturing terrorism suspects. Following his sacking from the British diplomatic service, Murray embraced journalism and human rights activism, and established his own blog to publish his views and findings.
What is this? China?
US billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is considering removing his social networking service X (formerly known as Twitter) from Europe amid the European Union’s investigation into compliance with the Digital Services Act (DSA), US media reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the company. Musk is increasingly frustrated with having to comply with the EU’s regulation, one of the insiders told the media, adding that the entrepreneur has discussed the removal of the X application’s availability in the region or blocking users in the EU from accessing the app — the way Meta* is blocking users in Europe from accessing its Treads app. Musk has met with European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton at least twice this year about what X needs to do to comply with the regulations, but he has lost patience with the situation, the magazine cited one of the people as saying.
In August, the EU adopted the DSA — a set of regulations aimed at creating a safer digital space across the EU, which requires online platforms to have effective and transparent systems for content moderation and remove false, misleading, or harmful information. Earlier Wednesday, the European Commission published a set of recommendations for member states to “coordinate their response to the spread and amplification of illegal content, such as terrorist content or unlawful hate speech,” to ensure compliance by online platforms with the DSA and enable its prompt enforcement. Breton said last week the European Commission sent X a formal request for information, which he called “a first step in our investigation to determine compliance with the DSA.”
Last week, Musk and Breton had a spat after the commissioner said he sent a letter to Musk requesting a reply within 24 hours to claims that X is spreading illegal content and disinformation about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Breton informed Musk that if an investigation is launched into the presence of prohibited materials on X, penalties may be imposed up to 6% of the company’s global revenue under the EU laws. Musk then responded, asking Breton to provide a list of violations to let the public see them and underscored that the social media platform is an open source and is transparent.
This is Togo. He's the lesser-known sled dog who helped save an entire Alaskan town in 1925. He's also our latest 15/10 pic.twitter.com/Qnj4Nixvut
— WeRateDogs (@dog_rates) October 18, 2023
This optical illusion is incredible. pic.twitter.com/RvnrQCims9
— Fascinating (@fasc1nate) October 18, 2023
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