May 152024
 


Vittorio Matteo Corcos Conversation in the Jardin du Luxembourg 1892

 

A Reckoning of Biblical Proportions (Turley)
“Trump Is Innocent”: Mike Johnson Speech Outside Trump Trial In Manhattan (ZH)
Putin Needs to Shake-Up Himself (Paul Craig Roberts)
Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Alito Warn About State of America (ET)
US Lags Behind Russia In Electronic Warfare – Ex-Pentagon Official (RT)
Western Elites Want To Prosper At The Expense Of Others – Putin (RT)
Russia-China Relations At Highest Level Ever, Still Strengthen – Putin (Sp.)
Just How Confused Is US Foreign Policy Right Now? (Jay)
RFK Jr. and AV24 Super PAC Sue Meta, Alleging Election Interference (ET)
West Considering Large-Scale Conflict – Russian Spy Chief (RT)
Erdogan Holds Emergency Meeting Following Coup Warning (Sp.)

 

 

Vivek
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790429079113543913

 

 

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó:
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790271559329788372

 

 

Bow
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790304550630339056

Bimbo

 

 

Rogan

Bug wiping device

 

 

 

 

“..the New York Post revealed that Cohen has been peddling a reality show called “The Fixer..”

A Reckoning of Biblical Proportions (Turley)

[..] my column in the New York Post on the first day of the examination of Michael Cohen. He is expected to start his cross examination today. How bad will it be? After lying to Congress, courts, banks, and most everyone else, it will be bad. Years ago, Cohen threatened a journalist and told him “what I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting.” Well, that bad. On cross examination, Cohen faces a reckoning of biblical proportions.

Michael Cohen apparently wants a reality show but, if his testimony Monday is any indication, reality is about to sink in for not just Cohen but the prosecutors and the court. In stoking interest in his own appearance, the former Trump counsel promised the public that they should be “prepared to be surprised.” Thus far, however, Cohen has offered nothing new and, more importantly, nothing to make the case for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Just before he took the stand, the New York Post revealed that Cohen has been peddling a reality show called “The Fixer,” including working with Colin Whelan, who helped create “Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up.” Whelan appears interested to stay within that genre. The Cohen pitch came with a cheesy promo video where he promised viewers, “I am your fixer.” His first post-Trump client, Bragg, may have to disagree. Cohen had only one advantage for Bragg: His notoriously flexible morals and ethics, which allows him to say most anything to support his sponsors.

With the prosecution’s case almost over, Bragg needed Cohen to clearly state that Trump intentionally committed fraud to conceal some still poorly defined crime. The problem is that Cohen only confirmed that Trump knew he was going to pay for the nondisclosure agreement and that it would be buried before the election. None of that is unlawful. On his reality show promo, Cohen tells viewers that he is now there to fix their problems because “the little guy doesn’t usually have access to people with my particular set of skills.” Those skills seem to have escaped all of the witnesses who were compelled to work with him. Witnesses detailed how Cohen was ridiculed as someone “prone to exaggeration” and unprofessional. Former Trump associate Hope Hicks said that Cohen was constantly trying to insinuate himself into the campaign and that he “used to like to call himself Mister Fix It, but it was only because he first broke it.” Cohen only succeeded in confirming that he put together this payment and advised Trump to go forward with it. He assured him that it would effectively kill the story before the election.

None of that is illegal. The “Fix it man” assured Trump that he fixed it and now wants Trump to go to jail for following that advice. In the course of that representation, Cohen also admitted to taping his client without his knowledge, a breathtaking breach of trust and confidentiality. This is the man who, according to Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Keith Davidson, expected to be Trump’s Attorney General. Davidson said that Cohen was “depressed and despondent” and “I thought he was going to kill himself” when he realized that he would not be made a cabinet member. Cohen contradicted Davidson and insisted that he only wanted to be Trump’s personal lawyer. He also admitted that he was unaware that the publisher of National Enquirer, David Pecker, had long killed negative stories about Trump and other celebrities for decades. Cohen has yet to fix the problem for Bragg.

More importantly, he has added to the problem for Judge Juan Merchan. Many of us have ridiculed this case as devoid of any criminal act. Indeed, Merchan has allowed the prosecutors to proceed without clearly stating what crime was being concealed. It is not even clear why paying one’s lawyer a lump sum for his services and costs (including the NDA payment) was not a “legal expense” or how it was supposed to be entered on a business ledger. Absent a sudden epiphany in his final testimony on Tuesday, Merchan should rule in favor of a directed verdict — that is, throwing the case out before it goes to a jury. If he instead sends this farcical case to the jury, it is Merchan, not Cohen, who may have a better claim to a reality show as the ultimate “Fixer.”

Read more …

“..Republicans are coming out of the woodwork to support him now that it’s safe..”

“Trump Is Innocent”: Mike Johnson Speech Outside Trump Trial In Manhattan (ZH)

Johnson, Ramaswamy, Doug Burgum, Byron Donalds, Cory Mills, and Eric and Lara Trump all joined Trump today. Johnson gave a speech. “This is the fifth week that President Trump has been in court for this sham of a trial. They are doing this intentionally to keep him here and keep him off of the campaign trail,” he said. “And I think everybody in the country can see that for what it is.” “President Trump is innocent of these charges,” he later declared. Johnson told reporters that he went to his “friend” Trump’s trial voluntarily. “I called President Trump and told him I wanted to be here myself to call out what is a travesty of justice. And I think everybody around the country can see that,” said Johnson. “President Trump is a friend and I wanted to be here to support him.” “I came here, again, today on my own to support President Trump because I am one of hundreds of millions of people, and one citizen, who is deeply concerned about this,” he added.

* * *
Now that Donald Trump’s Manhattan ‘hush money’ trial has revealed itself to be yet another Democrat farce, Republicans are coming out of the woodwork to support him now that it’s safe. On Monday, GOP Sens. J.D. Vance of Ohio (a VP hopeful) and Tomy Tuberville of Alabama went to the courthouse. Now, in a display of loyalty to Trump (and of course, optics), House Speaker Mike Johnson is reportedly expected to attend Trump’s trial, according to Axios, Other names expected to attend are North Dakota Gov. Burgum as well as Vivek Ramaswamy, both Trump VP contenders. The flood of support comes after a former attorney for Stormy Daniels – who claims she had a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump, and was paid $130,000 right before the 2016 election, testified that payments made to her weren’t “hush-money,” and were instead a “consideration.” On Monday, convicted felon and perjurer Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, testified that Trump was intimately involved in the scheme.

“Everything required Mr. Trump’s sign-off,” Cohen said, adding “What I was doing, I was doing at the direction of and benefit of Mr. Trump.” Johnson’s trip comes less than one week after House Democrats helped block an attempt by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to oust him from office over his successful ‘America Last’ effort to fund wars in Ukraine and Israel. Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly voiced support for Johnson – including during a joint appearance at Mar-a-Lago, after which he urged Republicans to table Greene’s motion to vacate.

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Includes criticism of central bank head Elvira Nabiullina. Rare. “Stalin would have long ago shot her..”

Putin Needs to Shake-Up Himself (Paul Craig Roberts)

Putin is conducting a large shake-up in the Russian government. He needs to give himself a good shaking as well. Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Russia’s Chechen providence said on Russia’s Rossiya TV channel: “I believe that we need to attack more actively, we need to hit hard while there is time. This month we need to take the nearest territory, we definitely need to take Odessa and Kharkiv. Then sit this Zelensky down and force him to sign all the papers that Russia needs for the security of our state, citizens and the Russian-speakers who live on the territory of Ukraine.” This is the second Russian war leader after Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, to express dissatisfaction with the glacially slow pace at which Putin is conducting the conflict. One wonders if Kadyrov will have a similar fate to Prigozhin.

I am not an expert on the Russian military. My impression is that the Wagner and Chechen soldiers are Russia’s best combat troops. It is a pity to waste such troops in a war conducted at a snail’s pace. The slow pace at which Putin has conducted the war has resulted in the war being greatly widened and thus made much more dangerous and difficult to resolve. Indeed, Putin is now in danger of NATO occupying Odessa before Russian troops can get there. If the West can keep Odessa and Kharkiv out of Russian hands, the war will be a defeat for Putin. It is inexplicable that Putin takes this risk. Putin’s dilemma is that a man who sees himself as an instrument of peace is a poor war leader. Curiously, Foreign Minister Lavrov says that the West has decided to prolong the war. No. The prolonged war was Putin’s decision. A war that should have been over in three weeks has lasted 27 months.

Putin’s neglect of the war’s requirements is the reason that Russians in the Russian city and region of Belgorod are slaughtered by drones and missiles on their way to work and why “Russian apartment buildings in Russian cities struck by high intensity weapons supplied to Ukraine by the West collapse on the inhabitants. The snail-paced conflict was supposed to save lives. Instead, casualties have multiplied many fold and spread to Russian civilians distant from the battlefield. Now there is a shakeup at the top of the Russian military with a civilian without military experience taking over as defense minister. I think Putin would be taken more seriously if he had appointed Ramzan Kadyrov as defense minister. Instead, Putin has stuck in an economist who, like Putin’s central bank director, is more concerned with the expense of the conflict–now one-third of the Russian budget–than they are about winning the war before it spins out of control.

The neo-liberal Putin supports as Russia’s central bank manager is a failure on all fronts. She left Russian assets in the West to be seized by Washington’s sanctions. She was unable to understand that Russia did not need loans from the West to develop economically. And now she imposes 16% interest rates on the Russian economy. Stalin would have long ago shot her. I have often wondered if Russia can survive Putin’s central bank director. Putin has done a good job of Russifying a population that was infatuated with the West. The population again thinks of itself as a distinct and proud national entity, not as a wannabe cog in globalist machinery run by Washington. Putin gets kudos for this, but his conduct of the war maximizes the likelihood of the conflict spinning out of control. Prigozhin understood this, and so does Kadyrov. Will Putin understand before his limited military operation spins into World War 3?

Read more …

The entire justice system is shaking. Look at the Trump indictments. Thomas and Alito should stand up and be heard.

Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Alito Warn About State of America (ET)

In separate remarks at two different events on Friday, Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito issued warnings about the state of affairs in America today, including support for freedom of speech “declining dangerously” and the nation’s capital becoming a “hideous” place where cancel culture runs rampant. Justice Thomas spoke at a conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Point Clear, Alabama, while Justice Alito delivered a commencement address at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Catholic college in Ohio, with both of the conservative-minded judges painting a dark picture—while encouraging action and offering hope. At the Alabama event, Justice Thomas was asked to comment by the moderator—U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle—about what it’s like to work “in a world that seems meanspirited.” “I think there’s challenges to that,” Justice Thomas said. “We’re in a world and we—certainly my wife and I the last two or three years it’s been—just the nastiness and the lies, it’s just incredible.”

Justice Thomas has faced heavy fire from Democrats who accuse him of skirting disclosure rules, of corruption in general, and of being too cozy with wealthy Republicans. They have not been able to point to any specific court cases in which the justice has misbehaved. Some activists have even pushed for Justice Thomas’s impeachment. By contrast, over 100 former Supreme Court clerks signed an open letter last year defending Justice Thomas’s integrity, calling him a man of “unwavering principle” whose independence is “unshakable.” They called various critical stories that have targeted him as “malicious” and “perpetuating the ugly assumption that the Justice cannot think for himself.” “They are part of a larger attack on the Court and its legitimacy as an institution,” the letter also stated. “The picture they paint of the Court and the man for whom we worked bears no resemblance to reality.” Public opinion polls suggest public trust in the Supreme Court recently fell to new lows.

Addressing the criticism, Justice Thomas said at the Alabama conference that Washington had become a “hideous” place where “people pride themselves in being awful,” while characterizing America beyond the Beltway as a place where regular people “don’t pride themselves in doing harmful things.” Justice Thomas also expressed concern that court writings have become inaccessible to the average person, engendering a sense of alienation. “The regular people I think are being disenfranchised sometimes by the way that we talk about cases,” Justice Thomas said, while expressing hope that this could change. Justice Alito warned graduates at the Catholic college in Ohio that freedom of speech and religion were both being assailed in today’s America, while expressing hope that young people would take up the mantle and fight for positive change. In his address, Justice Alito made a reference to pop culture, namely to a graduation speech delivered by the character Thornton Melon (played by Rodney Dangerfield) in the movie “Back to School.”

He jokingly cited Mr. Melon’s advice to graduates, which was not to go out into the world after graduating because “it’s rough out there” and instead move back in with their parents, let them pay all the bills, and “worry about it.” “As Mr. Melon said, it is rough out there,” Justice Alito said. “It’s probably rougher out there now than it has been for quite some time. But that is precisely why your contributions will be so important.” Justice Alito said that, outside the walls of the campus, “troubled waters are slamming against some of our most fundamental principles,” referring to freedom of speech. “Support for freedom of speech is declining dangerously,” he continued, noting that this problem is especially acute on college campuses, which he said are places where the exchange of ideas should be most protected.

Read more …

“..We will invite failure along the way, but if you’re not willing to fail, you’re not going to succeed.”

US Lags Behind Russia In Electronic Warfare – Ex-Pentagon Official (RT)

The US military has been surpassed by Russia and other potential adversaries in the field of electronic warfare, including jamming technology used to take down enemy weapons, a retired Pentagon official has reportedly lamented. Speaking at the SOF Week conference in Tampa, Florida, retired US Army Lieutenant General Mike Nagata warned that Washington is “still falling behind” its rivals in electronic combat. “The gap between where the United States should be and where we are, in my judgment, continues to expand not everywhere, but in far too many places,” Defense One quoted Nagata as saying. Jamming technology has become an increasingly important battlefield tool, as evidenced by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Russian forces have been successful in sending HIMARS rockets and other US-made weaponry off course, using electronic signals to scramble their guidance systems.

In fact, General Valery Zaluzhny, then Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, said in an interview last November that Russia had gained the upper hand. He called electronic warfare “the key to victory.” The Pentagon will need to be more creative in its use of radio technologies, especially space-based communications, to close the gap in the electronic warfare domain, said Nagata, who led US Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) in the Middle East. Russian jamming has reportedly reduced the accuracy rate of US-made Excalibur artillery shells to 6% from their normal level of 70%. Retired special operations officials told Defense One that Moscow had consistently invested in electromagnetic innovations for decades. While those advances were being made, the outlet said, US electronic-warfare efforts were focused on gathering intelligence in the Middle East.

Nagata said countering Russia’s jamming prowess will require more risk-taking in efforts to advance satellite communications and other technologies. “The US government, particularly its leadership – from senior military officers all the way to civilian policymakers – we have to be willing to take more risk in experimenting with, adopting and employing new technologies. We will invite failure along the way, but if you’re not willing to fail, you’re not going to succeed.” The Pentagon has reportedly been exploring the use of narrower and stronger signal bands to overcome jamming attempts. However, Mark Cancian, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told Business Insider that “game changers” should not be expected. “The other side always develops countermeasures that reduce effectiveness,” he said.

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Of course. There’s no other way to be an elite.

Western Elites Want To Prosper At The Expense Of Others – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has set the stage for his state visit to China by praising efforts by Moscow and Beijing to build a “just, multipolar world order” as Western leaders try to retain global dominance by disregarding the sovereign interests of other countries. In an interview with Xinhua News Agency that was published on Tuesday, Putin said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had achieved the strongest Russia-China relations in history by relying on “the principles of equality and trust,” as well as mutual respect for each sovereign nation’s interests. He contrasted that approach with Western attitudes toward other nations. “Earth is the cradle of humanity, our common home, and we are all equal as its inhabitants,” Putin said. “I am convinced that this view is shared by most people on the planet.”

However, he added, US led Western elites refuse to respect civilizational and cultural diversity and reject centuries-old traditional values, and have usurped the right to tell other nations whom they may or must not make friends and cooperate with. They seek to ensure their well being at the expense of other states, just like in the old days, and resort to neo-colonial methods to that end, Putin said. Putin is scheduled to begin his two-day visit to China on Thursday. Just as Xi chose Russia for his first foreign trip after being reelected last year, the Russian leader is heading to Beijing after winning his fifth term as president. The leaders sat down for more than five hours of face-to-face talks during Xi’s trip to Moscow in March 2023. During the meeting, the Chinese president reiterated his “long-term commitment” to strengthening the ties and practical cooperation between the two states.

The Ukraine conflict is currently among the top issues on that agenda. Putin noted that from the outset of the crisis, China had worked to find a diplomatic solution. Neither Ukraine nor its Western backers were ready for an “an equal, honest and open dialogue based on mutual respect and consideration of each other’s interests,” he told Xinhua. Even as the West tried to wreck the Russian economy with sanctions, trade between Russia and China surged to nearly $228 billion, more than doubling 2019’s volume. “Given global turbulence and economic issues in the West, such results prove yet again the strategic wisdom of our sovereign course and pursuit of national interests,” Putin said. Beijing has consistently refused to blame Russia for the fighting in Ukraine, arguing that the expansion of NATO and Washington’s “Cold-War mentality” are the root causes of the confrontation.

Read more …

None of it includes the west…

Russia-China Relations At Highest Level Ever, Still Strengthen – Putin (Sp.)

Relations between China and the Russian Federation are stronger than ever and continuing to strengthen, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. “Today, Russia-China relations have reached the highest level ever, and despite the difficult global situation continue to get stronger,” Putin said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency, ahead of a state visit to China. Putin said that the unprecedented level of strategic partnership between Russia and China contributed to his decision to choose China for his first state visit after his most recent inauguration as President of the Russian Federation. Russia-China trade and economic relations are developing rapidly and are showing immunity to external challenges, Putin said.

“Trade and economic relations between our countries are developing at a fast pace, showing strong immunity to external challenges and crises. Over the past five years, we have doubled the Russia-China turnover: it reached US$227.8 billion last year, against US$111 billion in 2019,” Putin said in an interview with China’s Xinhua news agency. Putin said more than 90% of settlements between Russian and Chinese companies are made in the countries’ national currencies. “So it would be more accurate to say that bilateral trade currently totals about 20 trillion rubles [about $219 billion], or nearly 1.6 trillion yuan. China has remained our key business partner for 13 years, and in 2023, Russia ranked 4th among the PRC’s major trading partners,” he said.

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“..Arafat was right..”

Just How Confused Is US Foreign Policy Right Now? (Jay)

Arafat was right. He knew at the Camp David Summit of 2000 that if he signed the deal offered to him – 92 percent of Gaza and 100 percent of West Bank – of a new Palestinian state, that in a matter of only hours the Israelis would have cheated him and invaded, given that the most controversial point of the deal was that they would both have to be demilitarized.

Today the case to distrust America and Israel is even stronger. Our parents who witnessed the Camp David Summit and before that the Oslo Accords of 1993 – both Bill Clinton’s failed attempt at creating a two-state solution within Israel for the Palestinians – would not believe what we are witnessing now, since the massacre of October 7th. Israel has been not only allowed but goaded into what is clearly becoming obviously a policy of ethnic cleansing in Gaza and western media are asking us to believe that there is reason to this madness which lets Israel bomb innocent civilians while sending food aid. Israel successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of around half a million Gazans to move to Rafah which was supposed to be a ‘safe zone’ only to take the genocide to the next level and murder them en masse while they are there – all under the eyes of the so-called international community which witnesses the failure of international law which should have prevented the IDF from even making it to the border crossing itself with Egypt, incidentally part of the Camp David agreement in the 70s.

Is Biden really running the U.S.? The only inkling which might indicate that he is, would be the incoherent decisions and actions by him and his administration, not to mention the State Department which concluded in a report recently that probably Israel was breaking international law by almost certainly using U.S. weapons to bomb Gazans in Rafah. But the report seemed to be a self-lancing boil. While it pointed the finger, it also pardoned Israel for its war crimes, thus encouraging the government to continue, led by Netanyahu who, in the late 90s when he became prime minister in Israel delivered an award-winning performance for Clinton whereby he and his government showed it was committed to the ethos of Oslo and Camp David accords. In reality it was a bluff as he cheated even a naïve U.S. president leaving the Palestinians to exercise their only tool they had in the coming years: terrorism.

Biden, when he is lucid, is less naïve about the game of cat and mouse which Netanyahu is playing and winning. The move by him to temporarily block arms deliveries to the IDF is of course a bluff as he knows very well that for at least a couple of months Israel has enough stocks. The truth of the ruse is that the U.S. itself is very low indeed on ammo and that Biden is actually giving the manufacturers some time to replenish their own stocks while he attempts to beguile a gullible U.S. public that he actually cares about Palestinian lives. The reality is that he has no real problem with them being mowed down like rats in a pen. He simply can’t state that though so pretends to be disturbed about the genocide which, according to the Palestinian health authority has reached 37,000 deaths. Nothing compared to the Holocaust of WWII right?

Read more …

Get out of jail free:

“The link was mistakenly blocked and was quickly restored once the issue was discovered.”

RFK Jr. and AV24 Super PAC Sue Meta, Alleging Election Interference (ET)

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and the super PAC backing him have filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms, Inc., for election interference after it allegedly shadow banned the documentary “Who is Bobby Kennedy?” on Facebook and Instagram. American Values 2024 (AV24) announced in a May 13 press release that they have filed the lawsuit in a California district court for violating the First Amendment and “the American people’s fundamental right to a presidential election decided by voters, not by trillion-dollar corporations.” The complaint alleges that Meta “brazenly” censored speech supportive of Mr. Kennedy, then lied about its actions. According to the complaint, Meta “sent users messages threatening to suspend their accounts or otherwise punish them if they sought to watch, share or even post a link to the film. And they made good on these threats, disabling and suspending users who did so.”

In addition, the complaint says that Meta stated that the film contained improper sexual or violent content. When users attempted to comment, those comments were removed, the complaint alleges. “Under the Support and Advocacy Clause of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, private companies and their officers and employees cannot in concert seek to prevent by force, threat or intimidation any citizen from engaging lawful speech supporting or advocating the election of a presidential candidate,” the complaint says. After AV24 released the documentary, it began trending on X. However, Facebook and Instagram—both Meta-owned—allegedly suppressed “the organic reach of content they don’t want to spread,” the PAC said in a May 6 press release. The film was also labeled with a COVID-19 vaccine disclaimer that referred users to other sources such as the Center for Disease Control’s website, the complaint said.

In response to The Epoch Times’ request for comment on the allegation last week, a spokesperson for Meta stated, “The link was mistakenly blocked and was quickly restored once the issue was discovered.” In response to a request for an updated comment on the allegation of election interference in the lawsuit, a Meta spokesperson repeated the above statement. AV24 said in its lawsuit that Meta’s claim of accidental censorship is “implausible on its face” and contradicts “the numerous messages users received from Meta offering other, equally implausible explanations.” The documentary film, released May 3, is narrated by actor Woody Harrelson. The film is a biography of Mr. Kennedy aimed at providing a look into who he is as opposed to how mainstream media portray him.

It begins with Mr. Kennedy quoting from various media reports that paint him as a “mentally disturbed” conspiracy theorist instead of an environmental attorney who took on corporate malfeasance. It discusses how he went after the pharmaceutical industry after meeting with mothers who believed vaccines injured their children. “Right now big oil funds the Republicans, Big Tech funds the Democrats, Big Pharma and the military contractors make sure to donate to both,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Who is liberal now and who is conservative? Who’s left and who’s right? These labels make less and less sense. I’ve been fighting corporate corruption for 40 years. I know how they work. I know how to clean them up. And that’s why I’m running for president.”

Read more …

“..such an escalation could actually occur if the West decides that it would be “reasonably safe” and beneficial to its interests..”

West Considering Large-Scale Conflict – Russian Spy Chief (RT)

A number of Western leaders believe they would be able to maintain their hegemony if they plunge the world deeper into turmoil, information possessed by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) suggests, according to the agency’s head, Sergey Naryshkin. The SVR chief’s statements come as French President Emmanuel Macron and several officials from the Baltic states have repeatedly hinted in recent months at the possibility of deploying Western troops to Ukraine. Russia has warned that such a move would escalate the conflict. Speaking during a plenary meeting of the Federation Council on Tuesday, Naryshkin stated that his agency had obtained information that “some Euro-Atlantic politicians consider it possible to unleash a large-scale military conflict in order to maintain their hegemony.”

He noted that there are “strong reasons” to believe that such an escalation could actually occur if the West decides that it would be “reasonably safe” and beneficial to its interests. However, the spy chief admitted that there are also “truly responsible” global and regional players in the world who, if united, could have the potential to “ensure the impossibility of unleashing such a conflict, including the use of nuclear weapons.” Russian special services will continue to monitor the development of the situation “very closely,” Naryshkin stated.

Macron has consistently refused to rule out the idea of sending NATO forces into Ukraine, calling such threats “necessary” to maintain the West’s “strategic ambiguity.” While NATO and most of its members, as well as the EU, have vehemently denied the possibility of such a move, Lithuania has backed Macron’s proposal. Meanwhile, Madis Roll, the national security adviser to Estonian President Alar Karis, has also stated that Tallinn was “seriously” considering sending troops to fill “rear” roles in Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that any NATO troop deployment to Ukraine would be treated as a major escalation and would almost certainly lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the US-led bloc. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also pointed out that any NATO troops that appear in the conflict zone would “inevitably become targets for the Russian military,” as would any foreign-supplied weapons used to strike Russian territory, no matter if they are deployed in Ukraine or elsewhere.

Read more …

There we go again.

Erdogan Holds Emergency Meeting Following Coup Warning (Sp.)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held an emergency meeting with the heads of intelligence and the ministry of justice after his fellow party member, Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli, had warned of a possible coup d’état being prepared by law enforcement agencies, the Turkiye newspaper on Wednesday. The dismissal of several police officers in Ankara’s security directorate accused of links to criminal organization Ayhan Bora Kaplan has caused widespread concern. Their homes had been searched to seize digital materials. Bahceli has said the situation could be a conspiracy against the government, and the suspension of several police officers alone cannot be avoided. The official, while addressing a party meeting in parliament, has warned of a possible repeat of the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

Erdogan held the emergency overnight meeting with Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc and National Intelligence Organization Director Ibrahim Kalin at the president’s residence following a warning from Bahceli, the report said. The Turkish president is expected to speak on the topic at an expanded meeting of the ruling party in the parliament on Wednesday. A Sputnik correspondent reported that Turkish citizens have since been actively posting messages in support of Erdogan on social media platform X with the hashtag #DevletimizinYanındayız, which translates as “we stand by our state,” and images of the Turkish president with words of support and quotes.

The Turkish government has accused Members of the organization of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen (FETO) of being responsible for a coup attempt in 2016. Over 80,000 people have been arrested in Turkey and some 150,000 civil servants and military personnel have been dismissed or suspended from their jobs over suspected links to FETO. Gulen, who has lived in self-exile in the US since 1999, rejected the accusations and condemned the coup attempt.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Hodkinson

 

 

Jordan Peterson

 

 

My bitches
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790322921216315516

 

 

Ali

 

 

Pouch time

 

 

Anaconda
https://twitter.com/i/status/1790306677226389996

 

 

 

 

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Mar 112024
 
 March 11, 2024  Posted by at 9:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  36 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Femmes d’Alger -Women of Algiers (after Delacroix) 1955

 

A Trump Criminal Trial Could Run Right Through 2024 Election (Turley)
Orban Says Trump Pledged Not to Provide Financial Aid to Ukraine (Sp.)
Old Man Shouting, “The American Empire is Doing Great!” (Patrick Lawrence)
Can Americans Have Hope? (Paul Craig Roberts)
No Borders? No America (Justin Smith)
NATO Can No Longer Hide Its Military Presence in Ukraine – Zakharova (Sp.)
France Just Can’t Calm Down, Itching to Start World War III (Sp.)
West Is Conducting ‘All-Out Militarization’ To Defeat Russia – Vucic (ZH)
‘We Shouldn’t Have Gone Into Ukraine’ – Biden (RT)
Islamic World Has Let Palestinians Down – Erdogan (RT)
Erdogan Among ‘Greatest Anti-Semites In History’ – Israeli FM (RT)
Harvard University, Formerly Great, now Corrupted by Money (Paul Craig Roberts)
Special Counsel Files Blistering Reply to Hunter Motion to Dismiss (Turley)
Open Letter to the People of Switzerland, Federal Council, Parliament (GR)
UK Ranked Second-Most Miserable Country In The World (RT)

 

 

 

 

Pelosi Schumer

 

 

Obama

 

 

 

 

Zhirinovsky

 

 

Tucker Steve Kirsch

 

 

Tucker Jordan Peterson, Conrad Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Smith insisted that the oft-cited Justice Department policy to avoid such proceedings within 60 days of an election would not be applied in Trump’s case..”

A Trump Criminal Trial Could Run Right Through 2024 Election (Turley)

“This trial will not yield to the election cycle.” Those words of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan last year made clear that she will not consider that Donald Trump will likely be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee in setting the schedule for his federal trial in Washington, D.C. Most recently, in the federal prosecution in Florida, Special Counsel Jack Smith declared that he will not consider himself bound by the Justice Department’s longstanding policy of not bringing charges or holding trials of candidates close to an election. With the Supreme Court reviewing the immunity question (and a decision not expected until June), a nightmare scenario is unfolding in which Trump could be tried not just before the general election, but actually through November’s election. Chutkan has insisted that her refusal to consider Trump’s candidacy is simply denying special treatment to the former president.

But there is nothing typical about how she and others have handled the case. The fact that Chutkan was pushing for a March trial date shows just how extraordinary her handling has been. In the D.C. courts, with thousands of stacked up cases, that would be a rocket docket for a complex case of this kind. There are roughly 770,000 pending cases in roughly 100 district courts around the country. The backlog of pending criminal cases in the federal court system increased by more than a quarter in the last five years. Even when defendants plead guilty, criminal cases average 10 months. If a trial is needed, it runs on average to two years, absent serious complications over classified or privileged material. Smith indicted Trump less than a year ago. At every juncture, Smith has tried to expedite and spur the case along. This has included an attempt to cut off standard appellate options for Trump. It seems as if the entire point is to try Trump before the election. Smith has offered no reason, other than that he wants voters to consider the outcome of the trial.

It is a rare acknowledgement of a desire for a trial to become a factor in an election. Chutkan has shown the same determination. The judge was criticized for comments she made before any charges were brought that strongly suggested she thought Trump should be criminally charged. Chutkan told one defendant that he showed “blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.” In another case, Chutkan told the defendant that it was unfair that he might go to prison but “the architects of that horrific event will likely never be charged.” When asked to recuse herself, Chutkan denied the clear implication of her own words. She stated that she has not expressly stated that “’President Trump should be prosecuted’ and imprisoned… And the defense does not cite any instance of the court ever uttering those words or anything similar.” Of course, neither the court nor the prosecutors seem willing to apply a similarly deferential view of the meaning of Trump’s words within the context of the case.

There, the implications are sufficient for that “one person” described earlier by the court. Chutkan is now reportedly telling parties in other cases that she will be out of the country in August, and that defendants will have to delay any proceedings in light of her plans…unless she can try Trump. She told lawyers that she will stick with her schedule unless “I’m in trial in another matter that has not yet returned to my calendar.” Given the apparent motivation of the trial court to try Trump before the election, the only other source of restraint would be the Justice Department itself. Smith, however, has insisted that he will show no such restraint, even if he tries Trump through the election. In his filings in Florida, Smith insisted that the oft-cited Justice Department policy to avoid such proceedings within 60 days of an election would not be applied in Trump’s case. He insisted that, since everyone knows about the allegations, there would be no harm or foul in holding him for trial for the weeks before the election as his opponent, President Biden, is free to traverse the country campaigning.

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“Trump said that if he returns, he will not do this, [he will] not [allocate] a penny. And then this war will end..”

Orban Says Trump Pledged Not to Provide Financial Aid to Ukraine (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump said that he would not provide financial assistance to Ukraine if elected this fall, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. On Friday, Trump met with Orban at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida to discuss a wide range of issues of common interest for Hungary and the United States. “If the Americans do not give weapons and money, and the Europeans follow them, then the war will end. If the Americans do not give money, then the Europeans are not able to finance this war themselves, and then it will end.

Trump is not president now, but his party interferes when the Democrats want to send money to the war. Trump said that if he returns, he will not do this, [he will] not [allocate] a penny. And then this war will end,” Orban said in an interview with Hungarian broadcaster M1. Trump and Orban are longtime allies who share conservative political views and have publicly expressed mutual respect and support. Orban has thrown support behind Trump both in the US presidential race and the legal challenges he is facing.

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“These are ideas so old they leave the U.S. in a state of ever more extreme isolation in a world eager to get on with the 21st century..”

Old Man Shouting, “The American Empire is Doing Great!” (Patrick Lawrence)

Democratic elites and the reporters who clerk for them were effusively approving of Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech last Thursday evening—not so much for what he said, which came nothing new, as for the demeanor of our enfeebled president. Never mind that Biden reduced an occasion intended to address all Americans as to the condition of their nation to a cheap stump speech. He avoided falling down for his hour at the podium while stringing coherent sentences (mostly) together in the cause of his political survival. That is what counted. “This was not Old Man Joe,” Peter Baker fairly ejaculated in Friday morning’s New York Times. “This was Forceful Joe. This was Angry Joe. This was Loud Joe. This was Game–On Joe.” Wow. I seemed to have missed that, Joe.

I saw Joe who trades in hollow appearances. This was Joe urging both houses of Congress and 32 million television viewers to join in making believe we still live in the 20th century. This was Joe pretending America’s global primacy is intact. This was Joe refusing to recognize the emergence of new poles of power and the high cost this refusal exacts. “A nation that stands as a beacon to the world. A nation in a new age of possibilities”: You wouldn’t believe an American public figure, to say nothing of a president, would still trade in this kind of exhausted pabulum. Denial of this kind, we must not fail to remind ourselves, does not come cheap. You have to wonder who is driving the bus after listening to a speech as vapid as Biden’s, and I will attempt an answer to this question in due course. Here is the passage in Biden’s speech that most aroused all the Peter Baker liberals eager to see him reelected in November:

“My fellow Americans, the issue facing our nation isn’t how old we are, it’s how old are our ideas…. [Y]ou can’t lead America with ancient ideas that only take us back. To lead America, the land of possibilities, you need a vision for the future and what can and should be done.” These remarks—Biden rehearsed them severally in preceding days—bring us to some very difficult recognitions, even if Biden’s speechwriters intended them otherwise. No recent president I can think of has proven more abjectly bereft of new ideas than Joe Biden. The reckless support of “the Jewish state,” the proxy war in Ukraine, the obsessive Russophobia, the provocations across the Taiwan Strait, the covert operations in Syria and elsewhere, the sanction regimes imposed on too many nations to count, the vassalization of Europe: There is no new thinking in any of this. These are ideas so old they leave the U.S. in a state of ever more extreme isolation in a world eager to get on with the 21st century. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., is the face of the American imperium as it insists on prolonging itself. This is not a role with any originality or vision to it.

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“..the elites could permit Trump to assume the Presidency because they know that they can prevent him from achieving what those who elected him want..”

“.. If all else fails, the bullets that destroyed JFK and RFK are available.”

Can Americans Have Hope? (Paul Craig Roberts)

The issue that faces us is: There is no possibility whatever of Biden being reelected. The fool lined up with Israel in the genocide of the Palestinian people. The fool has lost the war in Ukraine that absorbed untold billions of American money. The fool has violated his oath of office and has not only allowed but has actively participated in bringing in during his 4 years 48 cities the size of Pittsburgh full of immigrant-invaders, actually flying in at the expense of US taxpayers 320,000 immigrant-invaders. The fool is signing over to an international bureaucracy, WHO, the determination of your health care, which as of May of this year will be out of your hands. I could go on, but how can a candidate described by his own Department of Justice to be too incompetent to stand trial for his illegal possession of secret national security documents be sufficiently competent to be President of the United States and to have in his incompetent hands, so ruled by his own Justice Department, the nuclear briefcase?

How can the Democrats run a candidate for president who has been ruled incompetent by his own government? How is it that Democrat state judges, attorneys general, and secretaries of state illegitimately rule that Trump cannot be on the Democrat states ballots because he is an “insurrectionist”? Trump has not been convicted as an insurrectionist. Why do these dumbshit Demorats think that their assertion amounts to a conviction? Moreover the 14th Amendment assigns that decision to the US Congress, not to state judges, attorney generals, and secretaries of state. Are the Democrats so utterly stupid and incompetent that they do not understand basic law and cannot understand that they are asserting a power that they do not have? Yes, I believe that is the case. For decades Democrats have been appointing legal and constitutional illiterates to the judiciary, knowing that the only way Democrats can achieve a one-party tyrannical state is by using stupid people to weaponize law.

With polls showing that 90% of the voting population regard Biden as too old or too incapable to serve as president, why are the Democrats running him? Is it because they have no other candidate? Or is it because the Democrats have a plan to move Trump aside and neutralize him? Biden has nonexistent chances of winning. This makes it impossible for the Democrats to steal the third national election in a row. To steal an election the vote count has to be close. Otherwise, it is not believable. Perhaps the Democrats have a plan for derailing Trump? Earlier I suggested that the Democrats would have Biden resign for medical reasons. Kamala would become president. She would be instructed to choose Hillary as her VP and then resign herself. This would leave Hillary and her machine in power prior to the election. Then the border conflict between Washington and Texas would be heated up. There would be talk of civil war, and the prospect would be used by Hillary to declare martial law to put down rebellion and cancel the election.

As much sense as this makes for the Democrats, there is little evidence that they are moving in this direction. So how will they keep Trump out of office? As Trump has declared war on the American ruling elites,they are determined to keep him away from power. Has Trump been re-educated so that he no longer wants normal relations with Russia? We know he is in Israel’s pocket, which is a great gift to the control that the establishment has over Trump. The question before us is: Does Trump want vindication by reelection more than he wants to overthrow the elite and return government to the people as democracy requires? If he hasn’t struck a deal with the elites, why would they allow him, their enemy, be in the Oval Office? Could it be that the elite know how much more powerful they are compared to a mere US president? When it comes down to the question, what can Trump do?

If he is able to understand the situation and to identify people able and willing to help him take power from the ruling elite and to restore power to the people, he still has the problem of getting a bought-and-paid-for US Senate to approve his appointments. Remember, Trump’s appointment of General Flynn lasted two weeks. My updated opinion is that the elites could permit Trump to assume the Presidency because they know that they can prevent him from achieving what those who elected him want, thereby demoralizing the American citizens who had hope that a leader would restore and revitalize their nation. They know that they can orchestrate an economic catastrophe that would destroy Trump’s presidency and keep Republicans out of office for many years. If all else fails, the bullets that destroyed JFK and RFK are available. There is no doubt that the corrupt US media would attribute Trump’s assassination to “a lone gunman.”

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“Don’t let the enemies-from-within end America in so despicable a manner. Don’t let this be how America ends..”

No Borders? No America (Justin Smith)

Former President Donald Trump has promised to start the largest mass deportation of illegal aliens in U.S. history, if he wins the upcoming election, and he plans to use the military to implement it, rightfully so. As reported in the Washington Post [February 21st 2024], Karoline Leavitt, spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, stated: “Americans can expect that immediately upon President Trump’s return to the Oval Office, he will restore all his prior policies, implement brand new crackdowns that will send shock waves to all the world’s criminal smugglers, and marshal every federal and state power necessary to institute the largest deportation operation in American history” as she also added that illegal aliens “should not get comfortable because very soon they will be going home.”

We have the absolute right and a duty as sovereign citizens, living in sovereign states, to defend ourselves and our families, in the wake of a lawless federal government, this lawless Biden regime. The authority rests within the Constitution which has always allowed for the use of the States’ militias or the military to be mobilized for just such circumstances, and although we can be certain that Biden and some state governors will keep refusing to utilize the mechanisms at their disposal to fast-track the removal of these invaders, we have the right to gather ourselves armed with pistols and rifles — those of us able with the time and backbone to do so — to go to the border and tell the Border Patrol to do join us and do their Constitutional duty to stop the millions more who will try to cross between now and January 2025.

I oft suggested in years past, half-jokingly, not so much anymore, that we should put them on a plane, parachutes optional, and shove them out over Mexico. This comment has become so much more full of meaning, now that we know the Biden regime has actively been seeking out these illegal caravans and flying their members into America. No matter how they arrive, by a fast jet, a slow boat or a reliable bus or train, we must send them back on a super-charged bus or jet just as quickly. Set about to deport every last one of them, and then effectively and totally seal the border and place a ten year moratorium on all immigration, legal and illegal, or until we have our nation and our population straightened out in a fashion that puts us back on a path to the same level of exceptionalism that used to be the rule in America and removes or eradicates, with extreme prejudice, those radicals who seek to fundamentally transform America and end our republic.

Don’t let the enemies-from-within end America in so despicable a manner. Don’t let this be how America ends. Fight back like hell, and when the time is right, make the bastards who have committed this treason against America pay with their own lives.

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“..France and Poland have no right to speak on behalf of NATO, and the alliance’s intervention in the conflict would “erase the path to diplomacy.”

NATO Can No Longer Hide Its Military Presence in Ukraine – Zakharova (Sp.)

Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova commented on the statement by Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski about the presence of soldiers NATO countries in Ukraine, telling Sputnik: “They couldn’t hide it any longer.” Earlier in the day, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said during a panel discussion at an event dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the country’s accession to the alliance that some NATO countries have already sent their military to Ukraine. The event was broadcasted on the Sejm RP YouTube channel. “NATO soldiers are already present in Ukraine,” Sikorski said. Sikorski added that he is not going to disclose which states sent their military there, “unlike some politicians.” Earlier, the diplomat Sikorski said that the presence of NATO forces in Ukraine “was not unthinkable,” adding that he appreciated Macron’s initiative on the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, in turn, expressed his opinion that Warsaw needs to build a large airport to transport NATO troops. At the end of February, Macron said that France would do everything to prevent Russia “from winning this war.” According to him, the leaders of Western countries have discussed the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine and, although no consensus had been reached in this regard, nothing could be ruled out. Later, the French president, who was sharply criticized for his statements, noted that all his words were carefully considered. He also emphasized that Paris “has no limits or red lines” on the issue of assistance to Kiev. At the same time, the authorities of many European countries stated that there is no talk of transferring military personnel to Ukraine. In particular, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Defense Minister Boris Pistorius emphasized that Germany would not send its military personnel to the republic.

In addition, the head of the German government clarified that NATO countries as a whole are not going to do this. Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto likewise said that France and Poland have no right to speak on behalf of NATO, and the alliance’s intervention in the conflict would “erase the path to diplomacy.” Commenting on Sikorski’s revelation, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik that the alliance’s members could no longer hide it. In his annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly in late February, President Vladimir Putin warned that the consequences of a possible NATO intervention in Ukraine would be tragic for the alliance’s deployed troops.

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“It is not for Russia to tell us how we should help Ukraine in the coming months or years..”

France Just Can’t Calm Down, Itching to Start World War III (Sp.)

France is forming a coalition of nations that are willing to consider the possibility of deploying Western forces to Ukraine, Politico reports. On Friday, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné travelled to Lithuania to hold a meeting with his Baltic and Ukrainian counterparts to promote the idea that foreign forces might assist Ukraine in tasks such as de-mining. Séjourné repeatedly mentioned mine clearance operations as a potential area of assistance, stating it “might mean having some personnel, [but] not to fight.” “It is not for Russia to tell us how we should help Ukraine in the coming months or years,” Séjourné said at a meeting chaired by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and attended by his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.

The newspaper recalled French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks about the possibility of sending servicemen from Western countries to Ukraine. Subsequently most EU members, including Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland, clarified they had no such plans. However, as Politico writes, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania appeared “much more open to the idea.” Commenting on Macron’s statements, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that NATO troops’ potential boots on the ground in Ukraine will lead to an inevitable conflict between Russia and the alliance. Russia has repeatedly warned NATO countries that arms supplies to Ukraine would be considered legitimate targets. Moscow has accused NATO countries of “playing with fire” by arming Ukraine, emphasizing that such actions hinder the possibility of Russia-Ukraine negotiations.

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“The current trend is toward total militarization and a five-fold build-up in all respects..”

West Is Conducting ‘All-Out Militarization’ To Defeat Russia – Vucic (ZH)

Last week we detailed that during Ukrainian President Zelensky’s visit to Albania where he appealed for more weapons from Balkan countries, he pushed the idea that all Western-friendly Balkan states should have a pathway to the EU and NATO. And at the same time French President Emmanuel Macron has been busy floating the possibility of Western troops deploying to Ukraine. Albania is of course a chief regional rival to Moscow’s close ally and friend Serbia. Jahja Muhasilovic, a political analyst on the Balkans, had commented of Zelensky’s rare Balkan trip that “Albania is known to be one of the staunchest supporters of limiting Russia’s influence here in the region.” “In a way, Zelensky’s visit in Albania is having that geopolitical connotation. He is probably counting on the Western Balkan countries not to help them militarily because they are limited, but through their lobbying part that they can play in continuing the armament of the Ukrainian troops,” he explained.

In fresh comments this weekend, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has weighed in and responded to ongoing calls from Western officials to urgently send more weapons to Kiev. Vucic has accused the West of pursuing a policy of “total militarization” toward defeating Russian, which puts the region and the world on the brink of disaster and stumbling to WW3. “What is happening now is madness,” he was cited in regional media as saying. “They all thought that Putin would be easily defeated. Now they see that this is not so.” “The current trend is toward total militarization and a five-fold build-up in all respects,” the Serbian president said further during a visit to the Belgrade Military Technical Institute. Vucic has also warned against European countries sending their troops to Ukraine to confront Russian forces, saying this would immediately and unpredictably escalate the war.

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“He didn’t mix it up. He can no longer retain to himself what everyone understands – the US have disgraced themselves in the bloodiest manner with the whole Ukrainian project..”

‘We Shouldn’t Have Gone Into Ukraine’ – Biden (RT)

In another of his gaffes, Joe Biden has said that Washington made a mistake by going into Ukraine. The US president was actually talking about a different country in another part of the world. In the course of an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, Biden was criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that by ignoring civilian casualties during the IDF’s military operation in Gaza, he was “hurting Israel more than he’s helping Israel.” According to the latest data from the Gaza health ministry, 31,045 people have been killed and 72,654 others wounded since October 7, after which the IDF began its attacks on the Palestinian enclave in response to the Hamas incursion into Israel, in which an estimated 1,200 people lost their lives and over 200 were taken hostage. Biden recalled how, during his visit to Israel early in the conflict, he had warned Netanyahu against making a “mistake” that the US made after 9/11.

“America made a mistake. We went after Osama bin Laden until we got him, but we shouldn’t have gone into Ukraine…” the 81-year-old said. The president quickly corrected himself, saying: “We shouldn’t have gone into the whole thing in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Those military campaigns by the US “caused more problems than they cured,” he added. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova infused the subject with a little sarcasm and said Moscow actually disagreed with the reporting in the media, that Biden had simply confused Ukraine with Iraq and Afghanistan. “He didn’t mix it up. He can no longer retain to himself what everyone understands – the US have disgraced themselves in the bloodiest manner with the whole Ukrainian project,” she wrote on Telegram on Sunday.

After repelling Ukraine’s counteroffensive last year, Russian forces have been steadily improving frontline positions, capturing the strategic stronghold of Adveevka in Russia’s People’s Republic of Donetsk last month, and several other settlements. Washington has been Ukraine’s primary backer since the escalation to armed confrontation in February 2022 of long-simmering conflicts between Moscow and Kiev, and has provided over $111 billion in military and financial assistance. However, in recent months, US aid has subsided drastically as the Biden administration struggles to overcome Republicans’ resistance to its efforts at pushing through another $60-billion in aid for Ukraine. It’s not the first time that Biden has confused countries and places. In June, he said that “Putin is losing the war in Iraq.” In a more recent blunder, he said a week ago that the US and partners were discussing “airdrops of food and supplies into Ukraine,” while actually meaning proposed airdrops into Gaza.

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They left it all to the Houthis.

Islamic World Has Let Palestinians Down – Erdogan (RT)

Muslim-majority countries did not do enough to stop Israeli forces from killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. He made his comment as the war between Israel and Hamas entered its sixth month. “We have all witnessed together how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights became just a piece of paper when it comes to the right to live for Palestinian children, women and innocent civilians,” the Turkish leader said at an event in Istanbul on Saturday. Erdogan went on to argue that the war in the Middle East “has shown us that the Islamic world still has very significant shortcomings, especially in terms of acting in unity” when attempting to pressure Israel to end its operation in Gaza. Unfortunately, the Islamic world, with its population of nearly 2 billion people, has failed to properly fulfil its brotherly duty to the Palestinians.

The president said that, despite the “hard work and many efforts in the diplomatic field,” the Muslim-majority countries ultimately “could not prevent the deaths of innocent children of Gaza from hunger, bullets and bombs.” Ankara has delivered some 40,000 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza by air and sea, Erdogan said. The remarks came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the offensive on Rafah, a major city near Gaza’s border with Egypt. The city and its surroundings became crowded with refugees after the Israel Defense Forces instructed Palestinians to flee the northern part of the enclave. Netanyahu has rejected international calls for a ceasefire, arguing that the IDF must clear out “the last Hamas stronghold” in Rafah. Israel declared war on Hamas after the militant group unexpectedly attacked southern Israeli cities on October 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages. More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the fighting began last year, according to local authorities.

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“Netanyahu and his hateful administration have added their names to the list of ‘today’s Nazis’ alongside Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot, Franco and other assassins of the modern era..”

Erdogan Among ‘Greatest Anti-Semites In History’ – Israeli FM (RT)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ranks among the worst anti-Semites in history because of his stance on the Gaza conflict, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has claimed.In a speech on Saturday, Erdogan compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Nazi German dictator Adolf Hitler, referring to the relentless IDF attacks on Gaza, which have killed at least 30,960 people and wounded 72,524 others, according to the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave. He also again refused to label Hamas a terrorist organization, saying Ankara “firmly backs” the leadership of the Palestinian armed group. Katz, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, responded to the Turkish president’s remarks a few hours later on X (formerly Twitter), in both Hebrew and Turkish.

Hamas committed “murders and sexual assaults” during its incursion into Israel on October 7, in which more than 1,100 people were killed and some 240 taken hostage, he said, claiming that Erdogan’s support for the group makes him one “of the greatest oppressors and anti-Semites in history. ”Türkiye has become “the largest supporter of terrorism in the world, along with Iran,” which brings “shame” on the country, the diplomat insisted. In his address in Istanbul, Erdogan, who has been among the harshest critics of Israel in recent months, said the leadership of the Jewish state was responsible for “crimes against humanity” in Gaza. “Netanyahu and his hateful administration have added their names to the list of ‘today’s Nazis’ alongside Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot, Franco and other assassins of the modern era,” he argued.

What is happening in Gaza has “already surpassed the limits of tolerance,” the Turkish leader insisted. “Backed by the unlimited military and diplomatic support of Western powers, Israel, which is a state of terror, is carrying out an all-out policy of genocide against our Palestinian brothers and sisters.” Erdogan noted that Türkiye has already provided some 40,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza by air and sea. He urged the Muslim world to do more to end the hostilities, saying it has so far “failed to properly fulfill its brotherly duty to the Palestinians.” Netanyahu insisted earlier this week that the mounting international pressure for a truce will not make Israel give up on its goal of achieving “total victory in war” against Hamas.

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“..Harvard is devoid of intelligence and of integrity. The reason is that Harvard is flush with Big Pharma research money..”

“..What do we make of a country where money is the only value, where even universities, allegedly centers of learning, prefer money to truth?”

Harvard University, Formerly Great, now Corrupted by Money (Paul Craig Roberts)

Harvard University has just announced that the university has dropped its Covid “vaccine” mandate that the university has coerced students to accept. It would be interesting to know how many Harvard students the mandate murdered and how many whose health has been ruined by the stupid and irresponsible Harvard administrators’ mandate. It also raises the question of how smart Harvard students really are that they would risk an untested “vaccine.” Harvard says, nevertheless, “We strongly recommend that all members of the Harvard community stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters. Additionally, we continue to emphasize the benefits of wearing a high-quality face mask in crowded indoor settings.” The university says it still requires that all students supply evidence that they had the initial jab. The university goes on to say in responding to COVID-19 that “we will continue to monitor public health data and will periodically review requirements.”

Harvard is allegedly an intelligent institution with a medical school and allegedly has a faculty and administrators capable of assessing facts and making intelligent decisions. Yet we see no sign of any intelligence in the university’s much belated dropping of the vax mandate. We have know for a long time that the mRNA “vaccines” do not prevent a Covid vaccinated person from getting infected with Covid and do not prevent transmission of the virus. Big Pharma Covid vaccine makers themselves now admit this, as do medical authorities. Indeed, the evidence is piling up that the vax makes it more likely for a person to catch Covid. We also know and it has now been admitted–that the mRNA “vaccines” have all of the deadly and health damaging effects that the independent medical scientists said they had. These scientists who told the truth were persecuted by the corrupt US medical establishment.

The evidence is in. There is no longer any question that the “vaccine,” which is not really a vaccine, is not only totally ineffective but very dangerous. Evidence mounts that the “vaccine” is a far greater killer than the lab created virus itself. So why is Harvard still “strongly recommending” more jabs that are ineffective and dangerous? Is this a conclusion from evidence that shows any signs of intelligence? With athletes in the prime of life dropping dead on playing fields all over the world, why is an allegedly intelligent university still requiring students to have had the initial “vaccination”?

Why does an allegedly intelligent university, which I am beginning to think Harvard most certainly is not, requiring students to have taken a vaccine known to be ineffective and dangerous? How can such a non-intelligent, non-rational decision be associated with intelligence? My conclusion is that Harvard is devoid of intelligence and of integrity. The reason is that Harvard is flush with Big Pharma research money, and just as Congress and the President have to vote in keeping with the special interests that fund their campaigns, Harvard votes with Big Pharma. What do we make of a country where money is the only value, where even universities, allegedly centers of learning, prefer money to truth?

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The same David Weiss who’s taken 5 years investigating Hunter. Looks like he’s had enough.

Special Counsel Files Blistering Reply to Hunter Motion to Dismiss (Turley)

Special Counsel David Weiss has filed a blistering opposition to the motion to dismiss by Hunter Biden in California that cites his own book and conflicting statements as creating “nothing more than a house of cards.” The filing (below) shows how Hunter’s claims (repeated by many in the media) collapse under even cursory review in court. Weiss’s filing bulldozes through arguments of selective prosecution and political influence in the case. He specifically notes that Biden repeatedly makes statements without any proof or support in his filings. The filing begins by outright accusing Hunter Biden and his counsel of lying to the court about what occurred after the earlier plea agreement fell apart in court after the judge in Delaware asked about a sweeping immunity clause in paragraph 14. Notably, Weiss said that it was Hunter Biden’s legal team that inexplicably shut down negotiations by playing hardball in seeking to preserve the original agreement:

“The government proposed changes to the agreements that addressed only the issues identified during the hearing. Exh. 3. The defendant rejected these counterproposals on August 7, 2023. Id. Instead, the defendant began insisting that the proposed Diversion Agreement had bound both parties, even though it had not been approved by the Chief U.S. Probation Officer, a condition precedent to formation that would have brought it into effect. Moreover, by taking this position, he chose to shut down any further negotiations that could address the issues raised at the hearing.” It then accuses Biden and his counsel as outright lying to the court:

“In his motion, in multiple places, the defendant falsely states that DOJ ‘inexplicably demanded Mr. Biden plead guilty to felonies with jail time.’ He cites nothing in support of his false claims, which is a consistent theme across his motions. The government attaches as Exhibit 3 a redacted letter from the defendant’s counsel which confirms the defendant understood that the government had proposed changes to only those paragraphs that were at issue during the hearing, not paragraphs regarding the charges the defendant must plead to or any “jail time” the defendant must serve. As shown in Exhibit 3, the government proposed changes to Paragraphs 14, 15 and 17 of the Diversion Agreement, and Paragraph 5(b) of the Plea Agreement. The government proposed no changes to Paragraph 1 of the Plea Agreement, which required the defendant to plead guilty to two misdemeanors. Nor did the government propose any changes to Paragraph 6 of the Plea Agreement, in which the United States had agreed to recommend a sentence of probation. The defendant rejected these counterproposals and refused further negotiations…His newly invented claim in his motion that the government “inexplicably demanded Mr. Biden plead guilty to felonies with jail time” is patently false, unsupported by evidence, and belied by his own letter and representations in his filings in the Delaware case.”

The rest of the filing is equally devastating. Weiss notes that Biden repeatedly misrepresents facts or claims authority that does not exist. He notes that Biden does not cite any cases of similarly situated individuals who were not prosecuted. For example, it notes: “The only attempt the defendant makes to link animus directly to prosecutors is his claim that “reports indicate Mr. Weiss himself admitted [the charges] would not have been brought against the average American.” Motion at 13. However, his citation does not include a reference to reports (plural), rather it includes a single New York Times citation, which includes a denial immediately after the quoted excerpt: “A senior law enforcement official forcefully denied the account.” An anonymous account that is “forcefully denied” is not evidence that can satisfy the defendant’s burden of producing “clear evidence” of discriminatory intent and animus by prosecutors.”

In rejecting the two cases that he references, Weiss takes a swipe at Hunter’s book. When he published the book, some of us noted that he was making statements against his own interest in possible prosecutions. Weiss just made that a reality: “The defendant compares himself to only two individuals: Robert Shaughnessy and Roger Stone, both of whom resolved their tax cases civilly for failing to pay taxes. Shaughnessy failed to file and pay his taxes, but he was not alleged to have committed tax evasion. By contrast, the defendant chose to file false returns years later, failed to pay when those returns were filed, and lied to his accountants repeatedly, claiming personal expenses as business expenses. Stone failed to pay his taxes but did timely file his returns, unlike the defendant. Neither Shaughnessy nor Stone illegally purchased a firearm and lied on background check paperwork. And neither of them wrote a memoir in which they made countless statements proving their crimes and drawing further attention to their criminal conduct. These two individuals are not suitable comparators, and since the defendant fails to identify anyone else, his claim fails.”

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“In Switzerland, such drastic changes to national health legislation would require changes in the nation’s Constitution. According to the very Swiss Constitution, such changes would require approval by the Swiss people by referendum..”

Open Letter to the People of Switzerland, Federal Council, Parliament (GR)

We, the Swiss, have the Constitutional Right of Initiatives or Referenda. It is high time that We, the People, make use of this opportunity requesting the Swiss Federal Council and Parliament to renounce its membership in the WHO, the organization at the verge of becoming the world’s dictator on issues of health, more brutal and radical than humanity has ever known before. The Covid-mandates imposed by the WHO were just a precursor to what may come. For the last several years, the WHO was preparing mostly behind closed doors what they call a “Pandemic Treaty”, or “Pandemic Agreement”, which would become part of the 2005 established and now being drastically revised “International Health Regulations” (IHR). If these two new “rules-based orders” are approved by the World Health Assembly (WHA – 27 May to 1 June 2024 in Geneva), the WHO’s health dictate would be above every nation’s sovereignty, and would make health self-determination a thing of the past.

If the WHO declares a disease, artificially made or not, as a pandemic, orders would have to be followed. If the WHO decides on general vaccination, orders must be followed. In Switzerland, such drastic changes to national health legislation would require changes in the nation’s Constitution. According to the very Swiss Constitution, such changes would require approval by the Swiss people by referendum – with good chances of a popular rejection. To forego a people’s vote, the Swiss Government – Federal Council and Parliament – are currently working on advance-amending the national Swiss health legislation, so that it would meet the requirements of a potentially impending WHO Pandemic Agreement and the new IHR. A Constitutional amendment may then not be necessary, as the new Swiss health standards would blend in with the potentially new WHO dictate.

This is happening semi-clandestinely. Not known to most citizens. Switzerland is supposed to be – constitutionally – a democracy and a country of political neutrality; a country with self-determination and sovereignty in decision making, and where people’s voice and active participation counts. Those were the days. * This call also goes to the Swiss Federal Council and Parliament. Are you not ashamed after the criminal covid and vaxx-fraud you imposed on the very people that pay your salaries and pensions – to betray Us, the People again – with the behind-our-backs anticipatory acceptance of the new WHO oppressive rules? How is health defined? Under the WHO definition, health includes the “climate change” scam, which is already blamed for causing excess dengue fever in Brazil and malaria in Africa – prompting the WHO and Bill Gates releasing billions of genetically modified (GMO) “vaccinating” mosquitoes. They have so far brought a 400% increase in dengue fever in Brazil, and in Africa, malaria is rampant despite, or because of the GMO-Mosquitos. Any “climate-related health issues”, defined by the WHO, would also fall under the WHO health tyranny.

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“The Dominican Republic topped the list as the world’s happiest country, followed by Sri Lanka in second place and Tanzania in third. All of the top ten countries were African, Asian, or Latin American nations.”

UK Ranked Second-Most Miserable Country In The World (RT)

Published last week, Sapien Labs’ fourth annual ‘Mental State of the World’ report assessed the mental wellbeing of 419,175 Internet-enabled participants across 71 countries. The results painted a grim picture of the English-speaking world. Out of 71 countries surveyed, the Anglophone nations of the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand sit in the bottom quartile, with residents of the UK happier only than those of Uzbekistan. The survey ranks the UK eight places behind Yemen and 12 places behind Ukraine in terms of its population’s overall mental health. Some 35% of Britons told Sapine Labs that they were either “distressed or struggling,” a figure down by only 0.7% since last year, when Britain came in last place in the rankings.

To determine each nation’s overall mental health, the foundation asked individuals 47 questions about their “mood and outlook,” “social self,” “drive and motivation,” and “adaptability and resilience,” among other categories. While Sapien Labs noted that answers to these questions are inherently subjective, other reports have come to similar conclusions. Amid a historic decline in living standards, the UK’s Office of National Statistics found in November that Britons experienced a drop in happiness and personal satisfaction in the year ending last March. According to a report published in The Lancet medical journal last month, some 1.8 million people in the UK are currently awaiting mental health treatment.

Sapien Labs noted that levels of mental well-being across the English-speaking world plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic, and that this decline “continues to persist with no sign of recovery.” Furthermore, the report found that mental well-being was lower in countries where processed food was commonly eaten, children were given smartphones at a younger age, and relations between family members were more distant. Wealthy, English-speaking countries scored least favorably across all of these three metrics. The Dominican Republic topped the list as the world’s happiest country, followed by Sri Lanka in second place and Tanzania in third. All of the top ten countries were African, Asian, or Latin American nations.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Spring
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766784410450333832

 

 

Quoll

 

 

I love you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766876241078964424

 

 

 

 

Dog

 

 

Ginger cat

 

 

Gull

 

 

Neurogenesis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766453575616487680

 

 

Eyesight

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 282023
 
 December 28, 2023  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Claude Monet Boulevard des Capucines 1873

 

Jack Smith Files Motion to Stop Trump from Raising New J6 Evidence (PB)
Trump Can Remain On Michigan Primary Ballot, State Supreme Court Rules (Pol.)
US Police Bolster Patrols for Colorado Judges Amid Violent Threats (Sp.)
Ramaswamy’s Campaign Stops Spending Money On TV Ads (JTN)
The US Is Preparing For War With China (CP)
Scott Ritter: US Sustainability in Jeopardy as World Turns Against Hegemon (Sp.)
Righting A Wrong: Burying Decades of US-Led Wars (Sweidan)
Zelensky’s News Conference Exposed West’s Fatigue – Zakharova (TASS)
Kiev Cooking Up False Flag Involving Toxic Substances – Zakharova (TASS)
US-Israel Genocide In Gaza Is Bad For French Shipping And Ports (Helmer)
Erdogan Says Netanyahu Literally ‘Hitler’ (RT)
Some Western Countries Say Netanyahu’s ‘End’ Is Near – Erdogan Adviser (Sp.)
Milei Mulls Plan To Force Through Radical Reforms (RT)
The DOJ Took More than Two Years to Answer a FOIA (Martens)

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1739689464497418266

 

 

Petchesky

 

 

Torah

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 


The global population growth rate peaked 60 years ago and has been largely in sharp decline ever since.

 

 

Ritter

 

 

 

 

” Jack Smith does not want Trump to point out to the jury that a political and selective prosecution is political and selective.”

Jack Smith Files Motion to Stop Trump from Raising New J6 Evidence (PB)

Special Counsel Jack Smith filed a motion Wednesday morning seeking to prevent former President Donald Trump from claiming in his federal case that he was targeted for political prosecution by President Joe Biden as a form of “election interference.” Donald Trump, unironically, stands accused of “election interference” in connection to his legal and constitutionally protected election challenges over the 2020 election. Smith said in his motion that Trump should be barred from “introducing evidence, making arguments, or framing questions to advance a theory of selective or vindictive prosecution.” Judge Chutkan, an anti-Trump jurist who has consistently sided with the state’s prosecution efforts, is expected to fulfill all of Smith’s demands, no matter how contrary to due process or deleterious to the cause of justice.

The excessively constrictive measures would further rein in the speech of the 2024 presidential candidate in the midst of a campaign that has thus far established him as the clear favorite. The absurdity of Smith’s court demands were further illuminated by legal analyst Julie Kelly. “Jack Smith, in likely vain attempt to keep March 4 trial date, filed another pretrial related to what the jury should be allowed to consider. (All pretrial deadlines now on hold),” Kelly wrote on X. “Smith wants to preclude the jury from hearing evidence about Jan 6 in his Jan 6 case; Smith wants to prevent jury from learning about presence of undercover agents; After warnings by govt officials in 2016 and 2020 that malign foreign influences were attempting to interfere in national elections, Smith wants any evidence related to 2020 warnings kept from the jury; Jack Smith does not want Trump to point out to the jury that a political and selective prosecution is political and selective.” Political commentator Alexander Muse reacted to the news.

According to court documents, at least twenty FBI and ATF agents were embedded around the capitol building on January 6. There are multiple videos, among the limited number that have been made public, of undercover police officers on January 6 — some of them even urging the protesters to ‘go to the Capitol.’ A Congressman recently stated there were “at least 200” undercover federal agents in the crowd on January 6; including official FBI agents and human assets. FBI Director Christopher Wray has refused to give the number of federal agents that were in the crowd on January 6 after repeatedly being questioned on the matter. The Biden administration’s Department of Justice will not only turn America’s election process upside-down in the name of ‘stopping Trump,’ but it will corrupt its justice system to the core in order to do so. Even if that means stripping the accused of due process rights. Needless to say, this has nothing to do with “democracy,” and has everything to do with a corrupt ends-justify-the-means mentality that has state actors like Jack Smith stopping at nothing in order to get the desired result: In this case, re-election of a Democratic president.

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“..a list of candidates “generally advocated by the national news media to be potential presidential candidates.”

Trump Can Remain On Michigan Primary Ballot, State Supreme Court Rules (Pol.)

Michigan’s highest court said Wednesday that Donald Trump can appear on the state’s Republican primary ballot, but the court declined to weigh in for now on whether Trump is eligible to run in the general election and serve again as president. The court turned away an appeal from Michigan voters who argue that Trump should be barred from the ballot because of his efforts to subvert the 2020 election and stoke violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The voters cite a provision of the 14th Amendment that, in some circumstances, bars people from holding public office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” Last week, the Colorado Supreme Court became the first court in the country to declare Trump ineligible to run. The Colorado ruling is almost certain to end up at the U.S. Supreme Court soon.

Meanwhile, similar challenges have proceeded in dozens of other states. On Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court essentially punted on the question in the critical swing state, saying in a terse order that it would not take up the issue of Trump’s eligibility now. Earlier this month, a lower court ruled that Michigan’s secretary of state does not have the authority to remove Trump from the primary ballot. The voters challenging Trump’s eligibility — who were backed by the liberal advocacy group Free Speech for People, which has brought similar challenges across the country — tried to appeal that ruling to the Michigan Supreme Court. But the state Supreme Court, which consists of four Democrats and three Republicans, declined to hear the appeal, writing without elaboration that the court was “not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court.”

The Michigan Supreme Court’s order does not prevent the voters from contesting Trump’s eligibility to appear on the general election ballot if he wins the Republican nomination. By then, the U.S. Supreme Court may have definitively resolved the issue. One member of the state supreme court dissented from the decision not to hear the appeal now. Justice Elizabeth Welch, a Democrat, said the court should have heard the appeal and formally affirmed the lower court’s conclusion that the Michigan secretary of state could not strip Trump from the primary ballot. Trump celebrated the Michigan Supreme Court’s order on Wednesday. In a post on his social media site, Trump said the case was a “Desperate Democrat attempt to take the leading Candidate” off the ballot.

Michigan has an unusual process to select candidates for the presidential primary ballot. The secretary of state creates a list of candidates “generally advocated by the national news media to be potential presidential candidates.” Political parties may also submit additional candidates, and others can petition to get added.

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“..Other messages called for the justices to be dragged from their homes, hanged and shot..”

US Police Bolster Patrols for Colorado Judges Amid Violent Threats (Sp.)

Colorado’s Denver Police Department announced on Tuesday it was investigating reports of threats of harassment against justices on the Colorado Supreme Court, adding that as a result security detail had been bolstered for the judges. “The Denver Police Department is currently investigating incidents directed at Colorado Supreme Court justices and will continue working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to thoroughly investigate any reports of threats or harassment,” Denver police said in a statement Tuesday. “Due to the open investigations and safety and privacy considerations, we will not be providing details of these investigations. The Department is providing extra patrols around justice’s residences in Denver and will provide additional safety support if/as requested.”

On Friday, the FBI also said it was investigating threats against the justices, and was working alongside local law enforcement in order to address potential threats of violence. “The FBI is aware of the situation and working with local law enforcement,” said Vikki Migoya, a spokesperson for the FBI Denver Field Office. “We will vigorously pursue investigations of any threat or use of violence committed by someone who uses extremist views to justify their actions regardless of motivation.” The threats of violence follow a 4-3 ruling made last week by the Colorado Supreme Court in which they made the unprecedented ruling to disqualify Trump from the state’s Republican presidential primary ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

“We conclude that because President Trump is disqualified from holding the office of President under Section Three, it would be a wrongful act under the Election Code for the Secretary to list President Trump as a candidate on the presidential primary ballot,” the court’s majority wrote in an unsigned opinion. Following their decision, a flood of violent rhetoric descended upon the justices across social media platforms, with many of the messages coming from Trump supporters. The messages included posts which pledged to either maim or even kill the justices. Other messages called for the justices to be dragged from their homes, hanged and shot, said the SITE Intelligence Group. Trump’s campaign has vowed to appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court, which is dominantly conservative. The Trump camp has blasted the effort as yet another politically-motivated effort to block his chances at serving a second presidential term.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1740029519334093199

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Seems weird that they’re only finding this out now. We’ve all seen how many people watch Tucker Carlson on X vs on Fox.

Ramaswamy’s Campaign Stops Spending Money On TV Ads (JTN)

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign is no longer spending money on TV ads and doesn’t have any currently booked, according to an ad tracking firm and the campaign. For the first week of December, Ramaswamy’s campaign spent about $200,000 on TV ads and later on in the month, it dropped to only $6,000 on TV ads, according to NBC News. The campaign stated that money will still be spent on advertising, just not on television. “We are focused on bringing out the voters we’ve identified — best way to reach them is using addressable advertising, mail, text, live calls and doors to communicate with our voters on Vivek’s vision for America, making their plan to caucus and turning them out,” the campaign’s press secretary Tricia McLaughlin told the outlet in an interview.

This change comes less than a month before the Jan. 23 New Hampshire primary and the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses. “As you know, this isn’t what most campaigns look like. We have intentionally structured this way so that we have the ability to be nimble and hyper targeted in our ad spending,” McLaughlin also said. Other GOP primary presidential candidates, including former President Donald Trump, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, are still running advertisements on television.

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“It is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other.”

The US Is Preparing For War With China (CP)

The Chinese view, based on what they call “Xi Jinping Thought,” is that the US-China association is the most important bilateral relationship in the world. As Chinese President Xi Jinping has explained: “How China and the US get along will determine the future of humanity.” This view is predicated on the acceptance of a high degree of integration between the two countries’ economies. They see this “entwining” as something to be promoted because both countries stand to benefit from each other’s development. Overarching the bilateral relationship from the Chinese perspective is a stance of friendly cooperative relations. A “common prosperity,” they believe, can be built on three principles. First is mutual respect. A critical aspect of that pillar of mutual relations is not crossing the red lines of either of the two global powers. Second is peaceful coexistence. This entails a commitment to manage disagreements through communications and dialogue. And third is win-win cooperation.

For example, increased trade with China boosted the annual purchasing power for US households. That the US and China occupy such dominant positions in the world entails concomitant responsibilities. According to the Chinese, major countries have major responsibilities to humanity. They point out that global problems, such as climate change, cannot be solved without US-China cooperation. Indeed, the US and China together contribute to 40% of the planet’s current greenhouse gas emissions. Beijing contrasts their posture with what they explicitly criticize as the Biden administration’s “zero-sum mentality.” In a zero-sum game, one player’s gain is equivalent to the other’s loss. This differs from the Chinese vision of “win-win” relations based on cooperation for mutual benefit. The Chinese take exception to the US definition of bilateral relations as one of antagonistic “strategic” competition.

The opposing paradigms were displayed at the APEC summit in San Francisco on November 15, where the two world leaders met face-to-face for the first time in two years. We do not know what was discussed in the closed-door meeting. But in a press conference afterward, US President Joe Biden said of the person he had just spent four hours: “Well, look, he’s a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that’s based on a form of government totally different than ours.” Even neo-con US Secretary of State Antony Blinken winced at the press conference. His grimace was captured in a video that went viral.

Later that day, Chinese President Xi calmly instructed, as if responding to Biden’s indiscretion, “It is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other.” Peaceful coexistence for the Chinese necessitates a tolerance and acceptance of different social systems and modes of being. Xi further commented, “the planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed.” Fortune acknowledged that Xi offered a vision different from what it characterized as Biden’s “winner-take-all” mentality. The business magazine noted that Biden has continued Trump’s tariffs on some Chinese products while tightening export controls and investments in high-tech areas such as advanced chips.

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“The drone technology of today has changed the modern battlefield in every way that the machine gun changed warfare during World War I or the tank changed warfare during World War II.”

Scott Ritter: US Sustainability in Jeopardy as World Turns Against Hegemon (Sp.)

As 2023 comes to a close, the Israel-Palestinian crisis and the Ukrainian conflict are dominating world news, prompting questions as to what next year holds in store for the international community. Sputnik’s Dimitri Simes, Jr. sat down with former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter to sum up the results of the year and discuss how things may pan out in 2024. The Ukrainian military will continue to sustain a strategic defeat in 2024 as it is exhausted in terms of manpower, ammo and arms, according to Sputnik’s interlocutor. It’s up to Moscow and the Russian Armed Forces’ operational tempo whether the conflict will drag on until 2025, as per Ritter. Russia’s special military operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine has never meant to be a blitzkrieg, the expert stressed, adding that the conflict will end when political and military objectives set by the Russian leadership are accomplished.

Presently, Russia is continuing to “grind” the Ukrainian military and steadily liberate its new territories, thus accomplishing the demilitarization task. When it comes to Moscow’s political goals, it’s important to stamp out the forces behind the 2014 coup d’etat that brought ultra-nationalists and neo-Nazis, including the Azov Battalion, the Svoboda Party and other ideological heirs of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, to power. In the course of the special military operation, Russia has mastered modern warfare, per Sputnik’s interlocutor. “The Ukrainian-Russian conflict has opened up a new chapter in modern warfare,” Ritter stressed. “The drone technology of today has changed the modern battlefield in every way that the machine gun changed warfare during World War I or the tank changed warfare during World War II.

The drones have changed the face of modern warfare, and I think that armies all around the world are going to be studying or should be studying what’s taking place on the battlefield between Ukraine and Russia today.” Ritter rubbished the claims made by US President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that having won the Ukrainian conflict, Russia would proceed to take on NATO member states. Per Ritter, Washington’s rhetoric is “fear-mongering” aimed at justifying further military spending. After accomplishing its goals in Ukraine, Russia will focus on strengthening its military and stepping up the protection of its borders in the West, Arctic and the East, where they are threatened by the US and their NATO allies, according to the military expert.

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“..hegemonic stability theory” vs “balance of power theory..”

Righting A Wrong: Burying Decades of US-Led Wars (Sweidan)

As previously mentioned by The Cradle, “Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip is best understood to be a US-backed one,” one that is being fought to safeguard US influence and interests in West Asia. However, the maneuvering room for Washington’s allies is shrinking dramatically. Unlike the diverse strategic options West Asian countries explored during the Ukraine war, Gaza offers no such latitude. It is fundamentally Washington’s war, demanding collective mobilization to defend the US position. It is also telling that the US-led multination task force, Operation Guardian of Prosperity in the Red Sea, is already facing major set-backs since its recent inception, with some members pulling out and others choosing to remain unnamed.

White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby had to awkwardly caveat the secrecy like this: “There are some countries that have agreed to participate and be part of the operation in the Red Sea, but they have to decide how much they want that to be public. And I’m going to leave it to them so that they can describe it somehow, because not everyone wants to be public.” For example, the role of NATO member Turkiye has transformed into that of an energy transmission station for Israel, while the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan serve as a transit bridge for goods bound for the occupation state that Yemen prevents from passing through the Red Sea. Notably, shipments from Turkiye to Israel surged to 355 after 7 October, with many linked to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and individuals close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, including his son Buraq.

Even Egypt, restricted to allowing aid trucks through the Rafah crossing, could not facilitate aid to Palestinians without US approval. In international relations, there are two main theories that address the relationship between power and the spread of peace. The first is the hegemonic stability theory which posits that the international order is likely to remain stable when one country is the dominant global power. The proponents of this theory believe that the existence of a single hegemon deters all powers in the world and prevents them from spreading tension. However, given the reality that the United States has dominated a conflict-ridden global order for four decades, it can be argued that the presence of the hegemon did not lead to global stability. Rather, the dominant was the major source and catalyst for spreading tension around the world. It is sufficient to look at the distribution of US bases in the world and the proliferation of military agreements signed by Washington to understand how the US consistently provokes rivals and challengers, and creates strife.

The second is the balance of power theory, in which states seek to protect themselves by preventing any country from acquiring enough military power to control all other nations. If one power dominates – such as the United States – the theory predicts that weaker countries will unite in a defense alliance. According to this theory, a balance of power between competing states or alliances raises the cost of tension for everyone and ensures stability in the world. Thus, achieving peace today requires a rise in the level of power among Washington’s rivals, power which will provide the deterrence required to limit the spread of tensions around the world. Increasing the capabilities of Washington’s rivals is now a key requirement for all peaceful peoples and nations. And according to the balance of power theory, uniting against Israel is the most successful way to stabilize West Asia and its environs today.

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“The begging of their Ukrainian underlings is causing ever more irritation in Washington, London and Brussels.”

Zelensky’s News Conference Exposed West’s Fatigue – Zakharova (TASS)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s recent year-end news conference signaled that Kiev lacks confidence about its future and the West has grown tired of Ukraine’s political setbacks, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “Everyone has seen the Kiev regime’s lack of confidence about its own future amid growing Western fatigue with their failures,” she said at a news conference. “The begging of their Ukrainian underlings is causing ever more irritation in Washington, London and Brussels.” “There is a growing reluctance among ordinary people in Western society to nurture the corrupt regime from their own pockets,” the diplomat went on to say. “The sooner the collective West realizes that the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict, which it provoked, is possible only through achieving the goals of the special military operation, the sooner peace will come.”

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“Zelensky and his entire gang do not care about the consequences that their own people will face..”

Kiev Cooking Up False Flag Involving Toxic Substances – Zakharova (TASS)

Kiev is plotting to carry out a false flag operation involving the use of Western-made toxic substances in order to accuse Russia of alleged use of chemical weapons, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing. “There is nothing [in terms of concrete information] about Bucha: no names, no dates of birth, no passport data, they simply don’t exist. There was nothing, because the entire thing was a false flag operation,” she emphasized. “The Kiev regime is plotting something similar this time. They may organize another anti-Russian provocation with the use of Western-made toxic substances in order to launch a new campaign within UN structures and the world media to accuse our country of the alleged deliberate use of chemical weapons,” the diplomat said.

Zakharova pointed out that, according to available information, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is actively involved in the preparation of such a false flag event, and has enlisted the cooperation of the Kiev-based Ukrainian company Realab. “It specializes in the import of chemical reagents and precursors. In October-November 2023, Ukraine purchased in Germany a so-called small batch of triethanolamine and nitrogen-containing sodium compound produced by the US company Honeywell. The company is American, [but is] located in the city of Seltz (Germany),” she added.

At the same time, the spokeswoman noted that triethanolamine is included in the Chemical Annex of the Chemical Weapons Convention and is subject to annual declaration. “This compound is a precursor for the synthesis of a toxic substance with a dermal explosive effect, such as nitrogen mustard gas. Nitrogenous sodium compounds are highly toxic and their striking effect is similar to that of cyanide,” Zakharova stressed. “According to Russian experts, these chemicals may be used by the SBU to produce a chemical agent to carry out a limited act of provocation on the territory controlled by the Kiev regime within the range of our troops,” she said.

According to the diplomat, amid growing world fatigue with the Kiev regime and reductions in financial and military aid from the West, Kiev is sufficiently desperate to take any steps that might put the Ukrainian conflict back in the headlines and at the top of the international agenda. “The regime of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky continues to eagerly carry out the instructions of its overseas masters to wage war to the last Ukrainian. They do not care at all about the consequences of this false flag operation, just as they did not care at all about the consequences of using the depleted uranium shells that were delivered to the Kiev regime by the UK. Zelensky and his entire gang do not care about the consequences that their own people will face if this very false flag operation [involving highly toxic chemicals] is actually carried out,” Zakharova concluded.

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“Macron shot the messenger..”

US-Israel Genocide In Gaza Is Bad For French Shipping And Ports (Helmer)

The message delivered last week to French President Emanuel Macron was a dramatic one: Never mind Israel throttling the Palestinians, Macron was told, the Houthis and their Arab and Iranian allies are capable of throttling France. Macron shot the messenger. Bernard Émié was fired last Wednesday, December 20, and Nicolas Lerner put in his place. The announcement — the first time there’s been such a switch between the traditionally competing foreign and domestic intelligence chiefs — was made in a tweet by the French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu. Émié has been the head of France’s foreign intelligence agency, the DGSE (Directorate-General for External Security), since 2017. His replacement is Nicolas Lerner, head of France’s internal security agency, the DGSI (Directorate-General for Internal Security), since 2018. By coincidence on the very same day of Émié’s sacking, Lecornu took a telephone call from Washington.

US Secretary of Defense General Lloyd Austin told Lecornu “the Red Sea is vital for global commerce, noting that the scale and increasing frequency of these attacks constitute a significant international problem that must be addressed. The United States and France are both making significant contributions to stability in the region and seek further collaboration on bilateral and multilateral solutions. Secretary Austin thanked France for its support to the 44-nation joint statement condemning the Houthis’ illegal attacks on international shipping.” This is the Pentagon “readout”. The meaning is the opposite. France is pulling its naval forces in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden out of Austin’s military operation and of targeting by the US and Israel of Houthi units on the Yemen shore, as well as of the Iranian intelligence vessels, MV Behshad at anchor in the Red Sea, and the MV Saviz in the eastern Indian Ocean (Arabian Sea).

In fact, the elimination of Émié, according to French intelligence sources, signals that US backing for Israel’s genocidal operation against the Gaza Palestinians, and the expansion of the war by the Houthis of Yemen and Hezbollah of Lebanon, are driving French national interest calculations in the opposite direction from the Americans and Israelis. Émié is a former French ambassador to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Algeria, and the French Foreign Ministry’s chief policymaker for the Arab world for several years before he was appointed to run the DGSE in 2017. Lerner, by contrast, has no direct Arab experience. A university classmate of President Macron’s, his career has been limited to police operations in the south of France, Corsica, and Paris, and then in the private office of the Interior Minister as Macron chopped the ministry’s head three times in eighteen months.

The French press are struggling to explain what has happened to the heads of their intelligence services. According to the state press agency AFP and Le Monde, “Emié launched reforms within the DGSE and saw the agency’s budget increase. He is said to have improved relations with the domestic security agency. But many have criticised the DGSE under him for failing to foresee the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and a string of military coups in former French colonies Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.” A rightwing, bank-owned regional newspaper, L’Est Républicain, claims: “Bernard Emié and his successor Nicolas Lerner contributed to improving the often tense relations between the DGSE and the DGSI, the replacement of the former by the latter confirming links described in the intelligence community as very regular and professional.”

Defense Minister Lecornu has been struggling with Macron’s pro-US, pro-Israel, anti-Russian line as the war in Gaza has been escalating. Towards Israel, Lecornu said the week after the Hamas operation began in October, “the bulk of the support we’re providing today is intelligence. The intelligence provided is provided as part of the regular partnership between our two countries. Unfortunately, we have a long history in the fight against terrorism, and our intelligence services have particularly powerful resources and sensors…Iran poses undeniable security challenges, both in its support for Russia in the war in Ukraine and on the issue of nuclear proliferation. Today, the priority is to avoid escalation. Israel has the right to defend itself and its people from these atrocities. However, this response must be proportionate and consistent with the laws of war. We emphasize that no other actor hostile to Israel should seek to take advantage of the situation…There is a very difficult situation in the Gaza Strip. France has nothing to be ashamed of, it has always been one of the most reliable countries in terms of aid and support.”

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“The Israeli military is the “most moral army in the world,” and it is currently battling “the most disgusting and cruel terrorist group in the world..”

Erdogan Says Netanyahu Literally ‘Hitler’ (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is no different from Adolf Hitler, Türkiye’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said, condemning Israel’s campaign in Gaza. Erdogan fired the new diplomatic broadside at Netanyahu on Wednesday when he delivered an opening speech at an award ceremony in Ankara. West Jerusalem now has “Nazi camps” of its own to hold Palestinians in, the president stated, implying the campaign in Gaza was as bad – or even worse – than the Holocaust committed by Nazi Germany. “We’ve seen the Nazi camps of Israel. How does this happen? They used to speak ill about Hitler, but how are you any different than Hitler?” Erdogan stated. They are going to make us miss Hitler. Is what this Netanyahu is doing any less than what Hitler did? It is not.

The only real difference between the late Nazi fuhrer and the Israeli PM is the broad support from the West for Netanyahu and his campaign against Hamas, the Turkish leader claimed. “He is richer than Hitler; he gets the support from the West. All sorts of support comes from the United States. And what did they do with all this support? They killed more than 20,000 Gazans,” he stressed. Türkiye’s president has long sought to portray himself as a protector of Palestinians, repeatedly criticizing Israeli policies. Erdogan drastically ramped up his rhetoric amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which broke out in the aftermath of the attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on southern Israel on October 7.

The new remarks, arguably the most hostile ones produced by Erdogan to date, have prompted a response from Netanyahu. Israeli PM dismissed the criticism, pointing fingers at Erdogan’s questionable account and allegations of committing genocide in Türkiye and beyond. “Erdogan, who commits genocide against the Kurds, who holds a world record for imprisoning journalists who oppose his rule, is the last person who can preach morality to us,” Netanyahu stated, falling short of accusing Erdogan of being the true Hitler himself. The Israeli military is the “most moral army in the world,” and it is currently battling “the most disgusting and cruel terrorist group in the world,” Netanyahu added, referring to Hamas.

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“How can you explain bombs being dropped on children being treated for cancer?”

Some Western Countries Say Netanyahu’s ‘End’ Is Near – Erdogan Adviser (Sp.)

Several Western countries say “the end” for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is near since “the world has already seen” the Jewish state’s “brutality” in actions in the Gaza Strip, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Chief Adviser Akif Cagatay Kilic said Wednesday. Earlier on Wednesday, Erdogan criticized Netanyahu and once again compared him with Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler. The Israeli prime minister, for his part, stated that Erdogan, who “is committing genocide against the Kurds and who holds the world record for imprisoning journalists who oppose his regime, is the last person who can preach morality to us.”

“Netanyahu made a statement today about our president. You are ruthlessly and indiscriminately dropping bombs on people. Some circles do not want to understand the scale of the catastrophe when we talk about genocide. Our president spoke loudly about this in Germany and Greece. While many European capitals remained silent, our president demonstrated his position. Netanyahu is trying to wash the blood off his hands. But the world has already seen it. A permanent ceasefire and peace will only come when peace comes to Gaza. Israel is brutal, its policies are brutality. How can you explain bombs being dropped on children being treated for cancer? Many Western countries say this is the end of the road for Netanyahu,” Kilic stressed in an interview with Turkish broadcaster TRT Haber.

Additionally, the head of the communications department in the Turkish presidential administration, Fahrettin Altun, emphasized that the Israeli prime minister is “the last person to talk about anything related to genocide.” “The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is the last person to talk about anything related to genocide. He has mastered skills to sell the world, his war crimes against civilians as self-defense. Even though the world fails to stop him, the history will judge him as the war criminal he is… Netanyahu is the last person to talk about our struggle against terrorism,” Altun said on X. Altun also highlighted that Netanyahu is “the last person to talk about morality,” adding that he “cannot lecture anyone about how to conduct counter-terrorism operations because he has no experience in this arena!” The Turkish communications chief further said that the Israeli prime minister “has been on a mission to drive Palestinians out of their lands for the last four decades” and that he has now taken it “to a new level by using the Israeli army to kill civilians in their homes, hospitals and refugee camps.”

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Wonder where this will go.

Milei Mulls Plan To Force Through Radical Reforms (RT)

Newly inaugurated Argentine President Javier Milei is “on the warpath” against the National Congress and could put pressure on the legislature by holding public votes on policy proposals, La Nacion reported on Wednesday. Referring to a major economic reform that his cabinet presented earlier this month, Milei told La Nacion: “If they [the Congress] reject it, I would call for a plebiscite and have them explain to me why they are against the people.” The proposed legislation would impose a two-year state of emergency, deregulate the economy, privatize state property, and alter the national healthcare system, among other changes.

Argentine law allows for both binding and non-binding referendums, termed “public consultations”, although only the National Congress can initiate a binding one. If a non-binding proposal by the executive branch is approved in a plebiscite, the parliament is obliged to consider it. “They cannot accept that they lost, that the population chose something else,” Milei said of the opposition in the National Congress. He claimed some lawmakers were “seeking bribes,” but did not provide details to back up the allegation. One example of a non-binding referendum in Argentina was in 1984, when a vote was called on the government’s plan to resolve a border dispute with Chile. Overwhelming public support subsequently put pressure on the opposition in the Congress.

Milei, a libertarian economist and former MP, was considered a dark horse in Argentina’s presidential election last month. He was voted in on a promise to generate economic growth through radical public spending cuts and liberalization. Argentina is suffering high levels of inflation, which Milei has vowed to address through “shock therapy.” The new president has claimed that opponents of his plans are experiencing “Stockholm syndrome,” and has vowed a harsh crackdown under his government. In the same interview with La Nacion, Milei confirmed that he wants to introduce 20,000 and 50,000 peso bills. The largest note is currently 2,000 pesos, although inflation has wiped much of the value off the national currency over the years. Keeping wads of cash is “torture” for Argentines and “puts a label saying ‘steal here’” on those carrying larger sums, Milei argued.

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Pam Martens and Russ Martens run Wall Street On Parade. This is one crazy story.

The DOJ Took More than Two Years to Answer a FOIA (Martens)

On July 20, 2021 the U.S. Senate voted 56-44 to confirm Kenneth Polite (pronounced Po-leet) to head the most powerful criminal law enforcement office in the United States, the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The vetting of this candidate immediately raised red flags at Wall Street On Parade. Despite Polite owing more than $1.5 million in debts according to his financial disclosure form and public mortgage records; paying over 18 percent interest on an outstanding balance on a credit card; 19.99 percent interest on a personal loan; and then accepting a job where his income was going to be slashed by approximately 77 percent – not one Senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked a single question about Polite’s unusual financial obligations during his confirmation hearing on May 26, 2021.

In addition, Polite was coming from the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bochius, which had plenty of red flags itself. Polite was a partner there earning approximately $877,500 in 2020. His job at the Justice Department was to pay less than $200,000 annually. Morgan, Lewis has, for decades, provided legal representation to the Wall Street mega banks. Polite’s financial disclosure form revealed that JPMorgan Chase was one of his clients over the prior 12 months. JPMorgan Chase is a recidivist lawbreaker on Wall Street with an unprecedented five felony counts brought by the Justice Department and admitted to by the bank. Having a recidivist felon that is the largest bank in the United States as a recent client and then moving into the job as a potential prosecutor of that bank is not good optics, so Polite signed an Ethics Agreement (EA) that read in part:

“he will be required to recuse from particular matters involving specific parties involving his former employer or former clients for a period of two years after he is appointed….” During the time that Polite was ostensibly recusing himself from matters involving JPMorgan Chase, the Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands brought a civil case in federal court in Manhattan against JPMorgan Chase for “actively participating” in Jeffrey Epstein’s international sex-trafficking ring where Epstein and his wealthy pals were sexually assaulting underage girls. According to documents released in the lawsuit, the bank was alleged to have laundered more than $5 million in hard cash for Epstein over the span of a decade without filing the legally-required Suspicious Activity Reports with law enforcement. In addition, various employees of the bank were making visits to Epstein’s Manhattan mansion where sexual assaults of minors were alleged to have occurred.

The Criminal Division of the Justice Department has yet to bring a criminal case against JPMorgan Chase for either willfully participating in and/or covering up Epstein’s crimes for more than a decade. [..] The number of red flags swirling about Polite’s vetting to become the top criminal cop in the United States and supervise a department of some 1400 prosecutors and staff, prompted Wall Street On Parade to file a Freedom of Information Act request for documents with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) on July 26, 2021. We requested “all electronic correspondence from November 6, 2020 through July 20, 2021 that relates to the nomination or confirmation or vetting of Kenneth A. Polite for the position of Assistant Attorney General at the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Li river

 

 

Condor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1739960815313137904

 

 

Elk

 

 

Tortoise

 

 

Sleeping whales
https://twitter.com/i/status/1739985649292415127

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 112023
 
 December 11, 2023  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


MC Escher Still life and street 1937

 

Israel Cannot Win – Jordan (RT)
Erdogan Blasts US For Blocking Gaza Peace Resolution (RT)
Israel Is Trying To Force Gazans Into Egypt – UN Official (RT)
Leadership In Kiev Has Gone ‘Totally Crazy’ – Putin (RT)
US Veteran Ridicules Claim That Russia Poses Threat to Europe (Sp.)
Zelensky’s Anti-Russian Narrative Faces Resistance in Latin America (Sp.)
German Chancellor Lying About Gas – Medvedev (RT)
Maduro’s Iron Fist: Why Would Venezuela Risk An All-Out War? (RT)
Hunter Biden Launches Attack on Elon Musk (RT)
Musk Wants Answers From Biden And Zelensky About Fate Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)
George Floyd: The Complete And Total Collapse Of Justice In America (Paul Craig Roberts)
Biden’s Clinton Defense: I Did Not Have Interactions with Those People (Turley)
Trump Not To Testify In Fraud Proceedings (TASS)
UK Tories Plotting Boris Johnson Comeback – Daily Mail (RT)
Al Gore: Access to Non-Mainstream Information ‘Threatens Democracy’ (MN)

 

 

Take your children to work. So at least you can die together.

 

 

Gaza teaches life

 

 

 

 

Biden bombs

 

 

Vivek
https://twitter.com/i/status/1733418258642993633

 

 

Tucker Trump

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The animosity created by the violence in Gaza will haunt the Middle East for generations..”

Israel Cannot Win – Jordan (RT)

Jordan’s foreign minister has claimed Israel cannot achieve military victory in Gaza and has already suffered a strategic defeat by alienating the entire region. Speaking on Sunday at the Doha Forum – an annual gathering of diplomats in the Qatari capital – Ayman Safadi said the goal of Israel’s operation against Hamas is to oust the Palestinian population, rather than to defeat the militant group. The destruction in Gaza in the past two months “is an indication of an Israeli policy that seems determined to expel the residents” of the enclave, he said, adding that top Israeli officials, including Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, have been quite candid about that intention.

Safadi brought up the Friday vote at the UN Security Council, in which the US vetoed a proposal by Arab nations urging for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. It was the only vote against, with American ally the UK being the only member of the 15-strong body to abstain. The top Jordanian diplomat noted that despite the veto, Washington was publicly calling on Israel to change its military tactics. “Simply put, Israel is defying everyone – its allies, international law, and the United Nations,” he said. “Israel has created an amount of hatred that will haunt this region and that will define future generations. It harms its people as much as it affects everyone in the region.” This is a war Israel cannot win. Israel has already suffered a strategic defeat. The minister blamed Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and systematic obstruction to the creation of a Palestinian state as the root cause of the hostilities.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who attended the event in Qatar via video link, remarked that the US has blocked several proposals for a ceasefire in Gaza at the UN. He called the unresolved status of Palestinian statehood the “single most dangerous factor igniting extremism in the Middle East.” Israel launched its military campaign in Gaza after Hamas fighters broke through the border wall on October 7 and raided several settlements and military bases in southern Israel. Israeli officials said over 1,200 people were killed as a result. The death toll in Gaza stood at more than 17,700 as of Sunday, as updated by the local health ministry. Around two-thirds of the Palestinians killed were women and children, the report noted.

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“A fair world is possible, but not with America..”

Erdogan Blasts US For Blocking Gaza Peace Resolution (RT)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Saturday, stating that it has become a “protector of Israel” due to the influence of Washington. This statement followed the US blocking a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. “Due to a veto by the US, no decision was reached. It’s essential for the UN Security Council to be reformed,” Erdogan stressed in his address at the World Human Rights Day event in Istanbul. The Turkish leader argued that the world extends beyond the five permanent members of the UNSC with veto power: China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US. Expressing disappointment in the UNSC, Erdogan, despite Türkiye being a NATO ally of the US, said, “We have lost our hope and expectation from the UN Security Council.”

Erdogan asserted that since October 7, when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) initiated attacks on Gaza in response to an incursion by the Palestinian armed group Hamas that killed at least 1,200 people, the UNSC, “whose mission is to establish global peace, has turned into a protector of Israel.” “The Israeli administration, which has the unwavering support of Western countries, is committing murderous atrocities and massacres in Gaza that will make all humans blush… A fair world is possible, but not with America, because America sides with Israel,” the Turkish president insisted. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the death toll from Israeli actions in the past two months stands at 17,700 people, with 48,800 others injured. Following the breakdown of a week-long humanitarian pause with Hamas, Israel resumed its military offensive in Gaza on December 1. The US vetoed the UNSC resolution for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire on Friday, with the vote in the 15-member council being 13-1 and the UK abstaining.

US Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood justified the move, stating that a halt in fighting would allow Hamas to maintain control of Gaza and “only plant the seeds for the next war.” Wood emphasized Washington’s preference for a “durable peace” based on a two-state solution, but he argued that Hamas has “no desire” for such an outcome. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US veto, asserting that “the correct stance [was] taken by the US.” He also criticized the UNSC members who supported the ceasefire, stating that it is impossible to both endorse the elimination of Hamas and call for an end to the war against the group. “Other countries should understand that it is impossible to both support the elimination of Hamas and call for an end to the war aimed at eliminating Hamas,” the PM said.

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“After the destruction of the north, the destruction of the south is ongoing, except this time, people have nowhere to go.”

Israel Is Trying To Force Gazans Into Egypt – UN Official (RT)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are setting the stage for the mass expulsion of Palestinians into Egypt while creating conditions that will make it impossible for them to ever return to their destroyed homes in Gaza, the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency chief has claimed. “The United Nations and several member states, including the US, have firmly rejected forcibly displacing Gazans out of the Gaza Strip,” UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) chief Philippe Lazzarini wrote on Saturday in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. “But the developments we are witnessing point to attempts to move Palestinians into Egypt, regardless of whether they stay there or are resettled elsewhere.” An Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman denied Lazzarini’s accusation, saying West Jerusalem has never had a plan to push Gazans into Egypt.

However, two Israeli lawmakers wrote last month in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that they would like to see countries around the world welcome Gazan refugees who choose to relocate. The Israel-Hamas war has driven more than 1.8 million Gazans from their homes, the largest forced displacement of Palestinians since 1948, Lazzarini said. Nearly 18,000 people have been killed in Gaza, and an Israeli study found that 61% of the people who perished in IDF airstrikes were civilians. The war began when Hamas launched surprise attacks against southern Israeli villages on October 7, killing around 1,200 people and taking hundreds of hostages back to Gaza. The Palestinian casualties have included more than 270 people who were sheltering in UNRWA facilities at the time they were killed.

Lazzarini said many of those shelters were in areas of central and southern Gaza that were thought to be safer than the north, where Israel’s bombing campaign was primarily focused. “The sad reality is that Gazans are not safe anywhere: not at home, not in a hospital, not under the UN flag, not in the north, middle, or south,” he added. The survivors are now besieged and holed up in a “tiny area” of southern Gaza, near the Egyptian border, Lazzarini said. Many are being left with only one option: Leaving the Palestinian enclave altogether. “Judging by policy and humanitarian discussions underway, it is hard to believe that the Palestinians of Gaza who are displaced today will be allowed –or even willing– to return to their destroyed homes anytime soon,” the UN official said.

If this path continues, leading to what many are already calling a second Nakba, Gaza will not be a land for Palestinians anymore.” A UN Security Council resolution that would have brokered a ceasefire in Gaza was vetoed by the US on Friday. President Joe Biden’s administration has claimed that the US is doing more than any other nation to help civilians in Gaza, but it’s also aiding the Israeli war effort. A CBS News poll released on Sunday found that only 20% of Americans believe that Biden is making a peaceful resolution to the conflict more likely.

Lazzarini said civilians are being used as pawns in the war, with Hamas abdicating all responsibility for their well-being to the UN and Israel inflicting “collective punishment” on the more than two million people of Gaza. The “meager” humanitarian supplies that Israel has allowed to trickle into the enclave have provided little relief, he added. “Bombardment and a tight siege are again creating conditions under which nothing more than mere survival is possible,” Lazzarini said. “The deprivation of humanitarian aid is key to this plan. After the destruction of the north, the destruction of the south is ongoing, except this time, people have nowhere to go.”

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“Have they gone completely crazy? Are they completely – how can I put it more bluntly – nuts?”

Leadership In Kiev Has Gone ‘Totally Crazy’ – Putin (RT)

Persistent persecution of ethnic Russians in Ukraine was one of the key reasons behind Moscow’s decision to launch its special military operation in that country, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that the Ukrainian authorities have since gone completely “crazy” in their policies. The president made the remarks earlier this week when he hosted distinguished servicemen at the Kremlin to award them Hero of Russia medals. Excerpts from Putin’s speech on the sidelines of the event were published by Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin on Sunday. “We would never have done anything like [the special military operation] if they had not started to destroy Russia in our historical territories, expel people from there, declared Russians a non-indigenous ethnic group in Ukraine.

Have they gone completely crazy? Are they completely – how can I put it more bluntly – nuts?” Putin told the medal recipients. The president was apparently referring to Ukraine’s Law On Indigenous Peoples, adopted in 2021. The legislation recognized only three ethnic groups – Crimean Tatars, Crimean Karaites and Krymchaks (Crimean Jews) – as the country’s indigenous peoples. The legislation denied indigenous designations to Russians, which amounted to at least one fifth of Ukraine’s population, according to various estimates, and to other minorities, such as the ethnic Hungarians and Belarusians who reside in the country’s west and north, respectively. Moreover, all three ethnic groups recognized by the ‘indigenous peoples’ law predominantly live in Crimea, which split from Ukraine in 2014 and joined Russia after a peninsula-wide referendum.

In addition to questionable ethnic policies, the Ukrainian leadership has been openly courting and honoring Nazis, Putin said, invoking a recent scandal in Canada’s House of Commons. The legislature celebrated Ukrainian-Canadian Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Waffen SS veteran, hailing him as a “Canadian hero” who’d “fought the Russians” during World War II. The whole body, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in attendance, engaged in a standing ovation to honor Hunka. “And who exactly fought Russians during the war? Nazis. Everyone knows that and the Ukrainian president knows that. The entire parliament stood up and applauded him. What is it, if not a manifestation of Nazism?” Putin asked, adding that a large proportion of Nazi atrocities were committed by Ukrainian nationalists who collaborated with them.

“They are not just fools, they are also neo-Nazis. It’s an obvious fact. They are ready to cooperate with just anyone to try and hurt Russia,” the president noted. The Hunka affair triggered a major international scandal, which led to the downfall of the House Speaker Anthony Rota, who accepted entire responsibility for inviting the Waffen SS veteran to the legislature. Russia has charged Hunka in absentia with genocide, claiming that archive documents serve as evidence that he and fellow SS Galicia members had killed at least 500 civilians in late February 1944, and Moscow is now seeking the extradition of the Nazi veteran.

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“..it’s ridiculous to believe that Russia wants to attack the West or re-create the USSR..”

US Veteran Ridicules Claim That Russia Poses Threat to Europe (Sp.)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s December 2 claim that Russia poses an immediate threat to Europe is absurd, according to retired Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, a senior fellow for defense priorities at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. “[Austin] claims that all of Western Europe and NATO would be ‘directly threatened’ – this was the term that he used – if [Vladimir Putin] wins here and that’s just nonsense. That’s just absurd,” Davis said on Stephen Gardner’s podcast. “Why would he ever do it? (…) Everything [Putin] has done, everything he has said over the past 15 years is that he wants to protect his borders. They are historically afraid of Western incursions because Russia itself has been invaded many times throughout its history from the West.” Per Davis, it’s ridiculous to believe that Russia wants to attack the West or re-create the USSR, stressing that Austin is either “disingenuous or doesn’t know what he is talking about.”

According to Austin, “Ukraine matters profoundly to America and to the entire world. And it matters for four key reasons.” “First, Putin’s war poses a stark and direct threat to security in Europe and beyond,” the Pentagon chief claimed at the Reagan National Defense Forum. The second reason, argued Austin, is that Russia’s special military operation is “a clear challenge to [US] NATO allies.” The third is that Moscow’s actions are an attack on “democratic values and decency.” And finally, Russia’s special op is a “frontal assault on the international rules-based order,” according to him. But that is not all. Earlier this week, ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on his podcast that Austin allegedly threatened to send lawmakers’ “uncles, cousins and sons to fight Russia” if Ukraine aid is not approved.

Commenting on the alleged threat, Davis highlighted that under the US Constitution the Pentagon chief has zero authority to send any combat troops to Ukraine. What’s more, any direct confrontation with Russia over Ukraine is not in the US national interest, the retired lieutenant colonel emphasized. “There is nothing in that war… the war is militarily unwinnable. We’ve been saying that since the outset of this war.” The military expert said that everything that has happened on the ground since the beginning of Kiev’s summer counteroffensive has validated his assumption.

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The West has lost the Global South. But Milei wants to support Ukraine. i.e. the US. Faux pas.

Zelensky’s Anti-Russian Narrative Faces Resistance in Latin America (Sp.)

Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the inauguration of president-elect Javier Milei. The Ukrainian president is seeking to strengthen ties with the Global South, but Kiev’s rapprochement with Buenos Aires won’t help him win the hearts and minds of Latin Americans, says an Argentine newspaper. Zelensky’s presence in Buenos Aires at the inauguration of Javier Milei’s government is apparently seen by Kiev as a PR coup aimed at restoring the Ukrainian president’s tarnished image as Western support for Ukraine wanes, according to Pagina 12, a left-leaning Argentine publication. “At this time, and due to the diminished support of the governments of the Atlantic alliance, Ukraine’s priority interest is to achieve the support of the countries of the Global South,” writes Daniel Kersffeld, Pagina 12 contributor.

According to Kersffeld, Zelensky’s greatest hope is to make Milei a strategic ally in the conflict against Russia, which would accept Kiev’s unrealistic “peace formula” during a Ukraine summit proposed by Milei. The scholar notes that Kiev also expects Buenos Aires to impose sanctions on Russia. Earlier, President-elect Milei signaled his full support for Zelensky in a clear break with the policy of his predecessor, Alberto Fernández. In late November, the new Argentine leader offered the Ukrainian president to hold a conference on Ukraine in the South American country. “They are organizing a peace conference in Latin America and Ukraine, and we have offered ourselves as a venue if it is appropriate,” Milei’s foreign policy adviser Diana Mondino told reporters last month.

Still, Zelensky’s biggest bet is that the new Argentine government – with Washington’s backing – will bring the governments of the region together and persuade them to support Zelensky and turn their backs on Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kersffeld added. Alas, “the Ukrainian government’s preaching against Moscow was never able to gain footing in the Latin American context, despite various mechanisms of enticement and political and economic pressure imposed by Washington which, among other aspects, sought to provide weapons to Ukraine or, directly, the breaking of relations with Russia,” the scholar underscored.

Despite ideological differences among Latin American governments, there is a consensus in the continent that it must be a “region of peace” and not interfere in overseas conflicts, Kersffeld stressed. “It would be very risky for Argentina to get involved in a foreign conflict not so much in search of peace, but to get a positive nod from Joe Biden’s administration,” the article’s author warned. Meanwhile, Zelensky’s biggest problem is that Kiev’s summer counteroffensive has yielded zero results on the battlefield and failed to achieve any of the Zelensky regime’s goals, making the West increasingly skeptical about pouring money into Ukraine and supporting its incumbent president, according to Kersffeld.

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“..They rejected it themselves, they screwed over their own people because of the hatred for Russia..”

German Chancellor Lying About Gas – Medvedev (RT)

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of the Russian Security Council and the country’s ex-president, has accused German Chancellor Olaf Scholz of “lying” after the latter shared his take on the roots of the energy crisis in Europe. Speaking at a meeting of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin on Saturday, Scholz accused Russia and, personally, President Vladimir Putin of halting the gas supply to the EU. “It was the Russian president who stopped gas supplies through undamaged gas pipelines. Thus, 50% of Germany’s gas supply was called into question. 50 billion cubic meters of gas that went through them became inaccessible,” Scholz claimed during the event, hailing the government’s efforts to buy gas elsewhere. The remarks drew the ire of Medvedev, who took to the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, to flatly accuse the German chancellor of “lying” and trying to shift the blame for their own actions on Moscow.

“The German is lying through his teeth! They rejected it themselves, they screwed over their own people because of the hatred for Russia, and now they are dodging and lying!” While Scholz did not elaborate on the matter during his speech, he was apparently referring to the troubles around Nord Stream that unfolded last summer, shortly before the pipelines ended up being destroyed in a sabotage attack on September 26. At the time, Russian energy giant Gazprom was forced to drastically reduce gas deliveries through the pipelines owing to technical issues related to the maintenance of turbines for Nord Stream 1. The difficulties with servicing the turbines stemmed from Western sanctions on Russia, which effectively prevented the maintenance and timely delivery of spare parts.

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“..Where is Guaido now? He’s a political exile who rode on a failed dream and eventually joined the scrapheap of puppets used, abused and discarded..”

Maduro’s Iron Fist: Why Would Venezuela Risk An All-Out War? (RT)

The South American nation of Venezuela has purportedly voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to affirm its territorial claim to part of the neighboring nation of Guyana. Caracas, which was recently subject to an unsuccessful American regime change attempt to topple its leader Nicholas Maduro, argues the oil reach territory known as the Essequibo region was its own historically, but had it stolen away by the British Empire. Such grievances may be found all over the world. While an invasion of the region remains unlikely at this point, given the role of regional power Brazil and obvious opposition from the nearby US, it is a telling sign about the world today that Venezuela feels it can viably affirm its claims like that. Only a few years ago, the US imposed crippling sanctions on the country and appointed Juan Guaido as an “interim president.” Where is Guaido now? He’s a political exile who rode on a failed dream and eventually joined the scrapheap of puppets used, abused and discarded as Washington’s political preferences shift – the likely looming fate of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

But more to the point, it is an affirmation that the US-led world order is fragmenting and that American power is declining. This is paving the way for other countries to reshape the international order to address what are deemed to be historic grievances or injustices. The weakening of the unipolar political order’s ability to assert its authority presents a window for overt challenges to the status quo for nations that were previously unable to do so. In 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein attempted to do the same, but massively miscalculated the shift towards American unipolar hegemony at the end of the Cold War, believing Washington did not have the will to fight. Seeking to rectify the perceived partition of Iraq by the British Empire and the creation of the Sheikdom of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein invaded and attempted to annex the Gulf State.

The US and its allies hit back with a powerful response, and George H.W. Bush famously proclaimed the objective of creating a “new world order.” His message was essentially that American hegemony was here, and that the US would now reshape the world on its own terms. That message was backed by the overwhelming use of military force, which crushed Saddam’s forces, opening the way to decades of unopposed US-led regime changes and wars, including in Iraq again. However, within those passing decades the world has changed. The US is no longer the only geopolitical force in town and the distribution of power has diversified. New actors, such as a resurgent Russia, China, India, and Iran, among others, have changed the geopolitical landscape towards multipolarity and because of this, other states may now find political space to make their own moves without suffering the same fate as Saddam Hussein.

The two wars of 2022-2023 have been instrumental in changing this. First of all, the US and its allies have not been able to muster the political will to defeat Russia in Ukraine or, as they had assumed, even crush the economy of the Russian Federation. Second, America’s support of Israel and its attempts to squeeze Iran have provoked a war in Gaza, with Hamas successfully sensing an opportunity to lure Israel into a destructive conflict which will crater its credibility and global standing for generations. As the US has become distracted by the emerging crises and seemingly unable to resolve them, Venezuela thus sees an opportunity to strengthen its hand by reaffirming its territorial claims over Guyana as a nationalism-driven bargaining chip.

Venezuela is not a major military power and its geographic location means that an attempt to forcibly occupy the Essequibo would be defeated, as the US is on its doorstep and would do everything it takes to crush hostile states in the western hemisphere. However, Washington’s failed regime change, combined with its need to negotiate sanctions relief due to the impact on global oil markets, mean its own hand against Caracas has shrunk, and the US is not in a position to crush Venezuela as of present. Even without the military dynamic, an extended territorial claim gives a country diplomatic leverage that it can use to extract concessions and assert its authority, just like China in the South China Sea, over Taiwan, or Russia incorporating a number of Ukrainian oblasts into its own territory. All these are part of a long list of historic problems which the given states have been unable to address before, held back by American hegemony, but we now live in a different world and because of that, the political map as we know it is changing.

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“..the “dumbest smart person I think that the world has ever known.”

Hunter Biden Launches Attack on Elon Musk (RT)

Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, has raised doubts about Elon Musk’s intellectual acumen, claiming the billionaire lacks regard for US democracy and freedoms. Biden also accused Musk of spreading “disinformation” about his personal life and business dealings. These comments followed one day after the US Department of Justice filed nine new tax-related charges against Biden, alleging that he had led an “extravagant lifestyle” while evading taxes. In an interview with musician-turned-podcaster Moby published on Friday, Hunter Biden expressed concern that criticisms from right-wing detractors could jeopardize his safety, citing a past attack on Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, where the assailant mentioned Biden as a potential target. According to the 53-year-old, some people have come to view him as an “embodiment of evil” over his alleged wrongdoings that have circulated in the media, especially outlets affiliated with the political right.

Biden asserted that figures like Musk are amplifying narratives damaging to his reputation. “One thing about Elon Musk that I’m certain of is there’s another very damaged human being,” the president’s son told Moby, calling the billionaire the “dumbest smart person I think that the world has ever known.” The attorney-by-profession went on to say that “Elon Musk doesn’t care about the goddamn First Amendment… Elon Musk doesn’t care about democracy; Elon Musk doesn’t care about our freedom to vote.” Responding to these remarks on X (formerly Twitter) that same day, the entrepreneur replied: “Exactly what ‘misinformation’ is he talking about?” Musk quipped, “The dude made so many videos of himself doing crime that he should get an award for cinematography!” – an apparent reference to multiple videos and photos of Hunter that have emerged over the past few years, which depict him spending time with prostitutes and smoking crack cocaine.

Meanwhile, court documents suggest that the younger Biden son was “engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019.” A press release emphasized that his income would have allowed him to pay his taxes but that he had allegedly squandered the money on “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties,” among other things. The charges include three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses, potentially leading to a maximum sentence of 17 years if convicted on all counts. In addition to the tax case, Hunter Biden faces another legal challenge related to allegations of lying about his drug use during the purchase of a firearm. He has also dealt with previous misdemeanor tax-related charges. The combination of legal issues has put the president’s son under significant public scrutiny.

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The White House wanted Lira arrested and disappeared. Ukraine had already picked him up twice and let him walk. When Lira went after Biden and Kamala, who he called stupid, they saw a chance to get rid of him and blame it on Zelensky. An American citizen. Lived his whole life in America, as per his dad.

Musk Wants Answers From Biden And Zelensky About Fate Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)

Elon Musk has addressed US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky about the status of US-Chilean journalist and critic of the Kiev government Gonzalo Lira, who remains under arrest in Ukraine since summer. On Saturday, US political commenter Tucker Carlson published an interview on X (formerly Twitter) with Lira’s father, who said that his son is currently awaiting trial in Ukraine “because he was exercising his right of freedom of speech.” According to Gonzalo Lira Senior, the US embassy “haven’t done a thing” for the detained American passport holder, who is being defended by a court-appointed Ukrainian lawyer with no knowledge of the English language. In his comment on the interview, Musk wondered how it was possible that “an American citizen is in prison in Ukraine after we sent over a $100 billion” to support Kiev amid its conflict with Russia.

“Is there more to this story than simply criticizing Zelensky? If that’s all it is, then we have serious problem here,” the SpaceX and Tesla CEO posted on X. Carlson responded to the message, by saying that the “crime” committed by Lira, who is an author of several novels and a filmmaker with Hollywood experience, was “saying unapproved things.” On Sunday, Musk also addressed the issue on his own account, writing: “What is the status of this American journalist, Joe Biden?” The post included a link to Lira’s last post on X before his third arrest by the Ukrainian authorities in early August. In his message, the journalist said that he was about to cross from Ukraine into Hungary in search of a political asylum. “Either I’ll cross the border and make it to safety, or I’ll be disappeared by the Kiev regime,” he warned followers.

When addressed on the issue by Strana.ua news outlet, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) confirmed that Lira had been arrested on the border with Hungary. The US journalist is currently in custody in Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkov, with the court being scheduled to consider his case on December 12 and 21, he added. According to the spokesman, Lira violated Ukrainian law as he “systematically justified” Russia’s actions in Ukraine and “disseminated pro-Russian views on his social media accounts.” In his videos he “also claimed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were shelling their own territory, while a neo-Nazi regime reigned in Ukraine,” the spokesman stated. Lira, who had been living in Kharkov since the mid-2010s, was actively covering Russia’s military operation in the country from its very start in February 2022. He said that it was a tragedy for Ukraine and its people, whom he loved, but stressed that the conflict had been provoked by the Zelensky government and its Western backers. Among other things, the journalist argued that Ukraine had no chance of winning against Russia and predicted the failure of the sanctions against Moscow.

He also decried attempts by Western media to portray Ukraine as a democracy, speaking about corruption in the government and publishing a list of Zelensky’s opponents who, he claimed, had been “disappeared” by the Kiev authorities. Lira was first arrested by the SBU in April 2022 but released without charge a week later as the story made international headlines. The 55-year-old continued his reporting and, in May, was again taken into custody, in this instance accused of “producing and distributing materials justifying the armed aggression” by Russia against Ukraine. On August 1, the journalist briefly reemerged on social media, posting several videos in which he said that he had been released on bail and was trying to flee to neighboring Hungary in order to avoid a lengthy prison term. He hasn’t been heard from since then.

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“..Chauvin’s frame up was a product of the intimidating violence Democrats and media encouraged and justified..”

George Floyd: The Complete And Total Collapse Of Justice In America (Paul Craig Roberts)

Derek Chauvin was convicted on the basis of false evidence. His conviction rested on a video taken at an angle that produced a misleading view. As I reported at the time, up close police videos showed Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s shoulder, an approved restraint illustrated in the approved police practices handbook. This information was buried under constantly repeated showings by the irresponsible and witch-hunting American media of the video which from the angle it was taken made Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s shoulder look like it was on Floyd’s neck.. The three officers, Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao (a black, a white, and an Asian) convicted along with Chauvin were simply convicted for being present on the scene. As I pointed out at the time, Chauvin was indicted and convicted by the irresponsible American media with endless repetition of “Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes despite Floyd’s plea ‘I can’t breathe.’”

This was a lie. Chauvin was convicted by a lie. I remember when it was a cause for moving a trial to a neutral or objective location or even for dismissal of the charges if media or public officials said a defendant was guilty prior to conviction by a jury. The reason was the media would have polluted the jury pool with the idea that the defendant was guilty. In Chauvin’s case the Minneapolis city government further polluted the jury pool by awarding Floyd’s family $27 million dollars in damages prior to the trial. I do not know whether the ban against conviction in the media has been repealed or become a dead letter requirement or whether it was just suspended in Chauvin’s case. Intimidation also played a role in the wrongful conviction of Chauvin. The Black Lives Matter riots, which the Democrats permitted, encouraged and justified, convinced prosecutors, judges, and jurors that a guilty verdict was required whatever the facts of the case or there would be more looting and burning.

It is clear that Judge Cahill withheld exculpatory evidence from being presented to the jury. He was an asset to the prosecution and enabled Chauvin’s wrongful conviction. I also reported at the time that the coroner’s report stated that Floyd’s blood contained a higher dose of fentanyl than is normally required to kill a person. This evidence played no role in the trial of Chauvin. I also reported the autopsy report’s conclusions that there were no injuries to Floyd’s neck and that Floyd had heart problems that would make his death likely under the influence of drugs. Chauvin’s frame up was a product of the intimidating violence Democrats and media encouraged and justified and of the prosecution and judge’s withholding of exculpatory evidence. It was also a product of years of media reports emphasizing gratuitous police violence against blacks. The same police violence was used against whites, but the media only reported the instances where blacks were the victims.

Some experts attributed the police violence to the Israeli firms that were hired to train US police, pointing out that in Israel police are trained to deal with terrorists, not with ordinary crimes. The years of media emphasis left a negative image of police. The misrepresentation of George Floyd’s death has even intimidated the US Supreme Court which refused to hear Chauvin’s evidence-based appeal. One consequence of Chauvin’s wrongful conviction is that media, Democrats, and Black Lives Matter have learned that they can use violence and intimidation to convict the accused, thereby decreasing the importance of evidence. Another consequence is that policing in Minneapolis is dead. Forty-four percent of the force resigned.

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“..the House has interviews, documents, photos and even audiotapes contradicting Biden’s continuing denial of having any knowledge of his son’s financial dealings.”

Biden’s Clinton Defense: I Did Not Have Interactions with Those People (Turley)

With a formal House vote on an impeachment inquiry expected next week, President Joe Biden was confronted this week about his knowledge and involvement in alleged influence peddling by his son and brothers. An irate Biden seemed to morph into Bill Clinton and — echoing his predecessor’s “I did not have sex with that woman” denial of an earlier scandal — effectively declared that he did not have relations with “those people.” As with Clinton, the denial was absurd, even insulting. Roughly 70% of voters (including 40% of Democrats) believe Biden has acted either unlawfully or unethically in the overseas business dealings of his family. More importantly, the House has interviews, documents, photos and even audiotapes contradicting Biden’s continuing denial of having any knowledge of his son’s financial dealings.

This includes testimony from Hunter Biden’s associates that Joe Biden called in as many as 20 times (and was put on speakerphone) at dinners and meetings with Hunter’s associates. It also includes sworn testimony from figures like Hunter’s ex-associate, Tony Bobulinski, that he discussed dealings directly with Joe Biden. And it includes a statement by Devon Archer, Hunter’s close friend and business partner, that the president’s denials of knowledge were “categorically false.” Yet, according to the president, it is all lies, lies, lies. When finally confronted this week about interacting with these associates, Biden barked back, “I did not and it’s just a bunch of lies. They’re lies. I did not. They’re lies.”

It may become Biden’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” moment, a line that is likely to be repeated with the same frequency as Clinton’s denial before being impeached in 1998. In the face of a formal vote for an impeachment inquiry, Biden is sticking with the same rhetorical chest-poking done by his predecessor. Despite the photos of Clinton with Lewinsky and his long history of womanizing, Clinton expected the media and the public to ignore their lying eyes. The Starr investigation and impeachment forced his hand in eventually admitting the obvious. The Bidens have their own vices, of course, but it seems the family signature has been influence peddling. It appears to have been, as I have written previously, virtually a family business.

Like Clinton, however, Biden is in a bind. He spent the last election categorically denying any knowledge or involvement in Hunter’s business dealings. He continues those denials despite evidence that Hunter discussed these dealings with his father and used Air Force 2 as transport to work on foreign clients during official trips with his father. For years, much of the media refused to acknowledge the authenticity of the emails on Hunter’s abandoned laptop. Yet, in the last year, many have reached the limit of plausible deniability and now acknowledge that Hunter was involved in a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme. The final line of defense has become that Joe Biden did not directly benefit. Even now, some are frantically joining Biden in calls for blind denials.

Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) has even doggedly maintained that the laptop may really be Russian disinformation, despite confirmation of its content by witnesses, government investigators, and several media organizations. It won’t work. Biden clearly lied when he denied knowledge of his son’s business operations, and he has continued to lie during his presidency. Moreover, besides the benefits to his family (which would legally constitute benefits in criminal cases), there are references in Hunter’s emails to giving his father income, paying bills, and using shared accounts and credit cards. Now, the National Archives is finally turning over tens of thousands of emails, including many in which Joe Biden reportedly used false names in communicating with Hunter’s associates. And various key figures, including Hunter, face testimony or contempt proceedings. Thus, Biden is caught in a trap of his own making.

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Might as well let real estate insiders do the talking.

If Engoron and Letitia really want to go with a $26 million valuation of Mar-a-Lago, by all means let them make fools of themselves.

Trump Not To Testify In Fraud Proceedings (TASS)

Ex-US President Donald Trump made the decision not to testify before a New York court in proceedings on fraud when appraising assets of the Trump Organization. The ex-President was expected to arrive in New York and speak before the court on Monday, December 11. “I have already testified to everything & have nothing more to say other than that this is a complete & total election interference (Biden campaign!) witch hunt, that will do nothing but keep businesses out of New York,” Trump wrote on his page in the Truth Social network. “I will not be testifying on Monday,” he added. The Office of the New York State Attorney General sent its action against Trump and Trump Organization to court in September 2022. The Attorney General of the State alleged that the company had overstated the asset value for more comfortable terms of loans and insurance. The defense insists that claims are ungrounded and the property value may change over time due to different reasons.

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“..an ‘Advent calendar of sh*t.’”

UK Tories Plotting Boris Johnson Comeback – Daily Mail (RT)

Tory rebels are considering a plan to “crash” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government and reinstall Boris Johnson as leader as concerns rise over flagging poll figures and surging support for the opposition Labour Party ahead of an expected general election next year, according to the Daily Mail. Amid the high-profile cabinet departures of former Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, Sunak’s authority over Tory ranks is set to be further tested this week when he faces a pivotal vote over his flagship Rwanda migrant-handling plan. Citing anonymous Conservative MPs, the Daily Mail wrote on Saturday that Tory insiders are urgently attempting to address a growing revolt – with peerages being offered to possible rebels to convince them to toe party lines.

The tabloid claims that disgruntled Tories will increasingly seek to “crash” the Sunak government with a series of Commons votes and outspoken interventions, which the newspaper’s sources said is crudely referred to as an ‘Advent calendar of sh*t.’ Furthermore, the outlet cites anonymous sources as saying there is a belief within the party that Johnson – who stood down as prime minister in September 2022 – is the only person who possesses the necessary skills to pose a challenge to Labour leader Keir Starmer. The newspaper also notes that the Reform Party, the successor to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, is siphoning votes that might otherwise have gone to the Conservatives – with a so-called Johnson/Farage “dream ticket” being floated. It also notes that Farage’s appearance on a popular UK reality television series has bolstered support for the Brexit architect.

Johnson, who is a columnist for the Daily Mail, did not elaborate on his possible political ambitions when contacted by the newspaper. A spokesperson for Farage, who, like Johnson, is not currently an MP, said that any political alliance between the two would “soon end in tears.” “Reform are going to kill us,” the newspaper cites an anonymous Tory MP as saying. “We have to buy Farage off. The plan is we get him into the Lords, give him some brief like we did with [David] Cameron – maybe even home secretary – then go to the country with the ‘Dream Team.’” Another possibility for a post-Sunak scenario, per the Mail, would be for Johnson ally and former Home Secretary Priti Patel to be appointed as temporary PM while Johnson seeks a ‘safe’ seat in the election – after which he would hypothetically return to Downing Street. Recent polling has indicated that Labour holds a commanding lead over the Tories ahead of the next general election, which must take place before January 2025.

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“..Gore has a storied history of making climate change predictions that turn out to be spectacularly wrong. No wonder he wants to ban dissent.”

Al Gore: Access to Non-Mainstream Information ‘Threatens Democracy’ (MN)

Al Gore says that people having access to information outside of mainstream media sources is a threat to “democracy” and that social media algorithms “ought to be banned.” Yes, really. Gore made the comments during an appearance at the Cop28 climate change hysteria conference in Dubai. Gore whined that social media had “disrupted the balances that used to exist that made representative democracy work much better.” The former Vice President said that functioning democracy relied on a “shared base of knowledge that serves as a basis for reasoning together collectively” but that “social media that is dominated by algorithms” upsets this balance. According to Gore, people are being pulled down “rabbit holes” by algorithms that are “the digital equivalent of AR-15s – they ought to be banned, they really ought to be banned!”

Gore claimed, “It’s an abuse of the public forum” and that people were being sucked into echo chambers. “If you spend too much time in the echo chamber, what’s weaponized is another form of AI, not artificial intelligence, artificial insanity! I’m serious!” he added. Apparently, the only echo chamber that should be allowed to exist is Gore’s own rabbit hole, wherein the earth is constantly on the brink of destruction thanks to people not obeying his technocratic mandates. Perhaps Gore is unhappy at his own misinformation being fact checked by individuals who have access to information not produced by corporate media sources that are friendly to him. Gore infamously predicted that the north polar ice cap would be “ice free” within 5 to 7 years. It never happened. As Thomas Cartenacci documents, Gore has a storied history of making climate change predictions that turn out to be spectacularly wrong. No wonder he wants to ban dissent.

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To date, the inquiry has spent over £70 million

 

 

Excess deaths

 

 

 

 

Watters climate

 

 

Stringballs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1733821362341318951

 

 

Owl legs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1733641444328353883

 

 

Baby owl

 

 

Lots of memories..

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 052023
 


Adolphe Yvon Genius of America c1870

 

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

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Torah

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Corruption Trial Against Netanyahu Resumes After War Pause (Cradle)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zelensky Trying To Directly Control Army (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Political gridlock.

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

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

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

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

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Follow the money…

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

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

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

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

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

CIA Outlet Approves Donald Trump Assassination (CTH)

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

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

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

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How does she stick around?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black Pattern Forming? (Alastair Crooke)

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

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

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

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

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

Bidenomics in Action (Jim Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Wake skate
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731706737558720878

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 102023
 


Pablo Picasso Femme à la Montre 1932
Sold for $139 million on November 8

 

Letter to the Children of Gaza (Chris Hedges)
Biden’s Frankenstein (Patrick Lawrence)
Ceasefire in Gaza Depends on US as It ‘Fully Controls’ Conflict – Hamas (Sp.)
Hamas Not Interested in Keeping Civilians Hostage – Erdogan (Sp.)
Turkey Ready To Act As Guarantor In Resolving Gaza Crisis – Erdogan (TASS)
Russia Can’t Be Defeated On Battlefield – Kremlin (RT)
West Preparing for Military Coup Against Zelensky – Larry Johnson (Sp.)
Ukraine ‘Has No Russian Minority’ – Deputy PM (RT)
US Aiming To ‘Kill’ Major Russian Energy Project – Pyatt (RT)
Russia May Downgrade Diplomatic Relations With US – Deputy FM (TASS)
Polls In Key States ‘Scary’ – Top-Ranking Biden Diplomat (RT)
Hillary Clinton Likens Trump To Hitler And Warns He Would End Democracy (G.)
Trump Is ‘Toast’ In New York Fraud Trial – Former Watergate Prosecutor (G.)
Claimed ‘99% Consensus’ on Climate Change Demolished by New Report (DS)
US Congress Members Call for Biden to Drop Assange Extradition Request (Sp.)

 

 

“Most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they’re 75” – Benjamin Franklin

 

 


Elon Musk: “Best economist ever”

 

 

Iversen Ritter

 

 

 

 

Nap/Crooke

 

 

 

 

Belgium Petra De Sutter

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I am a reporter. It is my job to see this. You are a child. You should never see this.”

Letter to the Children of Gaza (Chris Hedges)

Dear child. It is past midnight. I am flying at hundreds of miles an hour in the darkness, thousands of feet over the Atlantic Ocean. I am traveling to Egypt. I will go to the border of Gaza at Rafah. I go because of you. You have never been in a plane. You have never left Gaza. You know only the densely packed streets and alleys. The concrete hovels. You know only the security barriers and fences patrolled by soldiers that surround Gaza. Planes, for you, are terrifying. Fighter jets. Attack helicopters. Drones. They circle above you. They drop missiles and bombs. Deafening explosions. The ground shakes. Buildings fall. The dead. The screams. The muffled calls for help from beneath the rubble. It does not stop. Night and day. Trapped under the piles of smashed concrete. Your playmates. Your schoolmates. Your neighbors. Gone in seconds. You see the chalky faces and limp bodies when they are dug out. I am a reporter. It is my job to see this. You are a child. You should never see this.

The stench of death. Rotting corpses under broken concrete. You hold your breath. You cover your mouth with cloth. You walk faster. Your neighborhood has become a graveyard. All that was familiar is gone. You stare in amazement. You wonder where you are. You are afraid. Explosion after explosion. You cry. You cling to your mother or father. You cover your ears. You see the white light of the missile and wait for the blast. Why do they kill children? What did you do? Why can’t anyone protect you? Will you be wounded? Will you lose a leg or an arm? Will you go blind or be in a wheelchair? Why were you born? Was it for something good? Or was it for this? Will you grow up? Will you be happy? What will it be like without your friends? Who will die next? Your mother? Your father? Your brothers and sisters? Someone you know will be injured. Soon. Someone you know will die. Soon.

At night you lie in the dark on the cold cement floor. The phones are cut. The internet is off. You do not know what is happening. There are flashes of light. There are waves of blast concussions. There are screams. It does not stop. When your father or mother hunts for food or water you wait. That terrible feeling in your stomach. Will they come back? Will you see them again? Will your tiny home be next? Will the bombs find you? Are these your last moments on Earth? You drink salty, dirty water. It makes you very sick. Your stomach hurts. You are hungry. The bakeries are destroyed. There is no bread. You eat one meal a day. Pasta. A cucumber. Soon this will seem like a feast.

You have seen foreign reporters. We wear flak jackets with the word PRESS written on it. We have helmets. We have cameras. We drive jeeps. We appear after a bombing or a shooting. We sit over coffee for a long time and talk to the adults. Then we disappear. We do not usually interview children. But I have done interviews when groups of you crowded around us. Laughing. Pointing. Asking us to take your picture. I have been bombed by jets in Gaza. I have been bombed in other wars, wars that happened before you were born. I too was very, very scared. I still have dreams about it. When I see the pictures of Gaza these wars return to me with the force of thunder and lightning. I think of you. All of us who have been to war hate war most of all because of what it does to children.

Safe place

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“..Biden, Blinken and the rest of the regime’s national security crew are now aware that Biden’s open-door, open-wallet support for Bibi’s frenzied violence against Palestinians has turned into a political disaster from which it will be difficult to recover.”

Biden’s Frankenstein (Patrick Lawrence)

The new wave of violence in Israel and Gaza now enters its second month. More than 10,000 people have been killed, The Associated Press reports, 40 percent of them children. Where is this catastrophe going? What are the limits of Israel’s inhumanity? Does the Biden regime, in its unforgivable support and encouragement of this ethnic-cleansing operation, have another Frankenstein on its hands—a monster it cannot control? There is the Ukraine case, a contrast as we consider this question. Volodymyr Zelensky is pure cartoon creation—the greatest put-up job of our century, posing as a defender of democratic freedom while running a crypto–Nazi regime and, along with his generals and ministers, stealing hundreds of millions of dollars. But Ukraine—weak, broke, and losing the proxy war against Russia—is easily managed. Biden could unplug the electrodes from Zelensky’s temples any time he chose to do so. He won’t, but he could.

It starts to look as if Biden and his foreign policy people have lost what control they may have had over Bibi Netanyahu and the fanatical regime he directs. Last week Antony Blinken, on his second trip to Israel since the Hamas assault on southern Israel October 7, asked the Israeli prime minister to “pause”—we must not propose a ceasefire—Israel’s daily bombing campaign up and down the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu refused the American secretary of state more or less point blank. Ask yourself: Who was in charge of that meeting, who was running the show? I have to say, Blinken does come over as a diplomatic pipsqueak time and time again, as he did last summer in Beijing, when the Chinese leadership actually scolded him before sending him home with nothing but lectures to show for his effort.

The Biden White House has been making sotto voce requests such as Blinken’s for the past couple of weeks, all to very little avail. Dim and wanting in all subtlety, even Biden, Blinken and the rest of the regime’s national security crew are now aware that Biden’s open-door, open-wallet support for Bibi’s frenzied violence against Palestinians has turned into a political disaster from which it will be difficult to recover. West Asian nations may not stand with Palestinians to the extent one would like to see, but the old client relationships with Washington appear to have been altered more or less permanently. It all looks so very bad. Last week the Latin Americans began recalling their ambassadors to Tel Aviv, Bolivia going so far as to sever relations, and bravo for the Bolivians.

This week Jordan, Bahrain, Turkey, Chad and South Africa followed suit. The Israelis show no sign of giving a damn, but look at the names: America has traditionally counted these nations among its friends (or clients). Now they stand among those treating apartheid Israel as the pariah state it deserves to be called. Think about where this will leave Washington out in the middle distance. It will be another case of U.S. support for South Africa before the apartheid regime gave up the ghost in 1990, or for Rhodesia before it became Zimbabwe 10 years earlier. It will be embarrassing and costly. There are cracks in the façade at home, too. There are murmurs in Congress that the Israelis have gone too far, although very few have made the daring leap from ineffectually suggesting a “temporary pause” in the bombing to demanding a ceasefire.

Unnamed officials now acknowledge that Israel’s hysterical violence has nothing to do with self-defense and everything to do with preserving the Israeli Defense Force’s reputation for merciless retribution. I read these sorts of admissions as indications of dissatisfaction and disapproval, if not disgust. The Pentagon appears to be especially restive as the Israeli campaign to ethnic-cleanse Gaza proceeds. Two weeks ago it dispatched senior officers to advise the IDF to reconsider the deadliness of urban combat—the street-to-street, door-to-door stuff. The New York Times has since quoted a senior Defense Department official saying “the operations so far have not come close to destroying Hamas’s senior and middle leadership ranks.”

Ehud Barak (ex-Israel PM) has resurfaced. He collected his frequent flyer points on the Lolita Express.

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“..If the US administration wanted the ceasefire, it would have been reached by now..”

Ceasefire in Gaza Depends on US as It ‘Fully Controls’ Conflict – Hamas (Sp.)

A ceasefire in Gaza depends on the United States as it “fully controls” the Middle East conflict, Hamas Political Bureau member Mousa Abu Marzouq said on Thursday. “The ceasefire depends on the US. The US is the main supporter of Israel: American drones are in the skies over Gaza, military ships are off the Palestinian coast. They supply both arms and money. They also provide political cover for the process. All the states in the region are under pressure to save Israel. That is why the ceasefire depends on the US. If the US administration wanted the ceasefire, it would have been reached by now,” Marzouq said in an interview with Turkish newspaper.

The official added that Hamas expected Islamic countries to take practical measures in the crisis, up to and including cutting off oil supplies to Israel. At the same time, the US is threatening regional countries so they do not impose sanctions on Israel, Marzouq said. “We are well aware of the fact that in the past, during the wars in the Middle East, an oil embargo was imposed to support the Arab actions. Today, it is possible to cut off oil supplies to those who help this Zionist structure. The Arab and Muslim states can take more steps towards a ceasefire. The Islamic states should not stop with statements and condemnations. Practical steps must be taken,” he added.

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“..20-30 trucks pass through Turkiye [to Gaza] every day, as of now. Of course, this is not humanitarian aid. It was proposed to increase this figure to at least 500 trucks.”

Hamas Not Interested in Keeping Civilians Hostage – Erdogan (Sp.)

The Hamas movement is not interested in keeping civilian hostages, and a mutual process on freeing Israelis and Palestinians is necessary, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. “On the issue of hostages, Hamas is not interested in holding civilians hostage. On the contrary, there must be a release of Palestinians held by Israel. If we, as Turkiye, intervene, then Israel must immediately release the Palestinians, and on the other hand, the Israelis held by Hamas must be released immediately,” Erdogan told reporters on his way back from Tashkent. Hamas does not have a “determination” to not release hostages, and the movement said that they are ready to free them, Erdogan added. “Of course there are [also] soldiers there [in Hamas’ captivity]. Among these soldiers there are also high ranks. But the lack of principles of Israel, which takes … children hostage, is also obvious. If positive steps are taken, we will take any risk and try to contribute to resolving this issue,” Erdogan said.

Turkiye has proposed to the United States to increase passage of trucks with humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip to 500 per day during talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. Earlier this week, Blinken visited Turkiye where he held talks with Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. “Recently, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Turkiye and held discussions with Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. During the negotiations, surely, the foreign minister made some proposals. For example, 20-30 trucks pass through Turkiye [to Gaza] every day, as of now. Of course, this is not humanitarian aid. It was proposed to increase this figure to at least 500 trucks. I was told by Hakan Fidan … that he [Blinken] also reacted positively to this,” Erdogan told media. Turkiye aims to open a corridor for the transfer of injured people out of the Gaza Strip and receives positive signals on this issue, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan added.

“Our desire here is not only a corridor for humanitarian aid to pass through. We also want to increase pressure on Israel to ensure the transfer of wounded, oppressed Palestinians. Our goal is to ensure the passage of all these people from Gaza to areas where we can provide medical assistance … We have completed preparations for this, some positive signals are coming … If we can really take them to our hospitals, we will fulfill our humanitarian and Islamic duty,” Erdogan told reporters. Turkiye has received some positive signals regarding its diplomatic efforts for the Gaza Strip, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. “There is no such thing as hopelessness. Of course, we have hope [for a ceasefire in Gaza]. We hold these events because we have hope … We seem to be getting some positive signals in our diplomatic attacks,” Erdogan told reporters on his way back from Tashkent.

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“..The Muslim world needs to take a united stance and increase pressure on Israel..”

Turkey Ready To Act As Guarantor In Resolving Gaza Crisis – Erdogan (TASS)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed that Ankara is ready to act as a guarantor in resolving the Gaza crisis. At a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, Erdogan called on the Muslim world to come together and put pressure on Israel, the Turkish presidential office said in a statement. “President Erdogan pointed out that Turkey was ready to contribute to resolving the issue, taking responsibility as a guarantor. The Muslim world needs to take a united stance and increase pressure on Israel,” the statement reads.

The Turkish and Iranian presidents discussed the humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip and the steps that should be taken to resolve it, as well as bilateral and regional issues. “President Erdogan said at the meeting that an end to Israel’s violence would facilitate efforts to ensure peace in the region and the world in general. According to him, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) needs to make efforts at its extraordinary summit to find a fair solution,” the statement added. The OIC is expected to hold a summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on November 12.

Disparity

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“..Ukraine’s hopes of defeating Russia had been “absurd” right from the outset..”

Russia Can’t Be Defeated On Battlefield – Kremlin (RT)

There is no way the Russian military can be defeated, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has insisted. His comments follow recent claims by President Vladimir Putin that Western governments were lowering their expectations regarding the outcome of the Ukraine conflict. Speaking to Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin on Thursday, Peskov stated “it is high time that everyone in Kiev and Washington realized: it’s impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield.” Putin claimed on Friday that Western powers were “changing their tune now [and] saying different things” compared to their previous insistence on inflicting a military defeat on Russia.

Also last week, Ukraine’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, admitted in an article published by The Economist that Kiev’s troops were unlikely to pull off a “deep and beautiful breakthrough” in the conflict with Russia, unless provided with more advanced weapons by the West. He suggested that the fighting was deadlocked and could “drag on for years,” although Peskov responded to that assessment by insisting that Moscow’s forces were not at a stalemate. He further claimed that Ukraine’s hopes of defeating Russia had been “absurd” right from the outset. Citing anonymous US officials, NBC reported last week that behind closed doors Washington had been pushing Kiev toward negotiations with Moscow. The outlet also claimed that the US had been conducting “delicate” unofficial discussions with Kiev regarding concessions Ukraine would be willing to make in potential peace talks.

A State Department spokesperson denied the claims, while Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky repeated that his government would not negotiate unless Russia withdraws its troops from territory within Ukraine’s 1991 borders. According to NBC, Western officials are increasingly concerned that Ukraine is “running out of forces,” and also harbor fears about their own ability to shore up Kiev with weapons shipments in the long run amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Media speculation has recently intensified after Ukraine failed to make any notable gains despite a months-long counteroffensive. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kiev has lost more than 90,000 troops in the operation, which began in early June.

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“..It’s not just calling each other names and maybe hurting someone’s feelings. This is becoming a blood match.”

West Preparing for Military Coup Against Zelensky – Larry Johnson (Sp.)

The writing is on the wall for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as the Western elite seemingly seek someone else to fill his shoes, retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official Larry Johnson told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. Signs of a behind-the-scenes struggle in Ukraine have recently manifested themselves in Commander-in-Chief Gen. Valery Zaluzhny’s open defiance of Volodymyr Zelensky’s non-stop war plans; a mysterious death of Zaluzhny’s close aide; and the Ukrainian president’s refusal to hold elections next year. CIA veteran Larry Johnson believes that the “invisible hand” of the West is orchestrating what may end up in regime change in Ukraine. Per him, Zaluzhny’s extensive “stalemate” interview to the British press, which prompted so much ire on Bankovaya Street – a Ukrainian presidential residence – was by no means coincidental.

“It’s always important to pay close attention to what’s going on in the media because these stories don’t just appear out of nowhere,” Johnson told Sputnik. “It’s not like some intrepid Economist’s reporter is saying, ‘Hey, you know, I think it’d be a pretty nifty if I could go interview General Zaluzhny.’ Because I think that that entire arrangement was made possible through the intervention of MI6 to get Zaluzhny’s profile raised in the West. And remember in that Economist magazine, he was interviewed, he then wrote an op-ed and they gave him a longer piece online, the ‘Economist online’. So Zaluzhny got three hits. And he was seen as undermining the message that had been coming out of Ukraine.”

Likewise, the death of Gennady Chastyakov, an assistant to the commander-in-chief, reeks of a potential sabotage from the Ukrainian infamous security service, according to the former CIA analyst. “This grenade that went off… I’ve seen in a couple of different accounts that someone gave him a live grenade and then his son was playing with it and accidentally pulled the pin and it went off. But it sure seems like sabotage. And Zelensky still has support within the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and it would not be at all beyond the SBU for Zelensky to think it’s a good idea to send a message like this to try to intimidate Zaluzhny.” However, it’s not Zaluzhny who is Zelensky’s major problem, but the Ukrainian president’s fading support in the West, both in the UK and the US, according to Johnson:

“Remember a week ago, Time magazine – who had featured Zelensky on its front cover in 2022 as Man of the Year, they described him as like ‘the reincarnation of Winston Churchill’, and ‘this great military strategist’. He now was put on the front cover of Time and decried as basically like Adolf Hitler in his last days, delusional, out of touch with reality, crazy. So when I see those kinds of articles appear from both British sources and American sources, it’s telling me that the political establishments in both places are preparing the exit ramp for Zelensky. And Zaluzhny may be seen as someone that they want to replace Zelensky with. So we’re at the stage now in this entire affair where the infighting is now becoming lethal. It’s not just calling each other names and maybe hurting someone’s feelings. This is becoming a blood match.”

Johnson drew attention to the fact that in addition, NBC News broke on November 4 that US and European officials have begun “quietly talking” to the Kiev regime about possible “peace negotiations with Russia” to end the stalemate. It seems Western decision-makers have zero illusions about Zelensky: they know that he had zero qualifications to take on the presidency, but was “a comedian notorious for his ability to use his genitalia to play the piano,” per the CIA veteran. For his part, Zaluzhny appears to be someone “who could negotiate with Russia, because Zaluzhny back in the day at least had contacts with and trained with members of the Russian military before the split when Ukraine sort of went in its own direction,” Johnson stressed.

Larry Johnson

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Problem too big for you? Just ignore and deny it..

“..the use of the Russian language is not something that the European Commission will pay attention to..”

Ukraine ‘Has No Russian Minority’ – Deputy PM (RT)

The European Commission cannot have complaints about discrimination against the ethnic Russian minority in Ukraine because there is no such section of the population, Kiev’s deputy prime minister for European integration, Olga Stefanishina, has claimed. Some EU members have raised concerns over Ukraine’s treatment of ethnic minorities under laws adopted since the 2014 armed coup in Kiev, including the government pushing the use of the Ukrainian language through education and media regulations. However, speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Stefanishina insisted that “there is no Russian minority in Ukraine. It does not exist. There is not a single judicially defined community identifying itself as a Russian minority.”

She added that “when I want to, I speak Ukrainian, and when I want otherwise, I speak Russian.” Stefanishina claimed she did not need permission to do that from the EU or “Moskals” – a pejorative term used by some Ukrainians to describe Russians. The politician further stated that officials in Brussels shared her stance. On Wednesday, the European Commission recommended that talks should begin on Ukraine’s accession to the EU. The commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, argued that Kiev had made strides on implementing certain reforms on minority issues. Stefanishina’s remarks apparently confirm reports in the Russian media on Wednesday, which claimed that Brussels had chosen to ignore allegations of anti-Russian discrimination in Ukraine. “Let me be absolutely clear: the use of the Russian language is not something that the European Commission will pay attention to,” an EU source was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

EU recommendations regarding language policy will only apply to Hungarians, Romanians, and Bulgarians, the source claimed, adding that Kiev was moving forward on meeting those demands. In a recent example of a language row, a Russian-speaking driver in Kiev was banned by a rideshare service operator after he rejected demands by two passengers to speak Ukrainian. A video of the incident went viral in late October and drew the attention of language ombudsman Tarask Kremen, who vowed that the defiant driver “will not escape punishment.” In a survey conducted in September by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology at the EU’s request, respondents cited language discrimination as the most common type of prejudice in Ukraine, with 45% saying it was a problem.

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Pyatt is the ultimate tool. He was US envoy to Ukraine in 2014, known for phone calls with Victoria Nuland. Now he’s “US assistant secretary of state for energy resources”.

US Aiming To ‘Kill’ Major Russian Energy Project – Pyatt (RT)

The White House is aiming to “kill” Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 energy project, according to US assistant secretary of state for energy resources, Geoffrey Pyatt. The project in the northern Gydan Peninsula is operated by independent Russian LNG producer Novatek. It will feature three LNG trains, with a total annual production capacity of 19.8 million tons. The first train was launched in July, while the remaining two are scheduled for 2024 and 2025. Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on US national security interests in Ukraine on Wednesday, Pyatt stated: “Last week, for instance, we levelled new sanctions against the Arctic LNG 2, which is Novatek’s flagship project”.

“Our objective is to kill that project,” he stressed, claiming that the project had been set up with the aim of turning Russia into the world’s largest LNG exporter.According to Pyatt, Russia’s plans are being stifled by sanctions imposed through cooperation between the US and its allies in the G7 and beyond. The US official also said the White House is “working with the countries [that] historically have depended on Russian energy, and [are] paying in to the Kremlin’s resources.” Pyatt claimed that this has been done “quite successfully” in the EU. “We need to keep focusing on the Asian front,” he added, stressing that the current price cap coalition would help to achieve that objective.

According to Pyatt, the $60 per-barrel price ceiling on Russian seaborne oil exports imposed by EU and G7 countries in December has managed to cut Moscow’s energy revenues, while keeping Russian crude on global markets and avoiding further destabilization. Earlier this week, Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said that sanctions on the Arctic LNG 2 project could have a major negative impact on business in Japan, adding that Tokyo would work with the G7 to maintain stable energy supplies. Japan had previously exempted Russian LNG projects in Sakhalin and the Arctic from sanctions and continued to provide architectural and engineering services to the country.

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“..we have seen the Americans take a series of irresponsible and escalatory steps with regard to Ukraine, and not only there..”

Russia May Downgrade Diplomatic Relations With US – Deputy FM (TASS)

Washington’s behavior may compel Moscow to downgrade diplomatic relations or even cut ties, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said. “We are indeed going through an acute crisis in relations, the likes of which we have never seen before. We need to carefully calibrate and verify the steps we are taking to prevent further escalation. Our leadership encourages the Foreign Ministry and other federal government agencies to act this way, which is what we are guided by. However, we have seen the Americans take a series of irresponsible and escalatory steps with regard to Ukraine, and not only there,” the senior diplomat said in an interview with RTVI.

“That is why, if we look at Washington’s current behavior model from this perspective, I don’t rule out anything at all. The level [of diplomatic ties] may be lowered; and the severance of diplomatic relations is also possible,” he added. Still, the deputy foreign minister stressed that Russia did not plan to initiate the severance of diplomatic relations with the US. “We believe that diplomatic relations are an element of international affairs that need to be taken care of because otherwise we will lose all that’s left of civilized channels for sending messages to each other,” Ryabkov said. In this regard, he pointed out that November 16 would mark 90 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and the United States.

“Our relations have been through various phases; there was even a period of allied ties and brotherhood in arms in the fight against a common enemy, Hitlerite Germany, that was waging a war against us and our allies, which included the US back then. Later, there were the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and a period of detente. We’ve seen many things,” the Russian deputy foreign minister noted. The senior diplomat also pointed out that Russia would always respond to any US challenges and provocations. “I think the Americans know us by now, watching how firmly and consistently we defend our interests in all areas,” Ryabkov emphasized.

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“Voters, by a 59% to 37% percent margin, said they trusted Trump more than Biden when it comes to the economy – the largest gap of any issue…”

Polls In Key States ‘Scary’ – Top-Ranking Biden Diplomat (RT)

US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen has recently revealed that fresh polling in key swing states paint quite a grim picture for incumbent President Joe Biden, who leads in only one key state out of six for the 2024 presidential election. “For people in Canada or the United States who are concerned or troubled by a prospective second term for Donald Trump, those polling results are sobering and scary,” Cohen told a conference of manufacturers and exporters in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, on Tuesday. He then said that this information just means there’s a lot of work that needs to be done over the next year and that no one should panic. “I am certainly not looking at the current state of play and saying, ‘Oh, my God, it’s all over. There’s no way Joe Biden can get re-elected’,” Cohen added. “Anyone who has that attitude is probably making a big mistake.”

According to Politico, his comments represent “an unusual swerve into domestic US politics by a sitting ambassador and a striking admission of Biden’s vulnerability by one of his most loyal political allies.” The Biden campaign has spent much of the past few days trying not avoid “fretting” – as they said in a statement – about the latest wave of grim polling on the 2024 election, which showed that former President and current candidate Donald Trump is leading Biden significantly in five of the six most important battleground states. A survey by The New York Times and Siena College published on Sunday indicated Trump is holding an 11-point lead in Nevada and smaller margins across Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Only Wisconsin favored Biden – and only by a two-point margin.

The 3,662 polled voters were mostly concerned about the age of Biden – who turns 81 later this month, making him the oldest president in American history – and expressed dissatisfaction over his handling of the economy. Voters, by a 59% to 37% percent margin, said they trusted Trump more than Biden when it comes to the economy – the largest gap of any issue. That result bodes particularly poorly for Biden, given that nearly twice as many voters said economic issues would determine their 2024 vote compared to social issues, such as abortion or gun laws. And those economic voters favored Trump by a landslide 60 percent to 32 percent. The survey also showed that, for the most part, Trump is so far politically surviving the 91 felony charges he is currently facing.

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He’s more Hitler than Hitler himself was. And he can live rent-free in her head until the end of time.

Hillary Clinton Likens Trump To Hitler And Warns He Would End Democracy (G.)

Former senator and secretary of state says Nazi leader was initially elected and that ‘Trump is telling us what he intends to do’ Hillary Clinton has compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler as she offered a blunt warning about the dangers of a second Trump presidency. Trump back in the White House, Clinton said during an appearance on ABC’s daytime talkshow The View on Wednesday, “would be the end of our country as we know it, and I don’t say that lightly”. The former first lady, senator and secretary of state said: “When I was secretary of state, I used to talk about ‘one and done’. What I meant by that is that people would get legitimately elected and then they would try to do away with elections, and do away with opposition, and do away with a free press.”

Then Clinton added: “Hitler was duly elected. All of a sudden somebody with those tendencies, dictatorial, authoritarian tendencies, would be like ‘OK we’re gonna shut this down, we’re gonna throw these people in jail.’ And they didn’t usually telegraph that. Trump is telling us what he intends to do.” Clinton’s comments came days after a Washington Post report detailing how Trump is discussing how to use the justice department to investigate political rivals and former allies who have been critical of him should he return to the White House. He is also discussing invoking the Insurrection Act on his first day in office, which would allow him to use the US military domestically to quell protests and dissent, something he was talked out of by military leaders during his one-term presidency.

Trump’s team is also preparing to staff a potential administration with more radical rightwing lawyers who are less likely to stymie efforts to get in his way as he pushes the bounds of presidential power, the New York Times reported. A New York Times/Siena poll released on Sunday shows Trump leading Joe Biden in several key battleground states. Trump faces criminal charges in four different cases, set to go to trial next year. Winning the presidency is widely understood to be Trump’s best chance of escaping liability. And the poll shows that many voters who were asked would switch back to Biden if Trump is convicted. But Clinton gave a clear warning. “Trump is telling us what he intends to do,” Clinton said on The View. “Take him at his word.”

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Don’t worry, it’s just the Guardian.

“In New York, a judge can draw an adverse inference from a decision to invoke the fifth amendment in a civil case. “You’ve got contradictory testimony. You can use his assertion of the fifth amendment against him. To basically find that he’s lying..”

Trump Is ‘Toast’ In New York Fraud Trial – Former Watergate Prosecutor (G.)

Donald Trump is “toast” in the civil fraud trial involving his business empire and put himself in an incredibly bad position when he agreed to testify in person after previously invoking his fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination, Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor, told CNN on Wednesday. “Basically at this point, Donald Trump is toast,” said Akerman, who was an assistant special prosecutor on the 1970s team that investigated President Richard Nixon and top aides for their involvement in the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel and subsequent revelation of other nefarious political activities. “I mean he is basically going to be found to be a liar by the judge.”

Trump testified on Monday as part of an ongoing trial in which the New York attorney general, Letitia James, is suing the former president for fraudulently inflating the value of business assets to secure more favorable terms on loans and insurance contracts. The judge overseeing the case, Arthur Engoron, already ruled Trump and the family company, the Trump Organization, did in fact commit fraud – the trial taking place in Manhattan is to determine what penalty they will pay. James is seeking $250m and to bar the former president from conducting real estate business in the state of New York. Trump sat for a deposition in the case in August 2022 and invoked the fifth amendment more than 400 times. Despite that, he testified in court last week that he did not commit fraud.

Trump used his appearance on the stand to rail against the judge and what he said was unfair treatment in the trial, bringing sharp rebuke from the bench. In New York, a judge can draw an adverse inference from a decision to invoke the fifth amendment in a civil case. “You’ve got contradictory testimony. You can use his assertion of the fifth amendment against him. To basically find that he’s lying,” Akerman said. “I just don’t see how this judge, at the end of the day, is not gonna find with respect to Donald Trump ‘liar, liar, pants on fire’.” Akerman added that in the 40 years he had been practicing civil law, a handful of his clients had taken the fifth amendment, but had “never seen somebody do such a stupid move as to suddenly start testifying after you’ve taken the fifth”.

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“..work not supporting the political narrative on climate is now almost impossible to get published in the major science journals..”

“..only about 0.5% of the papers explicitly stated that recent warming was mostly human caused..”

Claimed ‘99% Consensus’ on Climate Change Demolished by New Report (DS)

The invented political notion that 99% of climate scientists believe humans have caused all or most recent global warming has been dealt another significant blow. A group of Israeli scientists has examined the widely-publicised claim by the climate activist Mark Lynas that there is a 99% ‘consensus’ that humans cause most warming. Led by Yonatan Dubi, Professor of Chemistry and Physics at Ben Gurion University, the scientists found that massive flaws and biases riddled the Lynas work, implying the conclusions of the study do not follow from the data. This work matters. The claims of a 99% consensus, along with an earlier 97% figure, are widely used in political and media circles to shut down debate over anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Sceptical scientists – even those as distinguished as last year’s Nobel Physics Prize winner Dr. John Clauser – can be dismissed as cranks and deniers.

Of course consensus is not proof, which is notably lacking in the model-driven climate science field. However the Israeli authors observe a consensus claim is “influential in bolstering the reception of a particular thesis within the broader public sphere”. This leads to “less quantifiable statements”, such as humanity is facing an imminent climate crisis, and is followed by global calls for action. Not to put too fine a point on it, the collectivist Net Zero project relies on a fake scientific consensus that crumbles when exposed to the most basic scrutiny. The Lynas et al. paper, which examined the ‘abstracts’ of 3,000 papers, is riddled with errors. It assumes that all papers taking ‘no position’ on AGW are in support of the hypothesis.

The Israeli authors note that sceptical scientists tend not to emphasise scepticism in the opening abstract as work not supporting the political narrative on climate is now almost impossible to get published in the major science journals. Careful analysis of how sceptical papers diplomatically “fit the consensus” suggests the actual number of scientists agreeing with AGW may be on the “low side”, conclude the examining authors. The dictionary definition of consensus is a “general agreement” or “the judgement arrived at by most of those concerned”. The authors are clear in their judgement: “No claim for consensus can be made from the data presented in Lynas et al.” This is not the first time such outlandish ‘consensus’ claims have been critically examined. In 2013, John Cook asserted that 97% of 11,944 peer-reviewed science papers explicitly endorsed the opinion that humans had caused the majority of the warming over the last 150 years.

But, 7,930 of those papers took no position on anthropogenic change and were excluded from the 97% claim. It was subsequently revealed that only about 0.5% of the papers explicitly stated that recent warming was mostly human caused. At the time, a former IPCC author Professor Richard Tol said that Cook’s nonsense paper showed the climate community still had a long way to go in weeding out bad research and bad behaviour. For their part, the Israeli scientists note that their criticisms also apply in general to earlier consensus studies based on abstract scanning, and it is to be regretted that they were “not taken into consideration” by Lynas et al. “It is thus crucially important to understand the limitations of, and the good practices required of, these types of consensus studies”. The matter is said to be too important to be left “blurry and subjective”.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Marjorie Taylor Greene are an odd couple. There’s not much they agree on.

US Congress Members Call for Biden to Drop Assange Extradition Request (Sp.)

Sixteen Democratic and Republican members of US Congress have called for US President Joe Biden to withdraw the extradition request by the United States against Australian journalist and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a document published by Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, showed Thursday. “As Members of Congress deeply committed to the principles of free speech and freedom of the press, we write to strongly encourage your Administration to withdraw the U.S. extradition request currently pending against Australian publisher Julian Assange and halt all prosecutorial proceedings against him as soon as possible,” the document, published by Stella Assange on X (formerly known as Twitter), read.

The Members of Congress, namely James McGovern, Thomas Massie, Rashida Tlaib, Eric Burlison, Ilhan Omar, Paul Gosar, Ayanna Pressley, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Pramila Jayapal, Matthew Rosendale, Greg Casar, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Jesus Garcia, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as Senator Rand Paul, said in the document that “deep concerns about this case have been repeatedly expressed by international media outlets, human right and press freedom advocates, and Members of Congress, among others.” The Members of Congress said they believe the US Department of Justice “acted correctly in 2013 … when it declined to pursue charges against Mr. Assange for publishing the classified documents because it recognized that the prosecution would set a dangerous precedent.” They added that “it is the duty of journalists to seek out sources, including documentary evidence, in order to report to the public on the activities of government.”

“The United States must not pursue an unnecessary prosecution that risks criminalizing common journalistic practices and thus chilling the work of the press. We urge you to ensure that this case be brought to a close in as timely a manner as possible,” the document read. Since April 2019, Assange has been held in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison while he faces prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act. If convicted, the WikiLeaks founder could face 175 years in prison. In December 2022, he appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to fight his extradition. WikiLeaks was founded by Assange in 2006 but rose to prominence in 2010 when it began publishing large-scale leaks of classified government information, including from the US.

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Ed Dowd CBDCs

 

 

 

 

Tucker Mackey

 

 

Choir

 

 


Compared to other bears, polar bears are huge. The largest polar bear, reportedly weighing 1,002 kg, was a male shot at Kotzebue Sound in Alaska in 1960. This specimen, when mounted, stood 3.39 m (11 feet) tall on its hindlegs.

 

 

Chase

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 282023
 
 October 28, 2023  Posted by at 8:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


Francisco de Goya Saturn Devouring His Son 1819–1823

 

The Gods Are Going Against The Chosen People (Helmer)
One Mistake Before Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)
Gaza Suffers Near-Total Information Blackout (RT)
Biden Inches Towards Military Disaster in Middle East (Sp.)
Israel Bombing ‘Everything But Hamas In Gaza’ – Jackson Hinkle (RT)
Erdogan’s Deafening Silence On Palestine (Karan)
Orban: EU Not Dare to Admit Ukraine Cannot Win on Battlefield (Sp.)
Israel To Pass Law Allowing State To Kill Its Own Citizens (RT)
Israel Military Shelled Israeli Citizens With Tanks, Missiles on Oct. 7 (GZ)
China To Snub Zelensky’s ‘Peace’ Meeting – Bloomberg (RT)
Hungary, Slovakia Blocked €50 Billion Ukraine Aid – Politico (RT)
Speaker Johnson Plans Separate Votes On Ukraine, Israel Aid (ZH)
Biden Likely Guilty of ‘Impeachable Offenses’ – Speaker (Sp.)
AG Garland Should Rein in Jack Smith’s War on Free Speech (Turley)
President Trump Destroys NYC Judge Engoron After Case Collapses (GP)

 

 

 

 

Ritter Monumental Oversight

 

 

 

 

Gabor Maté


https://twitter.com/i/status/1712402483115614498

 

 

 

 

Baroness

 

 

China UN
https://twitter.com/i/status/1717682784125198354

 

 

Don’t look away

 

 

 

 

“..the genocide of at least a million Palestinians in lives and displacement. The war to do that has now become an international war – and this is a war the US cannot sustain.”

The Gods Are Going Against The Chosen People (Helmer)

The Palestinian strategy against Israel is aimed at destroying Israel’s capacity to survive in its present state in a long war. This means attacking the invincibility of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and theur so-called Iron Dome defence; this began with the cross-border offensive on October 7, and continues with daily drone and artillery attacks on targets inside Israel, as well as resistance to IDF incursions in Gaza. The plan also means exposing the weakness of the state’s infrastructure and economy; extending the battlefield across all of Israel’s territory – the ports, power plants and electricity grid, communications, and financial markets — making the cost of occupation of the Arab territories unendurable. In a long war, two of Israel’s leading exports earning more than 40% of the state’s trade — diamonds and tourism — face ruin.*

“The Israelis cannot withstand one year of fighting in a war,” Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein told his general staff in 1983 during a discussion of planning for a regional war of the Arabs against Israel.** In the forty years since then, the evolution of military technology and tactics has expanded the power of small national liberation armies like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis, of proxy principals like Iran, and of the strategic balancing role of Russia and China. Their combination now has shortened the Zionist state’s endurance in a long war, and that of its proxy principal, the US. The Israelis and the Jewish diaspora comprehend this reluctantly. For them, the short war must be correspondingly shorter. This means the genocide of at least a million Palestinians in lives and displacement. The war to do that has now become an international war – and this is a war the US cannot sustain.

As a Pentagon insider said publicly this week, “because there are so many draws on the logistics and support infrastructure of the Pentagon, we’re not prepared to go in in a concerted way. What we are seeing right now is death by a thousand cuts. Our adversaries know we are stretched so they are going to make us stretch even more, so we can respond even less.” The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova, acknowledged the point in Moscow on Thursday: US naval, air force, and marine reinforcements deployed around Israel and Gaza are “American tactics to strengthen their own security (this is how it should be interpreted) at someone else’s expense.” They are backfiring on Washington’s capacity to defend US forces in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and in land bases in Syria, Iraq and Jordan. “On the contrary,” Zakharova added, the US military deployment “will further rock the situation in the Middle East, create additional tension that can spill out beyond the region.”

Zakharova’s warning came in the Moscow afternoon. By then Russian Foreign Ministry officials had held meetings with a Hamas delegation, and officials from Iran, Egypt, and Kuwait. Across the city at the same time, President Vladimir Putin held telephone talks with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Kremlin communiqué reported: “Russia and Turkiye have practically overlapping positions.” Israeli and US-led media censorship and propaganda are concealing the breadth of impact of the Palestine warfighting plan, and the deepening military and economic weaknesses of the Israeli state. The longer the war continues, the plainer the evidence is on the battlefield that the single-state scheme of Israel and the US is no longer possible. Whether Israel and the US can be compelled to withdraw to the 1967 borders and a new Palestinian state created with partition, demilitarisation, and international security guarantees – the basis of the Russian position announced again on Thursday in Moscow — remains to be fought over. In this long war, the gods do not favour the Chosen People.

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“The White House fool, his insane neoconservative regime, mindless European puppets and whore Western media have convinced Russia that there is neither intelligence nor reason to be found in the Western World..”

One Mistake Before Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)

Each of us faces each day threats to our health, happiness, and life. Overarching it all, we collectively face death from nuclear weapons. The development of nuclear weapons was a human stupidity. They cannot be used, but their existence threatens the life of the planet. So why have them? Accident, emotional response, loss of reason are all human faults that can come into play at any time. During the 20th century Cold War these dangers were underlined by the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Nixon led the way to sanity with arms control agreements with the Soviet Union and his opening to China. Presidents Carter and Reagan kept the momentum going for reduced tensions and peaceful coexistence. The turnaround came with the Soviet collapse.

The neoconservatives took advantage of Russian weakness and prevailed on President Clinton to break the promise given by the George H.W. Bush administration to Gorbachev not to move NATO to Soviet borders if Gorbachev permitted the reunification of Germany. The George W. Bush and Obama administrations continued the hostile policy that Clinton renewed. Today all the arms control agreements that reduced tensions and the danger of nuclear confrontation are erased. The last one–never ratified by the US–was revoked by the upper house of Russia’s parliament last Wednesday. Tass, the Russian news agency, reported that “Achieving the goal of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons is not deemed possible in the current international situation, given the destructive position of the United States.”

Also last Wednesday Gilbert Doctorow reported from the Russian media that Russia had just completed a successful test of its land, sea, and air launched nuclear missile triad. “Considering the location of the missile launches and the radius of possible strikes, it does not take much imagination to conclude that the enemy being attacked was the U.S. of A. . . . The capability being tested was for a massive retaliatory strike.” The White House fool, his insane neoconservative regime, mindless European puppets and whore Western media have convinced Russia that there is neither intelligence nor reason to be found in the Western World and Russia has no alternative but to prepare for war.

I have long warned that this was the conclusion toward which our irresponsible leaders were driving the Russians. What this means is that the slightest mistake, the slightest false warning can now ignite nuclear Armageddon. Meanwhile the media focuses on political gossip, Americans scroll their cell phones and complain about inflation, and the threat to the existence of life on earth goes unremarked.

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#StarlinkforPalestine?!

Gaza Suffers Near-Total Information Blackout (RT)

Internet and cell phone services working in the Gaza Strip on Friday night, after Israel “expanded” its military operation against Hamas militants in the Palestinian enclave. The largest telecommunications provider in Gaza, Paltel, has announced “a complete severance of all communications and Internet services” due to intensified Israeli strikes. “The intense bombing in the last hour caused the destruction of all remaining international routes linking Gaza to the outside world,” the company said. Netblocks, a company that tracks internet connectivity globally, confirmed the information blackout, calling it “the largest single disruption to internet connectivity in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict and will be perceived by many as a total or near-total internet blackout.”

Multiple international media, including RT, have partially lost contact with their crews and stringers on the ground. The head of RT Arabic, Maya Manna, said there was no contact with correspondents and photographers operating in the Palestinian enclave as of Friday evening. The sole message came from an RT stringer in the area, describing a “very violent bombing.” “I don’t know what to do with my children and my family. Everyone is afraid, everyone is terrified, and there is screaming everywhere in the Gaza Strip,” Masoud, a local reporter, told RT. According to an NBC News crew member, who was also able to message colleagues, “all internet, electricity and everything” has been cut off. “The situation we’re in is difficult, so difficult and very dangerous. We’re being extensively shelled by artillery and by air,” the unnamed staffer said.

The UN children’s agency also lost contact with their colleagues in Gaza, with UNICEF chief Catherine Russel saying she was “extremely concerned about their safety and another night of unspeakable horror for 1 million children in Gaza.” The international healthcare charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said there was no contact with some of their Palestinian colleagues. “We are particularly worried for the patients, medical staff and thousands of families taking shelter at Al Shifa hospital and other health facilities,” MSF said, expressing deep concern over the situation around one Gaza’s biggest medical centers.

Israel previously accused Hamas of turning hospitals into “headquarters for their terror,” referring specifically to Al Shifa, and even published an “illustrative video” which supposedly points out the “different locations in and under the hospital which are being used to plan and implement terrorist activities.” Meanwhile Hamas claimed that by cutting off communications from the Gaza Strip, Israel is attempting to “cover up the crimes of the occupation without any oversight or accountability,” and tries to “create an image of victory,” a senior official, Osama Hamdan, told Al Jazeera.

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“So you have a single weapon, a single carrier, a single ship, which carries on itself almost $20 billion worth of military assets and could be taken out by two or three missiles..”

Biden Inches Towards Military Disaster in Middle East (Sp.)

Tehran has so far moderated its response to US and Israeli actions during the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, ignoring efforts by Tel Aviv to goad the country into a military response by attacking Iranian allies in Syria and Lebanon, and snubbing threats by loudmouth officials and lawmakers to bring the war home to “Iran’s backyard.” Instead, Tehran has joined countries such as Russia, China, Brazil, and Turkiye in calling for an immediate ceasefire. Netanyahu cabinet minister Nir Barakat threatened last week to cut off the Iranian “head of the snake” and launch attacks against the Islamic Republic if Hezbollah tried to open a second front against Israel from the north. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he had issued a “warning” to Iran’s supreme leader that if Iran “continue[s] to move against” American troops in the Middle East, the US “will respond, and he should be prepared.”

But as observers with an understanding of Iran’s military capabilities observe, tackling Iran would be unlike anything either Israel or the US have ever attempted, with the Islamic Republic’s combination of natural defensive geography, powerful indigenous military-industrial complex, advanced missile and drone programs, and readiness to defend its interests even against much more powerful foes making it an extremely difficult target. The centerpiece of the US forces deployed to the Middle East amid the Palestinian-Israeli crisis are the USS Gerald Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike groups. Each armada theoretically has enough firepower to level a small country, with each carrier carrying a complement of up to 90 combat aircraft, and the giant warships themselves flanked by between four to six cruise missile-equipped destroyers.

The armadas are certainly no threat to be taken lightly, but do have important weaknesses when stacked up against countries with modern missile capabilities, transforming into “white elephants” from a bygone era, says veteran military analyst and best-selling author Andrey Martyanov. “In terms of their real power projection,” carriers “are big fat sitting targets against modern weaponry such as anti-ship missiles and hypersonic missiles,” Martyanov told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. “In this respect, they are not a real asset, but rather a liability against any major power such as Russia or China,” the observer explained. “In this particular case, those aircraft carriers and their battle groups, which usually comprise two or three ‘Aegis’-carrying destroyers – they are not really any more a serious military asset except for their ‘fear factor’…They could be sunk or basically disabled, and that’s pretty much it,” he said.

The same can be said even for a mid-tier military power like Iran, given its vast arsenal of thousands of medium and long-range ballistic and cruise missiles, and recent development of a hypersonic missile known as the Fatah. Many of these weapons are theoretically in range of US warships, plus dozens of US bases dotting the Middle East – some of them conveniently just across the Persian Gulf separating Iran from the Arab Gulf oil states. “Iran will be able to deliver both an asymmetric and a very symmetrical” response, Martyanov observed. “Iran has a vast number of highly sophisticated, highly developed ballistic missiles… And they have a vast number of cruise missiles. [The response] can be very symmetrical. And every single air base, military base of the United States will be under attack.”

Combined with carriers’ vulnerabilities is their massive cost, Martyanov said, pointing out that the new Ford-class carrier alone costs some $13 billion, plus $5-6 billion for its complement of aircraft. “So you have a single weapon, a single carrier, a single ship, which carries on itself almost $20 billion worth of military assets and could be taken out by two or three missiles such as Zircon or Kinzhal. Can you imagine the impact, apart from the fact of them having a very serious cultural and mental influence within the United States? The loss of a single ship can escalate… to the nuclear threshold because of the political, emotional, cultural and of course military impact of such a loss. Don’t forget, you also have more than 6,000 people on board this carrier,” the observer stressed.

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“..targeting various civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, UN and Red Crescent facilities, mosques, churches, homes, and even evacuee convoys..”

Israel Bombing ‘Everything But Hamas In Gaza’ – Jackson Hinkle (RT)

Israel’s claims that it is only bombing Gaza to eliminate Hamas are “insane,” political analyst Jackson Hinkle said in an interview with RT on Thursday. He argued that Israeli forces appear to be focusing on targeting the civilian population of Gaza in their ongoing campaign. “They’ve bombed everything but Hamas inside of Gaza,” the host of ‘The Dive with Jackson Hinkle’ said, accusing Israel of targeting various civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, UN and Red Crescent facilities, mosques, churches, homes, and even evacuee convoys. The analyst suggested that this is because Israel does not want a Palestinian state, and that the true purpose of its operation in Gaza is not to defeat Hamas, but rather to force Palestinians out and take over the enclave “once and for all.”

“The reason why they’re doing all of this is that they know they can’t defeat Hamas. That’s why they haven’t gone into Gaza. They know that if they will, they’ll probably have a response from many Arab states, and maybe Iran as well. They know that in a war of that magnitude they wouldn’t win,” Hinkle claimed. He argued that while Israeli authorities have attempted to paint Hamas as being aligned with or comparable to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), Israel’s own actions in Gaza seem to closely resemble terrorist tactics. Commenting on Washington’s announcement that it will “stand forever” with Israel and President Joe Biden’s proposal of a $14 billion package of military aid to the Jewish state, Hinkle called to “defund Israel” and “defund Ukraine” as well.

“Why is it that US taxpayer dollars are going to nations like this? Or more importantly, nations that are committing such horrific war crimes on a daily basis,” Hinkle questioned. He stated that the US is currently experiencing a crisis on its own southern border and is dealing with over 500,000 homeless people, 60,000 of which he claimed are veterans. “It makes no sense to me that we’re doing this and Joe Biden just sent about 900 US Marines to Israel,” Hinkle said, adding that he believes “we’re about to see a very big war.” The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been relentlessly bombarding Gaza for almost three weeks, following the October 7 surprise attack on Israel by Hamas, which claimed 1,400 lives. The Gaza Health Ministry has since reported that Israeli strikes have killed over 7,000 people. On Friday, the ministry published the names of 6,747 people, including 2,665 children, it claims have been killed by the IDF. It noted that the list is incomplete as many bodies remain unidentified or missing.

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When the Arab world gathers, Erdogan will be there. Turkey has a formidable army.

Erdogan’s Deafening Silence On Palestine (Karan)

At this juncture, Turkiye’s stance on the Palestinian issue lags behind that of many Arab states. Israel, with the backing of the US, is pushing for the “evacuation” of Gaza’s civilian population to facilitate its ground military operation, forcing Egypt and Jordan, key regional players, to reject plans for this forced and seemingly permanent displacement of Palestinians. Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have explicitly rejected this demand, deeming it a red line. Qatar, a financial powerhouse for the Muslim Brotherhood, and Turkiye, once seen as its political representative, now play more static roles in regional affairs. Erdogan’s involvement in Syria, while eroding Turkiye’s historically supportive position for both Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian struggle, has contributed to a regional realignment in which Iran has grown stronger.

Erdogan, once known for his vocal opposition to Israel, is now positioned as a “peace mediator.” Several geopolitical, political, and economic factors underlie this transformation. The influence of the Muslim Brotherhood has significantly declined after a tragic decade of “Arab Spring-ing,” and Erdogan now needs the support and cooperation of Egypt and the Persian Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia. He also aims to strike a delicate balance with the US and the EU. His foreign policy motto now revolves around mediation, which has been evident in various conflicts, such as Libya and Ukraine — where Turkiye played a key role in grain distribution. Domestically, Erdogan faces challenges too. Public discontent is growing due to the influx of refugees, as anti-Arab sentiments deepen in Turkish society.

Erdogan’s failed Ottomanist aspirations have given rise to a resurgence of secular Turkish nationalism among the younger generation. The Turkish left, with its history of supporting the Palestinian struggle for a nation-state, protests against religious-based policies, now positioning itself against Islamist perspectives. In these circumstances, Ahmet Davutoglu, the former architect of the disastrous West Asian foreign policy, and now the leader of the opposition Future Party, said the following: “I knew a leader, a leader I was proud to be with, a leader who made my heart flutter when he said ‘One minute’ and when everyone was threatening him, I said ‘Mr. Prime Minister, don’t worry. You made history today. We will do what is necessary’ and I made him apologize to Shimon Peres. Today, my heart cannot accept that that leader has been silent for 10 days. My heart does not accept that he did not come out and shout, ‘O Israel’.”

This reflects the sentiments of many AKP supporters when Davutoglu expressed disappointment in Erdogan’s relatively muted response to the Gaza war. Ironically, the Islamist Turkish president’s policy approach today is more realpolitik than the idealism inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood. While some of his supporters at home and abroad may yearn for the fiery rhetoric of the past, Erdogan’s current approach seems to prioritize stability, economic interests, and a balanced foreign policy over Palestine.

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Who writes these headlines ?

Orban: EU Not Dare to Admit Ukraine Cannot Win on Battlefield (Sp.)

Ukraine will not be able to win on the battlefield, all military experts are already talking about this, but only politicians do not dare to admit it, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. At the beginning of the conflict, the victory for Kiev seemed like a realistic scenario, but now it is absolutely obvious that this will not work out and the Ukrainians will not win at the front, the prime minister said. “This is what all the military experts say and write, but politicians do not dare say that they chose a bad strategy,” Orban told a Hungarian radio broadcaster. Orban further suggested that the current leadership of the European Union should be replaced, as it is not able to cope with crisis situations.

There are now “not good enough leaders” in Brussels who cannot solve the problems that have arisen in connection with the conflict in Ukraine, the leader said. “Maybe in times of peace, when the water is not rough, the wind is not blowing and you can sail on a boat, they are good leaders. But now, during a storm, huge waves, when pirate ships are encountered, we will not be able to prosper with this leadership, that is for sure. Change is needed in Brussels,” Orban said. Ukraine launched its much-touted counteroffensive attempt early in June, and quickly ran up against solid Russian defenses and minefields. According to the latest data, the Kiev regime lost over 90,000 troops.

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“..The easing of live-fire rules was proposed by right-wing National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir even before the surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7..”

Israel To Pass Law Allowing State To Kill Its Own Citizens (RT)

The Israeli government is set to allow police to use live fire against protesting Israeli citizens who block roads or entrances to towns during the “multi-front war” being waged by the country, public broadcaster Kan has reported. Under the new rules, the police will only need permission from a senior officer before shooting to kill, the broadcaster said on Thursday. Israeli Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara has already agreed to fast-track the legislation, which might be introduced as soon as Sunday, it added. The easing of live-fire rules was proposed by right-wing National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir even before the surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, in which 1,400 people were killed by Palestinian militants.

Ben Gvir told Kan in early October that he was “not ashamed to act, to make it so that it will be easier for our police officers to shoot those who threaten them.”According to the minister, changing the rules is “very important” as it would protect officers and allow them to carry out their duties more effectively. Kan had previously reported that the police leadership and National Security Ministry had been concerned that Israeli citizens of Arab origin could block army convoys in case of a military escalation with the Palestinians or with Lebanese armed group Hezbollah. Arabs make up 21% of Israel’s population of 9.8 million, according to government data.

The discussions stemmed from the outbreaks of violence in cities with mixed Arab-Jewish populations in May 2021 during Israel’s 11-day war with Gaza, the report said. Israeli police currently rely on non-lethal means to disperse riots and can only employ live rounds if they feel that their life is in danger. Such rules were introduced after large-scale protests and inter-communal violence in Israel in October 2000, during which 12 Arab Israelis and one Palestinian were killed, and an Israeli Jew lost his life after his car was stoned by Arab rioters. The commission that investigated the police response to the unrest ruled that the use of live fire against the demonstrators had been inappropriate.

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“..the commanders in the field made difficult decisions – including shelling houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages.”

Israel Military Shelled Israeli Citizens With Tanks, Missiles on Oct. 7 (GZ)

Israel’s military received orders to shell Israeli homes and even their own bases as they were overwhelmed by Hamas militants on October 7. How many Israeli citizens said to have been “burned alive” were actually killed by friendly fire. Several new testimonies by Israeli witnesses to the October 7 Hamas surprise attack on southern Israel adds to growing evidence that the Israeli military killed its own citizens as they fought to neutralize Palestinian gunmen. Tuval Escapa, a member of the security team for Kibbutz Be’eri, set up a hotline to coordinate between kibbutz residents and the Israeli army. He told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that as desperation began to set in, “the commanders in the field made difficult decisions – including shelling houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages.”

A separate report published in Haaretz noted that the Israeli military was “compelled to request an aerial strike” against its own facility inside the Erez Crossing to Gaza “in order to repulse the terrorists” who had seized control. That base was filled with Israeli Civil Administration officers and soldiers at the time. These reports indicate that orders came down from the military’s high command to attack homes and and other areas inside Israel, even at the cost of many Israeli lives. An Israeli woman named Yasmin Porat confirmed in an interview with Israel Radio that the military “undoubtedly” killed numerous Israeli noncombatants during gun battles with Hamas militants on October 7. “They eliminated everyone, including the hostages,” she stated, referring to Israeli special forces.

As David Sheen and Ali Abunimah reported in Electronic Intifada, Porat described “very, very heavy crossfire” and Israeli tank shelling, which led to many casualties among Israelis. While being held by the Hamas gunmen, Porat recalled, “They did not abuse us. We were treated very humanely… No one treated us violently.” She added, “The objective was to kidnap us to Gaza, not to murder us.” According to Haaretz, the army was only able to restore control over Be’eri after admittedly “shelling” the homes of Israelis who had been taken captive. “The price was terrible: at least 112 Be’eri residents were killed,” the paper chronicled. “Others were kidnapped. Yesterday, 11 days after the massacre, the bodies of a mother and her son were discovered in one of the destroyed houses. It is believed that more bodies are still lying in the rubble.”

Much of the shelling in Be’eri was carried out by Israeli tank crews. As a reporter for the Israeli Foreign Ministry-sponsored outlet i24 noted during a visit to Be’eri, “small and quaint homes [were] bombarded or destroyed,” and “well-maintained lawns [were] ripped up by the tracks of an armored vehicle, perhaps a tank.” Apache attack helicopters also figured heavily in the Israeli military’s response on October 7. Pilots have told Israeli media they scrambled to the battlefield without any intelligence, unable to differentiate between Hamas fighters and Israeli noncombatants, and yet determined to “empty the belly” of their war machines. “I find myself in a dilemma as to what to shoot at, because there are so many of them,” one Apache pilot commented.

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“..a major international meeting of security officials..”

China To Snub Zelensky’s ‘Peace’ Meeting – Bloomberg (RT)

China is likely to skip a major international meeting of security officials in Malta this week devoted to resolving the Ukraine conflict, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The gathering, which is expected to be attended by representatives of more than 50 nations, will revolve around the Kiev-backed “peace formula” that is rejected by Moscow. According to people familiar with the matter interviewed by the agency, participants in the summit, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, will include, among others, members of the G7 Group, Qatar, South Africa, India, and Türkiye, while several other countries, such as Brazil and Chile, are expected to join online. Andrey Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s office, said on Friday that it would address several points of Kiev’s “peace formula,” including food, energy and nuclear security, humanitarian issues, as well as “the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”

The ten-point plan, which was first floated by Zelensky last year, also demands that Russia withdraw its troops from territory that Ukraine claims as its own, and calls for the establishment of a tribunal to prosecute Moscow for alleged war crimes. Russia has repeatedly dismissed the proposal as unacceptable, calling it a sign that Ukraine was not serious about the talks. Bloomberg notes that Beijing’s possible no-show at the meeting would be a “disappointment” for Zelensky, who had hoped to drum up support for his initiative at a summit that is seen as a platform for Ukrainian officials to make a pitch to countries that have remained largely neutral on the conflict.

The Malta summit is set to follow similar gatherings in Denmark in June, and in Saudi Arabia in August. While Russia was not present at either, China attended the latter with Beijing’s Foreign Ministry saying at the time that it helped “to consolidate international consensus.” Moscow has said that it sees no value in Ukraine peace talks that exclude Russia. Commenting specifically on the Malta summit on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called it “pointless and counterproductive,” adding that those who designed the summit’s format rely on “blackmail and threats” to lure in as many neutral countries as possible. Since the onset of the Ukraine conflict, China has refused to join Western sanctions against Moscow, suggesting that the crisis was partly caused by NATO’s expansion after the end of the Cold War.

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“.. the EU’s strategy for Kiev “has failed” because Ukrainians will not win on the front lines and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not go away..”

Hungary, Slovakia Blocked €50 Billion Ukraine Aid – Politico (RT)

The prime ministers of Hungary and Slovakia opposed a €50 billion ($52.8 billion) aid package for Ukraine during the European Union summit on Thursday, Politico reported, citing an unnamed diplomat. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reportedly argued that the bloc’s support for Kiev isn’t working, while Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico referred to concerns over corruption in Ukraine. On Friday, Orban told Kossuth Radio that the EU’s strategy for Kiev “has failed” because Ukrainians will not win on the front lines and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not go away. Fico, who on Wednesday became Slovakia’s prime minister for the fourth time, campaigned on a pledge to end military support for Ukraine and criticized sanctions on Russia. Commenting on the EU summit, Fico wrote on Facebook that “Slovakia will have its own opinion in Brussels from today.”

He also noted that he had informed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that “the new Slovak government will not support Ukraine militarily,” and will focus only on humanitarian aid. Following Fico’s appointment as prime minister, Orban has gained an apparent ally in his stance against Brussels over the Ukraine conflict. Last week, the Hungarian prime minister met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The move prompted an “emergency meeting” of NATO envoys in Budapest over “deepening relations” between the EU state and Moscow. Speaking to the press after arriving for a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday, Orban insisted he was proud to have good relations with Moscow, adding that while most bloc members were pursuing a “war strategy,” Hungary had a “peace strategy.”

Securing Western support has also become more challenging for Kiev, whose counteroffensive is “six to nine months behind schedule,” according to Mikhail Podoliak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Since October 7, when the Hamas-Israel conflict escalated violently, Ukraine has faced potential competition for aid and attention from the West. As President Joe Biden’s administration struggles to win approval from US lawmakers for additional military and economic aid to Ukraine, this week a group of Republican senators introduced a bill to split aid to Israel from the money for Kiev. Senator Roger Marshall, who is sponsoring the legislation, argued that help for Israel should not be used as leverage to send tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine.

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Note: it’s the Ukraine aid that is the problem, not the Israel aid. Almost funny. Opinions overtaken by reality.

Speaker Johnson Plans Separate Votes On Ukraine, Israel Aid (ZH)

In what would be a major setback for the War Party’s increasingly desperate effort to perpetuate the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson says he wants to break up President Biden’s $106 billion funding request that combines controversial Ukraine aid with widely-supported funding for Israel. Johnson told Fox News on Thursday that he’s met with Biden and has informed White House officials that “our consensus among House Republicans is we need to bifurcate those issues.” Reflecting growing Republican legislator skepticism about the Ukraine war — and sagging support among citizens of all political stripes — Johnson said, “We want to know what the object is there, what is the end game in Ukraine. The White House has not provided that.”

Biden’s $106 billion funding request, which packages aid to Ukraine and Israel with other vote-baiting allocations, was preceded by a rare Oval Office address in which Biden made the case for pouring more weapons and money into both countries. In addition to saying the aid was necessary to defend two democracies, Biden added a new spin to his Ukraine war pitch by saying the spending would be a boon to US arms manufacturers. sTacking Israel aid to the Ukraine request is a political play: The great majority of both Republican and Democratic legislators would hate to be on the record as voting against Israel aid. Of the $106 billion, $61.4 billion would go to Ukraine — where President Volodymyr Zelensky’s much-hyped 2023 counteroffensive resulted in a net loss of territory to Russia — and just $14.3 billion would end up Israel.

Biden’s combo package is also in danger in the Senate. On Thursday, a group of GOP senators introduced a stand-alone bill that would only authorize money for Israel, and none for Ukraine. “My colleagues and I firmly believe that any aid to Israel should not be used as leverage to send tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine,” said Kansas Senator Roger Marshall. He sponsored the Israel bill along with Ohio Senator J.D. Vance, Texas’s Ted Cruz and Utah’s Mike Lee. That goes against the wishes of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who, like Biden, wants to leverage the Israel lobby’s grip on legislators as a means of forcing his colleagues into voting for Ukraine money. The practice of pushing all-in-one mega-bills in front of legislators for a straight up-or-down vote without amendments is one of the grievances that led to the ouster of former speaker Kevin McCarthy. By breaking up Biden’s requests, new Speaker Johnson can also claim that he’s moving the House toward better governance. We’ll see how long that lasts.

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“We are going to follow the truth where it leads, engage in due process… The evidence is coming together.”

Biden Likely Guilty of ‘Impeachable Offenses’ – Speaker (Sp.)

Newly-elected House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson weiged in on the ongoing congressional probe into Joe Biden’s alleged influence-peddling abroad, and the GOP efforts to impeach the Democratic POTUS. Evidence may prove that US President Joe Biden committed “impeachable offenses,” the Louisiana Republican who was recently elected House Speaker has stated. “If in fact all the evidence leads to where we believe it will, that’s very likely impeachable offenses, that’s listed as a cause for impeachment in the Constitution… Bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors,” Mike Johnson stated in a US media interview. Johnson, who himself sits on the House Judiciary Committee, referenced James Comer (R-Ky.), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, and his investigation, emphasizing that documents and bank records accumulated were the reason why the House shifted into the impeachment inquiry stage on the US President, adding: “We are going to follow the truth where it leads, engage in due process… The evidence is coming together.”

Further along in the interview the host voiced the view, shared by increasingly many House GOP and rank-and-file Americans, as per polls, that 80-year-old President Joe Biden has been struggling cognitively. To this, Mike Johnson agreed, and responded by referring to this as a “concerning reality.” “If you look at a tape of Joe Biden making an argument in the Senate Judiciary Committee a few years ago and you see a speech that he delivers now, there’s a difference. Again, it’s not a personal insult to him. It’s just reality,” stated Johnson. The new gavel-holder in the House also summed up his current vision of the Biden administration as a “failed presidency.” Regarding Johnson’s determination to proceed further with the GOP resolve to impeach Joe Biden, Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee told US media that in his opinion the new Speaker “is more than happy to move forward, and will move forward, and the only question is the timeline.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene agreed, adding: “I definitely think he’ll be supportive.”

Mike Johnson

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“It is the type of blind purpose that leads — as it did in the McDonnell case — to a unanimous ruling against you on an otherwise divided Supreme Court.“

AG Garland Should Rein in Jack Smith’s War on Free Speech (Turley)

In 2016, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion overturning a conviction that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had seemed willing to secure at whatever cost to the rule of law. The case involved the prosecution of former governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.), and the lead DOJ prosecutor was now-special counsel Jack Smith. The court dismissed the “tawdry tales” offered by the DOJ and declared that it was far more concerned with the damage that Smith was causing to the legal system with his virtually limitless interpretation of criminality. The rebuke came to mind this week as Smith continued his unrelenting effort to gag former president Donald Trump before the 2024 election. Some of us have previously denounced the gag order issued by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan as unconstitutional, but even that order was more limited than what Smith had demanded.

Even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a leading critic of Trump, has come out against Smith’s efforts as an attack on the First Amendment. Undeterred, Smith now wants to reinstate and expand the gag on Trump, citing Trump’s comments about his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who reportedly has been given an immunity deal by Smith. (Meadows’ lawyer disputes those reports.) Smith wants to bar Trump from criticizing any witnesses as well as the prosecution and the court. That would include criticisms of former Vice President Mike Pence, currently one of his opponents for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, on his allegations linked to the earlier election. Of course, gagging Trump will not materially affect the jury pool in the case. The Smith prosecutions are one of the biggest issues in this election.

Moreover, it will not protect potential witnesses from withering criticism in the middle of an election that could turn on the public view of these cases. Indeed, Smith has insisted on trying Trump before the election but now also wants to prevent him from speaking fully about the case before the election. Trump alone would be gagged, even as other politicians and pundits debate the merits of the cases and the countervailing allegations of the weaponization of the criminal justice system. The prior order issued by Judge Chutkan is shockingly vague and overbroad. It bars Trump from “targeting” Smith or his staff or potential witnesses or the “substance of their testimony.” It leaves an undefined and uncertain line as Trump campaigns on what he (and millions of citizens) view as the abuse of the criminal justice system to target President Biden’s main political opponent.

Smith would add to the scope and ambiguity of the order in his latest motion. He is arguing that the court should “modify the defendant’s conditions of release … by clarifying that the existing condition barring communication with witnesses about the facts of the case includes indirect messages to witnesses made publicly on social media or in speeches.” Consider that for a moment: Smith would treat comments about witnesses, such as Meadows or Pence, as an effort to communicate with a witness. Thus, Smith continues to litigate with a sense of utter abandon, showing his signature lack of concern for the implications of his legal arguments. It is the type of blind purpose that leads — as it did in the McDonnell case — to a unanimous ruling against you on an otherwise divided Supreme Court.

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Wishful thinking?! The case continues… He’s now called for Ivanka to appear…

President Trump Destroys NYC Judge Engoron After Case Collapses (GP)

President Trump used his Constitutional right to Free Speech on Friday to go off on the crooked Judge Arthur Engoron, New York State Attorney General Letitia James for continuing this lawfare suit against President Trump and his family after the star witness testified this week that there is zero evidence that President Trump misrepresented the value of his assets to gain business loans for his company. There is no victim in this lawsuit. President Trump paid off each loan and the banks admitted they would readily loan him money for future projects. Engoron is the same bizarre and unhinged judge who opened the garbage trial against Donald Trump and his business empire by giggling to the cameras.

The case never should have been filed. This is lawfare at its worst. The prosecution even had the gall to suggest that Mar-a-Lago, one of the most expensive properties in the world, was only worth $18 million. This judge and this lawsuit is a sick joke. It appears the only criminal activity in the case was by Letitia James after she misrepresented the numbers and filed an outrageously dishonest suit against Trump and his business empire with no evidence. Trump went off on Truth Social on Friday, saying the judge “HAS GONE CRAZY IN HIS HATRED OF “TRUMP.”

President Donald Trump: The Attorney General case against me in New York State just lost its STAR witness, SleazeBag former attorney Michael Cohen (he was disbarred for lying, and more!), who admitted to lying in this case and clearly stated that I did nothing wrong. The unhinged Judge, a highly political and fully biased Trump Hater, refused to dismiss this HOAX of a case, and has lost all CREDIBILITY. Likewise, he refuses to accept the decision of the Appeals Court, a first in New York. He should be ashamed of himself for having ruled against me before the trial even started, and for not dismissing this RIGGED WITCH HUNT now that the facts are known and that their star witness has been totally discredited, actually ADMITTING TO LYING. It is a Travesty of Justice for all to see. Businesses are fleeing “the least business friendly State in the Nation!” Racist Attorney General Letitia James should focus on record setting Murder and other Violent Crimes, something she cares, or knows, nothing about!

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Yeadon

 

 

 

 

Shoebill

 

 

Strandbeest Roboticss
https://twitter.com/i/status/1718162059504787517

 

 

Sound waves

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 142023
 
 July 14, 2023  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  57 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Femme nue couchée (Marie-Thérèse Walter) 1932

 

NATO Ultimatum To Ukraine – Win By Winter Or Die (Helmer)
Putin ‘Already Lost’ War In Ukraine, Biden Says (Hill)
NATO Suffering Delusions Of Grandeur – Lavrov
Russia Will Treat F-16s In Ukraine As Nuclear Threat – Lavrov (RT)
Putin: Ukraine in NATO Will Create Security Threat for Russia (Sp.)
NATO Summit Serves Up Cringe Nothing-Burger (Scott Ritter)
NATO Can’t Exist Without An Enemy – Moscow (RT)
Wagner PMC Formally Doesn’t Exist – Putin (TASS)
Biden Offered Erdogan IMF Support To Ratify Sweden NATO Bid – Hersh (RT)
US to Supply ‘Significant Military Equipment’ Soon – Greek PM (Sp.)
Rampant Corruption Is One Reason Behind Ukraine’s Failed NATO Bid (RMX)
How The End Of The US Dollar’s Global Dominance Will Play Out (Salikhov)
New Twitter Files Contradict FBI Director’s Testimony (Turley)
Drugs Discovered Three Times At White House Since 2022 (JTN)
Hollywood Grinds To A Halt As Actors And Writers Go On Strike Together (ZH)

 

 

 

 

RFK TNI

 

 

Biden quietly sends 3,000 active US troops to Europe. Ukraine?!

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Caviezel

 

 

 

 

Agenda 21

 

 

EP WHO

 

 

 

 

“Whatever is achieved by the end of this year will be the baseline for negotiation..”

NATO Ultimatum To Ukraine – Win By Winter Or Die (Helmer)

For all its public talk, NATO has agreed on a secret six-month plan for Ukraine. It’s a case of do or die by December. Either the Ukrainian forces, firing everything the NATO allies can give them — from US cluster munitions to Franco-English Storm Shadow missiles and German Leopard tanks — will gain territory and advantage over the Russians; or else the Kiev regime will be destroyed and must fall back on Lvov while NATO beats its own retreat westward from the Polish and Romanian borders — its military capabilities defeated but its Article Five intact. This is hardly a secret. “Whatever is achieved by the end of this year will be the baseline for negotiation”, the Czech President Petr Pavel, former Czech and NATO army general, announced on the first day of the summit meetings in Vilnius. There is no more than a six-month window of opportunity, Pavel added, which will “more or less close by the end of this year”. After that, “we will see another decline of willingness to massively support Ukraine with more weapons.”

The difference between the Czech’s “more or less” was explained to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky by Henry Kissinger on the telephone. But the telephone was rigged, and Kissinger was talking instead to the Stavka in Moscow, in the guise of the pranksters Vovan and Lexus. After justifying himself at length for initially opposing NATO membership of the Ukraine, and then mispronouncing the word “anomalous”, Kissinger acknowledged there is a problem for the Biden Administration to combat European government opposition to NATO membership for the Ukraine. The Ukrainians must fight against that, too, he implied. So long as the US is backing Zelensky, it is necessary for the Ukrainian offensive to demonstrate small territorial advantages; abandon more ambitious ones (like Crimea); and only then agree to ceasefire talks. Although Kissinger told Zelensky he had been speaking with US “military people”, he gave no hint that they had warned him the Ukrainians are facing defeat on the battlefield, and the loss of both territory and European support.

The Russian General Staff calculation is different. At the current rate of battlefield casualties – announced by the Defense Ministry counting conservatively — by December 31 the Ukrainian army will lose between 75,000 and 100,000 dead, and up to 300,000 wounded and out of combat. In parallel, the destruction of NATO weapons will accelerate faster than the NATO states can resupply and deliver them, or replacement parts to keep the surviving stock going at the front. By the time Russia’s General Winter takes control of the battlefield, there will be too few Ukrainian fighting men left, and insufficient weapons and ammunition, to resist the start of the Russian offensive. A demilitarized zone of mines and cluster bomblets will have taken shape over several hundred kilometres west of the surrendering Odessa, Nikolaev, and Kharkov; they will abandon Kiev when Kiev abandons them.

The Russian target then will be to drive what remains of the Ukrainian regime, its flags, tattoos, money, and stay-behind terrorism plans, into an enclave around Lvov. The NATO window, as General Pavel called it, will have been opened, but then will be closed to keep NATO itself from catching cold. One of the unreported outcomes of the Wagner mutiny, and of the June 29 meeting in Moscow between President Vladimir Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin, is Putin’s commitment to fight for nothing short of the Ukraine’s rout to Lvov, and the NATO retreat westward in the footsteps of the Grande Armée and the Wehrmacht. This too is incomprehensible at NATO headquarters.

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How are they going to walk this back in a few months’ time? Blame Zelensky?

Putin ‘Already Lost’ War In Ukraine, Biden Says (Hill)

President Biden said Thursday there is “no possibility” of Russian President Vladimir Putin winning the war in Ukraine while adding he’s “already lost” the conflict as Biden capped a trip to Lithuania and Finland as a show of strength against Russian aggression. Biden, in a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, was asked whether his assurance that Ukraine will be able to join the NATO alliance once its war with Russia ends might encourage Putin to drag out the conflict. Biden noted no country can join NATO while in the middle of a war, because it would drag the entire alliance into conflict — a stance Biden and his administration have been stressing this week as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized the alliance’s resistance to fast-tracking its membership.

“The issue of whether or not this is going to keep Putin from continuing to fight, the answer is Putin’s already lost the war,” Biden continued. “Putin has a real problem. How does he move from here? What does he do?” “And so, the idea that there’s going to be what vehicle is used, he could end the war tomorrow. He could just say, ‘I’m out,’” Biden added. “But what agreement is ultimately reached depends on Putin and what he decides to do. But there is no possibility of him winning the war in Ukraine. He’s already lost that war.” Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, and the fighting has dragged on in the 17 months since with no end in sight. The U.S. and its allies have provided billions of dollars in support for Ukraine to defend itself.

Biden has previously argued Putin will not be able to win the war in Ukraine because the Ukrainians have put up a staunch defense in response to the Russian invasion, and his aggression has galvanized the NATO alliance. The president this week attended a NATO Summit in Lithuania, where continued support for Ukraine was at the top of the agenda. The U.S. and its Group of Seven allies announced plans Wednesday for security negotations with Ukraine to ensure it had the military support it needed in the short-term and in the future to defer further Russian aggression.

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“..apparently, we are not even allowed now to have a relationship [with China], or so they wish.”

NATO Suffering Delusions Of Grandeur – Lavrov

The US and its allies are targeting Russia and China because of their strong relationship, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has claimed, citing the final communique from this week’s NATO summit in Lithuania. The NATO document stated that “the deepening strategic partnership between [China] and Russia and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests.” Commenting on Thursday during a trip to Indonesia, Lavrov said that “apparently, we are not even allowed now to have a relationship [with China], or so they wish.” The diplomat noted that the US had previously limited itself to referring to Russia and China as its “rivals.”

The NATO statement further justifies Russia’s efforts to oppose “modern forms of colonialism” and to advocate international relations based on respect, Lavrov insisted. “People in NATO are obviously not prepared for [the same approach]. Delusion of grandeur is expressed in all actions of the NATO leadership, as well as member states, frankly speaking. Everybody sees that,” the Russian minister claimed. Lavrov accused the West of attempting to preserve its hegemony and dress it up as a “rules-based order,” but predicted that multipolarity would ultimately prevail. He also alleged that NATO’s appetite for spreading its influence globally was causing destabilization outside of the North Atlantic region.

“They already have plans to build up NATO military infrastructure in the [Asia-Pacific] region, including in the nations that were invited to the summit in Vilnius… I mean Australia, New Zealand, Japan, [South] Korea,” said the minister. Canberra violated its own commitment to keep the Pacific free from nuclear weapons when it agreed to host “elements of infrastructure” related to nuclear arms under the AUKUS arrangement, Lavrov argued. Tokyo and Seoul “have been signaling that they would not oppose stationing American nuclear weapons or obtaining some of their own,” he added. The Russian foreign minister was speaking in Indonesia after a summit with ASEAN, a regional integration bloc. He claimed the US was pushing for the Southeast Asian organization to be replaced by structures under Washington’s control, so that it could undermine China.

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“The very fact of the appearance of such systems within the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be considered by us as a threat from the West in the nuclear domain..”

Russia Will Treat F-16s In Ukraine As Nuclear Threat – Lavrov (RT)

Moscow can’t ignore the nuclear capability of US-designed F-16 fighter jets that may be supplied to Ukraine by its Western backers, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. By continuing to provide more sophisticated arms to Kiev, “the US and its NATO satellites create the risk of a direct armed confrontation with Russia, and this may lead to catastrophic consequences,” Lavrov warned in his interview with Lenta.ru on Wednesday. The plans to supply F-16s to Kiev is yet another example of an escalatory move by the West and in itself is “an extremely dangerous development,” he stated. “We have informed the nuclear powers – the US, UK and France – that Russia can’t ignore the ability of these aircraft to carry nuclear weapons,” the foreign minister continued.

“No assurances [by the West] will help here,” he warned. In the midst of fighting, the Russian military isn’t going to investigate whether any specific jet is equipped to deliver nuclear weapons or not, he added. “The very fact of the appearance of such systems within the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be considered by us as a threat from the West in the nuclear domain,” Lavrov said. In an interview on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius on Wednesday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said “there will be the transfer of F-16s [to Ukraine], likely from European countries that have excess F-16 supplies.” A day earlier, Denmark announced that a “coalition” – which includes the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the UK and Sweden – would begin training Ukrainian airmen to fly the US-designed aircraft in August.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba suggested earlier this week that the first F-16s piloted by Ukrainians could take to the skies“by the end of the first quarter of next year.” Kiev has been pressing its foreign backers for fourth-generation F-16 warplanes for months, arguing that they are crucial in providing air cover for Ukraine’s troops and defending Ukrainian airspace amid a massive Russian missile campaign targeting military facilities and energy infrastructure. The US and its allies initially ruled out deliveries of the jets, saying the F-16 wasn’t the type of hardware that Ukraine needed, but changed their stance on the issue over time. In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said there was no doubt that the F-16s “will burn”once they’re delivered to Ukraine, just like what has happened to tanks and other Western-supplied weapons.

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“I am sure that this will not increase the security of Ukraine itself..”

Putin: Ukraine in NATO Will Create Security Threat for Russia (Sp.)

In early June, Zelensky said that Kiev hoped to receive a clear invitation to join the bloc at the Vilnius summit. He also said Kiev was disappointed that it had not yet received a clear positive response about joining both the European Union and NATO. Ukraine’s possible membership in NATO will create a security threat for Russia and will not increase security of Ukraine itself, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “As for Ukraine’s membership in NATO, we have repeatedly spoken about this, this creates threats to Russia’s security. Obviously. And as a matter of fact, the reason for the special military operation, one of the reasons, is the threat of Ukraine’s entry into NATO. I am sure that this will not increase the security of Ukraine itself,” Putin said.


Speaking about Western missiles and tanks supplied to Ukraine, Vladimir Putin noted that they ause damage but do not pose a critical threat in the combat zone. “As for the supply of weapons, various weapons, we see how many hopes were placed on the supply of missiles with a sufficiently long range. Well, yes, they cause damage, but nothing critical happens in the combat zone with the use of missiles. The same goes for foreign-made tanks, infantry fighting vehicles,” Putin said on air of the Rossiya 24 broadcaster. The president added that 311 pieces of military equipment used by Ukraine has been destroyed since June 4, and at least one third of those were Western-made. “I can tell you that Ukrainian servicemen often refuse to even get into these tanks, because they are a priority target for our guys,” Putin said, adding that foreign tanks “burn better” than the Soviet-made ones.

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“Zelensky confronted his erstwhile allies with the harsh reality that not only would the conflict with Russia not be ending any time soon, but also the growing realization that, when it did end, it would be as a decisive Russian military victory.”

NATO Summit Serves Up Cringe Nothing-Burger (Scott Ritter)

The Vilnius Summit was intended to showcase the alliance’s unity and resolve in the face of the challenges presented by Russia and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. There had been a great deal of discussion prior to the summit about the prospects of Ukrainian membership in NATO. It was understood by all parties that, while the conflict between Ukraine and Russia remained in an active phase, Ukrainian membership was impossible, if for no other reason that, under Article 5 of the NATO charter, NATO would immediately find itself in a war with Russia which had a good chance of going nuclear. The working premise going into the Vilnius Summit was that NATO would empower Ukraine to carry out a massive counteroffensive designed to break through the Russian defenses and drive to the Sea of Azov, thereby severing the land bridge between Crimea and Russia, forcing Russia to negotiate an end to the conflict.

At that juncture, having “frozen” the conflict on terms that would be unfavorable to Russia, NATO would extend an invitation to Ukraine for membership, thereby shrouding Ukraine’s gains with Article 5 protections while effectively checking any future Russian offensive operations. In the weeks leading up to the summit, Ukraine was desperately trying to do its part, throwing its newly constituted NATO-trained and equipped assault brigades at prepared Russian defenses in actions which made the infamous “Charge of the Light Brigade” seem like the epitome of military planning and execution by comparison. With much of its NATO-provided weaponry, including the much-touted Leopard tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, destroyed or damaged without ever reaching the main Russian defensive positions, and some 20,000 Ukrainian casualties, the Ukrainian counteroffensive fizzled out.

Instead of presenting his NATO partners with a decisive Ukrainian victory, Zelensky confronted his erstwhile allies with the harsh reality that not only would the conflict with Russia not be ending any time soon, but also the growing realization that, when it did end, it would be as a decisive Russian military victory. Confronted with this reality, NATO sought to soften expectations about Ukrainian membership. Rather than provide Ukraine with a concrete road map to membership, NATO declared that it would extend an invitation to Ukraine when “conditions are met”, one of which is that the conflict with Russia must be over. NATO offered up as a consolation prize the establishment of a NATO-Ukraine Council “to advance political dialogue, engagement, cooperation, and Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO,” and promised to “continue our support for as long as it takes.”

Scott Ritter

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“..catastrophic consequences for European security, Ukraine, and the alliance itself.”

NATO Can’t Exist Without An Enemy – Moscow (RT)

NATO needs enemies so it could justify its existence, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko said on Thursday, reflecting on the Western bloc’s recent meeting in neighboring Lithuania. “Expansion is one of the instruments used by NATO countries to maintain confrontation,” Grushko told Russia’s Channel One. “Therefore, unfortunately, history has forced us to conclude that NATO cannot exist without an adversary. Otherwise, it would lose all meaning.” Grushko stressed that the admission of Ukraine into the US-led bloc would have “catastrophic consequences for European security, Ukraine, and the alliance itself.” At the same time, Western countries use the prospect of NATO membership as a way to control Ukraine’s domestic politics, the diplomat argued.


Although NATO has refused to grant an immediate membership or a concrete accession timetable to Kiev, the bloc’s members affirmed at the summit in Vilnius on Tuesday that the country would be invited to join in the future. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine was “closer to NATO than ever before.” Russia considers NATO’s expansion eastward a threat to its own national security, and has warned that the delivery of heavy weapons and other military aid to Ukraine makes the alliance a de facto participant in the conflict. Western countries insist that NATO is a strictly defensive alliance and claims that it poses no threat to Russia.

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“..there is no such legal entity.””The [Wagner] Group exists, but it is judicially non-existent..”

Wagner PMC Formally Doesn’t Exist – Putin (TASS)

Legalizing private military companies is a complicated issue that should be handled by the government and the parliament, because formally companies such as Wagner PMC are non-existent in Russia at this point, Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying. Kommersant’s special correspondent Andrey Kolesnikov quoted the Russian president as saying in response to a question about the organization’s future that, from the point of view of the Russian legislation, “Wagner PMC does not exist.” The president explained that Russia has no law on private military companies and, therefore, “there is no such legal entity.””The [Wagner] Group exists, but it is judicially non-existent,” the report quotes Putin as saying.


“The formal legalization is a separate issue that should be addressed by the State Duma [the lower chamber of the Russian parliament] and the government. It’s a complicated issue.” The president believes that the Wagner Group controversy “is very simple and clear for [members of] the Russian society.” “Wagner’s ordinary members were fighting with dignity… so it is very regrettable that they became embroiled into these events,” Putin added. On Thursday, the Russian president took part in the plenary session of the Future Technologies Forum. After the event was over, he had a conversation with Russian journalists. Excerpts of the talk, where the issue of Ukraine, NATO and the grain deal were raised, were published by the Kremlin website and aired by the Rosssiya-24 television channel.

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Erdogan is in big financial trouble.

Biden Offered Erdogan IMF Support To Ratify Sweden NATO Bid – Hersh (RT)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claimed on Thursday that US President Joe Biden offered his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan more than $11 billion in IMF assistance to ratify Sweden’s bid to join the NATO bloc. In an article posted to his Substack account, Hersh wrote that he had been informed by an anonymous source that “Biden promised that a much-needed $11-13 billion line of credit” would be established for Türkiye by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This was to be in return, Hersh suggested, for Erdogan removing Ankara’s objection to Stockholm joining the US-led military bloc ahead of the NATO summit that took place this week in Lithuania.

Erdogan, who was re-elected as Turkish leader in late May, is currently facing the mammoth task of replacing or repairing hundreds of thousands of buildings damaged or destroyed in February’s earthquakes in which at least 50,000 lost their lives. Türkiye had previously opposed Sweden’s accession to the bloc, largely due to Ankara’s stance that Stockholm has harbored militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which was involved in an armed conflict with the Turkish state in the 1980s. The PKK has been designated a terrorist organization by Türkiye, Sweden, Europe and the United States. “What could be better for Erdogan,” Hersh wrote of the American and Turkish presidents’ alleged arrangement, quoting an official familiar with it, than him “finally having seen the light and realizing he is better off with NATO and Western Europe?”

The report also referenced a June financial analysis of Ankara’s coffers by the independent think tank Council on Foreign Relations, which cast a dire economic outlook for Erdogan to navigate in the early stages of his latest term as leader. It said that Türkiye stands on the precipice of an “imminent financial crisis” and if facing a choice “between selling its gold, an avoidable default, or swallowing the bitter pill of a complete policy reversal and possibly an IMF program.” Hersh, 86, generated headlines earlier this year when he claimed he had been informed –also by an anonymous source– that the United States was responsible for last year’s explosions that neutered the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines that supply energy from Russia to Europe. Washington dismissed the claims as “complete fiction.”

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To balance out the support for Turkey…

US to Supply ‘Significant Military Equipment’ Soon – Greek PM (Sp.)

The United States will soon provide Greece with “significant military equipment” for free, announced Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “I mean not only the approval of [the delivery of] F-35 [fighter jets], which is very important, but also the possibility of getting surplus [military] equipment, significant surplus equipment that will be given to us for free. That is what the US is doing and has every reason to do it to a greater extent for a good ally like Greece,” Mitsotakis said in an interview with Greek broadcaster while expressing hope that F-35s would be delivered in 2028. The prime minister noted that Athens was engaged in talks with Washington, having signed “a very strong defense agreement for five years,” adding that he believed Greece hopes for support “regardless of what happens in the negotiations with Turkiye.”

Mitsotakis also said that the construction of French-made Belharra-class frigates for Greece was ahead of schedule, adding that the first frigate would be delivered in September. He noted that Athens are aimed at having “a very strong deterrence capacity,” adding that he believed Greece “has been able to achieve that at a rapid pace.” In 2019 and 2021, Washington and Athens amended the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement, which allowed the US to establish new military bases on the territory of Greece and expanded the term of the agreement from one to five years. Until 2019, the US had only one military base in Greece but now has nine. The US was granted access to the port of Alexandroupolis in the north of the country, which is used for the delivery of military equipment to Eastern Europe and Ukraine. Mitsotakis then said that the amended agreement made Greece Washington’s main partner in the region.

Greece is implementing 19 arms procurement programs worth 11.5 billion euros ($12.9 billion). Among them are the purchase of 24 French-made Rafale fighter aircraft, Belharra-class frigates and the modernization of 83 F-16 Block 52+ and 52+ Advanced fighters to the Viper variant — the most advanced variant of F-16. The Greek air force already received two F-16 Viper fighters in September 2022. Moreover, Athens is planning to purchase over 20 F-35 fifth-generation fighters.

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Ukraine has never been more corrupt. The enormous influx of money and weapons systems guarantees it.

Rampant Corruption Is One Reason Behind Ukraine’s Failed NATO Bid (RMX)

Ukraine must implement reforms to fight corruption and strengthen its institutions if it wants to be eligible to join NATO, said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, during the second day of the NATO summit in Vilnius. Von der Leyen encouraged Ukraine to implement further reforms and pledged the support of the European Union. According to Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet, von der Leyen’s statement “said in plain language that there was still so much corruption and opacity in Ukraine’s institutions that it could not yet get the green light to join NATO or the European Union.” However, the paper also noted that von der Leyen noted the country’s efforts were appreciated and it had made a lot of progress.

The European Commission already identified systemic corruption in Ukraine in 2021. Although the EU had launched a number of initiatives to reduce the potential for corruption and proposed a wide range of measures, the EU commission’s report at the time found that no progress had been made on this issue in 2021. At that time, there was a significant decline in the judiciary, and anti-corruption institutions were also under threat, according to the report. The authors also noted that oligarchs and vested interests are the biggest problem, as they are an obstacle to the rule of law and economic development in Ukraine.

Brussels is keen to bring Ukraine into the European Union. However, even EU officials do not dare mention in their reports anything concrete or substantial to suggest that Ukraine is ready for integration, and Von der Leyen’s remarks indicate that the situation has still not improved. As Remix News reported last week, the Federation of Employers of Ukraine, representing Ukrainian entrepreneurs, issued an appeal to President Volodymyr Zelensky, demanding action to curb the abuse of power by government officials. The abuse of power by military officials and judges has crossed all lines, according to Ukrainian entrepreneurs, who are calling for the establishment of a public registry to identify corrupt officials. They further argue that corruption on an unprecedented scale is eroding Ukraine’s defensive capabilities.

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Anybody’s guess.

How The End Of The US Dollar’s Global Dominance Will Play Out (Salikhov)

A more important factor than the nominal share of the US dollar in international reserves is the changing approach to the management and accumulation of foreign assets. The same IMF data shows that the total value of central bank reserves has remained virtually unchanged at $11.5-12 trillion over the past decade, even as the global economy has grown. China’s foreign exchange reserves peaked at $4 trillion in 2014 and have been declining ever since. Their current value is $3.2 trillion, down 20% from 2014. Many other developing countries are not increasing their international reserves, if not reducing them. This does not mean, however, that external assets are not being created.

They can be formed in “non-standard” forms, such as assets of sovereign wealth funds, state banks, development institutions and other structures not directly related to central banks. Foreign direct investment by government structures can also be classified as a type of reserve asset. Such a strategy is not aimed at maximising the availability and liquidity of assets, but at securing one’s own economic interests in foreign markets. To some extent, it provides greater protection against the political risks of asset freezes, as their legal status is less transparent. A similar strategy is being pursued by China, which is seeking to gradually “internationalize” its currency. Formally, the yuan’s share of central banks’ international reserves is small, amounting to no more than 3%. Moreover, between a third and a half of this demand is provided by the Bank of Russia.

China’s strategy is to secure the international status of the RMB through trade rather than investment. In recent years, China has actively sought to motivate and encourage its partners to trade in RMB rather than other currencies. This is being done in a number of ways, including infrastructure development, its own analogue of the SWIFT system, development of clearing, international lending in the currency and so on. Many people have heard of the term “petroyuan” – an analogue of the petrodollar. In essence, it is the signing of long-term contracts for the supply of oil in yuan in return for a flow of goods and equipment. So, trade is already being conducted in yuan rather than US dollars. This creates demand outside the Chinese economy. At the same time, the Chinese authorities maintain restrictions on capital transactions.

***
The de-dollarization of the global financial system will continue. This will be facilitated in particular by progress in financial technology. The development of automated trading platforms will reduce the cost of exchanging one currency for another. Central banks will seek to directly clear each other’s currencies without directly using the currencies of Western countries. In the future, central banks’ digital currencies may also be used for international transactions, reducing costs for economic agents. However, this process will be slow and we should not expect a fundamental change in the global financial system in the foreseeable future.

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“..when there’s a glitch, and the accounts remain up, the FBI immediately writes back and says, what’s the deal? We just wrote to you, why is it still up?”

New Twitter Files Contradict FBI Director’s Testimony (Turley)

Yesterday’s hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray was another maddening experience of faux contrition and open evasion. Wray apologized for violations that have already been established by courts or Congress (often over the best efforts of the FBI). However, on ample public evidence of new violations, Wray continued to use his favorite testimonial trilogy to dismiss any questions: expressing (1) lack of knowledge, (2) ongoing investigations, and (3) promises of later answers or briefings. He did, however, hold forth in detail after Rep. Eric Swalwell asked him about FBI Family Day. Despite the near total lack of substance, Wray did make one surprising denial. He insisted that the FBI does not engage in censorship efforts, focuses only on “foreign disinformation,” and does not pressure companies to censor others.

Those denials are not only directly contradicted by the recent 155-page opinion of a federal court and the Twitter Files, but a new release from the Twitter Files and journalist Matt Taibbi. Wray said that “…The FBI is not in the business of moderating content, or causing any social media company to suppress or censor.” He then added that these companies are not under any pressure in making their own decisions whether to censor people or groups flagged by the FBI. The statement is obviously false. The FBI maintained a large operation of agents actively seeking the censorship of thousands, as discussed in my prior testimony. Taibbi, however, has released another example of how aggressive the FBI was with social media companies. In the latest Twitter Files release, there is one email exchange where Twitter “immediately” suspended accounts flagged by the FBI without investigation.

Taibbi explained: “In one shot, you can see the FBI asks to remove three accounts, that gets forwarded to Twitter, Twitter immediately suspends them, the accounts. But more importantly, when there’s a glitch, and the accounts remain up, the FBI immediately writes back and says, what’s the deal? We just wrote to you, why is it still up? So, that shows the nature of the relationship basically that it’s not really a collaboration. It’s much more like somebody reporting to an authority. … [W]hat happens in these instances in the ones that I was showing, they’re just forwarding names of accounts that they say are associated with foreign threat actors. It’s very vague. And Twitter is taking them down before they even investigate. In this case, they later determined that they couldn’t find anything connecting them to any bad actors. In fact, one of them was from Canada. And so, that’s the problem. If it’s not connected with a crime, they’re just asking to take accounts down because they don’t like the profile of them.”

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”..everything they do is to move along to the next story. They know there will be another Biden crime crisis.”

Drugs Discovered Three Times At White House Since 2022 (JTN)

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert said after the Secret Service briefing Thursday on cocaine found July 2 at the White House that drugs have been found two other times since last year in the building. The Colorado lawmaker also confirmed that Secret Service officials said at the briefing the agency likely won’t find a suspect in connection to the cocaine discovery and that the probe will conclude Friday. “There’s a list of more than 500 individuals that they looked into their backgrounds for prior drug records or use, and nothing was determined from from their analysis,” she said. “And the Secret Service is very eager to close this within the next couple of days.”

The cocaine was reportedly found in a cubby near the White House’s West Executive entrance and weighed less than a gram. Republican Rep. Nancy Mace, who like Boebert is a member of the House Oversight Committee and attended the briefing, also confirmed with Just the News the investigation will be closed Friday without a suspect. “The cocaine caper is going to be concluded without any outcome. No suspects, no resolution,” the South Carolina lawmaker said after the briefing, “which is frustrating, because every time there’s something unsavory happening on the president, the White House’s administration, we never get an answer. And it’s just ironic and interesting and frustrating.”

Boebert said the drug found twice before in roughly the past year was marijuana and that she thinks the Secret Service closed the investigation without a suspect “because everything in this administration is about covering up for the Biden crime family.” “This is the third time that drugs have been found on the White House property since 2022, and we did not even hear about the marijuana,” she also said. “I certainly did not hear about the marijuana that was found in 2022, two times, and now there’s cocaine on the property. So everything they do is to move along to the next story. They know there will be another Biden crime crisis.”

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TV vs internet.

Hollywood Grinds To A Halt As Actors And Writers Go On Strike Together (ZH)

Actors and writers in Hollywood have staged the first joint walkout in six decades, saving the country – if not the world, from the production of crappy, woke entertainment, at least for now. The Screen Actors Guild, which represents approximately 160,000 performers, announced the strike on Thursday after failing to reach a new labor agreement with Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, which represents studios including Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc, Bloomberg reports. The Writers Guild of America, meanwhile has been on strike since May 2, shutting down late-night TV programs like The Tonight Show, halting many projects in progress and imperiling the traditional release of new broadcast TV shows starting in September.

In a statement after the strike announcement, the studio alliance said the union “has regrettably chosen a path that will lead to financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry.” -Boomberg According to the studios, double-digit percentage increases in salaries and higher pension and health benefits, plus a boost in residuals (the money actors and other receive when shows are rerun), weren’t enough. Also offered were protections against the use of actors’ digital likenesses. A key dispute which remains unresolved is compensation from streaming services as online video entertainment cannibalizes broadcast and cable TV.

“I cannot believe how far apart we are in so many things,” said SAG president Fran Drescher. “The entire business model has been changed by streaming. This is a moment of history. That is a moment of truth.” The move has halted work on shows such as Abbott Elementary and Netflix’s Stranger Things. if the strikes last more than a few days, the impact will be far greater than just the writer’s strike alone. Meanwhile, actors will have to stop promoting upcoming projects and refuse to attend events such as Comi-Con International which is scheduled for next week.

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Obesity

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bison

 

 

Moth
https://twitter.com/i/status/1679299872401268742

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 112023
 
 July 11, 2023  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  65 Responses »


Gustave Doré Over London — By Rail 1872 (woodblock)

 

China Ready To Contribute To Build Stable World Jointly With Russia – Xi (TASS)
41+ Countries Returning To Gold Standard (QTR)
Anti-Russian Sanctions Spooking Countries Into Repatriating Gold Reserves (RT)
US, Europeans Depleted Their Weapons Stockpile Fighting Russia in Ukraine (Sp.)
Vaudevillian Visitors in Vilnius (Sp.)
Zelensky Can Expect Military Aid Guarantees From NATO Summit at Best (Sp.)
Ukraine In NATO Is ‘Path To Peace’ – FM (RT)
US State Dept Has Become ‘Ministry Of Truth’ – Moscow (RT)
Erdogan Ties Sweden’s NATO Bid To Türkiye’s EU Membership (RT)
Putin Held Meeting With Prigozhin, Wagner Commanders June 29 -Kremlin (Sp.)
Prigozhin’s War (Lauria)
US Cluster Munitions to Ukraine Can Lead to Humanitarian Problems – China (Sp.)
Ukraine Stepping Up Mercenary Recruitment Effort – Russian MOD (RT)
Welcome to Zuckerberg’s Vision of Internet “Kindness” (Turley)
UK Parents Prosecuted for Refusing to Pay for Transgender Treatments? (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Baby myocarditis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1678475139841662996

 

 

 

 

Luft
https://twitter.com/i/status/1678528304616226816

 

 

BRICS

 

 

 

 

“..mutual assistance, deep integration, innovation and pioneering, as well as mutual benefit.”

China Ready To Contribute To Build Stable World Jointly With Russia – Xi (TASS)

Beijing is ready to join efforts with Moscow to contribute to building a prosperous, stable and just world order, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said on Monday. “China is ready to continue working with Russia <…> in order to contribute to developing and reviving both countries as well as to build a prosperous, stable and just world order,” China’s CCTV quoted Xi as saying at a meeting with Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko in Beijing. Xi said that, in the new era, his country was ready to continue developing the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation with Russia which imply “mutual assistance, deep integration, innovation and pioneering, as well as mutual benefit.”

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“That’s one she’s going to want to take back at some point, I’m certain.”

41+ Countries Returning To Gold Standard (QTR)

Remember back when the Russia/Ukraine war had just started, and I predicted that Russia and China would launch their own gold backed currency? At the time, this idea sounded completely foreign, and I was ridiculed for bringing it up. Today, it just become reality. 41+ countries look like they could be returning to a gold standard. The images plastered all over RT this weekend had headlines like “New Money, New World” and “Gold Standard Will Be Of Great Benefit To Strengthening New Singly Currency”. “The official announcement is expected to be made during the BRICS summit in August in South Africa,” Kitco reported over the weekend. “At first glance, a new transaction unit, backed by gold, sounds like good money – and it could be, first and foremost, a major challenge to the US dollar’s hegemony,” Thorsten Polleit, chief economist at Degussa, said.

He continued: “For making the new currency as good as gold, a truly sound currency, it must be convertible into gold on demand. I am not sure whether this is what Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have in mind. Using gold as money, the unit of account would be a true game changer, no doubt about it. It could lead to a sharp devaluation of many fiat currencies vis-à-vis the yellow metal (including the BRICS fiat currencies), and it could catapult up goods prices in terms of fiat currencies. It could be a shock to the global fiat money system. I am not sure that this is what the BRICS wish to achieve.” The official announcement of the new currency is expected in August during the BRICS summit in South Africa.

Even more shocking than the announcement is the cavalier attitude that United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appears to be taking to the news. In statements I can only describe as completely delusional, Yellen said this weekend: “I just want to reiterate what I’ve said in the past, which is I think the United States can rest assured that the dollar is going to play the dominant role in facilitating international transactions and serving as a reserve currency in the years ahead. I don’t see that role being threatened by any development including the one that you’ve mentioned [BRICS common currency].” That’s one she’s going to want to take back at some point, I’m certain.

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“’If it’s my gold then I want it in my country’”

Anti-Russian Sanctions Spooking Countries Into Repatriating Gold Reserves (RT)

An increasing number of countries are bringing home their bullion reserves in the wake of unprecedented sanctions imposed by the West on Russia, Reuters reported on Monday, citing an Invesco survey of central bank and sovereign wealth funds.According to the report, widespread losses for sovereign money managers resulting from last year’s financial market rout made them “fundamentally”rethink their strategies amid fears of higher inflation and further geopolitical tensions. The survey showed that over 85% of the participating 85 sovereign wealth funds and 57 central banks believe that inflation will now be higher in the coming decade than in the last.

A “substantial share” of central banks were reportedly concerned by the precedent set by sanctions on Russia. Almost 60% of respondents said it had made gold more attractive, while 68% were keeping reserves at home, compared with 50% in 2020. “’If it’s my gold then I want it in my country’ (has) been the mantra we have seen in the last year or so,”according to Invesco’s head of official institutions, Rod Ringrow, who oversaw the report. Confirming Ringrow’s assessment, one central bank told Reuters anonymously: “We did have it (gold) held in London… but now we’ve transferred it back to [our] own country to hold as a safe haven asset and to keep it safe.”

Nearly half of Russia’s $640 billion worth of gold and forex reserves were frozen by the West last year, included in numerous rounds of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine. Moscow has condemned the freezing of its assets, describing the West’s plans to expropriate those funds as theft and warning of retaliatory measures. The Ivesco study showed that geopolitical concerns, combined with opportunities in emerging markets, have also triggered a shift among some central banks away from the US dollar. Of those surveyed, 7% reportedly believe that mounting US debt is also negative for the greenback, but most still see no alternative to the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

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The military industrial complex is making a killing.

US, Europeans Depleted Their Weapons Stockpile Fighting Russia in Ukraine (Sp.)

The US and Europe may have the military budgets which far outstrip those of their global rivals, but there are multiple factors helping to explain their depletion and inability to expand production, retired. Major General Vallely, the chairman of the Stand Up America Foundation, a US advocacy and non-profit, told Sputnik. “As you know, when the Americans surrendered in Afghanistan, we left $85 billion-worth of equipment, ammunition, guns, tanks, helicopters, artillery. $85 billion is a lot. That would arm an entire country for years,” Vallely explained. Secondly, the US defense sectors “sells a lot of equipment to other countries – some 50 different countries,” which means not all its resources can be concentrated on one task, like flooding arms into Ukraine.

“And the third reason is the amount that we have sent into Ukraine, including what we called ‘prepositioned’ equipment in Europe. Those resources are depleted. So the American defense industry can’t keep up with demand now. We don’t have the manufacturing capability to keep up with what’s being used and what is needed in the future. The same goes for the European countries,” the senior officer said, pointing out that much of the weapons and equipment given to Kiev over the past year-and-a-half have been destroyed. Vallely also pointed to political, economic and social factors to account for the shortfall, saying many NATO countries, particularly in Europe, “are sort of reluctant” to keep pumping their military equipment into Ukraine with no end in sight.

Instead, they’ve actually “slowed down their production, I think, and also the amount of supplies that they’re giving Ukraine, because they want to keep a lot of that, at least some for themselves. So those are all reasons why we see this shortage and it’s going to continue,” he said. Major European NATO powers such as Germany, Italy and the UK have spent months warning that the stocks of weapons they have left after splurging on Ukraine would be enough to withstand just “48-72 hours” of combat in the event of a surprise invasion or other major conflagration. In the UK, defense officials complained privately back in January that the military had been “hollowed out” by arms shipments to Kiev, and London’s reluctance to up defense expenditures.

In spite of talk among NATO members about record defense budgets, Vallely doesn’t expect the alliance to be able to substantially ramp up production capabilities over the coming months and years. “I don’t think they want to. It costs the countries a lot of money to build this equipment. And you have an ailing economy in Europe and the United States. They can print all the money they want to, but still you have to build these things and it takes a lot of time,” he said. On top of that are resource constraints, including the rare-earth minerals the US has come to rely on China for but which Beijing has recently indicated it would be trimming down amid the ongoing trade war with Washington, Vallely said.

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NATO must deliver this week. But all they have is words. Bonuspoint for the headline.

Vaudevillian Visitors in Vilnius (Sp.)

The crisis in Ukraine is in many respects the consequence of the Western alliance’s decade-and-a-half long quest to pull Kiev into the bloc, despite repeated warnings by Russia that Ukrainian NATO membership was a “red line” for Moscow. The alliance first welcomed Ukraine’s “Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership” at its 2008 summit in Bucharest, Romania. Two years later, the pro-Western government in Kiev was replaced in democratic elections by the government of Viktor Yanukovych, who pledged Kiev’s bloc neutrality. Four years after that, in 2014, Yanukovych was overthrown in a US-backed coup d’etat, with the crisis prompting Crimea to break off from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, and sparking a bloody conflict in Donbass. Moscow attempted to mediate the crisis over eight years through the Minsk peace accords, a comprehensive, 12-point peace deal calling for broad autonomy for Donbass as part of Ukraine.


Successive governments in Kiev dragged their feet on the Minsk deal’s implementation. In the meantime, in 2019, Ukraine’s parliament amended the country’s constitution to cement Kiev’s aspirations to join NATO and the European Union. In December 2021, as war clouds gathered over Donbass, Moscow attempted one final push to prevent the escalation of the Ukraine crisis into a Russia-NATO proxy conflict, proposing comprehensive security agreements to the US and the alliance to reduce tensions, including a request for a commitment from the Western alliance not to allow Ukraine to join the bloc. The alliance refused, saying it would never reject its “open door” policy. Several weeks later, amid Russian intelligence reports that Kiev would try to resolve the Donbass crisis by force, Moscow kicked off its special military operation.

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“NATO member states cannot use security guarantees as an alternative to Ukraine’s membership in the bloc.”

Zelensky Can Expect Military Aid Guarantees From NATO Summit at Best (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky can expect from the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius on Ukraine’s admission to the alliance is guarantees of further military aid at best, Konstantin Gavrilov, the head of the Russian delegation at the military security and arms control talks in Vienna, said in an interview with Sputnik. Zelensky continues to bend his line that he needs Western weapons and military equipment under the pretext of a confrontation with Russia, the diplomat said, adding that is why Zelensky has long hinted that he would like an accelerated process of joining NATO. The UK and the US, however, have made it clear that the necessary criteria must be met for this.


“The best that Zelensky can expect [from the summit] is guarantees of further military assistance and supplies of ammunition,” Gavrilov said, adding that “the fact that a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council will be held during the NATO summit is just a nod to Kiev and nothing more.” On Monday Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that “NATO member states cannot use security guarantees as an alternative to Ukraine’s membership in the bloc.” The Lithuanian capital city of Vilnius will host the NATO summit from July 11-12. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will chair the meeting. Discussions on Ukraine’s NATO prospects, strengthening the alliance’s eastern flank and defense spending are expected to top the summit’s agenda. On June 19, Stoltenberg said that the summit would not discuss a formal invitation, but rather ways to “move Ukraine closer to NATO.”

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War is peace.

Ukraine In NATO Is ‘Path To Peace’ – FM (RT)

Inviting Kiev into NATO will create peace in Europe, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba argued on Monday, during an interview with the German public broadcaster ARD. Kiev was “promised entry” in 2008, but Germany and other Western European countries got cold feet, Kuleba told the Tagesschau newscast on Monday. The upcoming Vilnius summit of the US-led military bloc is the time to correct that “mistake,” he added.“We appreciate everything that Germany and the US are doing for Ukraine to support us in this war,” Kuleba added, but disagreed with Berlin that the invitation into NATO would drag the West into open war with Russia. The invitation is simple “a political message to Ukraine” and Article 5 – the mutual defense clause – “only applies if Ukraine is a member country.”

“Ukraine’s NATO membership is a path towards peace. Once Ukraine can join NATO, there will be no more wars in Europe,” Kuleba claimed, because “Russia will no longer dare to attack the alliance.” Although Kiev’s bid is strongly supported by the Eastern European and Baltic states, the leaders of Western Europe and the US have opposed making Ukraine a full-fledged NATO member. In a CNN interview over the weekend, US President Joe Biden reiterated that Washington is against admitting Ukraine into NATO and offered “Israel-like guarantees” instead. “Why does everyone always want to put Ukraine in a separate pot?” lamented Kuleba. “Why are people always looking for alternative solutions? Why can’t we simply develop a holistic solution for a European security architecture in which Ukraine sits in the NATO boat?”

He went on to insist that Ukraine is “a win” and not a burden, because “without our army, the eastern flank [of NATO] could not be defended at all.” Kiev will not accept guarantees as a replacement for membership, Kuleba added, but only as an interim measure. The US and its allies have spent over $100 billion just in 2022 to provide Ukraine with weapons, equipment, ammunition and even cash, while insisting they were not a party to the conflict with Russia. Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov has argued on multiple occasions that his country was already “de facto” a member of the Western alliance and “carrying out NATO’s mission” with theblood of Ukrainian soldiers.

No NATO membership for Ukraine was one of the key demands in Russia’s collective security proposal sent to Washington and Brussels in December 2021. Biden also revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had presented that condition at their July 2021 summit in Switzerland – but that he refused, citing NATO’s open-door policy. Moscow considers NATO’s eastward expansion as a threat to Russia’s national security and has cited Kiev’s ties to the bloc as one of the root causes of the current armed conflict with Ukraine. Russian officials have argued that Ukraine’s neutrality would be one of the necessary prerequisites for a lasting peace between the two countries.

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Yup, more Orwell.

US State Dept Has Become ‘Ministry Of Truth’ – Moscow (RT)

US authorities are urging the country’s media outlets to propagate falsehoods about Russia in a bid to undermine its stability amid the ongoing stand-off between Moscow and the West, the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has claimed. In a statement on Monday, the agency quoted its director, Sergey Naryshkin, as saying that “the US State Department … basically dictates to the American media what exactly they should write and say,” adding that it “has finally turned into the ‘Ministry of Truth’.” The comment was an apparent reference to the fictional ministry tasked with falsifying historical events from George Orwell’s world-renowned dystopian novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’.

The SVR, citing intelligence data, claimed that last month the department sent instructions to several major media holdings, including AT&T, Comcast Corporation, Graham Media Group, Nash Holdings, Newsweek Publishing and The New York Times Company, telling them to “reflect events in and around Russia in a distorted manner.” According to the agency, these outlets were tasked with convincing Russian citizens that there was a need for a “forceful struggle against the authorities, up to an armed rebellion.” They also wanted to “involve the population in protest actions” by “actively circulating falsehoods” about Russia’s purported weakness and its “inevitable defeat in the stand-off with the West,” the statement read.

To achieve this goal, Washington has told media organizations to focus on packaging certain narratives to young Russians, as well as hailing Russian opposition figures and other nationals engaged “in sabotage and terrorist actions” against Moscow as heroes, the agency claimed. “There is nothing new in freedom of speech being trampled on in the West. It is unfortunate that the State Department, which used to be a sober-minded and rational agency … has turned into a stinking landfill of informational garbage,” the SVR added. The statement comes after Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov predicted in April that the level of “external interference” into Russia’s domestic affairs would only grow amid the Ukraine conflict. He also suggested that the West would be interested in derailing Russia’s presidential elections, which are scheduled for March 2024.

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The EU will never accept a muslim nation as a member.

Erdogan Ties Sweden’s NATO Bid To Türkiye’s EU Membership (RT)

Ankara will sign off on Sweden’s accession to NATO if the EU “opens the way” to membership for Türkiye, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. Erdogan has reportedly asked US President Joe Biden to help pressure Brussels into accepting Türkiye into the European bloc. “Türkiye has been waiting at the door of the European Union for over 50 years now, and almost all of the NATO member countries are now members of the European Union,” Erdogan told reporters before flying to NATO’s summit in Lithuania. “Come and open the way for Türkiye’s membership in the European Union. When you pave the way for Türkiye, we’ll pave the way for Sweden as we did for Finland,” he added.

Sweden, Finland, and Türkiye agreed last summer that Ankara would approve the two Nordic nations’ applications for NATO membership if both granted a number of key concessions to Ankara. Sweden and Finland promised that they would lift arms embargoes on Türkiye, extradite alleged Kurdish and Gulenist terrorists, and crack down on the activities of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) within their borders. Türkiye’s parliament signed off on Finland’s application in March, but Erdogan maintains that Sweden hasn’t fulfilled its end of the bargain. In a phone call with Biden on Sunday, the Turkish president claimed that Sweden still allows “terrorist organizations” – referring to the PKK – to demonstrate on its streets, according to a readout of the call from Ankara.

Erdogan also told Biden that Türkiye expects a “clear and strong message of support” from NATO leaders for its EU membership at this week’s summit in Lithuania. A readout of the call from the White House made no mention of this request. Erdogan is set to hold talks with Biden and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson while in Lithuania. sAsked about Erdogan’s comments, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the Associated Press that Türkiye’s accession to the EU was not a part of the deal that Sweden, Finland, and Türkiye signed last year.

Stoltenberg insisted that Sweden has fulfilled its obligations, and that it is “still possible to have a positive decision” on its accession to the military bloc during this week’s summit. Türkiye applied for EU membership in 1987 and was recognized as a candidate in 1999. Membership negotiations opened in 2005, but progress was slow, and no talks have taken place since 2016. Brussels has since condemned Erdogan over alleged human rights abuses, and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament warned in a 2017 report that constitutional reforms strengthening his powers could run afoul of EU law and threaten Ankara’s membership bid.

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“Putin listened to the explanations of the commanders and offered them further employment options..”

Putin Held Meeting With Prigozhin, Wagner Commanders June 29 -Kremlin (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting in the Kremlin with Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner PMC and the group’s commanders to discuss the events of June 24, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. “Indeed, the president had such a meeting. He invited 35 people to it. All group commanders and company management, including Prigozhin. This meeting took place in the Kremlin on June 29 and lasted almost three hours,” Peskov told a briefing. The details of the meeting are confidential, but both Putin and Wagner commanders gave an assessment of the June 24 events, the spokesman said.

“The only thing we can say is that the president gave an assessment of the company’s actions at the front line during the special military operation, and also gave his assessment of the events of June 24. Putin listened to the explanations of the commanders and offered them further employment options,” Peskov said. Commanders of Wagner told Putin that they are his staunch supporters and are ready to continue fighting for Russia, the spokesman concluded. On June 23, forces of the Wagner Group (PMC) seized the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District in the city of Rostov-on-Don, following accusations leveled against the Russian Ministry of Defense for allegedly striking the group’s camps. Both the Russian military and the Federal Security Service have denied the allegations.

The next day, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko revealed that he had spent the entire day negotiating with Yevgeny Prigozhin, as agreed upon with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a result of the talks, the Wagner group leader accepted Lukashenko’s proposal to stop the movement of his troops in Russia and take measures to de-escalate the situation. Putin guaranteed that the Wagner group fighters would have the opportunity to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, return home, or move to Belarus.

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“..Western governments and pundits clearly suffered more embarrassment from this episode than Putin did..”

Prigozhin’s War (Lauria)

MacGregor disagreed that the former Wagner chief was in cahoots with Russia’s enemies. He said: “I see no evidence that Mr. Prigozhin was made an agent by MI6 or the CIA or anybody else. Anybody who knows the Russians knows that any senior officer or commander or leader is surrounded by numerous FSB informants. The idea that he could have sold out even if he wanted to seems ludicrous.” Ritter pointed out in his CN piece that the Russian government is investigating the matter. If Prigozhin was indeed working for Western or Ukrainian intelligence they clearly did not get what they paid for. Lessons: For Russia: Don’t repeat the mistake of hiring a private army. Several analysts pointed to a 500-year old lesson from Niccolo Machiavelli that Russia ignored:

“Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious and without discipline, unfaithful. … I wish to demonstrate further the infelicity of these arms [i.e., mercenaries]. The mercenary captains are either capable men or they are not; if they are, you cannot trust them, because they always aspire to their own greatness, either by oppressing you, who are their master, or others contrary to your intentions; but if the captain [i.e., the leader of the mercenaries] is not skillful, you are ruined in the usual way [i.e., you will lose the war].”

MacGregor disputed the whole idea. He told Galloway: “I reject the notion that these people are mercenaries. I would compare them to the French Foreign Legion. The French Foreign Legion consists of large numbers of non Frenchmen in many cases, but they have sworn allegiance to the French state and the French nation, and no one has fought harder and more loyally for France than the French Foreign Legion. I would say you have something very similar in the Wagner group.= These are still Russians overwhelmingly, but there are numbers of Serbs or some Germans or others in the group, and they too have sworn allegiance to the Russian state. And as far as we can tell, none of them thought that they were marching on Moscow to remove Putin.

On the contrary, they saw themselves as going to Moscow to rescue Putin from what was widely considered bad advisors, bad councilors who have held up the Russian offensive and caused this war to drag out beyond the point of reason.” Whether they were mercenaries or not, the Kremlin and the MOD tried to get away with a dodgy legal maneuver and it caused them international embarrassment and nearly a bloody civil conflict. Lessons: For the West: Wait until an operation is over before popping the corks. Cries about a Russian civil war being under way, such as tweets from former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, which blared that “The fight is now on. This is now a civil war,” blew up in their faces when Prigozhin turned tail.

The bigger lesson would be not to meddle in other nations’ internal affairs but that would be too much to ask. The entire Russian nation had rallied around Putin, leaving him in a much stronger position, exposing the continuing line that Russia is now a dangerously unstable nation. Western governments and pundits clearly suffered more embarrassment from this episode than Putin did. But ideologues rarely learn any lessons.

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A soft warning. China speaks in whispers.

US Cluster Munitions to Ukraine Can Lead to Humanitarian Problems – China (Sp.)

Last week, the US unveiled a new military assistance package for Ukraine that includes cluster munitions. The weapons are banned by the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which has been ratified by 123 countries, excluding the US and Ukraine. Supplies of cluster munitions by the United States to Ukraine may lead to humanitarian problems, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Monday. “Many countries have spoken out against it [cluster munition supplies], irresponsible transfers of cluster munitions can easily lead to humanitarian problems. Humanitarian issues and military security issues must be dealt with in a balanced manner, and the transfer of cluster munitions must be treated with restraint and caution,” Mao told reporters.

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“..a recruitment drive is underway in Argentina, Brazil, Afghanistan, Iraq, and areas of Syria that are “under American control.”

Ukraine Stepping Up Mercenary Recruitment Effort – Russian MOD (RT)

Ukrainian units formed from foreign mercenaries have suffered high battlefield casualties, forcing Kiev to change its approach to finding hired fighters, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Monday. In a statement, the ministry alleged that the Ukrainian military command views foreign fighters as cannon fodder, sending them into the riskiest missions and placing them at the back of the line when it comes to the evacuation of injured troops. This has made recruiting fighters in European countries such as Poland much harder for Kiev, the assessment claimed. Ukraine has consequently ramped up efforts to find candidates in other parts of the world, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, which stated that a recruitment drive is underway in Argentina, Brazil, Afghanistan, Iraq, and areas of Syria that are “under American control.”

The reference to Syria likely concerns the predominantly Kurdish northeastern part of the country. The US supplied Kurdish militias with weapons, training and air support when they served as ground forces for the Washington-led coalition in the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). The Pentagon also maintains a military base in eastern Syria, despite the objections of the government in Damascus. The Russian Defense Ministry further claimed that Ukraine’s diplomatic missions in the US and Canada are actively hiring fighters with the help of the CIA and private military contractors under its influence.

Ukraine created the so-called International Legion for what it describes as foreign volunteers fighting for its cause. Moscow considers the fighters to be mercenaries and has repeatedly said that the regular laws of war do not apply to them. The Russian Defense Ministry’s assessment on Monday put the number of foreign mercenaries currently employed by Kiev at 2,029. There are numerous accounts from foreign fighters describing the perils of joining the Ukrainian ranks, including mismanagement by military leaders, corruption with logistics, and the overwhelming risks of engaging Russian forces.

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I’m seeing Orwell eveywhere today:

“..they were unwilling to allow the safety of others “to go to the winds so that people can speak freely.”

Welcome to Zuckerberg’s Vision of Internet “Kindness” (Turley)

“Threads’s rollout coincides with a court ruling that the government’s interventions to censor people on social media represented “the most massive attack against free speech in United States history.” Now, Facebook is offering an alternative to Twitter, with the assurance that users will be protected against any thoughts that Meta’s staff finds problematic. While free speech on Twitter is portrayed as harmful, the company has promised to “prioritize kindness.” That sounds eerily familiar to some of us as a way to deprioritize free speech. Recently, former Twitter executive Anika Collier Navaroli testified on how she and her staff would remove anything they considered “dog whistles” and “coded” messaging. Rather than using “kindness,” Twitter used undefined standards of “safety” to cancel free speech.

Navaroli declared that they were unwilling to allow the safety of others “to go to the winds so that people can speak freely.” Facebook has long tried to get the public to embrace its role as some kind of speech overlord. Years ago, Facebook rolled out an Orwellian commercial campaign to get the public to embrace censorship. The commercials showed young people heralding how they grew up on the internet and how the world was changing, creating a need for censorship under the guise of “content moderation.” Facebook, they promised, was offering the “blending of the real world and the internet world.”

Facebook is not alone in trying to get people to accept censorship. Recently, after the court ruling, various figures assured the public that they are better off letting corporate and government censors protect them from harmful thoughts. On CNN, Chief White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly went so far as to state that it simply “makes sense” for tech companies to go along with government censorship demands. After this week’s decision, the New York Times immediately issued a panicky tweet that the resulting outbreak of free speech could “curtail efforts to combat disinformation.” For his part, Zuckerberg prefers to just offer “kindness” and “sanity” with few details. Of course, there is a very simple way for Zuckerberg to show that he is committed to free speech: He can release the Facebook Files.

One of the reasons many of us in the free-speech community still support Musk is that he transformed the debate over government censorship by releasing the Twitter Files. For years, politicians and pundits dismissed objections from some of us to government-corporate coordination of censorship as unproven. In Congress, Democratic members attacked witnesses for supposedly lacking proof of censorship, even as they fought to block any investigation that might uncover that evidence. Musk changed all that by showing the public an extensive network of government interventions to support censorship and blacklisting of private citizens. Much of what we know today is derived from the Twitter Files, but surely there is more to learn.

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“The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail – its roof may shake – the wind may blow through it – the storm may enter – the rain may enter – but the King of England cannot enter.”

UK Parents Prosecuted for Refusing to Pay for Transgender Treatments? (Turley)

According to the UK’s Code for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), abusive conduct now includes “withholding money for transitioning [and] refusing to use their preferred name or pronoun.” So a parent with familial or religious objections to the transitioning of a child would be required under the law to fund operations or treatments. According to the guidance material, this is not even “an exhausted list,” but some of the first “examples” of potentially criminal conduct that comes to mind. The guideline would suggest that parents with deep-seated religious convictions against transgender status would either have to fund an operation that they consider immoral or face arrest for failing to do so.

To potentially prosecute a parent for refusing to use an adopted pronoun of their child is chilling and wrong. Nevertheless, a CPS spokesperson doubled down with a comment to Fox News that “domestic abuse is a severe crime and leaves victims with a lasting impact . . . This assists prosecutors to ensure that any victim, regardless of who they are, can get justice for the abuse they have faced.” This follows the erosion of free speech and religious rights in Britain, including English courts upholding the criminalization “toxic ideologies.” It was Sir Edward Coke in The Institutes of the Laws of England, 1628 who declared “For a man’s house is his castle, et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium [and each man’s home is his safest refuge].” William Pitt, the first Earl of Chatham later added:

“The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail – its roof may shake – the wind may blow through it – the storm may enter – the rain may enter – but the King of England cannot enter.” That no longer appears the case when misusing pronouns or failing to write a check for a child’s transitioning, which will now be treated as the same as physical child abuse. As the definition of abuse is broadened, the state derives greater control and direction over family affairs and relations. Moreover, leaving enforcement to the discretion of police in this “nonexhaustive” list only further undermines this long-standing protection over internal family matters. The question is what the limiting principle will be as the state defines a wider array of conduct to be child abuse. The default assumption of Pitt appears to have flipped in the United Kingdom.

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RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1678544638334967809

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 092023
 


Carl Frederik Aagaard View to the Amalfi Coast c1860 (woodblock)

 

Biden Admin Lying ‘About Everything to Do With Ukraine’ – RFK Jr. (Sp.)
Tucker Carlson Hopes Trump & RFK Jr. Win 2024 Nomination (Sp.)
‘Russian Victory’ Worse Than Civilian Cluster-bomb Deaths – Pentagon (RT)
Cluster Munitions Will Change Nothing for Ukraine (Scott Ritter)
Supplying Cluster Bombs To Ukraine Is Wrong – Spain (RT)
Germany Set Against Ukraine’s Bid for NATO Membership (Sp.)
France’s Macron Has Changed Mind About NATO – Bloomberg (RT)
France Blocks NATO Plans For Japan (RT)
Turkish Release Of Ukrainian Neo-nazis A Deal ‘Violation’ – Kremlin (RT)
BRICS Needs Qualitative Expansion, Says Russian Lawmaker (Sp.)
Biden Told China’s Xi To ‘Be Careful’ After Putin Meeting (RT)
Hell on Earth – A Mercenary’s Life In Ukraine (RT)
Terrorist Regime: Moscow Reacts to Kiev Admitting Attack on Crimean Bridge (Sp.)
DeSantis Ruined His Campaign With Attack On “pro-LGBTQ” Trump (Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

The film “Sound of Freedom” was written before anyone heard of qanon. And the real-life story it is based on is years older than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Sund
https://twitter.com/i/status/1677426193744707586

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

“We [US] wanted the war, for the reasons that Biden has said… The real reason for the war in Ukraine is regime change in Russia..”

Biden Admin Lying ‘About Everything to Do With Ukraine’ – RFK Jr. (Sp.)

The federal government under the administration of Joe Biden has been blatantly lying to the Americans “about everything to do with Ukraine,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in an interview for Judge Andrew Napolitano on his Judging Freedom podcast. “This was a sell job that they gave us on Ukraine,” insisted the 2024 Democratic candidate for US President. “The Russians tried to avoid a war… wanted to sign the Minsk Accords – a reasonable document – to keep NATO out of Ukraine, with Ukraine remaining neutral… That we [US] remove the Aegis missile systems from Romania, Poland, and that the murder…the wholesale killing of ethnic Russians in the Donbass by the Ukrainian government that America put in power stop. Those are all things that we should have agreed to,” stated the nephew of assassinated former US President John F. Kennedy.

He added that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky won in 2019 by promising to sign the Minsk accords. The complex series of measures negotiated by Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine in 2014-2015 in a bid to put an end to the armed conflict between the Kiev authorities and the breakaway region of Donbas. Moscow repeatedly stated that Kiev was not fulfilling the deal, for example not granting self-government to the Russian-speaking region of Donbass. In February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted he never intended to implement the Minsk agreements, with former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Former French President Francois Hollande, who participated in the Normandy format, admitting the same.

“It is existential for the Russians… they have a legitimate national security interest,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pointed out, referring to Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. “We [US] wanted the war, for the reasons that Biden has said… The real reason for the war in Ukraine is regime change in Russia,” RJK Jr. emphasized in the interview on the Judging Freedom podcast. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. previously slammed decades of policy conducted by the US and NATO toward Ukraine and Russia for fueling the current conflagration. “We have neglected many, many opportunities to settle this war peacefully,” Kennedy said in June during a live town hall event with NewsNation.

He added that Washington had turned the ongoing conflagration in Ukraine into a proxy war waged by the United States against Russia. “We were told this was a humanitarian exercise. … But when President Biden was asked why are we over there, he said for regime change of [Russian President] Vladimir Putin,” the 2024 White House hopeful underscored. Weighing in on remarks by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who said last year that Washington wanted “to see Russia weakened,” RJK Jr. scathingly remarked: “That is the opposite of a humanitarian mission, that is a mission about a war of attrition.”

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“Trump is the only person with stature in the Republican Party really who is saying, ‘Wait a second, why are we supporting an endless… [conflict] in Ukraine?”

Tucker Carlson Hopes Trump & RFK Jr. Win 2024 Nomination (Sp.)

Tucker Carlson hopes that Democratic candidate for US President Robert Kennedy Jr. and former POTUS Republican 2024 hopeful Donald Trump win their respective nominations. “Bobby Kennedy and Trump will both have a very tough time getting the nomination… I’m hoping that both of them will [win], of course,” Carlson said in an interview with English comedian and actor Russell Brand on Friday. “I’m hoping that their message will be heard… I don’t know. I don’t even know what I hope for in the process itself, but I want them to be heard. And they can now be heard. Because there are channels of information that people can tune into and listen,” the prominent reporter added. Carlson, who emphatically told the host that he “loves Trump,” dodged a question regarding the potential outcomes of the primaries, set to start early in 2024.

However, he insisted that in 10 years, “we’re going to see Trump’s emergence as the most significant thing to happen in American politics in 100 years because he reoriented the Republican Party against the wishes of Republican leaders.” Regarding Trump, the former anchor insisted that the Republican hopeful was right about the Ukraine crisis, saying: “Trump is the only person with stature in the Republican Party really who is saying, ‘Wait a second, why are we supporting an endless… [conflict] in Ukraine?” The journalist likened Donald Trump and RFK Jr. to Ross Perot and Teddy Roosevelt, respectively. “Teddy Roosevelt grew up rich. Of course, in New York, Trump, Bobby Kennedy is famous, [from] one of [the] most famous families in the world, in modern history, the Kennedys, and certainly the most famous family in Democratic politics,” he said.

“So these are people who know how the system works because they benefited from the system. And so their critique is much more meaningful and much more effective, I would say, because they can bear witness to what they have seen,” Carlson underscored. Trump, who is seeking an Oval Office comeback after losing the 2020 election to Biden, is a frontrunner in the Republican primary race that includes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and his former vice president, Mike Pence. Others in the GOP ballgame include former South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and several “longshots” in the fray. As for the much narrower 2024 Democratic field, leading it is White House incumbent Joe Biden. At 80, he is the oldest sitting president in US history, and can hardly boast of an approval rating barely above 40%.

His rival for nomination is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew to assassinated former US President John F. Kennedy. Incidentally, according to a YouGov survey, RFK Jr. boasts the highest favorability rating of all the current 2024 presidential candidates – 49 percent of respondents saw him favorably in June.

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Same for a nuclear bomb?

‘Russian Victory’ Worse Than Civilian Cluster-bomb Deaths – Pentagon (RT)

US fears of Russian success on the battlefield outweigh concerns that deliveries of cluster bombs to Ukraine could result in civilian casualties, a senior Pentagon official acknowledged on Friday. Speaking to reporters, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl defended the White House’s decision to approve another $800 million weapons package for Ukraine, including cluster munitions. The weapons are banned in more than 100 countries. When they detonate, the munitions release many small bomblets over a wide area. A percentage of bomblets fail to detonate on impact, however, and unexploded elements pose severe risks to civilians for years after fighting ends.

Asked if the Pentagon has assured its allies that the munitions will not cause excessive civilian harm, Kahl replied: “I’m as concerned about the humanitarian circumstance as anybody, but the worst thing for civilians in Ukraine is for Russia to win the war. And so it’s important that they don’t.” He added that Kiev had promised not to use cluster munitions in civilian-populated urban areas and to keep records of where the weapons are deployed to make future de-mining efforts easier. The official also portrayed the deliveries as a stop-gap measure until Kiev’s Western backers can ramp up production of conventional shells. In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, US President Joe Biden described the decision to supply the controversial shells to Ukraine as “difficult.”

He said that it was in part motivated by the fact that both Kiev and Washington recognise a deficit in ordinary ammunition, adding that Ukraine “needed” cluster munitions to prevent Russia from stopping its ongoing counteroffensive. Commenting on the announcement, Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the US, called the move “a gesture of desperation,” adding that the West does not want to admit that Ukraine’s counteroffensive is faltering. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reacted by posting a clip of former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki from late February 2022, days after the start of the Ukraine conflict, saying that the use of cluster munitions could potentially be regarded as a war crime.

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“..when employed in real-life situations, the “dud” rate of the sub-munitions will be much higher—often up to 20%..”

Cluster Munitions Will Change Nothing for Ukraine (Scott Ritter)

The Biden administration has announced that it will be authorizing a new tranche of military support for Ukraine Totaling around $800 million, it will also feature Bradley and Stryker fighting vehicles, air defense missiles, and anti-mine equipment—and hundreds of thousands of 155mm artillery dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) rounds, the M864. The United States has, prior to the recent announcement, refused to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine for one simple reason—much of the world, including many of America’s NATO allies—views cluster munitions as representing an unacceptable risk to civilian life due to the high occurrence of “dud” munitions (i.e., munitions that fail to detonate on impact).

As a result, cluster munitions continue to kill long after the battle where they were employed has ended. The victims tend to be civilians who stumble upon these munitions and inadvertently set them off. While the US has refused to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), an international treaty that prohibits all use, transfer, production, and stockpiling of cluster munitions, it has recognized the need to develop cluster munitions with a designed “dud” rate of less than 1% to minimize the post-conflict risk to civilian populations. For this reason, the US military stopped using the M864 in 2016, replacing it with an improved DPICM round. While the M864 round does not meet the 1% “dud” threshold set by the US Dewhen employed in real-life situations, the “dud” rate of the sub-munitions will be much higher—often up to 20%partment of Defense for DPICM munitions, the Biden administration touts the fact that the M864 has a “dud” rate of less than 2%, which given the urgency of the need for artillery shells by Ukraine, is deemed to be an acceptable departure from the US norm.

However, like virtually every statement made by the United States regarding the conflict in Ukraine, the claim that the M864 DPICM rounds being sent to Ukraine are comprised only of batches “certified” as possessing a “dud” rate of less than 2% is a calculated lie. The tests cited—five of them, conducted between 1998 and 2020—were carried out at the KOFA firing range, located within the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, in Arizona, using the Terminal Ballistics Evaluation Area, which possesses a prepared and instrumented impact area optimized for data collection. This range employs a surface area consisting of hard-packed, flattened dirt designed to maximize point-detonating fuses such as those employed on the 24 M46 and 48 M42 dual-purpose anti-materiel/anti-personnel sub-munitions contained in each M864 round.

However,. Rough terrain, mud, soft soil, trees, and bushes all conspire to prevent the sub-munitions from detonating. Moreover, given that the lifespan of a 155mm artillery shell is 20 years, and that production of the M864 round, which began in 1987, terminated in 1996, the vast majority of the M864 artillery shells being provided to Ukraine have reached or exceeded their expiation date, which means that there is an increased probability that many of these shells will not perform as designed.

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“Through the cluster munition deliveries, Washington de-facto becomes an accomplice in mining [Ukraine’s] territory and will share full responsibility for the deaths… of both Russian and Ukrainian children.”

Supplying Cluster Bombs To Ukraine Is Wrong – Spain (RT)

Cluster munitions should not be used by Ukraine “under any circumstances,” Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on Saturday. One day earlier, the US announced that it would send the controversial ordnance to Ukraine amid a shortage in conventional shells. “Spain, based on the firm commitment it has with Ukraine, also has a firm commitment that certain weapons and bombs cannot be delivered under any circumstances,” Robles told reporters after a rally in Madrid. Spain says “no to cluster bombs and yes to the legitimate defense of Ukraine, which we understand should not be carried out with cluster bombs,” Robles added, according to Reuters.

The White House announced on Friday that President Joe Biden had authorized the delivery of an unspecified number of dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM) to Kiev, based on the “unanimous” recommendation of the president’s national security team. The shells, which can be fired from Ukraine’s NATO-supplied 155mm artillery, scatter many small ‘bomblets’ over a wide area, some of which fail to immediately explode and pose severe risks to civilians for years after fighting ends. Cluster munitions are banned by more than 120 countries, although the US, Ukraine, and Russia are not parties to the ban. Biden’s decision was also criticized by Germany and the UK. However, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Friday that sending these weapons was necessary to “bridge” the gap until Kiev’s Western backers could increase production of conventional 155mm shells.

Speaking to CNN later on Friday, Biden was more blunt. “It was a very difficult decision on my part,” he said, claiming that he signed off on the supply because “the Ukrainians are running out of ammunition.” Last year, then White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki described Russia’s alleged use of similar ordnance as “potentially a war crime.” Moscow was dismissive of the news. Cluster bombs are “yet another ‘Wunderwaffe’ [wonder weapon] Washington and Kiev are betting on, without thinking about the harsh consequences,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing on Friday. “Through the cluster munition deliveries, Washington de-facto becomes an accomplice in mining [Ukraine’s] territory and will share full responsibility for the deaths… of both Russian and Ukrainian children.”

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“Berlin doesn’t want to see [Russian President] Vladimir Putin potentially test Article 5.”

Germany Set Against Ukraine’s Bid for NATO Membership (Sp.)

Germany plans to insist during the upcoming NATO summit in Lithuania that Ukraine should not be granted NATO membership, UK media reported on Saturday, citing an alliance source. The source said that Berlin plans to urge other NATO members during the Vilnius summit on July 11-12 that they should focus on security assurances to Kiev, and not NATO membership, in order not to risk a war with Russia. “Berlin is stand-offish at the prospect of offering immediate membership,” the source told The Telegraph, adding that Germany “wants a process and time to develop guarantees to essentially block membership,” since “Berlin doesn’t want to see [Russian President] Vladimir Putin potentially test Article 5.”


According to The Telegraph, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union are currently working on “Bucharest-plus” – a series of bilateral security offerings to Kiev – instead of offering Ukraine NATO membership. Individual offers of security guarantees to Kiev would then be combined into an umbrella deal, a “Memorandum of Understanding,” endorsed by NATO and the EU, the newspaper said, adding that, according to sources, it would be the “next best offer” to Kiev.

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Germany says no, Macron turns around and says yes. Is this a game?

France’s Macron Has Changed Mind About NATO – Bloomberg (RT)

By backing membership for Ukraine, the French president is trying to court Eastern European support, the newspaper’s sources said French President Emmanuel Macron © Nicolas Economou / Getty Images French President Emmanuel Macron realizes that Eastern European states are becoming more influential within NATO, and has shifted his rhetoric on the bloc to match them, Bloomberg reported on Saturday. Macron recently backed a “path” to NATO membership for Ukraine. Before the conflict in Ukraine began, Macron was regarded as one of Europe’s most NATO-skeptic leaders. He proclaimed the bloc “brain dead” in 2019, and spent his first term in office repeatedly calling for the establishment of a “true European army” independent from the US.

Even throughout the first year of the conflict, Macron stayed in phone contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin and distanced himself from “Anglo Saxon” leaders, whom he said seek to “annihilate” Russia. However, his rhetoric has since changed. In May, Macron called on NATO leaders to offer Kiev a “path” to full membership in the bloc, and declared that the EU and NATO should expand their military cooperation “as quickly as possible.” The shift was a calculated one, Bloomberg reported. Citing a diplomat from Eastern Europe, the newspaper explained that “positioning France alongside Ukraine’s fiercest supporters, Poland and the Baltic states, helps to fill the gap left by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s more cautious approach.”

A French diplomat framed Macron’s apparent conversion in more ideological terms, stating that the president “has understood he needs to be on the right side of history,” in Bloomberg’s words. In order to convince NATO’s eastern members, Macron will need to back his words with actions, the newspaper claimed. Although France was one of the first NATO members to provide Kiev with armored vehicles, France will likely need to up its spending on Ukraine to beyond its current level of 0.3% of GDP, Bloomberg suggested.

However, anonymous French officials told the newspaper that Macron’s government is already examining how its nuclear arsenal could “contribute to Ukraine’s security guarantees.” While offering to protect Ukraine with nuclear weapons would be a seriously escalatory step, some officials Bloomberg spoke to regarded Macron’s recent statement as “hot air.” With his attempts to dissuade Putin from sending troops to Ukraine failing last year and his offer to help China negotiate a peace deal languishing, one anonymous official explained that Macron is enthusiastically backing NATO expansion simply because everything else he has tried “hasn’t worked.”

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This is about China.

France Blocks NATO Plans For Japan (RT)

Paris has refused to approve a scheme to open a NATO liaison office in Japan, arguing the bloc should not extend itself beyond the North Atlantic, according to an Elysee Palace official cited by Politico. “NATO means North Atlantic Treaty Organization,” the official told journalists on Friday, warning against blurring the lines and emphasizing that even the notorious Article 5 of the bloc’s treaty specifically refers to maintaining the “security of the North Atlantic area.” “We are not in favor as a matter of principle,” the official added. “As far as the office is concerned, the Japanese authorities themselves have told us that they are not extremely attached to it.” French President Emmanuel Macron personally believes that the body’s charter imposes geographic limitations which bar NATO from expanding into Asia, according to a recent report by the Financial Times.

Back in May, Japanese Ambassador to the US Koji Tomita said that Japan was “working” towards opening a NATO liaison office in Tokyo, which would become the bloc’s first in Asia. The scheme has been discussed intermittently since 2007, when Japan’s then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe first visited NATO’s headquarters, and was raised again in recent months. Tokyo has steadily increased its cooperation with the bloc over the years, opening its first NATO branch office in Brussels in 2018. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida became the first Japanese leader to attend a NATO summit last year. Japan, as well as Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, have also been invited to the 2023 summit that will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 11 and 12, as the bloc shows increased interest in the Indo-Pacific in recent years.

China objected to NATO’s creeping expansion, claiming that the bloc should remain within its own sphere of influence and not seek to grow its presence in Asia, arguing the region “does not welcome bloc confrontation or military blocs.” Russia, which strongly opposes NATO’s expansion in Eastern Europe, also criticized the bloc’s attempts to extend its activities into Asia. In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the push by the US and its allies to create what he called a “global NATO” resembled the actions of Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan in the 1930s before the outbreak of World War II.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1676314362024263682

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Putin trusted Erdogan.

Turkish Release Of Ukrainian Neo-nazis A Deal ‘Violation’ – Kremlin (RT)

Allowing former commanders of the neo-Nazi Azov regiment to return to Ukraine is a “direct violation” of a 2022 prisoner swap deal between Moscow and Kiev that also involved Türkiye, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday. Earlier the same day, the five previously interned Azov commanders flew from Türkiye to Ukraine aboard President Vladimir Zelensky’s plane. The Ukrainian leader hailed the development as a “return of heroes” and published a video of the five men boarding his aircraft on Facebook. Zelensky had arrived in Türkiye on a short visit after an invitation by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Both the Ukrainian and Turkish sides breached the provisions [of the deal] in this case,” Peskov said, commenting on the developments. He also said that Moscow had not been duly informed of Ankara’s decision to hand over the five Ukrainians. Türkiye was apparently “forced” to take this step ahead of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that the Turkish leadership had to demonstrate “solidarity” with the military bloc and that Moscow was “well aware” of that. “Yet, a breach of an agreement flatters no one,” the official stressed. Ankara has so far not commented on the developments.

Under a major prisoner exchange agreement reached in September 2022, five commanders, including top Azov leaders, were to stay in Türkiye until the end of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. At that time, Zelensky himself explicitly stated that Kiev had agreed to that condition. Erdogan then offered the five Ukrainians protection. All of them were captured by the Russian forces and Donbass militias in spring 2022 following the lengthy siege of the Azovstal steel plant in the Azov Sea port city of Mariupol.

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“..a pool of reserve currencies, which should show itself – I think it will be after the summit in August..”

BRICS Needs Qualitative Expansion, Says Russian Lawmaker (Sp.)

On Friday, Belarusian Ambassador to Brazil Sergey Lukashevich has passed a note to the Brazilian government conforming Minsk’s desire to become a full-fledged member of BRICS. The bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, needs more countries, but they must be a good fit and not just selected artificially simply for the sake of getting “more flags,” said Andrey Klimov, deputy head of the Russian upper chamber’s committee on foreign affairs, adding that it is worth considering different formats for membership. According to the senator, it would not be right to force the process.

“In fact, there are many applications, but the main goal is to consolidate the efforts of sovereign powers that play a huge role in their continent and even in the world. To force this artificially is probably not very right, although some would like to have more countries, more flags, more numbers of some kind. I am still in favor of adding quality,” Klimov said. He cited the example of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which did not expand quickly, and recalled that BRICS initially consisted only of Russia, India, and China. “Time will tell how the BRICS will develop. We already have a New Development Bank of BRICS, it is getting on its feet, a pool of reserve currencies, which should show itself – I think it will be after the summit in August,” he said.

“If we just follow some information agenda and think about PR, it will hardly give us any added value. In this regard, we will move towards a formula that is closer to me – BRICS+. Countries have the right to work in the BRICS format in different areas, from sports to finance, and one can become a member of the BRICS New Development Bank without joining BRICS. Participation in the championships organized by BRICS without being part of the organization is also possible,” Klimov noted.

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He must have been very impressed.

Biden Told China’s Xi To ‘Be Careful’ After Putin Meeting (RT)

US President Joe Biden called on his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping ‘to be careful’ after Xi visited Moscow back in March, the American leader has told CNN. In extracts from the interview released on Saturday, Biden said he had highlighted what he called the Asian giant’s dependence on European and US investments. “I said: This is not a threat. This is an observation,” Biden told CNN. “Since Russia went into Ukraine, 600 American corporations have pulled out of Russia. And you have told me that your economy depends on investment from Europe and the United States. And be careful. Be careful,” he added.

Following their Moscow talks, Putin and Xi signed documents on deepening the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership and economic cooperation. Both governments emphasized their readiness to work towards a trade volume of $200 billion or higher, with national currencies increasingly being used in a bid to de-dollarize trade. The conflict in Ukraine was discussed during the Moscow visit as well, with China maintaining its neutral position. Beijing has repeatedly criticized the West’s “abuse” of unilateral economic sanctions and has made efforts toward a peaceful resolution in Ukraine, proposing a twelve-point peace plan. In May, a Chinese special envoy visited several countries, including Russia and Ukraine, in an effort to broker an end to the conflict.

Biden’s CNN interview comes as US relations with China are far from calm, with Taiwan and security concerns in the Asia-Pacific region among the key issues exacerbating strained ties. President Biden himself provoked a diplomatic incident in June, when he called his Chinese counterpart a “dictator” during a speech. While the US president dismissed concerns that his comment could hinder efforts to improve relations, the Chinese embassy issued a formal protest in response, and foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning denounced the remark as an “open political provocation.”

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“..mercenaries sent by the West to assist the nationalist regime in Kiev… are not entitled to the status of prisoner of war under international humanitarian law.”

Hell on Earth – A Mercenary’s Life In Ukraine (RT)

For veterans of US wars in the Middle East, adapting to an enemy like Russia has proven difficult. Earlier this year, an Australian mercenary fighting against Wagner Group forces in Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) described the Russian private military company as a “near peer” opponent to any Western military, while several Americans have reported Russian shelling as orders of magnitude more intense than anything they experienced in their previous combat tours. “[The artillery] is nonstop,” a former US Marine told ABC News in February. “It’s been nonstop. All day and night. The life expectancy is around four hours on the frontline.” “This is my third war I’ve fought in, and this is by far the worst one,” another former Marine toldThe Daily Beast last week. “You’re getting f**king smashed with artillery, tanks. Last week I had a plane drop a bomb next to us, like 300 meters away. It’s horrifying s**t.”

Those behind the front are often just as likely to be killed. As many as 20 foreign mercenaries, including several Colombians and at least one American, died in a Russian missile strike on a temporary brigade base in the Donbass city of Kramatorsk last month. “If we discover such gatherings, for example, as in Kramatorsk, we will destroy them, because these are people who have declared war on us,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the strike. By April 2022 there were just under 7,000 foreign mercenaries from 63 countries operating in Ukraine, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. By May of this year, that number had fallen to 2,500. It is unclear how many foreigners have been killed, captured, or deserted since last April. With the Ukrainian military reportedly unwilling to collect even its own dead along hot sectors of the front line, the families of foreign fighters can wait for months for closure.

This was the case for the family of Irishman Finbar Cafferkey, whose remains were found near Artyomovsk this week, three months after he was reported dead. According to the Irish Times, “it may be months” before Ukrainian authorities return Cafferkey’s body to Ireland. For those captured alive, the situation is no less severe. Mercenaries are not entitled to any protections under the Geneva Convention, as British citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner found when they were captured by Donetsk People’s Republic forces last year and sentenced to death. While both men were eventually repatriated in a prisoner swap, the Russian Foreign Ministry has reminded would-be volunteers that “mercenaries sent by the West to assist the nationalist regime in Kiev… are not entitled to the status of prisoner of war under international humanitarian law.”

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“Now they have embarked on a plan for ‘their own salvation’- systematic infliction of damage to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” added Maria Zakharova..”

Terrorist Regime: Moscow Reacts to Kiev Admitting Attack on Crimean Bridge (Sp.)

Detonation of a truck bomb on the 19-km bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula to the region of Krasnodar on the Russian mainland on October 8, 2022, killed three people, causing part of the road section to collapse into the sea. Kiev refused to take responsibility, yet its officials had gloated over the attack in Twitter posts. “Terrorist regime,” was the succinct response of Russia’s Foreign Ministry to Ukrainian deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar’s admission that Kiev had carried out the attack on the Crimean Bridge in autumn of 2022. “273 days since we struck the first blow on the Crimean Bridge to disrupt the logistics of the Russians,” Maliar had written on Telegram on Saturday. “Now they have embarked on a plan for ‘their own salvation’- systematic infliction of damage to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” added Maria Zakharova, the official spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, in a Telegram post.

Previously, a huge threat of a sabotage at the ZNPP from Kiev amid its stuttering counteroffensive was emphasized by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Up until now, the Kiev regime has refused to claim responsibility for the attack on the 19-km long bridge – the longest in Europe and connecting the Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia’s Krasnodar region. Crimea reunited with Russia in March 2014 after a referendum in which over 96% of the peninsula’s voters said “yes” to reunification. The bridge was opened by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in May 2018. A truck was blown up on the road section of the Crimean Bridge on 8 October, causing two car spans partially to collapse into the sea. Seven fuel tanks of a freight train on the adjacent rail section caught fire. Three people were killed. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the blast on Crimean Bridge a terrorist attack aimed at destroying civilian infrastructure.

Immediately after the attack, Russian authorities announced a series of measures to repair damage and ensure stable transport ties between Crimea and Krasnodar Territory. Putin signed a decree Saturday night to step up security for transport crossing through the Kerch Strait, as well as electricity and energy infrastructure in the area. At the time, Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, hinted at Kiev’s responsibility for the terrorist incident in a series of meme-riddled posts on social media. Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak had gloated that the attack on the bridge was just “the beginning” and that “everything illegal must be destroyed” and “everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine.”

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“It portrays him as an LGBTQ+ ally, which the ad frames as something bad, with DeSantis as the community’s enemy, which is somehow good.”

DeSantis Ruined His Campaign With Attack On “pro-LGBTQ” Trump (Blankenship)

Ever since former President Donald Trump announced his new campaign for the White House in November last year, many (including myself) believed that DeSantis had a chance to surpass him. This optimism was not only based on the polls but also on the feedback I got from individuals residing in deeply conservative regions of the country. However, DeSantis’ campaign faced some initial setbacks, leading to a decline in his poll numbers. The latest poll from Echelon Insights in June shows him at 16% support, while Trump stands at an impressive 49%. Things are obviously not going as planned for the governor. It is crucial to understand that politics can be a complex game, and negativity seldom leads to success. Unfortunately, DeSantis has been running a campaign that emphasizes division and conflict instead of unity and growth.

This approach does not align with good political strategy, regardless of how you analyze it. Look no further than the recent anti-Trump ad published by the unofficial DeSantis War Room and shared by the official DeSantis campaign. The ad, which has so far garnered over 25 million views on Twitter, takes a negative stance toward Donald Trump’s purported support for the LGBTQ+ community. It portrays him as an LGBTQ+ ally, which the ad frames as something bad, with DeSantis as the community’s enemy, which is somehow good. While some might argue that Republicans do not need the support of the LGBTQ+ community to secure victory in 2024, this assumption is mistaken. The US is a country that does not openly condone hatred, and it is a country that, by and large, tends to have less conservative social views than the rest of the world and is also based on secularism.

Instead, to be a conservative demands a certain level of tact and finesse in political life. A candidate cannot merely declare themselves against any group of people and expect societal acceptance or political success, either by the groups they attack or society as a whole. However, they can certainly support policies that at least claim to address the concerns of the community they might dislike deep down while still upholding conservative values, thereby appealing to a broader base of support.

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Plimer

 

 

 

 

African Union
https://twitter.com/i/status/1677418332805292032

 

 

Water scooter

 

 

Croc

 

 

 

 

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