May 192024
 


Wassily Kandinsky Moscow Red Square 1916

 

Zelensky Blasts West For Wanting Conflict To End (RT)
Russia ‘Done’ With Western Europe ‘For At Least A Generation’ – Lavrov (RT)
Zelensky Details Ukraine’s Weapons Demands (RT)
Scott Ritter: Belousov as MoD Signals ‘Revolution’ in Russian Military (Sp.)
Russian Supremacy in High-Tech Warfare of the Future (Miles)
Ukraine Asks US To Help Locate Targets In Russia (RT)
Biden Currently Not Scheduled To Attend Zelensky’s ‘Peace Conference’ (RT)
Russia & China – Two Against One (Ray McGovern)
Israeli Crisis Deepens as IDF Failures Prompt Cabinet Resignation Threat (Sp.)
Israel-Hamas Talks ‘Stopped’ – Media (RT)
Study: Risk of Suicide Increases 12x After “Gender-Affirming” Surgery (NTB)

 

 

“Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.” Carl Jung

 

 

CNN Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791466920757035442

 

 

Tic tac

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1791592049117974906

 

 

 

 

Maher Biden
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791658680170979381

 

 

Cohen Cooper

 

 

Bannon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791140064413749414

 

 

 

 

 

 

C’mon, party poopers, we’re having fun…

Zelensky Blasts West For Wanting Conflict To End (RT)

Ukraine’s president has claimed Kiev’s forces would be more successful on the battlefield if they were not banned from using Western-supplied weapons to hit targets in Russia. Russia’s ability to strike Ukraine from its own soil is giving Moscow the edge in the conflict, Vladimir Zelensky said during an interview with AFP news agency on Friday. “They can fire any weapons from their territory at ours. This is the biggest advantage that Russia has. We can’t do anything to their systems, which are located on the territory of Russia, with Western weapons,” he explained. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who visited Kiev earlier this week, said Washington has “not encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine, but ultimately Ukraine has to make decisions for itself about how it’s going to conduct this war.”

However, on Thursday Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh clarified that Washington’s position that Kiev should not target Russia with US-supplied weapons remains unchanged. Such arms can only be used to “take back Ukrainian sovereign territory,” Singh stressed. Earlier this month, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron insisted Ukraine has the “right” to use UK-supplied weapons to strike targets deep inside Russia, if it decides to do so. Moscow reacted to the statement by warning that if such an attack were to take place it could target British military facilities “on the territory of Ukraine and beyond” in response. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Kiev has urged Washington to provide intelligence on targets on Russian soil amid setbacks in Donbass and Kharkov Region. According to the NYT, US officials are currently reviewing those requests, despite previously turning them down.

Zelensky said Kiev now finds itself in a “nonsensical situation” due to the stance of the West, which “is afraid that Russia will lose the war. And it does not want Ukraine to lose it.” “Ukraine’s final victory will lead to Russia’s defeat. And the final victory of Russia will lead to Ukraine’s defeat,” he added. The Ukrainian authorities “want the war to end with a fair peace for us. Of course, the West wants the war to end. Period. As soon as possible. And, for them, this is a fair peace,” the president stated. On Friday, Russia President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Moscow “never rejected negotiations unlike the Ukrainian side,” referring to a 2022 decree by Zelensky, which officially forbade him from talks with his Russian counterpart. However, Putin stressed that Russia will not yield to “ultimatums” from Kiev and its Western backers as they try to gain though diplomacy what they have failed to gain on the battlefield.

Draft

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Western Europe will do much worse after that generation.

Russia ‘Done’ With Western Europe ‘For At Least A Generation’ – Lavrov (RT)

Russia won’t view Western European countries as partners again for “at least one generation,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has predicted.The diplomat remarked that Moscow and the West are already locked in a confrontation that has no end in sight. Top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly described Moscow’s ongoing military conflict with Kiev as a proxy war waged by NATO against Russia. Evidence of this, the Kremlin says, is the material aid, the training, and the intelligence that the US and many European countries have been providing to defend Ukraine. Speaking on Saturday, Lavrov cited an article by Russian political scientist Dmitry Trenin, who has written that “Europe as a partner is not relevant for us for at least one generation.” The minister said that he “can’t help but agree” and that Moscow is “feeling this in practice almost daily.”

The senior Russian diplomat also claimed, without elaborating, that “many facts speak in favor of such a prognosis.” “The acute phase of the military-political confrontation with the West continues [and] is in full swing,” Lavrov said, pointing to the nature of the narratives currently prevalent in the US and Europe. In an interview with TASS on Friday, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Ryabkov compared Western elites to delinquent youths and provocateurs intent on escalating tensions to the brink of a “catastrophic collapse,” and with no regard for the consequences. Speaking of the work of Russian diplomats in the West, the official revealed that it is “in a crisis-management mode, aimed at preventing an escalation into a really massive conflict.”

NATO is “a group in which we feel not an ounce of trust, which triggers political and even emotional rejection” in Moscow, Ryabkov told the media outlet. He said that, no matter who comes out on top in the US presidential election in November, “no chance for the improvement of the situation can be seen, considering the fundamental anti-Russian consensus of the American elites.” During his inauguration speech on Tuesday, nonetheless, Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that Moscow does not “refuse dialogue with Western states.” “The choice is theirs,” the president proposed, posing the question: “Do they intend to continue trying to restrain the development of Russia, continue the policy of aggression and relentless pressure that they have pursued for years, or look for a path to cooperation and peace?”

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“..we have about 25% of what we need to defend Ukraine..”

We always do. No matter how much you give…

Zelensky Details Ukraine’s Weapons Demands (RT)

Ukraine requires more air defense systems and warplanes from its Western backers in order to achieve parity with Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said. Moscow has the upper hand in the battle for the skies, Zelensky acknowledged during an interview with AFP on Friday. “I believe that today, we have about 25% of what we need to defend Ukraine. I’m talking about air defense,” he said. As for warplanes, Kiev should be provided with between 120 to 130 modern aircraft, “so that Russia does not have air superiority,” the Ukrainian leader stated. “In total, we need this fleet of F-16s in the number I am talking about, in order to have parity,” he added.

During his visit to Kiev earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington is “intensely focused” on finding and delivering Patriots and other air defense systems to Ukraine. Zelensky told Blinken that his military needed two Patriot batteries to protect the Kharkov Region alone, where Russian forces have been advancing in recent weeks. In late March, then-Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that at least five Patriots operated by Ukraine had been destroyed since the start of the year. Last month, Germany promised to provide Kiev with one more of the US-made air defense systems. Earlier this week, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that the F-16s will arrive in Ukraine within the “next few months,” retracting her earlier claim that the planes will be there “within the next month.”

Denmark and the Netherlands jointly promised to supply Kiev with 61 US-designed fourth generation jets in August 2023. Reports in Western media in recent months explained delays in deliveries of the planes were due to complications in the training of Kiev’s pilots and the lack of proper airfields that would be able to host the F-16s in Ukraine. Russia has warned repeatedly that foreign weapons being sent to Kiev will not prevent Moscow from achieving its military goals, and will merely prolong the fighting and increases the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to officials in Moscow, the provision of arms, intelligence sharing, and the training of Ukrainian troops mean that Western nations have already become de-facto parties to the conflict.

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The military becomes an integral part of the budget, not some added layer.

Scott Ritter: Belousov as MoD Signals ‘Revolution’ in Russian Military (Sp.)

Russia is integrating lessons from the conflict in Ukraine to write the military doctrine of the future, according to former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s appointment of Andrei Belousov to serve as the country’s new Minister of Defense has provoked speculation in the West. The Kremlin cited the need to appoint a civilian as a head for the Defense Ministry to foster an environment “open to innovations and advanced ideas” to explain Putin’s decision to reshuffle the ministry, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitri Peskov clarified. In addition, the official noted that it is very important to integrate the economy of the military bloc into the country’s economy to match the dynamics. Former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter claimed Belousov’s appointment “goes beyond simply trying to bring economic structure and discipline to an expansive and expanding military industrial base” in a post on the X social media platform.

The former UN weapons inspector joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Wednesday to discuss what he described as Russia’s “new revolution in military affairs.” “What wins the war is the arsenal of democracy,” said Ritter, pointing to the Allied Forces’ victory in World War II. “The ability of the United States to kick in its industrial capacity to just produce tanks, produce aircraft, shipping an endless stream of military goods that gets fed into the meatgrinder of conflict and you basically out-produce your enemy. That helped us not just build up our military, but prop up the British.” “This is the key to warfare, the ability to sustain the high intensity of modern warfare,” the analyst insisted. “Russia has stepped its defense industry into gear… Russians have come out and said they are in a de facto war, not just with Ukraine but with the collective West, which means they are in a conflict against the collective defense industrial capacity of Europe and the United States.”

Russia has invested significantly in arms and ammunition production over the last several years as Ukraine’s allies struggle to provide the country with sufficient weaponry. Observers have acknowledged the weakened state of Europe’s arms production capabilities as the continent fell into dependence on the US military presence after World War II. The military reliance on the United States has allowed Washington to shape European foreign policy in important ways.
But concerns have been raised over US military capabilities as well, as a policy of military Keynesianism has geared arms production in the direction of private profit and economic stimulus. Additionally, the War on Terror has caused US armed forces to adapt to fighting irregular guerrilla armies in the Middle East rather than large state-sponsored militaries. The result is that two decades of technological development have left the country ill-equipped to combat a sophisticated foe such as Moscow.

However, Russia’s military innovation carries its own set of concerns, warns Ritter, claiming the Soviet Union became overly-focused on its defense sector during the Cold War. “This is the problem that the Soviet economy ran into in the 1970s, when the percentage of the economy that was dedicated to defense industry reached over 7.5%,” said Ritter. “That was an imbalance that the Soviet economy couldn’t sustain… You need to continue to have the defense industry churning along to produce what it’s producing, but it has to be balanced with economic realities.” “You need to have a viable domestic economy,” he explained. “Sergei Shoigu was good at getting the defense industry up and running… Had he remained in power as the minister of defense there’s a chance that the [Russian] economy would’ve overheated from a defense standpoint. Enter Andrei Belousov.” “This is a man who knows the Russian economy inside and out,” claimed Ritter.

“He predicted the 2008 turn around, he predicted the 2012 dip. He has the ear of the president and the respect of everybody and he’s being brought in to ensure that the defense industry keeps chugging along but it doesn’t overheat, to find that balance with the civilian economy.” But Ritter claimed Belousov would focus not only on macroeconomic concerns, but also on innovation within Russia’s defense industry: the “revolution in military affairs.” Ritter explained that Belousov would be tasked with integrating everything Russia has learned from the Ukraine conflict into its new military doctrine, taking note of both tactical and technological innovations. The realities of drone and electronic warfare will be fused with strategic insights to transform the country’s approach to fighting conflicts, he claimed.

Russia will also adapt to an increasingly-belligerent NATO, said Ritter, responding to the expansion of the bloc to Sweden and Finland as well as the hostility of the Baltic states. “One thing that we’ve learned about the West is that if they go to war against Russia, they’ll run out of ammunition in seven to ten days,” said the former weapons inspector. “Russia plans on never running out of ammunition. This is a lesson learned. Russia knows that having firepower supremacy on the battlefield is one of the guarantees of victory.” “Nobody else in the world is ready for the kind of revolution in military affairs that Russia is getting ready to unleash, and this is what makes Mr. Belousov the most dangerous man in the world as far as the West is concerned.”

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“..the West still seems incapable of learning that quantity can indeed be a quality of its own.”

Russian Supremacy in High-Tech Warfare of the Future (Miles)

“The US has been Ukraine’s single most important ally” in its conflict with Russia, observes analysis from Business Insider Friday, but Kiev’s use of American weapons systems has left it reliant on technology with “serious flaws.” The website’s investigation reveals Russian superiority in a number of areas, including drones and electronic warfare, as well as the deficiencies of the United States’ military production sector. “One area in which the US has revealed its shortcomings is in electronic warfare,” the author writes. “Russia’s jamming systems have created major issues with Western precision weaponry, including GMLRS rockets and Excalibur artillery shells. Russia’s electronic warfare units have become increasingly adept at scrambling the GPS navigation systems used to guide the missiles and shells to their targets, sending them off course and rendering them useless.”

The observation was also made recently by The New York Times, which acknowledged that Russia’s electronic jamming capabilities have managed to disable even the US’s vaunted HIMARS missiles, and echoed this week by an ex-Pentagon analyst. The retired Army lieutenant general suggested America is significantly behind in developing similar technology. The Business Insider analysis also noted that Russia has better adapted to modern realities of fighting in the age of drone warfare, with constant surveillance making attempts to obscure troops and supply routes impossible. US Army units currently rely on a small number of outdated drones, the article admits. The US military’s attempts to develop microwave weapons and drone swarms to counter Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have so far failed to bear fruit, demonstrating the weaknesses of a military industrial complex that for decades has been focused on “war against militant groups such as the Taliban* in Afghanistan” rather than combating large state actors.

The result has been an inefficient defense production base, both in terms of cost and developing sufficient quantities of weapons. Analysis published earlier this year revealed that Russia is now producing three times more ammunition than the United States and all European allies of Ukraine combined as Russian military industry has stepped into high gear. Kiev reportedly “was being outfired at a rate of 10-1 on parts of the front line” earlier this year, notes Business Insider. The article observes that the United States is capable of producing high-quality armaments, but claims they are hopelessly expensive compared to Russian equipment that can be produced at a much lower cost, allowing the country to prevail in “fights which require endurance.” A similar observation was made recently by geopolitical analyst and ex-US Marine Brian Berletic, who noted, “the West still seems incapable of learning that quantity can indeed be a quality of its own.”

“The collective West still believes firmly in its own full-spectrum supremacy in terms of political, economic, and military power, despite the growing body of evidence to the contrary,” Berletic added. “Russia for many years worked on making itself more self-sufficient in general, dismantling many potential dependencies on an increasingly aggressive and irrational West. This clearly paid off when Western sanctions in 2022 failed to have the crippling impact Washington, London, and Brussels had hoped for, and instead backfired on the West itself.” “Russia has continuously expanded its military industrial base while at the same time the West allowed theirs to atrophy,” he concluded. “The result is a proxy conflict where the collective West is incapable of matching let alone exceeding Russia’s level of ammunition, weapons, and vehicle production.” “And while the West appears to understand this mistake in hindsight, they still seem incapable of grasping just how much time is needed to rectify this or accept the possibility that it is perhaps impossible at this point to rectify.”

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Moscow WILL hit them.

Ukraine Asks US To Help Locate Targets In Russia (RT)

Kiev has urged Washington to provide intelligence on targets on Russian soil, as the Ukrainian Armed Forces lose ground on the battlefield, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, saying US administration officials have begun “to review” the request. In addition, members of Ukraine’s parliament have approached lawmakers in Washington, requesting the green light to use US-provided weapons in strikes on Russia, the paper wrote, citing US and Ukrainian officials. The Russian offensive in Kharkov Region was facilitated by the US restrictions, which are “handcuffing the Ukrainian war effort,” Kiev’s delegation told Congress, according to news website Politico. Despite such requests being turned down in the past, administration officials are now reviewing the latest requests, the NYT wrote.

Intelligence from the US and other allies on military targets on Russian soil would allow Ukraine to better plot approach routes for its drones and missiles, the newspaper said. With detailed terrain mapping, it would allow them to fly low and avoid radar detection, increasing their effectiveness. While Kiev already has access to commercial satellite imaging data, US intelligence would provide more detailed and timely information, they wrote. General Charles Q. Brown Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed that Kiev has been seeking to ramp up strikes inside Russia. The Ukrainians have been “asking us for help to be able to strike into Russia,” the US general told reporters on Thursday, while flying to Brussels for NATO meetings. The day before, State Secretary Antony Blinken stated that the US has left it up to Ukraine whether or not it uses US-supplied armaments to attack Russian territories. “We have not encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine, but ultimately Ukraine has to make decisions for itself about how it’s going to conduct this war,” he told reporters in Kiev.

In early May, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Kiev had the right to use UK-provided weaponry to for cross-border strikes on Russian targets. Moscow condemned the remarks and summoned London’s ambassador. Any use of British weapons against Russian territory could prompt Moscow to strike “any British military facilities and equipment on the territory of Ukraine and beyond,” the Russian Foreign Ministry warned. Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed on Friday that it is Kiev’s repeated strikes against residential districts in Russia that is forcing Moscow into creating a buffer zone on the border, as Russian forces push Ukrainian troops further back into Kharkov Region.

Read more …

Kabuki.

Biden Currently Not Scheduled To Attend Zelensky’s ‘Peace Conference’ (RT)

A Swiss-hosted conference on the Ukraine conflict, set for next month, is not on US President Joe Biden’s event schedule, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has told reporters. More than 160 countries have been invited to take part in the summit, which is set to take place on June 15-16 at the Burgenstock Resort near Lucerne. Russia, however, isn’t among them. “I don’t have anything on his schedule to speak to in that regard,” Kirby said during a press briefing on Friday, when asked whether Biden plans to attend the event, which is expected to revolve around Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s proposed roadmap for ending the conflict with Russia. Zelensky’s ‘peace plan’ implies a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from all territories Ukraine considers its own, for Moscow to pay reparations, and for a war crimes tribunal.

Russia has dismissed the proposal as “unrealistic” and a sign of Kiev being reluctant to seek a diplomatic solution to the hostilities. Earlier this week, Swiss President Viola Amherd said the summit has already drawn delegations from more than 50 countries. Amherd, who in January agreed to host the summit at Zelensky’s behest, added that Switzerland wants to persuade China and more countries from the Global South to sign up. Beijing, which previously stressed that talks on a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict must inevitably involve Russia, has yet to confirm whether it will send a delegation. Brazilian President Lula da Silva said he doesn’t see much point in the meeting unless both parties to the conflict attend the event, indicating that he will not participate, CNN Brazil reported on Thursday. His South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa has also decided to skip the summit.

Moscow previously said Switzerland is unfit to help mediate peace, calling the country “openly hostile” because it has implemented EU sanctions against Russia, which may signal how Swiss interests are beginning to align with those of Washington and its allies with regards to Moscow. Speaking to journalists on Friday, President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Russia was ready for talks. He emphasized that Moscow was constantly being reproached, but hasn’t been asked to attend the conference. “They want to gather as many nations as possible, convince everyone that the best proposal is the terms of the Ukrainian side, and then send it to us in the form of an ultimatum,” he said of the upcoming event.

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“..Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation …”

Russia & China – Two Against One (Ray McGovern)

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s extremely warm reception of President Vladimir Putin yesterday in Beijing sealed the increasingly formidable Russia-China strategic relationship. It amounts to a tectonic shift in the world balance of power. The Russia-China entente also sounds the death knell for attempts by U.S. foreign policy neophytes to drive a wedge between the two countries. The triangular relationship has become two-against-one, with serious implications, particularly for the war in Ukraine. If U.S. President Joe Biden’s foreign policy geniuses remain in denial, escalation is almost certain. In a pre-visit interview with Xinhua, Putin noted the “unprecedented level of strategic partnership between our countries.” He and Xi have met more than 40 times in person or virtually.

In June 2018, Xi described Putin as “an old friend of the Chinese people” and, personally, his “best friend.”For his part, Putin noted Thursday that he and Xi are “in constant contact to keep personal control over all pressing issues on the Russian-Chinese and international agenda.” Putin brought along Defense Minister Andrey Belousov as well as veterans like Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and key business leaders. Xi and Putin signed a strong joint statement Thursday, similar to the extraordinary one the two issued on Feb. 4, 2022, in Beijing. It portrayed their relationship as “superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era. Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation …” The full import of that statement did not hit home until Putin launched the Special Military Operation into the Donbass three weeks later.

China’s muted reaction shocked most analysts, who had dismissed the possibility that Xi would give “best friend” Putin, in effect, a waiver on China’s bedrock policy of non-interference abroad. In the following weeks, official Chinese statements made clear that the principles of Westphalia had taken a back seat to “the need for every country to defend its core interests” and to judge each situation “on its own merits.”

Thursday’s statement expressed concern over “increased strategic risks between nuclear powers” — referring to continued escalation of the war between NATO-supported Ukraine and Russia. It condemns “the expansion of military alliances and creation of military bridgeheads close to the borders of other nuclear powers, particularly with the advanced deployment of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, as well as other items.” Putin has undoubtedly briefed Xi on the U.S. missile sites already in Romania and Poland that can launch what Russians call “offensive strike missiles” with flight time to Moscow of less than 10 minutes. Putin surely has told Xi about the inconsistencies in U.S. statements regarding intermediate-range nuclear missiles. For example, Xi is aware — just as surely as consumers of Western media are unaware — that during a Dec. 30, 2021, telephone conversation, Biden assured Putin that “Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike weapons in Ukraine.”

There was rejoicing in the Kremlin that New Years’ Eve, since Biden’s assurance was the first sign that Washington might acknowledge Russia’s security concerns. Indeed, Biden addressed a key issue in at least five of the eight articles of the Russian draft treaty given to the U.S. on Dec. 17, 2021. Russian rejoicing, however, was short-lived. Foreign Minister Lavrov revealed last month that when he met Antony Blinken in Geneva in January 2022, the U.S. secretary of state pretended he’d not heard of Biden’s undertaking to Putin on Dec. 30, 2021. Rather, Blinken insisted that U.S. medium-range missiles could be deployed in Ukraine, and only that the U.S. might be willing to limit their number, Lavrov said.

Read more …

More power for the ultra-right. Bibi likes.

Israeli Crisis Deepens as IDF Failures Prompt Cabinet Resignation Threat (Sp.)

The country’s emergency war cabinet appeared on the verge of collapse Saturday with a key member voicing opposition to its leadership. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s grip on power appeared under threat this weekend when a key member of the country’s war cabinet threatened to resign. Opposition leader Benny Gantz issued an ultimatum Saturday, claiming he would leave the emergency political formation if Netanyahu does not implement his six-point plan for the country’s military operation in Gaza by June 8. Among Gantz’s demands are efforts to ensure the return of Hamas-held Israeli captives, a demilitarization of the Gaza Strip and a move towards international administration of the Palestinian territory.

Gantz, a retired army general, has criticized Netanyahu’s prosecution of the country’s military campaign in Gaza, reflecting public frustration in Israel over the prime minister’s failure to secure the return of Israeli hostages. Fighting has resumed in northern Gaza recently as Hamas fighters have returned to the area, prompting claims the country has failed to accomplish Netanyahu’s stated aim of defeating Hamas. The threat suggests the transpartisan political cooperation that emerged after Hamas’ October 7 attack threatens to break down, potentially leading to calls for new elections. Critics have claimed Netanyahu has prolonged Israel’s military campaign in Gaza to maintain his hold on power. The Prime Minister was previously under investigation on multiple charges of corruption, with the judicial process against him set to resume if he is toppled.

Recent polling reveals Netanyahu’s approval rating in Israel stands at some 32%. The country has been rocked by large demonstrations for months with protesters calling on the prime minister to step down An open letter signed by dozens of prominent Israelis earlier this year called on Netanyahu’s “immediate removal,” deeming him an “existential” threat to the country. Political polarization in the country has remained high since large anti-Netanyahu protests took place in 2019 and 2020. Netanyahu was briefly dislodged from power in 2021, with a government led by Naftali Bennett emerging to take his place, but he returned as prime minister in late 2022. The loss of the support of Gantz could make Netanyahu more reliant on hard line members of his coalition like Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, who have called for the expulsion of Palestinians and the rebuilding of Israeli settlements in Gaza.

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“..there is one party that wants to end the war and then talk about the hostages, and there is another party who wants the hostages and wants to continue the war.”

Israel-Hamas Talks ‘Stopped’ – Media (RT)

Peace negotiations between Israel and Hamas have been put on hold over major disagreements, Israeli broadcaster Kan has reported, citing anonymous sources. Haaretz has confirmed the “impasse” in the talks, which were mediated by Qatar and Egypt. Hostilities in Gaza broke out last October after Hamas militants staged a deadly incursion into Israeli territory, killing an estimated 1,200 people and abducting hundreds more, most of them civilians. Israel retaliated with a military campaign against the armed group, subjecting the densely populated Palestinian enclave to months of heavy aerial bombardment. According to Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza, Israel’s military operation has claimed the lives of more than 35,000 Palestinians, with nearly 80,000 sustaining injuries.

While Qatari, Egyptian and US middlemen have for months been trying to get the two belligerents to agree to a ceasefire, so far these efforts have apparently been fruitless. In its report on Friday, Kan alleged that the negotiations “are not taking place at the moment” since “Egypt and Qatar have adopted the position of Hamas.” According to the media outlet, the mediators suggested sealing a ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages. Kan quoted its anonymous sources as saying that there is a “large” divergence of opinion between the Palestinian militant group and Israel, especially over how each would define the “end of the war.” Another major bone of contention, the broadcaster claimed, was Israel’s refusal to unconditionally release incarcerated Hamas militants at the group’s request. On Saturday, Israel’s Haaretz, citing an unnamed foreign source familiar with the talks, also reported that the negotiations “are currently at an impasse, and there is no progress.”

On Tuesday, the prime minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, revealed that recent weeks had seen “some momentum building,” but that “unfortunately things didn’t move in the right direction.” “Right now, we are in a status of almost a stalemate,” he said. Sheikh Al Thani noted that “there is one party that wants to end the war and then talk about the hostages, and there is another party who wants the hostages and wants to continue the war.” There is little hope for progress unless Israel and Hamas see eye to eye on this fundamental issue, he warned. The Qatari prime minister also questioned whether Israel was seeking an end to hostilities in good faith. ”I don’t think that they are considering this as an option… even when we are talking about the deal and leading to a potential ceasefire,” he said.

Finkelstein

Read more …

No-one’s surprised.

Study: Risk of Suicide Increases 12x After “Gender-Affirming” Surgery (NTB)

A new study hot off the press has confirmed what most of us already knew: people who get “gender-affirming” surgery have more than 12 times higher instances of suicide attempts than those who don’t get the surgeries. The study, supported with money from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Texas, was published just a few weeks ago and looked at data from over 90 million patients across the U.S. Here is the pertinent finding, highlighted in the abstract below:

Trans activists have been lying to the public for years, telling parents that “gender-affirming” surgery prevented suicide. We all knew the opposite was true, and now there is clear data supporting it.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Woody
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791098665404153945

 

 

Lioness
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791476013303820402

 

 

Retriever
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791507615954170295

 

 

Bear pear
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791491596573130756

 

 

Great white
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791865110283079697

 

 

Sleepy dog

 

 

Deep path

 

 

Yaxi

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 032024
 


Vincent van Gogh Avenue of Poplars at Sunset 1884

 

Justice in a Shithole Country (Paul Craig Roberts)
Trump Scores $1.8 Billion Windfall After Significant Increase In Truth Social Stake (ZH)
Anti-Trump Prosecutor Pleads 5th As House GOP Probes Links To Biden DOJ (ZH)
The US Constitution Is Another Victim of Genocide (Paul Craig Roberts)
US Republicans Want To Oust House Speaker (RT)
To Israel’s Horror, Hamas Brings ‘Two-state Solution’ Back Into Focus (Cradle)
Of Journalists, Students and Power (Patrick Lawrence)
Jews Did Not Kill Jesus – US House of Representatives (RT)
Second Boeing Whistleblower Dies Suddenly (RT)
Hungary Rejects €100-Billion Ukraine War Chest ‘Madness’ (RT)
British Knight Unhorsed (Helmer)

 

 

 

 

Show trial

 

 

Lysander Lynx

 

 

Musk Tulsi Rogan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785758824634499292

 

 

 

 

“Cohen has pleaded guilty to tax evasion, to lying to Congress, and a judge has said that it is likely that Cohen also committed perjury. Yet, Cohen is Bragg’s witness against Trump.”

Justice in a Shithole Country (Paul Craig Roberts)

Russiagate, documentsgate, insurrectiongate, pornstargate and the phony civil and criminal trials being orchestrated against President Trump demonstrate that Democrat attorney generals, prosecutors, and judges have no integrity, no respect for law, and regard law as a weapon to be used against those who stand in the way of their agendas. Consider, for example, the 34-count indictment brought by black Trump-hater New York city district attorney Alvin Bragg solely on the basis of Bragg’s assertion that Trump falsified business records by reporting extortion payments to an aging pornstar, who apparently threatened to make accusations to disrupt Trump’s presidential campaign unless Trump paid her off, as a legal expense instead of a campaign contribution to his campaign. It is an absolute fact that business owners and business executives do not make decisions about how expenses are reported.

Such decisions are the responsibility of accountants and attorneys. All Trump did was to sign papers prepared by accountants and attorneys, but of course Bragg, a quota-hire, is too stupid to understand how business functions. Bragg claims, further demonstrating his stupidity and incompetence, that Trump interfered in the 2016 presidential election and got himself elected President by hiding his payment to the pornstar as a legal expense. Bragg’s contention is that otherwise the presstitutes would have used the unsubstantiated pornstar’s allegations to defeat Trump’s 2016 election as president. How did something this absurd get to be a court case. Clearly, this is NOT THE WAY A FIRST WORLD COUNTRY WITH A RULE OF LAW BEHAVES. It is the way a shithole country behaves. A shithole country is what Democrats have turned America into.

Bragg’s stupid case based on nothing but Bragg’s assertion of how an expense should be reported so that it can be used as a weapon against Trump–and Bragg is not an accountant–has as its only support Trump-hater Michael Cohen, who wrote a book that claims “Donald Trump is the mirror into the depth of the soul of government corruption. He is the standard bearer for corrupt dictator wannabes. He is the poster boy for fascism.” Cohen has pleaded guilty to tax evasion, to lying to Congress, and a judge has said that it is likely that Cohen also committed perjury. Yet, Cohen is Bragg’s witness against Trump.

Moreover, the fake charges against Trump are misdemeanor charges, NOT FELONIES. Yet Bragg is falsely presenting them as felonies, claiming that the alleged misreporting of the expense constituted “election fraud.” Bragg does not have to worry about not having a case. He knows that in NYC the jury will convict Trump even if the entirety of the evidence proves Trump innocent. All Bragg has to do is to bring an indictment. The jury will convict. Nowhere in America, not in the media, trials, medical science, or scholarship do facts any longer matter. All that matters are agendas upheld by official narratives. There you have it. This is justice in a shithole country. Be a proud American. “USA, USA, USA!”

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White House, Letitia and Engoron are discussing how to take it all away.

Trump Scores $1.8 Billion Windfall After Significant Increase In Truth Social Stake (ZH)

Donald Trump has added roughly $1.8 billion more to his net worth after regulatory filings show that he increased his stake in Truth Social by a significant degree – bringing the former president’s ownership to nearly 65% in Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). Trump secured an additional 36 million shares of TMTG, bringing his stake to 114.75 million shares, according to an April 30 filing with the SEC. According to the latest price of nearly $50 per share, Trump’s stake in TMTG is valued at around $5.7 billion. The additional $1.8 billion was secured through 36 million additional “earnout shares” granted if TMTG hit certain performance metrics over a certain period, according to an April 15 filing. That said, Trump can’t sell any shares due to a six-month lockup agreement. As the Epoch Times notes further, TMTG shares have been on a roller-coaster ride since the company listed on Nasdaq last month through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and was snapped up by Trump supporters and speculators.

Following the merger and initial public offering (IPO) at the end of March, market interest exploded in TMTG, which trades under the ticker symbol DJT. Its stock price soared above $79 per share on its first day of trading, sending the company’s market cap to over $7 billion. After the initial surge of interest, TMTG shares pulled back to around the $62 mark, where they traded until news broke on April 1 that, in 2023, the company suffered a $58 million loss. Word of the loss sent its stock price on a downward trajectory, to $22.84 by April 16, which marked a bottom. Since then, TMTG shares have rallied, with only one meaningful pullback between April 19–23, and are now trading at $49.90 per share, the highest since an April 3 close of $48.81. Much of the $58 million loss that sent the stock price falling on April 1 appears to be related to an interest expense of $39.4 million on its outstanding debt, according to the 8-K filing. In 2022, the company made a net profit of $50.5 million.

The former president said on April 4 that media fixation on the $58 million loss was misguided. He touted TMTG fundamentals—which he said include over $200 million cash and no debt—as “very solid.” TMTG CEO Devin Nunes echoed that in an April 1 statement: “Closing out the 2023 financials related to the merger, Truth Social today has no debt and over $200 million in the bank, opening numerous possibilities for expanding and enhancing our platform.” “We intend to take full advantage of these opportunities to make Truth Social the quintessential free-speech platform for the American people,” he added. TMTG’s meteoric rise and subsequent wobble sparked massive interest in shorting the stock—meaning betting money on its potential price decline.

Mr. Nunes recently asked Congress to investigate allegations that TMTG stock was being manipulated by traders betting on its downfall. In a recent letter to top House Republicans, Mr. Nunes urged lawmakers to open an investigation into “anomalous trading” and possible even “unlawful manipulation” of TMTG stock. Mr. Nunes expressed concern about “naked” selling of TMTG stock, which is the practice of traders selling shares of a company without borrowing them first, according to the letter. The tech CEO added that the company has become the “single most expensive stock to short in U.S. markets” as of early April, arguing that traders now “have a significant financial incentive to lend non-existent shares” of the stock.

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Self-incrimination.

Anti-Trump Prosecutor Pleads 5th As House GOP Probes Links To Biden DOJ (ZH)

House GOP investigators are investigating several individuals related to Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Trump, including one top prosecutor who was previously a senior DOJ official during the Biden administration, and a 2023 video of another prosecutor pleading the 5th (privilege against self-incrimination) when asked if he broke any laws while investigating President Trump. When asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) if he knowingly broke any laws while investigating President Trump, ex-Bragg prosecutor Mark. F. Pomerantz invoked the right during a May 1, 2023 deposition. “In a closed-door deposition, I asked Mark Pomerantz very simple questions regarding whether he committed crimes or violated the civil rights of any people in the course of his investigation of President Trump and his tenure at the Manhattan DA’s office,” Gaetz told Newsweek in a Thursday email.

Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee is investigating another top prosecutor on Bragg’s team – Matthew Colangelo, who’s leading the “politicized” prosecution against the former President. wrote House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) in an April 30 letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, as part of the committee’s oversight of “politically motivated prosecutions.” “That a former senior Biden Justice Department official is now leading the prosecution of President Biden’s chief political rival only adds to the perception that the Biden Justice Department is politicized and weaponized,” wrote Jordan. As the Epoch Times notes further, Mr. Colangelo, who delivered the opening statement in President Trump’s so-called “hush money” trial in New York last week, joined Mr. Bragg’s office in December 2022.

For a period of time, Mr. Colangelo also worked as Chief Counsel for Federal Initiatives at the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, who led a separate case against President Trump that accused him of inflating asset values to get better loan terms and that ended in a $464 million judgment against the former president. During his time at the office of Ms. James, who has also been accused of political motivations in her prosecution of the former president, Mr. Colangelo was involved in the investigation into the Trump Organization. In his letter, Mr. Jordan is demanding that Mr. Garland provide various records related to Mr. Colangelo’s work in the Justice Department, as well as any communication between Mr. Bragg’s office and the DOJ related to President Trump or any of his businesses.

“Given the perception that the Justice Department is assisting in Bragg’s politicized prosecution, we write to request information and documents related to Mr. Colangelo’s employment,” Mr. Jordan wrote, while alleging that Mr. Colangelo’s recent employment history “demonstrates his obsession with investigating a person rather than prosecuting a crime.” In the so-called “hush money” case, Mr. Bragg has charged President Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide nondisclosure payments that Mr. Colangelo alleges amounted to a criminal conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election. President Trump has maintained his innocence and has called the case a “political witch hunt.”

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“Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs points out the incongruity of a university, whose existence is based on freedom of speech, repressing freedom of speech.”

The US Constitution Is Another Victim of Genocide (Paul Craig Roberts)

A 19th century plantation slave suffered less abuse than an American today and was less likely to have his head cracked open by a police baton than a Columbia University Student. [..] Republican US senators are no better friends of the US Constitution than the administrators at Columbia University, Netanyahu and the Israel Lobby, the NYPD, and the whore media. For example, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R, TN) labeled as “terrorists” students who protest against Israel’s destruction of Palestine. In order to protect Israel from students protesting genocide, Blackburn wants the students added to the terrorist watch list and prohibited from flying: “Any student who has promoted terrorism or engaged in terrorists[sic] acts on behalf of Hamas should be immediately be [sic] added to the terrorist watch list and placed on the [Transportation Security Administration] No Fly List,” Blackburn wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday.

Senator Rick Scott (R, FL) accuses protesting students of violating Israel’s right to commit genocide and wants the US Justice (sic) Department to investigate the students for “conspiring to violate the civil rights of a religious minority.” US senators are falling all over themselves pimping for Netanyahu’s final solution to the “Palestinian Problem.” One can see American conservatives supporting these demands, not realizing that their own Constitutional rights are in the crosshairs. Today in America there is no thought. There is only manipulated emotion and the sale of Americans’ honor for campaign contributions. So what does voting fix? The 21st century began with the George W. Bush’s suspension of habeas corpus on suspicion alone, and American liberty has gone downhill continuously at increasing speed. Only a simulacrum of the country into which I was born remains.

Americans are not permitted to speak freely about Israel. Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs points out the incongruity of a university, whose existence is based on freedom of speech, repressing freedom of speech. Closing down voices is today the primary function of the Israel Lobby, media, universities and “education” in general. It applies to faculty as well as to students. The Israel Lobby was able to reach into a Catholic university and cancel the tenure awarded to Norman Finkelstein and into the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and cancel the tenured appointment of a recruit from the University of Virginia. One wonders If the Israel Lobby will order Columbia to fire Professor Sachs.

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They should have guessed what he would do.

US Republicans Want To Oust House Speaker (RT)

A number of Republicans in the US House of Representatives are reportedly looking to oust Speaker Mike Johnson. They accuse him of betraying his party by striking deals with the Democrats to pass major bills, including President Joe Biden’s $95 billion foreign military spending legislation that included aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene announced on Wednesday that she would force a vote to vacate the Majority speaker’s position, arguing that “Mike Johnson is not capable of that job. He has proven it over and over again.” “I think every member of Congress needs to take that vote and let the chips fall where they may and so next week, I am going to be calling this motion to vacate,” she said. Taylor Greene had previously threatened to take action against Johnson when GOP lawmakers demanded the White House address the southern border crisis as a condition for their backing of Biden’s foreign aid bill.

Greene’s proposal has not gained the required majority support among fellow House Republicans, however. There were only two other Republicans, Reps Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Paul A Gosar of Arizona, who publicly backed her motion. Some lawmakers oppose it in the belief that “it’s not the time,” given the upcoming presidential election. Democrats, meanwhile, have also dismissed Greene’s attempt to oust the Republican speaker and have vowed to band together to protect Johnson by voting to kill the motion to vacate his position. “House Democrats have aggressively pushed back against MAGA extremism. We will continue to do just that. At this moment, upon completion of our national security work, the time has come to turn the page on this chapter of Pro-Putin Republican obstruction,” reads a statement issued by the legislators.

“We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair. If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed,” they said. J ohnson himself has also spoken out against attempts to have him removed, stating that “this motion is wrong for the Republican Conference, wrong for the institution, and wrong for the country.” Greene, however, has pointed to Johnson’s Democratic support as yet another reason for him to be removed. “Now we have […] the Democrats coming out, embracing Mike Johnson with a warm hug and a big, wet, sloppy kiss. And they are ready — they have endorsed him, they are ready to support him as speaker,” Greene stated, adding that “they want to keep it going, keep the band together. Why? Because Mike Johnson is giving them everything they want.” The congresswoman has not yet announced when exactly she will call the vote and whether she would force repeat votes on the issue if it fails next week.

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“Today, the two-state option is frantically being resuscitated in Washington, of all places, and by stalwart allies of Tel Aviv..”

To Israel’s Horror, Hamas Brings ‘Two-state Solution’ Back Into Focus (Cradle)

After seven months of a brutal military assault on Gaza, it is abundantly clear that Israel has not succeeded in eradicating Hamas. Instead of delivering a decisive military victory, the occupation state finds itself being drawn kicking and screaming into negotiations over a two-state solution. Withstanding the impracticality of establishing a genuinely independent, sovereign Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, this scenario is becoming increasingly likely despite long-standing opposition from the Israeli government. It is an extraordinary development, particularly as Tel Aviv’s strategy, as articulated by foreign policy advisor Ophir Falk, was mainly to “destroy Hamas” and its military and governance capabilities entirely. Today, the two-state option is frantically being resuscitated in Washington, of all places, and by stalwart allies of Tel Aviv.

Martin Indyk, a former US ambassador to Israel and staunch supporter of the occupation state, argues in Foreign Affairs magazine that far from being “dead,” the two-state solution now looks to be the only reasonable game in town: “The reason for this revival is not complicated. There are, after all, only a few possible alternatives to the two-state solution. There is Hamas’ solution, which is the destruction of Israel. There is the Israeli ultra-right’s solution, which is the Israeli annexation of the West Bank, the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the deportation of Palestinians to other countries. There is the ‘conflict management’ approach pursued for the last decade or so by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which aimed to maintain the status quo indefinitely – and the world has seen how that worked out. And there is the idea of a binational state in which Jews would become a minority, thus ending Israel’s status as a Jewish state. None of those alternatives would resolve the conflict – at least not without causing even greater calamities. And so if the conflict is to be resolved peacefully, the two-state solution is the only idea left standing.”

In widely publicized comments last week, Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of Hamas in Gaza, has appeared to endorse the 1967 borders for a future Palestinian state explicitly. In a recent interview with AP, Hayya spoke of “a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with the international resolutions” along Israel’s pre-1967 borders. Most significantly, though, he hinted that the resistance movement’s military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, could potentially dissolve itself and/or fold its cadres into a Palestinian national army: “All the experiences of people who fought against occupiers, when they became independent and obtained their rights and their state, what have these forces done? They have turned into political parties and their defending fighting forces have turned into the national army.”

Instead of embracing these possibilities, Falk dismissed Hayya as a “high-ranking terrorist” and sought to redirect the conversation back to intransigent Israeli demands: “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government set a mission to destroy Hamas’ military and governing capabilities in Gaza, free the hostages, and ensure that Gaza does not pose a threat to Israel and the rest of the civilized world in the future,” he said, adding, “Those goals will be achieved.”

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“We watched Medea Benjamin of Code Pink get thrown out of the dinner for holding up a placard reading, “100 journalists killed in Gaza.”

Of Journalists, Students and Power (Patrick Lawrence)

The American media are never short of red-letter days when it comes to its wonderful combination of superciliousness and irresponsibility. But last week the mainstream dailies and magazines went all the way to scarlet and alizarin crimson. The brighter the better, I say, when the derelictions of our media are on display such that readers can no longer miss the deceptions and distractions that are at this point their intent. I was reading along over breakfast last Thursday in search of the overnight news on the Israeli–U.S. genocide in Gaza when I came upon the headline in The New York Times, “Laundry Detergent Sheets Are Poor Cleaners.” Wow. This is a story The Times had been following since its April 5 opener, “The 5 Best Laundry Detergents of 2024,” but my friends on Eighth Avenue left me hanging. At last I could go forth into the day confident I was a well-informed American, altogether engagé.

Last Thursday, last Thursday: Wasn’t that the day the U.N. Relief and Works Agency reported that Israel’s military operations “continue from air, land and sea” and that “in northern Gaza only five hospitals remain operational, and in the south only six”? Yes, I read this on a U.N. website, but The Times didn’t have room for it. Then I was even better informed last Sunday, when The New Yorker published a long, delightfully inane conversation between David Remnick, who has very excellently overseen the ruination of what was once a good magazine, and Jerry Seinfeld, the comedian who always has a lot of important things to say. The occasion was … I shall let Remnick explain:

And now, for the first time, he has directed a movie. It is about a Russian Orthodox monk in the sixteenth century who starves himself to death rather than give in to the depredations of tsarist society. No, it isn’t. It’s about the race in the early sixties between Kellogg and Post to invent the Pop-Tart. Yes, really. It is called “Unfrosted” and will air on Netflix on May 3rd. It is extremely silly, in a good way. Extremely silly in a good way. I think I understand. Elsewhere in the news, as they say in the broadcast trade, the Israel Occupation Forces continued bombing Rafah as the Remnick item came out last Sunday—Rafah, the city in southern Gaza where the IOF had ordered Gazans to flee for their safety as they, the Israelis, bombed and bulldozed northern Gaza to the point of uninhabitability. But let us not allow brutalities of Medieval-style gore, savagery for which we pay, to disturb our psyches. With what shall our media fill our minds?

The dropping of American ordnance on Palestinian children or the history of Pop–Tarts, humorously told? We knew the answer by the time The New Yorker published the adolescent, time-wasting badinage Remnick and Seinfeld shared because we had watched—the caker over this past week—the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last Saturday evening. We watched a stream of reporters eager for some passing social connection to celebrity and power stride disdainfully by people demonstrating against the Israeli–U.S. genocide. We watched Medea Benjamin of Code Pink get thrown out of the dinner for holding up a placard reading, “100 journalists killed in Gaza.”

And we heard Colin Jost conclude his 23 minutes of sometimes-pithy humor with his ode to what was most conspicuously missing in that roomful of feckless poseurs. “Decency is why we’re all here tonight,” the television comedian said with unfeigned seriousness. “Decency is how we’re able to be here tonight.” By then Jost, at bottom a court jester, had already told his audience of narcissists, “Your words speak truth to power. Your words bring light to the darkness.” Yes, believe it, in the spring of 2024 people still say these sorts of things about corporate journalists. And the people so addressed take them to be true. Words. Words. Language, its use and misuse.

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They were there?!

Jews Did Not Kill Jesus – US House of Representatives (RT)

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at combating anti-Semitism in American universities amid continuing student protests against Israel’s military operation in Gaza. The Antisemitism Awareness Act was approved by 320 votes to 91 on Wednesday, with 21 Republicans and 70 Democrats being among those opposing the legislation. The bill would require the US Department of Education to adopt a broad definition of anti-Semitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which describes the phenomenon as “certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.” It also contains a list of “contemporary examples of anti-Semitism,” which have been shared online by social media users, including Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has said.

Among the examples of hatred toward Jews mentioned in the document is “using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.” Marjorie Taylor Greene was among the lawmakers who voted against the bill. “Antisemitism is wrong,” she wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, but added that she would not support legislation that “could convict Christians of antisemitism for believing the Gospel that says Jesus was handed over to Herod to be crucified by the Jews.” Other anti-Semitic actions mentioned in the bill include “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel… than to the interests of their own nations,” making allegations “about a world Jewish conspiracy and or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government,” as well as “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

Since mid-April, students have set up protest camps at more than 40 colleges across the US, demanding a stop to the violence in Gaza and an end to Washington’s support of Israel. The demonstrations were initially peaceful, but clashes have erupted at Columbia University in New York, UCLA, and other colleges as police moved in to disperse the gatherings. Hundreds have been arrested amid the unrest. Israel is facing increasing international criticism over the rising death toll among Palestinians following its latest invasion of Gaza. According to the enclave’s health ministry, more than 34,000 people have been killed in the ongoing airstrikes and ground offensive. The campaign was launched in response to the October 7 cross-border attack on Israel by Hamas, in which at least 1,200 people were killed and 250 taken hostage.

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Boeing is just like the Clinton family.

Second Boeing Whistleblower Dies Suddenly (RT)

Joshua Dean, a former Spirit AeroSystems employee who raised the alarm over lax standards in the production of Boeing’s 737 MAX jet, has died following a sudden and severe illness. In March, another Boeing whistleblower was found dead in a hotel parking lot in what authorities tentatively described as a suicide. The 737 MAX airliner has had a history of accidents, including two leading to multiple deaths. In October 2018, one of the aircraft went down in Indonesia, claiming the lives of all 189 people on board. Five months later, another Boeing 737 MAX – operated by Ethiopian Airlines – crashed soon after takeoff, killing all 157 passengers and crew. The two tragedies prompted a 20-month grounding of the airliner.

In January, a Boeing 737 MAX-9 operated by Alaska Airlines saw one of its doors and part of the fuselage break away in midair, soon after takeoff. An audit by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of Boeing and one of its key suppliers, Spirit AeroSystems, subsequently “identified non-compliance issues in Boeing’s manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage, and product control.” Dean’s family members revealed that the former quality auditor at Spirit AeroSystems passed away on Tuesday morning. His relatives said he had been hospitalized just over two weeks ago with impaired breathing. Dean was intubated, developed pneumonia, and contracted a fast-spreading antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus infection. The 45-year-old, who is said to have been in good health and leading a healthy lifestyle, was put on a life-support machine.

In October 2022, Dean said he had uncovered a serious manufacturing defect in the production of a key component that helps Boeing’s 737 MAX maintain normal pressure. He claimed that management chose to ignore his warnings, after which he filed a complaint with the FAA, alleging “serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management of the 737 production line.”Spirit AeroSystems fired Dean in April 2023, accusing him of missing another major flaw. The whistleblower then filed a complaint with the Department of Labor, claiming his termination was in retaliation for his revelations. In March, former Boeing quality manager John Barnett, known for raising concerns about the firm’s production standards, was found dead with a gunshot wound days before he was due to give evidence in a whistleblower lawsuit against the aerospace giant.

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10-year plan in the US, 5-year plan in Europe. Forever war.

Hungary Rejects €100-Billion Ukraine War Chest ‘Madness’ (RT)

Budapest is opposing a potential €100-billion ($107 billion), five-year NATO plan to fund Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said. The draft plan on the military aid fund was presented to member states of the US-led bloc by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier this week, Szijjarto revealed. The minister made the remarks on Thursday to Hungarian broadcaster M1 before heading for a ministerial meeting of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in Paris.“On Tuesday, the NATO member states received the secretary-general’s proposal to raise 100 billion that NATO plans to spend on the war,” the diplomat said, adding that since the money is to be collected over five years, this means NATO “expects the hostilities to continue for this period.”

Budapest will oppose the initiative and is not planning to participate in arming Kiev or training its soldiers, Szijjarto stressed. The draft plan was presented to the bloc’s member states in its “first reading” and is still a subject to negotiations, the senior diplomat noted. In the coming weeks during negotiations we will fight for Hungary’s right to stay away from this madness, from collecting these 100 billion and siphoning them out of Europe. Budapest prioritizes the security of its own people before anything else and will do its best to “stay out of war,” Szijjarto explained, adding Hungary’s opinion remains that the conflict can only be resolved through negotiations. Nonetheless, Budapest acknowledges mounting global security issues and wants to be ready to face them, he said.

“We cannot ignore the threat of a new world war and the preparations for a nuclear war. This madness here in Europe must be stopped,” Szijjarto urged. Hungary has consistently expressed its opposition to the ever-growing involvement of the US-led NATO bloc – and of the EU – in the Ukrainian conflict, refusing to send arms to prop up Kiev or to train its troops, and forbidding use of its territory to funnel such shipments from third countries. Budapest has also publicly spoken out against the potential accession of Ukraine into NATO, which has long been one of the key goals of Ukrainian leadership.

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Helmer shouting match. For more see johnhelmer.net.

British Knight Unhorsed (Helmer)

The kings of Europe used to pay clever men to pretend to be fools in order to make jokes to amuse the monarch and his court. They were called jesters. A man who pretends to be cleverer than he is, and who tells jokes in order to fool others into making himself rich – they are hucksters. In the Jewish garment trade their merchandise is known as schmattes. This means “rags”; it was a Polish word before it was picked up in Yiddish — something cheap to make to be sold dear. By extension, peddling anything cheap and fast on false pretences is schmatte business. The Gentile word for this is a hustle. For the merchandise Sir Lawrence Freedman of London has been selling, he has been well paid personally, and the corporation he used to run when he was a professor of “war studies” at King’s College is now a multimillion-pound business. To collect money for himself, and also for his son, Freedman has used company identities whose financial reports can be read at the UK Companies House registry.

The operation optimizes on its tax liabilities to the UK Inland Revenue by following the advice of Judith Freedman, a professor of taxation at Oxford; she is Freedman’s wife. The turnover, costs, tax, and profit lines of the Freedman businesses give a glimpse into how it possible for him to appear regularly in books, newspapers, and corporate conventions in order to announce, as he advertised last week in a London newspaper, that the new US military supplies for the Ukraine will give the allies time to “restore [Kiev’s] battlefield fortunes”; solve the Ukrainian “manpower problems…as new recruits don’t face the prospects of being sent to fight with insufficient ammunition”; “time before they will have the strength to start liberating substantial amounts of territory”; and time to compel President Vladimir Putin to “contemplate the possibility that [the war] might yet again swing towards Ukraine”. The subjunctive “might” on the punchline is Freedman’s slip – he reveals he isn’t sure of the value of what he is selling.

Freedman was the British government’s official historian of the Falklands War and then a member of the Chilcot committee of inquiry on the British war against Iraq. He has also been a career-long Russia threat faker and fighter of the war his side keeps losing, as he keeps insisting on the reverse. This isn’t jestering, it’s huckstering. Freedman is for hire through an organ called All American Entertainment (AAE), which describes itself as “a full-service talent booking agency, specifically focused on the needs of event professionals looking to book keynote speakers and corporate entertainment for their events.” His pro-US credentials for fighting the war against Russia, and his pro-Israel credentials for fighting the war against the Arabs and Iran have earned him an engagement at a Zionist-financed think-tank in Australia which calls Freedman “the foremost authority on modern war in the English-speaking world.” Small world, if viewed from Sydney, Tel Aviv, or London.

Starting with a PhD entitled “The definition of the Soviet threat in strategic arms decisions of the United States: 1961–1974” – that’s the US targeting version of Russia — Freedman has monetized his war-fighting line through incorporation of a company called King’s College Business Limited, UK company number 02714181. Founded in 1992 with the name KCL Enterprises Ltd, it said it was an investment and commercial trading company without an express purpose, apart from making money. Freedman became a director in 1998 when he gave a home address in Wimbledon. On Freedman’s street, local realtors value the average house price at the moment to be £1.9 million; this is down 15% from its peak in 2017. War with Russia has been much more profitable for Freedman. Losing the war, that’s to say.

In 2007 Freedman was chairman of the board of directors of KCL Enterprises when it was decided to make the King’s College brand name more visible. According to the audited financial report for that year, the purpose of the company was “to assist King’s College London to market its research and consultancy capabilities.” The report reveals that turnover in 2007 was £2.3 million; it then grew by 55% in 2008 to £3.5 million. “Administrative expenses” came to almost the same total, meaning the company was operating for tax and expense optimization through which directors and King’s College academics like Freedman were running their consultancy and other fees. When Freedman retired from King’s College at the end of 2008, he also left the company board. It has gone on to quadruple its turnover in 2023 to £12.6 million. War against Russia is very good for business.

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Shar Pei

 

 

Blue whale
https://twitter.com/i/status/1786025591071732163

 

 

Russian bear

 

 

What lies beneath

 

 

 

 

Big bath
https://twitter.com/i/status/1786131306633424999

 

 

Puppies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1785783023029432757

 

 

Doorbell

 

 

 

 

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Mar 152024
 


Vincent van Gogh Lilac Bush 1889

 

US Has Created ‘Frankenstein’ States – Galloway (RT)
NATO’s ‘Welfare’ States: Treating the U.S. As ‘Room Service’ (Hoekstra)
US Intelligence ‘Threat Assessment’ Says Hamas Isn’t Going Away (Antiwar)
Scenario for Military Takeover of Ukrainian Parliament Was Written by US (Sp.)
France Mulled ‘Boots On The Ground’ In Ukraine Since June – Le Monde (RT)
Medvedev Responds To Zelensky ‘Peace Plan’ (RT)
EU Members Oppose Plan To Arm Kiev With Russian Money – Politico (RT)
Kremlin Slams US ‘Distortion’ Of Putin’s Words On Nuclear Weapons (RT)
Trump Unlikely To Win – Macron (RT)
US in ‘Constant State of Neo-McCarthyism’ – Sleboda (Sp.)
The U.S. Is Not a Democracy and Can’t Be Reformed (Barton)
Musk Cancels X Partnership Deal With Don Lemon (RT)
Canada Moves to Impose Potential Life Imprisonment for Speech Crimes (Turley)
973% SURGE in Heart Failure Among Navy Pilots (DW)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malaysia PM

 

 

Elon

 

 

 

 

@Judgenap: Congress has no right to ban TikTok

 

 

Tucker TikTok

 

 

 

 

“When you make a monster… it’s no longer yours. It’s a monster that can do monstrous things..”

US Has Created ‘Frankenstein’ States – Galloway (RT)

The American policy of giving billions in aid to Ukraine and Israel has created “monster” states, British MP George Galloway has claimed. Appearing on Rick Sanchez’s show Direct Impact broadcast on RT, Galloway discussed the debate surrounding Western aid to Ukraine, as well as the rift between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the situation in Gaza. In the latest row between Biden and Netanyahu, the US president has insisted that an Israeli assault on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza – where around 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge – would be a “red line.” Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead regardless, arguing that his own red line is ensuring that the October 7 Hamas attack “never happens again.”

Comparing Washington to the fictional scientist Frankenstein, Galloway told Sanchez: “When you make a monster… it’s no longer yours. It’s a monster that can do monstrous things. And that’s what they have done with Netanyahu and people like him who now run Israel.” Israel is the biggest cumulative recipient of US military aid, being provided with around $3.8 billion worth of weapons and defense systems each year. Galloway also used the Frankenstein analogy to refer to the Ukrainian government, which he claimed has become a “client state” that now “tells the paymaster what to do.”

“Ukraine treats us now as if we owe them rather than them having been on the end of endless subventions of money and material. Now the Ukrainian leadership insults the people that gave them so much, hundreds of billions of dollars,” Galloway argued. Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused his country’s Western supporters of “playing internal political games” while criticizing them for delays in allocating aid. Ukrainian first lady Elena Zelenskaya declined an invitation last week to attend Biden’s State of the Union address, citing a busy schedule. The US has already doled out around $45 billion in military aid to Kiev. A foreign aid bill that would include another $60 billion in military support has been stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

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Make NATO a defensive alliance again and your problems are over.

NATO’s ‘Welfare’ States: Treating the U.S. As ‘Room Service’ (Hoekstra)

Last month, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg conceded what former US President Donald Trump has been warning about for nearly a decade: America’s allies are not paying their fair share — as they had agreed — for national defense. After four years in which Trump held our NATO allies accountable for funding their share of NATO’s collective defense, US President Joe Biden has once again allowed many of them to pass significant burdens of NATO spending on to American taxpayers – threatening the security of the NATO alliance in the process. The very nature of alliances is that they are a two-way street. Americans should rightly expect to realize benefits from U.S. participation in NATO, just as the citizens of other NATO nations can expect to benefit from their country’s relationship with the United States.

Indeed, that was the original idea behind the North Atlantic Treaty Organization when it was founded in 1949. In the wake of WWII, 12 nations agreed to band together to guard against the threat of the Soviet Union, a number that has now grown to 32 with the recent addition of Sweden. The NATO alliance today, however, more closely resembles an international welfare program than a true alliance, with most countries failing to meet their defense commitments and instead relying on the generosity of the United States. As the eminent journalist Amir Taheri put it: “others… treat the US as a ‘room service’ reachable by pressing a button…” In 2014, every NATO member agreed to allocate just 2% of their nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) to defense spending. This minimum baseline target is crucial to ensuring military readiness in the face of growing threats from hostile nations such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

A decade later, 19 out of 32 NATO member nations have failed to meet this goal. Moreover, most of those countries that have reached the 2% target, such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Greece, are smaller nations with smaller GDPs. The United States, meanwhile, accounts for a staggering 70% of all NATO defense spending — even though the combined GDP of the other 31 member nations is roughly equal to that of the United States. Germany, by far the richest NATO member behind the United States, allocates just 1.57% of its GDP to defense spending. The combined population of these 31 NATO member states, at more than 620 million, also now dwarfs that of the United States, at 333 million. In other words, each American citizen is now effectively responsible for funding the national defense of two people in another NATO nation. The situation in Europe today is far different than at the founding of NATO, when many nations were still relying on the Marshall Plan funding to be rebuilt.

Our NATO allies have highly advanced economies and immensely capable citizens. American taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize their national defense. If NATO is to function as an effective deterrent to military aggression from Russia and other adversaries, there seriously needs to be a new commitment by every NATO member state to invest in a strong national defense. Yet, the failure of our European allies to meet their spending commitments means they are woefully unprepared from a military standpoint to defend their countries – thus endangering the United States as well as themselves by threatening to draw America into war unnecessarily because of European weakness. President Trump wisely recognized this threat and accordingly made holding our NATO allies accountable a top priority of his foreign policy. Under his leadership, NATO member countries increased their defense spending by $350 billion.

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And neither are the Houthis. You got yourself a big problem.

US Intelligence ‘Threat Assessment’ Says Hamas Isn’t Going Away (Antiwar)

An annual “threat assessment” compiled by US intelligence agencies was released on Monday and said that Israel will likely face resistance from Hamas for years to come, another sign that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stated goal of “eradicating” the Palestinian group isn’t realistic. “Israel probably will face lingering armed resistance from HAMAS for years to come, and the military will struggle to neutralize HAMAS’s underground infrastructure, which allows insurgents to hide, regain strength, and surprise Israeli forces,” the assessment reads. The assessment aligns with an Israeli military intelligence document that was circulated last month and said even if Israel succeeded in dismantling Hamas as an organized military force, the group would still exist as “a terror group and a guerrilla group.” Other reports have said Israel is struggling to destroy the vast tunnel network underneath Gaza that is key to Hamas’s survival and is far more expansive than Israel initially thought.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Q. Brown, the highest ranking US military officer, previously said that Israel’s mass killing of civilians in Gaza will be a recruiting boon for Hamas. “The faster you can get to a point where you stop the hostilities, you have less strife for the civilian population that turns into someone who now wants to be the next member of Hamas,” Brown said in November. Despite believing Netanyahu’s goal is unrealistic, the US continues to provide unconditional military support for Israel’s genocidal war, which has killed at least over 31,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. The Biden administration is trying to distance itself from Netanyahu by criticizing his government, but the rhetoric hasn’t amounted to a policy change. The US threat assessment said that while Hamas isn’t going away, Netanyahu could lose his hold on power. “Netanyahu’s viability as leader as well as his governing coalition of far-right and ultraorthodox parties that pursued hardline policies on Palestinian and security issues may be in jeopardy.

Distrust of Netanyahu’s ability to rule has deepened and broadened across the public from its already high levels before the war, and we expect large protests demanding his resignation and new elections. A different, more moderate government is a possibility,” the report says. The assessment also said that Iran had no role in Hamas’s October 7 attack and acknowledged Tehran is not seeking a nuclear weapon. “Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities necessary to produce a testable nuclear device,” the report reads. The report acknowledges that Iran’s increases in uranium enrichment since the US tore up the nuclear deal in 2018 were to gain leverage for negotiations, not seek a bomb. “Iran uses its nuclear program to build negotiating leverage and respond to perceived international pressure,” the assessment says.

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“..none of the Ukrainian military and intelligence structures is independent: each of them has either British or US “supervisors..”

Scenario for Military Takeover of Ukrainian Parliament Was Written by US (Sp.)

A takeover of the Ukrainian Parliament by the nation’s military would not be a grass-roots movement, “Other Ukraine” expert Alexander Dudchak told Sputnik, suggesting that the potential rebellion has been orchestrated from the West. The disillusioned Ukrainian military is planning a takeover of the Ukrainian Parliament or Verkhovna Rada, an exchange from private Telegram channel Parabelum obtained by Sputnik reveals. “This could be a scenario of replacing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky without holding elections,” Alexander Dudchak, researcher at the Institute of CIS Countries and expert of the ‘Other Ukraine’ movement, told Sputnik. The members of the classified chat, composed of commanders and soldiers of elite units of the Ukrainian armed forces, were discussing options for overthrowing the present government and the command of the Ukrainian armed forces following the sacking of Commander-in-Chief General Valery Zaluzhny.

“The most important action that we will need to pull off lightning fast is the takeover of the VR [Verkhovna Rada] at a certain point,” one of the chat members wrote. They also expressed dissatisfaction with Zelensky’s decisions and the new commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleksandr Syrsky, who was appointed a month ago to replace Zaluzhny. The alleged coup plotters placed special emphasis on involving Ukrainian troops fighting at the frontline in the anti-Zelensky movement. According to the researcher, engaging Ukrainian active duty personnel is fraught with risks, given that those in the trenches are closely monitored by foreign mercenaries from ‘barrier detachments’ with orders to shoot any who leave their positions against orders. If Ukrainian troops are allowed to march towards Kiev that would mean that the regime-change scenario was written in Washington in response to Zelensky’s refusal to hold elections this year, Dudchak argued.

Leaders of elite Ukrainian units, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the nationalist Azov and Aidar battalions are also reportedly planning to create a radical party with a military wing. The expert insists that none of the Ukrainian military and intelligence structures is independent: each of them has either British or US “supervisors”. “The confrontation between the military and the Kiev regime is in general a manifestation of the confrontation between London and Washington,” said Dudchak. “The office of the president is under British control, while the military, who supposedly will gather in the name of Zaluzhny, are under Americans, plus the SBU is also a US-backed structure.” The consequences for Kiev would be dramatic and could seriously complicate the Ukrainian military’s positions at the frontline, the researcher concluded.

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“..we are ready to use the means to achieve our objective – which is that Russia does not win..”

France Mulled ‘Boots On The Ground’ In Ukraine Since June – Le Monde (RT)

The idea of sending Western troops to Ukraine was secretly discussed in Paris as early as last June, months before French President Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to keep all options on the table to defeat Russia, according to Le Monde. The subject was raised at a defense council at the Elysee Palace in June 2023, soon after Kiev launched its much-touted counteroffensive, the French newspaper wrote on Thursday. “The role of the military is to always prepare the maximum number of possible options, in order to help with the political-military decision of the President of the Republic,” Chief of Staff of the French Army, Pierre Schill, told the paper. Macron’s recent public statements are “foremost a political and strategic message” to Russia about France’s “will and commitment,” rather than an escalation, the general argued.

Following a summit of Ukraine’s sponsors hosted in Paris in late February, Macron said there was no consensus on sending troops in any official manner, but claimed that “in terms of dynamics, we cannot exclude anything.” The controversial statement prompted a wave of objections from NATO members, including the US, UK, Italy, Spain and the Czech Republic. The US-led bloc’s chief has declared outright that “NATO has no plans to send troops to Ukraine.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said there will be “no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil, who are sent there by European or NATO countries,” and that the bloc’s leaders were “unanimous as far as this question is concerned.” However, the French leader has stood behind his words, repeatedly reiterating that nothing must be excluded to make sure that Russia is defeated in Ukraine.

“We must, with determination, will and courage, say that we are ready to use the means to achieve our objective – which is that Russia does not win,” Macron again said in a televised interview to TF1 and France 2 on Thursday. While refusing to draw red lines, Macron said France would never initiate an offensive against Russia, even as he called Moscow an “adversary.” The latest rift between the leaders of France and Germany has exacerbated an already strained relationship, as Macron allegedly made his comments “against express wishes of Scholz’s office,” Bloomberg wrote early in March. The heads of the two states are set to meet in Berlin on Friday in an effort to reduce tensions over Ukraine, Politico wrote on Wednesday, while Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will join the meeting later in the day.

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“A “reasonable” peace agreement with Ukraine would involve Moscow taking full control over the country..”

Medvedev Responds To Zelensky ‘Peace Plan’ (RT)

A “reasonable” peace agreement with Ukraine would involve Moscow taking full control over the country, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. The senior official mocked the peace plan proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which has been backed by the West as the only way to end the conflict with Russia. First unveiled in late 2022, the proposal amounts to Moscow conceding military defeat, according to the Russian leadership. “Everyone, including those brazen Western liars, understands that even in a less complicated situation peace can be achieved either through reasonable compromise or after one of the sides capitulates,” Medvedev, who serves as deputy head of the Security Council, wrote on social media on Thursday. Since the Ukrainian proposal can only be taken with “loathing” and a “sense of shame,” Medvedev said he had come up with a “soft” alternative.

This would involve formal capitulation by Kiev, the dissolution of the Ukrainian government, and the UN-monitored election of a new parliament. The new legislature in Kiev would be tasked with paying reparations to Russia and ultimately ratifying a treaty of union, under which Moscow would assume full sovereignty over Ukraine. “This is a compromise position, right?” Medvedev added, addressing Western nations. “I believe that based on it, we can find a friendly consensus with the international community, including the Anglosphere, hold productive summits counting on mutual understanding with our close friends, the Western partners.” The comments came after Switzerland announced that it will host a new round of talks on the ‘Zelensky formula’ this summer. Bern has urged the inclusion of Russia in the talks, unlike during every previous summit, although neither Kiev nor Moscow has agreed.

The Russian government believes the entire process to be a ruse. The Ukrainian document includes points on non- specific issues such as global food and energy security. The ploy, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, is to get non-aligned countries to back these articles so that Kiev could then falsely claim global support for the entire ‘formula’. Russia is prepared for peace talks “based not on a wish list somebody came up with after taking psychotropic substances, but on the realities… on the ground,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview this week. Any stable truce with Ukraine will have to address Russian security concerns caused by NATO’s expansion in Europe, he added. Considering the lack of trust in Moscow after so many Western promises given to it were broken, that bridge would be difficult to cross, according to the Russian leader.

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“..a bad precedent that could push other countries to avoid holding their reserves in Western currencies..”

EU Members Oppose Plan To Arm Kiev With Russian Money – Politico (RT)

A European Union plan to use the profits generated by Russia’s central bank assets frozen in the bloc to buy weapons for Ukraine has faced resistance from Malta, Luxembourg, and Hungary, Politico reported on Thursday, citing an EU official. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last month suggested using the interest earned from the assets to acquire weapons for Ukraine rather than using the funds for reconstruction, as had been initially planned. According to the outlet, Malta, Luxembourg and Hungary “expressed reservations” about the plan during a meeting of the EU’s 27 ambassadors on Wednesday. The report indicated that von der Leyen’s idea of using Russian money to purchase arms for Kiev has “complicated talks” ahead of the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels next week.

The West has frozen roughly $300 billion in holdings belonging to the Russian central bank since the start of the Ukraine conflict two years ago. Brussels-based clearinghouse Euroclear holds around €191 billion ($205 billion) of the funds and has accrued nearly €4.4 billion in interest over the past year. The EU is aiming to give Kiev between €2 and €3 billion in revenue generated by the frozen assets this year, the Financial Times reported earlier this week. A first tranche of the money could be disbursed as early as July if Brussels can secure the approval of all bloc members, the outlet said, citing EU officials. Some member states are cautious about the controversial proposal, saying it needs a more thorough analysis, Bloomberg said in a separate report on Tuesday. Hungary has reportedly insisted that the proceeds from the Russian assets should be allocated to Ukraine’s reconstruction rather than be used for funding its military, the outlet said, citing people familiar with the discussions.

While Kiev’s Western backers generally agree that the frozen assets should be used to aid Ukraine, they are at odds about whether an outright seizure would be legal. While the US and UK support the direct expropriation of the funds, some EU member states, France and Germany in particular, warn the move would erode trust in the European financial system. It’s also argued that such a drastic move would set a bad precedent that could push other countries to avoid holding their reserves in Western currencies out of fear that they could someday also becomes targets of sanctions. Moscow has warned that it would respond in kind if the West went through with its threats to confiscate the assets. Russia has repeatedly said that any actions taken against its assets would amount to “theft,” stressing that seizing the funds or any similar move would violate international law and undermine Western currencies, the global financial system, and the world economy.

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“..Everything is written in our Strategy, we haven’t changed it.”

Kremlin Slams US ‘Distortion’ Of Putin’s Words On Nuclear Weapons (RT)

Washington “deliberately distorted” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s words about the conditions under which Moscow would use nuclear weapons, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. He was referring to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s remarks about an interview Putin gave that aired on Wednesday. While answering a reporter’s question on whether US President Joe Biden had been briefed about Putin’s comments, Jean-Pierre responded that the Russian leader was “restating Russia’s nuclear doctrine” but went on to claim that “Russia’s nuclear rhetoric has been reckless and irresponsible throughout this conflict.” Peskov described the White House’s reaction to Putin’s interview as an “absolutely deliberate distortion of the context,” adding that “no threats to use nuclear weapons were made by Putin in this interview.”

He indicated that the president was answering the journalist’s questions rather than making official statements and explained that Putin “was just talking about the reasons that could make the use of nuclear weapons inevitable.” The Kremlin spokesperson also drew attention to the fact that Jean-Pierre had omitted the president’s remark where he stressed that “it has never come into his mind to use tactical nuclear weapons” despite the “various situations” that had emerged on the battlefield. While answering a question about tactical nuclear arms in the interview, Putin stressed that weapons of mass destruction have never been used by Russia in Ukraine. “Weapons exist to be used. We have our own principles and they imply that we are ready to use any weapons, including the ones you mentioned, if we are talking about the existence of the Russian state, in case of a threat to our sovereignty and independence. Everything is written in our Strategy, we haven’t changed it.”

In June 2020, Putin signed a decree on Russia’s nuclear deterrence policy. The document provides for the use of nuclear weapons in a number of cases, one of which is aggression against Russia using conventional weapons that puts the existence of the state at risk. Putin warned that Russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons and considers its arsenal “more advanced than anyone else’s.” Meanwhile, the Russian leader suggested that Washington has enough experts in strategic deterrence, including President Joe Biden himself, to avoid a nuclear conflagration. But he added that if the US abandons its de facto moratorium on nuclear tests, Moscow will do the same.

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What a strange thing to say. Does he know something?

Trump Unlikely To Win – Macron (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed doubt that Donald Trump will be able to secure another term in the White House, when asked who could potentially mediate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Macron called Moscow “an adversary,” but stopped short of declaring it an “enemy,” during an interview with the France 2 and TF1 TV channels on Thursday. He once again refused to rule out NATO deployments in Ukraine, reiterating that Paris is ready to make any “decisions necessary to prevent Russia’s victory” – and noting that he sees no opportunities for negotiations with the Kremlin at this point. “I am absolutely ready for discussions at any time, but we need someone sincere and peace-oriented to do that,” Macron said, adding that he hoped that the time would come one day to negotiate with a Russian president “whoever it might be.”

Noting Macron’s reluctance to engage in direct communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the interviewers wondered if the United States could potentially mediate such talks, especially if Donald Trump is reelected. “As far as I’m informed, I don’t think Donald Trump will become President of the United States,” the French leader claimed. At the same time Macron said there was “nothing personal” behind his decision to refrain from dialogue with Putin. “Undoubtedly, I am the head of the state that used to talk to him more than anyone else.”

Back in January, Macron said he would deal with whoever wins the US election, claiming “I’ve always had the same philosophy, I take the leaders that people give me.” US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set for a rematch in November, with recent polls showing Trump leading his incumbent rival by between two and nine percentage points. Trump has promised to end the Ukrainian conflict “in 24 hours” if voted back into office, without specifying how peace could be achieved. Meanwhile, Russia is holding its own presidential election this weekend, in which Vladimir Putin faces three opponents.

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“Let us understand that this is a propaganda bubble that Americans have, to a large part, inflicted on themselves.”

US in ‘Constant State of Neo-McCarthyism’ – Sleboda (Sp.)

The US fearmongering surrounding Russia is the result of a sort of “Neo-McCarthyism” Mark Sleboda, an international relations and security analyst told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Wednesday. “If someone threatened the existence of the US state, they would use nuclear weapons. Putin is saying the exact same thing,” Sleboda explained. “The Western media just loves putting Russia and nukes together in the same sentence. I think it has a certain amount of scaremongering, a kind of neo-McCarthyite effect just by seeing the two words together in a headline.” Show host Melik Abdul pointed to a panel between US commentators Candace Owens and Chris Cuomo, during which Cuomo refused to acknowledge that Putin is intelligent, Abdul said that it is emblematic of the West’s refusal to “acknowledge basic stuff.”

“I mean, could we agree that Putin is intelligent?” Sleboda responded playfully. “Could we agree that Putin is a human being? [Do] we agree that Putin’s first name is Vladimir? None of these things, I guess, [can] be agreed on because we live in a constant state of hyper neo-McCarthyism,” Sleboda added, noting that the term isn’t quite correct since Russia is no longer communist. “Maybe Russophobic hysteria” is a better term, he pondered. “But Vladimir Putin is, obviously, an extremely intelligent and capable leader of his country. He is a thorn in the US hegemony’s side. Numerous US politicians and officials have admitted that, but in the current social-political climate in the United States, it’s simply verboten. It is forbidden to acknowledge things like that,” Sleboda explained. “Let us understand that this is a propaganda bubble that Americans have, to a large part, inflicted on themselves.”

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“It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery..”

The U.S. Is Not a Democracy and Can’t Be Reformed (Barton)

It may be reasonable to start with the Trump administration (2016-2020), especially with the view that he is likely to stage a comeback in the forthcoming presidential elections in November. How close was he to corporations and the very rich and to what extent did he represent their will? As noted by Eric Lipton in the New York Times, during Trump’s presidency (2016-2020) there was “the merging of private business interest with government affairs”. So, for instance, billionaire investor Carl Icahn was appointed as a special adviser to the president. Interestingly, as he was not an official government employee he therefore was not subject to conflict of interest divestment requirements. Consequently, Icahn maintained his majority holdings in an oil refinery while advocating for a rule change that would have saved his refinery more than $200 million the previous year.

Let’s take a shortcut and indicate how plutocratic Trump’s government was. Trump’s cabinet had more combined personal wealth than one-third of American households, and Icahn was richer than all of them combined. As Liz Kennedy from the Center for American Progress points out, corporate interests are in a position to outspend labor or public interest groups on elections. For example, in 2014, business interests spent $1.1 billion on state candidates and committees compared with the $215 million that labor groups spent. Unfortunately, the U.S. establishment, facing such huge volumes of money in politics that give lobbyists far greater access to legislators than should be allowed in liberal democracies, does nothing about the problem. How about the much-vaunted concept of “checks and balances”? The system was designed in theory to allow each branch of a government to amend or veto acts of another branch to prevent any one branch from having too much power.

But the money issue was already addressed by the Supreme Court. In its decisions like Buckley versus Valeo and Citizens United versus FEC, the Supreme Court stated that political donations and spending on lobbying were a form of free speech and therefore constitutionally protected. What a clever way of giving too much power to the very rich! In practice, one can hardly see any checks and balances. Hardly any high-ranking politician commented on the impact of the above Supreme Court decisions. One of the exceptions was the ex-president, Jimmy Carter. In 2015, he was asked on a radio show, the Thom Hartmann Program, what he thought about the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns.

President Carter elaborated as follows: “It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and Congress members. So, now we’ve just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over… At present, the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell.”

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“..basically just ‘CNN, but on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying.”

Musk Cancels X Partnership Deal With Don Lemon (RT)

Elon Musk has abruptly withdrawn from a deal to exclusively host journalist Don Lemon’s new talk show on X (formerly Twitter), shortly after he interviewed the billionaire last Friday, the former CNN anchor has said. In a statement on Wednesday, Lemon explained that the deal was part of X’s public commitment to “amplifying more diverse voices on their platform” and that Musk had encouraged him to join X with a new talk show and promised to support the project. However, several hours after filming an interview with Musk on Friday, which Lemon described as a “good conversation,” the billionaire allegedly messaged the former host, informing him that the partnership contract with the Don Lemon Show had been terminated without explaining the reasons.

“His commitment to a global town square where all questions can be asked and all ideas can be shared seems not to include questions of him from people like me,” Lemon suggested, adding that there were no restrictions on the interview that Musk had agreed to, and insisted that his questions were “respectful and wide ranging.” Musk has since confirmed the deal was scuttled, but pointed out that Lemon would still be free to upload his show, monetize it, and build his viewership on the platform “along with everyone else.” “What we aren’t going to do is guarantee minimum payments to him, as he was demanding, which would be going beyond everyone else,” Musk explained. As for the reason for the sudden termination, the billionaire stated that Lemon’s approach to the interview was “basically just ‘CNN, but on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying.”

“Instead of it being the real Don Lemon, it was really just Jeff Zucker talking through Don, so lacked authenticity,” Musk wrote, referring to the former president of the media company where Lemon worked until last year. In several snippets of the interview that have been published ahead of the full premiere on Monday, Lemon asked the billionaire a series of questions about content moderation, hate speech, conspiracy theories, as well as his political leanings and attitude towards former US President Donald Trump. The visibly frustrated Musk stated at one point in the interview that “he doesn’t have to answer these questions” and told Lemon that “the only reason I’m doing this interview is because you’re on the X platform and you asked for it.” “Otherwise I would not be doing this interview,” Musk said.

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“There is also a chilling option for house arrest if a judge believes a defendant “will commit” an offense..”

Canada Moves to Impose Potential Life Imprisonment for Speech Crimes (Turley)

We have previously discussed the unrelenting attacks by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his allies on free speech. There has been a steady criminalization of speech, including even jokes and religious speech, in Canada. Now, the Canadian parliament is moving toward a new change that would allow the imposition of life imprisonment on those who post views deemed supportive of genocide. With a growing movement calling Israel’s war in Gaza “genocide,” the potential scope of such a law is readily apparent. That appears to be its very draw for anti-free speech advocates in the country.

The Online Harms Act, or Bill C-63 increases the potential penalties from five years to life imprisonment. It also increases the penalty for the willful promotion of hatred (a dangerously ill-defined crime) from two years to five years. The proposed changes constitute a doubling down on Canada’s commitment to reducing free speech for citizens despite criticism from many in the civil liberties community. There is also a chilling option for house arrest if a judge believes a defendant “will commit” an offense. In other words, if a judge thinks that a citizen will be undeterred and try to speak freely again. Justice Minister Arif Virani employed the same hysteria to convince citizens to surrender their freedoms to the government. He expressed how terrified he was with the potential of free speech, stating that he is “terrified of the dangers that lurk on the internet for our children.”

It is not likely to end there. Today the rationale is genocide. However, once the new penalties are in place, a host of other groups will demand similar treatment for those with opposing views on their own causes. This law already increased the penalties for anything deemed hateful speech. The law comes after Canada blocked a Russian dissident from becoming a citizen because of her violation of Russian anti-free speech laws. In a telling act, the government said that the same conduct (i.e., free speech) could be a crime in Canada. Indeed, it may now be punished even more harshly.

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It ain’t over.

973% SURGE in Heart Failure Among Navy Pilots (DW)

A United States Navy medic who blew the whistle on an explosive report showing a massive increase in heart issues among military pilots has been blocked by the Department of Defense (DOD) from accessing his work computer. Navy Medical Service Corps Lt. Ted Macie shared shocking information about the surge in heart failure among military personnel. Macie claimed that members of the U.S. military have experienced massive increases in heart-related issues, presenting Defense Department data showing the following:
937% increase in heart failure
152% increase in cardiomyopathy
69% increase in ischemic heart disease
36% increase in hypertensive disease
63% increase in other forms of heart disease

The alarming data was first raised by his wife, Mara Macie, a candidate for Florida’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House against John Rutherford. “The responses to our concerns from the DoD have been memorandums, letters. As in a letter displaying how they confirmed the data but said it was due to the COVID-19 virus, even though all the issues start in 2021,” Lt. Macie told The Gateway Pundit last week. “I met with the Chief of Naval Operations and her aide. So far the only response to that is that the DMED data has been sent to the Navy IG from the CNO’s office. Slow rolling everything has been the norm as well as denying anything is happening.” Just days later, Mara Macie revealed that Lt. Ted Macie had lost access to his work computer. “This afternoon, as Ted was nearing the end of his work day, he went to use the restroom. And when he returned, he no longer had access to his work computer, and he needs to have access to his work computer to do his job,” Mara said. Mara Macie said the commanding officer ordered Lt. Macie’s access to his work computer to be blocked.

“I haven’t yet, and I believe that’s because I’m putting out the DoD’s own data. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not my job to look at the defense database. However, it’s something that is affecting our entire DoD. So, I think it’s kind to point this out…” said Lt. Macie on Wednesday. Last year, Macie’s wife blasted the U.S. government’s treatment of military troops during the COVID-19 pandemic. “So you may have seen my wife’s recent post, and I want to elaborate on that and give you an example as to why reinstatement, back pay, and apologies isn’t enough,” Macie said in his video. According to information published by the U.S. Army, 97% of active-duty U.S. troops are fully vaccinated, 90% of Army National Guard members are fully vaccinated, and 91% of U.S. Army Reserve members are fully vaccinated.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Tucker Kory
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768063269808361671
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768056633123385656

 

 

8 minute house

 

 

Heavens on earth

 

 

Egg

 

 

Tiger

 

 

Grounding your garden
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768002498248290739

 

 

Tom&Jerry
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768392683318624400

 

 

Starling
https://twitter.com/i/status/1768184803063394413

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 142024
 


Pablo Picasso Blue nude 1902

 

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

 

 

 

 

Habba

 

 

O’Leary

 

 

Dream Team

 

 

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

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

Tucker Quaid

 

 

3 world wars

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notable quotes from Jan. 11 ICJ hearing

From South African attorney Tembeka Ngcukaitobi:

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

From South African attorney Adila Hassim:

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

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

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

The Case for Genocide (Chris Hedges)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hannibal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Musk Reacts To Death Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)

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

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

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

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

Lira Nuland

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

Friendly Fire (Vivek Ramaswamy)

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

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

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

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

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

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Honest mistakes?

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

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

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

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

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They want 66 more years.

FBI Stonewalls Over Seth Rich Laptop Production (ZH)

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

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

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

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

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

Voter Fraud Convictions Challenge Narrative of Secure Elections (ET)

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Tasmanian tiger

 

 

Loved

 

 

 

 

Trust jump

 

 


Tobias Messerli, Utzingen, Switzerland.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 222023
 
 December 22, 2023  Posted by at 9:12 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  64 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Weeping woman 1937

 

Russia Is Negotiating With The Houthis For Red Sea Passage (Helmer)
‘Stopping Bloodshed In Gaza Our Primary Task:’ Lavrov (Cradle)
WHO Denies Seeing Evidence Of Hamas Using Hospitals As Hideouts (Cradle)
Saudi-French Plan Proposes Exile For Hamas Leadership (Cradle)
What? Ukraine Is Not Winning the War? (Patrick Lawrence)
On Speaking Plain ‘Putin’ (Scott Ritter)
Ukraine Losing 800 Troops A Day – ex-NATO Officer (RT)
Western Leaders Should ‘Stop Playing The Fool’ – Putin (RT)
The Bidens Move To Embrace Influence Peddling With A Twist (Turley)
DOJ Blocked Ex-Hunter Biden Prosecutor From Discussing Case With Congress (WE)
Trump Facing Mounting Challenges To Presidential Eligibility – NYT (RT)
Trump Asks Supreme Court To Deny Special Counsel’s Request (JTN)
Ex-White House Lawyer: SCOTUS Could Rule ‘9-0’ In Trump Case (Hill)
Economist Claims 2024 Will Bring ‘Biggest Crash of Our Lifetime’ in US (ET)
The Greatest Gift For All (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Plimer

 

 

Orlov

 

 

Milei

 

 

Shroyer

 

 

 

 

“No one needs this war — except, of course, the United States with its Western allies and Israel..”

Russia Is Negotiating With The Houthis For Red Sea Passage (Helmer)

Russia is negotiating with the Houthis of Yemen to protect Russian oil cargoes moving through the Red Sea for delivery to India and China, the principal destinations of Russian oil currently traversing the waterway, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden. Notified in advance to the Yemeni authorities and the Houthi military command, the Russian oil movements by tankers flying a variety of ship registry and national flags, are running the gauntlet of US and European Union (EU) sanctions against Russian oil exports. China is also negotiating with the Houthis for safe passage and protection of Chinese-flagged container vessels. The Chinese military base in Djibouti, recently reinforced to support a large Chinese military group intended for a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, is also covering the waterway.

Both Moscow and Beijing are acting in semi-secret against US and EU government threats to assemble a naval fleet to convoy shipping headed to and from Israel’s southern port of Eilat. This plan, which the Pentagon is calling Operation Prosperity Guardian, follows the failure of the two US aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf to protect Israel, and deter the Houthi operations. The Pentagon is also threatening to attack Yemeni territory. The fleet, to be assembled over the next month from the Ukraine war coalition states against Russia, will also threaten military force against the movement of Russian oil. Responding to direct questions about the new Red Sea threats on Wednesday afternoon, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova, skirted saying what the Russian Security Council and General Staff have decided by asking the rhetorical question: “What will the US presence there bring to the region? Greater stability, security, crisis resolution? Or will it all end, as always, with the opposite results?”

Asked to be more specific, Zakharova said: “I have already commented on this question today. I just want to add to what has been said that any presence must have its own purpose and its own result. We see how the United States has increased its presence in the whole region: in the form of attacks on countries, aggression against sovereign regional states, interference in internal affairs, in the form of color revolutions, arms supplies, and manipulation of conflicts in the region. We see what all this has led to…The terrible crisis that has been unfolding before our eyes since October 7 this year. There is no prospect of its immediate completion or even de-escalation. Now everything is balancing on the level of whether, God forbid, this crisis will expand further. Everything is being done on our part to ensure that this does not happen.” Vzglyad, the semi-official security analysis publication in Moscow, has been pro-Israel since the Gaza war began. But yesterday it published a warning from sources identified as Russian experts on the region.

“Yemen has already reacted to this statement. Representatives of the Houthis said that this coalition does not frighten them at all. That they have all the necessary capabilities to provide an adequate response to any actions directed against them and against Yemen. And this is not just a bluff, but words that have a real understanding of their resources and the capabilities behind them. In fact, the coalition ships which will be in the Red Sea will themselves be targets for Yemeni missiles (as the Houthis have already warned)…And the Americans are unlikely to risk conducting a ground operation against them. It is generally difficult to cope with any of the armed formations in Yemen, given the experience of the Yemeni militants and the terrain…

The composition of the coalition has turned out to be quite specific. It did not include Egyptians and Jordanians suffering from Yemeni actions, nor the leaders of the region, the Saudis. There is not a single country in the Middle East except Bahrain. It turns out that none of them has wanted to defend their region, their sea and their interests from the Houthis, together with the Americans. Partly because they understand the futility of such an undertaking. Partly because they are afraid of a backlash from the Houthis. Partly because speaking out against the Houthis would mean, in this particular case, opposing their demands to de-blockade the Gaza Strip.” “No one needs this war — except, of course, the United States with its Western allies and Israel,” Vzglyad concluded.

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Then do it.

‘Stopping Bloodshed In Gaza Our Primary Task:’ Lavrov (Cradle)

The sixth Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum kicked off on 20 December in Morocco’s capital, Marrakesh, for the first time since 2019. The meeting gathered regional foreign ministers of participating countries, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Secretary-General of the Arab League Houssam Zaki, and ministerial delegations from various Arab states. Algeria continued a long-standing boycott of events held in Morocco. Lavrov commented on the situation in Gaza, saying that external powers are using the war between Palestinian resistance factions and Israel for their benefit. “It has become clear that some external powers are not opposed to using the periodic escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for their interests, to ignite the fire of a regional war in the development of the many past adventures of the United States and its allies that have been launched in [West Asia] over the past 20 years, and the result is the undermining of the state, hundreds of thousands of victims and massive flows of refugees,” the Russian foreign minister said.

Lavrov also noted that Russia is in contact with its allies, especially in the Arab world, to stabilize the situation in Palestine for the long term and to transfer the work of conflict resolution to the political and diplomatic level rather than militaristically. He also continued his line of criticizing Israel, saying, “The suffering of the enclave’s population is aggravated by the consequences of the blockade imposed by Israel. We see our primary task in stopping the bloodshed and ensuring conditions for providing the necessary humanitarian assistance to all those in need.”

He continued by saying that Russia’s diplomatic mission with allies pushed the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that demands a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, but it has been met with opposition by the US, “which takes a one-sided stance and, as usual, tries to usurp any processes and initiatives,” he stated. Lavrov ended by saying that the world is in a storm and that it’s essential to return to the international covenant that affirms the sovereign rights of all countries. He added that “Russian-Arab relations are based on the principles of equality and mutual respect, noting that Russia has many areas to develop with Arab countries.”

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It was always just a story.

WHO Denies Seeing Evidence Of Hamas Using Hospitals As Hideouts (Cradle)

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on 21 December that northern Gaza has been left without functional hospitals due to the lack of fuel, staff, and supplies. “There are actually no functional hospitals left in the north,” the WHO representative in Gaza, Richard Peeperkorn, said to reporters via video link from Jerusalem. “Al-Ahli [Hospital] was the last one, but it is now minimally functional: still treating patients but not admitting new ones.” Peeperkorn described Al-Ahli Hospital as one that resembled a hospice, providing very limited care with only about 10 staff members, all of whom are junior doctors and nurses who provide basic first aid, pain management, and wound care with scant resources, he said. “Until two days ago, it was the only hospital where injured people could get surgery in northern Gaza, and [the hospital] was overwhelmed with patients needing emergency care,” he said.

The WHO spokesman added that the bodies of Palestinians from Israel’s recent attacks were lined up in the hospital courtyard as they could not be given safe and dignified burials. Hospitals, which are protected under international humanitarian law, have been repeatedly attacked by Israel airstrikes in Gaza since the war erupted. The Israeli army has accused Hamas of having tunnels under hospitals and using the medical facilities as command centers, a claim that has been denied by the Palestinian resistance group. When asked about Israel’s claim, Peeperkorn said: “On our missions we have not seen anything of this sort on the ground”, adding that WHO was “not in a position to assert how any hospital is being used.”

“The role of WHO is to monitor, analyze, and report. We do not attribute attacks to healthcare facilities. We are not an organization investigating crimes. I think this should be very clear,” Peeperkorn went on to say. In the south of Gaza, Israel has continued its attacks on hospitals, with the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis being hit by multiple Israeli strikes, including an Israeli tank shell that hit the maternity building, killing a 13-year-old girl. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said earlier this month that hospitals in the southern Gaza Strip were in “total collapse, unable to deal with the quantity and quality of injuries that arrive.”

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Why would they move want to move to Algeria?

Saudi-French Plan Proposes Exile For Hamas Leadership (Cradle)

The French newspaper Le Monde published details on 20 December of a Saudi document containing a plan to end the war in Gaza, which stipulates the transfer of Hamas’ military and security leaders to the Algerian capital. The newspaper stated that the document was prepared by the head of the Gulf Research Centre, Abdulaziz bin Saqr, after a meeting on 19 November in Riyadh with the head of the North Africa and Middle East Department at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Anne Greux. The document was then transferred to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Le Monde pointed out that the evacuation of Hamas leaders to Algeria most likely refers to the leader of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Muhammad Deif, and the leader of the movement in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar.

Algeria was reportedly chosen as a potential place of exile for the movement’s leaders because of the north African nation’s good relationship with Qatar and Iran, the main supporters of the Hamas movement, and because of its security capabilities that would allow it to tightly control their activities. Le Monde contacted the Algerian ambassador in Paris, but he did not wish to comment on the matter. The plan also calls for the deployment of an Arab peacekeeping force in Gaza under UN auspices and the establishment of a “joint transitional council,” including the main factions in Gaza, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Fatah. The council would be responsible for managing the enclave for a period of four years, and for organizing presidential and parliamentary elections.

The newspaper noted it is unclear if the plan had been approved by the Saudi authorities, or whether it was a purely personal initiative of the Gulf Research Centre head. The document stated only: “It appears that the search for a Saudi-French consensus could contribute to the crystallization of a common vision acceptable to all parties, and have an impact on the decision to end the war.” Since 7 October, the Israeli army has carried out vicious campaign against Gaza that has killed almost 20,000 people, the majority women and children. Israel’s bombing campaign and ongoing siege threaten to make the enclave completely uninhabitable.

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“..Emperor Hirohito’s famous declaration on August 15, 1945, when he announced the surrender on Japanese radio. “The war,” he told his desperate subjects, “has not necessarily progressed to our advantage.”

What? Ukraine Is Not Winning the War? (Patrick Lawrence)

“Putin’s Russia is closing in on a devastating victory. Europe’s foundations are trembling.” This was the headline atop a Dec.9 commentary in The Telegraph, the farthest right of the major London dailies. The subhead elaborated the theme in yet graver terms: “Kyiv’s counteroffensive has ended in failure. This could be NATO’s Suez moment.” The piece that followed included all sorts of goodies in this line. It is not official, not yet, that Ukraine’s grand counteroffensive, the great Russophobic hope of the Zelensky and Biden regimes earlier this year, has proven a bust and that defeat is in the offing. The closest we have to such an admission came from Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this month, when the Ukrainian president declared that the counteroffensive “did not achieve the desired results.”

I loved that moment, to be honest. It reminded me of Emperor Hirohito’s famous declaration on August 15, 1945, when he announced the surrender on Japanese radio. “The war,” he told his desperate subjects, “has not necessarily progressed to our advantage.” O.K., let’s leave Zelensky to Zelensky, Joe Biden to Joe Biden, and Antony Blinken to Antony Blinken. We can count news of failure unofficially official when mainstream media start dropping such news on their readers and viewers. The Telegraph, so far as I know, was the first big daily on either side of the Atlantic to make such blunt admissions. Others have already followed, if in gentler, more oblique language—in Zelensky-speak, this is to say. A significant moment may be upon us. What will follow once it is acknowledged that the Nazi-infested crooks in Kyiv have failed?

President Biden, as is his consistently unwise wont, radically overinvested in the proxy war he chose to start with the Russian Federation as soon as he took office three years ago next month. Having defined the Ukraine conflict as a war in the name of democracy and freedom —“values” rather than interests, this is to say—he has left the U.S. and its European clients no room for compromise and nearly none even for negotiation. What is the next move when defeat is too obvious any longer to deny? If we are about to enter uncharted territory, will it prove dangerous ground? It may, but this is not yet clear. It will be uncertain and probably unstable: This we know. Of the many things I do not like about this circumstance, I will mention a few straightaway. Biden may be the stupidest president of the postwar era on the foreign policy side: He exhibits no capacity whatsoever for nimble or imaginative thought. He is a warmonger of long standing, an election year is upon us, and he is by now in obvious danger of being impeached. His mental incompetence, atop all this, is plain for all to see.

There are also the national security people around Biden to consider. With the exception of CIA Director William Burns, who seems to dedicate himself to his career advancement, these are lockstep ideologues who share a Manichean vision of the world and how it works. And we had better think long and hard about these people now. I urge this because of an item in Politico two weeks back. The piece reported on the policy cliques’ thinking after recent Houthi attacks on U.S. warships in the Red Sea. Some officials urge a vigorous response, but the reigning view favors restraint for fear of enlarging Israel’s barbarity in Gaza into a wider war. Then, well down in the story, this paragraph: “The military’s job is to present a variety of options to senior commanders, but the ultimate decision is up to the president and the administration’s political appointees. In multiple high-level meetings this week, the Pentagon has neither briefed President Joe Biden on options to strike Houthi targets nor recommended that he do so, two of the officials said. All were granted anonymity to detail sensitive internal deliberations.”

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“..Russia’s victory in the war against Ukraine will be a defeat of NATO,” adding ominously, “This cannot be allowed.”

On Speaking Plain ‘Putin’ (Scott Ritter)

Given the failure of the collective West to impose its will on Russia through what is widely considered a proxy conflict, one would think that some form of retrospective analysis would be in order. However, to engage in such an activity constructively, an agreed-upon lexicon would be needed to communicate effectively. Since Russia is prevailing in the conflict, one would also think that a modicum of interest should be given to how Russia defines the conflict. In short, anyone who is interested in learning the lessons of the collective West’s failure in Ukraine should learn “to speak Putin.” The problem is, those in the West who should be preparing a proper lexicon from which the Russian-Ukraine conflict could be more accurately assessed are instead operating from an outdated lexicon rooted in the language and mindset of a time that no longer exists, born of a Cold War mentality that prevents any deep-seated and relevant analysis of the true situation between Russia and the West.

Both the United States and NATO have described the Russia-Ukraine conflict as possessing existential consequences for Europe and the world, with the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, going so far as to declare in October 2022 that “Russia’s victory in the war against Ukraine will be a defeat of NATO,” adding ominously, “This cannot be allowed.” Bad news, Mr. Stoltenberg — Russia has won. While the “Special Military Operation” has yet to be concluded, Russia has seized the strategic initiative across the board when it comes to conflict with Ukraine, forcing the Ukrainian military to terminate a counteroffensive, which the government of Ukraine and its NATO allies had invested tens of billions of dollars in military resources, and tens of thousands of Ukrainian lives in hopes of achieving a decisive victory over the Russian military on the battlefield.

Today, Ukraine finds its military decimated by the fighting and unable to sustain itself as a cohesive combat force on the field of battle. The U.S. and NATO likewise find themselves unable and/or unwilling to continue supplying Ukraine with the money and material needed to continue to maintain a viable military presence on the battlefield. Russia is in the process of transitioning away from a posture of flexible defense, and instead initiating offensive operations along the length of the line of contact designed to exploit opportunities presented by an increasingly depleted, and defeated, Ukrainian army. U.S. President Joe Biden has likewise argued that a Russian victory was unacceptable.

“We can’t let Putin win,” Biden said earlier this month to put pressure on a U.S. Congress that has allowed the Ukrainian conflict to become wrapped up in domestic American politics, with key Republicans in both the Senate and House refusing to support a funding bill that lumps some $60 billion in Ukraine assistance together with money for Israel and immigration reform. “Any disruption in our ability to supply Ukraine clearly strengthens Putin’s position,” Biden concluded.

Ritter

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“Kiev needs to recruit more than 20,000 soldiers every month..”

Ukraine Losing 800 Troops A Day – ex-NATO Officer (RT)

Around 800 Ukrainian troops are being killed and wounded daily amid the conflict with Russia, retired German Air Force Colonel and prominent military analyst Ralph D. Thiele has claimed. In an opinion piece for Focus magazine on Wednesday, Thiele, who used to serve in the personal staff of NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, claimed that Kiev needs to recruit more than 20,000 soldiers every month in order to replace its dead and injured. He did not reveal his sources or basis for his calculations, however. Ukraine also requires additional personnel to be able to rotate its troops on the frontline, so that “exhausted soldiers” may recover and units may replenish their material supplies, he wrote. According to Thiele, who now heads the Political-Military Society, EuroDefense (Germany) and StratByrd Consulting think tanks, “the highly motivated defense” and subsequent counteroffensive, which he described as “a thing of the past,” came at a “high price” for Ukraine.

Kiev’s manpower and hardware are “significantly worn out,” he said. “Western weapons systems are not miracle weapons and are wearing out,” the analyst added. The worsening battlefield situation and decreasing Western support for Kiev are “eating away at the morale” of the Ukrainian troops, who “will have to save ammunition in a war of attrition and endure slaughter at the front without rest and without a greater sense of achievement,” Thiele stressed. Russia has also lost “a large number of soldiers and huge amounts of material” during the conflict, but “it has much more of both than Ukraine,” he argued. “Step by step, Russia’s superiority in the conflict with Ukraine is becoming more visible,” the analyst acknowledged. Moscow’s “strategy of attrition” is “taking effect” in terms of personnel, material, ammunition and morale, he said.

Thiele’s number of 800 Ukrainian soldiers being lost per day appears to be higher than the one announced by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu at the expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry’s Board on Tuesday. According to Shoigu, some 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded since the start of the fighting in late February 2022. This means that, according to Russian figures, Kiev’s daily losses stand at around 600 servicemen. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who chaired the meeting, stressed that “we can say with confidence that our troops have the initiative” on the frontline with Ukraine. “In essence, we are doing what we consider necessary, what we want. Wherever… commanders decide active defense is best, it takes place. And where it is needed, we improve our positions,” Putin explained.

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That’s hard if you are an actual fool.

Western Leaders Should ‘Stop Playing The Fool’ – Putin (RT)

Western nations that expect Russia to collapse are misguided and should instead let their economies benefit from cooperation, President Vladimir Putin said at a government meeting on Thursday. The US and its allies have targeted Russia with unprecedented sanctions in a bid to punish Moscow for the Ukraine conflict. The country has largely adapted to the pressure, according to the Russian government and Western analysis. Putin raised the issue during a meeting of the Council on Strategic Development and National Projects, as he described Russia’s booming commercial ties with non-Western nations. He noted, however, that Moscow is not closing the door on the West. “It’s time for them [Western leaders] to stop playing the fool and waiting for us to collapse. Everyone realizes by now that if they want to benefit from cooperation with Russia, they should do so,” the president said.

Western nations have a choice between following “ephemeral considerations” motivating them to seek Russia’s destruction and “the interests of their own nations and peoples,” which require cooperation based on a “new foundation of a multipolar world,” Putin stated. Moscow has weathered Western economic attacks by reorienting its economy toward trade with countries that declined to join the Washington-led sanctions campaign, including Asian powerhouses China and India. Russia has also taken measures to decrease reliance on Western-controlled financial institutions, switching to alternative payment methods and national currencies in commerce. During a visit to Beijing on Tuesday, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the US dollar has almost fully been replaced in trade with China.

Meanwhile, EU nations have suffered a surge in energy prices after rejecting Russian supplies to supposedly reduce dependence and cut Moscow’s profits. In particular, Russian pipeline natural gas has been replaced with more expensive liquified natural gas (LNG), sourced from the US, Qatar, and other nations. Russia is also among Europe’s LNG suppliers and has made record deliveries, according to a report by Kommersant earlier this month. Some factory owners in Germany, the leading European economy, have been forced to shut down due to increased operational costs. The Credit reform credit agency reported this month that it expects 18,100 German companies to file for insolvency this year, marking a 23.5% increase on 2022.

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“It is a curious defense that we are not corrupt because we just ripped off dupes who were corrupt people..”

The Bidens Move To Embrace Influence Peddling With A Twist (Turley)

As the House of Representatives goes into high gear in its impeachment proceedings (and possible contempt resolution against Hunter Biden), the Biden family legal problems continue to mount. In one week, it was revealed that President Biden’s brother James was caught on an FBI audiotape in a corruption investigation, while Ashley Biden, the president’s daughter, is now also facing demands for unpaid taxes. James Biden is expected to appear before the House for questioning in the coming weeks. The appearance may solidify a new line of defense for the Bidens: that they are harmless grifters. After years of denying influence peddling with the help of an obligating media, even some Democrats are now admitting that Hunter and his uncles have been selling influence. Biden associates confirmed that Joe Biden was the brand that they were peddling to foreign clients, who paid millions to the family.

The FBI tape is the latest example of how the Bidens would market their name and access. The surveillance occurred in the bribery investigation into Mississippi trial attorney Richard Scruggs. Like many Biden associates, Scruggs would eventually go to prison while the Bidens remained untouched. Scruggs forked over $100,000 to James Biden when he was seeking to reinforce support for the massive tobacco legislation and Joe Biden was viewed as skeptical on what some viewed as a windfall for trial lawyers. Scruggs admitted to the Washington Post that “I probably wouldn’t have hired [James Biden] if he wasn’t the senator’s brother.”Scruggs was just another shady figure whose business association with the Bidens would ultimately end with a prison stint. As soon as the tape came out, so did the new defense.

James Biden took the money but allegedly did nothing to land his brother. If that sounds familiar, it should. After Hunter Biden’s former business associate Devon Archer admitted that they were selling the “Biden brand,” the Bidens’ defenders immediately insisted that it was merely “illusory.” In other words, these corrupt figures wanted to buy influence and access, but they were just chumps fleeced by the Bidens. The idea is to get the public to think less of coked up Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” and more of the lovable professor Harold Hill in “The Music Man,” the charming rascal ripping off hayseeds by selling marching bands. It is a curious defense that we are not corrupt because we just ripped off dupes who were corrupt people. The problem, of course, is that influence peddling is a form of corruption. Indeed, it is a form of corruption that is so damaging to good government that the United States has pushed global agreements to ban influence peddling in other countries.

The question is whether Joe Biden knew about the influence peddling of his brothers and his son. If so, he actively assisted his family in acquiring millions to influence him on public policy or legislation. His family was effectively marketing time shares in a senator, a vice president and now a president. Whether or not Biden delivered, the family business corrupted the functions of government by converting offices into types of commodities. That is the case regardless of whether or not they delivered. It is akin to an extortionist taking money without any intent to follow through on threats of disclosure or use of damaging material. Even in today’s willfully blind politics, every voter should be able to agree on two simple facts.First, influence peddling is corruption long opposed by the government and denounced by both parties. Second, if the president knew that his son and uncles were using him for influence peddling, Joe Biden is also corrupt.

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“I will not be permitted to answer most of the questions you have for me..”

DOJ Blocked Ex-Hunter Biden Prosecutor From Discussing Case With Congress (WE)

A key prosecutor who worked for years on the Department of Justice’s case against Hunter Biden refused to answer nearly every question lawmakers asked her during recent congressional testimony after the DOJ instructed her not to speak about the case, according to a transcript reviewed by the Washington Examiner. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf, who appeared alongside her personal lawyers, told the House Judiciary Committee last week during a closed-door interview that she was “significantly constrained” by the DOJ in what she could discuss. “My voluntary appearance here today is not without an overwhelming feeling of frustration and disappointment because as much as I would invite the opportunity to explain the decisions made and accurately describe the actions taken, I will not be permitted to answer most of the questions you have for me,” Wolf said at the start of the interview.

Wolf’s testimony came after two IRS whistleblowers who spent years working on the Hunter Biden investigation accused her of blocking investigative steps that they say were necessary to advance the case. They blamed Wolf and others for allowing the first son to avoid certain tax charges and for allowing his father, President Joe Biden, to avoid scrutiny. Republicans grilled Wolf during the interview about specific actions the whistleblowers said she took, but she responded repeatedly that she was “not able to discuss any particular matters related to an ongoing investigation.” Days ahead of her testimony, the DOJ provided lengthy written instructions to Wolf, which the Washington Examiner verified, that said that even as a former employee, she is expected not to disclose nonpublic information about the investigation and prosecution of Hunter Biden.

The department cited its internal policies and a statute that governs the disclosure of grand jury-related material as reasons for restricting her testimony. The DOJ also sternly observed that Wolf was not the appropriate witness to answer questions related to the substance of the Hunter Biden case or DOJ personnel matters, repeatedly saying that senior officials, rather than line-level officials like Wolf, were better-suited witnesses to address those topics. The DOJ also said it wanted to be cognizant of the separation of powers in prosecutions, a point that comes after Hunter Biden’s defense attorneys argued this month that his gun charges in Delaware should be dismissed on those very grounds. The first son’s lawyers claimed the DOJ breached the separation of powers by, in their view, caving to Republican lawmakers’ pressure to press charges against their client.

Wolf still provided some general comments that shed light on what she was thinking when she made the controversial decisions cited by the whistleblowers. When Wolf was asked about an email she wrote to investigators instructing them to remove Joe Biden’s name from a search warrant, she said she could not discuss the matter. She did, however, speak to the process of drafting warrants. “I think that’s important for people to understand that search warrants…are limited. They’re intrusions on people’s rights. And the default is an intrusion on someone’s rights. So that there are protections built into the process by the Constitution that the magistrates are responsible for enforcing,” Wolf said.

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“..If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will effectively stay the proceedings in all the other states..”

Trump Facing Mounting Challenges To Presidential Eligibility – NYT (RT)

This week’s decision by Colorado’s Supreme Court to disqualify Donald Trump from holding office is the first of several legal challenges that could derail the former US president’s bid to return to the White House, the New York Times has reported. At least 17 states are currently processing legal challenges to Trump’s eligibility, the newspaper claimed on Wednesday. The Times, which cited Lawfare – a website which tracks US national security issues – added that four of these lawsuits have been filed in state courts in Michigan, Oregon, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. A further eleven lawsuits, in states including Arizona, Nevada, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming, have been filed in federal district courts. Trump’s legal team has said they intend to appeal the Colorado decision to the US Supreme Court.

Colorado’s top court on Tuesday ruled that Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot ahead of next year’s presidential elections. In a 4-3 ruling, the Colorado justices found that Trump had violated the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding office. The former US president is accused of breaching the so-called “insurrectionist ban” over his alleged efforts to overturn the results of his 2020 election defeat to Joe Biden and inciting the riots at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. The ruling does not prevent Trump from running in other states across the US. In a statement on Tuesday, Colorado’s Supreme Court noted that its judgment placed the court in “uncharted territory” over its efforts to disqualify Trump from the state ballot. It also said that its decision could be reversed with “the receipt of any order or mandate from the Supreme Court.”

Should the US Supreme Court opt, as expected, Trump’s appeal to hear it would mean that he would be returned to the state ballot until America’s top court makes a formal decision. An appeal would also suspend the other active lawsuits across the US, according to retired appeals court Judge J. Michael Luttig. “If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will effectively stay the proceedings in all the other states,” Luttig said, according to the New York Times on Wednesday. The Supreme Court’s judgment on the issue also faces time constraints. Colorado’s Secretary of State confirmed to MSNBC this week that it must certify the candidates eligible to appear on ballots by a January 5 deadline to physically print the documents ahead of the state’s primary election in March. In addition to constitutional arguments over Trump’s capacity to potentially return to the White House, the former president also faces 91 felony counts in four ongoing criminal cases in Washington, New York, Florida, and Georgia.

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“What is ‘imperative’ … is that this case be decided correctly, not that it be decided quickly..”

Trump Asks Supreme Court To Deny Special Counsel’s Request (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put a hold on quickly ruling on special counsel Jack Smith’s request for the high court to review the former president’s appeal of charges related to the 2020 election on the grounds that he has presidential immunity. The Supreme Court should refrain from ruling on Smith’s request until after a lower federal appellate court makes a decision on the issue, Trump’s attorneys said Wednesday in a 44-page court filing. Smith had asked the court last week to quickly rule on whether Trump could be prosecuted for allegedly attempting to overturn the 2020 election in his favor and then playing a role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, ahead of the planned trial start date of March 4, 2024, in the middle of the 2024 presidential primary season.

The special counsel justified the date by calling it of “paramount public importance” to hold the trial “as expeditiously as possible,” but Trump’s legal team wrote that “in an omission that speaks volumes, the Special Counsel never explains why March 4, 2024, is supposedly the only ‘appropriate timetable’ for this historic prosecution. That date has no talismanic significance.” Trump’s attorneys also said that precedence favors allowing the lower appeals court to address the issue first before the Supreme Court. “What is ‘imperative’ … is that this case be decided correctly, not that it be decided quickly,” the lawyers wrote. The former president’s legal team also argued that Smith’s request to the Supreme Court “misstates the legal issue in this appeal by incorrectly framing it as whether absolute presidential immunity extends to ‘crimes committed while in office,'” the former president’s legal team said, arguing that Trump instead “asserted that a President is immune from prosecution for official acts.”

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“..the ruling “vindicates” Trump’s “insistence that this is a political conspiracy to interfere with the election and that … he’s the target and people shouldn’t tolerate that in America.”

Ex-White House Lawyer: SCOTUS Could Rule ‘9-0’ In Trump Case (Hill)

Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb predicted Tuesday that the U.S. Supreme Court could rule “9-0” in favor of former President Trump in a potential appeal of Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that would kick Trump off the state’s ballot. “I think this case will be handled quickly. I think it could be 9-0 in the Supreme Court for Trump,” Cobb said in an interview on CNN, adding later, “I do believe it could be 9-0, because I think the law is clear.” The Colorado Supreme Court issued a ruling Tuesday that Trump should not appear on Colorado’s ballot due to his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. Citing the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection clause,” the 4-3 ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court argued Trump engaged in an insurrection by promoting false claims of election fraud and encouraging supporters to go the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled the office of the president falls under the insurrection clause, which states those who previously took oaths to support the Constitution as a “member of Congress,” “officer of the United States,” “member of any State legislature” or an “executive or judicial officer of any State” cannot engage in a rebellion against it.“The real key issue in this case is — is Trump an officer in the United States in the context in which that term is used in the Article 3 of the 14th Amendment,” Cobb said. “And in 2010, Chief Justice [John] Roberts explained in free enterprise that people don’t vote for officers of the United States.” Cobb went on to reference multiple Supreme Court decisions that do not conclude officers include the president or vice president in this context.

Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, has already vowed the Trump campaign will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority and includes three justices nominated by Trump. “The Supreme Court though will not hesitate to move quickly on this; they know what the stakes are. They know what their responsibility is,” Cobb continued. “And they can delay some of these Colorado dates to the extent that they feel they’re obligated to or have to.” Colorado’s Supreme Court put its ruling on hold until Jan. 4 to allow Trump to first seek review from the U.S. Supreme Court. If he does, his name will automatically remain on the ballot until justices resolve the appeal. Cobb further argued the ruling “vindicates” Trump’s “insistence that this is a political conspiracy to interfere with the election and that … he’s the target and people shouldn’t tolerate that in America.”

Tucker VDH
https://twitter.com/i/status/1737633022919192892

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Haven’t seen Harry Dent for a while.

Economist Claims 2024 Will Bring ‘Biggest Crash of Our Lifetime’ in US (ET)

An economist who focuses on consumer spending has issued a dire warning about the U.S. economy in the coming year. “Since 2009, this has been 100 percent artificial, unprecedented money printing and deficits: $27 trillion over 15 years, to be exact,” economist Harry Dent told Fox Business on Dec. 19. “This is off the charts, 100 percent artificial, which means we’re in a dangerous state. “I think 2024 is going to be the biggest single crash year we’ll see in our lifetime. “We need to get back down to normal, and we need to send a message to central banks,” he said. “This should be a lesson I don’t think we’ll ever revisit. I don’t think we’ll ever see a bubble for any of our lifetimes again.” Mr. Dent, who owns the HS Dent Investment Management firm, told the outlet that U.S. markets are currently in a bubble that started in late 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Things are not going to come back to normal in a few years. We may never see these levels again. And this crash is not going to be a correction,” he said. “It’s going to be more in the ’29 to ’32 level. And anybody who sat through that would have shot their stockbroker,” Mr. Dent said, making references to the stock market crash in 1929 that led to the Great Depression throughout the 1930s. “If I’m right, it is going to be the biggest crash of our lifetime, most of it happening in 2024. You’re going to see it start and be more obvious by May. “So, if you just get out for six to 12 months and stuff stays at the highest valuation history, maybe you miss a little more gains if I’m wrong. If I’m right, you’re going to save massive losses and be able to reinvest a year or year-and-a-half from now at unbelievably low prices and magnify your gains beyond compare.”

Mr. Dent’s predictions of a market crash are nothing new. In 2009, he wrote “The Great Depression Ahead,” a book that forecasted a significant market crash. In the past few weeks, several analysts have been making similar predictions of a significant stock market crash in the near future. “Based on prevailing market valuations, we estimate that poor total returns are likely for the S&P 500 in the coming 10–12 years, that equity market returns, relative to bonds, are likely to be among the worst in history, and that a market loss on the order of [minus] 63% over the completion of this cycle would be consistent with prevailing valuations and a century of market history,” Hussman Investment Trust President John Hussman, who called the 2008 crash, wrote in a note in October.

However, in a recent note, investment banking firm Goldman Sachs raised its 2024 S&P 500 target by 8 percent, to 5,100, forecasting a tailwind for U.S. stocks from falling inflation and declining interest rates. “Looking forward, the new regime of both improving growth and falling rates should support stocks with weaker balance sheets, particularly those that are sensitive to economic growth,” the firm wrote late last week.

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“Power is the horse ridden by evil..”

The Greatest Gift For All (Paul Craig Roberts)

Christmas is a time of traditions. If you have found time in the rush before Christmas to decorate a tree, you are sharing in a relatively new tradition. Although the Christmas tree has ancient roots, at the beginning of the 20th century only 1 in 5 American families put up a tree. It was 1920 before the Christmas tree became the hallmark of the season. Calvin Coolidge was the first President to light a national Christmas tree on the White House lawn. Gifts are another shared custom. This tradition comes from the wise men or three kings who brought gifts to baby Jesus. When I was a kid, gifts were more modest than they are now, but even then people were complaining about the commercialization of Christmas. We have grown accustomed to the commercialization. Christmas sales are the backbone of many businesses. Gift giving causes us to remember others and to take time from our harried lives to give them thought.

The decorations and gifts of Christmas are one of our connections to a Christian culture that has held Western civilization together for 2,000 years. In our culture the individual counts. This permits an individual person to put his or her foot down, to take a stand on principle, to become a reformer and to take on injustice. This empowerment of the individual is unique to Western civilization. It has made the individual a citizen equal in rights to all other citizens, protected from tyrannical government by the rule of law and free speech. These achievements are the products of centuries of struggle, but they all flow from the teaching that God so values the individual’s soul that he sent his son to die so we might live. By so elevating the individual, Christianity gave him a voice. Formerly only those with power had a voice. But in Western civilization people with integrity have a voice.

So do people with a sense of justice, of honor, of duty, of fair play. Reformers can reform, investors can invest, and entrepreneurs can create commercial enterprises, new products and new occupations. The result was a land of opportunity. The United States attracted immigrants who shared our values and reflected them in their own lives. Our culture was absorbed by a diverse people who became one. In recent decades we have lost sight of the historic achievement that empowered the individual. The religious, legal and political roots of this great achievement are no longer reverently taught in high schools, colleges and universities or respected by our government. The voices that reach us through the millennia and connect us to our culture are being silenced by “Identity Politics,” “political correctness,” “critical race theory” and the war against “white culture.” Prayer has been driven from schools and Christian religious symbols from public life.

Christianity is being gradually marginalized. Each year it becomes more difficult to find a Christmas card that says “Merry Christmas” instead of “Seasons Greetings.” In place of Christmas carols we get Hollywood Christmas songs. In some churches Christianity is being transmuted into Christian Zionism and the worship of Israel. Others fly LGBTQ and BLM flags. We are approaching a time when a Christian Christmas cannot be celebrated as it is not inclusive in a diverse society and therefore is politically incorrect if not a hate crime. Constitutional protections have been diminished by hegemonic political ambitions. Indefinite detention, torture, and murder are now acknowledged practices of the United States government. The historic achievement of due process has been rolled back. Tyranny has re-emerged.

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Pi

 

 

 

 

Fox

 

 

Jealousy

 

 


Elephant mother and child, in a field of of hyacinth at Kaziranga national park

 

 

Crosby and Frank
https://twitter.com/i/status/1737877893609373992

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 122023
 
 December 12, 2023  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  59 Responses »


Edward Hopper Night windows 1928

 

SCOTUS Agrees To Expedite Decision On Trump 2020 Election Case (ZH)
Biden Is The Real Threat To Democracy – Trump (RT)
US House To Vote On Biden Impeachment Inquiry On December 13 (TASS)
Hillary Clinton Seeking To Open Hearts And Pockets For Biden – NBC (RT)
Italy, France, Germany Call For Ad Hoc EU Sanctions On Hamas (R.)
“One War, One Election At A Time” (Helmer)
High Time For Peace Talks – Arestovich (RT)
Western Masters To Kick Kiev Puppets To Curb – Russian Intel Chief (TASS)
Strategic Reflections From Moscow (Alastair Crooke)
West’s ‘500-Year Dominance’ Ending – Lavrov (RT)
Elon Musk Says Would Rather “Go To Prison” Than Restrict Free Speech On X (MN)
What Were Romans Thinking As They Watched Rome Collapse? (PCR)
Global Economy May Lose Up to 7% of GDP Due to Ukraine Conflict – IMF (Sp.)
Many Americans Are Unable to Afford Food, Even as Unemployment Remains Low (Sp.)
Millions Of Brits Will Choose Between Eating, Staying Warm This Christmas (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1733960832571122115

 

 

Volodymyr

 

 

 

 

Kid Rock

 

 

Taibbi

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..”this is *not* the Court agreeing to take up the case now. It is just the Court agreeing to move *very* quickly in deciding *whether* to take up the case..”

SCOTUS Agrees To Expedite Decision On Trump 2020 Election Case (ZH)

Update: That didn’t take long… After petitioning the US Supreme Court to weigh in on former President Trump’s federal 2020 election case – specifically Trump’s presidential immunity defense, Special Counsel Jack Smith had his answer by end-of-day, after the Supreme Court granted his request to “expedite consideration of the petition.” Attorney Steve Vladeck called the response “lightning-fast by the Supreme Court’s standards.” Vladeck further clarified that “this is *not* the Court agreeing to take up the case now. It is just the Court agreeing to move *very* quickly in deciding *whether* to take up the case at this juncture (i.e., before the court of appeals).” The Court gave Trump’s team until Dec. 20th to respond.

[..] Special Counsel Jack Smith has asked the Supreme Court to immediately weigh in on former President Trump’s federal 2020 election case. In a Monday filing, Smith asked the justices to weigh in on Trump’s immunity defense, by which Trump has cited presidential immunity to try and have the case tossed. The former president is accused of entering multiple criminal conspiracies to change the results of the 2020 US election. The move comes after Trump appealed an appeals court judge’s rejection of that argument. In the Monday filing, Smith cited Trump’s fast-approaching March 4 trial date. “It is of imperative public importance that respondent’s claims of immunity be resolved by this Court and that respondent’s trial proceed as promptly as possible if his claim of immunity is rejected,” reads the filing.

Smith has also requested that the Supreme Court expedite its decision on whether it will take up the issue, period. If they do, he wants them to prioritize it over all other cases. “This case presents a fundamental question at the heart of our democracy: whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin,” reads the filing. “In his Supreme Court brief, Mr. Smith conceded that the trial would most likely have to be paused because of the appeal of the immunity issue. That position reversed the one his prosecutors took over the weekend in court papers, in which they argued that Judge Chutkan should not have to stay the case pending appeal. Winning the appeal of the immunity decision was only one of Mr. Trump’s goals in challenging the decision. All along, he and his lawyers have had an alterative strategy: to delay the election interference trial for as long as possible.” -NY Times

The filing comes after Judge Tanya S. Chutkan – who worked at the law firm which repped Fusion GPS, the company that helped orchestrate the Russia collusion hoax – rejected Trump’s sweeping claims of “absolute immunity” from an election interference indictment because it was based on actions taken while in office. In her ruling, Chukan condemned attempts to “usurp the reins of government,” and said that nothing in the Constitution or US history supports the notion that a former president is immune. As the Times further suggests, “If the trial were to be put off until after the 2024 election and Mr. Trump were to win, he could have his attorney general simply dismiss the charges. Holding a trial after the presidential race would also mean that voters would never hear any of the evidence that prosecutors have collected about Mr. Trump’s expansive efforts to reverse the results of the last election before weighing in on whether to re-elect him.”

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“But no, I’m not a threat. I will save democracy..”

Biden Is The Real Threat To Democracy – Trump (RT)

Former US president Donald Trump has brushed aside warnings by Democrats over his potential return to the White House and claimed that it’s actually his successor Joe Biden who poses a danger to the country’s democracy. Trump made the comments ahead of a possible rematch between the two at the polls next year. Trump, who remains entangled in a series of federal and state charges related to allegations that he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, has nudged ahead of Biden in polling for a potential presidential race in 2024, according to the Wall Street Journal. Despite the fact that his campaign is likely to be conducted in the shadow of mounting legal issues, the presumptive GOP candidate has dismissed Democratic Party warnings, that a Trump win represents a threat to the US, as a “hoax” and “misinformation.”

“Can you believe it? This is their new line, you know,” Trump said on Saturday at an event hosted by the New York Young Republican Club. “Here we go again – ‘Russia, Russia, Russia,’ ‘Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine.’ One hoax after another.” Trump added: “But no, I’m not a threat. I will save democracy. The threat is Crooked Joe Biden.” The former president has claimed that the myriad legal cases he faces are politically motivated, and has vowed to prosecute Biden if he returns to office. His comments come soon after he was criticized by Democratic rivals for saying that he intended to briefly be a dictator if he is reelected, in order to install more border fortifications and introduce domestic oil-production policies. “I said I want to be a dictator for one day,” Trump added on Saturday in New York, in reference to his comments days before. “And you know why I want to be a dictator? Because I want a wall … and I want to drill, drill, drill.”

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, said during the party’s fourth primary debate last week that Trump’s comments reveal him to be “an angry, bitter man who now wants to be back as president because he wants to exact retribution on anyone who has disagreed with him.” Biden, meanwhile, recently cast a dire warning about the potential outcome of a second Trump presidency. Speaking at a fundraising event in Los Angeles on Saturday, Biden said that “the greatest threat Trump poses is to the democracy.” The president also said at an earlier campaign event last month in San Francisco that some of Trump’s rhetoric has its roots in authoritarianism, in particular his vowing to be his supporters’ “retribution” and his describing of political opponents as “vermin.”

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You’d think they have the votes..

US House To Vote On Biden Impeachment Inquiry On December 13 (TASS)

The US House of Representatives will vote on a resolution to formalize an impeachment inquiry of US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, December 13, a Republican lawmaker told Reuters. Thus, he refuted a previous statement by Representative Lisa McClain who said that the vote would take place on Thursday, December 14. The resolution introduced by Republican Representative Kelly Armstrong would instruct three House committees to authorize a probe into the incumbent US leader’s business dealings. On December 2, House Speaker Mike Johnson said they were being stalled by the White House which was preventing at least two to three witnesses from coming forward. Republicans have repeatedly claimed that the Bidens received funds from companies, including foreign businesses, for using political influence for business gain.

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“..you know you are in deep, deep trouble if you are picking up the bat phone and calling Hillary Clinton to come help you out..”

Hillary Clinton Seeking To Open Hearts And Pockets For Biden – NBC (RT)

The US Democratic Party establishment believes that figures like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama could help President Joe Biden secure reelection next November, NBC News reported on Sunday. The former secretary of state and failed 2016 candidate has recently emerged as a key Biden surrogate, the outlet noted. NBC News cited several instances in recent months, when Clinton has advocated on behalf of Biden. On November 27, for instance, she hosted a fundraiser at Whitehaven, her family mansion in Washington DC, at which the group Women’s Leadership Forum added almost a million dollars to the campaign coffers. The same month, she penned an op-ed in The Atlantic defending Biden’s refusal to support a ceasefire in Gaza, a position on which she later doubled down, speaking on The View program.

In October, she touted the “formal deprogramming” of supporters of Donald Trump, her opponent in the 2016 election and Biden’s most likely challenger from the Republican side next year. Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are loyal to the party and will “do whatever is asked of them,” a person close to her told NBC News. She is expected to lend Biden her popularity with women and ensure that his campaign does not run out of money, the thinking behind her involvement goes. But ultimately she is “filling a space that at a later point in the campaign season former President Barack Obama will join,” the report said. Obama’s intervention helped Biden get the Democratic nomination in 2020, as centrist candidates coalesced around him to defeat progressive firebrand Bernie Sanders in the primaries.

Fox News, the pro-Republican news network, took the report as highlighting the weakness of the Biden bid. Its contributor Charles Hurt mused that “you know you are in deep, deep trouble if you are picking up the bat phone and calling Hillary Clinton to come help you out”. Biden’s approval ratings are at a low point at the moment, with several recent polls making him the least favored president since Harry Truman, when measured at the same point in their respective terms, according to the political analysis resource FiveThirtyEight. A Wall Street Journal poll released on Saturday showed the incumbent losing to Trump 47% to 43% in a hypothetical race between two candidates. If Trump were convicted on one of the four prosecutions against him, Biden would only have a 1% point advantage over him.

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A bit of Gaza relief today. It is certain to return. But this is so crazy, it must be included.

Italy, France, Germany Call For Ad Hoc EU Sanctions On Hamas (R.)

Italy, France and Germany called on the European Union to impose ad hoc sanctions against Hamas and its supporters, the foreign ministers of the three nations wrote in a joint letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. “We express our full support for the … proposal to create an ad hoc sanctions regime against Hamas and its supporters,” said the letter seen by Reuters. “The swift adoption of this sanctions regime will enable us to send a strong political message about the European Union’s commitment against Hamas and our solidarity with Israel,” the letter said.

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Putin refuses to let Russia become overstretched..

“One War, One Election At A Time” (Helmer)

Not even in revolutionary times have Russian elections been waged on the issue President Vladimir Putin proposed a few days ago of what it means, what it costs, what it risks for Russia to lead the national liberation of the world. Nor has Putin revealed after two days of intensive talks with Emirati, Saudi, and Iranian leaders, and then a telephone call with the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, what plan of action for the Gaza war they discussed. “Russia is thinking about an initiative on Gaza,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has announced after the talks concluded. El-Sisi was so negative about this, the Kremlin record of his Saturday morning telephone call reveals no more than that he and Putin talked over “a number of issues related to Russian-Egyptian cooperation, which has been developing very successfully.

Both parties expressed their interest in further expanding cooperation in various areas in a traditionally friendly manner based on the principles of strategic partnership.” The two presidents then wished each other good luck for their re-elections. The Egyptian presidential vote is running for three days from Sunday with the result to be declared on December 18; the Russian poll will be held on March 15-17. The outcome is certain for both. Two hours after Putin put down the phone with el-Sisi, he picked it up again to call Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Kremlin communiqué has omitted to report what Netanyahu said. Instead, Putin gave the Israeli his personal assurance there will be no Russian participation in a Gaza blockade-busting plan to deliver humanitarian aid to the Palestinians by sea, or across the Egyptian land border. Nor will the Russian military intervene to threaten Israeli aircraft if they commence bombing Beirut and southern Lebanese targets in the war against Hezbollah.

A Russian source on military strategy believes the Russian objective is to protract the Palestine war on all fronts simultaneously, and exhaust the US and Israel by threatening Israeli ports and shipping, Israel’s offshore gas supplies, and the economy’s principal sources of income. Exhausting the US in the Middle East helps exhaust the US and NATO in the Ukraine, the source adds.Tactically, the source said, this should mean an international humanitarian operation to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in order to deliver as much aid as the besieged Palestinians need; action at the international level to deter the Israelis using uranium radiation warheads, poison gas, and other weapons to attack the Hamas tunnel network; and a no-fly zone to cover Lebanon and Syria from Israeli bombing and missile attacks. Military action, the source cautions, should be indirect and confined to proxy forces like Hezbollah on the northern front; Iraqi groups in the east; the Houthis in the south; and support for the Palestinians fighting in the West Bank.

The Israeli reaction – “what we can do in Gaza we can do in Beirut” — is to deter Russia, Iran, and the Arab states from allowing their “initiative” to adopt any of these tactics; and to deter an expanded operation by Hezbollah. “If Hezbollah chooses to start an all-out war,” Netanyahu declared publicly just before he spoke to Putin, “then it will, by its own hand, turn Beirut and southern Lebanon, not far from here, into Gaza and Khan Younis.” Russian sources acknowledge the blackout on debate of these options in the Russian media, including the military bloggers who have become the most outspoken journalists in the country. “One war at a time, one election at a time”, according to one source. “That’s how Putin is thinking right now. How can the General Staff argue with that?”

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“Arestovich recently announced that he would stand against Zelensky for the presidency, and would campaign on a platform of peace..”

High Time For Peace Talks – Arestovich (RT)

Now is the time to start thinking about negotiating peace with Russia, with the situation looking more hopeless on the front line, a former adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said. Aleksey Arestovich told Inews that Zelensky has become a hostage to his own propaganda due to his propensity to “play the hero in parliaments around the world.” The former presidential adviser and spokesman, who has fallen out of favor with Kiev, said Zelensky currently “thinks not about the national interest but about his own position.” Arestovich recently announced that he would stand against Zelensky for the presidency, and would campaign on a platform of peace. With the cost of the war mounting and Kiev’s death toll rising to around 300,000, the former adviser said it was past time to start discussing terms for peace.

“For Russia, it’s for Ukraine not to join NATO, and for us it is to stop this war. These are great conditions to start a real discussion – not only between Ukraine and Russia – about a new system of collective security in Europe,” he said. Arestovich said that Ukraine was in a far stronger position to negotiate in spring 2022, after Russia’s troops were closer to Kiev, and suggested that then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have undermined the peace talks. At that time, Russia was seeking protection for the Russian language, the reduction of Kiev’s army, and a turn away from NATO, Arestovich revealed to the news outlet, claiming to have detailed knowledge of the negotiations that took place in Istanbul. After Johnson’s visit to Kiev in April, he said talks were swiftly terminated.

David Arakhamia, a Ukrainian MP who headed Kiev’s delegation in the spring 2022 negotiations with Russia, said back in November that Moscow had been ready to end the war if Ukraine promised not to join NATO. “When we returned from Istanbul, Boris Johnson came to Kiev and said that we wouldn’t sign anything with them at all, and that we should just fight,” he told Ukrainian media. A spokesperson for Johnson has dismissed this, saying the decision to fight was made because of the “iron resolve of President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine,” wrote Inews. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has reaffirmed that Russia would prefer to reach its goals in Ukraine via “political and diplomatic means.” Commenting on Tuesday, he said “we are still ready for negotiations.” President Zelensky signed a formal decree early in October stating that any negotiations with Russia under President Vladimir Putin are “impossible.”

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“..the only historical purpose of Ukrainian nationalism is to turn Ukraine into a weapon against Russia..”

Western Masters To Kick Kiev Puppets To Curb – Russian Intel Chief (TASS)

The puppet regime in Kiev will inevitably be abandoned by its overseas masters in the end, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergey Naryshkin said. “The puppet regime in Kiev, which is alien to the majority of Ukrainians, and which has perpetrated bloody massacres in Donbass, in Odessa and in many other towns and villages of Ukraine, will eventually and inevitably be abandoned by its overseas masters,” he said at a roundtable discussion devoted to the study of Ukrainian propaganda and efforts to fight against it. The intelligence chief also emphasized that Russians and Ukrainians are two parts of a single nation composed of three peoples, which also include Belarusians. “Despite the seriously changed circumstances, I mean the aggression of the Western bloc against Russia, in which Ukraine is involved, I hold to the same positions on this issue, namely that Russians and Ukrainians are two parts of a triune nation, the history of which goes back centuries,” Naryshkin emphasized.

Looking back into the past, he said, it can be said that, “the only historical purpose of Ukrainian nationalism is to turn Ukraine into a weapon against” Russia. Naryshkin also noted that historians are well aware that “many former Nazi criminals found safe haven in the United States and Canada” after the war. “The Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists established there became a direct successor of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, banned in Russia – TASS) of the followers of [Stepan] Bandera and the founder of the notorious extremist organizations ‘Stepan Bandera Trident’ and ‘Right Sector’ (both banned in Russia – TASS),” he added. “Systematic work for shaping the ideological basis for a future neo-Nazi revenge has been going on for decades.

For example, the first attempt to label the famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s as a deliberate genocide of the Ukrainian people was made in 1985 by a specially created commission of the US Congress,” he pointed out. Naryshkin, who also serves as chairman of the Russian Historical Society, stressed that today Russia has gained significant experience in countering this pernicious lie. “A lot of work is being done by the Russian Culture Ministry’s museum group, created at the initiative of the Russian Historical Society. And in the first months of the special military operation, employees of museums and higher educational institutions collected trophy materials, on the basis of which they organized exhibitions throughout the country,” he added.

Naryshkin noted that work for the formal study of the history of the special military operation was commenced on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prior to the roundtable event, Naryshkin toured an exhibition of Ukrainian propaganda publications, school textbooks and children’s encyclopedias, which was opened in the Russian Historical Society House as part of the event. According to the Russian Historical Society, the publications were collected in the zone of the special military operation. The exhibition included books glorifying infamous Nazi collaborators Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich, as well as the crimes of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Ukrainian Insurgent Army (organizations banned in Russia).

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“The hostility shown by Europeans towards the Russian people (and not just to its governance) has pushed Russia to ‘be itself’ again, which has been to its great benefit..”

Strategic Reflections From Moscow (Alastair Crooke)

U.S.-Russia relations have touched rock-bottom; it is worse even than imagined. In discourse with senior Russian officials, it is evident that the U.S. treats the former as clear enemies. To gain a flavour, it is as if a senior Russian official were to ask: “What is it you want from me?”. The answer might come: “I wish you’d die”. The inherent tension and lack of genuine exchange is worse than during the Cold War when channels of communication did stay open. This lacuna is compounded by the absence of political nous amongst European political leaders, with whom grounded discussion has not proved possible. Russian officials recognise the risks to this situation. They are at a loss however on how to correct it.

The tenor of discourse too, has slid from outright hostility toward pettiness: The U.S., for example, might block workers from entering the Russian mission at the UN to repair broken windows. Moscow then — reluctantly — finds itself with little alternative but to respond in a similarly petty vein — and so the relationship spirals down. There is an acknowledgement that the deliberately vituperative ‘information war’ is wholly dominated by the western MSM — further souring the atmospherics. And though the scattered western alternative media exists and is gaining in scale and significance, it is not easily engaged (being both diverse, and individualist). The tag of ‘Putin Apologist’ too, remains toxic to any autonomous news providers, and can destroy credibility at a stroke.

It is understood in Russia that the West presently exists in ‘phony normality’ — an interlude within its own cultural war (in the run-up to 2024). Russians, however, do perceive some obvious parallels with their own experience of radical civil polarisation — when the Soviet Nomenklatura demanded conformity to the Party ‘line’, or suffer sanction. Moscow is open to dialogue with the West, but interlocutors so far have represented only themselves and have no mandate. This experience points to a conclusion that there is little point to ‘banging one’s head’ against a brick wall of an ideologically driven western leadership — Russian values being as a red rag to the western ideological ‘bull’. Yet, it is not clear when the time comes, if an empowered interlocutor (able to commit) will be present in Washington to pick up the phone.

Nevertheless, the enmity projected in the West towards Russia is perceived as having positive aspects as well as grave risks (the absence of treaties on the use and deployment of weapons). Interlocutors underline how western disdain towards Russians — plus its explicit enmity — finally has allowed Russia to move beyond Peter the Great’s Europeanisation. That latter episode is seen now as a diversion from Russia’s true destiny (albeit one that must be seen in the context of the rise and rise of the post-Westphalian European nation-state). The hostility shown by Europeans towards the Russian people (and not just to its governance) has pushed Russia to ‘be itself’ again, which has been to its great benefit. Nonetheless, the shift gives rise to a certain tension: It is evident that western ‘hawks’ are always scanning the Russian scene in order to locate a host within the body politic in which to insert the spores of their weaponised New Moral Order — their purpose being to wedge into, and fragment, Russian society.

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“..the objective course of history… is the evolution of a multipolar world..”

West’s ‘500-Year Dominance’ Ending – Lavrov (RT)

The 500-year-long dominance of the West is coming to an end, being replaced by “a new polycentric world,” Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said Sunday in a video address to the Doha Forum. The minister expressed regret that certain “circumstances” prevented him from coming to the Qatari capital in person and hearing the discussions at the annual high-profile event. “But I assume that you were discussing the multipolar world, which is emerging after 500 years of domination of what we call the ‘collective West,’” Lavrov said. This hegemony of the US and its allies had been “based on a diverse history, including ruthless exploitation of peoples and territories of other countries,” he said. According to the minister, the West suggested that it could use the model of globalization, which it had been building for centuries, to maintain its dominance.

“However, other countries, using exactly the principles and instruments of the Western globalization, managed to beat the West on its own turf, building the economies on the basis of national sovereignty, on the basis of balance of interests with other countries.” New centers of economic growth and political influence have been emerging, “changing the balance of power in the world, and not to the West’s liking,” he said. “In order to suppress this kind of development,” the US and its allies have in recent years “sacrificed” globalization in favor of the so-called ‘rules-based world order,’ Lavrov continued. “The rules were never published, were never even announced by anyone to anyone, and they are being applied depending on what exactly the West needs at a particular moment of modern history,” he added.

The FM said that such an approach is most seen “in various conflicts, which the West ignites all over the world,” including the one in Ukraine. “Everything goes to keep the hegemony. Intervention in domestic affairs, sanctions against all the principles of competition, regime change, and of course direct military interventions, like we have seen in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and elsewhere.” “Is there a single place where the US intervened with military force, where life has become better? I think you know the answer,” Lavrov told the forum participants. According to the diplomat, new formats like BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ASEAN, African Union, and others will become “the bricks of the new polycentric world.” It should be recognized, including by those in the West, that “the objective course of history… is the evolution of a multipolar world,” Lavrov insisted.

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“Basically we will see everything that is happening on the system and nothing will be hidden, that is the goal.”

Elon Musk Says Would Rather “Go To Prison” Than Restrict Free Speech On X (MN)

X owner Elon Musk declared during a Spaces discussion that he will never restrict free speech on the platform, no matter what entities pressure him to do so, and asserted that he would rather “go to prison” than allow it to happen. Musk’s comments came during a Spaces discussion, also featuring Alex Jones who Musk reinstated on the platform Sunday. Human Events editor Jack Posobiec asked Musk what would happen if the FBI or DHS “come to X and say ‘these posts need to be censored , this information needs to be censored.”

Musk responded that the platform will remain “as transparent as possible,” adding “Basically we will see everything that is happening on the system and nothing will be hidden, that is the goal.” Musk added that “frankly if I think a government agency is breaking the law in their demands in the platform I would be prepared to go to prison personally if I think they are the ones breaking the law.” Elsewhere during the discussion, Musk explained that he reinstated Alex Jones because as a free speech absolutist he will not censor anyone on X if they have not broken the law. Here it is in its entirety:

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“When truth is punished, a country dies.”

What Were Romans Thinking As They Watched Rome Collapse? (PCR)

I have often wondered what Roman citizens thought as they watched the Roman Empire fall apart culturally, politically, morally, and militarily. Cicero, quaestor, praetor and Counsel of Rome, tried to save the Roman Republic. For his efforts he was chased down and murdered. As Cicero was, perhaps, the most famous Roman, his murder stopped efforts to prevent Rome’s descent into tyranny. The same thing is happening today to those who attempt to arouse us to our danger. Julian Assange, for example, has been imprisoned contrary to every known US and UK law for a decade without conviction for simply doing his duty as a journalist and reporting the crimes of our rulers, the crimes of the corrupt vermin we continue to return to office and power over us. No one has done anything about it, not even his fellow journalists. When truth is punished, a country dies.

Rome survived for centuries after its essence had departed, because her enemies were weak in comparison. Rome destroyed itself. As many or more Romans died in civil wars fighting one another than died repelling barbarian invasions, Roman military might ended in self-destruction. The enemies Washington has created for America are not weak. Russia alone, China alone, perhaps even Iran alone, is a match or more for America. The three together constitute a vast over-match of US military capability. Yet Washington continues to increase hostilities with these countries. The mindlessness of my government is unbearable. Such utter stupidity. Once the moronic Biden regime’s economic sanctions and the US loss of the reserve currency role finish off the US dollar, America is finished. We will be a third world country, and the rest of the world will punish us for the sins of our government. Try to tell this to an American.

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A world split in half…

Global Economy May Lose Up to 7% of GDP Due to Ukraine Conflict – IMF (Sp.)

The losses in the global economy as a result of the fragmentation into two blocs from the conflict in Ukraine are estimated to be up to 7% of GDP, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday. “If the global economy were to fragment into two blocs based on UN voting on the 2022 Ukraine Resolution and trade between the two blocs were eliminated, global losses are estimated to be about 2.5 percent of GDP. But depending on economies’ ability to adjust, the losses could reach as high as 7 percent of GDP,” IMF First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath said.

Gopinath pointed out that the losses may be extremely pronounced in lower-income countries and emerging markets. “Foreign direct investment (FDI) fragmentation in a world divided into two blocs centered around the United States and China – with some countries remaining non-aligned – could result in long-term global losses of around 2% of GDP,” she said. Gopinath noted that there are “clear signs” global FDI is segmenting along geopolitical lines. “Announced FDI projects between blocs declined more than those within blocs after the onset of the war in Ukraine, while FDI to non-aligned countries sharply increased,” Gopinath added.

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“Hunger is an issue in America across every demographic group, and now, growingly, across more and more levels of income.”

Many Americans Are Unable to Afford Food, Even as Unemployment Remains Low (Sp.)

Despite being the wealthiest country in the world by net worth (according to 2022 data), the United States continues to struggle with hunger. A report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found more than 44 million Americans facing hunger last year, including 1 in 5 children. Programs which provide food to those in need are crippling under demand, as prices at the grocery store don’t appear to be dropping anytime soon. Today, it appears as though more Americans are saying their standard of living is worse than their parents’ was, a majority of which include millennials and Gen-Xers who are people in their prime working years. According to a poll released on Sunday, 51% of those aged 30 to 64 believe their standard of living is worse than their parents’ was, as well as 39% of those aged 18 to 29 and 40% of those ages 65 and older. “Hunger is an issue in America across every demographic group, and now, growingly, across more and more levels of income,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the head of Feeding America.

And when asked to answer when the “most difficult economic time” for the US was, many Americans pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. At least 51% of those aged 65 and older said the pandemic shutdowns created the worst economic hardship, with 39% of all ages saying the same. Both groups believe the pandemic was vastly worse than the “Great Recession” of 2008 to 2009, as well as a period of major gas shortages and inflation in the 1970s. But at the same time, figures show job growth, rising wages, and a healthy economy of consumers who are purchasing record amounts of summer travel, concert tickets and holiday shopping. As he runs for reelection, President Joe Biden has even touted this economic recovery as the result of “Bidenomics”, and has been desperately urging Americans to adopt this notion. But Americans, many of whom are struggling to pay for basic necessities, don’t care to hear these figures.

According to the poll, 85% of Americans pay more attention to their own experiences than those who pay attention to national data (66%). At least 72% are paying attention to people they know personally, and 70% are watching businesses in their community to gauge the economy’s “strength”. A separate poll from November also found 81% of registered voters viewed the economy as either “fair” or “poor”. And a staggering 76% of Americans said their income is not keeping up with inflation. As a result, the “American Dream” has stumbled: 64% of Americans now believe that only the upper class has a chance to “get ahead”. And many Americans are uninterested in hearing about positive news as it relates to the job market. In October, a US broadcaster found that positive news about the job market in the US made “many Americans feel worse”.

And those on the frontline of food hunger in America are seeing staggering numbers reach out to them. In June, the nonprofit group Feeding America found that they had given out 5.3 billion meals in the past year, while an additional 1 million people applied for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) over the past year. Other programs are seeing a record increase in their levels of enrollments as well, with some administrators concerned that they won’t have adequate funding to keep up with demand “The demand is higher now than it ever was during the pandemic,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, head of Feeding America. “This is not just one group’s issue, it’s an American issue. Hunger is an issue in America across every demographic group, and now, growingly, across more and more levels of income.”

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“Household debt in the UK is projected to balloon from the current level of £73 billion ($92 billion) to £151 billion ($190 billion) in 2026..”

Millions Of Brits Will Choose Between Eating, Staying Warm This Christmas (RT)

The worsening cost-of-living crisis will force UK families to tighten their belts this Christmas, cutting back on presents or food, The Guardian reported last week, citing new research by National Debtline. Data shows that around 6.5 million people will struggle to heat their homes sufficiently during the holiday season, while 2.7 million will have to choose between buying food or presents. According to the report, over 14 million consumers are planning to limit the number of presents they intend to buy this year, while 6 million have said they can only afford to buy gifts for children. “This Christmas, the cost-of-living crisis is set to be felt more than ever with millions of people struggling to heat their homes and many experiencing money worries,” said David Cheadle, the acting chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, which runs National Debtline.

The study showed that more than 24 million UK adults plan to use credit to pay for Christmas presents this year. Of those, 12 million intend to use credit cards, while 4.7 million will use a ‘buy now, pay later’ loan to pay for purchases over time. “We remain deeply concerned about the long-term impact that rising arrears will have on household finances going into 2024 and beyond,” Cheadle said, as quoted by The Guardian. “After missing the opportunity to help people in debt in the autumn statement, we are continuing to press the government to introduce a ‘help to repay’ scheme for energy arrears, and extend the household support fund which is providing crucial local support,” he added.

Household debt in the UK is projected to balloon from the current level of £73 billion ($92 billion) to £151 billion ($190 billion) in 2026. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), British households are suffering the biggest five-year drop in living standards to have hit the country since it started compiling records in the 1950s. Real household disposable income per head is estimated to be 3.5% lower than its pre-pandemic level.

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Boxfish
https://twitter.com/i/status/1734484946654281769

 

 

 

 

Agility
https://twitter.com/i/status/1734258869256298936

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 062023
 


William Merritt Chase Back Of A Nude 1888

 

US Border Control Bill Collapses – NBC (RT)
Bernie Sanders Opposes $10 Billion Israel Aid (RT)
Zelensky Bails On Briefing With US Senate (RT)
Israel Has Crossed Its Rubicon (Rall)
Israel Can’t Defeat Hamas In Battle, So What’s Next? (Inlakesh)
Biden Works To Create Plausible Deniability On Gaza (Plitnick)
Israel Mulls Flooding Hamas Tunnels – WSJ (RT)
Israel Uses AI Genocide Programme To Obliterate Gaza (Cook)
Did The West Deliberately Prolong The Ukraine War? (Marketic)
Will the Real Hunter Biden Now Step Forward? (Turley)
DOJ Gave Hunter Biden ‘Preferential Treatment’ – US House Panels (Sp.)
Special Counsel Slams Hunter Biden’s Subpoena Demand (Turley)
House GOP: Evidence Of Coordination Between Democrat J6 panel, Georgia DA (JTN)
Why Do You Trust Those Who Lie To You? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Boris Johnson Considered Military Raid On Holland – Daily Mail (RT)

 

 


@azaizamotaz9: “A man is holding a little girl after he extracted her from under the rubble of her destroyed house by the Israeli war planes. This photo have been taken by me from my street today.”

 

 

Hamas
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731993030691807347

 

 

 

 

International Committee of the Red Cross

 

 

Milei

 

 

Byron York

 

 

Scott Adams: “It’s time to call batshit crazy what it is. This is a medical problem, not a political issue.”

 

 

 

 

Biden’s “national security bill” includes Ukraine and Israel aid. Keeping the border wide open is more important for the Dems than supporting Ukraine. Suggestions for tighter immigration controls are labeled “extreme policies” and “dictated by Donald Trump.”

US Border Control Bill Collapses – NBC (RT)

Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate have reportedly failed to reach a deal on a border security package, NBC reported on Tuesday, citing congressional aides with knowledge of the talks. The collapse of negotiations now threatens to derail President Joe Biden’s national security bill, which includes aid to Israel and Ukraine. The Republican Party has for weeks been threatening to block Biden’s $106 billion ‘national security supplemental request,’ originally introduced in October, unless it included a spending boost for the US-Mexico border and tighter immigration controls, particularly with regards to asylum and parole laws in immigration proceedings. GOP lawmakers have proposed detaining all migrants seeking asylum in the US upon entry instead of releasing them into the country while their claims are processed, as is currently the case.

Republican lawmakers have argued that the existing system is constantly being abused as it allows migrants to slip through the cracks. Democrats, however, have called these demands “extremist,”prompting negotiations to effectively break down, with both parties accusing each other of intractable positions. One Democratic aide told NBC that, despite Democrats offering several proposals to streamline the processing of asylum claims, Republican senators have insisted on “extreme policies” that would“end asylum as we know it” and effectively “shut down the border.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has also blasted Republican senators for holding up negotiations, saying on Monday that the GOP’s border demands were being “dictated by Donald Trump.” The politician stressed that the Democratic Party “will not keep going in circles if Republicans aren’t interested in meeting us halfway.”

In response to Schumer’s complaint, Republican Senator John Cornyn said there was a “misunderstanding” among Democrats. “This is not a traditional negotiation, where we expect to come up with a bipartisan compromise on the border. This is a price that has to be paid in order to get the supplemental,” he said. Minority Leader Mitch McConnel has also countered Schumer’s statement by suggesting that the Democrats were “wasting time with bizarre public scoldings.” He claimed that restoring a “functional” asylum and parole system and ensuring “meaningful”enforcement of US immigration laws was “a bridge too far for Senate Democrats.” The collapse of the negotiations comes as Biden’s office has urged Congress to “immediately” resolve the military aid deadlock, emphasizing that “there’s money for Ukraine” in Biden’s spending request that is “desperately needed.”

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More “national security bill”.

Bernie Sanders Opposes $10 Billion Israel Aid (RT)

US Senator Bernie Sanders has urged his Democratic colleagues to pull more than $10 billion in military aid to Israel from an upcoming spending bill, arguing that the money would make Washington complicit in Israel’s “immoral” war in Gaza. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Monday that he would put a $106 billion spending bill to a vote on Wednesday. Requested by President Joe Biden, the bill includes $10.1 billion in direct military aid to Israel, more than $61 billion for Ukraine, and $13.6 for border protection at home. “I do not believe we should be appropriating over $10 billion for the right-wing extremist Netanyahu government to continue its current military approach,” Sanders said in a speech on the Senate floor on Monday, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“What the Netanyahu government is doing is immoral, it is in violation of international law, and the United States should not be complicit in those actions,” Sanders continued. Israeli forces began bombarding Gaza in early October, in response to a surprise attack on the Jewish state by Hamas, a Palestinian militant group. Israeli tanks and troops were sent into Gaza three weeks later, and with fighting raging once again after a weeklong ceasefire at the end of November, more than 16,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to the latest figures from the Gaza Health Ministry. More than 7,000 of those killed were children, the ministry said on Tuesday. Hamas’ attack on Israel left around 1,200 dead and around 240 captured as hostages.

Sanders, who is Jewish, refused to join some of his progressive colleagues in demanding a ceasefire last month. He has also endorsed the provision of some military aid to Israel, saying on Monday that “it is appropriate for us to support defense systems that will protect Israeli citizens from incoming missile and rocket attacks.” However, Israel’s “indiscriminate approach” to the war is, “in my view, offensive to most Americans,” he added. Sanders did not say for sure whether he would vote against the entire $106 billion package. If Sanders and every single Senate Republican were to vote against the bill, Democrats could still pass it by making use of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

However, the bill will face much stiffer opposition in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. With a growing number of conservatives categorically opposed to further aid to Ukraine and demanding an end to Biden’s lax border policies, House Speaker Mike Johnson told Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young on Monday that “supplemental Ukraine funding is dependent upon enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws,” and on the White House providing “clearly defined and obtainable objectives” for the conflict in Ukraine.

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He knew what was coming.

Zelensky Bails On Briefing With US Senate (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky abruptly canceled a briefing with US senators and White House officials on Tuesday due to a “last-minute” snag, according to a high-ranking Democrat. The sit-down then became heated, as lawmakers shifted their focus to the debate over US border policy and continued aid to Kiev. Zelensky’s team called off the virtual appearance just moments before it was set to go ahead, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, noting that something had come up for the leader without elaborating. Administration officials were expected to offer updates on a massive military aid package for Israel and Ukraine currently under negotiations in Congress, which the White House has repeatedly urged lawmakers to pass. Some GOP lawmakers have sought to link new Ukraine aid to funding for US border agencies, with multiple senators threatening to hold up the spending bill unless it includes desired provisions for controls on immigration.

After Zelensky’s sudden cancellation, the briefing grew contentious, with some Republicans, including Senators Deb Fischer and Mitt Romney, even walking out early. “The point is there’s no answer to any questions down there,” Fischer told Defense News, adding “We’ve had it.” She stressed that she has previously supported all legislation supporting Ukraine, adding that the White House “better be worried. Because I have backed everything.” President Joe Biden’s top budget official, Shalanda Young, warned that Washington was “out of money” for Kiev earlier this week, stating that “without congressional action, by the end of the year, we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from US military stocks.” She went on to note that, as of mid-November, the Pentagon had spent 97% of the $62.3 billion it received for Ukraine this year, while the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID) had used up 100% of the funds allocated.

Biden has requested a massive spending package worth $106 billion to fund several priorities of his administration, namely military aid to Ukraine and Israel, but faces opposition from an increasingly skeptical Republican Party. Although Zelensky ultimately backed out of the Senate briefing without explanation, his chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, made in-person appearances on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to lobby for additional aid to Ukraine. During a speech at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, the official said Kiev faced a “big risk” of defeat should Washington halt its military support. “We’re at the end of our rope in terms of the existing funding,” an unnamed Zelensky advisor told Politico, adding that the money would not “go beyond December.”

Tucker Massie

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“..jihadi culture requires those about to stage a raid to warn their enemy in advance..”

Israel Has Crossed Its Rubicon (Rall)

A few weeks ago, from an international and domestic-U.S. PR standpoint, Israel might have been able to bring its war in Gaza in for a hard landing. Now, it has painted itself into a corner. Gaza has been destroyed. By this time next year, so will Israel—not its physical plant, but its current status as a privileged, funded, protected nation-state. The damage inflicted thus far is so severe and thorough that the Gaza Strip will be uninhabitable for the foreseeable future, at least several years. All or most of its 2.3 million residents, transformed into refugees, will be permanently displaced. Nothing can change that. If a left-wing Israeli government were to come to power, unilaterally end the war and offer the Palestinians their own sovereign independent republic side-by-side with Israel, Gaza would need to be rebuilt at a cost of tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars.

In the meantime, the Jewish state would have to provide long-term housing and public assistance for more than 2 million Palestinians throughout years of reconstruction. “You’ll end up having displaced people living in tents for a long time,” Raphael Cohen, senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, told US media. But where? Assuming that a new regime could muster the necessary political consensus and address the ensuing security concerns surrounding a massive population of internally displaced people, Israel is a small nation of fewer than 10 million people with high unemployment and an aging population; it can’t afford such a massive undertaking or the demographics to quickly absorb 2 million traumatized Palestinians.

This was the thinking behind the Israeli intelligence officials who wrote a “thinking” memo that suggested the situation be exploited as a rare opportunity to drive out all the locals so they could seize and annex the entire territory of Gaza. The revelations that Netanyahu’s government obtained Hamas’ plans for the incursion a year ago, viewed video showing Hamas fighters training (jihadi culture requires those about to stage a raid to warn their enemy in advance), received a warning from Egypt that Hamas was about to attack days prior, and that the IDF failed to respond for at least eight hours after Israel’s high-tech “smart fence” around Gaza was breached (despite receiving an instant alert) prompts the cynic in me to wonder whether the Israeli government let October 7th happen on purpose.

What – Netanyahu and his colleagues may have asked themselves – are a few hundred or even a few thousand Israeli lives compared to the chance to get rid of half the Palestinians in Palestine, and join Gaza to Israel in the bargain? If so, they miscalculated. US officials have conveyed to their Israeli counterparts that Israel only has a few weeks left before losing international support and suffering a “strategic defeat.” Israel plans to continue for months. The US assessment is too optimistic. The die is cast. Defeat is inevitable.

Scott Horton

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“According to Israeli polling data, Benjamin Netanyahu is only trusted by 4% of Israelis..”

Israel Can’t Defeat Hamas In Battle, So What’s Next? (Inlakesh)

After a seven-day lull in the war between Israel and the Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, the resumption of hostilities has been given another green light from Washington. Having failed to lead its Israeli allies towards military victory, the US is permitting a dangerous escalation and rejects a peaceful solution that will prevent further civilian suffering. Just minutes after the departure of US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, from Palestine/Israel, the war in Gaza resumed, with a large aerial onslaught on Palestinian civilian infrastructure resulting in the deaths of nearly 200 civilians. The White House spokesperson John Kirby announced continued support for Israel’s “right and responsibility to go after Hamas,” but to what end is unclear. As the likes of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak admits that Hamas is far from falling apart, it begs the question: what really is the point of this war?

Following six weeks of war that resulted in likely over 20,000 Palestinian deaths, the Israeli military has failed to produce any evidence that it has made a significant dent on the military capabilities of Hamas and the other Palestinian armed groups in the besieged coastal enclave. While Israel forced its way into the major hospitals in northern Gaza, claiming that Hamas was using the sites as bases and command-and-control centers, the evidence produced by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) does not support these allegations. The US government backed the idea that a command node had existed at the Shifa Hospital, and when the Israeli forces entered the hospital compound they presented weapons they claimed to have found there, as well as an empty tunnel. Any such images released to the public are curated and edited by the Israeli army, but if independently verified, they could serve as evidence of militant presence – still, not proof of a control center or node.

Little of note was discovered in other hospitals, and American claims of having solid intel that confirms Israeli claims is dubious, considering previous public statements such as US President Joe Biden’s words about having seen “confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children” which the White House later had to walk back. At the start of this war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government was going to “crush Hamas,” a goal that the US government backed publicly. Yet, Hamas has managed to not only inflict the largest blow against Israel in its history, but has also defended Gaza on the ground with countless documented cases of success against Israeli forces. The whole world is now talking about the formation of a Palestinian State, an idea that had been all but abandoned in favor of unconditional normalization agreements between Arab States and Israel, prior to the war.

In addition to this, one of the predictable outcomes of the Israeli war on Gaza, has been a tremendous uptick in support for Hamas throughout the occupied territories. In the Middle East and throughout the Muslim World, Hamas militants have become heroes and are widely viewed as a valiant national resistance. The Saudi-Israeli normalization deal, which the Biden administration’s Middle East policy revolved around, is dead in the water at this time as Riyadh moves closer to Tehran. According to Israeli polling data, Benjamin Netanyahu is only trusted by 4% of Israelis, while the most trusted national figure was recorded to be Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari. Hagari, despite being trusted by Israelis, was turned into the “there is a list guy” and an online meme, after presenting a video in which he claimed a regular Arabic calendar named “terrorists”. That video, in which he referred to the list, was supposed to show evidence of Hamas keeping hostages at the Rantisi Children’s Hospital.

At least 10 countries have either withdrawn ambassadors from, or suspended ties with, Israel. All this as the largest pro-Palestinian protests to have ever taken place in the West continue to occur in capital cities like London and Washington DC. This, combined with a considerable drop in Joe Biden’s approval rating, all spell disaster for the US-supported war in Gaza. The White House claims that it is putting certain restrictions on the Israeli army as it plans to invade the south of Gaza, but in the same breath offers unconditional support for Israel’s actions. At no point has the US government taken any responsibility for what has happened since October 7, there has been no apology for their lies, no change in strategy and no acknowledgement in the role that Washington has played in creating the situation on the ground in Gaza that facilitated the Hamas attack. The real question now is: Where do we go from here? Israel aimlessly fights in Gaza and continues to kill thousands of Palestinian civilians, there is no sign of a Hamas defeat on the horizon and the humanitarian situation, which is described as “the worst ever” by UN Relief Chief Martin Griffiths, is further deteriorating.

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“..every bullet that misses its intended target, every loose piece of flying shrapnel or debris, has a good chance of hitting a civilian..”

Biden Works To Create Plausible Deniability On Gaza (Plitnick)

Biden’s Special Envoy for Middle Eastern Humanitarian Affairs David Satterfield introduced what he called a new “deconfliction mechanism” for Gaza last week. This, he says, is a new system to make sure that Israel knows where humanitarian aid workers are so they will not continue to be killed at the highest rate of any conflict in the United Nations’ history. This is addressing a problem that doesn’t exist. UN and other relief organizations have been coordinating with Israel for decades about their activities in Gaza and where they are working. Israel has not been attacking UN sites, hospitals, schools, mosques, and humanitarian aid facilities and vehicles by mistake. Instead, they have argued that Hamas and other militant groups are using them as cover and they are therefore fair game.

International law, of course, does not give Israel the right to launch such attacks if the sites are full of civilians, even if it believes militants are using them for combat purposes outside of extreme cases of self-defense. Moreover, Israel has generally been unable to provide anything but the flimsiest and most suspect of evidence to support their often outrageous claims. But this “deconfliction mechanism” allows the Biden administration to claim it is working to protect innocent lives in Gaza while it continues its support of Israeli actions. The duplicity of this move is evidenced by the fact that Biden continues to refrain from criticizing Israel’s deliberate targeting of Gaza’s medical and humanitarian infrastructure. If that’s not a red line, then the “deconfliction mechanism,” an already redundant idea, is utterly meaningless.

It can’t be stressed enough that what we have in the south of Gaza now is an intense concentration of people so densely packed in that it would be impossible to launch even the most careful military operation without enormous civilian casualties. There simply is no room to create the sort of “safe zone” the U.S. is claiming Israel will magically conjure. But the theater continues. One U.S. official, speaking anonymously, said, “ You cannot have the scale of displacement that took place in the north replicated in the south.” That’s true, of course. There’s nowhere for them to go. Egypt is not going to allow masses of Gazans through the Rafah crossing — which couldn’t accommodate this kind of flight in any case.

There’s little left in the north to flee to, and Israeli forces would be in the way. So, every bullet that misses its intended target, every loose piece of flying shrapnel or debris, has a good chance of hitting a civilian. It is not credible that Biden administration officials, from the President on down, don’t know this. So when Sullivan talks about giving Palestinians in the south of Gaza the opportunity to “get out of the way” of an Israeli military operation, he knows he is speaking gibberish. It wasn’t possible for Palestinians to do that when the 2.2 million people in Gaza were packed into the full area of the Strip. They’re now jammed into half that space.

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Crazy.

Israel Mulls Flooding Hamas Tunnels – WSJ (RT)

Israel is considering using seawater to flood the extensive network of tunnels under Gaza, used by Hamas militants to smuggle goods in and out of the Palestinian enclave, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing sources. According to US officials interviewed by the paper, the Israeli military assembled an extensive flooding system not far from Al-Shati refugee camp in northwest Gaza in mid-November. The unit reportedly consists of five pumps capable of drawing thousands of cubic meters of water per hour from the Mediterranean Sea, potentially allowing Israel to flood the underground maze within a few weeks. The Israeli government informed the US, its key ally, of the initiative last month, sparking debate about whether the plan was feasible, as well as its pros and cons, WSJ sources said.

They noted that no final decision on its execution has yet been made and that it is unclear how ready Israel is to implement it. The plan, the report says, could drive Hamas fighters out of the sprawling system of tunnels, which span hundreds of kilometers, with some passages reaching into Egypt. The network also provides Hamas and other local Islamist groups with formidable cover from missile strikes and allows them to evade Israel’s blockade. Some tunnels are tall enough for an average man to stand up in, are built from reinforced concrete, and boast a network of communication lines. However, some US officials are said to have serious doubts about the plan. “We are not sure how successful pumping will be, since nobody knows the details of the tunnels and the ground around them,” one source said.

Meanwhile, Jon Alterman, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned in a WSJ interview that it was hard to estimate how much seawater would seep into the ground or what impact the pumping would have on water and sewage infrastructure. This sentiment was echoed by Wim Zwijnenburg, an environmental expert, who noted that the flooding could wash hazardous materials out of the tunnels, further contaminating the soil. He also recalled that Gaza’s aquifer has been getting saltier recently due to rising sea levels. The current hostilities between Israel and Hamas were sparked in early October and have resulted in thousands of dead on both sides, while Hamas took more than two hundred hostages, many of whom have since been released. The fighting has also exacerbated the ever-present water crisis in Gaza. According to the UN, Palestinians receive no more than three liters per day, compared to the healthy minimum of 15 liters.

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“..the artificial intelligence system, called “Gospel”, is generating lists of targets so rapidly the military cannot keep up..”

Israel Uses AI Genocide Programme To Obliterate Gaza (Cook)

It should already have been evident from the scale of death and destruction inflicted on Gaza over the past eight weeks that Israel was implementing a policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Palestinians in the besieged enclave. Now Israeli whistleblowers have provided details of how these crimes against humanity are being carried out – and how they are being rationalised internally within Israel’s military and political echelons. An extraordinary series of testimonies jointly published by the Israel-based publications 972 and Local Call last week established that the huge death toll of Palestinian civilians is, in fact, integral to Israel’s war aims, not an unfortunate side effect. The known dead so far are estimated at almost 16,000, with a further 6,000 missing, presumably crushed under rubble. Two-thirds of those killed by Israel are women and children.

Two years ago, during an earlier attack on Gaza, Israeli military officials admitted for the first time that a computer was supplying them with potential targets. The intention appears to have been to bypass the restraints imposed by human assessments of likely casualties by outsourcing the killings to a machine. The whistleblowers confirm that, given new, generous parameters of who and what can be attacked, the artificial intelligence system, called “Gospel”, is generating lists of targets so rapidly the military cannot keep up. Israel’s inputs are now so broad that they allow the bombing without warning of high-rise apartment blocks, so long as it can be claimed that one person residing there is believed to have a connection to Hamas. As Hamas not only has a military wing but runs the enclave’s government, the new policy potentially widens the circle of targets to include civil servants, police, health workers, educators, journalists and aid workers.

That helps explain how, according to United Nations figures, some 100,000 homes in Gaza have been levelled or made uninhabitable and 1.7 million Palestinians displaced, or some three-quarters of the enclave’s population. The revelations definitively give the lie to claims by western politicians, such as US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer, that Israel is simply defending itself and trying to avoid civilian casualties. In a report last Friday, the Guardian corroborated Israel’s reliance on the Gospel computing system. The paper quoted a former White House official familiar with the Pentagon’s development of autonomous offensive systems as stating that Israel’s no-holds-barred AI war on Gaza was an “important moment”. The official added: “Other states are going to be watching and learning.”

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“Amputations among Ukrainians have already reached a comparable scale to that suffered by Germans and Britons over World War One, in a fraction of the time..”

Did The West Deliberately Prolong The Ukraine War? (Marketic)

IFormer U.S. national security official Fiona Hill reported the two sides had reached a tentative peace deal the same month of Johnson’s surprise visit to Kyiv, while former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and several Turkish officials — all of whom were involved at various times in the talks — have said that NATO officials stopped or undermined negotiations. Multiple U.S. reports documented a divide in NATO, with the United States and U.K. reportedly heading a faction of states who preferred a longer war than a sooner peace. Historian Niall Ferguson reported overhearing an unnamed U.S. official say in March 2022 that “the only end game now is the end of Putin regime [sic].” What’s particularly notable is how dramatically these disclosures contrast with the overwhelming thrust of two years’ worth of mainstream discourse on, and analysis of, this war.

Until recently, both NATO officials and commentators across the political spectrum insisted that negotiations with Moscow were impossible and that the war could only be ended by pursuing victory on the battlefield, usually by pursuing Kyiv’s maximalist aims of reconquering all of the territory it had lost since 2014. (According to reports, the tentative agreement reached last April would have seen Ukraine exchange neutrality for a Russian withdrawal to its pre-February 2022 borders). Voices who called for a diplomatic resolution were ignored or viciously smeared, as was anyone who said that Ukraine’s possible entry into NATO was at the heart of the conflict, and that adopting neutrality could help end the war. There is now a mountain of evidence backing both of these claims. In fact, Arakhamia’s interview further drove home the point about NATO membership.

“They actually hoped until nearly the last moment that they could press us into signing this agreement, adopting neutrality,” he said in the interview. “That was essentially the main point. Everything else was cosmetic and political embellishments about ‘denazification,’ the Russian-speaking population, blah blah blah.” There are several key takeaways here. One is that Americans, and indeed all Western publics, should be far more skeptical in future of claims from officials and commentators that diplomatic solutions to conflicts and negotiations with adversarial governments are impossible or ineffective, and that military solutions are the only answer. Indeed, we’ve seen virtually the same arguments deployed against peace talks between Israel and Hamas — a conflict that recently saw a successful temporary ceasefire and hostage exchange — just as we saw them deployed in previous conflicts that likewise ended with successful negotiations.

Another is the carnage that could have been prevented. It was only a few months after negotiations were scuttled that Zelensky admitted Ukraine was losing between 60 and 100 soldiers every day. By August this year, U.S. estimates of Ukrainian casualties, which are an official state secret, stood at nearly 200,000, including 70,000 killed. Amputations among Ukrainians have already reached a comparable scale to that suffered by Germans and Britons over World War One, in a fraction of the time. Besides this death toll, the prolonging of the war has meant profound economic, demographic, and even territorial losses for Ukraine.

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“The risks of a moment of clarity and honesty may be too great for Hunter. If he recalls these events and messages, he will not only contradict prior denials but face potential criminal charges..”

Will the Real Hunter Biden Now Step Forward? (Turley)

Hunter Biden now has a date with Congress. The President’s son is scheduled to appear on December 13th to answer questions on his role in the alleged Biden corruption scandal. It is a long-awaited moment for the House Oversight Committee, which has assembled a damning array of evidence from shake-down messages to millions in transfers from shady foreign sources. The only question now is which Hunter will appear. He has been reinvented by his lawyers and public relations team so many times he now seems like a Sybil witness with carefully constructed alternative personalities. Played by Sally Field in the 1976 movie, Sybil was believed to have had dissociative identity disorder with over a 100 separate personalities. In reality, the real Sybil (Shirley Mason) admitted that the different personalities were fake. We will have to wait for the public hearing to see which Hunter will appear. Here are some of the options from the Hunter Biden repertoire:

Hunter the Genius. First, there is the gifted attorney and expert on issues ranging from trains to energy. For years, Joe Biden arranged for high-ranking positions like his appointment to the Amtrak Board of Directors — an appointment that even his nominating senator seemed to mock. Hunter the International Businessman. Second there is Hunter Biden the sophisticated international businessman whose fame for financial acumen was sought globally by Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, and other companies. While admitting that his father’s name helped him, Biden insisted that his resume justified the foreign companies clamoring for his expertise, even instructing a reporter to “say it nicer” when pressed on such questions.

Hunter the The Drug Addict. As the corruption scandal mounted, the Biden team and the media sought to portray Hunter was lacking responsibility for his action due to his addiction to drugs and alcohol. Of course, the “seven percent solution” contradicts the earlier images and only begged the question of why these foreign figures would be clamoring for the services of man who claimed that he was blacked out between trysts with high-priced prostitutes . . . for years. Hunter the Hunted. Most recently, the “Dark Biden” emerged as his legal team pledged to attack witnesses and critics against him. Now Hunter was to be the insulted and angry son of a President who had had enough of investigations. That image resonates in the letter from his counsel attacking all of these investigations as utterly baseless.

In reality, the hearing is likely to be a Sybil performance with each personality emerging when useful. Hunter will likely claim a lack of memory on many of the most embarrassing discoveries as the hopeless addict. He will then fall back on his resume to claim that his appeal to foreign companies was his insights and experience. Angry Hunter will then appear at critical moments to express disgust with the committee and portray questions as attacking recovered addicts everywhere. The one personality that is unlikely to manifest itself during the hearing is the one that has yet to appear in public: the honest Biden. Even the mainstream media has largely abandoned its denial of the corruption in these contracts. Reporters now admit that this was raw influence peddling but insist that there is no evidence that President Biden personally benefited from the schemes, as view that I have previously contested.

Yet, it will be difficult for Hunter to go before the Committee and admit that he was selling access to the highest bidders . . . but he was really scamming them. It is easier to claim that he was a hopeless blacked out junkie who was somehow able to maintain a global system of dozens of accounts and shell companies to transfer millions of dollars. The risks of a moment of clarity and honesty may be too great for Hunter. If he recalls these events and messages, he will not only contradict prior denials but face potential criminal charges for any factual misrepresentations. The Justice Department has allowed felonies to lapse against Hunter, but these would be new potential charges with new dates under the statute of limitation.

In the case of Sybil, her psychiatrist, Dr. Connie Wilbur, allegedly was told by his patient that she was making up these personalities but already had a book contract based on her original diagnosis. She went ahead with the book, which became a celebrated movie. It turned out that the existence of the personalities was simply a better story than the reality. The media is in the same position with Hunter. After spending years suppressing the corruption scandal, they are left with an array of carefully constructed personalities that will all likely be on display in December. They and the public will then be able to see a performance that could put Sally Fields to shame as the various Hunters are called before Congress at the same time. Like the movie, it might be hard to keep track and, like one of Sybil’s personalities, you are left asking “Who dat?” The answer is that they are all Hunter and none of them have much to say about corruption.

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“The Justice Department delayed its investigation into Biden, worked to remove Biden’s name from search warrants and subpoenas, restricted investigators from asking witnesses about US President Joe Biden during interviews and tipped off defense attorneys about their investigation..”

DOJ Gave Hunter Biden ‘Preferential Treatment’ – US House Panels (Sp.)

The House Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Oversight Committees released an interim staff report detailing the Justice Department’s treatment of Biden, who was under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and FBI. “The Committees’ investigative work to date has revealed that the Justice Department afforded Hunter Biden — the President’s son — preferential treatment throughout its investigation of his numerous alleged crimes, and then sought to cover up its actions after two courageous IRS agents stepped forward to blow the whistle on the Department’s deviations from its investigative standards,” the report said.

The Justice Department delayed its investigation into Biden, worked to remove Biden’s name from search warrants and subpoenas, restricted investigators from asking witnesses about US President Joe Biden during interviews and tipped off defense attorneys about their investigation, the report said. There is further information that the Justice Department is withholding from the committees, the report said. The Justice Department has not fully complied with requests for relevant documents and impeded the panels’ probe, the report said. The panels will continue to gather evidence to determine whether articles of impeachment against Joe Biden are warranted, the report said.

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“Weiss felt it necessary to remind Hunter that his “father, Joseph R. Biden, is the President of the United States” and his administration brought these charges..”

Special Counsel Slams Hunter Biden’s Subpoena Demand (Turley)

Special Counsel David Weiss filed a blistering opposition to Hunter Biden’s request to subpoena former President Trump and other former officials in his ongoing federal trial. On Tuesday, Weiss felt it necessary to remind Hunter that his “father, Joseph R. Biden, is the President of the United States” and his administration brought these charges. This “Father Knows Best” argument suggests that Hunter needs to focus a bit closer to home. We previously discussed how the Biden team had decided to get aggressive with witnesses and enemies. However, counsel Abbe Lowell and his team have run into a wall given the fact that his father’s administration brought these charges.

What is interesting is that critics have been defending the lack of charges for things like FARA and taxes by noting that the investigation began in the Trump Administration. The lack of charges is cited as showing that even that administration could not find evidence. Yet, now that charges were brought by the Biden Administration, the same fact is being cited as showing bias. Hunter was seeking subpoenas for Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr and two other former Trump administration officials. Weiss called Biden’s request “meritless and should be denied.” He added:

“Not only does defendant’s motion fail to identify any actual evidence of bias, vindictiveness, or discriminatory intent on the Special Counsel’s part, his arguments ignore an inconvenient truth: No charges were brought against defendant during the prior administration when the subpoena recipients actually held office in the Executive Branch. Instead, every charge in this matter was or will be brought during the current administration—one in which defendant’s father, Joseph R. Biden, is the President of the United States and Merrick B. Garland is the Attorney General that was appointed by President Biden and who personally appointed the Special Counsel. Defendant has not shown, nor can he, how external statements by political opponents of President Biden improperly pressured him, his Attorney General, or the Special Counsel to pursue charges against the President’s son.” In other words, as Margaret Anderson observed: “Well, I suppose Father knows best.”

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They shared it with Fani Willis and only then erased the tapes?!

House GOP: Evidence Of Coordination Between Democrat J6 panel, Georgia DA (JTN)

Two key House GOP lawmakers on Tuesday launched an investigation into possible collusion between Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and the Democrats’ Jan. 6 committee after uncovering evidence the prosecutor pursuing criminal charges against Donald Trump asked for evidence from Congress. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., the chairman of the House Administration’s Subcommittee on Oversight, said they had unearthed a Dec. 17, 2021, letter from Willis asking Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., the chairman of the January 6 Select Committee, to provide her office evidence that could assist in her prosecution of Trump and other defendants. In a letter to Willis, Jordan and Loudermilk said they found evidence to be troubling.

“Specifically, you asked Rep. Thompson for access to ‘record [sic] includ[ing] but . . . not limited to recordings and transcripts of witness interviews and depositions, electronic and print records of communications, and records of travel.’ You even offered that you and your staff were eager to travel to Washington, D.C, to ‘meet with investigators in person’ and to receive these records ‘any time’ between January 31, 2022, and February 25, 2022,” the lawmakers wrote. Some of the video transcripts of Jan. 6 witnesses are now missing, according to Loudermilk. Willis would eventually charge Trump and several other defendants with felonies related to the Jan. 6 riot, charges the former president and his defenders have called politically motivated. The charges are primarily on alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

“The coordination between Fulton County, GA District Attorney Fani Willis, and Pelosi’s January 6 Select Committee, should be concerning to everyone. This new information raises questions about Willis’ and Thompson’s commitment to due process, and whether House Rules were violated when the Select Committee failed to properly disclose this material. We have serious concerns about this behavior and we are seeking the truth,” Loudermilk said after he and Jordan released the letter. The letter asks Willis to provide to Jordan and Loudermilk “all documents and communications between or among the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol for the period July 1, 2021, to January 3, 2023.”

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“..if the official data showed that the Covid “vaccine” was not dangerous, the authorities would release it, and it would not have to be leaked..”

Why Do You Trust Those Who Lie To You? (Paul Craig Roberts)

Think about this for a moment. The facts are in. Big Pharma’s Covid “vaccines” have a high death rate and a high health injury rate. We know this from a number of official sources, such as Pfizer’s internal documents the release of which was ordered by US federal courts and from the release of the New Zealand data by the official data administrator. We also know it from countless scientific peer reviewed studies that every effort is made to suppress. It is obvious that if the official data showed that the Covid “vaccine” was not dangerous, the authorities would release it, and it would not have to be leaked by data administrators or ordered released by courts. Now ask yourselves and your friends what it means that the official health authorities of allegedly accountable democratic governments not only suppress the information but demonize and arrest those, such as New Zealand’s data administrator, who make it public.

Ask yourselves why the media discredits and supports the arrest of those who tell the truth in an attempt to save lives. Ask yourselves why public health agencies and HMOs continue recommending the deadly “vaccine” when the “vaccine” has a proven record of being deadly. Ask yourselves why the public trusts authorities who are out to murder them. Do you understand that the Covid “vaccine” still in use are doses approved under the emergency use authorization? The subsequently approved doses have not been released. Why? The reason is that the emergency use authorization in the US prevents lawsuits for damages, but the approved use batches do not. Obviously, the “vaccine” makers and the authorities understand that the vaccine is dangerous and requires use under emergency use authorization to avoid liability.

The people who died from Covid, instead of from the “vaccine,” died from the withholding of the known proven cures–Ivermectin and HCQ. The cures had to be withheld, because under the law if a cure existed, emergency use could not be activated. So in order for Big Pharma to make billions of dollars by killing and injuring the health of unsuspecting citizens, the cures were suppressed, and people died needlessly. Political and health authorities blamed the deaths on the unvaccinated. The corrupt media lampooned Ivermectin as “horse medicine.” And Americans fell for the outrageous lie and died. This is America. Are you proud of your government, media, and health establishment owned lock, stock, and barrel by Big Pharma? Are you a Proud American or one shamed to Hell by “your” government, “your” health authority, and “your” media? What are you going to do about it?

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“..Johnson is expected to reference the EU row when he gives evidence to a UK Covid inquiry on Wednesday..”

Boris Johnson Considered Military Raid On Holland – Daily Mail (RT)

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked military advisers to prepare plans to raid a Dutch Covid-19 vaccine plant to retrieve 5 million AstraZeneca doses, the Daily Mail has claimed. Johnson was “enraged” by a diplomatic spat with the EU after Brussels threatened to prevent doses of the vaccine from being sent to the UK from the plant in March 2021, the outlet reported on Sunday, citing anonymous sources. At the time, the EU was embroiled in a dispute with the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company over the rollout of the vaccine. AstraZeneca had said production issues meant it could only deliver about one-quarter of the planned stock to the EU, and had refused to divert supplies from its factories in the UK.

This prompted Brussels to threaten to ban exports of the vaccine from its own territory, which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen claimed was necessary to ensure “Europe gets its fair share.” Johnson, who had pledged that priority groups in the UK would be fully vaccinated by mid-April 2021, subsequently asked military advisers to prepare plans to forcefully retrieve the vaccine doses from the plant in Leiden, the Daily Mail reported. “The PM was enraged,” the diplomatic source told the newspaper. “He ordered officials to look at all options for responding, and that did include asking the security services to look at whether there were any options for physically going and taking the vaccines from the Netherlands and bringing them here.”

A second source said that the EU, whose actions they described as “Trumpian,” could not “accept the fact that we had negotiated a better deal with AstraZeneca… They (the vaccines) were effectively stolen.” However, the idea was abandoned after Johnson was advised that conducting a military-style operation to seize the vaccines would seriously undermine relations with the EU. It would also threaten the supply of future vaccine doses from elsewhere in the bloc, the Daily Mail said. Johnson is expected to reference the EU row when he gives evidence to a UK Covid inquiry on Wednesday. It was previously reported by The Times that the former premier will admit he “unquestionably made mistakes” in his leadership throughout the pandemic. However, he is also set to claim that his actions saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

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Patrick Moore Net Zero

 

 

 

 

David Martin Covid 1966
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731921253026656632

 

 

Yeadon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731978883069878374

 

 

Questions

 

 

this ‘impossible portal’ created by coded loop artist @jn3008 challanges your mind leaning toward you or away from you

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 042023
 


Detail of a fresco from the House of the Tragic Poet, Pompeii, 2nd century BC

 

‘We Will Not Compromise, Let War Take Its Course’: Hamas Official (Cradle)
Key Netanyahu Aide Reveals ‘Security Envelope’ To Enclose Gaza (RT)
Pentagon Chief Warns Israel Of ‘Strategic Defeat’ (RT)
US Urges Israel To Protect Civilians, Sends More Bombs (Cradle)
Israel Risks Slipping Into Decade Of War – Macron (RT)
US Defense Secretary Revealed ‘Military Secret’ – Medvedev (RT)
Why Next Year’s Ukrainian Elections Have Been Cancelled (Poletaev)
Zelensky Has Devolved Into Authoritarianism – Kiev Mayor (RT)
No Military Solution To Ukraine Conflict – Top US General (RT)
NATO Chief Says It Should Be Ready For Bad News From Ukraine (TASS)
Just Admit You Were Wrong! (Jeffrey Tucker)
Key Witness in Biden Corruption Case Beaten in Ukraine Custody (21CW)
Andrew Weissmann Faces a Trump-Like Lawsuit (Turley)
COP28 President: ‘No Science’ Behind Calls To Phase Out Fossil Fuels (RT)
Truth: an Endangered Concept on the Verge of Extermination (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elder

 

 

Don’t look away

 

 

 

 

Lindsey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulsi

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The rockets are launched and our heroes confront the occupation with full force. Netanyahu and his army failed to achieve any military objective and will continue to fail.”

‘We Will Not Compromise, Let War Take Its Course’: Hamas Official (Cradle)

Deputy Head of the Hamas Political Bureau and Qassam Brigades commander Saleh al-Arouri, told Al-Jazeera on 2 December that truce and prisoner release talks were off, and that there would be no negotiations until “the end of hostilities.” “From the beginning, the Hamas movement announced that the foreign prisoners were to be released without compensation, and that the children and women hostages were not a target and would be released,” Arouri said. “The remaining prisoners in our hands are soldiers and former soldiers, and there will be no negotiations regarding them until the end of hostilities,” he added. Prior to the collapse of the ceasefire, the US had been pushing to expand the scope of the prisoner releases to include Israeli men and military personnel.

Arouri vowed that the “decision to empty the prisons is final and irreversible,” confirming that any future deal will depend strictly on the release of all the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. “Let the war take its course. This decision is final. We will not compromise on it.” The Hamas leader also described Israel’s goal to destroy Hamas as “unachievable,” and said that Israel has to go through this round of fighting in order to see that. Arouri’s comments came as fierce battles had resumed across Gaza, one day after the truce broke on 1 December. Fighters of the Qassam Brigades targeted five Israeli military vehicles east of Deir al-Balah camp at around noon on 3 December, resulting in the “complete destruction” of three of them, the brigades announced via their Telegram channel.

They also “liquidated” a number of soldiers holing up inside a building in Beit Hanoun. The Qassam Brigades persisted with continuous rocket fire, targeting the Raim military base and the Sderot settlement in the Gaza envelope. Earlier, the resistance group’s Telegram channel announced hitting gatherings of soldiers east of Deir al-Balah and east of Khan Yunis with “heavy-caliber mortar shells.”

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Quds Brigades and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades have also been engaged in clashes on the battlefield, targeting Israeli forces as well as launching mortar shells and rockets. The previous evening saw intensive rocket barrages fired on Tel Aviv for the first time since 20 November. Social media footage shows an Iron Dome interceptor missile failing and plummeting towards the ground. “The latest batch of rockets on Tel Aviv from northern Gaza is a message to all concerned,” a member of Hamas’ political bureau, Izzat al-Rishq, said on Saturday evening. “The rockets are launched and our heroes confront the occupation with full force. Netanyahu and his army failed to achieve any military objective and will continue to fail.”

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“White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby made it clear that Washington does not “support any reduction of the geographic limits of Gaza… Gaza must remain Palestinian land, and cannot be reduced.”

Key Netanyahu Aide Reveals ‘Security Envelope’ To Enclose Gaza (RT)

Israel is going to create a “security envelope” in Gaza once its military has vanquished Hamas, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed to the media. Earlier, Reuters reported that the Israeli government had informed several countries about its plans for a “buffer zone” in the Palestinian enclave. Israel launched its military operation against Hamas after Palestinian militants carried out a surprise incursion into the Jewish state, killing 1,200 people and abducting several hundred more. Netanyahu’s war cabinet has named the complete eradication of the Islamist group from Gaza as its aim. No clear picture has emerged yet as to the enclave’s future, however. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Mark Regev said that “Israel will have to have a security envelope,” adding that “we can never again allow terrorists to cross the border and butcher our people the way they did on October 7.”

The official hastened to stress that “that is not Israel taking territory from Gaza,” describing the planned arrangement as “common sense.” On Friday Reuters reported, citing several anonymous officials, that Israel had notified Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Türkiye that it intended to carve out a buffer zone in Gaza after the hostilities were over. That same day, Israeli broadcaster Kan cited two informed sources in its report that Prime Minister Netanyahu had shared the security-envelope plans with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the previous day. Another anonymous senior Israeli security source told Reuters that “it is not clear at the moment how deep this will be and whether it could be one kilometer or two kilometers, or hundreds of meters” inside the Palestinian enclave.

Gaza is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) long and just 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) at its widest, and is home to some 2.3 million people. Also on Friday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby made it clear that Washington does not “support any reduction of the geographic limits of Gaza… Gaza must remain Palestinian land, and cannot be reduced.” Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal alleged that President Joe Biden’s administration was discussing with Israel the potential relocation of Hamas militants out of Gaza to end the bloodshed and minimize damage to the Palestinian territory, already ravaged by massive Israeli airstrikes. According to Palestinian health authorities, at least 15,200 people have been killed in the enclave since early October, with thousands more injured.

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“The center of gravity is the civilian population and if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat..”

Pentagon Chief Warns Israel Of ‘Strategic Defeat’ (RT)

Israel’s victory over Hamas will become a “strategic defeat” if the country doesn’t prevent civilian casualties during its military operation in Gaza, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has said. Washington “will continue to press Israel to protect civilians and to ensure the robust flow of humanitarian aid” into Gaza, Austin vowed on Saturday, in a speech at the Reagan National Defense Forum at Simi Valley, California. “The center of gravity is the civilian population and if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat,” the Pentagon chief said, implying that indiscriminate attacks on Gaza by Israel could prompt even more Palestinians to join the ranks of the Hamas armed group.

“It would compound this tragedy if all that awaited Israelis and Palestinians at the end of this awful war was more insecurity, more rage and more despair,” Austin added. At least 193 people have been killed since the IDF renewed its offensive in Gaza after the breakdown of the truce on Friday, Gaza’s health ministry said. The overall death toll from attacks on the Palestinian enclave since October 7, when Hamas launched its deadly incursion into Israel, stands at over 15,200, according to the ministry. “You can only win in urban warfare by protecting civilians,” Austin, a retired general and former commander of US forces in the Middle East, insisted. He also suggested that a two-state solution, in which the Israelis and the Palestinians would “find a way to share the land that they both call home,” is still the “only viable” way out of the conflict.

However, the Pentagon chief stressed that it’s Israel’s duty to respond to the attack by Hamas. The US remains Israel’s “closest friend in the world” and will continue to support the country, he promised. On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he made it clear to Israeli authorities that its “imperative for the US that the massive loss of civilian life, and displacement of the scale that we saw in northern Gaza, not be repeated in the south.” An Israeli official told the Times of Israel paper on Sunday that the country has put in place a deconfliction mechanism to prevent harm to human-rights workers and civilians in Gaza during the IDF’s operations against Hamas. “We learned lessons from our northern Gaza operations and we are implementing them,” the source claimed.

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“Austin said “the world will only become more dangerous if tyrants and terrorists believe that they can get away with wholesale aggression and mass slaughter.”

He was not talking about Israel. Or the US.

US Urges Israel To Protect Civilians, Sends More Bombs (Cradle)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on 2 December urged Israel to protect civilians during its campaign against Hamas in Gaza, even as the US military continues to send 2,000-pound bombs and artillery to the Israeli army for use in the densely populated and besieged enclave. Austin told the Reagan National Defense Forum in California on Saturday that shielding noncombatants in the densely populated and besieged enclave is necessary for victory in the urban fight. Austin stated that he had “learned a thing or two about urban warfare” while fighting in Iraq and leading the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). “The lesson is that you can only win in urban warfare by protecting civilians,” Austin stressed. “If you drive [Gaza’s civilians] into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat.”

Austin’s comments came one day after fighting between Israel and Hamas resumed after a week-long truce. On Saturday, the Gaza Health Ministry reported Israeli bombing had killed 700 Palestinians in just the past 24 hours. Since 7 October, Israel has killed some 20,000 Palestinians in Gaza, the majority women and children. Despite requests by US officials that Israel kill fewer Palestinian civilians, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on 1 December that the US military continues to provide Israel large amounts of lethal weapons. The US has provided Israel roughly 15,000 bombs and 57,000 artillery shells since 7 October. This includes some 100 BLU-109, 2,000-pound bunker buster bombs, which Israel used to kill 100 Palestinians in just one strike in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza, according to US officials.

Austin went on to tell lawmakers, corporate and defense leaders, and government officials attending the security conference that “Like Hamas, ISIS was deeply embedded in urban areas. And the international coalition against ISIS worked hard to protect civilians and create humanitarian corridors, even during tough battles.” However, the US campaign against ISIS in urban areas of the Iraqi city of Mosul and Syrian city of Raqqa caused widespread destruction and huge numbers of civilian casualties. Defending US support of Israel and Ukraine, Austin said “the world will only become more dangerous if tyrants and terrorists believe that they can get away with wholesale aggression and mass slaughter.” “You’ll hear some people try to brand an American retreat from responsibility as bold new leadership,” he said.

“Make no mistake: It is not bold. It is not new. And it is not leadership.” Austin, a former board member of weapons manufacturer Raytheon, then asked the lawmakers in the crowd to pass both the military’s budget and the supplemental funding for both wars. However, even some Israel supporters in the US Congress are taking previously unthinkable views. A group of Senate Democrats has considered putting restrictions on the aid that the US gives to Israel, such as compelling it to follow international law. Senator Chris Murphy expressed that “the level of civilian harm inside Gaza is unacceptable, unsustainable.”

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“Macron questioned whether “anyone thinks it’s possible” to wipe out Hamas. “If it is the aim, the war will last for 10 years..”

Israel Risks Slipping Into Decade Of War – Macron (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has urged Israeli authorities to “more precisely define” the end goals of the war with Hamas, while arguing that the stated aim of totally eliminating the Palestinian militant group may result in a years-long conflict. Macron’s comments came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Saturday to continue with the ground offensive in Gaza until “all its objections” are achieved, namely rescuing remaining the hostages and completely “obliterating Hamas.” Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the UN COP28 climate conference in Dubai, Macron questioned whether “anyone thinks it’s possible” to wipe out Hamas. “If it is the aim, the war will last for 10 years,” he argued.

“There can be no long-term security for Israel in the region, if that security comes at the price of Palestinian lives, affecting the public opinions in the region,” he continued. The temporary truce between Hamas and Israel ended on Friday, with both sides blaming each other for the resumption of hostilities. Israeli officials have repeatedly stated that a comprehensive ceasefire at this moment would only benefit Hamas. Israel has accused the militant group of not meeting “its obligations to release all hostage women,” while Hamas has argued that the remaining Israeli prisoners are “soldiers and civilians serving in the army.” During the weeklong truce, Hamas released more than 100 hostages, comprising Israelis and foreign nationals, while Israel freed around 240 Palestinian prisoners.

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“..it’s all about defense goods commissioning to increase military production output and create jobs. And, possibly, about the enormous profit that the companies close to the Biden administration get from it..”

US Defense Secretary Revealed ‘Military Secret’ – Medvedev (RT)

The Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin has apparently revealed the true goal of his country’s enduring support for Ukraine and it has nothing to do with defending “democracy” or even battling Russia, but boils down to the modernization of the US’ own military-industrial complex, ex-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said. Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy chairman of the country’s National Security Council, took to social media platform X on Sunday, commenting on a speech made by Austin at the Reagan National Defense Forum in the US. “We’ve launched what the Army calls ‘the most ambitious modernization effort in nearly 40 years’ for our defense industrial base,” the Pentagon boss said during the event.

Some $50 billion of our supplemental budget request would flow through our defense industrial base. And that will create or support tens of thousands of good American jobs in more than 30 states. That includes making missiles in Arizona; vehicles in Wisconsin and Indiana; and artillery shells in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas. The remarks by the secretary of defense, himself a retired general, effectively amount to an admission of the true goals of Washington, Medvedev said, suggesting that a “sincere” Austin might have inadvertently revealed a genuine “military secret” of the US. “A straightforward and simple-minded person, the general unhesitatingly stated the reason for the US involvement in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.”

The US is not driven by a desire to help stop Ukraine from “disappearing from the world map” or by an intent to fight “for democracy against tyranny,” he said. Moreover, the US is apparently not even motivated by its repeatedly proclaimed goal of “even confronting Russia to diminish its defense capacity,” the ex-president suggested. “It turns out, it’s all about defense goods commissioning to increase military production output and create jobs. And, possibly, about the enormous profit that the companies close to the Biden administration get from it,” Medvedev wrote.

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“So, why does Zelensky remain in office? It looks like the most obvious answer to this question is also the most probable one – the West does not know what to do..”

Why Next Year’s Ukrainian Elections Have Been Cancelled (Poletaev)

A year ago, trusting in their omnipotence, Ukraine and the West anticipated Russia’s inevitable defeat on the battlefield. Vladimir Zelensky personified this confidence, which culminated in the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ (AFU’s) counteroffensive in the direction of the Azov Sea. However, the AFU’s failure in the summer and fall of this year was not just a military defeat – it demonstrated the failure of Ukraine’s entire post-Soviet policy, which has been actively supported by the West. After such a fiasco, one would think Ukraine might fancy a change of leadership. So, why does Zelensky remain in office? It looks like the most obvious answer to this question is also the most probable one – the West does not know what to do. In order for a new person to replace Zelensky, Ukraine needs a new strategy, which it doesn’t have.

Western elites who went all in on the illusory idea of Russia’s military defeat are now at a loss and face a bunch of new problems: the conflict in the Middle East, far-right parties gaining support in Europe, and the political paralysis ahead of the US elections. After all, no one is quite certain that Joe Biden, whose health is deteriorating with each day, will be able to run for another term. It is important to remember that Washington has no need for Ukrainian elections as such, it just needs to keep a tight grip on Kiev. It’s true that Zelensky started to get out of control – he imagined himself to be a great military commander, lost his head, and started throwing tantrums in public, like at the NATO summit in July. The US understands that something has to be done, since a mentally unbalanced head of state is dangerous and unpredictable.

However, as of now, the US Department of State cannot orchestrate a change of power in Ukraine, particularly since Ukraine’s ‘prima donna’ refuses to leave the stage. In the absence of a clear strategy, keeping Zelensky in office seems like the lesser of two evils – if political chaos were to break out in Ukraine, it would inevitably impact the Democrats’ ratings during the upcoming elections, but if everything stays as is, the issue could be swept under the rug for the time being. Moreover, if the current administration manages to convince Congress to approve a minimum aid package for Ukraine, it would consider the job done. There is another important aspect, however. An increasing number of people both in Ukraine and in the West realize that the coming year will be a lot more difficult for Kiev.

The consequences of the fatal decisions made by Zelensky in the past two years will become fully evident – from the refusal to conclude a peace agreement in Istanbul, to the meaningless fight for Bakhmut, the failed counteroffensive, and other battles that resulted in heavy losses. Zelensky was the one who ‘embodied’ these decisions, and many people want him to suffer the consequences, so that all the negativity will be buried alongside the president when he descends into the political grave. But, for now, while Ukraine can still fight, the West wants it to fight with Zelensky in charge.

In this respect, the country’s current president is following the path of his predecessors – it has become traditional in Ukraine to heap all the guilt on the leader and then push him into oblivion. This means that soon, everyone in Ukraine may unite against Zelensky. Even his own party is involved in the game. In a recent interview, head of the Servant of the People faction David Arakhamia admitted that, in March 2022, Kiev had the chance to conclude a peace agreement on very favorable terms and without spilling so much blood – in other words, he was accusing Zelensky of failing to ensure peace.

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“In a year and a half since the beginning of the conflict with Russia, there has not been a single meeting or telephone conversation between [the city of] Kiev and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky..”

Zelensky Has Devolved Into Authoritarianism – Kiev Mayor (RT)

Ukraine’s municipal authorities now remain the only independent force in the country, which has grown increasingly authoritarian amid the conflict with Russia, the Mayor of Kiev Vitaly Klitschko has said. Klitschko shared his assessment of the state of ‘democracy’ in Ukraine in an interview with German daily Der Spiegel, published on Friday. The country’s governing institutes have greatly deteriorated amid the hostilities, with local municipal authorities effectively remaining the only independent force standing, he asserted. “Ukraine is on the path to authoritarianism,” the mayor said. “There is only one independent institution left –local authorities– and they are under enormous pressure.”

During the conflict, the central government has been communicating poorly, if at all, with local authorities, the mayor of the Ukrainian capital claimed. “In a year and a half since the beginning of the conflict with Russia, there has not been a single meeting or telephone conversation between [the city of] Kiev and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. At some point, we will get to the situation where everything depends on the mood of a single person,” Klitschko told Der Spiegel. Boxing star-turned-politician Klitschko was elevated to his position shortly after Ukraine’s 2014 Maidan coup, remaining one of the few Poroshenko-era officials to retain his post under Zelensky. Over the past few months, relations between the capital’s mayor and the central government have been marred by multiple public spats.

In June, for instance, the national government reprimanded Klitschko over the state of the city’s bomb shelters, with the heads of two districts and two acting district heads dismissed from their posts over their failure to keep the facilities operational. Klitschko also became one of the first major Ukrainian public figures to admit the failure of his country’s long-heralded counteroffensive against the Russian forces. In early November, the mayor said the troops were moving “slowly” and were unable to “swiftly breach” fortifications erected by Russia. The mayor’s assessment drastically contrasted with the stance taken by the president at the time, who was insisting the counteroffensive was still going on and consistently denied any setbacks. Zelensky conceded its failure only this week, telling AP that he now considers the fact that his country’s troops are not retreating at the moment a “satisfying” result.

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“It “takes two to tango” in diplomacy, but Ukraine and its foreign backers continue to engage in “solo breakdancing,” Lavrov said.”

No Military Solution To Ukraine Conflict – Top US General (RT)

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine will not have a purely military solution, Charles Brown Jr., the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has suggested. During his appearance at the Reagan National Defense Forum at Simi Valley, California on Saturday, Brown was asked about the possible outcome of the fighting in Ukraine – whether it would end with Kiev “retaking everything that they’d like to get back” or with “some other kind of a negotiated truce with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.” The US top general replied by saying that in “any military conflict, you don’t solve it completely by military means. It ends up with a diplomatic solution.” “You know, I can’t predict the future of how it is going to end, but I think we [the US] can help shape it” by continuing “support of Ukraine, providing them capability,” he stressed.

Brown, who became the most senior US military officer on October 1, replacing Mark Milley, said that he communicates with the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, General Valery Zaluzhny, “on a fairly regular basis.” Washington’s backing of Kiev is “important partly because Russia is one of our challenges that’s laid out in the [US] National Security and National Defense Strategies, and the work we have to do there is important to get to a better place in the long run,” he explained. In November, Zaluzhny said the situation on the frontline had devolved into a “stalemate” and that Ukraine was unlikely to achieve a breakthrough unless some surprise technological development gave it a decisive edge over Russia. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and other top officials had initially rejected his assessment.

However, this week, Zelensky announced on social media that Kiev’s forces will start building fortifications, acknowledging that the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which began in early June, failed to deliver the desired results. “We have a new phase of war, and that is a fact,” he said in an interview with AP on Thursday. When asked if there was any pressure from the US and its allies to negotiate a peace deal with Russia, Zelensky replied: “I don’t feel it yet.” On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed Kiev and the West for showing no interest in peacefully resolving the conflict. It “takes two to tango” in diplomacy, but Ukraine and its foreign backers continue to engage in “solo breakdancing,” Lavrov said.

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“Wars are inherently unpredictable,” the official said. “But we know that the more we support Ukraine, the faster the war will end.”.

NATO Chief Says It Should Be Ready For Bad News From Ukraine (TASS)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO should be ready for bad news from Ukraine, according to his interview with ARD television on Saturday. “We should also be prepared for bad news,” he said, when asked if he feared that the situation in Ukraine would worsen in the future. “Wars develop in phases. But we have to support Ukraine in both good and bad times.” It is crucial to boost ammunition production, Stoltenberg said, conceding that NATO countries were unable to meet the increased demand for them. He said Ukraine is now in a “critical situation,” but declined to recommend what Kiev should do. “I will leave it to the Ukrainians and military commanders to make these difficult operational decisions,” Stoltenberg said.

He also commented on challenges faced by European defense industry. “One of the issues we should address is the fragmentation of the European defense industry,” he said. The NATO chief said it’s in the interest of Europe and is good for jobs in the industry. He said it is important not to allow ammunition prices to rise now that demand has climbed. Stoltenberg said there had been no significant developments on the battlefield over the past few months. He declined to share an outlook for what could happen next. “Wars are inherently unpredictable,” the official said. “But we know that the more we support Ukraine, the faster the war will end.”.

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“Battered by the pandemic? Seriously? The pathetic pathogen never closed a single business, school, church, country club, arts theater, mall, stadium or public park. Governments did that, on the advice of crazed experts who pushed for this nonsense..”

Just Admit You Were Wrong! (Jeffrey Tucker)

The answer to the question “Will they ever admit to being wrong?” is of course: no. I’m speaking in particular of the architects of the lockdown and mandate policies that wrecked the rights and liberties of billions worldwide. Now they want to pretend like it never happened or that someone else is responsible. And they do this even as they hammer out policies and treaties that normalize that exact response – OK, some tweaks here and there – in the future, while forging institutions that crush dissent. Those people we know about. They are rather hopeless. Let’s address a different case, the run-of-the-mill pundit who got it wrong and just cannot admit it. These are the people who should trouble us more because saying sorry in this case is completely cost-free. In fact, the opposite is true.

Readers would cheer their humility and congratulate them for honesty. The only cost would be psychological in some measure. They are supposed to be these great opinion leaders and cannot bring themselves to admit that they were so bloody wrong on such a huge topic. This comes to mind because of an effusive and even absurdist article by Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal. It was about how and why Taylor Swift is the greatest thing America has to offer. The language here is intentionally over the top and she knows it. It’s a fun way to write. I know this because I used to write this way all the time, celebrating the glories of vending machine chicken salad or the McDonald’s cheese stick or what have you. My argument here is not with the hyperbole as such. The problem comes deep into the article where she says the following:

“Downtowns across the country — uniquely battered by the pandemic and the riots and demonstrations of 2020 — are, while she is there, brought to life, with an influx of visitors and a local small business boom. Wherever she went it was like the past three years didn’t happen.” Battered by the pandemic? Seriously? The pathetic pathogen never closed a single business, school, church, country club, arts theater, mall, stadium or public park. Governments did that, on the advice of crazed experts who pushed for this nonsense with no concern for public well-being. Media got involved cheering the lockdowns and denouncing anyone who doubted their glories. Big Tech censored dissident voices.

Noonan could have fixed that sentence with the addition of one word: response. The pandemic response. It would be easy enough to type that word. Sure, that’s a bit lame but at least it is accurate. Why does she refuse? You know the answer. She was among the panic-mongers who thought the lockdowns, masks and vaccine mandates were just fine. She wrote about it constantly. I don’t know why, but she did. She has assiduously avoided admitting this for years now, even to the point of writing about the “great resignation” without ever mentioning lockdowns or vaccine mandates.

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“Ukrainian Parliamentarian and People’s Deputy, Oleksandr Dubinsky..”

Key Witness in Biden Corruption Case Beaten in Ukraine Custody (21CW)

Over the weekend, Ukrainian Parliamentarian and People’s Deputy, Oleksandr Dubinsky, was reportedly the victim of a violent attack while still in custody awaiting a state proceedings into charges of treason. According to testimony provided by Dubinsky to his lawyers, the incident took place in a pre-trial detention center, where unknown persons beat the MP, in which he sustained serious injuries. An ambulance was called, and medical staff reported multiple hematomas, and a suspected broken rib. His lawyers assert that there is a real danger to his health, and say the incident as evidence that there is in fact a credible threat to Dubinksy’s life in the current incarceration. Dubinsky’s apprehension took place on November 13th, after authorities from Ukraine’s state security agency the SBU, along with the State Bureau of Investigation, informed Dubinsky that a criminal case had been initiated against him for the high crime of state treason.

He was then ordered to be detained for 60 days. Prosecutors have alleged that Dubinsky, along with his colleague – another parliamentarian, Andriy Derkach, and former prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk, were part of a secret Russian GRU plot said to have been “carrying out subversive informational activities in favor of the Russian Federation,” and are suspected of “spreading misinformation” about Ukraine’s political leadership. In addition to serving in the Ukrainian parliament since 2019, Dubinsky has also gain notoriety as a journalist and media entrepreneur. Not coincidentally, Oleksandr Dubinsky, along with former Ukrainian government officials Andriy Derkach, Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, Andriy Telizhenko, were all placed on a US sanctions list, mainly for their role in publicly exposing evidence of widespread corruption by US government officials in Ukraine – most notably the illicit activity of the current US President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Back in 2019, Dubinsky had also assisted President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, during the Ukrainian leg of his investigation into Biden corruption in Ukraine. It is believed that Dubinsky could be among the key witnesses who could called upon if the US Congress proceeds forward with their investigation in the overseas activities of Biden family, and subsequent impeachment hearings for the 46th President of the United States. Both Derkach and Dubinsky brought ground-breaking evidence to light at their press conference in 2019 where, along with the Bidens, showed evidence implicating former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, as well as US behind-the-scenes micro-managing of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and its role in falsely framing former Trump campaign manager and political consultant, Paul Manafort – a questionable scandal which ultimately led to Manafort being forced out of the 2016 campaign.

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Weissmann de facto ran the utter failure that was the Mueller investigation.

Andrew Weissmann Faces a Trump-Like Lawsuit (Turley)

Many of us questioned Mueller hiring Weissmann given his reputation for stretching legal authority and perceived political bias. Weissmann reportedly congratulated acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she ordered the Justice Department not to assist President Donald Trump on his immigration ban. The Supreme Court would ultimately affirm Trump’s underlying authority, but Yates refused to allow the Justice Department to assist a sitting president in defending that authority. Weissmann gushed in an email to her, writing “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much.” Weissmann seemed to respond to that criticism by aggressively proving them true. Weissmann has only become more controversial as an MSNBC analyst. He called on Justice Department officials to refuse to assist in the investigation of abuses in the Russian collusion investigation.

While opposing investigations involving Democrats, he has seemingly supported every possible charge against Trump or his associates. What Weissmann often lacked in precedent, he made up for in hyperbole. That signature is at the heart of the current lawsuit. On September 13, 2023, Weissmann was referring to Judy Hunt and noted on Twitter (now X) that “Hunt also is Cassidy Hutchinson’s good lawyer. (Not the one who coached her to lie).” In making this claim against Passantino, Weissmann actually triggered the “per se” defamation standard twice. These are categories that have been treated as defamatory per se. The allegation against Passantino would not only constitute criminal conduct but also unethical professional conduct. Two things are working in Weissmann’s interest. First, the case is in D.C. with the most favorable jury pool and bench for a Trump critic.

Weissmann was viewed by many as hitting the jackpot when the case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan. The judge previously caused a controversy by suggesting Trump should be indicted in the case of a rioter from January 6th and now is sitting as his judge in the Special Counsel’s prosecution. Second, he can argue that Passantino is a public figure and this is merely an opinion. It would seem likely that he would be viewed as an “all-purpose public figure.” Yet, that may not be enough to avoid a trial. In New York Times v. Sullivan, the Supreme Court crafted the actual malice standard that required public officials to shoulder the higher burden of proving defamation. Under that standard, an official would have to show either actual knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of the truth.

The standard was later extended to public figures. The Supreme Court has held that public figure status applies when someone “thrust[s] himself into the vortex of [the] public issue [and] engage[s] the public’s attention in an attempt to influence its outcome.” [..] In creating this higher burden, the Court sought to create “breathing space” for the media by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures. Public figures are viewed as having an enhanced ability to defend themselves and engaging in “self-help” in the face of criticism.

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“There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5°C..”

COP28 President: ‘No Science’ Behind Calls To Phase Out Fossil Fuels (RT)

The president of the COP28 climate conference, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, has cast great doubt over zero-emissions policies being pushed by the United Nations, claiming there is “no science” to show that stage-by-stage cuts in fossil fuel use would decrease global heating, the Guardian reported on Sunday. The chair of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, now underway in Dubai, claimed that a gradual reduction in fossil fuel consumption would hold back sustainable development and drag humanity back to the Paleolithic period. His comments, made in response to questions from former UN special envoy for climate change Mary Robinson during a live online event in late November, are fundamentally at odds with the position of the UN and its secretary general Antonio Guterres.

“We’re in an absolute crisis that is hurting women and children more than anyone… and it’s because we have not yet committed to phasing out fossil fuel,” Robinson, who chairs The Elders, a London-based human rights and environmental NGO, was quoted by the Guardian as saying. “That is the one decision that Cop28 can take and in many ways, because you’re head of Adnoc, you could actually take it with more credibility,” she added. Al Jaber serves as chief executive of the United Arab Emirates state oil company Adnoc, while also chairing Cop28 in Dubai. Many critics have described the two roles as a serious conflict of interest. Responding to Robinson’s remarks, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said he expected the conversation to be “sober and mature,” but not “alarmist.”

“There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5°C,” he said, adding that the move would not “allow for sustainable socioeconomic development, unless you want to take the world back into caves.” When Robinson argued that Adnoc is investing heavily in future fossil fuel production, Al Jaber responded by saying that she and her supporters were reading their own media, which is biased and wrong. He also predicted that a phase-out of fossil fuels is “essentially inevitable,” but argued that countries need to be “real serious and pragmatic about it.”

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Just like TAE:

“This website has no advertising in order to be free of content regulation by Google and other parties..”

Truth: an Endangered Concept on the Verge of Extermination (Paul Craig Roberts)

This website has no advertising in order to be free of content regulation by Google and other parties. This website is politically non-partisan. It tells the truth about both political parties and about other governments. This website is not Woke or rightwing. It has no agenda but the truth. As I told the Press Club of Mexico when I was awarded the Prize for International Journalism, “our country is truth.” When we had real journalists, they understood that it was unpatriotic to lie and cover up for one’s government and country.

Finding and speaking the truth is increasingly difficult. The Twitter Files released to Matt Taibbi by Elon Musk reveal a conspiracy between Big Tech and the establishment to control the explanations by suppressing the truth. Taibbi concluded that the Twitter Files “show the FBI acting as doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, encompassing agencies across the federal government from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA.” The conspiracy against the truth involves the media and the large corporations. Apple, Coca-Cola, Disney, and Walmart are among the corporations that are punishing Elon Musk for his efforts in behalf of free speech by cancelling their advertising on Twitter, now known as X. The American Establishment that is doing everything it possibly can to destroy Donald Trump has also set its sights on Elon Musk, one of the richest and most talented people on earth.

With an establishment this confident in its power, what prospects do ordinary Americans have to withstand the elements that are eroding their comprehension of reality and their own lives. Why do Americans purchase goods, services, and entertainment from corporations determined to keep them in the dark? It is well known that Disney was sponsoring the propagation of critical race theory and transgenderism in public schools. Disney even admits that it is losing shareholders’ money by making movies that confuse white kids about their identity and encourage miscegenation in order to replace “racist white people.” Yet parents continue taking their kids to Disneyland, Disney World, Disney entertainments, and purchase Disney toys. It makes no sense. It is frustrating watching white Americans support their own demise.

Something called Media Matters–financed by who?–created fake accounts and manipulated algorithms to create the fake news that X posted anti-semitic, pro-Nazi content next to advertising, thus associating advertisers with content that results in boycotts by Jewish and black lobbies. Clearly, the intent of Media Matters was to damage X. Can Elon Musk sue Media Matters for damages? Probably not, because the Woke Democrat judges support suppressing the truth. They use law as a weapon to get enemies, like Trump and Musk and me and you. Most Americans do not yet understand that they live in a tyranny and have scant Constitutional and legal protection. A rule of law is no longer our shield against arbitrary power. In a blue city or state, for a white American to defend himself against black violence is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

The American media–indeed that of the Western world–is so compromised by security agencies and advertisers that it serves only as a Ministry of Propaganda. Even the alternative Internet media is unreliable, because the same establishment that has corrupted the print and TV media creates websites to control the narratives that support the establishment’s agendas. There are very few former insiders experienced in the way of Washington who are willing to tell the truth. To turn on the establishment costs you your friends, your connections, your social life, and results in your demonization. I provide an email so that readers can communicate with me, but I receive far more rude messages filled with foul language than I receive supporting words.

Those of us who have been around for awhile with eyes wide open can see the extent of the collapse of the culture and integrity. The young don’t see it. Not having been born into a free society, they don’t realize the loss. The creeping tyranny into which each successive year of Americans are born is normal to them. As Jesus said, “the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Without truth there can be no justice. There is barbarism, the rule of power. We have to be discouraged when we see throughout the West that the purpose of scholarship and education is to replace fact with make-believe.

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RFK covid

 

 

 

 

Wear a mask?!

 

 

Monarch

 

 

Leonardo

 

 

 

 

Thunderstruck

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 032023
 


Laura Gilpin The Rio Grande 1947

 

Israel Reopens the Gaza Slaughterhouse (Chris Hedges)
Israel Planning for Gaza War To Last Over a Year (Antiwar)
Hamas Official Hints At Another Attack On Israel, Bigger Than Oct. 7 (JTN)
Israel Bans Trucks With Aid From Entering Gaza (TASS)
Ukraine Another Historic US War Failure (SCF)
West to Drop Bombshell on Ukraine and Destroy Zelensky – Whistleblower (Sp.)
Soros Jr. Secures Reported Chemical Waste Agreement With Ukraine (Sp.)
Who Will Pay for Zelensky’s Defense Line? West Seems Uninterested (Sp.)
MP Slams Kiev’s Soaring Demands Amid Growing Crisis in Germany (Sp.)
How Saudis Overcame “Reputational Damage” (Bhadrakumar)
Russia Leads Way for Global South by Providing Grain for Africa (Sp.)
Exports Of Russian Grain To EU Surge (RT)
Democrats Try To Strip Candidates From The Ballot (Turley)
The Principal of Optimism (Dean)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Trump

 

 

 

 

Putin wants peace

 

 

 

 

Milei

 

 

GFY

 

 

 

 

RFK Jr

 

 

@FischerKing64 – Re Trump’s Manhattan real estate trial. A single judge ruled as a matter of law that Trump committed fraud, when anyone in the financial industry would tell you the theory (overvaluing assets) is nonsensical b/c it’s all part of a negotiation and banks are sophisticated financial actors. There was no fraud here, and no one lost any money. Think about this and forget Trump. A single judge – who will likely be overturned on appeal – can upend a person’s life, even destroy it, with a stroke of a pen and face no consequences ever. It’s important who becomes a trial judge. And if you look at what’s coming out of the law schools – it’s not encouraging. They’re ignorant and highly ideological. This is going to get a lot worse before it gets better – if it gets better.

 

 

“Once you become consciously aware of just how powerful your thoughts are, you will realize everything in your life is exactly how you allow it to be.” ~Melanie Moushigian Koulouris

 

 

 

 

“Gaza is to become a wasteland, a dead zone that will be incapable of sustaining life..”

“The world will watch passively, muttering useless bromides about more surgical strikes, while Israel spins its roulette wheel of death.”

Israel Reopens the Gaza Slaughterhouse (Chris Hedges)

The skies over Gaza are filled — after a seven-day truce — with projectiles of death. Warplanes. Attack helicopters. Drones. Artillery shells. Tank shells. Mortars. Bombs. Missiles. Gaza is a cacophony of explosions and forlorn screams and cries for help beneath collapsed buildings. Fear, once again, is coiling itself around every heart in the Gazan concentration camp. By Friday evening, 184 Palestinians — including three journalists and two doctors — had been killed by Israeli air strikes in the north, south and central Gaza, and at least 589 injured, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. Most of them are women and children. Israel will not be deterred. It plans to finish the job, to obliterate what is left in the north of Gaza and decimate what remains in the south, to render Gaza uninhabitable, to see its 2.3 million people driven out in a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing via starvation, terror, slaughter and infectious diseases.

The aid convoys, which brought in token amounts of food and medicine — the first batch was shrouds and coronavirus tests according to the director of al-Najjar hospital — have been halted. No one, least of all President Joe Biden, plans to intervene to stop the genocide. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel this week, and while calling for Israel to protect civilians, refused to set conditions that would disrupt the $3.8 billion Israel receives in annual military assistance or the $14.3 billion supplemental aid package. The world will watch passively, muttering useless bromides about more surgical strikes, while Israel spins its roulette wheel of death. By the time Israel is done, the 1948 Nakba, where Palestinians were massacred in dozens of villages and 750,000 were ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias, will look like a quaint relic of a more civilized era. Nothing is off limits. Hospitals. Mosques. Churches. Homes. Apartment blocks. Refugee camps. Schools. Universities. Media offices. Banks. Sewer systems. Telecommunications infrastructure. Water treatment plants. Libraries. Wheat mills. Bakeries. Markets. Entire neighborhoods.


Slaughterhouse – by Mr. Fish

Israel’s intent is to destroy Gaza’s infrastructure and daily kill or wound hundreds of Palestinians. Gaza is to become a wasteland, a dead zone that will be incapable of sustaining life. Israel began to bomb Khan Younis on Friday after dropping leaflets warning civilians to evacuate further south to Rafah, located on the border crossing with Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians had sought refuge in Khan Younis. Once Palestinians are pushed to Rafah, there is only one place left to flee — Egypt. The Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, in a leaked report, calls for the forcible transfer of Gaza’s population to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. A detailed plan to intentionally displace the Palestinians in Gaza and push them into Egypt has been embedded in Israeli doctrine for five decades. Already, 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza have been driven from their homes. Once Palestinians cross the border into Egypt — which the Egyptian government and Arab leaders are seeking to prevent despite pressure from the U.S. — Palestinians will never return.

This is not a war against Hamas. It is a war against Palestinians. Israeli strikes are generated at a dizzying rate, many of them from a system called “Habsora” — The Gospel — which is built on artificial intelligence that selects 100 targets a day. The AI-system is described by seven current and former Israeli intelligence officials in an article by Yuval Abraham on the Israeli sites +972 Magazine and Local Call, as facilitating a “mass assassination factory.” Israel, once it locates what it assumes to be a Hamas operative from a cell phone, for example, bombs and shells a wide area around the target, killing and wounding tens, and at times hundreds of Palestinians, the article states. “According to intelligence sources,” the story reads, “Habsora generates, among other things, automatic recommendations for attacking private residences where people suspected of being Hamas or Islamic Jihad operatives live. Israel then carries out large-scale assassination operations through the heavy shelling of these residential homes.”

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“No one, not even the US, can talk to them about this..”

“..crucial to Netanyahu keeping his far-right war cabinet together..”

Israel Planning for Gaza War To Last Over a Year (Antiwar)

The Financial Times reported speaking with sources who said that Israel plans to wage war on Gaza for over a year. In a little less than two months, Israel has killed at least 15,000 people, damaged 100,000 buildings, displaced 1.7 million Palestinians, and destroyed most of Gaza’s medical facilities. On Friday, FT reported sources said Israel was preparing for a multi-phase conflict in Gaza that will last at least a year. “This will be a very long war…We’re currently not near halfway to achieving our objectives,” said one person familiar with the Israeli war plans. According to the sources, Israel’s goals include “killing the three top Hamas leaders — Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, and Marwan Issa — while securing a decisive military victory against the group’s 24 battalions and underground tunnel network and destroying its governing capability in Gaza.”

Israel does not appear close to achieving these goals. US sources have said that Israel’s military operations in Gaza have failed to impact high or even mid-level Hamas members. On Sunday, the Guardian reported that Israeli officials estimated that 1,000 – 2,000 Hamas members had been killed. However, FT spoke with an Israeli military source who gave an estimate of 5,000 dead Hamas members. It is unclear why there is such a large discrepancy in the numbers, as both were given during the week-long pause in fighting. In either case, the Israeli military operations have killed more children, at least 6,000, than members of Hamas. The massive civilian toll has led to mounting world opinion against Israeli military operations.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken attended a meeting of the Israeli war cabinet on Thursday and warned that Tel Aviv will lose more international support as the conflict continues. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff, said military operations in Gaza will take “more than a few additional weeks,” suggesting Tel Aviv did not plan to follow Washington’s advice. Still, America’s top diplomat said Washington was still firmly committed to arming Tel Aviv. The first phase of the war, an intense bombing campaign and ground invasion, is expected to last well into 2024. One source said the first phase of the war is about 40% complete. “Gaza City isn’t finished yet, nor fully conquered. It’s probably 40% done,” the person explained. “For the north as a whole, it will probably require another two weeks to a month.”

The second phase will be an operation with fewer military operations aimed at stabilizing Gaza. While the sources told FT that the second phase is projected to continue until late 2024, Israeli officials say they cannot predict a firm endpoint to the conflict. The Biden administration has pushed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to allow the Palestinian Authority to control Gaza after Hamas is defeated. However, one source told FT that Tel Aviv will not listen to Washington, even as the US provides Israel with billions of dollars in weapons. “No one, not even the US, can talk to them about this,” said one of the sources familiar with the matter. That person emphasized that this point was crucial to Netanyahu keeping his far-right war cabinet together.

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“I can promise that a war of liberation is coming, not just another October 7..”

Hamas Official Hints At Another Attack On Israel, Bigger Than Oct. 7 (JTN)

A top Hamas official hinted during an interview with Lebanese media that another attack against Israel is in the works, likely bigger than Oct. 7. Osama Hamdan, a senior representative of Hamas in Lebanon, said during an interview earlier this week that a “war of liberation” was coming. The interview was transcribed by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), according to The Daily Wire. “You said that if the Israelis would make new arrests, after all the prisoners are released from [Israeli] prisons, you would carry out another operation,” the interviewer said during the interview, according to the outlet. “So can you promise another October 7?”

“I can promise that a war of liberation is coming, not just another October 7,” Hamdan answered. The interviewer asked if this attack would happen soon in the future, to which Hamdan answered, “I do not think it is far off.” Hamdan also referred to the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel as “acts of resistance.” Israel declared war on Hamas after the terrorist organization orchestrated an attack on them, killing about 1,200 Israelis and taking hundreds more hostage, including women and children.

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“..exacerbates the suffering of citizens and aggravates the challenges faced by humanitarian organizations..”

Israel Bans Trucks With Aid From Entering Gaza (TASS)

Israel has banned trucks with humanitarian aid from entering the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the WAFA news agency reported, citing the Palestine Red Crescent Society. “Israel has informed that it banned humanitarian aid trucks from entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing until further notice,” the PSCS said. Israel has ordered that the Palestinian side of the crossing be cleared of trucks as soon as possible. According to the PSCS, the Israeli decision “exacerbates the suffering of citizens and aggravates the challenges faced by humanitarian organizations that are trying to alleviate the anguish of residents and displaced persons in light of the ongoing Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip.” On December 1, the Israel Defense Forces accused Hamas of violating a truce and announced that it was resuming hostilities in the Gaza Strip.

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“..a la Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and More..”

Ukraine Another Historic US War Failure (SCF)

The U.S.-led NATO alliance held its first NATO-Ukraine Council meeting this week in Brussels. As usual, the cliched promises of supporting the Kiev regime to the end were trotted out by all and sundry. In truth, these NATO events for Ukraine, and more generally, are becoming yawn fests. The whole sordid charade is only postponing the reality that the proxy war in Ukraine against Russia is a debacle for the Western powers. This is not something to gloat over. It is a tragedy and an abomination. Up to 400,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, as well as tens of thousands of Russian military personnel. Total casualty figures are no doubt in the millions. In addition, millions of civilians have been displaced as refugees in Russia and throughout Europe. Hundreds of billions of dollars and euros have been raided from Western taxpayers to fund this bloody fiasco.

Not only that but international tensions have been heightened between nuclear powers at a perilous pitch not seen since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 at the depth of the Cold War.Washington needs to come to its senses and negotiate a peaceful settlement on Moscow’s terms. It’s as simple and as blunt as that. This is what could have been achieved before the conflict erupted in February 2022 when Moscow was offering a negotiable security treaty. The West rejected those terms out of hand back then. Now it will have to accept. Primarily, the conditions are that there will be no further NATO enlargement around Russia’s borders and in particular there will be no inclusion of Ukraine in the American-led bellicose military bloc.

Attending the NATO summit this week was U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken along with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and the foreign ministers of the other 30 NATO member states. Kuleba declared with delusional disconnect: “We are pretty much becoming a de facto NATO army.” He may be somewhat correct that Ukraine has been used as a proxy force for NATO, but it is a spent and decimated one. Blinken seemed to be concerned with papering over cracks appearing in various media reports indicating that the U.S. is surreptitiously telling the Kiev regime to cut its losses and make a sort of peace deal with Russia. Blinken’s bravado rhetoric is akin to empty U.S. promises previously made to Afghanistan and countless other proxy regimes over the decades before Washington ignominiously pulls the plug and does a runner.

Inviting Ukraine to a NATO council summit is all theatre and window-dressing to give the public impression that the alliance is offering the former Soviet Republic something substantive. In reality, it all amounts to throwing a bare bone. This is analogous to overinflated promises made by European Union leaders like European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen who repeatedly talk up the prospects of Ukraine joining the bloc in the future. The chances of that happening for a broken, rampantly corrupt, failed state like Ukraine are inconceivable. Again, empty, cynical promises. All the NATO and EU talk is public relations bluster to conceal the brutal reality that the United States and its Western allies have created a monumental morass of misery for Ukraine by pursuing their nefarious geopolitical games to confront Russia. The rest of Europe and indeed the whole world has paid a terrible price for these imperial games.

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“..trust in the Ukrainian president (32 percent) is less than half that of Commander-in-Chief of Ukrainian Armed Forces General Valery Zaluzhny (70 percent) and 13 percent less than that of Ukraine’s spy boss Kyrylo Budanov (45 percent)..”

West to Drop Bombshell on Ukraine and Destroy Zelensky – Whistleblower (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is still in denial that he has outlived his usefulness to the West, former Ukrainian diplomat and whistleblower Andrii Telizhenko told Sputnik’s Backstory podcast. Volodymyr Zelensky’s approval rating is in free fall in Ukraine. According to the Economist, the latest polls indicated that trust in the Ukrainian president (32 percent) is less than half that of Commander-in-Chief of Ukrainian Armed Forces General Valery Zaluzhny (70 percent) and 13 percent less than that of Ukraine’s spy boss Kyrylo Budanov (45 percent). “Today we see the legitimacy of the president, who had 70 percent support of Ukrainians because they wanted peace, is dropping dramatically even though the propaganda machine is still working,” ex-Ukrainian diplomat and whistleblower Andrii Telizhenko told Sputnik.

“And he’s not budging for any elections. He’s a dictator. He put himself there. He said it’s going to come for one term. And he said now he seems going to be there for a second term, even though there is martial law but there is no military status or any official war recognition in Ukraine. So you can imagine that the law itself is martial, but there’s no official war recognized by the Ukrainian government or the parliament of Ukraine officially to stop any election.” “So what he’s doing is against any democracy would do as the West is betraying Ukraine today. And the latest news is that today the Ukrainian parliament, the factions in the Ukrainian parliament were pushed by the government of Ukraine, Zelensky’s regime, just to sign a treaty, saying that they do not support any elections until the war or the martial law is over and six months after that… elections in Ukraine will be happening.”

Back in August Zelensky hinted that holding elections, initially scheduled for March 2024, would be possible – despite martial law – if the West provides funds and assistance. However, as his row with the Ukrainian top brass reached its peak, Zelensky ruled out elections despite top Western policy-makers urging him to carry out the democratic procedure to uphold his legitimacy. Speaking on Backstory podcast last month, international affairs and security expert Mark Sleboda suggested that the West is seeking to get rid of Zelensky — with elections appearing the most convenient way to do so, given the Ukrainian incumbent’s low approval rating. But Zelensky remains in a “bubble” of self-delusion, according to Telizhenko.

“[Zelensky] doesn’t believe that he’s going to be dropped by Washington,” Telizhenko said. “I think he is still in the bubble controlled by his teammates and the regime, by [Head of Office of President of Ukraine Andrii] Yermak and other officials who are keeping him in a bubble and saying: ‘Oh, you are still welcome in the West. Yes, they may have cooled off a bit, but we are still coordinating with Washington’. But I think that the West is going to drop this bombshell on Ukraine and destroy Zelensky.”

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“..an agreement with Ukrainian authorities to allocate 400 square kilometers of land for the disposal of hazardous waste..”

“..the land in question is located in the Ternopol, Khmelnitsky, and Chernovitsky regions – fertile black soil farming areas in the western part of Ukraine…”

Soros Jr. Secures Reported Chemical Waste Agreement With Ukraine (Sp.)

The deal will purportedly see Dow Chemical, DuPont, BASF, Evonik Industries, Vitol and Sanofi burying hazardous waste in the European country free of charge. Alexander Soros, the son of controversial American financier George Soros, has reached an agreement with Ukrainian authorities to allocate 400 square kilometers of land for the disposal of hazardous waste, according to an investigation by French journalist Jules Vincent. Materials published by Vincent on the X (formerly Twitter) indicate he was approached by an anonymous source from Kiev’s Ministry of Agriculture. The source revealed that the agreement was reached during a meeting on November 7 between Soros Jr. and the head of Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, Andriy Yermak.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ukraine will transfer land to American companies for the burial of hazardous waste from chemical, pharmaceutical and oil companies for an indefinite period of time and free of charge. The companies include Dow Chemical, DuPont, BASF, Evonik Industries, Vitol and Sanofi.Vincent published a document signed by the parties with a statement to that effect. It states that Soros “intends to ensure reliable communication between Zelensky’s office and the representatives of the said companies.” According to the source, the land in question is located in the Ternopol, Khmelnitsky, and Chernovitsky regions – fertile black soil farming areas in the western part of Ukraine.

“The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine has been asked to coordinate the allocation of dozens of land plots with a total area of 400 square kilometers,” the journalist quoted the source as saying. He calls this decision “fatal.” “This will not only render these lands unsuitable for wheat production, but will also cause irreparable damage to the ecosystems of these regions,” the ministry official wrote, stressing the need to draw the attention of Western public to this “outrageous deal.”

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“..we should never forget that any undertaking of the Kiev regime is mired in corruption.”

Who Will Pay for Zelensky’s Defense Line? West Seems Uninterested (Sp.)

President Volodymyr Zelensky told the US press that Ukraine has entered a new phase of the conflict in winter. The spresident wants to build defensive structures from Donbass to Western Ukraine. Will Kiev succeed?
Volodymyr Zelensky admitted in an interview with AP that Kiev failed to achieve desired results during the summer counteroffensive. “There is not enough power to achieve the desired results faster. But this does not mean that we should give up, that we have to surrender,” Zelensky claimed. Now the Ukrainian leader is seeking to build a new fortified defense line stretching from Donbass to Western Ukraine. “I held a meeting where we discussed the construction of fortifications on the main defensive lines. These are the Avdeevka, Maryino, Kupyansk-Liman directions, as well as the frontier regions bordering Russia and Belarus,” Zelensky wrote on his Telegram account.

Russian military expert Ivan Konovalov believes that despite Zelensky putting on a brave face his latest initiative serves as an acknowledgment that Kiev is in no-win situation. “This is an acknowledgement that the Kiev regime is losing [at this stage]: they are changing tactics from offensive to defensive,” Konovalov said. “Of course, Zelensky is unable to admit this officially. However, the very statement about the creation of fortified areas and structures in cities, that is, layering [of defenses], is precisely an admission that no one believes that the Ukrainian front will hold. It’s an admission that the moment is approaching when it will really collapse. And therefore, [Zelensky] is creating approximately the same what [Adolf] Hitler did in accordance with his city defense plan. Everyone remembers how it all ended, what situation Nazi Germany had faced. Obviously, for the Kiev Nazis it will end in much the same way.”

Meanwhile, some Russian military observers have calculated how much Zelensky’s defense line would cost. The total length of the defense line would be at least 2,800 km (1,700 miles), according to their estimates. It would take at least eight to nine months to build such a line, let alone a multi-layered defensive system, and cost at least $10 billion, they say. According to Konovalov, Zelensky’s plan is just “mission impossible”. “It can’t be done,” the expert said. “And therefore, we need to remember that this is just a declaration, on the one hand. On the other hand, we should never forget that any undertaking of the Kiev regime is mired in corruption.”

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“Ukraine increasingly resembles a bottomless pit..”

“.. the sum will rise to 60 billion euros..” That’s just Germany!

MP Slams Kiev’s Soaring Demands Amid Growing Crisis in Germany (Sp.)

Sarah Wagenknecht, a member of the Bundestag, expressed her dissatisfaction with the staggering 24 billion euro “gift” to Ukraine. “Ukraine increasingly resembles a bottomless pit. According to the German government’s own figures, it has directly transferred 24 billion euros in tax revenues to Ukraine during the conflict. This includes funds for weapons and contributions to the Ukrainian state budget,” she stated. At the same time, Wagenknecht noted that the United States and some European countries are beginning to withhold aid to Ukraine. In addition, she stressed that the EU has provided financial aid to Ukraine totaling 85 billion euros, almost a quarter of which has been financed by German taxpayers. “This means that Germany has sent an additional 20 billion euros to Ukraine via the EU,” the politician added.

Wagenknecht believes that the total amount of aid will reach 44 billion euros, and with the additional 14 billion euros allocated to help Ukrainian refugees, the sum will rise to 60 billion euros. She emphasized that this is happening in a country where there is an ongoing debate about the affordability of allocating 2 billion euros to help impoverished children. Western media often report that the US and the EU are growing weary of the Ukrainian crisis and that support for Volodymyr Zelensky is waning. According to NBC, US and European officials are already discussing the possible consequences of peaceful negotiations with Russia, including what the former Soviet republic might have to give up to reach some sort of agreement.

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“..Saudis had no alternative, given the profoundly troubling geopolitical reality that Khashoggi was being groomed by the Deep State..”

How Saudis Overcame “Reputational Damage” (Bhadrakumar)

European Union’s super bureaucrat Ursula von der Leyen chose April Fools’ Day last year to threaten China that it would suffer “reputational damage” in the world community for backing Russia’s Ukraine war. Being a civilisational state, China let pass that arrogant, presumptuous, egotistic remark. The concept reeks of neo-colonial mentality. Saudi Arabia’s tryst with reputational damage has been of a different kind. The Kingdom has had spectacular success in overcoming the reputational damage related to the killing of the ex-CIA asset Jamal Khashoggi. It makes a worthy case study for India, which also is haunted by the spectre of reputational damage for allegedly committing trans-border crimes. From an Indian perspective, there are seven “takeaways” from the Saudi experience.

First, Saudi Arabia stood its ground; second, it sought no help from third parties to reach out to the power brokers in DC; third, it seized the initiative to set in motion an investigative mechanism of its own which came up with cognitive reasoning in a very short period of time; four, it followed up by sentencing the Saudi perpetrators of Khashoggi’s murder to imprisonment; five, it didn’t allow the “reputational damage” to impede normal life; six, it turned a new page so that “a new normal” became possible, which is resilient and geared for the long haul that is strengthening the Kingdom’s strategic autonomy; and, seven, in the final analysis, the “decoupling” from the US helped the Saudis to shake off the reputational damage. Needless to say, the last point is the crux of the matter. Saudi Arabia’s assertion of strategic autonomy has taken myriad forms that caught the Biden Administration by surprise. This was not how Saudi Arabia was expected to behave under pressure with its ponderous decision-making process, the statecraft moving at a glacial pace, its comprador class among the elites only too eager to capitulate and the ruling elite’s unipolar predicament and so on.

But the “new normal” also dictated that Saudi Arabia did not get into an acrimonious brawl with the Biden Administration but instead subjected the latter to benign neglect of a kind that was most hurtful for the US’ interests and regional influence and bruised its vanities of being the only game in town in the Middle East. In reality, Saudis had no alternative, given the profoundly troubling geopolitical reality that Khashoggi was being groomed by the Deep State in the US for a higher political destiny than that of a mere dissident — and that was something Riyadh couldn’t have tolerated, as the stability of the regime was being threatened from America, which was ironically the Kingdom’s provider of security and a strategic ally of several decades.

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“Earlier US officials had warned African countries not to engage with Russia. Clearly, these countries are in no mood to listen.”

Russia Leads Way for Global South by Providing Grain for Africa (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced during the Russia-Africa Summit in July that Russia would dispatch free grain as humanitarian aid to six African nations identified by the World Food Program. This act underscores Russia’s extensive track record of co-operation and assistance to Africa, diverging sharply from centuries of Western imperialism directed at the Global South. Recent reports from the Somali national news agency confirmed the arrival of a vessel laden with humanitarian grain from Russia at the capital Mogadishu. Mohammed Saqib, Secretary-General of the India-China Economic and Cultural Council, highlighted the initiative’s multifaceted significance. He described it not merely as a grand gesture but as a substantial commitment to addressing international challenges — a noble cause undertaken by Russia.

The official emphasized that Russia’s response was particularly commendable considering the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Africa, compounded by challenges stemming from the conflict with Ukraine. He praised Russia’s outreach to the needy, describing it as a demonstration of international responsibility addressing the urgent needs of people in dire circumstances. “Russia’s response to humanitarian crisis in Africa in addressing the urgent need of people, while going through crises itself especially with the conflict in Ukraine, shows a sort of endless international responsibility,” Saqib noted. In the evolving landscape of renewed competition for influence among African nations, the focus appears to be shifting from traditional Cold War geopolitics to tangible material support.

And despite the impediments Western nations have placed on Russian ships in their ports, Moscow has reaffirmed its commitment to providing essential grain to the most vulnerable African nations, said Dr. Anuradha Chenoy, a retired professor at the Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University. “Russia had promised that their grain deliveries to the most needy nations of Africa would continue despite the blockades. In keeping with this Russia has launched free deliveries to African countries and the first of these shipments has landed in Somalia,” Chenoy said. “Earlier US officials had warned African countries not to engage with Russia. Clearly, these countries are in no mood to listen. They see Russia as a time-tested partner. This gesture proves this trend will continue.”

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“..roughly ten times what had been bought from Russia during the same period last year…”

Exports Of Russian Grain To EU Surge (RT)

The EU has significantly increased imports of Russian grain despite the bloc’s sanctions against the country, RIA Novosti reported on Saturday, citing statistics agency Eurostat. According to the report, in September the EU increased imports of Russian grain by 22% month-on-month to 180,000 tons, roughly ten times what had been bought from Russia during the same period last year. This was the highest figure since the start of the Ukraine conflict and subsequent Western sanctions war on Russia. The surge in imports allowed Russia to retake its place among the top-five grain suppliers to the 27-nation bloc for the first time in six months, coming in fourth. Ukraine remained the largest grain supplier to the EU in the reporting period with 1.2 million tons, down by a quarter year-on-year.

Brazil came in second with 1.1 million tons, followed by Türkiye with 204,000 tons. Canada closed out the top-five, with 139,000 tons. Meanwhile, Eurostat statistics also showed that the EU has upped imports of Russian fertilizers in recent months. According to the data, in the period July to September, the sanctioned country’s share in extra-EU imports of the product bounced back to 27%, the same share it had in the third quarter of 2021, prior to the Ukraine conflict.While neither Russian grain or its fertilizers have been directly sanctioned by the West, their export has been hindered in recent months by financial, shipping and insurance restrictions placed on Moscow. Russia has repeatedly called for these restrictions to be lifted.

The EU has so far imposed 11 rounds of Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia since early 2022, limiting the country’s access to its technologies and markets. The bloc’s overall purchases from Russia have fallen nearly fivefold since the imposition of restrictions, with Russia’s share of extra-EU imports dropping from 9.5% in February 2022 to 2% in September 2023. Meanwhile, Russia has been successfully redirecting much of its trade to Asia, primarily to India and China.

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..Strip Candidates From The Ballot In The Name Of Democracy..

Jonathan Turley: The Hill is out with my article on Democratic efforts to block voting options in the primary and general elections. In Florida, you can vote for anyone as long as it is Biden. In other states, you may be able to vote for anyone so long as it is not Trump.

Democrats Try To Strip Candidates From The Ballot (Turley)

Across news sites, Democrats are warning of the imminent death of democracy. Hillary Clinton has warned that a Trump victory would be the end of democracy. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is warning of “executions.” Even actors like Robert DeNiro are predicting that this may be our very last democratic election. Yet these harbingers of tyranny are increasingly pursuing the very course that will make their predictions come true. The Democratic Party is actively seeking to deny voters choices in this election, supposedly to save democracy. Henry Ford once promised customers any color so long as it is black. Democrats are adopting the same approach to the election: You can have any candidate on the ballot, as long as it’s Joe Biden.

This week, the Executive Committee of the Florida Democratic Democracy told voters that they would not be allowed to vote against Biden. Even though he has opponents in the primary, the party leadership has ordered that only Biden will appear on the primary ballot. And if you want to register your discontent with Biden with a write-in vote, forget about it. Under Florida law, if the party approves only one name, there will be no primary ballots at all. The party just called the election for Biden before a single vote has been cast. This is not unprecedented. It happened with Barack Obama in 2012 and, on the Republican side, with George W. Bush in 2004. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. As Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) noted, “Americans would expect the absence of democracy in Tehran, not Tallahassee. Our mission as Democrats is to defeat authoritarians, not become them.”

In Iran, the mullahs routinely bar opposition candidates from ballots as “Guardians” of the ballots. There is good reason for the Biden White House to want the election called before it is held. A CNN poll found that two out of three Democrats believe that the party should nominate someone else. A Wall Street Journal poll that found 73 percent of voters say Biden is “too old to run for president.” The party leadership is solving that problem by depriving Democratic voters of a choice. In other states, Democratic politicians and lawyers are pursuing a different strategy: “You can have any candidate, as long as it isn’t Trump.” They are seeking to bar Trump from ballots under a novel theory about the 14th Amendment. In states from Colorado to Michigan, Democratic operatives are arguing that Trump must be taken off the ballots because he gave “aid and comfort” to an “insurrection or rebellion.”

Other Democrats have called for more than 120 other Republicans to be stripped from the ballots under the same claim tied to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.[..] In a recent filing supporting this effort, figures as prominent as media lawyer Floyd Abrams and Berkeley Dean Erwin Chemerinsky have told the Colorado Supreme Court that preventing voters from being able to cast their votes for Trump is just a way of “fostering democracy.” So long as courts believe that a candidate’s speech is “capable of triggering disqualification,” that speech is unprotected in their view. [..] despite 74 million voters supporting Trump in the last election, these Democrats are insisting that voters should not be allowed to vote for him, in the name of democracy. In fairness to Democratic partisans like Clinton and Maddow, they could well be right. The 2024 election could well prove the end to democracy — if these efforts succeeded in purging ballots of opposing candidates. It is all part of an electoral variation on the Vietnam War claim that it is sometimes necessary to destroy a village in order to save it.

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X thread

The Principal of Optimism (Dean)

In the Elon Musk biography, Isaacson tells of a poker game where Musk went all-in every time until he won. It’s an analogy for how Musk – in Peter Thiel’s words – “understands something about risk that everybody else doesn’t”, and how he’s able to create companies that seemed impossible to everyone else. I think the thing that Musk understands about risk that everybody else doesn’t is what David Deutsch calls The Principal of Optimism. P.O.O: Anything which is not prohibited by the laws of physics is possible given sufficient knowledge. Musk has often referred to the laws of physics being the only constraint, like here:

Why is this interesting? Personally, I think the Principal of Optimism is one of the most significant discoveries in Philosophy made this century. Anytime you face a difficult problem, you can ask: “Do the laws of physics say solving this problem is impossible?” If the answer is no, then you know that there’s only one thing in between you and the solution: knowledge. And thanks to Karl Popper in the 20th century, we know the only way to create knowledge is through trial and error. Conjecture and refutation. Guess and check, and guess again. You see this philosophy in action at SpaceX. They got through 3 or 4 rockets before landing their first Falcon in 2015. Trial and error.

And we all watched recently as they launched and blew up the biggest rocket to ever leave the Earth, yet calling it a “success” for simply detaching Starship from the booster. Guess and check, and guess again. And so in this way, even the most seemingly outlandish problems like landing (or catching) rockets falling from space become tractable issues to be solved by a small dedicated team. While all the greatest entrepreneurs are singular individuals, on a deeper level, they all share a common trait: they don’t take anyone’s word for it. The only constraint they impose on themselves is that imposed on them by the laws of physics. They’re all guided by the same principal.
The Principal of Optimism.

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Meryl Nass

 

 

 

 

Dear men

 

 

No pyjama for the cat

 

 

Happy deer

 

 

4Circles

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 022023
 
 December 2, 2023  Posted by at 9:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Claude Monet The Magpie 1869

 

The Real Kissinger – My Memories of Henry (Paul Craig Roberts)
How US Broke Kissinger’s Efforts to Improve Relations With Russia – PCR (Sp.)
Henry Kissinger: The War Criminal Who Saved The World (Scott Ritter)
US Pushing Nuclear Arms Race ‘Can Only Have Tragic Ending’ – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Israeli Army Plants New Fake Hamas Atrocity Story (Cradle)
US Needs Gaza War to Destabilize BRICS, Greater Eurasia – Pepe Escobar (Sp.)
Tik Tok Under Western Pressure To Censor Pro-Palestine Voices (Cradle)
Israel Irate Over Spanish PM Support For Palestine (Cradle)
Israel Planning Global Assassination Campaign – WSJ (RT)
US Aims To Halve Russia’s Oil, Gas Revenues By 2030 (TASS)
Trump Can Be Sued For Capitol Riot, Court Rules (RT)
The Curious Fraud Case Against Trump Just Got ‘Curiouser’ (Turley)
The Magic Moment (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Elon

 

 

The way I see it, there is one huge problem with the cybertruck: everyone will want one. It doesn’t rust. It lasts a lifetime.

Tesla would have to produce a million a year at least, and they don’t have the capacity.

 

 

 

 

Ocampo

 

 

Hannity

 

 

Ukraine does not have enough Firepower – Douglas Macgregor

 

 

Nap Mearsheimer

 

 

 

 

Taibbi+

 

 

 

 

 

 

The condemnation of Kissinger after his death is pretty much everywhere. Which makes it interesting that two people who actually knew him, Paul Craig Roberts and Scott Ritter, have their own, different, opinions.

The Real Kissinger – My Memories of Henry (Paul Craig Roberts)

Henry Kissinger at 100 years of age left the world he temporarily altered for the better after watching the neoconservatives in the Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden regimes wipe out his accomplishments. Kissinger and President Nixon were men of peace. They inherited a disastrous war–Vietnam–that they had no hand in making. President John F. Kennedy intended to stop the war before it could get started, which was one of the reasons he was assassinated by the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secret Service. The Soviet Threat had to be resisted even at the cost of President Kennedy’s life and the trauma inflicted on what was still in those days a free nation. President Nixon and Kissinger also had to restart the efforts of President Kennedy to defuse the dangerous tensions of the Cold War that both the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam war brought to the surface.

The pursuit of detente by the Nixon administration produced the Strategic Arms Limitations Agreement and created a working relationship between Washington and Moscow. Nixon’s opening to China might have prevented another war. Nixon and Kissinger’s achievements in defusing the Cold War were unrivaled until President Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev ended the Cold war. The Clinton regime violated the word of the George H.W. Bush administration that in exchange for the Soviet Union permitting the reunification of Germany, the US would not move NATO one inch toward the East. All subsequent US regimes exited from all of the arms agreements that had reduced tensions and created a bond of trust between the nuclear superpowers. This bond is especially important, because of the numerous false warnings from warning systems.

The consequence of unraveling the work of Nixon, Kissinger, and Reagan is the total lack of trust today between the US and Russia. The situation today is far worse than it was in the darkest days of the Cold War.As an insider I well know that the problem of conservative presidents, such as Nixon and Reagan, in easing tensions with Russia is that their conservative base is suspicious of the effort. I well remember that Reagan’s efforts at detente with the Soviet Union were suspected by Reagan’s conservative base. Conservatives worried that a former movie star was not a match for cunning communists, and that America would come out the loser. Nixon faced a worse problem. He was trapped by President Johnson’s regime in a gratuitous war that could not be won. But if he left without winning he would endanger his base of support.

The problem of the conservative base is the reason both Reagan and Nixon spoke aggressively, thus causing the leftwing to see them as warmongers. The dilemma Nixon and Kissinger faced is the reason for the Cambodian bombings. They were desperate to get a situation from which they could exit the war without it being interpreted as a defeat by their political base. They were trying to use force to achieve an honorable exit, but the enemy would not give it to them.The leftwing, of course, unable to comprehend the conundrum, interpreted Nixon and Kissinger as war criminals. This erroneous interpretation has held to the present day. Today I still encounter American conservatives who claim that Reagan won the Cold War. This is nonsense. Reagan told those of us involved that the purpose was to end, not win, the Cold War.

Conservatives justify Reagan as the winner of the Cold War, as the man who collapsed the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union collapsed three years after Reagan left office. No one, including the CIA, expected the collapse of the Soviet Union. It caught the US government off guard. The Soviet collapse occurred because hardline members of the Politburo, who feared Gorbachev was liberalizing too rapidly, placed Soviet President Gorbachev under house arrest. It was Gorbachev’s arrest that led to Yeltsin and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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“..the consequence of the “breakdown” of the work of Nixon, Reagan, and Kissinger today is “a complete lack of trust between the United States and Russia.”

How US Broke Kissinger’s Efforts to Improve Relations With Russia – PCR (Sp.)

The collapse of the legacy of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who sought to improve Soviet-American relations, as well as the policy of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, has led to the fact that trust between Washington and Moscow is completely absent today, Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant Treasury secretary, told Sputnik. According to Roberts, who personally knew Kissinger, the achievements of Nixon and Kissinger on the issue of détente between the US and the USSR “were unrivaled” until President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev ended the Cold War. “The (Bill) Clinton administration broke its word, given by George W. Bush. The Bush administration said that in exchange for the USSR agreeing to the reunification of Germany, the US would not move NATO’s borders one inch eastward.

All subsequent US administrations have withdrawn from arms agreements that served for reducing tensions and forged bonds of trust between the nuclear superpowers,” Roberts said. According to the former Treasury Department official, the consequence of the “breakdown” of the work of Nixon, Reagan, and Kissinger today is “a complete lack of trust between the United States and Russia.” “The situation today is far worse than even in the darkest days of the Cold War,” Roberts stressed. Kissinger’s death was announced on November 29. The former secretary of state gained fame as one of the most influential political figures in the United States, leaving a significant mark on the history of diplomacy. Despite his advanced age, Kissinger commented extensively on current international events, including the situation in Ukraine.

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“..without Henry Kissinger, there probably would have been no INF treaty, no START treaty, no SALT agreements, no ABM treaty—no arms control. Without Henry Kissinger, there would very likely have been a nuclear war.”

Henry Kissinger: The War Criminal Who Saved The World (Scott Ritter)

To be honest, as I entered the US Marines after graduating college in 1984, I didn’t give Henry Kissinger much thought—he was, from my perspective, a relic of the past, a bad national nightmare who, like his boss, Richard Nixon, was fading into the pages of historical irrelevance. And then, in early 1988, everything changed. I was taken from the deserts of southern California, where I had been perfecting skills associated with the Marine Corps mission of closing with and destroying the enemy through firepower and maneuver, and dispatched to Washington, DC, where I was made part of a team that would implement inspection tasks associated with the implementation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

As I learned more about the treaty, and its relationship to the history of US-Soviet arms control, the name Henry Kissinger kept popping up. Kissinger, it turns out, was the Godfather of US-Soviet arms control, the man who crafted the anti-ballistic missile treaty, considered one of the foundational agreements which defined the strategic relationship between the US and Soviet Union. He was also the driving force behind the policy of détente between the US and Soviet Union which led to an end to the nuclear arms race and heralded in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) which eventually turned into the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). The INF treaty was a byproduct of the vision set forth by Henry Kissinger. I often speak of the importance of the INF treaty in preventing nuclear war, and remain convinced that without it, a nuclear conflict between the US and Soviet Union was inevitable.

It turns out that without Henry Kissinger, there probably would have been no INF treaty, no START treaty, no SALT agreements, no ABM treaty—no arms control. Without Henry Kissinger, there would very likely have been a nuclear war. Following my assignment as an arms inspector in the Soviet Union, I returned to the Marine Corps, where, from August 1990 until August 1998, my life was defined by Iraq—first through Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and then later, as a weapons inspector with the United Nations tasked with overseeing the disarmament of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. Once again, Henry Kissinger disappeared into the background, only to reappear in the summer of 1998 as one of the “foreign policy experts” who articulated openly about the need to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

Following my resignation from the United Nations, in August 1998, I received an invitation from Teddy Forstmann, one of the founders of the private equity corporation Forstmann & Little, to fly to Aspen, Colorado, to speak as part of an annual policy discussion forum that brought together the “best and the brightest” in the world under a single roof where the issues of the day would be addressed. Among the notable people present was none other than Henry Kissinger. I had the opportunity to rub elbows with Mr. Kissinger on several occasions during the Aspen forum. We talked, of course, about Iraq—this was pre-9/11, pre-WMD fabrication, where the issues revolved primarily around Saddam Hussein and the threat he posed to regional peace and security. But most of all we talked about arms control, and the importance of preserving the legacy of disarmament that had been started under the Nixon administration, but which seemed to be slipping away under Bill Clinton’s watch.

I last saw Henry Kissinger in May 1999, at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Mr. Kissinger was attended to by a retired Secret Service officer whom I had met at the Aspen event. After the dinner and speeches, he approached my table and told me Mr. Kissinger wanted to speak with me. I was ushered to a side room, where the famous former diplomat was waiting. “I wanted to continue our conversation,” Kissinger said.

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“..in less than a year, the Chinese are not only producing that chip, but better chips, because they were compelled to do it themselves..”

US Pushing Nuclear Arms Race ‘Can Only Have Tragic Ending’ – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

In early November, a scheduled test of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by the United States ended in failure as the Air Force was forced to prematurely self-destruct the missile in mid-flight. The Pentagon said it was “due to an anomaly” during the test.The nuclear-tipped missile has been in service since 1970, having its service life extended several times after the end of the Cold War in 1990, which caused the US to de-emphasize strategic missile production. A new system, the Sentinel ICBM, is currently being developed to replace the Minuteman III, but isn’t scheduled to fully replace the older missile for another decade.

However, when the Sentinel and other nuclear-capable weapons, such as the B-21 Raider bomber, finally enter service, they’ll already be outclassed by Russian and Chinese counterparts, since those nations have already achieved nuclear superiority over the US, Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, told Radio Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Thursday. Ritter recently authored an article on Consortium News titled: “The End of US Nuclear Superiority.” “The United States has a nuclear deterrence model called the Triad. There’s three legs to the triad: there’s the manned aerial bomber leg that consists of B-52H bombers and B-2 bombers; there is a sea leg, submarine launched ballistic missiles, the Trident IIs carried on board the old Ohio-class submarines; and then there’s the ground leg, which consists of 400 Minuteman III missiles that are loaded into silos across the Midwest of the United States,” Ritter explained.

“The Minuteman III is a very old missile. It’s been refurbished. It’s had its fuel scraped out, new fuel put in. But the bottom line is, it’s reached the end of its usefulness in this test. You know, it’s a test that the Air Force carries out periodically that’s designed to show the reliability of the Minuteman III system. Well, it failed. And so what we have here is a Cold War relic that is on life support and it may not be able to do the job that it’s supposed to do.
“Then you compare and contrast this with the Russian missiles that are being fielded now, two in particular: the Sarmat missile, which is a heavy intercontinental ballistic missile carrying multiple warheads, including the Avangard hypersonic maneuverable warhead. It also can be fired, because of its range, over the South Pole, which means it comes into the United States from a direction that our early-warning radars aren’t situated – all our radars are oriented toward the North Pole, the traditional entry route of Russian missiles if there was to be a war.

There’s the Yars missile, which is not only road-mobile, but also could be fired from a silo. And the Yars missile can carry the Avangard hypersonic maneuverable warhead.” “The Avangard is a warhead that’s designed to defeat any missile defense system in the world. It was developed by the Russians in response to the decision by President George W. Bush, back in 2002, to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and therefore begin deploying ballistic missile defense systems that the Russians deemed to threaten the notion of strategic parity, meaning that the United States fielded a missile defense system capable of shooting down Russian warheads and fielded systems that could allow for a preemptive first-strike. The United States may believe they can nullify Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent and therefore push Russia around any way they want. That’s unacceptable to the Russians.”

[..]“Look at The Economist, the hard Russophobic magazine. The cover[says]: ‘Is Russia winning the War?’ Oh, yeah. ‘Did we get it wrong?’ You’re damn right you did. Everybody got it wrong. The Russian defense industry right now is orders of magnitude advanced over ours. They are producing new systems, modern systems, systems that are derived from experiences of less than a year. Like I told you, the B-21 is a 10-to-15 year old design. The Russians are putting out new things. Look what we did with China: we’re trying to strangle their chips, saying they will never be able to develop a certain size chip. And so we cut them off from the lithographic machines from the Netherlands and from this supply and that supply, and in less than a year, the Chinese are not only producing that chip, but better chips, because they were compelled to do it themselves. And they are so far ahead of us in terms of other technologies.” he said.

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“Haaretz journalist Chaim Levinson also investigated the claim and said, “I checked. Did not happen.”

Israeli Army Plants New Fake Hamas Atrocity Story (Cradle)

The Israeli military is seeking to manipulate Israeli journalists to plant false stories of Hamas atrocities in the media. On 28 November, Israeli journalist Yishai Cohen published video of an interview in which an Israeli soldier claimed that dead “Babies and children were hung in a clothes line in a row,” in Be’eri, a settlement near Gaza that was attacked by Hamas on 7 October. Cohen later deleted the video, as the claim could not be confirmed, but the video garnered hundreds of thousands of views on the social media site X during the eight hours it was online. Other X users continued to share the clip after Cohen deleted the post. One X user criticized Cohen, writing, “How do you upload such a video online without having 100% certainty? Why is everything here amateurish and crooked?”

Cohen, a journalist for the Hebrew language Kikar HaShabbat news website, explained his mistake, saying the interview was offered to him by the Israeli army spokesperson. “I did not know the interviewee before. A representative of DoC was present in all the filming and approved the broadcast,” he said. “After posting the promo, there were complaints, so I immediately deleted it within minutes. And yet, even this morning, the IDF [army] spokesman refrained from claiming that this was a false story. By the way, the interviewee insists that the story is accurate and there was even another witness to this.” Haaretz journalist Amir Tibbon criticized Cohen for taking the soldier’s word, and not confirming the story, especially as only one child was killed in the area in the kibbutz in question.

In response, Cohen explained that, “I admit that I didn’t think it was necessary to check the truth of a story brought by a lieutenant colonel, a general officer of the Gaza division, and also accompanied by a representative of the DoC. Why would an army officer make up such a horrific story? I was wrong.” Cohen was among the Israeli journalists who debunked the previous claim that Hamas had beheaded 40 babies during the 7 October surprise attack. A volunteer from United Hatzalah rescues service, Asher Moskowitz, had claimed he was at the Shura military base when bodies were arriving. He claimed that “Most of the bodies from Kfar Aza were burned, but what I saw with this body— it was relatively complete, but hard like a rock, and on its stomach was the sign of a heating element, like a half a circle or a big chain.”

Moskowitz continued by saying that someone from Chevreh Kadishah [the Israeli military organization that prepares bodies for burial] told him that “based on the signs on the body, it looks like they put him inside the oven alive,” and that “they found the baby dead inside the oven.” However, the Jerusalem Post went on to report that no journalists have been able to verify the claim, including Cohen of Kikar HaShabbat news website. Cohen tried to confirm the story with the Israeli military, another rescue service called Zaka, the Shura military base, and other sources, but was unable to. Haaretz journalist Chaim Levinson also investigated the claim and said, “I checked. Did not happen.”

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“..the Americans are being slowly, but surely and very forcefully expelled from the big Eurasia by the Russia-China strategic partnership..”

US Needs Gaza War to Destabilize BRICS, Greater Eurasia – Pepe Escobar (Sp.)

The Biden administration needs an Israeli victory in Gaza in order to undermine BRICS and other economic integration initiatives led by Russia and China, veteran geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar told the New Rules podcast. “This is an American diversionist tactic to once again go against BRICS multipolarity, especially given the fact that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates now have a very graphic, tangible opportunity to link themselves to the birth of the new Eurasia when they become members of BRICS,” he said. Escobar noted that during the G20 summit in New Delhi in September, the United States and Israel unveiled the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) initiative. The project, Escobar explained, seeks to bypass China’s Belt and Road Initiative and transform Israel into a key energy and logistical hub.

Notably, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech at the UN General Assembly later that month, he presented a map of the “New Middle East” without Palestine. This was no accident, according to Escobar. “The impression that [Netanyahu] gave all of us who follow international relations is that they created this IMEC idea on the fly and they needed to start implementing it in some way. And part of it was ‘Okay, let’s rekindle the war in Israel-Palestine because then we offer the Israelis or the Israelis offer themselves the possibility of solving the Palestine problem.’ Because this comes with another element: the Ben Gurion Canal, which is an old idea first floated in the 60s of building a canal where Israel has control and not the Egyptians. So you transfer all the connectivity and all the trade from Suez to the Ben Gurion Canal.”

Escobar predicted that although the Israeli government is facing growing international criticism for its actions in Gaza, the Biden administration is unlikely to abandon the IMEC initiative. “This [conflict] proves once again that the US will never leave West Asia…The region is absolutely essential for the empire, considering that the Americans are being slowly, but surely and very forcefully expelled from the big Eurasia by the Russia-China strategic partnership – by their trade deals, their multilateral organizations and economic integration projects. All that goes completely against American domination of Eurasia.”

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“Attitudes among young people skewed toward Palestine long before TikTok existed..”

Tik Tok Under Western Pressure To Censor Pro-Palestine Voices (Cradle)

TikTok’s Chief Executive Officer Shou Chew recently met 40 business leaders, including many from the tech field, who sought to push for the app to take “a more neutral stance” on the campaign of genocide unfolding in the Gaza Strip, Bloomberg reported on 30 November. The meeting included other TikTok executives and several investment partners, who forwarded a letter signed by 90 professionals in an effort to get TikTok to “uphold its commitment” to “prevent harm,” according to investment partner Anthony Goldbloom. Signatories of the letter expressed that they felt the app was violating this clause as claims of “antisemitism” have increased since the 7 October Hamas-led Al-Aqsa Flood operation.

TikTok denied political bias in the app’s algorithm. “Attitudes among young people skewed toward Palestine long before TikTok existed,” a press release by the app says. “Support for Israel (as compared to sympathy for Palestine) has been lower among younger Americans for some time. This is evidenced by looking at Gallup polling data of millennials dating as far back as 2010, long before TikTok even existed.” The push to silence voices in support of Palestine has been prevalent since the beginning of the war. There has been a slurry of anti-Palestinian propaganda that has been used to justify the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip. Media campaigns like “Facts for Peace” have sprung up to bolster the Israeli image in the public eye by seeking million-dollar donations from some of the world’s biggest names in media, finance, and technology.

Israel, in an act of domestic image boosting, has also banned news outlets like Al-Mayadeen from reporting within its borders, claiming such a thing would “jeopardize” the state image. DeclassifiedUK examined the headlines of multiple legacy papers and found that “the mechanics of the western press’ dehumanization of Palestinians in death and life are revealed as clinical and routine.” “In the UK-US mainstream media, Israelis die actively. They are either killed or murdered by Hamas,” the news outlet writes. “Palestinian civilians, by contrast, die passively – and yet it is they who have done most of the dying since 7 October; over ten times the number of Israelis killed.”

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“It is in Europe’s interest to address this issue out of moral conviction because what we are seeing in Gaza is not acceptable..”

Israel Irate Over Spanish PM Support For Palestine (Cradle)

Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced on 30 November it was recalling its envoy in Spain, Rodica Radian-Gordon, for consultations following remarks made by the country’s prime minister. The Spanish ambassador in Tel Aviv was also summoned in protest to the comments. “Because of the outrageous remarks by the Spanish prime minister, who again repeated baseless claims, I have decided to summon the Israeli ambassador in Spain for consultations in Jerusalem,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said. “Israel is acting, and will continue to act, according to international law, and will continue the war until all the hostages are returned and Hamas is eliminated from Gaza.”

While speaking with a local broadcaster on 30 November, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed “serious doubt” that Israel was carrying out its assault on Gaza in line with international humanitarian law, particularly given “growing numbers of children dying.” The Spanish prime minister also called on the EU to recognize an independent Palestinian state. “It is in Europe’s interest to address this issue out of moral conviction because what we are seeing in Gaza is not acceptable,” Sanchez said. The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the Spanish premier’s “shameful remark on a day in which Hamas terrorists murdered Israelis in our capital, Jerusalem.” The comments came the same day as a shooting operation in the occupied holy city, which resulted in the deaths of four settlers. The Hamas fighters behind the attack were killed at the scene.

Sanchez’s comments were not his first on the current war raging in Gaza. Last week, the prime minister accused Netanyahu of “indiscriminate killing” and suggested his country may unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state. Representatives from several EU countries, including Ireland and others, have strongly criticized Israel’s war on the Hamas movement in Gaza. In October, over 800 EU officials wrote in a letter to the head of the bloc, Ursula von der Leyen, that they “hardly recognize the values of the EU” and reject the “seeming indifference demonstrated … by our institution towards the ongoing massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip, in disregard for human rights and international humanitarian law.”

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They knew about it for a year, but they only started making plans after the fact?

Israel Planning Global Assassination Campaign – WSJ (RT)

Israeli spies are preparing to assassinate Hamas leaders living in Lebanon, Türkiye, and Qatar once the war with the militant group is over, officials have told the Wall Street Journal. The operation was reportedly planned more than a month ago, but postponed so that hostage negotiations could take place. The Israeli intelligence services began drawing up plans for the assassination campaign after Hamas’ October 7 attack on the Jewish state, the American newspaper reported on Thursday, citing the anonymous officials. Some reportedly wanted to embark on the campaign immediately, but were ordered to wait so that negotiations to free the roughly 240 hostages held by Hamas could progress. The killings have been authorized by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the officials said, adding that it is now a matter of when, not if, the campaign will begin.

While such operations are usually planned in secret, the Israeli government has explicitly warned that it intends to kill Hamas operatives outside of Gaza. Before the officials leaked the story to the Wall Street Journal, Netanyahu declared last month that he had “instructed the Mossad to act against the heads of Hamas wherever they are.” Answering directly to the prime minister’s office, Mossad is Israel’s foreign intelligence and covert operations agency, roughly analogous to the American CIA. The agency has a long history of assassinations on foreign soil, some of which have escalated into major diplomatic incidents. Famed for capturing Adolf Eichmann – a Nazi officer and leading organizer of the Holocaust – in 1960, Mossad failed to kill many of the Nazis it hunted in the decades immediately after World War II, despite having an extensive hit list to work through.

The agency launched a letter-bombing campaign against former Nazi scientists working for Egypt’s rocket program in the early 1960s, but the operation was called off by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion in 1963 after multiple targets escaped and at least five Egyptian workers were killed. In a multi-decade clandestine operation launched after Palestinian militants killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, Mossad agents killed 18 people suspected of involvement in the massacre. One of those killed was a Moroccan waiter in Norway, an incident that led to the arrest and sentencing of five Israeli agents by the Norwegian authorities.

More recently, Netanyahu ordered Mossad to assassinate Hamas co-founder Khaled Mashal in Jordan in 1997. The two-man assassination team was captured after one sprayed a toxin into Mashal’s ear, and Jordan threatened to shred its peace treaty with Israel in response. The diplomatic standoff was defused when Israeli agents delivered an antidote to the toxin and Netanyahu agreed to release dozens of Palestinian prisoners, including Hamas imam and co-founder Ahmed Yassin. Mossad agents were also caught using forged Irish, British, and Australian passports for an assassination operation in Dubai in 2010.

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How’s that going so far?

US Aims To Halve Russia’s Oil, Gas Revenues By 2030 (TASS)

Washington is aiming to halve Russia’s oil and gas revenues by the end of this decade, Geoffrey Pyatt, US assistant secretary of state for energy resources, told the Financial Times. Western sanctions on Russia’s oil came into force on December 5, 2022. The International Energy Agency has forecast that its oil and gas exports could fall “by at least 40-50 per cent by 2030” if western sanctions on Russia’s energy industry are maintained, FT said. “This is something that we’re going to have to stick to for years to come,” as long as the Ukrainian conflict continues, Pyatt said. “We’re going to do everything we can to help make that true,” he was quoted as saying.

“The goal of these sanctions is to change Russia’s behavior,” the official added. Sticking to sanctions against Russia “has enormous geopolitical implications in terms of <…> Russia’s ability to use its energy as a strategic asset,” Pyatt noted. In December 2022, the European Union stopped receiving Russian oil delivered by sea, while G7 countries, Australia and the EU imposed a price cap for it, setting the ceiling at $60 a barrel. It is banned to deliver or insure more expensive oil.

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“Trump’s lawyers have argued that speeches on “election integrity” are “at the heart of his official responsibilities as president,” and are therefore protected from legal consequences..”

Trump Can Be Sued For Capitol Riot, Court Rules (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump is not immune from being sued over his alleged role in instigating the January 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill, an appeals court in Washington DC ruled on Friday. Democrats and Capitol Police officers took legal action against Trump in the wake of the violent protest.In a unanimous verdict, the court rejected Trump’s argument that “presidential immunity” forbids him from being held liable for the events of that day, which took place while he was still in power. In a speech to his supporters before the riot, Trump told them to “fight like hell” against his election loss, but to do so “peacefully and patriotically.”In the ruling, Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan wrote that the president “does not spend every minute of every day exercising official responsibilities,” and “when he acts in an unofficial, private capacity, he is subject to civil suits like any private citizen.”

A trio of lawsuits brought by Democratic lawmakers and US Capitol Police officers allege that Trump’s ‘fight like hell’ speech encouraged the mob to storm the Capitol, and should pay damages. Two officers injured during the riot are seeking a minimum of $75,000 from the former president.Four people died during the protest, all of them Trump supporters. One woman, an Air Force veteran named Ashli Babbitt, was shot dead by a Capitol Police officer during a scuffle near the entrance to the House chamber. The court’s decision paves the way for these lawsuits to go ahead, and could also influence the outcome of a criminal case brought against the former president by Special Counsel Jack Smith.

In August, Smith charged Trump with conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights, making the same argument that Trump’s speech provoked the storming of the Capitol. Trump’s lawyers have argued that speeches on “election integrity” are “at the heart of his official responsibilities as president,” and are therefore protected from legal consequences. Trump himself has dismissed Smith’s case as a “pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election.”

Trump is currently the frontrunner to take the Republican Party’s nomination for next year’s election. However, the former president faces multiple legal obstacles. Smith is overseeing two criminal cases against Trump, the second concerning his alleged mishandling of classified documents. In addition to the three civil suits concerning the Capitol riot, Trump is being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James for allegedly inflating the worth of his business empire, and faces charges in Georgia for allegedly trying to overturn President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state. Finally, Trump is being tried in New York for his alleged misreporting of “hush-money” payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump insists that all of the cases against him are part of the same overarching, Democrat-led plot to sideline Biden’s leading opponent ahead of the 2024 election.

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“..James wants dissolution and crippling damages, and that could trigger a higher-court review…”

The Curious Fraud Case Against Trump Just Got ‘Curiouser’ (Turley)

“Curiouser and curiouser.” Those words from Alice in Wonderland seem the only apt description of the case unfolding in the New York courtroom of Justice Arthur F. Engoron over the alleged fraudulent practices of former president Donald Trump, his family and his business. The charges brought by New York State Attorney General Letitia James were curious from the start. James had run for office on the pledge that she would hunt down Trump, a promise that apparently thrilled many New Yorkers. However, she brought a civil case based on Trump over- and under-estimating the values of his properties. As some of us have previously stated, there do appear to have been assets that were inflated or deflated in value. That may be a common practice in New York real estate, but it is not a good practice.

Indeed, I believe a penalty is warranted for such practices, but those should be uniformly imposed and would be a fraction of the fortune sought by James in this case. The evidence shows that banks made money on these loans, which were paid off either early or on time. In fact, none of the banks complained about the Trump organization’s estimations, which were accompanied by a warning that the banks should not rely on those estimates. Moreover, James is seeking to kill a corporation once viewed as iconic in New York, not just by denying the certificates for the Trumps to do business in the city but by imposing $250 million in penalties for money that no one actually lost. That all became curiouser this week when two bankers were called by the defense.

Rosemary Vrablic and David Williams worked on Deutsche Bank loans to the Trumps for years, and they testified that the banks made millions and viewed Trump as a much-sought-after “whale” client — what Vrablic described as a “very high net-worth individual.” Williams testified that net worth is “subjective” in such documents as property valuations and are offered as mere “estimates.” It is not uncommon for a bank’s estimates to differ from a client’s. Vrablic wrote emails at the time about the benefits to the bank in dealing with the Trumps, as well as pitches to the family that the bank was happy to extend conditions which allowed added benefits of “flexibility, rate and service” to get the business relationship. Justice Engoron seemed irritated by the testimony, however, and when Trump counsel asked why the bank was so eager to secure future loans, Engoron snapped back: “They’re trying to make money. Why wouldn’t they be interested?”

The real question here is James’ overriding interest in killing the company. Engoron has already declared that Trump is guilty of fraud, and he is now weighing the massive penalties sought by James — and eagerly supported by many New Yorkers. That eagerness could prove the court’s undoing, however. Some of Engoron’s earlier orders are currently under review. Yet it is James’ demand for the effective dissolution of the corporation and $250 million in penalties that could push this case beyond the curious to the unconstitutional. It is relatively rare for civil damages to trigger constitutional review, and it is still far from clear that this case will rise to that level. The New York law is unique in allowing massive penalties without the loss of a single dollar by a bank. However, James wants dissolution and crippling damages, and that could trigger a higher-court review.

[..] In the Trump case, the banks made money. It would be akin to the car owner’s value going up with the paint job but still hitting BMW with punitive damages. James is known for her embrace of nuclear options when it comes to political opponents or groups. She previously sought to persuade a court to force the dissolution of the National Rifle Association. The question is, what happens if she finally has found an enabling judge in Engoron? The testimony of the bankers highlights how out of proportion this effort has become. One would expect the banks to have sought action as the aggrieved parties if they had suffered losses as a result of Trump misconduct. They did not. While they discontinued working with the Trumps after the start of the New York criminal and civil actions, they have remained silent.

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“Years before the Covid-19 fiasco, Mr. Kirsch gave MIT $2.5 million to build a new lecture hall. Then, during Covid-19, Mr. Kirsch asked MIT to allow him to stage a lecture about his findings. The MIT administrators refused to let Mr. Kirsch speak in the lecture hall that he paid for.”

The Magic Moment (Kunstler)

History is a trickster. It unfolds emergently with uncanny creativity, often blindsiding humanity with the unanticipated consequences and non-linear outcomes of previous unfoldings. So, here we are now in a Second Civil War. Really? “Between whom?” you might ask. Between truth and untruth. Between a sociopathic bureaucratic blob steeped in lies and a citizenry obliged to live and die by the blob’s lies.Case-in-point: the emergent evolution of US public health agencies, the CDC, the FDA, the NIH, the NIAID and their many fiefdoms, into a gigantic engine of death fueled by incessant and persistent lying. The people running these agencies lied to you about the creation and origin of the novel corona virus, SARS Covid-19. Then they lied about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines created as the sovereign remedy for Covid-19. They also lied about and suppressed actual effective treatments for the disease they invented and loosed on the world and then coerced the whole medical establishment into breaking its Hippocratic oath (first do no harm) to administer vaccines that killed.

They lied about these things knowingly. And through the whole three-year episode, US public health has hidden the data about Covid and the vaccines while aggressively lying about it and punishing American citizens who found ways to expose the truth. The vaccines have killed an estimate 670,000 Americans and 17-million world-wide, consensus figures arrived at by citizens devoted to uncovering the truth. One of these is independent researcher Steve Kirsch, a Silicon Valley billionaire who invented the optical mouse. In 2021, after noticing a strange pattern of early deaths and injuries in his own circle of acquaintances, Mr. Kirsch devoted himself and his fortune to uncovering the truth about the Covid-19 vaccines. Mr. Kirsch describes himself as “a nerd,” by which he means that he is good at math and at assembling bodies of information using rigorous statistical analysis that present a coherent picture of reality, a.k.a. the truth.

Last night, Thursday, November 30, Mr.Kirsch gave a talk at his alma mater, MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts on what the best available statistics tell us about the Covid-19 vaccines (for instance, that so far they have killed more Americans than World War Two). The talk was live-streamed on the Rumble platform (YouTube scrubbed it). There is an interesting story behind Mr. Kirsch’s event. Years before the Covid-19 fiasco, Mr. Kirsch gave MIT $2.5 million to build a new lecture hall. Then, during Covid-19, Mr. Kirsch asked MIT to allow him to stage a lecture about his findings. The MIT administrators refused to let Mr. Kirsch speak in the lecture hall that he paid for. Mr. Kirsch went public with that, embarrassing the university, and under new MIT President Sally Kornbluth, the Institute relented.

Prior to the November 30 talk, Mr. Kirsch sought to share his data with eminent MIT professor Robert Langer, winner of countless awards for advances in the biotechnological sciences. Dr. Langer runs a research program that his MIT webpage describes as follows: “The group’s work is at the interface of biotechnology and materials science. A major focus is the study and development of polymers to deliver drugs, particularly genetically engineered proteins, continuously at controlled rates and for prolonged periods of time.” Sounds like Dr. Langer would be intimately acquainted with the mechanisms of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines, especially the development of lipid nanoparticles that facilitate the delivery of the mRNA message into their targeted cells. Dr. Langer declined to see the data or to meet with Mr. Kirsch. At the beginning of his talk, Mr. Kirsch offered some speculation as to why Dr. Langer might demur to see the data or meet with him. Turns out it is because Dr. Langer sits on the Moderna board of directors.

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“Ducks are only in a row when in motion” – Isaac Newton

 

 

Patrick Moore

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always stay a sucker for the simple things.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1730616494646866334

 

 

Cat

 

 

Self similar

 

 


The American yellow warbler is known for its beautiful yellow and greenish-golden plumage. It is generally resident in the mangrove swamps. Roughly 60% of its diet is caterpillars

 

 


Short Eared Owl

 

 

 

 

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