Jan 302024
 
 January 30, 2024  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


MC Escher Belvedere 1958

 

‘Army Of God’ Convoy Heads To US Border While EU Farmers Block Cities (ZH)
War On The Middle East – The Time Of Monsters (MoA)
The Tower-22 Strike In Jordan Triggers US, Israel Into All-Front War (Helmer)
Congressional Hawks Urge ‘Hit Iran Hard’ After 3 US Troops Killed (ZH)
Biden May Order Direct Strike on Iran Officials After Jordan Drone Attack (Sp.)
‘Swarming’ The US In West Asia, Until It Folds (Bhadrakumar)
The Tragic Self-Destruction of an Enraged Israel (Alastair Crooke)
Davos a Living Fossil of an Empire at War With Itself and the World (Dionísio)
Official Lies Aren’t What They Used to Be (Rall)
Hungary Responds To Reported EU Threat To Destroy Its Economy (RT)
‘Desperation’ of Ukrainian Leadership Hard To Ignore – WaPo (RT)
Zelensky Claims Huge Increase In Size Of Kiev’s Forces (RT)
Trump Lawyer Says ‘Experts Were Denied’ by New York Judge (ET)
GA Lieutenant Governor Announces New Committee Investigating Fani Willis (DC)
The Foundational Principle: Stop Pretending, Speak Truth (CTH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fico

 

 

 

 

France

 

 

 

 

Vermin

 

 

 

 

If you wanted to starve and displace Palestinians you would go after the UNRWA.
Palestinian refugees registered with the UNRWA have a *right of return* to Gaza if they’re displaced.
Over 6 million Palestinians are registered with the UNRWA.
If this organisation collapses… NO Palestinian will have the right to return to their homeland.
Do you now understand why they are trying to destroy the UNRWA…?


The following countries have cut funding so far: Australia, Austria, Britain, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Romania, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United States.

 

 

 

 

Good to see Zerohedge connecting the two movements. Though very different, they are also the same: basic, based people sick of having political games played over their heads and their backs. Both events will reach their crescendo by the weekend.

‘Army Of God’ Convoy Heads To US Border While EU Farmers Block Cities (ZH)

In the US, a convoy of truckers, calling themselves “God’s Army,” is preparing to embark on a journey from several locations across the Lower 48 to the southern border as tensions soar between Texas and the Biden administration. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, farmers are bearing down on Europe’s capitals – from Bucharest to Warsaw to Brussels – venting frustrations about climate policies. These social instabilities are breaking out ahead of key European and US elections this year. The organizers of the “Take Our Border Back” convoy are “calling all active & retired law enforcement and military, Veterans, Mama Bears, elected officials, business owners, ranchers, truckers, bikers, media and LAW ABIDING, freedom-loving Americans” to “assemble in honor of our US Constitution and Bill of Rights” at the southern border, in protest against the federal government’s inability to secure the border, according to the convoy’s website.

“Fellow citizens and compatriots … I call on you in the name of liberty, of patriotism and everything dear to the American character to come to our aid with all dispatch,” Pete Chambers, one of the coalition’s leaders, wrote. “If this call is neglected, we are determined to sustain ourselves as long as possible and act like soldiers who never forget what is due to our own honor and that of our country.” The convoy plans to “send a message” to government officials at all levels about the need to secure the board amid the multi-year invasion of millions of illegals. Chambers believes Americans are “besieged on all sides” by evil “dark forces.”

As we’ve noted, journalists have uncovered a “shadowy network” of what appears to be taxpayer-funded non-government agencies, facilitating the most massive border invasion this nation has ever seen. Last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared the migrant crisis an “invasion” and invoked Texas’ constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. Abbott stated, “That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary. The Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other Texas personnel are acting on that authority, as well as state law, to secure the Texas border.”

[..] Across the Atlantic, farmers have been venting their anger in several of Europe’s capitals that will likely “slow the implementation of environmental reforms in the European Union and make it harder for Brussels to negotiate free trade agreements,” according to research firm Stratfor. “Farmers across Europe have taken to the streets in recent weeks to voice their discontent over their governments’ economic, environmental and trade policies,” Stratfor continued. And this is all happening ahead of June’s European elections. Uprisings in the West, among the working class, objecting to unpopular “globalist” policies are happening ahead of major elections.

Convoy up to 700,000 people

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“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”
Antonio Gramsci

War On The Middle East – The Time Of Monsters (MoA)

Yesterday 3 U.S. troops were killed and 34 wounded due to an attack that allegedly hit on a place known as Tower 22. This is part of the Al Tanf area where U.S. troops illegally occupy parts of Syria to control the traffic on the main road between Iraq and Syria. The reporting so far does not answer many arising questions. Tower 22 is on the Jordanian side of the boarder but Jordan insists that no attack had happened on its grounds. Another anomaly are the high rate of wounded from the alleged drone strike. Drones are used in mass in the Ukraine war but the casualties they cause are usually less than a handful per drone. The highly automated short and medium range air-defenses (C-RAMs, the equivalent of naval Phalanx guns) at the base should be able to shoot down any drone. Why didn’t they work?

The U.S. has also used Al Tanf base and the Rukban camp to house and train ISIS splinter groups so they are able to attack perceived U.S. enemies. Were any of those folks around? The U.S. claims that an Iraqi resistance group, allegedly supported by Iran, is responsible for the strike. There are several such groups allied with Iran in Syria and Iraq. Which one of them did this? Does the U.S. know this at all? Iran denies any involvement in the attack. The attack is certainly an escalation over previous ones. President Biden has said that he will respond to it. The question in then to where to respond (Syria, Iraq, Iran) and to what grade. Most likely the U.S. will escalate from its previous bombing of this or that Iraq resistance group. Should the U.S. attack any state related institutions or position, the situation will escalate further.

The resistance camp would then try even harder to damage more U.S. assets. Since the U.S. assassination of General Quassam Suleimani its overall aim is to remove the U.S. from the Middle East. The U.S. immediate response to the hit was the activation of long range tanker planes: “At least 6 U.S. Air Force KC-135 Aerial-Refueling Tankers, most from March Air Reserve Base in Southern California, are heading Northeast across the United States and preparing to Transit the Atlantic towards the U.K. and Europe”. I wonder what kind of Aircraft they are Refueling? Aerial-refueling tankers are used to keep fighter jets in the air for several hours. The reasons to keep jets in the air may not necessarily be to attack someone, but to prevent them from being destroyed by an attack on ones own airports. The U.S. has plenty of bases in the Middle East which house a lot of expensive jets.

If the U.S. suspects that those bases will come under attack it will need lots of air-tanker capability to save the jets currently stationed on them. One could conclude from this that the U.S. will attack a target so important that it has to prepare for an all out response attack on its own Middle East bases. There are several other possibilities but this seems to be the most likely conclusion. Now let’s take a step back to take a look at the larger picture. The current escalation in the Middle East is happening because the Zionist attempt to ethnically cleanse Gaza, the West Bank and south Lebanon. The U.S active support for this aim has led to more U.S. wars in Yemen, Iraq and now in Syria. While the U.S. has claimed that it did not want an all out war in the Middle East it has done its best to further one.

The dystopian decision by the U.S. and its European vassals to deny all support for UNRWA as response for the International Court of Justice decision against Israel’s genocide of Palestinians was a further escalation. That a dozen or less of the 30,000 UNRWA worker were probably involved in the October 7 events was known for weeks. To roll this out just after the ICJ dictum happened is a clear act of revenge against the whole UN system. This is the rule based order, where the U.S. makes and discards all rules at will, fighting against long established international and humanitarian law.

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The two maps, in the article above and this one, leave doubt about where exactly Tower 22 is. It’s right on the border. Is it in Jordan? “..but Jordan insists that no attack had happened on its grounds..”

The Tower-22 Strike In Jordan Triggers US, Israel Into All-Front War (Helmer)

The drone attack on the US troop base known as Tower-22, in the northeastern corner of Jordan, caught the US forces, reportedly reservists, asleep. The base reportedly holds 350 Army and Air Force personnel. At least three have been confirmed killed; eight have been evacuated with life threatening injuries, according to US Central Command (CENTCOM); about three dozen have been counted as wounded. The operational success of the strike for the attackers is strategic. Tower-22 is a logistics, supply, and rear guard post for the Al-Tanf base which US troops are operating thirty kilometres north across the border in Syria. The attack demonstrates that both Tower-22 and Al-Tanf, Jordan and Syria, are newly vulnerable to weapons which the US forces have failed to detect and neutralize. Just as significantly, the massive US airbase called Muwaffaq Salti, 230 kilometres west across Jordan, is also vulnerable now.

For analysis of how these bases, and other anti-Palestinian targets in Jordan, are connected and targeted by the Axis of Resistance, read this from October. Biden’s statement said only “we are still gathering the facts of this attack”. Reporters of the New York Times were told by their official briefers that “the drone strike in Jordan on Sunday demonstrated that the Iran-backed militias — whether in Iran or Syria, or the Houthis in Yemen — remained capable of inflicting serious consequences on American troops despite the U.S. military’s efforts to weaken them and avoid tumbling into a wider conflict, possibly with Iran itself.” The newspaper added a warning against escalation from the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon: “ ‘We don’t want to go down a path of greater escalation that drives to a much broader conflict within the region,’ Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Sunday.

Asked in a pre-recorded session on ABC News’s This Week whether he thought Iran wanted war with the United States, General Brown, echoing assessments from the U.S. intelligence agencies, said, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ ” Brown is also believed to have been one of the prompters for public release of the Pentagon warnings against the Ukrainian “counteroffensive” in the so-called social media releases published by Jack Texeira in April of 2023. The official line in Washington on Sunday evening, according to its New York platform, is that “the Americans killed on Sunday were the first known fatalities from hostile fire in the region since the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas…It was unclear on Sunday why air defences at the outpost failed to intercept the drone, which former military commanders said appeared to be the first known assault on the location since attacks on U.S. forces began soon after the Oct. 7 incursion.”

Well-informed military sources are emphatic that the Tower-22 operation has strategic significance in quite another way. They believe Pentagon officials have already told the White House. “This is a significant accomplishment,” one of the sources said. “Was the bypassing of the US air defence system at Tower-22 pulled off with Russian assistance? US bases generally rely on the C-RAM [Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar] system. It was sent to Ukraine last year where the Russians have been learning to defeat it. What now of American EW [electronic warfare]? They’ve been doing a fair job of knocking drones down up to now. It seems a ‘coincidence’ that, not a week after the meetings in Moscow with Arabs and Iranians, we see this success. It’s a success the circumstances of which, we can be sure, Biden and Austin are not keen to advertise.”

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Iran has denied any involvement.

Congressional Hawks Urge ‘Hit Iran Hard’ After 3 US Troops Killed (ZH)

It took a mere minutes after the headlines spread across the globe for the hawks and neocons to call on the White House to “hit them hard”—in reference to Iran and Iranian-linked groups believed responsible for the attack on a US outpost along the Jordanian border which killed three American troops and injured 25 more. The government of Jordan has since said that none among their own troops were injured, which suggests all of the injured were Americans too. Below is a partial survey of the Congressional hawks who are now essentially calling for full-blown war against Iran and its proxies … “The only answer to these attacks must be a devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East. Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward unworthy of being commander-in-chief.'” —Republican Senator, Tom Cotton of Arkansas

“The Biden Administration can take out all the Iranian proxies they like, but it will not deter Iranian aggression. I am calling on the Biden Administration to strike targets of significance inside Iran, not only as reprisal for the killing of our forces, but as deterrence against future aggression… Hit Iran hard, hit them now.” —South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. “Target Tehran” —Republican Senator from Texas John Cornyn. And as also fully expected, the think tank “armchair warrior” crowd is all in favor of sending more young Americans to fight and to die in the Middle East, based purely on another ‘war of choice’ with unclear end goals…

Of course, the neocons have had their sites set on Tehran and hoped-for regime change there going all the way back to the 1990’s, as is evident from the writings of PNAC crowd (Project for the New American Century, which went on to largely staff GW Bush’s cabinet). Thankfully, Trump’s initial statement did not echo the hawkish neocon line of some among the more outspoken GOP Congressmen…

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What are the odds that Iran will retaliate by striking US officials in return?

Biden May Order Direct Strike on Iran Officials After Jordan Drone Attack (Sp.)

A deadly drone strike on a US base near the Jordanian-Syrian border could lead to a stronger response from Washington than it has so far since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, Bloomberg quoted unnamed sources as saying. There could be two options, the sources said: a possible covert US strike on Iran, or a situation in which the Biden administration would directly target Iranian officials, such as then-US President Donald Trump’s order to kill top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad in 2020. “Regardless of the outcome, the [potential] attack presents [President Joe] Biden with a decision that will be one of the most consequential of his presidency”, something that “could put the US into direct confrontation with the leadership in Tehran,” Bloomberg reported. This comes after Biden pledged that “we [the US] shall respond” to Monday’s drone attack on Tower 22, an American military outpost in northeastern Jordan, which killed three US soldiers and wounded 30 others.

“Have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing,” the US president added as Iranian militia group known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack.
However, Tehran officially stated that it had “no connection and nothing to do” with the attack, according to Iranian media quoting Tehran’s representative to the UN. Jordanian government officials have since denied that the dead and injured US troops were stationed in their country, insisting that the drone strike occurred on Syrian territory at the Al-Tanf base. The attack comes amid rising tensions in the Middle East, as Tel Aviv continues its war on the Gaza Strip in response to the Oct. 7 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas in southern Israel that killed at least 1,139 people, according to Israeli officials.

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“The US is so deeply mired in an unwinnable battle from the Levant to the Persian Gulf that only its adversaries in China, Russia, and Iran can bail it out.”

‘Swarming’ The US In West Asia, Until It Folds (Bhadrakumar)

Deterrence in defense is a military strategy where one power uses the threat of reprisal to preclude attack from an adversary, while maintaining at the same time the freedom of action and flexibility to respond to the full spectrum of challenges. In this realm, the Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, is an outstanding example. Hezbollah’s clarity of purpose in establishing and strictly maintaining ground rules that deter Israeli military aggression has set a high regional bar. Today, its West Asian allies have adopted similar strategies, which have multiplied in the context of the war in Gaza. While the Yemeni resistance movement Ansarallah is comparable to Hezbollah in certain respects, it is the audacious brand of defensive deterrence practiced by the Islamic Resistance of Iraq that is going to be highly consequential in the near term.

Last week, citing sources in the State Department and Pentagon, Foreign Policy magazine wrote that the White House is no longer interested in continuing the US military mission in Syria. The White House later denied this information, but the report is gaining ground. The Turkish daily Hurriyet wrote on Friday that while Ankara is taking a cautious approach to media reports, it does see “a general striving” by Washington to exit not only Syria but the entire region of West Asia, as it senses that it has been dragged into a quagmire by Israel and Iran from the Red Sea to Pakistan. Russia’s special presidential representative for the Syrian settlement, Alexander Lavrentiev, also told Tass on Friday that much depends on any “threat of physical impact” on American forces present in Syria. The swift US military exit from Afghanistan took place with virtually no advance notice, in coordination with the Taliban.

“In all likelihood, the same may happen in Iraq and Syria,” Lavrentiev said. Indeed, the Islamic Resistance of Iraq has stepped up its attacks on US military bases and targets. In a ballistic missile attack on Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq a week ago, an unknown number of American troops sustained injuries, and the White House announced its first troop deaths on Sunday when three US servicemen were killed on the Syrian-Jordanian border in strikes earlier that day. This situation is untenable for President Joe Biden politically — in his re-election bid next November — which explains the urgency of the National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday and Saturday in Thailand to discuss the Ansarallah attacks in the Red Sea.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby explained Washington’s rush for Chinese mediation thus: “China has influence over Tehran; they have influence in Iran. And they have the ability to have conversations with Iranian leaders that — that we can’t. What we’ve said repeatedly is: We would welcome a constructive role by China, using the influence and the access that we know they have…” This is a dramatic turn of events. While the US has long been concerned about China’s growing sway in West Asia, it also needs that influence now as Washington’s efforts to reduce violence are getting nowhere. The US narrative on this will be that the “strategic, thoughtful conversation” between Sullivan and Wang will not only be “an important way to manage competition and tensions [between the US and China] responsibly” but also “set the direction of the relationship” on the whole.

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“Not only is Gaza NOT giving Israelis a sense of victory; on the contrary, it is widely proliferating a violent anger at a surprise, ‘shameful’ defeat..”

“The Zionist solution is not a solution. We are arriving at a situation in which the Jewish people who live in Zion live in a condition of total insecurity..”

The Tragic Self-Destruction of an Enraged Israel (Alastair Crooke)

Israel is boxed-in, as is becoming very evident to many Israelis. One Israeli correspondent (formerly a Cabinet Secretary) illustrates its nature: “The meaning of the 7th October default is not only the loss of lives … but mainly the potential transformation of how Israel is perceived … as no longer to be feared by Middle Eastern actors”. “The Israeli leadership must internalize that we can no longer be content with a ‘sense of victory’ among the Israeli public … It is doubtful whether victory in Gaza is enough to restore the fear of Israel to the levels we had vis-a-vis our enemies. A victory that boils down to just the release of the captives and confidence-building measures to establish a Palestinian state would not be enough in shoring up Israel’s image in that regard”.

“If the quagmire of Gaza … brings the [Israeli] leadership to the realization that there is no ability to present a clear victory on this front, one that will lead to a strategic change in the region, they must consider switching fronts and reasserting Israeli deterrence through the removal of the strategic threat in Lebanon … victory against one of the richest and most powerful terrorist organizations in the world – Hezbollah – can restore deterrence in the region in general … Israel must remove the threat from the north and dismantle the power structure Hezbollah has built in Lebanon, regardless of the situation in the south”. “But without victory in the south, a significant achievement in the north becomes that much more important”.


Gaza death tolls

The above quotation goes directly to the heart of the issue. That is: ‘How can Zionism be saved?’. All the rest of the ‘blah-blah’ coming from world leaders is largely bluff. Not only is Gaza NOT giving Israelis a sense of victory; on the contrary, it is widely proliferating a violent anger at a surprise, ‘shameful’ defeat. Some in the war cabinet (i.e., Eisenkot) suggest that Israel look truth in the eye: It should capitulate to Hamas; give a ceasefire a chance; release incarcerated Palestinians, and save the hostages held in Gaza: “I think it is necessary to say boldly that it is impossible to bring the hostages back alive in the near future without a [ceasefire] deal, and anyone who is feeding lies to the public is feeding lies”.

But this is not the predominant sentiment amongst Israelis: The latest Peace Index survey reflects the pervasive gloom: 94% percent of Jews think Israel has used the right amount of firepower in Gaza (or “not enough” (43%)). Three-quarters of all Israelis think the number of Palestinians harmed since October is justified to achieve its aims; a full two-thirds of Jewish respondents say numbers of casualties are definitely justified (only 21% say “somewhat” justified). The true price Israel will be paying, however, is not merely the release of Palestinian prisoners (though that, in itself, would create a popular uproar); but rather, it is fear that acquiescence to Hamas demands would spell the end to the Israel-security paradigm: This paradigm consists of a quasi-religious ‘contract’ that Jews shall enjoy security every, and anywhere, in the land of Israel – brought about by the elaborate matrix of radical insecurity of space and rights imposed on non-Jews (i.e. Palestinians), versus the full force of protection and sovereignty for Jews. This forms the universal paradigm underwriting Jewish security.

Until 7 October, that is. The events of that day demonstrated that Jewish Israelis are no longer secure inside Israel – and that the Zionist framework, in respect to security, must be re-thought – or perforce abandoned. This realisation has given rise to a psychological mass formation of insecurity. As Emeritus Professor of History at the Hebrew University, Moshe Zimmermann, notes: “The Zionist solution is not a solution. We are arriving at a situation in which the Jewish people who live in Zion live in a condition of total insecurity … we need to take into account that Israel is causing a reduction in the security of Diaspora Jewry, instead of the opposite. So this Zionist solution is very deficient, and we need to examine what caused this deficiency.”

CNN

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“Talking about “security”, “cooperation”, “energy”, “nature” and “climate” without involving Russia can only be a bad joke.”

Davos a Living Fossil of an Empire at War With Itself and the World (Dionísio)

The World Economic Forum gives us the exceptional privilege of a study that only living fossils can give. Representative of an era that we can assume is in the process of being overcome, if not materially, at least in terms of the trend observed, in Davos we find everything that is paramount of neoliberal and Western supremacist ideology, its potential, its limitations and the very causes of its destruction. Like a living fossil, in every word, every expression, theme or conclusion, we find the fundamental reasons why the species did not and could not win. Davos tells us, above all, about a problem of adapting to the real world. At every moment, the World Economic Forum revealed the full extent of resentment, bitterness and disillusionment towards a world that has revealed, and insists on revealing, ever more stubbornly, that it does not accept the premises that would make neoliberalism a lasting and universal hegemonic system.

In this sense, the Davos Forum is a moral lesson. A moral lesson from the West to the global majority, in a kind of recriminatory cry, for the latter in not accepting the solutions that it had so “wisely and rationally” to convey; but also, a moral lesson from the global majority to the West, which took advantage of every opportunity, in every scarce moment of attention given, to convey the reasons why the proposed contract would never be acceptable. The themes chosen reveal, above all, the great concerns and disappointments of the West, as well as what it considers to be the building blocks of an attempt to return to a lost paradigm. A paradigm that, today, the West feels is slipping through its fingers. The first theme is emblematic and says a lot about the level of disillusionment: “Achieving Security and Cooperation in a Fractured World”. If, on the one hand, it reveals that the West feels insecure, by choosing “security” as one of the starting points of its analysis, on the other hand, it also reveals the difficulties the West is facing in imposing its model of “cooperation”, which is increasingly reluctantly accepted by the countries of the global majority.

The result and the cause were well reflected in the topic itself, when he classified the current geopolitical state as a “fragmented world”. In this “fragmented world” we find the alpha and omega of the hegemonic discourse. The increasingly explicit refusal of the global majority to accept the dictates of the “indispensable nation”, “the leading nation”, results, in their eyes, in fragmentation, a power vacuum. The sign is clear: the U.S. is still struggling to find its place in the world, and this difficulty constitutes an immense danger. A nervous U.S., with an identity crisis and in a state of denial, is a danger to itself, but it is also a danger to others, especially considering all the destructive potential at its disposal. By choosing “security”, we can almost say that, deep down, and without ever admitting it, the U.S. knows where the problem really comes from.

The conditions of “security” defined by the U.S. are also omnipresent at Davos, as an “absent spectator”. A safe world is a world without Russia, the country removed, authoritatively and discretionarily, from the event. It says a lot about a so-called “world” event that removes the largest nuclear power and one of the two largest military powers on the planet. It’s also the largest country in the world in terms of territory, with the greatest diversity/number of natural resources, a strategic partner for important countries that represent more than half of the world’s population, such as China, India and Iran; a technological leader in the space, aerospace, nuclear, naval and military fields; and one of the largest producers of food and cereals in the world. Talking about “security”, “cooperation”, “energy”, “nature” and “climate” without involving Russia can only be a bad joke.

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“For Democrats, protecting their party’s corporatist status quo matters more than Trump’s purported threat to democracy..”

Official Lies Aren’t What They Used to Be (Rall)

The government’s services keep getting worse. Even their lies. The Bushies told us we had to invade Afghanistan to catch Osama bin Laden and then to go into Iraq because Saddam had WMDs. As the Pentagon knew, bin Laden was already in Pakistan; as Hans Blix and Scott Ritter told us, there was no evidence Saddam had proscribed weapons. Sure, they were lies. But they were plausible lies. Theoretically, UBL might have snuck into Afghanistan. Saddam might have acquired WMDs. Those things could have been true. Now they’re giving us implausible lies. Not only are their lies, well, lies—they say things that are untrue and can’t possibly be true and that no one, no matter how stupid or uninformed, could believe. Democrats go on and on about how nothing is more important than defeating Trump. Democracy itself hangs in the balance! After Trump redux, the re-deluge.

But they don’t really believe that. If liberals really actually thought that Trump was going to suspend the constitution and send his enemies—them—to camps, their sense of survival would have prompted them to select the most charismatic, brilliant, popular, vigorous, 2024 Democratic presidential nominee possible. Instead, they gave us Biden. You can’t think Trump is dangerous and go with Biden-Harris. For Democrats, protecting their party’s corporatist status quo matters more than Trump’s purported threat to democracy. That’s the truth. We all know. Republicans won’t shut up about out-of-control deficit spending and the $34 trillion national debt which, according to them, will tank the economy because, like a family that has to live within its means except for credit cards and student loans and car loans and home mortgages, the government can’t keep spending cash it doesn’t have even though it owns the U.S. Mint and has gotten away with it for, like, a century.

We know that the fake deficit hawks don’t actually believe what they are saying in real time, as they’re saying it, because while they’re threatening to shut down the government every few months, they keep throwing even more billions of dollars at the Defense Department than the DOD even asks for, so much that the military sucks up more than everything else the government does combined, and that’s not including the wars they put “off the books” and the proxy wars and the wars they charge to the State Department, not to mention debt service on old wars. Everywhere we look, politicians are deploying lies whose obviousness is evident out of the gate. Elites will never be believed, they know it, and they don’t care.

Israel’s war cabinet tells its traumatized citizens that October 7th came as a surprise at the same time countless specific warnings and the IDF’s eight-hour response time (!) prove that cannot possibly have been the case. As people shout “bring them home,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he’s trying to do just that. But that’s a lie and it has to be a lie because you don’t bomb a place where hostages you care about are being held lest you kill them and anger their captors. Families of the doomed hostages cannot believe him and do not believe him yet they do not demand that the bombs stop falling or that those who drop them be removed from power.

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I think it was 2% of Hungary GDP that depends on the EU (or was it 7%?). Either way, Hungary comes prepared.

Hungary Responds To Reported EU Threat To Destroy Its Economy (RT)

Hungary’s minister for European affairs, Janos Boka, has said that Budapest will not give in to “blackmail” by Brussels, following a report that claimed the EU would seek to sabotage the country’s economy if it does not unblock an aid package for Ukraine. Ahead of a summit of EU leaders on Thursday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pledged to oppose the use of the bloc’s collective budget to funnel €50 billion ($54 billion) in aid to Ukraine. Should Orban not lift the veto, Brussels could seek to sabotage Hungary’s economy by pulling funding to the EU member state, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing confidential plans drawn up by European leaders seen by the newspaper. The strategy, the FT noted, could impact Hungary’s currency and incite a downturn in investment, which would affect “jobs and growth.”

Boka has insisted however that Hungary will not be dictated to by European bureaucrats. “Hungary does not allow blackmail,” he wrote on social media late on Sunday. “The agreement confirms what the Hungarian government has been saying for a long time: Brussels is using access to EU resources as a means of political pressure.” He added: “Hungary makes no link between supporting Ukraine and access to EU resources and refuses to let others do so. Hungary so far will continue to participate constructively in the negotiations, but it does not allow blackmail.” The document, which the FT said was produced by an official in the Council of the EU, highlights what it says are Hungary’s economic vulnerabilities. These include “very high public deficit,” “very high inflation,” a weak currency, and problems with debt repayment.

It added that Hungarian economic growth heavily depends on overseas investment, which, in turn, is driven by “high levels of EU funding.” A spokesperson for the Council of the EU told the FT that it has a policy of not commenting on leaks. Orban insisted last month that the EU must meet certain conditions before Budapest would lift its veto, including making the package modest in size and scheduling it over one year rather than the proposed four. Hungary must also be exempted from any new joint EU borrowing over the matter, the PM added. Another tactic reportedly being considered within the EU bloc is to invoke Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union, which would allow Brussels to strip Budapest of its voting rights. However, this would require unanimity among the other 26 member states – a step many European countries appear unwilling to take.

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Awaiting confirmation: “Zelenskyy has removed Zaluzhny and installed Budanov. Ukrainian Warfare shifts from battlefield offensives to terrorist attacks. The CIA plan for Budanov: Attack the most profitable industries in Russia. Oil and Gas production, pipelines, refineries, etc. + false flags.”

‘Desperation’ of Ukrainian Leadership Hard To Ignore – WaPo (RT)

The leadership in Ukraine is losing hope of success in the conflict with Russia amid waning Western support and a lack of battlefield achievements, the Washington Post has said. Kiev continues to demand more weapons and aid from the US and its allies, although officials in Washington “anticipate a lean year ahead, where Ukraine’s increasingly exhausted forces focus more on consolidating their defense than chipping away at Russia’s land-grabs,” the newspaper reported on Monday. “It’s hard to ignore the sense of desperation in Ukraine’s corridors of power” after almost two years of military conflict with Moscow, foreign affairs columnist Ishaan Tharoor stressed. Ukraine’s attempted counteroffensive last year “failed to make strategic headway against Russia’s deep defensive lines,” Tharoor acknowledged. Fresh reports from the front line have warned that stocks of ammunition and artillery shells are running low for Kiev’s troops, he added.

At the same time, Moscow “stood its ground, withstood international sanctions and is preparing for fresh offensives,” while also regularly carrying out large-scale missile barrages against Ukrainian targets, he added. According to the article, the tour of Washington and other Western capitals by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in late 2023 was an attempt to counter “international fatigue with the conflict and paralysis in US Congress over new supplemental funding for Kiev.” The administration of US President Joe Biden is still unable to find common ground with Republican lawmakers, who are demanding tougher measures on the border with Mexico in exchange for agreeing another $60 billion in assistance for Kiev. As a result, Pentagon officials arrived “empty-handed” at the NATO-Ukraine Council meeting in Brussels last week, Tharoor said.

“The West may have already squandered its best chance to enable Ukraine to fully liberate its territory,” he added. The fate of the conflict between Russia in Ukraine could soon be sealed by “the shortfalls on Ukraine’s front lines and divisions in Washington,” the article claimed. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that Zelensky is “desperately” seeking to return to a situation when Kiev enjoyed “unlimited” funding and weapons supplies from the West. However, this will “never happen again” because the US and its allies are running out of arms and ammunition to send, he stressed. Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that “the goals of [Moscow’s] military operation [in the Ukraine conflict] are going to be achieved consistently and persistently.”

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“..proposals to amend the country’s mobilization laws to lower the draft age, to recruit more women and to penalize draft-dodgers by cutting off their bank accounts.”

Zelensky Claims Huge Increase In Size Of Kiev’s Forces (RT)

There are currently 880,000 people serving in Ukraine’s armed forces, according to President Vladimir Zelensky, who insisted that Kiev wants to mobilize even more troops, primarily males who left the country after the start of the conflict with Russia. Just last month, Zelensky claimed that Kiev’s ground forces numbered over 600,000 service personnel, while in February 2022, when Russia launched its offensive, the Ukrainian army officially had only about 260,000 servicemen. In an interview with the German news channel ARD news broadcast on Monday, the Ukrainian leader stated that Kiev now has “a million-strong army,” adding that there are also over 30 million people who are working in the country right now, one million of whom are employed in the defense and security sectors. At the same time, Zelensky noted that between 6.5 million and 7.5 million people had left Ukraine since the start of the conflict and stated that Kiev would like to repatriate citizens who are eligible for military service.

His comments come as Kiev continues to experience dire personnel shortages on the battlefield, as has been reported by a number of top Ukrainian military officers and commanders, including the head of the country’s armed forces, General Valery Zaluzhny. While Kiev doesn’t publish its casualty figures, Russia’s Defense Ministry has estimated that Ukraine’s forces have lost as many as 160,000 service personnel since the launch of their failed summer counteroffensive, and that, over the course of the conflict, nearly 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded. Meanwhile, multiple media reports have also suggested that the quality of Kiev’s soldiers has also diminished. Earlier this month, the commander of Kiev’s 5th Assault Brigade, Aleksey Tarasenko, told Espresso TV that the average age of soldiers in the Ukrainian army is now over 40 years and that “young men” were desperately needed.

The US outlet Daily Beast also reported last week, citing interviews with Ukrainian men who have been avoiding mobilization, that Kiev was now sending untrained conscripts to the frontline shortly after drafting them from the streets, with many of them failing to last even a few days on the battlefield. In light of these personnel shortages, late last year Kiev intensified its mobilization efforts, with Zelensky stating at the time that the military was looking to call up an additional 500,000 new recruits. One Ukrainian official even proposed mobilizing the country’s entire population. Ukrainian lawmakers, in turn, have been debating proposals to amend the country’s mobilization laws to lower the draft age, to recruit more women and to penalize draft-dodgers by cutting off their bank accounts.

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“Before the case was heard by a jury, Judge Kaplan had already ruled that he believed President Trump defamed Ms. Carroll..”

Trump Lawyer Says ‘Experts Were Denied’ by New York Judge (ET)

An attorney for Donald Trump has claimed that her experts were denied the chance to testify before a New York jury that ultimately ruled in favor of a writer who accused the former president of defamation. Attorney Alina Habba told reporters on Jan. 26 that presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan allegedly made sure that “every single defense that President Trump had” was not raised in the case. She said her team’s “experts were denied” and couldn’t take the stand. Her comments came just hours after a jury ruled that President Trump should pay $83.8 million to writer E. Jean Carroll, finding that he defamed her in 2019 when he denied accusations that he assaulted her decades earlier. It was the second time Ms. Carroll was awarded damages from the former president after making those accusations, which he denies to this day. Ms. Habba accused Ms. Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, of bringing in a witness who was “paid for by” her firm.

“That is a violation of everything I stand for, and that is why I stand with Trump, and that is why so many Americans are so proud that he is running again and so excited to run to the ballot box but don’t get it twisted, we are seeing a violation of our justice system,” she said. During the trial, the judge threatened to jail Ms. Habba and kick President Trump out of the courtroom for what he described as “disruptive behavior.” The former president has asserted that Judge Kaplan, a Clinton appointee, is a partisan actor and biased against him. Before the case was heard by a jury, Judge Kaplan had already ruled that he believed President Trump defamed Ms. Carroll. The jury was considering the damages that should be paid. After the jury rendered the decision, Ms. Habba said she was “so proud to stand with President Trump.” “But I am not proud to stand with what I saw in that courtroom,” she told reporters.

“I have sat on trial after trial for months in this state, the state of New York, Attorney General Letitia James and now this. Weeks, weeks. Why? Because President Trump is leading in the polls, and now we see what you get in New York.” The jury of seven men and two women, whose members were kept anonymous, awarded Ms. Carroll $18.3 million in compensatory damages, including $11 million for harm to her reputation. She also was awarded $65 million in punitive damages, which she said was needed to stop President Trump from continuing to defame her. But President Trump has long said that he had never heard of Ms. Carroll and that she made up her story to boost sales of her memoir. His lawyers argued in the trial that she was hungry for fame and enjoyed the attention of supporters for speaking out against her nemesis, which she has denied. Ms. Carroll’s lawyer said during her closing argument that President Trump acted toward her client as though he were not bound by the law and that he should pay “dearly.”

On Jan. 25, the former president testified but spent only four minutes on the witness stand because the judge forbade him from revisiting issues that the first trial had settled. He stood behind his October 2022 deposition testimony, which jurors had seen, in which he called Ms. Carroll’s claims a “hoax” and said she was “mentally sick.” Ms. Habba predicted that the Trump appeal would succeed. “President Trump is leading in the polls, and now we see what you get in New York,” she told reporters. “It will not deter us; we will keep fighting, and I assure you we didn’t win today, but we will win.” On social media, the former president said that he “will be appealing this whole Biden-directed witch hunt focused on me and the Republican Party,” referring to the Jan. 26 decision. “Our legal system is out of control and being used as a political weapon,” he said. The New York Times reported that the former president does not have to pay Ms. Carroll the $83 million penalty until he is finished with all of his appeal options available. It also noted that he could attempt to obtain a bond, which would save him from having to pay the full amount to the writer.

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“The Georgia Senate has the right and responsibility to investigate misuse of taxpayer resources by public officials..”

GA Lieutenant Governor Announces New Committee Investigating Fani Willis (DC)

Republican Georgia Lt. Governor Burt Jones will announce members of a new investigatory committee Monday that will have subpoena power and are looking into Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the Daily Caller has first learned. The committee will be bipartisan, with six Republicans and three Democrats, and will look into Willis’ relationship with her alleged lover Nathan Wade, and the alleged misuse of taxpayer funds. Willis has faced continued scrutiny over whether her indictment against Trump was politically motivated. [..] “The Georgia Senate has the right and responsibility to investigate misuse of taxpayer resources by public officials. I have full faith in the members of this investigative committee, chosen this morning by the Committee on Assignments, and their efforts to pursue the truth wherever it may lead,” Jones told the Caller before announcing the committee.

“With this announcement, we are one step closer to uncovering the truth behind Fani Willis, her relationship with Mr. Wade, and the misuse of taxpayer funds,” Jones added. Jones announced the following state Senators will be serving on the new investigatory committee: Senator Bill Cowsert (District 46), who will serve as chair; Senator Greg Dolezal (District 28), who will serve as vice chair; Senator Jason Esteves (District 6); Senator John Kennedy (District 18); Senator Blake Tillery (District 19); Senator Harold Jones (District 22); Senator Bo Hatchett (District 50); Senator Steve Gooch (District 51); and Senator Gloria Butler (District 55).

“I am honored to be chosen to chair this important committee investigating potential misuse of taxpayer dollars for personal gain and unethical behavior by public officials and paid prosecutors. There has been a dramatic decrease in public confidence in the fairness and the impartiality of our criminal justice system. If true, recent allegations related to Fani Willis and Mr. Wade are deeply disturbing,” Cowsert who is the chairman of the committee, told the Caller. “We will independently investigate those claims in a bi-partisan fashion and in pursuit of the truth. Our charge is not to interfere with ongoing criminal proceeding, to prosecute misconduct or to disqualify any individual prosecutor. Rather, we seek to restore public confidence in our criminal justice system,” he added.

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Carlson and Peterson.

The Foundational Principle: Stop Pretending, Speak Truth (CTH)

They don’t say it the same way as me, because they are far more articulate and eloquent, but boy howdy have Carlson and Peterson come to the same conclusion. Four years ago, you heard me say it loud, “Stop Pretending and Live Your Best Life.” The first time I realized this was the best and truest hope for our restoration was after holding years of empirical, undeniable research in my hands and finding nothing but willfully blind, isolated and siloed deaf ears in DC. What Tucker Carlson describes below is the disconnect between the people and those who hold power. In this joint discussion about the future and possibility within this year 2024, both Jordan Peterson and Tucker Carlson take the first part of that framework, “stop pretending”, and turn the phrase into “speak truth.” Yes, yes, yes, THIS. When I have been asked for the past several years about what needs to be done, what can we do, my answer to every voice, influential and comfortably invisible alike, has been ‘STOP PRETENDING’ – just stop pretending. WATCH:

Stop pretending the gaslighting narrative is real. Just stop pretending. Stop ignoring the lies, and start confronting the liars directly. Look at the other voice, regardless of who they are, stare boldly directly into their eyes and speak the truth of the thing. Just stop pretending. If we all stop pretending, the narrative engineers will find no one to purchase their bulls**t anymore. At the same time, speak the truest thing as loudly as you can to confront those who use pretense as a shield to retain comfort and influence. EXAMPLE: Mary McCord sits at the epicenter of every single Lawfare machination deployed against President Trump. This is a demonstrably true and factual reality. Yet, how many allied voices do we see publicly making her known and as a consequence uncomfortable? No one. Why? Why isn’t every person of influence talking about the true thing? Why hide behind “they” and “them” or some bland, undefined, esoteric blame-casting toward an irrelevant institution. We may not know the name of every person, but we know the name of the one single thread that unites all of the effort, Mary McCord. Why is it so hard for allies to factually identify her and the corrupt behavior she is engaged in?

I no longer stare at the absence with a side eye of suspicion, I now glare knowingly and angrily at the face behind the willful omission. “You know, and I know you know,” is what that stare represents. None of those popular and influential allies on our side can ever answer the question about their silence. None of them can. Why? The second aspect, “living your best life”, is a natural outcome of living the truth of the thing without apology. Fearless adherence to the undeniable truth, and a ferocious rejection of the demanded obtuse labeling like, “disinformation, misinformation or malinformation.” Horsepucky on that nonsense, there’s true and not true; that’s it. Full effen’ stop. Living your best life is living in the truest place physically, emotionally and spiritually. A faithful adherence to the purest truth, the gospel of faith. Fellowship strengthens this critical bonding and reminds us we are not alone.

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David Martin

 

 

Whale

 

 

Koala
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751994861853835644

 

 

Unit

 

 

Cat

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 112024
 
 January 11, 2024  Posted by at 9:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Salvador Dalí Figure at a window 1925

 

BRICS Member South Africa Takes Zionism To Court (Pepe Escobar)
The War Within Israel’s War Cabinet (Cradle)
Ukraine Conflict Drove Up Ammo Prices Tenfold – Sweden (RT)
Lavrov Knew of ‘Secret’ Ukraine Meeting Weeks Before Bloomberg Report (Sp.)
Ukrainians Will Benefit From Zelensky’s Fall – Medvedchuk (RT)
West Got Ukraine ‘Painfully Wrong’ – Slovak PM Robert Fico (RT)
Ukrainians In UK Told To Register For Military Service (RT)
US Government Debt Biggest Threat To Global Economy – Russian NGO (RT)
China Has Become More Aggressive – UK Foreign Secretary (RT)
Germany’s ‘Krisenmodus’ Has No End in Sight (Conor Gallagher)
German Government Is Ripping Off The Farmers Who Feed The Country (Marsden)
UK Parliament Cold, Damp, and Infested With Mice – Politico (RT)
Hunter Biden Defends Including Father On Business Calls (Fox)
Can Big Pharma Be Held Accountable? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Trump Says Georgia Case ‘Totally Compromised’ (ET)

 

 

Fani Willis and her beau were there, but so was Letitia James. It was all coordinated.

 

 

Trump

 

 

Before: Russia exported cheap energy to European industries & imported European industrial goods. Now: Russia exports cheap energy to Asia & imports Asian industrial goods.

 

 

Hunter

 

 

 

 

Rogan study

 

 

LGBTs

 

 

 

 

Poland

 

 

 

 

“Both Pretoria and Tel Aviv are members of the ICJ – so the rulings are binding..”

But are they enforcable?

BRICS Member South Africa Takes Zionism To Court (Pepe Escobar)

Nothing less than the full concept of international law will be on trial this week in The Hague. The whole world is watching. It took an African nation, not an Arab or Muslim nation, but significantly a BRICS member, to try to break the iron chains deployed by Zionism via fear, financial might, and non-stop threats, enslaving not only Palestine but substantial swathes of the planet. By a twist of historical poetic justice, South Africa, a nation that knows one or two things about apartheid, had to take the moral high ground and be the first to file a suit against apartheid Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The 84-page lawsuit, exhaustively argued, fully documented, and filed on 29 December 2023, details all the ongoing horrors perpetrated in the occupied Gaza Strip and followed by everyone with a smartphone around the planet.

South Africa asks the ICJ – a UN mechanism – something quite straightforward: Declare that the state of Israel has breached all its responsibilities under international law since 7 October. And that, crucially, includes a violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, according to which genocide consists of “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”South Africa is supported by Jordan, Bolivia, Turkiye, Malaysia, and significantly the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which combines the lands of Islam, and constitutes 57 member states, 48 of these harboring a Muslim majority. It’s as if these nations were representing the overwhelming majority of the Global South. Whatever happens at The Hague could go way beyond a possible condemnation of Israeli for genocide. Both Pretoria and Tel Aviv are members of the ICJ – so the rulings are binding.

The ICJ, in theory, carries more weight than the UN Security Council, where the US vetoes any hard facts that tarnish Israel’s carefully constructed self-image. The only problem is that the ICJ does not have enforcement power. What South Africa, in practical terms, is aiming to achieve is to have the ICJ impose on Israel an order to stop the invasion – and the genocide – right away. That should be the first priority. Reading the full South African application is a horrifying exercise. This is literally history in the making, right in front of us living in the young, tech-addicted, 21st century, and not a science fiction account of a genocide taking place in some distant universe.

Pretoria’s application carries the merit of drawing The Big Picture, “in the broader context of Israel’s conduct towards Palestinians during its 75-year-long apartheid, its 56-year-long belligerent occupation of Palestinian territory, and its 16-year-long blockade of Gaza.” Cause, effect, and intent are clearly delineated, transcending the horrors that have been perpetrated since the Palestinian resistance’s Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October, 2023. Then there are “acts and omissions by Israel which are capable of amounting to other violations of international law.” South Africa lists them as “genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent (dolus specialis) to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group.”

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“..originally intended to be about post-war plans — a topic the prime minister appears reluctant to tackle given the potential risks to his political and personal future..”

The War Within Israel’s War Cabinet (Cradle)

Three months into Israel’s longest and costliest unconventional war, the country’s armed forces have emerged as a significant indirect source of pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s extremist government. This development comes at a crucial juncture, both politically and in terms of security, for Tel Aviv. Amid ongoing internal differences over post-Gaza war strategies and proposed resolutions for Hamas’s prisoner exchange demands, the negative shift in international and regional public opinion over Israel’s 13-week Gaza assault has generated further stressors. At the same time, the escalating situation on the northern front with Hezbollah has compelled the Israeli army to establish a committee to investigate the political, security, and military shortcomings that led to the 7 October Al-Aqsa flood operation.

This decision by the Israeli army has triggered a political uproar, particularly from a faction uncertain about how to deal with intensifying Palestinian resistance activities brought on by the formation of Netanyahu’s coalition government – which is marked by extremism and controversial decisions, even by Israeli standards. During a recent cabinet meeting, far-right and nationalist Zionist ministers slammed army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi’s decision to probe intelligence and operational failures leading up to the 7 October resistance operation, claiming that forming an inquiry commission during the ongoing Gaza war damages army and soldier morale. Some cabinet members rallied to scuttle the selection of former Minister of Defence Shaul Mofaz as head of the inquiry commission, largely because of his role in Israel’s unilateral Gaza disengagement plan in 2005.

The timing of the investigative committee’s formation is underscored by Defense Minister Yoav Galant and emergency cabinet member Benny Gantz’s vigorous defense of Halevi’s decision. They emphasize its importance in learning from past mistakes, addressing security gaps, and preparing for potential wider conflicts, particularly with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Less clear, however, is Netanyahu stance on the matter, despite the fact that he scheduled the session which was originally intended to be about post-war plans — a topic the prime minister appears reluctant to tackle given the potential risks to his political and personal future.

Netanyahu’s right-wing cabinet members view the inquiry as a tool to further undermine an already precarious government. They recognize that the findings of the commission could be especially damning for their governing coalition, which, since its formation, has implemented an agenda focused on the oppression of Palestinians living under occupation and the strangulation of their national aspirations. It is an agenda which security and military experts in Israel have consistently warned could heavily exacerbate the level of retaliatory violence against settlers and inflame the security situation, whether in the Gaza Strip or in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

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In other news, Sweden is telling its people to prepare for war with Russia.

Ukraine Conflict Drove Up Ammo Prices Tenfold – Sweden (RT)

The deficit of ammunition in Europe has led to inflated prices as Western nations scramble to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, the chief of staff of the Swedish Armed Forces has said. Speaking to Sveriges Radio national broadcaster on Tuesday, Michael Claesson said the conflict had led to a surge in demand in a very short period of time. He described the increase as “dramatic.” “I won’t give exact figures, but we are talking about an increase of between five to ten times compared to the time before the war started,” he said, noting that it impacted not only ammunition, but also other military materiel. According to Claesson, artillery shells for the Swedish-designed Archer 155mm self-propelled howitzer are now eight times more expensive than in 2021.

He told the broadcaster that the development had been caused by a significant rearmament campaign underway both in Sweden and other European countries. “All this creates an enormous demand and competition, essentially as if people were standing in a queue.” Commenting on weapons procurement in late December, Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson admitted that his country found itself in a “difficult situation” because it had not only to support Ukraine, but also take care of its own security. As of December, Stockholm has provided Kiev with $2.2 billion in military assistance. On Sunday, speaking online at the Society and Defense conference held in Sweden, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky urged his European partners to “create an arsenal for the defense of freedom” by stepping up joint arms production.

Russian officials have repeatedly said that the Western push to arm Ukraine will only prolong the conflict while becoming a burden on ordinary taxpayers. In October, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that “the potential of the collective West to produce munitions is limited,” saying that it would have to spend a lot of time mobilizing its resources, an effort he suggested could cause “certain points of friction.” Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba admitted last month that Kiev senses a growing “war fatigue” in the West, and acknowledged that the country’s much-hyped counteroffensive had failed to produce swift and decisive results. Moscow has described Kiev’s push as a complete fiasco, claiming that Ukraine lost some 160,000 troops over the six months of the offensive.

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Secret meeting to discuss Zelensky’s “peace plan”, “that Kiev be given control over its pre-2014 borders, while calling for the prosecution of the Russian leadership and reparations from Moscow..”

Lavrov Knew of ‘Secret’ Ukraine Meeting Weeks Before Bloomberg Report (Sp.)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spilled the beans on the much-touted “secret meeting” of Ukrainian, Western, and Global South countries’ national security advisors in Riyadh on December 16 weeks before Bloomberg’s report on the gathering, telling Rossiya Segodnya chief Dmitry Kiselev about it on December 28. “Considering our good relations [with Global South countries, ed.], I can say that another meeting like this took place 10 days ago – the G7 plus the leading developing nations. Not all countries from the world majority attended. Some turned down their invitations. The meeting took place in complete secrecy. Nothing was reported about it; there were no leaks,” Lavrov said at the time. “But you know about it,” Kisilev interjected.

“Yes, we do. Our close allies and associates who attended that meeting did not promise to keep an issue that concerns Russia secret from us. Another meeting is scheduled to take place in January 2024 and a ‘peace summit,’ where [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky’s ‘peace formula,’ is to be approved in February 2024,” Lavrov said. Commenting on Bloomberg’s report and the absurdity of organizing “peace talks” aimed at resolving the Ukraine crisis without inviting Moscow to the table, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Radio Sputnik on Wednesday that the “secret meeting” had less to do with ending the conflict, and more to do with pumping up Mr. Zelensky’s ego.

“This is a well-worn concept of attracting political attention specifically to the Zelensky regime. This is PR for the Zelensky regime. Speaking in terms used in political science, [the talks] were about maintaining a sense of constant activity in the information and political space, at the center of which is Zelensky,” Zakharova stressed. “This has nothing to do with resolving the Ukrainian crisis. These are two completely different topics.” In fact, the spokeswoman suggested, holding “peace talks” without Russia, and on maximalist terms which Russia would never accept only serves to weaken the possibility of peace actually being reached.

“Because resolving the situation in Ukraine is, of course, painstaking work. This is work on the political and diplomatic track. This is negotiations, contacts and so on. This is not about the fate of one person, 10 people or their commercial, financial and economic interests, but about the fate of peoples and nations. That’s if we’re talking about the situation in Ukraine and a real resolution [to the crisis]. The PR around Zelensky, his so-called peace initiatives, his endless statements, appearances at various places and platforms – all this hype is created precisely to maintain the illusion of some kind of political activity while diverting the world’s attention from real processes of a possible settlement,” Zakharova said.

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“..an “unfunny parody of a dictator..”

Ukrainians Will Benefit From Zelensky’s Fall – Medvedchuk (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky has antagonized all his allies, both domestic and foreign, and is doomed to be ousted this year, exiled Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk has said. But his failure will be good for the Ukrainian people, he added. Medvedchuk was the leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life party, which Zelensky’s government banned for allegedly being “pro-Russian.” He was arrested and forced out of Ukraine in a prisoner exchange with Moscow. The politician has since been promoting a project, which would make his home nation a neutral state, prioritizing national interests, as opposed to being a Russian enemy. In a column published on Wednesday, Medvedchuk blasted the incumbent Ukrainian president, branding him an “unfunny parody of a dictator,” whose weakness sends a signal to all “political predators to eat him.”

“Zelensky has antagonized everyone he could: big businessmen, whom he blacklisted as traitors and oligarch, professional Nazis, who see his cowardice, the military, who sees his incompetence, and last but not least the people, who see his indifference and cruelty,” he wrote. Ukraine is in a deep crisis that is bound to lead to a national disaster once Western funding for the proxy war against Russia is reduced, he claimed. And Ukrainian citizens need to realize that Zelensky’s downfall “does not necessarily mean a defeat of the Ukrainian people.” Instead, the opposite is true, according to Medvedchuk. It will be a victory for them, since the president “has long betrayed them and is selling them out for cannon fodder.”

The column predicted hard times for the US, which Medvedchuk believes has lost its direction, and the EU, which he expects to be sacrificed by Washington to support the American economy. For Ukraine, it means no EU membership, and its citizens should know that “Europeans will have to give their financial goodies to the American elites, not Ukrainian refugees.” Medvedchuk believes that Russia may serve as an alternative to “impoverishing Europe.” He expects that “the number of Ukrainians in Russia will increase in 2024, benefiting not just them, but everyone.” Russia has become a major destination for Ukrainian nationals, with officials estimating that as many as five million fled eastwards after the hostilities erupted in 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he considers Russians and Ukrainians brotherly peoples. He described as tragic the fact that Kiev’s divisive policies after the 2014 armed coup had led to bloodshed between these peoples.

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“..in two or three years we will still be where we are now,” Fico predicted. “The EU alone will be perhaps 50 billion euros lighter, and in Ukraine, cemeteries will be full with thousands more dead soldiers.”

West Got Ukraine ‘Painfully Wrong’ – Slovak PM Robert Fico (RT)

Funding and arming Ukraine is a “futile waste of human resources and money” that will serve only to fill Ukrainian cemeteries with “thousands of dead soldiers,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico wrote in an op-ed on Tuesday. Fico’s article was a rebuttal to his country’s president, who has urged him to send weapons to Kiev. Following his party’s electoral victory in September, Fico immediately cut off Slovakia’s military aid to Ukraine and vowed to block Kiev’s accession to NATO. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, however, has called for Ukraine to be given “the means needed to defend itself,” while pro-Western pundits in Slovakia have accused Fico of cozying up to the Kremlin. “I will no longer be subject to stupid liberal and progressive demagoguery,” Fico wrote in Slovakia’s Pravda newspaper. “It is literally shocking to see how the West has repeatedly made mistakes in assessing the situation in Russia.”

Despite pumping Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and sanctioning Moscow’s economy, “Russia completely controls the occupied territories militarily, Ukraine is not capable of any meaningful military counter-offensive, [and] it has become completely dependent on financial aid from the West with unforeseeable consequences for Ukrainians in the years to come,” he explained. “The position of the Ukrainian president is shaken, while the Russian president increases and strengthens his political support,” Fico continued, pointing out that “neither the Russian economy nor the Russian currency collapsed, [and] anti-Russian sanctions have increased the internal self-sufficiency of this huge country.”

Should the West continue along the path desired by Caputova, “in two or three years we will still be where we are now,” Fico predicted. “The EU alone will be perhaps 50 billion euros lighter, and in Ukraine, cemeteries will be full with thousands more dead soldiers.” Fico’s Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) faction currently leads a three-party coalition government, while Caputova is the co-founder of the Progressive Slovakia party. Caputova’s role as president is largely ceremonial, and Fico claimed in his op-ed that she is “impatiently waiting” for the end of her term this year so that she can re-enter parliamentary politics.Fico has labeled Caputova an “American agent” on several occasions. After consulting the American Embassy in Bratislava last summer, Caputova sued Fico over the remarks, Slovakia’s SITA news agency reported.

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“..Ukrainians living abroad who have not registered for military service may end up being denied both consular and banking services under the new law..”

Ukrainians In UK Told To Register For Military Service (RT)

Ukrainians living abroad must register for military service, according to a recently adopted government decree, the consulate in the UK has said. In a statement released on Wednesday, it explained that the move is in response to numerous inquiries from Ukrainians residing in the country. According to the new rules, Ukrainian nationals must register for the military “in case of staying outside Ukraine for a period of more than three months,” the consulate stated. New arrivals must show up at Ukrainian diplomatic institutions within a week of entering Britain, it added. Currently, there are no penalties for avoiding military registration, the diplomatic body said, adding that rumors of consular services being denied to people who do not sign up are not true.

The situation, however, could change if these provisions are included in the new mobilization law, which is currently being considered by the Ukrainian parliament, it warned. Previously, Batkivshchyna party MP Vadim Ivchenko, who sits on the parliamentary committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, warned that Ukrainians living abroad who have not registered for military service may end up being denied both consular and banking services under the new law. It remains unclear whether the provisions will be included in the new legislation, which is expected to be voted on in the first reading on Thursday. The mobilization law was introduced in the Ukrainian parliament late last year. It proposes lowering the draft age from 27 to 25, eliminating exemptions for some categories of disabled people, and other measures to bolster the ranks of the military.

Shortly before the mobilization bill was put forward, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said the military had asked him to round up another 450,000 to 500,000 soldiers. This claim has been disputed by Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, who insisted the military had not come up with exact figures, but wanted the government to ensure a steady flow of recruits to meet its combat needs and make up for losses. Kiev has never officially disclosed the country’s casualties amid the conflict with Russia, yet the tally is widely believed to be in the hundreds of thousands. According to the latest estimates by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu provided on Tuesday, Ukraine lost more than 215,000 troops and 28,000 pieces of military hardware last year alone. Last month, the minister said that Kiev lost more than 383,000 service members, killed or wounded, since the beginning of the hostilities, with more than half of the casualties sustained during its summer counteroffensive, which was launched early last June.

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“The excessive debt was accumulated at low rates but needs to be refinanced at high rates that limit economic activity and reduce cash flow..”

US Government Debt Biggest Threat To Global Economy – Russian NGO (RT)

US government debt and Washington’s budget deficit present the biggest threats to the global economy this year, Russian government agency Roscongress has warned. Washington’s $34 trillion burden is mathematically impossible to pay off, Roscongress has claimed in a report it published on Wednesday. The agency based its estimate on the current ratio between the size of the debt, the rate at which it is growing, and budget revenues. “The excessive debt was accumulated at low rates but needs to be refinanced at high rates that limit economic activity and reduce cash flow. In the medium term, the servicing of US debt will cost $1 trillion a year,” reads the report, titled ‘Key Events – 2024. Geoeconomics. Forecasts. Major risks’.

The US government cannot solve the problem by restarting the printing press this year because that would lead to higher inflation, the report added. The country saw consumer prices shoot up to the highest levels in decades in 2022, prompting the Federal Reserve to embark on a series of rate hikes to tame inflation. US government federal debt toped $34 trillion for the first time in history at the end of December. It now amounts to about $102,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country. US total public debt is roughly equivalent to the economies of China, Germany, Japan, India, and the UK combined, as pointed out by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a nonpartisan fiscal policy group in New York.

Among other threats to the global economy, Roscongress identified the global real estate bubble, mentioning the high-profile bankruptcies of Chinese property developers Country Garden and Evergrande; the volatility of the US stock market; and demographic issues, namely the shrinking of China’s population. The Roscongress Foundation was established in 2007 and is a key organizer of nationwide and international congresses and exhibitions with an economic and social focus. Among the events it hosted recently is the Russia-Africa forum in St. Petersburg in July, a high-profile international gathering attended by dozens of delegations from African nations.

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As I said the other day, Cameron was hired as war secretary, not Foreign Secretary.

China Has Become More Aggressive – UK Foreign Secretary (RT)

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has claimed that China has become more “aggressive and assertive” in the years since he headed the UK government and tried to build warm relations with Beijing. Speaking in front of the UK Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Cameron, who was prime minister from 2010 to 2016, said that while there had been a lot of incentives for the UK to develop business relations with China in the previous decade, “a lot has changed” since then. The diplomat pointed to China’s alleged repression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, which Beijing denies, as well as its policies in Hong Kong and its “wolf warrior diplomacy” as some of the primary examples of the country’s aggressive and assertive attitude.

Nevertheless, Cameron insisted that it was still crucial to engage with Beijing on various policy issues because China represented “a fifth of humanity.” “We’re not going to solve climate change without talking with the Chinese. We’re not going to work out the rules of the road on AI without at least engaging with the Chinese,” Cameron said, noting that he believes this is the foreign policy the UK should pursue. Meanwhile, China reported on Monday that it had detained the head of an overseas consulting firm for allegedly gathering sensitive data on the Asian nation on behalf of the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6.

Beijing’s Ministry of National Security accused the UK spy agency of hiring a man identified as Huang Moumou, who it claims was recruited by MI6 in 2015. He had allegedly been ordered to travel to China to collect state secrets and identify personnel to “incite rebellion.” The ministry added that London had provided Huang with intelligence training in the UK and other places, and with special spy equipment. The UK has so far declined to comment on the incident. In October, however, the British Security Service MI5 warned of the “epic scale” of Chinese espionage, claiming that more than 20,000 people in the UK had been approached by operatives who sought to acquire various secrets. China has consistently denied that it is engaged in spying against the US and UK.

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“..the fairytale that Germany’s crises are just a string of bad luck as opposed to the result of government policy..”

Germany’s ‘Krisenmodus’ Has No End in Sight (Conor Gallagher)

The Association for the German Language chose the term Krisenmodus as the ‘Word of the Year’ for 2023. I’m not sure they’ve ever awarded a back-to-back winner, but krisenmodus (crisis mode) looks to have a chance to repeat in 2024. The current government coalition has lost almost all trust from the public, yet they soldier on determined to make things worse for the vast majority of Germans. The Greens push for more war, the Free Democrats want more social spending cuts, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his Social Democratic Party (SPD) are in the middle adopting the worst from both sides and leading Germany to ruin. The chancellor’s decision making likely won’t get any better after a Christmastime bout with Covid-19 – if he sticks around much longer.

On the international front, Deutsche Welle declares that this year “Berlin must find ways to deal with two wars, an increasingly aggressive China, and a world order in transition.” Led by the ill-equipped and overconfident Green, Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign policy has been disastrous and has spilled over into the domestic arena. Severing itself from Russian energy drained government coffers; at the same time, in addition to the money and weapons already sent to Ukraine, Berlin wants to increase military spending and become more interventionist. After running up the tab in these areas, there are now calls for a renewed fiscal responsibility, which means social spending cuts at home. A botched energy transition led by the Greens, which has industry collapsing and higher prices for consumers, militarization, and austerity – has proved to be an awful combination for the average citizen. And the data is grim.

Inflation continues to be problematic, the economy is contracting as industry shrinks, exports to China are declining and there is constant pressure from Atlanticists to self-impose a further reduction, living standards are declining, political paralysis reigns on most matters except social cuts and more military spending, wealth inequality grows, and industry continues to leave the country. Farmer protests are also now taking place across the country in response to the government’s decision to phase out a tax break on agricultural diesel. Scholz paid homage to the krisenmodus in his New Year’s address (including erroneously blaming Putin for “turn[ing] off the tap on our gas supplies”), centered around the fairytale that Germany’s crises are just a string of bad luck as opposed to the result of government policy.

He concluded with the following: “If we realize this, if we treat each other with this respect, then we don’t need to be afraid of the future, then the year 2024 can be a good year for our country, even if some things turn out differently than we expected today, on the eve of this New Year.” Such vacuous rhetoric is a sign that Scholz knows the path the country is currently on is doomed and yet plans nothing to change it. If anyone was watching, it was another reminder why Scholz’s approval rating has sunk to a miserable 26 percent and he and/or his government could soon be headed for an early exit.

Tucker Vlaar

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“Team Scholz is making one of the most productive elements of German society pay a heavy price for its own relentless screwups..”

German Government Is Ripping Off The Farmers Who Feed The Country (Marsden)

Farmers and their tractors started gathering on Monday here in Berlin as well as in cities across all of Germany’s federal states, including Hamburg, Cologne, and Bremen. The culmination, a massive planned protest, is set for Monday, January 15. The aim? To get Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government to backtrack on its decision to eliminate tax breaks on the diesel fuel used for farming – a sector already struggling with high energy costs as a result of the government’s de facto policy to screw itself and its own citizens over “for Ukraine” by cutting off cheap fuel from Russia because Brussels ordered it to. And then deciding that it’s cool because gas isn’t “green” enough anyway. Who knew that the German economy couldn’t just run on wind and sun? Not this government, apparently.

Feeling the heat, Team Scholz has already said that it’ll now just slow roll the cuts to subsidies. Apparently he’s never tried removing a band-aid really slowly. The farmers responded with some slow rolling of their own – right down the Autobahn and up to the Brandenburg Gate. The other issue is a road tax exemption for agricultural vehicles that the government decided to reimpose. Well, at least the farmers are getting their money’s worth this week by taking their tractors out for a spin along roads they probably never would have bothered with, just to join up with the protests.

This whole mess is a result of Team Scholz’s own screwup. What else is new? Pretty standard operating procedure for the Western establishment: they screw up, then the cost of their mess gets dumped onto the average person. Scholz quietly took €60 billion ($65 billion) from a Covid recovery slush fund and plonked it into a fund for the much put-upon German industry. But only for the “green” industrials. Everyone else can just shove off. Which is also the arrogant attitude being bandied about by some establishment figures when it comes to farm diesel subsidies. Anyway, Scholz was ordered by the courts to put the misappropriated cash back – lest the government run the risk of incurring a debt. Whoops, too late. Berlin ended up €13 billion short in repaying it. So then the government had to figure out who it was going to have to screw over in an attempt to drum up some quick cash. Apparently those who literally feed the German people were identified as viable cash cows.

The government can now hear and see the honking tractors and big rigs from the Bundestag, gathering just a stone’s throw away from the epicenter of the protests at Brandenburg Gate. But Scholz has been talking instead about the need for European nations to mirror Germany in devoting more money to Ukraine – like he has nothing else going on inside his own country. You’d think that if he didn’t keep loading Ukraine up with cash and weapons then Russian tanks would just roll right into Berlin. He really should be more concerned about the German tractors and trucks that are already nearly right up under his office window. Germany doubled its Ukrainian military aid to €8 billion just before the New Year. Compare that with the €900 million that its rolled back tax breaks on farmers are expected to save them.

If Team Scholz was so blasé about shuffling money around in the creation of this whole debt problem, you’d imagine it would be easy enough at the very least just to hold onto that cash for Ukraine and take the jackboots off the necks of the farmers. It seems that German farmers may have to move to Ukraine to get treated fairly by their own government. Team Scholz is making one of the most productive elements of German society pay a heavy price for its own relentless screwups. The precise cost amounts to €10,000 annually for some farmers, who say it represents a potentially catastrophic loss for them. But the message being peddled by government officials is that farmers are already subsidized enough. You’d think they were just rolling in cash. Clearly, the reality is quite the opposite when €10,000 represents a make-or-break scenario.

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“..temporarily fixing problems as they appear is costing the British taxpayer £2 million ($2.54 million) per week..”

UK Parliament Cold, Damp, and Infested With Mice – Politico (RT)

Politicians and aides alike “dread” coming to work at Westminster Palace, Politico reported on Tuesday, describing how the crumbling Victorian building is driving them to work elsewhere in order to avoid the cold, the mold, and the rodents. British lawmakers returned to work at the House of Commons on Monday, as the Met Office warned that freezing temperatures will linger for the next week. Westminster Palace offers little respite from the winter weather, multiple staffers told Politico, citing persistent heating failures, power cuts, and moldy bathrooms. A report compiled by the GMB trade union – which represents parliamentary aides – in 2022 also noted crumbling masonry and falling glass even in one of the more modern buildings of the complex, as well as an outbreak of the legionella bacteria in showers on the estate.

“If it wasn’t a protected heritage site, there would be absolutely no way – with the current health and safety regulations – that we would be allowed to even set foot in a building this broken and damaged,” a Conservative Party staffer told Politico. “I would never go in again [if I could],” a Labour Party staffer said. “I think there is a sense that parliament is a very important building, you’re very lucky to be here – but there are basic standards, actually.” Much of Westminster Palace was built in the 19th Century and has not been renovated since before World War II. Some politicians have been demanding restoration works for years, but a vote authorizing this work will not be held until at least 2025. In the meantime, temporarily fixing problems as they appear is costing the British taxpayer £2 million ($2.54 million) per week, an anonymous official told Politico last September.

“This building is falling down and becoming a hazard to all those who work here,” Scottish National Party MP Pete Wishart said in an address in 2019. “It is so overrun with vermin that even the mice in this place now wear overalls.” Earlier this year, the Public Accounts Committee warned in a report that there is a “real and rising danger” that the building could be destroyed by a “catastrophic incident” before repairs take place. Labour leader Keir Starmer has almost completely eschewed working in the palace, multiple officials told the news site. Instead, he chooses to work up to three days per week at the party’s newly-built headquarters in Southwark, around a mile away. “It doesn’t feel as imposing, it’s not freezing cold, and it’s much more modern,” a Labour staffer said of the new building, describing it as “good for morale.” Despite the litany of complaints, politicians are unlikely to advocate too loudly for renovations these days, a GMP representative told Politico. “I don’t think that the general public have a lot of sympathy for politicians and their staff complaining about being cold at work… when there’s a lot worse things going on in other workplaces,” she said.

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“Yes, but why did you talk to him during business meetings if he had nothing to do with your business?”

Hunter Biden Defends Including Father On Business Calls (Fox)

Hunter Biden defended including his father on business calls with Ukrainian associates while speaking to a FOX Business reporter on Wednesday. Hunter Biden was questioned by FOX Business’ Hillary Vaughn after walking out of a House hearing as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., began to question him about President Biden’s ongoing impeachment probe. “Why did you put your dad on speakerphone during these business meetings if he had nothing to do with your business?” Vaughn asked as Biden left the Rayburn office building on Capitol Hill. “Do you have a dad? Does he call you?” the first son asked in reply. “Yes,” Vaughn said. “Do you answer the phone?” Biden continued. “Yes,” Vaughn answered. “OK,” Biden said. “Yes, but why did you talk to him during business meetings if he had nothing to do with your business?” Vaughn pressed.

Devon Archer, a former best friend and business associate of Hunter Biden in Ukraine, testified to lawmakers in July that President Biden met with dozens of Hunter’s business associates while he was serving as vice president between 2009 and 2017. Archer testified about meetings he witnessed attended by both Bidens — Hunter and Joe — either in person or via telephone. During the meetings, Hunter would specifically introduce his father to foreign business partners or prospective investors, Archer claimed. Archer said Hunter put his father, then the vice president, on speakerphone while meeting with business partners at least 20 times. He described how Joe Biden was put on the phone to sell “the brand.”

Crack

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“..there is to be no more accountability for Big Pharma’s mass murder than there is for Israel’s mass murder of Palestinians..”

Can Big Pharma Be Held Accountable? (Paul Craig Roberts)

In 1935 Trofim Lysenko, a fraudulent agronomist took control of Soviet genetics and agronomy and destroyed the science with political and ideological explanations. With biology under Lysenko’s dominance, the principles of Mendel’s classical genetics were banned, and real scientists suffered political repression. The Lysenko affair exemplifies my point that without truth there can be no science and no scholarship. Tony Fauci and his puppet-masters introduced their own form of Lysenkoism with the Covid campaign. It was early apparent to independent scientists that the virus was a manufactured one made in a laboratory and that the “vaccine” was more dangerous than the virus. The distinguished scientists who sounded the alarm were suppressed, deplatformed, fired, prosecuted, and stripped of medical licenses. Big Pharma was a modern day Lysenko, and the large part of the medical profession under Big Pharma’s control discredited distinguished scientists by branding them spreaders of disinformation. The useless media did no investigation.

The Cleveland Clinic has shown that the “vaccine” actually makes it easier to catch the virus, and the excess deaths on the heels of mass vaccination demonstrate the killing and health injury power of the Covid mRNA “vaccines.” Professors Angus Dalgleish and Paul Goddard have just published a book, The Death of Science. Big Pharma has taken over regulatory agencies such as FDA, NIH, CDC, and controls with research grants the findings published in medical journals and the curriculums of medical schools. The fraud is far more extensive than the fraud imposed by Lysenko. We are in danger of losing medical science altogether as the young entering the profession are Big Pharma indoctrinated. When older generations such as Dalgleish and Goddard pass, there will be none to take their place. Medical science will die with them.

Congress and medical schools can do nothing about it as both are dependent on Big Pharma’s money. Scientists are not always adept at speaking to the public. If you have any doubts that a deadly world-wide fraud was perpetrated in service to private agendas, read The Death of Science. This is my only posting for today. Because of its importance, I do not want to distract you with multiple offerings. Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, a world-renowned international trial lawyer who was leading an organized effort to hold Big Pharma accountable is sitting in a German prison detained on false charges orchestrated in order to stop a campaign that was nearing success. In other words, there is to be no more accountability for Big Pharma’s mass murder than there is for Israel’s mass murder of Palestinians. When mass murderers cannot be held accountable, what is the prospect for humanity?

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It’s almost funny.

Trump Says Georgia Case ‘Totally Compromised’ (ET)

Ms. Willis brought the case against President Trump and more than a dozen co-defendants under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a law drafted to fight organized crime. The indictment accuses President Trump, and 18 others, of being part of a “criminal organization” that sought to overturn the Georgia results of the 2020 presidential election by unlawful means. “It’s illegal. What she did is illegal. So we’ll let the state handle that, but what a sad situation it is,” President Trump added.Ms. Willis’s office did not respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times, though a spokesperson for her office told media outlets that she would “respond through appropriate court filings.” Ms. Willis brought the case against President Trump and more than a dozen co-defendants under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a law drafted to fight organized crime. The indictment accuses President Trump, and 18 others, of being part of a “criminal organization” that sought to overturn the Georgia results of the 2020 presidential election by unlawful means.

Mr. Roman, who faces seven charges in the Georgia election interference case, served on President Trump’s 2020 campaign as director of Election Day operations. In Monday’s court filing, Mr. Roman cited “discussions with individuals with knowledge” about Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade allegedly being “romantically involved” before the special prosecutor was brought onto the case by Ms. Willis. “Sources close to both the special prosecutor and the district attorney have confirmed they had an ongoing, personal relationship during the pendency of the special prosecutor’s divorce proceedings,” states the filing, which also accuses Ms. Willis of bringing Mr. Wade on as a special counsel without obtaining proper government authorization. The filing further states that Mr. Wade allegedly had a “lack of relevant experience” although he was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the county.

Mr. Roman’s filing also accused Ms. Willis of having potentially committed “an act to defraud the public of honest services” due to what he called an “intentional failure” to disclose her alleged relationship with Mr. Wade, which she “personally benefitted from.” Records obtained by a local media outlet show that Mr. Wade was paid over $650,000 in legal fees since January 2022 and that the district attorney is the one who authorizes it. Mr. Roman’s filing alleges that checks sent to Mr. Wade from Fulton County and vacations that he purchased with Ms. Willis could amount honest services fraud, which is a federal crime.

“Willis has benefitted substantially and directly, and continues to benefit, from this litigation because Wade is being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute this case on her behalf,” the filing states. Mr. Roman’s filing states that Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade could be prosecuted under a federal racketeering statute. Besides the public comments President Trump made on Tuesday in response to Mr. Roman’s filing, he also took to Truth Social to post that the case “should be immediately dropped” and that Ms. Willis should apologize. Earlier court filings by President Trump’s co-defendants have alleged that Mr. Wade’s work is “void as a matter of law” because he allegedly failed to file his oath of office paperwork in time to formally join Ms. Willis’ team.

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Tiger and her cubs drinking from a creek in the forests of India. – Ricky Patel

 

 

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Cheetah

 

 


Most of you is 10 years old or less, because your cells are always renewing. The epidermis recycles every 2-4 weeks, red blood cells every 4 months, and your skeleton every 10 years.

 

 

Plastics water

 

 

 

 

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Dec 062023
 


William Merritt Chase Back Of A Nude 1888

 

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

 

 


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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

International Committee of the Red Cross

 

 

Milei

 

 

Byron York

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

US Border Control Bill Collapses – NBC (RT)

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

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

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

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More “national security bill”.

Bernie Sanders Opposes $10 Billion Israel Aid (RT)

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

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

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

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

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He knew what was coming.

Zelensky Bails On Briefing With US Senate (RT)

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

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

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

Tucker Massie

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

Israel Has Crossed Its Rubicon (Rall)

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

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

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

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

Scott Horton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biden Works To Create Plausible Deniability On Gaza (Plitnick)

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

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

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

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

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Crazy.

Israel Mulls Flooding Hamas Tunnels – WSJ (RT)

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

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

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

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

Israel Uses AI Genocide Programme To Obliterate Gaza (Cook)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Patrick Moore Net Zero

 

 

 

 

David Martin Covid 1966

 

 

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

 

 

Questions

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


Claude Monet The Magpie 1869

 

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

 

 

 

 

Tucker Elon

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

Ocampo

 

 

Hannity

 

 

Ukraine does not have enough Firepower – Douglas Macgregor

 

 

Nap Mearsheimer

 

 

 

 

Taibbi+

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israeli Army Plants New Fake Hamas Atrocity Story (Cradle)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel Irate Over Spanish PM Support For Palestine (Cradle)

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

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

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

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

Israel Planning Global Assassination Campaign – WSJ (RT)

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

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

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

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

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How’s that going so far?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Magic Moment (Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Patrick Moore

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always stay a sucker for the simple things.

 

 

Cat

 

 

Self similar

 

 


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

 

 


Short Eared Owl

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 262023
 
 November 26, 2023  Posted by at 9:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  25 Responses »


Giorgio de Chirico Piazza d’Italia 1913

 

The Gaza Truce Is A Sign That Hamas Can’t Be Defeated (Inlakesh)
Hamas ‘Remains Strong’ After 49 Day Fight: Israeli Media (Cradle)
Biden Endorses Israel’s War To Eliminate Gaza (Aaron Maté)
The Thanksgiving Truce (Lauria)
Second Nakba; Same Israeli Lies; Same Western Narrative (Cook)
Israel Receives Third List Of Hostages To Be Released From Gaza (Az.)
US-German ‘Peace Talks Plot’ Shows West on Brink of Losing Ukraine (Sp.)
Ukraine Will ‘Strengthen EU’ – Baerbock (RT)
Germany Today Could Do What Hitler Did But Faster – Hungary’s Top MP (RT)
The Mind-Bending Politics of RFK Jr.’s Spoiler Campaign (NYMag)
The Invisible Hand Just Slapped Disney (Turley)
Bill Gates, Jeffrey Epstein and a Global Health Investment Fund (BB)
Jeffrey Sachs Says COVID About ‘Massive Government Lying’ (NM)

 

 


Some pictures do not need a caption.
– Banksy

 

 

Saudi Arabia Leaders Warns U.S To Stop Israel Or Face Its Wrath

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Middle East Will Cause WW3! Iran will ENTER Israel!!

 

 

Inevitable victory for Russia | Ukraine is crushed – Douglas Macgregor

 

 

Fed

 

 


2005. Not guilty.

 

 

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

 

 

 

 

“At this time, it appears that the idea that “Hamas must go” is no more than a pipe dream.”

The Gaza Truce Is A Sign That Hamas Can’t Be Defeated (Inlakesh)

After repeatedly rejecting a truce with Hamas and labeling the idea “ridiculous”, Israel agreed to a four-day cessation of hostilities in Gaza and a prisoner exchange. Six weeks of death and destruction, which Israeli and Western leaders declared should have led to the destruction of Hamas, have now bolstered the Palestinian movement’s image throughout the Arab world and beyond.The four-day truce that was implemented this Friday provided a sigh of relief for those most affected by the war in the Gaza Strip, but has in many ways spelled disaster for the Israeli government. As women and children, held captive by both Hamas and Israel, are being reunited with their families, the threat of further warfare looms. Although the loved ones of those released are now celebrating, the next steps will be crucial in determining the final outcomes of the 46-day battle that has now been placed on pause. At this time, it appears that the idea that “Hamas must go” is no more than a pipe dream.

On October 27, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to the sound of overwhelming applause, calling for a truce to stop the fighting in the Gaza Strip. Although the non-binding resolution passed with a majority of 120 votes in favour, Israel and the United States outright rejected it. Tabled by Arab nations, the call for a truce was labeled as a “defense of Nazi terrorists” by Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN. This came after Hamas released four Israeli civilian hostages without conditions, for what the group said were humanitarian reasons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others in his emergency war government, have repeatedly stated their goal of crushing Hamas and allied Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, refusing to negotiate with them. The six-week-long aerial bombardment of densely populated civilian areas in the besieged Palestinian enclave, which also morphed into a ground war, has claimed over 20,000 lives according to some estimates, but failed to eliminate Hamas. In fact, Israeli forces have not been able to show a single significant military achievement against the Palestinian armed groups. While Hamas claim to have struck 355 Israeli military vehicles during the past two weeks of fighting, publishing video evidence of dozens of attacks, Israeli forces have failed to assassinate senior leaders of Hamas, to free hostages by force, uncover major tunnel networks, or even publish proof that they have killed a significant number of Hamas fighters on the battlefield.

According to the Calcalist financial newspaper, the Gaza war was estimated early on to cost around $50 billion, roughly 10% of Israel’s GDP. In addition to this, the Israeli military has reportedly suffered losses in intelligence and monitoring equipment along their northern border, due to attacks carried out by the Lebanese group Hezbollah. Yemen’s Ansarallah also seized a ship in the Red Sea, owned by an Israeli businessman, which has severely impacted trade through the southern port city of Eilat. This is not factoring in the inevitable long-term effects on things like Israel’s tourism sector or investment in its high-tech industry.

Palestinian Ambassador to UK

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“..the Military Oversight Authority is refusing to allow Israeli media to show an action map of its progress in Gaza, fearing that it will show how little the army has achieved..”

Hamas ‘Remains Strong’ After 49 Day Fight: Israeli Media (Cradle)

Following the implementation of a four-day truce in Gaza, the Israeli media is flush with reports that Hamas remains strong after 49 days of fighting, and that the Israeli military is losing the war. Following the 7 October Hamas attack on Israeli settlements surrounding the Gaza strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to eliminate Hamas. But despite Israel’s horrific bombing campaign and ground operation in Gaza that has killed some 15,000 Palestinians, the majority women and children, the Israeli media is reporting that Hamas remains in control of the conflict. Following the release of the first batch of Israelis held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Hebrew language Channel 12 said that on 25 November, “Whoever is in a hurry to mourn Hamas should look at this day to understand that this is not the reality.

“After 49 days of fighting, Hamas has proven that it is still strong, and that it still controls the Gaza Strip.” The channel noted that Hamas successfully completed the exchange of captives, including one held by another Palestinian faction, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, despite claims it had lost control over its fighters and cells. “After all this, the scene of Hamas kneeling is still a long way off,” the channel added. The Israeli channel’s military affairs correspondent, Nir Dvory, said that the Hamas movement “has not collapsed yet,” noting that the Israeli army “failed to liquidate the movement’s officials” whom it declared targets of its operations. Hours after the temporary truce took effect between the Israeli occupation and the resistance in Gaza on Friday, criticism began to appear for not achieving the declared goals of the war on the Gaza Strip.

According to Channel 12, the Military Oversight Authority is refusing to allow Israeli media to show an action map of its progress in Gaza, fearing that it will show how little the army has achieved. Israeli media reported as well that Reserve Major General Israel Ziv stated that if Hamas currently succeeds in stopping the continuation of the fighting, “it has emerged victorious.” At the same time, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported the intelligence capabilities of the Palestinian resistance are much more sophisticated than previously known. The newspaper’s military affairs analyst, Yossi Yehoshua, revealed the Israeli army found documents in a Hamas base in Gaza that included details of the structure and social composition of Israel’s Paratroopers Brigade, as well as pictures of the former brigade commander and other officers who had ended their service.

The extent and complexity of Hamas’ tunnel system also surprised Israel’s military,Yedioth Ahronoth reported. An officer admitted that the resistance tunnels in the northern Gaza Strip, those closest to the border with Israel, were “deep, long, and operational in a way that was fundamentally different from what Israeli intelligence estimated.” The Israeli officer said, “No one imagined that this is what we would find there.”

Tapper

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“.. it will be difficult to continue with a ground maneuver in the southern Gaza Strip should public anger over what will be perceived as abandoning women and children increase.”

Biden Endorses Israel’s War To Eliminate Gaza (Aaron Maté)

In rationalizing his continued support for Israeli aggression, Biden echoed the Netanyahu government’s claim that its attacks have forced Hamas to negotiate the captives’ release. “I don’t trust Hamas to do anything right,” Biden told reporters during his Thanksgiving vacation. “I only trust Hamas to respond to pressure.” The available evidence shows otherwise. As Mohammad Alsaafin notes, the thousands of Palestinians – and an unknown numbers of Israeli and other foreign captives — killed by Israeli bombings “did not have to die—not just because Israel could have refrained from targeting civilians, which it has clearly refused to do, but because the contours of the deal announced Wednesday have been on the table for weeks.” On Oct. 26th, Hamas official Ali Barakeh laid out the terms for a proposed hostage exchange similar to those reached this week.

“We are ready to let them all leave,” Barakeh told the Washington Post. That same day, senior Qatari negotiator Mohmmed al Khulaifi said that he believed “all civilian hostages” could be freed if Israel would pause its bombardment of Gaza. Rather than engage with these overtures, Israel launched a ground invasion the following day. According to Western and Arab officials interviewed by the New York Times, Israel’s Oct. 27th ground invasion thwarted the release of up to 50 captives in exchange for a bombing pause. The talks were additionally “stymied” by Israel’s decision to cut off Gaza’s telecommunications network, which meant Qatari officials and Hamas “struggled to make quick, consistent contact.” Another obstacle was Israel’s initial refusal of Hamas’ demand to free Palestinian “women and minors held without charge” from Israeli prisons — the captives that Western audiences are not supposed to care about.

After undermining a hostage deal with its ground invasion of Gaza, Israel thwarted another opportunity with last week’s attack on Al-Shifa hospital. On Nov. 14th, Israel relayed its acceptance of a similar offer to Hamas’ original. But hours later, after Israeli forces stormed Al-Shifa, Hamas made clear that “[t]he deal was off,” according to the Times. “It had looked like towards the end of that day … that we were closing in and [then] everything stalled,” a senior US official told the Washington Post. According to one source familiar with the talks, Hamas was “concerned about the evacuations of patients, including premature babies, and attacks on other hospitals.”

According to Israeli military correspondent Amos Harel of Haaretz, Israel’s decision to accept a deal this week stemmed from “not only… the terms of the deal,” which “improved somewhat,” but a more important imperative: sustaining the Gaza assault over the long-term. The Israeli “security establishment,” Harel writes, has developed the “understanding that the outcry of the hostages’ families is arousing broad public support, and that it will be difficult to continue with a ground maneuver in the southern Gaza Strip should public anger over what will be perceived as abandoning women and children increase.” In other words, to keep killing Palestinian women and children caged in Gaza, Israel decided that it must finally stop abandoning the Israeli women and children held hostage in Gaza.

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“..ultimately, both Israel and U.S. politicians depend on the support of the American people..”

The Thanksgiving Truce (Lauria)

Israel has long depended on American military aid and diplomatic support to pursue its interests in the Middle East. Without such backing, especially in a time of open warfare, it is doubtful that Israel could for long pursue its goals in Gaza. American politicians likewise depend on support from Israel and its lobby in the United States to pursue their political careers. But ultimately, both Israel and U.S. politicians depend on the support of the American people. There was already a trend, especially among young Americans, many of them Jews, to no longer lend unconditional support to Israel. This became evident with the growing popularity of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement among American youth, causing individual states to pass laws outlawing the movement.

The trend towards rejecting the mainstream media’s whitewashed history of Israel and Palestine, and the growing understanding that Israel was established in 1948 largely through the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their ancestral homes and land, has only intensified with Israel’s current onslaught against Gaza.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden know that if they lose the American people they are both in serious trouble. Biden is already feeling the heat from American voters because of his handling of Gaza. He can pretty much kiss the swing state of Michigan goodbye with its large Arab population. But polls show many Democrats across the entire country also strongly disapprove.

Palestinian Americans sued in federal court on Nov. 16 to immediately force Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to stop providing additional weapons, money and military and diplomatic support to Israel. A motion from the Center for Constitutional Rights’ for preliminary injunction charges that: “Defendants have been on notice of the risk of genocide since at least October 9, if not already on October 7, through the public and widely circulated statements and actions by Israeli officials with whom they were in close, regular contact and consultation, as well as by warnings of indicators of genocide from United Nations officials and other sources that have only increased since then.”

Israel understands that to maintain U.S. government support, without which it cannot continue its genocidal goals, it needs to keep the U.S. public on side, lest it bring pressure on Biden and Congress to finally cut off aid to stop the massacres. Right now Netanyahu sees Americans dangerously turning against Israel and the Biden administration. Weekly protests and American Jews taking over Grand Central Station (which the New York governor called “a major incident”) are clearly alarming Washington and Tel Aviv, (not to mention London, Berlin and Paris where it’s illegal to support the Palestinians.) Is it therefore a coincidence that a 4-day ceasefire allowing cameras to show food trucks delivering aid to Gazans coincides with the 4-day U.S. Thanksgiving holiday?

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“The final destination is clearly in view, as, in truth, it has been for more than seven decades..”

Second Nakba; Same Israeli Lies; Same Western Narrative (Cook)

After its mass ethnic cleansing operations of 1948 and 1967, Israel tried to manage the remaining Palestinian population through the traditional apartheid model of herding the natives into reservations, as its predecessors did with the remnants of the “locals” who survived their efforts at extermination. Any caution on Israel’s part derived from the different political climate it had to operate in: international law became more central after World War II, with clear definitions of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The West wilfully mischaracterises Israel’s process of dispossessing and ghettoising these remaining Palestinians as a “conflict” because they refuse to submit quietly to the apartheid, ghettoisation model. Now, Israel’s management approach to the Palestinians has broken down completely — for two main reasons.

First, the Palestinians, aided by new technologies that have made it more difficult to keep them out of view, have attracted ever widening popular support – and most problematically, among Western publics. The Palestinians have also managed to bring their cause to international forums, even gaining recognition as a state by a majority of members of the United Nations. Potentially, they even have redress in the West’s international legal institutions, like the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. As a result, subduing the Palestinians — or maintaining “calm”, as Western establishments prefer to call it — has become more and more difficult and expensive. And second, on Oct. 7, Hamas proved that Palestinian resistance cannot be contained even under a siege enforced by drones, and an Iron Dome interception system protecting Israel from retaliatory rockets. In such circumstances, Palestinians have shown they will seek surprising and creative ways to break out of their confinement and bring their oppression into the spotlight.

In fact, given the West’s dulled sensitivities to Palestinian suffering, militant factions are likely to deduce that headline-grabbing atrocities — mirroring Israel’s own historic approach to the Palestinians — are the only way to gain attention. Israel understands that the Palestinians are going to continue being a thorn in its side, a reminder that Israel is not a normal state. And the struggle to correct Israel’s decades of dispossessing and brutalising Palestinians will become ever more a defining moral cause among Western publics, as the fight against apartheid South Africa once was. So Israel is taking advantage of this moment to “finish the job”. The final destination is clearly in view, as, in truth, it has been for more than seven decades. The crime is unfolding step by step, the pace quickening. And yet senior politicians and journalists in the West, like their predecessors, continue to be blind to it all.

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Qatar is trying hard to extend the truce.

Israel Receives Third List Of Hostages To Be Released From Gaza (Az.)

Israel has received a list of hostages to be released in the third stage of the implementation of a ceasefire agreement, the Kan radio station noted, Report informs referring to TASS. According to the Times of Israel newspaper, the Israeli prime minister’s office has notified the families of those on the list handed over by Qatar. The third group of hostages may be released on Sunday. The Palestinian movement Hamas announced on November 22 that an agreement on a four-day humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip had been reached through the mediation of Qatar and Egypt. The agreement stipulates the release of 50 women and children under the age of 19 who are held in Gaza in exchange for the release of 150 women and children under the age of 19 from Israeli prisons.

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“..Kiev now faces the last moment when it can lay claim to more or less acceptable terms of a truce with Moscow…”

US-German ‘Peace Talks Plot’ Shows West on Brink of Losing Ukraine (Sp.)

Washington and Berlin have reportedly kicked off a plot to push Ukraine for negotiations with Russia by slashing military supplies to Kiev and leaving Volodymyr Zelensky with little if any options, according to the German publication [Bild]. According to Bild, there is also a plan B envisaging a frozen conflict that would solidify a new quasi-border between Ukraine and Russia along the contact line. “First, [this report] should be seen in a specific temporal context,” Dmitry Evstafiev, a political scientist and High School of Economics (HSE) University professor, told Sputnik. “This is not a statement, of course, this is a publicity stunt. It appeared in the media almost immediately after the end of the meeting of the notorious Ramstein group that has made an essential decision to create the [Ground Based] Air Defense coalition to strengthen air defense.

“Moreover, it is quite obvious that they will strengthen not so much the air defense of Ukraine, but the air defense of the countries bordering Ukraine. Therefore, this is a kind of first proposal that it is necessary to take certain political steps that would indicate that Ukraine is ready for negotiations.” The second aspect is an interview given by the leader of the Servant of the People faction, Davyd Arakhamia, which is “clearly synchronized with the West.” According to Evstafiev, it is “even more indicative against the backdrop of problems at the front.” Speaking to Western journalists, Arakhamia noted that Russia’s main condition during the March 2022 peace talks with Kiev was Ukraine’s neutrality and guarantees that the Eastern European country wouldn’t join NATO. (It was Arakhamia who headed the Ukrainian delegation during the negotiations with Russians in Belarus and Türkiye in 2022.)

In addition, he debunked the Western media narrative that Russia does not want to negotiate peace with Ukraine by saying that Moscow is open to talks and it may start them when Kiev is ready. “At the moment, [Western] support to Kiev is becoming more and more politically expensive/costly, or whatever you want to call it, for the key countries that provide assistance, these are, first of all: Germany and the United States,” said Evstafiev. “The United States has already almost halted aid [to Ukraine]. Of course, there will still be a revaluation through the Pentagon, but one can no longer expect large packages.”

“Assistance from the European Union will be largely aimed at maintaining the functionality of the public administration system and some kind of social support, but not so much for military support. Therefore, the first point is that support for Kiev has become toxic in terms of politics. “The second point, which is absolutely clearly visible from the statements of Western sources, is that Kiev now faces the last moment when it can lay claim to more or less acceptable terms of a truce with Moscow. (…) The third point – which Westerners do not conceal – is that Russia will agree to any starting conditions for these negotiations. Arakhamia speaks about this directly, openly and without hesitation.”

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What a drama that woman is.

Ukraine Will ‘Strengthen EU’ – Baerbock (RT)

The EU and NATO will continue to back Ukraine because they view such support as geopolitically critical, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said. Speaking at the Green Party Conference in Karlsruhe on Saturday, Baerbock argued that the European Union has to accept Kiev, as it can no longer afford any gray areas in Europe. “It’s in our own geopolitical interest that Ukraine joins the European Union, which is why we will not only continue our support for Ukraine, but also strengthen it in the EU and NATO,” she said, stressing that “Europe is our life insurance and that’s what is important and geostrategically crucial.” “Today it is clear that Ukraine will strengthen the EU in the foreseeable future,” she stressed.

Last month, Baerbock said that Ukraine’s future “lies in” the EU, including regions that were incorporated by Russia in 2022 but are still claimed by Kiev. “[The EU] will soon stretch from Lisbon to Lugansk,” Baerbock told journalists on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in the Ukrainian capital. Reiterating Berlin’s stance that Ukraine should join the EU, Baerbock said the same applies to Moldova, Georgia and potentially the Western Balkans, so as to leave no “gray areas” in Europe. However, earlier in November, she admitted that the bloc itself would have to undergo “tedious” reforms to properly function with so many members. Germany is Ukraine’s second-largest donor of military aid behind the US, and Baerbock has become one of the most vocal advocates of Kiev since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Berlin recently pledged to “expand and increase” its support for Kiev in the coming years. Berlin is planning to provide another air-defense system and electricity generators as part of the so-called “winter protection umbrella” scheme.Having spent some $18.2 billion providing military assistance to Kiev, Germany still trails far behind the US, which has spent around $45 billion, according to Germany’s Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Russia has stated that Western arms supplies to Ukraine have failed to have a significant impact on the frontline. In early November, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that “despite the supply of new kinds of NATO weapons, the Kiev regime is losing.” The Russian military has also regularly published photos and videos of destroyed Ukrainian heavy armor, including German-made Leopard tanks.

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Sink Germany, that is.

Germany Today Could Do What Hitler Did But Faster – Hungary’s Top MP (RT)

Germany is destroying itself faster than under Adolf Hitler’s rule, while the UN is nothing but a front company for propaganda, Hungarian parliamentary speaker Laszlo Kover has said. The senior MP, well-known for repeatedly making various controversial statements, produced a flurry of inflammatory remarks on Thursday when he spoke at a sovereignty-protection forum held in the central Hungarian town of Jaszapati. The speaker launched a bitter attack on Germany, comparing its current leadership to that of the Hitler era.“We have no reason to be happy that the Germans are destroying themselves and are doing so with a whirlwind speed, perhaps faster than Hitler did,” Kover asserted.

Hitler needed 12 years to accomplish this, those who are now [in Berlin] do not even need 12 years to send Germany to the ground in every sense, economically and socially. Apart from obliterating German leadership, the top MP was also highly critical of the EU, as well as the UN. He blasted the United Nations as a mere “front company” without any weight and being used only for propaganda purposes. Kover, who is a co-founder of Hungary’s Fidesz party, compared the European Union to the Warsaw Pact, a long-defunct Cold War-era security system established by the USSR and its Eastern European satellites, including Hungary. Nowadays, Brussels effectively plays the same role as Moscow used to play at the time, the MP suggested, insisting that Budapest was at war only with the Eurobureaucracy rather than with the EU itself. “The Union is us,” he stressed.

Kover’s speech at the forum also included a personal touch, as he launched a bitter attack on the US ambassador to Hungary, David Pressman, stating the top diplomat actually meant that little to him, he literally considered Washington’s envoy in Budapest a “non-existent” person. “He is not persona non-grata, but rather a non-person,” the speaker stated. “For me, for example, he’s a non-existent person who sometimes appears. I don’t know who he is, what he wants, he’s supposed to be an ambassador, but he doesn’t act like one.” It “doesn’t matter” what the US diplomat relays to the Hungarian government – and otherwise – given that Pressman apparently came to the country with a firm belief he was actually sent to govern it, Kover explained.

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“Theoretically, any of these candidates earning just a small percentage in one key state could be enough to fuck up the whole map for the major parties — much less all of them..”

The Mind-Bending Politics of RFK Jr.’s Spoiler Campaign (NYMag)

“Kennedy” and “Democrat” had become practically synonymous since the family landed in America in 1848. “I have a strong emotional connection to the party,” he said. He didn’t want to leave. “I was very resistant to it.” But it was the way forward: “Life is a series of separations … I feel like I didn’t really have a choice.” The choice he did make landed like a Big Bang, its impact immediately redefining the contours of presidential politics. The general election is now projected to be a three-way race between Biden, Trump, and their mutual, Kennedy, with a cluster of less popular third-party candidates filling out the constellation. Deep polarization to a near evenly divided electorate means major-party candidates are super-vulnerable to external threats.

Much was made of a recent New York Times–Siena College poll that showed Trump beating Biden in several key swing states. The reality is more like, in a reliably unreliable estimate of how people will behave on Election Day a year from now, you have two likely nominees so unlikable that they are tied for historic unlikableness with the 2016 nominees (only one candidate has been a historically unlikable constant across elections). Then factor in the margin of error of 1.8-to-4.8 points across the dataset. Then rerun the poll with Kennedy in the mix, as Times–Siena did, and you get a chaotic and scarcely recognizable race with Kennedy in striking distance at 24 percent. As CNN polling savant Harry Enten put it, “A clear Trump polling lead became a jumbled mess with no clear favorite to win in the Electoral College thanks to Kennedy. Both Biden (34 percent) and Trump (36 percent) were south of 40 percent in an aggregate across the six states.”

It’s true that in the 1992 election, Ross Perot was often outright beating Bush and Clinton in the polls, and he didn’t become president. But Kennedy doesn’t have to win to sabotage Biden or Trump. He doesn’t even have to come close. In 2000, when Democrats won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College, Ralph Nader scored 97,488 votes in Florida, where Al Gore lost by 537 votes. In 2016, when Democrats again won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College, Libertarian Gary Johnson got 172,136 votes in Michigan, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein got 51,463. Clinton lost by 10,704 votes. Johnson got 106,674 votes in Wisconsin and Stein 31,072. Clinton lost by 22,748. Not only is Kennedy polling more competitively now than any independent since Perot, but he has backup. Celebrity academic Cornel West is also running as an independent. Stein has risen from the dead to haunt the Dems once more on a Green Party ticket.

From retirement, Senator Joe Manchin threatens to run with No Labels, which has already secured ballot access in the swing state of Arizona. Theoretically, any of these candidates earning just a small percentage in one key state could be enough to fuck up the whole map for the major parties — much less all of them. In the face of this reality, Biden plans to argue that Kennedy is a closet conservative. Trump is already arguing that Kennedy is a closet liberal. (If either likely nominee has more sophisticated messaging planned to fight off Kennedy, it is not yet apparent.) That both claims are sort of true and sort of not true in equal measure is, sort of, the basis of Kennedy’s appeal. According to the Times, Democratic lawyers across the country are mobilizing to suppress third-party challenges through initiatives to further limit ballot access, the central obstacle for an independent candidate. “We’ll get on the ballot in every state,” Kennedy told me.

RFK

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Go woke go broke.

The Invisible Hand Just Slapped Disney (Turley)

This year marks the 300th anniversary of Adam Smith, the iconic figure behind the theory of free markets, or of what we have since come to call “capitalism.” Born in June 1723, Smith went on to explain how the “invisible hand” of the market worked as people exercised their choices between certain products. It can shape economies and challenge whole governments. One company in particular appears to be learning that lesson. In recent filings, Disney appears to acknowledge that Smith’s invisible hand is giving the “House of Mouse” the middle finger. In a new corporate disclosure, Disney acknowledges that its controversial political and social agenda is costing the company and shareholders.In its annual SEC report, Disney acknowledges that “we face risks relating to misalignment with public and consumer tastes and preferences for entertainment, travel and consumer products.”

In an implied nod to Smith, the company observes that “the success of our businesses depends on our ability to consistently create compelling content,” and that “Generally, our revenues and profitability are adversely impacted when our entertainment offerings and products, as well as our methods to make our offerings and products available to consumers, do not achieve sufficient consumer acceptance. Further, consumers’ perceptions of our position on matters of public interest, including our efforts to achieve certain of our environmental and social goals, often differ widely and present risks to our reputation and brands.” Disney and other companies have previously ignored consumer backlash over corporate campaigns such as Disney’s opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law. Corporate officials once avoided political controversies and focused on selling their products and services rather than viewpoints.

Disney has reportedly lost a billion dollars just on four of its recent “woke” movie flops, productions denounced by critics as pushing political agendas or storylines. Yet until now, the company has continued to roll out underperforming movies as revenue has dropped. What’s more, Disney stars persist in bad-mouthing its fabled storylines and undermining its new productions. The company admits that it has suffered a continued slide in “impressions” (that is, viewership) by 14 percent. For shareholders, it may seem counterintuitive that corporate executives would trade off profits for political or social agendas. However, it does serve as a rationale for individual corporate executives who are professionally advanced when they champion such causes.

For example, when Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, pledged to drop Bud Light’s “fratty reputation and embrace inclusivity,” she was heralded by colleagues, even though her move went on to tank that brand as a whole. Indeed, Bud Light has still not recovered from the loss of billions in profits, market share, and overall market value. The same trend is playing out in the media. Public trust in journalists has fallen to a record low. Yet media executives continue to push advocacy journalism, abandoning objectivity. As former New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones declared, “all journalism is activism.”

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“..Epstein worried that saving lives by curing diseases would not lower population growth rates..”

Bill Gates, Jeffrey Epstein and a Global Health Investment Fund (BB)

Over time, Gates and JPMorgan established an investment fund that sought to profit from the development of vaccines and other health technologies. Epstein wanted a piece of the action, and Staley brought Epstein into the Gates partnership. The Gates-JPMorgan partnership was called the Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF) and was created circa 2011. At the time, Staley managed the Epstein relationship for the bank, and Epstein was a valuable client who brought JPMorgan a lot of business. Epstein was an adviser to billionaires like Victoria’s Secret mogul Leslie Wexner and Wall Street legend Leon Black and the “family offices” which manage their fortunes. Wexner and Black deny any involvement in Epstein’s criminal activities.

The GHIF partnership brought in a host of other powerful investors, including The Pfizer Foundation, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, as well as entities funded by the governments of Sweden, Canada, and Germany. There would also be private support from “qualified individuals and family offices.”The GHIF’s purpose was to give “individual and institutional investors the opportunity to finance late-stage global health technologies that have the potential to save millions of lives in low-income countries.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency committed to help offset any potential GHIF losses. As the GHIF was getting started, Epstein began pitching other business ideas to Gates and his foundation staff. They met “many times,” according to the New York Times, and Gates flew on Epstein’s Gulfstream plane from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach, Florida, according to a March 2013 flight manifest.

It turned out that Gates and Epstein had mutual interests in the areas of global health and funding scientific breakthroughs. Both men also had a deep interest in genetic tinkering projects. Epstein reportedly wanted to “seed the human race” with his own DNA by impregnating scores of women. Ironically (or perhaps hypocritically), Epstein was concerned about overpopulation. Likewise, Gates has long been worried about overpopulation and has stated repeatedly that he wants to mass vaccinate the third world, specifically for the purpose of curbing population growth. In a 2010 TED Talk, Gates succinctly explained his rationale for funding vaccines and birth control to curtail population growth worldwide.

“The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about 9 billion,” Gates warned. “Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by, perhaps, ten or fifteen percent.” But Epstein worried that saving lives by curing diseases would not lower population growth rates. He “criticized efforts to reduce starvation and provide health care to the poor because doing so increased the risk of overpopulation,” the New York Times reported. Bill and Melinda Gates apparently do not see curing diseases in the same way.

Meet Bill Gates

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And I began to really see close up that there was so much lying coming out of NIH [National Institutes of Health], coming out of Fauci, coming out of, unfortunately, the government protecting all of this and now it’s spilling out..”

Jeffrey Sachs Says COVID About ‘Massive Government Lying’ (NM)

A prominent “lifelong Democrat” scholar and economist who chaired a COVID-19 commission blasted Dr. Anthony Fauci and others for promoting “massive government lying” regarding the coronavirus, and accused Senate Democrats of refusing to investigate the virus’ origins. Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor who chaired a COVID-19 commission set up by “The Lancet” medical journal, said he has since left the Democratic Party after seeing how government officials have behaved around the origins of the virus. “The sad part of this, not with respect to the vaccine per se, but with respect to the origin of the virus, is that it’s yet another case of massive government lying,” Sachs said during an appearance on The Hill’s “Rising” show. “We have since discovered from the start that what the government told us about ‘natural origins’ of this virus were hokey, and really amounting to scientific fraud.”

Sachs said that even the scientists who wrote “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2” in the spring of 2020 “didn’t even believe that as they were writing it because they knew that there were so many hints that this could well have come out of a U.S. lab, or out of Chinese lab, or out of a U.S.-China partnership in the research.” Sachs admitted he, too, bought into the mainstream media’s COVID-19 reporting at the beginning of the pandemic, especially after a major scientific journal, “Nature,” said there was overwhelming evidence the origin was natural.He then credited reporting by The Intercept, U.S. Right to Know, and whistleblowers for helping to change his thinking.”[They] started letting us in on what was really said inside, was shocking,” said Sachs, who added that after requesting a certain document he had been refused by a fellow commission member.

Rancourt

“I said, ‘Well, you can’t be on the commission. We’re a transparent commission,” Sachs said. “And I began to really see close up that there was so much lying coming out of NIH [National Institutes of Health], coming out of Fauci, coming out of, unfortunately, the government protecting all of this and now it’s spilling out.” Sachs insists his desire to investigate COVID-19’s origin has more to do with present-day and future research. He credited Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for focusing on gain-of-function research and for trying to persuade Democrat colleagues to probe the issue. “It’s shocking to me that Democratic senators can’t understand this is not a partisan issue,” Sachs said. “This is a life and death issue. What kind of research is going on? What kind of laboratory manipulation’s going on? What is going on under what we euphemistically … call our biodefense research? Because who knows what it really is?

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X files

 

 


First, Estonia, then New Zealand. Now, Slovenia?

 

 

Grocery shopping

 

 

 

 

Starlings

 

 

Sleep dog

 

 

Impossible

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 222023
 
 November 22, 2023  Posted by at 9:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  74 Responses »


Paul Cézanne Young Italian Woman at a Table c1900

 

Israel’s Cabinet Approves Ceasefire, Hostage Deal With Hamas (Sp.)
Gaza ‘Truce’ Won’t Halt The Regional War (Illaik)
Will the Scorpion Sting the US Frog? (Alastair Crooke)
Putin Calls For Joint Global Efforts To End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (TASS)
Will Russia-China Patience Extinguish the Fire in West Asia? (Pepe Escobar)
Biden Op-ed Likening Russia to Hamas is Result of Dementia – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Western Leaders Came to Ukraine to Test Kiev Regime Viability (Sp.)
US Mission To NATO Signals Zelensky Must Sit At “Negotiating Table” (ZH)
Rep. Goldman Denounced “Dangerous” Rhetoric Using Dangerous Rhetoric (Turley)
‘All In’ for Trump House Speaker Johnson Pays Visit to Mar-a-Lago (Sp.)
Trump Seeks To Halt Gag Order In Election Meddling Case (BBC)
We Must Demand Justice for the January 6th Protestors! (Ron Paul)
Texas AG Sues Pfizer Over Tainted Children’s Drugs (ZH)
Lawsuit Against Alleged CIA Spying On Assange Visitors (Gosztola)

 

 

 

 

Children of Gaza

 

 


“Interest on the federal debt is now so immense that it’s consuming 40% of all personal income taxes… If federal finances continue on their current path, we are only a few years from the entirety of income taxes being needed to finance the debt…”

 

 

Morning Joe


https://twitter.com/i/status/1726977947549213107

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

Scott Ritter: “Israel been defeated on the battlefield! We will not SAVE THEM this time..”

 

 

Sachs UN

 

 

Martyanov

 

 

 

 


Truth Social files defamation suit vs 20 media companies

 

 

The head of the aid organization that runs the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza, now under sustained assault by Israeli forces, wrote a letter to Pres. Biden: “You have destroyed the international rules of the game, insulted the authority of the UN, torn apart the sense of justice, and hurt human values, and tarnished the face of human civilization.”

 

 

 

 

Nobody believes in Israel’s good intentions.

Israel’s Cabinet Approves Ceasefire, Hostage Deal With Hamas (Sp.)

The Israeli cabinet has accepted a deal with Palestinian movement Hamas for a temporary ceasefire and the release of hostages in a vote on Wednesday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. The newspaper cited a senior Israeli official as saying that the deal would see Hamas release 30 children and eight mothers, as well as 12 more women, during a four-day ceasefire. The official also said that all the branches of the Israeli security services supported the deal, the newspaper reported. The deal includes only Israelis, but Hamas may release foreign nationals under deals with other countries, the report said. Implementing an agreement between Israel and Palestinian movement Hamas on the release of hostages will start a day after the deal is reached and the US anticipates the freeing of additional hostages, a senior Biden administration official said during a press briefing.

“Even if we get an agreement tonight or tomorrow morning, the implementation would not start until 24 hours after that,” the official said on Tuesday evening. “If we had an agreement tonight, the implementation would probably be Thursday morning Israel time.” Palestinian movement Hamas will release 50 of some 240 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip, women and children first, over a four-day ceasefire that was approved by Israel’s cabinet, the Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing the Israeli government. Israel would publish a list of names of prisoners to be released under a deal with Palestinian movement Hamas within the next 24 hours so that Israelis can appeal the release in court, Axios reported Tuesday, citing an Israeli official. The report added that Israel would extend the truce by an additional day for every ten hostages released.

Palestinian movement Hamas said in a statement on Wednesday that it has agreed with Israel on a four-day truce in the Gaza Strip with the cessation of all hostilities and the release of 50 Israeli hostages in return for 150 Palestinian prisoners. “Following difficult and complex negotiations that lasted for many days, we announce that … we, thanks to the persistent efforts of Qatar and Egypt, have reached an agreement on a humanitarian truce (temporary ceasefire) for four days, according to which a ceasefire on both sides comes, as well as the cessation of all military activities of the occupation army in all areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the cessation of the movement of its military equipment into the Gaza Strip,” Hamas said on Telegram.

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“..In short, the ground battle in northern Gaza has only just begun, and is gearing up to get even hotter in the weeks ahead.”

Gaza ‘Truce’ Won’t Halt The Regional War (Illaik)

The Israeli military has announced the expansion of its ground operations in the northern Gaza Strip. After seizing territories on Gaza’s coastline, in the western part of the northern strip, Tel Aviv’s actual ground operation is now beginning. For more than three weeks of its ground offensive, the occupation army has been operating in areas close to the shoreline, in places where tunnels cannot be dug, and, therefore, areas where the Palestinian resistance does not have significant defensive capabilities. But now, the occupation army is moving eastward from the Gaza coast, allowing the armed resistance to maneuver far more easily and inflict greater losses on the invading soldiers and their armored vehicles – as has become quite evident in recent days. In short, the ground battle in northern Gaza has only just begun, and is gearing up to get even hotter in the weeks ahead.

In support of the resistance in Gaza, the Yemeni army and Ansarallah fighters seized an Israeli-owned vessel in the Red Sea on 19 November after threatening to target all Israeli ships crossing the Bab al-Mandab Strait. Over the past week, on Lebanon’s border with Israel, the Lebanese resistance Hezbollah has increased the frequency of its military operations. On 20 November, the occupation army monitored more than 40 attacks on its positions, one of which was carried out with four rockets, each with an explosive warhead weighing around 500 kilograms. The salvo destroyed the Israeli ‘Branit’ military barracks near the border with Lebanon. In just the past three days, Hezbollah has carried out an average of 12 military operations against Israeli targets each day. Simultaneously, Iraqi resistance attacks are continuing against US military bases in Iraq and Syria – over sixty operations to date.

The increased pace of clashes across West Asia is, however, being widely ignored by many of Tel Aviv’s western allies, whose attention has been diverted by ongoing prisoner exchange talks between Israel and the Palestinian resistance, mediated by Qatar and the US. These weeks-long negotiations are being treated as evidence that the next phase will necessarily be a de-escalation in Palestine. Those expectations have been fanned by a leak that Israel’s cabinet has discussed the imminent demobilization of a number of army reservists. While the Israeli military may indeed demobilize part of the reserve forces it called up after 7 October, this decision is not based on de-escalatory considerations. The more than 300,000 Israeli reservists initially mobilized was far too great for the capacity of the occupation army, which was unable to absorb these personnel into its fronts in Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank.

Despite this, many still optimistically cling to the de-escalation narrative. They are further encouraged by official US statements criticizing – albeit in a watered-down manner – Israel’s targeting of Palestinian civilians, and point to the occasional US-Israel divergences over what they call the “post-Hamas phase” in Gaza as further proof that Tel Aviv will have to scale down its war. But at the current stage of the conflict, these discrepancies and observations are considered totally irrelevant by officials in the region’s Axis of Resistance. They note instead that Washington continues to maintain its pace of arms support for Israel, as it has done since the war’s onset, while sticking to its refusal to entertain any permanent ceasefire.

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“..he manoeuvres to alleviate criticism and to stay in power as long as he can. More importantly, he hopes this will enable him to spread the blame, shedding all and any responsibility and accountability from himself..”

Will the Scorpion Sting the US Frog? (Alastair Crooke)

The allegory is one in which a scorpion depends on the frog for its passage across a flooded river, by hitching a lift on the frog’s back. The frog distrusts the scorpion; but reluctantly agrees. During the crossing the scorpion fatally stings the frog swimming the river, under the scorpion. They both die. It is a tale from antiquity intended to illustrate the nature of tragedy. A Greek tragedy is one in which the crisis at the heart of any ‘tragedy’ does not arise by sheer mischance. The Greek sense is that tragedy is where something happens because it has to happen; because of the nature of the participants; because the actors involved make it happen. And they have no choice but to make it happen, because that is their nature.

It is a story that was deployed by a former senior Israeli diplomat, well versed in U.S. politics. His telling of the frog fable has Israel’s leaders desperately fending off responsibility for the 7 October débacle, with a cabinet furiously trying to turn the crisis (psychologically) from culpable disaster – to present the Israeli public instead with an image of epic opportunity. The chimaera being presented is one that by reaching back to earliest Zionist ideology, Israel can turn the catastrophe in Gaza – as Finance Minister Smotrich has long argued – into a solution that once and for all ‘unilaterally resolves the inherent contradiction between Jewish and Palestinian aspirations – by ending the illusion that any kind of compromise, reconciliation or partition is possible. This is the potential scorpion sting: the Israeli cabinet betting all on a hugely risky strategy – a new Nakba – that could draw Israel into major conflict, but in so doing also sink what remains of western prestige.

Of course, as the former Israeli diplomat underlines, this ploy is essentially constructed around Netanyahu’s personal ambition – he manoeuvres to alleviate criticism and to stay in power as long as he can. More importantly, he hopes this will enable him to spread the blame, shedding all and any responsibility and accountability from himself. [Better still], “it can place Gaza in an historic and epic context as an event that might render the PM as a formative wartime leader of grandeur and glory”. Far-fetched? Not necessarily. Netanyahu may be writhing politically for survival, but he is a true ‘believer’ too. In his book, Going to the Wars, historian Max Hastings writes that Netanyahu 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.” And what is the Israeli cabinet thinking about the ‘next war’? It thinks ‘Hizbullah. As one minister noted recently, ‘after Hamas, we will turn to deal with Hizbullah’.

It is precisely the confluence of a lengthy war in Gaza (along lines established in 2006), and an Israeli leadership seemingly intent to provoke Hizbullah on to, and up, the escalatory ladder, which is causing red lights to flash inside the White House, according to the former Israeli diplomat. In the 2006 war with Hizbullah, the entire urban populated suburb of Beirut – Dahiya – was levelled. General Eizenkot (who commanded Israeli forces during that war and is now a member in Netanyahu’s ‘War Cabinet’) said in 2008: “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on … From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases … This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.”

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Putin first wants more countries to step up to the plate. He won’t be isolated.

Putin Calls For Joint Global Efforts To End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (TASS)

The international community should join forces to find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Russia’s position is consistent and does not change with the situation. We urge the international community to join forces in order to ease tensions, ensure a ceasefire and find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he noted, addressing an extraordinary summit of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). According to Putin, “BRICS nations and the countries of the region could play a key role in this work.” “This is why the participation of our colleagues from the Middle East in today’s meeting, who were invited to join BRICS as full members earlier in the year, is particularly important,” the Russian leader noted.

“I would like to use this opportunity to respectfully commend their efforts to improve the situation, particularly by holding the Peace Summit in Egypt and the extraordinary Arab-Islamic Summit in Saudi Arabia,” Putin said. The Russian president highlighted the fact that “all BRICS countries share similar positions on the need to make joint efforts to find a long-term and sustainable solution to the prolonged Israeli-Palestinian issue.” In his view, “this became evident in the UN General Assembly’s vote on a draft resolution on a humanitarian ceasefire, as well as in discussions of a UN Security Council resolution on the Middle East settlement, which was adopted for the first time in seven years.” “Even though the resolution only calls for humanitarian pauses and not for a ceasefire, we see its adoption as a step in the right direction,” the Russian president pointed out. He stressed that “while a full ceasefire would be better, such humanitarian pauses are required for efforts to release hostages and evacuate civilians and foreign nationals from the Gaza Strip.”

The UN Security Council earlier passed a Malta-drafted humanitarian resolution aimed at assisting children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone. The seven-point document particularly calls for long humanitarian pauses and the immediate release of all hostages, especially children. Putin also thanked his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for facilitating the evacuation of Russian nationals from Gaza. The Russian leader emphasized the need to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East and prevent the conflict from expanding. “By and large, ensuring a long-term and sustainable ceasefire is certainly the most pressing goal,” Putin noted. “It is important to stop other countries from being dragged into the war in the Middle East and prevent the conflict from expanding, as well as to preserve the fragile interfaith peace,” he added.

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“..that’s actually BRICS 10, because after the election of pro-Hegemon Zionist Javier “Chainsaw Massacre” Milei for President, Argentina is now out of the picture, and possibly discarded by January 1st, 2024..”

Will Russia-China Patience Extinguish the Fire in West Asia? (Pepe Escobar)

Everyone familiar with West Asia – from US generals to grocers in the Arab Street – knows that Israel is a landed aircraft carrier whose mission is to keep West Asia in check on behalf of the Hegemon. Of course in a dog eats dog geopolitical environment it’s easy to misunderstand all wag the dog shenanigans. What’s certain is that for hegemonic circles of the US Deep State, and certainly for the White House and the Pentagon, what matters in the current incandescent juncture is the uber-extreme/genocidal Likud-led Netanyahu government in Israel, not “Israel” per se. That projects Netanyahu as the exact mirror image of the beleaguered sweaty sweatshirt actor in Kiev. Quite the geopolitical gift – in terms of deflecting blame away from the Hegemon for a genocide deployed live on every smartphone on the planet.

And all that conducted under a veneer of legality – as in the White House and the State Department “advising” Tel Aviv to act with moderation; yes, you can bomb hospitals, schools, medical workers, journalists, thousands of women, thousands of children, but please be gentle. Meanwhile, the Hegemon has deployed an Armada to the Eastern Mediterranean, complete with two very expensive iron bathtubs, sorry aircraft carrier groups plus a nuclear submarine close to the Persian Gulf. That’s not exactly to survey guerrillas in underground tunnels and to “protect” Israel. The ultimate – neocon and Zio-con – targets are of course Hezbollah, Syria, Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq and Iran: the whole Axis of Resistance.Iran-Russia-China, the new neocon-defined “axis of evil”, which happen to be the Top Three Actors of Eurasia integration, for all practical purposes have interpreted the genocide in Gaza as an Israeli-American operation. And they have clearly identified the key vector: energy.

The inestimable Michael Hudson has noted how “we’re really seeing something very much like the Crusades here. It’s a real fight for who is going to control energy, because, again, the key, if you can control the world’s flow of energy, you can do to the whole world what the United States did to Germany last year by blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines.” And that brings us to the fascinating case of the OIC/Arab World delegation of Foreign Ministers now on tour of selected capitals promoting their plan for a complete ceasefire in Gaza plus negotiations for an independent Palestinian state. The delegation, called the Gaza Contact Group, includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria and Palestine.

Their first stop was Beijing, meeting Wang Yi, and the second stop Moscow, meeting Sergei Lavrov. That tells us all we need to know about BRICS 11 in action – even before the fact. Well, that’s actually BRICS 10, because after the election of pro-Hegemon Zionist Javier “Chainsaw Massacre” Milei for President, Argentina is now out of the picture, and possibly discarded by January 1st, 2024, when BRICS previously 11 starts under the Russian presidency. The OIC/Arab League special conference on Palestine in Saudi Arabia had yielded a meek final declaration that disappointed virtually the whole Global South/Global Majority. But then something started to move. Foreign Ministers started to coordinate closely. At first Egypt with China, after previous coordination with Iran and Turkey. That may sound counter-intuitive – but it’s all due to the gravity of the situation. That explains why the Iranian Foreign Minister is not part of the current traveling delegation – which is led, in practice, by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The meeting with Lavrov coincided with an extraordinary online BRICS meeting on Palestine, called by the current South African presidency. Crucial point: the flags of new members Iran, Egypt and Ethiopia could be identified behind the speakers. Iran’s President Raisi went no holds barred, calling for BRICS member states to use every political and economic tool available to pressure Israel. Xi Jinping called once again for a two-state solution and positioned China as the mediator of choice. For the first time Xi in his own words laid it all out: “There can be no security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine. I have emphasized on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in a two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent state of Palestine.” And it should all start via an international conference.

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“The story is that Joe Biden, the president of the United States is lacking in such mental capacity that the presidency is being managed by people who weren’t elected to do that job. That’s what people should be worried about.”

Biden Op-ed Likening Russia to Hamas is Result of Dementia – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden lacks the mental ability to draw parallels between Russia and Hamas, says a former US Marine. The Washington Post ran an op-ed under Biden’s byline at the weekend, likening the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement Hamas’ breakout from the besieged Gaza Strip on October 7 to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in defence of the Russian-speaking Donbass region — following eight years of Ukrainian shelling of civilians. Biden “didn’t write this” as he “doesn’t have the mental capacity,” Ritter told Sputnik. “I’m not picking on him, I’m just being honest,” he said. “This was written by his national security staff. It was edited by Jake Sullivan. I believe [US Secretary of State] Tony Blinken came in with a lot of stuff that this was a collaborative effort by the people who are managing Joe Biden.” “This is the story, not the content of the op-ed,” Ritter stressed. “The story is that Joe Biden, the president of the United States is lacking in such mental capacity that the presidency is being managed by people who weren’t elected to do that job. That’s what people should be worried about.”

But he said the words attributed to Biden no longer carry the same weight as comments by previous presidents, thanks to the proliferation of alternatives to the mainstream media. “So when Joe Biden or his managers publish an op-ed of this nature, it no longer has the same cachet, the same impact that it would have ten years ago,” Ritter argued. “Today, it’s immediately cancelled out as ridiculous as absurd.” Ritter wrote for Consortium News last week that Biden and Blinken were being disingenuous in their call for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, given that no Israeli leader in decades has been serious about implementing it. “Even if such a governing coalition could be crafted together to politically sustain the idea of a two-state solution that fails to resonate with Israelis and Palestinians alike, there remains the ultimate hurdle that needs to be cleared before any notion of a lasting peace between Israeli and Palestinian states premised on the notion of equality — Israel’s nuclear weapons program,” Ritter wrote.

The former weapons inspector said Israel’s nuclear program had been “shrouded in ambiguity from the moment it was born, back in the 1960s when they actually produced a weapon.” “The United States has been the principal reason why this has happened,” Ritter pointed out. “The Nixon administration was confronted with the fact that Israel had nuclear weapons. We knew it. And they were in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, because even if they didn’t sign the treaty, we signed the treaty. And the treaty only allows five declared nuclear powers. So we would have to sanction Israel.” He underscored the aggressive nature of Israel’s military doctrine known as the “Samson option” after the biblical hero who collapsed the temple of the Philistines, killing them and himself. That doctrine mandates first use of nuclear weapons against neighboring Middle Eastern states if Israel faces military defeat and a return to Palestinian majority rule.

“That’s Israel’s nuclear policy, that if Israel goes, everybody goes,” Ritter explained. “And we went along with it because we believed that we could secure Israel enough so they would never have to use this weapon.” But Biden’s ostensible resurrection of the two-state solution calls that doctrine into question, he said. “A Palestinian state implies that Israel has normalized relations with their Palestinian neighbors and by extension, their regional neighbors.Therefore, there could be no justification for the continuation of this policy,” Ritter said. “Moreover, Palestine could never be considered free and independent so long as it was living next door to a nuclear power, an undeclared nuclear power.”

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“European leaders want to understand whether they will have their say in the process of replacing Zelensky, or whether this political transformation in Kiev will be carried out, as usual, by two powers – London and Washington..”

Western Leaders Came to Ukraine to Test Kiev Regime Viability (Sp.)

European Council President Charles Michel arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday as well as Maia Sandu, president of Moldova. Separately, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius took the train to Kiev to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on an unannounced visit. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin landed in Ukraine on Monday to unveil a new US military aid package worth $100 million for the Ukrainian military. Prior to that, new Foreign Secretary David Cameron made his first trip to the Eastern European country last week. “Firstly, we must not forget that today all ‘progressive’ humanity is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Maidan,” Dmitry Evstafiev, political scientist and HSE University professor, told Sputnik with a touch of irony referring to the 2014 February coup in Kiev.

“Therefore, all the main European leaders, in Kiev, in fact, defend the policy that they began 10 years ago to finally turn Ukraine against Russia. This was a very important strategic choice. And this was, first of all, a European choice, not an American one. The Americans simply hijacked the processes that the Europeans launched, hijacked it successfully and effectively in such a way that today’s Europe, while still representing something geopolitically, no longer represents anything in terms of geoeconomics.” Secondly, it has become obvious that the Zelensky regime is becoming “catastrophically toxic” not only for the United States, but also for Europe, Evstafiev continued. “For the United States, the Zelensky regime has become toxic for quite a while, and it was a very difficult story for the Americans, which turned the issue of supporting, in fact, a radical nationalist, almost dictatorial at that time, and now an overtly dictatorial regime, into one of the most important topics of internal political struggle in the United States,” the professor remarked.

Per Evstafiev, Washington is no longer concealing the fact that it wants to turn a Ukraine conflict into a big European war using the desire of the Zelensky regime to somehow survive amid the deteriorating military situation and dwindling US support. The high-profile visits came at a time when the West has shifted focus on the Palestinian-Israeli standoff, which reportedly frustrated Zelensky. The Western mainstream press has also recently changed its coverage of the conflict from lauding Ukraine to admitting Kiev’s failure to proceed with its counteroffensive. Against this backdrop, European leaders are apparently trying to find out to what extent the Kiev regime is viable and whether it is worth continuing to support Volodymyr Zelensky, the expert said.

“And here there is a second layer to this issue: European leaders want to understand whether they will have their say in the process of replacing Zelensky, or whether this political transformation in Kiev will be carried out, as usual, by two powers – London and Washington. In this sense, of course, the outright incapacity of the German government and the virtual absence of political leadership in Germany becomes a huge problem for Europeans. Nevertheless, Europeans may try to seize on some opportunities in Kiev and try to defend their positions and their interests in the process of changing power in Kiev.”

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“U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war..”

US Mission To NATO Signals Zelensky Must Sit At “Negotiating Table” (ZH)

The official X account of the US Mission to NATO wrote Monday, “In this tough and dynamic battle, Ukraine’s soldiers are fighting bravely every single day, and they continue to inspire the world with their bravery and courage.” “We will continue to support them to be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table when the time comes,” the statement said. This marks a drastic shift in public messaging. Up to a short while ago, the Biden administration had essentially banished the words “negotiating table” from its public discourse. Journalist Glenn Greenwald has commented of this narrative shift: “The West is now telling Zelensky, more or less explicitly and right out in the open: time to wrap this up.” This significant difference in public rhetoric has also begun to appear more and more in mainstream media, which has also very belatedly reflected the American public’s ‘war fatigue’ – which was already setting in even before Ukraine’s much-vaunted early summer attempt at a counteroffensive…

It’s widely believed that talks could already quietly be happening, and that Washington is finally pressuring the Zelensky government to find compromise. “U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war, according to one current senior U.S. official and one former senior U.S. official familiar with the discussions,” an early November report in NBC said. “The conversations have included very broad outlines of what Ukraine might need to give up to reach a deal, the officials said.” Certainly, at the very least this will include Kiev permanently giving up any future claims on Crimea. But the question of the four annexed territories is what will determine whether a peace deal is reached or not.

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“He claims, as have other Democratic members, that “you can’t use hate speech.” That is demonstrably and completely wrong. Hate speech is protected under the First Amendment. You cannot commit hate crimes.”

Rep. Goldman Denounced “Dangerous” Rhetoric Using Dangerous Rhetoric (Turley)

Even in his freshman year, Democratic New York Rep. Dan Goldman has proven one of the most controversial members in Congress from attacking witnesses to inadvertently undermining the Biden defenses. The latest controversy involves a call to “eliminate” Donald Trump after accusing him of using “inflammatory rhetoric.” He has since apologized for his own language. Despite being one of the many past targets of Goldman’s wrath, I do not believe that Goldman was calling for violence. It was what I call “rage rhetoric” in my book The Indispensable Right. However, the incident shows the perils of criminalizing political speech. Goldman remains a favorite on MSNBC where he rarely fails to disappoint viewers with his brand of smash-mouth politics and rhetoric. It was, therefore, somewhat ironic for Jen Psaki to interview him on the inflammatory rhetoric in this election on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki.”

Goldman responded: “rhetoric is really getting dangerous, more and more dangerous, and we saw what happened on Jan. 6, when he uses inflammatory rhetoric. It is just unquestionable at this point that that man cannot see public office again. He is not only unfit, he is destructive to our democracy and he has to be eliminated.” Some have called for Goldman to be investigated by the Secret Service. Others have called for a censure resolution. I do not agree. It was clearly reckless rhetoric and not a true threat. Yet, the incident shows how inflammatory terms are often used in politics. In the very same sentence in which Goldman denounced “dangerous” rhetoric, he proceeded to use dangerous rhetoric. Rep. Goldman has been one of the most vocal voices for prosecuting incitement based on such language.

In an interview with NPR, Goldman (who was counsel in the Trump impeachment) defended the use of such rhetoric as the basis for impeachment or prosecution: “there’s all sorts of speech that is criminalized. You can’t – you know, you can’t use hate speech. You – people – in all sorts of crimes. You can’t send death threats across, you know, the Internet. There are so many criminal laws that do criminalize speech, and so the notion that the president of the United States somehow has a First Amendment right to be protected by the government for his speech doesn’t make any sense. It’s a backwards argument, and it’s a loser.” As a threshold observation, the interview shows how dangerously ill-informed Goldman is on the First Amendment. He claims, as have other Democratic members, that “you can’t use hate speech.” That is demonstrably and completely wrong. Hate speech is protected under the First Amendment. You cannot commit hate crimes.

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“I have endorsed him wholeheartedly,” Johnson said. “He had a phenomenal first term. His first two years, as you all know, we brought about the greatest economic numbers in the history of the world, not just the country, because his policies work.”

‘All In’ for Trump House Speaker Johnson Pays Visit to Mar-a-Lago (Sp.)

On Monday, US House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) made the pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago, the estate of former US President Donald Trump, who is leading the polls among Republicans in the 2024 race for the presidency. According to US media reports, Johnson attended a fundraiser hosted by Trump for US Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) who, like Johnson, is a close supporter of Trump. It was reportedly the first time Johnson and Trump have spoken since the Louisiana lawmaker became House Speaker a month ago. The previous Speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), had a troubled relationship with the former president, and it was ultimately a strongly pro-Trump faction of the House GOP Caucus that caused McCarthy’s eviction from the Speaker’s seat in early October.

In the fracas of selecting a new Speaker, Trump endorsed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) instead of Johnson and even floated the idea of him becoming Speaker himself for a time, since the Constitution doesn’t require that the Speaker be a sitting member of Congress. However, Trump did eventually urge Republican lawmakers to rally behind Johnson because he was the leading candidate and the lower Congressional chamber had been without leadership for three weeks. After Johnson was elected Speaker, Trump praised him for being an underdog. “At this time yesterday, nobody was thinking of Mike,” Trump said. “And then we put out the word, and now he’s the Speaker of the House. So I want to just thank all of the supporters that I have, and I want to thank all the supporters that Mike has, and again, he’ll be a great Speaker. I think you’re going to be very proud.”

Johnson has remained loyal to Trump, too. Johnson and Bilirakis were both signatories of an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in late 2020 that supported Trump’s claim that the November 2020 election had been marred by fraud, invalidating his loss to Joe Biden. While those claims have been widely discredited in the years since, including by many who were part of Trump’s cabinet at the time, Johnson is one figure who has maintained that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump. Last week, Johnson told reporters he was “all in” on Trump’s 2024 election bid. “I have endorsed him wholeheartedly,” Johnson said. “He had a phenomenal first term. His first two years, as you all know, we brought about the greatest economic numbers in the history of the world, not just the country, because his policies work. And I’m all in for President Trump.”

Trump has not yet won the Republican National Committee’s endorsement as their presidential candidate, but has led the pack of candidates since announcing his intention to run. The latest poll by Morning Consult found two-thirds of GOP voters ready to pull the lever for Trump in November 2024; however another poll by Harvard CAPS-Harris found that 60% of likely Trump voters said there is “at least some chance” they would support a different candidate. Behind Trump, the Morning Consult poll found just 13% of GOP voters support Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and 9% support former UN ambassador Nikki Haley. However, Trump is also facing down several criminal cases that have levied a wide array of federal offense accusations at him, including related to the January 6, 2021, insurrection by his supporters at the US Capitol and the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago during an FBI raid in August 2022. Some of the charges could bar him from running for public office if he is found guilty.

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There are so many of these, it’s hard to keep track.

Trump Seeks To Halt Gag Order In Election Meddling Case (BBC)

An appeals court is weighing a bid by Donald Trump to halt the limited gag order he faces in his federal trial on election subversion charges. The order keeps Mr Trump from speaking out against court personnel, potential witnesses or the special counsel’s office. It is currently on hold. Lawyers for the former president and current Republican frontrunner called for the order to be revoked. But a three-judge panel appeared sceptical over lifting the restriction. The trio of Democratic appointees grilled both sides over the most appropriate way to balance free speech considerations with the integrity and safety of those involved in a criminal trial that begins next March. After an initial hearing that was scheduled for 40 minutes but lasted more than two hours, the judges did not issue an immediate ruling.

Attorneys for Mr Trump had challenged what they called an effort to censor his speech in the midst of a hotly contested presidential campaign. But prosecutors with the US justice department argued he has a “well-established practice of using his public platform to target his adversaries”. Mr Trump’s criticism of those involved in the federal case over the 2020 election had occurred most recently this weekend, they noted. At a Saturday campaign rally in Iowa, Mr Trump called Special Counsel Jack Smith, the key prosecutor involved in the case, “deranged” and a “Trump-hating prosecutor”. He also said that Mr Smith’s “wife and family despise me much more than he does”, at “about a 15 on a scale of 10”.

They were the types of remarks that Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the election subversion case, has sought to limit since she issued a “narrowly tailored” gag order last month. Her intention, she said, was to prevent “a pre-trial smear campaign”. “The order is unprecedented and it sets a terrible precedent for future restrictions on core political speech,” John Sauer, Mr Trump’s attorney, told the Washington DC appeals court on Monday. Mr Sauer claimed there was no evidence that anybody involved in the case was facing an “imminent, pending threat” because of Mr Trump.

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“Yes, there was an insurrection of sorts. Those in power hated Donald Trump so much that they were willing to torture and even murder their fellow Americans to keep him from the presidency. Unless these people are brought to justice, we will have no Republic left to defend.”

We Must Demand Justice for the January 6th Protestors! (Ron Paul)

New US House Speaker Mike Johnson struck a blow for liberty and justice last week when he finally authorized the release of all the tapes from the January 6, 2021 “insurrection.” We were told by no less than President Biden himself that this was the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” The FBI was unleashed by the Biden Administration to hunt down hundreds of participants in this “insurrection” and lock them up in the gulag where they awaited trial in torturous conditions – many in solitary confinement. A Congressional Committee was set up under then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “get to the bottom” of the “Trump-led insurrection.” It did not include a single Representative nominated by the opposition Republican Party, but rather two “Republicans” – Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – who could be relied on by Pelosi and the Democrats to toe the line.

In short, the whole thing was an old-fashioned Soviet show trial, where the evidence was kept secret and the pre-determined verdict – guilty – was to be used to tighten the grip of the ruling regime and intimidate any further dissenters into silence. The message was clear: “speak out against the ‘perfection’ of the 2020 election and you may find yourself in the gulag along with the insurrectionists.” It was terrifying and profoundly anti-American. And, as we finally can see for ourselves thanks to Speaker Johnson, it was a huge lie. The new video shows demonstrators shaking hands with police officers once they entered the Capitol Building. They were welcomed into the building by officers who even held the doors for them to enter! They had no way of knowing that they would soon be rounded up and locked away.

Does that mean no crimes were committed on January 6th? Not at all. The tapes already released were carefully chosen to single out examples of violence and other possible criminality. But the full release of the tapes demonstrates beyond a doubt that the endless propaganda that this was a coordinated attempt to overthrow the government was false. And as for that violence and mayhem on January 6th? How much of it was instigated by undercover FBI agents? New footage clearly shows officers outside the building firing on protestors with no warning. That must be why, in hearing after hearing, Biden Administration officials like Attorney General Merrick Garland have refused to tell Congress the number of federal agents present and their roles in instigating violence.

The release of this evidence should immediately result in the release of all non-violent protestors awaiting trial or serving their sentences. Those in power responsible for promoting this lie should take their places in the jail cells. This delayed justice will not help protesters like Matthew Perna, however. Though the new video release clearly shows him calmly walking inside the Capitol in the presence of unconcerned police officers, when Merrick Garland’s Department of “Justice” announced they would seek terrorism charges against him, Perna, in despair, decided to hang himself in his garage. Yes, there was an insurrection of sorts. Those in power hated Donald Trump so much that they were willing to torture and even murder their fellow Americans to keep him from the presidency. Unless these people are brought to justice, we will have no Republic left to defend.

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Texas AG Ken Paxton is busy. He has officially opened an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity, and sued Pfizer at the same time.. Both of whom are dealing with the same judge.

Texas AG Sues Pfizer Over Tainted Children’s Drugs (ZH)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued Pfizer and Tris Pharma “for defrauding the Texas Medicaid program by providing adulterated pharmaceutical drugs to Texas children.” Specifically, Pfizer’s ADHD drug “Quillivant XR” was “knowingly distributed” to children on Medicaid despite the drugmaker’s “pattern of failing quality control tests” due to a flawed manufacturing process by Tris, which Pfizer contracted with to produce the drug, according to the complaint. “I am horrified by the dishonesty we uncovered in this investigation,” said Texas AG Ken Paxton. “Pfizer and Tris intentionally concealed and failed to disclose the issues with Quillivant to receive taxpayer funded benefits through Texas Medicaid, defrauding the state and endangering children.

Our Civil Medicaid Fraud Division has done an outstanding job holding these pharmaceutical companies accountable.” According to the filing, “At no point did Defendants warn Texas Medicaid providers or decision-makers that Quillivant had known manufacturing issues affecting its efficacy, thereby depriving the Medicaid program of the crucial information it relies on.… As a result, thousands of Texas children received an adulterated Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance.”The lawsuit, initially filed under seal, was unsealed at the AG’s request.

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“Barnea, who represents the CIA and Pompeo, contended that the Fourth Amendment right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution did not apply at the Ecuador embassy in London..”

Lawsuit Against Alleged CIA Spying On Assange Visitors (Gosztola)

United States court held an extraordinary hearing on November 16, where a judge carefully considered a lawsuit against the CIA and former CIA director Mike Pompeo for their alleged role in spying on American attorneys and journalists who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Judge John Koeltl of the Southern District of New York pushed back when Assistant U.S. Attorney Jean-David Barnea refused to confirm or deny that the CIA had targeted Americans without obtaining a warrant. He also invited attorneys for the Americans to update the lawsuit so that claims of privacy violations explicitly dealt with the government’s lack of a warrant. In August 2022, four Americans sued the CIA and Pompeo: Margaret Ratner Kunstler, a civil rights activist and human rights attorney; Deborah Hrbek, a media lawyer who represented Assange or WikiLeaks; journalist John Goetz, who worked for Der Spiegel when the German media organization first partnered with WikiLeaks; and journalist Charles Glass, who wrote articles on Assange for The Intercept.

The lawsuit alleged that as visitors Glass, Goetz, Hrbek, and Kunstler were required to “surrender” their electronic devices to employees of a Spanish company called UC Global, which was contracted to provide security for the Ecuador embassy. UC Global and the company’s director David Morales “copied the information stored on the devices” and shared the information with the CIA. The agency even had access to live video and audio feeds from cameras in the embassy. On June 4, 2023, the Spanish newspaper El País reported that UC Global director David Morales had a folder on his laptop marked “CIA.” Spanish police initially withheld 213 gigabytes of files in a criminal case against Morales that has unfolded as the U.S. government pursues Assange’s extradition on Espionage Act charges. (Morales and UC Global were sued as well.)

Often a lawsuit—especially one involving allegations of illegal and unchecked surveillance—would end swiftly. A judge would accept all of the “national security” arguments made by the CIA and dismiss the case. However, Koeltl has chosen to be more fair and measured when assessing the stunning allegations. Barnea, who represents the CIA and Pompeo, contended that the Fourth Amendment right to privacy under the U.S. Constitution did not apply at the Ecuador embassy in London. The CIA did not play a “sufficient role in controlling or directing” the actions of Morales and UC Global contractors. When Barnea maintained that CIA access to live video feeds would not necessarily mean that the agency was in control or directing UC Global, Koeltl seemed baffled.

“So U.S. agents were monitoring the feed in the United States, and that’s not sufficient involvement by the government?” “You don’t seem to dispute in your papers that a warrant would be necessary to seize the contents of the electronic devices,” Koeltl said, as Barnea outlined the government’s argument that Americans who visited Assange had no “reasonable expectation of privacy” when they entered the embassy. “You don’t seem to dispute in your papers that a warrant would be necessary to seize the contents of the electronic devices,” Koeltl said, as Barnea outlined the government’s argument that Americans who visited Assange had no “reasonable expectation of privacy” when they entered the embassy. Barnea replied, “I don’t believe that a warrant is ever required outside the United States. The Second Circuit [Court of Appeals] has held that the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment only applies within the United States.”


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Net Zero

 

 

 

 

Moderna

 

 

 

 

Carnivore

 

 

Belgium bicycle

 

 

Raccoons

 

 


Argentinosaurus lived on the then-island continent of South America somewhere between 97 and 93.5 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period. It is among the largest known dinosaurs and this is the size of its leg (human for scale).

 

 

 

 

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Nov 202023
 
 November 20, 2023  Posted by at 8:04 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Still life with bible 1885

 

 

We, in the western world, need to start paying real attention. Not to what our governments proclaim, but to what is really happening. And those are two very different things. When we read that the average age of the ~20k Palestinians massacred in the last month is FIVE YEARS OLD, we cannot shrug that off. When we see the footage of children dying outside of their incubators because the power has been cut off, or we see that patients have their wounds infected with maggots, we can’t just look the other way.

Because if we do, we’re back 80 years in time, straight into the Holocaust. Just with the roles of victims and perpetrators reversed. How could we possibly accept such a thing? Sure, there was the US in Vietnam and neighboring countries 50-60 years ago. Remember what stopped that ? It was shown on TV! But 50 years later, the TV doesn’t have the same effect anymore. Networks block the dead babies and maggots, so do social media, and we continue our daily lives as if everything’s normal.

But picking up where the Holocaust left off is not normal. Remember “never again”? We’re still involved in a war that killed 400,000+ young Ukrainians for no purpose at all. Never again? It sounds more like “give it to me one more time”.

I live in the EU, and they have never had any position of their own on anything. Which is not surprising, because their leaders are all selected, not elected. Lagarde, Borrell and Von der leyen are all US lapdogs. So the EU economy is -fast- going down the drain. Hey, there’s no-one to protect it! I’ve asked before, -half- jokingly: should we move to Russia? Their economy is doing fine.

Talking about Russia: I don’t like Putin and Xi’s silence on the new Holocaust. I get that they don’t want to be part of some new world war, but just like you and me, they also are responsible for maggots and dead babies. We all are. All of mankind, all of humanity. It’s Putin and Xi’s humanity too that is getting lost.

It appears that that is what we need to re-find: humanity. Simply, the space within ourselves that binds us to other people. Normally, people will recognize that concept. But not today -or in 1944. If you live in a country whose government supports Israel in its efforts to kill babies and entire populations, what are you supposed to think? That you must support your government? Most people would be inclined to say yes.

But how about the babies? C’mon, I am convinced that 99% of people are much better than this. They just have to learn to stand up.

 

 

 

 

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Nov 122023
 
 November 12, 2023  Posted by at 10:08 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Canaletto Venice, View of the Churches of the Redentore and San Giacomo 1750

 

We Are ‘The Resistance’ (Julian Rose)
Self-defence and the Right to Resist in Palestine (Sinclair/Cohn)
West Asian Governments Take Stance Against Israeli Occupation (Rahman)
Israel Acting Like ‘Spoiled Child’ Of The West – Erdogan (RT)
WaPo Calls Ukrainian Colonel ‘Coordinator’ of Nord Stream Attacks (Sp.)
Ukraine Risks Losing Entire Fleet of Leopard Tanks (Sp.)
EU Can Circumvent Hungarian Veto On Ukraine Aid – Media (RT)
Next Month Could Decide Ukraine Conflict – Macron (RT)
Germany Wants To Send Asylum Seekers To Africa – WSJ (RT)
From The Testimony of Special Counsel David Weiss (Techno Fog)
David Weiss and America’s First Nihilist Prosecutor (Turley)
NBC Compares Hunter’s Influence Peddling to Haley’s Daughter’s TikTok (Turley)
Gerald Celente Withdraws Support due to Kennedy’s Israel War Position (Dick)
We are Spartacus (John Pilger)

 

 

 

 

Nakba

 

 

 

 

Arab

 

 

Norway

 

 

 

 

Gaza gas

 

 

Assad

 

 

 

 

London protest


https://twitter.com/i/status/1723377760653942956

 

 

Patrick Henningsen @21WIRE: “All of the main “so horrific” narratives attributed to Hamas on Oct 7th & subsequently used by Israel and western warmongers to justify the carpet bombing and genocide in #Gaza – have been proven to be completely fabricated. Thats right: total fake news.”

 

 

 

 

“..the most telling indicator of the bankruptcy of what is considered to be ‘civilised society’”

We Are ‘The Resistance’ (Julian Rose)

As one attempts to make sense of the horrors of war that the global media flashes across screens and newsprint, day and night 24/7, one can feel a numbing sensation closing down one’s ability to respond, as an organic human being should respond. The breathtaking volume of bombs, blood and brutality that form the centrepiece of the devastation in Gaza, comes on top of the seemingly interminable hostilities playing-out their realities in Ukraine. In all of this, any sign of a credible, reasoned and rational intervention is lost beneath a sea of soulless, hypocritical statements from those in positions of ‘authority’ on the world stage. National or geopolitical ‘positions’ taken by rolled-out representatives of the status quo, are held to be more important than responses that have some link to heart felt emotions.

Scenes of mass genocide and ethnic cleansing are condoned as ‘acceptable’ if those responding to the bloodbath see some political or geopolitical advantage in backing the cause of the chief protagonist. Those who for long periods of their lives are deeply repressed and isolated, seek reprisals if ever the chance comes their way to breakout of slavery. This is, under permanent conditions of inhuman containment, an almost inevitable reaction. One cannot judge behaviour patterns of those suffering under conditions of persistent repression, as being in any way comparable to what are considered acceptable behaviour patterns in times of relative peace and freedom. The human struggle for a basic degree of liberty is forced into taking the form of a violent struggle when no other support intervenes to bring justice to bear.

This lack of coordinated intervention to end a massacre is the most perilous aspect of the ‘Israel-Hamas’ conflict, and it the most telling indicator of the bankruptcy of what is considered to be ‘civilised society’. A fear of going against the dogma of what constitutes the pecking order of the global power pyramid, appears to paralyse nations from coming together to enforce a humane path of conflict intervention and resolution, however tenuous that might initially be. But the truth is, that behind this implausible state of impasse, is a small anti-life global cult that wishes to prolong the pain and destruction for its own ends, and covertly backs both sides of the conflict in order to produce the maximum disruption, chaos and death.

Yes, this is pure evil in action. It is the manifestation of a long standing, once covert, but now overt demonic ambition – whose roots go far back in human history – and which has recently emerged as the chief protagonist of disruptive chaos and division now manifesting at the foundational level of our daily lives. The problem for all of us who are determined to resist the manifestations of such dark actors, is that this cult is very clever, highly deceptive and well disguised. Its main agents wear a fixed smile, a pressed shirt and are very well rehearsed in powers of communication. Psychopaths in a suit. One would never guess that they harbour an abiding hate for a creative, loving humanity. But they do.

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“A state cannot invoke the right of self-defence to defend against an attack which originates inside a territory it occupies..”

Self-defence and the Right to Resist in Palestine (Sinclair/Cohn)

[..] The UN charter requires all states to settle their international disputes peacefully so as not to endanger international peace and security. That doesn’t just apply to states, but also to the settlement of any international disputes. The charter says no state can use military force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state “or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the UN.” Although Israel denies that Palestine is a state, the Israeli Supreme Court in the Targeted Killings case recognised the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians to be of an international character. Israel cannot use the Palestinians’ lack of statehood to justify its use of military force.

The only two exceptions to the prohibition on the use of force are when a state acts in self-defence or the [UN] security council authorises force. A state may use military force in self-defence under Article 51 of the charter “if an armed attack occurs” against a state. The use of armed force for reprisal or retaliation is prohibited. For an armed attack to give rise to the right of self-defence, it must be directed from outside the territory under the control of the defending state. A state cannot invoke the right of self-defence to defend against an attack which originates inside a territory it occupies. Because Israel has continued to occupy Gaza, it has relinquished its right to claim self-defence in response to the Palestinian attacks.

In its 2004 advisory opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) established the non-applicability of “self-defence” under Article 51 in the situation between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Israel remains an occupying power in Gaza despite its unilateral removal of settlements. After the 2005 election of Hamas, Israel imposed a blockade against Gaza which is specifically listed as an act of aggression under UN general assembly resolution 3314. An occupying force has a duty to protect the people it occupies; it cannot claim self-defence against the occupied.

Actions taken by Palestinians to resist the blockade are not “acts of aggression” so they do not allow Israel to claim it is acting in self-defence. Aside from the illegality of targeting and killing civilians, what does international law say about Palestinians resisting the occupation, including with armed force? Whether the use of force in the first instance is lawful is a separate question from how that force is carried out. For targeting and killing civilians and taking hostages, Hamas leaders can be charged with war crimes. The Palestinians, however, have the right to self-determination and the right to resist Israel’s occupation of their territory, including through armed struggle.

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Driving the Arab world together.

West Asian Governments Take Stance Against Israeli Occupation (Rahman)

The responses to Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza from some of the West Asian countries have set an interesting pattern. These responses defy a decades long trend of muted opposition and behind the curtain compromises. More importantly, this is yet another indication of growing assertion and independence of these countries from US hegemony. Since the 1980s, the US was able to use its military and economic power to create a complete hegemony over the ruling classes in the West Asian region. The countries which maintained their independence were exceptions, such as Syria and Iran. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was forced to seek a compromise with the occupation, after governments in the region threatened to withdraw their support, under clear US pressure.

In this sense, the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993 and in 1995 is seen as a part of the US scheme for the region. The absence of any strong opposition to Israel’s repeated wars and large scale human rights violations in Gaza and other occupied Palestinian territories in the intervening period can be explained in the context of that US hegemony. In a general way, one can see that the countries which did not fall in line with the US were forced into endless wars starting with Iraq, then Yemen, Libya, and Syria or isolated through prolonged sanctions such as in Iran. Egypt and Jordan, highly dependent on the US, had long established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively and played a crucial role in forcing Palestinians to accept the unviable Oslo agreements.

Those who could not establish formal relations with Israel were persuaded to maintain a kind of neutrality by not criticizing Israeli war crimes in the occupied territories. The dependence on the US arms and military assistance led some of the Gulf countries and Morocco to even sign a normalization deal with Israel in recent years. Ever since the beginning of the Israeli war on Gaza, however, the positions of tacit and explicit compliance with Israel have changed. Many countries in the region, including those who had signed the so-called Abraham Accords, have taken assertive positions on the issue, with many calling Israel an aggressor and demanding an end to the occupation. The visits of the US president Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken were ineffective in getting any public assurances from the regional leaders prompting the US to deploy more armed personnel and more warships in the region.

Egypt has refused to open Rafah borders as requested by Israel and the US so that they could push millions of Palestinians out of Gaza for an indefinite period. Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi even advised Israel to relocate the displaced Palestinians in its Negev desert. Egyptian authorities allowed large scale gatherings of people in solidarity rallies for Palestine, perhaps for the first time since the military coup in 2013. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called the bombings in Gaza a massacre and criticized Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as someone “not worth talking to.” Turkey eventually withdrew its ambassador from Israel.

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“It is a shame that Western countries, always a voice for human rights and freedoms, remain silent on the massacre in Palestine..”

Israel Acting Like ‘Spoiled Child’ Of The West – Erdogan (RT)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hit out at the collective West for inaction amid what he said was an ongoing “massacre in Palestine,” adding that the Israeli government is behaving like a “spoiled child” in its response to Hamas’ cross-border attack on October 7. Speaking at a joint Arab-Islamic summit in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on Saturday, Erdogan accused Western nations of double standards and highlighted what he sees as contrasts in their responses to other global conflicts. He added that “the Israeli government is acting like the spoiled child of the West, and it has to compensate for the damages that it causes.” “It is a shame that Western countries, always a voice for human rights and freedoms, remain silent on the massacre in Palestine,” Erdogan said, according to the Anadolu news agency.

“We are faced with unprecedented barbarism in history, where hospitals, schools, and refugee camps are bombed and civilians are massacred.” Saturday’s emergency summit at which the Turkish leader spoke was jointly organized by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as representatives of the Arab and Islamic world convened to discuss the Israeli-Hamas conflict. In his comments, Erdogan added that Western countries “are not even making a call for a ceasefire to Israel.” On Thursday, US President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House that he currently sees “no possibility” for a ceasefire in Gaza, arguing that this would only benefit Hamas. Erdogan also stressed the importance of supplying fuel to places in urgent need in Gaza, particularly hospitals, and said that Türkiye will provide ten flights of essential supplies to El Arish airport in Egypt to be dispatched to Gaza.

He also suggested the establishment of an OIC fund to help with the rebuilding of Gaza, saying that Türkiye would provide comprehensive support. Israel has launched an unprecedented military bombardment of the densely-populated Gaza enclave in retaliation for Hamas’ assault on its territory last month and as part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resultant pledge to destroy Hamas. Israeli officials said on Friday that about 1,200 of its citizens –mostly civilians– died in the attack, revising downwards its prior estimates. In excess of 11,000 people have died in more than four weeks of artillery and airstrikes in Gaza, Palestinian health officials have said, with about 40% of them children. Independent aid organizations have also warned of a deepening humanitarian crisis as vital supplies dwindle and more and more people seek medical treatment in a health system already over capacity.

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Let’s cut a deal. If Seymour Hersh says he was wrong, we can talk about alternative narratives. Until then, this is just one of many suspicious stories.

WaPo Calls Ukrainian Colonel ‘Coordinator’ of Nord Stream Attacks (Sp.)

Ukrainian colonel Roman Chervinsky was the alleged coordinator of the attack on the Nord Sream pipelines, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing Ukrainian and European Officials as well as other people familiar with details of the operation. The newspaper, which called Chervinsky a senior Ukrainian military officer with close ties to the country’s intelligence, reported that the colonel allegedly played a key role in the attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year. Chervinsky was the “coordinator” of the operation, and he did not act alone, the report also said. The Ukrainian officer took orders from more senior officials, who ultimately reported to Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with how the attack was carried out. The Nord Stream pipelines, built to deliver gas under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, were hit by explosions in September 2022.

The pipeline’s operator, Nord Stream AG, said that the damage was unprecedented and it was impossible to estimate the time repairs might take. Denmark, Germany and Norway have left Russia out of their investigations into the attack, prompting Moscow to launch its own investigation with charges of international terrorism. No official results of the investigations have yet been announced, but Pulitzer Prize-winning US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report in February 2023 alleging that the explosions had been organized by the United States with the support of Norway. Washington has denied any involvement in the incident. In mid-July, media reported that Dutch military intelligence had informed the CIA of Ukraine’s plans to sabotage the Nord Stream pipelines – months before the attacks happened.

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“..a quarter of Ukraine’s Leopard 2 tanks, including the Leopard 2A6 modification, had been destroyed by Russian forces within two weeks..”

Ukraine Risks Losing Entire Fleet of Leopard Tanks (Sp.)

Ukrainian soldiers still cannot use German-made Leopard tanks properly and face a risk of completely losing these armored vehicles, Forbes magazine has reported. With Kiev using both Leopard 1 and 2 tanks in the Russian special operation zone, the US magazine recalled that Ukraine is due to receive 195 more Leopard 1A5s in the foreseeable future. “All those Leopard 1A5s represent an opportunity, albeit a risky one,” the magazine noted, referring to the fact that Ukraine has already lost at least 13 “of its best Leopard 2 tanks” since the beginning of Kiev’s now-botched summer counteroffensive.

Now, Forbes went on, what Ukrainian soldiers should not do is “what they frequently have done with the Leopard 2s: drive them in small groups, without much infantry support, directly toward Russian positions—often across minefields and artillery and drone kill-zones.” The news outlet also cautioned that almost two hundred Leopard 1A5s “will disappear quickly if the Ukrainians don’t deploy them the right way.” This comes after the outlet reported that a quarter of Ukraine’s Leopard 2 tanks, including the Leopard 2A6 modification, had been destroyed by Russian forces within two weeks in the special operation zone.

In all, Western countries pledged to provide the Zelensky regime with 85 Leopard 2s. To date, they have delivered a total of 71. Kiev’s summer counteroffensive, which Russian President Vladimir Putin said had ended in total failure, led to the Ukrainian Army losing more than 500 tanks and almost 1,900 armored vehicles of various classes. The US, along with its NATO allies, ramped up their supplies to Kiev shortly after the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly warned that such assistance adds to the prolongation of the conflict.

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Got to keep the sinkhole open.

EU Can Circumvent Hungarian Veto On Ukraine Aid – Media (RT)

The EU will be able to grant Ukraine €50 billion ($53.4 billion) in aid even if Hungary vetoes it, Reuters reported on Friday, citing unnamed officials in the bloc. The European Commission has proposed giving Ukraine further grants and loans to help in the conflict with Russia, although Hungary and Slovakia vetoed the move last month. The EU’s 27 members will next vote on the €50 billion aid package at a summit in Brussels in December. If Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace talks in Ukraine, vetoes the move again, the bloc could circumvent this by asking each of the other EU governments to set up their own aid packages for Kiev, two EU officials told Reuters.

According to the news agency, one official said “people get fed up with Budapest holding everyone hostage,” adding that “the workaround is tiresome, but we have it if need be.” A second official agreed, insisting that “the issue of money for Ukraine will be solved one way or another, Kiev will get EU support.” Orban previously explained that he had blocked the aid package for Ukraine because it was “obvious” that Kiev “will not win on the frontline,” and that Brussels’ strategy of sanctioning Russia while pumping Ukraine with money and weapons had failed.

The EU has authorized a total of €83 billion in military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022, according to the European Commission. Despite Western assistance, Kiev’s much-hyped summer counteroffensive failed to meet its objectives. The Russian Defense Ministry has estimated that Kiev has lost more than 90,000 troops since June, as well as over 55 tanks and 1,900 armored vehicles. Ukraine’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, acknowledged last week that Kiev’s troops were unlikely to make a “deep and beautiful breakthrough,” adding that an attritional trench war could “drag on for years” and grind down his country.

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It was decided ages ago.

Next Month Could Decide Ukraine Conflict – Macron (RT)

The Ukraine conflict could reach a turning point by the end of this year, French President Emmanuel Macron has predicted, several months into Kiev’s counteroffensive, which has so far failed to make significant gains. However, he ruled out the possibility of Ukraine opening talks with Russia in the foreseeable future. In an interview with the BBC released on Friday, Macron claimed that if Moscow prevails over Kiev, “you will have a new imperial power” in Europe that, he argued, would threaten many of its neighbors, including former Soviet republics. The French leader reiterated that the West should continue to support Ukraine with military assistance, arguing that next month will be critical in the conflict. However, he did not specify how events in December could affect the eventual outcome.

Regarding a possible cessation of hostilities, Macron suggested that it is “not yet” time for Ukraine to come to the negotiating table with Russia, and that a decision on the matter should be made by Kiev independently. However, he said that at some point it might be possible to “have fair and good negotiations, and to come back to the table and find a solution with Russia”. Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been underway since early June, but the frontline remains largely unchanged. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has estimated Ukrainian losses at more than 90,000 service members as well as 600 tanks and 1,900 armored vehicles since the start of the push. US network NBC News reported last week that Western officials were engaged in “delicate” talks with Kiev to see whether it could consider some concessions to Russia to end the fighting.

According to the article, the calls were driven by fears in the West that the hostilities have “reached a stalemate,” and that Ukraine is “running out of forces.” Russia has repeatedly said it is open to talks with Kiev. Last autumn, however, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning all negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow after four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in public referendums. Last year, Macron suggested that any peace talks on Ukraine would have to include discussions on security guarantees for Russia, especially regarding the positioning of NATO forces in Europe. Ukrainian officials, however, rejected the idea out of hand.

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Creative solutions.

Germany Wants To Send Asylum Seekers To Africa – WSJ (RT)

Germany is working on a plan to send some asylum seekers to Africa while their cases are pending, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Berlin is considering asking Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, and other African countries to house some asylum seekers while their applications are processed, as the procedure can take “years,” the newspaper said, citing unnamed German officials. The proposals are still being negotiated but could include the permanent resettlement in these countries of people who do not win refugee status, according to the WSJ’s sources. The scheme could also be used to encourage those who are eligible for protection in Germany to settle in third countries.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, his top aides and key ministers “have been exploring deals to reroute some refugee flows through Africa for months and are now drafting offers to various governments,” unnamed officials told the WSJ. News of the potential change in Germany’s migration policy comes after Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced plans to set up reception centers for asylum seekers in Albania. She insisted that the agreement “could become a model of cooperation between EU and non-EU countries in managing migration flows.” The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has criticized the deal, accusing Italy and Albania of focusing on “preventing people from arriving in the EU rather than creating safe and legal avenues for those seeking refuge.” It added that the idea of “processing migrants” was “deeply dehumanizing.”

At the same time, the UK government is fighting a court battle to be allowed to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda. Attempts to arrange a flight carrying migrants to the East African country was blocked last year after legal challenges, although the UK High Court is expected to make a final decision next week. According to The Times, Germany’s immigration system is facing major challenges due to a rise in the number of asylum seekers, as well as the arrival of more than 1 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled their country since the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022. Many local German authorities reportedly say they have reached full capacity and can no longer accept irregular migrants, while the number of people seeking asylum in the country over the course of 2023 is expected to exceed 300,000, The Times said.

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“..Weiss has investigated Hunter Biden for approximately five years..”

From The Testimony of Special Counsel David Weiss (Techno Fog)

Ever since explosive whistleblower testimony detailing DOJ efforts to sabotage the Hunter Biden investigation was released this summer, the US Attorney (and now Special Counsel) in charge of that investigation – David Weiss – has been under siege. Beset with allegations of misconduct by those who had been part of his investigative team, and self-inflicted mistakes such as allowing the statute of limitations on tax crimes to pass, Weiss (who was appointed Special Counsel in August) provided closed-door testimony this week before the House Committee on the Judiciary, led by Jim Jordan.It was a rare opportunity to obtain testimony from a Special Counsel – they typically only testify after their reports have been completed.

And while he refused to answer specifics concerning Hunter’s plea deal, the status of his investigation, and why he allowed the statute of limitations to pass on some of Hunter’s tax crimes, Weiss’s testimony does provide important context regarding what has transpired since his investigation began. For background, Weiss has investigated Hunter Biden for approximately five years. According to the testimony of whistleblower Gary Shapley, a highly-credentialed IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent, this investigation “has been handled differently than any investigation I’ve ever been a part of for the past 14 years of my IRS service.” Agent Shapley explained:

“Some of the decisions seem to be influenced by politics. But whatever the motivations, at every stage decisions were made that had the effect of benefiting the subject of the investigation. These decisions included slow-walking investigative steps, not allowing enforcement actions to be executed, limiting investigators’ line of questioning for witnesses, misleading investigators on charging authority, delaying any and all actions months before elections to ensure the investigation did not go overt well before policy memorandum mandated the pause. These are just only a few examples.”

As we noted back in June, the preferential treatment included: denials of normal investigative steps like looking into Hunter Biden’s communications; tipping off the Biden Transition Team that Hunter Biden would be interviewed; and refusing search warrants of Joe Biden’s home, though the Assistant US Attorney (Lesley Wolf) helping with the case admitted it was “likely” there would be evidence. One of the biggest revelations from the whistleblowers was that Weiss, who was the Delaware US Attorney at the time, was denied authority to file charges against Hunter Biden in DC or California.

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“Congress was scheduled to hear from Weiss when Garland suddenly made him a special counsel [..] That allowed Weiss to delay any appearance..”

David Weiss and America’s First Nihilist Prosecutor (Turley)

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said that all things are matters of mere interpretation and “whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” One has to understand Nietzsche and his nihilistic rejection of meaning to fully appreciate this week’s interview with special counsel David Weiss. Indeed, Weiss may be the first openly nihilistic prosecutor, who views justice itself as a mere matter of interpretation. Weiss appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, which is looking into the handling of the investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged criminal conduct. The one thing that both Republican and Democratic members appear to agree upon is that the Weiss investigation was an unmitigated mess — years of delay and internal dissension over the indictment of the president’s son.

Indeed, after years of denial, some Democratic members and the journalists are now admitting that Hunter Biden clearly broke the law. The Weiss investigation, however, languished for years even as some of us were pointing out that the statute of limitations was about to pass on felonies. At the same time, Attorney General Merrick Garland steadfastly refused to appoint a special counsel into the expanding corruption scandal involving Hunter and other Biden family members selling influence and access. Congress was scheduled to hear from Weiss when Garland suddenly made him a special counsel, though the attorney general did not expressly extend his mandate to cover the corruption allegations. That allowed Weiss to delay any appearance. He would bring gun charges against Hunter, but he has inexplicably still not brought the tax charges that he did not previously allow to expire or charges under laws like the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Weiss has shown no signs of movement as evidence has piled up. Most recently, Hunter’s own tax accountat gave incriminating evidence on his former client from claimed the payment of prostitutes as “a business expense” to allegedly misrepresenting payments as “loans.” As expected, Weiss continued to refuse to answer questions about his lackadaisical approach. That includes obvious questions like why, when whistleblowers said the defense had agreed to an extension of the statute of limitations, Weiss let felonies expire. Those crimes included some of the most serious allegations of influence peddling and corruption facing the Biden family.

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“..objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful..”

NBC Compares Hunter’s Influence Peddling to Haley’s Daughter’s TikTok (Turley)

We have often discussed (and even marveled at) the determined effort of mainstream media to ignore the evidence of a massive corruption scandal surrounding the Biden family. However, even at this late date, NBC seems to have achieved singular distinction with a comparison between the criticism of the daughter of Nikki Haley for using TikTok and the criticism of Hunter Biden for influence peddling. During the Republican presidential debate, Vivek Ramaswamy responded to Haley’s criticism of his use of the Chinese-linked social media app, TikTok, by pointing out: “she made fun of me for joining TikTok, while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care of your family first.” Haley responded by calling Ramaswamy “scum.” Later Gov. Ron DeSantis said that children need to be out of bounds.

NBC saw an immediate opportunity to denounce the investigation into Hunter Biden: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he believes going after an opponent’s children is ‘out of bounds’ in political warfare. DeSantis, however, goes after President Biden’s son on a weekly basis.” The comparison perfectly captured the all-hands-on-deck effort of the media in resisting coverage of the Biden scandal. A major network wanted the public to see the criticism of Haley’s daughter for using TikTok as the same as criticism of Biden’s son for influence peddling. One child was posting playful social media posts while the other was orchestrating massive payments from foreign figures. This is why polls have shown the media at record lows in terms of public trust. Gallup and the Knight Foundation found that 50% of Americans believe that the news media lies in order to promote an agenda.

Only 25% of Americans reject that premise. The public has largely rejected the mainstream coverage (or lack thereof). A majority believes that Hunter has received special protection in the investigation. We have often discussed the increasing bias and advocacy in major media in the United States. While cable networks have long catered to political audiences on the left or right, mainstream newspapers and networks now openly frame news to fit a political narrative. We previously discussed the release of the results of interviews with over 75 media leaders by former executive editor for The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward. They concluded that objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle said it plainly: “Objectivity has got to go.”

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It’s kryptonite for Kennedy’s run. Even as Trump and Biden are just as blind to Israel.

Gerald Celente Withdraws Support due to Kennedy’s Israel War Position (Dick)

Back in December of 2022, virtually nobody was even thinking of the possibility that Rober F. Kennedy, Jr. may run in the 2024 presidential race. One of the few individuals who was thinking of this possibility was political commentor and trends forecaster Gerald Celente. Speaking with host David Knight at the David Knight Show, Celente then not only mentioned the possibility, he enthusiastically recommended that Kennedy run with legal scholar Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey state judge, as his vice president running mate. Four months later, Kennedy announced his decision to seek the presidency in a speech that included some strong expression of antiwar sentiment. That expression of sentiment would appeal to Celente, a peace advocate who has hosted peace rallies in Kingston, New York, where Celente’s trends forecasting operation is located.

Come October, though, Kennedy made clear that so far as Israel goes he would not be a noninterventionist president. Instead, he would back the Israel government to the hilt in its pursuit of its new war. This followed Kennedy in a July interview with Schmuley Boteach making clear that he is a big booster of Israel and declaring that he would try as a candidate “to bring the Democratic Party back to its traditional support of Israel and to explain to my children’s generation the historical context and the moral case for Israel.” Later in the week, Kennedy wrote the following at Twitter: “As President, my support of Israel will be unconditional.” No reasonable person after seeing that declaration would have hope that Kennedy supports seeking peace across-the-board.

But, hope at least could be held out that Kennedy’s unconditional support for Israel would not materialize as support for war because Israel could remain relatively at peace. That last bit of hope was dashed in October after a Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s ensuing, and ongoing, massive military attack on Gaza. Indeed, on October 7 — the day of the Hamas attack — Kennedy immediately proclaimed at Twitter that as president he would be absolutely committed to supporting the Israel government in its new war effort, stating:

“This ignominious, unprovoked, and barbaric attack on Israel must be met with world condemnation and unequivocal support for the Jewish state’s right to self-defense. We must provide Israel with whatever it needs to defend itself — now. As President, I’ll make sure that our policy is unambiguous so that the enemies of Israel will think long and hard before attempting aggression of any kind.” I applaud the strong statements of support from the Biden White House for Israel in her hour of need. However, the scale of these attacks means it is likely that Israel will need to wage a sustained military campaign to protect its citizens. Statements of support are fine, but we must follow through with unwavering, resolute, and practical action. America must stand by our ally throughout this operation and beyond as it exercises its sovereign right to self-defense.”

Thus we come to Celente, an early and enthusiastic supporter of a Kennedy run, commenting on Wednesday, in his weekly video discussion with Andrew Napolitano, that he no longer supports Kennedy becoming president. “As you well know, I was a huge supporter of RFK Jr. because I believed that he was pro-peace and antiwar,” said Celente early in the discussion. Responding, Napolitano, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute, confirmed, “he was, he was — at the time that you and I communicated with him — he was the champion of pro-peace and antiwar, and, then. after the Hamas attack to Israel, he did a 180 and now supports the genocide that the Israeli military is perpetrating on the Palestinian people in Gaza.” Watch here Celente and Napolitano’s full discussion, which also includes Napolitano describing his exchange of texts with Kennedy about Kennedy’s Israel war position and Celente proposing that Napolitano now run for president:

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“The grotesque injustice meted out to David McBride is minted from the injustice consuming his compatriot, Julian Assange..”

We are Spartacus (John Pilger)

Afghanistan was where the West sent young men weighed down with the ritual of “warriors” to kill people and enjoy it. We know some of them enjoyed it from the evidence of Australian SAS sociopaths, including a photograph of them drinking from an Afghan man’s prosthetic. Not one sociopath has been charged for this and crimes such as kicking a man over a cliff, gunning down children point-blank, slitting throats: none of it “in battle.” David McBride, a former Australian military lawyer who served twice in Afghanistan, was a ‘true believer’ in the system as moral and honourable. He also has an abiding belief in truth, and loyalty. He can define them as few can. This coming week he is in court in Canberra as an alleged criminal.

“An Australian whistleblower,” reports Kieran Pender, a senior lawyer at the Australian Human Rights Law Centre, “[will face] trial for blowing the whistle on horrendous wrongdoing. It is profoundly unjust that the first person on trial for war crimes in Afghanistan is the whistle blower and not an alleged war criminal.” McBride can receive a sentence of up to 100 years for revealing the cover-up of the great crime of Afghanistan. He tried to exercise his legal right as a whistleblower under the Public Interest Disclosure Act, which the current attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, says “delivers on our promise to strengthen protections for public sector whistleblowers.” Yet it is Dreyfus, a Labor minister, who signed off on the McBride trial following a punitive wait of four years and eight months since his arrest at Sydney airport: a wait that shredded his health and family.

Those who know David and know of the hideous injustice done to him fill his street in Bondi near the beach in Sydney to wave their encouragement to this good and decent man. To them, and me, he is a hero. McBride was affronted by what he found in the files he was ordered to inspect. Here was evidence of crimes and their cover-up. He passed hundreds of secret documents to the the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Sydney Morning Herald. Police raided the ABC’s offices in Sydney while reporters and producers watched, shocked, as their computers were confiscated by the Federal Police. Attorney-General Dreyfus, self-declared liberal reformer and friend of whistleblowers, has the singular power to stop the McBride trial. A Freedom of Information search of his actions in this direction reveals little, at most, an indifference.

You can’t run a fully-fledged democracy and a colonial war; one aspires to decency, the other is a form of fascism, regardless of its pretensions. Mark the killing fields of Gaza, bombed to dust by apartheid Israel. It is no coincidence that in rich, yet impoverished Britain an “inquiry” is currently being held into the gunning down by British SAS soldiers of 80 Afghans, all civilians, including a couple in bed. The grotesque injustice meted out to David McBride is minted from the injustice consuming his compatriot, Julian Assange. Both are friends of mine. Whenever I see them, I am optimistic. ‘You cheer me,’ I tell Julian as he raises a defiant fist at the end of our visiting period. ‘You make me feel proud,’ I tell David at our favourite coffee shop in Sydney.

Their bravery has allowed many of us, who might despair, to understand the real meaning of a resistance we all share if we want to prevent the conquest of us, our conscience, our self respect, if we prefer freedom and decency to compliance and collusion. In this, we are all Spartacus. Spartacus was the rebellious leader of Rome’s slaves in 71-73 B.C. There is a thrilling moment in the Kirk Douglas movie Spartacus when the Romans call on Spartacus’s men to identify their leader and so be pardoned. Instead hundreds of his comrades stand and raise their fists in solidarity and shout, ‘I am Spartacus!’ The rebellion is under way.

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UFC

 

 

 

 


The lowland nyala or simply nyala, is a spiral-horned antelope native to southern Africa that you might have never seen. As a herbivore, the nyala feeds upon foliage, fruits and grasses. A shy animal, it prefers water holes rather than open spaces.

 

 


The Giant Hand of Vyrnwy: There was this tree in Wales that was 124 years old, it reached higher than a 20 storey building (63.7m (209ft). It was damaged in a storm and had to be felled. Artist Simon O’Rourke carved what remained into this hand as a memorial, a last attempt to reach the sky.

 

 

Piano

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


Max Ernst Santa Conversazione 1921

 

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

 

 

 

 

QueenRania

 

 

Finkelstein

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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Iran knows it too..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nuking Gaza is a Possibility – Israeli Minister (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Drones galore.

The New Electric War Campaign (Helmer)

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

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

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

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They can’t even manage one…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It IS possible…

Connecticut Judge Orders New Bridgeport Mayoral Primary (NYP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abrams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fish Cafe

 

 

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

 

 

Polar

 

 

Food

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 032023
 
 November 3, 2023  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Hieronymus Bosch The Conjurer 1502

 

Russia’s UN Envoy: Israel Doesn’t Have Right to Self-Defense (Sp.)
Israel Already Lost Gaza Battle Even Before Eviction Plan Leaked – Journo (Sp.)
Russia Calls To Immediately Stop Bloodshed In Middle East — UN Envoy (TASS)
Biden Ignores Rabbi’s Call For Gaza Ceasefire (RT)
Israel-Hamas Conflict May Cost Global Economy $2 Trillion – Ernst & Young (RT)
Netanyahu Ordered To Track, Kill All Hamas Leaders 2 Weeks Ago – Hersh (TASS)
Red Cross ‘Has No Right To Exist’ If It Can’t Reach Hostages – Israel (RT)
Global Anti-Hamas Coalition Pushed By Macron Is A Bad Idea (Marsden)
House Passes Resolution That Suggests Using Force Against Iran (Antiwar)
Russians Have Never Had More Confidence In The Army Since World War II (Helmer)
Ex-Wagner Fighters Create Detachment Within Chechen Special Forces (Az.)
Ukraine’s Top General Admits Russia Has The Advantage (RT)
Zelensky Lies About Mass Support For His “Peace Formula” – Russian FM (TASS)
Judge Hints at Possible Delay in Trump’s Classified Documents Case (Sp.)
Sam Bankman-Fried Found Guilty On All Counts (ZH)

 

 

 

 

KidsKilled

 

 

 

 

Che daughter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1720047358111777082

 

 

Meloni

 

 

 

 

Trump

 

 

 

 

Nebenzia says Israel is an “occupying power” in Gaza and as such has no right to self-defense.

Israel says it’s not an “occupying power,” “given that the State of Palestine is a partially-recognized state and is classified as a “non-member observer state” by the United Nations..”

Is that why the two-state solution was never implemented? To deny them their rights?

“We do not deny Israel the right to fight terrorism. But fight terrorists, not civilians..”

Russia’s UN Envoy: Israel Doesn’t Have Right to Self-Defense (Sp.)

Vassily Nebenzia called the US and its allies out for utter hypocrisy on Wednesday. According to the Russian ambassador, in crisis situations, Western countries are quick to lecture others to comply with humanitarian law and establish investigative commissions; they also rush to “impose sanctions against those who use force only as an extreme measure to stop the years-long violence.” However, in the case of Gaza, the US stayed mum about “the horrifying destruction in Gaza, which exceeds everything that they criticize in other regional contexts multifold – strikes on civilian facilities, the death of thousands of children and the horrifying suffering of civilians amid a total blockade.” The only focus of the US and its satellites is Israel’s right to self-defense, Nebenzia pointed out.

Still, there is the legal rub, according to him: under the international law Israel “does not have the right to self-defense” as an “occupying power” as per the International Court consultative ruling of 2004. Nebenzia then clarified that Russia recognizes “Israel’s right to ensure its security”, emphasizing the necessity of “a fair resolution of the Palestinian problem based on recognized UN Security Council resolutions.” “Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia is correct in stating that Israel is an occupying state, whose occupation of Palestine has been declared illegal in countless United Nations resolutions,” Professor Alfred de Zayas, a former UN Independent Expert on International Order, told Sputnik. “Israel’s obligation under Security Council Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967 is to withdraw from the occupied territories and to allow the practical implementation of the right of self-determination of the Palestine People, an inalienable right anchored in articles 1,55, Chapters XI and XII of the UN Charter as well as in Article 1 common to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).”

“It is important to recall the ruling of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of 9 July 2004 reaffirming the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people and documenting the serial violations of the UN Charter and international law perpetrated by Israel. Notwithstanding the clear language of the ICJ, Israel has not implemented any of the specific ICJ rulings, and has been able to flout the UN again and again because the United States has abused its veto right in the Security Council (approximately 80 times!) to shield Israel from condemnation and UN sanctions,” the retired UN independent expert continued. De Zayas observed that within the framework of the court’s rulings, Israel doesn’t have the right to self-defense, but should be guided by international regulations for an “occupying power.” The issue has repeatedly been raised at the UN by Palestinian diplomats.

On May 21, 2021, UN Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine Riyad Mansour insisted in his letter to the international body that “the principle of self-defense cannot be applied by Israel to itself in the occupied territory of the State of Palestine.” “As reaffirmed by the Security Council in its resolution 1860 (2009), the Gaza Strip is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967,” the letter read. Mansour argued that as an “occupying power” Israel is “bound by the relevant provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and all other relevant provisions of international law, including United Nations resolutions.” International law stipulates that “occupying states” have increased responsibilities to protect local populations and are obliged to provide them with the basic health and safety supplies.

However, from Israel’s viewpoint, it’s not an “occupying power,” given that the State of Palestine is a partially-recognized state and is classified as a “non-member observer state” by the United Nations. Tel Aviv does not agree with the concept that it has “occupied” the Gaza Strip since 1967, arguing that it had completely withdrawn from the region in 2005 and that the region has been ruled by Palestinian factions since then.

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“..yesterday President Putin made a statement that I think is the most severe statement that we’ve heard from a Russian president ever, when he said that the Palestinians are fighting and the reason the Palestinians are being killed is because [of] the governments that are behind Israel, and that Russia is fighting those people in Ukraine right now.”

Israel Already Lost Gaza Battle Even Before Eviction Plan Leaked – Journo (Sp.)

On Tuesday, Israeli media reported that the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, which is equivalent to the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), had drawn up a plan to completely relocate all 2.3 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip to Egypt. The proposal, created on October 13, suggests pushing all Gaza residents across the border into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where tent cities will be established, followed by the construction of permanent cities. It would create a “humanitarian corridor” of an undefined nature, as well as a security zone on the Israeli side of the border to prevent Palestinians from returning to Israeli territory. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed the outrage over the report, saying it was nothing more than a “concept paper” or hypothetical exercise and that the ministry has no power to suggest policy in Jerusalem.

However, the Israeli Defense Ministry has already ordered more than 1 million Gazans to leave the northern half of the Gaza Strip as it prepares for an all-out attack on Gaza City, where it expects to meet Hamas in a decisive battle that will destroy the organization. Hamas has governed the Gaza Strip since it won elections in 2006, and its militants helped carry out a cross-border raid on October 7 that killed more than 1,300 Israelis. In response to the news, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova urged that “we are talking about millions of civilians.” “Everyone is exhausted: Israelis, Palestinians, neighbors in the region, sympathizers of both around the world,” she said. “And why? But because one country judged itself as having the right to decide the destinies of millions according to its own plans. And when such an approach led absolutely everyone to a dead end, it turned out that the United States did not bear any responsibility for what it had done. It’s Halloween for them.”

“It’s clear that it is an intentional leak,” Laith Marouf, award-winning broadcaster and journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, told Radio Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday. “It is trying to normalize, within the Western audience, this concept of ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their land. So we have to sometimes be wary when these leaks come out and understand that they were intentionally released.” “Until now, without removing the Palestinians of Gaza, out of Gaza, the Israelis have already killed upwards of 12,000 – because there’s 2,000 people under the rubble – and have displaced a million-and-a-half people inside Gaza. So the number of displaced Palestinians in this war has surpassed the number of displaced Palestinians in 1948 – because in 1948, the Israelis expelled, removed 800,000 Palestinians. Now, we’re past that number and we’re approaching very fast the number of Palestinians that the Israelis massacred in 1948: 15,000 dead.”

“So you have to understand that this is already a second ‘Nakba’, a second catastrophe, for the Palestinians that could be bigger than the first one. And people are seeing this happening live on television this time, so there is no way anybody can deny that this has happened. And there is nobody in the West – in terms of authorities, regimes, governments, institutions – that wants to even stop this, they are all actually finding reasons to allow more of this to happen. Therefore, the only thing that the Palestinian people can do is the same thing that they’ve always had to do: stand up for their rights and fight back the oppressor, the genocider, the occupier or the colonizer and who is behind them.” “You see, yesterday President Putin made a statement that I think is the most severe statement that we’ve heard from a Russian president ever, when he said that the Palestinians are fighting and the reason the Palestinians are being killed is because [of] the governments that are behind Israel, and that Russia is fighting those people in Ukraine right now. So this is aligning, right now, Russia’s future and its battle [in Ukraine] with the battle of the Palestinian people against the Zionists and the imperialists behind them,” Marouf said.

“And, you know, we are entering right now a stage that is different. And of course, everybody’s waiting for Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speech, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, on Friday, to show us what’s the next chapter in this battle. But nothing’s going to stop, no war is going to stop, the Americans are not going to stop the Zionists from committing this genocide and therefore, be prepared for what’s next.” Recently in an interview with US-based media, Vijay Prashad, the executive director of the Tricontinental Institute think tank, said that soon, the outrage across the Middle East over Israel’s war in Gaza would reach such great heights that their own governments “will not be able to contain their population.”

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Russia calls for a ceasefire, the US does not.

Russia Calls To Immediately Stop Bloodshed In Middle East — UN Envoy (TASS)

The bloodshed in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must be stopped immediately to prevent the conflict from spreading to the entire Middle East, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said during the General Assembly special session on Palestine. “First of all, it is necessary to stop the bloodshed and to prevent the crisis from engulfing the entire region. Otherwise, the conflict will never be stopped,” he said. Nebenzya also called to “let the mediators work on a diplomatic solution, including the prompt liberation of hostages.”

“One will have to walk down this path sooner or later; the only question is how many innocent people will die in the meantime,” he noted. The situation in the Middle East has escalated abruptly after an armed infiltration of HAMAS militants from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The HAMAS movement considers this attack a response to the actions of Israeli authorities towards the Al Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Israel announced a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip and started carrying out strikes on the enclave and certain areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank.

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“.. instead proposing a temporary humanitarian pause..”

So Hamas will free the hostages and Israel can move in unhindered.

Biden Ignores Rabbi’s Call For Gaza Ceasefire (RT)

US President Joe Biden has refused to call for a ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas conflict, instead proposing a temporary humanitarian pause. Biden was speaking to an audience of some 200 people when a woman, who later identified herself as rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, shouted, “If you care about Jewish people, as a rabbi, I need you to call for a cease-fire right now.” The incident was captured on video and shared by the Jewish Voice for Peace account on X (formerly Twitter), claiming that Rosenberg was speaking on behalf of thousands of Jewish Americans who “refuse to allow a genocide to be carried out in [their] name” The president responded by stating that he believes “we need a pause” and explained that it means to “give time to get the prisoners out,” apparently referring to the foreign nationals currently stuck in Gaza.

Rabbi Rosenberg was then escorted off the premises, after which the president said he understood her emotions and acknowledged that “this is incredibly complicated” for Israelis and the Muslim world. “I supported a two-state solution; I have from the very beginning,” he said. He added, however, that “the fact of the matter is that Hamas is a terrorist organization. A flat-out terrorist organization.” In an earlier speech in Minnesota on Wednesday, Biden reiterated Washington’s support for Israel’s right to “defend itself” following the October 7 Hamas attack, which took the lives of over 1,400 Israelis. Previously, the president repeatedly insisted that the US would stand by Israel “no matter what.” At the same time, the US State Department has continuously rejected calls for a ceasefire, arguing that it would only benefit Hamas.

Washington’s unconditional support for the Jewish State has, in turn, sparked growing criticism and accusations of disregarding the atrocities being committed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) against the civilian population of Gaza. According to the latest estimates by local health officials, as many as 9,000 people have so far been killed in IDF strikes on Gaza over the past three weeks. Meanwhile, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, has dismissed Washington’s argument about Israel’s right to self-defense, explaining that “as an occupying power, it does not have such a right” as per the advisory ruling of the International Court of Justice in 2004. He stressed, however, that Russia nevertheless recognizes Israel’s right to ensure its security.

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Wait till OPEC closes the taps.

Israel-Hamas Conflict May Cost Global Economy $2 Trillion – Ernst & Young (RT)

The global economy could be doomed to take a major hit if the conflict between Hamas and Israel escalates, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing a top economist at Ernst & Young, one of the world’s leading consulting and accounting services firms. Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY-Parthenon, Ernst & Young’s global strategy consulting arm, told the NYT that in the “worst-case scenario,” the expansion of military action in the Middle East would entail “severe”consequences for the world economy, such as a moderate recession, a plunge in stock prices and a loss of $2 trillion.

Oil prices are likely to rise to $150 per barrel from the current $85, Daco added. Last month the World Trade Organization (WTO) warned that global GDP could drop 5% in the longer term if the world splits into two trading blocs as a result of the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas. The WTO also slashed its 2023 forecast for global trade growth to 0.8% from the previously estimated 1.7%, citing a deepening manufacturing slowdown.

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“..including their wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents.”

Netanyahu Ordered To Track, Kill All Hamas Leaders 2 Weeks Ago – Hersh (TASS)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israeli intelligence agencies to track and assassinate all political and military Hamas leaders two weeks ago, US journalist Seymour Hersh said in his blog at the Substack website citing unnamed sources. Citing one “well-informed Israeli,” Hersh claims that Netanyahu tasked both the overseas intelligence agency and the internal security agency with this mission. According to the source, Israel persecutes families of Hamas political and military leaders, including their wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents.

The situation in the Middle East has escalated abruptly after an armed infiltration of HAMAS militants from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The HAMAS movement considers this attack a response to the actions of Israeli authorities towards the Al Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Israel announced a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip and started carrying out strikes on the enclave and certain areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank.

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Want to use Red Cross to find the hostages?

Red Cross ‘Has No Right To Exist’ If It Can’t Reach Hostages – Israel (RT)

Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has criticized what he called the “unbalanced focus” of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), amid the IDF’s offensive in Gaza. He also blasted the Geneva-based aid group for failing to rescue Israeli hostages being held by Hamas. “The Red Cross has no right to exist if it does not succeed in visiting the hostages being held captive by the Hamas,” Cohen said in a telephone conversation on Wednesday with ICRC director Miriana Spolijaric, according to a summary released by Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Israel has said that about 240 of its citizens were seized by Hamas in its October 7 cross-border raid, most of whom remain unaccounted for in the besieged Palestinian enclave, which has been targeted with massive retaliatory strikes by the IDF for several weeks.

“The Red Cross must act decisively and with a clear voice and utilize all leverage it has to push for a visit to the hostages as soon as possible,” Cohen said, according to the transcript, noting that “children, women and Holocaust survivors” are among the captives. Cohen accused the aid organization of showing an “unbalanced focus” on Israel throughout the conflict. “The Red Cross’ reputation is at stake if it cannot secure a visit to those being held captive by Hamas,” he said. The Red Cross defended its work on Thursday, with spokesperson Alyona Synenko telling NPR that “when the bombs continue to fall, it is also impossible for our teams to do their jobs.” “For us it is a priority to get access and to visit all the hostages. The amount of suffering they endure is also unimaginable. We have been constantly calling on the Hamas authorities to give us access so that we can provide medicine, that we can give news to the families of the hostages.”

“We cannot do that unless we are given the needed humanitarian space and the access to be able to do our job,” Synenko said. “We cannot force our way through bombs. We just need all the parties to show goodwill and also to respect their obligation under the international humanitarian law.” The Red Cross, which has been involved in supplying humanitarian aid to Gaza, has also cautioned Israel over civilian casualties – however, Cohen claimed that Israel “is bound by international law and acts in accordance with it.” Palestinian officials say that more than 9,000 people have so far been killed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza, and that about 70% of those killed are children, women and the elderly.

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“..It’s doubtful these nations will now be keen to embark on yet another counterterrorism mission alongside the same forces that they just expelled..”

Global Anti-Hamas Coalition Pushed By Macron Is A Bad Idea (Marsden)

Last week, standing beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Jerusalem, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested recycling the global coalition of 86 nations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) to focus on Hamas. “Hamas is a terrorist group, whose objective is the destruction of the state of Israel. This is also the case of ISIS, of Al-Qaeda, of all those associated with them, either by actions or by intentions,” Macron said, betraying a short and selective memory. The stated goal of IS wasn’t to eradicate Israel – it was to establish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, then broaden it into Arab countries. IS was first and foremost a threat to the stability of Syria – the same country whose government the US and its Western allies actively hindered in its fight against terrorism by making a failed attempt at overthrowing President Bashar Assad through Pentagon and CIA-backed training and equipping of “Syrian rebel” jihadists.

As for Al-Qaeda, Israel was even reportedly at one point helping treat wounded militants from the group who were fighting their common enemy, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, in Syria – in turn effectively hindering the fight against IS, as Syria and Hezbollah worked to destroy it. The Global Coalition against Daesh (another name for IS), founded in 2014, explicitly excluded Russia, whose invitation by Damascus to help it eradicate the terrorist threat can be largely credited for Syria’s stabilization, and the fact that it’s rare to even hear any talk of IS anymore. Russia’s involvement in neutralizing the terrorist group, coupled with former US President Donald Trump’s refusal to continue funding Washington’s incursion into Syria, beyond hunkering down in the oil-rich Kurdish part, was the ultimate key to IS’ defeat. So with apparently little left for it to do now, Macron recommends that the coalition that mostly sat and watched – while Russia, Iran, and Syria did the heavy lifting – take on Hamas.

Who does he think is going to do the work this time? Russia, which is still excluded from the coalition? Syria, which has recently taken incoming missile fire from Israel? Iran’s Hezbollah allies, who lost 1,000 men fighting IS in Syria – and whom Netanyahu has placed in the same basket as Hamas as an enemy of Israel? Good luck with that. So with the most effective anti-IS fighters excluded from fighting Hamas, who’s left in Macron’s proposed coalition? There’s the Global South, including some African countries that just kicked out French troops for their own failed counterterrorism missions which had led to multiple coups and the flourishing of jihadism. It’s doubtful these nations will now be keen to embark on yet another counterterrorism mission alongside the same forces that they just expelled.

Then there are all those members of the international community who are quietly thinking what United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres dared to say aloud last week – that Hamas’ brutal attack on October 7, which left close to a thousand civilians and hundreds of military and security personnel dead, “did not happen in a vacuum.” He was, of course, hinting at Israel’s longstanding, UN-recognized oppression of civilians in Gaza. His statement begs yet another question: Is Hamas really a global threat? Or is it just Israel’s problem?

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“Seems like a call for war on Iran. I voted No.”

House Passes Resolution That Suggests Using Force Against Iran (Antiwar)

The House on Wednesday passed a resolution that suggested the US would use force against Iran in the future in the name of preventing the country from acquiring nuclear weapons. The resolution says a nuclear-armed Iran is “unacceptable” and declares that it’s the policy of the US to “use all means necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” A US intelligence report recently affirmed that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons, but reality doesn’t stop Iran hawks in the US and Israel from constantly hyping up the threat of a non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons program. The same officials do not officially recognize that Israel possesses a nuclear arsenal.

The resolution passed in a vote of 354-53, with 50 Democrats and three Republicans voting against the measure. Explaining his opposition, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) because it seemed like a call for war. “Yesterday Congress passed a resolution (354 to 53) that claims Iran possesses all it needs for a nuclear weapon,” Massie wrote on X. “The same resolution says the US should ‘use all means necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.’ Seems like a call for war on Iran. I voted No.” The resolution pointed to Iran’s uranium enrichment at 60% and its stockpiles of enriched uranium as evidence it could make a bomb. But in order to make a nuclear weapon, uranium needs to be enriched at 90%, and there’s no sign Tehran is considering taking that step.

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If The Army Says Fight The War, Russians Agree – If The Kremlin Says Stop, Russians Agree On Conditions The Army Decides.

Russians Have Never Had More Confidence In The Army Since World War II (Helmer)

Russians have never had a higher level of confidence in the Army since the end of World War II, according to a national poll just published by the independent Levada Centre of Moscow. This also means a record level of confidence in the General Staff to outwit the principal enemy of the country, the United States, and defeat it and its allies on the Ukrainian battlefield. Most Russians now believe this war will take the Russian Army at least another six months, and more likely a year to finish. This new poll signals that most Russians believe it prudent not to fight the US with the same intensity in two long wars at the same time – in the Ukraine and in the Middle East — because the Army has decided so. This is despite the overwhelming Russian support for the Palestinians in their fight for survival against Israel. No poll is allowed to measure and publish this support, and the emotional reaction the majority of Russians feels towards the operations of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the US military to destroy the population of Gaza.

“We should not, we have no right and we cannot allow ourselves to be carried away by emotions,” President Vladimir Putin announced on October 30. “We must clearly understand who in reality is behind the tragedy of peoples in the Middle East and in other regions around the world, who has been organising this lethal chaos and who benefits from it. In my opinion, it has already become clear to everyone, as the masterminds brazenly act in the open. These are the current ruling elites in the United States and its satellites who are the main beneficiaries of the global instability that they use to extract their bloody rent. Their strategy is also clear. The United States as a global superpower is becoming weaker and is losing its position, and everyone sees and understands this.”

This is the president running for re-election in five months’ time, speaking directly to Russian voters, reflecting what the polls on his desk tell him they already believe. The Levada pollsters report there is a small increase in war weariness across the country, with 56% now saying they favour the start of peace talks soon, compared with 48% measured a year ago, in September 2022. This, however, reflects public belief in the success of the Army in defeating the Ukrainian-NATO counteroffensive, and in advancing Russian control of the new Donbass territories and along the front line from Kharkov to Odessa. “In October 2023,” Levada reports, “62% of Russians across the country believe that the special military operation is progressing successfully (12% very successfully, 50% rather successfully), over the past 5 months their number has increased slightly. The opposite point of view is held by 21%.”

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“The crews of the armored groups are 100% former employees of the Wagner PMC..”

Ex-Wagner Fighters Create Detachment Within Chechen Special Forces (Az.)

Kamerton unit has been created from among former Wagner PMC fighters within the Chechen special forces named Akhmat, said the deputy commander of the detachment with the call sign “011”, Report informs via Russian media. The unit is said to include PMC commanders, an armored group, artillerymen and assault groups. The crews of the armored groups are 100% former employees of the Wagner PMC. Approximately 60% of the assault units consist of former Wagner employees, including commanders, said the deputy detachment commander.

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Ukraine keeps talking about a stalemate, and Russia keeps saying there’s no such thing.

Ukraine’s Top General Admits Russia Has The Advantage (RT)

Ukraine will not make any progress in its fight against Russia unless some new technology emerges to give it a decisive advantage, the country’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzny, told The Economist this week. He conceded, without the appearance of a ‘wunderwaffe,’ that Moscow is in the better position, given its larger population and greater resources. “Just like in the First World War, we have reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate,” he said of the ongoing conflict, as quoted by the British magazine on Wednesday. Despite the hopes of Kiev supporters and Ukrainian officials, “there will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough,” he predicted. The conflict may “drag on for years” and “wear down” the country.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov disagreed with Zaluzhny on Thursday, stating that Russia was not in a stalemate and would keep pursuing its “special military operation” against Ukraine. Kiev should have long acknowledged that expecting a Russian defeat was “absurd,” he added. The situational awareness that both sides have thanks to the use of drones makes surprise concentration of forces impossible, Zaluzhny believes. NATO textbooks and predictive models, which were used to plan the summer counteroffensive, have been proven wrong, the general claimed. “Four months should have been enough time for us to have reached Crimea, to have fought in Crimea, to return from Crimea, and to have gone back in and out again,” he said, referring to optimistic forecasts.

The commander has found that an old Soviet military textbook on how to deal with entrenched enemy forces had offered a better explanation of why both sides are now “in stupor,” he said. Zaluzhny’s office shared with The Economist a nine-page essay, in which he makes suggestions on how Ukraine could get into a better position against Russia and possibly avoid attrition warfare. His proposed technological solutions include using drones with trap nets to catch Russian UAVs, ground GPS signal stations to counter Russian jamming, and robotic vehicles armed with plasma torches for demining. The general, who is an outspoken advocate of drone warfare, was “enthused” by recent conversations with Eric Schmidt on the issue, the report said. The former CEO of Google has been advising the US government on how advanced digital technology could improve military capabilities.

This week, Time exposed a disconnect between Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s push to keep fighting and the realities on the ground. Some frontline commanders have been defying orders to advance and “just want to sit in the trenches and hold the line,” a presidential aide told the magazine. A report in The Times last Sunday suggested that Zaluzhny may share this sentiment. A rumor circulating among Ukrainian security sources claimed the general had called for the counteroffensive to be stopped, but Zelensky refused.

“[Zelensky] knows that Western patience is limited for his maximalist demands that Ukraine must recover all territory” that it has lost since 2014, the British newspaper claimed. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Kiev’s troops have suffered over 90,000 casualties since June 4, the day the counteroffensive started. The Ukrainian Army has also lost some 600 tanks and nearly 1,900 armored vehicles over the same period, he said during a security conference in China on Monday. Moscow sees the hostilities as part of a US proxy war against Russia, in which Ukrainian troops are being used as “cannon fodder.” It blames the West for derailing a negotiated resolution in the early months of the conflict, and instead choosing to push Kiev to fight “to the last Ukrainian.”

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“New participants are first involved in discussions on such seemingly neutral issues as food, energy, nuclear and environmental security, and then they [the supporters of Ukraine] pass it off as support for the whole ‘formula,’ the central element of which is the defeat and punishment of Russia..”

Zelensky Lies About Mass Support For His “Peace Formula” – Russian FM (TASS)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s statements that his so-called peace formula is supported by more than 140 countries are another lie, a senior Russian diplomat told TASS. “Speaking at the UN General Assembly in September, Zelensky said that his ‘peace formula’ is supposedly already supported by more than 140 countries. Of course, this is another lie,” Alexey Polishchuk, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second CIS Department, pointed out. He added that Ukraine and the US are attempting to use “deception and blackmail” to get the countries of the Global South to support the “formula.”

According to Polishchuk, Kiev and Washington are “trying to lure new countries into their anti-Russian club, and at the same time to kill really constructive proposals, peace and humanitarian initiatives of other states.” Kiev is actively trying to promote a settlement plan proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which does not take into account Moscow’s position. Relevant international consultations, to which Russia was not invited, were held on June 24 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and on August 5-6 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The most recent meeting at the level of national security advisors took place on October 28-29 in Malta. “There is no practical point in such meetings,” the diplomat stressed.

“The so-called Copenhagen format is a mechanism invented by Kiev and the West to impose Ukrainian ultimatums. It is incapable of leading to peace,” he pointed out. Polishchuk recalled that the Malta meeting was the third after Copenhagen and Jeddah. “Their added value is close to zero,” he stressed. At the same time, the senior diplomat pointed to the fact that at such meetings “unscrupulous techniques are used.” “New participants are first involved in discussions on such seemingly neutral issues as food, energy, nuclear and environmental security, and then they [the supporters of Ukraine] pass it off as support for the whole ‘formula,’ the central element of which is the defeat and punishment of Russia,” he concluded.

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Lawyers can do one case at a time.

Judge Hints at Possible Delay in Trump’s Classified Documents Case (Sp.)

The Florida federal judge presiding over former US President Donald Trump’s classified documents case hinted that she is open to a delay in the case, a move that prosecutors have been arguing against. Judge Aileen Cannon set the trial’s schedule in July, with a start date set for May 20. But at a hearing on Thursday, she floated the possibility of delaying portions of the pre-trial process, which could push back the actual trial date. It’s believed it could be likely postponed until after the 2024 election, a result Trump’s lawyers have been attempting to achieve. “I’m just having a hard time seeing how realistically this work can be accomplished in this compressed period of time, given the realities that we’re facing,” Cannon said during the hearing. Trump’s lawyers argued they needed more time to prepare for the trial due to Trump’s several other pending legal cases, two others of which are focused on alleged attempts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

Officials have raised concerns that cases may potentially overlap and make it much more difficult for the Trump camp to properly handle the list of cases. Cannon did not mention moving the trial date back, but any delay in the pre-trial process could cascade to the trial date, pushing that back as well. “It’s very difficult to be trying to work with a client in one trial and simultaneously try to prepare that client for another trial,” Trump lawyer Chris Kise said. “This has been a struggle and a challenge.” Prosecutors working for special counsel Jack Smith, who is heading both the Jan. 6 and classified documents case, have argued against Cannon delaying the Florida case because the Washington, DC, case focusing on Trump’s role in attempting to overturn the 2020 results may likewise be delayed.

“The court really cannot let and should not let the DC trial drive the schedule here,” veteran Justice Department national security prosecutor Jay Bratt argued in front of Cannon. “We don’t know what is going to happen in this case. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the DC case. That trial could disappear.” But Cannon noted she cannot predict what a different judge is going to do and does not want to put her trial on a track that could potentially interfere with another case. The Florida judge added that she will set a new timeline for the case “as soon as possible.”

Trump is accused of mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021, as well as trying to conceal the number of those documents from prosecutors. He has decried the trial and all of the legal cases filed against him as being part of political witch hunts. In addition to the two federal cases, Trump is also facing an election-interference case at the state level in Georgia and a state-level case in New York centering around hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He and his company are also facing numerous civil suits.

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Biden’s second-biggest donor.

Sam Bankman-Fried Found Guilty On All Counts (ZH)

After 15 days of testimony and about four and a half hours of deliberations, jurors found FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been found guilty on all seven counts related to fraud and money laundering, in a lower Manhattan courtroom. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 28, when he faces more than 100 years in prison if he receives the maximum on all counts. Bankman-Fried has indicated that he will appeal the verdict. The case was handed to the jury at approximately 3:15 p.m. on Thursday after US District Judge Lewis Kaplan read the jury roughly 60 pages of instructions. Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, founded FTX in 2019, two years after forming sister hedge fund Alameda Research. He was charged with seven counts, including wire fraud, money laundering, and securities fraud in connection with FTX’s spectacular implosion last year.

The trial, which progressed far more quickly than the anticipated run through Thanksgiving, has presented a stark transformation of the FTX founder from a “crypto genius” to an alleged criminal mastermind, as prosecutors and defense attorneys spar over the truth behind FTX’s collapse. The 31-year-old MIT graduate and son of two Stanford legal scholars had pleaded not guilty to all charges. “Every movie needs a villain,” proclaimed Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s defense attorney, in a narrative-bending final plea that painted the prosecution’s portrayal of his client as grossly mischaracterized. Cohen argued fervently against the government’s claims, insisting that the FTX saga, while marred by a lack of risk management, does not equate to criminal conduct.

The courtroom, under the guidance of Judge Kaplan, saw a relentless pace, with days stretching past the usual hours in a concerted effort to wrap up proceedings. Jurors, now faced with the weighty task of determining Bankman-Fried’s fate, were reminded that the urgency from the bench wasn’t an attempt to rush judgment but rather an efficient approach to justice. The crux of the trial hinged on intent — did Bankman-Fried knowingly orchestrate a grand scheme to defraud? According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos, the answer lies in a “pyramid of deceit,” with $10 billion in customer funds vanishing into a black hole of personal indulgences and opaque financial maneuvers. “The defendant schemed and lied to get money, which he spent,” Roos told the court, dismantling the image of an earnest entrepreneur caught in a misstep.

Cohen’s defense strategy leaned heavily on the sworn testimony of Bankman-Fried himself, who took to the stand in what former prosecutor Renato Mariotti described as a deliberate attempt to downplay his involvement. “Meant to reduce his role,” Mariotti said, noting the pointed references to a youthful lack of experience and the burdens of leadership. The prosecution, meanwhile, painted a picture of a deliberate and cunning exploitation of trust, they left the jury with a resonating thought — Bankman-Fried “had the arrogance to think he could get away with it.” The litany of expenses paid for with customer money, from a $30 million Bahamian penthouse to a lavish $16 million for his parents’ home, stood as testament to a lifestyle funded by the alleged pyramid scheme.

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