Edward Hopper House on the shore 1924
For the first time ever, all 27 billboards in Times Square went dark and then lit up with the story of the birth of Christ.
Beautiful !! Merry Christmas
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) December 23, 2023
This new Banksy was stolen yesterday in London less than an hour after he announced it.
SEXUAL BLACKMAIL IN WASHINGTON: You know it happens… I did not know the extent of sexual blackmail of members of the U.S. Congress had escalated so much that they were forcing them to vote for bills as disclosed by Rep. @TimBurchett on The Benny Show. WATCH pic.twitter.com/P35h17Ve3R
— X Posterity (@NewXPosterity) December 23, 2023
He came to America a poor immigrant, became the biggest film star in Movie history, was harassed & effectively kicked out & banned from the USA by fascist asshole Hoover – BUT – in 1972, 83yr old CHARLIE CHAPLIN returned to accept his honorary Oscar.pic.twitter.com/IdC2Eo8qHX
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) December 23, 2023
“Based on Nuremberg principles, Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu would be both in the dock, accompanied by Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, Lloyd Austin and their counterparts in Tel Aviv…”
American President Joe Biden likes to talk about “inflexion points” when he is lecturing about world affairs and the supposed superiority of the United States. This year is indeed an inflexion point. It was the year that the entire world saw the truly hideous and criminal nature of U.S. power. Washington’s fuelling of the futile conflict in Ukraine and the despicable slaughter in Gaza is a wake-up call for the entire world. The United States stands barefaced and grotesque as the primary purveyor of war. There can be no doubt about that. For many it is shocking, scandalous and frightening.Tragically, it seems, for the world, every year’s end is an occasion to witness and lament conflicts, wars and suffering over the preceding 12 months. Often the causes of wars and suffering are seemingly unfathomable.
However, this year seems to be unique. The year ends with a horrendous massacre in Gaza that is unprecedented and perpetrated by Israel with the full support of the United States. The scale of deliberate mass killing in Gaza makes it a genocide. The fact that this abomination is occurring at Christmas time when the world is supposed to celebrate the divine birth of Jesus Christ – the Prince of Peace – in the very place where he was born some 2,000 years ago makes the abomination all the more profane and damning. What is particularly wretched is that the heinous destruction of children is happening in full view of the world. There is no remorse or pretence. It is full-blown premeditated murder done with cruelty and sickening impunity. Virtually the whole world is horrified by the devastating, relentless violence and absolute violation of international law.
The butchery by the Israeli regime cannot in any way be rationalized by the previous attack on Israel by Palestinian militants on October 7. Those killings by Hamas have been cynically used as a pretext for the subsequent and ongoing annihilation of Palestinian civilians.This genocide could not happen without the crucial support of the United States for the Israeli regime. Financially, militarily and diplomatically, Washington is sponsoring the horror in Gaza as well as the Occupied West Bank. This week saw the U.S. once again obstructing calls at the United Nations for a ceasefire and the urgent supply of humanitarian aid to more than two million people. The World Food Program has declared a catastrophic famine in the coastal enclave after more than 70 days of bombing and blockade by the Israeli regime.
More than 20,000 people – mainly women and children – have been slaughtered with up to 7,000 more missing, presumably dead. Israeli troops are carrying out mass executions of terrified and traumatized human beings, according to UN rights monitors. The United States is arming Israel to the hilt and enabling it. U.S. President Joe Biden has pointedly refused to join international demands for a ceasefire. The United Nations has voted by an overwhelming majority for a cessation of the violence. Washington has repeatedly rejected the world’s pleas because the Biden administration is obscenely amplifying Israeli lies and distortions. “Unwavering, unshakable support” is how the White House arrogantly boasts about it without a hint of shame that it is self-indicting.
Tens of thousands of tonnes of munitions have been flown to Israel to carry out “indiscriminate bombing” (Biden’s own admission). One-tonne bunker-buster bombs have been dropped deliberately on refugee camps and hospitals. And still, the Pentagon shamelessly refuses to impose any red lines on the use of its munitions.This genocide has Israeli fingers on the triggers but it is ultimately an American-sponsored genocide. Based on Nuremberg principles, Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu would be both in the dock, accompanied by Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, Lloyd Austin and their counterparts in Tel Aviv.
“The US attempted to help topple the current government in Sanaa, but ended up creating a battle-hardened group that has domestically developed capabilities well beyond those it possessed at the start of the conflict in 2015..”
Under former US President Barack Obama, Washington backed the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen back in 2015. Since then, some 377,000 people have died, largely as a result of the deadly blockade imposed on the majority of the country’s population, while some 15,000 civilians have died due to direct conflict. The objective of the Saudi-led intervention, which received the backing of the US and UK, was to remove Ansarallah from power in the nation’s capital, Sanaa. Although the group does not enjoy international recognition as Yemen’s governing force, it rules over more than 80% of the population, has the support of two-thirds of the nation’s armed forces, and operates a government out of Sanaa. Ansarallah came to power following a popular revolution against then-Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in 2014. Months later, Hadi resigned and fled the country after Ansarallah militants had decided to take over by force.
In the midst of a seven-year war, the political, social and armed movement that is often referred to as “the Houthi rebels” operates as the de facto government of Yemen, but is yet to receive recognition at the UN, which instead recognises the ‘Presidential Leadership Council’ that was created in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2022. The context above is crucial for understanding the capabilities of Yemen’s Ansarallah, which was downplayed as a band of “Iran-backed rebels” in Western corporate media for years. While the governments of the collective West have tried to pretend that the Yemeni group is insignificant, Washington’s recent decision to form a multi-national naval coalition to confront the Houthis is an admission that they are a major regional actor. In fact, Ansarallah is the only Arab movement that controls state assets and a standing army that is participating in the ongoing war with Israel.
The reality that the US is now confronting is something that both Saudi Arabia and the UAE came to realize early last year. Following two separate drone and missile attacks on Abu Dhabi and Dubai in January of 2022, it became apparent that the West’s current level of support could not provide sufficient security for the UAE. Up until a nationwide ceasefire was brokered in April 2022, Ansarallah had also demonstrated its developed missile and drone capabilities, striking valuable economic targets inside Saudi Arabia too. Despite receiving a lot less attention than it deserved, Ansarallah forces strategically timed their second attack on the UAE to coincide with the arrival of Israeli President Isaac Herzog in the country.
This was a clear message to the Emirati and Saudi leaderships that Western support will not provide sufficient security. It’s likely because of this threat from Yemen that Riyadh sought a security pact with the US, in order to make a normalization agreement with Israel possible. Such a security pact would have stipulated that an attack on one is an attack on all, hence dragging the Americans into a direct war against Yemen in the event that the conflict was to flare up again. The US attempted to help topple the current government in Sanaa, but ended up creating a battle-hardened group that has domestically developed capabilities well beyond those it possessed at the start of the conflict in 2015. In his first foreign policy address after taking office in 2021, US President Joe Biden pledged to end the war in Yemen. However, instead of pursuing a Yemen-Saudi deal, the White House abandoned its pledge and sought to broker a Saudi-Israeli deal instead. That fatal decision is coming back to bite policymakers in Washington.
“I don’t know if Saudi Arabia is going to be willing to jeopardize that, to stand with the United States in fighting the Houthis in this war, especially because it’s going to be perceived in the entire region as Saudi Arabia siding with Israel..”
US oil stockpiles are at their 40-year lows and the Houthi Red Sea blockage can make matters much worse for Washington, Maram Susli, better known as blogger Syrian Girl, told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. Yemen’s armed forces stepped up attacks on trade vessels linked to Israel in the Red Sea in a bid to force Tel Aviv into halting its ground operation in the Gaza Strip. In response, the US brought together a 10-nation coalition against the government in Sana’a led by the Ansarallah movement — dubbed the Houthis by the West. However, the coalition includes only one Arab state, Bahrain, while Yemen’s other neighbors have so far hesitated to join the US-led Operation Prosperity Guardian. Could they jump on Washington’s bandwagon anytime soon?
“It’s very interesting to see what the surrounding states will do, because, of course, we have Saudi Arabia trying to defeat the Houthis since 2015, which resulted in a lot of economic suffering and instability from Saudi Arabia,” Susli told Sputnik. “And only now have they finally made some kind of a ceasefire or peace treaty with Iran and they both joined BRICS. I don’t know if Saudi Arabia is going to be willing to jeopardize that, to stand with the United States in fighting the Houthis in this war, especially because it’s going to be perceived in the entire region as Saudi Arabia siding with Israel, because what is happening right now is the Houthis are not attacking the vessels that are not related to Israel.” Observers say the US may resort to attacking Yemen launch sites, as they did previously in 2016.
So far the Biden administration has been reluctant to take direct military action against the Houthis, who its claims are backed by Iran. The Yemeni movement issued a stark warning to the US-led naval task force on December 20. “America’s announcement of the establishment of the Coalition of Shame will not prevent us from continuing our military operations… This is a moral and humanitarian position that we will not abandon, no matter the sacrifices it costs us,” Ansarallah spokesman Mohammed al-Bukhaiti tweeted on December 19. “It’s interesting to see the United States put itself in harm’s way in this way and try to launch a war already, because, you know, it’s quite blatant that they’re doing this for Israel and not for the United States,” Susli said. “And it’s going to open up their ranks in Syria and Iraq to even more massive attacks. They’re basically sitting ducks in the Middle East right now.”
“France, Italy and Spain withdraw from Operation Prosperity Guardian, refusing to put their warships under U.S. command.”
The Pentagon’s formation of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a new task force to protect shipping from Houthi drone and missile attacks in the Bab Al-Mandeb Strait and the Red Sea, requires increased warship patrols by the US and allies. This will create a security umbrella over commercial vessels to defend from attacks. Reuters said about twenty countries have signed up for the Pentagon’s new operation. However, several countries, including Australia, Spain, Italy, and France, have rejected the Pentagon’s request to participate in the operation. Spain’s Defence Ministry said it would only participate in NATO-led missions or European-coordinated operations – not ones commanded by the Pentagon: “We will not participate unilaterally in the Red Sea operation.”
Italy’s Defence Ministry voiced similar concerns, indicating it would send naval frigate Virginio Fasan to the Red Sea but only respond to requests by Italian shipowners. “Operation Prosperity Guardian in the Red Sea has practically Collapsed as France, Spain, and Italy have all announced their Withdrawal from the US Command Structure for the Operation, with the Three Nations stating they will only conduct further Maritime Operations under the Command of NATO and/or the European Union and not the United States,” X account OSINTdefender wrote. Another X user wrote: “France, Spain, and Italy aren’t withdrawing because they don’t want to escalate the conflict. On the contrary, they’re withdrawing because they don’t believe the operation coordinated by Biden regime will protect their vessels. This is the result of a weak ‘President’ / lack of leadership.”
[..] As of Saturday morning, the number of container ships in the Red Sea with destinations to Asia, Europe, and the US is less than five. This once-busy waterway that connects to the Suez Canal has seen a plunge in container ship activity this week. Remember, this critical waterway is responsible for 10-12% of the world’s maritime freight. Vessels are now being diverted around the Cape of Good Hope, adding 1-2 weeks in travel time. Plus, container rates are soaring. The fact that seven major shipping companies, including Taiwanese container shipping line Evergreen and Belgian tanker owner Euronav, have halted sails through the Red Sea shows their lack of confidence in the US protecting the critical waterway.
A Russian military blog post posted on Thursday, December 21 at 11:33 Moscow time, has revealed the hitherto secret positions of all warships in the area which the Pentagon has announced for its OPERATION PROSPERITY GUARDIAN. The fresh data and the open map (lead image) were not available when yesterday’s report was published at 09:32 Moscow time of Russia’s “two-track” strategy for opposing the US and NATO, and for protecting Russian oil shipments while the Houthi drone and missile operations are under way against Israel. No Russian Navy vessel is in the area at present although Russian crude oil cargoes are moving through the Red Sea with Iranian and Houthi agreement. Because these ship movements are defying US and NATO sanctions, it has been decided in Moscow to negotiate safe passage with Iran and Yemen rather than deploy the Russian Navy to protect them.
However, the new combined US and NATO operation, targeting the Houthis and their Iranian support and supply systems, increases the possibility of a direct American, allied, or false-flagged attack on a tanker carrying Russian oil.
In yesterday’s morning report, I indicated that “the current whereabouts of the [Chinese] warship group has not been reported in the open press.” The Russian source map is now reporting that the Chinese Navy’s 45th Escort Task Force, comprising the Type-052 destroyer Urumqi, the Type-547 frigate Linyi, and supply ship Dongpinghu were at berth at the Chinese base at Djibouti as of Wednesday, December 20. The Russian map also reveals that the Iranian vessel MV Behshad is in a standing position in the Red Sea. According to the Russian source, it is operating as an electronic surveillance, command and control centre to monitor friendly state ship movements – Russian, Chinese, Indian – and also hostile vessels of the US, British and French navies, tracking their positions; and relaying the data to Iran and probably to shore positions in Yemen. Although US media and Pentagon statements accuse the Ansar Allah government in Yemen and Houthi forces of acting as Iranian proxies in the war against Israel, there has been no disclosure before now of this vessel in the Red Sea.
According to the western vessel tracking service VesselFinder, the Behshad is a “general cargo ship” flagged by Iran. It reportedly sailed from the port of the Iran Shipbuilding and Offshore Industries Complex (ISOICO) to reach its current position, which VesselFinder confirms in the southern half of the Red Sea as of fifteen minutes ago. The western source reports the vessel is at anchor in 6.5 metres of water. In the Pentagon announcement of December 18, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin claimed that “Operation Prosperity Guardian is bringing together multiple countries to include the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain, to jointly address security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with the goal of ensuring freedom of navigation for all countries and bolstering regional security and prosperity.” The new Russian intelligence now makes clear that the UK, France and Spain are already in the region, with the US.
After Austin’s statement, his Italian counterpart announced that Italy is dispatching a frigate “to protect the prosperity of trade and guarantee freedom of navigation and international law…to increase the presence in the area in order to create the conditions for stabilization, avoid ecological disasters and also prevent a resumption of the inflationary push.” The Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias followed the Italian to say that Greece too is sending a frigate to join the US operation. Dendias is claiming the reason is that Greece is “the country with the largest ocean-going fleet [and so] has a primary interest in preserving the freedom of maritime zones and protecting the lives of seafarers.” What he means is that the involvement of Greek shipowners in the sanctions-busting Russian oil trade has been so profitable, Dendias wants to protect the Greek tankers and their owners; and at the same time avoid the embarrassment of being so disloyal to the US and European Union sanctions regime.
“International judicial and arbitral practice confirms that it is impossible to impose seizure on funds belonging to central banks and sovereign wealth funds..”
A White House proposal to seize frozen Russian funds and use them to help Ukraine is not only illegal, but also incredibly dangerous, as it could shatter the entire global financial system, according to Konstantin Kosachev, the vice speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament. The senator’s comments come after the New York Times reported on Friday that the Biden administration had intensified talks with US allies to requisition over $300 billion in Russian foreign exchange reserves frozen after the start of the Ukraine conflict. Writing on Telegram on Friday, Kosachev called the initiative “crazy,” and said it did not have a single leg to stand on in legal terms.
He recalled that central banks’ sovereign funds are shielded by a special immunity under customary international law, and no jurisdiction is allowed to impose any coercive measures on them. Moreover, the senator continued, if the US were to seize Russian assets, it would violate not only international law, but also domestic legislation. He alluded to the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act which protects the assets of foreign central banks, adding that many US allies have similar laws. “International judicial and arbitral practice confirms that it is impossible to impose seizure on funds belonging to central banks and sovereign wealth funds,”Kosachev stressed. By disregarding this practice, the US is setting a “very dangerous precedent” that will harm the entire global financial system, he stated.
A potential seizure would trigger swift retaliation from Moscow, with the requisition of Western assets frozen in Russia being on the table, Kosachev warned. He emphasized that Washington’s move would be interpreted as a “bad signal” in many countries like China and Saudi Arabia, which would doubt the wisdom of holding their funds in euros or dollars. As a result, everyone loses. There will be another global financial crisis. [It will be] another step towards (potentially) general chaos and destruction. Russian officials have repeatedly alleged that the West’s decision to freeze Moscow’s assets constitutes theft. On Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov also stated that if the US goes ahead with seizing the funds it could lead to a complete breakdown of relations with Moscow, which are already at an all-time low.
To the last Ukrainian…
Ukraine is likely to resort to “total mobilization” next year in a bid to contain Russia, Ukrainian officer Vasily Samovar, who commands the aviation and air defense forces of the 3rd Separate Storm Brigade, told a local Dnipro TV channel on Saturday. He reportedly admitted that Russia is superior in many aspects, ranging from economic might to personnel reserves. Kiev is still reeling from the failed summer counteroffensive that has failed to bring about any major changes to the front lines while costing tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of pieces of heavy equipment. In December, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated that Ukraine had lost over 383,000 soldiers since the start of the conflict, adding that roughly half of the casualties were sustained during its much-hyped summer operation.
Ukraine’s Western backers have also seemingly begun to doubt Kiev’s prospects of winning the conflict in the wake of the failed offensive. In December, US lawmakers said that neither Washington nor Kiev had presented a clear winning strategy following a meeting with Zelensky. Both Washington and Brussels are also struggling to agree on the next aid packages for Ukraine. In his interview with the Dnipro station, Samovar said that “the Ukrainians should prepare for total mobilization and a cold winter.” The next year “will unfortunately be much harder than 2023 and 2022 combined,” he added. The officer explained that Russia is actively building up its forces and adapting its economy to the needs of its military.
If Moscow keeps up like this, it might prevail at some point, Samovar admitted, adding that Ukraine has neither such a “massive mobilization potential nor that much money and resources.” In December, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said that the nation’s military had proposed calling up an additional 450,000-500,000 people, and that the government wanted to allocate an additional 500 billion hryvnia ($13.3 billion) to the effort. Earlier, the nation’s defense minister, Rustem Umerov, told Germany’s Bild tabloid that all Ukrainian men of military age living abroad were to be summoned to recruitment centers. The Defense Ministry then rushed to deny such plans.
On Friday, it was reported that lawmakers in Kiev were actively working on a bill that would allow Ukrainians living abroad to be drafted. According to Vadim Ivchenko, an MP and member of the parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, the bill will be introduced in January. Zelensky’s administration also supported the measure. A senior presidential aide, Mikhail Podoliak, told Ukraine’s Channel 24 on Friday that Ukrainian men should return home to fight and that a set of punitive measures should be introduced if they don’t up to having their residency permits revoked in their current countries of stay. Estonia then expressed its readiness to extradite Ukrainians of military age at Kiev’s request. Germany, meanwhile, has said it would not send anyone back against their will.
”..the surge in new arrivals was a “hybrid operation” aimed at “destabilizing our society..”
Rejected asylum seekers in Finland might receive a heavy sum from Helsinki starting next year if they agree to return to their home countries, the Finnish Interior Ministry announced on Thursday as it unveiled the new “voluntary return assistance” program. Under the scheme, a refugee can apply for a grant for voluntary return and get €5,300 ($5,833) if they do so within 30 days after the first negative decision on their asylum application or withdraw the request themselves, the ministry’s statement said. If they do so later, the sum would drop to €2,000 ($2,201), it added. The program, which is to be launched on January 1, 2024, is designed to encourage “leaving the country as quickly as possible and refraining from appealing the asylum decision,” the statement said. An asylum seeker can apply for the grant regardless of their country of origin.
The money can then be spent to cover the travel costs or “commodity support,” according to the Finnish authorities. A returnee can also use the grant to “get education or start a small business” at home. “Returning to the home country must be a sustainable solution,” the statement said, adding that “return counseling” by the immigration authorities would be enhanced and measures to promote voluntary returns would be “intensified.” Victims of human trafficking who have no place of residence in Finland, as well as those who received such a residency permit because they had been prevented from leaving the country can also apply for a grant but the sum for them would be only €3,000 ($3,301) and would not scale, depending on the timing, the Interior Ministry said. Support would not be provided to those seeking to move to another EU or Schengen country or to a nation where citizens can enter Finland without visas, the ministry added.
The announcement comes as Finland struggles to stem the inflow of migrants and asylum seekers on its eastern border with Russia. The Nordic nation had to gradually shut down its border crossings with Russia last month, citing an increase in the number of migrants from third nations seeking to cross into its territory from Russia. Helsinki also repeatedly accused Moscow of being behind the influx, although the Kremlin rejected the claims as “completely baseless.” Interior Minister Mari Rantanen claimed in December that the surge in new arrivals was a “hybrid operation” aimed at “destabilizing our society,” which Helsinki must resist.
Poland, which also shares a border with Russia, said it had offered to deploy a team of “military advisers” to the Nordic nation to provide “on-site knowledge on border security, including in an operational sense.” Finland later denied any knowledge of Warsaw’s offer, while the Kremlin condemned it as an “an absolutely unprovoked, unjustified concentration of military units on the Russian border.” In December, the Council of Europe criticized Helsinki’s decision to close the border, pointing to concerns about effective access to legal entry for asylum seekers and “considerable risks for the health and life” of migrants. Later the same month, the Finnish authorities announced opening two of the eight border crossings with Russia but shut them down in just a day. “Illegal entry on the Finnish border has immediately resumed,” Rantanen said at that time.
“We have nothing to be embarrassed about. I hope that the Ukrainians are interested in rebuilding their own country, which needs it..”
Denmark has said it is no longer happy to play host to thousands of Ukrainian refugees indefinitely. Once the Ukraine conflict is over, they must return home – that was the message from Minister for Immigration and Integration Kaare Dybvad Bek. “We have nothing to be embarrassed about. I hope that the Ukrainians are interested in rebuilding their own country, which needs it,” Dybvad told daily newspaper Berlingske. A total of 30,278 Ukrainians are currently registered as temporary residents in Denmark under the Danish Special Act — but that is set to expire in March 2025. The law grants them a residence permit, social benefits, access to school, work, health services, a national integration program and temporary accommodation in a Danish municipality — in stark contrast to refugees from other countries.
“We will not change that point of view. We work with temporary accommodation in the context of refugees, and it is regardless of where people come from,” said Dybvad.While insisting that Ukrainians were “culturally closer to us than people from the Middle East,” the minister stressed that they behaved in “completely different ways” than Danes. Dybvad also noted that the Kiev regime had said it wants its citizens to return — for conscription into the army, according to some officials. Denmark “will have to respect that,” he said. “If we go it alone and make our own legislation, which is out of step with the EU, then we risk having a very large influx of people who already have a safe place to be,” Dybvad warned. Some Ukrainians might be able to stay past the March 2025 deadline, Kaare Dybvad added, but only under certain conditions. Anyone able to earn over 375,000 Danish kroner ($55,400) per year could apply for a business permit.
“I think they have the opportunity to stay to a reasonable extent, but we are not going to make an independent opening where we say that everyone who comes from Ukraine can stay in Denmark,” the minister said. Currently there are nearly 6 million Ukrainian refugees in Europe, according to the UNHCR collation of statistics. The most popular destinations for the migrants have been Germany, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. The highest number of Ukrainian refugees per thousand inhabitants is recorded in the Czech Republic (33.7), Estonia (26.3), Poland (26.1), Bulgaria (26.1) and Lithuania (25.8), as per the latest Eurostat data. Many have expressed the desire to stay in these countries.
But many European countries that have already felt the blowback from self-harming anti-Russia sanctions over Ukraine are now mulling ways to send the refugees home. The “economic burden” of Ukrainian refugees against the backdrop of soaring inflation, higher global food prices, and other costs, is feeding into the overall “Ukraine fatigue.” Germany has also complained that unemployed Ukrainian refugees have become a drain on its finances. Less than 20 percent of the tens of thousands of Ukrainians who moved there have since found a job in their new host country, one local media outlet announced in November, noting that some 700,000 Ukrainian refugees in the country currently receive unemployment benefits.
“..the Estonian authorities know where the Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the country are and what they are doing..”
Estonia is ready to locate and extradite Ukrainians of draft-age and those undergoing mobilization to Kiev, the country’s Interior Minister Lauri Laanemets told local media. “If Ukraine tells the state of Estonia that they want to mobilize these individuals and asks to send them home, then Estonia will certainly help Ukraine,” Laanemets explained. According to him, the Estonian authorities know where the Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the country are and what they are doing. Laanemets noted, however, that no official request for the extradition of Ukrainians of military age has yet been received from Kiev.
The minister promised that in the coming days he will submit a written proposal for a corresponding agreement between the two countries. More than 7,000 Ukrainian men of mobilization age have so far applied for temporary protection in Estonia. Earlier, the German authorities refused to extradite Ukrainians who had left Ukraine country to Kiev for mobilization. According to the head of the German Ministry of Justice, Marco Buschmann, Berlin is primarily trying to employ people from Ukraine.
“..he will focus on “the existential threat to democracy that Donald Trump represents.”
Former US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he would be willing to debate current President Joe Biden multiple times if they both become the nominee of their respective parties. During an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Trump responded to a question about whether he would face Biden if the opportunity arose. “Oh, I look forward to that. How about 10 debates? How about 10,” Trump said. He also argued that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which is responsible for organizing the events, is “totally corrupt” and “Democrat-leaning.” Referring to a showdown between him and Biden that was scheduled for October 2020 and canceled by the CPD, Trump affirmed that he would “do 20 debates even if it was organized by them.”
“I’ll do as many debates as they want. I’d do a debate every night with this guy. But he’ll never show up to a debate,” he added. In November, Trump announced that he would run for office again in 2024. He did so despite finding himself at the center of multiple lawsuits in recent months, four of which have resulted in indictments. In total, he faces 91 criminal charges. He has pleaded not guilty to all of them.
At a rally in New Hampshire last week, Trump referred to his court cases by quoting Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Republican said he had been subjected to “Biden’s politically motivated persecution,” which showed “the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy.” Biden announced in April that he would run for re-election. His campaign strategy memo for the 2024 race, shared by CNN on Thursday, declares he will focus on “the existential threat to democracy that Donald Trump represents.” A Morning Consult and Bloomberg poll released last week showed Trump leading the incumbent in seven swing states: North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
“..attempt to install himself as “president for life” if successful in 2024..”
Former US President Donald Trump has defended his assertion that illegal immigration is “poisoning the blood” of America, claiming that he had no idea Adolf Hitler used similar language in his book, Mein Kampf. Speaking at a campaign rally in New Hampshire last weekend, Trump declared that the flow of illegal immigrants into the US – which hit an all time record this fiscal year – was “poisoning the blood of our country,” adding that “they’re coming into our country from Africa, from Asia, all over the world.” He made similar statements at a rally in Iowa later in the week, and in a campaign video on Thursday. Trump was excoriated for the remark by liberal media outlets and by President Joe Biden’s campaign team, who accused him of “parroting Hitler.” The Nazi dictator wrote in Mein Kampf that “inferior races” were a “contamination of the blood” of Germany.
Asked by conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt whether he used the term in the same way Hitler did, Trump said on Friday that he did not. “No, and I never knew that Hitler said it either, by the way,” Trump told Hewitt. “And I never read ‘Mein Kampf.’ They said I read ‘Mein Kampf.’ These are people that are disinformation, horrible people that we’re dealing with.” “I’m not a student of Hitler. I never read his works,” Trump continued. “They say that he said something about blood. He didn’t say it the way I said it either, by the way, it’s a very different kind of a statement.” Trump then repeated his argument against illegal immigration, declaring that “they’re destroying our country. They’re coming in from every continent, and we have no idea who they are, what they represent. Are they from jails? Are they from prisons? And I will tell you, a big percentage of the people coming in are from prisons and from mental institutions and are terrorists… and that is poisoning our country.”
With less than a year to go until the 2024 presidential election, Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee and is leading Biden in most polls. If elected, Trump has promised to use executive powers to close the US-Mexico border, reinstate his ‘Remain in Mexico’ asylum policy, and end the Biden administration’s practice of ‘Catch and Release’, under which illegal immigrants are released into the US after apprehension with orders to show up for court dates up to 10 years later. The furor over Trump’s “poison blood” remarks comes after several leading liberal pundits claimed that the former president would abandon NATO, sic the military on protesters, and attempt to install himself as “president for life” if successful in 2024. All of the articles’ authors were prominent critics of Trump during his presidency.
Yeah, why the delay?
Using his Twitter/X platform to promote the 5-minute-long teaser, Tucker Carlson has finally released the interview with Julian Assange that took place on November 2, 2023. Why wait 51 days? Your guess is as good as mine. [..] As the Yahoo News article begins, they outline how those within the Trump administration viewed Assange as a risk in 2017. Here it is critical to accept that many people inside the Trump administration were there to control events, not to facilitate a policy agenda from a political outsider. In the example of Assange, the information he carried was a risk to those who attempted and failed to stop Trump from winning the 2016 election. Julian Assange was not a threat to Donald Trump, but he was a threat to those who attempted to stop Donald Trump. In 2017, the DC system was reacting to a presidency they did not control.
As an outcome, the Office of the President was being managed and influenced by some with ulterior motives. Yahoo, via Michael Isikoff, puts it this way: “Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration even discussed killing Assange, going so far as to request “sketches” or “options” for how to assassinate him. Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence official. “There seemed to be no boundaries.” As we overlay the timeline, it is prudent to pause and remember some hindsight details. According to reports in November of 2019, U.S. Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr were spending time looking carefully at CIA activity in the 2016 presidential election. One quote from a media-voice increasingly sympathetic to a political deep-state noted:
“One British official with knowledge of Barr’s wish list presented to London commented that, “It is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services”“. It is interesting that quote came from a British intelligence official, as there was extensive pre-2016 election evidence of an FBI/CIA counterintelligence operation that also involved U.K. intelligence services. There was an aspect to the FBI/CIA operation that overlaps with both a U.S. and U.K. need to keep Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under tight control. To understand the risk that Julian Assange represented to FBI/CIA interests, and effectively the Mueller special counsel, it is important to understand just how extensive the operations of the FBI/CIA were in 2016.
It is within this network of foreign and domestic operations where FBI Agent Peter Strzok was clearly working as a bridge between the CIA and FBI operations. By now, people are familiar with the construct of CIA operations involving Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor generally identified as a western intelligence operative who was tasked by the FBI/CIA to run an operation against Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos in both Italy (Rome) and London. John Durham ignored him. In a similar fashion, the FBI tasked U.S. intelligence asset Stefan Halper to target another Trump campaign official, Carter Page. Under the auspices of being a Cambridge Professor, Stefan Halper also targeted General Michael Flynn. Additionally, using assistance from a female FBI agent, under the false name Azra Turk, Halper also targeted Papadopoulos. Again, John Durham ignored it.
The initial operations to target Flynn, Papadopoulos and Page were all based overseas. This seemingly makes the CIA exploitation of the assets and the targets legal and much easier. If Durham went into this intelligence rabbit hole, there would be a paper trail that leads back to Robert Mueller. Durham didn’t go there.
“This important ruling sets the stage for the plaintiffs to gather documentary evidence and take depositions under oath exposing the details of the CIA’s alleged wrongdoing..”
In a stunning decision on December 19, a federal court in New York ruled that attorneys and journalists may pursue their civil complaint against the Central Intelligence Agency. The plaintiffs allege their constitutional rights were violated by illegal surveillance during their visits with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange between January 2017 and March 2018 at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he had been granted asylum. The 27-page decision in Kunstler v CIA, written by US District Judge John G. Koeltl, , denied the CIA’s motion to dismiss the case. This important ruling sets the stage for the plaintiffs to gather documentary evidence and take depositions under oath exposing the details of the CIA’s alleged wrongdoing. The result may be a public trial as early as next year. The case presents a rare opportunity for the clandestine operations of the CIA – an agency that prides itself on secrecy – to be subjected to public scrutiny and accountability.
Assange is a journalist and publisher and the founder of WikiLeaks, a multi-national media organization and library. The US indicted Assange for allegedly violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and other charges regarding computer intrusion. If extradited to the US, he faces 175 years in prison. Assange, fearing even before the indictment that he would be extradited and face charges, took refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London until April 2019, when he was abruptly arrested by British authorities. He has been detained in HM Belmarch Prison ever since. In August 2022, Margaret Ratner Kunstler, Deborah Hrbek, John Goetz, and Charles Glass sued the CIA and former director Mike Pompeo, as well as David Morales Guillen and his professional security firm based in Spain, Undercover Global S.L. Kunstler and Hrbek are attorneys practicing law in New York, and Goetz and Glass are journalists who report on national security issues.
Their civil complaint alleges that in April 2017, Pompeo announced in one of his first speeches that “as CIA Director he would target whistleblowers who exposed clandestine and/or illegal efforts by the United States government aimed at countries perceived to be hostile to U.S. interests.” Pompeo specifically labeled WikiLeaks as “a nonstate hostile intelligence service.” He called Assange a “narcissist,” “fraud,” and a “coward,” and “pledged that his office would embark upon a ‘long term’ campaign against WikiLeaks.”
“..part of this trend of our enforcement agencies being weaponized to serve a political agenda.”
Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s third request for Secret Service protection has been denied, according to a letter obtained by the Deseret News. The letter, signed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, says that USSS protection for Kennedy is “not warranted.” The letter’s veracity was confirmed Friday night by the Kennedy campaign. “I have consulted with an advisory committee composed of the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, and the Senate Sergeant at Arms,” Mayorkas wrote. “Based on the facts and the recommendation of the advisory committee, I have determined that Secret Service protection for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not warranted at this time.” Kennedy has submitted three requests for Secret Service protection since launching his campaign in April, each with the same result.
Federal law authorizes Secret Service protection for “major” presidential and vice presidential candidates. The DHS secretary is given authority to determine who qualifies as a “major” candidate, in consultation with the top congressional leaders in the House and Senate. In 2017, criteria were established to help guide the DHS’ decision making, including a threat assessment conducted by the Secret Service to determine whether the candidate is in danger, and whether the candidate meets specific polling thresholds. For independent candidates, the threshold is “polling at 20% or more of the Real Clear Politics National Average for 30 consecutive days.” Historically, Secret Service protection has been reserved for the two major-party nominees and their vice presidents, though others — like Herman Cain in 2012 and Ben Carson in 2016 — received protection just under one year before Election Day.
The Kennedy campaign has argued that Kennedy meets the criteria to receive protection. When it submitted its second request, Kennedy said he provided a 67-page report from Gavin de Becker and Associates, the security firm Kennedy hired, “detailing unique and well-established security and safety risks aside from commonplace death threats.” In an interview with the Deseret News in October, Kennedy said he’s spent almost $2 million on private security. He called DHS’ decision “political,” saying it is “part of this trend of our enforcement agencies being weaponized to serve a political agenda.” “I can’t look into the heads of the people who are making these decisions at the White House,” Kennedy continued. “But I think they’d probably rather me spend money on protection than spending it on field organization or advertising.”
"What we will see is completely unprecedented in terms of magnitude of the wave of morbidity and unfortunately mortality…up to 30-40% in highly vaccinated countries." -Former Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation vaccine scientist @GVDBossche on VSRF LIVE. pic.twitter.com/tjQpdjy52q
— Vaccine Safety Research Foundation (@VacSafety) December 15, 2023
Christmas is fab, but I love me a bit Scroogey-ness too.
“FUCK CHRISTMAS”🎄 pic.twitter.com/rk22TmQEVo
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) December 23, 2023
They will make your day better! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/0xsVzgxxBO
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) December 23, 2023
Bing and Bowie
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