Apr 232024
 


Gustav Klimt The Park 1909

 

Alina Habba Rages As Judge Approves Trump’s $175 Million Bond (ET)
Will Trump Testify? (Victoria Taft)
Trump Urges “Peaceful Protest” As Day 1 In Hush-Money Case Ends (ZH)
Trump Sold-Out His Base to Shovel $95 Billion to Ukraine and Israel (Whitney)
Supreme Court Denies Bid to Expand No-Excuse Mail-In Ballots in Texas (ET)
Biden Targets Radical IDF Unit With Sanctions to Placate His Voters (Sp.)
US Forced Israel To Abandon Larger Attack On Iran – NYT (RT)
Will Zionism Self-Destruct? (Alastair Crooke)
US Goes ‘Slippery Slide’ With Sending Its Military Personnel to Ukraine (Sp.)
The Bad Faith Olympics (Kunstler)
Polish President Rejects Own PM’s ‘Pre-war’ Warning (RT)
Biden Fears RFK Jr. as He Gets on Another Ballot (Sp.)
Michael Brenner: The Moral Depravity of Western Imperialism (Sch.)
No, It Does Not Matter Why the Man Lit Himself on Fire (Turley)

 

 

Still trying to understand this.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1782508137582608427

 

 

Bannon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782461540442263664

 

 

Something Amazing is Developing with this Presidential Immunity SCOTUS Case…

Mike Davis:
— Can the Trump 47 Justice Department charge Obama for Capital Murder for murdering 2 Americans in a drone strike?
— Can the Trump 47 Justice Department charge Biden for the illegals pouring into the US, and their resulting crimes?

What to do? What to do? Trump says he should have “ABSOLUTE Immunity” . “Absolute” is the key word here… As it stands, the Constitution does say a President has Absolute Immunity from many lawsuits (not all)… BUT…. Trumps case is under legal dispute to determine whether or not a President has immunity from CRIMINAL Liability or Prosecution. No President in history has ever been charged for a crime, as the Constitution currently stands. A major precedent will be set with this SCOTUS ruling this Thursday… I believe this ruling may be closing some loopholes to go after others.. The wordage is going to be very very important.

 

 

Tulsi Kamala 2019

 

 

Tucker Ukr

 

 

Zel

Zel 2006

 

 

Founding Fathers

 

 

 

 

“…in one hour, that judge and the attorney general realized they had no idea what they were talking about… and we came to an agreement that everything would be the same…”

Alina Habba Rages As Judge Approves Trump’s $175 Million Bond (ET)

Former President Donald Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James reached an agreement on April 22 regarding his $175 million bond in his New York civil case, imposing additional restrictions while resolving concerns about the funds’ security. The attorney general argued that Knight Specialty Insurance Company (KSIC) lacked a “certificate of qualification” and that President Trump still had access to the Charles Schwab account pledged to the insurer as collateral. Judge Arthur Engoron accepted the April 22 agreement, which gave KSIC exclusive control over the account. The state made the offer after Chris Kise, President Trump’s attorney, provided oral argument. The attorney general established five bond conditions this morning that allow President Trump to use a non-New York company as a traditional license surety to cover the $175 million he was ordered to pay.

KSIC is unauthorized by the New York Department of Financial Services, which bond experts have said is a victory for President Trump. “[The company] is probably charging Trump less and they accepted a pledge rather than actually receiving $175 million in cash,” Bruce Lederman, a commercial and real estate litigator who has dealt in bonds for more than 40 years, said. All of President Trump’s attorneys agreed to the settlement stipulations, which are expected to be memorialized by the end of the week. The five bond conditions include retaining the collateral in a Schwab account and restricting KSIC from trading or withdrawing any of the funds for anything other than payment of the bond. “The state was not looking to be vindictive,” Mr. Lederman told The Epoch Times. “They are looking simply to be guaranteed that they are geting paid if they win the appeal, and they were sufficiently satisfied that if these five conditions were met, they would get paid.”

[..] President Trump defended the bond outside the courtroom at his criminal trial. “We put up cash and the number is 175,” President Trump said. “She shouldn’t be complaining about the bonding company. The bonding company would be good for it because I put up the money. I have plenty of money to put up.” After the hearing, President Trump’s lawyer in the case, Alina Habba, fumed at the judge’s incompetence, “he doesn’t even understand basic principles of finance,” and at AG James’ “this is where your taxpayer dollars are going America…witch hunt after witch hunt after witch hunt…” Habba continued to excoriate the whole farce: “…in one hour, that judge and the attorney general realized they had no idea what they were talking about… and we came to an agreement that everything would be the same…”

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“The media have called this case a “hush money” case, but one of our crafty commenters called it the Hush Trump case. Touche’.

Will Trump Testify? (Victoria Taft)

Will Donald Trump testify at his New York City at the Hush Trump bookkeeping trial? Testimony is underway in the trial of former President Trump, who is charged with a bookkeeping issue of misreporting payments in 2017 as legal fees instead of campaign expenses. His overarching crime, by the Manhattan district attorney’s lights, is a federal election crime, which boils down to Trump stealing the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton won New York in 2016 by a nearly two-to-one margin, so clearly this trial is on the up-and-up. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg dredged up this trial from the dead after federal elections officials and the previous DA as well as Bragg himself declined to bring this case years before. But after Biden’s DOJ parachuted in a Trump specialist attack dog to go after the former president, the Democrats decided to throw everything against the wall to prevent him from being reelected.

Former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr, who can’t stand the former president, calls this case an “abomination… obviously political …and a real threat to liberty.” Better late than never, Bill. He’ll be out with his 2020 observations by, hmmm, let’s say next year. The witness list is out, and the first person to take the stand in this non-televised drama will be the former publisher of the National Enquirer, who paid porn performer Stormy Daniels money for exclusive rights to her story and then killed it. That’s not a crime, but it will dovetail nicely with the prosecution’s index horribilis that they will use as distractive chaff from this “abomination.” The Enquirer paid Daniels $150,000 while Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, who will also testify, paid her $130,000. Trump personally paid Cohen for his legal activities by more than doubling the amount and giving him a $60K spiff for his legal services.

This is the “crime” for which Trump is dragged through the courts. Since it has been, as the lawyers like to say, “bootstrapped” to an unspecified federal elections crime (which the feds said wasn’t a federal elections crime) it has suddenly gone from a civil case to a criminal case. Robert Costello, Cohen’s former attorney, will testify for the defense, according to the witness list. Trump is not on the witness list, but a defendant can always decide if he wants to testify during the trial. Trump has told the world he will testify. “I don’t know, I’m testifying. I tell the truth. I mean, all I can do is tell the truth,” he said recently. “And the truth is,” he continued, “that there’s no case, they have no case.” Last week he answered “yes” when a reporter yelled the question as he entered the Manhattan courthouse. One of Trump’s appellate attorneys, Will Scharf, told CNN recently that he thinks if he decided to testify Trump would do well. “If the jury decides based on the facts and the law, there’s no way President Trump can be convicted,” he said. Scharf says Trump “would be a compelling witness” if he chooses to testify.

In the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial, Trump testified for less than four minutes. One can imagine the cross-examination of Trump by prosecutors using the list of bad acts that have nothing to do with his case, getting him flustered and angry and showing the jury what a bad guy he is. Trump can be cool and calm, but they’ll do everything they can to rattle him on the stand, obviously. The media have called this case a “hush money” case, but one of our crafty commenters called it the Hush Trump case. Touche’. When a judge shuts up the defendant but not the other trial participants you can’t help but wonder if the fix is in. Where else will you read that in this censorious media world that we’re living in?

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“His entire financial livelihood depends on President Trump’s destruction,” he said of Mr. Cohen. “You cannot make a serious decision about President Trump relying on the words of Michael Cohen.”

Trump Urges “Peaceful Protest” As Day 1 In Hush-Money Case Ends (ZH)

Day one of former President Donald Trump’s so-called “hush-money” trial concluded early on Monday after Judge Juan Merchan said that an alternate juror can visit a dentist appointment (despite previously telling Trump he would have attend every day without fail – missing his son’s graduation – or face jail). Judge Merchan had previously planned to adjourn the trial at 2 p.m. ET due to the Passover holiday. But he said Monday that it would adjourn at 12:30 p.m. He previously said he would end at 2 p.m. on Tuesday for the holiday. Jack Phillips reports, via The Epoch Times, that the early adjournment came after prosecutors and defense lawyers make their respective cases for why the former president should be convicted or acquitted. In the case, President Trump is accused of falsifying business payments during the 2016 campaign by allegedly paying a former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to bury negative stories.

At issue were claims from an adult film performer, Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, that she was engaged in a relationship with the former president. President Trump has denied her claims and has pled not guilty. An attorney for the former president spoke to the jury, asking them to “use your common sense” when they assess the case. “We’re New Yorkers. It’s why we’re here,” Todd Blanche said. “There will be a very swift not guilty verdict” if they decide based on the evidence involved, he said. “You told all of us, you told the court, you told me, you will put aside whatever views you have of President Trump,” Mr. Blanche told the jury as he wrapped up his arguments. “The 34 counts, ladies and gentlemen, are really just pieces of paper,” Mr. Blanche said of the indictment. “None of this was a crime.”

Mr. Blanche was critical of Ms. Clifford, saying that she has earned income and fame from her allegations about an alleged affair that occurred in 2006. “She also wrote a book. She was paid for a documentary,” Mr. Blanche says of Ms. Clifford, adding that courts have sided with President Trump’s legal disputes with Ms. Clifford. As for Mr. Cohen, Mr. Blanche accused him of profiting off his criticism of President Trump. “His entire financial livelihood depends on President Trump’s destruction,” he said of Mr. Cohen. “You cannot make a serious decision about President Trump relying on the words of Michael Cohen.” “He has a goal, an obsession with getting President Trump,” Mr. Blanche said of Mr. Cohen, who is expected to be a witness. “I submit to you that he cannot be trusted.”

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Mike Whitney. A different view.

Trump Sold-Out His Base to Shovel $95 Billion to Ukraine and Israel (Whitney)

The man who is most responsible for the $95 billion giveaway to Ukraine and Israel, is the same guy who pretends to oppose America’s “wasteful” foreign wars. Donald Trump. It was Trump who consulted with Speaker Mike Johnson about the contents of the Ukraine aid package, just as it was Trump who concocted the idea of issuing loans instead of dispersing the standard welfare handout. It was also Trump who said: “I stand with the Speaker, (Mike Johnson)” after which he added that Johnson is doing “a very good job.” A “good job”?? So, secretly collaborating with the Democrat leadership to push through a bill that “reauthorizes FISA to spy on the American people without a warrant, (bans Tik Tok) fully funds Joe Biden’s DOJ that has indicted President Trump 91 times, and giving Biden’s political gestapo a brand new FBI building bigger than the Pentagon,” while not providing a dime to protect the southern border from the swarms of people entering the country illegally, is doing a “good job”?

The question we should all be asking ourselves is why has Trump decided to participate in this scam? He keeps saying that if he was president, he’d end the war in Ukraine in a day. If he’s sincere about that, then why did he collaborate on a bill that will drag the war out for another year or two? This is from a Twitter post by political analyst Michael Tracey: “Mission Accomplished. It is done: Donald Trump and the House GOP just completed one of the most epic swindles in political history, with Trump personally effectuating the largest-ever dispersement of Ukraine funding through his emissary, “MAGA Mike Johnson” (as Trump lovingly calls him) The $61 billion passed this afternoon is likely enough to underwrite the brutal, pointless trench warfare for at least another year or two. This after the same old endless media screeching that Trump and MAGA Republicans were being brainwashed by Putin and would never fund Ukraine. That fundamental hoax continues — only this time Trump was in on it…. Michael Tracey, Twitter.

And the response from Luca Cabrilo: “Michael you’re 100% spot on. Trump could have at any point killed this monstrous bill if he wanted to, but he didn’t. He even let MAGA Mike go on TV and say that he and Trump are “100% agreed” on the Ukraine funding Trump screwed his base on this one, no other way about it.” Michael Tracey again: “He didn’t just “not kill it,” he personally facilitated its passage..” Here’s more background from Tracey: “The bill, designed after consultations between Mike Johnson and Trump, mysteriously gives the President the ability to forgive the purported “loan” to Ukraine — immediately after the November election…

And if that’s not brazen enough for you, here’s the catch: The funds eligible for “loan forgiveness” are the direct budgetary infusions to Ukraine — meaning the money that pays for the salaries of Ukrainian government workers and so forth — NOT the military “aid,” which comprises the vast majority of the package. So, only $8 billion of the $61 billion allocated to Ukraine is even *eligible* for “loan forgiveness” under the terms of this gargantuan bill. And even that was a fake “loan” to begin with — it never had to be paid back at all!

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“..in the long run, we need the French model: Everybody votes on the same day, everybody has a photo ID, everybody’s accounted as a person..”

Supreme Court Denies Bid to Expand No-Excuse Mail-In Ballots in Texas (ET)

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge to a Texas law that requires voters under the age of 65 to provide justification to vote by mail, meaning that the Democrat-aligned attempt to sharply expand “no-excuse” mail-in ballots in the Lone Star state has failed, with implications for other states. According to an April 22 order list, the high court denied petition for a writ of cetriorari in a case that stems from a federal lawsuit filed in 2020 on behalf of the Texas Democratic Party and several voters who requested that Texas lift its age-based limitations on no-excuse mail-in voting. Texas law only allows individuals to vote by mail without a qualifying excuse, like sickness, if they are 65 years or older. In their original complaint, which made its way through a number of lower courts before ending up before the Supreme Court, the petitioners alleged that the Texas voting law violates the 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits denying the right to vote due to age.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the appeal means that the Texas law stays in place, delivering a win to election integrity advocates who argue that no-excuse mail-in voting is prone to fraud and makes elections less secure. At the same time, the high court’s decision to deny certiorari is a setback for groups who see laws like Texas’s age-based limits on no-excuse mail-in ballots as “voter suppression” or an unfair attempt to impose barriers to voting for certain groups, in this case younger voters. The high court’s decision not to hear the appeal has broader implications, however, since six other states–Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee–have similar laws on the books that let older voters to request absentee ballot without having to provide any justification. Public opinion in Texas over the issue of no-excuse mail-in voting is split, according to some polls.

In their initial petition filed in 2020 on behalf of the Texas Democratic Party and a group of voters amids the COVID-19 pandemic, the plaintiffs requested that Texas lift its age-based restrictions to no-excuse mail-in voting, citing public health risks related to the outbreak. A district court judge sided with the plaintiffs in May 2020, temporarily blocking the Texas law. Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Texas officials then filed an appeal with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which paused the district court’s ruling while the appeal played out. The plaintiffs then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reimpose the district court’s decision to freeze enforcement of the age-based limits to no-excuse mail-in voting, or to take the case up for review, but the high court rejected both requests.

Ultimately, the 5th Circuit voided the lower court’s May 2020 order in full. This led the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint in the district court, this time asserting other claims, including ones of racial discrimination under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and arguing that the age limitations on mail-in ballots violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th and 26th Amendments. In a July 2022 order, the district court judge dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims, leading to another appeal before the 5th Circuit, which ultimately affirmed the district court’s decision to dismiss. The plaintiffs filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2023, asking the high court to declare Texas’s age-based voting law unconstitutional.

[..] The Supreme Court ruling comes amid a broader fight between those who see election integrity efforts as “voter suppression” and those who believe that the security of U.S. elections is too lax and should be tightened. According to a running tally by the left-leaning Brennan Center for Justice, expansive voting laws far outpaced restrictive ones in 2023. At least 53 expansive voting laws were introduced last year in at least 23 states, compared to 17 restrictive laws being passed in 14 states, suggesting that the election integrity movement is falling behind. Amid concerns over voter fraud, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich recently suggested that to win the presidential election in November, Republicans need to outvote Democrats by a significant margin. “Everybody who wants an honest election should know that in the long run, we need the French model: Everybody votes on the same day, everybody has a photo ID, everybody’s accounted as a person,” Mr. Gingrich said in a February interview on Fox News.

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All else remaining equal…

Biden Targets Radical IDF Unit With Sanctions to Placate His Voters (Sp.)

Axios reported Saturday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken is planning to imminently announce sanctions against the IDF’s Netzah Yehuda battalion, with the measures expected to stop the battalion’s fighters from being able to receive US military assistance and training. Officials confirmed the looming sanctions to the Times of Israel, indicating on Monday that other Israeli military and police units accused of human rights abuses may also be targeted. However, one of Axios’s sources said others will not be affected after being probed and deemed to have “remedied their behavior” in unspecified ways. The US investigation into Netzah Yehuda goes back to before the current Palestinian-Israeli escalation, with the State Department starting a probe of the unit in December 2022 after troops were caught engaging in violence against Palestinian civilians. One such incident led to the death of a 78-year-old Palestinian-American man.

“Sanctions must not be imposed on the Israel Defense Forces,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Saturday, assuring that his government would “act by all means against these moves.” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant echoed Netanyahu’s sentiments, heaping praise on Netzah Yehuda and assuring that its soldiers operate “in accordance with the values of the IDF and in accordance with international law.” Gallant warned that even if the infantry unit was the only one targeted by sanctions, it would cast “a heavy shadow on the actions of the IDF” and affect “the entire defense establishment.” The Israeli military moved the Netzah Yehuda battalion – which consists mostly of ultra-Orthodox and hardcore Zionist forces, out of the West Bank and away from contact with the Palestinians in late 2022, but no actions were taken to punish members suspected of human rights abuses. Gallant said the unit has been used in Israel’s operation “to dismantle Hamas brigades in Gaza” after last fall’s escalation.

It’s not clear what impact the sanctions will have. The US has donated tens of billions of dollars in military equipment to Israel (including $26 billion in a tranche approved by the House of Representatives on Saturday), and it’s unclear how Washington plans to keep track of weaponry to assure that it doesn’t fall into the Netzah Yehuda battalion’s hands. Netzah Yehuda is a distinct unit within Israel’s armed forces in that it’s made up almost entirely by radical Zionists, Dr. Simon Tsipis, a Tel Aviv-based international relations expert, told Sputnik, commenting on the US plans These forces have “an aggressive attitude toward the Palestinians, and there have been many cases of the violation of the rules of war, aggression toward civilians who live around these Jewish settlements” in the West Bank, the observer explained, noting that this aggression stems from the fighters’ Zionist perspective that all Palestinians are “direct enemies.”

As far as the US administration’s sanctions plans, “this is an attempt to kill two birds with one stone,” Tsipas believes. In the first place, sanctions are designed “to create the appearance of punishing Israel,” he said, with Biden and the Democrats seeking desperately to regain “at least part of the Arab and Muslim vote” in the upcoming election amid the president’s plunge in the polls. The restrictions are not meant to weaken Israel’s military capabilities overall, Tsipis stressed, suggesting the decision to target Netzah Yehuda signals the Democrats’ displeasure with Netanyahu’s hard-right Zionist and religious right coalition. “This is a blow to Zionism as an ideology, not an attempt to influence Israel so that it stops, suspends or is otherwise unable to continue its military operations in the Gaza Strip, or even the [potential] upcoming war with Iran,” the observer said.

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“Israeli and American officials stressed that Washington wanted West Jerusalem to avoid provoking Iran into an escalating series of tit-for-tat strikes and counterstrikes..”

US Forced Israel To Abandon Larger Attack On Iran – NYT (RT)

Israeli leaders planned a “much more extensive counterstrike on Iran” after Tehran launched a drone and missile barrage on Israel last weekend, but were pressured to pare down the operation by the US and its allies, the New York Times reported on Monday. Israel targeted Iran with a handful of drones and air-launched missiles on Friday, according to US officials and anonymous Israeli sources who spoke to the newspaper. While Western officials believe that an Israeli missile hit an Iranian airbase, Tehran has only acknowledged being attacked with small quadcopter drones, with Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian describing the aircraft as “children’s toys” that were easily shot down. West Jerusalem initially intended a much wider wave of strikes targeting military sites across the country, including near Tehran, anonymous Israeli officials told the outlet.

However, the US, UK, and Germany exerted “concerted diplomatic pressure” on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and forced him to settle for a more limited response, the officials said. Such a response “avoided significant damage, diminishing the likelihood of an escalation,” the New York Times reported. The Israeli military has not commented on the report, and has stuck to its usual policy of refusing to confirm or deny strikes on foreign soil. The latest round of escalation between Israel and Iran began on April 1, when an Israeli airstrike allegedly hit the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus. The strike killed seven officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, including two high-ranking generals. Tehran warned that it would retaliate, and two weeks later launched multiple waves of missiles and kamikaze drones at Israel. Most of the Iranian projectiles were intercepted, but with more than 300 drones fired, air defenses were overwhelmed and multiple missiles reached their target, damaging an Israeli air base.

Netanyahu initially planned immediate retaliatory strikes, but was talked out of it during a phone call with US President Joe Biden, the New York Times reported last week. In both last week’s report and Monday’s, Israeli and American officials stressed that Washington wanted West Jerusalem to avoid provoking Iran into an escalating series of tit-for-tat strikes and counterstrikes. The plan appears to have succeeded. “As long as there is no new adventurism by Israel against our interests, then we are not going to have any new reactions,” Amirabdollahian stated on Saturday. With some of Netanyahu’s hardline political allies criticizing the supposedly “lame” response, the officials who spoke to the New York Times insisted that the strikes demonstrated “the breadth and sophistication of Israel’s military arsenal,” the paper paraphrased.

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“Iran’s missiles were able to penetrate directly into Israel’s two most sensitive and highly defended air bases and sites. Behind the whooping western rhetoric lies Israeli shock and fear. Their bases are no longer ‘untouchable’. ”

Will Zionism Self-Destruct? (Alastair Crooke)

In the summer following Israel’s 2006 (unsuccessful) war on Hizbullah, Dick Cheney sat in his office loudly bemoaning Hizbullah’s continuing strength; and worse still, that it seemed to him that Iran had been the primary beneficiary from the U.S. 2003 Iraq war. Cheney’s guest – the then Saudi Intelligence Chief, Prince Bandar – vigorously concurred (as chronicled by John Hannah, who participated in the meeting) and, to general surprise, Prince Bandar proclaimed that Iran yet could be cut to size: Syria was the ‘weak’ link between Iran and Hizbullah that could be collapsed via an Islamist insurgency, Bandar proposed. Cheney’s initial scepticism turned to elation as Bandar said that U.S. involvement would be unnecessary: He, Prince Bandar, would orchestrate and manage the project. ‘Leave it to me’, he said. Bandar separately told John Hannah: “The King knows that other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself, nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria”.

Thus began a new phase of attrition on Iran. The regional balance of power was to be decisively shifted towards Sunni Islam – and the region’s monarchies. That old balance from the Shah’s time in which Persia enjoyed regional primacy was to be ended: conclusively, the U.S., Israel and the Saudi King hoped. Iran – already badly bruised by the ‘imposed’ Iran-Iraq war – resolved never again to be so vulnerable. Iran aimed to find a path to strategic deterrence in the context of a region dominated by the overwhelming air dominance enjoyed by its adversaries. What occurred this Saturday 14 April – some 18 years later – therefore was of utmost importance. Despite the bruhaha and distraction following Iran’s attack, Israel and the U.S. know the truth: Iran’s missiles were able to penetrate directly into Israel’s two most sensitive and highly defended air bases and sites. Behind the whooping western rhetoric lies Israeli shock and fear. Their bases are no longer ‘untouchable’.

Israel also knows – but cannot admit – that the so-called ‘assault’ was no assault but an Iranian message to assert the new strategic equation: That any Israeli attack on Iran or its personnel will result in retribution from Iran into Israel. This act of setting the new ‘balance of power equation’ unites the diverse Fronts against the U.S.’ “connivance with Israeli actions in the Middle East, that are at the core of Washington’s policy – and in many ways the root-cause of new tragedies” – in the words of Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov. The equation represents a key ‘Front’ – together with Russia’s war against NATO in Ukraine – for persuading the West that its exceptionalist and redemptive myth has proved to be a fatal conceit; that it must be discarded; and that deep cultural change in the West needs to happen. The roots to this wider cultural conflict are deep – but finally have been made explicit. Prince Bandar’s post-2006 playing of the Sunni ‘card’ was a flop (in no small part thanks to Russia’s intervention in Syria).

AndIran, has come in from the cold and is firmly anchored as a primary regional power. It is the strategic partner to Russia and China. And Gulf States today have switched focus instead to money, ‘business’ and Tech, rather than Salafist jurisprudence. Syria, then targeted by the West and ostracised, has not only survived all that the West could ‘throw at it’ but has been warmly embraced by the Arab League and rehabilitated. And Syria is now slowly finding its way to being itself again. Yet even during the Syrian crisis, unforeseen dynamics to Prince Bandar’s playing of Islamist identity versus Arab socialist secular identity were playing out:

I wrote then in 2012: “Over recent years we have heard the Israelis emphasise their demand for recognition of a specifically Jewish nation-state, rather than for an Israeli State, per se”; – a state that would enshrine Jewish political, legal, and military exceptional rights. “[At that time] … Muslim nations [were] seeking the ‘undoing’ of the last remnants of the colonial era. Will we see the struggle increasingly epitomised as a primordial struggle between Jewish and Islamic religious symbols – between al-Aqsa and the Temple Mount?” To be plain, what was apparent even then – in 2012 – was “that both Israel and its surrounding terrain are marching in step toward language which takes them far away from the underlying, largely secular concepts by which this conflict traditionally has been conceptualised. What [would] be the consequence – as the conflict, by its own logic, becomes a clash of religious poles?”

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“I’m not quite sure how big the US embassy is in Kiev, but I doubt it’s enough to set up a maintenance workshop for, I don’t know, Abrams tanks or something like that..”

US Goes ‘Slippery Slide’ With Sending Its Military Personnel to Ukraine (Sp.)

Troops from the US and other NATO countries will be in Ukraine fighting Russian troops within a year, security and international relations expert Mark Sleboda predicted on Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Monday. “We (The United States) were at trainers and advisers and CIA and special forces [in Ukraine], and now already, we’re at logistics and maintenance personnel. It’s quite clear where this is going,” Sleboda began. “US troops and [troops] from several other NATO member states will most likely be on the ground in Ukraine fighting the Russians within a year.” On Saturday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that includes $61 billion earmarked to support Ukraine, however, Sleboda explains that it will not have a major effect on the battlefield. “It will, maybe, slow Russian forces down a little bit. That’s the extent of what the $61 billion [will do].

And, in another six months or perhaps a year, they’ll be back, demanding more from the US taxpayer to try to prop up the Kiev regime a little longer.” One underreported aspect of the bill is that a large portion of it is going towards replenishing US weapon stockpiles and not weapons that will end up on the battlefield in Ukraine. “I would say, that of the $61 billion, actually only $14 billion of that is going to go to Ukraine for direct military aid and weapons,” Sleboda explained. “It sounds like a lot of money, it’s really not considering that just one Patriot battery of 6 to 8 launchers costs more than $1 billion, and they’ve already lost several of them.” The Patriot surface-to-air missile system is considered the most advanced anti-aircraft system in Ukraine’s arsenal. However, the first confirmed Russian destruction of a Patriot system occurred back in May 2023. Since then, several more have been taken out, including two last month.

The reports of an increased US presence in Ukraine were presented as “they’re going to be working out of the US embassy,” in Kiev, Sleboda said, but that assertion is far from reality, he argued. “I’m not quite sure how big the US embassy is in Kiev, but I doubt it’s enough to set up a maintenance workshop for, I don’t know, Abrams tanks or something like that,” Sleboda jokes. “So it almost certainly means that these US troops will be out and about in Ukraine, probably not too far from the front line. And you can certainly see the slippery slide. While the aid shows that, despite some hype in the media, the US is not “giving up on Ukraine,” Sleboda notes that it doesn’t change the calculus for the Russian government, who expected the aid to pass last year after US President Joe Biden requested it in August. “You already have Ukrainian military commanders speaking anonymously, of course, to the Financial Times, saying that this isn’t actually going to change much,” Sleboda recounted.

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“Very soon, Ukraine will be reduced to medieval living conditions — no lights, no phones, no Internet, no shopping, no ability to conduct modern warfare. End. . . of. . . story.”

The Bad Faith Olympics (Kunstler)

Did it warm your heart to see all those blue and yellow Ukrainian flags waved by our elected officials in Congress Saturday night with the passage of the $60-plus-billion aid bill to the Palookaville of Europe? You realize, don’t you, that the tiny fraction of that hypothetical “money” — from our country’s empty treasury — that ever reaches Ukraine will rebound on the instant into Mr. Zelensky’s Cayman Islands bank account. The rest of the dough enters the recursive shell-game between US weapons-makers and the very hometown folks in Congress waving those blue and yellow flags, who will receive great greasy gobs of fresh “campaign donations” from the grateful bomb and missile producers. No wonder they’re cheering. What the $60-plus-billion won’t do is provide any fresh arms and equipment to Ukraine’s sad-sack army soon enough to prevent Russia from bringing this cruel, stupid, and unnecessary war, which we started, to a close.

Yes, we started it, not Russia, in 2014 with our Intel blob overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych in the so-called “Maidan Revolution of Dignity” (what Wikipedia calls it). And for what reason? To jam Ukraine into NATO as a prelude to “weakening” Russia sufficient to bust it up and gain control over Russian oil, ores, and grain. Yes, that was actually the neocon’s game, equal parts megalomania and hubris, a fiasco as strategically ill-fated as Hitler’s push to gain control of Russia’s oil fields via Stalingrad in 1942-3. With failure and humiliation looming in Ukraine, the blob’s objective for now, in theory, is the vain hope of prolonging the hostilities just long enough to get its hologram president, “Joe Biden” re-elected, so that said blob can continue its amoebic digestion of what’s left uneaten by it in our sore-beset republic. You’ve got to wonder, of course, what this blob thinks will remain to rule over when it’s done gobbling up everything and jailing everyone from sea to shining sea who objects.

You tell me what conceivable way Ukraine can prevail in this proxy war now without just tripping off the civilization-ending nuke exchange? America does not have enough tactical missiles and artillery shells at hand to send over there. What we did have is gone. NATO never had much to begin with. Ukraine has run out of available cannon-fodder to conscript from its dwindling population. Despite Mr. Macron’s recent bluster, NATO can’t raise a credible army, or even agree on which country would send what. Nobody is riding to the rescue. Instead, Russia is fortifying its home-grown armaments industry and its military while systematically turning off the electricity all over Ukraine by blowing up the power stations. Very soon, Ukraine will be reduced to medieval living conditions — no lights, no phones, no Internet, no shopping, no ability to conduct modern warfare. End. . . of. . . story.

This is apt to play out much faster than America’s blob-controlled news media will be able to lie about. I’d guess it can be functionally over before mid-summer. The result will be yet another humiliation on the “Joe Biden” scorecard. When it’s over, you can be sure the Russians will abstain from an end-zone dance so as not to provoke America’s genius-losers into some final petty grand act of requital. Russia will just soberly declare what is self-evident: that for centuries Ukraine has been in its sphere-of-influence, as Mexico is in ours, and that they have reestablished the natural order of things in that corner of the world.

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Tusk and Duda don’t belong together.

Polish President Rejects Own PM’s ‘Pre-war’ Warning (RT)

There is no imminent threat of a military conflict breaking out in Europe, Polish President Andrzej Duda has said, contradicting the country’s prime minister. Late last month, Donald Tusk claimed that the continent was in a “pre-war era.” The prime minister argued at the time that “literally any scenario is possible.” Tusk also warned that “no one in Europe will be able to feel safe” if the West fails to provide Ukraine with enough weapons, allowing Russia to prevail in the conflict. When asked whether he shared the prime minister’s grim outlook during an interview with Poland’s Fakt media outlet on Monday, Duda replied in the negative.

“If we act responsibly, and we are acting responsibly so far, there will never be a war, because we will always be powerful enough to not be worth attacking,” he said. According to the Polish president, credible deterrence helped the West to prevent the Cold War from turning into a military confrontation. He suggested that the West today should emulate this strategy by arming up. He also said his country was ready to host the nuclear weapons of NATO allies as part of a sharing scheme within the bloc if such a decision were made. Earlier this month, UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps echoed Tusk’s assessment, claiming that “we have moved from a post-war to a pre-war world.” He argued that the West needed to beef up its defense spending.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell also subsequently stated that the “possibility of a high-intensity conventional war in Europe is no longer a fantasy.” Moscow has repeatedly denied having any intention of attacking NATO member states. Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed such claims as “nonsense,” suggesting that Kiev’s backers were using the supposed threat of a Russian attack to “extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden [of funding Ukraine] on their shoulders.”

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“RFK Jr. has been even more of a staunch supporter of Israel than Biden or Trump. In December, he said that Palestinians are arguably “the most pampered people by international aid organizations in the world.”

Biden Fears RFK Jr. as He Gets on Another Ballot (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden’s campaign and the DNC are upping their efforts to stop the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., including opening up a department dedicated to stopping the independent’s campaign. On Friday, the Biden campaign released an ad featuring several members of the Kennedy family endorsing the President over their relative who is running for the same spot. Fifteen members of the Kennedy family have also publicly endorsed Biden. Additionally, according to US media, the Biden campaign has been dumping opposition research and claiming in press conferences that a vote for RFK Jr. is a vote for former President Donald Trump. They have also been challenging RFK Jr.’s ballot access, like in Hawaii where their efforts were shot down by a judge on Saturday.

Democrats have long blamed third-party candidates for their election failures. In 2000, Green candidate Ralph Nader was blamed for George W Bush’s victory over former Vice President Al Gore, despite more registered Democrats in Florida voting for Bush than Nader. Then in 2016, Green candidate Jill Stein was blamed by Democrats for Trump’s 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton, despite the Libertarian candidate (and former Republican governor) Gary Johnson far outperforming Stein. Nevertheless, Democrats are worried yet again about third-party candidates, particularly since Kennedy is already on the ballot in four swing states: Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada and North Carolina. Kennedy has qualified for nine ballots so far. “There will be a clear choice facing voters this November and the more they learn about RFK Jr, the more they will recognize that a vote for him is a vote for Donald Trump,” Matt Corridoni, a spokesperson for the DNC, told US media.

But polling data and Kennedy’s donor list don’t seem to back that up. In a recent national poll, Trump leads Biden by 2% in a two-way race, 46% to 44%. But when the race is expanded to include Kennedy, Green candidate Jill Stein and former Bernie Sanders surrogate Cornel West, Trump’s lead flips, with Joe Biden leading 39% to 37%. Kennedy receives 13%, Stein grabs 3% and West pulls in 2%. The poll also notes that 15% of people who said they would vote for Trump in a two-way race say they would vote for Kennedy, compared to just 7% of Biden supporters who switched to Kennedy when given the chance. Meanwhile, an analysis of Kennedy’s donor list revealed that he has received roughly $224,000 in donations from donors who gave to Trump’s 2020 campaign, compared to $105,000 that came from supporters of Biden’s 2020 campaign.

Despite these metrics, Trump and his campaign have treated Kennedy with a lighter touch. Trump previously said he likes him personally. He also seems to be working on making Democrat fears that Kennedy will siphon off votes from Biden become a reality. In March, Trump called Kennedy the “most Radical Left Candidate by far” in the 2024 race and slammed his support of environmental issues. “I guess that would mean that RFK Jr. is going to be taking away votes from Crooked Joe Biden. And he should because he is actually better than Biden. He’s much better than Biden. If I were a Democrat, I’d vote for RFK Jr. every single time over Biden,” Trump said in the video.

However, one group of disaffected former-Biden voters who will likely not be voting for RFK Jr., are the ones upset with the Biden administration for its support of Israel and its campaign in Gaza Sixty-nine percent of young Democratic voters disapprove of Biden’s handling of the war, and RFK Jr. has had some good polling numbers among young voters in the past. However, RFK Jr. has been even more of a staunch supporter of Israel than Biden or Trump. In December, he said that Palestinians are arguably “the most pampered people by international aid organizations in the world.”

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“..mass psychosis of government leaders who consistently make global decisions through a distorted lens completely detached from reality..”

Michael Brenner: The Moral Depravity of Western Imperialism (Sch.)

Professor Michael Brenner joins this episode of Journalists for Sale to discuss the moral emptiness of Western empire, most visibly expressed through its unequivocal support of the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza. Brenner details how this depravity manifests not only in the form of mass slaughter and total disregard for human life, but also through mass psychosis of government leaders who consistently make global decisions through a distorted lens completely detached from reality. Only this can explain their escalations in Ukraine at every turn, their “acknowledgement” of Palestinian life yet total complicity in its destruction and the mass censorship being imposed upon dissidents by the ruling class, most recently at the University of Southern California. Brenner’s wealth of knowledge and impressive ability to articulate the philosophical implications of this ongoing lunacy form a unique analysis one can’t quite get anywhere else but from the man himself.

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“..as lay persons, most of us would hazard to say that it is not “normal” or “valid” to set oneself on fire in a protest..”

No, It Does Not Matter Why the Man Lit Himself on Fire (Turley)

The scene outside of the New York courthouse holding the Trump trial has become a microcosm of our deep political divisions and rage this month. Images of citizens screaming at each other from across security barriers have played out nightly on news programs. But few were prepared for what occurred Friday night, when a man threw flyers in the air, poured a flammable liquid on himself and lit himself on fire. Some immediately rushed to use the incident to fuel their own rage. On the far left, postings and comments declared MAGA supporters were lighting themselves and “MAGA Terrorist just set himself on fire.” For many, it seemed a fact too good to check. Even after the police and fire officials explained that the material distributed by the man did not seem to relate to the trial, journalists pushed for a connection to the pro-Trump protesters. Officials reported that the flyers concerned wacky conspiracy theories related to schools and other matters.

Max Azzarello, 37, of Florida worked briefly for Rep. Tom Suozzi (D., N.Y.), but has a criminal record of property offenses that included throwing a glass of wine on a photo of Bill Clinton. We know little of his political views beyond his conspiracy obsessions. However, does it really matter? What should be clear is that he was a deeply disturbed individual. Yet even self-immolation may no longer be treated as per se evidence of mental illness. In today’s politics, even setting yourself on fire can be rationalized. An event was held recently at UCLA in which two psychiatrists appeared to rationalize self-immolation in the cause of people in Gaza. Ragda Izar and Afaf Moustafa were reportedly discussing the self-immolation in front of Israel’s embassy of airman Aaron Bushnell in February to protest Israeli policies. It was referred to as a “revolutionary suicide” on the panel on “Depathologizing Resistance.”

UCLA’s Izar stated that Bushnell “carried a lot of distress…but does that mean that the actions he engaged in are any less valid?” She suggested that it is “normal to be distressed when you’re seeing this level of carnage [in Gaza].
Moustafa is quoted as saying that “Psychiatry pathologizes non-pathological…reactions to a pathological environment or pathological society. It’s considered illness to choose to die in protest of the violence of war but perfectly sane to choose to die in service of the violence of war.” There have been a few prominent historical self-immolations in protest, including the famous case of Thich Quang Duc, who burned himself alive to protest the Vietnam War in 1963. However, as lay persons, most of us would hazard to say that it is not “normal” or “valid” to set oneself on fire in a protest.

The dividing line between rage and reason has always been contextual. In my forthcoming book, “The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in an Age of Rage,” I discuss how we have faced regular periods of rage in our history. How one views rage depends largely on the underlying viewpoint. This country was born in rage with the Boston Tea Party, where a riot with massive property damage is celebrated as a moment of liberation. Yet even self-immolation may now be viewed as somehow valid when used to oppose Israeli policies or other “distressful” realities. If Azzarello was motivated by his view of a conspiracy among educators or Trump’s trial, would his self-immolation also be viewed as valid?

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Trump SNL

 

 

RFK Autism
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782611008713806295

 

 

David Martin

 

 

Wind

 

 

Kate
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782425377094455494

 

 

Dog is not impressed
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782645630227173683

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 132024
 
 January 13, 2024  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Salvador Dalí Living still life 1956

 

Poison Spiders at the Center of the Web (Kunstler)
Signs Of A New World Order Are Becoming Increasingly Obvious (Bordachev)
Fanigate Goes Full Jerry Springer (ZH)
Erdogan Accuses US, UK Of Trying To Turn Red Sea Into ‘Sea Of Blood’ (TASS)
Biden Admin Deployed Air Force Team To Israel To Assist With Targets (IC)
UK Pledges Largest Military Aid Package To Ukraine Yet (RT)
British Troops In Ukraine Would Be ‘Declaration Of War’ – Medvedev (RT)
Zelensky Plays ‘Pensioners Will Die’ Card In Bid To Unlock US Aid (RT)
Ukrainians Dying Trying To Escape The Country – The Times (RT)
Russian Books A ‘Huge Threat’ To Ukraine – Official (RT)
Bill to Seize Russian Assets Bound to Deepen De-Dollarization (Sp.)
Polish President Revolts Against New Government (RT)
Migrant Crisis Motive Revealed (Martin Armstrong)
Hunter Cracks, Will Sit For Closed-Door Deposition After All (ZH)
WEF Declares “Disinformation” to be the World’s Greatest Threat (Turley)
No, Democracy is Not on The Ballot in 2024 (Turley)

 

 

“Gonzalo Lira, Sr. says his son has died at 55 in a Ukrainian prison, where he was being held for the crime of criticizing the Zelensky and Biden governments. Gonzalo Lira was an American citizen, but the Biden administration clearly supported his imprisonment and torture. Several weeks ago we spoke to his father, who predicted his son would be killed.”
— Tucker Carlson

 

 

 

Senior living
https://twitter.com/i/status/1745671535036436852

Elon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1745612800884359413

 

 

Alina Habba

 

 

Ben Carson

 

 

Trump WWIII
https://twitter.com/i/status/1745761557387030975

 

 

Final battle

 

 


We aim to please

 

 


The Year of the Dragon promises action.

 

 

 

 

“Mary McCord is the best friend you never knew you didn’t have.”

Poison Spiders at the Center of the Web (Kunstler)

Okay, I’ll tell you the actual reason that Ray Epps got the VIP powder puff treatment: It was to give half of America a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. . . the old double-barreled middle finger. . . a thunderous fuck you, with the subtext: we can do anything we want to you and you can’t do anything about it. . . and we can rub your faces in it, too, ho ho. . . and then empty a bed pan over your head in case you’re not feeling sufficiently impotent and humiliated. And the purpose of all that is their hope to foment some act of genuine violent resistance against the blob to justify further lawless persecution of the blob’s enemies. They’re really hoping to set off a civil war to justify martial law in order to ensure a free and fair election.

The judge in the Ray Epps case is. . . wait for it. . . the fabulous judicial utility infielder, James Boasberg, now Chief Judge of the DC Federal District Court, a big cheese. Yes, the same rascal who sat on the FISA Court during the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” shenanigans, when they fed all manner of fake documents to that court to enable the FBI to conduct warrantless surveillance on Donald Trump’s campaign, and then afterwards on his presidency. It was Judge Boasberg who let FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith off the hook with probation when he was charged with doctoring an email to conceal the fact that FBI target Carter Page had been an active CIA informer in Russia over the years, not just some schlub swanning around the fringe of the Trump Campaign. Getting a FISA warrant on Carter Page was tremendously advantageous to the FBI, because it enabled them to use the “three-hop rule,” meaning they could also surveil anyone else in the Trump retinue who Mr. Page had communicated with by phone or email.

The disposition of Ray Epps’s case also means there will be no further official inquiries into his behavior that fateful day 1/6/21. The principle of double jeopardy means he can’t be tried for the same thing twice. There will be no further inquiries into what he did that day and on J-6 itself when he appeared at the barricades on the Capitol grounds, apparently goading protesters to bust through them. It’s a dead letter. Chalk up a “W” for the blob. But now, chalk up an “L” for the blob: Fani Willis., the Fulton County (GA) District Attorney, has been caught funneling more than half a million dollars to her love bunny, attorney Nathan Wade, after appointing him “special counsel” in the gigantic RICO case against Donald Trump and eighteen other defendants. Poor optics, as they say, and maybe a good deal more than that — such as prosecutorial misconduct. The fact that the lovestruck pair took Caribbean cruises together with that money may only be a minor part of the story. More will come out when Fani Willis answers the summons she has been served to give a deposition at the request of Joycelyn Wade’s lawyers in the Wades’ ongoing divorce proceeding.

More to the point, both Fani Willis and Nathan Wade (in her service) spent time consulting with lawyers at the White House before they filed charges against Mr. Trump. Mr. Wade was there on May 23 and November 19, 2022, talking to Joe Biden’s White House counsel for sixteen hours. Ms. Willis is shown by White House visitor logs to have been present for five hours a few months later, on February 18, 2023, a week after recommending charges to a Fulton County grand jury. The log states that she spent those five hours with veep Kamala Harris. I doubt that is who she came to visit. My guess is that Ms. Willis spent those hours being coached by Deputy US Attorney General Lisa Monaco, possibly joined by Mary McCord, a former head of the DOJ’s National Security division during the “Crossfire Hurricane” years, then “outside counsel” to the first House impeachment committee, then counsel to the House J-6 committee.

It was Ms. McCord, in Trump Impeachment # 1, who arranged for then DOJ Inspector General Michael Atkinson to change the whistleblower rules, allowing for hearsay evidence, which gave a green light to NSA mole Eric Ciaramella to report on the infamous Ukraine phone call that he had not personally witnessed (but was fed a story on by Col. Alexander Vindman.) Nice work there. In other words, these two gals, Lisa Monaco and Mary McCord, are the poison spiders in the DOJ web of veteran seditionists.

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“>.They did not aim to destroy the US-led world order, and have not yet come up with such an ambitious program..”

Signs Of A New World Order Are Becoming Increasingly Obvious (Bordachev)

The BRICS group emerged at a time when the dominance of the US and its closest European allies in world affairs was almost complete, when they could act as the main distributors of global benefits and, most importantly, when this situation was to some extent acceptable to other states. This is another phenomenon of the international order to which we are now saying goodbye, and of the way in which it is happening. Never before has the injustice shown to the interests of the majority of the world’s countries been so effectively offset by the benefits that have accrued to virtually everyone from globalization. One might even say that the state of affairs known to us as the liberal world order was, in its nature and content, a transitional phase between the absolute tyranny of the European empires of the 19th century and the new international order that is only now emerging.

And it is coming to pass precisely as a response to the inevitable process of the emergence of a multitude of sovereign states. The countries that formed BRICS in 2006 originally set out to increase their influence in world affairs and to shape global development in their own interests. They did not aim to destroy the US-led world order, and have not yet come up with such an ambitious program. The main feature of this association – the sovereign equality of its participants – initially distinguished it from the existing formal and informal coalitions of the West, which are centered on the unquestioned power of the US over the main actions of its allies in the sphere of foreign policy and security. Due to its composition, the BRICS group won’t be able to establish such a type of relations among its participants.

However, as the crisis of the liberal world order deepened, the influence and role of the BRICS group in world affairs gradually increased. First of all, the political significance of the group grew – precisely as a way of signaling an alternative to the Western approach to solving the problems of global development and the broader international agenda. At the same time, the countries of the group still do not formulate strategies that could be seen as a direct challenge to the West or that reflect a vision of an ‘ideal’ world order comparable in clarity to that of the West. This is an inevitable consequence of the lack of hegemony of a single power in the group, which does not prevent the emergence of common interests, but deprives it of the possibility of setting goals and objectives, the fulfillment of which requires the submission of all to the same leadership.

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“Wade’s wife has alleged in divorce documents that he failed to disclose over $700,000 in earnings from the county, and has continued to draw from her bank account..”

Fanigate Goes Full Jerry Springer (ZH)

Update (1523ET): House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) has launched an investigation into Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor in the Trump-Georgia case who has been accused of making more than $650,000 off the case – during which he and Willis took lavish vacations together. “According to a recent court filing, you have been paid more than $650,000—at the rate of $250 per hour—to serve as an ‘Attorney Consultant’ and later a ‘Special Assistant District Attorney’ in the unprecedented investigation and prosecution of the former President and other former federal officials,” wrote Jordan in a Friday letter reported by Just the News.

“This filing also alleges that while receiving a substantial amount of money from Fulton County, you spent extravagantly on lavish vacations with your boss, Ms. Willis.” “The Committee has information that the FCDAO [Fulton County District Attorney’s Office] received approximately $14.6 million in grant funds from the Department of Justice between 2020 and 2023 and, given the enormous legal fees you have billed to the FCDAO, there are open questions about whether federal funds were used by the FCDAO to finance your prosecution,” the letter continues. Wade has until January 26th to reply with documents related to the case.

[..] Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis – who has charged Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants with trying to change the outcome of the 2020 US election in Georgia – has become the main attraction in a major prong of the left’s 2024 election lawfare operation. On Tuesday we noted that Willis had hired Nathan Wade (without proper approval), a private attorney in the midst of a divorce who “has little to no experience trying felony cases, much less complex RICO actions,” according to the 127-page filing. Wade ended up pocketing nearly $700,000 from Fulton county taxpayers – with which he allegedly took Willis on lavish vacations.

Now, Wade’s wife has alleged in divorce documents that he failed to disclose over $700,000 in earnings from the county, and has continued to draw from her bank account, leaving it “routinely overdrawn” despite “the clear inequity in financial circumstances,” the Daily Caller reports. Wade filed to divorce his stay-at-home wife of 20 years on November 2nd, 2021, the day after Fani hired him as a Special Prosecutor in the Trump case. He had his divorce sealed on February 10th, 2022, according to the 127-page filing by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman.

Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene sent a criminal referral Wednesday to Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr asking for an investigation into Willis and expressing “serious concerns” about the allegations. Greene suggested Willis could have violated a number of Georgia statutes, including violations of public oath, bribery, improper influence of a government official and more. The Monday motion did not cite hard evidence that Willis and Wade were romantically involved but referenced “sources close to both the special prosecutor and the district attorney” who confirmed their ongoing relationship. -Daily Caller. Oh, and let’s not forget – Wade billed taxpayers $2,000 to talk to the Biden White House about prosecuting Biden’s political opponent.

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“..the US and UK have so far delivered 73 strikes on Yemen..”

Erdogan Accuses US, UK Of Trying To Turn Red Sea Into ‘Sea Of Blood’ (TASS)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the United States and Great Britain for a disproportionate use of force in their attacks on the Ansar Allah (Houthi) rebel movement in Yemen and for trying to turn the Red Sea into “a sea of blood.” “They used force disproportionately and they are trying to turn the Red Sea into a sea of blood. Israel is doing the same in Palestine,” the Turkish leader told reporters. “We are currently getting news through numerous channels. And through various channels we learn that the Houthis are mounting a successful response,” he added.

Sa’ada

Last night, the armed forces of the United States and the United Kingdom delivered air strikes on positions held by the Ansar Allah (Houthi) rebel movement in several Yemeni cities, using aircraft, warships and submarines. US President Joe Biden said the military action was ordered in response to “unprecedented Houthi attacks” on shipping in the Red Sea and that the strikes, targeting Houthi munitions depots, launching systems, production facilities, and air defense radar systems, were delivered in self-defense. The Yemeni capital Sanaa, as well as four provinces — Hodeidah, Taiz, Hajjah and Saada — were hit as the US and UK have so far delivered 73 strikes on Yemen, killing five Houthi fighters and leaving six others injured, the Houthi military spokesman, Yahya Saria, said.

After the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis warned that they would launch strikes on Israeli territory while barring ships associated with the Jewish state from passing through the waters of the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait until Tel Aviv ceased its military operation against Palestinian radical group Hamas in the embattled enclave. According to estimates by the US Defense Department’s Central Command (CENTCOM), the Yemeni rebel group has attacked more than 20 vessels and civilian ships in the Red Sea since mid-November.

Martyanov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1745777677548871714

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“U.S. Gen. Pat Ryder insisted that the special operations forces deployed to Israel to advise on hostage rescue were “not participating in [Israel Defense Forces] target development.”

Biden Admin Deployed Air Force Team To Israel To Assist With Targets (IC)

Targeting Intelligence — The information used to conduct airstrikes and fire long-range artillery weapons — has played a central role in Israel’s siege of Gaza. A document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act suggests that the U.S. Air Force sent officers specializing in this exact form of intelligence to Israel in late November. Since the start of Israel’s bombardment in retaliation for Hamas’s strike on October 7, Israel has dropped more than 29,000 bombs on the tiny Gaza Strip, according to a U.S. intelligence report last month. And for the first time in U.S. history, the Biden administration has been flying surveillance drone missions over Gaza since at least early November, ostensibly for hostage recovery by special forces.

At the time the drones were revealed, U.S. Gen. Pat Ryder insisted that the special operations forces deployed to Israel to advise on hostage rescue were “not participating in [Israel Defense Forces] target development.” “I’ve directed my team to share intelligence and deploy additional experts from across the United States government to consult with and advise the Israeli counterparts on hostage recovery efforts,” said President Joe Biden three days after the Hamas attack. But several weeks later, on November 21, the U.S. Air Force issued deployment guidelines for officers, including intelligence engagement officers, headed to Israel. Experts say that a team of targeting officers like this would be used to provide satellite intelligence to the Israelis for the purpose of offensive targeting.

“They’re probably targeting people, targeting officers,” Lawrence Cline, who served as an intelligence engagement officer in Iraq before retirement, told The Intercept. Targeting intelligence refers to the identification and characterization of enemy activities including missile and artillery launches, location of leadership and command and control centers, and key facilities. “What I can see is we’ve got a lot of global assets in terms of satellites and the like and the Israelis have a lot in terms of more localized radar coverage.” The deployment guidelines were issued by the Pentagon’s Air Force component command for the Middle East, Air Forces Central, on November 21. The document provides deployment instructions to air personnel sent to the country, including an “Air Defense Liaison Team” as well as “airmen assigned as the Intelligence Engagement Officer (IEO).”

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Taking over from the US. On the very day Ukraine murders an American citizen.

UK Pledges Largest Military Aid Package To Ukraine Yet (RT)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed during a visit to Kiev on Friday that his government is to supply Ukraine with £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) in military assistance over the next financial year. It is to be the UK’s most significant annual aid commitment since the start of Russia’s offensive in February 2022. The aid package, which will begin in the next financial year in April, was confirmed in a statement by Downing Street earlier on Friday and comes amid rising concerns in Kiev about dwindling support from its backers in Washington and Brussels. Political in-fighting on either side of the Atlantic has threatened to legislatively curtail the torrent of Western financial assistance that has aided Ukraine in the conflict as dissent grows among some European and American lawmakers over failed efforts on the battlefield.

“I am here today with one message,” Sunak said in an address from the Ukrainian capital. “The UK will not falter. We will stand with Ukraine in their darkest hours and in the better times to come.” He added in a post to social media after arriving in Kiev: “To all Ukrainians, Britain is with you – for as long as it takes.” Downing Street said that the aid package is the first step in what it called a “totemic” security agreement with Ukraine, which it said will develop into an “unshakeable hundred-year partnership” between both countries. The bilateral accord detailed by Sunak’s government – the UK-Ukraine Agreement on Security Cooperation – includes a range of measures on UK security guarantees for Ukraine. The agreement also formalizes Britain’s “swift and sustained” defensive assistance for Ukraine “in the event that it is ever attacked by Russia again.”

“We recognize that their security is our security,” Sunak said. The aid package confirmed by London on Friday is about £200 million ($254 million) larger than those that came over the previous two years and will supply Ukraine with long-range missiles, air defense, and artillery ammunition. About £200 million of the military aid will be spent on drones – the largest such contribution of state-of-the-art military drone hardware since the onset of hostilities nearly two years ago. It also includes £18 million ($23 million) in humanitarian aid, as well as assistance to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and funding for online English language training. The UK’s updated aid provision to Kiev will likely return the focus to legislators in Europe and the United States, where Congress has declined to advance a $50 billion (£39 billion) security package. The White House said on Thursday that its support for Ukraine has “ground to a halt” as a result.

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“.. the UK has been and will continue to provide for Ukraine’s security, including intelligence sharing, cyber security, medical and military training, and defense industrial cooperation..”

British Troops In Ukraine Would Be ‘Declaration Of War’ – Medvedev (RT)

Moscow would consider the open deployment of British troops to Ukraine as a “declaration of war,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned. He was responding to a visit to Kiev on Friday by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is set to sign a security agreement with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Sunak’s arrival in the Ukrainian capital is meant to “set out a major new package of support and reaffirm the close UK-Ukraine partnership,” his office said in a statement. The security document is a follow-up to agreements reached by G7 and NATO members last year, it noted. The statement did not mention any plans for a British military deployment in Ukraine.

“[The deal] formalizes a range of support the UK has been and will continue to provide for Ukraine’s security, including intelligence sharing, cyber security, medical and military training, and defense industrial cooperation,” Downing Street said. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, issued his warning in a social media post. The British government has pledged £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) in military aid to Ukraine over the next two years, including in the form of thousands of military drones, which London said will be the largest of their kind ever received by Kiev. Most of the UAVs will be made in the UK, the announcement added.

The UK has been a key supporter of Kiev’s war effort against Russia. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly played a significant role in derailing a nascent truce that Kiev and Moscow had negotiated in the early months of the hostilities in 2022, although he has denied ordering the Ukrainian government to keep fighting. Moscow has on several occasions accused the UK of helping Ukraine organize attacks against Russia, particularly in the Black Sea. The Russian Defense Ministry has claimed that British military personnel already have a presence in Ukraine.

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“..When DeSantis is older “and we have won this war, I will personally send financial aid to him as a gesture of gratitude for the US helping our pensioners..”

Zelensky Plays ‘Pensioners Will Die’ Card In Bid To Unlock US Aid (RT)

Ukrainian pensioners will die without social benefits financed by Western aid, President Vladimir Zelensky told journalists in Latvia on Thursday. The leader lashed out at US politicians who oppose continued assistance to Kiev, taking particular aim at Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis. Zelensky addressed his government’s budget shortages, which he expects Western backers to cover, when asked how interruptions in aid deliveries could affect Ukraine. Kiev is obliged to pay pensions to around 11 million people, the president noted. “I am not exerting moral pressure here. But we simply must pay them. It’s impossible not to do that, because the elderly people will die [without government assistance],” Zelensky warned.

He claimed that the Ukrainian government covers much of its expenses with its own money, but that it also relies on Western funding. Money spent on pensions means less funding for weapons to fight Russia, Zelensky explained, suggesting that this means sacrificing the lives of troops in favor of the elderly. He was also asked about opposition to continued Ukraine aid among Republican politicians in the US. At a debate on Wednesday, Florida governor DeSantis, who is seeking the GOP nomination in this year’s presidential election, clashed with rival Nikki Haley on the issue of assistance to Kiev. While Haley, a former US ambassador to the UN, backs continued aid, DeSantis criticized the administration of President Joe Biden for providing “tens of billions of dollars” to pay pensions and “salaries for Ukrainian government bureaucrats.”

Zelensky claimed that DeSantis, who like the Ukrainian president is aged 45, is “still a young man” and does not fully understand the importance of paying pensions in a nation locked in a conflict. When DeSantis is older “and we have won this war, I will personally send financial aid to him as a gesture of gratitude for the US helping our pensioners,” Zelensky vowed. Republicans in the US Congress have blocked a White House request to appropriate over $60 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, demanding concessions on immigration policy and a clear plan on how Kiev could beat Russia.

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“..tens, hundreds of thousands of people” may have evaded military enlistment.”

Ukrainians Dying Trying To Escape The Country – The Times (RT)

More than 20 Ukrainians have died while trying to escape the country since the start of the conflict with Russia, The Times newspaper reported on Thursday, citing a Ukrainian border guard. The deaths were registered by a single guard unit, responsible for a 320km stretch of the border with Romania and Hungary. The unit is based in the western Ukrainian city of Mukachevo, which has become a popular destination for people trying to flee, given its proximity to four neighboring states – Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. Since the outbreak of the hostilities in February 2022, the Mukachevo border guard unit has found 19 bodies in the River Tisza – of people believed to have drowned during botched attempts to cross into Romania. A further five were found frozen to death in the woods.

More Ukrainians are expected to flee the country given the government’s plan to mobilize an additional 500,000 to bolster its military ranks, the newspaper noted. A new mobilization bill was introduced in parliament late last year, seeking to lower the draft age from 27 to 25, and drop exemptions for some categories of disabled people, along with other measures. So far, parliament has failed to pass it into law, with the legislation shelved by MPs for amendments. Over the past year alone, nearly 11,000 military-eligible men have been caught at the border while trying to leave, Ukrainian border guard spokesman Andrey Demchenko said in late December. The total number caught on the frontier since the start of the conflict has surpassed 17,000.

The number of men prosecuted for evading the draft, however, remains relatively low. Ukraine has more than 9,000 active criminal proceedings against such individuals, with some 2,600 having made it to court, Interior Minister Igor Klimenko revealed last week. Deputy Defense Minister Natalya Kalmykova stated in October 2023 that “tens, hundreds of thousands of people” may have evaded military enlistment.

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“..Moscow claims that such laws violate the rights of Russian-speaking people, who make up around half of Ukraine’s population..”

Russian Books A ‘Huge Threat’ To Ukraine – Official (RT)

The illegal import of Russian literature poses a threat to Ukraine, the country’s language ombudsman claimed a post on his official Facebook page on Friday. While stressing the importance of promoting the Ukrainian language, Taras Kremen expressed regret at the lack of state-owned publishers and printers, which means the government has no control over book production. Kremen also argued that the “smuggling of Russian-language imports, including banned literature, is a huge threat to the national interest of Ukraine.” He stressed that although the market is not large, the government should do everything within its power to prevent it from growing. “The sooner we block this, the stronger our standing will be both domestically and internationally,” the ombudsman said.

He criticized Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture for “not having the opportunity or the time” to approve a state program to support the national language, which would include book printing – calling it an important source of revenue. In recent years, Kiev has adopted a number of laws making the use of the Ukrainian language obligatory in almost all spheres of public life, including in government, medicine, science, education and the media. Failure to comply with the laws can result in fines. Following the launch of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine in 2022, Kiev doubled down on its de-Russification campaign, with top officials calling for the complete removal of the Russian language nationwide, “as an element of hostile propaganda and brainwashing of the population.”

Lawmakers have since imposed complete bans on Russian-language works of art, performances, films, songs, and books, and have also outlawed the study of Russian in schools and universities. Kiev has banned the sale and distribution of all Russian-language books inside the country, along with the import of any literature printed in Russia and Belarus, with the exception of those that were written by former Russian and Belarusian citizens before 1991, subject to special government approval. Moscow claims that such laws violate the rights of Russian-speaking people, who make up around half of Ukraine’s population.

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“..the West seems to be escalating its financial warfare. “This suggests a deeper motive than just pressuring Russia..”

Bill to Seize Russian Assets Bound to Deepen De-Dollarization (Sp.)

The White House has indicated its “in principle” support for a bill that would potentially allow the US government to seize around $300 billion in frozen Russian assets and redirect them to Ukraine. While this measure seeks to penalize Russia, it brings up significant concerns surrounding the integrity and reliability of the US financial system. Critics are cautioning that these actions have the potential to erode global trust in the greenback. Consequently, international partners may reconsider their reliance on the dollar, driven by fears of possible future US sanctions.The declaration made by the Biden administration, expressing its support for legislation that permits the seizure of Russian assets, has triggered widespread tremors across the global financial sphere. While the motive behind this is to support Ukraine during the ongoing conflict, this move is teeming with serious risks.

Tom Luongo, financial and geopolitical analyst, sheds light on the potential ramifications of this decision. According to Luongo, the act of seizing Russian foreign exchange reserves already cast a shadow of doubt over the principles guiding global trade. “It was a clear statement by the West, signifying a deliberate rift between East and West, not a mere reaction,” Luongo explains. The analyst emphasizes that this isn’t just a US issue but a broader Western phenomenon. “The European Union, particularly, is at the forefront of this approach,” he adds. Luongo also points out that, nearly two years after the initial sanctions, which Russia has largely withstood, the West seems to be escalating its financial warfare. “This suggests a deeper motive than just pressuring Russia,” he observes.

Luongo, in his discussion of the precedent set by this situation, raises concerns about the message it sends to the world: if you defy the West, your assets might be in danger. As a result, there has been a movement away from Western banking systems, known as ‘de-dollarization.’ Furthermore, Luongo highlights the substantial decrease in the euro’s role in global trade in recent years. “The Biden administration’s actions are counterproductive to US interests,” Luongo asserts, suggesting that these moves align more with the interests of globalist entities, which he refers to as ‘Davos.’ As for why this issue has surfaced now, Luongo believes it aligns with broader strategic goals, including distancing the US from both Russia and Europe. He sees the bill as a potential catalyst for a shift in global financial dynamics, ultimately undermining the US banking system and changing the landscape of global trade.

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“..he has reportedly decided to use “total obstruction” against Tusk’s government, vowing not to approve a single bill proposed by the ruling coalition..”

Polish President Revolts Against New Government (RT)

Polish President Andrzej Duda is reportedly planning to launch an all-out offensive against the country’s new pro-EU government led by recently elected Prime Minister Donald Tusk, following the arrest of two former Law and Justice MPs. According to the Polish news outlet Onet, Duda intends to send formal letters regarding Tusk’s alleged violation of the law and constitution to the heads of all EU countries, US President Joe Biden, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the United Nations, and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission for Democracy through Law. While Duda has so far excluded pursuing the “nuclear option” of shortening the term of parliament and calling for early elections, he has reportedly decided to use “total obstruction” against Tusk’s government, vowing not to approve a single bill proposed by the ruling coalition, Onet reported citing anonymous sources.

Duda’s accusations stem from the recent arrest of former Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski and his deputy, Maciej Wonsik, both of whom were detained at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday despite having received a pardon back in 2015. Tusk’s new government has insisted that Duda did not have the right to grant amnesty to the two Law and Justice (PiS) MPs, who were being tried for abuse of power, and reopened the case against them. In December, that case was concluded when a court sentenced both men to two years behind bars. An order for their arrest was issued on Monday, triggering a standoff at the Presidential Palace, after which the two were arrested. Both have since announced they have begun a hunger strike in protest at their arrest.

Duda and other PiS members have strongly condemned the arrest of the two former officials, with party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski describing them as the country’s “first political prisoners since 1989.” The PiS has demanded the immediate release of the lawmakers, stating that their detention is a constitutional violation. Meanwhile, Kaminski himself has described his arrest as “political revenge” for his work in fighting corruption and has announced a hunger strike.

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“..Soon, they will be provided with the right to vote, and certainly, they will vote for the people who are enabling their new lives..”

Migrant Crisis Motive Revealed (Martin Armstrong)

Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke is running for re-election this year in New York’s 9th District to FINISH THE JOB of utterly destroying New York. To achieve her goal of ruining a once great city, Clarke is demanding MORE illegal migrants. Clarke actually admitted that the Democrats need more migrants to overrun their cities and states for “redistricting purposes.” “I’m from Brooklyn, New York. We have a diaspora that can absorb a significant number of these migrants,” said Clarke, who has served on the House Committee on Homeland Security. “When I hear colleagues talk about, you know, the doors of the inn being closed — ah, no room at the inn — I’m saying I need more people in my district just for redistricting purposes.” Now, redrawing districts is a common tactic used by the right and left. However, dismantling the Constitution to allow non-citizens to enter the country and vote is not.

Did Clarke actually admit that the invasion of America under Joe Biden was a deliberate ploy for votes? Republican New York City councilwoman explained the situation in further detail. “Congressional seats are allocated by population. Higher population states get more congressional seats, and therefore more political power in Washington. “Blue states have been LOSING seats as people flee progressive policies,” continued Paladino. “We’re set to possibly lose THREE seats by 2030 in NY. These allocations are determined by census-calculated raw population, including illegals. See how it works?” Clarke is from Brooklyn, where children were just expelled from school to make room for illegal migrants. Clarke was responsible for passing the Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) legislation that provided 2.5 million illegal migrants, or dreamers, temporary residence in America and an easy path to citizenship.

The ploy to infiltrate America with illegal migrants began years ago. At first, they said those wishing to come here were simply “dreamers” looking for a better life, similar to most of our ancestors. However, they were not following the typical protocol to enter the country. Then left politicians told migrants that they were WELCOME in their cities and could declare sanctuary there. Naturally, countless people fled their socialistic hell holes for America, where the government then decided they were not going to issue work permits but force them to become dependent on government aid. Soon, they will be provided with the right to vote, and certainly, they will vote for the people who are enabling their new lives.

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“If you issue a new proper subpoena, now that there is a duly authorized impeachment inquiry, Mr. Biden will comply for a hearing or deposition..”

Hunter Cracks, Will Sit For Closed-Door Deposition After All (ZH)

Hunter Biden has reversed course, and will sit for a closed-door deposition with House GOP lawmakers. In a Friday letter to the House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, defense attorney Abbe Lowell said that Hunter would comply with a new subpoena to sit for a deposition, the Daily Caller reports. “Consequently, the November 8 and 9, 2023, deposition subpoenas to Mr. Biden and the contempt resolutions approved by your committees on January 10, 2024, based on those subpoenas were and are legally invalid. You have not explained why you are not interested in transparency and having the American people witness the full and complete testimony of Mr. Biden at a public hearing,” reads the letter.

“If you issue a new proper subpoena, now that there is a duly authorized impeachment inquiry, Mr. Biden will comply for a hearing or deposition. We will accept such a subpoena on Mr. Biden’s behalf.” On Friday, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced that the chamber will a floor vote to hold Hunter in contempt for dodging subpoenas to appear for a closed-door deposition on Dec. 13. Lowell previously offered to have Hunter testify publicly, suggesting that a closed-door session would result in biased leaks against his client (and of course, would limit the questions lawmakers can ask in regards to national security).

Hunter Biden made a surprise appearance Wednesday at the House Oversight Committee’s markup hearing on a resolution and accompanying report to hold him in contempt. He sat in the crowd with Lowell and his financier, Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris, for a few minutes before dashing out when Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene began her line of questioning. After he stormed the hearing, Hunter Biden flew back to Los Angeles, California, where he pleaded not guilty Thursday to nine federal tax related charges at an arraignment. He faces up to 17 years in prison for the tax charges. -Daily Caller

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“..we are now facing alarming drops in testing scores and alarming rises in medical illness among the young..”

WEF Declares “Disinformation” to be the World’s Greatest Threat (Turley)

The World Economic Forum has surveyed the world’s experts and issued its 2024 “Global Risks Report.” The international elite of experts have declared that the number one threat to humanity is not terrorism or pandemic or even climate change (which is second), but “misinformation and disinformation.” Of course, that means that the only hope for humanity is censorship and speech controls. The report shows just how engrained this anti-free speech movement has become among the world elite from media to business to politics. The absurd finding is consistent with the warning of other international figures and groups. We previously discussed how WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has supported censorship to combat what he calls the “infodemic.”

So “1,490 experts across academia, business, government, the international community and civil society” looked at all of the world’s military, economic, and environmental threats and concluded that the greatest threat to humanity is too much free speech. A “global risk” is defined as “the possibility of the occurrence of an event or condition which, if it occurs, would negatively impact a significant proportion of global GDP, population or natural resources.” We have seen how during the Covid crisis “experts” supported censorship and blacklisting when their views were challenged by colleagues and the public. Earlier positions treated as gospel in the press have been discredited. For example, a recent scientific review by 12 researchers from leading universities found little support for the claims that masks reduced Covid exposures.

The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) initially rejected the use of a mask mandate. However, the issue became a political weapon as politicians and the press claimed that questioning masks was anti-science and even unhinged. In April 2020, the CDC reversed its position and called for the masking of the entire population, including children as young as 2 years old. The mask mandate and other pandemic measures like the closing of schools are now cited as fueling emotional and developmental problems in children. The closing of schools and businesses was also challenged by some critics as unnecessary. Many of those critics were also censored. It now appears that they may have been right. Many countries did not close schools and did not experience increases in Covid. However, we are now facing alarming drops in testing scores and alarming rises in medical illness among the young. Masks became a major social and political dividing line in politics and the media. Maskless people were chased from stores and denounced in Congress. Then-CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during a Senate hearing that “face masks are the most important powerful health tool we have.”

For years, scientists faced censorship for even raising the lab theory as a possible explanation for the virus. Their reputations and careers were shredded by a media flash mob. The Washington Post declared this a “debunked” coronavirus “conspiracy theory.” The New York Times’ Science and Health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli was calling any mention of the lab theory “racist.” When a Chinese researcher told Fox News that this was man-made, the network was attacked and the left-leaning PolitiFact slammed her with a “pants on fire rating.” The extensive censorship and blacklisting that has occurred over the last four years protected such experts from scrutiny and criticism. Many of those same experts are now listing what they deem disinformation to be the world’s greatest threat. The question is whether the public can be, again, spooked into surrendering this core human right by world elite.

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“..Democratic leaders in Florida, North Carolina and other states are refusing to allow other candidates to run against Biden in the primary..”

No, Democracy is Not on The Ballot in 2024 (Turley)

“It may well be the last real vote you ever get to cast.” Those words from former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., capture the mantra of this election season from politicians and pundits. It is narrative that preys on the fear of Americans that our constitutional system is on the verge of collapse. Yet, it is untrue and ironically shows the lack of faith in our democratic systems that many of these figures ascribe to others. If one briefly surfs cable news, you would think that this election is the only thing that stands between democracy and tyranny. On MSNBC, hosts like Joe Scarborough have repeatedly told viewers that former President Donald Trump will “throw away” democracy if elected. President Joe Biden himself has taken up this claim. In his speech Friday near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Biden insisted that “democracy itself is on the ballot” and said that this election would determine if democracy can survive in the United States.

This campaign tactic holds obvious advantages for a candidate who has the lowest polling numbers of the past seven presidents at the same point in their first term in office. Biden and others are calling for citizens to vote not for Biden, but for democracy itself. The pitch would be more compelling if Democratic activists were not trying to remove Trump from 2024 ballots and Democratic leaders in Florida, North Carolina and other states are refusing to allow other candidates to run against Biden in the primary. In those states, the primary ballots themselves might not be very democratic. Trump helps to fuel such dire predictions with his reckless rhetoric. After the Supreme Court accepted review of his disqualification from the ballot in Colorado, he said at an Iowa rally, “I just hope we get fair treatment. Because if we don’t, our country’s in big, big trouble. Does everybody understand what I’m saying?”

The answer is that it depends on whom you ask. For Democrats, the comment seemed to threaten more violence like the kind we witnessed during the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, especially given Trump’s pledge to pardon rioters. For Republicans, it was a frank acknowledgement of the deepening anger and divisions in the country. Those divisions are manifest in a new Gallup poll showing that only 28% of U.S. adults are satisfied with the way democracy is working in the country. It’s down from 61% in 1984. Only 17% of Republicans and 38% of Democrats are satisfied with our current state of democracy.

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Yeadon

 

 


A waterspout, a type of tornado that occurs over water. Taken near Tampa Bay, Florida. -Joey Mole

 

 

Mommy baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1745848346860834961

 

 


The San Francisco Garter Snake has been on the endangered list since 1967, and has been labeled the most beautiful snake in the U.S. Researchers estimate only 1-2 thousand remain

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 122023
 


Vincent van Gogh Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather 1882

 

AG Garland Appoints Special Counsel in Hunter Biden Probe (Sp.)
Ukrainian Lives Cheaper Than American, Polish President Suggests (RT)
What is Poland’s Role in Ukraine and Could Warsaw Invade? (Sp.)
West Can’t Defeat Russia – Serbin President Vucic (RT)
YouTube Deletes Scott Ritter’s Channels (Sp.)
August Psychodrama (Kunstler)
Ukraine Capitulation Way To Peace, But US, Kiev Resist – Medvedev (TASS)
How Zelensky ‘Blackmails’ the US – Mercouris (Sp.)
China Is Run By ‘Bad Folks’ – Biden (RT)
Türkiye Believes Ukraine Peace Talks ‘Futile’ Without Russia (RT)
Ukraine SitRep: The End Of The Counteroffensive (MoA)
Musk Reveals New Location For Proposed Fight With Zuckerberg (RT)

 

 

 

 

Weiss delay

 

 

CDC Data Shows Excess Mortality for Ages 0–24 is at 44.8%.

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Tucker Sund
Thompson said Pelosi was off limits for the committee’s “investigation” into Jan 6. Pelosi’s security chief, Jamie Fleet, told J6 committee the office started planning for January 6 IN THE SUMMER OF 2020.

 

 

 

 

High time for Congress to impeach Garland. He let Weiss run out time on the Hunter probe (5 years?!) , and now wants more powers for the same Weiss. To be used to run out more time (5 more years?!). If Weiss is special counsel, Congress can’t investigate. Meanwhile, both appear unaware that a special counsel must come from outside government, and Weiss is a US attorney. What a mess.

AG Garland Appoints Special Counsel in Hunter Biden Probe (Sp.)

US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday officially designated US Attorney David Weiss as a special counsel in the ongoing probe into Hunter Biden, marking what insiders have deemed a significant escalation in the investigation of the US president’s son. Weiss, who had been overseeing the investigation into Hunter Biden, approached Garland with the proposal to be appointed as a special counsel, emphasizing the need for an impartial and uninterrupted continuation of the inquiry as main incentives. “On Tuesday of this week, Mr. Weiss advised me that in his judgment, his investigation had reached a stage at which he should continue his work as a special counsel, and he asked to be so appointed,” Garland said in a statement. Weiss, whose nomination under the Trump administration was confirmed by Senate in 2018, brings a wealth of experience to the table.


In response, Hunter Biden’s legal representative expressed a strong belief in the fairness of the resolution process, highlighting the anticipation of a just outcome. However, not everyone has viewed the move favorably; in fact, critics, predominantly Republican lawmakers, wasted no time in expressing their reservations. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan both voiced concerns, questioning the credibility of the appointment and citing past disagreements over plea deals. “This action by Biden’s DOJ cannot be used to obstruct congressional investigations or whitewash the Biden family corruption. If Weiss negotiated the sweetheart deal that couldn’t get approved, how can he be trusted as a special xounsel?” McCarthy wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Weiss

Miranda Devine: “It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house to appoint David Weiss special counsel – the very US attorney who approved Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal and oversaw an investigation that protected the president and allowed the statute of limitations on the most serious charges to expire.”
https://twitter.com/i/status/1690055160574447616

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Cute headline, but I found this the most remarkable:

“Polish President Andrzej Duda has accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of seeking to conquer Europe..”

“He said the West needed to stop Russia now, before “American soldiers have to shed their blood and to lose their lives in Europe..”

Ukrainian Lives Cheaper Than American, Polish President Suggests (RT)

Polish President Andrzej Duda has accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of seeking to conquer Europe and has insisted that Russia must be stopped in Ukraine where it is “cheap” to do so. In an interview with the Washington Post published on Thursday, the Polish leader was asked to respond to American conservatives who oppose sending additional military and financial aid to Ukraine. “It is very simple,” Duda said. “Right now, Russian imperialism can be stopped cheaply, because American soldiers are not dying.” Unless “Russian aggression” is halted now, “there will be a very high price to be paid,” the Polish president said. President Putin is seeking to restore “czarist territory,” Duda claimed. He said the West needed to stop Russia now, before “American soldiers have to shed their blood and to lose their lives in Europe to restore peace and liberty to the world.”

Duda suggested admitting Ukraine into NATO as the best way to thwart the Kremlin. He admitted that he was disappointed that Kiev did not receive a formal invitation to the US-led block during last month’s NATO summit in Lithuania. He said he planned to push the Biden administration to make sure Kiev gets an invitation next year. Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated on Wednesday that Moscow would bolster its forces along its western borders in response to what he called a growing threat coming from the US and its allies in Europe, which are increasing their own military presence in the region.

The minister pointed to the recent accession of Finland into NATO and the potential joining of Sweden, as well as the increasing militarization of Poland, which he claimed “has become the main instrument of the anti-Russian policies of the US.” Shoigu also alleged that Warsaw is actively seeking to take over parts of Ukraine by forming a so-called Polish-Ukrainian military unit, whose official purpose will be defending Western Ukraine, but will in fact serve to occupy it. The defense minister also stressed that Russia needs to come up with a timely and adequate response to the increasing size of NATO forces in the immediate vicinity of the borders of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.

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History lesson.

What is Poland’s Role in Ukraine and Could Warsaw Invade? (Sp.)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu accused Warsaw of harboring ambitions to establish a permanent military presence in western Ukraine on Wednesday, saying Polish troops could be dispatched to the country, “ostensibly to ensure…security,” but “in fact – for the subsequent occupation of this territory.” Shoigu’s comments come in the wake of warnings by President Putin last month calling on Warsaw not to follow through with any “revanchist plans” to seize Ukrainian lands, with Putin recalling that Poland surrendered its claims to western Ukraine at the end of the Second World War after receiving German lands as “a gift from Stalin to the Poles.” “Have our friends in Warsaw have forgotten about this?” Putin asked.

Putin and Shoigu’s concerns were recently echoed by Russian Foreign Intelligence chief Sergei Naryshkin, who similarly said that Russia has picked up on chatter within the Polish leadership about efforts to “introduce control” in western Ukraine. Polish officials have dismissed Russian concerns about Warsaw’s intentions, or refused to comment. However, former NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen may have let the cat out of the bag in June when he said that “some countries,” including Poland, might “individually take action” and assemble a new “coalition of the willing” to deploy troops in Ukraine.

What are Poland’s Historical Claims in Ukraine? Poland’s claims to large swathes of Ukraine go back to the era of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – the long-defunct Eastern European super-state which once controlled vast territories in present-day Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, parts of northwestern Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and a piece of Estonia between the 16th to the 18th centuries. The commonwealth disappeared from the map of Europe in the late 1700s after being partitioned by the Russian Empire, Prussia an Austria, with Poland only reemerging as an independent state in 1918, as Russia was engulfed in internal strife following the February and October Revolutions of 1917.


Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1619)

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“The economy would immediately flourish; energy prices would drop dramatically. Everything would be much easier. I think he knows that the key issue in the US election is the economy..”

West Can’t Defeat Russia – Serbin President Vucic (RT)

All Western efforts to help Ukraine prevail over Russia on the battlefield are in vain, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday, calling on Moscow and Kiev to engage in peace talks. Speaking to Happy TV, Vucic stated that while Western countries are providing Ukraine with massive military assistance, “now it is clear that there is nothing to it,” and an “easy end” to the conflict is nowhere in sight. “A war of attrition is being waged, and with all the strength of the West, Russia will not be defeated on the battlefield,” the Serbian leader opined. Vucic noted that while he is “not sure what Russia has to gain politically,” a truce between Russia and Ukraine would be the best outcome.

“I see initiatives coming from some Arab countries, I hope that something will bring us closer to peace,” the president said, adding that a cessation of hostilities would also be in the interests of US President Joe Biden, who is up for reelection in 2024. “The economy would immediately flourish; energy prices would drop dramatically. Everything would be much easier. I think he knows that the key issue in the US election is the economy,” Vucic said. He also stated that the same would be true for Russia and Ukraine, which the president believes are “exhausted,” although he noted that Moscow was holding up under Western sanctions “better than many expected.” In June, the Serbian leader warned of a possible escalation in the Ukraine conflict, saying that Kiev’s much-touted offensive – which Russia claims has failed to gain any ground – could trigger a strong response from Moscow.

Vucic’s comments come after a recent Saudi-hosted summit in Jeddah attended by officials from some 40 countries. While the list included Ukraine, some of its Western backers such as the US and the UK, and Moscow’s partners from the BRICS group (Brazil, India, China and South Africa), Russia itself was not invited. Moscow has argued that without its participation, any peace talks are pointless. While the summit did not end with an official communique, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ukraine refrained from pushing its peace formula requiring the withdrawal of Russian troops from all territory Kiev claims as its own. Ukraine, however, denied that it had given up on its plan, which rejects any compromise on the ground with Moscow.

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Macgregor next?

YouTube Deletes Scott Ritter’s Channels (Sp.)

Google-owned video hosting giant YouTube has deleted Scott Ritter’s YouTube channel. A banner reading “This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy prohibiting hate speech” greets anyone trying to navigate to Ritter’s channel. The company did not provide any information about the nature of these alleged “multiple or severe violations,” or how Ritter’s mostly Ukrainian crisis-related commentaries and interviews constituted “hate speech.” YouTube allows for user-based reporting of any alleged “hate speech,” prompting concerns from content creators over the years that the video hosting giant lets organized online activists to silence voices and views they might not like or agree with, or which challenge important state and corporate narratives.

Ritter responded to YouTube’s decision in a pair of tweets Friday, saying the move is an attempt by US-based social media platforms to silence him. “There was never any hate speech involved in any of the episodes of ‘The Scott Ritter Show’, unless one views unique content from silenced voices hateful,” Ritter wrote. “Knowledge is power, ignorance is weakness. YouTube, through its actions, makes America and Americans weak,” he added. Pointing out that his channel was removed the same day that “Ask The Inspector,” another of his channels, got scrubbed, Ritter emphasized that “this is a targeted effort by YouTube to remove/minimize my voice, and those of my guests and the people who took the time to ask probing questions about the pressing issues of the day.”

“Those who are behind this should know – you won’t succeed. There is a vast social media world out there beyond YouTube. And for those voices who still use YouTube as the primary vector to your audience, understand this – conform or perish. If you’re doing a geopolitical show, and you’re still platformed by YouTube, ask yourself why. And be willing to live with the answer,” he added. Ritter is no stranger to censorship by major online platforms. Last year, he was suspended from Twitter after calling Joe Biden a “war criminal” and accusing him of “seeking to shift blame for the Bucha murders” on Russia. He was later reinstated, but suspended again after a “test, test, test” tweet stating that “Bucha was a war crime,” and that “Ukraine did it.” He has since been reinstated again. Ritter has faced a seemingly organized campaign against him on the microblogging platform, with users appealing to the site’s owner to have him permanently banned.

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“Joe Biden” is what has driven the Democratic Party insane. And now, of course, they can’t seem to get rid of him, like a demon riding them through an endless nightmare.”

August Psychodrama (Kunstler)

One thing that has become clear in this cabbage soup of perfidy, is just how blobbed-up Volodymyr Zelensky was when President Donald Trump made that fateful phone call to him in August of 2019 inquiring about “JB’s” curious doings in Kiev over the years. Did Z follow-up that call immediately with one to Alexander Vindman in the National Security Counsel… who then called Eric Ciaramella of the NSC and CIA? Because, voilà, there was something supernatural about how fast we were off to Impeachment Number One!

And now the not-insane cohort of Americans is prompted to ask whether this war in Ukraine was provoked in any part to cover-up all the nefarious blobbery that preceded it — and not just Hunter and “Joe Biden’s” capers, but the machinations, too, of State Department blobette Victoria Nuland and her retinue in the Kiev embassy, Marie Yovanovitch, George Kent, and many others of the Blob persuasion. A review of all this suggests that “Joe Biden” is what has driven the Democratic Party insane. And now, of course, they can’t seem to get rid of him, like a demon riding them through an endless nightmare.

Instead, they have bent every last effort to get rid of “JB’s” supposed rival, Donald Trump, who has been inducted into a Lawfare-engineered chamber of horrors designed to slice-and-dice him into a million pieces and strew the shreds into the Potomac for the blue crabs to feed on. One can’t imagine a lamer case than the charges Special Counsel Jack Smith has cooked up against Mr. Trump for verbally expressing doubt about the probity of election 2020. Will Mr. Smith be able to prove any of this, assuming that it is now against the law in America to believe something and say so?

Logically, Mr. Trump’s defense might present reasons why he believed the election was rife with fraud, by introducing evidence of said fraud, of which there is actually an impressive amount now, despite whatever mendacious bullshit you see in The New York Times and on MSNBC. Do you suppose Judge Tanya Chutkan would do anything but allow that evidence to be introduced? And if she disallows it, is that not instantly grounds for a mistrial, since it would prove beyond a reasonable doubt there were good reasons, after all, for Mr. Trump to express what he believed?

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“the enlightened world once again shuddered upon learning of the allocation of tens of meaningless billions of dollars for the zombies from Country 404..”

Ukraine Capitulation Way To Peace, But US, Kiev Resist – Medvedev (TASS)

The only thing Ukraine really needs is capitulation, which could very likely pave the way to peace, but neither Washington nor Kiev want such an outcome, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said. “The people suffering in the trenches of a divided country really need only to surrender, which could potentially pave the way to peace. But neither Washington nor Kiev want peace,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. Medvedev pointed out that, “the meat processing plant that is [Kiev’s] counteroffensive is now operating nonstop, sending thousands of unfortunate people to the slaughterhouse.” “But this operation is already powerless to help the Kiev regime, which has now advanced to the stage of post-mortem putrefaction. Nothing could regalvanize its corpse at this point,” the senior official concluded.


Commenting on the Biden administration’s latest request to the US Congress to appropriate another $13 billion in emergency military aid to Kiev, Medvedev noted that, “the enlightened world once again shuddered upon learning of the allocation of tens of meaningless billions of dollars for the zombies from Country 404 (a euphemism for Ukraine – TASS).” At the same time, “the kamikazes stuck in burning Western tanks will not see this [money allocated by Washington],” Medvedev asserted. “They will see nothing but death,” he added. At the same time, the senior official pointed out, this money is very important “for the gerontocratic elite of the US Democratic Party and its lackeys in the EU.” “After all, the myth of the ‘great counteroffensive’ is sustained by the myth of the ‘almighty dollar-based economy,'” he explained.

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“If the US dumps Ukraine, then the Kiev regime would collapse and the blame for that would be laid at the door of the Biden administration”

How Zelensky ‘Blackmails’ the US – Mercouris (Sp.)

The Kiev regime openly opposes any scenario of a ceasefire in Ukraine and is likely to derail any Western-led peace initiatives, the analyst stressed. “I wouldn’t assess it as a high risk. I would assess it as a certainty,” Mercouris said. “They will do everything they can to disrupt negotiations. They will take steps of that nature. They will try to goad the Russians, as they’ve always been trying to goad the Russians into extreme reactions, which they can then capitalize on to sort of build up opposition to Russia in the West. So there will definitely be trying to do things like that. And of course, they will pull every lever that they can in the United States and Europe with people who are sympathetic to themselves. To disrupt and interfere with the negotiations. They will speak to the Green Party in Germany. They will speak to the political leaders in Britain. They will contact the authorities in Brussels. They will speak to their friends in Congress. They will do everything that they can to disrupt the process,” Mercouris emphasized.

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky minces no words in chastising those advocating a ceasefire in Ukraine and negotiations with Russia. Kiev regime officials believe that a ceasefire or freezing the conflict would mean only one thing – Russia’s actual victory and Vladimir Putin’s personal triumph. Judging from Podolyak’s earlier statements, the Kiev regime desires nothing less than degrading and dismembering Russia. “[Russia] have to come up with a different name for themselves. They have to shrink in size, they have to change their rhetoric. They have to go to court and so on. I want you and me to consciously understand what our key task is, why we cannot stop in the middle of the road, already realizing what price we are paying for the fact that today it is possible to finally resolve this issue with Russia,” Podolyak said on August 3 in a TV interview.

[..] “That problem with Ukraine, given the mindset that exists in Ukraine, which does have support within Ukrainian society, it’s not just Podolyak and people like him who are talking like that,” Mercouris pointed out. “There are other people in Ukraine who very much take those views. It’s going to be very, very difficult to find any kind of way to get Ukraine to change, to change its stance. The one thing I would say is this: If you’re going to seek a diplomatic outcome to this war, it’s hopeless to think that you can do it by getting Russia and Ukraine to sit down and talk with each other. We came to a point last year when it seemed like that was going to happen, but it’s not going to happen from this point onwards I mean, Ukraine has said too much. It’s rhetorical stance has hardened beyond the point where negotiations are really practical,” the expert explained.

[..] The only possible way out, seen by the analyst, are direct talks between Washington and Moscow with regard to a peace settlement in Ukraine. Plausibly, Ukraine’s extreme dependence now on the United States and on Western powers could help Washington force the Kiev regime into accepting a peace framework agreed between Moscow and Washington. That being said, Ukraine’s excessive dependence on the US and NATO is a double-edged sword, as the Zelensky government has reached the point when it could blackmail the United States. The United States was incredibly unwise to overcommit and overinvest in Ukraine, according to Mercouris. “This is a very interesting point,” the analyst noted. “But again, history to some extent provides the explanation, because dependency actually can increase the leverage of the party that is apparently in that position of dependency.

Because what can happen in that situation is that, of course, if the United States starts to apply pressure, if it dials back economic and military aid, then what it risks in Ukraine is an uncontrolled collapse. It’s only US military and economic aid that is keeping this thing afloat at all. So the very fact that Ukraine is so dependent on the United States gives Ukraine leverage over the United States, because the one thing the United States will not want in Ukraine is an uncontrolled collapse, an uncontrolled collapse which would be blamed on the administration itself.” The Zelensky regime can play on that by reminding Washington that it has already invested too much in the Ukraine proxy war, and therefore it can’t just cut the Kiev regime off. If the US dumps Ukraine, then the Kiev regime would collapse and the blame for that would be laid at the door of the Biden administration, according to the analyst.

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Go talk to the drapes, Joe.

China Is Run By ‘Bad Folks’ – Biden (RT)

US President Joe Biden has escalated his attacks on Chinese leaders, reportedly telling donors to his re-election campaign that China’s government is run by “bad folks” who may take dangerous actions as their economy teeters on the brink of collapse. Biden claimed on Thursday at a fundraising event in Park City, Utah, that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government was in “trouble” because Beijing’s economic problems were a “ticking time bomb,” according to multiple media reports. He backed up his assertions with several erroneous claims about China’s economy and demographics. “They got some problems,” Biden told supporters. “That’s not good because when bad folks have problems, they do bad things.”

He falsely stated that China had the “highest unemployment rate going” and more people of retirement age than of working age. He mocked Xi’s signature Belt and Road Initiative as the “debt and noose,” alluding to the loans China provides to developing nations. The remarks were reminiscent of comments Biden made at a similar political event in June, when he referred to Xi as a “dictator.” Chinese officials lodged a formal complaint in Washington and called the insult a “political provocation.” Biden dismissed the controversy when asked at a press briefing about Beijing’s reaction, saying he didn’t think there would be “any real consequence.” At Thursday’s fundraising event, the 80-year-old US president said he wants to have a “rational relationship” with China, adding, “I don’t want to hurt China, but I’m watching.”

He didn’t specify which potential Chinese actions concern him, though US-China tensions over self-governing Taiwan have escalated in the past year. Biden claimed that China’s economic growth has slowed to 2%. Chinese GDP rose at a 5.5% pace in this year’s first half, compared with the US rate of around 2.2%. As Western economies feel the effects of historically high inflation, China is dealing with deflation. The country has more than three times as many people of working age as people 60 and older. China’s unemployment rate is around 5.2%, compared with 6.4% in the Eurozone. Spain and Greece both have double-digit jobless rates.

Biden has made incendiary comments about Xi’s government at a time when his administration is trying to improve strained relations between the world’s two largest economies. His “dictator” remark came just one day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded a long-awaited visit to China. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US climate envoy John Kerry later made visits to Beijing. The Utah fundraiser was held at the home of Mark Gilbert, a former US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. Donors reportedly had to pay at least $3,300 to attend. Hosts paid $100,000, and guests who contributed at least $50,000 were allowed to speak with Biden and have a picture taken with him. Those paying $10,000 to $25,000 could get a photo with the president.

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Erdogan would love this on his resumé. Peacemaker.

Türkiye Believes Ukraine Peace Talks ‘Futile’ Without Russia (RT)

Türkiye is convinced that any peace negotiations on Ukraine that do not involve Russia will yield “no results and no solution,” according to the Hurriyet newspaper. Ankara reportedly voiced its position during a meeting on the conflict hosted by Saudi Arabia earlier this month. The summit in Jeddah brought together some 40 nations, represented primarily by security advisers and senior diplomats. The talks, which excluded Russia, failed to yield any tangible results, with participants agreeing only that the UN Charter and Ukraine’s territorial integrity should be respected. Türkiye was represented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief adviser on foreign policy and security, Akif Cagatay Kilic.

During the meeting, Ankara stated its position that “if Russia is not included in the search for a solution, there will be no results and no solution,” according to Hurriyet. The Jeddah talks showed that Türkiye remains the only party that speaks “openly and clearly” with both Kiev and Moscow, the newspaper claimed. Türkiye has strived to become a mediator in the conflict, which broke out in February 2022, from its very early stages. The country hosted direct talks last year between Kiev and Moscow in Istanbul, which yielded a preliminary peace agreement. However, the negotiations ultimately collapsed, with Russia accusing Ukraine of discarding the peace deal immediately after it was initiated.

Ankara also emerged as a key broker behind the so-called Black Sea grain deal. The UN-sponsored agreement lifted a blockade from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, enabling the country to export its agricultural produce. Russia repeatedly criticized the deal, stating that it veered away from its original purpose to send produce to the poorest nations, and ended up benefitting Western countries. Moscow also argued that none of the Russian demands envisioned under the deal, including unblocking its own agriculture and fertilizer exports, or the partial lifting of sanctions affecting the sector, were met. Russia refused to prolong its participation in the initiative in mid-July, de facto re-imposing a blockade on Ukrainian ports.

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Russia gets stronger at the same time that Ukraine weakens.

Ukraine SitRep: The End Of The Counteroffensive (MoA)

Western media have finally changed course. They are now admitting that the much promoted Ukrainian counter-offensive has failed. In fact, they acknowledge that it never had a chance to win in the first place. The Hill, the Washington Post and CNN now agree that the Ukrainian army will never achieve its aims. That makes it difficult for the Biden administration to get Congress approval for $24 billion in additional ‘aid’ to Ukraine. It does not make sense to pay for a cause that is evidently lost. The Polish President Duda has also acknowledged that the counter-offensive has failed. Relations between Warsaw and Kiev have gotten worse and Polish interests will not allow for more support or active intervention. Nothing has come from the ‘peace conference’ which Saudi Arabia arranged on Ukraine’s behalf.

Despite the onslaught of bad news the Ukrainian army is still trying to take Russian positions in the south and east of Ukraine. But it simply does not have enough in men and material to break through the lines. Even if they would manage to get a local breakthrough there are not enough reserves to push for the necessary follow up. Just one of the NATO trained brigades has still been held back. All others have been mauled in their various deployment zones. In the northeast around Kupyansk the Russians have started their own offensive which has the Ukrainians on the run. Ukraine has ordered the evacuation of the area: A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the Ukrainian city of Kupyansk and its surrounding areas, as Russia intensified shelling of Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region and claimed to have captured Ukrainian positions near the city on Thursday. But Kupyansk is a Russian city and people refuse to leave.

The Russian campaign is slowly speeding up. As the Ukrainian Strana.news reports (machine translation): “Also in Ukraine, it is recorded that from Kupyansk to Bakhmut, Russia has increased the number of attacks. “Over the past month, the total number of attacks in the Kupyansk, Limansky and Bakhmut directions has grown significantly. In July, during the week there were 6-6.5 thousand attacks, during the last week-9 thousand attacks, ” – said the representative of the National Guard Ruslan Muzychuk.” According to him, the Russian Federation does not experience “shell hunger”. Aviation is also actively used, and over the past few weeks, more than 50 air attacks have been taking place every day, and sometimes more than 80. That is bad news for the Ukrainian side which lacks the reserves to counter the Russian onslaught. There are also less weapons coming in from the West. F-16 fighter jets will be delayed for another nine months due to training issues. Tanks and other material are in short supply.

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Colosseum.

Musk Reveals New Location For Proposed Fight With Zuckerberg (RT)

Elon Musk has claimed that his much-hyped potential fight against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will be held at a historic location in the Italian capital, Rome. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano have “agreed on an epic location” for the bout, Musk tweeted on Friday. According to the billionaire, “everything in camera frame will be Ancient Rome, so nothing modern at all.” He followed the announcement with a one-word tweet reading “Gladiator,” in what appeared to be a reference to Rome’s iconic Colosseum. The amphitheater dates back to the first century AD and hosted centuries of gladiatorial spectacles.

According to Musk, the billionaire-on-billionaire beatdown will be managed by his and Zuckerberg’s respective charitable foundations, rather than leading MMA promotion the UFC, as had initially been suggested. Musk has also said it will be live-streamed on both his and Zuckerberg’s platforms, X (formerly Twitter) and Meta, while proceeds will reportedly go to a veterans’ charity. On Meta’s Twitter-like Threads platform, Zuckerberg initially responded to Musk’s announcement that X would livestream the event by sniping: “Shouldn’t we use a more reliable platform that can actually raise money for charity?”

Musk’s plan to rebrand X as a live-streaming powerhouse failed to launch in May when the live announcement of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination was beset by technical glitches. Musk attempted to shrug off the problems as the result of “strained” servers, even though fewer than half a million people were listening. Musk initially challenged Zuckerberg to a cage match – adding the qualifier “lol” – in June after a follower reminded him that the Facebook billionaire was a trained martial artist. Musk, who bought Twitter last year with the aim of transforming it into an “everything app” along the lines of China’s WeChat, claimed that the world was falling “exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options.” Zuckerberg shocked many – perhaps including Musk – by agreeing to the fight and even pushing to hold it sooner, accusing the Tesla tycoon of not being serious.

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Apr 062023
 
 April 6, 2023  Posted by at 2:21 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  2 Responses »


John Singer Sargent The moraine 1908

Andrew Korybko:

 

Symbolism & Substance

Zelensky’s first state trip to Poland since the start of Russia’s special operation last year took place earlier this week, during which time he was awarded with his host country’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the White Eagle. His visit occurred at a crucial moment in the NATO-Russian proxy war, which adds an element of intrigue to it, as does its symbolism. The present piece will thus analyze the aforesaid in order to better understand the importance of Zelensky’s latest trip.
 

The Latest Military-Strategic Dynamics

To begin with, the NATO chief declared in mid-February that his bloc is in a so-called “race of logistics”/“war of attrition” with Russia, one which Moscow is winning as evidenced by its continued military resilience and Zelensky’s remark late last month about running out of ammunition. Wagner founder Prigozhin also recently claimed victory in the Battle of Artyomovsk/“Bakhmut” after his group captured that city’s administrative center, which prompted a policy reversal from the Ukrainian leader.

Back in late February, he said that his forces might abandon that area if their losses there become unreasonable, but then he told CNN last month that losing that city might result in Russia rolling through the rest of Donbass. Zelensky then built upon this prediction to warn just a little more than a week ago that he’ll be pressured at home and abroad to “compromise” with Moscow if that happens, but now he’s snapped back to his prior position after preconditioning the public to expect a possible withdrawal.

It remains to be seen what’ll ultimately happen, but there’s no doubt that the military-strategic dynamics favor Russia. This isn’t wishful thinking either but is predicated on the damning details contained in the Washington Post’s report from the middle of last month about how poorly Kiev’s forces are faring. With this larger context in mind, it’s clear that Zelensky’s latest trip to Poland truly took place at a crucial moment in this conflict.
 

The De Facto Polish-Ukrainian Confederation

As for the symbolism, Poland is among Ukraine’s top allies, so much so that those two declared their mutual intent last May during President Duda’s visit to Kiev at the time to eventually remove all borders between them. This resulted in them gradually merging into a de facto confederation, which advances Poland’s geopolitical project of restoring its lost commonwealth in pursuit of its grand strategic goal of once again becoming a Great Power.

Zelensky’s reaffirmation of their mutual intent to remove all borders between them during his latest trip to Poland extends credence to this assessment, as does a neoconservative lobbyist’s push for that geopolitical project in a recent article for the influential Foreign Policy magazine. With a view towards legitimizing Ukraine’s status as his country’s de facto protectorate, Duda declared that Warsaw is seeking additional security guarantees for its neighbor ahead of this summer’s next NATO summit.
 

Polish-Ukrainian Problems

For as much as those two want to gradually merge their countries into a de facto confederation, there still remain some very serious obstacles in their way. For starters, there’s obviously the question of financing this geopolitical project, which Poland can ill afford. Second, Poles are disgusted with Ukraine’s glorification of Hitler’s fascist genocidal collaborator, Bandera. The more that the Polish state tolerates this in spite of its occasional rhetoric in defense of historical truth, the angrier that average Poles get.

Building upon the aforementioned observation, the third challenge to this geopolitical project is rising anti-establishment sentiment in Poland, which could lead to the Confederation party winning enough votes during this fall’s elections that the ruling party is forced to form a governing coalition with them. That outcome could throw a wrench in these plans, thus indefinitely delaying their implementation, especially if Confederation finds a way to block the requisite funding and/or security guarantees.
 

The Prospects Of A Polish Military Intervention

There’s still plenty that can still happen before the next elections, however, including a Polish military intervention in Ukraine. Its Ambassador to France thundered late last month that “If Ukraine fails to defend its independence, we will have no choice but to enter the conflict. Our fundamental values, which are the cornerstone of our civilisation, our culture will be in fundamental danger, so we don’t have a choice.” Even though the embassy said his words were decontextualized, the intent was clear.

Russia has been warning about this scenario for quite a while already, which could represent an unprecedented escalation in NATO’s proxy war against it by dint of Poland being an official member of that bloc whose countries have mutual defense obligations to one another. A Polish intervention could therefore serve as a tripwire for that anti-Russian alliance to formalize its role in this conflict, especially in the event that Poland announces its “unification” with Ukraine and brings it under their umbrella.

While this sequence of events remains speculative, it’s nevertheless founded on a factual basis as was explained thus far in this piece, especially considering the disadvantageous military-strategic dynamics that cast a cloud over Zelensky’s latest trip to Poland. Returning to those and keeping in mind the words of the Polish Ambassador to France as well as these two countries’ leaders reaffirming their desire to remove all borders between them, observers shouldn’t discount the possibility that this transpires.
 

Scenario Variables

In fact, it could very well unfold prior to the next elections in fall should Russia’s capture of Artyomovsk lead to it rolling through the rest of Donbass like Zelensky earlier predicted might happen, which could prompt Poland to intervene in accordance with the conditions that its Ambassador to France stipulated. The only variables that could credibly offset this scenario are Russia continuing to only make piecemeal progress on the ground or Kiev agreeing to a ceasefire with Moscow prior to resuming peace talks.

The first’s chances could be strengthened by a surge of modern Western weapons to Ukraine while the second’s could be reduced by Poland promising whatever support Kiev requires in order to not feel forced by circumstances into negotiating with Russia. Therein lies the likely purpose behind Zelensky’s latest trip to Poland, namely to explore exactly what Warsaw could provide in this respect so as to better assess whether it’s worth seriously considering during this crucial moment in the conflict.
 

Reassessing Duda’s Demand To NATO

Duda implied during an interview with Le Figaro in early February that he feared France might try to broker a ceasefire, the scenario of which could be advanced by Macron’s ongoing trip to China, whose 12-point peace plan was praised by President Putin during his counterpart’s visit to Moscow last month. The political dynamics of this conflict are therefore just as disadvantageous from Kiev’s and Warsaw’s shared perspective as the military-strategic ones since they both point to an impending ceasefire.

This observation adds further context to Duda’s demand that NATO give Ukraine more security guarantees. His statement can now be interpreted as either hinting at a forthcoming Polish military intervention (irrespective of whether this is preceded by formalizing their confederation) or suggesting that these could soon be extended to reassure Kiev of that bloc’s enduring support in the event that it’s forced by circumstances into agreeing to a ceasefire with Russia (regardless of who might mediate it).
 

Ukraine’s Upcoming Counteroffensive

Duda’s desire for this to be done sometime in the next three months before early July’s NATO summit places a concrete deadline on his demand, which coincides with Kiev’s expected counteroffensive. About that, the Washington Post’s earlier cited report tempered expectations about its success, as did the latest assessment from the former commander of the Polish Land Forces. Waldemar Skrzypczak told leading Polish media that Ukraine is “not ready” for this and that “Now it’s time for politicians.”

Cynics who might claim that this retired official doesn’t have accurate information about the conflict’s military-strategic dynamics should be reminded of what incumbent Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces General Rajmund Andrzejczak told publicly financed media in late January. He warned that time is running out for Kiev, confirmed that Russia’s military might still remains formidable, and expressed serious concern that Ukraine could ultimately be defeated.

Despite this dire analysis from Poland’s top military official, who’s indisputably in a position to receive the most up-to-date classified information about the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine, Kiev will probably still attempt its planned counteroffensive anyhow. That will in turn influence whether Poland formalizes their de facto confederation and/or militarily intervenes in its support, exactly which security guarantees NATO might give Kiev, and whether a ceasefire is reached before the bloc’s summer summit.
 

Concluding Thoughts

This insight leads to the conclusion that Zelensky’s latest trip to Poland was super significant since it’s intended to shape the course of the NATO-Russian proxy war over the next three months. Warsaw’s role in forthcoming events will powerfully influence what Kiev does during this crucial moment in that conflict, hence the timing with which the Ukrainian leader decided to meet with his counterpart. For as carefully as Zelensky is planning everything, however, he might still fail in reversing his side’s fortunes.

 

 

 

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