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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747630445838131401

 

 

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

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“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.

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“..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.

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“.. 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.

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“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.

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“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

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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.

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“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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1747733727076347993

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 162023
 


Pable Picasso Le Pengouin 1907

 

Credit Suisse Borrows $54BN From SNB: “Pre-emptively Strengthen Liquidity” (ZH)
EU Shrugs Off Silicon Valley Bank Collapse (Pol.eu)
Pentagon Calls Moscow Over Drone Incident (RT)
US Drones Have No Business Near Russia – Ambassador (RT)
Drone Incident Confirms US Involvement In Ukraine Conflict – Russia (RT)
Moscow Responds To Lindsey Graham Threat (RT)
Attack On Russian Plane In Neutral Airspace A Declaration Of War – Antonov (TASS)
Antonov Expressed Russia’s Concerns Over US Activities At State Dept (TASS)
China Comments On ‘Ukrainian Theory’ Of Nord Stream Sabotage (RT)
Explosive Devices Found At Russian Pipeline – Transneft (RT)
Ukraine Wants To Legalize Controversial Hacker Brigade (RT)
How Russian Identity Was Wiped Out In What Is Now Western Ukraine (Plotnikov)
The Tyrants Are Passing State Laws to Push CBDCs (Thomas Renz)
GOP Candidates: Pay Attention DC (Denninger)
Which Biden Family Member Got Cut Of $3M CCP-Linked Wire? (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFK Haines
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635831142124339200

 

 

RFK Fauci

 

 

 

 

Tucker weapons

 

 

Bosi

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Russian warriors

 

 

 

 

Credit Suisse is labeled systemically important, aka too big to fail. On Wall Street. But as ZH notes this loan does nothing to halt the depositor flight that made the loan necessary. What happens if someone decides to take the other side of the bet, like Soros did with the Bank of England?

Credit Suisse Borrows $54BN From SNB: “Pre-emptively Strengthen Liquidity” (ZH)

Update (21:00ET): And so, the “bailout” arrives just a few hours before the Europe open, Credit Suisse said it’s planning to borrow from the Swiss National Bank up to CHF50 billion ($54 billion) under a covered loan facility which is “fully collateralized by high quality assets”. It wasn’t immediately clear what high quality assets CS has left to pledge but in a time of BTFP, we are confident they found something. The bank also announced offers by Credit Suisse International to repurchase certain OpCo senior debt securities for cash of up to about CHF3 billion, which will help the bank pick up a few pennies in bond discount, even as it faces tens of billions in deposit flight.

So to summarize: Credit Suisse effectively just took out a priming DIP loan, pledging its last remaining assets with the SNB, to shore up some $54BN in emergency liquidity, probably how much the bank has seen in deposit outflows. It will be very interesting on what terms those assets were pledged. Another way of saying it, is that this is a last-ditch liquidity infusion, and all it does is prevent forced asset liquidations (a la SVB). Meanwhile it does nothing to halt the depositor flight because once trust is broken, it rarely returns. The news sent Euro Stoxx 50 futures 2% higher, and pushed Emini S&P futures to session highs of 3946; 2Year yields moved up by about 20bps to 4.00% before fading the move.

That said don’t hold your breath for some breathtaking surge: once the market sees though this rescue for what it is – yet another temporary stop gap measure – it will demand much more, especially after the ECB hikes rates tomorrow which this “band-aid bailout” will allow the Central Bank to do, in the process guaranteeing an even bigger bailout down the line.

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“..acting as if there’s no crisis can sometimes be all part of the game to reassure the markets..”

EU Shrugs Off Silicon Valley Bank Collapse (Pol.eu)

The failure over the weekend of America’s Silicon Valley Bank, which had assets of $200 billion, has prompted fears of wider meltdown, with share prices plummeting and U.S. agencies scrambling to contain the fallout and prevent runs on other lenders. In the European Union, it’s very definitely seen as something that’s happening to other people. “At the EU level, there is very limited presence of Silicon Valley Bank,” Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president of the European Commission, said Tuesday. “We are in touch with the relevant competent authorities, but we don’t expect much of a spillover effect.” His was just the latest in a series of chilled-out comments from leading EU figures as they looked on while the financial blowup raged.

“I don’t see any risk of contagion,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday. “We are monitoring the situation but there is no specific alert.” EU bank stocks slumped 5.84 percent on Monday in response to the demise of SVB — but rallied on Tuesday, closing back up 2.46 percent. Aside from the immediate risks of contagion, the big question is whether SVB is an idiosyncratic event or a sign of broader ailments at banks. European leaders are firmly playing things down, stressing the difficulties were unique. “The problems arise from the specific business model of the Silicon Valley Bank, and the picture here in Europe is very different,” said Paschal Donohoe, president of the Eurogroup, the gathering of eurozone finance ministers, after their latest meeting on Monday.

Of course, acting as if there’s no crisis can sometimes be all part of the game to reassure the markets. So when the EU says “nothing to see here,” those in the know — particularly those who lived through the financial turmoil a decade and a half ago — may wonder whether actually they’re just hoping that if they say it loudly enough it will become true.

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It’s good that they talk. They should do more of that. Much more.

Pentagon Calls Moscow Over Drone Incident (RT)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reached out to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, on Wednesday, for the first time in months, to discuss the incident in which an American spy drone went down in the Black Sea waters off Crimea. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Shoigu told Austin that the incident was caused by the Americans violating the airspace restriction declared by Russia, with all the proper international notifications in place. Shoigu called US drone flights off the Russian coast “provocative in nature” and risked an escalation of tensions in the Black Sea. While Russia does not desire such a development, it will “continue to respond proportionately to all provocations,” Shoigu said. He added that the two nuclear powers “must act as responsibly as possible,” which includes keeping a military channel open to discuss any crisis.

Speaking at a Pentagon press briefing, Austin confirmed that he made the call, and said it was “important that great powers be models of transparency and communication.” However, he insisted the US would “continue to fly and to operate wherever international law allows.” The last time Shoigu and Austin spoke was in October 2022, according to AP. The top military officers also had a phone call about the matter, with US General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reaching out to his Russian counterpart, General Valery Gerasimov. On Tuesday, the US European Command claimed that two Russian Su-27 jets conducted an “an unsafe and unprofessional intercept” of a MQ-9 Reaper drone, which was conducting an intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) mission in international waters over the Black Sea.

According to the US military, one of the planes struck the drone’s propeller, causing the operators to ditch the UAV into the water. The Russian Defense Ministry, however, said that at no point did any of the interceptors make contact with the drone, or use their on-board weapons. The UAV stalled and crashed after executing an abrupt maneuver, Moscow said. Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said he told the State Department that US drones have no business so close to the Russian border. The drone was reportedly just 60 kilometers off the coast of Crimea when it crashed.

The US has flown drones and other surveillance aircraft near the Russian border for over a year, providing intelligence and targeting information to the Ukrainian government – along with weapons, ammunition and money – while insisting it is not a party to the conflict. Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, said on Wednesday that the drone incident was “yet another confirmation” the US was directly involved.

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Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov is the de facto spokesperson for Moscow on the issue.

US Drones Have No Business Near Russia – Ambassador (RT)

Moscow regards Tuesday’s incident in which an American drone crashed in the Black Sea as a provocation, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said after being summoned to the State Department in Washington. Antonov met with Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried, who protested the “unsafe and unprofessional intercept” of the drone that resulted in its loss. “We consider this incident a provocation,” Antonov told reporters after the meeting. He said he told Donfried that US drones, planes and ships had no business being that close to Russian borders. “Could you imagine what the reaction of the US media or the Pentagon would be, if such a drone would appear near New York or San Francisco?” he asked.

Antonov described the talks with Donfried as “constructive” and said both sides shared their concerns. The US and Russia need to be “extremely cautious” how they act, given the current situation in Eastern Europe, he added. He also told Donfried that Moscow is seeking “pragmatic relations” and not conflict with the US. According to the US military, two Russian Su-27 interceptors flew dangerously close to the MQ-9 Reaper drone on Tuesday morning, spilling fuel on the drone and at one point damaging its propeller, causing the UAV to crash. The drone, they said, was on a peaceful surveillance mission in international waters. In response, the Russian Defense Ministry said the UAV stalled after executing drastic maneuvers, and that the interceptors “did not come into contact with the UAV.”

Antonov had pointed out that the drone was of a type that can carry multiple missiles and bombs. The MQ-9 was developed as a “hunter-killer” variant of the MQ-1 Predator. The US has flown drones and surveillance planes near the Russian border for over a year, providing intelligence and targeting information to the Ukrainian government – along with weapons, ammunition and money – while insisting it is not a party to the conflict. The exact location of the incident was not provided by either government. Russian media have reported that the Reaper’s last location was about 60 kilometers southwest of the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

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“..Russian fighters did not use any airborne weapons and did not come into contact with the drone..”

Drone Incident Confirms US Involvement In Ukraine Conflict – Russia (RT)

Moscow will attempt to recover the wreckage of the American MQ-9 Reaper drone that fell into the Black Sea on Tuesday, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, has announced. Speaking live on a Russian federal channel on Wednesday, the official admitted that he doesn’t know if it will be possible to get to the remains of the UAV but stressed that it was important to make an effort to find and study the wreckage. Patrushev also added that “Americans keep saying that they are not participating in the hostilities” in Ukraine and that this latest incident with the drone is “yet another confirmation that [the US] are directly involved” in the ongoing military conflict.

The secretary’s statement comes after Washington’s European Command (EUCOM) reported that one of its MQ-9 Reaper drones was brought down over the Black Sea on Tuesday morning as a result of “unsafe and unprofessional” actions by two Russian Su-27 fighter jets. The Pentagon insists that one of the Russian interceptors had “struck the propeller” of the drone while it was conducting a reconnaissance mission in international airspace. The Russian Defense Ministry has denied claims that its planes came into contact with the American drone, but reported that Aerospace Forces had recorded the flight of an American UAV over the Black Sea towards the Russian border and dispatched two interceptors to investigate.

The ministry noted that the aircraft was flying with transponders turned off and in violation of the temporary air borders established around the ongoing military operation area in Ukraine. At some point, “as a result of sharp maneuvers” the drone went into “uncontrolled flight” and crashed into the sea, the ministry reported, noting that Russian fighters did not use any airborne weapons and did not come into contact with the drone. US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby has since stated that the US is taking all the necessary measures to ensure that the remains of the MQ-9 Reaper drone do not fall into anyone else’s hands.

“It’s the United States’ property. We obviously don’t want to see anybody getting their hands on it beyond us,” Kirby told CNN. However, he also admitted that he’s not sure if the US will be able to recover the aircraft, because it fell into “very very deep water” in the Black Sea. “We’re still assessing whether there can be any kind of recovery effort. There may not be.”

Lavrov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1636060425417629697

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“it is not the Russian pilots who should be called out,” but rather American politicians, “who are inciting the start of an apocalyptic conflict.”

Moscow Responds To Lindsey Graham Threat (RT)

Russia’s ambassador to the US has accused Senator Lindsey Graham of provoking “dangerous escalation” between the two countries, after the senior lawmaker urged the Pentagon to fire on Russian fighter jets. Asked about Graham’s comments on Wednesday, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said the senator’s call to shoot down Russian aircraft went “far beyond common sense” and risked all-out war between the world’s largest nuclear powers. “This is by no means the first attempt by the notorious lawmaker to provoke a dangerous escalation in the US-Russian relations. A year ago he urged our citizens to make an assassination attempt on the president of Russia,” he said. “Does Senator Graham really believe that a direct military clash with Russia is in the interests of the voters who entrusted him with their lives and livelihood?” “Is the Capitol willing to put American citizens and the international community at risk of a full-scale nuclear war? Give us an answer, distinguished Senator!”

Graham appeared on Fox News earlier on Wednesday to discuss a recent close encounter between Russian fighter jets and a US MQ-9 Reaper drone near Crimea, calling for a tough response from President Joe Biden after the UAV was sent plunging into the Black Sea. “What would Ronald Reagan do right now? He would start shooting Russian planes down, if they were threatening our assets,” Graham told the outlet, referring to the US leader who served at the height of Cold War brinkmanship with the Soviet Union. While US officials claimed one of the Russian planes collided with the drone and caused it to crash, the Russian Defense Ministry said the unmanned vehicle went down after stalling, and never came into contact with another aircraft. Antonov went on to argue that Moscow “did everything possible to prevent this kind of incident,” including informing the international community “in good time about the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime” established in the area.

While the ambassador said it is a “shame for the Pentagon to lose an expensive piece of equipment,” he insisted “it is not the Russian pilots who should be called out,” but rather American politicians, “who are inciting the start of an apocalyptic conflict.” Washington has flown drones and surveillance craft near the Russian border on a near-constant basis over the last year, providing intelligence – along with weapons, ammunition and money – to the Ukrainian government even as it insists it is not a party to the conflict. The exact location of this week’s drone encounter was not confirmed by either government, though Russian news outlets have reported that the Reaper’s last location was about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southwest of the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

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“Russia did everything possible to prevent this kind of incident – it informed the international community in good time about the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime established for the special military operation.”

Attack On Russian Plane In Neutral Airspace A Declaration Of War – Antonov (TASS)

A deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in neutral airspace would be an open declaration of war against the largest nuclear power, Moscow is not seeking confrontation, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday. “Some lawmakers’ calls go far beyond common sense,” he said, commenting on US Senator Lindsey Graham’s (from South Karolina) threats to shoot down Russian planes approaching US aircraft in international airspace. “The Russian Ministry of Defense has explained in detail the reasons and course of actions of Russian pilots during yesterday’s incident over the Black Sea. I repeat, for those who have not gathered themselves to look at the situation objectively: our fighters did not come into contact with the American UAV,” he said, commenting on the loss of a MQ-9 American drone. “Russia did everything possible to prevent this kind of incident – it informed the international community in good time about the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime established for the special military operation.”

“Of course, it is a shame for the Pentagon to lose expensive piece of equipment. But in this case, the US military should redirect accusations of unprofessional actions back to themselves,” he noted. “As for the aforementioned senator, this is by no means the first attempt by the notorious lawmaker to provoke a dangerous escalation in the US-Russian relations. A year ago he urged our citizens to make an assassination attempt on the president of Russia. Does Senator Graham really believe that a direct military clash with Russia is in the interests of the voters who entrusted him with their lives and livelihood?” the Russian ambassador noted. “A deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in neutral airspace is not just a crime under international law, but an open declaration of war against the largest nuclear power. An armed conflict between Russia and the United States would be radically different from the proxy war the Americans are waging remotely against us in Ukraine,” Antonov warned. “Is the Capitol willing to put American citizens and the international community at risk of a full-scale nuclear war? Give us an answer, distinguished Senator!”

“It is not the Russian pilots who should be called out, but American politicians who are inciting the start of an apocalyptic conflict. We do not seek a conflict with a nuclear power. We continue to maintain contacts, including through the Defense Ministry, to prevent unintentional incidents. I wish US politicians had the same attitude toward relations with Russia,” the Russian diplomat stressed. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Russian airspace control systems detected an American MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle flying near the Crimean Peninsula on Tuesday. The drone flew with its transponders turned off, violating a temporary boundary established for the special military operation, communicated to all users of international airspace, and published in accordance with international standards.

Russia’s top brass added that as a result of sharp maneuvering, the drone went into uncontrolled flight before losing altitude and crashing into the Black Sea. The ministry stressed that Russian fighter jets had not used on-board weapons, nor had they come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle, and returned safely to their home airfield. According to the US European Command, one of the two Russian Su-27 warplanes hit the drone’s propeller to make it crash into the Black Sea. MQ-9 Reaper is a modular reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicle engineered by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. It is equipped with a turboprop engine and can develop a speed of more than 400 kilometer per hour. The maximal flight duration is 24 hours. The drone is capable of carrying air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles, and laser-guided bombs.

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More talk. Also good.

Antonov Expressed Russia’s Concerns Over US Activities At State Dept (TASS)

Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov disclosed that he discussed Russia’s concerns regarding various aspects of Washington’s activities during the meeting in the US Department of State after the incident involving a US drone in the Black Sea. “Yesterday, I was invited to the Department of State, where I had a 30-minute conversation with Assistant Secretary of State [for European and Eurasian Affairs] Karen Donfried. Notably, we talked for 15 minutes about this particular story, and 15 more minutes – about Russia’s concerns regarding various aspects of activities of the United States of America,” he said on Russian TV Wednesday. According to Antonov, the conversation was calm. “It felt like my colleague simply read out a document that she had before her eyes,” he noted.


The envoy underscored that he categorically rejected all accusations of the American side towards the Russian Armed Forces. Previously, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the Russian Aerospace Forces detected a US MQ-9 drone flying near the Crimean Peninsula. The drone was reportedly flying with its transponder turned off and “in violation of the boundaries of the temporary airspace use area, defined in order to carry out the special military operation, which has been conveyed to all airspace users and published in accordance to the international norms.” The Defense Ministry added that the drone’s abrupt maneuvering caused it to lose control, lose altitude and crash into the water. Russian jet fighters did not use its weapons and did not collide with the drone, and successfully returned to their bases, the Ministry said.

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“We have noted that some Western media have been mysteriously quiet after Hersh reported that the US was behind the Nord Stream blast. But now these media are unusually simultaneous in making their voice heard. How would the US account for such abnormality?”

China Comments On ‘Ukrainian Theory’ Of Nord Stream Sabotage (RT)

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin found it unusual that major outlets in the West uncritically embraced the claim by unnamed US officials that a “pro-Ukrainian group” was responsible for the bombing of Nord Stream natural gas pipelines. At the press briefing on Wednesday, Wang described the pipelines as “vital cross-border infrastructure projects,” whose destruction had a “serious impact on the global energy market and ecological environment.” China wants “an objective, impartial and professional investigation” into the bombing and those responsible held to account, the sooner the better, he added.

Asked to comment on the so-called “Ukrainian theory,” first put forth by anonymous US officials in the New York Times last week, Wang noted the sudden change of behavior by Western media, after they spent a month ignoring the report by journalist Seymour Hersh that blamed the US and Norway. “We have noted that some Western media have been mysteriously quiet after Hersh reported that the US was behind the Nord Stream blast. But now these media are unusually simultaneous in making their voice heard. How would the US account for such abnormality? Is there anything hidden behind the scene?” Wang said. Nord Stream 1 and 2, pipelines built under the Baltic Sea to carry Russian natural gas to Germany and onward to Western Europe, were damaged in a series of explosions in September 2022.

In early February, Hersh published a report detailing how Washington had the pipelines destroyed, describing how US divers planted the explosives and a Norwegian airplane sent the detonation signal. The US government denied all accusations, labeling Hersh’s report “utterly false and complete fiction,” while Russia and China called for an independent and transparent investigation. The Times report quoted unnamed US officials who suggested that the saboteurs were “most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two,” citing unspecified new intelligence. The anonymous officials insisted no US or British nationals were involved, and that there was no evidence President Vladimir Zelensky or any other Ukrainian official directed the attack, either. Kiev has officially denied any responsibility for the Nord Stream blasts.

When he was shown the Times article during an interview, Hersh laughed and asked “Are they that stupid?” referring to the outlet’s anonymous sources. Nonetheless, the story was dutifully repeated by all major Western outlets. Russian president Vladimir Putin was likewise unconvinced. During an interview with Rossiya-1 on Tuesday, he dismissed as “complete nonsense” the notion that non-state actors could be behind the complex act of sabotage. The attacks could have only been “carried out by specialists, and supported by the entire power of a state possessing certain technologies,” he said.

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Not Nord Stream, but Druzhba. “..the devices were found in destroyed plastic cases of “non-industrial production” with a striking warhead in the form of steel balls..”:

Explosive Devices Found At Russian Pipeline – Transneft (RT)

Workers at the Russian oil pipeline transport company Transneft have reportedly found several explosive devices at the Novozybkov oil-pumping station of its Druzhba pipeline in the Bryansk region near Ukraine, according to company spokesperson Igor Demin. Speaking to TASS, he stated that on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday morning, the devices were found in destroyed plastic cases of “non-industrial production” with a striking warhead in the form of steel balls. “Presumably, the destruction of the cases occurred after hitting the ground when falling from drones,” Demin suggested. He added that on Wednesday afternoon another explosive device was seen being dropped from a UAV, “likely similar to the other two [devices].”

At the same time, the Transneft representative pointed out that the Novozybkov pumping station had not been in operation throughout 2023 and that its reserve tanks are empty. Demin added that, given the steel balls found in the explosives, the perpetrators of the sabotage likely did not intend to destroy the facility but instead wanted to kill members of the civilian personnel working at the Druzhba station.The spokesperson noted that an investigation is currently underway and that nobody at the Novozybkov facility had been injured. The Druzhba (Friendship) oil pipeline is one of the longest in the world and connects eastern parts of Russia to several points in Europe, including Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Germany. However, the pipeline has repeatedly come under attack from Kiev’s forces since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine.

The last attack was reported on February 1, when Demin stated that a missile had landed on the territory of the Novozybkov station but ultimately failed to cause any damage or to injure any of the workers. On February 3, another attack was reported by media outlet Mash, but Transneft said it had no information on the alleged incident and that the pipeline was working normally. The pipeline segment that is apparently being targeted by Ukraine is located some 39 kilometers from the border with Russia and leads in the direction of Belarus, where it branches off into two sections, one going to Germany and Poland and the other to Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic.

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Maybe they can take the place of the Orthodox church.

Ukraine Wants To Legalize Controversial Hacker Brigade (RT)

Ukraine is drafting a law to legalize its controversial hacker brigade, turning an international pro-Ukrainian “hacktivist” group into a “cyber-reserve” military unit, Newsweek confirmed with a state official in an article published on Tuesday. Secretary of Ukraine’s National Coordination Center for Cybersecurity Natalia Tkachuk told Newsweek that a law regulating the “creation and functioning of cyber forces” was being fast tracked at the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. She added that this new law would be the “basis for building the state’s cyber defense capabilities, engaging cyber volunteers in these activities, and creating a cyber reserve.” Kiev currently has a volunteer hacker brigade called ‘the IT Army of Ukraine’, which it wants to take out of the legal gray area and incorporate into the armed forces in an official capacity.

The IT Army calls itself a “worldwide IT community” that represents President Vladimir Zelensky’s team and is “the supreme power in Ukraine, capable [of blocking] over 800 targets simultaneously.” They invite anyone with a phone to join and help launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on Russian online services, where they flood the sites with internet traffic and cause an outage. The group has claimed responsibility for crashing various Russian sites, including bringing down media websites during Vladimir Putin’s State of the Nation address last month. The IT Army has also been criticized for targeting civilian facilities, including hospitals, in their attacks, according to Newsweek. The report claims that a representative of the group has welcomed the decision to legalize their efforts, even if it meant dissolving the existing IT Army to transform into an official army unit.

This comes as Russia and Belarus signed a new digital safety agreement earlier this month to “increase the protection of the information infrastructure” and “combat destructive influences on the information resources” of the two states. At the same time, many Western outlets are issuing warnings on alleged Russian cyber warfare. Most recently, CNN said on Wednesday that Russian hackers were targeting European military and transport organizations, citing a Microsoft report. Similarly, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told Funke media group last month that Moscow’s hackers were a “massive danger” to Berlin.

Orthodox

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A gruesome history piece.

How Russian Identity Was Wiped Out In What Is Now Western Ukraine (Plotnikov)

Galicia, a historical region in the West of Ukraine, is currently the center of the country’s nationalist movement. However, things were once very different. A little over a hundred years ago, representatives of opposing Russophile and pro-Ukrainian political movements competed for the loyalty of the local Ruthenian population, also known as Rusyns. Galicia’s Russophiles welcomed the beginning of the First World War as a step toward an anticipated reunion with Russia. However the Ukrainian movement remained loyal to Austria-Hungary. With the help of the latter, Vienna killed off the Rusyn intelligentsia, which it considered a “fifth column”. To accomplish this, the Hapsburgs set up concentration camps. What happened next amounted to a genocide.

By the start of the First World War, the Russophile movement in Galicia was experiencing tough times. As a result of the “divide and rule” policy implemented by the Austrians, the movement suffered a split. The oldest and most respected organizations ended up in the hands of pro-Austrian leaders who advocated Ukrainian, not Rusyn, identity. After the army of the Russian Empire crossed the border on August 18, 1914, and launched an offensive in Galicia, mass repressions swept through the region. People fell victim to the rage of the Austrian authorities over trifling matters – like possessing Russian literature, being a member of a Russian society, having a Russian education, or just sympathizing with Saint Petersburg. In some cases, people were arrested just for calling themselves Russians. Prisons were full of “enemies of the state” and “dangerous Moscow agents”, and the streets were lined with gallows.

“Those suspected of ‘Russophilia’ were hung on these trees in front of the windows. People were hung right on the trees. They would hang there for a day, then would be taken off and others would take their place… ” recounted one of the peasants in the Gorodetsky district. The repressions primarily affected the intelligentsia and Orthodox priests, most of whom completed spiritual studies in the Russian Empire. Repressions against the intelligentsia were followed by those against the general public. Anyone who was thought to sympathize with Russia or Russian culture became a suspect. This included people who had once visited Russia, read Russian newspapers, or were just known as “Russophiles.” Military courts worked around the clock and a simplified procedure of legal proceedings was introduced for cases of suspected treason.

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Renz spreads his wings beyond COVID.

The Tyrants Are Passing State Laws to Push CBDCs (Thomas Renz)

For those that are living under a rock (or that have more interesting things to do than follow monetary policy) CBDC stands for Central Bank Digital Currency and it, along with gene therapy jabs, stands as the greatest threat to freedom on the planet. Digital currency is completely trackable and completely controllable. This means that the government and any corporation with the proper access will be able to know exactly how you spend every digital penny of your money. It also means that the government (or possibly global governments or global corporations) would have the ability to control what you spend your money on. Spend too much on gas they take some of your money for emitting too many greenhouse gases. Want to buy a gun… forget it.

If you think this sounds terrible you are not alone, nearly no one wants this. That means it is quite literally politically impossible to legislate CBDC into existence at the moment. Despite that, the control available to the many tyrants at the WEF, CCP, etc. is too tempting to resist so they are doing everything possible to leverage their control over the crooks like Biden and the many ignorant elected officials in our government to make it a reality. So, the question is, how are they doing it?

If COVID taught us anything it was that an emergency, real or faked, facilitates a lot of things that would never happen otherwise. The tyrants know this and are in the process of creating financial emergencies that will allow them to argue that there is no alternative but to implement CBDCs. The Biden Administration is implementing policy after policy that devalues the American dollar by limiting Americas ability to mine its own resources or produce its own goods while printing endless money. This will (or more likely is) facilitate an economic collapse. Meanwhile, WEF/CCP partner groups like Black Rock and Vanguard are leveraging their positions as major stakeholders in small and midsized banks to force the banks to accept terrible ESG and other risky investments that will, when combined with the inflation/devalued dollar and scarce resources, result in their collapse. This is an obvious thing to anyone that truly understands the inner-workings of banking (I ran a credit union for a number of years, was a compliance expert, and was involved in a number of national-level groups/projects).

Along with the effort to collapse the dollar and our banking system, the tyrants are also pushing legislation that can allow CBDCs to exist legally and without competition. This is being done in a VERY sneaky way because of the massive political opposition to anything CBDC-related. At this point, the major focus is on passing state-level legislation – particularly in a number of key RED states. Bills are being pushed that appear innocuous but are written to create a check-mate situation when CBDCs come into play. That way these red states won’t be able to oppose it.

BBC vaxx doc

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“That’s madness, and in a world of nuclear hellfire madness can indeed lead to you glowing in the dark..”

GOP Candidates: Pay Attention DC (Denninger)

Yes, Russia may be a nation with a modest GDP that exports black goo to the world in order to stay alive but it is a nation with a modest GDP that exports black goo and happens to have many thousands of nuclear devices on the business end of missiles and torpedoes both on land and sea. If sufficiently threatened with political extinction I would expect them to use those rather than die in peace and if you don’t you’re more than a bit crazy. Those (like Pence) who think Russia is the schoolyard bully who threatens but doesn’t have a pistol under his jacket are even more-insane. He knows the weapons are real, of course, as does everyone else, and for anyone to believe that a sovereign nation will simply fold to an outside influence rather than use whatever they have when facing their own political extinction due to said outside influence is to be imbued with a God Complex that should, in a Representative Republic, be an instant and permanent disqualifier from any high office in this land.


Why? Because if you believe this then you must acquiesce under the principle of “All humans are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights” to extend to those other nations and if it is our place to tell them what is “acceptable” in a government and remove by force those who deem not to be then the exact same principle applies to those other nations. In other words if you hold this principle then you are endorsing Putin assassinating not just the present government (all of said government, including Congress, the Justices of the Supreme Court and the Executive) but also yourself ex-ante before the election! Oh this “right”, which you arrogate to yourself and the United States, does not just extend to Putin. It also extends to Xi, never mind every other leader of every other nation. That’s madness, and in a world of nuclear hellfire madness can indeed lead to you glowing in the dark. We would be wise to reject that with finality.

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I’m getting curious: just how careless did the family become? There are 5 of them, and they all like money. I would like to know more, though, about the “two individuals tied to the Chinese Communist Party”. What ties?

Which Biden Family Member Got Cut Of $3M CCP-Linked Wire? (ZH)

Washington DC is abuzz with speculation over which Biden family member got a cut of a $3 million wire transfer to Hunter Biden associate John “Rob” Walker, just weeks after Joe Biden was no longer Vice President in 2017.According to House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) – who last week said that evidence of CCP money flowing to the Biden family was “as bad as we thought,” – revealed that bank records obtained via a subpoena have implicated a “new Biden family member” in the ongoing investigation into the first family’s finances. Comer told Fox News that Walker received a $3 million wire from two individuals tied to the Chinese Communist Party, which he then divvied up between Biden family members.

“The very next day after that wire was received, the Walker account started transferring money into three different Biden family members’ accounts, including a new Biden family member that’s never before been identified as someone being involved in the influence-peddling scheme,” Comer told host Sean Hannity (as part of several recent interviews on the network). According to Comer, GOP investigators are curious about what work Biden family members performed in exchange for the money Walker disbursed. Comer added that the $3 million wire transfer was “just the first wire that we’ve actually been able to obtain bank records on. There are many, many more.”

“The media says, ‘Well, this is a Hunter Biden investigation.’ This is an investigation of Joe Biden. And we’re investigating the Biden family and again, after this new batch of information, it expands,” Comer told “America’s Newsroom.” “There are more family members involved in this than just the president’s son. And what they’ve said in the media, ‘Oh, this was for business.’ We can’t identify any business. It appears it went into their personal account,” Comer continued, adding that he thinks that the Biden family was running an influence-peddling operation as unregistered foreign agents. “In his 2020 book, “Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite,” investigative journalist Peter Schweizer highlighted four Biden family members in addition to Hunter who have apparently profited off their family name, as well as the connections Joe Biden has made during his nearly 50 years in politics.

Schweizer highlighted first brother James Biden’s work with HillStone International, a subsidiary of construction management firm Hill International. James Biden, according to Schweizer, joined the firm as an executive vice president just three weeks after HillStone International president Kevin Justice visited the White House in November 2010 and met with an adviser to then-Vice President Joe Biden.” -NY Post So, everything they accused the Trump family of doing?

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A little-known feature of Russia is that it has an extensive inland waterway system, known as the Unified Deep Water System of European Russia. The system links the Baltic, Black, Azov, White and Caspian seas together. Russian warships and submarines, up to a certain class (kilo-class for submarines), can theoretically access the Black Sea via this system, bypassing Turkey and the Montreux Convention.

 

 

Gates Epstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hawk

 

 

Sleepy friends
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635999489684127746

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 022022
 
 September 2, 2022  Posted by at 8:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  59 Responses »


Marc Chagall The soldier drinks 1912

 

These Are The Leaders Of Biden’s Revolution (Tucker Carlson)
Biden’s Most Enduring Legacy? (Rickards)
German FM Made ‘Fantastic Admission’ – Lavrov (RT)
Ukrainian Troops Captured During Raid On Nuclear Plant – Official (RT)
Ukraine Suffers Heavy Losses In Failed Offensive – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine Planned To Use IAEA Team As ‘Human Shields’ – Russia (RT)
Getting it Wrong on Ukraine (Scott Ritter)
More Ukraine Military Aid Coming, White House Says (RT)
Wholesale Gas Prices Fall On Europe’s Plan To Avert Winter Energy Crisis (G.)
Sanctions Hinder Russian Gas Flow To EU – Gazprom (RT)
Dead of Winter (Doomberg)
Which Crime Syndicate Murdered Darya Dugina? (Escobar)
A Story for Children (Batiushka)
Greece’s Slide Toward Authoritarianism (Spiegel)
How Mikhail Gorbachev Became the Most Reviled Man in Russia (CP)

 

 

An American president attempting to incite a civil war. Never seen such a thing.

 

 

Tucker Biden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook fact check

 

 

 

 

Nothing accidental about the decor. But very wrong at the same time.

These Are The Leaders Of Biden’s Revolution (Tucker Carlson)

If you’re watching this right now, you are missing a rare primetime address from Joe Biden. Biden doesn’t give a lot of those for obvious reasons, but tonight’s topic is worthy of the occasion. America, ladies and gentlemen, is under attack and not from our usual enemies. The threat we face tonight is existential, but it’s not coming from barefoot religious extremists living in caves. It’s not the Chinese government. It’s not even Vladimir Putin himself, the most diabolically evil man in history. No, ladies and gentlemen, this threat is worse than all of that and it’s homegrown. As they say in the horror movies, it’s coming from inside the house. The single greatest threat to America today is Republican voters, all 75 million of them. They are Nazis and destroyers of democracy. They must be stopped. That is the message of Joe Biden’s speech.

Just moments ago, he referred to MAGA forces who are apparently marshaling at Red Lobster near you, ready to take over this country. Now, to underscore how deeply Joe Biden means all of this, tonight’s address in Philadelphia is not being categorized as a campaign event ahead of the midterm elections, which is what it looks like. No. Instead, this speech has the full sponsorship of the White House. In other words, what Joe Biden is saying right now is the official position of the entire executive branch of the U.S. government. That would include the Justice Department, the various Intel agencies and the world’s most powerful standing military. Think about that. Does it make you nervous? You don’t have to be a Trump voter to see a speech like this as a turning point in American history. For hundreds of years, the U.S. has had a political system comprised of two competing parties. If you were to declare one of those parties criminal and illegitimate, what would you be left with?

Well, you will be left with a one-party state and that is what Joe Biden is calling for tonight, a one-party state. It’s shocking. You may have trouble believing it’s even happening and yet it is live on television right now, and yet and here’s what we’re here to tell you, believe it or not, there is an upside to this catastrophe. Even as you watch your beloved country take a turn you never imagined possible, there is reason for hope. American liberals may have obvious dictatorial ambitions. There’s no question they do. Only would-be dictators fear free speech and an armed population. But just because liberals long for a one-party state doesn’t mean they’re going to get one. They won’t. In the end, they don’t have the skills to pull that off. Liberals are too incompetent to overthrow democracy, and that’s obvious from history.

Tucker Biden

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No, he trumped that last night.

Biden’s Most Enduring Legacy? (Rickards)

What are the advantages of a central bank digital currency? Well, the advantages are speed, cost, security and ease of use. Assume you buy a candy bar at a convenience store. You pay for it with a credit card, which begins a payment process involving maybe five parties including the merchant, the credit card company, the bank and an intermediary called a merchant acquirer (no need to list the details here, but it’s complicated). Ultimately the bank that issues your credit card sends you a bill and you pay it. You also pay a fee, maybe 3%, all to buy a candy bar. But with a central bank digital currency, you could simply pay for the candy bar with an account you have at the Fed. You would disintermediate the merchant acquirer, the banks and the credit card company. It would eliminate the fees we currently face. In a nutshell, the payment system will be faster, cheaper, easier, more streamlined and more secure.

The question is why are they doing this? Well, the banks and the government will tell you that it’s cheaper, faster and safer, so it makes sense. And that’s true, as far as it goes, but there are a lot of hidden agendas here. The first one is to eliminate cash. If you didn’t like the central bank digital currency system for privacy reasons, you might say, “Hey, I feel like I’m under surveillance. This is intrusive. I just don’t trust it. Where’s my alternative?” Particularly if they eliminate the traditional credit card payment system, you might buy your candy bar with cash. But if you’re the government and you want the central bank digital currency to succeed, you have to eliminate cash because it’s your competition. The government hates cash because it’s not traceable. If you spend it, they don’t know that you spent it or how you spent it. They can’t put you under surveillance with cash.

The other thing the government wants is the ability to impose negative interest rates. Instead of earning interest on your money in the bank, you’d be charged to keep it there. Cash stands in the way of negative interest rates because cash doesn’t have a negative interest rate. Assume you bury $100,000 in cash in your backyard. You come back a year later, you still have $100,000. You might not earn any interest on your money, but at least the government can’t take it away. But if all your money is in digital form within the banking system, they can impose negative interest rates on it. The government wants to use the banking system for a lot of other things. They might want to freeze your account, they might want to seize your assets, they might also want to put an expiration date on your money. sImagine you get paid and the government tells you, “That money is going to evaporate or disappear if you don’t spend it in the next six months.” How’s that for a stimulus program?

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How can this woman still have a job this morning?

German FM Made ‘Fantastic Admission’ – Lavrov (RT)

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has described as “fantastic” a recent comment by his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, about Berlin’s commitment to backing Kiev. The German official said on Wednesday that her country’s government would stand by Ukraine regardless of what German voters think about it. On Thursday, Lavrov delivered a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations marking the start of the academic year. In it, he said that many Western politicians are in the grip of a “Russophobic obsession.” As a case in point, the minister cited Baerbock’s remark, which she made in Prague on Wednesday. According to Lavrov, what the German official said effectively boiled down to the following: “Yes, our citizens are suffering but they will have to suffer more because we will be supporting Ukraine no matter what.”

The Russian foreign minister described Baerbock’s statement as a “fantastic admission.” Speaking at a conference named ‘Democracy’s Clear and Present Danger: How Do We Respond?’ organized by the NGO Forum 2000, the top German diplomat said: “If I give the promise to people in Ukraine – ‘We stand with you, as long as you need us’ – then I want to deliver. No matter what my German voters think, but I want to deliver to the people of Ukraine.” Baerbock acknowledged that dissatisfaction with the German government among the country’s population would likely increase come winter. She did go on to explain that Berlin would not remain completely deaf to its citizens, though, promising “social measures” for those who “cannot pay [the] energy prices.”

However, the official made it clear that the “sanctions [against Russia] will stay also in winter time, even if it gets really tough for politicians.” Since the start of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine in late February, and in light of the Western sanctions against Moscow that followed, energy prices in Europe have climbed to historic highs. This has pushed inflation up significantly across the EU, and in Germany in particular. On Wednesday, gas prices surged again on the spot market after the operator of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline announced the beginning of a three-day shutdown for maintenance.

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Will Schryver @imetatronink:

“The AFU clown show in southern Ukraine scales new heights. In arguably the most embarrassing debacle of the war yet for Ukraine, they apparently permitted themselves to attempt an MI6-designed and directed commando operation to seize the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. The would-be commandos, 64 in number, recently “trained” in the UK, set out across the Kakhovskoye reservoir in seven high-speed boats, landed on the opposite shore 3 km from the NPP, where they were immediately met by a Russian ambush.”

“Apparently Russian intelligence was fully aware of their plans and had monitored the debutante commandos from the time they left Poland to pursue their ostensibly glorious operation – allegedly advocated by the corpulent Boris Johnson himself in his recent visit to Kiev.” “Of the 64 “commandos”, at least 47 are now dead, a few wounded, and a dozen trapped with no means of escape, all seven of their boats having been destroyed. The entire undertaking has been an unmitigated amateurish disaster.”

“Apparently, there were also two barges with 320 additional troops that attempted to cross the reservoir, but were sunk en route — all presumably drowned. In fact, some Ukrainian Telegram channels reported that 700 troops were involved. A joke of military planning / execution.”

Ukrainian Troops Captured During Raid On Nuclear Plant – Official (RT)

Three Ukrainian soldiers, who participated in a botched attempt to capture the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant on Thursday morning, have been taken alive, Vladimir Rogov, a council member in the Moscow-allied administration of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Region, has claimed. Of the three, two have been injured and are in serious condition, the official said in an interview with Russian television. Doctors are fighting to save them, he added. An estimated 12 Ukrainian troops are still fighting against Russian forces, he claimed. The Russian Defense Ministry previously claimed that early in the morning, Kiev launched an operation apparently aimed at taking the nuclear site ahead of an inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


Some of the Ukrainian troops failed to reach the southern bank of the Dnepr when their vessels were hit and sank, the ministry stated. Up to 60 commandos used speedboats to make a landing, before Russian forces engaged them, the report said. The power plant and the surrounding city of Energodar have been under Russian control since March. Throughout August, it came under regular fire, which Kiev and Moscow blamed on each other. Ukrainian officials also accused Russia of stationing heavy weapons at the nuclear facility. The IAEA’s fact-finding mission is expected to arrive in Energodar later in the day, though there were reports that their progress was interrupted by military activity. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of attempting to derail the inspection.

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“..I felt sorry for them and I started wondering if this was worth doing at such a cost,” the WSJ quoted a doctor in an intensive care unit as saying..”

Ukraine Suffers Heavy Losses In Failed Offensive – Moscow (RT)

Kiev’s attempts to take the initiative and advance in the south of the country have failed and resulted in heavy losses, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Thursday. The Ukrainian forces lost over 350 personnel, as Russian warplanes and artillery were used for kinetic action against Kiev’s forces over the last 24 hours, the ministry’s spokesman said during a daily briefing. Kiev also lost 31 tanks, 22 infantry fighting vehicles, 18 of other types of armored vehicles, eight armed pickup trucks, and 17 of other types of military vehicles, the statement said. This week, Ukraine launched a long-touted offensive to reclaim territories in the south of the country controlled by Russia. Kiev reported capturing some villages, but officials were mostly tight-lipped about the details of the operation, including its cost, citing secrecy.


The Russian side described the action as disastrous for Kiev. A previous Russian military briefing on Wednesday said Ukraine lost over 1,200 soldiers and dozens of pieces of military hardware to Russian fire in a single day. The fact that Ukraine was paying a heavy toll was corroborated by some Western news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper spoke to some of the Ukrainian soldiers injured on the battlefield and medics treating them to glimpse into the situation on the frontline. “When they started bringing in such a large number of wounded, then, honestly, I felt sorry for them and I started wondering if this was worth doing at such a cost,” the WSJ quoted a doctor in an intensive care unit as saying.

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“..we fully understand the complete silence of all Western sponsors of the Zelensky regime..”

Ukraine Planned To Use IAEA Team As ‘Human Shields’ – Russia (RT)

Kiev forces wanted to seize the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in a daring military raid and use the personnel of the UN nuclear watchdog as “human shields” to maintain control over the facility, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Thursday. The botched raid came shortly before a team of experts with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – including the organization’s head, Rafael Grossi – arrived at the plant for an inspection. According to the Russian military, multiple Ukrainian “saboteur groups” crossed the Kakhovka Reservoir in speedboats and barges near the plant early in the morning, but were intercepted and destroyed by Russian troops and National Guard forces.

“Obviously, if the operation of the Kiev regime to seize the station was a success, the head of the IAEA, [Rafael] Grossi, and the experts of the mission would become a ‘human shield’ for Ukrainian saboteurs to prevent any attempts to destroy them by the Russian armed forces,” the Russian MoD said in a statement. The operation aimed at capturing the nuclear power plant appears to have been “planned in advance by Zelensky’s regime,” the Russian military suggested. Moreover, the delay in Grossi’s visit to the installation, originally planned for August 31, stemmed from the Ukrainians’ need for more time to get ready for that “military provocation,” it alleged.

The ultimate goal of the operation was seizing control of the plant, while the presence of the IAEA team would have allowed the “saboteurs”to not only take cover from any potential Russian actions, but also to cement the new “status quo,” the military said. The success of the operation would have likely been reinforced by a “new wave of loud statements from Washington and European capitals, calling upon Russia to establish a ‘demilitarized zone’ around the nuclear plant, with IAEA observers guarded by Ukrainian troops,” it asserted. “In this regard, we fully understand the complete silence of all Western sponsors of the Zelensky regime, which de-facto confirms their tacit participation in the preparation of today’s provocation at the Zaporozhye plant,” the military concluded.

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“..neither Arkin nor his editorial bosses at Newsweek felt any need to explain how Russia could be losing the war twice..”

Getting it Wrong on Ukraine (Scott Ritter)

Six months into Russia’s “Special Military Operation,” fact-challenged reporting that constitutes Western media’s approach to covering the conflict in Ukraine has become apparent to any discerning audience. Less understood is why anyone would sacrifice their integrity to participate in such a travesty. The story of William Arkin is a case in point. On March 30 (a little more than a month into the war), Arkin penned an article which began with the following sentence: “Russia’s armed forces are reaching a state of exhaustion, stalemated on the battlefield and unable to make additional gains, while Ukraine is slowly pushing them back, continuing to inflict destruction on the invaders.” Arkin went on to quote a “high-level officer of the Defense Intelligence Agency,” who spoke on condition of anonymity, who declared that “The war in Ukraine is over.”

A little less than three months later, on June 14, Arkin wrote a piece for Newsweek with the headline: “Russia Is Losing the Ukraine War. Don’t Be Fooled by What Happened in Severodonetsk.” Apparently neither Arkin nor his editorial bosses at Newsweek felt any need to explain how Russia could be losing the war twice. Anyone who has been following what I’ve been writing and saying since the beginning of Russia’s “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine knows I hold the exact opposite view. Russia, I maintain, is winning the Ukraine conflict, in decisive fashion. But I don’t write for Newsweek. William Arkin does.

Arkin proclaims that Russia is losing though it had, at the time the article was published, just taken the strategic city of Severdonetsk, killing and capturing thousands of Ukrainian forces, and rendering thousands more combat ineffective since they had to abandon their equipment to flee for their lives. (Russia has since captured all of the territory encompassing the Lugansk People’s Republic, including the city of Lysychansk, inflicting thousands of additional casualties on the Ukrainian military.) “The Russian army’s so-called victory,” Arkin proclaimed at the time, “is the latest installment in its humiliating military display and comes with a crushing human cost.” The humiliating display instead is Arkin’s lack of acumen in conducting an independent assessment of the military situation on the ground in Ukraine.

This was again reinforced last week when Arkin penned another article in which he helps disseminate the outlandish claims of his Pentagon sources. “[F]rom late February through August, with only a moderate infusion of weapons from the West, some supportive declarations from Western leaders and a smattering of ‘We Stand with Ukraine’ signs on U.S. lawns,” Arkin writes, Ukraine has been able to “hold at bay the mighty Russian military,” something apparently none thought it could do.

Putin global inflation

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More death coming.

More Ukraine Military Aid Coming, White House Says (RT)

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday that the Biden administration was preparing to announce more packages of military aid for Kiev’s beleaguered forces. Kirby’s statement came a week after US President Joe Biden authorized a record arms shipment worth nearly $3 billion. “There will be announcements of future security assistance in coming days,” Kirby said at a press conference. The upcoming packages will likely be drawn from the $40 billion allocated to Ukraine in a military and economic aid bill passed by Congress in May. The US has doled out this aid in near-weekly installments since the bill’s passage, with last week’s package the largest yet, totaling $2.98 billion. President Biden has promised to keep bankrolling Ukraine’s military for “as long as it takes,” although the US’ end goal in the conflict is unclear.


While Biden wrote earlier this summer that the US does “not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia,” he has spoken of a desire to affect regime change in Moscow, and his own secretary of defense has stated that weakening Russia is a core US objective. Furthermore, Biden’s officials said that they are willing to risk “a global recession and mounting hunger” just to oppose Russia, the Washington Post stated in June. It is unclear to what extent the supply of American weapons has helped Ukraine hold off Russian forces. A long-awaited counter-offensive in the south of the country ended in dismal failure for Ukraine earlier this week, with Moscow claiming to have destroyed more than 130 Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles and killed more than 1,200 troops in a single day.

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“There is work on emergency measures on electricity prices. There might be also something on demand reduction for electricity.”

Wholesale Gas Prices Fall On Europe’s Plan To Avert Winter Energy Crisis (G.)

Wholesale gas prices have tumbled amid signs that European leaders’ plans to avert a winter energy crisis are taking shape. The price of gas for delivery on Friday dropped 21% from last night’s price of 405p per therm to 320p, as the European Commission confirmed it is working on “emergency measures” and the German government said it is “prepared” for the winter. The British wholesale gas price for delivery next week fell 9% to 350p while the month-ahead price fell 6% to 431p on Thursday. Earlier this week the day-ahead price fell from 447p a therm after the European Commission said it was working “flat out” on an emergency package as well as examining structural reform of the electricity market.

The European Commission said on Thursday it was looking into options to cap energy prices and cut electricity demand as part of its upcoming proposals to tackle soaring energy costs. Mechthild Wörsdörfer, deputy director general of the commission’s energy department, told a meeting of European parliament’s energy committee: “There is work on emergency measures on electricity prices. There might be also something on demand reduction for electricity.” The European Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, will outline the commission’s ideas on capping energy prices in a speech on 14 September. European countries have rushed to fill up gas storage facilities after Russia cut supplies into Europe. Germany is among the nations most exposed to potential shortages of gas and there are fears that – if the Kremlin switched off supplies altogether – its economy could tumble into recession.

[..] Gas market traders are on tenterhooks to see whether Russia state-owned gas giant Gazprom returns the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea back to service after a three-day maintenance shut down, which began on Wednesday. European gas storage facilities are now almost 80% full on average, nearing an EU target for countries to hit 80% full by 1 November. Researchers at Wood Mackenzie predicted high natural gas prices will drive down European demand to 7% below the five-year average in the months through to March, leaving a “best-case scenario” of storage levels at 31% at winter’s end.


Russian gas journey to Europe… Same gas as before, but now liquefied, and routed via China, at much higher price and transport costs…

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“Our opponents have issued so many sanctions-related documents that they created a situation which could be called sanctions confusion..”

Sanctions Hinder Russian Gas Flow To EU – Gazprom (RT)

Western sanctions could obstruct Siemens Energy from carrying out regular maintenance of equipment for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said on Wednesday. “Our opponents have issued so many sanctions-related documents that they created a situation which could be called sanctions confusion,” Miller told Russia 1 TV. “And today Siemens has practically no opportunity to provide regular major overhauls of our gas-pumping equipment. Siemens simply has nowhere to carry out this work.” German manufacturer Siemens Energy, which normally services the turbines, said earlier on Wednesday it was not involved in the latest maintenance work being carried out by Gazprom at the compressor station. Russian gas flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany have been suspended from August 31 until September 3 for repairs.


Since July, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been operating at reduced capacity due to the shutdown of several gas turbines. One of them was sent to Montreal for repairs and became stuck there due to Canadian sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. At Germany’s request, Ottawa announced an exemption for the turbines in July, and sent one of them over, but Gazprom refused to take delivery, citing irregularities in the documentation. Gazprom has cited faulty or delayed equipment as the main reason for the 80% reduction of deliveries via the pipeline. The Kremlin said on Tuesday that only sanctions prevent Nord Stream 1 from working at full capacity.

Putin EU

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“There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” – Henry Kissinger

Dead of Winter (Doomberg)

In the United Kingdom, a grassroots protest movement has broken out in response to the ongoing energy crisis. With the bill from its failed national policies coming due, ordinary citizens are organizing campaigns to ensure they are not the ones left holding the bag. The mission of Don’t Pay UK is to gather at least one million commitments from Her Majesty’s loyal subjects to simply stop paying their energy bills as of October 1, 2022. At the time of this writing, Don’t Pay UK has passed 130,000 signatures. We expect that number to grow. In reading a recent profile of the movement by Euronews Green, we were struck by the framing of the crisis by some of the movement’s organizers. This quote from the piece and the photo we have reproduced below caught our attention (emphasis added throughout):

“Lewis Ford, an organiser from Hull, agrees the movement is ‘a lot about solidarity’, especially for those forced to choose between heating their home and feeding their family. ‘We’re already talking about the idea of setting up warm banks, which is an absolutely preposterous idea,’ the 31-year-old IT consultant tells Euronews Green. ‘We’re one of the richest nations. So, it’s not like there’s no money, it’s the fact that the money is being kept in one space.’” Sadly for Mr. Ford and the well-intended but totally naïve young woman holding out hope that the unicorn concept of “cheaper cleaner greener” energy is actually a thing, they are both victims of insidious propaganda. As reality will soon demonstrate, if a country can’t afford to keep its citizens warm during the winter, then that country is poor, not rich. And if the proposed solution to this crisis is to double down on the same crazy policies that caused it in the first place, then we should expect the problem to get worse, not better.

As longtime readers of Doomberg will know, we’ve been fascinated by the European energy situation for the better part of the past year, long before the true potential for a crisis was considered acceptable mainstream thought. In re-reading a piece we wrote last October called “Putin’s Fools Rush In,” we correctly predicted who held the real power in the developing conflict. We also badly overestimated the willingness of Western political leaders to recognize reality. Here are two quotes revealing the miscalculation: “The prize Putin will soon collect is the inevitable go-ahead by Germany to begin operating the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, an act that will decisively and irreversibly conclude a years-long struggle between the United States and Russia in Putin’s favor.” s“Energy is life. Those projects will get developed. The geopolitical power vacuum we are creating will get filled. We might not be serious, but our enemies are ruthlessly so. They raise a toast to our self-inflicted demise.”

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“The hit on the Moskva was a NATO operation, ordered by the US. The Russian Ministry of Defense knows – and the Americans know they know. Retaliation will come – in the time and place of Moscow’s choosing.”

Which Crime Syndicate Murdered Darya Dugina? (Escobar)

Disclosure: I prize my friendship with Alexander Dugin – we met in person in Iran, Lebanon and Russia: a towering intellectual and extremely sensitive spirit, eons away from the crude stereotype of “Putin’s brain” or worse, “Putin’s Rasputin” slapped on him by Western media sub-zoology specimens. His vision of Eurasianism should be granted the merit of an ample intellectual discussion, a real dialogue of civilizations. But obviously the current woke incarnation of the collective West lacks the sophistication to engage in real debate. So he’s been demonized to Kingdom Come. Darya, who I had the honor to meet in Moscow, was a young, shining star with an ebullient personality who graduated in History of Philosophy at Moscow University: her main research was on the political philosophy of late Neoplatonism.

Obviously that had nothing to do with the profile of a ruthless operative capable of “compromising” money flows. She did not seem to understand finance, much less “dark” financial ops. What she did understand is how the Ukrainian battlefield mirrored a larger than life clash of civilizations: globalism against Eurasianism. Back to the assertions by the Russian intel agent, they cannot be simply dismissed. For instance, at the time he came up with the definitive version of the hit on the Moskva – the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet. As he emailed to a select audience, “the destruction of the flagship of the fleet was planned as a strategic task. Therefore, the operation of delivering the PKR [anti-ship missile] to Odessa took place in strict secrecy and under the cover of electronic warfare. As the ‘killer’ of the cruiser, they chose the PKR, but not the Neptune, as spread by Ukrainian propaganda, but the fifth-generation NSM PKR (Naval Strike Missile, range of destruction 185 km, developed by Norway-USA).

The NSM is able to reach the target along a programmed route thanks to the GPS-adjusted INS, independently find the target by flying up to it at an altitude of 3-5 meters. When reaching the target, the NSM maneuvers and puts electronic interference. A highly sensitive thermal imager is used as a homing system, which independently determines the most vulnerable places of the target ship. A stationary container installation secretly delivered to Ukraine was used as a launcher. Thus, after the damage to the cruiser Moskva, which led to its flooding (…) the Black Sea Fleet, unfortunately, no longer has a single ship with a long-range anti-aircraft missile system. But not everything is so bad. A three-band radar ‘Sky-M’ is located in Crimea, which is capable of tracking all air targets at a range of up to 600 km.” So there you go. The hit on the Moskva was a NATO operation, ordered by the US. The Russian Ministry of Defense knows – and the Americans know they know. Retaliation will come – in the time and place of Moscow’s choosing.

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“..and took all the money and the lands of the little prince and broke all the guns that the Kingdom of the West had sent him.”

A Story for Children (Batiushka)

Once upon a time there was a world where there were four Kingdoms. These were called the Kingdom of the North, the Kingdom of the East, the Kingdom of the South and the Kingdom of the West. Now the smallest Kingdom by far was the Kingdom of the West, which was only a tiny part of the whole. But it was by far the richest of the four Kingdoms. This was because it kept stealing things with guns and with cunning from the other three Kingdoms. But it turned out to be by far the stupidest Kingdom. This was because it loved itself so much that it could no longer see in front of its nose. Now it all happened in this way.

First of all, the wizards of the Kingdom of the West created a nasty illness called a Pestilence. They wanted to kill the people in the other three Kingdoms. In fact, the other three Kingdoms threw off the Pestilence. And because they were cowards, the rulers of the Kingdom of the West scared themselves and made themselves very ill and very poor instead. Then the Kingdom of the West said: ‘We will start a War with the Kingdom of the North because that is the Kingdom that is the closest to us. Then we will be able to take all their lands and all their money. And in that way we shall get back all the money we lost in our Pestilence and we will all be happy again’. So the Kingdom of the West found a little prince in the Kingdom of the North, whose country was next to the Kingdom of the West. And they paid him and all the rich people there lots of money and sent them lots of guns to fight against the very big Kingdom of the North.

And then the Kingdom of the West added, ‘To make sure we win, we will not buy any things from the Kingdom of the North any more and so they will have no money, but we will be richer and richer’. However, made blind by their love for themselves, the Kingdom of the West had not seen that the Kingdom of the North was much bigger, much richer and much stronger than it was. And as well as that, the Kingdom of the North was helped by the Kingdom of the East and the Kingdom of the South. And those two Kingdoms very much wanted all the things the Kingdom of the North had to sell. So the Kingdom of the North sold all its things to the Kingdom of the East and the Kingdom of the South and became rich. Then the Kingdom of the North conquered the little prince, making his rich people run away, and took all the money and the lands of the little prince and broke all the guns that the Kingdom of the West had sent him.

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Don’t piss off the German media. You can’t afford to.

Greece’s Slide Toward Authoritarianism (Spiegel)

Once again this summer, millions of Europeans were able to experience the pleasant side of Greece: the sun, the beaches and the hospitality. Greece is, with good reason, a favorite destination for holidaymakers in Europe. Which perhaps helps explain why governments in other European capitals seem happy to overlook the more unpleasant aspects of their EU partner. The European Commission and various courts have long been focused on the erosion of democracy in Hungary and Poland. But thus far, nobody in Brussels, Berlin or Paris has seemed particularly concerned that Greece, under the leadership of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has also been increasingly drifting toward autocracy.

Mitsotakis poses as a liberal reformer who has improved his country’s financial and economic prospects. But he isn’t quite as fond of talking about the countless legal violations that Greek civil servants have committed on his watch. In migration policy, especially, the Greek government has essentially abrogated international and European law. In the last two years, Greek security personnel have intercepted thousands of refugees and violently forced them to return to Turkey. They have also used other migrants as slaves to assist in these illegal pushbacks. In other instances, Greek officials have towed asylum-seekers out to sea and abandoned them on unsafe inflatable rafts. Almost never is a Greek official forced to answer for crimes committed on the country’s borders. What does frequently happen, by contrast, is that those who document such crimes come under intense pressure.

The NGO Josoor, for example, a group that has spent two-and-a-half years helping pushback victims, recently suspended operations after months of harassment by Greek agencies. Members of other aid groups have been persecuted as migrant smugglers. And DER SPIEGEL reporter Giorgos Christides has been vilified as a Turkish agent in pro-government Greek media outlets. After DER SPIEGEL published a report last week about Greek officials declining to provide any assistance to a five-year-old Syrian girl who lay dying on an island in the Evros River, which demarcates part of the Turkish-Greek border, the government in Athens eschewed any self-criticism. Instead, they assailed Christides for allegedly using illegal methods to establish contact with the victim’s parents. It is precisely this kind of guilt reversal that has become common practice in Athens.

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“Gorbachev’s spouse, Raisa, asserted the resulting deaths of 200 Armenian protestors in a crackdown ordered by Gorbachev left him tormented and never the same.”

How Mikhail Gorbachev Became the Most Reviled Man in Russia (CP)

[..] it was not only in the economic realm that Gorbachev’s reforms caused chaos. Liberated from decades of control from an overbearing state, Gorbachev’s perestroika untied the heretofore tightly wrapped package of nationalism that Lenin and Stalin previously contained. Nationalists in the republics came to hate Gorbachev for his attempt at retaining the USSR, even a democratized one with autonomous republics. Meanwhile, Great Russian chauvinists despised Gorbachev for letting the Soviet system unwind and failing to use state power to keep the empire intact. One notable exception on the latter was in Armenia, where protests were causing an uncontrolled opening of the Soviet border with Iran. Gorbachev’s spouse, Raisa, asserted the resulting deaths of 200 Armenian protestors in a crackdown ordered by Gorbachev left him tormented and never the same.


Yet, this limited use of force in Armenia was largely the exception to Gorbachev’s refusal to use violence against protestors. The Balts were also having none of Gorbachev’s attempts to reform the Soviet system. Gorbachev’s reforms gave them an opening to bolt for the exit, and they ran. Ukrainian, along with Russian, nationalists also awoke under Gorbachev. Many in the Russian and Ukrainian republics also backed independence from the USSR for economic reasons. Why? Russians assumed they were rich and were held back by parasite Soviet republics draining their wealth. Likewise, Ukrainians pitched independence as the road to milk and honey. Ukraine’s vast black earth belt and formidable industry in the Donbas surely would make it rich once liberated from the Soviet Union, so they thought.

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Walls closing in

 

 

 

 

Tucker Desmet

 

 


“Are you happy with the Chancellor’s work?” Find the trick.

 

 

Hanson Smollett

 

 

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