Sep 052023
 
 September 5, 2023  Posted by at 8:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  28 Responses »


Claude Monet Japanese Footbridge 2 1899(?)

 

Party! Party! (Jim Kunstler)
‘Biden Has Work to Do’: US Outlets ‘Shocked’ as Trump Poll Numbers Soar (Sp.)
Rep. Adam Schiff Supports 14th Amendment Argument Over Trump’s Eligibility (Sp.)
Elon Musk Threatens To Sue Anti-Defamation League (RT)
Looming Government Shutdown Worries Among US Business Leaders (Sp.)
How Putin Rules Russia (John Helmer)
Putin: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive is Failure, Not Stalemate (Sp.)
UK Firm Offers New Theory On Kiev’s Battlefield Failures (RT)
End Of The War, End Of US Exceptionalism (Helmer)
Millions of Ukrainians Dodging Draft to ‘Avoid Certain Death’ (Sp.)
West ‘Deceived’ Russia On Grain Deal – Putin (RT)
What’s Behind Talk of a Possible Plea Deal for Assange? (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

Newt

 

 

 

 

Trump debunk

 

 

Niger exports of Uranium for 220 Millions dollars per year to France.
If it was at market price of 200 Euro per kilo instead of 0.8 Euro paid price of it would be valued at 55 Billion dollars.

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Cause of death

 

 

 

 

Weak men

 

 

 

 

“..This fall season will be a dreadful time of testing whether the country can endure any more of this..”

Party! Party! (Jim Kunstler)

In the natural order of the American system, a Republican Party would have stepped up to check the wretched excesses of a Democratic Party bent on breaking everything that has allowed people to thrive in this land: property law, economic liberty, free speech, now even your physical health. This Labor Day Monday is the last moment in this epic political psychodrama that the Republican Party has an excuse to kick back and do nothing about the parade of insults flung in the nation’s face by persons who believe in nothing, and who will stop at nothing. These insults lately include especially the perversion of law to harass and hinder political opponents, the prosecution of a foreign war by proxy in a corner of the world where America has no explicable national interest, the deliberate failure to defend the country’s borders against hordes of invaders, the rigging of elections with ballot fraud and hackable machines, the censorship of information of all kinds, and the weaponization of public health authority against the people. These are all campaigns carried out by the Democratic Party.

This fall season will be a dreadful time of testing whether the country can endure any more of this. Congress is back in session this week. Congress is the only place in the federal government where an opposition party has the authority to direct events. Mr. Comer who chairs the House Oversight Committee has assembled enough evidence of bribery and treason for Speaker Kevin McCarthy to commence an impeachment inquiry right away into the conduct of President “Joe Biden.” I’ve used quotation marks around Mr. Biden’s name since he ascended magically to this office in 2021 because it is obvious that he is only pretending to run the executive branch, and has been since day one on January 20, 2021.

His March 5, 2020, Super Tuesday victories, after a drubbing in the Iowa Caucuses (4th place) and New Hampshire primary (5th place), had an odor of supernatural contrivance. His campaign from “the basement” was a joke, and it’s still entirely possible, despite three years of massive gaslighting, that his victory in the 2020 election was a fraud. I believe the reason “Joe Biden” was installed in the White House was to allow Barack Obama to run the executive branch and all its agencies in secret from his headquarters across town in the DC Kalorama district, and the reason he is allowed to do this is because the Democratic Party has committed so many crimes against the country that a tremendous effort had to be made to cover them up, or else scores of figures in high places could have been subject to investigation and prosecution, including Mr. Obama.

It’s also possible that an impeachment inquiry in the House will lead to evidence of Mr. Obama’s role in the Biden family’s bribery adventures abroad, including the participation in one way or another of high diplomatic officials under Mr. Obama such as US Ambassadors to Ukraine Jeffrey Pyatt and Marie Yovanovitch — as well as their nefarious roles in the first impeachment of Donald Trump. Expect former Secretary of State John Kerry to surface in that mix, too. His stepson, Christopher Heinz was in business for a time with Hunter Biden and Devon Archer during the Burisma caper.

Read more …

“After the mugshot and four criminal indictments, you would think that President Biden would have [a] significant advantage, but apparently not..”

‘Biden Has Work to Do’: US Outlets ‘Shocked’ as Trump Poll Numbers Soar (Sp.)

The fact that Donald Trump’s legal troubles are only serving to boost the former president’s poll ratings impressively has left hosts and guests of many mainstream media outlets taken aback. “It is kind of shocking in a way, that despite all of the baggage that Donald Trump carries, he’s tied with Joe Biden right now,” host Of ‘This Week’, George Stephanopoulos, told his audience, as he cited revelations of a recent survey. Released on Saturday, the poll showed that around 46 percent of voters would vote for US President Joe Biden, with the same amount of voters willing to support former US President Donald Trump if the presidential election were held today. “With every passing month, with every new indictment, Donald Trump seems to be consolidating his control over the Republican Party,” the media personality said in wonder.

As many as 8 percent of respondents stated in the survey that they were undecided as to who they would vote for. However, if a third-party candidates were added to the mix, Trump would potentially lead Biden by 1 percentage point, 40 percent against 39 percent, with the share of undecided voters growing, to stand at 17. When questioned about the indictments against Trump, more than 60 percent of Republican primary voters insisted that the criminal charges lacked merit and were politically motivated. Other media hosts appeared to be just as stunned by the survey, marveling at how Trump’s four indictments still left him tied with Biden. “After the mugshot and four criminal indictments, you would think that President Biden would have [a] significant advantage, but apparently not,” bemoaned White House correspondent Peter Baker.

The poll’s findings alarmed Former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile. Biden is facing an uphill battle and needs to redouble efforts on the 2024 campaign trail, warned Larry Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “Biden has work to do,” Sabato succinctly told a US media show. Recent polling also showed that as far as GOP primary voters were concerned, Trump faces no challenge from any of the other 2024 Republican hopefuls. POTUS 45 remains the top choice for the White House for 59 percent of GOP primary voters. This is up by 11 percentage points since April. Trump’s lead over top rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who can only boast 13 percent support, has nearly doubled since April. It now stands at 46 percentage points. Other hopefuls have yet to break out of single-digit numbers of support.

Read more …

No need to convict. Accusing is enough. What kind of theory is that?

Has anyone done more harm to the US than Schiff? How many times has he lied about having evidence? And no-one sues him? He’ll do it again then.

Rep. Adam Schiff Supports 14th Amendment Argument Over Trump’s Eligibility (Sp.)

Legal experts and lawmakers are engaged in a heated debate over whether former President Donald Trump is barred from seeking elected office again. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has thrown his weight behind this argument. In a recent interview, Schiff spoke about the ongoing debate surrounding former President Trump’s eligibility to run for elected office again. He argued that the 14th Amendment’s Section 3 disqualifies those involved in acts of insurrection or rebellion against the government and he says it doesn’t hinge on a criminal conviction. “The 14th Amendment, Section 3 is pretty clear. If you engage in acts of insurrection or rebellion… or you give aid and comfort to those who do, you are disqualified from running… It doesn’t require that you be convicted of insurrection. It just requires that you have engaged in these acts… It’s a disqualification from holding office again, and it fits Donald Trump to a T,” Schiff stated.

Schiff’s stance is grounded in his experience serving on the House select committee that investigated the January 6th events. He believes that this legal theory could soon be put to the test, potentially by a secretary of state refusing to put Trump on the ballot or by a litigant challenging Trump’s eligibility. Schiff anticipates that such a case could ultimately reach the Supreme Court, leaving the final decision in the hands of the highest judicial authority. The California representative also highlighted the support for this argument within legal circles, stating, “There are prominent constitutional scholars, as well as prominent progressive scholars who believe that he should be disqualified.” The debate over whether Trump should be barred from holding public office in the future continues amid his continued high ratings among Republican voters despite all the ongoing court cases against the former president.

Read more …

“..if he wins his lawsuit, he will insist that the ADL drop the “anti” portion of its name..”

Elon Musk Threatens To Sue Anti-Defamation League (RT)

Billionaire Elon Musk has upped the ante in his feud with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), suggesting that he may have to sue the Jewish civil rights group for trying to destroy his X (formerly Twitter) social media platform through fraudulent claims of anti-Semitism. “To clear our platform’s name on the matter of anti-Semitism, it looks like we have no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League,” Musk said on Monday in an X post. “Oh, the irony,” he added. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who bought Twitter last year for $44 billion and later renamed it X, blamed the ADL for a 60% drop in advertising revenue. He said the ADL had pressured advertisers not to use the platform by falsely associating X and its new owner with anti-Semitism. “They almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter,” he wrote.

Musk’s latest comments come two days after he suggested that he might poll X users on whether to ban the ADL from his platform. He posted the idea in response to a message from conservative Dutch activist Eva Vlaardingerbroek, who declared that people are fed up with “labeling everything we don’t like as hateful/racist/dangerous/far-right.” She added that people are no longer afraid of the ADL’s intimidation tactics. “Your labels have lost their power.” The social media campaign to ban the ADL started after the group’s leader, Jonathan Greenblatt, met last week with X CEO Linda Yaccarino to discuss “rampant hate speech” on the platform. The ADL has accused X of failing to enforce its content moderation policies since Musk took over. Musk, who has vowed to make X a bastion of free speech amid heavy censorship of conservative voices on other platforms, said he was “against anti-Semitism of any kind.”

He quipped that if he wins his lawsuit, he will insist that the ADL drop the “anti” portion of its name, meaning it would be called the Defamation League. The ADL has been sued for defaming people with false allegations in the past. In fact, a Colorado couple won a $10.5 million verdict against the group in May 2000. A year earlier, the ADL settled a suit in which it was accused of illegal spying. Cartoonist Ben Garrison sued the ADL in 2020, saying the activist group defamed him by falsely portraying him as anti-Semitic and racist. Founded more than a century ago largely to stop attacks on the Jews, the ADL now describes itself as the “leading anti-hate organization in the world.” However, the group has been criticized for promoting critical race theory and other far-left ideologies in recent years.

Read more …

Broken record.

Looming Government Shutdown Worries Among US Business Leaders (Sp.)

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expressed her observations in an interview, highlighting the frustration among business leaders over the functioning of the government in such critical situations. Raimondo has raised concerns about US business leaders’ increasing anxiety regarding the possibility of a partial federal government shutdown if Congress fails to pass a short-term funding measure before the impending October 1st deadline. “They are, I think, in some cases, frustrated that this is how government operates,” said Raimondo. The White House has urged Congress to swiftly approve a short-term spending bill to avert a partial shutdown, with Raimondo emphasizing the need for a speedy resolution. She noted that such an event could pose a significant challenge to the economy and potentially hinder its progress.

This concern comes after earlier this summer when Republican Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana could not rule out the possibility of a government shutdown due to ongoing struggles in reaching an agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, which brought the nation perilously close to a default. The standoff played a role in Fitch Ratings recently downgrading the US credit rating, citing a loss of confidence in fiscal management caused by repeated debt-limit political standoffs. Despite the recent release of the August jobs report, which showed 187,000 jobs added to the workforce, there are growing concerns about underemployment. Raimondo acknowledged the presence of inflation and its impact but emphasized that the economy is performing remarkably well compared to predictions made three years ago.

Read more …

John Helmer has been reading books in his month off.

How Putin Rules Russia (John Helmer)

What’s the truth of how Putin rules Russia? The longest-serving foreign correspondent in Russia has followed Putin since their first meeting in St Petersburg in November 1991. This is the Putin story which has taken more than thirty years to prepare. It’s the story which the western and Russian media have missed. Based on thousands of pages of court testimony in London and Moscow; 76 days of cross-examination of witnesses, including the only Russian minister of state ever to go into the High Court witness box; and the findings of fact and law by thirteen British judges up to the UK Supreme Court, this is the only book to investigate the truth. And to reveal how it bears no resemblance to US and NATO war propaganda.

Sovcomplot is the story of Russia’s dominant shipping company, with the largest oil and gas tanker fleet in the world. It is a lifeline for Russia’s most important exports, and also of the world’s energy consumers. In the war to destroy Russia’s economy, Sovcomflot is a strategic line which must be defended at all costs. State owned since its creation in the Soviet Union, Sovcomflot has also been the target of privatisation and privateering schemes for twenty years. US banks, oligarchs, Russian government officials, oilers, traders, and mariners have all played their part in what they hoped would be a four billion-dollar payoff. The London court case was brought by Sovcomflot and chief executive Sergei Frank against two former executives and a leading Russian ship charterer who were accused of multi-million dollar fraud.

The verdicts of the courts took sixteen years, 2005-2021, and cost more than $200 million in fees and penalties. The accused were vindicated; the Sovcomflot men were condemned for dishonesty, perjury, abuse of power, vindictiveness. The plot itself is reported for shipping industry experts who have never before had the opportunity to open Russian state secrets like these. The book is also for rival oil and gas trade and tanker company executives. It’s for readers who want to watch Putin up close and personal as he’s not been seen before.

Read more …

+ grain deal.

Putin: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive is Failure, Not Stalemate (Sp.)

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference after bilateral talks that Ukraine’s counteroffensive was a failure, not a stalemate. He added that he hoped Ukraine’s future counteroffensive would also be a failure. Putin said that Russia is ready to revive the Black Sea grain deal and will do so immediately when all agreements are implemented. “I want to reiterate our principled position that we will be willing to consider the possibility of reviving the grain deal. I told the President about it again today. And we will do it as soon as all the agreements stipulated in it are fully implemented,” Putin said. He added that Russia would continue to export food and fertilizers.

“While Russia clearly provided security guarantees for shipping under this [grain] deal, the other side used humanitarian corridors for terrorist attacks against Russian civilian and military facilities,” Putin told a press conference. Western countries have lied to Russia about the implementation of the grain deal obligation, Putin stressed. Russia is ready to fully meet Turkiye’s grain needs, Vladimir Putin added. “Turkiye is our great partner. Turkiye has a large flour-milling processing industry, we know this and we will fully meet the needs of the Turkish Republic,” the Russian leader said. “I would like to emphasize that Russia has always been and will continue to be a reliable, responsible supplier of gas. We intend to continue to provide the Turkish economy with this cheap, but highly efficient and environmentally friendly type of fuel.

“Moreover, we are ready to export gas in transit through Turkey to consumers in third countries, where partners are interested in this,” Putin said. He added that relations between Russia and Turkiye are developing successfully in all areas and that the meeting was successful. “The cooperation between Russia and Turkiye, which is based on the principles of good neighborliness, partnership and mutual benefit, is successfully developing in all areas. Today’s talks, as always, were held in a constructive and businesslike atmosphere,” Putin said. According to Putin, there is a tendency to use national currencies in settlements between Russia and Turkiye, and the share of euros and dollars is decreasing.

Read more …

Don’t model them after NATO. Bad example.

UK Firm Offers New Theory On Kiev’s Battlefield Failures (RT)

The Western nations training and equipping Ukrainian troops should quit trying to create NATO-style army officers and instead provide instruction more tailored to the current battlefield situation in Kiev’s foundering counteroffensive against Russian forces, a leading UK think tank has suggested. The counteroffensive has been hampered by a lack of staff officers to coordinate large-scale attacks against Russian defenses, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) said in a report released on Monday. However, the firm added, Western training of additional officers will only be helpful if the instruction is built around the “tools and structure that Ukraine employs, rather than teaching NATO methods that are designed for differently configured forces.”

RUSI, which touts itself as the world’s oldest security think tank, warned that training Ukrainian officers based on NATO norms would be futile because those tactics are not widely grasped by Kiev’s troops. “We could get that horribly wrong,” the institute’s senior research fellow Jack Watling told the Telegraph. “We could do it whereby we’re like, ‘We’re going to teach you how to be a NATO staff officer. We have courses and we have a book that tells us what that means.’ But the problem is that if you take that person who has learned all these NATO procedures and you put them back in Ukraine, where they have different tools and where none of their colleagues understand any of the NATO terminology, then they will revert to what their colleagues understand.”

The report comes amid rising frustration among Western leaders over Ukraine’s counteroffensive struggles. Media reports in recent weeks have suggested that US officials are annoyed over Kiev’s reluctance to accept their advice on how to carry out attacks against Russian positions. Washington has found fault with Ukraine’s wide dispersing of troops across the front lines, rather than concentrating its forces on high-priority targets in the south, the New York Times reported, citing six unnamed US officials. Similarly, a leaked German intelligence report in July argued that Ukraine’s troops were failing to make progress in their counteroffensive because they were not fully implementing the Western tactics on which they were trained. The Bundeswehr also complained that Ukraine’s military was promoting soldiers with combat experience, rather than those with NATO-standard training, leading to “wrong and dangerous decisions.”

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry responded to the critiques with a social media post on Thursday quipping that “everyone is now an expert on how we should fight – a gentle reminder that no one understands this war better than we do.” A video attached to the post noted that if Kiev had listened to what non-Ukrainians said in February 2022, when the Russian offensive began, “we would no longer exist.” Ukraine lost over 43,000 troops and dozens of Western-supplied tanks and infantry vehicles in just the first two months of the counteroffensive, according to an estimate by the Russian Defense Ministry. The Ukrainian operation is “not stalled; it is a failure,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

Attempts to make rapid gains against Russian defenses have resulted in an “unsustainable rate of equipment loss,” RUSI said. More deliberately planned operations have made only slow progress, taking as little as 140 meters a day and giving Russian forces time to reset, the think tank added. Training time in the West is limited because Ukraine constantly needs new troops to replenish its forces, RUSI said. Kiev’s offensive operations, launched in early June, have been hampered by thick Russian minefields and heavily fortified defensive positions, as well as the lack of sufficient artillery and air support.

Read more …

“There is no question in Matthews’s diagnosis of who is in the madhouse, and who is superior. “By the time I met [Vladimir] Zelensky in Kyiv in July [2022] he cut a profoundly impressive figure – hard-eyed, emphatic in his speech.”

End Of The War, End Of US Exceptionalism (Helmer)

Doctors in hospitals for the criminally insane have reported that the sharpest pain patients with superiority complexes suffer is the belief there are others who are more superior than they are. Unless they are stopped, they kill to cure. US exceptionalism is a disease of this type. The American exceptionalists believe that if the US isn’t conquering and victorious — great again as in MAGA — it is defeating itself because, they think, the US can never be beaten by a foreign adversary on the field — not on the battlefield, nor in the marketplace, nor in the mind and on the page. So this is where the whitecoats arrive today: the Russian General Staff and the Stavka are defeating the Americans on every front, weapon system, intelligence summary, and mind. This has never happened before. Failing to see and understand this is delusional; those who kill to cure this aren’t all hospitalised.

A book repeating the US, NATO and Ukrainian version of how and why Russia’s Ukrainian battlefield campaign began on February 23, 2022, is symptomatic, nothing new. “We have no idea of exactly how the conflict will end”, concludes Owen Matthews (aka Bibikov) in a fresh publication from the state-subsidised printing press of Rupert Murdoch. But “we already know how it will not end. There will be no complete victory for either Russia or Ukraine. NATO is too invested to allow Kyiv to fall to the Russian army… this war will eventually end — with a negotiated peace.”* Incomprehensible to Matthews is that the terms of the negotiated peace will be those of the Russian non-aggression treaties for the US and for NATO of December 17, 2021, and they will be dictated at the end of the war by the force which prevails. They will be as definitive as the German terms signed by the French in the Compiègne Wagon on June 22, 1940; and the American terms signed by the Japanese on the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945.

Instead, Matthews dismisses the treaties in two paragraphs, based on what Matthews says an anonymous British Foreign Office official told him in March 2022 was “fantastical…[they] simply did make any sense…there was nothing in it that NATO could possibly agree to.” What preceded, and also what followed those treaties, was the doing, in Matthews’s psychopathological terminology, of “fantasies about anti-Russian fascists coming to power in Kyiv”; “paranoia over Western attempts to subvert and undermine Russia”; and other “lies and eschatological fantasies”.

At the centre of this madness, according to Matthews, is the single figure of Vladimir Putin, advised by “Soviet-era fantasists and paranoiacs”; “on the point of paranoia about the [corona] virus”; “secluded and inaccessible in his Covid bunker”; obsessed by pseudo-historical revenge and “a kind of death cult”; surrounded by “the most deluded and most ideologically driven members of Putin’s entourage”; and speechifying “a set of unbelievably illiterate conspiracy clichés…especially when the former Marxists in the Kremlin sincerely believed that inexorable historical forces were on their side.” There is no question in Matthews’s diagnosis of who is in the madhouse, and who is superior. “By the time I met [Vladimir] Zelensky in Kyiv in July [2022] he cut a profoundly impressive figure – hard-eyed, emphatic in his speech.” With unintended irony — the reader won’t take long to detect it — the book is titled “Overreach”.

Read more …

He’s now asking EU countries to expel Ukrainians who fled the war.

Millions of Ukrainians Dodging Draft to ‘Avoid Certain Death’ (Sp.)

Ukraine’s “permanent mobilization” campaign is suffering setbacks amid the catastrophic outflow of fighting-age men from the country, with the Ukrainian Institute of the Future calculating recently that the country’s population had dropped to just 29 million people as of 2023, down from 41.1 million in 2021, and just a shadow of its 52 million peak in 1991. Amid the crisis, alternative media and even some legacy outlets have reported on the growing difficulties facing Ukrainian authorities in recruiting more conscripts for the NATO-backed proxy war against Russia, with widespread reports of draft officers grabbing men off the street, draconian restrictions on travel abroad, and demands for large-scale bribes from anyone seeking to avoid being sent to fight.

Last month, President Volodymyr Zelensky dramatically fired officials in charge of conscription in every region across the country as conscription-related corruption charges gained international attention. “The situation in Ukraine with conscription is very bad,” Viktor Litovkin, a retired Russian Army colonel and veteran military analyst, told Sputnik. “There really just aren’t enough people, because almost half of the population of Ukraine is abroad in Europe and in Russia.” At the same time, he said, hundreds of thousands of “young, healthy males ages 17-50 who could be having children, building houses, growing bread, and so on and so forth” have instead been sent to fight Russia in a conflict which even some mainstream US experts have now admitted Ukraine can’t win.

“To take just one simple example: in the two months of the counteroffensive, they lost 43,000 people killed and 3,000 armored vehicles destroyed…For comparison, just so that it’s clear what these numbers mean, during the 10 year conflict in Afghanistan [in the 1980s, ed.], the USSR lost 15,000 people killed. 15,000 in 10 years, and here 43,000 in two months. Therefore, in Ukraine, people understand that they are being called up into a meat grinder,” Litovkin said. “They are not really taught to fight, not given [the right] weapons, etc. Therefore, they understand that they are not fighting for Ukraine, for their motherland. They’re fighting for Zelensky, they’re fighting for the interests of the United States, for NATO, and so on,” the observer added, suggesting Ukrainian conscripts are eager to surrender, and would do so more often if not for the fascist militias working as blocking detachments to keep them in line.

Ultimately, Litovkin doesn’t believe that a further tightening of conscription rules will “save” Zelensky. “They’re now trying to force European countries to deport Ukrainian men from their countries…But this is unlikely to do any good, because if the Europeans begin deporting the ‘escapees’, they will run elsewhere, to the Middle East, Africa, anywhere just so they don’t have to fight.”

Read more …

“..if the US and EU fulfill their obligations and remove these restrictions, Moscow will consider reinstating the treaty..”

West ‘Deceived’ Russia On Grain Deal – Putin (RT)

The West lied to Russia when it stated that the humanitarian goal of the Black Sea initiative was to deliver Ukrainian grain to the poorest countries in the world, President Vladimir Putin claimed on Monday. Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Putin stated that over 70% of the grain shipped out of Ukrainian ports as part of the agreement had ended up in the EU and other wealthy nations. “The share received by the countries most in need of food accounted for only 3%. That is less than 1 million tons,” Putin said. The president alleged that while Russia had provided security guarantees for grain shipments, “the other side” had used the humanitarian corridors to conduct terrorist attacks against Russian civilian and military facilities.

The UN- and Türkiye-brokered grain deal initially came into effect in July 2022, and Ukraine has since repeatedly conducted drone raids on various targets in the Black Sea. That includes attacks on cargo ships, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the port city of Sevastopol, and the Crimean Bridge which connects the Crimean peninsula with mainland Russia. “This cannot be tolerated any longer,” Putin said on Monday. The Russian leader insisted that Moscow had effectively been “forced” to terminate its participation in the grain deal in mid-July this year, accusing the West of refusing to uphold its end of the bargain and lift sanctions on the export of Russian fertilizer and other agricultural products.

However, if the US and EU fulfill their obligations and remove these restrictions, Moscow will consider reinstating the treaty, Putin said. He added that Russia will meanwhile continue to export food and fertilizer products to improve the situation with the global agricultural industry.

Read more …

“..a plea could be taken internationally. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s not barred by any laws. If all parties consent to it, then the court has jurisdiction.”

What’s Behind Talk of a Possible Plea Deal for Assange? (Lauria)

The fierce Australian reaction to both Blinken and [Caroline] Kennedy’s remarks appears to have taken Washington by surprise, given how accustomed to Canberra’s supine behavior the U.S. has become. Just two weeks after Blinken’s remarks, Kennedy tried to soften the blow by muddying Blinken’s clear waters. She told The Sydney Morning Herald in a front-page interview published on Aug. 14 that the United States was now, despite Blinken’s unequivocal words, suddenly open to a plea agreement that could free Assange, allowing him to serve a shortened sentence for a lesser crime in his home country. The newspaper said there could be a “David Hicks-style plea bargain,” a so-called Alford Plea, in which Assange would continue to state his innocence while accepting a lesser charge that would allow him to serve additional time in Australia.

The four years Assange has already served on remand at London’s maximum security Belmarsh Prison could perhaps be taken into account. Kennedy said a decision on such a plea deal was up to the U.S. Justice Department. “So it’s not really a diplomatic issue, but I think that there absolutely could be a resolution,” she told the newspaper. Kennedy acknowledged Blinken’s harsh comments. “But there is a way to resolve it,” she said. “You can read the [newspapers] just like I can.” It is not quite clear what in the newspapers she was reading. Blinken is Kennedy’s boss. There is little chance she had spoken out of turn. Blinken allowed her to put out the story that the U.S. is interested in a plea bargain with Assange. But why?

First, the harsh reaction in Australia to Blinken’s words probably had something to do with it. If it was up to the U.S. Justice Department alone to handle the prosecution of Assange, as Kennedy says, why was the Secretary of State saying anything about it at all? Blinken appears to have spoken out of turn himself and sent Kennedy out to reel it back in. Given the growing opposition to the AUKUS alliance in Australia, including within the ruling Labor Party, perhaps Blinken and the rest of the U.S. security establishment is not taking Australia’s support for granted anymore. Blinken stepped in it and had Kennedy try to clean up the mess. Second, as suspected by many Assange supporters on social media, Kennedy’s words may have been intended as a kind of ploy, perhaps to lure Assange to the United States to give up his fight against extradition in exchange for leniency.

In its article based on Kennedy’s interview, The Sydney Morning Herald spoke to only one international law expert, a Don Rothwell, of Australian National University in Canberra, who said Assange would have to go to the United States to negotiate a plea. In a second interview on Australian television, Rothwell said Assange would also have to drop his extradition fight. Of course, neither is true. “Usually American courts don’t act unless a defendant is inside that district and shows up to the court,” U.S. constitutional lawyer Bruce Afran told Consortium News. “However, there’s nothing strictly prohibiting it either. And in a given instance, a plea could be taken internationally. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s not barred by any laws. If all parties consent to it, then the court has jurisdiction.” But would the U.S. consent to it?

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Engineering

 

 

Croc underwater

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

“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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

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 …

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 242023
 


Jackson Pollock Number 31 1949

 

Weird That NATO Failed to Foresee Botched Counteroffensive – Larry Johnson (Sp.)
West Knew Ukraine Wasn’t Ready For Counteroffensive – WSJ (RT)
West’s Hopes for Breakthrough in Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Dashed (Sp.)
Wagner Fighters Want To ‘Visit’ Poland – Lukashenko (RT)
Putin Cracks Down On ‘Angry Patriots’ In Wake Of Wagner Mutiny (ZH)
UK Media Now Admitting NATO’s Proxy War in Ukraine is a Disaster (21C)
Demining Ukraine Will Take 757 Years – WaPo (RT)
Putin Says Grain Deal Used to Enrich US, Europe, Lost Its Meaning (Sp.)
Russia Prevented From Giving Free Fertilizers To Poorest Nations – Putin (TASS)
More Than 40 Countries Willing To Join BRICS –Official (RT)
Hunter Phones A Friend (Miranda Devine)
Trump To Face Trial Before Election (RT)
Trump Calls Biden ‘Stupid’ For Revealing US Has Run Out of Ammo (Sp.)
Greece Heatwave Likely To Become Longest Country Has Ever Recorded (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putin Luka

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

Former Pentagon adviser Douglas McGregor:
NATO may not come out unscathed from this war in Ukraine, and I believe that there will be a change of governments in Europe and we will see the emergence of new leaders who will say: “Why are we going after these Americans?” If Russia was the aggressor against Ukraine, the situation would be different now, and we would see Russians on the borders of Poland after they destroyed Ukraine, but this did not happen, because the Russians do not want this.

Ukraine is to Russia what Mexico is to America. If there was an army in Mexico fully equipped to attack us, we would not hesitate to destroy it, which the Russians did. We lack diplomats and mature and moderate military leaders, and today we only have people whose ideology has blinded them to the truth, so it is difficult to do something good with us. The West wants to destroy Russia, plunder its resources.

 

 

 

 

“I wonder was everybody asleep over the last six-seven months?”

Weird That NATO Failed to Foresee Botched Counteroffensive – Larry Johnson (Sp.)

The US mainstream press laments the fact that Ukraine’s “small territorial gains come at an outsize cost,” citing multiple obstacles in the path of the Ukrainian campaign, including weary soldiers, shortage of ammo, and, above all, Russia’s fortifications and minefields. One US media outlet quoted a former US Special Forces engineer as saying that Russia’s minefields are unlike anything he has ever seen and that battling these traps is “exhausting.”
Appearing on a web podcast on July 22, Larry Johnson, a veteran of the CIA and former analyst at the State Department’s Office of Counterterrorism, said he is perplexed that Russia’s fortification caught the West by surprise. “I wonder was everybody asleep over the last six-seven months?” Johnson asked.

When Russia pulled out Kherson and pulled out Kharkov the last fall, it then publicly embarked on a plan of building a defensive line along the southern front, he recalled. Obviously, the Russians planted mines in front of their fortifications, according to him. Per the CIA veteran, there is nothing new in Russia’s tactics and NATO has enough reconnaissance and intelligence capabilities to monitor and see how Russia created those minefields. It was predictable that the Ukrainian Armed Forces would be stalled and trapped early in the counteroffensive effort, according to Johnson. The former CIA analyst highlighted that he had earlier forecast that the Ukrainian counteroffensive would be doomed without aviation, self-propelled artillery, installations and air defense systems.

Ukraine’s long-delayed counteroffensive kicked off on June 4. For five weeks, the Ukrainian military has been firing a great deal of shells and missiles and sending sappers to demine the fields in order to make some progress on the ground. However, they cannot boast of any successes, generating concerns in the West that the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky “may not deliver as powerful a blow as it could,” according to the US media.

Read more …

But what’s 100,000 Ukrainian lives?

West Knew Ukraine Wasn’t Ready For Counteroffensive – WSJ (RT)

Western military officials knew earlier this year that Ukraine lacked the supplies and training to launch a successful counteroffensive against Russian forces, but allowed Kiev to launch its disastrous operation regardless, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Nearly two months after it began, Ukraine’s counteroffensive remains stalled. Advancing through Russian minefields without air support or adequate anti-air weapons, the Ukrainian military has lost 26,000 men and more than 3,000 pieces of hardware, according to the latest figures from Moscow. In return, Ukraine has captured only a handful of hamlets and villages, while failing to penetrate Russia’s multi-layered network of defensive trenches and emplacements.

The US and its allies knew that such an outcome was inevitable, according to the Wall Street Journal. Citing leaked Pentagon documents, the newspaper claimed that US military analysts counted a “tiny number” of Ukrainian weapons capable of hitting Russian aircraft, and determined that Kiev would face an “inability to prevent Russian air superiority.” “America would never attempt to defeat a prepared defense without air superiority, but [the Ukrainians] don’t have air superiority,” John Nagl, a retired US Army lieutenant colonel, told the paper. “It’s impossible to overstate how important air superiority is for fighting a ground fight at a reasonable cost in casualties.”

In public, American officials told a different story. “We believe that the Ukrainians will meet with success in this counteroffensive,” White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN on the eve of the operation. Several months earlier, Dan Rice, an Iraq War veteran who now serves as an adviser to the Ukrainian armed forces, declared that the counteroffensive would “shock the world” with its success. European leaders were similarly optimistic. Polish President Andrzej Duda, who has been one of Kiev’s most fervent backers, announced in early June that the operation would lead to “the ousting of Russian military forces from all occupied territories.”

Western officials have since downgraded their expectations, and are privately “alarmed” at the lack of results on the battlefield, according to recent media reports. Western governments are therefore at a crossroads, and will soon need to decide whether to commit the massive amounts of arms, equipment, and money necessary to support Kiev in a longer conflict, the Wall Street Journal explained, citing anonymous diplomats. Russian President Vladimir Putin has described Ukraine’s counteroffensive as “suicidal.” In a public address on Friday, he pointed out that despite the “colossal amounts of resources,” and “thousands of foreign mercenaries and advisers” that Kiev has received from the West, its counteroffensive has still resulted in failure.

Read more …

“..And we are confident that the Ukrainians have what they need..”

West’s Hopes for Breakthrough in Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Dashed (Sp.)

Western countries knew that Ukraine did not have enough weapons and training for the counteroffensive, but hoped that Ukrainian courage and resourcefulness would save the day; however, these hopes have been dashed, the US press admits. Russia’s resistance, airpower, and extensive fortifications blocked the Kiev regime’s advance and eventually led to Ukraine’s counteroffensive stalling. There is a risk of Ukrainian lives and equipment being lost without any shift in momentum, as per a US mainstream media outlet. The media outlet noted that as the likelihood of any large-scale breakthrough by the Ukrainian forces this year fades, it raises the “unsettling prospect” for Washington and its NATO allies of a “longer war” which would require more armaments and even more training.

Under these circumstances, the political calculus for the Biden administration appears especially complicated given the forthcoming election in November 2024. While the EU is continuing to help Ukraine, European leaders are unlikely to make a significant increase in aid to Ukraine if they feel a lack of enthusiasm from the United States, the newspaper noted. At the end of June, the Pentagon stated that they initially understood that the counteroffensive would be tough and entail casualties among their ranks. Still, US war planners claimed the Kiev regime was well-equipped. “Our assessments have been pretty clear from the beginning. We know this is going to be a hard fight. We know this is going to take time. And we are confident that the Ukrainians have what they need,” claimed Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh on June 21.

“We have accounted for losses. We know there are going to be losses on the battlefield. That’s the unfortunate part of this war,” she added. However, it appears that Washington did not expect that the losses would be so heavy. The long-advertised Ukrainian counteroffensive in the South Donetsk, Artemovsk (Bakhmut), and Zaporozhye directions started on June 4 after months of delays. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky complained in an interview with the Western press earlier this month that the effort couldn’t start earlier due to a lack of weaponry. Kiev deployed NATO-trained brigades armed with Western equipment, including the much-touted Leopard tanks. Shortly after, images of burned and damaged NATO-grade weaponry started to pop up in the media and social networks.

Read more …

Maybe not…

Wagner Fighters Want To ‘Visit’ Poland – Lukashenko (RT)

Fighters from the private military company (PMC) Wagner want to “visit” Poland, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin on Sunday. According to Lukashenko, the PMC’S members want to reach the Polish capital Warsaw and the city of eastern city of Rzeszow, which they believe was a hub for providing Ukrainian troops with military hardware during the fighting for the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk (also known as Bakhmut). After the failed mutiny attempt in June, Wagner members were offered the opportunity to retire, sign contracts with the Russian military, or relocate to Belarus together with the group’s chief, Evgeny Prigozhin.

According to Lukashenko, the fighters hosted in the country are starting to “concern” local authorities, as they want to “go on tour to Poland” to visit Warsaw and Rzeszow, which they believe was a hub for providing Ukrainian troops with military hardware during the fighting for the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk (also known as Bakhmut). “They know where the military hardware [to support Ukrainian troops] came from during the fighting in Artyomovsk,” the Belarusian president explained on Sunday during his meeting with Putin. “So they have this internal feeling that Rzeszow is trouble.”

He also noted that the Wagner members know “what’s going on around the Union State [of Russia and Belarus],” so he wouldn’t like to have them relocated somewhere away from the center of the country, particularly given that they are in what he characterized as a “bad mood.” On Friday, Putin claimed that Polish leaders are planning to form a NATO-backed coalition to intervene in the Ukraine conflict and take over parts of western Ukraine. Belarusian territory might also be endangered, he added, promising retaliation in case of any aggression against the Union State member.

Read more …

Not mentioned: Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, aka Igor Ivanovich Strelkov, is also one of the main suspects in the MH17 downing.

Putin Cracks Down On ‘Angry Patriots’ In Wake Of Wagner Mutiny (ZH)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has continued cleaning house in the wake of last month’s Wagner mutiny and short-lived uprising. In a bold move, he and his defense ministry are cracking down even on pro-Kremlin ‘patriots’—but who have publicly criticized top decision-making and how Moscow has handled the Ukraine war effort. On Friday a prominent blogger who has taken a critical stance on war strategy and Putin himself was arrested. Igor Girkin is a longtime proponent of the invasion of Ukraine, and is an ex-security official who led Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region in 2014. He also helped Crimea enter under the Russian Federation that same year.

Shortly after last year’s start of the February invasion, he co-founded an ultra-nationalist political group called the Angry Patriots Club, and is a popular pro-war blogger. These are hardliners who tend to think the Kremlin has been too restrained in Ukraine. In the wake of the June 22-23 Wagner mutiny, he suggested Putin is “not ready” for difficult decision-making under war-time conditions. And this week, he went so far as to call Putin a “low life”. According to a CNN translation of some key quotes he’s posted publicly: The day after Wagner’s brief insurrection ended, on June 25, he said that if Putin “is not ready to take the leadership over the creation of war-ready conditions” in Russia, “then he really needs to transfer the powers, but legally, to someone who is capable of such hard work.”

But the final straw for Putin may have come on Tuesday, when Girkin called the president a “lowlife” and a “cowardly bum” in a blistering post on his Telegram channel. “For 23 years, the country was led by a lowlife who managed to ‘blow dust in the eyes’ of a significant part of the population. Now he is the last island of legitimacy and stability of the state,” the post read. “But the country will not be able to withstand another six years of this cowardly bum in power.” Girkin’s lawyer confirmed Friday that following his arrest a Moscow court has given him pretrial detention until at least Sept.18. The charge against him is “extremism”. Below is analysis via regional observer Tatiana Stanovaya, who points out that “This is a direct outcome of Prigozhin’s mutiny: the army’s command now wields greater political leverage to quash its opponents.”…

“This is a moment many within the siloviki have eagerly awaited. Strelkov had overstepped all conceivable boundaries a long time ago, sparking the desire among security forces — from the FSB to military chiefs — to apprehend him. The complaint came from a former commander of the Wagner Group. At this point, the source of the accusation is inconsequential — it does not come from Wagner in its current, let’s put it softly, difficult state.” “Strelkov’s arrest undeniably serves the interests of the Ministry of Defense. This is a direct outcome of Prigozhin’s mutiny: the army’s command now wields greater political leverage to quash its opponents in the public sphere. It’s unlikely that there will be massive repressions against ‘angry patriots,’ but the most vehement dissenters may face prosecution, serving as a cautionary tale for others.”

Read more …

Just stop it.

UK Media Now Admitting NATO’s Proxy War in Ukraine is a Disaster (21C)

After 18 months, it looks like the propaganda dam that’s been holding up the official NATO narrative on Ukraine – has finally begun to crack in the UK mainstream media. It seems that the bevy of journalists and military pundits who’ve been insisting for the last 18 months that “Ukraine is winning”, have finally convened and appear to have collectively decided that maybe it’s high time to begin facing reality and accept that the Ukrainian army’s much-vaunted ‘counter offensive’ came and went with no success. Truth be known: there was never any actual counter offensive, rather, it was strictly a media-driven mirage, specifically designed to help keep the money and weapons flowing into an increasingly disastrous proxy war ahead of this month’s lack-luster NATO Summit in Vilnius.

The legacy media’s belated acknowledgment of this epic failure is a symptom of their own chronic and misguided approach to the war from day one, which can only be described as a deluded, albeit shameless lockstep propaganda campaign that would make even Stalin’s information minister wince. Interestingly, throughout the conflict, The Telegraph has been one of the main pro-war propaganda echo chambers on social media, regularly host hosting Twitter Spaces frequented by NAFO “fellas” (NATO’s 100K strong online trolling army), with various ‘experts’ regularly coming on making outrageous and unsubstantiated claims about Russian military maneuvers manuevers and alleged war crimes. The MSM are now playing catch-up to reality… Robert Clark from the UK Telegraph writes in his recent piece, “Ukraine and the West are facing a devastating defeat”…

Since Putin’s tanks crossed into Ukrainian territory last year, three options have been on the table for how this war would end: victory for one side or the other, a frozen conflict or a negotiated settlement. The public comments made this week by Oleksiy Arestovych, a former advisor to Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, appear to indicate the last may be more likely than previously thought. Arestovych raised the prospect of Ukraine making territorial concessions in return for the rest of the country receiving the most cast-iron security guarantee there is: Nato membership. These comments have proved highly controversial. Not only would such an outcome be unpalatable to many in Kyiv and other European capitals, raising it as a possibility highlights a growing uncertainty about the long-term sustainability of the war – particularly amongst Ukraine’s western backers.

Arestovych’s suggestion comes at a crucial time. The long-planned counter-offensive, now in its second month, has run into several problems – not least that Kyiv is still waiting for approximately half of the western military equipment promised earlier in the year. Meanwhile, its forces are under increasing pressure to commit its reserves as Russian troops – despite reports of low morale across the front – remain dug-in, seemingly committed to defending every inch of Ukrainian ground captured since last year. As Russian minefields take their toll on western-supplied tanks and Ukrainian sappers, their forces have so-far retaken approximately five miles of the sixty miles they need to split the land-bridge connecting Russia to Crimea. The land between Mariupol in the east and Melitopol to the west is seen as the vital ground to achieving this.

Read more …

“The sheer quantity of ordnance in Ukraine is just unprecedented in the last 30 years. There’s nothing like it..”

Demining Ukraine Will Take 757 Years – WaPo (RT)

The conflict with Russia has turned Ukraine into the “most mined country” in the world, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing data from the nation’s government and several non-governmental humanitarian mine clearance groups. Almost one-third of Ukraine’s territory has been affected by heavy fighting and will likely require intense demining operations, the media outlet said, adding that over 67,000 square miles (173,529 square kilometers) have been contaminated with unexploded ordnance, according to Slovakia-based think tank GLOBSEC. That’s more than the size of Florida and roughly equivalent to Uruguay. “The sheer quantity of ordnance in Ukraine is just unprecedented in the last 30 years. There’s nothing like it,” Greg Crowther, the director of programs at British NGO Mines Advisory Group, told the Washington Post.

According to UN data, almost 300 civilians, including 22 children, died in Ukraine in incidents linked to unexploded ordnance between February 2022 and July 2023, the Post reported. Mines and other unexploded munitions also resulted in 632 civilian injuries over the same period, it added. Both sides of the conflict actively use mines in their operations, the media outlet noted. The US also contributed to the mining of Ukrainian territory by supplying Kiev with 155-millimeter artillery rounds that create temporary minefields, although their submunitions are technically supposed to self-destruct, the Washington Post reported. Another US-made ordnance that was sent into Ukraine was the M21 anti-tank mine, which does not self-destruct, it added.

Washington’s decision to provide Kiev with US-made “cluster munitions, which are known to scatter duds that fail to explode, can only add to the danger,” the media outlet said. According to some estimates, it could take 757 years to clear all of the unexploded ordnance scattered around the country, even if 500 demining teams were tasked with the mission, the Washington Post reported. World Bank estimates show that the cost of these operations could reach $37.4 billion in just the next ten years, it added. Washington has so far committed just around $95 million to demining operations in Ukraine, according to a 2023 State Department report.

On Friday, UN Under Secretary General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo warned the UN Security Council that huge swathes of Ukrainian territory have been covered in mines and cluster bombs that will “continue to pose danger to civilians for years to come.” Earlier this week, Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, blasted Washington for turning Ukraine into a “burial ground” for lethal waste.

Read more …

“..there is no longer any use in continuing the ‘grain deal’ as it has failed to serve its original humanitarian purpose.”

Putin Says Grain Deal Used to Enrich US, Europe, Lost Its Meaning (Sp.)

The grain deal did not justify its humanitarian purpose and was used only to enrich the United States and Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in an article titled “Russia and Africa: Joining Efforts for Peace, Progress and a Successful Future” published by the Kremlin on Monday. The Black Sea Grain Initiative, commonly known as the grain deal, which provided for a humanitarian corridor to allow exports of Ukrainian grain over the past year, expired on July 18, as Russia did not extend its participation. Moscow has been repeatedly critical of the fact that the deal’s provisions pertaining to Russia had not been fulfilled.

“Many have probably heard of the so-called ‘grain deal,’ whose initial purpose was to ensure global food security, reduce the threat of hunger and help the poorest countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America – the reason why Russia undertook the obligation to facilitate its implementation in the first place. This ‘deal,’ however, while it was publicly advertised by the West as a gesture of goodwill that benefited Africa, has in fact been shamelessly used solely for the enrichment of large US and European businesses that exported and resold grain from Ukraine,” Putin said. The Russian president emphasized that, in almost a year, a total of 32.8 million tonnes (metric tons) of supplies were exported from Ukraine under the grain deal, with over 70% of the exports ending up in high- and upper-middle-income countries, while countries such as Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia, as well as Yemen and Afghanistan, received less than 3% of the supplies.

“In the meantime, none of the ‘deal’ provisions relating to the exemption from sanctions of Russian grain and fertiliser exports to world markets, were fulfilled,” Putin wrote. The Russian president stressed that barriers have been mounted to Russia’s attempts to supply free of charge mineral fertilizers to the poorest countries in need. “Of 262,000 tonnes of goods blocked in European ports, only two shipments were delivered – one of 20,000 tonnes to Malawi and one of 34,000 tonnes to Kenya. The rest is still unscrupulously held by the Europeans. And this is a purely humanitarian initiative we are talking about, which should be exempt from any sanctions as such,” Putin said, adding that, considering all these facts, “there is no longer any use in continuing the ‘grain deal’ as it has failed to serve its original humanitarian purpose.”

Read more …

“is a purely humanitarian initiative we are talking about, which should be exempt from any sanctions as such.”

Russia Prevented From Giving Free Fertilizers To Poorest Nations – Putin (TASS)

While Russia has been sending fertilizers to the world’s poorest countries free of charge, the West has been mounting barriers by blocking a substantial portion of supplies and holding it `unscrupulously’, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in his article for the 2nd Russia-Africa Summit to be held in St. Petersburg later this week. “Barriers have been mounted even to our attempts to supply free of charge mineral fertilizers to the poorest countries in need. Of 262,000 metric tons of goods blocked in European ports, only two shipments were delivered – one of 20,000 metric tons to Malawi and the other of 34,000 metric tons to Kenya. The rest is still being unscrupulously held by the Europeans,” Putin lamented.


And this, the Russian leader said, “is a purely humanitarian initiative we are talking about, which should be exempt from any sanctions as such.” The second Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum is slated for July 27-28 in St. Petersburg. The first such event was held in Sochi on October 22-24, 2019 under the slogan “For peace, security and development.”.

Read more …

“22 countries have formally applied to join the group..”

More Than 40 Countries Willing To Join BRICS –Official (RT)

More than 40 countries have shown an interest in joining BRICS, Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador-at-large responsible for ties with the economic alliance and Asian countries, has said. The diplomat told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday that 22 countries have formally applied to join the group, while “an equal number” of states “have been informally asking about becoming BRICS members.”= Speaking with RT on Sunday, Sooklal described BRICS as an “inclusive” organization that has always been open to dialogue with the larger global community. The group currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and accounts for over 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP.

Sooklal said that BRICS does not distinguish between the Global North and Global South and is ready to talk to any country that “has the same vision for a more inclusive and equitable global order where we do not marginalize large parts of the world,” including many developing nations. The diplomat went on to point out that while the United Nations has yet to embark on comprehensive reforms that would give emerging countries a greater voice, BRICS has charted its own path to remedy the situation. However, he stressed that the bloc “does not seek to become a dominant economic force,” but rather wants to have “a major influence in an inclusive manner to work for change.”

“We don’t want a world where we have one or two global hegemons,” he added, explaining that such a distribution of power sows division in the global community. Sooklal had earlier said in comments to journalists that Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates were among those countries looking to join the bloc. South Africa will host the BRICS annual summit this year, which will take place in Johannesburg from August 22-24, with President Cyril Ramaphosa having sent invitations to nearly 70 global leaders.

Read more …

Never talked to Hunter about his business…

Hunter Phones A Friend (Miranda Devine)

Hunter Biden would dial in his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, on speakerphone into meetings with his overseas business partners, according to testimony expected before Congress this week from Devon Archer, the first son’s former best friend. Archer, 48, who is facing jail for his role in a $60 million bond fraud, is scheduled to testify to the House Oversight Committee about meetings he witnessed that were attended by Joe Biden either in person or via speakerphone when Hunter would call his father and introduce him to foreign business partners or prospective investors. “We are looking forward very much to hearing from Devon Archer about all the times he has witnessed Joe Biden meeting with Hunter Biden’s overseas business partners when he was vice president, including on speakerphone,” says Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the committee chairman.

One such meeting was in Dubai late in the evening of Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, after a board meeting of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, which was paying Hunter $83,000 a month as a director. Archer, who also was a director, is expected to testify that, after dinner with the Burisma board at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, he and Hunter traveled six miles north to the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach to have a drink with one of Hunter’s friends. While they were sitting outside at the bar, Vadym Pozharskyi, a senior Burisma executive, phoned to ask where they were because Burisma’s owner Mykola Zlochevsky needed to speak to Hunter urgently. Soon afterward, the two Ukrainians joined Hunter and Archer at the Four Seasons bar and Pozharskyi asked Hunter: “Can you ring your dad?” At the time it was early afternoon, Friday, in Washington, DC.

Hunter then called his father, put him on speaker, placed the phone on the table, and introduced the Ukrainians to Joe Biden by name as “Nikolai and Vadym.” He also said words to the effect that the Burisma bigwigs “need our support.” VP Biden greeted the Ukrainians but spoke only in vague pleasantries during the short call, and in other such interactions with Hunter’s overseas business partners, Archer is expected to testify. Congressional investigators are expected to probe the reasons for Zlochevsky requesting the urgent phone call with Joe Biden. They will note the context, that three days after the speakerphone call, the then-vice president, who was the Obama administration’s point man for Ukraine, was due to fly to Kyiv to address the Ukrainian parliament, known as the “Rada,” on Dec. 9, 2015, about the “poison of cronyism, corruption, and kleptocracy.”

Ten weeks before the call, on Sept. 24, 2015, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt had given a speech about corruption in Odessa, in which he targeted Zlochevsky by name. By then, Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma for corruption and, within two months, on Feb. 2, 2016, would seize four houses in Kyiv, two plots of land and a Rolls Royce belonging to Zlochevsky, who was living in exile in Dubai. A month later, Shokin was fired, after Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in US aid to Ukraine.

Read more …

Not Biden but Trump faces trial.

Trump To Face Trial Before Election (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump is to stand trial on charges of mishandling classified documents in May 2024, a court order issued on Friday suggested. The date pushes the court hearings deep into the 2024 US presidential race. US District Judge Aileen Cannon ordered the trial to start on May 24. A pretrial hearing in Trump’s case is to be held on May 14. The dates place the hearings after most state primaries that are scheduled to be finished by mid-May, the US media report. Nebraska, Maryland and West Virginia are expected to hold their primary votes right on May 14, according to CNN. Oregon is to do it a week later and a few states, including New Jersey will vote on June 4, the network added.

According to AP, the Republican presidential nominee might be already clear by the time Trump is to arrive before the court, even though the official nomination would only take place at the Republican National Convention in July 2024. Two weeks ago, Trump’s lawyers demanded his trial be delayed until after the 2024 presidential election. The prosecutors also requested a four-month postponement and called on the trial to be moved to December 2023. Cannon ruled on Friday that “the Government’s proposed schedule is atypically accelerated and inconsistent with ensuring a fair trial,” adding that the amount of evidence that needs to be examined in this case is “voluminous and likely to increase in the normal course as trial approaches.”

“The Court finds that the interests of justice served by this continuance outweigh the best interest of the public and Defendants in a speedy trial,” she added. Trump’s campaign already hailed the decision as a “major setback to the DOJ’s crusade to deny President Trump a fair legal process.” The “extensive schedule” would allow Trump and his legal team to “continue fighting this empty hoax,” it added. Trump pleaded not guilty last month to 37 felony counts regarding his alleged mishandling of classified documents following his departure from the White House.

The 300-plus documents were recovered by the FBI, including during a controversial raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last August. They reportedly included classified national security material related to nuclear secrets and the country’s defense capabilities. Trump repeatedly argued he had “every right” to keep the documents in question. He also told Fox News earlier that he had no time to return them when asked by the federal officials. The indictment saw Trump’s polling lead double over his closest rival for the Republican 2024 nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The former US president was also polling ahead of the incumbent one, Joe Biden.

Read more …

“Look at all the money we’re giving to Ukraine and yet Ukraine was paying the Biden family a fortune..”

Trump Calls Biden ‘Stupid’ For Revealing US Has Run Out of Ammo (Sp.)

President Biden revealed earlier this month that the Ukrainian army was “running out” of 155mm artillery ammunition and that the US was “low on it,” and that this played a role in his controversial decision to send cluster munition to Ukraine. Biden’s talking points were echoed by Pentagon and White House officials. Former President Donald Trump has lashed out at Joe Biden for revealing that the United States is running low on ammunition amid its failing proxy-war with Russia in Ukraine. “We have a man that doesn’t understand what he’s doing. We have a man that yesterday stood up and told the whole world that we have no ammunition. You know I had every ammunition building full to the brim three years ago. We’ve given it all away. But if you gave it all away…the only thing worse than that is to tell the world that we have no [ammunition]. He has told China and these other places that are hostile that we have no ammunition,” Trump said in a TV interview Sunday.

“By the way you talk about classified documents – that’s worse than any document that you could give. So now these people are sitting back, in China and other places that hate us including North Korea where I had a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un and kept our country safe – they’re talking about the United States of America has no ammunition, think of it. How stupid can somebody be to say that?” Trump asked. Trump, who is currently leading in polling for the Republican nomination in 2024, and is five points ahead of Biden in polling for the general election, accused the sitting president of corruption in Ukraine. “Look at all the money we’re giving to Ukraine and yet Ukraine was paying the Biden family a fortune,” Trump said, presumably referring to reports that Biden and his son Hunter allegedly received millions of dollars from a Ukrainian businessman while Joe Biden was serving as Barack Obama’s vice president in an alleged pay-to-play corruption scheme.

Asked if he would cut off funding to Ukraine, Trump answered “I’d get the war settled. The money is – number one I’d tell Europe ‘you’re about $100 billion+ short. You gotta pay.’ Because Europe is smiling all the way to the bank…Europe is doing very little compared to the United States and it affects them more. No matter how you look at it, they’re right there, we’re an ocean apart. Why are we at $150 billion and they’re at $20 [billion]? You know their economy is almost exactly our size if you add it all up…They should be at the same number that we’re at if not more.” Trump also repeated his earlier warnings about the dangers of the current Russia-NATO proxy conflict in Ukraine owing to the existence of nuclear weapons.

“This is the most dangerous time in the history of our country because of weaponry. The nuclear power is so enormous – this isn’t two army tanks going and shooting each other in World War I, World War II, or soldiers standing behind a bunker and shooting people,” Trump said.

Read more …

Local news :-). Makes the work on TAE a challenge.

Greece Heatwave Likely To Become Longest Country Has Ever Recorded (RT)

A heat wave baking Greece is likely to become the longest the country has ever recorded, experts say, as the country battles wildfires and restricts access to its popular tourist sites, Report informs via CNN. Visiting hours for the Acropolis and other archaeological sites have been revised with temperatures soaring. Staff at some sites are on strike to protests working conditions. “We will probably go through 15 to 16 days of a heat wave, which has never happened before in our country,” the Director of Research at the National Observatory of Athens Kostas Lagouvardos told CNN.


He told CNN that the streak could go beyond those days, but at the moment “it’s hard to predict.” The longest continuous heatwave that Greece has faced was 12 days long, back in July 1987, Lagouvardos said. Lagouvardos said temperatures in Athens this summer could possibly break the city’s all-time record, which was set in June 2007, when Athens registered 44.8 degrees Celsius (112.64 degrees Fahrenheit). The authorities have been battling wildfires in several areas, including the island of Rhodes where Reuters said hundreds have been forced to evacuate.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother dog

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 222023
 


Andy Warhol Ingrid Bergman 1984

 

Biden Needs China to Bail Out US Economy (Sp.)
Neocons Want War With China (Pepe Escobar)
Putin: There are No Results of Ukrainian Counteroffensive (Sp.)
Putin Warns Of Poland’s Intentions In Ukraine And Belarus (RT)
Storm Clouds Gathering In The Black Sea (Bhadrakumar)
This Is How The New Black Sea Campaign Will Go (Helmer)
95% Of Ukrainian Grain Under Grain Deal Does Not Reach Africa – Italy (RT)
FT: Kremlin Seeks To Cut Ukraine Out Of Global Grain Market (Az.)
West Should Take Measures on Grain Deal – Erdogan (Sp.)
Ukraine Fails To Realize That Israel Is Not The US, EU or UK (Inlakesh)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Why Not Stop the a? (NW)
FBI Told Twitter Hunter Biden Laptop Was Real On Day Of Post Scoop (NYP)
Hunter Biden Attorney Requests Ethics Probe Into Marjorie Taylor Greene (Sp.)
Watching the New Barbarians (Pepe Escobar)

 

 

 

 

The light of peace
https://twitter.com/i/status/1682407037227892739

 

 

 

 

RFK BBC

 

 

Trump trial

 

 

Propaganda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cue Yellen kow-towing.

Biden Needs China to Bail Out US Economy (Sp.)

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s trip [to] Beijing was widely ridiculed in the media. But geopolitical and financial analyst Tom Luongo, publisher of the newsletter ‘Gold, Goats ‘n Guns’, said her real mission was to beg China for economic aid. He told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast that the Biden administration’s financial maneuvers during the debt ceiling stand-off with the Republican-controlled House of Representatives had cleaned out its “checking account”. “There’s a reason why US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen went to China,” he said. “I think Yellen went to Beijing to beg the Chinese to buy US Treasuries.” “The Chinese don’t have an open capital account, meaning they can buy a whole bunch of US treasuries without affecting the yuan onshore,” Luongo continued.

“They were the ones that could actually do this, buy a whole bunch of US treasuries, because Yellen needs to refill the Treasury general account since she drained it in order to blackmail the world into thinking the US was going to default over the debt ceiling crisis.” The pundit explained how the federal government’s new liquidity crisis began. “During the debt ceiling crisis back in May, and as we moved into June, the Treasury’s general account — basically checking account — was being drawn down,” he recalled. “And Yellen was out there every other day screaming, ‘Oh my God, we’re not going to have any money to pay our bills!’ Well, the way the Treasury raises money is by selling Treasuries.”

“The best estimates have been that she would need to raise somewhere between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion this summer in order to fund the budget deficit of the United States and get the Treasury general account back up to a certain level now, in order for the American government to continue operating in this unbelievably dysfunctional manner,” Luongo said. Recently published data indicates that Yellen had reason to be concerned about China dumping US Treasuries. China sold more than $22 billion of its US Treasury bonds in May, bringing its total holdings to the lowest level since 2010, according to a report by the US Department of Treasury released on Tuesday. Given this context, the US Treasury Secretary likely traveled to Beijing to urge Chinese leaders to reverse course.

But Luongo pointed out the contradiction in Yellen’s plan: “if you’re buying a Treasury bond, you’re selling dollars” — accelerating de-dollarization and undercutting the value of the US fiat currency. “Someone needs to buy treasuries. They could be absorbed by the American domestic markets. But if you do so, you’re taking dollars out of the US domestic markets.”

Read more …

“Hence the turn around by the Biden combo to “freeze” the conflict in the Donbass and change the subject. After all, “if that [China] is the threat, you don’t want Russia to fall apart..”

Neocons Want War With China (Pepe Escobar)

It was a photo op for the ages: a visibly well-disposed President Xi Jinping receiving centenarian “old friend of China” Henry Kissinger in Beijing. Mirroring meticulous Chinese attention to protocol, they met at Villa 5 of the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse – exactly where Kissinger first met in person with Zhou Enlai in 1971, preparing Nixon’s 1972 visit to China. The Mr. Kissinger Goes to Beijing saga was an “unofficial”, individual attempt to try to mend increasingly fractious Sino-American relations. He was not representing the current American administration. There’s the rub. Everyone involved in geopolitics is aware of the legendary Kissinger formulation: To be the US’s enemy is dangerous, to be the US’s friend is fatal. History abounds in examples, from Japan and South Korea to Germany, France and Ukraine. As quite a few Chinese scholars privately argued, if reason is to be upheld, and “respecting the wisdom of this 100-years-old diplomat”, Xi and the Politburo should maintain the China-US relation as it is: “icy”.

After all, they reason, being the US’s enemy is dangerous but manageable for a Sovereign Civilizational State like China. So Beijing should keep “the honorable and less perilous status” of being a US enemy. What’s really going on in the back rooms of the current American administration was not reflected by Kissinger’s high-profile peace initiative, but by an extremely combative Edward Luttwak. Luttwak, 80, may not be as visibly influential as Kissinger, but as a behind the scenes strategist he’s been advising the Pentagon across the spectrum for over five decades. His book on Byzantine Empire strategy, for instance, heavily drawing on top Italian and British sources, is a classic. Luttwak, a master of deception, reveals precious nuggets in terms of contextualizing current Washington moves. That starts with his assertion that the US – represented by the Biden combo – is itching to do a deal with Russia.

That explains why CIA head William Burns, actually a capable diplomat, called his counterpart, SVR head Sergey Naryshkin (Russian Foreign Intelligence) to sort of straighten things up “because you have something else to worry about which is more unlimited”. What’s “unlimited”, depicted by Luttwak in a Spenglerian sweep, is Xi Jinping’s drive to “get ready for war”. And if there’s a war, Luttwak claims that “of course” China would lose. That dovetails with the supreme delusion of Straussian neocon psychos across the Beltway. Luttwak seems not to have understood China’s drive for food self-sufficiency: he qualifies it as a threat. Same for Xi using a “very dangerous” concept, the “rejuvenation of the Chinese people”: that’s “Mussolini stuff”, says Luttwak. “There has to be a war to rejuvenate China”.

The “rejuvenation” concept – actually better translated as “revival” – has been resonating in China circles at least since the overthrow of the Qing dynasty in 1911. It was not coined by Xi. Chinese scholars point out that if you see US troops arriving in Taiwan as “advisors”, you would probably make preparations to fight too. But Luttwak is on a mission: “This is not America, Europe, Ukraine, Russia. This is about ‘the sole dictator’. There is no China. There is only Xi Jinping,” he insisted. And Luttwak confirms the EU’s Josep “Garden vs. Jungle” Borrell and European Commission dominatrix Ursula von der Leyen fully support his vision. Luttwak, in just a few words, actually gives away the whole game: “The Russian Federation, as it is, is not strong enough to contain China as much as we would wish”. Hence the turn around by the Biden combo to “freeze” the conflict in the Donbass and change the subject. After all, “if that [China] is the threat, you don’t want Russia to fall apart,” Luttwak reasons. So much for Kissingerian “diplomacy.”

Read more …

“..the Ukrainian cannon fodder is clearly not enough for the West, so they plan to use new consumables – the Poles themselves, Lithuanians, and the list goes on. All those who the West will not feel sorry for..”

Putin: There are No Results of Ukrainian Counteroffensive (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said there are no results of Ukraine’s counteroffensive. Addressing a Russian Security Council meeting on Friday, Putin said that “as a result of suicidal attacks,” the Ukrainian Armed Forces have suffered extensive losses, with “tens of thousands” of soldiers killed. He stressed that despite the “constant raids and total mobilization” across Ukraine, the Kiev regime “is finding it increasingly difficult to drive new reinforcements to the front.” The Russian president stated that neither the supply of weapons nor the presence of foreign mercenaries and advisers helped Kiev. “Neither the colossal resources that were pumped into the Kiev regime, nor the supply of Western weapons, tanks, artillery, armored vehicles and missiles helped. The delivery of thousands of foreign mercenaries and advisers who were most actively used in attempts to break through the front of our army did not help either,” Putin said.

According to him, the West already lacks “Ukrainian cannon fodder,” which is why the Western leaders are considering using Lithuanians and Poles in hostilities. “Hatching their revanchist plans, Polish authorities don’t tell their people the truth. The truth is that the Ukrainian cannon fodder is clearly not enough for the West, so they plan to use new consumables – the Poles themselves, Lithuanians, and the list goes on. All those who the West will not feel sorry for,” Putin noted. He warned that “This is a very dangerous game, and the authors of such plans should think about the consequences.” The Russian president added that “The existing production capacities in the West do not allow it to quickly replenish the consumption of reserves of equipment and ammunition.” According to Putin, the West needs “Additional massive resources and time.”

Putin also praised the command of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine for their professionalism. “Our soldiers and officers, as well as units and formations are doing their duty to the Motherland courageously, steadfastly, and heroically,” the Russian head of state pointed out. [..] “At the same time, the whole world sees the much-hyped ‘invulnerable’ Western military equipment on fire [on the battlefield]. And in terms of its performance characteristics, it often even yields to some pieces of Soviet-made military hardware.” The Russian president also warned of Eastern Europe leaders’ possible involvement in kindling “the fire of the war.” “The fire of war is currently being intensively kindled as they use the ambitions of Eastern European states’ leaders, who have long turned hatred for Russia and Russophobia into their main export product and into an instrument of their domestic policy. And now they want to profiteer from the Ukrainian tragedy,” he underscored.

Read more …

“..the issue of Ukraine’s defeat is only a matter of time,” regardless of the amount of Western military assistance sent to Kiev..”

“.. if the Polish units enter, for example, Lvov or other territories of Ukraine, then they will remain there. And they will remain there forever.”

Putin Warns Of Poland’s Intentions In Ukraine And Belarus (RT)

Polish leaders are planning to form a NATO-backed coalition to intervene in the Ukraine conflict and take over parts of western Ukraine as well as, possibly, Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Friday. Speaking at a meeting with permanent members of Russia’s Security Council, Putin said the government in Kiev is willing to go to any lengths to stay in power, including selling out its own people and handing over Ukrainian territories to “foreign owners.” The first in line, according to the Russian president, are the Poles, who he claimed “probably expect to form some kind of coalition under the ‘NATO umbrella’ and directly intervene in the conflict in Ukraine, in order to then ‘tear off’ a bigger piece for themselves, to regain, as they believe, their historical territories – today’s western Ukraine.”

During Friday’s meeting, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergei Naryshkin, also alleged that Warsaw if the Polish units enter, for example, Lvov or other territories of Ukraine, then they will remain there. And they will remain there forever.” was considering capturing western territories of Ukraine by deploying its own troops to the region as part of a Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian security initiative. According to Naryshkin, Polish officials are gradually coming to the realization that “the issue of Ukraine’s defeat is only a matter of time,” regardless of the amount of Western military assistance sent to Kiev. Commenting on the SVR report, Putin suggested that the true purpose of such a coalition would only be to occupy Ukrainian territories. “The prospect is obvious – – if the Polish units enter, for example, Lvov or other territories of Ukraine, then they will remain there. And they will remain there forever.”

Putin also noted that it is “well known” that Warsaw “dreams” of also claiming parts of Belarusian territory as well. The Russian leader warned, however, that while Ukraine has the right to sell off as much of its own territory as it wants, when it comes to Belarus, any aggression against a part of the Union State would mean aggression against Russia. “We will respond to this with all the means at our disposal,” Putin stated.

Read more …

NATO in the Black Sea. Not great.

Storm Clouds Gathering In The Black Sea (Bhadrakumar)

[..] in an ominous development, no sooner than Russia let the UN-brokered grain deal expire on July 17, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky disclosed that he had sent official letters to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan suggesting to continue the grain deal without Russia’s participation. On the very next day, Kiev followed up with an official letter to the UN’s International Maritime Organization spelling out a new maritime corridor passing through Romania’s territorial waters and exclusive maritime economic zone in the north-western part of the Black Sea.

Evidently, Kiev acted in concert with Romania (a NATO member country where the 101st Airborne Division of the US army is deployed). Presumably, the US and NATO are in the loop while the UN’s imprimatur is being arranged. It goes without saying that the NATO has been working on a new maritime route in the Black Sea for sometime already. This is a serious development, as it seems a precursor to involving the NATO in some way to challenge Russia’s domain dominance in the Black Sea. Indeed, the NATO’s Vilnius Summit Communiqué (July 11) had forecast that the alliance is gearing up for a vastly enhanced presence in the Black Sea region, which has been historically a Russian preserve, where its has important military bases.

The relevant para in the NATO Communiqué said: “The Black Sea region is of strategic importance for the Alliance. This is further highlighted by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. We underline our continued support to Allied regional efforts aimed at upholding security, safety, stability and freedom of navigation in the Black Sea region including, as appropriate, through the 1936 Montreux Convention. We will further monitor and assess developments in the region and enhance our situational awareness, with a particular focus on the threats to our security and potential opportunities for closer cooperation with our partners in the region, as appropriate.”

Four things need to be noted: one, the Ukraine conflict has been singled out as the context; the focus is on Crimea; two, “freedom of navigation” means an assertive US naval presence; reference to the 1936 Montreux Convention hinted at the role of Turkey, both as a NATO member country and the custodian of the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits; three, the NATO flags its intention to enhance its “situational awareness,” which as a military term involves 4 stages: observation, orientation, decision, and action. Situational awareness has two main elements, namely, one’s own knowledge of the situation and, secondly, one’s knowledge of what others are doing and might do if the situation were to change in certain ways. Simply put, the NATO surveillance of Russian activities in the Black Sea will intensify; and, four, the NATO seeks closer cooperation with “our partners in the region” (read Ukraine).

Most certainly, a new maritime route in northwestern and western regions of the Black Sea along Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey (all of whom are NATO member countries) will cut off the Russian garrison in Transnistria (Moldava) and would boost Kiev’s capability to strike at Crimea. The NATO involvement would complicate any future Russian operations to liberate Odessa as well, which is historically a Russian city. Apart from the huge legacy of culture and history, Odessa is a port head for the industrial products of Russia and Ukraine. The Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline (which the Ukrainian saboteurs blew up recently) is one of the best examples. The 2,471 km pipeline, the longest ammonia pipeline in the world, connected the world’s largest ammonia producer, TogliattiAzot, in Russia’s Samara region with Odessa Port.

In strategic terms, without control over Odessa, NATO cannot have force projection in the Black Sea region or hope to resurrect Ukraine as an anti-Russia outpost. Nor can NATO advance toward the Transcaucasus and the Caspian (bordering Iran) and Central Asia without dominating the Black Sea region. And for the same reasons, Russia cannot afford to cede the Black Sea region to the NATO, either.

Borrell

Read more …

John Helmer is a bit more optimistic.

This Is How The New Black Sea Campaign Will Go (Helmer)

During the grain deal, the Ukraine was able to export about 33 million tonnes of grain by sea. The withdrawal of such a large volume of grain from the world market, of course, cannot but affect prices. However, it is unlikely there will be such losses. Now the options for sending Ukrainian grain by sea will be limited, but the Ukrainians can continue to send ships through their waters at their own risk. In addition, Ukraine has other ways of sending grain – by rail and by road. This, of course, is unlikely to appeal to Poland and other EU agricultural countries, since Ukrainian grain settling in Europe greatly knocks down prices there and ruins European farmers. However, the EU will have to solve this problem on its own.

Maximov believes that in the medium term, the price of grain will still rise, and this opens up a certain window of opportunity for our exporters to increase export revenue. Finally, the understanding that the grain deal is in the past can help by itself. This awareness will allow Russian companies not to hope for the lifting of restrictions and more actively build workarounds for the trade with the understanding that the sanctions situation will last for a long time. “The termination of the grain deal makes it possible to carry out the necessary restructuring of logistics routes and use the North–South route with maximum load with access to Asian and African markets through Iran. The development of this direction seems to be key for the level of food exports from Russia. This scenario will not only preserve the level of export earnings, but also supply grain, food and fertilizers to the poorest countries of the world.

That is, to realize the same goals that were laid in the foundation of the grain deal, but were shamelessly ignored by our former partners”, says Maximov. As for the export of Russian mineral fertilizers, this has decreased by about 15% due to the general sanctions restrictions. However, in 2023 Russia is gradually restoring fertilizer exports, and this year it may reach supply levels comparable to the record figures of 2021 of almost 38 million tonnes, Andrei Guriev, head of the Russian Association of Fertilizer Producers (RAPU) said in May. And again, it’s not just been the grain deal, but the fact that fertilizer producers needed more effort and time to change buyers from unfriendly to friendly, to agree on payment, logistics and insurance.

Read more …

Putin said 97%.

Zelesky cries for Africa, the sends his grain to the highest bidder.

95% Of Ukrainian Grain Under Grain Deal Does Not Reach Africa – Italy (RT)

Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto has claimed that only a tiny fraction of Ukraine’s grain exports are going to Africa, contrary to the goals of the Black Sea Initiative, causing prices of staple foods on the continent to soar. Speaking to the newspaper La Stampa news outlet on Friday, Crosetto was asked if the Ukrainian grain deal, which was recently suspended by Russia, could affect stability in North Africa. The minister replied by pointing out that “everything is connected and it is certainly an element of concern.” “95 percent of exported Ukrainian grain does not go to Africa, and when those countries don’t have the supplies they need they look elsewhere, and inevitably the global prices rise, making it even more difficult for African nations to import. It is destabilizing regions that are already in difficulty, and this problem clearly also affects Europe,” Crosetto said.

Grain prices surged earlier this week after Russia announced the “termination” of the Türkiye and UN-brokered Black Sea Initiative. Under the deal, which took effect in July 2022 and had been repeatedly extended since, Russia lifted its blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports to allow the export of Ukrainian grain to world markets. The agreement was also supposed to remove barriers to the export of Russian grain and fertilizer. However, Moscow has insisted that none of the promises made to it under the agreement were kept, with President Vladimir Putin claiming last week that “not a single goal linked to the interests of the Russian Federation was met” and describing the deal as a “one-sided game.”

Russia has also repeatedly criticized the West for failing to use the grain deal for its original purpose – to avert famine in poorer countries. According to Moscow, the vast majority of agricultural goods that should have been delivered to poorer nations under the deal, including those in Africa, have still not reached them and have instead ended up in Europe. Back in March, President Vladimir Putin also announced that if Russia were to suspend the Black Sea deal it would consider a plan to send “the entire volume [of grain] that was sent from Russia to African countries during the previous period” free of charge to countries in need.

Read more …

I thought the sanctions tried to cut out Russia…

FT: Kremlin Seeks To Cut Ukraine Out Of Global Grain Market (Az.)

Russia is pushing a plan to supply grain to Africa and cut Ukraine out of the global market after Moscow’s withdrawal this week from a UN-backed deal. Report informs via the Financial Times that President Vladimir Putin had proposed a replacement initiative whereby Qatar would pay Moscow to ship Russian grain to Türkiye, which would then distribute the crop to “countries in need”. Russia is expected to push its proposal at a summit with African leaders in St Petersburg next week and when Putin visits Türkiye in August.

Read more …

Who has faith in the Sultan anymore?

West Should Take Measures on Grain Deal – Erdogan (Sp.)

Western countries should take measures on the grain deal, as its termination will lead to famine and a migration influx, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. “The termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative will entail a range of consequences, including rising global food prices, famine in some regions and new waves of migration. We will not hesitate to take the initiative to prevent this … Western countries should also take action on this issue,” Erdogan told reporters. Erdogan added that he expects to hold talks on the grain deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the near future.


“We maintain relations with Russia … Together with the negotiations, we hope to bring this issue [of the grain deal] to a certain point with Putin in the very near future,” Erdogan stressed. Erdogan added that he had discussed the planned visit of Putin to Turkiye, noting that he expects the grain deal to be resumed after the meeting. “If Putin’s visit scheduled for August takes place, we will discuss these issues in detail. I believe that we will ensure the continuation of the implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative without delaying this process,” Erdogan said. Moscow has certain expectations in connection with the grain deal, Erdogan said, adding that he expects to discuss them with Putin.

Read more …

“..strike the right balance in order to avoid upsetting Washington, as well as not drawing the ire of Moscow..”

Ukraine Fails To Realize That Israel Is Not The US, EU or UK (Inlakesh)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky stated to the Israeli Knesset in March of last year, that “the threat we face is the same, for us and for you. The destruction of a people and even a name”, attempting to paint both countries as moral actors fighting for freedom. Ukraine accuses Russia of being an illegal occupier, annexing territory and committing daily war crimes, all things that are well documented of Israel, which severely weakens Kiev’s credibility when making its various moral analyses. On one hand, it claims to oppose illegal occupation and annexation, then on the other it compares its struggle to that of one of the most infamous occupiers of foreign territory.

What Ukraine fails to recognise is that despite Israel being very much aligned with the West in many ways, it is not the same as NATO members. Tel Aviv* is, just like Kiev, a strategic asset for Washington, and prior to the war in 2022, it was the top US foreign aid recipient. Israel however relies on the collective West to continue its mutually beneficial mission in the Middle East, but isn’t looking to try and deviate its current course whatsoever. This is something that Netanyahu understands well and hence continues to strike the right balance in order to avoid upsetting Washington, as well as not drawing the ire of Moscow. In fact, when Netanyahu was head of the Israeli opposition last year, he criticized then Israeli PM, Yair Lapid, for his “blabbing” about Russia and accused him of endangering national security.

When Netanyahu was asked by the New York Times, earlier this year, about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he characterized it as “still very important.” He made it clear that a mechanism had been set up between Russia and Israel in the context of Israeli offensive operations against Iran in the region, “to prevent this clash, this war, this Russian-Israeli war” that Netanyahu fears could occur if there is no coordination. He has made it very clear that the most important aspect of Russian-Israeli cordiality is the maintenance of the Israeli military’s freedom of action in Syria.

One of the primary foreign policy concerns of Israel, is the expansion of Iranian relations and power inside the Middle East. It is clear that the Israeli PM is also bothered by the tightening of the Tehran-Moscow relationship on a number of levels, which he fears could result in an even more threatening position in the event of any deterioration in ties between Israel and Russia. It is in this spirit that earlier this month the Israeli government advanced relations by settling a land dispute with Moscow in mid June, and in return Russia decided to open a branch of its Tel Aviv* based embassy inside Jerusalem.

Read more …

RFK: @Newsweek writer Paul Bond is the first MSM journalist I’ve spoken to in a decade who asked me for the scientific citations that supported my arguments, read the journal papers, and then wrote an honest and fair article. I commend him. #Kennedy24

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Why Not Stop the Conspiracy Theories? (NW)

Kennedy is regularly criticized from the left as a DINO, a Democrat in Name Only. As well as his views on COVID, he’s in favor of sealing the southern border; he’s against allowing trans women to compete against female athletes and he’s anti-war—including war in Ukraine. “Some Democrats like him because he is a Kennedy,” notes John Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College. “As more have learned about who he is and what he stands for, his Democratic support has edged downward.” Kennedy responds to criticism of his positions with the argument that he is a proponent of free speech, accusing the Biden administration of orchestrating censorship—again in part over COVID.

Indeed, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty recently issued a preliminary injunction barring federal agencies and officials from contacting social media firms for the purpose of discouraging speech, and the alleged censorship of Kennedy is mentioned three times in the judge’s written opinion. The Biden administration is appealing the decision and did not respond to a request for comment on Kennedy’s accusations. “I’m the last liberal. A JFK, RFK, FDR liberal. I’m for middle-class labor, the environment, anti-war, anti-corporatist takeover of government agencies, anti-subversion of democracy without redress, and protection of minorities,” Kennedy said.

“Real liberals don’t censor, and he (Biden) has been promoting censorship from the White House. He’s been working with social-media companies to silence his critics, including me,” he said, accusing social-media companies of continuing to censor him. “YouTube took down three videos this week. They took down my pre-announcement speech where I first said I’m thinking of running for president. They take down stuff of mine every day. Some of it is related to the war in Ukraine,” he said. “Some reporters call it a conspiracy theory that the government censored me, or even that I’ve been censored at all.”

[..] Kennedy reels off the list of rights he believes have come under assault, particularly since the government imposed extraordinary measures during COVID. “Freedom of speech; though it’s harder to censor me now that I’m running for president. Freedom of worship; they closed churches for a year. Freedom of assembly; they created social distancing. Private property rights; they closed 3.3 million businesses without due process or just compensation. They also shut down the Seventh Amendment right to jury trials,” he said.

RFK malinformation

Read more …

And then came the 51 former intelligence officials…

FBI Told Twitter Hunter Biden Laptop Was Real On Day Of Post Scoop (NYP)

A senior FBI official told Twitter that Hunter Biden’s laptop was legitimate on the same day The Post published the first article in a bombshell reporting series on documents linking President Biden to his son’s foreign business deals, according to deposition testimony released Thursday by the House Judiciary Committee. That confirmation was not shared with voters ahead of the 2020 election as dozens of former intelligence officials and then-presidential candidate Joe Biden falsely suggested that incriminating documents were Russian disinformation. “Somebody from Twitter essentially asked whether the laptop was real. And one of the FBI folks who was on the call did confirm that, ‘yes, it was,’ before another participant jumped in and said, ‘no further comment,’” Laura Dehmlow, section chief of the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, recollected in a closed-door deposition Monday, according to a release from the Republican-led committee.

The FBI’s non-public verification of the laptop occurred on Oct. 14, 2020, hours after The Post published a story detailing how an email showed Joe Biden met while vice president with an executive at Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings — contradicting his claims that he “never” discussed foreign business dealings with his relatives. Dehmlow’s deposition was released during a hearing on social media censorship featuring journalist Emma-Jo Morris, who authored the initial laptop stories as a deputy politics editor at The Post. Among them was the revelation that Joe Biden — referred to as the “big guy” — was penciled in for a 10% cut of proceeds from son Hunter and brother James Biden’s partnership with Chinese government-linked CEFC China Energy.

Twitter banned distribution of The Post’s initial article for two days for potentially violating its hacked materials policy — despite no evidence the material was hacked and transparency in The Post’s reporting about how the laptop was acquired from a Delaware repairman after it was legally abandoned by Hunter. Although The Post also published an FBI form describing the bureau as taking possession of the laptop in December 2019, there remained broad public uncertainty about the authenticity of the laptop until well after the election, in large part due to warnings of possible disinformation from senior retired intelligence agency officials.

Although The Post also published an FBI form describing the bureau as taking possession of the laptop in December 2019, there remained broad public uncertainty about the authenticity of the laptop until well after the election, in large part due to warnings of possible disinformation from senior retired intelligence agency officials. The Washington Post and New York Times verified the contents of the laptop in March 2022 — more than 17 months after The Post’s initial reports and more than 16 months after Joe Biden narrowly won the 2020 election. Twitter’s ban on sharing links to the initial laptop article remained in effect until around 10 p.m. Oct. 15, 2020, and Twitter continued to bar The Post from accessing its accounts for another two weeks for refusing to delete initial links to the story.

Then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden claimed at the final presidential debate on Oct. 22, 2020 — more than a week after The Post broke the story — that the laptop was a “Russian plant,” citing a letter from 51 former intelligence agency leaders that said the incriminating documents bore “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” The letter casting doubt on the laptop was signed by five former directors or acting directors of the CIA and many of their high-ranking former subordinates. Recent testimony indicates that Antony Blinken, who was advising Biden’s campaign, inspired former CIA acting director Michael Morell to draft the document. After he won the election, Biden tapped Blinken to be secretary of state.

Read more …

How about an ethics probe into Hunter?

Hunter Biden Attorney Requests Ethics Probe Into Marjorie Taylor Greene (Sp.)

An attorney representing Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, sent a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) on Friday to request they open a probe into US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) for making allegedly defamatory statements about Biden In April, Biden’s legal team wrote to OCE to request a review and actions against Greene for allegedly making defamatory statements and false accusations about the president’s son. Earlier this week, Greene shared graphic photos during a US House hearing, which purportedly showed Biden making sex tapes with prostitutes paid through his law firm.


“Today we write again because, this week, your colleague has lowered herself, and by extension the entire House of Representatives, to a new level of abhorrent behavior that blatantly violates House Ethics rules and standards of official conduct,” attorney Abbe David Lowell said in the letter. Greene displayed the graphic photos during the hearing in an effort to advance “untethered conspiracy theories,” the letter said. The letter also criticizes Greene for continuing to share the images and allegations via social media. Moreover, Greene may have violated federal law by sending out links to the graphic images in a fundraising email without ensuring the materials were not transferred to minors, the letter said The letter reiterates Biden’s request for OCE to immediately review Greene’s conduct.

Read more …

“Sultan is broke. Turkiye is broke. Foreign exchange reserves are going down the Bosphorus drain. So what’s Sultan to do? Miserably default? Sell what’s left of the palace gold? Or bend over backwards to the IMF?”

Watching the New Barbarians (Pepe Escobar)

Now let’s get to the main plot in the clown show. NATO explicitly formulated it “does not want” a war with Russia. Translation: they are absolutely terrified. More scared than if Zeus in the flesh was threatening them with a million thunderbolts (or their post-modern epigone: Mr. Khinzal). What NATO – via the real masters, the Americans, or their piece of Norwegian wood posing as the man in charge – could not possibly admit in public is that they have less than zero resources for a real war. Russia, on the other hand, has them – in droves. NATO, already miserably humiliated in Afghanistan, is now being ruthlessly, methodically demilitarized, a process running in parallel to the increasingly abysmal state of the economy prevailing amongst all NATOstan members. War? Against a nuclear, hypersonic superpower? Give us a – Thucydides – break.

Then there’s the story of a major character that ended up making a big splash: the Sultan. He may be a Neo-Ottoman potentate or just a plain streetwise grifter, but in the end he got what he needed: the moolah in the coolah. Well, not yet in the coolah: considering this is an IMF racket, the moolah will come with a zillion conditions attached. It goes like this. Sultan is broke. Turkiye is broke. Foreign exchange reserves are going down the Bosphorus drain. So what’s Sultan to do? Miserably default? Sell what’s left of the palace gold? Or bend over backwards to the IMF? There’s no smokin’ gun on who called who first to set up the deal. Ankara may have been promised a lifeline of up to $13 billion – in fact pocket money. The Sultan could have gotten a much better deal with the “win-win” Chinese – complete with serial BRI investment projects.

And yet he decided to play his cards with NATO, not Eurasia. Reality won’t take much time to dictate its terms. Turkiye will never be admitted into the – floundering – EU. The Americans may force Brussels to do it – remember those “rules” – but up to a point. Selling tons of extra Bayraktar drones to Kiev – yes, it’s a Sultan family racket – won’t alter anything on the battlefield. Yet simultaneously antagonizing the Russia-China strategic partnership and their push for Eurasia integration – via SCO, BRICS, EAEU – does alter the chessboard. The Sultan may be condemning Turkiye to the role of extra minor sidekick – with nearly zero screen time – in the plot line that really matters: the Eurasian Century. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow, reflecting on the Vilnius clown show, remarked that the world will not be turned into a “NATO globe”. Of course not: what’s ahead has been defined by Old Man Luka, the Oracle of Minsk, as the “Global Globe”.

Read more …

 

 

 

 


1934 job application in Hollywood. He had a successful career as a scriptwriter.

 

 

Kathmandu

 

 

Alsomitra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 202023
 


Andy Warhol Grace Kelly 1984

 

RFK Jr’s Racist, Antisemitic And Xenophobic Views Go Back Decades (G.)
Anything Anything Anything To Avoid Debating RFK Jr. (Patrick Lawrence)
RFK Jr. Floats Plan to Back Dollar With Bitcoin, Gold (Tweedie)
Why the Ukraine Conflict Will Unravel NATO and Biden (Desai)
West Ready To Turn Blind Eye To Any Crimes Of Kiev – Kremlin (TASS)
How Much Of The $185 Billion Given By The West To Ukraine Was Stolen? (Trenin)
Mosquitoes And Pinpricks: Warmaking As Public Relations (Helmer)
World Is Getting Tired Of Ukraine Conflict – Lula (RT)
West Not Prepared For Conflict With China – FT (RT)
The Latest Racist Attacks on Clarence Thomas (Turley)
Trump Could Face ‘Seditious Conspiracy’ Charge in Jan. 6 Probe (ET)
Europe to See ‘Devastating Migration Crisis’ After Grain Deal Suspension (Sp.)
Julian Assange Is ‘Dangerously Close’ to Extradition (Cohn)

 

 


One of these songs got removed because the lyrics were “too offensive” the other song was number 1 on billboard….

 

 

Donalds
https://twitter.com/i/status/1681776860567314434

 

 

FD-1023
https://twitter.com/i/status/1681816534212026368

 

 

MTG

 

 

Big guy

 

 

Ziegler

Joseph Ziegler #IRSwhistleblower:
Money IRS found that was paid to Hunter Biden and associates from 2014-2019:
From Romania $3.1 million
CEFC subsidiary: $3m
Hudson West III [CEFC]: $3.7m
Burisma $6.5m
Total foreign income streams: $17m

 

 

 

 

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1681822628502200320

 

 

Putin:

Russia showed miracles of patience, constantly extending the grain deal;
Failure to fulfill obligations to the Russian Federation under the grain deal is impudence and impudence;
The West has done everything to derail the grain deal;
The West once pushed Africa into the abyss of wars, famine and poverty, and now continues its neo-colonial policy;
The West obstructs even the free transfer of fertilizers by Russia to the poorest countries;
The grain deal resulted in direct losses for Russian farmers in the amount of $1.2 billion;
Russia is ready to replace Ukrainian grain on the world market both on a gratuitous and commercial basis;
Putin confirmed the readiness of the Russian Federation to return to the grain deal if the obstacles to its agricultural exports are removed;
Putin called the resumption of work of the Togliati-Odessa ammonia pipeline one of the conditions for the resumption of the grain deal;
The West completely “emasculated and perverted” the originally humanitarian essence of the grain deal, made it an instrument of enrichment for speculators;
To resume the grain deal, it is necessary to return its humanitarian essence;
Russia will immediately return to the grain deal if all its conditions are met.

 

 

 

 

Wanna know how the US elections will be narrated? Look no further. And this is the Guardian, not even American. No shame, no balance. And it isn’t even Luke Harding. Please read the whole article.

RFK Jr’s Racist, Antisemitic And Xenophobic Views Go Back Decades (G.)

Robert Kennedy Jr, a long-shot Democratic candidate for US president, has a long history of racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, and should be denied a national platform, according to a damning report seen by the Guardian. Kennedy, who provoked anger last week when he was filmed falsely suggesting that the coronavirus could have been “ethnically targeted” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people, is due to testify at the US Capitol in Washington on Thursday. The Congressional Integrity Project, a political watchdog, called for Republicans to disinvite Kennedy after releasing a report that details his meetings with and promotion of racists, antisemites and extremist conspiracy theorists. “Kennedy embraces virtually every conspiracy theory in existence,” the report states.

“His horrific antisemitic and xenophobic views are simply beyond the pale, and he has frequently met with and promoted antisemitic conspiracy theorists. Kennedy’s anti-vaccine conspiracies go back decades and have had deadly real world consequences.” Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, is running against Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary and has drawn big and enthusiastic crowds and polled as high as 20%. But the Project’s document argues that Kennedy’s recent comments about Jewish and Chinese people, which were quickly hailed by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers as “100% correct”, were not an aberration but fitted a long pattern. Earlier this summer Kennedy touted a meeting with Ice Cube, a rapper who issued bizarre antisemitic tweets, and publicly defended musician Roger Waters, who was embroiled in controversy after donning a costume intended to evoke Nazi attire at a concert in Germany.

The report says Kennedy has also repeatedly promoted and praised fringe online broadcaster James Corbett, a Sandy Hook and 9/11 conspiracy theorist who has claimed that “Hitler and the Nazis were 100% completely and utterly set up”. Kennedy has often allied himself with the National of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, who regularly unleashed tirades about alleged Jewish control of media and government. Kennedy met Farrakhan at his Chicago home in 2015, with Farrakhan later tweeting that they discussed “a vaccine that is designed to affect Black males”.

The Project details how Kennedy himself has frequently invoked Nazi Germany when pushing debunked theories about vaccines. He put out a video that showed the infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci with a moustache reminiscent of Adolf Hitler and used the word “holocaust” to describe children he believes were hurt by vaccines in 2015.

Read more …

“..a man who knows who is doing what to develop bioweapons and says so with no apparent fear or favor… and we must conclude he hates Jews.”

Anything Anything Anything To Avoid Debating RFK Jr. (Patrick Lawrence)

The Post had the integrity to publish a 1–minute 47–second video—a snippet or the whole is not clear—that either Levine or a colleague recorded during the lunch. I cannot comment on the decisive question concerning the breaking of wind at Tony’s, but nothing raucous goes on in the video, and what Levine chose to quote in his copy was (1) a provocative misrepresentation of Kennedy’s point and (2) left out the most startling part of his comments. [..] To the first point, anyone who finds it odd for someone to state that diseases strike some groups of people more severely than others is simply too prone to malign suggestion to make his or her way in our propagandized world. It has been understood for who knows how long that sickle-cell anemia strikes hardest in Black and Latin American communities, to take one common example.

Covid–19 is no different. The Mayo Clinic has a report on its website analyzing the relative vulnerabilities of various racial and ethnic groups to Covid–19 infections. As to Kennedy’s reference to European Jews and the Chinese, he clarified subsequent to the lunch that this relied on a study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic indicating that some ethnic and racial groups, among them Ashkenazi Jews, were less susceptible to the Covid–19 virus than other groups, among which are Blacks. This—the blood simmers as I write this sentence—is the basis of the charge that R.F.K. Jr. displayed anti–Semitic tendencies while consuming his pasta with white clam sauce at Tony’s earlier this month. Here is the portion of Kennedy’s recorded remarks I found revelatory. In it, he reiterates that scientific studies show Caucasians and Blacks to be most vulnerable to Covid–19 infection and European Jews and Chinese are least vulnerable, “because of the genetic structures, the genetic differentials among different races:”

“And we need to talk about bioweapons. I know a lot about bioweapons because I’ve been doing a book on them for the past two and a half years. And… the technology we now have… we’ve put hundreds of millions of dollars into ethnically targeted microbes. The Chinese have done the same thing…. We know the Chinese are spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing ethnically targeted bioweapons, and we are developing ethnic bioweapons. That’s what all those labs in the Ukraine are about. They’re collecting Russian DNA. They’re collecting Chinese DNA so they can target people by race.”

Why aren’t our mainstream media picking up on this interesting, highly consequential story? Believe me, they will go nowhere near the question of American-made bioweapons and those three dozen laboratories in Ukraine. Nah, the fantasies of a conspiracy theorist. We have a man who has spent his professional life in the precincts of science, a man who researched the topic of ethnically targeted bioweapons for two-plus years and is writing a book about them, a man who is plainly conversant with the pertinent scientific vocabulary and the theories expressed therein, a man who knows who is doing what to develop bioweapons and says so with no apparent fear or favor… and we must conclude he hates Jews.

Read more …

“Fiat currency was invented to fund wars..”

RFK Jr. Floats Plan to Back Dollar With Bitcoin, Gold (Tweedie)

US presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said he will underpin the dollar with more solid assets — including Bitcoin. Kennedy, the nephew of assassinated president John F. Kennedy, is mounting an outsider challenge to incumbent Joe Biden for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in the 2024 election. Speaking at an event organised by the Heal-the-Divide political action committee (PAC) on Tuesday, Kennedy outlined some unorthodox ideas for shoring up the value of Treasury bills, government-issued short-term investment securities. “My plan would be to start very, very small, perhaps one percent of issued T-bills would be backed by hard currency, by gold, silver platinum or Bitcoin,” Kennedy said.

Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency on the market since its launch in 2009 by an enigmatic developer or developers known as Satoshi Nakamoto, is not backed by gold reserves or a national economy and continues to fluctuate wildly in value. However, its creators have set a final limit on how many of the virtual ‘crypto coins’ will be in circulation, preventing their debasement. “Backing dollars and US debt obligations with hard assets could help restore strength back to the dollar, rein in inflation and usher in a new era of American financial stability, peace and prosperity,” the Democrat argued. He also made a rare argument against the use of Fiat money — currencies not backed by gold or other commodities — as the the greenback has been since 1971 when president Richard Nixon took it off the Gold Standard.

Kennedy’s late uncle JFK “understood the importance of hard currency and the dangers of having pure fiat currency with no other option,” he said. “He understood the relationship between fiat currency and war … and also these giant aggregations of wealth and the unbalance, the disparities in wealth that are the ultimate yield of every fiat currency.” He also linked the shift to Fiat currency, with the option of inflationary ‘quantitative easing’ to America’s endless series of imperialist conflicts overseas. “Fiat currency was invented to fund wars,” Kennedy stressed. “I like base currencies because they make it more difficult, you have to go to the public. You can’t just print money to fund the war and tax the public through the hidden tax of inflation.”

Read more …

“Europe can thank its stars that the critical aid and immense sacrifices of Soviet and Chinese forces ensured victory in the Second World War..”:

Why the Ukraine Conflict Will Unravel NATO and Biden (Desai)

Always a work-in-progress, NATO unity has got more difficult as US power has declined. In recent decades, its chief glue has been US military power. If it too ceases to bind – as is clear from the string of military failures culminating in the humiliating exit from Afghanistan – then the self-sacrifice Biden has demanded, and some extent received, from the Europeans on Ukraine – is the dime on which the future of US leadership over what remains of its allies and of its chief instrument, NATO, will turn.Understanding such imminent fundamental change requires a return to fundamentals beneath the appearance of NATO unity. The much-vaunted Article 5 may state, famously, that ‘an armed attack against one … shall be considered an attack against … all’.

However, if you think this obliges all members to rush to the defence of attacked members with all they’ve got, think again. The article specifies further that each ally will ‘will assist … by taking forthwith … such action as it deems necessary [emphasis added]’. So, allied solidarity turns out to be a moveable feast, meaning only what each member country ‘deems necessary’. On the matter of the US commitment to Europe, which NATO is held to powerfully instantiate, even the early Cold War commitment to defend Western Europe against the big bad Soviet Union, amounted, practically, to schemes that were ‘always far-fetched and recognised as such’.

If you are shocked, consider this: the US ‘aided’ Europe during the two World Wars on a more or less commercial basis, vastly increasing its economic and financial clout at the expense of ‘allies’. Ruinously for them, it demanded repayment of its war loans after the First World War and, equally ruinously, demanded policy alignment after the Second. Europe can thank its stars that the critical aid and immense sacrifices of Soviet and Chinese forces ensured victory in the Second World War, and that the alleged threat of an imminent Soviet attack on Western Europe was little more than a figment of the very hysterical US imagination that has kept its military industrial complex is such fine fettle down the decades.

Read more …

“This is nothing new, it has happened before. It will happen again, we understand it very well.”

West Ready To Turn Blind Eye To Any Crimes Of Kiev – Kremlin (TASS)

Moscow fully understands that the West has been and will continue to turn a blind eye to any crimes committed by the Kiev regime, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Commenting on the reaction of Western countries to the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge, the spokesman said: “The West is ready to turn a blind eye to any terrorist attack organized by the Kiev regime in our country. In this case they are silent. This is nothing new, it has happened before. It will happen again, we understand it very well.”


Ukrainian forces used two surface drones to carry out a terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge in the early morning hours of Monday, the National Antiterrorism Committee told TASS. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case under the article “Act of Terrorism.” The terrorist attack resulted in the deaths of two adults, a married couple from the Belgorod Region, and injuries to their minor child. As well, the bridge’s road surface was damaged. Traffic on the bridge has been suspended since the morning. Train traffic has already resumed and a ferry crossing is now operating. Passenger cars will soon be able to transit to the mainland from Crimea via ferry, but trucks must take a northern overland detour through the new regions.

Read more …

“Corruption there is beyond belief. It always has been. And that doesn’t change. That’s all I was writing about,” Hersh said.”

How Much Of The $185 Billion Given By The West To Ukraine Was Stolen? (Trenin)

The problem persists despite the fact that for many years, the US has invested funds to battle corruption in Ukraine. The funds were allocated to the Prosecutor General’s office, the local media, and other organizations. This was stated by the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, at a congressional hearing. Despite this, the crimes in Ukraine continue. Some time ago, Ukrainian anti-corruption police arrested the deputy minister of infrastructure on suspicion of receiving a bribe of €367,000 for the purchase of generators at an inflated price. And recently, the head of Ukraine’s Supreme Court was accused of corruption. Then, there was the investigation by a Ukrainian newspaper which reported that Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense had concluded contracts for food supplies for front line troops at a price two to three times higher than normal – an investigation that caused a big scandal.


The Pentagon’s concerns that weapons supplied to Ukraine may end up on the black market have also been confirmed. “Very early [in the conflict], Poland, Romania, other countries on the border were being flooded with weapons we [the US and allies] were shipping for the war to Ukraine. In other words, commanders of I don’t know what level – often it wasn’t generals, it was colonels and others, who were given shipments of some weapons, [who] would personally resell them to the dark market,” Hersh told ‘Going Underground’ host Afshin Rattansi. He added that everybody in Ukraine’s government is now getting third parties involved, as this increases their chances of earning money on the side. “Corruption there is beyond belief. It always has been. And that doesn’t change. That’s all I was writing about,” Hersh said.

Read more …

“..of course Ukraine has to decide how it conducts this war in defence of its umm territory, its people, ahhh its freedom.”

Mosquitoes And Pinpricks: Warmaking As Public Relations (Helmer)

On the battlefield the Ukraine has pioneered the Mosquito Tactic – that’s sending units of dozens of soldiers running towards Russian defence fortifications in several swarms at the same time, across a half-dozen salients up and down the line of contact. In parallel, in the air and on the sea President Vladimir Zelensky and his general staff have devised the Bloody Pinprick Tactic – that’s drones exploding on Russian targets like the Crimean Bridge or the Kremlin Senate Dome. The purpose of both, mosquitoes and pinpricks, is warmaking as public relations, Zelensky is advertising the illusion that the Ukrainian army can win its offensive against Russia, no matter how great the loss in Ukrainian men and materiel; notwithstanding how little the impact on Russian forces.

The real target of this bloody PR isn’t the Russians. It is Zelensky’s NATO allies and paymasters who secretly warned him during the July 11-12 NATO summit meeting that the cashflow and the enthusiasm are already running down, and may be cut by Christmas. The tactic of bloody PR means making daily defeat look like imminent victory, with conditions: NATO fighter-bombers pretending to be Ukrainian; Polish troops around Lvov pretending to be the revival of the Polish-Lithuanian union of 1386; and grain carriers as warships on the Black Sea, pretending to feed the hungriest populations of the world. In its statement on the Crimean Bridge attack twelve hours later, the Russian Foreign Ministry said “if the investigation finds that the surface drones that attacked the bridge are of Western origin, and that Western countries played a role in planning, sponsoring and conducting this operation, it will confirm their complicity in the Kiev regime’s terrorist activity.”

Asked to comment, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “this is a situation we are monitoring. Ah, and I don’t really have anything in particular to offer on that, err, just, ahh, I can say that as a general proposition, of course Ukraine has to decide how it conducts this war in defence of its umm territory, its people, ahhh its freedom.”

Read more …

Yes.

World Is Getting Tired Of Ukraine Conflict – Lula (RT)

Countries around the world are beginning to grow weary of the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told reporters on Wednesday. “The world is starting to get tired. Countries are starting to get tired,” he said following a two-day meeting of EU and Latin American leaders in Brussels, as quoted by Bloomberg. The Brazilian president predicted that there will eventually come a moment when there will be peace in Ukraine, and insisted that a group of countries will have to be able to talk to both Moscow and Kiev Lula, who has been pushing for a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine, also objected to efforts to single out Moscow as the sole culprit behind the conflict.

He insisted that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, as well as US leader Joe Biden, were equally to blame for failing to negotiate with Russian leader Vladimir Putin to prevent the conflict. During this week’s summit between the EU and the Community of South American and Caribbean States (CELAC), European officials had hoped to sign a final statement which would feature an explicit condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. However, EU leaders failed to persuade all of their Latin American counterparts, as a number of states, including Brazil and Nicaragua, objected to the inclusion of any strong language on Russia in the document. The final declaration, which included promises of investment and several deals, ended up being signed by all members of the summit except Nicaragua, which objected to the inclusion of even a single paragraph referring to the Ukraine conflict.

Despite NATO’s commitment to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” a number of Western officials have recently started to predict that support for Kiev could soon begin to wane as “war fatigue” sets in over the prolonged conflict. Last week, Czech President Petr Pavel stated that Ukraine should aim to regain as much territory as possible before the 2024 US presidential elections, which could see Kiev’s backers in Washington reconsider the volume of military aid sent to Ukraine. In March, Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova also warned that military aid for Kiev was not unlimited and claimed that public support for Ukraine was “running out.”

Read more …

What conflict?

West Not Prepared For Conflict With China – FT (RT)

Ammunition shortages laid bare by the Ukraine conflict have prompted some US think-tanks to check on stockpiles in the West and find them wanting, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. The military industry of NATO allies is not able to help, either. A Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) wargame of a conflict with China over Taiwan showed that the US had only about 450 long-range anti-ship missiles, enough for about a week. Another think tank, the Center for New American Security (CNAS), said the existing missile inventory is “too small to blunt an initial invasion, let alone prevail in a protracted conflict against China.” To deter and defeat Beijing, the Pentagon “needs large stockpiles of stand-off missiles, maritime strike weapons, and layered air and missile defenses,” CNAS concluded.

According to FT, the US Department of Defense has asked for $1.1 billion in the 2024 fiscal year to buy 118 long-range anti-ship missiles (LRASM), compared to half that amount for 83 missiles the year before. The Pentagon also wants $30 billion for ammunition, a 23% increase over 2023 levels, and $315 billion for new weapons. CNAS has noted that the Pentagon tends to prioritize big-ticket items such as ships, planes and tanks, “leaving missiles and munitions with inadequate funding.” FT revealed that the collective West has spent a combined $170 billion on military and financial aid to Ukraine since February 2022. Kiev is still complaining about ammunition shortages, however.

The US military-industrial complex has spent decades prioritizing efficiency and adopting the just-in-time supply chain used by other industries, according to FT, leaving it unable to scale up production in wartime. Parts and labor shortages are currently a problem as well. “The defense industry is so consolidated that it can’t very quickly expand to support a greater demand,” said Stacie Pettyjohn of CNAS. “So we’re slow and behind and don’t have enough of anything.” Only five companies are responsible for major Pentagon contracts, and some parts are made by only one or two suppliers, with no way to make up the shortage elsewhere. Nor can NATO allies step in to pick up the slack, because the US push to promote American-made weapons has left the European defense industry stunted and fractured, multiple think-tank experts told FT.

Read more …

“The racist attack from the top lawyer in the state of Minnesota was not condemned by a single democrat.”

The Latest Racist Attacks on Clarence Thomas (Turley)

In July 1991, Clarence Thomas, a relatively unknown D.C. Circuit judge, was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to replace Thurgood Marshall on the United States Supreme Court. Thomas soon found out that the only thing more perilous than replacing a historical icon on the Court is replacing a liberal with a conservative. Thomas would become an icon in his own right for conservatives: an unyielding defender of textualism and conservative jurisprudence. Yet, liberals seem more preoccupied by his race than his rigidity. This week, a leading Democrat, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison unleashed another openly racist attack on Thomas and neither the media nor the political establishment condemned the remarks.

Ellison condemned Thomas as a house slave working for white people, analogizing him to the vile character “Stephen,” played by Samuel L. Jackson in the film “Django Unchained.” (Jackson himself called Thomas “Uncle Clarence” after the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade). Ellison added that, because he disagreed with Thomas’ conservative opinions, the justice is “illegitimate” and “needs to be impeached.” That is, of course, nonsensical from a constitutional standpoint. However, what was most striking is the response to statements. The racist attack from the top lawyer in the state of Minnesota was not condemned by a single democrat. Not Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who previously falsely declared that hate speech is not constitutionally protected under the First Amendment and declared himself a champion against bigotry and racist rhetoric.

Not from senior Senator Amy Klubuchar, who has repeatedly denounced racist tropes and rhetoric of Republicans. Not from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who rightfully condemned the comments of Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville on white nationalism but made no comment on a racist attack of Thomas in the same week. Not from President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly denounced racial rhetoric and “codes” by Republicans. Indeed, the day that Ellison’s comments were being aired nationally, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre went to the press room to denounce Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at length for his statements suggesting that Covid-19 may have been engineered to spare Jewish and Chinese people. Jean-Pierre declared that “it is important that we essentially speak out” when such racist or anti-Semitic comments are made, but then made no mention of the racist attack on Thomas as nothing more than a house slave.

Read more …

“Ms. Kelly believes the DOJ approached the Proud Boys trial in a way that seemed to lay the groundwork for bringing the same charge against Mr. Trump..”

Trump Could Face ‘Seditious Conspiracy’ Charge in Jan. 6 Probe (ET)

Prosecutors should first ask for a voluntary appearance before subpoenaing the target of a criminal investigation, according to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Justice Manual. Also, lawyers usually discourage their clients from going before a grand jury if they are the target of the investigation—it can be avoided by invoking the right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, says Marc Ruskin, a former FBI agent and assistant U.S. attorney. However, that may be Mr. Smith’s goal, according to Mr. Ruskin. He noted that Mr. Trump is already facing indictments in New York and Florida and pleading the Fifth in Washington gives another talking point to his opponents. “It could be a tactical and procedural move just to make him look bad,” he said.

“You have Trump, a former president who is running to be president again, pleading the Fifth. I guess from their point of view, it’s going to help make him less attractive as a candidate.” If the target is not asked to testify, “the prosecutor, in appropriate cases, is encouraged to notify such person a reasonable time before seeking an indictment in order to afford him or her an opportunity to testify before the grand jury,” the manual says. Mr. Trump indicated he believes charges against himself are imminent, saying that being told to report to the grand jury, “almost always means an Arrest and Indictment.” Some commentators have long predicted Mr. Trump will face charges in the probe, including Julie Kelly, an independent journalist who had closely followed the trials of Jan. 6 participants.

“I’ve warned of this for over a year. I take no pride in being right,” she commented in a July 18 tweet. “Only question now is what charges Smith will bring (strong possibility he’ll seek indictment on seditious conspiracy) and who is charged with him. (Any conspiracy charge requires at least one conspirator).” In April, she highlighted several members of the pro-Trump Proud Boys group who were convicted of seditious conspiracy. Ms. Kelly believes the DOJ approached the Proud Boys trial in a way that seemed to lay the groundwork for bringing the same charge against Mr. Trump. During the closing arguments, it seemed to her that prosecutors tried to tie Proud Boys to Mr. Trump, particularly regarding a comment by Mr. Trump during a 2020 presidential debate that the Proud Boys should “stand down and stand by.” She pointed to a comment by one of the prosecutors that “defendants saw themselves as Donald Trump’s army, fighting to keep their preferred leader in power no matter what.”

Read more …

And again blame Russia…

Europe to See ‘Devastating Migration Crisis’ After Grain Deal Suspension (Sp.)

Europe, which will be flooded with migrants from low-income countries that rely on grain exports from Ukraine and Russia, will suffer the most from the suspension of the grain deal, international experts told Sputnik on Wednesday. On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia’s participation in the grain deal had been terminated with immediate effect, although it would return to it if commitments toward Moscow were fulfilled. “Europe may soon experience a devastating migration crisis following Russia’s decision to leave the deal. The biggest victim of higher grain prices and shortages in the developing countries will be the European Union,” Yusuf Alabarda, a Turkish political expert and a representative of the M5 Strategy Journal, told Sputnik.

“We know very well that Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and a couple of other African countries are mainly dependent on Ukrainian and Russian grain imports. Europe will be overwhelmed by migrants fleeing hunger.” Eugen Schmidt of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, in commentary for Sputnik, also predicted a dire impact of the deal’s suspension for the European Union. “Unfortunately, Western countries are deliberately provoking hunger in regions dependent on Ukrainian and Russian grain supplies, which will inevitably incite huge hungry masses to storm European borders,” Schmidt said. “It is unlikely that the ruling political elites of the EU do not understand what the failure of the grain deal threatens them with, but apparently they do not care at all about the impending hunger and the further flooding of Europe with migrants.”

The German lawmaker added that today Europe, and especially Germany, is not independent in its foreign policy and acts only in the interests of “external forces, which has an extremely negative effect on the state of affairs in Germany itself. As several key European nations, including Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria, have already called on Russia to restore its participation in the grain initiative, the expert called on them to take responsibility on their behalf for the suspension of the agreement as Russia’s concerns have not been met.

Putin grain
https://twitter.com/i/status/1681738877059432450

Read more …

I’m running out of words…

Julian Assange Is ‘Dangerously Close’ to Extradition (Cohn)

Article 4(3) of the Extradition Treaty forbids extradition if the request was “politically motivated.” The legally unprecedented and selective nature of the prosecution in focusing on leaked national security information speaks to the political character of the prosecution and request for extradition, the appeal says. Assange’s lawyers wrote that “this prosecution is motivated by matters other than the proper and usual pursuit of criminal justice. It is motivated instead by a concerted intent to destroy or inhibit the publishers of evidence of state criminal ability, and thereby put a stop to the process of investigating, prosecuting and preventing such international crimes in the future.”


The appeal papers point out that Assange is being prosecuted for exposing “wholescale abuse and war crimes” committed by the United States. If instead he had “exposed war crimes or crimes against humanity committed by a state such as the Russian Federation,” the defense lawyers write, “there can be no doubt that his prosecution for such revelations would be regarded as both a political offence (within the Treaty) and an impermissible prosecution motivated by a desire to punish him for his political opinions/acts.”

“While the leakers of such materials have been prosecuted albeit selectively, no prosecution for the act of obtaining or publishing state secrets has ever occurred,” the appeal says. That is “[b]ecause the First Amendment protects the free press and it is vital that the press expose rather than ignore … not because journalists are somehow privileged but because the citizenry has a right to know what is going on,” Mark Feldstein, journalism professor at University of Maryland, testified at Assange’s extradition hearing.

Article 10 of the ECHR protects freedom of expression. Columbia law professor Jameel Jaffer testified that the indictment is focused “almost entirely” on things that national security journalists do “routinely and as a necessary part of their work,” including “cultivating sources, communicating with them confidentially, soliciting information from them, protecting their identities from disclosure, and publishing classified information.” The conviction of Assange would chill journalists from fulfilling their function as watchdog for the public. The appeal quotes the 1996 case of Goodwin v. the United Kingdom:

Press freedom assumes even greater importance in circumstances in which State activities and decisions escape democratic or judicial scrutiny on account of their confidential or secret nature. The conviction of a journalist for disclosing information considered to be confidential or secret may discourage those working in the media from informing the public on matters of public interest. As a result, the press may no longer be able to play its vital role as “public watchdog” and the ability of the press to provide accurate and reliable information may be adversely affected.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Plimer

 

 

 

 

Barbie

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 182023
 
 July 18, 2023  Posted by at 9:33 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Andy Warhol Sigmund Freud 1980

 

US Not Ready For War With Russia – White House (RT)
US Soldiers Don’t Belong in Ukraine (Ottenberg)
No Military Solution To Ukraine Crisis – China (RT)
No More Security Guarantees For Black Sea Navigation – Russian FM (RT)
Erdogan To Talk Black Sea Grain Deal Resumption With Putin (RT)
EU Snubs Zelensky Over Summit – Spanish Daily (RT)
US Bid to Prolong Ukraine Proxy War Risks Another Quagmire (Sp.)
Yellen Says Ukraine Aid Is the Best Boost for Global Economy (NM)
Jan. 6 Defendant Appeals To Supreme Court (JTN)
Trump Opens Up About Mistakes Made During First Term (ET)
Situational Awareness (Jim Kunstler)
Abominable RFK Jr. Anti-Semitism Accusation a Harbinger of Things to Come (ET)
The Human Cost of Net Zero (Spiked)

 

 

 

 

Putin

 

 

 

 

Macgregor


https://twitter.com/i/status/1680884654172258305

 

 

 

 

Ukr pre2014

 

 

RFK Event 201

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Sullivan said that accepting Ukraine into the alliance now would mean a direct confrontation between the bloc and Russia.”

US Not Ready For War With Russia – White House (RT)

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has stated that Ukraine’s future lies in NATO, but said certain conditions must be met before it can join the alliance, which includes ending its conflict with Russia. In an interview with CBS on Sunday, Sullivan insisted that NATO is committed to accepting Kiev into its ranks despite the lack of a formal invitation or timeline for membership during last week’s NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. “Ukraine’s future is in NATO. We meant it. That’s not up for negotiation,” Sullivan said. “That’s something that now all 31 allies have committed to,” he added, referring to the final statement released at the end of the summit, in which all members of the alliance pledged to eventually accept Ukraine into the bloc, once a number of conditions are met. Speaking to ABC, Sullivan said that accepting Ukraine into the alliance now would mean a direct confrontation between the bloc and Russia.


“Having Ukraine come into NATO while the war is going on would mean that NATO was at war with Russia, it would mean the United States was at war with Russia. And neither NATO nor the United States were prepared to do that,”he said. Kiev insists that it has already met all of the requirements to join the US-led bloc and has expressed confusion over what more it has to do to qualify for membership. “When will those conditions be met? What are those conditions? Who should formulate them? What are they?” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said in an interview with Radio Free Europe last week. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky lashed out at NATO for failing to meet Kiev’s membership demands and called the lack of a roadmap towards accession “unprecedented and absurd,”saying NATO’s indecisiveness is a sign of weakness.

Ru soldier

Read more …

“The worst day in Afghanistan or Iraq is a great day in Ukraine.”

US Soldiers Don’t Belong in Ukraine (Ottenberg)

So how many American soldiers fight in Ukraine? The Biden bunch is careful not to reveal or refer to their presence, mercenary or otherwise, but the question keeps coming to mind. It popped up again June 27, when Russia bombed what the Ukraine press called simply a restaurant in Kramatorsk. However, this supposedly innocuous restaurant was part of a hotel complex that apparently attracted lots of western men of fighting age, specifically American soldiers and others from NATO countries. We know this because eyewitnesses heard them speaking American English and saw their U.S. military tattoos (3rd Ranger Battalion) and the American flags on their helmets. Also, American mercenaries were reported dead in twitter accounts. We also know that this missile attack killed 50 Ukrainian officers and two generals and at least 20 of the westerners, including Americans, proving yet again that one American soldier in Ukraine is one too many.

The problem is that we don’t know how many U.S. soldiers – to say nothing of American mercenaries – are in Ukraine. The Russian ministry of defense estimates that there have been over 900 American mercenaries in Ukraine. Meanwhile Washington remains mum, closely guarding its knowledge of this secret for the obvious reason that not doing so might provoke an open confrontation with Moscow. And since they don’t want a nuclear World War III, the white house and pentagon nurture an intense interest in concealing facts about the U.S. military footprint in Ukraine and their possible encouragement of it. Even if large numbers of American NATO officers were killed there, we, back in the so-called homeland, would doubtless be kept in the dark.

The scraps of news we do get indicate that the fighting goes poorly for U.S. troops. “This is my third war I’ve fought in, and this is by far the worst one,” Troy Offenbecker told the Daily Beast July 1. “You’re getting fucking smashed with artillery, tanks. Last week I had a plane drop a bomb next to us, like 300 meters away. It’s horrifying shit.” The Daily Beast quotes another U.S. soldier, David Bramlette: “The worst day in Afghanistan or Iraq is a great day in Ukraine.” Regarding reconnaissance missions, he said, “if two of them get injured…there’s no helicopter coming to get you…shit can go south really, really frickin’ quickly.” In other words, this is a different enemy, a very competent one, and U.S. soldiers in Ukraine sub rosa could die in large numbers that people back home never hear about.

Read more …

“..the official said the Ukraine crisis erupted last year thanks to “expanding military blocs..”

No Military Solution To Ukraine Crisis – China (RT)

Only a political settlement can resolve the conflict in Ukraine, China’s deputy UN envoy has said, urging the international community to seek a peaceful end to the crisis after Beijing advanced its own plan to halt the fighting. Speaking at an open meeting on Ukraine at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Monday, Beijing’s deputy permanent UN representative, Geng Shuang, proposed a four-point framework for future peace efforts, saying the global body should “work together to prevent the situation from getting out of control.” “The evolution of the battlefield situation shows that military means cannot resolve the Ukrainian crisis, and the continuation of the conflict will only bring more suffering to civilians, and may even lead to unpredictable and irreparable situations,” he said.

“No matter how long the crisis lasts, it will eventually be resolved through political means.” The Chinese framework calls for talks between Moscow and Kiev, limiting the potential “spillover effects of the crisis,” addressing humanitarian issues, and guaranteeing “nuclear safety and security” – in particular at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The deputy UN envoy went on to argue that any solution to the conflict must “uphold a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security concept.” Though he did not cite the NATO alliance by name, the official said the Ukraine crisis erupted last year thanks to “expanding military blocs,” which “can only bring turmoil and unrest to Europe and the entire world.”

Early this year, China unveiled a 12-point roadmap designed to end the fighting, calling for the resumption of talks and arguing that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations should be upheld. The Chinese government has previously slammed the unilateral sanctions on Moscow, and argued that NATO expansion in Europe is the root of the conflict in Ukraine. The initiative received a positive reception in Moscow, with senior officials in the Kremlin signaling willingness to discuss it further. However, the proposal was soon rejected by Kiev and some of its Western backers, who accused Beijing of supporting Russia’s interests.

Read more …

The grain deal met the same fate as Minsk, April 2022: the west doesn’t make good on its part of the deal.

No More Security Guarantees For Black Sea Navigation – Russian FM (RT)

Russia will no longer provide security guarantees for civilian vessels traversing the formerly exempted corridor in the Black Sea, the country’s foreign ministry has announced. Earlier on Monday, the Kremlin stated that it would not extend the Black Sea grain agreement since its own food and fertilizer exports are still being blocked. In a statement released on Monday, the Foreign Ministry said that this latest decision “means the recall of maritime navigation security guarantees, the discontinuation of the maritime humanitarian corridor [and] the reinstatement of the ‘temporarily dangerous area’ regime in the north-western Black Sea.” Russian diplomats went on to accuse Ukraine of using the humanitarian corridor to carry out attacks on Russian targets.

As for the Ukrainian grain shipments that were facilitated by the deal, the ministry claimed that the vast majority of those ended up in Europe, with several countries there allegedly lining their pockets. The statement pointed out that the whole mechanism, which was launched last summer, had ostensibly been designed to help avert famine in poorer nations. According to Moscow, key points in the Russia-UN memorandum, which was signed in lockstep with the Black Sea Initiative, have remained unfulfilled to date. As a result, the ministry explained, Russian bank transactions, insurance and logistics were effectively paralyzed, meaning that Moscow could not sell its own produce and fertilizers on the international market. In one case cited in the statement, a shipment of Russian fertilizers donated free of charge to several African countries was blocked in the EU.

The foreign ministry concluded that in light of all these issues, the agreement no longer makes sense. Moscow has suggested European nations should allow Ukraine to transfer its grain via their territory and potentially face the wrath of local farmers, or take action and address Russia’s grievances. Should this happen, Moscow would be ready to return to the implementation of the agreement, the statement noted. Earlier on Monday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov announced the termination of the deal. He also reiterated Russia’s readiness to return to the mechanism; however, he added that this would only happen if its interests were respected. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would “suspend participation in this deal,” describing the arrangement as a “one-sided game all along.”

Grain deal
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680936741430018049

Read more …

Erdogan didn’t keep his word to Putin about the Azov commanders.

Erdogan To Talk Black Sea Grain Deal Resumption With Putin (RT)

Türkiye believes that Russia is interested in continuing the Black Sea grain deal despite Moscow announcing on Monday that it was ending its involvement in the agreement, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed. The arrangement “went down in history as a diplomatic success,” the Turkish leader said during a press conference on Monday. Erdogan insisted that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, wanted the deal to survive, and that the two would soon talk on the phone about a possible way forward. Earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the scheme “effectively ceased to be in effect today.” Russia has accused the UN of failing to deliver on its part of the bargain, which included lifting Western economic sanctions hampering Russian exports of foodstuffs and fertilizers.


Unless that changes, Moscow will no longer keep up its end of the deal either, Peskov said. The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the UN and Türkiye had been formally notified that Moscow had opted against renewing the grain deal again, resulting in its expiration on Monday. Formally known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the agreement between Moscow and Kiev was mediated by the UN and Türkiye last summer. It allowed Ukrainian grain to be shipped by sea, with merchant ships being inspected to prevent misuse of the arrangement. The deal was touted as a way to alleviate a food price hike in the world’s poorest nations. However, Moscow said that contrary to the deal’s stated goal, European nations were the primary recipients of the shipments.

Read more …

Latin American heads of state are not wild about Zelensky.

EU Snubs Zelensky Over Summit – Spanish Daily (RT)

The European Union ignored Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s requests to be invited to the bloc’s summit with Latin American heads of state and government, Barcelona’s La Vanguardia has reported. Last week, NATO refused to accommodate Kiev’s demands for a clear NATO membership timeline, let alone immediate accession to the US-led military alliance. In its article on Monday, the paper cited anonymous European diplomats as claiming that the European Council’s President, Charles Michel, had decided it would be “better not to invite” the Ukrainian head of state to the meeting of European Union and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) leaders in Brussels.

However, “Ukraine will occupy a prominent place during the leaders’ discussions,” unnamed sources told the Spanish daily ahead of the event, which kicked off on Monday. The unnamed diplomats listed food security as one item that would likely be high on the agenda. According to the outlet, the EU has been pressing for the inclusion of condemnation of Russia’s military campaign against Ukraine in the summit’s final document. However, it is not clear whether this will be the case as there is reportedly no consensus on the issue among Latin American nations. La Vanguardia pointed out that the previous EU-CELAC summit took place back in 2015, with Brussels now busy doubling down on its efforts to woo the Global South.

Last week, NATO fell short of Ukraine’s expectations after the US-led military bloc decided that Kiev would be granted membership at some unspecified point in the future, “when allies agree and conditions are met.” President Zelensky took to social media last Tuesday, slamming the alliance’s “indecisiveness” and “weakness.” “It’s unprecedented and absurd when [a] time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership,” the Ukrainian head of state insisted. Later on, however, Zelensky softened his stance somewhat after the US delegation reportedly became “furious” at his criticisms.

Read more …

“Outside this event, war in Ukraine has also taken the glitter off of western weapons and the military industrial complex. For a very high price, it produces inadequate quantities of shoddy goods..”

US Bid to Prolong Ukraine Proxy War Risks Another Quagmire (Sp.)

The Biden administration appears content to prolong the proxy conflict in Ukraine in an effort to weaken Russia, while serving the interests of certain stakeholders in the American establishment, despite the risk of the confrontation turning into another Vietnam or Afghan-style quagmire, experts told Sputnik. At the NATO summit in Vilnius earlier this week, the US and its allies made long-term security commitments to Ukraine while easing alliance admission requirements. However, Kiev was disappointed in not getting an invitation to join NATO as soon as possible, with US President Joe Biden even saying membership is off the table for Ukraine while the conflict with Russia lasts.

“NATO summit proved what was known anyway. The collective West under US leadership wants to destroy Russia without going to war directly but by using Ukrainians as cannon fodder,” American University in Moscow President Edward Lozansky told Sputnik. “Thus we are witnessing a crime that supersedes the atrocities in Vietnam and the Middle East.” However, in previous proxy fights, he added, the US could at least use countering communism or terror as a pretext. “Here we see a policy of provoking, funding, and prolonging the war between the two Christian nations that lived together for over three centuries and who were bounded by close historical, religious, economic, cultural, and family ties under the false flag of preserving a non-existing democracy in the most corrupted state to preserve the geopolitical advantage of the hegemon and its willing vassals,” Lozansky said.

University of Louvain Professor of Political Philosophy Jean Bricmont believes by only pledging more security assistance, NATO allies have made it obvious they do not want to spark a direct war with Russia, which is not good news for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “The mere sending of weapons does not seem to tilt the balance in his favor,” Bricmont suggested. Meanwhile, Bricmont added, developments on the ground in Ukraine and inside Russia have not gone according to plan for the United States, especially as the hoped-for collapse of the Russian economy has not happened and Ukraine’s counteroffensive is failing. “The whole thing has become a very cynical game: using Ukrainians as much and as long as possible in that war, but without any real plan of success,” Bricmont told Sputnik.

“This is likely to end like Vietnam or Afghanistan, but the Americans cannot admit it and cut their losses. So, Ukrainians and Russians will continue to die needlessly.” Lozansky suggested there were other motives driving the White House’s Ukraine policy besides simply trying to counter Russia. “Of course, there was an additional incentive to make money for the military-industrial complex, and, as it turns out, to enrich the Biden family,” Lozansky said. Krainer Analytics Founder Alex Krainer, a Europe-based financial analyst, said while the war may have filled the US defense industry’s pockets, it also undermined many perceptions of its strengths and American’s military prowess. “Outside this event, war in Ukraine has also taken the glitter off of western weapons and the military industrial complex. For a very high price, it produces inadequate quantities of shoddy goods,” Krainer said. “The whole thing has been outed as a con and a paper tiger.”

Read more …

Shrooms.

Yellen Says Ukraine Aid Is the Best Boost for Global Economy (NM)

Redoubling support for war-stricken Ukraine is the “single best” way to aid the global economy, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday, along with boosting emerging economies and tackling debt distress. Yellen also said on the sidelines of a G20 finance ministers’ summit in India she would “push back” on criticism there was a tradeoff between aid to Ukraine and developing nations. “Ending this war is first and foremost a moral imperative,” she told reporters in Gandhinagar. “But it’s also the single best thing we can do for the global economy.” Yellen also pointed to efforts to tackle debt distress faced by struggling economies, bank reform and a global tax deal, and warned it was “premature” to talk of lifting tariffs on China.


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both global breadbaskets that together exported almost a quarter of the world’s wheat supply, triggered shockwaves in economies worldwide by sending prices for food and fuel shooting up. Japan’s Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki, speaking after a G7 meeting of ministers, “reconfirmed the G7’s unshakeable support” to Ukraine. “We confirmed that Russia-owned assets that are under the G7’s supervision would not be transferred until Russia pays damages to Ukraine,” Suzuki said, adding that Moscow should also “pay long-term reconstruction costs”. Any discussion on Ukraine is awkward for G20 host India, which has not condemned Russia’s invasion but is also part of the Quad grouping alongside Australia, the United States and Japan.

Read more …

High time SCOTUS gets involved.

Jan. 6 Defendant Appeals To Supreme Court (JTN)

Jan. 6 defendant Edward Jacob Lang is asking the Supreme Court to hear his challenge against one of the 11 charges he was indicted on – obstruction of an official proceeding – in a case that could upend legal proceedings against hundreds of other defendants indicted on charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot. The obstruction charge could be levied against “anyone who attends at a public demonstration gone awry,” attorneys for Lang wrote in an appeal to the Supreme Court last week. The proceeding for which the charge was brought refers to the event where Congress certifies the Electoral College votes to confirm the president.

The charge “is nothing less than the weaponization of the penal code to stifle dissent; it sets a terrifying precedent unworthy of this nation’s history,” Lang’s attorneys also wrote. Lang had filed a motion to dismiss the obstruction charge, which carries a 20-year sentence, before his trial, and the D.C. District court granted this motion. However, an appeals court reversed the lower court’s decision and a motion for a rehearing was denied. Lang’s attorney Norman Pattis told Newsweek that he thinks the Supreme Court could upend the cases of “hundreds of defendants.” “The government misuse and abuse of the federal penal code in the [January 6] cases is shocking,” Pattis also said. His client expects to hear this fall whether the Supreme Court will take up the case.

Lang has been incarcerated for more than 900 days without a trial. He told The Epoch Times that he thinks his appeal could impact the Justice Department’s separate effort to potentially charge former President Donald Trump with obstruction. “I think the timing of this filing is astronomical,” Lang said. “Donald Trump is the political frontrunner for the Republican Party, and while the other bogus charges might easily go away through a plea deal, the obstruction of Congress charge carries prison time. This one would land him in serious hot water with a conviction.”

Read more …

How about Bolton, Pompeo?

Trump Opens Up About Mistakes Made During First Term (ET)

President Donald Trump acknowledged that he made mistakes during his first term in office, saying that most issues arose from the people he chose to fill various roles in office. In an interview that aired July 16, Mr. Trump sat down with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo to discuss an array of issues, including whether he thought he made any mistakes during his term. Ms. Bartiromo asked, “If there’s anything that you could look back on in [2016] that you think maybe you want to do differently this time around?” Mr. Trump replied, “The mistake would be people. I mean, I wouldn’t have put a guy like Bill Barr in—he was weak and pathetic,” a reference to his former attorney general, who has spoken out against Mr. Trump since leaving office and has expressed opposition to a second term for the former president.

“I wouldn’t have put Jeff Sessions in,” Mr. Trump said, a reference to another former attorney general with whom Mr. Trump clashed. “There are some people that I wouldn’t have put in. You know, most people were good. But I had some people—we had [former Secretary of Defense Mark] Esper. I didn’t like him. He was incompetent. I thought we had other people I didn’t like.” Ms. Bartiromo replied, “Why did you put them in the job then?” “Because every—look, every president, you put somebody in, you think they’re good,” Mr. Trump said. “But one thing that has happened and I find it very interesting, and this is the way life goes, I put people in—I was there 17 times in Washington, D.C. my whole life. I never stayed overnight. The press actually reported 70 I don’t know if it’s right, but it’s probably pretty right.

“I never stayed overnight. Ever. And then all of a sudden, I’m the President of the United States and it’s like a different society. I was New York and you know, it was a different thing. So I didn’t know people, I became President,” Mr. Trump said, adding later, “I never was involved in that.” “So you didn’t know what to expect?” Ms. Bartiromo asked. “No, no,” Mr. Trump cut in. “I didn’t know the people. I know the people now better than anybody has ever known the people. I know the good ones, the bad ones, the dumb ones, the smart ones.” Mr. Trump was also pressed on whether he had “drained the swamp,” a reference to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign pledge to root out D.C. bureaucrats and other entrenched establishment figures in the capital city. “You didn’t drain the swamp like you said you would, you didn’t drain the swamp,” Ms. Bartiromo said, a common criticism of the former president by conservative elements in the party who feel he failed to live up to his 2016 campaign promises.

Read more …

It’s not the FBI, but people working there. Who?

FBI Tipped Off Biden Team, Secret Service About Plan To Interview Hunter (JTN)

A recently retired FBI supervisory agent told Congress behind closed doors Monday that the bureau tipped off Joe Biden’s team and the Secret Service in late 2020 about a plan to interview Hunter Biden in his criminal tax probe, corroborating allegations from two IRS whistleblowers. The FBI agent, who worked alongside the IRS whistleblowers on the Hunter Biden case when he was assigned to the Wilmington field office, gave his account in a transcribed interview before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, providing fresh evidence of alleged political interference in the treatment of Joe Biden’s son. He corroborated several aspects of the account IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley and a second agent gave Congress last month, including that law enforcement’s plan to conduct a surprise interview in early December 2020 with Hunter Biden about alleged tax crimes was foiled by the tipoff.

The agent, whose name wasn’t immediately made public, said the bureau told both Joe Biden’s transition office and the Secret Service, creating a tipoff that thwarted the planned interview. “The night before the interview of Hunter Biden, both Secret Service headquarters and the Biden transition team were tipped off about the planned interview,” Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky. said. “On the day of the Hunter Biden interview, federal agents were told to stand by and could not approach Hunter Biden—they had to wait for his call. As a result of the change in plans, IRS and FBI criminal investigators never got to interview Hunter Biden as part of the investigation. “The Justice Department’s efforts to cover up for the Bidens reveals a two-tiered system of justice that sickens the American people,” he added.

In his testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee back in May, Shapley described how the tipoff around Dec. 7-8, 2020, was a major set back for the investigation, and one of several instances in which political favoritism and interference occurred. “I was informed that FBI headquarters had notified Secret Service headquarters and the transition team about the planned actions the following day,” Shapley testified. He said the alert afforded Hunter Biden and his team “an opportunity to obstruct” the investigation. Shapley and his IRS colleague are slated to testify in public for the first time as early as Wednesday before Comer’s panel, and officials told Just the News they hope to release a transcript of the FBI agent’s corroborating testimony in the next few days.

IRS
https://twitter.com/i/status/1681036655178686469

Read more …

“..a pharmaceutical industry metastasizing on money the way an aggressive cancer feeds on sugar..”

Situational Awareness (Jim Kunstler)

What if Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche is correct? The [Belgian] virologist said at the outset of the Covid-19 episode in 2020 that vaccinating the world in the midst of an epidemic was insane because it would train the virus to evolve more dangerously while disabling human immune systems. Last week he issued a warning that the world was within weeks of just such a new and deadly immune escape variant outbreak that would bring on a shocking wave of sickness and death among people who received multiple Covid-19 vaccinations. This would happen on top of an already accelerating rise in latent vaccine adverse reactions manifesting as aggressive cancers, blood disorders, cardiac injury, neurological disease, and much, much more.

To this point in the Covid-19 story, Western Civ in general, and the USA in particular, have descended into an epic group psychosis as a result of the managed mind-fuckery induced by their own governments in collusion with a pharmaceutical industry metastasizing on money the way an aggressive cancer feeds on sugar in a human body. Fearful citizens swallowed all manner of unreality foisted on them by means of propaganda and censorship.We still don’t know for sure how, who, and why, exactly, Covid-19 was set loose on the world, and the public health agencies don’t want you to know. Perhaps the worst and most baldly dishonest act was the official suppression of effective treatments with common, safe, anti-virals that could have saved millions of lives. And all just to preserve the vaccine companies’ liability shield from the Emergency Use Authorization. In fact, governments are still militating against the sale and use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, which could be taken prophylactically in anticipation of a new outbreak.

So, if these populations were driven crazy by authorities ginning up their fear and preying on it, what will happen if that fear turns to anger instead? Because that’s exactly what will happen when Americans, and perhaps even Europeans, realize they’ve been subject to history’s biggest homicidal fraud. That anger is going to seek targets, and they are going to find them very easily in their own government officials and also — get this — in the medical establishment that has betrayed its patients so unconscionably. It’s just impossible to say exactly how that will play out on-the-ground. Governments are already falling — Spain, the Netherlands — but these were parliamentary downfalls according to regular political procedure. Our country has no such procedures for changing authority in a time of crisis. Instead, we have a president up to his neck in bribery scandal and executive agency thuggery, and political parties sunk in corruption, and no way to get rid of them except elections many months away — elections which at least half the people don’t believe are honest.

This crisis of bad faith and sickness is happening at the same time that Western Civ enters an equally vicious crisis of economy and finance. America and Europe are broke. All are playing games with their conjoined banking systems and their currencies. All are de-industrializing economies strictly based on industrial production of goods no longer being produced, and pretending to replace them with economies of computer vapor-ware. That can’t work and can only end badly in collapsing standards of living. The past few years, an apparent coalition of global elites, functioning in orgs such as the WEF, the WHO, the EU, the IMF, the central banks, and countless NGOs, along with shadowy intel units and what remains of the old news media, have promoted ever more desperate top-down control programs to prevent a breakdown into wholesale economic and political disorder. Their efforts increasingly tilt into pretense.

Read more …

“..this fake news accusation went around the world faster than Churchill’s famous line about the truth and the time it takes to put on your pants.”

Abominable RFK Jr. Anti-Semitism Accusation a Harbinger of Things to Come (ET)

To claim that COVID-19 is the product of a cabal of Chinese and Jews is so ridiculous that it only speaks to what the author wants to believe or, more accurately, wants us to believe Kennedy meant. Which Chinese and which Jews? It’s hard to imagine since Israel was locked down to such a degree it made California look like Florida. Also, Israeli scientists were working around the clock to invent a successful vaccine but got nowhere. If they had been in on the original design, you would think they would have been able to do something, or at least have a leg up. The internet being what it is, this fake news accusation went around the world faster than Churchill’s famous line about the truth and the time it takes to put on your pants.

The lie appeared almost immediately in numerous publications from the Daily Mail to the Daily Beast as if it had to be true that RFK Jr. was anti-Semitic. But Kennedy doesn’t need me to defend him. He’s doing a fine job himself, including demanding a retraction from the Post and an apology from Levine, in his Twitter feed. So what’s actually going on here? This isn’t, in the end, really about anti-Semitism, real or imagined. It was just low-hanging fruit, as the “canary in the coal mine” often is, the first of many—a harbinger of many dastardly smears of the candidate to come.

If there’s one thing the military-industrial complex (endless wars from Iraq to Ukraine) and the health care-industrial complex (Big Pharma, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al.) do not want, it’s a Robert F. Kennedy Jr. presidency. Big Tech probably isn’t very keen on it, either. It would cost them all incalculable amounts of money, much of it courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer and a complaisant government. Most of all, the current leadership of the Democratic Party—bent on exploiting every so-called progressive policy, no matter how looney, for maximum gain and power—don’t want anyone bringing their party back to sanity, under the leadership of Mr. Kennedy or anyone else. Notable is that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is backing Joe Biden for reelection, not RFK Jr.

And then there’s the CIA, whose antipathy for RFK Jr. should be obvious to all those with even a passing knowledge of the lives and deaths of his father and uncle who wanted that organization splintered in a thousand pieces and cast to the winds. In all, it’s no surprise then that the corporate media, in which we now must include the N.Y. Post of the increasingly untrustworthy Murdoch empire, is now the mouthpiece of anti-RFK Jr. propaganda. More and most probably worse will come. What we are looking at is what we might call the coming ‘The Plot Against Kennedy” after Lee Smith’s best-selling “The Plot Against the President,” which detailed the subversion of Donald J. Trump before and after his presidency by many of the same parties. The similarity between the treatment of Trump by corporate media that was always dishonest and is now, if anything, worse, and the beginnings of the treatment of RFK Jr. is all too obvious.

RFK Townhall

Read more …

Zero society.

The Human Cost of Net Zero (Spiked)

Canadian political scientist Vaclav Smil lists cement, steel, plastics and ammonia as the four ingredients that make the modern world possible. For example, modern healthcare systems need enormous amounts of plastic (for everything from flexible tubes to sterile packing), making it yet another crucial ingredient in the wellbeing of humanity. And without steel and cement, nothing could be built – no roads, no houses, no harbours, no airports. Plastics, steel and cement also require fossil fuels for their production. The same goes for modern agriculture. It depends on synthetic fertilisers, which massively increase yields and allow farmers to use smaller areas of arable land. Without these fertilisers, half the current global population would go unfed.

The production of these fertilisers depends on something called the Haber-Bosch process, a method of producing ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen, which was invented in the early 20th century. Given its contribution to feeding the world, Smil has justifiably called it the ‘most momentous technical advance in history’. The problem for those demanding the phasing out of fossil fuels is that the hydrogen required for the production of ammonia, and therefore synthetic fertilisers, is almost entirely derived from fossil fuels. So all of Smil’s building blocks for the modern world are dependent on the very materials that Western elites say they want to keep in the ground. It’s not just fertilisers that require fossil fuels, either. 75% of all farm equipment in the US runs on diesel. It dominates the entire farming supply chain, from planting to harvesting to bringing food to market.

A green optimist might suggest simply replacing all these diesel-powered machines with industrial EVs. Yet to build the batteries for all these EVs would require a massive expansion of energy-intensive mining for metallic minerals, such as cobalt, lithium, manganese and nickel. EVs would also require clean electricity sources to charge them. In fact, every step of the proposed energy transition is itself dependent on fossil fuels. You cannot build a wind turbine without lubricants from oil, a concrete foundation and copious amounts of steel. Just as you cannot make solar panels without polysilicon, a component that is immensely energy intensive to produce because it requires temperatures beyond 1,150 degrees Celsius.

The expansion of mining activities needed to build EVs and wind turbines is particularly problematic for the clean-tech crusaders. According to the International Energy Agency: ‘A typical electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas-fired plant. Since 2010, the average amount of minerals needed for a new unit of power generation capacity has increased by 50 per cent as the share of renewables in new investment has risen.’ The mineral-mining sector is also energy intensive, producing a huge amount of carbon emissions. It is already responsible for 38 per cent of total global industrial energy use. This means that even if the electrification of all vehicles were possible, it wouldn’t eliminate carbon emissions. It would just raise them at other points in the supply chain.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Orson

 

 

Chinsa high speed rail

 

 

Magnet

 

 

Birdies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680905456389361671

 

 

Bobi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680910054910730240

 

 


Jonathan was born in 1832 in the Seychelles. He has been living in Saint Helena since 1882 and just celebrated his 190th birthday.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 192023
 


Jusepe de Ribera A philosopher holding a mirror 1630

 

Ukrainian Forces May Be Temporarily Pausing Counteroffensive: ISW (RT)
Ukraine Sustains Massive Single-Day Losses – Russian MOD (RT)
NATO Chief Doesn’t Want ‘Frozen Conflict’ In Ukraine (RT)
Kiev Deploys Significant Military Forces Along Border With Belarus – CIS (TASS)
Russia’s Military Operation Virtually Turns Into Russia-West War – Kremlin (TASS)
Putin Does Not Rule Out That Zaluzhny Could Be Outside Ukraine (TASS)
Kremlin Promises Punishment For Threats To Kill Russians (RT)
‘No Chance’ Of Extending Black Sea Grain Deal – Kremlin (RT)
Obscure Results of Blinken’s Talks in Beijing Suggest Lack of Progress (Sp.)
Will Upcoming NATO Summit Launch Forever War In Europe? (Sacks)
Swedish Parliament Can’t Rule Out Russian Attack (RT)
United Nations Planning Digital ID Linked to Bank Accounts (SLAY)
Obama Calls For ‘Digital Fingerprints’ To Fight “Non-Mainstream News” (TPV)
Gang of Criminals Trying Trump – Paul Craig Roberts (USAW)
America on the Brink by David Ray Griffin (Paul Craig Roberts)
For Father’s Day, Hunter Negotiates 12% For The Big Guy (BBee)

 

 

 

 

McGovern

 

 

The last 10 years of the Donbass War. Watch!
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670402271929069570

 

 

 

 

Barry Joe Don

 

 

RFK Gates
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670407776307224578

 

 

The Peter Hotez vs. RFK Jr Charity Debate Pot Is Now Over $2.62 MILLION!!

But Hotez is just a drug pusher. He won’t debate.

Hotez

 

 

 

 

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has emerged as the no. 1 NATO “think tank”. They claim it’s totally normal to take a break in a mass offensive after 2 weeks, in which no gains have been made.

The WSJ is a tad more realistic but not much: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine have suspended the offensive, summing up the results of the past two weeks and analyzing ways to break through Russian lines without huge losses, writes the WSJ. The Armed Forces of Ukraine faced a serious superiority of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the air. Russian aviation was able to strike at the armored columns of NATO equipment and stopped a number of attacks.

Kyiv “maintains an optimistic tone” and says that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have moved forward on a number of fronts. But these advances “do not pose a direct threat to the main lines of defense of Russia, built in a few months in the Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions,” writes the WSJ.

Ukrainian Forces May Be Temporarily Pausing Counteroffensive: ISW (RT)

Ukrainian forces may be temporarily pausing counteroffensive operations to reevaluate their tactics for future operations, Report informs, citing the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW). “Ukraine has not yet committed the majority of its available forces to counteroffensive operations and has not yet launched its main effort. Operational pauses are a common feature of major offensive undertakings, and this pause does not signify the end of Ukraine’s counteroffensive,” said ISW.

Read more …

Here’s the reality of the offensive:

Ukraine Sustains Massive Single-Day Losses – Russian MOD (RT)

Ukrainian military forces have sustained heavy casualties across frontlines during the past 24-hour period, the Russian Defense Ministry has said. Russia’s Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions have seen the most intense fighting, with Kiev losing more than 800 soldiers there alone. “Over the past day, enemy losses in the Southern Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions amounted to more than 800 Ukrainian servicemen, 20 tanks, four infantry fighting vehicles, [and] 15 armored fighting vehicles,” the military said on Sunday during a daily media briefing, without elaborating on whether its figures for casualties includes those killed and injured or related just to deaths. As well as these setbacks in personnel and equipment, Ukrainian troops also lost two US-made M777 howitzers and several Soviet-made artillery systems, the military added.


The immediate vicinity of Donetsk city has seen intense fighting as well, with Ukrainian forces losing over 200 soldiers on this axis, according to the ministry. The Russian military has destroyed multiple soft and armored vehicles on the outskirts of Donetsk, it also said, as well as two major ammunition stockpiles to the northwest of the city. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has intensified after Kiev launched its long-heralded counteroffensive in early June. Thus far, the Ukrainian military has failed to make any major gains, sustaining heavy losses in the process and losing large amounts of Western-supplied hardware. According to the estimates of Moscow’s military, some 7,500 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or wounded amid the counteroffensive effort.

Putin Patriots
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670498776593702912

Read more …

Stoltenberg wants the slaughter to continue:

NATO Chief Doesn’t Want ‘Frozen Conflict’ In Ukraine (RT)

The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia should not be paused at the current stage, but rather a just solution must be found, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said. He also expressed confidence that Kiev would one day join the US-led military bloc, adding, however, that this was not an immediate priority. In an interview with Germany’s Welt am Sonntag published on Sunday, Stoltenberg argued that, while “we all want this war to end,” only a “just” peace can endure. “Peace cannot mean freezing the conflict and accepting a deal that is dictated by Russia,” he asserted, adding that “only Ukraine can define the conditions that are acceptable.” Stoltenberg called for “credible” security guarantees for Kiev once the conflict is over, “so that Russia cannot rearm and attack again.”

Asked about the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, Stoltenberg predicted that this would happen at some point in the future. However, he said the current priority is ensuring that “Ukraine prevails as a sovereign and independent state.” He also revealed that current member states are planning to adopt an aid package for Kiev during the alliance’s upcoming summit in Vilnius next month. The goal is to help Ukraine bring its military in line with NATO standards over several years, he explained. Last month, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told TASS news agency that Moscow was “in solidarity” with the West to the extent that the conflict in Ukraine cannot be frozen. He said the only option that Moscow is currently considering is “completing the special military operation,” which means securing Russia’s interests and achieving its goals.

Peskov also expressed skepticism over the possibility of peace talks between the two countries at this point. “It is unlikely that we can talk about real negotiations with any of the representatives of the current Kiev authorities, because there [in Ukraine], any negotiations with the Russian Federation are simply prohibited now,” the Kremlin spokesperson explained. In May, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said any peace talks could not aim to freeze the conflict in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Politico, citing anonymous sources, reported that US President Joe Biden’s administration was considering putting the fighting on hold instead of pushing for Ukraine’s victory. Officials in Washington have reportedly envisaged a situation akin to that in existence between North and South Korea.

Read more …

Keep an eye on this. And think: what troops?

Kiev Deploys Significant Military Forces Along Border With Belarus – CIS (TASS)

The Ukrainian army has deployed a significant military contingent along the border with Belarus and periodically tries to test the defense capability of the Union State. Head of the second department of the CIS countries at the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexey Polishchuk said it in an interview with TASS. “The information that we have and that has been repeatedly voiced in the statements of officials indicates that the Ukrainian army has indeed deployed significant forces along the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, periodically trying to probe the defense capability of the Union State in one way or another,” Polishchuk said.


The diplomat recalled that under these conditions, since October 2022, additional units of the joint Regional Group of Forces have been deployed in Belarus. “Their task is to serve as a deterrent from invading the territory of the Union State and to minimize the risks of infiltration by sabotage and reconnaissance groups. We proceed from the fact that the Russian and Belarusian means available in the area are sufficient to repel aggression from the territory of Ukraine or neighboring NATO countries,” Polischuk stressed. “We hope that the Kiev regime and their Western curators will have the common sense not to undertake military adventures, the consequences of which for them may be very serious,” he said.

Read more …

“cordon sanitaire”

Russia’s Military Operation Virtually Turns Into Russia-West War – Kremlin (TASS)

Russia’s special military operation started to defend the Donbass region and now it has virtually turned into a war with the collective West, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with RT commenting on the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine. “In fact, the special military operation against Ukraine, against the Kiev regime, was launched to ensure the safety of the people of Donbass. This is correct. Now it is practically a war between Moscow and the collective West,” the Kremlin spokesman said.


Recalling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement about establishing a “cordon sanitaire” on the territory of Ukraine if the shelling of Russian regions continues, Peskov said that as the range of weapons delivered to Ukraine expands, so will the buffer zone, “that is, the distance that we will have to move Ukrainians away from our territories.”

Read more …

Of course Putin knows where he is. There was a report in early May that Zaluhzny was gravely injured in a Russian attack, that he would live, but couldn’t re-take command. Since then he’s been missing, and no signal someone else has taken over. This is the Ukrainian Army Commander-in-Chief. Who’s in charge now?

As for the chief of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Kirill Budanov, reports say he died.

Putin Does Not Rule Out That Zaluzhny Could Be Outside Ukraine (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin does not rule out that Ukrainian Army Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny could be abroad, Putin said during a conversation with Russian journalists covering the special military operation in Ukraine. “I know. I think I know,” the president said in response to a question about Zaluzhny’s whereabouts. “I think he is abroad. But I could be wrong,” Putin said.


The media first reported Zaluzhny’s serious injury in May. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied the information, but Zaluzhny has not been seen in public for a long time and did not attend a NATO committee meeting at the level of chiefs of staff. Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin told reporters earlier that Russia was receiving updates on Zaluzhny’s condition, but wouldn’t disclose any details. Earlier, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar denied speculation that Zaluzhny had been wounded.

Read more …

“The members of parliament in those countries, they should understand to whom they are sending their aid – to de-facto murderers; people who declare their intention to kill..”

Kremlin Promises Punishment For Threats To Kill Russians (RT)

Any persons threatening to kill Russians are enemies who should be and will be punished for doing so, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov has warned. On Sunday, Peskov was asked by channel Rossyia 1 to comment on the words of Mikhail Podoliak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who said last week that Kiev’s long-awaited counteroffensive would be “the most brutal advance with the maximum killing of Russians on this route.” “That’s what our enemies say, and we have to fight them. You can’t threaten the Russians with murder. Russians should punish [them] for this, and we will do so,” the Kremlin spokesperson pointed out. He noted that Podoliak was “not a pioneer” in this regard, as the chief of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Kirill Budanov and members of the country’s Security Council have also “repeatedly talked about their desire to kill as many Russians as possible.”


According to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the headquarters of GUR in Kiev had been hit by Russian missiles in late May. The Defense Ministry said the successful strike targeted “decision-making centers” in Ukraine “where terrorist attacks on Russian soil were being planned under the guidance of specialists from Western intelligence agencies.” Peskov also said that he wanted the statements about killing Russian citizens made by Podoliak and other Ukrainian officials to be evaluated by Kiev’s foreign backers. “The members of parliament in those countries, they should understand to whom they are sending their aid – to de-facto murderers; people who declare their intention to kill,” he explained.

Read more …

A set-up. Russia will be blamed.

‘No Chance’ Of Extending Black Sea Grain Deal – Kremlin (RT)

The deal allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported via the Black Sea has “no chance” of being extended as things stand at the moment, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. Russia has “shown goodwill several times, made concessions” and extended the agreement, but what was promised to Moscow as part of the deal still hasn’t been fulfilled, he said in an interview with Izvestia newspaper on Saturday. “It’s hardly possible to predict some sort of a final decision here, but we can only state that – judging de facto by the status that we now have – this deal has no chance,” Peskov explained. “The deal implies deeds; deeds on the part of the contracting states or organizations. And one part of this deal was done, and the second part, which related to [promises made to] Russia, was never done,” the spokesman claimed.

The deal brokered by the UN and Türkiye was signed in July 2022, providing for the safe shipment of Ukrainian grain though Black Sea corridors in exchange for the US and EU removing obstacles to exports of Russian food products and fertilizers. The West has claimed that it never restricted those items, but Moscow has argued that it still couldn’t supply them to foreign buyers due to shipping, insurance and brokerage sanctions, which were imposed on Moscow over its conflict with Kiev. The initial agreement lasted for 120 days, but was extended several times since then. It’s now set to expire on July 17.

Speaking to a delegation of African leaders in St. Petersburg on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “the supply of Ukrainian grain to world markets doesn’t solve the problems of African countries in need of food.” Despite the West promising that the deal would help the poorest nations, only 3.1% of the shipments of Ukrainian grain have ended up in Africa, with 38.9% of them going to the EU, he explained. Earlier this week, Putin said Moscow “was thinking about exiting this grain deal” because nothing had been done to facilitate Russia’s food and fertilizer exports. He also said safety corridors in the Black Sea had been used by Ukraine to launch naval drones.

Read more …

No red carpet. Bloomberg reports this morning that Xi will see him after all.

Obscure Results of Blinken’s Talks in Beijing Suggest Lack of Progress (Sp.)

The ambiguity surrounding the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing and his talks with Chinese officials there suggests that little progress has been made in terms of Washington’s agenda, the US media reports. Antony Blinken arrived in Beijing on June 18 in what became his first visit to China in his current role and also the first US Secretary of State visit to Beijing since 2018. It took the Biden administration almost six months to put this visit back on the schedule as it was originally set for February. Blinken has already met with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who said on Sunday that China-US relations were at their lowest point.

The US media reported on Sunday that the ambiguity following the talks indicates little substantive progress on Blinken’s agenda items, which include concerns over Taiwan, jailed US citizens in China and Beijing’s stance on Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Blinken and Qin Gang are said to be “inching toward an off-ramp from months of rancor” but Beijing maintains its “stern” stance on key issues.

According to the Monday schedule published by the US State Department, Blinken holds talks with China’s Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi on Monday morning. The US State Secretary will then participate in a roundtable with exchange program alumni in Beijing and a separate roundtable with US business leaders. He also plans to meet with employees and families of the US Mission China in Beijing. It is notable, that Blinken’s Monday schedule does not include meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Read more …

“Polish or Ukrainian tails should not wag American dogs into World War III. ”

Will Upcoming NATO Summit Launch Forever War In Europe? (Sacks)

An article in the New York Times on Wednesday claimed that pressure is building on Biden to announce a timetable for Ukrainian membership in NATO at its Vilnius Summit next month. Supposedly Biden is “isolated” among NATO allies in his reluctance to do so, even though that claim is contradicted by the story’s own last paragraph (the one that Noam Chomsky once quipped should be read first), which acknowledges that “others argue more quietly” that NATO membership “could give Mr. Putin more incentive to continue the war, or to escalate it.” Indeed, since Moscow has already declared NATO membership for Ukraine to be completely unacceptable and an existential threat — the prevention of which is one of its chief war aims — a Vilnius Declaration that Ukraine will join NATO when the war ends will effectively ensure that the war goes on forever.

It will also take off the table the West’s central bargaining chip to achieve peace, which is a neutral Ukraine. It’s clear that the “pressure” on Biden is coming from Zelensky and some of the eastern NATO countries, specifically Poland and the Baltic States. Zelensky said two weeks ago that Ukraine would not even attend the Vilnius Summit unless given a firm signal on its eventual membership. Former NATO secretary general Anders Rasmussen, now a consultant to Zelensky, even threatened that “if NATO cannot agree on a clear path forward for Ukraine, there is a clear possibility that some countries individually might take action.” In particular, “the Poles would seriously consider going in,” triggering direct war between NATO and Russia.

The NYT article implies that the current secretary general Jens Stoltenberg agrees with the hardliners on the need for a concrete timetable for Ukraine’s admission into NATO, but he made no such promises during his joint address with President Biden on Tuesday. By Wednesday, Stoltenberg and NATO were making it clear that no specific timeline for Ukraine’s NATO membership would be on the agenda in Vilnius. He reiterated comments from April that “Ukraine’s future is in NATO,” and said there would be agreement from member states on a “multi-year program” to help Ukraine “become fully interoperable with NATO,” but wouldn’t commit to anything more specific than that. Apparently, it’s Zelensky and his allies along the Russian border who are “isolated,” not President Biden. Whatever Stoltenberg’s personal views may be, he knows NATO is divided on the question of admitting Ukraine in the near future.

Even the NYT name-checks three countries – Germany, Hungary, and Turkey – whose leaders would definitely oppose membership at a specific future date. Many more leaders have privately expressed concern, and Biden, to his credit, appears to be one of them. While his overall conduct and rhetoric has been hawkish (and I continue to maintain he could have avoided this war altogether with better diplomacy in the months leading up to it), Biden has been admirably consistent in his desire not to plunge America into direct war with Russia. The threats from Rasmussen underscore how easily a proxy war can turn into a real one in an alliance where all members are pledged to come to the military defense of any one member. The American people may begin to question the wisdom of making new Article 5 guarantees if foreigners like Rassmussen can use existing ones to blackmail the United States into reckless action.

Polish or Ukrainian tails should not wag American dogs into World War III.

Read more …

They smoke good stuff there.

Swedish Parliament Can’t Rule Out Russian Attack (RT)

A Russian attack on Sweden cannot be entirely excluded, Swedish public broadcaster SVT said on Sunday, citing a report prepared by the country’s parliamentary defense committee. “An armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out,” the broadcaster cited the document as saying. “Russia has also further lowered its threshold for the use of military force and exhibits a high political and military risk appetite,” the document stated, according to SVT. “Russia’s ability to carry out operations with air forces, naval forces, long-range weapons or nuclear weapons against Sweden remains intact.” The report is due to be presented to the public on Monday. SVT cited an unnamed person who worked on the document as saying that officials intend to send “a clear signal to Russia.”


Last year, Sweden walked away from its long-standing policy of non-alignment and applied to join NATO, citing Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine. The application process has since stalled as Hungary and Türkiye have so far refused to approve the Nordic country’s bid. Sweden announced plans to drastically increase its defense budget earlier this year, and, in April through May, held its largest military exercise in over 25 decades. Stockholm has supplied Kiev with heavy weapons, and pledged to deliver its German-made Leopard 2 tanks and Archer mobile artillery guns. Russia has repeatedly said that military aid to Ukraine makes Western countries de facto direct parties to the conflict. Moscow also stressed that the continuing expansion of NATO would lead to additional escalation, and promised to adopt “countermeasures.”

Read more …

We need enough people to say no. Millions. This is just too tempting for the power hungry.

United Nations Planning Digital ID Linked to Bank Accounts (SLAY)

The United Nations (UN) is planning to introduce a global digital ID system that is linked to individuals’ bank accounts. The plan, which is similar to the system developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF), is outlined in three new policy briefs from the UN titled, “A Global Digital Compact, Reforms to the International Financial Architecture, and The Future of Outer Space Governance.” The goal of the briefs is to advance UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s “vision for the future.” Officially titled “Our Common Agenda,” Guterres’ “vision” should be given the green light in September 2024 during an event dubbed, “The Summit for the Future.” From the report:

“Digital IDs linked with bank or mobile money accounts can improve the delivery of social protection coverage and serve to better reach eligible beneficiaries. Digital technologies may help to reduce leakage, errors and costs in the design of social protection programmes.” Not unlike their unofficial counterparts over at the WEF, the UN also speaks about basically regulating the global digital future. The unelected organization uses phrases such as “international cooperation” and “many stakeholders” who will “advance principles, objectives, and actions” to describe this globalist agenda. The UN describes this goal as “an open, free, secure and human-centered digital future.”

The digital future as envisaged by these groups is going to be quite the opposite of open, free, or human-centric, however. As far as the UN’s “vision” for a future global financial system, it is supposed to be harmonized with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It would be governed by something called “the apex body” that is yet to be set up. The key actors here would be the UN chief, as well as the Group of 20, the Economic and Social Council, and “heads of international financial institutions.” Within this, the UN sees “visions” of “a Global Digital Compact.”

Read more …

“Obama infamously won Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2013 by telling Americans, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it..”

Obama Calls For ‘Digital Fingerprints’ To Fight “Non-Mainstream News” (TPV)

Former President Barack Hussein Obama has called for “digital fingerprints” to be mandatory to help law enforcement agencies target and arrest users who read and share “non-mainstream news” online. In a new interview, Obama said the development of new tracking technology could help identify users who spread “fake news” online. Tracking those users and punishing them would help bolster mainstream news outlets on the internet, Obama argues. Slaynews.com reports: Obama sat down with his former White House senior adviser David Axelrod for a conversation on the latter’s podcast, “The Axe Files,” on CNN Audio. During the interview, Axelrod noted he’s seen “misinformation, disinformation, [and] deepfakes” targeting Obama.

[..] Obama then suggested “digital fingerprints” to discern truth from misinformation. “And the need for us, for the general public, I think to be more discriminating consumers of news and information, the need for us to overtime develop technologies to create watermarks or digital fingerprints so we know what is true and what is not true,” he said. “There’s a whole bunch of work that’s going to have to be done there, but in the short term, it’s really going to be up to the American people to kind of say.” Obama and Axelrod went on to say that today many consumers are only viewing information from sources they are predisposed to agree with and will likely believe what they see. “Obviously, we saw that during the vaccination stuff,” added Obama, referring to Covid shots. “So, I am concerned about it.

[..] Last year, Obama announced that his foundation would be launching a new initiative to combat misinformation. Days later, Obama angered conservatives with a speech at Stanford University warning of the dangers of “disinformation.” During the speech, Obama said, “All we see is a constant feed of content where useful factual information and happy diversions, and cat videos flow alongside lies, conspiracy theories, junk science, quackery, white supremacist, racist tracts, misogynist screeds.” Critics were quick to point out that Obama promoted the debunked narrative that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. Obama infamously won Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2013 by telling Americans, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” referring to the Affordable Care Act.

Read more …

“The Department of Justice, which is a gang of criminals, is trying Trump, and they are getting away with it.”

Gang of Criminals Trying Trump – Paul Craig Roberts (USAW)

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (PCR), former Assistant Treasury Secretary and international award-winning journalist, is worried about freedom and liberty. PCR says with the latest arrest and prosecution of President Trump, freedom and liberty is dead in America. PCR explains, “What they do makes it clear they have no claim that they are representatives of justice holding lawbreakers responsible. They are the lawbreakers — they themselves. You go to trial and it’s the criminals who are trying you, and that’s what’s happened in the United States. This is happening to President Trump. This is exactly what is happening to him. The Department of Justice, which is a gang of criminals, is trying Trump, and they are getting away with it.

I can’t predict, but we are going to find out by the next presidential election . . . whether we are a country or not. What’s going to happen? Are people going to wake up and stop this? If this coup stays in place, the United States no longer exists.” PCR says, “What is being done is a lesson is being taught to all future political candidates. If you try to represent the people instead of the elite, we are going to destroy you – period. So, if they succeed in destroying Trump, and if the people permit that and don’t rise up and prevent it, then what you have from now on in the United States is tyranny. If democracy cannot put into office someone who stands for the people who elected that person, then there is no democracy and there is no rule of law.

If you have no rule of law, you have the rule of whoever is in power. In other words, it is the total end of any claim there is any freedom, any civil liberty or any accountability. This is extremely serious. This is an all-out assault. The elite are attempting to completely destroy any accountability that would ever get in the way of their agendas. So, this is only to be the agendas of the elite, and never ever any agenda of the people.” PCR also warns, “The United States is the Constitution. If the Constitution is destroyed, the United States is destroyed. So, if they destroy it, they have destroyed us.” PCR, who was an Assistant Treasury Secretary in the Reagan Administration, also talks about the coming collapse of the U.S dollar and extreme inflation that is not a matter of if but when. It could be sooner than you think.

Read more …

“The inability of America to accept its scaled-down position is leading to nuclear war.”

America on the Brink by David Ray Griffin (Paul Craig Roberts)

David Ray Griffins’s works represent the epitome of Western Civilization. Scholars of his distinction and commitment are no longer possible. The replacement mechanism has been destroyed by the criminalization of Western Civilization and free inquiry. In place of scholars, universities are now homes for Woke ideologues who hate Western Civilization and white people and carry on campaigns against both. Everywhere we see this. Monuments removed. Plaques taken down. Universities denouncing and removing memorabilia of those who founded the universities. The white ethnicities demonized beyond repair as racists, oppressors, exploiters. When I look at the Western World, I see the passing of truth as it leaves going to where? Where does truth go when it is no longer allowed? Does it simply cease to exist? Does it reappear elsewhere? If only I could have had this discussion with David Ray Griffin.

Professor Griffin gave us, if memory serves, 10 books or more about the 9/11 and anthrax deceptions that were used to commit the US to the utter ruin of its reputation with its falsely based wars in the Middle East. In his posthumous book, America on the Brink (Clarity Press, 2023), Griffin notes that America’s neoconservative foreign policy is bringing us to nuclear confrontation with Russia. Griffin points out that the neoconservatives’ notion of American hegemony over the world has origins in the 1845 idea of America’s “manifest destiny.” This destiny spread from the US where it destroyed the Confederacy and the Plains Indians to Mexico, South America, the West Indies, and Canada. In 1850 an American newspaper editor declared that the American empire extended to the “gates of the Chinese empire which must be thrown down.” Moreover, declared the editor, “the American eagle of the republic shall poise itself over the field of Waterloo” and the successor of George Washington must “ascend the chair of universal empire.”

So, Empire is the answer. But is it? When foreign policy is based on bribing and intimidating other countries, diplomacy becomes the application of force. For the United States to impose its hegemony on other countries and to be always at war raises questions whether the United States is a democracy, or whether the soul that the Founding Fathers attempted to implant in the new country was ejected early in its history. The neoconservatives justify US hegemony on the grounds of their claim that the US is “benevolent” and its imperial power is benign. But as David Ray Griffin points out, after Iran, Cuba, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Panama, Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia, and Ukraine, and, of course Venezuela, Julian Assange, and others, the world sees nothing benevolent or benign in Washington.

Instead, the world sees systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless crimes and has come to regard America as the greatest danger to the world. Indeed, America is seen as the embodiment of evil. This has eroded American leadership and has resulted in other power centers disengaging from the Washington-dominated Western World, leaving Washington with aspirations in excess of its capability. The inability of America to accept its scaled-down position is leading to nuclear war.

Read more …

“I literally handed the FBI a film of myself committing felonies, and not a peep. I don’t know how he does it, that doddering old weirdo!”

For Father’s Day, Hunter Negotiates 12% For The Big Guy (BBee)

In a touching Father’s Day gesture, Hunter Biden has negotiated for twelve percent of incoming bribes from foreign governments to go to his Dad. “It means the world to me,” said an emotional President Biden. “Well, more accurately, it means about $2.3 million in my bank account.” According to White House sources, Hunter wanted to do something extra special this year to show President Biden how much he appreciated being shielded from DOJ investigations. “Dad really came through this year,” said Hunter. “I literally handed the FBI a film of myself committing felonies, and not a peep. I don’t know how he does it, that doddering old weirdo! Anyhow, ‘The Big Guy’ has earned himself an extra two percent of my bribery — er, consulting money.”


Hunter Biden will also reportedly take his father out for a nice Father’s Day lunch at the Han Palace. “It will be nice to have a quiet lunch with just me, Dad, and several high-level members of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Hunter. “I did request they bring in some different waitresses for our lunch though. Last time it was super disappointing – nothing but yellows.” At publishing time, President Biden had declined a Father’s Day call from one of his grandkids, as he wasn’t sure if it was from the one he pretends doesn’t exist.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eagle

 

 

Firebird
https://twitter.com/i/status/1670356102360211456

 

 


The Oxford Electric Bell has been running for 180+ years thanks to a battery that no one knows what it’s made of. The exact composition is unknown, but it is known that they were protected with molten sulfur to isolate them and are believed to be Zamboni cells.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 062023
 


Jules Adolphe Breton The Song of the Lark 1884

 

Hydroelectric Dam In Kherson Partially Destroyed – Mayor (RT)
Ukraine Launches Its Counterattack (MoA)
Ukraine ‘Well Prepared’ For Counteroffensive – Top US General Milley (RT)
NATO Unprepared To Fight Russia – Former US General (RT)
Kiev Renews Offensive In Donbass For 2nd Day – Russian Official (RT)
Ukraine To Forgo F-16s In Summer Counteroffensive: Defense Minister (Az.)
Wagner Captures Russian Commander As Prigozhin Feud With Army Escalates (G.)
Kiev Denies Death Of Intel Chief (RT)
Russian Governor Reacts To Kiev-Backed Militants’ Demand For Meeting (RT)
Polish Militants Claim Involvement In Attack On Russia (RT)
Ukraine Operates Network Of Saboteurs Inside Russia – CNN (RT)
Russia Sees No Prospects For Further Extension Of Grain Deal (TASS)
Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History (NYT)
Should Beijing Shoulder Some Of The Local Governments’ Debts? (SCMP)
Ice Shelves Surrounding Antarctica Grew In Overall Size From 2009-2019 (DS)

 

 

 

 

Comey

 

 

McCain
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665614106634645504

 

 

 

 

Comer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665769178442383360

 

 

Musk RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665891058218049539

 

 

 

 

Zlatti71: Overnight (Sun-Mon), losses of the enemy in the Zaporozhye Direction and Southern Donetsk Region amounted to nearly 17APCS, 11IFVS, 9 Tanks, and beyond 900+ personnel. The advance of the enemy was only 700 metres near Velkya Novoselika; the enemy attempted to go on the offensive in Avdeevka however suffered significant losses and retreated.

In the Ugledarisky and Pobjeda (Marinskoye Tactical Region); the AFU attempted to probe the villages around Pobjeda; suffered losses amounting to nearly 250 personnel and 8 vehicles and retreated. On the Ugledarisky Tactical Region, the AFU attempted to probe the villages of Myliske and Pavlovka, however, suffered losses amounting to 13 vehicles (5 SMVs and 8 IFVs and APCs) and around 5 tanks.

In total, losses are nearing 2,000 personnel and almost 45 destroyed vehicles from one night of attack. Battles continue today, as the AFU is attempting another large-scale probing attack. Western vehicles are involved.

 

 

 

 

Michael Tracey: “Another round of “Russia keeps blowing up its own critical infrastructure for reasons no one can explain.” According to the allegations, Russia’s novel strategy for prosecuting the war is to bomb itself constantly..”

Hydroelectric Dam In Kherson Partially Destroyed – Mayor (RT)

The Kakhovskaya hydroelectric dam in Russia’s Kherson Region, located on the Dnepr River upstream from the city of Kherson, suffered significant damage on Tuesday morning, according to a local official and several videos shared on social media. The upper part of the key infrastructure was “destroyed as a result of a strike,” the mayor of Novaya Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontyev, confirmed to RIA Novosti. While several of the dam’s floodgates were damaged and unleashed an uncontrolled stream of water, the underwater structure itself withstood the attack, the official claimed. Leontyev described the incident as a major “terrorist act” and said the water level downstream had risen by up to 2.5 meters, but added there was no need for evacuations thus far.


He noted that the area has seen higher water levels during previous floods caused by heavy rainfall, but emphasized that local officials were focused on helping citizens as they prepare for a worst-case scenario. “All services work in the city, all administration employees are in place. Electricity, gas, internet, communications are available,” the mayor continued. The dam was reportedly struck around 2am local time. A video captured from a drone has circulated on Telegram, purporting to show the aftermath of the attack, with streams of water seen flowing through the breach. Moscow has repeatedly blamed Kiev for numerous attacks on the Kakhovskaya dam, warning that a breach could result in the deaths of thousands of civilians. In turn, Ukraine has claimed that Russia was planning to blow up the dam in a false-flag operation aimed at framing Kiev for the flooding.

The persistent threat was cited as one of the main reasons for evacuating civilians from certain communities in the area, and an eventual pullout of Russian forces from the city of Kherson to the left bank of the Dnepr River. Russian military and civilian officials, including acting Kherson Governor Vladimir Saldo, warned at the time that many areas in the region, including the city of Kherson, could be flooded if the Kakhovskaya dam were destroyed. Kherson Region was officially declared part of Russia in early October, together with Zaporozhye Region and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, after people in those territories overwhelmingly supported the move in referendums. Kiev and its Western backers have labeled the votes a “sham” and vowed to recapture the territories using any means necessary.


Ukraine considered blowing up the dam to paralyze Russian forces who were defending the city of Kherson – and even “conducted a test strike with a HIMARS launcher on one of the floodgates” – a former head of Ukraine’s Operational Command South, Major General Andrey Kovalchuk, admitted in an interview with the Washington Post in December.

Dam

Read more …

“..three lines of well prepared positions ten kilometer apart from each other. Each line consists of tank obstacles, mine belts, prepared anti-tank positions to monitor and counter potential breach attempts..”

“..Two days fighting with such losses would destroy a brigade’s battle capability. 24 days with such losses would in effect destroy the entire fist of 12 brigades UkrAF has gathered for the counteroffensive..”

Ukraine Launches Its Counterattack (MoA)

The long announced Ukrainian counter offensive has started. New Ukrainian units, never seen before, have come to the front. The attack was launched by Ukraine for political reasons under pressure from its ‘western’ sponsors. Militarily it is unlikely to become successful but it will eat away at whatever is left of Ukraine’s military capabilities. Attacks happened all around the front. In the north towards Belgograd, to the east and, with the most forces, towards the south. There was so far little to no success in any of the attacks. The daily report by the Russian Ministry of Defense list as Ukrainian losses over the last 24 hours 910 soldiers, 16 tanks, 33 armored combat vehicles/infantry fighting vehicle and some 30 trucks. So far only the most forward positions of Russian troops have been attacked. There are two to three well organized defense lines behind those. The Russians can fall back whenever needed and let the artillery and air force destroy their oncoming enemies.


As I wrote previously about any attacks in the direction of Tokmak and Melitopol: “From the point of strategic value the chosen target is the right one. However, it is also the one where the Russian military has prepared its strongest defense lines. In military books this is known as ‘echeloned defense’ with three lines of well prepared positions ten kilometer apart from each other. Each line consists of tank obstacles, mine belts, prepared anti-tank positions to monitor and counter potential breach attempts and well prepared artillery support from behind the next defense line. To crack such a nut without air support and without significant artillery advantage is nearly impossible.


Source: @Inkvisiit, Scribblemaps

There may still come larger attacks in other directions. But how many could there be? As a former Swedish officer notes:

“June 4th UkrAF scaled up offensive operations on the Southern Front, but the losses are too high for long time success. Earlier operations were mainly reconnaissance in force with platoon and company sized combat groups. Yesterday the Ukrainian forces seemed to be battalion sized combat groups. According to Russian MoD 8 UkrAF battalions was involved in offensive operations SE of Mala Tokmachka (1), at the Vremivka salient (2) and East of Vuhledar towards Velikonovoselovka (3). The fighting was intense, but on most places Ukrainian forces was turned back, mainly by intense Russian artillery and air attacks. On some places UkrAF succeeded in capturing a couple of hundred meters. [If the Russian numbers are true], the prospects for a Ukrainian counteroffensive looks very dim.

This is even if we don’t take into account the ongoing intense Russian air and artillery offensive against UkrAF troop concentrations, ammunition and fuel depots. With losses of over 1000 KIA and WIA that means that a Ukrainian brigade of 4000 man loose at least 25 percent of its manpower. That’s on the brink of making a brigade unusable. Two days fighting with such losses would destroy a brigade’s battle capability. 24 days with such losses would in effect destroy the entire fist of 12 brigades UkrAF has gathered for the counteroffensive. With losses of around 12 brigades, 25 000 KIA/WIA, 250 tanks and 1000 IFVs/APCs all the strategic reserves UkrAF has built during the last 6 months would be gone. In exchange the Ukrainian side could have advanced maybe 10 km on some places or more generally 2-3 km along maybe half the southern front. Once again, IF the Russian claims are true, RuAF must feel relieved and UkrAF very worried by the results of the fighting on the Southern front June 4th.”

I strongly suspect that the Russian military will let the Ukrainian attacks run their course to then launch its own larger scale attacks against weakened Ukrainian defenses.

Read more …

“Milley has repeatedly stated that Ukraine is unlikely to achieve its goals – which include seizing Crimea – by military force..”

Ukraine ‘Well Prepared’ For Counteroffensive – Top US General Milley (RT)

Ukraine is “very well prepared” for its long-anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told CNN on Monday. However, Ukrainian forces suffered heavy losses in a multi-pronged attack earlier in the day, and Milley cautioned that it’s “too early to tell”if the offensive will achieve its goals. Citing the “training, ammunition, advice, intelligence, etc” provided to Kiev by its Western backers, Milley claimed that Ukraine is “very well prepared” to retake territory from Russian forces. Ukrainian officials have promised for months to launch a counteroffensive, which was initially set to take place in spring. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed on multiple occasions that his military was “ready” for the anticipated push, but walked back these statements by saying that he needed more time, and Western weapons, to prepare for the operation.

Throughout this preparatory period, Ukraine reportedly lost around 50,000 servicemen in the battle for the Donbass city of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, as Russian missiles and drones continuously pounded ammunition dumps, fuel depots, and command centers, often deep into Western Ukraine. Amid mixed messages from Kiev and with its combat potential seemingly degraded by the fighting in Artyomovsk, the Ukrainian military launched what appeared to be the beginning of a counteroffensive on Sunday. Throughout Sunday and into Monday morning, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that Kiev’s forces attacked with six mechanized and two tank battalions along five sections of the frontline near Donetsk, and in other regions to the north and south.


The Russian military repelled the attacks with airstrikes and artillery fire, inflicting “significant losses”on the Ukrainians, the ministry said. According to Moscow, Ukraine has lost around 900 soldiers, 16 tanks, and 33 armored vehicles across the entire frontline since Sunday. Milley has repeatedly stated that Ukraine is unlikely to achieve its goals – which include seizing Crimea – by military force. Speaking to CNN on Monday, he continued to hedge his bets, saying that it is “too early to tell what outcomes are going to happen.”

Read more …

Whatever:

“Morawiecki claimed earlier this year that Moscow would follow its campaign in Ukraine with “the next offensive, potentially on the Baltic states, or Finland, or Poland, or Romania or Moldova, any other country bordering.”

NATO Unprepared To Fight Russia – Former US General (RT)

NATO would not be able to move troops and equipment eastwards fast enough to stop a hypothetical Russian invasion of Europe, a retired US general has warned. “Being faster than the Russians to get to a critical place is the only metric that matters for effective deterrence, and we still can’t do that,” Ben Hodges, a former commander of US Army Europe, told the Washington Post on Monday. “Military mobility is still a problem. It is better than it was five years ago, but that’s not the metric that matters.” Almost one year earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the bloc would increase its number of high-readiness troops from 40,000 to 300,000, without explaining which countries would provide these soldiers or pay for their deployment.

All NATO has said is that 100,000 will be deployable within ten days and the rest within a month. Estonian officials are unhappy with the arrangement, the newspaper reported, and are seeking guarantees that reinforcements would arrive “not when Russian aggression starts, but from the moment we see the first indicators and warnings,” Estonian military chief Gen. Martin Herem told the Post. “If you look at a map, then how much of Estonia and for how long will we have to cede territory?” before NATO troops would arrive, Herem asked. No matter how prepared the troops are, Hodges noted that NATO would struggle to get heavy equipment to the battlefield to back them up, as there are not enough bridges and tunnels wide enough to transport armored vehicles throughout Europe, nor enough train cars to carry them.

Some countries also doubt the commitment of their allies. Until NATO leaders work out a plan to field Stoltenberg’s promised 300,000 troops, soldiers are stationed along Russia’s borders under bilateral agreements. Germany leads a NATO battle group in Lithuania, but has opposed the creation of a permanent brigade there. This has led the Lithuanians to worry that if war were to break out, political disagreement in Berlin could delay the arrival of reinforcements, former NATO assistant secretary general Camille Grand told the Post.

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly claimed that Russian forces will continue to press into Europe unless Kiev is given enough Western weapons to fend them off, while Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed earlier this year that Moscow would follow its campaign in Ukraine with “the next offensive, potentially on the Baltic states, or Finland, or Poland, or Romania or Moldova, any other country bordering.” The Kremlin has never expressed any intention of striking NATO territory, a move that would instantly bring Russia into war with the entire alliance. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against deepening its involvement in the conflict by supplying arms to Kiev, arguing that doing so will prolong the fighting while making NATO members de-facto participants.

Ukr Bollywood

Read more …

Sounds costly.

Kiev Renews Offensive In Donbass For 2nd Day – Russian Official (RT)

Ukrainian forces are attempting a major push against Russian troops for a second day, Vladimir Rogov, a Zaporozhye Region administration official, reported on Monday. The first effort on Sunday was repelled, with Kiev losing some 250 people and over a dozen tanks, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The offensive began near the village of Vremevka in Donetsk Region early on Monday morning, Rogov said on social media. He assessed the maneuver as being better organized and involving more Ukrainian troops than the assault on Sunday. Kiev has long promised to launch a major counteroffensive against Russia. However, in recent weeks Ukrainian officials have explained delays by claiming that the country needs more Western weapons first. The operation on Sunday was described as “large-scale” yet “unsuccessful” by the Russian military.


The attack, which was carried out by Ukraine’s 23rd and 31st Mechanized Brigades, was repelled, the Defense Ministry reported, adding that Kiev lost more than 250 service members, 16 tanks, three infantry vehicles, and 21 armored vehicles in the clashes. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky confirmed to the Wall Street Journal last week that his army was ready to commence the much-touted counteroffensive, claiming he expected it to be a success. His government considers the full takeover of all lands lost to Russia as the only acceptable result of the conflict. The US and its allies have pledged to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. Moscow has described the hostilities as part of Washington’s proxy war against Russia. Russian officials have also said that by pumping weapons into Ukraine Western nations are simply prolonging the conflict but will not be able to change the outcome.

Read more …

Somehow we seamlessly moved into Summer Counteroffensive.

Ukraine To Forgo F-16s In Summer Counteroffensive: Defense Minister (Az.)

Ukraine’s defense minister says his country will forgo F-16 fighter jets but use all ground-based equipment in its widely anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces this summer, Report informs. Oleksii Reznikov spoke in an exclusive interview with NHK on Sunday in Singapore, where he had joined senior defense officials from Asian and Western nations at a major security forum. When asked about the F-16 jets long coveted by Ukraine, Reznikov said they “will not be game changing this summer.” Some Western countries are training or have offered to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the aircraft.


Reznikov said it will take time to train Ukrainian pilots and that Ukraine will also have to arrange with its partners to secure engineers and technicians who can maintain and repair the sophisticated jets. He said Ukraine would be ready to deploy F-16s in the autumn or winter. Reznikov refused to answer a question about the view that Ukraine had launched “shaping operations,” which involve attacks on weapons storage facilities and other logistics bases to prepare for the counteroffensive.

Read more …

It’s just one drunk commander. Nothing escalated. Or do you think the army likes drunk commanders?

Wagner Captures Russian Commander As Prigozhin Feud With Army Escalates (G.)

Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner group of mercenaries has captured a Russian commander, as the notorious leader further escalates his feud with the regular army. In a video posted on Prigozhin’s social media channels, Lt Col Roman Venevitin, the commander of Russia’s 72nd Brigade, tells an interrogator that, while drunk, he had ordered his troops to fire on a Wagner convoy. In the footage, which resembled clips of prisoner of war soldiers, Venevitin said he acted because of his “personal dislike” for Wagner and then apologised. Last week, Prigozhin accused the Russian army of trying to blow up his men as they were pulling back from the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut.

The businessman, who is best known as “Putin’s chef” because of his catering contracts with the Kremlin, also claimed his men had discovered explosives, which he said were planted on purpose by defence ministry officials. The Russian ministry of defence has yet to comment on the footage. Two close family members of Venevitin confirmed to the Guardian that the man filmed in the video was their relative. Prigozhin, who has been arguing with top military officials for months, announced last week that his troops had largely pulled back from Bakhmut, most of which they captured last month after taking heavy casualties. The city is now believed to be controlled by the regular Russian forces.


The latest incident again exposes the rifts in Moscow’s war machine. It also comes amid an increase in fighting along the frontlines in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions, leading to speculation that Kyiv has launched its much-anticipated counteroffensive. Some nationalist pro-war commentators said Wagner’s arrest of a senior Russian soldier attested to Prigozhin’s growing influence within the Kremlin. “Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose subordinates posted a video in which they mock a senior officer and an entire brigade commander … is allowed to do whatever he wants. He is considered as the highest caste!” Igor Strelkov, a retired Russian special operations officer and popular military blogger, wrote on his Telegram channel.

Read more …

Now both Zaluzhny and Budanov have disappeared from the radar. Why would they? And what’s the link to the new high precision satellite system Scott Ritter was talking about?

Kiev Denies Death Of Intel Chief (RT)

Officials in Kiev have dismissed recent media reports about the alleged death of Kirill Budanov, the head of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), as a Russian “disinformation” attempt. The Ukrainian spymaster has not made any public appearances for around a week. The last time Budanov appeared in public was in video published by the GUR on May 29, a day before a Russian missile strike on Ukrainian “decision-making centers.” Since then, the GUR has only published a written statement by Budanov on June 4 but has not posted any official videos of him. Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed in late May that the GUR headquarters was one of the targets of the Russian strike. The Russian Defense Ministry said that all of the “designated targets” had been successfully hit.

The strikes came in response to a Ukrainian drone attack targeting Moscow earlier the same day. Several residential buildings were damaged in the attack, with two people suffering minor injuries. The Defense Ministry described the drone raid as a terrorist attack staged by the “Kiev regime.” The ‘Center for Countering Disinformation’ run by the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council said that all the reports about Budanov’s alleged death are “fakes” aimed at “sowing panic” among Ukrainians. It did not provide any evidence to disprove the reports or make any statements about Budanov’s whereabouts. In May, Budanov vowed to “keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of the earth until the complete victory of Ukraine.” He also claimed responsibility for supposedly assassinating “many” Russian public figures, without giving any names though.


The Kremlin subsequently said that Budanov’s words only prove that Russian President Vladimir Putin was right when he launched the Russian military operation in Ukraine. “We are essentially talking about a nation that is a de-facto sponsor of terrorism,” the presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Russian media in mid-May in response to Budanov’s words. RIA Novosti reported earlier that Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, had sustained a severe injury to his head in another Russian strike. The general has not made any public appearances since mid-May. Kiev also branded those reports as fake. Zaluzhny’s Telegram channel has since said he held two phone conversations with top US officials but has posted no new videos of him.

Read more …

“He branded the RDK and the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ militants as “scoundrels, bastards, murderers and fascists..”

Russian Governor Reacts To Kiev-Backed Militants’ Demand For Meeting (RT)

Belgorod Region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Sunday that he was ready to meet the leader of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), a neo-Nazi group of Russian nationals fighting for Kiev, if the militants return two of Moscow’s soldiers that were shown as captives in a recent video. “If [the Russian soldiers] are alive, [I’ll be at] the automobile border-crossing point Shebekino between 17:00 and 18:00,” Gladkov said in a video address published on his Telegram channel. He was referring to a border crossing separating Russia’s Belgorod Region from Ukraine’s territory. The governor was responding to a video published by the RDK and the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ – two neo-Nazi groups that previously claimed responsibility for several incursions into Russia this spring. Footage published by the militants shows them standing next to two Russian POWs, with one of them apparently injured.

Denis Nikitin, the RDK leader, claimed on the video that his fighters had entered the town of Novaya Tavolzhanka in Belgorod Region and offered to meet Gladkov in a local church “for a talk” in exchange for the POWs’ release. Gladkov said the fate of “our boys that are at the hands” of the militants was the only thing that prevented him from outright dismissing the militants’ offer. He branded the RDK and the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ militants as “scoundrels, bastards, murderers and fascists,” blaming them for civilian deaths. Later on Sunday, the defense ministry in Moscow said its troops and border guards had successfully repelled an attack by a sabotage group that had sought to enter Russian territory from Ukraine. The militants attempted to cross a river near Novaya Tavolzhanka but were struck with artillery and dispersed. The militants then had to fall back to Ukrainian territory, the ministry’s statement added.


A previous incursion by the RDK took place in late May. The attack left one civilian dead and 12 people injured, the Russian authorities said at that time. The Russian Defense Ministry announced in the wake of the raid that “over 70 Ukrainian terrorists, four armored combat vehicles, and five pickup trucks” had been destroyed in the militants’ clash with the Russian forces. Photos and videos released by the Russian ministry showed Western armored vehicles and equipment used by the Kiev-backed militants before being destroyed by the Russian troops. The Pentagon and the US State Department expressed doubts regarding the authenticity of the images. The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the sabotage group had used equipment and small arms provided by several NATO nations, including the US.

Read more …

“..the group collaborated with the Russian Volunteer Corps, a neo-Nazi unit of Russian nationals fighting on behalf of Ukraine under the authority of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry..”

Polish Militants Claim Involvement In Attack On Russia (RT)

Polish militants fighting for Ukraine released a statement on Sunday claiming their involvement in an attack on Russia’s Belgorod Region. The announcement, accompanied by alleged photo and video evidence, was shared on social media accounts of the so-called “Polish Volunteer Corps.” The statement appears to refer to an incursion by saboteurs into the Grayvoron District of Belgorod Region, which took place on May 22. The “Polish Volunteer Corps” said it unequivocally confirmed its role in the operation, stating that the group collaborated with the Russian Volunteer Corps, a neo-Nazi unit of Russian nationals fighting on behalf of Ukraine under the authority of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. In a bid to prove its role in the May 22 raid, fighters from the Polish Volunteer Corps shared videos, in which they can be seen with Ukrainian T-72B tanks, American HMMWV armored vehicles, and Mi-8 helicopters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The governor of Belgorod Region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, also mentioned the presence of Polish citizens among the saboteurs. On his Telegram channel, he recounted the story of a woman, whose husband – a member of the local self-defense forces – was killed in front of her. According to Gladkov, the woman was held captive by two Ukrainians, and she stated that the other group members were Poles and Americans. Previously, the Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry discussed the involvement of the “Russian Volunteer Corps” and members of the “Freedom of Russia” legion in the Belgorod Region operation.


However, the “Russian Volunteer Corps” issued a statement on Sunday denying that members of the “Polish Volunteer Corps” had crossed the Russian border. The group claimed on social media that their Polish fellow combatants were involved in tasks such as prisoner escort, along with military and medical logistics, but strictly within the borders of Ukraine. Warsaw has insisted it has nothing to do with the Polish militants fighting for Kiev. “The activities of Polish volunteers supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russia should not be identified with the authorities of the Republic of Poland”, said Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesman for the coordinating minister of the country’s special services.

Read more …

That’s obvious.

Ukraine Operates Network Of Saboteurs Inside Russia – CNN (RT)

Ukraine has cultivated a network of well-trained agents and Ukrainian sympathizers inside Russia to perform acts of sabotage across the country, CNN has reported, citing officials familiar with US intelligence. Kiev is believed to have provided those people with Ukrainian-made drones in order to stage attacks on Russian territory, the outlet claimed in an article published on Monday. The unnamed US officials also told CNN that those pro-Ukrainian agents were responsible for an attempted drone attack on the Kremlin in early May and that the UAVs used in it were launched from inside Russia.

At the time, two drones were disabled by air defenses while trying to strike the historic fortified complex in central Moscow. Ukrainian officials denied being involved, but Moscow labeled the incident “a pre-planned terrorist act” and an attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s life by Kiev. CNN’s sources couldn’t say if those saboteur cells had anything to do with another drone attack on Moscow that took place last Tuesday. Several residential buildings in the capital were damaged in the raid, with two people suffering minor injuries. Three of the incoming drones were suppressed by electronic warfare measures, while five others were shot down by air defenses, according to the Russian military.


Two officials told CNN that Ukraine had been delivering whole UAVs and spare parts to build them to its agents via smuggling routes that had been allegedly established in Russia by Kiev. The issue of who is controlling those saboteurs is a “murky” one, according to CNN. However, it pointed out that US officials believed some agents within Ukraine’s intelligence community were involved in these attacks. Following the drone strike in Moscow a week ago, Putin accused Ukraine of “terrorist activity,” as well as trying to provoke Russia to come up with a tit-for-tat response.

Read more …

Russia can ship it all to Africa by itself. But Ukraine cannot.

Russia Sees No Prospects For Further Extension Of Grain Deal (TASS)

Russia sees no prospects for extending the grain deal again, but consultations with UN representatives on existing agreements continue, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told reporters on Monday. When asked by TASS about the chances of extending the grain deal he replied: “We do not see them, but we continue, of course, consultations with UN representatives on both parts of those package agreements that, as you know, were signed in July last year.” The diplomat stressed that Ukraine has been putting forward various conditions for the implementation of the grain deal, which has already brought the situation to a standstill. “We have said several times that ammonia is included in the agreements that were signed in Istanbul. This implies that it should be exported and sold as a mutually beneficial commercial transaction.


Unfortunately, putting forward various kinds of requirements, as Kiev does, is very bad, and has already brought the situation to a standstill,” the deputy foreign minister said. Vershinin also recalled that the Russian side proceeds from the fact that “the concluded and existing agreements must be implemented in full.” “This means – without distortions in one direction or the other,” he stressed. The senior diplomat also announced that the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul has resumed ship inspections under the grain deal. “As far as we know, the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul is working to overcome all the problems that arise, based on the procedural rules that were unanimously approved last year. It is assumed that there will be a consensus solution to emerging problems. Now these inspections are being resumed,” he said.

Read more …

Note: I don’t subscribe to the NYT or any other outlet. That would go against the idea of being open to and for everyone: accept no paywalls anywhere. Through a mirror site, though, is OK. That’s also how I can do RT etc. Either post the entire article or make sure it’s available via a mirror site.

As for this NYT piece: Yeah, why not compare the Confederate flag with the swastika? No shame.

“Wearing Nazi symbols helps our enemies spread lies about our friends being Nazis — NY Times”

Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History (NYT)

Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Ukrainian government and NATO allies have posted, then quietly deleted, three seemingly innocuous photographs from their social media feeds: a soldier standing in a group, another resting in a trench and an emergency worker posing in front of a truck. In each photograph, Ukrainians in uniform wore patches featuring symbols that were made notorious by Nazi Germany and have since become part of the iconography of far-right hate groups. The photographs, and their deletions, highlight the Ukrainian military’s complicated relationship with Nazi imagery, a relationship forged under both Soviet and German occupation during World War II. That relationship has become especially delicate because Russian President Vladimir Putin has falsely declared Ukraine to be a Nazi state, a claim he has used to justify his illegal invasion.

Ukraine has worked for years through legislation and military restructuring to contain a fringe far-right movement whose members proudly wear symbols steeped in Nazi history and espouse views hostile to leftists, LGBTQ movements and ethnic minorities. But some members of these groups have been fighting Russia since the Kremlin illegally annexed part of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014 and are now part of the broader military structure. Some are regarded as national heroes, even as the far-right remains marginalized politically. The iconography of these groups, including a skull-and-crossbones patch worn by concentration camp guards and a symbol known as the Black Sun, now appears with some regularity on the uniforms of soldiers fighting on the front line, including soldiers who say the imagery symbolizes Ukrainian sovereignty and pride, not Nazism.

In the short term, that threatens to reinforce Putin’s propaganda and giving fuel to his false claims that Ukraine must be “de-Nazified” — a position that ignores the fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish. More broadly, Ukraine’s ambivalence about these symbols, and sometimes even its acceptance of them, risks giving new, mainstream life to icons that the West has spent more than a half-century trying to eliminate. “What worries me, in the Ukrainian context, is that people in Ukraine who are in leadership positions, either they don’t or they’re not willing to acknowledge and understand how these symbols are viewed outside of Ukraine,” said Michael Colborne, a researcher at the investigative group Bellingcat who studies the international far right. “I think Ukrainians need to increasingly realize that these images undermine support for the country.” In a statement, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that, as a country that suffered greatly under German occupation, “We emphasize that Ukraine categorically condemns any manifestations of Nazism.”

So far, the imagery has not eroded international support for the war. It has, however, left diplomats, Western journalists and advocacy groups in a difficult position: Calling attention to the iconography risks playing into Russian propaganda. Saying nothing allows it to spread. Even Jewish groups and anti-hate organizations that have traditionally called out hateful symbols have stayed largely silent. Privately, some leaders have worried about being seen as embracing Russian propaganda talking points. Questions over how to interpret such symbols are as divisive as they are persistent, and not just in Ukraine. In the American South, some have insisted that today, the Confederate flag symbolizes pride, not its history of racism and secession. The swastika was an important Hindu symbol before it was co-opted by the Nazis.

Read more …

Major “growth” engine. But always problematic.

Should Beijing Shoulder Some Of The Local Governments’ Debts? (SCMP)

China’s local government debt crisis is approaching a tipping point as concerns over city and county government default risks mount and Beijing’s willingness to offer enough support to avert a meltdown is questioned. Late last month, Kunming, capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan, denied online reports that its local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) were having difficulty repaying debt after one of them was involved in a last-minute scramble to repay 2 billion yuan (US$282.3 million) on May 21. LGFVs were created to aid off-budget financing, especially for infrastructure spending, but weak disclosure requirements have led to concerns about hidden debt risks.

In April, a government think tank in Guizhou warned that the province, which neighbours Yunnan, could not manage its debt on its own and needed help from the central government. The report was subsequently removed by censors. Over the past few years, Beijing has stepped up its supervision of local government debt in a bid to curb risks and has said that local governments should not count on a state bailout. But Yu Yongding, a prominent economist and former central bank adviser, said the central government’s approach of relying on local governments to sort out their debt problems was wrong. “Local governments are the offspring of the central government, and the central government must also assume certain responsibilities,” Yu wrote in a blog post published on May 4 by the Economists 50 Forum, a Chinese think tank.

“Importantly, resolving local government debt should not lead to a further decline in economic growth. Of course, moral hazard cannot be encouraged. Those who are directly responsible for causing the deterioration of local debts should also bear corresponding responsibilities.” Yu estimated that the central government only contributed around 0.1 per cent of infrastructure spending, compared to nearly 60 per cent by LGFVs, which incurred higher borrowing costs. Hu Jie, a former senior economist at the US Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and now a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said the ratio of local debt to gross domestic product (GDP) in many provinces was already “too high”.

And deleveraging “too quickly” might trigger a series of defaults, Hu told the Shanghai-based news website guancha.cn in an interview published at the end of last month. “But when a local government has problems and cannot clean up the mess, the central government cannot stay out of it,” Hu said. There are no official figures for local governments’ off-balance sheet borrowing but most estimates indicate it has been growing.

Read more …

After the Covid “The Science” debacle, we must be sceptical here too.

Ice Shelves Surrounding Antarctica Grew In Overall Size From 2009-2019 (DS)

The ice shelves surrounding Antarctica grew in overall size during the 11 years to 2019, according to dramatic new evidence published by three climate scientists from the University of Leeds. The growth was significant with overall shelf area increasing by 5,305 km2, adding 0.4% to the total shelf area in the 11 years under review. The paper has just been published by the influential European Geosciences Union, but it raises questions within the ‘settled’ climate science narrative, so it is highly unlikely to be covered by mainstream media.

The Leeds researchers looked at satellite data to measure the annual calving position and area of 34 ice sheets accounting for 80% of the Antarctica coastline. They found reductions in the area on the Antarctica Peninsula and West Antarctica of 6,693 km2 and 5,563 km2 respectively were outweighed by growth in East Antarctica of 3,532 km2 and 14,028 km2 in the large Ross and Ronne-Filchner ice shelves. The largest retreat occurred on the Larsen C shelf when 5,917 km2 was lost in a single calving event that made alarmist headlines around the world. The largest increase, noted in slightly less media detail, was the 5,889 km2 advance on the Ronne platform.


Ice shelves around the coast of Antarctica play an important role in the cycle of ice production since they often buttress the glaciers behind them. Remove the plug and glaciers can move at a faster rate towards the coast. The shelves show considerable natural variation allowing alarmists to cherry-pick significant collapses into the sea to promote a hypothesis that the overall climate is breaking down. Typical of this coverage was an article by BBC science correspondent Jonathan Amos in 2021 under a ‘climate change’ heading, noting, “The Antarctic ice shelf in the line of fire.” In 2017, i News reported comments broadcast by Sir David Attenborough said to warn that “Antarctica’s melting ice sheets could flood London by end of century”.

The above map displays the ice shelf areas in blue that have increased in size and colours in red those that have decreased. The two large blue areas are the Ross and Ronne-Filchner areas. Little loss is shown over the east of the continent with deficits concentrated in the West. In total, 18 ice shelves are said to have retreated and 16 larger platforms have grown in area. Overall, the shelves gained 661 giga tonnes of mass over the decade. The scientists note that using a ‘steady’ state process, by which they mean no change in any variable, would produce an estimate of substantial loss over the period. They argue their work demonstrates the importance of using “time-variable calving flux observations to measure change”.


In short, and in less scientific terms, check actual observations, and ignore make-believe computer models, and the resulting stories published by climate alarmists promoting the collectivist Net Zero project. It is not a surprise that ice shelves are currently thinning in parts of West Antarctica. The area is riddled with buried volcanos, with the recent discovery of another 91 bringing the known total to 138. Across the West Antarctica Rift System, their heights range from 300-12,600 ft. In addition, areas around the Thwaites-Pine Island-Pope glacier have a thin Earth crust causing one group of scientists to note that the “elevated geothermal heat flow band” is exerting a “profound influence on the flow dynamics of the Western Antarctica Ice Sheet”.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665566489527693313

 

 

Argentina TV
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665377678197768193

 

 


“The magnificent facade of Strasbourg Cathedral – what did they know in 1439 that we have forgotten?”

 

 

Twigs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665568374146084864

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 022023
 


Emil Nolde Half Moon Over The Sea 1945

 

Ukraine Calls for Massive Demilitarized Zone Inside of Russia (LI)
Zelensky Demands NATO and EU Membership For Kiev (RT)
Germany Tells Zelensky NATO Can’t Consider Ukrainian Membership Now (RT)
Zelensky Warns Doubts On Ukraine NATO Membership Endanger Europe (Az.)
Netherlands Looks To Buy Dozens More Tanks For Ukraine (RT)
The Guardian View On Vladimir Putin’s War: Terror Without Purpose (G.)
Sanctions Against Russia Failed. I Saw It Firsthand (Scott Ritter)
Black Sea Grain Deal Hits Obstacle – UN (RT)
Ursula von der Leyen’s Name Embroiled In Scandal In Bulgaria (LePoint)
Breadcrumbs From A Buried FBI Source May Lead To A Bigger Biden Scandal (Fed.)
Speaker McCarthy’s Rotten Deal (David Stockman)
A Debt Jubilee of Biblical Proportions Is Coming Soon (IM)
Twitter Head Of Trust & Safety Gone After “Mistake” Banning Documentary (ZH)
FBI Reopens Case Around Julian Assange (IC)
Due To High Crime, Mafia Closes Its Chicago Office (BBee)

 

 

Watch the female cadet

 

 

 

 

Putin rule the world

 

 

 

 

Trump Hannity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664470133748776963

 

 

 

 

BRICS vs G7

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the use of proposing things you know will not happen?

Ukraine Calls for Massive Demilitarized Zone Inside of Russia (LI)

As a condition for ending the war, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky has demanded Russia remove its military forces along its border with Ukraine. Kiev hopes the area within Moscow’s borders will be manned by international forces. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak called for a 100-120 kilometer demilitarized zone within Russia. “It will be necessary to introduce a demilitarization zone of 100-120 km on the territory of Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk, and Rostov republics. Probably with a mandatory international control contingent at the first stage,” he tweeted on Monday. Kiev is seeking to take control over Moscow’s nuclear and missile programs as well.

“Reduction of offensive weapons (missiles with extended range). International conference to organize control over the nuclear arsenal of the [Russian Federation],” Podolyak said in a separate tweet. Podolyak has made other demands of Moscow on the social network during recent days. On Saturday, he stated that the war can only end when the Russian government of Vladimir Putin was removed from power. The adviser added that “there is nothing to talk about with” the current administration in the Kremlin and Putin should be extradited for war crimes. While Kiev makes one-sided proposals for ending the conflict, the Ukrainian army is struggling to regain any of the territory controlled by Moscow.

Russian forces control about 20% of Ukraine, recently capturing Bakhmut after a months-long battle. The Kremlin says it has annexed about five Ukrainian oblasts and it will not return those to Kiev’s control. It seems unlikely Kiev will be able to force Moscow to make concessions demanded by Podolyak. However, the conditions laid out by Zelensky’s adviser could hinder international efforts aimed at ending the war in Ukraine. Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was attempting to build momentum towards a deal, but that was scuttled when Zelensky skipped a meeting with the Brazilian leader. Additionally, a coalition of African nations and China are attempting to work towards a negotiated settlement in the war.

Read more …

No.

Zelensky Demands NATO and EU Membership For Kiev (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky insisted on Thursday that his country needed to be admitted to both the EU and NATO this year, or the West would be failing not just Ukraine, but Moldova, Georgia, Belarus and others. “Russia is afraid of NATO,” Zelensky argued at the summit of the European Political Community, which is being held at Castle Mimi in Bulboaca, Moldova. Moscow, he claimed, “tries to swallow only those who are outside the common security space,” or leave behind “frozen conflicts” like Transnistria. Every European country that borders Russia “should be a full member of the EU and NATO,” Zelensky said. “There are only two alternatives to this: either an open war, or a creeping Russian occupation.”

Admitting Ukraine would send a sign to Moldova, Georgia, and Belarus, he claimed, but “if even Ukrainians, who are proving our commitment to freedom and the values of a united Europe with blood, have not yet heard a clear positive answer about joining the EU and NATO, the hopes of the others are becoming completely illusive.” Both NATO and the EU have long-standing policies of not admitting new members if they are currently engaged in conflicts or have unresolved territorial disputes. Though both blocs have made multiple exceptions for Ukraine since last year, the Germans at least appeared unwilling to cross that line.

“There are clear criteria for membership. You can’t have border conflicts for instance,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday. His foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock – herself an outspoken advocate of Kiev – also argued it was “clear that we cannot talk about new membership in the middle of a war.” On Wednesday, the Financial Times reported that Zelensky had threatened to skip the NATO summit in Lithuania in July unless the bloc gave Kiev the security guarantees he demanded. Russia considers NATO’s eastward expansion to be a threat to its national security, and has cited Ukraine’s aspirations to join the US-led bloc as one of the reasons for the current conflict. The bloc has provided Ukraine with over $100 billion in military aid over the past year, while insisting both that Russia “must lose” and that they are not directly involved.

Read more …

“At the same time, it is clear that we cannot talk about new membership in the middle of a war..”

Germany Tells Zelensky NATO Can’t Consider Ukrainian Membership Now (RT)

Ukraine cannot join NATO while it remains locked in a conflict with Russia, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said. Last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also expressed skepticism about Kiev’s admission into the US-led military bloc. Speaking ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Norwegian capital Oslo on Thursday, Baerbock claimed that the bloc’s doors remain open for potential new members. This applies to Sweden in particular, but also to Ukraine, she said. “At the same time, it is clear that we cannot talk about new membership in the middle of a war,” Baerbock stressed regarding Ukraine’s aspirations.

German Chancellor Scholz said last month that Kiev’s potential NATO membership “doesn’t stand on the agenda anytime soon.” He cited a “whole range of requirements belonging to NATO’s criteria that Ukraine can’t fulfill at present.” The chancellor argued that the bloc should for the time being focus on helping Ukraine to “defend its land” against Russian forces. While some NATO members such as Poland and the Baltic states have long advocated a fast track for Ukraine’s accession, others, including the US and Germany, are reluctant to commit to such a scenario, the Financial Times reported in April.

Citing anonymous sources, the FT claimed on Wednesday that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had “made clear to NATO leaders that he will not attend the Vilnius summit [in July] without concrete security guarantees and a road map for accession.” Kiev formally applied to join the US-led bloc in September 2022, arguing that the collective defense it provides to members would ensure Ukraine’s security against Russia. Moscow, in turn, considers NATO’s eastward expansion to be a threat to its national security, and has cited Ukraine’s aspirations to join the bloc as one of the reasons for the current conflict.

Read more …

The ultimate li(n)e: we protect you.

Zelensky Warns Doubts On Ukraine NATO Membership Endanger Europe (Az.)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned European leaders that any doubts they show before admitting Kyiv into the Nato alliance will embolden Russia to attack more countries, Report informs, citing foreign media. “We must remember that every doubt we show here in Europe is a trench that Russia will definitely try to occupy,” he told a European summit in Moldova. Ukraine is a candidate to join both Nato and the European Union, and Moldova the EU, but some European capitals are wary of setting a formal timeline for membership as Russia’s invasion continues.


But, addressing four dozen European leaders from inside and outside the union and the alliance, the Ukrainian leader warned that delaying a decision would undermine the West’s strength. He complained that if Ukraine and Moldova have no clear path to joining the groupings, vulnerable pro-Western political forces in Belarus and Georgia will be at risk. “Whether these doubts are about vital security steps or doubts about our unity, maybe about our ability to meet the challenges of our time, every doubt brings more insecurity,” he said.

Read more …

But why? Does Rutte think Ukraine can win? Hard to imagine. Does he know Ukrainians will get killed? Of course he does.

Netherlands Looks To Buy Dozens More Tanks For Ukraine (RT)

Dutch officials are reportedly making plans to buy dozens more Leopard 1 tanks, as well as Patriot missiles, to help boost Ukraine’s firepower in its ongoing conflict with Russia. The Netherlands’ Cabinet aims to purchase Leopards from Swiss state-owned manufacturer Ruag, Dutch online media outlet NL Times reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the plans. The deal will require approval from Switzerland’s government, which has tried to maintain neutrality amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Amsterdam joined with Germany and Denmark in February to buy at least 100 Leopard 1A5 battle tanks for Ukraine from German manufacturers. Swiss newspaper Targes-Anzeiger reported that the Netherlands seeks to buy 96 Leopard 1s, an older version of the tank, from Ruag. At the same time, the Netherlands is looking to provide more Patriot missiles or parts to operate them to help boost Ukraine’s air defenses, the NL Times said.


The NATO member previously gave Kiev two Patriot launchers and a number of missiles. “We are looking very closely at what we can still do,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday after arriving in Moldova for a summit of European leaders. However, he added that given the Netherlands’ own security needs, “you can’t deliver everything you’ve got.” He called for more countries to join the coalition of nations supplying Patriot missiles to Ukraine. German lawmakers last week approved the purchase of 18 Leopard 2A8 tanks and 12 Panzerhaubitze 2000 howitzers to replace weapons stockpiles that were sent to Kiev. The deal reportedly includes an option to buy 105 additional Leopards. Berlin’s latest aid package for Ukraine includes 30 Leopard 1 tanks. Ukraine has repeatedly said that the supply of foreign heavy weapons is crucial for the success of its planned counteroffensive. Moscow, meanwhile, has warned that the Western-delivered tanks and other systems would be treated as legitimate targets on the battlefield.

Read more …

Wow. Talk about propaganda.

The Guardian View On Vladimir Putin’s War: Terror Without Purpose (G.)

Vladimir Putin has never been honest with the Russian people about the war in Ukraine. He lied about the scale of the invasion and the reasons for it. The deception is sustained with propaganda and repression. Outlawing the truth has kept the reality of war mostly out of sight, which is a condition of public acquiescence. That doesn’t mean that millions would rise up against their government if confronted with the true horror of what is being done to Ukraine in their name. The bellicose cult is well embedded in Russian society. But it is easier to support a war that unfolds on television than one that can be heard flying overhead, which is why drone strikes against targets in Moscow this week have rattled the Kremlin. Ukraine denies involvement in the attack, as it does automatically when military operations cross Russia’s borders, in deference to Kyiv’s western allies who are made uncomfortable by such bold incursions.

There were also reports on Wednesday of a fire at an oil refinery in the southern Russian Krasnodar region, started by a drone. The raid on Moscow caused little damage but plenty of alarm, which is the point. Getting the war within visible range of ordinary Russians is embarrassing for Mr Putin. It undermines his aura of control. It is harder to pretend things didn’t happen when people can see them from their windows. Most analysts interpret these attacks as part of a disorientation strategy, forcing the Kremlin to divert resources and attention away from the frontline in advance of a Ukrainian counteroffensive to recapture occupied territory. The same applies to the murkier business of raids across the Ukrainian border into Russia’s Belgorod region, carried out by far-right, anti-Putin Russian militias.

The fog of war is dense, with Ukrainian strategists cultivating uncertainty to unsettle Russian defences and Russian lines of command, tangled amid factional bickering in Moscow and between rival commanders on the ground. That makes it all the more important to keep a focus on core facts and moral imperatives: Ukraine is the victim of an unprovoked invasion by forces whose primary tactic is terrorising the civilian population into submission by means of indiscriminate murder and destruction. This campaign of atrocity has not succeeded, because Ukrainians have shown heroic fortitude and ingenuity on an epic scale. Also, they have been armed for that endeavour by western governments, which had to balance fear of escalation with a realistic appraisal of the character of Mr Putin’s regime, and the threat he posed to European peace if unchecked.

Russia did not start its territorial aggression against Ukraine in 2022, but eight years earlier, in Crimea. Mr Putin did not stop there because Russia wanted to have complete dominance over the domestic and foreign policy orientation of the government in Kyiv. He gambled that the west would look away again. Thankfully, the Russian president was mistaken. He thought then that Russia’s appetite for carnage, even from a losing position, would outlast western solidarity with Ukraine. That too turns out to be a miscalculation, so far. Without a follow-up strategy, Mr Putin’s war is sustained by his monstrous pride, readiness to sacrifice conscript soldiers for no measurable purpose and a political apparatus that allows him to cover up his failures. Those conditions make Russia’s position look solid. But they could turn out to be brittle, as long as Ukraine’s allies stand firm.

Read more …

“The Russian economy currently retains its rank as the 11th in the world, based upon standard gross domestic product (GDP) comparisons. However, when one converts Russia’s $1.78 trillion GDP using the “basket of goods” formulation of purchasing power parity (PPP) (i.e., what similar goods cost in the United States versus Russia), Russia’s actual economic strength converts to $4.80 trillion, making it the world’s sixth largest economy, surpassing all but China, the US, India, Japan, and Germany.”

Sanctions Against Russia Failed. I Saw It Firsthand (Scott Ritter)

I just returned from a month-long visit to Russia, during which time I had the opportunity to see a dozen different cities covering nearly the entire expanse of the Russian Federation. Prior to my departure, I was filling up the tank of my car, when I noticed a sticker on the gas pump. The sticker portrayed a smiling Joe Biden, the President of the United States, gesturing to his right. Underneath the image were printed the words, “I did this!” [..] In January and February 2023, Russia spent 2 trillion rubles ($26 billion) on defense, a 282% jump on the same period a year ago. Far from being unable to replenish its military strength and sustain the conflict in Ukraine, Russia is far outpacing NATO in terms of rushing military material to the frontlines by 4 to 1 in terms of tanks and armored fighting vehicles and 5 to 1 in artillery ammunition.

When calculated with kill ratios that are overwhelmingly in favor of Russia, the fact is that Russia is sapping the strength of NATO and its Ukrainian proxy, while expanding its own. In addition to nearly tripling the size of its special military operation contingent, Russia is simultaneously building up the forces necessary to meet the expansion of its army from its pre-conflict size of 1 million, to a force of more than 1.5 million. Moreover, Russia’s increase in military production has not only softened the economic impact of the US-sponsored sanctions, but also helped reverse their impact across Russia’s industrial base. Everything I saw while touring Russia underscored the incontrovertible fact that, because of Western sanctions, the Russian economy has been compelled to undertake changes which have not only made it more resilient, but also more productive and efficient.

Foreign investments are surging in, proving that there is a world that exists beyond that controlled by the American economic hegemon. Moreover, because sanctions have curtailed the previous practice of Russian business tycoons sending their wealth abroad, there is a huge amount of domestic economic capital available for reinvestment into the Russian economy. This truth was evident in every city I visited, where there were unprecedented levels of infrastructure improvements and new construction taking place.

Read more …

“..almost half the grain that made its way to the EU ended up as fodder for pigs raised by Spanish ham producers.”

Black Sea Grain Deal Hits Obstacle – UN (RT)

Russia has notified the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul it will restrict the passage of grain ships to the port of Yuzhny until Ukraine reopens the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Thursday. Dujarric said that Director General Rebecca Greenspan of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is working to resolve the pipeline issue, but there was no progress to report yet, according to the TASS news agency. The UN also expressed concern that the implementation of the deal has slowed down, with only 33 ships leaving Ukrainian ports in May, “two times less than in April.” Meanwhile, the number of inspection teams has been reduced from three to two.

Yuzhny is one of the three ports covered by the July 2022 Black Sea Initiative, the others being Chernomorsk and Odessa. The agreement mediated by the UN and Türkiye provided for the shipments of Ukrainian grain by sea, as well as the unblocking of Russian agricultural exports – but only the first part has been implemented. On May 17, Moscow agreed to extend the deal for another 60 days. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the decision on the eve of the presidential election, which he went on to win in the runoff. In a Facebook post on Thursday, Ukraine’s ministry of renovation and infrastructure accused Russia of “another unjustified refusal … to register the incoming fleet.”

A senior official in Kiev told Reuters, on condition of anonymity, that Ukraine would consider reopening the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline if the Black Sea deal was expanded to include more ports and more commodities. Speaking to reporters earlier in the day, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said that none of the five issues Moscow had identified with the deal – of which the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline was but one – have been addressed by the UN, “Our position remains unchanged – the export of ammonia is part of the existing agreements and was supposed to start simultaneously with the transportation of Ukrainian grain,” Vershinin said, adding that without addressing the five issues, there is no point in discussing the extension of the grain deal beyond July 17.

The deal was originally trumpeted in Ukraine and the West as a breakthrough in addressing food shortages in Africa and parts of Asia. According to data revealed by the Turkish Ministry of Commerce last week, however, 47% of the Ukrainian exports went to EU countries, and only 27% reached places like Egypt, Kenya, and Sudan. More than 30 million tons of grain have been transported by 953 ships since August 2022, with corn making up 50% of the cargo and wheat another 27%. Much of the grain was not for human consumption, but marked as animal feed. According to the research one Austrian outlet published in February, almost half the grain that made its way to the EU ended up as fodder for pigs raised by Spanish ham producers.

Read more …

Google translation.

Ursula von der Leyen’s Name Embroiled In Scandal In Bulgaria (LePoint)

One more scandal in Bulgaria? Ursula von der Leyen could have done without it. Her name appears in a sound recording secretly made during a meeting of the Let’s continue the change party (PP, according to the Bulgarian initials) which was to validate the government agreement reached with the rival party, the Gerb, of Boïko Borissov . This four and a half hour recording had the effect of a bomb! Its broadcast was programmed to derail the negotiations between the PP and the Gerb. We hear, in fact, the former Prime Minister Kiril Petkov. Not knowing that he was being tapped, he recklessly reveals the content of a telephone conversation with the President of the European Commission. There was, indeed, on May 21, a telephone contact between Petkov and von der Leyen about the possible accession of Bulgaria to the euro zone and the Schengen area. The Commission supports Bulgaria in these two undertakings. That’s not the problem.

“I asked her what our chances of being accepted are,” Petkov said. She answered me: “For Schengen, you have a great chance. For the euro zone, you have to find a way around the rules, that is to say ‘fit into the framework’. I answered her: “Can we -we have inflation minus the Ukraine effect .” And she was like, ‘Don’t quote me, we’ll try to help you.’ » On the side of the Commission, we naturally deny the content of the remarks. “There is a structured process for joining the euro zone, which applies to all countries, says the European executive. The Commission provides its support to fulfill the conditions. Of course, the rules must be followed. » We will never know what terms are really used by each other, but this recording is a furious reminder of Greece ‘s contentious entry conditions into the euro zone.

Athens, with the help of Goldman Sachs, had provided false data to circumvent the criteria for joining the euro zone. The pot of roses was revealed during the Eurozone crisis, when the real statistics were restored by Andreas Georgiou . A sinister episode that left its mark on German public opinion, which was very upbeat at the time. Bulgaria, already very fragile, should not repeat the same subterfuge.

Read more …

Reads like a full time job.

Breadcrumbs From A Buried FBI Source May Lead To A Bigger Biden Scandal (Fed.)

After a confidential human source claimed then-Vice President Joe Biden agreed to accept money from a foreign national to affect policy decisions, FBI agents used what’s called an FD-1023 form to record the allegation. Now FBI Director Christopher Wray is defying a May 3 congressional subpoena to provide this form. On Tuesday, in response to Wray’s refusal to hand over the documents, Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer announced the House will move to hold the FBI director in contempt of Congress. It isn’t that announcement — or even the other explosive ones released over the past year by Comer’s Senate colleague, Chuck Grassley — that prove the most telling, however. Rather, it is the combination of all the details, big and small, that suggests the scandal set to unfold over the coming weeks will be bigger than anyone imagined.

Take recent big news from whistleblower disclosures revealing that the Justice Department and the FBI have the unclassified FD-1023 form spelling out Biden’s alleged criminal behavior. Then combine that with other known information to discover the bigger picture. For instance, in response to Wray’s failure to comply with the subpoena, Grassley, who had previously noted the FD-1023 form was five or six pages long, indicated that the confidential human source (CHS) was “an apparent trusted FBI source.” This is huge because Grassley wouldn’t make that claim unless the whistleblower had. That means the source is not some random guy walking in off the street, but rather an existing “trusted” CHS, which is why the FBI used the FD-1023 form. In response to Wray’s stonewalling, Comer likewise revealed some significant details, clarifying late last week that the CHS reporting document was dated June 30, 2020, and referenced “the amount of money the foreign national allegedly paid to receive the desired policy outcome” as “five million.”

These details could only have come from a whistleblower with deep knowledge of the investigation, meaning the whistleblower’s characterization of the CHS as “trusted” carries more weight. Likewise, the whistleblower’s claim that the FD-1023 “includes a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose,” is more credible given the whistleblower’s knowledge of other details. Comer’s reference to “five million” is also intriguing. In a letter to Wray, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, Grassley had previously revealed a promise by a Chinese communist government-connected enterprise to funnel $5 million to “Hunter and James Biden to compensate them for work done while Joe Biden was vice president.” Records released by Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., also confirmed a $5 million payment to James and Hunter Biden from another Chinese-connected business.

The date of the FD-1023 form, June 30, 2020, also proves significant when read in conjunction with Grassley’s letter to Wray in July 2022. In that letter, Grassley said the whistleblower had claimed that “the FBI developed information in 2020 about Hunter Biden’s criminal financial and related activity,” but “that in August 2020, FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten opened an assessment which was used by a FBI Headquarters (‘FBI HQ’) team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease.” The whistleblower further alleged that in September 2020, the FBI HQ team that handled the Auten assessment, after concluding the reporting was disinformation, placed the information in a restricted access sub-file that only the particular agents who uncovered the CHS’s information could access.

Read more …

David Stockman was Reagan’s budget director. Hard to claim he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

“Speaker Kevin McCarthy has straw for brains and a Twizzlers stick for a backbone..”

Speaker McCarthy’s Rotten Deal (David Stockman)

If there was ever any doubt, now we know: Speaker Kevin McCarthy has straw for brains and a Twizzlers stick for a backbone. He was within perhaps five days of breaking the iron grip of America’s fiscal doomsday machine, yet inexplicably he turned tail and threw in the towel for a mess of fiscal pottage. We are referring, of course, to the impending moment when the US Treasury would have been forced to forgo scheduled vendor or beneficiary distributions in order to preserve incoming cash for interest payments and other priorities. That act of spending deferrals and prioritization would have obliterated the debt “default” canard once and for all, paving the way for a nascent fiscal opposition to regain control of the nation’s wretched public finances. And there should be no doubt that we were damn close to that crystalizing moment. After all, Grandma Yellen herself forewarned just last week on Meet The Press that absent a debt ceiling increase, the Treasury Department would have to prioritize payments and leave some bills unpaid:

“And my assumption is that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, there will be hard choices to make about what bills go unpaid,” Yellen said on NBC’s “Meet the Press…….“We have to pay interest and principle on outstanding debt. We also have obligations to seniors who count on Social Security, our military that expects pay, contractors who’ve provided services to the federal government, and some bills have to go unpaid….” And, of course, that prioritization and deferral could have been easily done. Federal receipts are now running about $450 billion per month, meaning that after paying $61 billion of interest, $128 billion for Social Security, $26 billion for Veterans and $47 billion for military pay and O&M there would still be $188 billion left to cover at least 50% of everything else. That is to say, no sweat with respect to servicing the public debt, and a lot of sweat among the constituencies that would have had payments delayed or reduced.

So, yes, the GOP has truly earned the Stupid Party sobriquet. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Instead of spending days negotiating over the minutia of budgetary scams, tricks and slights-of-hand, which is the entirety of the McCarthy deal, they should have been demanding from the Treasury a detailed list of scheduled payments by day for the first few weeks in June. And then, in return for continued negotiations on meaningful spending cuts and reforms, demanded assurance from the White House that enough of these due bills would be temporarily stuck in the drawer (deferred), if necessary, to ensure payment of scheduled interest, Social Security, military pay and Veterans pensions. That is to say, McCarthy had Sleepy Joe over the proverbial barrel. But instead of applying the wood to his political backside good and hard, the Speaker chose to hold Biden’s coat and help him get back up, praising the latter’s supercilious retainers as he did so.

Read more …

A jubilee through inflation?

A Debt Jubilee of Biblical Proportions Is Coming Soon (IM)

The US federal government has the biggest debt in the history of the world. And it’s continuing to grow at a rapid, unstoppable pace. In short, the US government is fast approaching the financial endgame. Here’s why… Today, the US federal debt has gone parabolic and is scores of trillions. To put it in perspective, if you earned $1 a second 24/7/365—about $31 million per year—it would take you over 1,008,378 YEARS to pay off the US federal debt. And that’s with the unrealistic assumption that it would stop growing.

The truth is, the debt will keep piling up unless Congress makes some politically impossible decisions to cut spending. But don’t count on that happening. In fact, they’re racing in the opposite direction now that they’ve normalized multitrillion-dollar deficits. The amount of debt is so extreme that even a return of interest rates to their historical average would mean paying the interest expense on the debt would consume more than half of current tax revenues. Interest expense would eclipse Social Security and defense spending and become the largest item in the federal budget. Second, a return to the historical average interest rate will not be enough to reign in inflation—not even close. A drastic rise in interest rates is needed. If that happened, it could mean that the US government is paying more for the interest expense than it takes in from taxes.

In short, the Federal Reserve is trapped. Raising interest rates high enough to dent inflation would bankrupt the US government. In other words, it’s game over. They have no choice but to “reset” the system—that’s what governments do when they are trapped. How are they going to reset the system? Nobody knows for sure. But I’d bet a debt jubilee of biblical proportions will be a big part of it. So then, how will the US government repudiate its impossible federal debt burden? My guess is that they won’t be explicit. That would look too much like a default. It would destroy the role of the US as the center of the world’s financial system. Given a choice, I don’t think the US government would choose immediate self-destruction. Since power does not relinquish itself voluntarily, we should presume they’ll decide to stealthily implement their federal debt jubilee through inflation.

Read more …

Should be a lot simpler.

Twitter Head Of Trust & Safety Gone After “Mistake” Banning Documentary (ZH)

As Matt Taibbi detailed earlier via Racket News, at roughly 8:30 a.m. ET this morning, Jeremy Boreing, co-founder and co-CEO of the Daily Wire, posted a lengthy thread on Twitter outlining what appeared to be a major reversal on speech issues on the Elon Musk-owned platform. “Twitter canceled a deal with @realdailywire to premiere What is a Woman? for free on the platform because of two instances of ‘misgendering,’” Boreing wrote, adding, “I’m not kidding.” Noting the film would be labeled “hateful conduct,” the thread detailed a months-longer roller-coaster dispute between the producers of What is a Woman?, a controversial documentary by Matt Walsh released a year ago today, and the current incarnation of the bird site.

In celebration of the release anniversary Walsh, Boreing, and the Daily Wire began making plans to partner with Twitter for a 24-hour livestream today, June 1, 2023. Twitter at first responded with enthusiasm, offering the chance to buy “a package to host the movie on a dedicated event page” and “a chance for us to promote the event to every Twitter user over the first 10 hours.” The initial exchange came roughly a month ago, and the Wire team planned a significant ad buy and other promotions.

Weeks later, Twitter ominously asked the Daily Wire for a review copy of Walsh’s movie. Boreing said the firm then found out Twitter would not only “no longer provide us with support,” but bluntly told them they would “limit the reach” of the film if the Daily Wire went ahead with the event on its own. In one of many odd twists to this story, the problem involved two alleged instances of “misgendering,” a category of offense Twitter controversially removed from hate speech guidelines in April. “They gave us the opportunity to edit the film to comply. We declined,” wrote Boreing. Boreing’s tweet-storm today provoked a quick backlash on the platform, with personalities like Tim Pool promising to terminate his “enterprise Blue subscription” if the decision wasn’t reversed. As if by magic, Musk at 1:33 p.m. tweeted that it was a “mistake by many people at Twitter”:

[..] Update (2000ET): Following Elon Musk’s comments earlier that the cancellation of a deal to show Daily Wire’s ‘What Is A Woman?’ documentary “was a mistake by many people at Twitter,” Fortune reports that Twitter’s head of trust and safety is no longer in Twitter’s internal slack, citing an unidentified person and a screenshot of her deactivated account. Reuters later reported that Ella Irwin told them that she has resigned from the social media company. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Irwin’s departure is the second time someone in that role has left since Elon Musk bought the company in October. Yoel Roth, who had previously served as Twitter’s head of trust and safety, left the company in November, and Irwin subsequently took the top job overseeing user content and safety policies.

Irwin, who joined Twitter about a year ago, declined to comment Thursday on the reasons for her decision to leave Twitter. She said in an interview she felt she had always been honest in her work. Presumably by her definition of “honest”. Musk noted briefly in a response to questions about the ban/throttling of the documentary: “being fixed.” The Twitter CEO added in a thread with the creator of the documentary that “It will be advertising-restricted, as advertisers have the right to decide what content their ads appear with, which will impact reach to some degree.” It appears there are still plenty of anti-free-speech workers at Twitter…

Read more …

Excuse to keep him locked up: pending investigation.

FBI Reopens Case Around Julian Assange (IC)

The FBI has reopened an investigation into Australian journalist Julian Assange, according to front-page reporting from the Sydney Morning Herald. The news that the FBI is taking fresh investigative steps came as a surprise to Assange’s legal team, given that the U.S. filed charges against the WikiLeaks founder more than three years ago and is involved in an ongoing extradition process from a maximum security prison in the United Kingdom so that he can stand trial in the United States. Assange is charged under the Espionage Act with obtaining, possessing, and publishing classified information that exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, crimes that themselves have gone unpunished. The Morning Herald reporting also comes amid heightened hopes in Australia that a resolution to the case, which has raised serious press freedom issues in the U.S. and abroad, was near at hand.

The country’s ruling party has spoken in defense of Assange, as has the nation’s opposition party leader. In early May, a cross-party delegation of influential Australian lawmakers met with the U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, urging that a deal be struck to return Assange to Australia before U.S.-Australian relations were harmed further by the prosecution. The U.S. has otherwise complicated its relationship with Australia in recent weeks even as it seeks closer ties in order to compete with China in the region. Australia spent weeks preparing for Joe Biden to make a major visit to the nation in May, only to see him cancel the trip at the last minute to fly back from Japan to continue with debt ceiling negotiations. And this week, the U.S. also warned Australia that some of its military units may be ineligible to cooperate with U.S. forces due to their own alleged war crimes in Australia.

It is not lost on the Australian public that Assange is being prosecuted for uncovering and publishing evidence of U.S. war crimes. In May, the Morning Herald reported, the FBI requested an interview with Andrew O’Hagan, who was brought on more than 10 years ago to work as a ghostwriter on Assange’s autobiography. The FBI may have thought he would be cooperative because O’Hagan’s relationship with Assange soured; O’Hagan publicly criticized Assange as narcissistic and difficult to work with and published an unauthorized version in the London Review of Books instead. But O’Hagan told the Morning Herald he was not willing to participate in his prosecution. “I might have differences with Julian, but I utterly oppose all efforts to silence him,” he said.

Read more …

“..members of the Chicago “Outfit” had successfully packed up and were on their way out of town before being mugged on their way to the airport.”

Due To High Crime, Mafia Closes Its Chicago Office (BBee)

Today marked the end of an era, as the Mafia announced it was officially closing its Chicago branch due to the rising wave of violent crime in the city. “We just can’t operate under these conditions,” said street boss Albert “Albie the Falcon” Vena, speaking on behalf of Salvatore “Solly D” DeLaurentis, who has run the Chicago organization since 2021. “How are we supposed to conduct respectable business — loan sharking, bribery, racketeering, illegal gambling — with so much crime going on? It’s insane!” The Windy City has long been known for its organized crime operations, dating back even before the days of Al “Scarface” Capone in the 1920s Prohibition Era. Today’s mobsters now lament the difficulty they face in doing horrible things behind the scenes in the city while so many even more horrible things are being done in broad daylight.


“One of our best leg-breakers got his legs broken by a gang of 40 high schoolers last week,” said organization member Frank “Toots” Caruso. “They recorded it and put it on TikTok. We just don’t feel safe around here. I’m afraid to just walk down the street!” Rising crime rates in Chicago have become a staple under Democrat leaders, resulting in skyrocketing numbers of violent crimes and shooting deaths, despite the city having some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. “You think we’re gonna be out there working?” asked Nicholas “Jumbo” Guzzino. “Are you kidding me? I don’t wanna get shot!” At publishing time, members of the Chicago “Outfit” had successfully packed up and were on their way out of town before being mugged on their way to the airport.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oscar
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664223997137940481

 

 

One
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664325552545624064

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 182023
 
 May 18, 2023  Posted by at 8:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Giorgio de Chirico The Archaeologists 1927

 

Durham Found Zero Merit to Trump Russia Claims (CTH)
Durham Report Condemns FBI’s Russia Probe (Turley)
Oversight Panel Has Subpoenaed Joe Biden Phone Records (BB)
The Real Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Scully)
Neighbor Countries Ready To Pay Zelensky To Stop Conflict – Seymour Hersh (RT)
Ukrainian Spymaster Wants 100-km Demilitarized Zone With Russia (TASS)
Sowing Seeds of Plunder: A Lose-Lose Situation in Ukraine (OffG)
Russia Confirms Grain Deal Extension By Two Months – Zakharova (TASS)
NATO’s ‘Reckless’ Expansion To Undermine Security Dialogue – Lavrov (TASS)
China Notifies Embassies In Beijing Not To Display Ukraine Propaganda (TASS)
Hungary Urges EU To Redirect Ukraine Aide (RT)
The Working-Class Revolt Against Net Zero (Spiked)
Dutch Farmer ‘Families Are Crying At The Kitchen Table Every Day’ (RMX)
The Harm Caused by Masks (Anderson)
Global Impact Of The First Year Of Covid-19 Vaccination (Lancet)
Dollar Dominance ‘Coming To An End’ – Jim Rogers (RT)
FBI Adds Itself To FBI Watch List (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Fitton

 

 

 

 

Gaetz

 

 

 

 

Patriots
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658919182661042176

 

 

 

 

American lieutenant colonel broke Zelensky’s dream: Forget about returning the territories, you are incapable. Ukrainian forces are unable to dislodge Russian troops from their positions, despite the bold statements of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, US Army Lt. Col. Daniel Davis said.

Answering the question of whether it is possible to realize Zelensky’s dream of returning to Kyiv the territories liberated by Russia, Davis replied that there is not even a theoretical possibility for that. “Simply, there is no fundamental basis to create such a large combat power and to dislodge an enemy as entrenched and equipped as Russia is now. It is a completely unrealistic combat goal,” Davis said in an interview with the YouTube channel “Judging Freedom”.

 

 

 

 

“Mueller’s probe existed in material fact to hide the Obama weaponization to target Donald Trump. Durham knew this; that’s why he never touched it.”

Durham Found Zero Merit to Trump Russia Claims (CTH)

People ask why I find it difficult to write about the Durham report empirically confirming everything we previously outlined in the past five years. Here’s my answer. Eventually, after the shock & awe of the Durham confirmations wear off, I am hopeful that people will stand back and realize the bigger question that covers all of the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy nonsense. This was a United States government operation to conduct full-throated surveillance on a U.S. presidential candidate, and then remove that candidate from the office of the presidency after his victory in the 2016 election. With John Durham outlining in granular details how the FBI, DOJ and larger intelligence apparatus acted politically to weaponize government on behalf of an allied presidential candidate in Hillary Clinton, a bigger question remains.

There never was any merit to the Trump-Russia nonsense, so what exactly were Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann doing for two years? Using the silo defense as a method of obfuscation, John Durham noted in his report [page #2] as below, never delved into that obvious question. Durham specifically, and with great intent, says he did not look at what Mueller and Weissmann were doing; even though, Durham destroyed any predication that might have given merit to the intention of their special counsel existence. Durham writes a 316-page report, meticulously detailing the false construct of the Trump-Russia narrative. Yet for some reason, the Mueller/Weissmann investigation, an entire special counsel investigation that was predicated and justified by that false Trump-Russia narrative, never found the same evidence?

Durham never looked at it. Why? Because he knew Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann were installed to cover up the original fabrications by the CIA, FBI, DOJ and U.S. intelligence apparatus. Mueller’s probe existed in material fact to hide the Obama weaponization to target Donald Trump. Durham knew this; that’s why he never touched it. Stop pretending. Once you stop pretending, you realize just how rotten this system is. John Durham intentionally and with specific foresight, did not want to reveal the criminal conduct of the Mueller/Weissmann special counsel. He knew exactly what they were doing; his investigation paralleled what their investigation would have done if Mueller was not established to hide the originating schemes.

Everything Durham found, Mueller could have easily found, and stated, and ended the nonsense. This reality, and Durham’s intentional decision to avoid confronting the Mueller fraud, is why no one should defend any part of what John Durham was doing, nor the report he delivers in conclusion. Durham is just as dirty as Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann. If he wasn’t, he would have outlined the purpose of Mueller and left them naked to the consequences. But that’s not what a good little silo maintainer does. Instead, John Durham simply acts as if Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann didn’t exist to try and destroy President Trump. Durham ignores the cleanup operation entirely.

Read more …

“In the end, it is not a crime to be unethical or incompetent, so no charges will be filed as a result of the report.”

Durham Report Condemns FBI’s Russia Probe (Turley)

According to Durham, Comey — who later wrote and sold a book on “ethical leadership” — led the FBI to use “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence” to effectively tie up a duly elected president for three years. Durham reports that FBI personnel admitted they disregarded standards for surveillance despite “acknowledging — both then and in hindsight — that they did not genuinely believe there was probable cause to believe that the target was knowingly [working for a foreign power].” In the end, it is not a crime to be unethical or incompetent, so no charges will be filed as a result of the report. Durham clearly hopes that the belated transparency provided by his report will produce greater future accountability. That may be the only naive aspect of his findings.

Of course, the FBI promptly issued a statement that it has — once more — reformed itself in light of its failures. But who really believes this is unlikely to occur again? Indeed, the same pattern and figures reemerged in 2020, when another false narrative was created to dismiss the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. Some of the officials involved in the false Russia collusion conspiracy were signatories on the letter by 51 former intelligence officials claiming that the laptop story was likely “Russian disinformation.” And the media again pushed that version before the 2020 election — only to admit, two years later, that the laptop was authentic all along. Conspicuously missing in the aftermath of Durham’s report is the one thing that would establish a clear commitment to reform: an apology. Clinton, Comey, members of Congress and others could apologize to the American people — and, yes, even to Trump.

That, of course, will never happen. Attorney General Merrick Garland, in releasing a report that concluded this investigation never should have occurred, made no statement whatsoever. Thus, Durham was left throwing haymakers in an empty political boxing ring — and those who perpetrated this scandal on the nation are left to carry on making money on books, speeches, TV commentary and lectures about political or electoral ethics. The media, meanwhile, is offering little more than a shoulder-shrug and more spin. So, in the relative silence of media coverage following the report’s release, Durham can contemplate an ultimate Zen-like question: If a 305-page report proves a concerted political hoax but no one is there to read it, does it make a difference?

Read more …

“Over an 11-year period, Hunter’s firm paid over $25k for Joe’s second iPhone (1-302-377-xxxx), which circumvented White House security protocols, along with ‘most lines’ on a ‘Wells Fargo credit line’ that Joe utilized. These phone, banking, and other financial records must be subpoenaed.”

Oversight Panel Has Subpoenaed Joe Biden Phone Records (BB)

The House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed phone records of a phone belonging to President Joe Biden that Hunter Biden’s business paid for, according to Peter Schweizer, Government Accountability Institute president in an interview on Tuesday. Schweizer said in an interview with 77 WABC’s Cats & Cosby that it was discovered on Hunter Biden’s laptop that he was paying a phone bill for his father from 2009 to 2017, which encompassed the time Biden was vice president. “We obtained that phone number and we’ve shared it with individuals and the Oversight Committee in Congress is going to subpoena those phone records. And what’s important here is that’s not a government phone, this is not Joe Biden’s private phone that he’s paying for himself. It’s actually [Hunter] Biden’s business that paid for it,” Schweizer said.


“I think it’s going to yield a lot of interesting information as to who Joe Biden was talking to on this phone that was being paid for by his son,” said Schweizer, who is a senior contributor to Breitbart News and best-selling author of multiple books on corruption by political elites. Schweizer called the reported removal of the investigative team at the IRS looking into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax evasion “very troubling.” The removal came in alleged retaliation to a whistleblower who had contacted Congress about a possible cover-up going on at the IRS on the case. “It’s very troubling — the pattern that we’re seeing here,” Schweizer said, adding:

“You have these whistleblower complaints filed by people in the IRS that were looking at Hunter Biden’s failure to pay taxes. They issued whistleblower complaint to Congress — the report is that those individuals had been removed from the case, which is contrary to the Whistleblower Law — you’re not allowed to remove somebody from their position just because they filed a whistleblower complaint.” Schweizer said the removal of the investigative team is potentially illegal. He explained: “What happened in 2018 was the IRS looked into the fact that Hunter Biden had taken in all this foreign income, we exposed it in Secret Empires in 2018. That sort of launched the grand jury and you had this IRS investigation. And they basically concluded that Hunter Biden had taken in millions of dollars from foreign sources, had not paid taxes on it.


You have this friend, this lawyer in Los Angeles that paid two million to the IRS to pay some of the back taxes, but the IRS was looking into charges of tax evasion. They went to congressional committees and complained that they believe there had been political interference from DOJ. I haven’t seen the details, but this was the claim. And now lo and behold, the IRS says we’re going to remove the team from investigating Hunter Biden, who had been on it now for what, five years, and we’re going to start apparently gonna have to start the whole thing over, so what does that mean to the investigation? What does that mean? I think it’s massive, but first of all…I think it’s illegal by the whistleblower statute. You cannot remove somebody from their position, simply because they made a whistleblower complaint.”

Read more …

“Having thus alerted readers that the new candidate with the familiar name is basically a head case, the Post and Times can now put that name back on the blacklist..”

The Real Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Scully)

While Republican affairs can certainly get rough and unseemly at times, it’s usually the Democratic Party we can turn to for lessons in cold, unsentimental power politics. Consider, for instance, the reception accorded by the party establishment and like-minded reporters to an unexpected entrant into the 2024 presidential race, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a man who rates, one might have supposed, the respect due a worthy contender and honest dissenter. After declaring his candidacy last month, RFK Jr. immediately showed at 14 percent in polls. Mild alarm followed, among supporters of President Biden, when two weeks later the next round of polling gave Kennedy an average of 20 percent. You could tell this was a bit of a shock because, almost instantly, the Washington Post dismissed it as nothing, in a hurried item headlined “Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Threat to Biden Is Inflated. Here’s Why.”

As surely as any Kennedy could once expect to be fawned over by Post reporters, this Kennedy — especially if he starts drawing crowds and votes — is never to be spared condescension and rebuke. The “why,” in case you haven’t heard, is that RFK Jr. has in recent years been airing “controversial,” “dangerous” views, and this makes him, says the Post, a “fringe figure” you needn’t take seriously. Among his many provocations: Kennedy claims that pandemic lockdowns were calamitous for working people and for children; that citizens should choose for themselves whether to receive vaccines; that corporate influences on government are pervasive and corrupting; and that censorship contrived by the state is intolerable. Worse even than these outrages, during the pandemic this man called into question the conduct and veracity of Anthony Fauci. And this offense — challenging Doctor Fauci! — is still regarded as the most shameful assault on science since the persecution of Galileo.

It doesn’t matter that, point for point, RFK Jr. makes a strong case and most everyone knows it. His problem is, the prohibition on saying such things has not been lifted. A well-established, scientifically tested, and empirically proven phenomenon known as liberal groupthink has set in, preempting even the most obvious conclusions. So, even if Kennedy’s presidential bid is off to an impressive start, in the Post’s analysis he is still relegated to the same category as “fringe figure Lyndon LaRouche,” who — trivia time for Post readers — “in 1996 managed to pull double digits in some primary states.”

The New York Times, in its version of the LaRouche treatment, likewise left the impression of a candidate’s announcement speech strangely and single-mindedly focused on “shaking Americans’ faith in science,” no matter that the candidate himself had said nothing at all along those lines, and no matter that in all of his scientific arguments he cites scientific methods and scientific evidence. Here again the day’s news was predetermined: casting the accomplished son and namesake of Senator Robert F. Kennedy as just another sorry entry in “a history of fringe presidential aspirants from both parties who run to bring attention to a cause, or to themselves.” Having thus alerted readers that the new candidate with the familiar name is basically a head case, the Post and Times can now put that name back on the blacklist, denying Kennedy coverage unless he troubles them further by rising in polls or by making crazy demands for primary debates.

Read more …

“Hungary is a big player in this and so are Poland and Germany, and they are working to get Zelensky to come around..”

Neighbor Countries Ready To Pay Zelensky To Stop Conflict – Seymour Hersh (RT)

Poland is leading a group of European nations that are secretly urging Vladimir Zelensky to find a way to settle the conflict with Russia, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh has reported, citing a “knowledgeable” American official. According to US intelligence, other EU countries that want to see an end to the fighting include Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Hersh wrote in an article published on his Substack page on Wednesday. “Hungary is a big player in this and so are Poland and Germany, and they are working to get Zelensky to come around,” the unnamed official claimed. Those countries have made it clear that “Zelensky can keep what he’s got if he works up a peace deal even if he’s got to be paid off, if it’s the only way to get a deal.” By “keep what he’s got,” the source was referring to the Ukrainian president’s villa in Italy and interests in an offshore bank, Hersh clarified.

However, Zelensky has so far rejected the proposal, while other major European players – France and the UK – “are too beholden” to the Biden administration, which is continuing to back the Ukrainian leader, the official said. One of the main reasons why Poland and the others want the conflict to end is because the burden of accommodating Ukrainian refugees has become too much for them, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist wrote. The problem for those countries “is how to get the US to stop supporting Zelensky,” Hersh’s source suggested. He claimed that US intelligence is well aware that “Ukraine is running out of money and… that the next four or months are critical. And Eastern Europeans are talking about a deal.” However, he added that “it’s not clear to the intelligence community what the president and his foreign policy aides in the White House know of the reality.”

The US is “still training Ukrainians how to fly our F-16s that will be shot down by Russia as soon as they get into the war zone. The mainstream press is dedicated to Biden and the war, and Biden is still talking about the Great Satan in Moscow while the Russian economy is doing great,” the official explained. Russia has repeatedly stated that it’s ready to resolve the conflict at the negotiating table. However, it did not receive any proposals from Ukraine and its Western backers that it could consider reasonable. Zelensky has been promoting his ten-point peace plan, which calls for Russian forces to withdraw to borders claimed by Ukraine, to pay reparations, and to submit to war-crime tribunals. Moscow has rejected the plan as “unacceptable,” saying it ignores the reality on the ground and is actually a sign of Kiev’s unwillingness to solve the crisis through diplomatic means.

Read more …

Problem is, they want the DMZ and still become a NATO member. Russia will not let that happen.

Ukrainian Spymaster Wants 100-km Demilitarized Zone With Russia (TASS)

Top Ukrainian intelligence official Kirill Budanov has proposed creating a 100-km-long demilitarized zone between Ukraine and Russia. “The question of ending the war [involves] the creation of a demilitarized zone; this is our goal,” the head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate told the Ukrainian Islandia (Iceland) TV channel. When further elaborating on the practical aspects of creating such a zone, Budanov said that, “this would be a zone that could not be attacked by the usual means.” “In my view, this would absolutely be the right distance,” the top intelligence official pointed out. The Russian government had earlier repeatedly voiced its readiness to negotiate with Ukraine to reach a settlement of the conflict.


At the same time, however, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that the main obstacle standing in the way of such talks was the prohibition on conducting negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was legally enshrined by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s decree of September 30, 2022, “as well as the initiatives of the Ukrainian head of state, which indicate official Kiev’s complete detachment from modern realities,” including the demand to withdraw Russian troops from the new regions of the country. On February 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow did not see any desire on the part of the Ukrainian side to start a serious conversation on a peaceful settlement.

Read more …

“Today, thousands of rural boys and girls, farmers, are fighting and dying in the war. They have lost everything. The processes of free land sale and purchase are increasingly liberalised and advertised. This really threatens the rights of Ukrainians to their land, for which they give their lives.”

Sowing Seeds of Plunder: A Lose-Lose Situation in Ukraine (OffG)

It’s a lose-lose situation for Ukrainians. While they are dying, financial institutions are insidiously supporting the consolidation of farmland by oligarchs and Western financial interests. So says Frédéric Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute, an independent think tank. Depending on which sources to believe, between 100,000 and 300,000 Ukrainian soldiers (possibly more) have died during the conflict with Russia. That figure, of course, does not include civilian casualties. But it is not the purpose of this article to explore these issues. Much has already been written on this elsewhere. But billions of dollars’ worth of military hardware has been sent to Ukraine by the NATO countries and hundreds of thousands of young Ukrainians have died. They died in the belief that they were protecting their nation – their land. A land that is among the most fertile in the world.

Professor Olena Borodina of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine says: “Today, thousands of rural boys and girls, farmers, are fighting and dying in the war. They have lost everything. The processes of free land sale and purchase are increasingly liberalised and advertised. This really threatens the rights of Ukrainians to their land, for which they give their lives.” Borodina is quoted in the February 2023 report by the Oakland Institute War and Theft: The Takeover of Ukraine’s Agricultural Land, which reveals how oligarchs and financial interests are expanding control over Ukraine’s agricultural land with help and financing from Western financial institutions. Aid provided to Ukraine in recent years has been tied to a drastic structural adjustment programme requiring the creation of a land market through a law that leads to greater concentration of land in the hands of powerful interests.

The programme also includes austerity measures, cuts in social safety nets and the privatisation of key sectors of the economy. Frédéric Mousseau, co-author of the report, says: “Despite being at the centre of news cycle and international policy, little attention has gone to the core of the conflict — who controls the agricultural land in the country known as the breadbasket of Europe. [The] Answer to this question is paramount to understanding the major stakes in the war.” The report shows the total amount of land controlled by oligarchs, corrupt individuals and large agribusinesses is over nine million hectares — exceeding 28% of Ukraine’s arable land (the rest is used by over eight million Ukrainian farmers).

The largest landholders are a mix of Ukrainian oligarchs and foreign interests — mostly European and North American as well as the sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia. A number of large US pension funds, foundations and university endowments are also invested in Ukrainian land through NCH Capital – a US-based private equity fund, which is the fifth largest landholder in the country. President Zelenskyy put the land reform into law in 2020 against the will of the vast majority of the population who feared it would exacerbate corruption and reinforce control by powerful interests in the agricultural sector.

Read more …

Last time?!

Russia Confirms Grain Deal Extension By Two Months – Zakharova (TASS)

Moscow confirms that the grain deal has been extended for two more months, providing an opportunity to help ensure global food security, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that the grain deal had been extended for another 60 days. “We confirm the Turkish president’s announcement of a two-month extension of the Black Sea initiative, which is an opportunity to help ensure global food security not in words but in deeds, to help first and foremost the countries that need it most,” she said, adding that “imbalances” in the grain deal’s execution should be “corrected as soon as possible.” Zakharova went on to say that Moscow’s primary views of the deal have not changed.

Agreements on the export of food and fertilizers from Ukraine to the international market were concluded on July 22, 2022, for 120 days and extended in November for the same period. One of the agreements regulates the order of grain supplies from the Kiev-controlled ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny. Moreover, a memorandum was inked by Russia and the UN on lifting export restrictions for Russian agricultural products and fertilizers to global markets. Moscow notes that the second part of the agreement is not being implemented. On March 18, 2023, Russia announced that the deal was extended for 60 days, warning that this would be enough time to assess the efficacy of the memorandum signed with the UN.

The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that the future decision on extension of the deal depends on implementation of the Russian part of the agreement, adding that the lack of progress on that issue threatens the future of the initiative. Representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN discussed the issues of extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement on supplies of grain and fertilizers on May 10-11 in Istanbul. The agenda also contained the issues of secure functioning of the grain corridor. Russia was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin. No particular decisions on extension of the deal or consideration of Moscow’s requirements were announced following the negotiations.

Read more …

Lavrov: The Minsk agreements were the last attempt at diplomacy

• We will no longer rely on the West as a partner that has at least some capacity for an agreement, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview with “Tsargrad” television, saying that Moscow will instead turn its attention to the rest of the world that wants to continue cooperation with her.

• According to his words, “there is no real diplomacy anymore” in the West. As he pointed out, it was last “seen” in 2014 and 2015, when the Minsk agreements were signed, but even then it was not real diplomacy, but, as he assessed, “diplomacy of lies”.

• The diplomacy of Western colleagues is reflected in bribing, threatening and forcing other countries to follow their policies, but all this indicates that the West is actually “not sure of the correctness” of its agenda, because if they are right, why should they threaten and use with harsh tactics, concluded Lavrov.

NATO’s ‘Reckless’ Expansion To Undermine Security Dialogue – Lavrov (TASS)

Reckless NATO expansion and the bloc’s absorption of neutral countries will undermine any prospect for dialogue on European security, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference following Moscow talks with his Belarusian counterpart Sergey Aleinik on Wednesday. “NATO’s reckless expansion eastwards, northwards or to other geographical areas undermines the very prospects to continue normal communication on European security,” Lavrov said, adding that “unfortunately, we are witnessing this process amid NATO’s absorption of almost all neutral nations.” “That’s sad,” he added. According to Russia’s top diplomat, the number of countries in Europe who advocate military or political neutrality is getting thinner, now that Finland has joined the alliance.


Sweden “seems to be on course to become a NATO member, too, while Switzerland rejected its neutral status by its actions,” he said. “That [neutrality] was enshrined in the constitutions of respective countries, and they created a space for finding a balance of interests and compromise between European NATO members and, say, the Union State and the Collective Security Treaty Organization,” he lamented.= “When and if the West comes to its senses and realizes that it will not be able to reverse the historically unbiased process of a multipolar world order evolving, that will, of course, require a conversation that will not be limited to Europe only,” Lavrov maintained as he insisted that global security should be “honest and equal.”.

Read more …

“..specifically raising the Ukrainian flag or displaying posters in support of Kiev..”

China Notifies Embassies In Beijing Not To Display Ukraine Propaganda (TASS)

China reminds foreign missions and offices of international organizations based in the country of the need to comply with international diplomatic treaties, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday. Commenting on billboards in support of Ukraine exhibited outside some foreign embassies in Beijing, the Chinese diplomat said, “China is calling on all embassies and representative offices of all international organizations to comply with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and carry out activities in line with international agreements.”


Wang’s comment came in response to a question from a reporter who asked whether the Chinese authorities had earlier advised foreign embassies against using the exterior walls of their buildings to display politicized propaganda, specifically raising the Ukrainian flag or displaying posters in support of Kiev. Wang urged all foreign diplomatic missions and organizations in China to respect Chinese laws. Kyodo reported on Tuesday, citing multiple sources, that Chinese officials have requested foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations in Being not to use the outer walls of their buildings for displaying political propaganda. Some embassies have put up signboards in support of Ukraine, the Japanese news agency said.

Read more …

“..the funds should be redirected to other regions, namely to the Balkans or North Africa…”

Hungary Urges EU To Redirect Ukraine Aide (RT)

Budapest has blocked a new €500 million ($544 million) package of EU financial assistance to Kiev, urging Brussels to redirect its support elsewhere. The eighth tranche from the so-called European Peace Facility (EPF) – a €5.6 billion ($6.08 billion) off-budget fund used to finance and supply foreign militaries – was vetoed by Hungary on Monday. Budapest told Reuters that it wanted the EPF to keep its original global scope, instead of being used exclusively to finance Kiev amid its ongoing conflict with Moscow. “Hungary does not agree with the fact that the European Union, along with other existing tools, uses the EPF solely with regard to Ukraine, as this does not allow sufficient funds to be channeled to promote the EU’s interests in other areas,” a government spokesperson wrote in an email to the outlet, adding that the funds should be redirected to other regions, namely to the Balkans or North Africa.

“For the Hungarian government, it is crucial that these issues should be clarified, and that’s why it did not approve the disbursement of the next tranche from the EPF,” the spokesperson concluded. The EPF was originally established in 2021, with a proclaimed goal of boosting the EU’s ability to maintain peace and strengthen regional and international security. The fund is used to reimburse the bloc’s own members, who send arms and equipment overseas, as well as to directly finance foreign militaries.

However, prior to the beginning of the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022, the fund was rarely used. A total of less than $125 million was allocated to supply non-lethal military equipment to several nations, including Ukraine. After the hostilities began, however, the EU funneled some €3.6 billion ($3.9 billion) under the EPF scheme to Ukraine in military support. Budapest has found itself at odds with Brussels over the conflict, taking a neutral stance and refusing to supply Kiev with weaponry. Hungary has also prohibited weaponry shipments heading to Ukraine from going through its territory, as well as opposed the bloc’s anti-Russian sanctions.

Read more …

“This is a clash between the luxury doom-mongering of an upper-middle class more concerned with its own self-importance than with the self-sufficiency of society..”

The Working-Class Revolt Against Net Zero (Spiked)

Two kinds of road-blocking are taking place in Europe right now. In the first, the sons and daughters of privilege, people with names like Edred and Tilly, are holding up traffic to put pressure on governments to speed up Net Zero. If we don’t cut carbon emissions drastically, they say in their cut-glass tones, our poor planet will be consumed in a heat death of rotten mankind’s own making. In the second, working people – farmers, truckers, cab drivers – are clogging the streets to put pressure on governments to slow down Net Zero. Or better still, scrap it altogether. If we don’t cut out the Net Zero nonsense, say these people who make and deliver things for the Edreds and Tillys of the world, farms will close, jobs will be lost and economic precarity will intensify.

Whose side should you take? It’s a no-brainer. This is a clash between the luxury doom-mongering of an upper-middle class more concerned with its own self-importance than with the self-sufficiency of society, and the common sense of working people who understand that farming, food production, energy creation and transportation are essential to the survival of our species. Between an elite driven mad by visions of a climate-change apocalypse and ordinary people who still inhabit the reality-based world. Between Net Zero fanatics who want to wind back modernity and Net Zero sceptics who think modernity works pretty well, thank you. It’s the latter road-blockers – the people using their HGVs, tractors and taxis to send a stern message to our eco-elites – that we should be cheering. Their revolt against Net Zero represents a daring populist strike against the delusions and complacency of the 21st-century establishment.

Danish truckers are the latest workers to join the rebellion against green authoritarianism. Yesterday, they caused ‘road havoc’ in Denmark. They parked their huge hauliers side by side on key roads. Sections of the border with Germany were affected, as were the M11 and M16 around Copenhagen. Roads towards the ferry docks at Helsingor – ‘one of the most important ports in Denmark’ – were also briefly clogged by angry truckers. Their beef? The government’s plan to introduce a ‘truck tax’ in 2025. As part of its devotion to the cult of Net Zero, the Danish ruling class wants to slash carbon emissions by 70 per cent before 2030. And one way it intends to do that is by imposing a punitive mileage-based eco-tax on the drivers of diesel trucks, in the hope that the financial pressure will become so unbearable that they’ll switch to electric trucks instead.

The ingratitude is staggering. Truckers are the lifeblood of a modern society. They transport the fuel, food and other goods that are essential to everyday life. They drive alone, for hours, in all weathers, to keep society well stocked. And how do the elites in Copenhagen repay these people who, without fuss or fanfare, bring them everything they need? By slapping them with a new kind of sin tax – the sin in this case being to drive a vehicle that the eco-minded consider to be ‘dirty’ and ‘polluting’.

Read more …

“..they created huge farms because that was the policy promoted by the government and also by the banks. They wanted the farms to scale up their businesses. And now, suddenly the policy is to make smaller farms. This is also the EU policy. ”

Dutch Farmer ‘Families Are Crying At The Kitchen Table Every Day’ (RMX)

Currently, the Dutch government is looking to offer buyouts for 3,000 farms in the Netherlands, and if they do not accept, their land will be confiscated The government is offering them 120 percent of the value of their land. A) Do you think that’s a fair offer, and B) Do you think they’re going to fight it?

It’s not fair at all because they have smashed these farmers for years now, and the people are so desperate that many families are crying at the kitchen table every day, and even a couple of farmers committed suicide already. Really, it’s that bad. Our government and also the banks supported a plan to create bigger farms, so the farmers bought the land of their neighbors, and they created huge farms because that was the policy promoted by the government and also by the banks. They wanted the farms to scale up their businesses. And now, suddenly the policy is to make smaller farms. This is also the EU policy. Then, you add nitrogen regulations. These farmers now have these huge farms, which means big debts, huge debts, because they had to invest. And now, the government comes up with the idea that they have this nitrogen problem, and farms need to close or be reduced in size.

The banks turn around and say, then your business — because a farm is really a business — is only worth 50 percent compared to yesterday. So these people have huge debts. They are captured in a system that they never asked for. They followed the rules, and now they are pushed in a direction that is really desperate for them. They don’t know what to do. It’s so difficult. These farms have been running from generation to generation. So, there is a lot of history tied up in these farms, and if you are desperate and don’t know what to do anymore, and you’re facing uncertainty year after year, then the government turns around and says, “OK, we have a way out for you, we have money to give you.” I think a lot of farms will do that, which is a disaster because they are the second-largest producer of food in the world after the United States. The Netherlands is just a tiny country, but we are producing so much food for the rest of the world. That’s a problem because we now have 8 billion people.

Read more …

“..while eight times the normal level of carbon dioxide is toxic, research suggests that mask-wearers (specifically those who wear masks for more than 5 minutes at a time) are breathing in 35 to 80 times normal levels..”

The Harm Caused by Masks (Anderson)

Mask-wearers breathe in greater amounts of air that should have been expelled from their bodies and released out into the open. “[A] significant rise in carbon dioxide occurring while wearing a mask is scientifically proven in many studies,” write the German authors. “Fresh air has around 0.04% CO2,” they observe, while chronic exposure at CO2 levels of 0.3 percent is “toxic.” How much CO2 do mask-wearers breathe in? The authors write that “masks bear a possible chronic exposure to low level carbon dioxide of 1.41–3.2% CO2 of the inhaled air in reliable human experiments.” In other words, while eight times the normal level of carbon dioxide is toxic, research suggests that mask-wearers (specifically those who wear masks for more than 5 minutes at a time) are breathing in 35 to 80 times normal levels. The German study, a scoping review of existing research, aimed “to investigate the toxicological effects of face masks in terms of CO2 rebreathing on developing life, specifically for pregnant women, children, and adolescents.”

The latter two groups, of course, have been among those most frequently subjected to mask mandates in schools, despite Covid’s low levels of risk for them and the evidence that masks don’t work. What can breathing too much carbon dioxide do to you? The authors write that “at levels between 0.05% and 0.5% CO2,” one might experience an “increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and overall increased circulation with the symptoms of headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, rhinitis, and dry cough.” Rates above 0.5 percent can lead to “reduced cognitive performance, impaired decision-making and reduced speed of cognitive solutions.” Beyond 1 percent, “the harmful effects include respiratory acidosis, metabolic stress, increased blood flow and decreased exercise tolerance.” Again, mask-wearers are likely breathing in CO2 levels between 1.4 percent and 3.2 percent—well above any of these thresholds. What’s more, “Testes metabolism and cell respiration have been shown to be inhibited increasingly by rising levels of CO2.”

So, high blood pressure, reduced thinking ability, respiratory problems, and reproductive concerns are among the many possible results of effectively poisoning oneself by breathing in too much carbon dioxide. The authors write that “it is clear that carbon dioxide rebreathing, especially when using N95 masks, is above the 0.8% CO2 limit set by the US Navy to reduce the risk of stillbirths and birth defects on submarines with female personnel who may be pregnant.” In other words, mandates have forced pregnant women to wear masks resulting in levels of CO2 inhalation that would be prohibited if they were serving on a Navy submarine.

Read more …

The original Lancet article is from Sep. 2022. I don’t usually include “old” things; this is a news aggregator. But the “new” comment on the article warrants interest.

@A1an_M: “I thought of another, simpler way of demonstrating that this Lancet paper claiming the vaccines saved 19.8 million lives is complete and utter bollards, using empirical data. OurWorldInData helpfully tells us how many people had actually been vaccinated at the end of December 2021: 4.55 billion As per my earlier tweet, we know that at worst in early 2020, pre vaccines, the Infection Fatality Rate of SARS-COV-2 averaged 0.25% across the world (Ioannidis). https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.13.20101253v3 (By December 2021 it was less than half of that but we’ll let that slide for now) So assuming the vaccinated population was typical of the population as a whole, we can say that only 0.25% of those 4.55 billion vaccinated people were at risk of death from COVID. 0.25% of 4.55 billion is 11.4 million people.

So it is impossible for the vaccines to have saved 19.8 million lives. Fallen at the very first hurdle, the Lancet paper has. How embarrassing. I could go on and talk about how, out of those 11.4 million vaccinated people who were at risk of death, based on the mortality seen in England and Wales in 2020, more than 60% were over 80 and more than 90% had more than one other comorbidity making the chances of the majority of them surviving for a year even in the absence of a vaccine rather slim… or that the vaccines don’t prevent infection, transmission, hospitalisation or death from COVID and therefore it’s quite possible they didn’t save a single life, never mind 11.4 million .. but at this stage the Lancet model is flat on the floor begging for mercy so I will stop here.”

Global Impact Of The First Year Of Covid-19 Vaccination (Lancet)

The first COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial setting was administered on Dec 8, 2020. To ensure global vaccine equity, vaccine targets were set by the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility and WHO. However, due to vaccine shortfalls, these targets were not achieved by the end of 2021. We aimed to quantify the global impact of the first year of COVID-19 vaccination programmes. A mathematical model of COVID-19 transmission and vaccination was separately fit to reported COVID-19 mortality and all-cause excess mortality in 185 countries and territories. The impact of COVID-19 vaccination programmes was determined by estimating the additional lives lost if no vaccines had been distributed. We also estimated the additional deaths that would have been averted had the vaccination coverage targets of 20% set by COVAX and 40% set by WHO been achieved by the end of 2021.


Based on official reported COVID-19 deaths, we estimated that vaccinations prevented 14·4 million (95% credible interval [Crl] 13·7–15·9) deaths from COVID-19 in 185 countries and territories between Dec 8, 2020, and Dec 8, 2021. This estimate rose to 19·8 million (95% Crl 19·1–20·4) deaths from COVID-19 averted when we used excess deaths as an estimate of the true extent of the pandemic, representing a global reduction of 63% in total deaths (19·8 million of 31·4 million) during the first year of COVID-19 vaccination. In COVAX Advance Market Commitment countries, we estimated that 41% of excess mortality (7·4 million [95% Crl 6·8–7·7] of 17·9 million deaths) was averted. In low-income countries, we estimated that an additional 45% (95% CrI 42–49) of deaths could have been averted had the 20% vaccination coverage target set by COVAX been met by each country, and that an additional 111% (105–118) of deaths could have been averted had the 40% target set by WHO been met by each country by the end of 2021.

Read more …

“No currency has been on top more than 150 years. Nobody has always been on top, so it’s always happened.”

Dollar Dominance ‘Coming To An End’ – Jim Rogers (RT)

The US dollar is starting to lose its leading position across the globe, as Washington has become the world’s largest debtor, famed investor Jim Rogers told Sputnik news agency on Wednesday. The co-founder of the Quantum Fund noted that more and more countries are growing hesitant about the greenback, as deep reliance on its use can lead to various problems. “Many friends of America are moving, trying to find something to compete with and ultimately replace the US dollar,” Rogers said in an interview with the Russian outlet. According to the investor, an international currency should have an absolutely neutral status, and the lack of neutrality demonstrated by the White House, along with growing concerns over US creditworthiness, have deprived the greenback of that quality.

“Many people are starting to say: wait a minute, I don’t know if we want to use that money, because it will have a problem someday,” he said. “But also, the world’s international currency is supposed to be completely neutral. Anybody can use it for anything you want. But now Washington is changing the rules. And if they get angry at you, they cut you off.” Rogers explained that a growing number of countries are now seeking an alternative to the greenback, adding that the Chinese yuan could replace the US currency as the most common means for conducting international settlements.

Russia has been boosting economic ties with China over the past few years, adopting the yuan in international trade. In early April, the Chinese currency replaced the dollar as the most-traded foreign currency in Russia. Moreover, the yuan continues to penetrate a number of other markets around the world. “It will happen. It has always happened. And America’s time is coming to an end. The American dollar this time is coming to an end,” Rogers concluded. “No currency has been on top more than 150 years. Nobody has always been on top, so it’s always happened.”

Read more …

“Without the FBI at our disposal, we may have to turn to traditional partners such as the mafia to fight our political enemies..”

FBI Adds Itself To FBI Watch List (BBee)

In an unprecedented move to protect the safety and security of millions of Americans, the FBI has added itself to the FBI watchlist. “When we reflected on the vast number of pedophiles, insurrectionists, frauds, and killers in our organization, we thought: ‘Holy cow! Someone needs to keep an eye on these weirdos!'” said FBI Director Christopher Wray to reporters. “That’s why today we have decided to place the FBI on the FBI watchlist so the FBI can keep a close eye on the FBI before the FBI does something terrible.” Congress is demanding oversight of the FBI’s monitoring of the FBI, as the FBI has been known in the past to let the FBI get away with horrific crimes.


The FBI in turn is monitoring the Congressional oversight committee in charge of overseeing the FBI’s oversight of the FBI. “Americans shouldn’t worry, we have this all under control,” said Wray. Critics of the move expressed concern this may hamper the FBI’s ability to organize governor kidnapping schemes, insurrections, and mass shootings. “Without the FBI at our disposal, we may have to turn to traditional partners such as the mafia to fight our political enemies,” said one anonymous Washington bureaucrat. “What’s the world coming to?” At publishing time, the FBI announced they now have the FBI in custody. Unfortunately, they released the FBI from custody a few minutes later.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Soros


Just in from NOAA: April 2023 cooler in the US than April 1895, despite a 1000% increase in industrial era atmospheric CO2.

 

 


Just in from NOAA: No warming in the US since January 2005, despite 44% more atmospheric CO2.

 

 

Oyster swims

 

 

Jellyfish

 

 

NASA

 

 

 

 

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