Tomb of the diver, Paestum c480 BCE
Ukraine’s new troops
Douglas Macgregor – The Russian Onslaught
East Palestine water
Even MORE proof that the EPA is LYING to the people of East Palestine.
THIS WATER IS INSANELY CONTAMINATED. pic.twitter.com/rNlNxxBTDd
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) February 16, 2023
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "I am categorically against sending weapons to Ukraine. People who understand nothing about military affairs are doing their best to drag us into an escalation they cannot control." Bulgarian President Rumen Radev. pic.twitter.com/UhjHFD0q8U
— John Moran (@RueDaungier) February 16, 2023
Could it be that many Ukrainians feel cheated?
After all, Volodymyr Zelensky had promised them peace with Russia during the 2019 election campaign.
Instead he gives them war……. pic.twitter.com/C3XgA4rOQb
— Richard (@ricwe123) February 13, 2023
“What [Biden] did is he said, ‘I’m in a big war with Ukraine. It’s not looking good. I want to be sure I get German and West European support,’”
• Seymour Hersh Calls Pipeline Sabotage ‘Dumbest’ US Act In Years (RT)
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has slammed Washington’s alleged involvement in bombing the Nord Stream gas lines as one of the “dumbest” decisions taken in years, warning that the move will have “horrific” consequences for Europeans and further undercut the already “supremely useless” NATO alliance. Speaking to Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman for an interview on Wednesday, Hersh outlined his recent report on the destruction of the pipelines last year, which found that the US played a key role in planting and detonating explosives on sections of the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea. “I think the consequences politically for us are enormous,” he said, adding that the long-term effects for Europe would be “horrific” and “cut into the notion that they can depend totally on America, even in a crisis.”
“I think that this has probably been, in the view of some of the people who did it, one of the dumbest things the American government has done in years – and we’ve had four years of Trump.” Hersh argued that US officials have long seen cheap energy alternatives for Europe as a “threat,” noting that Washington has “always wanted to isolate Russia” to prevent oil and gas sales to the EU. He said the Joe Biden administration feared Europe would “walk away” from the conflict in Ukraine and felt the need to pressure allies to stay the course. “What [Biden] did is he said, ‘I’m in a big war with Ukraine. It’s not looking good. I want to be sure I get German and West European support,’” Hersh continued. He added that the president did not want Berlin to reverse course and reopen the Nord Stream lines, which had been under sanctions, “so he took away that option,” effectively telling his European partners “You’re second rate.”
“I know people that are paying five times as much now for electricity. People are paying three or four times more for gas. There’s not enough of it. It’s very expensive,” he said, arguing that Europe is now forced to obtain energy from other sources than Russia, including the United States itself. “And I think it’s going to undercut NATO, which I always found to be supremely useless,” he added. While the Biden administration has vocally denied Hersh’s report, with State Department spokesperson Ned Price calling it “utter and complete nonsense,” the journalist has stuck by his unnamed source, insisting the information relayed to him was accurate. He told Democracy Now! that he would continue to report on the issue in the future, saying there are “still things I need to write about.”
“I can tell you that the people involved in the operation saw the president as choosing to keep Germany cold for his short-range political goals, and that horrified them.”
• The US Destroyed the Nord Stream Pipeline. Interview with Seymour Hersh (GR)
Joe Biden decided not to blow them up. It was in early June, five months into the war, but then, in September, he decided to do it. I’ll tell you something. The operational people, the people who do kinetic things for the United States, they do what the president says, and they initially thought this was a useful weapon that he could use in negotiations. But at some point, once the Russians went in, and then when the operation was done, this became increasingly odious to the people who did it. These are well-trained people; they are in the highest level of secret intelligence agencies. They turned on the project. They thought this was an insane thing to do. And within a week, or three or four days after the bombing, after they did what they were ordered to, there was a lot of anger and hostility. This is obviously reflected in the fact that I’m learning so much about it.And I’ll tell you something else. The people in America and Europe who build pipelines know what happened. I’m telling you something important. The people who own companies that build pipelines know the story. I didn’t get the story from them but I learned quickly they know.
[..] The secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, said a few days after the pipeline was blown up, at a news conference, that a major economic and almost military force was taken away from Vladimir Putin. He said this was a tremendous opportunity, as Russia could no longer weaponize the pipelines — meaning that it was not able to force Western Europe not to support the United States in the war. The fear was that Western Europe would not go along any longer in the war. I think that the reason they decided to do it then was that the war wasn’t going well for the West, and they were afraid with winter coming. The Nord Stream 2 has been sanctioned by Germany, and the United States was afraid that Germany would lift the sanctions because of a bad winter.
FABIAN SCHEIDLER: According to you, what were the motives when you look behind the scenes? The US government was opposed to the pipeline for many reasons. Some say they were opposed to it because they wanted to weaken Russia, to weaken the ties between Russia and Western Europe, Germany especially. But maybe also to weaken the German economy, which, after all, is a competitor to the US economy. With the high gas prices, enterprises have started to move to the United States. So what’s your sense of the motives of the US government, if they blew up the pipeline?
SEYMOUR HERSH: I don’t think they thought it through. I know this sounds strange. I don’t think that Blinken and some others in the administration are deep thinkers. There certainly are people in the American economy who like the idea of us being more competitive. We’re selling LNG, liquefied gas, at extremely big profits; we’re making a lot of money on it. I’m sure there were some people thinking, boy, this is going to be a long-time boost for the American economy. But in that White House, I think the obsession was always reelection, and they wanted to win the war, they wanted to get a victory, they want Ukraine to somehow magically win. There could be some people who think maybe it’ll be better for our economy if the German economy is weak, but that’s crazy thinking. I think, basically, that we’ve bitten deep into something that’s not going to work. The war is not going to turn out well for this government.
[..] What I know is there’s no way this war is going to turn out the way we want, and I don’t know what we’re going to do as we go further down the line. It scares me if the president was willing to do this.And the people who did this mission believed that the president did realize what he was doing to the people of Germany, that he was punishing them for a war that wasn’t going well. And in the long run, this is going to be very detrimental not only to his reputation as the president but politically too. It’s going to be a stigma for America.So what you have is a White House that thought it may have a losing card: Germany and Western Europe may stop giving the arms we want and the German chancellor could turn the pipeline on — that was always a fear. I would be asking a lot of questions to Chancellor Scholz. I would ask him what he learned in February when he was with the president. The operation was a big secret, and the president wasn’t supposed to tell anybody about this capability. But he does talk. He says things that he doesn’t want to.
[..] The point is that Biden chose to keep Germany cold this winter. The president of the United States would rather see Germany cold [because of energy shortages] than Germany possibly not supportive in the Ukraine war, and that, to me, is going to be a devastating thing for this White House. For me, and I think also for the people on the mission, it was appalling. [..] I can tell you that the people involved in the operation saw the president as choosing to keep Germany cold for his short-range political goals, and that horrified them. I’m talking about American people that are intensely loyal to the United States. In the CIA, it’s understood that, as I put it in my article, they work for the Crown, they don’t work for the Constitution.
“..what possible explanation could be offered when the Biden co-conspirators, millions of Americans and Putin’s Security Council all know the truth..”
• US Presidents Renege on Agreements with Russia (Parsons)
A week after Sy Hersh’s expose on the Nord Stream pipeline explosions, there is still no word that pretend President Biden who denies any knowledge or involvement in causing an Act of War in the Baltic Sea has yet to offer an explanation to the American public or reach out to Russian President Vladimir Putin – but what possible explanation could be offered when the Biden co-conspirators, millions of Americans and Putin’s Security Council all know the truth. Even though the balloon distraction consumes the American mainstream media with the anonymous buoyant inflatable nonsense of a psyop as if to avoid the inescapable moment of truth – which will come inevitably. In any case, a good guess is that the Russians are not amused by whatever game the Biden Administration has conjured up to deflect attention from the reality of a world level Act of War crisis.
While the media remains aflutter with the guessing-game possibilities, TPTB appear confident that because Russia has been restrained and prudent in its reactions during its special military operation; including the unrelenting NATO lies but especially to the inhumanity of the Ukraine Nazi’s. There is a general refusal on the part of the Americans to believe that The Bear would ever retaliate, that they could never be pushed so far until there was nowhere else to go. Perhaps as the European mainland flounders in an energy and economic crisis of its own making, they are experiencing a resurgence of lost sovereignty and awareness of their loss of independence at the hands of the US. As the US and rest of the world await Russia’s response to the Biden Administration’s denial, legendary professor, historian, philosopher and political analyst emeritus Noam Chomsky has reminded us of the reckless and provocative impact of the US withdrawal of arms control agreements on Russia’s well-defined borders and legitimate security interests.
Translation: we are losing.
• Ukraine Conflict Will Likely Have No Military Winner – Milley (RT)
The Ukraine conflict can only end through a negotiated peace deal because neither side is likely to achieve its goals on the battlefield, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Thursday. “It will be almost impossible for the Russians to achieve their political objectives by military means,” Milley claimed without providing specific reasons for his stance. “It is unlikely that Russia is going to overrun Ukraine. It’s just not going to happen.” He added that it also would be “very, very difficult for Ukraine this year to kick the Russians out of every inch” of the territory that Moscow’s forces have already captured.
America’s top-ranking military officer made his comments after traveling to Brussels earlier this week to coordinate efforts with NATO allies on shoring up Ukraine’s firepower for a planned spring counter-offensive. Kiev is burning through weaponry at a rate “many times higher” than its Western allies can produce it, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned on Monday. Milley said the ammunition strain has forced the Pentagon to review its weapons inventories and contemplate increases in spending. US officials are re-examining their assumptions about supply needs after decades of focusing on counterterrorism missions and unconventional warfare.
“One of the lessons of this war is the very high consumption rates of conventional munitions, and we are re-examining our own stockages and our own plans to make sure that we got it right,” Milley told FT. “We’re trying to do the analysis so that we can then estimate what we think the true requirement would be, and then we have to put that in the budget. Ammunition is very expensive.” The Pentagon’s current annual budget stands at $817 billion, exceeding the combined total for the rest of the world’s ten largest military spenders combined. Washington has already allocated more than $110 billion in aid for Ukraine since Russia’s military operation began last February.
Republican lawmakers, such as Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Andy Biggs of Arizona, have criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for severely depleting US weapons stockpiles to arm Ukraine. Earlier this week, Milley told reporters in Brussels that Russia has already lost. “They’ve lost strategically, operationally and tactically, and they are paying an enormous price on the battlefield.” Retired US Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor, a former Pentagon adviser, said such claims have eroded the Biden administration’s credibility. “General Milley has made it very clear that he’s aligned with the left, he is part of this administration, he’s going to say whatever they want him to say.”
Translation: there will be no winner, but Russia lost.
• Russia Has Lost ‘Strategically, Operationally And Tactically’ – Milley (G.)
General Mark Milley, chairman of America’s joint chiefs of staff, has said Russia has lost “strategically, operationally and tactically” and that they are “paying an enormous price on the battlefield” in Ukraine. Milley, speaking at a joint news conference with US defence secretary Lloyd Austin, said President Vladimir Putin believed he could defeat Ukraine quickly when he ordered his troops to invade almost a year ago. [Putin] was wrong. Ukraine remains free. They remain independent. Nato and its coalition has never been stronger. Now, Russia is a global pariah and the world remains inspired by Ukrainian bravery and resilience. In short, Russia has lost – they’ve lost strategically, operationally and tactically and they are paying an enormous price on the battlefield.
“It doesn’t really make sense to send tanks to Ukraine unless you send combat aircraft to give them cover.”
• The Horrifying Endgame in Ukraine (Rickards)
I’ve written extensively about two facets of the war in Ukraine that you don’t hear from legacy media in the United States or U.K. The first is that Russia is actually winning the war. U.S. outlets such as The New York Times (a channel for the State Department) and The Washington Post (a channel for the CIA) report endlessly about how Russian plans have failed, about how incompetent they are about how the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have pushed back Russians in the Donbass, and how NATO weapons such as U.S. Abrams tanks, U.K. Challenger tanks and German Leopard tanks will turn the tide against Russia soon. This is all nonsense. None of it is true.
First off, the Ukrainian advances that took place in late summer were against lightly defended positions that the Russians quickly conceded to conserve forces. The Russians were willing to give up the land so that they wouldn’t lose valuable men and materiel. The Russians withdrew to more defensible positions and have been badly mauling Ukrainian attacking forces ever since. Ukraine has wasted incredibly large amounts of men and equipment in these futile and ill-advised attacks. In all, credible reports indicate that AFU casualties are nearing 500,000 and are increasing at an unsustainable rate. On the other hand, reports of 100,000 Russian dead are almost certainly wild exaggerations put out by Ukraine. The BBC attempted to verify these numbers and could only find about 20,000 confirmed Russian dead based on extensive searches on funeral notices, public records, etc.
What about the tanks NATO is supposedly sending? Well, the tanks have not been delivered yet and most won’t be for months or longer. Our own M1 Abrams tanks might not even arrive for a year or more. We actually have to custom build these tanks so that they don’t have the special armor and other advanced systems that our own M1s have. The Pentagon doesn’t want them falling into Russian hands if they’re destroyed or captured. Besides, we’re only sending 31 tanks anyway. When the NATO tanks do arrive, they’ll likely quickly be destroyed by Russian artillery, anti-tank weapons and precision missiles. They’re good tanks, but far from invincible. For decades, the Russians have been developing powerful weapons specifically designed to destroy these NATO tank models. The Russians aren’t particularly worried about them.
Aside from that, tanks rely on effective air cover for protection, which Ukraine lacks. They’ll be sitting ducks on the battlefield. It doesn’t really make sense to send tanks to Ukraine unless you send combat aircraft to give them cover. Meanwhile, Russian forces have nearly encircled the city of Bakhmut, which is a major transportation and logistics hub, with several key roads and rail lines passing through it. It’ll probably fall to the Russians within weeks. Losing Bakhmut will be a major blow to Ukraine, despite claims in the western media that it really isn’t very important. Ukraine’s entire 800-mile defensive line would probably begin to crumble, and they don’t have heavily fortified positions to fall back on. Ukrainian troops, while brave and competent soldiers, are exhausted and running out of supplies as it is.
“..She also expressed a preference for Russians overthrowing their government for a “better future” offered by the West..”
• Nuland Outlines US Goals In Ukraine (RT)
Unless the Crimean peninsula is at the very least “demilitarized” Ukraine won’t feel safe, while the ideal end to the current conflict is with a revolution in Moscow, the US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said on Thursday. Ukrainians “have to get to a map that is more sustainable for them,” Nuland said in a video interview with the Washington think tank Carnegie Endowment. They have “significant chunks of territory they need to be a viable state, before you even get to the question of Crimea, and that’s what they’re focused on now.” The US position is that Ukraine is “owed and due all of their territory within their international borders,” which means Crimea as well, Nuland added.
Assigned to Ukraine by the Soviet Union in 1954, Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in March 2014, after the violent coup in Kiev that Nuland helped “midwife,” according to the infamous phone call intercept. “Ukraine is not going to be safe unless Crimea is – at a minimum, at a minimum – demilitarized,” Nuland insisted on Thursday, claiming that Moscow had turned the peninsula into a military base, with command posts, logistics depots and airfields for “Iranian drones.” “Those are legitimate targets, Ukraine is hitting them, and we are supporting that,” she said. Earlier this week, Politico quoted two anonymous officials to imply that Nuland’s boss, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, had admitted the US was not “actively encouraging” Ukraine to seize Crimea and that any moves on the peninsula would be “Kiev’s decision alone.”
Nuland, however, told Carnegie that the battlefield objectives of Washington and Kiev overlap “in terms of what the Ukrainians want to do on the battlefield, and what we’re enabling them to plan to do.” Asked how she saw the conflict ending, Nuland said the West “must never trust, as long as Vladimir Putin is in power, or somebody like him, that this is truly over.” Even if the fighting ends on Ukraine’s terms, there “has to be a long-term plan” to build up Ukraine’s military as a deterrent. She also expressed a preference for Russians overthrowing their government for a “better future” offered by the West.
1/3 How lovely is this Vicki Nuland. They give weapons, ammunition, target coordinates, they tell Ukraine to shoot, we support it. And right there, from all the electrical outlets, they declare that the United States is not embroiled in a conflict. pic.twitter.com/WTVatNlaeZ
— Victor vicktop55 (@vicktop55) February 17, 2023
“What exactly do they know? Is there anything they are trying to hide? I suppose any truly objective, impartial and professional media will want to seek out the truth..”
• Beijing Challenges Western Press On Nord Stream Blasts (RT)
Beijing has mocked mainstream Western media for its apparent reluctance to look into recent allegations by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, that the US was responsible for blowing up the Nord Stream undersea pipelines last year. The sabotage of the natural gas routes last September had a major economic and environmental impact and caused global concern over the safety of cross-border infrastructure, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said during a press briefing on Thursday. “Immediately after the explosions, we saw extensive coverage in US and other Western media with one-sided speculations on who was ‘responsible’ for the sabotage,” he said. “What we see now, however, is that these media, hailed as free, professional and impartial, have fallen silent over Seymour Hersh’s detailed report.”
The veteran investigative journalist reported last week that US President Joe Biden had ordered a secret operation to sabotage the crucial energy link. According to his source, which Hersh did not reveal, the US colluded with Norway to plant explosives under the guise of a NATO naval exercise and detonate it remotely months later. Both nations have denied the allegations. Wang wondered if Western outlets really wanted to know the truth about what happened, suggesting that some may be covering up for the Biden administration. “What exactly do they know? Is there anything they are trying to hide? I suppose any truly objective, impartial and professional media will want to seek out the truth,” the Chinese diplomat said.
Russia, which argued from the outset that the US had most to gain from knocking out the Nord Stream pipelines, expressed similar sentiments. “We consider this incident an act of international terrorism that warrants a comprehensive and independent investigation,” Igor Girenko, the spokesman for the Russian embassy in Washington said. He urged Washington to “at least try to prove that they were not involved in the destruction of the gas pipelines.”
"Then along comes Seymour Hersh, the world's most acclaimed living investigative journalist, who produced a detailed claim that the US and Norway executed the Nord Stream gas explosion. And I find it jaw-dropping that the EU is still not asking questions." pic.twitter.com/1dywcEjsTV
— sarah (@sahouraxo) February 16, 2023
Olga Sukharevskaya is a former Ukrainian diplomat.
• The West Has Long Planned A Proxy War With Russia In Ukraine (Sukharevskaya)
Western ‘aid’ is killing Ukrainians by the thousands. In November 2022, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, estimated that Kiev had lost at least 100,000 servicemen, before deleting her comments after uproar from supporters of Ukraine. Three more months have passed since then. Big expansions to cemeteries have sprouted up all over Ukraine. Trying to make up for losses, the authorities have ordered more mobilization. This process has turned into a hunt, with men being dragged to war by force, as dozens of videos freely available online show. Given equipment losses, it’s likely that attacks on the civilian population of Donbass, Zaporozhye, and Kherson, as well as Russia’s border regions, are carried out almost exclusively using Western weapons.
Evidence of this is seen from video footage of destroyed civilian infrastructure in Donbass. American “gifts” in the form of HIMARS strike residential areas in Donetsk and in the deep rear of the Lugansk city of Schastye. The Kalinin hospital in Donetsk and a hospital in Novoaidar, Lugansk, were both destroyed by NATO weapons. And this is only a small portion of the slaughter being committed by Kiev, using Western supplies. According to UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, at least 7,100 civilians have been killed in the course of combat operations since February 2022. “The real numbers are probably much bigger,” Nakamitsu said. Norwegian Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen estimates civilian casualties at 30,000 people.
There is also evidence that some long-range missiles currently publicly only under discussion have already been provided to Kiev. The head of the administration of the Russian part of Zaporozhye Region, Vladimir Rogov, has reported that Ukrainian missiles hit the hotel complex ‘Hunter’s Camp’ in Melitopol, resulting in civilian deaths. However, the city is located more than 100 km from the frontline. The lives of the Ukrainian people have been sacrificed in the interests of a geopolitical confrontation planned by the West. At a meeting of the Council of Europe on January 24, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said, “We (the EU) are waging a war against Russia, not against each other.” She was subsequently forced to take her words back, but other Western officials have said the same thing, even if in less straightforward ways.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has stressed, “If Putin prevails, it will mean a defeat not only for Ukraine but for all of us.” As for Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, he went so far as to call the defeat of Russia “the Polish and European meaning of life.” Politicians generally tell the truth only after resigning. Statements from former German chancellor Angela Merkel and former French president Francois Hollande have revealed that the 2014 and 2015 Minsk (peace) Agreements were signed only in order to arm Ukraine and buy it time before a full on military confrontation with Russia. In other words, waging war with Russia by proxy through Ukraine has been a meticulously planned strategy, long in the making.
“The deal outlined moves to declare a ceasefire, withdraw weapons, declare amnesty, restore economic ties and conduct constitutional reform in Ukraine..”
• Russia Acted Out Of Necessity To Implement Minsk Accords – Kremlin (TASS)
Russia took into account the need to implement the Minsk Accords and exerted numerous efforts to make sure that the commitments under the deal were implemented by Ukraine, France, and Germany, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. The Russian presidential spokesman responded with a negative reply to a question as to whether Moscow assumed that the deal would not be carried out once the accords were signed. “You know how much effort the Russian side invested into the negotiating track in order to force both the Ukrainian side and Berlin and Paris to go down the path of fulfilling the commitments that the parties had undertaken under the Minsk agreements,” he continued.
According to Peskov, Moscow “exerted a great deal of effort” into the Minsk Accords. He recalled that the talks on the issue involved the personal participation of President Vladimir Putin, ex-Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov and Head of the Russian Presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak. “Undoubtedly, the main objective was to force Kiev to fulfill its obligations,” Peskov told the news briefing. The Minsk Accords were the cornerstone of the Donbass peace process. The deal outlined moves to declare a ceasefire, withdraw weapons, declare amnesty, restore economic ties and conduct constitutional reform in Ukraine through dialogue with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR), aimed at decentralizing power and providing a special status to certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
However, the negotiation process had actually stalled because of Kiev’s refusal to fulfill the political provisions of the Minsk accords. In particular, Kiev rejected holding any direct dialogue with the DPR and the LPR, opposed the consolidation of the regions’ special status in the constitution, and also demanded that a section of the border with Russia in Donbass be placed under Ukrainian control until the political part of the deal was implemented.
“These states of the Global South are also developing plans for new international reserve currency designed to undercut the ability of Washington to dictate international policy..”
• Implications of US Destruction of Nordstream 2 Pipeline (Fuller)
The stunning recent and detailed reportage of direct American sabotage of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline represents a major geostrategic watershed in two senses: First, the implications of Washington’s act of war with disastrous economic impact upon Europe will not subside easily. But more importantly this event has demonstrated America’s successful cowing of any public commentary on the event — across U.S. media but more so across all European media itself, including in the most economically victimized state —Germany. We observe stunning, nearly inexplicable silence over this major international event. And Russia has gotten the message — American policies and statements have deeply reinforced Russia’s long-standing belief that the West is implacably hostile to any Russian role in the West — going back to the bitter and irrevocable split of Christendom between Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Church in 1054. That was later followed up by two devastating European invasions of Russia (Napoleon and Hitler).
Growing European trade ties — especially Germany — with Russia since the end of the Cold War have been thrown on the trash heap by NATO expansion east. The hostility of East-West relations has been reinforced and deepened. Washington has no desire to work out a new common-European security policy that includes Russian interests as well. And these U.S. policies have helped ensure that Russia’s future now firmly lies in the East–Vladivostok and with China in a shared rejection of U.S. global hegemony. The rise of a new Great Wall that blocks off Russia from Western Europe is one of the most striking outcomes of this war: European officialdom seems to have cast in its lot, perhaps reluctantly but irrevocably, with the American strategic goals in the world.
Those goals now even speak of creating a new “NATO Pacific” designed to challenge Chinese power economically and strategically in China’s own backyard — at great potential economic cost to Europe. But for all this demonstration of Washington’s hold over Europe, it is also striking to note how the great majority of the world has indeed not gone along with U.S. strategic ambitions to weaken and humble Russia or to impose Washington’s own geopolitical architecture on most of the rest of the world. Broadly speaking Latin America, the Middle East and Africa do not perceive their strategic interests as aligning with Washington’s. Apart from some lip service criticism of Russia, few states including large segments of Asia and India itself have imposed any meaningful sanctions against Russia.
More vividly, we see the emergence of new non-Western alliances such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) with many other major states lining up to include Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. These states of the Global South are also developing plans for new international reserve currency designed to undercut the ability of Washington to dictate international policy through U.S. dollar-based sanctions.
“If you are dealing with a nuclear power and if you are citing the goal of inflicting defeat to this nuclear power, you should have all the options in mind of our possible response.”
• Russian Diplomats Issue Dire Warnings that War with US Is Close (LI)
Starting in 2008, NATO has repeatedly declared its intention to someday allow Ukraine to become a member, again reiterating that pledge at a recent alliance summit. The move would cross the “brightest of all red lines” for Moscow, as was previously noted by then-State Department official and current CIA Director William Burns, who penned a 2008 memo warning of the geopolitical perils of extending membership to Kiev. Still, President Joe Biden has refused to change course, insisting it is up to Ukraine whether it would like to join the US-led military bloc while effectively making Kiev a de facto member in the meantime. In an interview with Newsweek on Tuesday, Russia’s UN envoy Dmitry Polyanskiy argued that the West has not respected Moscow’s core security concerns, and has become directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine.
“All the red lines have already been crossed by Western countries. There is already semi-direct involvement of NATO in the conflict because it’s not only weaponry but it’s intelligence,” he said. “It’s the situation when the targets of certain artillery systems, in particular HIMARS, these targets can be hit only with the coordination with Washington.” Last week, the Washington Post reported that Ukraine relies on American intelligence for selecting targets. Since the start of the year, the White House has authorized the shipment of main battle tanks and long-range rockets to Kiev. Additionally, NATO appears to be preparing to send Western-made warplanes to Ukraine. ”It means that NATO is not only providing weapons but also are choosing the targets for Ukrainian strikes,” Polyanskiy continued.
He went on to allege that citizens from NATO countries are already fighting – as well as getting captured and killed – in Ukraine. ”We know this from the people that we capture and from the bodies that we see on the battlefield.” The ambassador said Western weapons would only escalate the conflict, even warning that foreign intervention could eventually trigger a nuclear war. “It’s absolutely clear that any deliveries of weapons to the zone of conflict, of course, is like pouring oil into the fire,” he said, adding “If you are dealing with a nuclear power and if you are citing the goal of inflicting defeat to this nuclear power, you should have all the options in mind of our possible response.”
Staley’s done. Now for the rest.
• Bombshell New Emails Unsealed Between Epstein and JP Morgan Executive (TP)
Newly unsealed documents relating to the ongoing Jeffrey Epstein lawsuit against JPMorgan begin to paint a larger picture of how the Epstein sex trafficking operation was conducted. Newly unsealed passages of a federal lawsuit have revealed that as far back as 2006, former top executives at JPMorgan privately discussed abuse allegations surrounding the late predator Jeffrey Epstein, and more than 20 of his sex trafficking victims were paid through accounts at the mega bank. “These women were trafficked and abused during different intervals between at least 2003 and July 2019, when Epstein was arrested and jailed, and these women received payments, typically multiple payments, between 2003 and 2013 in excess of $1 million collectively,” a passage states.
“Epstein also withdrew more than $775,000 in cash over that time frame from JP Morgan accounts, especially significant as Epstein was known to pay for “massages,” or sexual encounters, in cash.” Earlier, the allegations, along with some others, were concealed with redactions by the government of the Virgin Islands while submitting its legal action against JP Morgan Chase, citing its involvement in Epstein’s offenses. Late Wednesday, the Virgin Islands unsealed more documents relating to their investigation. The bombshell documents reveal just how involved JP Morgan was with Epstein. Not only did they know what Epstein was up to, but they were complicit. JPMorgan’s then-senior executive Jes Staley had a very close relationship with Epstein, sending him 1,200 emails that suggest he was involved in Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation.
“Between 2008 and 2012, Staley exchanged approximately 1,200 emails with Epstein from his JP Morgan email account,” the lawsuit says. “These communications show a close personal relationship and ‘profound’ friendship between the two men and even suggest that Staley may have been involved in Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation.” One Staley email was even sent from Epstein’s Little St. James in 2009 when Epstein was in jail in Florida. “So when all hell breaks lo[o]se, and the world is crumbling, I will come here, and be at peace,” the email read. “Presently, I’m in the hot tub with a glass of white wine. This is an amazing place. Truly amazing. Next time, we’re here together. I owe you much. And I deeply appreciate our friendship. I have few so profound.”
“..a testing and screening program to determine whether players have been adversely affected by the injections and to develop a set of functional medical protocols and treatments in order to address and heal any deleterious effects of the vaccines..”
The players don’t want to be tested, afraid they can’t play.
• NFL Players Association Urged to Screen for Vaccine Side Effects (ET)
The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is being urged to offer players cardiac screening in light of the growing concern over COVID-19 vaccines causing heart inflammation. The Health Freedom Defense Fund urged the association in a recent letter to implement screening because the vaccines can cause myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation. Young males are the most at risk. Most NFL players received a COVID-19 vaccine under pressure from teams and the league. “Safety signals illustrate that the near and long-term health outcomes of the COVID-19 vaccines remain uncertain,” Leslie Manookian, president and founder of the fund, told DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the players association, in the letter.
“A multitude of adverse reactions to these injections, including myocarditis, are wide-ranging and confirmed, and as such, prudence dictates that the NFLPA investigate the extent to which the COVID-19 shots may have resulted in injury, compromised health or death of players,” Manookian said. She pointed out that Damar Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during a Monday Night Football game in January. The reason for the incident remains unknown; Hamlin declined to convey during a recent televised interview what his doctors told him about the incident. Former NFL players also have suffered heart attacks and strokes following vaccination. The NFLPA should introduce “a testing and screening program to determine whether players have been adversely affected by the injections and to develop a set of functional medical protocols and treatments in order to address and heal any deleterious effects of the vaccines,” Manookian said.
[..] Manookian informed the NFLPA that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed a warning regarding myocarditis and a related condition, pericarditis, on the labels for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. She also pointed to research papers on post-vaccination myocarditis. Among them were a study by Florida authorities that found a jump in cardiac-related deaths among the vaccinated; a study that found an increased risk of myocarditis and myopericarditis after a second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine and the first and second doses of Moderna’s vaccine, with the highest risk in young males; a reanalysis of the original clinical trials that found a higher number of serious adverse events of special interest among the vaccinated; and experts in Germany reporting, after analyzing autopsies, that some of the deceased likely died from vaccine-induced myocarditis.
“We have a growing body of scientific evidence showing that there is a risk to young males in particular, and many of them have some critical cardiac problems,” Manookian said. The NFLPA did the right thing when it comes to concussions, supporting stronger protections for players, she said. “I think that we should be doing the same thing with respect to these COVID injections and the potential for subclinical cardiac issues,” Manookian said.
Earlier today… “Joe Biden remains a healthy, vigorous, 80-year-old male…who’s fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency…” -White House Doctor pic.twitter.com/ZQKBve5sp2
— Liz Churchill (@liz_churchill8) February 16, 2023
In 1970, students in a fifth-grade class at Hawthorne School in Beverly Hills were assigned to write a letter to someone they admired, asking them “What makes a good citizen?”10yr old Joel Lipton wrote to Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz. Joel got a reply…
Abandoned ant hill
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