May 192024
 


Wassily Kandinsky Moscow Red Square 1916

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Tic tac

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Cohen Cooper

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Zelensky Blasts West For Wanting Conflict To End (RT)

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

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

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

Draft

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Western Europe will do much worse after that generation.

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

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

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

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

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

We always do. No matter how much you give…

Zelensky Details Ukraine’s Weapons Demands (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Moscow WILL hit them.

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

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

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

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

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Kabuki.

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

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

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

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

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

Russia & China – Two Against One (Ray McGovern)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

More power for the ultra-right. Bibi likes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finkelstein

Read more …

No-one’s surprised.

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

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

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

Read more …

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Sleepy dog

 

 

Deep path

 

 

Yaxi

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 232024
 


Gustav Klimt The Park 1909

 

Alina Habba Rages As Judge Approves Trump’s $175 Million Bond (ET)
Will Trump Testify? (Victoria Taft)
Trump Urges “Peaceful Protest” As Day 1 In Hush-Money Case Ends (ZH)
Trump Sold-Out His Base to Shovel $95 Billion to Ukraine and Israel (Whitney)
Supreme Court Denies Bid to Expand No-Excuse Mail-In Ballots in Texas (ET)
Biden Targets Radical IDF Unit With Sanctions to Placate His Voters (Sp.)
US Forced Israel To Abandon Larger Attack On Iran – NYT (RT)
Will Zionism Self-Destruct? (Alastair Crooke)
US Goes ‘Slippery Slide’ With Sending Its Military Personnel to Ukraine (Sp.)
The Bad Faith Olympics (Kunstler)
Polish President Rejects Own PM’s ‘Pre-war’ Warning (RT)
Biden Fears RFK Jr. as He Gets on Another Ballot (Sp.)
Michael Brenner: The Moral Depravity of Western Imperialism (Sch.)
No, It Does Not Matter Why the Man Lit Himself on Fire (Turley)

 

 

Still trying to understand this.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1782508137582608427

 

 

Bannon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782461540442263664

 

 

Something Amazing is Developing with this Presidential Immunity SCOTUS Case…

Mike Davis:
— Can the Trump 47 Justice Department charge Obama for Capital Murder for murdering 2 Americans in a drone strike?
— Can the Trump 47 Justice Department charge Biden for the illegals pouring into the US, and their resulting crimes?

What to do? What to do? Trump says he should have “ABSOLUTE Immunity” . “Absolute” is the key word here… As it stands, the Constitution does say a President has Absolute Immunity from many lawsuits (not all)… BUT…. Trumps case is under legal dispute to determine whether or not a President has immunity from CRIMINAL Liability or Prosecution. No President in history has ever been charged for a crime, as the Constitution currently stands. A major precedent will be set with this SCOTUS ruling this Thursday… I believe this ruling may be closing some loopholes to go after others.. The wordage is going to be very very important.

 

 

Tulsi Kamala 2019

 

 

Tucker Ukr

 

 

Zel

Zel 2006

 

 

Founding Fathers

 

 

 

 

“…in one hour, that judge and the attorney general realized they had no idea what they were talking about… and we came to an agreement that everything would be the same…”

Alina Habba Rages As Judge Approves Trump’s $175 Million Bond (ET)

Former President Donald Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James reached an agreement on April 22 regarding his $175 million bond in his New York civil case, imposing additional restrictions while resolving concerns about the funds’ security. The attorney general argued that Knight Specialty Insurance Company (KSIC) lacked a “certificate of qualification” and that President Trump still had access to the Charles Schwab account pledged to the insurer as collateral. Judge Arthur Engoron accepted the April 22 agreement, which gave KSIC exclusive control over the account. The state made the offer after Chris Kise, President Trump’s attorney, provided oral argument. The attorney general established five bond conditions this morning that allow President Trump to use a non-New York company as a traditional license surety to cover the $175 million he was ordered to pay.

KSIC is unauthorized by the New York Department of Financial Services, which bond experts have said is a victory for President Trump. “[The company] is probably charging Trump less and they accepted a pledge rather than actually receiving $175 million in cash,” Bruce Lederman, a commercial and real estate litigator who has dealt in bonds for more than 40 years, said. All of President Trump’s attorneys agreed to the settlement stipulations, which are expected to be memorialized by the end of the week. The five bond conditions include retaining the collateral in a Schwab account and restricting KSIC from trading or withdrawing any of the funds for anything other than payment of the bond. “The state was not looking to be vindictive,” Mr. Lederman told The Epoch Times. “They are looking simply to be guaranteed that they are geting paid if they win the appeal, and they were sufficiently satisfied that if these five conditions were met, they would get paid.”

[..] President Trump defended the bond outside the courtroom at his criminal trial. “We put up cash and the number is 175,” President Trump said. “She shouldn’t be complaining about the bonding company. The bonding company would be good for it because I put up the money. I have plenty of money to put up.” After the hearing, President Trump’s lawyer in the case, Alina Habba, fumed at the judge’s incompetence, “he doesn’t even understand basic principles of finance,” and at AG James’ “this is where your taxpayer dollars are going America…witch hunt after witch hunt after witch hunt…” Habba continued to excoriate the whole farce: “…in one hour, that judge and the attorney general realized they had no idea what they were talking about… and we came to an agreement that everything would be the same…”

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“The media have called this case a “hush money” case, but one of our crafty commenters called it the Hush Trump case. Touche’.

Will Trump Testify? (Victoria Taft)

Will Donald Trump testify at his New York City at the Hush Trump bookkeeping trial? Testimony is underway in the trial of former President Trump, who is charged with a bookkeeping issue of misreporting payments in 2017 as legal fees instead of campaign expenses. His overarching crime, by the Manhattan district attorney’s lights, is a federal election crime, which boils down to Trump stealing the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton won New York in 2016 by a nearly two-to-one margin, so clearly this trial is on the up-and-up. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg dredged up this trial from the dead after federal elections officials and the previous DA as well as Bragg himself declined to bring this case years before. But after Biden’s DOJ parachuted in a Trump specialist attack dog to go after the former president, the Democrats decided to throw everything against the wall to prevent him from being reelected.

Former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr, who can’t stand the former president, calls this case an “abomination… obviously political …and a real threat to liberty.” Better late than never, Bill. He’ll be out with his 2020 observations by, hmmm, let’s say next year. The witness list is out, and the first person to take the stand in this non-televised drama will be the former publisher of the National Enquirer, who paid porn performer Stormy Daniels money for exclusive rights to her story and then killed it. That’s not a crime, but it will dovetail nicely with the prosecution’s index horribilis that they will use as distractive chaff from this “abomination.” The Enquirer paid Daniels $150,000 while Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, who will also testify, paid her $130,000. Trump personally paid Cohen for his legal activities by more than doubling the amount and giving him a $60K spiff for his legal services.

This is the “crime” for which Trump is dragged through the courts. Since it has been, as the lawyers like to say, “bootstrapped” to an unspecified federal elections crime (which the feds said wasn’t a federal elections crime) it has suddenly gone from a civil case to a criminal case. Robert Costello, Cohen’s former attorney, will testify for the defense, according to the witness list. Trump is not on the witness list, but a defendant can always decide if he wants to testify during the trial. Trump has told the world he will testify. “I don’t know, I’m testifying. I tell the truth. I mean, all I can do is tell the truth,” he said recently. “And the truth is,” he continued, “that there’s no case, they have no case.” Last week he answered “yes” when a reporter yelled the question as he entered the Manhattan courthouse. One of Trump’s appellate attorneys, Will Scharf, told CNN recently that he thinks if he decided to testify Trump would do well. “If the jury decides based on the facts and the law, there’s no way President Trump can be convicted,” he said. Scharf says Trump “would be a compelling witness” if he chooses to testify.

In the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial, Trump testified for less than four minutes. One can imagine the cross-examination of Trump by prosecutors using the list of bad acts that have nothing to do with his case, getting him flustered and angry and showing the jury what a bad guy he is. Trump can be cool and calm, but they’ll do everything they can to rattle him on the stand, obviously. The media have called this case a “hush money” case, but one of our crafty commenters called it the Hush Trump case. Touche’. When a judge shuts up the defendant but not the other trial participants you can’t help but wonder if the fix is in. Where else will you read that in this censorious media world that we’re living in?

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“His entire financial livelihood depends on President Trump’s destruction,” he said of Mr. Cohen. “You cannot make a serious decision about President Trump relying on the words of Michael Cohen.”

Trump Urges “Peaceful Protest” As Day 1 In Hush-Money Case Ends (ZH)

Day one of former President Donald Trump’s so-called “hush-money” trial concluded early on Monday after Judge Juan Merchan said that an alternate juror can visit a dentist appointment (despite previously telling Trump he would have attend every day without fail – missing his son’s graduation – or face jail). Judge Merchan had previously planned to adjourn the trial at 2 p.m. ET due to the Passover holiday. But he said Monday that it would adjourn at 12:30 p.m. He previously said he would end at 2 p.m. on Tuesday for the holiday. Jack Phillips reports, via The Epoch Times, that the early adjournment came after prosecutors and defense lawyers make their respective cases for why the former president should be convicted or acquitted. In the case, President Trump is accused of falsifying business payments during the 2016 campaign by allegedly paying a former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to bury negative stories.

At issue were claims from an adult film performer, Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, that she was engaged in a relationship with the former president. President Trump has denied her claims and has pled not guilty. An attorney for the former president spoke to the jury, asking them to “use your common sense” when they assess the case. “We’re New Yorkers. It’s why we’re here,” Todd Blanche said. “There will be a very swift not guilty verdict” if they decide based on the evidence involved, he said. “You told all of us, you told the court, you told me, you will put aside whatever views you have of President Trump,” Mr. Blanche told the jury as he wrapped up his arguments. “The 34 counts, ladies and gentlemen, are really just pieces of paper,” Mr. Blanche said of the indictment. “None of this was a crime.”

Mr. Blanche was critical of Ms. Clifford, saying that she has earned income and fame from her allegations about an alleged affair that occurred in 2006. “She also wrote a book. She was paid for a documentary,” Mr. Blanche says of Ms. Clifford, adding that courts have sided with President Trump’s legal disputes with Ms. Clifford. As for Mr. Cohen, Mr. Blanche accused him of profiting off his criticism of President Trump. “His entire financial livelihood depends on President Trump’s destruction,” he said of Mr. Cohen. “You cannot make a serious decision about President Trump relying on the words of Michael Cohen.” “He has a goal, an obsession with getting President Trump,” Mr. Blanche said of Mr. Cohen, who is expected to be a witness. “I submit to you that he cannot be trusted.”

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Mike Whitney. A different view.

Trump Sold-Out His Base to Shovel $95 Billion to Ukraine and Israel (Whitney)

The man who is most responsible for the $95 billion giveaway to Ukraine and Israel, is the same guy who pretends to oppose America’s “wasteful” foreign wars. Donald Trump. It was Trump who consulted with Speaker Mike Johnson about the contents of the Ukraine aid package, just as it was Trump who concocted the idea of issuing loans instead of dispersing the standard welfare handout. It was also Trump who said: “I stand with the Speaker, (Mike Johnson)” after which he added that Johnson is doing “a very good job.” A “good job”?? So, secretly collaborating with the Democrat leadership to push through a bill that “reauthorizes FISA to spy on the American people without a warrant, (bans Tik Tok) fully funds Joe Biden’s DOJ that has indicted President Trump 91 times, and giving Biden’s political gestapo a brand new FBI building bigger than the Pentagon,” while not providing a dime to protect the southern border from the swarms of people entering the country illegally, is doing a “good job”?

The question we should all be asking ourselves is why has Trump decided to participate in this scam? He keeps saying that if he was president, he’d end the war in Ukraine in a day. If he’s sincere about that, then why did he collaborate on a bill that will drag the war out for another year or two? This is from a Twitter post by political analyst Michael Tracey: “Mission Accomplished. It is done: Donald Trump and the House GOP just completed one of the most epic swindles in political history, with Trump personally effectuating the largest-ever dispersement of Ukraine funding through his emissary, “MAGA Mike Johnson” (as Trump lovingly calls him) The $61 billion passed this afternoon is likely enough to underwrite the brutal, pointless trench warfare for at least another year or two. This after the same old endless media screeching that Trump and MAGA Republicans were being brainwashed by Putin and would never fund Ukraine. That fundamental hoax continues — only this time Trump was in on it…. Michael Tracey, Twitter.

And the response from Luca Cabrilo: “Michael you’re 100% spot on. Trump could have at any point killed this monstrous bill if he wanted to, but he didn’t. He even let MAGA Mike go on TV and say that he and Trump are “100% agreed” on the Ukraine funding Trump screwed his base on this one, no other way about it.” Michael Tracey again: “He didn’t just “not kill it,” he personally facilitated its passage..” Here’s more background from Tracey: “The bill, designed after consultations between Mike Johnson and Trump, mysteriously gives the President the ability to forgive the purported “loan” to Ukraine — immediately after the November election…

And if that’s not brazen enough for you, here’s the catch: The funds eligible for “loan forgiveness” are the direct budgetary infusions to Ukraine — meaning the money that pays for the salaries of Ukrainian government workers and so forth — NOT the military “aid,” which comprises the vast majority of the package. So, only $8 billion of the $61 billion allocated to Ukraine is even *eligible* for “loan forgiveness” under the terms of this gargantuan bill. And even that was a fake “loan” to begin with — it never had to be paid back at all!

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“..in the long run, we need the French model: Everybody votes on the same day, everybody has a photo ID, everybody’s accounted as a person..”

Supreme Court Denies Bid to Expand No-Excuse Mail-In Ballots in Texas (ET)

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge to a Texas law that requires voters under the age of 65 to provide justification to vote by mail, meaning that the Democrat-aligned attempt to sharply expand “no-excuse” mail-in ballots in the Lone Star state has failed, with implications for other states. According to an April 22 order list, the high court denied petition for a writ of cetriorari in a case that stems from a federal lawsuit filed in 2020 on behalf of the Texas Democratic Party and several voters who requested that Texas lift its age-based limitations on no-excuse mail-in voting. Texas law only allows individuals to vote by mail without a qualifying excuse, like sickness, if they are 65 years or older. In their original complaint, which made its way through a number of lower courts before ending up before the Supreme Court, the petitioners alleged that the Texas voting law violates the 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits denying the right to vote due to age.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the appeal means that the Texas law stays in place, delivering a win to election integrity advocates who argue that no-excuse mail-in voting is prone to fraud and makes elections less secure. At the same time, the high court’s decision to deny certiorari is a setback for groups who see laws like Texas’s age-based limits on no-excuse mail-in ballots as “voter suppression” or an unfair attempt to impose barriers to voting for certain groups, in this case younger voters. The high court’s decision not to hear the appeal has broader implications, however, since six other states–Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee–have similar laws on the books that let older voters to request absentee ballot without having to provide any justification. Public opinion in Texas over the issue of no-excuse mail-in voting is split, according to some polls.

In their initial petition filed in 2020 on behalf of the Texas Democratic Party and a group of voters amids the COVID-19 pandemic, the plaintiffs requested that Texas lift its age-based restrictions to no-excuse mail-in voting, citing public health risks related to the outbreak. A district court judge sided with the plaintiffs in May 2020, temporarily blocking the Texas law. Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Texas officials then filed an appeal with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which paused the district court’s ruling while the appeal played out. The plaintiffs then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reimpose the district court’s decision to freeze enforcement of the age-based limits to no-excuse mail-in voting, or to take the case up for review, but the high court rejected both requests.

Ultimately, the 5th Circuit voided the lower court’s May 2020 order in full. This led the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint in the district court, this time asserting other claims, including ones of racial discrimination under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and arguing that the age limitations on mail-in ballots violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th and 26th Amendments. In a July 2022 order, the district court judge dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims, leading to another appeal before the 5th Circuit, which ultimately affirmed the district court’s decision to dismiss. The plaintiffs filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2023, asking the high court to declare Texas’s age-based voting law unconstitutional.

[..] The Supreme Court ruling comes amid a broader fight between those who see election integrity efforts as “voter suppression” and those who believe that the security of U.S. elections is too lax and should be tightened. According to a running tally by the left-leaning Brennan Center for Justice, expansive voting laws far outpaced restrictive ones in 2023. At least 53 expansive voting laws were introduced last year in at least 23 states, compared to 17 restrictive laws being passed in 14 states, suggesting that the election integrity movement is falling behind. Amid concerns over voter fraud, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich recently suggested that to win the presidential election in November, Republicans need to outvote Democrats by a significant margin. “Everybody who wants an honest election should know that in the long run, we need the French model: Everybody votes on the same day, everybody has a photo ID, everybody’s accounted as a person,” Mr. Gingrich said in a February interview on Fox News.

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All else remaining equal…

Biden Targets Radical IDF Unit With Sanctions to Placate His Voters (Sp.)

Axios reported Saturday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken is planning to imminently announce sanctions against the IDF’s Netzah Yehuda battalion, with the measures expected to stop the battalion’s fighters from being able to receive US military assistance and training. Officials confirmed the looming sanctions to the Times of Israel, indicating on Monday that other Israeli military and police units accused of human rights abuses may also be targeted. However, one of Axios’s sources said others will not be affected after being probed and deemed to have “remedied their behavior” in unspecified ways. The US investigation into Netzah Yehuda goes back to before the current Palestinian-Israeli escalation, with the State Department starting a probe of the unit in December 2022 after troops were caught engaging in violence against Palestinian civilians. One such incident led to the death of a 78-year-old Palestinian-American man.

“Sanctions must not be imposed on the Israel Defense Forces,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Saturday, assuring that his government would “act by all means against these moves.” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant echoed Netanyahu’s sentiments, heaping praise on Netzah Yehuda and assuring that its soldiers operate “in accordance with the values of the IDF and in accordance with international law.” Gallant warned that even if the infantry unit was the only one targeted by sanctions, it would cast “a heavy shadow on the actions of the IDF” and affect “the entire defense establishment.” The Israeli military moved the Netzah Yehuda battalion – which consists mostly of ultra-Orthodox and hardcore Zionist forces, out of the West Bank and away from contact with the Palestinians in late 2022, but no actions were taken to punish members suspected of human rights abuses. Gallant said the unit has been used in Israel’s operation “to dismantle Hamas brigades in Gaza” after last fall’s escalation.

It’s not clear what impact the sanctions will have. The US has donated tens of billions of dollars in military equipment to Israel (including $26 billion in a tranche approved by the House of Representatives on Saturday), and it’s unclear how Washington plans to keep track of weaponry to assure that it doesn’t fall into the Netzah Yehuda battalion’s hands. Netzah Yehuda is a distinct unit within Israel’s armed forces in that it’s made up almost entirely by radical Zionists, Dr. Simon Tsipis, a Tel Aviv-based international relations expert, told Sputnik, commenting on the US plans These forces have “an aggressive attitude toward the Palestinians, and there have been many cases of the violation of the rules of war, aggression toward civilians who live around these Jewish settlements” in the West Bank, the observer explained, noting that this aggression stems from the fighters’ Zionist perspective that all Palestinians are “direct enemies.”

As far as the US administration’s sanctions plans, “this is an attempt to kill two birds with one stone,” Tsipas believes. In the first place, sanctions are designed “to create the appearance of punishing Israel,” he said, with Biden and the Democrats seeking desperately to regain “at least part of the Arab and Muslim vote” in the upcoming election amid the president’s plunge in the polls. The restrictions are not meant to weaken Israel’s military capabilities overall, Tsipis stressed, suggesting the decision to target Netzah Yehuda signals the Democrats’ displeasure with Netanyahu’s hard-right Zionist and religious right coalition. “This is a blow to Zionism as an ideology, not an attempt to influence Israel so that it stops, suspends or is otherwise unable to continue its military operations in the Gaza Strip, or even the [potential] upcoming war with Iran,” the observer said.

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“Israeli and American officials stressed that Washington wanted West Jerusalem to avoid provoking Iran into an escalating series of tit-for-tat strikes and counterstrikes..”

US Forced Israel To Abandon Larger Attack On Iran – NYT (RT)

Israeli leaders planned a “much more extensive counterstrike on Iran” after Tehran launched a drone and missile barrage on Israel last weekend, but were pressured to pare down the operation by the US and its allies, the New York Times reported on Monday. Israel targeted Iran with a handful of drones and air-launched missiles on Friday, according to US officials and anonymous Israeli sources who spoke to the newspaper. While Western officials believe that an Israeli missile hit an Iranian airbase, Tehran has only acknowledged being attacked with small quadcopter drones, with Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian describing the aircraft as “children’s toys” that were easily shot down. West Jerusalem initially intended a much wider wave of strikes targeting military sites across the country, including near Tehran, anonymous Israeli officials told the outlet.

However, the US, UK, and Germany exerted “concerted diplomatic pressure” on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and forced him to settle for a more limited response, the officials said. Such a response “avoided significant damage, diminishing the likelihood of an escalation,” the New York Times reported. The Israeli military has not commented on the report, and has stuck to its usual policy of refusing to confirm or deny strikes on foreign soil. The latest round of escalation between Israel and Iran began on April 1, when an Israeli airstrike allegedly hit the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus. The strike killed seven officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, including two high-ranking generals. Tehran warned that it would retaliate, and two weeks later launched multiple waves of missiles and kamikaze drones at Israel. Most of the Iranian projectiles were intercepted, but with more than 300 drones fired, air defenses were overwhelmed and multiple missiles reached their target, damaging an Israeli air base.

Netanyahu initially planned immediate retaliatory strikes, but was talked out of it during a phone call with US President Joe Biden, the New York Times reported last week. In both last week’s report and Monday’s, Israeli and American officials stressed that Washington wanted West Jerusalem to avoid provoking Iran into an escalating series of tit-for-tat strikes and counterstrikes. The plan appears to have succeeded. “As long as there is no new adventurism by Israel against our interests, then we are not going to have any new reactions,” Amirabdollahian stated on Saturday. With some of Netanyahu’s hardline political allies criticizing the supposedly “lame” response, the officials who spoke to the New York Times insisted that the strikes demonstrated “the breadth and sophistication of Israel’s military arsenal,” the paper paraphrased.

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“Iran’s missiles were able to penetrate directly into Israel’s two most sensitive and highly defended air bases and sites. Behind the whooping western rhetoric lies Israeli shock and fear. Their bases are no longer ‘untouchable’. ”

Will Zionism Self-Destruct? (Alastair Crooke)

In the summer following Israel’s 2006 (unsuccessful) war on Hizbullah, Dick Cheney sat in his office loudly bemoaning Hizbullah’s continuing strength; and worse still, that it seemed to him that Iran had been the primary beneficiary from the U.S. 2003 Iraq war. Cheney’s guest – the then Saudi Intelligence Chief, Prince Bandar – vigorously concurred (as chronicled by John Hannah, who participated in the meeting) and, to general surprise, Prince Bandar proclaimed that Iran yet could be cut to size: Syria was the ‘weak’ link between Iran and Hizbullah that could be collapsed via an Islamist insurgency, Bandar proposed. Cheney’s initial scepticism turned to elation as Bandar said that U.S. involvement would be unnecessary: He, Prince Bandar, would orchestrate and manage the project. ‘Leave it to me’, he said. Bandar separately told John Hannah: “The King knows that other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself, nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria”.

Thus began a new phase of attrition on Iran. The regional balance of power was to be decisively shifted towards Sunni Islam – and the region’s monarchies. That old balance from the Shah’s time in which Persia enjoyed regional primacy was to be ended: conclusively, the U.S., Israel and the Saudi King hoped. Iran – already badly bruised by the ‘imposed’ Iran-Iraq war – resolved never again to be so vulnerable. Iran aimed to find a path to strategic deterrence in the context of a region dominated by the overwhelming air dominance enjoyed by its adversaries. What occurred this Saturday 14 April – some 18 years later – therefore was of utmost importance. Despite the bruhaha and distraction following Iran’s attack, Israel and the U.S. know the truth: Iran’s missiles were able to penetrate directly into Israel’s two most sensitive and highly defended air bases and sites. Behind the whooping western rhetoric lies Israeli shock and fear. Their bases are no longer ‘untouchable’.

Israel also knows – but cannot admit – that the so-called ‘assault’ was no assault but an Iranian message to assert the new strategic equation: That any Israeli attack on Iran or its personnel will result in retribution from Iran into Israel. This act of setting the new ‘balance of power equation’ unites the diverse Fronts against the U.S.’ “connivance with Israeli actions in the Middle East, that are at the core of Washington’s policy – and in many ways the root-cause of new tragedies” – in the words of Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov. The equation represents a key ‘Front’ – together with Russia’s war against NATO in Ukraine – for persuading the West that its exceptionalist and redemptive myth has proved to be a fatal conceit; that it must be discarded; and that deep cultural change in the West needs to happen. The roots to this wider cultural conflict are deep – but finally have been made explicit. Prince Bandar’s post-2006 playing of the Sunni ‘card’ was a flop (in no small part thanks to Russia’s intervention in Syria).

AndIran, has come in from the cold and is firmly anchored as a primary regional power. It is the strategic partner to Russia and China. And Gulf States today have switched focus instead to money, ‘business’ and Tech, rather than Salafist jurisprudence. Syria, then targeted by the West and ostracised, has not only survived all that the West could ‘throw at it’ but has been warmly embraced by the Arab League and rehabilitated. And Syria is now slowly finding its way to being itself again. Yet even during the Syrian crisis, unforeseen dynamics to Prince Bandar’s playing of Islamist identity versus Arab socialist secular identity were playing out:

I wrote then in 2012: “Over recent years we have heard the Israelis emphasise their demand for recognition of a specifically Jewish nation-state, rather than for an Israeli State, per se”; – a state that would enshrine Jewish political, legal, and military exceptional rights. “[At that time] … Muslim nations [were] seeking the ‘undoing’ of the last remnants of the colonial era. Will we see the struggle increasingly epitomised as a primordial struggle between Jewish and Islamic religious symbols – between al-Aqsa and the Temple Mount?” To be plain, what was apparent even then – in 2012 – was “that both Israel and its surrounding terrain are marching in step toward language which takes them far away from the underlying, largely secular concepts by which this conflict traditionally has been conceptualised. What [would] be the consequence – as the conflict, by its own logic, becomes a clash of religious poles?”

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“I’m not quite sure how big the US embassy is in Kiev, but I doubt it’s enough to set up a maintenance workshop for, I don’t know, Abrams tanks or something like that..”

US Goes ‘Slippery Slide’ With Sending Its Military Personnel to Ukraine (Sp.)

Troops from the US and other NATO countries will be in Ukraine fighting Russian troops within a year, security and international relations expert Mark Sleboda predicted on Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Monday. “We (The United States) were at trainers and advisers and CIA and special forces [in Ukraine], and now already, we’re at logistics and maintenance personnel. It’s quite clear where this is going,” Sleboda began. “US troops and [troops] from several other NATO member states will most likely be on the ground in Ukraine fighting the Russians within a year.” On Saturday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that includes $61 billion earmarked to support Ukraine, however, Sleboda explains that it will not have a major effect on the battlefield. “It will, maybe, slow Russian forces down a little bit. That’s the extent of what the $61 billion [will do].

And, in another six months or perhaps a year, they’ll be back, demanding more from the US taxpayer to try to prop up the Kiev regime a little longer.” One underreported aspect of the bill is that a large portion of it is going towards replenishing US weapon stockpiles and not weapons that will end up on the battlefield in Ukraine. “I would say, that of the $61 billion, actually only $14 billion of that is going to go to Ukraine for direct military aid and weapons,” Sleboda explained. “It sounds like a lot of money, it’s really not considering that just one Patriot battery of 6 to 8 launchers costs more than $1 billion, and they’ve already lost several of them.” The Patriot surface-to-air missile system is considered the most advanced anti-aircraft system in Ukraine’s arsenal. However, the first confirmed Russian destruction of a Patriot system occurred back in May 2023. Since then, several more have been taken out, including two last month.

The reports of an increased US presence in Ukraine were presented as “they’re going to be working out of the US embassy,” in Kiev, Sleboda said, but that assertion is far from reality, he argued. “I’m not quite sure how big the US embassy is in Kiev, but I doubt it’s enough to set up a maintenance workshop for, I don’t know, Abrams tanks or something like that,” Sleboda jokes. “So it almost certainly means that these US troops will be out and about in Ukraine, probably not too far from the front line. And you can certainly see the slippery slide. While the aid shows that, despite some hype in the media, the US is not “giving up on Ukraine,” Sleboda notes that it doesn’t change the calculus for the Russian government, who expected the aid to pass last year after US President Joe Biden requested it in August. “You already have Ukrainian military commanders speaking anonymously, of course, to the Financial Times, saying that this isn’t actually going to change much,” Sleboda recounted.

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“Very soon, Ukraine will be reduced to medieval living conditions — no lights, no phones, no Internet, no shopping, no ability to conduct modern warfare. End. . . of. . . story.”

The Bad Faith Olympics (Kunstler)

Did it warm your heart to see all those blue and yellow Ukrainian flags waved by our elected officials in Congress Saturday night with the passage of the $60-plus-billion aid bill to the Palookaville of Europe? You realize, don’t you, that the tiny fraction of that hypothetical “money” — from our country’s empty treasury — that ever reaches Ukraine will rebound on the instant into Mr. Zelensky’s Cayman Islands bank account. The rest of the dough enters the recursive shell-game between US weapons-makers and the very hometown folks in Congress waving those blue and yellow flags, who will receive great greasy gobs of fresh “campaign donations” from the grateful bomb and missile producers. No wonder they’re cheering. What the $60-plus-billion won’t do is provide any fresh arms and equipment to Ukraine’s sad-sack army soon enough to prevent Russia from bringing this cruel, stupid, and unnecessary war, which we started, to a close.

Yes, we started it, not Russia, in 2014 with our Intel blob overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych in the so-called “Maidan Revolution of Dignity” (what Wikipedia calls it). And for what reason? To jam Ukraine into NATO as a prelude to “weakening” Russia sufficient to bust it up and gain control over Russian oil, ores, and grain. Yes, that was actually the neocon’s game, equal parts megalomania and hubris, a fiasco as strategically ill-fated as Hitler’s push to gain control of Russia’s oil fields via Stalingrad in 1942-3. With failure and humiliation looming in Ukraine, the blob’s objective for now, in theory, is the vain hope of prolonging the hostilities just long enough to get its hologram president, “Joe Biden” re-elected, so that said blob can continue its amoebic digestion of what’s left uneaten by it in our sore-beset republic. You’ve got to wonder, of course, what this blob thinks will remain to rule over when it’s done gobbling up everything and jailing everyone from sea to shining sea who objects.

You tell me what conceivable way Ukraine can prevail in this proxy war now without just tripping off the civilization-ending nuke exchange? America does not have enough tactical missiles and artillery shells at hand to send over there. What we did have is gone. NATO never had much to begin with. Ukraine has run out of available cannon-fodder to conscript from its dwindling population. Despite Mr. Macron’s recent bluster, NATO can’t raise a credible army, or even agree on which country would send what. Nobody is riding to the rescue. Instead, Russia is fortifying its home-grown armaments industry and its military while systematically turning off the electricity all over Ukraine by blowing up the power stations. Very soon, Ukraine will be reduced to medieval living conditions — no lights, no phones, no Internet, no shopping, no ability to conduct modern warfare. End. . . of. . . story.

This is apt to play out much faster than America’s blob-controlled news media will be able to lie about. I’d guess it can be functionally over before mid-summer. The result will be yet another humiliation on the “Joe Biden” scorecard. When it’s over, you can be sure the Russians will abstain from an end-zone dance so as not to provoke America’s genius-losers into some final petty grand act of requital. Russia will just soberly declare what is self-evident: that for centuries Ukraine has been in its sphere-of-influence, as Mexico is in ours, and that they have reestablished the natural order of things in that corner of the world.

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Tusk and Duda don’t belong together.

Polish President Rejects Own PM’s ‘Pre-war’ Warning (RT)

There is no imminent threat of a military conflict breaking out in Europe, Polish President Andrzej Duda has said, contradicting the country’s prime minister. Late last month, Donald Tusk claimed that the continent was in a “pre-war era.” The prime minister argued at the time that “literally any scenario is possible.” Tusk also warned that “no one in Europe will be able to feel safe” if the West fails to provide Ukraine with enough weapons, allowing Russia to prevail in the conflict. When asked whether he shared the prime minister’s grim outlook during an interview with Poland’s Fakt media outlet on Monday, Duda replied in the negative.

“If we act responsibly, and we are acting responsibly so far, there will never be a war, because we will always be powerful enough to not be worth attacking,” he said. According to the Polish president, credible deterrence helped the West to prevent the Cold War from turning into a military confrontation. He suggested that the West today should emulate this strategy by arming up. He also said his country was ready to host the nuclear weapons of NATO allies as part of a sharing scheme within the bloc if such a decision were made. Earlier this month, UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps echoed Tusk’s assessment, claiming that “we have moved from a post-war to a pre-war world.” He argued that the West needed to beef up its defense spending.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell also subsequently stated that the “possibility of a high-intensity conventional war in Europe is no longer a fantasy.” Moscow has repeatedly denied having any intention of attacking NATO member states. Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed such claims as “nonsense,” suggesting that Kiev’s backers were using the supposed threat of a Russian attack to “extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden [of funding Ukraine] on their shoulders.”

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“RFK Jr. has been even more of a staunch supporter of Israel than Biden or Trump. In December, he said that Palestinians are arguably “the most pampered people by international aid organizations in the world.”

Biden Fears RFK Jr. as He Gets on Another Ballot (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden’s campaign and the DNC are upping their efforts to stop the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., including opening up a department dedicated to stopping the independent’s campaign. On Friday, the Biden campaign released an ad featuring several members of the Kennedy family endorsing the President over their relative who is running for the same spot. Fifteen members of the Kennedy family have also publicly endorsed Biden. Additionally, according to US media, the Biden campaign has been dumping opposition research and claiming in press conferences that a vote for RFK Jr. is a vote for former President Donald Trump. They have also been challenging RFK Jr.’s ballot access, like in Hawaii where their efforts were shot down by a judge on Saturday.

Democrats have long blamed third-party candidates for their election failures. In 2000, Green candidate Ralph Nader was blamed for George W Bush’s victory over former Vice President Al Gore, despite more registered Democrats in Florida voting for Bush than Nader. Then in 2016, Green candidate Jill Stein was blamed by Democrats for Trump’s 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton, despite the Libertarian candidate (and former Republican governor) Gary Johnson far outperforming Stein. Nevertheless, Democrats are worried yet again about third-party candidates, particularly since Kennedy is already on the ballot in four swing states: Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada and North Carolina. Kennedy has qualified for nine ballots so far. “There will be a clear choice facing voters this November and the more they learn about RFK Jr, the more they will recognize that a vote for him is a vote for Donald Trump,” Matt Corridoni, a spokesperson for the DNC, told US media.

But polling data and Kennedy’s donor list don’t seem to back that up. In a recent national poll, Trump leads Biden by 2% in a two-way race, 46% to 44%. But when the race is expanded to include Kennedy, Green candidate Jill Stein and former Bernie Sanders surrogate Cornel West, Trump’s lead flips, with Joe Biden leading 39% to 37%. Kennedy receives 13%, Stein grabs 3% and West pulls in 2%. The poll also notes that 15% of people who said they would vote for Trump in a two-way race say they would vote for Kennedy, compared to just 7% of Biden supporters who switched to Kennedy when given the chance. Meanwhile, an analysis of Kennedy’s donor list revealed that he has received roughly $224,000 in donations from donors who gave to Trump’s 2020 campaign, compared to $105,000 that came from supporters of Biden’s 2020 campaign.

Despite these metrics, Trump and his campaign have treated Kennedy with a lighter touch. Trump previously said he likes him personally. He also seems to be working on making Democrat fears that Kennedy will siphon off votes from Biden become a reality. In March, Trump called Kennedy the “most Radical Left Candidate by far” in the 2024 race and slammed his support of environmental issues. “I guess that would mean that RFK Jr. is going to be taking away votes from Crooked Joe Biden. And he should because he is actually better than Biden. He’s much better than Biden. If I were a Democrat, I’d vote for RFK Jr. every single time over Biden,” Trump said in the video.

However, one group of disaffected former-Biden voters who will likely not be voting for RFK Jr., are the ones upset with the Biden administration for its support of Israel and its campaign in Gaza Sixty-nine percent of young Democratic voters disapprove of Biden’s handling of the war, and RFK Jr. has had some good polling numbers among young voters in the past. However, RFK Jr. has been even more of a staunch supporter of Israel than Biden or Trump. In December, he said that Palestinians are arguably “the most pampered people by international aid organizations in the world.”

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“..mass psychosis of government leaders who consistently make global decisions through a distorted lens completely detached from reality..”

Michael Brenner: The Moral Depravity of Western Imperialism (Sch.)

Professor Michael Brenner joins this episode of Journalists for Sale to discuss the moral emptiness of Western empire, most visibly expressed through its unequivocal support of the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza. Brenner details how this depravity manifests not only in the form of mass slaughter and total disregard for human life, but also through mass psychosis of government leaders who consistently make global decisions through a distorted lens completely detached from reality. Only this can explain their escalations in Ukraine at every turn, their “acknowledgement” of Palestinian life yet total complicity in its destruction and the mass censorship being imposed upon dissidents by the ruling class, most recently at the University of Southern California. Brenner’s wealth of knowledge and impressive ability to articulate the philosophical implications of this ongoing lunacy form a unique analysis one can’t quite get anywhere else but from the man himself.

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“..as lay persons, most of us would hazard to say that it is not “normal” or “valid” to set oneself on fire in a protest..”

No, It Does Not Matter Why the Man Lit Himself on Fire (Turley)

The scene outside of the New York courthouse holding the Trump trial has become a microcosm of our deep political divisions and rage this month. Images of citizens screaming at each other from across security barriers have played out nightly on news programs. But few were prepared for what occurred Friday night, when a man threw flyers in the air, poured a flammable liquid on himself and lit himself on fire. Some immediately rushed to use the incident to fuel their own rage. On the far left, postings and comments declared MAGA supporters were lighting themselves and “MAGA Terrorist just set himself on fire.” For many, it seemed a fact too good to check. Even after the police and fire officials explained that the material distributed by the man did not seem to relate to the trial, journalists pushed for a connection to the pro-Trump protesters. Officials reported that the flyers concerned wacky conspiracy theories related to schools and other matters.

Max Azzarello, 37, of Florida worked briefly for Rep. Tom Suozzi (D., N.Y.), but has a criminal record of property offenses that included throwing a glass of wine on a photo of Bill Clinton. We know little of his political views beyond his conspiracy obsessions. However, does it really matter? What should be clear is that he was a deeply disturbed individual. Yet even self-immolation may no longer be treated as per se evidence of mental illness. In today’s politics, even setting yourself on fire can be rationalized. An event was held recently at UCLA in which two psychiatrists appeared to rationalize self-immolation in the cause of people in Gaza. Ragda Izar and Afaf Moustafa were reportedly discussing the self-immolation in front of Israel’s embassy of airman Aaron Bushnell in February to protest Israeli policies. It was referred to as a “revolutionary suicide” on the panel on “Depathologizing Resistance.”

UCLA’s Izar stated that Bushnell “carried a lot of distress…but does that mean that the actions he engaged in are any less valid?” She suggested that it is “normal to be distressed when you’re seeing this level of carnage [in Gaza].
Moustafa is quoted as saying that “Psychiatry pathologizes non-pathological…reactions to a pathological environment or pathological society. It’s considered illness to choose to die in protest of the violence of war but perfectly sane to choose to die in service of the violence of war.” There have been a few prominent historical self-immolations in protest, including the famous case of Thich Quang Duc, who burned himself alive to protest the Vietnam War in 1963. However, as lay persons, most of us would hazard to say that it is not “normal” or “valid” to set oneself on fire in a protest.

The dividing line between rage and reason has always been contextual. In my forthcoming book, “The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in an Age of Rage,” I discuss how we have faced regular periods of rage in our history. How one views rage depends largely on the underlying viewpoint. This country was born in rage with the Boston Tea Party, where a riot with massive property damage is celebrated as a moment of liberation. Yet even self-immolation may now be viewed as somehow valid when used to oppose Israeli policies or other “distressful” realities. If Azzarello was motivated by his view of a conspiracy among educators or Trump’s trial, would his self-immolation also be viewed as valid?

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Trump SNL

 

 

RFK Autism
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782611008713806295

 

 

David Martin

 

 

Wind

 

 

Kate
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782425377094455494

 

 

Dog is not impressed
https://twitter.com/i/status/1782645630227173683

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 102024
 
 January 10, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  32 Responses »


Jackson Pollock Male and female 1942

 

Why Democrats Need to Re-Think Hunter’s Contempt (Turley)
Trump Warns of ‘Big Trouble’ if Supreme Court Rules Against Ballot Access (ET)
Biden White House Coordinates Fani Willis Indictment of Donald Trump (Kanekoa)
Judge James Boasberg Gives Ray Epps Probation (CTH)
Biden on Borders (Kanekoa)
Trump is the Winter Coat – Charles Nenner (USAW)
Something Lost, Never to Be Found Again (Alastair Crooke)
Netanyahu ‘In Real Trouble,’ IDF Can’t Control Gaza – Analyst (Sp.)
West Ready To Back Ukraine ‘For Years’ – UK Foreign Secretary (RT)
Russian Tycoon Deripaska Predicts 20% Oil Price Crash (RT)
German Government Ready to Sacrifice Own Citizens in Order to Arm Ukraine (Sp.)
Germany Could Face Its Own ‘Maidan’ – Medvedev (RT)
Let the Games Begin (James Howard Kunstler)
Fauci Unable to Answer Key Questions in Pandemic Probe (CHD)

 

 

 

 

Greenwald

 

 


Elon Musk: “Arizona clearly states that no proof of citizenship is required for federal elections.”

 

 

Rogan 1965

 

 

Rickards

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..unanimously oppose holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress despite his flagrant violation of a subpoena to appear for a standard closed deposition…”

Why Democrats Need to Re-Think Hunter’s Contempt (Turley)

This week, the Republican-controlled House will begin contempt proceedings against Hunter Biden with a vote expected as early as this week. That alone will be an historic moment for Congress to declare that the son of a sitting president may have committed a federal felony. However, the costs may not be borne by Hunter alone. If the Democratic members, as expected, unanimously oppose the contempt sanction, the party could fundamentally undermine its position in future investigations. The Democratic leadership has made a series of similar decisions in the last decade that have cost the party dearly by opting for immediate political benefits over long-term interests. They are acting as the political version of short sellers who have given away institutional positions, only to find later that the costs were prohibitive.

That was the case when Democrats repeatedly undermined the Senate filibuster. Many of us warned Democratic senators that they would rue the day that they killed the rule. Nevertheless, in 2013, Democrats pushed through a rule change allowing most presidential nominees (but not Supreme Court nominees) to be confirmed by a simple majority vote. Then in 2017, when Republicans controlled the Senate, they extended the simple-majority rule change to justices, too — and when Democrats wanted the filibuster to block the High Court nominations of Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh or Amy Coney Barrett during the Trump administration, it was gone. Likewise, when Democrats first sought to impeach President Donald Trump, they held only one hearing in the House Judiciary Committee and discarded the development of the type of evidentiary record used in past impeachments.

I warned that the record guaranteed an easy acquittal in the Senate and undermined the process of impeachment. They ignored such warnings and quickly impeached, then lost the case in the Senate. In a second impeachment, they went even further, using what I called a “snap impeachment” with no hearing of any kind. Now, after using the first snap impeachment in history, Democrats are implausibly arguing that House Republicans have failed to support impeachment efforts against President Joe Biden and objected to the lack of hearings with particular witnesses. They also have encouraged President Biden to act unilaterally in a host of areas, including his attempt to give away a half-trillion dollars in student loan debts.

When House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was targeted for removal by a handful of GOP members, many people urged Democrats not to support such a dysfunctional movewhen the nation had serious problems to address. Yet Democrats voted with the rebellious Republicans to oust McCarthy, and the whole effort caused weeks of disruption. It shattered a certain detente in such motions to vacate— and Republicans are very likely to return the favor during any future revolt against a Democratic speaker. The political culture of short selling is nowhere more evident than in the “ballot-cleansing” efforts of Democratic officials and activists to remove Trump’s name from 2024 ballots as well as to remove primary opponents against Biden.

The immediate satisfaction of blocking potential voters ignores the long-term costs of this distinctly anti-democratic measure. When presented with those implications, anti-Trump pundits often express anger. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, for example, called such concerns “laughable” and told critics to “spare me the anti-democratic lectures.” Now, Democrats are about to do another short sell. They are expected to unanimously oppose holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress despite his flagrant violation of a subpoena to appear for a standard closed deposition. It is the very same demand made by Democrats in prior congresses, before witnesses subsequently appeared for public hearings on controversies like the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

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“.. the 14th Amendment provision has been used so sparingly in American history that the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on it.”

Trump Warns of ‘Big Trouble’ if Supreme Court Rules Against Ballot Access (ET)

Former President Donald Trump warned there would be “big trouble” if the U.S. Supreme Court issued an unfavorable ruling in cases where he is denied access to states’ ballots. The nation’s high court on Jan. 5 agreed to hear a case that stemmed from the Colorado Supreme Court’s earlier ruling that barred President Trump from appearing on the ballot in the state. The judges wrote that he should be blocked due to their interpretation of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment’s Section 3, which prohibits candidates who engaged in an “insurrection or rebellion” from running for office. During a rally on Jan. 5, the former president told a rally in Iowa that he hopes “we get fair treatment because if we don’t, our country’s in big, big trouble. Does everybody understand what I’m saying?”

In their appeal to the high court, his lawyers argued that Colorado’s voters have been disenfranchised under the state Supreme Court’s ruling in December. “The Colorado Supreme Court decision would unconstitutionally disenfranchise millions of voters in Colorado and likely be used as a template to disenfranchise tens of millions of voters nationwide,” the lawyers wrote in their appeal.Aside from Colorado, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows unilaterally ruled to block the former president from the ballot, prompting an appeal to the Supreme Court. And like in Colorado, Ms. Bellows argued that he should be barred from appearing on primary and general election ballots because of the 14th Amendment’s clause. The appeal to the Supreme Court came one day after the president’s legal team filed an appeal against the ruling from Ms. Bellows that Trump was ineligible to appear on that state’s ballot over his role in the Capitol breach.

Both the Colorado Supreme Court and the Maine secretary of state’s rulings are on hold until the appeals play out. Late last week, the former president’s attorney and spokeswoman, Alina Habba, said she believes the Supreme Court will “step up” to reject the ballot decisions because they are “pro-law” and “pro-fairness.” “I think it should be a slam dunk in the Supreme Court. I have faith in them,” Ms. Habba told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “You know, people like Kavanaugh, who the president fought for, who the president went through how to get into place, he’ll step up.” The Trump appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court also follows one from Colorado’s Republican Party. Other legal observers expect the high court will take the case because it concerns unsettled constitutional issues that go to the heart of how the country is governed. At the same time, the 14th Amendment provision has been used so sparingly in American history that the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on it.

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X thread.

Nathan Wade billed the taxpayer for his “coordinating” talks with the White House.

Biden White House Coordinates Fani Willis Indictment of Donald Trump (Kanekoa)

Yesterday, in a shocking revelation, @MarcoPolo501c3 uncovered a significant connection between Nathan Wade, Fani Willis’ lead prosecutor, and the Biden White House. Fani Willis’ lead prosecutor held meetings with Biden’s White House Counsel on May 23 and Nov. 18, 2022, before indicting Donald Trump, Biden’s leading presidential opponent. Remember when Fani Willis prematurely leaked Trump’s indictment before announcing it at a late-night press conference at 11:37 pm? Newt Gingrich told @charliekirk11 that someone from DC called Fani Willis and demanded she indict Trump that Monday night, Aug. 14, 2023, to divert attention away from the Weiss “screw up.” That Weiss “screw up” originated on July 19, 2023, when IRS whistleblowers testified before Congress about DOJ and Weiss blocking investigators from filing felony charges against Hunter Biden, tipping off Hunter about search warrants, preventing witness interviews, and restricting any investigation into President Joe Biden.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1744847101362896973

Senator Chuck Grassley later released an FBI FD-1023 form detailing a $10 million bribery scheme involving VP Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. One week later, Judge Noreika dismantled Weiss’s unprecedented sweetheart immunity deal for Hunter, questioning why the DOJ granted full-scale immunity to Hunter Biden for unrelated crimes. In the following weeks, the House Oversight Committee released bank records showing payments to the Bidens from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. Rep. James Comer disclosed over 170 suspicious activity reports submitted by six banks to the Treasury Department, implicating the Biden family in money laundering, human trafficking, and tax fraud. Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s business partner, claimed President Joe Biden was involved in over twenty calls regarding his son’s foreign business dealings. Leading up to Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, when Garland appointed Weiss as Special Counsel despite prior false statements to Congress that Weiss already had the authority to file charges against Hunter, further exposing the DOJ’s corruption.

Garland appointed Weiss after he was the attorney who approved Hunter Biden’s unprecedented sweetheart deal, and IRS whistleblowers testified before Congress that Weiss had obstructed the investigation into the Bidens for the last five years. This would explain why Fani Willis leaked the indictment prematurely on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, before holding a press conference at a quarter to midnight, shifting the media’s focus away from the DOJ protecting Biden to Fani Willis indicting Trump. As revealed in yesterday’s court filings, Nathan Wade, Fani Willis’ lead prosecutor, held meetings with Biden White House Counsel at the beginning and near the end of her grand jury, strategically coordinating Biden’s prosecution of Donald Trump.

 

 

Watters Fani

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“..We need a reckoning, a serious and massive foundational reset, the likes of which we have never seen in our nation’s history..”

Judge James Boasberg Gives Ray Epps Probation (CTH)

James Wolfe was the Senate Intelligence Committee Security Director who leaked the top-secret Title-1 search warrant FISA application to journalist Ali Watkins on March 17, 2017. When Wolfe was busted by the FBI his lawyers threatened to introduce evidence in court that he was instructed to do so by SSCI Vice-Chairman Senator Mark Warner. The DOJ dropped the classified document leak charge, and instead charged him only with lying to investigators. Wolfe received probation. In March, 2023, when I wrote the outline about Judge Boasberg being the corrupt DC judge who broke the constitutional restrictions on executive privilege, which technically forced Mike Pence to turn over his notes and testify to James Smith and the DC grand jury, I said at the time, “The entire judicial system is corrupt, soup to nuts, all of it.” I was not using hyperbole.

This is the same Judge Boasberg who sat as presiding judge on the FISA court. The same Judge Boasberg who gave FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith a slap on the wrist for manufacturing evidence used in the Carter Page FISA application that defrauded the court. The same Judge Boasberg who appointed former DOJ-NSD head Mary McCord as amicus curiae advisor to the court, after she knowingly and fraudulently submitted the FISA application to the court. Today, Judge Boasberg gave J6 FBI agent provocateur Ray Epps a sentence of probation.

Judge James Boasberg is not just openly and visibly aligned with the most corrupt activity within Washington DC, this is a federal judge who is laughing at the inability of anyone within the system to do a damned thing about it. We need a reckoning, a serious and massive foundational reset, the likes of which we have never seen in our nation’s history. Pray thankfulness. Pray for wisdom. Pray for resolve. Pray for strength. …. Then prepare!

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X thread.

Elon Musk: “Incentives matter. They are importing voters.”

Biden on Borders (Kanekoa)

In 2007, Senator Joe Biden declared that no great nation has uncontrolled borders, warning that America must build a border fence and increase border agents to secure the nation against drugs, terror, and illegal immigration. Biden accused wealthy Republicans of wanting to increase illegal immigration to replace American workers with cheaper labor. “The reason the employers want this extra influx is it drives cost down… Employers have to be held responsible for the unscrupulous practice of bringing people here in order to keep wages down.” “That’s not fair to Americans. You have to hold employers responsible for hiring Americans First.”

Criticizing President Bush, Biden lamented the lack of border agents, the absence of a border fence, and the free flow of drugs into the country. “I’ve been arguing for the need to put more protection at our borders, meaning you have more border guards.” “You have to have a significant increase of security at the border, including limited elements where you actually have a fence.” “People can go over and under a fence, but you can’t take 100 kilos of cocaine over and under a fence.” Fast forward to President Biden’s term, and a record-breaking 8 million people have illegally entered the country in 3 years, with a fentanyl crisis leading to over 106,000 Americans overdosing on drugs last year.

On Biden’s inaugural day, he introduced policies that incentivize illegal immigration: • Paused Deportations • Suspended “Remain in Mexico” • Stopped Border Wall Construction. The consequences are dire – a national security crisis draining American taxpayers of hundreds of billions annually, leading major cities to slash budgets for essential services such as fire, police, sanitation, and education. As Senator Biden once warned, “No great nation can be in a position where they can’t control their borders.” “It matters how you control your borders. Not just for immigration, but it matters for drugs, terror, and a whole range of other things.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1744482029641793883

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“Trump is going to be the winter coat. I think he can make it less bad. If this continues the way it is, then we are going downhill very fast. I think Trump is coming back.”

Trump is the Winter Coat – Charles Nenner (USAW)

Renowned geopolitical and financial cycle expert Charles Nenner has been warning of a huge war cycle that happens every 120 years or so. With Tiawan/China and Russia/Ukraine and Israel and the Middle East conflicts, we are clearly in this huge war cycle. Nenner also says we are simultaneously entering a huge financial down cycle that could easily turn into the Greatest Depression–ever. Neither of these cycles can be stopped. Nenner explains, “The problem is everywhere. You may remember we said 10 years ago that the biggest problem for the United States is going to be internal. There is a huge problem. Nobody knows what to do anymore, and people are afraid to speak up. . . . History says if you are not allowed to say certain things, then you stop thinking certain things. This is what is written in the book ‘1984.’ . . . .

So, this is the end of what is going on in the United States. I think America is lost, but it is not a surprise. The Dutch ruled for 250 years, and then the Spanish, Portuguese came, and then the English came. Every big society ends, more or less, after 250 years, and now it’s the United States. . . . People are talking about new systems. They think Marxism is good, but it did not work because the people who did it before made mistakes. If you don’t wake up, this is what you are going to get, and that is a communist Marxist situation.” So, is there nothing that can be done to save America? Nenner says, “The cycle is turning down, and people ask is there anything you can do? You cannot do anything about it. The question is what can you do? You have summer and then you have winter . . . if you know winter comes after summer, you can buy a coat. I have predicted all these war situations, and out of the blue they are here. There is nothing you can do about it.”

Where does Donald Trump fit in? Nenner says, “Trump is going to be the winter coat. I think he can make it less bad. If this continues the way it is, then we are going downhill very fast. I think Trump is coming back.” Nenner says interest rates are not going down until summer. He likes gold longer term, but it has not bottomed yet. The stock market is in for at least a 30% fall in the next few months, and the country will fall into a deep recession after the halfway point in 2024. Yes, it could turn into the greatest depression ever because there is astronomical debt. Nenner thinks the wild card is a multifront war that has already started. Be warned as Nenner thinks it can spin out of control at any time. War gets much worse before it gets better. Nenner also is warning about a huge wave of terrorism coming to America with the wide-open southern border.

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“..the purveyors of ‘winning’ hug themselves in sheer glee as their ‘flipped’ delusions are relayed through a compliant MSM..”

Something Lost, Never to Be Found Again (Alastair Crooke)

So the narrative ‘factory’ is put hard to work. The kinetic war in Ukraine is settled in an evident and overwhelming Russian victory – albeit without it yet being ‘over’. Of course not: Ukraine was but one single battlescape in the wider struggle to force the ‘Rimland’ (the Atlanticist world) to accept an agreed upon frontier between it and the ‘Heartland’ (Russia, China and their Asian depth), and gracefully to renounce its claim to exceptionality in determining our global future. The MSM media therefore is abuzz with analysis of how to define a ‘western win’: Is it possible to ‘flip’ the narrative of Ukraine, they ponder, to being ‘another’ western win? They want to continue to feed Ukraine into the grinder – to persist in the fantasy of ‘total win’: “There is no other way than a total win – and to get rid of Putin … We have to take all risks for that. No compromise is possible, no compromise”.

Call the Ukraine conflict a ‘stalemate’, and insist that it represents a ‘defeat’ for Putin and a ‘win’ for Biden, since Russia was unable to seize the whole of Ukraine (falsely imputing this to have been Moscow’s objective, from the start). This approach is thought rather ‘cool’ by western analysts: Frame the narrative of a ‘win’ and ensure that from top-to-bottom of society, all adhere to the correct narrative without demur. But this is little more than a simple projection from the YouTube ‘influencer’ culture, by which random individuals earn ‘street cred’, (and lots of cash), by curating slick narratives – whether about fashion, or political events. It may work insofar as the addled western public is concerned, but it has limited traction beyond western cultural tinselry.

The flaw when ‘flip-narratives’ are weaponised geo-politically, however, is that propaganda which is so divorced from a reality that is evident simply is not a winning narrative (except in the most fleeting of ways). Plainly said, it leads to the self-isolation of its authors. The glee with which evident western ‘reverses’ seemingly can be narratively ‘flipped’ by Intelligence ‘leaks’ propagating rank lies to support a narrative has become a contagion amongst western intelligence services. Yet rather, this ‘deceptive covenant’ is a poisoned chalice. If the West had any remaining sense, it would concentrate more on setting a ‘narrative of western defeat’ in Ukraine, rather than promulgating yet another rotting ‘narrative of victory’ Why so? Because a wise leadership would be preparing its people for defeat.

Unlikely and false stories of glory on the battlefield come back to bite the perpetrators, as (metaphorically) the wounded and dead return to contradict visibly the tale of victory. The West, by contrast, is still fed on stories of western leadership, election, innate qualities and exceptionalism. Put simply, this ‘influencer’ fad signally is failing to help westerners cope with the tectonic shifts occurring across the globe. Its peoples are wholly unprepared for the ‘Winter that is Coming’. Yet, the purveyors of ‘winning’ hug themselves in sheer glee as their ‘flipped’ delusions are relayed through a compliant MSM. Childish propaganda and lying however will only serve to make the new era all the more painful. A ‘narrative of defeat’, told with integrity, by contrast, is one that helps a people to understand how a particular crisis arose and came to afflict them. It should also signal a way forward.

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“..Netanyahu’s future may depend on Biden losing reelection later this year, with a second Donald Trump administration likely being more amenable to ethnic cleansing..”

Netanyahu ‘In Real Trouble,’ IDF Can’t Control Gaza – Analyst (Sp.)

Political analyst Elijah Magnier joined Sputnik’s Political Misfits program Monday to discuss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declining political fortunes as the country pulls troops from northern Gaza. “Netanyahu is in real trouble today,” said the journalist in a discussion with host John Kiriakou. “First, he is attacked by his coalition in the government… the finance minister [Bezalel] Smotrich and the security minister [Itamar] Ben-Gvir warned him if he stopped the attack on Gaza, saying that they want the [Israeli] settlers to return to Gaza after they were asked to leave in 2005 by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.” “This objective contradicts with the American announcement that the Palestinians will go nowhere and will remain in Gaza, and any ethnic cleansing is not permitted,” added Magnier, “which means that the coalition and Netanyahu’s government is not going to hold.”

The Biden administration has largely defended Netanyahu’s military operation in Gaza, which has killed 1% of the enclave’s population over the previous months. Both Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken have a long history of strong support for Israel. But, hounded by elements of his party’s base and activists who have dubbed him “Genocide Joe,” Biden has been compelled to offer rhetorical opposition. His administration has criticized far-right members of Netanyahu’s government calling for a population transfer of Palestinians from Gaza. Magnier said Netanyahu’s future may depend on Biden losing reelection later this year, with a second Donald Trump administration likely being more amenable to ethnic cleansing.

“He [Netanyahu] needs to keep going in this war, first to avoid the fall of the coalition and have the war last for as long as possible, waiting in the hope that Donald Trump will come to power,” said the analyst. “Trump will be extremely happy to put pressure on Egypt to open the gate and force an exodus of all the Palestinians and give him the whole of Gaza.” “The only hope for Netanyahu is to disregard what the Biden administration wants,” he concluded. Discussion then shifted towards South Africa’s recent filing of genocide charges against Israel at the International Court of Justice. The South African government delivered an 80-page complaint against Israel last week, documenting various statements from members of the Israeli government expressing support for ethnic cleansing and mass civilian casualties. The charges are set to be heard this week. “Ministers in the Netanyahu government said, ‘We want to kill all the Palestinians, we don’t want anyone in Gaza to remain alive, and we want to force an exodus on them if they don’t leave Gaza,’” recalled Magnier.

“The heritage minister of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government said we need to use nuclear bombs on Gaza. And the other minister said we are going to cut both electricity and food and supply to Gaza and ‘don’t lecture us about human rights.’” “All these represent clear evidence [of genocidal intent],” he said. “Plus all the films and videos that are posted on TikTok and social media by the Israeli army itself inside Gaza showing how they’re blowing up those homes by spreading explosive everywhere. And then another officer saying, ‘Well, I killed two boys of 20 because I didn’t find any children to kill.’ And the snipers killing civilians who were raising white flags and raising their arms in the sky. So all these represent solid proof of crimes against humanity and war crimes that Israel is committing.” “I think many countries would like to see some of the international laws coming back to normality,” Magnier concluded.

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Foreign Secretary wouldn’t have been enough for ex-PM Cameron. Instead, he was brought in as War Secretary. And that he liked.

West Ready To Back Ukraine ‘For Years’ – UK Foreign Secretary (RT)

The US and its allies will not falter in their support for the Ukrainian cause, and Russia should not count on waiting them out, British Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron told Parliament on Tuesday. Cameron was prime minister between 2010 and 2016. Last November, he was made a baron and appointed Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs. Tuesday’s appearance before the Foreign Affairs Committee was his first since returning to government. The Ukraine conflict was among the topics that were raised during the questioning. “Our commitment is such that with our allies, we want to demonstrate to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin very clearly that he cannot wait us out, and we are prepared to support Ukraine through 2024, ’25, ’26,” Cameron told the MPs. “We are prepared to give that support because it is the challenge of our generation.”

The Israeli war on Hamas in Gaza is “certainly” taking international attention away from Ukraine, “which I think is a pity,” Cameron said. “I think it’s the job of the strongest supporters of Ukraine – of which I would say Britain is rightly one – to do everything we can to keep it as high up the agenda as possible, to keep the partnership and coalition of countries that back Ukraine as strong and united and as purposeful as possible.” Support for Ukraine is “not an issue of contention in British politics,” as it may be in the US and some other countries, he insisted. While London will continue to back Kiev even if Washington and others are slow to commit, “we really need the Americans to come forward with this package,” Cameron added. He was confident that the US Congress would do so eventually. The White House has asked for over $60 billion to fund Kiev in 2024.

Right now, the UK is working on mobilizing the military-industrial complex to manufacture ammunition and other weapons to meet Ukraine’s needs, Cameron said, noting there is “more to be done on that.” He argued it “should not be impossible” for the West to ramp up production, since its combined gross domestic product (GDP) is 25 times greater than Russia’s. The US and its allies have given Ukraine over $200 billion worth of military aid since 2022, according to recent Russian Defense Ministry estimates. Ukraine’s own military industry has been severely damaged by the conflict, making Kiev almost entirely dependent on Western handouts. London has played a key role in the conflict by encouraging Kiev not to make peace with Moscow. Then-PM Boris Johnson visited Ukraine in April 2022 and told President Vladimir Zelensky that the West was not interested in a deal with Russia. Ukraine then reneged on a preliminary ceasefire agreement it had signed in March in Istanbul.

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Too much oil?!

Russian Tycoon Deripaska Predicts 20% Oil Price Crash (RT)

Global oil markets are heading for a crash that will slash 20% off of the crude price this year, Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska predicted on Tuesday. The tycoon’s warning comes after oil prices fell by about 4% on Monday on sharp price cuts announced by top exporter Saudi Arabia for exports in February. Oil has since rebounded, with the WTI benchmark trading at $72 per barrel, and Brent at $77.4 as of 14:00 GMT on Tuesday. “Cheaper oil, which will fall by another 20% on the global market this year, will be a good help in fighting inflation,” Deripaska wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday.

The aluminum magnate also referred to a report in the Financial Times that said that steady growth in oil supply from countries outside the OPEC+ group, specifically the US, and an uncertain economic outlook are expected to keep a lid on the price of crude this year. EU countries along with the US and Russia have been grappling with high inflation over the past two years. The rising prices have compelled central banks to embark on a rate-hike campaign that helped contain price growth in 2023, although the Eurozone saw annual inflation rebound in December, according to preliminary estimates.

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“..Germany’s budgetary position has deteriorated very rapidly due to the economic crisis. The government now needs to save money..”

German Government Ready to Sacrifice Own Citizens in Order to Arm Ukraine (Sp.)

Farmers across Germany on January 8 started blocking roads and highways with tractors in response to Berlin’s agricultural policies which envisage the reduction of tax breaks for the agricultural sector and subsidy cuts for fuel usage. The protestors carried placards saying “no farmer, no food, no future” and “when farmers are ruined, food has to be imported”, as per the Western press. “The German government is short of money,” Gunnar Beck, a member of the European Parliament for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, told Sputnik. “And in order to offset rapidly and drastically rising energy prices, the government one and a half years ago decided to finance rebates to consumers in order to mitigate the effect of rising energy prices and rising inflation. And they also stepped up subsidies for farmers.”

“Since then, Germany’s budgetary position has deteriorated very rapidly due to the economic crisis. The government now needs to save money, and they’ve decided to scrap those rebates and scale back subsidies. That’s what’s happening now. It’s a reflection of the deteriorating economic circumstances in Germany. There’s also been a German Constitutional Court ruling which forbade the government from using €60 billion of unspent corona aid for climate policy purposes. That puts a further constraint on the government’s budgetary room for maneuver.” It’s not only German farmers who are facing the standard of living crisis, as the federal government also scrapped the rebate for consumers, Beck continued. That means that Germans will suffer the full impact of rising energy costs.

“I think it will be an enormous problem for a large part of the German public, who even now are struggling to pay their energy bills,” he stressed. “The German government is cutting back aid for those in need left, right and center because it’s pursuing ruinous policies, namely climate change, mass migration, subsidizing southern Europe, which it simply can no longer afford.” Germany has emerged as the only G7 economy that suffered contraction in 2023, as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF). For decades, the nation has relied on relatively cheap energy coming from Russia. However, after the US twisted Berlin’s arm into slapping an energy embargo on Moscow over the Russian special operation in Ukraine, Germany has found itself between a rock and a hard place, facing economic decline and de-industrialization. The sabotage attack on the Nord Stream pipeline infrastructure – which was designed to make Germany a major European energy hub – became the last straw.

Even though Germany appears to be incapable to provide its own citizens with much-needed subsidies, the nation’s government “generously” sent a Skynex air defense system, 10 Schützenpanzer Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), ammunition for Leopard tanks, missiles for IRIS-T SLM air defence systems, 2 TRML-4D air surveillance radars, more than 9,000 155-mm calibre projectiles, and other aid to the Kiev regime. “These are very costly weapons,” Beck highlighted. “What does the decision to go ahead with the delivery mean? Well, it obviously means that to the German government, supporting Ukraine is more important than the needs of its own population. It’s as simple as that. The German foreign minister even said so.

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Scholz won’t last.

Germany Could Face Its Own ‘Maidan’ – Medvedev (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz risks being forced out of office by mass protests, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. A week-long nationwide strike was launched in the EU’s leading economy on Monday. Farmers in Germany say the government’s decision to cut diesel subsidies and tax breaks for the agriculture sector will force many of them out of business. Berlin’s budgetary shortages are a direct result of spending “astronomical amounts” on Ukraine, Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, argued in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “Subsidies have been ended, and astronomical amounts spent on Ukraine are still growing. And Germany is the main funder,” Medvedev wrote. “If this goes on, banderovtsy will export their proven weapon, the maidan, to Berlin.”

Officials in Moscow, meanwhile, are “following [the events] with malicious interest,” Medvedev added. Germany has emerged as one of Kiev’s key donors in its conflict with Russia, after the US and its allies pushed Ukraine into seeking victory on the battlefield instead of compromising on its ambition to become a NATO member. German funding currently accounts for half of all EU aid for Ukraine, Finance Minister Christian Lindner said at a conference last week. The Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) estimates German bilateral assistance to Ukraine at $23 billion, including the cost of hosting refugees. Kiev’s failure to achieve significant progress on the frontline last year has undermined its long-term aid security.

In the US, Republican lawmakers have refused to appropriate additional funds unless the administration of President Joe Biden agrees to concessions on domestic immigration policy and provides a realistic plan for a Ukrainian victory. In the EU, Hungary has vetoed a European Commission plan to prop up the Ukrainian government. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Scholz has seen his approval rating fall. Citing a survey by INSA, Bild reported on Monday that 64% of voters in the country believe Scholz should step down and be replaced by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. The farmers’ protests were triggered by Scholz’s attempts to fill a €17 billion ($18.6 billion) hole in the 2024 budget, which the government has since partially backpeddled on. Nevertheless, the German Farmers’ Association pushed ahead with its plans for an ‘action week’. Demonstrators blocked highways with their tractors on Monday, also dumping hay, animal feed, and manure on roads in a gesture of disdain for government policies. Hundreds of farm vehicles gathered at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

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“..Jack Smith’s J-6 case is a dog’s breakfast of erroneous supposition, misprision, and persecutorial misconduct, soon to be wrecked by the Supreme Court..”

Let the Games Begin (James Howard Kunstler)

Did you notice that “Joe Biden” ceremonially kicked off his “reelection campaign” with that speech at Valley Forge, blaring the “insurrection” klaxon? Is it not astounding that half the people in our country have no idea that the joke is on them? “Joe Biden” is marking time in the oval office until the moment he must use his unique legal prerogative to pardon himself and all the members of his family for their roles in the influence-peddling racket he fronted as veep. . . and then he’ll gallantly step aside. The optimum play would be to hold off on that until just before the Democratic Party’s convention, where a claque of super-delegates can pick somebody else in a back room filled with estrogen vapors. It kind of depends on whether a faction of corruption-resistant Republicans will ante up for that impeachment inquiry we keep hearing about.

Despite the obvious bullshit on CNN about “no evidence,” there is actually a garbage barge of evidence steaming up the Potomac to prove that “Joe Biden” sold out his country. It simply needs to be laid out with brutal decorum in the proper setting. The catch is that a House committee can report out a bill of impeachment — as we’ve seen before — but a trial in a Democrat-majority Senate would probably fail to bring a conviction. The additional catch is that even so, the whole country will have watched the sordid spectacle and seen enough proof of malfeasance to foul the waters for the Party of Chaos in the November election, no matter who heads the ticket. It must also be obvious that the party is running out of lawfare tricks for shackling Mr. Trump.

Jack Smith’s J-6 case is a dog’s breakfast of erroneous supposition, misprision, and persecutorial misconduct, soon to be wrecked by the Supreme Court; the Mar-a-Lago raid case is a patent fraud; the Fulton County, GA, RICO case is a Fani Willis masturbation fantasy, and the two New York raps under DA Alvin Bragg and AG Letitia James will be laughed out of appeals courts. Anyway, Mr. Trump seems to thrive on the noxious vapors thrown off by these rancid actions. If all these genius moves fail, how else can they stop the Golden Golem of Greatness. . . and his promise of keen retribution for the serial hoaxes run on him and all the fiendish trips laid on the nation since 2016?They can try to kill him. Can you put it past our “intel community”? It is exactly that nucleus of the DC blob that has the most to fear from a second Trump term. Dozens of them will be charged with sedition and even treason, a hanging crime. And if they succeed in whacking Mr. Trump, that would only leave a huge opening for Bobby Kennedy, who has an even bigger axe to grind against the agency that rubbed-out his father and his uncle.

We held a meet-up here this weekend in my little upstate New York town to make plans for the petition drive in April-May to get RFKJr on the New York ballot. I told the group that much as I would relish seeing Donald Trump mop up the floor with the people who perverted the rule of law and just about spatchcocked our country, I believe Bobby Kennedy would be a better choice to lead us through the dark defile of history that circumstance has jammed us in. He is just as determined to expunge the horrific blob corruption, but without Mr. Trump’s exasperating artifice and grandiosity.

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“..He lied — brazenly — to Congress about his policy violations in three Senate hearings in 2021-2022. He lied — brazenly — to Congress about his policy violations again yesterday.”

Fauci Unable to Answer Key Questions in Pandemic Probe (CHD)

On the first day of a two-day closed-door interview before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), frequently evaded questions about gain-of-function research and the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), in a statement following Monday’s interview, said, “Dr. Fauci’s testimony today uncovered drastic and systemic failures in America’s public health systems” and that Fauci “had no idea what was happening under his own jurisdiction at NIAID.” According to The Hill, Fauci offered “his expertise on preparing for potential outbreaks in the future.”

But according to The Washington Times, he “couldn’t remember many details about his advocacy of lockdowns, his flip-flopping on mask mandates and his decision to allow government funding of gain-of-function research in China that might have led to the pandemic.” Fauci “claimed he ‘did not recall’ pertinent COVID-19 information or conversations more than 100 times,” and “profusely defended his previous congressional testimony where he stated the National Institutes of Health (NIH) did not fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan,” according to the subcommittee statement. Fauci also “repeatedly played semantics with the definition of gain-of-function in an attempt to avoid conceding that NIH funded potentially dangerous research in China,” the subcommittee stated. Responding to Monday’s testimony, Rutgers University molecular biologist Richard Ebright, Ph.D., a frequent critic of gain-of-function research, told The Defender:

“Fauci repeatedly and flagrantly violated U.S. government policies implemented to protect the public from lab-generated pandemics. He lied — brazenly — to Congress about his policy violations in three Senate hearings in 2021-2022. He lied — brazenly — to Congress about his policy violations again yesterday.” Investigative journalist Paul D. Thacker, who has documented attempts by Fauci and other government officials, federal agencies and leading scientists to cover up the U.S. government’s role in funding gain-of-function research in China, told The Defender he was not surprised by Fauci’s stance. “As I documented over two years ago, Anthony Fauci has lied about funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan. That’s fine. People in Washington lie all the time,” Thacker said. “But when he lied during a congressional hearing, wagging his finger at Senator [Rand] Paul … I knew immediately he had broken the law. His lies about this pandemic have been documented in multiple media outlets and I hope he is eventually prosecuted,” he added.

Francis Boyle, J.D., Ph.D., professor of international law at the University of Illinois and a bioweapons expert who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, told The Defender Fauci should be prosecuted. “Fauci knew exactly what was going on at the Wuhan BSL4 [biosafety level 4] and the University of North Carolina BSL3 — he was paying for it,” Boyle said. “He has repeatedly perjured himself in testimony before Congress. This is just more of the same.” Boyle said Wenstrup should follow Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) example and refer Fauci to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution for perjury. “Maybe we will get some action there now that the Wuhan cover-up is unfolding, as detailed in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s book, ‘The Wuhan Cover-Up,’” he added. The seven-hour meeting was Fauci’s first appearance in the House since retiring from public office in December 2022. He was accompanied by two of his attorneys and two government attorneys, according to The Hill.

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CO2 ain’t gonna cause nothing,” astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon told Tucker Carlson.

 

 


..the astonishing “Treetop Tumblers,” a rare troupe of acrobatic lions whose gravity-defying tree-climbing stunts turn the Tropland wilderness into an everyday spectacle. Josh Gottsegen / troplanduniverse]

Best friends
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744433463787147741

 

 

 

 

Drunk test
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744442214363672606

 

 


Real annual wages in Greece are, on average, still more than 25% lower than in 2007. Meanwhile, some are continuing to frame the Greek experience over the past 10+years as a miracle success of adjustment. If this is what success looks like…

 

 

Dementia restaurant

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 162023
 
 December 16, 2023  Posted by at 10:12 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  52 Responses »


Edward Hopper Hotel lobby 1943

 

Hersh: Hamas Troops Surrendering in Gaza, West Bank is Next Tinderbox (Sp.)
Pumping Seawater Into Hamas Tunnels Proves ‘Successful’ (Cradle)
IDF Reveals Forces ‘Mistakenly’ Killed Three Israeli Hostages in Gaza (Sp.)
Maersk Diverts All Vessels From Red Sea (ZH)
West Secretly Urging Russia-Ukraine Talks – Lavrov (RT)
Scott Ritter: Ukrainian Military to Crumble by Mid-2024 (Sp.)
Scholz Pulled Ruse On Orban To Start Ukraine Accession Talks – Politico (RT)
Hungary May Impose Veto On Ukraine’s EU Accession Talks – FM (TASS)
Austrian Leader Skipped Russian Sanctions Vote – Politico (RT)
Biden Lacks ‘End Game’ in ‘Doomed’ Ukraine Project – Analyst (Sp.)
Zelensky’s Global Begging Tour Is an Obscene Fiasco (SCF)
Cranking Up the Ukraine Phoney History Mill (Karganovic)
The Mystery of the Missing Binder (CNN)

 

 

 

 

Watters Hunter Watch this!

 

 

Pretty good
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735666940796960824

 

 

Turn off the internet Miles Taylor is a “national security official” in the same sense that your Starbucks barista is a national security official.

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

Tucker Assange

 

 

 

 

“..the disparity in Israeli and Palestinian civilian deaths “is something that Israelis will have to think about.” The officer supports the war “but the balance is not right.”

Hersh: Hamas Troops Surrendering in Gaza, West Bank is Next Tinderbox (Sp.)

The growing crisis in the West Bank is fraught with the risk of sparking a regional war in the Middle East, as Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in his recent blog post. While the Joe Biden administration appears to have turned a blind eye to mounting civilian casualties in Gaza, the US president is concerned about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attacks on the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, according to Hersh. “Steadily increasing violence committed there against the Palestinian population by Israeli settlers, who are openly supported by the IDF and the extremists that now dominate Israeli politics, has triggered alarms in Washington,” the investigative journalist wrote, quoting a US official with access to sensitive information.

“The official told me that ‘Bibi’s continuing campaign’ in the West Bank ‘is complicating Israel’s efforts to create favorable arrangements in Gaza after the war ends,’ and the violence has become a ‘huge obstacle’ for the Biden administration.” According to Hersh, Netanyahu and Israeli hardliners want carte blanche from the Biden White House for their actions in the West Bank. He quoted his source as saying that Netanyahu cabinet officials “are pissed at Biden and think he should have said that we’re with you all the way: ‘You got to do [in the West Bank] what you got to do’.” The most ardent supporter of tougher measures against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank is National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, a lawyer and right-wing politician. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist noted that Biden was “uncharacteristically caustic about Gvir”, suggesting that the minister and his allies are against the two-state solution.

According to Hersh’s source, the crucial question faced by US intelligence analysts “is whether there is going to be a regional war” in the Middle East if Tel Aviv continues to ignore the growing crisis in the West Bank. That question is “up in the air” given Netanyahu’s ongoing legal predicament and the backing he needs from Ben Gvir and his supporters. Commenting on the prospects of the two-state solution in the Middle East, the intelligence official noted that “there is a lot of behind-the-scenes back-and-forth.” Meanwhile, the “astonishing number” of civilians dying in Gaza has “left a stain” on Israel’s international reputation — worrying even some former Israeli military officers, Hersh said. One told the investigative journalist that the disparity in Israeli and Palestinian civilian deaths “is something that Israelis will have to think about.” The officer supports the war “but the balance is not right.”

Hersh said he had learnt that as many as 700 Hamas soldiers had opted to surrender to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). A senior aide to Yahya Sinjar, the purported masterminds behind Hamas’s October 7 cross-border raid, is also said to have surrendered. “Israel expected Hamas to fight to the end, just as America thought the Japanese would do in World War II,” the US source told Hersh. The journalist noted that Sinjar is believed to be hiding somewhere in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The journalist also discovered that Israel and Hamas leadership in exile have renewed contacts with regard to a possible exchange of Israeli hostages for imprisoned Palestinians. “At this point, I was told, there are 137 Israelis in Hamas custody and still thought to be alive,” Hersh wrote.

“All were taken hostage on October 7, and as many as thirty-six of them are believed to be active IDF members, men and women between the ages of eighteen to thirty-one. Eight civilian women and two children are still believed to be in custody.” Reportedly, Hamas wants to exchange 10 hostages for 40 prisoners in Israeli jails and a 48-hour ceasefire. The US official told Hersh that some elderly hostages in Hamas’ custody had died due to lack of medical treatment. After all hostages are freed “the entire [Hamas] leadership—political, religious, and military—will be killed in the countries where they live,” Hersh’s contact said, adding that Mossad — the Israeli intelligence service — “is already tracking them, but killing them before the hostages are out is risky.”

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“The tunnels were built by well-trained and educated engineers who considered all possible attacks from the occupation, including pumping water..”

Pumping Seawater Into Hamas Tunnels Proves ‘Successful’ (Cradle)

The Israeli daily The Times of Israel reported on 14 December that the attempt to pump seawater into the vast network of tunnels built by Hamas in Gaza was proving to be a “success.” “The tunnel flooding had indeed begun, albeit in a limited trial capacity …,” and that “it was understood to have been a success,” the newspaper said on Thursday. Three days ago, Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the Israeli military had already begun pumping seawater into tunnels used by Hamas. Citing US officials familiar with the Israeli military operation, the WSJ had reported that the move to flood the tunnels with water from the Mediterranean was in its early stages. A spokesperson for the Israeli defense minister had declined to comment, saying tunnel operations were classified.

When asked, however, if the tunnel flooding tactic might pose a threat to Israeli prisoners held in Gaza, Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a press conference on 14 December that the military operates on “intelligence” regarding where prisoners are being kept, adding that Israel “will not take steps that harm them.” In another press conference in Beirut on Thursday, senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said that the tunnels were built to withstand flooding, and that Israel’s plans have been taken into account. “The tunnels were built by well-trained and educated engineers who considered all possible attacks from the occupation, including pumping water,” Hamdan said, adding that the underground network is “an integral part of the resistance, and all consequences and expected attacks have been taken into account.”

At the start of the war in October, officials were quoted as saying that soldiers should “under no circumstances” attempt to enter the tunnels. The report by The Times of Israel comes as Israel is no closer to its goal of destroying Hamas. “Israel is still far from toppling Hamas. The majority of its fighters are still alive; it still possesses rockets,” said Michael Millstein, a Palestinian studies expert, on 12 December. Clashes continue to rage between Israel and the Palestinian resistance in both north and south Gaza, with resistance fighters ambushing Israeli troops on a daily basis. At least 10 Israeli soldiers were killed in the Shujaiya neighborhood of north Gaza and elsewhere on 12 December in coordinated ambushes laid by Hamas and other groups. Israeli media referred to the ambush as “one of the deadliest” since the ground war was launched in late October.

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‘Mistakenly..’

IDF Reveals Forces ‘Mistakenly’ Killed Three Israeli Hostages in Gaza (Sp.)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) admitted on Friday that the service had mistakenly identified three hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip as a threat and opened fire, killing all three. “During combat in Shejaiya, the IDF mistakenly identified three Israeli hostages as a threat. As a result, the troops fired toward them and they were killed,” the IDF wrote on its Telegram channel. The bodies of the three individuals, two of who were identified by the IDF as Samer Talalka and Yotam Haim, have since been recovered by Israeli forces. The third individual was not publicly identified at the family’s request “Immediate lessons from the event have been learned, which have been passed on to all IDF troops in the field,” the IDF said in a statement.

“The IDF expresses deep remorse over the tragic incident and sends the families its heartfelt condolences. Our national mission is to locate the missing and return all the hostages home.” The trio were said to have been taken into custody by Hamas from Kibbutz Kfar Aza during the October 7 surprise attack. A “review” of the incident has been launched. Since early October, Israel has detailed that upwards of 1,000 Israelis have been killed in hostilities, with nearly 250 civilians and soldiers having been taken hostage by Hamas. To date, more than 18,000 Palestinians have been killed amid ongoing bombing campaigns on Gaza, including nearly 8,000 children.

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A powerful punch.

Maersk Diverts All Vessels From Red Sea (ZH)

There’s been yet another Houthi attack on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, in at least the third serious incident this week, prompting container shipping giant Maersk to order any of its vessels near the southern entrance of the Red Sea to immediately halt their voyages. “Following the near-miss incident involving Maersk Gibraltar yesterday and yet another attack on a container vessel today, we have instructed all Maersk vessels in the area bound to pass through the Bab al-Mandab Strait to pause their journey until further notice,” the Danish international liner confirmed Friday, per Bloomberg. “In this latest incident, ballistic missiles and a drone were fired from Houthi held territory in Yemen and struck a Liberian-flagged cargo ship near the Bab El-Mandeb Strait, according to a Pentagon official. A second vessel in the same area also came under attack close in time to the first.”

According to breaking details relayed in Reuters: Attacks from Houthi-controlled Yemen struck two Liberian-flagged ships in the Bab al-Mandab Strait on Friday, a U.S. defense official said, underlining the threat to vessels in shipping lanes being targeted by the Iran-aligned group. A projectile, believed to be a drone, struck one of the vessels, the German-owned Al Jasrah, causing a fire but no injuries, the official said. Two ballistic missiles were fired in the second attack, one of which struck a vessel, causing a fire which the crew was working to extinguish, the official said.” A Houthi statement subsequently identified that the MSC Alanya and MSC Palatium III were the targeted vessels in the attack. It’s unclear whether they are Israeli-linked, however it is clear that the vessels were sailing the direction of Israeli ports when they were struck. US Navy and other coalition warships are reportedly en route to assist the damaged ships – with potential casualties unknown at this point.

The impact of this fresh pair of attacks has been felt immediately by markets (note: rerouting of traditional routes means chaos as buyers need to scramble to ensure they have priority to new routes, and this in turn leads to surge in charter rates and boost to shipper revenues), per Bloomberg: “Shipping stocks extend their surge as Maersk tells its vessels in the Red Sea area to pause their journeys, following recent militant attacks on merchant ships. The attacks have raised fears of disruptions to container shipping.” Crucially, Maersk has now confirmed that its tankers will avoid the Red Sea altogether. This directive has reportedly already been sent out. As of late last month, the Maersk exodus had already begun: “Ships with links to Israel are diverting in greater numbers from the Red and Arabian Seas following a series of attacks over the past 11 days by Houthis, Iranians and Somalis. Danish liner giant Maersk became the latest big name to announce that a pair of its ships on charter – Lisa and Maersk Pagani – will be diverted with cargoes discharged in the United Arab Emirates resulting in delays of more than a week. “This decision has been made with careful consideration of various factors, prioritizing the safety of crew, the vessel, and your cargo,” Maersk stated in an advisory to clients.

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“… at least via three different channels of communication, sent signals as to why don’t we meet and talk about what to do with Ukraine and with European security..”

West Secretly Urging Russia-Ukraine Talks – Lavrov (RT)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that multiple Western leaders had approached him about potential negotiations to end the conflict in Ukraine, saying the Kremlin is ready for dialogue so long as it respects Moscow’s core interests. Speaking alongside his Belarusian counterpart Sergey Aleinik on Friday, Lavrov told reporters that some Western powers were increasingly interested in a negotiated settlement, though declined to single out any country by name. “I do not want to and I have no right to name names, but a number of high-level, well-known leaders of Western countries, including one specific Western leader, a very well-known one, several times, … at least via three different channels of communication, sent signals as to why don’t we meet and talk about what to do with Ukraine and with European security,” he said.

Lavrov added that Russia is “always ready to discuss these issues seriously,” but suggested Kiev had been the unwilling party, saying “We have never rejected the negotiations and this question should not be addressed to us.” However, the FM stressed that any talks would have to account for “Russia’s legitimate interests” and must mean “putting an end to attempts to build [one’s] own security at the expense of others,” referring to Ukraine’s efforts to join the NATO bloc. Though Russian and Ukrainian negotiators met for multiple rounds of talks in the weeks after Moscow launched its military operation, the discussions soon collapsed. Kiev has shown little interest in further dialogue in the months since, with President Vladimir Zelensky even signing a decree barring any talks with the current Kremlin leadership.

During a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) earlier this month, Lavrov recalled that the two sides had essentially reached a peace agreement following talks in Istanbul in March 2022, noting that senior Ukrainian MP David Arakhamia, who led his country’s delegation, had recently confirmed this. A key political ally of Zelensky, Arakhamia said that Russia’s primary goal had been to pressure Ukraine to accept neutrality and abandon plans to join NATO. Kiev did not trust Moscow to keep its word and wanted “security guarantees” from third parties, Arakhamia said, also pointing out then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s role in discouraging the talks.

Western leaders have so far said little about new peace talks in their public comments, though recent media reports have indicated that US and European officials have quietly broached the issue behind the scenes. According to US officials cited by NBC, Washington is now “worried that Ukraine is running out of forces” and cannot succeed on the battlefield, reportedly prompting new interest in negotiations.

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“He’s going to want a lot of money to continue, to not only sustain the funding of the Ukrainian state, but also to sustain the greasing of Ukrainian corruption, because that’s the only thing that keeps Zelensky in power.”

Scott Ritter: Ukrainian Military to Crumble by Mid-2024 (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s charm offensive has failed, as US members of Congress are fixing to leave for winter break without passing Biden’s $61 billion package for Kiev. Even though the Democratic-controlled Senate has delayed holiday recess to unlock the aid, the House shows no sign of returning to pass it through the full Congress. “The day of the West turning over hundreds of tanks, hundreds of armored fighting vehicles, hundreds of artillery pieces is over,” Scott Ritter, a military analyst and former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, told Sputnik. “We just don’t have any left to give. So the best Zelensky can hope for is your penny packets of armor, penny packets of infantry fighting vehicles, some ammunition, and maybe an F-16 or two. He’s going to want a lot of money to continue, to not only sustain the funding of the Ukrainian state, but also to sustain the greasing of Ukrainian corruption, because that’s the only thing that keeps Zelensky in power.”

The US House of Representatives voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on December 14. The bill extended the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative through the end of 2026, authorizing $300 million for Kiev in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2024, as well as the next one. Still, the US media admits that it’s just a drop in the bucket when compared to the $61 billion requested by Biden. Both American voters and members of Congress have grown skeptical about funneling more money into Ukraine. Almost 50 percent of US voters believe Washington is spending “too much” in military and financial aid for Ukraine, as per the latest FT-Michigan Ross monthly survey. The sentiment is largely explained by Kiev’s crushing defeat during the summer counteroffensive.

Meanwhile, Kiev officials behave as if they are absolutely unaware of the troublesome trend. Earlier this month, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense handed over a “list of armaments to meet the needs of Ukraine’s defense forces” to their American counterparts. In addition to artillery shells, F-16 fighters, drones, and missiles the list also included F-18 Hornet fighter jets, Boeing Apache attack helicopters, Lockheed Martin Black Hawk choppers, and even the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) air defense system, among other top-notch weapons. Per Ritter, there’s zero chance whatsoever that Ukraine will ever see anything on that wish list, with the exception of perhaps a handful of old F-16 fighters and a fraction of the artillery ammunition that they’ve requested.

“This is a sign of absolute panic on the part of Ukraine,” Ritter believes. “Zelensky is approaching a delusional state where he appears to be of a mindset similar to that which Adolf Hitler possessed in the final days in the Berlin bunker as the Red Army closed in, where he fantasized armies, he was moving nonexistent troops and aircraft on a map with his hands.” The former Marine intelligence officer explained that providing sophisticated weaponry to Kiev is throwing away money and throwing away capability in the eyes of Washington. Furthermore, Russia knocking out F-18 fighter jets or THAADs would create a bad precedent, let alone the security challenge of US technologies falling into the hands of the Russian military, according to Ritter.

“Ukraine does not factor into the legitimate national security interests of the United States,” the military expert highlighted. “We are not going to sacrifice ourselves on the altar of Ukrainian nationalism. We’ve given them some support, but that support was merely sufficient to create the perception of Ukrainian strength. But we were never going to give the Ukrainians the ability to win this war, because they were never going to have the ability to win this war. Ukraine cannot defeat Russia. They’re not physically capable of defeating Russia, regardless of the equipment that the West gives them. So why would we sacrifice the best equipment we have on this altar?”

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No ruse. Orban knew what was happening.

Scholz Pulled Ruse On Orban To Start Ukraine Accession Talks – Politico (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz managed to get Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban out of the room at a key EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday so that he would not veto a motion to begin formal accession talks with Ukraine, Politico reported on Friday. The ruse reportedly allowed the EU to move forward with the process. While the EU Council recommended opening membership talks with Kiev in November, Orban has repeatedly criticized the initiative, branding Ukraine “one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” and claiming that it had failed to meet the necessary conditions for such a decision. EU leaders attempted to persuade Orban to change his stance during marathon negotiations in Brussels on Thursday.

Finally, about three hours into the talks, Scholz told Orban that “he should consider leaving the room briefly,” and, perhaps go “grab a coffee outside,” Politico reported, adding that the idea behind the suggestion was that EU leaders would be able to unanimously approve the move while Orban would be able to say that he had not voted in favor. According to Politico’s sources, while Scholz’s down-to-earth strategy raised some eyebrows both in the EU and beyond, it had been “pre-agreed” and carried out in a “constructive manner.” One official told the magazine that the German chancellor resorted to “an old trick from his time with the Young Socialists,” the youth wing of his Social Democratic Party. The ground for the ploy, according to the magazine, was set in the previous hours of the summit that saw many EU leaders piling strong pressure on Orban, attempting to debunk his arguments that Ukraine was not worthy of being given a path to joining the bloc.

Finally, while Orban did not veto the accession talks with Ukraine, he called the decision “completely senseless, irrational, and incorrect.” Nevertheless, he still blocked the EU’s four-year plan to allocate €50 billion ($54 billion) for Ukraine. Orban’s chief political adviser previously insisted that Budapest could sign on for the move if the EU unfreezes all of the €30 billion earmarked for Hungary that was blocked over corruption and rule-of-law concerns. Brussels previously unlocked €10 billion, citing Budapest’s progress on judicial reforms to make the country’s courts more independent.

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“We were not involved in this decision, we were not responsible for it and we were exempt from its consequences..”

Hungary May Impose Veto On Ukraine’s EU Accession Talks – FM (TASS)

Hungary will veto the European Union’s talks on the accession of Ukraine if they are found to be detrimental to Hungarian interests, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in an interview with Mandiner magazine. “The European Union has decided to start accession talks with Ukraine,” Hungary’s top diplomat said. “This is a principled decision, which has no practical significance whatsoever.” “In case Brussels, tries to squeeze in during the preparations for the real talks on the [Ukrainian] accession something that would harm us, we will be forced to resort to the tool of tough veto,” Szijjarto stressed.

Having called as “completely irrational” a decision to launch talks on Ukraine’s EU accession, the Hungarian foreign minister recalled that his country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban did not participate in negotiations on this issue at the most recent EU summit in Brussels. According to Szijjarto, it was the best PM Orban could do in that situation, as the leaders of the other 26 EU countries insisted on providing the green light to Ukraine’s accession process. “We were not involved in this decision, we were not responsible for it and we were exempt from its consequences,” the Hungarian foreign minister added. Speaking to journalists last Friday ahead of the European Union’s Summit in Brussels on December 14-15 Orban said: “No sense of launching talks today with Ukraine [on EU’s admission].”

Hungary’s Premier Orban stated previously in the month that he objected to including the issue of Ukraine’s EU membership on the agenda of the organization’s meeting in Brussels on December 14-15. Hungary has repeatedly stated its intention to keep channels of communication with Russia open in order to continue looking for ways to resolve the Ukraine crisis, among other things. Putin and Orban focused on this issue at their meeting in Beijing on the sidelines of the Belt and Road international forum on October 17.

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It’s a popular move…

Austrian Leader Skipped Russian Sanctions Vote – Politico (RT)

European Union member states have agreed to a 12th package of sanctions against Russia; however, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who had been holding up a decision on the latest set of punitive measures targeting Moscow, was reportedly not in the room, Politico reported. While the text of the package had been agreed upon by all countries earlier this week, Austria reportedly wasn’t able to give its final approval until late Thursday, saying it needed time to examine the legal text. Reuters earlier wrote that sources familiar with the matter said the country had been trying to have Raiffeisen Bank International, the largest Western bank still operating in Russia, taken off a Ukrainian blacklist in return for Vienna’s willingness to sign off on new EU sanctions against Moscow.

European diplomats told Politico that Nehammer’s absence was just a coincidence, as he had left the room to speak with EC President Ursula von der Leyen about the EU accession of Romania and Bulgaria. However, ironically, earlier in the day, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán seemed to have resorted to the same maneuver. Orban left the leaders’ room when they decided to go ahead with accession talks for Ukraine, to allow for a unanimous decision in what the media wrote was “the coffee break that saved Ukraine’s membership talks.” According to Reuters, despite Austria’s reported efforts to take it off Ukraine’s blacklist, Raiffeisen is still there. The new penalties include a direct ban on imports of non-industrial Russian diamonds starting from January 1 and a phased ban on diamond imports from third countries starting from March, in alignment with the G7 countries. Other sanctions include toughening the proof required of companies which claim they adhere to the G7 Russian oil price cap.

The package also added measures to prevent Russia from getting dual-use goods by obliging EU companies’ counterparties to sign contracts when buying certain products which prohibit their re-sale to Russia. A notification procedure for Russian citizens or entities in Russia wishing to transfer more than 100,000 euros (over $109,000) out of the EU was also incorporated into the sanctions package. The EU has already imposed 11 rounds of sanctions on Russia since the beginning of its conflict with Ukraine in early 2022, aiming to weaken the country’s economy by depriving it of access to critical technology and markets, and by curtailing its income from the export of raw materials. In response, Russia has redirected much of its trade to Asia, primarily India and China. Speaking during a marathon Q&A session on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US and its allies are largely “shooting themselves in the foot” by slapping Russia with new sanctions, which he said ended up hurting them more than they did Moscow.

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“Neither the United States nor the Europeans even have the stockpiles to undertake a war… We are so depleted right now, we wouldn’t even be able to fight a one-front war..”

Biden Lacks ‘End Game’ in ‘Doomed’ Ukraine Project – Analyst (Sp.)

The ‘Ukraine’ project “is doomed,” and the regime in Kiev “has already lost,” Michael Maloof, former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik. “The Biden administration, and I think even some European countries now are seeing the inevitability of that,” he added. With the much-heralded Ukraine counteroffensive turning out to be a total flop, despite the enormous military assistance that the US and its NATO allies have doled out, the mainstream media has now stopped talking about any so-called ‘successes’ by the Zelensky regime and has gone practically silent. So currently, given the open admissions that Kiev’s counteroffensive was a disaster, ‘Ukraine fatigue’ is now gaining ground both in the US and Europe. Meanwhile, the Russian Armed Forces have transitioned to an offensive stance in the special military operation zone and are advancing along the entire contact line, as emphasized by President Vladimir Putin during his annual press conference on December 14.

Ukraine’s military, according to Maloof, had seriously lacked one particular element from the start – air power. “They didn’t have the air power to deal with tank traps, mines that the Russians built up over time. And it devolved into trench warfare,” he said. As for Western countries, in their frenzy to fuel NATO’s proxy conflict against Russia in Ukraine, they ended up facing depleted weapons and munitions stocks. “Neither the United States nor the Europeans even have the stockpiles to undertake a war… We are so depleted right now, we wouldn’t even be able to fight a one-front war,” said Maloof. Weighing in on talk by the West to “help the Ukrainians to build up their own indigenous military production capabilities,” the retired senior security policy analyst dismissed it as “silly.” He recalled that Russia recently warned that if Ukraine were to start manufacturing these weapons on its soil, such facilities would be deemed a legitimate target.

“Well, that also applies to the F-16s that they [Kiev regime] hope and pray to get,” stressed Maloof, and continued: “But first, pilots have to be trained in English to understand the instructions, and that could take years. So in addition to the training, so even if they were based in Ukraine, they’re going to be taken out. Could the Ukrainians launch these F-16s from a NATO country? If they did that, it immediately involves a NATO country… And Russia would have a right to respond.” Of course, Ukraine’s President Volodymy Zelensky had been offered a chance at a negotiated settlement, but he was pressured by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, other Western leaders, to reject Russia’s generous terms with the promise of more arms. Well, now “that’s faltering,” the former US Defense Department staff member succinctly pointed out. Ukrainian President Zelensky failed miserably in his last ditch effort to win a funding package worth over $60 billion from American lawmakers.

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“The EU membership talks were granted no doubt as a way to distract from the fact that the EU funds were not forthcoming and especially following the miserable response from U.S. lawmakers..”

Zelensky’s Global Begging Tour Is an Obscene Fiasco (SCF)

The United States’ proxy war in Ukraine against Russia has cost the lives of up to 400,000 Ukrainian soldiers. In the last six months alone, it is estimated that over 120,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in a failed counteroffensive. Even Western media are coyly admitting the grim reality of failure after much-vaunted predictions last year of imminent victory against Russia. Yet nearly two years after the conflict erupted, the leader of the puppet regime in Kiev persists in begging for billions more in funds from his Western sponsors to continue the bloodbath – the biggest armed confrontation in Europe since the Second World War. The hostilities can be traced back to the 2014 coup in Kiev orchestrated by the CIA and precipitated by the European Union and Washington trying to cleave traditional Ukrainian relations with Russia.

Those hostilities culminated in February 2022 in what can be seen as a U.S.-led proxy war against Russia. A war that has failed for the Western powers and needs to be peacefully negotiated to spare further death and destruction. This week, however, saw Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky going to Washington “cap in hand” to plead for $60 billion in additional funds. His begging mission failed. The U.S. Congress refused to pass the supplemental bill requested on his behalf by President Joe Biden for Ukraine. After that humiliation, Zelensky then turned his solicitation to the European Union. The EU, by turn, failed to agree on a requested fund for $54 billion for Ukraine. As a sort of consolation prize, the EU leaders at their two-day summit in Brussels declared that Ukraine could start negotiations for eventually gaining access to the 27-member bloc.

That decision was bombastically hailed as “historic” but it seemed more theatre than substance given that the negotiations will take several years to conduct and there is no guarantee at the end of the tedious process that Ukraine will actually gain EU membership. Will Ukraine even exist as a state in a few years, as our columnist Stephen Karganovic ponders in an article this week? The EU membership talks were granted no doubt as a way to distract from the fact that the EU funds were not forthcoming and especially following the miserable response from U.S. lawmakers. The whole sorry saga indicates that the U.S.-led proxy war in Ukraine has become a deplorable black hole for Western public money. Given the military debacle and the futile bloodshed, it is becoming politically untenable for Washington and Brussels to keep shovelling billions of taxpayer money into this abyss.

Up for the asking this week was a total of nearly $100 billion between the U.S. and Europe for Ukraine. How many badly needed public services in Western states could do with – and are denied – that kind of financial sustenance? The spectacle of Zelensky touring the world scrounging for more money is as shameful as it is sordid. Official figures show that the Western governments have already donated a combined total of $200 billion to Ukraine since the conflict escalated in February 2022. To put that largesse into perspective, it is estimated that the U.S. Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of the whole of Europe following World War Two was equivalent to $173 billion in today’s money. Think about that. The Western funding to Ukraine already exceeds this historic salvage package by some $30 billion. And yet Western governments are trying to muster another $100 billion on top of that.

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“..a long-overdue project to fabricate a history for Ukraine..”

Cranking Up the Ukraine Phoney History Mill (Karganovic)

What took the British so long? We learned from the Guardian recently that British “partners” have embarked on a long-overdue project to fabricate a history for Ukraine, “to wrest Ukraine’s past from the shadow of Russian and Soviet narratives.” Projection is evident right from the start. A narrative, the definition of which is a self-serving false account, is being concocted in London to counter not another equally false narrative but to undermine the historically attested perception shared by inhabitants of both contemporary Russia and Ukraine that they are, indeed, “one people.” That is exactly what was pointed out in you know who’s famous essay ”On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,“ published in the summer of 2021. Ever since, those essentially commonplace historical assertions, acknowledged for at least the last millennium as axiomatic by all the locals from Kiev to Moscow, have disconcerted quite a few nation-builders in the collective West.

And that precisely is the reason for the Ukraine history project which lately has obsessed British minds. The construction of a viable anti-Russia is glaringly incomplete unless endowed with a suitable “history” written to reflect not just Ukraine’s supposed distinctness but more importantly its antithetical nature in relation to Russia. The task of the London-based Ukrainian History Global Initiative is to fill the embarrassing gap in the scholarship by hiring a bevy of what in the narcissistic West passes for reputable academics for the job. The undertaking has been conceived by serious hybrid warfare operatives to supersede the inadequate and primitive rants of native propaganda assets with a glossy, sophisticated version of exactly the same rants, but skilfully packaged as respectable scholarship in order to impress the simpleminded.

The Ukrainian History Initiative is expected to complete its work in three years and has been entrusted to ninety largely non-Ukrainian, Western academics. It is chaired by Swedish politician Karl Bildt (whose credentials as a historian are not clear) and includes such luminaries as the stridently anti-Russian Yale historian Timothy Snyder, intelligence asset Anne Applebaum (who just happened to fall in love and marry Russian fifth-columnist Ilya Ponomarev), British lawyer and KC Philippe Sands, and Klaus Schwab associate Yuval Harari, among others.

It may seem odd that the fabrication of Ukrainian history is being managed from London, not having been entrusted to the intellectual brain-power of the Kiev regime, the party which presumably should be interested the most in the success of this academic travesty. Western curators, however, prefer to keep such undertakings under tight control and to delegate execution to reliable staff. The identical approach – seemingly just as odd, but not really – was employed several years ago for the fabrication of the “Montenegrin language”. The new language was created by a committee composed entirely of foreigners, without a single Montenegrin. Just as NATO satrapy Ukraine would be incomplete without a history, for roughly similar reasons the new NATO satellite Montenegro would appear inauthentic without a separate language.

The front man for the Ukraine history operation is an individual by the name of Viktor Pinchuk, self-identified on the internet page of the Fund bearing his name as “a Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist.” Specific information about Pinchuk’s “philanthropic” activities, beyond the tritely stated goal of “empowering future generations to become the change makers of tomorrow,” is scarce. The fact, however, that Pinchuk’s business accomplishments date back to the early 1990s, an era not particularly remembered for its philanthropic spirit, suggests the origin and manner of acquisition of his considerable wealth. And to boot, Pinchuk is the son-in-law of Ukraine’s second President, the notoriously corrupt Leonid Kuchma, whose pointedly entitled book, “Ukraine is not Russia,” should probably prove enormously helpful to the scholars being assembled in Britain to give an academic articulation to precisely such an idea. A chip off the old block indeed.

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CNN wants you to think “Putin sought to help Trump win the 2016 election..”

The Mystery of the Missing Binder (CNN)

A binder containing highly classified information related to Russian election interference went missing at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, raising alarms among intelligence officials that some of the most closely guarded national security secrets from the US and its allies could be exposed, sources familiar with the matter told CNN. Its disappearance, which has not been previously reported, was so concerning that intelligence officials briefed Senate Intelligence Committee leaders last year about the missing materials and the government’s efforts to retrieve them, the sources said. In the two-plus years since Trump left office, the missing intelligence does not appear to have been found. The binder contained raw intelligence the US and its NATO allies collected on Russians and Russian agents, including sources and methods that informed the US government’s assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to help Trump win the 2016 election, sources tell CNN.

The intelligence was so sensitive that lawmakers and congressional aides with top secret security clearances were able to review the material only at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where their work scrutinizing it was itself kept in a locked safe. The binder was last seen at the White House during Trump’s final days in office. The former president had ordered it brought there so he could declassify a host of documents related to the FBI’s Russia investigation. Under the care of then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, the binder was scoured by Republican aides working to redact the most sensitive information so it could be declassified and released publicly. The Russian intelligence was just a small part of the collection of documents in the binder, described as being 10 inches thick and containing reams of information about the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.

But the raw intelligence on Russia was among its most sensitive classified materials, and top Trump administration officials repeatedly tried to block the former president from releasing the documents. The day before leaving office, Trump issued an order declassifying most of the binder’s contents, setting off a flurry of activity in the final 48 hours of his presidency. Multiple copies of the redacted binder were created inside the White House, with plans to distribute them across Washington to Republicans in Congress and right-wing journalists. Instead, copies initially sent out were frantically retrieved at the direction of White House lawyers demanding additional redactions. Just minutes before Joe Biden was inaugurated, Meadows rushed to the Justice Department to hand-deliver a redacted copy for a last review. Years later, the Justice Department has yet to release all of the documents, despite Trump’s declassification order. Additional copies with varying levels of redactions ended up at the National Archives.

But an unredacted version of the binder containing the classified raw intelligence went missing amid the chaotic final hours of the Trump White House. The circumstances surrounding its disappearance remain shrouded in mystery. US officials repeatedly declined to discuss any government efforts to locate the binder or confirm that any intelligence was missing. The binder was not among the classified items found in last year’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, according to a US official familiar with the matter, who said the FBI was not looking specifically for intelligence related to Russia when it obtained a search warrant for the former president’s residence last year. There’s also no reference to the binder or the missing Russian intelligence in the June indictment of Trump over the mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

One theory has emerged about the binder’s whereabouts. Cassidy Hutchinson, one of Meadows’ top aides, testified to Congress and wrote in her memoir that she believes Meadows took home an unredacted version of the binder. She said it had been kept in Meadows’ safe and that she saw him leave with it from the White House. “I am almost positive it went home with Mr. Meadows,” Hutchinson told the January 6 committee in closed-door testimony, according to transcripts released last year. A lawyer for Meadows, however, strongly denies that Meadows mishandled any classified information at the White House, saying any suggestion Meadows was responsible for classified information going missing was “flat wrong.” “Mr. Meadows was keenly aware of and adhered to requirements for the proper handling of classified material, any such material that he handled or was in his possession has been treated accordingly and any suggestion that he is responsible for any missing binder or other classified information is flat wrong,” Meadows attorney George Terwilliger said in a statement to CNN. “Anyone and any entity suggesting that he is responsible for anything missing does not have facts and should exercise great care before making false allegations.”

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Linus

 

 


[Tardigrades are usually about 0.5 mm (0.020 in) ] Tardigrades can survive the most extreme conditions and the same is true for their eggs, which show a remarkable geometric beauty. Tardigrades have survived all five recognized mass extinctions due to their plethora of survival characteristics, including the ability to survive conditions that would be fatal to almost all other animals.

 

 


Arnold Newman Picasso 1962

 

 

Thank you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735351446147584366

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 012023
 
 December 1, 2023  Posted by at 9:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Pierre Bonnard Nude in an Interior c1935

 

IDF Resumes Gaza Strip Bombing, Says Hamas Violated Truce (Sp.)
US Lectures Israel Over Gaza War – Leaks (RT)
Israel Had Actual Hamas Attack Plan A Year Before Oct. 7 Assault (Week)
What Arab States Can Do To Punish Israel (Shami)
Ukrainian Authorities Prepare People For Truce With Russia (Sp.)
Stoltenberg Prepares NATO to Accept Russian Demands (Sp.)
US Offers NATO Reality Check To Ukraine (RT)
Germany Warns Against ‘Fatal’ Ukraine Fatigue (RT)
World Laughing At Germany’s Leaders – Putin (RT)
Ukraine Is Not Fighting For Europe – Hungary (RT)
Bank Raised Red Flags About Biden Family’s $5m China Loan (JT)
Texas Sues Pfizer For “Misrepresenting COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy” (ZH)
Trump Gag Order Reinstated By NY Appeals Court (ZH)
House Panel Chairman Says J6 Videotapes Of Witness Interviews Missing (JTN)
Time To Boycott Elon’s Boycotters (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Netanyahu is Deadly Wrong | Col. Larry Wilkerson

 

 

Macgregor: Turkey sends an ultimatum to Netanyahu, 2M soldiers are ready to flatten Israel

 

 

Nap/Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Evil done for its own sake
https://twitter.com/i/status/1730164779392925835

 

 

 

 

Rudy Havenstein:

“People are moving out of cash,”

Mostly into rent, food and healthcare.”

 

 

 

 

“It’s all their fault..”

IDF Resumes Gaza Strip Bombing, Says Hamas Violated Truce (Sp.)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Friday that it had resumed fighting against Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as the latter violated the humanitarian pause by opening fire on the Israeli territory. “Hamas violated the operational pause, and in addition, fired toward Israeli territory. The IDF has resumed combat against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF wrote on Telegram. Israeli fighter jets are currently hitting Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces said. “The Wall Street Journal reported late on Thursday, that the two sides had agreed to extend a temporary humanitarian pause for an eighth day.

Last week, Qatar mediated a deal between Israel and Hamas on a four-day truce and the exchange of some of the prisoners and hostages, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. On Monday, Qatar announced that an agreement had been reached between Israel and Hamas on a two-day extension of the truce on the same terms as the previous one. Earlier on Thursday, the ceasefire was extended for a seventh day.

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“They have a our full support, but we told them to be nice about it..”

US Lectures Israel Over Gaza War – Leaks (RT)

Israel lacks “credit” to keep the fight against Hamas going for months and needs to change its tactics in the south of Gaza, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a war cabinet meeting on Thursday, according to Israel’s Channel 12. Blinken was in Jerusalem for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the cabinet overseeing the war on the Palestinian militant group. Some of the quotes from the meeting somehow made their way to Channel 12, Israel’s most popular commercial TV station, which aired them on Thursday evening. “You can’t operate in southern Gaza in the way you did in the north. There are two million Palestinians there,” Blinken said at one point, according to a translation from Hebrew posted by the Times of Israel.

“You need to evacuate fewer people from their homes, be more accurate in the attacks, not hit UN facilities, and ensure that there are enough protected areas,” the US diplomat added. “And if not? Then not to attack where there is a civilian population.” When Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that the entire Israeli society was united behind the objective of dismantling Hamas, “even if it takes months,” Blinken replied, “I don’t think you have the credit for that.” The leaked quotes also revealed that Israel does not want the Palestinian Authority to ever rule Gaza, because it “supports, educates, and finances terror,” according to Netanyahu. Blinken said the US understands that, but “other states in the region need to know what you are planning,” because “The best way to kill an idea is to bring a better idea.” Washington has backed Israel’s offensive against Gaza after the October 7 raid by Hamas that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 Israelis.

Since then, however, the US government has faced public backlash over the deaths of some 16,000 Palestinians in the enclave, many of them women and children. According to a statement issued by the State Department, Blinken has “reaffirmed the United States’ support for Israel’s right to protect itself from terrorist violence in compliance with international humanitarian law and urged Israel to take every possible measure to avoid civilian harm.” Blinken also urged “immediate steps to hold settler extremists accountable for violence against Palestinians in the West Bank” and said the US “remains committed to tangible steps to advance a Palestinian state living in peace, freedom, and security alongside Israel,” according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

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Option 1: Israel didn’t take it serious.
Option 2: Israel had a year to prepare its response…

Israel Had Actual Hamas Attack Plan A Year Before Oct. 7 Assault (Week)

Israel possessed what turned out to be remarkably accurate Hamas plans for an attack on southern Israel for more than a year before the Palestinian militants launched their Oct. 7 terrorist incursion, The New York Times reported Thursday. “But Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out” and out of step with Israel’s view that Hamas wasn’t interested in war. The roughly 40-page document was “circulated widely among Israeli military and intelligence leaders,” who code-named it “Jericho Wall,” the Times reported. It “outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people.”The Israeli military officials in charge of the Gaza sector initially said they weren’t sure what the document revealed about Hamas’ intentions, the Times reported.

But on July 6, three months before the attack, a veteran Israeli signals intelligence analyst warned that Hamas was conducting training exercises that matched the “Jericho Wall” plan, and that its military capabilities were more advanced than believed. A colonel in the Gaza division brushed off her analysis, writing in an encrypted email that the training exercise was part of a “totally imaginative” scenario and Israel should “wait patiently,” the Times reported. “It is unclear whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or other top political leaders saw the document,” the Times said, but Israeli and U.S. media reported that Egypt warned Netanyahu’s government repeatedly that Hamas was planning something big. “We know that Egypt has warned the Israelis three days prior that an event like this could happen,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told reporters after an Oct. 11 closed-door intelligence briefing.

Israel’s failure to heed the warnings and connect the dots before Oct. 7, which ended up being the deadliest day in Israeli history, is considered the country’s greatest intelligence failure since missing the surprise attack that started the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas so it can never threaten Israel again. That includes an order by Netanyahu “to kill Hamas leaders around the world when the nation’s war in the Gaza Strip winds down,” The Wall Street Journal reported, and Israeli spies are already plotting to assassinate Hamas leaders living in Lebanon, Turkey and Qatar. Israel has a long, checkered history of secret assassinations, but Netanyahu “telegraphed his intentions” in a Nov. 22 nationwide address, the Journal noted.

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A lot more than they have so far..

What Arab States Can Do To Punish Israel (Shami)

Despite widespread sentiment against Israeli aggressions across West Asia and the wider Islamic world, the summit, as many expected, concluded without concrete actions against Israel, underscoring the weakness and unwillingness of 22 Arab leaders to confront Israel and its western allies. It raises a pivotal question: In lieu of a collective decision by the Arab League, what can individual Arab nations do to support Palestine, and why haven’t they done these things already? To unravel the complexities of Arab geopolitics, and for the sake of simplifying the region’s various world views and priorities, Arab states can be categorized into three main political groupings – each influenced by non-Arab actors: the US, Turkiye, and Iran.

The foreign policies of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Djibouti – most governed by hereditary monarchies – align closely with the US and the west. Despite hosting numerous US military bases, these states, paradoxically, could play a substantial role in supporting Palestine without resorting to conflict. Morocco, the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, Egypt, and Jordan all have economic, political, and security relations with Israel. Yet, unlike distant Latin American countries, none have severed ties, although Bahrain did suspend its economic ties. Instead, the Israeli embassies in Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, and Bahrain were evacuated by the order of Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and the Ministry’s Director-General due to massive protests in support of Palestinians. The most strategically important states in this grouping are Jordan and Egypt, both of which share borders with Israel, and have the longest-established relations with Tel Aviv.

Egypt, a key player since the Camp David Accords were signed in 1979, has the ability to immediately influence events in Gaza. But from presidents Anwar Sadat to present day’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Cairo has instead worked overtime to safeguard Israel’s southern border and actively engages in energy deals to boost their mutual economies. If it chooses to do so, Egypt can block Israeli ships in the Suez Canal, open the Rafah Crossing to Gaza to flood the besieged territory with essential aid, and halt intelligence cooperation – today, and bloodlessly. Jordan, which shares the longest border with the occupation state, lacks substantial means to counter Israeli influence. However, Amman could cut ties with Israel and threaten Tel Aviv that it will loosen its border controls – potentially allowing foreign fighters and weapons to infiltrate into the occupied West Bank – a scenario that Tel Aviv fears greatly.

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“..Russia has never refused talks, but the other side must make it clear that it is ready for them.”

Ukrainian Authorities Prepare People For Truce With Russia (Sp.)

The West and some Ukrainian politicians are beginning to prepare the people for a peaceful settlement of the conflict with Russia, said Ukrainian political scientist Ruslan Bortnik. “Western media and some of our politicians are already hanging this gun on the wall so that we can see it, so that we can get used to the sight of it. Obviously, certain preparations need to be made for possible negotiations,” the expert said. According to him, two factors are influencing the approach to the negotiations – a decrease in the amount of aid from the West and a failed attempt to bring the countries of the South to Kiev’s side.

The analyst added that the unstable state of the West forces Kiev to reconsider its general strategy of fighting Russia and return to the issue of peace. Russia has repeatedly expressed its readiness for negotiations, but the Kiev authorities have imposed a ban on them. The Kremlin also noted that now there are no preconditions for the situation to move in a peaceful direction, and the special operation’s goals remain a priority for Moscow. According to President Vladimir Putin, Russia has never refused talks, but the other side must make it clear that it is ready for them.

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“..make it easier for alliance members to accept that Russia’s demands for Kiev’s neutrality will likely to be accepted in future peace talks..”

Stoltenberg Prepares NATO to Accept Russian Demands (Sp.)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has changed his rhetoric with regard to Ukraine to make it easier for alliance members to accept that Russia’s demands for Kiev’s neutrality will likely to be accepted in future peace talks, Belgian military expert Pierre Henrot told Sputnik. Earlier in the week, Stoltenberg acknowledged that Ukraine had failed to advance its front line in the conflict with Russia over the past year even with NATO’s “significant” support, urging the alliance not to underestimate Russia’s defense capabilities. “It has been made repeatedly clear that the first demand by Russia, if and when negotiations start, would be that Ukraine remain neutral and never enter NATO,” Henrot said.

“Now that it becomes evident that Ukraine is going to lose this conflict, Stoltenberg prepares the allies, especially European public opinion, to the fact that this condition of strict neutrality of Ukraine that has been continuously demanded by Russia since the early 1990s will have to be applied.”The expert to Stoltenberg repeatedly and on multiple occasions saying that Ukraine could potentially join the alliance only after the conflict. At the same time the NATO headquarters understands any negotiation will have to deal first with Russia’s demand of Kiev’s strict neutrality, according to Henrot. The NATO foreign ministers’ meeting took place in Brussels from Tuesday to Wednesday to address the situation in Ukraine and the Palestine-Israel conflict.

As a result of the NATO Summit in Vilnius from July 11-12, NATO leaders agreed on a package of three elements to bring Ukraine closer to the alliance. The first element is the creation of an assistance program for Ukraine that will facilitate its transition to NATO standards, training and doctrine. The second element is the establishment of a NATO-Ukraine Council, and the third is the cancellation of the Membership Action Plan for Ukraine, which will allow Kiev’s accession process to be shortened from two steps to one. However, the bloc has not extended an official invitation to Kiev.

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“Ukraine is well on the path of NATO, as well as to the European Union, with the accession process, uh, beginning..”

US Offers NATO Reality Check To Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine will join the US-led military alliance only after it meets all conditions and secures the consent of every member, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken repeated on Wednesday when asked about a proposal to fast-track the process. Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba made a short press appearance on the sidelines of a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels, painting an optimistic picture of Kiev’s current situation. “We reaffirm the commitment made in Vilnius that Ukraine will become a member of NATO when allies agree and conditions are met,” Blinken said. “Ukraine is well on the path of NATO, as well as to the European Union, with the accession process, uh, beginning,” he added.

Kuleba described the meeting with Blinken as “a clear no to fatigue, a clear yes to continued and increased support to Ukraine.” Blinken was quoting the joint communique from the July summit in Lithuania, which said that NATO “will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance when allies agree and conditions are met.” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had reacted to the communique by calling NATO weak and its behavior “unprecedented and absurd,” drawing the ire of Washington. Earlier this month, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen – now an adviser to the government in Kiev – proposed admitting Ukraine within the boundaries of territory it currently controls, thereby making it subject to the bloc’s Article 5 security guarantees.

Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, rejected Rasmussen’s offer within days, saying there could be no compromise on Ukraine’s “independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty.” Russia has repeatedly made clear that no form of Ukraine’s membership in NATO would be acceptable to Moscow. Zelensky’s top MP and former head negotiator in Istanbul, David Arakhamia, admitted last week that Kiev could have stopped the conflict in April 2022 by agreeing to the Russian demand for neutrality, but said that the West urged Ukraine to keep fighting.

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“The view of Ukraine is currently disappearing from the public – that is fatal..”

Germany Warns Against ‘Fatal’ Ukraine Fatigue (RT)

Dwindling public attention to the Ukraine conflict will be “fatal,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said, in the run-up to a key NATO meeting in Brussels on Wednesday. The first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council on the level of foreign ministers took place amid a “stalemate” on the frontline, as described by the top Ukrainian general, Valery Zaluzhny, earlier this month. Dmitry Kuleba, Kiev’s top diplomat, rejected the assessment ahead of the meeting.Western fatigue with Ukraine and its problems topped the agenda during the session, but according to German news program Tagesschau, the ministers offered no concrete solutions. “The view of Ukraine is currently disappearing from the public – that is fatal,” Baerbock warned, as quoted by the German Foreign Ministry on social media.

“We all have to work to further extend the winter protection umbrella for Ukraine,” she added, referring to bolstering Ukraine’s air defenses against Russian attacks. A short communique released by NATO after the meeting said the council has “proven to be a reliable crisis consultation mechanism.” Ukraine and members of the bloc are developing “a roadmap for Ukraine’s transition to full interoperability with NATO” – that is, switching Ukraine from Soviet to Western weapons and military tactics. Western media has reported numerous complaints by Ukrainian troops that the training they receive from NATO states is not applicable to the conflict with Russia.

Kuleba reiterated Kiev’s pitch for unrestricted support of his nation, touting the Ukrainian army as a proxy force prepared to sacrifice their lives fighting against the Russians. “The best way to avoid sending your own soldiers into a war is to help another country fight its own war,” the minister told the press. “This is what makes us very different from others. Our deal is very fair. You give us all we need, we fight.” The premise that Ukraine serves as a shield for Europe was openly criticized by Hungary, which has refused to send arms to Ukraine and has been pushing for a negotiated truce. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called Kiev’s claim “an exaggeration,” and said Budapest rejects any approach to the conflict based on this notion. “This is not our war,” he added.

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“Germany is being bossed by its Western partners because it lacks sovereignty, and its policymakers demonstrate poor leadership skills..”

World Laughing At Germany’s Leaders – Putin (RT)

Germany is being bossed by its Western partners because it lacks sovereignty, and its policymakers demonstrate poor leadership skills, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at a meeting with young Russian scientists on Wednesday. Putin weighed on the EU’s push to wean itself off Russian energy following the escalation of the Ukraine conflict, arguing that by implementing the measure, Germany was only hurting itself. The president noted that either European countries are turning their backs on cheap energy on their own accord, or the decision-making is being “done by their allies from the United States due to political reasons.” In this sense, the EU’s energy security took a hit when Poland and Ukraine cut off Russian gas supplies through their territory and the Nord Stream pipelines were blown up, he added.

According to Putin, who had maintained close working relations with Berlin for most part of his political career, Kiev “receives money from Europe, from Germany… while the gas they need from Russia has been cut off.” “The Germans swallow all this because… they lack sovereignty. And some government leaders apparently lack sufficient professional skills to make adequate and professional decisions. Everyone knows who that is, they are being laughed at by the whole world.” Shortly after the Ukraine conflict escalated in February 2022, the EU unveiled a plan to wean itself off Russian energy “well before 2030.” In April 2022, Russian energy giant Gazprom announced that it would stop delivering gas via the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which runs through Poland, because the country had refused to pay for the energy using rubles due to sanctions against Moscow.

At the same time, Western restrictions launched as a response to the Ukraine conflict – including those on fossil fuel imports – were among the main culprits which led to last year’s energy crisis. The situation was exacerbated by the September 2022 bombing of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, which connect Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea. While several Western media outlets have suggested that the energy pipelines were blown up by Ukrainian-linked saboteurs, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh alleges that the attack was orchestrated by US intelligence agencies. Putin has agreed with Hersh’s conclusions, arguing that a sabotage of this magnitude would have been impossible to pull off without state support.

Lavrov

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“You can’t lead us or mislead us with statements..”

Ukraine Is Not Fighting For Europe – Hungary (RT)

Hungary rejects any approach to the Ukraine conflict that suggests that Kiev is somehow fighting to protect peace and democracy in Europe, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said, adding that the conflict is only about Ukraine’s own territorial integrity. Speaking at a press conference following a meeting of foreign ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Council, Szijjarto called for an end to deliveries of lethal aid to Ukraine, warning that such assistance has the potential to spark an escalation of the conflict. He noted that while Hungary supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev is “not Europe’s fight” and is not about peace and democracy in Europe.

“Ukraine is fighting for itself, for its own territorial integrity, its own sovereignty and its own independence, which we value very much, because it is a heroic fight, of course, but I say again, this is not our war, which is why we reject any approach that starts from this,” Szijjarto said. He added that NATO membership for Ukraine should be out of the question given the current circumstances. He noted that Kiev’s accession to the bloc is not even an option given that countries at war cannot be accepted. Such a move would put the alliance itself in danger and could potentially spark a world war, the minister said. The second reason, according to Szijjarto, is the fact that NATO is a “community of values,” which has no place for a state that “constantly suppresses the rights of national minorities.”

Budapest has repeatedly accused Kiev of suppressing the right of the nearly 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine to speak their own language by introducing laws requiring that Ukrainian be spoken in public life, school, the media, as well as in offices. Despite assurances from Kiev that a bill has already been drafted to address the issue, Szijjarto insisted that simple promises are meaningless and that Hungary only believes in fully adopted and implemented legislation. “You can’t lead us or mislead us with statements,” he said. Szijjarto’s statement comes after NATO promised on Wednesday that it will “develop a roadmap toward Ukraine’s full interoperability” with the bloc’s militaries but stopped short of offering any membership prospects for Kiev.

Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly made it clear that Ukraine’s membership in NATO would be unacceptable to Moscow. President Vladimir Putin has also cited Kiev’s potential accession to the US-led bloc as one of the key reasons for the military operation against Kiev.

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“A money laundering investigator for a bank raised serious concerns in 2017 about a $5 million loan that the Biden family received from the arm of a Chinese energy firm..”

Bank Raised Red Flags About Biden Family’s $5m China Loan (JT)

A money laundering investigator for a bank raised serious concerns in 2017 about a $5 million loan that the Biden family received from the arm of a Chinese energy firm, flagging the transaction as “high risk” and possibly tied to efforts by the communist government to gain influence through Hunter Biden, according to an explosive new memo released by congressional investigators Wednesday. The unnamed investigator specifically raised concerns that the loan had no paperwork, that a Biden family firm distributed large sums of the money to a Hunter Biden law firm and that the recipient firm inside the Biden family did not appear to have any investments in need of a loan, the memo released by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer stated.Comer noted Wednesday that the complex $5 million trail of transactions also resulted in a $40,000 check landing in Joe Biden’s account.

The memo shows that the bank investigator identified Hunter Biden as a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), which is a widely used term in financial industry money laundering reviews to classify a person who is either “entrusted with a prominent public function” or a family member of one who is, according to The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. “We have been monitoring the subject customer due to the PEP designation and observations on the account activity as well as recent negative news indicate this entity to be high risk,” the money laundering investigator wrote bank officials as he traced the money from Northern International Capitol Holdings (HK) Limited, a firm tied to China CEFC Energy, through the Biden family’s Hudson West III firm and to Hunter Biden’s Owasco PC law firm.

“These payments were indicated as management fees and reimbursements. We find It unusual that approximately 58% of the funds were transferred to the law firm in a few months and the frequency of payments appear erratic,” the investigator’s memo noted. “It was also previously indicated Hudson West III LLC does not currently have any investment projects at this time, which raises further concerns as millions in fees are being paid but does not appear to have any services rendered by Owasco PC.” The memo also noted that the transmission of the $5 million loan from China has “no loan agreement document submitted” and that there was public news reports that Hunter Biden was in the midst of financial difficulties.

“There has been negative news regarding the beneficial owner of Owasco PC, Robert Hunter Biden (son of former U.S. Vice President-Joe Biden) regarding allegations by his ex-wife that there were financial concerns about his extravagant spending on his own Interests (drugs, strip clubs, prostitutes, etc,) which may put his family ln a deep financial hole,” the examiner wrote. “More recent negative news indicate China targeting children of politicians and purchase of political influence through ‘sweetheart deaIs,'” the examiner added.

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“Had Pfizer used the FDA’s preferred metric — absolute risk reduction — it would have instead informed the public that “the vaccine was merely 0.85% effective..”

Texas Sues Pfizer For “Misrepresenting COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy” (ZH)

The Texas attorney general is suing pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for misrepresenting the effectiveness of the company’s Covid-19 “vaccine” and for conspiring to censor those who questioned its claims. The suit, filed Thursday, alleges that Pfizer violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by engaging in false, deceptive and misleading acts as it promoted the drug.“The facts are clear. Pfizer did not tell the truth about their COVID-19 vaccines,” said Attorney General Kenneth Paxton in a statement revealing the suit. “We are pursuing justice for the people of Texas, many of whom were coerced by tyrannical vaccine mandates to take a defective product sold by lies.” The suit comes about eight months after Paxton announced an investigation of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for potential misrepresentations about Covid-19 vaccine efficacy and “potential manipulation of vaccine trial data.”

He has accused the company of “unlawfully misrepresenting the effectiveness of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine and attempting to censor public discussion of the product,” according to a press release. “Pfizer engaged in false, deceptive, and misleading acts and practices by making unsupported claims regarding the company’s COVID-19 vaccine in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act,” the release continues Much of Paxton’s 54-page-complaint focuses on Pfizer’s December 20, 2020 claim that its vaccine was “95% effective.” However, according to the complaint, “more Americans died in 2021, with Pfizer’s vaccine available, than in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.” He also cites government reports concluding that in some places, deaths among vaccinated people outpaced those among the unvaccinated, even on a percentage basis.

Pfizer’s claim of 95% efficacy rested on deceptive framing of clinical trial observations, says the complaint: That number was only ever legitimate in a solitary, highly- technical, and artificial way—it represented a calculation of the so-called “relative risk reduction” for vaccinated individuals in Pfizer’s then-unfinished pivotal clinical trial. But FDA publications indicate “relative risk reduction” is a misleading statistic that “unduly influence[s]” consumer choice. Indeed, per FDA: “when information is presented in a relative risk format, the risk reduction seems large and treatments are viewed more favorably than when the same information is presented” using more accurate metrics. The critical 95% claim came at a point when Pfizer only had an average of two months data on participants, says Paxton.

Specifically, the Texas AG says that of the 17,000 who received a placebo, only 162 contracted the illness, which makes for a poor baseline from which to judge the efficacy of the so-called vaccine. Had Pfizer used the FDA’s preferred metric — absolute risk reduction — it would have instead informed the public that “the vaccine was merely 0.85% effective,” writes Paxton. “Moreover, according to Pfizer’s own data, preventing one COVID-19 case required vaccinating 119.”

NZL 30% death rate

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How to spell banana republic.

Trump Gag Order Reinstated By NY Appeals Court (ZH)

Color us less than surprised; but a New York appeals court reinstated Thursday the gag order imposed on former President Donald Trump by the judge overseeing his civil fraud trial. The gag order was initially imposed by Judge Engeron on Oct. 3 (after President Trump accused the judge’s top clerk of political bias in a post on social media). An appeals court judge temporarily paused the gag order on Nov. 16 while the former president appealed the order. But now, in an order issued on Nov. 30, a four-judge panel of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, overturned the temporary suspension of the gag order:

“Now, upon reading and filing the papers with respect to the motion, and due deliberation having been had thereon…it is ordered that the motion is denied; the interim relief granted by order of a Justice of this Court, dated November 16, 2023, is hereby vacated,” the appeals court’s order states. Trump’s legal team filed a mistrial motion earlier this month purporting that Engoron and his clerk have “tainted” the trial with their bias against Trump. Engoron denied the motion, calling it “utterly without merit.” President Trump has not publicly commented on the latest development. Trump also faces a gag order in his federal 2020 election subversion case. That order is currently on pause as a panel of federal judges weighs its merit.

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“All of the videotapes of all depositions are gone..”

“House Republicans have no records of who the witnesses were, what they said, or why it is being used by the federal prosecutor in their case against Trump..”

House Panel Chairman Says J6 Videotapes Of Witness Interviews Missing (JTN)

Videotapes of witness interviews that the Democrat-led Jan. 6 congressional committee conducted have vanished, raising concerns for the chairman of the successor House panel that is now examining security failures related to the Capitol riot as well as possible implications for upcoming criminal trials. “All of the videotapes of all depositions are gone,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., chairman of the House Administration oversight subcommittee, told the “Just the News, No Noise” television show Thursday night. Loudermilk said he believes under the House rules the videotapes qualified as congressional evidence because some clips were aired at hearings, and all the tapes should have been preserved by the now-defunct J6 committee and its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.

“We found out about this early in the investigation when I received a call from someone who was looking for some information off one of the videotapes, and we started searching, and we had none,” Loudermilk explained. “I wrote a letter to Bennie Thompson asking for them. And he confirmed that they did not preserve those types. He didn’t feel that they had to. “But according to House rules, you have to preserve any data and information and documents that are used in an official proceeding, which they did, They (J6 Democrats) actually aired portions of these tapes on their televised hearings, which means they had to keep those. But yet he chose not to, I believe they exist somewhere. We’ve just got to find where all these videos are.” The revelation also could have implications for criminal trials being conducted in state court in Georgia and federal court in Washington where former President Donald Trump and allies are charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021 events.

Trump’s legal team recently was turned down by a judge when he requested certain evidence from the Jan. 6 committee.Loudermilk also revealed another tantalizing twist in the J6 committee evidence: the Democrat-led House committee sent certain evidence such as transcripts to the Biden White House and Homeland Security Department and now the transcripts have been returned to Loudermilk’s GOP-led subcommittee nearly fully redacted so their contents can’t be read. House Republicans have no records of who the witnesses were, what they said, or why it is being used by the federal prosecutor in their case against Trump, Loudermilk said. The documents “belong to the House. They should have never been sent. And second of all, do not send them back to me this heavily redacted. Those are our documents,” the chairman said. “But my question is, why was it okay for a Democrat-run House of Representatives to have unredacted documents but not when there’s a Republican committee that’s looking into this. What is it that the committee and or the White House is trying to hide?”

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Zero Hadge knows what this is like. So does the Automatic Earth: “..precisely what ad demonetization is: a not so subtle way of pushing content and editorial direction in exchange for a monthly stipend..”

Time To Boycott Elon’s Boycotters (ZH)

It was about four years ago that ZeroHedge went through ad monetization hell, having lost most of our advertisers because they did not approve of the content on this website and as a result they – together with such members of the Censorship Industrial Complex such as Newsguard, Sleeping Giants and CheckMyAds and various three letter US government agencies – did everything in their power to kill the site by starving it of ad revenue (it’s what prompted us to launch a premium, subscription-supported version without which we would not have survived, and therefore we wish to personally thank all of our premium subscribers). Fast forward to today, when Elon Musk is going through the same hell, as a growing group of companies are trying to do to X/Twitter what they tried to do to us by targeting the social media network and trying to starve it of ad revenue (their stated trigger of responding to the Media Matters fake news “report” was just a red herring: if it hadn’t been for Media Matters, they would have found some other point of “virtue” to rally around, and pull their ads).

Of course, there is one key difference: Elon is the world’s richest man, and if Twitter does not generate even one additional dollar of revenue, Elon will still be a multi-billionaire, and X can continue to operate for a long, long time if not in perpetuity (if costs are trimmed enough). It’s also why Elon yesterday had some choice words for those advertisers who had halted advertising, telling them “go fuck yourself” (with a shout out to Disney chief Bob Iger) if they think they can blackmail Musk… which is precisely what ad demonetization is: a not so subtle way of pushing content and editorial direction in exchange for a monthly stipend. Here, a brief tangent: for the most part, advertising spending is rarely about actual “advertising” and instead it is about endorsing, encouraging and funding certain ideologies and party lines which corporations agree with, encourage and seek to make default. It is about influencing the content decisions and editorial slant by implicitly threatening that the ad money can disappear at a moment’s notice if something is published the company disagrees with.

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Oscar Wilde, who died #otd in 1900, pictured in Athens in 1877.

 

 

Bear dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1730179615631524075

 

 

Web developer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1730119376915898506

 

 

Shane

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Nov 172023
 
 November 17, 2023  Posted by at 9:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Jackson Pollock The Deep 1943

 

Former Israeli PM Calls To Oust Netanyahu, ‘Extremist’ Allies (Cradle)
Iran Will ‘Do Whatever It Takes’ To Help Hamas – Top Commander (RT)
Western Elite Ignoring Pro-Palestine Protests May Be Fatal Mistake (Blankenship)
Just How Many Faked Videos by the IDF Can Western Media Handle? (Jay)
CIA Chief’s Ukraine Visit Linked to Looming Palace Coup Against Zelensky (Sp.)
CIA’s Desperate Gambit in Kiev (The Islander News)
End ‘Magical Thinking’ About Russia’s Defeat – WSJ essay (RT)
US Abrams Tanks Made No Difference – Zelensky (RT)
Xi Outmanuevers Biden in San Francisco (Pepe Escobar)
China Seeks Neither Hegemony Nor To Wage War With Anyone — Xi Jinping (TASS)
Rand Paul Wants Federal Prosecution of Fauci for COVID Coverup (ET)
No Charges Likely In Biden Classified Document Scandal (ZH)
Should Joe Biden Be Banned? (Turley)
Appeals Court Lifts Trump Gag Order In NY Fraud Case (ZH)

 

 

 

 

UN Palestine

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

 

 

Tucker Iran

 

 

McGovern

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Netanyahu has lost the trust of his citizens, the trust of the international community, and most seriously – the trust of the Israeli security system..”

Former Israeli PM Calls To Oust Netanyahu, ‘Extremist’ Allies (Cradle)

Yair Lapid, former Israeli prime minister of the Yesh Atid opposition party, called on 15 November for Benjamin Netanyahu to be replaced as premier. In an interview with Hebrew news outlet Channel 12, Lapid said: “The public has lost faith in Netanyahu … we can’t run an extended [military] operation with a prime minister we do not have faith in.” Lapid called for the prime minister to be replaced by another member of his Likud party without carrying out an election. “What we need is a national rehabilitation government. We need to begin the repairing and healing process,” the former prime minister said. Lapid said his party would be fully willing to join a new government still led by the Likud, but it is not the right time for elections in Israel. The opposition leader did not name any Likud figure he sees fit for the premiership.

“I think at the end of the day, I’m worried about the real issue, and the real issue now is for us to have a functioning government.” “Yesterday on Channel 12, I explained that the time has come – we need to establish a national reconstruction government. Likud will lead it, Netanyahu and the extremists will be replaced, and over 90 MKs will be partners in a coalition of healing and reconnection.” In a long thread on the X platform, Lapid praised the army and its operation in Gaza and reiterated that the war would be a “long and complex” one. “The Israeli public is showing resilience, and civil society has mobilized in the thousands … The weak link is the government, and especially the prime minister … Netanyahu has lost the trust of his citizens, the trust of the international community, and most seriously – the trust of the Israeli security system,” he said.

Lapid’s words come as recent polling has indicated a significant increase in mistrust and bitterness toward Netanyahu. According to a Maariv poll from last week, only 26 percent of Israelis believe Netanyahu is suitable to be prime minister. Another recent poll shows that 76 percent of Israelis want him out of office and that 44 percent hold Netanyahu responsible for what happened on 7 October. Israel’s former prime minister Ehud Olmert said last week that Netanyahu is “a danger to Israel.”

Netanyahu is Finished | Jeffrey Sachs

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Soleimani’s successor.

Iran Will ‘Do Whatever It Takes’ To Help Hamas – Top Commander (RT)

The head of Iran’s elite Quds Force has vowed to do “whatever it takes” to back Hamas in its war with Israel, claiming that the Palestinian militant group is headed for an “impressive victory” in Gaza. In a letter addressed to the commander of Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Quds Force leader Esmail Qaani declared that Tehran and its allies “will not allow this brutal enemy and those standing behind him to conquer Gaza and its heroic people.” “We will do whatever it takes in this historic battle,” Qaani said, adding that Hamas had “proved to everyone that the resistance in Gaza is capable of initiative and innovation, while maintaining its organization and field capabilities.”

Published on Thursday by the state-backed Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the letter comes just one day after Reuters reported that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had informed Hamas that his country would not get directly involved in the Gaza war. Instead, Khamenei reportedly restated Iran’s long standing “political and moral support” for Hamas, but ruled out military intervention. Earlier on Thursday, however, top Hamas official Osama Hamdan dismissed the Reuters story, telling IRNA: “Instead of providing information, this news agency has published worthless lies.” He added that such reports are intended to harm the image of Hamas and its allies in the “axis of resistance” – a network of Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

Iranian officials have yet to comment on the Reuters report. Qaani went on to congratulate the Palestinian armed faction for an “impressive victory and qualitative achievement that is unprecedented in the history of the conflict,” assuring that “Your brothers in the resistance axis stand united with you.” The Quds Force is the foreign operations arm of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), responsible for military and intelligence missions beyond Iran’s borders. Qaani took over the force in 2020 after his predecessor, Qasem Soleimani, was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad.

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“The fact that he is staying firm on his position with Israel, despite protests from his own party and reportedly his own staff, is a grave mistake.”

Western Elite Ignoring Pro-Palestine Protests May Be Fatal Mistake (Blankenship)

In recent days, there has been a wave of pro-Palestine protests across the world as violence in Gaza escalates in the wake of an Israeli invasion and bombing campaign that has killed thousands, including many women and children, in response to the deadly terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7. One of the key questions is, will this actually amount to any change in so-called Western democracies that are standing behind Israel’s onslaught? It depends on the country; however, largely, the answer is no – at least for the countries that have the most pull over Israel’s position. In the United States, lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party are reportedly ducking calls from concerned constituents who are calling for a ceasefire. President Joe Biden, when asked by reporters if there was any possibility for a halt to the violence, said, “None. No possibility.”

This is worrying because, in principle, in a democracy, politicians are supposed to respond to the will of constituents. They are also supposed to bend to popular will, given that their electoral odds hinge on the opinions of voters. Arab Americans, including in key swing states, are fed up with the Biden administration’s policies in general – but also particularly with its dealings with Israel. Support for Biden among them now stands at a mere 17%, and 40% are inclined to vote for Republican former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election, according to a poll conducted by the Arab American Institute. Massive protests, calls for voters, and the very real possibility that Biden’s position on Israel could forfeit the upcoming 2024 presidential election to Trump, the likely Republican Party nominee, show that Western democracy – especially in the US – is in shambles.

When politicians ignore popular will, it shows that there is a serious crisis with the ordinary function of supposedly democratic institutions. At the same time, it must be noted that Biden has not shied away from his pro-Israel leanings. To quote then-Senator Joe Biden, a self-described Zionist, from 1986, “There’s no apology to be made [for supporting Israel]. None. It is the best three-billion-dollar investment we make. Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region.” Still, as a unity president (at least in theory), Biden has a responsibility to shirk ideology in order to preserve democracy – especially when it is under full-scale assault by an opposition party that casts doubt on the legitimacy of elections and does not believe Biden was rightfully elected. The fact that he is staying firm on his position with Israel, despite protests from his own party and reportedly his own staff, is a grave mistake.

The situation in Europe is also more nuanced. Here we are seeing countries, like the Czech Republic and Hungary, remain steadfast in their unwavering support for Israel despite some opposition, and the former has even outlawed pro-Palestine demonstrations. French President Emmanuel Macron recently urged Israel to stop bombing Gaza – but he is also facing open criticism from his own ambassadors for his support for Israel. France has also outlawed pro-Palestine protests. But some countries, like Ireland and Spain, are openly critical of Israel and are considering cutting diplomatic ties. If nothing else, this disunity demonstrates the fragility of a common EU foreign policy framework. This is especially the case given the fact that Ursula von der Leyen, the unelected president of the European Commission, has proven to be a US-infiltrated, hypocritical pro-war demagogue.

What’s clear as day in the current situation in the Middle East is that each and every day that the attack on Gaza continues, it becomes more difficult to morally and logically justify the common Western position of supporting Israel no matter what. The rest of the world sees this and is taking note, understanding the days of Western hegemony are numbered. Moreover, the leaders who are holding firm on the pro-Israel line despite immense and unprecedented public pressure are inadvertently eroding the very fabric of the fundamental institutions of Western society. As a growing number of people in the West become jaded with democracy, or, in the case of the EU, become skeptical of Brussels, the leaders who ignore their constituents only have themselves to blame.

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“..you won’t have to wait too long before another seamless transition takes place between what US media is ‘reporting’ and what Hollywood will soon produce.”

Just How Many Faked Videos by the IDF Can Western Media Handle? (Jay)

The war in Gaza is going into the history books for setting precedents for many things. But perhaps it might not be such a watermark which too many journalists will remind you about, but fake news on a whole new scale which we haven’t seen before, will be one of them. How do westerners who watch their evening news take our mainstream media journalist in Israel seriously? Firstly, most of them aren’t even inside Gaza but comfortably ‘embedded’ with Israel’s IDF usually in lux accommodation which has been arranged for them, while IDF propagandists feed them nuggets of prepared fake news during the day while they dine as guests of the army. Our western journalists are so embedded that what they are presenting is not even news each night but a narrative which they have been hearing all day. And in some cases, seeing.

Part of the IDF’s mantra when handling the press is to show them video clips they have in their possession. But so far there is no scepticism as to the validity of this material shown by the journalists. Remarkably, British journalists like Douglas Murray – who seems to be one of the very few inside Gaza – tell Piers Morgan during a live interview, while coming under fire, that the Palestinians deserve the absolute ‘collective’ obliteration as the raw video clips he saw of Hamas fighters on October 7th murdering Israeli civilians were doing so while showing ‘glee’. This is a good example of what happens to western journalist who gets too close to those doing the ‘media handling’. It’s subtle and you have to look closely, but there is a seamless transition from where the journalist crosses a line and becomes the propagandist for this hosts. Remarkably a couple of Palestinian Hamas fighters phoned their parents in a state of glee after they murdered Israelis and this is enough to dehumanize them and deem them worthy of mass annihilation.

And how can we even trust anything the IDF press team are feeding western journalists? Their track record is appalling when it comes to faking video and audio clips. The most recent IDF soldier showing us some hospitals where he shows what looks like a lift shaft but is presented as a Gaza tunnel might be regarded as par for the course. But wait. Soon our man is standing in the hospital where in one room some arms and ammunition is laid out on the floor. And we are expected to believe that this shows that Hamas was using the hospital as a base. Even the events of October the 7th are still to be regarded with heavy scepticism when it is revealed that the so-called massacre at a music festival was actually done when the IDF arrived with tanks and shot at anyone driving in a panicky way in their cars to flee. Western journalists seldom report the policy that Israel has towards its own people who are taken captive: when possible kill them ourselves.

But any two-bit journalists could have seen by looking at the twisted metal of the cars at the pop concert that this damage was not done by light arms fire, say, from AKs but from much heavy calibre equipment. It’s a similar pantheon of lies when we watch a video of a doctor talking softly about how much the IDF have tried to help the hospitals by trying to donate diesel. You know the sort of thing. Didn’t take too much time for online sleuths to expose the doctor as a second-rate Israeli actress. Israel calls Hamas animals and as we have seen intends to wipe as many off the face of the earth so that Gaza can be retaken and new settlements can be built. But is the barrage of fake videos intended to fool the West? So far, mostly they are ridiculed within minutes of being posted and so can only be assumed that they are created for the Zionists supporters around the world who need something to grasp, to justify the holocaust which we are witnessing each day.

But the role played by western media in not using them as subjects in reports is disgraceful. Some might even argue that the journalists themselves are complicit in the genocide as the mass slaughter of civilians can only be carried out when Israel has the guarantee from the west of no war crimes being charged and that media don’t (or can’t) report on just how far faking the news has got in Israel. It has reached a whole new level and only made possible by the big media outlets not calling them out. Why should we be shocked or even surprised to learn that all of CNN’s footage and reports are checked before they are aired by the IDF themselves. We are literally watching an illusion each night by CNN journalists ducking and diving while they do their pieces to camera. And you won’t have to wait too long before another seamless transition takes place between what US media is ‘reporting’ and what Hollywood will soon produce.

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“Anyone who doesn’t bow down to the dictator that Zelensky has become, is found guilty of being treasonous to the emperor.”

CIA Chief’s Ukraine Visit Linked to Looming Palace Coup Against Zelensky (Sp.)

Washington’s spymaster has flown to Ukraine in secret to stamp US authority on the power struggle within the Kiev regime, says a security expert. CIA Director William Burns reportedly flew to Kiev on Wednesday for “urgent and secret” meetings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Security analyst Mark Sleboda told Sputnik that Burns’ visit “dovetails” with this week’s visit to Washington by Andriy Yermak, “Zelensky’s powerful, grey, cardinal, chief of staff” to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken — who duly uttered pledges of continued military support for Kiev in the US proxy conflict with Russia. “The general assumption is that this has to do with the growing rift between Zelensky, the president of the Kiev regime, and [Valery] Zaluzhny, the regime’s top general,” Sleboda explained, noting that Western mainstream media were “openly now reporting about the rift and speculating that they are on the verge of some type of open conflict.”

He pointed out that the US was already pressuring its client state in Ukraine to hold a presidential election on schedule by March 31 2024 — “with the intention of replacing Zelensky, who may appear to have lost confidence, with Zaluzhny.” Zelensky called off that election last week, claiming the ongoing fighting and the secession of four regions to Russia in 2022 made it impossible. “First he said: ‘OK, if you pay for it’. And then last week it became: ‘no, no elections’,” Sleboda said. “And now Zaluzhny’s top deputies, those close to him, we’ve had one fired. We’ve had another one blown up at his birthday party by either a moronic accident or a targeted political assassination by those close to Zelensky.” The analyst speculated that Burns’ intervention could have one of two aims: either “tamping it down or settling it or whatever, but saying that this is not acceptable, this is the road to disaster and your patron does not allow this, stop fighting — or they’re telling Zelensky to go away.”

Along with the attacks on Zaluzhny’s faction, officials are also going after anyone deemed sympathetic to former US president Donald Trump — who asked Zelensky to investigate his rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter for possible corruption over their deep involvement in Ukraine. Two politicians and a former prosecutor have recently been charged with treason for assisting Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, in his own probes in the Biden family’s dealings. “This is what the Kiev regime charges everyone with. They charged the leaders of the three largest opposition parties in the country — before two of them were banned,” Sleboda stressed. “Anyone who doesn’t bow down to the dictator that Zelensky has become, is found guilty of being treasonous to the emperor.”

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“Is the pursuit of a NATO foothold in Ukraine worth the cost? The very existence of NATO itself may well be the cost. ”

CIA’s Desperate Gambit in Kiev (The Islander News)

The arrival of CIA Director William Burns in Kiev signals a critical juncture in the Ukraine conflict. As the situation intensifies, Burns’ urgent mission is a stark indicator of Ukraine’s dire state. The Zelensky regime, once propagated as an emblem of resilience, now teeters on the brink of collapse, overwhelmed by insurmountable casualties and internal strife. This visit raises a crucial question: Is Ukraine on the cusp of a necessary capitulation, or is a coup on the horizon? Amidst these high-level meetings, the on-ground reality in Ukraine is catastrophic. The country has cycled through 3 armies, now relying on an untrained and under-equipped force consisting largely of older men, women, and youths.

This strategic dilution is no accident but a calculated Russian tactic: a meat-grinding strategy designed to deplete Ukraine’s military strength and incite political chaos in Kiev. As tensions escalate, an internal power struggle unfolds. Zelensky, in a bid to consolidate power, appears poised to purge key military figures, including Zaluzhny. This move would destabilize the already fragile military structure, further diminishing its capacity to withstand Russian advances. Meanwhile, Zelensky’s admin grapples with allegations of corruption, with reports of rampant graft and theft, potentially affecting the flow of vital aid. In this high-stakes environment, Burns’ role is beyond mere diplomatic support.

His presence underscores a broader strategic dilemma: whether to continue propping up a faltering regime or recalibrate US policy in the region. With Washington’s ambitions to embed NATO in Ukraine, the implications of Burns’ visit are profound. How will the US navigate this precarious situation, and at what cost? As the war reaches an inevitable tipping point, one must ask: Is the pursuit of a NATO foothold in Ukraine worth the cost? The very existence of NATO itself may well be the cost.

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“The technocrats responsible for running the Russian economy have proven themselves to be resilient, adaptable, and resourceful..”

End ‘Magical Thinking’ About Russia’s Defeat – WSJ essay (RT)

Western leaders must give up their “magical thinking” about defeating Russia in Ukraine and shift to a strategy of long-term containment against Moscow, an analysis published by the Wall Street Journal has concluded. “What Western leaders conspicuously haven’t done is level with their publics about the enduring nature of the threat from an emboldened, revisionist Russia,” Eugene Rumer and Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace wrote in an essay published on Thursday. “They have indulged all too often in magical thinking – betting on sanctions, a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive or the transfer of new types of weapons to force the Kremlin to come to the negotiating table.”

The Washington think tank’s authors noted that contrary to the hopes of Western officials who speculated that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be ousted in a “palace coup,” Moscow has maintained popular support for its Ukraine strategy while overcoming efforts to cripple its economy. “More than six months before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Putin signed off on a new national security strategy for Russia,” the op-ed said. “The main thrust of that document was to prepare the country for a long-term confrontation with the West. Today, Putin can tell the nation that his strategy is working.” Although Rumer and Weiss claimed that “none of this should come as a surprise,” the WSJ is among the Western media outlets that have built up hopes for a Ukrainian victory since the conflict began. However, the tone of media coverage has shifted amid Kiev’s battlefield struggles in recent weeks, acknowledging that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky faces wavering allies, enormous casualties, and growing fissures within his leadership team.

One of the most somber articles was posted late last month by Time magazine, which had named Zelensky its “person of the year” just last December. “Exhaustion with the war rolls along like a wave,” Zelensky told the publication, referring to the sharp decrease in Western enthusiasm for the Ukrainian cause. Speaking to The Economist earlier this month, Valery Zaluzhny, Kiev’s top general, admitted that the situation on the battlefront had reached “a stalemate.” The WSJ essay said there are no indications that Russia is losing the conflict, which has become a “war of attrition.” Putin’s hold on power has only strengthened, and Russian defense contractors are outperforming their Western counterparts in producing weaponry. The Russian economy has withstood US-led sanctions, the authors noted. “The technocrats responsible for running the Russian economy have proven themselves to be resilient, adaptable, and resourceful,” the two analysts said. “Elevated oil prices, driven in part by close cooperation with Saudi Arabia, are refilling state coffers. Ukraine, by contrast, depends heavily on infusions of Western cash.”

Weiss and Rumer called for a shift to a long-term containment strategy because “there should be no illusions that any possible combination of short-term steps will be sufficient to force Putin to abandon his war.” The new strategy would involve continuing Western sanctions, isolating Russia diplomatically, and strengthening NATO defense capabilities, as well as “mitigating all of the damage – diplomatic, informational, military and economic” caused by the war. The op-ed stressed that Western leaders used a similarly long-term approach during the Cold War, rather than unrealistically betting on an “overnight collapse of the Soviet system.” However, the analysts advised against fighting another Cold War. “Embarking on a global competition with the Kremlin would not be a wise investment of US prestige or resources. It would consign us to a pointless game of whack-a-mole against any and all manifestations of Russian influence,” wrote Rumer and Weiss.

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Hoocoodanode?

US Abrams Tanks Made No Difference – Zelensky (RT)

The M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks provided to Ukraine by the US have hardly made a difference on the battlefield, President Vladimir Zelensky said in a discussion with journalists from several African nations published by his office on Wednesday. Zelensky explained that the batch of 31 vehicles, which were fully delivered by mid-October, is too small. While praising the American weapon’s quality, he said, “So far, I can hardly say that they play a particularly important role on the battlefield. There are too few of them.” “For better or for worse, we have many different kinds of tanks,” the Ukrainian president said, describing the US-provided variant as but one part of the fleet.

These remarks align with what Col. Martin O’Donnell, a US Army Europe and Africa spokesman, told the media as he confirmed the completion of Washington’s handover of the units to Kiev. He said, “The Abrams tank is one hell of an armored vehicle, but it’s not a silver bullet.” In January, the US agreed to supply Ukraine with enough Abrams tanks to arm a single battalion as part of its military assistance against Russia. The delivery started in September and was completed a month later. Previously, the Pentagon argued against sending the tanks, saying that Abrams was too difficult and expensive to operate to be of much use to Kiev.

The range of weapons sent to Kiev by its Western donors has been described as a “zoo” by Ukrainian troops. According to Western media reports, this variability causes issues with the compatibility of munitions, adds to the challenge of repairing damaged hardware, and makes training soldiers on how to operate weapon platforms more cumbersome. The Ukrainian military has incorporated a diverse range of armored vehicles into its arsenal, including French AMX-10RC fighting vehicles, German Leopard tanks, British Challenger 2 tanks, and American Abrams tanks. These supplies were anticipated to enhance Kiev’s capabilities for breaking through Russian defensive lines during the summer. However, the anticipated counteroffensive did not yield the desired success. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reacted to the news of the Abrams tank’s arrival in Ukraine at the time by stating, “These will burn too.”

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“All of the above of course assumed The Mummy knew where he was and what he was talking about, “off the cuff”, and not dictated by his ubiquitous earpiece.”

Xi Outmanuevers Biden in San Francisco (Pepe Escobar)

All those previous elaborate plans unraveled, in a flash. A tentatively rosy scenario turned into a film noir. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s response was as sharp as a Dashiell Hammett one-liner – and contextualized: this was not only “extremely wrong” but “an irresponsible political manipulation”. All of the above of course assumed The Mummy knew where he was and what he was talking about, “off the cuff”, and not dictated by his ubiquitous earpiece. The Xi-Biden drama, lasting a little over two hours, was not exactly a remake of “Vertigo”. Washington and Beijing seemed quite cozy jointly promising the proverbial promotion and strengthening of “dialogue and cooperation in various fields”; an intergovernmental dialogue on AI; drug control cooperation; back to high-level military-to-military talking; a “maritime security consultation mechanism”; significantly increasing flights by early 2024; and “expanding exchanges” in education, international students, culture, sports, and business circles.

The Hegemon was far from having a priceless Maltese Falcon (“the stuff dreams are made of”) to offer Beijing. China is already solidified as the world’s top trading economy by PPP. China is advancing at breakneck speed on the tech race even under nasty US sanctions. China’s soft power across the Global South/Global Majority increases by the day. China is co-organizing with Russia the concerted drive towards multipolarity. The White House readout , as bland as it might seem, actually gives away the key part of the plot. Biden – actually his earpiece – underscored “support for a free and open Indo-Pacific”; the defense of “our Indo-Pacific allies”; the “commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight”; “adherence to international law”; “maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and East China Sea”; “support to “Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression”; and “support for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism”.

Beijing understands in detail the context and the geopolitical overtones of each of these pledges. What the readout does not say is that Biden’s handlers also tried to convince the Chinese to stop buying oil from their strategic partner Iran. That’s not gonna happen. China imported an average of 1.05 million barrels of oil a day from Iran over the first 10 months of 2023 – and rising. US Think Tankland, always excelling in misinformation and disinformation, believed in their own childish projection of Xi playing tough guy against the US in Asia, knowing that Washington can’t afford a third love affair, sorry, war front on top of Ukraine and Israel/Palestine. The fact is Xi knows all there is to know about imperial, rotating Hybrid War fronts, plus others that can be powered on at the flick of a switch. The Hegemon continues to provoke disturbance not only in Taiwan but in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, India, and continues to flirt with possible color revolutions in Central Asia.

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“China does not seek spheres of influence, and will not fight a cold war or a hot war with anyone..”

China Seeks Neither Hegemony Nor To Wage War With Anyone — Xi Jinping (TASS)

China has no desire for hegemony and will not wage either a cold or hot war against anyone, Chinese President Xi Jinping said after talks with US President Joe Biden in San Francisco, Xinhua news agency reported. “Whatever stage of development it may reach, China will never pursue hegemony or expansion, and will never impose its will on others,” Xi Jinping said at a meeting arranged by a number of US organizations. “China does not seek spheres of influence, and will not fight a cold war or a hot war with anyone,” Xinhua quoted the Chinese leader as saying.

The talks between the Chinese and US presidents are their seventh official interaction since January 2021, when Biden became president. The two countries’ heads met in person for the second time (the first meeting was last November on the Indonesian island of Bali). Xi Jinping is visiting the US for the first time in six years. During the visit, he is scheduled to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

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“Why is [Dr. Fauci] so wedded to trying to make you believe it came from the animal kingdom and not the lab? Because he funded the lab.”

Rand Paul Wants Federal Prosecution of Fauci for COVID Coverup (ET)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has said he’s pursuing federal criminal action against Dr. Anthony Fauci for perjury before Congress. In an interview on EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” with Jan Jekielek, Dr. Paul said he has asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute Dr. Fauci for giving false testimony during multiple congressional hearings. “We haven’t had a lot of luck,” Dr. Paul said. “Garland is not paying attention to the referral, but [Dr. Fauci] did lie to Congress.” The Epoch Times reached out to Georgetown University, where Dr. Fauci is employed, for comment but didn’t receive a reply by the time of publishing. In July, Dr. Fauci joined the university as a distinguished university professor in its school of medicine’s department of medicine.

Dr. Paul alleges that Dr. Fauci—and multiple other parts of the federal government—engaged in an “extensive” coverup of the origin, threat, and potential treatments for COVID-19. The senator said he detailed the two-year misdirection in his book “Deception: The Great Covid Cover-Up,” which was published in October. “Virtually everything they said in private, they said the opposite in the public at the same time,” Dr. Paul said. As early as February 2020, Dr. Fauci and other scientists convened and discussed their conclusion that the genetic sequence of the virus that causes COVID-19 appeared to have been manipulated in a lab to make it more infectious to humans. They were doubly concerned because they knew that the Wuhan, China, lab performed gain-of-function research.

Dr. Paul also alleges that many of the scientists involved in the U.S. public health response to COVID-19 were “funding the lab in Wuhan.” “They actually have a direct conflict of interest because they are the ones that will be culpable,” Dr. Paul said. “Why is [Dr. Fauci] so wedded to trying to make you believe it came from the animal kingdom and not the lab? Because he funded the lab.”

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“..while Hur’s investigation may not lead to criminal charges, the political and public scrutiny over the matter is far from over..”

No Charges Likely In Biden Classified Document Scandal (ZH)

Following a ‘thorough investigation,’ special counsel Robert Hur is unlikely to charge anyone in connection to President Joe Biden’s classified document scandal, according to multiple reports citing sources familiar with the matter. Hur’s report is expected to sharply criticize Biden and his aides for their handling of classified documents – the standard treatment for the protected establishment class whose name doesn’t end in Trump. This outcome raises obvious questions DOJ sham investigations – for if a Special Counsel’s probe into potential mishandling of sensitive national documents results only in criticism and no legal repercussions, what message does it send about accountability at the highest levels of government?

Hur’s investigation, which began in January following his appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland, has spanned nearly a year. It has involved interviews with around 100 Biden aides, including the President’s embattled son, Hunter Biden, who himself faces unrelated legal troubles following an indictment on federal gun charges. Biden himself was interviewed last month. “The president has been interviewed as part of the investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Hur,” reads the statement from the White House Counsel’s Office spokesperson Ian Sams (the guy who lied and had a meltdown over Hunter Biden’s $260K in Chinese wires). Of note, Hunter Biden listed Joe’s Wilmington, Delaware home – where a bunch of classified documents were found, as his address when he received above mentioned Chinese wires, due to the Biden family’s dealings with CCP-linked businessmen.

[..] Notably, the investigation has also involved discussions with Secretary of State Tony Blinken, former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, as reported by WSJ. These high-level interviews underscore the gravity of the investigation and the potential ramifications it could have had. The House Oversight Committee wrote a letter to Hur in October requesting information on whether President Biden possessed classified documents related to his son’s foreign business dealings. The classified documents discovered at the Penn Biden Center and Joe Biden’s Delaware residence date back to his vice presidency and decades-long senate tenure.

Kathy Chung, a Defense Department aide and former Vice President Biden aide recommended by Hunter Biden, was one of the individuals who handled classified documents, according to the Oversight Committee. -Daily Caller As the DOJ investigation winds down, the House Oversight Committee has vowed to continue its quest for clarity and accountability. Former White House Counsel Dana Remus was subpoenaed to appear for a deposition to answer questions about the handling of the classified documents. This move indicates that, while Hur’s investigation may not lead to criminal charges, the political and public scrutiny over the matter is far from over. So yes, corrupt administration investigates itself – finds no wrongdoing worth pursuing. End of story.

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“No level of censorship seemed to be sufficient for President Biden, who once claimed that social media companies were “killing people” by not silencing more dissenting voices..”

Should Joe Biden Be Banned? (Turley)

An internal State Department dissent memo was leaked this past week, opposing the Biden administration’s position on the war between Israel and Hamas. What was most notable about the memo is that some administration staffers accused President Joe Biden of “spreading misinformation.” It was a moment of crushing irony for some of us who have written and testified against the Biden administration’s censorship efforts. The question is whether, under the administration’s own standards, President Biden should now be banned or blacklisted to protect what his administration has called our “cognitive infrastructure.” For years, the administration and many Democrats in Congress have resisted every effort to expose the sprawling government censorship program that one federal judge described as an “Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’”

As I have written previously, it included grants to academic and third-party organizations to create a global system of blacklists and to pressure advertisers to withdraw support from conservative sites. Most recently, a House Judiciary Committee report revealed another layer of this system, described as a “switchboarding” role for the censorship system by channeling demands for removal or bans from state and local officials. This switchboarding process was confirmed by Brian Scully of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), during prior court testimony. CISA’s director, Jen Easterly, previously declared the administration’s intent to extend its role over maintaining critical infrastructure to include “our cognitive infrastructure” and combating not just mis- and disinformation but also “malinformation,” which CISA describes as “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”

As a result, over the last four years, researchers, politicians, and even satirical sites have been banned or blacklisted for offering dissenting views of COVID measures, climate change, gender identity or social justice, according to the House Judiciary report. No level of censorship seemed to be sufficient for President Biden, who once claimed that social media companies were “killing people” by not silencing more dissenting voices. Now, though, President Biden himself is accused — by some in his own administration — of spreading misinformation and supporting war criminals. The five-page State Department memo was signed by 100 State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) employees and was accompanied by a social media post by a junior foreign affairs staffer, accusing Biden of being “complicit in genocide” in Gaza. The memo accuses Biden of “spreading misinformation,” citing his Oct. 10 speech supporting Israel, and accuses Israel of committing “war crimes and/or crimes against humanity under international law.” It also accuses Biden of ignoring facts — a classic justification for past administration demands to censor figures — on the number of Palestinian casualties.

Democrats face a nightmare of allegations of disinformation on both sides of the war and other issues. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and numerous media outlets have been accused of spreading disinformation about Israel killing hundreds with an airstrike on a Gaza hospital. Former CIA director Leon Panetta, in an interview on Fox News, stood by disproven claims about Russia faking Hunter Biden’s laptop. There is, of course, not even a whisper (let alone a loud demand) for censorship or suspension of any of these figures or outlets, because that is not how the administration’s policies over “misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation” — what it terms “MDM” — work. The administration at one point insisted that it would police this “MDM space” to target views on a sweeping range of subjects, including racial justice and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. So what will the Biden MDM space-rangers do with President Biden? The obvious answer is, “Nothing.”

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“In short, the entertainment factor with Trump’s NY trial just went up immeasurably.”

Appeals Court Lifts Trump Gag Order In NY Fraud Case (ZH)

A New York appeals court judge on Thursday temporarily lifted a gag order preventing former President Donald Trump from commenting on court staffers in his civil fraud trial. Trump was gagged last month by judge Arthur Engoron, and later fined $15,000 for violations after he talked trash on social media about the Judge’s top law clerk. On Wednesday, Trump’s attorneys filed a lawsuit against the trial judge – arguing that the Engoron had abused his power. In response to the request, Judge David Friedman of the state’s intermediate appeals court scheduled an emergency hearing Thursday afternoon around a conference table in a state appellate courthouse just a few miles from Engoron’s courtroom, where he granted their request.

“Ruling at an emergency hearing Thursday, Friedman questioned Engoron’s authority to police Trump’s speech outside the courtroom — such as his frequent gripes about the case on social media and in comments to TV cameras in the courthouse hallway. Friedman said that while it’s true that judges often issue gag orders, they’re mostly used in criminal cases where there’s a fear that comments about the case could influence the jury. Trump’s civil trial doesn’t have a jury. Trump lawyer Christopher Kise said after Friedman ruled that the appellate judge “made the right decision and allowed President Trump to take full advantage of his constitutional First Amendment rights to talk about bias in his own trial, what he’s seeing and witnessing in his own trial — which, frankly, everyone needs to see.” -AP

Vivek
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725009663924604970

“I don’t see a reason for restrictions because Ms. James is continuing to disparage my client,” said Trump attorney Alina Habba, referring to NY Attorney General Letitia James, who is prosecuting the case. In staying the order, Trump can now freely comment about the court and its staff while the appeals process plays out. Separately on Wednesday, Trump’s legal team urged Engoron to stop the case immediately, arguing that his appearance of bias “threatens both Defendants’ rights and the integrity of the judiciary as an institution.” “This constitutional protection is at its apogee where the speech in question is core political speech, made by the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, regarding perceived partisanship and bias at a trial where he is subject to hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties and the threatened prohibition of his lawful business activities in the state,” the filing continues. In short, the entertainment factor with Trump’s NY trial just went up immeasurably.

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Kirsch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725058928415764975

 

 

 

 


Jacana father shields his offspring

 

 

 

 

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Nov 152023
 


Piet Mondriaan The Grey Tree 1912

 

Shift in Focus from Ukraine to Middle East Raises Chances of World War (PCR)
WH ‘Chaos & Power Vacuum’ is Why Israel Snubs US Advice on Gaza – Sy Hersh (Sp.)
Israel, Then And Now: ‘Kill, Kill Them All’ (Cradle)
Netanyahu Warns America: “You’re Next” If IDF Doesn’t Decimate Hamas (ZH)
Ain’t No ‘Stalemate’: Ukrainian Frontline Breakdown, Revisited (Pepe Escobar)
New Nord Stream Spin Pushed as US ‘Acutely Aware’ Ukraine Can’t Win (Sp.)
US Desire to Pay Ukraine’s Way Hits New Low (Sp.)
West Sees Ukraine Conflict Lasting Five More Years – Media (RT)
Russia and Ukraine May Never Sign Peace Treaty – Kiev (RT)
EU Approach To Ukraine ‘Surreal’ – ex-Austrian Foreign Minister (RT)
A Trump-Tucker T2 Ticket? (Coy)
FCC Commissioner Sounds Alarms About Coming Biden ‘Takeover’ of Internet (PB)
Rehabilitated Former UK PM Cameron is ‘Psychopath and War Criminal’ (Tweedie)
House Funding Bill Passes Thanks To Democrats, Averting Gov’t Shutdown (ZH)
Gulf Stream Collapse Scare Debunked by Royal Society (DS)

 

 

 

 

John Oliver

 

 

 

 

Matrix

 

 

Orwell

 

 

Dana White

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Pepe

 

 

 

 

“The British press was the most ridiculous in its pronouncements of Russia’s doom. Suddenly, defeated Ukraine is off the headlines.”

Shift in Focus from Ukraine to Middle East Raises Chances of World War (PCR)

The neoconservative/Netanyahu agenda of reopening the Middle East wars in the interest of Greater Israel has shoved Ukraine off the screen. The possibility of overthrowing Syria and Iran offers a much greater possibility of discomforting Russia. The neocons have wanted revenge on Putin ever since he stopped Obama’s overthrow of Assad, which, with Iraq already overthrown, would leave only Iran in Israel’s way. The shift in focus from Ukraine to the Middle East is made clear by the story planted in the Washington Post, long regarded as a CIA asset, that Ukraine was responsible for blowing up the Nord Sea pipeline. The responsibility is handed to Ukrainian colonel Roman Cherinsky who allegedly led a six-person sabotage team.

Col. Chervinsky denied having any part in the pipeline’s destruction. He said: “All speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis.” It is curious that Chervinsky thinks the Washington Post is a Russian asset instead of a CIA/neocon one. The planted story signals Washington’s abandonment of Zelensky. So, again Washington has destroyed a country and its population before moving on to a more promising opportunity. For two years the media was crowded with forecasts of Russia’s imminent defeat in Ukraine. The British press was the most ridiculous in its pronouncements of Russia’s doom. Suddenly, defeated Ukraine is off the headlines.

We await the consequence of the shift in focus. Will Hezbollah and Iran be sucked into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by Israel’s ongoing massacre of Palestinians? If not, will the neoconservatives orchestrate a false flag attack that provides excuse and support for a US/Israeli attack on Syria, Lebanon and Iran? What else is the purpose of the rapidly assembled large US military force in the Middle East? Will Putin stand aside as US/Israeli hegemony is established over the Middle East? Will the Muslim world accept its designation as a dispensable life form and collapse in impotence? Can China afford to be cut off from Iranian oil while Washington makes trouble in Taiwan? Will a third world war breakout? Without proactive responses, things can quickly go too far. The arrogance of neoconservative and Israeli over-confidence, together with Russian, Chinese, and Iranian hesitancy, are ingredients for a world war.

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“It’s chaos in the White House. They are saying the same things over and over. They are doing what they think will get the president re-elected. He is a George the Third. It’s scary, and it is disgraceful.”

WH ‘Chaos & Power Vacuum’ is Why Israel Snubs US Advice on Gaza – Sy Hersh (Sp.)

Israel has dismissed any advice from the White House regarding its operation in Gaza because “there is a power vacuum in Washington,” Seymour Hersh has cited sources as saying. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not been listening to the “waffling” of the Biden administration, the US investigative journalist wrote on Substack. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been intensifying their Gaza operation to eliminate Hamas amid global protests over the spiraling Palestinian civilian death toll. Over 11,000 people, many of them children, have already died in the enclave, according to the Gazan Health Ministry. There have been global marches of protest against what is seen as a disproportionate military response on the part of Israel, with similar demonstrations in the US as well. While the US was quick to announce at the start of Israel’s retaliation for the Hamas October 7 attack that it “had its back,” it launched a feeble attempt at shuttle diplomacy.

US President Joe Biden made two trips to Israel, followed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s unsuccessful diplomatic push to the region, and CIA Director Bill Burns’ Middle East foray to allegedly “work on the release of hostages,” Sy Hersh underscored. However, “Netanyahu continues to do as he wishes in Gaza,” the journalist added. When asked of the impact of those visits by Biden officials, an informed US source told Hersh: “Bibi to those three blind mice: ‘Shaddup already.’” The US official elaborated: “There is a power vacuum in Washington. No one is running the show… It’s chaos in the White House. They are saying the same things over and over. They are doing what they think will get the president re-elected. He is a George the Third. It’s scary, and it is disgraceful.”

Earlier on Monday, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) also supported this notion, saying that the United States was calling on Israel to accelerate its operation in the Gaza Strip behind closed doors as it may negatively affect President Joe Biden’s reelection bid in case of prolongation. It should be added that the Biden administration unilaterally blocked calls by dozens of countries at the UN to institute a ceasefire in Gaza last month. President Biden reiterated only last week that there was “no possibility” for a ceasefire in Gaza, while National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Tel Aviv had agreed to set in place four-hour daily “humanitarian pauses” in Gaza’s northern areas to allow for Palestinians to “get out of harm’s way.”

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“..historian Max Hastings writes that Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s current prime minister, told him in the 1970s that, “In the next war, if we do it right, we’ll have the chance to get all the Arabs out … We can clear the West Bank, sort out Jerusalem.”

Israel, Then And Now: ‘Kill, Kill Them All’ (Cradle)

On 7 October, the armed Palestinian resistance smashed through the Gaza border fence to carry out an unprecedented surprise assault on Israel, in which some 1,200 civilians and security forces were killed.While Israel attributes its entire death toll to the resistance fighters, in particular Hamas and its military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, it has since been suggested that occupation forces may bear responsibility for a significant number of deaths. This discrepancy blows a hole in the narrative pushed by Israeli and western media, which hyperbolically frames the Al-Aqsa Flood operation as the “deadliest single attack on Jews since the Holocaust.” But would Israeli forces willingly kill their own – and why?

The key lies in understanding that the primary goal of the resistance operation was the capture of prisoners of war (POWs)— both soldiers and settlers — to be taken back to Gaza. These captives were intended as leverage to press Israel to meet Hamas’s demands, including ending the 17-year siege on Gaza and releasing thousands of Palestinians held without trial in Israeli prisons. It is equally key to understand that Israel, doctrinally, will go to the most extreme lengths imaginable to prevent the taking of captives – including killing them. In an attempt to thwart Hamas from taking POWs, Israeli forces took drastic measures, including airstrikes on their own military base, firing tank rounds at civilian homes, and using overwhelming firepower to enforce the highly controversial Hannibal Directive.

This infamous military policy – which was altered but not removed in 2016 – allows commanders to sacrifice their own soldiers to prevent them from being captured, aiming to deny the enemy any leverage over the occupation state. A notable case was in 2006, when Hamas captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on the Gaza border. After holding him captive for five agonizing years, Hamas was able to exchange Shalit for 1,027 Palestinians held prisoner in Israel. The issue of Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians is understandably a controversial talking point, especially in the west. However, Hamas justifies this by claiming all Israelis are settlers living on land stolen from Palestinians in 1948 during what is known as the nakba or “catastrophe.”That year, Zionist militias employed rape and massacre as tools to effect the forcible “transfer” of some 750,000 Palestinians from the land needed to establish Israel.

Future Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and other Zionist leaders understood that the majority of the indigenous population of British Mandate Palestine, the Christian and Muslim Arabs, needed to be “cleansed” from the land to create a state with a Jewish demographic majority. Today, many Israelis — civilians and politicians alike — are loudly calling for their army to “complete the job,” as Israeli historian Benny Morris described it, by ethnically cleansing and annexing those parts of Palestine they failed to conquer in 1948, namely the entirety of occupied-West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. In his book, “Going to the Wars,” historian Max Hastings writes that Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s current prime minister, told him in the 1970s that, “In the next war, if we do it right, we’ll have the chance to get all the Arabs out … We can clear the West Bank, sort out Jerusalem.”

In contrast, the Palestinians, the indigenous population, have done their utmost to resist the Zionist colonial project and defend their lands, their homes, and their existence as a people. The expectation that they would resist the Zionist occupation is recognized by Israel’s first prime minister David Ben Gurion, himself an immigrant to Palestine from Poland: “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country … Behind the terrorism [by the Arabs] is a movement, which though primitive is not devoid of idealism and self-sacrifice.”

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I though that was Zelensky’s line…

Netanyahu Warns America: “You’re Next” If IDF Doesn’t Decimate Hamas (ZH)

Israel has been ramping up its global messaging campaign at a moment it faces increased isolation from Global South countries, and amid growing criticism from large powers like China, Russia, and major Latin American countries such as Brazil. But there have been signs of dissent even within the Biden administration as well, with pushback especially coming from the State Department of late, as US officials want to see the White House become more publicly critical of alleged Israeli war crimes, given also the immense death toll, at over 11,200 Gazans killed – with some half of these believed to be women and children. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now taking his message to the American public, in a Monday night appearance on Fox News’ Sean Hannity, warning that the US will be “next” if his military doesn’t decimate Hamas.

“We have to win not only for our sake, but for the sake of the Middle East, for the sake of our Arab neighbors. You know what, for the sake of Gazans who’ve been held by this dark tyranny that has brutalized and brought them nothing but bloodshed and poverty and misery,” Netanyahu introduced. “We have to win to protect Israel. We have to win to safeguard the Middle East. We have to win for the sake of the civilized world. That’s the battle we’re fighting, and it’s being waged right now. There is no substitute for that victory.” And that’s when he emphasized the potential dire repercussions for the West if Israel fails in its objectives. “If we don’t win now, then Europe is next and you’re next. And we have to win,” he added.

Netanyahu’s words carried a theme of a war between ‘barbarians’ and ‘civilization’, with an intent to make Americans believe what’s happening in the Middle East is “your fight” as well. According to Fox: Netanyahu stressed that “our fight is your fight” and that there is “no substitute for victory.” “We have to have the forces of civilization beat these barbarians because otherwise this barbarism will spread and will endanger the entire world,” Netanyahu said. “Every American, every civilized country will be under peril. We have to win. There is no substitute for victory. Total victory.”

Such messaging filled with a ‘good vs. evil’ motif was also heavily relied upon by the Bush administration and neocons in selling the Iraq War in 2003. Netanyahu has in past years also painted such simple contrasts when speaking about Iran and its supposed ‘nuclear threat’ as well. Netanyahu may have been responding to rare words of restraint issued by President Biden on the same day. “I have not been reluctant in expressing my concerns about what’s going on and it’s my hope and expectation that it will be less intrusive action relative to the hospital,” Biden said Monday regarding the worsening humanitarian crisis at al-Shifa hospital in the center of Gaza City.

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“Medvedev always relishes upping the ante: “The West must admit that not only Donbass and Crimea are not Ukraine, but also Odessa, Nikolaev, Kiev and practically everything else.”

Ain’t No ‘Stalemate’: Ukrainian Frontline Breakdown, Revisited (Pepe Escobar)

Facts on the ground point to the Russian Armed Forces (RAF) taking the initiative all along the SMO frontlines. This is recognized even by Polish and Estonian intel. Main battles are being fought on the Avdeevka-Marinka line in the DPR and the Kupyansk-Svatovo line in the LPR. RAF has enough manpower and weapons to keep the Ukrainians under a 24/7 state of despair. Objectives remain the same: to capture the whole of DPR and LPR within their administrative borders. In parallel, the ever-unplugged Dmitri Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, has announced a massive increase in the production of weapons and military equipment. Medvedev constantly stresses that the capabilities of the Russian defense industry have reached an unprecedented level – and much faster than expected.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, for his part, echoes what Foreign Minister Lavrov has been detailing for months now: Kiev – and its NATO handlers – better realize they cannot and won’t “win” in the battlefield. Medvedev always relishes upping the ante: “The West must admit that not only Donbass and Crimea are not Ukraine, but also Odessa, Nikolaev, Kiev and practically everything else.” That was a sharp response to former NATO Secretary- General Anders “Fogh of War” Rasmussen, who said that Kiev could be accepted into NATO “without lost territories,” referring to Crimea and Donbass. That set Medvedev on a roll: “What then should we admit to NATO, you ask? Well, we can accept the city of Lemberg with its surroundings [the Lviv region] if they really insist there.”

This analysis focuses on “what the Russians are doing with their ongoing ‘mud season offensive’ in Ukraine, really a collection of local attacks across the length of the front line” – with the exception of Kherson. Strategically, Russia has committed none of its own massive reserves while the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are pressured all along the frontlines – and the Russians silently prepare a surprise knockout blow elsewhere. A Perfect Storm of dwindling financing, weaponizing and Western “support” has darkened Kiev’s horizon, while serial Ukrainian disasters on the ground are so obvious they are even being picked up by Western mainstream media.

This ain’t no “stalemate”. The previous analysis is only one among many that matches the breakdown of Ukrainian brigades across the frontlines – consisting “largely of units already mauled in their disastrous Hundred Days Offensive.” The Hundred Days Offensive should rather be qualified as NATO’s Hundred Days Debacle. The debacle is the key reason why the “Biden combo” administration is now desperately trying to impose a ceasefire: a face-saving gambit as crucial as throwing the sweaty sweatshirt in Kiev under a double-decker bus.

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“The counteroffensive has been a bloody failure and the White House is shifting its resources and backing to Israel, which is much more important to policy makers in Washington..”

New Nord Stream Spin Pushed as US ‘Acutely Aware’ Ukraine Can’t Win (Sp.)

“Washington and some Europeans are becoming acutely aware that the war against Russia cannot be won by Ukraine even with more open support from NATO,” Philip Giraldi, former military intelligence and CIA operations officer with experience in Europe and the Middle East, told Sputnik. This explains the timing of The Washington Post’s new spin on a Ukrainian colonel’s alleged role in the Nord Stream sabotage, the pundit suggested. “The counteroffensive has been a bloody failure and the White House is shifting its resources and backing to Israel, which is much more important to policy makers in Washington,” Giraldi stressed. A Ukrainian colonel by the name of Roman Chervinsky allegedly played a key “coordinating” role in the attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year, The Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing Ukrainian and European officials, as well as other people familiar with details of the operation.

According to the outlet, Chervinsky, currently on trial in Kiev over alleged abuse of power, is a senior Ukrainian military officer with close ties to the country’s intelligence. The outlet added that Chervinsky did not act alone, and, furthermore, had received orders from some senior officials. The latter, in turn, reported to Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, the newspaper wrote, citing people familiar with how the attack was carried out. As for Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, he purportedly had no knowledge of the attack plans. It should be noted that in an article published earlier this year, sources cited by WaPo stated that Zaluzhny denied any connection to the Nord Stream pipeline blasts. Weighing in on the The WaPo story, Russia claimed the US and NATO were trying to find a scapegoat for the Nord Stream sabotage.

“This is an attempt, several moves ahead, to dismiss any trace of culpability for this terrorist act. Of course, Ukrainian services, obviously intelligence, were involved… But it would have been impossible to pull this [attack] off without American and NATO forces’ involvement,” said Russia’s State Duma lawmaker Alexey Chepa. Accusations leveled against the disgraced senior Ukrainian officer in The Washington Post report published over the weekend come against the backdrop of the Kiev regime’s botched counteroffensive. Adding further backdrop to the story is the recent spat between Zaluzhny and President Volodymyr Zelensky over the commander’s comments earlier. Zaluzhny drew flak for saying that Ukraine’s counteroffensive had reached a “stalemate.”

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“It should not be in any way tied to Israel. These should be separate votes to show our districts exactly where we stand..”

US Desire to Pay Ukraine’s Way Hits New Low (Sp.)

Congress allocated over $113 billion in military, economic, and humanitarian funding to Ukraine in 2022, with more than $46 billion of that constituting arms assistance. Last month, President Joe Biden asked for a new round of supplemental funding to the tune of $61.4 billion. Conservative Republicans have threatened to reject the request. Ukraine is “running out of money and time” and “could get left behind” by Congress as US lawmakers shift their priorities and focus to staving off an imminent government shutdown, and to ramping up funding for Israel and the southern border with Mexico. That’s according to a fresh US media report assessing the mood in Washington at the moment.

“Ukraine funding, I believe, if it’s worth doing, needs to stand on its own,” Republican Representative Mark Alford of Missouri said, addressing recently elected House Speaker Mike Johnson’s commitment to keep funding bills separate to prevent the bundling of a large number of unrelated priorities into a single piece of legislation. “It should not be in any way tied to Israel. These should be separate votes to show our districts exactly where we stand,” Alford said. House Republicans passed a $14 billion aid package for Israel earlier this month, with the money coming from cuts in spending for the Internal Revenue Service. Senate Democrats and many Senate Republicans have rejected the legislation, with President Biden vowing to veto it, demanding that any support for Israel also include money for Ukraine and other spending, including on the border and America’s geostrategic competition with China.

Some Senate Republicans, including lawmakers traditionally known for their hawkish positions on Russia, have joined with their conservative colleagues in the House in questioning further Ukraine assistance. “I want to be frank with you about our problem,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida told Biden administration officials at a hearing last week. “People come up to me and say the following: ‘We have five, six thousand people a day crossing our border; we’ve got all these other needs…Why is Ukraine important in that context?’ I hear that constantly,” the senator said. “One of the dangers we face in these three challenges [Ukraine, Israel, the border, ed.] is the trade-offs that are going to have to happen. We’re gonna have to make policy decisions, because one of the risks we run is being overextended,” Rubio added.

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Wishes British intelligence.

West Sees Ukraine Conflict Lasting Five More Years – Media (RT)

More and more Western leaders have reportedly conceded that the Russia-Ukraine conflict may drag on for another five years in a “stalemate” that neither side is capable of shattering. Neither Russia nor Ukraine is prepared to “give in,” and there is no sign that the conflict will end anytime soon, The Economist reported on Monday. The crisis has already strained the West’s military capacity amid struggles to produce enough artillery shells, the magazine said, and the Israel-Hamas war creates further stress. “As time goes on, there will be trade-offs as certain key systems are diverted to Israel,” Mark Cancian, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, wrote last month. “A few systems that Ukraine needs for its counteroffensive may not be available in the numbers that Ukraine would like.” Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, raised eyebrows when he told The Economist earlier this month that the conflict with Russia had reached a stalemate.

Although officials in US President Joe Biden’s administration were troubled by Zaluzhny’s candor, they agreed with his assessment, the New York Times reported last week. The Ukraine crisis has revealed how “meager” Western armories are, The Economist said. Even as the US ramps up its output of 155mm artillery shells, its production in 2025 will be lower than Russia’s in 2024, the magazine added. If the overlapping conflicts in Ukraine and Israel both drag on, Washington and its allies would be hard-pressed to cope with another crisis. “If the war in Ukraine stays an open sore in Europe and the Middle East remains ablaze, the West will struggle gravely should another serious crisis erupt,” the outlet warned. “One risk is that adversaries simply capitalize on chaos elsewhere for their own ends. If America were bogged down in a Pacific war, for instance, Iran would surely feel more confident of getting away with a dash for nuclear weapons.”

The magazine called the situation a “new world disorder” and suggested that Russia and China see “opportunities” in the growing threats. “Even more worrying is the prospect of active collusion. European military planners give weight to the possibility that Russia might conduct menacing maneuvers during a crisis over Taiwan in order to divert American attention and tie down its allies, preventing them from lending a hand in Asia.” Concentrations of crises have occurred in past eras, The Economist said, “but America and its allies cannot intervene as easily or cheaply as they once did.” That’s partly because the Ukraine crisis has “cemented” the partnership between Russia and China, and the two countries are working more closely together, according to the magazine.

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Sore loser.

Russia and Ukraine May Never Sign Peace Treaty – Kiev (RT)

Russia and Ukraine may never sign a formal peace treaty ending the current conflict, Kirill Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, wrote in an op-ed, excerpts from which were published on Monday. He pointed to Russia and Japan, which never signed a comprehensive peace treaty after World War II due to Tokyo’s claims on several of Russia’s Kuril Islands. “There are cases in history when old wars between the states have not been legally concluded. An obvious example is Russia and Japan. They did not sign a peace agreement after 1945 due to [the dispute] over the Northern Islands, also known as the Kuril Islands in Russia. This territorial problem is now more than 70 years old,” Budanov wrote in an op-ed for NV magazine,

“This is why such a scenario is highly likely in our case, considering that Russia has significant territorial appetite when it comes to Ukraine, and not only pertaining to Crimea.” Budanov’s assessment comes as Kiev’s long-anticipated counteroffensive, launched in the summer, has largely petered out without achieving any significant victories on the ground. Ukrainian troops struggled to break through fortified defense lines and cross thick minefields, losing many NATO-supplied tanks and other armored vehicles in the process. Speaking to the Economist this month, Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top general, described the situation on the battlefield as “a stalemate.”

The prospects of a peace treaty between Moscow and Kiev remain bleak as both countries ruled out compromising with one another. President Vladimir Zelensky and other top-ranking Ukrainian officials ruled out negotiations unless Russia surrenders its recently acquired territories. Moscow repeatedly said that it would be impossible. Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia in 2014, following a Western-backed coup in Kiev that year. Four other former Ukrainian territories – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye – did the same after holding referendums on the matter in September 2022. At the same time, President Vladimir Putin argued last month that Moscow was aiming not to acquire new lands, but to protect the people of Donbass and maintain its own security. He said that the Ukrainian delegation was close to signing a neutrality pact in March 2022, but has since discarded preliminary agreements.

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“The way [the EU] wants to deal with Ukraine, which is really huge and is a battlefield, is beyond my understanding..”

EU Approach To Ukraine ‘Surreal’ – ex-Austrian Foreign Minister (RT)

The European Union is making a mistake by insisting on the accession of Ukraine while the country remains locked in a military conflict with Russia, former Austrian foreign minister Karin Kneissl has said. She expressed dismay at the fact that key member states seem to agree with Brussels’ expansion plans, despite the risks. Kneissl’s comments came in response to the European Commission’s decision last week to recommend launching accession talks with Kiev. Its president, Ursula von der Leyen, praised Ukraine for making considerable headway but stopped short of giving a definitive timeline for the country’s admission to the bloc. In an interview with journalist Flavio von Witzleben published on his YouTube channel on Sunday, Kneissl said the “European Union is importing conflicts” by establishing closer ties with the likes of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Ukraine.

“The way [the EU] wants to deal with Ukraine, which is really huge and is a battlefield, is beyond my understanding,” the former Austrian minister added. Kneissl said she could not help but think to herself “It’s all just surreal” when watching excerpts of von der Leyen’s address last week. She lamented that von der Leyen is not alone in promoting Ukraine’s membership, with no visible opposition among other officials working in Brussels. She noted that Germany is actively advocating for the cause, too. The former diplomat cited a report by Die Welt last Monday, which quoted Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba as saying that his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, had promised him that Kiev would be admitted to the bloc.

In a statement last Wednesday, von der Leyen described Brussels’ endorsement of accession talks with Ukraine as “historic.” She said Kiev had already completed “well over 90% of the necessary steps” for membership set out by the bloc last year. Kneissl, who criticized the European Commission’s stance, served as Austria’s foreign minister between 2017 and 2019. She later went on to work at Russian oil giant Rosneft and was a contributor for RT. The former diplomat, however, had to resign from the board of the Russian oil giant amid sanctions imposed by the EU on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. Last year, she left her homeland, claiming to have received death threats. Kneissl has since lived in several countries, including Russia, where she was spotted at a festival in August.

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“..T2 will win by a landslide and they will even dominate in the Purple/Border/Swing States. Fair Elections Matter.

A Trump-Tucker T2 Ticket? (Coy)

A Trump Tucker ticket for the presidency in 2024. Just imagine it. Wow. Oh my goodness. Praise the Lord. Fantastic. Our prayers are answered. Could it actual happen? The dream ticket is not as far-fetched as previously thought. A Trump Tucker (T2) presidential ticket is beginning to look like a real possibility. A T2 ticket would be putting the Make America Great Again movement and the America First alliance on steroids. As opposed to being a “balanced ticket,” it would be a “double down” on an American exceptionalism ticket. A Trump-Tucker ticket would certainly electrify and energize a base already loaded for bear. A T2 ticket would tell the American citizen, and put the globalist elites, and the Deep State hooligans on notice, that we are right, we are unashamed, we will not be intimated, and we will not apologize.

A Trump-Tucker ticket might possibly be the ticket that saves our democratic republic. A T2 ticket might be the platform that holds off the communists/deep state/globalist elites. A T2 presidency might be the answer to putting the BLM and Antifa criminals in jail. A Trump-Tucker administration might be the only hope for securing the First and Second amendments. An unashamed and without apology Trump-Tucker ticket might just be the political platform and personalities that save the American empire from the dustpan of history. Now, if there is election interference and voter fraud like there was in 2020, it will not matter. If in the toss-up states, they stop counting the votes at 11:30 p.m. and after everyone goes home, start up again at 2:30 in the morning, it won’t matter. If Fulton County, Georgia counts Biden votes multiple times, it won’t matter.

If the upper Midwest states use Zuckerbucks again, it won’t matter. If the management and upper echelons at Fox News appear to be willing participants, it won’t matter. If state election officials in Pennsylvania are once again allowed to purposely ignore their very own state legislated election laws, it won’t matter. If 2024 election tabulations are counted just as they were in the Purple States in 2020, it won’t matter. But, but, but, if the election is run fair and square in the swing states, without cheating, without the Deep State “brownshirts” putting their thumb on the scale; it will matter. Without the FBI/CIA/NSA running cover for the Biden/Harris ticket; Donald Trump and running mate Tucker Carlson will win the 2024 election for the presidency. If only legitimate and legal votes are counted, and they are counted only once, T2 will win by a landslide and they will even dominate in the Purple/Border/Swing States. Fair Elections Matter.

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“President Biden’s plan hands the Administrative State effective control of all Internet services and infrastructure in the country.”

FCC Commissioner Sounds Alarms About Coming Biden ‘Takeover’ of Internet (PB)

While Americans have been fixated on the Swift-Kelce romance and wondering what really happened to Matthew Perry, the Biden administration has quietly made an audacious move to take over the Internet as we know it and regulate it in the name “Equity.” That’s right: The fate of the Internet as we know it hangs in the balance. And it’s set to come to a vote at the Federal Communications Commission on November 15. FCC Commissioner Brandon Carr earlier lambasted the Biden administration for its attempted Internet “takeover” in a memorandum on the Wednesday meeting.

“So last month, President Biden gave the FCC its marching orders,” Carr said. “The President called on the FCC to implement a one-page section of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act) by adopting new rules of breathtaking scope, all in the name of ‘digital equity.’ For the first time ever, those rules would give the federal government a roving mandate to micromanage nearly every aspect of how the Internet functions—from how ISPs allocate capital and where they build, to the services that consumers can purchase; from the profits that ISPs can realize and how they market and advertise services, to the discounts and promotions that consumers can receive. Talk about central planning.”

“Needless to say, Congress never contemplated the sweeping regulatory regime that President Biden asked the FCC to adopt—let alone authorized the agency to implement it,” he added. “Nonetheless, the Commission will vote next week, on November 15th, to put President Biden’s plan in place. A draft of the FCC order implementing President Biden’s plan is available here. I oppose the plan for several reasons.” The FCC Commissioner then laid out the reasons he opposes the Biden Internet takeover, namely, “President Biden’s plan hands the Administrative State effective control of all Internet services and infrastructure in the country.”

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“a disgusting, totally corrupt traitor, mass murdering, psychopath and war criminal.”

Blair: “He’s even more corrupt and more of a psychopath than Cameron,” Shilling stressed. “He’s absolutely terrible. Should’ve been locked up years ago.”

Rehabilitated Former UK PM Cameron is ‘Psychopath and War Criminal’ (Tweedie)

David Cameron is still unfit to hold office seven years after he resigned as British prime minister, says a political pundit. Current PM Rishi Sunak surprised the nation when he resurrected Cameron’s failed career as part of his cabinet reshuffle on Monday, which began with the sacking of outspoken home secretary Suella Braverman. Cameron was made Foreign Secretary as James Cleverly moved to the Home Office. Cameron must now be granted a peerage in the House of Lords by King Charles III so he can qualify to serve as a minister. That prompted a protest from House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle that Cameron would not be answerable to fellow MPs in the elected lower house of Parliament.

Geopolitical analyst Ian Shilling told Sputnik that Cameron was “a disgusting, totally corrupt traitor, mass murdering, psychopath and war criminal.” “He helped Obama and Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, all of them Al Qaida supporting terrorists in Libya to overthrow Gadhafi and also help them to try and overthrow Assad in Syria, use the same Al Qaida type terrorists,” Shilling charged. “And then they created ISIS* in about 2013 to change the regime in Iraq.” “This is the root cause of all these illegal immigrants crossing the channel into the UK and millions of people crossing into Italy from Libya and into France,” he continued. The commentator said that, outside of the European Union, British foreign policy was a “laughing stock” — as was the US under President Joe Biden.

“What they’re doing is completely contrary to national interest because they turn away third world countries, neutral countries in Africa and Asia, South America they turn them away from the West and then turn them towards China,” Shilling said. “the billions in the rest of the world know what a farce it is, and certainly all the Arabs in the Middle East know that the UK and the US support terrorists.” In another blast from the British political past, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly considering his former British counterpart Tony Blair as his “humanitarian coordinator” for the besieged Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip — once the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have finished demolishing it in their latest attempt to destroy the Hamas movement.Blair embroiled the UK in former US president George W Bush’s invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. “He’s even more corrupt and more of a psychopath than Cameron,” Shilling stressed. “He’s absolutely terrible. Should’ve been locked up years ago.”

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“..everybody can go home, we can come back, reset, we’re gonna get our group together, we’re gonna map out that plan to fight for those principles.”

House Funding Bill Passes Thanks To Democrats, Averting Gov’t Shutdown (ZH)

Democrats stepped in to save the day on Tuesday, helping House Speaker Mike Johnson avert a government shutdown despite opposition from Republicans in the Freedom Caucus who opposed the bill due to a lack of offsetting spending cuts. According to Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman, more Democrats voted for it than Republicans.

The legislation now heads to the Senate, where both Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave it their full-throated support as noted earlier. According to a Tuesday statement by Schumer, the Senate will work to pass it “as soon as possible,” after which it will head to President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature. Along the lines of what Sherman said;

“Passage of the legislation marks an early legislative achievement for Johnson, who was elected to the Speakership less than a month ago after three weeks of standstill in the House following former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) removal from the role. That ouster was caused in large part by McCarthy’s decision to put a “clean” continuing resolution on the floor and pass it with help from Democrats — similar to Johnson’s course of action this week. But hardline conservatives said they would give Johnson some breathing room this time around — despite opposing his stopgap bill — citing his nascent Speakership. “He’s had two weeks to pass it; his predecessor had since January and then he jammed us up against the Sept. 30 deadline,” said Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy. Trouble, nonetheless, looms for Johnson and his fractious House GOP conference as they stare down two funding deadlines and try to pass their remaining five appropriations bills, which have run into trouble on the floor and in committee.”

Johnson plans to tackle Ukraine funding next, which has become a contentious issue among Republicans. “I’ve been drinking from Niagara Falls for the last three weeks,” Johnson said on Tuesday. “This will allow everybody to go home for a couple of days for Thanksgiving, everybody cool off — members have been here for, as Leader Scalise said, for 10 weeks, this place is a pressure cooker. And so I think everybody can go home, we can come back, reset, we’re gonna get our group together, we’re gonna map out that plan to fight for those principles.” Good luck with that.

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“The collapse of the AMOC was behind the arrival of a new ice age in the 2004 Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow. It has been a firm favourite of climate alarmists ever since.”

Gulf Stream Collapse Scare Debunked by Royal Society (DS)

One of the more unforgivable climate scares foisted on the public by green fanatics is the suggestion that the Gulf Stream is about to break down, plunging the northern hemisphere into a new ice age. Last July, both the Guardian and the BBC reported that the Gulf Stream could collapse by 2025, bringing catastrophic climate impacts. All of this fearmongering relies on models, and these have also led the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to forecast it is “very likely” that the entire system of North Atlantic currents will weaken in the near future. Needless to say, these models have an impressively poor track record, and this has been revealed in a recent paper published by the Royal Society. “If these models cannot reproduce past variation, why should we be so confident about their ability to predict the future,” ask the scientific authors.

The Gulf Stream is part of a wider system of currents known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). By bringing warmer waters from the south, it is estimated to increase coastal area temperatures in parts of the northern hemisphere by up to 5°C. The collapse of the AMOC was behind the arrival of a new ice age in the 2004 Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow. It has been a firm favourite of climate alarmists ever since. Of course, the political push towards the collectivist Net Zero project is behind much of the copy. Writing his Gulf Stream collapse nonsense last July, Guardian Environment Editor Damian Carrington said the prospect of an AMOC collapse was extremely concerning, “and should spur rapid cuts in carbon emissions”.

The Royal Society authors find that the climate models that are stuck with an assumption that humans can and do control the AMOC have been wrong for decades. Neither past nor current models are successful in representing actual AMOC observational data. They go on to add: “If it is not possible to reconcile climate models and observations of the AMOC in the historical period, then we believe the statement about future confidence about AMOC evolution should be revised. Low confidence in the past should mean lower confidence in the future.” Many of the scare tactics employed by mainstream media and green activists are given weight by the IPCC’s suggestion that the AMOC will weaken in future as “very likely”.

But the authors note the models cannot reproduce past variations, causing them rightly to ask why we should be confident about their ability to predict the future. The challenge for the AMOC community is either to reconcile the differences between climate models and observations or to better understand the reasons for deviation. “We believe that progress needs to be made in understanding why models do not reproduce past AMOC variability and that this is the key to having confidence in the future evolution of this key climate variable,” they state. Fine words, but in the meantime we are stuck with climate models that are patently unfit for purpose, except, of course, for the vital political work of scaring populations into widespread Net Zero economic and societal compliance.

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Turtle

 

 


Kummakivi, situated in Ruokolahti, Finland, is a remarkable geological formation where a massive rock weighing approximately 75 tons or 68,000 kg has delicately balanced on top of another rock for thousands of years.

 

 

 

 

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