Mar 212024
 
 March 21, 2024  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  44 Responses »


Govert Flinck Landscape With An Obelisk 1638
Stolen from Gardner Museum March 18 1990, the single largest art theft in the world. Never recovered.

 

The Silver Bullet Against the Barbarian Invasions of the West (Metri)
Why Western Media ‘Coverage’ Of Russia Is Incredibly Dangerous (Diesen)
Ukraine Lost Over 71,000 Troops Since Start of 2024 – Shoigu (Sp.)
Putin Won’t Be Allowed To ‘Dictate Peace Terms’ In Ukraine – Germany (RT)
German Children ‘Must Be Prepared For War’ – Minister (RT)
Slovakia’s PM Fico in EU’s Crosshairs as New ‘Headache’ (Sp.)
Split Over Ukraine Aid Prompts ‘Unprecedented’ Czech-Slovak Rupture (Sp.)
Donetsk, Avdeyevka, Mariupol – on the Road in Electoral Donbass (Pepe Escobar)
Boeing Mulls Sale Of Defense Assets – Bloomberg (RT)
House May Refer January 6 Committee Members for Obstruction (ET)
Can you Slam Wall Street and Still Win an Election? Ask Sherrod Brown (Leopold)
Mexico to Deny Entry to Migrants Deported From Texas Under New SB4 Law (Sp.)
RFK Jr. Destroys His Candidacy With VP Pick? (Roger Simon)
DOJ Mulling Plea Deal For Assange: He Could Finally Walk Free (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Makers and takers

 

 

US Corp
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770234212379193618

 

 

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770459916366442864

 

 

Big guy

 

 

Rapporteur

 

 

 

 

“This new development represented a revolution in the art of war, and an essential part of the West has not yet understood it completely..”

The Silver Bullet Against the Barbarian Invasions of the West (Metri)

On February 13, 2024, the United States Senate approved a U.S. $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel. According to IMF Data, this package represents a higher value than the international reserves of 165 countries. In other words, out of 194 countries with reserves recorded in dollars, only 29 have volumes more significant than the value of the U.S. Senate package. This fact gives an idea of the extravagance of this contribution.

This news, passed on almost ordinarily, reveals two important facts. First, one mentions the extraordinary and disproportionate financing and spending capacity of the United States, used, among other objectives, for the increasing armament of its allies on strategic boards, the promotion of proxy conflicts in regions marked by geopolitical fractures, and, from a longer perspective, the execution of an uninterrupted chronology of wars and military interventions since 1991. Furthermore, this financing and spending capacity also support a broad military structure of global reach with approximately 750 military bases outside its national territory [1].

Regarding this disproportionate financing and spending capacity of the United States, below are some brief observations discussed in depth on other occasions [2]. The position of the U.S. dollar in the international monetary hierarchy and how the world economy began to function after the Cold War have allowed The United States to impose the burden of its violence on the world, mainly due to the role that its public debt plays in the global economic game. It is a system of extortion because, while the world accumulates, with no apparent limit, U.S. Treasuries, Washington carries out a broad agenda of wars and military actions. The current level of indebtedness of the United States federal government is only comparable to that of periods marked by significant war efforts since its federal public debt, measured as a percentage of GDP, has already reached, for example, levels similar to those of the Second World War.

These advantages occur because the absorption of securities issued by the United States has become a necessary policy for other states to act in the exchange markets in defense of their currencies and, thus, protect, at the limit, their autonomy over economic policy instruments. Everything is quite the same for private agents, as having U.S. Treasuries in their portfolios is imperative to deal with the high risks of an intrinsically unstable system. This situation is the core of the United States’ monetary power, much more strategic than the power of financial sanctions itself, whose bases are also the dollar’s position in the international system and widely used by Washington against the targets of its foreign policy.

The second fact related to the news about an aid package for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel concerns the objectives of the United States. The priority is not exactly Kyiv, Taipei, or Tel Aviv per se but the role they play for Washington in the regions where they are. The extraordinary contribution of resources reveals, in practice, the White House’s priority targets, namely Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran. These have long been present in different formulations of the National Security Strategy and Washington’s foreign policy documents.

The central point is that the North Atlantic, particularly the United States, has already been surpassed by Russia in developing strategic weapons, especially hypersonic ones. This new development represented a revolution in the art of war, and an essential part of the West has not yet understood it completely. On the other hand, from an economic point of view, China is already the largest economy in the world, corresponding, in 2023, to 18.82% of world GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), while the United States, 15.42%. To make matters worse for the West, for more than two decades, Beijing and Moscow have been developing and deepening strategic partnerships in several sensitive fields of international relations: weapons, technology, energy, currency, finance, etc.

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“..it should not be difficult to understand the popularity of Putin. While the 1990s was a golden period for the West, it was a nightmare for Russians. The economy collapsed and society disintegrated with truly horrific consequences..”

Why Western Media ‘Coverage’ Of Russia Is Incredibly Dangerous (Diesen)

Over tens of thousands of years, we have developed the instinct to organise in groups as a source of security. This is the result of evolutionary biology as survival demands that we organise into “us” versus “them”. In-group loyalty is augmented by assigning contrasting identities of the virtuous “us” versus the evil “other”, which helps stop an individual from straying too far from the pack. Yet, human beings are also equipped with reason and thus the ability to assess objective reality independent of their immediate circle. In international relations, it’s imperative to place yourself in the shoes of the opponent. The rationality required to see the world through the perspective of the “other” is vital for reaching mutual understanding, reducing tensions, and pursuing a workable peace. Every successful peace process and reconciliation in history – from Northern Ireland to negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa – has been based on this.

We expect journalists to be objective in their reporting of reality, which is especially important during war. But this seems to be almost impossible, especially during conflicts. When human beings experience external threats, their herd instincts are triggered as society demands group loyalty and we punish those who deviate. The political obedience demanded during war time usually results in the weakening of freedom of speech, the role of journalism, and democracy. So, how can we understand the reasons for President Vladimir Putin’s immense popularity in Russia and his landslide victory? If we use our reason and resist our tribal instincts, it should not be difficult to understand the popularity of Putin. While the 1990s was a golden period for the West, it was a nightmare for Russians. The economy collapsed and society disintegrated with truly horrific consequences.

The country’s security also collapsed, as NATO expansion meant there was no chance to agree an inclusive European security architecture. This had been outlined in the Charter of Paris for a New Europe in 1990 and the OSCE founding documents. A weakened Russia meant that its interests could be ignored, and NATO was able to invade Moscow’s ally Yugoslavia, in violation of international law. When Putin took over the presidency on 31 December 1999, it was commonplace in the West to predict that Russia would share the fate of the Soviet Union. That is eventual collapse. However, Russia has instead become the largest economy in Europe (by PPP), its society has healed from the disastrous 1990s, its military might has been restored, and new international partners have been found in the East and Global South, as evidenced by the growing role of BRICS.

Furthermore, most Russians believe it’s not a good idea to have major disruptions to leadership in the middle of a NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine that is deemed an existential threat. Don’t change horses in midstream as the American proverb, often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, advises. Speaking of the US, the late Mikhail Gorbachev – who was immensely popular there – did not shy away from criticising Putin, when he was still with us. However, he nevertheless argued that Putin “saved Russia from the beginning of a collapse”. Today, any Western journalist repeating this would be immediately branded as a “Putinist” – implying a betrayal of the “us”. Western journalists cannot acknowledge the immense achievements of Russia since 1999 as it could be interpreted as lending legitimacy and signalling support for the “bad” side.

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“..This is almost three times higher than the same period last year..”

Ukraine Lost Over 71,000 Troops Since Start of 2024 – Shoigu (Sp.)

Ukraine has lost more than 71,000 soldiers and over 11,000 units of various weapons since the start of the year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday. “In general, the losses of the Ukrainian armed forces during this period, that is, since the beginning of this year, exceeded 71,000 people and 11,000 units of various weapons. This is almost three times higher than the same period last year,” Shoigu said at a meeting with senior military. Ukraine has also lost four Abrams tanks, five Leopard tanks, six HIMARS multiple rocket launcher systems and five Patriot complexes, the minister added. The Ukrainian forces have lost 3,501 soldiers killed and injured during the attacks on Russian border settlements in Belgorod and Kursk regions, Shoigu added.

“The most active fighting was conducted in the area of the settlement of Kozinka. All enemy attacks were successfully repelled, it was thrown back outside the Russian territory. At the same time, the losses of the Ukrainian armed forces in the direction of the actions of the groups covering the state border for eight days of hostilities amounted to more than 3,500, or rather 3,501 people, of which 790 were killed,” Shoigu said at the board ministerial meeting. The United States is extremely concerned about the achievements of the Russian armed forces in the special operation zone, the minister said. The United States and its satellites are extremely concerned about the success of the Russian armed forces. It is becoming increasingly difficult for them to justify to the Western community the need for further funding and supplies of weapons and ammunition to the armed forces of Ukraine,” Shoigu said.

Russian air defenses struck down 419 drones and 67 missiles that were launched by Ukrainian troops against Russian targets during the three days of presidential voting, Shoigu said. “The Russian forces strengthened security around government and social infrastructure assets, ramping up air defense capabilities to prevent acts of terrorism. During the election, 419 UAVs and 67 missiles were downed,” Shoigu told a ministerial meeting. The Ukrainian armed forces targeted polling places across Russia during last week’s presidential election with tacit approval of their Western military advisers, Sergei Shoigu said. “They intentionally targeted polling places and government institutions while civilians were present there. Both the command of the Ukrainian armed forces and their Western advisers knew it,” Shoigu told a ministerial meeting in Moscow.

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Well, he sure won’t let YOU dictate them..

Putin Won’t Be Allowed To ‘Dictate Peace Terms’ In Ukraine – Germany (RT)

Germany will not let Russian President Vladimir Putin forcibly alter Ukraine’s borders or impose the terms of peace, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has vowed. “We will not accept a dictated peace at the expense of Ukraine,” Scholz told German lawmakers on Wednesday in Berlin. “Law is stronger than violence.” He added that Putin sought to violate that principle with the launch of Russia’s military operation against Ukraine in February 2022. “We will not let him get away with this,” he said. Scholz insisted that Germany’s backing of Ukraine in the conflict with Moscow will not decrease and that expecting otherwise would be a “miscalculation.”

He reiterated his criticism of Putin’s reelection last weekend for a fifth term as president, saying it showed that “Russia is not strong.” However, as EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell acknowledged in an interview on Wednesday, European allies will be hard-pressed to fill the funding gap if Kiev’s biggest backer, Washington, reduces its support. US President Joe Biden’s administration ran out of funding for Ukraine in January and has struggled to secure congressional approval for over $60 billion in additional military and financial aid. Scholz made his comments as he prepared for an EU summit that is scheduled to begin on Thursday in Brussels.

Major topics of discussion will include efforts to ramp up aid to Ukraine, as well as the bloc’s response to the Israel-Hamas war. Russian forces have made battlefield gains in recent weeks, and US defense chief Lloyd Austin warned on Tuesday that Ukraine’s very survival will be at risk if the West fails to provide more weapons to Kiev. Even as he lobbies allies for more Ukraine aid, Scholz has resisted political pressure to provide Kiev with long-range Taurus missiles, saying that such an escalation could draw Germany into a direct conflict with Russia. Speaking at the Bundestag on Wednesday, he told lawmakers that debate within Germany over the Taurus issue is “nothing short of ridiculous.” He added that the controversy isn’t well understood outside of Germany, saying, “This is embarrassing for us as a country.”

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“We call this Kriegstuchtigkeit – being ready, capable and willing to fight. We are on the right track..”

German Children ‘Must Be Prepared For War’ – Minister (RT)

German children should be made to prepare for war to boost “resilience,” Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger stated on Saturday. She said kids should be taught what to do in the event of conflict and suggested introducing “civil defense” drills in schools so that youngsters will be prepared for the years ahead. “Society as a whole must prepare well for crises, from a pandemic to natural disasters to war. Civil defense is immensely important, and it also belongs in schools. The goal must be to strengthen our resilience,” Stark-Watzinger said in an interview with the Funke media group. She also called for a “relaxed relationship” to be fostered between schoolchildren and the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr), suggesting that military officers should visit schools to explain what “the Bundeswehr does for our security.” President of the German Teachers’ Association, Stefan Dull, told Bild last week that the minister’s proposal “makes sense.”

“I expect the federal minister to now seek discussions with the education ministers in the federal states,” he said, adding that a “declaration of intent is not enough – politics lessons now have to teach about the war in Ukraine and the pan-European, even global threat situation.” Stark-Watzinger’s initiative reflects the German government’s policy aimed at making the country “war ready” in the face of a potential Russia-NATO conflict, which could happen within a few years, according to senior German defense officials. In February, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius claimed in an interview with Bloomberg that Russia may attack NATO “in five to eight years.” German chief of defense, General Carsten Breuer, also highlighted the “paramount” importance of making the country’s military ready within the next five years. “We call this Kriegstuchtigkeit – being ready, capable and willing to fight. We are on the right track,” he declared.

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“..opposes sending more arms to Kiev along with Ukrainian membership of NATO. He has called for rebuilding relations with Russia..”

Slovakia’s PM Fico in EU’s Crosshairs as New ‘Headache’ (Sp.)

Ukraine’s patrons in Brussels have Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico in their crosshairs for a host of reasons. Brussels has accused him of taking a page out of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s book, reported POLITICO. Just as Hungary was repeatedly the victim of ‘rule-of-law’ disciplinary proceedings brought by Brussels, there are now calls to treat Slovakia “seriously.” Bratislava might risk losing access to European Union (EU) funds, European Parliament Vice President Martin Hojsík (PS) was cited as saying. The EU withheld over €30 billion in cohesion and recovery funds in December 2022 over alleged violations. Orban insisted in 2023 that Hungary had met all the EU’s requirements and that the funds were being diverted to the Kiev regime. s”It is possible that some of it [the money] is already in Ukraine,” he stated at the time. Budapest’s block on EU funding of Ukrainian war efforts forced Brussels to unlock €10 billion ($11 billion) of the funds to Hungary in December.

But Slovakia’s ruling coalition is the new thorn in Brussels’ side. Officials have suggested resorting to EU fund-freezing, this time with respect to Bratislava. The reported pretext is the shutting-down of the Slovak Special Prosecutor’s Office as part of criminal justice reforms Fico said on Wednesday that officials at the office had abused their authority. According to the publication, Slovak MEP and vice-president of the European Parliament Martin Hojsík urged swift measures from the EU if Fico’s government continues on an “illiberal path.” The rhetoric around Fico echoes Brussels’ narrative against Orban. Like Orban, Fico, who returned to government for the fourth time in 2023, opposes sending more arms to Kiev along with Ukrainian membership of NATO. He has called for rebuilding relations with Russia. Last December Orban vetoed an increase in the EU budget for 2024-2027, including 50 billion euros ($55 billion) in macro-financial aid to Kiev.

While Orban did not veto EU accession talks with Ukraine at the time, he warned that Budapest would have “75 more opportunities” to block this process. The Slovak PM has adopted a similarly adamant position on Ukraine. Fico’s Smer party-led government, elected in September 2023, reversed the country’s stance on the Ukraine crisis in favor of halting military aid to Kiev. Fico, dubbed the “Slovak Orban,” stressed that aiding the Kiev regime only prolongs a conflict that Ukraine has no chance of winning. He has repeatedly warned that Western countries could opt for the “worst solution” in the Ukraine crisis, and reiterated his stance of keeping Slovak troops out of the conflict. Fico was highly critical of recent comments by French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting sending European NATO troops to Ukraine. The proposal was rejected by leaders across the continent, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

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“Earlier in March, Robert Fico stressed that he was “not convinced of the sincerity of the West to achieve peace in Ukraine.”

Split Over Ukraine Aid Prompts ‘Unprecedented’ Czech-Slovak Rupture (Sp.)

Robert Fico rode to his fourth term as prime minister in Slovakia in 2023 on a wave of discontent over EU support for Ukraine in the NATO proxy conflict against Russia. Like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Fico has been against sending weapons to Kiev, and urged for maintaining good relations with Russia. Waning desire to continue propping up the Kiev regime is increasingly becoming a deal breaker in relations between states, government, and politicians. Disagreements over further support for Ukraine have caused an “unprecedented rupture” between the Czech and Slovak governments, The Washington Post has underscored. While the two countries, which emerged after the bifurcation of Czechoslovakia, have maintained warm relations until now, the past month has witnessed a growing split between them, the publication pointed out.

The government in Prague, led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, is fervidly pro-Kiev, while Slovakia’s PM Robert Fico has been adamantly against sending weapons to Ukraine, Kiev’s potential NATO membership, and sanctions on Russia. There had never been “open rhetorical confrontation” between the two governments until NATO’s proxy conflict against Russia in Ukraine, it was stressed. Prague, which has been overly zealous in its eagerness to provide Ukraine with ammunition, opted for an unprecedented snub earlier in March. It suspended intergovernmental consultations with Bratislava in the wake of a meeting between the Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Blanar and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. Fiala noted at the time that, “it is impossible to conceal the fact that there are significant differences of opinion on some key foreign policy issues.”

In response, Robert Fico openly addressed Fiala in a video posted on social media, where he warned Prague against putting Slovak-Czech relations “in danger.” “We note that the Czech government has decided to jeopardize them because it has an interest in supporting the war in Ukraine, while the Slovak government talks about peace. Your decision will not affect our sovereign policy,” the Slovak prime minister said. Robert Fico’s Smer party-led government, elected in the September 2023 general election, reversed the country’s stance on the Ukraine crisis in favor of stopping military supplies to Kiev. Fico, dubbed the “Slovak Orban” after his Hungarian counterpart, who also opposes confrontation with Russia, stressed that aiding the Kiev regime weakens the Slovak Armed Forces and only prolongs a conflict that Ukraine has no chance of winning.

Earlier in March, Robert Fico stressed that he was “not convinced of the sincerity of the West to achieve peace in Ukraine.” He added in a social media post that “the Western strategy of using the war in Ukraine to weaken Russia economically, militarily and politically is not working.” Fico was also sharply critical of recent comments by French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting the possibility of European troops being sent to Ukraine. The proposal was broadly rejected by leaders throughout the continent, including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Fico’s sovereign foreign policy, undeterred by pressure from the West, is similar to the stance adopted by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Budapest has since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict been consistently calling for a ceasefire and peace negotiations between Moscow and Kiev, and opposed sanctions on Russian energy. In March 2022, Hungary’s parliament banned the delivery of weapons to Ukraine from the country’s soil.

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“Then, it’s on the road to Avdeyevka. Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares us to confront total devastation. In my nearly 40 years as a foreign correspondent, I’ve never seen anything like it – even Iraq..”

Donetsk, Avdeyevka, Mariupol – on the Road in Electoral Donbass (Pepe Escobar)

They have waited 10 long, suffering years to vote in this election. And vote they did, in massive numbers, certifying a landslide reelection for the political leader who brought them back to Mother Russia. VVP may now be widely referred to as Mr. 87%. In Donetsk, turnout was even higher: 88,17%. And no less than 95% voted for him. To follow the Russian electoral process at work in Donbass was a humbling – and illuminating – experience. Graphically, in front of us, the full weight of the collective West’s relentless denigration campaign was instantly gobbled up by the rich black soil of Novorossiya. The impeccable organization, the full transparency of the voting, the enthusiasm by polling station workers and voters alike punctuated the historical gravity of the political moment: at the same time everything was enveloped in an impalpable feeling of silent jubilation.

This was of course a referendum. Donbass represents a microcosm of the solid internal cohesion of Russian citizens around the policies of Team Putin – while at the same time sharing a feeling experienced by the overwhelming majority of the Global South. VVP’s victory was a victory of the Global Majority. And that’s what’s making the puny Global Minority even more apoplectic. With their highest turnout since 1991, Russian voters inflicted a massive strategic defeat to the intellectual pigmies who pass for Western “leadership” – arguably the most mediocre political class of the past 100 years. They voted for a fairer, stable system of international relations; for multipolarity; and for true leadership by civilization-states such as Russia. VVP’s 87% score was followed, by a long shot, by the Communists, with 3.9%. That is quite significant, because these 91% represent a total rejection of the globalist Davos/Great Reset plutocratic “future” envisioned by the 0.001%.

On Election Day Two, at section 198 in downtown Donetsk, not far from Government House, it was possible to fully measure the fluidity and transparency of the system – even as Donetsk was not spared from shelling, in the late afternoon and early evening in the final day of voting. Afterwards, a strategic pit stop in a neighborhood mini-market. Yuri, an activist, was buying a full load of fresh eggs to be transported to the nearly starving civilians who still remain in Avdeyevka. Ten eggs cost the equivalent of a dollar and forty cents. At Yasinovata, very close to Avdeyevka, we visit the MBOU, or school number 7, impeccably rebuilt after non-stop shelling. The director, Ludmilla Leonova, an extraordinary strong woman, takes me on a guide tour of the school and its brand new classrooms for chemistry and biology, a quaint Soviet alphabet decorating the classroom for Russian language. Classes, hopefully, will resume in the Fall.

Close to the school a refugee center for those who have been brought from Avdeyevka has been set up. Everything is spotlessly clean. People are processed, entered into the system, then wait for proper papers. Everyone wants to obtain a Russian passport as soon as possible. For the moment, they stay in dormitories, around 10 people in each room. Some came from Avdeyevka, miraculously, in their own cars: there are a few Ukrainian license plates around. Invariably, the overall expectation is to return to Avdeyevka, when reconstruction starts, to rebuild their lives in their own town. Then, it’s on the road to Avdeyevka. Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares us to confront total devastation. In my nearly 40 years as a foreign correspondent, I’ve never seen anything like it – even Iraq. At the unofficial entry to Avdeyevka, beside the skeleton of a bombed building and the remains of a tank turret, the flags of all military batallions which took part in the liberation flutter in the wind.

Each building in every street is at least partially destroyed. A few remaining residents congregate in a flat to organize the distribution of essential supplies. I find a miraculously preserved icon behind the window of a bombed-out ground floor apartment.

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Aka: Boeing’s in really big trouble.

Boeing Mulls Sale Of Defense Assets – Bloomberg (RT)

Boeing might sell at least two of its defense unit businesses to improve its finances amid mounting safety concerns, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the discussions. The world’s second largest aircraft manufacturer by market capitalization recently hit severe turbulence, with its shares plummeting amid a series of quality control scandals that have resulted in grounded planes and numerous safety checks. Boeing has engaged financial advisers to gauge interest in several of its smaller units, including Digital Receiver Technology and unspecified defense programs under the corporation’s global services division, sources told Bloomberg, adding that efforts have been underway for about a year. The aerospace giant is also reportedly mulling options for divesting its stake in United Launch Alliance (ULA), the rocket-launch joint venture co-owned with Lockheed Martin.

Earlier this year, media reports emerged that ULA had attracted interest from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Any defense sale by Boeing, one of the Pentagon’s prime contractors, would face scrutiny from US regulators as concerns about consolidation among the biggest suppliers are increasing, Bloomberg said. Moreover, antitrust regulators such as Lina Khan, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, have reportedly been critical of Boeing’s monopoly over US civil aircraft production. The plane maker is now facing a wave of safety audits of its 737 MAX 9 in the wake of a near-catastrophic accident on January 5, when an Alaska Airlines flight bound for California from Portland, Oregon, had to turn back after a door panel blew off at 16,000 feet, injuring several of the 171 passengers aboard.

Boeing shares have lost more than 30% since the accident. On Tuesday, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) head Mike Whitaker told Reuters that the manufacturer needed to improve safety culture and address quality control issues before it would be allowed to boost production of the 737 MAX, previously labelled by Boeing as “the safest airplane” on the market. A US safety audit of the manufacturing process of the troubled jet reportedly found dozens of shortcomings, including the use of dish soap and a hotel key card as makeshift tools. It had been previously reported that the FAA identified 97 “non-compliance” issues at Boeing and failed the aircraft maker on 33 out of 89 product audits. The regulator temporarily grounded all 737 MAX 9 jets in the US for safety inspections.

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“..now new information we’re getting is that Liz Cheney ran that committee.”

House May Refer January 6 Committee Members for Obstruction (ET)

The chair of a House subcommittee warned that some members of a controversial Jan. 6 investigatory subcommittee could face charges of hiding and destroying documents Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) said in an interview last week that he may refer former members of the committee to the Department of Justice for prosecution after a report that he commissioned found that its members allegedly hid information from the public. “As far as holding people accountable, yes, they should be,” Mr. Loudermilk told Just the News last week after the report was released, referring to the possibility that committee members will face punishment. “But I think that’s going to be a little ways down the road, because there is so much more information that we need to get. “And we need to build not only this, to get the truth out to the American people, but see just how big this case potentially is for obstructing.”

However, the Georgia lawmaker suggested that there are “other options,” including censuring and ethics referrals. “But also consider there are members of that Select Committee who are no longer members of Congress. So they may fall under a different scenario,” Mr. Loudermilk told the media outlet. “So we do have the tools of members of Congress, but also, active members of Congress have certain protections. So we’ll have to work on that. Because as you talked about earlier, we’re in uncharted territory right now. And so we’re going to have to work through this.” He also said that he believes that Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the now-disbanded Jan. 6 select committee, allowed then-Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to make decisions for the panel. “There’s still documents that we need to get hold of. We still don’t have passwords for the encrypted documents,” Mr. Loudermilk said. “It’s amazing that you know, when I asked the former Chairman Bennie Thompson, ‘All I want you to do is give me the passwords.’ He said, ‘I don’t even know what you’re talking about.’

“Well, I think it’s coming down to he probably didn’t, because now new information we’re getting is that Liz Cheney ran that committee.” On March 12, a previously undisclosed transcript of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee’s interview with an unnamed Secret Service officer who drove the presidential SUV on Jan. 6 provided new information about outgoing President Donald Trump’s actions that day. That transcript of the driver contradicted key witness Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony—namely her claim that President Trump tried to grab the wheel of his presidential car. President Trump “never grabbed the steering wheel,” the Secret Service agent said, according to a transcript reviewed by The Epoch Times last week. “I didn’t see him lunge to try to get into the front seat at all.”

The testimony was given to the Democrat-dominated select committee convened to investigate the events of Jan. 6, 2021, in the previous Congress, but the transcript wasn’t released by the committee. House Republicans said in the new report that Ms. Hutchinson’s version of the story was false, according to the driver’s testimony. “Despite the driver of the president’s SUV testifying under oath that the Hutchinson story was false, the select committee chose to validate and promote Hutchinson’s version of the story as fact,“ they stated in the report. ”The select committee hid the driver’s full testimony and only favorably mentioned his testimony in its final report, it did not release the full transcript.”

Mr. Thompson said in a statement that his panel explained in 2022 that it had to send some transcripts to the executive branch for review “to protect sensitive information as well as the privacy of witnesses.” He said the panel’s final report “took into account the testimony of all witnesses” and that “all the evidence points to the same conclusion: Donald Trump wanted to join his violent mob as it marched on the Capitol.” In response to the report last week, Ms. Cheney, who lost her Wyoming Republican primary by more than 40 percentage points, suggested on social media platform X that Mr. Loudermilk and others are lying and trying to “cover up what [President Trump] did” on Jan. 6. She also recently wrote that people should instead read her committee’s report.

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“..working people of all shades and colors are much more interested in maintaining their livelihoods than railing against wokeism..”

Can you Slam Wall Street and Still Win an Election? Ask Sherrod Brown (Leopold)

When I recently learned that Senator Sherrod Brown (D, OH) had reissued his 2019 essay, called “Wall Street’s War on Workers: Stock Buybacks,” I was shocked. My new book is called Wall Street’s War on Workers, and also focuses in part on the job-destructive impact of stock buybacks. Who stole what from whom? Senator Brown didn’t know about my book, his essay was written before I started my book, and despite deep research I did not see his essay until two weeks ago. So, I was surprised, but I immediately understood why we both adopted the same big picture framework to understand the economy, and similar language to share our understanding with working people. As a labor educator, I’ve found that the big-picture framework is as important, maybe even more important, than facts and figures.

In our complex world, problems hit working people from all angles — job insecurity, job loss, the high costs of housing, discrimination, kids who can’t afford to move out, and on and on. To make sense of this mosaic, a framework helps hold the pieces together. In our educational program we see clearly that working people are hungry for a coherent explanation that connects the dots. And without a compelling alternative, the pressing need for frameworks can lead towards conspiracy theories. Brown and I are using the Wall Street War on Workers big picture framework for four reasons.

1/ It’s flat out true. Wall Street’s insatiable desire to extract wealth via stock buybacks, leveraged buyouts, hostile takeovers, and the like, are destroying the livelihoods and the well-being of thousands of working people each day in every sector of the economy.
2/ The framework rings true to working people. It’s understandable. It makes sense of their reality. It explains why they, and so many others around them, have gone from one mass layoff to the other. And it explains why they feel so strongly that the system is rigged against them.
3/ The framework breaks through fatalism. The dominant media explanation is that mass layoffs can’t be helped because technological change and globalization are unstoppable forces akin to natural laws. Wall Street’s War on Workers highlights human agency. Laws and regulations were changed to enable Wall Street to kill jobs at will for reasons that have nothing to do with new technology or trade. In the high-tech sector, for example, more than 260,000 workers experienced mass layoffs last year, and another 50,000 are gone so far this year. Almost none of those jobs were lost either due to globalization or new technologies, AI or otherwise.
4/ It’s good politics. Senator Brown wouldn’t be pushing this framework in the middle of a tight reelection campaign unless he believed it could help him deepen his base of support among working people, especially in areas that became increasingly Republican over the past two presidential elections. It’s one thing for Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to take on Wall Street in their very liberal states. No one will defeat them. But Brown is using the anti-Wall Street frame to get reelected in Ohio, which has become solidly red. In our labor education courses, working people of all political persuasions find the anti-Wall Street framework very compelling.

Clearly, Brown does not believe that Ohio working people are fixated on anti-wokeness and blinded by racism, homophobia, xenophobia. He understands that working people of all shades and colors are much more interested in maintaining their livelihoods than railing against wokeism. My book provides compelling data that also shows increasing working-class liberalism, not illiberalism, on hot-button issues like immigration, gay rights, and racism. Ohio’s embrace of a constitutional amendment in 2023 that wrote abortion access into the state’s constitution confirms Brown’s intuitions and my findings. It’s one thing, however, for a labor educator to use the “Wall Street’s War on Workers” framework. To keep my job, I don’t have to run against Wall Street’s cash. But Sherrod Brown is taking a risk, maybe a big risk. And he’s not running away from the challenge or being mealy-mouthed about how Wall Street is ripping off the working class.

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A federal appeals court overruled the Supreme Court?!

Mexico to Deny Entry to Migrants Deported From Texas Under New SB4 Law (Sp.)

The Mexican government does not intend to accept its citizens who will undergo repatriation from Texas under the US state’s new SB4 legislation, the Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretariat said on Wednesday. “Mexico reiterates its legitimate right to protect the rights of its nationals in the United States and to determine its own policies regarding entry into its territory. Mexico recognizes the importance of a uniform migration policy and the bilateral efforts with the United States to ensure that migration is safe, orderly and respectful of human rights, and is not affected by state or local legislative decisions. In this regard, Mexico will not accept, under any circumstances, repatriations by the State of Texas,” the ministry said in a statement published while the law was briefly in effect. The foreign ministry condemned the SB4 law, saying that the legislation is aimed at disrupting migration flow by “criminalizing” the migrants, the ministry said.

“Mexico categorically rejects any measure that allows state or local authorities to exercise immigration control, and to arrest and return nationals or foreigners to Mexican territory. Mexico also questions legal provisions that affect the human rights of the more than 10 million people of Mexican origin who live in Texas, and give rise to hostile environments in which the migrant community is exposed to hate speech, discrimination and racial profiling,” the statement read. Close to 8 million migrants have illegally entered the United States via the southern border since Joe Biden became president in 2021. On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court temporarily granted the state of Texas authority to carry out a state law known as SB4 that allows local authorities to arrest migrants suspected of entering the United States illegally from the southern border and return them to Mexico regardless of their country of origin. Hours after, a federal appeals court froze the law.

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“..if you’re trying to run an honest broker campaign against corrupt traditional parties, it’s not the best approach. It’s actually a turn-off.”

RFK Jr. Destroys His Candidacy With VP Pick? (Roger Simon)

I interviewed Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for Epoch TV’s “Roller Coaster” series and also attended one of his birthday parties. In both instances, I liked the man, found him to be intelligent and personable, and also unafraid to take stands against the über-conformist Democratic Party, notably on health care and, to some degree, on the dangers of the Central Intelligence Agency. Although I have been an unabashed Donald Trump supporter since he came down the escalator and continue to be so, I would not have been disappointed, even pleased, had former President Trump chosen Mr. Kennedy as his vice-presidential candidate. Unlikely as it may have been, it could have helped bring our fractured country together. No longer.

If reports are true—and, in that regard, the website name www.kennedyshanahan.com was reportedly registered by one of his campaign operatives on March 13—Mr. Kennedy has chosen attorney Nicole Shanahan as his running mate. I find this bizarre, to say the least, not to mention disappointing. Whatever his intentions, such a ticket would drive this country even further apart because Ms. Shanahan is a self-described “progressive.” But that’s only the tip of a disturbing iceberg I will get to in a minute. Let’s start with this. Mr. Kennedy, of all people, should know that the basic requirement for a vice presidential candidate, now more than ever, is that a person be qualified to assume the presidency at a moment’s notice. We have had disasters in that regard, dodging several bullets, including vice presidents Spiro Agnew, Mike Pence, and (for now, holding one’s breath) Kamala Harris. Mr. Trump has made clear that qualification for the presidency is now his first consideration, as it should be.

What do we know of Ms. Shanahan? Not much, except that she is a philanthropist to largely progressive causes and that she is very rich. She reportedly helped pay for Mr. Kennedy’s Super Bowl ad to the tune of $4 million via a Super PAC. The ad got mixed reviews and ended up with the candidate apologizing to his family. How rich Ms. Shanahan really is is unclear, but it is clear the bulk of her money comes from her divorce from Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google and, depending on the source, the ninth richest man on the planet. RFK Jr.’s campaign had been luffing and needed a boost. He looked to the financial. It’s hard to blame him, because that’s the putrid state of American politics. But if you’re trying to run an honest broker campaign against corrupt traditional parties, it’s not the best approach. It’s actually a turn-off. This is rather sad because of the optimism and excitement he initially engendered.

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Let’s see it first.

DOJ Mulling Plea Deal For Assange: He Could Finally Walk Free (ZH)

The Biden administration might be looking for a way to bring the 14-year long legal drama centered on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to an end. Britain’s High Court will at some point in the next weeks finally decide whether to extradite him to the United States, but a surprise breaking story from The Wall Street Journal says the US is exploring other alternatives. The Wednesday WSJ report says, “The U.S. Justice Department is considering whether to allow Julian Assange to plead guilty to a reduced charge of mishandling classified information, according to people familiar with the matter, opening the possibility of a deal that would end a lengthy legal saga triggered by one of the biggest classified intelligence leaks in American history.” Ever since Metropolitan Police officers were allowed into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on April 11, 2019 – where he had been holed up for years, Assange has been in the legal fight of his life while incarcerated at Belmarsh prison. If he’s extradited he’ll likely spend life in prison at the infamous ADX Florence supermax prison in Colorado.

A plea deal means the whole crisis for him and his family could finally come to an acceptable and peaceful end after all of these years. “Justice Department officials and Assange’s lawyers have had preliminary discussions in recent months about what a plea deal could look like, according to people familiar with the matter, a potential softening in a standoff filled with political and legal complexities,” according to details in the WSJ report. “The talks come as Assange has spent some five years behind bars and U.S. prosecutors face diminishing odds that he would serve much more time even if he were convicted stateside.” In February of this year, Assange’s cause received a big boost when his native Australia issued formal request to the US and UK that charges against Julian Assange be dropped. The motion adopted by Australian parliament at that time emphasized “the importance of the UK and USA bringing the matter to a close so that Mr. Assange can return home to his family in Australia.”

Given Australia is a close US ally and member of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence group, this was a huge win for Assange. It’s very possible that this act alone may have pushed the Biden administration to take a more conciliatory stance. However, the US deep state is still without doubt seeking revenge after years of humiliation and tens of thousands of leaked documents revealed by WikiLeaks which exposed US state secrets and sometimes war crimes. There are still many obstacles to overcome if such a plea deal were to ever become reality, and the clock is ticking, notes WSJ further: The discussions remain in flux and the talks could fizzle. Any deal would require approval at the highest levels of the Justice Department. Barry Pollack, a lawyer for Assange, said he has been given no indication that the department will take a deal. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

The report details, “If prosecutors allow Assange to plead to a U.S. charge of mishandling classified documents—something his lawyers have floated as a possibility—it would be a misdemeanor offense.” And this would be the ideal outcome for Assange and his legal team: “Under such a deal, Assange potentially could enter that plea remotely, without setting foot in the U.S. The time he has spent behind bars in London would count toward any U.S. sentence and he would likely be free to leave prison shortly after any deal was concluded.” Let’s hope that the celebratory day comes soon where Assange can actually walk out of Belmarsh a free man.

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Is this where John Cleese got the idea for the Silly Walks department?

 

 

Dubai-New York
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770453666446602547

 

 

 

 

Hippo bite
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770426704382554591

 

 

Turtle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770524511156253129

 

 

Mates
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770569627879247907

 

 

Zaouli

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 232024
 
 January 23, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Salvador Dalí Dream, Caused by the Flight of a Bee (Around a Pomegranate, a Second Before Waking Up) 1944

 

Will War Result From The Ever Hesitant Putin? (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse (Chris Hedges)
Netanyahu’s Shape-Shifting ‘Endgame’ (Alastair Crooke)
Russia’s Push for Palestinian State Can Stop Endless ‘Loop’ of Violence (Sp.)
US Sees Ukraine As A ‘Lucrative Business Project’ – Lavrov (RT)
US Forming ‘Colonial Administration’ In Ukraine – Russian Spy Chief (RT)
Ukraine Must Give Up Territory – Fico (RT)
Zelensky Brands Parts Of Russia ‘Historically’ Ukrainian (RT)
Medvedev Denounces Zelensky’s ‘Territorial Claims’ To Russia (RT)
AfD Leader Calls for German ‘Dexit’ Vote to Break From EU (Sp.)
Russian Attack On Nato In 2044 (Zlatko)
DOJ Seeking Retribution Against Journalist for Recent Jan. 6 Coverage (ET)
The Pipe-Bomb Caper (Kunstler)
Dutch Queen Promotes Digital ID at Davos (Martin Armstrong)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Hunter

 

 

Biden inflation

 

 

 

 

RFK autism + allergy

 

 

Tucker Catturd

 

 

 

 

Stop counting

The People’s Pundit: But that’s only half the story. The other half, is that they were lying. They actually continued to add to the totals between midnight and 3AM.

 

 

 

 

“The failure to confront Russia’s enemies with defeats means the pressure against Russia, the ongoing provocations, and the humiliations inflicted will continue until Russia is forced into war.”

Will War Result From The Ever Hesitant Putin? (Paul Craig Roberts)

I have often expressed my concern that the lack of proactive action by Putin, Xi, and Iran was maximizing the expansion of Israeli and US aggression in the Middle East and leading to a dangerous confrontation and outbreak of nuclear war. It is the purpose of Israel and Washington to attack Iran. That is what the Israeli-Hamas-Hezbollah-Washington-Houthis conflict is about. It is an entirely simple matter for Russia, China, and Iran to prevent any expansion of Israel’s war against Palestine. All they have to do is to announce a mutual defense treaty: An attack on one is an attack on all. But proactive action does not seem to be in the skill set of Washington’s targeted enemies. With the single exception of Putin’s intervention in Syria to prevent Obama’s invasion, Putin has proved to be ever hesitant about taking control of the situation. It took him eight years to abandon his delusion about the Minsk Agreement. When he finally realized that he had been taken for a ride, the Russian military was not prepared for the level of violence required. Consequently a war that Russia should have won in a few days is two years old and continuing.

From my experience with the liberal Russian intelligentsia, I would say that their program is surrender to Washington. They would rather be invited as visiting professors to Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, and to serve as consultants to American corporations than to be in conflict with the West. As Putin seems to believe toleration of subversion is a sign of democracy, he could have been prevented from required action by pressure to prove that he is not, as the entirety of the West proclaims, a dictator. Putin would have saved many lives by ignoring the propaganda of his enemies and being more forceful in Russia’s defense. But now Putin is showing more awareness of what needs to be done. News reports which I saw in the Indian press, not in the American whore media, a collection of paid liars, say that, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russia and Iran are finalizing a pact stressing their commitment to fundamental principles of Russian-Iranian relations, including unconditional respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In a way this is good news. It indicates that Putin has finally realized that left unprotected, Iran is vulnerable, and if Iran goes, Washington has a direct entry to send “jihadists” into the Russian Federation and the former Soviet central Asian republics. But once again, like with the nonsensical “Minsk Agreement,” Putin has made an error. The pact has been announced before it goes into effect. It is unclear when this acknowledgement of mutual association is to be finalized. So the message to Washington and Israel is to attack Iran now before the agreement goes into effect. There is risk that this will happen. By trying to avoid the expansion of conflict in the Middle East, when conflict is Washington’s and Israel’s intention, Putin by his non-intervention, has given a green light for the expansion of conflict.

Moreover, the Russian-Iranian pact does not seem to be, except, by implication, a mutual defense pact. You can bet that Victoria Nuland and Israel’s American neoconservative agents who control US foreign policy will try to strike Iran before the pact is is in effect or they will argue that it is not a mutual defense agreement. It seems that Russia, China, Iran, and Israel’s Muslim enemies think that words count when nothing but action counts. In the West words are meaningless. Only actions count. And Russia’s are missing. Now, let me back off a bit. There are other indications of progress toward an environment less able to be turned into war by Washington. China had the foresight to broker a peace deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia. This was a fundamental blow to Washington. This rapprochement, if it holds against Washington’s counter offer, has expanded Putin’s organization BRICS to include Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. This gives new meaning to Saudi Arabia’s abandonment of the petro-dollar.

There is even a potential good sign on Russia’s part. Russia has announced air patrols over the Syrian Golan border with Israel. Putin prevented Washington’s invasion of Assad’s Syria but then went soft. Putin has left the Syrian oil fields in Washington’s hands. Putin has permitted both Israel and the US to conduct air and missile attacks on Syrian territory, apparently preventing Syria from using the Russian-supplied S-300 air defense system to protect Syrian territory. It remains to be seen if this means anything. The Russians have been sufficiently weakened by Western influence that they now have, associated with the Defense Ministry a “Center for Reconciliation.” This center says the air patrols are just for monitoring. In other words, there will be no military intervention, so it is largely meaningless. The failure to confront Russia’s enemies with defeats means the pressure against Russia, the ongoing provocations, and the humiliations inflicted will continue until Russia is forced into war.

There is a great deal of talk about American over-extension, outmoded weapon systems, excessive debt, inability to recruit for the military, etc., most of which is true. But the neoconservatives in control are still full of confidence, and this confidence is ever encouraged by Putin’s lack of decisive action. The war that is shaping up appears to be unavoidable. I know that it seems arrogant, egocentric, and self-glorifying to appear to be giving advice to Putin. But that is not what I am doing. I am describing a situation. To preclude a US/Israeli attack on Iran, there needs to be a Russia-China-Iran alliance which probably should include Turkey. Right NOW Iran needs the highly effective Russian air defense systems and, if Iran doesn’t have them, the hypersonic Russian long distance offensive missiles. Putin showed a strategic side when he committed the Russian Air Force to Syria’s defense, thus blocking Syria’s invasion by Obama. But he was very late getting into the game, almost too late. The multipolar world that Putin is always talking about cannot materialize without a Russian-Chinese-Iranian mutual defense treaty. Without more strategic vision and action on the part of Russia and China, war is unavoidable.

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“Joe Biden’s inner circle of strategists for the Middle East — Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk..”

The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse (Chris Hedges)

Joe Biden’s inner circle of strategists for the Middle East — Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk — have little understanding of the Muslim world and a deep animus towards Islamic resistance movements. They see Europe, the United States and Israel as involved in a clash of civilizations between the enlightened West and a barbaric Middle East. They believe that violence can bend Palestinians and other Arabs to their will. They champion the overwhelming firepower of the U.S. and Israeli military as the key to regional stability — an illusion that fuels the flames of regional war and perpetuates the genocide in Gaza.

In short, these four men are grossly incompetent. They join the club of other clueless leaders, such as those who waltzed into the suicidal slaughter of World War One, waded into the quagmire of Vietnam or who orchestrated the series of recent military debacles in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. They are endowed with the presumptive power vested in the Executive Branch to bypass Congress, to provide weapons to Israel and carry out military strikes in Yemen and Iraq. This inner circle of true believers dismiss the more nuanced and informed counsels in the State Department and the intelligence communities, who view the refusal of the Biden administration to pressure Israel to halt the ongoing genocide as ill-advised and dangerous.

Biden has always been an ardent militarist — he was calling for war with Iraq five years before the U.S. invaded. He built his political career by catering to the distaste of the white middle class for the popular movements, including the anti-war and civil rights movements, that convulsed the country in the 1960s and 1970s. He is a Republican masquerading as a Democrat. He joined Southern segregationists to oppose bringing Black students into Whites-only schools. He opposed federal funding for abortions and supported a constitutional amendment allowing states to restrict abortions. He attacked President George H. W. Bush in 1989 for being too soft in the “war on drugs.” He was one of the architects of the 1994 crime bill and a raft of other draconian laws that more than doubled the U.S. prison population, militarized the police and pushed through drug laws that saw people incarcerated for life without parole. He supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, the greatest betrayal of the working class since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. He has always been a strident defender of Israel, bragging that he did more fundraisers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) than any other Senator.

“As many of you heard me say before, were there no Israel, America would have to invent one. We’d have to invent one because… you protect our interests like we protect yours,” Biden said in 2015, to an audience that included the Israeli ambassador, at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration in Washington D.C. During the same speech he said, “The truth of the matter is we need you. The world needs you. Imagine what it would say about humanity and the future of the 21st century if Israel were not sustained, vibrant and free.” The year before Biden gave a gushing eulogy for Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister and general who was implicated in massacres of Palestinians, Lebanese and others in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon — as well as Egyptian prisoners of war — going back to the 1950s. He described Sharon as “part of one of the most remarkable founding generations in the history not of this nation, but of any nation.”

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“Israel’s only answer (to the issue of how to maintain Zionism) was to keep the State’s borders undefined – whilst holding on to scarce water and land resources..”

Netanyahu’s Shape-Shifting ‘Endgame’ (Alastair Crooke)

The late Ariel Sharon, a long-time Israeli military and political leader, once confided to his close friend Uri Dan that, “the Arabs had never genuinely accepted the presence of Israel … and so, a two-state solution was not possible – nor even desirable”. In the minds of these two – as well as for most Israelis today – is the ‘Gordian Knot’ that sits at the heart of Zionism: How to maintain differential rights over a physical terrain that includes a large Palestinian population. Israeli leaders believed that in Sharon’s unconventional approach of ‘spatial ambiguity’, Israel was close to evolving a solution to the conundrum of managing differential rights within a Zionist majority state, which includes substantial minorities. Palestinians, many Israelis believed (until recently), were being successfully contained in a striated political and physical space – and were even being “disappeared” from significance – only for Hamas, on 7 October, to blow apart that whole elaborate paradigm.

This event has triggered a widespread and existential fear that the Zionist project could possibly implode, were its Zionist exceptionalist foundations to be rejected by a wide resistance ready to take the issue to war. U.S. journalist Steve Inskeep’s recent piece – Israel’s Lack of Strategy is the Strategy – brings into focus the seeming paradox: That whilst Netanyahu is very clear about that which he does not want, he at the same time remains obstinately opaque about what he does want as a future for Palestinians living on a shared terrain. For those who think that Middle East peace might (or should) be Netanyahu’s goal, this opacity appears as a serious ‘flaw’ to resolving the Gaza crisis. However, if Netanyahu (backed by his cabinet, and a majority of Israelis) offers no strategy for peace with the Palestinians, then perhaps its omission is not ‘a bug’, but is its feature.

To understand the underlying oxymoron, you have to grasp why Ariel Sharon and Uri Dan ‘said what they said’, and understand how Sharon’s military experience from the 1973 War effectively has shaped the entire Palestinian paradigm. In 2011, I wrote a piece in Foreign Policy which postulated that Sharon’s notion of Palestinian Permanent Ambiguity was – and has been – the Zionists’ principle answer to how to bypass the paradox inherent within Zionism. Thirty years later, it still lurks in all of Netanyahu’s (and Israeli leaders across the political spectrum’s) recent pronouncements. Even in 2008, Foreign Minister (and lawyer), Tzipi Livni, was spelling out why “Israel’s only answer (to the issue of how to maintain Zionism) was to keep the State’s borders undefined – whilst holding on to scarce water and land resources – leaving Palestinians in a state of permanent uncertainty, dependent on Israeli goodwill”.

And I noted in a separate piece: “Livni was saying that she wanted Israel to be a Zionist state – based on the Law of Return and open to any Jew. However, to secure such a state in a country with very limited territory – means that land and water must be kept under Jewish control, with differential rights for Jews and non-Jews – rights that affect everything, from housing and access to land, to jobs, subsidies, marriages and migration”. A two-state solution inherently therefore, did not solve the problem of how to maintain Zionism; rather, it compounded it. The inevitable demand for full equal rights for Palestinians would bring the end of Jewish ‘special rights’, and of Zionism itself, Livni argued – a threat with which most Zionists concur. Sharon’s answer to this ultimate paradox, however, was different: Sharon had an alternative plan for managing a large non-Jewish ‘out-group’, physically present within a Zionist State of differentiated rights. Sharon’s alternative amounted to frustrating a two-state solution within fixed borders.

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“Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, there can be not reliable security for Israel,” Lavrov said.”

Russia’s Push for Palestinian State Can Stop Endless ‘Loop’ of Violence (Sp.)

A lasting resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis is the keystone to regional stability, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “The main focus of efforts should be the creation of a Palestinian state in full compliance with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. The state described in these decisions would be competent and would exist in security and good neighborliness side by side with Israel and other countries in the region,” Lavrov said, speaking at a press conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2023 on Thursday. “Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, the Palestinian people will continue to feel disadvantaged and disenfranchised. Generation after generation of young Palestinians will fell this injustice and pass it on to their children. This must end through the creation of a Palestinian state. I hope that the Israeli leadership will eventually come to this conclusion…Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, there can be not reliable security for Israel,” Lavrov said.

The foreign minister announced plans to address the United Nations Security Council next Tuesday to discuss how the crisis in the Middle East can be resolved through “collective efforts,” in place of current attempts by the United States to “advance its agenda around the world.” “Perhaps our Western colleagues should learn some life lessons. And the countries of the region must insist that they are the ones who live here, and that for them, the security of all states [in the region] is of decisive importance to them. No one wants to prohibit advice from the outside, but the final decisions should be made by regional countries themselves,” Lavrov stressed. The creation of a Palestinian state is the “dream” of the Arab and Muslim World, and Russia’s position on the Palestinian-Israeli crisis indicates a very good understanding of the Middle East, says Riyadh-based political analyst Dr. Ahmed Al Ibrahim.

Russia’s position on Palestinian statehood is “going to be very well-received,” Al Ibrahim told Sputnik. “It’s going to cause stability. It’s going to give a lot of ground for the foreign policy of Russia to integrate here in the Muslim-Arab World. If Russia succeeded in that, then Russia has solved the most crucial thing in the history of this region by aligning Israel and Palestine to be together next [to each other]. And they’re going to win the hearts and the minds of the Arab and the Muslim World.” Attempts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have been spearheaded by the United States for some seven decades, Al Ibrahim recalled, noting that in all this time “nothing happened except destruction for the Palestinian land, and more expansion, more settlers taking lands.”

“Definitely the whole world would welcome Russia and the BRICS members to be mediating this. But the solution is going to be very hard. Russia and the BRICS members [would] have to coordinate with the United States and with Britain because they are the majority stakeholders of this file, in order to yank it from them and do something on the ground,” the political analyst noted. Otherwise, unless a genuine, multilateral effort is launched to establish Palestinian statehood, the cycle of violence being seen today will continue indefinitely, Al Ibrahim believes. “The real core of the problem is in the deep mind and the deep state of the Israelis,” Al Ibrahim stressed. “Do they want a two-state solution?

We still see at the Knesset, when you enter the building, a big map – a big Israeli state from the [Jordan] River to the Sinai. If this is the creed of the Israelis, then there is no point of anybody mediating and Israel needs to work within themselves in order to come up an evolution to change their mindset and work to have a peaceful neighboring country with the Arab World supporting them. By reaching that, Israel is going to gain a lot by normalizing relationships with many Arab and Muslim countries,” he emphasized. “But if they’re going to play the cat and mouse game, you know, ‘I say something and I do something else on the ground,’ this is not going to work,” Al Ibrahim said, saying Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Arab countries and the Muslim World in general are too smart to be tricked by such deception.

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“..not as a war that has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives … but as a profitable business project.”

US Sees Ukraine As A ‘Lucrative Business Project’ – Lavrov (RT)

Recent statements from the US suggest it regards Ukraine as nothing but a “lucrative business project,” one that it is profiting from, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN Security Council on Monday. The minister was referring to earlier statements made by US State Secretary Antony Blinken. Last month, the top US diplomat claimed that 90% of the money allocated for Ukrainian aid ends up getting funneled back to the US “to the benefit of American business, local communities, and strengthening the US defense industrial base.” In November 2023, the Washington Post also reported that the majority of these funds were spent on manufacturing new weapons or replacing the equipment sent to Ukraine out of American stockpiles.

The US is essentially “developing its military industrial” complex while “dumping the old junk in Ukraine,” Lavrov said. Russia’s top diplomat also claimed that most major Ukrainian companies, including lithium producers, are being sold to Americans and US companies have been able to get their hands on Ukraine’s fertile land “on the cheap.” Lavrov denounced the statements made by US officials as “cynical” and said that Washington has been treating the ongoing conflict “not as a war that has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives … but as a profitable business project.” Moscow is waging a military campaign not against Ukraine but against “a criminal regime, presumptuous in its impunity,” he declared.

Kiev has not forgone on the “war against its own citizens in the east and south” despite years-long efforts by Moscow to find a peaceful solution to this crisis, he explained, adding that over 7 million Ukrainians had found refuge in Russia since the 2014 Maidan coup. Kiev’s Western backers have never tried to stop the government from persecuting Russian-speaking Ukrainians, the minister said, accusing the US and its allies of using the past few years to “arm Ukraine and prepare it for war against Russia,” while using the Minsk Agreements as a cover. Russia is ready for talks on Ukraine but it is not willing to discuss ways to keep Kiev’s current government in power, Moscow’s top diplomat concluded.

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“Zelensky realizes that the damaging data that the Americans have is capable of destroying him as president. In this situation, he’ll continue to dance to the tune of his American masters..”

US Forming ‘Colonial Administration’ In Ukraine – Russian Spy Chief (RT)

Washington has begun creating “a colonial administration” in Ukraine consisting of local politicians who have sworn allegiance to the US, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has said. The US government has demanded that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “remove” dozens of high-ranking officials, whom Washington no longer trusts, from their posts under various pretexts, Sergey Naryshkin claimed on Monday. Washington wants those jobs to be filled by “Ukrainians trained in the West, who have sworn allegiance to American interests,” he said in comments cited by the SVR press service. “As part of the policy of total vassalization of Ukraine, the US has started forming what is essentially a colonial administration in that country,” the spy chief stated.

According to Naryshkin, the required changes in the Ukrainian government were relayed to Zelensky during his visit to Washington in December. “The Americans are pushing for Ukrainian ambassador to Washington Oksana Markarova, who received her education at Indiana University Bloomington, to take the post of prime minister. The deputy head of the Finance Ministry, Alexander Kava, who studied at Harvard University, is being suggested for the job of finance minister. The current deputy head of the Economy Ministry, Taras Kachka, a graduate of Poland’s National School of Public Administration (KSAP), is recommended for the post of economy minister,” he said. The latest high-profile change in the Ukrainian cabinet follows the pattern described by Naryshkin. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, who replaced Zelensky’s ally Aleksey Reznikov in the job last fall, used to participate in the Future Leaders Exchange program, funded by the US State Department.

The Biden administration, which is in possession of a “killer corruption dossier” on members of Zelenksy’s inner circle, is threatening to make this information public if Ukrainian leader refuses to greenlight the desired personnel decisions, the spy chief claimed. “Zelensky realizes that the damaging data that the Americans have is capable of destroying him as president. In this situation, he’ll continue to dance to the tune of his American masters,” Naryshkin predicted. The US, which has provided Zelensky’s government with $111 billion in military and economic assistance since the start of the conflict with Russia, already has advisers embedded in all key Ukrainian ministries, but Washington believes this is not enough and is “steadily increasing Kiev’s feudal dependence,” Naryshkin said.

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“What are [the Ukrainians] waiting for? That the Russians will leave Donbass and Lugansk, or that they will leave Crimea? It’s unrealistic,” Fico insisted.”

Ukraine Must Give Up Territory – Fico (RT)

Ukraine should concede the loss of some of the territories that were previously under its control in order to end the conflict with Russia, Slovakia’s prime minister Robert Fico has said. Fico made the statement during a weekend interview with broadcaster RTVS dedicated to his upcoming visit to Ukraine. The Slovak PM is scheduled to travel on Wednesday to Uzhgorod, a city near the border between the two countries, for a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Denis Shmygal. The ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev can’t be resolved through military means and should end in compromise that might be “painful for both sides,” he said. “What are [the Ukrainians] waiting for? That the Russians will leave Donbass and Lugansk, or that they will leave Crimea? It’s unrealistic,” Fico insisted.

The People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk were officially incorporated into the Russian state in the fall of 2022, together the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, as a result of referendums held in those areas. Crimea has been a part of Russia since 2014. The continuation of the fighting that has been underway since February 2022 will only make Moscow stronger, Fico added. The Slovak premier also said Ukraine was “not a sovereign, independent country” due to it being “under the absolute influence of the US.” He criticized the EU for making “a huge mistake” of following Washington’s lead when it comes to dealing with Kiev, instead of developing its own “sovereign” view on the issue. As for his talks this week with Shmygal, Fico promised to tell his Ukrainian counterpart that he’s against Kiev’s membership in NATO, as that would be “exactly the basis of World War Three,” and to reiterate that President Vladimir Zelensky’s government won’t be getting any more weapons from Bratislava.

The prime minister’s interview caused angry reaction in Kiev, with the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Aleksandr Merezhko demanded that Fico’s trip to Ukraine be canceled for his “disgraceful statements” that crossed “the red line.” “Every country should have at least minimal self-respect. It’s absolutely unacceptable to pretend that nothing is happening when the leader of another state makes statements that question the sovereignty of a state” that he’s about to visit, Merezhko wrote on Facebook. Fico made a comeback as Slovakia’s prime minister in October after his party won the snap election in the EU country, campaigning on promises of, among other measures, cutting military aid to Kiev and improving ties with Moscow.

Read more …

The MO: crazy claims.

Zelensky Brands Parts Of Russia ‘Historically’ Ukrainian (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky declared six Russian regions to be “historically inhabited by Ukrainians” in a decree published on Monday. The list does not include any of the territory that Kiev claims sovereignty over in the ongoing conflict with Moscow, and focuses on globally recognized parts of Russia. The document includes Bryansk, Kursk, and Belgorod regions, all of which border Ukraine. It also lists Voronezh, Rostov, and Krasnodar regions, all of which bordered Ukraine before 2014, when Crimea decided to join Russia in a referendum and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics declared independence from Kiev. Zelensky claimed the population of these territories had been subjected to “the policy of forced Russification,” and ordered the government in Kiev to develop “an action plan” to “preserve” Ukrainian “national identity” in Russia.

The decree calls on Russia to “provide Ukrainians living in its territories” with access to education in the Ukrainian language, as well as access to Ukrainian-language mass media and special “civil, social, cultural, and religious rights.” Moscow has never imposed any restrictions on the Ukrainian language. Russia’s education minister, Sergey Kravtsov, said in July 2022 that “no one was banning” it, and that it would be taught in schools where necessary. Zelensky’s decree also tasks the Ukrainian government and the National Security and Defense Council with “collecting and studying facts and testimonies about crimes” supposedly committed against Ukrainians in Russia throughout its history, as well as “countering disinformation and propaganda” about Ukrainian history, allegedly spread by Moscow.

The president also instructed the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences to “prepare materials” on the “thousand-year-old history” of Ukraine and distribute them around the world. The country’s educational programs and textbooks should also contain “the true history of ethnic Ukrainians,” Zelensky added. The Russian regions mentioned in the decree have repeatedly been targeted by Ukrainian missile and drone attacks as well as shelling since the start of hostilities with Moscow in February 2022. Zelensky’s decree comes just weeks after Kiev launched a major attack on the city of Belgorod. The strike, which according to the Russian Defense Ministry involved the use of banned cluster munitions, claimed the lives of 25 people, including children, and left more than a hundred injured. In mid-January, a child was injured in a Ukrainian drone attack on the city of Voronezh – the capital of another region Zelensky claimed was “historically inhabited by Ukrainians.”

The developments come amid Kiev’s attempts to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) – the country’s biggest Christian denomination, which is reported to have more than 8,000 parishes. The Ukrainian government has long accused it of having ties with the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that Ukraine in its pre-2014 borders was largely “created” by the Soviet leadership over the course of the 20th century. Historically, “Ukrainian lands” included a much smaller territory, he has argued. When the Cossacks living on the territory of modern Ukraine broke away from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17th century following the Bogdan Khmelnitsky uprising and asked the then-Tsardom of Russia to take them in, the territory they controlled effectively amounted to present-day Kiev, Chernigov, and Zhitomir regions – three areas in the north of Ukraine, the Russian president said in 2022.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1749432104612405410

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“Medvedev dismissed the decree as a “crude PR stunt” aimed at drawing public attention away from the Ukrainian forces’ failures on the front lines..”

Medvedev Denounces Zelensky’s ‘Territorial Claims’ To Russia (RT)

The latest decree by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky essentially amounts to “territorial claims” on sovereign Russian regions, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday. Posting on Telegram, he was referring to a document declaring six Russian regions to be “historically inhabited by Ukrainians.” Signed on Monday, Ukraine’s Day of Unity, the presidential decree claims that six territories that are universally recognized as a part of Russia – the Krasnodar, Rostov, Voronezh, Belgorod, Kursk and Bryansk regions – had been “historically” populated by “ethnic Ukrainians” that were then supposedly subjected to “forced Russification.” The document then orders the Kiev government to develop an “action plan” to “preserve” the Ukrainian national identity in Russia and demands the “true history” of Ukraine be made known to the “world.”

It also demands Russia provide people living in these regions with access to Ukrainian-language mass media and to some special “civil, social, cultural and religious rights.” Medvedev dismissed the decree as a “crude PR stunt” aimed at drawing public attention away from the Ukrainian forces’ failures on the front lines. He also said there was even no need to comment on the contents of the order, since the territories mentioned in it have always been part of Russia. The former president (2008-2012) also said it was high time Zelensky “stopped” such policies and abandoned them, or he might end up “annexing Canada in the near future.” Zelensky himself described signing the decree as a way to promote “truth about Ukrainians… and their history.” He also claimed that it was aimed at “restoring the truth about the historical past for the Ukrainian future.”

The Russian regions mentioned in the decree have been regularly subjected to drone and missile attacks as well as shelling by the Ukrainian troops. In December, Belgorod – the capital of one of the regions supposedly “historically inhabited by Ukrainians” – was struck by a major Ukrainian attack. The strike claimed the lives of 25 people, including children. The Russian Defense Ministry also said that Kiev’s forces used banned cluster munitions in an attack targeting the city center just a day before New Year’s Eve celebrations.

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Scholz will try to ban the AfD.

AfD Leader Calls for German ‘Dexit’ Vote to Break From EU (Sp.)

The Alternative for Germany party promotes direct voting on legislation and strict immigration controls. It was the subject of nationwide protests last week after some of its members were spotted at a meeting that advocated for mass deportation of immigrants in Germany, including those with German passports. Britain was “dead right” to leave the European Union and Germany should consider its own “Dexit,” the leader of the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) Alice Weidel said in an article published in US media on Monday. “If reform isn’t possible, if we fail to rebuild sovereignty of the EU member states, we should let the people decide, just as Britain did,” she said, adding that “we could have a referendum on ‘Dexit’ – a German exit from the EU.”

A recent poll found that only 45% of AfD members would currently vote to leave the EU and only 10% of the general population said they would. It is worth noting that opinions can shift rapidly. In late 2014, only 36% of Britons said they would support the UK leaving the EU; less than two years later, more than half voted for “Brexit.” The AfD is leading the polls in five East German states and is polling second nationally at 22%. The party hopes to make gains at both the European Parliamentary elections in June and the regional elections in September. However, AfD’s high polling numbers may not reflect how much power the party will have in the near term. Establishment parties, including conservative-leaning ones, have ruled out forming a coalition with the AfD, limiting its potential power.

Weidel admitted that the issue will limit her party’s power in the short term but believes the “firewall” will not last forever, pointing to the conservative establishment CDU party, which includes former chancellor Angela Merkel, as the first likely to break. “The CDU will not be able to maintain its firewall in the long term,” Weidel said. She added that the last year proved “that we can form a clear right-wing majority. And the CDU can’t refuse to accept that in the long term, especially in the eastern states.” Weidel admitted her party is unlikely to take control until 2029 at the earliest. It is currently polling only behind the CDU but is ahead of every other party, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three coalition parties.

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X thread. War games.

Russian Attack On Nato In 2044 (Zlatko)

Europe is being frightened by the “scenario of a Russian attack on NATO” in 2044. Former US commander Hodges and defense analyst Sam Cranny-Evans put together “their” scenario: “This is not about Russia trying to take over all of NATO. This is not what their goal will be in 20 years. It would be about destroying NATO as an alliance by invading the eastern flank and conquering critical places – like the Arctic – that would benefit them,” General Hodges said. In their opinion, everything will begin with cyber attacks on transport chains, after which a missile attack will be launched on key infrastructure facilities in Europe.

The ground operation will begin in Finland, where tanks controlled by artificial intelligence will “enter.” At the same time, the Suwalki corridor will be taken under control and the Baltic countries will be attacked. The Russian Navy, as planned by Hodges, will take control of the Arctic regions. “There is even the possibility of some kind of conflict in space, where satellites are used to attack each other or jam satellites, which has already been done at a lower level in Ukraine,” Cranny-Evans added. Ostashko reports.

The best take on this, from a commenter:

Then aliens will come down and mate with all the women in Sweden, Orcs will invade France and steal all the wine, and Zelensky will have run off with Von Der Layen and fathered 20 children……..

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“..events described under oath by two Capitol Police officers in the first Oath Keepers trial in 2022 could not have happened, based on Mr. Baker’s examination of security video..”

DOJ Seeking Retribution Against Journalist for Recent Jan. 6 Coverage (ET)

Attorneys for a journalist threatened with prosecution for being at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, are challenging federal prosecutors to try his case outside the District of Columbia, suggesting prosecutors are seeking retribution for his recent reporting on possible Capitol Police perjury and the Jan. 6 pipe bombs. Six attorneys who said they volunteered to represent Stephen Baker of Raleigh, N.C., released a statement on Jan. 22 expressing belief that the DOJ is seeking even more serious Jan. 6 charges as retaliation. Mr. Baker, a former independent journalist, now writes for Blaze Media. “We now have information that Steve’s reporting has so agitated officials in multiple federal agencies that an effort is now underway to find a basis to charge Steve with more serious crimes and to use those more serious crimes as a pretext for early morning raids to execute search and arrest warrants on him and his family,” the statement read.

“If this is true, and search and arrest warrants are used to drag Steve out of his house in the early morning hours someday soon, that will be evidence of retaliation against a journalist exercising his First Amendment rights to report information that is embarrassing to government officials.” The statement is signed by five well-known Jan. 6 defense attorneys: James Lee Bright, Brad Geyer, Phillip Linder, William Shipley, and Edward Tarpley Jr. It was also signed by Mr. Baker’s Raleigh-based attorney, Matthew Ceradini. Mr. Geyer and Mr. Shipley were federal prosecutors for more than two decades. “After not having indicted me for three years, it is clear that any move to do so now will be in retaliation for my reporting,” Mr. Baker wrote in a news release. “I will not be intimidated. I will continue to report the findings of my investigation into the evidence being made available to me to review,” he said.

The attorneys challenged the DOJ to try any case against Mr. Baker in the eastern district of North Carolina where Mr. Baker lives, or the northern district of Texas, where his employer, Blaze Media, is located. “Are citizens of those two districts not suitable jurors in Steve’s case?” the statement asked. “Is the federal judiciary in those two districts not able to provide a fair and impartial trial? “On what basis does the United States Department of Justice believe the ‘United States’ can only get a fair trial in the District of Columbia and not one of those ‘United’ States?” Mr. Baker’s most recent coverage identified the person who found one of the two pipe bombs on Jan. 6 as an undercover U.S. Capitol Police officer and not a “passerby.” Since October 2023, he wrote a series of stories that said events described under oath by two Capitol Police officers in the first Oath Keepers trial in 2022 could not have happened, based on Mr. Baker’s examination of security video.

Mr. Geyer suggested that reporting should result in the Oath Keepers’ convictions being thrown out. Mr. Baker was one of dozens of journalists at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. His video footage appeared in an HBO film and was licensed by the BBC, The New York Times, and The Epoch Times. Mr. Baker was first contacted by the FBI in July 2021 about his presence at the Capitol. He voluntarily sat down with FBI special agents in November 2021. He said he was told the DOJ was considering charging him with interstate racketeering because he received money from licensing his Jan. 6 video. In March 2023, he said he was warned by a high-profile journalist that his reporting was chafing some high-level DOJ officials. In August, he was served a subpoena for his Jan. 6 video. In December, the FBI told his attorney that his arrest was imminent, although that plan was subsequently delayed.

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“..the falsely-elected, tyrannically corrupt, and epically deranged regime fronted by the ghost-in-the-White House, “Joe Biden.”

The Pipe-Bomb Caper (Kunstler)

“The FBI must come forward with the whole truth, immediately. If they will not, then Republicans have a duty to tear the FBI down to its foundation, and ensure that no government organization is allowed to amass this kind of power ever again.” — Charlie Kirk . Kudos to Darren J. Beattie of Revolver News and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) for doing the FBI’s work for the FBI, smoking out the role of law enforcement (including the FBI) in but one module of the J6 operation that turned a peaceful mass assembly of disgruntled voters into a riot in order to color it as an “insurrection” and so destroy opposition to the falsely-elected, tyrannically corrupt, and epically deranged regime fronted by the ghost-in-the-White House, “Joe Biden.”

Mr. Massie arranged to extract previously unseen video from the Capitol Police vaults showing the exceedingly strange behavior of various law-men in the minutes after one of their number reported a pipe-bomb beside a park bench, a few steps away from their parked vehicles, outside the DNC headquarters near the US Capitol building around one o’clock in the afternoon on J6/21, just around the time that a joint session of Congress would commence the entertainment of official complaints and objections to the certification of votes in the 2020 presidential election. Of course, that proceeding was disrupted by events outside and inside the US Capitol, and those many complaints and objections were never registered.

Two cars are shown parked blocking the driveway to the basement garage: a white Washington DC Metro Police SUV and a black Secret Service cruiser — because Veep Kamala Harris happened to be in the building at the time. A man with a backpack, later identified as a plainclothes Capitol Police officer, steps up first to the Metro car, then to the Secret Service cruiser, cueing minutes of slow milling-about by the officers in the two cars. Eventually several cops dawdle over to the bench to inspect what turns out to be a pipe-bomb planted in plain sight on the ground there. The video shows no effort to cordon-off the area or to stop cars or pedestrians (children) from entering the scene near the bomb.

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“The power they tasted during the lockdowns opened Pandora’s Box..”

Dutch Queen Promotes Digital ID at Davos (Martin Armstrong)

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands took to the Davos stage to declare that digital IDs are necessary for nearly every aspect of social engagement. The Dutch queen told the World Economic Forum (WEF) that they can no longer trust the people, and digital IDs will provide governments with a clear way to track our behavior. Vaccine passports are necessary to tell “who actually got a vaccination or not,” highlighting how those at the top do not trust the public. They want complete unilateral control. In fact, she believes that children should not be allowed to enroll in school unless they have a digital ID that includes their vaccination passport. “It [digital ID] is also good for school enrollment; it is also good for health – who actually got a vaccination or not; it’s very good actually to get your subsidies from the government,” she said to a room of nodding heads. Want to open a bank account? You must present a digital ID.

Now the Netherlands implemented a COVID certificate that was required for travel throughout the EU. Citizens were provided yellow vaccination booklets that they were required to carry throughout the pandemic. Mass protests erupted, but the government did not drop restrictions until 72% of the population was already injected. Over 40% of restaurants said they would not ask patrons to show proof of vaccination to enter. Prime Minister Mark Rutte immediately fired Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Mona Keijzer for questioning the vaccine passport. “If we end up in a society where we have to be afraid of each other unless we can show proof, then you really have to scratch your head and ask yourself: Is this the direction we want to go?” Dissent is no longer tolerated. The power they tasted during the lockdowns opened Pandora’s Box. The Dutch government must realize they will be met with resistance as the Dutch people will not allow the government to control them without a fight.

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Foal

 

 

Bouzouki bear
https://twitter.com/i/status/1749553698412335104

 

 


When humans lose weight, fat is eliminated and leaves the body. 80% of the fat is exhaled through the lungs as carbon dioxide

 

 

Lyrebird

 

 

Cathedral
https://twitter.com/i/status/1749361361044517131

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 182023
 
 December 18, 2023  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Edward Hopper Morning sun 1952

 

The Death of Israel (Chris Hedges)
Pentagon Mulls Strikes Against Houthis Amid Red Sea Chaos (Sp.)
‘Lower-Intensity Phase’ Of Gaza War Must Begin Within Weeks – US (Cradle)
Russia Wants To Improve Ties With NATO, Not Fight – Putin (RT)
Russia Is No Threat To NATO – Hungary FM (RT)
I Was Naive About The West – Putin (RT)
German Customs Threatens To Seize Russian Christmas Gifts (RT)
Fico Exposes Dark Reality of Western Plan for Kiev (Sp.)
EU Policies Threaten ‘Destruction’ – Fico (RT)
US Entering 2024 With Tiniest Military Since 1941 (Sp.)
Last of the Caucasians (Jeffries)
‘No One Off the Table’ for Deportation If Trump Re-Elected – Ex-ICE Chief (Sp.)
The Time to Replace Kamala Harris Is Now (Saperstein)
Eric Swalwell and The Politics of Contempt (Turley)
Musk’s Starlink Breaks Through Bureaucracy and Corruption in Africa (ET)

 

 

 

 

Priest

 

 


Free Palestine.

 

 


In Belgium, the green traffic lights become #Free_Gaza while the red lights say #Stop_Israel

 

 


Israel killed 92 journalists so far

 

 

Dore/Tucker

 

 

Larry Johnson

 

 

Nap Scott Ritter Resolution 377

 

 

 

 

Libya

 

 

Vivek AI

 

 

Klausi

 

 

 

 

“The vaunted fight against anti-Semitism is a thinly disguised celebration of White Power..”

The Death of Israel (Chris Hedges)

Israel will appear triumphant after it finishes its genocidal campaign in Gaza and the West Bank. Backed by the United States, it will achieve its demented goal. Its murderous rampages and genocidal violence will exterminate or ethnically cleanse Palestinians. Its dream of a state exclusively for Jews, with any Palestinians who remain stripped of basic rights, will be realized. It will revel in its blood-soaked victory. It will celebrate its war criminals. Its genocide will be erased from public consciousness and tossed into Israel’s huge black hole of historical amnesia. Those with a conscience in Israel will be silenced and persecuted. But by the time Israel achieves its decimation of Gaza — Israel is talking about months of warfare — it will have signed its own death sentence.

Its facade of civility, its supposed vaunted respect for the rule of law and democracy, its mythical story of the courageous Israeli military and miraculous birth of the Jewish nation, will lie in ash heaps. Israel’s social capital will be spent. It will be revealed as an ugly, repressive, hate-filled apartheid regime, alienating younger generations of American Jews. Its patron, the United States, as new generations come into power, will distance itself from Israel the way it is distancing itself from Ukraine. Its popular support, already eroded in the U.S., will come from America’s Christianized fascists who see Israel’s domination of ancient Biblical land as a harbinger of the Second Coming and in its subjugation of Arabs a kindred racism and white supremacy.

Palestinian blood and suffering — 10 times the number of children have been killed in Gaza as in two years of war in Ukraine — will pave the road to Israel’s oblivion. The tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of ghosts will have their revenge. Israel will become synonymous with its victims the way Turks are synonymous with the Armenians, Germans are with the Namibians and later the Jews, and Serbs are with the Bosniaks. Israel’s cultural, artistic, journalistic and intellectual life will be exterminated. Israel will be a stagnant nation where the religious fanatics, bigots and Jewish extremists who have seized power will dominate public discourse. It will find its allies among other despotic regimes. Israel’s repugnant racial and religious supremacy will be its defining attribute, which is why the most retrograde white supremists in the U.S. and Europe, including philo-semites such as John Hagee, Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene, fervently back Israel. The vaunted fight against anti-Semitism is a thinly disguised celebration of White Power.

Despotisms can exist long after their past due date. But they are terminal. You don’t have to be a Biblical scholar to see that Israel’s lust for rivers of blood is antithetical to the core values of Judaism. The cynical weaponization of the Holocaust, including branding Palestinians as Nazis, has little efficacy when you carry out a live streamed genocide against 2.3 million people trapped in a concentration camp. Nations need more than force to survive. They need a mystique. This mystique provides purpose, civility and even nobility to inspire citizens to sacrifice for the nation. The mystique offers hope for the future. It provides meaning. It provides national identity. When mystiques implode, when they are exposed as lies, a central foundation of state power collapses.

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Houthis means Iran. Really, US?

Pentagon Mulls Strikes Against Houthis Amid Red Sea Chaos (Sp.)

At least four major global shipping companies have suspended operations through the Red Sea in the past 72 hours, citing the threat of attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militiamen. The Houthis began their campaign of ship hijackings, missile and drone attacks in response to Israel’s military operation in Gaza, and Western powers’ support for Tel Aviv. The United States military is considering strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. That’s according to a report by a US news outlet citing Biden administration officials. The anonymous officials indicated that they have been growing “increasingly concerned” by the Houthis purported efforts to “undermine global trade,” “both to undercut trade to Israel and raise the costs to the US and its allies” for supporting the IDF’s Gaza rampage. Officials further said that Washington is holding back, for now, out of “fears of potentially fueling a broader war against Iran and its proxies,” citing (unsubstantiated) claims that the Yemeni militia group is one such proxy.

A Pentagon spokesman stated publicly this week that the DoD “will not hesitate to take action” where “necessary and appropriate, including to protect against actions in the maritime domain that could threaten our troops,” but this has yet to include attacks on Houthi forces. US and British warships operating in the Red Sea targeted over a dozen suspected Houthi drones over the body of water on Saturday alone. Four major shipping companies, including Danish giant Maersk, Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, Swiss-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MCS) and France’s CMA CGM halted operations through the Red Sea Friday and Saturday, citing the Houthi threat. With their proximity to the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait (lit. ‘Gate of Tears’) linking the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, the Houthis have the ability to restrict access to a key global strategic bottleneck accounting for up to 10 percent of the world’s oil trade, and up to 20 percent of global shipping.

The Strait, which along with Egypt’s Suez Canal serves as a key gateway for maritime trade between Europe and Asia, threatens to turn into a genuine Gate of Tears for companies, businessmen and consumers worldwide amid the Houthis’ missile, drone and hijacking campaign. Oman stepped in to mediate talks between the Yemeni militia group and “international parties” over the weekend to try to put a halt to its Red Sea attacks.Houthi representative Mohammed Abdul-Salam confirmed that the Oman-mediated talks were taking place, but reiterated that the militia’s position was that “we cannot stand idly by in the face of attacks on the Gaza Strip, the crippling siege, and the complete ban on the entry of foodstuffs, medicine and even drinking water into the territory.” The Houthis’ stance on the Palestinian issue was “non-negotiable,” the spokesman said.

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Yeah, just carry on.

‘Lower-Intensity Phase’ Of Gaza War Must Begin Within Weeks – US (Cradle)

During a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the Israeli war cabinet on 14 December, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan renewed Washington’s call that the “lower-intensity phase” of Israel’s assault on Gaza must begin within weeks. Israel has to “transition to the next lower intensity phase in a matter of weeks, not months,” Sullivan said, according to two US and Israeli officials who spoke with Axios. “[This is not] a deadline, and we understand the campaign must and will continue, but in a lower intensity manner,” the US official said. “Sullivan pressed Netanyahu and the members of the war cabinet on the timetable and details on planning for when the low-intensity phase of the war is going to start and what it will look like,” the White House official added.

An Israeli official said there was “no pressure” from Sullivan but instead “concern” over civilian casualties and the displacement of Palestinians. During the meeting, Sullivan also told Netanyahu and the war cabinet that the US “wants to move toward talking more seriously about what happens after the war, stressing that it will make it easier for the US to maintain support for the military operation.” The US recently said Israel has been more open to discussions about what post-war Gaza will look like. However, Netanyahu remains staunchly opposed to a US-proposed plan that would see the Palestinian Authority (PA) assume control over the enclave after the war.

During his visit to Israel, Sullivan also met with the Mossad chief, David Barnea. According to a report by Hebrew outlet Channel 12, the two discussed possibilities for a new prisoner-exchange deal between Hamas and Israel. “The American administration is currently discussing several initiatives with the two parties, Hamas and Israel, to renew the agreement to release hostages and prisoners between them,” Channel 12 said. The talks come just days after Saudi media reported that a European capital is hosting secret negotiations between Israeli and Qatari delegations for a new prisoner exchange deal.

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“We had the most open-hearted, cordial relations… We had no problems, but now are going to, because we are going to create the Leningrad military district and deploy certain military units there. Why did they need that?”

Russia Wants To Improve Ties With NATO, Not Fight – Putin (RT)

Russia does not have the slightest reason to attack NATO, President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that the US-led military bloc is well aware that Moscow has no plans to do so. In an interview with Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin aired on Sunday, Putin was asked to comment on remarks by US President Joe Biden, who said earlier this month that Moscow might attack the alliance if it prevails in the Ukraine conflict. The Russian leader dismissed his American counterpart’s speculation as “nonsense.” “I think that President Biden understands that this is just a figure of speech to justify his misguided Russian policy,” he said, explaining that he does not believe Moscow’s “strategic defeat” would be in the interests of the US. Putin went on to say that the president of the United States – which he called the “master” of NATO – surely knows that “Russia has no interest… geopolitically, economically or militarily… in waging war against NATO.”

Moscow, he added, has no claims on the territory of the bloc’s member states and only seeks to improve ties with them. However, the West’s political course is making this increasingly difficult, Putin noted, citing the example of Finland, which applied to join NATO after the start of the Ukraine conflict and became a full-fledged member in April. Russia has no disputes with its Nordic neighbor, Putin said, noting that the last territorial claims were settled after the end of WWII. “We had the most open-hearted, cordial relations… We had no problems, but now are going to, because we are going to create the Leningrad military district and deploy certain military units there. Why did they need that?” The president added that Russia has no quarrel with other NATO states either. “It is they who are artificially creating problems with us because they don’t want Russia as a rival.”

Russian officials have repeatedly described relations between Moscow and Washington as being at an all-time low, blaming the situation on the US’ support for Ukraine, as well as the country’s stance on arms control. Earlier this month, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the two powers are balancing on the brink of a hot war, with the last similar stand-off dating back to the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s.

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“I don’t think that Russia would attack any NATO member state..”

Russia Is No Threat To NATO – Hungary FM (RT)

Russia poses no immediate threat to NATO, including to those members of the bloc located close to its borders, because any attack would trigger an overwhelming response, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has suggested. Speaking in an interview with French broadcaster LCI, part of which was uploaded on Szijjarto’s Facebook page on Sunday, the minister was asked to comment on the warning of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who suggested that after the end of the Ukraine conflict, Russia would threaten NATO countries. “I don’t think that Russia would attack any NATO member state,” he replied, explaining that most EU members are also part of the alliance. According to Szijjarto, the US-led military bloc is “the strongest security and defense alliance in the world.”

He cited Article 5 of the bloc’s treaty, which stipulates that if any NATO nation comes under attack, it will be interpreted as an attack all members. “I don’t think that anyone, not only Russia, would risk any attack against any NATO member state,” he stressed. When pressed on why the Baltic states and Poland disagree, the minister explained that some countries have “different histories and different geographic locations.” “I don’t know what would be my position if I was in the geographic location of the Baltics [or Poland],” he said, noting that Hungary has always respected their position and never tried to challenge it. “This kind of respect should be given to every position of every member state. My problem is that this respect is very rarely given to the Hungarian position. This is unfair and weakens the European Union,” he added.

Szijjarto’s remarks come on the heels of comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has said that his country does not have any intention of attacking NATO. Putin told Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin in an interview aired on Sunday, that the US-led bloc itself is well aware that the Kremlin harbors no such plans. “Russia has no interest… geopolitically, economically or militarily… in waging war against NATO,” Putin stated, dismissing the recent claims by US President Joe Biden that Moscow might attack if it wins the Ukraine conflict as “nonsense.” “I think that President Biden understands that this is just a figure of speech to justify his misguided Russian policy,” the Russian President suggested.

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“After the collapse of the Soviet Union they thought they just had to wait a little longer, and then they would break Russia apart as well.”

I Was Naive About The West – Putin (RT)

The West was determined to break Russia apart after the collapse of the Soviet Union, believing that multiple states based on the country’s ruins would be too weak to resist outside influence, President Vladimir Putin has said. In an interview with Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin aired on Sunday, Putin admitted that he was a “naive” leader early in his political career even though he had a solid background in Soviet intelligence. The Russian president said that he had believed that the West understood that Russia had become a completely different country after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and that there were no further ideological differences warranting a serious stand-off. According to Putin, even when he saw Western efforts to support terrorism and separatism in Russia two decades ago, he thought that it was the “inertia of thinking” that was to blame.

“They had just got used to fighting the Soviet Union,” he believed. In reality, however, the West was deliberately trying to undercut Russia, the president said. “After the collapse of the Soviet Union they thought they just had to wait a little longer, and then they would break Russia apart as well.” According to Putin, the West saw no need for the existence of the world’s largest country, with its large population. “It would be better, as suggested by… [former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew] Brzezinski, to divide it into five parts, and subjugate them one by one.” This alleged Western plan, he explained, hinged on the premise that several smaller states “would have no weight or voice of their own, and would have no chance to defend their national interests in the way that the united Russian state has.”

The Russian leader was apparently referring to a 1997 article penned by Brzezinski, an ardent supporter of Soviet containment who died in 2017, which suggested at the time that Moscow should abandon “a futile effort to regain its status as a global power.” The former White House adviser also opined that “a loosely confederated Russia, composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic” would have an easier time fostering economic relations with its neighbors. Putin has repeatedly said that the West was planning to split Russia into several states, warning that the Russian people could cease to exist if this happens, and naming its continued unity as the key condition for the country’s success.

Shaman
https://twitter.com/i/status/1736083270205378605

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“..even such innocent items such as books, toys and perfume sent from Russia will likely not make it to their German recipients..”

German Customs Threatens To Seize Russian Christmas Gifts (RT)

Germany may confiscate gift parcels sent from Russia ahead of this year’s festive season, the country’s Federal Customs Service announced in statement on its website this week. According to the statement, gift parcels are regulated by the same sanctions legislation as any imports, as they may contain sanctioned goods such as paper, pulp, precious stones and metals, cigarettes, chemical and plastic products, cosmetics, etc. “There is no exception to the prohibitions covered by an Annex XXI to the Sanctions Regulation for gift consignments sent from a private individual in Russia to another private individual in the customs territory of the European Union,” the statement read, signaling that even such innocent items such as books, toys and perfume sent from Russia will likely not make it to their German recipients.

Gifts are not the first personal items belonging to Russians that have not been allowed in Germany. Previously, the country’s customs officials warned that any personal belongings of Russians falling under sanctions could be confiscated at the border, including smartphones, laptops, suitcases, portables, clothing and even toiletries. Cars have also been subject to the embargo: there have been several incidents this year when German customs officers seized cars bearing a Russian license plate, which travelers brought across the German border. Several other EU member states have also been confiscating Russians’ personal items at border crossings. Most began doing so after the European Commission issued a sanctions clarification in September that condoned such measures.

Last month, the European Parliament urged EU nations to stop the practice and called on the executive body to “review its interpretation of sanctions leading to the seizure and confiscation of items and vehicles for personal use only.” In a joint motion, lawmakers warned that “such over compliance discredits the goal and instrument of sanctions.” However, the recommendation was not legally binding and has not yet been taken up by the European Commission. Moscow has repeatedly slammed the practice of taking away the belongings of ordinary Russians as illegal, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova calling it outright “racist.”

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“When major EU members calculate the hundreds of billions of euros that Ukraine’s EU membership would cost, the decision made in Brussels will remain a political gesture for many years..”

Fico Exposes Dark Reality of Western Plan for Kiev (Sp.)

Ukraine and its citizens have simply become a bargaining chip in the geopolitical squabble, says Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. “In fact, most of the member states of the European Union are obsessed with Ukraine and hatred towards Russia, which leads to peculiar views that are undoubtedly propagated in the European media — that the war in Ukraine should continue to weaken Russia,” Fico said in his video address published on social media. The Slovak leader said that obsession was linked to unfounded scaremongering claims that Russia might attack a NATO member “In reality, Ukraine is only being used for geopolitical purposes to weaken Russia both economically and internationally,” Fico added. The Slovak prime minister also viewed Ukraine’s possible accession to the EU as nothing more than a political gesture to cover up inconvenient realities on the battlefield.

He emphasized that it will take years before Ukraine can realistically join the EU as the country is not ready both in terms of democratic functioning and the fight against corruption — putting the European Union in a hopeless situation. “When major EU members calculate the hundreds of billions of euros that Ukraine’s EU membership would cost, the decision made in Brussels will remain a political gesture for many years,” Fico added. He believes that Ukraine is simply a ‘golden goose’ for Western companies involved in the arms trade — regardless of the human cost. “I fear that, in the name of these geopolitical goals, the West will continue to fight with Russia until the last Ukrainian soldier, and we are not far from that,” Fico said. On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed as “complete nonsense” recent comments by US President Joe Biden about a possible Russian attack on NATO.

Putin stressed that Russia has no interest in waging war against NATO countries, saying there was no political, economic or military reasons to do so. Moscow has previously argued that Kiev intends to continue fighting “to the last Ukrainian” in the interests of Western powers. Russia earlier warned NATO countries against further arms shipments to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said any cargo containing weapons for Ukraine would be a legitimate target for Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has previously accused NATO countries of “playing with fire” by supplying weapons to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that arming Ukraine with Western weapons would not contribute to the success of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations and would only have a negative impact. Lavrov charged that the US and NATO are directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine, “not only through arms supplies, but also by training personnel… on the territory of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and other countries.”

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“if our exclusion from the international party is to be a price for pursuing a genuine left-wing agenda in Slovakia and voicing sovereign opinions, we are prepared to pay such a price.”

EU Policies Threaten ‘Destruction’ – Fico (RT)

The EU’s backing of Ukraine, sanctions on Russia, and “fanatic” environmental policies are “destructive for Europe,” yet Brussels does not tolerate discussion of these issues, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Saturday. “If we can’t tell the truth at the Brussels table that, for example, anti-Russian sanctions didn’t work, that further destruction of Ukraine and killing Ukrainians is going nowhere, that the fanatic implementation of the Green Deal is killing our economies, that 20 thousand casualties in the Gaza Strip cannot be overlooked just because Israel causes them, we are on a slippery slope that can be not only politically, but also economically destructive for Europe,” Fico wrote in a post on Facebook. The Slovak PM has cut off his own country’s military aid to Kiev and vowed to block Brussels’ next sanctions package if it includes an embargo on Russian nuclear fuel.

While Fico did not veto the European Council’s decision on Thursday to open accession talks with Ukraine, he has dismissed the vote as “a political decision that has nothing to do with reality,” and asserted that Kiev “is absolutely unprepared to open the negotiations.” Fico’s position on Ukraine’s membership bid is at odds with that of most EU leaders, who hailed Thursday’s decision as “a breakthrough” and “a clear signal of support” for Kiev, in the words of Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Apart from Fico, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been the EU’s staunchest critic of the bloc’s sanctions policy and its push to admit Ukraine. Orban has referred to Ukraine as “one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” and called the bloc’s leaders “senseless and irrational” for opening membership talks with a country involved in an active conflict, with an economy entirely dependent on foreign aid to function.

Before the conflict in Ukraine began, Orban regularly clashed with the EU over his hardline immigration policies. Earlier this year he accused Brussels of “raping” Hungary and Poland by introducing legislation that he said would “relocate migrants to Hungary by force.” “I respect every politician who can sovereignly stand up for the interests of his own nation, because today in Europe discussion is more of an exception than a rule,” Fico wrote on Facebook. “And Viktor Orban is the exception.” The Slovak leader said that he would take a similar approach when negotiating with the bloc’s officials, and would not seek to “collect personal praise from the West.” Fico’s position on the fighting in Ukraine was a key factor behind his party’s suspension from its European parliamentary faction, the Party of European Socialists, in October. Responding to the suspension, Fico declared that “if our exclusion from the international party is to be a price for pursuing a genuine left-wing agenda in Slovakia and voicing sovereign opinions, we are prepared to pay such a price.”

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Just blame TikTok.

US Entering 2024 With Tiniest Military Since 1941 (Sp.)

The United States will ring in the new year with its smallest active duty footprint since 1941 – the year Washington abandoned its non-interventionist foreign policy and joined the Second World War. That’s according to military strength levels outlined by the NDAA, which showed a drop in active duty personnel to 1,284,500 service members, from 1.39 million in the previous year, as recruiters face growing difficulty enticing young people to join. Observers blame a variety of factors for falling recruitment numbers, from declining confidence in the US military (from 70 percent in 2018 to about 46 percent now), to growing incidence of health problems among young people, to concerns among conservatives about the military’s increasingly “woke” culture, to falling morale in the wake of decades of illegal wars abroad.

DoD acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness Ashish Vazirani told lawmakers this week that the military had recruited about 41,000 troops less than planned over the course of 2023. “That number understates [sic] the challenge before us as the services lowered end-strength goals in recent years, in part because of the difficult recruiting environment,” Vazirani said. Citing “low trust in institutions” being a key problem among young people – specifically people from Generation Z born between 1997 and 2012, Vazirani stressed that America’s all-volunteer armed forces are presently facing “one of the greatest challenges since inception” in 1973 and the end of the draft. Some officials have proposed novel solutions for resolving the drought in recruits, with Democratic Senator Dick Durban telling his Senate colleagues earlier this month that illegal immigrants flooding into the country could be conscripted to fight in the wars Americans don’t want to.

“Yes, we need order at the border. Yes, we need to have changes in the laws that reflect the reality of the overwhelming numbers from all over the world who are coming to our shores and our border. But there’s also an incredible demand for legal immigration into this country even now. The presiding officer, my colleague from the state of Illinois has legislation which addresses one aspect of that. Her bill…says that if you are an undocumented person in this country, and you can pass the physical and the required background tests, you can serve in our military and if you do it honorably, we will make you citizens of the United States,” Durban said on the Senate floor during a debate on immigration and border security. “Do we need that? Do you know what the recruiting numbers are in the Army, and the Navy, and the Air Force?” Durban asked. “They can’t reach their quotas each month. They can’t find enough people to join our military forces, and there are those who are undocumented who want the chance to serve and risk their lives for this country. Should we give them the chance? I think we should.”

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“Nonwhites, especially Hispanics, just as often consider pregnancy great news. They think of the baby as a blessing. The ultimate blessing.”

Last of the Caucasians (Jeffries)

How does a “Great Replacement” work exactly? Well, it would be impossible without the cooperation of those who are being replaced. White females, especially, were conditioned into thinking that motherhood, particularly when combined with household drudgery, was something to be avoided. The tremendous increase in casual sex, and the availability of abortions. The channeling of the maternal instinct towards animals. Feminism created the “career woman” whose job, not family, was her top priority. Males enjoyed being the first generation to have the opportunity to have multiple sex partners. I knew very few males from my generation who didn’t pay for at least one, if not more abortions. With great relief. At the same time, the White nuclear family was belittled and demonized in films and on television. Actors playing adult children were shown as being ostracized from their parents, and dreading the occasional interaction with them.

We went from Ward Cleaver to Al Bundy in a very short period of time. Dysfunction was the norm in these productions, and it should be no surprise that those raised on this propaganda began living it out in real life. Life imitates art. Literally every family I know now is riddled with dysfunction. If you lose respect for the nuclear family, there is little reason for you to want children, which are the foundation of the family unit. I fell prey to this a bit myself. I love children, and ideally wanted a huge family. But I limited myself to the then “new norm” of two kids. As a White boomer, I’d been conditioned to think “responsibly.” Children cost a lot. Can we really afford them? How many White couples have not asked themselves this question? When a White woman becomes pregnant by a White man, it’s often considered bad news, especially if they aren’t married. They mull over the options, and often choose abortion.

Nonwhites, especially Hispanics, just as often consider pregnancy great news. They think of the baby as a blessing. The ultimate blessing. Their religious faith, which is usually Catholic, is stronger than mass media messaging. My very large family is full of middle-aged White females with no children. I’ve heard any number of White relatives proclaim that they didn’t want children. Remember, almost all of them were raised Catholics, where huge families were common. I don’t understand this mindset, but my libertarian impulse is to say, fine- that’s your decision. But the problem is this decision didn’t happen naturally, at least in the vast majority of cases. They were brainwashed, propagandized, into thinking this way. It’s an unnatural way to think. And no other race thinks this way. Of course, because so many Whites accepted the programming, White birth rates began to plummet. Which was the foundation for the Great Replacement.

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“..the cartels are “making more money than they have in their entire existence..”

‘No One Off the Table’ for Deportation If Trump Re-Elected – Ex-ICE Chief (Sp.)

Former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tom Homan has lambasted the Biden administration’s border policies for generating the ongoing migrant crisis. Homan led ICE during the Trump administration between 2017 and 2018. He speculated in a US media interview that if the ex-President were to return after the 2024 elections for another stint at the White House, he could help launch a “historic” deportation program. No illegal immigrant would be “off the table,” Homan stressed. Homan quoted official data showing that under the Biden administration, deportations had dropped from a high of 267,258 in 2019 to 72,177 in 2022. According to the former agency chief, the Biden administrations border polices have in effect “enriched and emboldened” the people-trafficking cartels. The ex-ICE chief weighed in on the recent news that US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) had issued a memo last week warning agents to “exercise extreme caution and should report any possible armed subjects approaching the border with possible explosive devices”.

The internal officer safety alert followed discovery of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by agents stationed at a Tucson border post. 10 more IEDs were seized by the Mexican military after a gunfight between rival cartels close to a border fence gap, over control of the area increasingly being used for weapons, drugs and people smuggling. Cartels in Mexico have been using IEDs since 2010 against both rival groups and the Mexican military, Homan noted. He lamented that the cartels are “making more money than they have in their entire existence,” smuggling illegal immigrants and drugs. The gangs are well-trained, possess sophisticated weaponry and “meet all the definitions of terrorist organizations,” he warned, adding that “US special intelligence and special ops are the only means of taking them out.” “We have to take action, this is a serious threat to the security of the United States,” Homan said.

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No, let her run against Trump. Much more fun.

The Time to Replace Kamala Harris Is Now (Saperstein)

2024 is going to consist of an attack on Biden for being too old and frail, combined with an attack on his VP, who would become president if Biden died. The attack on Biden will be simple: endless, repeated videos of him slurring words, misstating facts, stumbling, looking lost, forgetting names — all the classic signs of dementia. The Republicans ignored Kamala in 2020, but they won’t in 2024 because of Biden’s age. They will be shouting from the rooftops, “Hey, people, this person could become your President!” Remember that the person we are talking about entered the 2020 primaries polling 18% and, after four debates, fell to 6% and dropped out. I can’t remember any presidential aspirant falling so far, so fast, so there should be no argument Kamala is a truly terrible candidate. But there is more, much more.

My career was as a trial lawyer in the SF Bay Area. The mayor and later Speaker of the California Assembly, Willie Brown, was a personal friend and political supporter of trial lawyers. I loved Willie. He was smart, politically gifted — he supported everything I ever asked him for — and funny. Willie defined the word “dapper.” We’d go shopping at the same store, Wilkes Bashford, where he was the King. He would always tell the staff, “Now, you take care of my white buddy Guy. Whites are not blessed with my good taste, so help the poor boy.” Willie had more charm than ten white boys. Willie was married and estranged from his wife. It was well-known he had a young — 30 years younger — black girlfriend. He didn’t even try to hide it. The girlfriend was Kamala Harris, then a nondescript assistant city attorney.

Next thing I knew, Kamala was running for District Attorney, supported by Willie’s powerful political machine against the then DA, Terence Hallinan, a progressive. Willie’s machine won and Kamala became San Francisco DA. Next next thing I knew, assistant San Francisco DAs were calling me and asking, “Where is Kamala?” They knew I was a friend of Willie’s. Apparently, she wasn’t showing up for work. A few months later, I read that Kamala had been read the riot act by a solid Democratic judge for not maintaining good chain of custody for evidence. “Chain of custody” is a legal term which means that the evidence you submit to the court is that same uncontaminated evidence you seized at the crime scene. Before I became a civil rights class action lawyer, I did 50 criminal jury trials, and chain of custody was never an issue because the DA would do his/her job competently and insure that the correct evidence was presented to the court. But that was before Kamala’s laziness set new standards.

Kamala was hauled before three liberal judges who were outraged by her sloppiness. In response, Kamala lied under oath to all of them, trying to blame it on the police department crime lab, but that was total bullshit. When an attorney presents evidence to a court, she or he vouches for it. Kamala should have been disbarred as a result, but San Francisco is a liberal “old boys” network, and liberals protect even lying, unethical DAs. When the dust cleared, 1,100 FELONIES had to be dismissed — and by Democratic judges. In the history of American jurisprudence, I don’t think this has ever happened. Just think of what it means to have 1,100 felonies dismissed for defective chain-of-custody. Harris was willing to allow 1,100 people to go to prison for years because she wouldn’t admit her errors.

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“..the House wants it this way. Witnesses, even a president’s son, do not get to choose how or when they appear..”

Eric Swalwell and The Politics of Contempt (Turley)

This week, millions of people were glued to their televisions as Hunter Biden defied a House subpoena in a press conference with the Capitol building in the background. It was an act of legal self-immolation as the president’s son engaged in flagrant contempt of Congress, a federal crime. Stranger still was that behind Hunter was standing his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, who watched as his client effectively begged to be criminally charged. But it was a familiar figure behind Lowell that was the most incongruous: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). At first, one had to wonder whether Swalwell had simply wandered by the presser on the way to his office. But the Biden team set up the conference on the Senate side — out of the reach of the House sergeant at arms, who might not have reacted well to an act of open contempt of Congress on his side of the Capitol. We later learned that Swalwell was not there simply as a pedestrian, but as a participant.

It was Swalwell who helped orchestrate the defiance of his own House and facilitated an alleged federal crime. As first reported by the Washington Examiner, Swalwell used his official position to reserve the space for the press conference and lent his assistance to Hunter in refusing to appear before the House committees investigating his father, President Biden. It was a curious role for a former House impeachment manager to play in assisting in the obstruction of an impeachment inquiry of three House committees. Of course, Swalwell has argued for the rounding up of anyone who aided and abetted the unlawful conduct during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Indeed, in 2021 Swalwell sponsored a resolution exploring whether dozens of Republican colleagues could be expelled under the 14th Amendment for aiding and abetting an insurrection by “making unsubstantiated claims of systematic election and voter fraud.”

Now, Swalwell was standing in front of the same building aiding and abetting both a potential crime and the obstruction of congressional proceedings. Hunter was not just committing contempt of Congress; he was parading his contempt with Swalwell as the drum major. What followed him was contempt on steroids. All Hunter had to do was walk into the building behind him to appear in the deposition and plead the 5th Amendment to refuse to testify, as others have done. The only option he did not have was to refuse to appear. Swalwell insisted that it was the fault of the House for insisting on a closed-door deposition, which he portrayed as outrageous. It was another hypocritical moment since the Democrats insisted on the same process for witnesses, including those who appeared before the Jan. 6th committee.

It was also how Swalwell and his colleagues handled the investigation of the Ukrainian telephone call by Trump. Indeed, Swalwell participated in closed depositions and then gave interviews after they were held in private. There are various reasons for closed deposition preceding public hearings. First, these depositions allow professional staff to conduct questioning in a methodical and professional manner. In a public hearing, questioning is conducted by members who are often ill-equipped for substantive inquiries. Second, Hunter must be asked about an array of financial documents and communications involving names and privacy protected information. In a public hearing, the use of such documents would trigger redactions and interruptions in their use. Third, these depositions allow for in-depth questioning on transactions and communications. In a public hearing, members are confined to a five-minute rule that guarantees questioning cannot achieve much, if any, depth.

Both Hunter and Swalwell likely knew that, and that is precisely why they wanted a public hearing. Notably, after saying that he wanted to answer all questions in public, Hunter then refused to answer any questions in public put forward by the press. The fourth and most important reason for the deposition is that the House wants it this way. Witnesses, even a president’s son, do not get to choose how or when they appear. Two Trump associates – Steven Bannon and Peter Navarro – refused to appear in the House and were quickly held in contempt by a majority of the House, including Swalwell. Indeed, President Biden himself has maintained that defying subpoenas cannot be tolerated. When subpoenas were issued to Republicans during the House’s Jan. 6 investigation, Biden declared: “I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them accountable criminally.”

[..] The issue is whether the House has a right to demand answers in this investigation. One member was particularly passionate in 2018 in calling for contempt sanctions against Steve Bannon: “If they don’t force him to answer legitimate questions, they will be ceding Congress’ authority, and we’ll be setting a very, very dangerous precedent that people can just tell Congress what they will and will not answer, and will show no resolve to use our subpoena power to get to the bottom of what’s going on.” That was Eric Swalwell.

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Nice project.

Musk’s Starlink Breaks Through Bureaucracy and Corruption in Africa (ET)

Elon Musk’s revolutionary satellite internet service, Starlink, is spreading across Africa, flying in the face of repressive and corrupt regimes that are trying to block it. In some cases, African companies are “illegally” importing and selling the equipment to allow users to bypass expensive and often state-controlled internet service providers (ISPs), and to use the cheaper and faster connectivity provided by the world’s richest man. Many Africans living in countries where authorities haven’t yet granted regulatory licenses to Starlink, which is a division of SpaceX, are also accessing its services using signal-boosting equipment. The signal boosters enable users to link to a SpaceX “ground station” in Nigeria, which in January became the first African country to grant regulatory approval to Starlink services. “The tech revolution is happening at a pace that most African governments just cannot keep up with,” said Arthur Goldstuck, founder and CEO of World Wide Worx, one of Africa’s leading tech firms.

“The genie is out the bottle. The sooner they realize that they can’t control the uncontrollable, the better for them and the better for their people,” he said. Mr. Goldstuck said Africa is the world’s fastest-growing, but most “technologically-starved,” continent. “Data is expensive in Africa, and you can’t progress in the modern world when data is expensive. So demand for well-priced and speedy connectivity has exploded. Musk is feeding this demand,” he told The Epoch Times. “Some governments don’t like this, because they want to control everything, and mostly they want to control money and information flows.” Starlink, operated by Mr. Musk’s SpaceX spacecraft manufacturer and satellite operator, has a constellation of thousands of satellites in low orbit, delivering the world’s “most advanced broadband internet system” to 60 countries, according to its website.

Mr. Goldstuck said “progressive” African governments that encourage private enterprise and respect its ability to help develop their countries have “no problem” with Starlink and recognize its value. “It offers high-speed streaming, video calls, and remote working, all of which contribute a lot to economic efficiency,” he said. Officially, Starlink is available in only seven of Africa’s 54 countries: Benin, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Zambia. Another 25 are scheduled to go online in 2024. “Look at where [the] powers-that-be are trying to prevent the entrance of Starlink: It’s war-torn countries like Sudan, Libya, and Somalia. It’s repressive regimes like Congo and Equatorial Guinea, that restrict access to information,” Mr. Goldstuck said. “And it’s governments that have vested interests in keeping data expensive, and that have unreasonable rules designed to benefit political elites, like South Africa.”

Some African governments slap heavy taxes on private telecom services and infrastructure. For decades, the data needed to access the internet in Africa has been controlled by just a few multinational mobile telecommunications corporations, including South Africa’s MTN Group and Vodacom, and Kenya’s Safaricom. Their data packages are prohibitively expensive. In July 2022, research by British technology company Cable, published in Mobile Magazine, showed that six of the 10 countries with the most expensive data are in sub-Saharan Africa.In the tiny, mineral-rich kleptocracy of Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa, one gigabyte (GB) costs almost $50, the highest price for data in the world. In Chad, 1 GB costs $24. Until Starlink’s recent arrival, 1 GB was priced at $26 in Malawi.

An August 2022 report by global statistics service Statista calculated the average cost of 1 GB of mobile data in sub-Saharan Africa at $4.47. A one-time hardware and installation cost of Starlink kits, which contain a motorized satellite dish, assorted cables, a metal tripod stand, a power adapter, and a Wi-Fi router, is about the same everywhere: $550. But basic monthly subscription prices in the developed world, compared with those in Africa, are very different. In the United States, for example, Starlink’s monthly service fee is $110. In the African countries that officially have Starlink, the average price is about $45. This $45 package allows users to download 1,000 GB of data, meaning 1GB costs Africans less than $0.50—nine times cheaper than the average in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Plimer

 

 

Venus

 

 

Eagle

 

 

Visual expression

 

 

 

 

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Oct 292023
 
 October 29, 2023  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  44 Responses »


Paul Klee Girl in Mourning 1939

 

Biden Must Call a Ceasefire in Gaza – If Only to Save Himself (Jay)
Iran-Russia Set A Western Trap In Palestine (Pepe Escobar)
US Neocons ‘Slow-Walking America Into War’ (Sp.)
Netanyahu Refuses To Order Wide-Scale Ground Operation In Gaza – NYT (TASS)
Netanyahu Tells Israelis To Prepare For ‘Long And Difficult’ War (RT)
Lavrov Cautions World Against Crisis For ‘Decades, If Not Ages’ In Gaza (TASS)
US Aid to Ukraine May Fade Slowly and Then All at Once (Sp.)
Musk To Provide Starlink Access To Gaza (RT)
Israel Threatens To Destroy Musk’s Starlink (RT)
Erdogan Accuses Israel Of ‘War Crimes’ (RT)
5,000 US Troops Involved In Gaza Offensive – Iran Media (RT)
US Denies American Troops Took Part in Israeli Ground Offensive (Sp.)
Ukraine ‘One Of The Most Corrupt Countries In The World’ – Fico (RT)

 

 

 

 

Douglas Macgregor: We Are On the Brink of Total War

 

 

Amalek

 

 

Bibi1980s

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibi needs a war to save himself, and Biden needs a ceasefire…

Biden Must Call a Ceasefire in Gaza – If Only to Save Himself (Jay)

The Biden administration is becoming increasingly edgy about the crisis in Gaza and what the objectives are for the Netanyahu war camp. Most of all, it’s worried that it is being carefully coaxed into a war between Israel and Iran which even the hapless U.S. president knows is not somewhere he wants to go, regardless of how far he is away from his re-election campaign. Netanyahu, for his part, is not even sure himself if he actually wants to launch a ground offensive and a number of top analysts are even predicting that he even won’t go ahead with it, given what’s at stake and the history of such initiatives in the past. Politically, he is not at all in a good place right now and the attack on October 7th in many ways, while buying him time in office and allowing him freedom from corruption investigations, is a double-edged sword which will dismember him when Israelis’ patience runs out. Most blame him for the attacks and kidnappings in the first place so he has a limited amount of political bandwidth to work with.

His strategy seems to be more about playing it cool and letting time take its toll. Even though he doesn’t have too much time himself, Biden has much less. The stranglehold that Netanyahu has on Biden tightens each day, when it is clear that Biden doesn’t have the patent ability to invoke a ceasefire and do what most U.S. presidents should do: behave like a superpower. This, apparently will have to be left to the two real superpowers who tend to do more and talk less: China and Russia. For the moment both Biden and Netanyahu are both waiting for a miracle to happen which allows for a ceasefire to happen without Netanyahu losing face. Biden could simply insist that Netanyahu stops the campaign and then at least Bibi could say to the world “this is what the U.S. has asked us to do”. But even in this setup, there would be a price to pay for Biden and his administration elsewhere.

As more and more Iranian militias build up on the Syrian-Israel border and the narrative heats up between Hezbollah and Israel, everyone in fact is looking for a stroke of luck to throw the entire gruesome slaughter out of sync. Biden could do this. He could be bold and courageous and show real élan on the world stage. But that’s just not what he does. Despite being an old school neocon and being a huge advocate for NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, these days he has lost his mojo. He simply doesn’t know what he wants with Israel, a country which he always professed to being a great supporter of, but whose present administration is not where Biden wants U.S. foreign policy to be. Many experts question what actually is at the heart of the U.S.-Israel relationship and the 3bn dollars it hands to Israel each year in military aid? For a long time, it was the special relationship that Israel cherished while it, Israel, acted on behalf of the U.S. in the region and was there just in case Arab countries lost their way in their token allegiance to U.S. hegemony. At the very least it was an outpost.

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Financial war.

Iran-Russia Set A Western Trap In Palestine (Pepe Escobar)

Hamas has called on the millions of Palestinians in the diaspora, as well as the whole Arab world and all lands of Islam, to unite. Slowly but surely, a pattern may be discerned: could the Arab world – and great swathes of Islam – be on the verge of significantly uniting to avenge their own “century of humiliation” – much as the Chinese did after WWII with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping? Beijing, via its sophisticated diplomacy, is certainly hinting at it to key players, even before the ground-breaking, Russia-China brokered Iran-Saudi rapprochement was struck earlier this year. That by itself won’t thwart the perpetual US neocon obsession to bomb critical infrastructure in Iran. Worth less than zero when it comes to military science, these neocons ignore how Iranian retaliation would – accurately – target each and every US base in Iraq and Syria, with the Persian Gulf an open case.

Peerless Russian military analyst Andrei Martyanov has shown what could happen to those expensive American iron bathtubs in the Eastern Mediterranean in case of an Israeli-threatened attack on Iran. Moreover, there are at least 1,000 US troops in northern Syria stealing the country’s oil – which would also become an instant target. Ali Fadavi, IRGC’s deputy commander-in-chief, cut to the chase: “We have technologies in the military field that no one knows about, and the Americans will know about them when we use them.” Cue to Iranian hypersonic Fattah missiles – cousins to the Khinzal and the DF-27 – traveling at Mach 15, and able to reach any target in Israel in 400 seconds. And add to it sophisticated Russian electronic warfare (EW). As confirmed in Moscow six months ago, when it comes to military interconnection, the Iranians told the Russians at the same table, “whatever you need, just ask.”

The same applies vice-versa, because the mutual enemy is one and the same. The heart of the matter in any Russian-Iran strategy is the Strait of Hormuz, through which transits at least 20 percent of the world’s oil (nearly 17 million barrels a day) plus 18 percent of liquified natural gas (LNG), which amounts to at least 3.5 billion cubic feet a day. Iran is able to block the Strait of Hormuz in a flash. For starters, that would be some sort of poetic justice retribution for Israel aiming to gobble up, illegally, all the multibillion-dollar natural gas discovered offshore Gaza: this is, incidentally, one of the absolutely key reasons for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Yet the real deal will be to bring down the Wall Street-engineered $618 trillion derivative structure, as confirmed for years by analysts at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, as well as independent Persian Gulf energy traders.

So when push comes to shove – and way beyond the defense of Palestine and in a scenario of Total War – not only Russia-Iran but key players of the Arab world about to become members of BRICS 11 – such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE – do have what it takes to bring down the US financial system anytime they choose. As an old school Deep State higher up, now in business in Central Europe, stresses: “The Islamic nations have the economic advantage. They can blow up the international financial system by cutting off the oil. They do not have to fire a single shot. Iran and Saudi Arabia are allying together. The 2008 crisis took 29 trillion dollars to solve but this one, should it happen, could not be solved even with 100 trillion dollars of fiat instruments.” As Persian Gulf traders told me, one possible scenario is OPEC starting to sanction Europe, first from Kuwait and then spreading from one OPEC country to another and to all countries that are treating the Muslim world as enemies and war fodder.

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“.. this one, I think, should get a gold star for its most hypocritical reasoning in history.”

US Neocons ‘Slow-Walking America Into War’ (Sp.)

As Islamic resistance continues to grow amid the ongoing bombardment and siege of Gaza by Tel Aviv, and especially if the Israeli military proceeds with a ground assault on the enclave, the world could witness a regional escalation “the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite a long time,” Christopher Helali, an independent investigative journalist, told Sputnik. Furthermore, as hawkish politicians in the US sign off on covert attempts to use the latest Palestine-Israel conflagration to “put the squeeze on Iran”, the pundit added, this further “raises the specter” that Tehran, for Israel – a US non-NATO ally – “remains the main target, even though they talk about Hamas.” Chris Helali pointed to the recent Israeli incursion, using tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other military vehicles, into northern Gaza as signaling that there are preparations for a larger ground assault.

Taking stock of the spiraling death toll in Gaza, pounded by Israeli retaliatory strikes since Hamas’ surprise attack earlier in October, the analyst said: “I think that the longer this goes on, the more Palestinians are arrested, killed, and wounded, and the more families are affected by this, I think we could definitely see an escalation in the occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem.” The Israeli military, which has so far held off from a much-touted ground offensive on Gaza, recently said it had conducted a raid with tanks into the northern part of the enclave in preparation for the next stage of fighting. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also confirmed that a ground incursion was coming, reiterating that the goal is to destroy Hamas’ military and governance capabilities.

Chris Helali mentioned Netanyahu’s speech, which echoed the rhetoric of other Israeli officials, trying to liken Hamas to terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Daesh to justify the pummeling that Gaza was receiving. Emphasizing that Israel was doing so to try to “rebuild the international coalition that helped to defeat the Islamic State in Syria, in Iraq and elsewhere,” the analyst nevertheless voiced the opinion that Tel Aviv would need to “tread very carefully, given all the destruction they’ve brought.” “It looks like Armageddon,” Chris Helali said, referring to the current situation in Gaza. President Joe Biden, who rushed to dramatically beef up the US presence in the Middle East after the situation escalated by sending two carrier strike groups along with thousands of Marines and more warplanes to the region, responded to a reporter’s question about the Palestinian death count, saying that at the White House: “What they say to me is I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed… I have no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using.”

“How reprehensible it is that the president would say something like this, and that many so-called independent media personalities and mainstream media outlets are toeing this line, that somehow these numbers are inflated. This is as reprehensible as when people deny the numbers of the Holocaust… the fact that somehow one Israeli life is worth more than a Palestinian life – an ongoing theme that we’ve seen throughout the decades – is horrific for me… It shows this double standard, this level of hypocrisy,” Helali said. “Anyone with eyes can look at what the Israelis have done to Gaza. They have flattened it… Hospitals are blown up, churches… I mean, the idea that they’re lying about these deaths, when you can see it very clearly with your own eyes, it’s the height of cynicism,” agreed Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. The hypocrisy is “astonishing,” he said, adding: “This is always astonishing in every administration. But this one, I think, should get a gold star for its most hypocritical reasoning in history.”

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US?

Netanyahu Refuses To Order Wide-Scale Ground Operation In Gaza – NYT (TASS)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to sign the order on beginning of a wide-scale ground operation in the Gaza Strip out of fear of losing trust of the people, should the operation fail, the New York Times reported citing sources in the Israeli government. According to two sources, who were present during meetings of the emergency cabinet, Netanyahu “outraged senior officers by refusing to sign the plan” of the. His refusal, the sources note, was partially motivated by the Prime Minister’s desire to obtain a unanimous approval of this step from the emergency cabinet, established jointly with the opposition after the October 7 attacks.

The NYT claims that Netanyahu’s refusal indicates disagreements within the cabinet, with some ministers considering a less ambitious invasion plan, which includes several operations covering a small portion of the enclave instead of a single wide-scale one. Analysts say that the Prime Minister is unwilling to approve the action plan out of concerns that he will be blamed for the operation’s potential failure amid the falling public trust. On October 25, Axios reported citing US officials that Netanyahu is skeptical about the armed forces’ command plans and intends to postpone the beginning of the ground operation in the Gaza Strip. According to Axios sources, the Prime Minister needs time to listen to different points of view and to provide the negotiators with more options to liberate hostages while the army prepares for the operation.

On October 24, the Times of Israel said that the Israeli ground operation in Gaza may be postponed for a long term or even not take place at all. Meanwhile, the IDF reported full readiness for a ground operation after over 550 rocket strikes, carried out within 16 days. According to CNN, Washington pressured Israel, urging it to postpone the operation and to release the hostages held in the enclave. However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC that the Jewish state must make an independent decision in this regard, and the US can only advise.

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“..ground operations in Gaza will continue “until new orders are given.”

Who gives the orders?

Netanyahu Tells Israelis To Prepare For ‘Long And Difficult’ War (RT)

The Israeli military has launched the “second stage” of war against Hamas militants in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address on Saturday night, while warning citizens to prepare for a long struggle ahead. “In the initial weeks of the war, we launched massive airstrikes that dealt a severe blow to the enemy… We eliminated many terrorists,” the PM said in his address to the Israelis. In three weeks of Israeli air raids, the death toll in Gaza has exceeded 8,000 people, “half of whom are children,” the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave told AFP early Sunday. It remains unclear how many of the casualties were actual combatants.

“However, we are only at the beginning of the road. The battle within the Gaza Strip will be difficult and long,” Netanyahu warned, while stressing that “this is our second War of Independence. This is our mission, our purpose in life, and together we will prevail.” The IDF’s expansion of its operation comes almost three weeks after Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on the Jewish state, hammering Israeli towns and cities with rockets and raiding settlements near the Gaza border. Around 1,400 Israelis have been killed since the war began, and over 200 taken hostage, according to Israeli officials. “Last night, additional ground forces entered Gaza, marking the beginning of the second stage of the war, whose goal is to destroy the military and political capabilities of Hamas and to bring our kidnapped citizens back,” Netanyahu declared.

Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with airstrikes throughout Friday and Saturday nights, as ground troops and armor were launched in a significant incursion into the Palestinian enclave. It is unclear, however, whether the ongoing “expanded” ground operations will be followed by a larger invasion. There are concerns that a full-scale invasion may result in heavy Israeli casualties and trigger an escalation with other regional players, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also said on Saturday that Israel has “moved on to a new phase in the war,” and said that ground operations in Gaza will continue “until new orders are given.”

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“..the US veto showed “that their task includes supporting Israel in any of its actions..”

Lavrov Cautions World Against Crisis For ‘Decades, If Not Ages’ In Gaza (TASS)

Destroying the Gaza Strip or expelling 2 mln residents from the Palestinian enclave risks causing a crisis that may last decades, if not ages, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told BelTA in an interview. “If Gaza is destroyed or if 2 mln people are expelled from there <…>, this would cause a crisis for decades, if not ages,” Lavrov said as he urged humanitarian efforts to rescue the Gaza population. According to Russia’s top diplomat, the resolution at the United Nations Security Council drafted by Russia jointly with China and Arab countries was aimed at achieving exactly these goals, as he referred to the provision of food and thermal power to people in Gaza. However, the US veto showed “that their task includes supporting Israel in any of its actions,” Lavrov lamented.

Tensions in the Middle East flared up again on October 7 when Hamas militants launched a surprise incursion into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian movement described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel declared a total siege of Gaza and started carrying out strikes on the Palestinian enclave, as well as on certain areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank.

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Use Israel to cut off Ukraine.

US Aid to Ukraine May Fade Slowly and Then All at Once (Sp.)

Republicans are inclined to place Israel’s needs above those of Ukraine for a number of reasons, as per Professor David Woodard, Clemson University political scientist and former political consultant for Republican congressmen. “The US was the first nation to recognize Israel as a nation-state in 1948 and both parties have supported it,” Woodard told Sputnik. “Two Republican presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush conducted successful Middle East military campaigns and it was always said that the operations were to ‘protect the state of Israel.’ The Democrats have a painful memory of the Iranian Rescue Mission by the US when Jimmy Carter was president to rescue American hostages as a failed policy. Conservatives have closer ties to the Judeo-Christian legacy than the secular Democrats. The GOP candidates have a natural conservative allegiance to Israel, it goes very deep.”

In addition to that, the Ukraine war “presents a problem the longer it continues,” according to the political scientist. The Kiev regime’s summer offensive has failed to meet the West’s expectations with the Ukrainians making zero progress on the ground and sustaining tremendous losses in terms of both manpower and equipment. The continuation of Kiev’s counteroffensive attempt in the fall has yet to show any results either. Moreover, the Biden administration has recently acknowledged that it expects Russia to make new tactical gains on the ground in the near future. Given Ukraine’s inability to show progress, funding may become more controversial, per the political scientist. “American history shows that protracted wars are costly for presidents and their party,” explained Woodard.

“Abraham Lincoln had to have a Union victory in Atlanta to survive the 1864 election to a second term. Truman in Korea and Lyndon Johnson in Vietnam found that as military losses mount over time, the public becomes weary and they stepped aside for the next election. George W. Bush is the latest president to endure such criticism over time, so much so that he was hamstrung to act. If the fall military campaign is successful, I suspect that the US will stay involved, but you should remember that the Tet Offensive (1968) in Vietnam turned American public opinion against the war.” 53% of American respondents to say that sending US troops to fight in Vietnam was a mistake, with just 35% believing that it wasn’t in August 1968. Earlier, in March 1968, then US President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not seek a second term. US historians agree that the Tet Offensive was the beginning of the end of Washington’s Vietnam military adventure.

Likewise, an October Ipsos poll concerning Washington’s aid to Kiev indicated that US public support for arming Ukraine is continuing to decline. Currently, around 52% of Democrats support arming Ukraine, down from 61% in May. The majority of Republicans are opposed to sending weapons to Kiev, with the number of those supporting aid to Ukraine falling from 39% in May to 35%. On top of that, 56% of Republicans and 34% of Democrats believe that Ukraine’s problems “are none of our business and we should not interfere.” Still, Woodard believes that the White House won’t cut Ukraine’s aid abruptly: Team Biden does not want to look weak and susceptible to the GOP’s pressure. “For a time the US will try to fund both [Ukraine and Israel], but only for a short time. The withdrawal from Afghanistan by the Biden administration was a catastrophe for the president, he doesn’t want to be seen as being weak after that incident and cutting from Kiev would be a public relations disaster,” the political scientist concluded.

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“It is not clear who has authority for ground links in Gaza, but do we know that no terminal has requested a connection in that area..”

Musk To Provide Starlink Access To Gaza (RT)

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has said that he will provide satellite internet access to “internationally recognized aid organizations” in Gaza via his Starlink network. Phone and internet lines went down in the enclave after a heavy Israeli bombardment on Friday. Musk made his announcement on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday, stating that SpaceX’s Starlink division would “support connectivity” with the besieged strip. There are apparently a number of Starlink terminals in Gaza, but in a separate post on Saturday, Musk said that none of these devices had attempted to communicate with the satellite network. “It is not clear who has authority for ground links in Gaza, but do we know that no terminal has requested a connection in that area,” he wrote on X.

Internet and cell phone services stopped working in Gaza on Friday night after a wave of Israeli airstrikes. Gaza’s largest telecommunications operator, Paltel, announced that its infrastructure had been totally destroyed in the bombing, which preceded the deployment of Israeli ground troops to the enclave. “The intense bombing in the last hour caused the destruction of all remaining international routes linking Gaza to the outside world,” the company said. The outage left news organizations and aid groups unable to reach their workers, with the UN children’s agency and Doctors Without Borders both reporting no contact from their employees. RT Arabic was also temporarily unable to contact its correspondents and photographers in Gaza.

Musk’s announcement marks the second time that he has deployed Starlink to a combat zone. Shortly after the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the tech tycoon announced that he would deliver Starlink terminals to the Ukrainian side and pay for their upkeep. However, he fell out of favor with Kiev when he barred the Ukrainian military from using the network to guide drone strikes on Russian ships in the Black Sea. “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation,” he explained last month. The Pentagon has since announced a deal to lease Starlink satellites for military use.

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They want zero info coming out.

Israel Threatens To Destroy Musk’s Starlink (RT)

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Kahri has vowed that “Israel will use all means at its disposal to fight” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s planned provision of Starlink internet access to Gaza. “Hamas will use it for terrorist activities,” Kahri claimed in a post on X (formerly Twitter), adding that “there is no doubt about it, we know it, and Musk knows it.” In response, the tech billionaire said he is “not so naive,” explaining how the proposed scheme would work, while promising to “do a security check with both the US and Israeli governments before turning on even a single terminal.” “Per my post, no Starlink terminal has attempted to connect from Gaza. If one does, we will take extraordinary measures to confirm that it is used *only* for purely humanitarian reasons,” Musk said.

Earlier on Saturday, Musk said that he would open the Starlink satellite network to “internationally recognized aid organizations” working in Gaza, after a wave of Israeli airstrikes severed the enclave’s last phone and internet connections with the outside world. Internet and cell phone services stopped working in Gaza on Friday night after a wave of Israeli airstrikes. The outage left news organizations and aid groups unable to reach their workers, with the UN children’s agency UNICEF, the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross and Red Crescent all reporting no contact from their employees. RT Arabic was also temporarily unable to contact its correspondents and photographers in Gaza.

Musk’s plan would mark the second time that he has deployed Starlink to a combat zone. Shortly after the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the tech tycoon supplied Kiev with Starlink terminals. However, he fell out of favor when he barred the Ukrainian military from using the network to guide drone strikes on Russian ships in the Black Sea.

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He’s waking up. Israel withdrew envoys in reaction.

Erdogan Accuses Israel Of ‘War Crimes’ (RT)

Türkiye will present evidence of Israeli war crimes in Gaza to the world, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a rally on Saturday. While Erdogan initially positioned himself as a potential mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians, he has since sided with the “freedom fighters” in Hamas.Israel’s operation in Gaza is “not defense, but an open, vicious massacre,” Erdogan told thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Istanbul. “Israel has been openly committing war crimes for exactly 22 days, but Western leaders have not even called for a ceasefire,” he declared, adding that Türkiye is gathering information to “present Israel to the world as a war criminal.”

More than 7,000 Palestinians, including nearly 3,000 children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since the current conflict began, according to the latest figures from the Gaza Health Ministry. Israeli forces dramatically ramped up their bombardment of the strip on Friday night, before sending troops and tanks into the strip. The Israeli air campaign began immediately after Hamas fighters raided Israeli towns and villages near the Gaza border on October 7, killing around 1,400 people and capturing around 250 hostages. Within days of the attack, Erdogan announced that he was “ready for all kinds of mediation, including prisoner exchange, if the parties request it.” Erdogan called on both sides to show restraint, but in the weeks that followed, his focus shifted almost exclusively to Israel.

The Turkish president declared that Israel’s siege of Gaza – which prevented food, water, medicine, and electricity from reaching the enclave – was “against the laws of war,” and accused Israel last week of committing “genocide” against the Palestinians.In a speech to lawmakers on Wednesday, he said that “Hamas is not a terrorist organization, it is a group of freedom fighters, ‘mujahideen’ [holy warriors] waging a battle to protect its lands and people.” Erdogan also said that he had canceled plans to visit Israel over the bombardment of Gaza.

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Wonder where the info comes from.

5,000 US Troops Involved In Gaza Offensive – Iran Media (RT)

Several thousand US troops have taken part in Israel’s ground operation in Gaza, the Iran-based Tasnim news agency reported on Saturday. The Pentagon has recently announced plans to significantly reinforce its military presence in the Middle East amid the Israel-Hamas conflict and tensions with Iran. According to the agency’s security sources, Israel’s assault on Gaza involved three divisions and several brigades and was also underpinned by 5,000 US military personnel. The outlet, however, did not provide any details about which troops took part in the offensive or what functions they performed. Tasmin said that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attempted to enter the enclave from several areas in the north, west, and southwest “to split the Gaza Strip into two or three sections and cut off the connection among the Palestinian resistance forces before launching the next stage of the war.”

The agency did not specify what results the Israeli military had achieved so far. However, Hamas said on Saturday that it had managed to thwart Israel’s assault, claiming to have repelled it with heavy losses. Meanwhile, the IDF stated that it was “advancing through the stages of the war” in Gaza, with fighting still ongoing. It noted that no soldiers had been injured in the “expanded” ground operations. After Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, the US military scrambled to reinforce its presence in the region. The Pentagon has sent two aircraft carriers with supporting vessels to the area, as well as “activated the deployment” of THAAD and Patriot air defense systems.

Last week, it also said it had ordered more than 2,000 additional troops to prepare to deploy in support of Israel in its conflict with Hamas. On Thursday, it said that it would deploy 900 soldiers to the Middle East. US officials, however, insisted, that none of the troops would go to Israel, and are rather “intended to support regional deterrence efforts and further bolster US force protection capabilities.” The decision to send reinforcements also came as the US conducted airstrikes on two facilities in eastern Syria allegedly used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated groups. US President Joe Biden said it was a response to recurring attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria. Tehran maintains that militant groups in those countries are acting independently.

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“We are open for an immediate swap deal that would guarantee the release of all prisoners held in occupation prisons in return for the release of all hostages held by the resistance forc..”

There are 1000s of such prisoners.

US Denies American Troops Took Part in Israeli Ground Offensive (Sp.)

The US Special Operations Command has denied media reports that alleged US forces have been involved in Israel’s ongoing ground operation in the Gaza Strip. “Definitely misinformation,” a US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) spokesperson told Sputnik on Saturday. The spokesperson’s response came in light of reports by Iranian media that some 5,000 US military personnel were taking part in the Gaza ground expansion. It was also noted American troops had largely taken control of ongoing operations, and that Israeli officials had “lost trust in the management abilities and loyalty of a number of army personnel.” Iranian media further outlined that Israeli military were working to divide their offensive in the Gaza Strip into at least two zones before launching an all-out effort to clamp down on the militant Palestinian group Hamas.

It was earlier reported by US media that Israel kicked up its military operations in light of unfruitful talks to gain the release of hostages taken by Hamas. However, media reports elsewhere offered a much different picture, with some reporting that “significant progress” had been made in ongoing talks Hamas representatives have repeatedly voiced its openness to release hostages as part of a ceasefire exchange; in fact, Yahya Sinwar, the head of the Palestinian group’s political bureau in Gaza, said on Saturday that the group was open for an “immediate swap.” “We are open for an immediate swap deal that would guarantee the release of all prisoners held in occupation prisons in return for the release of all hostages held by the resistance force,” Yahya Sinwar said.

At present, more than 200 people – believed to be both soldiers and civilians – have been taken into the group’s custody and reportedly kept in underground passageways. Earlier concerns were raised that a potential move to flood Hamas’ tunnel system would claim the lives of said hostages.

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“If the strategy is to continue to pour money there, €1.5 billion per month without any result, and we have to cut our own resources?”

Ukraine ‘One Of The Most Corrupt Countries In The World’ – Fico (RT)

Ukraine is “one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico told reporters on Friday following an EU summit in Brussels, raising doubts about the bloc’s unprecedented funding to Kiev. In particular, Fico questioned the wisdom of an additional €50 billion ($52.9 billion) earmarked for Ukraine in the EU’s proposed budget, asking rhetorically, “Did the financing of Ukraine change the outcome of this war? So let’s invest another 50 billion, and it doesn’t matter what happens?” The prime minister agreed to increase Slovakia’s contribution to the EU by about €400 million over the next four years, but only if the EU could promise it would not be stolen by Kiev. “Ukraine is among the most corrupt countries in the world and we are conditioning what is excessive financial support on guarantees that European money (including Slovak) not be embezzled,” Fico told assembled journalists.

Noting that the EU had no “peace plan” and that the leaders of several member countries had been “driven into a dead end” due to a lack of coherence on how to move forward, he said that a blank check to Ukraine would be a hard sell back home in Slovakia. “If the strategy is to continue to pour money there, €1.5 billion per month without any result, and we have to cut our own resources? After all, we have huge problems, and public money is in a difficult state,” Fico explained. In return for Slovakia’s increased contribution, Fico also required that there be no cuts to funds intended to support farmers, that the increased budget would be used to fight illegal immigration and increase EU competitiveness, that Slovak companies receive some of the contracts to rebuild Ukraine, and that the restoration of border infrastructure between the two nations be prioritized.

The Slovak PM is not the only EU leader who has balked at the bloc’s continuing efforts to bolster Kiev financially. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban declared at the summit on Friday that the strategy of sending billions in aid had failed. “The Ukrainians will not win on the battlefield,” he said, vowing not to endorse the budget revision allocating another €50 billion. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto earlier this week condemned what he described as the EU’s “war psychosis,” accusing Brussels of planning for four years of conflict with massive arms spending, including possible military investment in Ukraine, without any funding or effort put toward resolving hostilities.

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Octopus

 

 

Neo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1718335875694678434

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 022023
 
 October 2, 2023  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The Descent from the Cross 1634

 

The Western World Is Now a Tyranny (Paul Craig Roberts)
One Year Lying About US-Led NATO’s Nord Stream Terrorism Breeds More War (SCF)
Western ‘Idiots’ Want World War III – Medvedev (RT)
PM Sunak Backtracks On Sending British Troops To Ukraine (ZH)
Ukraine Must Mobilize Youths – Ex-UK Defense Chief (RT)
EU Will Back Ukraine Without The US – Borrell (RT)
‘My People Have Bigger Problems Than Ukraine’ – Fico (RT)
Russia’s Military Budget Set To Rise By 70% (RMX)
‘Camouflage’ for Zelensky to ‘Steal More Money From West’ (Sp.)
Blinken’s ‘History Lesson’ Gets Corrected By X Users (RT)
Nagorno-Karabakh Is No More (Pepe Escobar)
The Proper Way to Impeach: Steve Bannon was Right for the Wrong Reason (Turley)
Federal Prosecutors Want Gag Order Against Trump After His Recent Remarks (ET)
Trump Sues Christopher Steele Over Hoax Dossier (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter About Ukraine since 1945

 

 

 

 

TDS

 

 

 

 

Vandersteel

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all been said before..

“..a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all..”

The Western World Is Now a Tyranny (Paul Craig Roberts)

America’s reputation as “the land of the free” is rooted in the Anglo-Saxon legal and political tradition, not in diversity and multiculturalism. Law as a shield of the people instead of a weapon in the hands of rulers is a British achievement that Britain’s American colonies inherited. It was the accomplishment of a specific ethnicity known as Anglo-Saxon. Bringing rulers to the same accountability to law as the lowest peasant was a centuries-long process beginning with Alfred the Great in the 9th century and culminating in the Glorious Revolution of 1680. In this legal tradition law is based in the customs and mores of the people, not on edicts issued from rulers, government bureaucrats, regulatory agencies, and activist judges. Obviously, this conveys an ethnic basis to law. A Tower of Babel–the fate of all diminishing white countries today–has no common customs and mores and no basis for law other than rulers’ edicts enforced by power.

Throughout the Western World today the people have lost the protection of law as a shield and suffer under rulers who wield law as a weapon. In the United States today demonstrators and rally attendees are turned into “insurrectionists” and sentenced to prison. Even US President Donald Trump is being subjected to four fake felony prosecutions in order to prevent him from being elected president. During my youth law was seen as a shield of our rights, not as a weapon to be used against us. US Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland explained in 1934 that the purpose of law was to discover innocence or guilt, not to dispose of an enemy:

“The United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocent suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor–and indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.”

US Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson saw it the same way: “Any prosecutor who risks his day-to-day professional name for fair dealing to build up statistics for success has a perverted sense of practical values, as well as defects of character… A sensitiveness to fair play is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power, and the citizen’s safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility.” In 1940 Jackson said that unethical prosecutors are a threat to justice because of the danger that the prosecutor..

..“will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted. With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone. In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him. It is in this realm–in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies. It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political view, or being personally obnoxious, or in the way of the prosecutor himself.”

Robert Jackson’s 83-year old description of unethical prosecution precisely describes all of the “investigations,” impeachments, and indictments of President Trump that have been ongoing since 2016 for 8 years and show no sign of abating. The prosecutions of Trump are clearly prosecutions for the purpose of getting rid of a leader who presumes to challenge the ruling establishment. The prosecutions of Trump underline the termination in the US of the impartial rule of law.

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“The reality is fascism, imperialist lawlessness and barbarity are already well-ensconced in this White House.”

One Year Lying About US-Led NATO’s Nord Stream Terrorism Breeds More War (SCF)

Washington’s imperialist interests of dominating Europe and displacing Russia as an energy supplier are central to the reason for the war in Ukraine. This selfish and criminal agenda becomes evident if the Nord Stream act of terrorism is acknowledged and properly understood. The Western public would be up in arms over the false propaganda about the Ukraine war and the supposed “defense of democracy”. Not only that but the European and NATO states would be seen as the criminal accomplices and pathetic vassals that they are. The United States sabotages European civilian infrastructure and the economies of its supposed allies – and yet those allies utter not a word of protest. Indeed, they have willingly and meekly participated in their self-harm.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other European leaders should be prosecuted for complicity in international terrorism and treason against their national interests. Ironically, this week, Joe Biden while in Arizona dared to tell American voters that they face a stark choice in the presidential elections coming next year. Biden said the choice would be for U.S. citizens to either “support democracy” under his continued leadership or “elect extremism” under Donald Trump or some other Republican candidate. What could be more extreme than Biden ordering his military agencies to blow up gas pipelines owned by Russia and other European states?The fact that Biden and the United States have been permitted to get away with the outrage of Nord Stream terrorism is why Washington and its NATO acolytes have continually escalated the proxy war in Ukraine against Russia over the past year.

The astounding impunity afforded to the U.S. and its NATO accomplices over the Nord Stream incident is consistent with the way these same imperialist powers have gotten away with mass murder and waging criminal wars for decades without any prosecutions. The U.S. establishment and its clandestine agencies are a criminal syndicate that also suffers from delusions of virtue. Impunity breeds more criminality. The United States and its Western partners have rarely, if ever, been held to account for their historic crimes against the rest of the world. When such a transparent, brazen act of terrorism is perpetrated as in the Nord Stream sabotage and it is ignored then the world has shifted to an even more perilous situation where crimes have no punishment and even greater, more nefarious crimes can be engaged in.

The U.S. and its NATO henchmen, in particular Britain, are arming a Nazi regime in Kiev with tanks, cluster bombs, depleted uranium shells and longer-range missiles to strike Russia. The impunity that the Americans and their partners believe that they have acquired is shocking and hideous. There is no restraint. For years, the NATO axis has been arming and training Nazi battalions in Ukraine to cynically take an imperialist war to Russia’s doorstep. Canada’s scandalous adulation of a Nazi war criminal in its parliament last week is a sign of the depraved times we live in. But we have reached this degeneration because, as the Nord Stream incident illustrates, the Western powers, primarily the executive American power, feel they are not just above the law but entitled to smash the law for whatever objective they deem desirable.

When those who profess to uphold the law, break the law, then there is no law. That is the frighteningly barbaric world we live in today. Biden warned this week of fascism creeping up on the United States in the form of domestic political rivals. The reality is fascism, imperialist lawlessness and barbarity are already well-ensconced in this White House.

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“..a “freshly minted cretin”..

“..the [Russian] strikes on German factories where those missiles are being made would also be in full compliance with international law..”

Western ‘Idiots’ Want World War III – Medvedev (RT)

The conflict in Ukraine may lead to World War III because of the “idiots” occupying leading roles in the West, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned. “The number of high-ranking morons is rising in NATO member states,” he wrote on Telegram on Sunday. Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, was responding to statements from London and Berlin the previous day. The former president labeled the UK’s newly appointed Defense Secretary Grant Shapps a “freshly minted cretin” over his idea of sending British military instructors to Ukraine to train local troops for the conflict with Russia. If this happens, the UK servicemen would become a “legitimate target” for Russian forces, Medvedev warned.

Shapps has proposed deploying instructors to Ukraine, “knowing fully well that they’ll be mercilessly destroyed, and no longer as mercenaries, but precisely as British NATO specialists,” the Russian official wrote. Medvedev also described the head of the German parliament’s defense committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, as “another fool” after she urged Berlin to supply long-range Taurus cruise missiles to Kiev. She also claimed that Ukrainian attacks on targets inside Russia using those German-made munitions would be in full compliance with international law. “In this case, the [Russian] strikes on German factories where those missiles are being made would also be in full compliance with international law,” he said.

“Still, those idiots are actively pushing us towards World War III,”the former president concluded. In a previous post on Saturday, Medvedev insisted that Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine would continue until the current regime in Kiev is “destroyed and the historic Russian territories are liberated from the enemy.” Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons to Ukraine by Western countries only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO. Russian officials have also argued that the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing and the training of Kiev’s troops already means that Western nations have de facto become parties to the conflict.

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Are they just flying trial balloons over there?

PM Sunak Backtracks On Sending British Troops To Ukraine (ZH)

On Sunday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who currently serves as the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, suggested that British soldiers training Ukrainian troops in Ukraine would be legitimate targets for Russian forces, as would German factories producing Taurus missiles should they supply Kyiv. Medvedev, who is deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, and has become one of the most hawkish and anti-Western figures in Russian politics, said such steps by the West were bringing World War Three closer. In a post on Telegram, Medvedev first slammed Shapps’s proposal to deploy military instructors to Ukraine, in addition to training Ukrainian armed forces in Britain or other Western countries as at present. “(This will) turn their instructors into a legitimate target for our armed forces,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram. “Understanding perfectly well that they will be ruthlessly destroyed. And not as mercenaries, but namely as British NATO specialists.”

Medvedev then turned his focus to Germany, vilifying those who want Berlin to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles that could strike Russian territory and try to limit Moscow’s supply to its army. “They say this is in accordance with international law. Well, in that case, strikes on German factories where these missiles are made would also be in full compliance with international law,” Medvedev said. “These morons are actively pushing us towards World War Three,” Medvedev said. Realizing that he probably does not want his government to end in a mushroom cloud, British PM Rishi Sunak quickly backtracked and during a visit to Burnley on Sunday, said he wanted to make the situation “absolutely clear,” explaining that Shapps did not mean British soldiers would be deployed in Ukraine during the conflict with Russia, claiming there was “some misreporting” of comments by Defense Secretary Shapps, who floated the idea; he did however say that the UK has been training Ukrainian soldiers on British soil for “for a long time.”

According to the PM, the defense secretary actually meant that “it might well be possible one day in the future for us to do some of that training in Ukraine.” “But that’s something for the long term, not the here and now, there are no British soldiers that will be sent to fight in the current conflict. That’s not what’s happening,” he insisted. London continues to provide military training to the Ukrainians, but it’s “doing that here in the UK,” Sunak assured. US Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene also voiced alarm over Britain’s apparent plans to send troops to Ukraine, writing on X (formerly Twitter): “They’re going to start World War III” and that “the US cannot participate” in such a deployment, stressing: “No American troops” in Ukraine.

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Come get killed at 16!

Ukraine Must Mobilize Youths – Ex-UK Defense Chief (RT)

Former UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has claimed that Kiev is succeeding in its counteroffensive but to maintain the momentum and “finish the job,” President Vladimir Zelensky must throw more and younger Ukrainians into battle, while the West provides them with weapons to defeat Russia. Throughout the summer, Kiev’s forces have ultimately failed to make any notable territorial gains and have suffered heavy casualties as they tried to break through Russia’s defenses consisting of vast minefields, as well as heavy artillery and swarms of drones. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, the number of Ukrainian servicemen killed since the start of the counteroffensive has surpassed 83,000.

Wallace, however, believes that “slowly but surely” Ukrainian forces have been “adapting tactics, absorbing lessons, and making the best of the equipment we have all gifted them,” and that Kiev’s victory is imminent as long as the government “plays its part.” “The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40. I understand President Zelensky’s desire to preserve the young for the future, but… just as Britain did in 1939 and 1941, perhaps it is time to reassess the scale of Ukraine’s mobilization,” Wallace wrote in an opinion piece published by The Telegraph on Sunday. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that such heavy casualties were the result of Kiev throwing untrained soldiers into “senseless assaults and slaughter.”He added that these “cynical actions by the West and their henchmen in Kiev are only pushing Ukraine towards self-destruction.”

Back in July, Wallace called Ukraine a “battle lab” for the British military during a report to the parliament. “Let us not pause for one day,” he stated on Sunday. “The world is watching to see if the West has the resolve to stand up for our values and the rules-based system. What we do now for Ukraine will set the direction for all of our security for years to come.” Mobilization in Ukraine has been ongoing since the start of the conflict and had some bumps recently. The country has been hit by scandals involving conscription chiefs, prompting President Vladimir Zelensky to announce in August that he was firing all regional draft heads in the country.

The Ukrainian government has relaxed eligibility standards for recruits, declaring people with certain mental and physical conditions fit for duty. After the launch of Russia’s military operation, Kiev barred men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving the country. Kiev also recently ordered female medics and pharmacists to register for possible enrolment, reportedly causing an exodus of women in those professions. The Russian military leadership in the meantime has no plans to conduct mobilization as its current needs are fulfilled by career military service members, including those who volunteered to fight in Ukraine, according to a senior official. The Russian president reported earlier this month that some 300,000 people had enrolled in the Russian army this year alone.

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Europe’s already sinking into a black hole. Forget it.

EU Will Back Ukraine Without The US – Borrell (RT)

The EU’s military aid to Ukraine will not depend on the decisions taken by the US, the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told journalists during his visit to Kiev on Sunday. Brussels plans to continue and further increase its military assistance to the Ukrainian forces, he added. “We have not waited for the [US] decision to be taken to increase our propositions to support Ukraine,” the official said when asked about the EU’s reaction to the US Congress removing military aid for Kiev from its short-time spending bill passed over the weekend. Brussels still regretted the American lawmakers’ decision “deeply and thoroughly,” Borrell said, expressing his hope that “this will not be a definitive decision, and Ukraine will continue having the support of the US.”

The EU Commission had earlier proposed creating a fund for Ukraine worth €50 billion ($52.8 billion), the bloc’s top diplomat said, adding that he also suggested creating a similar fund amounting to €20 billion ($21.13 billion) within the European Peace Facility at an EU foreign ministers meeting in August. “Let’s see what’ll be happening in the US but from our side, we will continue supporting and increasing our support,” the official said. The EU’s top diplomat also maintained that the bloc’s military aid for Kiev is “permanent structured” and does not depend on the decisions of other nations or the results of the Ukrainian operations. His comments came amid the continued Ukrainian offensive, which has failed to bring about any major changes to the frontlines over some four months since its launch, despite massive Western military aid before its start and heavy Ukrainian losses over its course.

“We are facing an existential threat for Europe,” Borrell claimed, adding that if Brussels wants the Ukrainian troops to be “more successful, we have to provide them with better arms and quicker.” He still hinted that Kiev should be more grateful for the bloc’s efforts. In some cases, “our support is not being perceived as important as it is,” the EU top diplomat said, insisting that “it is.” He then said that the total military aid from Brussels and the EU member states to Ukraine amounted to €25 billion ($26.4 billion). The bloc’s cumulative military, financial and humanitarian support reached €85 billion ($89.8 billion), he added.

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I said yesterday that he campaigned on “Not a single penny” more, but it was “Not a single round..”

Meanwhile, Donald Tusk held a mass pro-globalist rally in Warsaw on Sunday. We’re not done yet.

‘My People Have Bigger Problems Than Ukraine’ – Fico (RT)

The Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) party will not support further military aid for Ukraine, its leader, Robert Fico, told journalists on Sunday. Fico’s party took the lead in the parliamentary elections held over the weekend and is now poised to start talks about forming a government. “Slovakia and the people of Slovakia have bigger problems than Ukraine,” he said at a press conference following the announcement of the election results. The SMER-SD won around 23% of the vote, with its closest competitor, Progressive Slovakia (PS), receiving some 18%. When asked about his party’s stance on helping Kiev, Fico said that, if his party successfully forms a government, it would still be ready to help, but only in a humanitarian way.

“We are prepared to help with the reconstruction of the state, but you know our opinion on arming Ukraine,” he said. The SMER-SD conducted an election campaign under the slogan “Not a single round,” suggesting that it would end military assistance to Kiev. An EU and NATO member state with a population of around 5.5 million, Slovakia has already supplied Ukrainian forces with armored personnel carriers, howitzers, and its entire fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets. Last week, Fico vowed at one of his campaign rallies that his party would not “send a single round [of ammunition] to Ukraine” if it won the election. On Sunday, the politician, who is a former prime minister, described the ongoing conflict as a great tragedy, adding that prolonging the standoff would only make things worse.

“We will do everything we can to start peace negotiations as quickly as possible,” he said, referring to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. “Further killing does not benefit anyone,” Fico added. Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova said on Sunday that she would formally ask Fico to form a new government on Monday. With no party set to win a majority, Slovakia will need to form a coalition government. The pro-European HLAS (Voice) party, which took third place with 14.7%, did not rule out a possible alliance with SMER-SD. Fico also received congratulations on his election victory from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said it would “always [be] good to work together with a patriot.” A victory by Fico and his party has reportedly sparked concerns in the US. According to Russian foreign intelligence, Washington had sought to keep the previous Slovakian government in power.

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Poorly write-up.

Russia’s Military Budget Set To Rise By 70% (RMX)

Russian military spending is set to rise by almost 70 percent — to €106 billion — by 2024, according to a Russian Finance Ministry document published Thursday, an increase that illustrates Moscow’s determination to continue its military intervention in Ukraine despite the human and economic costs. According to the document, Russian defense spending will increase by 68 percent in 2024 compared to this year and will reach 10.8 trillion rubles (€106 billion). As a result, the amount allocated to defense will represent about 30 percent of total federal spending in 2024 and 6 percent of GDP — a first in Russia’s modern history. The budget for internal security is set to rise to 3.4 trillion rubles (€33 billion), almost 10 percent of annual federal spending.

The priorities for this budget are outlined as “strengthening the country’s defense capacity” and “integrating the new regions” of Ukraine whose annexation Moscow has demanded, as well as “social aid for the most vulnerable citizens,” just months ahead of the Russian presidential elections in spring 2024. Conversely, total spending on education, healthcare and environmental protection accounts for barely a third of the defense budget, according to ministry figures. Overall, federal spending will total 36.7 trillion rubles (€359 billion), a dramatic 20 percent increase over 2023. The government, however, has explained little about how it will finance this large increase, as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Musustin said last Friday that revenues from the sale of hydrocarbons will be down sharply and will account for “a third of next year’s budget” in 2024, whereas before the invasion of Ukraine, they accounted for half the budget.

The sector used to drive Russia’s growth, hydrocarbon sales are declining due to international sanctions and the European Union’s determination to move away from energy dependence on Moscow. One indication that the government expects a delicate month ahead for the Russian economy is that it has announced that it has based its budget forecast on the assumption of a dollar worth around 90 rubles, thus betting on a weakening of the national currency in the medium term. The draft budget law for 2024-2026 is due to be sent to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, on Friday.

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“Ukraine’s Possible New Counteroffensive..”

‘Camouflage’ for Zelensky to ‘Steal More Money From West’ (Sp.)

Kiev’s alleged push for another counteroffensive, this time in the autumn, can be perceived as the West’s red herring, Scott Bennett, a former US Army psychological warfare officer and State Department counter-terrorism analyst, told Sputnik. The Zelensky regime had elaborated a plan for a major offensive in the Kherson and Zaporozhye region in early October, securing the approval of Ukraine’s sponsors in Washington and London, an informed source told Sputnik earlier this week. According to the source, Kiev’s special forces intend to seize control of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) as part of the blueprint. All this could be Western countries’ red herring, Scott Bennett suggested, pointing to the Ukrainian Army’s futile attempts to break through Russian defensive lines.

“As a result of the resounding defeat of Ukraine, the West is frantically searching for an opportunity to try and escape the coming judgement and potential crimes against humanity charges for the death and destruction the Biden Administration has recklessly unleashed. And the nearest opportunity for distraction may be the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant,” Bennett argued. He recalled that many perceive this facility as “a target for destruction in a kind of ‘doomsday’ button that the US might try and push, in an attempt to generate sufficient chaos and destruction to distract the world away from the small scale battles of Ukraine, to the global implications of a nuclear disaster.” According to the former psychological warfare officer, the potential destruction of the Zaporozhye NPP would be the “ultimate expression” of this chaos.

He warned that if the facility is destroyed, “the resulting tsunami of social, political, economic disruption would disorganize opposition parties and protests against the current political elites in Europe and America, and justify a lockdown or martial law and police state mentality which could be endlessly extended.” Bennett didn’t rule out that “the West will combine its best liars in the CIA, the Mossad, the MI6 to blame the event on Russia, and perhaps also simultaneously initiate some self-inflicted false flag attacks at the same time—such as assassinate Joe Biden and Zelensky at the same time and blame this on Russia in order to justify ‘police action’ and a drafting of Americans into the military for conflict with Russia.”

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Trying to blame the holocaust on Russia. Through insinuation.

Blinken’s ‘History Lesson’ Gets Corrected By X Users (RT)

Users of the social media network X (formerly Twitter) have fact-checked a statement made by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken in which he said Vladimir Putin’s government “manipulates” the details of massacres in Kiev in 1941 “to provide cover for Russia’s abuses in Ukraine.” “Eighty-two years ago, Nazis murdered 34,000 Jews at Babyn Yar,” Blinken wrote in a Friday post. “Soviets buried this history, which today Putin’s government manipulates to provide cover for Russia’s abuses in Ukraine.” He added that “the US is committed to justice for Holocaust survivors and accountability for atrocities.” Blinken was referring to massacres in the Babyn Yar ravine in present-day Kiev, perpetrated by Nazi Germany’s forces and their local Ukrainian collaborators in late September and October 1941 during its campaign against the Soviet Union.

The first such massacre, which took place on September 29 and 30, saw some 33,771 Jews killed. Other victims of mass killings at the site include Soviet prisoners of war (POWs), communists and Romani. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 people were murdered at Babyn Yar during the German occupation. The atrocities, which were considered to be extreme even by Nazi Germany’s standards, have been a source of debate in Ukraine over reports of local collaborators being involved. Estimates by historians put at one million the number of Jews killed in what is now Ukraine during the Second World War. As such, X users were quick to point out what they suggested was Blinken’s rather short-sighted recollection of historical events.

“Soviet prisoners of war were among the people massacred at Babyn Yar,” reads a contextual fact-box added by X users to Blinken’s post. “The Soviets liberated Babyn Yar and Kiev in 1943. The Soviets held a trial in 1946 in Kiev for 15 German policemen involved in the Babyn Yar massacres.” In response to Blinken’s statement, Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, wrote on X: “I was brought up in the USSR and we all knew about Babyn Yar. Nazi crimes were never ‘buried’ in my country, unlike yours. Writing such a sacrilegious post is beyond any basic notions of decency.” On Friday’s 82nd anniversary of the first Babyn Yar massacre, the Ukrainian foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the event should serve as a reminder to oppose “aggressive-chauvinistic ideologies, in particular, Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

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“..unlike the West which has become quite skilled in organising color revolutions, Moscow does not engage in such activities.”

Nagorno-Karabakh Is No More (Pepe Escobar)

In the end, Nagorno-Karabakh – or the Artsakh Republic – is no more. It will cease to exist on 1 January 2024 – also the first day of the Russian presidency of BRICS 11. All autonomous state structures will be dissolved – according to a decree signed by the head of the Republic, Samvel Shahramanyan. The population – roughly 147,000, 99% of them Armenian Christians – has a choice that’s not really a choice: “familiarize themselves with the conditions of reintegration presented by the Republic of Azerbaijan” and stay, or leave to Armenia for good. Predictably, the exodus is on: an interminable serpent of vehicles congesting the mountain roads of a beautiful landscape where generations of Armenians lived for centuries. As of Thursday night, over 70,000 Armenians had left towards the Syunik region.

The Azeri government in Baku sent police/security forces to Stepanakert. Former Foreign Minister Ruben Vardanyan, an oligarch, was detained by Azeri security while trying to leave for Armenia, mingling with refugees. He had renounced Russian citizenship last year when he moved to work in Artsakh. He’ll probably be freed. Others won’t be so lucky. Everyone leaving is being exhaustively searched. Baku has warned that every Artsakh notable – political and military – will be captured. This is how it sadly ends: the story of how a bunch of crooks – Team Pashinyan in Yerevan – profited personally from a geopolitical pretext. Armenian PM Pashinyan announced that in a few days he’ll consider there are no more Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Translation: those that decided to stay will be considered to be Azerbaijanis. Yet for Baku, Armenians from Artsakh will always remain Armenians – and thus an object of suspicion.

[..] As corridors go, Zangezur is the proverbial Chinese win-win. Azerbaijan links with its Nakhitchevan enclave and Turkiye. Russia gets a road that goes through Baku and Yerevan. Armenia opens itself to international trade. And Iran is satisfied that the manager will be the former owner of the place: Russia. Ay, there’s the rub. The usual suspects were not happy that Russian guards would be back in Armenia. So they sabotaged this clause via their agent Pashinyan. The record shows how Team Pashinyan behaved these past few months: Armenia’s First Lady visited Kiev; Yerevan transferred “humanitarian aid” to Ukraine; there were joint military exercises with the U.S.; frantic back and forth by U.S. and EU politicos and NGOs. Relations with Moscow are deteriorating fast. Yerevan – a juicy strategic target – is being taken over by the Hegemon and its vassals. It’s not an accident that Yerevan hosts the second largest American embassy in the world. So only one thing is certain: the Transcaucasus will continue to be on fire.

It’s not clear what will happen to Zangezur – and if and when Pashinyan will act on it. There’s always a – remote – possibility that Pashinyan, egged on by his Western handlers, may try to strike a deal with Aliyev to leave Russia out. The Russian Foreign Ministry has not minced its words, noting how Yerevan “flip flopped on policy and sought Western support over working closely with Russia and Azerbaijan”. And how in meetings in Prague and Brussels under the EU, Pashynian “acknowledged Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, but failed to address the rights and safety of the Karabakh Armenians.” The Foreign Ministry all but warns Pashynian that “unlike the West which has become quite skilled in organising color revolutions, Moscow does not engage in such activities.”

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People are confused about impeachment. It’s not a one time, one off thing, it’s a process in which truth finding is central. An impeachment inquiry provides more tools for that.

The Proper Way to Impeach: Steve Bannon was Right for the Wrong Reason (Turley)

Yesterday, I spent a very long day testifying in the first hearing of the House impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden. Not unexpectedly, my testimony angered many on both the left and the right. As I mentioned in my testimony, there is little tolerance for opposing views in this age of rage. Today, caution is considered cowardice and impartiality is viewed as chicanery. Yet our Constitution demands more of each of us at these moments. We can rise to that challenge, as the Framers hoped we would, or we can continue our national descent into rage and ruin. It is the difference between laying the groundwork for a real impeachment or for just another political hit-job.

I was asked to testify on whether the threshold had been met for an impeachment inquiry and what the best practices would be in the investigation of President Biden. I testified that the existing evidence was more than ample to warrant an impeachment inquiry and that these allegations, if proven, would constitute impeachable conduct. That was not enough for many. One of those was Steve Bannon, who went on social media to criticize House Republicans for not selecting someone who would testify, at the very start of an inquiry, that the case already was made for actual articles of impeachment. Bannon suggested that I should have been placed on the “maybe list” if I was not willing to say that the committee had the basis to vote out articles of impeachment on the first day of inquiry.

That, however, would be akin to calling a special grand jury and demanding an indictment before any witnesses or evidence are presented. Bannon’s criticism is emblematic of much of what I cautioned against in my testimony. I implored the Republicans not to replicate the last two impeachments, which I believe did considerable damage to this constitutional process. In the first Trump impeachment, I appeared as the only Republican witness in the only hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee. House Democrats then just cut to the chase and impeached Donald Trump on a thin, undeveloped record.In the second impeachment, they skipped the formalities entirely and went straight to the articles of impeachment in what I called a “snap impeachment.”

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“..He also suggested that Mr. Milley should be executed for his alleged conduct..”

No he did not. He said that: “..in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!”. Not that it should be now.

Federal Prosecutors Want Gag Order Against Trump After His Recent Remarks (ET)

Federal prosecutors have urged the federal judge to impose a gag order on former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election interference case, citing the “prejudicial extrajudicial statements” he made on social media. The special counsel team filed the request for a gag order against Mr. Trump on Sept. 15 to restrict him from making “intimidating” comments about witnesses, lawyers, and other people involved in the criminal case. Prosecutors said on Sept. 25 that Mr. Trump continued to wage “a sustained campaign of prejudicial public statements regarding witnesses, the court, the district, and prosecutors” even after the proposed order.

“The defendant should not be permitted to obtain the benefits of his incendiary public statements and then avoid accountability by having others—whose messages he knows will receive markedly less attention than his own—feign retraction,” they said in a court filing. “No other criminal defendant would be permitted to issue public statements insinuating that a known witness in his case should be executed; this defendant should not be, either,” it added. They referred to recent posts on his social media platform, Truth Social, including one on Sept. 22 in which Mr. Trump accused departing Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley of committing treason. In the post, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Milley’s alleged “treasonous act” could have led to “a war between China and the United States.” He also suggested that Mr. Milley should be executed for his alleged conduct.

Prosecutors also mentioned a video posted by Mr. Trump’s spokesman claiming that Mr. Trump had bought a Glock gun in South Carolina. The post was later removed, and the spokesman retracted his remarks, saying that Mr. Trump had only indicated his interest in buying the gun. Despite the spokesman’s retraction, prosecutors said that Mr. Trump “re-posted a video of the incident” posted by one of his followers with a caption that suggested he had indeed bought the weapon. “The defendant either purchased a gun in violation of the law and his conditions of release, or seeks to benefit from his supporters’ mistaken belief that he did so,” the prosecutors stated. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have objected to the request, and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday set courtroom arguments for Oct. 16.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have previously denounced the gag order request as an attempt to “unconstitutionally silence” his political speech. They called the request a “desperate attempt at censorship.” “The prosecution would silence President Trump, amid a political campaign where his right to criticize the government is at its zenith, all to avoid a public rebuke of this prosecution,” his lawyers wrote on Sept. 25. “However, above all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content. “The prosecution may not like President’s Trump’s entirely valid criticisms, but neither it nor this Court are the filter for what the public may hear,” they added.

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Why just Steele? And not Clinesmith, Sussman, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Comey, Hillary Clinton etc etc?!

Trump Sues Christopher Steele Over Hoax Dossier (ZH)

The Steele dossier was used by the Obama DOJ and the intelligence community to smear Trump as a Russian asset. Its various fabrications were legitimized under the guise of a legitimate DOJ investigation, and featured frequent strategic media leaks, ‘expert’ opinions, and manipulated evidence such as an email altered by former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, which was used to renew a wiretap warrant on Trump Campaign adviser Carter Page. Then there was the fraudulent ‘Alfa Bank Server’ allegation made by Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman, who pleaded guilty to not telling the FBI that he was Hillary’s employee when he alleged that Trump was directly communicating with the Kremlin via a covert server.

Steele peddled the dossier to the State Department – which then passed it along to former FBI deputy assistant director of counterintelligence Peter ‘We’ll stop Trump’ Strzok. Steele also met with the DOJ’s Bruce Ohr (whose wife, as we noted above, Fusion GPS employee), who he told that Russia had Trump “over a barrel.” (Bruce Ohr was consequentially demoted for making “consequential errors in judgement” for failing to inform his supervisors for his role in Russiagate, and retired on Sept. of 2020 “after his counsel was informed that a final decision on a disciplinary review being conducted by Department senior career officials was imminent”). Then there was the infamous ‘pee tape’ allegation that Trump paid prostitutes to urinate in a bed in Moscow where Barack and Michelle Obama had stayed, and that the Kremlin had a tape of the whole thing.

The 35-page dossier was publicly disavowed by high ranking FBI officials, including the bureau’s former deputy director Andrew McCabe, who told lawmakers in November 2020 that he would have never approved the Carter Page wiretap if he’d known the dossier was inaccurate. And now, Trump is suing Steele…

According to the Independent, the 77-year-old former president is bringing a data protection claim against Steele, and his consulting firm Orbis Business Intelligence, in the UK. “Proceedings have been issued on behalf of President Donald J. Trump against Orbis Business Intelligence Limited. The claim relates to breaches of UK Data Protection law arising from the inaccurate processing of the President’s personal data by Orbis following the publication of the false ‘Steele Dossier,’” said Trump attorney Tim Lowles. “The President’s claim seeks remedies including that the inaccurate data contained within the Steele Dossier be erased or rectified together with the payment of damages,” the statement continues.

On October 16, a two-day hearing will commence according to the report, citing a High Court order published Thursday. Steele has defended his work, telling the Oxford Union in March 2022: “What is being called the dossier was actually a series of single-source intelligence reports over a period of time, if you like, almost a running commentary on the election campaign and Russia’s perspective on it — and it comes from the Russian perspective of the telescope if you like,” adding “The sources were Russian, they were reporting on how Russia saw it, and of course, that may in some cases be rather different than how it was viewed in America at the other end of the telescope.”

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Soccer dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708198778174345445

 

 

Ink

 

 

Turkey
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708441860228751683

 

 

Bless you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708396893607465463

 

 

 

 

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