Edgar Degas A la mer 1863
Ronald Reagan Foretold Our Current Situation In America
“Now someone very profoundly once said many years ago that if fascism ever comes to America, it'll come in the name of liberalism. What is fascism? Fascism is private ownership, private enterprise, but total government… pic.twitter.com/oVK1kM7gfV
— Wall Street Apes (@WallStreetApes) October 8, 2023
Pepe Escobar: 1. Bibi showing his ‘New Middle East’ map at the UN completely erasing Palestine. 2. Serial provocations at Al-Aqsa, including a storming by hundreds of Israeli settlers. Al-Aqsa is a definitive red line – for Palestinians, for the Arab world, and for the lands of Islam. Yet there’s WAY more. The dead giveaway is the Israeli rhetoric of a ‘Pearl Harbor’. Everyone knows what it means. Project Ukraine is dead. So the Masters of the Universe need a new war (“on terror”) to set West Asia on fire.
Peaceful West Asia means reconstruction for Syria, redevelopment for Iraq and Lebanon, Iran and Saudi Arabia as part of BRICS 11, the Russia-China strategic partnership respected and engaged all across West Asia. The Northern Sea Route is already in effect, directly undermining the Suez Canal. One of the key themes discussed at Valdai at the highest level was de-dollarization. All of the above is anathema for the usual suspects. Mossad and IDF caught by surprise is childish fantasy. They knew it was coming. The question now is whether Hezbollah will be coming to town.
Israel intel has so much info, they developed an AI model to interpret it. Hamas found out about it.
“Hamas was able to generate a veritable Ghost in the Machine..”
[..] perhaps the largest source of the Israeli intelligence failure regarding Hamas was the over reliance Israel put on intelligence collection and analysis itself. Gaza and Hamas have been a thorn in the side of Israel for years, and as such have attracted the overwhelming attention of the Israeli intelligence and security services. Israel has perfected the art of human intelligence against the Hamas target, with a proven track record of placing agents deep inside the Hamas decision-making hierarchy. Unit 8200 likewise has spent billions of dollars creating intelligence collection capabilities which vacuum up every piece of digital data coming out of Gaza — cell phone calls, e-mails, and SMS texting. Gaza is the most photographed place on the planet, and between satellite imagery, drones, and CCTV, every square meter of Gaza is estimated to be imaged every 10 minutes.
This amount of data is overwhelming for standard analysis techniques relying on the human mind. To compensate for this, Israel developed a huge artificial intelligence (AI) capability which it then weaponized against Hamas in the short but deadly 11-day conflict with Hamas in 2021, named Guardian of the Walls. Unit 8200 developed several unique algorithms which used immense databases derived from years of raw intelligence data collected from every possible source of information. Building upon concepts of machine learning and algorithm-driven warfare that have been at the forefront of Israeli military research and development for decades, Israeli intelligence was able to use AI to not only select targets, but also to anticipate Hamas actions. This ability to predict the future, so to speak, helped shape Israeli assessments about Hamas’s intent in the lead up to the 2023 Yom Kippur attacks.
Israel’s fatal mistake was to openly brag about the role AI played in Operation Guardian of the Walls. Hamas was apparently able to take control of the flow of information being collected by Israel. There has been much speculation about Hamas “going dark” regarding cell phone and computer usage to deny Israel the data that is contained in those means of communication. But “going dark” would have, by itself, been an intelligence indicator, one that AI would have certainly picked up. Instead, it’s highly probable that Hamas maintained an elaborate communications deception plan, maintaining a level of communications sufficient in quantity and quality to avoid being singled out by AI — and by Israeli analysts deviating from the norm.
In the same way, Hamas would likely have maintained its physical profile of movement and activity to keep the Israeli AI algorithms satisfied that nothing strange was afoot. This also meant any activity — such as training related to paragliding or amphibious operations — that might be detected and flagged by Israeli AI was done to avoid detection. The Israelis had become prisoners of their own successes in intelligence collection. [..] Denied the benefit of the contrarian approach to analysis put in place in the aftermath of the Agranat Commission, Israel set itself up for failure by not imagining a scenario where Hamas would capitalize upon the Israeli over-reliance on AI, corrupting the algorithms in a way that blinded the computers, and their human programmers, to Hamas’ true intention and capability. Hamas was able to generate a veritable Ghost in the Machine, corrupting Israeli AI and setting up the Israeli people and military for one of the most tragic chapters in the history of the Israeli nation.
Very much a black and white issue, as I read the views.
The current outpouring of sympathy for Israel should make anyone with half a heart wretch. Not because it is not awful that Israeli civilians are dying and suffering in such large numbers. But because Palestinian civilians in Gaza have faced repeated rampages from Israel decade after decade, producing far more suffering, but have never elicited a fraction of the concern currently being expressed by western politicians or publics. The West’s hypocrisy over Palestinian fighters killing and wounding hundreds of Israelis and holding dozens more hostage in communities surrounding and inside besieged Gaza is stark indeed. This is the first time Palestinians, caged in the coastal enclave, have managed to inflict a significant strike against Israel vaguely comparable to the savagery Palestinians in Gaza have faced repeatedly since they were entombed in a cage more than 15 years ago, when Israel began its blockade by land, sea and air in 2007.
Western media are calling the jailbreak and attack by Palestinians from Gaza “unprecedented” – and the most dismal intelligence failing by Israel since it was caught off-guard during the Yom Kippur War exactly 50 years ago. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Hamas, which nominally runs the open-air prison of Gaza, of starting “a cruel and evil war”. But the truth is that the Palestinians have “started” nothing. They have managed, after so much struggle, to find a way to hurt their tormentor. Inevitably for the Palestinians, as Netanyahu also observed, “the price will be heavy” – especially for civilians. Israel will inflict on the prisoners the severest punishment for their impudence. Watch how little sympathy and concern there will be from the West for the many Palestinian men, women and children who are killed once again by Israel. Their immense suffering will be obscured, and justified, by the term “Israeli retaliation”.
All the current analysis focusing on Israel’s intelligence “blunders” distracts from the real lesson of these rapidly evolving events. No one really cared while Gaza’s Palestinans were subjected to a blockade imposed by Israel that denied them the essentials of life. The few dozen Israelis being held hostage by Hamas fighters pale in comparison with the two million Palestinians held hostage by Israel in an open-air prison for nearly two decades. No one really cared when it emerged that Gaza’s Palestinians had been put on a “starvation diet” by Israel – only limited food was allowed in, calculated to keep the population barely fed. No one really cared when Israel bombed the coastal enclave every few years, killing many hundreds of Palestinian civilians each time. Israel simply called it “mowing the lawn”. The destruction of vast areas of Gaza, what Israeli generals boasted of as returning the enclave to the Stone Age, was formalised as a military strategy known as the “Dahiya doctrine”.
No one really cared when Israeli snipers targeted nurses, youngsters and people in wheelchairs who came out to protest against their imprisonment by Israel. Many thousands were left as amputees after those snipers received orders to shoot the protesters indiscriminately in the legs or ankles. Western concern at the deaths of Israeli civilians at the hands of Palestinian fighters is hard to stomach. Have not many hundreds of Palestinian children died over the past 15 years in Israel’s repeated bombing campaigns on Gaza? Did their lives not count as much as Israeli lives – and if not, why not? After so much indifference for so long, it is difficult to hear the sudden horror from western governments and media because Palestinians have finally found a way – mirroring Israel’s inhumane, decades-long policy – to fight back effectively. This moment rips off the mask and lays bare the undisguised racism that masquerades as moral concern in western capitals.
“..Regimes implanted and maintained by violence engender violence..”
The indiscriminate shootings of Israelis by Hamas and other Palestinian resistance organizations, the kidnapping of civilians, the barrage of rockets into Israel, drone attacks on a variety of targets from tanks to automated machine gun nests, are the familiar language of the Israeli occupier. Israel has spoken this blood-soaked language of violence to the Palestinians since Zionist militias seized more than 78 percent of historic Palestine, destroyed some 530 Palestinian villages and cities and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in more than 70 massacres. Some 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed between 1947 and 1949 to create the state of Israel in 1948. Israel’s response to these armed incursions will be a genocidal assault on Gaza. Israel will kill dozens of Palestinians for every Israeli killed.
Hundreds of Palestinians have already died in Israel air assaults since the launch of “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” on Saturday morning, which left 700 Israelis dead. Prime Minister Netanyahu warned Palestinians in Gaza on Sunday to “leave now,” because Israel is going to “turn all Hamas hiding places into rubble.” But where are Palestinians in Gaza supposed to go? Israel and Egypt blockade the land borders. There is no exit by air or sea, which are controlled by Israel. The collective retribution against innocents is a familiar tactic employed by colonial rulers. We used it against Native Americans and later in the Philippines and Vietnam. The Germans used it against the Herero and Namaqua in Namibia. The British in Kenya and Malaya. The Nazis used it in the areas they occupied in the Soviet Union, Eastern and Central Europe. Israel follows the same playbook. Death for death. Atrocity for atrocity. But it is always the occupier who initiates this macabre dance and trades piles of corpses for higher piles of corpses.
This is not to defend the war crimes by either side. It is not to rejoice in the attacks. I have seen enough violence in the Israeli occupied territories, where I covered the conflict for seven years, to loathe violence. But this is the familiar denouement to all settler-colonial projects. Regimes implanted and maintained by violence engender violence. The Haitian war of liberation. The Mau Mau in Kenya. The African National Congress in South Africa. These uprisings do not always succeed, but they follow familiar patterns. The Palestinians, like all colonized people, have a right to armed resistance under international law. Israel never had any interest in an equitable settlement with the Palestinians. It built an apartheid state and has steadily absorbed larger and larger tracts of Palestinian land in a slow motion campaign of ethnic cleansing. It turned Gaza in 2007 into the world’s largest open air prison.
What does Israel, or the world community, expect? How can you trap 2.3 million people in Gaza, half of whom are unemployed, in one of the most densely populated spots on the planet for 16 years, reduce the lives of its residents, half of whom are children, to a subsistence level, deprive them of basic medical supplies, food, water and electricity, use attack aircraft, artillery, mechanized units, missiles, naval guns and infantry units to randomly slaughter unarmed civilians and not expect a violent response?
“What happened this weekend was an unprovoked invasion by Hamas into Israel.”
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley blamed the Biden administration for their dealmaking with Iran while other GOP contenders exchanged blows over America’s role on the world stage. Republicans’ intra-party feud over American foreign policy intensified Sunday with various candidates for the party’s presidential nomination exchanging views about the country’s role in international affairs. Former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley appeared on US television to denounce the Biden Administration’s diplomatic engagement with Iran, a common refrain among Republicans in the aftermath of Hamas’ attack on Israel Saturday. “I actually think it was irresponsible for Secretary Blinken to say that the $6 billion doesn’t weigh in here,” said Haley, referring to frozen Iranian funds the Biden administration released in exchange for five detained American citizens.
“Hamas knows and Iran knows they’re moving money around as we speak, because they know $6 billion is going to be released.” “You saw that when those planes full of cash sent by Obama to Iran… What happened was those funds were sent to Hezbollah in Lebanon. They were sent to Hamas in Gaza. They were sent to the Houthis in Yemen. They go and spread terrorism every time they get a dollar.” Republicans have criticized diplomatic efforts between the United States and Iran since the Obama administration, when Joe Biden served as vice president. The US has sanctioned the Middle Eastern country since the hostage crisis at the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979. More recently, the Biden administration released frozen Iranian funds in a prisoner swap deal with the country. The deal stipulated the $6 billion could only be used for humanitarian purposes.
But Republicans have pointed out the fungible nature of the assets, arguing the deal frees up resources for Iran to fund terrorist groups. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) echoed Haley’s remarks on the X social media platform Sunday, claiming “Biden’s negotiation funded the attack.” Meanwhile, former US Vice President Mike Pence joined Haley on the neoconservative wing of his party, finding fault with other Republicans’ calls for foreign policy restraint. “This is what happens when we have leading voices like Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis signaling retreat from America’s role as leader of the free world,” said Pence on Sunday, referring to the growing opposition towards sending funds to Ukraine within his party. “What happened this weekend was an unprovoked invasion by Hamas into Israel.”
Foreign policy has emerged as a major debate for Republicans as some leaders within the US political party have called for a return to the muscular approach of the George W. Bush administration. Former US president and 2024 contender Donald Trump became known as a critic of US foreign policy, famously calling the country’s invasion of Iraq “a big, fat mistake.” But the former Republican president has also advocated for improved relations with Russia and has claimed he has a “good relationship” with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The United States devotes more money to defense spending than the next 10 countries combined while funding more than 700 military bases around the world.
They deny and admit at the same time.
Tehran has denied accusations that it helped Palestinian militants to plan the surprise attack on Israel that was launched on Saturday morning. “The decisions made by the Palestinian resistance are fiercely autonomous and unwaveringly aligned with the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people,” Iran’s mission to the UN said in a statement to the media. “We are not involved in Palestine’s response, as it is taken solely by Palestine itself.” On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal cited several sources, including unnamed members of the Hamas and Hezbollah militant groups, as saying that officers from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had helped to plan the attack on Israel since August. It also “gave the green light” for the operation at a meeting in Beirut, Lebanon last Monday. Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas spokesman, told the BBC that the militants had “direct backing” from Iran.
However, Ali Baraka, another Hamas official, insisted in an interview with NBC News that Tehran had not been notified about ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’beforehand. “It was a surprise to everyone, including Iran,” he said. Although US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the White House had not yet seen evidence of Tehran’s involvement, some Israeli and American officials accused the Islamic Republic of colluding with Hamas. The Palestinian militants and allied groups carried out a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza, simultaneously firing rockets and dispatching troops to infiltrate Israeli settlements. The Israeli government responded by declaring war on Hamas and carrying out airstrikes on Gaza. Iran has endorsed the assault and urged other Muslim countries to back the Palestinians against Israel. More than 700 Israelis and at least 436 Palestinians have been killed since Saturday.
“..convinced the Kremlin that the West intends Russia’s destruction..”
We are on the verge of nuclear annihilation. Every agreement made during the 20th century to reduce the risk of nuclear war has been abandoned by Washington. Why worry, some ask, mutual assured destruction means neither the US nor Russia would initiate a nuclear attack. Perhaps not, but the greatest danger of nuclear armageddon comes from false alarms from warning systems. During the Cold War there were many such alarms. The false alarms did not result in mutual destruction because both governments were working to defuse, not exacerbate, the situation, and there was time for the validity of the alarm to be verified before a fatal pushing of the button. Today the situation is entirely different. Washington and the NATO puppets have a policy of provoking Russia, with the 2014 coup in Ukraine and its consequences being the worst to date.
Moreover, the hypersonic speeds of the Russian missiles and the closeness of US missiles to Russia’s border cuts time before impact to 5 or 10 minutes, which means no time to verify or confer. The extraordinary insulting hostility shown toward Russia by the US, NATO and the Western media has convinceds the Kremlin that the West intends Russia’s destruction. Russia’s President Putin has stated many times that the West has led him to this conclusion. A couple of days ago at the Valdai Discussion Club Putin expressed concern that the West’s belligerence toward Russia could end in nuclear war. If President Biden were a responsible leader, he would have said that the Russian president is right, and we must stop the escalation of threats. Instead, Biden sent B-2 stealth bombers, aircraft specifically designed for a nuclear first-strike, to European bases, thus escalating the threat, a mindless and irresponsible response to President Putin.
In the US the constant propaganda against Russia (and now China) has convinced many Americans that they face the danger of nuclear attack. This is not a situation in which a false alarm is likely to be recognized. The risk of not believing the alarm is much higher in the environment created by the American neoconservatives, who have controlled US foreign policy in the 21st century. In US foreign policy and military ranks there are some, especially among the military/security-funded think tanks, who believe, automatically it seems with no evidence required, that the US, being the greatest and most powerful country ever, would win a nuclear war. This belief exists despite the total absence of any US preparation for surviving a nuclear war, assuming such a war is survivable. The most likely outcome would be nuclear winter, a situation in which dust from the massive explosions block the sunlight and the entire world starves to death.
Two months ago I wrote: No US Presidential Election in 2024.
“It is clear that the Biden regime and security agencies regard half or more of the US electorate as domestic terrorists. In other words, the FBI is now a political police, no longer a criminal police.”
This question arises from the FBI’s designation of Donald Trump and the half or more of the American electorate that supports him as “domestic terrorists” who constitute a “persistent, evolving, and deadly threat” to the United States. As a senior official put it, “Trump’s army constitutes the greatest threat of violence domestically, politically, that’s the reality.” Here we have the FBI causing disunity by splitting the US population into half. The good half are the Democrats. The bad half is comprised of traditional Americans who want their country back from the special interests and support Donald Trump. It is the FBI that has made this division, not the people who want their country back. The FBI has proved itself to be a dangerous domestic terrorist that has created disunity among the population and gone to war against the traditional American population.
How can the FBI permit such a deadly threat to America, as the FBI declares Trump and his supporters to be, to win the election? How can an army of domestic terrorists be allowed to vote Trump into office? The FBI has equated Trump’s election with an insurrection, that is, with the overthrow of the government. This would seem to commit the FBI to preventing Trump’s election, and the FBI is applying “counterterrorism methods developed over the past decade in response to Al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups” to Trump supporters. In other words, the FBI doesn’t differentiate between Trump and his supporters and Muslin terrorists. It is reasonable to conclude that if the Democrats’ political prosecutions of Trump fail to prevent him from running for president, the Biden regime will declare a national emergency and suspend the election. Biden’s Homeland Security also equates Trump supporters with “the use of violence to pursue political ends” and “a threat to our national security.”
Attorney General Garland says “attacks by domestic terrorists are attacks on all of us collectively.” What attacks is Garland talking about? The ones the FBI is about to orchestrate? It is clear that the Biden regime and security agencies regard half or more of the US electorate as domestic terrorists. In other words, the FBI is now a political police, no longer a criminal police. The FBI and Homeland Security are geared to protecting Washington from the American electorate. Attorney General Garland has made it clear that the “Justice” Department will validate whatever unconstitutional methods are used. The position of the FBI and Homeland Security is that if you disagree with an official narrative, you are a domestic terrorist. I do not believe that Trump will be permitted to be President. If he wins, it will be said that he lost, or he will be assassinated, or a state of emergency will be declared. The Establishment will do whatever it takes to keep Trump out of the White House.
I think that the Democrats and their security agencies are demonstrating their Nazi inclinations for no real purpose. If Trump regains the White House, he still doesn’t have the government. Who can he appoint to help him? Who are they? Those who helped him in the past, such as his lawyers, are all indicted by a black woman in Fulton County, Georgia. If Trump is reelected, it will be a repeat of his first term–constant accusations against him repeated endlessly by the presstitutes, constant investigations, more impeachments. Any cabinet secretary who helps him will be a social outcast. His career will be over. When white Americans themselves are demonized as “aversive racists” and “white supremacists” in US universities and public schools and are investigated by the FBI for protesting the brainwashing of their children at school board meetings, what can anyone do?
Insouciant Americans have been asleep for too long, and they have lost their country. How are they going to get it back? Consider that those who vote Democrat actually believe that the other half of the electorate are dangerous white supremacist domestic terrorists. They believe this despite the absence of any buildings blown up by Trump supporters, by the absence of assassinations, by the absence of rioting and looting as practiced by the Democrats’ agents, Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Democrats are so indoctrinated that they believe the propaganda in the absence of evidence. The wedge that has been so successfully driven between Americans makes white people a minority in their own country. They are so divided that they cannot defend themselves or the Constitution that is the shield of their liberty.
Now that the FBI has declared the 85 million Americans who twice elected Trump president to be domestic terrorists, the FBI will have to organize some domestic terrorists events, like it had to organize Muslim terrorist events, in order to validate its proclamation of domestic terrorism from Trump supporters. Will federal agents blow up buildings, stage rioting and looting events, and assassinate Democrats in order to incriminate Trump supporters? Is this the playbook for the Democrats to win the next election? What do we make of Hillary Clinton’s statement that Trump supporters have to be officially deprogrammed? Are we being set up for reeducation camps? In America today, all of this is possible.
A Chinese newspaper..
According to a Chinese newspaper, the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) are grappling with a surge in desertions caused by increasing casualties and mental exhaustion among soldiers. The news outlet cited “emerging reports of ever-increasing stress and mental health issues, with soldiers reluctant to take to the battlefield as they feel they do not have enough time to recover from their traumatic experiences.” The newspaper added that “numerous” UAF servicemen “have gone the entire year with only a handful of days spent at home, with many being thrust back onto the front line, leading to a spike in suicides.” The media outlet cited Romanian immigration authorities as saying that “6,200 Ukrainian men of military age have crossed their border illegally, while some 20,000 have fled with special permits, though these are often falsified documents such as medical certificates and exemptions.”
On top of that, the newspaper added that the UAF struggles with a shortage of ammunition due to “inconsistent donations and varying arms types.” “This leads to the inefficient use of supplies due to shells, and to rockets being unreliable in their accuracy, which can result in equipment being damaged and soldiers injured. This contributes to low morale in the Ukrainian troops,” per the newspaper. With the assistance of NATO instructors, the Ukrainian forces have been trying to make progress on various front lines since the beginning of June. Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that the UAF has been unable to achieve any significant success on the fronts, already suffering the loss of over 90,000 soldiers and 557 tanks.
“..Rome is considering ways to bring the two sides to the negotiating table, while continuing to arm Kiev..”
It is unlikely that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict will be resolved on the battlefield, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto has predicted. He also revealed that Rome is considering ways to bring the two sides to the negotiating table, while continuing to arm Kiev. In an interview with Corriere della Sera published on Sunday, Crosetto acknowledged that no matter how much Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government wants to support Ukraine indefinitely, the policy is simply not realistic. He pointed out that the hostilities there have dragged on for over a year and a half, adding that the “more time passes, the more the possibility of helping Ukraine with resources that are not unlimited decreases.” The official emphasized that this does not indicate a change in Italy’s policies but rather the finite nature of the country’s stocks.
According to the official, the “situation in Ukraine is getting worse,” with Kiev having “great difficulty in regaining lost ground,” and Moscow being unable to “conquer” the nation. “We are witnessing the impossibility of resolving the conflict on the field,” Crosetto argued, adding that Italy was busy looking for ways to “build dialogue tables, achieve peace.” He concluded by claiming that if Russia prevails in Ukraine, its tanks will be rolling toward European borders, making the prospect of World War III more likely. Late last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that Moscow is ready for peace talks with Kiev in principle, adding, however, that it has yet to see any “serious proposal.” The diplomat dismissed Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s peace formula as a “pure ultimatum,” which Russia would never accept.
Russian officials have previously pointed out that President Zelensky effectively ruled out negotiations when he signed a decree last October prohibiting dialogue with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Earlier this month, POLITICO reported, citing a European official, that EU member states have reached their limit in terms of weaponry they can provide to Ukraine without compromising their own defenses. “We cannot keep on giving from our own stockpiles,” the anonymous official told reporters. In a separate story around the same time, the media outlet claimed that support for funding the Ukrainian government was “showing more cracks than ever,” citing the recent failure of the US Congress to allocate more aid money in its stopgap budget, as well as the election victory of former Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who vowed when he was campaigning that he’d stop assistance to Kiev.
Meanwhile, on Friday, POLITICO alleged that the Biden administration is looking for “creative” ways to secure further military aid for Ukraine, amid mounting opposition at home. The supposed workarounds under consideration include using the State Department’s foreign military financing program as well as a three-way swap of air-defense systems involving Poland, the media outlet claimed.
“..The last effort was a major operation involving hundreds of troops, including foreign fighters…”
Ukrainian commandos have failed on three occasions to gain a foothold in Energodar, the city in Russia’s Zaporozhye Region where Europe’s largest nuclear plant is located, Kiev’s military intelligence chief has confirmed. Kirill Budanov and some of the people involved in the botched operations were interviewed by the Ukrainian news outlet NV, which published an article on Sunday about the activities of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR). The first attempt to seize control of land in Energodar, which took place in August 2022, involved commandos crossing the Kakhovka water reservoir on civilian speedboats, according to the interviews. The last effort was a major operation involving hundreds of troops, including foreign fighters.
Budanov and his subordinates explained that the GUR troops had been repelled by Russian forces on each occasion, but claimed that the failures had some value. Surviving troops and planners gained experience in amphibious operations, which has since been used to attack Crimea, they said. Meanwhile, Kiev’s overarching goal of preventing Russia from supplying electricity generated by the Zaporozhye plant to the region was achieved thanks to moles, according to Ukrainian sources. Russian officials reported several Ukrainian attempts to seize Energodar last year, the largest of which took place in mid-October. Kiev deployed 37 speedboats for the amphibious assault and lost some 90 troops to Russian retaliation, they said at the time. People in Zaporozhye Region, formerly a part of Ukraine, voted to join Russia in September 2022.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, has repeatedly warned about the risks that hostilities near the Zaporozhye plant may pose to its safety. It has failed to mediate an agreement between Russia and Ukraine for a no-fighting zone around Energodar. Last week, Ukrainian commandos were killed or captured during a landing in Crimea after their watercraft were attacked by Russian warplanes. The Russian security service, the FSB, claimed that survivors had said the goal of the operation was to film troops holding a Ukrainian flag on Russian soil.
“..the annual cost of providing care for the millions of illegal migrants entering the US is $150.7 billion..”
“..it’s just another day in the discombobulated American empire, which, much like its ancient Roman precursor, could learn the lesson of overexpansion and overspending in the most brutal way imaginable – with its total and complete dissolution.”
The poverty rate in the US exploded last year, the first increase in 13 years, according to the Census Bureau. In 2022, the rate was 12.4%, up 4.6 percentage points from 2021, according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), a method for tallying government welfare programs and tax credits designed to assist low-income families. Meanwhile, the Expectations Index, determined by consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions, sunk to 73.7 in September. That follows a drop to 83.3 in August. The worrisome part is that an Expectations Index below 80 generally indicates an impending recession. An economic tragedy is already quietly happening for millions of American consumers who are now living paycheck to paycheck precariously and who have been forced to use the payment method of last resort to make ends meet: the almighty credit card, with its exorbitant interest fees.
On this score, the US economy has broken yet another record, although not in a way that could be considered something to cheer about. “US credit card debt rose by $45 billion to $1.03 trillion in the second quarter from the first quarter, a 4.6% quarterly increase,” The Street reported. “It’s the first time in US history that household credit card balances topped the $1 trillion mark as the number of credit card accounts expanded by 5.48 million to 578.35 million in the quarter.” When consumer debt suddenly equals the amount the US spends on its military-industrial complex, you know there’s a problem. Clearly, the US has some serious domestic issues that need to be resolved, but instead, it would rather fund a totally senseless proxy war against a nuclear power halfway around the world. Washington has given Ukraine close to $100 billion in aid, with more in the pipeline, since Moscow launched its military operation in February 2022.
The cash, however, has not only been used to fund Ukraine’s military. Billions of dollars have subsidized participants of the Ukrainian economy, like farmers and small business owners, market players whose counterparts in the US desperately need help, too. A recent study conducted by the Council on Foreign Relations shows that more than $30 billion – around 40% of total US aid to Ukraine as of July 31 – has been financial or humanitarian assistance that is not directly connected to military support. Military funding comes out to around $50 billion. As if that were not enough, the Biden administration continues to welcome illegal migrants at a price that is more than what is being spent fighting a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Yes, you read that right; the annual cost of providing care for the millions of illegal migrants entering the US is $150.7 billion, according to the Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers (FAIR).
In August, US Border Patrol recorded 232,972 migrant encounters along the southwestern border, a jump from 183,494 in July. The number of crossings for September is predicted to be higher than the previous month. So here we have two concurrent events – a disastrous military conflict in Ukraine and a leaky US border – that are sucking away precious funds from the American taxpayer. It’s important to note that the king’s ransom that is being handed over to support these deranged Democratic agendas will never be returned, not in our lifetime. Instead, it will just be added to the unsustainable US national debt load, which is currently at $33 trillion, according to the US Debt Clock. That is an astronomical sum of money that we or future generations will someday be forced to deal with, and probably sooner rather than later.
What American citizen could possibly believe that any of this government funding has been a good investment for the American people? Well, they’re representatives in Washington, DC, for one. In May, ‘conservative’ US Senator Lindsey Graham, during a meeting with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in Kiev, pronounced joyfully that “the Russians are dying” and aid to Ukraine is “the best money we’ve ever spent.” Aside from discounting the chances that such an “investment” could have towards unleashing World War III, Graham never thought for a second that such funds could have gone far at rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, like that non-existent wall on the US-Mexico border. It would have been a wonderful work program for the US economy. In short, it’s just another day in the discombobulated American empire, which, much like its ancient Roman precursor, could learn the lesson of overexpansion and overspending in the most brutal way imaginable – with its total and complete dissolution.
“There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration.”
President Joe Biden is facing significant backlash from Democratic elected leaders, particularly in northern U.S. cities that are struggling to deal with the surge in illegal immigration. They accuse the president of not doing enough to curb the influx of illegal immigrants, which is putting enormous strain on their resources. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is the latest Democratic politician to voice strong criticism of the federal response to the crisis. In a letter to President Biden on Oct. 2, Mr. Pritzker said that his state was in an “untenable situation” and urged the president to take “swift action.” In August, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and business leaders asked President Biden to address the “humanitarian crisis” that has overwhelmed New York City following an influx of more than 100,000 illegal immigrants from the southern border.
Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey issued a state of emergency in August in response to the state’s illegal immigrant crisis. In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, she wrote that her state has taken action “to address what sadly has been a federal crisis of inaction.” Officials at the White House are scrambling to respond to this criticism with statements that appear to indicate the administration is making a U-turn on its border policies. Some claim that the recent measures by President Biden are increasingly looking like the policies of the Trump administration. Before taking office, President Biden declared, “There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attempted to defend the move, arguing that the government is following Trump-era laws but still doesn’t believe in the wall’s effectiveness. “We believe that we need border technology that is modernized and land ports of entry. And that’s what we want to see,” Ms. Jean-Pierre told reporters on Oct. 5, adding that the president’s stance on the border wall hasn’t changed. “He does not believe it is effective. He has been very clear about that.” She added that the funding for the wall is from a 2019 appropriations bill signed by President Donald Trump. “We asked Congress to reappropriate the funds,” she said. “But they’ve refused, and so now we’re moving forward.”
“Several members of the Trump legal team don’t have the appropriate security clearances to review the evidence..”
A federal judge in Washington partially granted a request by former President Donald Trump’s attorneys to allow for extra time to file motions in the federal election obstruction case ahead of his March 2024 trial. U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan issued the order on Oct. 6, representing as a partial win for the Trump legal team. In court papers filed last week with the court, they had wanted additional time to craft arguments in the case, which was brought by special counsel Jack Smith. The judge granted President Trump some additional time to file motions, although she mostly rejected his lawyer’s requests to delay the trial deadlines. In her order, she rejected the former president’s request to order a declassified version of some of the government’s court filings regarding classified evidence.
“Lengthy deadline extensions for the defense’s anticipated dispositive motions—like motions to dismiss—are not warranted,” her order said. “If the court were to extend the briefing schedule for these motions by the requested sixty days, they would not be fully briefed until January 2024.” Although the former president requested a 60-day extension to file pre-trial court motions, Judge Chutkan only allowed a two-week extension. Motions to dismiss the case and several other types of motions have to be filed by Oct. 23. The judge also granted a request from the Trump legal team to file objections regarding classified evidence in the case. It came days after President Trump’s lawyers wrote in court papers that more time is needed to consider procedures for reviewing classified evidence in the case, adding his team is “seeking a fair opportunity for reasonable adversary proceedings” regarding the materials.
They said that lawyers were able to review classified evidence that was provided by Mr. Smith’s office for the first time on Tuesday, but it was too short. “Our review was brief and preliminary,” the motion stated. “But it it is clear that President Trump is entitled to additional materials possessed by the U.S. intelligence community” and other portions of the executive branch. Several members of the Trump legal team don’t have the appropriate security clearances to review the evidence, it also said. “Third, as noted above, in light of restrictions on one of the central documents in the classified discovery, we are presently foreclosed from making applications to the Special Counsel’s Office or the Court relating to the substance of the document,” his lawyers wrote. “Thus, although we anticipate transmitting discovery requests and motions to compel, we are not in a position to pursue those mechanisms as of this filing.”
Responding to the former president’s motion, federal prosecutors said it was an attempt to “delay the proceedings” and claimed the amount of classified materials in the case was relatively small. His team also failed “to provide a basis for any extension” regarding pre-trial motions in the case, prosecutors said. President Trump is charged with four federal felonies in the case alleging that he tried to obstruct the 2020 presidential election. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and said it’s part of a longstanding effort by Democrats and federal bureaucrats to imperil his 2024 presidential campaign. Last week, President Trump’s team filed a motion that sought the dismissal of the case, citing what they described as immunity. Judge Chutkan has not ruled on that dismissal motion, and the special counsel lawyers have not responded.
Threads has been an utter failure..
In the world of social media business, where revenues are on the decline and the social media industry faces pressing commercial challenges, a fundamental principle comes to the fore: Adapt or risk fading into obscurity, reminiscent of MySpace’s fate. To everyone’s surprise, Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, chose to launch two new platforms amidst the shifting sands of the social media world. Was it a personal vendetta against Elon Musk, or did he simply bypass the innovation that typically fuels platform success, opting instead to replicate the ideas of others? The results, alas, were far from stellar. In this realm, where new social media players perpetually strive to challenge established giants, Meta, under the leadership of the somewhat uncharismatic Mark Zuckerberg, has consistently sought to redefine the game. However, recent endeavors, notably Threads and WhatsApp Channels, have cast doubt on Meta’s strategy and Zuckerberg’s approach.
Threads, initially positioned as a potential rival to Twitter (or X now), appeared promising at first glance. But upon closer inspection, a familiar pattern emerged – Meta’s tendency to replicate rather than innovate. Threads seemed to mimic Elon Musk’s Twitter presence, but struggled to retain its users. While Threads did rocket to 100 million users within five days of its early July launch, it hemorrhaged more than half of them within two weeks. Zuckerberg himself acknowledged this precipitous decline, expressing a desire for sustained user engagement. Despite being hailed as the “fastest-growing app in history,” the platform’s true source of users, possibly re-routed from Instagram, raises questions about its validity as the “fastest-borrowed” app. This fleeting hype left Threads unlikely to have a lasting impact beyond generating media headlines. Its fundamental issue lies in its unclear purpose, or perhaps its lack thereof.
Threads introduced no novel features or competitive advantages and debuted in a somewhat incomplete state, missing essential functions expected on a social media platform. It felt more like Zuckerberg’s personal jab at Musk, stemming from their longstanding feud, rather than a genuine effort to innovate. The absence of spontaneous, controversial subjects – censored to the point of resembling a Twitter feed from North Korea – further detracted from Threads’ appeal. However, the core challenge with Zuckerberg’s platforms lies in censorship. It extends beyond content moderation to the accessibility of the platforms themselves. Threads was initially unavailable in Europe and other parts of the world outside the United States for months following its launch – a significant misstep. Zuckerberg seems to be repeating this mistake with his latest endeavor, WhatsApp Channels. Here, too, Meta chose imitation over innovation, blatantly replicating Telegram’s Channels feature.
Both Threads and WhatsApp Channels are emblematic of a more substantial issue – Meta’s heavy-handed censorship. While their aim may have been to curate a “nice” and “woke” environment, they inadvertently created exclusive clubs where only the chosen few could thrive. Contacting the customer support or service teams at these social media projects often leads to automated bot interactions, which raises questions about the involvement of human personnel at Meta’s headquarters. As we examine the outcomes of these Meta ventures, a valuable lesson emerges: In the realm of social media, authenticity and originality should be paramount. Meta’s penchant for imitation, coupled with stringent censorship, has yielded lackluster results. Threads and WhatsApp Channels serve as stark reminders that replication without innovation leads to initial hype followed by inevitable disappointment. The essence of social media should be creativity, enthusiasm, and open dialogue, rather than mere imitation and exclusivity.
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