Jan 142024
 


Pablo Picasso Blue nude 1902

 

Year of the Dragon: Silk Roads, BRICS Roads, Sino-Roads (Pepe Escobar)
Troubling Questions in Strange Case of Pentagon Chief Missing in Action (SCF)
The Evidence of Genocide Is Chilling, Overwhelming and Incontrovertible (SP)
The Case for Genocide (Chris Hedges)
Israel Dismisses Genocidal Intent as ‘Random Assertions’ (Lauria)
How Israeli Forces Trapped And Killed Ravers At The Nova Festival (Cradle)
Europe’s Big Powers Back Out Of US-Led Bombing Campaign Of Yemen (Cradle)
CIA Providing Intel On Hamas Leaders To Israel – NYT (RT)
Musk Reacts To Death Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)
Friendly Fire (Vivek Ramaswamy)
Judge Berates Lawyers for ‘Inadvertently’ Disclosing Epstein Victim Names |(Sp.)
FBI Stonewalls Over Seth Rich Laptop Production (ZH)
Voter Fraud Convictions Challenge Narrative of Secure Elections (ET)

 

 

 

 

Habba

 

 

O’Leary

 

 

Dream Team

 

 

More Fani
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746199122409885717

 

 

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3 world wars

 

 

 

 

“..It remains an inextinguishable source of debate to what extent this fabulous economic Great Leap Forward under Deng generated calamitous social consequences..”

Year of the Dragon: Silk Roads, BRICS Roads, Sino-Roads (Pepe Escobar)

On the Russian front, the inimitable Sergey Karaganov has laid down the law: “We should not deny our European roots; we should treat them with care. After all, Europe has given us a lot. But Russia must move forward. And forward does not mean to the West, but to the East and the South. That is where the future of humanity lies.” And that leads us to the Dragon – in the Year of the Dragon.

There were a whopping 3.68 billion Chinese trips by rail in 2023 – an all-time record. China is fast on the way to become an AI global leader by 2030. Tech giant Baidu, for instance, recently released Ernie Bot to rival ChatGPT. AI in China is expanding fast on healthcare, education, and entertainment. Efficiency is the key. Chinese scientists have developed the ACCEL chip – capable of performing 4.6 quadrillion operations per second, in comparison to NVIDIA’s A100, which delivers 0.312 quadrillion operations per second of deep learning performance. China graduates no less than one million more STEM students than the U.S., year after year. This goes way beyond AI. Asian nations always reach the top 20% in science and mathematics competitions.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) may be lousy on geopolitics. But at least they did a public service showing nations that lead the planet in 44 critical technology sectors. China is number one, leading on 37 sectors. The U.S. leads on 7. Everyone else leads zero sectors. These include Defense, space, robotics, energy, the environment, biotechnology, advanced materials, key quantum technology and of course AI. How did China get here? It’s quite enlightening today to revisit a 1996 tome by Maurice Mesner: The Deng Xiaoping Era: An Inquiry into the Fate of Chinese Socialism, 1978-1994. First of all, one needs to know what happened under Mao: “From 1952 to the mid-1970s, net agricultural output in China increased at an average per annum rate of 2.5 percent, whereas the figure for the most intensive period of Japan’s industrialization (from 1868 to 1912) was 1.7 percent.”

Across the industrial sphere, all indicators went up: steel production; coal; cement; timber; electric power; crude oil; chemical fertilizers. “By the mid-1970s, China was also producing substantial numbers of jet airplanes, heavy tractors, railway locomotives, and modern oceangoing vessels. The People’s Republic also became a significant nuclear power, complete with intercontinental ballistic missiles. Its first successful atomic bomb test was held in 1964, the first hydrogen bomb was produced in 1967, and a satellite was launched into orbit in 1970.” Blame it on Mao: he transformed China “from one of the world’s most backward agrarian countries into the sixth-largest industrial power by the mid-1970s.” On most key social and demographic indicators, China compared favorably not only with India and Pakistan in South Asia but also with “’middle-income’ countries whose per capita GNP was five times that of China.”

All these breakthroughs laid down the path for Deng: “The higher yields obtained on individual family farms during the early Deng era would not have been possible had it not been for the vast irrigation and flood-control projects – dams, irrigation works, and river dikes – constructed by collectivized peasants in the 1950s and 1960s.” Of course there were distortions – as the Deng drive produced a de facto capitalist economy presided by a bureaucratic bourgeoisie: “As has been true of the histories of all capitalist economies, the power of the state was very much involved in establishing China’s labor market. Indeed, in China a highly repressive state apparatus played a particularly direct and coercive role in the commodification of labor, a process that has proceeded with a rapidity and on a scale that is historically unprecedented.” It remains an inextinguishable source of debate to what extent this fabulous economic Great Leap Forward under Deng generated calamitous social consequences.

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“..It is not clear if he was always conscious during this period or under sedation..”

Troubling Questions in Strange Case of Pentagon Chief Missing in Action (SCF)

It seems utterly bizarre that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin – the second-highest ranking civilian military commander in the United States – was absent from duty for several weeks without President Joe Biden or Congress knowing about it. A charitable view would be to call the scandal a “comedy of errors”. More appropriately, however, are urgent concerns about the implications for global peace and security. The U.S. resembles a juggernaut out of control careening along a precipice. This inexplicable prolonged gap in U.S. military command and control at the apex of the Pentagon goes from bizarre to deeply worrying considering the rapidly deteriorating security conditions in the Middle East. And especially because the deterioration is largely caused by the United States and its accomplices in their blatant contempt for international law.

This week, the United States and its British ally carried out over 100 cruise missile strikes against Yemen, purportedly in retaliation for Yemen’s blocking of commercial shipping in the Red Sea. The Yemenis claim that their actions to interdict shipping are legally entitled by their support for Palestinians suffering 90 days of genocidal aggression from Israel backed by the U.S. Indeed, the Middle East powder-keg situation is set for an escalation towards an all-out region-wide war given the weeks of tensions caused by the U.S.-backed genocide in Gaza by Israel. American bases in Iraq and Syria have come under fire in retaliation for U.S. and Israeli assassinations of senior Palestinian and other Arab militant leaders. There is growing fear that the violence will spiral into an open armed confrontation between the United States and Iran.

Given this ferment of conflict, it seems incredible that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was effectively missing in action for several weeks without his nominal superior, Joe Biden, knowing of his whereabouts. Biden’s other title is Commander-in-Chief. In the supposed civilian command structure of the United States military, Austin is second to Biden. Among their supposed responsibilities is the command of U.S. nuclear forces. Austin underwent surgery on December 22 for prostate cancer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. A subsequent urinary tract infection then caused Austin to be hospitalized again on January 1 for several more days. It is not clear if he was always conscious during this period or under sedation.

It then transpired in recent days that during those weeks of absence, the Biden White House did not know about Austin’s surgery or subsequent hospitalization. Even Austin’s designated Deputy Secretary of Defense, Kathleen Hicks, also did not know the exact reason for her boss’s absence. Enquiries have now been launched by the Armed Services Committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are even bipartisan calls for Austin’s resignation due to accusations of gross dereliction of duty to adequately inform the White House and Congress about his leave of absence.

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“The Hague won’t stop us – Netanyahu..”

The Evidence of Genocide Is Chilling, Overwhelming and Incontrovertible (SP)

Notable quotes from Jan. 11 ICJ hearing

From South African attorney Tembeka Ngcukaitobi:

“There is an extraordinary feature in this case: that Israel’s political leaders, military commanders, and persons holding official positions have systematically and in explicit terms declared their genocidal intent… And these statements are then repeated by soldiers on the ground in Gaza as they engage in the destruction of Palestinians and the physical infrastructure of Gaza.” “What state would admit to a genocidal intent? Yet the distinctive feature of this case has not been the silence as such but the reiteration and repetition of genocidal speech throughout every sphere of state in Israel.” “We remind the court of the identity and authority of the genocidal inciters: the prime minister, the president the minister of defense, the minister of national security, the minister of energy and infrastructure, members of the Knesset, senior army officials, and foot soldiers… The evidence of genocidal intent is not only chilling, it is also overwhelming and incontrovertible.”

From South African attorney Adila Hassim:

“Israel has subjected Gaza to what has been described as one of the heaviest conventional bombing campaigns in the history of modern warfare. Palestinians in Gaza are being killed by Israeli weaponry and bombs from air, land and sea. They are also at immediate risk of death by starvation, dehydration and disease as a result of the ongoing siege by Israel, the destruction of Palestinian towns, the insufficient aid being allowed through to the Palestinian population, and the impossibility of distributing this limited aid while bombs fall. This conduct renders essentials to life unobtainable.“

“…the level of Israel’s killing is so extensive that nowhere is safe in Gaza. … Palestinians in Gaza are subjected to relentless bombing wherever they go. They are killed in their homes, in places where they seek shelter, in hospitals, in schools, in mosques, in churches, and as they try to find food and water for their families. They have been killed if they failed to evacuate. In the places to which they have fled, and even while they attempted to flee along, Israeli declared safe routes.” “Israel has killed an unparalleled and unprecedented number of civilians with the full knowledge of how many civilian lives each bomb will take.“

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“Thousands more Palestinian civilians, including children, have been arrested, blindfolded, numbered, beaten, forced to strip to their underwear, loaded onto trucks and transported to unknown locations…”

The Case for Genocide (Chris Hedges)

The exhaustive 84-page brief submitted by South Africa to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) charging Israel with genocide is hard to refute. Israel’s campaign of indiscriminate killing, wholesale destruction of infrastructure, including housing, hospitals and water treatment plants, along with its use of starvation as a weapon, accompanied by genocidal rhetoric from its political and military leaders who speak of destroying Gaza and ethnically cleansing the 2.3 million Palestinians, makes a strong case against Israel for genocide. Israel’s smearing of South Africa as “the legal arm” of Hamas exemplifies the bankruptcy of its defense, a smear replicated by those who claim that demonstrations held to call for a ceasefire and protect Palestinian human rights are “anti-Semitic.” Israel, its genocide live streamed to the world, has no substantial counter argument.

But that does not mean the judges on the court will rule in South Africa’s favor. The pressure the U.S. will bring – Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called the South African charges “meritless” – on the judges, drawn from the member states of the U.N., will be intense. A ruling of genocide is a stain that Israel – which weaponizes the Holocaust to justify its brutalization of the Palestinians – would find hard to remove. It would undercut Israel’s insistence that Jews are eternal victims. It would shatter the justification for Israel’s indiscriminate killing of unarmed Palestinians and construction of the world’s largest open air prison in Gaza, along with the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It would sweep away the immunity to criticism enjoyed by the Israel lobby and its Zionist supporters in the U.S., who have successfully equated criticisms of the “Jewish State” and support for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism.

Over 23,700 Palestinians, including over 10,000 children, have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, when Hamas and other resistance fighters breached the security barriers around Gaza. Some 1,200 people were killed – there is strong evidence that some of the victims were killed by Israeli tank crews and helicopter pilots that intentionally targeted the some 200 hostages along with their captors. Thousands more Palestinians are missing, presumed buried under the rubble. Israeli attacks have left over 60,000 Palestinians wounded and maimed, the majority of them women and children. Thousands more Palestinian civilians, including children, have been arrested, blindfolded, numbered, beaten, forced to strip to their underwear, loaded onto trucks and transported to unknown locations.

A ruling by the court could be years away. But South Africa is asking for provisional measures that would demand Israel cease its military assault – in essence a permanent ceasefire. This decision could come within two or three weeks. It is a decision that is not based on the final ruling by the court, but on the merits of the case brought by South Africa. The court would not, by demanding Israel end its hostilities in Gaza, define the Israeli campaign in Gaza as genocide. It would confirm that there is the possibility of genocide, what the South African lawyers call acts that are “genocidal in character.”

The case will not be determined by the documentation of specific crimes, even those defined as war crimes. It will be determined by genocidal intent – the intent to eradicate in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group – as defined in the Genocide Convention. These acts collectively include the targeting of refugee camps and other densely packed civilian areas with 2,000-pound bombs, the blocking of humanitarian aid, the destruction of the health care system and its effects on children and pregnant women – the U.N. estimates there are around 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, and that more than 160 babies are delivered every day – as well as repeated genocidal statements by leading Israeli politicians and generals.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu equated Gaza with Amalek, a nation hostile to the Israelites in the Bible, and cited the Biblical injunction to kill every Amalek man, woman, child or animal. Defence Minister Yoav Gallant called Palestinians “human animals.” Israeli President Isaac Herzog stated, as the South African lawyers told the court, that everybody in Gaza is responsible for what happened on Oct. 7 because they voted for Hamas, although half the population in Gaza are children who are too young to vote. But even if the entire population of Gaza did vote for Hamas this does not make them a legitimate military target. They are still, under the rules of war, civilians, and entitled to protection. They are also entitled under international law to resist their occupation via armed struggle.

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‘We will eliminate everything. We will reach all places. Eliminate everything there, reach all places without any restraints.’

Israel Dismisses Genocidal Intent as ‘Random Assertions’ (Lauria)

In its defense against allegations by South Africa that it is committing genocide in Gaza, a British barrister arguing at the World Court on Friday for Israel downplayed numerous statements by senior Israeli officials of genocidal intent against Palestinians as mere “random assertions” that prove nothing. Instead, the barrister turned the tables, accusing South Africa itself of complicity in genocide. Kings Counselor Malcolm Shaw, for Israel, told the Court on the second day of a two-day hearing: “As far as acts are concerned in this case, there is little beyond random assertions to demonstrate that Israel has or has had the specific intent to destroy in whole or in part the Palestinian people as such.”

Without proving intent, Shaw argued, a genocide case is impossible. “It is like Hamlet without the prince, a car without an engine,” he said. As Shaw himself pointed out, lawyers for South Africa on Thursday thus “placed considerable emphasis upon intent.” They laid out in great detail the “genocidal rhetoric” of Israeli officials and how it has influenced Israeli soldiers and airmen attacking Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu twice referred to an Old Testament genocide implying the same was needed for Gaza, argued attorney Tembeka Ngcukaitobi. “The genocidal invocation to Amalek was anything but idle,” Ngcukaitobi said. He then showed a video of Israeli soldiers singing in celebration of a victory in Gaza, in which they mention Amalek.

On Oct. 9, Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, Ngcukaitobi, went on:] “gave a situation update to the Army where he said that as Israel was imposing a complete siege on Gaza, there would be ‘no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel,’ everything would be closed because Israel is fighting human animals. Speaking to troops on the Gaza border, he instructed them that he has released all the restraints and that Gaza won’t return to what it was before. ‘We will eliminate everything. We will reach all places. Eliminate everything there, reach all places without any restraints.’ Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu said that Israel must find ways for Gazans that are more painful than death. It is no answer to say that neither are in command of the army. They are ministers in the Israeli government. They vote in the Knesset and are in a position to shape state policy. The intent to destroy Gaza has been nurtured at the highest levels of state. …

Senior political and military officials encouraged without censure, the 95 year old Israeli army reservist Ezra Yachin, a veteran of the Deir Yassin massacre against the Palestinians in 1948, to speak to the soldiers ahead of the ground invasion in Gaza. In his talk, he echoed the same sentiment while being driven around in an official Israeli army vehicle dressed in Israeli army fatigue. ‘I quote the triumphant and finish them off and don’t leave anyone behind. Erase the memory of them. Erase them, their families, mothers and children. These animals can no longer live. If you have an Arab neighbor, don’t wait. Go to his home and shoot him. We want to invade. Not like before. We want to enter and destroy what’s in front of us and destroy houses.’”

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Hannibal.

How Israeli Forces Trapped And Killed Ravers At The Nova Festival (Cradle)

Israeli forces had not only the fire power, but also an official order to kill Israelis at Nova. A major reason Hamas launched the Al-Aqsa Flood operation was to take Israeli captives that could be exchanged for the thousands of Palestinians held captive in Israeli prisons. But Israeli forces were determined to prevent Hamas from taking captives back to Gaza, even if this meant killing the captured civilians. An investigation of Israel’s long-controversial Hannibal Directive concludes that “from the point of view of the army, a dead soldier is better than a captive soldier who himself suffers and forces the state to release thousands of captives in order to obtain his release.” But, on 7 October, according to a Yedioth Ahronoth investigation, the Hannibal Directive – which has previously only applied to army captives – was issued against Israeli civilians as well. The Hebrew-language daily writes that “at noon on October 7, the IDF [Israeli army] ordered all of its combat units in practice to use the ‘Hannibal Procedure’ although without clearly mentioning this explicitly by name.”

The order was to stop “at all costs any attempt by Hamas terrorists to return to Gaza, that is, despite the fear that some of them have abductees,” the investigation concludes. In the days and weeks after the incident, Israeli authorities made a great show of distributing images of vehicles destroyed at the festival site, fully implying that the cars – and the dead victims inside – had been burned to a crisp by Palestinian fighters. The Yediot report completely upends that claim: “In the week after the attack, soldiers of elite units checked about 70 vehicles that were left in the area between the settlements and the Gaza Strip. These are vehicles that did not reach Gaza, because on the way they were shot by a combat helicopter, an anti-tank missile or a tank, and at least in some cases everyone in the vehicle was killed,” including Israeli captives.

Nof Erez, the Israeli Air Force colonel noted above, similarly concluded, in regard to Israel’s indiscriminate use of helicopter firepower that day, that “The Hannibal directive was probably deployed because once you detect a hostage situation, this is Hannibal.” An apparent instance of this at the Nova festival was inadvertently documented by the BBC, which reported that video footage showed a woman who was taken hostage, but who: “Suddenly reappears two minutes later. She jumps and waves her arms in the air. She must think help is at hand – by this time, the Israeli Defence Forces had began their efforts to repel the incursion. But seconds later she slumps to the floor as bullets bounce around her. We don’t know if she survived.”

The rationale for the Hannibal Directive was further explained by Brigadier General Barak Hiram, who ordered a tank to open fire on a home to resolve a hostage situation in Kibbutz Be’eri, “even at the cost of civilian casualties.” The strike killed 12 Israelis, including 12-year-old Liel Hetzroni, and dozens of Hamas fighters. “I am very afraid that if we return to Sorana [Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv] and try to hold all kinds of negotiations [to free hostages], we may fall into a trap that will tie our hands and not allow us to do what is required, which is to go in, manipulate, and kill them [Hamas]…”

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“.. a European Union operation in the Red Sea, which is expected to be announced in the coming days..”

Europe’s Big Powers Back Out Of US-Led Bombing Campaign Of Yemen (Cradle)

Europe is divided over the US-UK bombing of Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, as Italy, Spain, and France have refused to take part in the operation. Washington and London carried out late-night strikes on Yemen Thursday evening, which targeted several areas of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The US and UK are seeking to target Yemen’s Ansarallah-led forces for their efforts to target Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea in response to Israel’s brutal bombing campaign in Gaza, which many view as genocide. The US-UK strikes were supported by Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, and Bahrain, who all signed a joint statement backing the bombing. However, Europe’s major powers, France, Italy, and Spain, refused to take part in the strikes and declined to sign the statement in support of them.

The Italian government, led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, said it was not asked to participate in the US-UK attacks on Yemen. It stated further that even if a request had been made, it could not have participated without a debate and vote in parliament to authorize military action. The Italian deputy prime minister said Italy could not have participated at such short notice “because the constitution does not allow us to commit acts of war without a debate in parliament.” However, a government source told Reuters that Rome had been asked to participate but refused because it preferred a “calming policy.” The French government, led by Emmanuel Macron, also ruled out joint action with the US and UK, unlike in Libya in 2011 and against ISIS in Syria in 2015. French Rear Admiral Emmanuel Slaars said on Thursday that although the French Navy is active in protecting French ships in the Red Sea, Paris’s current mandate did not include striking Ansarallah directly.

The Telegraph reported that an anonymous French official said Paris feared that by joining the US-led assault on Yemen’s Ansarallah-led forces, it would lose any leverage it had in mediating between Hezbollah and Israel. France says it is focusing its diplomatic efforts on avoiding an escalation in Lebanon, where Hezbollah has been fighting Israel on the border since 7 October, also in support of Gaza. In Spain, Minister of Defense Margarita Robles reiterated Friday that Spain will not participate in any military operation against Yemen. She said this included a rejection of participating in a European Union operation in the Red Sea, which is expected to be announced in the coming days. “Spain is a country firmly committed to peace in the world, precisely for that reason we have 17 missions and more than 3,000 people in many places,” Robles acknowledged. “From the beginning we have said that in the Red Sea we understand that Spain is not going to participate at this time.”

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“..government had possessed the details of the group’s plans to strike Israel, code-named Jericho Wall, for over a year without sharing the information widely within Israel or with the US.”

CIA Providing Intel On Hamas Leaders To Israel – NYT (RT)

The CIA is helping Israel gather intelligence on top Hamas officials, for targeting purposes, unnamed US officials have told the New York Times. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan ordered the creation of a task force focused on Hamas in the days following the militant group’s October 7 attack on Israel, the sources claimed. The unit is focused exclusively on high-level officials. The CIA also raised its priority level for Hamas from level four to two, officials said, freeing up additional funding for the collection of intelligence. However, with Gaza’s borders even more tightly locked down than they were before the war and communications networks being deliberately disrupted by Israel, the Times acknowledged that “it will take time to develop new [human] sources.” Washington had previously relied on West Jerusalem for information about Hamas but was alarmed to learn that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government had possessed the details of the group’s plans to strike Israel, code-named Jericho Wall, for over a year without sharing the information widely within Israel or with the US.

The US reportedly hopes that focusing on high-level Palestinian militants will reverse some of the negative fallout from West Jerusalem’s devastation of Gaza’s civilian population and infrastructure. Officials told the Times they were concerned that Israel’s focus on low-level Hamas operatives was “misguided,” explaining these could be easily replaced. Additionally, they said, the attendant risk to the civilian population was excessive and could even galvanize non-combatants to join the militant resistance. The head of US Central Command, General Michael Erik Kurilla, and several other high-level military officials have traveled to Israel on more than one occasion to urge them to focus on Hamas leaders instead of mid- or low-level fighters, according to the report. Israel claimed at the end of 2023 that it had killed about a third of the 20,000 to 25,000 Hamas fighters believed to reside in Gaza.

Killing or capturing the central Hamas figures believed to be responsible for the October 7 raid that killed 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped another 240 back to Gaza would be a major public relations victory for the beleaguered Netanyahu government. US officials believe at least one of them – the group’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar – is holed up in a tunnel system deep under the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. The other, military commander Mohammed Deif, has avoided capture by Israel’s security services for decades. Israel has killed upwards of 23,000 Palestinians in Gaza since October 7 and seriously injured tens of thousands more, according to the enclave’s Health Ministry. The resulting international outcry recently culminated in charges of genocide filed against Israel by South Africa in the International Court of Justice.

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“The Biden administration could have gotten Gonzalo Lira back with a phone call but didn’t lift a finger. Therefore, the Ukrainian government knew it could act with impunity,” Sacks wrote..”

Musk Reacts To Death Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)

Elon Musk has condemned a lack of action on the part of US officials in the case of an American journalist, Gonzalo Lira, who had been jailed by Kiev and who ultimately died in Ukrainian custody. Authorities there allegedly ignored Lira’s serious health problems for a long time, while he remained behind bars on accusations of justifying Moscow’s military operation against Kiev. Lira moved to Ukraine and married a local woman in 2010. When long-simmering tensions between Moscow and Kiev turned to military engagement in February 2022, the journalist started actively covering the fighting on social media. He also blamed the development on Kiev and its Western backers, asserting that Ukraine had no chance of winning against Russia.

Lira, who was 55 when he died, had also been criticizing efforts by Western media to portray Ukraine as a “democracy,” pointing to rampant corruption and publishing a list of Zelensky’s opponents who, he claimed, had been “disappeared” by various authorities. The US State Department confirmed Lira’s death to Russia’s TASS news agency on Friday. He had been in pre-trial detention in Ukraine’s city of Kharkov since May 2023. News website The Grayzone has reported that, since last October, he had severe health problems from pneumonia and a collapsed lung. The Ukrainian authorities only acknowledged the issue on December 22, according to Lira’s own note, cited by the news outlet.

“This is super messed up!” Musk wrote on X (formerly, Twitter) on Saturday, commenting on another post by an entrepreneur and investor, David Sacks, who also slammed US President Joe Biden’s inaction in Lira’s case. “The Biden administration could have gotten Gonzalo Lira back with a phone call but didn’t lift a finger. Therefore, the Ukrainian government knew it could act with impunity,” Sacks wrote. He also described Lira’s case as evidence that Ukraine is controlled by a “thuggish and unmoored regime.” Last month Musk questioned the US approach to Kiev, wondering how it was possible that “an American citizen is in prison in Ukraine after we sent over a $100 billion” to support Kiev amid its conflict with Russia.

He also said that it was a “serious problem” if a person in Ukraine got jailed for “simply criticizing” President Vladimir Zelensky. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO then called on the Ukrainian president to clarify the situation. On Saturday, the issue was also addressed by Donald Trump Jr, son of former US President Donald Trump. He decried Lira’s death as a “murder” and questioned the US policy of sending aid to a country where American citizens are killed. Kiev has insisted that it has rightfully targeted Lira over his activities, with the Security Service of Ukraine repeatedly stating the journalist has been accused of “producing and distributing materials justifying the armed aggression,” as well as disseminating “fakes” about the country’s armed forces.

Lira Nuland

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X thread. The comments show that not everyone’s a fan..

Friendly Fire (Vivek Ramaswamy)

Yes, I saw President Trump’s Truth Social post. It’s an unfortunate move by his campaign advisors, I don’t think friendly fire is helpful. Donald Trump was the greatest President of the 21st century, and I’m not going to criticize him in response to this late attack. I’ve met tens of thousands of Iowans across 390+ events here, and they are deeply worried – and so am I – that this “system” won’t allow Donald J. Trump anywhere near the White House again. It seems they will stop at *nothing* to keep him away from power. I’m worried for Trump. I’m worried for our country. I’ve stood up against the persecutions against Trump, and I’ve defended him at every step.

Vivek Obama
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746343408208109985

I showed up at the Miami courthouse in solidarity following his first federal indictment. I filed a FOIA demand to the Biden DOJ. I submitted an amicus brief this week with the U.S. Supreme Court calling on them to overturn Colorado’s ruling. I pledged to remove myself from Maine’s & Colorado’s primary ballots if they remove Trump, calling on DeSantis and Haley to do the same. But we have to open our eyes. Last time it was a man-made pandemic & Big Tech election interference. Now, the same billionaires funding the lawsuits against Trump are the ones trying to prop up Nikki Haley. The same MSM blasting Trump is lavishing praise on Nikki.

They want to narrow this to a two-horse race between Trump & Haley, eliminate Trump (one way or other), & trot their puppet into the White House. We can’t fall for that trap. 1 year from now, we won’t look back and say we were shocked that it happened. We’ll kick ourselves for not stopping it. Our movement must live on. America-First didn’t start in 2016. It started in 1776. We owe it to our Founding Fathers to do the right thing for our country. I want to save Trump & to save this country. Let’s do it together. You won’t hear any friendly fire from me.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1746319944772432378

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Honest mistakes?

Judge Berates Lawyers for ‘Inadvertently’ Disclosing Epstein Victim Names |(Sp.)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York earlier unsealed scores of documents connected to Jeffrey Epstein, identifying multiple individuals, some of whom include prominent politicians and notable public figures. Lawyers failed to properly redact some of the files tied to the Jeffrey Epstein case, harming the late convicted pedophile’s victims, District Judge Loretta Preska has admitted. According to the judge, the lawyers’ failure to remove classified information resulted in the disclosure of photos, phone numbers, and email addresses of people tied to the case, including Epstein’s victims, referred to as ‘Jane Does.’ “Counsel is thus reminded of the human cost of inadvertently disclosing the names and identifying information of Does, who should have remained under seal,” Preska pointed out.

The victims and others “have reported fearing for their safety and the safety of loved ones,” the judge said, adding that their reputations and personal relationships have been affected. In early January, Preska ordered the release of nearly 200 names tied to the Epstein case, although two people requested their identification remain sealed for the time being, due to the possibility of physical harm. The names include accusers and witnesses in the case. The filings include excerpts of depositions with former British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and Virgina Giuffre, who previously accused Maxwell of facilitating her sexual abuse after being introduced to Epstein.

Maxwell was sentenced in 2022 to 20 years in prison on a variety of charges, including sex trafficking for her involvement with Epstein’s criminal doing. Epstein faced 45 years in prison before he was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10, 2019. It happened more than a decade after his first conviction for soliciting prostitution from a minor, for which he was registered as a sex offender. In the latter case, he was accused of running a “vast network” of underage girls for sex. He had pleaded not guilty. His death sparked controversies and wild conspiracy theories that alleged he was silenced in order to protect his more powerful associates.

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They want 66 more years.

FBI Stonewalls Over Seth Rich Laptop Production (ZH)

The FBI has asked a federal court for a second delay after being ordered to produce information from Seth Rich’s computer to a Texas resident, Brian Huddleston who has sued the bureau. Huddleston says that the court should force the agency to produce the information before the 2024 presidential election, as it may show that Rich, not Russians, was Wikileaks’ source of leaked emails which were damaging to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US election. On Thursday, the FBI asked Obama-appointed US District Judge Amos Mazzant to reconsider their request not to produce the documents, and should be withheld under exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The filing was a response to Mazzant’s Nov. 2023 order to hand over images of Mr. Rich’s personal computer, as well as an index of his work computer.

It gets better; the FBI initially claimed that they didn’t have said records – only to later admit to being in possession of Rich’s personal and work computers, along with other items. As if it wasn’t suspicious enough that the FBI is stonewalling on information related to a ‘mugging gone wrong.’ According to Ty Clevenger, Huddleston’s attorney, the judge should deny the FBI’s latest bid for a production delay. “A presidential election is fast approaching, and voters have the right to know (1) whether the FBI knowingly framed one of the frontrunners, i.e., former President Trump; and (2) whether the FBI is still trying to cover up its partisan political activities,” he wrote.

“It is bad enough that FBI personnel took opposition research from the Hillary Clinton campaign and used it to open a bad-faith investigation of Mr. Trump, thereby sabotaging him for more than two years,” Clevenger added. “It would be considerably worse and considerably more scandalous, however, if FBI personnel knew all along that Seth Rich—not Russian hackers—was responsible for leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks.” Many believe that Rich was indeed the source of the leaked DNC emails provided to WikiLeaks – a rumor which was fueled by the odd circumstances surrounding his death, the sudden retirement of D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier five weeks after the murder, and an email John Podesta sent to Hillary’s inner circle about ‘making an example’ of a suspected leaker, written more than a year before Rich’s death.

Troves of emails were published by Wikileaks giving insight into the corrupt inner machination of the Democratic National Committee. While Rich was never officially revealed as the source of the leaked emails, it has been heavily suggested. Julian Assange was one key figure who made that suggestion when he highlighted Rich’s murder during a 2016 interview in which he was asked about the risks that come with operating WikiLeaks. Megavideo founder and entrepeneur Kim Dotcom said in May of 2017 that he worked with Rich to connect him with Assange. At one point, Assange heavily implied Rich was his source for the DNC emails. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks offered a $130,000 reward for information leading to the murderer of Rich.

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In the most secure elections in US history, a man who didn’t campaign got the most votes in US history..

Voter Fraud Convictions Challenge Narrative of Secure Elections (ET)

Superior Court Judge William Clark nullified the results of a Democrat mayoral primary in November 2023 and ordered a new election. The ruling was based on hours of video evidence showing hundreds of illegally harvested absentee ballots being stuffed into drop boxes in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “The videos are shocking to the court and should be shocking to all the parties,” Judge Clark wrote in his ruling. A California judge overturned the result in a 2021 Compton City Council run-off race that was initially decided by one vote. The judge tossed four fraudulent ballots cast by people not legally registered in the jurisdiction. Five people pleaded either guilty or no contest to conspiring to commit election fraud. After discovering that 66 of the 84 absentee ballots cast in a 2021 Democrat primary for alderman in Aberdeen, Mississippi, were invalid and shouldn’t have been counted, a judge ordered a new runoff election.

Police arrested a notary for notarizing ballots without watching voters sign them or checking their identification. The court also found evidence of intimidation at the polls involving candidate Nicholas Holliday, Mayor Maurice Howard, and Henry Randal, the town’s police chief. The above examples of election fraud have occurred since the contentious 2020 presidential election that President Donald Trump alleged was marred with fraud. Democrats, meanwhile, have cast the former president’s assertions about the 2020 election as the “big lie” and generally contend that election fraud is extremely rare and inconsequential. In a June 2023 Congressional hearing, Rep. Joe Morelli (D-N.Y.) called Republican members’ attitudes about widespread voter fraud “cynical” and the series of election integrity hearings they were conducting in the House “tedious” and “redundant. Mr. Morelli said Republicans are fixated on an “unproven lack of integrity” that they claim exists.

However, an ongoing study by the Heritage Foundation details widespread instances of election fraud across the United States and shows that the illicit activity has resulted in election results being overturned in at least a dozen races. In a number of cases, the abuse of the system is well-calculated and organized, but in most instances violations appear to have been committed by individuals acting independently. Case studies show that some perpetrators exploit the aged, mentally infirm, and homeless in order to garner a few more votes for their preferred candidate. Heritage’s findings were bolstered by a Rasmussen Reports and Heartland Institute poll of 1,085 likely voters published in December 2023.

The poll found that 21 percent of those who voted by absentee or mail-in ballot in 2020 admitted to filling out a ballot “in part or in full” for someone else, which is illegal. Of the 30 percent who said they voted by mail or absentee ballot in 2020, 19 percent said a friend or family member filled out their ballot, in part or in full, on their behalf. One-fifth said they signed a ballot or ballot envelope “on behalf of a friend or family member, with or without their permission,” the poll results state. Seventeen percent of those who voted by mail in 2020 said they cast a ballot in a state where they’re no longer a permanent resident, which is illegal. Among the 1,085 voters questioned, 8 percent said that a friend, family member, political party, or organization offered “to pay or reward them for voting in the 2020 election,” according to the poll.

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Czech cartoon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746056087722496445

 

 

Tasmanian tiger

 

 

Loved

 

 

 

 

Trust jump

 

 


Tobias Messerli, Utzingen, Switzerland.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


Salvador Dalí Living still life 1956

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Alina Habba

 

 

Ben Carson

 

 

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

 

 

Final battle

 

 


We aim to please

 

 


The Year of the Dragon promises action.

 

 

 

 

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

Poison Spiders at the Center of the Web (Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fanigate Goes Full Jerry Springer (ZH)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sa’ada

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Polish President Revolts Against New Government (RT)

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

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

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

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

Migrant Crisis Motive Revealed (Martin Armstrong)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Yeadon

 

 


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

 

 

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

 

 


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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


MC Escher Still life and street 1937

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Gaza teaches life

 

 

 

 

Biden bombs

 

 

Vivek

 

 

Tucker Trump

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Israel Cannot Win – Jordan (RT)

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

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

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

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

Erdogan Blasts US For Blocking Gaza Peace Resolution (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

German Chancellor Lying About Gas – Medvedev (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hunter Biden Launches Attack on Elon Musk (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Might as well let real estate insiders do the talking.

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

Trump Not To Testify In Fraud Proceedings (TASS)

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

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“..an ‘Advent calendar of sh*t.’”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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To date, the inquiry has spent over £70 million

 

 

Excess deaths

 

 

 

 

Watters climate

 

 

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

 

 

Owl legs

 

 

Baby owl

 

 

Lots of memories..

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 102023
 
 December 10, 2023  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Salvador Dalí Mi esposa desnuda 1945

 

‘Most Censored Man’ In America Set To Return To X (RT)
Gonzalo Lira’s Father Blames Biden (RT)
US Condemns Thousands To Death By Vetoing UN Gaza Resolution – Russia (TASS)
In the Season of Goodwill, A Tip for Biden… Stop Fuelling War (SCF)
Israeli Losses Multiply As Gaza Factions Ferociously Resist Aggression (Cradle)
Moscow on the Rocks (Pepe Escobar)
‘Putin Era’ Rolls On in Spite of West Endlessly Underestimating Him (Sp.)
Russia Won’t Agree to ‘Minsk-3.0’ Deal on Ukraine (Sp.)
Russia Won’t Allow Existence Of ‘Nazi State’ On Its Border – Zakharova (RT)
Polish Media Debunks Narrative That Ukraine is Fighting for West’s Freedom (Sp.)
Bizarre Plot Twist: Scholz Blames Putin for High Energy Prices in Europe (Sp.)
EU Leaders Panicking Over Potential Trump Return – NYT (RT)
With Hunter’s Indictment, Democrats Face A Moment Of Maddening Truth (Turley)
Americans Running Out Of Savings – JPMorgan (RT)
Net Zero Requires 80 Million Kilometres of New Power Lines By 2040 (DS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace

 

 

 

 

Martyanov

 

 

Jeffrey Sachs

 

 

Mahathir

 

 

 

 

“If the people vote him back on, this will be bad for X financially, but principles matter more than money..”

‘Most Censored Man’ In America Set To Return To X (RT)

X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk has asked the public to vote on whether to reinstate the account of Infowars host Alex Jones. Musk said that maintaining the ban on Jones would go against his belief in free speech. Musk posted his poll on Saturday afternoon, asking X users whether they wanted him to “reinstate Alex Jones on this platform?” With eight hours to go at time of writing, 70% were in favor of Jones’ reinstatement, and 30% opposed. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk wrote in his post. Musk used this Latin phrase, which means “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” when he reinstated former US President Donald Trump’s account after a similar vote last year. Jones and his InfoWars channel were banned from every major social media platform in 2018, with the Silicon Valley firms citing “hate speech” and alleged breaches of their terms of service.

Jones was also banned from using PayPal for business transactions over his alleged “intolerance against certain communities and religions.” After purchasing Twitter last year and rebranding the platform as X, Musk rolled back many of the company’s speech rules and censorship policies, and offered a “general amnesty” to previously banned users. However, he wrote last year that after the death of his infant son, he would never allow Jones back, describing the Infowars shock-jock as someone “who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.” Jones had previously claimed that the Sandy Hook school shooting of 2012 was perpetuated by the US government to drum up support for gun control. A group of victims’ families sued Jones over his comments, and a judge ordered him to pay over $1.5 billion in damages last year. Jones, who filed for bankruptcy shortly after the verdict, has vowed to appeal the decision.

Musk’s opinion of Jones appears to have softened after former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who now hosts a self-produced show on X, interviewed the notorious pundit earlier this week. Introducing his guest as “the most censored man in the English language,” Carlson sat down to an hour-long discussion with Jones, during which Jones said that he understood that if Musk allowed him back on X, “the ADL and others would really be able to shut down Twitter.” The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish NGO, has previously clashed with Musk over X’s alleged tolerance of “rampant hate speech.” The ADL settled its beef after Musk threatened to sue the organization for driving away advertisers with “false accusations.” Responding to an X user later on Saturday, Musk wrote that “I vehemently disagree with what he said about Sandy Hook, but are we a platform that believes in freedom of speech or are we not?” “That is what it comes down to in the end. If the people vote him back on, this will be bad for X financially, but principles matter more than money,” he added.

56 seconds

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“Isn’t it odd that four days later, after condemning Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Gonzalo was arrested?”

“If we are going to protect democracy in the world, let’s start by taking out that puppet called Zelensky..”

Gonzalo Lira’s Father Blames Biden (RT)

President Joe Biden’s administration was complicit in the arrest of a US citizen who was jailed and tortured in Ukraine for criticizing the Kiev government, the father of incarcerated blogger Gonzalo Lira has claimed, saying his son may have sealed his fate when he also spoke out against Washington. Gonzalo Lira was apprehended by Ukrainian authorities for the third time in August, while trying to escape the country into Hungary after being released on bail. The Chilean-American journalist had repeatedly criticized the government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, arguing that Kiev had provoked its conflict with Russia and had no chance of winning. “This that is happening to my son, he’s a victim of this Biden government and his relation with that puppet Zelensky,” Gonzalo Lira Sr. said on Saturday in an interview with US political commentator Tucker Carlson.

“Zelensky is a man that has made opponents, political opponents, disappear.” The 80-year-old father said his son had bravely reported on about a dozen Zelensky opponents who had been “disappeared.” The younger Gonzalo Lira also predicted correctly that the Russian economy would be relatively unscathed by Western sanctions and that NATO members would suffer a boomerang effect from their efforts to arm Ukraine and punish Moscow. However, it was only after the blogger sharply criticized Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris that he was arrested for a second time, in May, Gonzalo Lira Sr. told Carlson. “Isn’t it odd that four days later, after condemning Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Gonzalo was arrested?” the father asked. “Why was he not detained earlier? When he was let go the previous year, he continued the same criticism against the war.”

He added, “The USA government, with its silence in the face of this scandalous incident, suggests a degree of complicity, or at least tacit approval of Gonzalo’s arrest.” Lira contrasted the Biden administration’s “conspicuous lack of response” to his son’s arrest to Washington’s aggressive efforts to secure the release of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested in Russia on espionage charges in March. The younger Lira is relying on a court-appointed Ukrainian attorney who speaks no English for his legal defense. Just before being captured in August, he warned that if he failed to get safely into Hungary and be granted political asylum, he would likely die in a Ukrainian labor camp.

Gonzalo Lira Sr. has called his son a political prisoner and has argued that his case illustrates the absurdity of US claims that the world must defend “freedom and democracy” in Ukraine. “If we are going to protect democracy in the world, let’s start by taking out that puppet called Zelensky,” he said.

Tucker Gonzalo

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“The resolution called for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages and urged the parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law.”

US Condemns Thousands To Death By Vetoing UN Gaza Resolution – Russia (TASS)

The United States condemned thousands of Palestinian and Israeli civilians to death by vetoing a resolution calling for a ceasefire, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said.”Our American colleagues have condemned thousands – if not tens of thousands – more civilians in Palestine and Israel, including women and children, to death, along with the UN workers who are trying to help them. History will assess what Washington has done,” he noted. “One can say many beautiful but empty words about democracy, human rights, peace, security, some rules and order, but today, we learned the true value of these words as two members of the UN Security Council preferred to remain complicit in Israel’s brutal massacre,” the diplomat said.

“Here at the council, we have nothing left to do but triple efforts to develop a decision that would ease the suffering of civilians within the limited and toothless framework that Washington and London have left us with,” he concluded. Earlier, the US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution submitted by the United Arab Emirates, which called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Thirteen out of the UN Security Council’s 15 members, including Russia and China, voted for the resolution, while the UK abstained. The resolution called for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages and urged the parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law.

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“The massacre of children in Gaza is particularly poignant given its location in the Holy Land and the proximity to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, whom Christians revere as the Son of God. The profanity is shocking.”

In the Season of Goodwill, A Tip for Biden… Stop Fuelling War (SCF)

U.S. President Joe Biden failed to obtain his Christmas wishlist of $111 billion in additional military funds for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The so-called “supplementary military aid package” was blocked by the Senate this week mainly due to opposition from Republican lawmakers. Their opposition was primarily based on demands for more funding to be given to U.S. border security measures rather than on principles of anti-war and pro-peace. Nevertheless, it is somewhat satisfying that Biden’s madcap militarism was dealt a blow. It’s also quite a grim eye-opener that the American president – the supposed leader of the “free world” and a professed devout Christian – sees nothing more important than spending such colossal amounts of money on weapons of war. It is all the more odious given the approach of Christmas and the Season of Goodwill.

The appalling violence in Gaza and the futile war in Ukraine must be stopped immediately. Peace and the alleviation of suffering should be the utmost priority for all world leaders worthy of the name. However, the Biden administration is having none of that. President Biden wants to send another $68 billion in weapons to Ukraine – on top of the more than $120 billion his administration has already supplied in aid to the Kiev regime. It is estimated that 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in nearly two years of a U.S.-led NATO proxy war against Russia. Yet, ludicrously, Biden declares this war to be an achievement in “defending democracy”. Instead of recognizing (even tacitly) that the conflict is a disastrous defeat for Washington and its allies, Biden wants to keep on throttling it.

Meanwhile, the White House has repudiated international calls for a ceasefire in Israel’s wanton offensive against Gaza. After more than two months of intensive aerial bombardment, more than 17,000 Palestinians have been killed and 50,000 injured. Most of the victims have been innocent children and women. The barbarity is unspeakable. So much so that there is a strong suspicion that the Israeli regime is exploiting the Hamas attacks on October 7 as a pretext for ethnic extermination. Despite the horrendous destruction, the Biden administration wants to give Israel an additional $14 billion in military aid on top of the $3.8 billion it receives annually from the United States.

The reported supply of 15,000 heavy bombs and one-tonne bunker buster ordnance from the U.S. to Israel has been made without any conditions on their use to limit civilian casualties. That makes the United States fully complicit in what can only be called genocide in Gaza. To request even more killing power in the form of $14 billion supplementary military aid is tantamount to giving Israel an even brighter green light to continue the mass slaughter with impunity. It is shuddering that this spiritually significant time of year does not give politicians pause for thought. The massacre of children in Gaza is particularly poignant given its location in the Holy Land and the proximity to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, whom Christians revere as the Son of God. The profanity is shocking.

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“Only in the Mount Herzl cemetery did we bury 50 soldiers in 48 hours.”

Israeli Losses Multiply As Gaza Factions Ferociously Resist Aggression (Cradle)

The Israeli army has registered at least 5,000 wounded among its ranks, including 2,000 troops who have been left “disabled” during the two-month-long ethnic cleansing campaign of Gaza. “Israel has never witnessed an event like this before in terms of the number of injured people,” the head of the Rehabilitation Department at the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Limor Luria, told Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth on 9 December. She added that “58 percent of the soldiers have limb injuries, as they were subjected to the amputation of a leg or arm.” The Israeli army claims only 91 soldiers have been killed by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza since the start of the war on 7 October, casting doubt on whether the actual death toll is being kept secret as the Al-Qassam Brigades has documented the daily destruction of Israeli vehicles and squadrons for the past two months.

In an interview last month, the director of Mount Herzl Military Cemetery, David Oren Baruch, revealed that – at the time – one Israeli soldier was being buried every one hour to one hour and a half. “We are now going through a period. Every hour, there is a funeral, and every hour and a half, there is a funeral,” Baruch said on 19 November. “Only in the Mount Herzl cemetery did we bury 50 soldiers in 48 hours.” The Israeli army is currently facing a fierce battle in the southern city of Khan Younis. According to Yaniv Kubovits, the military affairs correspondent for Haaretz, Israeli army commanders have reported there are four Hamas battalions at the site “whose ability to launch attacks against the army has not been affected.” Battles are also raging in the north of Gaza, which the Israeli army claimed to have gained control of last month. Rocket attacks also continue to be launched against settlements near the Gaza envelope, raising questions on whether Tel Aviv’s stated goal of “eradicating Hamas” can be achieved.

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“Russia will not initiate a diplomatic dialogue. A sense of threat is very real in Russia. Diplomatic channels conveyed this message to the Americans, behind closed doors.”

Moscow on the Rocks (Pepe Escobar)

And then, casually, almost as an afterthought while meeting Donbass heroes, Putin announces he will run for President again in next March’s elections. Considering his massive popularity – at least 80% nationally – he’s bound to remain in power until 2030. Welcome to VVP-2024. Plenty of time for serial meetings with his dear friend Xi Jinping. The Russia-China strategic partnership – in charge of paving the road to multipolarity – is scheduled to be rocking more progressively than Emerson, Lake and Palmer in Tarkus (“Have you walked in the stones of years?”) These have been heady days in dazzling, snowy Moscow. To start with, let’s go on a roll call of all those indicators which are being reluctantly admitted even by rabid NATOstan media.

A manufacturing boom is in effect in a semi war economy. Investments are up, up and away – including by dodgy Russian oligarchs who can’t park their funds in the West anymore. Tourism is up and up – including legions of Chinese tour groups and everyone and his neighbor from West, Central and South Asia. There’s an oil and gas export boom – as EU clients continue to buy gas via Turkey or to the delight of New Delhi, Repackaged in India oil. The yuan replaces the U.S. dollar and the euro. Import substitution rules – while in parallel Made in Turkey or Made in China products replace Europeans. Last January, the IMF was betting that the Russian economy would shrink by 2.3%. Now this outpost of the Treasury Department admits Russian GDP will grow by 2.2%. Actually it’s 3%, according to Putin himself, based on figures provided by the “Disrupter” (as described by a Western rag), Madame Elvira Nabiullina.

I have been privileged to be part of key meetings on everything from the latest in the Ukraine-Belarus front to still secret, top-flight studies on the ideal mechanism to bypass the U.S. dollar in payment settlements. A small group of us, invited by the International Russophile Movement (MIR), were treated to a detailed visit to the astonishing Sretensky monastery complex, defined by mega cool guy Larry Johnson as an unparalleled architectural jewel where one may experience “the palpable presence of God.” Then there was the requisite ritual, long, languid dinner with a stunning Princess in unmatchable Patriarch’s Ponds – Moscow’s Soho; talking to the young, future generation planning a new ground-breaking think tank in St. Petersburg; the mesmerizing Russia exhibition at the VDNKh – complete with a four-story underground bunker built by Rosatom to highlight the history of the Russian nuclear program.

Yes: there are replicas of the supersonic TU-144, the K3 Leninsky Komsomol nuclear submarine and even the Tsar Bomba. Not to mention Gagarin’s rocket lighted as if it’s starring on a psychedelic trip. The spirit of Christmas in on at Red Square – complete with skating rink and countless Christmas trees from every Russian region displayed at GUM. Welcome to the true multipolar Moveable Feast; and in the era of genocide in every smartphone, unlike Hemingway’s time a century ago, that’s not exactly taking place in gloomy and fearful Paris.

High-level Russian diplomacy was stunned to discover that Europe was much more dogmatic than many believed. “A new generation” is needed for dialogue to resume – but that does not seem to be in the cards anytime soon. Embassies should work as mediators. Yet that’s not the case – especially when it comes to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Russia will not initiate a diplomatic dialogue. A sense of threat is very real in Russia. Diplomatic channels conveyed this message to the Americans, behind closed doors. On the wishful thinking by has-beens such as former NATO secretary-general Anders “Fogh of War” Rasmussen, bragging on blocking St. Petersburg out of the Baltic Sea: “This is something that may end up very badly.”

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“..any global governance settlement cannot be enforced without the equal involvement of Russia, China and the US,” Raffone said. “The EU is, regrettably, irrelevant in such an exercise..”

‘Putin Era’ Rolls On in Spite of West Endlessly Underestimating Him (Sp.)

Many in the West thought military conflict between Russia and Ukraine would spell doom for Russian leader Vladimir Putin. But instead the operation has only strengthened the longtime president’s political resilience. That’s according to Paolo Raffone, the director of CIPI Foundation in Brussels, who spoke to Sputnik in light of Putin’s recent announcement that he’d seek reelection in 2024. “One critical mistake in any military confrontation is to underestimate the enemy,” noted Raffone. “Since the outset of the Russian operation, the Western propaganda machine has diffused reports ridiculing Russian strategies, forces, and capabilities.” “Even at a later stage, the withdrawal of Russian forces from Bakhmut has been completely misinterpreted as a sign of weakness while, instead, it was a wise decision, although painful, dictated by the restructuring of logistics along an over extended frontline.”

The strategic analyst suggested Putin and his military advisers have played the long game. Meanwhile, Western leaders’ public promotion of Kiev’s chances for victory has given rise to an overconfidence in the regime’s capabilities, imperiling the entire project. “The over communication of the capabilities of the Ukrainian army to launch last summer’s counteroffensive has resulted in overestimating the real possibilities while underestimating the carefully prepared Russian defensive lines,” said Raffone. “In addition, the stream of declarations by the NATO secretary general shows the manipulative intent instead of representing the effectiveness of the situation.” “Over the last three days, the NATO ‘paper tiger’ has contradicted itself several times on the real possibilities for Ukraine to win. No doubt that in all military operations propaganda is as important as the field activities. However, the reality in the field remains while propaganda vanishes, producing a sense of despair and disaffection in the masses involved.”

Raffone claimed that, behind the scenes, a “secret realist diplomacy” has prevailed regarding the situation even as a chauvinistic Western press is unable to convey the reality of events on the ground. The disconnect with reality extends to Western political leaders who’ve been unable to reflect Russia’s advantageous position in their “storytelling and policies. He believes the United States is seeking a “credible face-saving exit strategy” from the Ukrainian confrontation amidst the political realities of upcoming elections in Russia, the United States, and the European Union. Until those elections are held, Raffone said “no political leader can deviate from the chosen anti-Putin stance,” meaning Western audiences may expect public vilification and hysterical mainstream media speculation to continue. “Serious strategic analysis indicates that any global governance settlement cannot be enforced without the equal involvement of Russia, China and the US,” Raffone said. “The EU is, regrettably, irrelevant in such an exercise..” [..]

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“They all talk about the de facto recognition of Russian control over territory and making the rest of Ukraine an anti-Russia on steroids..”

Russia Won’t Agree to ‘Minsk-3.0’ Deal on Ukraine (Sp.)

Russia will either have to “come to the negotiating table on terms that would be acceptable to Ukraine…or they will face a stronger Ukraine, backed by a stronger defense industrial base in the United States, in Europe, and in Ukraine that has more ability to go on the offense,” US deputy national security advisor John Finer warned during a talk at a DC neocon think tank this week. The Kremlin rejected Finer’s comments as “absolutely unrealistic.” “I don’t think that there are necessary preconditions for peace talks,” Russian foreign policy strategist Dmitry Suslov told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. “The objective reasons for Western interest in peace talks are there because the correlation of forces on the Ukrainian conflict is shifting in Russia’s favor, has already shifted in Russia’s favor.

“And I think Russian preponderance in all aspects on the front will continue to grow – in terms of the number of people…in terms of weapons and ammunition, in terms of the ability to deliver and supply those weapons and ammunition to the front, including the newest features of contemporary warfare like drones and anti-radio systems and so on and so forth. So, Russia will continue to increase its advantage and over time, this Russian material advantage will inevitably translate into breakthroughs on the front,” Suslov explained. Leading American neoliberal and neoconservative geopolitics experts realize this, the observer believes, hence the sudden calls for a truce, some type of diplomatic settlement or at least a freeze on the conflict.

“But from the Russian perspective, we do not see a readiness for serious discussions from the Biden administration. Most likely it wants, as Americans say, to ‘kick the can down the road’ until the elections and then to think what comes next after the elections,” Suslov said. One recent report by a well-respected US journalist suggested that forces behind the scenes in Washington have put out feelers for a peace deal with Russia involving freezing the conflict along its current frontiers, in exchange for a rump Ukrainian state’s inclusion into the NATO bloc. Such talk focused territory marks a fundamental misunderstanding of Russia’s actual security concerns, Suslov stressed.

“They all talk about the de facto recognition of Russian control over territory and making the rest of Ukraine an anti-Russia on steroids, integration of the rump Ukraine into the Western orbit in this or that form, robust militarization of this rump Ukraine. They talk about either the Israeli model or the Korean model, both of which would imply Ukraine becoming a militarized anti-Russian fortress with very strong connections with the West. This is completely unacceptable for Russia. This is a false vision because Russia will never be satisfied with territories. The most fundamental reason why Russia is fighting this struggle is security – more fundamental questions of European security,” the geopolitical observer said.

Moscow, Suslov said, is focused not on territory, but on “Ukrainian-NATO relations, the future of NATO’s presence in Ukrainian territory, the future of Ukrainian militarization versus demilitarization” (as outlined in the Russian Foreign Ministry’s December 2021 draft treaties on ironclad security guarantees). Accordingly, “without Western readiness to address those issues,” the Russian government will be extremely unlikely to entertain talks of peace or even a truce, the analyst believes.

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“It is necessary to confirm the neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free status of Ukraine..”

Russia Won’t Allow Existence Of ‘Nazi State’ On Its Border – Zakharova (RT)

Moscow will not allow Ukraine to continue its existence as a “Nazi state,” threatening both Russia and other nations, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. Zakharova made the remarks in an exclusive interview with AFP, published in full on Saturday. Asked whether the goals of “denazification” and “demilitarization” of Ukraine, proclaimed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the beginning of the conflict in February 2022, Zakharova confirmed that was the case. Moreover, the events of the Ukrainian crisis have shown Russia’s decision to launch its special military operation was a necessity, she stressed.

“From the very beginning of the hostilities, the [Ukrainian] neo-Nazis have been cynically using the civilian population as ‘human shields’ and brutally treating Russian prisoners of war. Their main goal in this conflict is to kill as many Russians as possible,” Zakharova explained. “We will not allow the existence on our borders of an aggressive Nazi state from whose territory there is a danger for Russia and its neighbors.” Asked about prospects of somehow settling the conflict, Zakharova said that the only way to reach a “lasting peace” was, effectively, meeting all Russia’s demands. “It is necessary to confirm the neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free status of Ukraine, carry out its demilitarization and denazification, acknowledge new territorial realities, and ensure the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities living in this country,” she explained.

Russia remains ready to resolve the conflict through diplomacy, the spokeswoman confirmed, stating that Moscow has never refused to do so. However, to make such negotiations possible, “the Kiev regime and its Western curators” must take “practical steps and show goodwill.” Thus far, neither of them had shown such “political will,” she added. “A comprehensive, sustainable and just resolution of the conflict over Ukraine depends, to a large extent, on addressing its very causes. The West must stop pumping up the Ukrainian military with weaponry, while Kiev must cease hostilities and withdraw its troops from Russian territory,” Zakharova explained, referring to the four formerly-Ukrainian regions of Zaporozhye, Kherson, as well as Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which got incorporated into Russia after referendums last fall.

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“An Estonian military officer has formulated the following thesis: that ‘there are only two options: either Ukraine will win, or there will be World War III..’”

Polish Media Debunks Narrative That Ukraine is Fighting for West’s Freedom (Sp.)

Kiev’s “cunning propaganda” suggesting that a Russian victory in Ukraine will inevitably be followed up with attacks on NATO countries are little more than a form of “demagoguery” and “blackmail” completely detached from reality. That’s according to an editorial published in Polish politics journal Mysl Polska. “An Estonian military officer has formulated the following thesis: that ‘there are only two options: either Ukraine will win, or there will be World War III’. This ridiculous proposition is probably shared by a large part of Ukraine’s supporters in our country,” the alternative conservative media outlet wrote, pointing to efforts by some actors to convince the public “that a Ukrainian defeat will mean we will definitely be attacked by Russia.”

But the latter claim is little more than a “cunning propaganda move by Kiev aimed at maintaining Western policy of unconditional military and financial support,” with these kind of “demagogic statements…often used by Ukrainian politicians as blackmail (for example, during the Polish truckers’ protests). This trick is also used by the failing administration of Joe Biden, which frightens the countries of NATO’s eastern flank with the prospect of an attack by Russia,” the journal emphasized. The reality is the exact opposition, and “there is no country in Europe that should be more interested in ending the war than Poland, which will be the first to face the consequences if the military situation escalates. Poland should be among the first countries to demand an end to this war, just like the Hungarians are doing. However, no political force in our country will dare to formulate such a demand… Why? Because the dogma of ‘fighting to the end’ continues to apply. The fact that it means ‘to the last Ukrainian’ is something no one in Poland cares about.”

The political journal lamented that “no one in Poland is talking about the fundamental change in the West’s policy toward Russia towards dialogue and the creation of a security system in which all parties (Russia and the West) will feel safe. To achieve this, we will need to end NATO’s march to the east, clearly declare that Ukraine will be a neutral country, end the policy of endless sanctions and revive all institutions that could be a platform for dialogue between Russia and the Europe (e.g. The OSCE). Someone might say, but isn’t that impossible? If so, they will be admitting that the Estonian military officer quoted above is right – that the alternative is World War III,” Mysl Polska summarized.

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“Yes, Russia stopped supplying energy to Europe… It was the Russian president who halted gas supplies through a working gas pipeline,” Scholz stated.”

Bizarre Plot Twist: Scholz Blames Putin for High Energy Prices in Europe (Sp.)

The leader of Germany’s coalition government attempted to scapegoat Russia for his country’s self-inflicted economic woes as Berlin faces the threat of deindustrialization. In a recent address at the Social Democratic Party (SPD) congress, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz blamed Russia for halting gas supplies to Europe amid rising energy costs. He accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of stopping gas flows through a functional pipeline, significantly reducing Germany’s gas intake and contributing to a shortfall in Europe’s energy reserves. “Russia: Yes, Russia stopped supplying energy to Europe… It was the Russian president who halted gas supplies through a working gas pipeline,” Scholz stated. “This has implications for energy prices.”

But that narrative collapses in light of his country’s role in imposing sanctions on Moscow and restricting the flow of Russian energy to Western Europe. Scholz’s decision to align with the US and Britain in sanctioning Russian energy sources worsened Germany’s problems. The nation has denied itself around 120 billion cubic meters of Russian gas as a result. Germany has instead increased gas imports from Norway and built new liquified natural gas (LNG) on its northern coast to import more-expensive supplies from the US — all choices made by the West, not Moscow.

The gas supply situation worsened further following last year’s terrorist attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines that run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Several countries, including Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, have conducted investigations into the incident, but have failed to name a culprit and refused to share their findings with Russia. Russian authorities have accused the US and Britain as the main forces behind the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines. Nikolai Shulginov, head of the Russian Ministry of Energy, stated in November that Russia had not “closed” the western direction of energy supplies and continues to be a reliable gas supplier even under current challenging conditions.

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“..this anti-interventionism would lead to the eventual collapse of NATO..”

EU Leaders Panicking Over Potential Trump Return – NYT (RT)

EU diplomats and think tank officials have been contacting former US President Donald Trump’s associates to figure out whether he would pull the US out of NATO if he returns to the White House, the New York Times reported on Friday. With less than a year to go until the 2024 presidential elections, Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee and is leading President Joe Biden in most polls. A host of former Trump administration officials and anti-Trump pundits have claimed in recent weeks that a second Trump presidency would herald the collapse of NATO, and that panic has reportedly spread to the EU. “European ambassadors and think tank officials have been making pilgrimages to associates of Mr. Trump to inquire about his intentions,” the New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources.

These officials included Finland’s ambassador to the US, Mikko Hautala, who the newspaper said “reached out directly to Mr. Trump and sought to persuade him of his country’s value to NATO as a new member.” Other countries are expected to try and win Trump’s support with “flattery and transactional tributes,” the Times stated, citing interviews with current and former diplomats. Trump has not threatened to pull the US out of NATO. However, he spent his presidency railing against the bloc’s European members, accusing them of freeloading off the US’ massive military presence on the continent while failing to meet NATO’s target of spending 2% of GDP on defense. Trump used NATO’s annual summits to berate European leaders into boosting their military spending, and according to former National Security Advisor John Bolton, was ready to announce the US’ withdrawal from the alliance in 2018.

Trump’s final national security advisor, Robert O’Brien, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, told the Times that the former president’s NATO-related gripes should be viewed as a negotiating tactic, aimed at pressing European members into committing more money to the bloc. In a statement to the Times, Trump wrote that “it is the obligation of every US president to ensure that America’s alliances serve to protect the American people, and do not recklessly endanger American blood and treasure,” adding that his “highest priority” would be “the defense of our own country, our own borders, our own values, and our own people.”

Such a statement is consistent with Trump’s long-standing view that American troops should not be “the policemen of the world.” While Trump carried out military strikes on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, he attempted to withdraw American troops from all three countries, and was the only US president in modern history not to engage in a new foreign war. However, Trump’s former defense secretary, Marc Esper, told MSNBC on Thursday that this anti-interventionism would lead to the eventual collapse of NATO. If Trump were to pull military support for Ukraine, Esper claimed, “the whole effort to support Ukraine in its war with Russia would eventually crumble,” as would the alliance itself if Trump then began pulling troops from Europe.

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“..it makes no sense to insist that there is no direct evidence while opposing efforts to establish such evidence..”

With Hunter’s Indictment, Democrats Face A Moment Of Maddening Truth (Turley)

Author Aldous Huxley once said, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.” Such a moment of madness has arrived in Congress as members prepare to vote on the formal approval of an impeachment inquiry. The second indictment of Hunter Biden shattered long-standing denials and narratives repeated by the White House and members of Congress. What is left in its wake is now plain to the public: corruption. The vote is not whether to impeach President Biden, but whether members support the investigation into these growing allegations of corruption by the Biden family. According to recent polling, nearly 70 percent of voters (and 40 percent of Democrats) believe that Biden has acted unlawfully or unethically or both. Yet with almost half of the Democratic Party viewing Biden’s conduct as worthy of investigation, it is not clear whether a single Democratic member will vote to look into these allegations.

In September, I testified at the first impeachment inquiry hearing and stated that the evidence had clearly passed the threshold for such an inquiry. While there was no requirement to hold a formal vote to start this process (as the Democrats did with Trump), I encouraged the members to hold such a vote. Since that hearing, the evidence has only mounted against President Biden. It is now clear that Biden lied when he maintained as a candidate, and later as president, that he had no knowledge of his son’s business dealings with foreign interests. Even Hunter himself contradicted the president on this claim. It is also now clear that he lied in denying that his son never made money in China. The indictment confirms massive transfers from Chinese sources.

It is also clear that Hunter was engaged in raw influence peddling. This included threatening at least one Chinese businessman that his father was sitting next to him and would retaliate against him if he did not send millions to the Bidens. President Biden also lied when he claimed this week that he had not had any “interactions” with his son’s business associates. There are emails, audiotapes and testimony now disproving that claim. Millions of dollars flowed to Biden family members through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts. Hunter Biden sent emails saying that up to half of his income went to his father while they used shared accounts and credit cards for expenses. Even Biden associates now admit that they were selling “the Biden brand” and influence with Joe Biden. Advocates simply argue that they were merely selling the “illusion” of influence.

It is now time to see if a single Democratic member will stand against corruption and support an inquiry into the president’s role and later cover-up of this corruption. That includes the use of White House staff to spread false claims and attack critics. I have previously discussed four possible articles of impeachment that warrant investigation. One of the false narratives being bandied about is that there is no proof that the influence peddling Biden’s son and brothers benefited the president himself. Thus, the argument goes, even though he was the subject of the influence peddling, Joe Biden did not legally or constitutionally benefit from the payments to constitute bribery or other crimes.

That is utter nonsense. The courts have repeatedly found that benefits to family members (far more modest than the millions in this case) can constitute bribery for a politician. That has also been the position of the Justice Department in past cases. Regardless of whether Hunter or his associates were speaking truthfully about handing over percentages of these funds to Joe Biden, he practically and legally benefited from the millions going to his family. Even if members insist that they are not yet convinced, it makes no sense to insist that there is no direct evidence while opposing efforts to establish such evidence. These members have opposed any investigation into the allegations from the start.

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“..existing home sales have dropped near record lows, and roughly $6.5 trillion of commercial real estate debt remains an overhang..”

Americans Running Out Of Savings – JPMorgan (RT)

Most Americans have already drained the excess savings they made during the Covid-19 pandemic, Marko Kolanovic, a senior stock strategist at JPMorgan bank, said in a note this week. According to Kolanovic, inflation-adjusted liquid assets such as deposits and money market funds of nearly all US consumers will be below 2019 levels by mid-2024. “It is likely that only the top 1% of consumers by income will be better off than before the pandemic,” he warned, noting the recent surge of credit card and auto loan delinquencies and a growing number of bankruptcy protection filings.

According to JPMorgan’s earlier calculations, Americans’ excess savings reached a record high in August 2021 at $2.1 trillion. However, in October this year, they were down to around $148 billion. The bank’s strategists explained at the time that the trend stems from “tighter credit conditions and rising rates, wind-down of Covid-era stimulus and relief programs,” as well as multiple years of above average inflation. Kolanovic noted that the housing market is so far stable despite high borrowing costs, “as consumers locked in low interest rates.” “However, existing home sales have dropped near record lows, and roughly $6.5 trillion of commercial real estate debt remains an overhang,” he warned.

Meanwhile, US credit card debt has continued to surge this year, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases in the three months to September, according to the New York Federal Reserve bank. Researchers have noted that more and more households are having difficulty managing their debt amid persistently high inflation and rising interest rates, a tendency that could signal “real financial stress.”

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“..renewable energy is unreliable and uneconomic, and has an insatiable requirement for financial subsidy..”

Net Zero Requires 80 Million Kilometres of New Power Lines By 2040 (DS)

Achieving Net Zero means building 80 million kilometres of new and refurbished power lines within 17 years, equivalent to wrapping the Earth 2,000 times with new electricity grid capacity. All the high voltage lines built in the last century will need to be built again by 2040 to benefit from all the intermittent power produced by the vast number of wind turbines. The ecological costs of all this can only be guessed at. Electricity cables are made of aluminium and copper and strung on giant pylons made of steel and supported by large concrete bases. For their part, wind turbines are a menace to both avian and oceanic wildlife, consume vast quantities of raw materials, have a limited lifespan and are an increasing blight on both inland and offshore landscapes.

If the International Energy Agency (IEA) gets its way, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The roll-out of high voltage lines will be on an unprecedented scale. In a report on global electricity grids issued to coincide with COP28, the IEA states that “an unprecedented level of attention from policymakers and business leaders is needed to ensure grids support clean energy transitions and maintain electricity security”. Major changes in how grids operate and are regulated are said to be essential. Annual investment in grids, which has remained broadly stagnant, needs to double to more than $600 billion a year by 2030. The Australian science journalist Jo Nova is in no mood to be understanding: “Remember, it’s not their fault that renewables need far more land, more space, more backup and more infrastructure – it’s our fault we didn’t build a world ready for their holy energy.”

The IEA paints a world where electricity grids are becoming a “bottleneck” for transitions to Net Zero emissions. While investment in renewables has been increasing rapidly, global investment in grids “has barely changed”. In Europe, policymakers can speed up progress on grids by “enhancing planning, ensuring regulatory risk assessments allow for anticipatory investment, and streamlining administrative processes”. In plain English this means ripping up local planning laws in over-populated Britain and blanketing the country with millions of giant electricity pylons. These will be required to bring energy to urban areas from power intermittently generated far away in the North Sea and off the Scottish coast.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the British Government recently set out “major plans” to speed up connections and rapidly increase capacity on the electricity grid. The press release cunningly linked it with a £960 million government investment in “green industries”. The new package is “expected” to bring forward £90 billion of investment over the next 10 years. The Government promised that it will “reward” those living closest to new infrastructure with up to £1,000 a year off their electricity bills. In another part of the release, this is downgraded to communities “could” benefit, and the bung is limited to 10 years. Whatever the money is spent on, it is likely to be chickenfeed compared with the growing £12 billion annual subsidy paid by electricity consumers to the producers of renewable energy. But the next British government will face an empty exchequer and soaring state debt. Lack of finance along with the end of low interest rates and free money printing is likely to kill many of the green fantasises currently being peddled by collectivist Net Zero fanatics. It is becoming clearer by the day, to an increasing number of people, that renewable energy is unreliable and uneconomic, and has an insatiable requirement for financial subsidy.

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Sep 212023
 
 September 21, 2023  Posted by at 9:07 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Willem de Kooning Gotham News 1955

 

The Question About Biden (Patrick Lawrence)
Jim Jordan: The Fix Is In (Kanekoa)
Feds Thwarted Probe Into ‘Criminal Violations’ In 2020 Biden Campaign (JTN)
Poland Announces It Will No Longer Arm Ukraine (ZH)
McCarthy Refuses To Guarantee $24 Billion For Zelensky (RT)
The ‘Kitchen Sink’ Is McCarthy’s Only Path To Avoid Shutdown (ZH)
Rand Paul To Hold Up Any Spending Stopgap That Includes Ukraine Funding (Hill)
Trump Silent On Peace Plan As Ukrainians Die – Zelensky (RT)
With Gonzalo Lira In Ukraine Prison, Billions More For Ukrainian ‘Freedom’ (BB)
Russian Announces Full Ceasefire Agreement For Nagorno-Karabakh (TASS)
Jacinda Ardern Calls on the United Nations to Crack Down on Free Speech
Putin Never Insults People: Peskov In Response To Biden (TASS)
DHS Is Grooming Americans to Report on Each Other (Whitehead)
The Bull Missed The Red Flag In The Russian Provincial Elections (Helmer)
MEP Delivers Damning Message to the Global Tyrants (VN)

 

 

 

 

She’s the best
https://twitter.com/i/status/1704320986135290064

 

 

 

 

Nap Larry Johnson

 

 

Nap Ritter

 

 

 

 

Watters

 

 

 

 

Dystopia

 

 

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

– H. L. Mencken

 

 

 

 

“Biden and his minders are not going to fight the impeachment process in committee rooms and courts because they cannot win on the evidentiary merits. They are going to fight this by mounting a propaganda op..”

The Question About Biden (Patrick Lawrence)

A friend and colleague wrote in an unusually sage commentary a couple of years ago that Ukraine would prove “NATO’s Waterloo.” He called the brewing conflict there “a debacle-in-waiting.” This was two months before the U.S. provoked the Russian intervention in February 2022. Now that is prescience. Ukraine, indeed, has revealed NATO somewhat in the way of the old pun: No action, talk only. As Scott Ritter argued in a recent speech, it now appears the alliance is incapable of waging war in Ukraine or anywhere else in Europe. But let’s set NATO’s surprising weakness aside for now and consider who, as the Ukrainian sinkhole widens and deepens, is tumbling fastest into it.

Here I offer a confession: I take pleasure, not at all perverse, in watching Joesph R. Biden, Jr. and those around him panic as the bill comes due for all those years of conniving with Ukrainian crooks and as the unforgivable folly of the war he started is now everywhere understood, even among those who continue in public to pretend otherwise. It is not yet possible to discern just how our burbling president will go down, but go down he will. Of this we can now be certain. The time of comeuppance is near. My question as of last week is this: Is the Biden regime’s whatever-it-takes, as- long-as-it-takes commitment to the war tied to his escalating vulnerability to charges of corruption dating to his years as Barack Obama’s vice-president, when he carried the Ukraine portfolio? Does Biden have a personal interest in prolonging this war, to put this question another way?

It took the House of Representatives nearly a year, but last Tuesday Kevin McCarthy, the U.S. House speaker, directed the chamber to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden’s evidently extravagant grifting and influence peddling in Ukraine and elsewhere. It is hard to believe the Democrats’ response to this development. The Democratic machine and its clerks in the press pretended for years there was nothing to allegations that Biden and his son Hunter were on the take from a Ukrainian oligarch, as well as various other business people in China, Russia and Central Asia. They have more recently pretended there is no credible evidence of misconduct, even as investigators sent piles of it to the House Oversight Committee.

And now they pretend the imminent inquiry is so hollow and silly it is not worth bothering about. John Fetterman, the Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, struck the new pose as soon as McCarthy announced the inquiry: “Oh, my God, really? Oh, my gosh, it’s devastating,” Fetterman mocked. “Oooh, don’t do it. Please don’t do it.” You are now on notice, readers: Biden and his minders are not going to fight the impeachment process in committee rooms and courts because they cannot win on the evidentiary merits. They are going to fight this by mounting a propaganda op that is daring even for the party that concocted and then sustained the Russiagate hoax for five years. Here is Peter Baker, The New York Times’s chief White House correspondent, last Thursday:

“Forget the weighty legal arguments over the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors or the constitutional history of the removal process. Mr. Biden’s defense team has chosen to take on the Republican threat by convincing Americans that it is nothing more than rank partisanship driven by the radical wing of the opposition party.” The oafish Baker then elaborates the strategy: “The White House and its allies have gone on the offensive, dismissing the allegations against the president as baseless and debunked, attacking the investigators for distorting the evidence, issuing fund-raising appeals to financial supporters and pressuring the news media to frame the conflict on Mr. Biden’s terms.”

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X “thread”.

Jim Jordan: The Fix Is In (Kanekoa)

@Jim_Jordan: “The fix is in, even with a face-saving indictment last week of Hunter Biden, everyone knows the fix is in. For four and a half years, the Department of Justice has been investigating Mr. Biden. An investigation run by David Weiss that limited the number of witnesses agents could interview. An investigation that prohibited agents from referring to the President as the “Big Guy” in interviews. An investigation that curtailed attempts to interview Mr. Biden by giving his transition team a heads up. An investigation that notified Mr. Biden’s defense counsel about a pending search warrant. An investigation run by Mr. Weiss where they told Congress three different stories in 33 days.

They told this Committee on June 7, David Weiss said I have ultimate authority to determine when, where, and whether to bring charges. 23 days later, on June 30, he told this committee; actually, I can only bring charges in the District of Delaware. And then, to further confuse matters on July 10, he told Senator Graham, I have not sought Special Counsel status… An investigation run by Mr. Weiss that negotiated a plea deal that the Federal District Court declined to accept. A plea deal so ridiculous that the judge asked, “Is there any precedent for agreeing not to prosecute crimes that have nothing to do with the charges being diverted?” The DOJ lawyer responded, “I’m not aware of any, your Honor.”

A plea deal so ridiculous that the judge also asked, “Have you ever seen a diversion agreement where the agreement not to prosecute was so broad that it encompasses crimes in a different case?” The response from the DOJ lawyer? “No, Your Honor.” We have an investigation run by Mr. Weiss that not only had a sweetheart deal rejected, but according to The New York Times, there was an even sweeter earlier deal with Mr. Biden where he would not have to plead guilty to anything. Four and a half years and all that. And now we get a Special Counsel, and who does the Attorney General pick? David Weiss, the guy who let this all happen.” [“The one guy he knows will protect Joe Biden.”]

——-

The American administrative state is eliminating its primary opponent from a presidential race. At the same time, they run cover for the Biden family’s unregistered foreign lobbying, money laundering, and bribery operation that collected millions of dollars from Russian, Chinese, and Ukrainian oligarchs.

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“..you had this individual come in and cover Hunter Biden’s tax liability,” he added. “That’s kind of interesting. And then, was in fact that a contribution to Mr. Biden’s campaign when he ran for president?”

Feds Thwarted Probe Into ‘Criminal Violations’ In 2020 Biden Campaign (JTN)

The FBI and IRS probed allegations that Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign may have benefitted from “campaign finance criminal violations” by allowing a politically connected lawyer to help pay off Hunter Biden’s large tax debts but agents were blocked by federal prosecutors from further action, according to new information uncovered by congressional investigators. The previously unreported campaign finance inquiry was first alluded to in transcribed interviews by House investigators with two IRS agents and a retired FBI supervisor, and the allegations since have been augmented in recent weeks by new evidence uncovered by the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight Committee.

That evidence includes a case summary memo written by IRS Supervisory Criminal Investigative Agent Gary Shapley to his bosses dated May 3, 2021 in which he alleged that Lesley Wolf, a top prosecutor in the Hunter Biden case inside Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss’ office, waived agents off the campaign finance case. Shapley provided the information to Congress under the protections of whistleblower laws, and lawmakers voted the information to be public “This investigation has been hampered and slowed by claims of potential election meddling,” Shapley wrote in the memo, according to his now-public transcribed interview with House Ways and Means where he read verbatim a passage from the memo. “Through interviews and review of evidence obtained, it appears there may be campaign finance criminal violations.

“AUSA Wolf stated on the last prosecution team meeting that she did not want any of the agents to look into the allegation,” Shapley’s memo stated, according to his interview. “She cited a need to focus on the 2014 tax year, that we could not yet prove an allegation beyond a reasonable doubt, and that she does not want to include their Public Integrity Unit because they would take authority away from her. We do not agree with her obstruction on this matter.” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Just the News on Tuesday evening that the campaign finance inquiry is a newer matter under investigation by his committee but it fits a pattern of other investigative avenues ranging from search warrants to interviews that were inexplicably turned down by prosecutors in the Hunter Biden case.

“We’re just getting into this issue and the concerns,” Jordan [said]. “But it wouldn’t surprise me if they were told to stand down because remember this investigation over a five-year timeframe was slow-walked.” “This is something that I think is a concern, because, you know, you had this individual come in and cover Hunter Biden’s tax liability,” he added. “That’s kind of interesting. And then, was in fact that a contribution to Mr. Biden’s campaign when he ran for president?”

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US next?

Poland Announces It Will No Longer Arm Ukraine (ZH)

The dam is breaking on unified Western support for Ukraine, and the timing couldn’t be worse for Zelensky, given tomorrow he’s expected to meet with President Biden at the White House. On Wednesday evening there is monumental news out of Poland which could potentially change the entire course of the war. “Poland will no longer arm Ukraine to focus on its own defense,” Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced just hours after Warsaw summoned Ukraine’s ambassador related to a fresh war of words and spat over blocked grain, according to the AFP. Warsaw has throughout more than a year-and-a-half of the Ukraine-Russia war been Kiev’s staunchest and most outspoken supporter. Will this massive and hugely significant about-face mark the beginning of the end? Are peace negotiations and ceding of territory in the Donbas inevitable at this point?

Within the last 48 hours relations between Poland and Ukraine quickly spiraled to their lowest point since the Russian invasion, and it is directly related to Warsaw leading a handful of EU countries to extend a grain export ban on Ukraine, amid continuing anger and outrage from Polish farmers who are suffering due to their country being flooded with cheap Ukrainian wheat. Crucially, Poland will hold parliamentary elections on Oct.15. The prior atmosphere of enthusiastic pro-Kiev rhetoric has drastically changed, now with comparisons likening Ukraine to a “drowning man”. As The Associated Press explains:

“Polish leaders have compared Ukraine to a drowning person hurting his helper and threatened to expand a ban on food products from the war-torn country. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested that EU allies that are prohibiting imports of his nation’s grain are helping Russia. Now, Polish officials, who are trying to win parliamentary elections next month with help from farmers’ votes, are expressing dismay over some of Ukraine’s latest moves, including a World Trade Organization complaint over bans on Ukrainian grain from Poland and two other EU countries.” In surprisingly blunt and terse words given to reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Tuesday: “Ukraine is behaving like a drowning person clinging to anything available.”

He then said, “A drowning person is extremely dangerous, capable of pulling you down to the depths & simply drown the rescuer.” Given Ukraine’s battlefield losses and as it’s currently bogged down in a failing counteroffensive, the words no doubt stung. But as The Hill notes further of the domestic political context in Poland: Public sentiment around the issue, however, has started to deteriorate, putting the ruling party in a difficult position ahead of a close October election. The far-right Confederation party is hoping to capitalize on the waning support in the country. Reuters reported that a recent poll showed support for Ukrainian refugees fell from 91 percent when the war started to just 69 percent recently. The same survey showed a quarter of Poles are against supporting refugees, compared to 4 percent in early 2022.

In response to the grain ban, Zelensky during his UN speech had condemned the “alarming” behavior of allies regarding the import ban, but without naming Poland specifically. Further, Kiev has announced plans to sue Warsaw in the World Trade Organization while also holding out the possibility of its own embargo on Polish foodstuffs, including onions, tomatoes, cabbage, and apples. Again, all of this amounts to a full-blown diplomatic crisis for Zelensky which couldn’t come at a worse time, as he’s in D.C.

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“..Any money we give to Ukraine, we’re borrowing from our future.” “It’s not a good time for [Zelensky] to be here, quite frankly..”

McCarthy Refuses To Guarantee $24 Billion For Zelensky (RT)

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has refused to commit another $24 billion to Ukraine, telling reporters that he “has questions” for Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky first. With American military aid to Kiev dried up, disagreement on authorizing another funding package threatens to grind Washington to a halt. Zelensky is due to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill during a visit to Washington on Thursday. Ahead of the meeting, McCarthy was asked on Tuesday whether he would pledge $24 billion in military and economic aid to the Ukrainian president, as US President Joe Biden has requested. “Is Zelensky elected to Congress?”McCarthy responded. “Is he our president? I don’t think I have to commit anything and I think I have questions for him.”

“Where’s the accountability on the money we’ve already spent?” the Republican leader continued. “What is the plan for victory? I think that’s what the American public wants to know.” In the US Senate, the top Republican and Democrat leaders – Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer – want the $24 billion attached to a wider funding bill that must be passed before the end of the month to keep the government running. McCarthy wants any money for Ukraine to be discussed as a standalone bill, while a small group of hardline conservatives in the House want the broad funding bill replaced with individual bills for individual government agencies. This group, dubbed the ‘Freedom Caucus’, backed McCarthy’s speakership last year in exchange for the right to remove him from the position.

Most members of the ‘Freedom Caucus’ are politically aligned with former President Donald Trump, and oppose further US aid to Ukraine. “There’s no money in the House right now for Ukraine. It’s not there,” Rep. Byron Donalds told The Recount on Tuesday. “To be blunt, we’re running a $2 trillion deficit. Any money we give to Ukraine, we’re borrowing from our future.” “It’s not a good time for [Zelensky] to be here, quite frankly,” Donalds added. The US has allocated a total of $113 billion in aid to Ukraine since Russia launched its military operation last February, including more than $43 billion worth of arms, ammunition, and other military equipment.

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“..the bill will then head to the Senate, where they’ll undoubtedly strip out key Republican demands, and send a revised bill back to McCarthy that will likely contain billions of dollars for Ukraine..”

The ‘Kitchen Sink’ Is McCarthy’s Only Path To Avoid Shutdown (ZH)

With a shutdown looming in just over a week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has backed himself into a corner. On Tuesday, House Republicans were forced to cancel a procedural vote for a 30-day stopgap funding measure (Continuing Resolution) to keep the government’s lights on beyond Sept. 30. Hours later, five GOP lawmakers crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats to bring down the rule for the Pentagon’s spending bill. As Punchbowl News puts it: “Tuesday was a bad day for McCarthy and House Republicans.” The problem for Kevin is that he needs votes from members of the Freedom Caucus, who are demanding that the CR be spliced up so that it doesn’t fund ‘the election interference of Jack Smith,’ according to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Gaetz also wants McCarthy to sign a subpoena to better investigation Hunter Biden’s alleged “high crimes and misdemeanors,” – with the Florida rep going so far as to draft said subpoena for McCarthy to sign. McCarthy can also throw a Hail Mary and pander to Democrats for the votes he needs to pass the CR, however doing so would likely seal his fate over a looming threat by Gaetz and others to remove him from his post. The former Politico journalists at Punchbowl News – who have an uncanny read on inside baseball on the Hill, say that McCarthy’s only solution here is to cave to the Freedom Caucus (which might still screw him!) with a “kitchen sink” approach of acquiescing to all of their demands. McCarthy needs to take all of the conservatives’ demands and lump them together into one 30-day funding bill. Ignore how far-fetched or illogical these proposals are and accept what they represent — a means to an end. -Punchbowl News

Freedom Caucus member Ralph Norman (R-SC) told the outlet that he’d vote for the CR if McCarthy will commit to a $1.47 trillion discretionary spending cap, and a schedule for the 11 remaining FY2024 appropriations bills during the 30 days to which the CR applies. But the pain isn’t over for McCarthy – even if he bends the knee and Freedom Caucus members agree to pass it, the bill will then head to the Senate, where they’ll undoubtedly strip out key Republican demands, and send a revised bill back to McCarthy that will likely contain billions of dollars for Ukraine. McCarthy will then need to sell the CR back to House Republicans, who will either need to accept the reality of a divided government to avert a shutdown, or not. Oh, and the Freedom Caucus might still dick him…

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“..I will not consent to expedited passage of any spending measure that provides any more U.S. aid to Ukraine..”

Rand Paul To Hold Up Any Spending Stopgap That Includes Ukraine Funding (Hill)

Conservative Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced Wednesday he will hold up any funding bill to keep the government open past Sept. 30 if it includes funding for the war in Ukraine. Today I’m putting congressional leadership & @POTUS on notice that I will oppose any effort to hold the federal government hostage for Ukraine funding. I will not consent to expedited passage of any spending measure that provides any more U.S. aid to Ukraine,” Paul wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. That means if Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants to add Ukraine money to a stopgap measure to fund federal departments and agencies, he would have to go through the time-consuming process of filing cloture and scheduling a vote to end debate on the bill, which would take a few days.

The country risks a shutdown if Congress doesn’t pass what’s known as a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open past Sept. 30. The problem Schumer faces is that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) hasn’t been able to muster up enough votes in the House to pass a CR and send it to the Senate. The impasse in the House is holding up action in the Senate, giving Paul leverage to threaten Ukraine funding. President Biden has requested $24 billion in security and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. Senators are scheduled to receive a classified briefing on Ukraine at 5 p.m. Wednesday ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in the Old Senate Chamber. Schumer on Tuesday declined to say whether he would add Ukraine funding and disaster assistance to the continuing resolution but observed the package would need support from Democrats and Republicans.

“We’d like to work on a bipartisan basis on the CR with the Republicans. We’ve gotten indications that they want to do that. We’ve done it very successfully on the appropriations process and hopefully we can come together bipartisan here as well,” he said. Schumer criticized House Republicans on Tuesday for reaching a deal on a continuing resolution that didn’t include Ukraine or disaster relief money. The Democratic leader could attempt to pass the continuing resolution through the Senate first by using a legislative vehicle passed earlier this year in the House, but he hasn’t made a decision on that yet. “Our first job is to get the House to pass something. We’ll see if they can but we need a bipartisan bill in each body,” Schumer said.

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You’re sending them out to die, not Trump.

Trump Silent On Peace Plan As Ukrainians Die – Zelensky (RT)

If former US President Donald Trump actually believes that his claimed plan to resolve the Ukraine crisis in 24 hours is feasible, he should present it to the world rather than let hostilities continue at the cost of Ukrainian lives, President Vladimir Zelensky has said. Trump has repeatedly claimed that he would be able to swiftly resolve the conflict by striking a “fair deal.” He has said that his approach would involve pressuring both Russia and Ukraine into making concessions. Zelensky was asked about the idea by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during an interview on Tuesday. “If he has this plan, why be afraid and wait?” he asked in Ukrainian, before switching to English. “If he has some smart idea, he could share it with us.”

“He can publicly share his idea now, not waste time, not to lose people, and say: ‘My formula is to stop the war and stop all this tragedy and stop Russian aggression’,” the Ukrainian president continued. Zelensky made clear that he would reject any Trump plan involving territorial concessions by Ukraine or one that would not end with Russian troops ousted from “our land.” “Otherwise, he is not presenting the global idea of peace. So [if] the idea is how to take the part of our territory and to give it to Putin, that is not the peace formula.” Zelensky suggested that Trump himself may not be the person who formulated his plan. He urged the US as a country to contemplate what it would “give to Putin from your territories” in exchange for Russia not using nuclear weapons.

Moscow considers the conflict in Ukraine to be part of a Western proxy war against Russia. In his public speeches, the Russian president has stated that his government would not hesitate to use all the weapons in its arsenal, in accordance with the nation’s military doctrine. Under the document, the nuclear option is reserved for contingencies where the existence of Russia is at stake. Putin has said he considers the risks posed by the Ukraine conflict are nowhere near that threshold. Zelensky arrived in the US on Monday to participate in the UN General Assembly and meet senior US officials. He seeks to convince them to maintain the flow of military aid to his country and provide more advanced weapons from the Pentagon’s stockpiles.

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What is Biden doing to free him?

With Gonzalo Lira In Ukraine Prison, Billions More For Ukrainian ‘Freedom’ (BB)

The Biden administration is asking Congress to approve another $24 billion for Ukraine for now through the end of this year, which would add to the $113 billion that Congress has committed to the country since its war with Russia began in February of last year. President Biden on Tuesday at the United Nations argued that investment in Ukraine was an investment in “the future of every country that seeks a world governed by basic rules.” However, the administration has been much less vocal about Ukraine potentially violating the rights of an American journalist who is currently detained in Ukraine for his reporting; and in a speech at the U.N. almost entirely devoted to Ukraine, the status of Gonzalo Lira was not mentioned once by Biden.

Lira, a dual citizen of the United States and Chile who was living in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv at the time of the Russian invasion, is reportedly facing between five to eight years in prison under Ukraine’s wartime propaganda laws. The American citizen journalist was initially arrested in May of this year on suspicion of producing pro-Russian propaganda on his YouTube channel, where he questioned the narratives around the war presented in the legacy media and from the Zelensky government, including suggesting that Moscow was provoked into invading by the Ukrainian government and the expansion east of the American-led NATO military alliance.

In July of this year, Lira posted messages on Twitter and YouTube claiming that he was going to try to cross the Ukrainian border into Hungary to claim asylum after being released from prison on bail. He has not posted on either platform since. In his final video message, Lira claimed that if he did not post after his attempt to cross the border, it would mean that he had been arrested again by the Ukrainian authorities. Lira said that in such an event, he would “die in prison” and begged the public to “raise a ruckus” about his arrest. The former red pill-style dating coach turned citizen journalist has maintained that he merely discussed publicly available information about the war. “The American State Department knows exactly who I am and the fate that awaits me,” he said before attempting to cross the border.

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Not going smoothly. Armenia=US here.

Russian Announces Full Ceasefire Agreement For Nagorno-Karabakh (TASS)

A full ceasefire agreement between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh has been reached through the mediation of Russian peacekeepers, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. “A ceasefire agreement between the Azerbaijani side and representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh has been reached through the mediation of the command for Russia’s peacekeeping mission,” the statement reads. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, “the agreement will be implemented in coordination with the command for the Russian peacekeeping contingent.” The ministry said earlier that Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh continued to perform their mission amid rising tensions, providing all possible assistance to civilians. According to the ministry, a total of 2,261 civilians, including 1,049 children, are currently staying at the peacekeepers’ base camp.

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New Zealand should take her to court.

Jacinda Ardern Calls on the United Nations to Crack Down on Free Speech

Jacinda Ardern may no longer be Prime Minister of New Zealand, but she was back at the United Nations continuing her call for international censorship. Ardern is now one of the leading anti-free speech figures in the world and continues to draw support from political and academic establishments. In her latest attack on free speech, Ardean declared free speech as a virtual weapon of war. She is demanding that the world join her in battling free speech as part of its own war against “misinformation” and “disinformation.” Her views, of course, were not only enthusiastically embraced by authoritarian countries, but the government and academic elite. In her speech, she notes that we cannot allow free speech to get in the way of fighting things like climate change.

She notes that they cannot win the war on climate change if people do not believe them about the underlying problem. The solution is to silence those with opposing views. It is that simple. While some of us have denounced her views as an attack on free expression, Harvard rushed to give her not one but two fellowships. While the free speech community denounced her for unrelenting attacks on this human right, Harvard praised her for “strong and empathetic political leadership” and specifically enlisted her to help “improve content standards and platform accountability for extremist content online.” I actually have no objection to the inclusion of Ardern as a Harvard fellow. She is a former world leader who is leading the movement against free speech. It is a view that students should consider in looking at these controversies.

However, Harvard has heralded her views with no acknowledgment of her extreme antagonism toward free speech principles. There is also little countervailing balance at the school with fellows supporting free speech as a human right. Rather, Harvard (which ranks dead last on the recent free speech survey) has become a virtual clearinghouse for anti-free speech academics and advocates. Free speech is now commonly treated on campuses as harmful. Rather than the right that defines us, it is treated as an existential threat. What is so chilling is to hear Ardean express her fealty to free speech as she calls on the nations of the world to severely curtail it to prevent people from undermining their policies and priorities. She remains the “empathetic” face of raw censorship and intolerance. She is now the virtual ambassador-at-large for global speech regulation and criminalization.

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True.

Putin Never Insults People: Peskov In Response To Biden (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin never allows himself to stoop to insults, Kremlin Dmitry Peskov said when asked about the chances of a stern response to US President Joe Biden who had described Putin as a “dictator.” “You know that our president never stoops to this – to the level of personal insults against his colleagues. He certainly has his own opinion about this style of rhetoric. But the president, I repeat again, has never stooped to this and will not do so,” Peskov said. According to the spokesman, what is most important is that Putin is supported by the overwhelming majority of Russians, as has been confirmed more than once during presidential elections.

“In his entire career as a politician, President Biden has never once garnered the same level of support as President Putin. This is what he should probably strive for,” Peskov said. He said Biden faces “a very, very difficult election.” “We understand that the US is now actively clearing the electoral field of undesirable competition. But we have our own concerns, which we will be dealing with,” the spokesman said.

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“See Something, Say Something”

DHS Is Grooming Americans to Report on Each Other (Whitehead)

Are you among the 41% of Americans who regularly attend church or some other religious service? Do you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law? Do you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car? Are you among the 44% of Americans who live in a household with a gun? If so, are you concerned that the government may be plotting to confiscate your firearms? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the government and flagged for heightened surveillance and preemptive intervention. Let that sink in a moment.

If you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you have just been promoted to the top of the government’s terrorism watch list. I assure you I’m not making this stuff up. So what is the government doing about these so-called American “extremists”? The government is grooming the American people to spy on each other as part of its Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships, or CP3 program.

According to journalist Leo Hohmann, the government is handing out $20 million in grants to police, mental health networks, universities, churches and school districts to enlist their help in identifying Americans who might be political dissidents or potential “extremists.” As Hohmann explains, “Whether it’s COVID and vaccines, the war in Ukraine, immigration, the Second Amendment, LGBTQ ideology and child-gender confusion, the integrity of our elections, or the issue of protecting life in the womb, you are no longer allowed to hold dissenting opinions and voice them publicly in America. If you do, your own government will take note and consider you a potential ‘violent extremist’ and terrorist.” Cue the dawning of the Snitch State. This new era of snitch surveillance is the lovechild of the government’s post-9/11 “See Something, Say Something” programs combined with the self-righteousness of a politically correct, hyper-vigilant, technologically-wired age.

For more than two decades, the Department of Homeland Security has plastered its “See Something, Say Something” campaign on the walls of metro stations, on billboards, on coffee cup sleeves, at the Super Bowl, even on television monitors in the Statue of Liberty. Colleges, universities and even football teams and sporting arenas have lined up for grants to participate in the program. The government has even designated September 25 as National “If You See Something, Say Something” Awareness Day. If you see something suspicious, says the DHS, say something about it to the police, call it in to a government hotline, or report it using a convenient app on your smart phone. This DHS slogan is nothing more than the government’s way of indoctrinating “we the people” into the mindset that we’re an extension of the government and, as such, have a patriotic duty to be suspicious of, spy on, and turn in our fellow citizens. This is what is commonly referred to as community policing.

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“..of all the twenty leading countries in the world, only we have a flat tax scale..”

The Bull Missed The Red Flag In The Russian Provincial Elections (Helmer)

Like men, bulls grow less intelligent, more stubborn and miscalculating with age. This is also a problem for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) whose leader, Gennady Zyuganov, has recently turned 79 years of age. He is compos mentis compared to the similarly aged leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties in the White House and US Congress. But that’s not saying much – not enough to have persuaded Russian voters to support the KPRF candidates in the regional, gubernatorial, and mayoral elections which were held across the country between September 8 and 10. [..] Zyuganov insists the KPRF still leads the opposition in the country. “We need to realise that this war has been declared against the entire Russian world, our civilisation,” Zyuganov says in an interview published on the party website on Monday.

“So we have only one way out — to win a complete and unconditional victory. But to do this, it is necessary to correctly assess the current situation, understand our strengths and weaknesses — and resolutely go on the offensive. It is necessary to unite society as much as possible, to mobilise resources, to master all the most advanced and freshest. And to be able to do it in conditions of unprecedented sanctions.” “Putin has changed his strategy four times over the past twenty years. He came to power after the ‘dashing 1990s’, during which more than 80,000 enterprises were destroyed and sold off, citizens’ savings were blown to the wind, and the Soviet government was shot. In the 1990s, the country turned itself into Uncle Sam’s wagging tail and decided to turn into an oil and gas pipe, a quarry, and a sawmill. But Putin realised it was necessary to change the strategy… But the remnants of the Yeltsin era [remain] in power. They still occupy many offices in the Kremlin and the government…”

“Putin made a very interesting and informative speech at the Fareastern Forum. But I would like to pay special attention to the part of his speech that concerned tax legislation. The oligarchy breathed a sigh of relief — the president says we will not change the situation with taxes. But of all the twenty leading countries in the world, only we have a flat tax scale, in which the same percentage of income is collected from both the poor and the leading rich! This is absolutely unfair and directly contradicts the interests of the state. Thanks to this policy, the oligarchs do not pay normal taxes…They continue to plunder the country at an unprecedented pace. In 2022 alone, $261 billion was transferred from Russia abroad. The total capital of our 25 richest oligarchs has already exceeded $300 billion. This is more than the entire Russian budget! And all this happens in the conditions of the special military operation, when help, support, and compassion are needed! When maximum consolidation and cohesion is needed!”

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German MEP Christine Anderson.

MEP Delivers Damning Message to the Global Tyrants (VN)

“We just need to find a way to wake the people up. Because the point is simply this: it comes down to a choice. It’s either freedom, democracy, and the rule of law — or enslavement. “There is no such thing in between. There is no such thing as a little freedom, a little democracy, a little rule of law, just as there is no such thing as a little enslavement. So that’s the choice. It comes down to – it’s either the globalitarian misanthropists or the people. It comes down to – it’s either us or them. And that’s, I think, what this really is all about. “Now, when my colleagues and I were elected to this parliament, there was no question about it. We were on the side of the people because the people actually pay us to act in their best interests. That’s our job.

And once again, I will say to every single elected representative around the world, to every single member in every elected government around the world, if you do not unequivocally stand with the people and serve in their best interests, act in their best interests, you have no place in any parliament or in any government. You belong behind bars. You may even rot in hell for all I care at this point because that’s exactly what you deserve if you sell out the people.” Now, I would like to make a promise to the people, and I’m pretty sure I can speak or speak on behalf of my colleagues. We will continue to stand with you, the people. We will continue to fight for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. We will not shut up, and we will not stop going after those despicable globalitarian misanthropists.

“But we would also like to have you make a promise to us. You may have heard it’s all coming back. The first country is already starting [to talk about] mask mandates in Israel. They’re already imposing it. I’ve heard of a few universities in the United States. They’re already bringing it all back. And I would really like for you, the people, to not go along. Simply say no! They want you to wear a mask; say no. They want you to put in another mRNA shot; say no. They want to impose a curfew on you; say no. That’s really all you have to do. “And it might not be or might sound a little hard, but it’s actually not that hard. Because once you have made it clear to them that you will no longer go along, once you’ve let them know, they cannot scare you anymore. Because as long as you are afraid of what they might do if you don’t comply, they have power over you.

Take the power away from them! Simply say no. Once you do that, they don’t have power over you anymore. You will feel so free. Simply say no. “And considering what we’ve heard today, and considering what we’ve seen in the last three years. Considering what we know they want to implement, heck, you might even be well within your right to tell them to screw themselves and go to hell! That’s where they belong. What will you get out of that? I can tell you. Once you’ve done that, once you’ve told them to just go to hell, they no longer have power over you. You will have an incredible feeling — kind of like a sensation of freedom will swap through your body. I promise you will feel so relieved. “And this is the state of mind that I would ask all of you to get to. Simply don’t let them grind you down anymore. You are worth it. You are deserving of just standing up for yourselves. And tell them all to go to hell. Thank you very much.”

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Cluster B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephant electric fence

 

 

Baby dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1704369650379747821

 

 

Snacks

 

 

Sinead

 

 

 

 

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Aug 032023
 


Man Ray Le Violon d’Ingres 1924

 

No Peace Possible Where NATO Extends ‘Diabolical Paws’ – Chinese Envoy (RT)
Gonzalo Lira Missing After Attempt To Flee Ukraine (RT)
New Trump Charges Not ‘Solid’, Criminalize Constitutional Free Speech Right (Sp.)
Tucker’s Explosive Devon Archer Interview (ZH)
Calls Between Joe, Hunter Biden ‘Abuse of Soft Power’ – Devon Archer (Sp.)
Grain Deal Meaningless Without Fulfilling Obligations to Russia – Putin (Sp.)
EU: Russia Aims To Create New Dependencies With Cheap Grain (RT)
Reading the Mess the Democrats Have Made (Patrick Lawrence)
‘Special Services’ Control Western Media – Kremlin (RT)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..it continues to thrive, sustaining itself by constantly instigating warfare and conflicts..”

No Peace Possible Where NATO Extends ‘Diabolical Paws’ – Chinese Envoy (RT)

NATO expansion in Europe has eroded the continent’s security and was the key reason for the Ukraine conflict, Zhang Hanhui, China’s ambassador to Moscow, said in an interview released on Thursday. Speaking to the TASS, Zhang stated that the US-led military bloc had been “fanning the flames everywhere, destroying stability and engaging in separatism,” with turmoil in Kosovo, Libya, and Afghanistan being prime examples. “The five [NATO] expansions to the east seriously affected the post-Cold War order and security in Europe and became the main reason for the escalation in the Ukraine crisis,” he said.The envoy went on to describe NATO “as a relic of the Cold War” which should have ceased to exist when it ended. “However, it continues to thrive, sustaining itself by constantly instigating warfare and conflicts… Wherever NATO stretches its diabolical paws, people will die and there will be no peace.”

Zhang stated that in recent years the alliance had set its sights on expansion in the Asia-Pacific under the guise of helping countries exercise their right to collective defense, a strategy that he said “causes great concern and strong objections from the regional countries.” He claimed that NATO “has long turned into a geopolitical tool of the US”, and that the bloc’s expansion to the east and into the Asia-Pacific, “is meant to support American hegemony.” Washington, according to Zhang, wants NATO to have more clout in the Asia-Pacific so that it “could suppress and deter China and Russia.” “The Cold War mentality and confrontation between the camps have long run counter to the demands of modern times,” he added, saying that NATO’s regional expansion “will only increase regional tensions, widen the trust gap… provoke a stand-off between different camps and even a new Cold War.”

Moscow has for many years viewed NATO’s creeping expansion as a threat to its national security while Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the possibility of Ukraine eventually joining the bloc was one of the key reasons for the military campaign in the neighboring country. Kiev formally outlined its NATO ambitions several years ago and applied to join the bloc last autumn after four of its regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in public referendums. However, the alliance has been reluctant to approve the application or set a timetable for Ukraine’s accession, citing the ongoing hostilities.

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Say a prayer. Call Washington.

Gonzalo Lira Missing After Attempt To Flee Ukraine (RT)

Chilean-American reporter Gonzalo Lira, who claimed he would attempt to flee Ukraine after being subjected to physical abuse and extortion in custody, has gone missing, a source has confirmed to RT. Lira, a vocal critic of the Ukrainian government, resurfaced this week, months after being arrested by the nation’s security service, the SBU. In a series of posts on Twitter and YouTube, he stated his intention to cross the border into Hungary and apply for political asylum. In a series of tweets yesterday he claimed he had been kept incommunicado in pre-trial detention since early May. He also claimed he had been deprived of sleep, beaten and tortured by other inmates, on instructions from prison authorities.

Lira apparently never made it across the border. Mark Sleboda, a political analyst and frequent guest on RT, confirmed to the channel that Lira was stopped by Ukrainian border guards and has not been heard from since. Lira had previously claimed that he had been released on bail after months in detention and ordered not to leave the city of Kharkov. However he added that he had his passport and was not wearing an electronic shackle, contrary to the terms of his release. “Maybe I’m being set up by them so they can justify putting me away in a labor camp – so no one will ever know about their sordid extortion scheme,” he said. “I simply don’t know.”

In the event that he would cross the border in to Hungary, Lira expected Ukraine to issue an international arrest warrant for him for skipping bail. He added that he hoped Hungary would be willing to defy Kiev and not hand him over, unlike other EU nations. “If you don’t hear from me in the next 12 hours—whelp! I’m on my way to a labor camp!” he concluded. There have been no further updates on his social media since. Lira has been accused by Ukraine of “publicly justifying” the Russian military operation and “disseminating fakes [false stories] about the war in Ukraine”.He claims the charges were bogus and that he did nothing but explain his opinions about Kiev’s policies and report what was happening in the country.

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“Whether his [Trump’s] belief in fraud was right or wrong, whether the legal theory of sending this back to the states was right or wrong, he had the right under our First Amendment to believe and advocate those positions..”

New Trump Charges Not ‘Solid’, Criminalize Constitutional Free Speech Right (Sp.)

Former US Justice Department prosecutor Ronald Sievert told Sputnik that the new indictment against former President Donald Trump is not solid and criminalizes his constitutional right of free speech. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Trump with four criminal counts in connection to special counsel Jack Smith’s probe into his alleged role in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. “As a DOJ [Justice Department] prosecutor for 25 years, I am very disturbed by this indictment,” Sievert said. “I thought there would be something solid in there, but as I read it, all I saw was that they were indicting Trump for taking a position in the election with which they, the prosecutor and Ds [Democrats], disagreed.”

Trump faces one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, one count of obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and one count of conspiracy against rights”. Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power. So for more than two months following Election Day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won. These claims were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false,” the indictment stated. However, Sievert, who noted he has not supported Trump for the Republican nomination, said the new indictment appears to be criminalizing free speech.

“Whether his [Trump’s] belief in fraud was right or wrong, whether the legal theory of sending this back to the states was right or wrong, he had the right under our First Amendment to believe and advocate those positions,” Sievert said.
The former prosecutor said he would expect an “objective” judge or judges would throw the case out. Federal judge Tanya Chutkan, who was nominated by then-President Barack Obama, is assigned to oversee Trump’s case. Chutkan is the only federal judge in Washington to issue sentences to convicted January 6 rioters that were longer than what prosecutors had requested, according to media reports. Trump is summoned to appear in federal court in the US capital on Thursday to face the new charges.

Trump has argued that the newly unveiled indictment against him is the latest attempt by the “Biden crime family” and the weaponized US Justice Department to interfere in the 2024 presidential election. The new indictment comes amid a number of other probes into potential misconduct by Trump, including his alleged mishandling of classified documents, which are all taking place in the middle of his presidential campaign for the 2024 presidential election. sTrump is by far the Republican Party’s leading candidate, according to the latest poll data from Real Clear Politics.

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“..Hunter’s ability to reach out during business meetings to the then-VP was the “pinnacle of power in DC”.

Tucker’s Explosive Devon Archer Interview (ZH)

Tucker Carlson dropped a shocking interview on Wednesday with Devon Archer, two days after the former Hunter Biden associate testified before Congress, where he admitted that he and Hunter Biden essentially traded on the Biden name, but also claimed that ‘the big guy’ wasn’t involved. Tucker begins by asking Archer if he thinks Hunter could have succeeded as well in his business endeavors if he was not the son of the vice president. Archer trod a little carefully at first, reflecting on Hunter’s law school background but then admitted: “The brand of Biden adds a lot of power when your dad’s the Vice President.”


Archer also confirmed “yes, I can definitely say that” then vice-president Biden knew there were officials in the room when he got on the speakerphone with Hunter Biden – the 20 or so times that Archer recalls. “So Joe Biden, who is very much a product of Washington, of course must have known that he was calling into effectively a business meeting,” Carlson said. “Something’s happening. He must have understood that that was kind of what his son was selling.” “Well that’s hard for me to speculate,” Archer answered. ” “But like, just to keep it to the facts, Joe Biden, then the sitting Vice President knew that there were Hunter’s business associates in the room,” Carlson pressed.

“Yeah, I think I can definitively say at particular dinners and meetings, he knew there were business associates and he, or if I was there, I was a business associate too. So I think, you know, any of the other colleagues from the DC office or New York were there,” Archer said. He also said that Hunter’s ability to reach out during business meetings to the then-VP was the “pinnacle of power in DC”. Understanding a regulatory environment means selling access… most people interpret it that way. …the power to have that access in that conversation, and it’s not in a scheduled conference call and it’s a part of your family, that’s like the Pinnacle of power in DC. -Devon Archer


“…if you’re sitting with a business associate and hear the vice president’s voice, that’s prize enough…that’s pretty impactful stuff,” Archer continued, adding that it was “an abuse of soft power.” Archer also admitted that he “flew too close to the sun” and “got burned” by the Biden family – and that it’s “disingenuous” to act unsure as to why Ukrainian energy giant Burisma hired Hunter, who served on its board from 2014 – 2019.

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“There is no way to know if the calls were orchestrated, but they were “powerful..”

Calls Between Joe, Hunter Biden ‘Abuse of Soft Power’ – Devon Archer (Sp.)

Devon Archer, a former associate of Hunter Biden, said on Wednesday that the calls between then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son during the latter’s foreign business calls constitute an “abuse of soft power.” Earlier this week, Archer provided testimony to lawmakers on Joe Biden’s connection to his son’s foreign business deals. Lawmakers provided split opinions on Archer’s testimony, with some claiming it exonerated Joe Biden while others claimed it was further evidence of wrongdoing. Archer testified that Joe Biden joined Hunter and his business associates at least 20 times either in person or via speakerphone.


“In the rearview, it’s an abuse of soft power,” Archer said during an interview with Tucker Carlson. Biden knew there were business associates at certain dinners and meetings, Archer said. Congressman Dan Goldman said following Archer’s testimony that Biden often did not know who was present during the interactions. There is no way to know if the calls were orchestrated, but they were “powerful,” Archer said. Archer’s testimony comes amid investigations by lawmakers into potential criminal activity by the Biden family, including bribery and influence peddling. Joe Biden has repeatedly denied discussing foreign business deals with his son.

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No deal.

Grain Deal Meaningless Without Fulfilling Obligations to Russia – Putin (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a phone conversation on Wednesday that the Black Sea Grain Initiative lost its meaning due to a complete absence of progress on implementation of the agreement’s part that concerned Russia, the Kremlin said “Vladimir Putin outlined Russia’s principled position in connection with the termination of the ‘package’ agreements on the export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports and the unblocking of supplies of Russian food and fertilizers. It was noted that the agreement’s extension has lost its meaning in the conditions of a complete lack of progress in the implementation of the Russian part of the grain deal. The readiness to return to the Istanbul agreements was confirmed as soon as the West actually fulfills all the deal’s obligations towards Russia,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

The Russian president also told his Turkish counterpart that options for the supply of grain to countries in need are being worked out. “It was emphasized that, taking into account the needs of the countries most in need of food, reliable options for the supply of Russian grain, including on a free-of-charge basis, are being worked out. This issue was substantively discussed at the second Russia-Africa summit recently held in St. Petersburg. The readiness for cooperation in this area with Turkey and other interested states was expressed,” the Kremlin said. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said in late June that the United Nations admitted it can do nothing regarding three of the five key issues Russia wants resolved in order to extend the grain deal, including reconnecting the Rosselkhozbank to the SWIFT payment system.

On July 22, 2022, the United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement with Russia and Ukraine to establish a humanitarian maritime corridor to transport grain and fertilizer from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Moscow has since agreed to extend the agreement several times despite criticizing the non-implementation of the portions of the agreement pertaining to Russia, but it then decided to let it expire on July 17.

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Saving lives with bad intentions.

EU: Russia Aims To Create New Dependencies With Cheap Grain (RT)

The European Union has warned developing countries that Russia is offering cheap grain “to create new dependencies by exacerbating economic vulnerabilities and global food insecurity,” according to a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday, Report informs. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote to developing and Group of 20 countries on Monday to urge them to speak “with a clear and unified voice” to push Moscow to return to a deal that allowed the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain and to stop targeting Ukraine’s agricultural infrastructure.


“As the world deals with disrupted supplies and higher prices, Russia is now approaching vulnerable countries with bilateral offers of grain shipments at discounted prices, pretending to solve a problem it created itself,” Borrell said. “This is a cynical policy of deliberately using food as a weapon to create new dependencies by exacerbating economic vulnerabilities and global food insecurity,” he added.

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“..the administration is a behind-closed-doors madhouse..”

Reading the Mess the Democrats Have Made (Patrick Lawrence)

At writing, we are 16 months and five days from the 2024 presidential election. If a week is a long time in politics, there is too strong a chance that the interim upon us will prove one of awful eventfulness. In my read, the risk of brazen lawlessness in the upper reaches of power and, in consequence, a constitutional crisis, is now greater than at any point in the postwar period. It is time to brace ourselves against this eventuality. Is there any other plausible conclusion as things now stand? I do not see one. Two reasons: One, the Democrats have emerged since Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016 as a party of liberal authoritarians intent on imposing their political hegemony on our republic by whatever means this project requires. Nothing is out of bounds, as these people have already demonstrated. Two, in what looks like one of the great political miscalculations in my lifetime, the Democrats are determined to stand a candidate in 2024 whose senility has been publicly on display for the past two years and change.

This is a combustible pair of realities. The second of these, President Biden’s failing mental condition, makes the first of these, the culture of authoritarian righteousness in the Democratic mainstream, very perilous. The party hierarchy has already declared Biden will not face any challenger in a primary debate—an openly antidemocratic regression without precedent since televised debates became essential to the political process during the Kennedy–Nixon contest in 1960. What else will come in this line, we have to ask. In my judgment, the Democrats’ willingness to let Biden run again is all too suggestive of what dangers and disorders may come between now and Tuesday, November 5, 2024. They appear determined, one way or another, to keep this man in the White House. This is not a thought with which one rests easily.

Things have gone very poorly for Joe Biden since he moved into the White House two and a half years ago. Yes, he continues to hide behind that carnival barker’s smile he plastered on as political equipment 50–odd years ago. But if the president and all the president’s men and women are not in the way of desperate at this point, they are in the way of insentient. In his Substack newsletter a few weeks ago, Seymour Hersh quoted one of his inside sources saying the administration is a behind-closed-doors madhouse. I see no reason to doubt this.

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Packaged media.

‘Special Services’ Control Western Media – Kremlin (RT)

The US and its allies have mobilized their media for a war with Russia and operate them under de-facto military censorship, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. “There are a lot of serious media outlets [in the West], a lot of talented journalists, smart, professional, but now, since they unleashed this war against us, they absolutely live in a state of military censorship,” Peskov said. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman was part of a panel discussion dubbed ‘Elements of social engineering’ at a youth forum in Solnechnogorsk, a town about 45 kilometers northwest of Moscow. According to Peskov, Western outlets “receive instructions and manuals from their special services, they get leaks of information – which are mostly, very often, specially and professionally prepared falsehoods – and do this round the clock.”

The most influential media outlets in the world are “unfortunately the Anglo-Saxon media, American and British,” Peskov said. Russia has set out to compete with them “very gingerly, but quite successfully,” he added.Peskov said something similar in May, telling a Bosnian Serb TV station that the West “immediately became hysterical” and shredded their official commitment to freedom of speech when Russia tried to compete with their media monopoly. “They tore off all masks right away and showed there is no freedom of the press over there,” he told ATV at the time. “The moment any outlets became ‘uncomfortable’ to them, the moment they started presenting viewpoints different from their mainstream, they were banned.”

He also noted that the Kremlin has refused to give interviews to any Western media since early 2022, considering it pointless until those outlets start showing “at least some interest in the truth. The EU and Canada have outright banned all branches of RT and Sputnik as “Kremlin propaganda” shortly after the Ukraine conflict escalated. Several US-based social media platforms have followed suit. At last year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, then-YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki argued that “information can be weaponized,” so her company decided to extend the EU ban on RT and Sputnik globally, while continuing to operate in Russia so that Russians can get “independent news” from the West.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 012023
 


Claude Monet San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk 1908

 

‘Nothing Is Enough’ For Ukraine – Zelensky (RT)
Mexico Refuses Ukraine Peace Talks Without Russia (RT)
Russia Is Making Its Biggest Geopolitical Shift In 300 Years (Trenin)
Syria: A Tale Of Plunder And Resurrection (Pepe Escobar)
Gonzalo Lira Resurfaces, Talks Torture (RT)
Ukraine War Is A Long-term Danger (Maté-Mearsheimer)
Devon Archer Shows ‘Real Quid Pro Quo’ In Ukraine Was Joe Biden – Comer (JTN)
The Biden Presidency Is Unsustainable (Victor David Hanson)
Will Hunter Biden and Devon Archer ‘Get Last Laugh’? s(Sp.)
Blobulation (Kunstler)
“There Must Be a Reckoning” (Trump Op-Ed)

 

 

 

 

Twitter Files

 

 

 

 

 

 

That comes very close to saying you might as well stop helping us.

‘Nothing Is Enough’ For Ukraine – Zelensky (RT)

The assistance that has been provided by the US and its allies to Ukraine is not enough, President Vladimir Zelensky told Brazil’s Globo News broadcaster in an interview last week. As long as Kiev’s conflict with Moscow carries on, no amount of help will be sufficient, he added. “As long as the war continues, nothing can be enough,” Zelensky told Globo, as reported by Russia’s RIA Novosti. According to Zelensky, Ukraine does not only need weapons. It also needs assistance in what he called an “information war” and more humanitarian aid. He called on Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to supply Ukraine with demining equipment to clear the farm lands he said had been “mined” by Russian forces and later re-taken by Ukrainian troops.

He also suggested Lula could help Kiev by organizing a meeting between Zelensky and Latin American leaders in which they could “talk.” Zelensky admitted he would never ask Lula for weapons because he knew the Brazilian president would “not provide it” to Kiev. The US and its allies have sent Ukraine over $100 billion worth of weapons, ammunition, and equipment since hostilities with Russia escalated in February 2022, while insisting they are not actually a party to the conflict. The total amount of Western aid to Kiev added up to €165 billion ($185.6 billion) by early summer 2023, according to data from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW). Some of Kiev’s Western backers shouldered additional costs due to the need to accommodate refugees coming from Ukraine, the IfW reported.

Poland, which spent 0.6% of its GDP on bilateral aid to Ukraine, had to spend another 2.2% on Ukrainian refugees, according to the data. The accumulated costs of helping Ukraine exceeded 2% of GDP in Latvia and Estonia as well. Last week, the Pentagon announced another security assistance package for Ukraine worth $400 million, including air defense and anti-tank missiles. Kiev’s constant need for more aid from the West has led to some tension between Ukraine and its Western backers. Ahead of the July NATO summit in Vilnius, Zelensky lashed out at the US-led military bloc on social media, blasting its “indecisiveness” on Kiev’s membership bid and calling it a “weakness.”

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace then told journalists on the sidelines of the summit that allies “want to see gratitude” from Ukraine for the military assistance that has been provided. He also recalled how he told the Ukrainian officials during his visit to Kiev last year that Western nations “are not Amazon.”

Read more …

“Discussions are expected to be based on the ten-point “peace formula” proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which in practice amounts to Russia’s unconditional surrender.”

Mexico Refuses Ukraine Peace Talks Without Russia (RT)

Discussing peace in Ukraine makes sense only with the participation of both Kiev and Moscow, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday. Because that is not the case with the upcoming talks in Saudi Arabia, he added, his country does not intend to participate. “If both Ukraine and Russia agree to seek options to achieve peace in this conflict, we will participate, if the parties in conflict agree and convene for that purpose,” the president, known as AMLO, said at his regular press conference. “We do not want the war between Russia and Ukraine to continue,” AMLO added. “It is very irrational, people suffer a lot, people are dying, and the only benefits go to the war industry, the makers of weapons.”

High-ranking officials from some 30 countries will meet in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on August 5-6, to discuss peace in Ukraine, according to the Wall Street Journal. Russia was not invited, however.The Journal described the Jeddah event as a follow-up to a similar meeting held in June in Copenhagen, where Kiev and its Western backers attempted to persuade countries that had so far chosen to remain neutral to support Ukraine. Discussions are expected to be based on the ten-point “peace formula” proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which in practice amounts to Russia’s unconditional surrender.

Russia has laughed off Zelensky’s “formula” as unrealistic and delusional. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Moscow intends to negotiate with the US, which he described as pulling Zelensky’s strings. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that any attempts to contribute to a peaceful settlement “are worthy of a positive assessment,” and that it “remains to be seen” what happens in Saudi Arabia, however. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Monday that talks in Saudi Arabia “will not be useless” if they “help the West understand that Zelensky’s plan has no prospects.”

Read more …

Africa. On top of BRICS.

Russia Is Making Its Biggest Geopolitical Shift In 300 Years (Trenin)

Last week’s Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg was a landmark event in Moscow’s foreign policy concept and practice. Not so much because it brought scores of African leaders and senior officials to the country. The first summit, four years ago in Sochi, featured even more African heads of state. Also, it is not solely because its agenda expanded beyond economics and included a humanitarian dimension: this is important, but this isn’t all. Essentially, the meeting, with the bureaucratic preparation and the wide public coverage it has received within Russia, testifies to a sea change in Moscow’s worldview and international positioning toward the world’s rising non-Western majority, as laid down in the recently adopted Foreign Policy Concept. St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great in the early 18th century as a ‘window to Europe,’ and last week, it served the same purpose for Africa.

Eurocentrism, of course, is still deeply embedded in the Russian elite’s thinking and aspirations. Nevertheless, the failure of Russia’s long travails of Western integration in the wake of the demise of the Soviet Union has now exploded into the proxy war against the United States and NATO in Ukraine. This has produced a historic shift in Moscow’s policies, comparable to the time of Peter the Great in its significance, though in a wholly different direction. For the foreseeable future, the universe of Russia’s foreign policy will remain divided in two large parts: the house of foes including Europe, North America, and the rest of the Anglosphere, and the house of friends elsewhere. The dividing line between the two is a country’s position in relation to the sanctions regime against Russia.

Africa, in this regard, is largely on the right side of that divide. 49 nations out of the continent’s 54 were represented in St. Petersburg. True, only 17 of them participated at the top level. No longer a curious and skeptical observer, as during the Sochi summit four years ago, the West this time made a determined effort, advising, cajoling or threatening African leaders against going to Russia and dealing directly with President Putin. As a matter of fact, Western pressure scored some points (the number of top leaders in St. Petersburg was about half of what it was in Sochi), but failed to undercut the event. What was lost in the status of representation was compensated in intensity of interaction. The amount of time Vladimir Putin personally invested in the event – that actually lasted three days rather than two – was impressive and noteable.

The need to counter Western accusations of Russia’s responsibility for the spike in food prices following Moscow’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal (while conveniently ignoring the fact that promises to Moscow to end the Western blockage of Russia’s agricultural exports were never kept) made the Kremlin go beyond the usual verbal rebuttal. At the summit, Putin not only promised to deliver grain free of charge to five of Africa’s poorest nations, but announced plans to expand commercial shipping and to build logistics by sea and air linking Russia to Africa, create a hub in Africa for Russian trade, and expand Russia’s share of African food imports. As for dealing with Western propaganda, Moscow envisages a major expansion of the Russian media presence on the continent. The idea is that Russians and Africans need to have the means of learning about each other directly, rather than through non-neutral intermediaries in London, Paris, or New York.

Traoré
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685741711786479617

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“..more than 80 percent of Syria’s daily oil production was stolen and smuggled by the Americans and its proxy “democratic” forces – only in the first half of 2022.”

Syria: A Tale Of Plunder And Resurrection (Pepe Escobar)

[..] Russia remains excessively diplomatic on the issue. Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa, recently told al-Arabiya, “Washington uses the pretext of combating terrorism to be present east of the Euphrates in economically important areas, where crude oil and strategic natural reserves are abundant.” He highlighted US troops deployed at al-Tanf in southern Syria and American “support” for the SDF in northern Syria. Yet that’s not exactly a ground-breaking reveal that would light a fire under the Americans. According to Damascus, Syria’s energy sector as a whole was robbed by an astonishing $107 billion between 2011 and 2022 by a toxic mix of US occupation, “coalition” bombing, and theft or looting by terrorist and separatist gangs.

There are no less than a dozen US military bases in Syria – some bigger than the proverbial lily pads (less than 10 acres, valued at less than $10 million), all of them de facto illegal and certainly not recognized by Damascus. The fact that 90 percent of Syria’s oil and gas is concentrated east of the Euphrates in areas controlled by the US and its Kurdish proxies makes Empire’s job much easier. The de facto occupation hits not only energy-rich areas but also some of Syria’s most fertile agricultural lands. The net result has been to turn Syria into a net importer of energy and food. Iranian tankers routinely face Israeli sabotage as they ship much-needed oil to Syria’s eastern Mediterranean coast.

Complaining does not register a whit with the Hegemon. Earlier this year, the Chinese foreign ministry urged the Empire of Plunder to give Syrians and the “international community” a full account of the oil theft. This was in connection to a convoy of 53 tankers transporting stolen Syrian oil to US military bases in Iraqi Kurdistan in early 2023. At the time, Damascus had already revealed that more than 80 percent of Syria’s daily oil production was stolen and smuggled by the Americans and its proxy “democratic” forces – only in the first half of 2022.

Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh, has repeatedly denounced how the Empire of Plunder’s “theft of resources, oil, gas, and wheat” has plunged millions of Syrians into a state of insecurity, reducing a large part of its population to the status of displaced persons, refugees and victims of food insecurity.The prospects for Syrian reconstruction are slim without expelling the western marauders. That will have to happen via detailed, concerted cooperation between Russian forces, the Syrian Arab Army, and the IRGC’s Quds Force units. By itself, Damascus can’t pull it off. The Iranians constantly attack the Americans, via their militias, but results are marginal. To force the Empire out, there’s no other way apart from making the human cost of stealing Syrian oil unbearable. That’s the only message the US understands.

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Good luck in Hungary my man.

Gonzalo Lira Resurfaces, Talks Torture (RT)

Chilean-American blogger Gonzalo Lira, arrested by the Ukrainian intelligence in May on charges of pro-Russian sympathies, reappeared online on Monday and told a sordid tale of beatings and extortion while awaiting a show trial. “I was tortured in two of the four cells I was in—by the other prisoners,” Lira posted in a 25-tweet thread on Monday evening, noting that all the torture in the pre-trial detention center (SIZO) was outsourced to the inmates. “I got a cracked rib in my first cell, but it wasn’t too bad. The worst stretch was in my fourth cell. From 1pm on June 21 until 7pm the next day—30 hours” two inmates tortured him and at one point “used a toothpick to scratch the whites of my left eye, while asking me if I could still read if I had just one,” Lira wrote.

One of the torturers was allegedly reprimanded for bruising the 55-year-old blogger’s chest, because the instructions were to leave no marks. Lira posted photographs of the documents laying out the charges against him, suggesting that he was being imprisoned over social media posts and YouTube videos. He said the one video in particular that got the authorities’ attention was “Ukraine: A Primer,” his explanation of the background of the current conflict with Russia, which blamed Kiev for provoking it. According to Lira, he was beaten and tortured because the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) figured it could extort him for all his savings – amounting to some $100,000 when factoring in the confiscated computers and phones.

Told he would be found guilty and sentenced to 5-8 years in a labor camp at his upcoming trial, Lira decided to flee Ukraine and seek asylum in Hungary. “I’m posting this thread just as I’m getting to the border checkpoint,”he tweeted. “If you don’t hear from me in the next 12 hours—whelp! I’m on my way to a labor camp! Wish me luck.” He credited the Chilean embassy for any care he received in jail, noting that the US embassy “called me three times, but gave me nothing but ‘support’—empty bromides.” He also suggested that the US would extradite him back to Ukraine, because Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland “hates my guts, or so I’m told.”

The SBU detained Lira on May 1, accusing him of “producing and distributing materials justifying the armed aggression” of Russia. A judge ordered him to stay in jail pending trial. The first time the SBU detained Lira, in April 2022, he was released without charges after a week, presumably due to public pressure.

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“I think that we believed that if a war broke out, we had trained up the Ukrainians and armed the Ukrainians up enough that they would hold their own on the battlefield..”

Ukraine War Is A Long-term Danger (Maté-Mearsheimer)

JOHN MEARSHEIMER: [..] The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, made it very clear that Ukraine would not be admitted into NATO until it had prevailed in the conflict. In other words, Ukraine has to win the war before it can be brought into the alliance. Well, Ukraine is not going to win the war, and therefore, Ukraine is not going to be brought into the alliance. This war is going to go on for a long time. Even if you get a cold peace, it will linger right below the surface and there will be an ever-present danger that a hot war will break out. And in those circumstances, I find it hard to imagine the United States or any West European country agreeing to bring Ukraine into NATO.

And the simple reason is that if you bring Ukraine into NATO in the midst of a conflict, you are in effect committing NATO to defending with military force Ukraine on the battlefield. And that’s a situation we don’t want. We do not want NATO boots on the ground, or to be more specific, we don’t want American boots on the ground. So, it makes perfect sense for Stoltenberg to say that Ukraine has to win. In fact, Ukraine has to win a decisive victory over the Russians within the borders of Ukraine. That is not going to happen, in my opinion, and therefore, as you were saying, Ukraine is not going to become part of NATO.

AARON MATÉ: So, given that, I mean, do you think it’s fair to speculate that the US policy in Ukraine was even more cynical than it appeared? Because basically this war was largely fought because the US refused to agree to neutrality for Ukraine, saying that, ‘Well, we have an open door for NATO; we don’t take people’s membership off of the table.’ But yet, when given the opportunity, the US won’t commit to granting Ukraine a road map to joining NATO, which leads me to conclude that, possibly, what if the aim was never to actually admit Ukraine into NATO but just use the future pledge of NATO membership to de facto turn Ukraine into a NATO proxy, without the obligation, the part of the US and its allies, to actually defend it?

JOHN MEARSHEIMER: It’s possible that’s true. It’s hard to say without a lot more evidence. I have a slightly different view. I don’t think it was so much cynicism. I think it was stupidity. I think you can’t underestimate just how foolish the West is when it comes to the whole question of Ukraine—and all sorts of other issues as well. But I think that the West believed—and here we’re talking mainly about the United States—that if a war did break out between Ukraine and Russia, that the West plus Ukraine would prevail, that the Russians would be defeated. I believe we thought that was the case.

If you look at the run-up to the war in early 2022, what’s really striking to me is that it was quite clear that war was at least a serious possibility, yet the United States and the West more generally did virtually nothing to prevent the war. If anything, we egged the Russians on. And I find this hard to imagine. What was going on here? And I think that we believed that if a war broke out, we had trained up the Ukrainians and armed the Ukrainians up enough that they would hold their own on the battlefield. Number one. And number two, I think, we felt the magic weapon was sanctions, that we’d finished the Russians off with sanctions, and the Ukrainians would end up defeating the Russians, and they would then be in a position where we could admit them into NATO. That is what I think is going on. I don’t think it’s really a case of cynicism as you portray it. It may be. Again, this is an empirical question. We just need a heck of a lot more evidence to see whether your interpretation is correct or mine is. But my sense is, this is worse than a crime. This is a blunder, to put it in [French diplomat] Talleyrand’s famous rhetoric.

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Comer should have much more.

Devon Archer Shows ‘Real Quid Pro Quo’ In Ukraine Was Joe Biden – Comer (JTN)

Devon Archer’s explosive testimony to Congress could further unravel a narrative about Ukraine corruption that was first cemented during the impeachment case against former President Trump in 2019, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer tells Just the News. Archer, Hunter Biden’s former business partner, reportedly revealed in the closed-door testimony Monday that Hunter Biden was being pressured back in December 2015 to do something about Viktor Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma. In the same month, Hunter’s father, Joe Biden, had helped get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired while Biden was serving as vice president. Archer also said Burisma would not have survived had it not been for the influence of the Biden family.

“It’s just unbelievable,” Comer said Monday, after Archer testified, on the “Just the News, No Noise” TV program. “We’ve brought forward, a few weeks ago, an FBI document that alleges that Joe Biden was involved in a bribery scheme for this very scenario,” he also said. “Now we know, despite Joe Biden saying he never had any knowledge of any of this, that he regularly spoke on the phone with the owners of these companies.” Comer also said: “When in American history has a vice president ever taken an active role, and demanded that a prosecutor be fired in a foreign country for simply investigating a business that was domiciled in that foreign country? Never. The evidence continues to mount that the real quid pro quo pertaining to Ukraine in Burisma was Joe Biden.”

Comer argued that Biden helped get the prosecutor fired because “he was closing in on his son.” “I think that was basically what we learned today and, you know, more and more people are going to come forward now,” he said. Biden said on the campaign trail during the 2020 election that he never discussed foreign business dealings with son Hunter. Archer testified that President Biden, the vice president in the Obama administration, was on the phone about 20 times with individuals that Hunter was doing business with at the time, according to a lawmaker in the room. Democrats in Congress in 2019 argued that Trump had no basis to ask Ukraine’s president to investigate Hunter Biden over his ties to Burisma and the firing of the prosecutor.

“President Trump, he was impeached over what the Bidens actually were doing,” said Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington, while also appearing on “Just the News, No Noise.” “Just think of that: a perfect phone call and here we have 20 phone calls, at least, of Joe Biden being involved with, obviously, his son’s business dealings because Hunter, by his own admission, had no business being on the board of Burisma.”Harrington predicted that Trump would eventually be “completely vindicated.”

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Only reason Joe’s still in office is Kamala.

The Biden Presidency Is Unsustainable (Victor David Hanson)

Imagine if Gavin Newsom was currently Vice President amid the final meltdown of the Biden family consortium. Does anyone doubt that Biden would then either be forced to resign by Democratic politicos (for reasons in addition to his escalating dementia), or would be impeached and perhaps abdicate Nixon-style? The presence of the now predictable mediocrity of Kamala Harris and the impossibility, given her race and gender, of removing her, for now is about all that keeps a cognitively declining Biden still in office. The Left fears what she could do as president to the Democratic Party; conservatives are terrified of what she could do to the country.

Joe Biden’s bewilderment exempts his embarrassments from accountability in the way that Hunter Biden’s addictions excuse his past serial criminality. But the passes granted to both father and son would be now unsustainable with a viable Vice President in waiting. Indeed, the Harris problem explains some of current Democratic strategy. Backroom leaks and growing insider rumors of Biden dementia confirm the portrait of an often befuddled president whom the public by now knows all too well. The aimless House Democrats’ “how-dare-you-even-consider-an-impeachment inquiry” furor, coupled with their half-hearted efforts, along with the media, to refute the actual charges of corruption of the Biden family, suggest that he will not run for reelection—but also not be impeached much less convicted or removed under the 25th Amendment.

So the Harris dilemma explains a lot: finding a way to keep her out of current power until Biden somehow finishes his first term, and thus letting the Democratic 2024 primary candidates organically abort her presidential aspirations. There are a few problems, however, with this strategy. One, can Joe Biden finish his first term? That would require his staff to shorten his already truncated workday for the next 18 months to about 2-3 hours of work per day. He would have to be kept away from photo-ops with young (especially female) children, lest he turkey-gobbles the cheek of another victim to a worldwide audience. He can no longer read off a teleprompter without slurring his words, losing his place, or going off extemporaneously on to topics such as “Vladimir” Zelenskyy, the “Iraq” war in Ukraine, or relief over the curing of cancer.

He cannot hold half-hour press conferences given his incoherence and his angry prevarications. He still insists incredulously that he never discussed the Biden family business with Hunter, although we may soon see transcripts, recordings, and affidavits that he was in fact intimately involved in and profited from it. Hunter is toxic and capable of leaving behind incriminating evidence or engaging in surreal behavior anywhere and anytime. Why would a former crack cocaine addict be brought into the White House, after which a bag of cocaine was for the first time in presidential history found abandoned in the West Wing? (Partial answer: why and how would an addict leave an incriminating crackpipe in a rental car, simply abandon a laptop at a repair shop with evidence of his own felonious behavior on it, or allow his illegally registered handgun to turn up in a dumpster near a school)?

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“He has an opportunity to be a hero, like the two whistleblowers were, like the judge in Delaware was, who rejected the sweetheart plea deal from the Department of Justice to Hunter Biden..”

Will Hunter Biden and Devon Archer ‘Get Last Laugh’? (Sp.)

Devon Archer, a long time business partner of Hunter Biden, is expected to testify before Congress on July 31 about President Joe Biden’s apparent knowledge of his son’s dealings. On the eve of the hearing, the US mainstream press released a text exchange between Devon and Hunter dated November 15, 2018 concerning Archer’s conviction for his role in a conspiracy to defraud a Native American tribe. Having been convicted in June 2018 by a jury, Archer saw his conviction quickly thrown out by a federal judge in November 2018. “The judge threw out my conviction today,” Devon wrote to Hunter on November 15. “Thank f***ing god! First good news in way too long my friend. I am so happy for you. I know its (sic) been a living hell but put it behind you now and take great steps forward,” responded Hunter, referring to the DoJ as “motherf***ers”. “I swear to god we’ll have the last laugh,” Hunter added.

However, in 2020 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reinstated Devon’s conviction. He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison in February 2022. Per the US press, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York on July 29 requested that the judge schedule a date for Archer to report to prison. On July 31, Devon is due to appear before the House Oversight Committee. Archer has a long record of cooperating with the Bidens. He and the younger Biden co-founded investment firm Rosemont Seneca Partners in 2009 and later established BHR Partners in 2013, a joint-venture between Rosemont Seneca Partners and Chinese investment firm Bohai Capital. Both had also worked on the board of directors of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma. The timing of their business success coincided with Joe Biden’s vice presidency.

Between 2009 and 2014, Archer visited Hunter’s father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, at least twice. Devon played golf with Biden and Hunter at least once in August 2014 in the Hamptons, just months after he and Hunter joined Burisma. All in all, Joe Biden is believed to have met at least 14 of Hunter’s business associates during his vice presidential tenure. It is expected that Devon would shed some light on Joe Biden’s apparent knowledge and even involvement in his son’s business dealings. The elder Biden has repeatedly denied being aware of his son’s financial and business activities. “I don’t want to put words in Devon Archer’s mouth, but I’ll say this: He has an opportunity to come tomorrow to the House Oversight Committee and tell the truth,” House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer told a US broadcaster on July 30.

“He has an opportunity to be a hero, like the two whistleblowers were, like the judge in Delaware was, who rejected the sweetheart plea deal from the Department of Justice to Hunter Biden. Devon Archer could be in that category of Americans that just come and tell the truth. That’s all we want.” As per sources of independent US media, Just the News, Devon would be neither a GOP “hero” nor “Biden protector,” but just a “fact witness” who would answer questions as precisely as he could. “And that makes the line of questioning and follow-ups key to the value of the interrogation,” award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon highlighted in his op-ed concerning the matter. Per the journalist, House Republicans may get “a bonus in the weeks ahead if they can acquire, via subpoena, a cache of documents the FBI gathered from Archer during his 2016 arrest that are currently sitting in a digital storage firm.”

The House GOP’s probe into the Bidens originated during the Trump presidency. In October 2020, the Republicans obtained the so-called “laptop from hell,” a hard disk with a copy of all materials and documents found on Hunter’s laptop abandoned in a Delaware repair shop and then handed over to the FBI. The damning documents raised questions about Joe Biden’s apparent awareness of his son’s business dealings. Some message exchanges even suggested that the then-vice president got hefty bonuses in various pay-to-play schemes. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has recently assumed that the congressional Republicans may kick off an impeachment inquiry into the elder Biden based on the emerging evidence.

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“Really? Him? This ghastly load of damaged goods?”

Blobulation (Kunstler)

So, Saturday night when the lights were supposedly off at the DOJ, and much of America was tuned out — getting new tattoos, arguing with the re-po man, watching the Orioles — the Blob told a lawyer from the Southern District of New York, one Damian Williams, to send a letter to Federal Judge Ronnie Abrams asking her to set a date for one Devon Archer to report to prison on a bond fraud conviction that Mr. Archer is appealing on the grounds of DOJ sentencing misconduct. Like, can you hurry that up, please? Devon Archer, you recall, was the college room-mate and later close business associate of R. Hunter Biden, First Son, who is in a bit of trouble for laundering money from foreign companies and governments through a score of shell companies that then made large payouts to Biden family members, including the so-called Big Guy currently living in the White House.

Mr. Archer, who has been in hiding (wonder why?) is scheduled to be deposed by the House Oversight Committee today. It is believed that he knows a thing or two about the Biden family business doings, enough, say, to corroborate the shit-ton of documentary evidence already in the Committee’s possession that lays out a pretty stark template of bribery with adumbrations of treason. Sounds serious, a little bit, especially since it’s become ever more obvious that the whole federal law enforcement apparatus has been aware of the Biden family’s activities since well before “Joe Biden” was selected to be elected president.

Of course, Mr. Archer’s testimony would only be the cherry on a well-baked cake. Chairman James Comer (R-KY) of the Oversight Committee says his investigators have rooted out new banking shenanigans on top of the over one hundred suspicious activity reports already in their files, despite obstruction and obfuscation from the Blob’s IRS and FBI arms. He seems determined to press forward and I daresay the Blob will find it very difficult to stop him. Speaker Kevin McCarthy declared last week that all this roguery was “rising to the level of an impeachment inquiry.” D’ya think? What I wonder is: would such an inquiry begin to unravel the secret of who has been running “Joe Biden” lo these many months of face-plants, preposterous utterances, morning “lids,” and other indications that the commander-in-chief of the USA is not much more than a media apparition? One might also ask: was this really the best that Blob could come up with? Really? Him? This ghastly load of damaged goods?

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The Real Victim of the Russiagate Hoax Wasn’t Me. It Was the American People

“There Must Be a Reckoning” (Trump Op-Ed)

“The report by Special Counsel John Durham makes clear beyond a shred of doubt that the Russia Hoax was the most atrocious weaponization of our government in American history. It was a crime like no other. Seven years ago, I ran for office taking on all the most corrupt forces and entrenched interests in our nation’s capital. My agenda was an existential threat to a Washington establishment that got rich and powerful bleeding America dry. I vowed to stop mass illegal immigration, terminate globalist trade deals, end the sellout of our country to Communist China, stand up to the permanent bureaucracy and the corporate media, and break the neocon addiction to endless foreign wars.

In response, an unelected cabal in the senior ranks of our government, in concert with their chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton, and their allies in the media, launched the de-facto coup attempt known as the Russia Hoax. Their goal was to prevent my election, and failing that, to throw me out of office or sabotage my presidency, undercut my agenda in Congress, block my domestic reforms, and interfere with my foreign policy. For nearly three years, they carried out a massive disinformation campaign and lawless persecution based on the monstrous lie that I was a traitor to my country. These Deep State plotters spied on my campaign. They forged false evidence to get illegal surveillance warrants and smear innocent people through leaks to the media.

They offered $1 million for a fictitious dossier written by a foreign spy to try to frame me with treason. They shattered countless lives. The Durham Report proves that the key figures involved knew from the start that the Russia Collusion conspiracy theory was a lie. The FBI launched their witch hunt without a scrap of legitimate evidence—and when they came upon exonerating information time after time, they covered it up and kept the hoax going forward. The sickness was driven from the very top. FBI Director James Comey constantly pressured agents for more surveillance and warrants, demanding to know over and over “Where is the FISA, where is the FISA?”

Barack Obama and Joe Biden were in on it, too. They were briefed in August 2016 on reports that Clinton planned to “vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian Security Services.” They knew the truth, yet they put our country through hell. As savage and cruel as the Russia Hoax was for me, my family, my staff, and so many innocent bystanders, the real victims were the American People. [..] There must be a reckoning. Accountability now lies in the hands of the voters. The Durham Report has made the stakes abundantly clear, and now the choice is ours: either the Deep State destroys America, or we destroy the Deep State.”

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Reef

 

 

Beach cows
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685855457955532800

 

 

Gecko

 

 

Gallenkus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685775177559179265

 

 

Chongqing

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 292023
 


Paul Gauguin Apatarao 1893

 

 

Russia Ready For Ukraine Peace Talks, But On Its Conditions – Envoy (Tass)
Russia Outlines Conditions For Ukraine Peace Deal (RT)
Lavrov: West’s Plans To Send F-16s To Kiev Unacceptable Escalation (TASS)
West Waging Its War Against Russia ‘On All Fronts’ – Kremlin (TASS)
Moscow Warns West Against ‘Playing With Fire’ (RT)
F-16s For Ukraine Won’t Be A Game Changer – Bloomberg (RT)
State Department Won’t Say If It’s Working to Free Gonzalo Lira (Antiwar)
DeSantis Superpac Plans To Spend $200 Million In 4 States (CTH)
DeSantis Says He Would Sign Legislation to Defund ‘Corrupt’ IRS (ET)
Russia Condemns Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Comments on Dead Russians (Antiwar)
Europe’s Largest Air Force Drills Start In Finland, Norway, Sweden (Az.)
Kosovo PM Dreams Of Becoming New Zelensky – Serbian President (RT)
Saudi Arabia Calls Russia Out Over Oil Output – WSJ (RT)
EU Commissioner Reprimands Elon Musk Over Disinfo (RT)
Kissinger vs. ‘The Most Dangerous Man in America’ (Gosztola)

 

 

 

 

Mind control

 

 

Very remarkable

 

 

Hunter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two different voices on the same topic, the Ambassador to Great Britain and the Deputy Foreign Minister.

“He dismissed thinking that Ukraine may prevail as “a big idealistic mistake.”

Russia Ready For Ukraine Peace Talks, But On Its Conditions – Envoy (Tass)

Russia is ready for peace talks with Ukraine but it will not give up its conditions, Russian Ambassador to Great Britain Andrey Kelin said in an interview with the BBC on Sunday.”We want peace, but on certain conditions, of course. For us, two things are important. That there will be no threat from Ukraine to Russia – this is one thing. And second, that Russians in Ukraine will be treated like all other nations in the world. Like French people are being treated in Belgium, or like Italians and Germans are being treated in Switzerland, not differently. <…> That’s a grave violation of the Human Rights Declaration and of all documentation,” Kelin said, as he described the developments in Ukraine in recent years as “extreme nationalism.”


According to Kelin, Russia’s current military purpose is to liberate the Donbass from the occupation. He dismissed thinking that Ukraine may prevail as “a big idealistic mistake.” “We can make peace tomorrow, if the Ukrainian side is prepared to negotiate, but at the moment there are no preconditions for that, I am afraid, because the president of Ukraine has prohibited any negotiations,” the Russian diplomat maintained, adding that he didn’t believe that simply freezing the conflict was a good idea. “It will not make a platform for a stable and long-term peace in Europe,” Kelin explained. The envoy reiterated the Russian nuclear doctrine does not envisage using nukes in the conflict in Ukraine. However, Kelin said that he was worried about a continued escalation of the conflict as he referred to weapons supplies to Kiev currently being ramped up.

Maersheimer

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“Ukraine “must return to a neutral non-aligned status” and “refuse to join NATO and the EU..”

Russia Outlines Conditions For Ukraine Peace Deal (RT)

The Ukraine conflict could be settled if Kiev were to re-commit to its neutral status, recognize “new territorial realities,” and declare Russian as a state language, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said in an interview released on Saturday. Speaking to TASS news agency, the diplomat said Moscow “is convinced that a peace settlement will be possible only if the Ukrainian armed forces cease hostilities, and Western weapons shipments are stopped.” He also stressed that to achieve a durable peace, Ukraine “must return to a neutral non-aligned status” and “refuse to join NATO and the EU,” adding that Kiev should recognize the “new territorial realities” that emerged after people exercised their right to self-determination.

The diplomat was referring to four former Ukrainian regions that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in public referendums last autumn, as well as Crimea. Galuzin noted that another crucial element of any peace settlement is Kiev’s commitment to respect the rights of the country’s Russian-speaking population and other minorities. “Russian should be designated as a state language at the legislative level. It is necessary to ensure that basic human rights, including freedom of faith, are observed in Ukraine,” he stressed.

On Saturday, Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, dismissed Moscow’s conditions, issuing Kiev’s own list of demands. Those include the immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops from territory Kiev claims as its own, the “extradition of war criminals,” the creation of a “buffer zone” on Russian territory, as well as “voluntary renunciation of Russian assets seized in other countries in favor of Ukraine”. Earlier this week, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that while Moscow does not want the Ukraine conflict to be frozen, there are no prerequisites for a peace settlement yet, pointing out that Kiev has prohibited any talks with the current Russian leadership.

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“I hope reasonable people will step away from unconditional support for the neo-Nazi regime that the West itself created..”

Lavrov: West’s Plans To Send F-16s To Kiev Unacceptable Escalation (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed plans by Western countries to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as an unacceptable escalation. “Certainly, this is an unacceptable escalation. I hope there are sensible people in the West who understand that,” Lavrov told the “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” TV show, an excerpt of which was posted by reporter Pavel Zarubin on Telegram on Sunday. According to Lavrov, “Western political analysts have been discussing how to decolonize Russia.” “They mean dividing our country. I hope sensible people will abandon their reckless support for the neo-Nazi regime which was created by the West itself,” Russia’s top diplomat added. On May 21, US President Joe Biden said at a news conference following the G7 summit in Hiroshima that the West will start training Ukrainian pilots on F-16s and other fourth-generation Western combat aircraft.

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“..be tough but open to what could help us clearly communicate our concerns..”

West Waging Its War Against Russia ‘On All Fronts’ – Kremlin (TASS)

Western countries are waging their war against Russia in all domains, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” TV show on Sunday. “War is being waged in a broader sense. A war is being waged against us on all fronts, be it the economy, international relations, or in terms of ownership,” he explained. Peskov urged Russia not to succumb to emotions and keep a sober mind in these circumstances. “We should remain focused and strong, and do <…> what best suits our interests, be tough but open to what could help us clearly communicate our concerns, and what we find unacceptable for ourselves, what will be fighting against,” he maintained.

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“..it is Poland and the Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia – that are “executing on the ground the aim set by the US to weaken Russia, deliver it a strategic defeat.”

Moscow Warns West Against ‘Playing With Fire’ (RT)

The US and its allies are “playing with fire” by doubling down on their support for Kiev amid the conflict with Moscow, including by planning to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “Of course, it’s an unacceptable escalation” Lavrov said regarding potential deliveries of American-made warplanes to Kiev in an interview with Russia 1 TV on Sunday. “I think there are reasonable people in the West who understand this. But everything is being dictated by Washington, London, and their satellites inside the EU.” According to the minister, it is Poland and the Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia – that are “executing on the ground the aim set by the US to weaken Russia, deliver it a strategic defeat.”

Some in the West “are already discussing ‘decolonization’ of Russia, meaning the dismembering of our country,” Lavrov said, warning that “this is playing with fire. There can be no doubts about that.” “I hope reasonable people will step away from unconditional support for the neo-Nazi regime that the West itself created,” he added. The foreign minister suggested that the words of the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, who acknowledged earlier this week that “in the near term,” Ukraine will not be able to recapture the territories it lost to Russia, were a “step forward to understanding the reality on the ground.” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has been pressing his Western backers for F-16 warplanes for months, arguing they are crucial for defending Ukrainian airspace amid Russia’s missile campaign targeting military facilities and energy infrastructure.

At the G20 summit last week, US President Biden Joe Biden said that Washington would support efforts by the UK, the Netherlands, and other European countries to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated at the event that the US “will work with our allies to determine when planes will be delivered, who will be delivering them, and how many.” Several outlets reported that the jets will not be provided by the US, but that the Biden administration would instead allow its allies to transfer their F-16s to Kiev. Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies could cross its ‘red lines’, leading to a major spike in the hostilities. Russia has said that the provision of arms, intelligence sharing, and training to Kiev’s troops makes Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.

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They will get maybe 50. Russia has 1,000 better jets.

F-16s For Ukraine Won’t Be A Game Changer – Bloomberg (RT)

While potential Western deliveries of US-designed F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine will help enhance Kiev’s combat capabilities, they won’t be a “game changer” in its conflict with Russia, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing several pilots who had flown the aircraft. According to the agency, the F-16s that could be sent to Ukraine “will still have inferior radar and shorter range missiles” than many of Russia’s modern aircraft and air defense systems. This means that those planes will either be deployed defensively, or used as part of high-risk operations, the report says. Brynn Tannehill, who designed simulators for the planes, told the outlet that for Ukrainian pilots switching from Soviet-era aircraft over to F-16s would be as if “they pushed the easy button.” However, “you can’t overcome the laws of physics,” she added.

According to John Venable, a former F-16 pilot with the US Air Force, should Ukrainians fly close to the front line, they would receive a signal that they had been detected by Russian radars long before they would be in position to fire on their targets. He added that Ukrainian pilots may use hilly terrain to sidestep detection – and thus destruction – while approaching their targets, but they would have to quickly climb at a steep angle, shoot, and then duck for cover again. However, such tactics mean that the F-16s “aren’t going to be hitting anything,” Venable said. Moreover, according to Dan Hampton, another veteran combat pilot, it would also be impractical to use F-16s to shoot down Russian cruise missiles, as there would only be a small window after the projectile is fired and detected but before it reaches its target.

Deployment of F-16s in this capacity would require them to stay in the air for hours while waiting for the right moment, he explained. The pilots’ assessment echoes a statement by US Air Force chief Frank Kendall, who said earlier this month that F-16 deliveries would not mark a turning point in the Ukraine conflict, given that air power has not played a crucial role in the hostilities. However, Yury Ignat, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, has insisted that Kiev “will win this war” if it were to receive modern Western jets. Commenting on potential F-16s deliveries to Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that such a move would lead to “an unacceptable escalation” of the conflict.

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The value of a US passport.

State Department Won’t Say If It’s Working to Free Gonzalo Lira (Antiwar)

The State Department has refused to say if it’s engaging with the Ukrainian government over American citizen Gonzalo Lira, who was detained by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) due to his political views on the conflict with Russia.Lira has a popular YouTube channel and a large following on Twitter and Telegram. He is also a writer who has contributed to several media outlets, including Business Insider. Lira was born in California and is a dual citizen of the US and Chile and had been living in Kharkiv, Ukraine, throughout the war.Lira is a critic of the Ukrainian government and was arrested by the SBU on charges of justifying the Russian invasion. “After the start of the full-scale invasion, the blogger was one of the first to support the Russian invaders and glorify their war crimes,” the SBU said in a press release referring to Lira.

The SBU also accused Lira of “discrediting the top military and political leadership and the Defense Forces of our state.” He was charged under sections 2 and 3 of Article 436-2 of Ukraine’s criminal code, which outlaws the “distribution of materials” that justify Russia’s actions going back to 2014. Epoch Times reporter Liam Cosgrove asked State Department spokesman Matthew Miller if the administration was aware of Lira’s detainment and how the US feels about Ukraine arresting an American for speech.“So I will say in general that we’re aware of the report. We obviously support the exercise of freedom of speech anywhere in the world, and I’ll leave it at that,” Miller said.When asked if the administration was working to secure Lira’s release, Miller said, “I’m going to leave my comments where I just left them.”

Cosgrove also asked Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) about Lira’s detainment. Lieu said that he wasn’t aware of the case but said US citizens should “have the ability to express their thoughts and views” and that he would look into the arrest. Responding to the news, Greene told Cosgrove: “America is providing weapons, equipment for the defense of their country, but the Ukrainian government is not going to defend any American’s freedom of speech, and that’s a real problem.” Lira’s arrest received virtually no attention in Western media. One of the few outlets to cover it was the Daily Beast, which smeared the American instead of questioning the charges. According to the Beast, Lira is facing five to eight years in prison.

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“..it plans to knock on the door of every possible DeSantis voter at least four times in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — and five times in the kickoff Iowa caucuses..”

DeSantis Superpac Plans To Spend $200 Million In 4 States (CTH)

2,600 people at $15/hr is $39,000 per hour. Anticipating 1,000 hrs per campaign worker, that’s $39 million. At $25/hr that’s $65 million. At $40/hr that’s $104 million. This is the scale of spending that Ken Cuccinelli and Jeff Roe have for the Never Back Down SuperPAC to support Governor Ron DeSantis in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada on behalf of the Sea Island billionaires who want to manipulate the 2024 election. That’s just payroll for new hires. Overall, the New York Times is reporting a campaign support spending plan of more than $200 million. Essentially, these are payments from the billionaire Wall Street donors and multinationals, funneled through the SuperPAC, to influence the ’24 election. The context of the New York Times report sounds accurate.

NYT – “A key political group supporting Ron DeSantis’s presidential run is preparing a $100 million voter-outreach push so big it plans to knock on the door of every possible DeSantis voter at least four times in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — and five times in the kickoff Iowa caucuses. The effort is part of an on-the-ground organizing operation that intends to hire more than 2,600 field organizers by Labor Day, an extraordinary number of people for even the best-funded campaigns. Top officials with the pro-DeSantis group, a super PAC called Never Back Down, provided their most detailed account yet of their battle plan to aid Mr. DeSantis, whom they believe they can sell as the only candidate to take on — and win — the cultural fights that are definitional for the Republican Party in 2024.

The group said it expected to have an overall budget of at least $200 million, including more than $80 million to be transferred from an old DeSantis state political account, for the daunting task of vaulting the Florida governor past former President Donald J. Trump, who has established himself as the dominant early front-runner. […] “No one has ever contemplated the scale of this organization or operation, let alone done it,” said Chris Jankowski, the group’s chief executive. “This has just never even been dreamed up.” […] At the helm of the DeSantis super PAC is Jeff Roe, a veteran Republican strategist who was Mr. Cruz’s campaign manager in 2016. In an interview, Mr. Roe described an ambitious political apparatus whose 2,600 field organizers by the fall would be roughly double the peak of Senator Bernie Sanders’s entire 2020 primary campaign staff.

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“I think it was basically just a middle finger to the American public that this is what they think of you.”

DeSantis Says He Would Sign Legislation to Defund ‘Corrupt’ IRS (ET)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called IRS a “corrupt organization” and said he would welcome a bill abolishing the agency if elected president in 2024. DeSantis made the comments during an interview with conservative radio host Dana Loesch on May 25, a day after the governor announced his White House bid on Twitter. “If Congress defunded the IRS and sent such a bill like that to your desk, number one, would you sign it?” Loesch asked. “And then what would you replace the system with? Are you for like a fair tax? A flat tax? Where do you stand on that?” “So, the answer’s yes,” DeSantis said in response. “I think the IRS is a corrupt organization and I think it’s not a friend to the average citizen or taxpayer. And so we need something totally different.”

“I’ve supported all of the single rate proposals, I think they would be a huge improvement over the current system,” the governor added. “And I would be welcoming to take this tax system, chunk it out the window, and do something that’s more favorable to the average folks.” The governor has long spoken favorably of a flat tax system. In a Q&A published by Palm Coast Observer in 2012, months before DeSantis won his first term as a House lawmaker from Florida, DeSantis said he believed the federal tax code should be overhauled. “I think the federal tax code is an affront to a free society in the sense that it’s 70,000 pages,” DeSantis stated. “I am in favor of a complete overhaul; my principle is that consumed income should be taxed one time at a low, single, flat rate.He added, “Now whether that’s at the point of after savings and investment income on a flat tax, or on the point of consumption which people talked about a fair tax, I think you need to repeal the 16th Amendment for that because I don’t think you want a sales and an income tax.”

Last year, DeSantis criticized the Biden administration’s nearly $80 billion in funding for the IRS, which Republicans argue would pave the way for the hiring of 87,000 tax agents, as giving a “middle finger to the American public.” The funding to the IRS was part of the Inflation Reduction Act that President Joe Biden signed into law in August 2022. “I think of all the things that have come out of Washington that have been outrageous, this has got to be pretty close to the top,” DeSantis said at the time. “I think it was basically just a middle finger to the American public that this is what they think of you.” He continued, “All these problems we have to deal with, and they think the way is to do 87,000 IRS agents. There’s going to be more people in the IRS than in a lot of these other agencies combined now.”

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“Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “It is difficult to imagine a greater shame for a country than having such senators.”

Russia put Graham on a wanted list this morning.

Russia Condemns Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Comments on Dead Russians (Antiwar)

Russian officials have condemned Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for calling the US funding of Ukraine the “best money we’ve ever spent” after noting Russians are dying in the conflict. Graham made the comments during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Friday. A video released by the head of Ukraine’s presidential office showed Graham say the “Russians are dying” and then cut to a different angle where the senator said it’s the “best money we’ve ever spent.” It’s not clear from the video if Graham said anything between the two quotes, but the senator has made extremely provocative statements throughout the war. He has called for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has said the US should start shooting down Russian planes, an action that could spark World War III.


Responding to Graham’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “It is difficult to imagine a greater shame for a country than having such senators.” Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council and former president, called Graham an “old fool.” Graham was asked by Reuters to reply to Medvedev’s comments. “Mr. Medvedev, if you want Russians to stop dying in Ukraine, withdraw. Stop the invasion. Stop the war crimes. The truth is that you and Putin could care less about Russian soldiers,” he said. Graham also appeared on Fox News on Sunday and called for the US to send Ukraine whatever it wants, including longer-range weapons and widely-banned cluster munitions.

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What a joke.

Europe’s Largest Air Force Drills Start In Finland, Norway, Sweden (Az.)

Finland, Norway, and Partner Sweden will host the multinational Arctic Challenge Exercise 2023 from May 29 to June 9, 2023, Report informs referring to the NATO website. This year’s Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE 23) is the sixth of its kind which Finland, Norway, and Sweden have hosted together. The Finnish Air Force is responsible for planning and directing the training event that is conducted every second year since 2013. About 3,000 military and 150 aircraft from the armed forces of 14 countries will take part in the exercises. The Arctic Challenge Exercises is part of the NORDEFCO cooperation between Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Their Air Forces regularly carry out combined air combat-related Cross Border Training operated from their home bases.

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Useful for NATO: a powder keg.

Kosovo PM Dreams Of Becoming New Zelensky – Serbian President (RT)

Tensions in Serbia’s breakaway province of Kosovo may spiral out of control because of the actions of its prime minister, Albin Kurti, warned Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in an interview released on Sunday amid violent clashes between local police and Serb protesters. Speaking to the Serbian TV channel Pink, Vucic said that “the most difficult situation in Kosovo and Metohija is yet to follow. Something we have not seen until now, all thanks to the provocative actions and terribly irresponsible behavior of Albin Kurti.” The Serbian leader went on to say that he was “afraid of general insecurity, instability” and of “big conflicts” in the breakaway province. “I know that this other one [Kurti], who caused everything, doesn’t want to retire for a living, because he longs and dreams of being a [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky,” he added.

Vucic noted that he had been contacted by several European envoys who voiced concern over the ongoing situation in Kosovo, which has been marked by violent clashes between local police and ethnic Serbs, who make up the majority in the northern part of the region. Law enforcement officers fired tear gas in one of the municipalities to disperse protesters who had tried to prevent a newly elected ethnic Albanian mayor from entering his office, resulting in several people being injured. The unrest came after local Serbs mostly boycotted elections in four northern municipalities, which saw a total turnout of just 3.47%, arguing that they would not work with new mayors from ethnic Albanian parties who do not represent their interests.

Amid the clashes, Serbia placed its army on high alert, moving some units closer to the region’s border. Defense Minister Milos Vucevic said that “it is clear that terror against the Serb community in Kosovo is happening.”Meanwhile, a number of Western countries, including the US, France, Italy, Germany, and Britain, issued an unexpectedly harsh public rebuke of Kosovo, condemning the use of force and calling on the local authorities “to immediately step back and de-escalate.” Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008 with the support of the US and many of its allies. The breakaway region is not recognized by several countries, including Russia, China, and Serbia itself.

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Trying to drive a wedge in between new found friends?

Saudi Arabia Calls Russia Out Over Oil Output – WSJ (RT)

Saudi Arabia has accused Russia of not entirely fulfilling its pledge to curb oil production in response to Western sanctions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter. Riyadh has reportedly complained to senior Russian officials about the matter and asked Moscow to honor the output cuts of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) that the two biggest oil producers in the OPEC+ group agreed in April to make.The curbs, which took effect in May and are set to last until the end of 2023, were aimed at supporting global oil prices. The total volume of oil taken off the market was expected to be 1.66 million barrels per day. The decision came as an additional step following the OPEC+ agreement to collectively reduce oil output by 2 million bpd that came into effect in November 2022.

In February, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak said that Russia would voluntarily reduce oil production in March by 500,000 barrels per day as the nation halted sales to buyers that complied with a Western-imposed price cap. The measure was then extended until June, and later until the end of the current year. Since then, the official has reportedly said that Moscow is abiding by its voluntary pledge to cut oil output by 500,000 barrels a day from March until the end of 2023. “Taking into account the unfounded speculation in the press regarding oil production levels, Russia reaffirms its full commitment to and implementation of voluntary oil production cut levels,” Novak said in a statement earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency had previously reported that Russian oil exports reached a 14-month high in April, with the lion’s share going to Asian markets amid Western sanctions. The report also suggested that Russia hadn’t fully implemented the planned production cuts. The agency estimates that the country’s oil trade revenues amounted to $15 billion in April, an increase of $1.7 billion on the month.

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Civil servants with small minds.

EU Commissioner Reprimands Elon Musk Over Disinfo (RT)

European Commissioner Thierry Breton threatened Twitter CEO Elon Musk with “enforcement” in a tweet on Friday after Musk announced he was pulling Twitter out of the EU’s voluntary Code of Practice on Disinformation, warning he was not getting away so easily. Confirming Twitter had left the anti-disinformation body, Breton tweeted, “You can run but you can’t hide,” promising “our teams will be ready for enforcement.” “Beyond voluntary commitments, fighting disinformation will be legal obligation under [the Digital Service Act] as of August 25,” the official reminded Musk, referring to incoming legislation that will require Twitter and seven other social media platforms to “fight disinformation” in the EU or face massive fines as high as 6% of the company’s annual revenue.

Twitter joined the CPD in 2018 under former CEO Jack Dorsey. The DSA incorporates the (voluntary) Code of Practice into a mandatory code of conduct for very large online platforms, arguing they must take responsibility for keeping the internet safe for democracy or face ruinous financial consequences. Twitter has three months to comply with its obligations. While Musk and Breton reportedly saw eye-to-eye regarding Twitter’s implementation of the DSA ahead of the billionaire’s purchase of the platform last year, Breton warned the Tesla tycoon that Twitter faced “huge work ahead” to comply with EU regulations after the deal was completed in November, demanding he significantly beef up content moderation and “tackle disinformation with resolve.”

As of February, Twitter was still falling short of Breton’s expectations, reportedly receiving a warning from EU officials following a poor performance evaluation on the CPD accompanied by complaints that the platform “didn’t take it seriously enough.” Musk has struggled to convince Twitter users of the sincerity of his free speech absolutism since hiring NBCUniversal ad maven and World Economic Forum member Linda Yaccarino as the platform’s new CEO earlier this month. This comes despite his taking a gratuitous swipe at liberal bogeyman and fellow billionaire George Soros and hosting Republican presidential candidate and anti-woke crusader Ron DeSantis’ announcement of entry into the 2024 race. Twitter has complied with 80% of all government takedown requests in the first six months since Musk took over as CEO, a significant increase from the 50% rate that characterized the pre-Musk era.

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“He couldn’t be counted on not to carry out a threat to do something crazy, mutually destructive..”

Kissinger vs. ‘The Most Dangerous Man in America’ (Gosztola)

In 1970, before whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg shared copies of the Pentagon Papers with several newspapers in the United States, Ellsberg was invited by his friend Lloyd Shearer, who was the editor of Parade magazine, to attend a lunch with President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser Henry Kissinger. Ellsberg recounted the lunch in his book, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers. Kissinger knew Ellsberg from his work at the RAND Corporation, and what Ellsberg recounted is vital to understanding the festering and unrepentant diplomat as the world marks his 100th birthday. The contrast between the two could not be more stark. Ellsberg has spent the past 50-plus years constantly atoning for the part he played in the Vietnam War while Kissinger has shirked accountability for the vast amount of bloodshed that he enabled.

Kissinger’s reaction to Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers exposed more about who he was deep down than his philosophy or any advice he ever offered on U.S. foreign policy. On a small patio, Kissinger was seated with General Alexander Haig, his aide. Kissinger said hello to Ellsberg and Shearer, and he told Shearer, “You know, I have learned more from Dan Ellsberg than from any other person—” Ellsberg believed Kissinger would say “Vietnam,” but Kissinger said “—about bargaining.” That did not make a whole lot of sense to Ellsberg until he remembered the talks that he gave to Kissinger’s seminar at Harvard in 1959. They were part of a lecture series called “The Art of Coercion.” Since that was eleven years ago, Ellsberg responded, “You have a very good memory.”

With a “guttural drawl,” Kissinger added, “They were very good lectures.” “Nice. Except that when I thought about it later, it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up,” Ellsberg shared. “The lectures I had given to his class had had to do with Hitler’s blackmail of Austria and Czechoslovakia in the late thirties that had allowed him to take over those countries just by threatening their destruction.” “One of the talks was titled, “The Theory and Practice of Blackmail,” and the other was “The Political Use of Madness.” Hitler had deliberately cultivated among his adversaries the impression of his own irrational unpredictability.”

Ellsberg continued, “He couldn’t be counted on not to carry out a threat to do something crazy, mutually destructive. It worked for him, up to a point, because he was crazy, madly aggressive, and reckless. But after a certain point it brought the world down around him.” “It wasn’t a tactic I was recommending for the United States, or anyone else, for that matter. Far from it. For someone to imitate Hitler in this respect was to cultivate madness and court disaster,” Ellsberg contended.

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Octopus hiding

 

 

Drawing

 

 

Peacocks

 

 

Trap
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662828333715931136

 

 


In 1958, in Palisades, New Jersey, a performer named Jimmy Armstrong, known as The Dwarf Clown, entertained the audience at Clyde Beatty Circus. This moment was captured by photographer Bruce Davidson as part of his renowned ‘Circus’ series. “He was standing alone outside the tent, smoking a cigarette,” Davidson said upon seeing Armstrong for the first time. Dressed in a tuxedo and a top hat, he held a small bouquet of paper flowers and stood there pensively, immersed in the privacy of his inner thoughts.”

“He seemed to know that it was the inner moment I was drawn to and not his clown face or physical appearance. We became friends, although we seldom spoke to one another.” “I found something in Jimmy that was more than loneliness, it was a story about surviving” – Bruce Davidson.

 

 

 

 

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May 062023
 


Willem de Kooning Rosy-fingered Dawn at Louse Point 1963

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

Dual American-Chilean national Gonzalo Lira was recently arrested by Ukraine’s secret police on charges pertaining to “wartime propaganda”, for which he faces the possibility of 5-8 years in jail. The US Government’s (USG) silence on this incident completely contrasts with its hysteria over Wall Street Journal (WSJ) employee Evan Gershkovich’s arrest in Russia last month on charges of espionage after he was caught red-handed soliciting classified military-industrial information from a regional lawmaker.

This is a betrayal of American principles since the freedom of speech is regarded as a sacred right of all its citizens no matter where they might be at any given time. Regardless of whatever one might think about Lira’s views and the particular piece of Ukrainian legislation that was cited as the basis for arresting him, the USG is supposed to support the rights of its nationals abroad. This is especially so whenever they’re arrested for expressing an opinion and/or practicing journalism like he was.

Its silence in the face of this scandalous incident suggests a degree of complicity in, or at the very least tacit approval of, Lira’s arrest since nothing else cogently explains the conspicuous lack of any response. These suspicions are further reinforced by the fact that one of the USG’s leading information warfare assets in Ukraine, transgender mercenary Michael John Cirillo, admitted to the Daily Beast that he colluded with the SBU on its case against Lira and even plans to testify against him.

In his exact words, “I’ve already given my sworn statement to SBU about Gonzalo Lira several months ago and expect to be called as a witness in his prosecution.” Cirillo also added on Twitter that “When I’m on Capitol Hill in 10 days, no doubt the arrest of Gonzalo Lira will be a prime topic of conversation.” Instead of seeking his release, the USG is relying on one of its top propagandists in that country to pursue Lira’s conviction, prior to which their proxy brazenly plans to boast about this to Congress.

It should also be noted that Cirillo told this to Julia Davis, who’s banned by Russia on the basis of having worked against its national interests at the behest of hostile powers, which obviously refers to the USG in this context. Her article also mentions that she obtained exclusive footage of Lira’s arrest, which could only have been obtained by the SBU, whose employees shared it with her precisely because they know that she’s one of their patron’s most reliable agents and would thus use it to humiliate Lira in her piece.

These facts lead to the conclusion that the USG is indeed complicit in Ukraine’s arrest of this dual American national. It’s not even hiding its complicity in Lira’s persecution either after one of its leading information warfare assets in that country admitted to colluding with the secret police on this case, told the media that he plans to testify against him, and even plans to brag about this to Congress. The USG is perversely proud of this since it hopes to pressure critics of its proxy war into self-censoring.

This objective also clearly includes its own citizens like Lira, who the USG hates with a passion since his brave reporting from Kharkov discredited many of their claims about this conflict. It could have simply requested that Kiev deport him in order to lessen the damage that he’s inflicted on their information warfare operations, but it preferred to make an example out of him by pursuing his prosecution. Cirillo’s role in this incident and his plans to brag about it to Congress leave no doubt about the USG’ complicity.

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May 062023
 


Vincent van Gogh Memory of the Garden at Etten (Ladies of Arles) 1888

 

Iraq Was The Graveyard Of American Ambition (Lukyanov)
Gonzalo Lira Arrested In Ukraine (RT)
Russia and US On Verge Of ‘Open Armed Conflict’ – Moscow (RT)
China’s Peace Plan For Ukraine ‘Wishful Thinking’ – Borrell (RT)
Zakharova Accuses Borrell Of ‘Colonialist Mindset’ (RT)
Zelensky Is A ‘Puppet’ – Lavrov (RT)
Poland Has Designs On Remnants Of Ukraine – Zakharova (TASS)
Prigozhin Warns Wagner Forces To Exit Bakhmut By May 10 (ZH)
Ukraine Brings 400-600 Troops To Bakhmut Every Day – Prigozhin (TASS)
Pretend to the End (Kunstler)
Nearly A Third Of The World Economy Is Now Subject To Sanctions (MoA)
Russian Car Sales Triple (RT)
Russia Oil Floods Global Markets Via Major Asian Intermediaries (Shakil)
New Disinformation Office To Oversee All The Other Ones (IC)
A Kingly Proposal: Letter From Julian Assange To King Charles III

 

 

 

 

End Covid

 

 

 

 

Meatball

 

 

Tulsi Tucker

 

 

 

 

Sen. Kennedy

 

 

 

 

“The American invasion of Iraq was both the apotheosis of post-Cold War American expansionism and a testament to its downfall. It is certainly not only a lesson for Washington, but also an illustration of the changes in the world. The era of superpowers is over. The world will be organized differently.”

Iraq Was The Graveyard Of American Ambition (Lukyanov)

Twenty years ago, in May 2003, then-US President George W. Bush landed on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf and declared “mission accomplished.” The Texan announced the liberation of Iraq and the end of active combat, in effect a military victory. This was technically true. Baghdad was under American control, and although Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had escaped, he would be captured six months later. In fact, the invasion by Washington and its coalition had destroyed Iraqi statehood, led to a bloody civil war, the disintegration of the country, a dramatic shift in the balance of power in the region (not in the Americans’ favor, by the way), and was the root cause of the series of upheavals that engulfed the Middle East in the 2000s and 2010s.

Much has already been said about the war in Iraq, and we will not repeat it. We will simply note that only the most stubborn neo-conservatives now defend it, justifying the expediency of the action under what is now well known to have been a false pretext. Even their like-minded but less radical supporters admit that the intervention was unsuccessful and unnecessary. Nevertheless, most of the initiators of the campaign – former President Bush himself, his inner circle of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle – are comfortably retired, and Donald Rumsfeld left this world, without facing any repercussions, two years ago. Looking back at the events of that time, it is important to assess the role of the invasion in modern history. Iraq was the culmination of US efforts to assert complete and unchallenged hegemony.

Whatever the motives for the decision to go to war (and they ranged from the utterly mercenary to the personal and dogmatically idealistic), the political expediencies could not be concealed. The events of September 11, 2001, when America was attacked by a strange and seemingly unknown enemy, caused a shock. It was necessary to show that Washington was still capable of doing whatever it deemed necessary – even if it did not have the support of much of the world and of its key allies. And so it did. Bush’s aircraft carrier appearance was intended to shore up the status quo. What happened next, however, was that Iraq actually experienced the opposite: the limits of American capabilities and an eventual withdrawal in the face of an almost uncontrollable sectarian-political conflict.

It was not immediate, but it was already irreversible. Bush’s second term, which he won despite widespread dissatisfaction with the situation in Iraq in particular, was a period in which Washington’s ambitions were slowly relaxed. It should be remembered that the first term, in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan, included ‘color revolutions’ in countries bordering Russia (Georgia and Ukraine), which were also part of the general desire for domination. America’s continued presence in the Middle East has become increasingly reactive rather than proactive, with Washington increasingly having to deal with the consequences of its own policies. ‘The Arab Spring’ initially generated enthusiasm and even revived an instinct for interventionism, but quickly became bogged down in confusing realities. The emergence of Islamic State potentially threatened immediate American interests and forced Washington into firefighting. In the end, however, it was put out by everyone, not just those who started it.

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God speed.

Gonzalo Lira Arrested In Ukraine (RT)

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on Friday confirmed the arrest of Gonzalo Lira, a Chilean national living in Kharkov, suspecting him of pro-Russian sympathies. Lira had been previously detained in April 2022, but released after a week and ordered not to leave the city. According to a SBU statement quoted by Ukrainian media, Lira “publicly justified the armed aggression” of Russia, denied or glorified alleged Russian war crimes, and “engaged in discrediting the top military and political leadership and the Defense Forces of our state.” The SBU filmed Lira’s arrest by heavily armed agents, blurring out the faces of everyone involved. He is suspected of “producing and distributing materials justifying the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, committed repeatedly.”

A court ordered him jailed pending the outcome of the investigation. The SBU has reportedly seized Lira’s computer and multiple cell phones as evidence. Lira, 55, is a writer and filmmaker who used to work in the US. Several years ago, he moved to Kharkov, where he got married and began blogging as ‘Coach Red Pill’. This is the second time he has been detained by the SBU. He was first arrested in April 2022, but was released after a week. No charges were pressed at the time, and Lira would not discuss the details of what happened, saying only that he was not allowed to leave Kharkov.

He blamed the US outlet Daily Beast for directing Kiev’s attention to his work, accusing the outlet of trying to get him killed. The tabloid had reported on Lira’s activities in March 2022, calling him “sleazy”and a “pro-Putin shill,” and noting its reporters had reached out to Ukrainian authorities. While Lira kept a low profile for several weeks after his release, he eventually returned to social media and continued voicing criticism of Kiev’s policies. Since then, Ukraine has enacted laws criminalizing dissent and allowing President Vladimir Zelensky to ban opposition political parties, nationalize the media and even persecute the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for being in canonical communion with Moscow.

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“The anger and hatred towards Russia with which Washington acts in a situation in which it frankly should think of its own safety, is inexplicable..”

Russia and US On Verge Of ‘Open Armed Conflict’ – Moscow (RT)

After the recent drone incident at the Kremlin, which Moscow has called a US-backed attempt by Ukraine to assassinate President Vladimir Putin, the US and Russia are on the verge of a shooting war with each other, a senior Russian diplomat has said. “We are working on preventing a fall of our relations with the US into the abyss of an open armed conflict,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in a TV interview on Friday. “We are already on the verge of this abyss.” Ryabkov described officials in Washington as “opponents” and “enemies” of Russia due to what he called Russophobic policies which are being pursued in spite of the risks.

“The anger and hatred towards Russia with which Washington acts in a situation in which it frankly should think of its own safety, is inexplicable,” he said. At the moment, “no real diplomacy” regarding the Ukraine conflict is possible between the two nations, because the US “has bet on further escalation,”according to Ryabkov. The US has long been a direct participant in the conflict and has long been waging an open hybrid war against my nation. The deputy foreign minister said Washington tends to dismiss the statements of Russian officials, citing remarks made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding Russia’s claim that Ukraine was behind the drone attack on the Kremlin. “I would take anything coming out of the Kremlin with a very large shaker of salt,” Blinken told the Washington Post.

“We leave it to Ukraine to decide how it is going to defend itself,” he added. Kiev denies having any involvement in the attack on the Kremlin. The US government is treating “any signals coming from Moscow as an element of a disinformation campaign,” Ryabkov said. Meanwhile, Russia is “literally ready to use any means at its disposal” to deter threats to its security and the safety of its leadership, he added. He also reiterated the Russian claims that Washington shares responsibility with Kiev for the incident, which the US denies. Their statements of non-involvement are “not convincing anyone,” and are reminiscent of “how they attempted to pretty much blame us for the bombing of the Nord Stream,” Ryabkov said.

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I’ve said it before: Borrell is not a diplomat. Diplomacy is alien to him. “If you want peace, push Russia to withdraw..” Not going to happen. So why bring it up? Because you don’t want peace.

China’s Peace Plan For Ukraine ‘Wishful Thinking’ – Borrell (RT)

China’s proposal to end the conflict in Ukraine is “not a peace plan,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has claimed. The diplomat insisted that demands made by Kiev are the only viable solution to the crisis, despite Russia making clear it will not accept them. Speaking at an event hosted by the European University Institute in Florence on Friday, Borrell explained why the EU should continue to arm Kiev and argued that certain peace plans for Ukraine were undesirable. “The only thing that can be called a peace plan is [Vladimir] Zelensky’s proposal,” he stated, referring to the Ukrainian president. “The Chinese peace plan, well, it’s not a peace plan. It’s a set of wishful considerations, wishful thinking, but it’s not a peace plan.” “If you want peace, push Russia to withdraw,” Borrell added. “Don’t tell me to stop supporting Ukraine.”

Zelensky’s peace plan demands that Russia withdrawal from all territories that Kiev claims as its own, including Crimea, as well as calling for war reparations and NATO-like security guarantees, among other measures. The government in Kiev has repeatedly said it would not compromise and would continue to fight for as long as it takes. Borrell acknowledged that the Russian government would not accept Ukrainian demands, and blamed Moscow for continued hostilities. “If you have someone who says: ‘I have military objectives, and I will continue bombing, I will continue fighting until I get them’ – well, what kind of peace talk do you want to do?” he said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. If Kiev surrenders, Borrel claimed that Russian troops would be “on the Polish border” and Ukraine would become a “second Belarus”. Without Western support, this would happen “in a matter of days,” he predicted.

Russia launched its military operation against Ukraine in February 2022, citing Kiev’s continued attacks in Donbass and growing involvement with NATO. Beijing’s peace proposal, released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry in February, urges the security concerns of each party to be addressed. The Chinese government has criticized NATO’s expansion in Europe, calling it the root of the conflict in Ukraine. Borrell suggested that China could have a role in resolving the crisis by pushing Russia towards accepting Kiev’s conditions, although he expressed concern about closer ties between Moscow and Beijing. The diplomat insisted that the EU was more united than ever in the face of an “enemy,” joking that he felt like the “defense minister” of the bloc.

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“If the EU were in a position to have its own opinion, it would not be in the situation it is in today..”

Zakharova Accuses Borrell Of ‘Colonialist Mindset’ (RT)

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell betrayed a colonial mindset and a lack of geopolitical understanding when he dismissed a Chinese peace plan for Ukraine as “wishful thinking,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed. The Russian diplomat criticized Borrell on Friday for remarks he made earlier in the day at an event in the Italian city of Florence. The EU official had claimed that conditions set out by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky were the only viable path to resolving the conflict with Russia, and rejected a Chinese proposal unveiled in February as “not a peace plan.” “Not taking seriously proposals formulated on behalf of one fifth of the planet’s population and the leading world economy – that can only come from either a person who knows nothing about geopolitics, or someone with a colonial mentality who doesn’t respect people they consider beneath themself,” Zakharova insisted, referring to Borrell.


The Russian diplomat described Zelensky’s conditions for peace as “an American guidebook for inciting conflict in Europe,” suggesting that Borrell was advocating Kiev’s position under pressure from Washington. “If the EU were in a position to have its own opinion, it would not be in the situation it is in today,” she remarked. Moscow considers the conflict with Ukraine to be part of a proxy war waged against it by Washington. The EU, which followed the US lead in imposing sanctions on Russia and sending weapons to Kiev, does not decide its own foreign policy and has consequently sacrificed the national interests of member states, Russian officials have argued. Borrell faced accusations of racism last year after describing Europe as a “garden” and most other parts of the world as a “jungle.” He denied that the metaphor was intended to have colonialist connotations, but nonetheless apologized.

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Lavrov IS a diplomat.

“All this has to be discussed, of course, not with Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters..”

Zelensky Is A ‘Puppet’ – Lavrov (RT)

The West and Russia will eventually sit down to discuss their differences, but this dialogue should be held not with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky but with those using him as a stooge, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday. Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Goa, India, Lavrov reiterated that Moscow had “never refused to settle issues arising from the actions of the US and their satellites to pump Ukraine with weapons” so that it could fight Russia. The minister noted that many countries around the world are growing increasingly aware that these tensions cannot be defused solely by freezing the Ukraine conflict. “Everyone understands that the ongoing events are geopolitical in nature,” he said.

“Without solving the main geopolitical problem – that of the West aspiring to hold onto its hegemony and impose its own will on all the others, – it is impossible to resolve crises in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world,” Lavrov added. The Russian diplomat pointed to China’s 12-point plan for a political settlement in Ukraine, which was released in late February. Lavrov said that while the plan does seek to settle the conflict itself, it also focuses on much more global and comprehensive issues. “All this has to be discussed, of course, not with Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters,” Lavrov said, noting that such talks would take place “sooner or later.”

In early April, amid speculation about an imminent Ukrainian spring counteroffensive, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ruled out any peace negotiations between Kiev and Moscow, suggesting that such talks would only help Russia to “ratify” its territorial gains. Moscow has repeatedly said it is open to talks with Kiev if the latter recognizes “the reality on the ground,” including the new status of four former Ukrainian regions that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia last autumn. However, around the same time as the referendums, Zelensky signed a decree prohibiting negotiations with the current Russian leadership.

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“..this is the clearest signal Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky will ever receive on [his] country’s NATO bid..”

Poland Has Designs On Remnants Of Ukraine – Zakharova (TASS)

Polish authorities have designs on the remnants of Ukraine, and this is the clearest signal Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky will ever receive on country’s NATO bid, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. The diplomat drew attention to Zelensky’s words, who said on Thursday that Ukraine understood that it could not join NATO during the conflict, but wanted a “clear signal” that it would be accepted later. “Poland has designs on the remnants of Ukraine. There are no clearer signals,” Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel.

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Prigozhin feels disrespected. But not by Putin. You can bet they are still close. At least part of this is an act.

Wagner is an attack force, not a defense one. And the attacking work is done.

Prigozhin Warns Wagner Forces To Exit Bakhmut By May 10 (ZH)

The infighting between Wagner Group mercenary firm and Russia’s defense ministry has come to a head, as on Friday Wagner chiefYevgeny Prigozhin declared he’s withdrawing his forces from Bakhmut on May 10 for lack of ammunition. He’s issued fierce complaints for weeks that ammunition is being withheld from the military chain of command as internal tensions have exploded into public view. “I declare on behalf of the Wagner fighters, on behalf of the Wagner command, that on May 10, 2023, we are obliged to transfer positions in the settlement of Bakhmut to units of the Defense Ministry and withdraw the remains of Wagner to logistics camps to lick our wounds,” Prigozhin said.

“I’m withdrawing Wagner PMC units because without ammunition, they are doomed to a senseless death,” Prigozhin continued, asserting that his firm had fallen “out of favor with envious near-military bureaucrats.” The day prior to this he issued a separate dramatic battlefield video on Telegram declaring “We are lacking 70% of the needed ammunition!” The clip is dramatic and disturbing as it shows Prigozhin standing over dozens of his fighters killed on the Ukrainian battlefield, while blaming their deaths on lack of adequate support. In the video, he expressly calls out the defense minister and chief of the armed forces: “Shoigu, Gerasimov, where … is the ammunition?” says Prigozhin. “The blood is still fresh,” he says of bodies around him. “They came here as volunteers and are dying so you can sit like fat cats in your luxury offices.”

It is by far the most scathing attack on the regular chain of command as well as unsupportive politicians at home launched by the Wagner chief, following weeks of public verbal denunciations and even warnings to take the matter directly to Putin, who is no doubt fully aware of the spat. The Thursday social media message included the following moment: “These are someone’s f**king fathers and someone’s sons. And you f**kers who aren’t giving [us] ammunition, you b*tches, will have your guts eaten out in hell!” yelled Prigozhin in Thursday’s video.

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“The enemy is well equipped, well trained, acts as one and resists with dignity, so we move on..”

Ukraine Brings 400-600 Troops To Bakhmut Every Day – Prigozhin (TASS)

Ukraine’s armed forces bring from 400 to 600 people to Artemovsk (the Ukrainian name is Bakhmut) every day and lose the same number every day. This was stated by the founder of PMC Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin. The corresponding video was posted on Saturday in the Telegram channel of his press service. “Behind us is Bakhmut, it remains approximately 2.5 km to take – and the city will be taken,” he said. “The enemy pulls up daily from 400 to 600 people, they lose approximately the same number daily. The units of PMC Wagner work in lockstep. The enemy does not spare artillery ammunition. A sufficient number of various foreign-made armored vehicles have appeared, a large number of drones. The enemy is well equipped, well trained, acts as one and resists with dignity, so we move on,” he said.

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“My guess is that the nominal leader of this underworld in the USA — more like a master-of-ceremonies than an actual director — is Barack Obama..”

Pretend to the End (Kunstler)

The creatures of the underworld running our country must think the public is awfully stupid. You are expected to take at face value the claim that “Joe Biden” is actually up for re-election. Could it be more obvious that he’s pretending? (Just as he’s been pretending to serve as CEO of our government.) Meanwhile, we are not supposed to notice that the entities behind him are scrambling to dismantle, demolish, and asset-strip what remains of the USA in body and spirit. But enough of us are noticing to make it a problem for them. First, who are these entities? They are exactly who you think they are. What you see around you is not just a complex system (Western Civ) unwinding and breaking apart — though that is part of the story. It is also the appearance of a controlled demolition by desperate, frightened, and crazy people who want to be the ones left standing when the demolition is complete. The catch is, they are pretending, too. They are control-freaks who cannot keep things under control.

This power underworld is a coalition of large public and private organizations, here and out there in the world, and the folks in charge of them, and they are all out of control, too, pretending that their operations are coherent and efficacious. For instance, the vast consortium of intelligence agencies in our country, the CIA, DIA, ad nauseam, their multitudinous spin-offs, and their international partners (e.g., MI6, Mossad, the World Health Organization). If you want to see how they actually work, watch the Coen Brothers’ movie Burn After Reading. You will see a bustle of perfectly hapless, frantic, and insanely self-destructive activity performed by clueless clowns in nice business suits. There is also the matrix of banking, including the international regulatory agencies such as the IMF, the World Bank, the Fed, the European Central Bank, and the banks themselves. And the bankers — Powell, LeGarde, Dimon, et. al — and the money managers, Fink, Soros, and their nefarious activities. They are all pretending to be in charge of a money system so burdened with fakery and legerdemain that it’s in the process of flying up the cosmic wazoo and vanishing, leaving Western Civ, functionally, broke.

My guess is that the nominal leader of this underworld in the USA — more like a master-of-ceremonies than an actual director — is Barack Obama. He has been running “Joe Biden” since the 2020 coup against Mr. Trump. The Clintons wanted to be in the mix somewhere, but it appears they’ve lost the fight for dominance — what with Bill in a perpetual doghouse and Hillary wearing that “loser” sign plastered on her back. For now, “Joe B” is a place-holder for the Party of Chaos. Who else have they got? Gavin Newsom? I’m sure. Hair and teeth only get you so far. Just wait until they roll the footage of San Francisco. Kamala Harris? Discussion unnecessary. Elizabeth Warren? (Grandma Oatmeal, we call her.) A bunch of governors no one has ever heard of? For now, they’ll just try ignoring RFK, Jr., since he wants to turn the Democratic Party upside-down and inside-out while rinsing it with Drano.

Who will they slot in when “Joe B” gets the hook? Michelle Obama, of course. Seems ridiculous, I know. (Actually, it’s completely ridiculous.) But our country has become so marinated in recycled products, celebrities, and narratives that Mr. Barack Obama (and cohorts) might just be bold enough to try it. Michelle is just another product at this point, like a can of Bud Lite, or a Hostess Ho-Ho, and that’s how they will try to sell her. The public’s collective mind has been successfully disordered to the degree that unreality no longer registers. If they pull this off, it will be Mr. Obama’s fourth term — and the coup-de-grace for the nation.

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Has anything ever failed this badly?

Nearly A Third Of The World Economy Is Now Subject To Sanctions (MoA)

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) just published a study about: The Human Consequences of Economic Sanctions. The results are as any observer of such acts would expect. Sanctions are used too broadly. They hardly ever serve their supposed original purpose and do not reach their aims. They hurt the poor more than the supposedly targeted leaders of this or that country. These numbers though are astonishing: “Over the past six decades, there has been significant growth in the use of economic sanctions by Western powers and international organizations. Less than 4 percent of countries were subject to sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union, or United Nations in the early 1960s; today, that share has risen to 27 percent. The magnitudes are similar when we consider their impact on the global economy: the share of world GDP produced in sanctioned countries rose from less than 4 percent to 29 percent in the same period. In other words, more than one fourth of countries and nearly a third of the world economy is now subject to sanctions by the UN or Western nations.”

Under international law only sanction imposed by the United Nations’ Security Council have legal standing. Sanctions by the U.S. or EU are under international law an illegal use of state instruments. The U.S. is using sanctions constantly to press under nations to do its bidding. Until the recent war in Ukraine the EU has used sanctions mostly to ‘do something’ because it had run out of ideas or diplomatic abilities. The recent sanctions on Russia proved to be hurting the Russians much less than they are hurting the people living in the European Union. It was a catastrophic mistake by EU leaders to preemptively agree to the sanctions the U.S. had been pushing for before Russia entered the civil war in Ukraine on the side of its Ukrainian brethren. The consequences had obviously not been gamed out and thought through.

When nearly one third of the world economy is under sanctions the other two-third are losing out too. It would therefore make sense for everyone to abolish all sanctions that have not been issued by the UNSC. Even UNSC sanctions should only be used sparsely and in a very narrowly targeted manner. Sanctions that hit the whole economy of a country are inhuman and should be prohibited.

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Sanctions at work. Devastating.

Russian Car Sales Triple (RT)

Sales of new passenger cars in Russia jumped 2.7 times in April compared to the same period in 2022, data from analytical agency Avtostat showed on Thursday. According to the report, more than 75,000 new vehicles were sold last month in total, which is 8% more than in March. Avtostat said that 44% of the cars sold were Chinese brands, while another 35% were Russian made. The combined share of South Korean, Japanese, European, and American automobiles fell to just over 20%. The top-selling brand in the country was Russian LADA (33.4%), and the most popular model was the Lada Granta (24.3%). Among foreign automakers, Chery was the best-selling Chinese brand, and the Geely Coolray crossover was the top selling model. The exit of Western and Japanese companies from the Russian auto market has provided an opportunity to rising industry players such as China and Iran.


Chinese automakers have embarked on a major expansion in the Russian market and are expected to reach a 60% share of total sales this year, according to car dealer chain Autodom. China exported over 160,000 cars to Russia last year, more than doubling its share of the country’s auto market. Iranian auto makers are also expected to launch sales in Russia this year. Experts say the situation could also boost the Russian auto industry. Car manufacturer AvtoVAZ revealed earlier that it plans to double production this year to more than 400,000 cars. According to the company’s press service, it has the capacity to produce up to 500,000 vehicles a year.

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“..with the expansion of BRICS (to BRICS+), there will be a decline in the value of the dollar and the collapse of the IMF..”

Russia Oil Floods Global Markets Via Major Asian Intermediaries (Shakil)

Despite western sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine conflict, some Asian and specifically West Asian economies are importing significant amounts of Russian gasoline at discounted prices, and reselling it with windfall profits to the EU under their brand names. Western sanctions have forced Moscow to actively diversify its energy exports – oil and gas exports accounted for 45 percent of the Russian government’s 2022 budget – and it has rapidly filled the gap left by its diminished oil exports to Europe with new customers in China, India, and the Persian Gulf nations. Despite the EU’s prohibition on seaborne exports, during the initial quarter of the current year, Russian seaborne crude oil exports amounted to 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd), surpassing the 3.35 million bpd recorded at the onset of the Ukrainian conflict a year ago.

According to industry analysts and oil executives, this has transpired despite western sanctions that led to the severance of several active trading partnerships for Russian oil in the EU markets. Dubai-based oil tycoon Hakam Valliani tells The Cradle that, in general, sanctions did not significantly impact the Russian gasoline supply line as new buyers filled the gap left by the EU market. Washington, he says, had enforced these limitations to force the EU to buy expensive US gasoline rather than cheaper Russian oil. When compared to Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG), the price of US LNG is nearly $1,000 per ton more expensive, so “the European Union is paying a disproportionately huge amount for the US stuff,” Valliani explains. “Sanctions or no sanctions, individuals will find a way around by devising cunning strategies to bypass restrictions,” he says, adding:

“This is scary to see that the entire American-based price benchmark and the SWIFT system are collapsing, and a new benchmark will be needed within the next five years. Russia now accepts a variety of currencies when transacting fuel sales, including Indian rupees, Chinese renminbi, and other regional currencies.” Valliani predicts that with the expansion of BRICS (to BRICS+), there will be a decline in the value of the dollar and the collapse of the International Monetary Fund (IMF): “The world’s future source of gold and oil will come from BRICS+.” This has allowed countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, China, India, and Iran to import the majority of Russian oil, not for domestic consumption, but to transport it to third parties in energy-deficient markets in Europe and Asia.

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Theater of the absurd.

New Disinformation Office To Oversee All The Other Ones (IC)

Within the federal government, offices dedicated to fighting foreign disinformation are springing up like daisies, from the Pentagon’s new Influence and Perception Management Office to at least four organizations inside the Department of Homeland Security alone, as well as ones inside the FBI and State Department. To oversee the growing efforts — which arose in response to concerns about the impact of Russian meddling in the 2016 election but have now expanded — the director of national intelligence has created a new office. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines for the first time mentioned the creation of the Foreign Malign Influence Center, or FMIC.

“Congress put into law that we should establish a Foreign Malign Influence Center in the intelligence community; we have stood that up,” Haines said, referring to legislation passed last year. “It encompasses our election threat work, essentially looking at foreign influence and interference in elections, but it also deals with disinformation more generally.” The FMIC was established on September 23 of last year after Congress approved funding, but its creation was announced publicly only after The Intercept’s inquiry. Because it is situated within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, or ODNI, it enjoys the unique authority to marshal support from all elements of the U.S. intelligence community to monitor and combat foreign influence efforts such as disinformation campaigns.

The FMIC is authorized to counter foreign disinformation targeting not just U.S. elections, but also “the public opinion within the United States” generally, according to the law. Haines also made clear that the effort to counter disinformation has expanded beyond not just elections and Russia, but also to other foreign adversaries: “What we have been doing is effectively trying to support the Global Engagement Center and others throughout the U.S. government in helping them to understand what are the plans and intentions of the key actors in this space: China, Russia, Iran, etc.” The GEC is a State Department entity tasked with countering foreign disinformation by amplifying America’s own propaganda.

Creation of the FMIC was debated in Congress for months, with senators questioning how its mission would differ from the bevy of entities that already exist. “We want to be sure that this center enhances those efforts rather than duplicating them or miring them in unnecessary bureaucracy,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in January 2022, adding that there were “legitimate questions about how large such an organization should be and even about where it would fit.” Reached for comment, Warner’s office said the senator’s position hasn’t changed.

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“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.”

A Kingly Proposal: Letter From Julian Assange To King Charles III

To His Majesty King Charles III,

On the coronation of my liege, I thought it only fitting to extend a heartfelt invitation to you to commemorate this momentous occasion by visiting your very own kingdom within a kingdom: His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh. You will no doubt recall the wise words of a renowned playwright: “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.” Ah, but what would that bard know of mercy faced with the reckoning at the dawn of your historic reign? After all, one can truly know the measure of a society by how it treats its prisoners, and your kingdom has surely excelled in that regard. Your Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh is located at the prestigious address of One Western Way, London, just a short foxhunt from the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. How delightful it must be to have such an esteemed establishment bear your name.

“One can truly know the measure of a society by how it treats its prisoners”. It is here that 687 of your loyal subjects are held, supporting the United Kingdom’s record as the nation with the largest prison population in Western Europe. As your noble government has recently declared, your kingdom is currently undergoing “the biggest expansion of prison places in over a century”, with its ambitious projections showing an increase of the prison population from 82,000 to 106,000 within the next four years. Quite the legacy, indeed. As a political prisoner, held at Your Majesty’s pleasure on behalf of an embarrassed foreign sovereign, I am honoured to reside within the walls of this world class institution. Truly, your kingdom knows no bounds.

During your visit, you will have the opportunity to feast upon the culinary delights prepared for your loyal subjects on a generous budget of two pounds per day. Savour the blended tuna heads and the ubiquitous reconstituted forms that are purportedly made from chicken. And worry not, for unlike lesser institutions such as Alcatraz or San Quentin, there is no communal dining in a mess hall. At Belmarsh, prisoners dine alone in their cells, ensuring the utmost intimacy with their meal. Beyond the gustatory pleasures, I can assure you that Belmarsh provides ample educational opportunities for your subjects. As Proverbs 22:6 has it: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Observe the shuffling queues at the medicine hatch, where inmates gather their prescriptions, not for daily use, but for the horizon-expanding experience of a “big day out”—all at once.

You will also have the opportunity to pay your respects to my late friend Manoel Santos, a gay man facing deportation to Bolsonaro’s Brazil, who took his own life just eight yards from my cell using a crude rope fashioned from his bedsheets. His exquisite tenor voice now silenced forever. Venture further into the depths of Belmarsh and you will find the most isolated place within its walls: Healthcare, or “Hellcare” as its inhabitants lovingly call it. Here, you will marvel at sensible rules designed for everyone’s safety, such as the prohibition of chess, whilst permitting the far less dangerous game of checkers.

Deep within Hellcare lies the most gloriously uplifting place in all of Belmarsh, nay, the whole of the United Kingdom: the sublimely named Belmarsh End of Life Suite. Listen closely, and you may hear the prisoners’ cries of “Brother, I’m going to die in here”, a testament to the quality of both life and death within your prison. But fear not, for there is beauty to be found within these walls. Feast your eyes upon the picturesque crows nesting in the razor wire and the hundreds of hungry rats that call Belmarsh home. And if you come in the spring, you may even catch a glimpse of the ducklings laid by wayward mallards within the prison grounds. But don’t delay, for the ravenous rats ensure their lives are fleeting.

I implore you, King Charles, to visit His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, for it is an honour befitting a king. As you embark upon your reign, may you always remember the words of the King James Bible: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). And may mercy be the guiding light of your kingdom, both within and without the walls of Belmarsh.

Your most devoted subject,

Julian Assange

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Ice core

 

 


This ceiling is entirely flat. Made 3D by the extraordinary genius of Andrea Pozzo.

 

 

Sea of Milk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1654521006046822400

 

 

 

 

Maculatus

 

 


A pelican befriended a stray dog who was often spotted hanging out all alone along the boat docks. The man who photographed this has adopted him but brings him back every day to see his friend, Petey the Pelican.

 

 

Panama

 

 

Tortoise

 

 

 

 

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