Apr 052024
 


Jan van Eyck Crucifixion and Last Judgement 1430

 

New York Judge Calls Trump Jan. 6 Case ‘Federal Insurrection Matter’ (ET)
Judge Denies Trump First Amendment Challenge to Georgia Election Charges (ET)
The Trump-Proofing Checklist (Manley)
Ukraine ‘Will Become a Member of NATO’ – Blinken (RT)
NATO Exists To Respond To The Conflicts Caused By Its Own Existence (Sp.)
Enlargement Made NATO Hostage to Agenda Pushed by Eastern Europe (Sp.)
Russia and NATO Already In ‘Direct Confrontation’ – Kremlin (RT)
Lavrov Says Obvious That Ukraine Involved in Terrorist Attack in Crocus (Sp.)
‘Stop Lying,’ Russia Tells US (RT)
Kiev’s Backers Fear Frontline Breach – Media (RT)
Why Are Central Banks Buying Gold? (Martin Armstrong)
“Is He Blackmailed?” MTG Questions Speaker Johnson (ZH)
Europe’s Identity Crisis (Patrick Lawrence)
The European Union’s Fires Where Freedom Burns (Hugo Dionísio)
Canada’s Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland Diagnosed With Progressive HPD (Helmer)

 

 

It’s so easy to confuse me…

 

 

Peltz Musk

 

 

Galloway Escobar

 

 


WikiLeaks Ukraine Cable from 2008 written by CIA director William J. Burns, then US ambassador to Moscow

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

CNN

 

 


Foreign-born population growth:
Barack Obama: 68,000 per month
Donald Trump: 42,000 per month
Joe Biden: 172,000 per month

 

 

Trump UN
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700360281698791655

 

 

Obama

 

 


Elon Musk: “Bet you didn’t know that this administration is flying hundreds of thousands of illegals into America using your tax dollars …”

 

 

 

 

A judge who confuses the case beforee him with a parallel case? Seems a very strange mistake.

New York Judge Calls Trump Jan. 6 Case ‘Federal Insurrection Matter’ (ET)

On April 3, New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan denied a defense motion to adjourn the upcoming trial scheduled for April 15, and in his order, referred to former President Donald Trump’s case before the Supreme Court as the “Federal Insurrection Matter.” “Defendant fully briefed the issue of presidential immunity in his motion to dismiss the matter of United States v. Trump, US Dist Ct, DDC 23 CR 25, (TSC) (hereinafter “Federal Insurrection Matter”) on October 5, 2023,” Justice Merchan wrote. Justice Merchan is presiding over one of four criminal cases against President Trump. This one is a state case, where Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has charged President Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records, alleging a scheme to influence the 2016 elections. The other case in question charges President Trump with four counts of obstruction and conspiracy for his acts on Jan. 6, 2021, but it does not allege insurrection in the indictment.

Special counsel Jack Smith is prosecuting the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and trial proceedings have been stayed as President Trump pursues an appeal on grounds of presidential immunity. Counsel for President Trump in the Manhattan case brought the federal case up recently in requesting that the trial be delayed, arguing that the presidential immunity they raised in state court will soon be under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. On April 25, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on “whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.” The presidential immunity defense is one President Trump has raised in several of his cases, and attorneys in other cases have requested additional hearings and delays in anticipation of a Supreme Court decision. It is unclear why Justice Merchan would use the “insurrection” as shorthand for the federal case.

The only appearance of the word “insurrection” is in a quote in response to an attorney saying there would be “riots everywhere” if President Trump remained in office. In response, one of the unnamed co-conspirators tells him, “Well, [Deputy White House Counsel], that’s why there’s an Insurrection Act.” Separately, critics of President Trump have colloquially referred to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, as an “insurrection,” resulting in a wave of almost 100 state-level lawsuits to disqualify him from the ballot over the past half year. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court heard another case involving President Trump and ruled that states have no authority to disqualify a federal candidate in elections. However, it would be unlikely that the judge confused the two cases, as President Trump did not argue presidential immunity in the ballot disqualification case, and the Supreme Court issued a ruling ending the challenges on March 4. Defense attorneys in the Manhattan case are also renewing requests that the judge step down, arguing that he has shown partisan interest.

Last August, Justice Merchan rejected an initial motion for recusal. He stated that his small-dollar donations to President Trump’s political opponents and his daughter’s employment at a marketing firm, which has received millions from those campaigning against President Trump, would not affect his ability to try the case impartially. However, Justice Merchan recently broadened a gag order to prevent President Trump from discussing the judge’s family members. The move follows President Trump’s renewed grievances about the judge’s daughter helping to campaign for politicians such as Vice President Kamala Harris and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Defense attorneys made another request that the judge recuse himself on April 1, arguing that the judge’s family has commercial interests that “are benefitted by developments in this case that harm President Trump’s penal interests.”

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I was wondering if, like Fani and her boytoy, the judges in various Trump cases have also had 8-hour sessions at the White House. How would we ever find out?

Judge Denies Trump First Amendment Challenge to Georgia Election Charges (ET)

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has denied former President Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss charges under the First Amendment, noting that the way the challenge was brought limited the arguments that could be made. “Without foreclosing the ability to raise similar as-applied challenges at the appropriate time after the establishment of a factual record, the Defendants’ motions based on First Amendment grounds are denied,” the judge wrote in an April 4 order. President Trump is being charged along with 14 others of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act for their actions in challenging the 2020 election results. He had brought a First Amendment as-applied challenge, arguing that everything he said listed in the indictment was protected by the First Amendment.

The defense also touched on making a First Amendment facial challenge, arguing that the charges were overly broad and the statutes may be unconstitutional. But when such a challenge is made before trial, the only record of facts that can be used is the indictment itself. The allegations must be accepted as fact at this stage. Much of President Trump’s speech is cited as part of the RICO charge, in which legal acts and truthful speech can be listed in order to show that an “operation” was in place, prosecutors explained. The First Amendment does not protect speech “integral to criminal conduct, fraud, or speech presenting an imminent threat that the government can prevent,” the judge wrote. Political speech is protected, as is communication to government officials, but protection “does not extend to allegedly fraudulent petitions,” the judge wrote. In the indictment, prosecutors allege all included speech was tied to criminal conduct and the furtherance of a conspiracy.

Defense attorney Steve Sadow argued that President Trump’s speech could not be prosecuted for falsity, and argued that courts have recognized that even false speech must be protected, as free debate cannot be free from error. However, the judge found that prosecutors did not bring charges because the speech was “false” but because President Trump allegedly “knowingly” and “willfully” acted in a way that “impacted matters of governmental concern.” As for proving out that intent, that was a matter for trial, he added. “The allegations that the Defendants’ speech or conduct was carried out with criminal intent are something only a jury can resolve,” the order reads.

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“The US has used the group to funnel tens of billions of dollars in weapons and other equipment to Ukraine. But NATO may bring the group under its control should Ukraine lose US support..”

The Trump-Proofing Checklist (Manley)

Mainstream media has dubbed a new proposal a way to “Trump-proof” aid for Ukraine. Some foreign ministers, however, have made it clear that any funding that moves NATO closer to war will not be supported. NATO foreign ministers met Wednesday to discuss a proposal by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg for a €100 billion ($108 billion) five-year fund for Ukraine. The move comes as Europe fears the return of a Donald Trump presidency. The former US president has said he will not aid Ukraine in their conflict with Russia if he is elected, according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “What is obvious is that we need new and more money for Ukraine. And we need it over many years. And the whole idea of now discussing a framework, commitments and an institutionalized framework, for the support is to ensure more predictability and more confidence that the money will come every month, every year for the long haul,” said Stoltenberg before the meeting.

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group was first created in the early weeks of the conflict by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and then-Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley. The US has used the group to funnel tens of billions of dollars in weapons and other equipment to Ukraine. But NATO may bring the group under its control should Ukraine lose US support. “We need to shift the dynamics of our support,” Stoltenberg said. “We must ensure reliable and predictable security assistance to Ukraine for the long haul… less on short-term offers and more on multi-year pledges.” But foreign ministers have reportedly warned that putting together such a fund would not be easy. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto “firmly stated Hungary will not back any [NATO] proposals that might draw the alliance closer to war or shift it from a defensive to an offensive coalition,” government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said on X.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said he and others warned against duplicating efforts between bilateral, European Union and NATO aid. In early March, former President Donald Trump met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. According to Orban, Trump will “not give a penny into the Ukraine-Russia war and therefore the war will end” as its “obvious that Ukraine on its own cannot stand on its feet.” Stoltenberg concluded at the end of the summit that NATO will make its final decision in July. A consensus between its 32 members will be required before they can move forward with such a decision. As NATO marks its 75th anniversary this week, Russia has accused the military alliance of returning to a Cold War mindset. Late last year, US legislators passed a law requiring congressional approval should any US president attempt to pull the country out of NATO.

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Note that he doesn’t say when.

Ukraine ‘Will Become a Member of NATO’ – Blinken (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has capped a meeting of NATO diplomats by doubling down on an issue that helped trigger the Russia-Ukraine conflict: allowing Kiev to join the Western military alliance. “Ukraine will become a member of NATO,” Blinken told reporters on Thursday in Brussels. “Our purpose at the summit is to help build a bridge to that membership and to create a clear pathway for Ukraine moving forward.” Blinken made his comments as NATO foreign ministers completed a two-day meeting to rally more international support for Kiev. He spoke at a press briefing alongside Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, who argued that Ukraine “deserves to be a member of NATO.” The Ukrainian diplomat added, “This should happen sooner rather than later.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned for the better part of two decades that NATO’s eastward expansion undermines Russian national security and that moving the bloc’s forces into Ukraine would cross a “red line.” NATO-Russia relations have deteriorated so much amid the current Ukraine crisis that the alliance is now in “direct confrontation” with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. The determination of NATO members to back Ukraine remains “rock solid,” Blinken said at Thursday’s press briefing. “We will do everything we can; allies will do everything that they can to ensure that Ukraine has what it needs to continue to deal with Russia’s ongoing aggression.” The top US diplomat also urged Congress to approve $60 billion in additional aid to Ukraine. The proposal has been stalled by rising opposition from Republican lawmakers since last fall. The administration of US President Joe Biden has already burned through $113 billion in previously approved Ukraine funding.

US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said in an interview on Wednesday that the latest aid bill is likely headed for passage when Congress goes back into session next week. The Georgia Republican argued that Washington’s escalating “proxy war” in Ukraine is making Americans less safe and pushing the world closer to World War III. Reacting to Blinken’s statement on Thursday, Greene reminded her 3.2 million followers on X (formerly Twitter) that under the NATO charter, an attack on one member is considered an attack on all. “Making Ukraine a member of NATO means that the US will be going to war against Russia, as mandated by Article 5,” she wrote.

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“We could exit this tragedy by reaching out to Russia to negotiate a new inclusive European security architecture devoted to reducing security competition instead of imposing hegemony..”

NATO Exists To Respond To The Conflicts Caused By Its Own Existence (Sp.)

Exactly 75 years ago, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded by the US, Canada, and several Western European nations, with the main aim of deterring and confronting the USSR, their former Second World War ally. After the Soviet Union’s collapse in December 1991, the conditions for a new inclusive security architecture in Europe and beyond emerged, according to Glenn Diesen, professor of international relations at the University of South-Eastern Norway. “After the Cold War, we developed the format for a new inclusive security system,” Diesen told Sputnik. “The Charter of Paris for a New Europe in 1990 and the establishment of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1994 were both based on the [1975] Helsinki Accords, and embraced the principles of sovereign equality, indivisible security, and ending the dividing lines in Europe.”

The Helsinki Accords, signed during the Cold War by the US, Soviet Union, and several European countries, led to greater cooperation between Eastern and Western Europe. Even though the agreements weren’t binding, they significantly contributed to the détente between the East and West. Instead of building on that momentum, the US saw the end of the Cold War as the beginning of its unipolar moment, according to the professor: in 1992, George H.W. Bush proudly declared that the US had “won” the Cold War during his State of the Union address. “The US also developed a security strategy based on hegemony, which required expanding NATO and thus cancelling the pan-European security architecture,” Diesen said. “NATO therefore transitioned from a status quo power to a revisionist power. NATO required a new purpose, which became ‘out-of-area’ military interventionism and expansionism.”

The next 30 years saw a string of NATO overseas military campaigns, neither of which has seen a comprehensive resolution, resulting in the creation of hotbeds of instability instead. “During the 1990s, NATO turned from a conceptually defensive organization into an openly aggressive organization when it entered the Yugoslav wars and waged a massive bombing campaign there,” Gilbert Doctorow, an international relations and Russian affairs analyst, told Sputnik. “More generally, the United States was at this time preparing NATO to move out of its core geography in Europe and to assist US plans for global domination in the Middle East in the succession of regime change operations and open invasions that the United States planned and led.” Doctorow highlighted that these “out-of-region NATO operations were one disaster after another, ending in the withdrawal from Afghanistan after participation in a 20-year-long war directed by Washington.”

Meanwhile, the alliance’s seven waves of post-Cold War eastward expansion accelerated tensions in Europe, according to the Norwegian academic. “Reviving the bloc approach to security and competing over where to draw the new dividing lines has been the primary source of conflicts in Europe for the past three decades and eventually resulted in the Ukraine war,” Diesen said. The academic pointed out that “by going along with NATO expansionism, the Europeans allowed their continent to be re-divided and remilitarized, which has predictably doomed Europe to greater irrelevance.” He projected that Europe “will undergo systemic economic decline and become painfully subordinated to the US.” “We could exit this tragedy by reaching out to Russia to negotiate a new inclusive European security architecture devoted to reducing security competition instead of imposing hegemony,” the professor emphasized.

NATO exists to respond to the conflicts caused by its own existence,” Diesen explained. “The problem now is that NATO is returning to great power conflicts with the same disastrous approach to security, based on hegemony rather than mitigating security competition.” Despite the Western mainstream media claims that the North Atlantic Alliance is united like never before amid the Ukrainian conflict, it is in fact not true, according to the professor. “There are great tensions within NATO that simmers below the surface, and I do not think the hatred of Russia is enough to ensure unity after the war is over,” he said.

Tucker Ukr

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“..classic tail-wags-the-dog situation..”

Enlargement Made NATO Hostage to Agenda Pushed by Eastern Europe (Sp.)

The decades-long NATO expansion to all of Central and Eastern Europe has turned the United States into a hostage of the agenda pursued by Eastern European allies in a classic case of “tail-wags-the-dog,” James Carden, former adviser to the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission at the Department of State, told Sputnik. The United States together with 31 other NATO members is celebrating the alliance’s 75th anniversary this week. “NATO expansion has turned what once arguably (pre-March 1953) could have been called a defensive alliance into a (post-1992) classic tail-wags-the-dog situation,” Carden said. That has resulted in the former Soviet and Warsaw Pact states “pushing their parochial agenda on the United States,” he said. “Not a good state of affairs but here we are,” Carden concluded.

Even at the height of the Cold War, and a quarter century before the peaceful disintegration of the Soviet Union, NATO’s tendencies to over-extend itself to the east and become a tool for the continued US domination and micro-management of Europe had been noted by the great, visionary French statesman President Charles de Gaulle, Carden pointed out. “Over-extension is the core issue, identified early on by no less a statesman than de Gaulle, who intuitively understood that the opening of the European Economic Community (ECC) to the United Kingdom (UK) would introduce an American Trojan horse into the most sensitive issues of European economic affairs,” he said.

For years, Moscow has objected to NATO’s continued expansion and military buildup near Russian borders. Ukraine’s plans to join the bloc were among the reasons why Russia launched its special military operation in February 2022, President Vladimir Putin said. In response to the latest NATO enlargement, Russia will station its troops and strike systems near the borders of Finland and Sweden, Putin said in a March interview with Rossiya Segodnya Director General Dmitry Kiselev for the Rossiya 1 broadcaster and RIA Novosti.

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“NATO continues to fulfill its purpose, which currently, however, in no way contributes to security, predictability and stability on the continent, but on the contrary is a destabilizing factor..”

Russia and NATO Already In ‘Direct Confrontation’ – Kremlin (RT)

The current state of relations between Russia and NATO can be described as a “direct confrontation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. He claimed that the US-led military bloc has been a destabilizing force in Europe rather than ensuring the continent’s security. He made his comment on Thursday, as the bloc marked 75 years since the signing of its founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty. Since the start of the Ukraine conflict, NATO has provided Kiev with billions worth of military aid and weaponry, as well as sharing intelligence and helping to train Ukrainian troops. “The bloc itself is already involved in the Ukraine conflict. NATO continues to move towards our borders, expanding its military infrastructure towards our borders… In fact, our relations have now descended to the level of direct confrontation,” Peskov said at a press-briefing.

He stated that the organization had been created as an “instrument of confrontation” in Europe, and is fulfilling its purpose to the detriment of the entire continent. “NATO continues to fulfill its purpose, which currently, however, in no way contributes to security, predictability and stability on the continent, but on the contrary is a destabilizing factor,” Peskov explained. Multiple Western leaders have warned that Russia may attack NATO once the Ukraine conflict is over. Moscow has repeatedly dismissed those claims. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that talk of a potential Russian attack on NATO countries is simply propaganda by their governments aimed at scaring their own population to “beat the money out of them.”

Moscow has for years voiced concerns about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, viewing the US-led military bloc’s policies as an existential threat. However, it has also warned that NATO’s more pronounced involvement in the Ukraine conflict, in particular, the possibility of a troop deployment to the front lines, would be seen as an intervention. This, according to an earlier statement by Putin, would take the conflict “one step shy of a full-scale World War III.”

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“Now they want to turn voluntary military assistance to Ukraine within NATO into mandatory military assistance..”

Lavrov Says Obvious That Ukraine Involved in Terrorist Attack in Crocus (Sp.)

It is obvious that Ukraine was involved in the terrorist attack in the Crocus City Hall concert venue on March 22, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. “This terrorist attack, as you know, is now being actively investigated by the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General’s Office, other competent authorities. It is already obvious … that there was a Ukrainian trace, especially since Ukraine’s involvement in many other terrorist attacks on Russian territory is no longer in doubt,” Lavrov said at the round table with ambassadors of over 70 countries dedicated to the Ukrainian crisis. On March 22, several armed men broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting at people. They also started a fire in one of the auditoriums, which was full of people ahead of a concert. The attack left 695 casualties, including 144 dead, according to the latest data from the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

The four main suspects in the case — all of them citizens of Tajikistan — tried to flee the scene in a car but were detained and charged with terrorism. Russian authorities believe their plan was to flee to Ukraine, where the masterminds of the attack had arranged a safe haven for them. An investigation is underway. Providing aid to Ukraine is planned to be made obligatory for NATO members, Lavrov added. “Now they want to turn voluntary military assistance to Ukraine within NATO into mandatory military assistance. To force all NATO members through strict discipline to sign up for the mandatory provision of funding and weapons to the Kiev regime,” Lavrov said at the round table with ambassadors of over 70 countries dedicated to the Ukrainian crisis.

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A hard habit for them to break:

“Russia is not a pariah,” Blinken stated, and “the idea has never been to exclude [it]..”

‘Stop Lying,’ Russia Tells US (RT)

The US mantra that Russia must change its behavior to improve relations with the West disregards the fact that Washington has for years willfully ignored Moscow’s core interests, Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov has said. Moscow’s envoy was responding to comments by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who told French broadcaster LCI on Tuesday that he did not rule out a possible meeting between President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, despite the current standoff over Ukraine.“Russia is not a pariah,” Blinken stated, and “the idea has never been to exclude [it],” while insisting that Moscow is responsible for the current rift with the West. “If policy changes, we don’t rule anything out. The problem is that we don’t have any proof, for the moment, that policy is changing.” It was not Moscow that “moved its war machine to NATO’s borders” and spearheaded unprecedented economic and personal sanctions, Antonov added.

“Everything that is happening now is the exclusive choice of the West, which has trampled on the basics of diplomacy, the principle of indivisibility of security and has been abusing the trust of the Russian Federation for many years,” the envoy claimed. For relations to improve, Western countries “should abandon illusions about the possibility of inflicting a strategic defeat” on Russia and learn to respect other nations’ interests, the ambassador stated, adding that Moscow does not accept “attempts at dictatorship” and the US desire to impose its values on others. President Putin said in December that Moscow is open to improving relations with the US, but that this process depends on fundamental changes in Washington’s policies and a desire to seek compromise. Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s expansion toward its borders, viewing the US-led military bloc’s policies as an existential threat. Putin, however, has repeatedly said Moscow has no plans to attack NATO.

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“..the Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD), stated on Tuesday that Moscow “does not have resources” for a major push forward..”

Kiev’s Backers Fear Frontline Breach – Media (RT)

There are growing concerns both in Ukraine and among its Western backers that an expected Russian offensive this summer could break through the country’s defenses, Western media have reported. Kiev has been complaining for months that a shortage of weapons from the West has put it at a massive disadvantage on the battlefield against Moscow. President Vladimir Zelensky told the Washington Post last week that his forces may have to retreat further to reduce the length of the front line and the amount of munitions and men needed to hold it. “If [the line] breaks, the Russians could go to the big cities,” he warned. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that the ratio of artillery shells fired by Russia compared to Ukraine has increased from 3:1 to 7:1 since the beginning of the year.

Sources told the outlet that concerned foreign donors intend to improve the ratio to 7:3, as Western-donated weapon systems are supposedly superior to Russia’s. An even gloomier prediction came from Ukrainian military officials, who spoke to Politico on condition of anonymity, and warned that the front line may collapse. Russia’s advantage in weapons and manpower means that it will likely be able to “penetrate the front line and to crash it in some parts,” one of the officers said on Wednesday. “There’s nothing that can help Ukraine now because there are no serious technologies able to compensate Ukraine for the large mass of troops Russia is likely to hurl at us,” a top military leader said. The warning came from officers who served under Valery Zaluzhny, who was the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces until Zelensky replaced him in early February.

Prior to that, the pair had clashed publicly over whether the hostilities with Russia had reached a stalemate, which was the general’s assessment. The officers cautioned against underestimating Russia’s ability to adapt and counter new military capabilities provided by the West to Ukraine. They “are always studying. They don’t give us a second chance. And they’re successful in this,” one of them said. Even now, Russian forces are laying the groundwork for engaging F-16 fighter jets, which Kiev is expected to eventually deploy, the report said. Domestically, the Ukrainian government has been downplaying the risks that a Russian offensive would pose. Its information warfare service, the Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD), stated on Tuesday that Moscow “does not have resources” for a major push forward.

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“..You simply do not buy the debt of your enemy. Central banks are buying gold because the USD is political..”

Why Are Central Banks Buying Gold? (Martin Armstrong)

Investors’ curiosity has peaked as central banks are increasing their gold purchases. We are not going back to a Bretton Woods type situation and that is not the issue. You must understand that gold is neutral. Central banks are buying gold because the Neocons have weaponized the dollar. Russia was removed from the SWIFT system, and private citizens’ assets were confiscated. When Russian assets were removed from SWIFT, a threat to the world was issued to say, “Hey, if you don’t do what we tell you to do, we will take you out of SWIFT.” This is not the end of the dollar. Money continues to pour into US equities, particularly the Dow. Why? When the drum of war is beating, major institutions rush to move their money into a safe haven, which happens to be the US at this point in time.

The big money is not purchasing start-up equities on the Nasdaq, for example, as they will not take that risk. Our computer model indicates the Dow will continue rising into 2032 as it remains one of the last safe havens. The West has become extremely aggressive in its geopolitics. You simply do not buy the debt of your enemy. Central banks are buying gold because the USD is political. There is a stark difference between short-term and long-term bonds. The central banks have zero control over the short-term and that is how this whole QE fiasco began as central banks began purchasing long-term debt in an attempt to reduce long-term interest. Why would you buy long-term when war, the primary driver of inflation, is looming? This is a serious situation that the neocons who have weaponized the dollar simply do not understand.

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GOP picking one Trojan horse after the other…

“Is He Blackmailed?” MTG Questions Speaker Johnson (ZH)

Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) suggested that House Speaker Mike Johnson is being “blackmailed” because of his “complete departure” from Republican concerns, saying the Louisiana Republican “has completely changed his character.” “Mike Johnson has completely changed his character in a matter of about five months after he has become speaker of the House,” Greene told Tucker Carlson in a recent episode of Tucker Carlson Uncensored Carlson pointed to Johnson’s meeting with Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky – after which Johnson said that the second congressional recess ends, “his number one priority at a moment when the U.S. is being invaded” is to ” send that $60 billion to Ukraine, possibly as a loan.” According to Carlson, Johnson won’t come on his show to explain, while Zelensky also refused to discuss his position:

They’re not grateful now. So we sent a message to the speaker of the House and asked him to come on and explain why, when the majority of the Republicans he represents both the voters and members of Congress, opposes why he would join with Democrats to do the one thing that Americans don’t think we should do, which is send another $60 billion to pay the pensions of Ukrainian bureaucrats and fund a doomed war. Why are you for that? And of course, he hasn’t responded. We also sent multiple requests to Zelensky himself for an interview to explain his position. Of course, he ignored that as well. Greene echoed Tucker’s concerns, saying “It’s outrageous.” When you saw Zelenskyy right there on that interview talking about, oh, we’re going to lose territory. Oh, we really need this money. This $60 billion should have been approved yesterday.

Let me tell you, we are losing our country to the illegal invasion that’s happening every single day at our southern border. And I am so pissed off about it because the American people are pissed off about it. And while our so-called Republican speaker of the House is only working with Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries and Ukraine First Mitch McConnell and the white House and Jake Sullivan, who he talks to on the phone all the time. We are angry and people have had it. Greene said this “needs to end,” but Johnson “has has made a complete departure of who he is, and what he stands for and to the point where people are literally asking, is he blackmailed?” When Carlson asked her to expound, Greene said that she has “no idea” if that’s the case, but asks: “What radically changes a man. I mean, if we break down the the second part of basically an omnibus, let’s let’s break that down.”

Greene cited Johnson’s funding of “full term abortion clinics” despite being pro-life, doing “nothing for the southern border” – particularly on the heels of Laken Riley’s murder at the hands of an illegal, which followed “a video that was running on loop on social media, where illegal aliens had rushed our border, ran over Texas National Guard.” “He did nothing to secure the border. It’s the number one issue in the world. He completely changed who he was. Funded the FBI, gave them a brand new building, fully funded the Department of Justice that is persecuting everyone on the right and actually targeting our presidential candidate, for for election this year. Literally trying to put him in jail the rest of his life. We don’t know who Mike Johnson is anymore. So there’s no, I can’t comprehend it,” Greene continued.

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“To militarize as much as it needs to,” he wrote, “Europe needs its citizens to bear higher taxes or a smaller welfare state.”

Europe’s Identity Crisis (Patrick Lawrence)

It is many years now since the French, bless them, revolted as Disneyland Paris arose near the previously uninvaded village of Marne-la–Vallée–Chessy. Soon enough came the Disney Hôtel New York, the Disney Hôtel Santa Fe, the Disney Hôtel Cheyenne, the Disney Newport Club, the Disney Sequoia Lodge, Disney Village, Parc Disneyland, Parc Walt Disney Studios. Let us not omit Star Wars Hypersonic Mountain among these monuments to the Americanization of Europe. Blocking imports of American “culture,” and we need the quotation marks, is among the world’s more quixotic undertakings, given the failure rate. But losing the battle against the infantilization of European sensibilities seems the least of the Continent’s worries at this point. The irrational Russophobia, the proxy war in Ukraine, the disruption of the Continent’s natural place as Eurasia’s western flank, the conjured-from-nothing “threat” of Russian expansionism, support of Israel’s siege of Gaza: These are U.S. imports, too, and Europe finds itself in crisis in consequence of them.

Who are we, Europeans now ask in one or another way. What have we made of ourselves? Are we always to be America’s obedient underlings, taking all orders and refusing none? What has become of us in the 21st century? European social democracy in its various forms has been vulnerable to the attacks of market fundamentalists and neoconservative ideologues for many years. Now the apostles of “savage capitalism,” as its Latin American casualties call it, and their warmongering siblings begin, this time in the name of Cold War II, what appears to be their final assault. Europe has vacillated between two contradictory impulses — asserting its sovereignty and succumbing to an undignified dependence on American power — since the mid–Cold War years. Charles De Gaulle was the last European leader to stand with conviction for the Continent’s independence and autonomy.

But Gaullism is no more than a faint and far-off light around Europe today. I reluctantly conclude that, in the moment of truth now upon it, the Continent will make the unwise choice, a self-condemnation that could endure for decades to come. A long-evident divide between Europeans and those who purport to lead them now widens. The former defend what remains of the socially advanced state erected across the Continent during the first postwar decades. The latter are poised to tear it down to import a version of America’s military-industrial complex precisely as The Walt Disney Company brought Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to the French capital’s outskirts. “Europe’s leaders have woken up to hard power” is the headline atop a commentary Janan Ganesh, a Financial Times columnist, published on this topic last week. “To militarize as much as it needs to,” he wrote, “Europe needs its citizens to bear higher taxes or a smaller welfare state.”

This is bitterly succinct. Europe’s leaders and the media that serve them are in the process of normalizing the “need” to turn Europe into a warrior state in the American image — suffused with animus and paranoia, beset with “threats,” never at ease as the social fabric deteriorates.

Read more …

Taking it all to 2030.

The European Union’s Fires Where Freedom Burns (Hugo Dionísio)

It is in Brussels that we find the symbolic center to which we must be loyal. The “Ukrainian project”, for the idolaters of european central power — and their followers — which is based on the bodies that make up the European Union, has a founding dimension, having become the ultimate symbol of the regime; a regime that no longer asserts itself by what it is, but by what it defends as the ultimate symbol of Russian antagonism: support for the Kiev regime. The more rigid, uncompromising and demanding you are in your support for Kiev, the more anti-Russian you became. And that’s the ultimate proof of loyalty. Is that a reason to say that this EU is no longer the same. Or is it, now, what it should be from the very start?

Presented as a peace project, but which ended up financing the war, even the most absent-minded passer-by in Brussels won’t miss the regime’s ultimate symbol. Since February 25, 2022, Brussels has been a city bathed in blue and yellow. From billboards to public works fences, everything seems to denounce the single truth to which we must be loyal. Zelensky’s Ukraine is indeed a member state of the EU! The legitimacy that it lacks in formal law, it has in the manifestation of symbolic paraphernalia and in the persecutory frenzy with which the European institutions embrace its protection. By dispensing with the usual access procedures, which only aim to give some formal legitimacy to a whole phenomenon (Ukraine on the “fast track” to the EU) that is observable in fact, Ukraine benefits from a whole altar that is the ultimate symbol of this idolatrous fundamentalism and this de facto adoption.

Nothing is more overwhelming than a trip to the central square of “Luxembourg”, where the European Parliament is located, under the watchful eye of a vigilant European Commission and a European Council commanded by far more distant powers. Yellow and blue are so intensely prominent here that we seem to be both in the sky and close to the sun. They say they are the colors of the EU… Their presence has never been as strong as it is today. Ukraine and the EU are also intertwined in color. Zelensky’s image stands out from this sea of colors, flooded with messages like “stand with Ukraine” or billboards saying “the brave people of Ukraine, represented by their president (…)”. As if to prove that what is outside, emanates from within, the Ukrainian state, without other democratic backing than that generated by the immense propaganda that floods our senses, even has its space in the very hemicycle of the European Parliament.

In addition to all the simultaneous translation booths for each of the languages that make up the European project, the “Ukrainian project” also has its own. Even if it has no MEP’s. Even the 50 billion euros recently approved by the European Council for the remaining 4 years of the Multiannual Financial Framework (which normally runs until one year after the nominal period, which is 21-27), taken from the respective financial cake, seems to reproduce, more or less, what a country with 35 to 40 million inhabitants and a per capita income below the European average would receive. In other words, not even the funds are lacking for the development of the goals of the 2030 strategy. Now, tell me Ukraine isn’t a member state?

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“Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)”

“– Incurable Unless She Takes The Prime Ministry From Justin Trudeau..”

Freeland is of Ukrainian origin.

Canada’s Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland Diagnosed With Progressive HPD (Helmer)

In two public performances of less than two minutes apiece, Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and leader of Canada’s war against Russia, has demonstrated bizarre facial and upper torso symptoms. Political analysts and psychiatrists have been asked if they believe Freeland is suffering from a clinical pathology or drug abuse. Cocaine use has been ruled out. According to a medical psychiatrist, “the display [of symptoms] is remarkable. And just as remarkable, they disappear when [Freeland] takes the tribune from the prime minister and starts to make a speech herself. The control of torso, eyes, and speech she shows then is not consistent with chronic cocaine use.” The source, who specializes in treating drug addiction, says that Freeland’s display of symptoms does not reveal the twitches, tics, or other involuntary muscular movements usually seen with cocaine users. “What can I make of the relentless movements,” the source commented.

“[They] are more or less non-stop and they serve to draw attention away from everybody but herself. In her speech, there was no restlessness. It was fluent and clear. But she was the centre of attention then. It seems to me that with all her restless movements taking so many different forms she could still be the centre of attention…In some ways she was like the child who must always have attention.” Another expert source believes Freeland’s symptoms have been diagnosed clinically in the US as Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). This has been reported in a research paper published in January of this year: “a chronic and enduring condition marked by a consistent pattern of attention-seeking behaviours and an exaggerated display of emotions. Typically emerging in late adolescence or early adulthood, individuals with HPD are often characterized as narcissistic, self-indulgent, and flirtatious. Individuals with HPD may feel undervalued when not in the spotlight, leading to a persistent need for validation…People presenting with HPD typically demonstrate rapidly shifting and shallow emotions that others may perceive as insincere…

Women are four times more likely to be diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder than men.” Canadian political analysts report that Freeland’s condition has long been recognized among male voters; less so among female voters. The analysts also note that as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau loses general voter approval, and also the support of his Liberal Party constituency, Freeland’s ambition to replace him before the national election next year, is becoming more obvious. Her HPD symptoms, the sources say, become extreme when she appears in public with Trudeau, revealing her impatience to replace him. In this personal contest of wills and of political power in Canada, the national and provincial polls are showing that the looming defeat of Freeland’s side in the war against Russia, the partition of the Ukraine, and the loss of more than C$4 billion in Canadian military donations to Kiev, are making no (repeat no) difference to the election outcome in Ottawa.

Freeland’s career to promote herself and the neo-Nazi ambitions of the Ukrainian community in Canada – the largest Ukrainian diaspora outside the country identifying as anti-Russian – has been documented in this archive. Her grandfather, Mikhail Chomiak’s career as a profiteer and propagandist of the ethnic cleansing of the Ukraine and murder of Russians, Jews and Poles, was documented from January 2017; Freeland and her supporters have dismissed this record, including US Army intelligence and Polish police files, as Kremlin propaganda. The recording of Freeland’s facial and torso displays have not been noted in Canadian politics before. Layman observers have suspected the display to be symptomatic of drug use, particularly of cocaine. The standard lists of symptoms of cocaine use include restlessness, agitation, irritability, tremors, involuntary muscular spasms, and volatile behaviour, such as temper tantrums. Sources who have worked with Freeland in the past note that her screaming fits were commonplace.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

VdB
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775594138378854503

 

 

Aaron Russo

 

 

Bachmann

 

 

Worm

 

 

Max

 

 

Kitten

 

 

Bath
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775918366290493661

 

 

Baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775628060366090723

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 182024
 


Jean-Léon Gérôme Slave market 1866

 

World Wants More US Intervention – Blinken (RT)
World on ‘Escalation Spiral’ Towards War (Sp.)
BRICS and Global South Challenge ‘Globalist Elites’ With Multipolar World (Sp.)
Reviving ISIS: A US weapon Against The Resistance Axis (Cradle)
UK Working To Prevent Peace – Zakharova (RT)
Britons Mock Warmongering Lecture by UK Defense Secretary (Sp.)
West Cannot Let Russia Win – Macron (RT)
Germany To Double Defense Aid For Ukraine This Year (RT)
How US Coerces France & Germany to Fund Zelensky’s Failing Conflict (Sp.)
Poland’s Decision To Host German Troops Will Not Go Unanswered – Moscow (RT)
Brussels Starts ‘Screening’ Ukrainian Laws (RT)
Judges Smack Down Jack Smith for Violating Trump’s Executive Privilege (PB)
A Gun Pouch Covered In Cocaine Shows Hunter’s Defense Is Ridiculous (Turley)
Supreme Court to Hear Potentially Historic Chevron Case (Turley)
Trump Vows To “Never Allow” A Central Bank Digital Currency (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Michael Moore must see

 

 

Meister
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747336776614564316

 

 

Vivek Trump

 

 

Tucker

 

 

Tucker Haley

 

 

Watters

 

 

ICJ

 

 

 

 

How crazy is that? “I’m hearing from virtually every country: They want the United States..”

World Wants More US Intervention – Blinken (RT)

Geopolitical turmoil and conflict around the globe have made the world’s nations hungrier than ever for diplomatic intervention from Washington to help deal with their crises, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed. “There’s a greater premium than there’s ever been on our engagement, on our leadership, in partnership with others,” Blinken told an audience on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He added that Washington needs to “reimagine” its geopolitical partnerships to resolve global challenges, such as the Israel-Hamas war. The top US diplomat made his comments as Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip triggers escalating tensions in the Middle East and the Russia-Ukraine conflict nears its 24th month. He claimed that many governments see Washington as key to finding solutions.

“I’m hearing from virtually every country: They want the United States,” Blinken said. “They want us present, they want us at the table, they want us leading.” When Washington fails to tackle a major issue, he added, it is either handled by another nation – probably to the detriment of US interests – or no one else takes the lead. When other nations see the domestic investments that US President Joe Biden is making, such as funding of major infrastructure projects and “climate technology,” they realize that “we’re actually serious about ourselves, despite some of the dysfunction that may be seen on the front pages,” Blinken said. Biden also has pressed for re-engagement with US allies and the building of new coalitions to address specific challenges, he added.

“On some of the really big issues of the day – whether it’s how to deal with China, how to deal with Russia – we have more convergence than we’ve had at any time in recent memory between us, key partners throughout Europe, throughout Asia, and even in other parts of the world, about how to manage these problems,” the secretary said. The Israel-Hamas war has reportedly left more than 24,000 people dead in the Palestinian enclave. The conflict began on October 7, when Hamas militants killed more than 1,100 people – mostly civilians – in southern Israeli villages and took hundreds of hostages back to Gaza. Asked about the disparity in casualties, Blinken denied that the US places a higher value on Jewish lives than Palestinian lives. “What we’re seeing every single day in Gaza is gut-wrenching,” the diplomat said. “And the suffering we’re seeing among innocent men, women and children breaks my heart.”

He claimed that US engagement in the crisis had helped to minimize civilian casualties and get more humanitarian aid into the enclave. Blinken said he sees no near-term prospects for a negotiated settlement to end the bloodshed in Ukraine. He argued that peace talks can only go forward when Russian leaders are willing to negotiate “in good faith,” respecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Russian officials have accused Western leaders of derailing a potential peace deal in April 2022 and prolonging the conflict by providing massive military aid to Kiev. Moscow also has claimed that US insistence on a negotiated settlement being based on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s demands, which it calls detached from reality, leaves no chance for a ceasefire in 2024.

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747606360458412185

Read more …

“Foreign policy in the Middle East will become hostage to American domestic politics, which is very dangerous..”

World on ‘Escalation Spiral’ Towards War (Sp.)

The likelihood of global military confrontation is increasing according to analyst Yezid Sayigh, a senior fellow at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center. Sayigh made the assessment during an interview with Chinese media that touched on Israel, the crisis in the Red Sea, and the United States’ so-called “pivot to Asia” policy. Commenting on tensions between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East, Sayigh offered sobering insight on the potential for events to escalate beyond world leaders’ control. “I think the risk of a wider war is obviously increasing,” said Sayigh. “However, at the same time, I think that the key parties will not go beyond a certain point into direct confrontation. At the same time, they have already started what we call an escalation spiral.”

“The US is in a very risky situation, and it increasingly looks as though it is entering the war on the side of Israel as well,” the analyst noted. “[Biden] has already, in a way, signaled military deterrence that encouraged Iran to use military deterrence. Biden, in a way, started this escalation spiral from the beginning with his immediate deployment of military assets to the Mediterranean.” Sayigh employed the metaphor of World War I to explain how events could lead towards war even without world leaders consciously seeking to initiate conflict. World War I was famously set into motion by the murder of Austro-Hungarian heir apparent Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But Sayigh argued the key factor in the war’s outbreak was not the killing itself, but rather the greater zeitgeist of global tension created by previous events.

“By 1914, the world was ready for war,” said the historian. “Global tensions had reached a point where it was the assassination that was the trigger, but it might have been something else. It could have been sinking a boat at sea. It could have been anything.” Part of what makes the current moment so perilous are the set of incentives created by domestic politics, Sayigh argued. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces corruption charges, as well as an Israeli public likely to hold the longtime leader accountable for Hamas’ October 7 attack. Netanyahu has an interest in the continuation of military conflict to prevent either of those things threatening his political career. But domestic politics also alters the calculations of US President Joe Biden, the analyst argued. Previously Biden showed signs of returning to former President Barack Obama’s policy of detente with Iran, resisting many neoconservatives’ call for war on the Middle Eastern country. Now, domestic support for Israel makes it harder for Biden to pursue reconciliation with the country’s fierce enemy.

“It [the Biden administration] no longer calculates foreign policy purely on the basis of strategic and global stability, as it was previously doing by improving relations with Iran or at least defusing tensions with Iran,” Sayigh explained. “That was when it was thinking globally. However, now the administration has to consider domestic politics, and the calculation there is different.” “Foreign policy in the Middle East will become hostage to American domestic politics, which is very dangerous,” he warned.

Read more …

“..it is a process made of deconstruction and chaos, of divide and control, an illusion of democracy so they can ultimately control absolutely everything..”

BRICS and Global South Challenge ‘Globalist Elites’ With Multipolar World (Sp.)

BRICS and the Global South are offering “a new world order” to the “Western-centric”, Angelo Giuliano, a Hong Kong-based political and financial analyst, told Sputnik. The vision is “strong opposition” to that of the Western-dominated World Economic Forum, suggested the analyst.”The rest of the world, BRICS and the Global South… is opposing the values of a Western-centric world controlled by the very few, the old powerful families and the likes of Blackjacks and other banksters,” Giuliano noted. “What the rest of the world is offering is an option of a multipolar world where differences of cultures and values are respected, an idea of coexistence, of live and let live, respect of sovereignty. Seeking mutual prosperity, mutual respect and maybe also putting the human being at the center of the preoccupation. A world of purpose as opposed to a world of profit,” he stated.

The West, however, takes its directions from multinational corporations, underscored the pundit. “Globalist elites are the real ones in charge in the West. The same globalist elites select Western leaders and give the directions that they want the world to take, it is a process made of deconstruction and chaos, of divide and control, an illusion of democracy so they can ultimately control absolutely everything, for a central digital currency, to ownership, privacy and ultimately to people’s minds,” said the Hong Kong-based political analyst. Earlier, speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan offered up the Biden administration’s vision for the era ahead.

“Major powers are vastly more interdependent than at any time during the Cold War. But we’re also in stiff competition about the type of world we want to build,” Sullivan said in his remarks. “We are moving into a new era, the post-Cold War era has come to a close. We are at the start of something new, we have the capacity to shape what that looks like, and at the heart of it will be many of the core principles, core institutions of the existing order, adapted for the challenges we face today,” he added later, talking with Børge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum and former minister of foreign affairs of Norway.

Read more …

“.. fresh blood, money, and weapons are being pumped into the ISIS organization’s arteries again..”

Reviving ISIS: A US weapon Against The Resistance Axis (Cradle)

According to intelligence reports reviewed by The Cradle, at its height, ISIS consisted of more than 35,000 fighters in Iraq – 25,000 of these were killed, while more than 10,000 simply “disappeared.” As an officer of one Iraqi intelligence agency recounts to The Cradle: “Hundreds of ISIS fighters fled to Turkey and Syria at the end of 2017. After the appointment of Abdullah Qardash as the leader of ISIS in 2019, following the death of Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the new Caliph began to restructure the organization, and ordered his followers to return to Iraq. The organization exploited the long border with Syria, the security disturbances, and the diversity of forces on both sides of the border to infiltrate the Iraqi territory again.” Imprisoned ISIS officials admit that infiltrating that border is not an easy task, because of the strict control imposed by the Iraqi Border Guards and the use of modern technologies, such as thermal cameras.

It therefore became necessary for the terror group to identify intermediaries capable of breaking through or bypassing these fortifications to transport its fighters across borders. An Iraqi security source, insisting on anonymity, tells The Cradle that the US plays a vital role in enabling these border violations: “[There are] several incidents that confirm the American assistance in securing the crossing route for ISIS members – mainly, by shelling Iraqi units on the border, especially the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), to create gaps that allow ISIS fighters to cross the border.”

[..] In a speech on 5 January, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah warned that the US was supporting an ISIS revival in the region. The Cradle obtained security information monitoring the new activity of extremists in Lebanon, communications between these elements and their counterparts in Iraq and Syria, and suspicious money transfer activities among them. Lebanese Army Intelligence also recently arrested a group of Lebanese and Syrians who were preparing to carry out security operations. Importantly, this surge in terror activities comes at a time when the Lebanese resistance is engaged in a security and military battle with Israel, which may expand at any moment into open war. It is also notable that renewed ISIS activity is concentrated in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran; that is, in the countries that support the Palestinian resistance politically, militarily, and logistically.

On 4 January, ISIS officially claimed responsibility for two bombings in the Iranian city of Kerman that targeted memorial processions on the anniversary of the assassination of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani by US forces. The dual explosions killed around 90 people and injured dozens, in an unprecedented attack targeting the biggest US-Israeli adversary in West Asia – just one day after Tel Aviv killed top Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut. Before that, on 5 October 2023, ISIS drone-attacked an officers graduation ceremony at the Military College in the Syrian city of Homs, killing about 100 people. These attacks, and others in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Africa, indicate that fresh blood, money, and weapons are being pumped into the ISIS organization’s arteries again.

Read more …

“Ukraine is literally being stripped of any chance to get out of the conflict through negotiations.”

Sunak gives Zelensky a few billion, on the condition that he’ll never talk peace. US and UK want the war to continue. Germany and France follow their lead.

These are also the countries, not coincidentally, that will not criticize Israel.

In the UK, Germany and France, also not coincidentally, governments are about to be voted out. (US?!)

UK Working To Prevent Peace – Zakharova (RT)

A security agreement signed last week is further proof that London is maintaining a firm grip on the Kiev government and is working to prevent any prospect of peace, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.On Friday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) military assistance package for Ukraine – Britain’s largest to date. The two sides also signed a ten-year security guarantee, with the UK pledging “swift and sustained” aid for Ukraine in the event of a Russian attack in future. Kiev also promised to come to Britain’s defense in the event of Russian “aggression” against the country. Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Zakharova suggested that the deal was an indication that “Ukraine is literally being stripped of any chance to get out of the conflict through negotiations.”

As a result, Kiev is being turned into “a bargaining chip in the reckless ventures of the Anglo-Saxons,” she added, claiming that the UK wants to keep the country in conflict with Russia. She also ridiculed Ukraine’s commitment to defend the UK. “No sane person would believe that. The regime of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky is crying in every corner that, if not one more dollar … is transferred to it, Ukraine will cease to exist. And under these conditions, Ukraine undertakes to help Britain in the event of a military threat to the kingdom.” Russia has never closed the door on peace negotiations with Kiev despite Zelensky barring talks with the current leadership in Moscow in the autumn of 2022. This was made law after four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to become part of Russia.

Meanwhile, both Russian and Ukrainian officials have confirmed that Moscow and Kiev were close to settling the conflict in the spring of 2022, but the process was derailed by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who convinced Ukraine to keep fighting. One of Russia’s key demands was that Ukraine stay neutral and refrain from joining military alliances. Last week – months after the first reports of his role in the talks emerged – Johnson dismissed the allegations that he had sabotaged a peace deal as “total nonsense and Russian propaganda.” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Kiev could have ended the conflict if it had ignored Johnson. Now, “Ukrainian statehood could be dealt an irreparable and very serious blow… if things carry on this way,” he warned, noting that Russian troops had regained the initiative on the battlefield after Kiev’s failed counteroffensive.

Read more …

“Wars happen when the government tells you who your enemy is. Revolution happens when you work it out for yourself.”

Britons Mock Warmongering Lecture by UK Defense Secretary (Sp.)

The United Kingdom’s Defense Secretary Grant Shapps warned of potential war with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea within the next five years in a widely mocked speech in London this week. Shapps delivered the address to promote greater investment in military spending in the UK and its European allies. “The era of the peace dividend is over,” said Shapps in remarks he also shared on his profile on the X social media platform. The so-called “peace dividend” was a proposed reinvestment of government finances toward domestic concerns after the end of the Cold War. The comment may leave many Britons wondering when exactly they enjoyed a peace dividend, as the British government has imposed a policy of economic austerity for a number of years.

The UK was also perhaps the US’ strongest ally in the so-called “War on Terror,” which led to the deaths of more than 4.5 million people across the Middle East according to some estimates. The comments come as European media is reporting on supposed “leaked documents” that allege Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to launch an attack on Germany and other NATO members in the near future. The claims were dismissed as “fake news” by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Britons greeted Shapps’ remarks with ridicule, with multiple posts by the defense minister being “ratioed” on the X platform, meaning they received more comments than likes as users piled on to jeer the jingoistic speech.

“Obviously, the best way to deter enemies and lead allies is by pouring billions of pounds into the military industrial complex,” responded one user sarcastically. “You do know we were involved in bloody and unsuccessful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?” added another. “Can you explain how British soldiers killed in Helmand or in Basra were at all beneficiaries of this so-called era of the peace dividend?” “The people need to prepare for a new era of conflict with you bastards,” wrote user John Wight, expressing widespread antipathy towards governing elites in the West. “Wars happen when the government tells you who your enemy is. Revolution happens when you work it out for yourself.”

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“According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, France has provided Kiev with €500 million ($540 million) in military aid – less than Slovakia has..”

West Cannot Let Russia Win – Macron (RT)

French president Emmanuel Macron has announced new deliveries of long-range missiles and bombs to Kiev, while insisting the West “cannot let Russia win” the conflict with Ukraine. He added that he will visit the country next month. Speaking at a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Tuesday, the French leader reiterated that his country will continue to assist Ukraine. Amid criticism that France has not been doing enough to help Kiev, Macron said Paris would send 40 SCALP air-launched cruise missiles, which have a range of more than 250km, as well as “hundreds of bombs.” Local media, citing French officials, reported that the president was referring to munitions equipped with the AASM, or HAMMER module, which transforms ordinary bombs into precision-guided weapons with a range of up to 70km. Russia has repeatedly accused Kiev of using Western-supplied long-range weapons to target civilian infrastructure.

Macron added that he would visit Ukraine in February to finalize a bilateral security agreement with Kiev, similar to the one the country recently signed with the UK. The ten-year deal between the two, which was announced last week, guarantees Britain’s “swift and sustained security assistance” to Ukraine in the event of a future Russian attack, while outlining numerous other support measures. Some of France’s NATO allies, notably Poland, have criticized it for not pulling its weight in assisting Ukraine despite being one of Europe’s most powerful economies. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, France has provided Kiev with €500 million ($540 million) in military aid – less than Slovakia has. However, lawmakers in Paris have insisted that the true scale of the assistance was actually larger, blaming flawed methodology.

Ukraine has been asking for more Western aid since the start of the conflict in February 2022, recently expressing concerns about gridlock in the US Congress over approval for additional funding. On Monday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba called on the West to do more in this regard, vowing that Ukrainians “would fight with shovels” once they run out of weapons. France first provided Ukraine with 50 SCALP missiles last year, following the lead of the UK, which sent similar weapons – Storm Shadows. Russia has since accused Kiev of using Western-supplied long-range missiles to target residential areas, causing numerous civilian casualties.

Zel

Read more …

Well, we’ve seen the farmers protest exactly this.

Germany To Double Defense Aid For Ukraine This Year (RT)

Germany will shell out more than €7 billion ($7.6 billion) on military aid for Ukraine this year, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said. Late last year, Bild reported that Berlin was going to double its initial figure of €4 billion, with Defense Minister Boris Pistorius understood to have demanded a bigger contribution. Speaking at a joint press conference with Luxembourg Prime Minister Luc Frieden in Berlin last Monday, the German chancellor mentioned the €7 billion contribution for Kiev in 2024. He also called on the country’s “allies in the European Union to strengthen their efforts,” lamenting that some member states had been tight-fisted in their backing of Ukraine. In a phone call with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, Scholz said “Germany will support Ukraine with more than €7 billion worth of military goods in 2024,” as quoted by the chancellery.

Back in November, Bild, citing unnamed sources in the defense ministry, claimed that Germany’s original budget for 2024 had provided €4 billion in defense aid for Ukraine. According to the article, most of that sum covered projects that had already been agreed, with little resources left for any further commitments. Pistorius took issue with this, and insisted that the figure be doubled to €8 billion, the media outlet reported at the time. Berlin provided Kiev with nearly $23 billion in aid between February 2022 and November 2023, according to the Kiel Institute for World Economy (IfW), making Germany the second-largest contributor after the US. Washington confirmed last week that its assistance had “ground to a halt” due to weeks of political bickering between Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

Late last year, the Biden administration asked representatives to give the green light to more than $60 billion worth of weapons and military equipment for Kiev. However, the GOP has been blocking the package, demanding that President Biden and the Democrats first agree to their plan to tighten security at the border with Mexico. Since Kiev’s summer counteroffensive fizzled out with no major gains and heavy losses, top Ukrainian officials have increasingly been pressuring their Western backers for yet more weaponry. Russia has consistently criticized Western arms shipments to Ukraine, arguing that these prolong the bloodshed unnecessarily without changing the outcome of the conflict.

Read more …

“We will put you in this situation that you will not be able to easily get out of the conflict because we have another fish to fry on the horizon..”

How US Coerces France & Germany to Fund Zelensky’s Failing Conflict (Sp.)

France and Germany announced recently they’d commit to continued support for Ukraine in 2024. As US aid has ground to a halt amidst political infighting, Washington has increasingly leaned on European powers to help make up the difference. But after the failure of Kiev’s 2023 counteroffensive, the writing is on the wall regarding the country’s slim chance of success in European capitals as well, with some savvy leaders riding to power on promises to end weapons shipments. How then is the United States managing to keep some of Western Europe’s largest economies on board for the effort? Sputnik spoke with two international affairs experts for insight. “Germany is a very interesting country,” said London-based analyst Adriel Kasonta. “Americans have a huge influence in Germany after the Second World War. And when the Americans set up their bases in Germany and decided to somehow, in one way or another, occupy Germany to stay there in order to make sure that Germany will not emerge as a superpower on the continent, they exercised a very huge influence over this country.”

“In order to meet their commitments towards the western hegemon, the United States, Germany [has] to do or show an extra effort in whatever European countries are doing,” explained the former chairman of the International Affairs Committee at the Bow Group think tank. “So if, for instance, the United States is objecting [to] the charges against Israel brought by South Africa, Germany has to be the first country to object after the United States.”“If the United States is saying that Russia is an enemy, then Germany has to be the first country in Europe to beat the same drum and beat the drum of war and to sustain the supply,” he said. Kasonta also claimed Germany benefits from the influx of Ukrainian migrants caused by the conflict, calling the country “the migrant economy.” Cheap labor from throughout the continent is crucial to Germany’s economic strength, especially as Western sanctions on Russia backfire by driving up energy costs. However, the policy does not come without consequences in the form of rising domestic opposition from the German public.

Russian affairs analyst Gilbert Doctorow also points out that the loss of Russian gas has had a “very damaging impact on the [competitiveness] of German industry and on investment in new production.”The international relations expert noted that France has a different relationship with the United States than Germany but nevertheless has its own reasons for continued support for Ukraine’s military effort.“Both are heavily invested in the Ukraine cause and in ensuring there is no Russian victory, which would be a major disaster for NATO and for the entire existing concept of European security that these countries share,” he explained. “Their control of their own domestic politics will be greatly compromised if they turn their back on the Ukraine propaganda narrative they have been promoting for the past two years,” Doctorow added. “With Europe wide parliamentary elections coming in June, they could be heavily punished at the ballot box.”

Along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron has so thoroughly committed himself to the narrative of the conflict in the Donbass as an existential battle for Europe that he would have difficulty in suddenly backing away from his country’s support. Kasonta claimed that the emergence of hostilities with Ukraine has been bad for the continent as a whole because it prevents Russia from uniting with the rest of the continent and forming a truly counter-hegemonic force.“We will use you by putting you in trouble with your closest neighbor, which is Russia,” he said, summarizing the thinking of US policymakers. “We will put you in this situation that you will not be able to easily get out of the conflict because we have another fish to fry on the horizon. And this fish to fry on the horizon is the conflict with China.”

[..] “The international community and especially people in Western Europe formed their own opinion about what is happening,” he added. “They formed the opinion about their own governments. They felt betrayed by their governments for a long time before the conflict in Ukraine started. But I think that the conflict in Ukraine is the final nail in the coffin of the current neoliberal establishment in the West.” “As I’ve said, either way, the governments in the West have failed.”

Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747423612309553489

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How much longer does Duda have?

Poland’s Decision To Host German Troops Will Not Go Unanswered – Moscow (RT)

Warsaw’s announcement that it is prepared to invite German military units, in addition to already existing NATO forces in the country, demonstrates the West’s anti-russian agenda and desire to increase tensions in Europe and will not go unanswered, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Her comments come after Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Szejn stated on Monday that Warsaw was willing to host German troops on its territory for the first time since World War II in order to further strengthen NATO’s eastern flank. It’s unclear if Germany has any actual plans for such deployments. During a press briefing on Wednesday, Zakharova recalled that there are currently about 10,000 US troops already stationed in Poland, as well as a multinational NATO combat tactical group which includes military personnel from the US, the UK, Romania and Croatia.

The spokeswoman pointed out that calls to deploy even more foreign forces to Poland were “not necessary if these countries are peace-oriented,” and can only be interpreted as a desire to further escalate tensions in Europe and prolong the collapse of pan-European security, which she said has been completely undermined by NATO. Zakharova also recalled that late last year, Germany had signed an agreement with Lithuania to increase the size of the Bundeswehr contingent in the Baltic republic to a brigade, and suggested that Polish leaders were trying not to “lag behind their neighbors in demonstrating loyalty to their older brothers from Berlin and Washington.”

“The increased activity and the strengthening of NATO’s military capabilities near the borders of Russia and the Union State of Russia and Belarus is provocative and is leading to the complete degradation of the European security architecture,” Zakharova said, stressing that “such steps will, of course, not be left without an appropriate response from the Russian side.” The spokeswoman also pondered how Poland intended to finance the potential deployment of German troops on its territory and whether it would seek compensation from Berlin, given the fact that Warsaw is already demanding $1.3 trillion in WW2 reparations from Germany. The reparations demands were put forward under the former PiS government which was ousted from power last month. Poland’s new government, led by former European Council President Donald Tusk, has stated that it will continue to seek these compensations from Berlin, but would work with Germany to find “a favorable and fair solution.”

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US coerces EU towards provoking Russia.

Brussels Starts ‘Screening’ Ukrainian Laws (RT)

Brussels has announced launching a “screening process and putting together the negotiating framework” as part of negotiations with Ukraine on its ambition to join the EU. Some member states previously said Kiev was years away from achieving its goal. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned the new phase during a Wednesday speech before the European Parliament. Von der Leyen mentioned the new phase during a speech before MEPs. She mused that when the formal accession process was launched last year, “hearts of millions of Ukrainians were filled with hope and joy” and claimed that Ukrainian lawmakers had made strides in adopting required reforms.

Earlier this week, von der Leyen met Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His office said the screening of national legislation was discussed there and will move Ukraine towards full membership. The EU leadership resorted to unusual political maneuvering when it pushed the start of accession talks through the Council of Europe in December. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a vocal critic of Brussels’ approach to Kiev, left the meeting when the vote was cast. This allowed the EU requirement for unanimous approval to be technically met without him explicitly supporting the decision. Both Kiev and von der Leyen urged member states to ensure continued funding of the Ukrainian government with European taxpayers’ money. During the same session of the Council, Orban vetoed a Commission proposal to allocate €50 billion ($54 billion) over four years to support Kiev. Budapest wants any funding to be done on an annual basis pending review and be done outside of the joint EU budget.

EU leaders will discuss both issues during an extraordinary summit on February 1. Longterm “stable and substantial financing to Ukraine” is needed to “support the daily functioning of the state, to stabilize the economy, and to bring it closer to our Union,” the Commission head said in her address. Hungary is not alone in its skepticism about Ukraine’s candidacy. French President Emmanuel Macron, for instance, told domestic media that the EU was “very far” from accepting it as a new member, commenting on the outcome of the December summit. Meanwhile, the new government in Slovakia has sided with Hungary in its attitude towards Ukraine. Prime Minister Robert Fico called Budapest’s conditions for funding Kiev “rational and sensible” during a visit to Hungary on Tuesday.

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There seems to be a rat in here somewhere.

Judges Smack Down Jack Smith for Violating Trump’s Executive Privilege (PB)

Special Counsel Jack Smith has been excoriated by a panel of four appellate court judges for his unprecedented search of a former president’s private communications. The judges condemned Smith’s violation of executive privilege by searching former President Donald Trump’s Twitter files. “Holy sh*t: 4 judges on DC appellate court just delivered a scorching smack down of Special Counsel Jack Smith, Judge Beryl Howell, and Judge Florence Pan for search of Trump’s Twitter file,” reported Julie Kelly. “The Special Counsel’s approach obscured and bypassed any assertion of executive privilege and dodged the careful balance Congress struck in the Presidential Records Act,” she added while citing a user named @FamilyManAndrew.

The court document states: “This case turned on the First Amendment rights of a social media company, but looming in the background are consequential and novel questions about executive privilege and the balance of power between the President, Congress, and the courts.” “Seeking access to former President Donald Trump’s Twitter/X account, Special Counsel Jack Smith directed a search warrant at Twitter and obtained a nondisclosure order that prevented Twitter from informing President Trump about the search,” the judges added. “The Special Counsel’s approach obscured and dodged the careful balance Congress struck in the Presidential Records Act. The district court and this court permitted the arrangement without any consideration of the consequential executive privilege issues raised by this unprecedented search.”

“We should not have endorsed this gambit,” the judges added. “‘Any court completely in the dark as to what Presidential files contain is duty bound to respect the singularly unique role under Art. II of a President’s communications and activities’ by affording such communications a presumptive privilege,” the judges added, citing the legal precedent in United States v. Haldeman. Julie Kelly provided additional commentary on the case. “This by Judge Naomi Rao is a withering condemnation of Judge Howell (district court) and Judge Pan (*this court*) about their decisions to brazenly circumvent normal exec privilege litigation process to give Jack Smith what he demanded,” Kelly reported. “Rao continues her thrashing of former chief judge Howell—even noting Howell’s snarky comment to Twitter’s lawyer during sealed hearing as to why Twitter fought nondisclosure order,” she added. “Keep in mind, Howell and Smith also suggested Trump was a “flight risk” as reason to keep search warrant concealed from Trump.”

“And Florence Pan, who upheld Howell’s order, is the idiot who brought up ‘Seal Team Six’ hypothetical last week in appellate hearing on presidential immunity,” Kelly remarked. The Daily Mail, however, reported that the court nonetheless rejected Twitter’s appeal to have the case reheard, but the case is now free to move to the Supreme Court. “A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Special Counsel Jack Smith can have access to former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, as he investigates the former president for 2020 election interference,” the report noted. “The full U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., rejected a petition from Twitter to rehear the case after a three-judge panel ruled against the social media company in July,” it continued. The Daily Mail noted more gripes from the appellate court.

“Without a presumption for executive privilege, new questions will invariably arise, particularly because nothing in the panel’s opinion is limited to a former President,” the judges said. “What if, in the course of a criminal investigation, a special counsel sought a warrant for the incumbent President’s communications from a private email or phone provider? Under this court’s decision, executive privilege isn’t even on the table, so long as the special counsel makes a showing that a warrant and nondisclosure order are necessary to the prosecution,” they continued. “And following the Special Counsel’s roadmap, what would prevent a state prosecutor from using a search warrant and nondisclosure order to obtain presidential communications from a third-party messaging application?” the judges went on. “And how might Congress benefit from this precedent when it seeks to subpoena presidential materials from third parties in an investigation or impeachment inquiry?” Rao and the other judges asked.

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“..It’s not the government portraying Hunter as Tony Montana from “Scarface,” it’s Hunter himself. He’ll have a tough time changing that story now..”

A Gun Pouch Covered In Cocaine Shows Hunter’s Defense Is Ridiculous (Turley)

Hunter Biden’s counsel Abbe Lowell has faced a series of legal blows in his defense of Hunter Biden, but not quite as literal or lethal as what came this week in his client’s gun prosecution. After Lowell sought to dismiss the federal indictment as a trumped-up political prosecution, the Justice Department lowered the boom and revealed that Hunter’s gun was found in a pouch covered in cocaine. The disclosure is devastating for a defense that Lowell just rolled out late last year. In October, Lowell argued that Hunter had not lied on ATF Form 4473 that he was not an unlawful user of, or addicted to, narcotics. “At the time that he purchased this gun, I don’t think there’s evidence that that’s when he was suffering,” he said. It was a curious shift, since Hunter, the President, and the media have repeatedly used his addiction to forgive everything from corruption to influence peddling.

Hunter released a book that had laid the foundation of that defense and “Beautiful Things” was heralded by many in the press. Reviews gushed about “an astonishingly candid and brave book about loss, human frailty, wayward souls, and hard-fought redemption.” The image of a clear, redemptive soul is strikingly out of sync with a gun pouch that the officers who found it said was covered in coke. In the Special Counsel’s filing, the court was informed that “an FBI chemist subsequently analyzed the residue and determined that it was cocaine. To be clear, “investigators literally found drugs on the pouch where the defendant had kept his gun.” Hunter bought and possessed the Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver for 11 days between Oct. 12 and Oct. 23, 2018. That possession ended when his sister-in-law Hallie Biden was tossed into a dumpster in Wilmington, Delaware.

Hallie, the widow of Hunter’s deceased brother, had begun a sexual relationship with him and she apparently became concerned about what he might do with the gun. According to Hunter’s own memoir, that would make the window of sobriety a mere blink in time for a defense. The defense will likely challenge the admissibility of police testing due to the gun being tossed into the dumpster. Of course, Lowell can now argue that Wilmington dumpsters are so saturated with cocaine that any item would come out covered in coke. It is more likely that they will cite the break in the chain of custody as making the test unreliable and prejudicial.

What is clear is that the sobriety defense seems not so much risky as implausible. The government could argue that it should be able to use the testing as circumstantial evidence to rebut the claim or even impeach Hunter if he takes the stand (which seems unlikely). Hunter wrote about being a crack addict and alcoholic throughout this period, writing in his book that at some points he was “drinking a quart of vodka a day by yourself in a room is absolutely, completely debilitating” as was “smoking crack around the clock.” It’s not the government portraying Hunter as Tony Montana from “Scarface,” it’s Hunter himself. He’ll have a tough time changing that story now.

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Chevron Case: The 1984 Supreme Court ruled “that judges should defer to the reasonable interpretation of agencies in administering ambiguous federal laws.”

Dereliction of duty by 1984 SCOTUS. The results were easy to see comimg.

Supreme Court to Hear Potentially Historic Chevron Case (Turley)

Today, the Supreme Court will hear two of the most important cases of the term. At issue is the continued meaning (or even viability) of the Chevron doctrine, the 40-year-old doctrine granting deference to federal agencies in regulations carrying out federal laws. This massive doctrine, blamed for the dominance of the administrative state, could be brought down by the diminutive herring. The cases are Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce. In 1984, the Supreme Court ruled in Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council that judges should defer to the reasonable interpretation of agencies in administering ambiguous federal laws. That deference continued to grow in later years to the point that some of us have warned of the emergence of a type of fourth branch of government.

The court went even further in Arlington v. FCC in giving deference to agencies even in defining their own jurisdiction. In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts warned: “It would be a bit much to describe the result as ‘the very definition of tyranny,’ but the danger posed by the growing power of the administrative state cannot be dismissed.” When I testified at the confirmation hearing of Neil Gorsuch, I noted that Chervon would likely be part of his legacy given his opposition to its use. Justice Gorsuch wrote in a 2022 dissent from denial of certiorari in Buffington v. McDonough that what he called “the aggressive reading of Chevron has more or less fallen into desuetude.” He added:

“At this late hour, the whole project deserves a tombstone no one can miss. We should acknowledge forthrightly that Chevron did not undo, and could not have undone, the judicial duty to provide an independent judgment of the law’s meaning in the cases that come before the Nation’s courts.” The cases today concern federal requirements that commercial fishermen pay for at-sea monitors. Herring fishermen in New Jersey and Rhode Island are challenging the law in a case with a long list of amicus filings on both sides from groups, politicians, and businesses. The fishermen say that the monitors could put them out of business, costing up to 20 percent of their annual revenues in a business that is already marginal for profits. They argue that the government wants monitors (which they do not necessarily oppose) but lacked the funds.

The decision was made to shift the costs to the fishermen and then citing Chevron to curtail judicial review. One of the lead counsel is my friend and former colleague Columbia professor Philip Hamburger, a brilliant academic who believes that the doctrine has fundamentally distorted our tripartite constitutional system. In both lower court cases, Chevron carried the day for the agency. In addition to the New Jersey case, the court added the second, nearly identical one from Rhode Island to its calendar — presumably because Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was recused in the New Jersey matter after serving on the appeals court panel that initially reviewed it before her elevation to the Supreme Court.

Chevron
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747645275605172307

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A big task: “130 countries – representing over 98% of global gross domestic product – are exploring or developing CBDCs..”

Trump Vows To “Never Allow” A Central Bank Digital Currency (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to never allow the use of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), as it would “give the government absolute control over your money.” “This would be a dangerous threat to freedom – and I will stop it from coming to America. We are also going to put in place strong protections to stop banks and regulators from trying to de-bank you for your political beliefs. That will never happen while I am your president,” Trump told a crowd in Portsmouth, New Hampshire – as first reported by The National Pulse. Trump’s comments come hours after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) revealed that federal agencies have been flagging financial transactions using politically sensitive words such as “MAGA” and “Trump” in yet another egregious example of the establishment targeting political rivals.

As we’ve reported for years, CBDCs – touted by globalists such as French Central Bank deputy governor Denis Beau as “the catalyst for improving cross-border payments by enabling the build-up of a new international monetary system” – are in fact the ultimate tools of oppression. Even Fed Governors know ‘this way lies danger’: “In thinking about the implications of CBDC and privacy, we must also consider the central role that money plays in our daily lives, and the risk that a CBDC would provide not only a window into, but potentially an impediment to, the freedom Americans enjoy in choosing how money and resources are used and invested,” Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman told a Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems last year.

Central bank digital currencies are part of a broader “war on cash.” A cashless society is sold on the promise of providing a safe, convenient, and more secure alternative to physical cash. We’re also told it will help stop dangerous criminals who like the intractability of cash. But there is a darker side – the promise of control.The elimination of cash creates the potential for the government to track and control consumer spending. Digital economies would also make it even easier for central banks to engage in manipulative monetary policies such as negative interest rates. But they seem to be an inevitability, as according to data from the Atlantic Council CBDC Tracker, 130 countries – representing over 98% of global gross domestic product – are exploring or developing CBDCs, marking an outsized increase from just a few years ago.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

GVB Vaccines will be banned from medicine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747421038860808465

 

 

Milei
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747635083521998960

 

 

Balloon

 

 

 

 

Best friends

 

 

Bald eagle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747562077831512236

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 302023
 


Paul Cézanne Curtains 1885

 

Israel’s Gaza Offensive Ends in Political, Military Defeat – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Erdogan Dubs Netanyahu ‘Butcher of Gaza’ (RT)
Hamas Informs Mediators of Willingness To Extend Gaza Truce (Cradle)
Pentagon Struggling To Pay For Middle East Buildup – Politico (RT)
CIA Director Increasingly Supplanting ‘Neocon’ Blinken in Gaza Diplomacy (Sp.)
No Ukraine Ceasefire In 2024 – Moscow (RT)
Deep State Wants to Dump Zelensky After He Outlives Usefulness (Sp.)
Has The Ukraine Conflict Entered Its Endgame? (RT)
West Watching Zelensky-Zaluzhny Fight, Thumbs Up to Most Malleable (Sp.)
Hunter to Face a Moment of Truth Before the House Oversight Committee (Turley)
Russian Oligarchs Contemplate The Devil And The Deep Sea (Helmer)
The French Are Desperate For A New Napoleon. Will They Get One? (Marsden)
DOJ Ordered Twitter Data for Everyone Who Liked, Followed, Retweeted Trump (PB)
Elon Musk to Companies Pulling Ads From X: ‘Go F*** Yourself’ (Sp.)
‘Make Them Pay’: Trump Attacks MSNBC in Social Media Salvo (Sp.)
Judge Rules Contents of Seth Rich Laptop Must Be Released…(CTH)

 

 

 

 

Trump Tucker

 

 

 

 

Jeffrey Sachs

 

 

Ritter

 

 

 

 

Bill Gates

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The world has flipped against Israel. Israel has been exposed as a war criminal state,” Ritter said. “Even America, who has shown the ability to chug blood by the gallon, is saying ‘enough is enough’.”

Israel’s Gaza Offensive Ends in Political, Military Defeat – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Israel has lost both the political and military battle in the Gaza Strip, says a leading geopolitical commentator. Israel and the Hamas Islamic resistance movement that governs the besieged Palestinian enclave reportedly agreed on Tuesday to extend the four-day ceasefire, brokered by Persian Gulf Arab state Qatar, for another two to three days. Exchanges of captives will continue during that extension, with Hamas releasing 20 Israelis taken prisoner during its October 7 raids into southern Israel. The number of Palestinians to be freed was not reported, but Israel had previously released 180 women and children from its jails in return for 61 Israeli civilians and roughly 20 foreigners held by Hamas. Former US Marine Scott Ritter told Sputnik that the bombing and ground invasion had been unsuccessful when measured “by Israel’s own standards.” He pointed out that Israel had dismissed any talk of a ceasefire from the start of the latest escalation on October 7, while Hamas had offered a truce and prisoner exchange.

“That was Hamas’ goal all along,” Ritter said. “One of the stated objectives of Hamas was to get Israel to release the thousands of Palestinians that it’s holding.” The commentator noted that Hamas had made three political demands after launching its al-Aqsa Flood operation: statehood for Palestine, the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails and an end to Israeli settler and police incursions into the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem — Islam’s third holiest site and under Jordanian jurisdiction. “Those are the three big things. Hamas is on the path of accomplishing every single one of those,” Ritter stressed. “War is an extension of politics by other means. Hamas is winning politically.” By contrast, the conflict had been a political disaster for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

More than 16,000 Palestinians have been killed in nearly two months of Israeli bombing and ground incursions, with 35,000 wounded and 6,000 still missing under the rubble of destroyed homes. “The world has flipped against Israel. Israel has been exposed as a war criminal state,” Ritter said. “Even America, who has shown the ability to chug blood by the gallon, is saying ‘enough is enough’.” But ultimately, the former UN weapons inspector argued, Netanyahu was forced to accept the ceasefire “because Israel had been fought to a standstill in Gaza.” “You can look at the map and look at all the blue there. That’s empty space. That’s uncontested, destroyed urban areas,” Ritter said. “But the bulk of Gaza, northern Gaza ain’t under Israeli control.”

He asserted that in the days leading up to the truce, Israeli troops had refused to go into battle “because they were getting slaughtered, because they were going in to Hamas’ trap.” “Hamas was springing up here, there and everywhere and taking them out,” Ritter said. “They only killed a thousand lightly-armed Hamas people. All that bombing, and they only got 1,000. Are you kidding me? What does that tell you? That Hamas knows what they’re doing, that Hamas is deep underground, that Hamas was prepared for this fight and this fight had only just begun.”

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“Netanyahu, who committed one of the greatest atrocities of the last century in Gaza, has already inscribed his name in history as the ‘Butcher of Gaza’..”

Erdogan Dubs Netanyahu ‘Butcher of Gaza’ (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has committed in Gaza one of the worst atrocities of the century, making his mark in history a bloody one, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a parliamentary group meeting on Wednesday. In his televised speech, he spoke out against the Israeli military operation in the Palestinian enclave. Erdogan blasted “human rights violations and acts of war in Gaza” and the “apathy of most Western nations,” stating that Türkiye “will exhaust all efforts to hold the Israeli government accountable under international law and moral responsibility.” The speech echoed a conversation Erdogan had with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, when the Turkish president called for Israel to be held to account for continuing to “blatantly trample on international law, the law of war and humanitarian law.”

Israel has waged war on the militant group Hamas since October 7, after the latter’s surprise attack on Israeli soil claimed more than 1,200 lives, mostly civilians, while another 200 were taken hostage. West Jerusalem retaliated with, as Erdogan put it “a kind of genocide by cutting off the food, fuel, medicine, bread, electricity, water, and communication of 2.3 million people, squeezing them into a 360-square-kilometer open-air prison.” “Netanyahu, who committed one of the greatest atrocities of the last century in Gaza, has already inscribed his name in history as the ‘Butcher of Gaza,’” the Turkish president proclaimed. The subsequent Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bombing campaign and ground operation have resulted in more than 16,000 Palestinian deaths, including women and children, according to local officials.

Netanyahu fired back at earlier comments by Erdogan that Israel was a “terrorist state” by stating that the Turkish president “supports the terrorist state of Hamas.” Erdogan expressed his view that Netanyahu’s actions in Gaza and the press they have elicited are “fueling anti-Semitism and endangering the safety of all Jews along with the Israeli people.” Following significant international pressure, a four-day humanitarian pause in the Gaza hostilities was arranged last week and subsequently extended. An exchange of prisoners followed, with Hamas trading their hostages for Palestinians kept as prisoners in Israel.

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“We are working to strengthen the Qatari mediation role in reaching a truce and then a permanent cease-fire.”

Hamas Informs Mediators of Willingness To Extend Gaza Truce (Cradle)

Citing alleged Hamas sources, AFP reported on 29 November that the Palestinian resistance group is looking to extend the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip for at least four more days. “Hamas has informed the mediators that it is willing to extend the truce for four days and that the movement would be able to release Israeli prisoners that it, other resistance movements, and other parties hold during this period, according to the terms of the existing truce,” the sources revealed to AFP. The temporary truce between the Palestinian resistance and Israel, mediated by Qatar and Egypt, is set to expire early on Thursday after a two-day extension. If what the AFP sources say is confirmed, it would more than double the length of the initial ceasefire between the warring parties, a deal that has Israeli government members red with rage.

Egyptian media has reported that efforts to extend the truce for a few additional days are “a possibility” and that “the conditions for the release of Israeli military will be completely different.” On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Qatari and Egyptian mediators are working to extend the current ceasefire in Gaza. “A long-term cease-fire would likely require Israel and Hamas to make hard-to-swallow concessions, such as trading Israeli soldiers for potentially thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails,” Egyptian and Qatari officials told WSJ. On Tuesday, Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari said, “We are working to strengthen the Qatari mediation role in reaching a truce and then a permanent cease-fire.”

So far, as part of the extended six-day temporary ceasefire, 60 Israeli captives and 180 Palestinian prisoners have already been released, and more are set to walk free on 29 November. Teenagers were among the Palestinian prisoners released by Israel as part of the temporary ceasefire. Mohammad Nazzal was among those released who mentioned that the Israelis beat the teenager and other prisoners “without any reason.”

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“..the military “had to pull money from existing operations and maintenance accounts.”

Pentagon Struggling To Pay For Middle East Buildup – Politico (RT)

The Pentagon is scrambling to find money to pay for a military buildup in the Middle East amid the Hamas-Israel conflict due to gridlock in the US Congress, which has so far been unable to approve full defense funding, Politico reported on Tuesday. The US Department of Defense, along with many other federal agencies, is now operating under a stopgap funding bill which was signed by US President Joe Biden earlier this month to avert a potential government shutdown. The measure, which did not satisfy Biden’s request for additional money for Israel and Ukraine, also freezes other types of defense spending at the previous year’s levels.

Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood told Politico that since no one planned for a massive redeployment of US forces to the Middle East after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the military “had to pull money from existing operations and maintenance accounts.” This means less funding for exercises and deployments that had already been planned. “We’re taking it out of hide,” the spokesman said. Since the start of the Middle East crisis, the US has deployed two aircraft carriers with escorts, additional missile and air defense systems, more than 1,000 troops, and an Ohio-class nuclear-powered missile submarine to the region. The military buildup came as the US declared unequivocal support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinian armed group Hamas, as well as fears that hostilities could lead to a major regional escalation involving Iran and Islamist organizations with ties to Tehran.

US defense officials had previously sounded the alarm about the congressional stalemate, warning that a lack of funding could harm not only shipbuilding and procurement programs, but the industrial base itself. Speaking to Defense News, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Radha Plumb did not rule out the possibility of an “additive domino effect of delays,” noting that suppliers could be especially hard-hit by this. Meanwhile, Under Secretary of Defense Bill LaPlante warned of potential layoffs in contractor companies due to the lack of Pentagon funding. According to Politico, if US lawmakers are unable to pass a full spending bill by spring, the Pentagon and other federal departments will have to cut their overall expenses by 1%.

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“..Biden is going out of his way to make sure that none of the above will be an impediment to them getting weapons,” said Kovalik. “He’s already going to be remembered for dead children in Gaza.”

CIA Director Increasingly Supplanting ‘Neocon’ Blinken in Gaza Diplomacy (Sp.)

Labor attorney and human rights activist Dan Kovalik joined Sputnik’s Political Misfits crew Tuesday to discuss the ongoing crisis in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip. As a fragile ceasefire of hostilities continues, Washington has reportedly been working behind the scenes to secure the release of captives and facilitate negotiations in Qatar. Increasingly, one Biden administration figure has been playing a key role in US statecraft. “The irony of ironies is that [William] Burns, who’s the head of the CIA, actually has much more of a diplomatic temperament than [Antony] Blinken does,” said Kovalik, claiming that Biden’s Secretary of State has taken a backseat in secret negotiations regarding the Palestine-Israel conflict. “Blinken’s a neocon. And in terms of what’s happening in Ukraine and in what’s happening in Gaza, he’s extreme, and has really tended to do things to increase the chance for conflict rather than the opposite.” Secretary of State Blinken has a relationship with Biden going back decades, making him one of the closest members of the White House cabinet to the current president.

But host John Kiriakou suspects the career diplomat is “in over his head” on matters relating to Israel. “Burns is a man of action,” Kiriakou claimed, to which Kovalik agreed before adding: “Burns has been a much more calm and considered diplomat.” “He’s been a voice of reason,” continued Kovalik, noting Burns’ past recognition that Ukraine joining NATO “would be a red line for Russia that we don’t want to cross.” President Biden elevated the Central Intelligence Agency director to a cabinet-level position earlier this year, representing the increasing importance of the controversial agency. The CIA’s often underhanded practices were once highly controversial in the United States, famously culminating in the Senate Church Committee hearings in 1975. The inquiry uncovered a plethora of abuses committed by the agency, including the MKULTRA human experimentation program, support for the Chilean coup against Salvador Allende, and domestic spying and infiltration of civil rights groups.

Since then the CIA’s tactics have increasingly been adopted by other government agencies such as USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. When former President Donald Trump made ex-CIA director Mike Pompeo his secretary of state, it seemed to imply a complete merger between the secretive government body and America’s public-facing foreign policy establishment. Biden’s reliance on Burns may provide him with an expanded toolset in the United States’ increasingly unpopular support for Israel’s military incursion, but it could also risk damaging Biden’s long-term reputation, which Kovalik noted is already at risk after the announcement of support for sending unlimited supplies of US weapons to Israel. “At a time that israel is being credibly accused of genocide and ethnic cleansing and war crimes, Biden is going out of his way to make sure that none of the above will be an impediment to them getting weapons,” said Kovalik. “He’s already going to be remembered for dead children in Gaza.”

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“..Moscow’s relationship with the US-led military bloc is unlikely to recover anytime soon “for reasons of principle and practical nature..”

No Ukraine Ceasefire In 2024 – Moscow (RT)

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov sees no chance for a ceasefire in the Ukraine conflict next year, considering that Kiev and its Western backers have taken a position that is totally unacceptable to Moscow. The senior diplomat offered his analysis of Russia’s relations with NATO and Ukraine in an interview with the newspaper Izvestia published on Wednesday. He expects no breakthroughs, despite suggestions in the Western press that the US may be nudging Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky towards a negotiated settlement. “Unfortunately, the US leads the Western group, which recites the ‘Zelensky peace formula’ as mantra, claiming it to be the only possible basis for an agreement,” he said, adding that a dialogue is “impossible on this basis.”

Asked whether he expected a ceasefire next year, Ryabkov responded negatively. He said: “I expect the goals of the special military operation to be unconditionally achieved.” The ‘peace formula’ proposed by Zelensky last year entails Kiev reassuming control over its pre-2014 borders and receiving war reparations from Moscow and subjecting Russian officials to a war tribunal amid extensive international support for Ukraine. Moscow has dismissed the proposal as being detached from reality. The German tabloid Bild claimed last week that Washington and Berlin were rationing arms deliveries to Ukraine to pressure Zelensky into concessions. The White House has said that its policy remained the same and it was up to Kiev to decide how to conduct the war.

However, David Arakhamia, a key Zelensky ally who leads the ruling party’s faction in parliament and headed up the Ukrainian delegation at last year’s peace talks in Istanbul, recently provided further grounds for doubt about how independent Kiev’s policy has been. He confirmed in an interview last Friday that then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had derailed a possible truce with Russia, telling the Ukrainian leadership to “just make war.” Moscow’s primary goal was Ukraine’s neutrality, Arakhamia said.

Ryabkov reiterated that NATO’s expansion in Europe was the key cause of the Ukraine conflict. Moscow’s relationship with the US-led military bloc is unlikely to recover anytime soon “for reasons of principle and practical nature,” he told Izvestia. “If someone in the West thinks we need that relationship and will at some point come and ask for it to be restored, that is a great error in judgment,” he said. NATO members are “gambling” by encroaching on fundamental Russian interests and apparently believe that there can be no limit to upping the ante, but “they may end up among the losers,” Ryabkov warned.

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Does he have time left to save his hide?

Deep State Wants to Dump Zelensky After He Outlives Usefulness (Sp.)

Talk in Western media about the possibility of a peace deal with Russia and increasing political and media criticism of Volodymyr Zelensky at home signals that he’s lost his value as a puppet for Western elites and that they’re preparing to dump him, French politician Florian Philippot believes. “Now that Zelensky is no longer useful and annoys NATO with his stubbornness as the theater of conflict has moved on to the Middle East, the Deep State wants to get rid of him,” Philippot wrote in a social media post. As evidence, the Gaullist politician pointed to a recent report in Germany’s Bild newspaper on the existence of a “secret peace plan” scenario and plans by Washington and Berlin to pressure Zelensky into negotiations with Russia, as well as “growing political and media criticism against Zelensky” in Ukraine itself, causing the leader, in fear of his safety, to begin firing people left and right.

“France must not allow itself to be duped by being the last country ‘at war’ against Russia,” Philippot urged, referring to Paris’ not insubstantial support for Kiev in NATO’s ongoing proxy war with Moscow. Philippot is the former vice president of Marine Le Pen’s National Front (now called the National Rally), a conservative populist, Eurosceptic party, and served as strategic director Le Pen’s presidential campaign in 2011. He split off and created his own party, The Patriots, in 2017. The politician’s remarks come amid growing wariness among Kiev’s Western backers over the thought of endlessly continuing the proxy war with Russia in Ukraine after Washington’s goals of “weakening Russia” militarily and economically or instituting regime change in the Kremlin failed to pan out. The situation made worse after Kiev’s disastrous counteroffensive this past summer, which cost Ukraine tens of thousands of its best troops and hundreds of pieces of Western-provided military equipment, including artillery and main battle tanks.

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“In order to liberate [Gorlovka], it is necessary to conduct a strategic offensive operation and involve at least 150,000-200,000 troops along with thousands of units of equipment..”

Has The Ukraine Conflict Entered Its Endgame? (RT)

Why did the Ukrainians decide to disperse their forces and advance in three operational directions during the summer campaign? Several Russian experts stated that Kiev’s strategy was to win the battle of reserves –and to this end, its army attempted to create several hotbeds of tension that were supposed to swallow up Russian manpower. In case of success, the AFU would have been able to overcome the deadlock of positional warfare and deliver a crushing blow in one of the directions. In reality, however, the Ukrainians were not able to beat the Russian army, which was strong enough to carry out both a localized offensive on the border between the Lugansk People’s Republic and Kharkov region this summer, and the offensive on Avdeevka in October.

On top of that, Russian troops continued to hold their defensive lines in Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, as well as near Artemovsk. So why did the Ukrainians refuse to concentrate their forces in one area, as Western experts advised them to do? One possible explanation for this was the reputational and media significance of the “Bakhmut Fortress,” which the Ukrainian political and military leadership fell victim to. The ‘heroic’ defense of one position, which gradually lost its strategic and operational importance, endowed Artemovsk with ideological and reputational significance. In an attempt to recapture this city, Ukrainians pulled their reserves and most motivated units into battle. Or perhaps, the situation was even worse. After the summer defeat, they needed to distract the public from negative news. The best way to do so would have been to break through the front line separating Ukraine and the Donbass republics which had existed from 2015 to February 24, 2022. In case of success, Zelensky would have had the chance to proclaim the return of “Ukrainian” land lost by his predecessors.

One of the areas where this plan was theoretically possible to carry out was Gorlovka – a large industrial city located south of Artemovsk, where about 300,000 people lived before the war. Gorlovka has been under the control of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) since the latter declared independence in 2014. Some of the fiercest battles in Donbass were fought there. After Time magazine published an article about the conflict between Kiev’s political and military leadership around plans to storm the city (the military command refused the idea), Ukrainian expert Bogdan Miroshnikov commented on November 16: “In order to liberate it, it is necessary to conduct a strategic offensive operation and involve at least 150,000-200,000 troops along with thousands of units of equipment. Some may say that we are [positioned] near Gorlovka. Yes, we are. But that direction is surrounded by numerous spoil tips. This means a frontal assault is necessary. But no one would do that.”

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“..The Economist suggested the commander-in-chief’s recent “media engagement could be seen as an insurance policy.”

West Watching Zelensky-Zaluzhny Fight, Thumbs Up to Most Malleable (Sp.)

Relations between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhny are “understood to be terrible,” The Economist summed up on Tuesday. How serious is the Ukrainian internal political strife, and what could it result in? The differences in opinion between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny were first reported in summer last year, per the UK magazine. It appears that tensions have substantially grown since then. What could have led to the current conflict between military and political leadership? “We can hypothesize at least three reasons,” Tiberio Graziani, chairman at Vision & Global Trends – International Institute for Global Analyses, told Sputnik, “the duration of the conflict has worn out the military cadres; the loss of credibility of the current political conduct of the conflict managed by Zelensky and, indirectly by NATO, the EU and the US; the growing awareness among military leaders that negotiations need to be reached.”

The British magazine writes that there is a blame game underway in Ukraine about who is responsible for the counteroffensive’s failure. In late October, Ukrainian politician Volodymyr Oleynyk told Sputnik that Zaluzhny didn’t want to be scapegoated for the failed Ukrainian advance, which claimed the lives of over 90,000 Ukrainian troops. After Zelensky pledged to proceed with the offensive through the winter, Zaluzhny insisted it’s time to go on the defensive and prepare for a spring advance. In early November, Zaluzhny gave an extensive interview to The Economist, admitting that what had been expected to become a triumphalist march of the Ukrainian military had ended in a stalemate. “There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough,” the top Ukrainian general said.

Immediately after giving the interview, Zaluzhny came under heavy criticism from the Ukrainian presidential office, with Zelensky later issuing a vague warning to “generals” against doing “politics.” The British outlet said that relations between Zelensky and Zaluzhny are now “terrible.” A series of events appeared to add fuel to the fire. Gennady Chastyakov, assistant to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, died in a “tragic accident” while celebrating his 39th birthday on November 6. Earlier, on November 3, Zelensky unilaterally dismissed Viktor Khorenko, who was known to be close to Zaluzhny, from his post as commander of special operations forces. Likewise, the commander of the medical forces, Tatyana Ostashchenko, was replaced with Anatoly Kazmirchuk by the Kiev regime without consulting Ukraine’s top general.

Then, The Washington Post alleged on November 11 that Ukrainian Colonel Roman Chervinsky was the coordinator of the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, citing Ukrainian and European officials, as well as other individuals purportedly familiar with the operation. The newspaper claimed the Ukrainian officer took orders from his seniors, who ultimately reported to Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny. Moreover, the Kiev regime is carrying out an investigation into the Ukrainian Army’s failure to withstand Russia’s advance in February-March 2022. For now, Zaluzhny has reportedly been named as a witness to the inquiry. Still, the nickname for the inquiry in the Ukrainian press is “Zaluzhny case,” suggesting he could become one of the main suspects. Citing a general staff source, The Economist suggested the commander-in-chief’s recent “media engagement could be seen as an insurance policy.”

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“..During periods where he claims to have been a hopeless junkie, he was a key player in a global influence-peddling scheme netting millions through a complex labyrinth of accounts..”

Hunter to Face a Moment of Truth Before the House Oversight Committee (Turley)

Hunter will now have to answer for exactly what the “man sitting next” to him was prepared to do if money did not continue to flow to the Biden family. There are other specific communications that will likely be raised with Hunter. For example, Devon Archer reportedly recounted how, in 2015, Mykola Zlochevsky and Vadym Pozharski, two executives of the corrupt Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, pressed Hunter to “get help from D.C.” to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma for corruption. Archer said that Hunter, Zlochevsky and Pozharski stepped away to make the call. Hunter can also address communications with government officials on behalf of foreign clients. His access to top officials was clearly due to his family name and influence.

The irony is that the long delay in bringing Hunter to this moment could prove his undoing. The committee has waited until it collected a massive amount of data and records on these financial records. It has interviewed witnesses on the influence-peddling operation. Hunter must now address highly specific questions and evidence under oath. If he is found to have lied, he can be charged with a criminal felony. The threat of prosecution is real. Hunter has benefited from the Justice Department limiting its investigation and inexplicably allowing the statute of limitations to run on key charges. False statements on any of these questions could result in new charges and pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute. After all, Trump officials were prosecuted for contempt of Congress under Garland.

Hunter is likely to cite his past drug use and the passage of time for failing to remember details. He continues to vacillate on whether the laptop itself is really his or, as he has suggested in the past, possible Russian disinformation. The use of his drug addiction as a defense was successful with the media, but is likely to be less so with Congress. During periods where he claims to have been a hopeless junkie, he was a key player in a global influence-peddling scheme netting millions through a complex labyrinth of accounts. Hunter will have to testify at his own peril for the first time under oath and leave the niceties behind.

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John Helmer on the long and complex relationship between Putin and the oligarchs.

Russian Oligarchs Contemplate The Devil And The Deep Sea (Helmer)

Until the US and the NATO states escalated their threats to seize Russian oligarch assets in what had been their safe havens abroad, every attempt at repatriation of the oligarchs’ capital to Russia had failed. Now, however, between the twin threats of foreign confiscation and domestic renationalisation, the oligarchs are pressing the president to protect their special position in the domestic economy. Putin has now repeated his September reassurances. “ ‘We had a thorough conversation,’ Putin spokesman Peskov told Tass. ‘A number of issues were formulated through the RSPP. There were various speeches – both business spoke, and representatives of the economic bloc of the government spoke,’ Peskov added. Peskov said that Putin at a meeting with representatives of large Russian businesses discussed the transfer of some companies to Russian jurisdiction.

‘The speech was about possible steps to improve the investment attractiveness of our economy, to create more than competitive conditions for completing the process of transferring companies here,’ the Kremlin spokesman said… According to the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, the meeting was held precisely so that this process would be well-established, so that business would not face problems and transfer its companies to Russia, opening new enterprises in it and creating new jobs. ‘That’s what, in fact, it was about, Peskov explained.” Redomiciliation without nationalisation and no new taxation – these are the oligarchs’ codewords for continuing the 25-year old system of domestic economic control despite wartime mobilisation and the removal of Chubais and Kudrin from their former Kremlin influence. According to Peskov, “the process of redomicilation should be absolutely perfect, so that business does not face problems, and so that business transfers its companies here, creates new jobs, opens new enterprises, invests and earns money here, at home.”

Shokhin has also revealed that the oligarchs want to grandfather their old tax evasion and offshore holding company schemes in the form of Putin’s personal guarantee that their net domestic tax rate will not be raised. The Kremlin’s silence on this oligarch agenda is one thing. The silence of the domestic political opposition is quite another. Sergei Glazyev, a former Yeltsin-era minister, Kremlin economic policy advisor, and current state job-holder, refuses point-blank to comment. Glazyev’s record for opposition policymaking in theory but political failure in practice can be followed in this archive. For the Russian Communist Party, spokesman Alexander Yuschenko said by telephone that the party “wasn’t going to comment on [the oligarchs’] meeting at the moment and [readers] can always watch for official articles on the party website.”

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“Imagine if Napoleon had done that — sold out France’s ambitions to the whims of his allies and their own agendas.”

The French Are Desperate For A New Napoleon. Will They Get One? (Marsden)

While Napoleon put France in a prominent spot on the world stage, it was arguably former French President and World War II General Charles de Gaulle that gave it any hope of persisting there. Beyond leading the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation, De Gaulle subsequently ensured France’s post-war independence by kicking the Americans out of the country, refusing their demand for permanent bases, and then keeping France out of NATO to avoid the ultimate fate of ending up under de facto US military command. Always with French independence in mind, De Gaulle then went to Moscow in 1944 to sign mutual assistance agreements, and envisioned the Soviet Union as an important partner for French independence within a vision of Europe that stretched from the Atlantic to the Urals.

De Gaulle also spearheaded state-backed nuclear energy projects that were so successful that they’ve saved France amid the current EU energy crunch (and to think that current President Emmanuel Macron was on the verge of killing the whole industry in favor of trendy green energy fantasies — the same ones that flopped when Germany realized that it couldn’t power its economic engine with the wind and sunshine after its Nord Stream pipeline network of Russian gas was mysteriously blown up.) Jeanne d’Arc was a teenage peasant girl who led the French to victory against the English, then was unrepentant about who she was and what she did when she was burned at the stake in Rouen — for literally having wild visions of French victory, then making them happen.

French-naturalized Pole Marie Curie was yet another French woman who fell outside the conventional role for females in society, winning the Nobel Prize for physics in 1903 and for chemistry in 1911, for her groundbreaking research, alongside husband Pierre Curie, on radioactivity, including the discovery of radium and polonium. Her achievements put France on the intellectual global map. Over a century later though, in 2019, French officials yanked mandatory mathematics from the last two years of the high school curriculum. It was such an unmitigated disaster for numeric literacy and such a looming disaster for French competitiveness on the global playing field that they had to reinstate the courses in September 2023. Therein lies the difference between those still admired by the French — despite having long shuffled off the face of the Earth — and those who have since come and gone from power or prominence with little fanfare. A lack of unwavering leadership — foresight, clarity, and determination.

Macron doesn’t have it — although he’s an avowed admirer of De Gaulle. It seems that every French politician fancies himself the second coming of De Gaulle, but very few have the strength to stick to a course of action that serves the French people and nation first and foremost. Instead, they double-deal and play both sides of the court from the middle, trying to serve their EU masters — currying favor with unelected European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen — or aligning their interests with Washington’s, placing Western solidarity above sovereign national interests. Imagine if Napoleon had done that — sold out France’s ambitions to the whims of his allies and their own agendas. Unsurprisingly, the latest Ifop-Feducial poll found that the two current political figures considered to most closely resemble Napoleon are right-wing opposition leader Marine Le Pen and former center-right President Nicolas Sarkozy.

It’s hardly a coincidence that both have been criticized recently for speaking out against the French and Western establishment status quo of blindly following anti-Russian US foreign policy on Ukraine — with both favoring immediate peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and an end to hostilities over prolonged spending on “aid” to keep a conflict going that’s to the net detriment of France and the EU as whole. Napoleon came to power with the backing of the people after they had literally beheaded the entire corrupt establishment. Today’s establishment has given itself more than enough rope to ultimately hang itself. One can’t help but notice the parallels. The question is, at what point will the French people have the courage to once again choose the kind of anti-establishment visionary leader on whom they could one day look back and realize they absolutely needed. Until then, they’ll be stuck longing for, and romanticizing, times and figures of greatness.

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Jack Smith knows no limits or boundaries.

“The DOJ’s warrant sought a slew of other data as well—including information on Trump’s geolocation, his private messages, search history and contact info. More absurdly, prosecutors apparently wanted to know his pronouns..”

DOJ Ordered Twitter Data for Everyone Who Liked, Followed, Retweeted Trump (PB)

Attorneys for the Justice Department have revealed documents connected to their search warrant for Donald Trump’s Twitter account, indicating that prosecutors collected a massive collection of data about the former President’s social media activity—including information on every account that liked, followed, or retweeted him. The extensively redacted search warrant was revealed as a result of a judge’s ruling on November 17, which came after a consortium of media organizations filed an application in August for the warrant and other data to be made public. Twitter appears to have provided the DOJ with vast volumes of material under compulsion. Indeed, Special Counsel Jack Smith sought, and appears to have gotten, information on all users Trump followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked, as well as all users who followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked Trump.

Smith also requested that Twitter provide information on “all lists of Twitter users who have favorited or retweeted tweets posted by [Trump], as well as all tweets that include the username associated with the account (i.e., ‘mentions’ or ‘replies’).” The DOJ’s request also wanted information on Trump’s geolocation, private messages, search history, and contact information. More outrageously, prosecutors allegedly wanted to know his pronouns, as reported by Headline USA in August, when court transcripts relating to the Twitter-DOJ battle became available. The warrant’s release comes after Twitter objected to the search warrant as well as an accompanying gag order, claiming that the gag order violated the company’s First Amendment right to communicate with Trump and that Trump may have legal standing to use executive privilege to block the warrant.

Twitter’s challenge to the DOJ was eventually unsuccessful, with Obama-appointed District Judge Beryl Howell fining the firm $350,000 in February for failing to fulfill a deadline for complying with the order. All of Howell’s rulings were upheld by an appeals court. Justice Department attorneys have since released records related to their search warrant for Donald Trump’s Twitter account, revealing that prosecutors obtained a vast trove of data about the former President’s social media activity—including info on every account to like, follow or retweet him. The heavily redacted search warrant was released Monday pursuant to a Nov. 17 judge’s order, which was made after a coalition of media groups filed an application in August for the warrant and other records to be made public.

From the looks of it, Twitter forked over massive amounts of information to the DOJ. Indeed, Special Counsel Jack Smith sought, and apparently ultimately received, all users Trump followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked—as well as all users who have followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked or unblocked Trump. Additionally, Smith demanded Twitter data on “all lists of Twitter users who have favorited or retweeted tweets posted by [Trump], as well as all tweets that include the username associated with the account (i.e., ‘mentions’ or ‘replies’).” The DOJ’s warrant sought a slew of other data as well—including information on Trump’s geolocation, his private messages, search history and contact info. More absurdly, prosecutors apparently wanted to know his pronouns—as Headline USA reported in August, when court transcripts related to the Twitter-DOJ dispute were made public.

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“If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money – go f*** yourself..”

Things you can say when you’re the richest man in the world.

Elon Musk to Companies Pulling Ads From X: ‘Go F*** Yourself’ (Sp.)

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said during an interview that he does not care if key US corporations stop advertising on his social media platform X in light of his endorsement of an antisemitic statement recently. “If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money – go f*** yourself,” Musk said during a discussion at The New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday. Leaving audiences momentarily stunned, Musk reiterated his point, saying, “Go f*** yourself. Is that clear?” The matter was raised after host Andrew Ross Sorkin touched on Disney CEO Bob Iger’s earlier remarks at the event regarding the company’s decision to halt spending on X. Iger had stated that Disney’s association with X was “not necessarily a positive one for us” in light of Musk’s social media comments.

Musk

Earlier in November, the US entrepreneur came under fire for endorsing a social media post that claimed Jewish communities were pushing hatred against white people, saying it was “the actual truth.” Film companies Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Paramount, and Lionsgate suspended advertising on Musk’s social network X due to his “antisemitic” comments. A similar decision was made by technology giants IBM and Apple. Musk said the general public will determine whether X will succeed in the long-run or if an advertisement boycott will lead to the downfall of the social media platform. On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Musk visited the southern Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Aza to see firsthand the aftermath of attacks carried out by Palestinian movement Hamas last month.

Musk during the Wednesday discussion said he does apologize if his endorsement of the antisemitic statement encouraged antisemites. He admitted that in hindsight he should not have replied to that particular post, but he mentioned that his recent trip to Israel was “not an apology tour.” Last week, Musk said that the network would donate all its proceeds from the content related to the conflict in the Gaza Strip to Israeli hospitals and an international humanitarian organization providing medical assistance to Palestinians. Responding to an Hamas invitation, Musk in a post on Tuesday said it is a bit too dangerous to visit Gaza, but believes a long-term prosperous Gaza is good for all sides.

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“About six large conglomerates reportedly control 90% of media in the United States [..] The number has fallen from about 50 companies that controlled 90% of US media in 1983..”

‘Make Them Pay’: Trump Attacks MSNBC in Social Media Salvo (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump railed against cable news channel MSNBC in a post on his Truth Social platform Tuesday, accusing the liberal media outlet of forming part of an “election interference” effort against the former commander-in-chief. “MSNBC (MSDNC) uses FREE government approved airwaves, and yet it is nothing but a 24 hour hit job on Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party for purposes of ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” wrote Trump in the late night post. “It is the world’s biggest political contribution to the Radical Left Democrats who, by the way, are destroying our Country. Our so-called ‘government’ should come down hard on them and make them pay for their illegal political activity.” MSNBC is actually a cable news outlet, unlike broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, or MSNBC’s sister network NBC.

The US Federal Communications Commission has limited power to regulate political speech on broadcast outlets available over-the-air but generally lacks authority over content on “cable or satellite TV systems,” meaning the US government may lack power to “come down hard” on the channel. The comments may suggest another area in which the former president would attempt to seek retribution against his enemies; Trump recently said he may seek to prosecute political opponents if reelected next year. As president, Trump reportedly pressured the media conglomerate Time Warner to sell cable network CNN in order to win approval from his Justice Department for their planned merger with AT&T. Trump has frequently condemned the channel, which in turn was often sharply critical of the former president during his time in the White House.

Although Trump’s attacks on various news outlets have sometimes proven controversial, they may fall on fertile ground amidst a broader crisis of institutional legitimacy in the United States. Recent polling has shown only about a third of Americans have trust in US mass media. That number has fallen from a high of 72% of Americans who said they had a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in US media outlets in 1976. US mass media has trended toward increasing corporate consolidation in recent decades, especially after the signing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which broadly deregulated the industry. About six large conglomerates reportedly control 90% of media in the United States: Comcast, Disney, AT&T/Time Warner, Paramount, Sony, and Fox. The number has fallen from about 50 companies that controlled 90% of US media in 1983 according to some studies.

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Excellent fom “sundance” connecting Seth Rich, Julian Assange, Robert Mueller, John Durham and much more. Don’t miss.

Judge Rules Contents of Seth Rich Laptop Must Be Released…(CTH)

If you know the background context, the latest developments in the Seth Rich laptop legal battle could be extremely interesting. However, despite a very favorable court ruling, I caution against too much optimism – the stakes in this ancillary story to the targeting of President Donald Trump are extremely high. The bottom line of the latest development is that a judge has given the DOJ 14 days to turn over the contents of the laptop belonging to former DNC staffer Seth Rich. There are multiple points of information that point toward Seth Rich having downloaded the DNC email files and shared them with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Seth Rich was killed shortly thereafter in what DC claims was a “botched robbery.” The reason this story is important will be highlighted below in granular detail. However, within the Time Magazine article about the judge’s ruling the closing statement summarizes the position of the DEEPEST elements of the DC Deep State.

NOTE:…”After his death, Rich was proven to not be the source of any email leaks, with the Mueller Report—also known as the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election—finding Russian hackers responsible.” This point, emphasized at the end of the Newsweek article outlining the recent ruling, is the epicenter of the DC narrative. You see, just like the James Wolfe leak of the FISA application to journalist Ali Watkins (hidden by the DOJ/FBI/IC and aligned interests), if the truth of the Trump targeting by the DOJ/FBI and Obama Intelligence community were to surface in the ancillary stories around the Seth Rich issue, it would be the most explosive revelation as to the scale of DC corruption and cover-up. The Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the U.S. election.

This DNC hack claim is the fulcrum issue structurally underpinning the Russian election interference narrative pushed by the Weissmann and Muller Special Counsel. However, this essential “hacking” claim was/is directly disputed by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as outlined during a previous Dana Rohrabacher interview and by Julian Assange’s own on-the-record statements. When you overlay the timeline of activity that touches the story of Seth Rich, a DNC staff member who was outraged at the DNC effort to block Bernie Sanders, the potential motive for Seth Rich’s death takes on an entirely different dimension. That said, even people very high up in the Trump administration would be part of the cover up to protect DC from sunlight. No one in Washington DC wants this story to be investigated or told. Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London immediately after the Weissmann/Muller report was released to Bill Barr in 2019.

Additionally, despite investigating the background of the Trump-Russia nonsense, John Durham never touched the DNC hacking claim – the core of the Mueller report. Why? The Occam’s razor reason is that Durham knew the U.S. Government threw a bag over Assange to protect the fraudulent Trump-Russia and Russian interference claims. Again, this reality speaks to the corruption within the John Durham investigation. By claiming he was not authorized to review anything from the Mueller probe, John Durham was protecting Weissmann, Mueller and the core of their justification for a 2-year investigation. I believe John Durham knew why Assange was eventually arrested. Durham stayed away from it, intentionally. The Russians HAD TO have made efforts to interfere in the election, or else the factual basis for the surveillance operation against candidate Donald Trump is naked to the world.

That’s why so much DOJ, FBI and Mueller special counsel energy was exhausted framing the predicate. “Seventeen intelligence agencies,” the December 29th Joint Analysis Report, the expulsion of the Russian diplomats which was an outcropping of the JAR, the rushed January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, shoving microphones in everyone’s faces and demanding they answer if they believed Russia interfered – all of it, and I do mean every bit of it, is predicated on an absolute DC need to establish that Russia Attempted to Interfere in the 2016 election.

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Max Keiser

 

 

 

 

Gotcha
https://twitter.com/i/status/1729921917862154304

 

 

Gravity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1729935054728532092

 

 


The famous Italian diver Enzo Maiorca dove into the sea of Syracuse and was talking to his daughter Rossana who was aboard the boat. Ready to go in, he felt something slightly hit his back. He turned and saw a dolphin. Then he realized that the dolphin did not want to play but to express something. The animal dove and Enzo followed. At a depth of about 12 meters, trapped in an abandoned net, there was another dolphin. Enzo quickly asked his daughter to grab the diving knives.

Soon, the two of them managed to free the dolphin, which, at the end of the ordeal, emerged, issued an “almost human cry” (describes Enzo). (A dolphin can stay under water for up to 10 minutes, then it drowns.) The released dolphin was helped to the surface by Enzo, Rosana and the other dolphin. That’s when the surprise came: she was pregnant! The male circled them, and then stopped in front of Enzo, touched his cheek (like a kiss), in a gesture of gratitude and then they both swam off. Enzo Maiorca ended his speech by saying: Until man learns to respect and speak to the animal world, he can never know his true role on Earth.

 

 

 

 

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Oct 022023
 
 October 2, 2023  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The Descent from the Cross 1634

 

The Western World Is Now a Tyranny (Paul Craig Roberts)
One Year Lying About US-Led NATO’s Nord Stream Terrorism Breeds More War (SCF)
Western ‘Idiots’ Want World War III – Medvedev (RT)
PM Sunak Backtracks On Sending British Troops To Ukraine (ZH)
Ukraine Must Mobilize Youths – Ex-UK Defense Chief (RT)
EU Will Back Ukraine Without The US – Borrell (RT)
‘My People Have Bigger Problems Than Ukraine’ – Fico (RT)
Russia’s Military Budget Set To Rise By 70% (RMX)
‘Camouflage’ for Zelensky to ‘Steal More Money From West’ (Sp.)
Blinken’s ‘History Lesson’ Gets Corrected By X Users (RT)
Nagorno-Karabakh Is No More (Pepe Escobar)
The Proper Way to Impeach: Steve Bannon was Right for the Wrong Reason (Turley)
Federal Prosecutors Want Gag Order Against Trump After His Recent Remarks (ET)
Trump Sues Christopher Steele Over Hoax Dossier (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter About Ukraine since 1945

 

 

 

 

TDS

 

 

 

 

Vandersteel

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all been said before..

“..a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all..”

The Western World Is Now a Tyranny (Paul Craig Roberts)

America’s reputation as “the land of the free” is rooted in the Anglo-Saxon legal and political tradition, not in diversity and multiculturalism. Law as a shield of the people instead of a weapon in the hands of rulers is a British achievement that Britain’s American colonies inherited. It was the accomplishment of a specific ethnicity known as Anglo-Saxon. Bringing rulers to the same accountability to law as the lowest peasant was a centuries-long process beginning with Alfred the Great in the 9th century and culminating in the Glorious Revolution of 1680. In this legal tradition law is based in the customs and mores of the people, not on edicts issued from rulers, government bureaucrats, regulatory agencies, and activist judges. Obviously, this conveys an ethnic basis to law. A Tower of Babel–the fate of all diminishing white countries today–has no common customs and mores and no basis for law other than rulers’ edicts enforced by power.

Throughout the Western World today the people have lost the protection of law as a shield and suffer under rulers who wield law as a weapon. In the United States today demonstrators and rally attendees are turned into “insurrectionists” and sentenced to prison. Even US President Donald Trump is being subjected to four fake felony prosecutions in order to prevent him from being elected president. During my youth law was seen as a shield of our rights, not as a weapon to be used against us. US Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland explained in 1934 that the purpose of law was to discover innocence or guilt, not to dispose of an enemy:

“The United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocent suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor–and indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.”

US Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson saw it the same way: “Any prosecutor who risks his day-to-day professional name for fair dealing to build up statistics for success has a perverted sense of practical values, as well as defects of character… A sensitiveness to fair play is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power, and the citizen’s safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility.” In 1940 Jackson said that unethical prosecutors are a threat to justice because of the danger that the prosecutor..

..“will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted. With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone. In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him. It is in this realm–in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies. It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political view, or being personally obnoxious, or in the way of the prosecutor himself.”

Robert Jackson’s 83-year old description of unethical prosecution precisely describes all of the “investigations,” impeachments, and indictments of President Trump that have been ongoing since 2016 for 8 years and show no sign of abating. The prosecutions of Trump are clearly prosecutions for the purpose of getting rid of a leader who presumes to challenge the ruling establishment. The prosecutions of Trump underline the termination in the US of the impartial rule of law.

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“The reality is fascism, imperialist lawlessness and barbarity are already well-ensconced in this White House.”

One Year Lying About US-Led NATO’s Nord Stream Terrorism Breeds More War (SCF)

Washington’s imperialist interests of dominating Europe and displacing Russia as an energy supplier are central to the reason for the war in Ukraine. This selfish and criminal agenda becomes evident if the Nord Stream act of terrorism is acknowledged and properly understood. The Western public would be up in arms over the false propaganda about the Ukraine war and the supposed “defense of democracy”. Not only that but the European and NATO states would be seen as the criminal accomplices and pathetic vassals that they are. The United States sabotages European civilian infrastructure and the economies of its supposed allies – and yet those allies utter not a word of protest. Indeed, they have willingly and meekly participated in their self-harm.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other European leaders should be prosecuted for complicity in international terrorism and treason against their national interests. Ironically, this week, Joe Biden while in Arizona dared to tell American voters that they face a stark choice in the presidential elections coming next year. Biden said the choice would be for U.S. citizens to either “support democracy” under his continued leadership or “elect extremism” under Donald Trump or some other Republican candidate. What could be more extreme than Biden ordering his military agencies to blow up gas pipelines owned by Russia and other European states?The fact that Biden and the United States have been permitted to get away with the outrage of Nord Stream terrorism is why Washington and its NATO acolytes have continually escalated the proxy war in Ukraine against Russia over the past year.

The astounding impunity afforded to the U.S. and its NATO accomplices over the Nord Stream incident is consistent with the way these same imperialist powers have gotten away with mass murder and waging criminal wars for decades without any prosecutions. The U.S. establishment and its clandestine agencies are a criminal syndicate that also suffers from delusions of virtue. Impunity breeds more criminality. The United States and its Western partners have rarely, if ever, been held to account for their historic crimes against the rest of the world. When such a transparent, brazen act of terrorism is perpetrated as in the Nord Stream sabotage and it is ignored then the world has shifted to an even more perilous situation where crimes have no punishment and even greater, more nefarious crimes can be engaged in.

The U.S. and its NATO henchmen, in particular Britain, are arming a Nazi regime in Kiev with tanks, cluster bombs, depleted uranium shells and longer-range missiles to strike Russia. The impunity that the Americans and their partners believe that they have acquired is shocking and hideous. There is no restraint. For years, the NATO axis has been arming and training Nazi battalions in Ukraine to cynically take an imperialist war to Russia’s doorstep. Canada’s scandalous adulation of a Nazi war criminal in its parliament last week is a sign of the depraved times we live in. But we have reached this degeneration because, as the Nord Stream incident illustrates, the Western powers, primarily the executive American power, feel they are not just above the law but entitled to smash the law for whatever objective they deem desirable.

When those who profess to uphold the law, break the law, then there is no law. That is the frighteningly barbaric world we live in today. Biden warned this week of fascism creeping up on the United States in the form of domestic political rivals. The reality is fascism, imperialist lawlessness and barbarity are already well-ensconced in this White House.

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“..a “freshly minted cretin”..

“..the [Russian] strikes on German factories where those missiles are being made would also be in full compliance with international law..”

Western ‘Idiots’ Want World War III – Medvedev (RT)

The conflict in Ukraine may lead to World War III because of the “idiots” occupying leading roles in the West, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned. “The number of high-ranking morons is rising in NATO member states,” he wrote on Telegram on Sunday. Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, was responding to statements from London and Berlin the previous day. The former president labeled the UK’s newly appointed Defense Secretary Grant Shapps a “freshly minted cretin” over his idea of sending British military instructors to Ukraine to train local troops for the conflict with Russia. If this happens, the UK servicemen would become a “legitimate target” for Russian forces, Medvedev warned.

Shapps has proposed deploying instructors to Ukraine, “knowing fully well that they’ll be mercilessly destroyed, and no longer as mercenaries, but precisely as British NATO specialists,” the Russian official wrote. Medvedev also described the head of the German parliament’s defense committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, as “another fool” after she urged Berlin to supply long-range Taurus cruise missiles to Kiev. She also claimed that Ukrainian attacks on targets inside Russia using those German-made munitions would be in full compliance with international law. “In this case, the [Russian] strikes on German factories where those missiles are being made would also be in full compliance with international law,” he said.

“Still, those idiots are actively pushing us towards World War III,”the former president concluded. In a previous post on Saturday, Medvedev insisted that Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine would continue until the current regime in Kiev is “destroyed and the historic Russian territories are liberated from the enemy.” Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons to Ukraine by Western countries only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO. Russian officials have also argued that the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing and the training of Kiev’s troops already means that Western nations have de facto become parties to the conflict.

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Are they just flying trial balloons over there?

PM Sunak Backtracks On Sending British Troops To Ukraine (ZH)

On Sunday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who currently serves as the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, suggested that British soldiers training Ukrainian troops in Ukraine would be legitimate targets for Russian forces, as would German factories producing Taurus missiles should they supply Kyiv. Medvedev, who is deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, and has become one of the most hawkish and anti-Western figures in Russian politics, said such steps by the West were bringing World War Three closer. In a post on Telegram, Medvedev first slammed Shapps’s proposal to deploy military instructors to Ukraine, in addition to training Ukrainian armed forces in Britain or other Western countries as at present. “(This will) turn their instructors into a legitimate target for our armed forces,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram. “Understanding perfectly well that they will be ruthlessly destroyed. And not as mercenaries, but namely as British NATO specialists.”

Medvedev then turned his focus to Germany, vilifying those who want Berlin to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles that could strike Russian territory and try to limit Moscow’s supply to its army. “They say this is in accordance with international law. Well, in that case, strikes on German factories where these missiles are made would also be in full compliance with international law,” Medvedev said. “These morons are actively pushing us towards World War Three,” Medvedev said. Realizing that he probably does not want his government to end in a mushroom cloud, British PM Rishi Sunak quickly backtracked and during a visit to Burnley on Sunday, said he wanted to make the situation “absolutely clear,” explaining that Shapps did not mean British soldiers would be deployed in Ukraine during the conflict with Russia, claiming there was “some misreporting” of comments by Defense Secretary Shapps, who floated the idea; he did however say that the UK has been training Ukrainian soldiers on British soil for “for a long time.”

According to the PM, the defense secretary actually meant that “it might well be possible one day in the future for us to do some of that training in Ukraine.” “But that’s something for the long term, not the here and now, there are no British soldiers that will be sent to fight in the current conflict. That’s not what’s happening,” he insisted. London continues to provide military training to the Ukrainians, but it’s “doing that here in the UK,” Sunak assured. US Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene also voiced alarm over Britain’s apparent plans to send troops to Ukraine, writing on X (formerly Twitter): “They’re going to start World War III” and that “the US cannot participate” in such a deployment, stressing: “No American troops” in Ukraine.

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Come get killed at 16!

Ukraine Must Mobilize Youths – Ex-UK Defense Chief (RT)

Former UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has claimed that Kiev is succeeding in its counteroffensive but to maintain the momentum and “finish the job,” President Vladimir Zelensky must throw more and younger Ukrainians into battle, while the West provides them with weapons to defeat Russia. Throughout the summer, Kiev’s forces have ultimately failed to make any notable territorial gains and have suffered heavy casualties as they tried to break through Russia’s defenses consisting of vast minefields, as well as heavy artillery and swarms of drones. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, the number of Ukrainian servicemen killed since the start of the counteroffensive has surpassed 83,000.

Wallace, however, believes that “slowly but surely” Ukrainian forces have been “adapting tactics, absorbing lessons, and making the best of the equipment we have all gifted them,” and that Kiev’s victory is imminent as long as the government “plays its part.” “The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40. I understand President Zelensky’s desire to preserve the young for the future, but… just as Britain did in 1939 and 1941, perhaps it is time to reassess the scale of Ukraine’s mobilization,” Wallace wrote in an opinion piece published by The Telegraph on Sunday. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that such heavy casualties were the result of Kiev throwing untrained soldiers into “senseless assaults and slaughter.”He added that these “cynical actions by the West and their henchmen in Kiev are only pushing Ukraine towards self-destruction.”

Back in July, Wallace called Ukraine a “battle lab” for the British military during a report to the parliament. “Let us not pause for one day,” he stated on Sunday. “The world is watching to see if the West has the resolve to stand up for our values and the rules-based system. What we do now for Ukraine will set the direction for all of our security for years to come.” Mobilization in Ukraine has been ongoing since the start of the conflict and had some bumps recently. The country has been hit by scandals involving conscription chiefs, prompting President Vladimir Zelensky to announce in August that he was firing all regional draft heads in the country.

The Ukrainian government has relaxed eligibility standards for recruits, declaring people with certain mental and physical conditions fit for duty. After the launch of Russia’s military operation, Kiev barred men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving the country. Kiev also recently ordered female medics and pharmacists to register for possible enrolment, reportedly causing an exodus of women in those professions. The Russian military leadership in the meantime has no plans to conduct mobilization as its current needs are fulfilled by career military service members, including those who volunteered to fight in Ukraine, according to a senior official. The Russian president reported earlier this month that some 300,000 people had enrolled in the Russian army this year alone.

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Europe’s already sinking into a black hole. Forget it.

EU Will Back Ukraine Without The US – Borrell (RT)

The EU’s military aid to Ukraine will not depend on the decisions taken by the US, the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told journalists during his visit to Kiev on Sunday. Brussels plans to continue and further increase its military assistance to the Ukrainian forces, he added. “We have not waited for the [US] decision to be taken to increase our propositions to support Ukraine,” the official said when asked about the EU’s reaction to the US Congress removing military aid for Kiev from its short-time spending bill passed over the weekend. Brussels still regretted the American lawmakers’ decision “deeply and thoroughly,” Borrell said, expressing his hope that “this will not be a definitive decision, and Ukraine will continue having the support of the US.”

The EU Commission had earlier proposed creating a fund for Ukraine worth €50 billion ($52.8 billion), the bloc’s top diplomat said, adding that he also suggested creating a similar fund amounting to €20 billion ($21.13 billion) within the European Peace Facility at an EU foreign ministers meeting in August. “Let’s see what’ll be happening in the US but from our side, we will continue supporting and increasing our support,” the official said. The EU’s top diplomat also maintained that the bloc’s military aid for Kiev is “permanent structured” and does not depend on the decisions of other nations or the results of the Ukrainian operations. His comments came amid the continued Ukrainian offensive, which has failed to bring about any major changes to the frontlines over some four months since its launch, despite massive Western military aid before its start and heavy Ukrainian losses over its course.

“We are facing an existential threat for Europe,” Borrell claimed, adding that if Brussels wants the Ukrainian troops to be “more successful, we have to provide them with better arms and quicker.” He still hinted that Kiev should be more grateful for the bloc’s efforts. In some cases, “our support is not being perceived as important as it is,” the EU top diplomat said, insisting that “it is.” He then said that the total military aid from Brussels and the EU member states to Ukraine amounted to €25 billion ($26.4 billion). The bloc’s cumulative military, financial and humanitarian support reached €85 billion ($89.8 billion), he added.

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I said yesterday that he campaigned on “Not a single penny” more, but it was “Not a single round..”

Meanwhile, Donald Tusk held a mass pro-globalist rally in Warsaw on Sunday. We’re not done yet.

‘My People Have Bigger Problems Than Ukraine’ – Fico (RT)

The Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) party will not support further military aid for Ukraine, its leader, Robert Fico, told journalists on Sunday. Fico’s party took the lead in the parliamentary elections held over the weekend and is now poised to start talks about forming a government. “Slovakia and the people of Slovakia have bigger problems than Ukraine,” he said at a press conference following the announcement of the election results. The SMER-SD won around 23% of the vote, with its closest competitor, Progressive Slovakia (PS), receiving some 18%. When asked about his party’s stance on helping Kiev, Fico said that, if his party successfully forms a government, it would still be ready to help, but only in a humanitarian way.

“We are prepared to help with the reconstruction of the state, but you know our opinion on arming Ukraine,” he said. The SMER-SD conducted an election campaign under the slogan “Not a single round,” suggesting that it would end military assistance to Kiev. An EU and NATO member state with a population of around 5.5 million, Slovakia has already supplied Ukrainian forces with armored personnel carriers, howitzers, and its entire fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets. Last week, Fico vowed at one of his campaign rallies that his party would not “send a single round [of ammunition] to Ukraine” if it won the election. On Sunday, the politician, who is a former prime minister, described the ongoing conflict as a great tragedy, adding that prolonging the standoff would only make things worse.

“We will do everything we can to start peace negotiations as quickly as possible,” he said, referring to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. “Further killing does not benefit anyone,” Fico added. Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova said on Sunday that she would formally ask Fico to form a new government on Monday. With no party set to win a majority, Slovakia will need to form a coalition government. The pro-European HLAS (Voice) party, which took third place with 14.7%, did not rule out a possible alliance with SMER-SD. Fico also received congratulations on his election victory from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said it would “always [be] good to work together with a patriot.” A victory by Fico and his party has reportedly sparked concerns in the US. According to Russian foreign intelligence, Washington had sought to keep the previous Slovakian government in power.

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Poorly write-up.

Russia’s Military Budget Set To Rise By 70% (RMX)

Russian military spending is set to rise by almost 70 percent — to €106 billion — by 2024, according to a Russian Finance Ministry document published Thursday, an increase that illustrates Moscow’s determination to continue its military intervention in Ukraine despite the human and economic costs. According to the document, Russian defense spending will increase by 68 percent in 2024 compared to this year and will reach 10.8 trillion rubles (€106 billion). As a result, the amount allocated to defense will represent about 30 percent of total federal spending in 2024 and 6 percent of GDP — a first in Russia’s modern history. The budget for internal security is set to rise to 3.4 trillion rubles (€33 billion), almost 10 percent of annual federal spending.

The priorities for this budget are outlined as “strengthening the country’s defense capacity” and “integrating the new regions” of Ukraine whose annexation Moscow has demanded, as well as “social aid for the most vulnerable citizens,” just months ahead of the Russian presidential elections in spring 2024. Conversely, total spending on education, healthcare and environmental protection accounts for barely a third of the defense budget, according to ministry figures. Overall, federal spending will total 36.7 trillion rubles (€359 billion), a dramatic 20 percent increase over 2023. The government, however, has explained little about how it will finance this large increase, as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Musustin said last Friday that revenues from the sale of hydrocarbons will be down sharply and will account for “a third of next year’s budget” in 2024, whereas before the invasion of Ukraine, they accounted for half the budget.

The sector used to drive Russia’s growth, hydrocarbon sales are declining due to international sanctions and the European Union’s determination to move away from energy dependence on Moscow. One indication that the government expects a delicate month ahead for the Russian economy is that it has announced that it has based its budget forecast on the assumption of a dollar worth around 90 rubles, thus betting on a weakening of the national currency in the medium term. The draft budget law for 2024-2026 is due to be sent to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, on Friday.

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“Ukraine’s Possible New Counteroffensive..”

‘Camouflage’ for Zelensky to ‘Steal More Money From West’ (Sp.)

Kiev’s alleged push for another counteroffensive, this time in the autumn, can be perceived as the West’s red herring, Scott Bennett, a former US Army psychological warfare officer and State Department counter-terrorism analyst, told Sputnik. The Zelensky regime had elaborated a plan for a major offensive in the Kherson and Zaporozhye region in early October, securing the approval of Ukraine’s sponsors in Washington and London, an informed source told Sputnik earlier this week. According to the source, Kiev’s special forces intend to seize control of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) as part of the blueprint. All this could be Western countries’ red herring, Scott Bennett suggested, pointing to the Ukrainian Army’s futile attempts to break through Russian defensive lines.

“As a result of the resounding defeat of Ukraine, the West is frantically searching for an opportunity to try and escape the coming judgement and potential crimes against humanity charges for the death and destruction the Biden Administration has recklessly unleashed. And the nearest opportunity for distraction may be the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant,” Bennett argued. He recalled that many perceive this facility as “a target for destruction in a kind of ‘doomsday’ button that the US might try and push, in an attempt to generate sufficient chaos and destruction to distract the world away from the small scale battles of Ukraine, to the global implications of a nuclear disaster.” According to the former psychological warfare officer, the potential destruction of the Zaporozhye NPP would be the “ultimate expression” of this chaos.

He warned that if the facility is destroyed, “the resulting tsunami of social, political, economic disruption would disorganize opposition parties and protests against the current political elites in Europe and America, and justify a lockdown or martial law and police state mentality which could be endlessly extended.” Bennett didn’t rule out that “the West will combine its best liars in the CIA, the Mossad, the MI6 to blame the event on Russia, and perhaps also simultaneously initiate some self-inflicted false flag attacks at the same time—such as assassinate Joe Biden and Zelensky at the same time and blame this on Russia in order to justify ‘police action’ and a drafting of Americans into the military for conflict with Russia.”

Read more …

Trying to blame the holocaust on Russia. Through insinuation.

Blinken’s ‘History Lesson’ Gets Corrected By X Users (RT)

Users of the social media network X (formerly Twitter) have fact-checked a statement made by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken in which he said Vladimir Putin’s government “manipulates” the details of massacres in Kiev in 1941 “to provide cover for Russia’s abuses in Ukraine.” “Eighty-two years ago, Nazis murdered 34,000 Jews at Babyn Yar,” Blinken wrote in a Friday post. “Soviets buried this history, which today Putin’s government manipulates to provide cover for Russia’s abuses in Ukraine.” He added that “the US is committed to justice for Holocaust survivors and accountability for atrocities.” Blinken was referring to massacres in the Babyn Yar ravine in present-day Kiev, perpetrated by Nazi Germany’s forces and their local Ukrainian collaborators in late September and October 1941 during its campaign against the Soviet Union.

The first such massacre, which took place on September 29 and 30, saw some 33,771 Jews killed. Other victims of mass killings at the site include Soviet prisoners of war (POWs), communists and Romani. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 people were murdered at Babyn Yar during the German occupation. The atrocities, which were considered to be extreme even by Nazi Germany’s standards, have been a source of debate in Ukraine over reports of local collaborators being involved. Estimates by historians put at one million the number of Jews killed in what is now Ukraine during the Second World War. As such, X users were quick to point out what they suggested was Blinken’s rather short-sighted recollection of historical events.

“Soviet prisoners of war were among the people massacred at Babyn Yar,” reads a contextual fact-box added by X users to Blinken’s post. “The Soviets liberated Babyn Yar and Kiev in 1943. The Soviets held a trial in 1946 in Kiev for 15 German policemen involved in the Babyn Yar massacres.” In response to Blinken’s statement, Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, wrote on X: “I was brought up in the USSR and we all knew about Babyn Yar. Nazi crimes were never ‘buried’ in my country, unlike yours. Writing such a sacrilegious post is beyond any basic notions of decency.” On Friday’s 82nd anniversary of the first Babyn Yar massacre, the Ukrainian foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the event should serve as a reminder to oppose “aggressive-chauvinistic ideologies, in particular, Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

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“..unlike the West which has become quite skilled in organising color revolutions, Moscow does not engage in such activities.”

Nagorno-Karabakh Is No More (Pepe Escobar)

In the end, Nagorno-Karabakh – or the Artsakh Republic – is no more. It will cease to exist on 1 January 2024 – also the first day of the Russian presidency of BRICS 11. All autonomous state structures will be dissolved – according to a decree signed by the head of the Republic, Samvel Shahramanyan. The population – roughly 147,000, 99% of them Armenian Christians – has a choice that’s not really a choice: “familiarize themselves with the conditions of reintegration presented by the Republic of Azerbaijan” and stay, or leave to Armenia for good. Predictably, the exodus is on: an interminable serpent of vehicles congesting the mountain roads of a beautiful landscape where generations of Armenians lived for centuries. As of Thursday night, over 70,000 Armenians had left towards the Syunik region.

The Azeri government in Baku sent police/security forces to Stepanakert. Former Foreign Minister Ruben Vardanyan, an oligarch, was detained by Azeri security while trying to leave for Armenia, mingling with refugees. He had renounced Russian citizenship last year when he moved to work in Artsakh. He’ll probably be freed. Others won’t be so lucky. Everyone leaving is being exhaustively searched. Baku has warned that every Artsakh notable – political and military – will be captured. This is how it sadly ends: the story of how a bunch of crooks – Team Pashinyan in Yerevan – profited personally from a geopolitical pretext. Armenian PM Pashinyan announced that in a few days he’ll consider there are no more Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Translation: those that decided to stay will be considered to be Azerbaijanis. Yet for Baku, Armenians from Artsakh will always remain Armenians – and thus an object of suspicion.

[..] As corridors go, Zangezur is the proverbial Chinese win-win. Azerbaijan links with its Nakhitchevan enclave and Turkiye. Russia gets a road that goes through Baku and Yerevan. Armenia opens itself to international trade. And Iran is satisfied that the manager will be the former owner of the place: Russia. Ay, there’s the rub. The usual suspects were not happy that Russian guards would be back in Armenia. So they sabotaged this clause via their agent Pashinyan. The record shows how Team Pashinyan behaved these past few months: Armenia’s First Lady visited Kiev; Yerevan transferred “humanitarian aid” to Ukraine; there were joint military exercises with the U.S.; frantic back and forth by U.S. and EU politicos and NGOs. Relations with Moscow are deteriorating fast. Yerevan – a juicy strategic target – is being taken over by the Hegemon and its vassals. It’s not an accident that Yerevan hosts the second largest American embassy in the world. So only one thing is certain: the Transcaucasus will continue to be on fire.

It’s not clear what will happen to Zangezur – and if and when Pashinyan will act on it. There’s always a – remote – possibility that Pashinyan, egged on by his Western handlers, may try to strike a deal with Aliyev to leave Russia out. The Russian Foreign Ministry has not minced its words, noting how Yerevan “flip flopped on policy and sought Western support over working closely with Russia and Azerbaijan”. And how in meetings in Prague and Brussels under the EU, Pashynian “acknowledged Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, but failed to address the rights and safety of the Karabakh Armenians.” The Foreign Ministry all but warns Pashynian that “unlike the West which has become quite skilled in organising color revolutions, Moscow does not engage in such activities.”

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People are confused about impeachment. It’s not a one time, one off thing, it’s a process in which truth finding is central. An impeachment inquiry provides more tools for that.

The Proper Way to Impeach: Steve Bannon was Right for the Wrong Reason (Turley)

Yesterday, I spent a very long day testifying in the first hearing of the House impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden. Not unexpectedly, my testimony angered many on both the left and the right. As I mentioned in my testimony, there is little tolerance for opposing views in this age of rage. Today, caution is considered cowardice and impartiality is viewed as chicanery. Yet our Constitution demands more of each of us at these moments. We can rise to that challenge, as the Framers hoped we would, or we can continue our national descent into rage and ruin. It is the difference between laying the groundwork for a real impeachment or for just another political hit-job.

I was asked to testify on whether the threshold had been met for an impeachment inquiry and what the best practices would be in the investigation of President Biden. I testified that the existing evidence was more than ample to warrant an impeachment inquiry and that these allegations, if proven, would constitute impeachable conduct. That was not enough for many. One of those was Steve Bannon, who went on social media to criticize House Republicans for not selecting someone who would testify, at the very start of an inquiry, that the case already was made for actual articles of impeachment. Bannon suggested that I should have been placed on the “maybe list” if I was not willing to say that the committee had the basis to vote out articles of impeachment on the first day of inquiry.

That, however, would be akin to calling a special grand jury and demanding an indictment before any witnesses or evidence are presented. Bannon’s criticism is emblematic of much of what I cautioned against in my testimony. I implored the Republicans not to replicate the last two impeachments, which I believe did considerable damage to this constitutional process. In the first Trump impeachment, I appeared as the only Republican witness in the only hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee. House Democrats then just cut to the chase and impeached Donald Trump on a thin, undeveloped record.In the second impeachment, they skipped the formalities entirely and went straight to the articles of impeachment in what I called a “snap impeachment.”

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“..He also suggested that Mr. Milley should be executed for his alleged conduct..”

No he did not. He said that: “..in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!”. Not that it should be now.

Federal Prosecutors Want Gag Order Against Trump After His Recent Remarks (ET)

Federal prosecutors have urged the federal judge to impose a gag order on former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election interference case, citing the “prejudicial extrajudicial statements” he made on social media. The special counsel team filed the request for a gag order against Mr. Trump on Sept. 15 to restrict him from making “intimidating” comments about witnesses, lawyers, and other people involved in the criminal case. Prosecutors said on Sept. 25 that Mr. Trump continued to wage “a sustained campaign of prejudicial public statements regarding witnesses, the court, the district, and prosecutors” even after the proposed order.

“The defendant should not be permitted to obtain the benefits of his incendiary public statements and then avoid accountability by having others—whose messages he knows will receive markedly less attention than his own—feign retraction,” they said in a court filing. “No other criminal defendant would be permitted to issue public statements insinuating that a known witness in his case should be executed; this defendant should not be, either,” it added. They referred to recent posts on his social media platform, Truth Social, including one on Sept. 22 in which Mr. Trump accused departing Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley of committing treason. In the post, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Milley’s alleged “treasonous act” could have led to “a war between China and the United States.” He also suggested that Mr. Milley should be executed for his alleged conduct.

Prosecutors also mentioned a video posted by Mr. Trump’s spokesman claiming that Mr. Trump had bought a Glock gun in South Carolina. The post was later removed, and the spokesman retracted his remarks, saying that Mr. Trump had only indicated his interest in buying the gun. Despite the spokesman’s retraction, prosecutors said that Mr. Trump “re-posted a video of the incident” posted by one of his followers with a caption that suggested he had indeed bought the weapon. “The defendant either purchased a gun in violation of the law and his conditions of release, or seeks to benefit from his supporters’ mistaken belief that he did so,” the prosecutors stated. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have objected to the request, and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday set courtroom arguments for Oct. 16.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have previously denounced the gag order request as an attempt to “unconstitutionally silence” his political speech. They called the request a “desperate attempt at censorship.” “The prosecution would silence President Trump, amid a political campaign where his right to criticize the government is at its zenith, all to avoid a public rebuke of this prosecution,” his lawyers wrote on Sept. 25. “However, above all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content. “The prosecution may not like President’s Trump’s entirely valid criticisms, but neither it nor this Court are the filter for what the public may hear,” they added.

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Why just Steele? And not Clinesmith, Sussman, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Comey, Hillary Clinton etc etc?!

Trump Sues Christopher Steele Over Hoax Dossier (ZH)

The Steele dossier was used by the Obama DOJ and the intelligence community to smear Trump as a Russian asset. Its various fabrications were legitimized under the guise of a legitimate DOJ investigation, and featured frequent strategic media leaks, ‘expert’ opinions, and manipulated evidence such as an email altered by former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, which was used to renew a wiretap warrant on Trump Campaign adviser Carter Page. Then there was the fraudulent ‘Alfa Bank Server’ allegation made by Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman, who pleaded guilty to not telling the FBI that he was Hillary’s employee when he alleged that Trump was directly communicating with the Kremlin via a covert server.

Steele peddled the dossier to the State Department – which then passed it along to former FBI deputy assistant director of counterintelligence Peter ‘We’ll stop Trump’ Strzok. Steele also met with the DOJ’s Bruce Ohr (whose wife, as we noted above, Fusion GPS employee), who he told that Russia had Trump “over a barrel.” (Bruce Ohr was consequentially demoted for making “consequential errors in judgement” for failing to inform his supervisors for his role in Russiagate, and retired on Sept. of 2020 “after his counsel was informed that a final decision on a disciplinary review being conducted by Department senior career officials was imminent”). Then there was the infamous ‘pee tape’ allegation that Trump paid prostitutes to urinate in a bed in Moscow where Barack and Michelle Obama had stayed, and that the Kremlin had a tape of the whole thing.

The 35-page dossier was publicly disavowed by high ranking FBI officials, including the bureau’s former deputy director Andrew McCabe, who told lawmakers in November 2020 that he would have never approved the Carter Page wiretap if he’d known the dossier was inaccurate. And now, Trump is suing Steele…

According to the Independent, the 77-year-old former president is bringing a data protection claim against Steele, and his consulting firm Orbis Business Intelligence, in the UK. “Proceedings have been issued on behalf of President Donald J. Trump against Orbis Business Intelligence Limited. The claim relates to breaches of UK Data Protection law arising from the inaccurate processing of the President’s personal data by Orbis following the publication of the false ‘Steele Dossier,’” said Trump attorney Tim Lowles. “The President’s claim seeks remedies including that the inaccurate data contained within the Steele Dossier be erased or rectified together with the payment of damages,” the statement continues.

On October 16, a two-day hearing will commence according to the report, citing a High Court order published Thursday. Steele has defended his work, telling the Oxford Union in March 2022: “What is being called the dossier was actually a series of single-source intelligence reports over a period of time, if you like, almost a running commentary on the election campaign and Russia’s perspective on it — and it comes from the Russian perspective of the telescope if you like,” adding “The sources were Russian, they were reporting on how Russia saw it, and of course, that may in some cases be rather different than how it was viewed in America at the other end of the telescope.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soccer dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708198778174345445

 

 

Ink

 

 

Turkey
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708441860228751683

 

 

Bless you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708396893607465463

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 122023
 
 September 12, 2023  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Claude Monet O Rio (The River) 1881

 

Zelensky ‘Senses’ Weakening Western Support (RT)
Zelensky Threatens To Terrorize Europe (MoA)
Ukrainians Blame Zelensky For Corruption – Poll (RT)
EU Believes Ukraine Is ‘A Very Corrupt Country’ – Politico (RT)
Blinken Contradicts Ukraine On Peace Negotiations (RT)
Elon Musk Responds To Ukraine ‘Treason’ Claims (RT)
Medvedev Advocates Suspending Diplomatic Relations With EU (TASS)
Russian Customs Chief Accuses EU Of ‘Total Lawlessness’ (RT)
Brazilian Court To Decide About Putin If He Attends G20 Summit – Lula (TASS)
Lies And Pretence In New London Novichok Hearing (Helmer)
The Gun Charge Against Hunter Is the Way of Covering Up the Real Issues (PCR)
The “Why Not” Culture: The Georgia Final Report Should Worry Us All (Turley)
The Mills of the Gods (Jim Kunstler)
9/11 After 22 Years (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Trump 9/11


https://twitter.com/i/status/1701253565702938885

 

 

 

 

Isaacson

 

 

“A judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that former President Trump has ‘presidential immunity’ and cannot be sued over statements he made about 2020 election fraud.”

 

 

 

 

He’s directly threatening Europe now:

“..the millions of Ukrainian refugees now residing in foreign nations. They have generally “behaved well,” but if the hosts “drive these people into a corner,” the end result will not be “a good story” for Europe..”

Zelensky ‘Senses’ Weakening Western Support (RT)

If Western nations do not maintain their assistance to Kiev, they could face defeats at the ballot box and trouble from the millions of Ukrainian refugees they host, President Vladimir Zelensky has warned. In an interview with The Economist, Zelensky complained about weakening support from senior Western officials, which he claimed to have seen in their eyes during meetings. “I see that he or she is not here, not with us” contrary to spoken assurances, he said, according to the interview published on Sunday. According to Zelensky, failure to support Ukraine amounts to siding with Russia in the conflict, which escalated into open hostilities in February 2022. “If partners do not help us, it means they will help Russia to win,” he stated.

Zelensky believes that Western voters will not forgive their leaders if they “lose Ukraine.” Further trouble may also come from the millions of Ukrainian refugees now residing in foreign nations. They have generally “behaved well,” but if the hosts “drive these people into a corner,” the end result will not be “a good story” for Europe, the president added. The Ukrainian leader said he is “morally” ready for a long war with Russia, but this will require the country to switch to a “totally militarized economy.” He added that now is “a bad moment” for peace talks with Russia, due to the lackluster battlefield progress over the three months of Kiev’s summer ‘counteroffensive’. Moscow has estimated Ukrainian losses during the push at over 66,000 troops and 7,600 heavy weapons.

The Economist noted that the Zelensky government had built up expectations for the offensive, but now he is “carefully adjusting his message to reality.” The Ukrainian president also appeared to take credit for the drone attacks deep inside Russian territory, which Kiev formally refuses to claim as its own. Explaining his strategy, he said public support for the Russian government will fall “because our drones will land.”In a “long war,” Moscow will lose regardless of how the Russians feel because the Russian economy will fail, he added. The Russian government expects the economy to grow by 2.5% or more in 2023. Recent forecasts by the World Bank and the IMF have upgraded their predictions for Russia due to strong industrial production and higher-than-expected energy revenues.

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Moon of Alabama noticed it too.

“I have seen such threats from low ranking individuals of the fascist Bandera fringe. They spoke of terrorism they would unleash in the West should it end its support for Ukraine. That the Ukrainian president now reinforces such threats shows how deeply he immersed himself in that mindset..”

Zelensky Threatens To Terrorize Europe (MoA)

The Economist published another interview with the Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski. It includes his usual unrealistic platitudes about not ending the war until Russia has completely pulled back. Speaking with an English language media he didn’t miss to mention the ever misunderstood story about Chamberlain’s move in Munich: “Tapping loudly on the table, Mr Zelensky rejects outright the idea of compromise with Vladimir Putin. War will continue for “as long as Russia remains on Ukrainian territory”, he says. A negotiated deal would not be permanent. The Russian president has a habit of creating “frozen conflicts” on Russia’s borders (in Georgia, for example), not as ends in themselves but because his goal is to “restore the Soviet Union”. Those who choose to talk to the man in the Kremlin are “tricking themselves”, much like the Western leaders who signed an agreement with Adolf Hitler at Munich in 1938 only to watch him invade Czechoslovakia. “The mistake is not diplomacy. The mistake is diplomacy with Putin. He negotiates only with himself.”

In 1938 Chamberlain had no other choice but to give in on Czechoslovakia. Britain was not ready for war and the parts Hitler wanted to annex from Czechoslovakia had undeniably a largely German population: “He contended that Sudeten German grievances were justified and believed that Hitler’s intentions were limited”. Zelenski goes on to threaten, in rather unthankful fashion, those countries which have delivered aid to Ukraine but may want to cut their losses: “Curtailing aid to Ukraine will only prolong the war, Mr Zelensky argues. And it would create risks for the West in its own backyard. There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned. Ukrainians have generally “behaved well” and are “very grateful” to those who sheltered them. They will not forget that generosity. But it would not be a “good story” for Europe if it were to “drive these people into a corner”.

I have seen such threats from low ranking individuals of the fascist Bandera fringe. They spoke of terrorism they would unleash in the West should it end its support for Ukraine. That the Ukrainian president now reinforces such threats shows how deeply he immersed himself in that mindset. A previous Economist story shows that Ukraine has already set up the necessary infrastructure to wage a terrorist campaign: “In modern Ukraine, assassinations date back to at least 2015, when its domestic security service (SBU) created a new body after Russia had seized Crimea and the eastern Donbas region. The elite fifth counter-intelligence directorate started life as a saboteur force in response to the invasion. It later came to focus on what is euphemistically called “wet work”.

“Valentin Nalivaychenko, who headed the SBU at the time, says the switch came about when Ukraine’s then leaders decided that a policy of imprisoning collaborators was not enough. Prisons were overflowing, but few were deterred. “We reluctantly came to the conclusion that we needed to eliminate terrorists,” he says. A former officer of the directorate describes it in similar terms. “We needed to bring war to them.” In 2015 and 2016 the directorate was linked to the assassinations of key Russian-backed commanders in the Donbas; Mikhail Tolstykh, aka “Givi”, killed in a rocket attack; Arsen Pavlov, aka “Motorola”, blown up in a lift; Alexander Zakharchenko, blown up in a restaurant.

Intelligence insiders say the SBU’s fifth directorate is playing a central role in counter-Russia operations. From there it is just a short step towards total war: “Meanwhile, a long war of attrition would mean a fork in the road for Ukraine. The country would lose even more people, both on the front lines and to emigration. It would require a “totally militarised economy”. The government would have to put that prospect to its citizens, Mr Zelensky says, without specifying how; a new social contract could not be the decision of one person. Almost 19 months into the war, the president says he is “morally” ready for the switch. But he will only broach the idea with his people if the weakness in the eyes of his Western backers becomes a “trend”. Has that moment come? No, not yet, he says. “Thank God.” Does Zelenski know of any country with a totally militarized economy that survived? I have yet to hear of one.

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“..78% of Ukrainian adults see Zelensky as “directly responsible” for Kiev’s corruption problem..”

“..only 18% of Ukrainian adults disagreed with the statement that Zelensky bears responsibility…”

And we hand him tens of billions.

Ukrainians Blame Zelensky For Corruption – Poll (RT)

The vast majority of Ukrainians believe that President Vladimir Zelensky is at fault for widespread corruption in the country’s government and military, a new study has revealed. The poll, released on Monday, found that 78% of Ukrainian adults see Zelensky as “directly responsible” for Kiev’s corruption problem. It was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Charitable Foundation and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology. Prior to the launch of Russia’s military offensive in February 2022, Ukraine consistently ranked among the world’s most corrupt nations, but it was touted as a bastion of freedom and democracy as the US and its NATO allies rallied public support for massive aid to Kiev. However, Ukrainian corruption remains a concern and could hinder the country’s bid to join the European Union, an unidentified Western diplomat told Politico on Monday.

Ukraine is a “very corrupt country,” the diplomat said, adding that Zelensky’s plan to use the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) to prosecute graft cases could “send the wrong message.” Upon landing in Kiev for a surprise visit on Monday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock reportedly said Ukraine needed to step up its efforts to fight corruption. The Ukrainian poll was conducted from July 3 to July 17 in face-to-face interviews with thousands of citizens across the country. There were no major differences in findings based on region or socioeconomic factors. Respondents aged 60 and older took a harsher view, with 81% saying Zelensky was responsible for government corruption. The rate was 70% in the youngest segment, ages 17 to 29. Overall, only 18% of Ukrainian adults disagreed with the statement that Zelensky bears responsibility.

Documents obtained by the International Association of Investigative Journalists in 2021 showed that Zelensky and his business partners set up offshore companies to purchase lavish properties in central London. Zelensky transferred his stake in one of the companies to an aide just before he was elected president in 2019. Supporters of former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko accused Zelensky and his associates of using their offshore accounts to evade taxes. Zelensky has purged officials in his government for alleged corruption, including an embezzlement scheme involving humanitarian aid. Just this month, he sacked Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, who came under fire earlier this year over purchases of military rations at inflated prices. However, the new defense chief, Rustem Umerov, is reportedly under investigation for alleged crimes in his previous job.

Read more …

If everyone’s corrupt, who investigates?

EU Believes Ukraine Is ‘A Very Corrupt Country’ – Politico (RT)

Widespread corruption in Ukraine could hamper Kiev’s bid for EU membership, a western European diplomat told Politico on Monday. He said Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s efforts to tackle the problem have also alarmed Brussels. Ukraine applied for membership in the European Union last February, and was formally granted candidate status four months later. Although European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to address the issue of enlargement during her state of the union speech on Wednesday, and EU Council President Charles Michel has vowed to admit all candidate nations by 2030, Ukraine’s bid could be hamstrung by rampant corruption. Ukraine is a “very corrupt country,”an anonymous western European diplomat told Politico.

“We want to give a positive signal to Ukraine but things such as this proposal to give more power to [Ukraine’s] intelligence [services] over corruption can send the wrong message.” The proposal in question was raised by Zelensky last month. Following a purge of allegedly corrupt officials at the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Zelensky announced that he would task the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) with probing and prosecuting corruption cases, taking investigative power away from the country’s multiple anti-graft agencies. The SBU reports solely to Zelensky. Representatives of Ukraine’s existing anti-corruption agencies told Politico last month that by making the SBU the only body allowed to investigate these cases, Zelensky is essentially giving himself the power to decide which corrupt officials to prosecute and which ones to shield.

There is precedent for these fears, the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center (ACAC), Vitaly Shabunin, said. Oleg Tatarov, the deputy head of Zelensky’s office, was under investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) last year, when the case was unexpectedly transferred to the SBU. “It was buried there,”Shabunin said. “Now [Zelensky’s] office wants to make that into practice.” Ukraine has for years been ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, as of 2022, the country ranked 116th out of 180. Aside from corruption concerns, disputes between Ukraine and European nations over agriculture could also hold up Kiev’s membership bid. Ukrainian farmers could undercut their European counterparts with cheap grain exports, meaning that the EU will likely have to reform its Common Agricultural Policy if Ukraine is to be admitted, Politico noted.

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“..Russia controlled more land last month than it did at the beginning of the counteroffensive..” But Blinken said Ukraine reclaimed 50%.

Blinken Contradicts Ukraine On Peace Negotiations (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed that the Ukrainian government will agree to peace talks with Russia if Moscow offers to negotiate first. Ukrainian leaders have argued otherwise, however, and insist that peace “needs to be won on the battlefield.” “Thus far, we see no indication that [Russian President] Vladimir Putin has any interest in meaningful diplomacy,” Blinken told ABC News on Sunday. “If he does, I think the Ukrainians will be the first to engage, and we’ll be right behind them,” he added. Blinken and other top American officials have long insisted that the Ukrainian government will decide when to seek peace with Russia, and that the US will continue to supply Kiev with weapons until that time comes.

Ukraine agreed in principle to a Turkish-mediated peace deal in April 2022, but walked away from the agreement after a visit to Kiev by then-British prime minister Boris Johnson. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has since issued a decree forbidding any negotiations with Putin’s government, as well as repeatedly vowing to take back the territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea – the latter of which voted to join Russia in 2014 – by force. Retaking this land, however, has proven costly for Kiev. More than three months into its long-awaited summer counteroffensive, the Ukrainian military has lost more than 66,000 troops and 7,600 pieces of heavy weaponry, according to the latest figures from the Russian Defense Ministry.

In exchange, Kiev’s forces have only managed to reclaim a handful of villages near Zaporozhye, while Russia controlled more land last month than it did at the beginning of the counteroffensive, according to the Washington Post. Nevertheless, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba declared last week that the conflict “cannot be ended by simply bringing belligerent parties to the table for negotiations.” “It needs to be won on the battlefield for Russia to become serious about negotiating peace,”Kuleba added. Russia maintains that it is open to a diplomatic solution to the conflict, but that any peace deal would have to take into account the “new territorial reality” – that Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea will never be ceded back to Ukraine. Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said negotiations would be held “not with Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters.”

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“..if anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such. Please tell them that very clearly.”

Elon Musk Responds To Ukraine ‘Treason’ Claims (RT)

American tech billionaire Elon Musk has responded to criticism over his refusal to help enable a Ukrainian drone attack on Russian naval forces in Crimea by pointing out that he’s a citizen of only the US and isn’t obliged to fight for Kiev. “I am a citizen of the United States and have only that passport,” Musk said on Monday in a post on his X (formerly Twitter) social media platform. “No matter what happens, I will fight for and die in America.” He added that in light of the fact that the US Congress hasn’t declared war on Russia, “if anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such. Please tell them that very clearly.”

At issue is Musk’s decision last year to prevent his Starlink satellite network from being used to guide Ukrainian naval drones for an attack against the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean coast. When news of Musk’s refusal came to light last week, US media outlets suggested that he had been traitorous, and Ukrainian presidential aide Mikhail Podoliak accused him of “committing evil and encouraging evil.” The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder gave Ukraine free use of more than 20,000 Starlink terminals after Russia launched its military offensive against Kiev in February 2022. His aim was to keep Ukrainians from losing internet access and communications capabilities amid the conflict.

However, Musk expressed concern about his network being used for offensive purposes and potentially playing part in triggering a wider conflict. He therefore refused Kiev’s pleas to extend the country’s Starlink coverage all the way to Sevastopol. “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.” CNN host Jake Tapper argued on Sunday that Musk had “effectively sabotaged” an American ally, and he asked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken whether the “capricious billionaire” should therefore face “repercussions.” Blinken declined to condemn Musk and pointed out that Starlink had been a vital tool for Ukraine’s defense.

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..”straightforward and honest Brussels bosses” who “told all Russians directly and without beating around the bush: you are second-class people for us.”

Medvedev Advocates Suspending Diplomatic Relations With EU (TASS)

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has called for suspending diplomatic relations with the EU in response to the EU decision to bar Russian citizens from entering the EU with everyday personal items, calling it a spit in the face of every Russian. “What should we do about it? Certainly not impose tit-for-tat retaliatory restrictions on EU citizens. We are not racists, in contrast to many leaders of those countries whose relatives served in the SS (Schutzstaffel, the notorious paramilitary organization under Germany’s Nazi regime – TASS). Moreover, those [Europeans] who travel here usually have a love and appreciation for Russia. It would be better just to suspend diplomatic relations with the EU for a while.

And to call our diplomatic personnel home,” Medvedev suggested, commenting on the European Commission’s clarification on the EU’s ban on importing automobiles, smartphones, suitcases and shampoo, among an entire range of items, into the EU from Russia, even for strictly personal use. Medvedev mockingly “praised” the EU leaders, calling them “straightforward and honest Brussels bosses” who “told all Russians directly and without beating around the bush: you are second-class people for us.” And the EU’s decision is clearly not meant as just punishment for what Brussels sees as the “criminal and aggressive regime in the Kremlin.” Rather, “this is a spit in the face of every citizen of Russia,” Medvedev emphasized. In suggesting measures to suspend Moscow’s diplomatic relations with the EU, Medvedev noted that only such a move could make Brussels officials truly afraid, “because embassies are [traditionally] evacuated before certain very specific events.”

“Who knows what else these ‘orcs’ from that immense ‘Mordor’ are capable of?” Medvedev asked sarcastically, using a common derogatory slur used in the West to refer to Russia and Russians, equating them to the goblin-like humanoid creatures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Lord of the Rings.” The European Commission’s clarification dated September 8 bans the import from Russia to the EU of goods listed in Annex 21 to EU Regulation No. 833/2014, regardless of the purpose of their use and the duration of stay in the EU, including cars with less than 10 seats. The EC emphasized that it does not matter whether the vehicles are being used for private or commercial purposes. The list contains a wide range of all sorts of items from cellular telephones and audio and video recording devices, to suitcases, hold-alls, articles of clothing, toothpaste, shampoo and other hygiene products.

Read more …

“Goods that are classified as prohibited – even shampoo and toilet paper – should be confiscated..”

“..at least “they have not banned [Russian nationals] from wearing pants when crossing the border.”

Russian Customs Chief Accuses EU Of ‘Total Lawlessness’ (RT)

Russia’s interim customs chief has blasted the European Commission’s instruction to EU member states to confiscate personal possessions of arriving Russian tourists. “How do we take the European Commission’s ban on traveling by personal car or with smart phones? Well, it’s utter nonsense,”Ruslan Davydov told journalists on Monday on the sidelines of an economic forum in the city of Vladivostok. The EU slapped wide-ranging sanctions on trade with Russia over the Ukraine conflict. Last Friday, however, Brussels explained that the restrictions should also apply to items for personal use brought by tourists crossing the bloc’s border. Goods that are classified as prohibited – even shampoo and toilet paper – should be confiscated, according to the clarification. The European Commission urged “EU operators [to] identify, assess, and understand the possible risks of sanctions circumvention” when conducting customs checks.

Davydov branded the decision as “total lawlessness” that defies the normal logic of customs controls. Moscow has little influence on the policies, since the EU broke all cooperation with Russia, he noted. “The way they regulate customs procedures on their soil can only invoke regret and incomprehension,” he added. But at least “they have not banned [Russian nationals] from wearing pants when crossing the border.”=The official assured that the Federal Customs Service, which he heads, shall not adopt a similar policy regarding tourists arriving from the EU. The Russian embassy in Helsinki urged citizens on Sunday not to travel to Finland in cars with Russian license plates, citing the risk of seizure stemming from the new guidelines.

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Lula opens the door and closes it at the same time. Putin as Schrödinger’s president: “..the decision [on a possible arrest] is within the power of the judiciary, not my government..”

Brazilian Court To Decide About Putin If He Attends G20 Summit – Lula (TASS)

The issue of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s arrest during his visit to the G20 summit in Brazil in 2024 will be considered by the country’s court taking into account the arrest warrant issued for the Russian leader by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the country’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said. “If Putin decides to attend [next year’s summit], the decision [on a possible arrest] is within the power of the judiciary, not my government,” Reuters quoted the politician as saying. On September 9, in an interview with the Indian TV channel Firstpost, Lula da Silva said that as long as he was president of Brazil, “he [Putin] will not be arrested without the authorization of the authorities.” At the same time, Reuters pointed out the president questioned Brazil’s membership in the ICC. He recalled that neither Russia, China nor the US are members of the organization.

According to the leader, such agreements harm developing countries. On March 17, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging that they were responsible for the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children. It could theoretically be executed if the Russian leader arrives in one of the countries that recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction. Moscow has rejected such accusations, calling “the very phrasing of the question” outrageous and pointing out that Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, so its decisions are null and void for Russia.

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“Sergei Skripal, the original target and survivor of the Novichok attack allegations in the official narrative, must never be allowed to testify publicly..”

Lies And Pretence In New London Novichok Hearing (Helmer)

In a London courtroom last week, lawyers for the British government and the presiding judge, Lord Anthony Hughes (lead image, centre), revealed they will resist the efforts of the Dawn Sturgess family to obtain a multi-million pound settlement in compensation for what they claim, and the government says, was her death five years ago from Novichok poisoning by Russian state agents. Secrecy is the key, not only to the big money claim, but to the government’s aim to defeat it and at the same time preserve the official story that the Kremlin ordered and carried out the chemical warfare attack in England in 2018.

Lord Hughes is defending the government’s effort to keep secret enough of the evidence in the case to block Adam Straw KC and Michael Mansfield KC, the Sturgess family lawyers, from demonstrating that the British security services should have known in advance – and did know enough — to have protected Sturgess from the Russian cause of her death. Their argument has been that for this negligence a very large sum of money should be paid to Sturgess’s heirs, to Rowley, and to the lawyers. The judge, the government, and the lawyers have agreed, however, there is one secret they must all keep. Sergei Skripal, the original target and survivor of the Novichok attack allegations in the official narrative, must never be allowed to testify publicly to what he knows.

To cover this up, Straw, Mansfield, and a lawyer representing the British press lied in court last week, claiming they want “open justice” from the secret services and the police. According to Jude Bunting KC representing the media, “open justice is about avoiding ill-informed speculation about proceedings and, insofar as material is in the public domain because of assertion, or even because of state-sponsored [Russian] misinformation, that is all the more reason for disclosing that material in open rather than in closed.” Hughes claimed to be seeking the same openness. “One of the difficulties of this inquiry and this case…is that everybody popularly supposes that they know the answer. They may or may not be right, but the purpose of the inquiry is to find out.” Hughes was pretending.

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Paul Craig Roberts. “The gun charge is just a way of getting rid of the real charges..”

The Gun Charge Against Hunter Is the Way of Covering Up the Real Issues (PCR)

Conservatives and Republicans are gleeful that the DOJ has been forced off its sweetheart gun charge deal for Hunter and might now have to bring a felony gun charge. The conservatives and Republicans do not realize that the gun charge is the least serious or important of the charges and that by making the gun charge the issue the real issues, which are threats to Joe Biden, don’t get a day in court. The gun charge is just a way of getting rid of the real charges. Moreover, if Hunter is convicted, something a Democrat jury is unlikely to do, and doesn’t get a suspended sentence, Joe will pardon him.

The conservatives and Republicans don’t understand that they and President Trump, not the Bidens, are the prosecutors’ target. We now have a black quota-hire Fulton County prosecutor adding US Senators and Trump lawyers to her racketeering indictment. The ridiculous indictment is so broadly framed that anyone who expressed doubt about the election is covered by the indictment. When you give power over law to people who see law only as a weapon with which to get enemies, you destroy the rule of law. That’s what the dumbshit white liberals have done.

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“..But the question is whether such requests are evidence of a crime…”

The “Why Not” Culture: The Georgia Final Report Should Worry Us All (Turley)

With the release of the special grand jury final report in Georgia, the nation finally was able to see what foreperson Emily Kohrs last February was giggling about in interviews. Call it the “Why not?” report. Back then, when Kohrs was asked if there were recommended charges, she chuckled and said, “Can you imagine doing this for eight months and not coming out with a whole list of recommended indictments? It’s not a short list. It’s not.’” In addition to nodding at an expected Trump indictment, she added, “There may be some names on that list that you wouldn’t expect.” After all, why not? The final product did not disappoint. The members recommended 39 people for prosecution, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and former Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.).

They also included lawyers who argued for recounts or investigations into alleged election fraud. While the report expressly claims that the Fulton County District Attorney’s office did not create the list, it was the office of Fani Willis that presented the law, the evidence and potential targets to the special grand jury. During that process, these members concluded that politicians voicing support for the former president and his allegations could be criminally charged for doing so. The news that Willis did not indict Graham and others infuriated many on the left. Liberal websites were inundated with comments like “I want all the enablers charged, tried, and given long sentences as traitors to our country” and asking why the list did not include Senators Grassley, Cruz, Lee and “147 current and former members of the House, just to name a few.”

[..] The question is when advocacy or inquiries or negotiations become criminal acts. Willis’s first grand jury clearly believed that senators who called for recounts or Raffensperger’s resignation should go to prison. The comparison between their recommendations and the eventual indictment does not clearly answer how such acts are distinguishable as crimes. The same lack of limiting principle is evident in the new theory being pushed by various experts under the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from ballots on the grounds that he “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” Beyond the tendentious claim that the Jan. 6 riot was an actual insurrection, they also maintain that the provision is self-executing, requiring no vote of Congress for secretaries of state to bar Trump from next year’s ballots.

Even though Trump has not been charged, let alone convicted, of insurrection (or even incitement), these advocates believe that he can be removed from the ballot because of his election claims, his inflammatory rhetoric and his delay in calling for supporters to leave the Capitol. This is one of the most dangerous legal theories to arise in decades. This week, Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes aptly described the claimed right to disqualify as a “radical” measure that would “encompass every elected office in our government — state, local, federal, and so forth.” Indeed, Democrats have called for barring not just Trump but 120 Republicans in Congress from running for office.

As with the Georgia special grand jury, the question is “Why not?” If the standard is “giving aid or comfort” to insurrectionists, then why not throw hundreds of other Republicans who supported the challenge to certification on Jan. 6 off the ballot? And while we’re at it, why not bar every lawyer who helped file claims of voting fraud from ever running for office? They all gave aid or comfort with their actions. By this reasoning, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and other Democrats could have been barred from ballots for opposing Trump’s certification in 2016 without any basis, along with leaders such as Hillary Clinton, who continued to call the election “stolen” for years. In 2016, there were also violent riots in Washington opposing Trump’s inauguration, thanks in no small part to such rhetoric. We can then have different candidates of both parties removed from ballots in every state.

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“Mr. Gaetz pushed through an agreement that the process to remove and replace the Speaker of the House could be activated by one vote. Mr. Gaetz reiterated last week that he means business. He’s the one vote.”

The Mills of the Gods (Jim Kunstler)

Do you think that more than half of the US public may be getting a little irked with “Joe Biden’s” lawfare elf, AG Merrick Garland, as he rolls one innocent J-6 protester after another into decades of hard-time for strolling through the US Capitol building — while the special counsels assigned to only a few of the Biden family crimes play hide-the-salami with due process? For all their cheap talk about “our democracy,” it’s a little scary to see what Democratic Party lawyers actually think of the legal system that is supposed to allow a society based on liberty to function fairly. Court filings last week indicate that Special Counsel David Weiss is about to indict Hunter Biden on that gun charge they have used as the joker in a three-card Monte game for going on five years.

Last time, they ran the game before Delaware federal judge Maryellen Noreika, she detected a teeny-weeny, sneaky clause in the plea agreement to a watered-down gun charge that would have granted immunity to Hunter B from any other past wrongdoing, including, of course, the entire alleged Biden family racketeering operation that had the First Son acting as prime broker and bag-man for tens of millions of dollars in bribes from foreign actors in countries less than friendly to US interests, funneled into any number of Biden family shell corporations. Judge Noreika nixed the plea agreement. Now, Mr. Weiss’s crew seems to be saying that the immunity clause is still tied to any plea deal answering a forthcoming September 29 indictment.

The move would appear to be timed to exactly the moment that a House impeachment committee would begin its inquiry into the Biden family’s moneygrubbing activities. In ordinary House committee hearings, DOJ officials like to use the excuse of “an ongoing investigation” to demur from answering questions. Merrick Garland has done this dozens of times. Will they now try to upgrade that to “an ongoing prosecution?” Could that move lead to a constitutional impasse, requiring the Supreme Court to rule? Or does a House impeachment panel enjoy special privileges of inquiry? It also appears that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FLA) intends to force the issue of opening an impeachment ASAP against “Joe Biden.” In last January’s maneuvering to seat a new Republican House majority, Mr. Gaetz pushed through an agreement that the process to remove and replace the Speaker of the House could be activated by one vote. Mr. Gaetz reiterated last week that he means business. He’s the one vote.

The argument that Republicans should leave hands-off “Joe Biden” so they can run against the feeble old grifter in 2024 is preposterous because there is no way that the “JB” can possibly run for reelection under any circumstances. It’s just another trip being laid on the American public — and one that illustrates how tragic and dangerous is the absence of an honest news media for challenging such insolent gambits. The President can barely totter into a room now without making some embarrassing pratfall or gaffe. He couldn’t possibly survive a debate, especially with all the new records of his crimes unearthed since the last time around in 2020 when he pretended to know nothing about his son’s business dealings.

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“..it is pretty clear who is responsible for 9/11 and why. Many Americans today understand what really happened..”

“It is paradoxical that President Trump is in the dock for questioning an election, while Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, and the whore media that covered up for them, never faced a single charge.”

9/11 After 22 Years (Paul Craig Roberts)

Today is the 22nd Anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon known as 9/11. A generation of 22-year olds has grown up after 9/11, and the event probably means nothing to them. They learn that it was an attack on America like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and 9/11 disappears into history. It is unlikely that anyone under 40 is much concerned with 9/11. A 40-year old today would have been 18 in 2001 and would likely dismiss 9/11 concerns as conspiracy theory. Today’s youth are more likely to be marching in support of sexual perversion than wondering about the source and purpose of the 9/11 attack.

Over the years I have reported the mounting evidence provided by scientists and by architect Richard Gage’s Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth until the organization he created removed him at the request of the government, effectively destroying the organization. But for me the proof that 9/11 was an inside job has always been that no one in government and security agencies was ever held accountable for the worst humiliation ever inflicted on an alleged “superpower.” Instead, it took a year before the White House even agreed to an official coverup with the 9/11 Commission, another in the long line of commissions like the Warren Commission that validates the official story. If a few young Saudi Arabians had actually defeated the entire national security apparatus of the United States, the White House would have been screaming, and heads would have rolled.

The neoconservatives had just called for a “new Pearl Harbor” so they could launch their wars of destruction of Israel’s enemies in the Middle East. They immediately blamed 9/11 on “Muslim terrorists” and began their invasions that halted only when Russia blocked the neoconservatives’ overthrow of Syria. So it is pretty clear who is responsible for 9/11 and why. Many Americans today understand what really happened, but the government will never admit it. It takes decades for the truth to come out, and by then everyone affected by the event is dead, and the event becomes ancient history. It is paradoxical that President Trump is in the dock for questioning an election, while Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, and the whore media that covered up for them, never faced a single charge.

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Great Depression
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701337655886102874

 

 

Smile
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701205047835521236

 

 

Left my heart

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 222023
 


Joaquin Sorolla Passeggiata sulla spiaggia (Walk on the beach) 1909

 

Ukrainian Troops Understand They Don’t Stand A Chance – Putin (TASS)
Counteroffensive Not Going Well – Zelensky (RT)
Scott Ritter: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Loses Momentum as Logistics Falters (Sp.)
Kiev Should Sue for Peace to Avoid Further Losses (Tsukanov)
Putin: Half Of Strategic Missile Units Rearmed With Hypersonic Systems (TASS)
Putin Reveals Future Of Russian Armed Forces (RT)
Biden Walks Back On Ukraine’s NATO Accession (Bhadrakumar)
Moscow Issues Warning Over ‘Nuclear Winter’ (RT)
France Has NATO-for-Truce Plan For Ukraine – Media (RT)
Pressure on US Dollar, Debt Drove Blinken Effort to Mend Ties With China (Sp.)
The Hunter Biden ‘Controlled Demolition’ is Complete (Turley)
Economic Cutbacks Making British Kids Shorter (RT)
House Votes to Censure Rep. Adam Schiff (ET)
Durham: FBI Overlooked Intel Clinton Masterminded Plot To Smear Trump (JTN)

 

 

 

 

RFK peace
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671354212943290369

 

 

Durham
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671523338076798977

 

 

 

 

Negotiator

 

 

 

 

“.. that includes Leopards, French wheeled vehicles, US-made armored vehicles – everything,” the president said. “They burn quite well.”

Ukrainian Troops Understand They Don’t Stand A Chance – Putin (TASS)

Ukraine’s troops understand that they don’t stand a chance against heroic and courageous fighters of the Russian Armed Forces, President Vladimir Putin emphasized on Wednesday. “Thanks to the courage and heroism of our fighters, thanks to the commanders’ readiness to repel any aggressive actions against Russia, I believe, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. They understand that and this is why they have stalled now,” Putin said at the meeting with military college graduates, answering a question from reporter Pavel Zarubin. “Ukrainian forces began [the counteroffensive] on June 4, engaging strategic reserves. Curiously, we currently observe certain lull at this moment,” the president said, adding that “this is due to the enemy suffering serious casualties in personnel and in vehicles.”


According to the president, “there are individual elements of hostilities going on: shelling, reconnaissance-in-force.” “But, I repeat, there is currently no active offensive,” Putin added. Meanwhile, he noted: “As of today, we see that the enemy’s offensive potential has not been depleted yet; the enemy has reserves and it thinks where and how to use them.” Speaking about the destroyed Western vehicles, Putin underscored that these numbers keep growing. “How much – that would require a look at the numbers. The total as of last night was 245 tanks and 678 armored vehicles of various types. Of course, that includes Leopards, French wheeled vehicles, US-made armored vehicles – everything,” the president said. “They burn quite well.”

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Give it up. Start negotiating.

Counteroffensive Not Going Well – Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has admitted that the long-promised counteroffensive against Russian forces has not delivered the results that some Western observers expected. Amid mounting losses, Zelensky insisted that he would not discuss peace with Moscow. “Some people believe this is a Hollywood movie and expect results now. It’s not,” he told the BBC on Wednesday, admitting that advances by Ukrainian troops have been “slower than desired.” “Whatever some might want, including attempts to pressure us, with all due respect, we will advance on the battlefield the way we deem best,” he added.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive began on June 4 with a failed attack on Russian positions near Donetsk, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Wave after wave of attacks followed along the Donetsk and Zaporozhye sectors of the front line, all of which Russian forces have managed to withstand while destroying hundreds of Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles, and thousands of Ukrainian troops, according to the ministry. While Zelensky told the BBC that his forces have managed to capture eight villages, Ukrainian troops have yet to penetrate even the first of Russia’s multi-layered defensive lines. With a warren of trenches, minefields, and fortifications in their path and Russian artillery and air support operating freely, Ukraine has lost 7,500 men and 30% of its Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles, the Kremlin estimated last Wednesday.

Daily reports from Moscow have since added at least another 2,000 men to the casualty count, with Ukraine said to have lost over 1,000 soldiers and 20 tanks in a single day of fighting over the weekend. Zelensky is reportedly under pressure to score some battlefield successes for his Western patrons, and he acknowledged to the BBC that “victories on the battlefield are necessary” to resolve the conflict in Kiev’s favor. However, he added that “no matter how far we advance in our counteroffensive, we will not agree to a frozen conflict because that is war, that is a prospectless development for Ukraine.”

Zelensky has repeatedly vowed to drive Russian troops out of the four formerly Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – that voted last year to join Russia, as well as Crimea, which joined Russia after a referendum in 2014. American, British, and other NATO officials have backed his refusal to “freeze” the conflict, but many admit that Ukrainian forces could never hope to mount an attack on Crimea. “Behind the scenes, many Western military analysts express serious doubts about the success of the Ukrainian adventure,” Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) chief Sergey Naryshkin said on Monday. “Without going into details, I’ll say that the tasks announced by the Kiev regime are assessed as unachievable” by foreign experts, he added.

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“one of the most heavily fortified defensive positions in the history of modern warfare.”

Scott Ritter: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Loses Momentum as Logistics Falters (Sp.)

With Ukraine’s current military condition desperate and dire, the political leadership in Kiev may be planning to target Crimea with Western-supplied HIMARS and Storm Shadow missiles, Sergey Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, said. Speaking at the Russian Defense Ministry Board Session, he warned, the “[d]eployment of these particular missiles outside the special military operation zone will be regarded as direct involvement of the US and UK in the conflict and will result in immediate retaliatory strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine’s territory. Scott Ritter believes that the rationale for Ukraine’s move is to provoke an intervention by the West, stressing, however, “they’ve lost this war.”

Despite a seemingly impressive army on paper, Ritter explained to Sputnik that the Ukrainian forces cannot penetrate Russia’s fortified defenses, which he describes as “one of the most heavily fortified defensive positions in the history of modern warfare.” As the Ukrainian Armed Forces falter and stand at the precipice of collapse in their counter-offensive, Ritter’s view of the Russian military stands in stark contrast, as he believes they have managed to quietly amass a significant force, maintaining a notable numerical advantage and demonstrate strategic prudence in their operations. Ritter underlined the chaotic and disorganized nature of Ukraine’s defense logistics system, asserting that large quantities of military aid are being mismanaged or lost in transit.


Furthermore, he pointed out that Ukraine has a notorious reputation for corruption, which may exacerbate the issue. According to him, accountability for this military aid is being overlooked mainly by the West due to the intensity of the ongoing conflict. A recent US media report says Ukrainian government documents show that over $800 million have been spent by Ukraine since 2022 on partially or completely unfulfilled arms supply contracts. “That’s the Ukrainian defense logistics system right now. Totally haphazard, totally chaotic. And if I were, you know, an inspector general going at it, I’d have to be honest and say, guys, we’re not going to be too strict on the accounting right now because this is war.”

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“..the peace terms Russia will offer will likely be significantly worse than the peace terms it is offering Ukraine today..”

Kiev Should Sue for Peace to Avoid Further Losses (Tsukanov)

The colloquially named ‘Surovikin Defensive Line’ has thrashed Ukrainian forces, with the Russian military reporting thousands of enemy casualties and the destruction of nearly 200 tanks and over 400 armored vehicles over the past two weeks. Named after Sergei Surovikin, the Russian general who commanded the Joint Group of Forces in the Special Military Operation Zone last fall and winter, and who was charged with the task of preparing Russian defenses for a Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Surovikin Line consists of vast networks of zigzag infantry trenches, anti-tank dragon’s teeth, berms and minefields across a frontline that stretches hundreds of kilometers. Kiev’s long-awaited counteroffensive – expected since March, began in early June, and is now widely acknowledged to have bogged down, with even senior Ukrainian officials and their Western patrons admitting in recent days that Ukrainian forces have wasted significant resources and lives probing the highly-fortified Russian defensive lines.

“The Ukrainians are yet to push deeply into Russian defensive lines,” Rainer Sachs, the former head of Estonian Foreign Intelligence who until about a month ago believed that Kiev had been successful in “creating the preconditions” for an offensive, said this week. “Russia considers it very important to hold onto the southern part of the front, so more defensive lines have been built there,” the intelligence analyst said. The term ‘Surovikin Line’ is actually a product of Western tabloid media, and was originally used to mock Russia’s military preparations, and dismissed as “grandiosely senseless” and “completely insane in terms of uselessness – but wildly expensive in terms of execution cost.” The past weeks have proven otherwise, with President Putin announcing late last week that despite some local gains, Ukrainian forces failed to penetrate even the first layer of the network of defensive lines anywhere along the front, instead becoming trapped and facing horrendous casualties.


“US intelligence had predicted only modest territorial gains for the Ukrainian spring offensive because Russian defensive preparations have been so extensive,” former US Army combat arms and HQ staff officer David T. Pyne told Sputnik. Citing reports that Ukrainian troops have taken ten times more casualties and lost three times more tanks than Russian forces in the past two weeks, Pyne said that “the longer the counteroffensive continues, the heavier Ukrainian casualties will be and the more vulnerable Ukraine will be to a Russian counteroffensive that could enable Russia to take control over western Donetsk [Region] and perhaps Kharkov [Region] as well.” If that happens, Pyne said, “the peace terms Russia will offer will likely be significantly worse than the peace terms it is offering Ukraine today.” Accordingly, he said, “Western leaders must face the reality that there is no chance Ukraine can defeat Russia and therefore we must negotiate the best deal for Ukraine we can get without further delay.”

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“Russia’s nuclear triad allows for effective and guaranteed strategic deterrence and maintains the global balance of power..”

Putin: Half Of Strategic Missile Units Rearmed With Hypersonic Systems (TASS)

About half of the units of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force have been equipped with the latest Yars missile systems and are being rearmed with modern Avangard warheads, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “About half of the Strategic Missile Force units are now equipped with the latest Yars systems. Rearmament with modern missile systems carrying Avangard hypersonic warheads is in progress,” Putin said at a meeting with graduates of military academies on Wednesday. He stressed that the strengthening and development of the army and reliable security of the country had always been and remained an unconditional priority.

“In light of the new challenges and invaluable experience of the special military operation we will continue to improve the Armed Forces in every possible way,” he said, adding that the most important task here was to develop the nuclear triad as the key guarantee of Russia’s military security and global stability. Putin also announced that new Sarmat missile launchers would enter duty soon. “In the near future, the first launchers of the Sarmat complex with a new heavy missile will be put on combat duty,” he said. “The arsenals of aviation and naval components of strategic nuclear forces are being replenished in strict accordance with the timetable,” he stressed.


In particular, he noted, the lead submarine of the Borey-A project had been commissioned and in January 2023 the frigate Admiral Gorshkov left base on a combat duty mission. Putin stressed that this ship was designed to perform tasks in the blue water zones and carried the newest hypersonic missiles Tsirkon. “Russia’s nuclear triad allows for effective and guaranteed strategic deterrence and maintains the global balance of power,” Putin concluded, adding that it was an embodiment of many years of tremendous efforts by domestic enterprises, design bureaus, workers, engineers and military and civilian specialists.

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The future is hypersonic.

Putin Reveals Future Of Russian Armed Forces (RT)

Strengthening the armed forces is one of Russia’s top priorities, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with graduates of military academies in Moscow on Wednesday. The nation’s military will evolve on the basis of the “priceless experience” provided by the ongoing military operation in Ukraine, as well as the modern challenges Russia is facing, he added. Russia’s nuclear triad will remain a focus of the military development efforts, Putin said, adding that it remains “a key guarantee of Russia’s military security and global stability.” Around half of Russia’s strategic land-based missile units have already been equipped with state-of-the-art Yars missiles – some of Russia’s most modern nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, Putin revealed.

The troops also continue to receive the hypersonic Avangard gliders, the president said. Such systems are fitted on silo-based ICBMs. The military will also be further supplied with hypersonic anti-ship Zircon missiles, to be used by the Navy, as well as air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missiles. New Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles are also about to enter combat duty, Putin added. The modernization will not be limited to nuclear weapons only, the president explained. Heavy armor, air defense systems, and the production of drones will all be upgraded, he said. “We have yet to do much for a quality upgrade of all parts of our Armed Forces,” Putin said, adding that Russia “is delivering on those plans to the fullest.” The Russian defense industries in particular are expected to “boost mass production” of drones and “robotized strike systems” that have “demonstrated good results in combat,” the president said. According to Putin, every Russian military unit down to a platoon should be equipped with such systems.


His words came a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow is potentially ready for a conflict with NATO if the military bloc decides to attack Russia. “Well, let them fight, we are ready for this,” he said. Putin has described the conflict in Ukraine as a hybrid war between Russia and “the entire Western military machine.” The statements came amid the continued Ukrainian offensive, which was launched earlier in June. The operation had been touted by Ukrainian and Western officials for several months but has so far failed to yield any major results. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kiev’s troops have suffered heavy casualties in their attacks on Russian positions. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also described the Russian defense as “well prepared.”

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”Don’t rule out an insurrection in Ukraine if war deaths become unsustainable for the society.”

Biden Walks Back On Ukraine’s NATO Accession (Bhadrakumar)

Biden’s remark on Saturday that the US is “not going to make it easy” for Ukraine to join the NATO can only be seen as a retrogressive journey into the past. Biden underscored that Ukraine will be required to meet the “same standards” as any other member of the bloc, implying that Ukraine must conform to the so-called Membership Action Plan or MAP, which requires a candidate nation to make military and democratic reforms, with NATO’s advice and assistance, before a determination of membership can be made. The MAP process can take years. Macedonia took 21 years. Biden’s remark is not only a signal to Kiev but comes at a time when there is a groundswell of opinion within the alliance that Europe and the US must provide Ukraine clear-cut NATO security guarantees, which is important for the future of European security.

In fact, Biden spoke only 4 days after meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, at the White House last Tuesday, where, reportedly, the latter sought to simplify the accession process for Ukraine on the plea that Kiev had already made significant progress toward membership. What prompted Biden to take a hard line? Poland’s President Andrzej Duda declared, in the run-up to his talks in Paris on June 12 with France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Weimar Triangle format, that Ukraine would like to have “a very concrete perspective … of joining the North Atlantic Alliance.” Duda hoped that the NATO summit in Vilnius will “send a positive message to Kiev, …that Ukraine’s future membership in NATO is clearly visible.”

Apparently, there was consensus amongst the Weimar Triangle members also that Ukraine should receive security guarantees. Scholz declared: “It is evident that we need something like this, and we need it in a very concrete form.” Macron endorsed, calling for a rapid agreement on “tangible and credible security guarantees.” Indeed, there have been threatening noises too that if there is no concretisation on Ukraine’s membership in Vilnius, some of the “hardcore” allies may take things into their own hands, and the renegade undertaking – at the national level –- could also include stationing of troops from NATO members in Ukraine. Now, Biden has ignored these demands from Old and New Europeans. He is confident he can shift the goal post. Maybe, Macron and Scholz are only playing to the gallery? We may never know.

The heart of the matter is that Biden realises that the ongoing Ukrainian offensive is heading for a train crash and the decimation of Kiev’s remaining army. It is uncertain how long Kiev will be able to recruit enough soldiers. The two figures whom Washington had groomed for precisely the sort of Plan B in Kiev that it needs now — commander of the armed forces Gen. Valeri Zaluzhny and spy chief Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov — are out of reckoning, having been put out of action summarily by recent Russian missile strikes. Don’t rule out an insurrection in Ukraine if war deaths become unsustainable for the society. Biden also sees that there is continuously shrinking approval in America for his war policy, which could possibly endanger his re-election. Biden pointed out to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky during his last visit to Kiev that the funds that Washington could provide were limited. And CIA chief William Burns separately left a message with Zelensky that continued American military assistance beyond July is problematic.

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“acute deficit of mutual trust.”

Moscow Issues Warning Over ‘Nuclear Winter’ (RT)

Global arms control is mired in an unprecedented crisis, triggered primarily by the actions of the West, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov claimed on Tuesday. Speaking at the PIR Center, a Russian think tank specializing in nuclear non-proliferation, Ryabkov argued that the issue had been building for some time, and had been exacerbated by US and Western attempts to “actively use coercion and violence in unsuccessful attempts to strengthen their global positions.” Those actions could be exemplified by the bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia, the US invasion of Iraq, and NATO’s “destabilizing” eastward expansion, the diplomat said.

At the same time, Washington and NATO “categorically refused” Russia’s proposals to create a comprehensive security framework in Europe, Ryabkov insisted. Instead, they embraced a course seeking to “deliberately and maliciously” fan the Ukraine conflict and inflict a “strategic defeat” on Moscow – all of which affected areas of contact with the West, including regarding arms control, he added. According to the diplomat, the problem could potentially be remedied by dialogue between the US and Russia, which hold the largest nuclear arsenals on the planet. “However, that’s all in theory. In practice… Washington is clearly not ready to revise its destructive course seeking to undermine our security. And how long such a ‘frosty winter’ in this field will last is anyone’s guess. This is not fatal in itself, as long as it doesn’t spiral into a nuclear winter!”


Ryabkov said that Moscow had noted Washington’s proposal to discuss arms control separately from other issues in bilateral relations. However, by endorsing this “compartmentalization,” the US wants to push the red lines even further in a bid to undermine Russia’s national security, the diplomat claimed. Against this backdrop, arms control talks are unlikely to be productive unless the US and the West “dramatically change their aggressive anti-Russia policies,” Rybakov argued. In early June, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Washington was ready to engage in arms control discussions with Russia and China “without preconditions.” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov welcomed the suggestion, but noted that Moscow should understand the specifics of the proposals, which he said came at a time of an “acute deficit of mutual trust.”

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You don’t know what Ukraine will look like “after the conflict is over”.

France Has NATO-for-Truce Plan For Ukraine – Media (RT)

The French government may attempt to lure Kiev to the negotiating table with Russia by offering support for Ukraine’s accession to NATO after the conflict is over, French media reports. According to Le Monde, this approach was discussed at the Elysee Palace on Monday last week by the French Defense Council. The hope is that if Ukraine joins the US-led military bloc, this would deter further hostilities, according to the report on Tuesday. A military source told the newspaper that the French position is “closer to that of Poland than that of Germany.” Russia considers NATO a hostile organization and has called attempts to include Ukraine in the bloc a ‘red line’ for national security.

Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring country last year after NATO members refused to discuss its security concerns. The organization was quietly absorbing Ukraine without formally including it, Russian officials claimed. The deliberations in Paris come ahead of a summit of NATO leaders which will take place in Lithuania next month. Last week, US President Joe Biden poured cold water on hopes that Ukraine’s candidacy would be fast-tracked. He stated that the country would have to meet the same standards as everyone else and that “we are not going to make it easy.” The Biden administration is reportedly siding with the cautious German position rather than with Poland and other countries which want to see a swift roadmap for Ukraine to join NATO.


According to the New York Times, Kiev may instead receive an upgrade of relations with the bloc to the council level – the same that Russia once had – and a pledge of continued arms supplies. Kiev demands the full withdrawal of Russian troops from territory that Ukraine claims before any peace talks. A ‘peace plan’ promoted by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky demands this, as well as reparations and other concessions. Moscow has rejected the proposal, calling it detached from reality.

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And then Biden calls Xi a dictator…

Pressure on US Dollar, Debt Drove Blinken Effort to Mend Ties With China (Sp.)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken likely sought to stabilize relations with Beijing because Washington has begun to feel pressure from China’s withdrawal of support for the dollar and the enormous US government deficit, analysts told Sputnik. From June 18-19, Blinken visited China for talks with President Xi Jinping, Director of the CCP Central Foreign Affairs Office Wang Yi and other senior officials. During the trip, the secretary highlighted the importance of maintaining open channels of communication and made clear that the United States will responsibly manage the competition so that the relationship does not veer into conflict. “The United States is feeling itself squeezed and probably needs to make nice with China,” Krainer Analytics founder Alex Krainer told Sputnik.

“The United States has painted itself into a corner with China: they want to do their usual destabilization/regime change thing, except China is still the second largest creditor the United States has, and it has been getting rid of the US debt quite aggressively over the last two years.” Now China and Russia are increasingly shifting to national currencies in their trade and that could lead to many other nations abandoning the dollar and triggering a huge financial crisis in the United States, Krainer warned. “If they [the Chinese] continue to dump US treasuries, they could depress its price, push interest rates higher and trigger a selling stampede by other nations as well. This is one of the biggest risks that the United States is facing,” he said.


Independent Institute Center for Peace & Liberty President Ivan Eland believes that Blinken’s trip was meant to stop the relationship between Washington and Beijing from deteriorating even further. “The Biden administration was concerned that US relations with China were sinking to dangerous levels. His meeting with Xi, itself noteworthy, did not produce many tangible breakthroughs but did seem to stop the free fall in bilateral ties,” he said. A mild thaw in relations could set in, but there are still no indications of any major progress on defusing potential sources of serious hostilities, Eland cautioned. “It is likely now that US-Chinese economic relations will get better. However, [there is] still no Chinese agreement for military-to-military ties improving – including deconfliction of military operations,” he said.

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The essence:

“He will plead to a couple of misdemeanors on tax violations without addressing how he actually made this money..”

The Hunter Biden ‘Controlled Demolition’ is Complete (Turley)

The House Oversight Committee has documented potentially millions in financial transfers from foreign sources to Biden family members. The labyrinth of LLC corporations and accounts used for the transfers seems designed to evade detection. Indeed, allegations from a trusted FBI source referenced payments that were being made to the Bidens without directly involving “the big guy.” That was the name allegedly used for President Biden after associates insisted that no one should use his name. Attorney General Merrick Garland took the most important step in pulling off the controlled demolition by steadfastly refusing to appoint a special counsel. Such an appointment would allow the release of a report that would detail the alleged corrupt practices of the Biden family and the knowledge and involvement of the president. It is the essential framing used in demolition to avoid broad blast effects.

The second key is the charge. In buildings, you have to use just enough explosives to take out supports to collapse the structure in on itself. In scandals, it comes down to the criminal charges. You need an assortment of minor charges to suggest equal justice without anything large enough to cause collateral damage to others. It also has to be minor enough to get Hunter to take one for the team. The Hunter plea is the perfect charge load for the scandal. He will plead to a couple of misdemeanors on tax violations without addressing how he actually made this money. The gun charge looks like a serious threat for incarceration, but it is little more than a phantom felony count under which Hunter will be allowed to go into a diversion program and ultimately negate the violation.


The problem for those seeking to drop this scandal in a confined fashion is that the House GOP is now investigating the influence-peddling scandal. The Democrats’ loss of the House in 2022 was a huge blow to the Biden team and, when the new Congress was sworn in, it was essential to enter a plea deal before the release of more serious evidence. In May, I called it a “capstone plea” to make it more difficult for the Justice Department to be pressured into stronger action. The House will push ahead, but the media has already imposed another blackout on coverage. The challenge for the White House is that this plea could come at a tactical cost. If this is the end of the Hunter Biden investigation, the Justice Department and FBI will have a more difficult time withholding evidence on the basis of an “ongoing investigation.” That is why it is a bit suspicious to see U.S. Attorney David Weiss state that that there is an “ongoing investigation.”

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Curious.

Economic Cutbacks Making British Kids Shorter (RT)

British five-year-olds who grew up in the era of austerity are shorter than their peers in other developed nations by as much as 7cm (2.76in), according to data from the Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factor Collaboration published by The Times on Tuesday. Since 1985, when British boys and girls both ranked 69 for average height at five years out of 200 listed countries, their ranking has plummeted dramatically – to 102 for boys and 96 for girls, putting them behind countries as diverse as Canada, Kyrgyzstan, and Cuba. Comparing the numbers to data on 19-year-olds, Professor Tim Cole of University College London’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health suggested to The Times that growing up in the 2010s “period of austerity” was what “clobbered the height of children in the UK.” The height of British five-year-olds peaked in 2011 at 112.8cm (44.4in) and has been falling ever since, the statistics show.

Because height is affected not just by quality and quantity of food but also stress, poverty, illness, and even sleep quality, Cole argued it is a uniquely “sensitive” indicator of living conditions. “It’s quite clear we are falling behind, relative to Europe,” he said. “In modern Britain, the way we eat is one of the clearest markers of inequality,” former UK government food adviser Henry Dimbleby told The Times, pointing out that “children in the poorest areas of England are both fatter and significantly shorter than those in the richest areas at age ten to eleven.” Family doctors in low-income areas have reported an “extraordinary” surge in the kind of nutritional-deficiency-borne diseases prevalent during Victorian times, Dimbleby explained. According to NHS data, 700 children are admitted to English hospitals every year with rickets, scurvy, or other forms of malnutrition, while nutrition charity The Food Foundation has found higher rates of type 2 diabetes and dental decay as well as obesity in poorer children.


“A diet of cheap junk food has the peculiar quality that it can make you simultaneously overweight and undernourished.” It is not just European countries like the Netherlands and Lithuania which outperform Britain. According to the study, China and North Korea both raise taller five-year-olds than the UK. Even five-year-olds in Libya – born and raised after the NATO bombing campaign that helped to overthrow their government and turn the country into a failed state – are taller (boys) or as tall (girls) compared to their British counterparts. Austerity has been linked to a host of socioeconomic problems in the UK, from soaring inequality to declining educational achievement. While supporters argue the program enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis was necessary to rescue a floundering economy, critics have countered that the damage done outweighs any benefits.

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Not enough.

House Votes to Censure Rep. Adam Schiff (ET)

The House of Representatives voted to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on June 21, a week after an initial resolution to do so was tabled. The measure passed along party lines on a vote of 213–209. Six Republicans voted “present.” The resolution, introduced by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), denounces Schiff, a Democrat, for allegedly perpetuating misinformation against former President Donald Trump. With the passing of the resolution, Schiff has been referred to the House Ethics Committee for investigation. The resolution was privileged and therefore triggered a House vote. In last week’s vote, 20 Republicans joined 205 Democrats to table the initial resolution.

The revised resolution was similar to the initial one, with the notable difference being that it doesn’t include a $16 million fine for Schiff should he be held accountable by the House Ethics Committee for his alleged “falsehoods, misrepresentations, and abuses of sensitive information.” The proposed $16 million fine is half of the taxpayer cost of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The new resolution, like the tabled one, condemns Schiff, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, for perpetuating the notion there was collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. That was debunked by Mueller in 2019, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz later the same year, and special counsel John Durham in May. Durham testified on June 20 at a closed-door hearing before the House Intelligence Committee and also gave testimony in a public hearing on June 21 in front of the House Judiciary Committee.


Additionally, the new resolution didn’t state that “Schiff used his position and access to sensitive information to instigate a fraudulently based investigation, which he then used to amass political gain and fundraising dollars.” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave credence on June 15 to the 20 House Republicans that joined Democrats in tabling the initial resolution. “I think everybody knows my thoughts of Adam Schiff,” McCarthy told The Epoch Times. “That’s why I removed him from [the House Intelligence Committee]. … You have a number of members on principle that sat and argued for the last four years with President [Donald] Trump that you had to have due process and voted that way. And I think a number of them believe that they should [have] gone to [the House Ethics Committee] first.”

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Very disappointing. 5 years?!

How many of these half-assed investigations, include also Hunter Biden, can the country take?

Durham: FBI Overlooked Intel Clinton Masterminded Plot To Smear Trump (JTN)

Former special counsel John Durham testified Wednesday that the FBI overlooked intelligence that Hillary Clinton had approved a plan to smear former President Donald Trump with Russia allegations and treated the two campaigns disparately during the 2016 election. Durham confirmed that the CIA had received intelligence about Clinton approving a plan to make Russia allegations against Trump as a means of distracting from her classified email scandal. The prosecutor said the FBI did not “sufficiently scrutinize information it received” and did not “apply the same standards to allegations it received about the Clinton and Trump campaigns.” “The FBI was too willing to accept and use politically funded and uncorroborated opposition research, such as the Steele dossier,” he said during the House Judiciary Committee hearing.

“The FBI relied on the dossier and FISA applications, knowing there was likely material originating from a political campaign or political opponent.” He told the House panel that “it’s going to take time to rebuild the public’s confidence in the institution” of the FBI after the agency’s handling of the so-called Russia collusion probe. Durham, appointed as a Justice Department special counsel in 2020 to investigate the matter, has said there was no evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian intelligence officials when the FBI probe was launched. “There were some individuals who clearly expressed a personal bias” against Trump, Durham told the committee, following the release in May of his final report on the now-discredited Russian collusion probe.


Under questioning from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Durham said former FBI Director Jim Comey withheld a referral memorandum from the agents working the Crossfire Hurricane case that contained information about then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s attempts to tie Trump to Russia. The memo contained intelligence from a high-level briefing with Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan. Durham testified that then-President Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch received the same briefing from Brennan. “They kept key intelligence from the investigators. This is how bad this investigation was but here’s the scary part: I don’t think anything has changed,” Jordan said.

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Duck

 

 

Cat

 

 

Tire dog

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 202023
 
 June 20, 2023  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  82 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Fishing Boats on the Beach at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer 1888

 

We Need a Peace President (Ron Paul)
Blinken Says US Does Not Support Taiwan Independence (JTN)
Beijing Tells US To Respect ‘One China’ Policy (RT)
Future Of Humanity Depends On China-US Relations – Xi (RT)
Scholz: West Should ‘Brace’ Itself For Prolonged Conflict In Ukraine (TASS)
Biden Warns Of ‘Real’ Nuclear Threat (RT)
Greater Eurasian Partnership Becomes Russia’s Flagship Project – Lavrov (TASS)
BRICS Expansion, De-Dollarization and ‘Decline of US Empire’ (Tweedie)
Kiev Reportedly Can’t Account for ‘Hundreds of Millions’ in Weapons (Reed)
EU Wants to Mandate Arms Makers to Prioritize Orders for Ukraine
German Armor Too Wide To Transport – Bild (RT)
BlackRock, JP Morgan Set Up ‘Reconstruction Bank’ For Ukraine (HE)
Strange Days (James Howard Kunstler)
The New World War On Free Speech (Shellenberger)
Juneteenth, The Day Republicans Freed All The Democrats’ Slaves (BBee)

 

 

Rand Paul
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670604730794401793

 

 

 

 

Putin OUN

 

 

Lavrov Germany
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670747070372691969

 

 

Results of the counteroffensive …

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..we desperately need a peace president to do for us what JFK did for the US during the Cuba crisis..”

We Need a Peace President (Ron Paul)

Most people agree that we are closer to nuclear war than at any time since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Some would even argue that we are closer now than we were in those fateful days, when Soviet missiles in Cuba almost triggered a nuclear war between the US and the USSR. In those days we were told that we were in a life-or-death struggle with Communism and thus could not cede a square foot of territory or the dominoes would fall one-by-one until the “Reds” ruled over us. That crisis was very real to me, as I was drafted into the military in the middle of the US/USSR standoff over Cuba and we could all feel how close we were to annihilation. Fortunately, we had a president in the White House at the time who understood the dangers of nuclear brinkmanship.

Even though he was surrounded by hawks who could never forgive him for aborting the idiotic Bay of Pigs Cuba invasion, President John F. Kennedy picked up the telephone for a discussion with his Soviet counterpart, Nikita Khrushchev, which eventually saved the world. Historians now tell us that President Kennedy agreed to remove US missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviets removing missiles from Cuba. It was a classic case of how diplomacy can work if properly employed. It is all too clear that we do not have a John F. Kennedy in the White House today. Although we no longer face a Soviet empire and communist ideology as justification for taking a confrontational tone toward Russia, the Biden Administration is still dragging the US toward a nuclear conflict. Why are they putting us all at risk?

The same old “domino theory” that was discredited in the Cold War: If we don’t fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian, Putin will soon be marching through Berlin. This all started with Biden promising to only send uniforms and medical supplies to Ukraine for fear of sparking a Russian retaliation. From there we went to anti-tank missiles, multiple-rocket launchers, Patriot missiles, Bradley fighting vehicles, and millions of rounds of ammunition. The Biden Administration announced last week that it would send depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine, which poisons the earth for millennia to come. Rumors are that long-range ATACMs missiles are to be delivered soon, which could strike deep into Russia. Apparently, F-16 fighter jets are also on the way.

The escalation rationale from Washington, we are told, is that since the Russians have not directly retaliated against NATO for NATO’s direct support of Ukraine’s war machine, we can be sure they never will respond. Is that really a wise bet? It is clear to many that US-built F-16 fighters taking off from NATO bases with NATO pilots attacking Russians in Ukraine – or even Russia itself – would be a declaration of war on Russia. That means World War III – something we managed to avoid for the whole Cold War. Congress is silent – or compliant – as we lurch forward toward disaster for no discernable US strategic goal. Biden – or whoever is actually running the show – is forging straight ahead. As we move into the US presidential election cycle one thing is clear: we desperately need a peace president to do for us what JFK did for the US during the Cuba crisis. Hopefully it won’t be too late!

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“About 50% of the global commercial container traffic… goes through the Taiwan Strait every day,” Blinken remarked, including the vast majority of “high-end semiconductors.”

Blinken Says US Does Not Support Taiwan Independence (JTN)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a press conference Monday that the U.S. does not support Taiwan independence. “We do not support Taiwan independence,” Blinken said. “We remain opposed to any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side. We continue to expect the peaceful resolution of cross strait differences. We remain committed to continuing our responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act including making sure Taiwan has the ability to defend itself.” Blinken made clear that the U.S. does have some concerns about China and what its actions could have on the world. “At the same time, we and many others have deep concerns about some of the provocative actions that China has taken in recent years going back to 2016,” he continued, according to Fox News.


“And the reason that this is a concern for so many countries, not just the United States, is that were there to be a crisis over Taiwan, the likelihood is that could produce an economic crisis that could affect quite literally the entire world.” Blinken wrapped up his meeting with China President Xi Jinping and summarized it as “candid” and “constructive,” but admitted to “profound differences” as the two nations seek to repair “unstable” relations with each other. He said during an interview with NPR that it was important to maintain peace with the nation that China treats as its own. Taiwan is a massive contributor to the global trade market. “About 50% of the global commercial container traffic… goes through the Taiwan Strait every day,” Blinken remarked, including the vast majority of “high-end semiconductors.” “If either of those things were taken offline as a result of a crisis, it could have devastating consequences for the global economy,” he continued.

Blinken Taiwan

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Where Blinken got his talking points.

Beijing Tells US To Respect ‘One China’ Policy (RT)

The US should respect the One China principle and stop supporting Taiwan’s push for independence from Beijing, Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi has told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “China has no room to compromise or concede” on the status of Taiwan, Wang told Blinken during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing on Monday. “The US must truly adhere to the One China principle… respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and clearly oppose ‘Taiwan independence’,” the director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission office of the Chinese Communist Party was quoted by local media as saying. Washington’s support for sovereignty in Taiwan, a self-governed island of 23.5 million which Beijing views as part of its territory, has been among the issues aggravating tensions between China and the US in recent years.

According to Wang, bilateral relations have now reached “a critical juncture.” He told Blinken that Washington needs to make a choice “between dialogue or confrontation, cooperation or conflict” with Beijing. “We must take a responsible attitude toward the people, history and the world, and reverse the downward spiral of US-China relations,” he said. China’s top diplomat also called upon the Biden administration to stop making threats towards Beijing and abandon its “suppression” of Chinese scientific and technological development. According to the US State Department, Blinken stressed the importance of “responsibly managing the competition” between the US and China “through open channels of communication to ensure competition does not veer into conflict.”

He also told Wang that Washington will “continue to use diplomacy to raise areas of concern and stand up for the interests and values of the American people.” Blinken is the first US secretary of state to visit Beijing in five years. His trip was initially scheduled to take place in February, was postponed due to the so-called “spy balloon” incident. Washington claimed it shot down a Chinese surveillance aircraft over its territory, while Beijing said it was merely a weather balloon, which had strayed into American airspace by accident. Following his meeting with Wang, Blinken held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. His two-day visit also included negotiations with China’s recently appointed Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday.

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“The international community [..] doesn’t want to choose sides in the event of a conflict..”:

Future Of Humanity Depends On China-US Relations – Xi (RT)

Stable relations between China and the US are vital for the international community, which doesn’t want to choose sides between the two countries, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing on Monday. “Planet Earth is big enough to accommodate the respective development and common prosperity of China and the US,” Xi told Blinken, according to a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The Chinese leader said that the world is interested in “generally stable” ties between Beijing and Washington, because “whether the two countries can find the right way to get along bears on the future and destiny of humanity.” The international community expects China and the US to “coexist in peace and have friendly and cooperative relations,” and doesn’t want to choose sides in the event of a conflict, Xi stated.

The Chinese president argued that competition with Beijing would not help Washington to solve America’s domestic problems or the challenges currently facing the world. “China respects US interests and does not seek to challenge or displace the US,” Xi stressed, adding that Beijing expects the same approach from the Biden administration. Xi called on the US to adopt a rational and pragmatic attitude towards China, and to jointly work on improving ties and making the global situation more stable. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Blinken had assured Xi during their 35-minute talk that the US does not seek conflict or a new Cold War with Beijing, and has no intention of trying to change China’s political system.

Washington expects to continue high-level engagement with Beijing, while keeping lines of communication open and managing differences responsibly, the top US diplomat said, according to the Chinese statement. Blinken is the first US secretary of state to meet Xi since 2018. He was initially scheduled to arrive in Beijing in early February, but the trip was postponed due to the so-called “spy balloon” scandal. The US claimed it had shot down a Chinese surveillance aircraft over its territory, while China insisted that the object was a weather balloon which had strayed into American airspace by accident. The two-day visit by Blinken also included a meeting with Beijing’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, earlier on Monday, as well as talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday.

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“However, it’s obvious that NATO will not become a party to the conflict.”

Scholz: West Should ‘Brace’ Itself For Prolonged Conflict In Ukraine (TASS)

The West should adjust its policy with the expectation that the Ukraine conflict may go on for an indefinite period of time German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday. “We have to brace ourselves that the Russian [special military operation] act could last for a long time,” German Chancellor Scholz said speaking at a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg “This is what we are preparing for and this is what we are orienting our policy toward,” Scholz told Stoltenberg. “Germany will continue to be a staunch supporter of Ukraine as long as it takes,” Scholz continued. “However, it’s obvious that NATO will not become a party to the conflict.”

On June 14, the German government has adopted the country’s first ever National Security Strategy, which enshrines the main principles and measures to counter potential external threats to the state in the coming years. “The determining factor” of the document’s development was Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, the “Zeitenwende” or “tipping point,” as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called it. The German government enshrined its NATO commitments and decided to increase defense spending by twp percent of GDP. “We express our strong commitment to NATO and the EU and strengthen the Bundeswehr (the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Germany) to meet the primary objective of national and alliance defense (of two percent),” the document said.

It pointed out that the authorities planned to reach the two-percent increase in defense spending in the term of “over several years.” “We will strengthen our security in cyberspace and space,” the document stressed. In addition, the German government said that it will reduce dependence on energy and raw materials supplies and work on their diversification. “We will reduce unilateral dependency on the supplies of raw materials and energy resources by diversifying them. We will work together with our businesses to promote raw materials projects, including creating strategic stockpiles,” the document said. The German authorities also added that they sought to expand national food, energy, and medicine reserves. The document included as well plans to overpass a law aimed at protecting critical infrastructure facilities.

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“Before blaming others, Washington could use some introspection.”

Biden Warns Of ‘Real’ Nuclear Threat (RT)

President Joe Biden has claimed there is a “real” threat that Russia will use tactical nuclear weapons, soon after the Kremlin announced that it would station some of its arsenal in a friendly neighboring state. Speaking to a group of donors in California on Monday, Biden suggested that Russia’s moves in Belarus could be a sign that it is preparing to use its smaller-yield tactical nukes, despite recent comments from the White House acknowledging no “imminent indication” of any such attack. “When I was out here about two years ago saying I worried about the Colorado river drying up, everybody looked at me like I was crazy,” he said, adding “They looked at me like when I said I worry about [Russian President Vladimir] Putin using tactical nuclear weapons. It’s real.”

The statement came after the president slammed Russia’s upcoming deployments as “totally irresponsible” over the weekend. He previously told reporters he felt “extremely negative” about the decision. Moscow and Minsk finalized an agreement on hosting tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory last month. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, the atomic warheads will be mounted on Iskander-M missiles and fighter jets specifically modified for the purpose. Russia first revealed that talks for the deployments were underway in March, and said the decision was a response after Britain supplied depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine last year. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko that “everything is going according to plan,” adding that preparations for the missiles would be completed by July.

Responding to critical reactions from US officials, the Russian Embassy in the United States previously accused Washington of hypocrisy on the issue, pointing to some 150 American nuclear missiles stationed across Western Europe and Türkiye. “The United States has been for decades maintaining a large arsenal of its nuclear weapons in Europe. Together with its NATO allies it participates in nuclear-sharing arrangements and trains for scenarios of nuclear weapons use against our country,” it said, adding “Before blaming others, Washington could use some introspection.”

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Building a formidable bloc.

Greater Eurasian Partnership Becomes Russia’s Flagship Project – Lavrov (TASS)

Building support for the Greater Eurasian Partnership project could be seen as the flagship project of Russia’s foreign policy, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. “Our flagship foreign political project is to [build] support for the concept of the Greater Eurasian Partnership. What we’re talking about is facilitating the objective process of forming a broad integrative configuration that is open for all countries and associations across our vast continent. Practical steps are already being made [in this direction],” Lavrov said.


These include the processes of interlinking the complementary development plans of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, expanding interaction within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with the involvement of SCO observer states and dialogue partners, strengthening the strategic partnership between Russia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and establishing working contacts among the executive bodies of the EAEU, SCO and ASEAN, the foreign minister noted. “Among the concrete deliverables [of these processes] we envision the provision of mutually beneficial, interlinking infrastructure and the creation of a continent-wide architecture of peace, development and cooperation throughout Greater Eurasia,” Lavrov added.

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“I could give you ten other statistics and they all point in the same direction. This is an empire that is declining..”

BRICS Expansion, De-Dollarization and ‘Decline of US Empire’ (Tweedie)

Economist Richard Wolff told Sputnik that the US displaced its mother country Britain as the world’s dominant imperial power around 1920 — and that history was now repeating itself. “The American empire didn’t work the same way. It didn’t set up colonies the way the British had in India or South Africa or any of the other places,” Wolff said. “It had a more informal empire. [From] The way it had managed to control Latin America throughout the early years of this country to how they expanded and controlled the world by economic arrangements, by political deals, by alliances.” But the US empire peaked around the year 2000, the academic said, and is now in “decline.” “We lost the wars in Vietnam. We lost the war in Afghanistan. We lost the war in Iraq,” Wolff said.

“It’s not clear what’s going to happen in Ukraine. But I wouldn’t bet money on a different outcome there either. And that war is a war between the United States and Russia more than anything else, with the disaster being concentrated on […] Ukraine.” While the US leads the G7 group of the biggest Western economies, “there’s a different and other bloc, and that’s what’s new, it’s the bloc called the BRICS.” “The BRICS now account for 33 per cent, one third of the total output of goods and services on this planet, whereas the United States and its allies have slipped to under 30 per cent, about 29 per cent of total output.” “I could give you ten other statistics and they all point in the same direction. This is an empire that is declining,” he added.

The conflict in Ukraine and Western sanctions on Russia — the world’s biggest energy and food grain exporter — has accelerated that downfall. “The economic war between Russia and Europe is being lost by Europe, not by Russia, which was not the intent, but is the outcome,” Wolff said. “The Europeans are going to have to ask themselves, which side are you on? Are you going to stay with the US and the G7 and heading down the slide of your bloc as the BRICS blocs rises, or are you going to choose the other way?” The academic pointed out that when the UK had the world’s greatest empire from the 17th to the 19th centuries, the pound sterling was the “global currency.” With the rise of the US in the 20th century the dollar usurped the pound.

“What that means is that everywhere in the world, people need dollars to do their business. Central banks hold dollars as that alongside of gold, as the guarantor of the value of their currency,” Wolff explained. Now BRICS has overtaken the G7 as “the dominant economic bloc in the world,” a new contest has begun which will end in “the decline of the dollar and the rise of whatever alternative the BRICS settle on, either the Chinese currency or a composite that they’re producing.”

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Everybody takes their cut…

Kiev Reportedly Can’t Account for ‘Hundreds of Millions’ in Weapons (Reed)

The Zelensky regime spent “hundreds of millions” on weapons which have yet to materialize, according to a damning new [NYT] article which reported serious problems throughout the Ukrainian military supply chain. “Ukrainian government documents show that as of the end of last year,” Kiev’s leaders “paid arms suppliers more than $800 million since… February 2022 for contracts that went completely or partly unfulfilled,” the outlet noted. “We did have cases where we paid money and we didn’t receive,” a deputy Ukrainian defense minister working on arms procurement reportedly confirmed. When weapons do show up, their quality is reportedly a major source of frustration. Video of a “recent delivery of 33 self-propelled howitzers donated by the Italian government…. showed smoke billowing from the engine of one, and engine coolant leaking from another,” according to the outlet.

In a statement, Italy’s Defense Ministry claimed the vehicles were known to have been decommissioned long ago but that the Kiev regime demanded them regardless. The weapons were always meant “to be overhauled and put into operation,” the ministry insisted, given what it called “the urgent need for means to face the Russian aggression.” But the headaches didn’t end there. Efforts to fix the faulty howitzers were complicated by another setback in January after Zelensky’s officials claimed they paid a US company to carry out the necessary repairs, but 13 of them were still “not suitable for combat missions” when received. In a February letter to the Pentagon’s inspector general, Ukraine’s defense procurement director effectively accused Ultra Defense Corporation of defrauding the Kiev regime of millions of dollars, claiming the Florida-based weapons supplier took $19.8 million of Ukrainian government funds with “no prior intention to fulfill its obligations.”

However, the company’s chief executive, Matthew Herring, strenuously denies the accusations. “Every single one of them worked when we delivered them,” he reportedly wrote. In a statement which accused the Ukrainians of failing to maintain the weapons upon their arrival, he noted that one howitzer suffered from a coolant leak which “magically appeared after delivery in Ukraine.” The episode isn’t the only instance where Kiev officials’ stories didn’t exactly match up with the entities they partnered with. The documents, reportedly the product of a government audit this year, “showed that some of the most valuable sets of undelivered contracts are between the Defense Ministry and state-owned Ukrainian arms companies that function as independent brokers.” “In recent months, the ministry has sued at least two of those state firms over unfulfilled contracts, and Ukraine recently announced overhauls aimed at making those companies more efficient,” the outlet reported.

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With all those millions/billions missing, let’s spend more, and faster…

EU Wants to Mandate Arms Makers to Prioritize Orders for Ukraine

The European Union put forward a “temporary emergency measure” which will obligate manufacturers of explosives to prioritize the orders of firms producing ammunition for Ukraine, the military news portal reported on Monday, citing a European Commission spokesperson. “The Commission’s proposal provides for priority rated orders to help manufacturers – for example – with the supply of necessary raw materials where the Commission could ask suppliers to prioritize selling to those manufacturers,” the spokesperson told the outlet. At the moment, the “emergency measure” is getting through the EU’s approval process, the spokesperson was cited as saying.


The initiative has already drawn criticism from a number of member states and private companies that fear the Commission will get too much power assuming the role of regulator of the ammunition market, according to the report. They argue the plan will create conditions for the violation of trade secrets or the disclosure of confidential information. The unnamed Commission spokesperson allayed these concerns by telling that “the Commission has long-standing experience in handling such information in the context of other procedures and has the necessary safeguards in place.” In early May, the Commission announced it would allocate 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) for the production of ammunition for Ukraine. The EU plans to spend another 500 million euros on expanding the production of shells in Europe.

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“German media have mocked it as the ‘Pannenpanzer,’ or “breakdown tank.”

German Armor Too Wide To Transport – Bild (RT)

Germany’s main infantry fighting vehicle, the Puma, is too wide to be transported by train, the outlet Bild reported on Sunday. The IFV has struggled with a variety of mechanical problems since entering service in 2015. “In terms of firepower, the Puma is really good. But the transport is more than suboptimal,” one soldier told Bild. Tracked vehicles such as tanks and IFVs are normally transported to the area of operations by train, in order to save on fuel and track maintenance. Because the Pumas are so wide, their crews need to unscrew their side armor before loading it onto the rail cars – then repeat the procedure in reverse at the destination. A company of 14 Pumas can be “completely loaded and stowed in 24 hours,” a Bundeswehr spokesperson told Bild.

Military experts estimated that transporting an entire battalion of 44 vehicles can take “a few days.” One big bottleneck is a shortage of cranes, but the military said Puma companies will be “equipped with them in the future.” Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann developed the Puma between 1995 and 2009 to replace the older Marder IVF, which Berlin has since supplied to the Ukrainian military. The specifications called for a vehicle that could be airlifted to places like Africa and Afghanistan. “The Puma shows what mistakes were made in procurement,” Andreas Schwarz, a Bundestag member from the ruling SPD, told Bild. “Instead of relying on battle-tested and marketable weapon systems, a panzer was developed according to special requests that is too wide for train transport. That must end.”

Word of the new problems with the Puma comes during a difficult month for the reputation of German armor, as photographic and video evidence from Ukraine showed Leopard 2 tanks provided to Kiev getting destroyed in battles with the Russian military. Berlin paused the purchase of new Pumas last December, after a disastrous exercise that saw one of the vehicles catch fire and all 18 break down. The vehicle is supposed to have superior crew protection and excellent firepower, including a 30mm autocannon and anti-tank missiles. However, German media have mocked it as the ‘Pannenpanzer,’ or “breakdown tank.”

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They’re probably making deals for a Ukraine that includes the Donbass (the richest part) and Crimea. But there will not be such a Ukraine.

BlackRock, JP Morgan Set Up ‘Reconstruction Bank’ For Ukraine (HE)

BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase are reportedly aiding the Ukrainian government in setting up a reconstruction bank that could see rebuilding projects being heavily invested in by private entities. The Financial Times noted that it would cost Ukraine roughly $411 billion to rebuild their country amid the onslaught of attacks by Russia, but the cost is continuing to increase. The Ukraine Development Fund is still in the early stages of setting up the reconstruction bank, but potential investors will get an inside preview of how things will look during a London conference that is set to take place this week. With the steep cost to rebuild, the Ukrainian government reached out to BlackRock in November to see if there was a conceivable way of attracting investments. JPMorgan was soon added in February.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed last month that he was working with the two financial institutions and consultants at McKinsey, per the report. Philipp Hildebrand, BlackRock vice-chair, said: “So many of today’s long-term challenges are best addressed through blended finance and this is one. You need these vehicles to mobilise capital at scale.” Though BlackRock and JPMorgan are offering their services, they will likely have the first look at potential investments in the Eastern European country. The report noted that the current development has only deepened JPMorgan’s relationship with its long-standing client, Ukraine. The financial institution has helped Ukraine raise more than $25 billion in sovereign debt since 2010, and it led in the country’s $20 billion debt reconstruction in 2022.

BlackRock has claimed that Ukraine needs a “development finance bank” that would provide the country with infrastructure, climate, and agriculture opportunities. This will apparently make them more attractive to other long-term investors. JPMorgan was added to the venture due to its debt expertise. Stefan Weiler, JPMorgan’s head of debt capital markets in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, said: “The fund is being set up to also give public and private sector investors the opportunity to invest into specific projects and sectors.” “There will be different sectoral funds that the fund identified as priorities for Ukraine. That aim is to maximise capital participation.” However, it does not appear that Ukraine is expected to receive such investments until the end of the conflict with Russia.

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“..if Harris were flat-out forced to resign, then Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) would automatically become president..”

Strange Days (James Howard Kunstler)

Strange doings at a strange time in a strange land. Videos of widespread military vehicle maneuvers around our nation popped up on the Web at mid-weekend while the American citizenry went about its holiday weekend business (including Father’s Day revels and “Juneteenth” celebration mass shootings): Scenes of armored personnel carriers rolling down Walnut Street in downtown Philly; B2 bomber wings over Minnesota; Tank columns galumphing along a California highway… leading to widespread suspicions that something untoward is up. Durned if I know what’s up. Among things one can know: The “Joe Biden” presidency is whirling around the drain in plain sight, and with it, likely, the Globalist hopes and dreams of making everybody eat bugs while they take away everything you own.

Last week, audiotapes surfaced of the main parties to the Ukraine grift (Biden and Poroshenko) working things out in 2016 over the phone in “JB’s” final days as vice-president. Meanwhile, the House Oversight Committee has got its mitts on Biden family bank records galore detailing the abstruse money-laundering activities that were run through obscure European banks and innumerable Biden shell companies. Well, sonofabitch…! It’s getting hard even for Democrats to ignore the accumulating evidence of the Biden family’s global grift operation, and “JB’s” obvious advancing mental deterioration, provoking moves that should lead to his ejection from office. Last week, their captive mainstream news media broadcast a cavalcade of embarrassing public idiocies committed by the Commander in Chief — declaring “God save the Queen” incongruously at the end of a Gun Safety Summit in Connecticut; groping actress Eva Longoria’s boobs after a White House movie screening; cracking a weird joke about the “Philadelphia girl” in his bed (Dr. Jill Biden); being introduced at an I-95 bridge collapse event by brain-damaged PA Senator John Fetterman who tossed up a word salad about the federal “delegadation” aiming to fix “infructure,” while dressed-up looking like Uncle Fester out of The Addams Family. The indignity of it all was really something to behold.

You understand, “Joe Biden’s” reelection campaign is another rank hoax, yet another trip laid on the American public by a desperate, degenerate Democratic Party that doesn’t know what to do next with public opinion souring on it. There’s no way this gibbering near-corpse can run again. He can’t even perform as a puppet anymore. He’s a broke-down engine pulling a train of failure, perfidy, and treason five miles long behind him. The Ukraine war project he presides over looks more and more like an effort to conceal and cover-up his family’s bribery schemes by laying waste to the pitiful chump of a foreign land that went along with the grift — and which, anyway, is winding up as yet another American military humiliation with the Russians finishing off what’s left of Ukraine’s army in the failed “spring offensive.”

Do you suppose that all these military vehicle movements around the country in recent days signal a constitutional crisis in the offing, necessitating martial law? Let me lay it out: Absolutely no one believes that Vice-president Kamala Harris is up to the job of stepping-in when “Joe Biden” gets bum-rushed out of the White House. Nor, I’m sure, are they willing to force her to resign hastily without a substitute vice-president (say, Gavin Newsom) in place — a cumbersome process that requires approval by both the House and Senate (with the Senate split 50-50 and no vice-president to preside over the body with a tie-breaking vote). But if Harris were flat-out forced to resign, then Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) would automatically become president.

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“..hate speech” includes the reluctance of some people online to use female pronouns when referring to transwomen..”

The New World War On Free Speech (Shellenberger)

The war on free speech is hardly a novel phenomenon, instead mutating over the centuries. What is new, however, is its global aspirations: today, the conflict takes the form of a world war. You can see its shadow in every Western country, from the US and Canada to Ireland and Australia, as well as in every multinational organisation, from the EU to the UN. Rising levels of hate speech and misinformation, we are told, make it more urgent than ever for governments, corporations and multilateral organisations to adopt stronger measures to protect vulnerable populations online. It is for this reason that Biden’s Department of Homeland Security recently created a “Disinformation Governance Board”, the European Commission crafted a new Digital Services Act and Code of Practice on Disinformation, and the UN is proposing a “Code of Conduct for Information Integrity on Digital Platforms”.

All of these initiatives are allegedly the product of good intentions; all of them, however, are rooted in the same fallacy: there is little evidence to suggest that hate speech and misinformation are on the rise. On the contrary, Western countries are more tolerant of racial, religious and sexual minorities than ever before. To take one example, the percentage of Americans who approve of marriages between white and black Americans has risen from 4% in 1958 to 87% in 2013 to 94% in 2021. There are, of course, plenty of examples of misinformation and hatred online, and Twitter and Facebook are right to reduce their spread — but often the threat is exaggerated. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), for instance, recently published a study that concluded that antisemitism was increasing on Twitter.

But there is no definitive evidence of rising hate online. The ISD study counted tweets criticising George Soros which didn’t mention his Judaism as antisemitic. Elsewhere, “hate speech” includes the reluctance of some people online to use female pronouns when referring to transwomen — even though one might oppose using female pronouns for natal males and harbour no animus toward transwomen. Here we can see that what people label as “hatred” and “misinformation” is often merely an opinion they don’t like or which they fear will encourage bad behaviour. In both the UK and the US, this led to government officials demanding that social media platforms censor “often-true” content, including about Covid vaccine side effects, out of fear that such stories would result in vaccine hesitancy.

What’s more, Facebook and Twitter have also started deleting a significant amount of true content. Between 2020 to 2021, for example, Facebook censored claims that the coronavirus came from a Chinese lab, even though that was always as likely, if not more so, than the natural-origin hypothesis. Twitter also censored an accurate New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop while allowing supporters of his father, Joe Biden, to falsely claim it was a result of “Russian disinformation”. The global campaign to censor disfavoured views on Twitter and Facebook is therefore rather curious. If there is no evidence that hatred and misinformation are increasing, and ample evidence of inappropriate censorship of true and accurate information, why are politicians across the West calling for greater power to censor?

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“Congress has also approved the building of a giant elephant statue in D.C. to honor the party responsible for the freeing of slaves from Democrat plantations..”

Juneteenth, The Day Republicans Freed All The Democrats’ Slaves (BBee)

The Senate has unanimously passed a resolution to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday, commemorating the glorious day Republicans freed the last of the Democrats’ slaves. “We are so proud to show the world how not racist we are by officially recognizing the day the Republicans came charging in to free all our slaves,” said Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer. “Yeah– we Democrats did a little ‘whoopsie’ with that whole slavery thing, but the Republicans corrected it. Thanks, Republicans!” During this year’s Juneteenth, the nation will gather to celebrate the American political party that was founded on protecting human rights of people of all skin colors.


Democrats around the country will write letters of apology and organize celebrations for the vast network of Christians, Catholics, Quakers, and Republicans who fought and died to end the scourge of slavery in America. Congress has also approved the building of a giant elephant statue in D.C. to honor the party responsible for the freeing of slaves from Democrat plantations. Biden has confirmed he will organize a celebration at the White House after he lays a wreath on the grave of his best friend Robert Byrd.

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Tom AI
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670759255044157440

 

 

Baby Hum
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670742749807620096

 

 

Tardigrade
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670749721365733376

 

 

Fibonacci

 

 

Manatee

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Jun 192023
 


Jusepe de Ribera A philosopher holding a mirror 1630

 

Ukrainian Forces May Be Temporarily Pausing Counteroffensive: ISW (RT)
Ukraine Sustains Massive Single-Day Losses – Russian MOD (RT)
NATO Chief Doesn’t Want ‘Frozen Conflict’ In Ukraine (RT)
Kiev Deploys Significant Military Forces Along Border With Belarus – CIS (TASS)
Russia’s Military Operation Virtually Turns Into Russia-West War – Kremlin (TASS)
Putin Does Not Rule Out That Zaluzhny Could Be Outside Ukraine (TASS)
Kremlin Promises Punishment For Threats To Kill Russians (RT)
‘No Chance’ Of Extending Black Sea Grain Deal – Kremlin (RT)
Obscure Results of Blinken’s Talks in Beijing Suggest Lack of Progress (Sp.)
Will Upcoming NATO Summit Launch Forever War In Europe? (Sacks)
Swedish Parliament Can’t Rule Out Russian Attack (RT)
United Nations Planning Digital ID Linked to Bank Accounts (SLAY)
Obama Calls For ‘Digital Fingerprints’ To Fight “Non-Mainstream News” (TPV)
Gang of Criminals Trying Trump – Paul Craig Roberts (USAW)
America on the Brink by David Ray Griffin (Paul Craig Roberts)
For Father’s Day, Hunter Negotiates 12% For The Big Guy (BBee)

 

 

 

 

McGovern

 

 

The last 10 years of the Donbass War. Watch!
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670402271929069570

 

 

 

 

Barry Joe Don

 

 

RFK Gates
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670407776307224578

 

 

The Peter Hotez vs. RFK Jr Charity Debate Pot Is Now Over $2.62 MILLION!!

But Hotez is just a drug pusher. He won’t debate.

Hotez

 

 

 

 

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has emerged as the no. 1 NATO “think tank”. They claim it’s totally normal to take a break in a mass offensive after 2 weeks, in which no gains have been made.

The WSJ is a tad more realistic but not much: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine have suspended the offensive, summing up the results of the past two weeks and analyzing ways to break through Russian lines without huge losses, writes the WSJ. The Armed Forces of Ukraine faced a serious superiority of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the air. Russian aviation was able to strike at the armored columns of NATO equipment and stopped a number of attacks.

Kyiv “maintains an optimistic tone” and says that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have moved forward on a number of fronts. But these advances “do not pose a direct threat to the main lines of defense of Russia, built in a few months in the Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions,” writes the WSJ.

Ukrainian Forces May Be Temporarily Pausing Counteroffensive: ISW (RT)

Ukrainian forces may be temporarily pausing counteroffensive operations to reevaluate their tactics for future operations, Report informs, citing the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW). “Ukraine has not yet committed the majority of its available forces to counteroffensive operations and has not yet launched its main effort. Operational pauses are a common feature of major offensive undertakings, and this pause does not signify the end of Ukraine’s counteroffensive,” said ISW.

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Here’s the reality of the offensive:

Ukraine Sustains Massive Single-Day Losses – Russian MOD (RT)

Ukrainian military forces have sustained heavy casualties across frontlines during the past 24-hour period, the Russian Defense Ministry has said. Russia’s Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions have seen the most intense fighting, with Kiev losing more than 800 soldiers there alone. “Over the past day, enemy losses in the Southern Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions amounted to more than 800 Ukrainian servicemen, 20 tanks, four infantry fighting vehicles, [and] 15 armored fighting vehicles,” the military said on Sunday during a daily media briefing, without elaborating on whether its figures for casualties includes those killed and injured or related just to deaths. As well as these setbacks in personnel and equipment, Ukrainian troops also lost two US-made M777 howitzers and several Soviet-made artillery systems, the military added.


The immediate vicinity of Donetsk city has seen intense fighting as well, with Ukrainian forces losing over 200 soldiers on this axis, according to the ministry. The Russian military has destroyed multiple soft and armored vehicles on the outskirts of Donetsk, it also said, as well as two major ammunition stockpiles to the northwest of the city. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has intensified after Kiev launched its long-heralded counteroffensive in early June. Thus far, the Ukrainian military has failed to make any major gains, sustaining heavy losses in the process and losing large amounts of Western-supplied hardware. According to the estimates of Moscow’s military, some 7,500 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or wounded amid the counteroffensive effort.

Putin Patriots
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670498776593702912

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Stoltenberg wants the slaughter to continue:

NATO Chief Doesn’t Want ‘Frozen Conflict’ In Ukraine (RT)

The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia should not be paused at the current stage, but rather a just solution must be found, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said. He also expressed confidence that Kiev would one day join the US-led military bloc, adding, however, that this was not an immediate priority. In an interview with Germany’s Welt am Sonntag published on Sunday, Stoltenberg argued that, while “we all want this war to end,” only a “just” peace can endure. “Peace cannot mean freezing the conflict and accepting a deal that is dictated by Russia,” he asserted, adding that “only Ukraine can define the conditions that are acceptable.” Stoltenberg called for “credible” security guarantees for Kiev once the conflict is over, “so that Russia cannot rearm and attack again.”

Asked about the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, Stoltenberg predicted that this would happen at some point in the future. However, he said the current priority is ensuring that “Ukraine prevails as a sovereign and independent state.” He also revealed that current member states are planning to adopt an aid package for Kiev during the alliance’s upcoming summit in Vilnius next month. The goal is to help Ukraine bring its military in line with NATO standards over several years, he explained. Last month, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told TASS news agency that Moscow was “in solidarity” with the West to the extent that the conflict in Ukraine cannot be frozen. He said the only option that Moscow is currently considering is “completing the special military operation,” which means securing Russia’s interests and achieving its goals.

Peskov also expressed skepticism over the possibility of peace talks between the two countries at this point. “It is unlikely that we can talk about real negotiations with any of the representatives of the current Kiev authorities, because there [in Ukraine], any negotiations with the Russian Federation are simply prohibited now,” the Kremlin spokesperson explained. In May, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said any peace talks could not aim to freeze the conflict in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Politico, citing anonymous sources, reported that US President Joe Biden’s administration was considering putting the fighting on hold instead of pushing for Ukraine’s victory. Officials in Washington have reportedly envisaged a situation akin to that in existence between North and South Korea.

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Keep an eye on this. And think: what troops?

Kiev Deploys Significant Military Forces Along Border With Belarus – CIS (TASS)

The Ukrainian army has deployed a significant military contingent along the border with Belarus and periodically tries to test the defense capability of the Union State. Head of the second department of the CIS countries at the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexey Polishchuk said it in an interview with TASS. “The information that we have and that has been repeatedly voiced in the statements of officials indicates that the Ukrainian army has indeed deployed significant forces along the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, periodically trying to probe the defense capability of the Union State in one way or another,” Polishchuk said.


The diplomat recalled that under these conditions, since October 2022, additional units of the joint Regional Group of Forces have been deployed in Belarus. “Their task is to serve as a deterrent from invading the territory of the Union State and to minimize the risks of infiltration by sabotage and reconnaissance groups. We proceed from the fact that the Russian and Belarusian means available in the area are sufficient to repel aggression from the territory of Ukraine or neighboring NATO countries,” Polischuk stressed. “We hope that the Kiev regime and their Western curators will have the common sense not to undertake military adventures, the consequences of which for them may be very serious,” he said.

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“cordon sanitaire”

Russia’s Military Operation Virtually Turns Into Russia-West War – Kremlin (TASS)

Russia’s special military operation started to defend the Donbass region and now it has virtually turned into a war with the collective West, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with RT commenting on the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine. “In fact, the special military operation against Ukraine, against the Kiev regime, was launched to ensure the safety of the people of Donbass. This is correct. Now it is practically a war between Moscow and the collective West,” the Kremlin spokesman said.


Recalling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement about establishing a “cordon sanitaire” on the territory of Ukraine if the shelling of Russian regions continues, Peskov said that as the range of weapons delivered to Ukraine expands, so will the buffer zone, “that is, the distance that we will have to move Ukrainians away from our territories.”

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Of course Putin knows where he is. There was a report in early May that Zaluhzny was gravely injured in a Russian attack, that he would live, but couldn’t re-take command. Since then he’s been missing, and no signal someone else has taken over. This is the Ukrainian Army Commander-in-Chief. Who’s in charge now?

As for the chief of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Kirill Budanov, reports say he died.

Putin Does Not Rule Out That Zaluzhny Could Be Outside Ukraine (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin does not rule out that Ukrainian Army Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny could be abroad, Putin said during a conversation with Russian journalists covering the special military operation in Ukraine. “I know. I think I know,” the president said in response to a question about Zaluzhny’s whereabouts. “I think he is abroad. But I could be wrong,” Putin said.


The media first reported Zaluzhny’s serious injury in May. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied the information, but Zaluzhny has not been seen in public for a long time and did not attend a NATO committee meeting at the level of chiefs of staff. Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin told reporters earlier that Russia was receiving updates on Zaluzhny’s condition, but wouldn’t disclose any details. Earlier, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar denied speculation that Zaluzhny had been wounded.

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“The members of parliament in those countries, they should understand to whom they are sending their aid – to de-facto murderers; people who declare their intention to kill..”

Kremlin Promises Punishment For Threats To Kill Russians (RT)

Any persons threatening to kill Russians are enemies who should be and will be punished for doing so, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov has warned. On Sunday, Peskov was asked by channel Rossyia 1 to comment on the words of Mikhail Podoliak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who said last week that Kiev’s long-awaited counteroffensive would be “the most brutal advance with the maximum killing of Russians on this route.” “That’s what our enemies say, and we have to fight them. You can’t threaten the Russians with murder. Russians should punish [them] for this, and we will do so,” the Kremlin spokesperson pointed out. He noted that Podoliak was “not a pioneer” in this regard, as the chief of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Kirill Budanov and members of the country’s Security Council have also “repeatedly talked about their desire to kill as many Russians as possible.”


According to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the headquarters of GUR in Kiev had been hit by Russian missiles in late May. The Defense Ministry said the successful strike targeted “decision-making centers” in Ukraine “where terrorist attacks on Russian soil were being planned under the guidance of specialists from Western intelligence agencies.” Peskov also said that he wanted the statements about killing Russian citizens made by Podoliak and other Ukrainian officials to be evaluated by Kiev’s foreign backers. “The members of parliament in those countries, they should understand to whom they are sending their aid – to de-facto murderers; people who declare their intention to kill,” he explained.

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A set-up. Russia will be blamed.

‘No Chance’ Of Extending Black Sea Grain Deal – Kremlin (RT)

The deal allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported via the Black Sea has “no chance” of being extended as things stand at the moment, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. Russia has “shown goodwill several times, made concessions” and extended the agreement, but what was promised to Moscow as part of the deal still hasn’t been fulfilled, he said in an interview with Izvestia newspaper on Saturday. “It’s hardly possible to predict some sort of a final decision here, but we can only state that – judging de facto by the status that we now have – this deal has no chance,” Peskov explained. “The deal implies deeds; deeds on the part of the contracting states or organizations. And one part of this deal was done, and the second part, which related to [promises made to] Russia, was never done,” the spokesman claimed.

The deal brokered by the UN and Türkiye was signed in July 2022, providing for the safe shipment of Ukrainian grain though Black Sea corridors in exchange for the US and EU removing obstacles to exports of Russian food products and fertilizers. The West has claimed that it never restricted those items, but Moscow has argued that it still couldn’t supply them to foreign buyers due to shipping, insurance and brokerage sanctions, which were imposed on Moscow over its conflict with Kiev. The initial agreement lasted for 120 days, but was extended several times since then. It’s now set to expire on July 17.

Speaking to a delegation of African leaders in St. Petersburg on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “the supply of Ukrainian grain to world markets doesn’t solve the problems of African countries in need of food.” Despite the West promising that the deal would help the poorest nations, only 3.1% of the shipments of Ukrainian grain have ended up in Africa, with 38.9% of them going to the EU, he explained. Earlier this week, Putin said Moscow “was thinking about exiting this grain deal” because nothing had been done to facilitate Russia’s food and fertilizer exports. He also said safety corridors in the Black Sea had been used by Ukraine to launch naval drones.

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No red carpet. Bloomberg reports this morning that Xi will see him after all.

Obscure Results of Blinken’s Talks in Beijing Suggest Lack of Progress (Sp.)

The ambiguity surrounding the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing and his talks with Chinese officials there suggests that little progress has been made in terms of Washington’s agenda, the US media reports. Antony Blinken arrived in Beijing on June 18 in what became his first visit to China in his current role and also the first US Secretary of State visit to Beijing since 2018. It took the Biden administration almost six months to put this visit back on the schedule as it was originally set for February. Blinken has already met with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who said on Sunday that China-US relations were at their lowest point.

The US media reported on Sunday that the ambiguity following the talks indicates little substantive progress on Blinken’s agenda items, which include concerns over Taiwan, jailed US citizens in China and Beijing’s stance on Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Blinken and Qin Gang are said to be “inching toward an off-ramp from months of rancor” but Beijing maintains its “stern” stance on key issues.

According to the Monday schedule published by the US State Department, Blinken holds talks with China’s Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi on Monday morning. The US State Secretary will then participate in a roundtable with exchange program alumni in Beijing and a separate roundtable with US business leaders. He also plans to meet with employees and families of the US Mission China in Beijing. It is notable, that Blinken’s Monday schedule does not include meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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“Polish or Ukrainian tails should not wag American dogs into World War III. ”

Will Upcoming NATO Summit Launch Forever War In Europe? (Sacks)

An article in the New York Times on Wednesday claimed that pressure is building on Biden to announce a timetable for Ukrainian membership in NATO at its Vilnius Summit next month. Supposedly Biden is “isolated” among NATO allies in his reluctance to do so, even though that claim is contradicted by the story’s own last paragraph (the one that Noam Chomsky once quipped should be read first), which acknowledges that “others argue more quietly” that NATO membership “could give Mr. Putin more incentive to continue the war, or to escalate it.” Indeed, since Moscow has already declared NATO membership for Ukraine to be completely unacceptable and an existential threat — the prevention of which is one of its chief war aims — a Vilnius Declaration that Ukraine will join NATO when the war ends will effectively ensure that the war goes on forever.

It will also take off the table the West’s central bargaining chip to achieve peace, which is a neutral Ukraine. It’s clear that the “pressure” on Biden is coming from Zelensky and some of the eastern NATO countries, specifically Poland and the Baltic States. Zelensky said two weeks ago that Ukraine would not even attend the Vilnius Summit unless given a firm signal on its eventual membership. Former NATO secretary general Anders Rasmussen, now a consultant to Zelensky, even threatened that “if NATO cannot agree on a clear path forward for Ukraine, there is a clear possibility that some countries individually might take action.” In particular, “the Poles would seriously consider going in,” triggering direct war between NATO and Russia.

The NYT article implies that the current secretary general Jens Stoltenberg agrees with the hardliners on the need for a concrete timetable for Ukraine’s admission into NATO, but he made no such promises during his joint address with President Biden on Tuesday. By Wednesday, Stoltenberg and NATO were making it clear that no specific timeline for Ukraine’s NATO membership would be on the agenda in Vilnius. He reiterated comments from April that “Ukraine’s future is in NATO,” and said there would be agreement from member states on a “multi-year program” to help Ukraine “become fully interoperable with NATO,” but wouldn’t commit to anything more specific than that. Apparently, it’s Zelensky and his allies along the Russian border who are “isolated,” not President Biden. Whatever Stoltenberg’s personal views may be, he knows NATO is divided on the question of admitting Ukraine in the near future.

Even the NYT name-checks three countries – Germany, Hungary, and Turkey – whose leaders would definitely oppose membership at a specific future date. Many more leaders have privately expressed concern, and Biden, to his credit, appears to be one of them. While his overall conduct and rhetoric has been hawkish (and I continue to maintain he could have avoided this war altogether with better diplomacy in the months leading up to it), Biden has been admirably consistent in his desire not to plunge America into direct war with Russia. The threats from Rasmussen underscore how easily a proxy war can turn into a real one in an alliance where all members are pledged to come to the military defense of any one member. The American people may begin to question the wisdom of making new Article 5 guarantees if foreigners like Rassmussen can use existing ones to blackmail the United States into reckless action.

Polish or Ukrainian tails should not wag American dogs into World War III.

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They smoke good stuff there.

Swedish Parliament Can’t Rule Out Russian Attack (RT)

A Russian attack on Sweden cannot be entirely excluded, Swedish public broadcaster SVT said on Sunday, citing a report prepared by the country’s parliamentary defense committee. “An armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out,” the broadcaster cited the document as saying. “Russia has also further lowered its threshold for the use of military force and exhibits a high political and military risk appetite,” the document stated, according to SVT. “Russia’s ability to carry out operations with air forces, naval forces, long-range weapons or nuclear weapons against Sweden remains intact.” The report is due to be presented to the public on Monday. SVT cited an unnamed person who worked on the document as saying that officials intend to send “a clear signal to Russia.”


Last year, Sweden walked away from its long-standing policy of non-alignment and applied to join NATO, citing Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine. The application process has since stalled as Hungary and Türkiye have so far refused to approve the Nordic country’s bid. Sweden announced plans to drastically increase its defense budget earlier this year, and, in April through May, held its largest military exercise in over 25 decades. Stockholm has supplied Kiev with heavy weapons, and pledged to deliver its German-made Leopard 2 tanks and Archer mobile artillery guns. Russia has repeatedly said that military aid to Ukraine makes Western countries de facto direct parties to the conflict. Moscow also stressed that the continuing expansion of NATO would lead to additional escalation, and promised to adopt “countermeasures.”

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We need enough people to say no. Millions. This is just too tempting for the power hungry.

United Nations Planning Digital ID Linked to Bank Accounts (SLAY)

The United Nations (UN) is planning to introduce a global digital ID system that is linked to individuals’ bank accounts. The plan, which is similar to the system developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF), is outlined in three new policy briefs from the UN titled, “A Global Digital Compact, Reforms to the International Financial Architecture, and The Future of Outer Space Governance.” The goal of the briefs is to advance UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s “vision for the future.” Officially titled “Our Common Agenda,” Guterres’ “vision” should be given the green light in September 2024 during an event dubbed, “The Summit for the Future.” From the report:

“Digital IDs linked with bank or mobile money accounts can improve the delivery of social protection coverage and serve to better reach eligible beneficiaries. Digital technologies may help to reduce leakage, errors and costs in the design of social protection programmes.” Not unlike their unofficial counterparts over at the WEF, the UN also speaks about basically regulating the global digital future. The unelected organization uses phrases such as “international cooperation” and “many stakeholders” who will “advance principles, objectives, and actions” to describe this globalist agenda. The UN describes this goal as “an open, free, secure and human-centered digital future.”

The digital future as envisaged by these groups is going to be quite the opposite of open, free, or human-centric, however. As far as the UN’s “vision” for a future global financial system, it is supposed to be harmonized with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It would be governed by something called “the apex body” that is yet to be set up. The key actors here would be the UN chief, as well as the Group of 20, the Economic and Social Council, and “heads of international financial institutions.” Within this, the UN sees “visions” of “a Global Digital Compact.”

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“Obama infamously won Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2013 by telling Americans, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it..”

Obama Calls For ‘Digital Fingerprints’ To Fight “Non-Mainstream News” (TPV)

Former President Barack Hussein Obama has called for “digital fingerprints” to be mandatory to help law enforcement agencies target and arrest users who read and share “non-mainstream news” online. In a new interview, Obama said the development of new tracking technology could help identify users who spread “fake news” online. Tracking those users and punishing them would help bolster mainstream news outlets on the internet, Obama argues. Slaynews.com reports: Obama sat down with his former White House senior adviser David Axelrod for a conversation on the latter’s podcast, “The Axe Files,” on CNN Audio. During the interview, Axelrod noted he’s seen “misinformation, disinformation, [and] deepfakes” targeting Obama.

[..] Obama then suggested “digital fingerprints” to discern truth from misinformation. “And the need for us, for the general public, I think to be more discriminating consumers of news and information, the need for us to overtime develop technologies to create watermarks or digital fingerprints so we know what is true and what is not true,” he said. “There’s a whole bunch of work that’s going to have to be done there, but in the short term, it’s really going to be up to the American people to kind of say.” Obama and Axelrod went on to say that today many consumers are only viewing information from sources they are predisposed to agree with and will likely believe what they see. “Obviously, we saw that during the vaccination stuff,” added Obama, referring to Covid shots. “So, I am concerned about it.

[..] Last year, Obama announced that his foundation would be launching a new initiative to combat misinformation. Days later, Obama angered conservatives with a speech at Stanford University warning of the dangers of “disinformation.” During the speech, Obama said, “All we see is a constant feed of content where useful factual information and happy diversions, and cat videos flow alongside lies, conspiracy theories, junk science, quackery, white supremacist, racist tracts, misogynist screeds.” Critics were quick to point out that Obama promoted the debunked narrative that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. Obama infamously won Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2013 by telling Americans, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” referring to the Affordable Care Act.

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“The Department of Justice, which is a gang of criminals, is trying Trump, and they are getting away with it.”

Gang of Criminals Trying Trump – Paul Craig Roberts (USAW)

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (PCR), former Assistant Treasury Secretary and international award-winning journalist, is worried about freedom and liberty. PCR says with the latest arrest and prosecution of President Trump, freedom and liberty is dead in America. PCR explains, “What they do makes it clear they have no claim that they are representatives of justice holding lawbreakers responsible. They are the lawbreakers — they themselves. You go to trial and it’s the criminals who are trying you, and that’s what’s happened in the United States. This is happening to President Trump. This is exactly what is happening to him. The Department of Justice, which is a gang of criminals, is trying Trump, and they are getting away with it.

I can’t predict, but we are going to find out by the next presidential election . . . whether we are a country or not. What’s going to happen? Are people going to wake up and stop this? If this coup stays in place, the United States no longer exists.” PCR says, “What is being done is a lesson is being taught to all future political candidates. If you try to represent the people instead of the elite, we are going to destroy you – period. So, if they succeed in destroying Trump, and if the people permit that and don’t rise up and prevent it, then what you have from now on in the United States is tyranny. If democracy cannot put into office someone who stands for the people who elected that person, then there is no democracy and there is no rule of law.

If you have no rule of law, you have the rule of whoever is in power. In other words, it is the total end of any claim there is any freedom, any civil liberty or any accountability. This is extremely serious. This is an all-out assault. The elite are attempting to completely destroy any accountability that would ever get in the way of their agendas. So, this is only to be the agendas of the elite, and never ever any agenda of the people.” PCR also warns, “The United States is the Constitution. If the Constitution is destroyed, the United States is destroyed. So, if they destroy it, they have destroyed us.” PCR, who was an Assistant Treasury Secretary in the Reagan Administration, also talks about the coming collapse of the U.S dollar and extreme inflation that is not a matter of if but when. It could be sooner than you think.

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“The inability of America to accept its scaled-down position is leading to nuclear war.”

America on the Brink by David Ray Griffin (Paul Craig Roberts)

David Ray Griffins’s works represent the epitome of Western Civilization. Scholars of his distinction and commitment are no longer possible. The replacement mechanism has been destroyed by the criminalization of Western Civilization and free inquiry. In place of scholars, universities are now homes for Woke ideologues who hate Western Civilization and white people and carry on campaigns against both. Everywhere we see this. Monuments removed. Plaques taken down. Universities denouncing and removing memorabilia of those who founded the universities. The white ethnicities demonized beyond repair as racists, oppressors, exploiters. When I look at the Western World, I see the passing of truth as it leaves going to where? Where does truth go when it is no longer allowed? Does it simply cease to exist? Does it reappear elsewhere? If only I could have had this discussion with David Ray Griffin.

Professor Griffin gave us, if memory serves, 10 books or more about the 9/11 and anthrax deceptions that were used to commit the US to the utter ruin of its reputation with its falsely based wars in the Middle East. In his posthumous book, America on the Brink (Clarity Press, 2023), Griffin notes that America’s neoconservative foreign policy is bringing us to nuclear confrontation with Russia. Griffin points out that the neoconservatives’ notion of American hegemony over the world has origins in the 1845 idea of America’s “manifest destiny.” This destiny spread from the US where it destroyed the Confederacy and the Plains Indians to Mexico, South America, the West Indies, and Canada. In 1850 an American newspaper editor declared that the American empire extended to the “gates of the Chinese empire which must be thrown down.” Moreover, declared the editor, “the American eagle of the republic shall poise itself over the field of Waterloo” and the successor of George Washington must “ascend the chair of universal empire.”

So, Empire is the answer. But is it? When foreign policy is based on bribing and intimidating other countries, diplomacy becomes the application of force. For the United States to impose its hegemony on other countries and to be always at war raises questions whether the United States is a democracy, or whether the soul that the Founding Fathers attempted to implant in the new country was ejected early in its history. The neoconservatives justify US hegemony on the grounds of their claim that the US is “benevolent” and its imperial power is benign. But as David Ray Griffin points out, after Iran, Cuba, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Panama, Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia, and Ukraine, and, of course Venezuela, Julian Assange, and others, the world sees nothing benevolent or benign in Washington.

Instead, the world sees systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless crimes and has come to regard America as the greatest danger to the world. Indeed, America is seen as the embodiment of evil. This has eroded American leadership and has resulted in other power centers disengaging from the Washington-dominated Western World, leaving Washington with aspirations in excess of its capability. The inability of America to accept its scaled-down position is leading to nuclear war.

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“I literally handed the FBI a film of myself committing felonies, and not a peep. I don’t know how he does it, that doddering old weirdo!”

For Father’s Day, Hunter Negotiates 12% For The Big Guy (BBee)

In a touching Father’s Day gesture, Hunter Biden has negotiated for twelve percent of incoming bribes from foreign governments to go to his Dad. “It means the world to me,” said an emotional President Biden. “Well, more accurately, it means about $2.3 million in my bank account.” According to White House sources, Hunter wanted to do something extra special this year to show President Biden how much he appreciated being shielded from DOJ investigations. “Dad really came through this year,” said Hunter. “I literally handed the FBI a film of myself committing felonies, and not a peep. I don’t know how he does it, that doddering old weirdo! Anyhow, ‘The Big Guy’ has earned himself an extra two percent of my bribery — er, consulting money.”


Hunter Biden will also reportedly take his father out for a nice Father’s Day lunch at the Han Palace. “It will be nice to have a quiet lunch with just me, Dad, and several high-level members of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Hunter. “I did request they bring in some different waitresses for our lunch though. Last time it was super disappointing – nothing but yellows.” At publishing time, President Biden had declined a Father’s Day call from one of his grandkids, as he wasn’t sure if it was from the one he pretends doesn’t exist.

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Eagle

 

 

Firebird
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670356102360211456

 

 


The Oxford Electric Bell has been running for 180+ years thanks to a battery that no one knows what it’s made of. The exact composition is unknown, but it is known that they were protected with molten sulfur to isolate them and are believed to be Zamboni cells.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 112023
 
 June 11, 2023  Posted by at 8:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Gustave Caillebotte Rue Mont-Cenis, Montmartre 1880

 

Rasmussen ‘Out of His Mind’ for Saying NATO Should Send Troops to Ukraine (Sp.)
Ukrainian Counteroffensive Runs Into Defensive Wall (Scott Ritter)
How JFK Would Pursue Peace in Ukraine (Jeffrey Sachs)
US/NATO Ultimate Goal is to Take Over Ukrainian Land, People, Resources (Sp.)
How Ukraine Has Become A Magnet For Western Neo-Nazis (Trenin)
Defense Ministry Reveals How Many Russians Volunteered For Army (RT)
US Can’t Recruit Enough Green Berets – Media (RT)
Whether Blinken Comes Or Not, The US Has Lessons To Make Up For (Global Times)
Jack Smith Takes Down Two Trump Lawyers Using Compelled Testimony (CTH)
Hillary Clinton Trolls Trump Following Federal Indictment (RT)
Time For House GOP To Drop Everything And Target Merrick Garland (Fed.)
End of US Dollar Dominance Approaching – Top Russian Banker (RT)
‘Establishment’ Asked Facebook To ‘Censor’ Covid Posts – Zuckerberg (RT)
Japan Orders Investigation Into Covid Jabs As Excess Deaths Skyrocket (TPV)

 

 

The real story of Ted Kaczynski is that Harvard forced him at 16 to be part of the CIA’s psychological control study known as MKULTRA, turning him from math prodigy with a 167 IQ into the Unabomber.

 

 

Seymour Hersh: Russia is a big country with a lot more resources. She cannot lose the war. She just can’t lose. It will not happen. This is a physical impossibility. The fact is that the border countries wanted Zelensky to make peace, cease fire, and return people. China is ready to invest heavily in recovery. And China is likely to benefit from it. It was one of the conditions, I believe it was one of the discussions that were made between Xi and Putin when they had their summit meeting in April. This is not a public statement. I was told about this by people who are in the subject, that they were discussing restoration. So I don’t know why Zelensky is slowing down. He cannot win the war. And so he is being pressured to end the war. It’s just amazing that they don’t write about it because it’s a story that goes against the rhetoric. They don’t write about it here, they write about it in Europe and the world, but they don’t write about it here, because it contradicts political rhetoric, including rhetoric against Putin.

 

 

 

 

Chaffetz

 

 

 

 

Kari Lake
https://twitter.com/i/status/1667384783792381952

 

 

Solomon

 

 

The Crown Prince claimed “he will not deal with the U.S. administration or their inept president anymore,” a document says, promising “major economic consequences for Washington.” Last fall, Joe Biden’s childish bravado and big mouth vowed to impose “consequences” on Saudi Arabia for its decision to slash oil production amid soaring U.S. gasoline prices. He had also blamed the Crown Prince for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and said he should be punished.

In public, the Saudi government has been diplomatic but in private, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman refused to shake hands with Biden, settling for a ‘fist bump’. He laughs at Joe Biden and has threatened to fundamentally alter the decades-old U.S.-Saudi relationship and impose significant economic costs on the U.S. especially if their inane president calls for retaliation against newly announced Saudi and Russian oil cuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Poland especially, has designs on the western part of Ukraine. I don’t think their intention would be to defend Ukraine, I think it is to take it apart.”

“I think it’s desperation on the part of Europe generally. I think it represents a desperation that Ukraine is not winning..”

Rasmussen ‘Out of His Mind’ for Saying NATO Should Send Troops to Ukraine (Sp.)

If Poland or other Eastern European states were to try and send troops into Ukraine, it would make widening the war almost inevitable, including into their own countries, a former Pentagon analyst told Sputnik. Fortunately, few in Brussels are likely to take the “insane” advice of the former NATO chief that suggested it. On Wednesday, former NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen told reporters that several Eastern European members of the alliance were prepared to send troops into Ukraine to support the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky if Washington refuses to give Kiev certain security guarantees at the forthcoming summit in Vilnius next month. “If NATO cannot agree on a clear path forward for Ukraine, there is a clear possibility that some countries individually might take action,” Rasmussen said.

“We know that Poland is very engaged in providing concrete assistance to Ukraine. And I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that Poland would engage even stronger in this context on a national basis and be followed by the Baltic states, maybe including the possibility of troops on the ground … I think the Poles would seriously consider going in and assemble a ‘coalition of the willing’ if Ukraine doesn’t get anything in Vilnius.” Michael Maloof, former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik on Thursday that “for Rasmussen to make such irresponsible comments either tells me he had a bad day or he’s just out of his mind.” “As a practical matter, it will not be done. I think he’s out of his mind. And I think to try and engage and involve Europe further into that conflict is insanity.”

The Brussels-based alliance operates off a principle of collective self-defense, meaning an attack on one member state is interpreted as an attack on all 31 member states. It’s unclear if NATO would attempt to trigger the rule, known as “if a member’s troops come under fire while operating in another non-member country’s territory. Ukraine has long sought membership in the alliance, but so far been rebuffed due to ongoing problems with corruption and its unresolved territorial disputes with the Russian Federation. “What it seems to represent, I think, is that the eastern part of Europe is basically trying to take over NATO in terms of direction and influence. And also, Poland especially, has designs on the western part of Ukraine. I don’t think their intention would be to defend Ukraine, I think it is to take it apart.”

[..] Maloof said Rasmussen, who previously served as NATO’s secretary general from 2009 to 2014 and was also the Prime Minister of Denmark, “should know better, frankly,” than to make such a comment. “I think it’s desperation on the part of Europe generally. I think it represents a desperation that Ukraine is not winning. And I think that’s what it basically shows. And so they’re trying to look for all avenues to try and help Ukraine. Their stockpiles of spare weapons are depleting very, very quickly. So are ours,” Maloof said.

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“As the world comes to grips with the imagery of destroyed US-manufactured M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and German-made Leopard 2A6 tanks abandoned and burning on the Ukrainian steppe, the harsh truth regarding the futility of its larger designs—the strategic defeat of Russia—is starting to sink in.”

Ukrainian Counteroffensive Runs Into Defensive Wall (Scott Ritter)

Over the course of the past few days, Ukraine has thrown two of its best-trained, best-equipped mechanized brigades into offensive operations against entrenched Russian defenders in the Zaporozhye sector of the front lines. These two brigades had been hand-picked for this job, having been equipped with modern Western tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, supported by Western-supplied artillery, and using NATO-specific tactics shaped by NATO-provided intelligence and NATO operational planning. In short, these two brigades represented a top-level NATO-level capability, the epitome of the nexus between Ukraine and the Collective West in their ongoing war to destroy Russia. They failed. As the world comes to grips with the imagery of destroyed US-manufactured M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and German-made Leopard 2A6 tanks abandoned and burning on the Ukrainian steppe, the harsh truth regarding the futility of its larger designs—the strategic defeat of Russia—is starting to sink in.


The reality, however, is that Ukraine was never going to achieve its stated objective of punching through the Russian defenses to sever the land bridge connecting Crimea with Russia proper. This was pie-in-the-sky thinking promulgated by Ukraine’s Western supporters to motivate the Ukrainians into committing the equivalent of mass suicide to inflict similarly prohibitive casualties among the Russian defenders. The Western hope was that Russia would become demoralized by these casualties and accept a negotiated end to the conflict on terms acceptable to both Ukraine and its Western allies. So far, Ukraine and its Western allies have failed. The genesis of this failure can be traced to two things. First, the low-opinion Ukraine and their NATO allies had regarding the combat capabilities of the Russian army, and in particular those forces deployed in the Zaporozhye region, and second, the unrealistic expectations assigned to NATO training and equipment that had been provided to the Ukrainian forces assigned the task of breaking through the Russian defenses.

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“that war is inevitable—that mankind is doomed—that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. We need not accept that view. Our problems are man-made—therefore, they can be solved by man.”

How JFK Would Pursue Peace in Ukraine (Jeffrey Sachs)

President John F. Kennedy was one of the world’s great peacemakers. He led a peaceful solution to the Cuban Missile Crisis and then successfully negotiated the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union at the very height of the Cold War. At the time of his assassination, he was taking steps to end US involvement in Vietnam. In his dazzling and unsurpassed Peace Speech, delivered exactly sixty years ago on June 10, 1963, Kennedy laid out his formula for peace with the Soviet Union. Kennedy’s Peace Speech highlights how Joe Biden’s approach to Russia and the Ukraine War needs a dramatic reorientation. Until now, Biden has not followed the precepts that Kennedy recommended to find peace. By heeding Kennedy’s advice, Biden too could become a peacemaker.

A mathematician would call JFK’s speech a “constructive proof” of how to make peace, since the speech itself contributed directly to the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed by the US and Soviet Union in July 1963. Upon receipt of the speech, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told Kennedy’s envoy to Russia, Averell Harriman, that the speech was the greatest by an American president since Franklin D. Roosevelt, and that he wanted to pursue peace with Kennedy. In the speech, Kennedy describes peace “as the necessary rational end [goal] of rational men.” Yet he acknowledges that peacemaking is not easy: “I realize that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war—and frequently the words of the pursuer fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.”

The deepest key to peace, in Kennedy’s view, is the fact that both sides want peace. It is easy to fall into the trap, warns Kennedy, of blaming a conflict only on the other side. It is easy to fall into the trap of insisting that only the adversary should change their attitudes and behavior. Kennedy is very clear: “We must reexamine our own attitude—as individuals and as a Nation—for our attitude is as essential as theirs.” Kennedy attacked the prevailing pessimism at the height of the Cold War that peace with the Soviet Union was impossible, “that war is inevitable—that mankind is doomed—that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. We need not accept that view. Our problems are man-made—therefore, they can be solved by man.”

Crucially, said Kennedy, we must not “see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side.” We must not “see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.” Indeed, said Kennedy, we should “hail the Russian people for their many achievements—in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture and in acts of courage.” Kennedy warned against putting a nuclear adversary into a corner that could lead the adversary to desperate actions. “Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy—or of a collective death wish for the world.”

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“There is talk here in Washington that the Ukrainian generals might depose Zelensky and enter into negotiations with Moscow..”

US/NATO Ultimate Goal is to Take Over Ukrainian Land, People, Resources (Sp.)

Shortly after the fabled Ukrainian counteroffensive finally started, it became increasingly apparent that NATO military equipment and training won’t be enough for the Kiev regime forces to penetrate Russian defensive lines. With the Ukrainian offensive now underway, Kiev so far has virtually nothing to show in the way of gains, whereas images of wrecked Leopard tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles used by Ukrainian troops have already started circulating on social media. Even though the United States and its allies have been generously supplying Ukraine with armaments and military vehicles during the ongoing conflict, it appears that Ukrainian forces are “institutionally and operationally unable to successfully absorb the wide and inconsistent variety of equipment and weaponry” while “under fire and duress,” said US Ret.Lt.Col Karen Kwiatkowski.

“This is the fault of the US and NATO which seeks to ride the back of Ukrainian patriotism in order to both confront and harass Russia, with an aim to take over Ukraine’s land, people and resources once there is little Ukraine left – in a kind of mini-Marshall Plan, this time completely and wholly managed and conducted by US and international crony capitalists, like Black Rock,” Kwiatkowsky, a former US Department of Defense analyst, told Sputnik. She suggested that the United States and Britain were likely the ones who actually needed Kiev to launch this counteroffensive and that it would seem “as if Western governments see Ukraine little more than a snuff film, for their entertainment and profit.”

“Clearly, what Ukraine needs is to find a way to get out from under the US political cycle and NATO’s organizational expansion obsession, and make peace,” Kwiatkowsky mused, postulating that such a deal would likely entail the separation of the “Russian side of the former Ukraine” from the “Ukrainian side.” She did point out, however, that so far the US and the UK politicians have been quick to suppress any attempts by the Ukrainian side to “make peaceful signs or noises.” Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and former CIA station chief Phillip Giraldi has observed that some Western media outlets have been trying to make it look like the Ukrainian counteroffensive is succeeding and that Kiev regime forces are “overrunning the Russian positions.”

Commenting on this development, Giraldi suggested that politicians in the US, the UK and Germany “need to be able to speak positively about what is occurring” in Ukraine, since the public in their respective countries is starting to turn against the conflict “as it grinds on and on consuming hundreds of billions dollars worth of equipment.” He further suggested that people in the United States, Britain and Germany are none too thrilled about their governments directly backing the regime in Kiev, which he described as “a regime that nearly everyone concedes is hopelessly corrupt.” “There is talk here in Washington that the Ukrainian generals might depose Zelensky and enter into negotiations with Moscow,” Giraldi added.

Read more …

No nukes, no NATO, no nazis.

How Ukraine Has Become A Magnet For Western Neo-Nazis (Trenin)

At the end of April, two French neo-Nazis – Alan Vineron and Guillaume Andreoni – who had joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine as mercenaries, were arrested and convicted in their home country. Two months earlier, one of them had posted photos of three executed Russian prisoners on social media. However, Vineron and Andreoni were detained not because of any war crimes, but for attempting to smuggle weapons and munitions back home, including rifle scopes and magazines for machine guns. After a brief trial, they were sentenced to 15 months in prison each, nine of them to be served conditionally. This incident is only the first sign of things to come. According to French media, about 400 French citizens are taking part in the armed conflict in Ukraine.

Of these, about 100 are directly involved in the fighting, and about 30 are well-known far-right extremists. It’s not just Paris that will soon face the prospect of militant neo-Nazis returning home. Observers note that the number of volunteer foreign fighters in Ukraine has reached thousands. According to the French media outlet Mediapart, France’s General Directorate for Internal Security had its eye on the suspects long before the incident. Despite this, they were detained only thanks to a random check at customs. Vineron (also known as “Vivi”) is a retired fighter of the elite French Chasseurs Alpins (Alpine Hunters) unit. He was dismissed from the army after his neo-Nazi views came to light in the media. Shortly before returning home, he posted a photo on the “TrackANaziMerc” Telegram channel, showing three Russian soldiers shot in the head.

The image shows that the soldiers were unarmed and killed at close range. After the photos of the execution began circulating online, Russia’s Investigative Committee announced that it would examine the crimes of French mercenaries against Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine. Vineron’s accomplice, known as “Bones” by his military callsign, was also previously linked to a far-right neo-Nazi group which has long-standing ties with Ukrainian extremists. The “Zouaves Paris” group – it ironically derives its name from the Berber tribe Zwawa, which in turn became known as the French army’s first “indigenous” regiment – supported Ukraine and established contact with local fighters from the neo-Nazi Azov regiment. In December 2019, the leader of the far-right group, Marc de Cacqueray-Valmenier, traveled to the country to personally meet Azov fighters and visit their training camp.

Read more …

To be taken with a grain orr two of salt.

Defense Ministry Reveals How Many Russians Volunteered For Army (RT)

The Defense Ministry has praised the growing “consolidation” of Russian society, reporting a massive increase in the number of people willing to serve the country by joining both the army ranks and volunteer units. “In just ten days of the current month, 13,644 people have signed up for contract service,” Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said during a special briefing on Saturday. “This is 2.1 times more than in the same period of May this year, and 3.1 times higher than in April.” Last month, ex-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy chairman of Russia’s National Security Council, said that some 117,400 people have volunteered to join the army ranks since January.

Russian officials have repeatedly insisted that with a growing number of volunteers there is no need for another partial mobilization. The call-up conducted in Russia last autumn was described as the largest of its kind since 1945, with more than 300,000 people drafted to create some 280 new military units. Pankov also noted a steady stream of those willing to join volunteer units, saying it “indicates the high consolidation of Russian society, the desire of citizens to make a personal contribution to achieving a common victory.” The Defense Ministry is working to grant the volunteer corps the necessary legal status.

The official noted that the servicemen will be guaranteed the same social protections and benefits for them and their families, regardless of whether they decide to join one of over 40 existing volunteer units, or sign a contract with the Defense Ministry directly. In mid-April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law amended conscription and mobilization rules. The changes allowed for the creation of a unified digital database of citizens subject to military service. The Defense Ministry is now combining existing databases, including tax, election, medical, police and court records, as well as those drawn from employers and universities. It is expected that the register will help track the summonses sent out to eligible conscripts, not just by mail but also electronically.

Read more …

Meanwhile, back home… “..seven in ten young Americans are ineligible for military service because of such issues as obesity, drug use and mental illness..”

US Can’t Recruit Enough Green Berets – Media (RT)

The US Army has reportedly failed to meet its enlistment quotas for special forces, known as the Green Berets, for four of the past five years, as recruiters struggle to find enough applicants who are qualified to join the elite unit. The service recruited an average of 1,011 new Green Beret candidates from 2018 through 2020, falling 34% of its targets for those years, and it only managed to meet its quota in 2021 after the goal was lowered to 1,250 from 1,540, Military.com reported on Thursday. Just 779 new recruits signed contracts in 2022, a 38% shortfall versus the target, and 527 Green Beret candidates have been recruited so far this year, the outlet said, citing internal US Army data. “We have to do a better job at telling our story,” Lieutenant General Jon Braga, head of the US Army Special Operations Command, told Military.com.

The unit’s struggles come amid wider recruiting shortfalls in the US Army and other military branches. Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth told Congress last month that enlistments would again fall short this year after missing the target by 15,000 troops, or 25%, in 2022. The US Army Recruiting Command has blamed the shortfalls on a tight labor market and the fact that more than seven in ten young Americans are ineligible for military service because of such issues as obesity, drug use and mental illness. The Green Berets face the additional problem of many recruits being unable to get through the grueling qualification process after enlisting. Those who fail are often assigned to regular infantry units.

In recent years, just 45% to 60% of new recruits have passed the three-week course that’s required before they can begin special forces training, down from an average of 60%-80% a decade ago, Military.com said. Once they advance past the first screening hurdle, candidates go through a series of schools and tests that can take up to two years. Army leaders have considered shortening the training gauntlet by about half to fill vacant positions more quickly, the outlet said. The army has reportedly caused resentment among some Green Berets by making the qualification process easier, allegedly to enable women to pass.

Green Berets are the US military’s lead guerilla warfare forces. They typically work with indigenous militants as force multipliers, such as the operators who collaborated with Northern Alliance fighters in battling the Taliban during the early days of the Afghanistan war. Military.com reported in May that the US Army may shrink its special forces by about 10% this decade, as its training emphasis shifts back toward conventional warfare. “The recruiting data is the first clear indication that the service may be slowly reducing the footprint of special operations.”

Read more …

“Before seeing sincerity from the US side, the general sentiment in Chinese society is that it’s necessary to temporarily keep the Americans at arm’s length..”

Whether Blinken Comes Or Not, The US Has Lessons To Make Up For (Global Times)

After Bloomberg broke the news in the US, several media outlets, including CNN and Reuters, also claimed that the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China in the coming weeks based on anonymous leaks from US officials. This does not rule out the possibility that the US State Department is playing usual tricks of manipulating public opinion by leaking information to the media. In response, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Wednesday “I have nothing to share on that,” neither confirming nor denying the news. However, one can sense the difference in attitudes between China and the US regarding Blinken’s visit to China.

The attitudes of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chinese netizens were not like this back in January. At that time, the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that China welcomed Secretary Blinken’s visit and hoped that the US will pursue dialogue and win-win cooperation, not confrontation and zero-sum competition. The peoples of both China and the US, as well as the international community, had certain expectations for Blinken’s visit to China to promote a turnaround in China-US relations. However, in February, the US side overreacted to the “unmanned airship incident” and unilaterally postponed Blinken’s visit to China. This not only ruined a rare opportunity for high-level interaction and communication between China and the US, but also further damaged the mutual trust that has already been at historically low level.

Not long after, the US side once again showed interest and enthusiasm in restoring high-level communication with China. This included calling out to China in various international public occasions and frequently complaining about China’s “ignoring, rejecting, or canceling multiple communication requests” from the US. Coupled with the various actions taken by the US that strongly contrasted with such appealing and aimed at containment and crackdown on China, it gave the impression to the Chinese people that Washington politicians were putting on a show for the international community. We not only will never cooperate with their performance but also need to maintain necessary vigilance against their true intentions behind the show. In this situation, Blinken’s visit to China has deviated from its original purpose of communication.

Before seeing sincerity from the US side, the general sentiment in Chinese society is that it’s necessary to temporarily keep the Americans at arm’s length. We hope that during this period, the US side can regain some calmness and rationality regarding issues related to China. We also hope they can have a deeper understanding of the three principles proposed by the Chinese side for the coexistence of China and the US, which are “mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation.”

Read more …

Robert Barnes
@barnes_law Bill Clinton had national security information in his sock drawer. Clinton never formally declassified it. When sued to return it to Archives, a federal court dismissed the case. Why? Because by law the President’s mere act of removing the records made them his personal records.

“The DOJ is no longer legally arguing that Donald Trump held any classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. The DOJ is arguing that President Trump held documents vital to U.S. defense security. It’s a farce but that’s their position.”

Jack Smith Takes Down Two Trump Lawyers Using Compelled Testimony (CTH)

First, the good news. The judge assigned to the Trump documents case is U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon. She is the same judge who handled the lawsuit last year after the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Judge Cannon was the judge who appointed the “special master” to review the documents the DOJ was claiming were classified, but Team Trump was contending that definition. Now the bad news. The DOJ is no longer legally arguing that Donald Trump held any classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. The DOJ is arguing that President Trump held documents vital to U.S. defense security. It’s a farce but that’s their position. The classification status of documents is moot, nonexistent, except to create the predicate for the proverbial FBI nose under the tent.


The DOJ-NSD (that’s Lisa Monaco) got a warrant to look for classified documents, but never intended to use classified documents as a case cornerstone because President Trump had full declassification authority. The DOJ got a search warrant by convincing a judge they were looking for something that wasn’t even a violation of law. That’s why the DOJ would not reveal the probable cause affidavit. The search was built upon a fraudulent pretense. “Classified” is a snipe hunt. You will notice Jack Smith never discussed “classified documents” in his remarks, and the issue of classified documents appears nowhere except in the indictment as a purposeful lawfare description of documents. The DOJ is not legally charging anything relating to the classification status of the documents. That’s the Lawfare and media banter to create a talking point. The term “classified” is all over the indictment, but as a lawfare adjective only; it’s like using the word “stash”.

The special counsel legal framework is centered around documents the DOJ define as vital to “the defense security” of the United States. EVERYTHING is predicated on 31 counts of an 18 U.S. Code § 793(e) violation. The DOJ defines what is considered a defense document, and that intentionally has nothing to do with classification. The granular news. You might have heard that two of Trump’s lawyers, Jim Trusty and John Rowley, quit today. The media wants to use their exit as a point to indicate Trump is in legal jeopardy; however, that’s not the case. As soon as Trusty and Rowley saw their forced testimony was used in the indictment, they had no option except to exit the case. Despite the lawyers providing no damaging information against Trump, the DOJ used language in the indictment to turn Trump’s lawyers into material witnesses. Weissmann’s Lawfare tactic create a conflict, forcing the two Trump lawyers to depart.

WASHINGTON DC – Two of Donald Trump’s top lawyers abruptly resigned from his defense team on Friday, just hours after news broke that he and a close aide were indicted on charges related to their handling of classified documents. Jim Trusty and John Rowley, who helmed Trump’s Washington, D.C.-based legal team for months and were seen frequently at the federal courthouse, indicated they would no longer represent Trump in matters being investigated and prosecuted by special counsel Jack Smith, who is probing both the documents matter and efforts by Trump to subvert the 2020 election. The resignations were shortly followed by an announcement from Trump himself confirming that a close aide, Walt Nauta, had also been indicted by federal prosecutors.

Nauta, a Navy veteran, had served as the former president’s personal aide and was a ubiquitous presence during his post White House days. In their place, Trump indicated that Todd Blanche — an attorney he recently retained to help fight unrelated felony charges brought by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg in April — would lead his legal team, along with a firm to be named later. Trump and his team have liked Blanche, who is expected to play a more elevated, central role. Weissmann, Eisen and Smith are using lawfare in the indictment to put the interests of Trump and his aide Walt Nauta against each other. Obviously, Nauta would not turn on Trump, so the prosecution made Nauta a target for a federal 1001 charge of lying to investigators and will pressure him throughout the case to take a plea in exchange for testimony against Trump. Nauta is the baseline of the “Conspiracy Elements” which require two or more people. Again, pure Lawfare. Obviously, Jim Trusty was unaware last night that his forced testimony would be used in the indictment.

Read more …

FBI and DOJ are destroying America. You can’t have different laws for different people.

Hillary Clinton Trolls Trump Following Federal Indictment (RT)

One of Donald Trump’s fiercest political rivals, Hillary Clinton, took a shot at the former US president on social media on Friday, following his federal indictment for allegedly mishandling classified government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Hours after Trump revealed that he was to be federally indicted, Clinton posted a link to an online store selling hats bearing the slogan “But Her Emails” – in a mocking reference to her detractors. In 2015, Clinton was investigated for allegedly holding classified information on a private email server at her home. Both the FBI and Justice Department declined to move forward with charges, but the probe generated significant political capital for Trump throughout their fractious 2016 presidential campaigns.

Throughout his own campaign, Trump would frequently encourage his supporters to chant “Lock her up!” in reference to her alleged misdeeds. “Bringing this back in light of recent news,” Clinton wrote to her more than 31 million followers on Twitter. The former US Secretary of State also plugged the “But Her Emails” merchandise last year in reference to a New York Times report that Trump had destroyed documents in a White House toilet. In 2018, a Department of Justice report detailing the investigation into Clinton’s use of private email server said it held “81 email chains containing approximately 193 individual emails that were classified from confidential to top secret.” Explaining the decision to not charge Clinton, the FBI said in a 2016 report that the probe established that her actions were not “clearly intentional” and that she showed no “disloyalty” to the US.

Furthermore, the FBI noted that Clinton – who participated in the investigation – displayed “no efforts to obstruct justice.” The 37-count indictment against Trump, revealed on Friday, accuses him of storing classified information in unsecured locations such as a ballroom and a shower at his Florida home. He is also accused of lying to investigators. The documents include government secrets related to the US nuclear program and military plans. Trump, who is the Republican frontrunner for his party’s presidential nomination in 2024, denies any wrongdoing. However, some analysts say that the former US president is facing severe legal jeopardy if the charges in the extensive indictment can be proven. He is due in court in Miami, Florida on Tuesday – the day before his 77th birthday.

Kash Patel

Read more …

“The bare minimum Republicans can do now is impeach Merrick Garland for attempting to throw a leading presidential candidate in jail over a records-keeping issue.”

Time For House GOP To Drop Everything And Target Merrick Garland (Fed.)

All the things that Americans are coping with thanks to Joe Biden’s complete horror of a presidency are important, but if House Republicans don’t drop all of it right now to aggressively target the attorney general, then none of it matters and they should all jump off a cliff. Seriously. Merrick Garland, Biden’s head of the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, just chose to seek prison time for a former president, the man right now most likely to face off with the current president in 2024. The magnitude of the situation isn’t dependent on a conviction or acquittal. It rests on whether the indictment is legitimized at all. And by doing nothing, House Republicans will have sent the message that there’s nothing to do but watch — watch as your democracy crumbles to ashes and blows away with their absolute indifference.

In that scenario, nothing separates us from Cuba. Or in terms that Democrats can understand, nothing separates us from RUSSIA, YOU PUTIN SOCK SNIFFERS! If House Republicans play this game of “let’s see what the facts say” and “there will be blowback if we overreach,” then it’s over. When Democrats were in power, they impeached a sitting president twice, sued to secure his personal tax returns, and brought in a slew of witnesses to embarrass him in televised hearings without batting an eye. The bare minimum Republicans can do now is impeach Merrick Garland for attempting to throw a leading presidential candidate in jail over a records-keeping issue.

Yeah, historical government records are important and if Trump had things in his possession that weren’t his, the government was in its right to retrieve them. There’s a legal and lawyerly process for that. But initial news reports indicate that the Justice Department is throwing the book at him over classified documents Trump retained, something his vice president, former President Obama, and Joe Biden himself have done. [..] Nobody needs to see House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Fox News confessing what a scandal it is, or how outraged Americans should be. The Oversight Committee should be dragging in Justice Department officials for hearings, investigating Justice Department communications with the White House, and immediately drafting articles of impeachment for Merrick Garland. Nothing is more important.

Jeanine

Read more …

If China lets the yuan float…

“China understands that they will not become world economic power number one if they keep their yuan as a non-convertible currency,..

End of US Dollar Dominance Approaching – Top Russian Banker (RT)

The hegemony of the US dollar is seriously challenged by the rise of the Chinese yuan and by Washington’s failed attempt to wreck the Russian economy by weaponizing the greenback, Andrey Kostin, head of Russia’s banking major VTB, told Reuters on Friday. The major banking figure said that under the current geopolitical circumstances more and more nations are shifting away from trade settlements in dollar and euro, while China is moving towards removal of strict currency policies. “The long historical era of the dominance of the American dollar is coming to an end,” Kostin said, in an interview with the news agency. “I think that the time has come when China will gradually remove currency restrictions.” According to Kostin, VTB has been discussing using the Chinese national currency in settlements with third countries.


“China understands that they will not become world economic power number one if they keep their yuan as a non-convertible currency,” he explained, adding that it was also dangerous for the Peoples Republic to keep reserves invested in US Treasuries. The US dollar has been enjoying the status of world’s reserve currency for more than a century after it managed to subsume the British pound sterling. Earlier this month, JPMorgan Chase analysts said the global economy is showing signs of the emergence de-dollarization, against a background of rising efforts by Asian economies to challenge the American currency’s hegemony. The greenback’s long-standing status as the world’s dominant currency has been steadily eroded in recent years due to mounting concerns over soaring US debt and widely implemented sanctions using the currency as leverage.

Read more …

Right. Not your fault. Someone else.

‘Establishment’ Asked Facebook To ‘Censor’ Covid Posts – Zuckerberg (RT)

Facebook was asked by the scientific “establishment” to remove various posts related to Covid-19 which later proved to be “debatable or true,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a podcast interview this week. Speaking to the Russian-American interviewer Lex Fridman in a podcast released on Thursday, Zuckerberg said that policing Facebook’s attempts to remove mistruths is “really tricky.” “Just take some of the stuff around Covid earlier on in the pandemic,” Zuckerberg explained, “Where there were real health implications but there hadn’t been time to fully vet a bunch of the scientific assumptions.” He continued: “Unfortunately, I think a lot of the establishment on that kind-of waffled on a bunch of facts.”

Zuckerberg said in August 2021, in an interview with CBS during the height of the pandemic, that Facebook takes down content the platform views as “harmful,” as it violates the company’s policies. He also stated that at the time, Facebook removed around 18 million posts that were judged to have spread misinformation about the virus. US president Joe Biden was among the critics of Facebook in the summer of 2021, suggesting that it was a vehicle for the distribution of “bad information” on social media which he said was “killing people.” “My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally that somehow I’m saying Facebook is killing people, that they would do something about the misinformation,” Biden said in July 2021.

Speaking to Fridman this week, though, Zuckerberg said that the “establishment” had encouraged his platform to endorse various information about Covid-19, but also “asked for a bunch of things to be censored that, in retrospect, ended up being more debatable or true.” In 2022, Attorneys General in the states of Missouri and Louisiana alleged that Facebook was among several Big Tech companies to have coordinated with US infectious diseases chief Dr Anthony Fauci to “discredit and suppress” online debates concerning whether the Covid-19 virus originated from a lab leak in Wuhan, China. In February, the US Department of Energy concluded with “low confidence” that the virus likely originated from an accidental lab leak in China – a finding whose allegation Beijing has called “baseless.”

Read more …

“.. the number of new infections or positive cases per 100,000 people is four times higher for people who have been vaccinated twice, compared to unvaccinated people.”

“Excess deaths in Japan soared by a whopping 400% since Pfizer’s third-dose “booster shot” was rolled out last year..”

Japan Orders Investigation Into Covid Jabs As Excess Deaths Skyrocket (TPV)

In another case of yesterday’s conspiracy theory becoming today’s fact, mainstream media is finally reporting on what we have known all along. Biden, Fauci and Gates have been sharing misinformation with us. There was no “winter of severe illness and death” for the unvaccinated. In reality, this is a pandemic of the vaccinated. Excess deaths in Japan soared by a whopping 400% since Pfizer’s third-dose “booster shot” was rolled out last year, according to new data. “Excess deaths were approximately four times the number of those in the years 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021,” a report in The Exposé states. The statistics have rocked the establishment in Japan. Official investigations are being launched and lawsuits are being readied.

“Today, we filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government for cancellation of the administrative action,” announced Dr. Masanori Fukushima during a press conference. Because the Japanese Health Ministry refuses to acknowledge the causal link between vaccines and deaths, Professor Fukushima and a team of researchers said they “had no choice but to dare to take legal action.” Masanori Fukushima is an infectious disease expert and Professor Emeritus at Kyoto University — with over 25 years of oncology experience. He has been hammering at the cracks in the vaccine narrative and publicly condemned Japan’s Ministry of Health late last year. I have checked with a Japanese translator on the accuracy of the following text from the video translation, and he assessed it to be “actually pretty good.”

“Today, it is a matter of fundamental importance for the Japanese government to continuously collect and disclose accurate data,” Professor Fukushima expressed. “However, I have witnessed the recent fraud scandal committed by the Health Ministry.” “I have come to realize that this is a historically serious problem that threatens the very existence of the nation of Japan,” he stressed. “As a medical doctor and a scientist, I had no choice but to dare to take legal action.” Dr. Fukushima continues, explaining the importance of honestly disclosing public health data.

“Needless to say, it is absolutely important to disclose real-world data on the efficacy and safety of the vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. This is because such data is directly linked to people’s healthcare, livelihood, and economy. Therefore, I believe that the Japanese government, that is, the Health Ministry, must disclose the data properly to the public.” Professor Masanori Fukushima then breaks down some startling data. “Take a look at the data for 65-69 and 70-79 age groups,” he implored. “Surprisingly, the number of new infections or positive cases per 100,000 people is four times higher for people who have been vaccinated twice, compared to unvaccinated people.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Nudibranch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1667245300531056656

 

 

First prize

 

 

 

 

Blenny

 

 

Piggy Hoop
https://twitter.com/i/status/1667249315750858764

 

 

1896
https://twitter.com/i/status/1667275122112069636

 

 

Octopus squid

 

 

Brush teeth

 

 

Rubik
https://twitter.com/i/status/1667422968207806464

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 032023
 


Paul Klee Hammamet with Its Mosque 1914

 

NATO’s Big Gamble In Ukraine Has Failed (Zorawar Daulet Singh)
Blinken Dismisses Calls for a Ceasefire: Build Up Ukraine’s Military (Antiwar)
Ukrainian Counteroffensive Would Turn Into ‘Bloodbath’ – Orban (RT)
Orban Delighted At Erdogan’s Victory Over ‘Soros’ Man’ (RT)
Orban Warns Hungary Will Never Fight Russia (RT)
Zelensky Talks Peace Summit With Scholz (RT)
Europe Suffers Sharp Munitions Deficit Due To Military Aid Largesse (TASS)
Russian Oil Giant’s Profits Soar Amid Sanctions (RT)
Moscow, Kiev, EU Seeking Peaceful Solution To Ukraine Crisis – Special Envoy (TASS)
China Special Envoy Urges Europe To Ponder Causes Of Ukrainian Conflict (TASS)
Propaganda Perverts Reality In The Minds Of Americans (Scott Ritter)
Who Can You Trust? (Jim Kunstler)
FBI Relents, Agrees To Deliver Subpoenaed Memo Alleging Biden Bribery (JTN)
China Has Tamed The World’s Most Powerful Explosive- Military Scientists (SCMP)
Woke Twitter Employees Exit In Fallout Over What Is A Woman Censorship (Rebel)

 

 

 

 

Sandbags
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664815151256674304

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biden laptop
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664654736711098370

 

 

The Friends of BRICS, a preamble to BRICS+
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664555574518853632

Cape Town
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664657498668781570

 

 

 

 

BBee Musk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664323485794025478

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from India. Zorawar Daulet Singh is an award winning author and strategic affairs expert based in New Delhi.

NATO’s Big Gamble In Ukraine Has Failed (Zorawar Daulet Singh)

Fifteen months into the biggest land war in Eurasia since the Second World War, the tables have turned. US and NATO began with a confidence that a proxy war was the only way to roll back Russian influence in Europe. It was aimed to cut Russia down to size and snuff out the incipient multipolar order. On paper it was an ingenious, if diabolical, strategy. Ukrainian blood and NATO weapons would be more than a match for Russia. At the very least, western policymakers surmised, Russia would be bogged down in another protracted ‘Afghanistan’ or ‘Vietnam’ for years, while America would swoop across the world as a rejuvenated superpower. The opposite has occurred. On every front in this proxy war – it is more apt to classify the conflict as a limited great power war – US goals have fallen short.

The US’s Weak Hand The international community has stayed scrupulously away from lining up behind the West. Other than its loyal G-6 states in tow, Washington has witnessed a resounding rejection of NATO’s plan to demonise and contain Russia. The Global South has instead discovered an opportunity to advance their own interests and embrace a multipolar world order where weaker states can henceforth bargain for better deals with the major players. India’s foreign policy exemplifies this trend that can today be seen in South America, Africa, Middle East and even in parts of East Asia. Great power geopolitical alignments have also shifted adversely. China – the swing power for the West – has barely budged its position. Since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, Washington has attempted to imagine cleavages between Moscow and Beijing that it could exploit for a new western rapprochement with China. Senior US policymakers, including the President, along with a flurry of European leaders have attempted to court the Xi Jinping regime in an attempt to nudge China away from Russia. But to little avail. The Chinese seem unwilling to jeopardise their partnership with Russia. With their own potential flashpoint right under their nose in Taiwan, Beijing fears a similar fate for itself in the future.

Unanticipated Economic Blowback The real trump card in Western hands has always been the economy: the legacy dominance of the US dollar, control over international supply chains, and the ability to arbitrarily impose collective sanctions and isolate a country. These are unique leverages that no other great power can claim to possess as of today. This is where the US truly felt it had the upper hand. It could not only destabilise Russia, perhaps even fatally, but also rewrite a new chapter on globalisation. Yet shockingly again, and despite dramatically severing European energy and industrial linkages with Russia, the blowback to the West has been more severe than the intended impact on the Russian economy. European economies are reeling from inflation and the spectre of de-industrialisation, fueled by a supply side energy and commodity crisis caused by western sanctions. Industrial giants like Germany have slumped into a recession. Economists can no longer deny just how critical the Russian commodity and energy link as well as market access was for European prosperity and industrial vitality.

How Russia Escaped, India Too But how did Russia escape its own economic strangulation? Very simply, the non-western world did not commit hara-kiri. China and India along with several other developing economies quickly replaced western markets, providing not only a lifeline to Russian exports but also drew unusual growth benefits of their own from discounted crude oil. Flushed with revenues, Moscow has been able to procure industrial components, machinery and consumer goods necessary for its basic economic stability. Trade with China is estimated to touch $200 billion in 2023, emulating a role played by Germany in the past. As a consequence, Russia defied the double-digit recession forecast for it in 2022 by only contracting by 2.1 percent. Even the IMF projects positive GDP growth for the Russian economy in 2023 and 2024.

The War Theatre: Advantage Russia Finally, it is in the war theatre itself where events have unfolded calling into question the entire geopolitical gamble of the West. After the initial phase when Russia received a rude shock about the full extent of NATO’s penetration and the systematic buildup of the Ukrainian armed forces since 2014, Moscow shifted to a strategy of attrition. This meant occupying territory – usually the primary objective of a war – became less important (other than of course the ethnic-Russian dominated Donbass and Crimea) than degrading and destroying the NATO-built force inside Ukraine. Classical war of manoeuvre with large tanks battles in vast open fields or direct assaults on entrenched Ukrainian positions – scenarios that NATO expected and trained the Ukrainian military for and for which it invested in major defence lines around the Donbass – were replaced by gruelling and bloody struggles for strategic cities and gateway towns. Russia has prevailed in all these major urban battles that will help it secure eastern Ukraine. At the same time, Russia has used its offensive firepower to freely strike at military, logistic, high value infrastructure, and command and control targets across Ukraine including in Kyiv. Russia adapted to fight an intelligent and relatively low casualty war of its choosing and not the one NATO had planned to bog it down in.

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Blinken seeks many more years of war:

“The United States will help Ukraine build a powerful, modern military, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a speech in Helsinki. Blinken stressed that Washington will continue to provide Ukraine with military assistance so that the Armed Forces of Ukraine can fight Russian aggression. He said the United States would help Ukraine build “the army of the future.” This, he says, means “a modern air force, air and missile defense, modern tanks and armored vehicles, the ability to produce ammunition, as well as training and support for combat readiness of forces and equipment.”

Blinken Dismisses Calls for a Ceasefire: Build Up Ukraine’s Military (Antiwar)

The US will focus its efforts on arming Ukraine and not attempting to bring the war to a negotiated settlement, America’s top diplomat said. Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out a plan to massively expand Kiev’s military before talks begin. In a speech delivered in Finland on Friday, Blinken stated, “The United States – together with our allies and partners – is firmly committed to supporting Ukraine’s defense today, tomorrow, for as long as it takes.” He continued, “We believe the prerequisite for meaningful diplomacy and real peace is a stronger Ukraine, capable of deterring and defending against any future aggression.” Blinken dismissed the idea of even a temporary pause in the fighting. “Some countries will call for a ceasefire. And on the surface, that sounds sensible – attractive, even. After all, who doesn’t want warring parties to lay down their arms? Who doesn’t want the killing to stop?” He said.

“But a ceasefire that simply freezes current lines in place and enables Putin to consolidate control over the territory he’s seized…It would legitimize Russia’s land grab. It would reward the aggressor and punish the victim.” The Secretary of State offered an ambitious vision of Kiev’s future military capabilities. “America and our allies are helping meet Ukraine’s needs on the current battlefield while developing a force that can deter and defend against aggression for years to come.” He added, “That means helping build a Ukrainian military of the future, with long-term funding, a strong air force centered on modern combat aircraft, an integrated air and missile defense network, advanced tanks and armored vehicles, national capacity to produce ammunition, and the training and support to keep forces and equipment combat-ready.”

It is unclear how long it would take to build the deterrence force envisioned by Blinken. American arms stockpiles are dwindling as Washington attempts to transfer Kiev enough military equipment to keep its army fighting. The US additionally has plans to significantly increase arms transfers to Taiwan. Blinken claimed, “Our support for Ukraine hasn’t weakened our capabilities to meet potential threats from China or anywhere else – it’s strengthened them.” In November, the Wall Street Journal reported, “US government and congressional officials fear the conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating a nearly $19 billion backlog of weapons bound for Taiwan, further delaying efforts to arm the island.” Additionally, the White House may not have the support it needs in the Capitol for such a massive military buildup in Ukraine. Blinken asserted that “in America, this support is bipartisan.” However, at the beginning of May, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said future support for Ukraine would be contingent on success in Kiev’s long-planned counteroffensive.

Since McCaul’s statement, Ukraine has slowly lost more territory to Russian forces, including Bakhmut. Zelensky committed endless resources to the city in a months-long battle despite the advice from his Western backers. The White House is now preparing for the counteroffensive to fail. Washington’s strategy, as laid out by Blinken, calls for arming Ukraine and weakening Russia. “Russia is significantly worse off today than it was before its full-scale invasion of Ukraine – militarily, economically, geopolitically,” he stated, adding, “President Putin has diminished Russian influence on every continent.” However, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of US European Command, told Congress in April that Moscow’s ground forces are “bigger today” than before Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine last year.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1664806363204034560

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“..even someone like myself with a year-and-a-half experience of military service knows perfectly well… that if I attack, I’ll lose three times more than the one who is on the defense.”

Ukrainian Counteroffensive Would Turn Into ‘Bloodbath’ – Orban (RT)

Everything must be done to avoid a Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russian forces as it would have devastating consequences for Kiev, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. During an interview with Kossuth Radio on Friday, Orban stated that “even someone like myself with a year-and-a-half experience of military service knows perfectly well… that if I attack, I’ll lose three times more than the one who is on the defense.” Ukraine likely has a population of “somewhere between 20 to 30 million” at the moment, which is “a fraction” of what Russia has, he said. Russia’s population is over 146 million, according to data from the Federal Statistics Service.

The launch of a major counteroffensive by Kiev in such conditions “would be a bloodbath,” the Hungarian leader warned. “Even in the best-case scenario [for Kiev], no better result could be achieved… on the battlefield, than what could’ve been reached through negotiations even before the conflict,” he said. “We must do everything we can before the launch of a counteroffensive to convince the sides that ceasefire and peace talks are necessary,” Orban insisted. Ukraine has been planning a large-scale counteroffensive against the Russian forces for months, claiming it would allow Kiev to retake all territories lost to Russia, including Crimea.

The operation was expected to start in spring, but had been delayed on numerous occasions as Ukrainian officials complained about bad weather, a lack of ammunition, and the reluctance of the West to supply warplanes. Hungary has taken a balanced approach since the outbreak of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022. Budapest has supplied humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but refused to send arms to President Vladimir Zelensky’s government, unlike many fellow EU member states. Hungary has also consistently called for a peaceful settlement to the crisis and criticized the sanctions imposed by Brussels on Moscow, arguing that they have failed to achieve their goal and were hurting the EU more than Russia.

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”Had he won, up to 3 million of the 4 million refugees living in Türkiye would be flooding the Hungarian border by the end of the summer..”

Orban Delighted At Erdogan’s Victory Over ‘Soros’ Man’ (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban described the election victory of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu as a “huge relief” in a radio broadcast on Friday. “If Erdogan had not won, Soros’ man would have opened the borders to immigrants,” Orban claimed, referring to Kilicdaroglu as an agent of billionaire currency speculator and funder of liberal causes George Soros. Had he won, up to 3 million of the 4 million refugees living in Türkiye would be flooding the Hungarian border by the end of the summer, Orban presumed. “I didn’t just root for him, I prayed specifically for President Erdogan’s victory,” Orban continued. “It would have been a tragedy if he had not won.”

The prime minister argued that unlike Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu would have been a pro-war leader, potentially disrupting Russian gas supplies to Hungary and Serbia. Hungary receives the vast majority of its natural gas from Russia via the TurkStream pipeline, which carries gas from Russia to Southern Europe through Türkiye. Budapest has repeatedly blocked EU efforts to impose an embargo on Russian gas to punish Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine. Orban stressed the importance of convincing Ukraine and Russia “that a ceasefire is needed and that peace talks are necessary,” lamenting that “the vast majority in the EU is against us, they are at our throats.” He predicted a “bloodbath” if Kiev were to go ahead with its planned counteroffensive, pointing out that the odds were not on the Ukrainians’ side.

Erdogan officially won reelection on Sunday following a runoff vote, entering his third term with support from 52.14% of the electorate, according to Türkiye’s Supreme Election Council. While Kilicdaroglu ran on a globalist platform of restarting EU accession talks, improving relations with the country’s NATO allies, and rolling back many of Erdogan’s domestic reforms, he took a more forceful stance against open borders during the runoff, promising to send refugees back to their home countries. Erdogan consistently portrayed his opponent as hostile to traditional values, pro-terrorist, and pro-LGBT.

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“..as long as his government remains in power..”

Orban Warns Hungary Will Never Fight Russia (RT)

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has pledged not to “fight” Russia or let the country get dragged into the Ukraine conflict as long as his government remains in power. The prime minister made the remarks on Friday during an interview with local Kossuth Radio. Budapest sees the ongoing hostilities between Moscow and Kiev as a “close” yet “outside threat,” Orban explained. “We are not involved in the war, Hungary is not at war with Russia, and will not be for as long as this government is in place, certainly not,” the PM stated. Orban also slammed belligerent statements repeatedly made by “left-wing politicians” who have claimed their countries were “at war” with Russia already. The PM did not, however, point to any specific examples of such statements.

“When left-wing politicians say that ‘we are at war with Russia,’ while sitting at home in a comfortable armchair, they do not know what they are talking about. They have lost their minds. ‘We are at war with Russia’ is a statement that no sane person can afford since World War II.” Unlike fellow NATO and EU member states, Hungary has taken a neutral stance on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began in February 2022. The country has refused to provide any military aid to Kiev and has even prohibited the flow of arms from third parties to Ukraine through its territory.

The country has also been opposing the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions, particularly those damaging its own vital interests, namely restrictions in the fields of conventional and nuclear energy. Budapest has consistently argued that the restrictions failed to meet their proclaimed goals and were hurting the EU more than Russia. At the same time, Budapest has been providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainian civilians who have been impacted by the crisis. Hungary has also repeatedly called for settling the conflict through a diplomatic solution.

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This is a war summit. Nothing to do with peace.

Zelensky Talks Peace Summit With Scholz (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said his recent meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz included talks on preparing for a “Global Peace Summit.” Earlier this week, media outlets reported that Kiev and its Western backers were planning to convene a global meeting centered on Kiev’s “peace formula,” which has already been rejected by Moscow. According to a statement published by Zelensky’s office, the president met with the German leader on the sidelines of the European Political Community Summit in Moldova’s capital Chisinau on Thursday. He thanked Scholz for “supporting the Ukrainian Peace Formula” and for his “readiness to join its implementation.” The two leaders also “discussed joint preparations for the Global Peace Summit and the involvement of the widest possible range of participants,” the statement noted.

The Ukrainian president urged Berlin to keep military aid flowing to Kiev, specifically air defense systems, citing the “escalation of Russian missile terror against Ukraine.” On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that French President Emmanuel Macron had offered to host the summit in Paris, with Denmark and Sweden also putting themselves forward as potential hosts. European officials have allegedly extended invitations to Brazil, India, China, and several other non-Western countries, with Russia being conspicuously absent from the list. Published late last year, Ukraine’s peace formula demands that Moscow withdraw its forces from all territories within Ukraine’s borders as established in 1991, including Crimea.

Moreover, the plan envisages Russia paying reparations for damage caused, and handing over officials accused by Ukraine of war crimes, to face international tribunals. Moscow has unequivocally rejected this formula, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov describing its terms as essentially the “capitulation of Russia.” Speaking on Friday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov noted that there are no indications that dialogue with Ukraine will be possible any time soon. He explained that the proposals floated by European nations have so far failed to accommodate Moscow’s security concerns, which are a priority for Russia. Earlier this week, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, expressed skepticism over the prospect of Russia engaging in peace talks with Ukraine in the near future.

The diplomat argued that Moscow seems intent on achieving a military victory over its neighbor, and that fighting is likely to continue throughout the summer. Aside from Ukraine’s own peace formula, there have been several plans suggested by other nations. Notably, China released its own 12-point roadmap on the first anniversary of the conflict in late February. While dismissed out of hand by the US, its NATO allies and Ukraine, the plan has been received favorably by several other nations, including Brazil and Russia.

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Many more years of war.

Europe Suffers Sharp Munitions Deficit Due To Military Aid Largesse (TASS)

Europe is experiencing a palpable deficit of ammunition due to its generous military support for the Kiev regime, Italian daily La Repubblica reported on Friday. According to the newspaper, among other items, there is a shortage of shells and explosives for warheads. That said, Kiev cannot launch its much-hyped counteroffensive until it accumulates sufficient supplies. The US has already doubled its production from 200,000 to 400,000 shells a year, while in 2025 it hopes to surpass the one million mark. Meanwhile, in Europe this figure is at the level of just 50,000. According to La Repubblica, financing being provided by Brussels is aimed at changing the current state of affairs but, that said, the goal of churning out one million 155-mm shells “every 12 months appears to be overly ambitious.”


Earlier, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the EU plans to deliver another one million munitions to Ukraine in the next 12 months. According to him, 24 EU countries have joined the initiative to expand production of 155-mm artillery shells with 1 billion euros being appropriated for this purpose. He specified that the European Defense Agency, a branch of the EU, had taken the lead on this issue.

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“Production at the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia’s Far East jumped by 180%, quarter on quarter.”

Russian Oil Giant’s Profits Soar Amid Sanctions (RT)

Net profits at Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, jumped by 45.5% in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous three months, hitting 323 billion rubles ($4 billion) due to a rise in output, the company announced this week. Analysts polled by the Interfax had expected the figure to be far smaller, at $2.9 billion. Oil and gas production in the first quarter increased by 0.8% from October to December, exceeding four million barrels per day, Rosneft reported. Production at the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia’s Far East jumped by 180%, quarter on quarter. The company’s CEO Igor Sechin, however, warned that operations would be further impacted by Moscow’s decision to reduce its oil output by 500,000 barrels per day, or about 5%, in order to bolster global oil markets.


“While the cut did not have much influence on the Q1 2023 results, it will have a strong impact on the results of the following quarter,” he warned. Rosneft attributes the rise in profits to increasing energy sales to India and other ‘friendly’ states. India, the world’s third-largest crude importer, ramped up purchases of Russian oil shortly after the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions. New Delhi has repeatedly stressed that energy security is its top priority. It has chosen not to succumb to Western pressure and has continued to stock up on Russian supplies, even after the G7 price cap on Russian oil came into force late last year. Sechin said recently that Moscow and New Delhi had agreed to “substantially increase” the supply of crude oil to India and diversify its grades.

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China’s setting up the table. Next round, intentions won’t be enough.

Moscow, Kiev, EU Seeking Peaceful Solution To Ukraine Crisis – Special Envoy (TASS)

Moscow, Kiev and the European Union vowed to work toward a peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis, Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui said, commenting on his recent international tour. “The first thing that I felt clearly was that every side involved positively assessed China’s efforts. Everybody’s hoping for a peaceful solution to the [Ukraine] crisis,” Li told a briefing at the China Public Diplomacy Association. According to the Chinese envoy, both Russia and Ukraine, as well as the EU, support the stance of China which is seeking to resolve the conflict through political means. From May 15 to May 26, Li Hui visit Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany, the EU headquarters and Russia. During that tour, he met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, and diplomats from the aforementioned nations, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. His key goal, Li said, was to discuss the Ukraine conflict.

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“You ask why Russia took such actions. I will answer you with one phrase, which my Russian colleagues shared with me,” Li said. “They started the operation to protect the lives, property and security of the people of Donbass.”

China Special Envoy Urges Europe To Ponder Causes Of Ukrainian Conflict (TASS)

The Chinese government’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, suggested on Friday that his European counterparts should ponder why the Ukrainian conflict had developed and why Russia had launched a special military operation in Ukraine. The Chinese envoy was speaking in response to a question from a Western journalist who asked him for clarification. “When I was in Europe, I invited my colleagues from European states to think hard about the root causes of the Ukrainian conflict,” Li said at a news briefing of the China Public Diplomacy Association in Beijing following his international tour. “They can all think hard and draw their own conclusions,” Li said. While explaining the reasons for the special military operation he referred to Russia’s arguments.


“You ask why Russia took such actions. I will answer you with one phrase, which my Russian colleagues shared with me,” Li said. “They started the operation to protect the lives, property and security of the people of Donbass.” As the Chinese diplomat specified, regardless of the causes of the Ukrainian crisis “it is necessary to restore peace as soon as possible through negotiations in a political way.” On May 15-26, Li Hui visited Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany, the EU headquarters and Russia. During this trip, he met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and with diplomats from these countries, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The task, as Li confirmed, was to discuss the Ukrainian conflict.

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“..I left the interrogation with a new appreciation of how deeply ingrained into the intellectual DNA of the official US government the Navalny and Ukrainian narratives have become..”

Propaganda Perverts Reality In The Minds Of Americans (Scott Ritter)

At the end of April, my daughter Victoria and I departed New York City’s JFK airport, ultimately bound for the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, the first destination of what would be a 26-day, 12-city tour of Russia. While the official purpose of the visit was business (I was promoting my book, Disarmament Race, which has been published in the Russian language by the Komsomolskaya Pravda publishing house), the unofficial – and for me, most important – purpose of the visit was an opportunity to better understand today’s Russia. To do this, I was going to dig deeper into Russian history, get a better grasp of the culture, and, in the process, try to understand the “Russian soul” in as precise a manner as possible.

From my perspective, both objectives were accomplished. I’m inclined to believe that Komsomolskaya Pravda was pleased with the results of a tour that drew positive media coverage, resulted in well-attended town hall-style events involving vigorous question-and-answer sessions, and reportedly resulted in the initial print run of 10,000 books to be sold out in a manner of days. Through the considerable interaction I had with Russians of all walks of life, I came away with deeper insight into the complexity of what comprises the modern Russian nation circa 2023. However, divining an articulable definition of the Russian soul – if indeed possible at all – requires deeper introspection into the plethora of data and experiences captured during this journey than the passage of several days affords and is beyond the scope of this article.

I left on this adventure fully cognizant of the existence of an informational pandemic in America known as Russophobia, and I always believed that I was realistic as to the challenges that I would have to face in trying to convert my Russian experience into a fact-based vaccine to counter this disease of the American mind. However, the scale of the obstacles that I imagined overcoming paled in comparison to the reality that hit home literally as I stepped off the aircraft on our way back home, when Victoria and I were both pulled out of the passport checkpoint for an hours-long interrogation by investigators from Customs and Border Protection who specialize in travelers from designated nations such as Russia.

I will start by noting that the treatment my daughter and I received was professional and courteous. I understand the political reality of the times we live in, and the perceived necessity of questioning US citizens who travel to Russia while relations between our two nations are at an all-time low. My concern is not in the conduct of the interrogation, but rather the substance of the foundational information upon which the questions asked of me were based. As the CBP officer admitted, he had interviewed hundreds of Russians after the start of the military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The picture he had of Russia was singularly grounded in the perspective of political dissidents who had a bone to pick with President Vladimir Putin, and the narrative that they painted about Russia had become gospel for the CBP. By extension, it has heavily influenced the overall assessment by the US government, since these dissident debriefings constitute a major source of the primary intelligence used by national security analysts throughout the American intelligence community.

In short, my interrogation quickly became a debate between myself on the one hand, and a combination of Alexey Navalny (the imprisoned Russian opposition figure who most of the Russian dissidents support, according to the officer) and the Ukrainian government on the other. Virtually every point I made was immediately defined as “pro-Russian propaganda.” I tried to impress upon the CBP officer the reality of Russia, today, especially concerning both the high level of support for, and underlying criticism of, the Russian government about the military campaign in Ukraine. However, in the end my arguments, and the facts they were based upon, were categorized as “Kremlin talking points” no matter how hard I tried. I left the interrogation with a new appreciation of how deeply ingrained into the intellectual DNA of the official US government the Navalny and Ukrainian narratives have become, and how difficult it will be to root them out.

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WHO?

“The “trust horizon” (a concept introduced by the great Nicole Foss, late of The Automatic Earth dot com) is shrinking. You can no longer trust any distant authorities”

Who Can You Trust? (Jim Kunstler)

Anyway, you must ask yourself: why on earth should I trust the WHO about anything? Did they not participate in laying a trip on the world with Covid-19? How did those lockdowns work out? Do you think they destroyed enough businesses and ruined enough households? How’s the vaccination program doing? Effective? Safe? Yeah, maybe not so much. Maybe killing a lot of people, wrecking immune systems, sterilizing reproductive organs, causing gross disabilities, shattering lives. Of course, in over three years neither the WHO nor the US medical authorities showed the slightest interest in helping to figure out how the Covid-19 virus was made in a lab, and exactly how it got loose in the world. Lately, Dr. Ghebreyesus has warned the world about much worse future pandemics supposedly coming down at us.

Oh? Really? What does he know that we don’t? That possibly new efforts to concoct chimeric diseases are ongoing in labs around the world? (You know that dozens of such labs were discovered in Ukraine as the war got underway there in 2022.) What’s Dr. Ghebreyesus doing to stop that? If US orgs and citizens are involved in this “research,” why doesn’t the WHO alert our government leaders so they can stop it. (Would they? I’m not so sure.) And, who is behind it this time? The Eco-Health Alliance again, like with Covid-19? By the way, that outfit got another whopping grant last fall from the NIH to “study” bat viruses — right after the NIH terminated a previous grant on account of The Eco-Health Alliance failing to turn over notebooks and other records. No, you cannot trust the WHO about anything. The “trust horizon” (a concept introduced by the great Nicole Foss, late of The Automatic Earth dot com) is shrinking. You can no longer trust any distant authorities.

You also cannot trust the US federal government (especially the executive branch behind “Joe Biden”). And notice: the trust horizon is shrinking just as the world is de-centralizing. This, you see, is the main contradiction behind all the Globalist’s twisted ambitions to control everything, including you. They are working against the current tide of human history which is pushing everything toward down-scaling, re-localization, and re-assertion of the sovereign individual person. That trend will become increasingly evident as things organized at the giant scale start to implode — giant retail chains, medical behemoths, hedge funds, big banks, you name it. The world no longer has the mojo for globalism. There’s reason to wonder these days whether the USA has the mojo to remain a unified national polity of states. Our federal government is not only financially bankrupt beyond any coherent reckoning, it is also morally bankrupt, and it has decided to make war against its own people. None of this is satisfactory and none of this is working. It’s time to figure out who and what you can trust and act accordingly.

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“Chairman Comer has been clear that anything short of producing the FD-1023 form to the House Oversight Committee is not compliance with his subpoena..”

FBI Relents, Agrees To Deliver Subpoenaed Memo Alleging Biden Bribery (JTN)

Facing a potential contempt of Congress vote, FBI Director Christopher Wray relented and has agreed to bring a subpoenaed document from the Biden family investigation to Capitol Hill for lawmakers to inspect on Monday, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer announced Friday. The document in question, an FD-1023, contains uncorroborated allegations that an informant provided the FBI in June 2020 alleging that Joe Biden, when he was vice president, was engaged in a bribery scheme to change US policy in return for $5 million to his family’s businesses, lawmakers have said. Congress was alerted to the document by an FBI whistleblower who raised concerns the allegations were never fully investigated. Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa demanded to see the document, and Comer followed with a subpoena.

As recently as Wednesday, Wray indicated he would not turn over the document in compliance with the subpoena, but would let lawmakers come read it at the FBI. But a deal was struck late Thursday for the FBI to bring the document to the Capitol, officials said. “Chairman Comer will receive a briefing from the FBI and review the document on Monday,” his committee told Just the News in a statement. “Chairman Comer has been clear that anything short of producing the FD-1023 form to the House Oversight Committee is not compliance with his subpoena. This unclassified record contains pages of details that need to be investigated further by the House Oversight Committee.” In a statement to Just the News, the FBI said it wanted to accommodate Congress while also protecting sensitive confidential human source information that often is recorded in memos even before it is corroborated.

“Director Wray offered to provide the Committee’s Chairman and Ranking Member an opportunity to review information responsive to the subpoena in a secure manner to accommodate the committee, while protecting the confidentiality and safety of sources and important investigative sensitivities,” the bureau said. “The FBI has continually demonstrated its commitment to working with the Committee to accommodate its request, from scheduling briefings and calls to now allowing the Chair to review information in person. The FBI remains committed to cooperating with the Committee in good faith.”

The bureau also cautioned that FD-1023 forms are “used by FBI agents to record unverified reporting by a confidential human source. Documenting the information does not validate it, establish its credibility, or weigh it against other information verified by the FBI. “Revealing unverified or possibly incomplete information could harm investigations, prejudice prosecutions or judicial proceedings, unfairly violate privacy or reputations, create misimpressions in the public, or potentially identify individuals who provide information to law enforcement, placing their physical safety at risk,” it added.

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“In a recent war game, Chinese defence researchers sank an entire US aircraft carrier fleet in the South China Sea with 24 hypersonic missiles. Some military experts believe that these weapons used CL-20 warheads.”

China Has Tamed The World’s Most Powerful Explosive- Military Scientists (SCMP)

A Chinese research team said they have significantly improved the safety of the world’s most powerful explosive by engineering a five-fold boost to its shock resistance capacity. The breakthrough could speed up the large-scale application of the explosive in battle, making Chinese weapons far superior in terms of destructive power, according to the scientists. CL-20 is the most deadly non-nuclear explosive in existence. When detonated, it can produce destructive shock waves with blast pressures many times higher than other common explosives like TNT and RDX. In a recent war game, Chinese defence researchers sank an entire US aircraft carrier fleet in the South China Sea with 24 hypersonic missiles. Some military experts believe that these weapons used CL-20 warheads.

The mass production of CL-20 is extremely difficult. China is the only country so far to possess such industrial capability and has used the explosive in some of its newest weapons, according to a US Energetics Technology Centre study commissioned by the Pentagon in 2021. But the use of CL-20 is still limited due to its sensitivity to shock, according to the Chinese team led by explosive scientist Guo Changping from the Sichuan Military and Civilian Co-Innovation Centre for New Energetic Materials. Guo and his colleagues developed a new nanotechnology that can help synthesise CL-20 composites with ultra-high stability. In a falling hammer test, the impact sensitivity or “H50 value” of the new CL-20 explosive was 68cm (26.8 inches), much higher than that of the original material at 13cm.

Falling hammer tests involve dropping a weight onto a sample of explosive material from a specified height and measuring whether it detonated. The height at which half of the samples detonate is known as the H50 value and is used as a measure of impact sensitivity. “CL-20 has a high mechanical sensitivity, which makes it prone to safety accidents during its development, production, storage, transport and use, due to friction and impact. Its safety performance needs to be improved,” Guo’s team said in a peer-reviewed paper published in the Chinese Journal of Explosives and Propellants in April. “We are seeking a new method to break through the current technology barriers. It will inspire the design and preparation of high-security, high-energy propellants and explosive formulas of the future,” the scientists added.

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Woke Twitter Employees Exit In Fallout Over What Is A Woman Censorship (Rebel)

Several high-profile Twitter employees have exited the company following their decision to undermine the leadership of Elon Musk in censoring the Daily Wire’s documentary on trans-affirming surgeries for minors, “What Is A Woman?” One of the employees in question, Maie Aiyed, who served as the company’s program manager for brand safety, was exposed for having previously published posts disparaging white people following her exit. Aiyed shared her departure from Twitter, colloquially referred to as “the bird app,” through a post on a verified account linked to her. Although the tweet did not detail the reasons for her exit, it extended gratitude to some of her colleagues.

The departure announcement coincided with the news of Ella Irwin’s resignation, the chief of Twitter’s trust and safety department, and the platform’s restriction on the premiere of The Daily Wire’s documentary, “What Is A Woman?”. Elon Musk confirmed on Friday that their departures were directly related to the effort to censor the documentary. Historical posts from Aiyed, exhibiting a pattern of dismissive remarks towards white people, resurfaced among users following the news of her departure. Her previous posts, dating back to 2017, ranged from undermining white individuals’ comprehension of other cultures to caricaturing their behaviors and preferences.

As detailed by Fox News producer Gregg Re, Aiyed tweeted various racial grievances against white people. In one instance, Aiyed even stated that she was “actively avoiding reading books by white authors.” Aiyed’s account portrays her as having Egyptian heritage, frequently posting about video games and an array of other subjects, often in a sardonic tone. LinkedIn data indicates that Aiyed has held the role of a program manager for Brand Safety Partnerships at Twitter in the San Francisco Bay Area since March 2022, a tenure that predates Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company. Her professional history includes employment at other major tech companies such as YouTube, Patreon, and Dropbox.

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John Strand Jan 6
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664660656899907585

 

 

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