Jun 302024
 
 June 30, 2024  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  66 Responses »


René Magritte Empire of light 1950

 

Imagine a Missile Massacre On a Florida Beach On the Fourth of July (SCF)
Biden Should Be Removed As President – US House Speaker (RT)
Trump the Peacemaker? His Presidency Might Help End The War In Ukraine (RT)
US and NATO Accomplices Play Terror Card Against Russia (Van den Ende)
‘She Eats Russians For Breakfast’ (RT)
EU Bureaucrats ‘Want War With Russia’ – Orban (RT)
Ursula von der Leyen: Beyond Redemption (NC)
Why Does Türkiye Want to Join BRICS? (RT)
The Art of Being Eternally Shocked (Turley)
Trump Sentencing Will Put Merchan’s Bias in Crosshairs (RCP)
Iran Threatens Israel With ‘Obliterating War’ If It Attacks Lebanon (ZH)
Over 80 UK War Planes Deployed From Cyprus To Lebanon Since 7 Oct (Cradle)
Chevron and Bitcoin (Crossman)
Banksy ‘Launches’ Migrant Boat Stunt At Glastonbury Festival (MN)

 

 

 

 

Debate Eagle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1807076748946723280

 

 

Tucker

 

 

Decline
https://twitter.com/i/status/1807019531656638865

 

 

Don’t

 

 

McAfee 2020 (!)


https://twitter.com/i/status/1806945470566056163

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Washington is unhinged and depraved. A collection of psychopaths as are its minions in Brussels and other NATO capitals.”

Imagine a Missile Massacre On a Florida Beach On the Fourth of July (SCF)

The scenario is not hyperbole. Imagine a sunny beach in Florida crowded with families enjoying a holiday weekend. In a split second, mayhem and murder are unleashed as crowds flee in panic from a foreign missile exploding over the beach. There is no doubt that the United States would go to war immediately against the perpetrator. Furious condemnations would ring out for days, weeks, and months among American politicians and their media. But what is also obvious from this hypothetical scenario is the egregious double standard and hypocrisy of American and Western responses. Last weekend, Russia was celebrating its annual Day of Remembrance and Sorrow. The day honors the dead of the Great Patriotic War instigated by Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. That weekend also combines Trinity Sunday, a prominent religious holiday in the Orthodox calendar.

As Russian families were enjoying the festive weekend, the Kiev regime fired five U.S.-supplied ATACMS missiles at the Crimean city of Sevastopol. It was a deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure. Four missiles were shot down by Russian air defenses, but a fifth exploded over a nearby beach, where hundreds of people were enjoying sun-splashed sand and the gentle lapping of waves. In the ensuing horror, four people including two children were killed. Over 150 were injured, dozens of them seriously, from the explosions caused by cluster bomblets released by the missile. Video footage clearly shows explosions and not merely ordnance shrapnel falling from the sky. This was an act of state-sponsored terrorism against civilians. The United States and its NATO partners bear responsibility for the massacre.

Only a week before the attack, U.S. President Joe Biden and other NATO leaders had signed off on supplying the Kiev regime with long-range (300 km) ATACMS weapons and a green light to use these missiles on Russian territory. Arguably, too, the atrocity was an unpardonable act of war against Russia. As the foreign ministry in Moscow noted, the U.S.-led NATO proxy war in Ukraine has become a direct war against Russia. The situation has entered a most dangerous moment. The Kremlin has warned that retaliation is coming. There is no question that under international law, the Russian Federation has every right to respond to murderous aggression. It only remains to be seen what the form of retaliation will be. It is doubtful that Russia would take revenge on innocent American civilians. The Russian leadership and its people are far too moral and strategically intelligent to countenance such barbarity.

The scenario of bombing a beach in Florida is invoked to demonstrate the heinous reality of what occurred in Crimea last weekend. And it also demonstrates the rank moral bankruptcy of American and European leaders. Only days before the missile attack on Crimea, the American Senate introduced a bill to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”. The bill was a hysterical reaction to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state visit to North Korea and the signing of a mutual defense pact with Chairman Kim Jong Un. The irony of the U.S. reaction in light of the subsequent attack on Crimea is not merely bitter. Washington is unhinged and depraved. A collection of psychopaths as are its minions in Brussels and other NATO capitals.

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“We have a serious problem here, because we have a president who, by all appearances, is not up to the task..”

Biden Should Be Removed As President – US House Speaker (RT)

Joe Biden should be replaced as US president, having shown he is “not up to the task” during his debate with Donald Trump, House Speaker Mike Johnson has said. The US president’s performance in his first election face-off with Trump on Thursday was widely viewed as a disaster. The 81-year-old appeared frail and confused, struggling to finish his sentences and mixing up words. According to media reports, Democrats were “panicking” after the debate, and some donors have demanded that the president be dropped from the party’s ticket for the November 5 election. “I would be panicking too if I were a Democrat today and that was my nominee. I think they know they have a serious problem,” Johnson told journalists on Thursday. The Republican politician argued that Biden should not only withdraw from the race, but also be immediately removed from office.

“It’s not just political. It’s not just the Democratic Party. It’s the entire country. We have a serious problem here, because we have a president who, by all appearances, is not up to the task,” he said. Johnson said Biden’s administration could force him to step down by invoking the 25th Amendment – which states that the vice president and cabinet members can vote to declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and the duties of his office,” making the VP the acting head of state. If the commander-in-chief refuses to comply, the final decision on the issue would be made by Congress. The amendment has never been used in US history. “There are a lot of people asking about the 25th Amendment, invoking the 25th Amendment right now because this is an alarming situation,” the House speaker stressed.

Due to Biden’s mental condition, “our adversaries see the weakness in this White House as we all do. I take no pleasure in saying that.” “I think this is a very dangerous situation… And it needs to be regarded and handled as such. And we hope that they will do their duty, as we all seek to do our duty to do best for the American people,” Johnson stated. “I would ask the Cabinet members to search their hearts.” The results of a poll by Morning Consult, published by the news website Axios on Friday, suggested that 60% of the voters believe Biden should “definitely” or “probably” be replaced as the Democratic presidential nominee following his disappointing performance in the debate.

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“.. the plan threatens Ukraine with certain defeat, regime, and, possibly, even state disintegration; it threatens Moscow with a harder time – a type of threat that has no record of success.”

Trump the Peacemaker? His Presidency Might Help End The War In Ukraine (RT)

The likely next president of the US, Donald Trump, has signaled that he has a plan for bringing the war in Ukraine to an end. Or, at least, two of his advisers have such a plan. More importantly, they have submitted it to Trump. And most importantly, they have said that he has responded positively. As one of the plan’s authors has put it, “I’m not claiming he agreed with it or agreed with every word of it, but we were pleased to get the feedback we did.” It is true that Trump has also let it be known that he is not officially endorsing the plan. However, it is obvious that this is a trial balloon which has been launched with his approval. Otherwise, we would have either not have heard about it or it would have been disavowed.

The two Trump advisers are Keith Kellogg, a retired lieutenant general, and Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst. Both held significant positions on national security matters during Trump’s presidency. Currently, both play important roles at the Center for American Security: Kellogg serves as co-chair and Fleitz as vice chair. Both, finally, are clear about their belief in what is perhaps Trump’s single most defining foreign policy concept: America First. Fleitz recently published an article asserting that “only America First can reverse the global chaos caused by the Biden administration.” For Kellogg, the “America First approach is key to national security.” The Center for American Security, finally, is part of the America First Policy Institute, an influential think tank founded in 2022 by key Trump administration veterans to prepare policies for his comeback.

Clearly, this is a peace plan that has not come out of nowhere. On the contrary, it has not merely been submitted to Trump to receive his – unofficial – nod, it has also emerged from within Trumpism as a resurgent political force. In addition, as Reuters has pointed out, it is also the most elaborate plan yet from the Trump camp on how to get to peace in Ukraine. In effect, this is the first time that Trump’s promise to rapidly end this war, once he is back in the White House, has been fleshed out in detail. The adoption of the plan or any similar policy would obviously mark a massive change in US policy. Hence, this is something that deserves close attention.

What does the plan foresee? In essence, it is built on a simple premise: to use Washington’s leverage over Ukraine to force the country to accept a peace that will come with concessions, territorial and otherwise. In the words of Keith Kellogg, “We tell the Ukrainians, ‘You’ve got to come to the table, and if you don’t come to the table, support from the United States will dry up’.” Since Kiev is vitally dependent on American assistance, it is hard to see how it could resist such pressure. Perhaps to give an appearance of “balance” for the many Republicans still hawkish on Russia, the plan also includes a threat addressed to Moscow: “And you tell Putin,” again in Kellogg’s terms, “he’s got to come to the table and if you don’t come to the table, then we’ll give Ukrainians everything they need to kill you in the field.”

Yet it is obvious that, despite the tough rhetoric about Russia, the plan will cause great anxiety in Kiev, not Moscow, for two reasons. First, the threats addressed to Russia and Ukraine are not comparable: If the US were to withdraw its support from Ukraine, Kiev’s Zelensky regime would quickly not just lose the war but collapse. If the US were to, instead, increase its support for the Zelensky regime, then Moscow would respond by mobilizing additional resources, as it has done before. It might also, in that case, receive direct military assistance from China, which would not stand by and watch a potential Russian defeat unfold, because that would leave Beijing alone with an aggressive, emboldened West. In addition, Washington would, of course, have to weigh the risk of Russia engaging in counter-escalation. In sum, the plan threatens Ukraine with certain defeat, regime, and, possibly, even state disintegration; it threatens Moscow with a harder time – a type of threat that has no record of success.

The second reason the plan is bad news for Ukraine but not for Russia is that the peace it aims at is much closer to Moscow’s war aims than to those of Kiev. While the document that has been submitted to Trump has not been made public, American commentators believe that a paper published on the site of the Center for American Security under the title “America First, Russia, & Ukraine” is similar to what he – or his staff – got to see. Also authored by Kellogg and Fleitz, this paper, too, repeatedly stresses just how “tough” Trump used to be toward Russia. Plenty of strutting there for those who like that kind of stuff. These statements, however, are balanced by an emphasis on what used to be called diplomacy: “At the same time,” we read, “Trump was open to cooperation with Russia and dialogue with Putin. Trump expressed respect for Putin as a world leader and did not demonize him in public statements … This was a transactional approach to US-Russia relations … to find ways to coexist and lower tensions … while standing firm on American security interests.”

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“..making no differentiation between conservatives and liberals, social democrats or Republicans and Democrats. All belong to the de facto Western War Party serving U.S.-led Western imperialism.”

US and NATO Accomplices Play Terror Card Against Russia (Van den Ende)

Recently, two U.S. senators, Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal, introduced a bill to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. “We will push for a vote, and the best thing we can do, I think, to shape the future is to label Putin as a terrorist leader, because that’s what he is,” said Graham. Graham can be compared to a (rather stupid) criminal cowboy. There are many senators with the same criminal mentality in the U.S. government. Graham is Republican, Blumenthal is a Democrat. It doesn’t matter who rules the U.S., both political parties are on the warpath and both are under the influence of the U.S. deep state (lobbies like the arms industry, military complex, etc.). Elections are a farce, just like in Europe. The U.S. together with its partners in the European Union and NATO, have instigated and prolonged all kinds of illegal wars for many years, with the reckless supply of weapons and money.

Recent wars include Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and the bombing of Libya into the stone age, and now it is Russia’s turn. Since the start of the Special Military Operation in Ukraine in February 2022 (even before that going back to 2014), Russia has been the target of the entire West. European leaders have recently become even more radical than Uncle Sam and are using threatening war language – rabid rhetoric we have not heard since the Second World War. Now that Ukraine cannot win on the battlefield, the U.S. and the West are turning to other means, as they always do, namely terrorism. We see a pattern here over several decades. The worst manifestation perhaps were the bloody wars that culminated in terrorism in Syria and Iraq, where the U.S. and EU/NATO sponsored and still sponsor terrorism. ISIS or Daesh was created by the U.S. The deceased senator (a Republican) John McCain was one of the godfathers of ISIS, whose murderers were trained at the U.S. Camp Bucca in Iraq.

The same John McCain was in Kiev during the unfolding Maidan coup in December 2013 and told thousands of NeoNazi chanting demonstrators that Americans support their resistance to closer ties with Russia. The coup was executed in February 2014. Other senators and government officials from the U.S. and Europe were also present for the Kiev coup, such as Chris Murphy and Victoria Nuland from the U.S. From Europe, the Dutchman Hans van Baalen, the former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstad (now EU MEP) and other EU delegates were present and supported the neo-Nazi groups wreaking violence on the Maidan square, killing police officers and sacking public buildings. I must emphasize that the Western coup backers were from all kinds of political parties in the EU and the U.S., making no differentiation between conservatives and liberals, social democrats or Republicans and Democrats. All belong to the de facto Western War Party serving U.S.-led Western imperialism.

Victoria Nuland (now retired from the CIA-riddled U.S. State Department) followed in the footsteps of John McCain and emerged as the greatest Russia hater in the U.S. It was she who threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin with “nasty surprises” only weeks before the terrorist attack in March this year on the Crocus City Hall shopping-theater complex just outside Moscow where 144 people were killed by a team of gunmen. The embassies (U.S. and EU) issued warnings for their fellow countrymen not to go to events or busy places in the near future, so they knew something was coming – because they planned it themselves.

Nuland has spoken vulgarly over the years. We all know her “fuck the EU” comment. But at her so-called farewell speech in February this year, she literally said: “The war in Ukraine is not to help Ukraine, but to thwart Russia.” Also revealing was Nuland’s explanation of the background of the war. Nothing about saving Ukraine, but all about her aversion to Russia. “We wanted a partner that was focused on the West, that wanted to be European. But that was not what Putin brought,” she said. So, in other words, Putin has to go and Russia needs a regime change that is pro-West, in other words a puppet regime.

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So we make her our top ‘diplomat’?!

‘She Eats Russians For Breakfast’ (RT)

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has been nominated by the leaders of EU member states to become the next high representative for security and foreign policy. The politician – selected to speak for Brussels internationally and balance conflicting interests in the EU – has a reputation as an uncompromising hawk on Russia. Before beginning a five-year term, Kallas will need approval from the European Parliament, whose members are expected to vote on her appointment in July, a step widely seen as a formality. The 47-year-old’s attitude towards Moscow was summed up by an unnamed EU official, explaining why Western European nations were resisting her candidacy for another top job – the secretary general of NATO. “Are we really putting someone who likes to eat Russians for breakfast in this position?” the source told Politico in March. Kallas reacted by posting a picture of her breakfast, consisting of blueberries, muesli, a dairy product, and a drink.

Kallas has embraced the idea that at some point NATO countries may have to deploy troops in Ukraine to prevent Moscow from defeating Kiev, first put forward by French President Emmanuel Macron in February. “We shouldn’t be afraid of our own power. Russia is saying this or that step is escalation, but defense is not escalation,” the Estonian politician said of the proposal. Macron’s stated goal in voicing the idea publicly was to leave Russian President Vladimir Putin guessing as to how far the US-led military bloc might go in supporting Ukraine. After multiple member states, including the US, ruled out sending their soldiers to fight for Kiev, the suggestion was downgraded to a military training mission in Western Ukraine. Kallas has backed the new plan, saying it does not amount to an escalation – because a potential attack on the instructors would not trigger a mandatory joint NATO response. “If you send your people to help Ukrainians … you know the country is at war and you go to a risk zone. So you take the risk,” she explained in May.

According to Kallas, there should be no “Plan B” for Ukraine, because contemplating it would amount to undermining the primary goal of helping Ukraine prevail in the conflict. ”Victory in Ukraine is not just about territory,” she told the BBC in early June. “If Ukraine joins NATO, even without some territory, then that’s a victory because it will be placed under the NATO umbrella.” The Estonian politician believes the optimal scenario of a defeat for Russia would result in the country’s dissolution. Russia is composed of “many different nations” that could become independent, and “it is not a bad thing if the big power is actually [made] much smaller,” she argued last year. The Estonian daily Postimees argued earlier this month that leaving domestic politics behind may be the best thing the prime minister can do for her country. The Baltic nation is enduring a recession and severe budget deficit, and Kallas’ coalition government is unable to find common ground on tackling the problems, the editorial argued.

“She has earned the reputation of a strong voice of the eastern part of the EU and a convincing supporter of Ukrainian victory,” the newspaper said. “It’s all good, but the citizens of Estonia did not elect her based on her international image”. Her looming appointment has “paralyzed the government,” as the coalition is unable to function while everyone waits for Kallas to quit, Postimees said. Kallas is a vocal proponent of cutting all business ties with Russia as part of the Western response to the Ukraine conflict. However, last year Estonian media revealed that her Husband Arvo Hallik held a 25% stake in a logistics company that provides services in Russia. She has denied any wrongdoing and rejected calls to step down over the scandal, which she claimed to be a politically motivated hatchet job. But her reputation was severely damaged, at home and internationally. “This is hypocrisy in a cube,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said at the time. He was referring to Kallas’ criticisms of Budapest, which views the EU decision to decouple from the Russian economy as self-harming, while having no impact on the hostilities.

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“Orban also accused the EU leadership of “imposing their own ideologies” on the populations of member states, instead of “looking after the interests of the people.”

EU Bureaucrats ‘Want War With Russia’ – Orban (RT)

The EU leadership is pushing the bloc towards war with Russia, while neglecting the interests of their own people, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has claimed. In an op-ed published in the Magyar Nemzet newspaper on Saturday, Orban warned that the EU is facing a series of crises, including economic challenges and the heightened threat of terrorism. “To make matters worse, the Brussels bureaucracy that lives in a bubble has made a number of bad political decisions in recent years,” the prime minister argued. “Europe is increasingly being dragged into a war, in which it has nothing to gain and everything to lose.” “The bureaucrats in Brussels want this war. They see it as their own, and they want to defeat Russia. They keep sending the money of the European people to Ukraine. They have shot European companies in their feet with sanctions. They have driven up inflation and they have made making a living difficult for millions of European citizens.

The Brussels bureaucrats want this war, they see it as their own, and they want to defeat Russia. They keep sending the money of the European people to Ukraine, they have shot European companies in the foot with sanctions, they have driven up inflation and they have made making a living difficult for millions of European citizens. Orban also accused the EU leadership of “imposing their own ideologies” on the populations of member states, instead of “looking after the interests of the people.” The Hungarian prime minister made his comments shortly after EU leaders nominated Ursula von der Leyen to serve for a third term as the president of the European Commission. At the same time, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas was nominated to replace Josep Borrell as the bloc’s top diplomat. Known for her hawkish foreign policy, Kallas has been one of the key champions of tougher sanctions on Russia and more weapons shipments to Ukraine.

She is also an advocate of using frozen Russian assets for aid to Ukraine. Orban is an outspoken critic of the EU’s approach to the Ukraine conflict, favoring a diplomatic settlement through negotiations as opposed to more escalation. Unlike many other NATO members, Hungary has refused to send weapons to Kiev and lobbied against unconditional financial assistance. Orban previously claimed the US and the EU were “the sources” of the “war madness” sweeping the continent, and accused Brussels of dangerous brinkmanship with Russia.

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Europe has all these women compensating for a lack of testicles.

Ursula von der Leyen: Beyond Redemption (NC)

To be accused of impropriety on one occasion may be regarded as a misfortune but to be accused on four occasions looks like carelessness. (With apologies to Oscar Wilde) If there is one individual who, more than anyone else, symbolises the ineptitude of the European Commission then it is surely the Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen (hereafter, VDL). Questions about VDL’s lack of probity first surfaced in 2015 when she was accused of plagiarising her doctoral dissertation. She was eventually cleared of the accusations but as the BBC reported on 9 March 2016, the president of the Hannover Medical School, Christopher Baum, conceded that “Ms von der Leyen’s thesis did contain plagiarised material”, but he added “there had been no intent to deceive”. Her first lucky escape.

VDL’s lack of probity continued while she served as Germany’s Minister of Defence between 2013 and 2019. During her tenure at the ministry, she became embroiled in a scandal regarding payments of €250 million to consultants related to arms contracts. Germany’s Federal Audit Office found that, of the €250 million declared for consultancy fees, only €5.1 million had been spent. Furthermore, one of the consultants was McKinsey & Company, where VDL’s son was an associate, thus raising a possible conflict of interest. It also emerged that messages related to the contracts had been deleted from two of VDL’s mobile phones. Although she was eventually cleared of corruption allegations, questions over her probity during that period remain to this day.

Having survived two scandals, VDL couldn’t believe her luck when in July 2019 Macron, together with Merkel, bypassed the Spitzenkadidaten process and nominated her as Jean-Claude Junker’s successor as head of the European Commission. The Spitzenkadidaten process, through which the lead candidate emerges and is then ratified by the European Parliament, is itself somewhat arcane. In VDL’s case, she was fortunate that the EU couldn’t agree on either of the two lead candidates at the time, Martin Weber and Frans Timmermans. It was thus left to the consummate fixer, Macron, and VDL’s mentor, Merkel, to come to an agreement using that great democratic and transparent tool called the ‘backroom deal’. VDL’s nomination was accepted by the European Council and on 16 July the European Parliament voted to accept her appointment. But it was a close vote. Out of a total of 747 MEPs, only 383 voted for her, 327 voted against, 22 abstained, and one vote was invalid. Under the EU rules, the president of the Commission must be elected with more than 50% of the MEP votes. Thus, she received only 9 votes more than the threshold. Compare this to her predecessor, Juncker, who in 2014 received 422 votes.

After she was appointed president of the European Commission, VDL again became embroiled in controversy, this time involving the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer. The scandal, which the media dubbed Pfizergate, related to the purchase of 1.8 billion doses of the Pfizer vaccine for use across the EU. It transpired that: a) the number of doses was far greater than was required, resulting in a significant number having to be either destroyed or donated; b) the excess doses cost the EU €4 billion; c) the total value of the contract, which Politico reported as being approximately €20 billion, was inflated; and d) the most damaging charge, the contract for the vaccines was negotiated directly between VDL and Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer. The negotiations were conducted using sms messages, which VDL later claimed to have deleted.

The New York Times, which initially carried out the investigation into Pfizergate, brought a lawsuit against the European Commission for failing to provide access to the sms conversations between VDL and Bourla. In Belgium, a lobbyist, Frederic Baldan, filed a criminal complaint citing corruption and the destruction of documents. The Belgian lawsuit was eventually taken over by the European Public Prosecutors Office, which opened a criminal investigation. The outcome of these legal proceedings/investigations is still pending.

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“BRICS countries are home to 45.2% of the world’s population, compared to just 9.7% in the G7..”

“Data on oil reserves show that BRICS countries now hold 45.8% of global volumes, while the G7 holds only 3.7%..”

Why Does Türkiye Want to Join BRICS? (RT)

At the beginning of this month, news of Türkiye’s desire to join BRICS drew global media attention. The announcement was made by Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan during his visit to China. “Of course, we would like to become a member of BRICS. Let’s see what we can achieve this year,” said the minister, as quoted by the South China Morning Post. This issue was also discussed at the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in Nizhny Novgorod, attended by Türkiye’s chief diplomat, Hakan Fidan. Türkiye’s desire to join is not entirely new – during the BRICS summit of 2018, where Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a participant, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ankara could join in 2022. However, subsequent events on the world stage apparently delayed that ambition, and Ankara is only now showing renewed interest.

[..] With the confrontation between the countries of the global majority and the West growing, BRICS is considered to be emerging as an alternative to the G7. This is determined by several key reasons related to economic, political, and social aspects. The G7, comprising leading economically developed countries – the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan – has traditionally dominated the international arena, shaping the global economic and political agenda. However, the emergence and development of BRICS have changed this balance, offering an alternative view on global governance and cooperation. BRICS unites the largest developing economies in the world, which together account for a significant share of global GDP and population. Collectively, BRICS countries possess vast resources and potential for economic growth, making them important players on the global stage.

To provide a clearer understanding, let’s compare some indicators. With its five new members, BRICS now accounts for almost 34% of the world’s land area, while the G7 accounts for 16%. BRICS countries are home to 45.2% of the world’s population, compared to just 9.7% in the G7. The combined GDP based on purchasing power parity in BRICS countries is 36.7% of the global total as of 2024, compared to 29.6% for the G7. Data on oil reserves show that BRICS countries now hold 45.8% of global volumes, while the G7 holds only 3.7%. Thus, in many respects, BRICS surpasses the G7. The economic power of BRICS allows these countries to propose alternative models of development and economic cooperation, differing from the Western approaches represented by the G7.

Due to international contradictions and the destructive hegemony of Western countries led by Washington, questions about the need to transform the world order are actively arising. BRICS advocates for a multipolar world, where the balance of power is more evenly distributed among various regions and countries. While the G7 represents the interests of economically developed Western powers, BRICS focuses on the issues and interests of developing nations, which are often marginalized in global politics. This makes BRICS an important platform for countries seeking greater autonomy and independence from Western influence. Moreover, the creation of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) demonstrates the BRICS countries’ desire to establish alternative financial institutions capable of competing with traditional Western institutions, particularly the IMF and the World Bank.

[..] Türkiye shows significant interest in joining BRICS, seeing it as an important step toward enhancing its international influence and economic potential. This aspiration is driven by several key factors related to economic, political, and geostrategic aspects. Possessing one of the largest economies in the region, Türkiye aims to diversify its economic ties and strengthen cooperation with rapidly developing countries. Joining BRICS would give Ankara access to a vast market and opportunities to increase trade and investment with the leading economies of the developing world. This is especially important in the context of global economic challenges and uncertainties, where diversifying partners becomes a key factor for sustainable growth.

Türkiye has repeatedly faced financial difficulties and restrictions imposed by Western financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. Joining BRICS would provide Türkiye with access to the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, allowing it to secure funding on more favorable terms and with fewer political commitments. This is particularly relevant for Türkiye, which seeks to maintain its economic independence and minimize external pressure.

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“Suddenly, it is not a cheap fake but reality.”

The Art of Being Eternally Shocked (Turley)

No one would think of the Beltway as being a place of the naive innocents of our society. Washington is the only ecosystem composed entirely of apex predators. Yet, this week everyone seems to be eternally shocked by what has been obvious for years. The press and pundits are coming off an embarrassing couple of weeks where the Hunter Biden laptop was authenticated in federal court as real. This occurred in the trial of the president’s son almost on the anniversary of a debunked letter of intelligence officials claiming that the laptop appeared to be Russian disinformation. Biden then repeated the claim in the last presidential debates to avoid answering questions over the massive influence peddling scheme of this family revealed by the laptop. After the story was suppressed before the 2020 election, it took years for the media to admit that, oops, the laptop is surprisingly real.

For years, the press and pundits piled on experts who suggested that Covid 19 escaped from a Chinese lab. The New York Times reporter covering the area called it “racist” and implausible. Now, even W.H.O. accepts the lab theory as possible and federal agencies now believe it is the most likely explanation. The response: surprise and spin. This week, the Supreme Court ruled that the Justice Department has unlawfully charged hundreds of people with obstruction of an official proceeding after the January 6th riot. For years, objections to the excessive treatment of these cases were dismissed as the view of the radical right. Now, even Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson voted to toss out these convictions. Surprise. Whether it was the false story about agents whipping migrants in Texas or the photo op claim in Lafayette Park, false stories were disproven only to have a collective shrug from those who spread them.

For years, the press and pundits have repeated like gospel that Trump had called neo-Nazis “fine people.” At the time, most of us noted that Trump condemned the racists and neo-Nazis and made the statement about fine people on both sides of the controversy over the removal of historic statues. Six years later, Snopes finally decided to do a fact check and, surprise, found that Trump never praised neo-Nazis as fine people. The only person not surprised was Biden who repeated the false story on Friday as true. Heading into the presidential debate, the White House and the media attacked Fox News and other outlets for “cheap fake” videos designed to make the President look confused and feeble. For months, politicians and pundits have insisted that Biden is sharp and commanding in conversations even after Special Counsel Robert Hur cited his decline as a reason for not charging him criminally for the unlawful retention and mishandling of classified material.

On MSNBC, Joe Scarborough stated “start your tape right now because I’m about to tell you the truth. And F— you if you can’t handle the truth. This version of Biden intellectually, analytically, is the best Biden ever. Not a close second. And I have known him for years…If it weren’t the truth I wouldn’t say it.” Then the presidential debate happened and, after years of being protected by staff, tens of millions of people watched the president struggle to stay focused and responsive. After the debate, there was total surprise, if not shock, on CNN and MSNBC. Suddenly, it is not a cheap fake but reality.

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“Given the multitude of errors at trial and the pending election, it is a near certainty that his request for a stay will be granted.”

“..federal statutes generally require that the highest court in a state rule before the Supreme Court intervenes..”

Trump Sentencing Will Put Merchan’s Bias in Crosshairs (RCP)

On July 11, acting New York Judge Juan Merchan will sentence former President Donald Trump. Trump was convicted in a New York State court in Manhattan on a novel theory and on facts never before used to secure a conviction in New York. Disregarding at least a dozen reasons his conviction should be reversed, because Trump was convicted of falsifying records with the intent to commit a second crime – illegally interfering in the 2016 presidential election – the falsification was upgraded to a class E felony, comprising 34 counts, one for each entry. The maximum penalty is four years in jail on each count, not to exceed a total of 20 years. New York defendants sentenced to less than a year are usually jailed in notorious Rikers Island, known for its overcrowding, drug problems, and violence. The New York City Council voted to close the facility by 2026. New York Post photos from just a few years ago show the awful conditions there.

For sentences of a year or longer, Trump could be remanded to one of 41 state prisons for men, though most likely to one of the three minimum security facilities. It seems highly unlikely that the U.S. Secret Service would permit Trump to be held in a New York prison. While space might be made available in a federal prison, or a building converted for exclusive use by Trump, it is more likely that he would serve any sentence in home confinement, wearing an ankle monitor. Alternatives to incarceration include probation for up to 10 years, unconditional discharge, or discharge, without probation, conditioned on not committing a further crime during the following three years, and a fine of up to $5,000. Merchan could order that confinement be limited to weekends or nights, and could permit exceptions for political or business activities. He also could split the sentence, for example, requiring 30 days of home confinement followed by conditional discharge.

Even if Trump is conditionally discharged or given probation but is later convicted of another crime, he could be remanded to prison. In setting the sentence, Merchan will consider a mandatory Pre-Sentence Report and the nature of the crime in addition to Trump’s background, age, and health. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg follows a policy of not recommending incarceration for those convicted of non-violent class E felonies. During the trial, Merchan observed that he sees incarceration as a “last resort.”Trump’s indictment for numerous other crimes and his frequent violations of Merchan’s gag order will make unconditional release less likely. However, Trump’s evaluation also will suffer because of recent verdicts that he is liable for civil fraud and defamation, and for presumably refusing to accept guilt during the pre-sentence interview.

If Merchan properly considers the nature of the offense, that similar offenses have not been prosecuted in New York, the “false records” were internal Trump accounts, there was no monetary loss, and the so-called effort to interfere in the 2016 election failed in New York (where Clinton overwhelmingly won), and Trump has no prior record, there should be no jail time or home confinement.However, if Merchan approaches sentencing with the same antagonism to Trump’s rights he brought to the trial, he can be expected to cite a fraud on the national electorate to justify at least a brief period of home confinement. Even then, it would be shocking if Merchan did not stay the sentence until after the election, pending Trump’s appeal. Trump likely will appeal to New York’s intermediate appeals court and will seek to have any sentence stayed pending the outcome of the appeal. Given the multitude of errors at trial and the pending election, it is a near certainty that his request for a stay will be granted.

Trump could also bring an action in federal district court asserting that Bragg and Merchan lacked jurisdiction to accuse him of interfering in a federal election, and he was not given adequate notice of the alleged crimes. It is unlikely a federal judge would get involved prior to a state appeals court. Trump could seek intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court, but federal statutes generally require that the highest court in a state rule before the Supreme Court intervenes. In the end, it seems likely that Trump’s conviction will be overturned. Whether the sentence is harsh or a slap on the wrist, the entire process has been a political prosecution intended to keep Trump off the campaign trail and give Biden the talking point that Trump is a convicted felon. That flagrant abuse of due process is not how our justice or electoral systems are supposed to work.

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“Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has told Israel and its allies that a war with no limits will ensue if Israel attempts to invade southern Lebanon..”

Iran Threatens Israel With ‘Obliterating War’ If It Attacks Lebanon (ZH)

Iran’s mission to the United Nations has put Israel and the world on notice, saying that if Israel launches an all-out war against Hezbollah in Lebanon the whole region will burn. A Friday statement from Iran’s ambassador warned the UN that any “full-scale military aggression” in Lebanon against Hezbollah will mean that “an obliterating war will ensue.” The Iranian statement continued by emphasizing that “all options, including the full involvement of all resistance fronts, are on the table” in a statement posted to X. By “resistance fronts” Tehran means the militias it supports in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen will also ramp up their military activities. On a few occasions, Iraqi Shia militias have launched missiles and drones against southern Israel, as have the Houthis, with limited effect.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has acknowledged this week that a “seven front war” could open up, in reference to all of Iran’s proxies across the region. For years already, Israeli jets have been regularly attacking ‘Iranian assets’ inside Damascus, also in a continued effort to weaken Assad, despite the presence of Russia’s military primarily in the northwest coastal region. Israel has meanwhile continued to pound Hezbollah positions in south Lebanon, amid continued fears of a bigger war at any moment. The US has even sent amphibious military ships closer to Israel and Lebanon in the Eastern Mediterranean to be ready to evacuate Americans if a bigger conflict ensues.

The Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper wrote Saturday, “In the past few hours, warplanes attacked several Hezbollah targets, including a military site for the organisation in the Zabqin area, two operational infrastructure sites in the Khiam area, and a Hezbollah building in the al-Adissa [Odaisseh] area.” Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has told Israel and its allies that a war with no limits will ensue if Israel attempts to invade southern Lebanon. Some Israeli officials fear that the IDF could be stretched too thin if this happens, considering it’s still in the thick of anti-Hamas Gaza operations in the south. Most analysts agree that Hezbollah is far more capable a paramilitary and guerilla force than Hamas, or any other Iran-linked group in the region for that matter. In the 2006 Lebanon war, there were reports that IRGC operatives were on the ground in Lebanon assisting Hezbollah.

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“..the Cypriot government has become part of the war and the resistance [Hezbollah] will deal with it as part of the war..”

Over 80 UK War Planes Deployed From Cyprus To Lebanon Since 7 Oct (Cradle)

The UK has sent over 80 military transport planes to the Lebanese capital of Beirut since the start of Israel’s war on Gaza nine months ago, Declassified UK reported on 28 June. All the flights have gone from the UK’s massive Akrotiri airbase on the nearby island of Cyprus, long a staging post for UK bombing missions in West Asia. Declassified UK notes that the number of UK military flights to Beirut has risen dramatically in recent months. The group tracked 25 flights in April and May and 14 so far in June. Flights from the UK base take around 45 minutes to reach Beirut, which Israel has increasingly threatened to bomb in a possible full-scale war with the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah. The Ministry of Defense declined to disclose the number of UK military flights to Lebanon since the start of the war on 7 October or their purpose. A defense source told Declassified UK that the flights “have been primarily for the purpose of facilitating senior military engagement” with the Lebanese army.

But it is widely assumed the planes are carrying weapons to Beirut to arm anti-Hezbollah militias. The US, UK, and Israel would presumably use these militias to attack Hezbollah from within the country in the case of an Israeli invasion from the south. Declassified UK notes that nearly every Royal Air Force flight to Lebanon has been the Voyager KC mark 2, which can carry a payload of 45 tons and 291 personnel or provide air-to-air refueling. Another flight involved a vast C-17 cargo plane. Israeli threats to invade Lebanon have accelerated in tandem with the increase in flights. Israeli military leaders have increasingly warned of a Lebanon campaign to push Hezbollah away from the border and past the Litani River. Last week, the Israeli army approved “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon,” and the US pledged to support Israel with weapons if a full-scale war breaks out.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned the resistance movement will use its massive rocket and missile arsenal to hit targets across Israel in a “total war” if Tel Aviv decides to launch an invasion. Nasrallah also threatened Cyprus, noting its role as a US, UK, and Israeli staging ground. “The Cypriot government must be warned that opening Cypriot airports and bases for the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon means that the Cypriot government has become part of the war and the resistance [Hezbollah] will deal with it as part of the war,” he said. Nasrallah’s threat appeared to include the Akrotiri base, which lies in territory retained by the UK when Cyprus gained independence in 1960. The territory now hosts vast military and intelligence hubs for Britain and the US, Declassified UK notes.

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“With the Chevron doctrine overturned, any future regulatory attempts to impose such burdens will require explicit and unambiguous congressional authorization..”

Chevron and Bitcoin (Crossman)

Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority, delivered a decisive opinion that dismantles Chevron deference. The Court held that the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requires courts to exercise independent judgment when interpreting statutes, rejecting the notion that ambiguities in law should default to agency interpretations. “Chevron defies the command of the APA that ‘the reviewing court’—not the agency whose action it reviews—is to ‘decide all relevant questions of law’ and ‘interpret . . . statutory provisions,’” Roberts wrote. “It requires a court to ignore, not follow, ‘the reading the court would have reached’ had it exercised its independent judgment. … Chevron cannot be reconciled with the APA… .” Slip Op., at 21 (emphasis added).

The ruling emphasizes that statutory ambiguities do not automatically delegate interpretive authority to agencies. Instead, courts must use traditional tools of statutory construction to determine the best reading of a statute, ensuring that agencies do not exceed their conferred powers. The implications of this ruling extend far beyond administrative law, reaching into the heart of the Bitcoin mining industry. Much like the Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA, which curbed the Environmental Protection Agency’s overreach, this ruling reinforces the need for clear congressional authorization before agencies can impose significant regulatory burdens. For the Bitcoin mining industry, this decision is a clear win. Regulatory uncertainty has long been a thorn in the side of Bitcoin miners, who rely on predictable and stable access to power and other resources. By curbing the ability of agencies to unilaterally expand their regulatory reach, the Court has created a more favorable environment for Bitcoin mining operations.

Bitcoin miners have often been at the mercy of shifting regulatory landscapes, which can dramatically impact their operations. For instance, stringent environmental regulations targeting power consumption could have severely constrained the industry. With the Chevron doctrine overturned, any future regulatory attempts to impose such burdens will require explicit and unambiguous congressional authorization, followed by detailed judicial scrutiny. This decision also invigorates the major question doctrine, which posits that significant regulatory actions with vast economic and political implications require clear congressional authorization. This doctrine can be a powerful tool for Bitcoin miners and other industries to challenge regulatory overreach, ensuring that agencies cannot impose wide-ranging policies without clear legislative backing.

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“Admittance is only granted to the select few who pay the massively extortionate ticket price..”

Banksy ‘Launches’ Migrant Boat Stunt At Glastonbury Festival (MN)

The ‘street’ artist Banksy carried out a stunt at the now uber trendy Glastonbury Festival Friday night by launching a mock-up small boat complete with dummy migrants into the crowd. The Guardian reports that many in the crowd thought it was part of the band Idles’ set given that their songs are all about lefty political positions such as the idea that limiting mass illegal immigration is right wing and evil. The report notes, however, that Banksy was behind the stunt stating “The raft, a reference to the small boats carrying migrants across the Channel that have been such a high-profile target of Rishi Sunak’s immigration policy, was crowdsurfed through the thousands-strong Other stage crowd, which Idles were headlining on Friday night.” Given that Sunak has done practically nothing to prevent the boats and the Conservative government has actively incentivised mass illegal immigration for years now, you’d be forgiven for thinking the stunt was some sort of endorsement.

Indeed, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what the point of it was. What is the crowd cheering about here? The report further notes that the boat was ‘launched’ during a song called Danny Nedelko, which contains the following lyrics: “My blood brother is an immigrant, a beautiful immigrant. My blood brother’s Freddie Mercury. A Nigerian mother of three. He’s made of bones, he’s made of blood. He’s made of flesh, he’s made of love. He’s made of you, he’s made of me. Unity. Fear leads to panic, panic leads to pain. Pain leads to anger, anger leads to hate.” The report also notes that “Migration is a major theme at this year’s Glastonbury festival, with a new area dedicated to the topic.” Mega cringe. It continues, “Entrants to ‘Terminal 1’ must answer a question from the UK government’s citizenship test for prospective migrants.”

The message being that having some form of secure border and vetting system is oppressive… or something. If people manage to pass the test they’re then treated to “music by representatives from Notting Hill carnival and Bristol’s St Paul’s carnival, alongside visual art by global artists including Love Watts, Yoshi Sodeoka and the Turner prize winner Mark Wallinger.” No thanks then. Admittance is only granted to the select few who pay the massively extortionate ticket price and can afford to spend more than the majority of people earn in an entire month once inside. It’s basically full of metropolitan shitlib ‘creatives’ and influencers with trust funds and disposable incomes. So it’s the perfect venue to engage in empty virtue signalling stunts.

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CO2

 

 

Whale

 

 

Cracks

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 202024
 


Roy Lichtenstein Woman in Bath 1963

 

Russia Willing to Commit to Peaceful Negotiations (Manley)
Polish MP Calls For Landmines At Russian Border (RT)
Washington Weaponized Domestic Law and “Rules-based-order” (Paul Craig Roberts)
North Korea, Shunned For Decades, Welcomed Into New Multipolar World (Sp.)
‘No Place’ Is Safe If Israel Starts War – Hezbollah (RT)
Joe Biden’s ‘Ceasefire Proposal’ Was Just ‘Kabuki Theater’ (Sp.)
Hunter Biden’s Charge of Lying Under Oath (Patrick Lawrence)
Ryanair CEO: “It’s a Complete Scam, These People Are Not Refugees” (MN)
UK Tories Face Election Wipeout – Polls (RT)
‘God Destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah’ (RT)
Jonathan Turley: There’s A Movement To Rewrite The First Amendment (RCP)
Boeing Can’t Find New CEO – WSJ (RT)
McDonald’s Scraps AI Trial After Bacon Added To Ice Cream (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boondoggle

 

 

Gaetz

 

 

Ritter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1803500858656825589

 

 

Hillary
https://twitter.com/i/status/1803481223009808415

 

 

Mayorkas

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..you want to stop the fighting and the killing? Just withdraw troops.”

Russia Willing to Commit to Peaceful Negotiations (Manley)

At the end of March of this year, a nationwide poll asked Ukrainians how they thought their draft-age acquaintances might respond to a call to serve. Just 10% who responded to the poll said they would accept. Ukraine’s current military recruitment campaign has fallen short of expectations, a recent article from The Conversation suggested. The recruitment plan was first announced on April 16, 2024, with the goal of enlisting “hundreds of thousands of young Ukrainian men”, the report claimed. However, the effort has been met with “public skepticism, draft dodging and opposition to unpopular, heavy-handed attempts to root out those not heeding the call to sign up,” the report writes, adding that it has “left Ukraine struggling to fill the positions officials say are needed to beat back the invading army.”

Nicolai Petro, a professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island, sat down with Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Monday. According to Petro, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s specific proposals on Ukraine, and world development in the future comes down to “two points”. “Putin simplified the path to negotiation, because from Russia’s perspective it’s now boiled down to just two points,” said Petro. “Withdraw Ukrainian troops from the four regions that have been admitted to Russia and, secondly, issue an official statement. Ukraine should issue an official statement that it does not intend to join NATO. And as soon as that happens, Russia is willing to commit to an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations.”

“So why is this easier than what Ukraine proposed? Well, because Ukraine has ten sets of demands rather than just one from Russia’s perspective, which is an official statement that Ukraine will not join NATO,” he added. “The second thing that’s interesting about Russia’s proposal is that it is offering something that Ukraine has not offered, which is an end to the bloodshed. In other words, you want to stop the fighting and the killing? Just withdraw troops.”

Issues with Ukraine’s draft also highlight the fundamental issue: without funding from Western allies, Ukraine is likely to “exhaust its resources long before Russia does”, The Conversation report writes In December of 2023, former commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi told leader Volodymyr Zelensky that he needed nearly 500,000 more troops. But a nationwide poll conducted at the end of March showed that Ukrainians believe only 10% of their draft-age acquaintances might respond to a call to serve.“And thirdly,” the professor continued. “Putin’s proposal essentially [shows the lie of] Western statements that Russia intends to conquer all of Ukraine and then all of Europe, because he now specifically says Russia’s territorial ambitions are limited to the four occupied regions of Crimea, which is why I think it is aimed primarily not at Ukraine.”

“The Ukrainian, Western position is we cannot negotiate and we don’t want to negotiate because negotiation itself would be an acknowledgment of an immoral act of aggression, and therefore there’s nothing to negotiate, which is why we have this summit in Switzerland not even including Russia.”“So we’re not actually negotiating or willing to negotiate anything,” Petro said. “We’re simply making a statement of defiance against a Russian invasion versus the other side, in Russia’s case, which is saying [Russia] feels threatened by NATO’s expansion, which is why [they are] taking these actions. There’s also humanitarian reasons, but we are, we have always been and continue to be willing to negotiate on what our mutual security interests are.”

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“..The treaty that banned the use, production, stockpiling and proliferation of landmines came into effect in 1999 and has been ratified by 164 countries..”

Polish MP Calls For Landmines At Russian Border (RT)

Poland should withdraw from the ban on anti-personnel mines and deploy them along the border with Kaliningrad Region, former defense minister Mariusz Blaszczak has said. Blaszczak is currently a member of parliament with the Law and Justice (PiS) party. He was the defense minister from 2018 until 2023, when PiS lost power to Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform coalition. “As part of the program to strengthen the eastern border, the authorities must withdraw from the Ottawa Convention,” Blaszczak said at a PiS press conference on Wednesday, referring to the treaty banning the use of anti-personnel landmines. Warsaw should then mine the length of its border with Kaliningrad Region, the Russian territory between Poland and Lithuania, Blaszczak argued. Last month, Tusk publicly opposed mining the border with Russia and Belarus, a move originally proposed by the PiS government. According to Tusk, Warsaw does not intend to leave the Ottawa Convention, either.

The treaty that banned the use, production, stockpiling and proliferation of landmines came into effect in 1999 and has been ratified by 164 countries. The US, Russia, India and China are among the dozen nations that have declined to participate in the ban. Blaszczak oversaw the deployment of tens of thousands of Polish troops along the border with Russia and Belarus last year, in the run-up to the general election. The new government has chosen to continue that mission, citing the alleged “hybrid war” threat from Moscow and Minsk. Warsaw has been an outspoken supporter of Ukraine under both Tusk and the previous PiS government. Poland has also served as the logistics hub for almost all deliveries of NATO weapons, equipment, and ammunition to Ukraine since the conflict with Russia escalated in February 2022.

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“..maintained by his hope that the West will come to its senses before it is too late for the survival of the Western world..”

Washington Weaponized Domestic Law and “Rules-based-order” (Paul Craig Roberts)

Merrick Garland, Biden’s specialist in using law as a weapon against Donald Trump and his supporters, recently described in the Washington Post, a CIA asset, his critics as conspiracy theorists who are undermining trust in the Department of Justice (sic).Many Americans have a different view. Garland, claiming “executive privilege,” covers up the Justice (sic) Department’s refusal to indict Joe Biden for the same offense for which Trump has been indicted by preventing the release of special counsel Hur’s interview of Joe Biden. Hur found that Biden knowingly possessed national security documents for which he had no permission, and that he was guilty of mishandling national security documents by leaving them in the trunk of his car and spread among a variety of non-secure locations. However, Hur concluded that Biden shouldn’t be indicted because of his “diminished mental facilities.” As I previously asked, how then is Biden qualified to be president of the United States and have his finger on the nuclear button? The Justice (sic) Department doesn’t say.

This and other anomalies that characterize the Biden regime raise unavoidable serious questions about the integrity of the US Department of Justice. Contrast Garland’s reluctance to even have Biden interviewed for his possession of classified national security documents with the speed with which Trump was prosecuted for allegedly inappropriate possession of national security documents. The two cases are not comparable. Trump as president has authority to declassify national security documents. Biden as VP had no such authority. Trump’s documents were locked in a room in Mar-a-Largo, Trump’s residence which is under 24/7 Secret Service Protection. Biden’s documents were in his garage, in his Corvette’s trunk, and spread among a variety of other unsecured sites. When the FBI invaded Mar-a-Lago they spread the documents on the floor and brought with them pages marked Top Secret which they added to their spread of documents for photos handed over to a compliant and corrupt American media.

The FBI did not bring top secret pages to spread among Biden’s documents and give photos to the media. What this tells us is that the US Department of Justice is devoid of integrity. It is just another lie machine like the American media. Garland has prevented any inquiry into the evidence in Hunter Biden’s laptop showing Vice President and President Biden’s participation in, and payments from, Hunter Biden’s influence peddling schemes. Instead, the prosecution of Hunter Biden has protected Joe Biden by being limited to Hunter’s gun purchase while being a drug addict and income tax invasion from the proceeds of the influence peddling but not the influence peddling itself. If he is convicted of income tax evasion from money earned from influence peddling, how can the influence peddling go unindicted? Justice (sic) Department special counsel Jack Smith who is prosecuting President Trump on felony charges has been been found guilty of lying to the judge presiding over the case. Consequently, the judge has put the trial on hold while the matter is investigated.

The Fulton County prosecutor, Fani Willis, who is prosecuting President Trump has derailed her White House orchestrated prosecution by paying her lover a vast sum of taxpayers’ funds with which he took Fani on expensive vacations. The purpose of the Biden Justice (sic) Department is to get Trump, not to serve justice. The motto of the Democrats is: “We don’t need no stinking justice, we need to get Trump and his supporters.” The American media agrees. Consequently, the Biden regime’s misuse of law as a weapon is not a story. The complete and total failure of the American media, which our Founding Fathers mistakenly relied on to hold government accountable, has left Americans with two devastating threats, one of which is domestic tyranny and the other is war with Russia, and perhaps China and Iran also. Domestic tyranny is easily possible as an insouciant American population has permitted the Democrats to steal the last two national elections and has done nothing to prevent the Democrats from stealing the election in November.

The Democrats have made it clear that they will hold on to power at the expense of democracy. Washington no longer controls the war it has instigated. Russia has defeated Ukraine. If Washington, as seems to be the case, intends to prolong the conflict by deploying NATO troops in Ukraine and by using long range missiles to target sites deep into Russia, a fatal red line will have been crossed. So far the outbreak of war has been prevented by Putin’s willingness to accept provocations and insults. Putin’s willingness to live with the West’s declared intention to destroy Russia has been maintained by his hope that the West will come to its senses before it is too late for the survival of the Western world.

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“No more sanctions against North Korea, that’s for sure. That is not going to happen. The US is not going to get anything [in the UN Security Council]..”

North Korea, Shunned For Decades, Welcomed Into New Multipolar World (Sp.)

For decades, the people of North Korea have suffered under strict sanctions imposed by the so-called “International Rules-Based Order.” On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Pyongyang and signed a strategic partnership with his counterpart Kim Jong Un, opening the secretive nation to the new emerging multipolar world. In a letter to the North Korean people, Putin praised the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for being able to withstand “US economic pressure, provocation, blackmail and military threats that have lasted decades,” and said that the two countries are united in their fight against the US, which he said “is making every desperate effort to impose on the world the so-called ‘order based on rules’ which is nothing but a world-wide neocolonialist dictatorship based on the ‘double standards.’”

“This is huge,” explained international relations and security expert Mark Sleboda on Sputnik’s The Final Countdown on Wednesday. “Now the details of this are not known. It is being called a ‘mutual aid in case of aggression’ It does not specify and it does not rule out actually going to war with whoever the perpetrator of the aggression against either party. But I have to point out that neither does NATO’s Article Five mutual defense clause… So, by this analysis, without knowing the details yet, it seems and it’s being reported in the Western press that Russia and North Korea just signed a military alliance equivalent to NATO, which is huge.” North Korea has been under sanctions and embargoes by the United States since the Korean War started. While there have been brief periods of cooling between the US and the DPRK, the relationship has been overwhelmingly hostile over the decades.

Since 2006, the UN Security Council has passed nearly a dozen resolutions that sanctioned the DPRK, an action that required the support of both Russia and China, something that is unlikely to happen with this new paradigm.
“No more sanctions against North Korea, that’s for sure. That is not going to happen. The US is not going to get anything [in the UN Security Council],” explained Sleboda, adding that the mutual aid pact from Russia also prevents any US attack on North Korea, something it has threatened for decades.

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“..will change the face of the region and shape its future..”

‘No Place’ Is Safe If Israel Starts War – Hezbollah (RT)

Hezbollah is prepared for a full-scale conflict with Israel, the Shia militia’s head Hassan Nasrallah has said. He also warned Cyprus that it could be targeted if it hosts Israeli forces. Nasrallah gave a televised speech on Wednesday, following a memorial service for Hajj Sami Taleb Abdullah, a senior Hezbollah commander who had been killed in an Israeli strike on southern Lebanon earlier this week. “The enemy knows it must expect us on land, in the air, and at sea, and if war is imposed, the resistance will fight without constraints, rules, or limits,” he said, adding that “there will be no place safe from our missiles and drones.” The current confrontation is the “greatest battle since 1948,” the year Israel declared independence, and “will change the face of the region and shape its future,” Nasrallah said.

The Shia militia that controls much of Lebanon has prodded Israeli troops in Galilee since October 7 last year, when West Jerusalem declared war on Hamas in Gaza. The intermittent rocket attacks on both sides of the border have driven more than 53,000 Israelis and almost 100,000 Lebanese from their homes. Hezbollah is striking Israeli positions “within a certain and specific schedule,” Nasrallah claimed, noting that the group has a “very, very large amount of information” about Israeli fortifications, numbers and deployments, referring to Tuesday’s release of drone footage of the port of Haifa. According to Nasrallah, Hezbollah has all the weapons it needs to strike targets inside Israel, including previously undisclosed weapons that have yet to be used on the battlefield. The group is also well-supplied with drones and rockets.

Nasrallah also threatened Cyprus for the first time, telling the government in Nicosia that the country “opening its airports and bases to the enemy to target Lebanon means it has become part of the war.” He claimed that Israel had secret plans to use airfields in Cyprus should its own airbases be disabled by Hezbollah strikes. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Tuesday that it had finalized “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon.”Responding to US calls for restraint, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said his country was “very close to the moment when we will decide to change the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon.” adding that “in a total war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be hit hard.” Israel’s last major confrontation with Hezbollah was in 2006, when a ground offensive into southern Lebanon resulted in high casualties and no military gains.

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“The Biden administration did not want to appear as if they were vetoing another Security Council resolution..”

Joe Biden’s ‘Ceasefire Proposal’ Was Just ‘Kabuki Theater’ (Sp.)

The public proclamations about an alleged Israeli Ceasefire deal promoted by Biden, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and pro-Israel lawmakers in Washington was kabuki theater, designed to avoid the US having to veto another UN Ceasefire resolution and reduce domestic and international political pressure on the US Government, human rights lawyer Francis Boyle told Sputnik. “The so-called ‘peace proposal’ by Biden was a dodge,” Boyle argued on The Critical Hour. “The International Court of Justice just ruled 13 to 2 that Israel had to stop its offensive military operations in Rafah. Algeria, the Arab member of the UN Security Council then proposed a resolution… ordering the ceasefire. The Biden administration did not want to appear as if they were vetoing another Security Council resolution, both for appearances there in the Global South, the Arab-Muslim world and also here in the United States.”

“So, in order to head off that binding UN Security Council resolution terminating Israel’s offensive military operations in Rafah, the Biden administration, Blinken, concocted this phony ceasefire proposal, which was nothing more than a sort of kabuki theater.” On Tuesday, a senior Israeli official who is involved in the negotiations was quoted in Israeli media as saying that the fighting in Gaza will continue even after the Rafah offensive is finished. On Wednesday, the UN-backed Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory said that Israel had committed crimes against humanity, including forced starvation, extermination, murder and inhumane treatment of Palestinians. The chairperson of the inquiry, Navi Pillay, called for a ceasefire and the end of Israel’s siege on Gaza.

On Tuesday, two key US Democrats approved the sale of 50 F-15 fighter jets to Israel, a deal worth $18 billion. “Clearly, the United States is aiding and abetting Israeli genocide against the Palestinians in violation of Article 3 E of the Genocide Convention of prohibiting complicity in genocide, in addition [to] the Genocide Convention Implementation Act here in the United States.” The Genocide Convention Implementation Act specifies that those found guilty of violating it are subject to life imprisonment. “Israel is the American Bantustan over there in the Middle East. It’s our attack dog and cat’s paw, and without us, they simply would not survive. It’s that simple,” explained Boyle. Hamas has said it will “deal positively to arrive at an agreement,” to end the fighting. According to some reports, they asked for greater assurances that Israel would honor the ceasefire after the release of the hostages. Israel has not officially said if it supports the ceasefire deal presented by Biden.

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“..keep in place a federal attorney who had just demonstrated his willingness to protect the president’s son..”

Hunter Biden’s Charge of Lying Under Oath (Patrick Lawrence)

Much has been made of the Biden family’s displays of unity and compassion before and during Hunter Biden’s trial. President Biden flew to Wilmington for a late-night visit with Hallie Biden a few days before the trial began. Even The New York Times suggested this risked leaving the president open to charges of witness tampering, given Hallie Biden was scheduled to testify for the prosecution. Hallie Biden is the widow of Beau Biden, Joe’s oldest son, and, during Hunter Biden’s years as an addict was for a time after Beau’s death Hunter’s paramour. During testimony, Hunter’s chronic indulgences in cocaine and alcohol were almost ostentatiously played out for the jury and, it seemed, the public. The First Lady, Jill Biden, attended the trial daily but for the days she was at the Normandy beaches to join the president in marking the 80th anniversary of the D–Day landings. The Biden clan was notably stoic when the verdict was announced. Evidently for the cameras, Hunter Biden took his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, by the shoulders, leaned to kiss her, and audibly whispered with a faint smile, “Hey.”

It is not possible to interpret these evidently rehearsed-for-the-public family displays with anything like certainty. But questions inevitably arise. They turn, almost inevitably on David Weiss’ role as the prosecutor in the gun case.Weiss is a highly problematic figure. As earlier noted, he was deeply compromised when, during federal investigations into Hunter Biden’s tax records and the broader matter of his foreign business dealings, he, Weiss, acted covertly on numerous occasions to shield Hunter Biden from the lawful scrutiny of federal investigators. Many were astonished — and many Republican political figures objected — when, the plea deal of July 2023 having collapsed, Attorney–General Garland promoted Weiss to the rank of special prosecutor. This was ostensibly to give Weiss broader powers to direct investigations into the corruption allegations Hunter Biden faced — an array that threatened to lead to the White House door.

As many critics immediately charged, the Weiss appointment seemed intended not to extend his powers but to keep in place a federal attorney who had just demonstrated his willingness to protect the president’s son — and by extension the president, let us not miss — as a matter of partisan loyalty. Hunter Biden’s trial on various charges related to his handling of his federal taxes is to begin on Sept. 5, two months to the day before the presidential elections. Weiss will again be the prosecutor. This leaves us now with two questions. One, were Hunter Biden’s attorneys in the gun trial in essence shadow-boxing? Their defense strategies — it could not be proven Hunter was using when he purchased the gun, a guilty verdict would infringe on his Second Amendment rights — were flimsy and unpromising. Was the guilty verdict, in other words, what is called in intelligence circles a limited hangout?

Has a decision been made at top levels of the Democratic- controlled federal judiciary to find Hunter Biden guilty on the lesser crime of illegal gun possession — on the argument he had to be convicted of something — so as to prepare a skeptical public for an innocent verdict in the much more consequential trial on charges of financial corruption — a trial that could directly threaten the Biden presidency? Two, where are the House hearings likely to go from here, and what will be the next step? The June 5 criminal referrals are indication enough that the Oversight and Judiciary committees are far from done, spent, or at a dead end. As previously noted in this series, it seems clear they have enough sound evidence to support a vote to impeach President Biden. But it remains to be seen whether the House committees will have the political will to press the case they appear to have, just as the outcome in California, where Weiss will prosecute the tax and corruption cases, is for now not at all certain.

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“..57 per cent of asylum seekers have no documentation to prove their identity, their age, or their country of origin..”

Ryanair CEO: “It’s a Complete Scam, These People Are Not Refugees” (MN)

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary asserted that the asylum system was “a complete scam” and that such individuals “are not refugees” because they are arriving from safe countries and then flushing their passports down the toilet. O’Leary made the comments during an appearance on the Newstalk radio station. The airline boss was asked how people are able to arrive in Ireland on Ryanair flights without proper documentation or being able to prove their identities. “Yeah because they flush them down the toilet, they arrive at Dublin airport and they flush them down the toilet,” he responded. O’Leary said non-EU visitors to Ireland had to have their passports photographed at the border control desk so the details could be sent to the government, but that this was impossible with economic migrants.

“They show up here…it’s a complete scam and these are not refugees, one of the things that drives me nuts in Ireland is we treat people as refugees who are coming from the UK or from France,” he complained. “Nobody got to Ireland from Afghanistan or from Kenya or from Nigeria or from Syria on a direct flight because there aren’t any, so you’re not fleeing persecution in the UK or in Germany, O’Leary added. “We should look after refugees, I have great sympathy for the Ukrainians, but people who are arriving here from the UK, France or other EU countries, we should be turning them back saying, here back to the EU countries where you came from.”

O’Leary said it was difficult to track what flight the migrants were on or what seat they were sitting in “because they tear up or flush their documentation down the toilets, and all of them have documentation when they board the RyanAir flight at the other side.” Ireland has been completely subsumed by economic migrants, vast numbers of whom have set up in tent cities in major Irish cities, notably the capital Dublin. Meanwhile, according to data released in Germany by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, 57 per cent of asylum seekers have no documentation to prove their identity, their age, or their country of origin, a figure that has risen from 48 per cent in 2023.

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“..ending their 14 years at the helm of the UK..”

UK Tories Face Election Wipeout – Polls (RT)

The British Conservatives are set to face a historical loss in July’s general election, ending their 14 years at the helm of the UK, according to three major polls on Wednesday. A poll by Savanta and Electoral Calculus for the Telegraph forecasts the Tories getting just 53 seats out of the 650 up for grabs in July’s vote. Not only would this mark an all-time low for the Conservative party, the poll also predicted the current Tory leader and Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, could lose his seat in Richmond and Northallerton, an unprecedented blow for a serving PM. A More in Common survey for the News Agents podcast showed the Tories heading towards getting 155 seats. Despite being the most optimistic for the Tories of the three MRP polls, this would still put them way below the current 344, and even fewer seats than they had in 1997, when the Conservative party last lost leadership to Labour.

Meanwhile, YouGov predicted the Tories will slip down to 108 seats. All three MRP polls projected that the Conservative Party would see a worse outcome than their disastrous 1906 result, when they lost to a landslide Liberal victory, with 156 seats to 397. The surveys all forecast that the Liberal Democrats will attain their best results in years. YouGov predicted the Lib Dems would get 67 seats, which would constitute their best ever general election result. More in Common put them at 49 seats, while Savanta at 50. All three surveys suggested Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer is on track to become the next Prime Minister, and all three predicted his party winning more than 400 seats – higher than the party’s record historical win in 1997.

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“Why the Western push to promote LGBTQ in Ghana could backfire.”

‘God Destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah’ (RT)

Ghana, a west African country with deeply ingrained cultural and religious values, is grappling with issues surrounding the criminalization of LGBTQ lifestyles. In February 2024, the country’s parliament passed The Promotion of Proper Sexual Rights and Family Values bill, which seeks to promote traditional Ghanaian family values. The bill imposes penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years, for the promotion of LGBTQ activities. Although the bill received unanimous support from both caucuses of the parliament, it still requires the assent of the president to become law. However, its progression has been halted by a lawsuit, citing concerns of discrimination against a section of the population, which has prevented the president from reviewing it until the supreme court determines its legality.

The hearing, adjourned in May 2024 due to allegations that the petitioners had used inflammatory language, resumed this month. The fate of the bill is now in limbo as the Supreme court of Ghana is expected to give its final verdict later this year. The pending verdict is particularly significant as it will determine whether the bill can be promulgated into law. This will also help determine Ghana’s ability to uphold its sovereignty amid pressure from western countries and institutions. Ghana’s situation reflects the complex dilemma of African countries in deciding on the position of LGBTQ in their institutional framework. It is illegal in 32 countries including Nigeria, Mauritania, Sudan and Somalia where death penalty can be imposed on people engaging in gay sex. In Uganda, the office of the president has referred to homosexuals as “sick people” who need help.

This sentiment has been echoed by the former president of Zambia, Edgar Lungu, who questioned why humans should be compelled to engage in activities even animals do not do. South Africa remains the only African country to have legalized homosexuality while others such as Rwanda have rejected discussions on the issue. In Ghana, although there’s no specific law criminalizing LGBTQ activities, attempts to regulate them are based on a perception either of a western-imposed value system that contradicts Ghanaian norms, or from a human rights perspective. Ghana, a west African country with deeply ingrained cultural and religious values, is grappling with issues surrounding the criminalization of LGBTQ lifestyles. In February 2024, the country’s parliament passed The Promotion of Proper Sexual Rights and Family Values bill, which seeks to promote traditional Ghanaian family values.

The bill imposes penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years, for the promotion of LGBTQ activities. Although the bill received unanimous support from both caucuses of the parliament, it still requires the assent of the president to become law. However, its progression has been halted by a lawsuit, citing concerns of discrimination against a section of the population, which has prevented the president from reviewing it until the supreme court determines its legality.The hearing, adjourned in May 2024 due to allegations that the petitioners had used inflammatory language, resumed this month. The fate of the bill is now in limbo as the Supreme court of Ghana is expected to give its final verdict later this year. The pending verdict is particularly significant as it will determine whether the bill can be promulgated into law. This will also help determine Ghana’s ability to uphold its sovereignty amid pressure from western countries and institutions.

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“..there is one constant here. Citizens don’t like censorship. They still don’t. It’s in our DNA.”

Jonathan Turley: There’s A Movement To Rewrite The First Amendment (RCP)

GWU law professor Jonathan Turley talks about his new book, “The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in an Age of Rage,” during an interview with FNC’s “Special Report” host Bret Baier.

JONATHAN TURLEY: Free speech is under attack and what the book argues is that we are living in the most dangerous anti-free speech period in our history. And the question is why we continue to struggle with free speech, and the book goes back and looks at the very founding of the republic when the framers had a truly revolutionary idea that free speech really adheres to us as human beings. It’s not just because we are citizens, we need free speech to be fully human.

That view was lost within a few years of the Adams administration which became, until the Biden administration, the most anti-free speech in history. President Biden is rivalling that record. We have the largest censorship system in history. But, more importantly, we have this alliance of government, corporations, media, and academia and all supporting censorship, blacklisting and other forms of limitations and this book looks at that history and why we continue to struggle with what Brandeis called “the indispensable right.”

[..] I never really imagined I would see what I now see on campuses become unorthodox and unforgiving. Academics and journalists used to be the defenders of free speech. So did the Democratic Party. It’s now become really in vogue to be anti-free speech, to say free speech is harmful, it has to be curtailed. There is a movement to rewrite the First Amendment because one law professor said it’s “excessively individualistic.” Those are popular views now on campus. And this book is sort of how we got here, why do we call it “indispensable.”

[..] [In Moody vs. Netchoice LLC], the question is whether the Supreme Court will take the issue straight on or whether it will try to take off ramp. The oral argument was not very clear on that point. But you are absolutely right. It encapsulates much of this problem — we have this alliance I talked about, that is funded through the government, organized and directed in part through the government. One federal judge called it Orwellian, and it is. And many citizens don’t like it and that’s the one positive aspect. You know, I tell the stories of people who put their lives at risk to fight for free speech. And all of our periods of rage. But, there is one constant here. Citizens don’t like censorship. They still don’t. It’s in our DNA.

What this book really tries to do to see if there is this common article of faith that we can still gather around, despite all our political divisions that this defines us in a way that we can’t lose it. And I think that there is common ground there.

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Masochists wanted.

Boeing Can’t Find New CEO – WSJ (RT)

Several high-profile candidates have turned down offers to run aerospace giant, Boeing, The Wall Street Journal has reported, as the plane-maker faces scrutiny over multiple safety issues with its products. The aerospace giant announced in March that current chief executive, David Calhoun, would step down by the end of the year, as part of a management shake-up aimed at reviving Boeing’s reputation. The company’s airliners have encountered a litany of incidents this year, beginning with a door panel on a 737 MAX 9 operated by Alaska Airlines blowing off mid-air in January, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched several inquiries into Boeing. Whistle-blowers have alleged that the 737 Max, the 787 Dreamliner, and the 777 had serious production issues. As part of one probe, CEO Calhoun was grilled by US senators on Tuesday over the company’s patchy safety record. GE Aerospace CEO Larry Culp, widely considered the top candidate for the job, has declined Boeing’s request to consider taking over, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said, citing people familiar with the matter. According to the publication, Culp is known as a guru of lean manufacturing, a management philosophy focused on cutting waste while continuously improving quality. Culp has said that he intends to stay on at GE Aerospace.

Other potential candidates – the CEO of Boeing’s commercial-airplanes division Stephanie Pope, and Spirit AeroSystems CEO Pat Shanahan – face various complications on their path to the top job, the WSJ wrote. David Gitlin, CEO of the home-appliances firm Carrier and a member of the Boeing board, asked to be removed from the list of potential contenders in April. Boeing executives have said they hope to have a deal by the end of June, the WSJ noted. The US Department of Justice said in May it was considering prosecuting Boeing over two crashes in 2018 and 2019 which killed nearly 350 people. The accidents were found to have been caused by an errant pitch control system that the company had not informed pilots about.

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“This technology is proven to have some of the most comprehensive capabilities in the industry, fast and accurate in some of the most demanding conditions..”

McDonald’s Scraps AI Trial After Bacon Added To Ice Cream (RT)

McDonald’s is scrapping its AI drive-through trial after videos went viral of order mix-ups, including bacon being added to ice cream. The US fast food chain has been testing a voice recognition system developed by IBM to process orders since 2021. However, reliability of the AI-powered technology has been called into question after customers reported errors in their orders and shared comical mishaps on social media. McDonald’s has instructed franchisees to remove the AI-assisted technology from the more than 100 outlets that have been using it by the end of July, as reported by trade publication Restaurant Business on Friday. The fast food chain is abandoning the trial without any sort of expansion, the publication said, citing an email the company sent to franchisees on Thursday.

“After thoughtful review, McDonald’s has decided to end our current global partnership with IBM on AOT [Automated Order Taking] beyond this year,” the message read. While the Chicago-based fast food giant didn’t give the exact reason for the move, it comes after customers shared videos showing drive-through AI picking up orders from the wrong cars, multiplying orders, and producing bizarre combinations of food ranging from bacon-topped ice cream to hundreds of dollars’ worth of chicken nuggets. In one TikTok video, a woman attempts to order vanilla ice cream and a bottle of water only to end up with ketchup sachets and multiple stacks of butter. Another video shows a customer claiming that the AI drive-through assistant confused her order with someone else’s, resulting in nine portions of tea being added to her bill.

McDonald’s, which initially sought to embrace the technology to cut back on mounting labor costs, indicated that the end of the trial would not mean its experiments with AI are over. The company said that its work with IBM “has given us the confidence that a voice ordering solution for drive-thru will be part of our restaurants’ future.” IBM also said it plans to continue working with McDonald’s. “This technology is proven to have some of the most comprehensive capabilities in the industry, fast and accurate in some of the most demanding conditions,” the company said in a statement. Other major US fast food giants, including Chipotle, Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, have also been rolling out AI systems at their drive-throughs in a bid to replace human workers and reduce labor costs.

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Morgan Freeman

 

 

Tiny Turtle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1803045071614337039

 

 

Moose

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 042024
 
 February 4, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  36 Responses »


Jules Bastien-LePage The annunciation to the shepherds 1875

 

RFK Jr Slams American Attacks On Syria and Iraq (RT)
Israel vs. Hezbollah: A New War Will Consume The Entire Middle East (Sadygzade)
Biden’s Justification For Hitting Iran Puts NATO Troops in Danger (Sp.)
US House To Vote On Israel-only Aid Bill – Speaker (RT)
Staffers Speaking Out Shows How ‘Morally Bankrupt’ Biden Admin Has Grown (Sp.)
The Silence of the Damned (Chris Hedges)
Tucker Carlson Spotted In Moscow (RT)
Good Money After Bad: Where Will EU Funds for Ukraine Come From? (Sp.)
Ukraine Coerces Mass-Conscripts Unfit for Military Service – PoW (Sp.)
Is Zaluzhny Getting Ready to Take Down Zelensky? (Scott Ritter)
Taiwan Helping To Arm Moscow – WaPo (RT)
Florida Sends Troops To Stop Migrant ‘Invasion’ (RT)
Germany’s Economy Is Dying. Here’s Why And What Happens Next (RM)
F-35 Jet Fails to Meet Basic Operating Standards in 65 Areas (Sp.)
India Vows To Tackle Population Growth Challenges (RT)
It’s Not ‘Inflation’ – We’re Just Getting Ripped Off. Here’s Proof. (OW)
Imran Khan Sentenced To Third Prison Term In A Week (RT)

 

 


Paris, February 3 2024

 

 

Macron/Farmers
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753757359329919212

 

 

 

 

Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753827565293436943

 

 

Elon Musk: Biden’s strategy is very simple: 1. Get as many illegals in the country as possible. 2. Legalize them to create a permanent majority – a one-party state. That is why they are encouraging so much illegal immigration. Simple, yet effective.

Most people in America don’t know that the census is based on a simple headcount of people (including illegals) *not* just citizens. This shifts political power and money to states and Congressional districts with the highest number of illegals.

 

 

JK Rowling

 

 

 

 

“If we ‘do not seek conflict,’ then let’s get the troops out of there..” [..] “They are not welcome. They are not needed..”

RFK Jr Slams American Attacks On Syria and Iraq (RT)

The US should withdraw its ground troops from Middle Eastern countries that do not welcome them, independent candidate for US president Robert F. Kennedy Jr has said.He said the escalation could have been avoided, reacting in an X (formerly Twitter) post to Washington’s attack on more than 80 targets allegedly linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) in Iraq and Syria in a wide-ranging air assault. US Central Command says it hit 85 Iranian-linked targets in Syria and Iraq in retaliation against the recent “Iran-affiliated” fighters’ attack that killed three US servicemen in Jordan. President Joe Biden’s X post read that the US does not “seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But to all those who seek to do us harm: We will respond,” despite Iran denying involvement in the incident.

“If we ‘do not seek conflict,’ then let’s get the troops out of there,” Kennedy said, apparently reacting to Biden’s statement. “They are not welcome. They are not needed,” he added. Kennedy claimed that the current escalation would not have been necessary if Washington hadn’t put its military “in the crosshairs” of Shiite militias. He described the existence of these groups “as a legacy of our illegal war in Iraq.” He recalled that both Iraq and Syria had asked the US troops to leave their territory while Iran would not tolerate America’s military presence on its borders.

Besides pulling US troops “out of the Mideast,” Kennedy urged Washington to forge ties with regional powers instead. The presidential candidate also described the troop presence in the area as “indefensible targets for anyone in the region who wants to provoke a conflict.”Iraq has rebuked the US over the airstrikes, saying they constitute “a violation of Iraqi sovereignty” and “pose a threat that could lead Iraq and the region into dire consequences. The Syrian military, as quoted by SANA news agency, denounced the raid as “the aggression of the American occupation forces.”

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“If a temporary reduction in the intensity of the fighting in Gaza is achieved, the controversy within Israel surrounding the current Netanyahu government will escalate. Obviously, the end of the conflict would also lead to the end of the prime minister’s political career and those of other prominent figures.”

Israel vs. Hezbollah: A New War Will Consume The Entire Middle East (Sadygzade)

Since the first days of the current escalation, Israeli tensions with Hezbollah have increased. And thoughts of launching military action to the north were in the minds of the Jewish state’s political and military establishment as early as late October. For example, The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, reported that on October 11 US President Joe Biden persuaded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to launch a preemptive strike against Hezbollah because of the risk of a major war in the region. On that day, Israeli intelligence received information about Hezbollah’s intention to invade Israel from several directions, and Israeli fighter jets were already in the air, waiting for orders to attack the group’s facilities in Lebanon. It took about six hours of negotiations and meetings for Israeli officials to back down, WSJ sources said. The situation on the border between Israel and Hezbollah remains tense, and the possibility of a full-scale conflict is real.

This was confirmed by Israeli media, citing remarks by National Security Council head Tzachi Hanegbi at a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on January 17. Hanegbi also provided interesting details regarding Hamas. According to the official, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has taken a harder line during negotiations for the exchange of hostages, which will likely draw out the process of returning the 117 people still held captive since the October attacks on Israel. In his remarks, Hanegbi emphasized that the physical elimination of Sinwar is still a pressing goal for Israeli security forces. However, neither Hanegbi nor other Israeli figures have offered concrete solutions for a long-term arrangement in Gaza. This is worrisome, as the WSJ notes, citing its White House sources. The newspaper claims that efforts to convince Netanyahu to agree to an end-of-conflict option that includes handing over control of Gaza to the Palestinian National Authority have failed.

Instead, Israel intends to carry out a prolonged operation against Hamas. However, recently negotiators from Israel, the US, Egypt and Qatar met in Paris and agreed on the basics of a new deal aimed at releasing the hostages. This was reported by NBC News on January 29. The plan envisions the gradual release of captives, starting with women and children. For its part, Israel will offer limited pauses in hostilities and the admission of humanitarian aid, as well as the release of Palestinian prisoners. The plan has been sent to representatives of Hamas. If a temporary reduction in the intensity of the fighting in Gaza is achieved, the controversy within Israel surrounding the current Netanyahu government will escalate. Obviously, the end of the conflict would also lead to the end of the prime minister’s political career and those of other prominent figures.

Even Washington, Israel’s most important ally, has delivered repeated messaging that Netanyahu must go. No one wants a major war in the region. Hezbollah, which is closely allied with Iran, also does not want tensions to escalate into open warfare. This is demonstrated by its restraint, both in statements by top officials and in attacks on Israeli forces. But if Netanyahu does decide to launch an operation in southern Lebanon, the war will be long and bloody. Representatives of the “Axis of Resistance” led by Iran will lend support with even greater effort. Then the specter of war will become a reality and the Middle East will burst into flames, the consequences of which no one can assess or foresee.

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“..there’s no leadership [the US] left it up to Netanyahu. He’s the tail wagging the dog..”

Biden’s Justification For Hitting Iran Puts NATO Troops in Danger (Sp.)

On Friday, US President Joe Biden fulfilled his promise to strike Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq, further escalating the region even as the White House insists that it does not seek war with Iran. Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst for the Office of the Secretary of Defense with nearly 30 years of experience, told Sputnik’s Fault Lines that the justification used by the White House could easily be applied by Russia to NATO countries supporting Ukraine. “You’re hearing from congressmen and senators saying ‘but we need to hit Iran for supplying the Houthis and Hamas and Hezbollah,” Maloof explained. “Well, does Russia then have a right to hit US and NATO allies, as a result of supplying weapons to Ukraine to battle Russians?” The United States has placed the blame on Iran for the Sunday drone attack that killed three US service members and injured dozens more on the border of Syria and Jordan.

While the US admits that it has no evidence Iran helped plan the attack, the Biden administration has been clear it blames Iran because the country allegedly funds those groups and other militants. “This afternoon, at my direction, U.S. military forces struck targets at facilities in Iraq and Syria that the IRGC and affiliated militia use to attack U.S. forces,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement released Friday by the White House. “I think that if Biden were to follow through, then that raises a whole new specter of opening up NATO countries to potential attack,” he continued, adding that the US is simply hoping Russian President Vladimir Putin “doesn’t follow through” with that justification. Maloof argued that the US should reevaluate the situation in the Middle East but it’s difficult because the US looks “at the Middle East through the prism of Israel all the time.”

“We’ve got to somehow figure a way out of it. Instead, we’re digging that hole deeper and even though there might be some attempts to try and persuade [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to calm down and have a ceasefire and try to resolve things, it’s doing just the opposite. “The problem is that Biden has left the conduct of the war up to Netanyahu, and Netanyahu knows this and he’s basically dragging us along – we’re captives of Netanyahu,” Maloof explained. “You don’t have any, there’s no leadership [the US] left it up to Netanyahu. He’s the tail wagging the dog,” he added later. Maloof further argued that Israel has been getting the United States to do its dirty work for decades.

“We always hear Netanyahu wanting the United States involved, or us to bomb the sites… This is the way we’ve been conducting ourselves since… 2003 when we invaded Iraq.” Asked by Co-host Melik Abdul how the US should have responded to the attack, Maloof argued that the US should leave the region. “I think we shouldn’t even be in those locations. And I think we should have gotten out some time ago.”

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Biden will veto it. They want Ukraine on that bill.

US House To Vote On Israel-only Aid Bill – Speaker (RT)

The speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, announced on Saturday that he would hold a vote on a “clean, standalone” aid package for Israel that will not entail any spending cuts. The newly proposed legislation is set to include $17.6 billion in additional military funding as well as “important funding for US forces in the region.” The initial $14.3 billion package, rejected by the Senate last year, included an equal amount in spending cuts to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and was therefore branded by Democrats as a “poison pill.” “Next week, we will take up and pass a clean, standalone Israel supplemental package,” he wrote in a letter to colleagues sent on Saturday afternoon. “The Senate will no longer have excuses, however misguided, against swift passage of this critical support for our ally.”

The announcement comes as the Senate prepares to vote on a long-anticipated national security supplemental requested by US President Joe Biden, which will include tougher US border controls paired with nearly $60 billion in aid to Ukraine, as well as more assistance to Israel and Taiwan. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Friday that he was preparing to release the legislation text “no later than Sunday” with the first procedural vote coming by midweek. However, Johnson previously criticized the impending deal, calling it “dead on arrival” in the lower chamber if the provisions are what they are rumored to be. The Senate leadership “is aware that by failing to include the House in their negotiations, they have eliminated the ability for swift consideration of any legislation,” Johnson wrote.

The White House previously indicated that it would oppose a stand-alone Israel aid bill, with John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, saying President Biden would veto it. While Washington is struggling to secure additional military funding for Ukraine, Brussels approved a €50 billion ($54 billion) aid package on Thursday, having reportedly pressured Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban into lifting his veto. Orban, who previously called Ukraine “one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” accused the “imperialist EU” of “blackmailing” him into accepting the deal.

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“The fact that people within the administration who are risking their jobs often to take these actions are speaking out, I think, is important and just shows a real shift in this country..”

Staffers Speaking Out Shows How ‘Morally Bankrupt’ Biden Admin Has Grown (Sp.)

On Thursday, the head of the US Agency for International Development, Samantha Power, who is a world-renowned scholar on genocide, was confronted during a public event over her complicity in the Biden administration’s support of Israel and its actions in Gaza. “You wrote a book on genocide and you’re still working for the administration: You should resign and speak out,” Agnieszka Skyes told US media after recently leaving her job at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr. Margaret Flowers, the co-editor of Popular Resistance, told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour that the disconnect between the Biden administration and its employees shows how “morally bankrupt” the administration’s stance on Gaza has become.

“You have congressional staffers, hundreds of them, that called upon their bosses to support a ceasefire. You have White House staffers, executive office staffers protesting outside of the White House, calling on President [Joe] Biden to demand, you know, to push for a ceasefire,” Flowers summarized. “The fact that people within the administration who are risking their jobs often to take these actions are speaking out, I think, is important and just shows a real shift in this country and just how morally bankrupt this administration is for supporting genocide.” Co-host Garland Nixon noted that, particularly among the USAID employees, they have previously supported policies that “killed unmentionable thousands of people,” but this seems “too far” even for them.

“I think also [that] some of the people that go to work in these institutions don’t fully have a good political analysis of what it is that they’re actually working for,” Flowers responded. “We know that the the USAID, which has ‘AID’ in its name, is an institution that has really worked hand-in-hand with the CIA to undermine governments all around the world to, you know, put in place support for organizations, media, nonprofit groups within countries that are strictly there to destabilize the countries so that the United States can try to overthrow their governments.” “This is an overreach point. I think we’re seeing that in so many different areas, though, right now, the kind of overreach of the United States and its Western allies and the whole world is seeing it but it’s great that folks are seeing it here, too,” Flowers explained.

The shift, according to Flowers, comes because Israel’s actions in Gaza are on display for the entire world to see. “We know that … all of these main, mainstream corporate media outlets are really in place to defend the status quo, and they’ve been doing that. But at a certain point, when you have the rest of the media world publishing the truth about what’s happening and you have public opinion shifting, they can’t continue on that same line as strongly as they were, because they can’t save face by doing that when the rest of the world actually sees what’s going on,” Flowers argued. “This is a huge issue for people, whereas foreign policy has not typically been a strong factor that folks care about. Things have gone so far that people do now,” she added.

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“..Palestinians have been reduced to eating grass and drinking contaminated water…”

The Silence of the Damned (Chris Hedges)

There is no effective health care system left in Gaza. Infants are dying. Children are having their limbs amputated without anesthesia. Thousands of cancer patients and those in need of dialysis lack treatment. The last cancer hospital in Gaza has ceased functioning. An estimated 50,000 pregnant women have no safe place to give birth. They undergo cesarean sections without anesthesia. Miscarriage rates are up 300 percent since the Israeli assault began. The wounded bleed to death. There is no sanitation or clean water. Hospitals have been bombed and shelled. Nasser Hospital, one of the last functioning hospitals in Gaza, is “near collapse.” Clinics, along with ambulances – 79 in Gaza and over 212 in the West Bank – have been destroyed.

Some 400 doctors, nurses, medics and healthcare workers have been killed — more than the total of all healthcare workers killed in conflicts around the world combined since 2016. Over 100 more have been detained, interrogated, beaten and tortured, or disappeared by Israeli soldiers. Israeli soldiers routinely enter hospitals to carry out forced evacuations – on Wednesday troops entered al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis and demanded doctors and displaced Palestinians leave – as well as round up detainees, including the wounded, sick and medical staff. On Tuesday, disguised as hospital workers and civilians, Israeli soldiers entered Jenin’s Ibn Sina Hospital in the West Bank and assassinated three Palestinians as they slept.

The cuts to funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) — collective punishment for the alleged involvement in the Oct. 7 attack of 12 of its 13,000 UNRWA workers — will accelerate the horror, turning the attacks, starvation, lack of health care and spread of infectious diseases in Gaza into a tidal wave of death. The evidence-free charges, which include the accusation that 10 percent of all of UNRWA’s Gaza staff have ties to Islamist militant groups, appeared in the Wall Street Journal. The reporter, Carrie-Keller Lynn, served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Given the numerous lies Israel has employed to justify its genocide, including “beheaded babies” and “mass rape,” it is reasonable to assume this may be another fabrication. The allegations, of which details remain scant, are apparently based on confessions by Palestinian detainees — most certainly after being beaten or tortured. These allegations were enough to see 17 countries including the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Australia and Japan cut or delay funding to the vital U.N. agency.

UNRWA is all that stands between the Palestinians in Gaza and famine. A handful of countries, including Ireland, Norway and Turkey, maintain their funding. Eight of the UNRWA employees accused of participating in the Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel, where 1,139 people were killed and 240 abducted, were fired. Two have been suspended. UNRWA has promised an investigation. They account for 0.04 percent of UNRWA’s staff. Israel is seeking to destroy not only Gaza’s health care system and infrastructure, but UNRWA which provides food and aid to 2 million Palestinians. The object is to make Gaza uninhabitable and ethnically cleanse the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza. Hundreds of thousands are already starving. Over 70 percent of the housing has been destroyed. More than 26,700 people have been killed and over 65,600 have been injured. Thousands are missing. Some 90 percent of Gaza’s pre-war population has been displaced, with many living in the open. Palestinians have been reduced to eating grass and drinking contaminated water.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1753752270783783330

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If he can get Putin, that would be great.

“..the Russian leader would wait to sit down with any American journalist until the US population was no longer so “seriously stupefied by Russia-hating propaganda.”

Tucker Carlson Spotted In Moscow (RT)

American journalist Tucker Carlson has spent several days in Russia and even attended a ballet performance at the Bolshoi Theatre, Telegram channel Mash reported on Saturday, sharing several photos of the conservative commentator. Carlson allegedly touched down at Vnukovo airport on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul on Thursday after several hours’ delay, according to the channel. He was later spotted taking in the ballet Spartacus at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The conservative commentator has yet to confirm the trip and it remains unclear what business he had in Russia. However, rumors of his intention to interview President Vladimir Putin have been circulating since last year.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not rule out the possibility of Carlson interviewing Putin when asked about it in September, though he explained that the Russian leader would wait to sit down with any American journalist until the US population was no longer so “seriously stupefied by Russia-hating propaganda.” Carlson himself told Swiss outlet Die Weltwoche that he had been prevented from setting up an interview with Putin by the White House. While he expressed dismay that he did not receive more support from his fellow journalists regarding his intention to sit down with the Russian president and questioned why Americans are “not allowed to hear” Putin’s voice, he declined to provide any further details regarding when the interview was supposed take place or how the presidential administration of Joe Biden intervened to stop it.

The former Fox News host claimed previous attempts to secure an interview with Putin had led to aggressive surveillance by the National Security Agency, alleging he was “unmasked” by the spooks and the contents of his emails were leaked to the media in 2021 in order to “paint [him] as a disloyal American” and force him off the cable news network. The NSA denied Carlson was an intelligence target and claimed it never sought to take him off the air.

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“..According to the European Council, the bloc has set up the so-called Ukraine Facility for the period 2024-2027 to “contribute to the recovery, reconstruction and modernization of the country..”

Good Money After Bad: Where Will EU Funds for Ukraine Come From? (Sp.)

European Union (EU) member states have agreed on a €50 billion ($54 billion) support package for Ukraine over four years, overcoming Hungary’s resistance. But where will the EU get that money? The EU could commandeer interest paid on frozen Russian assets to fund Ukraine during its war with Moscow. Europe’s economy is facing stagnation, with zero economic growth for October-to-December period reported by EU statistics agency Eurostat. The Eurozone inflation rate has yet to fall below the target two percent threshold, with consumer prices still remaining high. Against that backdrop EU member states are cutting subsidies, reducing energy consumption and diminishing industrial production. Protests by farmers have rocked the continent since early January. Nonetheless, Brussels has found €50 billion ($54 billion) to support the embattled Kiev regime for four more years. But where will this money come from?

According to the European Council, the bloc has set up the so-called Ukraine Facility for the period 2024-2027 to “contribute to the recovery, reconstruction and modernization of the country, foster social cohesion and progressive integration into the Union, with a view to possible future Union membership.” To that end the EC has allocated €50 billion, of which: • €33 billion ($35.9 billion) comes “in the form of loans guaranteed by extending until 2027 the existing EU budget guarantee, over and above the ceilings, for financial assistance to Ukraine available until the end of 2027,” the document sets out. • €17 billion ($18.5 billion) comes “in the form of non-repayable support, under a new thematic instrument the Ukraine Reserve, set up over and above the ceilings of the MFF 2021-27.” The EC document specifies that revenues “could be generated under the relevant Union legal acts, concerning the use of extraordinary revenues held by private entities stemming directly from the immobilized Central Bank of Russia assets.”

On February 1, CNN claimed that the EU had taken a step towards seizing billions of dollars in interest payments generated by Russian assets frozen in European accounts. Media reported that roughly €200 billion ($218 billion) remain in the EU, mainly in Euroclear, a Belgium-based financial services company. The media outlet highlighted that the EU approved the €50 billion Ukraine package as it “came closer to finalizing a plan” of using the profits from the Russian Central Bank’s sequestred assets — indicating that it has yet to gain access to the funds. Euroclear revealed on Thursday that the frozen Russian assets had yielded €5.2 billion ($5.6 billion) in interest on income assets since 2022.

On Monday, EU member states “agreed in principle” that profits from the Russian assets will be set aside and not be paid out as dividends to shareholders until the bloc’s members decide to set up a “financial contribution to the [EU] budget that shall be raised on these net profits to support Ukraine”, according to a draft document quoted by Euroactive. The document claimed that the levy will be “consistent with applicable contractual obligations, and in accordance with [EU] and international law.” After that the EC would transfer the money to the EU’s accounts and then to Ukraine, the media noted, specifying that the proposal targets future profits and would not be applied retrospectively. It is believed that Russia’s frozen assets in the EU could generate an estimated €15-17 billion over four years, which would be transferred to Ukraine, according to the press.

Speaking to Sputnik last October, Jacques Sapir, director of studies at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris, argued that any attempt by the EU to grab Russia’s frozen assets or revenues from them could turn into a legal nightmare for the EU leadership and particular member states where the money is being stored. “As a matter of fact, if assets belong to the Russian state legally, you will have to prove that this state is a ‘failing state,’ something impossible,” Sapir told Sputnik on October 29, 2023. “If assets belong to private persons, you need a legal conviction against these persons. If you can’t do both and that you take away revenues to divert them to a third party (Ukraine) this is no less than a theft. Then you will be liable to legal action. But, what is even more important, you will probably discourage all foreign investors from investing in the EU.”

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“..I said that I have a metal plate in my arm – and now it is still there. They didn’t care..”

Ukraine Coerces Mass-Conscripts Unfit for Military Service – PoW (Sp.)

The Ukrainian Armed Forces are massively conscripting people who are unfit for military service for health and age reasons, prisoners of war told Sputnik. “Caught in such a time that they gave everyone a military ID. They gave everyone a military ID…. I passed the medical examination right away. I said that I have a metal plate in my arm – and now it is still there. They didn’t care,” one prisoner, Nazar Vashkevich, said. Another, Viktor Tkachenko, reported that he had received a draft notice for the fifth time, despite having several confirmed illnesses that preclude service in the army. “I was mobilized. I received a summons, the fifth, at work. It turned out that according to my state of health I was able to serve. Before that I was unsuitable. I had many medical reports: high blood pressure, hernia, pinched vertebrae,” he said.

According to the captives, the Ukrainian Army has begun to take people en masse who do not fit the draft. “Here, look: people over 50. They are already taking 50-year-olds. My grandfather was with me – he is 57 years old. He also has health problems… So where can he fight? How should he go on the assaults? How should he go to the trenches? Why? To get killed right away? And there’s a boy with me, even younger. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He’s 24. He was drafted. It turns out that he is a senior gunner by rank,” Vashkevich complained. Volodymyr Zelensky said in December 2023 that he had been approached by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with a request to recruit an additional 450,000-500,000 men for the army. The government submitted a draft law on mobilization to parliament. The minimum age for mobilization was lowered from 27 to 25 years. The bill caused outrage in the country and was sent back for revision.

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“..a political arena which, if he remains as a military commander, will be corrupted by his presence.”

Is Zaluzhny Getting Ready to Take Down Zelensky? (Scott Ritter)

President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly summoned the commander of the Ukrainian armed forces, General Valerie Zaluzhny, to a meeting on Monday, January 29, 2024, where he informed his military commander that he was being relived from his position. According to accounts that have appeared in western media, Zaluzhny refused to step down. As of Friday, February 2, 2024, the precise status of General Zaluzhny remains uncertain amid a swirl of rumors regarding his imminent dismissal. The rift between Zelensky and Zaluzhny represents a serious blow to one of the fundamental principles which underpins democratic society—a civil-military relationship predicated on the simple proposition that a democratically elected civilian leadership is the final authority on all matter, including military, and in the case of disputes between the civil and military leadership, civilian authority retains supreme authority.

If the reports of what is tantamount to a refusal to obey the lawful order of his civilian commander in chief are true, General Zaluzhny has opened a pandora’s box which, if left unresolved, could lead to the rapid unravelling of Ukraine’s civilian-controlled government and open the door for the emergence of a government that is either subordinated to the will of the Ukrainian military, or which has been replaced by a military junta. Neither bodes well either for the sustainment of the notion that Ukraine functions as a democracy along the lines of its European and American allies, or for the prospects of stable governance for Ukraine at a time when it faces unprecedented economic, military, and foreign policy challenges. History is replete with examples of civil-military disagreements during times of war.

American history is home for two premier examples—the split between George McClellan and Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, and the disagreements between Douglas MacArthur and Harry Truman during the Korean conflict. However, in both cases when the civilian authority demanded that the military authority resign, the military authority complied. Zaluzhny, it appears, refused to step aside, taking the issue of military defiance of civil authority into unchartered territory. Managing civil-military relations is a complex process that balances the advice the military provides to its civilian masters with the actual oversight provided by the civilian leadership over military affairs. Given the disparity that exists fact-based military reality and the simplified and often politicized fiction that civilian leadership embraces, rifts are not only to be expected, but are in fact a reality that must be anticipated, and mechanisms put in place to keep them from erupting into crises.

One of the biggest problems faced in the civil-military relationship is that of agenda control and information management. While disagreements can and will emerge between military leaders and their civilian masters over military issues, the military can never lose sight of the fact that if the civil-military relationship is to succeed, the military cannot possess an agenda that deviates from that of its civilian leadership. Nor should the military take advantage of the fact that it in large part dominates the flow of information to society about military matters to use the media as a tool to articulate its own agenda.

In the case of the Zelensky-Zaluzhny split, the record seems to reflect that Zaluzhny has, for some time now, been engaged in activities which point to his having an agenda that not only deviates from that of his commander in chief, but in many ways is designed to be in opposition to his commander in chief—an agenda which paints Zaluzhny as a political competitor to Zelensky. Again, the examples of George McClellan and Douglas MacArthur point to the fact that such actions are not unique in the history of civil-military relations in democracies. However, in both of those circumstances, the military commanders resigned their positions when ordered to do so, and continued their political opposition in the civil arena, without the active backing of a military which was obligated to remain loyal to its civilian leadership. Zaluzhny, however, has refused to step aside, taking his differences with Zelensky into a political arena which, if he remains as a military commander, will be corrupted by his presence.

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Huh, what? Our friends?

Taiwan Helping To Arm Moscow – WaPo (RT)

Companies based in Taiwan have sold Russia more than $20 million in advanced equipment that can be used for weapons production, Washington Post has claimed, noting that Moscow’s defense sector has ramped up purchases in recent months. Citing “trade records and Russian tax documents” obtained by the outlet, the Post pointed to entities in the Russian arms industry that have boosted transactions with Taiwan, with one firm, I Machine Technology, importing over $20 million in CNC machine tools produced on the island since January 2023. The machines were reportedly sent in 63 separate shipments. “The Taiwan-made machines accounted for virtually all of the Russian company’s imports in the first seven months of last year, according to the records, and the company’s sales during that period were overwhelmingly to the Russian defense industry,” the newspaper added, although it did not specify how the CNC machines were to be used.

Former US arms control official Kevin Wolf told the Post that such transfers likely violated sanctions imposed by both Washington and Taipei in response to the conflict in Ukraine. However, an executive from I Machine Technology, Aleksey Bredikhin, argued that this was not the case. Instead, Bredikhin said that any purchases after January were for spare parts only, and did not run afoul of Taiwan’s export controls, which were further tightened early this year. “I’m not buying anything from them except for parts,” he added. Nonetheless, the American official claimed that the CNC machines were “very important for making military items” and could be connected to “military-end uses,” including manufacturing drones. Another executive from one of the Taiwanese producers, Yu Ming Je, questioned the authenticity of the files obtained by the Post, and also insisted that the sales were in line with local laws.

Asked about ties to Russia’s arms industry, Yu said he was not aware of any such connections with his company, adding “Distributors basically have many users.” A close strategic ally of the US and a frequent buyer of American arms, Taiwan has largely fallen in line with the US sanctions policy toward Moscow, imposing several layers of penalties since Russia sent troops into Ukraine in early 2022. In announcing its latest round of sanctions, which mirrored those already imposed by the US and European Union, Taiwan’s economy ministry vowed to “in principle” block all export license applications to Russian firms going forward. The ministry declined to comment on whether such equipment sales violated export rules, but said the government planned to specifically bar sales to I Machine Technology in the future.

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It’ll be quite the day in Texas..

Florida Sends Troops To Stop Migrant ‘Invasion’ (RT)

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that he will deploy members of the Florida National Guard to assist Texas in repelling an “invasion” of illegal immigrants. US President Joe Biden’s administration has fought to prevent Texas from sealing the border. Roughly 1,000 soldiers will be sent to Texas, DeSantis’ office said in a statement on Thursday. They will be joined by members of the Florida State Guard, and around 90 members of various Florida law enforcement agencies already at the border. “States have every right to defend their sovereignty and we are pleased to increase our support to Texas as the Lone Star State works to stop the invasion across the border,” DeSantis said. “Our reinforcements will help Texas to add additional barriers, including razor wire along the border. We don’t have a country if we don’t have a border.”

During his first week in office, Biden signed a flurry of executive orders repealing former President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions. Illegal crossings have surged as a result, with a record 302,000 people caught crossing the 2,000-mile border in December, and more than 10 million entering the US since 2021. Under Biden’s policy of ‘catch and release’, apprehended migrants are immediately released into the US, with orders to show up at immigration hearings years in the future. Texas – which shares more than 1,200 miles of border with Mexico – deployed national guardsmen to the border in 2021 and began constructing razor wire obstacles at popular crossing points. The Biden administration responded by suing the state, and the Supreme Court ruled last month that federal agents could access the border to remove the razor wire. Texas Governor Greg Abbott vowed to defy the ruling and install more wire, arguing that the Biden administration has neglected the constitutional obligation to enforce federal immigration law, and that his duty to protect his constituents supersedes any federal laws.

Although the Department of Homeland Security gave Abbott three days to begin removing the obstacles late last month, a US Customs and Border Patrol official told Fox News that the agency had “no plans” to move in and destroy the barriers after Abbott ignored the deadline. Some 25 Republican governors issued a joint statement of solidarity with Abbott last week, accusing Biden of “illegally allowing mass parole across America of migrants who entered our country illegally.” Florida has been sending law enforcement officers and soldiers to assist Texas since 2021. National Guard troops have built obstacles and observation posts, while Florida Highway Patrol officers have apprehended almost 150,000 illegal aliens and charged 2,102 people with smuggling or human trafficking charges, DeSantis’ office said.

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“..relocate not only low-skilled component production but also, to a lesser extent, high-skilled production processes..”

Germany’s Economy Is Dying. Here’s Why And What Happens Next (RM)

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, injecting some humor at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, stated that Germany is not the “sick man” of Europe but rather “a tired man,” following the recent years of crisis, in need of a “good cup of coffee.” However, the economic indicators point to something more than fatigue. Although Germany could be described as merely being in a mild recession – the GDP readings, after all, can hardly be called awful – in reality the economy finds itself in the uneasy place of having no clear prospects for an imminent recovery. Initial estimates suggest a 0.3% decline in GDP in 2023, positioning Germany as the only major industrialized nation in the red. Germany’s national debt saw an increase of about €48 billion, reaching almost €2.6 trillion. While this may appear alarming at first glance, it’s crucial to consider the broader economic context. Germany’s debt-to-GDP ratio, standing at approximately 65%, is relatively favorable compared to many Western countries.

Moreover, Germany has implemented strict limits on deficits, demonstrating a commitment to financial prudence. In light of these measures, there is a counterargument that Germany could potentially consider taking on more debt. Sentiment among businesses deteriorated further at the beginning of the year, as illustrated by the ifo Business Climate Index in January, which fell to 85.2 points. Both the current situation and expectations for the coming months were evaluated more pessimistically. The ifo Institute has reduced its growth forecast for 2024 to 0.7%, compared to the previously predicted 0.9%. This downgrade is partially attributable to additional cuts in the federal budget, which became necessary due to a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court that prohibited leftover Covid-stimulus funds from being repurposed.

The German economy is on the brink of a crisis as deindustrialization firmly takes root. Companies, driven by economic considerations, are increasingly relocating their production overseas, posing a significant threat to a nation heavily reliant on industrial output. This trend has immediate and profound consequences that extend beyond the evident impact on industrial sectors. The offshoring of production could entail a surge in layoffs, further aggravating the economic challenges faced by the workforce. In November 2023, according to preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), German exports experienced a decline of 5.0% year-on-year, while imports recorded a notable decrease of 12.2%.

While the primary focus is on the industrial landscape, it is crucial to acknowledge the interconnectedness of these shifts. A case in point is the German chemical industry, which finds itself in a deep and prolonged downturn, having lost approximately 23% of its production capacity. Furthermore, leading managers have expressed considerable skepticism about a swift recovery. The challenges are exacerbated by Germany’s struggle with high energy costs, particularly affecting industries engaged in global competition. Despite government attempts to counteract these challenges, such as a billion-dollar electricity price package, success has been limited.

Meanwhile, according to a report by Deloitte, an alarming two out of three German companies have partially relocated their operations abroad due to the country’s ongoing energy crisis. This trend is particularly pronounced in critical sectors, such as mechanical engineering, industrial goods, and automotive industries, where 69% of companies have relocated their operations to a moderate or large extent. Key findings from the Deloitte report shed light on the reasons behind this significant shift. Most businesses attribute their decisions to move operations overseas to the combination of high energy prices and inflation. Notably, companies in these industries are planning to relocate not only low-skilled component production but also, to a lesser extent, high-skilled production processes.

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No, I’m not surprised.

F-35 Jet Fails to Meet Basic Operating Standards in 65 Areas (Sp.)

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter still suffers at least 65 basic deficiencies where it continues to fail to meet basic testing specifications, the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) said in a report. The JPO [F-35 Joint Project Office] completed the readiness review for JSE [joint simulation environment] trials in September 2023, and certified it as ready for testing, despite 65 deficiencies against the baseline JSE requirements, the report said on Friday. The F-35 program development cycle continues to experience delays due to immature and deficient Block 4 mission systems software and avionics stability problems with the new Technology Refresh 3 (TR-3) hardware going into Lot 15 production aircraft, the report said.

“As a result, deliveries of production Lot 15 aircraft in the TR-3 configuration are on hold until more testing can be completed and the avionics issues resolved. …[T]hese delays prevented the F-35 JPO from adequately planning and programming for hardware modifications … of the upgraded hardware configuration,” the report said. Also, the necessary flight test instrumentation, including both aircraft and open-air battle shaping instrumentation, for both, the remaining TR-2 configuration and upgraded TR-3 aircraft, are not all on contract and will not be available in time, the report added.

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Just yesterday, we saw plummeting birth rates everywhere.

India Vows To Tackle Population Growth Challenges (RT)

The most populous country in the world will constitute a high-powered committee to consider the challenges arising from “fast population growth and demographic changes.” The move was announced as part of India’s interim budget, unveiled on Thursday, ahead of national elections later this year. India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, revealed that the proposed committee will address population-related challenges and form recommendations for the government. The initiative, she stressed, comes as part of the vision of Narendra Modi’s government, which hopes to transform the country into a developed nation by 2047. This development comes against the backdrop of a legislative move to adopt laws to control the population.

Members of Parliament belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rajendra Agrawal and Rakesh Sinha, had earlier introduced separate bills to regulate the country’s population. However, neither of them have passed. Meanwhile, the country’s new census has been delayed for several years. The most recent demographic data available comes from the 2011 census. Although top Indian officials have expressed concern over the population boom, the fifth round of India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) released in 2022 showed that female fertility levels have dipped below the replacement fertility level in all but five Indian states. Despite that, last year, India overtook China to become the most populous nation in the world, as per United Nations (UN) data.

India has the highest number of young people in the world; however, the UN, in a 2023 report, noted that by 2046, the number of older adults in the country will be greater than the number of children younger than 15 years old. In 2022, the median age in India was believed to be 28 years; this is in sharp contrast to other larger nations with significantly higher median ages. An aging population could mean severe economic trouble for India unless the country grows its national wealth rapidly in the coming decades, an analysis in The Hindu newspaper observed last year. In December, India’s Reserve Bank updated the GDP growth projection for the current financial year to 7% compared to the previously estimated 6.5%. Meanwhile, India remains among the top countries with high income and wealth inequality even as the share of the population living in multidimensional poverty fell from 25 to 15% between 2015-16 and 2019-21, the UNDP said in a report last year.

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“..CEOs crowing about keeping their prices high while their costs go down..”

It’s Not ‘Inflation’ – We’re Just Getting Ripped Off. Here’s Proof. (OW)

Many Americans are still experiencing the sticker shock they first faced two years ago when inflation hit its peak. But if inflation is down now, why are families still feeling the pinch? The answer lies in corporate profits — and we have the data to prove it. Our new report for the Groundwork Collaborative finds that corporate profits accounted for more than half — 53 percent — of inflation from April to September 2023. That’s an astronomical percentage. Corporate profits drove just 11 percent of price growth in the four decades prior to the pandemic. Businesses have been quick to blame rising costs on supply chain shocks from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. But two years later, our economy has mostly returned to normal. In some cases, companies’ costs to make things and stock shelves have actually decreased.

Let’s demonstrate with one glaring example: diapers. The hyper-consolidated diaper industry is dominated by just two companies, Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark, which own well-known diaper brands like Pampers, Huggies, and Luvs. The cost of wood pulp, a key ingredient for making diapers absorbent, did spike during the pandemic, increasing by more than 50 percent between 2020 and 2021. But last year it declined by 25 percent. Did that drop in costs lead Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark to lower their prices? Far from it. Diaper prices have increased to nearly $22 on average. These corporate giants have no plans to bring prices down anytime soon. In fact, their own executives are openly bragging about how they’re going to “expand margins” on earnings calls. Procter & Gamble predicted $800 million in windfall profits as input costs decline. Kimberly-Clark’s CEO said the company has “a lot of opportunity” to expand margins over time.

It’s not just diapers — while many corporations were quick to pass along rising costs, they’ve been in no hurry to pass along their savings. A recent survey from the Richmond Fed and Duke University revealed that 60 percent of companies plan to hike prices this year by more than they did before the pandemic, even though their costs have moderated. Corporations across industries, from housing to groceries and used cars, are juicing their profit margins even as the cost of doing business goes down. And they’re not hiding the ball. Since the summer of 2021, Groundwork began listening in on hundreds of corporate earnings calls where we heard CEO after CEO boasting about their ability to raise prices on consumers. Now we hear something slightly different: CEOs crowing about keeping their prices high while their costs go down.

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This is what the Dems have in mind for Trump.

Imran Khan Sentenced To Third Prison Term In A Week (RT)

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi have been sentenced to seven years in prison and fined after a court declared their marriage unlawful on Saturday. It was the third ruling against Khan this week. The civil court was set up in Rawalpindi prison, where the ex-PM has been held since August last year on more than 100 charges. The sentences came before a parliamentary election on February 8 that Khan, who remains popular among voters, is barred from contesting. On Wednesday, Khan along with his wife were sentenced to 14-year terms for illegally selling state gifts, and the day before Khan was given ten years in prison for leaking state secrets. He claimed the cable he released contained evidence of collusion between the Pakistani military and US officials to have him removed from power in April 2022.

Khan’s representatives say he will appeal all three cases. The sentences add up to 34 years and will be served concurrently. The marriage case was filed by Bushra Bibi’s former husband Khawar Maneka, who claimed that she did not observe “iddat” – a mandatory three-month waiting period that a woman must abide by under Islamic law after the death of her husband or a divorce, before marrying another man. The Khans have denied wrongdoing. Imran Khan, however, argued that the case was brought to “humiliate and disgrace” him and his wife. “This marks the first instance in history where a case related to iddat has been initiated,” he told reporters.

The court decision has been condemned by members of Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, a PTI official, called the marriage case “fake”, saying the judgements against Khan represent a “mockery of the law.” “The way these trials are being conducted leaves a huge question mark on the February 8 elections. This is a test case for Pakistan’s higher judiciary,” he told Al Jazeera. PTI President Gohar Ali Khan described the trial as “shameful” and vowed to appeal the verdict in a higher court.

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Bohemian grove

 

 

Giraffe lion

 

 

Branch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753863250427715898

 

 

Freeman

 

 

Peggy Sue

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 182023
 
 November 18, 2023  Posted by at 9:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Mark Rothko Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea 1944

 

Israel Captures Al Shifa Hospital for Their Gaza Military Post (Sahiounie)
‘Al-Shifa Hospital Has Become A Giant Prison:’ Gaza Health Authority (Cradle)
How The Colonial West Continues To Betray The Rest Of The World (Ullekh)
‘Attacks On US Forces Essential To Stop Bloodbath In Gaza’: Hezbollah (Cradle)
Biden Offers Hand of Friendship to Xi While Holding Enmity in the Other (SCF)
Zelensky Fears A New ‘Maidan’ – Bloomberg (RT)
Will US Ever Resume Funding Ukraine? (Sp.)
Mike Johnson To Post More Than 40,000 Hours Of Jan. 6 Footage Online (JTN)
US Needs ‘New Breed’ Of Leaders – Schwarzenegger (RT)
Michael Cohen Appears to Confess to Prior False Statements Under Oath (Turley)
Don’t Count On A Trump Conviction — None Of These Cases Are Slam Dunks (Turley)
Stefanik Files Second Ethics Complaint Against Judge Engoron (JTN)
Judge Rejects Trump Bid To Remove ‘Prejudicial’ Language From Indictments (JTN)
As White House Stonewalls Probe, James Biden Signals Cooperation: Comer (JTN)
Pilot Warns Of Airline Industry Disaster Due To Covid Vaccines (Beck)

 

 

 

 

Tapper – Don’t miss
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725341684580438091

 

 

BBC

 

 

Israel May Lose Its Statehood | Col. Larry Wilkerson Col. (ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson was Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff (2002-05)

 

 

 

 

What really happened in Israel on Oct. 7? Chris Hedges w/Max Blumenthal

 

 

 

 

Tucker Spain

 

 

 

 

“In the face of millions of protesters across the world, we still have never once heard Biden call for a ceasefire.”

Israel Captures Al Shifa Hospital for Their Gaza Military Post (Sahiounie)

A military expert in the Middle East, on the condition of anonymity, said that Hamas likely keeps the location of their headquarters secret, and the information is available on a ‘need to know’ basis. Only the most senior members would likely know the location, and the local informants would not have that information, nor would the fighters who participated on the October 7 attack. The same military expert offered his theory: that the IDF want the Al Shifa Hospital as their headquarters because it is centrally located in the north, a substantial building, and has plenty of resources inside for electricity production and health care for the IDF. If his theory is correct, we may be presented with fabricated evidence of a secret Hamas headquarters by the IDF.

Regardless of how flimsy the evidence, the White House will rubber-stamp it with their seal of approval. We can’t forget General Colin Powell in Congress in 2003 with the small vial of baby powder claiming it to be Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Fabrications and lies are a specialty served up hot on a bed of media distortions by the Biden administration. The IDF hurriedly deleted a social media post they made claiming that all hospitals and ambulances in Gaza were a legitimate military target as Hamas used them. They were working up to the Al Shifa Hospital attack and wanted to test the waters. Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa Hospital, located in northern Rimal in Gaza City, was built in 1946 during British rule. “In Gaza, as Israeli forces enter Al-Shifa hospital, we call once again for the protection of medical staff, patients and displaced civilians sheltered inside the hospital,” Doctors Without Borders said on X.

“We are extremely worried for their lives,” it stressed. “There are reports that some people who fled the hospital have been shot at, wounded and even killed,” wrote WHO on X on Saturday. Decomposed bodies were buried in a mass grave at the hospital to ward off contagions. Dr. Ahmad Mokhallalati, a surgeon who is currently in the hospital, told Al Jazeera that gunshots can be heard surrounding the hospital. Mokhallalati said 650 patients remain at the hospital, including about 100 in critical condition, with 2,000 to 3,000 displaced Palestinians seeking shelter in the building, and 700 medical staff. 36 premature babies were recently taken off their incubators because the station supplying them oxygen was destroyed in Israeli shellings three days ago, and three babies died. The IDF have stripped naked people in the courtyard of the hospital amid rain and winter temperatures while interrogating them as Israel tanks approached while firing.

At least 11,320 Palestinians have been killed, including over 7,800 women and children, and more than 29,200 others have been injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian authorities. According to experts, the Al Shifa attack and occupation is part of the Israeli vision for a forceful displacement of everyone in northern Gaza. Food and water supplies have run out, and the destruction of the last remaining source of medical care is a strategic Israeli military goal. “The war against [Hamas] is advancing with full force, and it has one goal: to win. There is no alternative to victory,” Netanyahu said on Saturday, and has rejected international calls for a ceasefire. Netanyahu has clearly stated it is his goal to remain in Gaza as an occupying force indefinitely, despite the U.S., Egypt, and Jordan opposing such a plan. Netanyahu also made clear he wanted Israel to retain overall security control after any conflict “with the ability to go in whenever we want in order to kill terrorists”.

In the face of millions of protesters across the world, we still have never once heard Biden call for a ceasefire.

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“We are left with nothing, no power, no food, no water. With every passing minute, we are losing a life..”

‘Al-Shifa Hospital Has Become A Giant Prison:’ Gaza Health Authority (Cradle)

The head of the burns department in Al-Shifa Hospital, Ahmed Muqhalati, revealed to Al-Jazeera on 17 November that the Israeli army has continued to conduct several war crimes as their occupation of Gaza’s largest medical complex extends into a third day. Muqhalati mentioned that the hospital’s main building lacks water and electricity and that surviving children are suffering from severe intestinal infections due to the lack of clean water. Muhammed Abu Salmiya, Shifa Hospital’s director general, told Al-Jazeera that the building has become a “giant prison.” Still, staff continue to do their best to help patients but add that they “lost all those who were in the intensive care unit.” “We are left with nothing, no power, no food, no water. With every passing minute, we are losing a life. Overnight, we lost 22 persons, [and] for the past three days, the hospital has been kept under siege,” Salmiya said.

However, despite efforts from the hospital’s staff, the situation remains out of their hands. “On some occasions, we are forced to leave patients to die because we are helpless; we cannot perform any surgical operations on them; the least we can do is give them some painkillers to let those victims die in peace,” Salmiya added. He called out Israel’s propaganda, in which the Israeli army claimed to have provided humanitarian aid to the hospital, including incubators for the premature children. “The Israeli occupation forces claim to have provided incubators to the hospital, but this is not true; this is false,” Salmiya underlined. “In addition, we are not in need of incubators; we already have incubators in the hospital, yet we are out of fuel to generate electricity [for the incubators].” Al-Shifa Hospital is in crisis as the Israeli army claims to have information about a Hamas cell operating from within the medical facility. As current reports have it, nothing has been found.

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“..doling out death sentences to more than 11,000 people, including over 4,000 children, infants and newborn babies, under the guise of “self-defense.”

How The Colonial West Continues To Betray The Rest Of The World (Ullekh)

Nothing is more telling of the Western world’s attitude towards developing nations than the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. We in the Global South aren’t the only ones aghast at non-precision attacks by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on the Gazans. American academic John Mearsheimer, one of the world’s foremost international relations experts, is of the view that Tel Aviv is committing war crimes and “tearing the place” apart. He said in a recent interview that Israel is “waging a punishment campaign in Gaza [where] they are punishing the civilian population. If the Israelis were going to great lengths to target just Hamas and avoid civilian casualties then you could make a coherent argument that this is not a case of them committing war crimes. But they are not doing that.”

This is not the first instance of the South feeling betrayed by the West, which has come under sharp attack for treating the people of the rest of the world as subhuman, mere expendables. One key takeaway from Israel is the statement by its defense minister that the IDF is up against “human animals” in Gaza. This is the language of the colonizer since the dawn of empires: Sir Winston Churchill thought of Indians as an inferior race. When he was told that millions were dying in India because of the British diverting food supplies to the frontlines during World War II, he reportedly asked, “Why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?” There may exist no proof that he uttered those exact words, but his attitude was clear. From dehumanizing the Gazans who died in IDF strikes by terming them “Hamas’ human shields” – an accusation made sweepingly without evidence, as is the habit of the powerful over the ages – an Israeli representative has now called the UN relief workers in Gaza “Hamas members.”

Among the Western leaders, only Emmanuel Macron of France has so far spoken out against the killings of civilians in Gaza. The less said, the better about US officials such as former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, whose claims about Hamas’ “terror infrastructure” have not been backed up by proof of any kind – a privilege that would not have been so easily granted to a country from the Global South. I recently interviewed Dr. Mads Gilbert, a veteran Norwegian physician in the NORWAC (Norwegian Aid Committee) emergency team for Gaza, who has worked with the Palestinians for nearly 45 years as a specialist in emergency medicine and anaesthesiology. He was in Lebanon in 1982 when the IDF invaded the south of the country. He was in Gaza, too, offering emergency medical services during the Israeli bombardments of 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2014.

He had worked in hospitals that the IDF had bombed, including Al-Shifa Hospital. “I challenge [Benjamin] Netanyahu to show proof that Al Shifa Hospital is a Hamas hideout,” he told me just before crossing the Rafah border into Gaza during the current bombardment to assist Palestinian doctors working under the direst conditions. The West seems driven by a divine right to whimsically trample upon the human rights of those it deems unimportant and beneath it, doling out death sentences to more than 11,000 people, including over 4,000 children, infants and newborn babies, under the guise of “self-defense.” Over the past two decades, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven this typical Western mentality beyond doubt, and these countries need to be called out for their collective hypocrisy.

Now in Gaza, the women and children who die of starvation, bomb explosions, and lack of medicine perish because of American complicity – it is American weapons, funded by American taxpayers, that the Israelis use with complete impunity and utter lack of respect for international laws. According to the Western idea of justice, even occupiers have the right to “defend” themselves militarily against the occupied. Presidents who order invasions under unethical pretexts never make it to the list of global terrorists, nor are they tried at The Hague. Leaders who criminalize whistle-blowing are forgiven because they belong to the league of untouchables. Such tyranny is condoned as business as usual in the West.

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”If Israel still stands, it is because of the support of the United States. Otherwise, it would have collapsed within a few days. Israel is under intensive care by the west and we do not know how much longer it will last.”

‘Attacks On US Forces Essential To Stop Bloodbath In Gaza’: Hezbollah (Cradle)

In an extensive interview with Spanish daily El Mundo, the Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Naim Qassem, said that attacking US positions in West Asia is “essential” to stop the mass murder of Palestinians in Gaza due to the unfettered support given by Washington to Tel Aviv. “It is the [western] axis that supports the occupation, legitimizes the murder of children and women, the destruction of hospitals, and grants immunity to Israel to continue its massacres. The US is supporting these massacres, and that is why attacking the US is essential to stop the aggression against Gaza,” Qassem said in the interview published on 14 November. “US military intervention is part of the violent Israeli reaction and serves to protect this monstrosity,” the Hezbollah deputy chief stressed.

US bases in Iraq and Syria have come under daily bombardment since 17 October by local resistance factions, prompting the Pentagon to deploy nearly a dozen warships, thousands of troops, and heavy weapons to the region. The Hezbollah official also stressed that Israel “still stands [today] because of the support of the US.” “You heard Nasrallah say in 2006 that Israel was more fragile than a spider’s web. Israel is weak. Their society is not motivated to defend their country. This is what happened on [7 October]. The amount of time it took for politicians and the army to react was unreal. If Israel still stands, it is because of the support of the United States. Otherwise, it would have collapsed within a few days. Israel is under intensive care by the west and we do not know how much longer it will last.”

When asked about the fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli army at the Lebanese border – which has been ongoing since 8 October – Qassem said Hezbollah has a plan to “force Israel to restrain itself.”Nonetheless, he added that any decision “will be made on the battlefield,” as the possibility of the fighting spreading beyond the Lebanese border region depends on “the evolution of the Gaza war and on Israel’s (hypothetical) decision to start a broader war.” “If they attack us, we will have to defend ourselves, and we will use all of our power,” he told El Mundo.

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“It was highly notable that Biden and Xi did not hold a joint press conference following their lengthy discussions. Nor did the two leaders issue a joint statement.”

Biden Offers Hand of Friendship to Xi While Holding Enmity in the Other (SCF)

Despite the hype in the U.S. media about their much-anticipated summit in California this week marking a putative return to normal bilateral relations, the Biden administration continues pushing unprecedented aggression towards China. Just like San Francisco’s notorious Third World-like homelessness and squalor being hurriedly cleaned up (swept under the rug, more like it) for the media spectacle, all the signs point to no return to decent U.S.-China relations in the longer term. It’s all a duplicitous facade for a passing moment on a path of enmity. Biden held a four-hour summit with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Wednesday in San Francisco ahead of the annual conference for the 21-nation Association of Pacific and Economic Cooperation (APEC).

It was highly notable that Biden and Xi did not hold a joint press conference following their lengthy discussions. Nor did the two leaders issue a joint statement. So much for a new beginning! Almost comically, the supposed positive meeting was later thrown into disarray when Biden at the end of his solo press conference made a hallmark embarrassing gaffe by repeating an earlier epithet for Xi. Asked by a reporter if he still considered the Chinese president “a dictator”, Biden responded, “Yes”. Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, was visibly perplexed by his tone-deaf boss’s remarks, sensing that all the effort to create an apparent amiable reset in relations was in danger of collapsing in farce.

Chinese media tended to overlook Biden’s undiplomatic gaucheness. Surprisingly, China’s foreign ministry and media appeared to talk up the presidential summit as bearing prospects of more friendly bilateral relations. Global Times reported in an upbeat mood on a “strategic summit” for “greater stability in the world”. The American and Chinese media spinning or wishful thinking about a seeming turnaround in positive relations is misplaced. As Biden’s foolish and gratuitous remark about Xi being a “dictator” shows, the U.S. rulers have nothing but contempt for China. Biden may have held out a friendly hand to Xi, but the American president and the U.S. establishment are harbouring endemic and growing hostility towards Beijing.

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“..a “disinformation plan known internally as ‘Maidan 3’”

Zelensky Fears A New ‘Maidan’ – Bloomberg (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told journalists on Thursday that he has received tips about a Russian influence campaign aimed at destabilizing his government, according to a Bloomberg report. He claimed that various intelligence agencies had informed him about the purported operation. Ukraine’s top leadership has experienced divisions in recent months, with a series of publications in the Western press, based on leaks from Kiev staffers, describing Zelensky as calcified in pursuing an unrealistic goal of pushing Russia out of all territories claimed by Kiev. His office has also publicly clashed with one of the country’s top generals, Valery Zaluzhny, who said earlier this month that the hostilities had reached a stalemate and that he expected no breakthrough for Kiev.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Zelensky claims to have received information from Ukrainian and allied intelligence services warning him about a “disinformation plan known internally as ‘Maidan 3’”meant to play on fractures in civil society and foment insurrection. Maidan means “square” in Ukrainian. Maidan 1 and 2 are the terms for the mass protests that took place in 2004 and 2014, respectively, primarily in Kiev’s Independence Square. Both were directed against Viktor Yanukovich, the former president whose political support base was in what was then the majority Russian-speaking eastern portion of the country, but which joined Russia in a series of referendums in 2022. The 2004 protest was mostly peaceful and successfully overturned Yanukovich’s victory in that year’s presidential race.

On the other hand, the 2014 demonstration occurred while Yanukovich was in office, forcing him to flee the country and resign from his post as armed rioters targeted his home. The violent uprising in 2014, Maidan 2, was backed by the West and empowered nationalist forces in the country. Moscow has described the policies of the successive government in post-coup Kiev as discriminatory against ethnic Russians and detrimental to Russia’s national security. Zelensky was elected on a promise of reconciliation with Donbass rebels but caved into the pressure of pro-Maidan nationalists, who threatened him with mass protests. Now, he believes Russia is seeking to provoke chaos and division in his country and topple his government.

Bloomberg quoted him as saying: “Maidan is coup for them (Moscow), so the operation is understandable.” Earlier this month, a profile of the Ukrainian president in TIME magazine cited his close aides as complaining about his unwavering pursuit of a military victory over Moscow, which the report called “verging on the messianic.” One source in the article reportedly called Zelensky delusional. General Zaluzhny outlined his vision of the frontline situation in The Economist, stating that despite all the Western assistance, Ukrainian troops were unlikely to carry out a “deep and beautiful breakthrough.” The remark put into doubt Zelensky’s assurances that the counteroffensive against Russia was progressing and reportedly fueled tension between his government and Kiev’s military leadership.

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“They’re going to have to learn how to shoot more accurately if they want to keep shooting at the Russians. They obviously are incapable of that..”

Will US Ever Resume Funding Ukraine? (Sp.)

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden inked a stopgap funding bill that, remarkably, does not include a supplemental package of aid to the Zelensky regime. The US decision to provide Ukraine with a new military aid package may be made next month at the earliest, the US news agency Bloomberg reported. “New US aid for Ukraine risks slipping to mid-December and maybe longer, casting doubt on Washington’s ability to keep up the flow of weapons that both the Biden administration and the Ukrainian government say is vital,” the media outlet pointed out. Bloomberg quoted a Pentagon spokeswoman as saying that America had already begun restricting the flow of military aid to Kiev “because of the wait.”

According to Bloomberg, Republican infighting may push congressional consideration of new Ukraine aid into the new year, though White House national security spokesman John Kirby earlier warned that the US is “near the end of the road” in terms of resources available for Ukraine. “It’s an active battlefront and our ability to continue to support Ukraine is increasingly at jeopardy,” Kirby stated. The US news outlet’s report comes after the threat of a US government shutdown was narrowly averted on Thursday when President Joe Biden signed another stopgap spending bill into law just before the funding deadline on November 17. The document does not include Biden’s funding requests for Ukraine and Israel, which essentially means that these countries won’t be getting more US money anytime soon, Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik.

Asked how Ukraine would get money to replace US support, Maloof said it would have to “suck it up. “They’re going to have to learn how to shoot more accurately if they want to keep shooting at the Russians. They obviously are incapable of that,” he stated, in an apparent reference to the Ukrainian armed forces. “They burn through ordnance faster than I’ve seen anything like it. And under peacetime conditions, neither the United States nor the Europeans collectively can produce it fast enough to supply them without reverting their own industries to full wartime production. And the American people won’t settle for that,” the analyst added. Earlier this month, Kirby, for his part, said that the US had already gone through nearly 96% of the funds allocated to the Kiev regime since the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. “We’ve gone through about 96% of what’s left and greater than 90% of security assistance replenishment funds,” Kirby told reporters.

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That’s almost 3 years later.

Mike Johnson To Post More Than 40,000 Hours Of Jan. 6 Footage Online (JTN)

House Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday announced that he planned to post nearly all of the Capitol Hill security footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot online for the public to view. “When I ran for Speaker, I promised to make accessible to the American people the 44,000 hours of video from Capitol Hill security taken on January 6, 2021,” he said in a statement obtained by Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman. “Truth and transparency are critical.” “Today, we will begin immediately posting video on a public website and move as quickly as possible to add to the website nearly all of the footage, more than 40,000 hours. In the meantime, a public viewing room will ensure that every citizen can view every minute of the videos uncensored,” he continued. “This decision will provide millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations, and the media an ability to see for themselves what happened that day, rather than having to rely upon the interpretation of a small group of government officials.”

“I commend Chairman Loudermilk and his team for their diligent work to ensure the thousands of hours of videos are promptly processed to be uploaded to the committee’s public website,” he continued. “Processing will involve blurring the faces of private citizens on the yet unreleased tapes to avoid any persons from being targeted for retaliation of any kind and segregating an estimated 5% of the videos that may involve sensitive security information related to the building architecture.” Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had previously made some of the footage available to media outlets and personalities such as former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. McCarthy did not make the footage directly available to the general public.

Jan 6

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“..I just think we’re at a time now where we need someone strong, where we need visionaries, and not people that tinker around with little Mickey Mouse stuff..”

US Needs ‘New Breed’ Of Leaders – Schwarzenegger (RT)

Americans are looking for “something new” in the White House and are understandably worried about a 2024 presidential rematch between Donald Trump and Joe Biden due to the candidates’ advanced ages, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said. In an interview with Politico, the Terminator movie-star said that, given the complexity of the problems the US is facing, the country needs “someone that has energy.” “We need new blood. I say, always, we need a new breed of leaders,”Schwarzenegger told the outlet. “It’s really because none of them are perfect and also because of the age factor.” Schwarzenegger also complained about the media’s focus on Trump and Biden, saying it hinders other potential candidates from being able to “build a name” for themselves.

“When Biden holds a press conference, everyone covers it. And when Trump does something …even when he sneezes, they cover it,” he said. Schwarzenegger also raised the Biden and Trump age issue when he spoke with Axios to promote a new audiobook on the 2003 California recall election, which he won. “The bottom line is, I think we need to find new leaders. To me they’re both flawed and I just think we’re at a time now where we need someone strong, where we need visionaries, and not people that tinker around with little Mickey Mouse stuff,” he told Axios. In June, the actor-turned-politician told CNN’s Chris Wallace that he would run for president himself if he was legally allowed to enter the race.

Schwarzenegger was born in Austria so is ineligible to run for the top job. He told Wallace that he could “see so clearly how I could win that election” and that it was a “no-brainer.” In a recent New York Times/Siena College poll, nearly three quarters of respondents (71%) said Biden was too old to serve effectively. Biden turns 81 later this month and was the oldest president sworn into office at 78 years old. Trump is currently 77. Earlier this month, David Axelrod, the chief strategist for former US President Barack Obama’s political campaigns, implied that Biden should reconsider running in 2024 due to “concern about the age issue,” suggesting it was something the incumbent president “needs to ponder.”

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“A serial liar just admitted under oath that he lied previously under oath.”

Michael Cohen Appears to Confess to Prior False Statements Under Oath (Turley)

If lying were an art form, former Trump fixer Michael Cohen would be its Rembrandt. Throughout his career, the disbarred lawyer has found powerful clients who valued his reputation for supporting any side that offered the biggest payback. Now he is accused of yet another lie under oath and the question is whether his current benefactors will again protect him from a criminal charge. For years, Cohen was the heavy for Donald Trump who threatened everyone from journalists to students with ruin for threatening the former president. Faced with disbarment and criminal charges, he then became an equally vicious critic of Trump; a human cudgel for Democrats. The most remarkable thing about his checkered career is the one constant: a long, uninterrupted line of lies upon lies. Indeed, he is now accused of lying about prior lies.

I have been a critic of Cohen for years, going back to work as a legal thug for Trump. That criticism continued after Cohen sought to raise money from Democrats as a Trump killer as opposed to a Trump enabler. Those of us familiar with his history warned about the notion that he was now a “liberated former liar.” As expected, the sides changed but the lies continued. He would appear as the new star Democratic witness before House Oversight Committee chairman, Elijah Cummings, and was promptly accused of lying under oath again. Cummings refused to take any action against Cohen. He had again found a powerful ally who valued his moral flexibility. Even after being stripped of his bar license and sentenced to three years in prison, Cohen continued the pattern.

In 2019, Cohen failed to appear to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, citing the inability to travel due to a medical surgery. However, he was seen partying before the hearing date with five friends with no apparent problems. Even in jail, Cohen was accused of lying to a court in violation of an order for early release due to medical problems. He was ordered back into custody after being spotted at a high-end restaurant. Nevertheless, Cohen has few illusions about his sudden alliance with media outlets and Democratic figures. He does not have to be truthful; he has to be useful. That celebrated role continued this year when Cohen was called to testify in the New York fraud case brought by Attorney General Letitia James. It mattered little to James that Cohen is a serial liar. Yet, even her office may have been surprised with the ease with which Cohen now admits to false statements.

During his recent testimony, Cohen was confronted by statements about Trump inflating the value of his properties that directly contradicted his sworn testimony before Congress. Most witnesses would be petrified by the prospect of admitting lying under oath. Most would refuse to testify under the Fifth Amendment. Not Cohen. He simply seemed to shrug it off and admitted that he previously lied under oath in 2019 before Congress. In testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on February 28, 2019, Cohen was asked about the same alleged violation and responded: “I’m sorry. Did he ask me to inflate the numbers? Not that I recall, no.” When read that answer in New York by defense counsel, Cohen admitted that he was not being “honest” with Congress. Trump attorney Alina Habba then asked him: “So you lied under oath in February of 2019? Is that your testimony?” Cohen replied “yes.”

For Cohen, the admission of a lie is hardly a significant moment. He pleaded guilty to felonies including false statements to banks in 2018. After professing his profound guilt and remorse, he was sentenced to three years. He then later said that he really did not mean it in denying aspects of the plea. After that plea and then denying the sworn plea, Cohen was called to give testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. He now says that he proceeded to lie again. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik have sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland for an investigation into the admitted false testimony.

This would seem an embarrassingly easy case for a prosecutor. A serial liar just admitted under oath that he lied previously under oath. There is a five-year statute of limitations on lying to Congress. Moreover, this is the attorney general who aggressively pursued Trump officials and associates for contempt and other violations linked to congressional investigations. It is also the same department that prosecuted figures like Gen. Michael Flynn for false statements made to FBI agents. For Cohen, the key to his career has been to lie to the right people at the right time. It is now up to Garland whether he will join a long line of powerful allies covering for Cohen.

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“the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of [New] York.”

“..It is perfectly consistent that a man long described as having an inflated self-image would not accept that he is a loser. That long-held journalistic view is now a viable criminal defense.”

Don’t Count On A Trump Conviction — None Of These Cases Are Slam Dunks (Turley)

This week, Chris Christie declared that “it’s over” for Donald Trump and predicted that the former president would be a convicted felon “by the spring.” He was specifically referring to the prosecutions linked to the 2020 election denial in Atlanta and DC. However, Yogi Berra would likely caution that, in baseball and litigation, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Trump’s greatest threat of conviction remains in Florida, where he is facing federal charges related to his retention of classified documents. But the judge in that case seems inclined to delay it, perhaps even until after the election. And with reports that President Biden will not face charges in his own handling of classified documents, Trump has a political rallying cry that — correctly or not — he’s being treated differently. So that leaves the two cases surrounding the 2020 election.

In Georgia, a slew of former lawyers are taking pleas with promises to testify if called. Some of their depositions have been leaked, much to the dismay of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. She has reason to be alarmed because some of the leaked interviews hit hard at the weakest link in her conspiracy case. For instance, Sidney Powell stated that Trump clearly believed that he had won the election when he was challenging the results in the courts and Congress. Powell pleaded to misdemeanors for a deal that avoids jail time and preserves her ability to resume the practice of law. She notably did not plead guilty to the sweeping racketeering charges brought by Willis to link Trump in an effort to subvert the election. I previously wrote that the Achilles heel of the racketeering case was Trump’s state of mind: “As a threshold matter, one problem is immediately evident. If Trump actually did (or does) believe that he did not lose the election, the indictment collapses.”

That’s exactly what Powell argues. Trump had “general instincts that something wasn’t right here.” She added, “I didn’t think he had lost. I saw an avenue pursuant to which, if I was right, he would remain president.” That supplies a key defense for Trump: that he believed assurances from counsel that he had a case to make in challenging the election. Powell’s statement will also present challenges to special counsel Jack Smith, who has a parallel case in Washington, DC. While both prosecutors benefit from heavily favorable jury pools in staunchly Democratic strongholds, it requires only one holdout juror to result in a hung jury. Smith has admitted that Trump’s election claims were protected under the First Amendment but claims that, at some point, they became criminal lies. But Smith fails to explain when that line was clearly crossed — a dangerous ambiguity for free speech, particularly in the context of an election.

Smith ignores past election challenges by Democrats that were made without factual or legal support, including the challenge in Congress to certify Trump’s victory in 2016 by figures like Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). The statement of Powell only magnifies those concerns over the lack of a clear line between political advocacy and criminal conduct in future cases. As part of his own agreement, former counsel Kenneth Chesebro pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit filing false documents. Again, the deal avoided jail time and allowed him to keep his law license. His attorney, Scott Grubman, said Chesebro “never believed in ‘the Big Lie’ ” and that he knows Joe Biden won the election. However, the question is what he told Trump about avenues for challenging the election. Grubman has emphasized that he “do[esn’t] think” Trump should be concerned about Chesebro’s plea and Chesebro “didn’t snitch against anyone.”

Previously, Chesebro’s lawyers stated that nothing about his “conduct falls outside the bounds of what lawyers do on a daily basis; researching the law in order to find solutions that address their clients’ particularized needs.” Both the prosecutors and media have maintained a conflicted narrative of a man who could not accept defeat and a man who knew he was defeated. Trump has long been portrayed as a megalomaniac in the media who never apologizes or accepts failure. It is perfectly consistent that a man long described as having an inflated self-image would not accept that he is a loser. That long-held journalistic view is now a viable criminal defense.

The Georgia case has strong individual claims for crimes like unauthorized access to voting machines or areas. But that clarity is lost in the effort to establish a massive racketeering conspiracy to ensnare Trump. While polls increasingly show Trump winning a general election against Biden, pundits point to these criminal trials as proof it’s all over. But none of these cases are truly slam dunks, particularly with the danger of hung juries. For candidates like Christie, it is understandable to hope that the courts will finally dislodge the hold of Trump on this primary. He, like others, looks at this election, to paraphrase Richard III, as “the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of [New] York.” Spring could just as easily bring more discontent rather than convictions.

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“Today, I’m supplementing my ethics complaint against Judge Engoron with examples of even more of his egregious misconduct after he just wrongly dismissed President Trump’s motion for a mistrial.”

Stefanik Files Second Ethics Complaint Against Judge Engoron (JTN)

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik on Friday filed a second ethics complaint against New York Judge Arthur Engoron after he rejected former President Donald Trump’s bid for a mistrial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s fraud case against him. Engoron on Friday rejected Trump’s bid for a mistrial in a decision that followed an appeals judge’s staying a gag order he issued against Trump and his attorneys to stop them from publicly criticizing him and his court staff. Trump has repeatedly accused Engoron and his senior clerk, Allison Greenfield, of having a political bias against him.

While Stefanik previously submitted an ethics complaint against Engoron over his conduct in the case, on Friday she supplemented her initial criticisms in light of the court developments.”A week ago, I filed an ethics complaint against Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron for his partisan antics, bias, and railroading of President Trump. After my complaint, a New York appellate court smacked down Judge Engoron for his blatantly unconstitutional gag order,” she said. “Today, I’m supplementing my ethics complaint against Judge Engoron with examples of even more of his egregious misconduct after he just wrongly dismissed President Trump’s motion for a mistrial.”

Stefanik, a stalwart Trump ally, declared “victory” in the wake of the appeals decision striking down Engoron’s gag order earlier in the week. “I am pleased to see that after my ethics complaint to the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct against Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron, an appellate court has lifted the unconstitutional gag order against President Trump,” she said. “If Democrats can do this to a billionaire, former President, and leading presidential candidate, just imagine what they can do to the rest of us. That’s why I filed my ethics complaint against Judge Engoron, and I will continue to fight for all New Yorkers.”

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“Because the Government has not charged President Trump with responsibility for the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, allegations related to these actions are not relevant and are prejudicial and inflammatory..”

Judge Rejects Trump Bid To Remove ‘Prejudicial’ Language From Indictments (JTN)

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday rejected a bid former President Donald Trump to remove language in the indictments against him that his attorneys deemed “prejudicial and inflammatory.” Trump currently faces conspiracy charges in special counsel Jack Smith’s case involving his efforts to challenge the 2020 election results and has pleaded not guilty. The former president’s legal team had objected to passages in the indictment referring to the “actions of independent actors at the Capitol on January 6, 2021” for which the prosecutors did charge Trump himself, The Hill reported. “Because the Government has not charged President Trump with responsibility for the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, allegations related to these actions are not relevant and are prejudicial and inflammatory. Therefore, the Court should strike these allegations from the Indictment,” his attorneys wrote last month.

“Regardless of whether the allegations at issue are relevant, Defendant has not satisfied his burden to clearly show that they are prejudicial,” Chutkan said. Smith’s team, meanwhile, had argued that “evidence of the attack at the Capitol on January 6 is powerful and probative evidence of the defendant’s conduct, motive, and intent.” Trump specifically faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. He has contended that the case, as well as the myriad other legal proceedings against him, are part of broader political witch hunt designed to derail his 2024 bid to return to the White House.

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“..we have questions about which countries were involved in those classified documents, because we’re still trying to figure out what the Biden family did to receive all that money.”

As White House Stonewalls Probe, James Biden Signals Cooperation: Comer (JTN)

Attorneys representing President Joe Biden’s brother, James, have signaled the House Oversight Committee that he will sit for an interview as part of that panel’s ongoing investigation of the first family, Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., confirmed on Friday. “[W]e have heard from James Biden’s attorney, and they have signaled that he will come and answer questions in front of the House Oversight Committee, and we’re very appreciative of that look forward to that,” the Kentucky Republican said on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show. “We have as you know, the IRS notes that the IRS whistleblowers turned over from his interview with the FBI. We also have the bank records that I’ve subpoenaed,” he continued. “So we have several specific questions for James Biden.

“And yes, he will be an absolutely crucial witness to our investigation and help us continue to connect the dots as to what exactly the Biden family was doing to receive millions of millions of dollars from our enemies around the world.” Prior to Comer’s appearance on the show, the committee announced that it had received a letter from the White House signaling it did not intend to cooperate with the litany of records requests from the committee and would seek to prevent the Bidens and their associates from testifying. “This obstruction does not deter us, and we will continue to follow the facts and hold President Biden accountable to the American people,” the committee asserted in a statement. Comer, for his part, was optimistic that the committee would ultimately be able to interview every relevant figure in its investigation.

“I think everybody that we’ve requested will come in,” he said. “The White House is has apparently sent a letter in the last few minutes – they always do something on a Friday – saying that they don’t … agree with having to bring the staff over over the classified documents over their mishandling classified documents.” “The reason we want the president’s staff to answer questions about his mishandling of classified documents is his timeline doesn’t match up with what our transcribed interviews, with some of his staff in the past have said, with respect to when they discovered the classified documents,” Comer went on. “And as you know, we have questions about which countries were involved in those classified documents, because we’re still trying to figure out what the Biden family did to receive all that money.” “So I believe that all these people will come in. We’re we’ve got speaker [Mike] Johnson has made it clear to both Jim Jordan and myself that anyone who doesn’t honor a subpoena will get a loud and clear message from Congress,” he concluded.

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“He thinks some pilots are ticking timebombs and claims many are not declaring ill-health. He said: ‘They are not reporting brain fog, heart flutters and dizzy spells because they don’t want to lose their jobs.’”

Pilot Warns Of Airline Industry Disaster Due To Covid Vaccines (Beck)

It was November 15, 2020, when Australian airlines mandated Covid-19 vaccines for 900 pilots, and all air and ground crew. Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna were available in Australia. Today is the third anniversary of that mandate and Cpt Murdock is one of 12 pilots who refused. He was sacked of course, accused of serious professional misconduct, a charge generally reserved for inappropriate sexual behaviour or reckless and dangerous behaviour. Mr Murdock, 60, who lives near Sydney, Australia, flew as Captain for Virgin Australia for 20 years, and has held a licence since 1984. He also has an MSc in Aviation Human Factors, the science behind how humans interface with machines. He said: ‘Somewhere on the international network daily, you will find a plane has been turned back because of a health emergency. Either a passenger health emergency or crew health emergency.’

When pilots put out a mayday radio call to air traffic control, it is nicknamed a ‘squawk’. They use the code 7700 for all mayday calls which are reserved for serious incidents like pilot incapacitation or an uncontained fire on board. Few scenarios warrant a mayday; passengers and crew must face genuine peril. There has been an unprecedented rise in the numbers of mayday calls as tracked by a bot set up by the X account @GCFlightAlerts. It posts when a pilot squawks 7700 anywhere in the world. Between 2018, and 2019, the mayday average was 29.1 per cent of all distress calls. During 2022, mayday calls increased by 272 per cent. In the first three months of 2023, the increase was 386 per cent. The graph shows there was an instant, steep increase when the vaccines were mandated to pilots.

The average age of death in Australia during the pandemic was 85.3 years. The figures did not justify mandating vaccination to healthy, fit, pilots and implementing a no jab, no job policy. It even violated their own guidance: according to FAA rules, no pilot is allowed to take any type of medicine unless it has been approved and in use in the general population for 12 months. Pilots are forbidden to take part in drug trials and all Covid-19 vaccines were allowed under emergency use authorisation. The final phase of the trial finishes this year.

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McBride

 

 

 

 

Green murder

 

 

How To Steal An Election
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725674895634567214

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 142023
 
 November 14, 2023  Posted by at 10:04 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  57 Responses »


Piet Mondriaan The Flowering Apple Tree 1912

 

State Department Memo Blasts Biden Over ‘Misinformation’ on Gaza War (Sp.)
The Unspoken Elephant in the Room of Netanyahu’s Intent in Gaza (Crooke)
Behind Closed Doors US Calls on Israel to Speed Up Gaza Operation (Sp.)
Pentagon Asks Israel Not to Expand War to Lebanon (Sp.)
Billionaires Are Teaming Up For Pro-Israel, Anti-Hamas Media Drive (AlJ)
The War for Greater Israel and US Hegemony Is About to Begin (PCR)
Zelenskyy Is In Conflict With Ukrainian Military – Arestovych (RT)
Nord Stream ‘Sideshow’ Conceals Zelensky vs Zaluzhny Infighting (Sp.)
The Rise of Evil as the Determinant Force in the Western World (PCR)
Canada Is A Hostage To Nazi Ideology – Moscow (RT)
Light in the Darkness (Kunstler)
Suella Braverman Sacked As Home Secretary After Article Criticising Police (G.)
David Cameron Returns To UK Government As Foreign Secretary (G.)
The Sacking of the Beltway by Good Intentions (Turley)
Whistleblower David McBride Declares ‘Today I Serve My Country’ (G.)

 

 


Two Mothers watching over their sons. Same place in the world, 2,000 years apart

 

 

 

 

Galloway

 

 

 

 

Not Borat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1724175188638511544

 

 

 

 

Gaza gas

 

 

 

 

Shamir

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..accuses the president of being “complicit in genocide..”

State Department Memo Blasts Biden Over ‘Misinformation’ on Gaza War (Sp.)

One hundred State Department and USAID employees have signed a memo accusing the Biden administration of “spreading misinformation” about the war in Gaza and charging Israel with carrying out “war crimes” by cutting off electricity to the enclave, limiting aid deliveries and mounting attacks which have displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.The five-page memo, excerpts of which were obtained by US media, accuses the president of being “complicit in genocide,” attacks him for questioning the number of lives lost in Gaza amid Israel’s campaign, and demands that the US government “advocate for the release of hostages by both Hamas” and by Israel, including “thousands” of Palestinians it says are being held by the Israelis “without charge.”

Accusing the administration of “doubl[ing] down on our unwavering military assistance [to Israel] without clear or actionable redlines,” the memo argues that the White House and members of the National Security Council have “displayed a clear disregard for the lives of Palestinians, a documented unwillingness to de-escalate, and, even prior to October 7, a reckless lack of strategic foresight.” The cutting memo appears to be the second of its kind since the media publication of excerpts from a separate letter by staffers on the Biden administration’s handling of the Gaza crisis last week. “We must publicly criticize Israel’s violations of international norms such as failure to limit offensive operations to legitimate military targets,” the earlier memo, excerpts of which were reported on Saturday, said. “When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our American values so that Israel does not act with impunity,” it added.

The memos are the latest sign of widespread internal dissent in the State Department over the US handling of the Gaza crisis. Last month, Josh Paul, a director at State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, publicly resigned and warned in a letter that the US is “repeating the same mistakes we have made these past few decades” by “blindly” supporting the Israelis, and saying he would not “be a part of it for longer.” Last week, more than 500 former Biden 2020 campaign staffers signed a letter “imploring” the president to “step up” and “be a leader we can be proud of in the face of injustice” in the Palestinian-Israeli crisis. Expressing “horror” over the October 7 Hamas attacks, the staffers stressed that their violence did not justify what Israel is doing in the Gaza Strip.

Biden Israel

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“For now, the IDF are staying in their tanks. But sooner or later, they will have to engage with Hamas on foot. So, the fight with Hamas has barely begun.”

The Unspoken Elephant in the Room of Netanyahu’s Intent in Gaza (Crooke)

What is the ‘elephant’ (or elephants) in the room? Blinken’s recent regional diplomacy was ‘a bust’. None of the regional leaders that Blinken met would talk further about Gaza beyond demanding stridently, ‘no Palestinian population displacement into Egypt’ a ‘stop to this madness’ – the carpet bombing of Gazans – and the demand for an immediate ceasefire. And Biden’s calls for a ‘pause’ – softly, at first, and the more strident now – is being bluntly ignored by the Israeli government. The spectre of President Carter’s impotence during the Iran hostage crisis hangs ever more soberly in the backdrop. The truth is that the White House cannot force Israel to do its will – the Israeli lobby holds the more clout in Congress than any White House team. Thus, ‘no exit’ from the Israeli crisis is readily to be seen. Biden ‘made his bed’ with the Netanyahu cabinet and must live with consequences.

Impotence then, as the Democratic Party fractures beyond the simplistic division between centrists versus progressives. The polarisation emanating from the ‘no ceasefire stance’ is having stark destabilising effects on politics, both in the U.S. and Europe. Impotence then, as the shape of the Middle East crystallises into sharp antagonism towards the West’s perceived accommodation of the mass slaughter of Palestinian women, children and civilians. The die may be too far ‘cast’ to brake the ongoing tectonic reset already underway. Western double standards are just too inescapably obvious now to the Global Majority. The large ‘elephant’ is this: Israel has dropped more than 25,000 tons of high explosives since 7 October (the 1945 Hiroshima nuke was 15,000 tons equivalent). What exactly is Netanyahu and his war cabinet’s aim here?

Ostensibly, the earlier military operation in Jabalia Camp was about targeting a Hamas leader suspected of lurking under the camp – but six 2,000 lb bombs for one Hamas ‘target’ in a crowded refugee camp? And why too the attacks on water cisterns, hospital solar energy panels and hospital entrances, roads, schools and bakeries? Bread has almost disappeared in Gaza. The UN says all bakeries in northern Gaza have closed following the bombing of the last bakeries. Clean water is desperately short, and thousands of bodies are slowly decomposing under rubble. Disease and epidemic are appearing, whilst humanitarian supplies are being tightly restricted as a bargaining tool toward further hostage releases.. Editor of Haaretz, Aluf Benn, puts the Israeli strategy very plainly:

“The expulsion of the Palestinian residents, transformation of their homes into piles of construction rubble, and the restriction of the entry of supplies and fuel into Gaza are the “tiebreaking move” employed by Israel in the current conflict, unlike all previous rounds of fighting in the Strip”. Of what are we talking here? This clearly is not about avoiding collateral civilian deaths occurring as the IDF battles with Hamas. There have been no street battles in Jabalia, or in and around the hospitals – as one soldier commented: “All we’ve done is ride around in our armored vehicles. The boots on the ground stuff will come later”. The pretext of a ‘humanitarian evacuation’ therefore is bogus. Hamas’ main forces are sitting deep underground, for the right moment to engage the IDF (i.e. when they are on foot amidst the rubble). For now, the IDF are staying in their tanks. But sooner or later, they will have to engage with Hamas on foot. So, the fight with Hamas has barely begun.

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For Sleepy Joe’s re-election.

Behind Closed Doors US Calls on Israel to Speed Up Gaza Operation (Sp.)

The United States is calling on Israel to accelerate its operation in the Gaza Strip behind closed doors as it may negatively affect President Joe Biden’s reelection bid in case of prolongation, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) said on Monday. “The truth, however, is that Americans are having very different conversations behind closed doors with Israeli leadership. The Israelis are being encouraged to speed up the operation in order to prevent it from being delayed, as this would negatively affect Biden’s election positions,” the SVR said in a statement. The US has managed to secure the support of the United Kingdom and Germany in promoting the operation to destroy the Palestinian Hamas movement despite the rising death toll among Gaza Strip residents, the SVR added.

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“.. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who wrote on social media late Sunday [..] the “Israeli regime” had “collapsed on October 7 and is now alive” only thanks to “American artificial respiration.”

Pentagon Asks Israel Not to Expand War to Lebanon (Sp.)

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah stopped short of opening a second front against Israel in a long-anticipated speech last week, saying that tying up substantial numbers of Israeli troops along the border was sufficient, while warning that “all options are on the table” if Israel continues it provocations. Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin ‘expressed concern’ to his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant about Israeli actions serving to escalate tensions along the Israeli-Lebanese border. That’s according to a report by US media citing three Israeli and American sources briefed on the Austin-Gallant phonecall, which took place Saturday. The unusually blunt request comes amid reports of concerns in Washington that Tel Aviv is deliberately trying to draw Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah militia into the Palestinian-Israeli crisis to drag the United States and other powers into the conflict.

Israel has dismissed such claims. The official readout of the Austin-Gallant call did not mention Lebanon or Hezbollah, paraphrasing Austin as having “reaffirmed Israel’s right to self-defense,” while emphasizing “the need to contain the conflict to Gaza and avoid regional escalation.” But in private, the report indicated, Austin specifically asked Gallant not to take ‘steps that could lead to an all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah,’ and for details on Israeli strikes against Lebanon, which Israeli media have indicated have proven increasingly ineffective against Hezbollah’s fighters. Austin’s remarks come amid concerns expressed Monday by Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, a top commander in Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, that Israel’s continued war in Gaza has already spilled over into Lebanon, and threatens to expand further.

“Today, we can see that the war has expanded and Lebanon is embroiled in it. It’s probable that the extent of clashes will grow even further. The future is uncertain, but Iran is prepared for all circumstances,” Hajizadeh said. The brigadier general, who commands the IRGC’s powerful Aerospace Force, went on to stress that Iran is not afraid of the United States, which has parked two aircraft carriers and at least one cruise missile sub in the Middle East and shored up its bases in the region with thousands of additional troops and warplanes. “The US is not threatening Iran…Iran is not in a position where anybody would seek to threaten it, as we are currently at the peak of our military strength,” Hajizadeh assured. The commander’s remarks were preceded by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who wrote on social media late Sunday that he had informed his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, that the “Israeli regime” had “collapsed on October 7 and is now alive” only thanks to “American artificial respiration.”

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“We must get ahead of the narrative.”

Billionaires Are Teaming Up For Pro-Israel, Anti-Hamas Media Drive (AlJ)

A billionaire real estate tycoon in the United States is rallying support for a high-dollar media crusade to boost Israel’s image and demonise the Hamas armed group amid global pro-Palestinian solidarity protests.The media campaign — called Facts for Peace — is seeking million-dollar donations from dozens of the world’s biggest names in media, finance and technology, according to an email seen by news website Semafor. More than 50 individuals are being courted, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Dell CEO Michael Dell and financier Michael Milken. They have a combined net worth of around $500bn, Semafor said. Some of the individuals, such as investor Bill Ackman, have publicly threatened to blacklist pro-Palestine students who are critical of Israel.

On October 10, Ackman wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that he and other business executives wanted Ivy League universities to disclose the names of students who are part of organisations that signed open letters criticising Israeli policies in Gaza.US billionaire Barry Sternlicht, who started the project, said the campaign would help Israel “get ahead of the narrative” as the world has reacted to the intensive Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip. “Public opinion will surely shift as scenes, real or fabricated by Hamas, of civilian Palestinian suffering will surely erode [Israel’s] current empathy in the world community”, Sternlicht wrote in an email soliciting contributions from the wealthy figures shortly after Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel, according to Semafor. “We must get ahead of the narrative.”

[..] Sternlicht’s media drive aims to brand Hamas as a “terrorist organisation” that is “not just the enemy of Israel, but of the United States”, he wrote. The goal is to draw $50m in private donations, paired with a matching contribution from a Jewish charity. Hamas is already designated as a “terrorist” organisation by the US and the European Union for its armed resistance against Israeli occupation. It is unclear which figures have donated, but the campaign has raised at least a few million dollars already, Semafor reported, citing “people familiar with the matter”. It is being advised by Josh Vlasto, a communications strategist who previously worked for US Senator Chuck Schumer and former Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, Semafor reported.

The US is Israel’s strongest global ally, providing it with billions of dollars of aid annually and staunch diplomatic backing. Despite the mounting humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the US government has continuously rebuffed global calls for a ceasefire and reiterated that Washington will not give Israel “red lines” in the war. On November 2, the US Congress passed a $14.3bn emergency military aid package for Israel. However, public support for the US’s position appears to be ebbing, with nearly half of US Democrats disapproving of how Joe Biden has handled the conflict, according to a recent poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Social media giants such as Instagram, X, YouTube and TikTok have been accused of censoring pro-Palestine voices by reducing their reach, a practice known as shadowbanning. Axios reported last month that pro-Palestine posts on TikTok were being viewed four times more than pro-Israel posts. This came as people around the world have reacted with horror to the mounting death toll in Gaza where most of the killed are civilians. Facts For Peace, the media campaign launched by Sternlicht, aims to win back public favour for Israel, posting videos on its social media pages blaming Hamas for the plight of Palestinians and denying claims of Israeli rights violations.

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“How can the extraordinary situation be explained that the US, a country that demonizes its own white population, is led by neoconservatives who assert that the American people are exceptional and indispensable?”

The War for Greater Israel and US Hegemony Is About to Begin (PCR)

Putin could have prevented the coming world war by quickly dispatching Ukraine in 2014 and by providing air defense systems for Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza against Israel and Washington’s air strikes.I would be more optimistic that we have a future if Russian media and foreign affairs analysts, such as Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of the Russian Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense policy, could dispense with their rose-colored glasses that protect them from reality, and face up to facts. The massive amounts of aircraft, air defense systems, warships, troops and nuclear missile submarines the US is pouring into the vicinity of Israel is not intended for use against Hamas. The intent is to open up the Middle East for Greater Israel and to use Iran as a base from which to cause problems for Russia in Central Asia. If this agenda succeeds, nuclear war is inevitable. An agenda that leads to ashes should be denounced and avoided.

The neoconservatives who control US foreign policy have had their sights on Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah before the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. These countries have been American targets since Norman Podhoretz wrote in Commentary that the US should overthrow the Middle Eastern governments. Prior to the George W. Bush regime’s invasion of Iraq, General Wesley Clark was shown a Pentagon memo that the US intended to overthrow 7 Middle Eastern countries in 5 years. The neoconservatives completely controlled US defense and foreign policy then, as they do today. This project is still the agenda, and it is unfolding before blind Russian and American eyes as I write. I often wonder if Russia, despite its overwhelming nuclear and military superiority over the West, has the ability to survive.

Russian intellectuals, media, and foreign policy analysts seem to be incapable of comprehending that the neoconservatives regard Russia as an enemy to be eliminated. Alienated by the Soviet regime, Russian intellectuals see the West as the touchstone of rationality and freedom. Can Russia survive such a delusion? Fyodor Lukyanov, for example, who is also the director of the Valdai International Discussion Club where Putin always shines, dismisses WW III as “inadmissible” because of nuclear weapons. Perhaps he was influenced by the decades of American propaganda and cannot reconcile his brainwashing with the Wolfowitz doctrine. Indeed, in my many years of being interviewed by Russian media, it is rare to come across a Russian journalist who is even aware of the Wolfowitz doctrine that the principal goal of US foreign policy is to prevent the rise of Russia or any other country capable of constraining US unilateral action.

The entirety of Putin’s travails in Ukraine is due to his inability to comprehend the agenda of the US neoconservatives. He sat there for 8 years while the US built a Ukrainian Army capable of destroying Russian Donbas before he, belatedly, acted. Putin is again sitting on his butt in the Middle East. He does nothing while the US builds up massive military power in the region except aid Washington by preventing Iran and Hezbollah from acting when they had the initiative and would have succeeded. Meanwhile his foreign policy analysts tell him that the Third World War is far off in the future, beyond his life time. How can the extraordinary situation be explained that the US, a country that demonizes its own white population, is led by neoconservatives who assert that the American people are exceptional and indispensable?

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“..the military is not satisfied with the failed counter-offensive, the misuse of Western assistance and the low level of competence in Kyiv..”

Zelenskyy Is In Conflict With Ukrainian Military – Arestovych (RT)

Oleksiy Arestovych, a former adviser to the head of the office of the Ukrainian president, has said that Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in conflict with the Ukrainian military due to the failure of the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). “The president’s speech is becoming increasingly emotional because of the criticism he is receiving,” Arestovych said in an interview with El Mundo According to him, the military is not satisfied with the failed counter-offensive, the misuse of Western assistance and the low level of competence in Kyiv. Arestovych said that the position of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi differs from the position of Zelensky. “Now we are faced with a situation where the commander in chief says one thing about the war and the prospects for victory, and the president says something completely different. This is not a normal situation,” the former adviser concluded. Earlier, the head of Zelenskyy’s office, Andrii Yermak, said that the Ukrainian leader and Zaluzhnyi are not in conflict and are united on key issues.

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“..The fact that he was featured in The Economist to me indicates that this is British intelligence signaling that they think this Zaluzhny is their boy..”

Nord Stream ‘Sideshow’ Conceals Zelensky vs Zaluzhny Infighting (Sp.)

US legacy media has added another layer of obfuscation and complexity to the Nord Stream cover story attempting to take the heat off Washington to blame Ukraine for the September 2022 attacks. Building on reports from earlier this year that an enigmatic “pro-Ukrainian group” rented a sailboat to carry out the attacks, released after Sy Hersh’s bombshell reporting implicating the US Navy for the acts of terrorism, the Washington Post story Saturday indicated that Ukrainian special operations forces colonel Roman Chervinsky coordinated the “brazen sabotage operation.” Chervinsky, WaPo’s story goes, “was the coordinator of the Nord Stream operation,” “managing logistics and support for a six-person team that rented a sailboat under false identities and used deep-sea diving equipment to place explosive charges on the gas pipelines.”

But in a new twist on an old narrative, the newspaper ‘revealed’ that Chervinsky, who is presently rotting in a Kiev jail on abuse of power charges, “took orders from more senior Ukrainian officials” reporting to Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny. The twist, coming amid the very public spat between Zaluzhny and President Volodymyr Zelensky over the commander’s comments earlier this month that Ukraine’s counteroffensive had reached a “stalemate,” differs radically from previous MSM reporting on the Nord Stream attacks, which stressed that the alleged Ukrainian perpetrators had no affiliation whatsoever to Ukraine’s government or military. Sources cited by WaPo in its Saturday piece similarly stressed that “the Nord Stream operation was designed to keep Zelensky out of the loop.”

Russian officials haven’t bought the new take on the story, with Duma lawmaker Alexey Chepa characterizing the newspaper’s story as an attempt by the United States and NATO to whitewash their own culpability for the Nord Stream attacks. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the report’s suggestion that Zelensky was kept out of the loop should be “a very alarming sign” not only for Russia, but for the collective West as well. “Because if the Kiev regime no longer controls the situation in the country, this is alarming and should also be taken account.” Retired CIA intelligence officer and former State Department official Larry Johnson also dismisses the new take on the ‘Ukraine did Nord Stream’ story, stressing that it must be viewed using a much broader lens.

“Since the Washington Post normally is the preferred mouthpiece of the CIA, you have to take this as an example of CIA propaganda to identify this individual, who has zero experience in underwater demolition operations, as sort of the mastermind of an underwater demolition operation, as just silly beyond belief,” Johnson told Sputnik. “All of this has to be viewed in the context of the growing conflict between General Zaluzhny and President Zelensky,” Johnson emphasized. “He basically has been seen as a competitor to Zelensky. The fact that he was featured in The Economist to me indicates that this is British intelligence signaling that they think this Zaluzhny is their boy. And the CIA is pushing back, saying ‘no, no, no, it’s got to be Zelensky.’ So Chervinsky is just a sideshow. When you look at the picture here, there’s nothing at all about him that would suggest an operative with any kind of competence.”

Attempts by Washington to deflect the blame for the Nord Stream attacks onto Ukraine makes sense in the context of Kiev’s gradual “abandonment” by the Biden administration, Johnson believes. “This has happened to Afghanistan. It happened in Vietnam. It’s going to happen to Kiev. They’re not winning the war. The United States is preoccupied with the war in Israel. And the United States does not have the money nor the weapons to keep Ukraine in the fight. So we’re looking for exit strategies. And right now the question is whether or not Zelensky will survive. Will he be replaced by Zaluzhny? Will there be a military coup? I think that we’re into that territory now because Ukraine has experienced absolutely zero success on the battlefield,” the observer explained.

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“Western civilization has to go,” as the students chanted, and it has. In its place evil has risen.”

The Rise of Evil as the Determinant Force in the Western World (PCR)

Normally when there is a school shooter, the media goes on and on about the right-wing gun nut who killed the kids. We learn all about him and his politically incorrect ideas and associations. No stone in his life is left unturned. But if the shooter is not a rightwing gun nut, we hear nothing about it. Moreover, as Glenn Greenwald points out, the police and the media suppress the information as it doesn’t fit the narrative. This time the shooter, or rather, murderer, was a trans woman, Audrey Hale, who shot and murdered three teachers and three nine-year olds in a Christian school in Tennessee. Her motives were political, her ideology was left/liberal, and her victims were white in a private Christian school. She left a manifesto, interest in which was non-existent among the presstitutes. The FBI and Tennessee police refused to release the manifesto. When a court ordered the manifesto’s release, the FBI and Tennessee police appealed and the appellate court stayed the court’s order.

Greenwald contrasts this behavior with what happens when the shooter is a white male who can be described as rightwing. Not only are conservative beliefs blamed, but also prominent conservative people who are alleged to have inspired the shooter. Greenwald writes: “Rumble host Steven Crowder announced he had obtained several pages of the manifesto. He published them on Twitter and his online show. The Nashville PD acknowledged their authenticity, expressed rage, and ordered an investigation to find the leaker. The pages published by Crowder of Hale’s writings contained vicious and hateful anti-white and anti-Christian sentiments, prompting the question: who in media or politics radicalized Audrey Hale to go murder people in the name of these bigotries? Yet immediately, Big Tech platforms—including Google’s YouTube and Facebook—censored Crowder’s publications. We know about them—and were able to read them—only because Twitter (X) and Rumble refused as usual to censor, highlighting yet again the vital importance of these free speech platforms.”

For many years I have documented that the overriding purpose of media, universities, the public school system, Hollywood, and the Democrat Party has been to demonize white, traditional Americans as racists, white supremacists, gun nuts, anti-semites, Russian agents, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists, and whatever else. It is extraordinary that the backbone of the United States–the white normal citizen–has been demonized, while sexual perverts and anti-Americans prevail in setting the agendas. The qualities, such as integrity, that comprised the virtues of Americans in my lifetime are no longer passed forward by education, literature, and entertainment. “Western civilization has to go,” as the students chanted, and it has. In its place evil has risen.

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“Neo-Nazi ideology or nationalist ideology, unfortunately, has a very strong influence in Canada. I think this is obvious..”

Canada Is A Hostage To Nazi Ideology – Moscow (RT)

The recent honoring of a Waffen-SS veteran in Canada’s House of Commons was hardly surprising, given the country’s history of harboring Nazi collaborators after World War II, a senior Russia diplomat told RIA Novosti on Monday. The descendants of these people lobby the government to have their ancestors whitewashed and celebrated, Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN, explained, referring to an incident in September involving an elderly Ukrainian-Canadian man named Yaroslav Hunka. “Neo-Nazi ideology or nationalist ideology, unfortunately, has a very strong influence in Canada. I think this is obvious,” the Russian official said. “The [Justin] Trudeau government is somewhat a hostage [to the situation].”

Polyansky noted that the large number of Nazi war criminals that entered Canada after World War II had children and grandchildren in the country, and so the situation in which Hunka, a 98-year-old veteran of the SS Galicia Division, was honored in the Canadian parliament earlier this year was hardly “surprising.” Last September, a scandal erupted when Hunka, who served with the notorious 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, which is known to have committed atrocities against Jews and Poles during World War II, received a standing ovation in the Canadian parliament with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in attendance. The Waffen SS veteran was introduced as a “hero” who fought “for Ukrainian independence against the Russians” during World War II.

At the time, Canada’s immigration minister, Marc Miller, admitted that the country has “a really dark history with Nazis,” saying that at one point, “it was easier to get in [to Canada] as a Nazi than it was as a Jewish person.” Following backlash from Jewish organizations, House Speaker Anthony Rota, who invited Hunka to the event, accepted full responsibility for the incident and has since resigned. Trudeau offered “unreserved apologies” for applauding the Nazi veteran. In October, Russia’s Investigative Committee charged Hunka in absentia with genocide, claiming that archive documents serve as evidence that he and fellow SS Galicia members killed at least 500 civilians between February 23 and 28, 1944. Russian media outlets later reported that the country’s Interior Ministry placed him on its official database of wanted individuals.

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“..a blatantly corrupt and ignorant attorney general in New York state can get away with bringing a politically-motivated nonsense case against the leading presidential candidate in a courtroom ruled by a judge who acts like a jester in a Shakespeare play..”

Light in the Darkness (Kunstler)

The sun is low on the horizon all day long now, and darkness creeps in like a home invasion of your mind. Demons descend through a red and black sky and no help is on the way. Our country is so mentally hog-tied trying to unravel the twisted events of just a few years past that it has no mojo left for rationally anticipating the events of just a few years ahead. Have you ever felt more alone? This is the end-process that we’ve been softened up for: the inability to think and plan. The gigantic “intel community” evolved from something intended to act as sensitized antennae for detecting threats against our republic into what is now a remorseless mind-fucking operation against our republic. That word, by the way, derives from the Latin res publica: the public thing, a society that literally belongs to the people, who decide its affairs. Now, so much is mysteriously decided for us, and not in any good way.

It’s no wonder more than half the country can’t think straight, and it’s a whopping irony that this group comprises most of our country’s thinking class —the bureaucratic managers, the professors, the curators, the editors, the reporters lost in mis-reporting. This group used to play a critical role in the res publica: to earnestly determine what is true and what is real, and to present us with a way of understanding all that so we can think and plan. They appear to be captured by malign forces. The scribes are hard at work defending every act of official malice. The dishonesty at work is epic. You need a decoder ring to keep your mind right. You are probably desperate to understand why this is happening — how, for instance, a blatantly corrupt and ignorant attorney general in New York state can get away with bringing a politically-motivated nonsense case against the leading presidential candidate in a courtroom ruled by a judge who acts like a jester in a Shakespeare play. New York AG Letitia James gets away with it because the flagship organ of the thinking class, The New York Times, is in on the gambit. But why?

We struggle to sort this out. One explanation is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has infiltrated the management of our country at every level so as to eventually conquer our territory for its resources while eliminating or enslaving the population? Surely, the CCP has made significant inroads, starting with the successful bribery and compromise of “Joe Biden,” probably other elected officials, too, in placing many CCP agents in the vast array of university research departments, NGOs, PACs, and lobbying gangs, and extending to the purchase of vital businesses and farmland to prepare the gameboard for eventual takeover. My opinion is they’ve accomplished a good bit of this, but it’s not the answer you’re seeking.

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In UK politics, incompetence is a job requirement.

Suella Braverman Sacked As Home Secretary After Article Criticising Police (G.)

Rishi Sunak has sacked Suella Braverman as UK home secretary after she was blamed for inflaming tensions over Armistice Day protests, immediately replacing her with James Cleverly, the foreign secretary. A No 10 announcement said Cleverly was becoming home secretary following “the departure from government” of Braverman. A government source earlier said that Sunak “asked Suella Braverman to leave government and she has accepted”. David Cameron, the former prime minister, was later confirmed as replacing Cleverley as foreign secretary. Braverman’s dismissal is being used by Sunak as the trigger for a wider reshuffle, with Thérèse Coffey, the environment secretary, and Steve Barclay, the health secretary, believed to be also likely to go.

Jeremy Hunt, who had been tipped to be moved as chancellor, was also confirmed as staying in post. Two junior ministers, the schools minister Nick Gibb and the health minister Neil O’Brien, announced they were stepping down from their roles. After being sacked, Braverman said “it has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as home secretary”, adding: “I will have more to say in due course.” Jess Phillips, part of Labour’s shadow home affair team, called Braverman the “worst home secretary in living memory”, adding: “Putting aside obvious ghoulish divisions, she simply didn’t understand her job.” Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: “Suella Braverman was never fit to be home secretary. Rishi Sunak knew this and he still appointed her. It was the prime minister’s sheer cowardice that kept her in the job even for this long.”

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Blair is back, AND Cameron is back. That’s the best Britain can do.

David Cameron Returns To UK Government As Foreign Secretary (G.)

David Cameron has returned to government as UK foreign secretary, in a stunning comeback for the former prime minister that highlighted Rishi Sunak’s willingness to take risks as he looks to revive his political fortunes. Downing Street announced on Monday that Cameron would join the government, accepting a peerage in order to do so, as part of a wider reshuffle in which Suella Braverman was sacked as home secretary and replaced by the foreign secretary, James Cleverly. A spokesperson also confirmed Jeremy Hunt would remain as chancellor. Cameron posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “We are facing a daunting set of international challenges, including the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Middle East. At this time of profound global change, it has rarely been more important for this country to stand by our allies, strengthen our partnerships and make sure our voice is heard.

“While I have been out of front-line politics for the last seven years, I hope that my experience – as Conservative Leader for eleven years and Prime Minister for six – will assist me in helping the Prime Minister to meet these vital challenges.” Cameron stood down in 2016 after losing the Brexit referendum, but reportedly told friends in 2018 he wanted to return to frontline politics, preferably as foreign secretary. Since then he has maintained a relatively low profile, though he became embroiled in scandal two years ago when he lobbied government ministers to provide financing for the now-insolvent financial services company Greensill Capital.

He returned to the headlines last month when he said Sunak’s decision to cancel the HS2 high-speed train line between Birmingham and Manchester was wrong, adding: “We are heading in the wrong direction.” Cameron has also been a strong supporter of the UK retaining its commitment to spending 0.7% of gross national income on international aid, a commitment Sunak has since junked. Cameron said in his online statement: “Though I may have disagreed with some individual decisions, it is clear to me that Rishi Sunak is a strong and capable Prime Minister, who is showing exemplary leadership at a difficult time. I want to help him to deliver the security and prosperity our country needs and be part of the strongest possible team that serves the United Kingdom and that can be presented to the country when the General Election is held.”

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“..the “newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) does not have a bank account” and apparently “lives paycheck to paycheck.”

The Sacking of the Beltway by Good Intentions (Turley)

There is a palpable level of panic that seems to have taken hold of Washington this week. Establishment figures are raising the alarm over the rise of dangerous figures as if they are the barbarians at the gate before the sacking of Rome in 410. The threat is coming from both parties in the form of the new Speaker Mike Johnson and Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. They may be the worst type of barbarians because they came to this city with the best of intentions. For some in Washington, there may be nothing more unnerving than the best of intentions. This is a one-industry town where fortunes are made the old-fashioned way with influence peddling, special dealing, and pork barreling. In that world, the rise of Johnson and Kennedy are about as welcomed as a priest among the Pirates of Penzance.

Johnson is the ultimate buzz kill. Many were aghast that Johnson used his first speech as speaker to thank God and to say that he believes that God has a plan for him. That is a view shared by millions of religious Americans and it is not the first time that a politician has made such public expressions of devotion. Bill Clinton used to invoke God and salvation continually as he set physical records for debauchery. Even after his Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton would rally liberals to “politics and political involvement dictated by faith.” The problem is not that Johnson said it but he actually seems to mean it. I likely do not share Johnson’s views on legislating morality or the separation of church and state. However, he has always been viewed as a honest man with deep convictions. Of course, this is a city that can more easily forgive actual convictions than religious convictions.

This is a city where professed socialists and populists unapologetically give their husbands or children huge amounts of campaign funds. Rep. Maxine Waters has reportedly given her daughter over a million dollars. Confronted with millions of dollars in alleged influence peddling by the Biden family, the media has continued to maintain a lack of interest, often excusing the practice as common in Washington. Indeed, this month, NBC compared Hunter Biden tapping shady foreign figures for millions to the controversy over Nikki Haley’s daughter using TikTok. The panic over the appearance of an honest man in Congress was evident in an article by the Daily Beast when senior political reporter Roger Sollenberger declared that the “newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) does not have a bank account” and apparently “lives paycheck to paycheck.”

Of course, surveys show that over sixty percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and fewer than half of Americans can cover a $1000 emergency expense. However, those are average Americans, not one of us. In this city, hard-working members of Congress plan for the future with gold bars and cash stuffed in a closet or millions transferred from corrupt foreign figures through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts. In this city, the appearance of Johnson left people dumbfounded like seeing a Triceratops strolling down Pennsylvania Avenue. The Daily Beast’s Mike Fuller noted: “Mike Johnson doesn’t have any retirement savings, own a single stock, or have any assets at all. He has less than $5,000 in his bank account. He’s got a 250-500K mortgage, a home equity loan, and a personal loan. So what’s his retirement plan? To lobby?”

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“Today I serve my country,” he said. “The question I have for you, Anthony Albanese, is who do you serve?”

Whistleblower David McBride Declares ‘Today I Serve My Country’ (G.)

David McBride has declared “today I serve my country” as he entered an ACT court to face trial for the alleged leaking of material later used to expose Australian war crimes in Afghanistan. McBride faces five charges, including the unauthorised disclosure of information, breaches of the Defence Act and the theft of commonwealth property. His trial started on Monday in the ACT supreme court. The former military lawyer, who is represented by leading criminal law barrister Stephen Odgers SC, has pleaded not guilty. Supporters gathered in front of the court on Monday to hear speeches from the Human Rights Law Centre senior lawyer Kieran Pender, Julian Assange’s Australian lawyer Stephen Kenny and the Medical Association for Prevention of War’s Sue Wareham, among others.

McBride spoke briefly to the crowd as he entered the court with his support dog, Jakey, who will stay beside him during the proceedings. “Today I serve my country,” he said. “The question I have for you, Anthony Albanese, is who do you serve?” McBride allegedly leaked material to the ABC about the investigation of Australian special forces operating in Afghanistan. ABC reporters later used the documents as the basis of a 2017 series on Australian war crimes titled The Afghan Files. The court on Monday was dealing with preliminary legal issues before a jury was to be empanelled later this week. The preliminary arguments related to whether McBride had a duty not to disclose the material. Commonwealth prosecutors, led by Trish McDonald SC, argue McBride’s role within the Australian Defence Force, and the military disciplinary system he was operating within, imposed a duty on him not to disclose the material.

McBride’s defence says he had a separate duty to act in the public interest and that the military disciplinary regime – and any duty it imposed on McBride not to disclose such material – could only be considered by military tribunals, not by courts of criminal law. “If the jury is satisfied that what was done was in the public interest, even though it was in breach of orders, then, in my respectful submission, you’re not in breach of your duty for the purposes of a criminal offence,” Odgers said.

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Spain’s large scale anti-socialism protests are silenced by our media.

 

 

 

 


Capybaras are herbivores, therefore harmless to other animals around them. They’re easy-going semi-aquatic mammals, social, friendly, and gentle, and get along with just about everyone, so it makes sense that other animals would enjoy their company

 

 


A 4-ton orca leaping 4 meters into the air

 

 

Elephants

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 112023
 


Pablo Picasso Garcon à la Pipe 1905

 

Ukraine & Gaza Fatally Expose Western Hypocrisy and Moral Bankruptcy (SCF)
Leaked Cables Warn of Growing Anti-American Rage in Arab World (Sp.)
US, Israel To Open Second Front In Lebanon (Bhadrakumar)
Scott Ritter Explains Why Israel Cannot Beat Hezbollah on Its Own (Sp.)
Killing Children In Gaza ‘Makes Hamas’ – Elon Musk (RT)
Biden’s ‘Personal Attachment To Israel’ Fuels Its Gaza Massacres (Aaron Maté)
Israel’s Fight With Hamas Just a Pretext for Ethnic Cleansing – Ex-Marine (Sp.)
Ukraine Will Fight Without USA – Zelensky (RT)
Another Snapshot of Kiev’s Military Collapse: It Ain’t Over Yet (Pepe Escobar)
West Derails Russia’s Proposal On Nord Stream Attacks – Zakharova (TASS)
Party Party (Kunstler)
Hunter Biden Rushed To Erase His Delinquent Taxes (JTN)
The House ‘Concentrates the Mind’ of Hunter Biden (Turley)
Stefanik Hits “Radical Leftist” Trump Judge With Ethics Complaint (ZH)

 

 

 

 

I will never forget

 

 

Proportionate

 

 

George Galloway: “The foul allegations of rape have been dropped by the Israeli government. The forty beheaded babies has been downscaled to one dead baby, not beheaded, and killed by persons unknown. Two thirds of Israelis killed on October 7 were military personnel. The killers of the remaining one third are definitively revealed to have been in part the Israeli armed forces themselves. Those with influence who spread the propaganda to the contrary stand exposed as War Criminals and now much blood stains their character for ever. It is a spot which will not out.”

 

 

 

 

Nap Mearsheimer

 

 

 

 

The most sanctioned country on Earth

 

 

 

 

“The genocidal crimes of the Western powers cannot be unseen or explained away this time.”

Ukraine & Gaza Fatally Expose Western Hypocrisy and Moral Bankruptcy (SCF)

The barbarity that is happening in Gaza and the West Bank is shocking. What is all the more repugnant is the explicit guilt of Western states in enabling the genocide. What the crimes are revealing in stark reality is the absolute fiendish nature of Western state power. The crimes of the Israeli regime are the manifestation of Western imperialism; the true and grotesque, putrid nature of Western power. For decades, indeed centuries, the United States and its European partners have conducted a charade of pretending to be paragons of democracy – while at the same time exploiting and debauching the rest of the planet.

Now all their deceptions and corruption are fully on display. These are criminal regimes whose histories of warmongering colonialism and imperialism were all too often obfuscated by preponderant media control and self-appointed allure. It is now crystal clear what the “Collective West” (a global minority elite) really stands for: death and destruction. The big question is how far and where will the huge public anger and contempt lead to. A historic revolt is underway. What comes next? Can it be mobilized constructively to overthrow decadent dictatorships of capitalist oligarchy that have dominated Western states under the guise of democracy?

One thing is evinced. The Western elite systems are damaged beyond repair and rehabilitation. The crucifixion of the Palestinian people has created a Pandora’s Box. Western corruption – deep, systematic, historical corruption – is now out and can’t be stuffed back in again by the elite rulers trying to cover up. The genocidal crimes of the Western powers cannot be unseen or explained away this time. The duplicity and bankruptcy are damaging to the existential core. Ultimately, however, there may be hope for a better, fairer and more just world. But first of all, the old Western-dominated order has to go, despite the immense pain and suffering entailed.

Husseini

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And Anti-American Rage in America.

Leaked Cables Warn of Growing Anti-American Rage in Arab World (Sp.)

American diplomats have warned President Joe Biden that US support for Israel “is losing us Arab publics for a generation.” Two diplomatic cables recently leaked to US media warn that America’s support for Israel’s bloody military campaign in Gaza is causing damage to the country’s image that may never be repaired. “We are losing badly on the messaging battlespace,” says one cable emanating from the US Embassy in Oman on Wednesday. It warns that strong US support for Israel is viewed “as material and moral culpability in what they consider to be possible war crimes.” The cable was addressed to multiple officials at the White House National Security Council, the CIA, and the FBI. Another leaked cable from the US embassy in Egypt quoted a local newspaper editorial saying “President Biden’s cruelty and disregard for Palestinians exceeded all previous US presidents.”

The cables mirror growing global opposition to Israel’s actions as the country has recently been the target of strong criticism from governments throughout the world. But the leaked diplomatic correspondence underscores that criticism in the Arab world extends to the United States as well, as US President Joe Biden has expressed unyielding support for the country’s Middle Eastern ally. The US president recently claimed there was “no possibility” for an Israeli ceasefire in Gaza when asked about the subject at a Thursday news conference. The death toll in Gaza has recently risen to over 11,000 according to the local health ministry, with at least 4,500 of those deaths being people under 18, prompting the head of the United Nations to call the besieged territory a “graveyard for children.” The UN has noted that death tolls released by Gaza’s authorities have proven to be accurate in the past. Recent reports have warned that Gaza’s population of 2.3 million may be on the brink of suffering mass starvation as Israel has only allowed very limited amounts of humanitarian aid to enter amidst a siege of the enclave.

The leaked cables come amidst reporting suggesting a dramatic decline in support for Biden among Muslim Americans. “We told him [Biden] directly, in our personal capacities, that if you do not call for an immediate ceasefire, you will not get our votes in 2024,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The spokesperson accused Biden of “betraying” Palestinians and allowing a “genocide” to take place in Gaza. “What we see from him is completely one-sided support for the state of Israel,” said Awad. A recent survey by the Arab American Institute (AAI) showed that support for Biden among Arab Americans has declined by 42% since 2020. The poll found that 17% of Arab American voters plan to support Biden’s reelection in 2024, while 40% say they’ll support former US President Donald Trump.

Israel at UN

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“..the Biden Administration is preparing for an escalation of the war into Lebanon to draw out Hezbollah, which may in turn trigger an Iranian reaction.”

US, Israel To Open Second Front In Lebanon (Bhadrakumar)

The announcement late Sunday night by the US Central Command [CENTCOM] headquartered in Doha about the arrival of a Ohio-class American nuclear submarine in its “area of responsibility” presages a significant escalation of the situation around the Palestine-Israel conflict. It is very rare that the use of these submarines is publicised. The CENTCOM provided no additional details but it posted an image that apparently showed an Ohio-class submarine in Egypt’s Suez Canal Bridge. Interestingly, CENTCOM also separately shared an image of a nuclear-capable B-1 bomber operating in the Middle East.

Taken together, these US deployments, coming on top of the formidable presence of two aircraft carriers and warships hundreds of advanced jet fighters in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea respectively, are with an eye on “the other side of the equation,” as Secretary of State Antony Blinken quaintly described Hamas, Hezbullah, and Iran during his latest visit to Tel Aviv on Friday. In a related development, perhaps, the CIA director, William Burns arrived in Israel on Sunday for urgent consultations. The New York Times reported that the US is “looking to expand its intelligence sharing with Israel.” Arguably, the most charitable explanation for the deployment of a US nuclear submarine, which forms part of the Pentagon’s “nuclear triad” –Ohio-class boats are the largest submarines ever built for the US Navy — near the war zone is that the Biden Administration is preparing for an escalation of the war into Lebanon to draw out Hezbollah, which may in turn trigger an Iranian reaction.

In his speech on Friday, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrullah seemed to anticipate precisely such a turn of events when he explicitly warned the US of consequences that couldn’t be any different from the catastrophic American involvement in Lebanon’s civil war in the early 1980s. Ironically, this is also the 40th anniversary year of the suicide bombing of the barracks housing US forces in Beirut International Airport in October 1983 in which 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers were killed forcing a US withdrawal from Lebanon. Clearly, the locus of the US strategy in the present Middle situation may be shifting from diplomacy, which has anyway lost traction. Blinken’s desperate attempts to address the mounting international criticism of Israel’s horrific war crimes by diverting attention to a “humanitarian pause” in the fighting, et al, has been unceremoniously shot down by Netanyahu.

The point is, after pounding Gaza and its people with artillery and bombs, the Israeli army moved in on Friday. So far, it has reportedly advanced to the outskirts of Gaza City but not entered the Hamas stronghold. Fierce urban fighting is expected when it does. Equally, the Biden administration’s hurried attempt to promote a vague outline for a post-war Gaza that might include a combination of a revitalised Palestinian Authority, a peacekeeping force, etc. has been met with a distinct lack of enthusiasm at Blinken’s meeting in the weekend in Amman with the Arab foreign ministers -– from Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates –- who instead demanded an immediate ceasefire, while Blinken said Washington wouldn’t push for one.

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“..the IDF itself, which was considered to be somewhat of an invincible force – not anymore..”

Scott Ritter Explains Why Israel Cannot Beat Hezbollah on Its Own (Sp.)

The ongoing Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) campaign in the Gaza Strip, which has already alienated Tel Aviv from much of the Arab World, has created a serious risk of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement becoming actively involved in the conflict. IDF forces stationed at the Israeli-Lebanese borders have already been exchanging fire with Hezbollah militants on more than a single occasion in recent days, although it remains to be seen whether these hostilities will escalate. Commenting on this situation, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter expressed his skepticism about Israel’s ability to deal with both Hamas and Hezbollah.

He pointed out that the major military exercises conducted in Israel in the last two years were meant to determine how the Israeli Defense Force would fare if they had to tackle simultaneously attacks from multiple actors – “if Hezbollah came over the border, if Syria went after the Golan Heights, if Iran started firing missiles” – but they yielded rather unpleasant results. “And under that scenario, Israel was not able to prevail, especially with the Iranian aspect of the scenario, without major US military intervention,” Ritter said. He further observed that the Israelis themselves have apparently acknowledged that they do not know the full extent of Hezbollah’s capabilities and that Hezbollah’s sizeable arsenal of rockets may pose a serious threat to Israel.

“Hezbollah can overwhelm the Iron Dome just with its volume alone, the Iron Dome is already going through an ammunition crunch because of what Hamas has done,” Ritter remarked. He added that the IDF previously failed to destroy Hezbollah back in 2006, and that the Islamist organization has become significantly more powerful since then, with many of its fighters gaining valuable combat experience during the Syrian conflict. “So, you know, this is the reality: Israel on its own cannot defeat Hezbollah,” he surmised. Ritter also suggested that the events of October 7, when Hamas militants swiftly punched through the Israeli defenses and even managed to seize control of IDF military facilities, effectively shattered the myth of “Israeli invincibility.” “Not just in terms of the all-seeing nature of Israeli intelligence, which has been proven false, but the IDF itself, which was considered to be somewhat of an invincible force – not anymore,” he argued.

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“For every Hamas member you kill, how many did you create? And if you create more than you kill, you’ve not succeeded.”

“Providing healthcare, food and other relief to civilians while still targeting Hamas leaders and operatives, would thwart the group’s goal and “ultimately fights the broader force of hatred in the region..”

Killing Children In Gaza ‘Makes Hamas’ – Elon Musk (RT)

Israel’s reaction to the October 7 attack by Hamas has played into the terrorist group’s hands, according to X CEO Elon Musk, who urged West Jerusalem to embrace a “counterintuitive” strategy that would be more beneficial in the long-term. “If you kill somebody’s child in Gaza, you’ve made at least a few Hamas members who will die just to kill Israelis,” Musk said on the Lex Fridman podcast on Thursday. The Tesla, SpaceX and X (formerly Twitter) head argued that the goal of the Palestinian militant group was to “provoke an overreaction” by Israel by committing atrocities and then “leverage that aggressive response to rally Muslims worldwide for the cause of Gaza and Palestine, which they have succeeded in doing.”

“This is one of the most contentious subjects one could possibly discuss, but I think if the ultimate goal is some sort of long-term peace, one has to look at this from the standpoint of, over time, are there more or fewer terrorists being created?” Musk said. “For every Hamas member you kill, how many did you create? And if you create more than you kill, you’ve not succeeded.” The October 7 incursion resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,400 Israelis, with another 200 or so taken to Gaza as hostages. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has responded by declaring war on the Palestinian enclave, launching weeks of air and artillery strikes and proceeding with a ground invasion in early November. A proposal circulating in the media wants all of Gaza’s Palestinian population forcibly removed. Some Israeli public figures have advocated for leveling the enclave completely.

Others have labeled photojournalists who documented the October 7 attack as accomplices of Hamas that need to be killed. As of Friday, more than 11,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed and 27,490 wounded, according to the local health ministry. While the White House has cast doubt on Palestinian figures, the US State Department believes the true numbers might be even higher. “The counterintuitive thing that should be done here, even though it is very difficult, is that I recommend Israel do the most conspicuous acts of kindness possible,” Musk told Fridman in the podcast interview. Providing healthcare, food and other relief to civilians while still targeting Hamas leaders and operatives, would thwart the group’s goal and “ultimately fights the broader force of hatred in the region,” the billionaire argued.

Elon Hamas

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“..the only constituencies that matter: war profiteers, the pro-Israel lobby, and the bipartisan foreign policy establishment that has used Israel as a client state..”

Biden’s ‘Personal Attachment To Israel’ Fuels Its Gaza Massacres (Aaron Maté)

As the official death toll passed 10,000 earlier this week, White House spokesperson John Kirby was asked if the US still has “no red lines” when it comes to how many civilians Israel kills. “That is still the case,” Kirby replied. On Thursday, President Biden informed reporters that there is “no possibility” of a ceasefire. Instead, the White House claimed to have secured an Israeli pledge for four-hour daily pauses, which would be announced in advance. Israel immediately rejected even this token gesture. “I’m not going to commit to the exact length of the pauses,” Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy said. Given the free reign offered it by Washington, Israel has no incentive to commit. According to senior Pentagon official Dana Stroul, the US is “working around-the-clock” to send its weaponry to Israel, with deliveries “taking place on a near daily basis.”

Citing White House officials and advisers, the Washington Post reports that US “levers” over Israel, namely “conditioning military aid,” are “nonstarters.” Imposing such constraints would undoubtedly save Palestinian lives. But that is of no importance to the Biden cabinet, which worries that conditions on US support for Israel would be “politically unpopular in any administration.” Moreover, “aides say, Biden himself has a personal attachment to Israel.” By “politically unpopular”, these Biden officials are not referring to public opinion, which supports a ceasefire across party lines. The president’s stance could even cost him re-election in the swing state of Michigan, home to a large Arab-American population. Instead, imposing conditions on US support for Israel would be “politically unpopular” with the only constituencies that matter: war profiteers, the pro-Israel lobby, and the bipartisan foreign policy establishment that has used Israel as a client state since its occupation of Arab lands in June 1967.

As a career operator within this Beltway trifecta, Biden’s “personal attachment to Israel” has detached him from any recognition of Palestinian humanity. Accordingly, when it comes to the fate of Gaza’s civilian population, the Biden administration barely attempts to feign concern. During his most recent trip to Israel, Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a message described to Axios by US and Israeli officials as follows: “We don’t want to stop you, but help us help you get more time.” As Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, who has positioned himself as a critic of the Israeli bombing campaign, counseled the White House: “I think they’ve got to be even louder publicly in their concerns about the civilian cost, even while they support Israel’s ability to continue to perpetuate the war.”

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“Israel favoured Hamas over the PLO because the Islamic resistance movement “was utterly opposed to a two state solution..”

Israel’s Fight With Hamas Just a Pretext for Ethnic Cleansing – Ex-Marine (Sp.)

Tel Aviv is using attacks on Southern Israel by the Hamas movement as an excuse to depopulate the Gaza Strip, says a military expert. The October 7 surprise breakout by the Hamas (also known as Islamic Resistance) and other groups from the besieged territory left almost 300 Israeli soldiers and 1,100 civilians dead, with more than 200 taken back to Gaza as captives. Following weeks of bombing of the densely-populated Palestinian enclave, the Israeli Defense Forces have surrounded Gaza City and are trying to fight their way into its outskirts. The Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry, based in Ramallah in the West Bank, said on Wednesday that after a month of attacks, Israeli forces and settlers had killed 10,515 Palestinians, including 4,324 children, 2,823 women and 649 elderly people, and injured 2,600 others. It said that 2,550 others, with 1,350 children among them, were still missing under the rubble of bombed buildings in Gaza.

Former US Marine and geopolitical analyst Brian Berletic told Sputnik that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration of “war” on Hamas was “just a pretext” for ethnic cleansing. “Israel is using Hamas as a pretext to erase Gaza,” Berletic said. “This has been an ongoing plan, especially for the Netanyahu administration.” The commentator noted that Hamas was an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which “has played a role for decades in the region as tools of Western hegemony over the region.” and tried to overthrow secular governments from Egypt to Syria. He said the movement rose to power in the Gaza Strip only with Israel’s help in order to create a rival to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

“I know it’s unpopular to point this out, but it is an admitted fact that the Netanyahu administration helped manoeuvre Hamas into power,” Berletic said. “If Israel wanted to eliminate Hamas, they could have started by not putting them into power in the first place.” Israel favoured Hamas over the PLO because the Islamic resistance movement “was utterly opposed to a two state solution” — as was Netanyahu’s hard-line government. “That is that is what is mandated under international law — a two state solution is an Israeli state, a Palestinian state. This occupation has to end,” Berletic said.

Israel has made its intention to force out the 2.3 million Palestinian inhabitants of Gaza since the start of its bombing campaign a month ago, the analyst said, telling civilians to flee to the southern end of the enclave so it could bomb Gaza City in an attempt to destroy Hamas bunkers and tunnels. “In the very beginning, they were quite open. They wanted to just displace the civilian population of Gaza and move in militarily,” Berletic said. “Once it’s erased, they don’t have to worry about a two state solution ever again.”

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Oh you hero!

Ukraine Will Fight Without USA – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine will not stop fighting Russia until it takes back all the territories it considers its own, President Vladimir Zelensky told Reuters in an interview this week. Withdrawal of US support would hardly affect Kiev’s policies in this regard, he added. Should Washington halt its military and financial assistance to Kiev, Ukraine would just go on with the conflict without it, Zelensky maintained when asked if he was “worried” about potential changes in US foreign policy in the case of Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential election victory in particular. Earlier, Trump repeatedly vowed that he would have a peace deal between Moscow and Kiev worked out “within 24 hours” if elected in 2024. Speaking to Reuters on Wednesday, Zelensky brushed off such promises as a plan by Trump to “fix” the conflict for himself, with no regard for the “price” Ukraine would supposedly have to pay.

“If it will change your foreign policy, so what can I say? Ok, we will fight without you,” Zelensky said, adding that it was supposedly the will of the Ukrainian people. He went on to say that the only “real way to stop the war” was for Russian forces to withdraw from all the territories claimed by Kiev. He also said he was sure that Moscow’s troops “will do it,” without elaborating. In his interview with Reuters, the Ukrainian leader also said that “any” US president would help Ukraine if they knew “all the challenges and the result and the damage of the war.” Earlier, in a separate interview with broadcaster NBC last Sunday, Zelensky invited Trump to Ukraine, vowing to convince the former American president that he would be unable to strike any deals with Russia in “24 minutes.” Trump rejected the offer in a written statement to US media outlet Newsmax. Such a trip would create “a conflict of interest” at a time when President Joe Biden’s administration was officially dealing with Kiev, he said.

Earlier this week, Zelensky also claimed that Kiev had a “plan” that would help it prevail on the battlefield and show some “results” by the end of the year. His words came as Ukraine’s much-touted summer offensive had barely brought about any changes to the frontlines following months of heavy fighting and massive material and personnel losses on the Ukrainian side. Ukraine’s top commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, told the Economist last week that the conflict between Moscow and Kiev had entered a World War I-style stalemate in which Russia had an upper hand due to larger resources. The Pentagon also said this week that it only had around $1 billion left for military aid to Kiev and would have to ration it from now on.

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“Civilians in Kharkov, for instance, confirm that foreign mercenaries speaking Polish or English are now “almost invisible”..

Another Snapshot of Kiev’s Military Collapse: It Ain’t Over Yet (Pepe Escobar)

The spectacular “success” of Kiev’s counter-offensive, which echoed throughout the geopolitical galaxy, has predictably engendered what everyone with a brain was expecting: a dogfight. Enter the Zelensky-Zaluzhny Show – especially after the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) admitted on the record that the war has “reached a stalemate” – code for “we’re deeply in trouble”. He also referred to “positional defense” – code for “we’re gonna keep losing more and more territory.” The dogfight comes complete with Mafioso overtones, as in 39-year-old Zaluzhny assistant Gennady Chistyakov “accidentally” detonating a grenade received as a gift, seriously injuring his daughter and duly blowing himself up.

This might be seen at face value as yet another wacky Pulp Fiction-style sketch involving the top dogs (with no Winston Wolf to “solve problems”). But it does carry an ominous message to Zaluzhny: once again, Mafia-style, from now on he’d better beware of friends bearing gifts. As for the “counter-offensive”, the file, for all practical purposes, seems to be closed. There won’t be another one – because there are no more weapons, assets or troops to carry it, except the odd Ukrainian elderly citizens and unsuspecting housewives chased by the “security services” as they exit the supermarket.

[..] The report states that the 116th separate mechanized brigade is “incapable of conducting offensive operations because of high losses and high numbers of soldiers that need psychological and medical assistance.” The 116th brigade has been deeply involved in military operations in the Zaporozhye region for 5 months already. For 3 months it had been part of the 10th Army Corps, “Tavriya”. The report details that the brigade’s losses are 94 soldiers dead; 1122 wounded; and 95 missing. That corresponds to 25% of the total number of personnel. When it comes to the moral-psychological front, at least 153 soldiers are deemed in need of immediate psychological rehabilitation.

This brigade is a quite significant unit; what’s implied is that a moral-psychological debacle is now inbuilt as a System Error at the heart of the Ukrainian military. Consequences, short and middle term, will be dire. All that is happening while the flow of foreign mercenaries to the AFU is drying up. No wonder: enter the Perfect Storm of brigades being thoroughly decimated; unspeakable levels of corruption; and better career opportunities in the rekindled Forever War in Israel/Palestine. Civilians in Kharkov, for instance, confirm that foreign mercenaries speaking Polish or English are now “almost invisible”.

None of the above means that things from now on will be a cakewalk for Russia. For instance, the Russian Army still has not been able to destroy the Ukrainian bridgehead on the Dnieper in Kherson. Further on down the road, it will be increasingly trickier to expel the Ukrainians from the eastern margin of the Dnieper. Russian military media, at the highest level, does its best to sharply focus on serious instances of ineptitude by the Russian Army. That’s their civic duty – and involves creating a groundswell of public opinion, forcing the Russian Army to correct its mistakes and most of all refrain from underestimating the enemy. After all, this is far from over – no matter the dogfight now raging in the corridors of power in Kiev.

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Nobody wants to know.

West Derails Russia’s Proposal On Nord Stream Attacks – Zakharova (TASS)

Russia was forced to ax work on a draft statement by the UN Security Council President on the investigation into the terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipeline, as the West blocked this initiative, not wanting the truth to get out, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. She recalled that on the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the gas pipelines on September 26, Russia announced the preparation of a draft statement by the chairman of the Security Council on the issue. “We were forced to curtail work on the draft statement of the UN Security Council President on the investigation into the terrorist attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines. It was blocked by the West,” the diplomat said. According to her, Western representatives pointed out that the UN Security Council had no reason to interfere in the national investigations of Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

However, these states have failed to present even preliminary results to the international community and refuse to cooperate with the countries that suffered damage. Zakharova emphasized that this indicates their unwillingness to “identify the organizers and perpetrators of the terrorist attack.” “Or they have already identified them and are covering for them,” she added. The diplomat noted that the Russian side had been negotiating in good faith for a month. “However, during the discussions it became clear that representatives of Western countries are not ready for serious work and are looking for an excuse to let everything go down the drain: their proposal to remove from the text the phrase about bringing to justice the perpetrators and contractors of the terrorist attack speaks for itself,” she concluded. Zakharova said that Russia will continue to draw the attention of the international community to this issue, and the perpetrators of the crime must receive the punishment they deserve.

On September 27, 2022, Nord Stream AG reported “unprecedented damage” on three strings of the offshore gas pipelines of the Nord Stream system. Later, Swedish seismologists said they had identified two explosions on the route of the Nord Stream pipelines on September 26, 2022. Following the incident, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office initiated a criminal case on charges of international terrorism. Germany, Denmark and Sweden announced national investigations, but refused to involve Russia. Germany, Denmark and Sweden announced national investigations, but refused to involve Russia. On February 8, Hersh wrote in his article that explosive devices were placed under the gas pipelines in June 2022 by US Navy divers with the assistance of Norwegian specialists. According to Hersh, the decision to conduct the operation was made by US President Joe Biden after nine months of discussions with administration officials charged with national security issues.

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“Every day in suburbia will be Halloween, and not in a fun way.”

Party Party (Kunstler)

Of course, you already sense that the 2024 election will be a freaky event, if it happens at all. If it’s not America’s last election altogether, it may be the last one that follows the traditional format that has signified stability in our country’s high tide as a great power: that is, a contest between Republicans and Democrats. Both parties are likely to crash and burn in the year ahead, along with a whole lot of other things on the tottering scaffold of normal life. Have you lost count yet of the number of things in our country that are broken? The justice system. Public safety. Education. Medicine. Money. Transportation. Housing. The food supply. The border. The News business. The arts. Our relations with other countries. That’s just the big institutional stuff. At the personal scale its an overwhelming plunge in living standards, loss of incomes, careers, chattels, liberties. . . poor health (especially mental health). . . and failing confidence in any plausible future.

The reasons behind all that failure and loss are pretty straightforward. The business model for operating a high-tech industrial economy is broken. That includes especially the business model for affordable energy: oil, gas, nuclear, and the electric grid that runs on all that. We opted out of an economy that produced things of real value. We replaced that with a financial matrix of banking fakery. That racket made a very few people supernaturally wealthy while incrementally dissolving the middle-class. We destroyed local and regional business and scaled up what was left into super-giant predatory companies that can no longer maintain their supply chains. Fragility everywhere in everything. Bad choices all along the way, you could say, but perhaps an inexorable process of nature. Things are born, they grow, they peak, they decline, they die. The difference this time is the scale of everything we do is so enormous that the wreckage is also epic. It’s happening in Western Civ at the moment, led by its biggest nation state, us, the USA, but it will eventually go global, spread to the BRICs and the many countries that will never actually “develop.”

I started writing about the fiasco of suburbia decades ago, and now the endgame of that living arrangement is in view. The dissolving middle class has gotten priced-out of motoring. Motoring is the basis of the suburban living arrangement. No motoring, no suburbia. It’s that simple. There was widespread belief among idealistic reformers that suburbia could just be “retrofitted” for “smarter” daily life, but that dream is over. The capital (money) is not there to fix it, and there’s no prospect that we’ll somehow come up with it as far ahead as we can see. So far, the collapse of suburbia has happened in slow motion, but the pace is quickening now and it’ll get supercharged when the bond markets go down, as they must, considering the country’s catastrophic fiscal circumstances. That will produce exactly the zombie apocalypse telegraphed in all those movies and TV series over recent years: normality overrun by demonic hungry ghosts. Every day in suburbia will be Halloween, and not in a fun way.

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The House Oversight and Accountability Committee just got themselves a new star witness.

Hunter Biden Rushed To Erase His Delinquent Taxes (JTN)

As Joe Biden marched toward the presidency in 2020 with a promise to force the wealthy to pay their “fair share” of taxes, his son Hunter was scrambling behind closed doors to clean up a trail of his own delinquent taxes before they became an election scandal, according to once-secret IRS memos made public recently by Congress. IRS agents would soon discover that the future first son was continuing to allegedly misrepresent his income and deductions to the very accountant he had hired to help, the memos show. The documents reviewed by Just the News show that Jeffrey Gelfound, an Edward White & Company tax accountant hired by Hunter Biden, was a cooperating witness in the IRS criminal probe of the first son and is likely to be a key witness if the younger Biden is charged with tax crimes by Special Counsel David Weiss.

Gelfound also could become a witness of interest to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee as it digs deeper into the Biden family finances as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry in Congress. Buried in the mountain of 700 pages of IRS whistleblower documents released in September by the House Ways and Means Committee are interview reports, affidavits and case summary memos chronicling Hunter Biden’s efforts at the height of the 2020 presidential campaign to remedy his delinquent income taxes dating to 2014 and the income he made from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. Gelfound told agents the efforts in 2020 to pay off Hunter Biden tax debts became a priority because of fears the IRS and other tax authorities would place liens that would become public, a potential embarrassment for the Biden family.

“Yeah, if there was going to be media attention because they were going to lien,” Gelfound told IRS agents in an April 2021 interview when asked whether erasing the tax debts had become prioritized. In another later interview conducted by IRS agents in November 2021, Gelfound revealed that his firm signed an unusual representation letter with the younger Biden just days after the 2020 election, in which Hunter attested that the information that he provided was truthful. Gelfound told investigators that this was the first time he had ever seen a representation letter like it. “Yeah, when would you typically sign the representation?” the IRS investigators asked Gelfound. “This is- any type of representation, it’s not standard,” Gelfound answered. “When we typically prepare returns, there’s an engagement letter that’s different than this one,” Gelfound said, explaining to investigators why this representation letter was different. “[T]his is a first that I’ve seen and had a client sit down and sign a letter of this type,” he said.

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“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”

The House ‘Concentrates the Mind’ of Hunter Biden (Turley)

The great English writer Samuel Johnson once told a friend, “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” The quote came to mind after reading the response of Abbe Lowell, legal counsel for Hunter Biden, to the issuance of subpoenas for Hunter and other family members by the House Oversight Committee. Lowell said that “Hunter is eager to have the opportunity, in a public forum” — but premised that on the condition that it be “the right time” for Hunter to speak. He also dismissed the committee investigation as a “political stunt.” It appears that further concentration is warranted. A congressional subpoena is really not an invitation for a sit-down at a convenient time. Hunter has spent years relying on denial and delay to fend off inquiries.

With this subpoena, he will now have to choose between cooperation or contempt … on the committee’s schedule. The issuance of subpoenas to Hunter, his uncle, James Biden, and Biden family associate Rob Walker, changes the entire threat — and the range of options — for the Bidens. Attorney General Merrick Garland moved quickly and aggressively to prosecute Trump associates such as Steve Bannon who failed to appear or cooperate with Congress. The public will demand the same vigorous prosecution in the face of any similar contempt by Biden associates. Moreover, Hunter has tried a wide array of approaches to these allegations of influence peddling, from a plea for sympathy to threats of litigation. Too many in the media have been willing enablers of these shifting claims, including figures like Jimmy Kimmel who conducted a softball interview that portrayed Hunter as a hero rather than an alleged influence peddler.

That may now change. If Hunter lies to congressional investigators, he can be charged with a federal crime. While the Justice Department allowed the statutes of limitations to run on various felonies, Hunter would be faced with a new set of charges with years for criminal charges to be brought by prosecutors. The situation is equally serious for the president’s brother, James, who has long been accused by House Republicans of influence peddling. Most recently, House investigators disclosed that, in 2018, James Biden received two loans totaling $600,000 from Americore Health, which they described as “a financially distressed and failing rural hospital operator.” The company has been referenced in past reports of alleged influence peddling by James Biden.

According to the company’s bankruptcy proceedings, it made the loans “based upon representations that his last name, ‘Biden,’ could ‘open doors’” to new overseas investors. On the day he received the second loan transfer, James Biden allegedly sent a check for the same amount — $200,000 — to Joe Biden as a “loan reimbursement.” The House committee also reports finding a $40,000 check from James Biden and his wife to Joe Biden. Again, it was marked as a “loan reimbursement. Congressional interviews can be perilous, but they are far more so when your client’s interview will cover years of transactions and statements. It presents a target-rich environment for investigators and ample opportunities to make misleading or false statements for witnesses.

Hunter and his uncle may soon have company. In addition to a subpoena for Biden family associate Rob Walker, the House committee has requested voluntary transcripted interviews with Sara Biden, Hallie Biden, Elizabeth Secundy, Melissa Cohen and onetime Hunter business associate Tony Bobulinski. Figures like Bobulinski are likely to cooperate. He already has accused President Biden of lying about his lack of knowledge of foreign dealings, including giving detailed accounts of meeting with Joe Biden in a hotel.

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“Judge Engoron’s lawlessness sends an ominous and illegal warning to New York business owners: If New York judges don’t like your politics, they will destroy your business, the livelihood of your employees, and you personally.”

Stefanik Hits “Radical Leftist” Trump Judge With Ethics Complaint (ZH)

While the jury is still out over whether the wife of Judge Arthur Engoron made anti-Trump posts on X, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has filed an ethics complaint against judge himself, accusing him of displaying “inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance” towards the former president in his civil fraud trial taking place in New York. “I filed an official judicial complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron for his inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance in New York’s disgraceful lawsuit against President Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization,” Stefanik told NBC News. “Americans are sick and tired of the blatant corruption by radical Leftist judges in NY. All New Yorkers must speak out against the dangerous weaponized lawfare against President Trump.”

Scott Adams

According to the complaint, Engoron has exhibited “clear judicial bias” against Trump, including telling Trump’s attorney that the former president is “just a bad guy,” who NY Attorney General Letitia James “should go after.” “Simply put, Judge Engoron has displayed a clear judicial bias against the defendant throughout the case, breaking several rules in the New York Code of Judicial Conduct,” reads the letter. “Judge Engoron entered summary judgment against the defendant before the trial even began, without witnesses, other evidence, and cross-examination,” she continued, noting that this was “despite the fact there’s disputed material evidence–and there’s no victim of the defendant’s supposed fraud. ”

Stefanik also notes that Engoron and his staff are “partisan Democrat donors,” and that Engoron himself, as recently as 2018, “donated to the Manhattan Democrats.” “If Judge Engoron can railroad a billionaire New York businessman, a former President of the United States, and the leading presidential candidate, just imagine what he could do to all New Yorkers,” the letter continues. “Judge Engoron’s lawlessness sends an ominous and illegal warning to New York business owners: If New York judges don’t like your politics, they will destroy your business, the livelihood of your employees, and you personally. This Commission cannot let this continue.” “Section 100.2(A) states: ‘A judge shall respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.’ Judge Engoron has grossly failed to do this,” she wrote.

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Meryl Nass

 

 

 

 

James Taylor

 

 

 

 

Farage

 

 

Dog stairs

 

 

Kookaburra
https://twitter.com/i/status/1722901256610381932

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 092023
 


Hieronymus Bosch Adoration of the Magi c1472

 

Another Interview With Dominique De Villepin On The Conflict In Palestine (MoA)
‘Catastrophic’ Mistake for US to be Drawn Into War With Hezbollah and Iran (Sp.)
The Nothingness of a War Consciousness (Dennis Kucinich)
Russia’s Public Pivot To Palestine (Pepe Escobar)
Israel Attempt To Destroy Hamas Will Breed More Radicalisation – UN Expert (G.)
The Incredible Lightness of Barack Obama (Victor Davis Hanson)
‘Open War’ May Break Out Within Kiev Regime Leadership – Analyst (Sp.)
Ukrainian Women to Be Zelensky’s New Cannon Fodder (Sp.)
‘We Have A Plan’ – Zelensky (RT)
Ukraine Will Bring War To EU – Hungary (RT)
Wife of NY Judge In Case Against Trump Attacking Him On Social Media (PM)
US House Panel Subpoenas Hunter & James Biden (Sp.)
AstraZeneca Taken to Court Over “Defective” Covid Jab in Landmark Case (DS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trump Tucker

 

 

Tucker Greenwald

 

 

 

 

Watters CIA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1722081720797675523

Election theft

 

 

 

 

Translated By Arnaud Bertrand, who says: “Another masterful interview on Gaza of Dominique De Villepin, former Prime Minister of France, who IMHO is the best diplomat the West has produced in decades.”

“The wounds of history are awakening.”

Another Interview With Dominique De Villepin On The Conflict In Palestine (MoA)

We are essentially dealing with a policy of vengeance from the Netanyahu government. Israel has the right to self-defense, but self-defense does not give an indiscriminate right to kill civilian populations. When you target an ambulance, you can always imagine that there was a terrorist in one of the ambulances, or not. But the result is that there are children, women who die. Every child, every woman killed, that’s more terrorists. Therefore, Israel’s objective, what Israel achieves, is exactly the opposite of what they wish. So, it is essential today to change this logic and return to a strategy that is sound. Hostages, everything must be done to secure their release. But let’s not forget: the Palestinian people are also taken hostage, by Hamas and by Israel.

And Hamas, we all know, cares little for the Palestinian people. So telling Hamas: “we will not lift the siege, we will not have a humanitarian truce until the hostages are released,” is a dialogue of the deaf. Benjamin Netanyahu is waging a war to do everything so that the political solution does not come to the table. And this is where the international community, Europe, the United States, must tell Benjamin Netanyahu that this war is not acceptable. It is not acceptable because it leads us directly [to escalation] – because we can see it well, from Hamas we will move to Iran, from Iran we will move to other targets, and we then enter into the logic of a clash of civilizations. When Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu says that on one side there is the people of light and on the other the people of darkness, we can see the kind of spiral we are getting into.

All the wars that have been going on for the past twenty years are wars that begin and do not end. These are frozen conflicts. We know how to start a war; we do not know how to end it. And Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu could control Gaza, it would change nothing. There will continue to be terrorist attacks, Israelis will continue to live in fear. We must get out of this. The second reason why this is yesterday’s war is that the war against terrorism has never been won anywhere. Force is not the answer, once again. Vengeance is not the answer. The answer is justice, and that is what all the peoples of the world, all those who today watch what is happening, call for justice. Today the direction we must follow is to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from continuing his suicidal logic that will make Israel a besieged state. They can besiege Gaza, but they will be besieged. And do not think that tomorrow we will again have a pacified discourse with Saudi Arabia, with the Arab states that will normalize the situation: no! The wounds of history are awakening.

Israel’s interest is to have a responsible state at its side. And this responsible state, let’s stop splitting hairs, must clearly be the West Bank, all of the West Bank. It must be Gaza, with access between the two territories, and East Jerusalem. The problem, and this is the whole point of Benjamin Netanyahu’s escalation, is that Benjamin Netanyahu does not want it. And the policy of separation must be dignified. That is, it must confer to the Palestinians a state where they can live, a viable state, a true state, which can build itself and which will be all the more at peace… [Host: “Does that mean that the settlements in the West Bank have to be removed?”] Well, when we left Algeria, there were a million French who left Algeria. Today there are 500,000 Israelis colonizing the West Bank, and there are 200,000 in East Jerusalem. [Host: “They must leave the West Bank?”] Yes. Yes, that is history, that is responsibility, that is the price! I tell you solemnly, it is the price of security for Israel! And all those who today consider that it will never be enough are pursuing the worst policy.”

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“Netanyahu has asked three successive American presidents to either attack Iran or to join with Israel to attack Iran, and the answer has been ‘no’ three times.”

‘Catastrophic’ Mistake for US to be Drawn Into War With Hezbollah and Iran (Sp.)

In an article for Al-Mayadeen earlier this week, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter argued that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu is trying to escalate the situation in Lebanon in order to draw the US into a multi-front war against Hezbollah and ultimately Iran. However, Ritter also argued that such a maneuver would not succeed, because Hezbollah won’t be goaded into a conflict that will put it at a disadvantage on the global stage. Ritter said if Hezbollah takes the initiative and launches a full-scale attack on Israel, “people will stop talking about Palestine. People will stop talking about Israel’s aggression, and they will now focus on a new front that will probably include Iran.”

“This is again why [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah speaks of perseverance. Perseverance means that you have to struggle through the difficult times to ensure that you are not distracted from the strategic vision,” Ritter said, adding that “Hamas is winning this fight. Israel cannot prevail. Israel cannot defeat Hamas on the ground. Israel has lost the propaganda battle globally; they have lost in the United States.” John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer and whistleblower about the US torture program, told Radio Sputnik’s “The Critical Hour” on Tuesday that Ritter and Nasrallah are right: the US cannot win a war against Hezbollah and should not get involved in such a fight.

“I think Scott Ritter is right. And, you know, I would remind everybody, too, if you recall a month ago, in the immediate aftermath, just in 24 or 48 hours after the Hamas attack on Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu said – and he said it definitively at the time – that the Iranians were behind it all, that that Iran was supplying weapons to Hamas, that Hamas couldn’t have pulled this off by itself, this had to be an Iranian operation. And it wasn’t an Iranian operation. But that was very consistent with Netanyahu’s thinking over the past two decades,” said Kiriakou, who is also the co-host of “Political Misfits” on Radio Sputnik. “Netanyahu has asked three successive American presidents to either attack Iran or to join with Israel to attack Iran, and the answer has been ‘no’ three times. And so now he sees this as an opportunity to bring the Americans in, to either help defeat Hezbollah while the Israelis focus on Hamas, or to defeat Iran, while the Israelis focus on Hamas. Because the truth of the matter is: Israel cannot fight a two-front war. It’s just not equipped,” Kiriakou said.

“Now, we heard from Netanyahu’s office today that the IDF is – their words – ‘deep in the heart of Gaza’. Well, good luck with that. Good luck with miles and miles of tunnels, good luck finding an enemy that is intertwined with the civilian population. Good luck. That doesn’t mean that the United States should be dragged into it. We have our own problems now with Ukraine and with what seems to be an overwhelming national desire to jump in on the side of the Israelis from a distance – but that doesn’t mean that we have to send American troops to help Israel fight its war.”

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“The America that could be, our own hopes and dreams for a prosperous and secure nation, lie alongside the bodies of the men, women and children in those ruins.”

The Nothingness of a War Consciousness (Dennis Kucinich)

We are now being presented, several times a day, with media examples of the effect of extreme violence visited on the captive people of Gaza. The images are heartbreaking. The reality unbearable. Bodies of Palestinian families strewn like refuse along a road that they had trekked as a path to safety. A car turns around at a checkpoint in Gaza, its occupants are hit with a shot from behind, from a tank and everything, the car and its occupants, disappear in a puff. A Palestinian journalist mourns his colleague, who only a half hour earlier, was reporting on air. After work, he went home, a bomb hit, killing him and his 11-member family. The video of his ruined house shows several children’s party dresses that lie amidst the rubble. The human family is in the rubble.

An ambulance convoy, filled with injured Gazans, under the supervision of medical authorities, headed to the Rafah border crossing, was struck by the Israeli air force with the stated suspicion that the vehicle, which was headed away from the battle, carried Hamas fighters. War reduces all nothingness. It is as if 10,000 Palestinians and more had never existed. But they did, just as the 1,400 Israelis killed on October 7 existed. They had birthdates, names, fragile exchanges of human emotion, of love of family, private moments in everyday life that confirmed their existence. Obliterated. Nothingness. Whatever media we consume, we see only a fraction of the massive display of inhumanity occurring in Gaza, the reduction of living, breathing, feeling people to objects. This is heartless. This is soulless. This reduces all of existence to the nothingness of smoke, human smoke.

The violence it is calculated. It is rooted in power politics, in racism, in apartheid, in twisted history, opportunism disguised as vengeance, statecraft as slaughter. We in America, are paying for the extermination of our fellow humans. Our weapons are creating carnage against helpless people. Our aircraft, our ships, our troops have entered the fray, greatly outnumbered. But we are not helpless. We must demand, now, that our government take a new direction, and soon, not only for a cease fire, but a ceasing of war, the end of arms sales to fuel war, the end of 800 military bases around the world; the end of the theft of our tax dollars for killing; the end of policies that pit people against each other, the end of the destructive psychology justifying violence to maintain “strategic balance,” the end of the false justifications for sending our troops into harm’s way.

It is an unfathomable, beyond the Orwellian, to commit ethnic cleansing and call it defense, to preach democratic values while practicing apartheid, to claim wholesale theft of property a right, to take Palestinians, their homes, kill their children, destroy their family, their culture, their history and deem it the fulfillment of a prophecy ordained by God. That this genocide is being visited upon the Palestinians by the descendants of those who suffered the utterly condemnable, indelible inhumanity of the Holocaust is incomprehensible. After all, who has suffered more than the Jews during the Holocaust? Entire families wiped out in a racist elimination plan. [..] Do not assume that it is only the artifacts of the humble, daily lives of Palestinians that lay buried in bomb craters. The America that could be, our own hopes and dreams for a prosperous and secure nation, lie alongside the bodies of the men, women and children in those ruins.

Leaving Gaza

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“This is not about Gaza, but about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The State of Palestine is an integral part of that solution.”

Russia’s Public Pivot To Palestine (Pepe Escobar)

The Russian president made a direct connection between the American drive to extend “its global dictatorship” and the policy obsession with promoting non-stop chaos: “This chaos will help it contain and destabilize its rivals or, as they put it, their geopolitical opponents, among which they also rank our country, which in reality are new global growth centers and sovereign independent countries who are unwilling to kowtow and play the role of servants.” Crucially, Putin made a point to “repeat again” to both his internal and Global South audiences that, “the ruling elites of the United States and its satellites are behind the tragedy of the Palestinians, the massacre in the Middle East in general, the conflict in Ukraine, and many other conflicts in the world – in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and so on.”

It is a vitally important point. By conflating the perpetrators of the Ukraine conflict and the war on Gaza – “the United States and its satellites” – the Russian president has effectively lumped Israel in with the western Hegemon and its agenda of “chaos.” Essentially, what this tells us is that the Russian Federation unequivocally aligns itself with the overwhelming majority of Global South/Global Majority public opinion – from the Arab world to all the lands of Islam and beyond, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Interestingly, Moscow aligns with the analyses by Iranian Leader Ayatollah Khamenei – a strategic partner of Russia – and Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah, in his searing, sophisticated, Sun-Tzu tinged address this past Friday, on “the spider that is trying to entangle the entire planet and the whole world in its cobweb.”

Exhibit B on Russia’s official position, specifically on Israel-Palestine, came from Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, at a special UN General Assembly session on Palestine two days after Putin’s address. Nebenzya made it abundantly clear that Israel, as an occupying power, does not have “the right for self-defense” – a fact supported by a UN International Court consultative ruling way back in 2004. At the time, the court also established, in a 14 out of 15 judicial vote, that Israel’s construction of a massive wall in occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, was against international law. Nebenzya, in legal terms, nullified the endlessly evoked “right to self-defense” argument brandished by Tel Aviv and the whole NATO galaxy. The Hegemon, Tel Aviv’s protector, recently vetoed Brazil’s draft humanitarian UN Security Council just because it did not mention Israel’s “right to self-defense.”

Even as he underscored that Moscow does recognize Israel’s right to ensure its security, Nebenzya stressed this right “could be fully guaranteed only in case of a fair resolution of the Palestinian problem based on recognized UN Security Council resolutions.” The record shows that Israel does not respect any UN Security Council resolution on Palestine. Exhibit C on Russia’s stand regarding Israel/Palestine was provided by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a press conference with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Al-Sabah, two days after Nebenzya’s intervention at the UN. Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s priorities already stressed by Putin and Nebenzya: an urgent ceasefire, humanitarian corridors, and a return to the table to negotiate “an independent Palestinian state, as envisaged by the UN Security Council within the 1967 borders, which would coexist in peace and security with Israel.”

Lavrov stressed once again that several US-Israeli diversionary tactics are being employed “aimed at delaying (if not burying) the UN Security Council’s decision to establish a Palestinian state.” This, says the Russian foreign minister, implies condemning the Palestinians “to an eternal existence without rights. This will ensure neither peace nor security in the region, it will only drive the conflict deeper. And you won’t be able to drive it deep. The next ‘grapes of wrath’ will be sown, which will quickly ‘sprout.’” Lavrov’s analysis, as much as Putin’s, converges with Khamenei’s and Nasrallah’s: “This is not about Gaza, but about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The State of Palestine is an integral part of that solution.”

Russia is sowing the seeds to exercise the role of trusted mediator for all parties in Israel/Palestine – a role totally unsuitable for the Hegemon, especially after the tacit approval of the current Israeli ethnic cleansing of Gaza. It’s all here, clearly formulated by Lavrov: “It will be fundamentally important for us to know the unanimous opinion of the Arab world.” That is a message specifically targeting Sunni regimes vassalized by Washington. Then, when they get their act together, “we will support the Arab solution to this very difficult issue.”

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”They live with fear, and their major fear is not to see their mother and father any more, either because they are killed or because the children themselves get killed..”

Israel Attempt To Destroy Hamas Will Breed More Radicalisation – UN Expert (G.)

Israel’s attempt to wipe out Hamas in response to the attacks of 7 October is likely to breed only further radicalisation, besides being unlawful, the UN special rapporteur on theoccupied Palestinian territories has said. In an interview with the Guardian, Francesca Albanese also said the international community was “reaping the whirlwind” of failing to heed the concerns of those, including herself, who had criticised Israel’s “systematic repression of Palestinian human rights”. “We raised the alarm in the international community, the human rights community, but no one has really listened,” Albanese said. “Now it has reached a dangerous point of no return where the chances of peaceful coexistence have dropped vertically off a cliff. In fact, we are staring into an abyss.” Albanese, an Italian academic, has often been accused by Israel of displaying pro-Palestinian bias, a charge she denies.

She challenged Israel to consider what is in its own self-interest. “Half the infrastructure of Gaza has been destroyed. 9,000 people have been killed, 3,500 of them are reported to be children, over 1,000 of them are still under the rubble. How on earth is that going to lead to peace?” She doubted it was possible to eradicate Hamas, which she described as “not just a military presence but a political reality”. “Even if it was possible to eradicate Hamas, if [Israel] was to exterminate everyone, everyone, so not just the militants, but anyone who works for Hamas including service providers, even if that was possible, but Israel’s occupation remained in place, all the grievances would continue to grow and another resistance will emerge. It’s natural, it’s almost a law of physics. History confirms that.” Her most recent report as UN special rapporteur was on children in the occupied territories, and she said she fears for the further psychological damage inflicted over the last month.

“When you see children there, a profound trauma has gone across their tiny bodies,” she said. “They can speak like adults, they speak of the rights, they speak of the world they know and the world they want. They live with fear, and their major fear is not to see their mother and father any more, either because they are killed or because the children themselves get killed. “The parents of these kids say that they’re scared because they see what it is like for them, that there are fewer alternatives to armed resistance. And it’s difficult to keep the kids away from that path because so many hopes have been destroyed. … When they resist peacefully, and use international law such as the International criminal court or the international court of justice, the international community has been deaf. People feel left with nothing and this is a huge responsibility for the international community to reflect upon.”

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X thread.

The Incredible Lightness of Barack Obama (Victor Davis Hanson)

Joe Biden is caught in a quadfecta of corruption, cognitive decline, a failed agenda, and eroding polls. Amid this apparent vacuum, an opportunistic Barack Obama — who used to be more discreet in managing his third term—is reentering the arena. Last week, he came out as the overseer of the Biden administration’s AI agenda, even as his foundation’s “Democracy Forum” was warning Americans about the need for “inclusive capitalism” and the pathologies of “material consumption”—all this from a multi-mansioned multimillionaire. Now, Obama is weighing in on the Gaza war by undercutting his third-term presidential proxy.

Yet just as he seems somewhat clueless about the contradictions of an erstwhile “community organizer” turned into a hyper-capitalist, consumption-addicted elite, so too Obama has little self-awareness about how much of Biden’s unpopularity derives from his continuation of Obama’s own agendas on the economy, border, crime, race, foreign policy, and energy. His apparent obliviousness continues with his most recent odd assertion that, “The occupation and what’s happening to Palestinians is [sic] unbearable.” But Obama surely concedes that Gaza has been autonomous and free of Israelis since 2005, and governed by a “one man, one vote, once” Hamas clique since January 2006. Obama added that, “If you want to solve the problem, then you have to take in the whole truth, and you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean – that all of us are complicit to some degree.”

In truth, Obama’s blanket accusation is absurd. Over the last 17 years, an autonomous Hamas has managed to create both a hierarchy of billionaires ensconced in luxury Qatari hotels, and the most sophisticated subterranean tunnel city in the world—but little else except corruption, poverty, and violence for all concerned. Obama again seemed unaware of his own confession when he lectured, “nobody’s hands are clean” and “all of us are complicit”. Not quite, Barack.

Those most culpable for the current catastrophe are Obama and his team, who invited in Robert Malley to be their point man on Hamas; cooked up the “Shiite crescent” misadventure; snubbed the grass-roots Green Movement that sought to overthrow the Iranian theocracy; invited the Russians back into the Middle East after a 40-year hiatus; fled Iraq and fueled the ISIS caliphate; lifted sanctions on Iran, giving it a multibillion-dollar war chest that armed to the teeth Hezbollah and Hamas; estranged the U.S. from Israel; and created the media echo chamber that empowered the disastrous Iran Deal.

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“What we can hear from what he’s saying and when he is giving some interviews, it’s seems the guy is losing his footing and he knows it.”

‘Open War’ May Break Out Within Kiev Regime Leadership – Analyst (Sp.)

The prospects of the 2024 presidential election in Ukraine taking place as intended seemed rather unlikely since the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict in February 2022, since the martial law imposed in the country around that time effectively bars elections. This week, the Kiev regime boss Volodymyr Zelensky has also announced that he thinks “the time is not right” for elections in Ukraine. Commenting on this development, independent journalist Sonja Van Den Ende suggested that Zelensky appears “freaked out all the time” as of late, seeing how his army suffers defeat after defeat on the battlefield and his Western backers seem skeptical about Kiev’s odds of winning the Ukrainian conflict. “He is desperate,” Van Den Ende said, arguing that in this situation, elections are the last thing Zelensky wants. “He doesn’t want it because he knows he will be out.”

She argued that Kiev’s inability to defeat the Russian military has become increasingly apparent today, and Ukrainian forces’ attempts to pretend otherwise by launching drone strikes against Russia’s Crimean Peninsula cannot change that. “When countries lose the war, like Hitler did, in the end they get desperate and more radicalized,” van den Ende remarked. “And I think Zelensky is more radicalized now. What we can hear from what he’s saying and when he is giving some interviews, it’s seems the guy is losing his footing and he knows it.” Meanwhile, international relations security analyst Mark Sleboda noted that the United States seems to be “pushing” for Ukraine to hold next year’s presidential election, “even though, according to Ukraine’s constitution, they should not be held” under the martial law.

“But then why is the US pushing for elections, especially since all the real opposition is banned in the country?” Sleboda inquired. According to him, there are hints that the US government wants to “switch horses”, so to speak, by replacing Zelensky with one of Kiev regime’s top generals Valery Zaluzhny, “without going through the embarrassment of another US backed coup in the country to replace the leader so quickly after the last one.” Sleboda also observed that there seems to have been a falling out between Zelensky and Zaluzhny after the latter recently told British media that the much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive turned out to be anything but a success.

Noting how one of Zaluzhny’s aides, Gennady Chistyakov, got killed by an explosion while celebrating his birthday earlier this week, Sleboda remarked that Ukrainian social media channels are just “full of speculation that this was a political hit. They also allege that this was a warning to Zaluzhny and taking one of his pieces off the board by Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Yermak who is seen as kind of a gray cardinal manipulating a lot of things within the regime.” “This seems a fairly credible version to me, considering the way they’re trying to cover this up and wash it away and the embarrassing feature of the whole thing. And that would indicate that we’re pretty much on the brink of open war between the Kiev regime’s political and military leadership,” Sleboda added.

Macgregor

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“..”a step towards equality”..

“.. It also raised the age limit for women eligible for conscription from 40 to 60…”

Ukrainian Women to Be Zelensky’s New Cannon Fodder (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky submitted legislation to the country’s Verkhovna Rada – the parliament – extending martial law and general mobilization in the country for another 90 days starting from November 16 this Tuesday. The move comes as the Kiev regime is struggling to increase the number of troops in the nation’s army after the botched summer counteroffensive claimed the lives of over 90,000 soldiers. A general mobilization in Ukraine was announced immediately after the beginning of Russia’s special military operation on February 24, 2022. Under the law, military reservists between the ages of 18 and 60 have been eligible for conscription. In September 2023, Kiev called upon EU member states to deport alleged Ukrainian “draft dodgers” – something which European countries have largely refused to do so far – while in August, Zelensky ordered a full review of all mobilization exemptions granted by Military Medical Commissions (MMCs) starting from February 24, 2022.

It was earlier reported that those Ukrainians who did not want to fight gave hefty bribes to MMC officials to get fraudulent passes. In the course of the conflict, reports and video-evidence have emerged showing Ukrainian men being forcibly grabbed by conscription officers in various part of the country. Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) report that morale is low and that many conscripts are pushed to the frontline as “cannon fodder”, without proper training, protection or ammo. Meanwhile, a US newspaper has drawn attention to the Kiev regime’s effort to fill its soldier gap by mobilizing more Ukrainian women. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, roughly 43,000 women now serve in the nation’s armed forces which constitute a staggering 40% increase since 2021. Accordingly, the Ukrainian military canceled restrictions which prevented female recruits from serving as machine gunners, tank commanders, snipers and truck drivers. It also raised the age limit for women eligible for conscription from 40 to 60.

The newspaper noted that while the Ukrainian Army’s decision to draw more women and lift restrictions is “a step towards equality”, it “also reflects the tremendous toll” the Ukraine conflict has exacted. In fact, female recruits are no news for modern armies. Around 40,000 Russian women serve in the country’s Armed Forces. Of these, roughly 5,000 are officers, including 44 colonels. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, 1,100 Russian military servicewomen are directly involved in the special military operation in Ukraine; a third of whom have received state awards. When it comes to Israel Defense Forces (IDF), women make up 33% of soldiers and 51% of its currently serving officers. Prior to Israel’s massive operation against Gaza, which brought together around 360,000 reservists of both genders, around 10,000 women served in the IDF in permanent service.

Per the US Department of Defense, women make up 17.3% of the active-duty forces in the US Armed Forces (231,741 servicewomen) and women also constitute 21.4% of the National Guard and reserves (171,000). However, the problem with Ukrainian female recruits is not the quantitative increase in the number to fill the existing gaps, but the dire situation at the front that may quickly turn them into cannon fodder.

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Go away.

‘We Have A Plan’ – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine has a strategy to continue its stalled counteroffensive push against Russia and will try to yield victories shortly, President Vladimir Zelensky has claimed. The president made the remarks on Wednesday as he appeared at the Reuters NEXT conference via a video link. “We have a plan. We have very concrete cities, very [concrete] directions where we go. I can’t share all the details but we have some slow steps forward on the south, also we have steps on the east,” Zelensky stated. While largely avoiding naming any exact locations where such activities are expected to happen, Zelensky promised certain “good steps near Kherson Region,”without elaborating further. Ukrainian forces have a plan for next year, but will “try” to show “battlefield results” by the end of 2023, Zelensky insisted.

“I am sure we’ll have success. It’s difficult,” he added. Zelensky’s remarks contrasted with the assessment given by his top general, Valery Zaluzhny, in an interview with The Economist published last week. The top military commander claimed the conflict between Moscow and Kiev had reached a WWI-style stalemate, with Russia having better chances given its far larger population and vast resources. This may “drag on for years” and“wear down” the country, with a“deep and beautiful breakthrough”unlikely, he warned. Zelensky has previously acknowledged the slow progress of the long-heralded counteroffensive launched by Kiev in early June.

While “some people”expected quick success, the drive ran into “certain difficulties,” Zelensky admitted. However, he somewhat shifted the blame for the lack of progress to Kiev’s Western backers, stating the country received less weaponry from abroad than it had originally hoped for. The botched counteroffensive has resulted in little to no territorial gains for the Ukrainian military, which sustained heavy personnel and material losses. According to Russian estimates, Kiev lost more than 90,000 soldiers in the push, with hundreds of military hardware pieces – including assorted Western-supplied vehicles – damaged and destroyed.

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It already has. Billions worth of it.

Ukraine Will Bring War To EU – Hungary (RT)

Conditions are simply not right for the European Union to consider membership for Ukraine, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday. His words came in response to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s enlargement proposal earlier that day in Lisbon. She had said that that the EU should commence “accession negotiations” with both Ukraine and Moldova, while upgrading the former Soviet republic of Georgia to official candidate status. “By admitting Ukraine, the EU would also get war, which obviously no one wants to happen,” Szijjarto said, according to Hungarian media. “Enlargement should serve to spread peace, not to bring war into the EU.” He said it would be “absurd” for Brussels to assess Ukraine’s progress in implementing reforms or rule of law or any other membership criteria, given the ongoing conflict.

“Right, there is a war in Ukraine, so we can see that neither media freedom nor freedom of speech is enforced, we can see that elections are not held either,”Szijjarto noted. Budapest’s standing position is that Ukraine needs to restore the rights of the Transcarpathian Hungarian community to the level they had in 2015, before Kiev’s drive to disenfranchise the Russian-speaking population. “Since, according to the European Commission, Ukraine has not met the conditions set for membership, we do not consider any further steps to be timely with regard to the accession negotiations with Ukraine,” the foreign minister concluded. According to Szijjarto, the bloc is facing serious security and economic challenges and is getting weaker, so if it’s looking to admit new members as a way of regaining strength, it should look to the Western Balkans, first and foremost Serbia, instead.

According to an EC report, the talks with Ukraine should begin once Kiev satisfies the remaining demands involving the fight against corruption, adopting an EU-compliant law on lobbying and “strengthening safeguards” for ethnic minorities. The EU has not admitted any new members since Croatia in 2013. Earlier this year, Brussels outlined a vague plan to expand by 2030, eyeing the rest of the former Yugoslavia, Albania, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

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“This is incredible bias,” Loomer wrote. “Less than 24 hours ago she posted tweets in which she said ‘F*CK TRUMP.’ ”

The judge must recuse himself but seems to enjoy the attention too much.

Wife of NY Judge In Case Against Trump Attacking Him On Social Media (PM)

It has been revealed that the wife of the judge overseeing the civil case against Donald Trump in New York has been attacking the former president and his lawyer on social media. Dawn Marie Engoron’s posts came just days after her husband, Arthur, expanded a gag order against Trump and his legal team in order to prevent them from speaking publicly against anyone involved in the case. Screenshots obtained by investigative journalist Laura Loomer showed that Mrs. Engoron created, liked, and shared a number of anti-Trump posts, many of which were directly related to the trial. One post included an AI-generated image of Trump bald in an orange prison jumpsuit next to one of an old lady scrawling “F*ck Trump” on a brick wall. Another was simply the latter.

In another series of posts, Mrs. Engoron took aim at Trump lawyer Alina Habba, retweeting someone who described her as someone who “doesn’t know how to act in front of a judge,” and replying to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) with a story about The View’s Whoopi Goldberg mocking Habba as a “whiny baby.”Loomer became aware of Mrs. Engoron’s online behavior after the judge’s wife posted about her interview with Rep. George Santos (R-NY), which focused largely on the trial. After being exposed, Mrs. Engoron locked her account. “This is incredible bias,” Loomer wrote. “Less than 24 hours ago she posted tweets in which she said ‘F*CK TRUMP.’

She posted photoshopped pics of President Trump in an orange jump suit, she attacked me during my Live show last night for exposing her husband, and she is openly attacking President Trump’s lawyer [Alina Habba].” Loomer’s sentiments were shared by many who called on Engoron to recuse himself or “dismiss this nonsensical case.” “Where are all of the leftists asking Justices to recuse themselves over the political leanings of their spouses?” one user asked, referring to the backlash Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas faced over his wife’s views. Engoron has already fined Trump for violating the strict gag order after the former president went after the judge’s clerk on Truth Social.

Loomer

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“The House Oversight Committee has followed the money and built a record of evidence revealing how Joe Biden knew, was involved, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes..”

US House Panel Subpoenas Hunter & James Biden (Sp.)

The US House Oversight Committee announced Wednesday that Chairman James Comer issued subpoenas for Hunter and James Biden, Rob Walker and others to appear for interviews as part of the investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings. “House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY) today issued subpoenas to President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, brother, James Biden, and Biden family associate, Rob Walker, to appear for depositions,” the release said. Comer also requested additional members of the Biden family and their associates appear for transcribed interviews, including the US president’s daughter-in-law Hallie Biden and sister-in-law Sara Biden, the release said.

The Kentucky lawmaker plans to send additional subpoenas and transcribed interview requests later this week. “The House Oversight Committee has followed the money and built a record of evidence revealing how Joe Biden knew, was involved, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes,” Comer said. “Now, the House Oversight Committee is going to bring in members of the Biden family and their associates to question them on this record of evidence.”In September, Comer issued subpoenas for Hunter and James Biden seeking to obtain their personal and business records. The Oversight Committee has disclosed since January that the Bidens and their associates had established more than 20 shell companies, amassing more than $24 million from sources in China and other countries.

Earlier this week, Comer said Joe Biden received a personal check for $40,000 in allegedly laundered money from China involving Hunter Biden’s companies. The latest comes after the top prosecutor in the Hunter Biden case told the House Judiciary Committee during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday that politics did not play a factor in filing charges against Hunter Biden. The meeting marked the first time a special counsel answered questions during an active probe before congressional lawmakers. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty in October to three charges related to the possession of a firearm while he was under the influence of illicit drugs. The charges date back to gun forms from 2018.

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“Victims of VITT – a new condition identified by specialists – question the Government’s monitoring of the vaccine’s rollout and its efficacy”

AstraZeneca Taken to Court Over “Defective” Covid Jab in Landmark Case (DS)

The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been branded “defective” in a multi-million pound landmark legal action that will suggest claims over its efficacy were “vastly overstated”. The Telegraph has the story. The pharmaceutical giant is being sued in the High Court in a test case by Jamie Scott, a father-of-two who suffered a significant permanent brain injury that has left him unable to work as a result of a blood clot after receiving the jab in April 2021. A second claim is being brought by the widower and two young children of 35-year-old Alpa Tailor, who died after having the jab made by AstraZeneca, the U.K.-based pharmaceutical giant. The test cases could pave the way for as many as 80 damages claims worth an estimated £80 million over a new condition known as Vaccine-induced Immune Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis (VITT) that was identified by specialists in the wake of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine rollout. …

The vaccine, which was heralded at its launch by Boris Johnson as a “triumph for British science“, is no longer used in the U.K. The Government recommends three other vaccines for its autumn booster programme. In the months following the rollout, the serious side-effect of the AstraZeneca jab was identified by scientists. Following this, it was recommend it no longer be given to the under-40s in the U.K. because the risk of receiving the jab outweighed the serious harm posed by Covid. AstraZeneca last night told the Telegraph that patient safety was its “highest priority”, that its vaccine, called Vaxzevria, had “continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile”, and that regulators around the world “consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side-effects”. It is understood AstraZeneca, in its legal response, denies causing Mr. Scott’s injuries.

Official figures from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) show at least 81 deaths in the U.K. are suspected to have been linked to the adverse reaction that caused clotting in people who also had low blood platelets. In total, almost one in five people who suffered from the condition died as a result, according to the MHRA’s own figures. … As many as 80 claimants could lodge legal cases with the High Court by the end of the year in a class action that threatens to undermine faith in the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine that was developed jointly with Oxford University. In Mr. Scott’s claim, his lawyers argue that he suffered “personal injuries and consequential losses arising out of his sustaining Vaccine Induced Immune Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia (VITT) as a result of his vaccination on April 23rd 2021, with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination”, which the legal claim alleges was “defective”.

They also argue that no warning of the risk of VITT was included in the product information on the date of supply of the vaccine. AstraZeneca issued press releases following clinical trials saying the vaccine – known as Vaxzevria – was between 62% and 90% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 depending on dosages, with an average of 70%. The legal claim states: “In fact, the absolute risk reduction concerning COVID-19 prevention was only 1.2%.” An absolute risk reduction measures how much the vaccine reduces an individual’s baseline risk of getting ill from Covid at a particular time. If Covid levels are low, the absolute risk reduction rate will be much lower too. This is different from a relative risk reduction, which compares the numbers of vaccinated people getting ill with those getting ill who did not receive the jab.

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CO2

 

 

 

 

Massie Kerry

 

 

 

 

Bigger boat

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 072023
 
 November 7, 2023  Posted by at 9:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  70 Responses »


Hieronymus Bosch St. John on Patmos 1489

 

Hamas Political Wing Offered ‘Clemency’ for Hostage Release – Sy Hersh (Sp.)
US to Transfer $320 Million in Precision Bomb Kits to Israel (Antiwar)
US Diplomats Condemn Israel Policy – Politico (RT)
Israel To Take Over ‘Security’ In Gaza – Netanyahu (RT)
The ICC Must Investigate The Crime Of Genocide In Gaza (Jeremy Corbyn)
Arab States Condemn Israeli Minister’s ‘Nuke Gaza’ Threat (RT)
The Four Wars (Jim Kunstler)
Trump: “I’m The Only One That Will Prevent World War Three” (SN)
Judge Tells Trump’s Lawyers To ‘Control Him’ (RT)
Jack Smith Could Be on Shaky Ground in Trump Charge (ET)
Legacy Media Readies American Public for Ukraine’s Defeat (Sp.)
‘Rational Actors’ Ready To Take Power In Ukraine – Moscow (RT)
Ukrainian Army Has ‘Run Out of Cannon Fodder’ – Former US Envoy (Sp.)
Demographics Is Destiny (Denninger)

 

 

 

 

Habba

Alina Habba response to the Judge saying I’m not here to hear what he has to say: “Then why exactly am I being paid as an attorney and why exactly are taxpayers dollars being used in this court room. The answer is very clear. Because Ms. James… ‘wants to’ make a name for herself. She said this morning that the numbers don’t lie and it won’t lie in this case. Ms. James I have a message for you. The number didn’t lie when you ran for Governor and that’s why you dropped out. And the numbers don’t lie when President Trump runs for office in 2024 and those numbers are loud and clear. This country is falling apart and if we don’t stop corruption in court rooms, where attorneys are gagged. Where attorneys are not allowed to say what they need to say to protect their clients interest. It doesn’t matter what your politics are. Everyone has a right in this country to get up and put a defense. “

 

 

 

 

Right to defend
https://twitter.com/i/status/1721516768659714477

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We’re holding out clemency for the Hamas political leadership – giving them a chance to surrender the hostages and cling to life by moving them to the hospital..”

Hamas Political Wing Offered ‘Clemency’ for Hostage Release – Sy Hersh (Sp.)

Israel, whose military claimed it has encircled Gaza City, and was poised to press on with its attack on Hamas despite widespread calls for a ceasefire or temporary pauses, has estimated that over 240 hostages are being held by the militant group. In secret talks with Israel, the political leadership of Hamas has been offered “clemency” in return for a release of the Gaza-held hostages, US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in an article on Substack. The offer was extended to the group’s political wing, who claim to have not been directly involved in the planning for the October 7 Hamas attack, sources told the journalist. “The thought was that if they agree to try their own people and order them executed, they will be given their lives while also exonerating Israel for the war,” an American official was quoted as saying.

As the Israeli military and political leadership hunt down members of the Hamas military “in the tunnels and rubble of Gaza City,” they have “orders are to shoot to kill on sight,” wrote the journalist. At the same time, the fate of the remaining hostages in Gaza has prompted Israel to come up with incentive for the Hamas political leaders to “save their own lives by arranging for Israeli hostages to be transferred to a basement in the besieged al-Shifa hospital.” Israeli military has insisted that the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip is a stronghold of Hamas. It earlier released 3D-rendered footage showing the alleged extent of a Hamas headquarters it says is burrowed deep underneath the Al-Shifa Hospital. Some Israeli officials “fear that time is running out” amid lack of understanding as to “how long the air in the tunnels will be breathable,” wrote the journalist, adding that there were hopes Israeli hostages could be moved to “safer, drier, and healthier quarters below ground in Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital.” “I was told that water and food would be available,” added Hersh.

“We’re holding out clemency for the Hamas political leadership – giving them a chance to surrender the hostages and cling to life by moving them to the hospital,” a source told the Pulitzer Prize-winner. In a “significant stage” in Israel’s war against Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have claimed it has encircled Gaza City, and divided the besieged enclave into two. It touted its looming operation to destroy the tunnels and Hamas’ military and civilian institutions. At the same time, it is estimated that militants are holding hostage over 248 soldiers and civilians, including foreign nationals. “Thirty-one of the hostages are seventy years and older—one is said to be a Holocaust survivor, and two are infants, aged four months and eight months, with no mother or father, and twenty-three under eighteen years of age,” an Israeli was cited as telling Hersh. The source added that the International Committee of the Red Cross “has not been pressuring Hamas to grant them access to the hostages, although it did seek almost immediate access to the two hundred Hamas prisoners in Israeli custody.”

Sy Hersh recalled that “a possible breakthrough” concerning the hostages “emerged in secret talks between Israel and Yahya Sinwar, a onetime prisoner of Israel who now directs the political wing of Hamas.” Sinwar issued a statement on October 28, that said: “We are ready to conduct an immediate prisoner exchange deal that includes the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for all prisoners held by the Palestinian resistance.” Since then, the Hamas leader and his colleagues have been informed by Israel that if they want to survive, they must “release the Israeli hostages and agree to begin holding immediate war-crime tribunals.” Sy Hersh underscored that the Israelis were seeking the death penalty “for those Hamas combat leaders who encouraged and then did nothing to stop the war crimes of their fighters.”

There has been growing global condemnation of Israel’s retaliatory bombing of Gaza, with the Palestinian Health Ministry saying 10,022 people have been killed since October 7, including 4,104 children and 2,641 women. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Washington, London, Berlin, Rome, Santiago, other cities, demanding an immediate ceasefire, with many perceiving Israel’s actions as a “war crime.” While the “concept of an Israeli-instigated war-crimes tribunal amid a bombing campaign that has flattened much of Gaza may seem out of a bad novel,” wrote Seymour Hersh, he cited an Israeli expert with insider knowledge of the hostage talks as insisting that Yahya Sinwar “could be open to a deal.” “He is a fanatic and an ascetic… Dedicated to the cause. No family, very religious but got very friendly with Shin Bet [Israeli internal security] guys while in prison and was seen as not irrational. He will want a chance to give service to the cause. He will be open to a door,” the expert said. It was added that Sinwar and some Hamas officials “now in Qatar,” would hold out for a deal “to include a commitment that Israel would not come after them if a deal is made.”

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“..the Pentagon has refused to say how much weaponry, equipment, and other types of aid it has provided Israel since October 7..”

US to Transfer $320 Million in Precision Bomb Kits to Israel (Antiwar)

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the Biden administration is planning a $320 million transfer of precision-guided bomb kits to Israel, a show of support for the Israeli onslaught despite the growing civilian death toll. The report said the administration notified congressional leaders on October 31 that it intended to transfer Spice Family Gliding Bomb Assemblies, which turn unguided bombs into precision-guided munitions that can be fired by Israeli warplanes. The bombs will be transferred from weapons manufacturer Rafael USA to its Israeli parent company, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It’s unclear what funds will be used for the transfer or if Israel is purchasing the equipment.

Israel receives $3.8 billion in annual military aid from the US, and the Biden administration is looking to provide another $14 billion to support the Gaza campaign. In the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel, the US began immediately shipping new military equipment to Israel. According to the Journal, the Pentagon has refused to say how much weaponry, equipment, and other types of aid it has provided Israel since October 7. Besides the material support, the US is flying drones over Gaza, has special operations forces in Israel, and has deployed an enormous amount of firepower to the region. The news of the $320 million bomb transfer came as the death toll in Gaza surpassed 10,000, including over 4,000 children. US officials claim they are pressing Israel about the civilian casualties, but the administration refuses to condition military aid or use other leverage it has.

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“When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our American values..”

US Diplomats Condemn Israel Policy – Politico (RT)

Lower- and mid-level diplomats at the US State Department have called on the administration of President Joe Biden to condemn Israel’s bombing of civilians and demand a ceasefire in Gaza, according to a leaked memo seen by Politico. The memo is the latest sign of division within the department over Israel. The memo calls on Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other senior diplomats to publicly demand that Israel agree to a ceasefire, and to align their public and private statements on the conflict, Politico reported on Monday. Criticizing Israel in private but not in public “contributes to regional public perceptions that the United States is a biased and dishonest actor, which at best does not advance, and at worst harms, US interests worldwide,” the memo reportedly states.

“We must publicly criticize Israel’s violations of international norms such as failure to limit offensive operations to legitimate military targets,” the message continues. “When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our American values so that Israel does not act with impunity.” The memo was marked “sensitive but unclassified,” Politico noted, adding that it is unclear how many people signed it, and whether it was submitted to the department’s ‘Dissent Channel,’ which functions as a soapbox for employees to question policy decisions.

Several similar memos have been circulated since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, and Blinken met with a group of dissenting staffers late last month, the Huffington Post reported. A week before the alleged meeting, the State Department’s arms-transfer chief quit his job in protest, writing in his resignation letter that Washington’s rush to arm Israel was “shortsighted, destructive, unjust, and contradictory to the very values that we publicly espouse.” While Blinken has criticized incidents of violence against Palestinians by Jewish settlers, he has spoken more vaguely about the mounting civilian death toll in Gaza. “We’ve engaged the Israelis on steps that they can take to minimize civilian casualties,” he said on Monday, after the Gaza Health Ministry reported that more than 10,000 people had died in the enclave since Israel’s bombing campaign began a month ago.

Despite an overwhelming vote in favor of a ceasefire at the UN General Assembly late last month, Blinken has repeatedly rejected calls for a halt to the Israeli operation. Any pause in the fighting, he argued last week, would give Hamas time to “regroup and repeat what it did on October 7,” referring to the group’s assault on Israel that left around 1,400 people dead. Blinken’s aversion to a ceasefire was echoed in a memo sent to US diplomats at the outset of the conflict. The State Department email urged diplomats and communications staffers to steer clear of phrases such as “restoring calm,” “end to violence/bloodshed,” or “de-escalation/ceasefire,” and instead to emphasize the Jewish state’s right to “self-defense.”

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“President Joe Biden said the move would be a “big mistake.” “It would be a mistake… for Israel to occupy… Gaza again..”

Israel To Take Over ‘Security’ In Gaza – Netanyahu (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his country will have to manage “overall security” in Gaza for an “indefinite” period of time after the current war with Hamas ends. Speaking to ABC News for an interview published on Monday, Netanyahu was asked about Israel’s long-term plans for the territory should it succeed in dismantling Hamas, suggesting the need for a lengthy deployment. “I think Israel will, for an indefinite period, have the overall security responsibility [in Gaza] because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have it,” he said. “When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine.” The comments appear to contradict past statements from senior Israeli officials.

In announcing a major ground assault on the Palestinian enclave last month, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant emphasized that Israeli troops must not be responsible for “day-to-day life in the Gaza Strip.” While the official said Israel would establish a new “security reality” in the area after the current war, he suggested it would seek to hand off post-conflict governance to a third party. Even while vocally supporting Israel’s military operation against Hamas, Washington has warned of the perils of another Gaza occupation. During a recent interview with CBS, President Joe Biden said the move would be a “big mistake.” “It would be a mistake… for Israel to occupy… Gaza again,” he said. “But going in… but taking out the extremists, the Hezbollah is up north but Hamas down south, is a necessary requirement.”

Israel first occupied Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day War with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, and only withdrew its troops and settlers nearly 40 years later. It has maintained a tight blockade over the enclave in the years since, and has launched periodic bombing campaigns against Hamas since the group took control of Gaza in 2006. The latest round of fighting erupted last month on the heels of a Hamas terrorist attack which killed around 1,400 Israelis. The IDF has launched weeks of retaliatory airstrikes and gradually escalated a ground attack on Gaza, leaving more than 10,000 Palestinians dead, according to local officials.

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No Jeremy. The ICC lost all credit when it charged Putin for kidnapping children.

The ICC Must Investigate The Crime Of Genocide In Gaza (Jeremy Corbyn)

My last visit to Al-Shati refugee camp was early 2013. Located on the Mediterranean coast in the north of Gaza, Al-Shati was otherwise known as “Beach Camp”. Vendors sold fruit under multi-coloured parasols. Cats slept in the middle of narrow alleys. Children jostled over skipping rope in the shade. Beach Camp was established in 1948 after 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced in the Nakba. Initially, the camp accommodated around 23,000 refugees. In the following seven decades, that number grew to 90,000, cramped inside 0.5 square kilometres (0.2 square miles) of land – 70 times more populated than London’s city centre. People in Gaza have been living under a blockade for the past 16 years and the Israeli occupation controls most of what goes in and out of Gaza.

Beach Camp was no different – and people there largely relied on aid and services from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to survive, including a health centre, a food distribution centre and several school buildings. Beach Camp Primary School was beautifully maintained. I was allowed up onto the roof, where I could see the fence with Israel on one side. Out to sea were several Israeli patrol boats keeping Palestinian fishermen from sailing more than six nautical miles out. The school was run by inspiring and hard-working teachers, whose philosophy was to create a calm atmosphere for discovery, music, theatre and art. Some of the students showed me their work. Many were drawings of planes, fences and bombs. But there were other drawings too: of their parents, their brothers, their sisters and their friends.

All of the children, obviously, had underlying trauma, but they also had a desire to learn, share and play. On October 9, two days after the deplorable attack by Hamas in southern Israel, there were reports of an Israeli air strike on Beach Camp. This wasn’t the first strike on the camp. In May 2021, at least 10 Palestinians, eight of whom were children, were killed in an air strike. Nor was it the last. Beach Camp has been repeatedly targeted in the past three weeks. When I hear news of bombardment in Gaza, I think about that school at Beach Camp. I don’t know if it is still there. I don’t know if those children and teachers are still alive. I don’t know.

The Israeli army has dropped 25,000 tonnes of bombs onto a tiny strip of land, populated by 2.3 million people. There is no meaningful sense whatsoever that they are trying to avoid civilian deaths. More than 9,900 people in Gaza have been killed, including more than 4,800 children. Survivors still under siege are running out of the basic means of survival: water, fuel, food and medical supplies. Doctors are performing surgery without anaesthesia. Mothers are watching their babies fight for survival in incubators running out of electricity. People are being forced to drink seawater. More than 1 million people have been displaced from their homes.

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“The Israeli military has dropped more than 25,000 tons of explosives on Gaza since October 7, equivalent in power to two of the nuclear bombs used on Hiroshima..“

Arab States Condemn Israeli Minister’s ‘Nuke Gaza’ Threat (RT)

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other Arab states have all denounced Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu for suggesting that his country drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza. Eliyahu was suspended, but not fired, for his remarks. Speaking to Radio Kol Berama on Sunday, Eliyahu said that using nuclear weapons against the Palestinian enclave “is one of the possibilities,” after his interviewer said that this would “flatten” the area and “eliminate everybody there.” Eliyahu, a member of the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, was indefinitely suspended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on Sunday. The minister’s comments “show to what extent extremism and brutality have penetrated the Israeli government,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The fact that Eliyahu was not outright fired, the ministry continued, “reflects the Israeli government’s disregard for all values of humanity, morality, religion and law.” “These statements constitute a violation of international law, as well as incitement to commit grave violations of International Humanitarian Law, such as war crimes, and raise grave concerns of an intent to commit genocide,” the UAE said. Jordan released a similar statement describing Eliyahu’s comments as a “call for genocide and a hate crime that cannot be ignored,” while the Qatari Foreign Ministry said that it “strongly condemns the threat made by an Israeli minister to strike Gaza with a nuclear bomb and considers it a serious incitement to a war crime.” Eliyahu’s remarks revealed that “Israel possesses nuclear weapons, which is an open secret,” Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit declared.

The comments also “confirm the truth of the racist view Israelis hold against Palestinians,” he added. “This is the true face of the occupation government.” Despite Eliyahu defending his comments as “metaphorical,” he faced heavy criticism within Israel. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant condemned his “baseless and irresponsible words,” while opposition leader Yair Lapid called on Netanyahu to fire the minister for causing “harm to the families of the hostages, Israeli society, and our international standing.” The Israeli military has dropped more than 25,000 tons of explosives on Gaza since October 7, equivalent in power to two of the nuclear bombs used on Hiroshima, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor NGO said in a press release on Thursday. More than 10,000 people have been killed and 25,000 injured in the strip as a result of the Israeli bombardment and ground offensive, according to the latest figures from the Gaza Health Ministry.

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“..We emerge from this catastrophe a nearly medievalized society with a steeply-reduced population, unable to resist China’s attempt to colonize us. Pretty scary, huh? Just let’s keep doing what we’re doing.”

The Four Wars (Jim Kunstler)

Bringing us to War No. 3: The US Government’s war against its own citizens. This has been going on since Mr. Trump stepped onto the scene, and has included a semi-successful war against Mr. Trump personally — except that not only has it failed to put him out of business as a politician, it has substantiated many of the claims he made about corrupt and perfidious government that resulted in his election in 2016. All of that has only enhanced his polling numbers. And the lawless, bad faith court cases lodged against him have demonstrated the US government’s grievous fall into willful malfeasance that has the DOJ arresting and unfairly persecuting hundreds of innocent Americans that support Mr. Trump.

A big part of the government’s war against US citizens has been the bizarre Covid-19 episode and the long-running effort by public officials to deceive the population about it, including lockdowns and destruction of small businesses, the dishonest suppression of viable treatments, gross censorship about the harms of the mRNA vaccines, and trickery around the origins of the vaccines in the back rooms of our Department of Defense. Another front of this war is the wide-open Mexican border, a lawless state of affairs created as deliberate policy by our cabinet secretaries, and done at a time when there is tremendous animus against the US from many other nations who send thousands of sketchy young men into our country with no attempt by our border officials to determine who they are.

It looks like “Joe Biden’s” hash will be settled shortly when the House, reorganized under a young and vital new speaker, reveals the Biden family’s bank records and begins the process of impeaching the president for bribery. “Joe Biden’s” party pretends that this is not happening and appears to have no plan to deal with consequences. For the moment, they still stupidly tout him as their candidate for the 2024 election, another arrant falsehood you can add to the thousand-and one affronts against the public that this party has tried to put over. Many Americans suspect there will not be a 2024 election, specifically that whoever is president in the coming year will invoke yet another national emergency order to postpone it on spurious grounds. Many are also far from persuaded that the 2020 election that installed “Joe Biden” was honest and legitimate.

Which brings us to War No. 4: The American peoples’ war against a government gone rogue. Obviously, it is not underway yet, but it’s easy to see how it might develop. I think it could commence in the aftermath of a financial calamity that is visibly brewing in the debt markets. The net result will be a collapsed standard-of-living for everyone in the USA, the breakdown of supply lines and daily business, and a very sharp loss of legitimacy for the people who have been in charge of anything in this country. We emerge from this catastrophe a nearly medievalized society with a steeply-reduced population, unable to resist China’s attempt to colonize us. Pretty scary, huh? Just let’s keep doing what we’re doing.

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“..we have unbelievable technology. It can shoot a needle out of the air, it is incredible.”

Trump: “I’m The Only One That Will Prevent World War Three” (SN)

During a speech at the Florida Republican Party’s “Freedom Summit” in Kissimmee Saturday, Donald Trump declared that he is the only candidate who can prevent World War Three, warning that “we are closer than anyone understands” to “obliteration.” Trump also told the crowd that “When you think of it, how important elections are, you’d have millions of people alive right now if the 2020 election was not rigged. They would be alive. Ukraine, Israel. The attack would have never been made. All of these people would be alive, the cities would be thriving.” Trump pointed to the global chaos that is now further unfolding, noting “For four straight years, under the Trump administration, I kept America safe, I kept Israel safe, and I kept the entire world safe.”

“I kept my promise and recognized Israel’s eternal capital and opened the American embassy in Jerusalem,” Trump continued, adding “I also recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and really, probably most importantly, but they did nothing with it, I withdrew from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, but they were supposed to do something with it. And you could have because Iran did not have any money.” “What is going on. What is going on now is shocking,” Trump urged, adding “All over the planet our enemies knew that if you tried to kill our citizens we will kill you. If you spill a drop of American blood, we will spill a gallon of your blood. That is what it was, and it was not a threat, that was just the way it was going to have to be. And we do it because we want to make sure we are not starting wars. We did not have to start wars.” Trump further noted, “In the debate with beautiful Hillary Clinton, she said, ‘Look at him. Look at the way he talks. He is going to get us into wars. He is going to start World War III.’

And I said, ‘No, no, it is the way I talked that will keep you out of World War III.’” He continued, “To every American is petrified that Joe Biden’s catastrophic weakness will bring our country to ruin, which he has a great chance of doing, he is close to that anyway. He’s close to economic ruin, I make you this promise, as your president, and nobody else can say it, I will restore peace through strength, and, yes, I am the only one that will prevent World War III, because we are very close to World War III.” Trump further warned, “this will not be a First World War or a Second World War. This will be obliteration, because the level of power, of weaponry of power you have never seen anything — you do not want to see it. When they talk about global warming, because in 250 years our ocean will be one inch higher, and they never mention the power of nuclear weapons, where one madman can do damage the likes of which nobody has ever seen before. It is just crazy. It is crazy to see it, it is crazy to talk about it.”

“But I will stop it, and it will happen very quickly. There will not be a World War III, and we are closer than anyone understands. To protect our citizens from foreign threats, I will build a state-of-the-art missile defense shield. We will build that. We will build that,” Trump vowed. He continued, “And it will be jobs for America. It will be built in America. We developed the technology, nobody else, by the way. A lot of people said we developed the technology. The technology was developed by us, and it works. You see it. Ronald Reagan wanted to do it, but at that time they did not have the technology. The concept was good, but we have unbelievable technology. It can shoot a needle out of the air, it is incredible. Would you feel a little safer, a little more comfortable if we can do that? And it is jobs, jobs in America.”

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“When another Trump lawyer stood up to argue that Trump should be allowed to answer the questions in his own way, the judge shouted, “Sit down already. Sit down.”

Judge Tells Trump’s Lawyers To ‘Control Him’ (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has taken the stand in the New York civil fraud case against him, angering the judge by criticizing the court and arguing that he is being attacked by politically motivated prosecutors around the country. The trial resumed on Monday with Trump testifying for the first time to rebut allegations by New York Attorney General Letitia James that he and other executives in his real estate organization fraudulently inflated the value of key properties to get favorable loan terms. James is seeking $250 million in damages in her lawsuit, which comes at a time when the ex-president also faces felony charges in four separate criminal cases against him. While being questioned by state attorney Kevin Wallace, Trump said, “You and every other Democratic district attorney, AG, US attorney were coming after me from 15 different sides – all Democrats, all Trump haters.”

He accused James of perpetrating a “political witch hunt” and claimed that Judge Arthur Engoron was biased against him. The judge repeatedly interrupted Trump’s testimony to complain that his answers were not directly responsive to the questions and veered off into political speeches. “This is not a political rally,” Engoron told Trump’s lawyers, suggesting that they “need to have a talk with him right now.” As the ex-president continued to offer his opinions on the case, the judge said, “I beseech you to control him if you can. If you can’t, I will. I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.” At stake is the future of Trump’s real estate empire. The judge, who has already found Trump and his co-defendants liable for “persistent and repeated” fraud, will decide on penalties at the end of the trial.

He has said that he will dissolve some of Trump’s companies, which could result in the ex-president losing some of his most prominent New York properties. Trump, who is polling as the leading Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential race, has called Engoron a “deranged, Trump-hating judge.” The loans related to the disputed property valuations have already been repaid. Trump testified on Monday that although he lowered the valuations on two of his properties, his holdings were actually worth more overall than claimed on the financial statements given to lenders. “The most valuable asset was the brand value,” he said. “I became president because of my brand.”

Christopher Kise, one of Trump’s lawyers, told Engoron that it was only fair for the American people to hear the ex-president’s views on the case. “This is a situation where you have on the stand a candidate for president of the United States,”Kise said. “The court needs to hear what he has to say about these statements.” Engoron shot back, “No, I am not here to hear what he has to say.”When another Trump lawyer stood up to argue that Trump should be allowed to answer the questions in his own way, the judge shouted, “Sit down already. Sit down.” Undeterred by the judge’s interjections, Trump said, “This is a very, very unfair trial – very — and I hope the public is watching it.”

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“..everyone in this election is going to be talking about these cases,” the law professor said, “except one person under this gag order and that is Donald Trump.”

Jack Smith Could Be on Shaky Ground in Trump Charge (ET)

Two analysts have noted that special counsel Jack Smith might be on shaky legal ground in his federal election-related case against former President Donald Trump. Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor, said that the Trump charge of corruptly obstructing an official proceeding hasn’t been “extensively litigated” over the past several decades, adding that a ruling could come on whether it is appropriate in the former president’s case. Multiple defendants who were charged in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach have “argued that Congress certifying the electoral votes was not an ‘official proceeding’ and courts have universally rejected that argument,” she told Newsweek last week.

“This bigger question is, what satisfies the ‘corruptly’ requirement? Is it any criminal conduct, such as trespassing in the Capitol building or submitting fake electors? Or does the corrupt conduct have to relate to the other subsections of 1512, which prohibit destroying or concealing evidence?” she asked. She continued: “If the corruption requires consciousness of guilt, then Trump can argue that he genuinely believed the election was stolen. Either way, this issue will likely end up before the United States Supreme Court because it is a novel issue that affects hundreds of criminal defendants, including the former president.” Lawfare’s Roger Parloff wrote in a recent article that the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently won two “fragile” victories in two cases involving Jan. 6 defendants, and Mr. Smith has “relied on [a] statute” that was used by other prosecutors to charge at least 317 individuals in the Jan. 6 case.

“Smith has relied on that statute and its conspiracy equivalent, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k), for two of the four counts in his indictment against former President Donald Trump for allegedly conspiring to overthrow the 2020 election,” Mr. Parloff wrote. “Those counts, whose legal sufficiency Trump challenged in a motion to dismiss this week, are the most serious leveled against Trump in that case, carrying a maximum 20-year term of imprisonment.” Three appellants in a Jan. 6 case are now petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review a recent appeals court ruling that favored the DOJ, he noted, but he said that the D.C. appeals court judges “can’t agree about its holdings, and its holdings determine the viability of a 20-year felony that an ex-president and major presidential candidate now stands charged with violating.”

“Moreover, at the appeals court level, judges’ acceptance of the Justice Department’s interpretations of that law have been 100 percent correlated with the political party of the judge’s appointer,” he wrote. “If that trend continues, and if either case climbs one more rung up the appellate ladder, the department (and Mr. Smith) faces bleak prospects indeed.” The comments come as constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley warned that the gag order targeting President Donald Trump is “unconstitutional” and said that an appeals court ruling to rescind the order last week was a “quite significant” development. Several weeks ago, District of Columbia Judge Tanya Chutkan placed a gag order on the former president in the Jan. 6-related case, saying President Trump cannot speak about potential witnesses, court staff, or prosecutors. An appeals court in the district froze Judge Chutkan’s order late last week, with oral arguments being set for Nov. 20.

“They could have left it to continue, to continue while they reviewed it, but they decided perhaps in an abundance of caution to order this stoppage until they can give it a full review,” Mr. Turley, a professor for George Washington University, said on Fox News on Nov. 3. “The reason I think this could be quite significant is because I think the order is unconstitutional.” He added that it is “very odd” to issue the order because the same court “insisted on having this trial before the election, sort of shoehorned it in before Super Tuesday,” referring to the key GOP presidential nominating date. “And everyone in this election is going to be talking about these cases,” the law professor said, “except one person under this gag order and that is Donald Trump.”

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“Russian victory in Ukraine would be a terrible blow to US interests, but not terrible enough to risk nuclear war.. ”

Legacy Media Readies American Public for Ukraine’s Defeat (Sp.)

A visibly agitated President Volodymyr Zelensky defiantly denied on Sunday that the NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine had entered a “stalemate,” assuring in an extensive interview with US media that Moscow has not “checkmated” Kiev, and that Ukraine still has many “different plans” to maintain the initiative. “Our military are coming up with different plans, with different operations in order to move forward faster and to strike the Russian Federation unexpectedly,” Zelensky said, in stark contradiction to Zaluzhnyi’s comments about the counteroffensive’s utter failure to penetrate Russian defenses. “As far as the situation on the front is concerned, of course I cannot provide all the details to you but nevertheless we are holding the initiative in our hands. You can imagine what over two years of a full-scale war is like.

Everybody gets tired. Even the iron gets tired,” Zelensky said. “I don’t think that this is a stalemate…We have done a lot,” he assured. Zelensky stressed that Ukraine could not proceed with its operations “barehanded,” “without relevant, proper weapons,” calling for more aid and assuring that money sent to Ukraine is “not aid to Ukraine,” but support for the US and the EU themselves, because Kiev is “defending our joint values.” The Ukrainian president rejected any possibility of negotiations with Russia, saying he didn’t “want to make any dialogue with terrorists,” and dismissing former President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to end the conflict in “24 hours.” Instead, the Ukrainian leader suggested, it would take him “24 minutes to explain [to] President Trump that he can’t manage this war.”

Western media have taken note of Zelensky’s shift in rhetoric, with one outlet pointing out that while the Ukrainian leader once assured the West of a speedy victory, now the message seems to be geared toward asking for more support to prevent the conflict from dragging on indefinitely, playing on the West’s fears of a protracted conflict with Moscow that cannot be won. But some observers have come out ahead of Zelensky, kicking off what seems like a carefully crafted campaign to prepare Western publics for defeat, or a least a “rethink” of what “victory” in Ukraine looks like. “Ukraine today finds itself worse off than it was last November. Its troops are exhausted and depleted, its weapons stocks are running low, and Western publics are more polarized over further support,” one pundit writing in a major US newspaper wrote.

“Ukraine’s counteroffensive was supposed to sustain political support for Kiev by proving that it could reconquer lost territory. Now, supporters of Ukraine might need to make the inverse argument: Ukraine is not reconquering substantial territory, and aid is needed indefinitely to forestall a devastating defeat.” Washington “might need to pivot from dreaming of victory to preparing to live with a stalemate,” since “there is virtually no appetite in the United States for direct war with Russia. Russian victory in Ukraine would be a terrible blow to US interests, but not terrible enough to risk nuclear war,” the observer stressed.

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“The government in Kiev treats its own people as something “alien”..

‘Rational Actors’ Ready To Take Power In Ukraine – Moscow (RT)

Not all Ukrainian elites and politicians agree with Kiev’s current belligerent stance against Moscow, Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said on Sunday while speaking at the ‘Russia’ exhibition in Moscow. “Rational actors” do exist in Ukraine but are currently “suppressed” by the Kiev government, he added. These forces are already “standing in the wings” and are ready to take power when the time is right, the former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) chief said, without elaborating who exactly he may be referring to. Patrushev also said that the Ukrainian governments after the Maidan coup, including the current one led by President Vladimir Zelensky, are “bound to answer” for all the atrocities committed in Ukraine since 2014, including the years-long persecution of the Russian-speaking minority and the people of Donbass, as well as the attacks on Russian civilians, public figures, journalists, and infrastructure.

“They will not be able to hide from a just people’s court like the former SS member Yaroslav Hunka,” Patrushev said, referring to a Ukrainian SS veteran hailed by Canada’s parliament during a visit by Zelensky in September. The incident sparked an angry reaction from Poland, Russia, and several Jewish organizations, and led to the resignation of Canadian House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, who claimed that he was unaware of Hunka’s past. Russia has made it clear that it is not waging war against the Ukrainian people. President Vladimir Putin has said that Ukrainians have become the victims of Western political games and their own government’s policies. The government in Kiev treats its own people as something “alien,” Putin said during his annual address to the Russian parliament in February.

Ukrainians have been turned into “cannon fodder,” he argued, adding that the country had been pushed towards war with Russia since 2014, when Kiev sent military forces to confront the Donbass militias in the wake of the Maidan coup. “Responsibility for the incitement of the Ukrainian conflict, for its escalation and an increasing number of its victims rests fully with the Western elites and with the current Kiev regime,” he stated at the time. Earlier this week, Zelensky once again declared that Kiev will not talk to Moscow or make any concessions to Russia. He also denied reports that Western nations are pushing Ukraine towards peace talks with Russia. He did admit, though, that the country’s media and Ukrainians themselves were speculating about the idea of talks with Russia, adding that he was “surprised” by such sentiments.

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“..Putin said that the West no longer has enough Ukrainian cannon fodder and they are thinking about Lithuanians and Poles.”

Ukrainian Army Has ‘Run Out of Cannon Fodder’ – Former US Envoy (Sp.)

The Ukrainian Army has run out of cannon fodder for an offensive, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman said in an interview with the YouTube channel Dialogue works. “Ukraine is out of cannon fodder, and so NATO is out of cannon fodder too. If the whole program was to fight to the last Ukrainian, and you are running out of Ukrainians, you don’t have a policy,” he said. In his view, Ukraine “could lose” even more territory. As Freeman noted, the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ failures on the battlefield have exposed “serious disagreements” within NATO. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the West no longer has enough Ukrainian cannon fodder and they are thinking about Lithuanians and Poles. In early October, Putin said that Kiev’s offensive had failed, that the enemy’s attempts to advance had failed, and that the Ukrainian military had been halted and pushed back to its original positions, with Ukraine suffering an estimated 90,000-plus casualties.

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“Run those fiscal deficits and you’ve told all the thinking adults that child’s standard of living, when they reach adulthood, will be one quarter of yours today assuming your children are as competent and intelligent as you are.”

Demographics Is Destiny (Denninger)

Let’s face facts folks: Nobody who you want to have children will bring said children into a world where they believe said kids will get screwed. That doesn’t mean kids won’t come anyway; they will, for some. Some adults don’t care what happens to their offspring, some actually use them as meal tickets and more. Some people are also always going to be eternally optimistic and therefore none of this will factor into their decisions. And some will have “accidents” and for personal or religious reasons decide to bear and attempt to raise said kids. But none of that changes the basic facts: People who are of decently-competent intellect and of good character, in a world of technology where one can choose when and whether to reproduce, will only do so voluntarily if they believe it makes sense AND their offspring will get a fair shake.

Destroying the fiscal health of the nation by emitting 8% of GDP in unbacked credit via deficit spending is the exact opposite of such. Simple mathematics tells us that this results in you losing half your standard of living in less than ten years and it takes about 20 years to decide to have a kid, have said kid and raise him or her to adulthood. Run those fiscal deficits and you’ve told all the thinking adults that child’s standard of living, when they reach adulthood, will be one quarter of yours today assuming your children are as competent and intelligent as you are. Would anyone who has two IQ points to rub together have children in that situation, when the options facing said kid 20 years hence are privation to this degree or civil war (and the attendant risk of being dead!) to overthrow said government? NO.

Importing millions of unskilled workers who then drop kids who have parents with no skills, and thus no realistic means of learning much from said parents yet are citizens in the gambit to cheapen labor screws the next two generations sequentially. Oh sure, in two generations or so those kids having their own kids will “outgrow” that but then they are able to compute the same odds and they won’t have children either! Think I’m wrong? The data says I’m not; within two generations those who were the children of illegals stop having lots of babies too and its for the same reason, I’ll wager: They’re convinced their children will get screwed and have one quarter of THEIR standard of living — and they remember living eight to a one bedroom apartment!

You think all those glorious “vacation venues” bringing in H2 workers, and all those “tech” places with H1bs, mean parents have a great experience for their kids at lower cost? Maybe, but in addition they have seen the destruction it wreaks on said kids. Please explain how many of Americans you saw of college age working scooping ice cream or similar this summer to make enough money to go to college in the fall. Zero — or nearly so — right? That’s what I saw all over the country. Now if I’m 20, and thinking about making some kids, where are my kids going to be in 20 years? Unable to get a summer job and unable to afford college too. Many see this, keep their pants on and both Trojan and the birth control pill companies keep having decent quarterly reports.

Good jobs with nice pay tend to be concentrated around cities. How’s Chicago doing these days? Yeah, getting mugged while walking around North Michigan Avenue (assuming you don’t get shot, which is of course even worse) is great. Do you want to expose children you might have to that risk? Hmmmm….. probably not. Oh, and speaking of which how are you going to afford a place to live with said kids when the cost of housing and property taxes have skyrocketed by more than double over the last decade or so — and there’s a new round of screwing headed for you in this upcoming year’s bill, all so you can be a “sanctuary” for a bunch of Venezuelan fighting-age men who illegally came to the US! All of this is very conducive to choosing to bear children, right? I mean its not like you’re going to have to pay those property taxes at an ever-escalating rate for the next 20 years if you choose to have kids, right? Oh, wait…. you are!

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“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

 

 

Cashew

 

 


The Olive tree of Vouveson on the island of Crete, Greece, is one of the oldest olive trees in the world. Scientists from the University of Crete have estimated it to be 4,000 years old, which means that, when it sprouted, the last mammoths were still walking on Earth, someone in China was discovering bronze casting and the seventh Egyptian dinasty was declining.

The Minoan civilization was thriving and its monumental architecture was adorning the island of Crete. The first stones of the Palace of Minos at Knossos which inspired the myth of the Minotaur were laid. This tree saw the humans deeds for thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the artificial intelligence and, possibly the most amazing thing, it continues to produce olives at every season.

 

 


Rangers discovered a one-year-old hippo, whom they have named Owen, alone and dehydrated near Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast after he became separated from his herd in 2004. They took him to a wildlife sanctuary in Mombasa, where he soon found a male tortoise with the same dark grey coloring as adult hippos. The tortoise initially hissed at Owen, warning him to stay away, but according to park officials the pair have since become inseparable.

The Aldabran tortoise, called Mzee, or “Old Man” in Swahili, now eats and sleeps beside Owen. Rangers say they could not have placed Owen with another herd of hippos as he would have been killed by an adult male. The park’s tourism manager, Pauline Kimoto, told reporters: “Since Owen arrived on 27 December, the tortoise behaves like a mother to him. The hippo follows the tortoise around and licks his face.”

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 062023
 
 November 6, 2023  Posted by at 10:28 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  52 Responses »


Max Ernst Santa Conversazione 1921

 

‘America Is Waging The War In Gaza’: Hassan Nasrallah (Cradle)
Iran Defense Minister: ‘Serious Strike’ On US If Gaza War Continues (Sp.)
Why Israel is Losing Opportunity to Beat Hamas – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Nuking Gaza is a Possibility – Israeli Minister (RT)
Western Leaders Know Ukrainians Steal Their Money – Kremlin (RT)
Proxy War in Ukraine Exposed NATO’s ‘Failed’ New Warfare Tactics (Sp.)
Why West is Terrified of Transferring Seized Russian Assets to Ukraine (Sp.)
The New Electric War Campaign (Helmer)
Europe in the Crossfire: Can All Crises Be Managed Simultaneously? (Oncan)
Does Any Member of the US Government Represent Americans? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Connecticut Judge Orders New Bridgeport Mayoral Primary (NYP)
Election Fraud Cases Break Out In 3 Democrat States (JTN)
Trump Leads Biden In 5 Battleground States In New York Times Poll (JTN)
Two Men Who Exposed the Bidens’ Corruption in Ukraine (21CW)

 

 

 

 

QueenRania

 

 

Finkelstein

 

 

 

 

As the US makes sure we blame Bibi, Hezbollah knows who’s behind the curtain..

‘America Is Waging The War In Gaza’: Hassan Nasrallah (Cradle)

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah delivered his first speech since the start of the Gaza-Israel war, in which he blamed the US government for the conflict in the occupied Palestinian territories. “Washington is entirely responsible for the war in Gaza, while Israel is merely a tool. The US is preventing the condemnation of Israel at the UN Security Council and a ceasefire in Gaza,” Nasrallah said on 3 November. The Lebanese resistance leader declared “Hezbollah is not intimidated” by the deployment of nearly a dozen US warships to the Eastern Mediterranean. “Your fleets do not scare us, nor have they ever, and we are all set for them,” Nasrallah stressed. sHe then addressed US planners directly, telling them: “You can stop the aggression against Gaza because this is something you unleashed. Whoever wants to prevent a regional war must hasten to stop this aggression.”

“What’s happening now in Gaza is not a usual war; it is not like wars before. This is a decisive conflict,” the Hezbollah leader added. He also highlighted that Hezbollah “has been escalating its operations day by day and forcing Israel to keep its forces near the Lebanese border instead of Gaza or the occupied West Bank.” “What is happening on our front is extremely important and influential, but it will not remain restricted for too long […] All options on the Lebanese front are open. All choices are on the table, and we may decide at any moment,” the resistance leader warned. On Thursday, Hezbollah launched the biggest attack on Israel since the end of the 2006 war. Nearly 60 Hezbollah fighters have died since the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood in Gaza.

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Iran knows it too..

Iran Defense Minister: ‘Serious Strike’ On US If Gaza War Continues (Sp.)

Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani on Sunday threatened to conduct a “serious strike” against the United States if it does not put an end to the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip. “Our advice to the Americans is to stop the war immediately between Israel and Palestine and ensure a ceasefire, or else the US will face a serious strike,” the brigadier general was quoted as saying by Iranian news agency Tasnim. On October 7, Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing and abducting people in neighboring Israeli communities.

Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2 million people, cutting off supplies of water, food, and fuel. On October 27, Israel launched a large-scale ground incursion inside the Gaza Strip to eliminate Hamas fighters and rescue the hostages. The escalation of the conflict has resulted in the deaths of around 1,400 people in Israel and over 9,000 in the Gaza Strip and raised the risk of a wider regional conflagration due to concerns about Iran or Lebanese militant group Hezbollah joining the fray.

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“They’re also kids of a nation that is averse to casualties. They don’t want their boys and girls coming home in body bags..”

Why Israel is Losing Opportunity to Beat Hamas – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

If the Israeli military hope to defeat Hamas in Gaza, they need to get all the way down to the underground tunnels, veteran former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, and UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter tells Sputnik. But Israel doesn’t want to do that, because “they want war on the cheap,” the geopolitical observer emphasized. “They’re fighting above ground. They’re doing limited tunnel operations. But they’re not succeeding in defeating Hamas. To defeat Hamas, you’ve got to go all the way underground, and you’ve got to shut down the entire tunnel network.” Scott Ritter reiterated that all Israel was doing at present was “destroying the existing infrastructure” amid the soaring civilian death toll,” adding. “The idea still resides that eventually the tunnels would be rebuilt, Hamas will be regrown and Israel will never defeat this ‘idea of resistance’.”

[..] On Sunday, the IDF also said that the Israeli army had gained access to Hamas underground tunnels in the north of the Gaza Strip. Throughout the past weeks, scenes from the bombardment-ravaged Gaza Strip, where Israel had ordered a complete blockade, cutting off supplies of water, food, and fuel, have prompted thousands of protesters to take to the streets of various cities, including the US capital, Washington, DC, to protest against Israeli military activities in the enclave. However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as he met with Middle Eastern leaders in Jordan, again rejected calls for a ceasefire. Washington has been voicing its support for “humanitarian pauses”. Looking back at the initial Hamas incursion in October, and the way the militant group was able to breach the so-called ‘iron wall’, with its ‘smart technology’, Scott Ritter explained that the myth of the “infallibility of Israeli intelligence” has been busted.

Over the years, the Israeli Defense Force “has been propped up” by American technology, said the pundit. “One of our main goals and objectives in supporting Israel is to ensure that Israel sustains technological supremacy over any potential enemy. That’s why we give them the most advanced American weapons, etc… But the IDF itself – outside of, for instance, the pilots, some senior officers and senior NCOs – the vast majority of the defense force is a conscript military,” clarified Ritter. He went on to explain that this meant that the battalions operating at present in Gaza are composed of “18, 19, 20-year-old kids with no meaningful experience whatsoever.” “They’re also kids of a nation that is averse to casualties. They don’t want their boys and girls coming home in body bags,” said Ritter.

According to the Sputnik contributor, the IDF does a lot of “posturing”, using “stand-off strikes” and hiding “behind their technology”. “However, the IDF, when you tangle with them… What you find out is they can’t win. They didn’t beat Hezbollah in 2006. They didn’t beat Hamas in 2014. They’re not beating Hamas now because you can’t win a major conflict with a conscript-based military when you’re not willing to let these people die … But, you know, if you’re going to kill 50,000 Hamas fighters, understand you need to be prepared to lose 20,000 Israelis,” said Ritter. In his opinion, the IDF is “no longer seen as invincible”, but rather “incompetent” and even “weak”. “And this is bad for Israel because it’s a small country. And one of the best tools it had to hold off the forces that are arrayed against it is the mythology of the invincibility of the IDF, and the infallibility of Israeli intelligence. Both those myths have been shattered,” the ex-UN weapons inspector and WMD whistleblower insisted.

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Bibi can suspend him, but this sentiment is not limited to him..

Nuking Gaza is a Possibility – Israeli Minister (RT)

Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu has suggested that his country could launch a nuclear strike on Gaza. The controversial remarks caused outrage across the Israeli government, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspending Eliyahu indefinitely. In a Sunday interview with Radio Kol Berama, when asked if Israel could drop an atomic bomb on the Palestinian enclave, the minister, who is a member of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, replied that “this is one of the possibilities.” Eliyahu also spoke out against helping inhabitants of the enclave, which has been under Israeli siege for several weeks now, arguing that “we wouldn’t hand the Nazis humanitarian aid,” and that “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza.” Shortly after the controversial remarks, Netanyahu announced that the minister had been suspended from all government meetings.

Writing on X (formerly Twitter), his office quoted him as saying that “Eliyahu’s statements are not based in reality,” adding that Israel is “operating in accordance with the highest standards of international law to avoid harming innocents.” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant condemned what he called Eliyahu’s “baseless and irresponsible words,” adding in a post on X that “it’s good that these are not the people in charge of Israel’s security.” Those remarks were echoed by opposition leader Yair Lapid, who called Eliyahu an “extremist” and pointed out that his statement “caused harm to the families of the hostages, Israeli society, and our international standing,” urging Netanyahu to fire the minister.

The minister’s remarks also did not go unnoticed by Hamas, which launched a surprise attack on Israel last month. It stated that the comments are an “expression of the occupiers’ Nazism and [their] genocide practices,” which came after Israel’s “military failure in the face of the [Palestinian] resistance”. Meanwhile, Eliyahu attempted to control the damage, insisting that “it’s clear to anyone with a brain that the remark about the atom was metaphorical.” He maintained, however, that Israel “must display a forceful and disproportional response to terror,” adding that this approach will show “the Nazis and their supporters that terrorism isn’t worthwhile.” Israel has never publicly confirmed or denied having nuclear weapons. However, it is widely believed to have possessed such arms since the late 1960s. According to a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimate, the nation has a total of 90 warheads.

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“Even such extremely powerful economies as the United States can’t do this indefinitely. They have a lot of problems of their own…”

Western Leaders Know Ukrainians Steal Their Money – Kremlin (RT)

Western countries have come to realize that Ukrainian officials are using the funds they receive from their supporters to line their own pockets, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. In an interview with Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin released on Sunday, Peskov claimed that Western leaders “understand that a certain part of the money they give to Ukraine is, simply put, stolen,” adding that this reality is recognized by US policymakers at various levels. According to Peskov, when confronted with rampant corruption in Ukraine, American lawmakers “have to explain to their constituents why there is no proper mechanism [to oversee] the fund disbursement [and] why they turn a blind eye to this” while debating further aid packages.

He went on to add that both the US and Kiev’s backers in Europe are “getting tired of the Ukrainian topic, the Kiev regime, and the burden that they have put on their shoulders,” referring to the massive military and financial assistance Ukraine receives from the West. “Even such extremely powerful economies as the United States can’t do this indefinitely. They have a lot of problems of their own… At some point, all this will become an excessive burden that they can no longer bear,” he stressed. Peskov’s comments come after Politico reported in early October that the administration of US President Joe Biden was “far more worried about corruption in Ukraine than they publicly admit.” A sensitive document cited by the magazine stressed that the widespread graft in Ukraine could force Western allies to abandon Kiev in its fight with Russia.

The Politico article was echoed by a CNN report, which was released around the same time, alleging that US officials were pushing Kiev to do more to fight corruption, with a State Department diplomatic note compiled this summer linking anti-graft efforts to continued direct budget support. Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s request for Congress to approve a new security package, which included more than $60 billion for Ukraine, met with strong opposition from the Republicans. Some GOP lawmakers called on the president for more accountability and to clarify what he thinks the endgame in the conflict would look like.

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“..NATO doctrine put into practice in its proxy war against Russia in Ukraine clashed with the demands of the times.”

Proxy War in Ukraine Exposed NATO’s ‘Failed’ New Warfare Tactics (Sp.)

The Kiev regime has been sending its troops against Russian defenses, racking up massive human losses while failing to turn the tide of its botched counteroffensive, despite massive shipments of NATO weaponry. Furthermore, Russia’s state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have been used en masse to target Ukrainian military equipment. The Ukraine conflict has not only compellingly shown that modern-day warfare has changed, but has also exposed the complete failure of NATO war tactics in the face of these new conditions, reported military-focused US publication 19FortyFive. NATO patrons of the Kiev regime have been increasingly exasperated over how Ukraine’s counteroffensive has failed to deliver results, despite the billions’ worth of weapons continuously sent there.

Both Western supporters of Kiev and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky have been egging on Ukrainian troops towards “massive assaults” that “have become suicidal,” the publication stated. But the “fast, large-scale blitzkrieg they envisioned” remained a figment of their imagination. One of the reasons for this is that the advance of drone technology has transformed warfare into a “war of a thousand cuts,” the outlet said. The colorful reference relates to Lingchi, a form of capital punishment that results in a slow, lingering death. Traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), it was meted out to offenders in Asian countries like China, Vietnam, and Korea. The practice is believed to have ended around the early 1900s. Current warfare is similarly “more gradual,” the report insisted. It drew attention to how NATO doctrine put into practice in its proxy war against Russia in Ukraine clashed with the demands of the times.

Furthermore, Ukrainian troops’ training by NATO failed to “cover the reality of modern drone warfare,” the outlet stated, referencing US Army veterans’ expert opinions. Thus, the alliance’s “offensives based on combined arms maneuver,” such as tanks and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) breaching defense lines, supported by an array of artillery and air power, failed to work for Ukraine, as per the columnist. Ukrainian attempts at assaults utilizing large armored units resulted in heavy losses. Such attacks, where success hinges on a superlative level of coordination, is a feat that NATO armies “spend years” honing, it was added. However, in Ukraine’s Armed Forces, staffed with mostly recently mobilized civilians, such attacks become what pundits call a “meat grinder.” Furthermore, throwing such troops at Russia’s superlative defense lines, with vast minefields, anti-tank ditches, and anti-tank pyramid-shaped concrete defense obstacles, known as “dragon’s teeth,” is futile – something that Russia has been proving repeatedly throughout its special military operation.

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“..this could destabilize the global financial system and in particular diminish the dollar’s and the euro’s captive investors among central bank reserve managers.”

Why West is Terrified of Transferring Seized Russian Assets to Ukraine (Sp.)

The political battle for Russian state assets trapped abroad continues to intensify. Last week, European Union leaders approved in principle a controversial measure allowing the bloc to skim profits from Russian assets for use in “Ukraine reconstruction,” and called on the European Commission to “accelerate work with a view to submitting proposals” in this direction. Across the Atlantic, US officials have similarly stepped up efforts to try to make use of the seized Russian assets, although these efforts have so far stuck to behind-the-scenes negotiations in the corridors of power occasionally reported on by the media. The discussions about legal justifications to seize the Russian funds outright or at least skim interest comes at a difficult time for the Ukrainian proxy war’s sponsors, with Western lawmakers with the power to dole out extra money for Kiev and the public at large turning their focus to the Palestinian-Israeli crisis.

The reevaluation of priorities could not have come at a worse time for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose government’s dependence on Western handouts has reached dangerous proportions. Actually seizing Russia’s frozen assets and handing them over to Ukraine is easier said than done, with more than 20 months of threats and talking on the matter yet to bear fruit for advocates of the idea in Washington, Brussels, and Kiev. Part of the problem may relate to difficulties finding the money. While it was initially reported that some $300+ billion in Russian Central Bank funds got trapped abroad in February 2022, Washington-based financial experts revealed at the end of that year that the actual amount seized was closer to $80-100 billion, and that the US and the EU have had trouble finding the frozen funds. This past February, US business media reported that actually only about $36.5 billion had been found by the EU (which was estimated to contain over two thirds of seized funds to begin with), to date.

But the real problem isn’t technical or legal, but relates to reputational risks. In an op-ed in a major British business newspaper on Sunday, commentator Martin Sandbu explained that “legal obstacles” are only the “ostensible justification” for the failure to deliver Russian money to Ukraine, since, theoretically, Western countries could join Canada in making changes to legislation and citing legal arguments claiming Russia has “no legal resource” to its money to justify the seizure and transfer. But the West hasn’t moved against Russia, given “the fear that confiscating Russia’s assets will make other non-Western countries pull their own reserves out of the West, in case one day the same treatment could be meted out to them,” the observer noted.

“The concern,” Sandbu writes, “is that this could destabilize the global financial system and in particular diminish the dollar’s and the euro’s captive investors among central bank reserve managers. The European Central Bank has issued a strong warning to European policymakers against even taxing EU companies making windfall profits on blocked Russian assets – which seems the most that the sanctions coalition is currently willing to contemplate.” And although the commentator spends the rest of the op-ed suggesting that this danger is overblown, and demanding that Russian reserves be seized and transferred “now” before the Ukrainian proxy war ends, the reality seems otherwise, with major powers which have spent decades fattening up Western banks and subsidizing the West’s development now thinking twice about parking assets in the US and Europe after seeing what was done to Russia.

Regulators in China, for example, held an emergency conference with major domestic and foreign banks last year to brainstorm ways to protect PRC assets should the US impose sanctions similar to those it has slapped on Russia, with officials reportedly “put on alert” of the West’s ability to arbitrarily seize foreign assets. Beijing, for the record, is one of Washington’s biggest foreign creditors, owning about $860 billion in US Treasuries alone, and amassing assets abroad worth nearly $10 trillion. Saudi Arabia, another major creditor and investor in the US and Europe, whose allegiance is crucial in propping up the petrodollar, has also watched the West’s actions vis-à-vis Russia closely, and has made major moves this year to dramatically diversify geostrategic alignment, normalizing ties with Iran, joining the BRICS bloc, and rejecting US requests to ramp up oil production to offset the global economic downturn sparked by NATO’s proxy war with Russia.

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Drones galore.

The New Electric War Campaign (Helmer)

In the coming winter phase of the Russian offensive in the Ukraine, the electric war will be run quite differently from the way the first electric war was directed last winter. The impact on the Ukrainian grid and on the country’s and military’s capacities to cope will be more destructive than a year ago. The reason for this, Ukrainian sources have been saying publicly and Russian military assessments now confirm, is that most of the money which the US, the European Union, and the World Bank have provided Kiev officials over the past nine months to repair, reconstruct, and prepare the country’s power generating and distribution system for the coming winter has been stolen. The US and NATO command and control centres inside the country for running the war will be operating in the dark, not only because of the precision of the Russian missiles and drone operations, but because of the corruption of the Ukrainians.

They understand that defeat and capitulation are coming; they are running away with the loot before it’s too dark, too late. In the latest Ukrainian press reports, the battlefield evidence indicates the new electric war has begun. “Kiev said,” according to this summary, “two dozen Russian drones and a missile were downed overnight as concern grows that Moscow is once again targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure ahead of winter. Officials in Kharkiv reported civilian targets were hit by shelling and drone attacks…Police in Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine reported that at least 10 Russian drones hit civilian infrastructure and triggered multiple fires in the city and shelling also damaged buildings. The overnight raids are part of a recent rise in Russian attacks. More than 100 settlements in eastern Ukraine, including Kharkiv, were targeted on Wednesday, the heaviest day of shelling so far in 2023…Ukraine and its partners in the West worry that Russia could try to replicate a strategy it followed last winter, squeezing Ukraine by targeting energy infrastructure as temperatures fall.”

There is no corroboration in the latest bulletin from the Russian Ministry of Defense that the new round of aerial attacks was targeted on energy infrastructure. “From October 28 to November 3, 2023, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation carried out fifteen group strikes with precision weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles on warehouses of rocket and artillery weapons, places of storage of weapons and military equipment, as well as temporary locations of Ukrainian servicemen, nationalists and foreign mercenaries. As a result of the strikes, hangars for preparing Ukrainian aircraft for takeoff, production sites for unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned boats, groups of foreign instructors and mercenaries were destroyed.” The problem for the Ukrainians is that the electricity generating plants and the power grids are now more vulnerable to precision attack triggering cascading system failure than they were a year ago.

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They can’t even manage one…

Europe in the Crossfire: Can All Crises Be Managed Simultaneously? (Oncan)

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has not only triggered anti-Russian sanctions and financial/military aid for Ukraine but has also exposed the multiple threats confronting Europe. As the West, led by the United States, seeks to wield Ukraine, a product of color revolutions, as a strategic lever, Europe bears the brunt of the ensuing political and economic tensions. Presently, Europe grapples with escalating energy prices stemming from the Ukrainian crisis and anti-Russian sanctions. Additionally, unrest fueled by Ukraine’s grain restrictions on European countries, a deteriorating economy, the ongoing migration wave, and the challenges it presents continue to be pressing issues awaiting resolution.

Meanwhile, Israel’s actions in Gaza and the U.S.’s supportive declarations further complicate matters for Europe. Despite hopes that a resolution in the Israel-Palestine conflict might shift Ukraine from the forefront, European leaders are expected to navigate both crises simultaneously, with few exceptions like Spain. Quoting Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who remarked, “It is evident that the Middle East conflict casts a shadow on events in Ukraine,” Politico anticipates that EU leaders will assert their capacity to address both the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East concurrently.

It’s not limited to just Ukraine and Israel; there are also revealed color revolution plans in Kosovo-Serbia, ongoing issues in Georgia, an anticipated political crisis in Armenia due to Azerbaijan’s actions in Karabakh, and political pressure on opposition parties in Moldova, among other concerns. It’s evident that all of these matters are interconnected with unresolved crises in the former USSR region, and they are, in a broader context, part of the United States’ strategy to encircle Russia. Meanwhile, Europe is directly grappling with the consequences of these developments, which align with the broader interests of the United States on the global stage, all while striving to enhance its own geopolitical influence.

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” Israel, considered a rich country, does not need foreign aid, but any member of Congress who does not vote for Israel’s billions finds in his next election a challenger financed by Israel’s billions..”

Does Any Member of the US Government Represent Americans? (Paul Craig Roberts)

US Representative Matt Gaetz has courage and principles, for the most part good ones. It was Gaetz who had the courage and leadership ability to get rid of Rino McCarthy as Speaker of the House. It is Gaetz who understands that hardly any member of Congress in either party represents Americans. Instead, they represent the military/security complex’s power and profits, the profits of the pharmaceutical companies, the profits of agri-business (ethanol for example), the profits of Wall Street, the profits of energy, timber, and mining, and so forth. And especially, the US Congress represents the artificial state of Israel and all of Israel’s agendas. Indeed, Matt Gaetz himself cannot escape having to support an occupier of Palestinians’ land, claiming that it is Israel’s.

The fact that even a brave man like Matt Gaetz has to support an aggressor against a people abandoned by the “moral” West shows how captured the US government is at all levels by vested monied interests. Gaetz along with the entirely of the US Congress and the President are purchased by the billions of dollars that American taxpayers are forced to hand over to Israel each year. American taxpayers are forced to give Israel annually billions of dollars that are used to purchase our government. Israel, considered a rich country, does not need foreign aid, but any member of Congress who does not vote for Israel’s billions finds in his next election a challenger financed by Israel’s billions and himself a victim of Israel’s slander machine.

The same thing happens if you vote against an excessive military/security budget or against the agendas of powerful organized interests. A government whose election is financed by interest groups has to represent those interest groups. So, obviously, the solution is not term limits on members of Congress. The solution is to take the money that Congress gives Israel to buy our government out of politics along with the ability of corporations to purchase the US government, thanks to an unconstitutional ruling of the US Supreme Court that it is a “free speech right” for corporations and foreign interests to purchase the US government for their own use. There you have it. The US government is a purchased entity. It has nothing whatsoever to do with American interests or protecting the interests of the American people.

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It IS possible…

Connecticut Judge Orders New Bridgeport Mayoral Primary (NYP)

A Connecticut judge ordered a new Democratic mayoral primary in Bridgeport as surveillance footage showed multiple workers allegedly stuffing absentee ballots into an outdoor ballot box days before the original primary. In September, Incumbent Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim defeated challenger John Gomes by 251 votes out of 8,173 cast in the primary election, according to NBC. However, Gomes released a video in October that appeared to show two women stuffing heaps of ballot papers into drop boxes at least four locations across the city. Superior Court Judge William Clark determined the amount of evidence left the court “unable” to determine the result for the state’s largest city.

“The volume of ballots so mishandled is such that it calls the result of the primary election into serious doubt and leaves the court unable to determine the legitimate result of the primary,” Clark wrote in his ruling on Wednesday. The judge ruled that the abnormally large numbers of absentee ballots were cast in certain voting districts and that video evidence showing the alleged ballot stuffing violated state elections law. “The videos are shocking to the court and should be shocking to all the parties,” Clark wrote in his ruling. Judge Clark ruled two women made or were directly involved in 15 incidents of drop boxes being stuffed with ballots.

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“That particular gentleman has spent more time in prison than he spent out, but he is a good man and he’s the individuals I’m fighting for in the city of Springfield. We’re running an election that is inclusive.”

Election Fraud Cases Break Out In 3 Democrat States (JTN)

A new primary election has been ordered by a Connecticut state court amid alleged fraud, while Democrats in Massachusetts and New Jersey are also accused of or charged with election fraud. This brings the total of election-related criminal cases across the country to at least three. Democrats in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are facing various allegations of election fraud, as two instances are related to this year’s elections while two more are with regard to prior elections. On Wednesday, Bridgeport Superior Court Judge William Clark overturned the results of a Democratic mayoral primary and ordered a new election in connection to allegations of absentee ballot abuse.

The judge made the decision after a video was posted online that appeared to show a supporter of incumbent Democrat Mayor Joe Ganim stuffing stacks of papers into a ballot drop box, according to WNPR Connecticut Public Radio. The general election for mayor was set for Nov. 7. A new primary date has yet to be set, but the judge told lawyers that they had 10 days to work with city and state election officials to determine a potential date for the new election, the Associated Press reported. Judge Clark determined the allegations of possible malfeasance were sufficient to toss out the results of the Sept. 12 primary, which incumbent Ganim won by 251 votes out of 8,173 cast. Absentee ballots secured Ganim’s margin of victory, WNPR Connecticut Public Radio also reported. Judge Clark said, “the videos are shocking to the court and should be shocking to all the parties.”

Meanwhile, in neighboring Massachusetts, a Democratic mayoral candidate is accused of bribing residents to vote. Election officials for the city of Springfield say they witnessed voters being brought to the city hall for early voting and that at least some expected to be given cash after they voted for Democratic candidate Justin Hurst, according to local news outlet The Republican. Video footage has also been released of a man associated with Hurst’s campaign allegedly handing cash to voters last weekend. City officials claim in sworn affidavits that the distribution of $10 bills, clearly visible in surveillance footage, represents voter fraud, The Republican also reports.

Hurst denied all the allegations ahead of Election Day on Tuesday. “Any accusations that my team paid residents in exchange for their vote is unequivocally false,” he said, according to Western Mass News. He also addressed the video in which a man appears to be handing out cash to voters. “That gentleman has volunteered on many campaigns,” Hurst stated. “That particular gentleman has spent more time in prison than he spent out, but he is a good man and he’s the individuals I’m fighting for in the city of Springfield. We’re running an election that is inclusive.”

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“..71% of respondents said Biden is “too old to be an effective president..”

Trump Leads Biden In 5 Battleground States In New York Times Poll (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden in five of the six major swing states, according to new polls released Sunday, as voters largely express disapproval of the current president. Trump leads Biden by 10 points in Nevada, 6 in Georgia, 5 in Arizona, 5 in Michigan and 4 in Pennsylvania, according to new polls by The New York Times and Siena College. He is down by 2 points in Wisconsin. Biden carried all six of the states in 2020, but now, 59% of voters in those states say they disapprove of Biden’s job performance, while 38% say they approve. Meanwhile, 71% of respondents said Biden is “too old to be an effective president,” compared to 39% who said the same about Trump. Additionally, 62% of voters said Biden does not have the mental sharpness to be an effective president, while just 35% said he does.

As to Trump’s mental acuity, 54% of voters said he is sharp enough to be an effective president compared to 44% who said he is not. More than half of all registered voters surveyed (53%) also said Biden’s policies have personally hurt them, while 51% of voters said Trump’s policies have personally helped them. The polls of 3,662 registered voters across the six swing states were taken from Oct. 22 to Nov. 3 and, when taken together, had a 1.8% margin of error. While Trump has not been formally nominated as the Republican presidential nominee for 2024, he is far ahead of all other candidates. While other Democratic candidates are running for the nomination, the Democratic Party has said it fully supports Biden’s reelection bid and will not host primary debates.

Abrams

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“..doing your patriotic duty and publicly standing up for Ukrainian national interests, and trying to prevent a dangerous distortion in Ukraine-US relations, which could be harmful to both countries – had actually placed him in the firing line, literally.”

Two Men Who Exposed the Bidens’ Corruption in Ukraine (21CW)

Andriy Derkach started his career in big politics in the mid-90s. At different times he held positions in presidential administrations and the government, as well as managing a large state-owned enterprise, the energy corporation Energoatom, and was involved in parliamentary activities for more than 20 years. Everything changed after the United States initiated its regime change operation in Ukraine in 2014, and its “Revolution of Dignity”, which resulted in pro-Russian President Yanukovych fleeing the country, and eventually replaced by Ukrainian oligarch, Petro Poroshenko. Poroshenko, who seemed more interested in his own shady business schemes than reforming a state wracked with institutional corruption, immediately outsourced key nodes of governance of the country to proxies of America’s Democratic administration – all managed through the U.S. Embassy in Kiev.

Not long after, the new government and coalition began to make a series of unconstitutional decisions and laws at the request of various US-linked international organizations, and old ‘disloyal’ officials were gotten rid of through a process of “lustration”, as the influence of the courts and law enforcement system were gradually eroded by the creation of externally-controlled shadow government bodies – the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), the High Anti-Corruption Court and others. As the Ukrainian state found itself increasingly under the thumb of United States operatives, the active opposition figures began to emerge, one of whom was Ukrainian politician, Andriy Derkach, who began to fight against this foreign subterfuge and control by Democratic Party top brass.

The first open confrontation between Derkach and the Democrats occurred in 2017, when Derkach filed an official application for criminal proceedings on the fact of interference of NABU in the 2016 US presidential elections. As Derkach claimed, in the midst of the campaign, NABU Director Artem Sytnyk had deliberately (at the request of certain representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine) publicized information about the receipt of money in Ukraine by political consultant and Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort. The document in question became known as “The Party of Regions’ barn book”. From this incident, it became clear the goal of NABU head Sytnyk was to help Trump’s 2016 opponent, Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, by knocking out Trump’s chief of staff right at height of a national election cycle.

The dodgy document and media hype which entailed led to Manafort being removed from Trump campaign headquarters, followed by a 21 month prison sentence in the US for other unrelated federal charges. As a result, Ukraine, with its own hands, helped to undermine the US election process, something which couldn’t have been done without the help of agents within the Democrat Party and US government. Derkach sought to expose this and other instances of corruption, but quickly discovered that doing your patriotic duty and publicly standing up for Ukrainian national interests, and trying to prevent a dangerous distortion in Ukraine-US relations, which could be harmful to both countries – had actually placed him in the firing line, literally.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fish Cafe

 

 

So good
https://twitter.com/i/status/1720858446000456107

 

 

Polar

 

 

Food
https://twitter.com/i/status/1721177325738328214

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 052023
 


Hieronymus Bosch St. Jerome in Prayer 1482

 

The US and Hezbollah Want The Same Thing From Israel-Hamas War (Scott Ritter)
Iraqis Warn Of Western Plan To Move Gazans To Anbar Desert (Cradle)
Ireland’s Most Popular Party Wants Israeli Ambassador Expelled (RT)
Gaza Conflict ‘Taking Away Focus’ From Ukraine – Zelensky (AFP)
US Plans Reshuffle of Ukrainian Elites Due to Corruption – Putin (Sp.)
West Nudges Ukraine Towards Peace Deal With Russia (Sp.)
We Won’t Talk To Russia – Zelensky (RT)
NATO’s Backfired Ukraine Strategy Built on Ideology, Bribery & Blackmail (Sp.)
Ukraine Aid Drying Up – White House (RT)
Long Read (Kim Dotcom)
There Is Only One Putin – Kremlin (RT)
Tony Bobulinski Issues A Challenge To The Biden Family (DM)
Can Jack Smith Convict Trump For Being Lured By Bad Lawyers’ Advice? (Turley)
Tucker Carlson Visits Assange In Prison (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

WCNSF

 

 

Gideon Levy

 

 

 

 

Obama

 

 

Russell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long excerpt for a complex issue.

The US and Hezbollah Want The Same Thing From Israel-Hamas War (Scott Ritter)

[..] both the US and Hezbollah were, and are, implementing a model of conflict management known as the ‘escalation ladder’. And while this reality might prove frustrating for those on either side of this conflict who seek a decisive, one-sided victory, it is the only responsible path that can be taken to avoid turning a local conflict into a regional war that could have global ramifications. The escalation ladder process focuses on how the parties involved escalate and de-escalate against competitors, measuring these actions against the different levels of escalation, which equate to the ‘steps’ on the ‘ladder’ used to visualize the model. By assessing the possible upward or downward trajectory of escalation at each level, based upon the actions of each party and their outcomes, the model helps participants to predict plausible outcomes and, as such, plot future scenarios.

The most popular expression of the escalation ladder is what is known as ‘linear escalation’, where a sequential line of actions is plotted from lowest to highest, and the relationship between two competing powers assessed accordingly. Linear escalation as a model works if there are only two participants to the crisis in question. The problem with the ongoing Gaza conflict is that there are many parties to the conflict, all of which have differing goals and objectives. As such, the escalation model that is most applicable to this scenario is what is known as horizontal escalation, where within a given escalation vector, differing participants can be segregated based upon their respective goals and objectives, allowing a sub-set of comparative escalatory calculations to take place, which in turn can be subjected to factors that influence their specific escalation, de-escalation, and maintenance issues separate from other parallel escalation management trajectories.

By way of example, one can speak of a ‘horizontal escalation’ model, where a US/Israeli track is paired off against a Hamas/Hezbollah track. However, the US/Israeli track is also paired off against itself, since the US and Israel are at odds over ceasefire options, the provision of humanitarian air, and specific military tactics. The same applies to Hamas/Hezbollah, where the Palestinian-specific goals of Hamas may clash with the regional aspirations of Hezbollah. Moreover, the specific actions of the US and Israel, when competing, can impact the Hamas and Hezbollah escalation calculations differently, causing these two tracks to lose their equilibrium by having one party escalate when the other may be seeking either maintenance and/or de-escalation. The horizontal escalation model becomes even more complex when other tracks, such as the United Nations, the international community, Iran, Yemen, and the Iraqi and Syrian Shia militias become involved.

When seen in this light, the horizontal escalation model becomes horribly complicated, requiring all parties to be cognizant about the competing interests of everyone involved, and develop a sound understanding of the intricacies associated with every facet of the cause-effect relationships involved. When deciphering the presentations given by both Blinken and Nasrallah, the casual observer might be compelled to be highly critical of the less-than decisive content provided. But a careful parsing of the language used by both men shows that each, in his own way, is cognizant of the complexity of the issues at play, and the absolute need to manage the pressures generated by the emotions of all parties involved so that a crisis that could easily expand into a regional war remains localized.

However, one cannot escape the reality that, at the end of the day, there cannot be a solution that is satisfactory to all parties. Israel seeks the destruction of Hamas as a military and political entity. Hamas seeks a Palestinian homeland built in its image. These two visions of victory are mutually incompatible. Both parties will seek to manipulate the escalation ladder in a way that best promotes their respective desired outcome. The key to the other parties is how to prevent this inherent incompatibility from spinning out of control, and to manage defeat as well as victory. It is this aspect of the escalation management process where Hamas has the advantage. As Nasrallah repeatedly noted in his presentation, the most important aspect of the anti-Israeli resistance is its ability to persevere.

Israel finds itself in an increasingly untenable situation, where the political and military methodologies undertaken are increasingly rejected by its supporters. The friction between the US and Israeli positions was evident in Blinken’s address. This friction will only increase if the conflict between Israel and Hamas is maintained on its current trajectory. The only chance Israel has to break this paradigm is if the conflict escalates, forcing the US to reevaluate its conflict resolution model with larger geopolitical concerns, such as a war with Iran. Blinken has made it clear that the Biden administration is not seeking such an outcome. Neither is Hassan Nasrallah. It is in this light that one must examine the totality of Nasrallah’s speech, and the complexity of his argument. There is not a single facet of the Israeli-Hamas conflict he left unexamined. Moreover, he not only discussed each of these matters in isolation, but also in respect to how they relate overall. Nasrallah’s speech was the embodiment of how to manage a complex horizontal escalation model and achieve a desired outcome.

Let there be no doubt – Hamas is on the trajectory toward victory, though not the kind of victory a casual observer might imagine as its end goal. When the definitive history of the Hamas-Israeli conflict is finally written, rest assured that the speech given by Hassan Nasrallah will be recorded as one of the critical moments in shaping the conflict so that it avoided exploding into a wider war, and instead allowing the various parties to focus on the more limited, although admittedly complex, issues relating to the core matters as defined by Hamas – a prisoner exchange, freedom of religion at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and Palestinian statehood. These limited objectives, and not the destruction of Israel, are the likely outcomes of this conflict. And for that we can all thank Hassan Nasrallah, a man who knows how to effectively manage the complexities of the horizontal escalation model.

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A new dimension.

Iraqis Warn Of Western Plan To Move Gazans To Anbar Desert (Cradle)

The settlement of Palestinians in the Anbar desert, western Iraq, has become a topic of renewed discussion among Iraqis, thanks to the US-championed “Deal of the Century.” As far back as February 2020, Iraqi MP al-Baldawi, the representative of the al-Fatah coalition in Iraq’s parliament, was alleging: “The US is plotting to keep out Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units, or PMU) from the western provinces of Iraq, specially al-Anbar province, in a move to provide a proper ground for sheltering the Palestinians inside Iraq.” But now, the renewed interest in the topic coincides with the recent, unpublicized visit of the British ambassador to Iraq to Anbar Governorate. Since the unveiling of the Trump era peace plan in 2019, reports have surfaced suggesting that the continued US presence in western Iraq has broader intentions beyond establishing military bases.

It is speculated that the goal is to create an “alternative homeland” for Palestinian refugees in the Anbar desert. This notion might have remained confined to the realm of “conspiracy theories” if it weren’t for suggestions made by Israeli leaders following the 7 October Al-Aqsa Flood resistance operation, and their unprecedented genocidal aggression against the Gaza Strip. Israeli media leaked a document issued by the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, proposing the displacement of 2.4 million Palestinians from Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and other regions, a proposal strongly rejected by both Cairo and Amman. The leaked plan has renewed serious Iraqi interest in the potential project to displace Palestinians to Anbar. Concerns of another Nakba have been echoed in statements from Iraqi political and religious leaders, including leading figures like Muqtada al-Sadr and Qais al-Khazali, as well as representatives of the Iraqi parliament – particularly those hailing from Anbar Governorate.

The leader of the National Resolution Alliance, Jamal al-Karbouli, condemned “the suspicious projects that attempt to displace the Palestinians out of Palestine,” and warned “everyone who dares to go too far with the people of Anbar and donate its land to please his masters.. Karbouli’s statements prompted Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi, the representative of Anbar in the council, to emphatically reject any attempt to implement the Deal of the Century in Iraq. But observers like political analyst Mohsen al-Amiri believe that Karbouli’s claims forced Halbousi into issuing a denial: “It seems as if Anbar’s representative in parliament Al-Halbousi, who has close relations with foreign countries, especially the United Arab Emirates (the UAE has led the Arab normalization process with Israel), was trying to distance himself from these accusations.”

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Ireland’s next PM?!

Ireland’s Most Popular Party Wants Israeli Ambassador Expelled (RT)

Israeli ambassador Dana Erlich “should no longer enjoy diplomatic status in Ireland,” Sinn Fein party leader Mary Lou McDonald said on Friday. McDonald’s party, which has deep historical ties to the Palestinian cause, has repeatedly condemned Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. “[The Israel Defence Forces] are engaged in a ferocious military offensive against a civilian population; breaking international law by targeting civilians, destroying civilian infrastructure, forcing mass population displacement and cutting off vital supplies of water, food, medicines and fuel,” McDonald told reporters. Erlich’s presence in Ireland has become “untenable,” McDonald continued, adding that the ambassador should “no longer enjoy diplomatic status in Ireland while Israel refuses the imperative for ceasefires and as the suffering and death toll grow.”

Earlier on Friday, McDonald discussed the conflict with diplomats from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Israel’s embassy in Dublin criticized the Sinn Fein leader for not inviting Erlich to the meeting, accusing her of “only [seeking] to isolate Israel, rather than offer a forum for constructive engagement.” “To exclude Israel from such a forum is quite telling of Sinn Fein’s position on the conflict,” the embassy said in a statement. Sinn Fein is Ireland’s most popular political party, with a 13-point lead on its closest rival, the centrist Fine Gael. Sinn Fein is excluded from power, however, by a coalition agreement between Fine Gael and historical rivals Fianna Fail, as well as the Green Party.

As the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Sinn Fein’s support for the Palestinian cause is long-standing. The party’s supporters, particularly in Northern Ireland, view their own struggle against British colonialism as analogous to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation. While the IRA has laid down its arms, Sinn Fein has remained in contact with Hamas; former party leader Gerry Adams met with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza in 2009, while McDonald hosted an online conference with the militant group’s foreign relations head, Dr Basem Naim, in 2020. Sinn Fein “will never rule out meeting or talking to anybody, because that doesn’t serve any purpose” in securing peace in the Middle East, the party’s foreign affairs spokesman, Matt Carthy, said last month.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has adopted a more neutral stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict, declaring on Friday that Israel “has a right to defend itself [and] has the right to go after Hamas, so they can not do this again.” Varadkar also condemned Israel’s response to Hamas’ October 7 attack, stating that it “isn’t just self-defense, it resembles something more approaching revenge.” Ireland voted last month for a UN resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and opposed a now-scrapped EU plan to suspend aid payments to the enclave. However, Varadkar told reporters on Friday that he is “not sure [the Israelis] listen very closely to what we have to say, quite frankly.”

Sinn Fein

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“Zelensky said the war between Israel and Hamas had also drawn attention away from Ukraine, and said that this was “Russia’s goal”.

Excuse me, how does this work?

Gaza Conflict ‘Taking Away Focus’ From Ukraine – Zelensky (AFP)

The sprawling frontline between the two warring sides has barely moved in almost a year, with one senior Ukrainian official warning this week that the conflict was deadlocked. “Time has passed, people are tired… But this is not a stalemate,” Zelensky told a press conference in Kyiv with EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. The Ukrainian leader also rejected the idea Western countries were putting pressure on Kyiv to enter negotiations with Russia, amid reports US and EU officials had discussed what such talks would entail. “No one among our partners is pressuring us to sit down with Russia, talk to it, and give it something,” he said. With the war now in its 20th month and Ukraine struggling to gain ground in its counteroffensive, Zelensky has routinely met Western leaders in a bid to stave off fatigue with the conflict.

Zelensky said the war between Israel and Hamas had also drawn attention away from Ukraine, and said that this was “Russia’s goal”. “Of course, it’s clear that the war in the Middle East, this conflict, is taking away the focus,” Zelensky said. “We have already been in very difficult situations when there was almost no focus on Ukraine,” he said, but added: “I am absolutely sure we will overcome this challenge.” Ukraine’s backers, including the United States, have maintained they are ready to support Kyiv with military and financial support for as long as it takes to defeat Russia. Zelensky’s comments came as EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen visited Kyiv to discuss Ukraine’s progress toward joining the 27-member bloc.

Kyiv received EU candidacy status several months after Russia invaded last year, but analysts have warned it faces a long and difficult path to membership. “You have reached many milestones,” von der Leyen told Zelensky. “Reforming your justice system. Curbing the oligarchs grip. Tackling money laundering and much more,” she said. “We should never forget you are fighting an existential war, and at the same time you’re deeply reforming your country,” she added. She said she was “confident” Ukraine would progress with the accession process when these reforms were implemented. The EU Commission has proposed an additional 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in funding for Ukraine until 2027, von der Leyen said.

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“..every political move in Ukraine has a kind of fixed price..”

US Plans Reshuffle of Ukrainian Elites Due to Corruption – Putin (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that corruption in Ukraine is almost legalized and the West will not be able to fight it. He added that this is why he was not surprised by reports about Ukrainian weapons in the Middle East. “There [in Ukraine] this corruption, it is actually legalized. Why are Americans trying to fight this corruption and nothing is working? I think it will not work,” Putin said at a meeting with the new members of the Civic Chamber of Russia. Putin recalled that Ukrainian politicians and high-ranking government officials told him that every issue can be solved for a price, and that his “jaw dropped” when he heard this, meaning that he was shocked by the blatant corruption.

He stressed that every political move in Ukraine has a kind of fixed price. Putin added that the US is plotting a change of political and economic elites in Ukraine, but he believes that this will not solve the problem and that “everything will remain the same.” He emphasized that this should not be the case for Russia and instead, Russia must implement its own legal standards in the new regions. He referenced the progress made in ushering in the legal framework in Crimea and stated, “It is not an easy task, but we are going to do it, and we are already doing it.” Putin concluded.

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“..There’s a growing sense that it’s too late, and it’s time to do a deal..”

West Nudges Ukraine Towards Peace Deal With Russia (Sp.)

As Kiev flounders with its counteroffensive, political support for propping up the Volodymyr Zelensky regime gradually wanes in some US political circles; meanwhile, Israel’s war on Hamas takes center stage, prompting speculation as to how swiftly Ukraine fatigue will gather momentum, and what it may spill out into. Quiet conversations are already reportedly taking place between US and European officials on the one hand, and the Ukrainian government on the other, about possible peace negotiations with Russia. The discussions have touched upon concessions Ukraine might need to agree to if any deal is to be possible, according to current and former senior Washington officials cited in a US report.

A meeting of representatives from more than 50 nations, including NATO members supporting the Kiev regime, known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, held in October, purportedly served as a venue for some of these “delicate” talks, as per the report. “…There’s a growing sense that it’s too late, and it’s time to do a deal,” one former senior Washington official was quoted as saying. As to why these talks have been gathering momentum, the outlet’s sources acknowledged that they have been triggered by both, military dynamics on the battlefield, where Ukraine faces a botched counteroffensive, and the political situation in the US and Europe. First of all, there is growing acknowledgement that no amount of military assistance to Ukraine has helped its efforts to break through Russia’s defense lines.

Even a top Ukrainian general, Valery Zaluzhny, admitted that despite “NATO’s textbooks” and “calculations,” Kiev needed to take a massive technological leap to break the current “stalemate” in its counteroffensive against Russian troops. “There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough,” he underscored in an interview with the UK’s Economist magazine. Moscow, however, understandably took issue with the word “stalemate,” denying there was a battlefield impasse, and vouching for the fact that Russia consistently continues to conduct the special military ops to achieve its set objectives.

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Well, someone will..

We Won’t Talk To Russia – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine is not willing to hold any talks with Russia, President Vladimir Zelensky said on Saturday during a joint press conference with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. He also denied recent media reports that Kiev’s Western backers are pushing it to engage in negotiations. “Now, none of the EU, US leaders, our partners are putting pressure on us in terms of sitting down [at the negotiating table] with Russia, talking to it or surrendering something to it,” he told journalists. “This is not going to happen,” he added. Zelensky then said he “does not know” who even publishes such reports. He did admit, however, that he had “got an impression”that the Ukrainian media and Ukrainians themselves are speculating about the idea of potential talks with Russia and about Western nations allegedly pushing Kiev towards such a decision.

The president went on to say that he was “surprised” by such sentiments. Earlier on Saturday, NBC reported that Western officials were holding behind-the-scenes talks with Kiev about the possibility of negotiating with Russia and were even exploring potential concessions Ukraine might agree to in order to end the conflict. The report also said that the Western nations were concerned about a potential “stalemate” in the conflict and Ukraine “running out of forces” in the future. Russia has repeatedly signaled its readiness to engage in negotiations with Kiev but has insisted that such talks should take Moscow’s security interests and the “reality on the ground” into account. In autumn 2022, four former Ukrainian territories, including the two Donbass republics, officially joined Russia following a series of referendums.

Kiev never accepted their results, branding the votes a “sham” and seeking to restore its control over the four territories, as well as Crimea, which joined Russia in 2014 following another referendum. In October 2022, Zelensky also signed a decree banning Ukraine from holding any talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This past September, Putin said that if Kiev is willing to end the conflict it should demonstrate its intentions publicly, including by revoking the 2022 decree. “If their wish to achieve something through negotiations is genuine, let them do that,” he said at that time. “Let the Ukrainians themselves say it… announce it publicly,” the Russian president added.

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“Everyone is ready for that except for Zelenksy, Biden, Blinken, Sullivan, Nuland, Senator Graham, and Congressman Schiff..”

NATO’s Backfired Ukraine Strategy Built on Ideology, Bribery & Blackmail (Sp.)

Moscow was swift to shoot down Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny’s claims earlier in the week of a battlefield impasse as being far from the truth, emphasizing that Russia fully intends to reach all the objectives of its special military operation. The US-led Western master plan implemented in Ukraine backfired because it was “not fact-based”, with Washington dipping into its playbook of utilizing both “bribery” and “blackmail”, Karen Kwiatkowski, a former analyst for the US Department of Defense, told Sputnik. NATO’s “strategy” was “ideology and domestic interest-based – in some cases based on financial bribery and energy blackmail by the US. It was a strategy of finance and military aid/contracts rather than an actual strategy”, pointed out Kwiatkowski.

Earlier, the Ukrainian army’s Commander-in-Chief General Valery Zaluzhny admitted that Kiev needed to take a massive technological leap to break the current “stalemate” in its counteroffensive against Russian troops. “There will, most likely, be no deep and beautiful breakthrough,” he highlighted in an interview with the UK’s magazine ‘The Economist’. “In a world with well-informed, logical and humanitarian leadership in Kiev and Washington, we would indeed consider Valery Zaluzhny’s evaluation as a precursor to immediate negotiations with Russia. Everyone is ready for that except for Zelenksy, Biden, Blinken, Sullivan, Nuland, Senator Graham, and Congressman Schiff,” said the pundit. Espressing himself in both an article and then an interview, Zaluzhny conceded that “NATO’s textbooks” and “the math” that Kiev used in planning its much-heralded counteroffensive had failed to stop Russian forces from tackling Ukrainian troops.

Zaluzhny speculated that the aforementioned NATO textbooks and the calculations had suggested that “four months should have been enough time for us [the Ukrainian army] to have reached Crimea, to have fought in Crimea, to return from Crimea and to have gone back in and out again.” He was referring to the peninsula which chose to split off from Ukraine after the February 2014 Euromaidan coup, voting overwhelmingly in a referendum in March 2014 to rejoin Russia. Ukraine boasted of plans to use its summer counteroffensive to seize Crimea. Zaluzhny also added that he was concerned about the fact that “sooner or later [Kiev] will realize that we simply don’t have enough people to fight”. Accordingly, he struck up the familiar tune of demanding more weapons from the West – one that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky appears to have perfected. Thus, warning that there were “heavier battles to come,” the Ukrainian top general solicited assistance for Ukraine’s missile and air defense, and offered “calculations” as to “how many tanks, artillery we need and so on and so on”.

In effect, however, no amount of sophisticated weaponry worth however many billions of dollars would be sufficient to help Kiev in its counteroffensive. The US-spearheaded Western strategy had been to use Ukraine as a pawn in its proxy war to attempt to “isolate Russia economically, to weaken Russia’s military capability, and to strengthen Ukraine as a potential EU and even NATO member,” Kwiatkowski emphasized. However, “in each of these publicly stated objectives, if there was a strategy to do these things, it backfired and failed in all cases,” added the retired Lieutenant Colonel. Such “across the board failures” can only mean that “either the strategy was so bad it should have never made it off the table, or the aim had been to fail be destroyed, just not publicly stated,” Kwiatkowski stressed.

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The White House can sneak out, and blame Mike Johnson. Perfect for them.

Ukraine Aid Drying Up – White House (RT)

The White House is running out of funds to finance arms deliveries to Ukraine, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has said, urging Congress to approve US President Joe Biden’s request for more aid that has been stonewalled by Republicans. Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday, the spokeswoman said that the Pentagon had announced new arms deliveries for Ukraine. The latest package, which is worth $425 million, includes HIMARS and NASAMS missiles, artillery rounds, and other military equipment. Of this sum, $300 million was from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which the Pentagon uses to contract new equipment for Kiev. The remaining $125 million came from the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), which allows the Biden administration to transfer weapons from US stocks without congressional approval in case of an emergency.

Jean-Pierre noted that this package “exhaust[s] the remaining USAI funds currently available to support Ukraine.” She added that while the White House still has PDA authorities to “fulfill Ukraine’s immediate battlefield needs,” the US is starting to provide Kiev with “smaller PDA packages in order to stretch out our ability to support Ukraine for as long as possible.” With this in mind, she urged Congress to approve Biden’s supplemental aid request and send “an important message” to the world that the US continues to stand with Ukraine. Last month, the Biden administration asked US lawmakers to greenlight a security package to the tune of more than $100 billion, including $61.4 billion for Ukraine, and $14.3 billion for Israel. But some Republicans have opposed aid to Ukraine, accusing Biden of lacking a strategic vision for the conflict and insisting on more accountability.

They have also insisted that the issues of aid to Israel and Ukraine be treated separately. On Thursday, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill on aiding Israel in its conflict with Hamas, to which Democrats voiced strong opposition, with some accusing their colleagues across the isle of politicizing the issue. Another provision listed in the legislation included defunding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), also a non-starter for Democrats. Meanwhile, Mike Johnson, the newly installed House speaker, has yet to reveal his plans for Ukraine funding, vowing that the relevant discussions “will come in short order.” Russia has repeatedly warned the West against sending weapons to Ukraine, arguing that doing so only prolongs the conflict while making it a direct participant in the hostilities.

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X thread.

Long Read (Kim Dotcom)

The West is probing Zelenskyy on concessions to Russia. Russia and Ukraine were ready to sign a peace deal in 2022. It was blocked by Joe Biden. Since then 600k+ people died, the EU economy lost $1.5 trillion, Ukraine lost 20% of its territory and the US added 3 trillion in debt Russia is now in a much stronger position. It won’t trust any deal with Ukraine due to past treaty breaches instigated by the West. Ukraine is running out of money and forces. The US, EU and NATO have lost their proxy war and Russia can keep this conflict going for a long time thanks to failing sanctions. Low cost Russian arms production and artillery shells from partners cause the West to deplete their reserves and bleed billions more into the black hole that is Ukraine.

Russia will likely take more territory in Ukraine and turn it into a rump state without access to the Black Sea. Ukraine will not be allowed to become a NATO or EU member. Russia will ensure that the US coup in Ukraine will be reversed and that a pro-Russian Govt will be installed. Only then will the conditions improve for Ukraine. The NATO big-mouth alliance will crumble after this embarrassing defeat. The US and EU will fall into a deep recession and the BRICS alliance will grow in power and influence. The US dollar will lose reserve currency status and excessive US money printing will cause hyperinflation and devalue most US assets to junk status. The failure in Ukraine will be Biden’s and Zelenskyy’s legacy. They will be remembered as the most inept leaders of our time. Most of the EU leaders will be seen as failed US puppets who followed a dementia patient and a comedian into the sewer of history.

China is the big winner in all of this. They get the discounted Russian energy that made Europe a manufacturing powerhouse and the multipolar alliance of BRICS countries can turn decades of global wars and chaos into the most peaceful era of growth and prosperity for humanity. That’s how it should be. But the most likely outcome is that the evil empire of lies will not leave the stage quietly. The US Govt will smash the geopolitical chess board against the wall and go out in a tantrum of nuclear war that will end civilization as we know it. Only the American people could prevent this from happening but I wouldn’t bet my money on that. Most US brains have been fried by endless propaganda or dumbed down by a Neanderthal education system and TikTok 😉 The best insurance for your family is to have a Plan B in the far south of the southern hemisphere. That area will have the most survivors. May the force be with you.

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“..the Russian leader has “fantastic fitness for working” and can work nonstop for several days in a row..”

There Is Only One Putin – Kremlin (RT)

The Kremlin has dismissed speculation that it could be using body doubles of President Vladimir Putin for some events. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov ridiculed such claims as “amusing.” “We have only one Putin!” Peskov said at the ‘Russia’ exhibition that opened in Moscow on Saturday. He said that many ridiculous, absurd, and amusing things appear in various news outlets and on social media, naming the rumors about the Russian president’s alleged body doubles as examples. The Kremlin spokesman joked that “experts” on the internet are now wondering how many doppelgangers Putin has and which ones they are seeing each day. “Today [the Russian officials and public figures led by Putin] laid flowers to the Minin and Pozharsky Monument… Was it [Putin’s] third or fourth body double? I have no idea,” the spokesman jokingly added.

On November 4, Russia celebrates Unity Day, a holiday that commemorates the end of the ‘Times of Troubles’ in the 17th century and the expulsion of the Polish-Lithuanian occupation forces from Moscow by a volunteer militia army led by Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and a merchant, Kuzma Minin. The Kremlin already laid to rest the rumors about Putin’s doppelgangers last week after the UK’s Mirror newspaper reported on the issue, citing an anonymous Russian Telegram channel called General SVR. The paper claimed that the president’s body doubles were even used for some public appearances, including foreign visits. It also cited a recent Japanese TV report claiming that Putin had doppelgangers.

Similar statements have also been made by the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Kirill Budanov. Peskov had previously already dismissed reports about Putin’s doppelgangers, calling them “lies” back in April. He also said that the Russian leader has “fantastic fitness for working” and can work nonstop for several days in a row. The Kremlin spokesman added that he has experienced this firsthand while working directly under Putin’s leadership.

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“..Tony Bobulinski has challenged the Biden family to testify under oath beside him before Congress..”

Tony Bobulinski Issues A Challenge To The Biden Family (DM)

Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski has challenged the Biden family to testify under oath beside him before Congress, after Hunter’s lawyer accused Bobulinski of lying. Bobulinski, a Navy veteran, worked with Hunter Biden and his uncle Jim – Joe’s brother – in 2017 to invest in China. Bobulinski in 2020 produced a May 2017 email detailing a proposed equity split for a Chinese investment, with the suggestion of ’20’ for ‘H’ and ’10 held by H for the big guy?’ Bobulinski has claimed that ‘the big guy’ was Joe Biden, who was vice president until January 2017. Joe Biden has always said he was not involved in Hunter’s business dealings. Hunter’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, has written a letter to prosecutors claiming that Bobulinski has lied to the FBI. Bobulinski, in response, on Friday challenged the Bidens to provide public sworn testimony.

Tony Bobulinski was in business with Hunter Biden, and has claimed that Joe Biden was also involved in a May 2017 deal with China ‘If Hunter Biden and the Biden family are so determined to ensure that the full truth is put before the American people, Hunter, Jim, Joe and I should all appear together before Congress, publicly and under oath,’ said Bobulinski, in a statement sent to Fox News. ‘They can name the date, time and place, and I would certainly be willing to do that for the American people.’ Bobulinski said that Lowell’s letter, sent to Matthew Graves, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, was untrue. ‘All of the allegations contained in Mr. Lowell’s 10-page letter to U.S. Attorney Graves are patently false, and I look forward to exposing these lies and laying out the facts in a public forum in short order,’ said Bobulinski. ‘The sad thing for our country is that Hunter, Jim and Joe Biden along with Abbe Lowell know they are all false and are trying to weaponize the DOJ against me.’

Lowell, in his letter, claimed Bobulinski ‘lied about the business discussions among the partners involved’ in the joint venture. He said Bobulinski was guilty of ‘making things up’, and urged Graves to investigate him. Lowell accused Bobulinski, who insists he is not political, of being intent on attacking the Bidens. ‘The materials reveal the extraordinary lengths Mr Bobulinski and other individuals were willing to go to implicate Mr Biden or members of his family in some false and meritless allegations of wrongdoing,’ Lowell wrote. ‘Even in an era in which people peddle knowing lies with the goal of their falsehoods being repeated and disseminated for their political advantage, these statements by Mr Bobulinski cannot and must not go unchecked.’ Hunter Biden’s business deals are being investigated by several committees in Congress: the House Oversight Committee; House Judiciary; and House Ways & Means Committees.

The Oversight Committee on X accused Lowell of attempting to intimidate Bobulinski, who might be called to testify. ‘Hunter Biden and his legal team are once again attacking anyone who speaks out against the Bidens,’ the Oversight Committee wrote. ‘This time, their target is Tony Bobulinski, a potential witness in our investigation. ‘We will not tolerate witness intimidation. The truth will come out soon enough despite the Biden team’s threatening tactics. ‘We will give Hunter the opportunity to clear the air and speak with us soon.’

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Turley makes the exact same point I did a few days ago. Can you indict Trump for having bad lawyers? Sidney Powell and Lin Wood went way overboard after the election. But how was he supposed to know at the time? They were his lawyers… They presented it to him, and to the media, as an open and shut case.

Can Jack Smith Convict Trump For Being Lured By Bad Lawyers’ Advice? (Turley)

In Homer’s “Odyssey,” Odysseus faces one of his most fearsome threats — the three Sirens, beautiful sea creatures who lure sailors to their ruin with their seductive songs. Special Counsel Jack Smith and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis have offered a modern version of the Sirens in the lure of bad lawyering. Three lawyers have recently pleaded guilty in Georgia, and they may join other former counsel in testifying against their former client. What is novel is the criminal “Siren’s call” theory of these cases. Former President Donald Trump is being prosecuted for following the advice of his counsel, who are now effectively saying that he should not have believed what they were telling him. Indeed, some sound like they were lured by the Siren call of Trump, led astray from their better legal judgment.

Kenneth Chesebro’s attorney, Scott Grubman, says that “Mr. Chesebro never believed in ‘the Big Lie’” and believes that Biden won the election. Likewise, Sidney Powell has argued that “no reasonable person would conclude that my statements were truly statements of fact” as opposed to opinions. Jenna Ellis recently stated “Why I have chosen to distance is because of that frankly malignant narcissistic tendency to simply say that he’s never done anything wrong.” Yet these lawyers were not just confident but enthusiastic after the election in pursuing the claims they now repudiate. Moreover, their plea agreements had a number of notable omissions. First, none pleaded guilty to a conspiracy with Trump or to racketeering. Second, none will face jail time, and the prosecution has agreed that they did not commit crimes of moral turpitude. All three could keep their licenses.

It is also not clear that these attorneys would implicate Trump if called. They could prove more damaging to other defendants such as Rudy Giuliani, or they could still prove harmful to the prosecution’s overall theory. They secured no jail deals, but only agreed to testify truthfully. Some, like Ellis, may now have animus but lack evidence against Trump in establishing a conspiracy or racketeering claim. Both the federal and state prosecutions are premised on the claim that Trump never believed what he was saying about a stolen election. If Trump actually did believe he had viable claims in the courts or Congress, the prosecutions would collapse. Even Smith admits that Trump’s early election claims were protected political speech, but at some point became a criminal conspiracy when Trump had to know that his claims were baseless.

he most dangerous aspect to the federal indictment is that Smith leaves the line entirely undefined for future cases. If Trump crossed the Rubicon into criminal conduct in his election claims, Smith should be able to point to the river on the map. Instead, Smith offers no limiting principle on when election claims move from the sensational to the criminal. That is particularly concerning, since many election claims in the courts or Congress have been unfounded. For example, Marc Elias, who served as general counsel to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and played a key role in its secret funding of the infamous Steele dossier, challenged past elections on such grounds. After the 2020 election, he challenged a New York election by claiming that voting machines had flipped the results in favor of the Republicans through mistabulations.

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Wonder what format he will give it. No cameras..

Tucker Carlson Visits Assange In Prison (RT)

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson visited Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at London’s Belmarsh Prison on Thursday, Carlson revealed in a post on X (formerly Twitter) later that day. The American journalist included a photo of himself walking with Assange’s wife, Stella Moris. The post garnered positive reactions from activists who have collaborated with Wikileaks in the past, including Mega founder Kim Dotcom and former British MP George Galloway. While Carlson did not elaborate on the nature of his visit, media commentary suggested it was an interview for Carlson’s popular self-titled show on X. He previously interviewed Assange’s father and brother for a Fox News segment in 2021, and again earlier this year.

 Carlson has condemned Assange’s continued incarceration as a violation of the Wikileaks founder’s First Amendment rights, and said it sets a disastrous precedent for other journalists and publishers who work with classified material. Assange has appealed his pending extradition to the US, where he faces up to 175 years in prison on charges of violating the Espionage Act. The charges stem from Wikileaks’ publication of a trove of secret documents leaked by US Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning in 2010, which dealt with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Wikileaks publisher has been imprisoned in Belmarsh since 2019, when he was expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he had lived for seven years. Assange was granted political asylum and later Ecuadorian citizenship, both of which were revoked ahead of his arrest.

While Caroline Kennedy, the US ambassador to Australia, hinted in August that Washington might consider a plea deal allowing Assange to return to his home country if he pleaded guilty to lesser charges, legal experts have pointed out that any such deal would almost certainly require him to travel to the US for a formal admission of guilt – a condition he is unlikely to accept. Additionally, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has shown no signs of relenting in pursuit of the publisher, recently rejecting overtures from Canberra with the explanation that Assange’s actions had “risked very serious harm to our national security, to the benefit of our adversaries, and put named human sources at grave risk of physical harm, grave risk of detention.” Members of Congress hailing from both parties have petitioned the presidential administration of Joe Biden to drop the extradition request and abandon the prosecution of Assange.

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Siegfried Sassoon

 

 

Ackman

 

 


On Waihee Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii, this tree grew by the sea and coastal eroison exposed its roots, making it look like it’s running.

 

 

Shavo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1720796546810138711

 

 


Photographer Wu Yung-sen on a blackwater dive—unable to see the bottom and surrounded by impenetrable space—chanced upon a rare larval Wunderpus octopus, totally transparent.

 

 

Butterfly puppy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1720795302167216287

 

 

 

 

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