May 242024
 


Theodoor Rombouts Prometheus 1627

 

Moscow as the Third Europe, and a Fourth There Will Never Be (Karganovic)
US Diplomacy Needed to Avoid Ukraine’s ‘Overwhelming’ Defeat Sy Hersh (Sp.)
Ukraine Seeking To Spark Direct NATO-Russia Clash – Moscow (RT)
Threat Of World War Grows Every Day – Hungary FM (TASS)
US OK for Ukraine Attacks on Russia Could Mean Nuclear War – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Blinken Lobbying For Strikes On Russia – NYT (RT)
Israel Abandons Major Invasion of Rafah in Favor of Targeted Raids (Sp.)
Unified Reich Hoax One Of Most Blatantly Dishonest Attacks On Trump Yet (ZH)
Will Garland Send Hunter Biden Perjury Allegations to a Grand Jury? (Turley)
Nikki Haley Endorses Trump: He’s Not Perfect But Biden ‘Catastrophe’ (Sp.)
Pentagon Pumped $756 Mln Into Hypersonic Missile That Doesn’t Fly (Sp.)
Dutch Lawyer Prosecuted For Social Media Post Slamming Mass Migration (MN)
292 United & American Boeing 777s At Risk For ‘Exploding’ Fuel Tanks (ZH)

 

 

I don’t like the rhetoric these days…

 

 


House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul

 

 

Trump Bronx
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793782406388027528

 

 

AOC
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793485913797882305

 

 

Trump 1989
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793725371357020478

 

 

Comey

 

 

Tucker Trump Bet-David

 

 

Bill oh Bill

 

 

Cruz

 

 

Bridgen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793568491456668057

 

 

 

 

Russia as the guardian of western civilization.

Very nice historical perspective from Stephen Karganovic, President Of The Srebrenica Historical Project.

“Following the demise of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Russian monk Philotheus famously declared his firm belief that “Moscow [has become] the Third Rome, and a Fourth there will not be.”

Moscow as the Third Europe, and a Fourth There Will Never Be (Karganovic)

Upon assuming his duties, the new Russian Defence Minister Andrey Belousov made a number of noteworthy statements that rightfully reverberated throughout the world. But tucked in amongst his other observations of mainly geopolitical character there was one pregnant remark of an entirely different nature that nobody seems to have caught on to. Arguably however it surpasses all of the rest in significance: “Russia,” Belousov stated, “should follow the path of modernized conservatism… Russia can preserve traditional Western values. The West has abandoned these traditional values and moved on to something else – to an anti-traditional mindset within the framework of postmodernism.” One suspects that this circumlocution refers to the woke ideology which is currently ravaging the Western world. “It is important,” he continued, “to preserve traditional Western values, which in a certain sense are the values of Western Christian civilization, European civilization.”

Now comes the punchline: “Russia can become the guardian of these values. This may sound like a paradox, but it’s true. In this respect, it would be wrong to call the West our enemy … In the West, there are certain elites, and considerable parts of society that are associated with traditional values. And in this respect, they may grasp at this straw, this chance which Russia offers them to preserve some of their values.” These are remarkable affirmations. It would not be an exaggeration to call them epochal, coming from such a high-ranking source in the country that until quite recently symbolised a radical ideological rupture with the very civilisation and moral values in the defence of which Mr. Belousov has raised his voice. And he is doing it not just in his own name but plainly on behalf of the entire land for which he so self-confidently speaks. Granted, Mr. Belousov personally has all the required credentials to make such a statement because he is known to be a believing, church-going Orthodox Christian.

In defending the European civilisation and European values he is standing up for his own deeply cherished principles and for the Orthodox Christian civilizational milieu from which those principles have sprung. But on the symbolic level, as everyone with a solid grasp of relevant history knows, there is much more to it than that. Oddly, Western analysts and commentators missed completely the connection between Belousov’s bold depiction of Russia as the residual guardian and defender of Western civilisation and strikingly similar sentiments articulated earlier by another Russian, at an analogous historical juncture. Following the demise of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Russian monk Philotheus famously declared his firm belief that “Moscow [has become] the Third Rome, and a Fourth there will not be.” Western experts might have noticed the congruence between Philotheus and Belousov if they had a modicum of historical awareness, or, as Andrei Martyanov likes to put it, if their CVs contained even minimal evidence of culture and education. But in fact they are a culturally challenged and deplorably ignorant lot.

Therefore, they overlooked the premium point that Defence Minister Belousov gratuitously handed to them. Were they brighter or better educated, and capable of earning their keep, they might have gleefully twisted the minister’s words into rather plausible-sounding proof of Russia’s expansionistic ambitions. Such disinformation, bolstered with a decontextualised quote from one of the highest officials, would have corroborated perfectly their propaganda claims. They could have had a field day connecting Belousov’s words to their mendacious misrepresentation of current events. And if their propaganda skills were not so pathetically unrefined they could even have made the case that their geopolitical rival’s expansionistic pretensions did not start in February 2022 but go back for centuries, to at least the time of the monk Philotheus. Alas! to make such connections you need a bit of intellect, some imagination, and at least a bright schoolboy’s knowledge of history.

But needless to say, the issues that Philotheus broached in the epistle to his emperor in the 16th century, and also the issue that Defence Minister Belousov has raised more recently, are neither symbolic nor metaphorical, and least of all are given to vulgar propagandistic simplification. They reflect today as they did in the time of Philotheus an emerging civilizational paradigm, a reality that has been profoundly and for the West perhaps irreversibly reshaped. The new reality today is analogous to conditions in Christendom that prevailed when Philotheus made his bold declaration. Constantinople, the eastern Second Rome, had recently been conquered, just as in our time Europe, the First Rome, has finally imploded, ceasing to be either the political or spiritual centre of civilizational gravity. For recent evidence of that multi-level implosion one need look no further that the festival of satanic degeneracy in Malmo or the occult symbolism embedded in plain view in the official portrait of the head of the Church of England, the British monarch.

Today, as in the 16th century, who else is there that could possibly fill the void but the then surging, and in our own time resurgent, Russia? That in my view encapsulates the significance of Andrey Belousov’s history-making manifest that, regrettably, seems to have slipped under the radar but whose momentous impact will soon be felt.

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What diplomacy? They barely know how to spell it.

US Diplomacy Needed to Avoid Ukraine’s ‘Overwhelming’ Defeat Sy Hersh (Sp.)

Diplomatic efforts from Washington, which are withheld due to President Joe Biden’s irrational views on Russia, could have resolved the Ukrainian conflict that Americans and their allies are now unable to win, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said. “America, in the years Biden has been in office, has spent $175 billion to fight a war that cannot and will not be won. It will only be resolved by diplomacy—if rationality prevails in Kiev and Washington,” Hersh wrote in a Substack article. Otherwise, the “undertrained, understaffed, and poorly-equipped Ukrainian army faces an overwhelming defeat,” he predicted.

In addition, Hersh, citing a longtime senior US official said that the US intelligence community has been concerned about Biden’s views on Putin and Russia, which date back to his time serving in the Senate. However, some within the American intelligence community believe that the United States bears its own share of responsibility for the conflict in Ukraine, Hersh added. “Putin and his predecessors in Moscow watched for three decades—since the reunification of Germany in 1990—as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) added member states that brought NATO to Russia’s doorstep,” Hersh said.

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“..the use of US-provided weapons to strike strategic targets within Russian territory under certain circumstances.”

Ukraine Seeking To Spark Direct NATO-Russia Clash – Moscow (RT)

Calls by American lawmakers to allow Ukraine use foreign-made weapons against targets deep in Russian territory play into Kiev’s hands, as they encourage a direct clash between Moscow and NATO, Russia’s Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has warned. On Wednesday, a group of US congressmen submitted a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asking him to authorize “the use of US-provided weapons to strike strategic targets within Russian territory under certain circumstances.” This stance has previously been supported by Victoria Nuland, the former acting US Deputy Secretary of State, who played a major role in the Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. Earlier this week, however, Austin stopped short of endorsing the policy shift, suggesting that Kiev should focus “on the close fight” rather than on long-range strikes with foreign-made weapons.

On Thursday, Antonov denounced the “provocative” and “extremely dangerous and reckless” calls to allow Ukraine use Western-supplied weapons to attack deep inside Russia. He added that “the calls by Russophobes mean only one thing – further US involvement in the conflict in Ukraine on the side of the agonizing Zelensky regime.” The envoy suggested that the debates on the matter were a “hysterical reaction” to Russia’s successes on the battlefield against Ukraine, and that Western policymakers “continue to test our patience.” According to Antonov, it is also obvious that by requesting permission to attack deep inside Russia with foreign-made weapons, Kiev seeks “to provoke the United States, as well as other NATO countries, into rash actions and achieve a head-on collision between Russia and the bloc’s members.”

Kiev would likely use long-range systems against Russian civilians, the ambassador claimed, adding that “the Kiev regime has long… stopped asking permission” from the West to do so. “Barbaric raids using deadly products of the NATO military-industrial complex are carried out across our country on an almost regular basis,” Antonov stated. Ukraine has stepped up its pleas to be allowed to use Western-made weapons against far-flung targets inside Russia as Moscow’s forces steadily advance in Donbass and the Kharkov Region. The latter area has been used by Kiev to routinely shell Russian territory, with strikes killing dozens of civilians. Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that Moscow’s offensive in Kharkov Region seeks to establish a “cordon sanitaire,” or buffer zone, to prevent further Ukrainian attacks.

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“.. there has been no day without another crazy statement uttered by of some of the European politicians.”

Threat Of World War Grows Every Day – Hungary FM (TASS)

The threat of a world war is growing due to “insane statements” by Western politicians speculating about sending soldiers to Ukraine against the background of exercises in Russia involving non-strategic nuclear weapons, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said. He noted that “there has been no day without another crazy statement uttered by of some of the European politicians.” “There are those who want to send soldiers to Ukraine. Others are already speculating about the use of nuclear weapons. Every day the threat of a world war is getting closer,” Szijjarto told a news conference after a meeting in Budapest with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis. “We see what is happening: European politicians are making statements about the use of nuclear weapons. The Russians are conducting exercises involving tactical nuclear weapons,” Szijjarto said. He believes that “the time has come to stop this ma”..dness.” Szijjarto recalled that the Hungarian government had long stated that it was impossible to resolve the Ukrainian conflict militarily.

“That is why Hungary continues to tell its European partners that instead of indulging in crazy statements and fantasies that threaten to escalate [hostilities] they should spend at least half of their energy on achieving peace. Then there may be hope that this war will be ended at the negotiating table,” Szijjarto emphasized. On May 21, Russia began the first stage of exercises including practical training in preparations for using non-strategic nuclear weapons. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, they are being held in response to provocative statements by Western officials and are aimed at maintaining the readiness to respond and ensuring the country’s sovereignty. Missile units of the Southern Military District are practicing preparations for launching Iskander tactical missiles, while the personnel of the Aerospace Forces will equip air-launched delivery vehicles with special warheads, including hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, and head for patrol areas.

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“..it’s not taking place with State Department or Department of Defense connivance. It’s taking place with the assistance and the facilitation of the Central Intelligence Agency – a covert war. All Tony Blinken is now talking about is taking this covert war and making it an overt war..”

US OK for Ukraine Attacks on Russia Could Mean Nuclear War – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul added fuel to the fire of escalatory rhetoric swirling around Washington on Wednesday regarding restrictions on Ukraine’s use of American long-range strike weapons, trotting out a map during Secretary Blinken’s testimony showing areas of Russia hundreds of kilometers from the Ukrainian frontlines that weapons like ATACMS and HIMARS could hit. “Will you change this policy so that Ukraine can fight without one hand tied behind its back?” McCaul asked. “When it comes to enabling or endorsing attacks outside of Ukraine, that’s not something we’ve done, but Ukraine will have to make and will make its own decisions and I want to make sure that it gets the equipment that it needs,” Blinken said, avoiding a direct answer. Privately, however, sources told the New York Times that the secretary of state favors lifting the restrictions, and that he has lobbied President Biden to do so after what the newspaper characterized as a “sobering” trip to Kiev last week, where he was briefed on Ukraine’s battlefield setbacks.

McCaul’s counterparts in the Russian Duma and Senate slammed the congressman’s “madness” and apparent loss of instinct for self-preservation, warning that Russia would be forced “to take tough and swift measures” in response to such blatant aggression. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, meanwhile, recommended to McCaul that the first place in the “Russian interior” to be targeted by long-range US missiles is the American Embassy in Moscow. But the debate in Washington regarding direct US approval for Ukrainian missile attacks deep inside Russia constitute little more than “word games,” says former US Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter.

“Ukraine is already attacking critical energy facilities inside Russia, oil tanks, petroleum depots. This is taking place. It’s just that it’s not taking place with State Department or Department of Defense connivance. It’s taking place with the assistance and the facilitation of the Central Intelligence Agency – a covert war. All Tony Blinken is now talking about is taking this covert war and making it an overt war. Why is he doing this? Domestic American politics. It will have no impact on the battlefield. But what it does is allow the Biden administration to posture itself as doing something discernable to address the Russian successes – the successful offensive north of Kharkov, the continuing successful offensives in eastern Ukraine and Novorossiya,” Ritter told Sputnik. The catastrophic situation for Ukraine is seen by the Biden administration as a “political problem” during an election year, and Blinken is “trying to come up with a political solution,” the military and international affairs observer explained.

“But it’s shortsighted. It won’t resolve the military problems that are being confronted by the Ukrainians. What it will do is create the dangerous potential for the kind of escalation that the Biden administration has been assiduously seeking to avoid – an escalation that would lead to a direct confrontation between Russia, the United States and NATO. An escalation that could see this conflict move away from conventional war into the possibility, indeed probability of nuclear conflict,” Ritter said. Ritter characterized the hostile rhetoric coming out of Washington regarding overt approval for strikes on Russia an “unprecedented” escalation, “an act of war, an act of aggression that Russia couldn’t let go without a response.” Legally, the retired soldier said, Russia would have the right not only to strike decision-making centers and launch sites inside Ukraine, but also those facilitating the attacks, potentially including “American decision-making centers in Europe.”

As for Congressman McCaul’s map, Ritter suggested that what neocons like McCaul “don’t understand” is “that they’re putting forward a slanted version of this conflict. An accurate map put up by Tony Blinken, Victoria Nuland or the congressman from Texas would highlight for instance Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Germany, France, England, Italy, the Netherlands, the Baltics…All of those nations provide a safe haven for Ukraine – a place where Ukrainian forces can train. A place where Ukrainian military materiel can be stockpiled, repaired. Where command and control activity takes place, where intelligence is collected, assessed and disseminated. All these activities are part and parcel of Ukraine’s military effort against Russia, and under normal conditions would be subjected to military interdiction. But Russia doesn’t attack them, it can’t attack them because they’re part of NATO. For Russia to attack them, even though this activity is directly related to the war, it would lead to an expansion of the conflict, an escalation. So Russia has avoided doing this even though it has every right to do so.”

“Russia has the ability to decisively interdict all of the activities that are taking place on NATO’s soil. Ukraine – if it were to launch attacks on…Russia – all it would do is kick the bear. It’s not going to have a meaningful impact. It’s not going to change the outcome. The Russians will not be defeated. This will not alter the reality that Ukraine lacks manpower, equipment and funding to sustain this conflict – that Ukraine is on a path of decisive defeat that could occur sometime this year. And no expansion of the target deck is going to change that reality,” Ritter concluded.

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With Biden incapacitated, Blinken is the de facto leader on foreign policy.

Blinken Lobbying For Strikes On Russia – NYT (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is pushing the administration of President Joe Biden to allow Ukraine to attack targets deep inside Russia with American weapons, the New York Times reported on Thursday, referring to unnamed US officials. The ban, according to the White House, was imposed out of concern that if US arms were used inside what Washington acknowledges as Russian territory it would trigger an escalation and potentially World War III. Blinken has been advocating for scrapping the restriction after making a “sobering” visit to Kiev earlier this month, the newspaper said, citing insider sources. Ukrainian officials have claimed that being unable to target Russian forces across the border with American weapons led to the failure of its troops to prevent the recent Russian advances in Kharkov Region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the offensive is a response to months of Ukrainian artillery and drone attacks in Russia’s Belgorod Region and that a buffer zone is required to deprive Kiev of the capability to make such strikes. The Times said that Ukrainian weapons “don’t pack the power and speed of the American weapons.” Kiev has launched a lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill to pressure the White House over the issue and has some allies among lawmakers. A group of representatives signed a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Monday calling for the Ukrainian request to be granted. During a hearing in Congress on Tuesday, Senator Michael McCaul displayed a map showing the strike range of ATACMS missiles – a weapon the US has donated to Ukraine – if Kiev were allowed to use them inside Russia.

He called the outlined territory a “sanctuary zone” for Russian troops and accused the Biden administration of tying the hands of the Ukrainians behind their backs. Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has urged increased NATO involvement in the conflict and has argued that the West should not fear Russia’s reaction. Moscow believes that Zelensky’s goal is to trigger an escalation to maintain his position. Russia is currently conducting a military drill to test its capability to use non-strategic nuclear weapons, which Putin ordered in response to hostile rhetoric by Western officials. One such remark identified by Moscow came from British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who said earlier this month that Kiev “has the right” to use weapons donated by his nation to attack targets inside Russia.

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More Blinken.

Israel Abandons Major Invasion of Rafah in Favor of Targeted Raids (Sp.)

Israel has allegedly abandoned its plans for a major invasion of Rafah in the Gaza Strip in favor of targeted incursions after talks with the United States, The Telegraph has reported, citing a senior US official. The report cited the official as saying on Wednesday that Israel had taken concerns of the US into account, which had for weeks warned Israel against full-scale operation in Rafah. “It’s fair to say, I think, the Israelis have updated their plans. They’ve incorporated many of the concerns that we have expressed … This is an ongoing discussion, ongoing conversation. It’s been constructive,” the official said, referring to a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Jerusalem last week. Last week, Sullivan traveled to the Middle East and visited Saudi Arabia and Israel, where he met with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Israeli leadership.

Earlier in May, the Pentagon confirmed media reports that the Biden administration halted deliveries of 1800 2000-pound bombs and 1700 500-pound bombs to Israel after the country began its allegedly limited military operation in Rafah while making public its plans to proceed with a major ground operation.In early May, US President Joe Biden said during an interview with CNN that Washington would not supply weapons to Israel if the Jewish state’s military went into Rafah. In the early hours of May 7, the Israel Defense Forces launched what it called a counterterrorist operation in the east of Rafah and took control of the Gaza side of the border crossing with Egypt. Later that week, Israeli media reported that Israel’s military cabinet had approved expanding the ground operation. Israeli authorities say the operation was aimed at eliminating the remaining battalions of Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel and breached the border, attacking both civilian neighborhoods and military bases. Nearly 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others were abducted during the attack. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. Over 35,600 people have been killed so far by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said. More than 100 hostages are still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.

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They know how dumb their voters are… But even then, this is something else…

Unified Reich Hoax One Of Most Blatantly Dishonest Attacks On Trump Yet (ZH)

With a brand new set of polls showing Donald Trump leading in six of seven swing states, establishment media has stooped to new levels of transparent dishonesty in a desperate effort to derail his campaign. The latest example? An all-out hoax that had major outlets telling Americans that Trump shared a video promising that his reelection would lead to the “creation of a unified Reich,” in what was supposedly a shocking revelation of his intention to Make Nazism Great Again. Here’s a sampling of the hysterical headlines:
• Newsweek: Donald Trump ‘Unified Reich’ Video Leaves People Stunned
• MSNBC: Trump’s Online Account Promotes ‘Unified Reich’ Video, Adding To Alarming Pattern
• The Hill: White House Slams ‘Sickening’ Video Shared By Trump Referencing ‘Unified Reich’
• CNN: Trump Posts Video Referencing ‘Unified Reich’ If Reelected

TV’s talking heads gravely shared the news. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said Trump posted a video that “used language from Nazi Germany, the latest in a series of antisemitic and authoritarian statements from Trump and his campaign.” Social media erupted in the latest round of bogus outrage, including this pearl-clutching tweet from archetypal deep-stater and Constitution-betraying mass surveillance architect Michael Hayden. The White House leapt headlong into the propaganda blitz. “It is abhorrent, sickening, and disgraceful for anyone to promote content associated with Germany’s Nazi government under Adolf Hitler,” said Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates. Piling dishonesty on dishonesty, here’s Joe Biden recoiling in phony disbelief as he pretends to be seeing Trump’s alleged abomination for the first time:

So what actually happened? On Monday afternoon, Trump’s Truth Social account reposted a video that had been created and posted by someone outside the campaign. The video used imagery of newspaper headlines to imagine a Trump victory in November and the beneficial consequences that would accompany it. The video was not created from scratch, but rather from a stock video template that anyone can buy online. Sold by Envato Elements, it’s called “Newspaper Vintage History Headlines Promo.” With its old-newspaper feel, whatever headlines are added to it are given a certain historical gravitas. Aside from the Trump-specific banner headlines, the video creator simply left intact all the minor, historical headlines that come with the template and serve as little more than background filler. For all the freaking out about Trump using the video to implicitly endorse the Third Reich, the vintage headline in question isn’t even about that reich. It reads, “German Industrial Strength After 1871 Driven By The Creation Of A Unified Reich.” “It’s difficult to convey just how fake the establishment American media really is,” said Newsmax’s Rob Schmitt, in this segment that lays bare the utter dishonesty behind the latest baseless outrage:

Predictably, the so-called “fact checkers” at Snopes framed the video controversy in such a way that they could stamp “TRUE” on it, addressing merely whether Trump shared a video that contained the words “creation of a unified reich.” Like many of the harpies on social media who’ve been called out for their deceptive descriptions of the video, Snopes blames the video creator for “fail[ing] to remove” the unified Reich headline — as if that video creator had used Triumph Of The Will as their starting template.

Meanwhile, with an article explaining why the video “isn’t what people are making it out to be,” The Atlantic’s David Graham pleasantly surprised us — only to then exasperate us by reinforcing one of the most persistent anti-Trump hoaxes of all. After explaining the benign nature of the video template, Graham proceeded to administer a Trump-mythology booster to The Atlantic’s lefty readership, writing that “[Trump] called neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 ‘very fine people.” Let’s go to the transcript…again. In a feisty exchange with reporters, Trump — referring to politically diverse protesters and counter-protesters who showed up in Charlottesville — said: “You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides…You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”

After questioning whether statues of historical figures should be removed solely because the person in question had some involvement with slavery, Trump said: “You’re changing history. You’re changing culture. And you had people — and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists — because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.” Just as the “very fine people” hoax persists at The Atlantic and nearly everywhere else, we’re guessing the “unified reich video” hoax will have staying power too. In any event, it looks like it’s time for Scott Adams to issue another update to his hoax quiz…

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“These are instances where Hunter was under oath, prepared for months, and had counsel present..”

Will Garland Send Hunter Biden Perjury Allegations to a Grand Jury? (Turley)

Attorney General Merrick Garland has long maintained that he is a completely apolitical figure who only follows the law. Critics have challenged that claim on key cases, including those related to Hunter Biden. However, Garland may now face one of the clearest tests of his claim in his tenure. The House committees have issued a public report alleging three different instances where Hunter Biden allegedly committed perjury. The question is now what Garland is prepared to do about it. When Hunter testified, I wrote columns suggesting that he might take the Fifth Amendment to remain silent because the risk was too great that he might lie or mislead investigators in his answers. With months of preparation, he decided to run the gauntlet and now appears to have exposed himself to the possibility of additional criminal charges. Hunter Biden has still not responded to the specific allegations, but on their face they appear strong.

Notably, the Justice Department spent considerable time and money to pursue false statements against figures like Michael Flynn over just one statement describing a meeting with Russian diplomats. These are instances where Hunter was under oath, prepared for months, and had counsel present. One of the instances concerns the controversial WhatsApp message where Hunter not only threatened a Chinese businessman to send him massive amounts of money but said that his father was sitting next to him at the time. Millions were later sent to the Bidens. The infamous WhatsApp message stated in part: “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.”

The response of Hunter to questions about the message was curious and evasive. Hunter said that he had only two things to say about that message. He denied that his father was sitting next to him despite saying that he had no memory of sending the message. Second, and most importantly, he stated “the Zhao that this is sent to is not the Zhao connected to CEFC” who “had no understanding or even remotely knew what the hell I was even Goddamn talking about.” The Committee staff maintains that Biden’s WhatsApp account show that he only ever communicated with one Zhao – Raymond Zhao – and that he most certainly did [know] what he was “talking about.” Another alleged lie was Hunter’s denial that he ever helped people associated with Burisma secure visas. He told Congress that he was unwilling to provide “any work as it related to visas that they needed” and that he would “never pick up the phone and call anybody for a visa.”

The Committee has produced an email showing Hunter’s associate Devon Archer concerning the revoking of Burisma CEO Nikolay Zlochevsky’s visa. It states that “Hunter is checking with Miguel Aleman to see if he can provide cover to Kola on the visa…Please send Hunter an email with all Kola’s passport and visa documents and evidence and copy me. We’ll take it from there.” Hunter also swore that he had no part in shell companies that received foreign payments. Yet, Archer testified that he and Hunter had equal stake in Rosemont Seneca Bohai and the Committee has evidence from the IRS whistleblowers showing that Hunter received benefits as owner of the entity’s associated bank account. The most damning evidence may be a document reading “I, Robert Hunter Biden, hereby certify that I am the duly elected, qualified and acting Secretary of Rosemont Seneca Bohai, LLC.” He used that document as part of his contract with Porsche Financial Services for a sports car.

That would seem pretty clear and well-founded allegations for a referral to the Justice Department. After fast-tracking false statement claims against Trump officials, the question is whether Garland will even submit the matter to a grand jury. He could also give the matter to the Special Counsel prosecuting Hunter. Ordinarily, a prosecutor pursuing a defendant in two different felony cases would jump at any alleged illegality. You would not want to stand between him and a grand jury. However, Special Counsel David Weiss has been accused of minimizing charges against the President’s son and attempting to push through a notorious sweetheart deal that collapsed in court. Now Garland faces an unavoidable choice in treating this referral as he did Trump cases (in sending this to a grand jury) or scuttling alleged perjury made by the son of the President before Congress. It is far less challenging legally than it is politically for Merrick Garland.

Garland

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Oh no, not her..

Nikki Haley Endorses Trump: He’s Not Perfect But Biden ‘Catastrophe’ (Sp.)

Former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley announced on Wednesday that she will vote for Donald Trump in November as he meets her priorities better than Biden. “As a voter, I put my priorities on a president who is going to have the backs of our allies and hold our enemies to account…,” Haley said at the Hudson Institute. “I will be voting for Trump.” Trump has not been perfect but Biden has been a “catastrophe,” she said. Haley also expressed hope that Trump will actively engage her voters rather than simply expect their support. Earlier, an Axios report said that Trump’s campaign is considering Nikki Haley for the vice presidential role.

Haley, who was a key Republican rival in the presidential race alongside Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, could be chosen if Trump believes she would enhance his chances of winning the November election, avoid potential imprisonment, and manage his multi-million dollar legal bills, the report added. Members of the Republican Party close to both politicians believe that teaming up is in their mutual interest because Haley has deep ties with sponsors who are wary of Trump, and she could help him attract the votes of some college-educated Republicans, the report said.

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“Money is one means of developing a technology, but it can happen that a technology is created with a minimum amount of funds. It can turn out that you have a lot of money, but the technology doesn’t work out. Therefore, money is not the main thing here. The main thing is people, and having the appropriate academic knowledge..”

Pentagon Pumped $756 Mln Into Hypersonic Missile That Doesn’t Fly (Sp.)

The US Army has been teasing the deployment of its ground-based Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system since 2021, with the system touted as the Pentagon’s first nearly operational hypersonic missile amid development delays and cancellations plaguing nearly a dozen similar projects for and by the Army, Air Force, Navy, and DARPA. The US Army has awarded Lockheed Martin another $756 million for its delay-plagued LRHW “Dark Eagle” program, with the contract involving the provision of battery equipment, unspecified logistics, systems, and software engineering support. In development since 2017, the LRHW’s $41 million apiece truck-launched missiles are expected to be able to accelerate to speeds up to Mach 17, and boast a 3,000 km operational range. The system uses the common All Up Round (AUR) munition also used in the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) program.

But like other US hypersonic missile efforts to date, Dark Eagle has become a somewhat “Dubious Eagle” after a string of testing issues. The Congressional Research Office has counted at least five failures to date:
• In October 2021, an LRHW test failed when the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) did not deploy.
• In June 2022, the complete LRHW missile system suffered another test failure.
• A scheduled LRHW test was canceled in October 2022 to “assess the root cause” of the June 2022 failure.
• In March 2023, a scheduled test launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida was scrapped.
• A second planned test at Cape Canaveral was canceled in September 2023, followed by an Army statement that it would not be able to meet the goal of deploying Dark Eagle in the current fiscal year.
• A November 2023 review by Army and Navy acquisition execs blamed the delays on unspecified “problems” with the Lockheed-made launcher, and said the issues would take “months” to iron out.

The poor track record of US hypersonic missile programs to date has been surprising, given the tens of billions of dollars in research and development funding lavishly doled out by Congress in annual defense budgets – which typically outpace the defense spending of all of Washington’s major adversaries combined. Last month, veteran Russian defense observer and missile expert Dmitry Drozdenko told Sputnik that the reason hypersonic weapons are so difficult to develop comes down not to the ability to accelerate vehicles to hypersonic speeds (which has been possible since virtually the dawning of the missile age), but creating materials that can withstand the ultra-hot temperatures hypersonic missiles encounter during flight – when they are covered by clouds of plasma. The USSR was leagues ahead of the US in the study of plasma physics during the Cold War, with Russia inheriting this invaluable knowledge and putting it to good use to field its first-in-the-world hypersonic missiles.

“Technologies are developed by people,” Drozdenko explained. “Money is one means of developing a technology, but it can happen that a technology is created with a minimum amount of funds. It can turn out that you have a lot of money, but the technology doesn’t work out. Therefore, money is not the main thing here. The main thing is people, and having the appropriate academic knowledge,” the observer said.

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“..pretending to be a democracy, a country with freedom of speech.”

Dutch Lawyer Prosecuted For Social Media Post Slamming Mass Migration (MN)

A Dutch conservative female lawyer is being prosecuted on charges of “racism” and “inciting hatred” after she expressed fury over mass migration in response to a viral video showing a white boy being beaten up and thrown onto a railway track by a gang of migrants. Raisa Blommestijn revealed how she had received a letter that amounted to an order to appear before a Dutch prosecutor at a court hearing in front of multiple judges on August 19th. The charges stem from comments Blommestijn made on social media in response to a video of a defenseless Dutch boy being brutally kicked and punched as he lay on the ground at an Amsterdam Metro station in May last year before he was thrown onto the railway track. “Yet another white man got kicked around in the street by a group of black primates. How many defenseless white people remain to become victims? Countless probably: the open borders elite is importing these people in droves, with all the consequences that entails,” she wrote.

Blommestijn said she was subjected to a four hour police interrogation over her comments and later learned that she would be facing prosecution. “Until now, it was still unclear what would happen next with this case. Unfortunately, I can tell you that as of today, there is clarity. The sword of Damocles has fallen because this morning I found this letter in my letterbox. A letter that cannot be seen as anything other than a subpoena,” the lawyer told her followers. The conservative warned that people were being “persecuted for their political opinions” and for opposing mass migration by a nation that is “pretending to be a democracy, a country with freedom of speech.”

Prominent conservatives being punished by authorities for expressing strong anti-mass migration views has become a common theme across Europe, with the state seeking to make an example of them in order to silence dissent. As we recently highlighted, a German politician was found guilty of ‘incitement’ by a district court after she posted a link to the government’s own statistics on crimes committed by migrants, specifically rape, and asked why they are so disproportionately high. Three former members of Belgium’s right-wing ‘Nation’ party were also convicted for Facebook posts in which they compared the Brussels district of Molenbeek to Africa due to its massive non-native population and demanded the Belgian government put “our people first.”

Eva

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“According to the FAA, a metal plate attached to a fuel tank vent on the wings of the 777 was installed without an electrical bond, meaning it could potentially accumulate static electricity and cause a “fire or explosion” in the jet’s fuel tanks.”

292 United & American Boeing 777s At Risk For ‘Exploding’ Fuel Tanks (ZH)

Overnight, DailyMail reported that yet another fleet of Boeing jets has a potentially disastrous flaw. The 777, commonly called the Triple Seven, has poor electrical insulation near its fuel tank that can cause “fire or explosion.” Back in March, the Federal Aviation Administration raised concerns about the 777’s safety and set a deadline of May 9 for Boeing and third-party experts to respond. However, it’s still unclear whether the company has taken any action, as reported by DailyMail. “This condition, if not addressed, could result in an ignition source inside the fuel tank and subsequent fire or explosion,” the Airworthiness Directives note states. The FAA noted the safety fix includes “installing electrical bonding and grounding” to prevent short-circuiting “electrostatic discharge to the surrounding structure” around the air intake system near the 777’s center-wing fuel tanks. The projected cost to fix the 292 vulnerable wide-body planes is around $700k.

777 are flown across the world. Many of these jets are commonly used by American and United Airlines. This was the same jet earlier this week that abruptly dropped 6,000 feet during a London to Singapore flight. Last month, Boeing whistleblower Sam Salehpour told lawmakers on Capitol Hill about “serious concerns about the safety of the 787 and 777 aircraft.” Salehpour is one of the lucky whistleblowers still remarkably alive after more than a month from his statement on Capitol Hill. At that time, he told lawmakers about “premature fatigue failure” on these planes and warned Boeing was “putting out defective airplanes.” In each passing week, problems for Boeing are growing, from the 777 earlier this week that abruptly dropped to a 747’s engine that erupted in a fireball last week to these recent mishaps: In markets, Boeing shares have been battered in the last 5.5 years following the twin Max 737 crashes (separate crashes) that killed 346 people.The optics for Boeing are terrible. This is why Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun is preparing to step down at the end of the year.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Milei

 

 

Chips

 

 

Public schools

 

 

US food system
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793673993058426979

 

 

Elk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793375257388372054

 

 

Bark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793217697540342117

 

 

Self defense shark

 

 

3 little bears

 

 

Baby sitter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1793671312235499566

 

 

 

 

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May 102024
 


Carl Spitzweg The raven 1845

 

Jack Smith Has Few Options in Trump Case, Say Former Prosecutors (ET)
Trump Announces ‘Major Motion’ Filed in New York Appeals Court (ET)
Democrats Attack Judge for Delaying Trump Florida Trial (Turley)
Putin Doesn’t Bluff (Jim Rickards)
US Defenseless Against Russian Hypersonic Missiles, Iranian Drones – DoD (Sp.)
Boeing’s Setbacks Show Why US Industries Lose Competitive Edge (Sp.)
Aging US Fleet and Drained Stockpiles No Match for China and Russia (Sp.)
Biden Denies Economic Reality In Car Crash CNN Interview (MN)
Tucker Carlson Interviews Biden Accuser Tara Reade (RT)
Whole West Is Working To Supply Ukraine – Putin (RT)
West ‘Trying To Distort’ History Of WWII – Putin (RT)

 

 

 

 

Fani more

 

 

Larry Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evidence tampering. Throw out the whole case. Not salvageable.

Jack Smith Has Few Options in Trump Case, Say Former Prosecutors (ET)

A federal judge’s ruling this week that postponed former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case represents a significant legal win for the former president, legal analysts say. A former federal prosecutor, Renato Mariotti, wrote that there is virtually “nothing” special counsel Jack Smith can do to speed the process up. “Realistically there is nothing Jack Smith can do to move the Mar-a-Lago case forward to trial before the election. Judges have extremely broad discretion over their trial calendar, which is what gives Judge Cannon the ability to avoid setting a trial date at this time,” Mr. Mariotti wrote on social media. Another former federal prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack, wrote that Mr. Smith’s team will have “a bumpy ride” ahead of them because of Judge Cannon’s “numerous other scheduled hearings on pretrial motions” from President Trump and two co-defendants, which he indicates that Judge Cannon believes “have merit.”

Harry P. Litman, a law professor and a former U.S. attorney, echoed those claims, saying that the case is now in a “deep freeze” after the latest order. Meanwhile, multiple television legal analysts claimed that with her latest order, Judge Cannon is intentionally trying to delay the case. The Epoch Times contacted the court for comment. “This is news but it’s hardly unexpected. Judge Cannon seems desperate to avoid trying this case. This isn’t justice. defendants aren’t the only ones with speedy trial act rights, we the people have them too,” wrote former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance, who currently works for MSNBC, on Tuesday afternoon. But Tim Fitton, the head of the Judicial Watch legal group, wrote that complaints about Judge Cannon’s decisions are unwarranted, arguing that such a timeline “is normal and not surprising.”

“But the Left’s election riggers and civil rights abusers believe that Trump has no rights and will attack Judge Cannon for proceeding normally in this case and for not violating Trump’s constitutional rights,” he wrote on X, formerly known Twitter. In that post, he pointed out that Mr. Smith’s team last week submitted court papers to Judge Cannon essentially saying that his team misled the court because the contents of a box of documents were re-arranged. Prosecutors did not disclose the exact reason why the materials may have been shifted. “There are some boxes where the order of items within that box is not the same as in the associated scans,” Mr. Smith’s team wrote, adding that the update contrasts with what they told the judge several weeks ago during a hearing.

The boxes in question have “items smaller than standard paper such as index cards, books, and stationary, which shift easily when the boxes are carried, especially because many of the boxes are not full,” they added. After the disclosure, President Trump wrote his Truth Social platform that he believes Mr. Smith should be arrested before calling for the case to be immediately dropped.

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“‘I’ve been doing this for 60 years, and I don’t understand what crime he’s been charged with. Nobody understands this. I just don’t get the crime. There’s no evidence of any crime whatsoever..”

Trump Announces ‘Major Motion’ Filed in New York Appeals Court (ET)

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday confirmed that his lawyers asked a New York state appellate court to issue a ruling on a judge’s gag order that prohibits him from speaking about certain individuals connected to his ongoing trial. His team filed a motion on Wednesday, which has been sealed and is inaccessible, according to the court docket. The Manhattan district attorney’s office filed a response to the motion, but it was also sealed. While speaking with reporters outside the courthouse on Thursday morning, President Trump confirmed the move. Anonymously sourced reports published Wednesday said that it was a motion to expedite the ruling. “I just want to let you know that we’ve just filed a major motion in the appellate division concerning the absolutely unconstitutional gag order, where I’m essentially not allowed to talk to you about anything meaningful that’s going on in the case. And many good things are going on with the case. It shouldn’t have been filed,” he said. During his comments to reporters, he did not go into specifics about the motion.

The former president is under a gag order that prohibits him from making public statements about potential witnesses, court staff, prosecutors’ staff, or family members. Judge Juan Merchan, who issued the order and later expanded it, ruled that President Trump violated his directive 10 times before threatening to jail the former president if he makes future comments that he believes violate that order. Previously, the New York Court of Appeals rejected the former president’s bid to pause the trial while he battles the gag order. They also rejected an attempt to pause the enforcement of the order, which was issued in March after prosecutors requested it. His lawyers have argued that the gag order violates the former president’s First Amendment right to free speech, noting that he is currently the leading Republican presidential candidate. But earlier this week, Judge Merchan fined the former president for a 10th time for an April remark that he made to a media outlet about the Manhattan jury pool, which he said was “95 percent” Democratic.

The judge then said that a $1,000 fine isn’t enough and that he might have to jail the former president, although he did not go into specifics about how that would look like. “Your continued willful violations of this court’s orders threaten to interfere with the … administration of justice,” Judge Merchan said before issuing a warning about possible jail time. The former president, in response, criticized the judge and wrote on Truth Social that he is now not allowed to respond publicly to “lies and false statements” made about him during the New York trial. It came after witness Stormy Daniels made salacious allegations about President Trump during her first trial appearance, which President Trump has denied. According to emails reviewed by The Epoch Times, the Trump campaign also used the judge’s threat as a means to fundraise for his presidential campaign. “The liberal judge in New York just threatened to THROW ME IN JAIL,” read one of the emails, adding that they want him “in HANDCUFFS.”

During his remarks to reporters on Thursday, the former president also quoted multiple legal analysts’ commentary on the case to say that it should never have been brought against him. Those analysts, which President Trump read aloud from a piece of paper, stated prosecutors revived the case after more than seven years in a politicized attempt to harm his 2024 reelection campaign. “‘I’ve been doing this for 60 years, and I don’t understand what crime he’s been charged with. Nobody understands this. I just don’t get the crime. There’s no evidence of any crime whatsoever. This is a sham,’” President Trump said, quoting retired Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz. The trial is expected to last another two weeks. On Thursday, Ms. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, again took the witness stand and was grilled by defense attorneys about whether she was using her allegations against President Trump to make money for herself and bolster her name recognition.

President Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Ms. Daniels for her silence ahead of the 2016 election about the alleged encounter. President Trump has pleaded not guilty and denies Ms. Daniels’ claims. The case is seen by some as the least consequential of the four criminal prosecutions President Trump faces. But the chances of the other three, going to trial before the election are growing more distant. He has pleaded not guilty in all the cases. The former president’s cases in Georgia and Washington were paused by the respective judges overseeing them. Meanwhile, in a major legal win, a Florida federal judge suspended his classified documents case indefinitely after prosecutors revealed that the contents of an evidence box were inexplicably rearranged.

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” this is a case where justice delayed is justice.”

Democrats Attack Judge for Delaying Trump Florida Trial (Turley)

While pundits, politicians and the press have long expressed outrage over attacks on judges by former President Donald Trump, many are now attacking any judge who delays any trial of Trump before the election. Democrats have accused Judge Aileen Cannon of being politically compromised, if not conspiratorial, in her delay of the Florida trial over the mishandling of classified documents. Yet, there is ample reason for the delay that many of us anticipated in this type of case when it was filed. For months, many of us have said that we doubt that this type of trial could be held on the rapid schedule demanded by Special Counsel Jake Smith. Smith has repeatedly sought to curtail trial review and even appellate rights of Trump to advance his schedule. His office has made convicting Trump before the election the overriding objective of its motion — a sharp departure from past Justice Department efforts to avoid trials to influence elections.

As a criminal defense counsel, I have handled classified material cases and they are notoriously slow. Smith could have prosecuted this case in the shorter time frame if he simply charge obstruction. That would have also eliminated the glaring contrast with the handling of the Biden investigation into the current president’s retention and mishandling of classified material. Smith decided to charge an array of document charges related to classified material. The defense must have access, review, and can appeal issue related to the classified procedures. Yet, Smith wanted both the array of document charges and a fast track to trial. The Supreme Court has agreed with Cannon that Smith desire to secure a conviction before the election is not the overriding consideration. Judge Cannon is faced with recent admissions that the government mixed up files in the boxes and staged the famous photos of document strewn over a floor with classified jackets. Most importantly, disputes over the relevant documents continue as expected in the case. Nevertheless, leading democrats are denouncing Cannon as a partisan hack.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on federal courts and oversight subcommittee, said accused Cannon of “deliberately slow-walking the case.” Ignoring the fact that similar cases have taken much longer to go to trial, Whitehouse simply declared “it is hard for me not to reach the conclusion that this [judge] is deliberately slow-walking the case to put it into a position where should [Trump] be elected, he can order that the investigation and prosecution be terminated.” His colleague Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) insisted that Cannon was “managing this case in a way that is making it highly unlikely that it will be resolved in a timely fashion.” Coons added “Justice deferred is often justice denied.” It is a bizarre statement. Classified documents cases routinely take longer to go to trial. The alternative is to cut off the ability of the defense to fully review the documents and review objections for resolution before trial. Yet, because the defendant is Trump and these Democrats want the trial to influence the election, such defense protections are now evidence of judicial bias.

They, of course, ignore that Cannon has ruled repeatedly against major Trump motions in the case. Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Cannon’s “at it again, doing everything she can to delay.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), offered the most telling line. He said “I question whether this judge understands the magnitude or the legal import of this trial.”Indeed, it is the timing as much as the charges that makes this so important to the Justice Department and the Democrats. Smith has crafted this case to impact the election and the failure of the court to support that effort is apparently grounds for recusal. Blumenthal called for such a motion before the window is lost before the election: “It’s a classic dilemma for justice that a particular judicial officer may be conducting a trial that could be better done by somebody else.” Despite the statement of his colleague Coons, this is a case where justice delayed is justice.

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“You may assume that Houthi rebels in Yemen want to avoid attacks by the U.S., but they don’t care — they live in caves anyway, so you can’t bomb them into the Stone Age because they’re already there//”

Putin Doesn’t Bluff (Jim Rickards)

One of the persistent problems in intelligence analysis is what experts call “mirror imaging.” This is jargon for an analytic flaw in which the analyst assumes that his beliefs and preferences are shared by an adversary. Instead of looking at the adversary as he actually is, the analyst is looking in a mirror while assuming he is looking at the adversary. This is an extremely dangerous flaw. You may be rational, but the mullahs who rule Iran are not. You may believe that leaders want economic growth, but Communist Chinese leaders elevate the party over all other considerations including the well-being of their people. You may assume that Houthi rebels in Yemen want to avoid attacks by the U.S., but they don’t care — they live in caves anyway, so you can’t bomb them into the Stone Age because they’re already there. Nowhere is this flaw more apparent today than in the U.S. intelligence analysis of Vladimir Putin.

In 2008, President Bush said that Ukraine and Georgia should join NATO. A few months later, Putin invaded Georgia, annexed part of its territory and destroyed Georgia’s chances of joining NATO. In 2014, the U.S. backed a coup d’état in Ukraine that deposed a duly elected leader. Three months later, Putin annexed Crimea from Ukraine and made it part of the Russian Federation. In 2021, NATO began formal processes to admit Ukraine as a member. In February 2022, Russia began a special military operation that’s resulted in 500,000 dead Ukrainian soldiers. Some estimates are even higher. Ukraine’s chances of joining NATO are now zero. In every case, U.S. analysts did not believe Putin would take the steps he did because they thought it might somehow weaken Putin or Russia. That’s mirror imaging at its worst. The truth is Putin doesn’t bluff. When he says he will do something, he does. When he says he will react to some Western act, the reaction takes place.

Putin said if the West steals Russian assets, Russia will retaliate by seizing billions of dollars of direct foreign investment in Russia owned by major European companies such as Siemens, Total, BP and others. And sure enough, just days after Biden signed legislation to authorize the theft of Russian assets, a Russian court ordered $440 million be seized from JPMorgan. The escalation in the asset seizure war has begun. Putin will win in the end. Unfortunately, escalation is also increasing on the geopolitical front. The U.S. and some of its European allies are becoming increasingly desperate about Ukraine’s ability to hold off Russia on the battlefield. The recent $61 billion aid package for Ukraine (about two-thirds of which will go to U.S. defense companies) won’t be nearly enough to reverse the tide. The U.S. and its NATO allies have already given just about all they can afford to give Ukraine without jeopardizing their own security. The problem isn’t a lack of money but a lack of weapons and ammunition. Before the aid package was approved, critics complained that Ukraine was losing because the U.S. was withholding desperately needed materiel. But that’s not really true.

The Europeans could have simply bought the weapons from the U.S. and delivered them to Ukraine. They didn’t. Why? Because the weapons simply weren’t there. Yes, there will always be a supply of weapons flowing to Ukraine — they’re not going to run out completely. But Ukraine won’t have nearly enough weapons and ammunition to undertake meaningful offensive operations against the Russians. They’ll just have enough to keep them in the fight, which is the goal of NATO. Unfortunately for Ukraine, the problems run much deeper than a lack of equipment. They’re also running out of trained manpower. Former commander Valeriy Zaluzhny has suggested Ukraine needs an extra 500,000 troops. But they’re having trouble finding new volunteers. An estimated 650,000 fighting age men have fled Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Russian army is even larger than it was before the invasion, and Russian industry is churning out weapons and ammunition at astonishing rates.

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“..could we knock down 99 percent of those missiles coming in?”

US Defenseless Against Russian Hypersonic Missiles, Iranian Drones – DoD (Sp.)

The crisis in Ukraine and escalating tensions in the Middle East have demonstrated that the US’ $886 billion defense budget has not translated into real-world capabilities on the ground. Now, an explosive verbal exchange on Capitol Hill has revealed that North America’s skies are defenseless against not only Russian, but even Iranian missiles. An otherwise boring and formulaic briefing by senior Pentagon officials to lawmakers from the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces went off the rails on Wednesday after subcommittee Chairman Angus King took the floor and forced Department of Defense officials to reveal that North America is helpless against adversaries it has spent years agitating around the world. “The truth is we have no defense for hypersonic missiles – yes or no? Mr. Hill, any defense on the hypersonic missile?

You’re the commander of an aircraft carrier in the Greenland Gap. If we have a hypersonic missile launched from Murmansk [traveling at] 6,000 miles an hour, what do you do?” King asked, querying Deputy Secretary of Defense for Space and Missile Defense John Hill. “We have some systems to defend in the terminal stage but we need more, you’re correct, Senator King… that our hypersonic defenses are inadequate and we do need [more]. SM-6 is in the Navy’s terminal range [capability], the Patriot – I’ll let General Gainey speak to the specifics on that. Those are examples but no argument, we need to focus on hypersonic defenses,” Hill responded. “So why are we talking about 2029 and even stretching that out? This is next year kind of stuff. I don’t get your budget,” King countered, referencing the lack of focus on anti-hypersonic capabilities in current US defense spending plans.

“What we faced in the budget this year – it was a difficult year, particularly with the Fiscal Responsibility Act caps that we had to work with. There were must-pay bills that we had to work with for the personnel, the salaries, the health care, inflation costs. When you get down to the point of where you get down to the discretionary types of things where you can really control your choices,” Hill said. “But that’s your mission – your mission is missile defense,” King retorted. “The budget decisions are made at a higher level and so you’re trading off between readiness or your future investments,” Hill said. “Well let me put the question another way: let’s say what happened on April 14 [Iran’s retaliatory missile and drone attack on Israel, ed.] happened over the Arctic Ocean – 300 missiles, drones, UAVs came across the Arctic Ocean toward Canada and North America. Could we do what Israel and we and other countries did – could we knock down 99 percent of those missiles coming in?” King asked. “No chairman,” Air Force General Gregory Guillot, commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), responded.

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One major accident away from bankruptcy.

Boeing’s Setbacks Show Why US Industries Lose Competitive Edge (Sp.)

Boeing’s problems keep piling up. The company faces a new inquiry over B787 Dreamliner safety inspections and is feeling the blowback from sanctions on Russia. Passengers and crew members have been evacuated from a Corendon Airlines Boeing 737-800 after one of the plane’s tyres burst during landing in Turkey. The accident occurred on Thursday at Gazipasa, an airport near the Turkish town of Alanya. It was the third serious incident involving one of the aviation giant’s aircraft in just two days, the Daily Mail noted. Bad news has dogged Boeing for the past few years, undermining its profits and driving down its share price. Earlier this week, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opened a new probe into whether the Seattle-based corporation broke rules during inspections of its long-haul B787 Dreamliner passenger jet, and whether its employees falsified aircraft records.

The FAA announced last month that Boeing had “voluntarily” revealed that some of its employees had not performed required tests to confirm adequate bonding and grounding of the fasteners connecting the wings to the fuselage, and had then falsely reported the checks had been completed. Quoting a source familiar with the issue, CBS News said as many as 450 aircraft could be affected, including around 60 airframes still on the production line. According to the FAA, the aircraft still in Boeing’s possession are undergoing re-inspection, while the company maintains that the reported “misconduct” would not pose an “immediate safety-of-flight issue.” The FAA’s latest inquiry comes on the heels of a US Congressional investigation into the safety culture and manufacturing standards at Boeing. Sam Salehpour, a Boeing quality engineer, told Congress last month that the industrial giant was cutting corners to speed up production — which is fraught with acute safety risks.

The whistle-blower also complained that Boeing employees raising red flags over quality issues were “ignored, marginalized, threatened, sidelined and worse.” He told Congress that he was afraid of being subjected to “physical violence” after exposing the aerospace corporation’s flaws Two other Boeing whistleblowers, Joshua Dean, former quality auditor at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems, and John “Mitch” Barnett, a former Boeing employee, passed away in May and March, respectively. Dean died after a short illness, while Barnett was found dead in an apparent suicide. Barnett and Dean both raised the alarm over manufacturing defects in Boeing’s 737 Max and other planes, after a series of crashes involving the aircraft. In January, all 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 planes were temporarily grounded by the FAA after a door panel blew out on an Alaska Airlines flight. The same month, an oxygen leak was discovered on board a Boeing 737. Remarkably, the aircraft was scheduled to carry US Secretary of State Antony Blinken from the Davos World Economic Forum.

At least ten more whistle-blowers, including former and current employees, are ready to testify against the aerospace company, the Independent reported, quoting lawyers for both Dean and Barnett. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Boeing is facing a new problem stemming from anti-Russia sanctions, imposed by the US over Moscow’s special operation in Ukraine. As a result, the industrial giant cannot deliver enough B787 Dreamliners. According to the WSJ, the trouble was caused by a lack of heat exchangers – temperature-regulating parts for the B787 – which were previously produced in Russia. Even though the production was shifted to the US and the UK, new factories have proven incapable of keeping up with demand.

Boeing’s inability to obtain enough heat exchangers disrupted the pace of Dreamliner manufacturing. The company was forced to warn investors that it will not deliver as many planes as anticipated this year. American Airlines blamed Dreamliner delays for its decision to suspend some international and long-haul flights this year and next. Boeing also severed ties with a major Russian titanium supplier and halted selling spare parts and maintenance services to Russian airlines that operate its passenger planes. The WSJ admitted that US anti-Russia sanctions significantly backfired on Boeing and jet manufacturing in general, naming Russia “a big player in the global aerospace supply chain.”

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China possesses approximately 370 warships, compared to the US fleet of 291 vessels. In 2023, China added 30 ships to its fleet [..] the US built only two warships last year..”

Aging US Fleet and Drained Stockpiles No Match for China and Russia (Sp.)

The US Navy faces delays in vessel repairs and a sluggish pace in construction of new warships. The crisis was reported by the US Naval Institute (USNI) and the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), according to Asia Times. Diana Maurer, Director of Defense Capabilities and Management at the Government Accountability Office, testified to the Senate Armed Services readiness subcommittee on May 1. She revealed that fewer than 40 percent of US Navy ships had completed repairs on time, despite available space in shipyards. According to the GAO, “the Navy has not developed a full cost and schedule estimate for its Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) – an effort to improve its dry docks, facilities, and equipment – and reports that it will not be able to do so until Fiscal Year 2025.” Maurer signaled that shipyard conditions are second only to F-35 Lightning II sustainment costs, raising the alarm over the Navy’s readiness.

In his own congressional testimony, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral James Kilby acknowledged that issues related to “ship production and repair” rank among the top challenges confronting the US Navy today. The US Navy’s ship design practices are largely outdated, which contributes to the slower pace, less predictable costs and performance outcomes of warship construction when compared to commercial shipbuilding. According to GAO, the Navy has been slow to embrace new design tools such as 3-D modeling and digital twinning, and still provides its contractors with 2D design data for legacy ship classes. Shipbuilders also complain that the Navy is usually slow to provide vendor-furnished information (VFI) – the documents that shipyards need as input to engineering and design products – to feed digital models. The Navy’s contractors want clearer technical tasks as well as funding for acquiring and implementing new digital tools.

The issue has been raised amid the US growing competition with China and the Biden administration’s saber-rattling over the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea. At the Senate panel’s hearing, Republican Senator Dan Sullivan from Alaska lamented that the building of new submarines and surface warships in the US is well below the pace set by China. Last July, a leaked US Navy intelligence briefing slide published by The War Zone revealed that China’s shipbuilding capacity is 232 times greater than that of the US. While the People’s Republic’s shipyards have a capacity of over 23.2 million tons, the US capacity is less than 100,000 tons according to the leaked presentation, which was confirmed as authentic in September 2023 by a US Navy spokesperson.

The US Naval Institute admitted in 2021 that China already boasted the world’s largest navy, while in February 2024, US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) commander Admiral Samuel Paparo warned that Beijing was winning the shipbuilding numbers game. According to Congress, China possesses approximately 370 warships, compared to the US fleet of 291 vessels. In 2023, China added 30 ships to its fleet, 15 of which were large surface combatants including cruisers, destroyers. and an additional aircraft carrier. By contrast, the US built only two warships last year.

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“..claiming that inflation was 9 percent when he came into office, when in reality it was 1.4 percent..”

Biden Denies Economic Reality In Car Crash CNN Interview (MN)

During a brutal CNN interview aired Wednesday, Joe Biden looked shocked when host Erin Burnett reeled off a list of stats detailing how bad the economy is. Instead of suggesting how he is going to improve the situation, Biden denied any of it was real and claimed every poll showing Americans favouring Trump on the economy is wrong. “Voters, by a wide margin, trust Trump more on the economy,” Burnett noted, before listing possible reasons for that including the cost of buying a home having doubled, real income accounting for inflation being down, economic growth being way short of expectations and consumer confidence being near a two year low. “Are you worried that you’re running out of time to turn [the economy] around?” Burnett asked Biden. “We’ve already turned it around,” Biden bizarrely claimed, before adding that “the polling data has been wrong all along.”

When Burnett pointed out that Grocery prices are up almost a third, Biden shrugged it off and claimed Americans “have the money to spend.”

He repeated the tired lie about creating millions of jobs that everyone knows is complete rubbish because he’s including jobs that were reinstated from the pandemic:

Biden also told an absolute whopper, claiming that inflation was 9 percent when he came into office, when in reality it was 1.4 percent. After Biden took office, inflation surged to rates unseen since the early 1980s, peaking at an annual rate of 9.1 percent in June 2022, a full 17 months after he took office. Yet, he is claiming it was ALREADY at 9 percent. Since Biden took office, the average prices of goods and services have increased 19 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. By comparison, during Trump’s four years in office, prices increased by 8 percent, or roughly 2 percent per year, which is the normal annual rate of inflation.

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Good thing he went to see her.

Tucker Carlson Interviews Biden Accuser Tara Reade (RT)

American journalist Tucker Carlson has released a 22-minute interview with RT contributor and former US Senate aide Tara Reade, who rose to prominence after accusing Joe Biden of having sexually assaulted her back in 1993. The interview was recorded in Moscow, where Reade moved last year due to concerns for her safety in the US. In 2020, at the height of the US presidential election campaign, Reade publicly accused Biden of having subjected her to a “violent sexual assault” on the Capitol grounds in 1993. She was working on the Democratic senator’s team at the time. In a 2021 interview, President Biden said the incident “never happened.” In her interview with Carlson, Reade recounted how the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI had “harassed” her, claiming that she had even received “death threats. According to the former aide, US authorities built a case against her after accessing her email and social media accounts.

She added that, while the FBI and the DOJ had come close to indicting her, they wouldn’t disclose what her supposed crime was as the whole case was “sealed.” Reade suggested that the real reason behind the legal proceedings was her failure to ‘shut up’ about the sexual assault allegedly perpetrated by Biden. She claimed that the mainstream US media had lapped up “innuendos” about her, with most outlets working as “proxies of the US government.” Reade added that, in addition to her sexual harassment allegations against Biden, her recent criticism regarding the state of the US economy as well as the “proxy war against Russia via Ukraine” had made US authorities view her as a “traitor.” She said this was all the more “heartbreaking” because she had spent years working for the Democratic Party, and “believed in it wholeheartedly.” “I’ve never committed a crime. I’m not a traitor. I’m not a spy,” she told Carlson.

Tara Reade

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Who is the weak link?

Whole West Is Working To Supply Ukraine – Putin (RT)

The collective West has been working tirelessly to arm Ukraine against Russia, seeking to destroy it in its present form throughout the conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He made the remarks while hosting a group of military commanders in the Kremlin who have distinguished themselves in the special operation against Ukraine. The meeting took place on Tuesday after Putin’s inauguration for his fifth term in office, but was released only on Thursday amid Victory Day celebrations. “We know, and you know this better than anyone else, the enemy has enough modern tools, since the entire Western community is working for our enemy, dreaming about Russia ceasing to exist in its current form,” Putin stated.

The collective West itself has created a “system of confrontation,” believing Russia to be a “weak link” in it, the president explained. The conflict with Ukraine, however, has already proven that is not the case and the West was mistaken, Putin stated. “I am sure they are now convinced that this was far from the reality, and rather the opposite is true,” he said. Putin underscored the need to further develop military technologies and be “one step ahead” of the country’s adversaries in order to be “successful.” Among other things, Putin commended on the efforts of Russian civil society to actively support the country’s troops and supply the military with assorted additional tools, ranging from mask nettings to sophisticated drones.

“In our country, as we often say, the so-called people’s military industrial complex is growing now. To be honest, when I meet with those who are in one way or another involved in such activities, the combat work in the civilian sphere, I, frankly, am surprised myself,” Putin stated. In order to be truly effective, however, civilian crowdfunded projects still require the state’s involvement and support, the president said. “Of course, all this must be concentrated in a certain way, everything must be sorted into the right places in a certain way, and supported at the state level. That’s what we are doing,” Putin concluded.

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“..based on the desire to justify current followers of the Nazis..

West ‘Trying To Distort’ History Of WWII – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has used his address at the military parade in Moscow celebrating the 79th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany to accuse the West of “distorting the history” of the conflict. He also accused the US-led bloc of wielding “colonial policies” aimed at elevating a few nations by restraining the development of other sovereign states. According to Putin, Western nations “would like to forget the lessons of World War II.” “We see how they are trying to distort the truth about World War II – it interferes with those who are accustomed to building their essentially colonial policy on hypocrisy and lies. They demolish memorials to true fighters against Nazism and place traitors and Nazi collaborators on pedestals,” the president said. He called this revanchism policy a “mockery of history” based on the desire to justify current followers of the Nazis.

“These [actions] are part of the general policy of Western elites of inciting more and more regional conflicts, interethnic and interreligious hostility, and restraining the development of sovereign independent states,” Putin stated, noting that no country or military bloc has a right to do so, which World War II proved. We reject any state or alliance’s claims to exceptionalism. We know what the exorbitance of such ambitions leads to. This year’s Victory Day celebration is taking place amid a tense geopolitical situation due to the Ukraine conflict, in which most Western states have firmly taken Kiev’s side. Over the past two years, many Western leaders have been spreading what Moscow calls Russophobia, claiming that Russia may attack Europe if it secures victory in Ukraine. Putin emphasized that while Russia would do everything possible to prevent a global conflict, it will not allow anyone to threaten its own safety and sovereignty.

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Eva

 

 

17 million

 

 

1000s

 

 

Feather star
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788199677097091323

 

 

Bees

 

 

Break
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788300348085407848

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 252024
 
 January 25, 2024  Posted by at 9:46 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  59 Responses »


Amedeo Modigliani Elvira Resting at a Table 1919

 

Texas Governor Defies Biden (RT)
The United States Has No Borders (Paul Craig Roberts)
Israel Loses Control Of Its Borders (Harb)
Ukraine A ‘Terrorist State’ – Senior Russian MP (RT)
Time For West To Realize It Is Helping Nazis – Top Russian MP (RT)
French Mercenaries Dying in Ukraine (SCF)
The Plan For Reviving Donetsk (Helmer)
US Has Lost Race for Hypersonic, Directed Energy Weapons – Senator (Sp.)
Moscow Won’t Beg ‘Uncle Sam’ For Forgiveness – Lavrov (RT)
Court Declares Trudeau’s Crackdown on the Truckers to be Unlawful (Turley)
70% of Nikki Haley Voters Not Registered Republicans (BB)
Alaska Airlines Finds Loose Bolts On “Many” Boeing Jets (RT)
Satan’s Agent: The World Economic Forum (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Tucker CA


https://twitter.com/i/status/1750271296716620250
https://twitter.com/i/status/1750307168971022359

 

 

 

 

Kamala

 

 

Gorka

 

 

 

 

Elon BBC

 

 

NATO
https://twitter.com/i/status/1749862196677333308

 

 

 

 

 

 

He appears to defy the Supreme Court as well.

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, and Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte all announced that they stand with Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott.”

Note: immigration is now the no.1 issue for US voters.

Texas Governor Defies Biden (RT)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has refused to back down in his border-security row with US President Joe Biden’s administration, arguing that regardless of this week’s Supreme Court ruling in Washington’s favor, his duty to protect his constituents “supersedes” any federal laws. “The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the states,” Abbott said on Wednesday in a statement. “The executive branch of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting states, including immigration laws on the books right now. President Biden has refused to enforce those laws and has even violated them.” As a result, Abbott claimed, more than 6 million illegal aliens have crossed into the US since Biden took office three years ago – exceeding the populations of all but 17 states – causing “unprecedented harm on the people all across the United States.”

The federal government’s failure to fulfill its constitutional duty has triggered a constitutional right of self-defense reserved to the state, he added. “I have already declared an invasion… to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself,” the Republican governor said. “That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary.” Abbott issued the statement two days after the Supreme Court ruled that federal Border Patrol agents must be allowed to remove the concertina wire that the state had installed to prevent illegal aliens from crossing its border. The dispute escalated earlier this month when the Texas National Guard seized control of a park at a key border-crossing point and blocked federal officers from accessing the site.

The Texas National Guard and state troopers will continue working to secure the border, based on the state’s right to defend itself in lieu of the federal government doing its job, Abbott said. The Texas Military Department, which includes the state’s National Guard units, issued a statement on Tuesday pledging to “hold the line” to prevent illegal border crossings. “We remain resolute in our actions to secure our border, preserve the rule of law and protect the sovereignty of our state.” US Representative Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, applauded Abbott’s decision to fight Biden on the border crisis. “Washington is forcing our hand,” he said of Monday’s Supreme Court ruling. He added, “Consider that we are a nation so unserious and broken that we are paying Border Patrol to secure the border but will pay them instead to cut razor wire… to stop Texas from trying to do what Border Patrol’s core mission is.”

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“..We often hear that the Supreme Court is a Republican court, but in actual fact it is a Tower of Babel Court committed to the total destruction of the United States as a nation..”

The United States Has No Borders (Paul Craig Roberts)

I don’t know if Americans have any comprehension of what is happening to their country. I think not. I think most Americans are lost in their insouciance and in their comfortable myths about the greatness and freedom of their country. Flag waving patriots who can believe no evil of their country are the easiest to tyrannize. A plethora of July 4ths and Memorial Days have done the job. Americans are upset about foreign borders such as Ukraine’s and Israel’s, but even those few who try can do nothing about America’s own totally undefended borders. Texas tried to do something, but the US Supreme Court just ruled that Texas cannot protect its borders or the borders of the United States. The Supreme Court, ruling of course in line with the tyrant Abe Lincoln’s destruction of states rights, said the Biden Regime can destroy the fence Texas built to protect Texas’ and America’s borders.

There you have it. The so-called “civil war” did not only destroy the Confederate States of America. Lincoln’s war also destroyed the United States of America when it destroyed states’ rights. The 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court forbids Texas from protecting its borders, and thereby the borders of the United States, from being overrun by immigrant-invaders. We often hear that the Supreme Court is a Republican court, but in actual fact it is a Tower of Babel Court committed to the total destruction of the United States as a nation. What the Supreme Court, like the Biden Regime, the whore media, the anti-American Woke universities, The Rino Republicans, and the Democrat attorneys general and prosecutors are creating is a non-nation, a tower of babel that has no common interests, no common morals, no common religion, and no common agenda. This is the SATANIC CURSE of “diversity and multiculturalism.”

How did Americans fall for a program designed FOR THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION?! They fell for it because they are generous and weak-minded. The Daily Caller reports: “federal Border Patrol agents began cutting wire fences that, among other uses, helped channel individuals— unlawful migrants and U.S. citizens alike—to a lawful border crossing at a port of entry,” Texas Solicitor General Aaron Nielson wrote. “Border Patrol began this practice of destroying Texas’s property, according to the district court’s findings, in order to ‘facilitate the surge of migrants into Eagle Pass,’ using boats to ‘literally usher’ people across illegally.” In other words, the Biden Regime cut the fence in order to allow entry into the US that could not be monitored. The fence was in place to insure that immigrant-invaders had to pass through lawful border crossings, where their numbers are allegedly recorded.

But this is not enough for the Biden Regime which is intent on replacing America’s white population, which once constituted a nation, with a Tower of Babel. Why are the Biden Regime, the Democrats, the Rino Republicans, the universities, the media, the corporations, and alleged human rights organizations so determined to deprive Americans of a cohesive nation and to replace the American nation with a Tower of Babel in which there is no common culture and no common values? If white Americans are actually sufficiently braindead to have voted Biden Democrats into office, the dumbshits have committed self-suicide. People this stupid cannot expect to survive. Yesterday I got a message from the US Department of Health and Human Services. It was about Medicare. It was in 30 foreign languages.

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“..widely spun myths of a “promised land,” a “land without a people,” the “only democracy in the Middle East,” and the “only secure place for Jews in the world.”

Israel Loses Control Of Its Borders (Harb)

Israel once reigned supreme on the back of some immovable narratives: widely spun myths of a “promised land,” a “land without a people,” the “only democracy in the Middle East,” and the “only secure place for Jews in the world.” Today, those lofty soundbites lie in tatters, with the occupation state reeling from an unprecedented blow to its foundational ideas. This transformation has unfolded with unexpected intensity since the 7 October Al-Aqsa Flood resistance operation and Israel’s devastating, genocidal war on Gaza. But it is not just the challenge of narratives that has Israel on its back feet. For the first time in its 76-year history, Israel’s entire security calculations have been turned upside down: the occupation state is today grappling with buffer zones inside Israel. In past wars, it was Tel Aviv that established these “security zones” inside enemy territory — advancing Israel’s strategic geography, evacuating Arab populations near their state border areas, and fortifying its own borders.

This shift can be attributed to various factors, including vulnerabilities within the so-called “Arab Ring States” (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon). Throughout its history, Israel has consistently exerted military and political dominance, enforcing security measures on neighboring states, with the unconditional backing of allies like the US and Britain. But in this current war, Tel Aviv is slowly understanding that the equations and calculations of military confrontation have fundamentally changed — a process that began in 2000 when the Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, forced Israel to withdraw from most occupied territories in southern Lebanon. Today, Israel is horrified to find itself retreating from direct confrontation lines with its arch-enemies in Gaza and Lebanon. The formidable capabilities of the resistance now include drones, rockets, targeted projectiles, tunnels, and spanking new shock tactics, casting doubt on the feasibility of Israeli settlers remaining safe in any of Israel’s border perimeters.

There is now one common refrain among settlers in the north and south of occupied Palestine: “We will not return unless security is restored on the border.” But prospects for their return appear elusive at present. The Israeli Defense Ministry, which pledged a swift and decisive war to safeguard its settlers over 100 days ago, is now actively devising plans to shelter approximately 100,000 people along the northern border, deeper inside its territory. This measure could involve evacuating settlements that may come under fire during any future military escalation with Hezbollah in Lebanon. This situation implies three critical outcomes: any immediate return of settlers remains unlikely, additional evacuations are anticipated, and numerous Israeli families – in the interim – may establish permanent settlements in other, more secure locations at a much further distance from the borders with southern Lebanon and the Gaza envelope.

Channel 13

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“..there had been another IL-76 carrying 80 more Ukrainian POWs in the sky at the time of the incident. This plane was turned around after the crash..”

Ukraine A ‘Terrorist State’ – Senior Russian MP (RT)

Ukraine should be designated as a terrorist state, and the government in Kiev should be branded a terrorist cell, the head of the State Duma Defense Committee Andrey Kartapolov has said, following the crash of an IL-76 military aircraft in Russia’s Belgorod Region. Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian military transport plane crashed near the village of Yablonovo, around 90km from the Ukrainian border. It was carrying 65 captured Ukrainian military personnel for a prisoner swap, as well as six crew members and three people accompanying the POWs. It is believed that there were no survivors.

According to Kartapolov, Kiev was well aware of who this plane was transporting and accused the Ukrainian forces of shooting down the aircraft using what he claimed were “three Patriot or Iris-T air defense missiles.” He also noted that there had been another IL-76 carrying 80 more Ukrainian POWs in the sky at the time of the incident. This plane was turned around after the crash, the MP said. Regarding the exact details of the incident, Kartapolov said “specialists will figure this out later,” but noted that Kiev had demonstrated an unbelievable degree of cynicism by destroying its own soldiers.

“There can be no negotiations with these ‘people,’” he said, calling on the international community to open its eyes and realize who it is trying to help. Ukrainian media have also reported that the country’s military destroyed the plane, citing government sources. Ukrainskaya Pravda, however, claimed that the aircraft had been transporting S-300 air defense missiles rather than prisoners. Some time after its initial report, the newspaper removed the reference to Kiev’s role in the incident, stating only that its military sources had confirmed the crash.

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The Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper first said the plane was filled with missiles. That piece was swiftly deleted.

Time For West To Realize It Is Helping Nazis – Top Russian MP (RT)

US and German lawmakers must finally realize that by sending weapons to Kiev, they are helping a “Nazi regime” that has stooped to knowingly killing dozens of its own prisoners of war, Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said on Wednesday. The lawmaker’s comments came shortly after the Russian Defense Ministry reported the crash of an IL-76 cargo aircraft carrying 65 captured Ukrainian service members, as well as several crew and accompanying personnel, in Belgorod Region bordering Ukraine. The soldiers were being transported to the area to be exchanged, officials said. Russian MP Andrey Kartapolov claimed that Kiev knew about the impending exchange and the flight route, but attacked the plane anyway.

He stated that the IL-76 had been downed by three missiles fired from either a US-made Patriot or German-made IRIS-T air defense system, and suggested that further prisoner exchanges were out of the question for the time being. Commenting on the tragedy, Volodin advised the Russian parliament to draft an appeal to the US Congress and German Bundestag, so that those lawmakers could “finally understand who they are funding.” “This is a Nazi regime, nurtured by [US President Joe] Biden, [French President Emmanuel] Macron, [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz… they must understand their responsibility,” he added, urging Western legislators to impeach the aforementioned leaders.

Volodin claimed that Kiev had shot down its own troops in mid-flight: “Their mothers, wives, and children were waiting for them. They also killed our pilots… defenseless, who were on a humanitarian mission, using American and German missiles.” Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, arguing that they only prolong the conflict. Officials in Moscow have also said that Kiev is actively using Western-supplied munitions to target civilian infrastructure both in Donbass and elsewhere.

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“..these non-Ukrainian citizens are not protected by international humanitarian law and that Moscow has already made it clear that, if captured, they will be judged as neo-Nazi mercenaries..”

French Mercenaries Dying in Ukraine (SCF)

Recently, Russian forces bombed military facilities in Kharkov, killing more than sixty foreign mercenaries, most of them French. The case gained great attention in the media for showing the high participation of foreign troops in hostilities against Russia, which makes it clear that NATO countries are participating in the conflict in an intense way, not only with the mere sending of money and weapons.The incident in Kharkov resumed discussions on the topic of the presence of foreign mercenaries on Ukrainian soil. Since the beginning of the special military operation, non-Ukrainian citizens have often died on the battlefield when fighting on Kiev’s side. Russia has already made it clear that eliminating enemy mercenary troops is one of its top priorities, which is why attacks like this recent one will continue to happen until foreigners stop arriving in Ukraine.

There are several reasons why mercenary soldiers enlist to fight in Ukraine. There are those militants who are ideologically committed to the ultranationalist ideology of the Kiev regime, who join the Ukrainian forces in “solidarity” with the neo-Nazi dictatorship. There are those ordinary citizens, mainly from emerging countries, who are attracted by the opportunity of a job in the military field, being induced to enlist. And there are also professionals from the private military sector who are hired by the Ukrainian state or Western countries to conduct operations in Ukraine. All these foreign troops play a vital role in the Western-Ukrainian war efforts. Foreigners help compensate Kiev for its losses, as they replace native fighters who perish in combat. At the same time, these soldiers, especially those from NATO countries, help the Western bloc acquire real direct combat experience with Russian forces – preparing the alliance for a possible future scenario of total war.

Currently, the Atlantic military alliance cannot send official troops to Ukraine, as this would represent the start of a direct war with Moscow. The real meaning of the conflict in Ukraine is precisely the use of Kiev as a proxy to wage war against Russia, however this could change in the future. As Ukraine rapidly loses and anti-Russian paranoia in the West continues to grow, it is possible that the situation will become out of control at some point. In this sense, one way for Western countries to prepare is by sending unofficial troops to the Ukrainian battlefield, where frictions with the Russians are already occurring. These soldiers tend to pass on field experience and data to officers in their countries, which is why they must be considered especially dangerous, with their elimination being a priority for Moscow.

However, one detail that draws attention in the recent case of Kharkov is the strong presence of French citizens among the mercenaries. In fact, there are undoubtedly many French nationals fighting for the Ukrainian regime. Last year, Paris’ intelligence admitted that at least 400 French fighters were on the Ukrainian front – around thirty of them being known neo-Nazi criminals. Considering that these are public data exposed by the French government itself, it is possible to say that the real number may be much higher. Paris is believed to be secretly encouraging large numbers of mercenaries to join Kiev’s forces, especially after political events in the African Sahel. With the recent wave of pro-Russian revolutions in African countries, the French sphere of influence on that continent has been severely diminished.

Paris appears to be trying to “compensate” for its frustration in Africa with massive support for Kiev, sending large numbers of mercenaries to defend the regime. This is also the opinion of Stevan Gajic, an analyst at the Institute of European Studies in Belgrade, who recently said in an interview that Macron is “hysterical” about Russia. Gajic believes that the French president’s recent speeches in Paris and Davos, calling for a “victory” against Russia, show how fanaticized he is in his anti-Russian hatred. Gajic stated that Paris is “especially frustrated” after the wave of revolutions in Africa and that he thinks “that’s another motive for such feverish support of the Ukrainian cause, and NATO’s cause against Russia”.

However, any kind of support for the Ukrainian regime is becoming embarrassing for the West itself. Just as NATO’s weapons are destroyed every day on the battlefield, foreign mercenaries are frequently targeted and neutralized. Instead of “wearing down” Russia or training its citizens for direct war in the future, the West is only losing influence and being demoralized. Furthermore, with massive deaths on the front lines, the tendency is for fewer and fewer mercenaries to accept fighting for Kiev. It is also important to remember that these non-Ukrainian citizens are not protected by international humanitarian law and that Moscow has already made it clear that, if captured, they will be judged as neo-Nazi mercenaries – in the same way that has happened with militants from fascist organizations such as the Azov Battalion.

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“..the sources are considering importing North Koreans to fill the manpower gap..”

The Plan For Reviving Donetsk (Helmer)

There is no lack of confidence in Donetsk that the war will be won, but no conviction when exactly that will be. A Ukrainian heavy artillery salvo hit the Kirovsky district market, on the western outskirts of Donetsk city on Sunday, killing at least 27 people, and wounding about as many. The New York Times reported falsely “it was not possible to independently confirm which side launched the strike.” The reaction in Donetsk, and also in Moscow, is that the incident triggers serious questioning of how the Russian military operations can be failing still to drive long-range Ukrainian artillery, rockets and missiles far enough westwards to protect the civilians of Donetsk region; and also the three other accession regions of expanded Donbass; as well as the Russian border regions to the north of Belgorod, Bryansk, and Kursk.

The daily operations briefing and bulletin from the Ministry of Defense in Moscow are reporting exceptionally high casualty rates for the Ukrainian side – 860 last Thursday; 1,005 on Monday; 700 on Tuesday. The bulletin, which is blocked on the internet in many of the NATO allied states, also reveals a rising toll on the US and NATO-supplied long-range guns, and a changing ratio for Russian army operations each day from defence to offence. Still, sources in Donetsk and Moscow acknowledge that although the pace and impact of Russian operations along the line of contact have been growing in recent days, the east-to-west depth of the demilitarized zone required for long-term security remains a hope and military ambition — not yet the reality on the ground, or in the economy of Donetsk.

Donetsk business sources say they are actively planning for the reconstruction of the region’s mining and metals fabrication industries, and they are negotiating terms of financial assistance for both with the federal authorities, as well as the regional administration. The sources said this week they are sure that in the plans now being discussed there will be no return of the Ukrainian oligarchs who controlled Donetsk’s economy in the past, especially Rinat Akhmetov, Igor Kolomoisky, and Victor Pinchuk. The Donetsk sources said the most pressing problem at the moment is the lack of manpower to return from the fighting to work; the sources are considering importing North Koreans to fill the manpower gap. For the longer term, the conviction in Donetsk is that there will also be no return of the criminal gangs who had dominated the local economy in parallel with, and accommodated by the oligarchs. “From the Russian side,” said a business figure in the steel industry, “I am sure the recovery and reconstruction will be done with a heavy hand. No mafia.”

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“..That is like using a howitzer to shoot a duck..”

US Has Lost Race for Hypersonic, Directed Energy Weapons – Senator (Sp.)

The United States has already lost the race to develop hypersonic and directed energy weapons to its rivals, Independent Senator Angus King said during a hearing of the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. “We are woefully behind on the issue of directed energy,” King said. “On hypersonics and directed energy, we have lost the race or we are badly losing the race. We have a lot of catching up to do. This should be a hair on fire catching up priority.” In the Red Sea, the US Navy was currently forced to use multi-million dollar missiles to shoot down inexpensive drones fired by the Houthi rebels in Yemen that cost less than 1% of the price of the US systems, King said.

“The missiles we are using are costing $2 million to $4 million each. That is like using a howitzer to shoot a duck,” King added. Earlier on Tuesday, the National Defense Industrial Association and the Emerging Technologies Institute said in a new report that the Biden administration and the Defense Department had failed to give US business and industry the clear direction and leadership it needs to develop directed energy weapons systems and as a result it will not be able to produce such weapons for a long time to come.

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“Moscow bears no responsibility for US-Russia relations reaching an all-time low, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said..”

Moscow Won’t Beg ‘Uncle Sam’ For Forgiveness – Lavrov (RT)

Moscow bears no responsibility for US-Russia relations reaching an all-time low, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, insisting that the burden of restoring them lies solely with Washington. Relations between the US and Russia went into a tailspin after the start of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022, with Moscow condemning Washington and other Western countries for introducing unprecedented sanctions and sending weapons to Kiev. The Kremlin argues the deliveries will only prolong the conflict but not change its outcome. Another major issue in bilateral relations has been NATO’s creeping expansion toward Russia’s borders, which Moscow views as an existential threat. Russia has said that Ukraine’s desire to join the US-led military bloc was one of the main reasons for the current conflict.

In an interview with CBS News on Monday, when asked about the potential for improving relations between Moscow and Washington amid the stand-off over Ukraine, Lavrov stressed that Russia would not take the initiative to repair them because it was not his country that spoiled them in the first place. We are not going to… run to Washington: ‘Uncle Sam, please forgive us. We were bad boys.’ We have nothing to complain about. The minister stressed that the ties between the two powers were shattered by “those who invented the Russian threat” and “those who ignored huge amount of goodwill shown by President Vladimir Putin during his first two terms.” According to Lavrov, Western policymakers decided that the Russian leader was “so nice,” and tried to “keep him in [their] pocket,” which was a mistake.

Lavrov went on to regret that the current generation of politicians in Washington had seemingly drawn no lessons from what he described as “unacceptable policies which the United States started to promote” in the early 1990s. The minister’s comments come after Putin admitted last month that he was a “naive” person early in his political career because he believed that there was no fundamental reason for Russia and the West to be at odds after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, he said that he later realized that Western countries were seeking to bring about the partition of Russia into several entities in order to gain more global influence.

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“The characterization of political critics as terrorists has long been a signature of authoritarian governments..”

Court Declares Trudeau’s Crackdown on the Truckers to be Unlawful (Turley)

Two years ago, I wrote a column denouncing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of a counter-terrorism law to shut down the Freedom Convoy trucker protests as an authoritarian attack on free speech. Now, a Canadian court has agreed and ruled that the use of the Emergencies Act was unlawful and “unreasonable.” Despite Trudeau’s attacks on civil liberties, he remains a favorite of the media as an iconic figure on the left. Various civil liberties groups have opposed the iron-handed measures of Trudeau, including The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the the Canadian Constitution Foundation. The characterization of political critics as terrorists has long been a signature of authoritarian governments. The Canadian Parliament actually extended those powers, dismissing civil liberties concerns. Fortunately, despite the actions of Trudeau and the Parliament, there is an independent court system in Canada.

The use of the Emergencies Act allowed the government to arrest the leaders of the Freedom Convoy, freeze bank accounts of protesters, and seize donations of other citizens. Trudeau simply declared that the protesters were “threats to the security of Canada that are so serious as to be a national emergency.” In his ruling, Justice Richard Mosley wrote: “I have concluded that the decision to issue the Proclamation does not bear the hallmarks of reasonableness – justification, transparency and intelligibility – and was not justified in relation to the relevant factual and legal constraints that were required to be taken into consideration.” Trudeau merely cited the potential for violence without any compelling support for an imminent risk of violence. The court declared: “The potential for serious violence, or being unable to say that there was no potential for serious violence was, of course, a valid reason for concern. But in my view, it did not satisfy the test required to invoke the Act particularly as there was no evidence of a similar “hardened cell” elsewhere in the country, only speculation.”

In many ways, the court stated the obvious, but this was an obvious point that other courts and a majority in Parliament ignored: “I agree with the Applicants that the scope of the Regulations was overbroad in so far as it captured people who simply wanted to join in the protest by standing on Parliament Hill carrying a placard. It is not suggested that they would have been the focus of enforcement efforts by the police. However, under the terms of the Regulations, they could have been subject to enforcement actions as much as someone who had parked their truck on Wellington Street and otherwise behaved in a manner that could reasonably be expected to lead to a breach of the peace. [309] One aspect of free expression is the right to express oneself in certain public spaces. By tradition, such places become places of protected expression…To the extent that peaceful protestors did not participate in the actions of those disrupting the peace, their freedom of expression was infringed.”

Bravo.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1750227176773841104

https://twitter.com/i/status/1750299455532798201

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“..about 7 in 10 said they were registered as undeclared prior to Tuesday.”

70% of Nikki Haley Voters Not Registered Republicans (BB)

Nikki Haley relied heavily on the support of Independents and Democrats in the New Hampshire primary yet still lost by wide margins. Of Haley voters in the Granite State, CNN said, “about 7 in 10 said they were registered as undeclared prior to Tuesday.” CNN relied on an exit poll to make its shocking statement. New Hampshire’s loose requirements allow for voters to cross over, while future Republican caucuses and primaries will consist overwhelmingly of registered Republicans. Trump crushed Haley in the New Hampshire primary by double digits with results still outstanding. The Associated Press called the New Hampshire results within three minutes. In Iowa, where Trump won by a historic thirty percent, it took the Associated Press 31 minutes to call the race. Trump’s path to the nomination seems all but inevitable after his crushing victory. Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Debbie Fischer (R-NE) endorsed Trump within minutes of his victory.

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How to save Boeing this time? Who still feels safe in a 737 MAX? Also, a few days ago a wheel came off a 757 on a runway just seconds before take off.

Alaska Airlines Finds Loose Bolts On “Many” Boeing Jets (RT)

Alaska Airlines, the US air carrier whose Boeing 737 MAX 9 jet suffered a midair blowout earlier this month, triggering a nationwide grounding of the model for safety inspections, has confirmed that it has found loose bolts on “many” of the planes in its fleet. ”It makes you mad that we’re finding issues like that on brand new airplanes,” Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci said on Tuesday in an NBC News interview. He added, “I’m more than frustrated and disappointed. I’m angry. This happened to Alaska Airlines. It happened to our guests and happened to our people.” Minicucci was referring to a January 5 flight bound for California from Portland, Oregon, that had to turn back after a door plug blew off at 16,000 feet, injuring several of the 171 passengers aboard.

The outcome could have been far worse, he said, had the seat next to the door plug not been vacant – one of just seven empty seats on the flight. “We had a guardian angel, honestly, on that airplane.” The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to the near-catastrophe by grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 9 jets in the country for safety checks. The latest incident follows the temporary banning of the 737 MAX, Boeing’s top-selling airliner, by aviation regulators around the world in March 2019, after crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia killed a combined 346 people. The planes were cleared to go back into service around two years later, following repairs to their flight control systems. Minicucci said Alaska Airlines will send auditors to scrutinize the quality-control systems at Boeing to ensure that all of the jets it has ordered from the company are safe to fly. He added that the carrier will reconsider plans to buy a newer version of the 737, the long-delayed MAX 10, from Boeing.

Boeing issued a statement to NBC acknowledging that “we have let down our airline customers and are deeply sorry for the significant disruption to them, their employees and their passengers.” The massive defense contractor added that it’s taking steps to get the 737 MAX 9s back into service and improve its quality performance. Like Minicucci, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby is rethinking plans to buy more Boeing jets following the latest safety scare. United also detected loose bolts when it performed safety inspections of its grounded 737s. “I think the MAX 9 grounding is probably the straw that broke the camel’s back for us,” Kirby said on Tuesday in a CNBC interview. He added that Boeing needs “real action” to restore its reputation for quality.

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“..Russia, China, and Iran view the WEF as an ally in the destruction of the West. This is a mistake..”

Satan’s Agent: The World Economic Forum (Paul Craig Roberts)

The World Economic Forum is the worst source of disinformation in the world. Even the name is disinformation as it is not a world forum representing the world. It is a group of stupid American and European corporate executives who have been conned by Klaus Schwab, the world’s worst ego-manic, into believing that you don’t count until you are a member and devote of the WEF. Schwab has sold the executive class the line that WEF attendees are members of the most prestigious country club and are members of a privileged caste that exists so far above “useless eaters” that the goal of culling the world population by 7.5 billion people is not shameful. At the recent WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Schwab and his devotees took a hit broadside from Jaier Milei, the newly elected president of Argentina.

Milei told them that the Western world is in danger because the West’s leaders had abandoned freedom and adopted collectivism. Milei was talking about the WEF. Either he is a very brave man or he did not realize to whom he was speaking. I expect that he will have an “airplane accident” or be pushed out of office by some concocted charges from Washington. Washington’s diminishing influence and power has encouraged other long silent voices in Latin America to speak up. The distinguished Peruvian, Dr. Victor Andres Belaunde Gutierrez, took up Milei’s theme and unloaded on the WEA groupies as disgraceful and shameful: “The demonstrations of frivolity and intellectual mediocrity that the famous forum emits are increasingly scandalous. For example, the impression that the prostitute traffickers make during these meetings – why not some orgies while we save the world with 2100 euro-a-night women?”

“The pitiful spectacle of a supposed witch, sorceress, or God knows what, emitting sounds and spitting on the faces of some panelists, is decidedly pathetic. I cannot conceive how a person who has any notion of self-respect, would tolerate being a part of pranks of that caliber. Can people who willingly participate and applaud such farces be recognized as serious?” “Have they no shame? Is it that their need to belong to the cool people of the planet is so powerful? – Is it that the cool and sophisticated is now inevitably ridiculous and shameful?” The WEA is an anti-human cult devoted to the destruction of freedom and human life. In my opinion, it would be wondrous if the next time the collection of stupid and evil beings assemble, Russia, China, or Iran would launch a missile attack that completely destroys the WEF.

They won’t because Russia, China, and Iran view the WEF as an ally in the destruction of the West. This is a mistake, because the Russian, Chinese, and Iranian populations are also fated to be culled. Judging by the effort of the World Health Organization, the WEF’s ally, to centralize in its hands the health protocols of the entire world and its forecast of a doomsday pandemic, the culling device will be a biowarfare pathogen released on the world. No Western legislature is doing anything to shut down the illegal labs. As Russia knows where many of the illegal biowarfare laboratories are located, Russia should take them out with missile strikes. Evil has to be confronted and overcome or evil will prevail. Evil has already recruited the corporate and political leadership of the Western world. How much more advantage shall we permit Evil before we are overcome?

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Newman

 

 

Dead vax

 

 

 

 

Assange Stone

 

 

Love cats
https://twitter.com/i/status/1750145213509578961

 

 

Love
https://twitter.com/i/status/1750170343036088672

 

 

TigerIce
https://twitter.com/i/status/1750196777662230833

 

 

King in the mist

 

 


The Karakoram Highway, connecting Pakistan to China, is one of the highest paved roads in the world, at maximum elevation of 4,714 m. It is often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 092023
 
 September 9, 2023  Posted by at 9:24 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


René Magritte The Art of Conversation 1963

 

Hunter the Hunted? Biden Indictment May be Ruse to Prolong Cover-Up (Tweedie)
Biden’s New Campaign Ad Presents Him As Last Action Hero (ZH)
What Game Is Hunter Biden Playing? (Victor Davis Hanson)
Biden Impeachment Vote Could Take Place in Mid-September – Comer (Sp.)
White House Scolded Hillary for Asking Ukraine for Help With Afghan Exit (Sp.)
Zelensky On Starlink-Gate: Musk “Committing Evil” & Driven By “Big Ego” (ZH)
Scott Ritter: Ukrainian Counteroffensive’s Last, Desperate Push (Sp.)
US Using Ukraine To Weaken EU – Sarkozy (RT)
Ukraine ‘Threatening’ Poland – Minister (RT)
Pentagon’s Hypersonic Woes Due to ‘Very Delicate’ Physics Problems (Sp.)
France Seeks Pullout From Niger (Sp.)
Is The G20 Obsolete In An Increasingly Multipolar World? (Malyk)
The Unshakeable Putin-Erdogan Nexus (Bhadrakumar)
A Theory of the Game (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nap Sachs

 

 

The European Commission praised Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin for his efforts to fight corruption in a December 2015 progress report published nine days after then-VP Joe Biden demanded his ouster. The report flies in the face of Biden’s claims that the European Union joined his demands that Shokin be removed for being corrupt and obstructing anti-corruption reforms.

 

 

Trump Rapid City
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700353703079747841

 

 

Obama insider and author and biographer Joel Gilbert has claimed Michelle Obama is preparing to enter the 2024 race and become the Democratic presidential nominee allegedly due to Biden’s declining health.

 

 

Lara Logan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1699848500551328179

 

 

 

 

 

 

“David Weiss is a factotum, he’s a lickspittle. He does what he’s told for the Biden family. Always has, always will.”

Hunter the Hunted? Biden Indictment May be Ruse to Prolong Cover-Up (Tweedie)

Carter Clews, the president of Constitutional Rights PAC, Rory Riley Topping, a legal analyst at SpectrumNews 1 and opinion contributor at The Hill discusses the possible indictment of Hunter Biden with investigative journalist Dan Lazare. Looming charges against Joe Biden’s son Hunter may paradoxically be part of the long game of covering up his wrongdoing to save his father’s career, pundits have suggested. US media reported this week that special counsel David Weiss was planning to indict Hunter on illegal firearms possession charges before the end of the month. Carter Clews told Sputnik the indictment was an elaborate deception, but that “the American people aren’t that stupid.” “It’s all done for obfuscation,” Clews said. “David Weiss is a factotum, he’s a lickspittle. He does what he’s told for the Biden family. Always has, always will.”

He pointed out that a New York Post editorial column had already exposed how Weiss had “run interference” for Hunter Biden for five years. “If he wanted to indict Hunter Biden, he could have done it at any point during those five years,” Clews said. “All of the transgressions were there, all of the lawbreaking.” But by laying formal charges against the scion of the political family, the special counsel can declare all evidence sub judice and off-limits to journalists. “This will enable Weiss to refuse to turn over any more documents, to refuse to answer any questions: ‘well, you know, we have an indictment. There’s a very thorough, ongoing investigation’ — which will amount to nothing,” Clews argued.
He said the proceedings were a “three-part deception”

“They may be doing it to go to Joe and say: ‘we’re going to stick your son behind bars for the rest of his life, if you don’t declare that you’ve decided not to run for re-election’,” Clews said. “‘Toxic Joe’ is very difficult to get along with. And I’m sure they’ve approached him nicely and say maybe, maybe you should step aside come January or February. And he said: ‘no, I’m not doing that’.” Another aim may simply be to “dupe the American people once again… to deepen the cover-up, as I just said, to be able to say: ‘oh, no, we can’t comment. We can’t give you any information over this’. They have blocked every request from [Congress representative James] Comer, the Oversight Committee chairman for documents. And this will enable them to continue doing it and they will do it even more so.”

Legal analyst Rory Riley-Topping told Sputnik that many US citizens had wanted a “more expeditious process” of indicting the president’s son. “Had he been just a regular citizen, if you or I or anyone on the street was caught doing some of the things that Hunter Biden was doing, I think that we probably wouldn’t have taken five years to be indicted for some of those charges,” she pointed out. “That’s one of the main sources of frustration.” But she argued the Biden administration had left a timebomb for itself by obstructing and delaying the investigation. “But in a wonderful twist of irony, this is potentially going to trial during the campaign season. I think that’s something that the Biden administration certainly wanted to avoid” Riley -Topping said. “So in some sense, their strategy to drag this out and hope it went away ultimately backfired.”

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Hollywood at its worst.

Biden’s New Campaign Ad Presents Him As Last Action Hero (ZH)

“He entered Ukraine under the cover of night. And in the morning, Joe Biden walked shoulder to shoulder with our allies in the war-torn streets,” the narrator of a new one-minute Biden campaign ad begins. “Standing up for democracy in a place where a tyrant is waging war to take it away.” Ahead of the 2024 presidential election, where he’ll likely face Trump as the Republican nominee, the Biden team is focusing the reelection campaign around his surprise visit to Ukraine which took place last February. It’s being touted as the first time in American history that a sitting president traveled to an allied nation at war. “In the middle of a war zone, Joe Biden showed the world what America is made of,” the narrator says. “That’s the quiet strength of a true leader, who doesn’t back down to a dictator.”

So while his critics sarcastically refer to him as “sleepy Joe” – his supporters are envisioning him as some kind of last action hero being covertly whisked into a dangerous “war zone” in the dark of night. “Air raid sirens blared as the two men walked together,” the clip dramatically continues, showing Biden shoulder to shoulder with Zelensky. The video was timed to be released to coincide with Biden’s trip to the G20 summit in India, where he’ll likely have strong words for Putin, who will not be attendance. NBC writes of the spot entitled simply “War Zone”:

The new, 60-second advertisement will air in battleground states this weekend during the prime-time broadcast of “60 Minutes” while Biden is due to attend the G-20 Summit here, a gathering of leaders of the world’s largest economies that won’t include two geopolitical rivals, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping. This comes as he’s set to pour yet billions more of American taxpayer dollars into Kiev’s coffers. Yet war observers and analysts have of late expressed intensifying concern over uncontrollable escalation in what’s now obviously a US-NATO proxy war against Russia. But Biden is doubling or tripling down, showing the world “what America is made of”, apparently.

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“Is it now, “Keep Hunter close and self-important — or else”?

What Game Is Hunter Biden Playing? (Victor Davis Hanson)

Hunter Biden’s attorneys sought to leverage federal prosecutors into agreeing to drop their charges — by threatening to call in as a pro-Hunter witness President Joe Biden himself and thereby likely invoke a constitutional crisis! In such a scenario, the president under oath would be forced to lie again that he had no knowledge of or involvement in Hunter’s illegal behavior. Or if he admitted the truth that he did, he would thus contradict years of his adamant denials. Why would Hunter put his father and president in such a publicity circus?

Hunter has lost an incriminating laptop by abandoning it at a repair shop. He has forgotten his crack pipe in a rental car. His illegally registered handgun turned up in a trash dumpster near a school. So would not the carefree Hunter insist that all the Bidens in the spotlight remain extra careful never to abandon incriminating drugs — especially in the White House. Yet in a West Wing first, recently cocaine was found lost in an entrance vestibule. Various media outlets claimed it belonged to someone in the “Biden family orbit.” One of two things explain the continuous reckless behavior of wayward son Hunter Biden: One, he is either still on drugs or so suffers from past addiction that he has lost all common sense and judgment, and simply cannot control his behavior.

Or, two, Hunter is an embittered, angry son. As the Biden bagman for foreign shakedown cash, he did the dirty work and most risked the legal exposure that made all the Bidens rich. Yet, instead of familial praise — or so the broke Hunter seems to whine on his laptop –Hunter gets no respect from those he enriched. And now he, not they, might first go to jail. As a result, does his continuous recklessness send a not so-subtle reminder to all the Bidens – his father the “Big Guy” especially? That is, Hunter is not going to take the fall. He will not end up in prison for decades while the other exempt Bidens continue to enjoy their ill-gotten riches, due to Hunter’s imaginative cons. No wonder the first family for months moved Hunter into the White House and put him on Air Force One. Is it now, “Keep Hunter close and self-important — or else”?

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Let’s see it.

Biden Impeachment Vote Could Take Place in Mid-September – Comer (Sp.)

The US House of Representatives could vote to impeach President Joe Biden as early as mid-September, James Comer, the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, said. Earlier in the week, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene said a majority of House members support investigating Biden in order to move forward with impeachment proceedings. “I think the House will vote in September. And this is all up to [House Speaker] Kevin McCarthy … but he and I have had several conversations … I would predict that in the middle of September, we have a vote. I would predict that it passes,” Comer said in an interview with the news broadcaster. The lawmaker also said that the official inquiry could be useful in obtaining information from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Internal Revenue Service, which have allegedly slow-walked the investigation by postponing providing requested bank records of the Biden family.

Biden’s possible use of a pseudonym to communicate with his son, Hunter about foreign business dealings may have been precisely what prompted representatives to move forward with the investigation, Comer added. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had earlier expressed support for a vote to launch an impeachment inquiry into Biden, amid reports that it could be launched without a proper vote. He said that the information gathered by the Republican Party allows the question of Biden’s impeachment to be raised. He said that the family of the US president was involved in a “culture of corruption”. McCarthy also stated that the investigation into the alleged involvement of the US president and his son in corrupt activities dictates the need to initiate the impeachment process. As the high-ranking congressman noted, such a procedure would expand the ability of the US legislature to gather information necessary for the investigation into the presidency.

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Madam President.

White House Scolded Hillary for Asking Ukraine for Help With Afghan Exit (Sp.)

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan reportedly scolded former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to help evacuate Afghan women during the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Citing the recently-published book “The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden’s White House and the Struggle for America’s Future,” US media reported on Friday that Clinton had asked Zelensky’s aide if she could board several Afghan women on military transport planes headed to Kiev. After Sullivan became aware of Clinton’s call, it’s alleged he questioned her methods and reportedly asked her: “What are you doing calling the Ukrainian government?”

Clinton later responded by explaining that she would not have to call Ukraine if the Biden administration would have done it in the first place. She subsequently assured Sullivan she would coordinate with US officials. However, as the book alleges, Clinton had already contacted world leaders in Canada, Qatar and Albania amid her efforts to evacuate 1,000 people out of Afghanistan who were said to be at-risk of being killed by the Taliban* once American forces fully departed the war-torn nation. The book’s author, Franklin Foer, explains that the list of women were referred to as “white scarves” since the Clinton camp instructed them to wear the specified head coverings so they were easily identifiable.

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He would have had to specifically order a lethal operation on the brink of WWIII. Not his style.

Zelensky On Starlink-Gate: Musk “Committing Evil” & Driven By “Big Ego” (ZH)

Since Elon Musk has apparently become Donald Trump – in that any lie/twist/gaslighting will do to further the narrative, no matter how false it is known to be – last night saw the mainstream media overwhelmed with circle-jerk-justified accusations that Musk meddled in the Ukraine-Russia war to stop a Zelenskyy-driven offensive (that likely would have turned the war and hailed victory ticker-tape parades up and down Kiev’s streets). Ok, admittedly that last bit was out hyperbole; but given a quick read of headlines from CNN and NBC, we could be forgiven for this view. Elon Musk secretly ordered his engineers to turn off his company’s Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast last year to disrupt a Ukrainian sneak attack on the Russian naval fleet, according to an excerpt adapted from Walter Isaacson’s new biography of the eccentric billionaire titled “Elon Musk.”

As Ukrainian submarine drones strapped with explosives approached the Russian fleet, they “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly,” Isaacson writes. NBC led with the following headline: “Ukraine is furious with Elon Musk for thwarting an attack on Russia’s navy”. Tech billionaire Elon Musk has come under fire from Ukraine after it emerged he thwarted a major attack on the Russian navy. According to excerpts published by CNN, a soon-to-be-released biography of the SpaceX CEO claims that Musk secretly ordered his engineers to turn off his Starlink satellite network over Russian-occupied Crimea last year in order to prevent a Ukrainian drone attack on Russia’s naval fleet. The mainstream media did not have to look too far to find someone willing to denigrate Musk: Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, blasted the tech billionaire on X, formerly Twitter, which Musk owns.

“Sometimes a mistake is much more than just a mistake,” Podolyak wrote. “By not allowing Ukrainian drones to destroy part of the Russian military (!) fleet via #Starlink interference, @elonmusk allowed this fleet to fire Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities,” he added. “As a result, civilians, children are being killed,” Podolyak said. “This is the price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego. However, the question still remains: why do some people so desperately want to defend war criminals and their desire to commit murder? And do they now realize that they are committing evil and encouraging evil?” Isaacson quotes Musk at the time as questioning “How am I in this war?” “Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars. It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes.”

Couple quick questions – how would Musk know – pre-emptively – of the attack, and choose to disable Starlink? Is his intel better than Putin’s; better than the CIA’s? The spin here is utterly mind-blowing. In fact, according to Musk – who responded to the accusations on X, the details are the exact opposite to how CNN described them… In fact, Musk NEVER turned Starlink on in those controversial border zones – for exactly this reason, as he feared using this technology near borders could prompt an escalation in the war. In fact, Musk did not ‘turn Starlink off’ but refused to ‘turn Starlink on’ for Ukraine’s offensive. Which makes more sense to you – the richest man in the world unilaterally switching off internet access to pre-emptively thwart a secret attack by Ukraine on Russia in a Blofeld-esque move? Or the CEO of a major communications company refusing to enable his technology to be used to escalate a war that could well lead to armageddon?

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“..where you want to force the enemy to come in so you can hit them with artillery, to break up the attack, but not to hold and die..”

Scott Ritter: Ukrainian Counteroffensive’s Last, Desperate Push (Sp.)

Ukraine is gaining ground in its counteroffensive started in June, claimed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday, addressing lawmakers at the European Parliament. Does that mean Ukraine has finally achieved a breakthrough after nearly four months and heavy casualties? “To answer that question, we have to know what the goals and objectives of the current phase of the Ukrainian counteroffensive are,” Scott Ritter, a military analyst and former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, told Sputnik. “We know that when they initiated this counteroffensive back in early June of this year, the goals were quite clear: to break through the first line of Russian defenses, the second line of Russian defenses, seize the town of Tokmak, and then use that as a launching point to penetrate deeper through the Russian defenses to seize the city of Melitopol, which would enable them to sever the land bridge between Crimea and Russia and bring Crimea under direct attack.

That was the stated objective put forward by General Zaluzhny, echoed by President Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials,” the military expert continued. However, these objectives have not been reached so far, per Ritter. Presently, the Ukrainians are claiming that they have put infantry units beyond the so-called “dragon’s teeth”, the concrete obstacles that constitute the first line of Russia’s defenses. In particular, the Kiev regime says its forces managed to take the villages of Verbovoye and Rabotino in the Zaporozhye region. Still, the Russian Ministry of Defense made it clear on September 7 and 8 that the Russian forces are continuing to successfully repel attacks by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the areas of the settlements. As Russian military blogger Rybar remarked on his Telegram account: it’s the best way “to turn Rabotino into a continuous conveyor of death for Ukrainian units.”

“The village of Rabotino was always meant to fall. If the Ukrainians put sufficient military power in a specific zone of operations, they should be able to advance and seize terrain that the Russians have decided will be defended, but not to the death. Rabotino was always meant to be part of the crumple zone in the fire element, defensive zone of the first line of defense. The purpose of Rabotino was to help break up the Ukrainian attacks, and it has done this magnificently,” said Ritter. What’s actually going on in Rabotino and Verbovoe is part of a new Russian defensive doctrine, explains the former Marine intelligence officer. “Russia always had a primarily defensive doctrine inherited from the Soviet times.

But this new defensive doctrine that’s being implemented, especially in the Zaporozhye front, is the brainchild of Lieutenant General Alexander Romanchuck, former deputy commander, I believe, of the 58th Combined Arms Army. He was sent to the Combined Arms Academy after participating in the early phases of the Special Military Operation. While he was at the Combined Arms Academy, he rewrote Russian defensive doctrine and then he was brought out of the Combined Arms Academy and given a leadership position in the Zapporozhye front in the Rabotino area.” In accordance with the doctrine, “the purpose of the forward defensive zone is to receive an enemy attack to help break it up, to use defensive belts, minefields, obstacles, what they call, ‘fire cauldrons’ or ‘sacks’ where you want to force the enemy to come in so you can hit them with artillery, to break up the attack, but not to hold and die,” explained Ritter.

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“We cannot continue to wage war by simply saying: ‘More weapons, more deaths, more resistance.’ How do you get out of this?”

US Using Ukraine To Weaken EU – Sarkozy (RT)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has spoken out against Ukraine’s accession to the EU and NATO, arguing that the move would not bring peace to Europe and would chip away at the continent’s independence. Speaking to France 5 TV broadcaster on Wednesday, Sarkozy reiterated his calls for a compromise between Moscow and Kiev, noting that the conflict had already claimed the lives of around half a million of people, most of whom were Ukrainian. “But we continue because in the Boulevard Saint-Germain they are very brave in terms of sending young Ukrainians to die,” he added, referring to the street where many French government offices are located.

While denouncing Russia as an “aggressor” in the conflict, Sarkozy said he believed that Ukraine’s accession to NATO and the EU – which Kiev has been seeking for many years – would not lead to peace. “Because if you bring Ukraine into Europe, you strengthen American Europe as the Eastern European countries are dominated by the US,” he noted. According to Sarkozy, while Ukraine essentially expresses America’s wishes because it is heavily reliant on Washington’s military assistance, the same is not true for relations between Washington and Paris. “France has a unique voice… and does not align itself with American interests,” he said. While reiterating that he wants France to support Ukraine, Sarkozy said he believes that Ukraine should eventually receive security guarantees from the West but must remain neutral and continue to serve as a “bridge between the Slavic world of Russia and us.”

“We cannot continue to wage war by simply saying: ‘More weapons, more deaths, more resistance.’ How do you get out of this?” he asked. He claimed that the Ukraine conflict benefits only China, which he said is gaining clout by courting its partners in the BRICS economic group, and the US, which is profiting from arms sales and higher prices for liquefied natural gas. Last week, Sarkozy suggested that any compromise with Moscow would involve recognizing Crimea as part of Russia, a statement that triggered outrage in Kiev, with Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, calling the proposal “criminal,” and accusing Sarkozy of complicity in organizing “genocide and war.”

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Could blow up the EU?!

Ukraine ‘Threatening’ Poland – Minister (RT)

Ukrainian pressure tactics over Poland’s ban on grain shipments through its territory will not work, Minister for EU Affairs Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek said on Friday, responding to Kiev’s threat to take the issue to the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to the diplomat, Warsaw is not impressed by such a move, as the protection of Polish farmers and citizens is a top priority for the government. “This is a threat, and this is another element of pressure from the Ukrainian side,” he said. “These elements sometimes go beyond the certain boundaries of classical diplomacy on the part of Ukraine.” Szynkowski vel Sek added that the Polish authorities are not planning to lift the embargo imposed on the imports of Ukrainian agricultural exports that is due to expire on September 15.

Ukraine’s exports of grain, its major trade commodity, are currently banned from the markets of Poland, Hungary, and three other EU nations under a deal struck with the European Commission earlier this year to protect the bloc’s farmers from a glut of cheaper agricultural produce. The issue has driven a wedge between Kiev and the EU’s eastern members, which have been among Ukraine’s biggest supporters in its confrontation with Russia. The nations impacted by the glut have repeatedly pledged to impose unilateral import bans, in violation of the bloc’s common trade rules, if the EU decides to lift the restrictions.

Read more …

Who builds this for the Pentagon?

Pentagon’s Hypersonic Woes Due to ‘Very Delicate’ Physics Problems (Sp.)

Konstantin Sivkov, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences, Doctor of Military Sciences, pointed out that the technology behind hypersonics is both old and new. “What is a hypersonic weapon? It allows you to hit targets using homing in the final stage and at the same time fly at hypersonic speed,” he summarized to Sputnik. “Many ballistic missiles that appeared in the world as intercontinental ones back in the 1950s also have hypersonic speed, but they do not maneuver on their flight path – but this is not the case for hypersonic weapons.” “The Americans cannot solve two problems: providing control over the flight of missiles at hypersonic speeds – that is, maneuvering – and the issue of ensuring the operation of targeting systems at hypersonic speeds.”

Dmitry Drozdenko, a military analyst and chief editor of the “Fatherland Arsenal” internet portal, told Sputnik that the LRHW was similar to Russia’s Avangard hypersonic weapon, which was the first to be announced in 2019. “That is, there is a standard container in which the rocket engine accelerates the warhead-laden glider up to a certain height and to hypersonic speed. At that point, it begins to maneuver in the atmosphere without an engine. The only difference is that our Avangard has a global strike capability: it can strike at the South or North Pole, even in Washington, even in Canberra – anywhere on the planet, with both nuclear and non-nuclear payloads.” Drozdenko explained the US has struggled to develop a usable hypersonic weapon because hypersonic technology is “subtle in the field of fundamental science.” “It is a very delicate topic,” he told Sputnik.

“Once upon a time there were problems with supersonic, if you remember the old stories, when the first jet aircraft had straight wings and propellers, and then they began to be made with wings angled back. It’s all related to the fact that when approaching the speed of sound, a shockwave occurs, which does not allow an effective increase in speed. Therefore, the wings were deflected back and this shockwave flowed back at supersonic speed.” “So at hypersonic speeds, physical phenomena also arise. That is, there are several barriers such as high temperatures – very high. The vehicle heats up a great deal. If we are talking about [Russia’s] Avangard, it heats up to the state of plasma” similar to a spacecraft’s reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, which also travels at hypersonic speed, he explained.

“The protective layer burns away as a result. The astronaut is not damaged, but at that moment the communication connection is lost. That is, it is a known fact that when they enter the atmosphere, radio communication is lost, because radio waves do not pass through the plasma.” “And here questions of control arise: a hypersonic weapon that flies for a long time at such speeds must, firstly, be refractory. That is, it should not burn out, otherwise it will not fly,” he said, adding that “This is a matter of materials science – maintaining high temperatures.” This, Drozdenko noted, was a key difference between reentry vehicles and hypersonic weapons: they have to be controlled and maneuvered, not just allowed to “ram the atmosphere with their belly” until they slow down.

“The task of hypersonic weapons like Avangard is to maneuver. This is the most important thing, so that air defense systems can neither detect it nor shoot it down. It needs a control system that can somehow analyze the external environment despite being in this plasma cloud. There is a whole complex of fundamental theoretical sciences – materials science, aerodynamics of high speeds – which current control systems and radio electronics do not have. This is a huge barrier.”

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US too. The troops are sittting ducks.

France Seeks Pullout From Niger (Sp.)

France is considering several options for troops pullout from Niger, contacts with the Nigerien army continue and relate to operational and technical aspects, a French General Staff spokesman told Arabian broadcaster. Niger’s newly-appointed Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine said on Monday that French forces were staying in the country illegally and called for their swift departure. French forces have been largely confined to their air base in Niger’s capital, Niamey, since military leaders ousted Paris-backed President Mohamed Bazoum in late July. The West African bloc ECOWAS threatened military intervention if Niger’s military did not restore Bazoum to power.

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Without Xi and Putin it is. Just another politicized gathering.

Is The G20 Obsolete In An Increasingly Multipolar World? (Malyk)

You can count the number of cases in which Western governments have been genuinely interested in Africa’s wellbeing on the fingers of one hand. However, the sharp drop of Western influence on the continent is forcing former colonial powers to try rebranding themselves. The first step in this rebranding can be seen at the upcoming G20 Summit in New Delhi, which will see the African Union admitted as a permanent member of the organization – on a par with the European Union. Will that be enough to heal old wounds? Probably not, especially considering that the G20 meeting takes place after last month’s historic BRICS Summit in South Africa. The event brought together countries from across the Global South and announced the admission of six new members into BRICS, including two African countries – Egypt and Ethiopia. Hard to see how the G20 tops that.

It turns out that Western-centric groups are beginning to cede global leadership to the multipolar world organizations, mostly led by Russia, China and India. Is this trend taking over the politics of the G20? And what are the prospects for the G20 in a future world stage? The G20 Summit in New Delhi will take place without the leaders of Russia and China. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will head the Russian delegation, while Premier Li Qiang will head the Chinese one. As both leaders were among the main actors of the recent BRICS Summit, this turn of events may be regarded as a bad omen for the upcoming summit. Although Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov noted that Putin and Xi did not coordinate the refusal to attend the New Delhi Summit, the absence of these two leaders will be extremely significant.

Tony Kevin, former Australian ambassador to Poland and Cambodia and former carrier officer of the Australian Foreign Ministry, as well as the author of two books on Russia, ‘Return to Moscow’ (2017) and ‘Russia and the West’ (2019), highlighted to Sputnik that “the Russian President Putin and the Chinese President Xi have both sent a very clear signal by not attending the meeting.” In turn, Dr. Zhang Baohui, director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, claimed that the decision of the leaders of Russia and China not to attend the G20 “will indeed dampen the significance of this summit.”

“G20 was created as a concert system that incorporates the world’s leading powers so they can work together to resolve the biggest problems facing the globe. The absence of the top leaders of China and Russia pokes a hole in the G20 mechanism. The Ukraine war and many global issues ranging from climate to development need the cooperation of the world’s leading powers. As such, Xi and Putin’s absence will reduce the significance of this summit even though their representatives will be there,” he told Sputnik.

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“Russia is offering, on the one hand, the Wagner Group as gatekeepers, and on the other hand, food security for the continent. In one fell swoop, western propaganda was trashed..”

The Unshakeable Putin-Erdogan Nexus (Bhadrakumar)

Since the two heads of state last met in Astana last October, Moscow has gained the upper hand in the battlefields of Ukraine; the so-called grain deal involving Russia and Ukraine, brokered by Ankara under UN auspices, ran its course; security of the Black Sea region touched a new level of criticality as the Anglo-American obsession with Crimea surged; and, above all, Erdogan secured another term as president, which puts him in the hot seat to reverse Turkiye’s financial and economic crisis. In the full flush of his election victory, Erdogan made certain efforts to mend fences with the west, signaling a willingness to agree to Sweden’s induction into NATO and showing solidarity with Ukraine. In moves that could seriously upset Moscow, Ankara wantonly released Azov commanders who were captured by Russia in Mariupol last year and announced an intent to jointly produce weaponry with Ukraine.

Nonetheless, Moscow reacted cautiously. The Kremlin could afford to mark time since this is also an asymmetrical relationship where Russia holds the upper hand. Moscow could sense that Erdogan was not really “pivoting” to the west, but was rather showing an interest in improving western ties which had soured in recent years -and its outcome remains far from certain. Basically, Russia’s relations with Turkiye are fortified by the warm personal equations between Putin and Erdogan, and both leaders are consummate realists with shared interests and a keenness to challenge Western dominance in regional politics. Moscow is only too well aware that Turkiye’s hopes for membership in the European Union remain a far-fetched dream.

The “body language” of the meeting in Sochi confirmed that there is no change in the verve of the personal relationship between the two leaders. Television footage showed the two men smiling and shaking hands upon Erdogan’s arrival at Putin’s residence, where the Russian president suggested that his guest take a vacation in the Black Sea resort. In his opening remarks, Putin put Erdogan at ease by reassuring him upfront that the Russian offer to create a global “energy hub” in Turkiye is very much in the cards and will materialize soon. However, the icing on the cake is the proposed agreement that would facilitate free exports of grain from Russia to six African nations with the help of Turkiye and Qatar. In Erdogan’s presence, Putin announced:

“We are close to completing agreements with six African states, where we intend to supply foodstuffs for free and even carry out delivery and logistics for free. Deliveries will begin in the next couple of weeks.” The political and geopolitical resonance of this decision in Africa is simply immeasurable — Russia is offering, on the one hand, the Wagner Group as gatekeepers, and on the other hand, food security for the continent. In one fell swoop, western propaganda was trashed, with some help from Ankara.

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“Liberalism needed, above all, a sense of moral superiority, to heal an imperfect world, to be ahead-of-the-curve in mankind’s implacable march of progress toward perfection..”

A Theory of the Game (Jim Kunstler)

In cases of madness, there is often a dark, sordid secret behind the weird behavior that presents outwardly. In the group madness provoked by Hillary Clinton’s loss, the dirty secret was that she had actually bought the Democratic National Committee in 2016, meaning the machinery that runs the party. She used lavish contributions to the Clinton Foundation to accomplish that. And Hillary along with her foundation — and husband Bill, who had been reduced by late career misadventure to a kind of political fashion accessory — had committed any number of grave crimes against our country over the years, especially during her service as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. Think: Skolkovo… Uranium One…. In 2016 Hillary used her ownership of the DNC to underhandedly de-rail the likely Democratic primary winner, Bernie Sanders, from being nominated.

The initial act of madness by the “Resistance” on Mr. Trump’s inauguration day was the women’s march of pink pussy-hats, so called, a symbolic exhibition of fleering female genitalia in Mr. Trump’s face, so to speak, as an act of defiance against the new national daddy figure (and his millions of deplorable supporters watching the ceremonies on TV). This proved to be a mere overture to the more extreme sexual acting-out that evolved in the years to follow, overall a campaign to horrify people of normal appetites, beliefs, and moral codes, culminating in the drag queen story hours aimed at maximally inducing outrage among people organized as families.

All of that psychodrama was hijacked, of course, by the serious neo-Marxists lurking among the Left, who used it in the usual neo-Marxian way: to overthrow everything in the established social order. And who were these? The circle around Barack Obama. And who was Barack Obama exactly? Good question. This mysterious figure who rose so swiftly from being, briefly, a mere state senator in Illinois, then to the US Senate — for only a few years, accomplishing next to nothing there — then to being nominated for president, and actually winning the 2008 election!

Since we’re speaking in terms of psychodrama, Mr. Obama was liberalism’s wish-fulfillment: a half-century after the Civil Rights movement, America elects the first black president (half-black, anyway)! Liberalism needed, above all, a sense of moral superiority, to heal an imperfect world, to be ahead-of-the-curve in mankind’s implacable march of progress toward perfection, and especially to set an example for how to live for all those gun-loving, bible-thumping, meth-smoking, opiate-scarfing, racist, rapist flyover rubes who would dare to vote for such misogynistic vermin as the TV-clown Donald J. Trump.

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Diver dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700098525835530502

 

 

Halitrephes maasi jelly.

 

 

Eagle

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 082023
 
 September 8, 2023  Posted by at 9:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Claude Monet Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son Dec 31 1874

 

US’ ‘Rigged Election’ To Blame For Ukraine Conflict – Trump (RT)
Musk ‘The Last Adequate Mind’ In America – Medvedev (RT)
The EU’s Best Weapon Against Free Speech Isn’t Working (Marsden)
Ukraine’s ‘Biggest Arms Supplier’ Orchestrated 2014 Maidan Massacre (GZ)
Zelensky Issues Ultimatum To EU Over Grain Ban (RT)
Ukraine ‘Has Never Been Closer’ To NATO Membership – Stoltenberg (RT)
Not Legally Possible’ for US to Transfer Seized Russian Assets to Ukraine (Sp.)
G20 Set To Expand (RT)
Leaked: CIA Front Preparing Color Revolution In Indonesia (MPN)
Germany Faces End Of Decades-Long Economic Boom – El Pais (RT)
General: NATO, US Intend To Open Front Against Russia In Caucasus (RT)
Pentagon Nixes Test of First-Ever US Long-Range c Weapon (Sp.)
House: ‘Evidence of Collusion’ Between Joe Biden and Hunter’s Partners (Sp.)
A Hunter Biden Indictment Could Bring a Surprising Challenge (Turley)
Special Counsel May Indict Hunter Biden by End of September (Sp.)
FDA Refuses to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Data to US Senator (ET)

 

 

RFK DNC

 

 

RFK Fauci

 

 

 

 

NYC Mayor Adams

 

 

 

 

Megyn Kelly

 

 

Orban Soros
https://twitter.com/i/status/1699770247081865247

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Nixon Ritter

 

 

 

 

“it’s good to get along.”

US’ ‘Rigged Election’ To Blame For Ukraine Conflict – Trump (RT)

Former president Donald Trump has claimed that the ongoing Ukraine conflict would never have begun if the 2020 US elections hadn’t been “rigged” and Joe Biden hadn’t replaced him and taken office. In an interview with American radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, Trump insisted that Russia would have never launched its military operation in Ukraine if he were still in the White House. “Ukraine is so sad,” Trump said. “[Putin] would have never done it if the election weren’t rigged, our election. It was rigged and stolen. If that election wasn’t rigged, if I were president, you would right now have millions of people living that are dead,” a transcript of the former president’s interview reads.

Trump went on to also claim that, if he were still president, “Taiwan would never be talked about right now,” and that he’d maintained close contact with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, even though they “were not close to him.” He also criticized the policies of Joe Biden, who he described as “the most corrupt and incompetent president” and warned that his leadership could lead the world to a nuclear war that’s going to result in World War III. “This man doesn’t have a clue,” Trump said. Last month, the former president also claimed in an op-ed published by Newsweek that the Ukraine conflict was influenced in part by the infamous Russiagate investigation – an FBI probe into Trump’s ties with Russia that was launched over allegations that he’d colluded with Moscow during his 2016 presidential campaign.

A report by special counsel John Durham earlier this year found that the FBI should have never launched the probe, as it was based on biased sources. Trump said the probe came “at a critical moment when we should have been reducing tensions with Russia” and instead undermined relations with Moscow and ultimately stoked a “mass hysteria”that pushed Washington to launch a “proxy war” against Moscow. In July, the former president suggested that that the US is in a “very stupid, dangerous position right now” because it does not have as many nuclear weapons as Russia. He insisted Washington should improve its relations with Moscow, claiming that “it’s good to get along.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1699807844420194319

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“Or, at the very least, in gender-neutral America, he is the one with the balls..”

Musk ‘The Last Adequate Mind’ In America – Medvedev (RT)

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has praised billionaire Elon Musk for refusing to allow Ukraine to use his Starlink satellite communications network for attacks on a Russian naval base in Crimea. The statement came after CNN published excerpts from Walter Isaacson’s book about Musk, where he detailed the rationale behind the businessman’s decision. “If what Isaacson has written in his book is true, then it looks like Musk is the last adequate mind in North America,” Medvedev, who is currently deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, wrote on his English-language account on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Thursday. “Or, at the very least, in gender-neutral America, he is the one with the balls,” the official added. According to excerpts from Isaacson’s book, quoted by CNN, Musk secretly ordered his engineers to disable Starlink service near Crimea last year to sabotage a planned Ukrainian attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

“Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars. It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes,” Musk reportedly said. After the CNN story appeared online, Musk took to X to explain that he had denied Kiev’s “emergency request” to activate Starlink all the way to the port city of Sevastopol, which hosts a Russian naval base. “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation,” Musk wrote. The businessman donated around 20,000 Starlink kits to Ukraine after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022. Musk has since advocated for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, drawing ire from both Ukrainian and Western officials.

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“Musk should play along and take notes about the kind of censorship requests that are made of him by Brussels. Then he should publish them on Twitter..”

The EU’s Best Weapon Against Free Speech Isn’t Working (Marsden)

The European Commission has concluded in a new report that despite making pinky-promises to “mitigate the reach and influence of Kremlin-sponsored disinformation,” large social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook were “unsuccessful” in doing so. What a shocker that this research by oversight advocates has ended up advocating in favor of more oversight. Russia just happens to be the most convenient scapegoat. Using the same kind of smear tactics that the bloc has used previously – like when it included Russia alongside Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in previous security and threat reports – this time it involved conflating “pro-Kremlin” social media accounts with those that it considers to be “Kremlin-aligned” or “Kremlin-backed.”

[..] In a line that just begs to be read repeatedly out of sheer incredulity that someone could be so tone-deaf, the report notes that so-called Kremlin disinfo efforts are “designed to foment political and social instability among its adversaries by stoking ethnic conflict, promoting isolationism, and distracting public attention away from Ukraine and onto domestic affairs.” How dare the people of Europe insist that their leaders focus on the considerable problems faced by their own country and citizens, which have long been exacerbated by misguided national and EU-level policies, rather than riveting their attention to Ukraine! Indeed, if it wasn’t for those meddling Russians, Europe would be a utopia of sunshine and rainbows, everyone holding hands and singing Kumbaya, with nothing else for citizens to concern themselves with besides what’s happening in Ukraine.

The EU laments that “the Kremlin and its proxies captured growing audiences with highly produced propaganda content, and steered users to unregulated online spaces, where democratic norms have eroded and hate and lies could spread with impunity.” They have it all backwards. People wanting to engage in debate and discussion of topics and viewpoints that the EU — in all its arrogance as the self-appointed arbiter of truth — is keen to censor, have been driven to other platforms specifically because they support free speech in all its glory and imperfection.

“Over the course of 2022, the audience and reach of Kremlin-aligned social media accounts increased substantially all over Europe,” according to the report, adding that “the reach and influence of Kremlin-backed accounts has grown further in the first half of 2023, driven in particular by the dismantling of Twitter’s safety standards.” In other words, Elon Musk, who considershimself a “free speech absolutist,” came along and bought Twitter, leveled the playing field by opening up debate and reducing censorship, and what ended up happening is that people flooded to the platform as a refreshing alternative to the curated and censored Western establishment narrative that they’re spoon-fed elsewhere.

So what’s the EU going to do about it now? Well, mandatory compliance with its Digital Services Act is now in effect as of last month. This means that, theoretically, all the major social media platforms are obligated to work with the EU’s handpicked “civil society” actors to moderate and censor content – no doubt in alignment with the EU’s narrative. Musk should play along and take notes about the kind of censorship requests that are made of him by Brussels. Then he should publish them on Twitter in the interest of radical transparency and the kind of uncompromising defense of democracy to which the EU is constantly paying lip service as a pretext for its crackdowns on our fundamental freedoms.

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“European and American officials are loath to discuss Mr. Pashinsky, for fear of playing into Russia’s narrative that Ukraine’s government is hopelessly corrupt..”

Ukraine’s ‘Biggest Arms Supplier’ Orchestrated 2014 Maidan Massacre (GZ)

Years before emerging as Kiev’s top private weapons trafficker, ex-legislator Serhiy Pashinsky played a key role in the 2014 US-backed coup which toppled Ukraine’s democratically-elected president and set the stage for a devastating civil war. Though the notoriously corrupt former Ukrainian parliamentarian was condemned by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a “criminal” as recently as 2019, a lengthy exposé by the New York Times has now identified Pashinsky as the Ukrainian government’s “biggest private arms supplier.” Perhaps predictably, the report makes no mention of evidence implicating Pashinsky in the 2014 massacre of 70 anti-government protesters in Kiev’s Maidan Square, an incident which pro-Western forces used to consummate their coup d’etat against then-President Viktor Yanukovych.

In an August 12 report on Ukraine’s new weapons-sourcing strategy, the New York Times alleged that “out of desperation,” Kiev had no option but to adopt increasingly amoral tactics. The shift, they say, has driven up prices of lethal imports at an exponential rate, “and added layer upon layer of profit-making” for the benefit of unscrupulous speculators like Pashinsky. According to the Times, the strategy is simple: Pashinksy “buys and sells grenades, artillery shells and rockets through a trans-European network of middlemen,” then “sells them, then buys them again and sells them once more”: “With each transaction, prices rise – as do the profits of Mr. Pashinsky’s associates – until the final buyer, Ukraine’s military, pays the most,” the Times explained, adding that while using multiple brokers may technically be legal, “it is a time-tested way to inflate profits.”

As the seemingly endless supply of cash from Western taxpayers provides a bonanza for arms manufacturers such as Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, it similarly benefits war profiteers like Pashinsky. His company, Ukrainian Armored Technology, “reported its best year ever last year, with sales totaling more than $350 million” — a whopping 12,500% increase from its $2.8 million in sales the year before the war. Pashinsky is not the only racketeer benefitting from the elimination of anti-corruption measures in wartime Ukraine. Several suppliers previously placed on an official blacklist after they “ripped off the military” are now free to sell again, according to the Times investigation. The outlet downplayed this as an unfortunate, but ultimately necessary measure.

“In the name of rushing weapons to the front line, leaders have resurrected figures from Ukraine’s rough-and-tumble past and undone, at least temporarily, years of anticorruption [sic] policies,” the Times asserted, describing “the re-emergence of figures like Mr. Pashinsky” as “one reason the American and British governments are buying ammunition for Ukraine rather than simply handing over money”: “European and American officials are loath to discuss Mr. Pashinsky, for fear of playing into Russia’s narrative that Ukraine’s government is hopelessly corrupt and must be replaced.”

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“Zelensky expressed hope that Ukraine and Brussels will avoid a legal battle and that “unity will win. That truth will win.”

Zelensky Issues Ultimatum To EU Over Grain Ban (RT)

Kiev will go to an international arbitration court if the EU decides to prolong its ban on Ukrainian grain beyond September 15, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky has warned. The curbs on deliveries of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia, which had been introduced in May, are set to expire next week. But the five EU members are now pushing for the ban to be extended at least until the end of the year, citing the need to protect their agricultural industries. “Ukraine is strongly against any further restrictions on the export of our grain,” Zelensky pointed out in an address published on his website on Wednesday. “We calmly watch as our grain becomes a source of good income for various European countries that process our agricultural products and make money on logistics,” he said.

“But how can we not-calmly accept the violation of the promises given to us, the violation of the Association Agreement, the violation of free market conditions,” he added, directly addressing the European Commission. During the conflict with Russia, Ukraine is “fighting for life and for our common European values” on land, at sea, in the air, and in cyberspace, the president claimed. “But if we have to fight for Ukraine and the foundations of our common Europe in arbitration, we will fight. We don’t want to, but we will fight in arbitration. If we need to fight on the platforms of international organizations, we will fight there as well,” he warned. However, Zelensky expressed hope that Ukraine and Brussels will avoid a legal battle and that “unity will win. That truth will win.” He also addressed the leaders of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia, arguing that “any restrictions against Ukrainian exports now are a scaling-up of the destruction” caused by the fighting between Kiev and Moscow.

Politico reported on Wednesday that during a meeting with the European Commission earlier the same day, the ambassadors from other EU countries “either openly opposed the idea of extending the restrictions [on Ukrainian grain] or remained deeply skeptical” about such a move. France and Germany have been among the nations most critical of prolonging the curbs, it said. EU diplomats reportedly told the outlet that many countries understood the concerns of Warsaw, Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia, and Bratislava but wanted the European Commission to find alternative means to resolve the issue. Poland, which vigorously opposes the deliveries of Ukrainian grain despite being one of Kiev’s prime backers amid the conflict with Russia, and Hungary have already said they’ll come up with unilateral restrictions if the EU refuses to prolong the ban.

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aka they’re as far away as ever.

Ukraine ‘Has Never Been Closer’ To NATO Membership – Stoltenberg (RT)

Ukraine is closer than ever to joining NATO, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has claimed, adding that Russia “cannot veto” Kiev’s future membership. The NATO chief made the comments on Thursday at the European Parliament, where he briefed MEPs on cooperation between the US-led military bloc and the EU. Stoltenberg insisted that the two sides “share the same values [and] the same challenges.” Part of his address was dedicated to what NATO offered Ukraine at a recent summit in Lithuania. Kiev was not provided the roadmap to membership that it had requested, but was promised more military aid, representation through a newly created council, and an opportunity to skip a step that NATO candidates typically have to pass.

“And these three things, the interoperability, the NATO-Ukraine Council and removal of the requirement for Membership Action Plan for Ukraine, demonstrate that Ukraine has never been closer to a membership in NATO than now,” Stoltenberg declared. US President Joe Biden said ahead of the July summit that Ukraine would have to meet certain conditions before its bid was accepted. NATO member states have also ruled out Ukraine joining before the conflict with Russia is resolved. After the 2014 Western-backed coup in Kiev, Ukraine declared membership of the EU and NATO as its foreign policy priorities, enshrining these aspirations in its constitution. sThat stance helped fuel tensions with Russia, which considers NATO a hostile organization and has for decades objected to its expansion in Europe.

The bloc first promised that Ukraine would eventually become a member during a 2008 summit in Bucharest. Russia has requested that Ukraine be a neutral nation that does not host foreign military forces. In 2021, Moscow attempted to negotiate a security arrangement that would have addressed its concerns, calling on NATO to withdraw its military infrastructure from the Russian border and cease its expansion. The proposal, however, was rejected. Russian President Vladimir Putin cited NATO’s involvement in Ukraine as among the key reasons when Moscow began its military operation against Kiev last year. Speaking to MEPs, Stoltenberg reiterated NATO’s position that “Russia cannot veto membership for any sovereign independent state in Europe.”

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Highway robbery..

Not Legally Possible for US to Transfer Seized Russian Assets to Ukraine (Sp.)

The US said it would transfer the seized assets of Russian businessmen to veterans of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Thursday. The announcement was made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, in Kiev, who indicated the amount transferred would be $5.4 million. Blinken, however, did not elaborate on the precise sum, from which accounts the money would be taken or when exactly the transfer would occur. Since the launch of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Western powers have initiated several rounds of seizures of property and freezing of assets belonging to both Russian nationals and state institutions located in the West. The US has long asserted it would seek to transfer these assets to Ukrainian control, but has so far not attempted to do so.

Christopher C. Black, an international criminal lawyer with 20 years of experience in war crimes and international relations told Sputnik it was “not legally possible” to do what Blinken declared the US was doing. “It seems to me that the statements declaring their intentions to use seized assets to fund the Ukraine regime are more for propaganda purposes than for real economic effect. They make these announcements from time to time to try to humiliate Russia and show Russia who’s boss, or so they think,” Black told Sputnik, adding that such moves were aimed at harming Russian prestige. “But the opposite occurs. It is their [US] reputation and prestige that is undermined, their claimed adherence to the rule of law, to the right to property, to justice.

They reveal themselves for what they are and the consequence is that citizens and national governments will be reluctant to have any type of assets placed in those nations if they can be seized on any pretext. So it ends up harming their own economies and the world economic system.” “The issue of the use of illegally seized assets, whether cash or property or financial securities such as stocks, bonds is important to expose the nature of the governments involved,” Black said. “They continually talk about their ‘values’ and we see with this that one of their values is to raise theft and piracy to a standard practice.” “It is not legally possible to use such assets to provide Ukraine with funds to carry on the war against Russia,” Black asserted.

“The Canadian government has stated that they will sell the Russian aircraft that they illegally seized to give the money from the sale to Ukraine. The US and EU countries have promised to use other seized assets for the same purpose. But again, all of this is illegal, since the assets were simply ordered to be seized by government fiat, by-passing proper legal procedures and without any means for the owners to object,” the legal expert explained. “Assets can only be seized normally if a debt is owed and the creditor goes to court to get compensation and a court orders certain assets to be handed over to satisfy the debt, but no debts were involved. The NATO governments have just stolen these assets ignoring all legalities,” he said.

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G20 desperately seeks relevance..

G20 Set To Expand (RT)

Leaders of the G20 group of advanced economies have agreed to grant the African Union permanent membership of the organization, according to multiple media reports ahead of this week’s summit in New Delhi. The bloc of 55 African countries, which is currently classified as an “invited international organization” by the G20, would have the same status as the European Union within the group. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose nation currently holds the rotating G20 presidency, reportedly urged other leaders to accept the African Union into the group in a letter in June. “This will be a right step towards a just, fair, more inclusive and representative global architecture and governance,” the media quoted the document as saying.

“[The] prime minister is a strong believer in having a greater voice of the Global South countries on international platforms, particularly of African countries.” South Africa is currently the sole permanent G20 member representing the continent. Egypt and Mauritius – located in North Africa and off its eastern coast, respectively – are “invitees.” The African Union’s upcoming accession was confirmed by The Times of India newspaper, Bloomberg news agency, and Russia’s Vedomosti daily. The latter cited Svetlana Lukash, a Russian G20 sherpa, as its source. She noted that Moscow was among the first to support the candidacy after it was formally proposed last year by President of Senegal Macky Sall, who was also the chair of the African Union at the time.

The Senegalese dignitary argued earlier this year that the G20 would undo a great “injustice” by accepting the union into its ranks. African nations collectively hold eighth place in the world in terms of GDP, he told an economic event in France. Bloomberg said the US and its European allies intend to use the G20 leaders’ summit in India, which is scheduled for this weekend, to woo nations that have good relations with Moscow and Beijing. Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping will not be attending in person, opening a window of opportunity. The Europeans, in particular, see their support for the African Union’s bid as giving them clout among the nations of the continent, the outlet explained.

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Include Indonesia in BRICS ASAP.

Leaked: CIA Front Preparing Color Revolution In Indonesia (MPN)

Documents passed anonymously to MintPress News reveal the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a notorious CIA front, is laying the foundations for a color revolution in Indonesia. In February 2024, citizens will elect their President, Vice President, and both legislative chambers. Current maverick leader Joko Widodo, widely beloved by Indonesians, is ineligible for a third term, and NED is preparing to seize power in the wake of his departure. This operation is conducted despite the leaks indicating Jakarta’s foremost intelligence agency has expressly warned U.S. officials to stay put. The paper trail is a stunning insight into how NED operates behind the scenes, from which obvious inferences can be drawn about its activities elsewhere, past and present.

By the organization’s own reckoning, it operates in over 100 countries and disperses in excess of 2,000 grants every year. In Indonesia, these sums have helped extend the Endowment’s tendrils into various NGOs, civil society groups, and, most crucially, political parties and candidates across the ideological spectrum. This broad spread bet goes some way to ensuring U.S. assets, one way or another, will emerge victorious next February. However, a veritable army of NED operatives on the ground is also primed to challenge, if not overturn, the results should the wrong people win. Personal grants – in other words, bribes – from the Endowment have already secretly been distributed to Indonesians for staging anti-government protests. What skullduggery NED has in store for election day isn’t certain, although sparks are assured to fly. At the very least, these documents amply reinforce what Endowment cofounder Allen Weinstein openly admitted in 1991: A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

Joko Widodo – popularly known as Jokowi – is something of a rockstar. The first Indonesian leader not drawn from the country’s established political or military elite since its hard-won independence from the Dutch in 1949, he was born and raised in a riverside slum in Surakarta. From there, he fought to become mayor of his hometown in 2005, then governor of Jakarta in 2012, then President two years later. Every step of the way, Widodo has battled bureaucracy and corruption while pursuing programs to deliver universal healthcare, economic growth, radical infrastructure development, and material improvements to the lives of average citizens. Such is his domestic popularity that analysts routinely speak of the “Jokowi Effect.” After the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle named him their presidential candidate in 2014, their vote share leaped 30% in that year’s legislative election.

Widodo’s candidacy also reportedly stimulated Indonesia’s stock market and Rupiah currency due to his sparkling political and economic record. One might think burnishing the country’s finances to such a degree through sheer force of personality would make him an ideal leader from Washington’s perspective. Yet, the President has also prioritized “protecting Indonesia’s sovereignty” and limiting overseas influence in Jakarta. Moreover, he pursues an intensely independent foreign policy, much to the U.S. Empire’s chagrin. Widodo has encouraged leaders of Muslim states to reconcile and pushed for Palestinian independence. His Foreign Minister visits Palestine but refuses to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. He has also distributed sizable aid to oppressed Muslims abroad. Most egregiously, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he flew to both countries and urged their leaders to seek peace. When Jakarta hosted the G20 Summit that year, he invited not only Zelensky but Putin to attend despite fierce Western criticism.

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“The German model hinges on cost competitiveness, technological leadership in industry, and geopolitical stability, and “all of them are gone..”

Germany Faces End Of Decades-Long Economic Boom – El Pais (RT)

Germany’s decades of prosperity, which propelled it to become one of the world’s biggest economies, are coming to an end, Spanish daily El Pais claimed earlier this week, citing analysts. According to figures released by the International Monetary Fund in July, Germany is forecast to be the only major economy not to grow this year, with its GDP expected to decline by 0.3%. The German model hinges on cost competitiveness, technological leadership in industry, and geopolitical stability, and “all of them are gone,” according to journalist Wolfgang Munchau, as cited by the newspaper. “What has now emerged is an energy price crisis, new geopolitical divisions and technological shocks that pose existential questions about the future of the model,” Munchau said, adding that the world around Germany has completely changed.

Since the early 2000s the country has enjoyed continual strong growth driven by high employment rates and foreign demand from fast-growing economies such as China. Germany’s manufacturing sector, the mainstay of the economy, has been flourishing since 2003, fuelled by cheap energy from Russia and low-cost labor from Eastern Europe. Germany is expected to further rely on a massive level of exports and imports, “but the industries that were successful in the last two decades, namely the chemical and automotive ones, will not perform the same role in the future,” Clemens Fuest, director of the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research (IFO), told El Pais.

According to Carsten Brzeski, the ING chief for Germany and the Eurozone, China – while still importing German products – has also become a strong rival. The expert added that pandemic-related challenges along with geo-political tensions have changed the world, but that Germany has also failed to invest and implement new reforms in time. Moreover, Fuest noted, public and private investments are hampered by overly complex planning procedures, restrictive regulations and bureaucracy that should be simplified by the government.

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Armenia.

General: NATO, US Intend To Open Front Against Russia In Caucasus (RT)

NATO and the US intend to open a front against Russia in the Caucasus, the former military attache of the Turkish Embassy in Azerbaijan, General Yucel Karauz told Report. Commenting on the post of Gunther Fehlinger, Chair of the European Committee for NATO Enlargement, on his X account calling Armenia to join NATO, the General noted that the Alliance wants to measure the reaction of Russia and the countries of the region with this statement: “Because Russia calls the Caucasus its backyard. Earlier, they took the initiative in the direction of Georgia joining NATO together with Ukraine. However, even after many years, Georgia could not become a member of NATO. This time, they made this call for Armenia.”

Karauz said he has received information that such a call will be made for Azerbaijan as well. According to him, the United States will also support this call and this means that NATO’s move is not against Azerbaijan: “Azerbaijan is a country with developed relations with NATO. Türkiye will definitely not allow any step against Azerbaijan. Armenia cannot become a NATO member without solving its problem with Azerbaijan, without complying with the conditions of the tripartite declaration signed between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia on November 10, without showing clean behavior towards Türkiye and Azerbaijan, and without removing the statements aimed at the territorial integrity of Türkiye from its constitution.”

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Years behind.

Pentagon Nixes Test of First-Ever US Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (Sp.)

Seeking to catch up to Russia and China, the Pentagon’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon has a reported range of over 1,725 miles and travels at roughly five times the speed of sound. The US military scrapped a test of what was meant to be the army’s first hypersonic long-range missile in its arsenal. The Pentagon did not specify the reasons for the cancellation. The Western media pointed out that this decision raises concerns whether the US will be able to compete in hypersonic warfare with Russia and China. Hypersonic LRMs have the ability to surmount traditional air defenses and can be armed with nuclear warheads.

The US Defense Intelligence Agency said in March that the US is losing the hypersonic race to China, and emphasized that this raises alarm bells concerning national security. According to media reports, the Army’s 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington is going to operate the first battery of eight LRHW missiles when they are fielded. In theory, the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon consists of a ground-launched missile equipped with a hypersonic glide body and associated transport, support, and fire control equipment.

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“Joe Biden “never built an ‘absolute wall’ between his family’s business dealings and his official government work — his office doors were wide open to Hunter Biden’s associates.”

House: ‘Evidence of Collusion’ Between Joe Biden and Hunter’s Partners (Sp.)

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, who is leading Republican probes into Biden family finances, has expanded his request of the National Archives to seek more emails and documents from when Joe Biden served as vice president (VP) under Barack Obama. In particular, Comer asked for unredacted emails involving communications between the then-VP and business associates of his son Hunter’s now-dissolved firm Rosemont Seneca Partners and Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings. The House Oversight Committee chairman noted in a statement that Joe Biden “never built an ‘absolute wall’ between his family’s business dealings and his official government work — his office doors were wide open to Hunter Biden’s associates.”

Comer claimed that “[t]here is evidence of collusion in the efforts to spin media stories about Burisma’s corruption while Vice President Biden was publicly pushing an anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine.” “Suspiciously, Hunter Biden’s associate had a media statement on Burisma approved by Vice President Biden himself the same day Hunter Biden ‘called D.C.’ for help with the government pressure facing Burisma. Americans demand accountability for this abuse of government office for the benefit of the Biden family. The Oversight Committee will continue to pursue all evidence to provide much-needed transparency to the American people,” the GOP lawmaker added. The remarks come a week after Comer said that the National Archives has thousands of emails and records linked to a pseudonym allegedly used by POTUS to discuss foreign business with his son Hunter Biden.

“The National Archives has admitted to possessing 5,400 emails and records connected to then-VP Biden’s ‘Robert L. Peters’ email account,” Comer wrote on social media late last month. Comer’s House committee earlier requested information from the National Archives on the Robert Peters email address, which Joe purportedly used as a pseudonymous means of communication. This followed the House panel chair revealing a third batch of financial documents that showed evidence that the Biden family received millions of dollars from foreign businessmen during Joe’s vice presidency in 2014. Two previous packages of financial documents were released in March and May. They highlighted Biden’s family use of the Robinson Walker LLC bank account to receive money from a certain Chinese entity and dealings in Romania.

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“..the President may not be quite ready for his son to join actual hunters in advocating for sweeping gun rights protections, including drug users.”

A Hunter Biden Indictment Could Bring a Surprising Challenge (Turley)

After the spectacular collapse of his sweetheart deal with the Justice Department in court, Hunter Biden’s lawyer angrily told the prosecutors in open court to “just rip it up.” It appears, however, that the defense team does not want to shred one part of the deal: the diversion agreement to avoid any charge over his false statement to obtain a gun permit. The defense is now arguing that, since the two sides signed the agreement before the implosion in court, it is final and complete. The Justice Department thinks otherwise. It is arguing that neither the probation officer nor the Court agreed to the plea agreement to finalize it. Indeed, it was the sweeping immunity language buried in the gun charge section that led the Court to throw a flag on the play. Accordingly, the Justice Department is now pledging to indict Hunter by the end of the month.

Hunter, however, is insisting that the Justice Department will have to pry the agreement from his cold, dead fingers. Indeed, the President’s son may be channeling more from the National Rifle Association (NRA) than its catchline. If the court rejects the diversion agreement as executed, Hunter could be making an argument that will leave the Biden White House in something of a pickle. One obvious attack against a charge is to argue that the underlying law itself is unconstitutional. Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), anyone who is an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance,” including marijuana, is barred from possessing a gun and can face up to 10 years in prison.

However, recently the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled the law violated the Second Amendment in United States v. Daniels. The case involved a man who was arrested in possession of marijuana and two loaded firearms. The Fifth Circuit relief on the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen v. New York Rifle & Pistol Association, which established that firearms laws must conform with the nation’s “historical tradition of firearm regulation.” President Biden denounced Bruen as a virtual abomination and has been a vocal supporter of the underlying law. Hunter, however, may now find himself in strange company in seeking to avoid any federal charge. In the appellate opinion, Judge Jerry E. Smith wrote that “Our history and tradition may support some limits on an intoxicated person’s right to carry a weapon, but it does not justify disarming a sober citizen based exclusively on his past drug usage.”

That sounds tantalizingly familiar, but is it enough for Hunter to go full Wayne LaPierre? If so, this would not be the first time that Hunter followed a path that his father has previously condemned in others. For example, for decades, Joe Biden has railed against “deadbeat dads” despite his son’s long effort to avoid paying child support to Lunden Alexis Roberts. Hunter spent years fighting support for his daughter Navy, even after a court confirmed that he was her father. Joe Biden himself only recently acknowledged the existence of Navy after routinely excluding her from the list of his grandchildren. Yet, the President may not be quite ready for his son to join actual hunters in advocating for sweeping gun rights protections, including drug users.

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Little reason to have faith in the special counsel.

Curious: The lawyers argue that Hunter’s plea deal is valid, even after the judge threw it out.

Special Counsel May Indict Hunter Biden by End of September (Sp.)

The development follows the appointment of David Weiss by US Attorney General Merrick Garland, who tasked Weiss with investigating Hunter Biden after a plea deal between Hunter and federal prosecutors fell apart, pushing the case closer to trial. Special counsel David Weiss is planning to bring an indictment against Hunter Biden by the end of September, court documents filed on Wednesday have revealed. The three-age filing comes in response to a gun possession case that saw Hunter accused of lying on a federal firearm form in which he indicated that he was not using drugs at the time. Officials did not outline which charges they intend to file in the case. The form dates back to 2018, and comes in addition to an ongoing investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings, which allegedly include a pay-to-play scheme involving both Hunter and his father, US President Joe Biden.

Prosecutors are arguing that officials must obtain a grand jury indictment by September 29, 2023, in line with the Speedy Trial Act. The looming indictment comes weeks after an earlier plea deal in which Hunter Biden was allowed to completely avoid prison time collapsed in July. The agreement allowed the Biden son to also plead guilty to misdemeanor tax charges in exchange for being placed on probation. Additionally, he agreed to a pretrial diversion on a separate gun charge, with the charge set to be dropped if he met certain conditions. Hunter Biden’s legal team has contended that prosecutors cannot file additional charges in the case, arguing that both sides had already come to an understanding through the since-trashed plea deal agreement that prosecutors cleared.

Weiss’ team maintains that a probation officer’s signature is necessary for ratification, which they claim did not occur in this case. Biden attorney Abbe Lowell, however, asserts that the signed and filed diversion agreement remains valid, and that Hunter has continued abide by the terms. “Mr. Biden has been following and will continue to follow the conditions of that Agreement, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed and signed and informed the Court on July 20, 2023 that the Probation Office had agreed to and had recommended be put into effect,” Hunter Biden’s lawyers wrote in response to the special counsel’s filing.

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Who runs this country? Not Congress, it seems..

“FDA is unable to comment on pending litigation..”

Just let it pend until after the election?!

FDA Refuses to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Data to US Senator (ET)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the results of analyses on data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in January. The request came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said none of the safety signals it identified for the COVID-19 vaccines were “unexpected.” The two agencies have run different types of analyses on the system’s reports, which are primarily made by health care professionals. The CDC ran Proportional Reporting Ratio analyses, which involve comparing the number of reported adverse events to the number of adverse events reported after vaccination with other vaccines. The first time the agency ran analyses using the method for the COVID-19 vaccines, in 2022, hundreds of signals were triggered, files obtained by The Epoch Times show.

The FDA in 2021 started a different type of analysis, called Empirical Bayesian (EB) data mining. The Proportional Reporting Ratio results “were generally consistent with EB data mining, revealing no additional unexpected safety signals,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director at the time, told Mr. Johnson previously. Mr. Johnson demanded answers on that claim, prompting the CDC to point him to the FDA. The FDA recently responded to Mr. Johnson, telling him that it cannot provide the information he seeks. “FDA’s EB data mining analyses of adverse events contained in VAERS reports for COVID-19 vaccines are currently the subject of pending FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] litigation. FDA is unable to comment on pending litigation or provide information or data that is currently being considered in pending litigation,” the agency told the senator.

Mr. Johnson in a new letter told FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf that the claim was wrong. “As you are well aware, Congress has a right to information contained at U.S. federal agencies as it conducts its constitutional oversight responsibilities,” Mr. Johnson said. “It is outrageous that FDA would assert that pending litigation, and particularly FOIA litigation, would allow your agency to obstruct my congressional oversight,” he added. “Any pending litigation FDA may have relating to its EB data mining records has no bearing on its responsibility to comply with a congressional request.”

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Plimer

 

 

 

 

Vit. D

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 062023
 
 July 6, 2023  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Nicolai Dubovskov Hushing (Calm Before the Storm) 1890

 

NATO Contingent May Be Deployed To Ukraine After Vilnius Summit (TASS)
French General Forecasts Failure Of Ukrainian Counteroffensive (TASS)
White House Issues NATO Warning To Ukraine (RT)
The CIA’s Blind Spot about the Ukraine War (Arkin)
Kremlin Wars Of ‘High Threat’ Of Nuclear Sabotage By Ukraine (RT)
Russians Increasingly Believe West Wants To Destroy Their Country (Timofeev)
Medvedev Names How Ukraine Conflict Could ‘End In Days’ (RT)
China Doubted We Shot Down Hypersonic Missiles – Kiev (RT)
Kremlin Denies Media Report That Xi Warned Putin Not To Nuke Ukraine (RT)
Germany Concerned About Western Escalations in Ukraine (LI)
Federal Judge Rules Against Biden Admin Attack on Free Speech (Ramos)
China Warns Chipmaking Export Curbs ‘Just The Beginning’ (RT)
Culprit Who Brought Cocaine to White House May Never Be ID’d (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Grossi

 

 

Biden RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676632549806731265

 

 

Censorship
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676625507167657984

 

 

Arestovich
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676660447146131456

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..NATO countries “will find in the days remaining before the summit the wording that will not disappoint Ukraine..”

NATO Contingent May Be Deployed To Ukraine After Vilnius Summit (TASS)

A NATO contingent may be deployed to Ukraine after the alliance’s summit due to be held in Vilnius on July 11-12, Vladimir Rogov, leader of the We Are Together With Russia movement, told TASS on Thursday. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said earlier that Ukraine would not receive an invitation to join the alliance at the summit in Vilnius, but NATO countries “will find in the days remaining before the summit the wording that will not disappoint Ukraine” and it would not be a mere pledge to admit it to the bloc after the combat operations are over.

“Zelensky’s plans include a nuclear false flag attack to try to push through a NATO summit decision to deploy a limited contingent of occupational forces from Poland and the Baltic republics. It will be the legalization of the occupation in a format of ensuring nuclear security on the territory controlled by the Zelensky regime. Such a formula is being looked at the [Ukrainian] presidential office,” Rogov said. As for territories where such a contingent can be deployed to, Rogov noted that Poland is interested in Western Ukrainian regions. Ahead of the NATO summit, Kiev has intensified rhetoric about its striving to join NATO. However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Ukraine cannot join the alliance as long as it is in a state of an armed conflict.

According to the NATO chief, the Vilnius summit will bring Ukraine closer to the alliance and it plans to set up a Ukraine-NATO Council during the summit. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said that the non-invitation to join NATO demotivates the Ukrainian army. His office warned that Zelensky would not go to the summit if the NATO leaders “don’t demonstrate courage” on the issue of Ukraine’s membership. Meanwhile, Russian presidential press secretary said earlier that Kiev’s striving for NATO membership demonstrate its unwillingness and inability to settle the conflict at the negotiating table. He stressed that Russia will continue efforts to ensure its security, which excludes NATO’s expansion by means of admitting Ukraine and thus approaching the Russian border.

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“Ukraine’s greatest vulnerability is its people, or rather a lack of them. Its best fighters have long been dead.”

French General Forecasts Failure Of Ukrainian Counteroffensive (TASS)

Ukraine’s counteroffensive is doomed to fail as the Russian military has the edge over its adversary in all respects, Jean-Bernard Pinatel, a retired French general and the owner of the company called LexisNexis Business Information Solutions, said in a video interview provided to TASS. “I absolutely do not believe in the success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. The Russians have a significant air superiority. But they also have an advantage on the ground. Even the Ukrainians themselves admit that they fire 4,000 shells a day, while Russia fires 20,000,” said Pinatel, who specializes in Russia and the Middle East. The general also said that the ratio of losses in equipment and personnel is 5 to 1 in favor of Russia. According to Pinatel, the Kiev regime is severely hampered by its lack of human resources.

“What we are witnessing today is a confrontation between a nuclear power and a country that, of course, is sponsored by the Anglo-Saxons, but which does not have significant technical and human potential,” he said. “And I don’t think that the biggest disadvantage Ukraine faces is so much the amount of military equipment, which, by the way, is not always of high quality, because the West supplies Kiev with outdated equipment. Ukraine’s greatest vulnerability is its people, or rather a lack of them. Its best fighters have long been dead.” The general said he believes that, provided NATO doesn’t directly step into the conflict, Kiev’s defeat is only a matter of time. The West’s policy of prolonging the Ukrainian conflict “is only leading to more casualties,” Pinatel said. “Conversations about helping Ukraine until it wins are completely stupid and nonsensical. It will achieve nothing and will only increase the number of deaths among young Ukrainians and Russians,” he said. However, the US and Europe do not care, the retired French general said, because their main goal is not the victory of Ukraine, but the weakening of Russia. Western sanctions, according to Pinatel, have done the most damage to Europe itself.

“Europe cannot do without Russian gas,” he pointed out. “The global gas market, the European market in particular, cannot do without Russian supplies. Before the crisis, Europe used to consume 200 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, while North America supplied only 2 billion. Who are you going to replace Russia with?” Europe is now facing an economic crisis, the general said. “By the winter of 2022, Germany had managed to fill its gas storage facilities, which lasted it through the cold season, but it will not be enough for the next year,” he said. “And many German companies have already closed their doors because of high gas prices. If Germany goes into recession, all of Europe, and France in particular, will be in trouble, because the Germans are our main economic partners.” Russia, on the contrary, is flourishing and developing economically, working hand in hand with Africa and Asia and developing partnerships, according to Pintel.

“This is because Russia is independent of the rest of the world in every way, be it raw materials, grain or energy, but the capitalist world cannot do without the resources supplied by Russia,” he explained. “This war has weakened Europe more than Russia.” European leaders, the retired general went on to say, expected “the whole world to impose sanctions against Russia, but in reality, only about thirty countries have done so, and all the rest are using this opportunity to strengthen the partnership with Moscow.” He said strife is rampant in the bloc of countries that have joined forces against Russia. “The Americans undoubtedly want to hobble economic cooperation between Europe and Russia, which would take away their domination on the international stage. The US strategy is to create a new Berlin Wall between Russia and Europe, but now that wall runs through Ukraine,” Pinatel said.

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Cold feet?

White House Issues NATO Warning To Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine must implement “reforms” before it can even consider joining the NATO bloc, the White House has said, suggesting that even when the conflict with Moscow is resolved, membership for Kiev could still be far off as it struggles to meet the organization’s standards. Asked whether Ukraine would be offered a “clear pathway to NATO membership” at an upcoming summit in Lithuania next week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Kiev still had many hurdles to clear before it could seriously think about becoming a member. “The president has said this over and over again: Ukraine would have to make reforms to meet the same standards as any NATO country before they join,” she said at a Wednesday briefing.

And while Washington remains committed to NATO’s open door policy, she noted that “any decision” on NATO expansion must be supported by all members of the bloc. While Jean-Pierre did not specify the reforms Kiev would need to make, Biden previously stated that the military bloc would not “create special conditions for Ukraine to join,” arguing it would be required to meet the same criteria as any other nation seeking membership. “I think they have done everything to demonstrate the ability [of] military coordination, but there is a whole question, is their system safe, and is it not corrupt?” the president said last month. He went on to ask whether it meets “all the standards that any other country in NATO meets?”

Despite those prior comments, during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg last month, the two leaders reportedly discussed a scheme to simplify the accession process for Ukraine. Under Stoltenberg’s plan, the country would not be made to complete a “membership action plan” typically required of applicants. While other Eastern European states went through the procedure before being admitted, NATO’s most recent member, Finland, was spared the process after applying to join last year. Multiple US media reports have stated that Biden appeared “open” to the idea, though some outlets, like the New York Times, suggested Washington would seek an alternative to full NATO membership for Kiev, instead proposing an ‘Israel model’ based on the US relationship with the Jewish state.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has opposed any “substitute for NATO” and reportedly even told Western partners at some point that he would not attend the upcoming NATO summit unless the bloc offered “concrete” guarantees or a roadmap to full membership. NATO’s official position on Ukrainian membership remains unchanged since 2008, when it declared that Ukraine “will become a member” at an unspecified point in the future. While Kiev formally applied to join last September, little progress has been made since. Some US and allied officials have suggested the issue should be resolved only after the conflict with Russia is over, as Ukraine joining NATO would place the bloc at war with Russia. Moscow has repeatedly said that it views NATO’s expansions to the east as a threat to its security, and has listed Ukraine’s neutrality as one of the conditions for any lasting peace between the two countries.

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Newsweek.

“Is the CIA on the ground inside Ukraine?” he asks rhetorically. “Yes, but it’s also not nefarious.”

The CIA’s Blind Spot about the Ukraine War (Arkin)

One of the biggest secrets of the Ukraine war is how much the CIA doesn’t know. The Agency is as uncertain about Volodymyr Zelensky’s thinking and intentions as it is about Vladimir Putin’s. And as the Russian leader faces his biggest challenge in the aftermath of a failed mutiny, the Agency is straining to understand what the two sides will do—because President Joe Biden has determined that the United States (and Kyiv) will not undertake any actions that might threaten Russia itself or the survival of the Russian state, lest Putin escalate the conflict and engulf all of Europe in a new World War. In exchange, it expects that the Kremlin won’t escalate the war beyond Ukraine or resort to the use of nuclear weapons. America’s stance is under threat because the near-mutiny by Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, raises the question as to whether Moscow has run out of options.

“Putin’s back is really against the wall” a senior defense intelligence official tells Newsweek, warning that while the CIA fully grasps how much Russia is stuck in Ukraine, it is very much in the dark with regard to what Putin might do about it. With talk of Russian nuclear weapons possibly being deployed to Belarus, and in light of Prigozhin’s public exposure of the terrible costs of fighting, something that Moscow has suppressed, the official says that it is a particularly delicate moment. “What is happening off the battlefield is now most important,” says the official, who was granted anonymity in order to speak candidly. “Both sides pledge to limit their actions, but it falls to the United States to enforce those pledges. This all hinges on the quality of our intelligence.”

“There is a clandestine war, with clandestine rules, underlying all of what is going on in Ukraine,” says a Biden administration senior intelligence official who also spoke with Newsweek. The official, who is directly involved in Ukraine policy planning, requested anonymity to discuss highly classified matters. The official (and numerous other national security officials who spoke to Newsweek) say that Washington and Moscow have decades of experience crafting these clandestine rules, necessitating that the CIA play an outsize role: as primary spy, as negotiator, as supplier of intelligence, as logistician, as wrangler of a network of sensitive NATO relations and perhaps most important of all, as the agency trying to ensure the war does not further spin out of control.

“Don’t underestimate the Biden administration’s priority to keep Americans out of harm’s way and reassure Russia that it doesn’t need to escalate,” the senior intelligence officer says. “Is the CIA on the ground inside Ukraine?” he asks rhetorically. “Yes, but it’s also not nefarious.”

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The threat is still alive.

Kremlin Wars Of ‘High Threat’ Of Nuclear Sabotage By Ukraine (RT)

A possible Ukrainian attempt to sabotage the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in Russia’s Zaporozhye Region would lead to “catastrophic” results, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed. The situation around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since March 2022, remains “tense,” Peskov told journalists on Wednesday. “Really, there’s a high threat of sabotage by the Kiev regime; sabotage that might lead to catastrophic results,” Peskov warned. According to the spokesman, an attack on the facility cannot be ruled out because the Ukrainian leadership “has many times shown its readiness to stop at nothing” to achieve its goals. Peskov said one example was the collapse of the Russian-controlled Kakhovka dam in early June, which Moscow has blamed on Kiev. The incident had “horrific consequences,” the Kremlin spokesman noted.

The destruction of the dam led to flooding on both banks of the Dnieper River and caused multiple deaths. Ukraine has claimed that the incident was caused by Russia. “All measures are being implemented to resist the threat [to the Zaporozhye nuclear plant],” Peskov added. Renat Karchaa, a senior official at Russian nuclear power plant operator Rosenergoatom, warned on Tuesday that Kiev was planning to strike the Zaporozhye facility with long-range high-precision munitions and kamikaze drones. Intelligence obtained by Rosenergoatom suggests that Kiev could also attempt to target the plant with a Soviet-made Tochka-U tactical ballistic missile loaded with radioactive waste, Karchaa claimed. Moscow and Kiev have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the Zaporozhye plant throughout their conflict.

The Russian Defense Ministry also claimed to have repelled several attempts to retake the station by Ukrainian assault units, which reportedly approached the facility on boats via the now-drained Kakhovka reservoir. The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant has returned to the spotlight in recent weeks after senior officials in Kiev claimed that Russia was preparing a nuclear incident at the facility. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky alleged that Moscow wanted to cause a “radiation leak” at the plant, while presidential aide Mikhail Podoliak accused the Russian military of mining the plant’s cooling pond. Peskov previously rejected those claims as “yet another lie.” The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, recently visited the facility and said that “no mines were observed at the site” during his inspection.

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“The goals are believed to be defeating Russia, wrecking its military potential, restructuring its statehood, reshaping its identity and possibly eliminating it as a state, in its current form..”

Russians Increasingly Believe West Wants To Destroy Their Country (Timofeev)

There is an increasingly widespread view in Russia that the goal of the US – and the “collective West” it leads – is to achieve a “final solution” to the “Russian question.” The goals are believed to be defeating Russia, wrecking its military potential, restructuring its statehood, reshaping its identity and possibly eliminating it as a state, in its current form. For a long time, this view remained on the periphery of foreign policy thinking. However, much has changed in the past year and a half. Today, this perception of the West’s goals has gone mainstream. Indeed, it seems quite rational, when placed into the proper context. Meanwhile, Russia itself is pursuing a similar sort of policy towards the Ukrainian state, the existence of which in its former form and borders is perceived in Moscow as a key security challenge.

The historical experience of the last century shows that inflicting total defeat on an enemy and then rebuilding its statehood is the rule rather than the exception in foreign policy practice. There is an important difference to the conflicts of the 18th and 19th centuries, when military defeat of the enemy was seen as a way of extracting concessions from it, but not of rebuilding its very foundations. The experiences of the 20th and 21st centuries are not always linear, but their repetition is obvious. Germany’s defeat in the First World War led to a palpable reshaping of its statehood, determined more by internal contradictions, which grew from the military loss. Germany’s surrender after the Second World War had far more radical consequences. The country was divided, stripped of its foreign policy autonomy and almost completely rebuilt.

Military defeat and subsequent occupation also led to the reformatting of the other large powers, Japan and Italy. The Soviet Union, as a victorious country, was a key player in resolving the “German question.” The USSR was also active in establishing socialist regimes in countries liberated from the Nazi occupation. The subsequent Cold War made this redrawing more difficult. Every attempt was met with resistance from the West. Sometimes the battle ended in a draw, as in Korea. Sometimes the Soviet Union got the upper hand – it helped to inflict a painful defeat on the US in Vietnam, for example. In other situations, the US was successful, for example in supporting anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan. The collapse of the Soviet Union gave Washington a free hand. Despite Moscow’s rhetoric that the Cold War had ended in victory for both sides, the reality was different.

Many of the former socialist countries were quickly integrated into Euro-Atlantic structures with the active help of new local elites and broad public support. Russia itself loudly proclaimed a desire to return to the ‘civilized world.’ The US-led collective West was given carte blanche to reshape a vast area, which they not unreasonably saw as a result of their bloodless victory over the Soviet Union.

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“..if Washington and its allies stopped the deliveries..”

Medvedev Names How Ukraine Conflict Could ‘End In Days’ (RT)

The ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev has been dragging on for so long because of continued Western arms shipments to Ukraine, Russian former president Dmitry Medvedev told TASS on Wednesday. “If NATO, primarily the US and its vassals, had stopped supplying weapons and munitions to Ukraine, the [Russian] special military operation would have ended in mere months,” Medvedev told the news agency. It can still end “in days,” however, if Washington and its allies stopped the deliveries, he added. Medvedev said that any war, regardless of its scale, could end “very quickly … if a peace treaty is signed or if one does what the Americans did in 1945, by using their nuclear weapons and bombing Japanese cities.” The US strikes did stop hostilities at the time, though he noted that “the price was 300,000 civilian lives.”


The US nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki claimed up to 80,000 lives each. The long-term consequences of the attacks, including radioactive contamination, might have brought the estimated number of victims up to 166,000 in Hiroshima and 140,000 in Nagasaki. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of the Russian Security Council, warned that Russia would prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, even if it meant engaging in a “permanent” conflict. Moscow has demanded its security concerns be respected when it comes to NATO expansion, he said, adding that “Russia’s existence is at stake” and it would not hesitate to stop this threat “one way or another.” The former president also spoke against US nuclear weapons deployment to Poland, warning that it could trigger a nuclear conflict. Earlier, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called on NATO to include Warsaw in the bloc’s Nuclear Sharing Program.

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Not just China.

China Doubted We Shot Down Hypersonic Missiles – Kiev (RT)

When Kiev announced shooting down a Russian hypersonic missile, people in Washington were exhilarated, but a visiting Chinese official didn’t believe the claim and left before he could be shown proof, according to Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov. The reactions were described by The Financial Times on Wednesday, based on the minister’s account. Reznikov’s department claimed it had intercepted a Russian Kinzhal missile for the first time in May, using a US-made Patriot anti-missile system. Kiev has since reported downing over a dozen such weapons, which Moscow mocked as not corresponding to reality. The Ukrainian official declared that his nation had proven that hypersonic weapons can be defended against, showcasing in the process the advanced capability of NATO systems.

He claimed that when he delivered the news of the first success to a US official, the response was: “Fantastic!” But Li Hui, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, who was visiting Kiev in mid-May, was skeptical about Kiev’s ability to down Kinzhals, Reznikov explained. “I proposed that if there are doubts, we are ready to provide proof,” Reznikov told the newspaper, adding that Li left the country without viewing the purported evidence. The Kinzhal is an air-launched hypersonic missile, which is believed to be derived from the quasi-ballistic ground-launched Iskander projectile. The Russian forces have used both types of weapons against military targets in Ukraine, though details about hypersonic strikes have been scarce.

In May, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the number of Kinzhal missiles, which Kiev claimed to have intercepted, was larger than the number actually fired by the Russian side. Some military experts have suggested that Ukrainian officials were misrepresenting debris from Iskander missiles as coming from Kinzhals, when presenting them as evidence of successful intercepts. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has claimed that the Patriot system’s capability made it uniquely important for his country’s defense. He told The Wall Street Journal last month that Ukraine needed 50 batteries – which cost an estimated $1.1 billion apiece – for sufficient protection.

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The FT publishes some weird pieces these days.

Kremlin Denies Media Report That Xi Warned Putin Not To Nuke Ukraine (RT)

The Kremlin has dismissed “fictitious” claims in the Western press that Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, not to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The claim was reported by The Financial Times, based on anonymous diplomatic sources. “I cannot confirm that,” Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Wednesday, when asked about the FT article. He suggested that official statements regarding Xi’s “important” visit to Moscow in March were “sufficient” to make conclusions about its nature. According to FT, Chinese officials have “privately taken credit for convincing the Russian president to back down from his veiled threats of using a nuclear weapon against Ukraine.”

The newspaper alleged that “deterring Putin” from an atomic strike was a key part in Beijing’s diplomatic strategy regarding Europe. The Chinese government has blamed Western policies, including the expansion of NATO in Europe, for the Ukraine conflict, rejecting the Western view that Russia’s military operation was “unprovoked”. It has also publicly urged Moscow not to use its nuclear capability. The purported warning from Xi to Putin gave supporters of Kiev confidence that “China is backing up its public rhetoric behind closed doors,” the FT article said. Moscow has called the Ukraine conflict part of a wider Western proxy war waged against Russia. Putin, as well as other senior Russian officials, have repeatedly cited the Russian nuclear doctrine, which allows the use of such weapons to prevent an existential threat to the Russian state.

Western officials and media outlets have framed those remarks as indicating a possible nuclear attack against Ukrainian forces. However, Putin has stressed that he is against the idea of a limited nuclear strike for any purpose other than saving the nation from destruction.“First of all, we have no need for that. Second, the very speculation about this is a factor that lowers the threshold for the use of the weapon,” he explained during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last month. The Russian leader added that his recent decision to station some Russian tactical weapons on the territory of ally Belarus was meant as deterrence against “those who think they can inflict a strategic defeat on us,” referring to the stated US goal in Ukraine.

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“..we were once again in agreement that the Alliance must never become a party to a conflict..”

Germany Concerned About Western Escalations in Ukraine (LI)

Top German officials have voiced anxiety regarding Western escalations in Ukraine, signaling that Berlin will push back against the most provocative proposals. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany was reluctant to send longer-range weapons to Ukraine over concerns the arms will be used to attack Russian territory. London has provided Kiev with Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missiles which have a range of more than 155 miles. According to recent reporting, the White House is also closing in on a decision to provide Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), munitions capable of striking targets roughly 200 miles away. Last month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned the West that Ukraine using long-range weapons to attack the Crimean Peninsula could lead to a direct war between Moscow and NATO.

“The use of these missiles outside the zone of our special military operation would mean that the United States and Britain would be fully dragged into the conflict and would entail immediate strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine,” he said. Berlin is now receiving requests from Kiev to provide Taurus KEPD 350 missiles, an air-launched missile with a range of over 300 miles. Scholz said Germany is considering the request. = Germany has faced intense pressure throughout the war due to Berlin’s occasional reluctance to provide Kiev with all requested aid. However, officials have repeatedly caved to Kiev’s demands. In one example, Germany resisted sending its Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, but quickly reversed course after Poland, the UK and the US pledged to send their own advanced tanks. Dozens of its Leopard 2s were ultimately provided.

Some of the German tanks have already been destroyed on the battlefield and Kiev is asking Berlin for replacements. Meanwhile, the American Abrams tanks have not yet arrived in the country due, in part, to a lengthy refurbishment process. Berlin has also pushed back on plans to give Ukraine an official timeline for NATO membership at an alliance summit in Vilnius next week. In an interview published in Rzeczpospolita on Monday, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the military bloc could not resolve the issue until the conclusion of the war with Russia. “In my recent meetings with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, we were once again in agreement that the Alliance must never become a party to a conflict,” he said. “Therefore, we will not be able to answer the question of Ukraine’s accession to NATO as long as the war continues in Ukraine.” Pistorius went on to explain that Germany is committed to supporting Ukraine’s war effort for as long as the conflict continues, noting that Berlin would deliver dozens of older Leopard 1 tanks in the coming weeks.

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“..the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’”

Federal Judge Rules Against Biden Admin Attack on Free Speech (Ramos)

Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana ruled that several federal agencies and officials from the Biden administration cannot collaborate with social media companies in restricting certain speech. Doughty wrote in his introduction to the ruling, “If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.” The ruling states officials and agencies from the Biden administration are restrained from communicating with social media firms “for the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech posted on social-media platforms.”

The ruling does not restrict the government from speaking to companies regarding criminal activity, national security threats, voter suppression, foreign attempts to influence elections and other malicious activity. The lawsuit brings up issues such as COVID-19 health policies, the origins of the pandemic, election security, Hunter Biden’s laptop and others as those targeted for suppression. Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey described the case as the “most important First Amendment lawsuit in a generation.” Doughty wrote in the ruling, “The Plaintiffs have presented substantial evidence in support of their claims that they were the victims of a far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign,” and, “This court finds that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their First Amendment free speech claim against the Defendants.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement, “The evidence in our case is shocking and offensive with senior federal officials deciding that they could dictate what Americans can and cannot say on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms about COVID-19, elections, criticism of the government, and more.” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Director of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and other State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials were named in the injunction. Doughty also likened the evidence to a dystopian scenario. Specifically, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’”

Biden Big Tech

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..gallium and germanium..

China Warns Chipmaking Export Curbs ‘Just The Beginning’ (RT)

China’s export controls on key components for computer chip manufacturing are “just the beginning,” an influential trade policy adviser warned on Wednesday. Earlier this week China announced that starting next month, special licenses will be required to export gallium and germanium, two key metals used to make computer chips. Speaking to the China Daily newspaper, former Vice Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo said that should Washington place tougher technology restrictions on Beijing, the government will escalate the countermeasures. The decision to restrict the export of industrial products and materials containing gallium and germanium was made after thoughtful consideration, he added. The comments follow a report by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the US plans to restrict China’s access to cloud computing to close a loophole that allows Chinese artificial intelligence firms to bypass the current chip export control rules.


Cloud services allow customers to gain powerful computing capabilities without buying advanced equipment, such as chips. Washington and Beijing have been involved in a dispute over semiconductors and other advanced technologies for several months. Reuters reported in May that US officials were considering tightening a rule designed to slow the flow of artificial intelligence chips to China by clamping down on the amount of computing power the chips can have. Last October, Washington introduced export control rules, effectively cutting China off from certain semiconductor chips made with US equipment. China retaliated in May, by banning memory chips manufactured by Micron, the biggest US producer. This week, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for “stable and smooth functioning of regional and industrial supply chains” ahead of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s visit to Beijing to discuss economic issues between the two nations.

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Ha ha ha. We have no idea!

Maybe Hunter can invite Zelensky for a slumber party.

Culprit Who Brought Cocaine to White House May Never Be ID’d (Sp.)

Sunday evening, a small baggie of white powder was found in the West Wing, prompting a brief shutdown of the White House campus. Preliminary tests determined the substance was cocaine, allowing the White House to be reopened and the bag shipped out for further analysis. As the US Secret Service undertakes its investigation into who brought a bag of cocaine to the White House, an unnamed law enforcement official has told US media the culprit may never be found. On Tuesday, lab results confirmed that the substance was cocaine. While the Secret Service and the White House have refused to say exactly where the baggie was found, both have said it was located at a heavily trafficked area. The Secret Service described it as a “work area of the West Wing” while White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it was in an area frequented by guests and noted tours had taken place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Where this was discovered is a heavily traveled area, where many […] West Wing visitors come through this particular area,” Jean-Pierre said during Wednesday’s White House briefing. “I just don’t have anything more to share, it is under investigation by the Secret Service, this is in their purview.” Jean-Pierre added the White House has “confidence the Secret Service will get to the bottom of this.” US media outlets have reported on an unnamed official familiar with the investigation who said it is possible the investigation may not discover who brought the illicit substance into the White House because of the area’s high traffic between government officials and tourists. “It’s gonna be very difficult for us to do that because of where it was,” the official reportedly said. The Secret Service said they are reviewing visitor logs and video cameras as part of the investigation. A reporter noted on Wednesday that the baggie remains at the lab for additional tests, including for fingerprints and DNA.

Jean-Pierre refused to answer a reporter’s question about whether US President Joe Biden wanted the culprit to be prosecuted if the investigation reveals the source of the cocaine. “I am just not going to get into hypotheticals from here, let’s let the Secret Service do their job, it’s under their purview,” she said. Biden and his family were not in the White House when the cocaine was discovered – that includes the president’s son Hunter Biden, who at the time was vacationing at Camp David with his father and first lady Jill Biden. However, Hunter Biden, who has a well-documented history of cocaine use, including multiple instances that were caught on video, was at the White House on Friday. At the Wednesday briefing, Jean-Pierre noted all visitors to the White House have to go through security checkpoints; however, she was not asked by reporters and did not clarify if that applies to members of the first family.

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Crowned pigeon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676578997411500034

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jul 042023
 


Giovanni Strazza The Veiled Virgin, Carrera marble 1850s

 

Ukrainian Counteroffensive Running Out of Time – Russian Ex-General (Sp.)
Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Failing in All Directions – Shoigu (Sp.)
Russia Will Stop Ukraine Joining NATO One Way Or Another – Medvedev (RT)
Zelenskyy: Ukraine’s Membership In NATO Depends On Biden (Az.)
NATO Might Use ‘Nuclear Incident’ to Enter Ukrainian Conflict (Dergalin)
Ukraine Already Had Statehood Under USSR – Scholz (RT)
Erdogan Blames Failure Of Ukraine Peace Process On ‘War Lobby’ (RT)
Turkish Parliament Speaker: Sweden’s NATO Accession Bid A ‘Pipedream’ (TASS)
Head of US Space Command Comments on Russia, China Hypersonic Weapons (Sp.)
We Can’t Buy Chinese Arms – Ukrainian Defense Ministry (RT)
US Close to Providing Ukraine With Widely Banned Cluster Bombs (Antiwar)
NATO Admiral Tells Ukraine No Fighter Jets In Short Term (RT)
Why CIA and FBI Would Have Never Hired Joe Biden (Sp.)
Lies About Afghanistan. Lies About Iraq. And Lies About Ukraine. (Chris Hedges)
Biden’s 3am Moment in Ukraine (Scott Ritter)
Meta Set To Launch Twitter Rival On Thursday (Az.)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Maersheimer

 

 

 

 

Julian

 

 

 

 

Ukraine’s Only Option: All-In Offensive Before NATO Summit Next Week

Ukrainian Counteroffensive Running Out of Time – Russian Ex-General (Sp.)

Leonid Reshetnikov, a retired lieutenant general of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), told Sputnik that the second stage of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the battlefield is expected by the time the Vilnius summit opens in just ten days. According to him, the Kiev regime needs results in order to get decisions in favor of further arms and financial support, and even NATO membership. “Faced with limited options, the Kiev regime has no other choice but to press on. This next phase involves a comprehensive review of tactics and strategy, coupled with the deployment of previously untapped reserves,” he said. According to Reshetnikov, reports indicate the possibility of introducing new elements, such as major provocations, similar to when Ukrainians blew up the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant.

“So far, that explosion hasn’t had the desired result. Perhaps something along those lines, including possibly related to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. They are building up tension in this regard. It is possible that it will be used for the offensive,” he stressed. This offensive is expected to be launched before the upcoming summit in Vilnius. The ongoing nationwide mobilization signals growing understanding that Kiev’s current forces may not be sufficient to achieve a breakthrough. “Such plans exist. But I repeat, their offensive is inevitable,” Reshetnikov noted. However, the primary objective for Ukraine remains to break through the Russian defense lines to reach the Sea of Azov and the border with Crimea, the expert noted.

“In the first stage, Ukrainian forces were unable to breach the initial line of Russian defenses. In response, the second stage is based on the hope that a protracted defense will exhaust the defenders psychologically and technologically,” he said. Reshetnikov likewise noted that the Ukrainian military is pursuing a strategy of sending inexperienced soldiers on frenzied attacks in a desperate bid to locate potential weak links in the Russian defense. m“However, the Russian defense lines have been fortified while, as far as we know, a significant part of the reserves have not been put in place. So the Ukrainian plans are very questionable,” he noted. The commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Valery Zaluzhny recently told Western media that it would be impossible to conduct an offensive without additional supplies of NATO ammunition and aircraft.

Reshetnikov believes that these statements serve a dual purpose: to garner increased Western support and to justify the lack of success so far. “Nevertheless, it is important to note that Western assistance, while valuable, cannot single-handedly alter the situation on the ground. Substantial and sustained assistance would be required to have a significant impact,” he said. In an attempt to explain Kiev’s shortcomings, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar has propagated the idea that Russian forces are conducting an offensive in four directions – Avdeyevka, Maryinka, Krasny Liman and Svatovo. However, Reshetnikov believes that this claim is purely a propaganda tactic to rationalize Ukrainian setbacks. “While Russian forces have adopted an active defense strategy that includes counterattacks and advances on enemy [Ukrainian] strongholds, these actions fall short of a full-fledged offensive. In the event of another failed counteroffensive, the Russian army may seize the opportunity to launch a counteroffensive of its own, taking advantage of a worn-out Ukrainian military,” he said.

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Shoigu is still in place.

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Failing in All Directions – Shoigu (Sp.)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday that the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive has not reached its goals in any of the directions of the military campaign. “In general, the enemy did not achieve its goals in any of the directions. This testifies to the skill of our fighters and clearly inflated expectations from the vaunted Western weapons,” Shoigu told top military officials. He also announced that Russian forces managed to destroy some 920 armored vehicles, including 16 Leopard tanks, in Donbass and in Zaporozhye regions last month. At the same time, Shoigu accused Ukrainian forces of carrying out strikes against civilian targets to make up for Kiev’s inability to attain success on the battlefield.

“Kiev is trying to compensate for its inability to ensure success on the ground through terrorist attacks on civilian targets and thus achieve a propaganda effect,” the Russian defense minister said. Last month, Ukrainian forces finally launched the “counteroffensive” that Kiev had been announcing for months. Despite committing significant numbers of troops and military hardware to this undertaking, Kiev has so far failed to breach even the first line of Russian defenses despite sacrificing hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and losing a considerable number of tanks and armored vehicles supplied by NATO countries. Shoigu has also addressed the events that transpired in Russia on June 23-25 involving the forces of PMC Wagner. “I cannot but touch upon one more issue … We are talking about an attempt on June 23-25 to destabilize the situation in Russia. These plans failed primarily because the personnel of the armed forces showed loyalty to the oath and military duty,” he said.

On Friday, June 23, forces of the Wagner Group (PMC) seized the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District in the city of Rostov-on-Don following accusations leveled against the Russian Ministry of Defense of striking the group’s camps. Both the Russian military and the Federal Security Service denied the allegations. Later that day, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko revealed that he had spent the entire day negotiating with Yevgeny Prigozhin, as agreed upon with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a result of the talks, the Wagner group leader accepted Lukashenko’s proposal to stop the movement of his troops in Russia and take measures to de-escalate the situation. Putin guaranteed that the Wagner group fighters would have the opportunity to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, return home, or move to Belarus.

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“The Kiev regime must be annihilated. Banned by law as a fascist entity in civilized Europe..”

Russia Will Stop Ukraine Joining NATO One Way Or Another – Medvedev (RT)

Russia demands that its security concerns regarding NATO are respected, but has neither the intention nor the capability to “contain” the US-led military bloc, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said. The official argued in a keynote article on Sunday against the notion that Russia miscalculated in its attempt to prevent NATO’s expansion into Ukraine, and caused Finland and Sweden to apply for membership. Both Nordic nations “were already in association with the alliance”, he noted. What Russia has always called for was “not to invite into NATO the former parts of our country. Especially those with which we have territorial disputes,” Medvedev wrote. He pledged that Russia will stop “the threat” of Ukraine joining the bloc “one way or another.” Since NATO members say that a nation cannot join while being engaged in an armed conflict, “the conflict [with Ukraine] will be permanent, because Russia’s existence is at stake,” he warned.

The article detailed Medvedev’s view of the hostilities in Ukraine in the context of a wider geopolitical confrontation. According to the Russian official, Western nations are clashing with the rest of the world in an attempt to preserve their hegemony. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of the Russian Security Council, admitted to having a pessimistic view of where things are going. “One does not need to be a prophet to realize: this phase of confrontation will… last for decades,” he predicted. Medvedev believes that since Western nations have the goal of defeating a nuclear power, it could escalate into a civilization-ending outcome. “An apocalypse is not only possible, but quite probable,” he warned.

The only alternative is a painfully negotiated rearrangement of the global balance of power, under which Ukraine would not exist in its current form of an “anti-Russia,” he said. “The Kiev regime must be annihilated. Banned by law as a fascist entity in civilized Europe,” he declared. A rebalanced world order would require a new international treaty akin to the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and likely an overhaul of the United Nations, Medvedev argued. The accords were a key element of the US-USSR detente, and outlined the signatories’ commitments to preserve peace, security and respect for human rights.

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“It’s so important to feel that you are really being around allies in the future..”

Zelenskyy: Ukraine’s Membership In NATO Depends On Biden (Az.)

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on US President Joe Biden to invite Ukraine into NATO “now” – even if membership does not come until after the war, Report informs referring to CNN. Zelenskyy noted that Biden was “the decision maker” about whether Ukraine would be in NATO or not. “He supports our future in NATO,” but an invitation now would be a huge motivator for Ukrainian soldiers, Zelenskyy said in an exclusive interview with CNN.Ukraine’s aspiration to join is enshrined in its constitution and its relationship with NATO dates back to the early 1990s, according to the alliance. NATO is due to hold a summit in Lithuania on July 11 and 12 where leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine’s membership.


“Now,” Zelenskyy said in response to a question about why not wait for an invitation. “It’s very important.” “It’s so important to feel that you are really being around allies in the future,” he added. Zelenskyy added that he understood that Ukraine would “never be in NATO before war finishes.” NATO stipulates that the settlement of territorial disputes is “a factor in determining whether to invite a state to join the Alliance.”

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If somethig happens to Zaporozhye NPP, we know who did it.

NATO Might Use ‘Nuclear Incident’ to Enter Ukrainian Conflict (Dergalin)

The Kiev regime’s Western bosses may be looking to capitalize on the predicament at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in order to further their own goals in the Ukrainian conflict, said Renat Karchaa, advisor to the chief executive of Rosenergoatom, the Russian nuclear power station operations subsidiary. As Karchaa explained in an interview with a Russian media outlet, the much-hyped Ukrainian “counteroffensive” has already run out of steam and “Ukraine’s Western masters” now realize that Kiev cannot prevail on the battlefield even with all the military assistance provided by NATO.

And since the West has already raised the stakes to the point where Kiev’s defeat would mean its own defeat as well, “aggressive Western politicians” are now mulling drastic options, such as a black op at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant that would result in a “nuclear incident” and create a legal pretext for NATO to directly enter the Ukrainian conflict, he suggested. According to Karchaa, this is why the West has recently been fixed on portraying Russia as a country capable of perpetrating an act of nuclear terrorism, with the international community ready to single out “the guilty party before the event takes place.” He also spotlighted the stepped-up activity by the Kiev regime forces in the vicinity of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, claiming that the number of Ukrainian troops in the area has risen considerably over the past month.

Ever since the Zaporozhye nuclear station came under Russia’s jurisdiction last year, Ukrainian forces have repeatedly shelled the facility while simultaneously blaming these attacks on Russia itself. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has called for establishing a safety zone around the plant and condemned the shelling, though for some reason this organization has been reluctant to publicly identify the perpetrator of these attacks. The situation around the Zaporozhye station exacerbated following the terrorist attack carried out by the Kiev regime’s forces on the nearby Kakhovka Dam last month. The damage sustained by the dam resulted in a drastic decrease in water levels in the Kakhovka Reservoir, practically to the point of it drying up. In fact, the Zaporozhye facility obtained water for its coolant systems from that reservoir.

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Crimeans are predominantly Russian-speaking. Why try to rewrite history? It was the Vikings. No, the Romans…

Ukraine Already Had Statehood Under USSR – Scholz (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said the Ukrainian state was already in existence while the country was still part of the Soviet Union. He also insisted that Crimea, which joined Russia after a referendum in 2014, has long been part of Ukraine. In an interview with Germany’s ARD TV channel on Sunday, the host read a question from a viewer to Scholz, asking “Who does Crimea belong to?” The German chancellor replied by saying: “Crimea has for a very, very long time belonged to Ukraine.” He added that “already in the days of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was an independent state with UN membership,” and said Russia left the USSR before Ukraine did. Following the end of World War II, the Ukrainian SSR along with the Belarusian SSR as part of the Soviet Union were among the founding members of the United Nations and a signatory of its charter back in 1945.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia de facto became the sole legal successor of the defunct country. As for Crimea, the predominantly Russian-speaking peninsula was handed over to the Ukrainian SSR by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev back in 1954. In 2014, however, a referendum was held in Crimea, where the vast majority of its residents voted in favor of rejoining Russia. The plebiscite, which has not been recognized by Ukraine, the US, the EU and most other countries, was preceded by a coup in Kiev. Many Crimeans had then begun to voice concerns that radical nationalists were attempting to forcibly impose the Ukrainian language and discriminate against local Russian speakers.

Scholz also commented on the ongoing military conflict between Ukraine and Russia during the interview. He said Germany would not provide Ukraine with long-range missiles for fear that Kiev could use them to strike targets on Russian soil, pointing to the fact that the Biden administration in the US has had similar reservations. Scholz hastened to add, however, that Germany is the “second-biggest supporter of Ukraine after the US,” pledging to keep backing Kiev for “as long as necessary.” The chancellor also reiterated that Ukraine would not be able to join NATO as long as it is locked in a military conflict with Russia. According to Scholz, officials in Kiev are also well aware of this prerequisite. At the same time, Germany, together with its partners, has been working on post-bellum security guarantees for Ukraine, Scholz said.

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They took his moment of relevance.

Erdogan Blames Failure Of Ukraine Peace Process On ‘War Lobby’ (RT)

Efforts to resolve the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev have been “obstructed and eroded by the war lobby,” Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed. The president made the remarks on Monday while speaking to reporters in Ankara following a cabinet meeting. “The diplomatic efforts, which were initiated with the Istanbul process and proceeded with captive exchanges, have unfortunately been obstructed and eroded by the war lobby,” Erdogan stated. The president claimed Türkiye itself had been targeted by said “war lobby,” without naming any precise culprits. If Türkiye’s peace efforts had succeeded early on in the conflict, most of the destruction could have been avoided, Erdogan explained.


Türkiye hosted peace talks between Moscow and Kiev shortly after hostilities broke out in February 2022. The negotiations culminated into a preliminary peace deal, which was initialed in Istanbul. However, Ukraine broke its promises after Moscow withdrew its forces from the immediate vicinity of Kiev, shortly after the deal was reached.Russian and Ukrainian representatives haven’t met at the negotiating table to discuss peace prospects since then. Moscow, however, maintains that it is ready to resolve the crisis through diplomatic efforts, while repeatedly blaming the collective West for pushing Kiev into a war “to the last Ukrainian.” The Ukrainian leadership, for its part, has explicitly prohibited itself from ever engaging in talks with Moscow while Russian President Vladimir Putin remains in power.

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Sweden, Ukraine, what’s the difference?

Turkish Parliament Speaker: Sweden’s NATO Accession Bid A ‘Pipedream’ (TASS)

Joining NATO is a pipedream for Stockholm, which has been reluctant to meet Ankara’s demands, Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Numan Kurtulmus said in an interview with the Milliyet newspaper, published on Monday. “There is a trilateral agreement [between Turkey, Sweden and Finland]. They will engage in provocative actions [even as they are] asking for us to approve their NATO membership [application]. Excuse me, but Turkey is a country that means what it says. Whatever it says and whatever it promises, it delivers; but, we would also like our opponents to stand by their word. Becoming a NATO member is a pipedream for Sweden, which has been failing to fulfill its promises,” Kurtulmus stressed.

He noted that “Turkey is facing strong pressure” over the NATO bid by Sweden, “which supports and harbors terrorist organizations.” “On the other hand, Turkey will not take a single step on the matter until its demands are met,” Kurtulmus added. On June 28, 2022, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, then-Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held talks ahead of the annual NATO summit in Madrid. The parties signed a memorandum enabling the accession of Stockholm and Helsinki to NATO. On March 31, 2023, the Turkish parliament passed a protocol approving Finland’s accession to NATO, after which the Nordic country formally joined the North Atlantic Alliance on April 4.

However, Turkish lawmakers refused to approve a similar protocol approving Sweden’s NATO membership, demanding that Stockholm implement all provisions of the Madrid memorandum related to fighting terrorism. Ankara has been strongly critical of Stockholm for allowing demonstrations by supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, an organization that is outlawed in Turkey, which have taken place in Sweden, as well as for incidents involving burning of the Quran.

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The US thinks hypersonics is a space program?!

Head of US Space Command Comments on Russia, China Hypersonic Weapons (Sp.)

Hypersonic weapons are advanced military technology that travel at extremely high speeds, reaching Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound) or more. Russia has deployed hypersonic missiles, including the Kinzhal hypersonic air-launched ballistic missile and the Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile. General James Dickinson, head of the US Space Command, addressed the issue of hypersonic weapons from Russia and China in an interview with British media. “Obviously, we have seen demonstrations of hypersonic weapons by other countries, particularly China and Russia. We continue to explore this area in how we can minimize this type of threat,” Dickinson said.

Dickinson reportedly said that the Pentagon remains confident in its capabilities amid concerns that the US is falling behind China in the space race. The head of Britain’s Space Command, Air Commodore Paul Godfrey, for his part, told the media outlet that China could begin mining the moon and asteroids in the next few decades. “China has published a ‘White paper’ looking at the major minerals on the moon. They’ve already sent samples from the moon back to Earth. They just want to go further in that direction. Mining asteroids will be a reality in our lifetime,” Godfrey said. He added that China and Russia are investing “billions” in space exploration and building space weapons.

China’s lunar probe program, named Chang’e after the heroine of ancient Chinese myths, consists of three stages: a flight around an artificial Earth satellite, a landing on the Moon, and a return from the Moon to Earth. The first lunar satellite, Chang’e-1, was launched in 2007 and was operating until 2009. The data it collected allowed Chinese scientists to create the first thermal map of the Moon. In 2019, China launched the next phase of its lunar program, the first-ever landing on the dark side of the Moon. The landing platform and Yutu-2 lunar rover have successfully operated in uncharted territory for several months, and continue to explore the Moon. Yutu-2 discovered two types of lunar mantle rocks on the Moon the existence of which scientists had doubted.

On 24 November 2020, China launched the Chang’e-5 re-entry vehicle; on 1 December, it landed in a designated area on the visible side of the Moon; over the next two days, a drilling device and a manipulator with a bucket attached to the lander collected lunar soil, which was placed in a special compartment for take-off. The whole mission lasted 23 days. The Chang’e 5 spacecraft delivered 1,731 grams of lunar samples back to Earth. It was the first lunar soil probe in 44 years. China was the third country to carry out such a mission, after the United States and the Soviet Union.

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Buy? With whose money?

NOTE: “..the ‘axis of evil’ – Russia, Iran and other similar nations. ”

We Can’t Buy Chinese Arms – Ukrainian Defense Ministry (RT)

Kiev does not buy Chinese weapons to avoid irritating the US, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Vitaly Deinega has claimed. The official made the comments while discussing the importance of drones in modern warfare. “As far as it was explained to me… we cannot buy anything Chinese so as not to hurt our relationship with the US,” Deinega told Ukrainian news outlet Leviy Bereg on Monday. The official was discussing the use of Chinese-made DJI Mavic quadcopters by Ukrainian troops. Kiev’s forces have the aircraft “in large quantities” but rely on purchases by volunteers for supplies, because “there is the position that the Defense Ministry cannot procure them,” Deinega explained.

He admitted that Russia currently has a drone advantage against Ukraine, but claimed that the situation would eventually change. “Every day we’ll get some new kind of drones. Let’s see what we’ve acquired in the year and a half of the war: naval drones, ground drones,” Deinega stated. He insisted that drones will be a key factor in future combat and that Ukraine will serve as a source of innovation for the West. “[In future] we and the Russians will have the same difference that we have in military vehicles” Deinega said, suggesting that the Western hardware provided to Kiev was superior to what Moscow has at its disposal. “Western drones will be more expensive than the drones of the ‘axis of evil’ – Russia, Iran and other similar nations.

They will be more expensive, more technologically advanced and precise,” Deinega said. Reports have claimed that the fear of reprisals from Washington prompted the government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to torpedo the sale of manufacturing giant Motor Sich to Chinese investors. The Soviet-era military helicopter engine maker had been slated for a sale to foreign buyers for years, although the Ukrainian security services opposed the move. Kiev sanctioned Motor Sich’s potential Chinese buyers in January 2021, blocking the transfer of assets and the possibility of managerial control. It nationalized the company one year later, while long-time Motor Sich chief Vyacheslav Boguslaev was arrested for alleged dealings with Russia last October.

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They simply have tons of the stuff lying around that they are not allowed to use.

US Close to Providing Ukraine With Widely Banned Cluster Bombs (Antiwar)

The US is moving closer to sending widely-banned cluster bombs to Ukraine as the Biden administration is pushing Congress to put aside concerns about the harm the munitions cause to civilians, The Washington Post reported Saturday. The report said senior Biden administration officials have recently contacted Congress to make the case that cluster munitions are needed on the battlefield in Ukraine. Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer contacted members of Congress to gauge how they felt about sending the bombs. US officials told the Post that the White House was previously opposed to sending cluster bombs to Ukraine but is now reviewing the position.

The State Department was also opposed to the idea, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken has withdrawn his objection. Last week, a Pentagon official told Congress that Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM), a cluster munition with several variants, including a 155mm artillery round, would be useful for Ukraine on the battlefield. “Our military analysts have confirmed that DPICMs would be useful, especially against dug-in Russian positions on the battlefield,” Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, told the House Armed Services Committee.

Cluster bombs scatter small submunitions over large areas, making them especially hazardous to civilians who can find them years after they were dropped. Cluster munitions and other unexploded American bombs have killed and maimed civilians in Vietnam and Laos for decades after the Vietnam War. Because of their indiscriminate nature, cluster munitions have been banned by more than 100 nations. The US, Ukraine, and Russia are not parties to the treaty, known as the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Both sides in the current conflict in Ukraine have reportedly used cluster bombs, and Kyiv was using them against populated areas of Donestk in the Donbas war going back to 2014.

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“..the country has “an advantage” over Moscow thanks to its Western weapons and training..”

NATO Admiral Tells Ukraine No Fighter Jets In Short Term (RT)

Ukraine will not receive Western fighter jets for its current counter-offensive and will have to make do without them, the chairman of NATO’s military committee said, citing the lengthy training required for pilots and problems with logistics. Speaking to Britain’s LBC radio station for an interview on Monday, Admiral Rob Bauer, who heads the military committee as NATO’s most senior military official, said that discussion about fighter jets for Kiev must wait until after its ongoing offensive operation. “The discussion on the fighters is an important one, but it will not be solved in the short term for this counter-offensive,” he said. “Training those pilots, training the technicians, making sure there is a logistic organization that can actually sustain these aircraft will not be available before this counter-offensive.”

Though Bauer claimed Ukraine was in “an existential fight,” he went on to argue that the country has “an advantage” over Moscow thanks to its Western weapons and training. Still, he insisted Kiev’s supporters “shouldn’t mix” discussion about the counter-offensive and Ukraine’s requests for fighter jets, suggesting such transfers are simply not possible at the moment. While Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly urged Western powers to hand over their war planes, only a small number of sponsors have agreed to do so, with Poland and Slovakia authorizing transfers of Soviet-era MiG fighters.

To date, Washington has denied demands for F-16s, citing availability issues as well as fears the weapons could escalate direct hostilities with Russia. However, US officials have backtracked after refusing to supply other weapons, including the Patriot missile defense system and the M1 Abrams main battle tank, and the Pentagon has already started training Ukrainian pilots on American planes. Germany and the UK have also rejected calls for fighter jets, though Britain has authorized the transfer of Storm Shadow missiles to Kiev, the longest-range munitions provided to Ukraine so far. London has also stated it is willing to partner with a “coalition” of states to supply fighter jets, though Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said the project is “not a straightforward thing,” pointing to training and logistics hurdles.

Ukraine launched its counter-offensive in early June, but the bulk of its attacks have been repelled with significant losses, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. President Zelensky has acknowledged the operations are moving “slower than desired” due to “tough resistance” from Russian forces, but military officials have maintained that large numbers of reserve troops have yet to be deployed. Late last month, senior Zelensky aide Mikhail Podoliak accused Ukraine’s Western patrons of being too slow with their weapons deliveries, claiming that had allowed Moscow to set up formidable defenses.

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Cause he’s a crook.

Why CIA and FBI Would Have Never Hired Joe Biden (Sp.)

If Joe Biden weren’t the US president he would have been unable to get a security clearance given the scale of scandals and ethical conflicts haunting his family, according to Just the News, an independent media outlet founded by award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon. The media outlet cited former CIA analyst and National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz and retired FBI Assistant Director for Intelligence Kevin Brock, who said that neither of the federal agencies would have hired Joe “because there would be the concern that he might be compromised.” “Anyone who wants to become an FBI agent has to pass a polygraph specifically designed to determine if the applicant has any compromising entanglements with a hostile foreign power,” Brock told the media outlet. “If Joe applied and said he had none, the machine might not recover. The closest he’d come to being an agent are those aviator sunglasses.”

Over the past several months, Republican lawmakers have been focusing on Biden’s alleged wrongdoing, including uncorroborated bribery accusations, mishandling of classified memos, alleged involvement in his son’s money-peddling schemes, as well as making a false claim together with his 2020 campaign of his son’s laptop being “Russian disinformation” to sway an election. “There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plant,” Biden said during his second and final 2020 presidential debate with Donald Trump. “Five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except his good friend Rudy Giuliani.” However, in April, former Deputy Director of the CIA Mike Morell told US lawmakers it was Biden’s campaign operative Antony Blinken who asked that the infamous “laptop from hell” be smeared.

The laptop was later proven to be real. US conservatives lament the fact that regardless of the aforementioned accusations and emerging damning evidence, Joe Biden not only managed to win the 2020 presidential elections, but is now seeking re-election together with Vice President Kamala Harris, both being backed by the US Democratic Party. In addition, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) appears to shield the Biden family, according to IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley. Shapley claimed that US Attorney David Weiss, who was assigned to carry out an investigation into Joe Biden’s son Hunter, said that he had been told by the DoJ that he could not bring charges against Hunter in California and Washington DC. An anonymous source quoted by the New York Times confirmed Shapley’s claim. Previously, Attorney General Merrick Garland insisted that Weiss had full authority to conduct the probe thus justified his decision not to appoint a special counsel in Hunter’s case.

In a Friday letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Weiss wrote that he had “ultimate authority” over the DoJ’s Hunter Biden investigation and was in charge of “deciding where, when, and whether to file charges” against the first son. However, author and investigative journalist Miranda Devine has drawn attention to the fact that Weiss acknowledged in his letter that his “charging authority is geographically limited to my home district,” and that, if he needs to charge in another district, he has to ask the respective US attorney if the latter wants to partner on the case. She recalled that Shapley specifically noted that US Attorney Matthew Graves in Washington, DC, declined to cooperate with Weiss and bring charges against Hunter for the 2014 and 2015 tax years. Likewise, US Attorney Martin Estrada in California declined to partner on Hunter’s case concerning his alleged tax crimes for the 2016–2019 years. “None of those charges ever were laid,” Devine wrote in her recent op-ed, suggesting that this fact indirectly shows that in reality Weiss did not have “full” authority over Hunter Biden’s case, contrary to AG Garland’s assertions.

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“First, equipping our friends on the front lines to defend themselves is a far cheaper way — in both dollars and American lives — to degrade Russia’s ability to threaten the United States..”

Lies About Afghanistan. Lies About Iraq. And Lies About Ukraine. (Chris Hedges)

The playbook the pimps of war use to lure us into one military fiasco after another, including Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine, does not change. Freedom and democracy are threatened. Evil must be vanquished. Human rights must be protected. The fate of Europe and NATO, along with a “rules based international order” is at stake. Victory is assured. The results are also the same. The justifications and narratives are exposed as lies. The cheery prognosis is false. Those on whose behalf we are supposedly fighting are as venal as those we are fighting against. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a war crime, although one that was provoked by NATO expansion and by the United States backing of the 2014 “Maidan” coup which ousted the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych wanted economic integration with the European Union, but not at the expense of economic and political ties with Russia. The war will only be solved through negotiations that allow ethnic Russians in Ukraine to have autonomy and Moscow’s protection, as well as Ukrainian neutrality, which means the country cannot join NATO. The longer these negotiations are delayed the more Ukrainians will suffer and die. Their cities and infrastructure will continue to be pounded into rubble. But this proxy war in Ukraine is designed to serve U.S. interests. It enriches the weapons manufacturers, weakens the Russian military and isolates Russia from Europe. What happens to Ukraine is irrelevant.

“First, equipping our friends on the front lines to defend themselves is a far cheaper way — in both dollars and American lives — to degrade Russia’s ability to threaten the United States,” admitted Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. “Second, Ukraine’s effective defense of its territory is teaching us lessons about how to improve the defenses of partners who are threatened by China. It is no surprise that senior officials from Taiwan are so supportive of efforts to help Ukraine defeat Russia. Third, most of the money that’s been appropriated for Ukraine security assistance doesn’t actually go to Ukraine. It gets invested in American defense manufacturing. It funds new weapons and munitions for the U.S. armed forces to replace the older material we have provided to Ukraine. Let me be clear: this assistance means more jobs for American workers and newer weapons for American servicemembers.”

Once the truth about these endless wars seeps into public consciousness, the media, which slavishly promotes these conflicts, drastically reduces coverage. The military debacles, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, continue largely out of view. By the time the U.S. concedes defeat, most barely remember that these wars are being fought. The pimps of war who orchestrate these military fiascos migrate from administration to administration. Between posts they are ensconced in think tanks — Project for the New American Century, American Enterprise Institute, Foreign Policy Initiative, Institute for the Study of War, The Atlantic Council and The Brookings Institution — funded by corporations and the war industry. Once the Ukraine war comes to its inevitable conclusion, these Dr. Strangeloves will seek to ignite a war with China. The U.S. Navy and military are already menacing and encircling China. God help us if we don’t stop them.

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Trump called at least twice with intel that saved many Russian lives.

Biden’s 3am Moment in Ukraine (Scott Ritter)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the press a day after the Prigozhin mutiny: “We always prepare for every contingency in terms of what happens in Russia. It’s an internal matter for the Russians to figure out. Of course, when we’re dealing with a major power, and especially a major power that has nuclear weapons, that’s something that’s of concern, something we’re very focused on. We haven’t seen any change in Russia’s nuclear posture. There hasn’t been any change in ours, but it’s something we’re going to watch very, very carefully.” Biden, a day after Blinken spoke, gave his own public statement, declaring that he had been in constant contact with U.S. allies to coordinate their response regarding the Prigozhin insurrection. Biden’s priority, it seemed, was to make sure no one pointed any fingers at the U.S.

“{W]e had to make sure we gave Putin no excuse,” Biden said, “to blame this on the West, to blame this on NATO. We made clear that we were not involved, that we had nothing to do with it. This was part of a struggle within the Russian system.” The man Biden tapped to send the signal to Russia and its leader was C.I.A. Director William Burns, who called Sergei Naryshkin, the director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, to make clear that the U.S. was not involved in the Prigozhin affair. But Burns’ claims ring false. The U.S. intelligence community, by its own admission, had extremely detailed intelligence about what Prigozhin planned to do, including the scope and scale of the involvement of the Wagner mercenaries he commanded, where they intended to go, what they intended to do, and when they intended to do it.

The U.S. intelligence community expected the results of this action to be “bloody.” According to Blinken, the U.S. was concerned about Russia’s nuclear weapons. And apparently there was a Russian nuclear weapons storage facility in the line of march of the Wagner fighters heading to Moscow. Moreover, the Russians had to be wondering why Burns was informing them of this after the fact. In 2017 and 2019, Trump had U.S. intelligence pass on to Russia information about possible terrorist attacks, which ended up saving scores, if not hundreds, of Russian lives. In June of 2023, Biden had intelligence about a pending violent insurrection which could have put Russia’s nuclear weapons, and the world, at risk. Biden opted not to share this information with Russia.

America’s silence speaks volumes. As Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian President who currently serves as the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia (Putin is chairman) noted, “The development of events shows that the actions of those who organized the military rebellion [of Prigozhin and Wagner] fully fit into the scheme of a staged coup d’état. The world will be brought to the brink of destruction, if the nuclear weapons are in the hands of bandits, the crisis will not be limited to one country.” In June, Biden was confronted with the ultimate “3 am phone call” moment. He could have made a phone call which could have helped reduce the threat of a nuclear crisis or worse, a nuclear war. He didn’t make the call.

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Data scraping Zuck style.

Meta Set To Launch Twitter Rival On Thursday (Az.)

Facebook owner Meta is launching its new app to rival Twitter and says it will go live on Thursday, Report informs, citing Yahoo. Screengrabs show a dashboard that looks similar to Twitter. Meta describes Threads as a “text-based conversation app”. The move is the latest in a rivalry between Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter owner Elon Musk. It appears from Meta’s Threads app that it will be a free service – and there will be no restrictions on how many posts a user can see. “Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow,” the description on the App Store says.

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Ursula

 

 


Richard Hirschman @r_hirschman I never claimed to be a doctor or scientist, I am an embalmer. I have been only sounding an alarm about what I am seeing! I can only say that this is not normal. In the 20 years prior to 2021 I never seen anything like this. Something is causing this, and I see it often.

 

 

Bird Talk

 

 

Cat birdies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1675969807663939585

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 222023
 


Joaquin Sorolla Passeggiata sulla spiaggia (Walk on the beach) 1909

 

Ukrainian Troops Understand They Don’t Stand A Chance – Putin (TASS)
Counteroffensive Not Going Well – Zelensky (RT)
Scott Ritter: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Loses Momentum as Logistics Falters (Sp.)
Kiev Should Sue for Peace to Avoid Further Losses (Tsukanov)
Putin: Half Of Strategic Missile Units Rearmed With Hypersonic Systems (TASS)
Putin Reveals Future Of Russian Armed Forces (RT)
Biden Walks Back On Ukraine’s NATO Accession (Bhadrakumar)
Moscow Issues Warning Over ‘Nuclear Winter’ (RT)
France Has NATO-for-Truce Plan For Ukraine – Media (RT)
Pressure on US Dollar, Debt Drove Blinken Effort to Mend Ties With China (Sp.)
The Hunter Biden ‘Controlled Demolition’ is Complete (Turley)
Economic Cutbacks Making British Kids Shorter (RT)
House Votes to Censure Rep. Adam Schiff (ET)
Durham: FBI Overlooked Intel Clinton Masterminded Plot To Smear Trump (JTN)

 

 

 

 

RFK peace
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671354212943290369

 

 

Durham
https://twitter.com/i/status/1671523338076798977

 

 

 

 

Negotiator

 

 

 

 

“.. that includes Leopards, French wheeled vehicles, US-made armored vehicles – everything,” the president said. “They burn quite well.”

Ukrainian Troops Understand They Don’t Stand A Chance – Putin (TASS)

Ukraine’s troops understand that they don’t stand a chance against heroic and courageous fighters of the Russian Armed Forces, President Vladimir Putin emphasized on Wednesday. “Thanks to the courage and heroism of our fighters, thanks to the commanders’ readiness to repel any aggressive actions against Russia, I believe, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. They understand that and this is why they have stalled now,” Putin said at the meeting with military college graduates, answering a question from reporter Pavel Zarubin. “Ukrainian forces began [the counteroffensive] on June 4, engaging strategic reserves. Curiously, we currently observe certain lull at this moment,” the president said, adding that “this is due to the enemy suffering serious casualties in personnel and in vehicles.”


According to the president, “there are individual elements of hostilities going on: shelling, reconnaissance-in-force.” “But, I repeat, there is currently no active offensive,” Putin added. Meanwhile, he noted: “As of today, we see that the enemy’s offensive potential has not been depleted yet; the enemy has reserves and it thinks where and how to use them.” Speaking about the destroyed Western vehicles, Putin underscored that these numbers keep growing. “How much – that would require a look at the numbers. The total as of last night was 245 tanks and 678 armored vehicles of various types. Of course, that includes Leopards, French wheeled vehicles, US-made armored vehicles – everything,” the president said. “They burn quite well.”

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Give it up. Start negotiating.

Counteroffensive Not Going Well – Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has admitted that the long-promised counteroffensive against Russian forces has not delivered the results that some Western observers expected. Amid mounting losses, Zelensky insisted that he would not discuss peace with Moscow. “Some people believe this is a Hollywood movie and expect results now. It’s not,” he told the BBC on Wednesday, admitting that advances by Ukrainian troops have been “slower than desired.” “Whatever some might want, including attempts to pressure us, with all due respect, we will advance on the battlefield the way we deem best,” he added.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive began on June 4 with a failed attack on Russian positions near Donetsk, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Wave after wave of attacks followed along the Donetsk and Zaporozhye sectors of the front line, all of which Russian forces have managed to withstand while destroying hundreds of Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles, and thousands of Ukrainian troops, according to the ministry. While Zelensky told the BBC that his forces have managed to capture eight villages, Ukrainian troops have yet to penetrate even the first of Russia’s multi-layered defensive lines. With a warren of trenches, minefields, and fortifications in their path and Russian artillery and air support operating freely, Ukraine has lost 7,500 men and 30% of its Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles, the Kremlin estimated last Wednesday.

Daily reports from Moscow have since added at least another 2,000 men to the casualty count, with Ukraine said to have lost over 1,000 soldiers and 20 tanks in a single day of fighting over the weekend. Zelensky is reportedly under pressure to score some battlefield successes for his Western patrons, and he acknowledged to the BBC that “victories on the battlefield are necessary” to resolve the conflict in Kiev’s favor. However, he added that “no matter how far we advance in our counteroffensive, we will not agree to a frozen conflict because that is war, that is a prospectless development for Ukraine.”

Zelensky has repeatedly vowed to drive Russian troops out of the four formerly Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – that voted last year to join Russia, as well as Crimea, which joined Russia after a referendum in 2014. American, British, and other NATO officials have backed his refusal to “freeze” the conflict, but many admit that Ukrainian forces could never hope to mount an attack on Crimea. “Behind the scenes, many Western military analysts express serious doubts about the success of the Ukrainian adventure,” Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) chief Sergey Naryshkin said on Monday. “Without going into details, I’ll say that the tasks announced by the Kiev regime are assessed as unachievable” by foreign experts, he added.

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“one of the most heavily fortified defensive positions in the history of modern warfare.”

Scott Ritter: Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Loses Momentum as Logistics Falters (Sp.)

With Ukraine’s current military condition desperate and dire, the political leadership in Kiev may be planning to target Crimea with Western-supplied HIMARS and Storm Shadow missiles, Sergey Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, said. Speaking at the Russian Defense Ministry Board Session, he warned, the “[d]eployment of these particular missiles outside the special military operation zone will be regarded as direct involvement of the US and UK in the conflict and will result in immediate retaliatory strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine’s territory. Scott Ritter believes that the rationale for Ukraine’s move is to provoke an intervention by the West, stressing, however, “they’ve lost this war.”

Despite a seemingly impressive army on paper, Ritter explained to Sputnik that the Ukrainian forces cannot penetrate Russia’s fortified defenses, which he describes as “one of the most heavily fortified defensive positions in the history of modern warfare.” As the Ukrainian Armed Forces falter and stand at the precipice of collapse in their counter-offensive, Ritter’s view of the Russian military stands in stark contrast, as he believes they have managed to quietly amass a significant force, maintaining a notable numerical advantage and demonstrate strategic prudence in their operations. Ritter underlined the chaotic and disorganized nature of Ukraine’s defense logistics system, asserting that large quantities of military aid are being mismanaged or lost in transit.


Furthermore, he pointed out that Ukraine has a notorious reputation for corruption, which may exacerbate the issue. According to him, accountability for this military aid is being overlooked mainly by the West due to the intensity of the ongoing conflict. A recent US media report says Ukrainian government documents show that over $800 million have been spent by Ukraine since 2022 on partially or completely unfulfilled arms supply contracts. “That’s the Ukrainian defense logistics system right now. Totally haphazard, totally chaotic. And if I were, you know, an inspector general going at it, I’d have to be honest and say, guys, we’re not going to be too strict on the accounting right now because this is war.”

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“..the peace terms Russia will offer will likely be significantly worse than the peace terms it is offering Ukraine today..”

Kiev Should Sue for Peace to Avoid Further Losses (Tsukanov)

The colloquially named ‘Surovikin Defensive Line’ has thrashed Ukrainian forces, with the Russian military reporting thousands of enemy casualties and the destruction of nearly 200 tanks and over 400 armored vehicles over the past two weeks. Named after Sergei Surovikin, the Russian general who commanded the Joint Group of Forces in the Special Military Operation Zone last fall and winter, and who was charged with the task of preparing Russian defenses for a Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Surovikin Line consists of vast networks of zigzag infantry trenches, anti-tank dragon’s teeth, berms and minefields across a frontline that stretches hundreds of kilometers. Kiev’s long-awaited counteroffensive – expected since March, began in early June, and is now widely acknowledged to have bogged down, with even senior Ukrainian officials and their Western patrons admitting in recent days that Ukrainian forces have wasted significant resources and lives probing the highly-fortified Russian defensive lines.

“The Ukrainians are yet to push deeply into Russian defensive lines,” Rainer Sachs, the former head of Estonian Foreign Intelligence who until about a month ago believed that Kiev had been successful in “creating the preconditions” for an offensive, said this week. “Russia considers it very important to hold onto the southern part of the front, so more defensive lines have been built there,” the intelligence analyst said. The term ‘Surovikin Line’ is actually a product of Western tabloid media, and was originally used to mock Russia’s military preparations, and dismissed as “grandiosely senseless” and “completely insane in terms of uselessness – but wildly expensive in terms of execution cost.” The past weeks have proven otherwise, with President Putin announcing late last week that despite some local gains, Ukrainian forces failed to penetrate even the first layer of the network of defensive lines anywhere along the front, instead becoming trapped and facing horrendous casualties.


“US intelligence had predicted only modest territorial gains for the Ukrainian spring offensive because Russian defensive preparations have been so extensive,” former US Army combat arms and HQ staff officer David T. Pyne told Sputnik. Citing reports that Ukrainian troops have taken ten times more casualties and lost three times more tanks than Russian forces in the past two weeks, Pyne said that “the longer the counteroffensive continues, the heavier Ukrainian casualties will be and the more vulnerable Ukraine will be to a Russian counteroffensive that could enable Russia to take control over western Donetsk [Region] and perhaps Kharkov [Region] as well.” If that happens, Pyne said, “the peace terms Russia will offer will likely be significantly worse than the peace terms it is offering Ukraine today.” Accordingly, he said, “Western leaders must face the reality that there is no chance Ukraine can defeat Russia and therefore we must negotiate the best deal for Ukraine we can get without further delay.”

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“Russia’s nuclear triad allows for effective and guaranteed strategic deterrence and maintains the global balance of power..”

Putin: Half Of Strategic Missile Units Rearmed With Hypersonic Systems (TASS)

About half of the units of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force have been equipped with the latest Yars missile systems and are being rearmed with modern Avangard warheads, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “About half of the Strategic Missile Force units are now equipped with the latest Yars systems. Rearmament with modern missile systems carrying Avangard hypersonic warheads is in progress,” Putin said at a meeting with graduates of military academies on Wednesday. He stressed that the strengthening and development of the army and reliable security of the country had always been and remained an unconditional priority.

“In light of the new challenges and invaluable experience of the special military operation we will continue to improve the Armed Forces in every possible way,” he said, adding that the most important task here was to develop the nuclear triad as the key guarantee of Russia’s military security and global stability. Putin also announced that new Sarmat missile launchers would enter duty soon. “In the near future, the first launchers of the Sarmat complex with a new heavy missile will be put on combat duty,” he said. “The arsenals of aviation and naval components of strategic nuclear forces are being replenished in strict accordance with the timetable,” he stressed.


In particular, he noted, the lead submarine of the Borey-A project had been commissioned and in January 2023 the frigate Admiral Gorshkov left base on a combat duty mission. Putin stressed that this ship was designed to perform tasks in the blue water zones and carried the newest hypersonic missiles Tsirkon. “Russia’s nuclear triad allows for effective and guaranteed strategic deterrence and maintains the global balance of power,” Putin concluded, adding that it was an embodiment of many years of tremendous efforts by domestic enterprises, design bureaus, workers, engineers and military and civilian specialists.

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The future is hypersonic.

Putin Reveals Future Of Russian Armed Forces (RT)

Strengthening the armed forces is one of Russia’s top priorities, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with graduates of military academies in Moscow on Wednesday. The nation’s military will evolve on the basis of the “priceless experience” provided by the ongoing military operation in Ukraine, as well as the modern challenges Russia is facing, he added. Russia’s nuclear triad will remain a focus of the military development efforts, Putin said, adding that it remains “a key guarantee of Russia’s military security and global stability.” Around half of Russia’s strategic land-based missile units have already been equipped with state-of-the-art Yars missiles – some of Russia’s most modern nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, Putin revealed.

The troops also continue to receive the hypersonic Avangard gliders, the president said. Such systems are fitted on silo-based ICBMs. The military will also be further supplied with hypersonic anti-ship Zircon missiles, to be used by the Navy, as well as air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missiles. New Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles are also about to enter combat duty, Putin added. The modernization will not be limited to nuclear weapons only, the president explained. Heavy armor, air defense systems, and the production of drones will all be upgraded, he said. “We have yet to do much for a quality upgrade of all parts of our Armed Forces,” Putin said, adding that Russia “is delivering on those plans to the fullest.” The Russian defense industries in particular are expected to “boost mass production” of drones and “robotized strike systems” that have “demonstrated good results in combat,” the president said. According to Putin, every Russian military unit down to a platoon should be equipped with such systems.


His words came a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow is potentially ready for a conflict with NATO if the military bloc decides to attack Russia. “Well, let them fight, we are ready for this,” he said. Putin has described the conflict in Ukraine as a hybrid war between Russia and “the entire Western military machine.” The statements came amid the continued Ukrainian offensive, which was launched earlier in June. The operation had been touted by Ukrainian and Western officials for several months but has so far failed to yield any major results. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kiev’s troops have suffered heavy casualties in their attacks on Russian positions. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also described the Russian defense as “well prepared.”

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”Don’t rule out an insurrection in Ukraine if war deaths become unsustainable for the society.”

Biden Walks Back On Ukraine’s NATO Accession (Bhadrakumar)

Biden’s remark on Saturday that the US is “not going to make it easy” for Ukraine to join the NATO can only be seen as a retrogressive journey into the past. Biden underscored that Ukraine will be required to meet the “same standards” as any other member of the bloc, implying that Ukraine must conform to the so-called Membership Action Plan or MAP, which requires a candidate nation to make military and democratic reforms, with NATO’s advice and assistance, before a determination of membership can be made. The MAP process can take years. Macedonia took 21 years. Biden’s remark is not only a signal to Kiev but comes at a time when there is a groundswell of opinion within the alliance that Europe and the US must provide Ukraine clear-cut NATO security guarantees, which is important for the future of European security.

In fact, Biden spoke only 4 days after meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, at the White House last Tuesday, where, reportedly, the latter sought to simplify the accession process for Ukraine on the plea that Kiev had already made significant progress toward membership. What prompted Biden to take a hard line? Poland’s President Andrzej Duda declared, in the run-up to his talks in Paris on June 12 with France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Weimar Triangle format, that Ukraine would like to have “a very concrete perspective … of joining the North Atlantic Alliance.” Duda hoped that the NATO summit in Vilnius will “send a positive message to Kiev, …that Ukraine’s future membership in NATO is clearly visible.”

Apparently, there was consensus amongst the Weimar Triangle members also that Ukraine should receive security guarantees. Scholz declared: “It is evident that we need something like this, and we need it in a very concrete form.” Macron endorsed, calling for a rapid agreement on “tangible and credible security guarantees.” Indeed, there have been threatening noises too that if there is no concretisation on Ukraine’s membership in Vilnius, some of the “hardcore” allies may take things into their own hands, and the renegade undertaking – at the national level –- could also include stationing of troops from NATO members in Ukraine. Now, Biden has ignored these demands from Old and New Europeans. He is confident he can shift the goal post. Maybe, Macron and Scholz are only playing to the gallery? We may never know.

The heart of the matter is that Biden realises that the ongoing Ukrainian offensive is heading for a train crash and the decimation of Kiev’s remaining army. It is uncertain how long Kiev will be able to recruit enough soldiers. The two figures whom Washington had groomed for precisely the sort of Plan B in Kiev that it needs now — commander of the armed forces Gen. Valeri Zaluzhny and spy chief Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov — are out of reckoning, having been put out of action summarily by recent Russian missile strikes. Don’t rule out an insurrection in Ukraine if war deaths become unsustainable for the society. Biden also sees that there is continuously shrinking approval in America for his war policy, which could possibly endanger his re-election. Biden pointed out to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky during his last visit to Kiev that the funds that Washington could provide were limited. And CIA chief William Burns separately left a message with Zelensky that continued American military assistance beyond July is problematic.

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“acute deficit of mutual trust.”

Moscow Issues Warning Over ‘Nuclear Winter’ (RT)

Global arms control is mired in an unprecedented crisis, triggered primarily by the actions of the West, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov claimed on Tuesday. Speaking at the PIR Center, a Russian think tank specializing in nuclear non-proliferation, Ryabkov argued that the issue had been building for some time, and had been exacerbated by US and Western attempts to “actively use coercion and violence in unsuccessful attempts to strengthen their global positions.” Those actions could be exemplified by the bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia, the US invasion of Iraq, and NATO’s “destabilizing” eastward expansion, the diplomat said.

At the same time, Washington and NATO “categorically refused” Russia’s proposals to create a comprehensive security framework in Europe, Ryabkov insisted. Instead, they embraced a course seeking to “deliberately and maliciously” fan the Ukraine conflict and inflict a “strategic defeat” on Moscow – all of which affected areas of contact with the West, including regarding arms control, he added. According to the diplomat, the problem could potentially be remedied by dialogue between the US and Russia, which hold the largest nuclear arsenals on the planet. “However, that’s all in theory. In practice… Washington is clearly not ready to revise its destructive course seeking to undermine our security. And how long such a ‘frosty winter’ in this field will last is anyone’s guess. This is not fatal in itself, as long as it doesn’t spiral into a nuclear winter!”


Ryabkov said that Moscow had noted Washington’s proposal to discuss arms control separately from other issues in bilateral relations. However, by endorsing this “compartmentalization,” the US wants to push the red lines even further in a bid to undermine Russia’s national security, the diplomat claimed. Against this backdrop, arms control talks are unlikely to be productive unless the US and the West “dramatically change their aggressive anti-Russia policies,” Rybakov argued. In early June, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Washington was ready to engage in arms control discussions with Russia and China “without preconditions.” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov welcomed the suggestion, but noted that Moscow should understand the specifics of the proposals, which he said came at a time of an “acute deficit of mutual trust.”

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You don’t know what Ukraine will look like “after the conflict is over”.

France Has NATO-for-Truce Plan For Ukraine – Media (RT)

The French government may attempt to lure Kiev to the negotiating table with Russia by offering support for Ukraine’s accession to NATO after the conflict is over, French media reports. According to Le Monde, this approach was discussed at the Elysee Palace on Monday last week by the French Defense Council. The hope is that if Ukraine joins the US-led military bloc, this would deter further hostilities, according to the report on Tuesday. A military source told the newspaper that the French position is “closer to that of Poland than that of Germany.” Russia considers NATO a hostile organization and has called attempts to include Ukraine in the bloc a ‘red line’ for national security.

Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring country last year after NATO members refused to discuss its security concerns. The organization was quietly absorbing Ukraine without formally including it, Russian officials claimed. The deliberations in Paris come ahead of a summit of NATO leaders which will take place in Lithuania next month. Last week, US President Joe Biden poured cold water on hopes that Ukraine’s candidacy would be fast-tracked. He stated that the country would have to meet the same standards as everyone else and that “we are not going to make it easy.” The Biden administration is reportedly siding with the cautious German position rather than with Poland and other countries which want to see a swift roadmap for Ukraine to join NATO.


According to the New York Times, Kiev may instead receive an upgrade of relations with the bloc to the council level – the same that Russia once had – and a pledge of continued arms supplies. Kiev demands the full withdrawal of Russian troops from territory that Ukraine claims before any peace talks. A ‘peace plan’ promoted by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky demands this, as well as reparations and other concessions. Moscow has rejected the proposal, calling it detached from reality.

Read more …

And then Biden calls Xi a dictator…

Pressure on US Dollar, Debt Drove Blinken Effort to Mend Ties With China (Sp.)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken likely sought to stabilize relations with Beijing because Washington has begun to feel pressure from China’s withdrawal of support for the dollar and the enormous US government deficit, analysts told Sputnik. From June 18-19, Blinken visited China for talks with President Xi Jinping, Director of the CCP Central Foreign Affairs Office Wang Yi and other senior officials. During the trip, the secretary highlighted the importance of maintaining open channels of communication and made clear that the United States will responsibly manage the competition so that the relationship does not veer into conflict. “The United States is feeling itself squeezed and probably needs to make nice with China,” Krainer Analytics founder Alex Krainer told Sputnik.

“The United States has painted itself into a corner with China: they want to do their usual destabilization/regime change thing, except China is still the second largest creditor the United States has, and it has been getting rid of the US debt quite aggressively over the last two years.” Now China and Russia are increasingly shifting to national currencies in their trade and that could lead to many other nations abandoning the dollar and triggering a huge financial crisis in the United States, Krainer warned. “If they [the Chinese] continue to dump US treasuries, they could depress its price, push interest rates higher and trigger a selling stampede by other nations as well. This is one of the biggest risks that the United States is facing,” he said.


Independent Institute Center for Peace & Liberty President Ivan Eland believes that Blinken’s trip was meant to stop the relationship between Washington and Beijing from deteriorating even further. “The Biden administration was concerned that US relations with China were sinking to dangerous levels. His meeting with Xi, itself noteworthy, did not produce many tangible breakthroughs but did seem to stop the free fall in bilateral ties,” he said. A mild thaw in relations could set in, but there are still no indications of any major progress on defusing potential sources of serious hostilities, Eland cautioned. “It is likely now that US-Chinese economic relations will get better. However, [there is] still no Chinese agreement for military-to-military ties improving – including deconfliction of military operations,” he said.

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The essence:

“He will plead to a couple of misdemeanors on tax violations without addressing how he actually made this money..”

The Hunter Biden ‘Controlled Demolition’ is Complete (Turley)

The House Oversight Committee has documented potentially millions in financial transfers from foreign sources to Biden family members. The labyrinth of LLC corporations and accounts used for the transfers seems designed to evade detection. Indeed, allegations from a trusted FBI source referenced payments that were being made to the Bidens without directly involving “the big guy.” That was the name allegedly used for President Biden after associates insisted that no one should use his name. Attorney General Merrick Garland took the most important step in pulling off the controlled demolition by steadfastly refusing to appoint a special counsel. Such an appointment would allow the release of a report that would detail the alleged corrupt practices of the Biden family and the knowledge and involvement of the president. It is the essential framing used in demolition to avoid broad blast effects.

The second key is the charge. In buildings, you have to use just enough explosives to take out supports to collapse the structure in on itself. In scandals, it comes down to the criminal charges. You need an assortment of minor charges to suggest equal justice without anything large enough to cause collateral damage to others. It also has to be minor enough to get Hunter to take one for the team. The Hunter plea is the perfect charge load for the scandal. He will plead to a couple of misdemeanors on tax violations without addressing how he actually made this money. The gun charge looks like a serious threat for incarceration, but it is little more than a phantom felony count under which Hunter will be allowed to go into a diversion program and ultimately negate the violation.


The problem for those seeking to drop this scandal in a confined fashion is that the House GOP is now investigating the influence-peddling scandal. The Democrats’ loss of the House in 2022 was a huge blow to the Biden team and, when the new Congress was sworn in, it was essential to enter a plea deal before the release of more serious evidence. In May, I called it a “capstone plea” to make it more difficult for the Justice Department to be pressured into stronger action. The House will push ahead, but the media has already imposed another blackout on coverage. The challenge for the White House is that this plea could come at a tactical cost. If this is the end of the Hunter Biden investigation, the Justice Department and FBI will have a more difficult time withholding evidence on the basis of an “ongoing investigation.” That is why it is a bit suspicious to see U.S. Attorney David Weiss state that that there is an “ongoing investigation.”

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Curious.

Economic Cutbacks Making British Kids Shorter (RT)

British five-year-olds who grew up in the era of austerity are shorter than their peers in other developed nations by as much as 7cm (2.76in), according to data from the Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factor Collaboration published by The Times on Tuesday. Since 1985, when British boys and girls both ranked 69 for average height at five years out of 200 listed countries, their ranking has plummeted dramatically – to 102 for boys and 96 for girls, putting them behind countries as diverse as Canada, Kyrgyzstan, and Cuba. Comparing the numbers to data on 19-year-olds, Professor Tim Cole of University College London’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health suggested to The Times that growing up in the 2010s “period of austerity” was what “clobbered the height of children in the UK.” The height of British five-year-olds peaked in 2011 at 112.8cm (44.4in) and has been falling ever since, the statistics show.

Because height is affected not just by quality and quantity of food but also stress, poverty, illness, and even sleep quality, Cole argued it is a uniquely “sensitive” indicator of living conditions. “It’s quite clear we are falling behind, relative to Europe,” he said. “In modern Britain, the way we eat is one of the clearest markers of inequality,” former UK government food adviser Henry Dimbleby told The Times, pointing out that “children in the poorest areas of England are both fatter and significantly shorter than those in the richest areas at age ten to eleven.” Family doctors in low-income areas have reported an “extraordinary” surge in the kind of nutritional-deficiency-borne diseases prevalent during Victorian times, Dimbleby explained. According to NHS data, 700 children are admitted to English hospitals every year with rickets, scurvy, or other forms of malnutrition, while nutrition charity The Food Foundation has found higher rates of type 2 diabetes and dental decay as well as obesity in poorer children.


“A diet of cheap junk food has the peculiar quality that it can make you simultaneously overweight and undernourished.” It is not just European countries like the Netherlands and Lithuania which outperform Britain. According to the study, China and North Korea both raise taller five-year-olds than the UK. Even five-year-olds in Libya – born and raised after the NATO bombing campaign that helped to overthrow their government and turn the country into a failed state – are taller (boys) or as tall (girls) compared to their British counterparts. Austerity has been linked to a host of socioeconomic problems in the UK, from soaring inequality to declining educational achievement. While supporters argue the program enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis was necessary to rescue a floundering economy, critics have countered that the damage done outweighs any benefits.

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Not enough.

House Votes to Censure Rep. Adam Schiff (ET)

The House of Representatives voted to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on June 21, a week after an initial resolution to do so was tabled. The measure passed along party lines on a vote of 213–209. Six Republicans voted “present.” The resolution, introduced by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), denounces Schiff, a Democrat, for allegedly perpetuating misinformation against former President Donald Trump. With the passing of the resolution, Schiff has been referred to the House Ethics Committee for investigation. The resolution was privileged and therefore triggered a House vote. In last week’s vote, 20 Republicans joined 205 Democrats to table the initial resolution.

The revised resolution was similar to the initial one, with the notable difference being that it doesn’t include a $16 million fine for Schiff should he be held accountable by the House Ethics Committee for his alleged “falsehoods, misrepresentations, and abuses of sensitive information.” The proposed $16 million fine is half of the taxpayer cost of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The new resolution, like the tabled one, condemns Schiff, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, for perpetuating the notion there was collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. That was debunked by Mueller in 2019, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz later the same year, and special counsel John Durham in May. Durham testified on June 20 at a closed-door hearing before the House Intelligence Committee and also gave testimony in a public hearing on June 21 in front of the House Judiciary Committee.


Additionally, the new resolution didn’t state that “Schiff used his position and access to sensitive information to instigate a fraudulently based investigation, which he then used to amass political gain and fundraising dollars.” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave credence on June 15 to the 20 House Republicans that joined Democrats in tabling the initial resolution. “I think everybody knows my thoughts of Adam Schiff,” McCarthy told The Epoch Times. “That’s why I removed him from [the House Intelligence Committee]. … You have a number of members on principle that sat and argued for the last four years with President [Donald] Trump that you had to have due process and voted that way. And I think a number of them believe that they should [have] gone to [the House Ethics Committee] first.”

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Very disappointing. 5 years?!

How many of these half-assed investigations, include also Hunter Biden, can the country take?

Durham: FBI Overlooked Intel Clinton Masterminded Plot To Smear Trump (JTN)

Former special counsel John Durham testified Wednesday that the FBI overlooked intelligence that Hillary Clinton had approved a plan to smear former President Donald Trump with Russia allegations and treated the two campaigns disparately during the 2016 election. Durham confirmed that the CIA had received intelligence about Clinton approving a plan to make Russia allegations against Trump as a means of distracting from her classified email scandal. The prosecutor said the FBI did not “sufficiently scrutinize information it received” and did not “apply the same standards to allegations it received about the Clinton and Trump campaigns.” “The FBI was too willing to accept and use politically funded and uncorroborated opposition research, such as the Steele dossier,” he said during the House Judiciary Committee hearing.

“The FBI relied on the dossier and FISA applications, knowing there was likely material originating from a political campaign or political opponent.” He told the House panel that “it’s going to take time to rebuild the public’s confidence in the institution” of the FBI after the agency’s handling of the so-called Russia collusion probe. Durham, appointed as a Justice Department special counsel in 2020 to investigate the matter, has said there was no evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian intelligence officials when the FBI probe was launched. “There were some individuals who clearly expressed a personal bias” against Trump, Durham told the committee, following the release in May of his final report on the now-discredited Russian collusion probe.


Under questioning from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Durham said former FBI Director Jim Comey withheld a referral memorandum from the agents working the Crossfire Hurricane case that contained information about then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s attempts to tie Trump to Russia. The memo contained intelligence from a high-level briefing with Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan. Durham testified that then-President Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch received the same briefing from Brennan. “They kept key intelligence from the investigators. This is how bad this investigation was but here’s the scary part: I don’t think anything has changed,” Jordan said.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Duck

 

 

Cat

 

 

Tire dog

 

 

 

 

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War

May 222023
 
 May 22, 2023  Posted by at 2:40 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  22 Responses »


Nicolas Poussin A Dance to the Music of Time 1634-36

 

 

I haven’t written articles for a while, but instead focused on the Debt Rattle news overviews. My focus has always been on conveying information in the best possible way, so you guys can make up your own mind, instead of me doing it for you. And it’s been hard to counter the MSM reporting, which does exactly that -make up people’s minds-, on Ukraine, with better sources. RT has been a great help. The west ban them because “propaganda”, but it’s clear who is really propaganda. They are a solid news operation, and I can look past that supposed propaganda part.

Anyway, it has made me only work harder over the past few months. And I hope I’ve done well. The fall of Artyomovsk seems a good moment to move towards original articles again. Not that I think MSM/NATO or all the “leaders” involved will stop their practices anytime soon. But at least they’ve been clearly beaten, even if you won’t see it reported in the western media. The world has changed, and we must change with it.

Note: If my writing is a bit rusty, please forgive me.

 

 

In Bakhmut/Artyomovsk, all of NATO, all 31 member nations, were defeated by a restaurant owner and a bunch of convicts, is how I saw someone describe it. That of course caricatures the situation somewhat (Wagner is well-organized), but it’s not that far off. And that spells a serious problem for NATO. All of those 31 members may have lots of control over their media, but in the end you can’t endlessly deny being defeated.

So what will NATO do now? They will double down, and then again. And at the end of the “doubling down road” lie nuclear weapons. Not Russian nukes, because as my friend Wayne wrote the other day, their high-precision hypersonic missiles make nukes look crude and primitive, Middle Ages territory. But NATO/US never developed such weapons. They spent 10+ times as much money on weapons, still do, and -comparatively – ended up with bows and arrows.

Nuclear bombs are good only to create widespread panic and destruction. But that includes your own destruction, because of Mutually Assured Destruction protocols. Which also go back almost as far as the bow and arrow. If you fire a nuclear missile, one very much like it will land on your head a few minutes later. End of story, end of you.

US/NATO, the “collective west”, the hegemon, has lost. And has missed the moment when that occurred. Because hegemon equals hubris. Look at what they’ve all still been saying, and you notice they can’t see, and can’t acknowledge, that -and how- the world has changed. Not just this weekend, and the 9 months before, in Artyomovsk. It’s the entire story of Ukraine: it illustrates how the West “lost it”.

The US plotted a coup and moved NATO’s borders east, and Russia reacted exactly how they said they would. No nukes, no nazis, no NATO. They got the last two, and know they can expect the first too. But still the west maintains Russia’s special operation was entirely unprovoked. Look, they’re not even listening anymore. They would like to negotiate and end all this, but negotiate about what? Putting AZOV back on the borders of the Donbass, so they can kill more Russians there? Not going to happen.

It’s not only about weaponry, though that plays a major role: the hegemon can no longer make its demands based on military might. It’s been surpassed. Nor can it make demands based on the dollar’s reserve currency status, and it caused that itself. Weaponization of the currency has backfired to the extent that de-dollarization has become a process that can no longer be halted.

The moment that Saudi prince MbS turned his back on “Joe Biden” is a milestone. Because once he did that, it was obvious many would follow. In central Asia, if you are Kazachstan or Uzbekistan, why on earth would you opt to go with G7/US/NATO instead of BRICS? Why go with the power that is waning, and not the one in ascendancy? Russia is your biggest neighbor, strongly connected to China which is building its BRI network in your region, and the nearby Arab states are about to join that network. Why would you link yourself to the G7? When you know all your neighbors do not?

Then there are the voices that say the US will push for a bigger and wider war, perhaps including American troops. First, because NATO is losing, and second, because it could mean American boots on the ground, and presidents don’t lose elections in wartime. I’ve said before, I would expect them to go with Polish troops first, possibly on Polish territory too. But the Polish don’t appear all that eager anymore. And neither would any other European NATO country. German and French and Dutch troops are in no shape for war, and in the US over 70% of potential troops are grossly overweight and/or handicapped in some other way.

Ukraine had perhaps the best boots on the ground force in Europe, financed and trained since 2014 by NATO, and they lost to a caterer and a loose group of hired hands. You’re not going to win that. Your only option is long distance weapons, missiles, planes, you name it. But NATO has no advantage in that over Russia. To put it mildly.

The sole thing that’s in your favor is that Russia doesn’t seek to destroy you. They want to live in peace and trade with you. Same thing for China. NATO equals unipolar. But the world has moved towards multipolar. Ergo, NATO is obsolete. Ukraine will never reconquer its “lost” territories, and Zelensky will move to some property in Italy or Florida, never to be heard from again, unless perhaps in his obituary. The deaths of some 300,000 of his countrymen will be on his conscience.

But also on that of all the “leaders” who have sent their second-hand armory to Kiev. They are just as responsible for all those deaths. The world has changed a lot in the past few years, and ignorance is no excuse if you are a “leader”, or a “Joe Biden”. Not even if you’re “just” a voter or reader. Those deaths will be on your head when you go see St. Peter at the gate.

PS: Don’t be surprised if “Joe Biden” sends US boots on the ground anyway. No hegemon has ever given up power lightly. That part of the road is yours, US and EU voters. You may have to fill up the streets like you’ve never seen. The rest, the majority, of the world will be waiting to see if you do or not. They’re prepared for either of the two options.

 

 

 

 

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May 212023
 


Odilon Redon Sunset 1902

 

Key Donbass City Captured – Wagner Chief (RT)
Bakhmut Has Fallen – Artyomovsk Has Been Liberated (MoA)
Putin Congratulates Wagner Assault Teams With Liberation Of Artyomovsk (TASS)
Zelenskyy Appears To Confirm Loss Of Bakhmut (Az.)
Ukraine To Recapture Artyomovsk – Zelensky’s Top Aide (RT)
Russian Hypersonic Strikes Likely Caused Mercenary Casualties (MWM)
Germany Pours Cold Water On Fighter Jets For Ukraine (RT)
F-16s May Suffer Considerable Losses If Deployed To Ukraine – Magazine (TASS)
Poland Wants Zelensky To Apologize For WW2 Ukrainian Nazi Massacre (RT)
The United States Has Been Destroyed by Its Ruling Elites (PCR)
China Questions ‘Credibility’ Of G7 Members (RT)
US and Israeli Envoys Clash Over Soros (RT)
Exxon Crushes Progressive “Net Zero” Dreams (ZH)
FBI Improperly Used Surveillance Program to Spy on Jan. 6 Suspects – Court (ET)
Monty Python Pressured To Drop Gender Transition Skit (RT)

 

 

May 20, 2019: Zelensky becomes president

May 20, 2022: loses Mariupol

May 20, 2023: loses Bakhmut

 

 

 

RFK jr
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660045079187267589

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We’ve taken the whole city – every building – so that nobody could say that we didn’t capture some small part of it..”

In the last few months, they went slow, to minimize casualties.

Key Donbass City Captured – Wagner Chief (RT)

The key Donbass city of Artyomovsk, known as Bakhmut in Ukraine, has been fully liberated by the Russian forces, Evgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner private military company has announced. “Today at noon, Bakhmut was fully captured,” Prigozhin said in a video address published on Saturday. The last part of an area of high-rise buildings where the Ukrainians were holed up is now under the control of Russian forces, he stated. The Wagner Group will remain in Artyomovsk until Thursday, Prigozhin said, adding that during this period, fortifications will be created across the city. Control will then be passed on to the Russian Defense Ministry, and Wagner Group servicemen will go on leave to rest and regroup following months of intense fighting. According to Prigozhin, the PMC’s operation in the city, which he called ‘the Bakhmut meat-grinder’, had gone on for 224 days.


“We’ve taken the whole city – every building – so that nobody could say that we didn’t capture some small part of it,” he said. Kiev has denied Prigozhin’s claims that Artyomovsk has been captured. Ukrainian military spokesman Sergey Cherevaty told Reuters: “This is not true. Our units are fighting in Bakhmut.” The Wagner chief also personally addressed Ukraine’s president, Vladimir Zelensky, saying, “without sarcasm” that the Ukrainian troops “fought bravely, fought well”defending Artyomovsk. “Today, when you see [US President Joe] Biden, kiss him on the top of his head and tell him that I said ‘hi,’” he said. Earlier on Saturday, Zelensky arrived at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, where he is expected to hold talks with Biden.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1659923608683126784

https://twitter.com/i/status/1659942493771759616

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“The losses there for the Ukrainians amounted to 300 to 500 men per day over that last 5 months. That sums up to a total of 60,000 casualties.”

Bakhmut Has Fallen – Artyomovsk Has Been Liberated (MoA)

The so far largest battle of the 21st century ended today. Bakhmut has fallen. Artyomovsk (the Russian/Soviet name of the city) has been liberated. This was announced today by the titular leader of the Wagner forces, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a video posted on Telegram. Why the Ukrainian leadership had decided to hold onto the city even months after the situation there was already in its disfavor is beyond me. The fight was decided by the numerical superiority of Russian artillery fire and the Ukraine had never a chance to top that. The losses there for the Ukrainians amounted to 300 to 500 men per day over that last 5 months. That sums up to a total of 60,000 casualties. Ten days ago Ukrainian units, including the fascist Azov brigade, rolled up the Russian flanks north and south of Bakhmut to allow the Ukrainian troops in the city to flee west.


That attack alone, only one or 2 kilometer deep, cost them some 1,600+ men and some 50+ armored vehicles. On the Russian side the fighting in the city was largely done by Wagner troops. But they were never able to do it on their own. Russian military intelligence, artillery and logistics all played an important role in the fight. The city has been destroyed but it will continued to exist as it is an important logistical hub with several rail and road connections running through it. Mariupol, which fell/was liberated a year ago, is already being rebuild. In a month or two, when the frontline has moved away from Artyomovsk, rebuilding will start there too. For a moment now the front line in Ukraine seems all around relative quit. It is not clear to me when or where a new operational move will start.

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I’ve consistently used Bakhmut. Maybe it’s time to change that?

Putin Congratulates Wagner Assault Teams With Liberation Of Artyomovsk (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated assault teams of the Wagner private military company and Russian troops with the liberation of the city of Artyomovsk, the Kremlin’s press office said in a statement on Sunday. “Vladimir Putin congratulates Wagner assault teams as well as all Russian troops, who rendered the required assistance and shielded the flanks, with the completion of the operation to liberate Artyomovsk,” the statement reads. “Everyone, who distinguished himself in the battle, will be recommended for the state decorations,” the statement added. The Russian Defense Ministry announced earlier in the day that the city of Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine) has been completely liberated in the course of the special military operation in Ukraine.


“In the Artyomovsk tactical direction, the assault teams of the Wagner private military company with the support of artillery and aviation of the southern battlegroup have completed the liberation of the city of Artyomovsk,” the ministry stated. Artyomovsk is located in the north of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and it served as a major transportation hub for the Ukrainian army’s supplies in Donbass. Fierce fighting to liberate the city started on August 1, 2022. The battle for this city is one of the largest battles during the liberation of Donbass since 2014. Some 72,000 people lived in Artyomovsk before the battle started.

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“It is tragedy,” Zelenskiy said. “There is nothing on this place.”

Zelenskyy Appears To Confirm Loss Of Bakhmut (Az.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared to confirm the loss of the city of Bakhmut to Russia on Sunday, when asked if it remained in Kyiv’s control, Report informs via Reuters. “I think no,” he said ahead of a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Japan. “For today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts.” Russia claimed on Saturday to have fully captured the smashed eastern Ukrainian city, which if true would mark an end to the longest and bloodiest battle of the 15-month war. “It is tragedy,” Zelenskiy said. “There is nothing on this place.” The assault on the largely levelled city was led by troops from the Wagner Group of mercenaries, whose leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said earlier in the day that his troops had finally pushed the Ukrainians out of the last built-up area inside the city.

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“The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied that the city had fallen and insisted that the fighting is still ongoing..”

Ukraine To Recapture Artyomovsk – Zelensky’s Top Aide (RT)

Ukraine will recapture the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, President Vladimir Zelensky’s senior adviser Mikhail Podoliak said on Saturday night. His remarks came after Wagner private military company boss Evgen Prigozhin announced that his fighters had taken complete control of the city. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed in the early hours of Sunday that Wagner had executed the operation with the help from regular troops. Podoliak, however, insisted that the Russians were exhausted by the fighting. “What will Russia do next, even if it captures two more [city] blocks? With what forces will they proceed, and where, and why?” Podoliak said in an interview on Ukrainian TV. “As for us, we cannot stop somewhere in the middle. Bakhmut will be liberated, just like any other Ukrainian territory,” the adviser said.


The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied that the city had fallen and insisted that the fighting is still ongoing. Podoliak claimed that Prigozhin sought to divert attention from Zelensky’s overseas tour with stops in several European countries, Saudi Arabia, and Japan. The Ukrainian leader attended the Arab League summit in Jeddah on Friday and the G7 meeting in Hiroshima the next day. The news of the fall of Artyomovsk also comes as Ukraine is gearing up for its much-touted counteroffensive. Officials in Kiev repeatedly stressed that its timing and success would depend on weapons deliveries from the West. Zelensky promised last month that Ukrainian soldiers would not leave Artyomovsk because the retreat would “give Russian troops and Wagner a chance to capture more of our land.” The city itself has been largely destroyed by months in intense warfare.

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”..when the systems were deployed as early as April 2023 there was widespread speculation that military contractors from Western countries were responsible for manning and maintaining them..”

Russian Hypersonic Strikes Likely Caused Mercenary Casualties (MWM)

On May 16 as part of a broad spectrum of attacks on targets in the Ukrainian capital Kiev Russian Air Force MiG-31K strike fighters launched Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ballistic missiles to target Ukraine’s Patriot air defence systems. Recently delivered from Germany and the United States, Patriots are considered by far the most costly and high end weapons systems in Ukrainian service, and are very widely deployed both by seven NATO members and by key overseas strategic partners such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Israel. The strikes on the Patriots followed warnings form Russian officials, as well as from several analysts in the West, that any systems delivered to Ukraine would very quickly be targeted and destroyed after becoming operational. The reputational loss the Patriot was expected to suffer was thus reportedly a major factor leading Washington to hesitate to approve transfers of the assets.

While a radar system and five missile batteries from the Patriot system were reported to have been destroyed in the MiG-31K strike, reportedly after firing 32 surface to air missiles as part of unsuccessful attempts to intercept the Kinzhal missiles, little remains known regarding casualties among the system’s crew or the nature of the personnel which were manning it when it was struck. Washington’s decision to deliver Patriot systems announced in December was largely motivated by an urgent need to strengthen the defences of major Ukrainian cities. Not only were cities such as Kiev considered at serious risk of needing to be abandoned due to the rapid destruction of infrastructure in Russian strikes, but Ukraine’s existing air defence network reliant on massive arsenals inherited from the Soviet era had also been very seriously depleted limiting their ability to defend either cities or frontline forces.

Nevertheless the Patriot as a highly complex weapons system was considered far too advanced for Ukrainian personnel to be able to train to operate in time for the assets to have an impact on the war, meaning when the systems were deployed as early as April 2023 there was widespread speculation that military contractors from Western countries were responsible for manning and maintaining them. Western personnel on the ground have played a very large role in the Russian-Ukrainian War, from British Royal Marines deployed to the frontlines and massive ‘stealth networks’ of CIA and other personnel performing roles such as organising logistics, to contractors usually formerly members of Western militaries who have deployed in an unofficial capacity often in full frontline units.

The presence of Western contractors already trained in operating a range of Western weapons systems has according to multiple reports played a key role in Ukraine’s seemingly seamless integration of new military hardware from its supporters in Europe and the United States, where non-Soviet equipment was previously used only in very limited roles before February 2022. Regarding the need for contractors to operate Patriot systems in Ukraine, the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) advisory body was among many sources to issue reports that Ukrainian personnel would be unable to operate Patriot missile systems before 2024 at the earliest. “There is a lot of learning to do before Ukraine will have a functioning Patriot system on the ground,” it emphasised, highlighting taking local repair crews as an example that this would take approximately 53 weeks. With Ukrainian personnel thus unlikely to have been manning the Patriot systems deployed in April and attacked in May, less than five months after the decision was taken to supply the systems, it is likely that contractors from NATO member states with experience operating the Patriots were the ones targeted. The scale of the destruction caused by the strikes means casualties among these personnel are likely, although they are unlikely to be disclosed at least until many years after the war’s conclusion.

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“..Western countries are “sticking to the escalation scenario,” which is “fraught with colossal risks.”

Germany Pours Cold Water On Fighter Jets For Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine should not expect F-16 fighter jet deliveries from the West in the near future, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday, while expressing support for a plan to train pilots to fly the advanced jets. Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Scholz stated that “what is connected with the training of pilots is a long-term project,” adding that the US has not yet decided what will happen at the end of the program. “The project has a message for Russia: Russia cannot count on winning if it bets on a long war,” he said. Scholz stated, however, that there is no chance Germany will take part in F-16 deliveries to Ukraine. “First of all, everyone knows that we don’t even have such aircraft.”

The chancellor noted that Berlin is providing Kiev with what is “immediately important now,” including tanks, ammunition, and air defense equipment, adding that Germany “will support Ukraine for as long as it is necessary, financially, humanitarianly and also with arms.” “We have mobilized our resources,” he said. “We can continue to do this for a long time.” The comments come after US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders on Friday that Washington will support a joint training program for Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s, which would take place in Europe.

This week, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that he and his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, agreed to establish an ‘international coalition’ to “provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting with everything from training to procuring F-16 jets,” with a number of European countries supporting the move. On Friday, several US media outlets reported that Washington will not block its allies from sending F-16s to Ukraine, which Kiev has been requesting for months. Commenting on the potential plans to send modern fighter jets to Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko said that Western countries are “sticking to the escalation scenario,” which is “fraught with colossal risks.” “In any case, all our plans will take this into consideration, and we have all the necessary means to achieve our goals” regarding the military campaign in Ukraine, Grushko added.

F16

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Key line: “..which would be a major blow to the F-16’s reputation..”

F-16s May Suffer Considerable Losses If Deployed To Ukraine – Magazine (TASS)

The US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets may suffer significant losses in Ukraine, as a result of Russian strikes on their airfields or air combat, which would be a major blow to the reputation of that jet, the US’ Military Watch Magazine reported on Saturday. “A likely key reason for the discrepancy in the American and European positions is that the United States still has a very large stake in the F-16 program, not only as the fighter will continue to form the backbone of the U.S. Air Force for decades, but also because it continues to offer modernized variants of the class for export at times for hundreds of millions of dollars per airframe,” the article said.


“Thus should F-16s be deployed to Ukraine, the United States would be bearing the primary risk. Not only is there a possibility that the fighter or its technologies could fall into Russian hands, as other Western equipment has in considerable quantities, but there is also a much greater chance that the fighters could suffer significant losses both to strikes on their airfields and in air to air combat which would be a major blow to the F-16’s reputation,” the article reads. On Friday, NBC reported that the US and its allies had plans to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and that Washington’s allies may help Ukraine procure the planes. US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders in Hiroshima that Washington supports international efforts to train Ukrainian pilots on modern fighter jets, including F-16s. Zelensky said that he looking forward to bringing this issue up at the G7 summit. On Saturday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said commenting on F-16 potential supplies to Kiev that Western countries continued down the path of escalation in the Ukraine conflict and Russia would keep this in mind in its plans.

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Like Poland was squeaky clean.. Anyone seen Shoah?

Poland Wants Zelensky To Apologize For WW2 Ukrainian Nazi Massacre (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky should assume more responsibility for his nation when it comes to the Volyn massacre, a mass murder committed by Ukrainian nationalists against ethnic Poles during WWII, a spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry, Lukasz Jasina, has said. In an interview with Poland’s Onet online news media outlet on Friday, the official was asked if Zelensky should apologize for the massacre. “The Ukrainian side did not do this but president Zelensky should take more responsibility [for] Ukraine,”Jasina said. The issue has such an importance for Warsaw that it must be dealt with at the highest level, he added. The dark legacy of the Volyn massacre still haunts the bilateral relations between the two neighbors and “blocks many joint initiatives,” the ministry’s spokesman said.

In 2016, the Polish parliament recognized the Volyn Massacres as genocide at the hands of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). “You can’t change that fact. You can’t turn back time and there will never be a good time to talk about it…” Jasina said. According to the official, saying “I’m sorry and please forgive me” always works very well in Polish-Ukrainian relations “but there is still not enough of it.” The Volyn massacre was part of an ethnic cleansing campaign waged by UPA nationalist militants against the local Polish population in the regions of Western Ukraine and eastern Poland also known as Volhynia and Galicia between 1943 and 1944, during the Nazi occupation. According to various estimates, from 40,000 to 60,000 Poles were killed in total. The UPA was a paramilitary wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) known for its radical anti-Semitic ideology.

The UPA assisted Nazi Germany’s troops in the extermination of Jews on the territory of Ukraine on multiple occasions, in addition to the tens of thousands of Poles it killed in western Ukraine. Glorification of Ukrainian nationalists by Kiev, including the OUN leader, Stepan Bandera, has long been a contentious issue in relations between Ukraine and Poland as well as Israel. In 2018, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a bill that banned the promotion of the ideology associated with Stepan Bandera. Israel also repeatedly urged Kiev to refrain from glorifying “war criminals.” Kiev still apparently fails to understand just how important this issue is for the Poles, Jasina said, adding that “this is… not the most important thing for Ukrainians” and their “understanding is still too weak.” The people in Poland, however, “clearly said this is more important than some behind-the-scenes diplomatic negotiations,”he added.

Kiev blasted Warsaw over what it called bossing Ukraine around. “Any attempt to impose on the Ukrainian president or Ukraine [and tell us] what we must [do] about our common past is unacceptable and unfortunate,” Ukraine’s ambassador to Warsaw, Vasily Zvarych said on Twitter on Saturday. He also said that Ukraine “remembers history” and called for what he called “balance and respect in statements.” Bandera has been officially hailed as a national hero in Ukraine since 2010. Ukrainian nationalists have regularly marked his birthday on January 1 with torchlit marches and massive demonstrations. Warsaw has repeatedly protested such actions. In January, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki vowed to raise the issue of Bandera with Kiev at the first opportunity.

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Note: both Paul Craig Roberts and Martin Armstrong see the US going to war before the elections. In order to win the elections. I’ve been toying with the idea for a long time, and I would add the option to use the war to have no elections at all.

The United States Has Been Destroyed by Its Ruling Elites (PCR)

The Special Counsel’s vindication of Donald Trump and denunciation of the FBI for conducting a politically motivated investigation devoid of any evidence should collapse the equally fraudulent Biden regime investigation of Trump on fake documents charges and the New York state prosecution of Trump on alleged expense misreporting charges. It has been clear for a long time that the list of fake charges against Trump, supported by the media, are propaganda to prevent Trump again running for President and to teach all future potential presidential candidates that they will be destroyed if they attempt to represent the people instead of the unelected ruling oligarchy.


However, the Democrat Party and the presstitutes that service them have no respect whatsoever for truth. Facts simply do not matter to them. This is true also of American Universities, law associations, medical associations, the CIA, FBI, NSA, the State Department, the regulatory agencies such as NIH, CDC, FDA, the large corporations, and many establishment Republican members of the House and Senate who serve the economic interests that pay them, not truth. It is also the case with a high percentage of Democrat voters who have been conditioned by propaganda to hate Trump. To Democrats what matters is not facts, but getting Trump. Truth is not permitted to prevent the destruction of Trump.

Consequently, the US is moving toward a fatal split in the society from which recovery is impossible. Trump represents ordinary Americans who prefer peace to the neoconservatives’ wars, who want their jobs back that the greed-driven capitalist global corporations sent to China and Asia, who want their children properly educated instead of indoctrinated with sexual perversion, Satanism, and told that they are racists. In contrast, the Democrats are increasingly Woke–people who believe that truth is an oppressive tool of white supremacy, that Christian morality is tyrannical and discriminatory against pedophiles and other sexual perverts, and that, as “President” Biden himself has said, white people are the greatest threat to America.


Now that official investigations by the House Republicans have brought the utter corruption of Biden and his son to light, the Democrats, the dangerous and corrupt military/security complex, and the complicit whore American media, are desperate. They all stand as being exposed. So, rather than apologize for their mistreatment of Trump and his supporters–1,000 of whom the Democrats have illegally imprisoned–they will likely strike out while they still control the Executive Branch, the US Senate, the CIA, FBI, NSA, and federal agencies such as the IRS that have been armed and militarized. Alternatively, the corrupt and threatened Democrats might cause war between the US and Russia, or Iran, or China in the hopes that a war will unify even Trump supporters, especially the super-patriots among them, around the “President” against “foreign enemies.”

Armstrong

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“The international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules..”

China Questions ‘Credibility’ Of G7 Members (RT)

The international community will not fall in line with the pro-Western rules pushed by the G7 and not allow the US-led group to dominate world affairs, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. “China will never accept the so-called rules imposed by the few. The international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules that seek to divide the world based on ideologies and values,” the statement read. The Foreign Ministry went on to accuse the group of acting on behalf of “America-first” policies and attempting to impose its will on others. “That simply shows how little international credibility means to the G7,” the ministry said. “Gone are the days when a handful of Western countries can just willfully meddle in other countries’ internal affairs and manipulate global affairs.” The Group of Seven is an informal club consisting of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The G7 annual meetings are typically also attended by officials representing the EU.


In a joint communique adopted at the summit in Hiroshima, Japan on Saturday, the G7 listed multiple allegations aimed at Beijing, including technology theft, “economic coercion,” and human rights abuses at home. The group said that it strongly opposes “any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force” around Taiwan and in the South China Sea. Beijing responded by saying that “affairs related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet are purely China’s internal affairs.” China accused the G7 of endangering peace in the region by providing “support for ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.” Although G7 members refrain from formally establishing diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the US has sold weapons to Taipei and promised to defend it from a potential attack from the mainland. US politicians have also met with officials from Taiwan, prompting harsh criticism from Beijing, which opposes any form of diplomatic contacts with the Taipei authorities.

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“..criticism of Soros – who finances the most hostile organizations to the Jewish people and the state of Israel is anything but anti-Semitism, quite the opposite!”

US and Israeli Envoys Clash Over Soros (RT)

The US and Israeli anti-Semitism envoys have taken opposing positions on whether supporters or critics of Jewish financier George Soros is anti-Semitic. The argument kicked off when Twitter CEO Elon Musk compared Soros to a cartoon supervillain. In a tweet on Monday, Musk said that Soros reminds him of “Magneto,” a mutant-supremacist scientist from Marvel’s ‘X-Men’ universe. When a commenter pointed out that Magneto was depicted – like Soros – as a Holocaust survivor and that both have “good intentions,” Musk doubled down. “You assume they are good intentions,” he wrote. “They are not. He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity.” Musk was quickly accused of anti-Semitism, with Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt declaring that by comparing the billionaire “to a Jewish supervillain,” Musk would “embolden extremists.”

The Israeli government disagreed. “The Israeli government and the vast majority of Israeli citizens see Elon Musk as an amazing entrepreneur and a role model,” Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli tweeted on Thursday, adding that “criticism of Soros – who finances the most hostile organizations to the Jewish people and the state of Israel is anything but anti-Semitism, quite the opposite!” Soros has donated more than $32 billion to liberal political causes through his Open Society Foundations NGO, and was the largest donor in last year’s midterm elections in the US, gifting $128 million to Democratic Party candidates and organizations. Soros funds a number of Palestinian activist groups that accuse the Israeli state of war crimes, and several international organizations that promote boycotts of Israeli goods and sanctions against its leaders. In the US, the Biden administration sided with its leading donor against Chikli’s criticism.

“Irrespective of how one feels about George Soros’s politics or policies, it is entirely disingenuous to deny that many ad hominem attacks on him rely on classic antisemitic tropes and rhetoric,” US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt tweeted on Friday. “In bygone eras, the antisemites invoked the Rothschild family to advance their conspiracies about Jews. Today they use Soros to do so,” she declared. Neither Soros nor his Open Society Foundations have responded to Musk’s comments. Asked on Tuesday whether he was worried his controversial tweets would drive advertisers away from Twitter, Musk told CNBC News “I don’t care. I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequences are losing money, so be it.”

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“It is highly unlikely that society would accept the degradation in global standard of living..”

Exxon Crushes Progressive “Net Zero” Dreams (ZH)

In a world of suffocating snowflakery, ESG hypocrisy and, well… Tranheuser Busch, a corporation telling the truth without fear of reprisals from the Open Society-funded virtue signaling cabal is rarer than an mRNA-injected, genetically engineered hen’s teeth. And yet that’s what the company hated by every progressive, Exxon Mobil, did this week when it became the first corporation to denounce the insidious and laughable claims that “net zero” is even a remote possibility by 2050. The US supermajor pushed back against investors pressing the company to report on the risks to its business from restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions and potential environmental disasters when in a reply to proxy advisor Glass Lewis, Exxon said the prospect of the world achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 is remote and should not be further evaluated in its financial statements.

A shareholder proposal seeking a report on the cost of having to abandon projects faces a shareholder vote on May 31. Glass Lewis backed the initiative, concluding Exxon could face material financial risks from the net-zero scenario. Exxon disagreed, and said the world is not on a path to achieve net-zero emissions in 2050 as limiting energy production to levels below consumption demand would lead to a spike in energy prices, as observed in Europe following oil sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. Exxon, is of course, correct however that won’t stop the green fanatics from beating the drum that somehow the world can transition to “green” energy (at a cost of some $150 trillion mind you) in the next 27 years without an energy cataclysm.

At the heart of the issue is the 2050 net-zero emissions (NZE) scenario of the International Energy Agency (IEA) which envisions a path to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. For the NZE scenario to be met, the IEA had hilariously said new oil exploration would have to have stopped in 2021 and nations would have to switch to renewable energy from fossil fuels (good luck with that). Exxon is among the companies heavily investing in new exploration to generate oil and gas for decades to come, and in retrospect, one can thank their deity of choice for Exxon’s decision to do so as opposed to sending the world back into the dark ages, an outcome which so many from the World Economic Forum seems to aspire to. “It is clear that the IEA NZE does not, by the scenario authors’ own assessment, meet the level of likelihood required to be considered in our financial statements,” Exxon said in a response filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. “It is highly unlikely that society would accept the degradation in global standard of living required to permanently achieve a scenario like the IEA NZE,” Exxon said in dismissing the proposal.

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So free them all.

FBI Improperly Used Surveillance Program to Spy on Jan. 6 Suspects – Court (ET)

The FBI abused its surveillance powers while spying on suspects in the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol and Black Lives Matter protesters, a federal court said in a newly unsealed ruling. FBI agents violated standards the agency developed for the Section 702 program, which enables spying on Americans and others, more than 278,000 times, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said in the 2022 ruling, which was made public for the first time on May 19. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act enables agencies like the FBI to collect information like emails without warrants from foreigners, even if they’re in the United States, and bars intentionally targeting Americans.

The FBI developed its own standard for Section 702 searches, stating that queries “must be reasonably likely to retrieve foreign intelligence information, as defined by FISA, or evidence of a crime, unless otherwise specifically excepted.” But FBI agents have been violating the standard, the court has found, with the newest ruling disclosing hundreds of thousands of abusive searches in addition to those already known. The abusive searches include multiple improper queries targeting suspected or confirmed Jan. 6 suspects. In one instance, an analyst searched for information on 13 people suspected of being involved in the Capitol breach. The analyst “said she ran the queries to determine whether these individuals had foreign ties,” but the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (NSD) “concluded the queries were not reasonably likely to retrieve foreign intelligence information or evidence of crime,” the newly unsealed ruling states.


In another case, widespread searches that in total consisted of more than 23,000 separate queries looked for information on presumed Americans to see whether the people were “being used by a group” involved in the breach. “The queries were run against unminimized Section 702 information to find evidence of possible foreign influence, although the analyst conducting the queries had no indications of foreign influence related to the query terms used,” the court said. “NSD assessed there was no specific factual basis to believe the queries were reasonably likely to retrieve foreign intelligence information or evidence of crime from Section 702 information.”

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“Cleese last year complained that “cancel culture” had had a “disastrous effect” on comedy and had even caused the “death of creativity..”

Monty Python Pressured To Drop Gender Transition Skit (RT)

Beloved British comedy troupe Monty Python was pressured to do away with a skit from their classic film ‘Life of Brian’ that jokes about a man wanting to become a woman and have babies, co-founder John Cleese told an audience at his one-man show last week. “We love the script, but you can’t do that stuff about Loretta nowadays,” performers conducting a read-through of the Biblical parody last year supposedly told Cleese, claiming the skit – in which the character Stan insists on being called ‘Loretta’ and declares “it’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them” – would offend modern audiences. “So here you have something there’s never been a complaint about in 40 years, that I’ve heard of, and now all of a sudden we can’t do it because it’ll offend people,” Cleese lamented. “What is one supposed to make of that?”

In the skit, Stan’s comrades in the People’s Front of Judea are split on whether to support ‘Loretta’s’ new identity, and the self-declared woman accuses his detractor of “oppressing” him. “I’m not oppressing you, Stan, you haven’t got a womb! Where’s the fetus gonna gestate? You gonna keep it in a box?” his friend asks. The lone female of the group, Judith, suggests a compromise. “Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies – not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’ – but that he can have the right to have babies.” Stan’s friend Reg likes that idea, declaring it’s “symbolic of our struggle against oppression” – while the naysayer mutters it’s merely “symbolic of [Stan’s] struggle against reality.” The film version of ‘Life of Brian’ was previously banned in some countries for its supposedly blasphemous subject matter, being a profoundly irreverent satire on the Biblical stories chronicling the life and times of the Christian messiah Jesus Christ.

The 2024 stage show adaptation, set to open next year in London, will reportedly excise the film’s crucifixion scene, in which the characters sing the incongruously catchy and upbeat tune ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ while the messiah character Brian is being executed. Eric Idle, another founding member of Monty Python, clarified in a tweet on Friday that he was not involved in the stage show version after British Comedy Guide referred to “Cleese and Idle” having made changes to the original script. Cleese last year complained that “cancel culture” had had a “disastrous effect” on comedy and had even caused the “death of creativity,” explaining that “if you’re worried about offending people and constantly thinking of that, you are not going to be very creative.”

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The Mauna Kea silversword, Argyroxiphium, or the Flower of Patience. It opens every 7 years and it lasts only for 7 days.

 

 


This is a newfound species of tardigrade, one of about 1,300 known types of water bears. It was discovered in moss growing on dead tree trunks in Germany’s Black Forest. SEM image, magnified 2,400 times.

 

 

Duckling
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660000602833731584

 

 


The Philippine eagle is considered the largest of the extant eagles in the world in terms of length and wing surface. Being a critically endangered species, killing a Philippine eagle is punishable under Philippine law up to 12 years in prison [read more: https://buff.ly/2lKrawh]

 

 

 

 

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