Dec 052023
 


Adolphe Yvon Genius of America c1870

 

‘The Butcher Of Gaza Should Be Tried Like Milosevic’ – Erdogan (Cradle)
Corruption Trial Against Netanyahu Resumes After War Pause (Cradle)
Debunking Israel’s “Mass Rape” Propaganda (EI)
Houthi Attack on Commercial Ships in Red Sea a Warning to Israel and US (Sp.)
Zelensky Trying To Directly Control Army (RT)
Ukraine and US Trade Blame For ‘Failed Counteroffensive’ – WaPo (RT)
White House Warns Ukraine Money May Dry Up by Year’s End (Sp.)
Why EU Funding to Ukraine May Soon Fade (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Sent ‘Direct Monthly Payments’ To Joe (ZH)
CIA Outlet Approves Donald Trump Assassination (CTH)
Liz Cheney Warns Trump May Seek to Stay in Power ‘Forever’ if Reelected (Sp.)
Trump Can’t Go on Trial If He’s Elected in 2024 – Lawyer (ET)
Judge Denies Jack Smith’s Request to Conceal Documents in Trump Case (ET)
All 4 “Pillars Of Civilization” Under Attack By An “Anti-Human Death-Cult” (ZH)
Black Pattern Forming? (Alastair Crooke)
Bidenomics in Action (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Torah

 

 

 

 

The term Divide and Rule could have been invented for Erdogan. He desires to be seen as a Muslim leader, and he has a large army to support that claim. At the same time, “Ankara only supports “Palestine in words, but Israel in reality.”

‘The Butcher Of Gaza Should Be Tried Like Milosevic’ – Erdogan (Cradle)

Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “war criminal” and said he should face trial for crimes against humanity. “Beyond being a war criminal, Netanyahu, who is the butcher of Gaza right now, will be tried as the butcher of Gaza, just as Milosevic was tried,” Erdogan said in a speech at a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on 4 December. Slobodan Milosevic was tried for alleged war crimes committed during the Yugoslav war in the 1990s, which included multiple counts of crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. “Israel is not only a murderer but also a thief […] we cannot let Israel occupy Gaza once again,” the Turkish president said. “Gaza is a Palestinian territory. Gaza belongs to Palestinians, and it will remain so forever.”

He added that “those who invade Gaza will seek other places tomorrow. Gaza butcher Netanyahu revealed he has expansionist ideals.” Erdogan has been vocal with his criticisms of Israel’s conduct during their brutal war with Palestinian resistance forces. He has also made mention of Israel’s secret nuclear program, saying, “We are not going to let the issue of Israel having nuclear weapons be forgotten.” On 15 November, the Turkish president called Israel a “terrorist state,” adding that the international community will also see it as such if it “continues its massacres.” “Israel is implementing a strategy of total destruction of a city with its people. I am open to my heart; I say openly that Israel is a state of terror,” Erdogan said.

“If Israel continues its massacres in this way, it will register everywhere that there is a terror state cursed all over the world.” Before the war, Turkiye and Israel were preparing to launch an energy drilling project, strengthening the cooperation between the two nations. “We will start energy drilling work with Israel. Not only will we begin operating energy transmission lines to Turkiye, but also from Turkiye to Europe,” Erdogan announced several months ago. Erdogan’s flip-flop attitude toward Israel has led to criticism, with Turkish journalist Metin Cihan saying Ankara only supports “Palestine in words, but Israel in reality.”

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“Netanyahu was accused of receiving cigars, champagne, bracelets, bags, and luxury clothes, disrupting investigative and judicial proceedings, and demanding favorable coverage from two major Israeli news outlets.”

Corruption Trial Against Netanyahu Resumes After War Pause (Cradle)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges, which was suspended along with all other non-urgent cases after 7 October, is set to resume on 4 December in the Jerusalem District Court. The trial had been scheduled to continue through October but was halted due to an emergency order that Justice Minister Yariv Levin put in place for the courts when the war with Hamas began. The order expired last week. Netanyahu is currently exempted from attending the hearings but may be called to testify in a few months. Monday’s court session will begin with testimony from Detective Eran Buchnik from Lahav 433, who investigated Netanyahu’ corruption case. The court will then hear testimony from Detective Dotan Malichi and Israel Securities Authority investigator Lior Shpitz.

Some 50 more witnesses are still waiting to testify in the trial. Regional Cooperation Minister David Amsalem criticized the timing of the court’s decision to resume the trial. “War? Hostages? Evacuees? Economy? Not at all,” he said. “What’s most important now is to renew Netanyahu’s trial and distract the prime minister with absurd testimonies and delusional trifles.” Israeli authorities began pursuing claims in 2016 that the prime minister had performed official favors for wealthy businessmen in exchange for gifts and return favors. Netanyahu was accused of receiving cigars, champagne, bracelets, bags, and luxury clothes, disrupting investigative and judicial proceedings, and demanding favorable coverage from two major Israeli news outlets.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, lost the position in June 2021 after elections brought Naftali Bennett to power. However, Netanyahu regained the post at the head of the new far-right political coalition in December 2022. Critics of the prime minister contend that his controversial effort to overhaul the Israeli judiciary was meant to shield him from the ongoing corruption charges. The overhaul seeks to limit the authority of the supreme court to overrule laws passed by the Israeli parliament, or Knesset. The effort led to months of large protests by more secular segments of Israeli society, who argued the overhaul would mean the end of Israeli democracy.

Netanyahu now faces additional public scrutiny due to the intelligence failures that allowed Hamas to attack Israel on 7 October. The fighting resulted in the killing of 1,200 Israelis, while Hamas successfully took some 240 Israeli and foreign workers captive. Large segments of Israeli society blame Netanyahu for the failure, including many families of the captives. According to a poll published in Maariv, 80 percent of Israelis believe that Netanyahu bears a share of the responsibility for the security gaps that “allowed” the deadly attacks of 7 October.

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This is one more case of the ‘Putin eats babies’ drivel. No 40 beheaded babies, no problem. There’s more where that came from.

Debunking Israel’s “Mass Rape” Propaganda (EI)

Israel and its proxies have launched a new media blitz, reviving unverified claims that Hamas fighters perpetrated mass rapes of Israeli women during its 7 October military operation. Despite blanket coverage, Israel does not claim to have identified any specific victim of such crimes, nor produced any videos or forensic evidence corroborating that they took place. On The Electronic Intifada livestream we dissected this propaganda campaign and showed how it is being fronted by operatives close to the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We explain how this is a deceptive campaign based not on evidence but emotional manipulation, outlandish claims, distortion and an appeal to racist notions that Palestinians are inherently violent and cruel.

It fits in with a long history of colonizers portraying colonized or enslaved people as savage brutes predisposed to sexual violence against white or settler women. As the Jim Crow Museum observes, the longstanding “brute caricature portrays Black men as innately savage, animalistic, destructive and criminal – deserving punishment, maybe death.” “The ‘terrible crime’ most often mentioned in connection with the Black brute was rape, specifically the rape of a white woman,” the museum adds. “At the beginning of the 20th century, much of the virulent, anti-Black propaganda that found its way into scientific journals, local newspapers and best-selling novels focused on the stereotype of the Black rapist.” These stereotypes justified state violence against, and control of, Black people and “soothed white consciences.”

There’s a similar and equally sinister dynamic to Israeli propaganda now targeting Palestinians. Its purpose is to demonize them and soften up public opinion to tolerate or support Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. On Monday, Hamas condemned Western media for going along with “misleading Zionist campaigns that promote lies and baseless allegations” including the claims of rape and sexual assault by its fighters.” The resistance group added that the latest campaign is “part of a series of lies propagated by the Zionist propaganda machine” which has consistently made false claims such as “the beheading of children, the targeting of revelers at the concert in the settlement of Re’im and not the least of which is the lie of using al-Shifa hospital for military purposes.”

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So far, the Arab world fights through proxies, it it fights at all.

Houthi Attack on Commercial Ships in Red Sea a Warning to Israel and US (Sp.)

Three Bahama- and Panama-flagged commercial vessels, allegedly belonging to Jewish businessmen, were subjected to a Houthi missile attack in the Red Sea on Sunday. A US warship in the region reportedly shot down three drones in self-defense. A recent escalation of tensions in the Red Sea has come on the heels of the resumption of the military operation in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Red Sea is considered one of the most important trade routes in the region. It extends southeastward from Suez, Egypt, to the Indian Ocean through the Bab el Mandeb sound and the Gulf of Aden. Over 10% of global trade passes through the Red Sea annually. On Sunday, multiple commercial vessels were simultaneously attacked by Houthi militants for the first time in the Israel-Hamas war.

“The Red Sea could become a more dangerous route, but in proportion with the increasing tension between Israel and Hamas on one side at a local level and also at a regional level between Iranian allies from Lebanon and Syria, Iraq and Israel itself and the US military bases in Syria and Iraq. Everything is connected,” Dr. Lorenzo Trombetta, a Beirut-based scholar and analyst specializing on the Middle East, told Sputnik. “Both of the cargo ships targeted by the Houthi in November and a few days ago were not Israeli-flagged ships, but they were owned by Israeli businessmen. That was the aim of the direct target of the pro-Iranian government,” the scholar continued. Last month, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah linked Shiite attacks on US military bases and personnel in Syria and Iraq to the unfolding Gaza war.

“To the Americans, I say: If you want the secondary fronts to stop, you must cease the aggression on Gaza,” he said on November 11. On November 20, Houthi rebels seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship that passed the Red Sea and took its 25 crew members hostage. During the week-long truce between Israel and Islamist Palestinian group Hamas militants across the region appeared to hit the pause button. However, after the humanitarian pause ended, tensions have grown even higher. “I believe that these developments in the Red Sea region come within a broader context of threats from armed groups and forces sympathetic with the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank,” Ambassador Ezzat Saad, director of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, told Sputnik. “It is normal that these developments raise concern for the countries of the region as well as the international community at large, taking into account the geo-strategic importance of the sea.”

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Yeah, the army really wants orders from a piano playing dick.

Zelensky Trying To Directly Control Army (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is bypassing General Valery Zaluzhny, the country’s top military leader, to give orders directly to commanders, the Ukrainskaya Pravda news outlet reported on Monday, citing sources close to the leadership in Kiev. Zaluzhny sometimes only learns of what the military is doing from his subordinates, the report claimed. Zelensky and the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces have been at loggerheads for months, and Kiev’s failed summer counteroffensive has worsened the tensions, according to insiders. The president has created “parallel tracks” of communication with senior military leaders, including Aleksandr Syrsky, commander of the ground forces, and Nikolay Oleshchuk, commander of the air force, the report added.

Zelensky’s office is said to find this convenient, but the practice has disrupted the normal chain of command, much to Zaluzhny’s chagrin. “It seems that Zelensky has two kinds of the ZSU (Ukrainian armed forces): the ‘good’ guys commanded by Syrsky and other favorites, and the ‘bad’ guys who answer to Zaluzhny,” a source close to the administration was quoted as saying. The result is reportedly a demotivated commander-in-chief who cannot fully control the military. Ukrainskaya Pravda said Zelensky’s men, including chief of staff Andrey Yermak, have been escalating the tensions due to Zaluzhny’s perceived political ambitions since at least April 2022. They pressured the general into dropping an idea for a charity, which they believed could grow into a future political party.

Ukrainians’ trust in Zaluzhny surpassed that of Zelensky even last year, the report said. A recent public opinion poll conducted for the president’s office indicated that in a hypothetical election, Zelensky would lose to Zaluzhny in a second-round vote, the news outlet added. Zaluzhny occasionally demonstrates his disdain with Zelensky’s leadership, according to insiders, including when he issued a veiled rebuke to the decision to axe all regional draft bosses in the summer following a major corruption scandal. Shortly after hearing about the sackings at a government meeting, Zaluzhny reported a sharp drop in conscription numbers all over Ukraine, a source told the outlet. The general reportedly complained about civilian interference in military affairs to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin when he visited Kiev last month. Zelensky subsequently learned of this, which “didn’t add trust” between the two Ukrainians, an insider said.

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“..A series of eight tabletop wargames at the US base in Wiesbaden, Germany reportedly developed a “viable, detailed campaign plan” for the attack..”

Ukraine and US Trade Blame For ‘Failed Counteroffensive’ – WaPo (RT)

US and British officers helped plan the Ukrainian spring-summer campaign and provided all the asked-for vehicles, but Kiev decided to divide its forces in three directions, according to a Washington Post feature published on Monday. Over a dozen Post employees interviewed “more than 30 senior officials” from Ukraine, the US and the EU, only a handful identified by name. The outlet’s conclusion was that “a counteroffensive born in optimism has failed to deliver its expected punch, generating friction and second-guessing between Washington and Kiev.” A series of eight tabletop wargames at the US base in Wiesbaden, Germany reportedly developed a “viable, detailed campaign plan” for the attack. The Pentagon wanted the offensive to start mid-April and focus on cutting the “land bridge” to Crimea by driving to Melitopol.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, advised the Ukrainians to also send sabotage groups into the Russian rear, saying there “should be no Russian who goes to sleep without wondering if they’re going to get their throat slit in the middle of the night,” according to one official. The NATO-armed 47th Brigade, so new that 70% of its members had no combat experience, was to lead the way. Washington and Kiev “sharply disagreed at times over strategy, tactics, and timing,” according to the Post. Instead of a focused assault towards Melitopol, the Ukrainian leadership insisted on attacking in the direction of Berdyansk and Bakhmut/Artyomovsk as well. Kiev initially demanded over 1,000 armored vehicles, which US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin deemed “near-impossible.” Eventually, they received 1,500. However, some vehicles were criticized as “unfit for combat,” with issues like missing tracks and inadequate maintenance blamed on Ukrainian troops.

The US secured a supply of 155mm artillery shells from South Korea, since it could not produce enough by itself. Requests for F-16 fighter jets were denied due to cost concerns and their vulnerability to Russian air defenses. The US also trained and equipped nine Ukrainian brigades in NATO methods of warfare. Simulations based on Ukrainian and Western intelligence projected Ukrainian brigades reaching the Sea of Azov in 60-90 days with up to 30-40% casualties. “The plan that they executed was entirely feasible with the force that they had, on the timeline that we planned out,” a senior US military official told the Post. “They got everything they were promised, on time,” a senior US official said. The attack scheduled for mid-April finally “lurched into motion” in early June. Ukrainian troops immediately got bogged down in minefields and mauled by Russian artillery.

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“..there is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment”

White House Warns Ukraine Money May Dry Up by Year’s End (Sp.)

The White House is set to run out of money to provide more weapons to Ukraine “without congressional action” by the end of the year, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young has warned. In a letter to House and Senate leaders, she pointed out that “there is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment” and that the US is “out of money—and nearly out of time.” “Cutting off the flow of US weapons and equipment will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made, but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories,” Young wrote. She recalled that US security assistance packages to Ukraine had already become smaller and the deliveries have been “more limited”. With US allies around the world stepping up to do more, “US support is critical and cannot be replicated by others,” according to the her.

Young added that almost all of the $111 billion allocated by Congress to assist Ukraine had already been used. Most money was used for military aid, while other sums were spent on economic and civil assistance, as well as humanitarian aid. The letter comes after a classified Capitol Hill briefing for the top House and Senate leaders, to who Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made clear that “Ukraine needs the aid soon.” The Biden administration earlier pushed Congress to approve a $106 billion package for Ukraine, Israel and other areas, with the Ukraine portion amounting to $61 billion. The proposal, however, faced flak from an array of Republicans in the House of Representatives who have questioned delivering more to Ukraine and tried to tie any additional funding to demands for security measures at the US-Mexico border.

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Political gridlock.

Why EU Funding to Ukraine May Soon Fade (Sp.)

A recent €50 billion EU allocation for Ukraine is reportedly at risk as member states fail to reach an agreement on a common budget, according to the Financial Times. The newspaper particularly cites the victory of the right wing in the Dutch elections last month and a recent German court ruling limiting government borrowing. “I think they [the Financial Times] exaggerate the importance of the election results in the Netherlands,” Gilbert Doctorow, an international relations analyst, told Sputnik. “After all, Wilders only captured 23% of the vote, so it is not as if the whole Dutch population agrees to dump Ukraine. Moreover, there are other issues in the EU that are pulling things in the same direction of slowly letting go of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky and his regime. The hole in the German state budget is a bigger factor working against Ukraine at the EU level right now.”

International observers have recently drawn attention to the rise of the right wing across Europe, suggesting that the Ukraine conflict and the Gaza war could have become a catalyst for the trend. In Germany, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is currently polling 21%, second only to CDU/CSU (30%). The AfD is highly skeptical about the bloc’s funding and militarizing the Kiev regime. Similarly, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban shares a similar stance. Moreover, he has recently signaled that he is against discussing Ukraine’s accession to the EU during the union’s December summit. In November, he threatened to use Hungary’s veto power to block the provision of a planned €50 billion for Kiev.
“The right-wing parties are one factor that is important only because it means that the neoliberal gang that runs Brussels does not have absolute control, that there is some small area of free speech and free thought in the McCarthyite societies of the EU,” said Doctorow.

“The biggest factor is how Europeans are watching what the biggest donor to Ukraine, the US, is going to do given the gridlock on Capitol Hill and failure to include aid to Ukraine in the next fiscal year budget.” Meanwhile, European conservatives are closing ranks ahead of the EU parliamentary elections, scheduled to be held on June 6-9, 2024. Europe’s right-wing leaders gathered in the Italian city of Florence on Sunday with a bid to make the Identity and Democracy (ID) group, the third-largest after the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the center-left Socialists & Democrats in the EU Parliament. During the gathering, EU conservatives criticized Western sanctions against Russia and the futility of funding Ukraine that “cannot win.” Per them, Brussels’ Ukraine agenda comes in contrast to national interests of EU member states.

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Follow the money…

Hunter Biden Sent ‘Direct Monthly Payments’ To Joe (ZH)

Hunter Biden sent monthly payments to his father out of a bank account he used to receive money from Chinese business associates, according to newly released bank records revealed by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, who shared a Monday video on X detailing redacted bank transfers to Joe Biden from Hunter’s Owasco P.C. bank account. “Today, the House Oversight Committee is releasing subpoenaed bank records that show Hunter Biden’s business entity, Owasco PC, made direct monthly payments to Joe Biden. This wasn’t a payment from Hunter Biden’s personal account but an account for his corporation that received payments from China and other shady corners of the world,” Comer says in the video, adding that the payments began in September 2018 – six months before Biden announced his candidacy in the 2020 election.

“Payments from Hunter’s business entity to Joe Biden are now part of a pattern revealing Joe Biden knew about, participated in and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes.” “Payments to Joe Biden from Hunter’s Owasco PC corporate account are part of a pattern revealing Joe Biden knew about, participated in, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes. As the Bidens received millions from foreign nationals and companies in China, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and Kazakhstan, Joe Biden dined with his family’s foreign associates, spoke to them by speakerphone, had coffee, attended meetings, and ultimately received payments that were funded by his family’s business dealings,” reads an accompanying release from the Oversight Committee.

[..] Hunter and his uncle James’ personal business records were subpoenaed by Comer in September following the first impeachment hearing for President Biden. He released bank records Nov. 1 showing how funds originating in China resulted in a $40,000 check to Joe Biden in September 2017. A Chinese firm sent $5 million to Hunter Biden’s firm Hudson West III in August 2017, shortly after he established the business entity with a Chinese business associate. Hunter Biden proceeded to wire $400,000 to his Owasco P.C. account and over $130,000 to another one of his corporate accounts, according to the bank records. Next, Hunter Biden provided $150,000 to the Lion Hall Group, James Biden and his wife Sara Biden’s business account. James Biden and Sara Biden put $50,000 into their personal account and then sent a $40,000 check to Joe Biden, the bank records show. -Daily Caller And of course the big (rhetorical) question – what services were Hunter and pals providing for such exorbitant sums? Hunter and James will appear later this month for closed-door depositions.

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“..the non-subtle message is for the CIA to repeat their Kennedy performance..”

CIA Outlet Approves Donald Trump Assassination (CTH)

I have stayed away from this subject for eight years; however, everyone in/around U.S. politics knows the Washington Post, owned by Big Tech Amazon, is effectively the PR firm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). No one inside the DC beltway does not understand this basic truth. Therefore, when the husband of State Dept official Victoria Nuland, a man named Robert Kagan, writes an op-ed in the CIA newsletter, effectively calling for President Trump to receive the Julius Caesar treatment, the non-subtle message is for the CIA to repeat their Kennedy performance and kill President Trump. As alarming as this acceptance might sound, there are no intellectually honest people who would deny it.

WaPo/CIA – “Let’s stop the wishful thinking and face the stark reality: There is a clear path to dictatorship in the United States, and it is getting shorter every day. In 13 weeks, Donald Trump will have locked up the Republican nomination. In the RealClearPolitics poll average (for the period from Nov. 9 to 20), Trump leads his nearest competitor by 47 points and leads the rest of the field combined by 27 points. The idea that he is unelectable in the general election is nonsense — he is tied or ahead of President Biden in all the latest polls — stripping other Republican challengers of their own stated reasons for existence.

[…] Are we going to do anything about it? To shift metaphors, if we thought there was a 50 percent chance of an asteroid crashing into North America a year from now, would we be content to hope that it wouldn’t? Or would we be taking every conceivable measure to try to stop it, including many things that might not work but that, given the magnitude of the crisis, must be tried anyway? Will those who balked at resisting Trump when the risk was merely political oblivion suddenly discover their courage when the cost might be the ruin of oneself and one’s family?”

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How does she stick around?

Liz Cheney Warns Trump May Seek to Stay in Power ‘Forever’ if Reelected (Sp.)

Recent polls show former US President Donald Trump besting his White House successor in five out of six battleground states, making a second Trump presidency a legitimate possibility. Former US Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has claimed that former US President Donald Trump would attempt to remain in power forever if he is ever granted the opportunity to serve out a second presidential term. Cheney’s remarks came on Monday during a promotional interview for her new book, “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning.” Trump presently holds a commanding lead in the primary. “Absolutely,” the daughter of former US Vice President Dick Cheney told US media when asked if she believed Trump would try to permanently extend his stay in the Oval Office.

Referencing Trump’s role in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol and his efforts to overturn the election results, Cheney underscored that the former commander-in-chief had “already done it once.” “He is the only president in American history who attempted to overturn an election, who attempted to seize power and to stay in power after he had lost,” Cheney said, adding that Trump’s efforts were thwarted by state officials who refused to cave to pressure by Trump. “We won’t have that guardrail again.” Cheney had a mostly uneventful time in Congress, voting with the Republican bloc and Trump for the majority of her time in office. However, after January 6, she became the most outspoken critic of Trump in the Republican party. The former lawmaker served as the vice chair of the committee investigating the January 6 events, a position given to her by House Democrats. She was also one of 10 Republicans to vote for Trump’s second impeachment.

The political shift turned the party against her, having been stripped of her leadership positions in addition to being voted off the ballot in a primary challenge. Cheney has maintained that she has no regrets about her opposition to Trump: “I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy,” she said on the House floor after being stripped of her leadership positions. Cheney also called Rep. Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) election as House speaker “dangerous for the country,” adding while she was in Congress, Johnson was suggesting things that “he knew had no basis in fact, no basis in law, no basis in the constitution,” by advocating that House Republicans help Trump overturn the 2020 election results.

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“This trial does not constitute election interference. This is moving forward with the business of Fulton County.” “I don’t think it in any way impedes defendant Trump’s ability to campaign..”

Trump Can’t Go on Trial If He’s Elected in 2024 – Lawyer (ET)

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers argued in the Georgia election case that the charges should be thrown out because it’s a violation of his “free speech” and also noted that if he wins the 2024 presidential election, the Fulton County trial cannot go through. During a roughly six-hour hearing in Fulton County on Dec. 1, Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee asked Mr. Sadow what would happen if President Trump wins the 2024 election and if the trial hasn’t occurred yet. “Under the Supremacy Clause and its duty to the president of the United States, this trial would not take place at all until after he left his term of office,” the former president’s attorney said in response, according to a live stream posted on the judge’s YouTube page.

It means that the former president wins the 2024 election and Judge McAfee agreed that he shouldn’t be tried until he leaves office, which would delay the trial date to at least January 20, 2029. Responding to the claims, Fulton County prosecutor Nathan Wade said Ms. Willis “has no interest in interfering or getting involved in this presidential election” and said she is trying “to move this case forward.” He added, “Our obvious goal is, and has been, to stick to our August trial date.” The judge did not issue any rulings from the bench during the Dec. 1 hearing. He also has not scheduled a new trial date for the case. In a recent court filing, Ms. Willis’ office said prosecutors expect the proceedings to run until early 2025, which would run in tandem with the ending months of the 2024 presidential campaign. National polls show that President Trump is overwhelmingly the Republican favorite for president, including in key primary states.

The former president’s lawyers said the former president would prefer not to be on trial in August 2024, noting his status as the leading Republican presidential candidate. State prosecutors previously have said they are seeking a trial date around that time, which would come about three months before the presidential election next November. “It’s very possible at that time, that my client will be running for election for president of the United States for the Republican Party,” Mr. Sadow told the judge, saying “the preference would be that he not be on trial during the time that he is campaigning,” according to reporters in the court. “Can you imagine the notion of the Republican nominee for president not being able to campaign for the presidency because he is, in some form or fashion, in a courtroom defending himself?” he asked. “That would be the most effective election interference in the history of the United States.”

But Mr. Wade disagreed with his assertion, telling the court: “This trial does not constitute election interference. This is moving forward with the business of Fulton County.” “I don’t think it in any way impedes defendant Trump’s ability to campaign,” Mr. Wade added. Also in the hearing, his attorneys argued that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ indictment also effectively criminalizes the right to engage in political activity under the the First Amendment. Mr. Sadow told a judge that “you take the facts as alleged in the indictment … as applied constitutionally with the First Amendment, you’ll find that it violates free speech, freedom of petitioning, all the expressions that the First Amendment is designed to protect, and therefore the indictment needs to be dismissed.”

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We have 11 more months of this circus to come. It’ll be entertaining..

Judge Denies Jack Smith’s Request to Conceal Documents in Trump Case (ET)

Judge Aileen Cannon, who’s overseeing the trial in former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case, has rejected a motion by special counsel Jack Smith to keep some documents hidden from President Trump’s defense. In an order signed on Dec. 4, Judge Cannon directed a court clerk to unseal multiple documents that Mr. Smith’s team sought to keep sealed in the case that accuses the former president of retaining sensitive government materials, including some that were marked top secret, at his Mar-a-Lago home. President Trump has said he used presidential powers to declassify the materials, insisting that he isn’t guilty and calling the case an attempt by his political foes to hamper his 2024 presidential run.

The former president’s longtime aide Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira have been named as co-defendants in the case; both also have pleaded not guilty. President Trump’s defense team and Mr. Smith’s prosecutors have been litigating over what portion of classified materials the defendants are allowed to view, with the judge’s latest decision delivering a win of sorts for the co-defendants. “In light of the Special Counsel’s Response to Defendants Motion to Unseal 230, and mindful of the strong presumption in favor of public access to judicial documents, the Clerk is directed to unseal docket entries 223, 224, and 230,” Judge Cannon’s Dec. 4 order reads.

The newly unsealed docket entry 230, a response by prosecutors to a Dec. 1 court order, shows that Mr. Smith’s team agreed to unseal the documents, as requested by the defense, although prosecutors insisted on some redactions. “The defendants did not oppose the Government’s request, but reserved the right to challenge the redactions later,” the document reads. Mr. Smith’s team also revealed in the newly unsealed court filing that prosecutors initially opposed unsealing 223 and 224 because it “would have revealed to defense counsel information, albeit unclassified, about the contours of the Government’s planned CIPA Section 4 motion,” meaning that it risked giving President Trump’s legal team an opportunity to more effectively counter Mr. Smith’s moves.

Garland
https://twitter.com/i/status/1729020647169552801

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“..cheap energy, meritocracy, Law and Order, and free speech..”

All 4 “Pillars Of Civilization” Under Attack By An “Anti-Human Death-Cult” (ZH)

As world leaders gathered over the weekend for the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, they faced an uncomfortable reality check from the conference president Sultan Al Jaber, who stated, “there is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C,” warning that their fossil-fuel policies would “take the world back into caves.” Nevertheless, no lesser mind than Vice President Kamala Harris pledged another $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund at the summit, seeking to help developing countries adapt to the “climate crisis” as well as decreasing fossil fuel production, according to CNN. The cult-like worship of (and escalation of) these policies is what led to tonight’s discussion between Tucker Carlson and Michael Shellenberger, author of the must-read “Apocalypse Never”, highlighting the increasingly obvious disconnect between global elites and the general public – most specifically in the context of environmental policies.

“We know that the pillars of civilization are cheap energy, meritocracy, Law and Order, and free speech and all four of those pillars are currently under attack,” warns Shellenberger in his typically erudite and fact-based manner. The hypocrisy is simply Orwellian. As Shellenberger recently wrote on his Public substack, flying on private jets to a climate conference to announce plans to make energy even more expensive for working people is bread-and-circuses, except there’s no bread, and the circus consists of rich people celebrating their wealth, morality, and superiority. Carlson begins by pointing out that the drastic climate change policies are “fundamentally nonsense,” asking Shellenberger just how long this “posturing” of environmentalism can go on:

“We’re watching people push an Orthodoxy at increasing volume with increasing hysteria and with increasingly severe penalties for disagreeing…what is that?” Shellenberger replies: “Global Elites used to pretend to care about people but they’re not even pretending anymore…” Adding that that cheap energy was “currently under attack,” explaining how it directly affects “modern civilization”: “you start with cheap energy, but you can’t maintain modern civilization without cheap energy.”

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“..it is not ‘correct-think’ any longer to laugh at the absurdities of the nomenklatura.”

Black Pattern Forming? (Alastair Crooke)

A number of serious commentators – one being U.S. Professor Victor Hanson – are warning: “Brace yourself for what’s coming in 2024”. Hanson sees bad omens darkening the future. Is he exaggerating? Perhaps not. One cannot but notice how bad tempered Americans and Europeans generally have become. Calm, reasoned discussion of issues is gone; Yelling, emotivism and ‘othering’ is commonplace; something bad is coming. A gut feeling, Tucker Carlson says. “There are “angry people who feel like they have no recourse, who don’t think elections are real…”. What might these commentators be suggesting? Well, they are explicit on one point: the West has been sinking beneath the waves of its’ Cultural Revolution – the deliberate cancelling of virtues and legacies of traditional civilization, to be replaced by a cultural hierarchy that upends and inverts the societal paradigm that is close to conquering all.

The unanswered question: Why has western society been so supine, so unreflectively supportive to the sheering away of its civilisational ethos? This must be the first revolution in which half of society knows and sees well there is a revolution, and the other half seem too distracted, or simply have not noticed. There is no simple answer to this conundrum. But most just don’t see it; they cannot admit the Revolution’s objective (though it is not hidden) is that these well-to-do members of middle classes are precisely the ones (and not the elites) that the cultural revolution seeks to displace, and to sanction (as redress for historic discrimination and racism).

Not for who they are now, but for what their ancestors may have been. General Wrangel (a Tsarist officer and commander) wrote in his memoirs how, after serving during WW1, he came to St Petersburg just at the point that the Bolsheviks were wreaking havoc with the discipline of the Imperial Army’s (‘his army’). Chaos in the streets, but to the affluent of the City, life continued as if some ‘normal’ could be enjoyed, in comfortable co-existence to the revolution out on the streets. He describes attending a cinema, with the audience clearly oblivious to the anarchy beyond the theatre.

Flabbergasted, the general hastened from St Petersburg to warn the Tsar of approaching catastrophe. However, on arrival at the Court, Wrangel was shocked to see that 80% of the Romanov women, most of whom he knew, were wearing a red ribbon. Their ribbons testified to sympathy for the very forces who later would murder these Romanov women. Today, our élites too, sport a ribbon – not red, but a Rainbow one. None of these commentators forecast a Romanov outcome (yet). But they are warning that the civic landscape in America is shifting dramatically fast: One may wake up one morning to the gender horror being imposed on children; to their cultural class being eased out of their jobs; to the realisation that it is not ‘correct-think’ any longer to laugh at the absurdities of the nomenklatura.

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“Been to your local post office lately? Ours is looking like an old soviet DMV. . . a few part-timers on duty. . . mail delivered when they feel like it. . . an odor of rot in the building..”

Bidenomics in Action (Jim Kunstler)

What trickles down from all this cosmic activity is the dwindling possibility of a fruitful life for most Americans. You cannot make a living. You can’t fix all the machines in your life or get new ones. You can’t get married because there’s no way you can fulfill your end of the contract. You search in vain for something purposeful to do. You are eventually faced with the choice: surrender to depression and hopelessness, or revolt against a ruling blob that is only good at one thing: depriving you of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

What also trickles down from on-high is the increasing dysfunction of all the systems that evolved to serve American life on-the-ground. For instance, the supply chains that stuff the gigantic merchandise marts from sea to shining sea. The trucking industry is falling apart. The industry can’t find enough workers to load the trucks. They call them “lumpers” in the trucking biz. United Parcel Service (UPS) is hurting so badly for lumpers that they now make the drivers load and unload the brown trucks and have to pay them double overtime for it. The fruit and vegetables that have to make a truck journey thousands of miles from the sunshine lands to the icy north sit rotting in the warehouses because there aren’t enough lumpers on the loading docks — in case you’ve noticed that the produce in your supermarket is looking wilty and gross.

All the systems that move stuff around this big country are wobbling. Many trucking and logistics companies went out of business in 2023, led by Convoy’s bankruptcy in October due to a “an unprecedented freight market collapse” and inability to get financing. UPS has not recovered from the big drop in shipping that followed the end of Covid lockdowns — 1.2-million packages per day in lost volume — nor adjusted to its new contract with the Teamsters Union, a 46 percent cost increase for drivers in the first year. UPS CEO Carol Tomé even took a pay cut: $19 million this year, down from $26 million (including stock packages) in 2021. Federal Express also saw a sharp drop in package deliveries and in September yanked its full-year profit guidance. The FedEx share price dropped 20 percent in one day. Consider, too, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations aimed at a “zero carbon emissions” goal in 2035, legislation guaranteed to first paralyze and then kill trucking in that state, including trucks delivering into and out of California. Good luck with that.

Then there is the good US Postal Service, a crypto-public/private corporation cobbled together back in the 1970s supposedly because mail delivery was losing money. While our Constitution stipulates that the government “establish post offices and post roads” with the implied authority to carry and deliver the mail, the Constitution never said that the post office had to show a profit any more than the Army or the Navy does. These days it looks like our country is just about done with the mail business. Been to your local post office lately? Ours is looking like an old soviet DMV. . . a few part-timers on duty. . . mail delivered when they feel like it. . . an odor of rot in the building. . . . Consider that the post office is one of the few places where we citizens actually interface directly with the government’s workings. So, how does it look like it’s working to you?

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Fico
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731833565300523401

 

 

 

 

Wake skate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 152023
 


Pierre-Auguste Renoir The Return of the Boating Party 1862

 

Hunter Biden Indicted On Federal Firearms Charge (ZH)
Go F**ing Ahead: McCarthy Dares Republicans to Boot Him From Speakership (Sp.)
US Political System Frozen by Soviet-Style ‘Aging Crisis’ (Sp.)
The Insouciant Russians (Paul Craig Roberts)
US Imperial ‘Death Cult’ Admits it Provoked Proxy Conflict in Ukraine (Sp.)
Moscow Responds To Ukrainian Official’s ‘Terrorist’ Threat (RT)
Mr. Zelensky Goes To Washington, Again (ZH)
Sy Hersh: Overly Optimistic US Intel Reports on Ukraine to Lead to Disaster (Sp.)
ATACMS – The Latest American Poison Pill for Ukraine (Scott Ritter)
EU Gave ‘Bad Answer’ To Ukraine Crisis – Hungary (RT)
Global South Won’t Back Kiev As West Demands – WSJ (RT)
Germany Hugely Increases Imports Of Russian Oil – Der Spiegel (RT)
Polish Minister Warns Of Threat From Ukraine (RT)
In Vladivostok, The Russian Far East Rises (Pepe Escobar)
“Never Embrace Socialism… Or The Siren Song Of Social Justice” – Milei (ZH)

 

 

 

 

McCullough
https://twitter.com/i/status/1702277639191310734

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Fulton County

 

 


 

 

 

 

David Weiss headed the investigation into Hunter and is now the Special Counsel. Just reading this makes you realize why that is against the law. Weiss was in on the plea deal that the judge laughed out of court but Hunter’s lawyers keep insisting is valid regardless.

Stretching out the gun case can silence Hunter about all other cases. Oh, and the gun case keeps Joe out of sight, and all the information about him: he has no link to the gun. It’s the only thing he’s not linked to.

Hunter Biden Indicted On Federal Firearms Charge (ZH)

Hunter Biden has been indicted on three counts related to the possession of a gun while using narcotics, court documents show. The move, a “historic indictment against the son of a sitting president,” comes after an absurd plea deal fell apart, and days after House Republicans launched an impeachment inquiry which seeks bank records and other documents on the Biden family’s business dealings. “The case is being overseen by special counsel David Weiss, who also headed the investigation. Weiss is a Trump appointee who was kept on as U.S. attorney for Delaware because of the sensitive and unique nature of the investigation into a president’s son by the Justice Department, a part of the executive branch headed by the president. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland named Weiss special counsel in August, as negotiations over the tax and gun charges collapsed.”

Of course, none of this has to do with perhaps the biggest grift in the US history – as the Biden family raked in more than $20 million from foreign sources – including figures in China, Ukraine, Russia and Romania, all funneled through a complex arrangement of corporations, according to House GOP investigators and whistleblowers who are currently seeking Biden bank records. For example, in 2017, Hunter pulled in over $2.3 million – with $1 million of that coming from a company he formed with the CEO of a Chinese conglomerate. He also took in $664,000 from a Chinese infrastructure investment firm, $500,000 from a Ukrainian energy company (we assume to be Burisma), $70,000 from a Romanian business, $48,000 from an international law firm, and $666,000 from domestic business interests.

In 2018, Hunter made over $2.1 million according to the unraveled plea deal – which came as his drug addiction went critical. According to Biden’s memoir, cited by the document, that year saw “a spring and summer of nonstop debauchery.” “According to the agreement, Biden was well aware of his tax liabilities from an accountant he hired. The accountant prepared Biden’s returns and sent them to him for review and signature. Despite repeated encouragement by his accountant, Biden never signed or submitted his returns. According to the agreement, Biden failed to pay his taxes despite having the money to do so. By May 2019, he had spent money he could have used for that purpose “on personal expenses, including large cash withdrawals, payments to or on behalf of his children, credit card balances, and car payments for his Porsche.” -Bloomberg. By October 2021, Biden’s tax liabilities for 2017 and 2018 had grown to $955,800 and $956,632 respectively – and were paid for by an unidentified third party.

That person also covered $45,661 and $197,372 to resolve outstanding tax issues from 2016 and 2019. Earlier this year, the NYT reported that Hollywood entertainment lawyer Kevin ‘bong rip’ Morris lent over $2 million to Biden to help with his taxes. Of note, an IRS whistleblower from the agency’s criminal investigations unit told the House Ways and Means Committee in June that Hunter Biden illegally deducted tens of thousands of dollars spent on prostitutes and a sex club from his taxes, according to testimony from June 1 which was released by House Republicans. “So some of the items that he deducted were personal no-show employees. He deducted payments that were made to who he called his West Coast assistant, but she was essentially a prostitute,” said the whistleblower, who worked directly on the IRS’s investigation into Hunter’s tax issues, speaking of the younger Biden’s 2018 return.

Another whistleblower, IRS supervisory agent Gary Shapely , told the committee on May 26 that he found several instances of Hunter expensing flights for prostitutes. “There were multiple examples of prostitutes that were ordered basically, and we have all the communications between that where he would pay for these prostitutes, would book them a flight where even the flight ticket showed their name. And then he expensed those,” said Shapely , who noted that they were expensed to Biden’s consulting firm, Owasco, PC. What’s more, Hunter expensed a deposit for an elite Los Angeles sex club (which he was kicked out of for ‘grabbing women’s asses’ and ‘acting like a spoiled child’). But hey, he also owned a gun while being a junkie. Get ’em boys.


Rep Andy Biggs: This is just China. We also have evidence from Romania, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

 

 

s
Mace

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“..tensions have been rising in the Republican House Caucus over the looming government shutdown, which lawmakers have until September 30 to avoid..”

Go F**ing Ahead: McCarthy Dares Republicans to Boot Him From Speakership (Sp.)

A motion to vacate would remove Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his position as House speaker, a leadership post he fought hard for in early January. In fact, it took 15 voting sessions before McCarthy was confirmed by the House to serve. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly dared the House Freedom Caucus and other hard-right members of the Republican House to try and oust him from his leadership position amid growing threats from the fractured lower chamber. “You guys think I’m scared of a motion to vacate. Go f***ing ahead and do it. I’m not scared,” McCarthy said during a closed caucus meeting early Thursday, according to a lawmaker who spoke to US media on the condition of anonymity.

The majority of Republicans still support McCarthy, but the GOP as a whole holds only a slim majority in the House. A vote to remove the Republican would require a majority from the House overall. If House Democrats joined with even a few hardliners in the Republican party, McCarthy could lose a potential vote to vacate. However, there have been no indications from Democrats they plan to join the Republican hardliners in removing McCarthy. It is unclear if doing so would even be advantageous to them outside of making Republicans look chaotic. A new speaker would also require a majority vote in the House. Democrats would either have to agree on a new speaker with the hardline Republicans – something that is unlikely given their political differences, or join with other elements of the GOP to choose a speaker after just voting to remove one they support.

Failing both options would leave it up to House Republicans to come to a deal; however, ultraconservative Republicans have made it clear they will not vote for a House speaker more palatable to Democrats than McCarthy. Despite how messy it could be for both parties to remove McCarthy, tensions have been rising in the Republican House Caucus over the looming government shutdown, which lawmakers have until September 30 to avoid. On Wednesday, House Republicans failed to pass a procedural vote on funding the Defense Department, normally one of the least controversial spending bills in Congress. Officials also failed to pass an agricultural bill in July, another provision that usually passes little resistance.

[..] US Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is a member of the Freedom Caucus and one of McCarthy’s most vocal critics. He previously said that if McCarthy tried to push forward spending bills without fulfilling the promises he made to hardline Republicans, he would file a motion to vacate. “The path forward for the House of Representatives is to either bring you [McCarthy] forward to immediate and total compliance or remove you,” Gaetz said. “If we have to start the day with the prayer, pledge and the motion to vacate, so be it.” Gaetz dismissed McCarthy’s impeachment inquiry on Tuesday as “baby steps” and accused him of acting like a “valet” to Biden’s agenda.

McCarthy

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Apt comparison.

US Political System Frozen by Soviet-Style ‘Aging Crisis’ (Sp.)

Last week, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, now 83, announced she would run for reelection again next year, while Senator Diane Feinstein, 90, continues to sit in the Senate with no thought of retirement even though her own daughter took power of attorney to pay her bills. Last week, 81-year-old Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, addressing concerns about his health following episodes of freezing in public, vowed to finish out his term. In addition, a recent CNN poll revealed 75% of Americans are concerned about US President Joe Biden’s age and mental competence, while 67% of Democrats do not want him to run again.

Constitutional historian Dan Lazare suggested these developments are part of a generational illness afflicting an out-of-touch US governing elite that stayed too long in power, not unlike what happened to the Soviet Union during the 1980s, when the Kremlin was plainly at a loss in responding to a declining economy and dysfunctional political system. “Basically, the United States is caught in a Soviet-style age crisis,” Lazare said. “Remember what [former US President] Ronald Reagan said? When asked why he didn’t talk with Soviet leaders, he replied: ‘Because they keep dying on me.’ He was right.” However, while Reagan’s line got a good laugh, Lazare added, the joke is on the United States with elderly lawmakers feebly holding on to Senate seats, not to mention Biden’s “growing senility.”

“After one superpower descended into gerontocracy, how is it that another one is doing the same thing 40 years later? The answer to this question is political gridlock,” Lazare said. “Everyone is terrified of what change might mean.” Deepening gridlock has led to 30 years of trench warfare on Capitol Hill, Lazare pointed out. And thanks to this deadlock, the lineup barely shifts from one year to the next, he added. However, Lazare warned, history has proven this cannot go on forever. In the Soviet Union, he explained, the “ice eventually broke” with the appointment of premier Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 – but the change came too late. “The ice will eventually break in the United States as well, but the results could be just as explosive,” Lazare said.

Watters

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“..The Russians are yet to learn that Putin’s idealism exists nowhere else and that they must out-bribe the Americans..”

The Insouciant Russians (Paul Craig Roberts)

Armenia, despite being a member of Russia’s Collective Security Treaty Organization, began last Monday joint military exercises with the United States that will conclude September 20. This would appear to be Armenia’s finger in Russia’s eye. Clearly, Big Bucks Washington bribed someone in Armenia. The Russians are yet to learn that Putin’s idealism exists nowhere else and that they must out-bribe the Americans. About a year ago Washington organized “Regional Cooperation 2022,” an exercise of the US armed forces with the former Soviet Central Asian Republics of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kryrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. As Washington’s cover for stirring up new troubles for Russia, Washington’s ambassador to Tajikistan, John Pommersheim, explained Washington’s presence in Central Asia as working on peaceful responses to global challenges.

Just as Putin, the Kremlin, the Russian media sat sitting on their butts for 8 years while Washington built and equipped an Ukrainian Army poised to destroy the Russian peoples in the Donbas breakaway republics, the Kremlin, and the Russians media sit on their butts doing nothing while Washington, motivated by Putin’s failure to bring the Ukrainian war to an end, prepares to present the butt-sitter with another Ukraine in Central Asia. It seems Russians, too, can be insouciant. I sometimes wonder if they realize that they are at war. Russian tourists flock to Europe to have their cars and personal possessions stollen as sanctioned goods. And instead of warning the weak, essentially militarily irrelevant EU countries, the Kremlin warns its own citizens. The persona of irresoluteness, indecision, inability to act that the Kremlin broadcasts to the world encourages Washington to ever more provocations that will eventually go too far.

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“We point our fingers at Congress like they’re not just rented mules for the same people who sit on the board for the Rand Corporation.”

US Imperial ‘Death Cult’ Admits it Provoked Proxy Conflict in Ukraine (Sp.)

US deep state and financial interests openly schemed for years to provoke the conflict in Ukraine, says a media commentator. Webcast host Steve Poikonen told Sputnik he was gratified that NATO leaders were “finally saying that it’s a proxy war now.” That was “delightfully refreshing” after more than a year of “being called a tinfoil hat or Putin apologist for merely suggesting that what we are engaged in is a proxy war,” he said. The media commentator characterized the “permanent unelected state, the neocons and the military industrial complex” in the US as a “death cult.” “It operates like one, against all reason and against their own best interests even,” Poikonen said. “They pursue endless war, and they don’t even bother to care about the people on the ground. It’s all about moving the self-perpetuating money laundering machine, and they do it with impunity… because they’re 100 percent amoral.”

US strategic think-tank the RAND Corporation published a paper in 2019 entitled Overextending and Unbalancing Russia — a blueprint for a campaign of hybrid warfare, including “providing lethal aid to Ukraine” in order to “exploit Russia’s greatest point of external vulnerability.” “For every international conflict in which the U.S. is now overextended, there is a supporting RAND document that outlines exactly how we’re going to get into this mess,” Poikonen said. “This is their sole purpose. The reason the Rand Corporation gets together to figure out how to destabilize nations and how a handful of people in the United States, in the international business community can profit from it.” The RAND report also recommended disrupting Russia’s overseas oil and gas markets.

“Of course, they’re going to go after the oil and gas,” the pundit argued. “And when they see that and the RAND argument, the first thing I think of is the Nord Stream pipeline.” “The RAND Corporation is nothing if not fantastic salesman,” Poikonen observed. “They’ve been able to exist for the last 60, 70 years based solely on their ability to convince at least a handful of Congresscritters that all of our money should go to the military budget.” He argued US politics was nothing but theatre that concealed those pulling the strings behind the scenes. “We’re consistently attacking the wrong people in this country. We’re consistently pointing the finger at the wrong people,” he said. “We point our fingers at Congress like they’re not just rented mules for the same people who sit on the board for the Rand Corporation.”

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A 50-year-old transgender American is Kiev’s military spokesperson and threatens to kill anyone who asks questions. What a world.

Moscow Responds To Ukrainian Official’s ‘Terrorist’ Threat (RT)

Threats aimed at Russian journalists by Ukrainian military spokesperson, Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, will be referred to international organizations as an example of the terrorist nature of the Kiev regime, Moscow’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. On Wednesday, Ashton-Cirillo issued a threat to kill Russian “propagandists” and claimed that “next week, the teeth of the Russian devils will gnash even harder, and their rabid mouths will foam in uncontrollable frenzy as the world will see a favorite Kremlin propagandist pay for their crimes.” “Russia’s war criminal propagandists will all be hunted down, and justice will be served as we in Ukraine are led on this mission by faith in God, liberty and complete liberation,” the transgender military spokesperson pledged.

“A zombie apocalypse,” Zakharova wrote in response to the threat. “We will be sending this further evidence of the terrorist nature of the Kiev regime and its sponsorship by Washington to all international organizations and NGOs,” she said. The first deputy of the Russian State Duma’s culture committee, Elena Drapenko, claimed Ashton-Cirillo’s words were within the logic of the “terrorists and fascists” in Kiev and supported Zakharova’s suggestion that the threat be referred to international institutions. “There are international conventions, there are obligations that Ukraine has assumed. We must demand that they be fulfilled,” Drapenko said.

The head of Russia’s Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeev, has also stated that he would contact the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service (FSB) to investigate the threats in light of the “sad experience” of previous assassination attempts on Russian journalists and public opinion leaders. Investigative Committee chairman Alexander Bastrykin has confirmed that he has already instructed his service to investigate and provide a legal assessment of Ashton-Cirillo’s statements. Meanwhile, Russia’s Journalist Union (SJR) has cautioned that Ashton-Cirillo’s threats may be quite real in light of previous terrorist attacks on Russian media representatives.

“It is probably pointless to talk about the moral qualities of representatives of the Kiev leadership. These threats should be taken seriously,” said SJR president Vladimir Solovyov, urging fellow journalists to be careful. He added that he hoped Ashton-Cirillo would be appropriately punished as soon as they fall into the hands of Russian law enforcement agencies. The first deputy chairman of the Duma Defense Committee, Alexei Zhuravlev, also noted that “Ukrainian terrorism is gradually degrading” and taking on an “increasingly uglier face” in the form of Ashton-Cirillo, whom he called a “pervert-satan.”

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Ideal moment to tell him it’s over.

Mr. Zelensky Goes To Washington, Again (ZH)

Ukraine’s Present Volodymyr Zelensky is again expected to pay homage to the hands that feed him, as Bloomberg is reporting that another trip to the White House is imminent. “President Joe Biden will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the White House next week, according to a person familiar with the plans,” the fresh Thursday report indicates. The Ukrainian leader’s first official visit to Washington had occurred in December 2022, and also had marked his first known trip outside his war-ravaged country since Russia invaded. But things have changed since he gave that “Christmas season” address in Congress, where then House speaker Pelosi treated him like a rockstar as she and VP Kamala Harris excitedly waived the Ukrainian flag around, hugging Zelensky in the process.

Not only is the much-anticipated counteroffensive not going well, or even failing, but his personal ‘star status’ is waning too. Bloomberg notes the new context, namely that Republicans are less likely to sign off on massive new aid packages in the federal budget: For the US president, it also coincides with an upcoming showdown over federal funding. Biden has asked Congress to provide $24 billion for the Ukraine war and related costs, but conservatives in the House are threatening to shut down the US government if they consider any funding bill a “blank check” for Ukraine. Current funding for government operations runs through Sept. 20.

Next week’s meeting was first reported by Reuters. And a fresh photo op with Zelensky is perhaps what Biden thinks he needs for a boost in domestic approval ratings, given not only is the mainstream media turning on him……but he’s also newly focused his campaign going into 2024 on being the “tough” commander-in-chief who “protects” democracy around the world: “He entered Ukraine under the cover of night. And in the morning, Joe Biden walked shoulder to shoulder with our allies in the war-torn streets,” the narrator of a new one-minute Biden campaign ad begins. “Standing up for democracy in a place where a tyrant is waging war to take it away.”

On the Ukrainian side, Zelensky could be coming also to bolster support and enthusiasm among GOP hawks and conservative supporters in order to get their fellow Republicans in line. Kiev has also expressed increased impatience and frustration of late when it comes to F-16 delivery timeline, and related to getting more advanced US weapons like long-range missiles. There’s currently talk within the administration of Ukraine getting approval for the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), which has a max range of 190 miles. Certainly Zelensky is going to press for this and more. Will Biden make this the focus of a “big” announcement when he greets Zelensky in the White House next week?

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“DIA’s intelligence on Russia does not get to relevant hands in the White House because it is being ignored for political expediency..”

Sy Hersh: Overly Optimistic US Intel Reports on Ukraine to Lead to Disaster (Sp.)

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) withheld documents from the White House on anti-government extremist groups in Syria producing sarin gas and has been providing “insanely” optimistic assessments on the conflict in Ukraine, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh stated on his Substack blog on Wednesday. DIA’s intelligence on Russia does not get to relevant hands in the White House because it is being ignored for political expediency, just like CIA reports on the current failed Ukrainian counteroffensive are being ignored by Blinken, Hersh said. The journalist pointed out that he chose to publish a series of documents on his Substack because what the US Intelligence community did regarding Syria, it is doing once again regarding the Ukraine crisis.

If the same situation is allowed to persist regarding Ukraine, the conflict with Russia can scale up and that is an outcome that nobody wants, Hersh added. “[Secretary of State Anthony] Blinken’s wrong-headed confidence… could be based on insanely optimistic assessments supplied by the Defense Intelligence Agency. The DIA’s assessments, as I have reported, are now the intelligence of choice inside the White House,” the journalist said. Hersh noted that amid calls for the United States to intervene in the Syrian conflict ten years ago, the White House was not provided with crucial intelligence because of its alleged “politically inconvenient” nature. Such was the case of a detailed yet DIA-redacted five-page report from intercepts by the National Security Agency (NSA) that anti-government Islamist groups possessed the nerve agent sarin gas, the journalist stressed.

“It revealed the kind of truth that presidents then and now viewed as political poison,” Hersh emphasized. The much-touted counteroffensive attempt by the Kiev regime in early June has evidently been a failure, with massive losses and non-existent gains. A number of NATO generals, as well as Western military analysts, have already admitted the catastrophic situation of the Ukrainian forces. Nevertheless, Ukrainian officials – following their Western masters – refuse to acknowledge the reality: Ukraine has lost virtually all of its strategic reserves together with an enormous amount of NATO-supplied military equipment in a futile effort to breach the Russian defenses.

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“..the ATACMS has been the beneficiary of a Service Life Extension Program designed to keep the missile from failing once launched due to old age..”s

ATACMS – The Latest American Poison Pill for Ukraine (Scott Ritter)

Back in July 2022, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, pushing back against increasing demands from Ukraine and its American backers in Congress, the State Department, and the Pentagon that the Biden administration provide Ukraine with the Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, declared that providing Ukraine with this weapon would risk putting the US and Russia on “the road towards a third world war.” Ukraine had been demanding that the ATACMS, a 300-kilometer range solid-fuel guided missile, be included in the list of weapons Ukraine claimed it needed to successfully execute its much-touted “counteroffensive.”

Now, with the “counteroffensive”, which has been underway for more than three months, floundering in the face of a Russian defense that had proven more capable than originally thought by the NATO military planners who helped the Ukrainians craft it, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, suddenly announced that the Biden administration was considering reversing course on the issue of providing Ukraine with ATACMS. Left unsaid was to what extent, if any, the Biden administration had addressed the issue of a third world war with Russia, and whether the ATACMS was still considered to be a likely trigger for its initiation.

One theory that is making its way around Washington, DC, is that the Biden administration, after successive arms procurement decisions (HIMARS, the M-1 Abrams, and the F-16) appeared to cross so-called Russian “red lines” without generating any appreciable Russian reaction, believed that the Russians would likewise allow the introduction of the ATACMS to take place without provoking a crisis akin to a third world war. The underlying analysis for this assessment is that Russian President Vladimir Putin is bluffing when it comes to the so-called “red lines”, and that the US can provide Ukraine the weapons it needs to successfully prosecute its stalled counteroffensive.

There are two major problems with this assessment. First, it makes certain assumptions about Russia’s so-called “red lines”, and the consequences which would accrue to Ukraine and its Western partners if these lines were crossed. Russia has, to date, only articulated two definitive “red lines” when it comes to the ongoing Special Military Operation against Ukraine. The first is the direct involvement of US and/or NATO forces in the conflict, whether by putting boots on the ground in Ukraine, or intervening in Belarus. The second was any military situation which threatened the existential survival of the Russian nation. In both circumstances, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has decreed that Russia would use all the means at its disposal to respond to the threat, up to and including nuclear weapons. All other so-called “red lines” are speculative in nature, made by persons other than the President. Second, it assumes that the ATACMS is a game-changing technology whose presence on the battlefield will have a meaningful and telling impact on the ability of the Ukrainian armed forces to prevail in combat against their Russia foes.

The ATACMS is a 50-year-old system which the US Army stopped buying in 2007. While the ATACMS has been the beneficiary of a Service Life Extension Program designed to keep the missile from failing once launched due to old age, it remains an aging system with limited capabilities. If employed by Ukraine, the ATACMS will find itself targeted by Russian anti-missile weapons that will intercept the rocket prior to reaching its target and jam the guidance systems using electronic-warfare capabilities considered to be among the most effective in the world. There is no doubt that an ATACMS missile is capable of inflicting considerable harm and damage on any target it can strike. But the reality is that most of the ATACMS missiles will be shot down before they reach their target, a fact the military planners in the Pentagon are only too aware of. In short, ATACMS is the antithesis of a “magic” weapon designed to strengthen Ukrainian military capacity.

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“Brussels “should have isolated this war, but instead of that the EU has globalized” it..”

EU Gave ‘Bad Answer’ To Ukraine Crisis – Hungary (RT)

The European response to the Ukraine crisis is causing the world to fragment, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has claimed, adding that Budapest wants to see unifying action, like China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “Europe has given a very bad answer to the war in Ukraine that unfortunately seems to be ending up in a world being divided into blocs again,” the Hungarian diplomat told CNBC on the sidelines of the Belt and Road summit in Hong Kong. Brussels “should have isolated this war, but instead of that the EU has globalized” it, he said in the interview broadcast on Wednesday.

Szijjarto argued that a lack of communication between opposing countries has led to them giving up on achieving peace, while states that benefit from good East-West relations – such as Hungary – have been hurt economically. The minister contrasted this to how the BRI aims to bring the world together for mutual prosperity and security, which is why Hungary welcomes China’s presence. He criticized rich Western European nations who are now talking about decoupling from the Chinese economy or “derisking” due to political concerns. Quietly, they seek Chinese investment just like small nations, Szijjarto said.

“They can be hypocritical, they can afford [it],” he argued. Unlike those countries, Budapest states its foreign policy openly, the diplomat said, warning that if ‘decoupling’ with China were to succeed, it would “kill the European economy.” The Hungarian government has been a vocal critic of the Western response to the Ukrainian conflict since its outset. It has called for peace talks, while speaking out against sanctioning Russia and arming Ukraine. Most EU nations, following in the US lead, have pledged to support Kiev for “as long as it takes” to defeat Moscow.

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“It’s clear that the West overall has been surprised by the pretty widespread reluctance by many of the countries in the so-called Global South… to come on board..”

Global South Won’t Back Kiev As West Demands – WSJ (RT)

Western officials have overestimated the willingness of neutral nations to join anti-Russia policies in support of Ukraine, according to The Wall Street Journal. “It’s clear that the West overall has been surprised by the pretty widespread reluctance by many of the countries in the so-called Global South… to come on board,” Jan Techau of the consulting firm Eurasia Group told the newspaper, as quoted on Thursday. He cited “animosity toward the US and Europe” in some parts of the world and the desire of rising powers, such as Brazil and South Africa, to “assert their independence”, the article said. The WSJ detailed purported successes and failures of Western diplomacy to rally the support of neutral nations for what it called “a fair peace settlement for Ukraine” ahead of next week’s gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has been internationally promoting his “peace formula” with Western backing. It includes Ukraine regaining control over all former territories, war reparations from Russia, and a tribunal for the Russian leadership. Moscow has dismissed the Zelensky plan as being detached from reality. The newspaper noted that many “emerging countries” have resisted demands for reparations and a tribunal, while “the international willingness to call out Russia publicly has diminished.” In particular, the final statement of the G20 leaders after the summit in India last week did not condemn Russia or even call the conflict a war “against Ukraine.”

The newspaper asserted that the G20 meeting was a “success for the West too,” because Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping did not attend the event in person. “Factually, Russia is much more isolated than before,” a senior European official told The WSJ. At the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting, non-Western participants are likely “to shift the global focus onto their priorities: global inequality and debt relief,” the report predicted. Moscow has described the Ukraine crisis as part of a Western proxy war against Russia. It has also accused the US of mismanaging the global economy for selfish goals, while trying to preserve its dominance and resisting the emergence of a multipolar world.

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Twelvefold. And much more expensive. Very smart.

Germany Hugely Increases Imports Of Russian Oil – Der Spiegel (RT)

Germany has continued importing large volumes of Russian oil, turning to India as a substitute supplier after the EU banned almost all crude imports from Moscow in early December. According to a Der Spiegel report on Tuesday, Berlin’s imports of petroleum products from India jumped more than twelvefold in January-July 2023 year-on-year. The value of those imports soared from €37 million ($39 million) in the first seven months of 2022 to $484 million during the same period of 2023, the outlet’s analysis of official data reportedly showed. The imports from India “were mainly gas oils that are used to produce diesel or heating oil,” the report said, noting that New Delhi has recently been producing a significant proportion of those gas oils from Russian crude oil.

Germany, which has historically been the largest EU buyer of Russian oil, stopped imports via pipelines on January 1, despite the fact that the latest EU embargo exempts piped deliveries to the bloc from the sanctioned country. Official data by German statistical office Destatis shows that Berlin’s imports of Russian crude oil have ceased almost entirely amid the sanctions. Statistics, however, do not count crude of Russian origin purchased indirectly from global traders through ship-to-ship transfers. According to Der Spiegel, citing data, some volumes of Russian oil bought by India later end up in Germany in some form.

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Poland won’t break the union. But Hungary may.

Polish Minister Warns Of Threat From Ukraine (RT)

If Ukraine were to become a member of the EU it would have to be under certain conditions, particularly in light of the threat posed by its agriculture, Poland’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Robert Telus has said, in an interview with polish news station PAP on Thursday. Telus was asked if Warsaw would take any steps to oppose Kiev’s accession to the EU, given that Poland has placed an embargo on Ukrainian grain. The minister replied that although the Polish government was generally in favor of Ukraine’s admission to the bloc, certain issues would first have to be addressed before that can become a reality. “Ukraine cannot join the EU without conditions. We had conditions and the same must apply to Ukraine,” Telus said.

He noted that agriculture is a particularly important point in relations with Kiev as Ukraine’s agriculture sector is structured completely differently than Poland’s and the EU’s. “We need to take a closer look at this, because Ukrainian agriculture is a threat to the agriculture of the frontline countries, but also to the whole of Europe,” he told PAP. Earlier this week, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki stressed that Warsaw will not allow cheap Ukrainian grain to “flood” the Polish market and disrupt the country’s agricultural industry. He added that regardless of what the EU says, Poland will keep its border closed to Ukrainian grain in order to protect the interests of Polish farmers.

Back in May, five Eastern European members of the EU, namely Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia, placed a sweeping ban on the import of Ukrainian grain. That was after Brussels lifted quotas and tariffs from Ukrainian grain exports in a bid to support Zelensky’s government in the early months of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. However, the policy ultimately backfired on Eastern European nations, which have faced mass protests from local farmers. The EU then closed off the markets of the five nations to Ukrainian wheat, corn, sunflower seeds and rapeseed, but still allowed the transit of the goods to continue. On Friday, the European Parliament is set to debate on the extension of the embargo.

Commenting on Brussels’ possible decision to lift the ban, Telus suggested that such a move would bear political undertones and that “there are forces in Europe that want to further destabilize” Poland’s market. Kiev, meanwhile, has opposed the grain ban, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky calling the embargo a betrayal of “European values.” The president has since threatened to go to an international arbitration court if Brussels decides to prolong the ban beyond September 15.

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“Although western economies are well-developed, they are already “too heavily invested and sluggish,” says Titov: “In the East, on the other hand, everything is booming, moving forward rapidly, developing rapidly…”

In Vladivostok, The Russian Far East Rises (Pepe Escobar)

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened and closed his quite detailed address to the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok with a resounding message: “The Far East is Russia’s strategic priority for the entire 21st century.” And that’s exactly the feeling one would have prior to the address, interacting with business executives mingling across the stunning forum grounds at the Far Eastern Federal University (opened only 11 years ago), with the backdrop of the more than four kilometer-long suspension bridge to Russky Island across the Eastern Bosphorus strait. The development possibilities of what is in effect Russian Asia, and one of the key nodes of Asia-Pacific, are literally mind-boggling.

Data from the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic – confirmed by several of the most eye-catching panels during the Forum – list a whopping 2,800 investment projects underway, 646 of which are already up and running, complete with the creation of several international Advanced Special Economic Zones (ASEZ) and the expansion of the Free Port of Vladivostok, home to several hundred small and midsize enterprises (SMEs). All that goes way beyond Russia’s “pivot to the East” which was announced by Putin in 2012, two years before the Maidan events in Kiev. For the rest of the planet, not to mention the collective west, it is impossible to understand the Russian Far East magic without being on the spot – starting with Vladivostok, the charming, unofficial capital of the Far East, with its gorgeous hills, striking architecture, verdant islands, sandy bays and of course the terminal of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway.

What Global South visitors did experience – the collective west was virtually absent from the Forum – was a work in progress in sustainable development: a sovereign state setting the tone in terms of integrating large swathes of its territory to the new, emerging, polycentric geoeconomic era. Delegations from ASEAN (Laos, Myanmar, Philippines) and the Arab world, not to mention India and China, totally understood the picture. In his speech, Putin stressed how the rate of investment in the Far East is three times the Russian region average; how the Far East is only 35 percent explored, with unlimited potential for natural resource industries; how the Power of Siberia and Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipelines will be connected; and how by 2030, liquified natural gas (LNG) production in the Russian Arctic will triple.

In a broader context, Putin made clear that “the global economy has changed and continues to change; the west, with its own hands, is destroying the system of trade and finance that it itself created.” It is no wonder then that Russia’s trade turnover with Asia-Pacific grew by 13.7 percent in 2022, and by another 18.3 percent in just the first half of 2023. Cue to Presidential Business Rights Commissioner Boris Titov showing how this reorientation away from the “static” west is inevitable. Although western economies are well-developed, they are already “too heavily invested and sluggish,” says Titov: “In the East, on the other hand, everything is booming, moving forward rapidly, developing rapidly. And this applies not only to China, India, and Indonesia, but also to many other countries. They are the center of development today, not Europe, our main consumers of energy are there, finally.”

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“The State does not create wealth, the State destroys it. The State can give you nothing, because it produces nothing.”

“Never Embrace Socialism… Or The Siren Song Of Social Justice” – Milei (ZH)

Argentina’s leading presidential candidate Javier Milei – a self-described anarcho-capitalist who won the primaries with 30% of the vote – sat down with Tucker Carlson this week in Buenos Aires for a wide-ranging discussion. Carlson and Milei talked about why the citizens of Argentina are fed up with the relentless lack of change and the relentless economic decline, echoing many similar patterns taking place in America, with the one-time congressman explaining his platform of radical change which would include the dissolution of numerous socialist institutions and the very central bank which has led Argentina into multiple fiscal crisis events. Milei’s advice to Americans is simple: “Never embrace the ideas of socialism.”

Tucker Milei

“Never allow yourselves to be seduced by the siren song of social justice. Don’t get caught up in that terrible concept that where there is a need, there is a right. But that can’t happen on its own. We have to be prepared for this, and wage a cultural war every single day and we have to be careful because they have no problem with getting inside the State and employing Gramsci’s techniques: seducing the artists, seducing the culture, seducing the media or meddling in educational content.” Reflecting in the slippery slope of American leftist politics, Carlson noted that Argentina has adopted many left-wing social issues. “I didn’t fully appreciate the degree to which the Argentinian government had embraced fringe academic, American-style social justice,” Carlson told Milei, adding that “a businessman told me at lunch today that people who identify as transgender pay lower taxes, and that in 2019 you had a Ministry of Women and Diversity created in this country for the first time. What does that ministry do?”

“In theory, it is supposed to deal with women’s issues,” Milei said. “But when you look at the results, you find there aren’t any. Just writing songs…” “Are women happier here?” Carlson asked. “No,” Milei said. “Because there are no real results.” And added, “why isn’t there a Ministry of Men?” Then, Milei really touched the third rail… by supporting President Trump, and offering him some advice: “[Trump] should continue his fight against socialism. Because he is one of the few who truly understood that we are fighting socialism, that we are fighting the statists. He understood perfectly that the generation of wealth comes from the private sector.

The State does not create wealth, the State destroys it. The State can give you nothing, because it produces nothing. And when it attempts it, it does so poorly.” “So I’d say, if I could humbly offer advice, all I could say would be to double down on his efforts in the same direction: defending the ideals of freedom and refusing to give an inch to the socialists,” he continued. The discussion included Milei’s controversial denouncement of the Pope, his views on abortion, and his belief that climate change is a “socialist lie.”

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Hermit Crab

 

 

 

 

Ribbon eel

 

 

Colosseum

 

 

 

 

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