Dec 232023
 
 December 23, 2023  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


Edward Hopper New York office 1962

 

The Supreme Court Sees the Politics – Jack Smith Denied Request (CTH)
A Rigged System From Top to Bottom (Donald Jeffries)
NYT Editor: Opponents to Trump’s Disqualification The New Confederates (Turley)
Slip, Sliding Towards Civil War as Trump Tossed From Colorado Ballot (Bridge)
Biden Emailed Son’s Business Associate 54 Times In 1 Year– Republicans (RT)
Ukraine Can’t Defeat Russia – Fico (RT)
‘Old Ukraine’ Is Dead – Arestovich (RT)
McGovern: Biden’s Proxy War in Ukraine Evokes Strong Memories of Vietnam Sp.)
Ukrainian Military Vows To Boost Numbers By Any Means (RT)
All Ukrainians Must Fight – Security Chief (RT)
Foreign Nations Should Sanction Ukrainian Draft Dodgers – Zelensky Aide (RT)
Germany Vows To Protect Ukrainian Men From Zelensky (RT)
Russia Warns Of ‘Complete Breakdown’ In Relations With US (RT)
Whatever It Takes Won’t Be Enough (Kunstler)
2023 Year in Review: Down Some Dark Rabbit Holes (Dave Collum)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Assange

 

 

 

 

Woody

 

 

Crooke

 

 

 

 

“For the Supreme Court to accept the request of Smith, would be for the Supreme Court to pretend the political motive was unknown..”

The Supreme Court Sees the Politics – Jack Smith Denied Request (CTH)

As we stated yesterday, following the Smith request, the Trump attorney response, and the Smith re-response, the transparency of the special counsel motive is obvious. For the Supreme Court to accept the request of Smith, would be for the Supreme Court to pretend the political motive was unknown. The Supreme Court did not pretend and was curt in their retort: “The petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment is denied.” Special Counsel Jack Smith argued in his petition to the court, the speedy resolution of Trump’s claim of presidential immunity is of an urgent national interest. The motive was/is a transparent speedy timeline effort to influence the 2024 GOP presidential primary race.

The court, heck, the entire world can see it. Arguments on the presidential immunity issue, within the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, are set for January 9, 2024. The decision of the 3-judge panel will come thereafter. Depending on the outcome, Donald Trump can then ask for a full panel appellate court review. If the Circuit Court appeal results in a non-favorable outcome, the next step is the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the DC trial of Donald Trump is frozen awaiting a determination on the original issue of presidential immunity.

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“Peter Navarro was convicted for contempt of Congress, because he ignored a subpoena. You know, the same thing presidential offspring Hunter Biden just did this week. Former Attorney General Eric Holder did this as well. Some subpoenas are more equal than others.”

A Rigged System From Top to Bottom (Donald Jeffries)

Just the other day, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a remarkable statement. “Before this trial even began, the judge ruled in our favor and found that Donald Trump did engage in years of significant financial fraud,” James boasted publicly. This is associated with just one of Donald Trump’s absurd legal cases. Let what this laughable, biased prosecutor said sink in for a moment. She admitted that the honorable judge had “ruled in our favor” before the case had gone to trial. Even for this collapsing Banana Republic, it’s a shocking precedent to openly brag about such a serious breach of basic legal protocol. James, whom Trump has called “racist,” recently stated, “The Donald Trump show is over.” James has referred to Trump as an “illegitimate president,” and said “his days are numbered.” She lashed out at Trump at many rallies, even declaring, “We’ll bring him down!”

Upon being elected in December 2018, James vowed, “We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well.” In this case, Trump is accused of exaggerating the value of his assets. Now, I’ve known a lot of people in my lifetime that exaggerated the value of whatever they had. Bullshitters, I believe they’re called. Or to be more polite, blowhards. Until now, being a bullshit artist wasn’t a criminal offense. The good judge in this case, Arthur Engoron, is about as biased as can be, a perfect example of the new judges who rule over the Orwellian courtrooms of America 2.0. Engoron slapped a gag order on the former president after he insulted his law clerk in a post on Truth Social. Some insults are more equal than others. Trump also received a gag order in his equally ridiculous trial for “conspiring to overthrow” the 2020 election, by complaining about the many obvious irregularities that smacked of fraud.

It’s hard to keep track of the players without a scorecard, but Jack Smith, the prosecutor in the case where Trump is being tried for alleging electoral fraud, something which Stacy Abrams continues to do in the same state, is in a category by himself. Smith has regularly taunted Trump on social media, at Trump’s own grade school level. It makes you proud to be an American to witness it. Judge Tanya Chutkan is almost identical to Engoron in her transparent bias against Trump. Trump has no chance in either case. Although a bit less classless than the TikTok judges Alex Jones has been tried by, they are similar in their disregard for traditional appearances of impartiality and the presumption of innocence, and their distaste for free speech.

Just as the lethargic American public permitted tyranny to be constructed all around them, without protesting or even noticing, they have allowed the implementation of a politicized justice system. The prosecutions of Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn, Sydney Powell and other Trump associates were all politically motivated. Peter Navarro was convicted for contempt of Congress, because he ignored a subpoena. You know, the same thing presidential offspring Hunter Biden just did this week. Former Attorney General Eric Holder did this as well. Some subpoenas are more equal than others.

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“..it is up to society to protect citizens from the “nefarious” uses of free speech or free elections by cleansing ballots and social media.”

NYT Editor: Opponents to Trump’s Disqualification The New Confederates (Turley)

“Why are you standing with confederates who betrayed this country?” Those words from New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay on MSNBC captured the unhinged coverage of the Colorado Supreme Court’s disqualification of Donald Trump from the 2024 election. While the underlying theory under the 14th Amendment had been previously rejected by jurists in various states (including many Democrats), Gay had a simple take for viewers: anyone raising democratic or constitutional objections are modern day confederates. Gay was asked on MSNBC’s Morning Joe how she would respond to many of us who have questioned the constitutional basis for using the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from ballots.

Gay responded: “Why are you standing with confederates who betrayed this country? This is what they’re standing with. It’s the spirit of those confederates rather than the Americans who came together after a long and brutal Civil War that was fought to keep the Union together and clearly saw a threat in ex-confederates running for office. So much so they amended the Constitution to prevent those traitors from running for office.” It is that simple for the editors of the New York Times: either you support this previously rejected theory to prevent voters from casting their ballots for a candidate or you are a confederate. So those three Democratic appointees on the Colorado Supreme Court were just more confederate fellow travelers. Gay knows that other states and courts have rejected this theory. She knows that even the majority said that the precedent for the decision was “sparce” and that this was “uncharted territory.”

Yet, if you reach the opposing view of most judges who have looked at this question, you are standing not with the Constitution but the confederacy. The obvious attempt is to intimidate and ostracize those who may have qualms over barring citizens from voting for candidates. It is akin to being called a racist on campus if you oppose diversity policies or standards on academic grounds.

It is only the latest example of how the left is engaging in McCarthy-like tactics to portray advocates for free speech or other constitutional protections as enemies of the state. Back in the day, it was the Democrats who were denounced for raising such legal objections. Now, Democratic members and pundits attack witnesses as “Putin lovers” or supporters of “insurrectionists” in opposing censorship. Or confederates for objecting to ballot cleansing. Indeed the rhetoric used by Gay is strikingly familiar to the defense for censorship on the left. She added on MSNBC that the Colorado decision “should send a message that our electoral system can be used for nefarious purposes against democracy itself. It’s clear. It’s clear as day.” Thus, it is up to society to protect citizens from the “nefarious” uses of free speech or free elections by cleansing ballots and social media.

Of course, others simply used the opinion to vent on an almost schoolyard level. Rick Wilson of The Lincoln Project, taunted the former president and said that the court “called you out for what you are. You’re a filthy insurrectionist. You’re a losing loser who loses.” That is still weirdly preferable to labeling anyone raising constitutional concerns as standing with “confederate traitors.” Yet, it is remarkable how these critics who have long objected to Trump rhetoric have adopted the same personal and reckless rhetoric. Gay’s interview should be chilling for anyone who cares about both law and journalism. It shows the righteous rage that fuels the intolerance in our country. It also shows the potential for this insidious theory as more Democratic politicians, like those in California, who are calling for their own officials to find ways to block Trump from ballots.

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“..then it’s off to the races for something potentially unspeakable..”

Slip, Sliding Towards Civil War as Trump Tossed From Colorado Ballot (Bridge)

In an effort to ‘protect democracy,’ the Colorado Supreme Court declared Donald Trump “constitutionally ineligible” from running in the state’s 2024 primary in what appears to be the latest sign that America is heading for a calamitous train wreck. Was it any coincidence that on the very same day the Biden administration began the removal of the ‘Reconciliation Memorial,’ which was unveiled 109 years ago in Arlington National Cemetery in the aftermath of the Civil War as a symbol of America’s “national unity,” the state of Colorado denied thousands of its citizens the right to vote for – who else? In a 4-3 ruling, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump lacked the legal credentials to participate in the state’s presidential primary because of the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist clause,” removing his name from the state’s 2024 ballot.

The 14th Amendment on insurrection states, Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability. Colorado’s highest court overturned a ruling from a district court judge who ruled that Trump incited an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, but said he could not be removed from the ballot because it was unclear that the provision – written in the post-Civil War period – was intended to cover the presidency.

The obvious problem with the Colorado ruling is that Special Counsel Jack Smith did not charge Teflon Trump with an attempt to mount an insurrection on January 6, nor any other day. However, if by some chance the U.S. Supreme Court would affirm the Colorado ruling, leaving Trump disqualified not just in Colorado but in many other states, then it’s off to the races for something potentially unspeakable. Meanwhile, the cancel-culture commandos continue their attack on civil liberties in other ‘democratic’ venues as well. YouTube, for example, said it will remove videos that make false assertions that institutional fraud cost President Trump the 2020 election (suitcases filled with ballots magically appearing from under desks after the media have all called it a night is just a ‘conspiracy theory,’ right?). Since September, the company has sent to the memory hole over 8,000 channels for spreading “harmful and misleading” content.

To add to the Orwellian-ness of its draconian handiwork, the Google-owned monstrosity was creepily happy to inform in its blog page that “over 77% of those removed videos were taken down before they had 100 views.” If we were talking about the game ‘whack the mole,’ such swiftness might be something to brag about. But since we’re talking about severe violations of the First Amendment, the company should feel nothing but shame. Incidentally, speaking about violations of the 14th Amendment, how about the part at the end that speaks about giving “aid or comfort to the enemies thereof”? With an estimated 5,000 illegal immigrants swarming across the U.S.-Mexico border every day, some traveling as far away as the Middle East and China just for the privilege, couldn’t these mostly military-aged strangers be considered very real enemies? It certainly would seem that U.S. President Joe Biden, who has exposed the American people to every sort of danger, could be found guilty of ‘aiding and abetting’ a very real threat – an epidemic, if you will. Is there not one Republican-led high court in the land to take up the challenge?

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“..using aliases and private email addresses..”

Biden Emailed Son’s Business Associate 54 Times In 1 Year– Republicans (RT)

US President Joe Biden exchanged dozens of emails with his son Hunter’s business associate while he was vice president, according to a Republican-led committee investigating Biden’s alleged influence-peddling. Biden has denied any involvement in his son’s overseas dealings. Files released by the House Ways and Means Committee this week show Biden using aliases and private email addresses to communicate with Eric Schwerin, Hunter Biden’s accountant, 54 times. The bulk of these exchanges took place either side of Biden’s two 2014 trips to Ukraine, with Hunter Biden appointed to the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, after the first trip. The committee did not publish the contents of the emails, only describing when they were sent.

Nevertheless, the messages “directly refute previous public statements the president has made that he had no knowledge of his son’s business dealings,” the committee said in a press release. Asked earlier this month whether he knew about or partook in Hunter’s business activities, Biden said “I did not, and it’s a bunch of lies.” Hunter Biden was lavishly compensated for his work with Burisma, earning around $1 million per year for as long as his father was in the White House. Hunter’s former business partner, Devon Archer, told the House Oversight Committee in July that Hunter was appointed solely to guarantee that the company would have influence over US policy, and that Joe Biden regularly called Hunter during meetings with Burisma clients.

Biden admitted in 2018 to using $1 billion in American aid money as leverage to have a Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, fired. According to the Oversight Committee, Hunter asked his father to ensure that Shokin was sacked while the two spoke by phone during a Burisma meeting. The House Ways and Means Committee, Oversight Committee, and Judiciary Committee are currently conducting an impeachment inquiry into Biden’s alleged corruption and influence-peddling. The House of Representatives voted along party lines to formalize this inquiry earlier this month, a move that grants greater subpoena power to the committees. However, Hunter Biden has defied a subpoena calling for him to give a closed-door deposition to the Oversight and Judiciary committees, stating that he would only answer questions in a public session.

Citing witness testimony and files retrieved from a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, Republicans allege that the Biden family received around $24 million in payments through shell companies from business figures and politicians in China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine while Biden was vice president. Some 150 of these transactions were flagged as “suspicious” by the US Treasury Department, according to the committees. The Ways and Means Committee describes Schwerin as “the architect of the Biden family’s shell companies,” which were allegedly used to conceal these payments. Democrats insist that Schwerin merely helped Joe Biden file his tax returns during his time as vice president.

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No Gaza or Red Sea today, but lots of Ukraine. Feels like things could change there, fast.

Ukraine Can’t Defeat Russia – Fico (RT)

No amount of Western weapons pumped into Ukraine will be enough to secure a victory over Russia, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has said, adding that this means that the conflict has no military solution. In an interview with the local Pravda newspaper on Friday, Fico – a vocal critic of sending arms to Kiev – suggested that while the West was trying its best to use Ukraine to “destroy” Russia both economically and militarily, this approach was doomed from the very start. “This plan can never work, it is an absolute misunderstanding of reality and the real position of the Russian Federation,” he noted, recalling that Moscow has gained more territory than Ukraine this year, even despite the latter’s ill-fated counteroffensive.

According to Fico, while Western sanctions are certainly unpleasant for Moscow, it would be a mistake to think that “a Russian citizen is beating his head against the wall because he cannot buy an American phone” as he can simply buy a Chinese one. When it comes to the battlefield situation, the West should honestly admit that “Ukraine does not have enough forces to militarily reverse the situation,” according to the premier. We can pour all the weapons of the world, all the money there, and Russia will never be defeated militarily. It is the turn of 2023 and 2024, and you will see that Russia will begin to dictate the terms of settlement of this conflict. Meanwhile, Fico recalled that Ukraine had a chance to end the conflict in its early stages by signing an agreement with Russia but walked away from the negotiation process after receiving promises of support from the West.

This past June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that in the spring of 2022 Moscow and Kiev drew up a peace treaty in which Ukraine had committed to a neutral status. David Arakhamia, a Ukrainian MP who led Kiev’s delegation at the talks, later confirmed that this was one of Russia’s key demands. He also said that Ukraine broke off the engagement after then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson dissuaded it from taking the deal. Several months after the talks collapsed, four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in public referendums, with President Vladimir Zelensky later barring negotiations with Moscow. Russia, however, maintains it is open to engagement with Kiev. As things currently stand, “only a naive person” could imagine that Russia would contemplate leaving its new territories, Fico concluded.

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“People of cultures other than Ukrainian, be they Russian or something else, do not want to fight for a monoethnic Ukraine because Kiev discriminates against them..”

‘Old Ukraine’ Is Dead – Arestovich (RT)

Ukraine cannot exist as a monoethnic and monocultural state in its 1991 borders, which is the essence of what the government of President Vladimir Zelenksy seeks in the conflict with Russia, his former aide Aleksey Arestovich said in an interview on Friday. Speaking to journalist Yulia Latynina, the ex-official declared the nationalist Ukrainian project “dead,” stating that Kiev is unable to find people willing to fight for it. He claimed that 30% to 70% of troops on the front line refuse to go into combat and seek opportunities to desert. According to Arestovich, the refuseniks “have passed a sentence on this system, they have sealed its end.” Zelensky’s statement that the Ukrainian military leadership wants to mobilize up to 500,000 people for the war effort appears to be a form “trolling” by the commanders, Arestovich said.

The target is absolutely unrealistic, he claimed. With Kiev ramping up the pressure on draft dodgers, they will soon stop running from conscription teams and start shooting at them, the ex-official predicted. People of cultures other than Ukrainian, be they Russian or something else, do not want to fight for a monoethnic Ukraine because Kiev discriminates against them, the commentator noted. The same is true for people who live in territories under Russian control, which Kiev wants to take back by force. Ukraine “has nothing to offer to the residents of Donbass and Crimea, except for a second-rate citizen status,” he said. Meanwhile, Ukrainians who support the monoethnic project may have other issues with the government, be it a grudge over an unfair economic system or lack of political liberties.

“We live in a country of prohibitions, a country where freedoms are suppressed… where you are caught and forced into the army. Who would want to fight for such a nation?” Arestovich asked. He claimed that only by radically reforging itself as a multiethnic and multicultural nation, as befits its democratic composition, and putting its national interest first can Ukraine have a future. Such a Ukraine could convince people to live and die for it, rather than seek opportunities to flee. That kind of Ukraine could also reach a deal with Russia and the West on a viable European security architecture, thus eliminating the cause of the current conflict, he argued.

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“..the more ludicrous Team Biden’s idea about Russia’s threat to Europe gets, the more desperately they stick to it. “I saw this happen before,” McGovern said..”

McGovern: Biden’s Proxy War in Ukraine Evokes Strong Memories of Vietnam Sp.)

Joe Biden claimed earlier this month that the US can’t let Russian President Vladimir Putin win in Ukraine since “he won’t stop there. “[If] Putin attacks a NATO ally — if he keeps going and then he attacks a NATO ally — we’re committed as a NATO member to defend every inch of NATO territory, and we’ll have something that we don’t seek and that we don’t have today,” the US president stated on December 6.In response, Russian President Putin called Biden’s claim “complete nonsense”, adding that he believes that his American counterpart understands that. “Russia has no reason, no interest — no geopolitical interest, neither economic, political nor military — to fight with NATO countries,” Putin emphasized on December 17.

“The more I hear Biden and his advisers, the more I think they actually believe that the Russians are out to take over Europe like us,” Ray McGovern, a former CIA officer who prepared the president’s daily brief during the Ronald Reagan administration, told Sputnik. “It reminds me of back in the sixties when I was working on Russian policy toward Vietnam and Southeast Asia. The domino theory or the Russians theory, the Russians were trying to take over the whole world, especially Southeast Asia. Not only that, but Indonesia, the whole world just better go down the drain if the Russians prevail in Vietnam. “The “domino theory” meant that “when one nation falls to communism the impact is such as to weaken the resistance of other countries and facilitate, if not cause, their fall to communism,” as per a 1964 memo from the Board of National Estimates to the director of central intelligence. The US used the now-discredited theory to justify its involvement in the Vietnam War years after its unfortunate military campaign in Korea.

Eventually, the US got bogged down in Vietnam, with its leadership continuing to stick to the false narrative. The same is happening now in Ukraine, according to the CIA veteran: the more ludicrous Team Biden’s idea about Russia’s threat to Europe gets, the more desperately they stick to it. “I saw this happen before,” McGovern said. “There was a false narrative. We were winning in Vietnam and our forces were just about to complete the victory, except General Westmoreland was saying, and this is late 1967, ‘We just need 208 more troops because we’ve got to go into Vietnam, right up to the Chinese border, and then we’ll win for sure’. Now, that was delusional. That was crazy. And, you know, those of us who have been around a while knew what happened last time we went up to the Chinese border in Korea. Right?”

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“..221,571 Ukrainian men have arrived in Germany since then and 189,484 remained in the country..”

Ukrainian Military Vows To Boost Numbers By Any Means (RT)

Ukraine will boost the size of its army one way or another, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday as cited by local media, adding that citizens should not delude themselves into thinking that only volunteers will have to fight. President Vladimir Zelensky previously stated that the Ukrainian military was looking to enroll between 450,000 and 500,000 people into the armed forces. Illarion Pavlyuk, the ministry spokesman, said on national television that the enlistment goals will be achieved through a combination of volunteer recruitment and mandatory conscription.“We urge people to join the armed forces voluntarily, without waiting for a mobilization summons, and offer them the chance to choose their specialty,” he said. “But it does not mean that only those who want to serve will do, or that one can pick from only non-combat jobs.”

The official said the military would prefer to see more volunteers but that it will make up the difference through mobilization. Zelensky reported the target draft number during a press conference on Tuesday. He implied that he had reservations about some of the ideas being floated by the military leadership, such as mobilizing women, and claimed that the plan would come at a price tag of $13.4 billion for Ukraine.German media reported this week that Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov wanted male citizens aged between 25 and 60 who reside in foreign nations to report for mobilization or face sanctions and dishonor.Kiev shut its border for men of conscription age after the hostilities with Russia erupted in February last year, banning anyone without a special waiver from leaving. However, the tabloid Bild reported that 221,571 Ukrainian men have arrived in Germany since then and 189,484 remained in the country.

In comments to Ukrainian media on Wednesday, Pavlyuk claimed that German journalists had “shifted the emphasis” of the minister’s remarks. He clarified that at this time no legal mechanisms to pressure or punish those dodging the draft on foreign soil are being considered.Meanwhile, Mikhail Podoliak, a senior aide to Zelensky, suggested on Friday that Kiev could convince host nations to strip social benefits and residency permits of draft-dodgers in order to coerce them to return.On Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated Ukrainian losses since the start of the conflict at over 383,000, with roughly half of the casualties sustained during the so-called summer counteroffensive, which Kiev launched in early June.

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“..Kirill Budanov, the chief of Ukrainian intelligence, said last week that forcing people without motivation into service would not make the army stronger..”

All Ukrainians Must Fight – Security Chief (RT)

Every Ukrainian citizen, and not only the members of the military, must serve their country during its conflict with Russia, Aleksey Danilov, the Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, has said. In an interview with local media on Thursday, the security chief signaled that the era when some Ukrainians could turn a blind eye to the fighting was over. “This kind of calm, when… it was believed that the war was purely a matter for the military, and the rest of the country could live its own life… has passed, it must end, it doesn’t work that way,” he insisted. “Everyone should take part in this war, and not selectively: while someone is fighting, others are throwing chips in the casino. This is not fair,” the official said. At the same time, Danilov noted that Kiev’s planned mobilization drive would not last only one day or one month, but that the whole process could take at least a year.

His comments come after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky revealed earlier this week that the military had proposed calling up an additional 450-500 thousand people, and that the government wanted to allocate an additional 500 billion hryvnias ($13.3 billion) to the effort. He also stressed that Ukrainian authorities must prioritize “justice” when replenishing the military’s ranks. Meanwhile, on Thursday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said all Ukrainian men who had left the country since start of the conflict would be invited to report to recruitment centers, warning that those who fail to comply could face sanctions. However, Kirill Budanov, the chief of Ukrainian intelligence, said last week that forcing people without motivation into service would not make the army stronger.

Ukraine announced a general mobilization shortly after the start of the conflict with Russia in February 2022, barring most men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving the country. The campaign, however, has been marred by widespread draft dodging and corruption. Ukrainian officials have repeatedly signaled plans to recruit more soldiers amid Kiev’s faltering counteroffensive which has been underway since early summer but failed to gain any substantial ground. Moscow has described Ukraine’s losses during the push as catastrophic, estimating them at about 160,000 casualties.

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“..the German constitution forbids forcing any German national to serve in the military with arms in their hands and he “cannot imagine” Berlin “forcing people from other countries to do so.”

Foreign Nations Should Sanction Ukrainian Draft Dodgers – Zelensky Aide (RT)

Ukrainian men of fighting age who fled the country amid the conflict with Russia should be forced to return, Mikhail Podoliak, a senior aide to President Vladimir Zelensky, has said. A set of restrictions that would limit their access to aid and services in their places of stay is required to achieve this goal, he told Ukraine’s Channel 24 in an interview published on Friday. Podoliak’s words support comments made by Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, who told Germany’s Bild tabloid earlier in December that all Ukrainian men of military age living abroad were to be summoned to recruitment centers. The minister also warned that those who fail to comply could face sanctions.The Ukrainian Defense Ministry then clarified his statements by saying that a mobilization mechanism for Ukrainians living abroad was “not on the agenda.”

In his interview on Friday, Podoliak said that Umerov had “a right idea.” According to the Zelensky aide, no one should be allowed to just “sit out” the conflict and shed responsibility for their nation. “They should be equal,” Podoliak said, referring to Ukrainians living abroad and those who stayed and are now being mobilized. “Those should be the consultations with the governments of foreign nations where our men are residing,” he said, adding that the talks should be focused on “whether they [the Ukrainians] can further get temporary residence permit, have certain preferential treatment, get aid” there. Podoliak also said that Umerov was “probably” already considering a set of measures that would “give our guys abroad an opportunity to make a choice: either to get drafted or… lose certain opportunities granted to people that temporarily left Ukraine.”

His words came amid reports that Ukraine is struggling to refill the ranks of its army and is taking additional measures to enhance border controls amid daily attempts by men desperate to illegally flee the country. In December, 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 this week, 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 counteroffensive. Some of Ukraine’s Western backers have already expressed their opposition to plans to force Ukrainian refugees to go back and fight. “It will not be the case that we are now forcing people to get drafted or [join] the military service against their will,” German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann told journalists on Friday. The minister said that the German constitution forbids forcing any German national to serve in the military with arms in their hands and he “cannot imagine” Berlin “forcing people from other countries to do so.”

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“..Berlin would not “force people to do compulsory military service or military service against their will.”

Germany Vows To Protect Ukrainian Men From Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine’s new mobilization drive will have no practical consequences for Ukrainians living in Germany, the country’s Justice Minister Marco Buschmann told the German Press Agency (DPA) on Friday. Kiev’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov had told German newspaper Bild on Thursday that calls for people to report to recruitment centers would be sent out to all citizens of military age – including Ukrainians living abroad. He also warned that anyone who ignores the “invitations” would face sanctions, although he did not discuss the potential penalties. “It’s not a punishment to defend and serve your country. It’s an honor,” he stated. It comes after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky revealed earlier this week that the military had proposed drafting an additional 450,000 to 500,000 people, and planned to allocate a further 500 billion hryvnias ($13.3 billion) towards the effort.

Bushmann said Berlin would not “force people to do compulsory military service or military service against their will.” He explained that it was a positive thing that war refugees had been accepted into Germany via a simplified procedure and given the opportunity to work.“I cannot imagine, as our constitution stipulates that German citizens do not have to serve in the armed forces against their will, that we can force people from other countries to do so,” he concluded. More than 221,000 Ukrainian men arrived in Germany after the conflict broke out, with almost 190,000 of them still in the country, according to German authorities.

Ukraine announced a general mobilization shortly after the beginning of the conflict with Russia in February 2022, prohibiting most men aged between 18 to 60 from leaving the country. Kiev has signaled plans to expand recruitment drives for more soldiers amid its stalled counteroffensive, which has failed to show any substantial results since its start in early summer.Moscow’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, speaking at a ministerial meeting on Tuesday, estimated Kiev’s losses during the push at 159,000 killed and wounded, and the total casualties sustained by the Armed Forces of Ukraine at 383,000.

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“..it is extremely difficult for the US ruling circles to accept the changing world order. Many of them are simply organically incapable of moving away from thinking in terms of their own superiority..”

Russia Warns Of ‘Complete Breakdown’ In Relations With US (RT)

Russia-US relations could sink to a new low if Washington makes more “reckless” decisions regarding the Ukraine conflict, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has warned. In an interview with Interfax published on Friday, the Russian official accused the US of pursuing a “misguided” and “dangerous” policy aimed at inflicting a “strategic defeat” on Moscow. These actions have left bilateral relations in a “comatose state,” Ryabkov said. “I can’t rule out that at some point in the future… Washington won’t go below this near-zero level that our relations are currently at, if there is no brightening when it comes to… views on what is happening [regarding] Russia and Ukraine,” he stated.

A “complete breakdown” in ties is even possible, Ryabkov added, suggesting this would mean a dramatic reduction in the respective diplomatic presence in the two countries. Even though the US is wary of completely dismantling relations, it is “not ready to find common ground… even in theory,” the diplomat further claimed.According to Ryabkov, while the two powers continue dialogue in several narrow areas, this “equilibrium could collapse at any moment due to Washington’s recklessness.” The seizure of Russian assets or military escalation could be among the triggers for a further deterioration, he said. Ryabkov stressed that Russia is not seeking to sever ties, but cautioned that “the diplomatic relations in themselves are not a totem to be worshipped, or a sacred cow to be protected.” “We are ready for any scenario,” he emphasized.

Russia and the US could potentially restore relations, although this will be hard, Ryabkov acknowledged. “The problem is that it is extremely difficult for the US ruling circles to accept the changing world order. Many of them are simply organically incapable of moving away from thinking in terms of their own superiority,” he explained. Ryabkov’s comments come after the New York Times reported on Thursday that the White House had intensified talks to seize $300 billion in Russian assets blocked in the West, which could be used to help Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly denounced the freezing of its funds as “theft,” warning of retaliation if the West goes ahead with the confiscation of the assets.

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“..to brand someone a criminal, there must be a record of indictment and conviction for a particular crime, and that, in the case of Mr. Trump, a politically-motived fairy tale about an “insurrection” doesn’t cut it.”

Whatever It Takes Won’t Be Enough (Kunstler)

And just like that — snap ! — the news about the Colorado Supreme Court’s droll action against candidate DJ Trump vanished from the front page (or top screens) of The New York Times. Do you know why? I’ll tell you: Because the political Left has finally managed to embarrass itself with a “lawfare” gambit so nakedly fatuous that it exposes the faction’s drive to destroy the election process, and with it our country. This is what you get from a regime that faked its way to power and now must strain to cover up its long train of crimes, abuses, and effronteries to common sense, while running out of tricks to keep fooling even its own deranged followers. Somehow, the act of kicking a leading candidate off the ballot has finally registered as inconsistent with “defending our democracy.”

Of course, the reckless abuse of law — “lawfare” — proceeds from the Left’s disrespect for boundaries and limits, which is exactly what law in principle concerns itself with. And from there it’s a quick leap into totalizing bad faith, the operating system for government under an imposter president, “Joe Biden.” Suddenly, mere days before Christmas, when the people want to be preoccupied with things other than politics, events merge explosively to shape the fate of the nation. In a sane world, the US Supreme Court would not just summarily strike down the Colorado ruling, but would issue a career-ending rebuke to the brain-damaged state justices who managed to not learn a basic principle of due process: innocent until proven guilty — that to brand someone a criminal, there must be a record of indictment and conviction for a particular crime, and that, in the case of Mr. Trump, a politically-motived fairy tale about an “insurrection” doesn’t cut it.

Also, in a sane world interested in truth and justice, the Republican-majority Congress would have months ago convened new hearings about the Jan 6/21 Capitol riot to undo the manifold perfidious frauds instigated by the previous Democrat-majority committee under Chairman Bennie Thompson. By now, testimony should have been compelled from Nancy Pelosi, the then Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, and former Defense Secretary Chris Miller about Ms. Pelosi’s refusal to call in national guard troops to reinforce security around the building, and to answer for the odd behavior of the Capitol Police, such as opening doors for the mob and then serving as ushers to show off the place. It seems obvious that many elected Republicans also have an interest in supporting the Jan 6/21 “insurrection” fairy tale. Do you still wonder why the evil entity infesting Washington is called “the blob”?

The Substack blogger who styles himself as El Gato Malo offers the alluring theory that a SCOTUS ruling on whether the 14th Amendment clauses that were applied to the presidency in the Colorado case, could enable Special Counsel Jack Smith to slip-in a superseding indictment (replacing the original indictment) in his DC Jan 6 case against Mr. Trump with new insurrection / rebellion charges, thus setting-up a fortified argument for states to chuck Mr. Trump off any ballot. More “lawfare,” you see. Whatever it takes. . .!

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If you have absolutely nothing to do this Christmas…

2023 Year in Review: Down Some Dark Rabbit Holes (Dave Collum)

What keeps me writing? Narcissism. I love the hugs. Catherine Austin Fitts put my entire writeup on the coming pension crisis in her Solari Reports noting, “I loved reading your year-end War and Peace.” Larry Summers told me “you have no filter.” My first Covid writeup in 2020 was said to be in the hands of Steve Scalise’s staff for uploading to the Congressional record. (I have no idea if it made it.) As outlined below, I have wonderful chats with brilliant people on the podcast circuit.

There are the Joe Sixpacks who have no voice and reach out in comments sections or by emails thanking me for voicing their concerns. So many people just want a voice. Tweeters with 20 followers are thrilled when they get a response because somebody heard them. These are the guys who listened to Oliver Anthony’s Richmen North of Richmond and were brought to tears.3 The media tried to tell us Oliver wrote an anthem for angry white guys, but montages of black guys rockin’ to his lyrics proliferated on social media. When Elon Musk publicly told Disney’s Bob Iger to “Go fuck yourself” for trying to blackmail him by pulling ad revenues, that was the fuckoff heard ‘round the world. I don’t know if Elon is a good person—probably not—but he is playing one on the internet, and he is very special in his own way.

Good writing on important subjects does not go out of date. If something is not important a month or even a year later, it was not important the day it was written. I try to touch third rails. If a 68-year-old tenured professor can’t speak up, then who can? It gets me in trouble occasionally. I got canceled pretty seriously in 2020, sleeping with a shotgun fully committed to taking at least one of those death-threatening neo-Stalinist Antifa curb stompers to the light with me if they had showed up at my house. Regular readers certainly have detected elevated anger as I witness the world’s events unfold in ways that were unimaginable a few years back. I have no intention of pussy footing around my foes. I would love to see that mass-murdering Tony Fauci fed to the spirit cookers.

If you came out of the Covid pandemic and not figured out that the entire narrative was an exercise in authoritarianism and possibly a largely peaceful depopulation, I think you are pretty lame. If, however, you grasp the Covid story, you probably have also figured out that the CIA whacked Kennedy, 911 was an inside job, and every war in at least a century was started with one or more false flag events. If so, Pat yourself on the back for grasping many big issues. Robbie Parker understands…

Maybe the Covid scam and all the associated lies proffered by credentialed experts have you wondering if the credentialed climate experts are lying too. Climate change, in my opinion, is the biggest scam in history. If, by contrast, you are supergluing yourself to roads during rush hour and throwing tomato soup onto masterpieces to save humanity, you suffer Munchausen by progressive and are a member of the biggest cult in history. Please—I beg you—when Reverend Jones gives you the nod, drink. (I have returned to climate change again this year, just to top off previous thoughts with some fresh ones and to piss of The Cult.)

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1234

 

 

Gatorboy

 

 

Owls

 

 


Sarcosuchus is an extinct genus of crocodyliform that lived during the Early Cretaceous, 133 to 112 million years ago. The largest specimen reached 9–9.5 meters (29.5–31.2 ft) long. This is a comparison between its skull a nile crocodile’s.

 

 

Gershwin

Frank
https://twitter.com/i/status/1738278116135514383

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 282023
 
 November 28, 2023  Posted by at 9:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  59 Responses »


Salvador Dali Madrid. Drunk man 1922

 

Gaza Civilians ‘Are Being Killed at Historic Pace’ – NYT (Jones)
American Pravda: Gaza and the Anti-Semitism Hoax (Ron Unz)
‘Drowning Gaza In Blood’ Will Not Achieve Israel’s Goals: Russia (Cradle)
Biden Administration Split Over Gaza Conflict (Sp.)
How A Slogan Became Bigger News Than The Murder Of Babies In Gaza (Cook)
Musk Touring Ravaged Kibbutz With Netanyahu (ZH)
Media’s Fatal Compromises (Patrick Lawrence)
West ‘Screwed Over’ Ukraine – Arestovich (RT)
Who is Responsible for Kiev’s Looming Defeat? (Sp.)
Political Dysfunction in Ukraine May Cost Zelensky His Job (Sp.)
US Weaponizing The Dollar – Lavrov (RT)
Deripaska Expects EU To Cave In On Gas Purchases From Moscow (RT)
An Alt Christmas Carol (Kunstler)
Ex-WH Doctor: Biden Can’t Do the Job, Cognitive Decline Happening Quickly (Sp.)
Greek PM Fumes After UK Abruptly Scraps Talks (RT)

 

 

 

 

Channel 13

 

 

Peace to prosperity

 

 

 

 

Soros

 

 

Ritter

 

 

Nap/Crooke

 

 

 

 

McGovern

 

 

Tucker Bannon

 

 

 

 

“After initially questioning the death toll in Gaza, the Biden administration now concedes that the true figures for civilian casualties may be even worse..”

Gaza Civilians ‘Are Being Killed at Historic Pace’ – NYT (Jones)

The New York Times reported on Saturday that “experts say that even a conservative reading of the casualty figures reported from Gaza shows that the pace of death during Israel’s campaign has few precedents in this century.” ScheerPost publisher Robert Scheer commented on the importance of the piece, stating, “The so-called paper of record finally acknowledges the unprecedented degree of violence visited upon civilians in Gaza by the Israeli government.” Using U.S.-made bombs that weigh 2,000 pounds “that can flatten [apartment towers],” Israel has killed “roughly 10,000 women and children” according to the Times. Women and children make up almost 70 percent of all deaths reported in Gaza. According to Rick Brennan, the regional emergency director for the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean office, the opposite is typically expected. “In past clashes between Israel and Hamas, for example, about 60 percent of the reported deaths in Gaza were men,” according to the Times.

Further, “U.S. military officials often believed that the most common American aerial bomb — a 500-pound weapon — was far too large for most targets when battling the Islamic State in urban areas like Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria,” according to the Times. As the Times reported: “‘It’s beyond anything that I’ve seen in my career,’ said Marc Garlasco, a military adviser for the Dutch organization PAX and a former senior intelligence analyst at the Pentagon. To find a historical comparison for so many large bombs in such a small area, he said, we may ‘have to go back to Vietnam, or the Second World War.’” The paper also reported that “People are being killed in Gaza more quickly…than in even the deadliest moments of U.S.-led attacks in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, which were themselves widely criticized by human rights groups.”

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, the Israeli military spokesperson, claims that civilian casualties are inevitable because of Hamas’s strategy of deliberately embedding itself within the civilian population of Gaza. There is no evidence that Hamas intentionally hides among the residents of Gaza as a military strategy. Gaza is, however, one of the most densely populated cities on Earth, standing 25 miles long and 5 miles wide. The Israeli military claims that the numbers of dead Palestinians reported by the Palestinian Health Ministry cannot be trusted because the Ministry operates under Hamas. Conricus claims “We do a lot in order to prevent and, where possible, minimize the killing or wounding of civilians.” As the Times reported, international experts do not share the same skepticism of the Palestinian Health Ministry’s numbers that the Israeli government does:

“[Brian Castner, a weapons investigator for Amnesty International and a former explosive ordnance disposal officer in the U.S. Air Force,] said Israel appeared to be moving too quickly to reduce harm to civilians…” “After initially questioning the death toll in Gaza, the Biden administration now concedes that the true figures for civilian casualties may be even worse. Barbara Leaf, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, told a House committee this month that American officials thought the civilian casualties were ‘very high, frankly, and it could be that they’re even higher than are being cited.’” s“While the experts urged caution around public statements about the specific number of people killed in a particular strike — especially in the immediate aftermath of a blast — they said the aggregate death tolls reported by the Gaza Health Ministry have typically proved to be accurate.”

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“Students at our most elite universities have been threatened with permanent employment blacklisting if they supported the Palestinian cause, and a long list of Jewish billionaires have mounted similar attacks against the academic institutions themselves..”

American Pravda: Gaza and the Anti-Semitism Hoax (Ron Unz)

Back in 2015, the widely broadcast image of a single, accidentally-drowned Syrian toddler led European governments to open their borders to millions of migrants, both from Syria and from everywhere else in the world, mostly young men in the prime of health. Greater Syria had traditionally encompassed Palestinian Gaza, so if a single accidental victim from the former had such enormous, nation-transforming political impact throughout Europe, surely the images of the many thousands deliberately killed in the latter must at least be raising a few personal concerns, though since some of these countries have prohibited expressions of pro-Palestinian sentiment, it’s difficult to be sure. Many European Jews have wholeheartedly backed the Jewish State even as it commits this gigantic public massacre, and this has naturally provoked a certain amount of popular criticism.

Deeply concerned by this latter situation, the New York Times last week ran yet another major article on the desperate need to combat such “anti-Semitic” sentiments in Europe, obviously one of the world’s most dreadful problems. A few days ago, I’d asked an American academic friend of mine how his colleagues were reacting to this astonishing situation and he replied: People are too scared to broadcast their views, I think…But I think a good fraction of even normie academics realize there is something monstrous going on. This sounds plausible to me, and another senior academic I know reported a roughly similar situation. Fear stalks the land.

Students at our most elite universities have been threatened with permanent employment blacklisting if they supported the Palestinian cause, and a long list of Jewish billionaires have mounted similar attacks against the academic institutions themselves, something I cannot recall ever happening in the past. As a result, a legal analysis article commissioned and approved for publication in the prestigious Harvard Law Review was scrapped at the last moment. From its earliest roots in the terroristic Irgun, Israel’s ruling Likud party has always endorsed the creation of a Greater Israel—“From the River to the Sea”—proclaiming that territory must be placed under Jewish rule, with all non-Jews subjugated, expelled, or killed.

But in recent decades, progressive anti-Zionists have co-opted that same ambiguous slogan, using it to symbolize their goal of a unified country of Palestine, a secular democratic state providing equal rights for both Jews and non-Jews, two populations of similar size. This would naturally involve the dissolution of the existing Jewish state, absolute anathema to committed Zionists. Propelled by the horrific images of dead babies in Gaza, this controversial phrase soon began trending among anti-Zionists on Twitter along with talk of “decolonizing” the Israeli settler-state. Wilting under intense Zionist attacks, owner Elon Musk—the world’s wealthiest man—declared that these rather vague and innocuous progressive slogans constituted incitement to “genocide,” with their use being grounds for an immediate ban from his platform. By contrast, I haven’t heard that Musk has banned any of the Israeli politicians or activists publicly calling for the total annihilation of all Palestinians.

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“Even by decapitating Hamas and even by drowning the Gaza Strip in blood, it will hardly be possible to ensure Israel’s security..”

‘Drowning Gaza In Blood’ Will Not Achieve Israel’s Goals: Russia (Cradle)

Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on 27 November that Israel will not achieve its security goals by “drowning the Gaza Strip in blood.” “Even by decapitating Hamas and even by drowning the Gaza Strip in blood, it will hardly be possible to ensure Israel’s security. After some time, the tide of hatred and terrorism may rise again with renewed force. This cannot be ruled out,” the aide said in comments quoted by Russian news agency TASS. Ushakov added that “the Palestinian problem is unrivaled in terms of its ability to spread to the global level.” His comments come 52 days into the Gaza-Israel war and on the final day of a four-day truce mediated by Qatar and Egypt, which has seen a daily exchange of Israeli and Palestinian prisoners.

The truce was reached on 22 November and went into effect the following morning. US, Qatari, and Egyptian mediators are reportedly discussing a possible extension of the truce. Israel has said it would be willing to extend the truce by one day for every 10 additional captives released by Hamas. The Russian presidential aide also condemned “the monopolization of the mediator’s mission by the United States.” His comments come just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the international community to join forces to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

“Russia’s position is consistent and does not change with the situation. We urge the international community to join forces in order to ease tensions, ensure a ceasefire, and find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he said while addressing a summit of BRICS countries. Israel’s war on Gaza has killed at least 20,000 people, nearly half of whom are children, according to an updated count of victims released by Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euromed). On 1 November, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, blasted “the hypocrisy of the US and its allies, who in other, completely different situations call for compliance with humanitarian law, establish investigative commissions, [and] impose sanctions.” Nebenzya also said that Israel has “no right to self-defense” as an occupying power.

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“..the Department of State said the United States had sent a “very clear message” to Israel that settler violence in the West Bank was unacceptable..”

Biden Administration Split Over Gaza Conflict (Sp.)

Earlier in November, some 20 White House staffers requested a meeting with the president’s top advisers to discuss the current administration’s plans to reduce the civilian death toll in the Gaza Strip, the newspaper reported. Commenting on a meeting with White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, Senior Advisor Anita Dunn and Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer, one of the officials was cited as saying that the aides resorted to familiar talking points despite listening to the staff. The administration reportedly had to be careful not to openly criticize Israeli operations. US officials were pushing Israel to minimize civilian casualties, while Biden and his advisors advocated a two-state solution to the ongoing conflict, the report said.

The previously unreported meeting underscored that Biden’s handling of perhaps the biggest foreign policy crisis of his presidency has divided the White House that prides itself on running a disciplined and united operation, media said. Earlier this month, the Department of State said the United States had sent a “very clear message” to Israel that settler violence in the West Bank was unacceptable and that those responsible would be held accountable. In late October, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told a congressional hearing that they were closely monitoring Israeli settler violence in the West Bank and had raised the issue in talks with their Israeli counterparts.

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“The protest chant ‘From the river to the sea’ rejects not Israelis or Jews but the apartheid nature of Israel. This is why pro-Israel western politicians and media want to criminalise it..”

How A Slogan Became Bigger News Than The Murder Of Babies In Gaza (Cook)

The lead foreign story for the BBC on 13 November should have been a no-brainer. As Israeli soldiers surrounded al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza, preparing to storm it, dozens of premature babies inside the facility had been removed from their incubators. The hospital no longer had any power to run the machines. Distressing footage showed the babies huddled together in a makeshift, foil-lined pen, shivering from cold. Several had already died. The symbolism was hard to miss. Gaza’s civilians were huddled together, too, after Israel had bombed their homes to rubble and ordered them to move south. They were exposed and vulnerable against Israel’s wrath. And growing numbers were dying.

The babies story was both heart-wrenching and infuriating. Israel had been repeatedly warned by the United Nations that this would be one of the terrible consequences of its collective punishment of Gaza’s population, denying the fuel needed to generate electricity. Israel simply ignored the warnings. But editors at the BBC’s News at Six decided to lead the foreign coverage not with the babies being killed by Israel’s withholding of fuel but with a story from the other side of the divide. It must have been one of the most perverse news judgments on record. Instead, the BBC led with the brother of a British-Israeli man who had been killed during Hamas’ attack on 7 October. The attack itself was by then more than a month old, which even the BBC seemed to understand could not justify demoting the dying babies from the top foreign news slot.

A better angle was needed. And it was this: the BBC reported that the brother was increasingly wondering whether it was safe for him to remain in Britain. This was a sentiment shared by many other Jews, according to the report. Paradoxically, the implication was that for British Jews it might be a safer alternative to move to Israel, despite weeks of western coverage highlighting Israelis’ fears about their vulnerability following Hamas’s attack. Did this British man really think he would be more secure in the same state in which his brother had just been killed in a mass atrocity? The BBC’s reporter did not pose the question.

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While trying to shake the “anti-semitic” label, Musk puts his foot knee-deep in the doo-doo. This will hurt him badly.

Musk Touring Ravaged Kibbutz With Netanyahu (ZH)

Elon Musk showed up in southern Israel on Monday at the personal invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where he was given a tour of an Israeli kibbutz left desolate by the Oct.7 Hamas terror raids. Musk while on a tour of Kfar Aza heard details from Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops of the massacres in the kibbutz. Israeli media has described it as a scene of “horrors”—one among more than 20 communities ravaged, where in some cases entire families were butchered. Musk later in the day said it was “it was jarring to see the scene of the massacre.” Musk heard briefings and personal stories both of tragedy and heroism, including the story of kidnapped Israeli-American toddler Avigail Idan, who turned 4 in captivity but was released Sunday as part of the third round hostage swap between Hamas and Israel.

Her parents were murdered directly before her eyes, with accounts saying her dad was holding her when he was shot. After also being shown a short film of the Hamas attacks, Musk commented that it was “troubling” to see the “to see the joy experienced by people that were killing innocent civilians.” As part of Musk’s visit, he and PM Netanyahu held a live talk via X Spaces (recently known as Twitter Spaces) wherein the prime minister repeated his call for Hamas to be destroyed. Musk responded, “There’s no choice,” and said after touring ravaged kibbutzes: “I’d like to help as well.” The full section of that exchange is below:

Netanyahu laid out that his main priority is to neutralize Hamas, after which he will turn to rebuilding Gaza: “You first have to get rid of this poisonous regime.” Musk agreed and offered to be involved in the post-war recovery. “I think that makes perfect sense that those who are intent on murder must be neutralized, then the propaganda must stop … and then making Gaza prosperous,” Musk said. “Well, I hope you’ll be involved,” Netanyahu responded. “I’d love to help,” Musk said. I n statements which are likely to prove controversial, particularly to the pro-Palestinian side, Musk also voiced that civilian casualties are “unavoidable” and generally appeared to back Israel’s position that it is trying hard to avoid them while seeking to target only terrorists.

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“..Biden’s people fret about what the slaughter of Palestinians will look like once it resumes — appearances being not quite all but nearly..”

Media’s Fatal Compromises (Patrick Lawrence)

Last week Politico published a lengthy piece on the Biden regime’s argument that the current “pause” in Israel’s merciless murder spree in Gaza and the exchange of hostages proves the policy cliques in Washington have done the right thing. It does not take much for these dangerously unqualified people to fool themselves. But the White House remains “‘deeply, deeply worried’ about Israel’s longer-term strategy and what the next phase of the war may look like,” Politico reported. Then this: “And there was some concern in the administration about an unintended consequence of the pause: that it would allow journalists broader access to Gaza and the opportunity to further illuminate the devastation there and turn public opinion on Israel.”

In plain English, Biden’s people fret about what the slaughter of Palestinians will look like once it resumes — appearances being not quite all but nearly. But if there was no one there to see and report the savagery, there would be no appearances to worry about. Trita Parsi at the Quincy Institute brought this quotation to my attention, and I cannot do better than his comment on it: “I’m speechless.” It is interesting that at least some people in the Biden regime seem to consider relations between power and the media to be adversarial in the old-fashioned way. And how fine it would be were the corporate press and broadcasters to get their correspondents into Gaza on their own and report what they see as they see it. This seems to me perfectly possible. The BBC, Al Jazeera, and various wire services — Reuters, The Associated Press, Agence France–Presse — are among the news organizations with bureaus in Gaza City.

But the record to date indicates that cowardice and supine compliance will prevail over the aforementioned bravery and principle. This is how embedding journalists got started in the post–1975 years. The defeat in Vietnam spooked the Pentagon and the political leadership, which blamed the media for turning Americans against the war. By the Gulf War, August 1990 to February 1991, embeddedness was s.o.p. among American media. A reporter named Brett Wilkins published a well-reported piece in Common Dreams a month into the Israel Defense Forces’ war crimes in Gaza. In “U.S. Corporate Media Outlets Allow IDF to Vet ‘All Materials’ from Embedded Reporters in Gaza,” Wilkins laid out the whole disgusting nine. His lead: “U.S. corporate media outlets have granted Israeli military commanders pre-publication review rights for ‘all materials and footage’ recorded by their correspondents embedded with the Israel Defense Forces during the invasion of Gaza, a precondition condemned by press freedom advocates.”

Wilkins goes on to name a few of the names — among them CNN and NBC — who indulge their spinelessness in this manner. And he quotes the feckless Fareed Zakaria offering the boilerplate excuse for this gross breach of professional ethics. “CNN has agreed to these terms in order to provide a limited window into Israel’s operations in Gaza,” Zakaria deadpans. Speechless a second time. A photojournalist named Zach D. Roberts gets my award for the pithiest summation of this daily travesty. “What CNN is doing here is creating ad b-roll [supplementary video footage] for the IDF,” Roberts said. “It’s nothing resembling news and the CNN employees that participated in it aren’t anything resembling journalists.”

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Candidate to take Zelensky’s place?!

West ‘Screwed Over’ Ukraine – Arestovich (RT)

The West has essentially thrown Ukraine under the bus in its conflict with Russia by failing to provide Kiev with the necessary amount of military aid, Aleksey Arestovich, a former aide to President Vladimir Zelensky, has claimed. Writing on Telegram on Sunday, Arestovich weighed in on the differing views of Ukrainian officials as to why Kiev’s conflict with Moscow is still in full swing despite several major attempts at peace. According to the former presidential aide, the West bears most of the blame for the situation. The real responsibility lies with those who promised Ukraine real support for waging a real, big war and did not provide it. In other words, they screwed us over. Arestovich claimed that Ukraine “had won its war” by managing to survive in the first few months of the conflict.

“This war of ours could have well ended with the Istanbul Agreements,” he suggested, referring to the talks in the Turkish city in the spring of 2022, which initially made some progress but stalled after then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to Kiev. The negotiations collapsed but Russia maintains it is open to diplomatic engagement with Kiev. After the Istanbul talks, the conflict entered another phase in which Ukraine had no chance of winning without securing massive Western arms supplies, including warplanes and long-range missiles, the former official continued. “But nothing came. We paid a huge price for that.” Arestovich suggested that the West would now try to force Ukraine to accept the loss of several regions, which overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in a series of public referenda last autumn.

He also suggested that, while Kiev found itself in a tough spot mostly due to the West’s inaction, the Ukrainian leadership’s “stupidity and corruption has given them many formal and informal reasons to screw us over.” Arestovich’s remarks came amid Ukraine’s faltering counteroffensive, which has been underway since early summer but has failed to gain any significant ground. Last month, Moscow said Kiev had lost more than 90,000 troops since the start of the push, with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claiming that Ukrainian casualties had reached more than 13,000 soldiers in November alone. Earlier this month, Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top general, admitted that hostilities had reached a stalemate, an assessment rejected by Zelensky. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Mariana Bezuglaya, a senior Ukrainian MP, blasted Zaluzhny over the lack of a strategic plan for 2024 and called on the military leadership to step down.

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“Zelensky’s ambitions are understandable because he’s a mercenary. They were hired to fight with Russia, to fight for a long time, but it doesn’t work..”

Who is Responsible for Kiev’s Looming Defeat? (Sp.)

The Ukrainian leadership is coming face-to-face with not only the failure of its counteroffensive but also seemingly imminent defeat in the more than 20-month-long conflict with Russia – despite months of triumphalist rhetoric from Kiev. While Western leaders appear to be seeking a face-saving exit from their proxy war, past and present Ukrainian officials are busy finding someone to blame. How come Ukraine is losing? Wasn’t it clear from the outset that Ukraine had considerably less troops, military equipment and resources to prevail? So who is to blame? According to Sergey Kryvonos, a retired general of the Ukraine Armed Forces and former deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, it’s President Volodymyr Zelensky’s fault that Ukraine is losing.

The president’s promises of victory to Ukrainians have never turned into reality, Kryvonos said on air at the “Pryamoy” News Channel. “Last year and in the first half of this year, we were told about victory, that the Russians were already exhausted, that they no longer had missiles, that their economy had fallen. Did they say that? Yes, they did. (…) But did all this really happen? No”, the retired general said, adding that the Kiev regime’s words about a “powerful counteroffensive” were also just hot air. Kyvonos argued that Zelensky “must think not only about himself but also about training the population [in security],” which is not happening. He recommended that the Ukrainian president hire professionals instead of mere speechwriters who “write speeches for him to read.”

“When it comes to the complaints against Zelensky, he promised victory, access to the borders of 1991 and the liberation of Crimea, if the equipment, money and all other equipment he needed were delivered,” Andrey Suzdaltsev, an assistant professor and deputy dean at the School of the World Economy and International Affairs at Russia’s State University–Higher School of Economics, told Sputnik. “Let me remind you that in June of this year, Washington claimed that Zelensky had received everything he needed for a successful offensive. The army was mobilized, and it launched a counteroffensive in early June and stalled. That’s the problem. This is a general miscalculation. Zelensky’s ambitions are understandable because he’s a mercenary. They were hired to fight with Russia, to fight for a long time, but it doesn’t work. This is where the grievances of both the West and [Zelensky] originate from,” he continued.

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“..constant purges of relatively high ranking military officers during war would seem to perhaps have a negative effect on your war effort.”

Political Dysfunction in Ukraine May Cost Zelensky His Job (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is on thin ice. That’s the conclusion of international affairs and security analyst Mark Sleboda, who joined Sputnik’s Political Misfits crew Monday to discuss the ongoing political drama in the country in the wake of the country’s failed counteroffensive this year. “He fears another Maidan… he fears a coup,” said Sleboda, referring to the 2014 protests that saw far-right mobs drive elected president Viktor Yanukovych out of Ukraine. The unrest, openly backed by Western powers, was supported by only a minority of the Ukrainian population but succeeded in firmly shifting the politics of the country towards a Russophobic stance.
Sleboda believes the primary challenger to Zelensky’s power is Valerii Zaluzhny, the current commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian military.

Political forces inside and outside the country may be coalescing around Zaluzhny as an alternative to Zelensky’s leadership, according to Sleboda. Aware of the threat, Zelensky “has replaced several of Zaluzhny’s generals in the past weeks – fired them – without any consultations with him,” said Sleboda. The analyst also noted the recent death of Major Gennadiy Chastyakov, a top aide to Zaluzhny, who was killed earlier this month when a grenade given to him as a birthday gift exploded. Sleboda speculates that the strange incident may have been a “political hit by Zelensky’s administration.” “Most of the Ukrainian social media channels believe it was a political hit, a warning to Zaluzhny,” said Sleboda.

Sleboda discounted a story that has recently re-emerged chiefly blaming former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for Ukraine’s unwillingness to seek peace with Russia in early 2022, calling it a “salvo in the quite opaque political infighting that is now going on in Kiev.” “I don’t think they [the Ukrainian government] were ever more serious about this than they were about the Minsk accords,” said Sleboda, noting the “ideological nature” of the country’s firmly anti-Russian leadership since 2014. [..] Host Michelle Witte noted the damage to morale in the Ukrainian armed forces caused by the chronic political dysfunction, saying “constant purges of relatively high ranking military officers during war would seem to perhaps have a negative effect on your war effort.”

Sleboda agreed, claiming President Zelensky’s western backers are looking for a way to replace the Ukrainian leader. “It seems quite obvious to me that the US and in general the West has lost confidence in Zelensky and they’re trying to find a way to replace him with Zaluzhny without another blatantly obvious US-backed coup in the country so soon after the last one,” said Sleboda, referring to widely-reported evidence of US involvement in the 2014 ouster of Yanukovych.

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“Such fundamental legal foundations of world economic relations as free competition and the immunity of property have been destroyed..”

US Weaponizing The Dollar – Lavrov (RT)

The US is using the dollar to unleash trade wars worldwide, while international economic cooperation is also being weaponized, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. The US and its allies in the EU are using a wide range of “geopolitical engineering” tools, which include, among other things “unleashing trade and economic wars,” Lavrov stated, speaking at the Primakov Readings International Forum. “The activities of the World Trade Organization, primarily for settling disputes, have been blocked by Western countries. Such fundamental legal foundations of world economic relations as free competition and the immunity of property have been destroyed,” the Russian diplomat noted. Lavrov went on to assert that the American currency has long been used as a weapon, adding that “destructive actions” by Western nations have resulted in producing the opposite effect to the intended one.

The diplomat argued that US-led sanctions aimed at isolating Russia and crippling its economy in reality have stimulated the “strengthening of multipolarity in international affairs.” According to Lavrov, there is a growing awareness in the world that “no one is immune” in the face of the “aggressive actions of Washington and Brussels.” He noted that not only Russia but many other countries are now “consistently” reducing their dependence on Western currencies by switching to alternatives for foreign-trade settlements. The global trend towards using national currencies in trade instead of the US dollar began to gain momentum last year after Ukraine-related sanctions saw Russia cut off from the Western financial system and also saw its foreign reserves frozen. As multipolarity takes shape, more nations are working on creating new transport corridors and supply chains. Meanwhile, an “unfair” and “unbalanced” model of globalization has become outdated, Lavrov said.

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“..in about a year and a half.”

Deripaska Expects EU To Cave In On Gas Purchases From Moscow (RT)

EU nations will have to return to Russian natural gas supplies within a year and a half, Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska predicted on his Telegram channel on Monday. According to the billionaire, the lack of gas deliveries from Russia is currently forcing the bloc’s lawmakers to make “the only correct decision and change the main focus from the green transition to nuclear energy.” “However, this is not a quick process, meaning that it’s necessary to end the Ukraine conflict and agree on gas supplies with Gazprom,” according to Deripaska. The tycoon highlighted that the terms of a potential agreement with Moscow will not be favorable to the EU, as the bloc will have to return frozen assets to the Bank of Russia, compensate for the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, and cover sanctions-related losses for Russian businesses.

“It’s serious compensation [the bloc will have] to pay for American adventures, but it’s still cheaper and more profitable than buying unnecessary weapons worth trillions of euros, and, in addition, losing such a sweet Russian market,” he argued. Deripaska, the founder of the world’s second-largest aluminum company, Rusal, also said the about-turn would not happen immediately, but that “cold winters will make the ‘Eastern Compromise’ acceptable” to the EU much faster, “in about a year and a half.” “Nuclear energy has returned after almost 20 years of useless debate with the so-called greens,” he concluded, adding that the return to reliable sources of fuel is inevitable.

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“Did I manage to pardon my family? And myself? “Uh, well, sir, you were in a coma. Anyway, your attorneys wish to see you now. . . .”

An Alt Christmas Carol (Kunstler)

“Joe Biden” awakens yet again as more cold wind bearing the fetid odor of swamp blows through the still-opened window. He is yet muttering “yu-yuh-yuh-yessir, yessir,” when a shrouded, hooded figure materializes in the gloom. “You are… Cuh-Cuh-Christmas Future,” “Joe Biden” says. “You’re catching on,” says the ghost, holding out his fleshless, bony hand. “Come!” They are transported to the hearing room of a House committee. Hunter Biden sits at the witness table, tears streaking his face, apparently in mid testimony. “. . . and then my dad says to Mr. Zlochevsky, ‘one-million? C’mon man, I’ve got a beach house to renovate’. . . and Mister Z says, ‘okay I give you one-point-five-mil’. . . and my dad cracks up laughing. . . . ‘that won’t even cover the area rugs I ordered from Iran’ he says. . . .”

Suddenly the room vaporizes and “Joe Biden” stands next to the inaugural dias on the US Capitol’s west-facing front. Tucker Carlson has just stepped away after being sworn in as vice president and the massive, gold-headed, once-and-future president lumbers up to the Chief Justice, placing his hand on a Bible. “Oh, n-n-n-no-o-o-o-o. . .” “JB” wails and wakes up in the presidential bed, panting and sweating. “Are you all right sir? A marine standing at his bedside says. “I had a terrible dream. Trump got back in.”n “That was no dream, sir. You’ve been in a coma since just before Christmas last year when you stroked out on ice cream. It’s Wednesday, November 6, 2024. Welcome back to reality, sir.”

“Reality?” “Joe Biden” says. “We make our own reality.” “Not anymore, sir,” the lance corporal says. “Tell me, son, please! Did I manage to pardon my family? And myself? “Uh, well, sir, you were in a coma. Anyway, your attorneys wish to see you now. . . .”

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“.. just unbelievable how much he’s degenerated just during his time in office.”

Ex-WH Doctor: Biden Can’t Do the Job, Cognitive Decline Happening Quickly (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden’s cognitive decline is “happening quickly,” Texas GOP Congressman Ronny Jackson, a former White House physician, told a US broadcaster. “I’ve taken care of three presidents… so I know firsthand what it takes to be the commander-in-chief and the head of state. It’s a grueling job, both mentally and physically. This man can’t do the job. He’s proven to us every single day that he can’t do the job, but this is going to get worse,” Jackson said. Referring to the 46th US president, the ex-White House physician added that it’s “just unbelievable how much he’s degenerated just during his time in office.” “We cannot afford to have this man in office for the remainder of this term and then [for] another four years after that. He’s already putting us at great risk right now,” Jackson pointed out.

The GOP Congressman also singled out a series of concerns he has regarding his country, pointing to the crisis at the US southern border, international tensions and the economic issues that have arisen under Biden. “[Look at] the wars that we’re getting drawn into. Things that wouldn’t happen if Donald Trump were there because our enemies don’t fear us anymore. They have no respect for us anymore and our adversaries don’t trust us anymore, and it’s because we don’t have the leadership in the White House that we need,” Jackson added. He insisted that Biden, “even if he wanted to, cannot provide that leadership.” According to the former White House physician, POTUS is “not physically and cognitively fit for office anymore, and somebody in his inner circle needs to step up to the plate and make him aware of this, and he needs to move on for the safety and security of this country.”

The remarks come a week after Jackson told a US news network that Biden does not have “cognitive ability” to serve another term. “He’s got these people that surround him that are inappropriately encouraging him to continue to run because it builds up who they are and what they do. […] And it’s just on display every day that he’s not capable of doing this job anymore,” Jackson stressed.

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It’s like Israel selling off Palestinian art.

Greek PM Fumes After UK Abruptly Scraps Talks (RT)

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has criticized his British counterpart after Downing Street axed a planned meeting in London, where the leader was expected to request the return of Greek antiquities held in UK museums. Mitsotakis addressed the canceled talks while visiting the UK on Monday, lamenting the missed chance for dialogue, while noting his country’s “well known” desire to reclaim ancient Parthenon sculptures kept by Britain. “I [want to] express my annoyance at the fact that the British prime minister canceled our scheduled meeting a few hours before it was due to take place,” he said. “Whoever believes in the correctness and justice of his views is never afraid of opposing arguments.” The Greek prime minister was set to speak with his UK counterpart, Rishi Sunak, following a meeting with Labour Party leaders on Monday, though the talks were scrapped with little notice.

Mitsotakis’ aides called the move “wrong and undignified.” The Greek prime minister rejected an alternative meeting with the deputy prime minister, according to the BBC. Officials traveling with Mitsotakis argued that the decision to cancel the meeting was linked to recent comments from the Greek leader to the BBC, in which he restated Athens’ longstanding demands for the return of the ancient artifacts. He added that the sculptures should be “reunited” with the Greek temples they were originally taken from, saying the division of the artwork between Greece and the UK was like “cutting the Mona Lisa in half.” The 5th century BC marble antiques were removed from the Greek Parthenon temple in the early 1800s by British diplomat Lord Elgin, who served as the ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which ruled over Greece at the time. They have remained in UK possession since, with most of the sculptures kept at the British Museum in London.

While unnamed sources at 10 Downing Street initially told The Guardian that a scheduling conflict was to blame, the outlet reported that Mitsotakis’ remarks “seem to have irritated Sunak to the point that he had felt there was no reason to hold the talks.” Publicly, a spokesperson for Sunak said the UK-Greece relationship is “hugely important,” but did not address the row over the 2,500-year-old antiquities. Though Mitsotakis has repeatedly stressed the importance of returning the treasures since taking office, Sunak has said he would never support changes to 1963 legislation that bars the British Museum from ever handing over the ancient carvings. The Greek government first requested their return in 1983, but the UK has repeatedly declined, even rejecting an offer by the United Nations to mediate the dispute.

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Cow hill
https://twitter.com/i/status/1729179274374971579

 

 


..most people perceive this as a gate leading to a three-dimensional gated passageway. But actually, it’s just a gate (Gymnasium Theresianum, a high school in Vienna)

 

 

 

 


At the point on Earth’s surface at 0° latitude and 0° longitude (0°N 0°E, or in the Gulf of Guinea) is a location called “Null Island”, but there’s no actual island. It is marked by a permanently-moored weather buoy.

 

 

Rabbit

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 152023
 
 October 15, 2023  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  32 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Old Man Seated 1631

 

Iran Warns Israel Escalation in Gaza Conflict Threatens Regional War (Sp.)
UN Warns Of Mass Ethnic Cleansing As Refugee Shelters Overflow (RT)
Palestinian President Rejects Eviction From Gaza (RT)
Hamas Says It Appreciates Putin’s Stance On Gaza Settlement (TASS)
Russia Can Play Crucial Role In Middle East Settlement – Hamas Official (TASS)
White Flag In A Black Hole – Is Russian Neutrality A Force Or A Trade? (Helmer)
Putin Weighs In On EU-Ukraine Accord (RT)
Ex-Zelensky Aide Calls For New Government In Ukraine (RT)
Zelensky Gags Media On Corruption – Editor-in-Chief (RT)
Only 15% of Kiev Preschoolers ‘Actively Speak’ Ukrainian – NGO (RT)
New Evidence May Destroy Biden’s Defense In Classified Documents Case (Turley)
How About Hunter? DOJ Adds FARA Charge to Menendez Prosecution (Turley)
Swiss Magazine ‘Spied On’ For Hosting Scott Ritter (RT)
Poison Control (Iris Figueroa)

 

 

 

 

Rogan

 

 

MSNBC

 

 

Already the most deadly time in Gaza.

 

 

Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1712895938279494073

 

 

Panetta

 

 

“Various scenarios are emerging, including the possibility of military and non-military measures being taken against the Gaza Strip comparable to the siege of Leningrad during World War II,” Putin said. “We understand what that entails. In my opinion, this is unacceptable. More than two million people live there.”

 

 

 

 

“..he emphasized that Iran has “red lines” and would respond if Israel continues its military operation, particularly if it proceeds with a ground offensive in Gaza.”

“In light of the continued aggression, war crimes and blockade of the Gaza Strip, the opening of new fronts remains feasible..”

Iran Warns Israel Escalation in Gaza Conflict Threatens Regional War (Sp.)

Iran expressed its desire to avoid exacerbating the situation in the Hamas-Israel war but made it clear that it may need to intervene if Israel’s military operation in Gaza continues, reports US media quoting diplomatic sources. The situation is of significant international concern as the conflict between Hamas and Israel holds the potential to escalate into a regional war if Iran becomes directly or indirectly involved. The warning sent by Iran to Israel through the UN coincides with the US’ efforts to deter Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah or others from entering the conflict, claims US media. The US has deployed an aircraft carrier group and fighter jets to the region to reinforce its stance.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held a meeting with UN envoy to the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, in Beirut, reports US media quoting diplomatic sources. During this meeting, Wennesland implored Amir-Abdollahian to help prevent the conflict from spilling over into the broader Middle East region. In response, the Iranian foreign minister conveyed Iran’s reluctance to see the situation evolve into a regional war. He also expressed Iran’s willingness to aid in the release of civilians held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. However, he emphasized that Iran has “red lines” and would respond if Israel continues its military operation, particularly if it proceeds with a ground offensive in Gaza.

Wennesland, in turn, relayed Iran’s message to Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and other officials. The meeting between Amir-Abdollahian and Wennesland focused on diplomatic efforts to secure the release of hostages, de-escalation, and the prevention of a broader conflict in the region. In a briefing with reporters in Beirut, Amir-Abdollahian, who had previously met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, called on Israel to cease its actions against Gaza’s civilians, warning that time was running out. He also alluded to potential scenarios prepared by Hezbollah and the consequences they could bring, mentioning that any actions by the resistance would have a significant impact on Israel.

“In light of the continued aggression, war crimes and blockade of the Gaza Strip, the opening of new fronts remains feasible,” the minister told Lebanese broadcaster. The conflict, which began on October 7, has resulted in ongoing heavy bombardments in the Gaza Strip by Israel in response to a prior attack by Hamas. Violence has also escalated along the Israel-Lebanon border and in the West Bank.

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“..The UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees warned on Saturday that its shelters in Gaza “are not safe anymore..”

UN Warns Of Mass Ethnic Cleansing As Refugee Shelters Overflow (RT)

Palestinians in Gaza face mass ethnic cleansing as Israel orders half the population of the densely populated strip to evacuate amid continued aerial bombardment and dwindling resources on the ground, UN human rights experts warned on Saturday. “In the name of self-defense, Israel is seeking to justify what would amount to ethnic cleansing,” UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese said, noting that “Israel has already carried out mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians under the fog of war.” “There is a grave danger that what we are witnessing may be a repeat of the 1948 Nakba, and the 1967 Naksa, yet on a larger scale,” she warned, referring to Israel’s mass expulsions of at least 1 million Palestinians from their homes and land in 1947-48 and 1967. “The international community must do everything to stop this from happening again.”

The UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees warned on Saturday that its shelters in Gaza “are not safe anymore,” adding that the area’s 2.3 million residents were rapidly running out of water. Israel shut off electricity to Gaza following Hamas’ attack last Saturday, compounding the humanitarian crisis in the territory, which has been under an illegal blockade since 2007. The UN on Friday warned that Israel’s evacuation order targeting the 1.1 million Palestinians living in northern Gaza would create a “humanitarian catastrophe” amount to a certain “death sentence” for the sick and hospitalized, given the hospital system is already barely operational and several have been bombed. “Moving more than one million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or accommodation, when the entire territory is under siege, is extremely dangerous – and in some cases, simply not possible,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told reporters on Friday ahead of a meeting with the Security Council.

Urging the government to rescind the order, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Paula Gaviria Betancur explained that “forcible population transfers constitute a crime against humanity, and collective punishment is prohibited under international humanitarian law.” On Thursday, Israel ordered the population of northern Gaza to move to the south within 24 hours, after which it launched a ground invasion of the north to “clear” it. The entire territory remains blockaded, with the exit via Egypt closed since Tuesday due to ongoing Israeli airstrikes. Following Hamas’ attack on Israel last weekend, which left some 1,200 Israelis dead, Israel has targeted Gaza with the most intense bombing campaign in its history, killing upwards of 1,900 Palestinians and injuring over 7,600 more, according to the UN. Over 423,000 people have been displaced in the last week.

Corridor

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“..Biden spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pledging further material support to the Israel Defense Forces and telling the PM that “unity and determination” were needed to achieve Israel’s combat goals..”

“The resulting Israeli bombing campaign – the heaviest in Gaza’s history – has killed upwards of 1,900 Palestinians and displaced over 430,000 inhabitants of the densely-populated territory..”

Palestinian President Rejects Eviction From Gaza (RT)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas categorically rejected the removal of Gaza’s inhabitants from their land in a phone call with US President Joe Biden on Saturday, Abbas’ office confirmed in a statement. Biden pledged to support the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to bring much-needed humanitarian assistance to Gaza, according to a White House summary of the call. The US president also claimed his administration has been working with the UN, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel “to ensure humanitarian supplies reach civilians in Gaza,” according to the summary, though Israel itself has pledged no electricity, water, or food will enter Gaza until the hostages taken by Hamas last Saturday are returned.

Abbas also told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he “rejects the forced displacement” of Palestinians from Gaza, warning the American diplomat during a meeting on Friday in Amman that going along with Israel’s evacuation order for north Gaza would amount to a “second Nakba” – a reference to Israel’s removal of 750,000 Palestinians from their land by force from 1947 to 1948. Also on Saturday, Biden spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pledging further material support to the Israel Defense Forces and telling the PM that “unity and determination” were needed to achieve Israel’s combat goals. Netanyahu thanked his American counterpart, according to a statement from his office.

Washington has repeatedly pledged to back Israel’s massive retaliation for Hamas’ attack last weekend, which left at least 1,300 Israelis dead. The resulting Israeli bombing campaign – the heaviest in Gaza’s history – has killed upwards of 1,900 Palestinians and displaced over 430,000 inhabitants of the densely-populated territory. Israel ordered the 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza to evacuate on Thursday. The order has come under fire from the UN and other international human rights observers, who argue it constitutes aggravated ethnic cleansing. Washington and many of its European allies, however, insist Israel’s actions are justifiable self-defense.

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“..He also noted that in the event of a ground operation in Gaza, civilian casualties would be unacceptable..”

Hamas Says It Appreciates Putin’s Stance On Gaza Settlement (TASS)

The Palestinian Hamas movement appreciates the position of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow’s efforts to settle the situation in the Gaza Strip, according to the group’s statement published on its Telegram channel. “Hamas appreciates Russian President Vladimir Putin’s position on the ongoing Zionist aggression against our people and the fact that he does not accept the blockade of the Gaza Strip, the stoppage of humanitarian aid and the attack on unarmed civilians. We also affirm that we welcome Russia’s tireless efforts to stop the systematic and barbaric Zionist aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip,” the statement said.

Earlier, the Russian leader said that Israel has been subjected to a brutal attack, but the settlement of the conflict is possible only through the establishment of an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. He also noted that in the event of a ground operation in Gaza, civilian casualties would be unacceptable. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, for his part, pointed out that the forced evacuation of Gaza residents was a violation of human rights. He added that the exchange of blows between Israel and Palestine should stop. Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 when militants from the radical Palestinian Hamas movement staged a surprise attack on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip.

Hamas described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel has announced a total blockade of the Gaza Strip as it has been delivering rocket attacks on Gaza as well as some districts in Lebanon and Syria. According to the latest official data, more than 1,900 Palestinians have been killed since the renewed outbreak of violence, while over 7,700 others have suffered wounds. In Israel, over 1,500 people have lost their lives and roughly 4,000 have been wounded in clashes, including on the West Bank of the Jordan River.

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“The Hamas movement has a high level of trust in Russia and its President Vladimir Putin..”

Russia Can Play Crucial Role In Middle East Settlement – Hamas Official (TASS)

The Palestinian movement Hamas believes that Russia is capable of playing a key role to put an end to the military escalation in the Middle East, which was triggered by Israeli aggression, Ali Baraka, head of Hamas National Relations Abroad, told TASS. “The Hamas movement has a high level of trust in Russia and its President Vladimir Putin, so we will welcome Russian mediation in resolving the conflict,” he said. “We are interested in ending the civilians’ suffering, caused by Israel’s bombing and brutal blockade of the Gaza Strip, as soon as possible.” The senior Hamas official said that the movement’s leadership was in constant contact with Moscow.

“We are ready for possible meetings with Russian diplomats in one of the Arab countries and we welcome their efforts,” he said. According to the Hamas representative, the Palestinians highly appreciate Putin’s stance. “We follow the Russian leader’s statements in which he assesses regional developments,” Baraka said. “We view Russia as a power that stands up for international law and seeks justice for the oppressed.” He said that “for the Palestinians, Russia’s voice in their defense and Moscow’s demands to stop aggression, lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip and resume humanitarian aid deliveries are crucial.”.

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John Helmer thinks Russia should be more pro-active.. Be careful what you wish for.

White Flag In A Black Hole – Is Russian Neutrality A Force Or A Trade? (Helmer)

The first Moscow newspaper analysis has appeared of Russia’s current position towards Israel and Palestine. It supports President Vladimir Putin’s public endorsement of the two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians. Entitled “Why Russia remains neutral in the conflict in the Middle East”, Vzglyad, the Moscow security strategy publication, posted the piece late on Friday evening, October 13. It added an opinion poll for its readers with a single question, “should Russia recognise Hamas as a terrorist organisation? The new analysis and conclusion are in contrast to Vzglyad’s call six months ago for Russia to reorient its position towards the Arab side. This is also a marked change of editorial line in the prevailing silence in Moscow: there has been no Security Council meeting since October 3; no State Duma debate; no national opinion polling of public attitudes.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is the one in which Israel is destroying the remnants of the Palestine state territories of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, and replaces that two-state solution with a single state; that is the Israeli one in which about 7 million Jews restrict about 2 million Arabs in bantustans administered according to an apartheid regime. The rules of this Jewish-based order have been fixed in Israel’s constitutional amendment enacted in 2018 as the “Basic Law: Israel – the Nation State of the Jewish People”, and ratified by the Israeli Supreme Court in 2021. This adopts the single- state solution expanding territorially by resettlement of the Palestinian territories “as a national value”; and in parallel, combating international opposition to the process by Israeli state operations to “preserve the cultural, historical and religious heritage of the Jewish People among Jews in the Diaspora.”

By equating Jewish ethnicity and religious faith with nationality of the Israeli state, this constitution eliminates Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim rights with the formula, “the exercise of the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People.” The corollary is that any Palestinian exercise of the right to self-determination on the expanding Jewish national territory is illegal, anti-Semitic, and terrorist. Internationally, it is the policy of Israel and its allies to make support for or discussion of Palestinian right to self-determination a thought and speech crime. In Russian politics, this is the one international conflict on which President Vladimir Putin has said so much since the start of his term, and done so little – this has been to advocate the two-state solution in public while in private to impose a do-nothing, say-catchword line on diplomats and military officials, and the state media.

The gap between the Kremlin and the General Staff and Defense Ministry became visible in September 2018 after the Israel Air Force caused the shoot-down in Syria of a Russian Ilyushin-20M electronic reconnaissance aircraft, and the killing of all fifteen crewmen on board. At that time the Russian military expressed a loss of confidence which had not been seen in public since President Boris Yeltsin countermanded orders for Russian military support of Serbia under NATO bombing between March and June 1999, and dismissed Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov on the US demand. In the present fighting between Palestinian, Arab and Israeli forces, the options for Russian action are numerous; the public debate over what the options should be has been nugatory. There have been no national opinion polls; no State Duma debate; no meeting of the Security Council since October 3.

An initial statement by Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church was carefully balanced between Palestine and Israel, referring to the “military conflict” between the two sides, not a unilateral act of terrorism. “Peaceful coexistence” between the religious communities, Kirill said, has a “religious dimension” and requires a “just peace”. In context, this was a tilt against Israel. The Church’s Department for External Church Relations issued the statement on October 7; there has been nothing since. As a bellwether of Russian security analysts, Vzglyad’s decision to publish a report of expert assessments on “the advantages of Russia’s neutrality in the conflict in the Middle East” is unusual. Vzglyad’s publishing record shows what the new report is not. Strategically, Russia is being obliged by the US and NATO alliance to fight an all-forces war in Europe, and commit small forces in separate conflicts in Syria; Transdnistria and Moldova; Azerbaijan and Armenia; with the possibility of engagement in the Kosovo fight against Serbia.

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“..The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement essentially envisaged the death of all Ukrainian industry..” ..“we now see exactly that there’s nothing left there already.”

Putin Weighs In On EU-Ukraine Accord (RT)

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement essentially envisaged the death of all Ukrainian industry, Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed. The ratification of the accord was put on hold in late 2013 by then-President Viktor Yanukovich, which sparked the Maidan coup that led to his overthrow. The new Ukrainian government signed the agreement in 2014. Speaking to reporters on Friday, Putin said: “If you read what the EU proposed to Ukraine, this is what is apparently being realized now – this was tantamount to the destruction of all key industries that the Soviet Ukraine once prided itself on.” The president added that “we now see exactly that there’s nothing left there already.” According to Putin, Yanukovich was weighing Kiev’s options and simply postponed the ratification of the agreement with the EU in 2013.

In an interview with Politico late last month, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal said Kiev expects full EU membership within two years, and will not settle for anything less. He cited the “huge price” his country has paid to join the bloc. Shmigal went on to pledge that Ukraine will “not be bringing problems” to the EU, but will be a helpful addition. Speaking at a press conference following a summit of EU leaders in the Spanish city of Granada last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the process of accession for any aspiring nation should be strictly “merit-based,” with certain “milestones that have to be achieved” first. The joint declaration adopted by the member states calls on Ukraine and other hopefuls to “step up their reform efforts, notably in the area of rule of law.”

European Council President Charles Michel said the EU should be ready to expand by 2030. However, this timeframe apparently did not sit well with all member states. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte insisted that “it’s not a question of when countries are ready; it’s a question of whether countries are ready.” Joining the EU has been among the key stated objectives of pro-West Ukrainian politicians for decades. Kiev had not achieved much progress on this path prior to February 2022, when Moscow launched its military operation in the country. The conflict appears to have re-invigorated the process, with top officials repeatedly demanding membership due to Ukraine’s perceived role in defending the EU from an allegedly looming Russian invasion.

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Pretty sure Arestovich has something on Zelensky (I’d put my money on corruption). He’s the only voice “allowed” this type of criticism.

“..Ukraine, by contrast, “suppresses business, civil liberties and political competitors, quarrels with neighbors and key partners, and encourages corruption.”

Ex-Zelensky Aide Calls For New Government In Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine’s counteroffensive has failed, its troops have built no defensive lines, and President Vladimir Zelensky has allowed corruption and incompetence to flourish, former adviser Aleksey Arestovich said on Saturday. New elections are the only way out of the impasse, he argued. Zelensky’s focus on defending the Donbass city of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine) at all costs earlier this year drained men and resources that could have been sent south to participate in the summer counteroffensive against Russian forces, Arestovich wrote on Telegram. With weather conditions deteriorating, the counteroffensive has now halted. The four-month operation cost Ukraine 90,000 men (according to Russian figures), and resulted in extremely minimal territorial gains for Kiev.

Ukraine has achieved “nothing,”and Russian troops have switched to offensive operations along the entire front, Moscow’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, told the UN Security Council on Friday. With the roles reversed and the Ukrainians now defending, Arestovich noted that the Ukrainian military has not constructed defensive fortifications like those set up by Russia before the Ukrainian offensive. “Such structures would dramatically increase the combat stability of our troops, inflict even greater losses on the Russians, reduce the load on our forces and allow some of them to be redirected to offensive areas,” he wrote, adding that “this was not done, and this is our second strategic mistake.” Away from the battlefield, Arestovich said Russia is increasing its defense spending, stepping up the production of armaments, and reaching out to its friends and partners in the Global South.

Ukraine, by contrast, “suppresses business, civil liberties and political competitors, quarrels with neighbors and key partners, and encourages corruption.” “Our leadership, in my assessment, exhausted the limits of its competence a long time ago,” he wrote. In order to pull the country out of its current “dead end,” he urged Zelensky’s government to abandon its earlier decision not to hold elections until after the conflict, and accept that its goal of retaking Crimea and restoring Ukraine’s 1991 borders will not happen, despite the “blood, sweat, and tears” of the Ukrainian people. Although Arestovich was initially optimistic about the counteroffensive’s chances of success, he has offered a series of increasingly grim predictions of the country’s future in recent months. He predicted in August that an invasion of Crimea would cost 200,000 Ukrainian lives, and forecast in September that the conflict could drag on until 2035.

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“..the president told reporters to “remain silent until victory.” “If we remain silent, there will be no victory,” the editor-in-chief said..”

Zelensky Gags Media On Corruption – Editor-in-Chief (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky has allegedly ordered Ukrainian journalists to avoid bringing up the topic of corruption instead of reporting it to the authorities, the editor-in-chief of the Zerkalo Nedeli (‘Mirror of the Week’) news outlet has claimed. Speaking at the National Media Talk 2023, Yulia Mostovaya said that she had learned of Zelensky’s demand from colleagues who had attended an off-the-record meeting with him. The president reportedly made the request after the Ukrainian press published reports about inflated food prices paid by the country’s armed forces. According to Ukrainian media reports, including Zerkalo Nedeli, the Defense Ministry had been buying food and clothing for its service members at prices two to three times higher than the market price.

For example, the ministry paid up to 17 hryvnia ($0.47) for a single egg and 22 hryvnia ($0.60) for a kilogram of potatoes, while the average prices for those goods at stores in Kiev at the time were about 7 hryvnia ($0.19) and 8 hryvnia ($0.22), respectively. Mostovaya stated that Zelensky’s request to avoid the topic of corruption in media publications was something the Ukrainian press may have considered if Zelensky had presented it in a “balanced manner” and explained that reporting on such issues could affect Ukraine’s battlefield capabilities. “We would accept these conditions if the president had said: ‘Here is a person. Here’s his phone number. If you have substantiated facts, please provide them to this person, he will immediately pick up the phone. And give us a week to respond. If there is no reaction within a week, send it to print.’”

However, no such proposal was put forward by Zelensky, Mostovaya claimed, noting that instead the president told reporters to “remain silent until victory.” “If we remain silent, there will be no victory,” the editor-in-chief said. The issue of corruption in Ukraine has repeatedly been brought up by journalists and officials, both within the country and in the West. Last week, the former president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, stated that Ukraine will likely be unable to join the EU anytime soon because it is “corrupt at all levels of society.” He also urged Brussels not to make any “false promises” to the Ukrainian people who are already “up to their neck in suffering.” Ukraine has for years been seen as among the most corrupt countries in Europe and was ranked 116th out of 180 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for 2022.

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Almost entirely a Russian-speaking country. Language is not easy to replace. It takes a long time.

Only 15% of Kiev Preschoolers ‘Actively Speak’ Ukrainian – NGO (RT)

Only some 15% of preschoolers in Kiev are “actively using” Ukrainian, according to a survey conducted by Spilnomova, an NGO with the declared goal of “studying and changing the language situation” in the country. The results of the survey were revealed by Spilnomova’s founder, Andrey Kovalyov, in an interview with the outlet Texty.org.ua, published on Tuesday. Around 20% of preschoolers turned out not to speak Ukrainian at all, using Russian in daily life instead. The rest of the preschoolers are using a mix of Russian and Ukrainian, the survey found. Kovalyov did not discuss the exact methodology used to arrive at the findings. The language situation appears to vary from one kindergarten to another, depending on whether the institution is making an active Ukraininzation effort, as well as on the efforts of the parents.

sBut since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, more parents have started using Ukrainian while speaking to their children, Kovalyov said. “There are kindergartens that constantly remind parents about this. And they have a higher percentage of children who use Ukrainian. But, unfortunately, such institutions are a minority. For the most part, kindergartens simply do not have any policy on this topic. They usually do nothing,” he stated. The situation with use of Ukrainian language is no better – and, apparently, even worse – among teenagers, according to the activist. While the city’s schools are teaching children in Ukrainian, the language policy appears to have little to no effect on actual real-life use, Kovalyov said.

“That is, we have a very peculiar situation. On the one hand, we see preschoolers in the Russian language environment, on the other hand, no changes are visible in the school environment.” “For example, only 10% of memes used by Kiev teenagers are in Ukrainian, 90% are in Russian or English. Here the question arises: can a child be creative with a language that is not dominant for him?” Despite efforts at promoting the official tongue, Ukrainian schools at present only enable children to learn it “passively,” effectively like any other language taught there, according to Kovalyov. Given that the language issue is “highly politicized” in the country, education officials appear to be afraid of actually doing something about it, opting to wait until it “somehow resolves itself,” he said.

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“..Biden’s counsel and associates conducted repeated searches and declared repeatedly that no further classified documents were found. That was repeatedly found to be untrue.”

New Evidence May Destroy Biden’s Defense In Classified Documents Case (Turley)

This week, the House Oversight Committee released a new timeline on the discovery of classified documents in various locations associated with Biden. From the outset, many of us flagged problems with the account that had been given by Biden, who insisted that he had no knowledge or involvement in the removal or use of the documents. The most glaring problem is that, after they were removed at the end of his term as vice president, the documents were repeatedly moved and divided up. Some were found in the Penn Center office used by Biden in Washington, D.C. Others were found in his garage and reportedly in his library. Biden made clear from the beginning that he expected the investigation to be perfunctory and brief. He publicly declared that he has “no regrets” over his own conduct and told the public that the documents investigation would soon peter out when it determined that “there is no ‘there’ there.”

Now, however, it appears that a critical claim by the White House in the scandal may not only be false, but was knowingly false at the time it was made. The White House and Biden’s counsel have long maintained that, as soon as documents were discovered in the D.C. office, they notified the national archives. Many asked why they did not call the FBI, but the White House has at least maintained that, unlike Trump, they took immediate action to notify authorities.However, it now appears that this was not true. One of the closest aides to Biden and a close friend to Hunter Biden is Annie Tomasini. She referred to Hunter as her “brother” and signed off messages with “LY” or “love you.” Tomasini was once a senior aide to Joe Biden and, according to the Oversight Committee, inspected the classified material on March 18, 2021, two months after Biden took office — nearly 20 months before they were said to be found by the Biden team.

The committee now alleges that the White House “omitted months of communications, planning, and coordinating among multiple White House officials, [Kathy] Chung, Penn Biden Center employees, and President Biden’s personal attorneys to retrieve the boxes containing classified materials. The timeline also omitted multiple visits from at least five White House employees, including Dana Remus, Anthony Bernal, Ashley Williams, Annie Tomasini, and an unknown staffer.” If true, the evidence demolishes the timeline long maintained by the Biden team. That could have an immediate impact on both the criminal and impeachment investigations. The timeline has been a critical distinction drawn by the White House in distinguishing this matter from the Trump indictment, in which Smith charged the former president with 37 counts, including retaining classified information, obstructing justice and making false statements, and other charges.

Biden insisted that he was entirely “surprised” by the discovery of the documents in Nov. 2021. He echoed the narrative of both his lawyers and the media at large: “And they did what they should have done,” he said. “They immediately called the Archives — immediately called the Archives, turned them over to the Archives, and I was briefed about this discovery.” In reality, Biden’s counsel and associates conducted repeated searches and declared repeatedly that no further classified documents were found. That was repeatedly found to be untrue. Moreover, the concern is that Biden’s lawyers, in the course of these private searches, may have consolidated material and contaminated the scene by the time FBI agents conducted their searches. This includes changing how documents were originally stored and whether classified markings were visible to anyone working around the Biden home or garage.

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“They remain similar in every way except the charges.”

How About Hunter? DOJ Adds FARA Charge to Menendez Prosecution (Turley)

The Justice Department this week hit Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) with a superseding indictment including a new but all-too-familiar charge: being an unregistered foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). I cannot recall another sitting member of Congress being criminally charged as a foreign agent. Yet even if this is the first such case, the charge has been freely used by the Justice Department in all but one case: Hunter Biden. The indictment accuses Menendez of being a foreign agent on behalf of Egypt. Also charged under the law is Menendez’s wife, Nadine, and Egyptian American businessman Wael Hana. After they discussed various foreign policy priorities at one dinner, Nadine is quoted as asking her Egyptian counterparts, “What else can the love of my life do for you?”

The government alleges that the couple agreed to have Menendez “use his power and authority to facilitate such sales and financing to Egypt.” In addition to other benefits, the government alleges that Hana promised to put Nadine on the payroll of his company in a “low-or-no-show job.” The indictment further alleges that the senator disclosed “nonpublic information about the United States’s provision of military aid to Egypt” during a dinner with Hana in 2018. It also claims that the senator “secretly edited and ghost-wrote” a letter “on behalf of Egypt” trying to convince other senators to release a hold on $300 million in aid to the country. The inclusion of the FARA charge against Menendez, his wife and his associate only highlights the absence of any such charge against President Biden’s son Hunter.

For years, some of us have raised the glaring contradiction in how the Justice Department has approached the Hunter Biden case with its treatment of past defendants like Donald Trump associate Paul Manafort. The Justice Department has been quick to indictment Manafort and others on FARA charges, but continues to prevaricate over such a charge for the president’s son. Indeed, when Menendez was charged, I wrote about the striking similarities in the cases, including the gifts and benefits showered on both men. They remain similar in every way except the charges.

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“..with Moscow allegedly making use of Swiss “media, opinion leaders, politicians, and topics like neutrality” to exert pressure on the country and influence local opinions in favor of Russia.”

Swiss Magazine ‘Spied On’ For Hosting Scott Ritter (RT)

The Swiss weekly magazine Die Weltwoche claims it has obtained a confidential document from the Swiss Intelligence Service (NDB), said to be proof it was spied on by the authorities. The bombshell revelation was made by the outlet on Wednesday. The two-page document claims the magazine “provides a platform for a Russian influence actor,” as NDB described former US intelligence officer and UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter. The magazine hosted Ritter for a lengthy interview in late September. Among other things, the NDB raised concerns over Ritter’s contributions to RT as well as other local media in which he discussed the benefits of Swiss neutrality, which some would argue the country has laid aside amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

According to the Swiss intel service, the articles penned by the former American military officer are designed to influence the “Western information space.” The NDB claimed Ritter has been spreading “Russian propaganda and disinformation,” as well as “hate speech.” The former US officer also attended a public event in Switzerland in late September, which the spy agency characterized as dedicated to dissemination of “Russian propaganda.” The NDB assessment concludes that Switzerland has been subjected to complex Russian influence activities, with Moscow allegedly making use of Swiss “media, opinion leaders, politicians, and topics like neutrality” to exert pressure on the country and influence local opinions in favor of Russia.

The document did not go into any specifics about how exactly media and local opinion leaders allegedly ended up under the sway of Russia, the magazine noted. The publication itself was targeted by the service simply “because it stands for neutrality rather than taking sides in the Ukraine conflict,” Die Weltwoche suggested. The outlet questioned how “surveillance of a media organization aligns with constitutional press freedom” as well as how an apparent intervention into domestic politics ended up within the competence of the NDB. “Apparently, the Ukraine conflict has transformed our country back into a surveillance state, which was supposedly overcome with a significant effort in the early 1990s,” Die Weltwoche concluded.

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X thread.

Poison Control (Iris Figueroa)

“I gathered all vaccine ingredients into a list and contacted Poison Control. After intros and such, and asking to speak with someone tenured and knowledgeable, this is the gist of that conversation.

Me: My question to you is how are these ingredients categorized? As benign or poison? (I ran a few ingredients, formaldehyde, Tween 80, mercury, aluminum, phenoxyethanol, potassium phosphate, sodium phosphate, sorbitol, etc.)

He: Well, that’s quite a list… But I’d have to easily say that they’re all toxic to humans… Used in fertilizers… Pesticides… To stop the heart… To preserve a dead body… They’re registered with us in different categories, but pretty much poisons. Why?

Me: If I were deliberately to feed or inject my child with these ingredients often, as a schedule, obviously I’d put my daughter in harm’s way… But what would legally happen to me?

He: Odd question… But you’d likely be charged with criminal negligence… perhaps with intent to kill… and of course child abuse… Your child would be taken away from you… Do you know of someone’s who’s doing this to their child? This is criminal…

Me: An industry… These are the ingredients used in vaccines… With binding agents to make sure the body won’t flush these out… To keep the antibody levels up indefinitely…

The man was beside himself. He asked if I would email him all this information. He wanted to share it with his adult kids who are parents. He was horrified and felt awful he didn’t know… his kids are vaccinated and they have health issues…”

Here are just SOME vaccine ingredients present in routine vaccines:

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Anteater

 

 

 

 

Hognose

 

 

 

 

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